« EdellinenJatka »
And it is worthy of our observation, that Jesus Chrift being to fulfil all righteoufness, 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 spirit, without the least irregularity or disorder.
To conclude, ye may see 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.
91ft. « What is forbidden in the tenth com6 mandment?" Ans. 6 The tenth commandment « forbiddeth all discontentment with our own e. “ state, 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 distempered 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 courtevus 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 refpects may be going within the breaft like a troubled fea, unto which this command by divine authority faith, Peace, and be fill.
The heart distempered by original sin runs out in the irascible faculty in tormenting passions, bearing an averfion of the heart to what the Lord in his wisdom lays before inen. This great stream of the corruption of our nature divides itself into two branches; one running againīt our own condition, naincly, a torrent of discontent; the other againtt our neighbour, namely, envying and grudging at his good. In the concupiscible faculty, in lusting affections and inordinatė motions towards. something which God has put out of our way, at least with-held from our closest embraces. This also di. vides itself into two branches; one running towards what is our own, namely, a finful eagerness, luft, 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 cor. rupt 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 stand at a distance from. The corrupt fountain with its several 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, 1 FIRST, The tormenting passions, in which the cor.
ruption of nature ventsittelf; for fin is in its own nature misery. We need but goin the paths of fin to make us miserable, and in the high road of duty to inake us happy. We shall consider the tormenting pafsion,
First, Of discontent with our own estate or condition. This is plainly here forbidden; for discontentinent is presupposed to coveting, and there could be no covering of wha: we want without discontentment with what we have. The lufting gapings of the heart say, there is an uneasiness with: in. It is only the plague of difcontentment that makes the heart cry, Give, give..
I. I will shew 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 hellish coinposition. : 1, Unsubjection to and rebellion against the will of God, Hol, iv. :6. Ifrael fideth back as a back
Niding 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, i Kings xxi. 4. God crosses their will, and they pierce their own hearts with many sorrows; as if a man, because he cannot stop the course of the fun in the fire mament, 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. 1o. 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 same case of ' Ahab, where Naboth fell a sacrifice 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 brass, Zech. vi. I. as dogs do at the moon, and with the fame success. . They are angry with God's difpen. fation, and their hearts rise against it, and snarl at ita
VOL. III. • Вь
And this is a fretting anger, whereby men disquiet and vex themselves in vain, like men dashing their heads against the wall; the wall stands unmoved, but their heads are wounded. Lilze a wild bullin 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, contuming him, or a lion tearing himself, Job xviii. 4.
Lalily, There is a spice of heart-blafphemy in it; for it ftrikes very directly against God the Governor of the world, and accuses his adıniniftration; and for an evidence of this, it sometimes breaks out in words, Mal. iii. 13. 14. 15. Your words have been fout against me, saith the Lord: yet ye say, What bare we fpoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it, that we bure kept bis ordinance, and that we have walked 3ournfully lefore the Lord of bosts? And now we call the proud happy: yea, they that work wickedness are Pot up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. Dilcontent accuses him,
(1.) OF folly, as if he were not wise enough to govern the world. The peevis 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 difcontent with it, if we did not think we saw how it should be ou therwise? and how it might be mended ? ...
(2.) Of injustice, as if he did us wrong. The Judge of all the earth cannot but do right. He cannot be bribed nor biailed; yet the discontented heart rises againit him, and blafphemes him as an accepter of persons. It looks on his diftributive 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 hare. On 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 done us; and why do we then complain? And to fill up the measure, it accuseth him,
(3.) Of cruelty. Job in a fit of discontent speaks it out, chap. xxx. 21. Thou art become cruel to 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. Discontent 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 them. felves, not with God, having brought their crofs on with their own hands. Ans. 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 thein, and so God is our party ftill: but nothing is more ordinary than that, Prov. xix. 3. The foolih. ness of man perverteth his way; and his heart fretteth agains the Lord.
Others say, that it is with the instruments of their trouble they are discontented. Anf. But consider that they are but instruments in God's hand, in the hand of his providence, and therefore ye hould not be discontent, Say as David did to the fons of Zeruiah, What bare I to do with you? folet bim curse, because the Lord hath said unto Lim, Curse David. Who jall i ben jay, Wherefore haft thou dine 10? 2 Sam. xii, 10. No creature can be dore to us than Cod makes it to be: if the Goa hall queeze any cicature diy of comtoit to us, and we lliert upon piove discontentcd, whatever we prea 1cd, cur hearts íiet against the 1.01d, lxod. xvi.za compare ver..
... I b 2