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lofs or damage, may be taken care of on the Sabbath. And in general he hath pronounced, That the Sabbath (alluding probably to the first inftitution of it) was made for man, to be fubfervient to his virtue and happinefs; not man for the Sabbath. Man was made for duties of moral and eternal obligation, and is bound to obferve them in whatever extremity or neceffity he may be; but man is not made for the rigorous obfervation of the fabbatical reft, or any other pofitive inftitution, fo as thereby to embarass or diftrefs his life, or to neglect any opportunity of doing good.

I conclude with a few reflections upon Ifai. Iviii. 13, 14. Having, in the name of God, recommended goodness, charity, and compaffion, in the preceding verfes, and pronounced a fingular bleffing upon those who exercise them, the Prophet adds, by the fame authority, If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day. q. d. "If you confcientiously fufpend the ordinary bufinefs of life, and forbear "to please and gratify your own inclinations, that with a free and com"pofed mind you may attend upon the fervices of religion, for which I "have fanctified the Sabbath; and [if thou] call the Sabbath a delight, the "holy of the Lord, honorable, and shalt honor him; if you have fuch a fenfe "of the excellency and benefit of the Sabbath, that you take delight "therein, accounting it a pleafure and happiness, as being confecrated "to the worship of the moft high God, and therefore honorable and glorious in itself; and honorable alfo to you, as it is a mark of the dig"nity of your nature, a token of your intereft in the divine favor, "(Exod. xxxi. 13. Ezek. xx. 12.) and of your being admitted to com«<munion with him; if in this perfuafion you fhall fincerely endeavor "to honor God by employing the day in the offices of devotion, not « doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine "own words; not doing the ordinary works of your calling, nor fpend66 ing the time in amusements or diverfions, or in impertinent converfa"fation; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; then thou shalt become "fuch a proficient in piety, and gain fuch a fenfe of God and religion, "as will establish in your heart a fund of holy pleasure, comfort, joy, "and good hope towards God." The Prophet, in this chapter, is inculcating real, vital, acceptable religion, goodness and compaffion tô our fellow-creatures, and piety towards God in keeping the Sabbath; promifing the like bleffings to both those branches of true religion, name ly, the favor of God and the conftant care of his Providence. We may therefore take this from the Spirit of God, as a juft defcription of the right manner of fanctifying the Sabbath, and affure ourselves, that he who bleffed the Day, will blefs us in keeping it holy.




Gen. ii. 8-18.

ONCERNING the fituation and rivers of the country of C Eden, as here defcribed by Mofes, Bp. PATRICK, in his Comxx mentary upon this place, gives an account, which feems to be not altogether improbable. The Garden lay in the country of Eden; out of, or through, which country a river went unto the Garden to water it, (ver. 11.) and from thence, from the country of Eden, it parted, or was divided, and became into four heads; namely, two above, before it entered Eden, called Euphrates and Hiddekel, or Tigris; and two below, after it had paffed through Eden, called Pifon and Gihon, which compaffeth, or runneth along by, the whole land of Cufb. ver. 13.

In the eastern part of Eden the Lord God planted a Garden furnished with all pleasant and useful fruits. And there he placed Alam to drefs and keep it; for man was made for business, ver. 8, 15. Two trees in this Garden were remarkably diftinguished from the reft, perhaps in appearance and fituation, as well as in ufe, namely, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Thefe, I conceive, were appointed for inftruction and religious meditation; to preserve in Adam's mind a fense of the confequences of virtue and vice, or of obedience and difobedience. In this view, while he continued obedient, he was allowed to eat of the Tree of Life, as a pledge and affurance on the part of God, that he should live for ever, or be immortal; after his tranfgreffion he was denied accefs to it, chap. iii. 24. For the fame purpose, as a pledge of immortality reftored in Chrift, it is ufed, Rev. ii. 7. xxii. 2. On the contrary, the other Tree was defigned to give him the knowledge, the fenfe or apprehenfion of good and evil, or of good connected with evil, i. e. of pernicious enjoyment, deftructive gratification, vicious pleafure, or fuch as cannot be enjoyed without tranfgreffing the law of God. Good and Evil, I apprehend, is an hendiadys, like that Gen. xix. 24. brimstone and fire, i. e. fired or burning brimstone. 1 Chron. xxii. 5. the house must be of fame and glory, i. e. of glorious fame. Pateris libamus et aura, i. e. aureis pateris. may fignify pleasure or profit. [See the explication of it in the Heb. Engl. Concordance.] Thus Good and Evil may denote pernicious pleasure or profit. Of the fruit of this Tree, though it appeared pleasant and inviting, Adam was forbidden to eat upon pain of death. This was to make him understand, that unlawful enjoyment of any kind would be his destruction.

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These two Trees may be confidered as Adam's books. kind of infantile ftate, void of all learning, without any theorems, or general principles to govern himself by. God was therefore pleafed, in this fenfible manner, to imprefs upon his mind juft conceptions of the very different confequences of obedience and difobedience. And it will VOL. I.



be of great ufe even to us, at this day, to look into, and to meditate upon these two books of our first father.

What requires our particular attention is this, that Adam's obedience is put upon Trial by the prohibition, ver. 17. But of the Tree of Knowledge, of Good and Evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eateft thereof thou shalt furely die. Adam had not gained the habits of obedience and holiness, but was put under this inftance of difcipline in order to his acquiring of them. As foon as God had made Man a moral agent, he put him upon Trial. And it is univerfally allowed, that all mankind are in the fame ftate, in a State of Trial. It must therefore be of importance to have right notions of fuch a State.

In order to this, let it be well confidered,

I. That God hath erected a kingdom for his honor, and the felicity of his rational creatures. This kingdom, our Lord informs us, was prepared from the foundation of the world. Mat. xxv. 34. There we men shall be equal to the angels, Luke xx. 36; and probably, like them, fhall be placed in pofts of honor and power, in fome part of the universe; as is plainly intimated Mat. xxiv. 45—47. xxv. 21. Luke xix. 17. 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3. Rev. ii. 10. iii. 21.

II. Without holiness, or an habitual subjection of the Will to Reafon, or to the Will of God, none can be fit to be members of this kingdom. Wickedness, in its very nature, ftands directly oppofed to the peace and well-being of the universe; for it is error in the mind, rebellion against God, and mischief to all within its influence. And the most benevolent of all Beings will not take error, rebellion, and mischief into his kingdom, erected for the purposes of goodness and enjoyment. Rev. xxi. 27. And there fhall in no wife enter into it, the holy City, new Jerufalem, (ver. 2.) any thing that defileth, any impure, vicious perfons; neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; all idolaters, all that practife iniquity and deceit, are excluded out of it. But they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it; the excellent of the earth, who have purged themselves from all ungodlinefs and fin, and fo are Veffels unto honor, fanctified and fit for the Mafter's ufe, and prepared unto every good work. Nothing but fubjection to the Will of God, in all duty and obedience, can qualify us for the honors, felicity, and employments of the kingdom of heaven. Therefore,

III. No moral Agents, merely on account of their natural powers, how excellent foever, are worthy to be admitted into the kingdom of God. Natural powers, in angels as well as worms, are the workmanship and gift of God alone; and therefore, not being the virtue, nor the effect of the virtue of the beings that are poffeffed of them, can be no recommendation to the continued favor and efteem of God. In order to that, the natural powers of moral Agents muft, not only be capable of right action, but also actually exerted in acting rightly. Otherwise, their powers, though of the nobleft kind, are ufelefs and infignificant. It is one thing to be born, or produced into the kingdom of nature, and another to be born to the habits of virtue, whereby we are rendered fit to be admited into the kingdom of heaven. The former depends entirely upon God's fovereign pleasure, in giving life and powers, in any kind or degrée, as he choofeth; the other depends upon a right use and application of the


powers God hath beftowed; and is the privilege only of those wife and happy fpirits, who attain to a habit of true holiness. And thus, our Lord's rule, Joh. iii. 3. Except a man be born again, he cannot fee, or enjoy, the kingdom of God, may extend to all created minds, whatsoever, under their several peculiar circumstances.

IV. Holiness, or virtue, cannot be forced upon us whether we will or not. The violence, which overpowers and compels the Will, deftroys the Will or Choice, and confequently deftroys Virtue; which is no otherwife Virtue, than as it is freely chofen. That Being which cannot be vicious, cannot be virtuous. If he is not free to choose evil, he is not free to choose good; for a power of being virtuous neceffarily implies a power of being the contrary. The only means, therefore, that can be used to induce a moral Agent to Virtue, are inftruction, admonition, perfuafion, the impreffion of objects or circumftances upon the mind, the fuggeftions of the Spirit of God, and fuch like methods as engage attention, and influence inclination and choice, without deftroying Freedom. And a habit of Virtue, which alone recommends us to God, can be gained and afcertained no otherwife than by repeated Acts, by ufe and exercise, by being put to the proof under proper Trials, by refifting folicitations, furmounting difficulties, and bearing fufferings. This is the most natural way of bringing Virtue, or Holiness, to it's maturity and ftability. Therefore,

V. It feems agreeable to the reafon of things, that all rational creatures whatfoever fhould, for fome time, be in a State of Trial. However, this is, or hath been, the cafe of all we are acquainted with. The Angels have paffed through a probation, doubtlefs adapted to their different circumftances; in which fome of them abode not in the truth; they fined; they kept not their first estate, Joh. viii. 44. 2 Pet. ii. 4. Jude 6. And our firft parents, how fingular foever their condition might be in other refpects, were put under a particular Trial, by being forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; which must be intended to form their minds to an habitual obedience to the Law, or Will, of God.

VI. We Men are upon Trial. This is evident from revelation, where we are represented as Pilgrims and Strangers, looking for, and traveling to a better country, i Pet. ii. 11. As in a warfare, where we muft fight for the victory, as we hope to be crowned, Ephef. vi. 14. As in a race, where we are running for a prize, Heb. xii. 1. 1 Cor. ix. 24, 25. As laborers in a vineyard, who have work to do in order to receive wages, Mat. xx. I. As fervants intrufted with their master's fubftance, for the improvement of which they are accountable to him, Mat. xxv. 14. Luke xix. 13. And God hath appointed a day, in which he will call us to an account for our present behaviour, and render to every man according to what he hath done in the body, whether it be good or evil. This is the strongest evidence, that we are now upon Trial. And the sense of revelation is abundantly confirmed by our circumftances in life.

Our faculties are of the nobleft kind, and we enjoy all manner of means for the cultivation of them; but not without great care, induftry, and refolution. So many are the occafions of deception, and fo eafily are we misled in our fearches after the truth, that we cannot attain

to any clear or useful knowledge without a conftant and cautious attention. Even Revelation, like the heavens themselves, is intersperfed with clouds, things dark and hard to be understood. And when we have found the truth, the profeffion of it is attended with much inconvenience and trouble from the pride and malice of perfecution. All which is wifely appointed. For had all been plain, obvious, and easy, our integrity and fincere attachment to truth could not have been exercised and proved. The paffions and appetites of the flesh; the poffeffions, gains, pleasures, and cuftoms of the world; the calamities of life, difeafes, difappointments, loffes, dangers, enemies, fears, wants, weaknefs; all these are great embarassments to virtue and piety, fatigue and folicit our minds from righteousness and purity, and oblige us to conftant watchfulness and self-denial, in order to gain and fecure the habits of holiness. Every condition, every poffeffion is accompanied with its temptations. Wherever we are, we are in the midst of fnares; and whatever we have carries fome danger or other in it; infomuch that, without care and attention, we cannot preferve the purity of our minds, which yet, by the nature of things, and the command of God, we are obliged to do. This fhews we are upon Trial, or in a state of discipline. For,

VII. A State of Trial neceffarily requires, that different and oppofite interefts, (as the flesh and the fpirit, the law of God, and the law in our members, the present world, and a future ftate,) should fo ftand in competition for our affections and regards, as to oblige us to be very ferious in confidering, and thoroughly fincere in choofing and pursuing what is right and good. And herein lies our Trial, whether we will follow God, or forfake him, prefer our mortal bodies before our immortal fouls, the gratification of our lufts, before the purity and peace of our minds, the things of this tranfitory world, before the heavenly and eternal inheritance.

VIII. The end and defign of our Trial is to refine and exalt our nature. James i. 12. Bleed is the man that worthily endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Heb. xii. 11. No chaftening for the present is joyous but grievous; nevertheless, &c. If indeed we are overcome by temptation, and drawn into a contempt of God, truth, and righteoufnefs, we debase and destroy ourselves; we prove ourselves to be unfit for the happy fociety in heaven, forfeit the favor of God, and shall fall into perdition. But this must be our own fault. The noble intention of our Maker is, that we should overcome temptation, and then we are happy for ever. We have stood the teft, we have paffed honorably through our Trials, we have approved ourselves to God, as thofe whom he judges fit for preferment and happiness in his eternal kingdom. And fhortly we shall hear, Well done, good and faithful, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Hence our Trial is compared to that of filver and gold, Job xxiii. 10. Pfal. Ixvi. 10, II. 1 Pet. i. 6, 7.

To explain Scripture language, we muft diftinguish between temptation of Trial, and Seduction. Temptation of Trial, or probation, God hath wifely ordained for the exercise and proof of our virtue. So he tempted Abraham, Gen, xxii. 1. Temptation of feduction is when we are drawn into fin, James i. 13. Let no man fay, when he is tempted, seduced into fin by temptation.


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