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thy youth, and thofe of thy riper years; be not
“ Meditate on the aggravations of thy fins, as
are the public enemies of all mankind.” How do David, Ezra, Daniel, and the good Levites azgra. vate their fins, from the consideration of their injuriousness to God, their opposition to his good and righteous laws, the mercies, the warnings they were committed against ? Neb. ix. Dan. ix. Ezra ix. O the work that sin hath made in the world! This is the enemy that hath brought in death, and hath robbed and enslaved man, that hath backed the devil, that hath digged hell, Rom. v. 12. 2 Pet. ii. 4. John viii. 34. This is the enemy that turned the world upside down, and foweth diffention between man ånd the creatures; betwixt man and man; yea, between man and himself, letting the sensitive part against the rational, the will against the judgment, luft against conscience; yea, worst of all, between God and man; making the lapsed finner both hateful to God, and the the hater of him, Zach. xi. 8. O man ! how canft thou make so light of fin? This is the traitor that fucked the blood of the Son of God; that sold him, that mocked him, that scourged him, that fpit in his face, that nailed his hand ; that pierced his fide, that pressed his foul, that mangled his body, that never left him till he had bound him, condemned him, nailed him, crucified him, and
put him to an open shame, Ija. liii. 4. 6. This is that deadly poison, fo powerful of operation, as that one drop of it shed on the root of mankind, hath corrupted, spoiled, poisoned, and undone his whole race at once, Rom. v. 18, 19. This is the common butcher, the bloody executioner, that hath killed the prophets, burnt the martyrs, murdered all the apostles, all the patriarchs, all the kings and poteniates; that has destroyed cities, swallowed empires, butchered and devoured whole nations. Whatever was the weapon it was done by, sin was it that did the execution, Rom. vi. 23. Dost thou yet think it but a small thing? If Adam and all his children could be dug out of their graves, and their bodies piled up to heaven, and an inqueft were made, what matchless murderer was guilty of all this blood ? It would be all found in the kirts of sin. Study the nature of fin till thy heart inclines to fear and lothe it; and meditate on the aggravations of thy particular fins, how thou haft finn d against all God's warnings, against thy own prayers, against mercies, against correction, against the cleareft light, against the freest love, against thine own resolutions, against promises, vows, covenants of better obedience, &c. Charge thy heart home with these things, till it bluth for Shame, and be brought out of all good opinion of itself, Ezra ix. 6.
« Medidate the desert of fin.” It crieth up to Heaven; it calls for vengeance, Gen. xvii. 21. Its due wages is death and damnation ; it pulls the curse of God upon the soul and body, Gal. iii. 10. Deut. xxviii. The least finful word or thought lays thee under the infinite wrath of God Almighty, Rom. ii. 8, 9. Matt. xii. 36. O what a
Toad of wrath, what a weight of curses; what a treasure of vengeance have all the millions of thy fins then deserved! Rom. ii. 5. James v. 3. O judge thyself that the Lord may not judge thee, I Cor. xi. 31.
“Meditate upon the deformity and defilement « of fin.” It is as black as hell, the very image and likeness of the devil drawn upon the soul, 1 John iii
. 8, 10.--It would more affright thee to see thyself in the hateful deformity of thy nature, than to see the devil. There is no mire so unclean, no vomit fo lochsome, no carcase-carrion so offensive, no plague or leprosy so noisome as fin, in which thou art rolled, and covered with its odious filth, whereby thou art rendered more displeafing
pure and holy nature of the glorious God than the moft filthy objects, composed of whatever is hateful to all thy senses, can be to thee, Job. xv. 15, 16. Couldest thou take up a toad. into thy bosom? Couldest thou cherish it, and take delight in it? Why, thou art as contrary to the pure
and perfect holiness of the divine nature, and as lothesome as that is to thee, Matt. xxiii. 33 ; till thou art purified by the blood of Jesus, and the power of renewing grace.
“ Above all other fins, fix the eye of thy confi. « deration on these two."
“ The sin of thy -es nature.” It is to little purpose to lop the branches, while the root of original corruption remains untouched. In vain do men lave out the streams, when the fountain is running that fills up all again. Let the acts of thy repentance (with David's) go to the root of fin, Pfal. li. 5. The heart is never foundly broken, till thoroughly convinced of the
heinousness of original fin. Here fix thy thoughts; this is that which makes thee backward to all good, prone to all evil, Rom. vii. 15. ; that sheds blind. nefs, pride, prejudice, unbelief into thy mind; enmity, inconstancy, obftinacy, into thy will; inordinate heats and colds into thy affections ; infenfus bleness, benumbedness, unfaithfulness, into thy conscience ; Ripperiness into thy memory; and in a word, hath put every wheel of thy foul out of or. der, and made it, of an habitation of holiness, to become a very hell of iniquity, James iii. 6.This is what has defiled, corrupted, perverted all thy members, and turned them into weapons of unrighteousness, and fervants of fin, Roxx, vi. 19. that hath filled the head with carnal and corrupt designs, Mic. ii. 1.; the hand with sinful practices, Ifa. i.
eyes with wandering and wantonness, 2 Pet. ii. 14.; the tongue with deadly poison, James jii. 8.; that hath opened the ear to tales, flattery, and filthy communication, and shut them againft the instructions of life, Zech. vij. 11, 12.; and hath rendered thy heart a very mint and forge for fin, and the cursed womb of all deadly conceptions, Matt. xv. 19. ; so that it poureth forth its wickedness without ceasing, 2 Pet. ii. 14.; even as naturally, freely, and unweariedly, as a fountain doth pour forth its waters, Jer'. vi. 7. ; or the raging sea doth cast forth mire and dirt, 1/a. Ivii. 20. And wilt thou yet be in love with thyself, and tell us any longer of thy good heart ? O, never leave meditating on the desperate contagic of original corruption, till, with Ephraim, thou bemoan thyself, Jer. xxxi. 18.; and with the deepest hame and forrow smite on thy breast, aşa
the publican, Luke xviii. 23. and with Job, abhor thyself, and repent in duft and ashes, Fob xlii. 6. zdly, “ The particular evil that thou art most ad“ dicted to:" Find out all its aggravation, seç home upon thy heart all God's threats against it: Repentance drives it before the whole herd, but especially sticks the arrow in the beloved fin, and singles this out above the rest, to run it down, Palm xvii. 23. O labour to make this fin odious to thy soul, and double thy guard and resolutions against it, because this hath and doth most dishonour God and endanger thee.
Diress. III. « Strive to affect thy heart with a “ due sense of thy present misery." Read over the foregoing chapter again and again, and get it out of the book into thy heart. O, ftudy thy misery till thy heart cries out for Christ, as earnestly as ever a drowning man did for a boat, the wounded for a surgeon. Men must come to see the danger, and feel the smart of their deadly fores and sickness, or else Christ will be to them a physician of no value, Matt. ix. ,12. Then the manslayer haftens to the city of refuge, when pursued by the avenger of blood. Men mast be even forced and fired out of themselves, or else they will not come to Christ. It was distress and extremity that made the prodigal think of returning, Luke xv. 16, 17. While Laodicea thinks herself rich, increased in goods, in need of nothing, there is lit-, tle hope : She must be deeply convinced of her wretchedness, blindness, poverty, and nakedness, before she will come to Chrift for his gold, raiment, and eye-salve, Rev. iii. 19, 18.; there