Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger
crookedfingers

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labor for a spiritual heavenly heart

"Take these Directions.*

[ 1] 1. Feel sin as a burden; as a weight let it be more to thee then all temporal evils in the world, for so Mat. 11. Come to me ye that are heavy laden and I will ease you; David Psalm. 32. when his sinne was ready to overwhelm him, then he cried out, Blessed is he to whom the Lord imputed no sinne; When Mary Mag∣dalene hath her head and heart a Fountain of water because of her sins, then she is greatly endeared in her affections to Christ; Those love much to whom much is forgiven, as our Saviour at large sheweth, Luk. 7.46. If then thou art not persuaded of thy debts, or if the thoughts of them do not afflict and grieve thee, never think that Christ will be chief in thy heart; Oh then begin here, lay this for a Foundation, saying, All these precious Truths will be spilt like water upon the ground, until I be of a broken contrite heart for sinne; The Prodigal never regarded the bread and Fullness in his Fathers House, till he comes to want even husks themselves: Joab would not come to Absalom, till all his Corn was fired: Neither do we readily and willingly run to Christ, till God hath shot his arrow into us, till he hath wounded us at the heart, till we feel sin the greatest burthen, and that because God is dishonored and provoked, and indeed this may be a very good motive to Repentance and humiliation, because there is such an excellent Remedy; Thou needest not fear going into the depths of this water because Christ will preserve thee therein; No wonder if a man not believing or acquainted with this Truth be afraid to think of his sinnes; That with Luther he hates the word Repent, for there is nothing but despair and hopelessness about sinne till this Truth be discovered; Oh then be no longer afraid to have thy sinnes brought to thy mind; Say not, They are a greater burthen then can be born; for had Cain believed in Christ, Had Judas believed in Christ, Their sick and wounded Souls had quickly been healed; It's not the greatness nor the multitude of thy sinnes; It's not the terrible aggravations of them may wholly overwhelm thee if so be thou dost but cast Anchor upon Christ.

[ 2] 2. If you would have an high esteem of this Point labor for a spiritual heavenly heart; For as Christ in his Mediation is wholly spiritual, all his offices and works are spiritual, so it's only the spiritual and heavenly heart that can close with it; There must be a proportion between the Object and the faculty or Subject; Supernatural will not agree with that which is natural; If therefore thou art carnal, earthly, and wholly minding worldly Comforts, thou wilt prefer every Thistle before this Jewell; To you that believe Christ is precious, saith Peter, 1 Peter 2.7. but to others he is not so; Oh then if thy heart doe not leap for Joy within thee, as John did in the womb at the Presence of Christ, it's because thy heart is carnal and sensual; Thou knowest no better good then what pleaseth sense: It's not because the matter is empty, but because thy heart is empty of heaven: What makes Paul desire to know nothing but Christ and him crucified; Was it not the high spiritual Frame of his heart? and it cannot

be otherwise, for Christ is all that an heavenly heart can desire; He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; He is the Head, and the Vine, He is the true Bread that came down from Heaven; He is made of God Wisdom, Righteousness, and Sanctification: If then there were more Paul, Christ in his Mediatorship would be more magnified, but the general sort of people are like the Gadarenes, they had rather that Christ should depart out of their Country then that they should lose their Swine, Or like unto the Jews, that desire to shew more favor to Barabbas then to Jesus.

3. Would you be affected with this Truth? then pray earnestly for the Spirit of Adoption, and an Evangelical Frame of heart: An heart not under the Law in a well-explained sense, but under Grace; Pray that ye may be led by the Spirit of God, and so be as Sonnes; For by this means Christ will be all in all: It's our hard, unbelieving, and distrustful thoughts of God that makes us keep at such a distance from Christ, and so neglect him who is the Peace-maker and Reconciler: Whereas an Evangelical disposition would make us draw nigh to God as a Father in Christ; It would remove the great Gulf that is in the way: It takes away the partition Wall; So that the longer we are kept in discouraging Fears, the less Fellowship have we with the Father and the Son, and so the less esteem and respect of him who is to create and work all this.

[ 4] 4. Would you Rejoice in this Truth? Then Acquaint your selves with the Imperfection of your graces, and the insufficiency that is in you even when you have done the best; For by this means you will find that every thing within faileth you, Nothing will stand sure enough, and thereby you will be necessitated to seek for a Mediator without: Thus Paul Rom. 7. when he discovered all that dross within himself, That when he would do good evil was present with him, Yet what doth this drive him to at last; I thank God through Jesus Christ; And David upon the apprehension of what defects did cleave to him, pray That God would not enter into Judgement, for then no flesh should be justified, Psa. 133. Not any one person in the world because he is flesh; Oh there is little cause for any man to bear up his Head, though he did ten Thousand times more then he did, though he were a Giant in Grace, whereas now he is but a Dwarf, because there is so much Imperfection in the best Duty, that it needs pardon; Not only our sins' but our Righteousness needs the Righteousness of Christ, as you see Paul acknowledged, and the Church of old complained comparing them to a menstruous Cloth, Isa. 64.6. Oh then if thou wert settled in this, thou wouldest cry out, Christ he is all in all." Anthony Burgess Sermon 40
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