Page images
PDF
EPUB

6 pothing at all; others had drank and eat intemperately; and

the poor were despised and neglected. This the apolle con:,: demos as a great profanation of that folemn institution, for • behaving themselves with as little reverence, as if it were a

common supper, or feast : And this he calls, not discerning the Lord's body: making oo difference between the facrament

and a commop meal; which contemptuous-carriage, he calls eating and drinking unworthily; for which he pronounceth

them guilty of the body and blood of Chrift; by which, he

tells them, they did incur the judgment of God, which he • calls eating and drinking their owo judgmept; for so the « word signifies in the Greek, and not eternal condemnation. • It is meant of some temporal judgment and chastisement, & in order to the prevepting of ererbal dampation : Which is ! evident from what follows: “ He that eateth and drinketh !" unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.” ! And then he says, “ For this cause many are weak and sickly $“ among you, and many sleep.” That is, for this irreve

rence of theirs, God sent among them several diseases, of which maoy had died. Apd thep he adds, “ For if we would

" judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” That is, if . we would cenfure, and examide ourselves, so as to be more

careful for the future, we should escape the judgment of • God in these temporal punifhments. “ But when we are ¢ " judged, we are chaftened of the Lord, that we should not ! " be condemned with the world.” That is, when by ne

glecting thus to judge ourselves, we provoke God to judge .us; he ioflicts these temporal judgments upon us, to prevent : ! our eternal damnation.'

Christian] Sir, I am much obliged to you for the fatisfaction you have given me in these weighty points, referring to the Lord's supper : And oow, though in a deep sense of wy greac uoworthiness, yet with humble confidence in my dear Redeemer, who graciously invites all that are heavy laden to come unto him ; I do iotend, by the blesiog of God, to address myself to the Lord's table the next Lørd's day; humbly beseeching the aslistance of your prayers, that I may not come without the wedding-gurment ; bụt may be fo qualified, as to obtain those glorious privileges and blessings, which are there represented and fealed to eve:y worthy communicant.

[ocr errors]

Η

Ν

.

Υ Μ
. UPON
ROMANS V. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, II.
6. W HEN we were destitute of strength,

Ounclves to help or save,
Christ tor vogodliness, at length,

His life a rapsom gave.
7. For one that's righteous, we would grudge

To lay our life at stake;
And for a good man, it were much

Such an exchange to make. ,
8. But God his matchless love commends,

lp that Christ Jesus dies
For us, when we were not his friends,

But wretched enemies.
9. Much more, being justify'd, and free,

Thro' his own blood, from sin ;
From wrath to come we sav'd shall be,

Ev'n by the life of him. : 10. For if, when enemies, for us

Christ's death did end the strife;
Much more, when recoociled thus,

He'll lave us by his life.
11. Yea, more than so, 'we triumph now

In God with one accord,
Having receiv'd atonement through

Christ Jesus our own Lord..
Wherefore to him, who is the first

Begutten of the dead,
Who over earthly princes must
• Be fupreme Lord and Head :
'Ev'o unto him who lov'd us fo,

To wash us in his blood,
And make us kings and priests uoto
· His Father and his God :
To bim dominion therefore,

By us be given, when
This present world shall be no more ;

To which we say, Amen.

THE

R E A S O N A BL E N E S S

[ocr errors]

OF

- PERSONAL REFORMATION,

AND THE
NECESSITY OF CONVERSION:

The true Methods of making all men happy in this

world, and in the world to come.
. Seasonably discoursed, and earnestly pressed upon this licen.

tious age.

[ocr errors]

To all such as are most immediately and particularly concera

ed in the following treatise, of whạt rank or quality soever
they be.

· GENTLEMEN,

wo of the greatest, faithfullest, and most intimate

friends in the world, reason and conscience, command me here, in their names, courteously to falute and invite you in.

They earnestly desire three or four hours serious and private conference with you, about some very important personal conceros of yours, which cappot admit of denial, or long delay. And if you make any trifling excuses, they have commanded. aod instructed me, here to answer them..

Ia case of absolute and obstinate refusal to hear them, they order me to tell you ;. if you will not talk with me now, they will talk with you shortly, whether you will or no. If you say, you are not cow at leisure, having other business to do; they both desire you to consider, First, You can have no business in the world of equal importance with theirs. Secondly, Thac

whatever other lawful affairs you are pursuing, their business with you will do way obstruct, but greatly promote it. And, laftly, That a greater person than any of you, lost his life; by pocketing up a letter at night, saying, To-morrow is a few day; and it proved to him indeed dies noviffima, bis lalt day; he losing by that neglect the only opportupity of living longer.

If you demand, how your reason came to be bound up in this little book, and lay, that which is reason to this author, may be folly and nonsense to you: I am bid to tell you, you are obliged first to read and compare ; else your own reason will preseptly call it your own folly and conledse, so to proDovoce. Sound reason is uniform, and like itfelf alt the world i over. It is true, laws and dictates equally oblige one, as a: gother, io like cases and circumstaoces.

If you say, there have been fome jars and dilgofts betwixt you, and your reasons and confciences ; you and they have falleo out so oft, that you have so great faocy to come pear them in private, for you expect nothiog bue harsh and chiding language from them; and therefore are fain, by contiqual diversions, and quick successions of business, to maiorain your peace, by keeping at as great a distance from them as you can.

It is their desire you should here kaow, First, That their debates withi you will be as calm and friendly, as they are fease fooable and necessary. Secondly, That-they both profefs (and you may believe them) they neither do, nor can defign any thing but your good. Thirdly, That that person is certainly in a pery bad case, that cannot endore to converse with him felf. Fourthly, That you herein deny a civility to your own realons and consciences, which you daily pay to ftrangers and inferiors. And, in a word, that they desire a reconciliation' with you up. on as fair and honourable térmis as cad well be desired : and that this being done, they will both fick faithfully by you in all the troubles and dangers of your lives, and follow you as your infeparable friends, into any thing but fin.

If you fay, this is but a wheedle, to draw you into a book, that will take you melancholy, aod perhaps mad.

It is their fense and judgment, that of all men living, you have least reason to pretend the one of the other, in this cafe : for they are very confident, you are now in the most melao choly circumstances, men can ordinarily be in' on this side hell. And for madness they desire to know, what you yourselves would call that man, thar is running with fuch' post-halte' to hell, as wili dot admit of two of three hours stop upon the

road, to prove himself to be ao madman, but in his right mind and wits?

Moreover, they commaad me to inform you, it is their defire, chat seeiog their debates with you will neither be tirefore por impertinent, you will please to hear them out what they have to fay to you and then, if you shall food cause to complain, that your pleas and excuses are not fairly drawn, or that you havé new matter to furoish a better apology; they are both content you shall have your liberty to amend, of add what you please ; and if they be not able to refute them, they will give you do further trouble or ioterruption in your courie.

This, Gentlemen, is what I have in charge to say to you in the porch; and dow, if you pleale, the door is opeo ; you may be as private as you will. They will attend you to your bed-chimber, of clofet ; and I heartily with an happy issue to this triendly debate:

JOHN F L A V Ź.

[ocr errors]

| C H A P. I.
The introduction, and flate of the case.

$1. D EASON exalts man above all earthly beings; it

n is his dignity and privilege, that God hath furnishi. ed him with abilities of mind, to recollect, animadvert, compare, infer, ponder, and judge his own actions. Hereby he becomes not only capable of moral goveroment by humab laws, (which no Creature beside him is) but allo of spiritual goveromeone by divine laws, and the blessed fruition of God iú glory, which no other species of creatures (angel's only excepted) have a sub. jected capacity for...

Right reason, by the law of nature, (as ao home-born judge) arbitrates and determines all things within its proper province ; which providce is exteaded far and wide. All actions, natural, inoral, and civil, are weighed at this beam and standard'; none. are exertipted, but matters of superoatural revelation ; and yet even these are not wholly; aod in every respect, exempt from rigtit reason : for though there be some mysteries in religion above the sphere and light of reason; yet nothing can be found in religion, that is upreafonable. - VOL. VIII

« PreviousContinue »