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furious affaults of temptation, and instead of a cloud of witne 3. Becau fes, been so many pillars of falt, and monurnents of reproach lantly, wh and shame to religion, if their faith had failed in its trial.

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der to sufferings is evinced, with a brief account of its no riumphs ture and the means of attaining it.

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| actual readiness for sufferings, is Christian fortitude, or ground, h holy courage, which muft say in thy heart, in a time of dans Christ's er ger, as Elijah once did, “ As the Lord lives, I will thew my be hearts

self.” This also is a choice part of your preparation-work, thing for ] In this grace our apostle was eminent : when he was told ad glori “ Bonds and afflictions waited for him ;" he could say, That ples where $6 none of these things moved him," Acts xx. 24. Yes, when and discom he was to appear before the lion Nero, and not a man would low will own or stand by him, yet he stands his ground, resolving rather

bihop of to die on the place, than dishonourably to recede from his prin ciples and profession, 2 Tim. iv, 16, 17. He fet the world, or, the with all its threats and terrors, lower than it fet him. O how conspicuous was this grace in all those herges that have paflob wher on before us! And if ever you hope to stand in the evil day, 3.« and be fetched off the field with honour, you must rouze up and 3: Yo awaken your courage for God: And the neceffity thereof wil glory. I appear upon these four confiderations. · 1. Because the success and prevalence of Satan's temptations in the hour of perfecution depends upon the fainting and over mercy to throw of this grace. Wherefore doth he raise perfecutions in the world, but because such terrible things are fitted to work upon the passion of carnal fear, which rises with those dangers Deus eft and makes the foul as a tumultuous sea. This is it he aims als nought? Neh. vị. 13. This is a multiplying passion, that representi dangers more and greater than they are, and so drives the foul into the very net and fnare laid by the devil to take it. Prok. xxix. 25. “ The fear of man brings a fnare;" which was fadır, traction. exemplified in Abraham, Gen. xii. 12. and divers others of the saints. If he can but fubdue this grace, he will quickly bring you to capitulate for life and liberty, upon the baseft and most dishonourable terms; therefore the preparation of this grace is so exceedingly neceffary,

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2. Because this is the grace that honours Jesus Christ abundantly, when you are brought upon the stage for him. ,

There is a great folemnity at the suffering and trial of a faint : heaven, carth, and hell, are spectators, observing the - flue, and how the saints will acquit themselves in that hour, We are made a spectacle, faith the apostle. The word is Bra spor sysraudativ, we are set as upon a theatre in public view, 1 Cor. iv. 9. God, angels, and saints, wait to see the glorious triumphs of their faith and courage, reflecting honour upon the name and cause of Chrift. Devils and wicked men gape

for an advantage by their cowardise. Certainly very much - lies now upon the Christian's hands. Should he faint and give

ground, how will it furnish the triumphs of hell, and make Christ's enemies vaunt over him, as if his love ran fo low in the hearts of his people, that they durst not adventure any thing for him? Or, as if, notwithstanding their brave words and glorious profession, they durst not trust their own princi: ples when it comes to the trial? But if now they play the men, and discover an holy gallantry of spirit and resolution for Christ, how will it daunt the enemies, and make them fay as Marcus bishop of Aretheusa made one of Julian's nobles, present at his torments, to say concerning him, We are asbamed, 0 empe. ror, the Christians laugh at your cruelty! And how will God himself rejoice and glory over them, as he once did over Job when he fetched him with honour off that first field! Job ji. 3. “ Still be holdeth fast his integrity.”

3. Your own peace is wrapt up in it, as well as God's glory. Is it nothing, think you, to be freed from those vultures and harpies, that feed upon the hearts of men at such times? Surely God reckons, that he promisech a very great mercy to his people, when he promiseth it, Prov. i. ult. Pfal. cxii. 7. When Borromaeus was told of some that lay in wait to take away his life, it troubled him not, but he said, An Deus eft in mundo pro nihilo? What, is God in the world for nought? And like to this was the answer of Silentiarius in the like case; Si Deus mei curam non habet, quid vivo? If God take not care for me, how do I live? Oh this is it that brings you to an holy quietude of spirit in times of confufion and dir. traction, which is a choice mercy.

4. Your magnanimity is of special use to other faints, who are following you in the same path of sufferings. If you faint, it is like the fainting of a standard-bearer in an army: you bring thereby an evil report upon the cross of Christ, as the first spies did upon the land of Canaan. And a like influence with that 'it is like to have on your brethren ; so that there is a neceffity so of improving this grace also before you can say with Paul you are ready.

2. But what is this Christian fortitude, and wherein doth it conlist.

I answer briefly, It is an holy boldness in the performance of difficult duties, flowing from faith in the call of God, and his promise to us in the discharge of them.

And fo you have the nature of it in these four particulars. · 1. It is an holy boldness, not a natural or sinful boldness, a. rising either from the natural constitution, or evil difpofition of the mind. • 2. It is expressed about duties for truth, not error, Jer. ir. 3. for the interest of Christ, not of the flesh.

3. The season in which it appears is, when duties are sure rounded and beset with difficulties and dangers, Dan. ii. 16. Dan. vi. 10.

4. The fountain whence it flows is faith, and that as it re{pects the command and call of God to duty, Acts xvi. jo. And his promise to us in the discharge thereof, Josh. i. 5,6.

And this grace ftands opposed, both to the fear of man in the cause of God, Heb. xi. 27. and to apostacy from the truth for fear of suffering. Thus briefly of the nature of it. " 3. In the last place, I shall lay down some rules for the promoting and improvement of it, and so finish this chapter.

Now there are ten rules heedfully to be observed for the breeding of holy courage in the breast of a saint in evil times.

1. Rule. And the first rule is this, Get a weaned heart from all earthly enjoyments. If the heart be inordinately fixed upon any one thing that you poffefs in the world, that inordinate e. ftimation of, and affection for it, will strangely effeminate, foften, and cowardize your spirit when your trial comes, 2 Tim. ii. 4. You meet not with a man of courage for God, but had his heart dead to earthly things; fo it was with Paul, Phil. iii. 8. Since the apostles, we scarce meet with a greater example of holy magnanimity than Luther; and if you read his story, you will find few men ever fet a lower rate on the world than he All the Turkish empire in his eye was but a crumb cast to the dogs. Germana est haec beftia pecuniam non curat. Money could not tempt himn.

2. Rule. Suffer not guilt to lie upon your consciences : it 15 a fountain of fears, and you can never attain boldness for God, till it be removed, Rom. v. 1, 2, 3. The spirit of a found mind

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is opposed to the spirit of fear, 2 Tim. i. 7. Now that sound mind is a mind or spirit that is not wounded, and made fick and infirm by guilt. O what black fogs and mists arise out of guilt, which becloud our evidences, and fill us with fears and discouragements ! Gen. xlii. 21, 22.

3. Rule. Clear your call to difficult services, be well fatisfied that you are in that way and posture God expects to find you in. Owhat courage this will give! Joth. i. 9. Thenaman may promise himself God's presence and protection, 2 Chron. XV, 2. But whilst a man is dubious here, and cannot tell whether it be his duty or not, that he is engaging in, how can he have courage to hazard any thing for it? For, thinks he, I may suffer much from men, and yet have no thanks of God for it, i Pet. ii. 9. And further, till a man be clear in this, he cannot commit his cause to God. And it is a fad thing to be cut off from so choice a relief as that is, 1 Pet. iv. 19.

4. Rule. Get right notions and apprehensions of your enemies. We are apt to magnify the creature, as if he could do more than he can, and thereby disable ourselves from doing what we should. Possess your souls with the belief of these five

things concerning them. (1.) That they are poor weak ene! mies, Isa. xl. 15, 17, 22. But as a swarm of gnats in the air. See how God describes them, Ifa. li. 13, 14.

(2.). That little power they have is limited by your God, who hath the bounding and ordering of it, John xix. 11. Pfal. .lxxvi. 10. (3.) They carry guilt upon them, which makes

them more timorous than you, Isa. viii. 12. Their fear is a ftrange fear. (4.) They only use carnal weapons against you, which cannot touch your souls. If they were praying enemies that could engage God against you, they would be formidable enemies indeed ; but this they cannot do. The largest com

million that any of them ever had from God, extended but to the - bodies and bodily concernments of the saints, Luke xii. 4, 5.

They cannot thunder with an arm like God, nor blot your - name out of the book of life, nor take away your part out of

the New Jerusalem ; therefore fear not man. (5.) Your enemies are God's enemies; and God hath espoused your cause and quarrel. The more cruel they are, the kinder he will be to you, John ix. 34, 35..

5. Rule. Labour to engage the presence of God with you in all places and conditions. Whilft you enjoy this, your fpirits will be invincible and undaunted, Josh. i. 9. Pfal. cxviii. 6.- A weak creature assisted and encouraged by the presence of a great God will be able to do and suffer great things. Poon felh in the hand of an almighty Spirit acts above itfelf. A lite had been mo tle dog, if his master be by, and animates him, will feize upon coin! If you a greater beast than himself, though he would run from bim fouls ordina were his master abfent. Our courage ebbs and flows as the would not la manifestations of the divine presence do. Oh get thyself once. Rule. within the line of that promise, Ifa. xliii. 1, 2. and thou art of faith : th invincible.

them, Heb. · 6. Rule. Get an high estimation of Jesus Christ, and all his fighted and concernments. They that value him highest, will adventure. But the for him farthest. Magnanimous Luther, how inestimable a baty of it value did he fet upon the truths of Christ! Ruat coclum, &c Heb. xi. 1. Let heaven rufo rather than a crumb of truth foguld perilh b.) As ne Thou wilt never be a man of zeal and courage for Christ's in bal, come tereft, until that interest of Christ have swallowed up all chine oplory res own interests. No sooner is the soul acquainted with, and in God. 'Oh tereded in Christ, but he heartily wishes well to all his affairs and that o and concernments, Psal. xlv. 3, 4. This is that which puts 10. Ru metal and resolution for Chrift into the soul,

mples. . 7. Rule. Beware you be not cheated with maxims of cams we offer policy, mistaken for Christian prudence. Many are so: and 10 Who they prove destructive to all true zeal and courage for Chrift dat enem Never was religion professed with greater plainnels and fimpli reak Chr city, than by the primitive Chriftians : and never was there frapple. an higher spring-tide of courage and zeal for God, than in

by poor those days. We are apt to call it prodigality, and are grown wifer to husband our lives and comforts, better than they dido But indeed our prudentials have even swallowed up our religie on. It is true, there is such a thing as Christian prudence; but this doth not teach men to shun all coftly and difficult du ties, and profttitute conscience to save the skin. “A man of as understanding walkerh uprightly,” Prov. xv. 21,

Discoveria : 8, Rule. Look upon the inside of troubles for Christ, as well as upon the outside of them. If you view them by an eye of fense, there appeareth nothing but matter of discouragement. To look on the outside of a prison, banishment, or death, 19 affrighting and horrible : but then, if ye look into the infide of these things by faith, and see what God hath made them to his people, and how joyful and comfortable they have been in these conditions ; what honey they have found in the carcals of a lion, what songs in the stocks and dungeons, what glory: ing in tribulation, an hundred-fold reward even in their luf: ferings : O then that which looked like a serpent at a dil: tance, will appear but as z rod in hand. How many have found themselves quite mistaken in their apprehensions of sufferings ;

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