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o more, will not do. John viii. 11. Confession is very good, but forsaking is abundance better : confession without forsaking will stand in little stead in the day of account.
5th. Also being drunk with wine, or with strong drink; drunkenness is a great sin : first against God, and, secondly, the abuse of God's mercies, and good creatures. And by this frame of drunkenness, men are often fitted for any business their master the devil may call them to : so that this great sin ought to be strictly watched against. Surely if men had any good desires in their hearts, or any love to God, they would refrain from such great wickedness. I admire how people can expect mercy from God, or the intercession of Christ, when they are piercing his sides, and putting him to open shame: for those that are sinning against him, are piercing of him. How can such expect he will interceed for them, when they have dealt so shamefully with him, and grieved him, and from time to time disobeyed his voice? Now suppose a man stood condemned before a judge, and that at the judge's right hand there sat one who had power in his hand, and this poor condemned person, hopes he will interceed for him; and yet this poor wretch has done to him as before mentioned. What grounds can he have to hope for intercession, clemency, or lenity, while he believes he can do no otherwise than sin against him all his days ? For my part, I think his faith, hope, and belief, are but vain; without any reason or ground. But he that loveth Christ Jesus, the lord of life and glory, so as to keep his commandments, the Lord will love him, and interceed for him, and make himself known unto him; according to his words which he spake, “ He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my father; and I will love him, and manifest myself unto him." John xvi. 21.
6th. Covetousness, which is idolatry, is also another great snare of the enemy, and many are caught therein. It is in vain for the covetous to say, he hath a share in the love of God; for he hath neither love to the Lord, nor
be so How can any
to his neighbour. A poor naked man might ask him long enough for relief, or for his coat, before he would give him his hand to help, or coat either ; or any manner of relief: although Christ expressly commanded it, “ Give to him that asketh, and from him that would borrow turn not tliou away.” Mat. v. 42.
hard hearted, as to see his brother's or his neighbour's poverty, and not administer of his ability to the needful's necessity? but says the covetous or miserable man, I have chil. dren, or a family to take care of : but too often covetousness brings a curse, and not a blessing, upon family and children also. Perhaps one that is covetous may say, that charity begins at home. But let him remeniber, that if it doth begin there, the consequence most commonly is very bad, when it ends there. Every christian hath need to have charity (in his breast) in a twofold sense, or else there is no proper pretence to christianity; in short, covetousness is out of the love either to God or man : all those (with abundance more, that I shall forbear to mention) are eminent snares of the devil; and satan layeth them according to the propensity of man or woman, and suits them with their nature. Oh! I will warrant thee, he will colour them finely, and put a pleasant gloss upon them, to betray thy soul, and keep it in bondage forever.
7th. It is he that tells the murderer, that it is better to live a merry life and short, than to take pains and care all his lifetime; and the thief likewise with the robber.
8th. It is he also who tells the whoremongers and drunkards, that so many people are in these practices, because it is natural for people to be so overcome : but he doth not tell them that by nature all are children of wrath, and that without this lustful nature be overcome, there is no salvation. Eph. ii. 3. 1
9th. It is he that tells the swearers, they are so used to it, that it is impossible for them to leave it off. He never bids them repent and forsake, that they might find mercy with God and Christ that died for them; but died not that they should live in sin.
10th. It is he that tells the covetous, it is good to be saving, and not to spend all his substance in gluttony and pride; no, he will bid' him hate pride, and that he should not give much alms, though rich in this world ; for the devil will tell him, that it is proud people does it, only in ambition, and to be seen of men ; but he will not tell him, it is a sin to be covetous : he also tells the proud, that they are counted happy, and that pride is counted good for the promoting the commonwealth, and that it is as good to be out of the world as out of the fashion ; he tells them, that pride is neatness, and how many pretty 'excuses he has, to keep people in pride, is admirable ; he doth not tell them, that Christ the Lord was meek and lowly, and that they should take him for an example.' He; the Lord, did not come in splendour and glory, outwardly, but plain in speech, and also in apparel, wearing a coat without a seam, being clothed and adorned with the robes of righteousness and love, This is my beloved! may he be thine also, gentle reader. Oh! how lovely is he! he is the chiefest of tens of thou. sands. I entreat you, Oh! ye children of men, both sons and daughters ! do not offend Christ, by disobey. ing of him, the bridegroom of the righteous; but, I beseech you, in his sweet and tender love, if you have offended him, by sinning against him, Oh! for the Lord's sake, and your own soul's sake, do so no more ; but unfeignedly repent; and then, in his due time (when he hath tried you, and found you faithful) he will embrace you with the sweet embraces of his love, which is better than wine, and far excels the love of women.
Now if the poor creature did but love the Lord its maker, above all, and its fellow creature as itself, the enemy of mankind would be overcome, and we made - more than conquerors, through him that loved us, even Christ Jesus, our Lord; and man and woman would see all these (abovesaid) evil things to be abominable, and per. haps many more which I have not mentioned, insomuch that self would be abhorred as in dust and ashes, and the Lord would be loved, and glorified, above all, for which end he created mankind : but, certain it is, that this end cannot be answered, nor the Lord so loved, without sin be forsaken, and hated; for the devil is the author of sin, and Christ of righteousness,
“ I (says Christ) am the way, the truth, and the life.” John xiv. 6. And again, “ I am the light of the world.” John viii. 12. Oh! saith my soul, in abundance of love and good will, unto the sons and daughters of men, that they would but walk in the way of truth, and the true light of the world; then they would see clearly the snares of satan ; which that every one, eyen male and female, (especially those that profess christianity) might do, and escape the same, is the very desire of my soul : even so prayeth him, that through the spirit of Jesus Christ, and ability of his grace, labours for the salvation of mankind.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor
standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he med. itate day and night.
PSALM I. 1, 2. Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven.
MAT. vi. 20.
1. It is good for man, whose breath is in his nostrils, to think upon his Maker, as much as in him lieth, both night and day;
2. Who is the fountain of all men's happiness, and the ocean of their bliss ; not only in this world, but in that which is to come ; even to all eternity.
3. How sweet is that meditation, that is on the sover: eign Lord of heaven, and on the Prince of everlasting glory.
4. No earthly thing is to be compared with it; all the glory, all the pomp, and vanity, of this fading, transitory world, is not comparable with it; divine and inward con. templation upon God, is no less than heaven upon earth to the soul.
5. This mine eye hath seen; for which I humbly bow before the great Lord of all ; whose goodness to man cannot fully be set forth, neither by the most excellent orator, nor with a ready writer's pen.
6. God delighteth in those that are intent in looking unto him ; and it is man's duty to look to him, over all visible things.