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BA

The POE M.
ARE feeds have no great beauty, but, inhum'd,

That which they had is loft, and quite confum'd;
1 hey foon corrupt and grow more bafe, by odds,
When dead, and bury'd underneath the clods:
It falls in basenefs, but at leogth doth rise
Jo glory, which delights beholders eyes.
How great a difference have a few days made,
Betwixt it, in the bushel and the blade !
This lovely, lively emblem aptly may
Type out the glorious resurrection-day;
Wherein the saints, that in the dust do lie,
Shall rise in glory, vigour, dignity;
With singing, in that morning they arise,
And dazle glory, such as mortal eyes
Ne’er viewed on earth. The sparkling beauties here,
No more can equalize their splendor there,
Than glimmering glow-worms do the faireft ftar
That shines in heaven, or the stones that are
lo every street, may competition hold
With glitteriog diamonds in rings of gold,
For unto Christ's most glorious body they
Shall be conform’d in glory at that day;
Whose lustre would, thould it on mortals fall,
Transport a Stephen, and confound a Paul.
'Tis now a coarse and crazy house of clay ;
But, oh! how dear do souls for lodgings pay!
Few more than I: For thou, my soul, haft been
Within thefe ten's of Kedar cooped in;
Where, with distempers clogg'd, thou mak'st thy moans,
And, for deliverance, with tears and groans
Hast often su'd : Cheer up, the time will be,
When thou from all these troubles shall be free:
No jarriog humours, cloudy vapours, rheums,
Paios, aches, or whatever elle coofumes
My days in grief; whilst in the Christian race,
Flerh lags behind, and can't keep equal pace
With the more willing spirit: None of these
Shall thenceforth clog thee, or disturb thine ease.

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CH A P.

XII.

Upon the resemblance of Wheat and Tares.

As wheat resembled is, by viler tarés ;
So vile bypocrisy, like grace appears.

I

H

OBSERVATION.
Tis Jerom's observation, that wheat and cares are fo much

alike in their first springing up, that it is exceeding difficult to distinguish the one from the other : These are his words, Inter triticum et lolium quandiu herba eft, et nondum culmus venit ad spicam ; grandis fimilitudo eft ; et indifcernendo aut nulla, aut per difficilis diftantia. The difference (faith he) between them, is either sone at all, or wonderfully difficult to discern, which those words of Christ, Mat. xiii. 30. plainly confirm. Let them both alone till the harveft; thereby intimat. ing, both the difficulty of distinguishing the tares and wheat i as also the unwarrantable rashoefs of bold and hasty censures of men's sincerity or hypocrisy, which is there fhadowed by them.

APPLICATION. ow difficult foever it be to discern the difference betwixt

wheat and tares, yet, doubtless, the eye of sense can much easier discriminate them, than the most quick and piercing eye of man can discero the difference betwixt special and common grace ; for all saving graces in the saints have their counterfeits in hypocrites. There are similar works in these, which a spiritual and very judicious eye may easily mistake for the fave ing and genuine effeEts of the fanctifying Spirit. Doth the Spirit of God convince the consciences of his

people of the evil of fin ? Rom. vii. 9. Hypocrites have their convictions too, Exod. x. 16." Then Pharaoh called for Moses t' and Aaron in hafte; and he faid, I have finned again't the “ Lord your God, and agaiast you.” Thus was Saul also convicted, 1 Sam. xv. 24.

Doth true conviction and compunction work reformation of life in the people of God? Even hypocrites also have been famous for their reformations. The unclean spirit often goes out of the formal hypocrite, by an external reformation; and yet fill retains his propriety in them, Matth. xii. 43, 44. For that departure is indeed no more than a politic retreat. Many that Mall oever escape the damnation of hell, have yet cfcaped

the pollutions of the world, and that by the knowledge of the Son of God, 2 Pet. ji. 21.

Doth the Spirit of the Lord produce that glorious and supernatural work of faith io convinced and humble souls? In this also the hypocrite apes and imitates the believer, Acts viii. 13. Then Simon himself believed also.” Luke viii. 13.

are they which for a while believe, and in time of temptation

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- fall away.”

Doth the precious eye of faith, discovering the transcendent excelleocies that are in Chrift, ipfame the affections of the believing foul with vehement desires and longiogs after him? Strange motions of heart have also been found in hypocrites towards Christ and heavenly things, John vi. 34. “ Lord, ever

more give us this bread.” Mat. xxv. 8.“ Give us of your oil, for our l'amps are gone out." With what a rapture was Balaam transported, when he said, “ Let me die the death of the “ righteous, and my last eod be like his !” Numb. xxiii, io.

Doth the work of faith, in some believers, bear upon its top branches the full ipe fruit of a blessed assurance ? Lo! what Strong confidences, and high-built perfuafions of an interest in God, have fometimes been found even in unsanctified ones ? John viü. 54.“ Of whom you lay, that he is your God; and

viii yet ye have not known him." To the fame height of confidence arrived those vain souls, mentioned in Rom. ïi. 19. Yea, fo strong may this falle assurance be, that they dare boldly venture to go to the judginent-fcat of God, and there defend it, Mat. vii. 22. “ Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy s name?"

Doth the Spirit of God fill the heart of the assured believer with joy unspeakable and full of glory, giving them, through faith, a prelibation, or foretaste of heaven itself, in those first fruits of it? How pear to this comes that which the apostle supposes may be found even in apoftates ? Heb. vi. 8, 9. who are there said “ to taste the good word of God, and the powers of " the world to come.” What shall I say, if real Christians delight in ordioances, those that are none, may also delight in approaching to God, Ezek. xxxiii. 32. It may be you will say, though the difference be not easily discernable in their active obedience, yet, when it shall come to suffering, there every eye may discero it; the false heart will then finch, and cannot brook that work. And yet even this is no infallible rule neither; for the apon le supposes, that the salamander of hypocrify may live in the very fames of snartyrdom, 1 Cor. xii. 3.

Vol. VI.

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If I give my body to be burot, and have not charity.” And it was long since determined in this case, Non poena, fed caufa facit martyrem ; so, that without controverly, the difficulty of distinguishing them is very great.

And this difference will yet be more subtle and vadiscernible, if I should tell you, that as in so many things the hypocrite re. fembles the faint; fo there are other thiags in which a real Christiao may act too like an hypocrite. When we fiod a Pharaoh confesiog, and Herod practising, as well as hearing, a Judas preachiog Christ, and Alexander venturing his life for Paul; aod, on the other side, shall fiod a David cundemning that in another, which he practifed himself, ao Hezekiah glorying in his riches, a Peter dissembliog, and even all the disciples fortaking Christ in an hour of trouble and danger : O then! how hard is it for the eye of man to discera betwixt chaff and wheat? How many upright hearts are now cenfured, whom God will clear ? How many falfe hearts are now approved, whom God will condemn ? Men ordinarily have no clear convictive proofs, but only probable symptoms; which, at moft, can beget but a conjectural knowledge of another's state. And they that shall peremptorily judge either way, may poflibly wrong the genera tion of the upright; or, on the other fide, abfolve and justify the wicked. "And truly, considering what hath been faid, it is no great wonder, that dangerous mistakes are fo frequeotly made in this matter. But though man cannot, the Lord both can, and will, perfectly discriminate them. "The Lord know- . “ eth who are his," 2 Tim. ii. 19. He will have a day perfectly to fever the tares from the wheat, to melt off the varpilh of the most resplendent and refined hypocrite, and to blow off the alhes of infirmities, which have covered and obfcured the very fparks of siocerity in his people : he will make fuch a division as was oever yet made in the world, how many divisions foever there have been ia it. “ And then thall med indeed return, and dis“ cero between the righteous and the wicked; betwixt him " that serveth God, and him that ferveth him not." Mean while, my foul, thou canst not better employ thyself, whether thou be found or unsound, than in making these reftections up on thyself.

R E F L E CTIONS.

And is this fo? Then, Lord, pardon the The cenforious rafhocfs and precipitaacy of my cenforious fpifoul's reflection. rit; for I have often boldly anticipated thy

judgment, and assumed thy prerogative, ako though thou haft faid, "Why dost thou judge thy brother?

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* And why doft thou fet at'oought thy brother? We hall all * staod before the judgment scat of Christ. For it is written, « As I live (faith the Lord) every knee shall bow to me, and

every tongue shall conteľs to God. Let us got therefore

judge one another any more," Rom. xiv. 10, 11, 12, 13. And again;

“ He that judgeth me is che Lord. Let us there fore judge gothing before the time, until the Lord come, who « both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall every

man have praise of God," I Cor. iv. 4, 5.

What if God will owo fome of them for his fons, to whom I refule to give the respect of brethren? I may pass hatty and headlong censures upon others; but where is my commission for so doing? I want not only a commission, but fit qualifications for such a work as this. Can I pierce into the heart as God? Can I infallibly discover the hidden motives, ends and priaciples of actions ? Besides, O my foul, thou art conscious of so much falseness in thyself, that were there no other confideration, that alone might restrain thee from all vocharitable and halty censures. If others knew but what I know of myself, would they not judge as severely of me, as I do of others?

2. Though I may not judge the final state of another, yet I may, and ought to judge The prefumptu. the state of my owo soul; which is, doubt- ous foul's refleco less, a more necessary aod concerning work' tion. to me. For fiace every saving grace in á Christian hath its counterfeit in the hypocrire, how needful is it for thee, O my soul, to make a stand here, and folemnly to pooder this qneftion, Whether those things, whereon I depend, as my best evidences for the life to come, be the real, or only the common works of the Spirit? Whether they may be fuch as can now endure the test of the word, and abide a fair trial at the bar of my own conscience?

Come then, my foul, set the Lord before thee, to whom the secrets of all hearts are manifest; and in the awful sense of that great day, make true answer to these heart-discovering queries: For though thou canst not discern the difference betwixt these things in another, yet thou mayest and oughtelt to discern it in thyfelf: For what man kaows the things of a man, save the spirit of map that is in him !

1. Is my obedience uniform ? am I the famne man at alt times, places and companies ? Or rather, am I not exact aod curious in open and public, remiss and careless in private and

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