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There was the more need to be parti cular on this Head, as well to guard on the one hand against an Error which fome well-meaning and pious People have been misled by, as against that prevailing Incredulity on the other which treats all Appearances of a fupernatural kind as Fictions or Diftemper of Mind, which is too much the fashionable Hobbifm of this Age, and has a direct Tendency to Atheism: And indeed a ftrong Tincture of the latter is much to be fufpected where Men openly profefs themfelves fo far Sadducees as to difbelieve all Manifeftations of Angels or Spirits upon any Teftimony whatever. Such Perfons generally make the highest Pretenfions to the Name of rational, tho' in this Inftance they give no Proof of their being fo, feeing that Reason is not more concerned in denying than affirming the real Exiftence of these Things, it being rather the Office of Reafon to feek for Truth here, as in most other Cafes, in the Midway betwixt believing too much and too little: And as to any Difficulty of diftinguishing betwixt true and falfe in this Matter, the Objection concludes no


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more ftrongly here than it does against trusting to the Report of our Senfes, to the Profeffions of Friendship, or to many other Matters that occur in common Life, on account of the various Deceits and Impofitions that we are daily liable to.


may not be unfeafonable in this Place to add a general Caution against treating with Ridicule or Levity what serious and religious People declare concerning their Experiences, tho' they may not be altogether free from Indifcretion or Mistake therein. Whatever paffes betwixt God and the Soul, tho' according to our most imperfect Apprehenfions of it, is a Subject of awful Confideration, and the very weakeft of our Brethren, if well-meaning, are in this Cafe among thofe little ones whom we should not dare to offend. These things have been treated of late in a very unbecoming Manner, and it is high time to take Notice of it, and to rescue the Myfteries of the divine Life from the Mockery of profane Jefters. Christianity is too much confidered by many as a Science only, but they who denied it to be experimental alfo know nothing of it yet as they ought to know, nor are qualified to fpeak with Propriety on any one

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Grace of the Gospel. The Soul has its Senfations as well as the Body, its Affections and Paffions are confeffedly fuch, nor is it eafy to conceive how we can be made Partakers of thofe Fruits of the Spirit, Love, Joy, Peace, but by our fpiritual Senfes put into Exercife by a Principle of fpiritual Life, unless it may also be affirmed that we have no other way whereby to judge of our bodily Health and Soundness than by dif tinct Acts of Perception or Reflexion. What a strange kind of Divinity then must that be which would rob Faith of its fub-ftantial Comforts, and explain away the -high Privileges of the Chriftian into ideal Nothings, whilft it allows to the animal Man a fenfible Experience of his vain Loves and earthly Satisfactions!"

Let thus much fuffice under the Article of mixt Enthusiasm confidered as that State of the divine Life in which there is much of Infirmity and Miftake, and oftentimes of Deception and Error, either arifing from Complexion, Prejudice of Education, Pafe fions not thoroughly mortified, or wrong Habits not fufficiently fubdued, but notwithstanding this Mixture of Darkness and natural Corruption, with the Light and


Grace of God's good Spirit, ftill Holiness is the prevailing Principle, and divine Love keeps the Afcendant in the Soul, as a Flame never extinguished, tho' varying in Steddiness and Luftre from different Causes. We are furnished with many eminent Inftances of Perfons in this Character in every Church, all holy People, (whatever outward Communion of Chriftians they belong to) being fellow Members of that Catholic Church for which we pray, and joint Affociates in that bleffed Communion of Saints of which Chrift Jefus, God bleffed for ever, is the only fupreme Head.

It remains that fomething be faid of pure Enthufiafm (according to the proper Definition of the Word) as fignifying that high State of Chriftian Perfection in which Men of purified Souls hold intimate Communion with God through the Fellowship of his Holy Spirit, having their Minds defecated from all heterogeneous Mixtures, irradiated with his divine Light, and tafting the ineffable Sweethefs of that Love, Joy, and Peace, which conftitute a felf-evident and glorious Display of the Kingdom of God within us. He that is come up hither may well be compared to Jacob's Ladder, tho'

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he ftandeth upon the Earth, yet he reacheth unto the higheft Heavens; He is. in Poffeffion of every thing that is Great and Excellent, for he is united to God; he hath attained to the End of all Ordinances, for Love fulfilleth all things in him, and Chrift giveth him to eat of fpiritual Meat, and to drink of the Water of Life freely: He needeth not that one teach him, for he is taught of God, and that Wisdom which is a Breath of his Power maketh her Abode with him, and feedeth him with the Bread of Understanding; he is got above the Reach of Delufions arifing from the Phantafms of an irregular Imagination, being reduced to an entire Poverty of Spirit, denuded of all Self-hood, and mortified to natural Senfibilities, fo that his Illuminations are clear as the Rivers of Paradife, and the divine Communications to his Soul pure as the fhining Light. But how fhall he particularize this State who hath attained to no Experience of it, feeing thofe few who have, declare it to furpafs Description; the great Dr. More before quoted, (who in one Part of his Life feems to have been of this Number) calls it "a moft joyous and lucid "State of Mind, and fuch as is ineffable;"


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