Burgess - Houston-Packer Collection BT715 .B85 1652

31a Falfe Signs ofGrace. SE c r. III. They arenot forvainorientation, difputes, and applaufe in theworld, but merely toedifie others. r Cor. t E. 7. Thegift isgiven to every one, Ted; W m µpepor, to profit with. So then thefe giftsmutt not beputunder á bufhel; thereTalents mull not be Hidin theearth , or wraps np inanapkin, as ifis were a dead thing. It is ingenioufl yobfetved by Tleeophylall, Thatwhenmen weredead, they covered their faceswitha napkn, andlaid +hem in thegrave : Thus they did to Chrifl, and, to La- zarus: and chus theunprofitable feryant did to his f agent, as if it were a dead thing and buried, hewould makeno improsementof is at all. And well did An- fiin call id lenefs, the burialofa03414 whilealive ; Paul, even then when he foretell his deathfhordy, That he ma(E he a Sacrifice for the troth , he yet (ends for his Parchments,imploying that little time he path in Lindy. Now when I fay gifts mull beimproved, I mean the gifts ofprivate men ina private wayout of chari- ty; ofpublick men, by office in a pu-)lick way out of Authority : for that gifts are not enough toentitle to a publick office,appeareth by the examplesand commands in the Epolles, and in the Ads of the Apoltles, whereall that publickly imployed their gifts,befides their own qualification, had alfo authority,andoffice given them by Superiours, whereby they were kilt' todo their work t And as they are not tobe negligent, foneither toufe them for applause, or to get erieem, or make parties. It is a fadcorruption in us that we affc& gifts more then graces,as you fee the Corinthians did, forwhich Paal reproveth them, becaufe by their gifts they were more admiredand applauded : Hereupon they alfohad many followers,and truely this City ofLondon is become much like Corinth : as the gloried in light and knowledge, as to abounded in fchifms, and parties, one for one, and ano. ther for another: asher publidkmeetings were come to great confufions and dif- orders, and asthey minded difputes, but negle&ed the Ernepower of Grace, thus isit withLondon at this day. In the next place let us confider, Why Believers are fo ready to lean upon thefe ? To take Gifts for Graces , Enlargements and Aflllances for San- &ification. Why Chrifti_ Fitlt, Becanfe theftdo exceedthe common way, andordinarycoterfe of (brilliant', ans are apt to Men fo qualified and furnifhed, Teem tobe as much above ordinary Chriftians, as rdt uponparts. the tall Cedars above the low flarubs : The Pharifees , how fcornlully did they' _ fpeak,Thiapeoplewhich knownot the Law, are turfed. How apt is a man , be- caufe hecan pray excellently, difcourfeupon manyconcroverlesin religion, toun- dervalue chofe that cannot: Seeing therefore that thefe are in an higher form of Chrifts fchool,and to the nameandTitle inknowledge ofChrillianiey,they havefu- peradded manyother talents, is is any wonder they areconfident of their good efface? Wemay read that in daflinea time, it wasa general receivedopinion,Tbat every Chriflsan, thoughhe livedWickedly, lhonldat fall hePaved. This Do&tine was fo univerfal, that Aallinwas forced to oppofe it with a great deal of fear and modelly. They did not hold withOrigen, That the very Dive's themfelves fhoald be reflored, nor with others mollifyingorigin opinion , That all men Whether Chriflians er lnfidels;nor as a third,That all Chriflians,bowdamnably [sever erring inmatterof Faith,fhaU befaved; but thought it moll reafonable, That all right be- lieving Cbri(liansAmid findmercy ,Whatfoevertheir wickgdnefs was, Auflin, 8n. air. ad Sane. faith, thole that hold fo , Hnmanli gaadam 6enevolentili ftbi falli videri. And ifthe name and'profefíionof Chrillianitymay (way fo much , what thenmay their more excellent and unufual workings of Gods Spirit upon men? wonder not therefore if you feea man that hathbetter gifts then another, more knowledge then another hasealto more confidence in God then another. Not that indeedhehath grounds, for its better to fpeak one word with Grace , then five hundred with meet Parts andabilities; but only tell-love doch blind our Eyes, and deceive our Hearts , lo that we do not judge Scripturo.judge- mean. Secondly , Afete dreafonof carnal confidenceherein, is, becaufe it £o very cult