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so long as our passions are subject to our reason, there can be no division among them; because nothing can divide our passions, but only our proposing to ourselves different and contrary ends : but the ends of reason are all consistent with and subordinate to one another, its lesser and inferior ends being only the inns at which it baits upon the road towards its superior ones; and whilst we are under the power and conduct of one sovereign end, our passions must necessarily join hand in hand, and walk together like brethren in unity. But when once they have shaken off the yoke of reason, and submitted themselves to the dominion of sense ; among that great variety of ends and objects which sense proposes to them, they must needs be torn and divided one from another. For such is the scantiness of sensual goods, that we not being able to content ourselves with any one of them, are fain to walk the rounds in a constant succession and circle of varieties; and then every one of these various goods will create within us a various desire: and so as sense doth multiply its temptations, we shall still multiply our desires and affections; and at every new game that springs, we shall still let fly new passions. But now the ends of vice are not only various, but also contrary to and inconsistent with one another : for all vices consisting in extremes, either in excesses or defects, their ends must be contrary too, and so they cannot but disagree; excess and defect being in themselves most contrary. And these contrary vices must needs raise contrary factions in the mind, and people it with a rabble of wild and inconsistent passions; which will be always bandying one against another, and consequently embroiling the soul in eternal mutinies and tumults. And this is the state of every vicious man; he is divided into infinite schisms and separations; and, like a barbarous country, cantoned out into a world of petty principalities, which are always together by the ears, and continually invading one another's dominions. Now what a miserable distraction must a man's mind be in, when it is thus justled to and fro in such a crowd of contrary and impetuous passions; when pride shoves it one way, and covetousness another; when ambition thrusts it forward, and cowardice pulls it back again ; and so many different lusts do at the same time hurry it so many different and contrary ways! How is it possible it should escape Actæon's fate, to be worried till it is torn in pieces by its own hounds? And therefore as we value the peace of our own minds, and would not have the inward harmony discomposed by the perpetual jarrings of so many contrary passions, it concerns us to subdue and mortify our lusts; for so long as we entertain these seditious incendiaries, they will be perpetually raising tumults within us, and our minds will never be at quiet for them. For the only way to keep our minds at peace is to unite our affections; which we can never hope to do, till we have subdued them to the empire of our reason. But when we come to be under the command of that one supreme end which our reason will propose to us, as the utmost scope of our desires,then, and not till then, will these scattered rivulets of our affections unite themselves in one and the same channel, and flow towards one and the same ocean: and then our mind will be at rest, and its contrary passions being laid, which now like the boisterous waves dash one against another, it
will no longer be capable of being ruffled into a storm, but, in the midst of all the changes of this world, will find itself perpetually inspired with the most calm and gentle thoughts.
CHAP. IV. Of helps to mortification given us by the Spirit of God. THE motives and arguments for mortification, which arise from considering the mischiefs and inconveniencies of sin, having been spoken to, I shall now proceed to such helps to this duty as are given us by the Spirit of God; and I shall consider them under these four heads:
First, The external arguments and motives of the gospel.
Secondly, The external providences of the divine Spirit, by which he excites us to our duty.
Thirdly, The aids and assistances which the holy angels give us, who are the agents and ministers of the Holy Ghost.
Fourthly, The internal motions and operations of the Holy Ghost upon our souls.
I. Let us consider the external arguments and motives of the gospel; such as the promises and threats of it, the great example of our Saviour described in it, together with all those mighty considerations out of his passion and resurrection, his intercession for us at the right hand of God, and his coming to judge the world in the last day: all which are the aids and assistances of the Holy Spirit, who hath revealed them to us, and demonstrated their truth and divinity by sundry miraculous operations;
which are therefore called the evidences and demonstrations of the Spirit. So that whatsoever there is in the gospel to enable us to our duty; whatsoever counter-charms its promises afford us against the charms and allurements of our own lusts; whatsoever antidotes its threatenings prescribe us against the terrors of the Devil's temptations; whatsoever motives there are in the life or death, resurrection and intercession of our blessed Saviour, and in his final judgment, by which we must stand or fall for ever: in a word, whatsoever arguments the laws or the creed of our holy religion offer us, either to incite us to our duty, or to enable us to baffle the temptations of vice, they are all from the Spirit, and consequently are to be reckoned among those gracious aids and assistances which he affords us. And hence the gospel, which teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, is called the grace of God which bringeth salvation unto all men; Tit. ii. 11, 12. And in Rom. viii. 2. the apostle calls it the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, by which he was made free from the law of sin and death. Nay sometimes the gospel is called the Spirit, 2 Cor. iii. 6. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit, i. e, not of the law, but of the gospel ; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life: that is, as he elsewhere explains himself, the law is a ministration of death, but the gospel brings life and immortality to light: and that this is the meaning is plain from what follows, ver. 7,8. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones,was glorious, (which is a plain description of the law of Moses,) how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? And consonantly hereunto by the spirit we may understand the motives and arguments of the gospel.
II. Let us consider the external providences of the divine Spirit, by which he excites us to our duty, and doth many ways administer to our reformation ; which are so considerable a part of God's grace and assistance, that there are very few good thoughts and purposes that spring up in our minds, which have not their rise from some external event of divine Providence. And this we may easily observe, by following the train of our own thoughts, and pursuing the stream of them to their spring and original: for though many times we find good thoughts injected into us we know not how nor whence, yet, if we do but curiously observe the rise of our soberest thoughts and purposes, we shall generally find that it is some external accident or other that occasions them. Either our sin betrays us into some great shame or infelicity, or our wicked designs are baffled by some intervening accident, or some remarkable judgment meets us, as the angel did Balaam, in the road of our folly and wickedness, by which our stupid consciences are many times startled into reflections; or by some good providence we are directed to a serious book or faithful guide, or linked into some pious family or virtuous association, by whose wise admonitions, holy examples, or friendly reproofs, we are frequently inspired with good thoughts and serious resolutions; and from these or such like providences ordinarily spring the beginnings of our reformation. So that it is no mean assistance that the divine Providence contributes to us; but by a thousand arts of love and