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they ought not to have done, and left undone the things they ought to have done. They have finned against that divine light of knowledge, which God has given them: they have grieved his spirit; and that dismal fentence has been executed, In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die. That is, when thou dost the thing which thou oughtest not to do, thou shalt no more live in my favour, and enjoy the comforts of the peace of my spirit : which is a dying to all those innocent and holy defires and affections which God created man with, and he becomes as one cold and benumbed; insensible of the love of God, of his holy spirit, power, and wisdom, of the light and joy of his countenance, and the evidence of a good conscience, and the co-witnessing and approbation of God's Holy Spirit.
S. VI. So that fallen Adam's knowledge of God stood no more in a daily experience of the love and work of God in his soul, but in a notion of what he once did know and experience: which being not the true and living wisdom that is from above, but a mere picture, it cannot preserve man in purity; but puffs up, makes people proud, high-minded, and impatient of contradiction.
This was the state of the apostate Jews before Christ came; and has been the condition of apoftate Christians ever since he came : their religion standing, fome bodily performances excepted, either in what they once knew of the work of God in themselves, and which they have re
> Gen. ii. 17.
volted from; or in an historical belief, and an imaginary conception and paraphrase upon the experiences and prophecies of such holy men and women of God, as in all ages have deserved the stile and character of his true children.
J. VII. As fuch a knowledge of God cannot be true, so by experience we find, that it ever brings forth the quite contrary fruits to the true wisdom. For as this is first puré, then peaceable, then gentle, and easy to be intreated;' so the knowledge of degenerated and unmortified men is first impure: for it came by the commission of evil, and is held in an evil and impure conscience in then, that disobey God's law, and ihat daily do those things which they ought not to do; and for which they stand condemned before God's judgment-seat in the souls of men: the light of whose presence searches the most hidden things of darkness, the most secret thoughts, and concealed inclinations of ungodly men. This is the science, falsly so called : and as it is impure, so it is unpeaceable, cross, and hard to be intreated; froward, perverse, and persecuting; jealous that any should be better than they, and hating and abusing those that are.
$. VIII. It was this pride made Cain a murderer :d it is a spiteful quality ; full of envy and revenge. What! Wás not his religion and worship as good as his brother's? He had all the exterior parts of worship; he offered as well as Abel; and the offering of itself • James üi. 17.
« Gen. iv. 8.
might be as good : but it seems the heart that offered it, was not. So long ago did God regard the interior worship of the soul. Well, what was the consequence of this difference? Cain's pride stomached it: he could not bear . to be outdone by his brother. He grew wrathful, and resolved to vindicate his offering by revenging the refusal of it upon his brother's life: and without any regard to natural affection, or the low and early condition of man, kind, he barbaronily dyed his hands in his brother's blood,
§. IX. The religion of the apostatized Jews did no better; for, having lost the inward life, power, and spirit of the law, they were puffed up with that knowledge they had; and their pretences to Abraham, Moses, and the promises of God, in that frame, served only to blow them up into an insufferable pride, arrogancy, and cruelty. For they could not bear true vision, when it came to visit them; and entertained the messengers of their peace as if they had been wolves and tigers,
§. X. Yea, it is remarkable, the false prophets, the great engineers against the true ones, were ever sure to persecute them as false ; and, by their interest with earthly princes, or the poor seduced multitude, made them the instruments of their malice. · Thus it was, that one holy prophet was fawn afunder, another stoned to death, &c.; So proud and obstinate is false knowledge, and the aspirers after it; which made holy Stephen cry out, Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart an
car, ye resist the Holy Ghost; as did your fathers, so do ye.'
$. XI. The true knowledge came with the joy of angels, singing, Peace on earth, and good-will towards men;' the false knowledge entertained the message with calumnies: Christ must needs be an impostor; and that must prove him so, to wit, his power of working of miracles; which was that which proved the contrary. They frequently fought to kill him; which at last they wickedly accomplished. But what was their motive to it? Why, he cried out against their hypocrify, the broad phyJaeteries, the honour they fought of men. To be short, they give the reason themselves in these words; If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him that is, he will take away our credit with the people; they will adhere to him, and desert us, and so we shall lose our power and reputation with the multitude.
$. XH. And the truth is, he came to level their honour, to overthrow their Rabbiship, and by his grace to bring the people to that inward knowledge of God, which they, by transgression, were departed from ; that so they might see the deceitfulness of their blind guides, who by their vain traditions had made void the righteousness of the law; and who were so far from being the true doctors, and lively expounders of it, that in reality they were the children of the devil, who was a
• Acts vii. 51.
s Luke ii. 14.
proud liar, and cruel murderer from the beginning
. XIII. Their pride in false knowledge having made them uncapable of receiving the fimplicity of the gospel, Christ thanks his Father, that he had hid the mysteries of it, from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to babes. It was this false wisdom swelled the minds of the Athenians to that degree, that they defpised the preaching of the apostle Paul, as a vain and foolish thing. But that apostle, who, of all the rest, had an education in the learning of thofe times, bitterly reflects on that wisdom, so much valued by Jews and Greeks; Where, says he, is the wife? Where is the fcribe? Where is the disputer of this world ? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" And he gives a good reason for it, That no filesh should glory in his presence. Which is to say, God will stain the pride of man in false knowledge, that he should have nothing on this occafion to be proud of: it Thould be owing only to the revelation of the Spirit of God. The apostle goes further, and affirms, That the world by wisdom knew not God:k that is, it was so far from an help, that, as men use it, it was an hindrance to the true knowledge of God. And in his first epistle to his beloved Timothy, he concludes thus: O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science, falfly so called. This was the sense of • Mat. xi. 25. by Cor. i. 20. Ver. 29. kVer. 21.