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with thanksgiving; Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving, Col. 4. 2. They watch for occasion of praise. As we are to be in a praying posture, to desire a blessing, so in a waiting posture to meet with it. But a natural man doth not love to be beholden to God if he can help it; and if he doth praise God after any common mercy received, it may proceed from a natural ingenuity, or present sense of the mercy itself, not from any affection to the donor; but as for any spiritual mercy, as the stirrings of his affections by any truth, he is so far from praising God for them, that he is troubled at them, and quickly quenches them.
5. Desertion of the duty. If God does not answer us, naturally we cast off the duty, and say with those in Job, What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray to him, Job 21. 1.5. They pray not out of conscience of the command, but merely for the profit; and if God makes them wait for it, they will not wait his leisure, but solicit him no longer. There are two things expressed; that God was not worthy of their service; and, that the serving of him would not bring them in a good revenue, or an advantage of that kind they expected. It is interest draws men to prayer; and when that is not advanced, they will beg no more; like some beggars, if you give them not presently upon their asking, from blessing they turn to cursing; so do men secretly do that which Job's wife advised him to do upon his affliction; Dost thou still retain thy integrity? Curse God and die, Job. 2. 9. What a stir, and pulling, and waiting, and caring is here? Cast off all service, be at daggers-drawing with God. So it is vain to serve God, and what profit is it that see have kept his ordinances, or that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts, Mai. 3. 14. If they have not the benefits they beg, they think God unrighteous, and does them wrong to withhold from them the favours they imagine they have deserved; Enmity against Christ. 91
and if they have not that recompence when they would, they leave off the serving God any more, as a vain and unprofitable thing. Whereas love moves upon a sense of duty, a natural man that hath an aversion, moves upon a sense of interest. Love is encouraged by answer, but is not dissolved by silence; but a natural man would have God at his beck, and steers his course in duty by the outward profit, not by the inward pleasure.
This enmity might further be evidenced by, First. Our enmity against Christ. Many that are his awn receive him not, John 1.11. His own by privileges, to whom he gave ordinances, and spiritual meat from his table; his own by profession, who profess they have made a covenant with him, and yet underhand keep up their ancient agreement with hell. Professions of Christ are no demonstrations of love to him. We may commend another for his parts and perfections, and yet have a secret grudge against him. All the pretended love unrenewed men have to Christ, has no better ground than the Turks' love to Mahomet; for it has no higher spring than education; and had their lot been to be born among them, they would have loved Mahomet with as warm a devotion as now they pretend to love Christ; for they love him not formally, but they love that which they were brought up in the profession of, let it be what it will. This enmity against Christ reflects upon God himself. Christ tells us often, he was sent by God: An affront to an ambassador, is an injury to the majesty he represents. Despising the embassy of an angel, is an act of enmity against God; much more the despising the embassy of his own Son,
This is evident in the practices of men. It is hard to convince men of the necessity of Christ. You see what little fruit Christ himself had by all his preaching among the Jews. When men are convinced, they endeavour to stifle those convictions. We are as untamed and unruly heifers, that will not en.dure the yoke; they will break those cords as if they were the most formidable evils, and shake them off from them, as if they were vipers upon their hands. 3. When men cannot stifle their convictions, yet they are loath to come to Christ. You mil not come to me, John 5. 40. They would bring something of their own to him, for they grudge him the glory of being an entire Saviour: or if they do come to Christ, it is for ease, not for holiness: for when their troubles are ceased, they return to their vomit. If men do come, it is a restrained act. Men are therefore said to be drawn, and it is the mighty power of God to bring them. Did not God overpower the hearts of his people, but leave them to themselves, they would still stand it out in rebellion against God.
Secondly. Enmity to. the saints. When the devil found God above his reach, he set himself against the creatures that were designed more peculiarly for his service. Just after we read of enmity to God in Adam, we read of enmity to the Godly in Cain. The Italians, when they say un christiano, commonly mean a blockhead; and our common speech, a silly Abraham, imports no better; it will be so to the world's end. Despisers of those that are good, are ranked with those that are enemies to God, 2 Tim. 3. 3. ., It arises from a hatred of holiness itself. And it is enmity to God; for he that would not suffer him to have a holy servant, would not suffer him to have a holy throne, a holy sceptre, a holy crown, a holy kingdom. If men hate the children of light, they do by consequence hate the Father of lights. Mr. Cotton was convinced of his enmity against God by his enmity to the servants of God.
There are several causes of this enmity.
1. Dissimilitude between God and a natural man. As likeness in nature and inclinations is a cause of love, so dissimilitude and unsuitableness is a cause of hatred. Distance of manners breeds alienation of affection. This dissimilitude depends also upon th^ Causes of Enmity:
opposition between the law, and the nature of a sinnet; The law is spiritual, but I am carnal, Rom. 7.
14. Hence proceeds all that acting against it; for the apostle says, I consent to the law that it is good, ver.
15, 16; but my flesh, which hath a repugnancy to it, will not comply with it; the spiritual law and the carnal heart do quarrel with one another. ' ":
Dissimilitude between God and a natural man is the greatest, in respect of nature. God is infinitely holy, man corrupt and filthy. Darkness and light, heaven and hell, are directly contrary; so is Christ and Belial. Let engagements be what they will, so long as men are of different spirits, they cannot agree; As in regenerate men this dissimilitude works an abhorrency of themselves, as in Job; so in natural men it engenders a disaffection to God.
This dissimilitude is greatest in respect' of ends: There are in God and men different ends. Man's end is to please himself, and satisfy the desires1 of the flesh; God's end is to vindicate his law, and' show bimself the righteousi governor of the world, which cannot be attained without a contrariety to the corrupt end of man. The remedy then will be, to get a renewed nature, the image of God new-formed in the soul.
<2. Guilt. Men fly from God out of shame; they consider the debts they Owe God are great; and naturally debtors fly from'their'Creditors, fof fear they should exact or demand any thing of them. Adam's guilt was rather attended with a flight from him, than with an approach to him. Those Israelites that desired God no more to speak to them but by Moses, were afraid of his presence too, when his face shone with an heavenly splendour. 'Terror is essential to guilt, arid hatred to a perpetual terror. Their guilt made them fly from that Moses whom they knew to be their friend, when God had set a signal mark upon him. When men cannot discharge their judgments of the belief of a strict account, and dreadful hell, and perpetual immortality, their hearts are pierced with their sins like so many darts. As they have a thousand sins, so they have a thousand stings, all pointed with God's wrath, and returned back with their own hatred, though itisbutthejustfruitof their own doings. Thefrequency of iniquity contracts the more implacable contrariety to God, and makes them as incapable of any union to God, as of repose in themselves. The remedy then is, to labour for justification by the blood of Christ, which is only able to remove that guilt which engenders our hatred.
3. God's crossing the desires and interests of the fiesh. Natural qualities increase with the resistance of their contraries; so doth sin. The duties God doth principally love, do most of all cross our corruptions; and those are the duties we hate most. Sodomites show most disaffection to Lot, when he opposeth them in the prosecution of their lusts with the angels; We will deal worse with thee than with them, Gen. 19. 9. Had God (as well as Micaiah to Ahab) spoke good to natural men in their own esteem, and held them up in their lust; his truth would not be so much imprisoned in unrighteousness, but be highly adored with men's choicest affections; but his commanding things according to his own holy nature, brings into act that habitual hatred which was before in the heart. All hatred arises from an opinion of destructiveness in the object hated. Why do we loathe a thing, but because we imagine it inconsistent with our happiness and wishes? And a sinner being possessed that his darling sin is inconsistent with the holiness of God's law, hates God for being of a nature so contrary to that which he loves. The disappointment our corrupt principles find by any truth of God, exasperates the heart. The Jews' expecting an earthly grandeur by the Messiah, and that they should be made lords paramount of the world, was the cause that they were the more desperate enemies to Christ, when they found his design to be short of their expectations, and that his humility favoured