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nothing at all; others had drank and eat intemperately; and the poor were defpifed and neglected. This the apofle condemns as a great profanation of that folemn institution, for behaving themselves with as little reverence, as if it were a ⚫ common fupper, or feaft: And this he calls, not difcerning • the Lord's body: making no difference between the facrament ⚫ and a common meal; which contemptuous carriage, he calls • eating and drinking unworthily; for which he pronounceth • them guilty of the body and blood of Chrift; by which, he tells them, they did incur the judgment of God, which he • calls eating and drinking their own judgment; for so the word fignifies in the Greek, and not eternal condemnation. It is meant of fome temporal judgment and chastisement, in order to the preventing of eternal damnation: Which is • evident from what follows: "He that eateth and drinketh
unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.” And then he fays, "For this caufe many are weak and fickly " among you, and many fleep." That is, for this irreve rence of theirs, God fent among them several diseases, of * which many had died. And then he adds, "For if we would "judge ourselves, we should not be judged." That is, if we would cenfure and examine ourselves, so as to be more • careful for the future, we fhould efcape the judgment of God in these temporal punishments. "But when we are "judged, we are chaftened of the Lord, that we should not "be condemned with the world." That is, when by neglecting thus to judge ourselves, we provoke God to judge us; he inflicts thefe temporal judgments upon us, to prevent ⚫ our eternal damnation.'
Chriftian] Sir, I am much obliged to you for the fatisfaction you have given me in thefe weighty points, referring to the Lord's fupper: And now, though in a deep fenfe of my great unworthiness, yet with humble confidence in my dear Redeemer, who graciously invites all that are heavy laden to come unto him; I do intend, by the bleffing of God, to addrefs myself to the Lord's table the next Lord's day; humbly beseeching the affiftance of your prayers, that I may not come without the wedding-garment; but may be fo qualified, as to obtain those glorious privileges and bleffings, which are there represented and aled to every worthy communicant.
ROMANS v. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, II.
6. WHEN we were deftitute of strength,
Ourselves to help or fave,
Chrift for ungodlinefs, at length,
7. For one that's righteous, we would grudge
And for a good man, it were much
8. But God his matchless love commends,
For us, when we were not his friends,
9. Much more, being juftify'd, and free,
10. For if, when enemies, for us
Christ's death did end the ftrife;
11. Yea, more than fo, we triumph now
Having receiv'd atonement through
Chrift Jefus our own Lord.
Wherefore to him, who is the first
Who over earthly princes must
Be fupreme Lord and Head:
Ev'o unto him who lov'd us fo,
To wash us in his blood,
To him dominion therefore,
This prefent world shall be no more;
NECESSITY OF CONVERSION:
The true METHODS of making all men happy in this world, and in the world to come.
Seasonably discoursed, and earnestly pressed upon this licen tious age.
To all fuch as are most immediately and particularly concerned in the following treatise, of what rank or quality foever they be.
WO of the greatest, faithfullest, and most intimate friends in the world, reafon and confcience, command me here, in their names, courteously to falute and invite you in.
They earnestly defire three or four hours serious and private conference with you, about fome very important perfonal concerns of yours, which cannot admit of denial, or long delay. And if you make any trifling excufes, they have commanded and instructed me, here to answer them.
In cafe of abfolute and obftinate refufal to hear them, they order me to tell you; if you will not talk with me now, they will talk with you shortly, whether you will or no. If you fay, you are not now at leifure, having other business to do; they both defire you to confider, First, You can have no business in the world of equal importance with theirs. Secondly, That
whatever other lawful affairs you are pursuing, their business with you will no way obstruct, but greatly promote it. And, laftly, That a greater person than any of you, loft his life, by pocketing up a letter at night, faying, To-morrow is a new day; and it proved to him indeed dies noviffima, his laft day; he lofing by that neglect the only opportunity of living longer.
If you demand, how your reafon came to be bound up this little book, and fay, that which is reason to this author, may be folly and nonfenfe to you: I am bid to tell you, you are obliged first to read and compare; else your own reafon will presently call it your own folly and nonfense, so to pronounce. Sound reafon is uniform, and like itfelf all the world It is true, laws and dictates equally oblige one, as aa nother, in like cafes and circumstances.
If you fay, there have been fome jars and disgusts betwixt you, and your reafons and confciences; you and they have fallen out fo oft, that you have no great fancy to come near them in private, for you expect nothing but harsh and chiding language from them; and therefore are fain, by continual diverfions, and quick fucceffions of bufinefs, to maintain your peace, by keeping at as great a distance from them as you can.
It is their defire you fhould here know, First, That their debates with you will be as calm and friendly, as they are fea fonable and neceffary. Secondly, That they both profefs (and you may believe them) they neither do, nor can defign any thing but your good. Thirdly, That that perfon is certainly in a very bad cafe, that cannot endure to converfe with himfelf. Fourthly, That you herein deny a civility to your own reasons and confciences, which you daily pay to ftrangers and inferiors. And, in a word, that they defire a reconciliation with you upon as fair and honourable terms as can well be defired: and that this being done, they will both fick faithfully by you in all the troubles and dangers of your lives, and follow you as your infeparable friends, into any thing but fin.
If you fay, this is but a wheedle, to draw you into a book, that will make you melancholy, and perhaps mad.
It is their fenfe and judgment, that of all men living, you have leaft reafon to pretend the one or the other, in this cafe: for they are very confident, you are now in the most melancholy circumstances, men can ordinarily be in on this fide hell. And for madnefs they defire to know, what you yourselves would call that man, that is running with fuch post-hafte to hell, as will not admit of two or three hours ftop upon the
road, to prove himself to be no madman, but in his right mind and wits?
Moreover, they command me to inform you, it is their defire, that feeing their debates with you will neither be tirefome nor impertinent, you will please to hear them out what they have to fay to you and then, if you fhall find cause to complain, that your pleas and excufes are not fairly drawn, or that you have new matter to furnish a better apology; they are both content you fhall have your liberty to amend, or add what you please; and if they be not able to refute them, they will give you no further trouble or interruption in your
This, Gentlemen, is what I have in charge to fay to you in the porch; and now, if you pleale, the door is open; you may be as private as you will: They will attend you to your bed-chamber, or clofet; and I heartily with an happy iffue to this triendly debate.
JOHN FL A V E L.
CHA P. I.
The introduction, and flate of the cafe.
EASON exalts man above all earthly beings; it is his dignity and privilege, that God hath furnished him with abilities of mind, to recollect, animadvert, compare, infer, ponder, and judge his own actions. Hereby he becomes not only capable of moral government by human laws, (which no creature befide him is) but also of fpiritual goverment by divine laws, and the bleffed fruition of God in glory, which no other species of creatures (angels only excepted) have a fubjected capacity for.
Right reafon, by the law of nature, (as an home-born judge) arbitrates and determines all things within its proper province; which province is extended far and wide. All actions, natural, moral, and civil, are weighed at this beam and ftandard; none are exempted, but matters of fupernatural revelation; and yet even these are not wholly, and in every respect, exempt from right reafon for though there be fome myfteries in religion above the sphere and flight of reafon; yet nothing can be found in religion, that is unreasonable.