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the same object viewed in different lights, or the same idea expressed by different terms.

III. The fear of God is another part of the Christian temper, which evidently results from the principles of revelation. There is indeed a slavish fear, which hath torment, that love casts out as far as it prevails, (1 John iv. 18); but we speak of that reverential fear of the Divine majesty, authority, holiness, and glory, which produces solemn awe, humble adoration, serious recollection, and jealous circumspection; which induces a man to act habitually, as in the presence of the all-seeing and heart-searching God, and influences him to universal conscientiousness, even in his most secret actions, and in respect of his inmost thoughts; which teaches him to regard with profound veneration the name, word, works, counsels, decrees, and judgments of the Lord: which helps to constitute the upright, spiritual worshipper in all his ordinances; and which causes a man to fear the frown, and desire the favour of God above all things else. This "fear of God" is the effect of special grace, grows in harmony with holy love, and will be perfected with it when the Christian shall join the company and worship of seraphim before the throne, (Psalm lxxxix. 7; Isaiah vi. 1-8; Heb. xii. 28.) Every truth of revelation concurs in giving us those views of God, and of ourselves, that are suited to produce this reverential spirit: the total want of it, therefore, must evince that many high affections are false, and much overbearing confidence unwarranted and that man must be very imperfectly acquainted with evangelical principles, or but partially influenced by them who is greatly deficient in it. IV. The love of God is an essential part of the Christian temper; but it must be very briefly discussed in this place; as in many things it coincides with the first table of the law, which hath been already explained, (Essay IV.) The truths of the gospel, when received by living faith into the regenerate heart, are wonderfully suited to excite and increase admiring love of the Divine perfections, as displayed in all the works of God: but especially in that of redemption by Jesus Christ: hence arise fervent desires after that felicity, which is found in contemplating his glory and enjoying his love. The soul begins" to be athirst for God;" and in proportion to the prevalence of this holy affection for the Supreme Good, all inferior objects lose their attractions! so that when the believer fears lest he should not obtain the happiness of the beatific vision, but should at last be banished from the presence of God; he can take no pleasure in worldly prosperity: when his communion with the Lord is interrupted, all other joys seem insipid; but the light of his countenance gilds every object, alleviates every trouble, and enhances every comfort. Lively gratitude for mercies, inestimable, inexpressible, and unmerited, keeps pace with his hope of acceptance; and he cannot but most earnestly inquire, "what he shall render to the Lord for all his benefits?" The same views produce zeal for the glory of God and the honour of the gospel: and the believer is habitually disposed to consider what effect his conduct may have on the minds of men in this respect whence humiliation, circumspection, and care to improve his talents must always arise. In all these affections and dispositions there will be a particular regard to the Person of Christ, as One with the Father and the Divine Spirit, and the equal object of all love, confidence, honour, gratitude, and adoration, (Essays VI, VII, XIII;) and an habitual disposition to meditate on his sufferings and love, to rejoice in his exaltation and the success of his gospel; and to desire that his name should everywhere be known, trusted in, and loved; and that his people should prosper and be happy. This love of Christ is the grand constraining principle of all evangelical obedience, and devoted subjection to him who bought us with his blood: and the several dispositions towards God, which have been enumerated, constitute the spirit of adoption; for when we have in this manner the temper of children towards God, the Holy Spirit bears witness, according to the Scripture, that he is our Father, and that we are his sons and daughters; the regenerate and adopted heirs of his heavenly inheritance.


V. The true believer is spiritually minded: that is, he is disposed to seek his happiness in spiritual things, because he is capable of relishing and delighting in them. Other men may have a task of religion; but the world is their element in which they live as much as their consciences will allow them : but the believer "has tasted that the Lord is gracious," "he remembers his love more than wine," " his soul has been satisfied, as with marrow and fatness, whilst he praised the Lord with joyful lips." In proportion, therefore, as he acts consistently with his principles; he either finds joy and pleasure in communion with God and doing his will, or he mourns after him. He feels that he must be miserable unless God, his exceeding joy, vouchsafe to make him happy he separates from many companies and pursuits, to spend his time in the closet, in the house of God, or in the communion of the saints; not only from a sense of duty, but in order to enjoy his most valued pleasures, and to avoid whatever may interrupt them: and when he cannot find comfort in this way, and is tempted to seek it in the world, he is ready to say, "Lord, to whom shall I go? thou hast the words of eternal life." This is an essential part of the Christian temper; all attachment to worldly trifles arise from our not being duly influenced by our principles; and, as far as we act consistently, we shall attend to the lawful concerns, and use the allowed comforts of life in a sanctified and holy manner.

But a very copious subject yet remains: the temper of the believer towards his brethren and neighbours is equally worthy of our attention. Many things, indeed, which might be here adduced, will occur to us when relative duties come under consideration. It is, however, too copious and important a topic to be comprised in a very small compass; it will, therefore, be more expedient to annex a second part of this Essay, and to conclude at present with a few brief observations on what hath been said.

1. Every attentive and impartial reader must perceive, even from this imperfect sketch, that revelation is, principally, intended to lead men to proper thoughts of God, and suitable dispositions and affections towards him. They who suppose the moral precepts, which relate to the conduct of men towards one another, to be the most important and valuable part of Scripture, certainly mistake the leading intent of it: for godliness (or a disposition to behave towards God, according to the glory of his perfections, and our relations and obligations to him) is the first object, both in the commandments of the law, and in the doctrines and promises of the gospel: and the sins, against which the Lord always expresses the most vehement indignation (such as atheism, idolatry, apostacy, unbelief, enmity against him, contempt and forgetfulness of him, blasphemy, &c.,) may be habitually committed by men of good moral character, who are honest, sincere, benevolent, temperate, or peaceable, from selfish principles: but these things will not excuse hatred and neglect of their infinitely glorious Creator and Benefactor. Indeed, a man cannot be godly who is not moral: because we are required to express our regard to God by behaving well to our brethren and neighbours.

2. The principal value, even of divine truth, consists in its sanctifying efficacy on the minds of believers. Many "imprison the truth in unrighteousness;" and the doctrines of the gospel are often professed and contended for, with such arrogance, irreverence, and fierceness, that it is plain they are not principles in the heart, meliorating the disposition; but mere notions in the understanding, serving as an occasion of gratifying malignant passions, advancing worldly interests, or rendering a man conspicuous amongst his neighbours; and sensible men observing this, imbibe strong and fatal prejudices against the truth through the manifest misconduct of such advocates for it.

3. Even the smallest degree, in which the doctrines of the gospel operate as principles transforming the soul into their holy nature, suffices to prove them to be received with a measure of living faith: yet the Lord hath so arranged his plan, that various circumstances concur in preventing the believer from deriving a strong Scriptural assurance, from a feeble effect of truth

upon his mind. But in proportion as our principles induce us habitually to "exercise ourselves unto godliness," the certainty of the change becomes evident; our faith is proved to be living, and to work by love; and the Spirit of adoption witnesses with our spirits, that we are the children of God; yet this generally connects with deep humiliation, in respect of the small degree in which we are sanctified.

Finally, our rule is perfect, and grace teaches us to aim at perfection: but we are still in a state of warfare and imperfection, in which " repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ," will continue to be necessary. Blessed, then, are they, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they, and they only, shall be eternally satisfied.


On the Dispositions and Character peculiar to the True Believer.

(In Continuation of the preceding Essay.)

IN stating with brevity, yet with precision, the peculiarities of the Christian temper and character, as they are produced by the seed of Divine truth, and received into the heart by living faith, we shall sometimes be led to deduce coincident parts of them from different principles: and, therefore, some things which were touched upon in the former part of this Essay, may be here again resumed in another connection. This will especially be perceived in relation to that subject, with which I shall introduce what belongs to the temper of a Christian towards his brethren and neighbours, viz.

I. Indifference to the world, and the things of the world, (1 John ii. 15— 17.) Patience, contentment, gratitude, and cheerfulness, have been shown to be the genuine effect of that confidence in God, and submission to his will, which arise from a real belief of the doctrines contained in the Holy Scriptures; but they receive a collateral support also, from those views that the Christian has of the vanity of all earthly things, and the importance of eternity; whilst these, again, are essential to a proper frame of mind and tenor of conduct towards our neighbours. For what is most productive of immorality and mischief among mankind? Does not an inordinate eagerness in the pursuit of worldly objects occasion a vast proportion of the crimes and miseries that fill the earth? This has not only led men idolatrously to forsake, and wilfully to rebel against God, but it has also prompted them to become the oppressors and murderers of each other, in every age and nation, and thus to fill the earth with "lamentation, and mourning, and woe!" Nor can it reasonably be expected, that any effectual remedy can be applied to these evils, unless men can be generally convinced that the objects of their fierce contentions are mere vanity and vexation of spirit, and that nobler blessings are attainable. This has been so obvious to men of any reflection, that many sects of philosophers and the inventors of various superstitions, have manifestly proposed the same end in this respect as Christianity does; but their means have been so injudicious and inadequate, that they have only taught men to sacrifice one lust to another, and to deny sensuality or avarice, that they might more advantageously gratify the lust of dominion, or the thirst for the applause of men. But when the apostle "determined to glory in the cross of Christ alone," he found, "that the world was by it crucified to him," and that "he was crucified to the world," (Gal. vi. 14.) The world, and every thing in it, even "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," and whatever was suited to gratify the appetites, the senses, the avarice, the ambition, or vain-glory of man, seemed to him no

more attractive than the distorted, defiled countenance of a crucified malefactor; and he was also entirely willing to be looked upon by all worldly men with that contempt, pity, or aversion, which such an object is suited to inspire. Indeed, the doctrines that relate to the incarnation of Christ; the birth of Emmanuel in a stable; his obscure education and life of labour till he entered on his public ministry; his subsequent poverty, hardship, reproach, and suffering, till he expired a sinless sacrifice on the cross; together with the circumstances of his followers, and the treatment they met with, are directly suited to mortify every corrupt affection of the human heart, and to create an indifference about all those objects which unbelievers idolize. The doctrine of the cross, when spiritually understood, gives us such a view of the deplorable condition into which sin hath plunged our species, and of the hopeless misery to which the most prosperous ungodly man is every moment exposed, as must tend to lower all earthly distinctions in the believer's estimation, and to break the fatal association in his mind between the idea of happiness and that of worldly prosperity; for he cannot but see, that a confluence of all earthly comforts avails not to preserve the possessor from death and hell, nor keep out the dread of them. That near view, also, which faith presents to the mind, of the reality and speedy approach of an eternal and unchangeable state, cannot but damp his ardour, and abate his assiduity in pursuing those things, which must so soon be left for ever; whilst the substantial possessions, the incorruptible honours, and the unalloyed pleasures which are proposed to his hope, tend to draw off his affections from the things "on the earth, and to fix them on things above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God," (2 Cor. iv. 18; Col. iii. 1-4). For as the earth appears to us who live on its surface, to be made very unequal by the mountains that are upon it, yet could we rise above it, and view these at a distance, such inequalities would appear inconsiderable, compared with the magnitude of the globe; and, as we looked down upon it from a still greater distance, they would entirely vanish from our sight: so, to the carnal mind, the difference between rich and poor, prince and beggar, &c., seems immense; but, in proportion as our judgment and affections become spiritual, the disparity diminishes, till the distinction seems entirely to disappear. As all are sinners and mortals, all must stand before the impartial tribunal of God; all are under condemnation according to the law; all are invited to accept of the salvation of the gospel; and all must be eternally happy or miserable, as they are found in the company of believers or of unbelievers. So that indifference to the world and its honours, friendship, wealth, decorations, pomp, splendour, and indulgences, whether of the senses, the appetites, or the passions of the mind, is the genuine result of evangelical principles; and it is uniformly proportioned to the degree in which we are really influenced by them; so that every tendency to covetousness, ambition, vain-glory, dissatisfaction with mean or precarious provision, or the desire of things more ornamental, elegant, fashionable, or indulgent, than those which Providence hath allotted to us, is a proof that we are not fully cast into the mould of the truths which we profess. A Christian is a stranger and a pilgrim upon earth; he wants accommodation during his abode in this foreign land, and his journey to his heavenly home; he cannot but prefer things pleasant to those that are painful; yet this is not his object, nor can he consistently loiter, turn aside, or disquiet himself about such matters; much less can he seek great things by disobeying his Lord, clouding his prospects, disgracing his character, or interrupting his comforts. His principles will indeed show him, that there is a place assigned to him, and that perhaps he cannot fill this place with propriety, without many externals which are of little value, and which many of his brethren have not; but he cannot consistently glory or rejoice in them, or prefer himself to others on that account; nay, he will rather deem them snares and incumbrances, which may retard his course, and induce him to conformity to the world. His duty may also call him to fill up a superior situation in society, and to possess authority or wealth, as the steward of God for the good

of others, or he may be engaged in any lawful business: but his principles will prevent him from loving the world, and teach him moderation, both in the pursuit of apparent advantages, and in the use of his possessions; they will dispose him to abstain from many things which others in similar situations seize upon, or indulge in; to shun what others deem desirable; and to consider the concessions which he makes to the customs of society, rather as a cross than as a satisfaction. The principles of revelation, indeed, are far from confounding the different ranks and orders in the community nor do they countenance self-invented austerities, or a morose rejection of the rational comforts and satisfactions of life: for "the Lord hath given us all things richly to enjoy:" but they teach us to be satisfied with such things as we have, if we have merely "food and raiment," though the meanest and most scanty; to refrain from every thing inexpedient, as well as from whatever is unlawful; and not to put any interest or indulgence in competition, even with the peace and comfort of our weakest brother; they instruct us not to consider any earthly distinction as our riches, adorning, honour, or pleasure; to use all things as strangers that are about to leave them; to do all as the Lord's servants, and to improve all our advantages as his stewards and "whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, to do all to the glory of God." Whenever these ends require it, we are called upon to deny ourselves, to forsake all, to act as if we hated our dearest relatives, to part with every earthly possession, to take up our cross, and even lay down our lives for the sake of him who died for us and rose again; who hath expressly declared, that without this disposition, purpose, and conduct, we cannot be his disciples; and hath given motives and assurances sufficient to encourage us to make all these sacrifices with cheerfulness, (Matt. xvi. 24-26; xix. 29; Luke xiv. 25-33; 1 Cor. viii. 12, 13; x. 31; Heb. xiii. 5, 6). He hath moreover taught us" to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness;" hath assured us, "that all things needful shall be added to us ;" and hath given us a warrant to trust him in the path of duty, both in respect of ourselves, and of all that belong to us.

Moreover, our principles teach us to consider this world as a barren land and a scene of trouble, and to expect no rest in it; to take matters as we find them (except as the duty of our station may be concerned); and not to be anxious about our condition, though we be poor, or even slaves, because "the fashion of this world passeth away," (1 Cor. vii. 21-23; 29—31). All discontent, therefore, in obscure and indigent circumstances, as well as insolence in prosperity; all envy of the rich or renowned; all coveting or hankering after somewhat greater; easier, or more abundant; all eagerness in pursuing and seeking after worldly advantages; all sanguine expectation of those changes by which carnal men fancy, that the blanks of this world's lottery may become prizes; all inclination to spend more than we can afford in things not absolutely necessary, or to appear above our rank in our raiment, habitations, furniture or tables, and to incur debts by thus emulating our superiors; all that shame which we are apt to feel at the discovery even of honest, frugal poverty; all our reluctance to leave our children to earn their bread by menial labour, if the Lord be pleased so to appoint it; and a great many other things which we witness around us, and may be conscious of in ourselves, are manifest deviations from the spirit of Christianity, inconsistent with the principles of the gospel, and productive of many evil consequences. It does not indeed follow, that such persons as manifest a degree of these carnal propensities are insincere in their profession, but it proves, that they have but partially understood the tendency, and experienced the efficacy of the truth. And if any who contend for evangelical doctrines, are wholly strangers to this "crucifixion to the world," and treat such subjects as low and legal, without doubt their faith is dead, and their hope presumptuous: for all true Christians lament and mourn, that they are no more mortified to the world, and indifferent about its perishing trifles.

II. Benevolence, or philanthropy, is an eminent branch of the Christian

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