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BY THE REVERÈND AND LEARNED
JOHN WORTHINGTON, D.D.
OF PIOUS MEMORY.
REVISED BY THE AUTHOR'S SON,
AUTHOR'S CHARACTER BY ARCHBISHOP TILLOTSON.
Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.—Luke xxii. 42.
But yield yourselves unto God. Rom. vi. 13.
PRINTED BY ANDREW AND JOHN M. DUNCAN,
FOR C. AND J. RIVINGTON,
Amongst all divine truths, none are more frequently, more powerfully, to be pressed and urged, than those that are wholly practical, that refer to spiritual obedience, “ that pertain to life and godliness,”τα προς ζωής και ευσέβειαν, that tend to the real bettering of man, and transforming him into the divine image ; such as are most powerful to the subduing our own wills, as divided from God's, and the bringing them unto a conformity to the will of God.
But alas ! these great practical truths have been too commonly either .sparingly, or but coldly and insignificantly, not fully, clearly, and vigorously recommended. The great noise and ado in the Christian world hath been about “ the lighter matters of the law, mint, anise, and cumin ;' meats and drinks, wherein the kingdom of God doth not consist. The great talk and zeal hath been about
a 2 Pet. j. 3.
c Rom. xiv. 17.
b Matt. xxiii. 23.
things less necessary, and more obscure and doubtful : men" doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil Burmisings," &c.
It pleaseth men to hear of speculative doctrines; and to be entertained with a luscious preaching of the gospel, made up all of promises, and these wholly unconditional. It gratifies them to hear what is done without them, rather than what is to be done within them, and the necessity of sincere and entire obedience to our Saviour's precepts urged upon them.
All would reign with Christ, but would not suffer with him. Many would hear only of Christ's dying for sin, of his being crucified for them : but to hear of their dying to sin and their own corrupt will, of their being crucified with him, and suffering their wills to be resigned to the will of the Father as Christ's was ; to hear of making an entire oblation of themselves to God; “ This is oxango's aóyos, a hard saying, few will hear it:"5 it is very unpleasing to flesh and blood; it is too spiritual a gospel for the carnal mind to relish.
But how unpleasing soever it be, it is not therefore to be forborne: for “ if we should seek to please men, we should not be the servants of Christ.” If we should gratify and humour insincere people in their soft and delicate self-chosen religion, and their willing their own wills, we should not be faithful to their souls; whose grand interest and necessary concernment it is, to know and practise this first and great lesson in the school of Christ.
Self-resignation is a great part of “ the doctrine which is according to godliness.”d They are úgiaí. YOVTES hóyou, the “wholesome (or healing) words of our Lord Jesus Christ;"e " Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple:"f and, “ He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."
* 1 Tim. vi. 4, 5.
Gal. i. 10.
+ John vi. 60.
This is üyraivovou diddoruchác, “ healing doctrine,"h that alone can cure the inward distempers of our souls; and therefore absolutely necessary to be taught and pressed with all authority.
It matters not, that the carnally minded and delicate Christian doth not relish it. We that are the ministers of the gospel, are to imitate careful and prudent physicians : who, when they come to their patients, do not ask them what they love best, and then prescribe them what is most pleasing to their palates, though most hurtful; but, informing themselves well of the case of the diseased, they appoint what they judge most proper for them, though it be no whit grateful or acceptable to them.
But howsoever the resigning their wills to the will of God be as loathsome physic to the carnal ; it is to the truly spiritual both meat and drink, as it was to their great Master : it is their constant diet, the savoury meat which their souls love, and live by : they esteem the forementioned and the like words of their Saviour's mouth, “ more than their necessary food ;'k to borrow Job's expression.
And this so little minded, so much neglected doctrine of self-resignation, is that which I design
di Tim. vi. 3.
bi Tim. i. 3.
f Luke xiv. 27. 8. Matt. x. 38. i See John iv. 34. k Job. xxjii. 12.