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der real concern about his state; the simple, the sincere seeker, and all that favour the cause of God, the truth of God, and the saints of God. And, on the other hand, charity will damp, grow cold, and in the end be entirely quenched, toward the object it one embraced; at the appearance of apostasy, at the appearance of an attachment to heretics, or to any damnable heresy; and at the appearance of any alienation from Christ; or, to be more plain, charity will forsake that professor that forsakes Christ. When men have done with Jesus, charity has done with them. When Judas was pointed out to be the traitor the apostles had done with that withered branch, and the priests and pharisees gathered him into their company.
In this business the devil often displays the quint: essence of infernal wisdom; for, when God discovers a hypocrite, and makes him fully manifest, so that in your private judgment you cannot hold him, justify him, or even judge favourable of him in any one thing, insomuch that charity has refused him and done with him; even then comes Satan, transforming himself into an angel of light, and works with all deceiveablenes in the natural affections of the saint, in order to keep his tares among the wheat; and under this deceptive influence of Satan fatural affections become inordinate, as may be seen in Samuel: “And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?” I myself have paid dear for this.. Under
this influence the false brethren got into the church at Jerusalem; and under the same, Arius, though once condemned and cast out of the church, got in again, and kept his standing in it to the destruction of thousands and millions of souls; and by this, whole congregations of hypocrites are kept together to this day, who have not a breath of divine life in them. Natural affections love nature and natural men; but real charity respects a person not as a man, but as a saint; nor can it, nor will it, embrace a man unless it feels a savour of Christ in his conversation, or discovers some feature of Christ's image in the person. Even our Lord Jesus Christ himself, as man, wept with pity and compassion over Jerusalem, when at the same time, as God, the day of vengeance was in his heart. Natural affections and divine love are two things; they were so even in Christ. But it may be objected, Does not God say, “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; and if he thirst, give him drink?" In these things God himself is set before us as our example, even by Christ himself; and he is the best example: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” “God loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye, therefore, the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” God's love here extends itself to the stranger no further than giving him food and raiment; for all that die strangers to God will in the great day be sent away with Depart from me;
I know ye not. Love ye the stranger, and eveni thy enemy: if he hunger, feed him; and if he thirst, give him drink; for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, Prov. xxv. 22; and if we heap not live coals from the altar we shall heap coals of juniper. This rule our Lord himself enforces : “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate
you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” And now mind what follows: “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Be ye
therefore perfect,” &c. Matt. v. 44, 45. We are here commanded to pray for our enemies: for it is often seen that the elect, before they are called, are the worst enemies, as may be seen in Paul, and in some at the crucifixion of Christ, for whom Christ prayed, Luke xxiii. 34, compare Acts ii. 36, 37. And I believe that the greater part of the best friends that I now have in this world were once my greatest enemies. And sure I am that it will appear in the great day that none have abounded; even in this work, like the real lovers of God. There is a wide difference between the love of God to the stranger in clothing him and feeding him, and the love of God to the saints, by which they are saved. There is also a difference between divine charity and natural affections: the former embraces the image of God, the latter relieves a fellow creature. But there is nothing more common in our day than to palm the sacred name of charity upon natural affections and upon dissembled love, and even upon corrupt and inordinate affections, which are members of the old man, but not of the new.
THE SON OF GOD IN TRIUMPH, AND SATAN's
WORK IN RUINS,
Col. ii. 15.
" And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew
of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
1 John iii. 8.
" For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might
destroy the works of the devil.”
I will endeavour, from these words, to show,
1. The origin of the devil.
2. The devil's works. It is the opinion of some that there is no such creature as the devil; which appears to have been the notion of Muggleton and Reeves, two impostors that preached in the days of Oliver Cromwell. They held that the evil nature in man is that which is called the devil. But then it is a wonder where that evil nature came from. I once knew a woman, a shining professor, who held this opinion through all her profession: her husband was a minister of the gospel. However, at length she fell into soul distress, and wished much to see me. I visited her, and soon after received a letter from her, saying she had long denied the exist