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THE BLESSED UNION
CHRIST AND HIS MEMBERS.
BY JOSEPH, BISHOP OF NORWICH.
ONLY HONOUR AND GLORY
OF HIS BLESSED SAVIOUR AND REDEEMER :
AND TO THE COMFORT AND BENEFIT OF ALL THOSE MEMBERS OF
HIS MYSTICAL BODY, WHICH ARE STILL LABOURING
AND WARFARING UPON EARTH ;
THEIR UNWORTHIEST SERVANT, HUMBLY DEDICATES
THIS FRUIT OF HIS OLD AGE.
How to be happy in the apprehending of Christ. There is not so much need of learning as of grace, to apprehend those things, which concern our everlasting peace. Neither is it our brain, that must be set on work here; but our heart: for true happiness doth not consist in a mere speculation, but a fruition of good. However, therefore, there is excellent use of scholarship in all the sacred employments of Divinity ; yet in the main act, which imports salvation, skill must give place to affection. Happy is the soul, that is possessed of Christ, how poor soever in all inferior endowments.
Ye are wide, O ye great wits, while you spend yourselves in curious questions, and learned extravagancies. Ye shall find one touch of Christ more worth to your souls, than all your deep and laboursome disquisitions : one dram of faith more precious than a pound of knowledge. In vain shall ye seek for this in your books, if you miss it in your bosoms. If you know all things, and cannot truly say, I know whom I have believed, (2 Tim. i. 12.) you have but knowledge enough to know yourselves truly miserable.
Wouldst thou, therefore, my son, find true and solid comfort in the hour of temptation, in the agony of death? make sure work for thy soul, in the days of thy peace. Find Christ thine ; and, in the despite of hell, thou art both safe and blessed.
Look not so much to an Absolute Deity, infinitely and incomprehensibly glorious : alas, that Majesty, because perfectly and essentially good, is, out of Christ, no other than an enemy to thee. Thy sin hath offended his justice, which is himself: what hast thou to do with that dreadful power, which thou hast provoked?
Look to that merciful and all-sufficient Mcdiator betwirt God and man, who is both God and Man, Jesus Christ the righteous; 1 Tim. ii. 5. 1 John ii
. 1. It is his charge, and our duty, Ye believe in God, believe also in me ; John xiv. I.