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"he is inflam'd with love to him, and worships him with becoming Honours; pouring out Hymns and Prayers before him; and fpend"ing his time therein with the greatest ala"crity, and looking upon it as the greatest lofs, "if he be ever forc'd to fpeak or do any thing "elfe than what belongs to God: nor is ever "to be fatiated, while out of love to him he "meditates on what he knows to be pleafing to

him. But as for thofe who have no affectio "nate regard to him, nor bear his enlighten'd "love about them in their mind, they feem to "be in a state of Darknefs, and are not able to "fee the Light: And therefore is it that al"moft before they begin to enquire concerning "God, they prefently give over, as if they were Cl opprefs'd with the toil of the Work; and be "ing weary all over, they are immediately hur"ried away by their own Habits to fuch Dif"courfes as they are delighted withal, For to "hear any thing concerning God, is to fuch as "those tedious and troublefome; becaufe, as I "faid, their Mind has entertain'd no delightful "fenfe of the Divine Love." Nor is the following Paffage lefs worthy of our Obfervation "I cannot, fays Peter, but rebuke many Perfons,


who even after themselves are baptiz'd, and do "believe, do ftill do nothing worthy of that Faith, as to thofe whom they love; I mean to their Wives, or Children, or Friends, whom "&c they don't exhort to receive that which they themfelves have obtain'd: I mean upon fup66 pofal that they do really believe that thereby 8 Eternal Life is to be obtain'd. Yet if they fee them afflicted with Sicknefs, or liable to any danger in this World, they grieve and la ment for it, because they are fure that there


" by

"by they are in imminent danger of Mifery. "In the fame manner therefore if they were fure that the pains of eternal Fire would be "the Portion of thofe that do not worship God, "what bounds would they be able to fet to "their Admonitions and Exhortations? And "if they were refractory, what great Lamen"tation and Wailing would they make for "them; as certain that eternal Punishments "were to be their Portion?" And elsewhere the fame Peter fays, "I perceive that many ingenious L.X.§.42. "Men take hold of Probabilities out of the Books p. 385. "they read; and therefore great care is to be "taken that the Law of God, when it is read, "be not read with a defign of understanding it "according to our own Opinions. For there are "L many Passages in the Divine Scriptures, which ex are capable of being drawn to that Senfe which 66 every once has of his own accord prepoffefs'd "himself withal; which thing ought not to be "done: For you ought not to feek out for a "remote and improper diftinct Senfe of your

own, which you may confirm by the Autho"rity of the Scriptures, but to take right Noti "ons from the Scriptures themselves. And there"fore are we obliged to learn the true Interpre "tation of the Scriptures, from one that pre"ferves it in agreement with those traditionary "Expofitions which were deriv'd to him from "his Forefathers; that fo he may himself, with "fufficient Evidence, prove those Doctrines which " he hath rightly receiv'd." And foon after in his excellent Exhortation to Fauftinianus, not to delay his embracing Chriftianity; "If you, Sir, s. 43, 44, "are fo careful of the Salvation of your Soul, 45. p.386, "that you defire to find everlasting Reft for it 387, 388. "when it leaves the Body, for this fhort Con

" verfion

" version of yours, Ask whatQuestions you please, " and take Advice, that you may get clear of "any remains of doubtfulness that may be still "in you. For the time of this Life is uncer"tain, even in young Men, but in old Men 'tis "not fo much as uncertain; fince there is no " doubt, how large a portion foever may be fup"posed to remain, it is yet but small. And "therefore it behoves young and old to be very "follicitous about their Conversion and Repen"tance; and to take true pains, that for the future they adorn their Soul with the most wor"thy Ornaments; that is, with the Doctrines "of the Truth, with the Beauty of Chastity, "the Splendor of Juftice, the Brightness of Piety, "and with all other Graces wherewith a ratio ❝nal Mind ought to be beautify'd: as also that "they avoid the Society of dishonest and un"believing Perfons, and have Societies of the "Faithful, and frequent thofe Affemblies where


in Difcourfes are made about Chastity, about "Juftice, and about Piety; that they pray to "God always from their Heart; and ask of him "fuch things as are fit to be desired of God 3 "that they give him thanks; be really penitent "for their paft Actions; and affift their Repen"tance if they are able, by giving Alms to the "Poor: For by these means Pardon will be the "more easily granted; and he that is merciful to "others, will the fooner obtain Mercy himself. "But then, if he who comes to Repentance be "of an elder Age, he ought to give greater "thanks to God, that after all the force of car"nal Concupifcence is broken, when he has re"ceiv'd the Knowledg of the Truth, he has no "Struggle or Combat to undergo, thereby to re"prefs thofe Pleasures of the Body which rife


up against the Soul. It remains therefore that
"with the acknowledgment of the Truth the
Works of Mercy be alfo exercis'd by him, and
"that he bring forth Fruits worthy of Repen-
"tance; and do not fuppofe that the Evidence of
"his Conversion depends on length of time, and

not on the firmness of Devotion and Refolu"tion. For our Minds themfelves are manifeft to "God, who does not reckon upon the length "of Time, but the Difpofition of the Mind. "For he is pleas'd if any one, when he has given "his Affent to the preaching of the Truth, "makes no Delay, nor trifles away his Time, "but immediately, and as one may fay that very "Moment; abhors his paft courfe of Life, and

begins to defire the future Happinefs, and is in"flam'd with the Love of the Kingdom of Hea"ven. Wherefore let none of you diffemble any " more, nor look back, but come willingly to "the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Let not "the poor Man fay, when I am become rich then "will I be converted: God does not require of 86 you Mony, but a merciful Mind, and a pious "Difpofition. Nor let the rich Man delay his "Converfion, on account of the Cares of this "World, while he is thinking how he may dif "pofe of the Abundance of his Fruits; nor let "him fay within himself, What shall I do? where Luke xii. "Shall I bestow my Fruits? nor let him fay to his 17-20. "Soul, Thou haft much Goods laid up for many "Years, feast and be merry: for it shall be faid to "him, Thou Fool, this Night thy Soul shall be taken "from thee; and then whose shall those things be "which thou haft provided? Let every Age there"fore, every Sex, every Condition make hafte "to Repentance, that it may obtain eternal "Life. Let Young Perfons be thankful on this "account,

"account, that they can fubmit their Necks to "the Yoke of Difcipline in the very heat of their Defires. The Old Men are also themselves to "be commended, because they change a long Cuftom, whereto they have been unhappily beforehand confin'd, for the Fear of God." &c. To conclude: When I confider the visible Ex cellency of the Matter of this Book, the very early Age when it was written, the internal Characters of Honesty and Genuineness, the antient Quotations made out of it, and the manner in which those antient Quotations are made, I cannot but conclude it a Work of a publick and authentick Nature, deriv'd from the Companions of the Apoftles, by their own Hearers, of the greatest Ufe and Advantage to the Church of Chrift; and that if it be not in fome fenfe or other it felf a Sacred Book, yet ought it certainly to be esteem'd in the next degree to that of the really Sacred Books of the New Teftament.

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