Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. g, q.. xxvth Chapter of St. MATTHEW. í5 Bye upward, and the flane falleth downward, from an inclination of Nature ; fo are their hearts bent to pleáfe God and ferve him, and what they do therein, they do with a kind of naturalnefs, becaufe of this bent and inclination ; The Lam is in their Hearts, Pfa. 4o. 8. There is a purpofe there, ,oils I r. 23. An inclination there, Pfa. rrq. rte. We read in Exod. 35. 2g. That they gave to the Sanauary Every one whofe Heart made him willing. I bring this exprelfron to explain what I am fpeaking of ; fo their Hearts being thus prepared and renewed by the Ho- ly Ghoft, make them willing ; there is Tome weight and poile within theirIearts to carry them unto God, and the Duties that concern Isis Glory and Service. A man may aft from a violent Impreflion contrary to nature, as a Stone moveth upward, or a Bowl thrown with great ftrength where the bias is over-ruled ; fo a wicked man may do a good anion or two, as Saul forced himfelf, but the bent and natural inclination is another thing. 'Tis good to attend to the principle of our motions, whether it be natural or violent ; whether our fpirits make us willing, or Tome accidental reafon conflrain us ; As when men are aced by fomething forreign, as the force of holy example, whereby many a man is drawn to dd otherwife than he would, as 7oaJlr while fehoiada lived, 2 Chron. 24. A man may be aimed by his company, follow good examples, and may be provoked thereby. Heb. ro. 24. Let ús confider one another, to provoke to love and good works. It' were well if one Chriftian would more provoke another. Man is an imitating Crea- ture, loath to be outdone ; but if this be all, we (hall loon bewray our unfound - nefs : He may be forced by Envy, Vain-glory and by -ends, (Phil. r. 5.) to Preach or Pray, forced by natural Confcience, Rom. 2. 54, 15. or let a work by a cor- rupt.Principle. The urgings of a natural Confcience are quite another thing than the bent of a renewed Heart ; there is a principle of life which breedeth an in- clination. He may be forced by a feule of his milery; Self Pets him awork to feek after God, becaufe he would ufe him for a turn, to help him out of his Di- ftrefs ; as thoft in Pfal. 78. verle 34, to the 37th. When he flew them, then they fought him, and they returned and enquired early after God ; and they remembred that God was their Rock, and the high God their Redeemer ; Neverthelefs, they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lyed to him with their tongues r For their heart was not right with him, neither were they fledfall in his Covenant. Their affeaions were not fincerely fee for God, or towards God, or bent againft fin yr the fence of a prefent Wrath, or the terrour of an angry God, did drive them into a Fit of religiouf- nefs for the. prefent, which can produce no ftedfaft purpofe. They that make Self their utmofl end, can never endeavour conftantly to pleafe and glorifie God, but where true Grace is, there is a propenfity and difpofrtion to every good work, which we fhould alwayes cherub in our felves ; for as' it abateth or incteafeth, fo we are diligent or Buggifte in Gods Service. z. There is not only an Inclination, but a Readinefs or Preparednefs, which is a further effea of this folid and fubflantial Grace ; and often fpoken of in Scrip- ture, as Titus 3. a. Ready to every good work : Ready to dfribute, r Tim. 6. 18. Rea - dy to Communicate, Heb. 13. 16. So Paul, Aas 2/. /3. i f : , I am ready not on- ly to be bound, but to die at 3erufalem. Or take a general place, 2 Tim. z. 4. Pre- pared to every good work : And Luk. I2. 47. That Servant that knew his Lords Will, and prepared not himfelf, neither did acccording to his Will Só Eph. 2. to. and many other places. This goeth beyond Inclination, as fire bath an inclination to afcend upward, but fomething may violently keep it down that it cannot afcend aflually. A Chriftian may have a Will to good, a ftrong and not a remits Will, yet there are Tome Impediments, Rom. 7. 18. For to Will is prefent with me, but how to per- form that which is good I find not. Inclination implyeth a remote power ; but Rea - dinefs the next or immediate .power. Gods People that have the feed of Grace in them, yet how unready are they to that which they defire to do I therefore a Chriflian ought alwayes to keep himfelf in all readinefs and fitnefs of difpofiti- on for his Duty, whether it concern God, or our felves, or othets. This is oppo- fite to dulnefs, fleepinefs, liftlefnefs or wearifomnefs in our Service, oppofite to' dxndia, which the Schoolmen make to be one of the (even deadly fins, a remits, cold Will, hanging off from God. 3. An earneft Impolf :aa, which quickeneth us to all holy endeavours of Obe- dience ; this is fometimes called the activity or working of Grace, Faith worketh by love, Gal. 5.6. Sometimes Zeal, or an el. rnefl burning of affe &ion towards God, ot