Obrazy na stronie
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Take heed and beware of falfe Prophets. Matt.7.

They caught me as a Bird. Lament. 3.


'HAT has been faid in the Title Page and Preface to this Book, concerning the OLD Duty of Man being written (as it undoubtedly was) for the use of them who lived in thofe unhappy times of ftrife and confufion in which it was first published: this, it feems, has given occafion to fome men (who are interested) to take all opportunities to infinuate the falfity of that affertion.-Now, to refcue this matter from any further difpute, we have here taken the liberty to trouble the reader with an exact copy of the Frontispiece, and alfo the wards of the Letter-Prefs Title-Page of the OLD Duty of Man, as they both ftood for feveral editions, from its first publication.-1ft, As to the Frontispiece it has been frequently metamorpbofed: we have feen, and now have in our cuftody, differing from this which we have here given a print of; One, in which is an Altar-piece, and a-top of it Mofes and Aaron, the former holding the TEN Commandments; and at the bottom David playing on the barp. Secondly, Another, in which is an Altar-piece with angels, cherubims heads, and candles burning. Thirdly, Another, in which is Mofes at the foot of mount Sinal, with a veil over his face, fhewing the people the TEN Commandments he had received from the Lord. And lastly, The Frontispiece, which has been continued for many years laft paft; in which is Mofes exhibiting only the MoRAL DUTIES of the fecond table: this well enough exprefles what may be found treated of in that book; tho' it fhews not all the Author's intention in publishing it; which the Old Frontifpiece plainly demonftrates: and tho' the laft Frontispiece fhews what are the subjects treated of in that book; yet, at the fame time, it plainly points out its intolerable defes†: but then to fupply thefe defects, SOMEBODY has been pleased, at the bottom of the Frontispiece, (very grave. ly) to add this text of Scripture: We preach not ourselves, but Chrift Jefus our Lord, 2.Cor. iv. 5. Whereas it is evident to all the world, that That book treats not of what men are to believe concerning Jefus Chrift, but only of what they are to practife in common with Jews, TURKS, and HEATHENS 1. And therefore, if this is treating the public with ingenuity, it will be hard to fay, what is ufing them extremely ill.-2dly, as to the Letter-Prefs Title-Page, in feveral of the earliest impreffions it appears to have stood thus,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


HE PRACTICE OF CHRISTIAN GRACES: Or the Whole Duty of Man, laid down in a plain and familiar Way for the use of All, but especially the meaneft "Reader. Divided into xv11 Chapters, one whereof being read every Lord's Day, the whole may be read out thrice in the Year. With private Devotions for feveral Occafions; "iz. for Morning, Evening, Sacrament, the Sick, &c. Times of Publick Calamities."

As to this Title-Page, it feems to have undergone but one Mutilation; but then That has been of the most effentia) kind, viz. that of being caftrated of its Firft Title, and the Second Title fubftituted in its ftead: By which piece of dexterity only, the title of that book, (contrary, we prefume, to the Author's own intention) came to be called The WHOLE Duty of Man; for the title of that book, as it was published by the Author, we fee plainly appears to have been, The Practice of Chriftian Graces. And, if any one fhould urge in excufe for the Bookfellers conduct, thefe Words are not in the Engraved Frontispiece; we anfwer, There was not room for the Graver to infert them there, nor feveral others, which, he may fee, were then and are now to be found in the Letter-Prefs Title-Page.

[ocr errors]


FTER this, if any one can doubt whether the OLD Duty of Man was not defignedly calculated for thofe PARTICULAR times of frife and confufion, we only requeft him to compare, with the OD Frontispiece, the following extracts, out of the three prayers, for their use who mourn in fecret for the PUBLIC CALAMITIES, &c. which Prayers he will find at the end of that book; and if he pleafes but to do this, we are of opinion (if he is under no undue influence) his doubts will foon vanish.

In the last of the three prayers, in the late editions, the word elpy has been changed for the word difcern; and fuffer not that the Jews, Turks, and Panims, for fuffer not THOSE ; yet this, and fome other flight alterations made in that prayer will never be fufficient to convine the world, that That book is (by any means) fuited to the prefent times; for bow can it it baving been written near one hundred years fince.

A Prayer to be used in thofe times of Calamity.

Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth, I defire to confefs before thee, both on my own half, and that of this nation, that there many years ll of calamity we have groaned under, are but the juft (yea mild) returns of thofe many more years of our provocations against thee.-O Lord, thou hast formerly abounded to us in bleffings above all people of the earth. Thy candle fhined upon our heads, and we delighted ourselves in thy great goodness, peace was within our walls, and plenteoufrefs within our palaces, there was no decay, no leading into captivity, and no complaining in our ftreets: But we turned this grace into wantonnefs.-And now, O Lord, had the overflowings of

Exodus xxiv. 33.

bishop of London's and the bishop of Man's testimonies, on page x.
+ See Dr. Edwards's teftimony, on page ix.

[blocks in formation]

thy vengeance been answerable to that of our fins, we had long fince been fwept away with a swift deftruction, and there had been none of us alive at this day to implore thy mercy.-And now, God, what balm is there in Gilead that can cure us; who, when thou wouldst heal us, will not be healed; we know thou haft pronounced that there is no peace to the wicked, and how shall we then pray for peace, that ftill retain our wickedness? This, this, O Lord, is our foreft disease, O give us medicines to heal this fickness, heal our fouls, and then we know thou canft foon heal our land.-Thou wert found of those that fought thee not, O let that act of mercy be repeated to us, who are to defperately, yet fo infenfibly fick, that we cannot fo much as look after the Phyfician, and by how much our cafe is the more dangerous, fo much the more fovereign remedies do thou apply. To this end difpenfe to us in our temporal intereft, what thou feeft may best secure our fpiritual; if a greater degree of outward mifery will tend to the curing our inward, Lord, fpare not thy rod, but ftrike yet more fharply; Caft out this Devil though with never fo much foaming and tearing, &c.

A Prayer for This Church.

Thou God of barennes for the wickednes of them that dwell therein; thou hast most justly executed that fatal fentence on this Church, which having once been the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth, is now become a fcorn and derifion to all that are round about her.-O the hope of Ifrael, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be as a stranger in the land, as a wayfaring man that turneth afide to tarry for a night? Why shouldft thou be as a man aftonished, as a mighty man that cannot fave? Yet thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name, leave us not, deprive us of what outward enjoyments thou pleasest, take from us the opportunities of our luxury, and it may be a mercy, but, O take not from us the means of reformation, for that is the most direful expreffion of thy wrath.-O Lord, arife, ftir up thy ftrength and come and help us, and deliver not the foul of thy turtle dove (this difconfolate Church) unto the multitude of the enemy; but help her, O God, and that right early. But if, O Lord, our rebellions have fo provoked thee, that the Ark must wander in the wilderness, till all this murmuring generation be confumed, yet Jet not that perifh with us, but bring it at last into Canaan, and let our more innocent pofterity fee that, which in thy just judgment thou denyeft to us, &c. &c. &c.


A Prayer for the Peace of the Church.

Ord Jefus Chrift,-vouchsafe we pray thee at last, to caft down thy countenance upon thy well-beloved Spoufe the Church; but let it be that amiable and merciful countenance wherewith thou pacifieft all things in heaven, in earth, and whatsoever is above heaven and under the earth.-Thou feeft (O good Shepherd) what fundry fort of wolves have broken into thy fheepcotes, of whom every one cryeth, Here is Chrift, bere is Chrift. So that if it were poffible the very perfect perfons fhould be brought into error. Thou feeft with what winds, with what waves, with what ftorms thy filly fhip is tofled, thy fhip wherein thy little flock is in peril to be drowned.-We have now fuffered much punishment, being foutfed with fo many wars, confumed with fuch lotles of goods, fcourged with fo many forts of difeafes and peftilences, fhaken with so many floods, feared with fo many ftrange fights from heaven, and yet appears there no where any haven or port unto us being thus tired and forlorn among fo ftrange evils, but still every day more grievous punishments, and more feem to hang over our heads. We complain not of thy fharpness, moft tender Saviour, but we efpy here alfo thy mercy, forafmuch as much grievoufer plagues we have deferved.-Suffer not that the Jews, Turks, and the rest of the Panims, which either have not known thee, or do envy thy glory, fhould continually triumph over us, and fay, Where is their God, where is their Redeemer, where is their Saviour, where is their Bridegroom, that they thus boast on Thou framedft that old confufion which we call Chaos, wherein without order, without fafhion, confufedly lay the difcordant feeds of things, and with a wonderful order the things that of nature fought together, thou didst ally and knit in a perpetual band. But how much greater confufion is this, where is no charity, no fidelity, no bonds of love, no reverence neither of laws, nor yet of rulers, no agreement of opinions, but as it were in a mifordered quire, every man fingeth a contrary note? And wilt thou fuffer thy Spouse, for whofe fake all things were made, thus by continual difcords to perifh, and go to rack? Shalt thou fufter the wicked spirits, which be authors and workers of difcord, to bear fuch a fwing in thy Kingdom unchecked?Create in us, O our God and King, a clean heart, and renew thy Holy Spirit in our breafts: Pluck not from us thy Holy Ghoft; Render unto us the joy of thy faving bealth, and with thy principal Spirit firengthen thy spouse, and the berdmen thereof.-Stay this confufion, fet in order this berrible chaos: O Lord Jefus, let thy Spirit ftretch out upon theie waters of evil wavering opinions. When thou didst mount up to heaven triumphantly, thou threweft out from above thy precious things, thou gaveft gifts amongst men, thou dealteft fundry rewards of thy fpirit. Renew again from above thy old bountifulness, give that thing to thy Church, now fainting and growing downward, that thou gayeft unto her fhooting up, at her first beginning, &c.

See the lower part of the old Frontispiece, page xii.





The Neceffity of Caring for the SOUL.

I. Man is compofed of an immortal foul; and, II. Of a mortal body. III. Of the future ftate of the foul, and how it is determined. IV. Perfuafives to the care of the foul from the nature of the first and fecond COVENANTS; fbewing, V. That it is in every man's power to take that care of his foul, which the gospel requires.


I. HE intention of the enfuing Treatife being to inftruct all ranks and conditions of men, and to defcend to the understandings of the very weakest capacities, in a short and plain explication of thofe DUTIES, which every one muft believe and practife in this world, if they hope to be happy for ever in the world to come, I fhall introduce the whole by endeavouring to draw them to the confideration and care of their own fouls, which being their firft and general duty, ought to be preparatory to all the reft; because whofo is not firmly perfuaded of the neceffity of this, will never give attention to the doctrines and exhortations of the other duties. What must I do to be faved? is an inquiry that deserves our utmoft diligence and attention: for, if we are ignorant of the will of God, or, knowing it, will not follow or be led by that unerring light, but fuffer ourselves to be hurried away by our unruly paffions in the pursuit of the things of this life, we are wretched and miferable, blind and naked, notwithstanding all our attainments; and we shall one day be convinced, to our forrow, that there is no folly like that of preferring things temporal to things eternal.

Man confifts of foul and body; a foul which Man confifts never dieth, and which, according to the care we of a foul and take of it in this life, is defigned to return unto body. God, who made it, when the body fhall return unto the earth, from whence it was taken. And therefore, he that


is truly wife, will confider, that he has a foul, as well as a body, to take care of; a fpiritual and immortal substance which can never die; but when loofed from that prison, in which it is now confined, must live for ever, either in happiness or misery.

Of the foul

and its worth.

And we may rightly conclude, that the foul of man is an immaterial principle, diftinct * from the body, and is the cause of those several operations, which by inward fenfe and experience we are confcious of to ourselves. It is that whereby we think and remember ; whereby we reason and debate about any thing, and do freely chufe and refuse fuch things as are prefented to us : it is fo created by the divine wisdom and goodness, as not to have in itself any principle of corruption; but that it will naturally, or of itself, continue for ever, and cannot by any natural decay, or power of nature, be diffolved or destroyed: For, when the body falls into the ground, the foul will still remain and live feparate from it, and continue to perform all fuch operations, towards which the organs of the body are not neceffary, and not only continue, but live in this feparate state, fo as to be fenfible of happiness or mifery.

Its immar

All which truths have great probability from the evidence of reafon; and natural arguments incline us talityproved to believe them. Now the arguments from reafon by reafon. are taken from the nature of the foul itfelf: for those several actions and operations, which we are all con


We learn from scripture (Ecclef. iii. 21.) that a beaft has a spirit diftin&t from its body, and that the faid spirit is feparated from it by death; and that they are not to be confidered as mere machines and engines without real fenfation, is as evident to us, as that men have fenfations; for the brute beasts appear to have all the five fenfes as truly as any man whatever. Nevertheless it will not follow, that their fouls are immortal in the fense we attribute immortality to the fouls of men: because they are not capable of the exercise of reafon and religion: Whereas the immortality of men's fouls confifts not only in a capacity of living in a state separate from the body, but of living fo as to be fenfible of happiness or mifery, in that ftate of feparation; because they are not only endued with a faculty of fense, but with other faculties that do not depend upon, or have any connection with matter. And therefore, although it fhould be allowed, that the fouls of brutes remain when feparated from their bodies; yet being only endowed with a fenfitive principle, the operations thereof depend upon an organical difpofition of the body, which being once diffolved, they probably lapse into an infenfible and inactive ftate and, being no farther neceffary, may return to their primitive nothing.

« PoprzedniaDalej »