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Absurdly; as if the mercy of Scripture expressions ought to warrant the blasphemy of our opinions, and not rather shew us, that God condescends to us only to draw us to Himself, and clothes himself in our likeness only to win us to His own. The practice of the Papists is much of the same nature, in their absurd and impious picturing of God Almighty: but the wonder in them is the less, since the image of a deity may be a proper object for that which is but the image of a religion. But to proceed: Adam was then no less glorious in his externals; he had a beautiful body, as well as an immortal soul. The whole compound was like a well-built temple, stately without, and sacred within. The elements were at perfect union and agreement in his body; and their contrary qualities. served not for the dissolution of the compound, but the variety of the composure. Galen, who had no more divinity than what his physic taught him, barely upon the consideration of this so exact frame of the body, challenges any one, upon an hundred years' study, to find how any the least fibre or most minute particle might be more commodiously placed, either for the advantage of use or comeliness. His stature erect, and tending upwards to his centre; his countenance majestic and comely, with the lustre of a native beauty, that scorned the poor assistance of art, or the attempts of imitation; his body of so much quickness and agility, that it did not only contain, but also represent the soul: for we might well suppose, that where God did deposit so rich a jewel, he would suitably adorn the case. It was a fit workhouse for sprightly, vivid faculties to exercise and exert themselves in; a fit tabernacle for an immortal soul, not only to dwell in, but to contemplate upon: where it might see the world without travel; it being a lesser scheme of the creation, nature contracted, a little cosmography or map of the universe. Neither was the body then subject to distempers-to die by piecemeal, and languish under coughs, catarrhs, or consumptions. Adam knew no

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disease, so long as temperance from the forbidden fruit secured him. Nature was his physician: and innocence and abstinence would have kept him healthful to immortality.

Now, the use of this point might be various, but at present it shall be only this—to remind us of the irreparable loss that we sustained in our first parents-to shew us of how fair a portion Adam disinherited his whole posterity by one single prevarication. Take the picture of a man in the greenness and vivacity of his youth, and in the latter date and declensions of his drooping years, and you will scarce know it to belong to the same person; there would be more art to discern, than at first to draw it. The same and greater is the difference between man innocent and fallen. He is, as it were, a new kind or species; the plague of sin has even altered his nature, and eaten his very essentials. The image of God is wiped out, the creatures have shook off his yoke, renounced his sovereignty, and revolted from his dominion. Distempers and diseases have shattered the excellent frame of his body; and, by a new dispensation, immortality is swallowed up of mortality. The same disaster and decay, also, has invaded his spirituals. The passions rebel, every faculty would usurp and rule; and there are so many governors, that there can be no government. The light within us is become darkness; and the understanding, that should be eyes to the blind faculty of the will, is blind itself, and so brings all the inconveniences that attend a blind follower under the conduct of a blind guide. He that would have a clear, ocular demonstration of this, let him reflect upon that numerous litter of strange, senseless, absurd opinions, that crawl about the world, to the disgrace of reason, and the unanswerable reproach of a broken intellect.

In the last place, we learn from hence the excellency of Christian religion, in that it is the great and only means that God has sanctified and designed to repair the breaches of

humanity, to set fallen man upon his legs again, to clarify his reason, to rectify his will, and to compose and regulate his affections. The whole business of our redemption is, in short, only to rub over the defaced copy of the creation, to reprint God's image upon the soul, and (as it were) to set forth nature

in a second and a fairer edition.

The recovery of which lost image, as it is God's pleasure to command, and our duty to endeavour, so it is in His power only to effect:-To whom be rendered and ascribed, as is most due, all praise, might, majesty, and dominion, both now and for evermore. Amen.

Diversity of Gifts.

God has use for all the several tempers and constitutions of men, to serve the occasions and exigencies of His Church by. Amongst which some are of a sanguine, cheerful, and debonnaire disposition, having their imaginations, for the most part, filled and taken up with pleasing ideas and images of things; seldom or never troubling their thoughts either by looking too deep into them or dwelling too long upon them. And these are not properly framed to serve the Church, either in the knotty, dark, and less pleasing parts of religion, but are fitted rather for the airy, joyful offices of devotion; such as are praise and thanksgiving, jubilations and hallelujahs; which, though indeed not so difficult, are yet as pleasing a work to God as any other. For they are the noble employment of saints and angels; and a lively resemblance of the glorified and beatific state, in which all that the blessed spirits do, is to rejoice in the God who made and saved them, to sing His praises and to adore His perfections.

Again, there are others of a melancholy, reserved, and severe temper, who think much and speak little; and these are the fittest to serve the Church in the pensive, afflictive parts of religion; in the austerities of repentance and mortification,



in a retirement from the world, and a settled composure of their thoughts to self-reflection and meditation. And such also are the ablest to deal with troubled and distressed consciences, to meet their doubts, and to answer their objections, and to ransack every corner of their shifting and fallacious hearts; and, in a word, to lay before them the true state of their souls, having so frequently descended into, and took a strict account of their own. And this is so great a work, that there are not many whose mind and tempers are capable of it, who yet may be serviceable enough to the Church in other things. And it is the same thoughtful and reserved temper of spirit, which must make others to serve the Church in the hard and controversial parts of religion. Which sort of men (though they should never rub men's itching ears from the pulpit) the Church can no more be without, than a garrison can be without soldiers, or a city without walls; or than a man can defend himself with his tongue, when his enemy comes against him with his sword.

But then again, there are others beside these, who are of a warmer and more fervent spirit, having much of heat and fire in their constitution, and God may and does serve His Church even by such a kind of persons as these also, as being particularly fitted to preach the terrifying rigours and curses of the law to obstinate, daring sinners, which is a work as absolutely necessary and of as high a consequence to the good of souls, as it is that men should be driven, if they cannot be drawn, off from their sins, that they should be cut and lanced if they cannot otherwise be cured, and that the terrible trump of the last judgment should be always sounding in their ears, if nothing else can awaken them. But then, while such persons are thus busied in preaching of judgraent, it is much to be wished that they would do it with judgment too; and not preach hell and damnation to sinners so as if they were pleased with what they preached; no, let them rather take heed that they mistake

not their own fierce temper for the mind of God; for some I have known to do so, and that at such a rate that it was easy enough to distinguish the humour of the speaker from the nature of the thing he spoke. Let ministers threaten death and destruction even to the very worst of men, in such a manner that it may appear to all their sober hearers that they do not desire but fear that these dreadful things should come to pass: let them declare God's wrath against the hardened and impenitent, as I have seen a judge condemn a malefactor, with tears in his eyes; for surely much more should a dispenser of the word, while he is pronouncing the infinitely more killing sentence of the Divine law, grieve with an inward bleeding compassion for the misery of those forlorn wretches whom it is like to pass upon.

The Key to Knowledge.

We learn from hence the most effectual way and means of proficiency and growth in the knowledge of the great and profound truths of religion; and how to make us all not only good Christians, but also expert divines. It is a knowledge that men are not so much to study, as to live themselves into-a knowledge that passes into the head through the heart. I have heard of some, that in their latter years, through the feebleness of their limbs, have been forced to study upon their knees; and I think it might well become the youngest and the strongest to do so too. Let them daily and incessantly pray to God for His grace; and if God gives grace, they may be sure that knowledge will not stay long behind, since it is the same Spirit and principle that purifies the heart and clarifies the understanding. Let all their inquiries into the deep and mysterious points of theology be begun and carried on with fervent petitions to God, that He would dispose their minds to direct all their skill and knowledge to the promotion of a good life, both in themselves and others; that He would use all their noblest specula

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