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their reality and excelling glory, and these are the preponderating things, for the lake whereof,. self-denial and mortisication becomes easy to believers; by opposing things eternal to things temporal, we resist Satan, i Pet. v. 8. This is the shield by which we quench the fiery darts of the wicked one, Eph. vi. 16.
Rule 2. Walk in daily communion with God, if ever you will mortify the corruptions of nature; that is the apostle's own prescription, Gal. i. 16. "This I say then, walk in the Spirit, "and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh." Spiritual and frequent communion with God, gives manifold advantages for the mortification of sin: as it is a bright glass wherein the ho* liness of God, and the exceeding sinfulness of sin, as it is opposite thereunto, are most clearly and sensibly discovered, than which, scarce any thing can set a keener edge of indignation upon the spirit of a man against sin. Besides, all communion with God is assimilating, and transformative of the soul into his image; it leaves also a heavenly relish and savour upon the soul; it darkens the lustre and glory of all earthly things, by presenting to the soul a glory which excelleth: it marvellously improves, and more deeply radicates sanctification in the soul; by all which means it becomes singularly useful and successful in the work of mortisication,
Rule 3. Keep your consciences tinder the awe and in the sear of God continually, as ever you hope to be successful in the mortification of sin. The sear of God is the great preservative from fin, without which all the external rules and helps in the world signify nothing: "By the sear of the Lord, men depart from "evil," Prov. xvi. 61 Not only from external and more open evils, which the sear of men, as well as the sear of God, may prevent, but from the most secret and inward evils, which is a special part of mortification, Lev. xix. 14. It keeps men from those evils, which no eye nor ear of man can possibly discover. The sear of the Lord breaks temptations, baited with pleasure, with profit, and with secrecy. In a word, if ever you be cleansed from all filthinese of flesh and spirit, it must be by tlie sear of God, 2 Cor. viL 1.
* Rule 4. Study the vanity of the creature, and labour to get true notions of the emptiness and transitoriness thereof; if
* Readers, if ever you would have a true fight of the emptiness and yanity of the creature, and get -a mortified heart to the world, now is the time ; for at this day the p'rovidence of God hath withered all the sading flowers of earthly delights, and fhewed you the world's back parts, as it is departing from you.
ever you will attain to the mortification of your affections towards it. It is the salse picture and image of the world, in our sancy, that crucifies us with so many cares, sears and follicitudes about it: and it is the true picture and image of the world, represented to us, in the glass of the word, which greatly helps to crucify our affections to the world. O if we did but know and believe three things about the world, we should never be so fond of it as we are, viz. the sading, defiling, and destroying nature of it. The best and sweetest enjoyments of the world, are but sading flowers and withered grafs, Isa. xiv. 6. James i< 10, I1. yea, it is of a defiling, as well as a sading nature, i John v. 19, it lies in wickedness, it spreads universal insection among all mankind, 2 Pet. i. 4. yea, it destroys, as well as defiles multitudes of souls, drowning men in perdition, 1 Tim. vi. 9. Millions of souls will wish, to eternity, they had never known the riches, pleasures, or honours of it. Were this believed, how would men stacken their pace, and cool themselves in the violent and eager pursuit of the world! This greatly tends to promote mortification.
Rule 5. Be careful to cut off all the occasions of fin, and keep at the greatest distance from temptations, if ever you will mortify the deeds of the body: The success, and prevalency of fin, mainly depends upon the wiles, and stratagems it makes use of, to ensnare the incautious soul; therefore the apostle bids us keep off, at the greatest distance. 1 Thes. v. 22. "Abstain "from all appearances of evil." Prov. viii. 8. " Come not nigh "unto the door of her house." He that dares venture to the very brink of sin, discovers but little light in his understanding, and less tenderness in his conscience; he neither knows sin, nor fears it, as he ought to do: And it is usual with God to chastise self-confidence, by shameful lapses into sin.
Rule 6, If you will successfully mortify the corruptions of your nature, never engage against them in your own single strength, Eph, vi. 10. When the apostle draws forth Christians into the field, against sin, he bids them "be strong in the "Lord, and in the power of his might." O remember what a mere seather thou art, in the gusts of temptation; call to mind the height of Peter's confidence, "though all men forsake thee, '' yet will not I;" and the depth of his sall, shame and sorrow. A weak Christian, trembling in himself, depending by saith, upon God, and graciously assisted by him, shall be able to stand, against the sttock of temptation, when the bold, and confident resolutions of others (like Pendleton in our English story) shall melt away, as wax before the flames.
Rule 7. Set in with the mortifying design of God, in the day of thine affliction; sanctified afflictions are ordered, and prescribed in heaven, for the purging of our corruptions. Isa. xxvii. p. "By this, therefore, shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, »' and this is all the fruit, to take away his sin." It is a fair, glass to represent the evil of sin, and the vanity of the creature, to imbitter the world, and disgust thy affections toward it: Fall in, therefore, with the gracious design of God ; follow every affliction with prayer, that God would fellow it with his blessing. God kills thy comforts, out of no other design but ta kill thy corruptions with them; wants are ordained to kill wantonness, poverty is appointed to kill pride, reproaches are permitted to pull down ambition: Happy is the man who understands, approves, and heartily sets in with the design of God, in such afflicting providences.
Rule 8. Bend the strength of your duties, and endeavours, against your proper, and special sin; it is in vain to lop offbranches, whilst this root of bitterness remains untouched: This was David's practice, Psal. xviii. 23. "I was, also, upright be"fore him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity." We observe, in natural men, that one faculty is more vigorous than another; we find, in nature, that one foil suits with some sorts of seed, rather than another t And every believer may find his nature, and constitution, inclining him to one sin, rather than another: As graces, so corruptions exceed one another, even in the regenerate. The power of special corruptions arises from our constitutions, education, company, custom, callings, and such like occasions; but from whencesoever it comes, this is the sin that most endangers us, most easily besets us; and, according to the progress of mortification in that fin, we may sasely estimate the degrees of mortification in other sins : Strike, therefore, at the lise, and root of your own iniquity.
Rule 9. Study the nature, and great importance of those things which are to be won, or lost, according to the success, and issue of this conflict: Your life is a race, eternal glory is the" prize, grace and corruption are the antagonists, and, accordingly as either finally prevails, eternal lise is won, or lost. 1 Cor." ix. 24. "Know ye not that they which run in a race, run all, "but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain." This condition will make mortification appear the most rational, and necessary thing to you, in the whole world. Shall I lose heaven for indulging the fksh, and humouring a wanton appe..
the! God forbid. "I keep under my body (saith Paul) and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away,"
1 Cor. ix. 28.
Ruse 10. Accustom your thoughts to such meditations as are proper to mortify sin in your assections, else all endeavours, to mortify it, will be but saint, and languid: To this purpose, I fhall recommend the following meditations, as proper means to destroy the interest of sin.
Meditation 1. Consider the evil that is in fin, and how terrible the appearances of God will one day be, against those that obey it, in the lust thereof. Rom. i. 18. "The wrath of God "is revealed from heavep, against all ungodliness, and unrighf. teousness of men." 1 Thes. i. 7, 8, 9. "The Lord Jelus ?' shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flam"ing fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and "that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall '* lie punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of *' the Lord, and from the glory of his power." Let your thoughts dwell much upon the consideration of the fruits, and consequences of sin; it shews its sairest side to you, in the hour of temptation. O but consider how it will look upon you, in the day of affliction, Num. xxii. 23. in that day your fin will find you out: Think what its aspect will be, in a dying hour.. 1 Cor. xv, 56. "The sting of death is sin." Think what the frightful remembrances of it will be, at the bar of judgment, when Satan shall accuse, conscience shall upbraid, God fhall condemn, and everlasting burnings shall avenge the evil of it: such thoughts as these are mortifying thoughts.
Meditation 2. Think what it cost the Lord Jesus Christ to expiate the guilt of sin, by sufsering the wrath of the great and terrible God for it, in our room: the meditations of a crucified Christ, are very crucifying meditations unto sin, Gal. vi. 14. he sufsered unspeakable things for sin; it was a divine wrath which lay upon his foul for it; that wrath, of which the prophet saith, Nahum i. 5, 6. "The mountains quake at him, and.the hills "melt. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can "abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out '.' like sire, and the rocks are thrown down by him." . It wss unmixed, and unallayed wrath, poured out in the fulness of it, even to the last drop; and fhall we be so easily drawn to the commission of those sins, which put Christ under such sufserings? O do but read such scriptures as these, Luke xxii. 44. Mat. ixvi. 36, 37. Mark xiv. 33. and see what a plight sin put the Lord of glory into; how the wrath of God put him into a sore amazement, a bloody sweet, and made his soul heavy, eTen nnto death.
Meditation 3. Consider what a grief and wound the sins of believer* are to the Spirit of God, Eph. iv. 30. Ezek. xvi. 43. Isa. lxiii. 10. O how it grieves the holy Spirit of God! Nothing is more contrary to his nature. "O do not that abominable "thing which I hate," saith the Lord, Jer. xliv. 4. Nothing obstructs, and crosses the sanctifying design of the Spirit, as fin doth; desacing and spoiling the moll rare, and admirable workmanship, that ever God wrought in this world; violating all the engagements laid upon us by the love of the Father, by the death of his Son, by the operations of his Spirit, iq all his illuminations, convictions, compunctions, renovation, preservation, obsignation, and manifold consolations. Lay this meditation upon thy heart, believer, and say, Sicne rependis? dost thou thus requite the Lord, O my ungrateful heart, for all his goodness? Is this the fruit of his temporal, spiritual, common, and peculiar mercies, which are without number?
Meditation 4. Consider with yourselves, that no real good, either of profit, or pleasure, can result from sin; you can have no pleasure in it, whatever others may have, it being against your new nature; and as for that brutish pleasure, and evanid joy, which others have in fin, it can he but for a moment; for either they must repent, or not repent: if they do repent, the pleasure of liu will be turned into the gall of asps, here; if they do not repent, it will terminate in everlasting howlings, hereafter. Thai is a smart question, Rom. vi. 21. "What fruit had "ye in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end "of those things is death." You that are believers, must never expect any pleasure in fin; for you can neither commit it, without regret; uor reflect upon it, without shame, and confusion: expect no better consequents of fin, than the woundings of con>science, and dismal cloudings of the sace of God; that is all the profit of fin. O let these things sink into your heart.
Meditation 5. Consider what the damned sufser for those sins which the devil now tempteth you to commit; it hath deprived them of all good, all outward good, Luke xvi. 25. all spiritual good, Mat. xxv. 41. and of all hope of enjoying any good, for ever: and as it harh deprived them of all good, so it hath remedilesly plunged them into all positive misery: misery from without, the wrath of God being come upon them to the uttermost i and misery from within, for their -worm diethnot, Mark ix. 44. The memory of tilings past, the sense of things present, and the