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vantage, and shall really at length prove Matter of Rejoicing to them, how terrible and dreadful foever they appeared at first: For, as it there follows, Godis in the midA of her, there fore Mall se not be removed: God will help her, and that right early. God will be with his Church, and will deliver his People, whenever it is proper and seasonable To to do. ..
Nay, let the Worst come ; though we were reduced even to the utmost Extremities; which, yet, God be thanked, we neither are, nor, i hope, ever shall be; yet even in that Cafe, the Confideration that God is, our Kine, ought not only to support us, but to fill us with Yoy. Even in that Case, every good Man fhould bear his Part in the Song of the Prophet Habakkuk, (3. 17.) with which I conclude.
Although the Fig-tree shall not blossom, neither fall Fruit be in the Vine : Although the labour of the Olive shall fail; and the Fields fall yield ño Meat : Although the Flack be cut off from the Fold, and there be no Herd in the Stalls; yet will I Rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my Salvation.
::. Preached before the
King and Queen, WHITE-H A L L.
PROV. iv. 23. !! Keep thy Heart with all diligence, for out of it
are the Illues of Life... maa HE Argument with which this Au
dience was entertained the last Lord's ELJE Day, being the Government of the QC02 Tongue; I cannot think it improper or unfeasonable for me, who have the Honour to come next, to treat about the Government of the Thoughts: there being a near Relation bem tween thefe Two, and a necessary Dependance of the one upon the other..
Our Words, indeed, are more eafily governed than our Thoughts, because they are more in our Power. But it will be impossible, either to govern- our Words, or our Aštions, as we should, unless we first bring our Thoughts in fome measure under Government.
I must confess, this Argument of the Government of the Thoughts, though it be a very useful, yet it seems allo a very nice and difficul: one, thro' the great Variety of Cases
ases, arising from Mens different Tempers, which will not come under the same Rules, and yet ought to be provided for. But however, this shall not discourage me from undertaking this Argument; it shall only make me more careful, as to what I say about it; that is to have respect, as much as I can, to all sorts of Tempers, and to deliver what I have to say, with so much Plainness, that every Body may go along with me.
The Words, upon which I ground my Difcourse, are those of Solomon, which I have read unto you, and which contain one of those Precepts that he lays down for the Religious Conduct of our Lives: Keep ( saith he ) thy Heart with all Diligence, for out of it are the Isues of Life.
Not to trouble you with what others have faid upon this Text, I take the true Meaning of it to be this ;
By thcs Heart] here, which we are exhorted to keep, we are to understand the Inward Thoughts and Motions, and Affections of our Souls or Spirits; all which, in the inspired Writings, are constantly said to be seated in the Heart. This undoubtedly is the Scripture-Notion of the Heart.
And, when we are here bid to keep our Hearts with all Diligence, I think there is no Question to be made, th¢ Meaning is, That we should diligently attend to the Thoughts and Motions, and Affections of our Minds; that
we should watch them narrowly, left at any
Time we should give our Consent to something E! we ought not. This is the Meaning of keepa ting our Hearts with all Diligence.
And then a Reason is added, why it con11 cerns us thus to keep them; and that is this, ng Because out of the Heart are the Isues of Life, al What is the Meaning of that Phrase ? Plainly A this; The Issues, the Fruits, the Effects that 1, are shewn in our Lives and Conversation, do i certainly proceed from the Heart, and there
fore, accordingly as that is well, or ill guarded Po or kept, so will our Lives and Conversations be. 0; The Goodness or Badness of our Lives, doth al7 together depend upon the attending or not at
tending to the Thoughts, and Motions, and In7 clinations of our Minds. As our Caution and
Watchfulness in this point, is greater or less, į fo will our Course of Life be better or worse.
And therefore it concerns us all, that mean to live well, to be infinitely careful in this Matter.
This is a plain Account of the Advice that is here given us. So that you see, if I mean to discourse pertinently to my Text, my Argument must be (what I said) the Care, and Ma
nagement, and Government of our Thoughts, as a they fall under a Religious Consideration. Songs In treating of this. Argument, there seems di to me Two Things needful to be done:
First, To give an Account what Power a Man hath over his own Thoughts.'
Secondly, To shew wherein the Art of Gau. su verning of them doth consist. .. in . It is, indeed, this Second Thing which my 20 Text naturally leads me to speak to : Bụt I cannot speak to that to any purpofe, till I have made way for it by clearing the Firft. It is in vain to give Rules about the Government of our Thoughts, till.we know how far we have the Power over them ; how far they fail, or do not falls under our Conduct and Management. - And I'must needs fay, that most of those I have met with, that have discours'd about the Government of Thoughts, by not enquirîng ina tó, and settling this point, have been so far from benefiting all their Heaters, that desired to receive Benefit by their good Advices, that to several of them they have done harm: Bes caufe as to them their Advices have been pero fe&ly unpracticable. Now those that by their own Experience found them to be so, instead of considering that that Teacher might be in a Mistake, or that he did not sufficiently weigh and examine the Case of all. Persons he gave his Advice to have peremptorily concluded, that they themselves were in the Fault, and therefore they were in an evil Condition; because they found themselves not able to live up to what was advised them. moje .
The first Question then is, 'How a Man hath Power over his own .Thoughts? There is not; indeed, any singlè Answer to be given to this Question, that will fit all Men; for that is impossible. It would be as unreafonable to demand it, as it would be to require of a Work-man to make a Garment, that should fit all Sorts and Sizes of Men. .
Some Men, by the very Principles of their Make and Conftitution, are much better able to govern their Thoughts than others. Some