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Satan opened, and rules for the avoiding of the danger briefly prescribed,
P CH A P. XII...
C HA P. XIII.-
even when our habitual and actual preparations are at
tirely upon the Spirit, who is Lord of all gracious influ· ences, as if we had done nothing Together with the .. means of working the heart to such a frame,
. C H A P. XIV. Containing the first use of the point by way of conviction,
discovering the unreadiness of multitudes of profesors for suffering-work,
377 C'H A P. XV. Containing another use of the point, by way of exhortation,
persuading all the people of God, whilst the Lord refpites, · and graciously delays their trials, to answer the end of
God therein, and prepare themselves for greater trials : where several motives are propounded, to excite to the duty,
comfort to poor trembling fouls, who do tuke pains to
The Balm of the Covenant applied to the bleed... ing WOUNDS of afflicted SAINTS.
The Epistle Dedicatory, . . 393: 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Although my house be not so with God;
yet he hith made with me un everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure, &c.
Quest. 18. Of the finfulness of that estate whereinto man
S À Í N TÍN DE E D.
. From Proverbs iv. 23.
HERE are affect our heartai folute ones, who hole
THE E PISTLE DEDICATOR Y:
My dear Friends,
continually affect our hearts: The (1.) Is to behold in every place; so many profane and diffolute ones, who hear the very image of Satan ; the face of whose conversation plainly discovers what they are; and whither they are going, Philip. ži. i8, 19. These look like themselves, the children of wrath. The (2.) Is to see so many cursed hypocrites artificially difguiling themselves, and with marvellous dexterity acting the parts of saints, so that even a judicious eye may sometimes miitake the similar workings of the Spirit on them, for his faving workings on others ; To hear fuch a person conferring, prays ing, bewailing his corruptions, and talking of his experiences ; would eafily persuade a man to believe that he hath the heart, as well as the face; of a sincere Christian : For;
Sic oculos; foc ille manis, fit ora ferebat: So the people of God do speak, so they pray, and even fa they open their conditionis : These look like faints, but are none. The (3:) Is to see so many real saints, in whom the Spirit of truth is, who yet, through the impetuous workings of their corruptions, and neglecting of the watch over their hearts,
do often fall into such scandalous practices, that they look like hypocrites, though they are not so.
These are three fad lights indeed, and that my head were waters, and mine eyes fountains of tears, that I might weep abundantly over them all!
I . . For the first, I would mourn heartily, confidering that they (so continuing) must be damned eternally, 2 Theff. i. 8, ga 1 Cor. vi. 9.
For the second, I would both weep and tremble, considering that they (so abiding) must be damned doubly, Matth. xxiv. 51.
And for the third, no less than any of the rest, because, though they themselves may, and shall be saved, yet their examples make fast the bonds of death upon both the former, Matth. xviii. 7. 2 Sam. xii. 13, 14:
Ålas ! that ever they should shed the blood of others souls, for whom Christ shed his own blood ! That ever they fhould be cruel to others, who have found Christ fo kind to them ! I know they dare not do it directly and intentionally, but so it 'proves occafionally and eventually, Suffer me here to digress a little, and expostulate with these prejudiced and hardened fouls, I will presently return to you again. O why do you mischieve your own souls by other mens examples ? Because they stumble and break their shins, will you fall and break your necks ? I desire all such as harden themselves by these things, and take up a good opinion of their own deplorable condition, would soberly consider, and answer these three queries. .; Query: 1. Doth religion any way countenance or patronize the finful practices of its profeisors? Or doth it not rather im. partially and severely condemn them? It is the glory of the Christian religion, that it is pure and undefiled, Jam. i. 27. No doctrine so holy, Psalm xix. 8. Nor doth any make «more provision for an holy life, Tit. ii. 17, 12. Indeed there is a cafe wherein we may charge the evil practices of men . pon their principles, but that is when their practices naturally flow from, and neceffarily follow their principles : As for example, if I see a Papist sin boldly, I may charge it upon his principles, for they set pardons to sale, and so make way for Jooseness. If I see an Arminian flight the grace of God, and #proudly, advance himself, I may cry ihame upon his principles, which directly lead to it: But can I do so where such practices are condemned, and provided against by their own avowed Principles who commit them?
Query 2. Is it not a moft irrational thing to let fly at religion
the linii 1. Doberly condecopi