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for our Sins, if it be ferious and hearty, will convert into Hatred and Indignation against them, and that Hatred will animate us in all our Conflicts with them, and render us more obftinate against their Terrours and Allurements. So that when in the aftercourfe of our Warfare against them, we are tempted afrefh to yield and comply with them, the Remembrance of the paft Shame and Sorrow, Remorse and Confufion we have undergone for their fakes, will render us far more deaf and inexorable than otherwife we should be to their Solicitations.

If therefore we would engage in this fpiritual Warfare with fuccefs, we must be often reflecting upon our paft Sins, and reprefenting them to our felves in all their aggravating Circumstances. And when we have furveyed them round about, and confidered them in all their natural Turpitude, Difingenuity, and Indecency, and applied them to our felves with all their appendant Stings, shameful Effects, and difmal Circumstances, fo that our hearts begin to feel them, and to fmart and bleed under the dolorous Senfe of them; then must we pour them out before God in fad and mournful Confeffions. For the very Confeffion of our Sins before fo pure and great a Being, is in it felf an effectual Means to encrease our Shame and Sorrow for them; and he must have a very hard Heart that can ingenuously and without any Referve lay open his crimes before the God of Heaven and Earth in all their black, Aggravations, without being ftung with a fenfible Regret and Confufion; efpecially if he frequently repeat his Confeffions as he ought to do.

V. To our fuccefsful Beginning of this our Chriftian Warfare it is also neceffary that we earneftly implore the divine Aid and Affiftance to enable us to go through with it. For God knowing how unable we are of our felves to engage in this great Enterprize with that good Conduct that is neceffary to give us any probability of Succefs, hath promised us his own Prefence and Affiftance even from the Beginning to the End of it; and if in any part of it his Affiftance be neceffary, 'tis doubtless in the Entrance, which, as I fhall fhew you by and by, is by far the most difficult and hezardous. If therefore we prefume to enter upon it without fupplicating God to fecond us with his Grace and Affiftance, we fhall quickly find our felves fhamefully foiled and defeated. For though he hath promised to affift us, yet 'tis upon Condition that we earnestly beg and feek him; he will give his Spirit, but it is to thofe that ask it, Luke xi. 13. he will draw near unto us, but first we muft draw near unto him, James iv. 8. and we are aflured that we shall have if we ask, that we fhall find if we feek, and that it fhall be opened to us if we knock, Matt. vii. 7. And therefore we are bid to go boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in the time of need, Heb. iv. 16. and not only to pray without ceafing, 1 Theff. v. 17. but in every thing by prayer and fupplication to let our requests be made known unto God, Phil. iv. 6. and if in every thing we ought to make known our wants to him, then much more in this great and difficult Undertaking, in which it will be impoffible for us to fucceed without his heavenly - Aid and Affistance.

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Wherefore as we hope for Victory in this our -fpiritual Warfare, we must earneftly implore his Concurrence with us, and befeech him to fecond us in all our weak Efforts and Endeavours. We muft lay open our woful Cafe before him, and remonftrate to him that we are heartily willing to do what we are able, but that without, him we are abundantly fenfible all will be in vain. We muft tell him that our Dependance is upon him, and that all our Hope of Success is in him; and that we dare not stir one step without him; and befeech him that he will not stand by, and fee us fpend our felves in ineffectual Struglings, but that he will graciously stretch forth his helping Hand to us, and not fuffer us to mifcarry for want of his neceffary Affiftance. Which if we do, we may affure our felves that the merciful God, who is the Father of our Spirits, will never abandon his own offfpring whilft it cries out to him, and with pitiful and bemoaning Looks implores his Aid and gracious Co-operation.

Whilft therefore we are thus endeavouring to prepare our felves for our fpiritual Warfare, we ought in every act of Preparation to look up to God, and earnestly fupplicate the Concurrence of his Grace and Spirit. While we are endeavour ing to believe, we must beg him to help our unbelief, to remove all Prejudices from our minds, and prefent the Evidences of our Religion to our Understandings in a clear and convincing Light. When we are setting our felves to a ferious Confi deration, we must befeech him to fix our Thoughts, to suggest to, and repeat his heavenly Motives and Arguments fo fast and thick upon our Minds, that


no finful or worldly Thought may be able to crowd in to disturb or divert our Meditations. When we are labouring to perfuade our felves of our Need, and the Reality of our Saviours Medi ation, we must earnestly intreat him to open our eyes, and convince us effectually of the horrible. Danger of our fin, and of the infallible Efficacy of that bleffed Remedy. When we are attempting to affect our felves with the bitter Senfe of our paft Tranfgreffions, we muft implore him to ftrike in with us, and to infpire our Minds with fuch piercing and powerful Convictions of the infinite Shame, Bafeneß, and Danger of them, as may fting our brawny Confciences to the quick, and diffolve our frozen Souls into a forrowful Repentance; that fo when we enter the Lifts and proceed to Refolution, which is the Beginning of our Spiritual warfare, we may be armed against our Sins with fuch a lively Faith, fuch puiffant Confiderations, fuch Horror and Animofity against them, and such an affured Hope of being refcued from the fatal Issues and Effects of them, as that we may be able to promife our felves a happy Success in the enfuing Course of our warfare against them. And having thus fitted and accoutred our felves for this great and momentous Enterprize;

VI. We are to enter into a ferious and folemn Refolution of Amendment, of forfaking and renouncing all our Sins, and never returning to them more, whatsoever Temptations may invite, or Difficulties encounter and oppose us. Refolution is in Scripture called Tavola, which we tranflate Repentance, but in ftrictnefs fignifies a Change of Mind or of Purpofe and Refolution,




a renouncing our finful Purposes, and folemnly ingaging our felves in a contrary Refolution of living foberly and righteously and godly in this prefent World. So that wherefoever the Precept of Repentance is expreffed by this word, the meaning of it is, to oblige us to change the wicked Purpofes of our Hearts into a firm and ferious Refolution of forfaking all ungodliness and worldly lufts, and entirely refigning up our felves to the Will and difpofal of God. And hence it is that μετανοῦ, and επισρέφειν, i. e. to change our minds and convert or turn are in Scripture fo often put together; the one denoting the inward Change of our Refolution, the other the outward Change of our Practice pursuant to it. So Acts iii. 19. repent and be converted, and Acts xxvi. 20. that they Should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance; that is, that they fhould refolve to forfake their fins, and fubmit to their Duty, and

put their Refolution into Practice. And fo that other word μεταμέλεια, which we allo render Repentance, strictly fignifies an after-care, that is purfuant unto this ueTávola or Change of Refolution.

Now this Repentance or Change of Refolution is the Initial Act of the Religion of Sinners, whereby they refume their inward man from the Service of fin, and fubmit and refign their Wills to God; whereby in Heart and Will they for fake the Devils Colours, and lift themselves Volunteers under the Banner of Christ. And being fo, it ought to be performed with fo, much the more Care and Preparation. For the Beginning of all great Enterprizes is the Ground and Foundation of them; which if it be not firmly laid will be apt


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