Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

therefore thou art thus far well Prepared to be a Receiver, because this is the proper Object of every Christian's Faith, That Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World ; and to believe thus much, with a particular application of Christ's Merits to thine own Soul, so that thou canst be, lieve it with Joy, and cast thy self on him with an Humble Confidence, and trust to him for thy present Pardon and future Felicity, this is the proper Ad of a Worthy Communicant.

CH A P. V. ;

Of Repentance.
HERE is another
T

Special Act of Religion, which not only every Communicant, but indeed every Christian ought to employ the utmost of his Care about, and that is, Repentance from dead works, the Natural Fruit of Faith towards God. In discoursing of this, 'tis requisite for me to shew, 1. First, the true Nature of Repentance, wherein it doth consist. 2dly, Upon what Special Grounds and Reasons it is necessary, before we go to the Communion.

And 3dly, how far, and in what Degree it is necessary.

I. FOR

I. FOR the right understanding of the Nature of Repentance, we must not rely upon the groundless, nay Superstitious Conceits of the School-men, who place the whole Work of Repentance, in Cona trition, Confession, and Satisfaction ; meaning, that though a Man be never so broken in Heart, yet he is not a right Penitent, nor fit for the Communion, till he hath privately made an enumeration of his Sins to a Priest, and doth undergo, at least doth Vow, and Promise to undergo some Ritual Penance, to Expiate his Offences. At the bottom of this Doctrine there is a great deal of Trick and Artifice, which is quite Foreign to the design and business of Christianity. For Christ's Re-, ligion is a plain and admirable Method, to make Men universally Good; and to bring us to the Love of folid and substantial Vertue, that we may Live the Life of Angels (Pure and Haly) as far as it is consistent with the Nature and Condition of Mortal Men. Accordingly Repentance, means a Zcalous and Passionate Abhorrence of every thing that is Evil in the Eye of God. The common Notion of Repentance implyeth thus much, that what a Man hath done, he wisheth were undone, and resolves to do so no more. And this is the Notion, which the, Christian G3

Doctors

THE Holy

tentia zana,

Doctors of Old entertained of this matter

(as * Peter Lombard himLombard. lib. 4. dift. 14. lelf doth very plainly acEft autem pænitentia, ut ait Ambrofius, mala præterita plangere, knowledge) that true Re& plangend a iterum non commit.

pentance, lyeth in

a sintere. Hæc vera est poenitentia, cesare a peccato. Id. Tem Gre cere Sorrow for all past gorius, pænitere eft anteaéta Miscarriages, and in a peccata deflere, & fenda non resolution never to return committere. Ita do Isidorus, Irrisor eft & non pænitens, qui again with the Dog to his adhuc agit quod pænitet. Item Vomit, or with the Sow Augustinus, Inanis eft pænitentia quam fequens culpa coinquinat that is washed, to her Quibus addendum illud Tertul wallowing in the mire. liani, ubi emendatio nulla pæni

Scripture (which in this and all other necessary Speculations is our only sure and infallible Guide) gives us this short account of the Nature of Repentance, that it is the eschewing of Evil, and the doing of Good.

So that it is a perfect change of a Man's purposes and courses, the forsaking of all Iniquity, a New State, a Life of Sanctity and Goodness: And they that place it in a little sorrow of the Mind, joyned with Auricular Confession, and the outward Austerities and Chastisements of the Body, shew more their Love of Childishness, and a regard for their own Interest and Authority over Poor People, than their Skill in sound Divinity. To Repent signifies in the Sacred Dialect, to become a New Man, to have

an

•an Heart Renewed and Transform'd, and to follow a New, that is a Religious course of Life. The Scripture indeed hath seve: ral 'Expressions that signifie this change:

Iis called a New Creature; the Renovati. on of the Mind and Spirit, the putting on of the New Man, the purging of the Heart from an Evil Conscience, the abhorring of Evil and cleaving to that which is Good, the turning to God, the Dying to Sin, the Mortifying of our Lufts and Affections, Repen. tance from dead Works ; 'and many more the like Expressions there are ; but these are only various delineations of the same thing ; several Words and Phrases (proper to Divinity) whereby is meant, i the total rectifying of a Man's Temper and Life ; or as even an Heathen Hierocles * de- * Hieroce scribes it, the recovering of that clean Life, in Pythag. which by a mixture of Passions was Defiled, p.163. the correcting of all inconsiderate courses, the Thunning of all Foolish Actions and Words, and the Institution of such a Life as is not to be Repented of. For our Nature being vie" tiated and depraved, the Business of Religion is, to new-mould our Tempers, to take away every thing that sowers Humanity, and unbecometh Creatures that ought to be governed by right Reason, and so by degrees to bring us, as near as 'tis possible, to the Temper 'of Clirist,

and to the Nature of God himself. The Reason of it is, because the ultimate end of Christ's Religion, is to make us perfe&tly Happy in another World; in order whereunto, 'tis absolutely necessary for us to partake of the Divine Nature in this Life, and to be made like unto God in Goodness and Purity. For all Happiness doth consist in the Enjoyment of that which Answers ones Desires, , which agrees with his Mind, which is suitable to his Faculties, which gives him all manner of Satisfaction. So that in the Nature of the thing, it is impossible for a Man to be fit for the Enjoyment of Heaven, that is not of an Heavenly. Mind and Temper. · The Condition of that place is not suitable to the frame and disposition of any filthy Heart: And therefore every

Evil "Man that Dies before his Heart is changed, must be Miserable of course, for he carries a Hell along with him, he goes out of the World with such a Temper, as makes him fit only for the Society and Conversation of Wicked Spirits. Men that are Fierce, Haughty, and Froward, Men that are full of Malice and bitterness ; Men that hate every thing that is good ; Men that delight in Cruelties and Bloodshed ; Men that are Contentious; Vexatious, and Trouble

some

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »