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and will return man as good as they bring, rendering evil for evil, loving to take revenge, wishing evil to them that wrong them, directly against the rule of the gospel, the pattern of Christ, and the nature of God!' Rom. xii. 14. 17. 1 Pet. ii

. 21.23. Neb. xi.


Doubtless where this evil is kept boiling in the heart, and is not hated, refifted, mortified, but doth habitually prevail, that person is in the

very gall of bitterness, and in a state of death, Mat. xviii. 34, 35. 1 John iii. 14, 15;

Reader, doth nothing of this touch thee: Art thou in none of the forementioned ranks! O search and search again; take thy heart solemnly to talk. Wo unto thee, if after thy profeffion thou shouldest be found under the power of ignorance, loft in formality, drowned in earthly-mindedness, envenomed with malice, exalted in an opinion of thine own righteousness, leavened with hypocrisy and carnal ends in God's service, imbittered against strictness; this would be a fad discovery that all thy religion were in vain.

But I must proceed.

Unmortified pride.” When men love the praise of men more than the praise of God, and set their hearts upon men's esteem, applause, and approbation, it is most certain they are yet in their fins, and strangers to true conversion, John xii. 43. Gal. i. 10. When men see rot nor complain, nor groan under the pride of their own hearts, it is a sign they are quite dead in sin. O, how secretly doth this fin live and reign in many hearts, and they know it not, but are very strangers to themselves! Jobn xi. 40. 11. “The prevailing love of pleafure.” 2. Tim, .

This is a black mark. When men give


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Titus iii. 3.


the flesh the liberty that it craves, and pamper and please it, and do not deny and restrain it ; when their great delight is in gratifying their bellies, and pleasing their lenses : Whatever appearances they may have of religion, all is unsound, Rom. xvi. 18.

A felh-pleasing life cannot be pleafing to God. “ They that are Christ's have cru. « cified the flesh,” and are careful to cross it, and keep it under as their enemy, Gal. v. 24. i Cor. xi. 25. 27.

“ Carnal security, or a presumptuous unground confidence that their condition is already

good," Rev. ii. 17. Many cry, peace and : safety, when sudden destruction is coming upon them, 1 Thel. v. 3.; this was that which kept the foolishi virgins sleeping, when they should have been working; upon their beds, when they should have been at the markets, Mat. xxv. 5. 10. Prov. x. 5. They perceived not their want of oil till the bridegroom was come; and while they went to buy, the door was shut, And, O that these foolish virgins had no successors! Where is the place, yea, where is the house almost, where thefe do not dwell? Men are willing to cherish in themselves, upon ever {o light grounds, a' hope that their condition is good, and so look not out after a change, ard by this means perish in their fins. Are you at peace? Shew me upon what grounds your peace is maintained. Is it scripture-peace? Can you thew the distinguishing marks of a sound believer? Can you evidence that you have something more than any hypocrite in the world ever had ? If not, fear this peace more than any trouble; and know, that a carnal peace doch commonly prove the most mortal enemy of the poor foul; and whilft it smiles, and

kisses, and speaks iť fair, doth fatally smite it, as it were, under the fifth rib. By tbis time, methinks, I hear my readers

cryo ing out with the disciples, " Who then shall be « Javed ?” Set out from among our congregations all those ten ranks of the profane on the one hand, and then besides take out all the twelve sorts of close and self-deceiving hypocrites on the other hand, and tell me then whether it be not a remnant that shall he faved. How few will be the sheep that shall be left when all these shall be separated and set among the goats? For my part, of all my numerous hearers, I have no hope to see any of them in heaven, that are to be found among these two and twenty forts that are here mentioned, except by sound conversion they are brought into another condition.

APPLICATION. And now, Conscience, do tiy office; speak out, and speak home to him that heareth or readeth these lines. If thou find any of these marks upon him, thou must pronounce him utterly unclean, Lev. xiii. 44. Take not up a lie into thy mouth, speak not peace to him to whom God speaks no peace: Let not luft bribe thee, or self-love, or carnal prejudice blind thee. I subpoena thee from the court of Heaven to come and give in evidence: I require thee in the name of God to go with me to the search of the suspected house. As thou wilt answer it at thy peril, give in a true report of the state and case of him that readeth this book. Conscience, wilt thou altogether hold thy peace at such a time as this? I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us the truth, Mat. xxvi. 63. Is the man converted, or is he not? Doth he allow himself in any way of fin, or doth he noi! Doth he truly love, and pleases and prize, and

delight in God above all other things, or not? Come, put it to an issue.

How long shall this foul live at uncertainties? O conscience, bring in thy verdict. Is this man a new man, or is he not? How doft thou find it? Hath there passed a thorough and mighty change upon him, or not? When was the time, where was the place, or what were the means by which this thorough change in the new birth was wrought in his soul ? Speak, Conscience; or if thou canit not tell time and place, canst thou shew scripture-evidence that the work is done? Hath the man been ever taken off from his false bottom, from the false hopes, and false peace wherein once he trusted ? Hath he been deeply convinced of fin, and of his loft and undone condition, and brought out of himself, and off from his fins, to give up himself entirely to Jesus Chrift? Or, dost thou not find him to this day under the power of ignorance, or in the mire of profaneness? Hast thou not found upon him the gains of unrighteousness? Doft thou not find him a stranger to prayer, a neglecter of the word, a lover of this prefent world? Doft thou not often catch him in a lie? Dost thou not find his heart fermented with malice, or burning with luft, or going after his covetoulness ? Speak plainly to all the forementioned particulars i Canst thou acquit this man, this woman, from being any of the two and twenty forts here defcribed? If he be found with any of them, fet them afide, lis portion is not with the saints; he must be converted, and made a new creature, or else he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Beloved be not your own betrayers, do not deceive your own hearts, nor set your

hands to your own ruin, by a wilful. blinding of yourfc vs. Set

be very

up a tribunal in your own breasts, bring the word and conscience together: “ To the law and to the “ teftimony," Ija. viii. 20.; hear what the word concludes of your estates? O follow the search till you have found how the case stands ? mistake here, and perish. And such is the treachery of the heart, the fubtilty of the tempter, and the deceitfulness of sin, Jer. xvii. 9. 2 Cor. xi. 3. Heb. iii. 13.; all conspire to flatter and deceive the poor soul; and withal, so common and easy it is to be mistaken, that it is a thousand to one but you will be deceived, unless you careful, and thorough, and impartial' in the inquiry into your spiritual condition; O, therefore ply your work, go to the bottom, search with candles, weigh you in the balance, come to the standard of the sanctuary, bring your coin to the touchstone. You have the archest cheats in the world to deal with, a world of counterfeit coin is going; happy is he that takes no counters for gold. Satan is master of deceit; he can draw to the life, he is perfect in the trade, there is nothing but he can imitate.

You cannot wish for any grace, but he can fit you to an hair with a counterfeit. Trade warily, look on every piece you take, be jealous, trust not so much as your own hearts. Run to Ged to search


and try you; to examine you, and prove your reins, Pfal. xxvi. 3. and cxxxix. 23; 24. If other helps suffice not to bring all to an issue, bu" you are still at a loss, open your cales faithfully to fome godly and faithful minifter. Mal. ii. 7. ; röst not till you have put the business of your eicinal welfare out of question, 1 Pet. ii. 10. O Searcher of hearts, put thou this soul upon, and help him in his fearch!

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