Page images
[ocr errors]

not they think fo of themselves? But let chec consider, that which is a sufficient ground for u nother to think well of us , is not a sufficier ground for ses to think well of oar selves. A fan, ontward deportment, free from scandal and offeace is a sufficient ground for another to think wel of

but we must feel fome' inward saving work of Grace upon our hearts, before we judge or owon condition to be good. : 5: Comparing themselves with others, tbey find they are not so bad as many others. But'tis nis security to any mans foul co be better than others, except those others be in a fafe condition.

6. The untroubledneffe of their consciences. All antroubledneß of Conscience is not an Argumen of a safe condition. Some peace of Conscience arises from ignorance, security, feepineffe , deadneffe. ' of Gods greatest judgments to 3. ford a man an untroubled Conscience in a finfa course. To be like Fonah, ready to be drown'a and get falt afleep. Buc nowy the peace of a good Conscience

usually followes upon humiliation and forrow for fon, aod closing with Christ, and so figning the font

. sp ta him far pardon and Gree Such a conscierće does not only not accufe ( 25 the flombring Conscience of a ipicked mas may do buc acquies, and discharges, and comforis apos Goppel grounds.

7. They thrive and prosper wil in the world. So they may, and yet have all their portion is this life, if they have no other evidence of God's favour.

8. God is merciful and ready ta pardon. 'Tis true, the King of Heaven is a merciful King, para doning iniquity, transgression and fin. But upon what terms hach he promised pardon to finners ? for our hope of pardon must have some promise in the Word for its bottom and foundation, or else we do buc meerly delude our selves. And we must also know, that God is juft, as well as merciful, and his threainings are the object of our Faith, as well as his promises. Try your hopes therefore, "before you trust them. Examine and prove wheher you are such to whom God hath promised bardon, or no ? Has God in the Scripcures de·lared he will pardon fin to any that go on io their ins, thac repent not of them, nor betake tbeir Souls to Christ for pardon and Grace ?? Buc pollily most ancient people will here cell me, they arepent, they do believe on Christ with all their earts, and hope to be sav'd by him. But alas ! "ow miferably do many delude themselves both

che nature of Repentance and Faith? never ghtly understanding what a repenting frame of eart means, nor whac ic is savingly to beleeve in brist. I desire them therefore to read over sigge and again those two Chapters concerning Reentance and Faith (which are the second and

wird in this part of the Treatise ) and co exabine chemselves thereby; chat so they may not think they are true peritents, and true beleeurs, when indeed they are not. And let them tak: heed of building their hopes of Heaven upon deceiving foundations as these now mentioned.

VI. Anciens persons should redeem the ti that yet remaines unco chem, for the working on of their falvation. They have but a little while to ft ay here, and.chey have a great deal of work to do to retract the sins of a long life, and to fecar their interest in Christ. They should not con: fent themselves with a little formal devotion and the performance of some few religious duties, 35 too many old people are apeto do. They thooli rid themselves of worldly employments and ba neffes, and the cares of this life, ( as much : they can ) that fo chey may have the more tir to bestow upon their soules. Bernard faies, Tir were a good commodity in Hell, if it were there is bought. Oh how much would che damned or for a little time, wherein they might have lib. and power to recover themselves out of this ful ftate? How moch then shou'd all of us b young and old, prize and improve the timen allowed us to settle the great affairs of our fou... before we go hence and be seen

no more. VII. If they have not been well inftrated fore, they should chink it no disparage mer! apply theinse'ves to their 'Minister, or faithfull, spiritual guide to be bewed and ta what they must do to be saved. If a traveller b

[ocr errors]

most part of the day been travelling out of his way, (though it may trouble and vex him ac length to understand his erroør and wandring ) yet there is no remedy for it, he must enquire and labour to geç into che right way at last. Let old persons consider, knowledge they must have, or chey will die in a fad condicion : And therefore let them doc stand upon their terms, and think instruction only belongs to young people. If the old be ignorant, the old must be instructo ed, or they will die in their fins. And therefore it willbe wisdom in all ancient people to afCoclate themselves with the most knowing and exo perienced Christians, that they may thereby be"se fit their soules, and daily grow both in knowedge and Grace

VIII. They should study to bring much hendur nd glory to God in their latier daies, Tic.2.1,2. st peak thou the things which become found DoFrine. That the aged men be sober, grave, tema rate, Sound in Faith, in Charity, in patie

1. They should be exemplary in piety and vodneß, contrary to other trees, bringiog forch of fruit in their old age, Psal.92.14. They all bring forth fruit in old age, they shall be fác d flourishing. They should like old Noah, be

bachers of righteousneß to the younger forc, exOrting them earnestly, co corsecrate their youth dbeli daies co God. Multitude of gears should



[ocr errors]

teach wisdom, as cis, Fob 32.7.

2. They should be very charitable accordigg to the proportion of their eftates. And noti too many old covetous misers do grasp the work with a dying hand, Dan.4.27. Wherefore o King let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, break of te fors by righteousnes, and thine iniquities by bewing mercy to the poor, &c. Luke 11.4!. But rathi give

almes of such things as you have, and bebels all things are clean anto you.

IX. And Lastly, They should be often meditating on the four last things, and the life come, and make it their great businesse to prepar for their dißolution.


Tit,2,1. But speak thou the things which become

found Doctrine, V.2. That the aged mer be fober, grave, t's

perate , sound in Faith, in Charity, in po V.3: The' aged women likewise, that they ke

behaviour as becometh holinesse, not false sufers, nor given to much wine, teachers of

things. V.4. I hat they may teach the young womens Sober, to love their husbands, to love children. V.5. To be discreet, chaft, keepers at home

good, obedient to their oran husbands, sba Word of God be not blaphemed.


« PreviousContinue »