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at variance. The sum and aim of all wisdom below is, to cause all things to move in their proper sphere, whereby it would be impossible there should be any more interfering, than is in the celestial orbs, notwithstanding all their divers and various motions; to keep all to their own allotments, within the compass of the lines that are fallen unto them, is the special end of this wisdom. Now it will be a very easy task to demonstrate, that all civil prudence whatever (besides the vexation of its attainment, and loss being attained), is no way able to compass this end. The present condition of affairs throughout the world, as also that of former ages, will abundantly testify it, but I shall farther discover the vanity of it for this end, in some few observations. And the (1.) First is, That through the righteous judgment of God lopping off the top flowers of the pride of men, it frequently comes to pass, that those who are furnished with the greatest abilities in this kind, do lay them out to a direct contrary end, unto that which is their natural tendency and aim. From whom (for the most part) are all the commotions in the world; the breaking up of bounds, setting the whole frame of nature on fire; is it not from such men as these? Were not men so wise, the world perhaps would be more quiet, when the end of wisdom is to keep it in quietness. This seems to be a curse that God hath spread upon the wisdom of the world in the most in whom it is, that it shall be employed in direct opposition to its proper end. (2.) That God hath made this a constant path towards the advancement of his own glory; even to leaven the wisdom and the counsels of the wisest of the sons of men, with folly and madness, that they shall in the depth of their policy,” advise things for the compassing of the ends they do propose, as unsuitable as any thing that could proceed out of the mouth of a child or a fool, and as directly tending to their own disappointment and ruin as anything that could be invented against them. ‘He destroys the wisdom of the wise, and brings to nothing the understanding of the prudent;’
1. Cor. i. 19. This he largely describes, Isa. xix. 11–14. drunkenness and staggering is the issue of all their wisdom; and that upon this account, the Lord gives them the spirit of giddiness. So also, Job. v. 12–14. They meet with darkness in the day-time; when all things seem clear about them, and a man would wonder how men should miss their way, then will God make it darkness to such as these; so Psal. xxxiii. 10. Hence God as it were sets them at work, and undertakes their disappointment; Isa. viii. 9, 10. Go about your counsels, saith the Lord, and I will take order that it shall come to nought ; and, Psal. ii. 3, 4. when men are deep at their plots and contrivances, God is said to have them in derision, to laugh them to scorn; seeing the poor worms industriously working out their own ruin. Never was this made more clear, than in the days wherein we live; scarcely have any wise men been brought to destruction but it hath evidently been through their own folly; neither hath the wisest counsel of most, been onejot better than madness. (3.) That this wisdom which should tend to universal quietness, hath almost constantly given universal disquietness unto themselves, in whom it hath been most eminent. In much wisdom is much grief; Eccles. i. 18. And in the issue, some of them have made away with themselves, as Ahithophel, and the most of them have been violently dispatched by others. There is indeed no end of the folly of this wisdom." The great men of the world carry away the reputation of it; really it is found in few of them. They are for the most part common events, whereunto they contribute not the least mite, which are ascribed to their care, vigilancy, and foresight. Mean men that have learned to adore what is above them, reverence the meetings and conferences of those who are in greatness and esteem. Their weakness and folly is little known; where this wisdom hath been most eminent, it hath dwelt so close upon the borders of atheism, been attended with such falseness and injustice, that it hath made its possessors wicked and infamous. I shall not need to give any more instances to manifest Isa. xxix. 14. xlvii. 10. Jer. xlix. 7. Obad. viii. * Prudens futuri temporis exitum Caliginosa nocte premit Deus:
the insufficiency of this wisdom for the attaining of its own peculiar and immediate end. This is the vanity of any thing whatever, that it comes short of the mark it is directed unto. It is far then from being true and solid wisdom, seeing on the forehead thereof you may read disappointment.
And this is the first reason why true wisdom cannot consist in either of these, because they come short even of the particular and immediate ends they aim at. But,
[2.] Both these, in conjunction with their utmost improvement, are not able to reach the true general end of wisdom. This assertion also falleth under an easy demonstration; and it were a. facile thing to discover their disability and unsuitableness for the true end of wisdom; but it is so professedly done by him who had the largest portion of both, of any of the sons of men (Solomon in his Preacher), that I shall not any farther insist upon it.
To draw then unto a close. If true and solid wisdom is not in the least to be found amongst these, if the pearl be not hid in this field, if these two are but vanity and disappointment, it cannot but be to no purpose to seek for it in any thing else below; these being amongst them incomparably the most excellent, and therefore with one accord let us set the crown of this wisdom on the head of the Lord Jesus.
Let the reader then in a few words take a view of the tendency of this whole digression. To draw our hearts to the more cheerful entertainment of, and delight in, the Lord Jesus, is the aim thereof. If all wisdom be laid up in him, and by an interest in him only to be attained ; if all things beside him and without him, that lay claim 'thereto are folly and vanity, let them that would be wise learn where to repose their souls.
Of communion with Christ in a conjugal relation in respect of consequential
affections. His delight in his saints first insisted on. Isa. Ixii. 5. Cant. iii. 11. Prov. viii. 21. Instance of Christ's delight in believers. He reveals his whole heart to them; John xv. 14, 15. Himself ; 1 John xiv. 21. His kingdom. Enables them to communicate their mind to him, giving them, assistance; a way ; boldness; Rom. viii. 26, 27. The saints delight in Christ; this manifested. Cant. ii. 7. viji. 6. iii. 1-5. opened. Their delight in his servants and ordinances of worship for his sake.
The communion begun, as before declared, between Christ and the soul, is in the next place carried on by suitable consequential affections ; affections suiting such a relation. Christ having given himself to the soul, loves the soul; and the soul having given itself unto Christ, loveth him also. Christ loves his own, yea, loves them to the end ; John xiii. 1. and the saints they love Christ, they love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity;' Eph. vi. 24.
Now the love of Christ, wherewith he follows his saints, consists in these four things.
The love also of the saints unto Christ may be referred to these four heads.
Two of these are of the same kind, and two distinct; as is required in this relation, wherein all things stand not on equal terms.
1. The first thing on the part of Christ is delight. Delight is the flowing of love and joy; the rest and complacence of the mind, in a suitable, desirable good enjoyed. Now Christ delights exceedingly in his saints ; 'as the
a 'H8ov) pãrnov šv »pepią éotiv, ñ év xsvhces. Arist. Eth. lib. 7. cap. 14. Teksiõe de Tìm kÉey tay a show. Id. 1. 10. c. 4.
bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee ;' Isa. lxii. 5. hence he calleth the day of his espousals, the day of the 'gladness of his heart;' Cant. iii. 11. It is known that usually this is the most immixed delight, that the sons of men are in their pilgrimage made partakers of. The delight of the bridegroom in the day of his espousals is the height of what an expression of delight can be carried unto. This is in Christ answerable to the relation he takes us into. His heart is glad in us, without sorrow. And every day whilst we live is his wedding-day. It is said of him, Zech. iii. 17. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee' (that is dwelling amongst us, taking our nature ; John i. 14.) • is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing ;' which is a full description of delight in all the parts of it; joy and exaltation, rest and complacence. * I rejoiced,' saithhe, 'in the habitable parts of the earth, and my delights were with the sons of men ;' Prov. viii. 31. The thoughts of communion with the saints, were the joy of his heart from eternity. On the compact and agreement that was between his Father and him, that he should divide a portion with the strong, and save a remnant for his inheritance, his soul rejoiced in the thoughts of that pleasure and delight, which he would take in them, when he should actually take them into communion with himself. Therefore, in the preceding verse it is said, he was by him as yoN; say we, as one brought up with him : alumnus;' the LXX render it appólovoa; and the Latin, with most other translations,'cuncta componens,' or disponens.' The word 'taken actively, signifies him whom another takes into his care to breed up, and disposeth of things for his advantage; so did Christ take us then into his care, and rejoiced in the thoughts of the execution of his trust. Concerning them he saith, Here will I dwell, and here will I make my habitation for ever. For them hath he chosen for his temple and his dwelling place, because he delighteth in them. This makes him take them so nigh himself in every relation. As he is God, they are his temple; as he is a king, they are his subjects; he is the king of saints; as he is a head, they are his body, he is the head of the church ; as he is a first-born he makes them his brethren;' he is not ashamed to call them brethren.'