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vering and religious astonishment? The heart then, thus tempered with the high thoughts of a God, and the humble conceits of ourselves, is fit for the impression of this Fear; which is no other, than an AWFUL DISPOSITION OF THE SOUL TO GOD. Wherein there is a double stamp, or signature: the
A double one, is an INWARD ADORATION OF THE MAJESTY SEEN stump or sig. AND ACKNOWLEDGED; the other, A TENDER AND FILIAL nature, in this CARE OF BEING SECRETLY APPROVED OF GOD; AND OF impression of
Fear:-an In. AVOIDING THE DISPLEASURE AND OFFENCE OF THAT GOD
ward Adora. WHOM WE SO ADORE. The first, is a continual bow.
tion of God; ing the knees of our hearts to that great and holy God: a Filial Care both inwardly blessing and praising him, in all his di- of being apvine attributes, in his infinite power, wisdom, justice, proved to
God. mercy, and truth; and humbly submitting and resigning ourselves wholly to his divine pleasure in all things, whether for his disposing or chastising.
1. All true ADORATION begins from WITHIN. Even Whal Inward the soul hath the same parts and postures with the Adoration is body: as, therefore, it hath eyes to see; so it hath -wherein it a tongue to speak unto, and a knee to bend unto the consists; and
how to be Majesty of the Almighty. Shortly then ; we shall in
wrought. wardly adore the God of Heaven, when our hearts are wrought to be awfully affected to the acknowledgment, chiefly of his Infinite Greatness and Infinite Goodness. And this shall be best done, by the consideration of the effects of both. Even in meaner matters, we cannot attain to the knowledge of things, by their causes; but are glad to take up with this secondary information : how much more, in the highest of all causes; in whom there is nothing, but transcendency and infiniteness ! (1) We shall therefore most feelingly adore the In
Of God's Infifinite Grealness of God, upon representing unto our- nite Greatselves, the wonderful work of his Creation; and his ness, shewn in Infinite Goodness, in the no less wonderful work of the Creation of our Redemption. For, as the great Doctor of the the World, and Gentiles most divinely, the invisible things of God, from ment thereof. the creation of the world, are clearly seen ; being understood by the things that are made; even his eternal power and godhead; Rom. 1. 20. Even so, O God, if we cannot see thee, we cannot but see the world, that thou hast made; and, in that,
frame we see some glimpses of thee. When we behold some
of the Hea. goodly pile of building, or some admirable picture, sense or some rarely-artificial engine, our first question uses to be, “Who made it ?" and we judge of and admire the skill of the workman, by the excellent contrivance of the work : how can we do otherwise, in this mighty and goodly frame of thy universe ? Lord what a world is this of thine, which we see! What a vast, what a beautiful fabric is this, above and about us ! Lo, thon, that madest such a heaven, canst thou be other than infinitely glorious ? Oh, the power and wisdom of such a Creator! Every star is a world
alone : the least of those globes of light, are far greater than this our whole inferior world, of earth and waters, which we think scarce measurable; and what a world of these lightsome worlds hast thou marshalled together, in that one firmament! and yet what room hast thou left, in that large contignation, for more! so as the vacant space, betwixt one star and another, is more in extent, than that which is filled. In how exact a regularity do these celestial bodies move, ever since their first setting forth; without all variation of the time or place of their rising or setting; without all change of their influences ! In what point and minute, Adam's new created eyes saw them begin and shut up their diurnal motions, we, his late posterity, upon that samé day and in the same climate, find them still: how have they looked upon their spectators, in millions of changed generations; and are still where they were, looking still for more! But, above the rest, who can but be astonished at that constant miracle of nature, the glorious Sun; by whose beams, all the higher and lower world is illuminated ; and by whose sole benefit, we have use of our eyes ? O God, what were the world, without it, but a vast and sullen dungeon of confusion and horror; and, with it, what a theatre of beauty and wonder what a sad season is our midnight, by reason of his farthest absence! and yet, even then, some glimpses of emanations, and remainders of that hidden light, diffuse themselves through the air, and forbid the darkness to be absolute. Oh, what a hell were utter darkness! what a reviving and glorious spectacle it is, when the morning opens the curtains of heaven, and shews the rising majesty of that great ruler of the day, which too many eyes have seen with adoration ; never any saw, without wonder and benediction. And if thy creature be such, what, oh, what art thou, that hast made it? As for that other faithful witness in heaven, what a clear and lasting testimony doth it give to all beholders, of thine omnipotence ? Always, and yet never changing: still uniform in her constant variations, still regular in the multiplicity of her movings.
And o God, what a train doth that great queen of -sea
heaven, by thine appointment, draw after her! no less than this vast element of waters, so many thousand miles distant from her sphere. She moves in heaven : the sea follows her, in this inferior orb, and measures his paces by hers. How deep, how spacious, how restlessly turbulent is that liquid body! and how tamed and confined by thine almightiness! How justly didst thou expostulate with thy people of old, by thy Prophet Jeremiah; Fear ye not me, saith the Lord; will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand, for the bounds of the sea, by a perpetucl decree, that it cannot pass it : and, though the waves thereof loss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it ? Jer. v. 22.
And, what a stupendous work of omnipotence is it, earth
that thou, () God, hast hanged up this huge Globe of water and earth, in the midst of a yielding air; without any stay or foundation, save thine own eternal decree! How wonderful art thou
in thy mighty winds, which, whence they come, and whither they go, thou only knowest ; in thy dreadful thunder and lightnings; in thy threatening comets, and other fiery exhalations! With what marvellous variety of creatures, hast thou peopled all these thy roomy elements; all of several kinds, fashions, natures, dispositions, uses; and yet all their innumerable motions, actious, events, are predetermined and over-ruled, by thine all-wise and almighty providence! What man can but open his eyes, and see round about him these demonstrations of thy divine power and wisdom, and not inwardly praise thee in thine excellent greatness? For my own practice, I cannot find a better notion, whereby to work my heart to an inward adoration of God, than this; thou, that hast made all this great world, and guidest and governest it and fillest and comprehendest it, being thyself infinite and incomprehensible: and I am sure there can be no higher representation of the divine greatness unto ourselves. Although, withal, we may find enough at home:
-man him. for what man, that looks no further than himself; and
self. sees the goodly frame of his body, erected and employed for the harbour of a spiritual and immortal soul; can choose but say, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made?
(2.) Surely, could we forget all the rest of the world, of God's Infiit is enough to fetch us upon our knees, and to strike nite Mercy, a holy awe into us, to think, that in hiin we live, and shewn in the move, and have our being : for, in these our particular Redemption obligatious, there is a mixed sense both of the great
of Mankind. ness, and Goodness of our God: which, as it manifestly shews itself in the wondrous work of our excellent Creation; so, most of all magnifies itself, in the exceedingly gracious work of our Redemption. Great is thy mercy, that thou mayest be feared ; saith the sweet singer of Israel. Lo, power doth not more command this holy fear, than mercy doth; though both, here, meet together: for as there was infinite
mixed with power, in thus creating us; so also, there is a no less mighty power mixed with infinite mercy, in our redemption. What heart can but awfully adore thy sovereign mercy, 0 Blessed God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in sending thine only and coequal Son, the Son of thy love, the Son of thine eternal essence, out of thy bosom, down from the height of celestial glory, into this vale of tears and death, to abase himself, in the susception of our nature; to clothe himself, with the rags of our bumanity; to endure temptation, shame, death, for us? O Biessed Jesu, the Redeemer of Mankind, what soul can be capable of a sufficient adoration of thine inconceivable mercy, in thy mean and despicable incarnation; in thy miserable and toilsone life; in thy bloody agony; in thine ignominious and tormenting passion; in thy woeful sense of thy Father's wrath, in our stead; and, lastly, in thy bitter and painful death ? thou, that knewest no sin, wert made sin for us : thou, that art omnipotent, wouldest die; and, by thy death, hast victoriously triumphed over death and hell. It is enough, O Saviour, it is more than enough, to ravish our hearts with love, and to bruise them with a loving fear. O Blessed Spirit, the God of Comfort, who, but thou only, can make our souls sensible of thy unspeakable mercy, in applying to us the wonderful benefit of this our dear redemption; in the great work of our inchoate regeneration; in the mortifying of our evil and corrupt affections; in raising us to the life of grace, and preparing us for the life of glory? O God, if mercy be proper to attract fear, how must our hearts, in all these respects, needs be filled with an awful regard unto thy divine bounty! Oh, how great is the goodness, that thou hast laid up for those that fear thee, even before the sons of men! Ps. xxxi. 20.
(3.) Now we may not think this inward adoration of the of the Holy Mixture of greatness and goodness of God to be one simple act, but this Fear.
that, which is sweetly compounded of the improvement of
many holy affections: for there cannot but be love miss ed with this fear; “ The fear of the Lord is the beginning of love;" Ecclus. xxv. 12. and this fear must be mixed with joy ; Rejoice in him with trembling; Ps. ii. 11. and this fear and joy, is still mixed with hope ; for, in the fear of the Lord is strong confidence ; Prov. xiv. 26: and, the eye of the Lord is upon then that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; Ps. xxxiii. 18. As, therefore, we are wont to say, that our bodies are not, neither can be nourished, with any simple ingredient; so may we truly say of our souls, that they neither receive any comfort or establishment, nor execute any powers of theirs, by any sole single affection; but require a gracious mixture for both. As that Father said of obedience, we may truly say of grace, that it is all copulative.
(4.) Neither may we think, that one only impresOf the Continu
sion of this holy fear and inward adoration will serve alion and Perpetuity of this the turn, to season all our following disposition and Fear.
carriage; but, there must be a virtual Continuation
thereof, in all the progress of our lives. Our Schools do here seasonably distinguish of Perpetuity: whether, of the second act; when all our several motions and actions are so held on, as that there is no cessation or intermission of their performance; which we cannot here expect: or, of the first act; when there is a habit of this inward adoration, settled upon the heart so constantly, that it is never put off, by whatever occurrences; so as, whatsoever we do, whatsoever we endeavour, hath a secret relation hereunto. And this second way we must attain unto, if ever we will aspire to any comfort, in the fruition of God's presence here, upon earth, and our meet disposition towards him. I have often thought of that deep and serious question, of the late judicious and honourable, Sir Fulke Grevil, Lord Brook, a man worthy of a fairer death and everlasting memory, moved to a learned kinsman* of mine, much interested in that nobleman; who, when he
* Mr. Samuel Burton, Archdeacon of Gloucester.
was discoursing of an incident matter, very considerable, was taken off with this quick interrogation, of that wise and noble person; “ What is that to the Infinite?” as secretly implying, that all our thoughts and discourse must be reduced thither; and that they fail of their ends, if they be any other where terminated. It was a word, well becoming the profound judgment and quintessential notions, of that rare, memorable peer. And, certainly, so it is : if the cogitations and affections of our hearts be not directed to the glory of that Infinite God, both they are lost, and we in them. (5.) Religious adoration begins in the heart, but
Religious Arests not there; diffusing itself through the whole man: doration difand commanding all the powers of the soul, and all fused through the parts of the body, to comply in a reverent devo- our whole Outtion: so that, as we fear the Lord, whom we serve;
ward Carriso we serve the Lord, with fear. Where the heart age: stoops, it cannot be, but the knees must bend, the eyes and hands must be lift up; and the whole body will strive to testify the inward veneration : as upon all occasions; so especially, when we have to deal with the sacred affairs of God, and offer to present ourselves to any of his immediate services. Our fear cannot be smothered in our bosoms. Every thing, that pertains to that Infinite Majesty, must carry from us due testifications of our awe; his Name, his Word, his Services, his House, his Messengers. I cannot allow the superstitious niceties of the Jews, in the matters of God: yet I find in their practice, many things worthily imitable; such as savour of the fear of their father Isaac, and such as justly shame our profane carelessness. [1.] There is no wise man, but must needs mis
-in our relike their curious scruples, concerning that ineffable spects, to the Name: the letters and syllables whereof, they held Holy Name of in such dreadful respect, that they deemed it worthy God: the Jews' of death, for any but sacred lips, and that but in set scruples; our
carelessness, times and places, to express it; as if the mention of it pierced the side of God, together with their own heart. *And, if the name of God were written upon their fesh, that part might not be touched, either with water or ointment. But, well may we learn this point of wit and grace, from this first (and, then, the only) people of God: not rashly, slightly, regardlessly, to take the awful name of God into our mouths; but, to hear and speak it, when occasion is given, with all holiness and due veneration.
There are those, that stumble at their adoration at the blessed name of Jesus, prescribed and practised by our Church; as unjustly conceiving, that we put a superstitious holiness in the very sound and syllabical enunciation of the word; whereas, it is the person of that Blessed Saviour, to whom, upon this occasion, our knees are bended : a gesture, so far out of the just reach of blame, that if it seemed good to the wisdom of the Church, to allot this reverent respect to all, whatsoever the names, whereby the Majesty
* Schichard, De Jure Regio Hebr.