« AnteriorContinua »
Thus much I thought meet to interpose here for the confirmation of the fincere, on occafion of the worlds unjust accusations; and so to perswade them to be satisfied in the portion of the fincere. I now return again to the selfdeceiver.
A Nd here I shall conclude all
with these two requests to you, which as one that foreseeth the approaching misery of selfdeceivers, I earnestly intreat you, for the sake of your immortal souls, that you will not deny me.
. The first is, that you will be now but as willing to try your selves, as I have been to help you ;
and as diligent and faithful when you are alone, in calling your own hearts to a close examination, as I have been to hold the light here to you. O refuse not ; detay not, to wich
draw your felves sometimes from the world, and set your felves as before the eye of God, and there bethink your selves whether you have been what you have vowed and profest to be ! and whether that God hath been dearest to your hearts, and obeyed in your lives, and desired as your happi. ness, who hath been confessed and honoured with your lips? Confider there, that God judgeth nor as man; nor will he think ever the better of you, for thinking well of your felves : and that there must go more to prove your approbacion with God, then commonly goes to keep up your reputation in the world. The Religion that serveth to honour you before men, and to deceive your felves, will never serve to please the Lord and save your souls. And the day is at hand when nothing but God can give you comfort, and when
felf-deceivers will become everlastingly felf-tormentors. Otherefore go willingly and presently to the Word to your lives and hearts, and consciences, and try your selves, and try again, and that with moderate fufpicion, that in so great a business you may not be deceived, and be self-deceivers.
2. My second request is, that if you do discover, or but justly sulped your felves of hypocrisie and felf-deceit, you would stick there no longer, but presently change your vain Religion, your seemings and formalities, for the power of godliness and sincerity of heart.
But I suppose that fome of you will say, There lies che difficulty.
that we could do it? But how fhould it be done?
I answer ; If thou be really willing to be above Hypocrisie, and a vain Religion, the cure is half wrought at least. And I will
not tire thee now with many, but help and try thee by these few directions.
In general, Be but what thon hast promised and vowed to be in thy Baptism, and what thou still dost profess to be as a Chriftian, and it will serve the turn: what that is, 1 have told you before.
More particularly. Direct. 1. Deliberately renew thy Covenant with God : and with a grieved heart, bewailing that thou hast been a Covenant-breaker, give up thy self presently to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as thy Creatour, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, thy Owner, thy Ruler, and thy Father.
2. Renounce sincerely the Devil, the World, and the Flesh, and be at a point with all below, and quit all conceits and hopes of felicity or rest on earth : And absolutely devote and resign thy self,
and all thou hast to the will and service of thy Lord, without any secret exceptions or reseryes. This is the property and plague of Hypocrites, that secretly they have exceptions and reserves in giving up themselves to God. They will follow him, except it would difgrace them or undo them in the world: he shall have all, provided the flesh may not be too much pinched: that is, in plain English, they take him not for God, but for a second to themselves and the world, and will give him but what the Aesh can spare.
3. Fix the eye of a lively faith upon God and upon the everlasting joyes, and there take up thy whole reward, and look for ’nó other. Quit all expectations of a reward from men. Let it feem a small thing to thee, what any mortal man shall think or speak of thee; unless as Gods honour or