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they not suffer? What pleasant enjoyment would they not glad. ly part with, to arrive at the desire of their fouls, the full af. furance of their sincerity? It was the saying of a pious woman, I have born said she, seven children, and they have coft me as dear as ever children cost a mother, yet I would be content to endure all that sorrow over again, to be assured of the love of God to my soul.

Motive 2. Secondly, And as the work is full of difficulty, so the discovery of your sincerity will be full of sweetness and joy unspeakable : It will never repent you, that you have prayed and mourned, that you have trembled and feared, that you have searched and tried : Nay, it will never repent you, that God hath cried you by thousands of sharp afflictions and deep sufferings, if, after all, your sincerity may be fully cleared up to the fatisfaction of your souls ; for in the same day your fina cerity shall be cleared, your title to Christ will be made as clear to your souls as your fincerity is ; you may then go to the promises boldly, and take your own Christ into the arms of your faith, and say, “ My Beloved is mine, and I am his !” Yea, you may be confident, it shall be well with you in the judgment of the great day, for “ God will not caft away the " upright man,” Job viii. 20. If the word clear you now, it cannot condemn you then. :* . O what an eafé is it to the soul, when the fears and doubts

that hang about it are gone! When a man fees what be is, and ' what he hath in Christ and the promises, and what he hath to do; even to spend the time betwixt this and heaven, in admiting the grace of God that hath delivered him from the ruining mistakes and miscarriages by which so great a part of the professing world to all eternity. : Motive 3. Thirdly, The deep concernment of your souls in the matter to be tried, should awaken you to the utmost diligençe about it. The trials of men for their life, at human bars, is but a trifle to this : It is your eternal happiness that stands or falls wi:h your sincerity,

It is said in the trial of opinions, that if a man superstruct hay or stubble upon the foundation, he shall suffer loss; yet he himself may be saved, 1 Cor. iii. 12. But if hypocrisy be in the foundation, there is no such relief, there is no poflibility of falvation in that case.

Ah, reader, thou must be cast for ever according to the inte. grity or hypocrisy of thy heart with God. Summon in then all the powers of thy foul: bring thy thoughts as close as it is poslible to bring them to this matter: If there be any fubject of con

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fideration able to drink up the spirits of a man, here it is : Never was time put to an higher improvement; never were thoughts spent upon à more important bufiness, than this is : Happy is the man that rescues the years, months, days, yea, the very moments of his life from other employments to confecrate them unto this folemn, awful, and moft important business!

Motive 4. Fourthly, How evidential will it be of your fins terity, when you are willing to come to the trial of your ową hearts !

Suppose your doubts and fears should in fome degree remain with you; yet in this you may take some comfort, that if hy. pocrisy be in your heart, it is not there by consent: You are hot loih to rife and come to trial, because, like Rachel, you fit upon your idols : Çertainly it is a good sign thy heart is right, when it is filled with fo much fear lest it should be false. You know all the disciples said, “ Mafter, is it 1 ?" before Judas, who was the traitor, spake a word. « Last of all (faith the i text) Judas said, Is it I ?". Our willingness to be tried, is a good sign that the desire of our foul is to be right with God.

Motive 5. Fiftbly, Conclude it to be your great advantage to be thoroughly tried, whatever you be found to be in the trial: If you be found sincere, you are richly rewarded for all your pains and labour: Never did that man repent of digging and coiling, that after all hit upon the rich vein that he digged for : What is a vein of gold to a vein of sincerity!

If upon search you find the contrary, a falfe, hypocrítical, unfound heart, yet in that very sad discovery you meet with the greatest advantage that ever you had in your lives for fal. vation. This discovery is your great advantge: For now your vain confidence being over-turned, and your ungrounded hopes destroyed; you fie open to the stroke of a deep and effe&tual conviction of your fin and misery, which is the introductive mercy to all other mercies to your fouls; and surely till you come to that, to give up your false hopes, and quit your vain pretensions, there is no hope of you. Christ told the Pharisees, Matth. xxi. 31. Publicans and harlots enter into the kingdom of heaven before you : Publicans were the worst fort of men, and harlots the worst fort of women, and yet they stood in a fairer way for heaven than the hypocritical Pharisees, because conviction had easier access to their consciences : They had not those defences and pleas of duty and stridt. ness to ward off the word, that the self-cozening Pharisees had.

I may say of your rain and groundless hopes, as Christ, in Vol. VII.

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you expect you seek me, C officers chas

210 Rules to be chferved in the Trials of Grace, another sense, said to the officers that came to seize him in the garden, If you seek me, let these go their way. So it is here, if you expect Christ, and falvation by him, let your vain confi. dences go their way; away with your marques and vizards, if ever you expect to lee Christ. O it is your happiness to have all these things stript off, aod your nakedness and poverty discover ed, that you may be rich, as the text speaks..

Motive 6. Sixthly, Coolider how near the day of death and judgment approach you. O these are searching days wherein you cannot be hid : Will your consciences, thiok you, be put off in a dying day as easily as they are now ? No, no, you know they will pot.

I have heard of a good man that consumed not only the greatest part of the day, but a very considerable part of the night also jo prayer, to the great weakening of his body; and being asked by a relation why he did so, aod prayed to favour him. felf, he returned this answer, o I must die, I must die ; plainly. iptimuing, that so great is the conceroment of dying in a clear assured condition, that it is richly worth the expence of all our time and strength to secure it.

You know also that after death the judgment, Heb. ix. 27. you are hastening to the judgment of the great and terrible God, Death will put you into his balance to be weighed exactly; and what gives the soul a louder call to search itself with all diligence, whilst it stands at the door of eternity, and its curp is not yet come to go before that awful tribunal : O that these confiderations might have place upon our hearts !

Ç HA P. XII. Containing divers helps for the clearing of fincerity, and disco

very of hypocrisy.

SECT. I. V OU fee of what importance the duty of self-examination

is, and how many things put a necessity and a solemnity upon that work. Now, in the clofe of all, I would offer you fome helps for the due management thereof, that is as far as I can carry it; the Lord persuade your hearts to the diligent and faithful application aod use of them. The general rules to clear sincerity are there that follow : :

Rule r. We may not presently conclude we are in the state of

bypocrisy, because we find some workings of it, and tendencies to 24 in our spirits : The best gold hath fome dross and alloy in it.' Hypocrisy is a weed naturally springing in all ground, the best heart is not perfectly clear or free of it: It may be we are ftumbled, when we feel fome workings or grudgings of this disease in ourselves, and looking into such scriptures as these, John i. 47. “ Behold' an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no * guile :” and Pfal. xxxii. 1. 6 Blessed is the man unto whom “ the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is « no guile." • This I say may stumble some upright soul, not understanding in what an allayed and qualified sense those scriptures are to be understood : For by a fpirit without guile, is not under-ftood a person absolutely free from all deceitfulness, and falfe.' ness of heart; this was the sole prerogative of the Lord Jesus, who was separated from finners, in whose mouth was no guile found: In whom the prince of this world, in all his trials and attempts upon him, found nothing: But we must understand it of reigning and allowed hypocrisy; there is no such guile in any of the saints : distinguish the presence from the predominance of hypocrisy, and the doubt is resolved.

Rule 2. Every true ground of humiliation for fin, is not a sufficient ground for doubting and questioning our estate and condition. .. .i

There be many more things to humble us upon the account of our infirmity, than there are to stumble us upon the account of our integrity : It is the fin and aMiction of some good souls to call their condition in question, upon every flip and failing in the course of their obedience. This is the way to debar our felves from all the peace and comfort of the Christian life : We find that Joseph was once minded to put away Mary his, espoused wife, not knowing that the holy thing which was conceived in her was by the holy Ghost. It is the fin of hypocrites to take brafs for gold, and the folly of saints to call their gold brass: Be as severe to yourselves as you will, always provided you be just : “ There is that maketh himself rich, and sryet hath nothing; and there is that maketh himself poor, 66 and yet hath great riches;”. Prov. xiii. 7. Hiram called the cities Solomon gave him, Cabul, Dirty, for they pleased him not, 1 Kings ix. 13. It is but an ill requital, an ungrateful return to God for the best of mercies, to undervalue them in our hearts, and be really upon all occasions to put them away as Horth nothing . .in D d 2 S

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Rule 3. Astronger propenfion in our nature, and more frei quent incidence in our praštice to one fin than another, doth nob Presently infer our hypocrisy, and the unfoundness of our hearts în religion. It is true, every hypocrite hath some way of wick. edness: Some peccatum in deliciis, iniquity that he delights in, and rolls as a sweet morsel under his tongue; fome luft that he is not willing to part with, nor can endure that the knife of mortification should touch it; and this undoubtedly argues the inancerity and rottenness of his heart : And it is true, ab fo, that the nature and conftitution of the most fanctified man inclines him rather to one fin, thau to another, though he al. low himself in noue; yea, though he set himself more watch: fully against that fn than another, yet he may still have more trouble and vexation, more temptation and defilement from it, than any other.

As every man hath his proper gift, one after this manne, and another after that, as the apostle {peaks, 1 Cor. vii. 7. fo every man hath his proper sin aklo, one after this manner, and another after that? For it is with original fin, as it is with the juice or fap of the earth, which though it be the common mata ter of all kinds of fruits, yet it is fpecificated according to the different sorts of plants and feeds which it pourishes į in onc it becomes an apple, in another a cherry, doc. Just so it is in original corruption, which is túrned into this or that temptati on, or lin, according to this or that constitution, or employ. ment it finds us in; in one it is passion, in another luft, in a third covetousness, in a fourth levity, and fo on Now I say the frequent affaults of this fin, provided we indulge it not, but, by setting double guards, labour to keep ourselves from our own iniquity, as David did, Pfalm xvu. 23. will not infer the hypocrisy of our hearts,

Rule 4. Å greater backwardness and indiftofednefs ta ore du, ty rather than another, dash not conclude the heart to be uns found, and false with God, provided we do not inwardly difikia and disapprove any duty of religiận, or exçept against it in qur agreement with Christ, but that it riseth, merely from the pres fent weakness and distemper we babaur under. " There are some duties in religion, as suffering for Christ bearing sharp reproofs for fin, &c. that even an upright beart under a present distemper, may find a great deal of backward. ness and lothness to; yet still he consents to the law, that it is good, is troubled that he cannot comply more chearfully with his duty, and deares to stand complete in all the will of God: Perfection is bis aim, and imperfections are his forrows,

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