Imatges de pÓgina
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as that holy man did, Pfal. cxix. 80. “Let my heart be foued " in thy ştatutes, that I be not ashamed.”

Counsel 2. Always fufpect and examine your ends in what you de. Sincerity and hypocrisy lie much in your ends and defigos; as they are, so are you. The intentions of the heart lie deep; a mao may do the same action to an holy end, and his perfon and service be accepted with God; which another doing for a corrupt end, it may be reckoned his fin, and both his perton and service be abhorred by the Lord. We find two med ridiog io one chariot, and both of them concerned in the fame expe. dition, Jehu, the fon of Nimshi, and Jonadab, the fon of Rechab, 2 Kings X. 15, 23. But though the work they engaged in was one, and the fame, yet the different ends they aimed at, wade the fame action an excellent dury io Jonadab, and an act of vile hypocrify in Jehu: Idem quod duo faciunt, non eft idem : It was the faying of a good fool, commeoded for a good action : the work indeed is good, but I fear the ends of it. Self ends are creeping, and infinuating things into the best actions.

Counsel 3. Scare yourselves with the daily fears of the for that is in, and the misery that will follow hypocrisy. Look up. on it as the most odious fio in the eyes of God and med : want holiness, is bad enough, but to diffimulate and pretend it, when we have it not, is double impiety: to make religion, the most glorious thing in the world, a mere ftirrap to preferment, and a covert to wickedocfs : how vile a ibing is it! God made Christ a fucrifice for fin, asd the hypocrite will make him a cloak for fin.

And as to the punishments that follow it, they are Suitable to the nature of the fin; for as hypocrify is our of meafure lioful, so the reward and punishment of it will be out of meafure dreadful. Matth. xxiv. 51. “ He fhall cut him afuoder, and appoint “ him his portion with hypocrites ; there frall be weepiog and “ goalhing of teeth.”

Counsel 4. Be daily at work in the mortification of those lufts that breed bypocrisy. It is plain, without much fifting, that pride, vain-glory, felf-love, and a wordly heart, are the feeds out of which this curs.d plant fpriogs up in the fouls of mer. Dig but to the roat, and you shall certainly find these thiogs there ; and till the Lord help you to kill and mortify these, hypocrify will spring up in all your duties to God, and in all your converses with men.

Counsel 5. Attend the native voice of your own consciences in the day of sickness, fear or trouble, and take Special notice of its

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checks, or upbraidings, which, like a fitch in your fide, will gird you at such times : Commonly io that lies your greatest danger: Beware of that evil which.copscience brands and marks at such times, whether it be your living in the practice of some fecret fin, or in the neglects of some known duty : These frights of conscience mark out the corruption, wherein your daoger mostly lies.

Coupfel 6. Let us all that profefs religion he uniform and feady in the profesion and practice of it, without politic referves, and bye-ends.

o take heed of this Laodicean, neutrality and indifferency which Chrift hates : Be sure your ground be good, and then be sure you ftand your ground. The religion of time-servers is but hypocrify They have fluices in their consciences which they can open or fhut as occasion requires : Every fox will have at least two holes to his dea, that if ooe be stopt, he may efcape at the other. The hypocrite poseth himself so eveoly in a mediocrity, that, as it is laid of Baldwin, Let Anthony win, let Augustus win, all is one : So let Christ win, or let Apti. chrift win, he hopes to make every wind that can blow serviceable to waft him to the port of his owo interest.

The hypocrite hath always more of the moon than of the fuo ; little light, many spots, and frequent changes : It is easier to him to bow to the cross, thap to bear the cross; to fin, than to {uffer.

Our own story tells us of a poor simple woman that lived both in the reigns of queen Mary and queen Elizabeth, and would constantly lay her prayers both in Latin and English, that the might be fure to please ope side or other; and let God, faid he, take which likes him beft. What is noted as an act of ridiculous fimplicity in, her, the time-serving hypoaite accovots a point of deep policy in himself.

The times under Dioclefiao were Pagan; under Constantiae, Christian ; under Constantius, Arian; under Juljan, Apostate ; apd under Joviao, Christian again : Apd all this within the space of feventy years, the age of one man. O, what shifting and huffling was there among the men of that generation! The changes of weather shew the unsoundness of men's bodies, and the chaoges of times, the unfoundaess of their souls,

Chrifiao, if ever thou wilt manifelt and maintain thine inte. grity, be a map but of one design, and be sure that be an hopel aod good desiga, to secure heaven, whatever becomes of

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earth: To hold fast integrity, whatever thou art forced to let go

for its fake.

Take heed of pious frauds : Certainly it was the devil that first married these two words together, for they never did, oor can agree betwixt themselves, aor was ever fach a marriage made in heaven.

Never ftudy to model religion, and the exercises thereof, in a consistency with, or subferviency to your Aeshly interests : - If your religion be but a mock religion, your reward shall be but a mock heaven, that is a real hell.

O the vanity and inutility of these projects and designs! Men strive to cast themselves into fuch modes, and stint themselves to such measures of religion, as they think will best promote, or secure their earthly interests: but it often falls out, contrary to their expectation, that their deep policies are ridiculous fol. lies; they become the grief and shame of their friends, and the scorn and song of their enemies. And often it fares with them, as with him that placed himself in the middle of the table, where he could neither reach the dish above him, por that below him, Efuriunt medii, &c. and, which is the very best of it, if earthly interest be accommodated by fipful neutrality, and a Laodicean indifferency in religion, yet so good man should once feel a temptation to embrace it, except he think what is wanting in the fieetness of his sleep, may be fully recompenfed to him by the stateliness of his bed, and richer furniture of his chamber; I mean,' that a fuller and higher condition in the world, can make him amends for the loss of his ioward peace, and the quiet repose of a good conscience: Thefe bye-ends and self-interests are the little passages through which hypocrisy creeps in upon the professors of religion.

O let this be your rejoicing, which was Paul's, “ The testi

mony of your conscience, that in all fincerity and godly fim. “ plicity, not in fleshly wisdom. but by the grace of God, you “ have had your conversations in this world,” 2 Cor. i. 12.

Let that be your daily prayer and cry to heaven, which was David's, Pfal. xxv. 21. "'Let integrity and uprightnefs preserve

me, for I wait on thee."

Counsel 7. Keep your hearts day and night under the awe of God's all-Jeeing eye : Remember he beholds all your ways, and ponders all your thoughts ; how covertly foever hypocrisy may be carried for a time, all must and will out at fast, Luke xii. 3: Secrefy is the main inducement to hypocrisy, but it will fall out with the hypocrite, as it did with Ottocar the king of Bohemia, who refused to do homage to Rodolphus the emperor, till at last

chastifed with war, he was content to do him homage private. ly in a teot : But the tept was so contrived by the emperor's fervants, that, by drawing one cord, it was taken all away ; and fo Ottocar presented on his knees doing homage in view of three armies.

Reader, Awe thy heart with God's eye, koow that he will bring every secret thing into judgment. Thus did Job, and it preferved him, Job xxxi. 1, 4. Thus did David, and it preServed him, Pfal. xviii. 21, 22, 23. Thus do thou alf), and it will preserve thee blameless, and without guile to the day of Christ.

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The Advice of CHRIST to a distressed Mother, be

wailing the Death of her dear and only Son: Wherein the Boundaries of Sorrow are duly fixed, Excesses restrained, the common Pleas aniwered, and divers kules for the support of God's afflicted Ones prefcribed.

The EPIST LE DEDICATOR Y.

To his dearly beloved brother and fifter, Mr. J. C. and Mrs. E.C.

the Author wisbeth grace, mercy, and peace. DEAR FRIENDS, "H E double eye of pature and grace, beside the many passages

many years have lioked and glewed our affections to intimately, cannot but beget a render Sympathy in me with you, under all your troubles, and make

me say of every affliction which befals you, Half's mine. I find it is with our affections, as with the Itrings. of muGcal instra ments exactly set at the fame height, if one be touched, the other trembles, though it be at some distance.

Our affections are one, and so in a great measure have been our afflictinos also. You cannot forget that in the years lately past, the Almighty visited my tabernacle with the rod, and in one year, cut off from it the root, and the branch, the tender mother, and the only son. What the effects of those strokes, or rather of my own upmortified passions were, I have felt, and you and others have heard. Surely I was as a bullock unaccuftomed to the yoke. Yea, I may lay with them, Lam. iii. 19, 20. “Remembering mine affliction and my mifery, the worm. " wood and the gall, my soul hath them fill in remembrance, “ apd is humbled in me."

I dare not say that ever I felt my heart discontentedly rising and swelling against God ; no, I could still justify him, when I most feasibly fmarted by his haod: If he had plunged me into a sea of sorrow, yet I could lay, in all that sea of forrow, there is not a drop of injustice : But it was the over-heating, and over-acting of my fond and unmortified affections and passions that made so sad impreslions upon my body, and caft me under those distempers which foon embittered all my remaining com: forts to me.

It was my earnest desire, so foon as I had strength and oppor. tunity for so great a journey, to visit you, that fo, if the Lord. had pleased, I might both refresh, and be refreshed by you, after all my fad and disconfolate days. And you cannot ima. gine what content aod pleasure I projected in that visit; but it proved to us, as all other comforts of the fame kind ordiparily do, more in expectatioo than in fruition : For how foon after our joyful meeting and embraces did the Lord overcalt and darken our day, by sending death into your tabernacle, to take away the defire of your eyes with a stroke! To crop off that fweet and only bud from which we promised ourselves fo much comfort. But no more of that, I fear I am gone too far already. It is not my design to exasperate your troubles, but to heal them; and for that purpose have I sent you these papers, which I hope may be of use both to you and many others in your condition, since they are the after-fruits of my owo troubles ; thiogs that I have not commended to you from another hand, but which I have, io fome measure, proved and tasted in my owo trials.

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