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children; will he therefore say that he loves his friend more Plan them? Surely no. Eren fo, although the Christian may find himself more moved in his love to the creature, than in his love to God: yet he is out therefore to be said to love the crea. _ture more than God; seeing love to God is always more firmly rooted in a gracious heart, than love to any created enjoyment whatsoever : as appears - when competition arises in such a manner, that the one or the other is to be foregone. Would you then know your cafe ? Retire into your own hearts, and

here lay die two in the balance, and try which of them weighs down the other. Ask rhyfelf, as in the fight of God, whether thou wouldft part with Christ for the creature, or par!

with the creature for Chrift, if thou wert left to thy choice in the matter? If you find your heart disposed to part with what is dearest to you in the world for Christ, at his call; you have no reason to conclude, you love the creature more than God: but on the contrary, that you love God more than the crea„ture': albeit you do not feel such violent motions in the love of

God, as in the love of some creared thing, Matth. x. 37. " He that 'loveth father or moiher more than me, is na worthy of me." . Luke xiv, 26. . If any man conie to me, and hare not his father and mother, he cannot be my disciple.” From which texts compared, we may infer, that he who bates, i. e. is ready to part with father and mother for Christ, is, in our

Lord's' account, one that loves them less than him; and not one who loves father and mother more than him. Moreover, ye are to consider there is a twofold love to Christ. (1.) There is a sensible love to him, which is felt as a dart in the heart; and makes a holy love-sickness in the fuul, arising either from want of enjoyment, as in the case of the spouse, Cant. v. 8. * charge you, o daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye

tell him, that I am sick of love." Or else from the fulneís of it, as, in that case, Cant. ij. S. Stay me with flagons, .conført me with apples: for I am sick of love." These glowisgs of affections are usually wrought in young

converts,

who are ordinarily made s to fing in the day of their youth,"

While ihe fire-edge is upon the young convert, he looks tipon others refuted to be godly, and not finding them in such a temper and disposition as himself, he is ready to cenfure thent; and thilik there is far less religion in the wor'd, than jodeed there is. But when his own cup comes to seule below the brim, and he finds that in himself, which made him question the state of others, he is more bun:bled, and feels more and niore

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the necesñy of daily recourse to the blood of Christ for pardon, and 10 the Spirit of Christ for fanctification ;' and thus 'grows downwards in humiliation, self-cloathing, and felf-denial.(2.) There is a rational love to Chrift, which, without these fenfible emotions felt in the former case, evidences itself by a dutiful regard to the divine authority and command. When one bears such a love to Chrilt, tho' the vellement ftirrings of affection be wanting, yet he is truly tender of offending a gracious God; endeavours to 'walk before him unto all pleasing; and grieved at the heart, for what is displeasing unto him, i John v. 3." For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments."

.” Now, although that sensible love doth nat always continue with you: yer ye have no reason to account it a hypocritical fit, while the rational love semains with you, more than a faithful and loving wife needs queltion hier love to her husband, when her fondness is abaied:

Case 5. The attainments of hypocrites and apoftates are a terror to me; and come like a shaking storm on me, when I arr about to conclude from the marks of grace which I seem to find in nyfelf, tham I am in the ftate of grace. Anl, These things fhould indeed stir us up to a most serious and impartial examipation of ourselves : but ought' not to keep us in a continued suspense as to our state. Sirs, ye see the out-lide of hypocrites, their duties, their gifts, their tears, &c. bat ye see not their inside: ye do not discern their hearts, the bias of their spirits. Upon what ye fee of them, ye found a judgement of charity, as to their state; and ye do well to judge charitably in such a case, because ye cannot know the secret springs of their actings : But ye are speaking, and ought to have a judgment of certainy, as to your own ftale: and therefore are to look into that part of religion, which none in the world, but yourselves, can discer: in

you; and which ye can as little see in others. An hypocrite's peligion may appear for greater than that of a fincere roul : but, that which makes the greatest figure in the eyes of men is ofrén least worth before God. I would rather utter one of th»se groans the Apoftie speaks of, Rom. viii. 26. than thien Elau's years, have Balaan's prophetic spirit, or the joy of the fony ground hearers. The fire that all try every man's work, will try, not of whac builk it is, but of what fore it is

Cor iii. 13. Now, ye may know what bulk of religion another has: ani what tho' it be more bulky than your own, God doth not regard that: Why then do you make such, a matter of it;. It is impulfible for you, without divine revelation,

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certainly to know of what furt another man's religion is; but ye may cerrainly know what sort your own is of, without extraordinary revelation ; otherwise the Apostle would not exhort the saints to give diligence to make their calling and

SCP election fare, 2 Pet. i. 10. Therefore the attainments of hypo: cites and apostates frould not disturb you

in your

ferious in. quiry into your own itate. But I'll tell you two things wherein the meanest faints go beyond the most refined hya pocrires. (1.) In denying themselves, renouncing all confidence in the ofelves, and their own works, acquiefcing in, being well. pleased with, and ven; uring their souls upon God's plan of salvation thro' Jefus Chrift, Matth. v. 3.

" Bleffed ale the poor in fpirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”. And chap. xi. 6..." Bletled is he whosoever shall not be offended in me." Philip. iii, 3.“ We are the circumcilor, which worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the filth. (2.) In a real" barred of all fin; being willing to part with every luft, withoutky exception, and comply with every duty the Lord makes, of thall make known to them, Pial. cxix. 6.Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments." Try yourfelves by thefe.

CASE 6. I see myself fall so far short of the saints mentioned thei in the Scriptures, and of several excellent persons of my owa acquaintance, i hat, when I look on them, I can hardly look on royself as one of the same family with then. Anf. It is indeed

of bumiliation, that we get not forward to that measure of grace and holiness, which we fee is attaitable in this lie. This should make us n:ore vigorously press towards the mark : But surely it is from the devil, that weak Christians make a fack for themselves of the attainments of the strong, And to yield to this temptasion, is as unreasonable, as for a child to difpute away a relacion in his father, because he is not of the saine itature with his elder brethren. There are faints of teveral sizes in Chrift's family; scine fachers, fome young men, and fume little children, Sunn ii. 13, 14.

CASE 7. I never read in the word of God. Bor did I ever know of a child of God fo tempted, and so left of God as l ami and iherefore no faini's cafe being like mine, I cannot but conclude I am none of their number. Aul. This cjection arises tę ime from theis unacquaintedness with the Scriprures, and with experienced Chriftians. It is profitable, in this case, to impar's the matter to some experienced Christian friend, or to tome

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igion i godly minift:r. This has been a bleffed mean of peace to fome con nitele persons, while their case; which appeared to them to be fingular, world has been evinced to have been the case of other saints, The called Scripture gives instances of very horrid temptations wherewith ains of the saints have been affäuled : Job wus tempred to blafpheme ; iscrive this was the great thing the devil aimed at; in the case of chat

great faint, Job i. 11. “ He will curse thee to thy face:"; reinad Chap. ii. g." Curse God and die." Asaph was tempted to think

it was -vain to be religious; which was, imeffect; to throw of

all religion, Pfal. lxxiii. 13. “Verily I' have cleansed my heart con la in vain." Yea, Christ himself was tempted to caft hin:self :down: Buftea front a pinacle of the Temple, and to worship the devil, Matth

iv. 6. D. And many of the childreo of God have not only been

attacked wiih, but brave actually yielded to very gross temptae.. TCUMPRA sions for a tine. Péter denied Christ, and cursed and fwere brit Able that he knew him.not, Mark xiv. 71. ,Paul, when a perceeal Lo cuter, compelled even faints to blafpheme, &s xxvi. 10, 11,

with Many of the faints can, from their fad experience; bear witness miaka 10 very grofs temptations, which have astonished their spirits,

made their very flesh to 'tremble, and fickenred their bodies... Satan's fiery darts muke terrible: work ;; and W?. Colts pains to: quench them, by a vigorous managing of the shield of faithes Eph. vi. 16. Sometimes he nakeslach defperate attacks, thad never was one more pur to it, in running to and fro, without jatermillion to quench ihe fine-balls inceffantly thrown into his: house by an enemy designing to burn the house about him ; than,

poor tempted' faint is, to repel-fatanical injections. But these injectiens, these horrid templations, though they are a: dreadful affliction, i biey are for the lins of the tempted, unless tirey nake thear theirs by consenting to them. They will be charged upon the templer alone, if they be not consented to: and will no more be laid to the charge of the tempted party, t'ian a bastard's being laid down at the cbafteman's door, will:

hin. Bur, fuppofe neither rövir.ifter nor:privare Christian, to whont you go, can sell you of any who has been in your case: yet your ought not thence to infer, Thacuyour cafe certainly, is singulipsi far less 10 give orer.copes : for it is not to be thougḥt;, that every godly minifter, or private Christian, has had the experit, ence of all the cares a child of God may be in.. And we need not doubt but some have, bad. diftreflus koown only to God, and their own consciences z. and so, to others these distresses as if tbey had pever been. Yea, and though she Scripture da

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and these illustrated with a fufficient number of examples ; yet it is not to be imagined, that there are in the Scriptures perfect inftances of every particular cafe incident to the faints. Therefore, howbeit you cannot find an instance of your case is the Scripture; yet bring your case to it, and you shall find fuitable remedies prescribed there for it. And study rather 10 make ufe of Christ for your case, who has falve for all sores; than to knot if ever any was in your case. Though one should fhew you an instance of your cafe in an unduubied saine ; yet none could promise it would certainly give you ease : for a Scrupulous cooscience would readily find out fome difference: And if nothing but a perfect conformity of another's case to yours, will fütisfy, it will be hard, if not impossible to satisfy you. For it is with peoples cases, as, with their natural faces, Tho' the faces of all men are of one make, and some are so very like others, that, at first view we are ready to take them for the

if

you view them niore accurately, you will see something in every face, distinguishing it from all others; tho? poffibly you cannot tell what it is : wherefore, I conclude, that if you find in yourselves the marks of regeneration, proposed to you from the word; you ought to conclude, you are in the state of grace, though your cale were fingular, which is indeed unlikely.

CASE Laft. The afflictions I meet with, are Arange and unusual: I doubt if ever a child of God was tryited with such dispensations of providence as I am, Ans. Much of what was faid on the preceeding cafe, may be helped in this. Holy Job was assaulted with this temptation, Job v. 1, “ To which of the faints wilt thou turn?” But he rejected it, and held falt his integrity. The Apostle supposeth Christians may be tempted to think strange concerning the fiery trial,» 1 Pet. iv. I2.But they have need of larger experience than Solomon's, who will venture to fay, “ See this is new," Eccl. i. 10. And what though, in respect of the ourward dispensations of providence, it happen to you according to the work of the wicked? You may be juft notwithftanding; according to Solomon's obfervi, Eccl. viii. 14. Sometimes we travel in ways, where We cannot perceive the prints of the foot of man or beaft; yet we cannot from thence conclade, that there was never any there before us : fo, albeit thou canst not perceive the footsteps

of ihe flock in the way of thine affliction; thou must not therefore conclude, thou art the first that ever travelled shat road.

But;

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