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sense of your sin and misery a little longer, and to beseech the Lord to save you from that heart of stone. When you can hear of the love and sufferings of your Redeemer, without any warmth of love to him again, and can read or hear the promise of grace, and offers of Christ, and eternal life, without any considerable joy, or thankfulness, it is time for you then to beg of God a tender heart.

3. When you make many pauses in the work of your conversion, and are sometimes in a good mind and then again at a stand, as if you were yet unresolved whether to turn or no: when you stick at Christ's terms of denying yourselves, and crucifying the flesh, and forsaking all for the hopes of glory, and think these sayings somewhat hard, and are considering of the matter whether you should yield to them or not, or are secretly reserving somewhat to yourselves; this certainly shews that you are not yet sufficiently humbled, or else you would never stand trifling thus with God. He must yet set your sins in order before you, and hold you awhile over the fire of hell, and ring your consciences such a peal, as shall make you yield and resolve your doubts, and teach you not to dally with your Maker. If Pharaoh himself be off and on with God, and sometimes he will let Israel go, and then again he will not; God will follow him with plague after plague, till he make him yield, and glad to drive or hasten them away. And even where he deals in he maketh so much use of sorrows, ways of grace, as to make men yield the sooner to his terms, and glad to have mercy on such terms, if they were harder.

4. When you are heartless and dull under the ordinances of God, and Scripture hath little life or sweetness to you, and you are almost indifferent whether you call upon God in secret or no, and whether you go to the congregation, and hear the word, and join in God's praises and the communion of the saints, and you have no great relish in holy conference, or any ordinance, but do them almost merely for custom, or to please your consciences, and not for any great need you feel of them, or good you find by them; this shews for certain you want some more of the rod and spur; your hearts be not awakened and broken sufficiently, but God must take you in hand again.

5. When you can be mindless of God, and of the life to come, and forget both your sins and Saviour's blood, and

set out your thoughts almost continually upon worldly vanities or common things, as if you were overgrown the need of Christ; this shews that the stone is yet in your hearts, and that God must keep you to a harder diet to mend your appetites, and make you feel your sin and misery, till it call off your thoughts from things that less concern you, and teach you to mind your everlasting state. If you begin to forget yourselves and him, it is time for you to have a remembrancer.

6. When you begin to taste more sweetness in the creature, and be more tickled with applause and honour, and pleased more with a full estate, and more impatient with poverty, or wants, or wrongs from men, and crosses in the world; and when you are set upon a thriving course, and are eager to grow rich, and fall in love with money; when you drown yourselves in worldly cares and business, and are cumbered about many things, through your own choice; this shews indeed that you are dangerously unhumbled; and if God have mercy for you, he will bring you low, and make your riches gall and wormwood to you, and abate your appetite, and teach you to know that one thing is needful; and to be more eager after the food that perisheth not, and hereafter to choose the better part; Luke x. 41, 42. John vi. 27.

7. When you can return to play with the occasions of sin, or look upon it with a reconcileable mind, as if you had yet some mind on it, and could almost find in your heart to be doing with it again; when you begin to have a mind of your old company and courses, or begin to draw as near it as you dare, and are gazing upon the bait, and tasting of the forbidden thing, and can scarce tell how to deny your fancies, your appetites, your senses, your desires; this shews that you want some wakening work: God must yet read you another lecture in the black book, and set you to spell those lines of blood which it seems you have forgotten; and kindle a little of that fire in your consciences, which else you would run into, till you feel and understand, whether it be good playing with sin, and the wrath of God, and the everlasting fire.

8. When you begin to be indifferent as to your communion with God, and think not much whether he accept you, and manifest his love to you or not, but can huddle up your prayers, and look no more after them, or what becomes of

them, and use ordinances, and seldom inquire of the success; when you can spare the spiritual consolations of the saints, and fetch little of your comforts from Christ or heaven; but from your friends, and health and prosperity, and accommodations; and perhaps can be as merry in carnal company, when you say and do as they, as if you were considering of the love of Christ, this shews that the threatenings went not deep enough. Sorrow hath yet another part to play: you must be taught better to know your home, and to take more pleasure in your Father, and your Husband, and your brethren, and your inheritance, than in strangers, or enemies to God and you.

9. When you begin to grow wanton with ordinances or other mercies, and instead of thankful receiving them, and feeding on them, you pick quarrels with them, and nothing will please you; either the minister is too weak, or he is too curious, or too formal; you must have it this way or that way; either you must have more of a form, or no form; in this gesture, or that order, and something or other is still amiss this shews that you want humbling, and that you are fitter for the rod, than for meat. If God do but open you a door into your hearts, and shew you the monsters and emptiness that are there, you will see, that the fault lay somewhere else than in the minister, or the ordinances if it were in them, it was more in you. The cause of your loathing, and quarrelling with the world, was the fulness of your own stomach; and God must give you a vomit or purge, that shall make your hearts ache before it hath done working, and then your appetites will be mended, and your wantonness will cease; and that will be sweet to you which before you slighted.


10. When you begin to be leavened with pride, and think highly of yourselves, and have good conceits of your own parts and performances, and would be noted, and taken for somebody among the godly, and you cannot endure to be overlooked or passed by: when you think meanly of other men's parts and duties in comparison of yours, and think yourselves as wise as your teachers, and begin to hear them as judges with a magisterial spirit, and think you could do as well as this yourselves; when you are finding fault with that which should nourish you, and in every sermon you are most noting the defects, and think that this you could have

mended; when you itch to be teachers yourselves, and think yourselves fitter to preach than to learn, to rule than to be ruled, to answer than to ask for resolution; when you think so well of yourselves, that the church is not pure or good enough for your company, though Christ disowneth it not, and they force you not to sin; when you grow censorious, and aggravate the faults of others, and extenuate their graces, and can see a mote in another's eye, but will discern none of their graces, if they be not as high as mountains; and none can pass for godly with you, but those of the most eminent magnitude; when you are itching after novelties in religion, and setting your wisdom against the present or ancient church; and affecting singularity, because you will be of no common way; when you cannot hear this minister, nor that minister, though the ministers of Christ; and you are harping upon that," Come out from among them, and be ye separate ;" as if Christ had called you to come out of the church, when he called you to come out of the company of infidels all this cries aloud for further humiliation; you have a tympany that must be pricked, to let out the wind that puffs you up: if you be not for perdition, and to be forsaken, and given over to yourselves, you must be fetched over again, and humbled with a witness. When God hath turned your inside outward, and shewed you that you are poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, and that you are empty nothings, who thought so well of yourselves; he will then make you stoop to those that you despised, and think yourselves unworthy of the communion of those that before you thought unworthy of yours. He will make you think you are unworthy to hear those ministers that you turned your back upon; and he will take down your teaching, talking vein, and make you glad again to be learners: in a word, he will by conversion make you as little children, or you shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And this spiritual pride is a most lamentable disease, and the issue usually is exceeding sad. For with many, it is the forerunner of damnable apostasy, and God gives them over to their own conceits, and the wisdom which they so esteem, till it have led them to perdition. And those that are cured, are many of them cured by the saddest way of any men in the world. For it is usual with God to let them alone, till they have run themselves into some abominable

error, or fallen into some shameful, scandalous sin, till they are made an hissing and bye-word among men; that shame and confusion may bring them to their wits, and they may learn to know what it was that they were proud of, and see that they were but silly worms.

And thus I have shewed you, when you must seek after deeper humiliation, and may conclude that you are not humbled enough. Yea, and when a greater measure is of some necessity to your souls.

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Quest. Well, but yet you have not told us what course a poor sinner should take in such a strait, when he knows not whether his humiliation, as to the affectionate part, be too little or too much.'

Answ. 1. You may partly discern yourselves by what is said, whether you have need of more or less humiliation, if you can but try your hearts by these signs. 2. But yet I would advise, and earnestly persuade you, in cases of difficulty, to betake yourselves to some able, faithful minister for resolution. If you feel sorrow seize so deep upon your spirits, that it distempereth you, or threateneth your understanding, or your health, especially if you are either passionate women, or melancholy persons: stay not then any longer, lest delay do that which easily cannot be undone, but go and open your case and crave advice. This is a principal use of pastors, that you should have them at hand, to advise with in the diseases and dangers of your souls, as you do with physicians, in the diseases and dangers of the body. Lay by all sinful bashfulness, and trust not yourselves any longer with your own skill, but go to them that God hath set in office over you for such uses as these, and tell them your case this is God's way, and he will bless his own ordinance melancholy and passionate distempered persons are not fit judges of their own condition. In this case you must distrust your own understanding, and be not self-conceited, and stick not obstinately to every fancy that comes into your heads, but in the sense of your weakness rely upon the guidance of your faithful overseers, till your distempers are overcome, and you are made more capable of discerning for yourselves.

5. You are further to be informed, that it is not for itself that sorrow and tears are so desirable, but as they are expressions of a gracious temper of the will, and as they help

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