Three sorts of pretenders to truth 3/4

  1. Answer. Be much in the meditation of the transcendent excellency of truth.  ‘The eye affects the heart;’ this is the window at which love enters.  Never any that had a spiritual eye to see truth in her native beauty, but had a heart to love her.  This was the way that David’s heart was ravished with the love of the word of truth: ‘O how love I thy law! it is my medita­tion all the day,’ Psalms 119:97.  While his thoughts were on it, his love was drawn to it.  David found a great difference betwixt meditating on the truth’s of God’s word, and other excellences which the world cries up so highly.  When he goes to entertain himself with the thoughts of some perfection in the creature, he finds it but a jejune , dry subject compared with this.  He soon tumbles over the book of the world’s excellences, and can find no notion that deserves any long stay upon it; ‘I have seen’ saith he, ‘an end of all perfections;’ he is at the world’s end presently, and in a few thoughts can see to the bottom of all the world’s glory; but when he takes up the truths of God into his thoughts, now he meets with work enough for his admiration and sweet meditation—‘Thy command­ment is exceed­ing broad.’ Great ships cannot sail in narrow rivers and shallow waters, neither can minds truly great with the knowledge of God and heaven, find room enough in the creature to turn and expatiate themselves in.  A gra­cious soul is soon aground and at a stand when upon these flats; but let it launch out into the meditation of God, his word, the mysterious truths of the gospel, and he finds a place of broad waters, sea-room enough to lose himself in.  I might here show you the excellency of divine truths from many heads.  As from the source and spring-head whence they flow, the God of truth; or from their opposite, that misshapen monster, er­ror, &c.  But I shall only direct your meditation to a few enamouring properties which you shall find in these truths.  You may meet a heap of them together in Psalm 19:7, and so on.

           Truth is ‘pure;’ this made David love it, Ps. 119:140.  It is not only pure, but makes the soul pure and holy that embraceth it.  ‘Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,’ John 17:17.  It is the pure water that God washeth foul souls clean with.  ‘I will sprinkle clean water upon you  and ye shall be clean, from all your filthiness…will I cleanse you,’ Eze. 36:25. Foul puddle-water will as soon make the face, as error make the soul, clean.

           Truth is ‘sure,’ and hath a firm bottom, Ps. 19:7. We may lay the whole weight of our souls upon it and yet it will not crack under us.  Cleave to truth and it will stick to thee.  It will go with thee to prison, banishment, yea, stake itself and bear thy charges wherever thou goest upon her errand.  ‘Not one thing,’ saith Joshua, ‘hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof,’ Joshua 23:14.  Whatever you find there promised count it money in your purse.  ‘Fourscore years,’ said Polycarp, ‘I have served God, and found him to be a good master.’  But when men think by forsaking the truth to provide well for themselves, they are sure to meet with disappointments.  Many have been flattered from truth with goodly promises, and then served no better than Judas was by the Jews, after he had betrayed his Master into their bloody hands, ‘look thou to that.’  Though persecutors love the treason, yet they hate the traitor.  Yea, oft—to show their devilish malice—they, when some have got to wound their consciences by denying the truth, have most cruelly butchered them, and gloried in it, as a full revenge to destroy the soul and body together. Again,

           Truth is ‘free,’ and makes the soul ‘free’ that cleaves to it.  ‘The truth shall make you free,’ John 8:32. Christ tells the Jews of a bondage they were in, which that brag people never dreamed on.  ‘Ye are of your father the devil, and his lusts you will do,’ ver. 44.  Such slaves are all sinners.  They must do what the devil will have them, and dare no more displease him, than a child his father with a rod in his hand.  Some witches have confessed that they have been forced to send out their imps to do mischief to others that they might have ease themselves; for till they did send them abroad upon such an errand they were them­selves tormented by them.  And he who hath a lust sucking on him, finds as little rest if he be not always serving of it, and making provision for it.  Can the world, think you, show such another slave as this poor wretch is?  Well, though all the bolts that the devil hath—lusts I mean—were locked upon one sinner, and he shut up in the closet dungeon of all his prison, yet let but this poor slave begin to be acquainted with the truth of Christ, so as to open his heart to it, and close with it, and you shall soon hear that the founda­tions of the prison are shaken, its doors thrown open, and the chains fallen off the poor creature’s legs. Truth cannot itself be bound, nor will it dwell in a soul that lies bound in sin’s prison; and therefore when once truth and the soul are agreed, or rather Christ and the soul, who are brought together by ‘truth,’ then the poor creature may lift up his head with joy, for his redemption and jail-delivery from this spiritual bondage draws nigh; yea, the day is come, the key is in the lock already to let him out.  It is impossible we should be acquainted with ‘truth as it is in Jesus’ and be mere strangers to this liberty that attends it, Eph. 4:19-21.

        

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