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can do any thing for his safety or his worldly ends. If he be among Papists, he can be a Papist; if among Protestants, he is a Protestant; and if he were among Turks, it is likely he would rather turn a Mahometan than be undone. No prince or power can command him any thing which he cannot yield to, if his worldly interest require it. If there be a law for worshipping the golden image, it is the conscionable servants of God, and not the time-servers, that refuse to obey it; Dan. iii. If there be a law against praying, (Dan. vi.) it is Daniel, and not the ungodly multitude that disobey it. If there be a command against preaching, (Acts iv. 17, 18.) it is the holy apostles and best Christians that plead the command of God against it, and refuse obedience to it; (ver. 20, 29.) The self-seeking, temporizing hypocrite can do any thing; and yet he obeyeth not, while he seemeth to obey for it is not for the authority of the commander that he doth it, but for his own ends. He never truly honoureth his superiors; for he doth not respect them as the officers of God, nor obey them for his sake with a conseionable obedience. He feareth the higher powers as bears or tigers, that are able to hurt him; or useth their favour as he useth his horse, to do him service. Were it not for himself, he would little regard them. The true Christian honoureth the basest creature more than the hypocrite and worldling honoureth his king: for he seeth God in all, and useth the smallest things unto his glory; whereas the worldling debaseth the highest, by the baseness of his esteem, and use, and end: for he knoweth not how to esteem or use the greatest prince, but for himself or for some worldly ends; 2 Tim. iii. 3, 4.
XLIX. 1. A Christian indeed is a man of courage and fortitude in every cause of God; for he trusteth God, and firmly believeth that he will bear him out. He knoweth his superiors, and hath a charitable respect to all men: but as for any selfish or timorous respect, he hath the least regard to man. For he knoweth that the greatest are but worms, whose breath is in their nostrils, that pass away as shadows, and return to dust; and that the most potent are impotent when they contend with God, and are unequal matches to strive against their Maker; and that it will prove hard for them to kick against the pricks; and that whoever seemeth now to have the day, it is God that will be conqueror at last.
Job xxv. 6. cxliv. 3-5.
xvii. 14. xxiv. 20. Psal. lxxix. 31. Acts ix. 4-6. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help; his breath goeth forth; he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help; whose hope is in the Lord his God." "Woe to him that striveth with his Maker;" Isa. xlv. 9. He knoweth that it is more irrational to fear man against God, than to fear a flea or a fly against the greatest man. The infinite disproportion between the creature that is against him, and the Creator that is for him, doth resolve him to obey the command of Christ; "Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do: but I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you, fear him ;" Luke xii. 4. "Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law fear ye not the reproof of man, neither be afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation;" Isa. lvii. 7, 8. "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint; and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together; who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me: who is he that shall condemn me? Lo! they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up ;" Isa. 1.6-9. xxxv. 4. xli. 10. 13, 14. vii. 4. Cease ye from man,
Jer. xlvi. 27, 28.
Matt. x. 26. 31.
whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of;" Isa. ii. 22. "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, &c. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, &c." Jer. xvii. 5. 8, 9. Alas, how terrible is the wrath of God, in comparison of the wrath of man! And how easy an enemy is the cruellest afflicter, in comparison of a holy, sin-revenging God. Therefore the confirmed Christian saith as the three witnesses; Dan. iii. 16-18. "We are not careful to answer thee in this matter: the God whom we serve is able
to deliver us.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." When Daniel knew that the decree was past, he prayed openly in his house, as heretofore; Dan. vi. 10. Moses "feared not the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible;” Heb. xi. 27. "The righteous is bold as a lion;" Prov. xxviii. 1. "When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, they marvelled;" Acts iv. 13. Paul's bonds made others bold; 2 Cor. xi. 21. Ephes. vi. 19, 20. Acts iv. 29. 31. Perfect love casteth out fear;" 1 John iv. 18. "If ye suffer for righ
teousness' sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;" 1 Pet. iii. 14. "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me;" Heb. xiii. 6.
2. But the weak Christian, though he also trust in God, is much more fearful, and easily daunted and discouraged; and ready with Peter to be afraid, if he perceive himself in danger; Matt. xxvi. 69. He is not " valiant for the truth;" Jer. ix. 3. Though he can forsake all (even life itself) for Christ, - (Luke xiv. 26. 33.) yet is it with a deal of fear and trouble. And man is a more significant thing to him than to the stronger Christian.
3. But the seeming Christian doth fear man more than God, and will venture upon the displeasure of God, to avoid the displeasure of men that can do him hurt; because he doth not soundly believe the threatenings of the word of God.
L. 1. A Christian indeed is made up of judgment and zeal conjunct. His judgment is not a patron of lukewarmness, nor his zeal an enemy to knowledge. His judgment doth not destroy, but increase his zeal; and his zeal is not blind nor self-conceited, nor doth run before, or without judgment. If he be of the most excellent sort of Christians, he hath so large a knowledge of the mysteries of godliness, that he seeth the body of sacred truth with its parts, and compages, or joints, as it were at once. It is all written deeply and methodically in his understanding; he hath by long use his senses exercised, to discern both good and evil; Heb. v. 14. He presently discerneth where mistaken men go out of the way, and lose the truth, by false suppositions, or by false definitions, or by confounding things that differ.
And therefore he pitieth the contentious sects and disputers, who raise a dust to blind themselves and others, and make a stir to the trouble of the church, about things which they never understood: and in the sight of that truth which others obscure and contradict, he enjoyeth much content or pleasure in his own mind, though incapable persons zealously reject it. Therefore he is steadfast, as knowing on what ground he setteth his foot. And though he be the greatest lover of truth, and would with greatest joy receive any addition to his knowledge, yet ordinarily by erroneous zealots he is censured as too stiff, and self-conceited, and tenacious of his own opinions, because he will not entertain their errors, and obey them in their self-conceitedness. For he that knoweth that it is truth which he holdeth, is neither able nor willing to hold the contrary, (unless he imprison the truth in unrighteousness). But if he be one that hath not attained to such a clear, comprehensive judgment, yet with that measure of judgment which he hath, he doth guide and regulate his zeal, and maketh it follow after, while understanding goeth before. He treadeth on sure ground, and knoweth it to be duty indeed which he is zealous for, and sin indeed which he is zealous against; and is not put to excuse all his favour and forwardness after, with a non putarem,' or,' I had thought it had been otherwise; 1 Cor. i. 5. 2 Cor. viii. 7. Col. iii. 16. iv. 12.
2. But the weak Christian either hearkeneth too much to carnal wisdom, which suppresseth his zeal, and maketh him too heavy, and dull, and indifferent in many of his duties, and the concernments of his soul, permitting the world to take up too much of the vigour of his spirit; or else he is confident in his mistakes, and verily thinks that he understandeth better than many wiser men, those things which he never understood at all. He chooseth his party by the zeal that he findeth in them, without any judicious trial of the truth of what they hold and teach. He is very earnest for many a supposed truth and duty, which proveth at last to be no truth or duty at all; and he censureth many a wiser Christian than himself, for many a supposed sin, which is no sin, but perhaps a duty. For he is always injudicious, and his heat is greater than his light, or else his light is too flashy without heat. Peremptorily he doth set down some
among the number of the most wise and excellent men, keeping him company in his mistakes: and he boldly numbereth the best and wisest of his teachers with the transgressors, for being of a sounder understanding than himself, and doing those duties which he calleth sins.
And hence it is that he is a person apt to be misled by appearances of zeal; and the passions of his teachers prevail more with him than the evidence of truth. He that prayeth and preacheth most fervently is the man that carrieth him away, though none of his arguments should be truly cogent. If he hear any hard name against any opinion, or manner of worship, he receiveth that prejudice which turneth him more against it than reason could have done. So the bugbear names of Heresy, Lutheranism, and Calvinism, frighteneth many a well-meaning Papist both from the truth, and almost from his wits. And the names of Popery, Arminianism, Prelacy, Presbyterianism, Independency, &c. do turn away the hearts of many from things which they never tried or understood. If a zealous preacher do but call any opinion or practice antichristian or idolatrous, it is a more effectual terror than the clearest proof. Big and terrible words do move the passions, while the understanding is abused, or a stranger to the cause. And passion is much of their religion. And hence, alas! is much of the calamity of the church; Rom. xiv. 1-4, &c. 1 Cor. iii. 1-4. Acts xxi. 20. Gal. iv. 17, 18.
3. But the seeming Christian is only zealous finally for himself, or zealous about the smaller matters of religion, as the Pharisees were for their ceremonies and traditions, or for his own inventions, or some opinions or ways, in which his honour seemeth to be interested, and pride is the bellows of his zeal. But as for a holy zeal about the substance and practice of religion, and that for God as the final cause, he is a stranger to it. He may have a zeal of God, and of and for the law and worship of God as the material cause, but not a true zeal for God, as the chief final cause; Rom. X. 2. 2 Sam. xxi. 2. 2 Kings x. 16. Acts xxii. 3. LI. 1. A Christian indeed can bear the infirmities of the weak though he love not their weakness, yet he pitieth it, because he truly loveth their persons. Christ hath taught him not to break the bruised reed, and to "gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young," Isa. xl. 11. xlii. 3. If they