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himself in the Scriptures. Our natural Reason, though it will yield us some Knowledge of a God, yet it is not a sufficient Guide to direct our Thoughts concerning him ; for it will many times lead us inco false Nocions of him; as appears beyond all dispute from the Worship of the Gentile World, and also the Heterodox Opinions of those who rely thereon: And how is it possible forany habitual Sinner, who must, and doth, thrust God our of his Thoughts on purpose, that he may - sin with the greater Liberty and Delight,

ever do this? He cannot grow to an ha. bitual Sinner, without he quitę banilheth

the Thoughts of a God from his Heart; · and that such an one should be able to think of him after a due manner, what is it less than a Contradiction ? And chen no wonder if by so frequently slighting God in his own Mind, he comes at length to think prophanely and blafphemously of him. Irreverent Thoughts of God grow still more and more wicked; and a continual Disrespect of him ends at length in

Atheism itself. He then that is haunted, ..and pestered with such Thoughts as these

We are speaking of, may perhaps upon a deep Enquiry, find cause to condemn himself of some habic of Sin; and if so, he must labour to mortify it, and become a

new

, new Man, if ever he would avoid this

kind of evil Thoughts. · II. Secondly, Too curious and bold Speculations, into Matters mysterious, prove frequently an Occasion of profane and blafphemous Thoughts; and there. fore they must be carefully declin'd. He that hath an honest and conscientious Ree gard to his Daty, as it is plainly set down, and humbly desires to know, and serve God above all, is feldom fo much troubled with this kind of Thoughts, as those are, who aspire to Things vastly above them; and place more of their Duty in Speculation, than in Praktise. When Men will forsake the plain Way, and wander into unbeaten Paths, no wonder that they fall into Mischief. 'When Men will, in stead of endeavouring to understand God's Commandments, and do his Will, aspire to comprehend his Essence, his Decrees,

836. and find out the Almighty to Per· fe&tion. When they will not be content.ed to know the Saving Truths of the Gof pel, and practise their plain and legible Duty; but nicely pry into the Secret Things, which belong neither to us, nor ouer Children; when they will grasp at all,

and chink to understand all Mysteries, and 7 all Knowledge, and remove Mountains,

then they naturally, as well as jui

fali fall into profane Imaginations, and blafphemous Thoughts; and sometimes into Errors, and damnable Heresies. This is the true case of the present Age, and the main Occasion of these blasphemous Opinions concerning the Bleffed Trinity; which are now so daringly broach'd am mongst us: And indeed, 'tis that to which most of Men's profanc and enormous Thoughts of God are owing. And fince it is so, truly if they would avoid them, they must learn to be more modeft and humble, and to have a more conscientious Regard to their Duty. : : They must content themselves with

these plain Discoveries, which God hath made of bis Mind and Will; and labour. to follow them; and adore his unsearche able Wisdom in the rest. An humble Obedience will much more promote the eternal Salvation of our Souls, than such bold Speculations : And the Love of God is far better than all such impious and fruitless Attempts to comprehend him. For all such Accempts will in the end confound, but never advantage the Minds of Mon. There High-flyers when they are in their , Altitudes, fuddenly their waxen Wings meli, and down they fall headlong, like Lucifer, from Heaven. When we reverently lubmit our Reason to Divine Re

velation,

velation, and the Conduct and Guidance · of the Word of God; when we make that

(with the Pfalmif) A Lantern unto our Feet, Anda Ligbounto our Paths, Pfal. cxix. 105. then we are safe, as well as free from thele horrid Thoughts we are speaking of; at

least they are not occasion'd by ourselves, * if they should chance to come into our

Minds. But (I say) when Reason will be its own Guide, and Mes will walk in - the Light of their own Fire, and the Sparks - which themselves bave kindled, they must needs err, they muft needs stumble, as in

the Dark. Or, like a Ship without Ballast, :- be toss'd up and down, and made the Sport

of every Wind of Doctrinc. They will

hereby be liable to the worst Cogitations | concerning the infinite Bcing.. F.: III. 'Thirdly, A Customary, Formal,

and Indevout Worshipping of God, is that which ac length usually grows into profane and blasphemous Thoughts of -him: Which therefore must diligently be - avoided, if we desire to be without such

Thoughts. For if in our most Solemn Address to Almighty God, we be not careful that our Thoughts of him be reverent and compos'd, our Conceptions high and holy, it is easy to imagine, that at other times we shall be apt to have mean and low, or profane Thoughts of

him.

him. And why may we not think that this is á too common occasion of profane and blafphemous Thoughts? " If I am not follicitous to form my Heartoaright, and bring my Thoughts of the great God into a due Frame and Temper of Devotion, while I am worfhipping him, and in his more solemn and immediate Presence, it naturally leads me (as well provokes God to leave me) to gross, profane, and impious Thoughts of him. When a Man there. fore is about to perform his Duty of Del votion to God, either in Publick or Privare, let him endeavour to fix in his Heart - such Thoughts of him, as may exceedingJy awe and compofe him, and not be indevout and formal in his Addresses to Heaven: And I verily think this may be a very proper means to preserve him from profane or blasphemous Thoughts; which otherwise, 'tis reasonable to expect will

grow upon him. i: ". . i . : IV. Fourthly, Discontent, and a worldly Anxiety, is that which (how far foever

if may at first seem from it). very much - conduceth to profane and blasphemous

Thoughts of God, · And there is a great · deal in that Expression of the Apostle, if any Man love the World, the Love of the Father is not in bim. There are no persons more apt to arraign the Wisdom and Good

ness

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