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banishment, before we go hence and be no more seen ;'and be sure whilst we are in this world, to provide for Heaven hereafter. . Sparta. Implentur veteris Bacchi, &c. Se cacus componit ad omnes.
Quum viderimus aliquem servum Dei providere &c. Aug. in Lib. de Serm. Dom. in Mon.
1264. As we are called Christians, to Bear
up Ourselves like Christians. ALEXANDER THE GREAT, when he was invited to run a race among the common multitude, he gave them this answer : Were I not the son of a king, I did not care what company I kept; but being the son of a prince, I must employ myself in such company as is suitable to my birth and breeding. Thus stood he then upon the honour of his family, and would not disgrace his princely nature so far as to be familiar amongst the vulgar rabble. And thus must every one of us do. We have each of us a race to run, for so the ways of Christianity are called ; we are as Alexander was, kings and princes in all lands. Now so it is that sin, as a vagabond and loose companion, would seek to converse with us ; the devil's aim is that we should mix ourselves with such lusts and such sins as he presents unto us; lust would have our hearts, and sin would have our affections, both of them strive to be familiar with us; but let us answer them from a noble and generous mind as Alexander did : That we will not so abase and dishonour ourselves, as to mix or join ourselves with the base and common things of this world, but stand upon the honour of our spiritual birth, and do nothing that may any way be dishonourable to the excellency of our high calling in Christ Jesus. Plutarch in Vita. Non nati sed facti sumus Christiani. Delinquendi
materia debet prescindi. Cyprian, Lib. i. Epist. 2,
1265. To take Especial Care for the Soul's
Safety. It is observable that if merchants venture a great, or most part of: their estates at sea, where there may be hazard in the voyage, they will run speedily to insure a great part of their commodities; and thus should all of us do. This body of ours is the ship, the merchandise and freight in this ship is no less than our most precious soul; glory celestial is the port whereat she would arrive, but many dangers there are in the way, storms and tempests: of temptations are on every side, she may chance to run upon the rocks of presumption, or sink into the quicksands of despair, what is then to be done? By all means go to the insuring office, let us run to the testimony of Christ's Spirit in our own spirits, by the Word to evidence, and make it out clear unto us, that the ship shall be safe, the commodity brought secure to the haven, that ship, body and soul and all, shall anchor safely in Heaven, there to rest with Christ in glory for evermore. Bernardin. Senensis, de More Glorioso. Yuxñs étuédov kad' ô dúvg. Menander. 1266. Idleness the very Inlet to all Tempta
It was the speech of Mr. Greenham (some time a painful preacher of this nation) that when the devil tempted a poor soul, she came to him for advice, how she might resist the temptation, and he gave her this answer : Never be idle, but be always well employed; for in my own experience I have found it, when the devil came to tempt me, I told him that I was not at leisure to hearken to his temptation, and by this means I resisted all his assaults. Thus must all of us do, when the devil comes to tempt any of us, say: I am not at leisure to lend an ear to thy temptations, I am otherwise employed, I am in the work of my God, busied in the work of my lawful calling, and taken up with the thoughts of God's blessings thereupon, then he will never be able to fasten upon thee; for so it is, that he never gets advantage of any man or woman, but either when they are out of God's way, or idle, or have their hands in some sinful action, then it is that they do even tempt the tempter to tempt them, and lay themselves open to a world of sin and wickedness. R. Greenham in his Works. Non vacat exiguis rebus adesse, &c.
In promptu causa est desidiosus erat. Ovid. 1 267. Action the very Life of the Soul. Whilst the stream keeps running, it keeps clear; but if it comes once to a standing water, then it breeds frogs and toads, and all manner of filth. The keys that men keep in their pockets, and use every day, wax brighter and brighter ; but if they be laid aside and hang by the walls, they soon grow rusty. Thus it is that action is the very life of the soul; whilst we keep going and running in the ways of God's commandments, we keep clear and free from the world's pollutions ; but if we once flag in our dili gence and stand still, oh, what a puddle of sin will the heart be! How rusty and useless will our graces grow! How unserviceable for God's worship, how unfit for man, by reason of the many spiritual diseases that will invade the soul ! Just like scholars that are for the most part given to a sedentary life, whose bodies are more exposed to ill humours, than any others; whereas they whose livelihoods lie in a handicraft trade, are always in motion and stirring, so that the motion expels the ill humours that they cannot seize upon the body: so in the soul, the less any man acts in the matter of its concernment, the more spiritual diseases and infirmities will grow in it; whereas the more active and industrious men are, the less power will ill distempers have upon them. hier. Drexelii Zodiacus Christianus. Emollit otium vires, sicut rubigo ferrum.
Omnis virtus in actione consistit. Cic. Offic. i.
1 268. The True Repentant Sinner's Encour
agement, notwithstanding all his former
Wickedness. It is very observable in the genealogy of Christ, that there are but four women mentioned (it being not usual to mention any) and the blessed Spirit of God sets a mark of infamy upon them all ; The first is Thamar, Mat. i. 3 : she was an incestuous woman, for she lay with her father-in-law, Gen. xxxviii
. 38. The second is Rahab, verse 5: she was a harlot, Heb. xi. 31. The third is Ruth, verse 5: she came of Moab, the son of Lot by incest, begotten of his own daughter, Gen. xix. 37. The fourth is Bathsheba, verse 6 : she was guilty of adultery: and why was this so done, but for the comfort of the most infamous sinners to come in to Christ, and to take notice for their better encouragement, that though they have been above measure sinful, yet by their conversion to God, and aversion from sin by a serious and hearty repentance, all infamy of their former ways is quite taken away, and their names entered in the book of life and eternal salvation. Chr. Love, Zealous Christian, Mat. xi. 12. Suprema pericula semper Dant
veniam culpa. Claudian, Eutrop. ii. 1 269. Not to be Troubled at the Prosperity
of the Wicked, and why so. n it not be accounted folly in a man, that is heir to many
per annum, that he should envy a stage-player clothed in the habit of a king, and yet not heir to one foot of land ? Who, though he have the form, respect and apparel of a king or nobleman, yet he is at the same time a very beggar, and worth nothing : thus wicked men, though they are arrayed gorgeously, and fare deliciously, wanting nothing, and having more than heart can wish, yet they are but only possessors; the godly Christian is the heir. What good doth all their prosperity do them? It doth but hasten their ruin, not their reward ; the ox, that is, the labouring ox, is longer lived then the ox that is put into the pasture, the very putting of him there doth but hasten his slaughter ; and when God puts wicked men into fat pastures, into places of honour and power, it is but to hasten their ruin ; let no man therefore fret him because of evil doers, nor be envious at the prosperity of the wicked ; for the candle of the wicked shall be put out into everlasting darkness, they shall soon be cut off, and wither as a green herb, Psalm
xxxvii. I, 2.
Lud. de Carbone, Interior Homo, Prospera hujus mundi asperitatem habent
veram. S. Aug. in Matth. Serm. 29.
1270. Godly and Wicked Men, their Differ
ence in the Hatred of Sin.
As it is with two children, the one forbears to touch a coal because it will black and smut his hand; the other will not by any means be brought to handle it, because he perceives it to be a fire-coal, and will burn his fingers : thus all wicked and ungodly men, they will not touch sin because it will burn; they may be and often are troubled for sin, but their disquietness for sin ariseth more from the evil of punishment, the effect of sin, than from the evil that is in the nature of sin ; they are troubled for sin, but it is because sin doth destroy the soul, and not because sin doth defile the soul; because God pursueth sin, not because He hates sin ; more because it is against God's justice that is provoked, than because it is against the holiness of God, which is dishonoured ; because God threatens sin, not because God doth forbid sin ; because of the hell for sin, not because of the hell in sin : but now on the other side, all good and godly men, they hate and loathe sin, because it is of a smutting and defiling nature, because it is against the nature of God, because God loathes and hates it, more because it is against God's command, than because God doth punish
it; not because of the damning power of sin, but because of the defiling power of sin, &c. Gab. Inchini Scala Cæli. Oderunt peccare mali formidine pena. Oderunt
peccare boni virtutis amore.
1271. Custom in Sin causeth Hardness in Sin. Look but upon a yoụth when he comes first to be an apprentice to some artificer, or handicraft trade, his hand is tender, and no sooner is he set to work but it blisters, so that he is much pained thereby; but when he hath continued some time at work, then his hand hardens, and he goes on without any grievance at all : it is just thus with a sinner, before he be accustomed to an evil way, conscience is tender and full of remorse, like a queasy stomach, ready to keck at the least thing that is offensive: 0, but a continued custom, and making a trade of sin, that's it that makes the conscience to be hard and brawny, able to feel nothing. As it is in a smith's forge, a dog that comes newly in, cannot endure the fiery sparks to fly about his ears; but being once used to it, he sleeps securely : so let wicked men be long used to the devil's workhouse, to be slaves and vassals to sin, the sparks of hell-fire may fly about them, and the fire of hell flash upon their souls, yet never trouble them, never disturb them at all; and all this ariseth from a continued custom in a course of evil. Obad. Sedgw. Serin. at Westminster, 1644. Consuetudo peccandi tollit sensum
1272. The more a Man is now Troubled for
Sin, the less shall he be Troubled here
after, and why so. It is well known, that if a landlord take a great fine at the first coming into the house, he doth take the less rent for the future : thus as landlords deal with their tenants, so God with His people, He puts them to a great fine at the first, he makes sin cost them many a tear, many a night's trouble, many a day's disquiet, many a sigh, many a groan in the spirit; but here is the comfort, the greater the fine, the less the yearly rent; the more a man is troubled for sin at the present, the less fear and perplexity shall be his portion hereafter ; for he shall have the joy and comfort of believing, he shall have the more perfect peace at his death, so