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calls upon Christian wives to apply thereto, that if any obey not the word, they also may, without the word, be won by the conversation of the wives, i Pet. 3. 1. And certainly, whoever are made partakers of that extraordinary grace of God, and translated out of darkness into his marvellous light, will labour, by the reflected rays of divine love, alio to enlighten, enfame and make others partake of the same happiness with themselves. And who can conceive any thing more holy, more praise worthy than this ?
CIV. This is that generous holiness, which the Means aSpirit of grace powerfully operates in the elect, and dapted to which he promotes by the use of various means. Tho' promote
holiness. the use of these means is required of man, yet their efficacy depends on the blesling of God alone. · Nor indeed, is it without the interposition of God, that man can and will savingly use those' means. For daily experience teacheth us, how dull and languid we usually are in those things, when the infuence of the spirit either ceases, or is but small. Among those means of sanctification, the following deserve to be most recommended.
CV. We justly give the first place to the word of MeditaGod, and the devout meditation of it.
God sanElifieth tion of
the word Uus through his truth, his word is truth, John 17. 17: vn God. for as it proceeds from the Holy Spirit, the characters of the divine holiness, are imprinted upon it, and as, in every part, it sends forth the most fragrant odour of holiness, so it inspires the pious reader with it, tho' perhaps he may not understand all, that he readech : which Chryfoftom has likewise observed in Orat. 3. in Lazur. Even tho thou doejt not thoroughly understand the contents, yet even the reading begets a very great degree of san&tification.
CVI. And whatever is contained in the word of Thewhole God, is directed to this end. The precepts of the law,
ofit diwhich exhibit the exactest delineation of holiness, are that end. adapted to iniame the foul with love to it, Pf. 119. 8, 9, 10. The threatenings annexed to the law, and
to be used
the recorded instances of those judgments, by which God has punished sin, are !o many powerful dehortations from it, I Cor. 10. 6, 11. The very ample fromises made to godliness and the blefings, wherewith the liberal goodness of the deity has enriched the godly, who love and worship him, are so many incentives to holiness, Isa. 52. 2, 3. The examples of the Saints both teach, and allure at the same time. Heb. 12. I. Their very stumblings and falls remind us of our weakness, inculcate humility, teach us to take heed to ourselves, and point out what things we ought to avoid, Neb. 13. 26. But nothing more effectually persuades to piety, than the do&rine of grace revealed in the Gospel, Tit. 2. 12; and whoever abuse it to
asiviousness never knew the truih, as it is in Jesus: for the word of the truth of the Gospel, in cll the world bringeth forth fruit, since the day they beard of it, and
knew the grace of God in truth, Col. 1. 5, 6. Therefore
CVII. But in order to obtain this fruit of holiness with care.
from the word of God, it is, ist. To be diligentiy, daily and carefully attended to, and as Chryfoftom speaks, it is to be read, with a mistic silence, or profound attention John. 5. 39. 2dly. Diligently heard : for, the public preaching of the word has very excellent promises, Rom. 10. 14, 15, 17. 3dly. When Țead and heard, it is to be laid up in the inward treasure of the soul, there to be kept as the most valuable treasure, fob. 23. 12. Pf. 19. 11. Luke 2. 19. 4thly, But it is not to be kept in some remote corner of the memory, there to rot in mouldiness and duft, but at times it is to be brought forth, and made she object of holy meditation: whereby the soul, by. ruminating and sucking as it were, attracts and turns, into its own substance, that quickening and no!irishing juice, that is to be found in the word of God, Pf. 1.2.
Los 1. 8. 5thly. It is expedient to have always, at hand, fome powerful striking passages of scripture, wherewith we may be armed againit the attacks of sin, and excited to duty. This was what the Lord
meant when he ordered Israel to bind his word as a
CVIII. Very wisely, indeed, did the emperor Anto- Expedient nine address himself thus, Lib. 3. §. 13: as Surgeons
fome have always their instruments ready for some unexpected
powerful operation, to have thou at hand thy philosophical princi- passages in ples, in order to distinguih between things divine and readiness human. Similar to this is what Sen ca has de Benefic.
against the Lib. 7.6. !. Demitrius the cynic was wont to say very fin. well; that it is more beneficial to have a few precepts of wisdom in readiness for prastice, than to learn a great deal, and not have it at hand for use. And c. 2. Our Demetrius orders the proficient to hold these things fast, and never, let them go; nay, to imprint them on his mind, and make them a part of himself; and, by daily meditation to bring himself to that pitch, that what is useful fall spontaneously occur, and what is wanted Mall, upon all occafions, direEtly present itself. What they spoke concerning the precepts of wisdom, which Epictetus called repórespo Bombouala, reddy aids, we may affirm concerning some striking passages of Scripture, which ịt is expedient to have in such readiness, that, on any occasion, they may spontaneously cast up to the mind.
CIX. Secondly. The attentive consideration of the 2. The at, . Lord Jesus is a most powerful mean of sanctification, tentive
consideraThe vileness and hideous nature of sin no where more tion of the clearly appears, than in the meanness, humilitation Lord Jeand sufferings of Christ. For, what was it that fus : in cloathed the Lord of glory with the contemptible
whom form of a servant? What overwhelmed the mighty
(1). The lyon of the tribe of Judah with horrour and anguish, deformity that he was almost ready to sink under them? What of fin. rouzed the cruel bands of hell to arıns against him?' What turned the Howing rivers of heavenly con
solations into the most melancholy dryness? What mixed those bitterest of bitters in the cup of the divine fury, with which the Son of God's love was almost struck with astonishment and amaze? Sin, certainly, was the cause of all, Isa. 53. 5.
Who can reflect on this, and not be infiamed with the most irreconcilable hatred to it? Will he not endeavour to avenge himself of that hideous monster, which fo cruelly afflicted his most beloved Lord, and which, unless it be first llain, will, with the fame fierceness, rage against all those, that give it a favourable entertainment? Who can prevail on himself to be again enslaved by that tyrant, from whose chains, burning with hell-fire, he seriously believes and considers, ' he could not have been delivered but by the accursed death of the Son of God? And thus the meditation of the sufferings of Christ makes us, that, being dead to fin, we should live unto righteousness. 1 Pet. 2. 24.
CX. Nor did the incredible love of God towards unspeak wretched mortals ever, on any occasion, more eviJanthro- dently present itself to view, than in Christ Jefus ;
which may melt down the most frozen hearts, and kindle them into the brightest flames of mutual returns of love ; for the love of Christ constraineth us, &c. 2 Cor. 5. 14, 15.
Whoever is deeply engaged in the meditation of this, will he not cry out with admiration? “ waft thou, most loving Jesus, scorched “ no less in the flames of thy love for me, than in “ those of the divine wrath against my fins, and < shall I be lukewarm in returns of love to thee? “ Didit thou die for my falvation, and shall I not “ live to thy glory? Didst thou descend to hell'on
my account, and shall not I at thy command, cheerfully walk in the way to heaven? Didit thou
give thylelf up for me to be tormented with hell“ pains, and I not render myself to thee, to bear “ thy yoke, which is easy, and thy burden, which " is light?" It cannot be expressed, how much the
love to men.
pious soul, while intent on such meditations as these,
CXI. And never does virtue or holiness itself charm (3). The us with a more beautiful aspect than in Chrift, which, excellent we have also formerly intimated is seen painted in the beauty of
For, love aspires after a likeness to the be-
3. ExerJesus add the praEtice of devout prayer, by which we cise of may draw from the most exuberant fullness of Christ, prayer. and which he is ever most ready to import, and grace