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362

Pag. Satan opened, and rules for the avoiding of the danger briefly prescribed,

CH A P. XII.
Sheweth, that a choice part of our preparation and readi-

ness for sufferings consists in the improvement of our
praying abilities, and keeping close with God in that hea-
venly and excellent duty, in days of suffering ; wherein
also is opened the nature and means of its improvement, 368

CH A P. XIII.
Wherein is sewed the necessity of going out of ourselves,

even when our habitual and actual preparations are at
the greatest height ; and depending as constantly and en-
tirely upon the Spirit, who is Lord of all gracious influ-
ences, as if we had done nothing Together with the
means of working the heart to such a frame,

372 с нА Р. XIV. Containing the first use of the point by way of conviction,

discovering the unreadiness of multitudes of profesors for suffering-work,

377 c H A P. Containing another use of the point, by way of exhortation,

persuading all the people of God, whilst the Lord refpites, and graciously delays their trials, to answer the end of God therein, and prepare themselves for greater trials : where several motives are propounded, to excite to the duty,

381 С Н А Р. XVI. Containing the last use of the point, by way of support and

comfort to poor trembling souls, who do take pains to make themselves ready for sufferings; but yet finding such strength in Satan's temptations, and their own corruptions, fear that all their labour is in vain, and that they fall faint, and utterly apoftatize, when their troubles und trials come to an height,

388

XV.

The Balm of the COVENANT applied to the bleed

ing WOUNDs of afflicted SAINTS.

The Epistle Dedicatory,

393

2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Although my house be not fo with God;

yet he hith made with me un everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure, &c.

394

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Ö Ri

The great Work of a CHRISTIAN, opened and pressed,

From Proverbs iv. 23.

T

THE E PISTLE DEDICATOR Y: To my dearly beloved and longed for, the Flock of Jesus Christ

in Dartmouth, over whom the Holy Ghost hath made me an Overseer: Sound Judgment; true Zeal, and unftained Purity, are heartily wished: My dear friends,

HER E are three fad lights with which our eyes should

continually affect our hearts: The (1.) Is to behold in every place, so many profane and diffolute ones, who bear the very image of Satan the face of whose conversation plainly discovers what they are; and whither they are going, Pbilip. m. 18, 19. These look like themselves, the children of wrath. The (2.) Is to see so many cursed hypocrites artificially difguiling themselves, and with marvellous dexterity acting the parts of saints, fo that even a judicious eye may sometimes miItake the similar workings of the Spirit on them, for his faving Workings on others : To hear fuch a person conferring, praying, bewailing his corruptions, and talking of his experiences; would easily persuade a man to believe that he hath the heart, as well as the face; of a sincere Christian : For,

Sic oculos, hic ille manies, fic ora ferebat. So the people of God do speak, so they pray, and even fa they open their conditionis : These look like faints, but arc none. The (3:) Is to see so many real faints, in whom the Spirit of truth is, who yet, through the impetuous workings of their corruptions, and neglecting of the watch over their hearts,

VOL. VII.

do often fall into fuch scandalous practices, that they look like i hypocrites, though they are not so.

These are three fad fights indeed, and that my head were waters, and mine eyes fountains of tears, that I might weep abundantly over them all!

For the first, I would mourn heartily, confidering that they (so continuing) must be damned eternally, 2 Theff. i. 8, ga i Cor. vi. 9.

For the second, I would both weep and tremble, considering that they (fo abiding) must be ,damned doubly, Matth. xxiv. 51.

And for the third, no less than any of the rest, because, though they themselves may, and shall be saved, yet their examples make fast the bonds of death upon both the former, Matth. xviii. 7. 2 Sam. xii. 13, 14:

Ålas! that ever they should shed the blood of others souls, for whom Christ shed his own blood ! That ever they should be cruel to others, who have found Christ so kind to them ! I know they dare not do it directly and intentionally, but so it proves occafionally and eventually, Suffer me here to digress a little, and expostulate with these prejudiced and hardened fouls, I will presently return to you again. O why do you mischieve your own souls by other mens examples ? Because they stumble and break their shins, will you fall and break your necks ? I defire all such as harden themselves by these things, and take up a good opinion of their own deplorable condition, would soberly consider, and answer these three queries.

Query 1. Doth religion any way countenance or patronize the linful practices of its profeisors? Or doth it not rather impartially and severely condemn them? It is the glory of the Christian religion, that it is pure and undefiled, Jam. i. 27. No doctrine so holy, Psalm xix. 8. Nor doth any make more provision for an holy life, Tit. ii. u, 12. Indeed there is a cafe wherein we may charge the evil practices of men upon. their principles, but that is when their practices naturally flow from, and neceffarily follow their principles : As for example, if I fee a Papist lin boldly, I may charge it upon his principles, for they fet pardons to sale, and so make way for Jooseness. If I see an Arminian flight the grace of God, and proudly advance himself, I may cry Ihame upon his principles, which directly lead to it : But can I do fo where such practices are condemned, and provided against by their own avowed principles who commit them?

Query' 2. Is it not a moft irrational thing to let fly at religion

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