Imatges de pÓgina
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heart (for fo I may yet fuppose thee) this hinders not but thou Raould it bid them weicome. It was the old law, * love ve therefore the strangers, for ye were strangers in the land of Egype' Deut. X. 19. And it is the apoltle's charge, Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for there

by some have entertained angels unawares,' Heb. xiii. 2. Holy thoughts are precious things, and if not angels (strict ly so called) yet are they God's messengers, and in that sease angels fent from God. They are the immediate fruits and buds of an immortal nature; they come from God, and they tend to God. They never come but for good, por do they dwell any where, but in the issue they give exceeding great rewards. Why then cherish these motions of the Spirit, commune with them again and again; know the errand fully and throughly on which they come from heasen. Their meaniog is to briog up thy foul from earth to heaven, and were it not pity to let them go before they have done the great business on which they come.

2. Complain of Satan's Mutting the doors against fuch thoughts.. Tell thy God that his enemy and thine hathi got the possession of thy fancy and affections, and of all the outer rooms that lead into the privy chamber of thy heart and that he hath put his bars and bolts so ftrongly in, that thou canst not open to those strangers. Yea, cry out a gaioft Satan and thyself, O the tyranny of Satan ! and Oli the loathness of my own heart, to entertain those bolj thoughts! and if they stand at the door and offer their fer vice, do not I join with Satan, and bid them begode? or if they Atep in before I ain aware, am not I weary, and willing with Satan tò drive them out again? Why Lord, I am not sufficient of myself, to think any thing as of age self, but my fufficiency is of thee, 2 Cor. iii. 5. If I ea. deavour never fo much to wind up my soul to an holy meditation, prefently I find my fancy or imagination, like the peggs of an inftrument slip between my fingers as I am winding them up, and to fall dowa fuddenly again. . Oh, woe is me that my nature is thus vile, and that Satan is thus (trong in me! Come, Lord, and break open these doors, that thy messengers may come in, and find due welco.ne; all my fufficiency is of thee, and thou art God

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Stand and startle at these wicked thoughts, that come instead of former good ones, is Satan so busy with thee, that now he hath filled thy heart with proud unclean or distrustføl thoughts? doth he now suggest

, That there is no God, that the world is for ever, that riches are better than grace, that the pleasures of fin are better than the hopes of heaven: Oh, shew thy abhorrence of them, and chide thy soul sharply for so much as holding any conference with them. But in this repulse begin betimes, crush them early at the very first rising, or Satan will prevail. It is not to tell what a world of misery man brings upon himfelf, by giving way to the first wicked thoughts: In the first place therefore, remember that text, Let the wicked man forfake his way, and the ungodly man his thoughts, Isa.

lv. 7.

SECT. IV.
Of the Duties that concern us in Respect of the Mediate af

faults. O Satan's mediate assaults by the world, or Aleth,

make use of these repulses. As, 1. To his assaults by the world, consider,

1. It is the Lord's command that we should have pointimate, indeared amity or correspondency with the world, • Love not the world, neither the things that are in the

world, if any man love the world, the love of the Father ! is not in him,' i John i. 15.

2. God and the world are at such eomity that we cannot ferve both. * No man can serve two masters (that are

opposite) for either he shall hate the one, and love the other, or else he shall lean to the one, and despise the o*ther; ye capaot serve God and Mammon,' Mat. vi. 24, The apostle herein appeals to our consciences; •Know ye not that the amity of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world, maketh himself an edemy of God, James iv. 4. It is a Fouzing question, Know ye not? wordly men do not fo much out of ignorance, as out of heedlesoess; they do not

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consider: And what should they consider That the ami. ty of the world is eamity with God; and to please the world is to wage war against heaven. Oh, consider this ye that forget God!

3. In our baptism we renounce the world, with all the vain pomps and glorious vanities thereof; then we profess, that we would couragioully fight against them under Christ; (hall we call alide the livery of Jesus Chrift? shall we backslide from our religion in truth and power, and join league with the profelt enemies of God and Chrift? What is this but to be worse and more wicked in the late ter ead, thao we were in the beginning? For if after we have escaped the pollutions of this world, thro' the knowlege of the Lord and Saviour fesus Chrift, we are again intang. ked thercin, and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning., 2 Pet. ii. 20,

4. What is the world but changeable, tariable, deceitful, miserable? Was there ever more experience of this truth than at this time? Oh what tumblings and tollings have been of late? How have men been deceived in their expectations and fruitions? Fair shews have been repre. sented to some, as they were to Ghrift; when the devil Shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, Mat. iv. 8. And how many have fallen down and worshipped? But are they not deceived? What matters the world's gorgeous shews ? it is in touch a feather, in fight a shadow, in weight a smoak, jo trust a reed, in all deceitful. Achithophel for all his policy; Haman for all his sway, Goliah for all his Strength, Nebuchadnezzar for all his pleasure, there worldlings that suck'd in the sweets of this world, they found its deceit, and now feel its pu. nichment. Wicked world! how dost thou uodo med with a world of treacberies ? It hates them that love it, deceives them that trust it, afflicts them that serve it, reproaches them that honour it, damns them that follow it. Athapasius tells us of an hermit to whom Gou should re. veal the state of this world, Et omnia viscosa, omnia operta tenchris, et obfela laqueis, All haaged full of nets, and devils set by to watch them. Go you over the whole world, behold couptrics, view provinces, look into cities,

hearken

hearken át doors, fee what is done in halls, in palaces, in private houses, are not the devil's soares in every corder? Justice is sold, shame is loft, truth is wrested, right dea spised; what lying, what Nandering, what deceiving is there? the innocent are condemned, the guilty delivered, the wicked advanced, the virtuous opprest d; pride, envy, perjury, vanity, th« le bear sway.

Ab! poor foul, doth the world inter pose to hinder thy consideration, or thought of change? Doih it tell thee of riches, honours, pleasures? say then with Christ, What if a man gain the whole world, and lose his own foul? Or doch it tell thee of afflictions, perfecutions, torments? say then with the apostle, That the afflictions of this life are not wor: thy of the glory which shall be revealed in us. Or if all this will not stop the mouth of the world, consider again, and consider of these particulars, the commands of Christ, che comity betwixt the world, and Christ, thy promise, and vow, and first obligation to Chrift: Yea, consider of what the world is, either in itself or thyself, and then bid it begone; Away world, for it is written the time is short, and the fashion of this world palleth away, Cor.

vii. 31.

2. To his assaults by the flesh, consider,

!. It is the Lord's command that we should depose the Aesh. Let not fin reign in your mortal bodies, that ye Ybould obey it in the lusts thereof, Rom., vi i'l. And put

of the old man, which is cörrupt, according to the deceitful lufts, Epb. iv. 22. And mortify your members which are upon earth, as fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affections, evil concupifcence, Col. iii. s.

2. The fesh is a worfe enemy than the devil himfelf. For never could the devil hurt us, if this inbred enemy did not betray us. This is the root, the fountain, the origin of all other fin; when luft hath conceived, it bringeth forth fin. Hence we say, that suggestion could do nothing without lost; if there were no fire in our wood, bever could devils breath kiadle any flame in our souls,

3. We are to weaken the fielh by abating the fuel of whatsoever may nourish and strengthen it. Make not provision for the files to fulfil the lufs thereof, Rom. xiii. J.

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As in a siege all means is afed to stop the paffages by which the enemy may be vi&tualled, fo malt we ftop the pasiag. es of Gin by which the flesh is strengthned. Now as the Hefn is resident in all parts and powers of the body and foul, fo muft we in every respect keep back provifion from every part. From the body delicacy, drunkennels, wan. tonness; from the phantasy vain imaginations, pernicious errors; from the mind and will finful cogitations, wicked deliberations; from the memory the remembrance of fia: fel pleasures, unless it be to repent of those that are paft, and to Hee from those that are present; from the heart on lawful lusts, wicked desires, upraly passions. I might thus inftante in every part.

4. As we must weaken, so we muft warcli over the flesh; and the rather because tho' we should get the bet ter in many confiets, yet still it is plotting and practifing Dew and fresh treasons. But what are those parts of the Aesh we mult especially watch? I answer,

1. The senses. Tirfe are the gates of our souls, and therefore they had beed to be strongly guarded

I made Covenant with my eyes, why then foould I look upons maid, Job xxxi. 1. And turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken thou me in thy way, Pfal.cxix. 36. And put a knife to thy mouth if thou be a man given to apo petite, Prov. xxiii. 2. And I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue, Plal. xxxix. i. And

Vet not corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the ufe of edifying, that may minzio fler grade unto the hearers, Eph. iv. 29. 2. The heart.

This of all parts is the most fubtil and crafty, The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things, who can know it, Jer, svii. 9. The counsel of the wise man is therefore good, Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the isues of life, Prov. iv. 23. Indeed the heart is the chief monarch in this little world of man, which rules and commands all other parts; it is the guide and captain which leads and directs them in all their courfes, it is as the primum mobile which moves all inferior Sheres, or as the chief wheel in the clock which fets all the rest of the wheels a-going; it is the spring and foun.

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