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fpiritual Warfare, we must now, while we are well, be frequently entertaining our Meditations in the Charnel-houfe, and read Lectures to our felves upon the Skeletons and Deaths-heads there, thofe Emblems and Reprefentations of our approaching Mortality, and from them take fuch lively Pictures of the King of Terrors, as may render his grim Vifage and fearful Addresses fo familiar to us, as that our Thoughts may be before-hand accustomed to the manner of his Approaches; with what an Army of Diseases he is wont to lay Siege to the Fort of our Life, how in Defpight of all the Refiftances of Nature he plants and quarters them, in our Veins or our Arteries, our Stomachs or our Bowels, and from thence infefts us all over with continual Anguish and Pain; how when he hath tired and exhausted us with his continued Batteries, and worn out our Strength with a fucceffion of wearifom Nights to forrowful Days, he at laft ftorms the Soul out of all the Out-works of Nature, and forces it to retire into the Heart; and how when he hath marked us for dead with a Baptifm of clammy and fatal Sweats, he fummons our weeping Friends to affift him to grieve and vex us with their parting Kiffes and forrowful Adieus; and how at length, when he is weary of Tormenting us any more, he rufhes into our Hearts, and with a few Mortal Pangs and Convulfions,tears the Soul from thence, and turns it out to feek its Fortune in the wide World of Spirits, where 'tis either feized on by Devils, and carried away to their dark Prifons of Sorrow and Defpair, there to languish out its life in a difmal Expectation of that dreadful Day


wherein it mult change its bad Condition for a worfe; or be conducted by Angels to fome bleffed Abode, there to remain in unspeakable Pleasure and Tranquillity, till 'tis Crown'd with a glorious Refurrection. Now fince 'tis moft certain that we must all one time or other experience thefe things, but most uncertain how foon; how much doth it concern us to think of them before-hand, and to: forecast fuch Provifions and Preparations for them, as that whenfoever they happen we may not be furprized. For befides that the frequent Meditation of death will familiarize its Terrors to us, fo that whenfoever it comes, our Minds which have been fo long accustomed to converfe with it, will be much lefs ftartled and amazed at it; befides that, it will wean us from the inordinate Defire and over-cager Profecution of the things of this World, which, as I told you before, are the Snares with which our Vices do too often intangle us; befides all this, I fay, it will put us upon laying in a Store of fpiritual Provifions against that great Day of Expence. For he that often confiders the dreadful Approaches, the concómitant Terrors, and the momentous Iffues and Confequents of Death, must be ftrangely ftupefied if he be not thereby vigorously excited to fore-arm and fortifie himself with all those Graces and Defences that are necessary to render if eafie, fafe, and profperous.

VIII. To our final Perfeverance in the Chriftian Warfare, it is alfo neceffary that in order to the putting our felves into a good Posture to die, we should discharge our Confciences of all the Reliques and Remains of our paft guilt. For fo Bb 3


we are commanded to take care that our hearts be fprinkled from an evil confcience, Heb. x.22. and to bold faith and a good confcience, 1 Tim.i. 19. and to make this our rejoyeing, the teftimony of our confcience, that in fimplicity and godly fincerity we have bad our converfation in the world, 2 Cor. i.12. In a word,to live in all good confcience, Acts xxiii. 1. and to have a confcience void of offence, towards God and towards men, Acts xxiv. 16. Which though they are General Duties, do neceffarily imply this Particular,that we fhould very nicely and curioufly examine our Confciences, thofe faithful Records. and Registers of our Actions, and where-ever we find the leaft Item of an uncancelled Guilt,immediately crofs it out by a hearty Sorrow for, and moral Revocation of it. For notwithstanding we may have in the general repented lof all our paft Sins, yet there are fome Sins, which, notwithstanding we re-act no more, do leave a lafting Guilt upon the Mind, which nothing can cancel but our actual revoking and unfinning them. As fuppofing that I have heretofore either by my bad Counfels or Example feduced other men into wicked Courses; it is not fufficient for the Expiation of my Fault, that I my felfabitain from thofe wicked Courfes for the future, but I must indeavour to undo the Mifchief which I have done to others by them, and by a folemm Recantation of my paft Follies, by Perfuafion and good Counfel, and the Application of all other pious and prudent Means, indeavour to reduce thofe whom I have formerly perverted. For till I have done this, I wilfully permit the mischievous Effect of my Sin to remain; and if when I have wounded another; I fuffer him

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to perish without taking any care of his Cure, I am guilty of his Murder though I never wound him more. Suppofe again, that I have injured another by any malicious Slander or Calumny; it is not enough to acquit me of the Guilt of it, that I cease to scandalize him for the future, but I muft alfo endeavour by a free Retractation to vindicate his injured Name from the ill Surmifes of thofe to whom I have afperft him; for fo long as his Reputation fuffers through my not Retracting the Calumnies I have caft upon it, I wilfully perfift to defame and calumniate him, and fo long the Guilt of it must stick and abide upon my Confcience. Once more, fuppofe I have injured another in his Eftate,either by Theft,or Fraud,or Oppreffion, it will not be fufficient to acquit me, that for the future I forbear defrauding, forcing, or ftealing from him any more, but, if it be in my Power, I must make Reftitution of all that I have wrongfully deprived him of; and that to himself, if he be living, or if not, to those that fucceed him in his Rights, and for want of fuch, to the Poor,who by Gods Donation have the Propriety of all fuch Wefts and Strays as have no other Owner furviving. For it's certain that my wrongful Seizure of what is another mans, doth not alienate his Right to it, fo that he hath the fame Right to it while I keep it from him, as he had at firft when I took it from him; and confequently, till I restore it back to him, I continue to wrong him of it, and my detaining it is a continued Repetition of that Fraud, or Theft, or Oppreffion by which I wrongfully feized it; and whilft I thus continue the Sin, ?tis impoffible but the Guilt of it muft ftill abide Bb 4 upon

upon me. In thefe Cafes therefore it concerns us to be very nice and curious in examining our Accounts, to fee if there be any of these Scores yet uncancelled,any of thefe bad Effects of our Sin yet remaining. For if any fuch matter appear in our Accounts,it concerns us as much as our everlasting Intereft amounts to, to ufe all prefent Care and Diligence to difcharge it, that fo before Death fummons us to give up our Accounts to the great Auditor of the World, all Scores between him and us may be even'd and adjusted. And indeed if we would be fafe,it vastly imports us to leave as little as may be to do upon a Death-bed; for that is most commonly a very improper State for religious Action; fince, for all we know, we may be diflracted in it by a Fever, or ftupefied by an Apoplexy, or deprived of the Ufe of Reason by the infufferable Torments of a Stone; either of which will render us incapable of every thing, but Dying. Or, if neither of thefe fhould happen,yet to be sure a dying State will bring Work enough with it; Sorrows and Care enough, Fears and Impatiencies enough to exercife all our Virtue, and imploy all our Reafon. So that if we carry with us to our Death-bed any Item or Relique of uncancell'd Guilt, 'tis a thonfand to one but in the Hurry of dying we shall leave it uncancell'd, and be arrested for it by the Divine Juftice when we come into Eternity. Wherefore, as we would prevent this fatal Iffue of our Chriftian Warfare, it concerns us now we are well, to make a diligent Inspection into our Confciences, to fee if there yet remains any old Reckonings of Guilt undifcharged by us; and if there be, not to give reft to our Eyes, nor


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