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pose it with Persecution; now this Change of the World makes two different States of the Church, but without making any Difference in the inward personal Holiness of Christians, which is to be always the fame, whether the World smiles or frowns

upon it.

WHATEVER Degrees therefore of personal Holiness or inward Perfection, was requir'd of the first Followers of Christ, is still in the fame Degree and for the fame Reasons requir'd of all Christians to the End of the World.

HUMILITY, Meekness, heavenly Affection, Devotion, Charity, and a Contempt of the World, are all internal Qualities of personal Holiness, they constitute that Spirit and Temper of Religion, which is required for its own Excellence, and is therefore of constant and eternal Obligation. There is always the same Fitness and Reasonableness in them, the fame Perfection in pracriling of them, and the fame Rewards always due to them.

We must therefore look carefully into the Nature of the Things, which we find were requir’d of the first Christians; if we find that they were call'd to Sufferings from other People, this may perhaps not be our Case; but if we see they are callid to Sufferings from themselves, to voluntary

SelfSelf-denials, and renouncing their own Rights, we may judge amiss, if we think this was their particular Duty, as the first Disciples of Christ.

For it is undeniable, that these Instances of making themselves Sufferers from themselves, of voluntary Self-denial, and Renunciation of all worldly Enjoyments, are as truly Parts of personal Holiness and Devotion to God, as any Instances of Charity, Humility, and Love of God, that can poffibly be suppos’d.

And it will be difficult to Thew, why all Christians are now oblig'd in Imitation of Christ to be meek and lowly in Heart, if they like the first Christians are not oblig'd to these Instances of Lowliness and Meekness, or if they are oblig'd still to imitate Christ, how they can be said to do it, if they excuse themselves from these plain and required Ways of sheiving it.

If therefore Christians will shew that they are not oblig'd to those Renunciations of the World, which Christ required of his first Followers, they must thew that such Renunciations, such voluntary Self-denials, were not Instances of personal Holiness and Devotion, did not enter into the Spirit of Christianity, or constitute that Diar to the World, or new Birth in Christ, which the Gospel requireth. But this is as abford to



imagine, as to suppose that praying for our Enemies, is no part of Charity.

Let us therefore not deceive our

LET selves, the Gospel preaches the same Doctrines to us, that our Saviour taught his first Disciples, and though it may not call us to the same external State of the Church, yet it infallibly calls us to the fame inward State of Holiness and Newness of Life.

It is out of all Question that this Renunciation of the World was then requir’d, because of the Excellency of such a Temper, because of its Suitableness to the Spirit of Christianity, because of its being in some Degree like to the Temper of Christ, because it was a Temper that became such as were born again of God, and were made Heirs of eternal Glory, because it was a right Instance of their loving God with all their Heart, and with all their Soul, and with all their Strength, and with all their Mind, because it was a proper Way of shewing their Disregard to the Vanity of earthly Comforts, and their Resolution to attend only to the one Thing needful.

If therefore we are not obliged to be like them in these Respects, if we may be less holy and heavenly in our Tempers, if we need not act upon such high Principles of Devotion to God, and Disregard of earthly Goods, as they did, we must preach

a new

a new Go pel of our own, we must say that we need not be week and lowly as the first Christians were, and that those high Doctrines of Charity, of blessing and doing Good to our worst Enemies, were Duties only for the first State of the Church.

for this is undeniable, that if any. Heights of Piety, any Degrees of Devotion to God, of Heavenly Affection, were necessary for the first Christians, which are not so now, that the same may be said of every other Virtue and Grace of the Chris stian Lile.

All our Saviour's divine Sernion upon the Mount, may as well be confin'd to his first Disciples, as these Doctrines, and it is as lound in Divinity, as well founded in Reason, to assert, that our Saviour had only Regard to his first Disciples, when he sáid, Ye cannot serve God and Mammon, as when he faith, Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that be bath, he cannot be my Disciple.

For let any one think, if he can find the least Shadow of a Reason, why Christians should at first be called to higher Degrees of Heavenly Affection, Devotion to God, and Disregard of the World, than they are now.

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It will be as easy to shew that they were obliged to a stronger Faith, a more lively Hope, than we are now.

But if Faith and Hope are Graces of too excellent a Nature, too essential to the Life and Spirit of a Christian, to admit of any Abatements in any Age of the Church, I should think, that heavenly Affection, Devotion to God, and dying to the World, are Tempers equally essential to the Spirit of Religion, and too necessary to the Perfection of the Soul, to be less requir'd in one Age, than in another.

BESIDES, it is to be considered, that these Tempers are the natural and

genuine Effects of Faith and Hope, so that if they are changed, or abated, Faith and Hope must have so far suffered Abatements, and failed in their most proper and

, excellent Effects.

All Men will readily grant, that it would be very_absurd, to suppose, that more Articles of Faith should have been necessary to be believed by our Saviour's first Followers, than by Christians of After-ages.

Let it then be considered, why this would be absurd, and it will plainly appear, that the same Reason, which makes it absurd to suppose, that any thing which was once neceffary to be believed, should ever lose that Necessity, will equally shew,


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