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THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE. I THINK it necessary to give the reader a brief ac- count of the nature and design of the -plain ensuing discourse, which may both direct him in the reading, and be some kind of apology for myself in the publish- ing of it. He may therefore know, that the thoughts here communicated, were originally private medita- tions for my own use, in a season wherein I was eve- ry way unable to do any thing for the edification of others, and from expectation, that ever I should be sa able any more in this world. Receiving, as I thought, some benefit and satisfaction in the exercise of my own meditations therein, when God was graciously pleased to restore a little strength unto me, I insisted on the same subject, in the instruction of a private congregation; and this I did partly out of a sense of the advantage I had received myself by being conver- sant in them, and partly from an apprehension, that the duties directed and presseduntoin thewhole discourse, were seasonable from all sorts ofpresent circumstances, to be declared and urged on the minds and conscien- ces of professors. For leaving others to thechoice of their own methods and ,designs, I acknowledge, that these are the two things whereby I regulate my work in the whole course of my ministry to impart those truths, of whose power I hope I have had, in some measure, a real experience; and to press those duties, which present occasions, temptations, and other cir-

X111 AUTHOR'S PREFACE. cumstances do render necessary to be attended to in a peculiar manner, are the things which I would princi- pally apply myself to in the work of teaching others. For as in the work of the ministry in general, the whole counsel of God, concerning the salvation of the church by Jesus Christ, is to be declared-so in particular, we are not to fight uncertainly, as men beating the air, nor shoot our arrows at random, with -` out a certain scope and design. Knowledge of the flock whereofwe are overseers, with à due considera- tion of their wants, their graces, their temptations, their light, their strength, and weakness, are required herein. And when, in pursuance of that design, the preparation of the word to be dispensed proceeds from zeal to the glory of God, and compassion to the souls of men; when it is delivered with the demonstration of a due reverence to God; whose word it is, and of authority towards them to whom it is dispensed, with a deep sense of that great account, which both they that preach, and they that hear the word preached, must shortly give before the judgment seat of Christ, there may be a comfortable expectation of a blessed issue of thewhole work. But mypresent design is, only to declare, inparticular, the reasons why I judged the preaching and publishing of this small and plain dis- course concerning the grace and duty of being spiritu- ally minded not to be altogether unseasonable at this time, in the present circumstances of most Christians. And-the first thingwhich I would observe to this end is, the present importunity of the world to impose itself on the minds of men, and the various ways of in- sinuation, whereby it possesseth and filleth them. If it attain hereto, if it can fill the minds, the thoughts and affections of men with itself, it will, to some, for

AU'TIiORTS PREFACE'. ix- tify the soul against faith and obedience, and in oth-, ers, weaken all grace, and endanger eternal ruin. For if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us ; and when the world fills our thoughts, it will entangle our affections. And first,. the present state of public affairs in it,, with anapprehended con-, cernment of private persons therein, continually ex erciseth the thoughts of many, and is almost the only subject of their mutual converse., For the world is at, present in a mighty hurry, and being in many places cast off from all foundations of steadfastness, it makes, the minds of men giddy with its revolutions, or dis- orderly in the expectations of them. Thoughts about these things are both allowable and unavoidable, if they take not the mind out of its own, power, by their multiplicity, vehemency, and urgency, until it be unframed as to spiritual things, retaining neither room nor time for their entertainment.. Hence, men walk and talk, as if the world were all, when comparatively it is nothing. And when men come with their warmed affections reeking with the thoughts of these thugs, to the per formanee of, or attendance to, any spiritual duty, it is very difficult for them, if not impossible, to stir up . any grace to a due and vigorous exercise. Unless this plausibleadvantage which theworld hathobtained, of insinuating itself and its occasions into the minds . of men, so as to fill then and possess them, be watch- ed against and obviated, so far, at least, as that it may not transform the mind into its awn image and like- ness, this grace of being spiritually minded, which is life and peace, cannot be attained nor kept to its due exercise. Nor can we be any of us delivered from this snare

X AUTHOR'S PREFA.CED at this season, proceeding from the prevalent abhor- rence of our affections to things spiritual and heaven- ly, without a watchful endeavor to keep and preserve our minds in the constant contemplation of them, as will appear in the ensuing discourse. Again, there are so great and pregnant evidences of the prevalency of an earthly, worldly frame of spirit, in manywho make profession of religion, that it is high time they were called to a due consideration, how unanswerablethey are therein, to the power and spirituality of that religion which they do profess. There is no way whereby such a frame may be evin- ced to prevail in many, yea, in the generality of such professors, that is not manifest to all. In their hab- its, attires, and vestments, in their usual converse and misspence of time, in their over liberal entertainment of themselves and others, to the borders of excess, and sundry other things ofa like nature ; there is in many such a conformity to the world, (a thing severely for- bidden,) that it is"hard to make a distinction between. them. And these thingsdo manifest such a predomi- nancy of carnal affections in the minds of men, as, whatever may be pretended to the contrary, it is in- consistent with spiritual peace. To call men off from this evil frame of heart andmind, to discover the sin and danger of it, to direct them to the ways and means whereby it may be effected, to supply their thoughts and affectionswith better objects, to discover and press that exercise of them which is indispensably required of all believers, if they desire life and peace, is some part ofthe work of the ensuing discourse. It maybe, it will be judged but a weak attempt as to the attaining of that end : but it cannot be denied to have these two advantagesfirst, that it is seasonable and

N AUTHORS PREFACE. secondly, that it is sincerely intended. And if it have this only success, that it may occasion others, who have more ability and opportunity than I have, to bring in their assistance for an opposition to the vehe- ment and importunate insinuations of the world in these things, to have an entertainment in the minds of professors, this labor will not be lost. But things are come to that pass amongst us, that unless a more than ordinary vigorous exercise of the ministry of the word, with other means appointed to the same end, be engaged in, to recall professors to that strict mortifi- cation, that separation from the ways of' theworld, that heavenlymindedness, that delight in the contemplation of spiritual things, which the gospel, and the whole nature of the Christian religion do require; we shall lose the glory of our profession, and leave it very un- certain what will be our eternal condition. The same may be spoken concerning love of the world, as to the advantages and emoluments which men trust to attain to themselves thereby. This is that which ren- ders men earthly minded, and most remote from hav- ing their conversations above. In the pursuit of this corrupt affection do many professors of religion grow withering, useless, sapless; giving no evidence that the love of God abideth in them. On these and many other accounts, do many Christians evidence them- to be strangerlrto spiritual mindedness, from a life of meditation and holy contemplation on things above : yet unless we are found in, these things in some good measure, no grace will thrive or flourish in. us ; no duty will be rightly performed by us ; no condition sanctified or improved: nor are we prepared in a due manner, or made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Wherefore, as was said, to direct I

X11 AUTHOR'S PREFACE. and provoke men to that which is the only remedy of all these evils, which alone is the means of giving them a view into, and a foretaste of, eternal glory ; especially to such who are in my own condition, namely, in a very near approach to a departure out of this world ; is the design and scope of the ensuing discourse, which is recommended to the grace of God, 'for the benefit of the reader.

ROMANS VII. vz. BUT TO BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE. CHAPTER I. The words of the Text explained. THE expression in our translation sounds differently "rom that in the original. To be spiritually minded, say we. In the original it is phronema tou pneumatos as that in the former part of the verse is phronema tes sarkos; which we render to be carefully minded. In the margin we read, the minding of the flesh and the minding of the spirit. And there is great variety in the rendering of the words in all translations, both ancient and modern. Prudentia, Sapientia, Intelligentia, Mens, Cogitatio, Discretio, id quod Spiritus sapit; the Wis- dom, the Understanding, the mind, the Thought or Contrivance, the Discretion of the Spirit, that which the spirit savoreth, are used to express it. All our Eng- ish translations, from Tindal's the first of them, have constantly used, to be spiritually minded. Neither do I know any words whereby the emphasis of the original, considering the designof the apostle in the place, can be better expressed. But the meaning of the Holy Ghost in them must be further inquired into. In the whole verse there are two entirepropositions, 2

14 OF SPIRITUAL MINDENESS. containing a double antithesis, the one in their sub- jects, the other in their predicates. And this opposi- tion is the highest and greatest, that is, between eter- nal blessedness, and eternal ruin. The opposite subjects, are the minding of the flesh, and the minding of the spirit; or the being carnally minded, and spiritually minded. And these two do constitute two states of mankind, unto the one of which every individual person in the world doth belong. And it is of the highest concernment unto the souls of men, to know unto which of them they appertain. As unto the qualities expressed by the flesh and the spirit, there may be a mixture of them in the same per- sons at the same time ; there is so in all that are re- generate. For in them the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit lusteth against the flesh, and these are contrary. Gal. v. 17. Thus different con- trary actings in the same subject constitute not distinct states. But where either of them is predominant, or hath a prevalent rule in the soul, there it makes a dif- ferent state. This distinction of states, the apostle expresseth, v. 9. c But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit.' Some are in the flesh, and cannot please God, v. 8. They are after the flesh v. 5. they walk after the flesh, v. 1. they live after the flesh v. 13. This is one state. Others are in the spirit, v. 9. after the spirit, v. 5. walk after the spirit, v. 1. This is the other state. The first sort are carnally minded, the other are spirit- ually minded. Unto one of these, doth every living mansbelong ; he is under the ruling conduct of the flesh, or of the spirit; there is no middle state; though there are different degress in each of these as to good and evil. The difference between these two states is great,

GF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 15 and the distance in a manner infinite, because an eter- nity, in blessedness or misery doth depend upon it. And this at present is evidenced by the different fruits and effects of the principles and their operations, which constitute these different states; which is expressed in the opposition that is between the predicates of the proposition ; for the minding of the flesh is death ; but the minding of the spirit is life and peace. 1. To be carnally minded is death. Death, as it is absolutely penal, is either spiritual, or eternal. The first of these it is formally, the other meritoriously. It is formally death spiritual; for they that are car- nally minded, are dead in trespasses and sins, Eph. ii. 1. For those who fulfil the desires of the flesh and of the mind, are by nature children of wrath, v. 3. are penally under the power of spiritual death. They are dead in sins and the uncircumcision of the flesh, Coll. ii. 13.' And it is death eternal, meritoriously. ' For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die, Rom. viii. 13. as the wages of sin is death, chap. vi. 23. The reason why the apostle denounces so woful a doom, so dreadful a sentence, on the carnal mind, he declares in the two next verses: ' for the carnal mind is enmity against God ; for it is not subject unto the law of God, nor indeed canbe ; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. If it be thus with the carnal mind, it is no wonder that to be carnally minded is death ; it is not meet it should be any thing else. That which is enmity against God, is -under the curse of God. In opposition hereunto it is affirmed, that tobe spirit- ually minded, or the minding of the spirit, is life and peace. And these are the things whichwe are particu-

16 OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. larly to inquire into ; namely, What is-this minding of the spirit; and then, How it is life and peace. 1. The spirit, in this context, is evidently used ina double sense, as is usual where both the Holy Spirit himself, and his work on the souls of men, are related unto l. The person of the Spirit of God himself, or the Holy Ghost, is intended by it, v. 9. If so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. And so also v. 11. The spirit, of him that raised up Jesus from the dead. He is spoken of as the principal efficient cause of all the spiritual mercies and benefits here and afterwards insisted on. 2. It is used for the principle_ of spiritual life wrought in all that are regenerate by the HolyGhost. -' For that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit,' John iii. 6. It is most probable that thename spirit is here used in the latter sense, not for the spirit himself, but for that which is born of the spirit, the principle of spirit- ual life in them that are born of God. For it is in its nature, actings, inclinations, and operations, opposed unto the flesh, v. 1. 4, 5 ; but the flesh here intended is that inherent corrupt principle of depraved nature, whence all evil actions do proceed, and wherewith the actions of all evil men are vitiated. The opposition between them is the same with that, mentioned and de= Glared by the apostle, Gal. v. 17, 18, &c. Wherefore the spirit in this place is the .'holy vital principle of new obedience wrought in the souls of believers by the Holy Ghost, enabling them to live unto God.' 2. Unto the spirit there is phronema ascribed, which, as we have intimated, is translated with great variety. Phronesis, is the principal power and act of the mind. It is its light, wisdom, prudence, knowledge, understand- ing, and discretion. It is not so with respect unto

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. speculation, or ratiocination merely; which is danoia, or sunesis. But this phronesis is its power as it is practical, including thehabitual frameand inclination of the affections also. It is its faculty to conceive of things with a delight in them and adherence unto them from that suitableness which it finds in them, unto all its affections. Hence we translate phoncein sometimes to think, that is, to conceive and judge, Rom. xii. 3. Sometimes to set the affections, Col,. iii. 3. to have such an apprehension of things as to cleave unto them with our affections. Sometimes to mind; to mind earthly things, Phi.1 iii. 19, which includeth that relish and savor which the mind -finds in the things it is fixed on. No where doth it design a notional con. ception of things only ; but principally the engage- ment of the affections unto the things which the mind apprehends. Phromema, the word here used, expresseth the actual exercise tes phronteseos, of the power of the mind before described. Wherefore the minding of the spirit is the actual exercise of the mind as renewed by the Holy Ghost, as furnished with a principle of spiritual life and light in its conception of spiritual things, and the setting of its affection of them, as finding that rely ish and savof in them, wherewith it is pleased and sat- isfied. And somethingwe must yet further observe, to give light unto this description on theminding of theSpirit, as it is here spoken of. 1. It is not spoken of absolutely as unto what it is in itself, but with respect unto its power and prevalency in us; significantly rendered to be spiritually minded; that is, to have the mind changed and renewed by a principleof spiritual life and light, so as tobe continually

18 OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. acted and influenced thereby unto thoughts and medi- tations of spiritual things, from the affections cleaving unto them with delight and satisfaction. So on the contrary it is when men mind earthly things. From a principle of love unto them, arising from their suitable- ness unto their corrupt affections, their thoughts, medi- tations, and desires, are continually engaged about them. Wherefore; 2. Three things may be distinguished in the great duty of being spiritually minded, under which notion it is here recommended unto us. 1. The actual exercise of the mind in its thoughts, meditations, and desires about things spiritual andhea- venly. So it is expressed in the verse foregoing. They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh ; they think on them, their contrivances about them, and their desires after them. But they that are after the spirit, the things of the spirit. They mind them by fixing their thoughts and meditations upon them. 2. The inclination, disposition, and frame of the mind, in all its affections, whereby it adheres and cleaves un- to spiritual things. This minding of the spirit resides habitually in the affections. Wherefore the phronema of the spirit, or the mind, as renewed and acted by a spiritual principle of light and life, is the exercise of its thoughts, meditations, and desires, on spiritual things, proceeding from the love and delight of its af- fections in them, and engagement unto them. 3. A complacency of mind from that gust, relish, and savor, which it finds in spiritual things, from their suitableness unto its constitution, inclinations, and desires. There is a salt in spiritual things, ,whereby they are condited and made savory unto a renewed mind : though to others they are as the white of anegg,

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 19 that hath no taste or savor in it. In this gust and rel- ish lies the sweetness and satisfaction of spiritual life. Speculative notions about spiritual things, when they are alone, aredry, .sapless, and barren. In this gust we taste by experience that God is gracious, and that the love of Christ is better than wine, or whatever else bath the most grateful relish unto a sensual appetite. This is the proper foundation of thatjoy which is un- speakable and full of glory. All these things do concur in the minding of the spirit, or to constitute any person .spiritually minded. And although the foundation of the whole duty included in it, lies in the affections, and .ti eir immediate adhe- rence unto spiritual things, whence the thoughts and meditations of the mind about them do proceed, yet I shall treat of the distinct parts of this duty in the order laid down, beginningwith the exercise of our thoughts and meditations about them. For they being the, first genuine actings of the mind, according unto the prevalency'of affections in it, they will make the best and most evident discovery of what nature the spring is from whence they do arise. And I shall not need to speak distinctly unto what is mentioned in the third place, concerning the cvmplacency of-the mind in what its affections are fixed on, for it will fall in with sundryother things that are to be spoken unto. But before we do proceed, it is not amiss, as I sup- pose, to put a remark upon those important truths, which are directly contained in the words proposed as the foundation of the present discourse. As, 1. To be spiritually minded is the great distinguish- ing character of true believers from all unregenerate persons. As such as it here asserted by the Apostle. All those who are carnally minded, who are in the "flesh,

2b OP SPÏRITUÁL PIINDPDNPS8. they are unregenerate, they are not born of God, they please him not, nor can do so, but must perish for ever. But those who are spiritually minded, are born of God, do live unto him, and shall come to the en- joyment of him. Hereon depends the trial and de- termination of what state we do belong unto. 2. Where any are spiritually minded, there, and there alone, is life and peac',e. What these are, wherein they do consist, what is their excellency and pre - eminence above all things in this world, how they are the effects and consequents of our being spiritually minded, shall be afterwards declared. There is neither of these considerations, but is suffi- cient to demonstrate of how great concernment unto us it is to be spiritually minded, and diligently to inquire whether we are so or not. It will therefore be no small advantage unto us, to have our souls and consciences always affected with, and in due subjection unto, the power of this truth; namely, that to be spirituallyminded is life and peace ; whence it will follow, that whatever we may think otherwise, if we are not so, we have neither of them, neither life nor peace. It will, I say, be of use unto us, if we are affected, with the power of it. For many greatly deceive themselves in hearing the word. They admit of sacred truths in their understanding, and as- sent unto them ; but take not in the power of them on their consciences, nor strictly judge of their state and conditionby them, which proves their ruin. For hereby they seem to themselves to . believe that, whereof in truth they believe not one syllable as they ought. They hear it, they understand it in the notion of it, they assent unto it, at least they do not contradict it ; yea, they commend it oftentimes, and approve of

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 21 it; but yet they believe it not ; for if they did, they would judge themselves by it, and reckon it, that it will be with them at the last day, according as things are determined therein. Or such persons are, as the apostle James declares, like a man beholding his natural face in a glass; ' for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straight- way forgetteth what manner of man he was, Jam. i. 23, 24.' There is a representation made of them, their state and condition unto them in the word they behold it, and conclude that it is even so with them, as the word doth declare. But immediately their minds are filled with other thoughts, acted by other affections, taken up with other occasions, and they for- get in a moment the representation made of them- selves and their condition.Wherefore all that I have to offer on this subject will be utterly lost, unless a firm persuasion hereof be fixed onour minds, unless we are under the power of it, that to be spiritually minded is life and peace ; so that whatever our light and profes- sion be, our knowledge or our duty, without this we have indeed no real interest in life and peace. These things being premised, I shall more practically open the nature of this duty, and what is required unto this frame of spirit. To be spiritually minded may be considered either as unto the nature and essence of it, or as unto its degrees ; for one may be so more than another, or the same person may be more so at one time than another. In the first way it is opposed -unto being carnally minded; in the other, unto being earthly minded. To be carnally minded is, as the Apostle speaks, death ; it is so every way ; and they who are so, are dead in trespasses and sins. This is opposed unto be-

22 OP SPIRITUAL IVÍINDEDNESS. ing spiritually minded as unto its nature or essence. Where a man, as unto the substance and being of the grace and duty intended, is not spiritually minded, he is carnallyminded; that is, under the power of death, spiritual, and obnoxious unto death eternal. This is the principal foundationwe proceed upon ; whence we demonstrate the indispensable necessity of the frame of mind inquired after. There are two ways whereinmen are earthly minded. The one is absolute, when the love of earthly things is wholly predominant in the mind. This is not for - mally and properly to be carnally minded, which is of a larger extent. The one denomination is from the root and principle, namely, the flesh ; the other from 11íe object, or the things of the earth. The latter is a branch from the former, as its root. To be earthly minded, is an operation and effect of the carnal mind in one especial way and instance. And it is exclusive of life and salvation, as the carnal mind itself, Phil. 3. 19. 1 Sohn 2. 16. This therefore is opposed unto the being of spiritual mindedness, no less than to be car - nallyminded is. When there is in any love of earthly things that is predominant, whence a person maybe rightly denominated earthly minded, he is not, nor can be, spiritually minded at all; he bath no interest in the frame of heart and spirit intended thereby. And thus it is evidently with the greatest part of them who are called Christians in the world, let them pre- tend what they will to the contrary. Again; there is a being earthly minded, which con- sists in an inordinate affection unto the things of this world. It is that which is sinful, which ought to be mortified, yetis it not absolutely inconsistent with the substance and being of thegrace inquired after. Some

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 23 who are really and truly spiritually minded, may yet, for a time at least, be under such an inordinate affec- tion unto, and care about, earthly things, that if not absolutely, yet comparatively, as unto what they ought to be and might be, they may be justly said to be earthly minded. They are so in respect of those de- grees in being spiritually minded, which they ought to aim at, and may attain unto. And where it is thus, this grace can never thrive or flourish, it can never ad- vance unto any eminent degree. This is the Zoar of many professors; that little one wherein they would be spared. Such an earthly mindedness as is wholly inconsistent with being spiritually minded, as unto the state and condition, which depends theron, they would avoid. For this they know would be absolutely exclusive of life and peace : they cannot but know that such a frame is as inconsistent with salvation, as living in the vilest sin that any man cancontract the guilt of. There are more ways of spiritual and eternal death than one, as well as of natural. All that die, have not the plague ; and all that perish eternally, are not guilty of the same profli- gate sins. The covetous are excluded from the king- dom of God, no less severely than fornicators, idola- ters, adulterers, and thieves,' 1 Cor. 6, 9, 10. But there is a degree in being earthly minded, which they suppose their interest, advantages, relations, and oc- casions of life, do call for, which they would be a lit- tle indulged in : they may abide in such a frame with- out a disparagement of their profession; and the truth, is, they have too many companions to fear an especial reflection on themselves. The multitude of the guilty takes away the sense and shame of the guilt. But besides, they hope that it is not inconsistent absolutely

24 of SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. with being spiritually minded ; only they cannot well deny but that it is contrary unto such degrees in that grace, such thriving in that duty, as is recommended unto them. They think well of others who are spiritu- ally minded in an eminent degree. At least they do so as unto the thing itself in general; for when they come unto particular instances of this or that man, for the most part, they esteem what is beyond their own measure to be little better than pretence. But in gen- eral, to be spiritually minded in an eminent degree, they cannot but esteem it a thing excellent and desirable. But it is for them who are more at leisure than they are ; their circumstances and occasions require them to satisfy themselves with an inferior measure. To obviate such pretences, I shall insist on nothing in the declaration of this duty, and the necessity of it, but what is incumbent on all that believe, and without which they have no grounds to assure their conscience before God. And at present in general I shall say, ` Who- ever he be, who doth not sincerely aim at the high- est degree of being spiritually minded, which the means he enjoyeth would lead him unto, and which the light he hath received doth call for; who judgeth it necessary unto his present advantages, occasions, and circumstances, to rest in such measures or degrees of it, as he cannot but know that they come short of what he ought to aim at, and so doth not endeavor after completeness in the will of God herein, can have no satisfaction in his own mind ; hath no unfailing grounds, whereon to believe that he bath any thing at all of the reality of this grace in him.' Such a person possibly may have life which accompanies the essence of this grace, but he cannot have peace, which follows on its degree in a due improvement,

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. Qs And it is to be feared, that far the greatest number of them who satisfy themselves in this apprehension, willingly neglecting an endeavor after the further de- grees of this grace, and growth in this duty, which their light or convictions, and the means they enjoy, do suggest unto them, are indeed carnally minded, and every way obnoxious unto death. CHAPTER II. .f1 particular account of the nature of this grace and duty of being spiritually minded. How it is stated in, and evidenced by, our thoughts. HAVING stated the general concernments of that frame of mind which is here recommended unto us, we may proceed to inquire more particularly into the nature of it, according unto the description before given, in distinct propositions. And we shall carry on both these intentions together ; first, to show what it is, and wherein it doth consist ; and then how it doth evi- dence itself, so as that we may frame a right judgment whether it be in us or not. And we shall have no regard unto theta who either neglect or despise these things, on any pretence whatever. For this is the word according unto which we shall all shortly be judged: To be carnally minded is death ; but to be spiritually minded, is life and peace. Thoughts and meditations, as proceeding from spiritual affections, are the first things wherein this spiritual mindedness doth consist, and whereby it doth evidence itself. Our thoughts are like the blossoms on a tree in the spring. You may see a tree in the spring all covered with blossoms, that nothing else of it appears. Multitudes of them fall off and come to 3

26 OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. nothing. Oft-times where there are most blossoms, there is least fruit. But yet there is no fruit, be it of what sort it will, good or bad but it comes in and from some of those blossoms. The mind of man is cov- ered with thoughts, as a tree with blossoms. Most of them fall off, vanish, and come to nothing, end in vanity; and sometimes where the mind doth most abound with them, there is the least fruit; the sap of the mind is wasted and consumed in them. Howbeit there is no, fruit which actually we bring forth, be it good or bad, but it proceeds from some of these thoughts. Wherefore ordinarily these give the best and surest measure of the frame of men's minds. ' As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,' Prov. xxiii. 7. In case of strong or violent temptations, the real frame of a man's heart is not to be judged by the mul- tiplicity of thoughts about any object. For whether they are from Satan's suggestions, or from inward darkness, trouble, and horror, they will impose such a continual sense of themselves on the mind, as shall engage all its thoughts about them. As when a man is in a storm at sea, the current of his thoughts runs quite another way, than when he is in safety about his occasions. But ordinarily, voluntary thoughts are the best measureand indication of the frame of our minds. As the nature of the soil is judged by the grass which it brings forth: so may the disposition of the heart by the predominancy of voluntary thoughts. They are the original acting of the soul; the way whereby the heart puts forth and empties the treasure that is in it; the waters that first rise and flow from that fountain. Every man's heart is his treasury ; and the treasure that is in it, is either good or evil; as our Saviour tells us. There is a good and bad treasure of the

01? SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 27 heart; but whatever a man bath, be it good or evil, there it is. This treasure is opening, emptying, and spending itself continually; though it can never be exhausted. For it hath a fountain in nature or grace, which no expense can diminish ; yea, it increaseth and getteth strength by it. The more you spend of the treasure of your hearts in any kind, the more will you abound in treasure of the same kind. Whether it be good or evil, it grows by expense and exercise; and the principal way whereby it puts forth itself, is by the thoughts of the mind. If the heart be evil, they are for the most part vain, filthy, corrupt, wicked, foolish; if it be under the power of a principle of grace, andso have a good treasure in it, it puts forth itself by thoughts suitable unto its nature, and complaint with its inclinations. Wherefore, these thoughts give the best masure of the frame of our minds and hearts. I mean such as are voluntary, such as the mind of its own accord is apt for, incilines, and ordinarily betakes itself unto. Men may have a multitude of thoughts about the af- fairs of their callings and the occasions of life, which yet may give no due measure of the inward frame of their hearts. So men whose calling and work it is to study the scriptures, or the things revealed therein, and to preach them unto others; cannot but have many thoughts about spiritual things; and yet may be, and oftentimes are, most remote from being spiritually minded. They may be forced by their work and call- ing, to think of them early and late, evening and morn- ing; and yet their minds be no way rendered or pro- ved spiritual thereby. It were well if all of us who are preachers, would diligently examine ourselves herein. So is it with them who oblige themselves to read the

2$ OP SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. scripture, it maybe so many chapters every day; not withstanding the diligent performance of their task, they may be most remote from being spiritually minded. See Ezek. 33, 31. But there is a certain trackand course of thoughts, that men ordinarily betake themselves unto, when not affected with present oc- casions. If these be vain, foolish, proud, ambitious sensual, or filthy; such is the mind and its frame. If they be holy, spiritual, and heavenly, such may the frame of the mind be judged to be. But these things must be more fully explained. It is the great character and description of the frame of men's minds in an unregenerate condition, or before the renovation of their natures, that every imag- ination of the thoughts of their hearts are only evil continually. Gen. 6. 5.. They are continually coining figments and imaginations in their hearts, stamping them into thoughts that are vain, foolish, and wicked. All other thoughts in them are occasional; these are the natural, genuine product of their hearts. Hence the clearest, and sometimes first, discovery of the bot- tomless evil treasure of-filth, folly, and wickedness, that is in the heart of man by nature, is from the innu- merable multitude of evil imaginations, which are there . coined and thrust forth every day. So the wicked are said to be like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast upmire and dirt, Isa. 57, 20. There is a fulness of evil in their hearts, like that of water in the sea. This fulness is troubled, or put into con,. tinual motion, by their lusts, and impetuous desires. Hence the mire and dirt of evil thoughts are continu- ally cast up in them. It is therefore evident, that the predominancyof vol- untary thoughts, is the best and most sure indication

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 29 of the inward frame and state of the mind. For if it be so on the one side as unto the carnal mind, it is so on the other as unto the spiritual. Wherefore, to be spirit- ually minded in the first place is, to have the course and stream of those thoughts which we ordinarily retreat unto, we approve of as suited unto our affections, to be about spiritual things. Therein consists the minding of the spirit. But, because all men, unless horriblyprofligate, have thoughts about spiritual, things, yet we know, that all men are not spiritually minded, we must consider, what is required unto such thoughts, to render them a certain,indication of the state of our minds. And there are these three things required hereunto. 1. That they be natural, arising from ourselves, and not from outward occasions. The Psalmist mentions the inward thoughts of men. Psal. 49, 11, and 64, 6. But, whereas all thoughts are the inward acts of the mind, it should seem that this expression makes no dis- tinction of, the especial kind of thoughts intended, from those of another sort. But the difference is not in the formal nature of them, but in the causes, springs, and occasions. Inward thoughts are such as arise merely and solely from men's inward principles, dispo- sitions, and inclinations, that are not suggested or exci- ted by any outward objects. Such, in wicked men, are those actings of their lusts, whereby they ' entice and seduce themselves. Jam. 1, 14. Their lusts stir up thoughts, leading and encouraging them to make provision for the flesh. _.These are their inward thoughts. Of the same nature are those thoughts which are the minding of the spirit. They are the first natural egress, and genuine acting of the habitual disposition of the mind and soul. 3

30 or SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. Thus in covetous men there are two sorts of thoughts, whereby their covetousness acts itself. First, such as are occasioned by outward objects and opportunities. So it was with Achan, Josh. vii. 21. When, saith he, `I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of sil- ver, and a wedge of gold, then I coveted them. His sight of them, with an opportunity of possessing him- self of them, excited covetous thoughts and desires in him. So it is with others every day, whose occasions call them to converse with the objects of their lusts. And some by such objects may be surprised into thoughts, that their minds are not habitually inclined unto. And therefore when they are known, it is our duty to avoid them. But the same sort of persons have thoughts of this nature arising from themselves only, their own dispositions and inclinations, without any 'outward provocations. 'The vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, Isa. xxxii. 6.' 4 And this he doth as the liberal deviseth liberal things,' v. 8, from his own disposition and inclination, he is contriving in his thoughts how to act according to them. So the unclean person hath two sorts of thoughts with respect ,. unto the satisfaction of his lusts. First, such as are occasioned in his mind by the exter- nal objects of it. Hereunto stage-plays, revellings, dancings, with the society of bold persons, persons of corrupt communication, do contribute their wicked service. For the avoidance of this snare, Job made a covenant with his eyes, chap. xxx. 1. Andour Saviour gives that holy declaration of the evil of it, Mat. v. 28. But he hath an habitual spring of these thoughts in himself constantly inclining and disposing him there. unto. Hence the apostle Peter tells us, that such per-

OP SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 31 sons have eyes full of an adulteress, that cannot cease from sin, ii. Eph. 2, 14. Their own affections make them restless in their thoughts and contrivances about sin. So is it with them who are given to excess in wine or strong drink. They have pleasing thoughts raised in them from the object of their lust represen- ted unto them. Hence Solomon gives that advice against the occasien of them, Prov. xxiii. 31. But it is their own habitual disposition which carries them unto pleasing thoughts of the satisfaction of their lusts, which he describes, v. 34, 35. So is it in other cases. The thoughts of this latter sort, are men's inward thoughts: and such must these be of spiritual things, wherever we may be esteemed spiritually minded. Psalm 45, 1. Saith the Psalmist, 'My heart is indi- ting a good matter; I speak of the things which I have made touching the King. He was meditating on spiritual things; on the things of the person and king- dom of Christ. Hence his heart bubbled up (as it is in the original) a good matter. It is an allusion taken from a quick spring of living waters ; from its own life and fulness it bubbles up the water that runs and flows from it. So is it with these thoughts, in them that are spiritually minded. There is a living fulness of spirit- ual things in their mind and affections, that springeth up into holy thoughts about them. From hence doth our Saviour give us the great de- scription of spiritual life. It is a well of living water, springing up into everlasting life.' John iv. 12. The spirit, with his graces, residing in the heart of a believer, is a well of living water. Nor is it such a well as, content with its own fulness, doth not of its own accord, without any instrument or pains in draw- ing, send out its refreshing waters, as it is with most

32 OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. wells, though of living water. For this is spoken by our Saviour in answer and opposition unto that objec- tion of the woman, upon this mention of giving liv- ing water, v. 10. Sir, saith she, ` thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep, whence wilt thou have this water V v. 11. True, saith he, such is the nature of this well and waterdead earthly things. They are of no use, unless we have instruments, lines, and buckets, to draw withal. But the living water which I shall give is of another nature. It is not water to, be kept in a pit or cistern without us, whence it must be drawn; but it is within us; and that not dead and useless, but continually springingup unto the use and refreshment of them that have it. For so is it with the principle of the new creature, of the new nature, the spirit and his graces in the hearts of them that do believe. It doth of itself; and from itself, without any external influence on it, incline and dispose the whole soul unto spiritual actings that tend unto eternal life. Such are the thoughts of them that are spiritually minded ; they arise from the inward principle, inclination, and disposition of the soul, are the bubblings of this well of living water ; they are the mindings of the spirit. So our Saviour describes them, Matt. xii. 35. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart, bring- eth forth good things. First, the man is good ; as he said before, make the tree good, or the fruit cannot be good, v. 33. He is made so by grace in the change and renovation of his nature; for in ourselves we are every way evil. This good man bath a treasure in his heart. So all men have, as the next words ,are; the evil man out of the eviltreasure.of the heart. And this is the great difference that is between men in this world

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 33 Every man bath a treasure in his heart; that is, a prevailing inexhaustible principle of all his actingsand operations : but in some this treasure is good ; in others it is evil; that is, the prevailing principle in the heart, which carries along with it its dispositions and incli- nations, is in some good and gracious, in others it is evil. Out of this good treasure, a good man bringeth forth good things. The first opening of it, the first bringing of it forth, is by these thoughts. The thoughts that arise out of the heart, are of the same nature with the treasure that is in it. If the thoughts that naturally arise and spring up in us, are for the most part vain, foolish, sensual, earthly, selfish, such is the treasure that is in our hearts, and such are we. But where the thoughts that thus naturally proceed from the treasure that is in the heart, are spiritual and holy, it is an argument that we are spiritually minded. Where it is not thus withour thoughts, theygive no such evidence as that inquired after. Men may have thoughts of spiritual things, and that many of them, and that frequently, which do not arise from this prin- ciple, but may be resolved into two other causes : -1. Inward force ; 2. Outward occasions. 1. Inward force, as it may be called. This is by convictions. Convictions put a kind of force upon the mind ; or an impression, that causeth it to act con- trary unto its own habitual disposition and inclination. It is in the nature of water to descend: but apply an instrument unto it, that shall make a compression of it, and force it unto a vent, it will fly upwards vehe- mently, as if that were its natural motion; but so soon as the force of the impression ceaseth, it returns immediately unto its own proper tendency, descending

34 OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS towards its centre. So is it with men's thoughts oft - times. They are earthly; their natural course and mo tion is downwards unto the earth, and the things thereof : but when any efficacious conviction presseth on the mind, it forceth the egress of its thoughts up- wards towards heavenly things; it will think much and frequently of them, as if that were their proper motion and course ; but so soon as the power of the conviction decays or wears off, that the mind is no more sensible of its force and impression, the thoughts of it return again unto their old course and track, as the water tends downwards. This state and frame is graphically described, Psal. lxxviii. 34-37.. ` When he slew them, then they sought him, and they returned, and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their Redeemer. Nevertheless, they did but flatter him with their mouths, and they lied unto him with their tongues; for their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant.' Men in troubles, dangers, sickness, fears of death, or under effectual conviction of sin, from the preaching of the word, will endeavor to think and meditate on spiritual things : yea, they will be greatly troubled that they cannot think of them more than they do, and esteem it their folly that they think of any thing else. But as freedom and deliverance hp- preach, so these thoughts decay and disappear; the mind will not be compelled to give place unto them any more. The Prophet give the reason of it, Jer. xiii. 23. ' Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots l then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.' They have had another haunt ; been taught another cause ; the habit and in

OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 35 clination of the mind lies another way ; and they will no longer tend towards spiritual things, than an im- pression is on them from their convictions, And it is an argument of very mean attainments, of a low and weak degree in this frame of heart, or in our being spiritually minded, when our thoughts of spirit- ual things do rise or fall, according to renewed Occa- sional convictions. If when we are under rebukes from God in our persons or relations, in fears of death, and the like, and withal, have some renewed convictions of sin, in commission, or omission of du- ties, and thereon do endeavor to more spiritually minded, in the constant exercise of our thoughts on spiritual things, which we fail "in; and these thoughts decay; as our convictions with the causes of then wear off, or are removed; we have attained a very low degree in this grace, if we have any interest in it at all.- Water that ariseth and floweth from a living spring, runne.th equallyand constantly, unless it be obstructed or diverted by some violent opposition ; but that which is from thunder-showers runs furiously for a sea- son, but is quickly dried up. So are those spirited thoughts whicharise from àprevalent internal principle of grace inthe heart ; they are even and constant, un- less an interruption be put upon them"for a season by temptations; but those which are excited by the thunder of convictions, however their streams may be filled for à season, quickly dry up, and utterly decay. 2. Such thoughts mayarise in the minds of men not spirituallyminded, from outwardmeans and occasions. Such I intend as are indeed useful yea, appointed of God for this end among others that they- mayen- generate and stir up holy thoughts and affections inus ;

36 OF SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. but there is a difference in their use and operation. In some, they excite the inward principle of the mind to act in holy thoughts, according unto its own sancti- fied disposition and prevalent affections : this is their proper end and use. In others they occasionally sug- gest such thoughts unto the minds of men, which spring only from the notions of things proposed unto them. With respect unto this end also, they are of singular use unto the souls of men, howbeit such thoughts do not prove men to be spiritually minded. Where you till and manure your land, if it brings forth plentiful crops of corn, it is an evidence that soil itself is good and fertile; the dressing of it only gives oc- casion and advantage to put forth its own fruit - bearing virtue: but if in the tilling of the land, you lay much dung upon it, and it brings forth here and there an handful where the dung lay, you will say the soil itself is barren ; it brings forth nothing of itself. Ti:ese means that we shall treat of, are as the tilling of a fruitful soil, which help it in bringing forth its fruit, by exciting its own virtue and power. They stir up holy affections unto holy thoughts and desires ; but in others, whose hearts are barren, they only serve, as it were, some of them here and there, to stir up spiri- tual thoughts, which gives no evidence of a gracious heart or spirit. But because this is a matter of great importance, it shall be handled distinctly by itself.