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this way, let him drow nigh to God, and God will draw
nigh to him, Jam. 4. 8. When ob. XX. No less diligent care is necessary to preserve tained,
the peace thus obtained, and daily to encrease in incarefully
timacy with the divine favour and friendship. For this, kept. there is required. vít, A daily exciting of his love to
God by devout meditation, both on the divine peral fections, on account of which he is most highly amiable in himself, and on his infinite love, where with he first loved us, and the inestimable bene. fits flowing from that infinite love. For God cannot possibly suffer himself to be exceeded in love by man, Fobn 14. 21, be that loveth me, shall be loved of my father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. . 2dly. Frequent intercourse with God; so that worldly cares being for a little laid alide, and a pleafant retirement fought out, you may, by frequent and repeated exercises of reading, meditation, and prayer, with a modest boldness, obtain familiarity with God, Job 22. 21, acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee. It was a fine advice of Jerome to Eustachius, de custodia virginitatis: Let the privacy of thy chamber always keep thee; let thy bridegroom always delight himself with. in thee :, when thou prayest, thou speckest to thy brides groom": when thou readest, he specketh to thee: let foolish virgins wander abroad, be thou within with thy bride groom : because, if thou shuttest thy door, and, according to the precept of the Gospel, prayest to thy father in se crèt, he will come, and knock and say: behold, I stand at the door and knock. 3dly, The practice of in: offensive and strict godliness, with an attentive watch: fulnefs against the fins that so easily beset us. These things flow from the love of God, and without them none can have familiar converse wich him, John 143 23; if a man love me, he will keep my words, and nzy fan ther will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode-with bim. The exercise of christian vir tues, or graces, is that chain of the spouse, with which the heart of the Lord is ravished, Cantic. 4.
The work of righteoufrefs shall be peace, and the effects of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever, Isa. 32.4 17. compare Ifaa 64.50 31-4thly," Becaule, in to its this imperfect state of our fanctification, it cannot altogether be avoided, but at times, the godly may fall,
and turn a little either to the right hand, or to the lefecthey are, in that cafe, presently to rife from their fall, and return to their God, unlefs they would greatly impair their familiarity with him. When he calls us; return, ye backsliding children, and I will heat yaur backslidingss we are directly to answer : bebold, we come unto thee for thou art.the Lord our God, ifer. 3. 2 2. ! 75thly, It also contributes very much to prey ferve the fense of the divine friendthip, if, in all things, you commit yourfelf to the conduct of his providence, always approving his will towards theey to be just, holy, wife and good jo and faying with Job 340 12, yea surely, God will not do wickedly : In whatever befals thee, give him thanks; and denying all thy own defires, give up thy will to be swallowed up in his. Be careful for nothing and the peace of God, which pafseth all understanding, shall keep your kearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Pbil. 4. 6.
XXI. Altho’ it is not pollible, that any who is ad- The sense mitted into peace and friendship with God, should thereof
often in altogether fall from ir, (for the covenant of divine
terrupted. peace, which stands firmier than the mountains and hills, shall never be removed, Ifa. 54. 10.) yet the fenfe and relish thereof are often interrupted. For, ift, God doth not always fhew his pleasant countenance to his friends; fometimes be bides himself, Ifa. 8:17. Standeth a far off, Pf. 10. 1; admits them nor into familiarity with him, nor fills them with the abundance of his confolations: he hears not when they call, Pf. 22. 2, 3, as if he regarded them not. 2dly, Nay, he thruits them from him with a kind of contempt, as if a father had disdainfully spit in the face of his daughter, Numb. 12, 14, and is angry against their prayer, Pf. 80. 4. 3dly, He terrifies them with many forrows í not only by hiding his face, without
this, on the part
which there is no joy, Pf. 30. 7, but by his fierce anger
to be vexed and buffeted by the devil, Job. 2. 6. Afat
ter that the light of the divine countenance is set, im
104. 20, 21. The rea.
XXII. The reasons of this conduct of God 10 fons of
wards his friends are various: some respect God;
others, the friends of God. God thus deals with his of God. people, ist, In order to Thew, that he is the sove
reign Lord, and most free dispenser of his own
vigour, makes him triumph over Satan, and gives him the more abundant comfort, the more distante he was from all the sense of his favour. This is to bew wonders to the dead, Pf. 88. 10; and to revive the wounded fpirit, which Solomon Prov. 18. 14, declares, exceeds any created power.
XXIII. The reasons with respect to the friends of On the God, are two fold: for, either they regard the time part of påst, or the future. As to the time paft, God man, bote
as to the usually restrains the beams of his favour, ist. When his friends have been guilty of some grievous fin for, in that case, his holiness is concerned, that they feel the rod of his paternal displeasure, and not be suffered to have then familiarity with him, Pf. 51. 9; 11, 12. If they be bound in fetters, and be bolden in cords of affiliation : then be fheweth them their work, Job. 36. 8, 9: and really, as it were, calls out to them ; know therefore and fee, that it is an tvil thing, and bitter thar thou haft forsaken the Lord iby God, Jer. 2. 19. Wben they rebelled and vexed bis boly Spirit, therefore be was turned to be their enemy, Ifa. 63. 10. 2dly. When abusing the good ness of God, they worship his majefty with less reverence and begin to fag in the exercise of devotion gdly." When carnal confidence, and 'vain glorying have seized upon them, Pf. 30. 6, 7, and in my prosperity I said; I fall never be moved: thou didft bide thy face, and I was troubled. 4thly. When the offer of divine grace is unworthily entertained chrough a kind of indolence and drousiness Song. 5. 3.
XXIV. The following reasons refer to the time And the to come, ist. That God may try and exercise time to their faith, 1 Pet. 1.6; 7; which ought to be in come. exercise, even when nothing is to be seen; and their love, by which they are bound to love God for -himself, tho' they are not sensible, that they themselves are loved, and the fincerity of their worihip, which is not to proceed from a mere relish of the
reward, but from an acknowledgment of the divine
9 How to XXV. But what course is the soul now to take, renew the in order to renew the interrupted friendship of God ed friend.
For we are not to think, that God will be angry ihip of with his people for ever: for, I will not contend for? God,
ever, neither will I be always wrotb: for the Spirit, )