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tain of all our thoughts, words and actions, which being defiled, defileth them, or being purified, communicates its purity toto them. As the heart directeth, the tongue fpeaketh, the hand worketh, the eye feeth, the foot walketh; A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treafure of bis heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for oört of the abündance of the heart the mouth speaketh, Luke viii. 45 1. Ab! poor fool, doth the fielh interpose ro hinder thy confideration or thoughts of change? Doth it tell thee of Its nearness and dearnefs to thee, of its antiept acquaint. ance with thee ever from the womb, of those many pleafures and incotes of delight it hath provided? Tell it a: gam of its 1/1 neighbourhood, of its aptient feud, by fó touch the worfe, becaufe more antient; and for the plea fares and delights it speaks of, tell it, that such baits have hooks under them, the harlot's lips drop honey in the greeting, dod wormwood in the parting. What is the end of such delights but death and damgation For if ye live after the fleth ye Mall die, Rom. viii. 1. and therefore fay again, oh why should I satisfy my flesh to cadanget tny soul? Or if these rafonings would not fatisfy, consider keriouffy, and dwell upon thefe confiderations, that God hath commanded three to depofe ir; and that no enemy is so bad as that in thy bosom: That either thou múit weaken it, and watch 'over it, or it will prevail and lead thee to the chambers of death; for when luft hath conceived, it bringeth forth fin, and fin being finisbed, bringeth forth death, James i: 15.
Only one objection remains. Alas! faith the font, I am inregenerate, and tho' I hear a voice behind me saying, This is the way, walk in it, Isa. xxx. 21. Yet do I want feet and strength to walk therein; these are good rules of wrestling against the devil, world and flesh, but I cannot Air, nor move; nör meditate: I am not fufficient of myself to thiok, how then should I follow these rules: You fing to a deaf man; you prescribe to a man dead in fios and trefpasses.
1 answer, Indeed I loppofe no less; abd yet if I speak
pot to a man spiritual, I do to one rational; and as a incre rational man, thou mayst fix thy thoughts on this or that object electively, which is a posture of foul, wherein the Lord may appear and affect thy heart. Come then, and peruse these directions, and reason thus, Why should I not do thas as I am directed ? Heart, what halt thou to lay, why thou shouldlt not follow this counsel that is given thee? Again, it may be the Lord will come in, whilft thou art endeavouring after him. I will not fay, that God is bound ex congruo, to give grace to thy endeavours.. la all the word of God we find not one promise to any mere, ly natural, or moral act of ours; yet as Mr. Ford obe sérves, God hath seldom been observed, if ever, to fail any in their expectations of grace from him, doing in the way of means, what they by the power of nature can,
and what the Spirit of God moves them upto. Hearken then to these rules, and obey. What if thy endeavours have po immediate influence upon grace, yet are a necessary way that God hath commanded every one to walk in, and they are as a means wherein God will dispense his grace to whom he pleaseth; so that whosoever doth wilfully neglect the use of such means, he cannot promise to himself any conversion ; yea, he may certainly conclude God will not convert him. In all the directions which may be hereafter to the unregenerate, I wish this may be till remembred.
CH A P. III. SECT. I. of the next Afaults that Satan makes against ys. F in the first affiult Satan be foiled, and the soul be
refolved to go on, the holy Spirit usually comes in and works on the loul these feveral lteps. As, 1 A sight of sin. 2. A sense of misery. 3. Sorrow for fin. Seeking for comfort. 5. A fight of Christ. 6. Defire after Christ. 7. Relying on Christ. 8. Obedience to Christ. And accordingly Satan counter-works, and in every one of these steps assaults the soul either less or more, to keep it still in his hold. Oh he is loth to leave! and therefore at every step he meets the soul and wrestles with it. I shall (as the Lord enables) first observe his assaults, and then inform the soul of its several duties, ia repelling of Satan respectively.
soul to see its sin, but prescotly Satan comes on with his fiery dars. Sometimes he makes sin little, Is it not a little one? And sometimes he makes sia great, Oh the greatness and oh the numerousness of thy Gas!
1. Sometimes he makes sios lietle, and herein he prevails with many souls. They are loth to hear the worst of themselves, and therefore Satan helps them with fig leaves to cover their nakedness. What! is it got Satan's language that we hear in men. Surely our fios are not fo. great, we are not so bad, we have some good, we have
fome hopes if God be merciful, what matters it if we be - finful? Thus do meb llife and resit the first breathings.
of the Spirit of God I believe, faith Shepherd; that all the powers of hell confpire together to blind men's eyes, and darken men's minds in the first work of Christ; prin-,
cipiis obfta: It is the policy of Satan to stop Christ in his 3
entrance, in his first itroke upon the soul. No wonder then if he put the wrong end of the prospective glass to the eje, that sia appears very little, if any thing at all
. 2. Sometimes he makes sin great; he draws a charge at length, he takes up all the bloody aggravations he can think of; as partly in respect of the nature and quality of the fins themselves; and partly in respect of the circumItaoces: As being committed against knowlege at such a time, in such a place, and by such a person, as that
God is thereby most dishonoured, his brethren most offeaded, &c. It is not to tell how the devil caa stretch out fin upon the teoters of his temptations: Yea, of a small drop with the blaft of his tuggestions, he can make a great bub, ble; and which is most to be admired, he can in this charge present himself as an angel of light; he knows how to imitate those convictions of the holy Spirit, whose of. fice it is to coovince of fin,' and therefore many a time in his aggravations of sin, he comes in God's name. He obferves well enough how the squares go between God and the foul, and that the Spirit of God lays (in home,
and clofe, qid. Oh thou wretch, what haft thou done? What E 3
fins . medl,
fins are these that cry up to heaven against thee? So faith Satan, Oh thou damned wretch, what a life haft thou liv. ed upon the earth : What gross, and grievous, and bloody, and crying fios ftandest thou guilty of ?
to his temptations; and therefore, i. To that temptation, that lig is but little, confie der,
1. That no lin is so little but it is agaigst a great God. Againf thee, thee only have I finned, and have done this evil in thy hight, Pfal. li. 4. As all inditements in ciiminal pleas are filed against the king, his own crowa and digoity; so are sins against God, a great God, be they in our esteem never so little. 2. No lig is so little but it deserves death and damnati,
The wages of fun is death, Rom. vi. 13. the wages of every sin, whether little or great fin, Jodeed great fins may have great punilhments, but the stipend or defert of every fin is formally death, be it never fo little.
3. Every sin, whether little or great, is a strong and foul-killing poison, We may know this by that first sin that ever the sun saw: No sooner was it committed, but presently it polluted mankind. All the fons and daughters of Adam that were ever since, or ever shall be to the world's end, have been, and will be infected by that very fin. And we find to this very day, that any little în doated on impenitently, like a lump of leaven it fours all the soul, defiles the whole man, and every thing that proceeds from him. It doth not only unhallow his meat, drink, buying, seiling, giving, lending, and other dealings in the world, but allo turns all his fpiritual services and duties, his praying, hearing, reading, meditating, &c. into abomination. 4. The less the fan, the greater folly to commit it
. For what is it to fin, but to lay, as it were, in one fcale of the balance, the glory of God, the blood of Chrift, tha joys of heaven, the loss of an immortal soul; and in the other, some rotten pleasure, earthly pelf, worldly prefer
meat, fehly Just, sensual vanity, and to fuffer this to outweigh all those. If Christ could say, What is a maq profited if he gains the whole world and lose his foul? How much more may I say, What profit is in this exa change, to lofe a foul for a pin, a point, a trifie, a vanity; or confeffedly for a small punctilio peccadillo, a very little fin? Speak no more of dia as liatle, if we prefer it before the great things of God, and Chrift, and beaven, and fouls of mea. O prodigious madness!
2. To that temptation that lin is great, or as Cain cried, My iniquity, is greater than can be forgiven, Gça. iv. 13. Conder,
1. The dew of ghece hath ordinarily fallen upon molt graceless foule. What if thy las be great? Was it not the case of many a faint whole figs were forgiven? Hast thou been an idolater? so was Abraham: Halt thou been an adulterer,? fo: was David: Halt thou bceo a blasphemer? fo was Paul What needs more instances? Poor soul, if thou could it but peep into heaven, thou should find there is Rahab the harlot, there is Manafh the murderer, that made the ftreets of Jerufalem (wim with blood; there is Mary Magdalene that had seven devils in her. A man or woman that hath many devils may come where there is not one; the devilisa, hellish creature may thro' the mera sy of God be partaker of heaven; lama and halt, and blind may come in there, and yet still there is room,
1. It is as easy with God to forgive the greatest lia ups os repentance, as the least fin. This is a faithful fay. ing, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ
çamę into the world to save finners, of whom I am the
chief,' Tim. i. S. Tho' Paul was the greatest finger. in the world, yet God could, and did forgive him. What! do thy fias cry up to heaven? yet is God's mercy above the heavens. Indeed God's mercy is infinite, for as God is an infinite God, so every mercy of God is as is finite as hima felf. His attributes and his efence are but cac and the fame; and therefore no wonder if it be all one with infie nite mercy to forgive sins of the greatest fize, as well as the leaft; thy fia is bar the fip of a finite creatore, but God's mercy is the mercy of an ipfioite Greator; thy greatest fins