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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : An Humble Affectionate And Earnest Address To The Clergy

An Humble Affectionate And Earnest Address To The Clergy - William Law

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Address 1: The reason of my humbly and affectionately addressing this discourse to the clergyà

Address 2: If it be asked, What this one thing is? It is the SPIRIT OF GODà

Address 3: Everything else, be it what it will, however glorious and divine in outward appearanceà

Address 4: All scripture bears full witness to this truth, and the end and design of allà

Address 5: The grounds and reasons of which are as follow.à

Address 6: All possible goodness that either can be named, or is namelessà

Address 7: All that can be called goodness, holiness, divine tempersà

Address 8: God could not make the creature to be great and glorious in itselfà

Address 9: But now, if all that is divine, great, gloriousà

Address 10: The matter therefore plainly comes to this, nothing can doà

Address 11: Now the reason why no work of religion, but that which is begunà

Address 12: All TRUE religion is, or brings forth, an essential union and communion of the spirità

Address 13: Now as no animal could begin to respire, or unite with the breath of thisà

Address 14: Take away inspiration, or suppose it to cease, and then no religious acts or affectionsà

Address 15: A religious faith that is uninspired, a hope, or love that proceeds not from theà

Address 16: A religion that is not wholly built upon this supernatural groundà

Address 17: No man therefore can reach God with his loveà

Address 18: Divine inspiration was essential to man's first created state.à

Address 19: Hence it plainly appears that the gospel state could not be God's last dispensationà

Address 20: Now from these words let this conclusion be here drawnà

Address 21: Now as infinitely absurd as this conclusion is, no one that condemns continual immediate inspirationà

Address 22: Behold a pride, and a humility, the one as good as the otherà

Address 23: The necessity of a continual inspiration of the Spirit of Godà

Address 24: Now when Christ had told them of the necessity of an higher state than thatà

Address 25: Here are two most important and fundamental truths fully demonstratedà

Address 26: Secondly, that as the apostles could not, so no manà

Address 27: For why could not the apostles, who had been eye witnesses to all the wholeà

Address 28: But if the belief of the necessity and certainty of immediate continual divine inspirationà

Address 29: Now this middle way has neither scripture nor sense in ità

Address 30: And here lies the TRUE unchangeable distinction between Godà

Address 31: This must be the case of all fallen Christendomà

Address 32: But to return now to the doctrine of continual inspiration.à

Address 33: And what is well to be noted, everyone, however high in human literatureà

Address 34: Our divine master compares the religion of the learned Pharisees |to whited sepulchersà

Address 35: Now whence was it, that a religion, so serious in its restraintsà

Address 36: And yet, sad and satanical as this self isà

Address 37: But to all this it must yet be addedà

Address 38: Let then the writers against continual immediate divine inspiration take this for a certain truthà

Address 39: Hence it is, that grieving, quenching, or resisting the Spirità

Address 40: |When I am lifted up from the earth,| says Christà

Address 41: Now that which we are here taught, is the whole end of all scriptureà

Address 42: |Ye are not in the flesh,| says the apostleà

Address 43: |Lo, I am always with you,| says the holy Jesusà

Address 44: Again, Christ, after his glorification in heaven, says, |Behold I STAND at the DOOR andà

Address 45: Now the matter is not at all about the different effects or works proceeding fromà

Address 46: It is to no purpose to object to all thisà

Address 47: But as I do not begin to doubt about the necessityà

Address 48: Another charge upon me, equally false, and I may sayà

Address 49: I have elsewhere shown the gross darkness and ignorance which govern that which is calledà

Address 50: And here truth obliges me to say, that scholastic divinity is in as great ignoranceà

Address 51: Now hard as this may seem to unregenerate natureà

Address 52: |Except ye be converted, and become as little childrenà

Address 53: Now whether this self broken off from God, reasonsà

Address 54: Hence also it is, that Christendom, full of the nicest decisions about faithà

Address 55: A scholar, pitying the blindness and folly of those who live to themselves in theà

Address 56: But that I may fully show the perverseness of my accusersà

Address 57: |You shall see reason possessed of all that belongs to it.à

Address 58: |Man, considered as a member of this world, who is to have his share ofà

Address 59: |Now besides these organs of sense, he has a power or faculty of reasoning uponà

Address 60: |Now how is it, that the good things of this world are communicated to man?à

Address 61: |Now here, you must degrade reason just as much as it is degraded by religionà

Address 62: |Now it is only thus helpless and useless in religionà

Address 63: |For the good of religion is like the good of food and drink to theà

Address 64: |But as soon as it is known and confessedà

Address 65: Hence may be seen the great and like blindness both of infidels and Christiansà

Address 66: Our Lord says, |It is expedient for you that I go awayà

Address 67: Christ says further: |I have many things to say unto youà

Address 68: Christ also says, |If any man loves me, my Father will love himà

Address 69: Christ from heaven says, |Behold I stand at the doorà

Address 70: |Rabbi,| says Nicodemus to Christ, |we know that thou art a teacher come from God.à

Address 71: It would be great folly and perverseness, to charge me here with slightingà

Address 72: I exceedingly love, and highly reverence the divine authority of the sacred writings of theà

Address 73: But now, if this is not thought that fullness of regard that is due toà

Address 74: I shall now only add this friendly hint to the doctorà

Address 75: Now if the doctor did that, though it was only from humilityà

Address 76: Let it be supposed, that our Lord was to come again for a while inà

Address 77: Let the doctor figure to himself the gaudy pageantry of a divine high mass inà

Address 78: O vainest of all vain projects! For what is Christianityà

Address 79: I come now to the quotation from the pastoral letter of Mr.à

Address 80: I cannot more illustrate the sense, or extol the judgmentà

Address 81: |A judicious naturalist observes, that sound and strong lungs are that on whichà

Address 82: These two instances are proof enough, that as soon as any man trusts to naturalà

Address 83: Whence is it, that we see genius and natural abilities to be equally pleased withà

Address 84: The other instance of delusion from book learning, relates to Mr.à

Address 85: |The things of God,| says St.à

Address 86: The reports that are to be acknowledged as TRUE concerning the Holy Spirit and hisà

Address 87: |I am the way, the truth, and the lifeà

Address 88: Here again may be seen, in the highest degree of certaintyà

Address 89: Take away this power and working life of the Spirit from being the one lifeà

Address 90: How much then is it to be lamented, as well as impossible to be deniedà

Address 91: How is it that the logical, critical, learned Deist comes by his infidelity? Why justà

Address 92: Through all scripture nothing else is aimed at or intended for manà

Address 93: But this truth being lost or given up, vain learning and a worldly spirità

Address 94: Hence it is, that the scripture-scholar is looked upon as having divine knowledge of itsà

Address 95: Now to call such scripture skill divine knowledge, is just as solid and judiciousà

Address 96: That one light and Spirit, which was only one from all eternityà

Address 97: |Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.à

Address 98: For where can God's kingdom be come, but where every other power but his isà

Address 99: What now have parts, and literature, and the natural abilities of manà

Address 100: Now let this simple question decide the whole matter hereà

Address 101: Look now at the present state of Christendom, glorying in the light of Greek andà

Address 102: In the first gospel church, heathen light had no other name than heathen darknessà

Address 103: The simplicity indeed, both of the gospel letter and doctrineà

Address 104: But now, what follows from this new risen light? Whyà

Address 105: And indeed, if we consider the nature of our salvationà

Address 106: His intellectual faculties are, by the fall, in a much worse state than his naturalà

Address 107: Who then can enough wonder at that bulk of librariesà

Address 108: What a grossness of ignorance, both of man and his saviorà

Address 109: This will be more or less the case with all the salvation- doctrines of Christà

Address 110: How came the learned heathens by their pride and vanityà

Address 111: Self is the root, the tree, and the branches of all the evils of ourà

Address 112: All the vices of fallen angels and men have their birth and power in theà

Address 113: What is then, or in what lies the great struggle for eternal life? It allà

Address 114: And here it is to be observed, that every son of Adam is in theà

Address 115: The enemies to man's rising out of the fall of Adamà

Address 116: There has been much sharp looking out, to see where and what anti-Christ isà

Address 117: But to know with certainty, where and what anti-Christ isà

Address 118: What therefore has everyone so much to fear, to renounce and abhorà

Address 119: This is that full-born natural self, that must be pulled out of the heartà

Address 120: Now what is it in the human soul that most of all hinders the deathà

Address 121: Let then the high accomplished scholar reflect, that he comes by his wità

Address 122: The finest intellectual power, and that which has the best help in it towards bringingà

Address 123: Yet so it is, in this fallen state of the gospel churchà

Address 124: However, to make way for parts, criticism, and language- learningà

Address 125: The first and main doctrine of Christ and his apostles wasà

Address 126: This was the kingdom of God come to themà

Address 127: No higher, or other thing is here said, than in these other wordsà

Address 128: But now, is not this kingdom gone away from usà

Address 129: What is the difference between man's own righteousness and man's own light in religion? Theyà

Address 130: But lamentable as this is, the letter of scripture has been so long the usurpedà

Address 131: The TRUE nature, and full distinction between literal and divine knowledgeà

Address 132: Now clear and evident as this distinction is, between a mere literal direction to aà

Address 133: Thus, as soon as a man of speculation can demonstrate thatà

Address 134: Again, another, forming an opinion of faith from the letter of scriptureà

Address 135: How trifling therefore to say no worse of it is that learningà

Address 136: When the holy church of Christ, the kingdom of God came among menà

Address 137: Hence it is, that from a religion of heavenly loveà

Address 138: It may perhaps be here said, Must there then be no learning or scholarshipà

Address 139: To this the first answer is, Happy, thrice happy are theyà

Address 140: Secondly, with regard to the demand of learned knowledge in the Christian churchà

Address 141: There is no knowledge in heaven, but what proceeds from this birth of loveà

Address 142: Let this be my excuse to the learned worldà

Address 143: One of Christ's followers said, |Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father|à

Address 144: The holy Jesus said, |I am the light of the worldà

Address 145: But to see the exceeding folly of expecting ability in divine knowledgeà

Address 146: For what is, or can be the fall of a divine Adam under the powerà

Address 147: But if fire and Spirit from heaven can alone make heavenly creaturesà

Address 148: Behold then your state, ye ministers, that wait at Christian altarsà

Address 149: Complain then no more of atheists, infidels, and such like open enemies to the gospelà

Address 150: Our Lord has said, |The kingdom of God is within youà

Address 151: Say now, out of reverence to sound literature, and abhorrence of enthusiasmà

Address 152: What a sobriety of faith and sound doctrine is ità

Address 153: What wonder, if sacraments, church-prayers, and preachings, leave high and lowà

Address 154: That the Jewish and Christian church stand at this day in the same kind ofà

Address 155: But is it not as easy to see, that the whole Christian church are inà

Address 156: God said to Moses, |Put off thy shoes, for the place whereon thou standest isà

Address 157: But here lies the great mistake, or rather idolatrous abuse of all God's outward dispensations.à

Address 158: Need it now be asked, whether the TRUE Christ of the gospel be less blasphemedà

Address 159: Christian doctors reproach the old learned rabbis, for their vain faithà

Address 160: But nevertheless, in these condemners of rabbinic blindness, St.à

Address 161: But now corruption, sin, death, and every evil of the worldà

Address 162: Let then the eager searcher into words for wisdomà

Address 163: Now strange as all this may seem to the labor-learned possessor of far-fetched book- richesà

Address 164: Show me a man whose heart has no desireà

Address 165: On the other hand, show me a scholar as full of learningà

Address 166: Again, all learned Christendom agrees in the same charge against temporal power in the churchà

Address 167: And first, can it be said that Mammmon is less served by Christiansà

Address 168: Look at things spiritual, and things temporal, and say if you canà

Address 169: Again, secondly, |Ye have heard,| says our Lord, |that it hath been said by themà

Address 170: |He that despiseth me,| says Christ, |despiseth not meà

Address 171: If the swearing law was to order, that instead of kissing the gospel-bookà

Address 172: If it here be asked, whether I would have all private Christians to beggar themselvesà

Address 173: What I write, is not to show that Christendom's oathsà

Address 174: When the matter of an oath is a manifest lieà

Address 175: When a person swears of his own accord, or wantonlyà

Address 176: But here let it be well observed, that nothing that has here been saidà

Address 177: In a word, that which calls for, and requires oaths among Christiansà

Address 178: But to proceed now to a third and last instanceà

Address 179: In the darkest ages of Romish superstition, a martial spirit of zeal and glory forà

Address 180: The light which broke out at the reformation, abhorred the bloody superstitious zeal of theseà

Address 181: Now who can help seeing, that satan, the prince of the powers of darknessà

Address 182: Now fancy to yourself Christ, the Lamb of Godà

Address 183: But if this be too blasphemous an absurdity to be supposedà

Address 184: Blinded Protestants think they have the glory of slaughtering blind papistsà

Address 185: When a Most Christian Majesty, with his catholic churchà

Address 186: A glorious Alexander in the heathen world is a shame and reproach to the humanà

Address 187: Can the duelist, who had rather sheathe his sword in the bowels of his brotherà

Address 188: Now imagine the duelist fasting and confessing his sins to God todayà

Address 189: What blindness can well be greater, than to think that a Christian kingdomà

Address 190: Look at that which the private Christian is to do to his neighborà

Address 191: Love, goodness, and communication of good, is the immutable glory and perfection of the divineà

Address 192: And if long and long ages of fiery painà

Address 193: O poor sinner, whoever thou art, repent and turn to Godà

Address 194: To prevent all this, and make thee a child of the first resurrectionà

Address 195: Now from this view of God's infinite love and mercy in Christ Jesusà

Address 196: The temporal miseries and wrongs which war carries along with ità

Address 197: But there is still an evil of war much greaterà

Address 198: That God's providence over his fallen creatures is nothing else but a providence of loveà

Address 199: Among unfallen creatures in heaven, God's Name and nature is LOVEà

Address 200: Sing, O ye heavens, and shout all ye lower parts of the earthà

Address 201: Look now at warring Christendom, what smallest drop of pity towards sinners is to beà

Address 202: Here my pen trembles in my hand; but whenà

Address 203: For the GLORY OF HIS MAJESTY'S ARMS, said once a Most Christian kingà

Address 204: Again, would you further see the fall of the universal churchà

Address 205: Here now, let the wisdom of this world be as wise as ever it willà

Address 206: |Demas,| says St. Paul, |hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.à

Address 207: This wisdom has asked me, how it is possible for Christian kingdoms in the neighborhoodà

Address 208: This question is so far from needing to be answered by meà

Address 209: But to know whether Christianity wants, or admits of warà

Address 210: Now what follows from this going up of the nations to the mountain of theà

Address 211: Would you see when and where the kingdoms of this fallen world are become aà

Address 212: See here a kingdom of God on the earthà

Address 213: As to the present fallen state of universal Christendomà

Address 214: But the Christendom which I mean, that neither wantsà

Address 215: In these last ages of fallen Christendom, many reformations have taken placeà

Address 216: The wisdom of this world, with its worldly spirità

Address 217: This wisdom was the great evil root, at which the reforming ax should have beenà

Address 218: St. Paul speaks of a natural man, that cannot know the things of Godà

Address 219: This is the great anti-Christ, which is neither better nor worseà

Address 220: If therefore you take anything to be church- reformationà

Address 221: On this ground it is, that the apostle saidà

Address 222: Many are the marks, which the learned have given us of the TRUE churchà

Address 223: The scripture knows no Christians but saints, who in all things act as becometh saints.à

Address 224: The same which Paul says, is said by Christ in other wordsà

Address 225: The pleader for imperfection further supports himself by sayingà

Address 226: But surely he that is left under a necessity of sinning as long as heà

Address 227: Of Christ it only can be said, that he is in himself the TRUE vineà

Address 228: The sober divine, who abhors the pride of enthusiastsà

Address 229: Our Lord has said this absolute truth, that unless we be born again from aboveà

Address 230: Whence now comes all this folly of doctrines? It is because the church is noà

Address 231: See how St. Paul sets forth the salvationà

Address 232: What now is become of this TRUE church, or where must the man goà

Address 233: Look at all that is outward, and all that you then seeà

Address 234: But truth, to the eternal praise and glory of Godà

Address 235: That this new birth of the Spirit, or the divine life in manà

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