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S. MATT. xvi. 24. Then said Jesus unto bis Disciples, if
any Man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross and follow me.
HERE are these three Conditions re.
quir'd of those that will be Christ's true and faithful Disciples ; 1. That they be ready to deny themselves.
to take up their Cross.
and to follow Christ in all Things that He hath prefcrib'd to them by His Example or Commands, or does require of them.
. Every true Disciple of Christ muft deny himself. 1. What is it to deny ourselves ? 1. Not to indulge ourselves in any thing
that stands in Competition with our
23. : Tho',
Seipfum fibi homo abneget, totus mu
tetur. Ambros. 1. In denying our own Wills, if they in
1. Not to do what GOD commands us,
Gal. i. 16. 2. Nor to suffer what He lays upon us,
Luk. xxii. 42. i Sam. iii. 18. 2. In denying our Affections, when they are
inconsistent with our Christian Duty;
such as are,
1. Self-Love. We naturally love ourselves,
but should spiritually love GOD, and
that chiefly and above all Things. 2. Foy. We must deny Joy in ourselves, in
Sin, or any other Thing but GOD. 3. Hope. We must not suffer our Hope
to rest in any but GOD. 4. Desires. Nothing must come in Competi
tion with GOD in our Desires. No Interests or Enjoyments in the World
whatsoever, Pfal. lxxiii. 25. Phil. iii.8. Le Not Estate, Prov. iii. 9. 2. Not Credit or Honour, Matt. v. 11. 3. Not Relations, Matt. x. 37. 4. Not Liberty 5. Not Health, 6. Not Life, Luk. xiv. 26.
7. Much less our Lusts and Corruptions. 2. Why are we to deny ourselves, if we follow Christ?
I. God hath commanded us.
GOD, Matt. vi. 24.
to act according to our own Wills and Humours, i Cor. vi, 20.
INFERENCES. 1. How fem are there in the World, that follow Christ aright, Lük, xii. 32.
2. How hard a thing is it so to do?
3. Wherefore, endeavour to deny yourselves, by considering, 1. That Christ deny'd Himself for you, Phil.
il. 6, 7, 8. Hebr. xii. 2, 3. 2. Unless you deny yourselves, Christ will
deny you, Matt. X. 33. 3. It is only by denying yourselves, that
you manifest yourselves to be Christ's
Disciples. 4. Deny yourseļves for Christ here, and you
will find yourselves with Christ here
after. Wherefore, manifest your Self-denial.
1. In Leaving your former Sins, tho' never fo delightful, or advantageous to you in the way
of the World.
2. In Liying above yourselves, not your Eftates, but Sins, not your Conditions, but Corruptions.
II. DOCTRIN E.
Whosoever will be Chrift's Disciple, must take up His Cross. 1. What are we to understand by Cross? 1. Literally, the Cross of Christ, which con.
sisted of an erect piece of Wood fastn'd into the Ground, with a Transverse going athwart towards the Top of it, and another piece of Wood fastn'd to, and standing out from That which was fix'd in the Ground; épreuve & moxsulot of
Ubi requiescit qui clavis affigitur. Iren. 2. Metaphorically, Amictions and Troublesa which are either
1. Inward; as,
S. Matt. xix. 27.
S. Matt. xi. 29, 30.
1. Hatred, S. Matt. 8. 22.
2 Cor. vi. 4. and xi. 24, 25, 26, 27.
and xii. 10. 4. Imprisonment, 2 Cor. vi. 5. 5. Scourges, Wracks, Tortures, Hebr.xi.37.
6. Death, Luk. xiv. 26. Phil. č. 8. Now there are two Things that make our Croffes to be the Cross of Christ. 1. That we suffer in the way of well
doing. 2. That we suffer for our well-doing in that
way, it is not enough that we be doing well when we suffer, but we must therefore suffer because we are doing well, otherwise our Cross is not Christ's Cross, because not put upon our Shoul
ders for His fake, i Pet. ii. 20. 2. What is it to take up our Cross ? 1. Negatively.
1. Not to run ourselves into Sufferings. 2. Nor the meer bearing of Afiations,
2 Cor. xi. 33, 2. Positively. To be willing to bear whatsoever is laid upon us for Christ's lake; not to think much to suffer for Him, who thought not much to die for us. An Horse suftinet, sed non suscipit onus. And there
are five Qualifications required to our right
1. Willingly, S. Matt. vi. 10.
V. 41. 3. Why must Christ's Disciples bear their Cross ? 1. Because Christ bore it, Phil. iii. 10. Matt.
X. 23, 24, 25: 2. Because the Way wherein we follow Christ
is a cross Way; Cross to the World; Cross to Sn; Cross to our Lufts; and therefore, He that will follow Christ, must expe&t Crosses before they come, and take them when they are come,
2 Tim. iii. 12. Pfal. xxxiv. 19. 3. The Cross is Christ's School, wherein 'he
trains up His Disciples; teaching them
to know, 1. God, Job xlij. 5. 2. The World, i Cor. vii. 31. 3. Their Sins, Job xxxvi. 8, 9. 4. Themselves, Dan. iv. 30, 34, &c. 5. The Art of applying Promises, Hebr.
xiii. 5, 6. 6. The Duty of Self-Examination, Lam.
iii, 39, 40. 7. of Self-Humiliation, Job xxxvi.
8, 9, 10. and xlii. 5,6. 8. of Submitting unto GOD, Rom.
V. 3, 4 9. of Believing, Pfal. xxvii. 12, 13. IÓ. of Despifing the World, Gal.