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from the supreme Truth, becomes a forlorn spectacle Chap. 2. of vanity. "In a kind of self-splendor it goes out in the darkness of errour and confusion. But now to humble our minds, it is of excellent use to consider the divine Wisdom, which is so much above us. When our Reason stands by sense , it hath a noble stature and greatness; but, as soon as it turns about to infinite Wisdom, it perceives a greater Presence than it self, and must in all reason confess it self a little spark, a very Nothing in comparison. It cannot step out into the sphere of Nature, but it finds matter of humility; being true to it self, it can do no less than say, that it is everywhere posed and nonplust
. It is not able rationally to stand under the secrets of Nature, much more must it stoop and do reverence before such a Mystery as that is
, God manifest in the flesh ; in which the transcendent Mystery amazes us, and the unparalleld Pattern draws us into humility. Thither must we come, or else turn Infidels, and allow Reason for a Deity ; saying with Seneca, Quid aliud voces animam , -quàm Deum in humano corpore hospitantem? What is the rational Soul but God dwelling in flesh, a kind of Christ, or rather Antichrist? This, I am sure Christian ears cannot bear. But a little more to demonstrate how necessary a thing humility of mind is; let us consider Reason in a three-fold state : then it will appear, that Reason in its Integrity could not find out supernatural Mysteries; in its Fall cannot spiritually.know them; and lastly, in the irradiations of Faith cannot comprehend them.
1. Reason in its Integrity could not find them out. The pure primitive light in Adam could dive into the secrets of Nature, but it could not reach such a Mysterie as that of the sacred Trinity, which is the
Chap.2. fundamental center of Christian Religion. He could
name the creatures, and that significantly to their natures, but that Question, What is kis fon's name, Prov. 30.4, would have been too hard for him. There are, say the School-men, some obscure Images of the Trinity in the Volume of Nature, but they were found out à pofteriori, and not to be read till after Revelation ; and how should humane Reason dictate in those things which it could not find out? or know any thing from it self, when it hath all from Revelation? Nothing can be more absurd than such a presumption.
2. Reason in its Fall could not spiritually know them. Evangelical Mysteries being proposed, it can go as far as its own line, unto letters, and words, and sentences: it can gather in a Notion, a form of knowledg, but it wants a congruous light ; it cannot spiritually discern them, there being no alliance or resemblance between an unregenerate mind and supernatural Mysteries. Were it not thus, the new creature would be new only ex parte, there would need no renovation in the spirit of the mind; God, who proposes the Object, need not shine into the heart ; the Spirit of Wisdom which reveals the Gospel, need
We must either affirm such things as these, or else confess that Reason of it self hath not light enough to be Umpire in fupernatural Mysteries. It doth not fpiritually discern them, and for that cause cannot be an Umpire ; and, as soon as by supernatural Illumination it discerns them, it will not, dares not be such, but with all reverence acquiesces and reposes it self in the divine Testimony: Deus dixit then is enough.
3. Reason in the irradiations of Faith cannot com- Chap. 2. prehend them : a discerning there is, but no comprehension ; let the Believer fail as far as he can in the pursuit of holy Truths, still there will be a Plus ultrà, an Abyss, a vast Ocean, such as the humane understanding can never pass through. Faith seals to Gods Veracity, but it offers not to measure the Mysterie ; it believes the thing so to be, but it pryes not into the Modus, nor saith, How can these things be? that is the voice of depraved Reason, not of Faith, whose excellent genius iş to crucifie How's and Why's, and to subject the mind to the Word and Authority of God.
These things being so, we should be all over cloathed with Humility, Understanding and all. The higher the faculty is, the more excellent is the Humility ; then is God honoured indeed , when váy sónue, all the Intellect, the highest thing in man, is subjected unto Him.
Holiness the glory of the Deity: By it God acts like
himself, and doth all for his own Glory. It ime ports an batred of sin, and love of Holiness in man. In all these respects it was manifest in Christ. It was not indecent for God to come in the flesh and die; the Glory of God breaks forth therein. His hatred of fin, and design to extirpate it ; His love to Holiness, in doing so much to recover it, and linking it with Salvation. We should be. fol-lowers of God therein.
AVING feen the Attribute of Wifdom in
God, I proceed to that of Holiness, which is the glory of the Deity. He is called the Holy One above thirty times in Scripture : the Seraphims in an Extasie cry out Holy, Holy, Holy; denoting by that repetition the superlative Éminency of his Holiness. This is an universal Attribute, which runs through all the other. Hence we find in Scripture that His Power or Arm is Holy, Ifa.52.10. His Truth
Promise Holy, Psalm 105. 42. His Mercy Holy, AES 13. 34. A vein of Purity runs through His whole Name. Without Holiness his Wisdom would be Subtilty, His Justice Cruelty, His Soveraignty Tyranny, His Mercy foolish Pity; all would degenerate into something unworthy of God. Holiness is the infinite Purity and Rectitude of his Essence ; and it may be considered either respectively to himself, or to the creature. Respectively to himself it includes two things :
1. That God, in all that he doth, acts like him- Chap. 3. self, in a just decorum to his excellent Being and Attributes, having no Law without or above himself. He conforms to his Effence, and carries himself fo fitly to himself, that no spot, no darkness, no shadow of turning, no indecency or irregularity can possibly happen to him. He cannot deny himself, or do any thing unworthy of his Being or Attributes. He doth whatever he doth, in such a manner as becomes Him. Hence Anselm observes, That when God spares and is merciful towards sin- Juftus es feners, he is just to Himself, and that because he acts Sericors esse condecently to his infinite Goodness. This is the cundum nos. first and prime part of his Holiness, to be just and Profol. cap. true to Himself, to do all congruously to his own Excellency.
2. That God doth all things for Himself, his
Again, Gods Holiness taken respectively to the