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and Phrcn-zy upon the Children of God. The whole Chapter is so pat to the Purpose, that I had much ado to forbear transcribing the Whole; but I content myself with gi-' Ving the Reader an Abstract of the xith Section. *' It must needs be that those who "speak with much 2eal and Vigour things "true in themselves, yet to others unintelli"gibsej must be by them reputed no better ." than Madmen: And hence it was that "Festus told Paul that much Learning had ;* made him mad. Here probably may be *; the Ground of that ordinary Saying —-. "Nullum magnum Ingcnium sine admixturd ° Dementia:; land according to Analogy it ° may well be said that Nullus in/ignis Chris"tianns, &c. that there is no eminent "Christian that will not seem to have some "Spice of Madness in him, especially if he "be judged by the formal stiff Pharisee, "where Postures and Actions are always "kept, as it were, in an outward wooden "Frame, as a Child in a standing Stool; "his Traditions and customary Opinions ,*vbeing as deeply scored and carved in his "Memory as the outward Shows ofThings "are scrawled out in the rude Furrows of "an Idiot's Brain : and as the unskilful Rusffl "tic
"tic would suspect him scarce sound in his ft Senses that should confidently speak any "thing that palpably crossed those gross "Scrawlings written in his Imagination: "So certainly would the formal Pharisee "not stick to judge him mad that should V' with Zeal and Boldness pronounce such "tilings as were not parallel nor agreeable "to the Prefigurations of his prejudiced "Mind, but most of all, if they were "itiGh as are above the Reach of his Appre.' henfipi}: Surety the more earnest a true "Member of Christ mould be in such
Points, the more mad he would appear "in the Eyes of the cool, prudential Pba"risie.n. .'.' .-k ..',;. .
It is observed with regard to this Dispensation by those who have been raised to it, that it is seldom of any long Duration, being rather a short Earnest or Prelibation of the Beatific State afforded to pure and holy Souls, than any permanent Dispensation; and it is generally, if not always, followed by some humbling Trial; accordingly we read in the Cafe of St. Paul's being caught up to the third Heaven, that immediately after this Rapt or Vifion there was given him attorn in the Fkjhy the Mejsenger of
Satan to buffet him, left he Jhould be exalted above Measure; by which we cannot understand less than that he was exercised with some sharp bodily Affliction for his Humiliation: And this may help to explain what frequently happens to those who belong to an inferior State, according to their more remote or nearer Approaches to this respectively, who find their joyous and delectable Intervals succeeded by Fits of Heaviness and gloomy Overcasts, whence their Complaints of Aridities, Desertions, &c. which People of a moderate Experience in the divine Life cannot be unacquainted with, tho' many, for want of Light into the Methods land Reasons of God's Dealings with Souls, are apt to be troubled above Measure upon these Occasions, as tho' some strange thing had happened unto them, not knowing, or -not considering, that the same Afflictions are accomplished in their Brethren, and that they are sent, after they have suffered a while, to perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle them; .;;' / .:..:;m^
It will be proper to observe here^ that the Way to any good Degree of Perfection in the divine Life lies through great Mortification and Self-denial: Some think it Was .\ enough enough to get Doctrines into the Head- but till the Heart is in some Measure purified by Faith nothing is rightly done: And in order to this the Children of' Anak, those corrupt Passions and Inclinations that was against the Soul, must be driven out, the Perverseness of the Will broken, the Understanding simplified, the Pride of out Hearts pluckt up by the Roots, and all the Cords that bind us to the World and the Things of it untwisted; in a word, our Idols must be cast out, and every cursed thing removed that separates betwixt God and us, for the pure in Heart and they only shall fee God: It was by this kind of holy Violence practised on themselves that the Worthies both of the Old and New Testament, in all Ages of the Church, have laid hold on the Kingdom of Heaven, been favoured with such rich Communications from God, and enabled to work such Wonders as surpass the Belief of many in this degenerate incredulous Age: And that a preparatory Discipline of Strictness and Severity is necessary in order to qualify us for any extraordinary Vouchsafements of Illumination and Grace, we may learn from the Schools instituted among the Jews for the y. 4 training
training up of Persons for the Prophetic Office, where they were educated in great Abstraction from the World, in f;he Government of their Passions and the Mortification of their natural Propensiops, that being so disengaged from the common Impediments of a holy Life, they might be more at Liberty for Devotion and the Contemplation of heavenly things, and by such previous- Exercises become fit Instruments for the Holy Spirit and more receptive of heavenly Wisdom. Thus came they out holy Enthusiasts, Men of God furnished to every good Word and Work, Scribes, well instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven,and fearless of giving Offence in the Way of Duty, even before Kings, bejng no less' qualified for Reproof and Correction than for Doctrine and Instruction in Righteousness, Patterns these for all Persons of a Re-ligious Character, whether they live in Colleges or are in Kings Houses; whether they attend on those who go clothed in Purple and fine Linen and fare sumptuously every Day, or are called forth to a more promiscuous Employment of their Office: for tho' the Dispensation of Prophecy as it respects the
foretelling - .'r....