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And it is worthy of our obfervation, that Jesus Chrift being to fulfil all righteousness, was born holy, and fo fulfilled this command for us. In him the law has its due, he being a man, who from his birth had a holy pure nature, a holy frame of fpirit, without the leait irregularity or disorder.
To conclude, ye may fee the command is pure, just, and holy, however impure we be; and requires of us the utmost purity of heart, life, and nature.
I now proceed to consider the fins forbidden.
Qoft.“ What is forbidden in the tenth com“ mandment?” Ans. 66 The tenth commandinent « forbiddeth all difcontentment with our own e“ ftate, envying or grieving at the good of our
neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affec« tions to any thing that is his.”
This command is a curb and bridle to the diftcmpered heart of man, which of all parts of the man is the hardest to be commanded and kept within bounds. Men may be of a courteous obliging be. haviour, keep in their hands from killing, or what tendeth thereunto, their bodies from uncleanness, their hands from stealing, and their tongues from lying; while, in the mean time, the heart in all these respects may be going within the breast like a troubled fea, unto which this command by divine authority faith, Peace, and be still.
The heart distempered by original sin runs out in the irascible faculty in tormenting pafsions, bearing an averfion of the heart to what the Lord in his wisdom lays before inen. This great ftream of the corruption of our nature divides itself into two branches; one running againit our own condition, naincly, a torrent of discontent; the other againit our neighbour, namely, envying and grudging at his good. In the concupiscible faculty, in lufting affections and inordinate motions towards. fomething which God has put out of our way, at leaft with-held from our closeft embraces. This also divides itself into two branches ; one running towards what is our own, namely, a sinful eagerness, lust, or inordinate motion of the heart to what we poffefs; the other running towards what is our neighbour's, an inordinate affection to what is his. Thus the corrupt heart runs in a direct opposition to the will of God, refusing what he would have us to accept, and embracing closely what he would have us ftand at a distance from. The corrupt fountain with its feveral streams is all here forbidden.' We shall speak to them all as laid before us, tracing the streams to the fountain-head.
FIRST, The streams in which the distemper of the heart runs are here forbidden expressly, because these are most exposed to our view. Let us view,
First, The tormenting passions, in which the cor. ruption of nature vents ittelf; for fin is in its own nature misery. We need but go in the paths of fin to make us miserable, and in the high road of duty to make us happy. We shall consider the tormenting passion,
Firsi, Of discontent with our own estate or condition. This is plainly here forbidden; for discontentincnt is presupposed to coveting, and there could be no coveting of wha: we want without discontentment with what we have. The lusting gapings of the heart say, there is an uneasiness with. in. It is only the plague of discontentment that makes the heart cry, Give, give.
I. I will thew the evil of discontentment, and paint out this lin in its black colours. It is the hue of hell all over.
1. Discontent is, in the nature of it, a compound of the blackest ingredients, the scum of the corrupt heart boiling up, and mixed to make up this hellih compofition.
111, Unsubjection to and rebellion against the will of God, Hoi. iv. 16. Ifrael slideth back as a back
piding heifer ; backsliding, or refractory, that will pot admit the yoke farther than it is forced on. The discontented heart cannot submit, but sets its foot a fpar against the divine dispensation. Though God guides and governs the world, they are the maelcontents, that are not pleased with the government, but. mutiny against it." What pleases God, pleases not them; what is right in God's eyes, is evil in theirs. And nothing will please them, but to have the reins of government out of God's hands into their own; though, if their passion did not blind their judgement, they might see how they would quickly fire the little world of their own and others condition, if they had the reins in their own hand.
2dly, Sorrow of heart under the divine dispensation towards them. It is not according to their mind, and so their heart finks in forrow, 1 Kings
God crosses their will, and they pierce their own hearts with many forrows; as if a man, because he cannot stop the course of the sun in the firmament, would wrap up himself in darkness.
And this is a killing forrow, a sword thrust into a man's heart by his own hands, 2 Cor. vii. 10. It melts a man's heart within him, like a vulture preys upon his natural spirits, tending to shorten his days. It makes him dumpish and heavy like Ahab, and is a heavy load above the burden of affliction. That is the black smoke of discontentment, which yet often breaks out into a fiery flame, as in the fame case of Ahab, where Naboth fell a facrifice to it.
3dly, Anger and wrath against their lot, Jude 16. Complainers. The word signifies such as are angry at their lot, and in the distributions providence makes of the world, still complain that the least or worit part of it fails to their share. Thus the discontented do in their hearts bark at the mountains of braís, Zech. vi. 1. as dogs do at the moon, and with the fame success. They are angry with God's dispen. sation, and their hearts rise against it, and fnarl at it. VOL. II.
And this is a fretting anger, whereby men dilquiet and vex themselves in vain, like men dalhing their heads against the wall; the wall stands unmovel, but their heads are wounded. Lilze a wild bull in a net, the more he stirs, the faster is he held; fo that ftill they return with the loss. Thus discontent is in the heart like a ferpent gnawing the bowels, and makes a man as a inoth to himself, confuming him, or a lion tearing himself, Job xviii. 4.
Lastly, There is a spice of heart-blafphemy in it; for it strikes very directly against God the Governor of the world, and accuses his adıninistration; and for an evidence of this, it fometimes breaks out in words, Mal. iii. 13. 14. 15. Your words have been fout again;t me, faith the Lord: yet ye fay, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it, that we bure kept his ordinance, and that we have walked Nournfully lefore the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy: yea, they that work wickedness are Sit up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. Difcontent accuses hin,
(1.) Of folly, as if he were not wise enough to govern the world. The peevish discontented person, in his false light, fees many flaws in the conduct of providence, and pretends to tell God how he may correct his work, and how it would be better. If the work of providence be wisely done, why are we discontent with it; or would we be ditcontent with is, if we did not think we saw how it should be o: therwise? and how it might be mended ?
(2.) Of injustice, as if he did us wrong. The Juage of all the earth cannot but do right. He cannot be bribed nor biasled; yet the discontented heart rises againit him, and blasphemes him as an accepter of persons. It looks on his distributive justice (if we may so call it, for indeed all is his own, not ours) with an evil eye, and accuses him of partiality in not giving them as good as others,
complaining of their share. Cn his corrective juftice, as if they did not deserve what he lays on them. For if we do deserve the evil in our lot, there is no wrong donc us; and why do we then complain? And to fill up the measure, it accuse! h him,
(3.) Of cruelty. Job in a fit of discontent speaks it out, chap. xxx. 21. Thou art become cruel io me. Thus goodness itself is blafphemed by the discontented, who behave as if they were under the hands of a merciless tyrant, who would sport himself with one's misery. Dilcontent fills the heart with black and hard thoughts of God, and represents him as a rigid master and cruel lord; otherwise people would lay their hand on their mouth, and be content.
Some will say, that their discontent is with themfelves, not with God, having brought their cross on with their own hands. Anf. If it be the effect of your fin, ye may mourn for your sin, but ye should the rather be content with your lot. And as for mismanagements, there is a providence that reaches them, and so God is our party ftill: but nothing is more ordinary than that, Prov. xix. 3. The foolih. nefs of man perverteth his way; and his heart frettet) against the Lorele
Others say, that it is. with the instruments of their trouble they are discontented. Anf. But confider that they are but instruments in God's hand, in the hand of his providence, and therefore ye fhould not be discontent, Say as David did to the fons of Zeruiah, Ibat hare I to do with you? So let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David. Ilho juall i ben fay, Wherefore bajt thou dine fo? 2 Sam. xvi. 10. No creature can be n.ore to us than Cod inakes it tole: if thica Gou thall queeze any cicatuie diy of comfort to us, and we thereupon piove discontented, whatever we pre10d, cur hearts iet against the lord, Excd. xvi. 24 compare ver. 7.