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able to what is good, that a little Child fhall lead them, and prevail with them, to alter their mind, bringing Scripture and Reason with them. This is lovely ; when these Principles of grace grow in the Soul, the Soul grows as the Lilly.
( 2.) The Soul then prospers, when it grows, not only as the Lilly, but as the Cedars in Lebanon, which are much spoken of, in the Scripture. Of all Trees, these shoot up highest, and endure 'longeit : The Tim. ber whereof not being subject to rot, as other Timber. So that the Soul grows as the Cedar, when that deep, inward, rooted refpect to things below, which rules in an unmortified heart, is so far mortified, that a Man's Treasure is changed: We now lay up our Treasure in Heaven, and set our affections on things that are above, mounting up as the Eagles, Isa. 40. 31. Looking after the things that are not seen, as the things our Souls delight in, having chosen them for our portion ; preparing for, longing after, and rejoicing in hope of enjoying them. When things that are seen afford us but little, but matter of care, and grief, trouble, and forrów : When the Soul creeps on the Earth life a Snail, and is
in the things of the World, as an Eel in the Mud, then it never prospers.
2. When a lasting durable frame of gods liness is atrained, and preserved, then likes wise it grows as the Cedar. As it said of Enoch, Gen. 5.21. That he walked with God -300 years together. So it may be said, that our best works are at last : as Rev.2.19,I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works, and the last to be more then the first. And that our Salvation is nearer, then when we (first) believed. Rom. 13.11. But when good impresfions wear off, and hardly come on again, when inward meltings quickly dry up, as the morning dew; when the Soul is as it were sick of the Staggers ; now goes fora ward, and then goes backward, it is far from prospering as it ought:
This is all, I have to say to the first Par: ticular, that in the first Rife, and Foundation of Soul-prosperity, as to any possible evidencing that such a thing is begun, is laid in those first principles of Spiritual life; which are received by virtue of our union with Christ ; so the growth, and progress thereof consists in their increafe, and then, this increase, where this thriving is, is uni. versal, when growth in one principle is ada ded to another, as when Men add house to house, and field to field, they are said to prosper in the World. Ifa.5.8. So when Faith, which is as the natural heat, is added to Re
pentance, which is as the Radical moisture, and the growth of the Cedar is added to the growth of the Lilly, then the Soul prospers.
I now proceed to the second Particular, As the Soul prospers, when growth in gratious principles is universal, to much more, when gratious principles are kept in exercise. The Scripture fpeaks much of this, more then, perhaps, is taken notice of. For all those commands we have
and down in Scripture, to love the Lord, to fear him, to believe in the Lord Jefus, do not so much require the first principle, as the acting and exercising of that principle : As før instance, 1 Joh. 3. 23. Commands the exercise of Faith and Love. We read of the work of Faith, 2 Thes. 1. 11. The work, and labour of love. Heb. 6. 10. The perfect work of patience, fam. I. 5. Of walking in the fear of the Lord, A&t. 9. 31. Of walking in love, Eph.5.2. Of walking by faith, 2 Cor. 507. Of living by faith, Gal. 2. 20. All these expressions note, the actual exercises of these graces, each of them being bufied in, and taken up with their p
proper work." This is of abfolute necessity unto Soul-prosperity. Bodily exercise may be fo used, as that it may be a great means of preserving Bodily health, but this is of far greater use for preserving the health of the Soul; for fome
thing else, sometimes, a
at least as to fome persons, may supply the want of Bodily exercise, so as a person may do well enough without it : But nothing can supply, for the good of the Soul, the neglect of the exercise of grace. Yea indeed, it is all ones as to Soul-prosperity, for the times when it is not exercised, as if there were no grace in the Soul at all. We have many fad in ftances of this, that it hath been so : when the contrary principles of corruption have choakt, as it were, oppressed, and bound up, the gratious principle from stirring, and moving, to make any opposition, to any purpose. Ifa. 64.6, our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away. This we fee ini David, without any wrong to the memory of Joseph, I suppose it may be said, that he had more grace, then Joseph had, yet David not exercising it, fell ( as it is faid of Saul, 2 Sam. 1.21.) among the uncircumcifed; the Shield of the Mighty, wherewith he might have quenched the fiery Darts of Satan, was vilely cast away, as if he had nęver been anointed, with the anointing of the Spirit of God; whereas Foseph stood like à Conquerour in the hour of temptation, when it came upon him, with so much violence, and advantage. What was the reason of this, but that Joseph, at that time, had his Loins girt; his Lamp burning, his grace
in exercise, as we find, Gen. 39: 9 7 But it was not so, in that sad hour, with David, he was slothful, and did not ftir up himself to resist, but gave place to Satan. In a word, Joseph was awake, and David was asleep. Nay, at another time, David was overcome, when Saul resifted, and overcame a temptation of the same kind. Compare 1 Sam. 25:21, 22. David resolved to revenge himself, when he took himself to be affronted by Nabal ; with 1 Sam. 10.27. The Children of Belial faid of Saul : How Shall this Man save us ? And they despised him, and brought him no present, but Saul held his peace. We see by this, that the having of much grace, avails not to the prof. perity of the Soul, if it be not exercised. It is, for that present, all one to speak of, as if there were none. It is very obfervable to chis purpose, what we have in three Evangelists, concerning Christs reproving of his Disciples, when they were so afraid of being drowned, Matth. 8.26, Why are ye so fearful, o ye of little Faith? In Mark, it is otherwise related, chap: 4. 37, How is it that ye have no faith? Luke's expression, chap. 8:25. is in a different way from both : Where is your Faith : Yet here is no such difference, but what is easily reconciled. They had a little faith, as it is in Matthew: No faith, as it is in Mark. Luke takes