« PreviousContinue »
nually about his hand, Jer. ii. 31. (2.) A miserable fecurity as to fin, especially sins of the grosser fort, to which we think we have no need to take heed. But if the pride of our hearts were fallen, we would fall in with the warning, 1 Cor. X. 12. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lejf he fall
. (3.) Rigid censuring and rejecting of those we judge have linned. What is the cause of that, but the beam of pride and insensibleness of our own weakness in our own eye? Matth. vii. 1. 2. 3. Therefore the apostle recommends lenity and meekness on this consideration, Gal.
3dly, Meddling with things without our sphere, Psal. cxxxi. 1. 2. thrusting ourselves on duties that are not the duties of our Itation. This proceeds from pride of heart, that waits not for God's call, but invades the province given of God to others. Uzziah fmarted for this; as did also Uzzah.
Lastly, Refusing any duty we are called to for the meanness of it. It is pride of heart that reckons any thing unbecoming us that God requires of us; yet in many cases our honour with us takes place of God's honour; and men not only do not do their duty, but scorn to do it. God says, Seek my face, be reconciled to me; but they scorn to do it. They may honour God by submitting to instruction, the discipline of Christ's house; but they scorn to do it as unbecoming them, 1 Sam. ii. 30.
5. Whereas resignation to the will of God is our duty required in this commandment, here is forbid
ift, All, even the least discontent with our lot, or any thing that God puts in it. If God be our God, he must chule oùr inheritance for us, Pfal. xlvii. 4. It is a fad character to be complainers, viz. of their lot, Jade 16. that blame or are angry at their lot, Gr. A person has something in his state and condition that is not according to his mind and will, a husband a wife of a disagreeable temper, something they want
which they would fain have, something they have that they would fain be free of, and they fret themselves, be. cause what God has made crooked they cannot make straight. It is straight enough to God's will, though not to thine, Job xxxiv. 33. The consequnce of that discontent is, We will not have this man to reign o.
It is people's duty not to quarrel with their lot, and be always screwing up their lot to their mind, but to bring their will to their lot, because it is God's will.
2dly, An unfanctified contentment with their lot ; and that is, when people carry easily under
hardship in their lot, but not upon the Christian priøciple of resignation to the will of God. There are many other ways to satisfy a discontented mind; business and company may put it out of their heads, taking that content in one creature comfort which they cannot get in another, some in a lawful, others in an unlawful way, consulting of their own peace. But in the mean time the confideration of the will of God does not prevail with them to a contented refignation.
3dly, The bearing of any hardship in our lot, as just, but no satisfaction with it as good, 1. xxxis. ult. What he does, is not only well done, but bett done, It reflects dishonour on God, only to think the work of his providence towards us to be tolerable. Surely we come so far short of our duty, as we do not with fatisfaction acquiesce in the hardest piece of our lot, as best for us.
6. Lastly, Whereas patience is here commanded under crosses, here is forbidden,
ist, All impatience, grudging, murmuring, and quarrelling under the hand of God, Psal. xxxvii
. 7.8. This is a fire kindled by the devil, by striking a proud heart against firm providence, firm as mountains brass. It is kindled in mens breasts by the heart's rising against the crofs. It often fends out its hellilh smoke in passionate expressions by the mouth, and scorches
others by the finful deeds it puts them on : for such are as madmen throwing about firebrands, arrows, and death. It makes a man an enemy to himself; and flies up against God, accusing him of injustice, fully, and cruelty
2dly, Insensibleness under the hand of God, If: xlii. 25. who stand unmoved under afflictions, as if they were stocks and stones, and cry not when he bindeth theni. Thus men are several ways guilty. (1.) Sometimes they are brutish under afflictions, and will groani in their troubles like fick beasts, but nothing more. (2.) Stupid and indolent, without sense of trouble. If they be not the better, they are as little the worse of it. (3.) A Roman courage and briskness of fpirit, that will not stoop under what they meet with. And, (4.) Patience perforce; they bear the yoke; because they cannot get it off, and they will not worry in the band.
Thirdly, There is a profanenefs of the affections, Rom. i. 25. 26. The affections or passions in themselves are neither good nor evil; but they should be consecrated to God chiefly, and to their proper objects in God, and then they are good. But being denied to God, or set on improper objects, they are profaned; and if they be given to their proper objects as much or more than to God, that is idolatry z of which I am to speak afterwards.
1. then, Whereas it is commanded here to love God, there is forbidden,
ist, All want, yea and weakness of love to God. It is a profaneness of heart to be coldrife in love to the most lovely object, this being efpecially the principal duty of holiness. 2dly, Love to thofe things we ihould hate. How often is our love millaid thus? The core - rupt heart faftens on those things that are like itself. 3dly, Hatred of God, and enmity againft him, Rom.i. 30. This vents itself, (1.) In secret wishes there were no God, Pfal. xiv. 1. (2.) That he were not such a God as he has revealed himlelf in his word, not just, holy, VOL. II.
&C. (3.) In rifings of the heart against his holy law, which is a transcript of his nature. 4thly, Hatred of his people that bear his image, for that they are strict and holy in their lives. That is malignancy. Lastly, Hatred of his ordinances, work and intereit, and of his kingdom in the world.
2. Whereas our defires should go out aster God, here is forbidden,
It, All want and weaknefs of desires after God, Pfal. x. 4. How often are our hearts free of thefe, no breathings, no longings after the Lord? How weak and languishing, while desires after created things throng in one upon another? Thefe can have no end, while the other have no beginning.
2dly, Defires after unlawrul things which we fhould abhor. Though these defires be not accomplifhed, we must not wipe. our mouths, and fay, We have not finned, Rom. vii. 7. They are the breathings of the corrupt heart after finful things, fuitable to the corFupt nature.
zdly, Averfion to God and communion with him, Job xxi. 14. This is a backwardnefs in the heart to the duties of communion with God, when the heart, instead of fightering towards him, draws back, like a refractory backsliding heifer, that flides back, and will not let on the yoke. A fin which all have reafon to be humbled for.
3. Whereas it is our duty to delight and rejoice in the Lord, this command forbids,
ist, The omission of that duty which God fo per. emptorily requires, Phil. iv. 4. Rejoice in the Lord always : and again I say, Rejoice. Think not little of this. What husband would take it well, if his wife biad no delight in him? and with what confidence can we call God our God, if we know nothing of delighting and folacing ourselves in him? It is natural to us to delight in our comfortable relations, and so it is to the new nature to delight in God.
2dly, Deadness in duties, going to them and going on in them without any spiritual relish, Rev. ii. 1. even as we converse with those in whose company we have no pleasure. This is the plague of the generation, who, if they.be not profane, are cold and formal. Our services look not like that of the living God, but a dead idol. There is no need to make Abraliam children of fones, for they are stones already,
3dly, Wearying in and of his service, Amos viii. 5. Hence wandering in duties, for the heart is away ; any thing is enough, and the only care is to get the duty over as a täik, for there is no delight in God, or communion with him, Mal. i. 13.
Lastly, Carnal desires and joys. Not that all delight and joy in the creature is finful; for God replenithed the world so as not to serve man's neceflity only, but also his delight. But they are carnal and finful, (1.) When they are on unlawful objects, and men go over the hedge of the law to seek what to delight themselves in. (2.) When they are excessive, thougii on lawful objects ; which is, 1.) When people have no eye to God in them, as not taking them with thankfulness out of his hand, and to use them as what may fit them for the service of God in their general or particular callings ; but exclude the thoughts of God out of them, either as the principle or end of them. 2.) When they so carry out the heart, as to unfit us for the service of God, and Nacken our delight in the Lord; then is the handmaid taken into Sarah's bed...3.) When men love themi more than God, 2 Tim. ii,
4. Whereas it is our duty to forrow for offending God, this command forbids,
1/1, Hardness of heart and imponitency, Rom. ii. 5. To move us to fin is ealy, but to move us for it is difficult. How can we pretend God is our God, if liis honour be not dear to us; if the grieving of his Spirit be not grievous to us? But this is a main plague of the generation.