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c H A P. VI. Shewing indwelling fin to be to grace, what firegis to gold; and

how the foundness and unfoundness of our hearts are discovered by our carriage towards it.

SECT. I.
D Rofperity and adversity put focerity to the trial; but no.

I thing makes a deeper search into our bofoms, gothing fifts our {pirits more Darrowly, or tells us what our state is more plainly, than our behaviour towards that corruption that dwells in us; the thorn is next ocighbour to the rose : Sin and grace dwell not only in the fame foul, but in the same faculties. The collier and fuller dwell in one room; what one cleanseth the other blacks. Of all the evils God permits in this world, done is more grievous to his people than this : They fometimes wolder why the Lord will suffer it to be fo; why, surely, among other wise and holy eods of this permission, these are fome..

They are left to try you, and to humble you : There is no iotrio sical goodness in fin; but, however, in this it occasions good to us, that by our carriage towards it, we discern our fiocerity. The touchstone is a worthless stone in itself, but it serves to try the gold; 1 John iii. 9, 10.“ Whosoever is born “ of God, doth pot commit fin; for his feed remaineth io him,

“ aod he cannot fin, because he is boro of God: In this the ." children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil :" 9.d. lo respect of their carriage towards fia, the one and other is plainly manifefted : This is that which feparates the dross from the gold, and Mews you wha'r the true ftatè of men's per Sons, and tempers of their hearts is. By not fipping, we are not to understand a total freedom from it io this world, as if it implied any fuch perfection of the people of God in this world; that is the Popith and Pelagian fenle : Nor yet must we take it in the Arminian sepse, who, to avoid the argument of the orthodox, will understand it of the fin against the Holy Ghost. What a strange thing would it be, to make that a characteristical pote of distinction betwixt the godly and ungodly, which so very few, even of the most ungodly, are ever guilty of ?

But the manner of our behaviour towards fia, and our car. riage towards it before, or under, or after the commission of it, in that the children of God are manifeft, and the children of the devil.

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, Now, there are five things relating to fin, that discriminate and mark the state of the persons : The difference is discernible.

ri. Abstinence from lia.

| 2. Hatred of fin.
In our <3, Trouble about fin.

14. Subjection to fin.
15. Opposition of fia.

SECT. II.
THE grounds and motives of our abstinence do very

de clearly manifest the state of our souls; what they are in the regenerate and unregenerate, is our next work : And let it be considered,

1. Firft, That an uofound and unrenewed heart may abltaia from one fia, because it is contrary to, and inconsistent with another fin : For, it is with the sins of our natures, as it is! with the diseases of our bodies : Though all diseases be contrary to health, yet some diseases, as the fever and pally, are contrary to each other. So are prodigality and covetousness, hypocrisy and profaneness. These oppose each other, not for murual destruction, as sia and grace do, but for superiority, each contending for the throne, and sometimes taking it by turos, Ic is with such persons as with that possessed man, Matth. xvii. 15. whom the spirit cafts fometimcs into the fire, sometimes into the water : Or if one subdue the other, yet che heart is also subdued to the vallalage of that lust that is uppermost in the soul.

2. Secondly, An uprenewed soul may be kept from the commission of some fin, not because there is a priociple of gracę withio him, but because of some providential restraiot without

him, or upon him: For, it oftea falls out, that when men ? have conceived fia, and are ready to execute it, providence

claps on the fetters of restraint, and hiaders them from so doing.

This was the case with Abimelech, Gen. xx. 6, and 17. com- ' pared, I with-held thee: And though person's so restraiged, have not the good of such providences, yet others have ; for by it a world of mischief is prevented in the world, which otherwise would break out; and to this act of providence we owe our lives, liberties, estates, and comforts in this world.

3. Thirdly, AD uofound heart may not commit some fins, dot because he truly hates them, but because his constitution ins

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clides him not to them: These men are rather beholden to å good temper of body, than to à gracious temper of foul. Some men cannot be druokards if they would, others cannot be covetous aad base; they are made c meliori luto, of a more refined metal than others; but chalte abd liberal, juft and sober nature, is but nature still : The best bature, in all its endowments, is but nature at the best.

4. Fourthly, A gracelefs heart may be restrained from fia by the force of education and prisciples of morality that way iaa Nilled into it. Thus Jehoalh was restrained from sin, 2 Kings xii. 2. “ Aod Jehoath did that which was right in the light of “ the Lord, all the days whereia Jehoiadah the priest instructed « him.” The fear of a parefnt or matter will do a great deal more with some in this case than the fear of God. The iafluence of a flrict education nips off the excrefcencies of buddiog việc. The way we are taught whca young, we keep whea old: This is the iofluence of man upon man, Rot the influence of the res generatiog Spirit upon mer.

5. Fifthly, A gracelets heart may be kept from some fios by the fear of the events, both io this world, and that to come. Sio that is followed with infamy and reproach among men, may on this ground be forbořo; pot because God hath forbiddeo it. but because human laws will poaith it; agd the fober world will brand us for if ; Aöd some look farther, to the puoishment of fio in hell; they are not afraid to fin, but they are afraid to burn.

Here fia is like a sweet role in a brake of thords ; faia we would bave it, but we are loth to tear our felh to come by it. It is good that liv is preveoted any way; but to be kept on this grouad from fio, doth nói argue the estate of the perfon to be good : And thus you fee fome of the grounds on which cardat men are reftraiged ; and in this the children of the devil are " manifeft.”

$ ECT. III. RUT there are grouods of abllinedco from firi, bġ whichi D “ the children of God are also mduifefted;" and such are those that follow :

di First, A siacere heart dares pot lia because of the eye and fear of God, which is upon him: So you find it in Job xxxi. 1, and 4: he durft not allow his thoughts to fid, because he lived under the awe of God's eye. - Nehemiah durit not do as former governors had done, though an opportunity prefented to enrich himself, because of the fear of his God, Nchem. Vo

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39 The foul that lives wider the awe of this eye will be as confcientious where no difcovery can be made bý éreatures, as If all the world looked on, Levit. xix. 14. " Thou shalt not « curse the deaf, not put a stumbling-block before the blinds (6 but fhalt fear thy God, I am the Lord.” . , . ,

What if a man do curfe the deaf, the deaf cannot hear him; and what if he do put a stumbling-block before the blind, the blind cannot see him : True, but God fees him, God hears

kim, that is enough to a man that hath the fear of elie Lord.' i tpon his heart.

2. Secondly, As the fear of God, for the love of God, is a principle of restraint from fin to the soul that is upright. This

kept back Jofeph from fin, Gen. xxxix. 9. “How can I do i « this great wickedness, and fin againft God ? Horo can I ?

He speaks as a man that feels himself bound up from firí by the a goodness and love of God, that had been manifested to hining

ud. Hath he delivered me from the pit into which my envi

ous brethren cáft me ? Hathi he, in so miraculous a way, ad. - tanced me to all this honour and power in Egypt ? and now, ut after all his kindness and love to me, shall I sin againft him ? how can I do this against so good, fo gracious a God? So

Pfak xcvii. ro. “ Ye that love the Lord, hate evil." Love'will at gry out in the hour of temptation, Is this thý kindnefs to thiyo 1friend? Dost thou thus requite the Lord for all his kindnet

fes ?

3. Thirdly, As the love of God, so the intrinsical evil and Althiness that is in fin keeps' back the gracious foul from it, Rom. xii. g. Abhor that which is evil, " CHOSUO HT to govmpov, Kate' it as hell itfelt: Or, as the French translation hath it, be in horror. As the apprehensions of hell, so the apprehenfionis of fin impress horror upon the mind that is fanctified: Nothing more bathsome to an holy foul. Its aversations from it are with the highest indigration and loathing.

4. Fourthly, The renewed nature of a faint restrains him from fin; Gal. v. 17. “ The spirit lufteth against the flesh, fó

that ye cannot do the thing ye would." "Ye cannot, why Cannot ye?' becaufe' it is against your new nature: · Beloved, This is a very remarkable thing in the experience of all renewed men, That, upon the renovation of men's prina ciples; their delight's, and their aversations and loathings are laid quite cross and opposite to what they were before. In their

carnal state, vain company and finful exercises were their de · light. To be feparated from these and tied to prayer, medi

VOL. VII.

X

traint to acerowful night and gall again: « In that He would

tation, heavenly discourse and conipany; O what a bondage would that have been! Now to be tied to such carnal society, and restrained from such duties of godliness, and the fociety of the godly, becomes a much sorer bondage to the soul. God

5. Fifthly, Experience of the bitterness of hin, is a res straint to a gracious heart. They that have had so inany fick days and sorrowful nights for sin as they have had, are loath to taste that wormwood and gall again, which their soul hath still in remembrance ;, 2 Cor. vii. 11. “ In that ye forrowed « after a godly fort, what carefulness it wrought!” He would not grapple with those inward troubles again, he would not have the chearful light of God's countenance eclipsed again for all, and much more than all, the pleasures that are in fin..

C. Sixthly, The consideration of the sufferings of Christ for fin, powerfully withholds a gracious soul from the commission of it; Rom. vi. 6. “ Our old man is crucified with him, that

the body of fin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should « not serve fin." Were there a knife or fword in the house that had been thrust through the heart of your father, would you ever endure the sight of it? Sin was the sword that pier. ced Christ, and so the death of Christ becomes the death of fin in his people. Thus the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest, in the principles and reasons of their abstinence from sin. . . . ..

. . ". SECT. Iv. (2.) Econdly, They are also manifested by their hatred of

fin. This puts a clear distinction betwixt them; for no false or unregenerate heart can hate sin as fin; he may indeed,

1. First, Hate sin in another, but not in himself: Thus one proud man hates another ; Calco fuperbiam Platonis, said Diogenes, when he trampled Plato's fine clothes, under foot; I fpurn the pride of Plato. Sed majori fuperbia, as Plato smartly replied, Thou tramplest upon my pride, but it is with greater pride. “Why (faith Christ to the hypocrite) « beholdest thou the mote in thy brother's eye, but consider-, « est not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matth. vii. 3. How quick in espying, and rash in censuring the smallest fault in another, is the hypocrite! it was but one fault, and that, but a small one, but a mote that he could find in another; yet this he quickly discerns : It may be there were many ex cellent graces in him, these he overlooks, but the mote he plainly discerns.

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