Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BS2096.A1 1701 .P3

Ch. 7. Thef$raitgate. St. Matthew. Falf Prophets. Ch. 7, by there fruits you may know them. N. Tho everycruel wicked man is not a fife teacher, norevery man is to bebelieved inall his Deitrines who is loving and godly ; Yet r. that Dolrine that tendeth to dono more hurt than good, is naught. 2. And úfually God teacheth the meek and loving, and holy per- Cons all neceffary truth, and forfaketh matt, the underfanding of the wicked,proud andworld- ly: And tho not sneer ornamental accomplifh- ments, yet the laving gifts ofthe Spirit go to- gether; that is illumination, and holy love, and obedience andpeace ; and who can be confi- dent that God'áSpirit teaches thofe men the truth above others, whom he never taught the knownneceffary dutiesof love, peace, juftice, holinefs and temperance. When their lives tell us that they lave the Devil, its harden be- lieve that they are infpired ofGod as extraordi- nary men, rho theymay preach the truth for re putätion and advantage. 17. Even fo every good tree bring- eth forth good fruit: but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit: neither can acorrupt treebring forth good fruit. Ig. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewen down andcall' into the fire. 20. Wherefore by their fruits ye fihall know them. 17, 18, 59, zo. As the man is, fo Will he do. Therefore by thebadness of their fruit you may know that they (peak notfrom the Spirit ofGod. Nte, That Chrifigivethas not this Rule to know ordinary i'riefts and Preachers Dofrine by : For when Rulers and Countries own found Do:,}nine, wicked worldlymen will own it for preferment and worldly ends. But it is to try Prsphets by, who pretend to the Spirits fnfpira- tion : He that is not ruled by the Spirit is not like to be infpired by the Spirit. R. And tho this hold true as toall wickednefs, yet the fruit that shrift 1peciallymeaneth, is hurtfulnefi: as the names of Wolves,Thorns, andThiltleslhew. 3. If a good man fpeak or do ill., it isbecaule he is notperfe&1y good, but partly badi For in- ftance, The Papal Church pretendeth to the in- fallible guidance of the Spirit when Pope and Councils agree, which is, To prophetical Ifpira- tron, beyond the meet Impovemont of their erns. Knowledge : How shall we know whether their pretence be true ? a. We find that they cherish Ignorance, by forbidding the reading of the Scripture in a known Tongue without a Licenib, and praying in a Tongue not underftood. 2. We find th it they divide the Chriftian.World by laying its Unity and Peace on impoffible Terms, even a multitude of their own Canons. p. We thereat : rq.: Because trait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. r3, 1 q. And let not the ftri &nefs of the gate and way of lifedifcourage you : The gate iswide, and the way is broad that leadeth to deftru&ion : it is carte to pleafe the flesh and to negle&a holy- life, and great is the multitude that go this way :But donot youfollow the seul- titude in fin untodamnation. The entrance in- to a life of faith and holinefs is (trait, and the way isnarrow, requiring felldenial, mortifica- tion, holy diligence, and patient suffering; and it is butfew that find this way and the life to which it leadeth. But life eternal cannot be too dearly obtained : Therefore let no difficul- ties flop you or turn you off. Note, 1. It is becauseof ourcorrupt averfnefs, Ouchas lick men have to a Feaß) and the re- ftraints and fufferings of the flelh, that Godli- nefs orFaith is called difficult or lirait. But in is felfand to a found understanding and will, it is theonly pleafant life. To believe God's love and our everlafting glory, muff needs be- tweeter than to live in guilt and terror, and in defpair of any future happinefs. z. The Guste is the entranceby convection into a life ofFaith and Holiness as the way : and the Devil the World and the Flesh will strive hard against both: But Grace will conquer and make all a delight. 3. Fewer turned Christians then, than didafter Chrifts afcenfron. But if moll on earrhpetifh, how little isthe earth to the vaft and glorious regions of the blefed. s g. Beware of false prophets , whichcome to you in Cheeps cloth- ing, but inwardly they are ravening ,wolves. 16. Ye íhall know them by their fruits : Do men gather grapesof thorns, or figs ofthiffles ? r ç , t 6. And you muff expert the tempta- tion, ofTeachers falily pretending divine in- fpiration and authority, they will cometo you withenticing pretences, as fpeaking for God, for truth, for godliness, for yourfàlvation, for order, peace, dre. but m+fcht f and hurrfulnefs is in their heart and'defrgn : And if you think their pretencestoo hard foryou to confute, look to the tendencyand effe&s. Thorns andthiltles prickand hurt, and Grapes and Figs are fweet and nourishing: if their counfel and their pra- t-fiat be hurtfuland de(troying, they ate Wolves, and nor ofGod. Their bloody jaws and teeth will bewray them also in Cheepscloathing. if they would draw you to wickedttefè, or turn yes from a sober, jft and holy life, or if in- íl cadofLove and Paare anddoing good, they are for hatred, contention, cruelty, opprefíon, un- juff fdencing, excommunicating and perfècutir:g,