Tuesday, September 25, 2012

more Mather, less art

I took a longer than expected break from this Cotton Mather pamphlet but I feel I deserved it. But where were we - oh yes, Ungodly men, yadda yadda yadda. Now I know why nobody else has thought to transcribe this thing. *sigh*

On the positive side, after this installment I will finally be at the part of the pamphlet where Cotton Mather trashes Christmas, demonstrating that in spite of Bill O'Reilly's hysteria, the first "war on Christmas" was started by Christians.

One item of note for this installment - he mentions Indian weed: 

"To be Slave unto the use of an Indian Weed, or any other Trifle, is beneath a Christian, who has Right Thoughts of Liberty"

6. 'Tis a thing of an Ungodly Aspect, for Men from such Liberties as are Lawful Ones, to Encourage themselves in taking such as are Unlawful Ones. There are Great Liberties, which the Grace of God has granted unto Christians, Especially now the Mosaic Yoke is taken off, by the Grace of a more Evangelical Dispensation Bu what sayes the Law of CHRIST? I Cor. VIII 9 But take heed, Lest by any means this Liberty of yours become a Stumbling Block, to them that are weak Minded it is (unreadable text) there is no Necessity of them. and no Commandment of God obliges to do them, we should think, Tis true, I may do this thing, But wont my doing of it, cause other People to sin against my Savior? In this Case we must forbear, Else we make a wrong use of our Liberty. Luther had an Holy Saying, Omnia Libera per Fidem, serva per Charstatem. O Redeemed People of God, This is a Case that calls for a more Frequent and Solemn Consideration, than it commonly finds among you! This the Grace of God is also Trampled on, When we run into an Excess in the use of Lawful Things. The Christian has from the Grace of God, A CHARTER, for  the whole Creation, I will show you my Charter. It runs in those Terms, I Tim. IV 4 Every Creature of God is Good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with Thanksgiving. Well, But the Precepts of GOD, and the Maxims of a Godly and Sober and Righteous Life, must set Bounds to us, in our using of our Charter. A Man may Eat any thing: But yet he may not be a Glutton. A Man may Drink what he will, But for all that, he must not be Drunk. To be Slave unto the use of an Indian Weed, or any other Trifle, is beneath a Christian, who has Right Thoughts of Liberty. He may use it, but not so, as to be in Pain, if he be not alwayes at it. Any Civil Modes of Apparel may be followed - but Vanity and Luxury in Apparel, Habits that are the Ensigns of a Foolish Minds, Immoderate and Exorbitant Gaieties, the Disciples of the Humble JESUS, must put off such things. Liberty is turned into Slavery, when it runs into Extravagances. I never Sin but I Enslave myself  
7. 'Tis a Branch of Ungodliness, for Men from the Relation they bear to the God of Heaven, to Encourage themselves in Miscarriages towards the Men on Earth, whom they stand Related to. The Grace of God bestows mighty Priviledges, on them, whom He raises unto the Relation of His People, and His Children But what says the Apostle? I Pet II. 16 As free, not using your Liberty, as a Cloke of Maliciousness, but as the Servants of God. Thro' the Grace of God, my Conscience is exempted from all Humane Empire None but the Great GOD can Command my Conscience, I may not Complement any Man thoug' he were a greater Tyrant than him at Versailles, with a Subjection of my Conscience unto him. For all that, I must make Conscience of Submitting to the Government, which is an Ordinance of God  Paul writing to the Romans, cautions them of this; That they should not on the score of their Christianity pretend an Exemption from the Jurisdiction of the Magistrate, in the Things for which God has Ordained him. So Nothing but the WORD of God, is to Order all things in the Church of God, Things are never done Decently there, but when done according to that Order. The Inventions of Men may not be imposed there, We are to Reject such Schismatical Impositions; the Imposers, however Liberal they are in bestowing the Term upon others, are to be look'd upon as the true Schismaticks. For all this, the Church is to Pray for all that are in Authority, and its People are to Lead Peaceful Lives in all Godliness and Honesty. In the Church, the Pastors must not Lord it over the Heritage. The People must have the Choice of their own Pastors: The Pastors must proceed with the Consent of the People in things of common concernment. This was the true State of Things in the Primitive Church, and so they continued for some hundreds of years, and until they were overwhelmed with the Usurpations of Antichrist. It is an Obstinacy little short of a Miraculous Inflection, which they discover, who will at this time of Day, Contradict things that are so notoriously demonstrated. Sacred and Precious Liberties! But now, you read Gal V 13 Brethren, Ye have been called unto Liberty, Only use not your Liberty for an occasion to the Flesh, but by Love Serve one another O dear Flocks of the Lord, You must not now forget that word, Obey them that have the Rule over you, and Watch for your Souls: nor forget that word; Let the Elders that Rule well be counted worthy of double Honour. Nor forget that word, Know them that are over you in the Lord, and Esteem them very highly in Love. The Grace of God should indeed cause Pastors and People, to be always loading One another with Tokens of Mutual Affection. In our Families, Humanity goes a great way and Christianity much further, in this, That a Servant becomes a Brother. But if the Servant shall now Despise his Master, Insult his Master, Disobey they Master, which the Fifth Commandment has bound him to, Let that Brother be beaten into better Matters, make him to know his Inferior Condition a little better. He Saucily Playes upon the Grace of God, and should be chastised for it.  
8. 'Tis a flaming Ungodliness when from the Gifts of God unto Men, their Sins against God, are encouraged, are furnished, are not (unreadable word). The Grace of God, grants Gifts unto Men, Oh, why should it be found, Unto the Rebellious! Ungodly Men, they make the Gifts of God unto them, only a Furniture(?) and a Nourishment for them, in carrying on Rebellions against Him. Unrighteous Ones, They fall into the Fault of Jeshurun; Deut XXXII 15. He waxe fat, and Kicked Have they any Wit? Fools have the keeping of it, They are only Wish to do Evil. Have they Health and Strength of Body? It only renders them the more Able and the more Eager to Commit Iniquity. Are they Beautiful? They are Proud of it. And with it, they Tempt the Simple ones, and those that are void of Understanding. Do Riches increase up on them? All goes to feed, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Lust of the Eye, and the Pride of Life. They do but the more put their Trust in Uncertain Riches God has little Honour from their Substance Are they put into Commissions or advanced into Stations and Places of some Dignity? It fills them with empty Conceits of themselves. They employ their Opportunities not so much to Do Good in the Word, as that they m ay be made Rich, and the Glory of their House increased. The XLVII. Chapter of Genesis, to me Exhibits and Example of such an Abused Advancement, which I must own, I cannot without Scandal and Sorrow, and Wonder  think upon. But how much imitated in our Later Ages? Marvellous Disingenuity! To fight afaisnt the Blessed God, with His Own Weapons, at such a rate! Thus to take His Coin, and His Wine and His Wool, and only Serve diverse Lusts with them! Thus to take His Talents and only Trade for the Devil with them! With such Ungodly Men, how Suitably, how Pungently may we use their Expostulations! Deut XXXII 6 Do ye thus Requite the Lord, O foolish People and Unwise. A Base Requital for the Grace of a Good God Oh! Blush and be Ashamed of it.