Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Love of Sin.

not their pride, and his meekness was not Tike to raise him from the footstool of the Roman empire to the throne of the world.

The remedy then is, to have a high esteem of the holiness and wisdom of the law of God, and the advantages he aims at for our good in the enjoining of it. To account it better than thousands of sold and silver. To look upon his commands as not grievous, 1 John 5.3.

4. Love of sin. The greater the love of sin, the more must be our hatred of God; because the more we love that which hath an essential enmity againstGod, the more we signify that it is our chief good and happiness, and consequently we must hate that which is most contrary to it, and would hinder our enjoyment of it; and therefore our hatred of God's holiness grows up equally with our fondness of sin. When by frequent acts the habitual nature is strengthened, all the powers of doing contrary is swallowed up in that habit. Hence it is said, the carnal mind is enmity to God, i. e. the sensual mind, when sensuality hath got the mastery of the mind, and planted sensual habits, there is enmity to God; and it cannot be subject to the law of God, because that habit wholly acts the mind. Men's reasons side with the precepts of God, and conclude them to be the way to felicity; but the law of the mind is too weak for the powerful and pleasing charms of the flesh, whereby they are drawn into an imaginary paradise, but a real captivity. The hating all the dictates of God our Saviour is put upon this score. Light must be odious, when darkness is lovely; God must needs be hated, when his enemy is most caressed. As the love of God in the godly is the cause that they hate sin, so the love of sin in the wicked is the cause that they hate (jod. Every sin being an aversion from God in its own nature, and a conversion to the creature, according to the multiplying the acts of sin, this aversion from God, and conversion to the creature, must needs be increased; and by how much the more love we have to the creature, so much the more love is taken from God. The remedy then is, to endeavour for as great a haired of sin as thou hast of God; to look upon sin as the greatest evil in itself, the greatest disadvantage to thy happiness.

5. Injury we do to God. It is proper to men odisse quos Iceserint; whereas the person injured might rather hate, yet the person injuring hath often the greatest disaffection. Joseph's mistress first wronged him, and then hated him. Saul first injured David, and then persecuted him; as if David had been the malefactor, and Saul the innocent. Italians have a proverb to this purpose; chija mjuria ne pardonna mai. The reason is, because they think the injured person must needs hate him; and love is not an affection due to an enemy. We have also suspicious thoughts of the person we have provoked to be our enemy. We wrong God, and then we hate him; measuring his affections by human passions; and thinking, that because we have wronged him, he must needs lay aside all the goodness and patience of his own nature, and watch the first opportunity of revenge. Every sin and act of it being enmity to God, the more the habit of any sin is increased, by frequent acts, the more also is the habitual enmity in the heart increased; for as every sin has an immediate tendency to the supply of some lust, so it has a remote and principal tendency to the increase of that enmity. Cain first affronts God in his omniscience and providence, and then departs from his presence; turns his back upon him, and becomes the head of the profane part of the world . The presence of the Lord, Gen. 4. 16; i. e. from all the ordinance of God, and communion with him in worship. The remedji then is, to endeavour a conformity to God's holy will; to think with thyself every morning, what shall I do this day to please God? what duty does he require of me? The more thou dost obey his will, the more thou wilt love his holiness.

[merged small][ocr errors]

6. Slavish fear of God. Men are apt to fear a just recompence for an injury done to another, that he will do him one ill turn for another; and fear is the mother of hatred. God being man's superior, and wronged by him, there follows necessarily a slavish fear of him, and his power; and such a fear makes wrathful and embittered thoughts of God, while he considers God armed with an unconquerable and irresistible power to punish him. It is as natural for a man to hate that which he conceives to be against him, as for any animal to hate that whose acts it fears do tend to a dissolution of its being. The devils tremble, James 2. 19, tylaveoi; they have a great horror, and their enmity is as great as their fear; nay, heightened by their fear, because they have no hopes of pardon; they do their utmost to oppose God and have companions in misery; it is impossible a man should love God, while he is apprehended as an irreconcileable adversary. The stronger the impressions of fear, the quicker the inclinations to hatred. But when the evil feared begins to strike, it makes the hatred shoot out in vollies of curses and blasphemies, which is evident in the damned. God considered as a Judge, is the object not of comforting, but terrifying faith; no man can naturally love that Judge who he thinks will condemn him. A fear of God as an inexorable judge, that we have highly wronged, will nourish an enmity against him.

Then, be much in communion with God; strangeness is the mother of fear; we dread men sometimes, because we know not their disposition. The beasts themselves delight in the company of man, when being familiarized to him, they fancy his disposition, and taste his kindness to them, which when they were unacquainted with, they would fly from his presence with the greatest speed. Study the reconciling love of God in the gospel; consider much the loveliness and amiableness of his nature, his ardent desire thou wouldestbe his friend more than his enemy. A cause

G

of our hating God, is our ignorance of him; for if we did but know how good he is* how merciful to man, and to us; if we would but leave our sin, we could not possibly hate him.

7. Pride. Self-denial is absolutely against the pride of reason; and this is the first lesson God teaches us. It is the first letter in the alphabet of the gospel of peace, and therefore we are against him. Men lift up the pride of reason, against the truth of God, and the pride of heart against the will of God. Hence it appears, that self is the great incendiary of the soul against God. The f nmity of Tyre against God is .charged upon this foot of account; Thy heart is lif ted up m the midst of the sea; thou hast set thy heart as the, heart of God, Ezelc. 28. 2. She would rather have her wisdom admired by God, than God's wisdom admired by,her. The sharpest enmities in the .world are founded upon this vice; This makes the greatest combustions in common wealths. Men fear to be overtopped by one another. AH other vices desire companions. A drunkard loves his good-fellows; he cares not to drink alone. An unclean person must have his mate. Swearers hate those that come not up to their own pitch; but a proud man would have none keep an equal pace with him; he cannot endure a companion, but would have all others under his feet. Pride is naturally against God; and therefore sin is often called a ljftingup of the heart against God, a hardening the heart against him. Then endeavour after humility. Study the humility of God, who is more humble to us than we can he to him. Reflect more upon thy vileness than thy worth.

8. Love of the world. The greater dearness of sensual pleasures, the further our divorce from God. The love of the world is inconsistent with the love of God ; If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not him, \ John '2. 15. It puts us under an impossibility while that love remains, to entertain the Spirit of truth, The Spirit of truth whom the world

[merged small][ocr errors]

cannot receive, John 14. 17. Whosoever will be a friend of the world, is an enemy to God. The friendship of the world is enmity with God; Ye adulterers, know ye not that theJriendship of the world is enmity with God? James 4.4; know you not it is an unquestionable truth, your own consciences cannot be strangers to it. Indulgence to carnal interests and pleasures mounts up to a fierceness against God ; Jesurun waived fat and kicked, Deut. 32. 15. The wisdom of the flesh is first earthly, then sensual, then devilish; when once the mind is possessed by an earthly and sensual temper, it will not be long before it grows up to devilishness, and you know that can be no friend of God. What begins in earthfiriess, earthly principles and ends, and proceeds on to sensuality, will end in devilishness both principle and practice. Whosoever loves his own pleasure and voluptuousness, must needs hate whatsoever is contrary to it, and Would destroy it; this is the great root of anger, revenge in man, and our contempt of God. .

The remedy then is, to look upon the world with scorn; to think the soul above it; and that the contentments and pleasures of the world are fitter for beasts, and at best but accommodations for thee as a traveller, not a fit pillow to repose thy soul on. Despise the world, and the devil hath scarce any bait and argument left to move thee to an estrangedness from, and an enmity against God.

Now if all the saints that ever were, should meet together in a Synod, to consult of the truth of this proposition, that the heart of man is enmity, against God, they would all bear witness to it nemine contradicente; and he that denies it, I may confidently affirm, did never seriously read the scripture, or cast one practical glance upon his own heart.

« EdellinenJatka »