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he can exercise his graces methodically, which is the comeliness and beauty of his heart and life; 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. 16-21. 1 Pet. ii. 17.

2. But the weak Christian, though he have every grace, and his obedience is universal, yet can he hardly set himself to any duty, but it hindereth him from some other duty, through the narrowness and weakness of his mind. When he is humbling himself in confession of sin, he can scarce be lively in thankfulness for mercy : when he rejoiceth, it hindereth his humiliation; he can hardly do one duty without omitting or hindering another: he is either all for joy or all for sorrow; all for love or all for fear; and cannot well do many things at once, but is apt to separate the truth and duties which God hath inseparably conjoined.

3. And for the sceming Christian, he exerciseth no grace in sincerity, nor is he universal in his obedience to God; though he may have the image of every grace and duty.

XXXII. 1. A Chistian indeed is more in getting and using his graces, than in inquiring whether he have them: he is very desirous to be assured that he is sincere, but he is more desirous to be so: and he knoweth that even assurance is got more by the exercise and increase of grace, than by bare inquiry whether we have it already: not that he is a neglecter of self-examination, but he oftener asketh 'What shall I do to be saved? than How shall I know that I shall be saved?'

2. But the weak Christian hath more of self, and less of God in his solicitude and though he be willing to obey the whole law of Christ, yet he is much more solicitous to know that he is out of danger, and shall be saved, than to be fully pleasing unto God; and therefore proportionably, he is more in inquiring by what marks he may know that he shall be saved, than by what means he may attain more holiness, and what diligence is necessary to his salvation.

3. But the seeming Christian is most careful how to prosper in the world, or please his flesh and next how he may be sure to escape damnation when he hath done; and least of all, how he inay conform to Christ in holiness.

XXXIII. 1. A Christian indeed doth study duty more than events; and is more careful what he shall be towards God, than what he shall have from God, in this life. He looketh to his own part more than unto God's, as knowing that it is he that is like to fail; but God will never fail of his part: he is much more suspicious of himself than of God; and when any thing goeth amiss, he blameth himself, and not God's providence: he knoweth that the hairs of his head are numbered, and that his Father knoweth what he needeth; and that God is infinitely wiser, and fitter to dispose of him, than he is to choose for himself, and that God loveth him better than he can love himself; and therefore he thankfully accepteth that easy, indulgent command, "Cast all your care on him, for he careth for you. Take no thought what ye shall eat or drink, or wherewith ye shall be clothed;" Heb. xii. 15. xiii. v. Job i. 21, 22. Matt. x. 30. vi. 25. 31, 32. 1 Pet. v. 7.

2. But alas! how guilty is the weak Christian of meddling with God's part of the work! How sinfully careful what will become of him, and of his family, and affairs, and of the church, as if he were afraid lest God would prove forgetful, unfaithful, or insufficient for his work! So imperfect is his trust in God.

3. And the seeming Christian really trusteth him not at all, for any thing that he can trust himself or the creature for; he will have two strings to his bow if he can; but it is in man that he placeth his greatest trust for any thing that man can do. Indeed to save his soul he knoweth none but God is to be trusted, and therefore his life is still preferred before his soul; and consequently man whom he trusted most with his life and prosperity, is really trusted before God, however God may have the name; Jer. xvii. 5. 7. Psal. xxxiv. 8. xx. 7. xxxiv. 22. xxxvii. 3.

XXXIV. 1. A Christian indeed is much more studious of his own duty towards others, than of theirs to him; he is much more fearful of doing wrong, than of receiving wrong: he is more troubled if he say ill of others, than if others speak ill of him: he had far rather be slandered himself, than slander others; or be censured himself, than censure others; or be unjustly hurt himself, than unjustly hurt another; or to be put out of his own possessions or right, than to

put another out of his; he is oftener and sharper in judging and reproving himself than others; he falleth out with himself more frequently than with others; and is more troubled with himself than with all the world besides; he taketh himself for his greatest enemy, and knoweth that his danger is most at home; and that if he can escape but from himself, no one in earth or hell can undo him; he is more careful of his duty to his prince, his parents, his pastor, or his master, than of theirs to him; he is much more unwilling to be disobedient to them in any lawful thing, or to dishonor them, than to be oppressed, or unjustly afflicted, or abused by them. And all this is, because he knoweth that sin is worse than present suffering; and that he is not to answer for other men's sins, but for his own; nor shall he be condemed for the sins of any but himself; and that many millions are condemned for wronging others, but no one for being wronged by others: 1 Pet. iv. 12-16. Matt. v. 10-12. ii. 13. 15-17.

1 Pet.

2. And the weak Christian is of the same mind in the main; but with so much imperfection, that he is much more frequent in censuring others, and complaining of their wrongs, and finding fault with them, and aggravating all that is said or done against himself, when he is hardly made so sensible of as great miscarriages in himself, as having much more uncharitableness, partiality, and selfishness, than a confirmed Christian hath. There are few things which weakness of grace doth more ordinarily appear in, than this partiality and selfishness, in judging of the faults or duties of others, and of his own. How apt are (not only hypocrites, but) weak Christians, to aggravate all that is done against them; and to extenuate or justify all that they do against another. O what a noise they make of it, if they think that any one hath wronged them, defamed them, disparaged them, or encroached on their right. If God himself be blasphemed or abused, they can more patiently bear it, and make not so great a matter of it. Who heareth of such angry complaints on God's behalf, as on men's own? Of such passionate invectives, such sharp prosecutions, against those that wrong both God and men's souls, as against those that wrong a selfish person. (And usually every man seemeth to wrong him who keepeth from him any thing

which he would have, or saith any thing of him which is displeasing to him.) Go to the assizes and courts of justice; look into the prisons, and inquire whether it be zeal for God, or for men's selves, which is the plaintiff and prosecutor? and whether it be for wronging God or them, that all the stir is made? Men are ready to say, God is sufficient to right himself. As if he were not the Original and the End of laws and government, and magistrates were not his officers, to promote obedience to him in the world.

At this time how universal is men's complaint against their governors! how common are the cries of the poor and sufferers, of the greatness of their burdens, miseries, and wants. But how few lament the sins against government, which this land hath been sadly guilty of! The pastors complain of the people's contempt: the people complain of the pastor's insufficiency and lives. The master complaineth how hard it is to get good servants, that will mind their business and profit as if it were their own: servants complaining of their masters for over laboring them or using them too hardly. Landlords say that their tenants cheat them: and tenants say that their landlords oppress and grind them. But if you were Christians indeed, the most common and sad complaints would be against yourselves. 'I am not so good a ruler, so peaceable a subject, so good a landlord, so good a tenant, so good a master, so good a servant, as I ought to be.' Your ruler's sin, your subject's sin, your landlord's sin, your tenant's sin, your master's sin, your servant's sin, shall not be charged upon you in judgment, nor condemn you, but your own sin. How much more, therefore, should you complain of your own, than of theirs?

3. As for the seeming Christian, I have told you already, that selfishness is his nature and predominant constitution; and according to self-interest, he judgeth of almost all things; of the faults and duties of others and himself. And therefore no man seemeth honest or innocent to him, who displeaseth him, and is against his wordly interest. Cross him about mine and thine, and he will beknave the honestest man alive, and call his ancient friend his enemy. But of his dealings with them, he is not so scrupulous, nor so censorious of himself.

XXXV. 1. A Christian indeed is much taken up in the government of his thoughts, and hath them so much ordinarily in obedience, that God and his service, and the matters of his salvation have that precedency in them, and his eye is fixed on his end and duty; and his thoughts refuse not to serve him for any work of God to which he calleth them. He suffereth them not to be the inlets or agents for pride, or lust, or envy, or voluptuousness, or to contrive iniquity but if any such sparks from hell are cast into his thoughts, he presently laboreth to extinguish them. If they intrude, he letteth them not lodge or dwell there. And though he cannot keep out all disorder or vanity, or inordinate delights, yet it is his endeavor, and he leaveth not his heart in any thing to itself.

2. The weak Christian also maketh conscience of his thoughts, and alloweth them not to be the inlets or servants of any reigning sin. But alas, how imperfectly doth he govern them! what a deal of vanity and confusion is in them! how carelessly doth he watch them! how remissly doth he rebuke them, excite them, and command them! how oft are they defiled with impurity and uncharitableness! and how little doth he repent of this, or endeavor to reform it! And little serviceable are his thoughts, to any high and heavenly work, in comparison of the confirmed Christian.

3. And the seeming Christian is very little employed about his thoughts, but leaveth them to be the servants of his pride, and worldliness, or sensuality, or some reigning sin; Psal. x. 4. Matt. xv. 19. 1 Cor. iii. 20. Isa. lv. 7. Jer. iv. 14. vi. 19.

XXXVI. 1. A Christian indeed is much employed in the government of his passions; and hath so far mastered them, as that they prevail not to pervert his judgment, nor to discompose his heart so far as to interrupt much his communion with God, nor to ensnare his heart to any creature, nor to breed any fixed uncharitableness or malice in him, nor to cause his tongue to speak things injurious to God or man, to curse, or swear, or rail, or lie; nor yet to cause him to hurt and injure any in his heart. But when passion would be inordinate, either in delights or desires, or anger, or grief, or fear, or hope, he flieth to his helps to suppress and govern them. (Though fear is more out of man's power than the rest, and therefore ordina

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