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3. This service distinguishes our duty towards God from all our conversation with man, and separates the Divine commandments from the imperfect decrees of princes and republics : for these are satisfied by the outward work, and cannot take any other cognizance of the heart, and the will of man, but as himself is pleased to signify. He that wishes the “ fiscus” empty, and that all the revenues of the crown were in his counting-house, cannot be punished by the laws, unless himself become his own traitor and accuser; and therefore what man cannot discern, he must not judge, and must not require. But God sees it, and judges it, and requires it, and therefore reserves this as his own portion, and the chiefest feudal right of his crown.
4. He that secures the heart, secures all the rest ; because this is the principle of all the moral actions of the whole man, and the hand obeys this, and the feet walk by its prescriptions; we eat and drink by measures which the soul desires and limits; and though the natural actions of men are not subject to choice and rule, yet the animal actions are under discipline; and although it cannot be helped that we shall desire, yet our desires can receive measures, and the laws of circumstances, and be reduced to order, and nature be changed into grace, and the actions animal (such as are, eating, drinking, laughing, weeping, &c.) shall become actions of religion ; and those that are simply natural (such as, being hungry and thirsty) shall be adopted into the retinue of religion, and become religious by being ordered or chastised, or suffered, or directed; and therefore God requires the heart, because he requires all; and all cannot be secured, without the principle be enclosed. But he that seals up a fountain, may drink up all the waters alone, and may best appoint the channel where it shall run, and what grounds it shall refresh.
5. That I may sum up many reasons in one; God by requiring the heart secures the perpetuity and perseverance of our duty, and its sincerity, and its integrity, and its perfection: for so also God takes account of little things; it being all one in the heart of man, whether maliciously it omits a duty in a small instance or in a great; for although the expression hath variety and degrees in it, in relation to those purposes of usefulness and charity whither God designs it,
yet the obedience and disobedience are all one, and shall be equally accounted for; and therefore the Jew Tryphon disputed against Justin, that the precepts of the Gospel were impossible to be kept, because it also requiring the heart of man, did stop every egression of disorders: for making the root holy and healthful, as the balsam of Judea, or the drops of manna in the evening of the sabbath ; it also causes that nothing spring thence but gums fit for incense, and oblations for the altar of proposition, and a cloud of perfume fit to make atonement for our sins; and being united to the great sacrifice of the world, to reconcile God and man together. Upon these reasons you see it is highly fit that God should require it, and that we should pay the sacrifice of our hearts ; and not at all think that God is satisfied with the work of the hands, when the affections of the heart are absent. He that prays because he would be quiet, and would fain be quit of it, and communicates for fear of the laws, and comes to church to avoid shame, and gives alms to be eased of an importunate beggar, or relieves his old parents because they will not die in their time, and provides for his children lest he be compelled by laws and shame, but yet complains of the charge of God's blessings ; this man is a servant of the eyes of men, and offers parchment or a white skin in sacrifice, but the flesh and the inwards he leaves to be consumed by a stranger fire. And therefore, this is a deceit that robs God of the best, and leaves that for religion which men pare off: it is sacrilege, and brings a double curse.
2. He that serves God with the soul without the body, when both can be conjoined, “ doth the work of the Lord deceitfully.”—Paphnutius, whose knees were cut for the testimony of Jesus, was not obliged to worship with the humble flexures of the bending penitents: and blind Bartimeus could not read the holy lines of the law, and therefore that part of the work was not his duty; and God shall not call Lazarus to account for not giving alms, nor St. Peter and St. John for not giving silver and gold to the lame man, nor Epaphroditus for not keeping his fasting-days when he had his sick
But when God hath made the body an apt minister to the soul, and hath given money for alms, and power to protect the oppressed, and knees to serve in prayer, and hands to serve our needs, then the soul alone is not to work; but
her maid to Jacob, and she bore children to her lord upon her mistress's knees; and the children were reckoned to them both, because the one had fruitful desires, and the other a fruitful womb: so must the body serve the needs of the spirit; that what the one desires the other may effect, and the conceptions of the soul may be the productions of the body, and the body must bow when the soul worships, and the hand must help when the soul pities, and both together do the work of a holy religion; the body alone can never serve God without the conjunction and preceding act of the soul ; and sometimes the soul without the body is imperfect and vain; for in some actions there is a body and a spirit, a material and a spiritual part : and when the action hath the same constitution that a man hath, without the act of both, it is as imperfect as a dead man; the soul cannot produce the body of some actions any more than the body can put life into it; and therefore an ineffective pity and a lazy counsel, an empty blessing and gay words, are but deceitful charity.
Quod peto, da, Cai; non peto consilium. He that gave his friend counsel to study the law, when he desired to borrow twenty pounds, was not so friendly in his counsel as he was useless in his charity; spiritual acts can cure a spiritual malady, but if my body needs relief, because you cannot feed me with diagrams, or clothe me with Euclid's Elements, you must minister a real supply by a corporal charity to my corporal necessity. This proposition is not only useful in the doctrine of charity, and the virtue of religion, but in the professions of faith, and requires that it be public, open, and ingenuous. In matters of necessary duty it is not sufficient to have it to ourselves, but we must also have it to God, and all the world; and as in the heart we believe, so by the mouth we confess unto salvation : he is an ill man that is only a Christian in his heart, and is not so in his profession and publications; and as your heart must not be wanting in any good professions and pretences, so neither must public profession be wanting in every good and necessary persuasion. The faith and the cause of God must be owned publicly; for if it be the cause of God, it will never bring us to shame. I do not
whatever we think we must
Mart. 2. 30.
tell it to all the world, much less at all times, and in all circumstances; but we must never deny that, which we believe to be the cause of God, in such circumstances, in which we can and ought to glorify him. But this extends also to other instances.
He that swears a false oath with his lips, and unswears it with his heart, hath deceived one more than he thinks for: himself is the most abused person : and when my action is contrary to men, they will reprove me; but when it is against my own persuasion, I cannot but reprove myself; and am witness, and accuser, and party, and guilty, and then God is the judge, and his anger will be a fierce executioner, because we do the Lord's work deceitfully.
3. They are “deceitful in the Lord's work,” that reserve one faculty for sin, or one sin for themselves ; or one action to please their appetite, and many for religion.—Rabbi Kimchi taught his scholars, “Cogitationem pravam Deus non habet vice facti, nisi concepta fuerit in Dei fidem et religionem;" “ That God is never angry with an evil thought, unless it be a thought of apostacy from the Jews' religion;" and therefore, provided that men be severe and close in their sect and party, they might roll in lustful thoughts; and the torches they light up in the temple, might smoke with anger at one end, and lust at the other, so they did not flame out in egressions of violence and injustice, in adulteries and fouler complications: nay, they would give leave to some degrees of 'evil actions; for R. Moses and Selomoh taught, that if the most part of the man's actions were holy and just, though in one he sinned often, yet the greater ingredient should prevail, and the number of good works should outweigh the lesser account of evil things; and this pharisaical righteousness is too frequent even among Christians. For who almost is there that does not count fairly concerning himself, if he reckons many virtues upon the stock of his religion, and but one vice upon the stock of his infirmity; half a dozen to God, and one for his company, or his friend; his education or his appetite ? And if he hath parted from his folly, yet he will remember the flesh-pots, and please bimself with a fantastic sin, and call it home through the gates of his memory, and place it at the door of fancy, that there he may behold it, and consider concerning what he hath parted withal, out of the fears and terrors of religion, and a neces
sary unavoidable conscience. Do not many men go from sin to sin, even in their repentance ? they go backward from sin to sin, and change their crime as a man changes his uneasy load, and shakes it off from one shoulder to support it with the other. How many severe persons, virgins and widows, are so pleased with their chastity, and their abstinence even from lawful mixtures, that by this means they fall into a worse pride ? Insomuch that I remember St. Augustine said, “ Audeo dicere superbis continentibus expedit cadere,” • They that are chaste and proud, it is sometimes a remedy for them to fall into sin," and by the shame of lust to cure the devil of pride, and by the sin of the body to cure the worser evils of the spirit; and therefore he adds, that he did believe, God in a severe mercy did permit the barbarous nations, breaking in upon the Roman empire, to violate many virgins professed in cloisters and religious families to be as a mortification of their pride, lest the accidental advantages of a continent life should bring them into the certain miseries of a spiritual death, by taking away their humility, which was more necessary than their virgin-state; it is not a cure that men may use, but God permits it sometimes with greater safety through his wise conduct and overruling providence ; St. Peter was safer by his fall (as it fell out in the event of things) than by his former confidence. Man must never cure a sin by a sin; but he that brings good out of our evil he can when he please. But I speak it, to represent how deceitfully many times we do the work of the Lord. We reprove a sinning brother, but do it with a pompous spirit ; we separate from scandal, and do it with glory, and a gaudy heart; we are charitable to the poor, but will not forgive our unkind enemies; or, we pour relief into their bags, but we please ourselves and drink drunk, and hope to commute with God, giving the fruit of our labours or effluxes of money for the sin of our souls : and upon this account it is, that two of the noblest graces of a Christian are to very many persons made a savour of death, though they were intended for the beginning and the promotion of an eternal life; and those are faith and charity; some men think if they have faith, it is enough to answer all the accusations of sin, which our consciences or the devils make against us: if I be a wanton person, yet my faith shall hide it, and faith shall cover