« IndietroContinua »
waits for his words as the rain, and relisheth them more than the appointed food, Job xxxiii. 12. " than the honey and the honey-comb." Psalm xix. 10.
The head, that was the shop of worldly designs, is now filled with other matters, and set on the situ-' dy of God's will, i falm i. 2, and cxix. 97:
The. thoughts and cares that fill it, are principally how he may please God, and flee sin.
His heari, that was full of filthy lufts, is now become an altar of incenfe, where the fire of divine love is ever kept in; and whence the daily facrifice of prayer and praise, and the sweet incense of holy defires, ejaculations, and aspirations, are continually afcending, Pjalm cvii. 1. and cxix. 20. and cxxxix. 17, 18.
The mouth is become a well of life, his tongue as choice silver, and his lips feed many, now the salt of grace
hath seasoned his speech, and eat out the corruption, Col. iv. 6. and cleansed the mouth from its filthy communication, flattery, boasting, lying, swearing, back-biting, that once came like Aashes from che hell that was in the heart, James üi. 6, 7,
The throat, that was once “ an open sepul~ chre,” Rom. iij. 13. now fends forth the sweet breach of prayer and holy discourse, and the man Speaks in another tongue, in the language of Canaan, and is never fo well as when talking of God and Christ, and he marrers of another world. His mouth bringeth wisdom, his tongue is become che silver trumpet of his Maker's praise, his glory, and the best member that he hath.
Now here you shall have the hypocrite halting : He speaks, it may be like an angel, but he hath a covetous eye, or the gain of unrighteousness in his hand; or the hand is white, but his heart is full of rottenness, Mat. xxiii. 27. ;. full of unmortified cares, a very oven of luft, a shop of pride, the seat of malice. It may be, with Nebuchadnezzar's image, he hath a golden head, a great deal of knowledge; but he hath feet of clay, his affections are worldly, he minds earthly things, and his way
and walk are sensual and carnal : you may trace him in his secret haunts, and his footsteps will be found in some bye-paths of sin; the work is not throughout with hini.
3. “ Throughout the motions, or the life and « practice.” The new man takes a new course, Eph. ii. 2, 3.
“ his conversation is in heaven,' Phil. ii. 20.
No sooner doth Christ call by effectual grace, but he straightway becomes a follower of him, Mat, iv. 20. When God hath given the new heart, and wrote his law in his mind, he forthwith walks in his statutes, and keeps his judgments, Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27,
Though fin may be in him, yet it “ hath no more domi:lion
over him," Rom. vi. 7, 14. " he hath his fruit unto holiness," cbep. vi. 22. And though he makes many a blot, yet the law of life, and Jesus, is what he eyes as his copy, Psalm cxix. 30. Heb. xii. 2.; and he hath an unfeigned respect to all God's commandments, making conscience even of little fins and little duties, Psalm cxix. 113•
very infirmities are his soul's burden, and are like the dust in a man's eye, which
though but little, yet is not a little troublesome, (O man! doit thou read this, and never turn in upon thy foal by felf-examination ?) The fincere convert is not one man at church, and another at home; he is not a faint on his knees, and a cheat in his shop; he will not tithe mint and cummin, and neglect “mercy and judgment, and “ the weightier matters of the law;" he doth not pretend piety, and neglect morality, Mat. xxiii. 14: but he turnerh from all his fins, and keeps all Gou's statutes, Ezek. xviii, 21. though not perfectly, except in defire and endeavour, yet fincerely; not allowiig himself in the breach of any, Rom. vii. 15. Now he delights in the word, and sets himself to prayer, and opens his hand, and draws out his soul to the hungry, Rom. vii. 22. Pfalm cix. 4. Ija. lviii. 10. • He breaketh off “his fins by righteousness, and his iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor, Daniel iv.
and “ hath a good conscience, willing in all things “ to live honestly," Heb. xiii. 18. and to keep without offence towards God and man.
Here again you find the unfoundness of many professors, that take themselves for good Christians. They are partial in the law, Nal. ii. 9. and take up with the chief and easy duties of religion, but go not through with the work : They are as a cake not turned. It may
shall have them exact in their words. punctual in their dealings, but then they do not exercise themselves unto god. liness ; and for examining themselves, and governing their hearts, to this they are strangers. You may have them duly at church but follow. them to their families, and there you shall see lit
tle but the world minded; or if they have a road for family duties, follow them to their closets, and there you shall find their souls are little looked after.
It may be they seem otherwise religious, but bridle not their tongues, and so all their religion is vain, James i 26. It may be they come up to closet and family prayer ; but follow them to their shops, and there you shall find them in a trade of lying, or some covert and cleanly way of deceit. Thus the hypocrite goes throughout in the course of his obedience. And thus much for the subject of Converfion.
6. “ The terms are either from which, or to 66 which.”
« The terms from which we turn in this moss tion of Conversion, are fin, Satan, the world,
and our own righteousness.”
First, Sin. When a man is converted, he is for ever out with fin; yea, with all fin, Psalm cxix. 128. But most of all with his own sins, and especially with his bosom fin, Psalm xviii. 23. Sin is now the butt of his indignation, 2 Cor. vii, 11. thirsts to bathe his hands in the blood of his sins. His sins set his sorrows abroach: It is fin that pierces him and wounds him ; he feels it like a thorn in his fide, like a prick in his eye; he groans and struggles under it, and not formally, but feelingly cries out, o wretched man! He is not impatient of any burden so much as of his fin, Psalm xl. 12. If God should give him his choice, he would choose any affliction, so he might be rid of fin : he feels it like the cutting gravel in his fhoes, pricking and paining him as he goes.
Before conversion he had light thoughts of fin; he cherished it in his botom, as Uriah his lamb; “ he nourished it up, and it grew up together “ with him ; it did eat as it were of his own meat, “ and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bo“ som, and was unto him as a daughter." But when God
his eyes by conversion, he throws it away with abhorrence, I. XXX.22. When a man is savingly changed, he is not only deeply convinced of the danger, but deflement of fin; and 0, how earneft is he with God to be purified ! He lothes himself ior his fins, Ezek. xxxvi. 31. . He runs to Christ, and “ casts himself into the founos tain for fin and for uncleanness,” Zach. xiii. 1.
The sound convert is heartily engaged against fin, he struggles with it, he wars against it ; he is too often foiled, but he will never yield the cause, nor lay down his weapons, but he will up and to it again, while he has breath in his body. He can forgive his other enemies, he can pity them, and pray for them, AEls vii. 60.; but here he is implacable, here he is fit
upon revenge: his
shall not pity, his hand shall rot spare, though it be a right hand or a right eye. Be it a gainful fin, moit delightful to his nature, or support to his efteem with carnal friends, yet he will rather throw away his gain, see his credit fall, or the Power of pleasure wither in his, harid, than he will allow himself in any known way of sin, Luke xix. 8. He will grant no indulgence, he will give no toleration, he draws upon fin wherever he meets it, and frowns upon it with this unwelcome salute, • Have I found thee, O mine enemy!”
Reader, Hath conscience been at work whilft thou haft been looking over these lines? Hast thou