Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

292 Motives to Watchfulnesse. Chap.5.0 Saviour had prayed that Peters Faith should not

th fail, yet togecher with the other Apokles, he bids him watch. Luke 22.40,46. The fear of God is a preserving Grace, Jer. 32.40. I will put my fear into their hearts, that they fall not depart from me. This fear will make us watchful, not diffidext of Gods power and goodness. And in be this sense, Blessed is the man that feareth alwaies, th as Solomon faies, Prov.28.14. And as our Savi- tir our advisech, Luke 22.46. that watcheth and fa prayerb, that he enter not into temptation.

fac We see then that to perseverance there is a AF concurrence of our care and diligence required, Jude v.21. Keep your selves in the love of God. th & Phil.2.12,13.Work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God that workething you,&c. R Indeed the main work is Gods; he is the be

р ginner, and he is the perfekter, Phil. 1 6. He is the author, and he is the finisher, Heb. 12.3.

8 But may we chen be idle and sit still, be careles and negligent ? No, in no wise : For God worketh in us, and by us, If therefore there be no Grace working in us, nor working by us, and exciting, and quickning, and enabling us to fincere obedience, and a careful and wacchful carriage cowards God, we may jaftly suspect our state for the prefent to be very bad. A Christians life is never exempted from care. We must be watchful and diligent to the very last: Sacan is alwaies busies we have corruptions within, and

che

[ocr errors]

the world is full of saares : And many times, where there seems to be least danger, there is most cause of fear. Lot that was chaft in Sodom, miscarried in the mountaines, where there were nonc but his own Family. David's example may warn the holiest persons to the worlds end, to - be jealous over themselves. Who would have thought that he (whose heart (mete him for ceata ting off the lap of Sauls garment) should after fall into uncleannesse and murder ? Peter also is a fad instance of confidence in a mans. own Atrength.

Upon all these confiderations, let me advise thee to watch and pray, to pray and watch continually. Hast thou begun to make profession of Religion? O do not fall off, and bring an ill report upon the waies of Holinesse. A house begun, and not finished is a habitation of shreek owles. Hold out to the laft, that so thou maist obtain that honourable title, that Mnafon had, to be an old disciple, Acts 21.16.

I shall conclude this Head of swatchfulnesle, and this whole Chapter of maintaining a daily close communion with God, with cwo further Directions, which (with Gods blessing) will much conduce to the carrying on of the whole work.

Direction 1. Inure thy soul, (befides thy daily folema prayers) to send up frequent, men

. tal, ejaculatory prayers unco God. These holy

liftings

The

liftings up of the heart unto the Lord, as they are very pleasing to him, so they are exceeding. 15

advantageous for the fetching speedy aid from Heaven, for the quenching of a luft, res fisting of a temptation, the better performing any Jervice, delivering us out of any present straits, enabling us to bear any affliction, or in case of any failing, to beg mercy and pardon Speedily, while the heart is mitten, and tenderly affected with a sense of its miscarriage : As when Davids heart (mote him for numbring the people, 2 Sam 24.10. we find him lifting up his heart unto the Lord, in this manner, I have finned, I beseech thee také away the iniquity of thy servant.

These ejaculatory prayers are (as it were) messengers sent post to Heaven, (when time is not afforded for continued prayer) for some speedy help. And as they binder no businesse, but ( being duly performed) further it much every way, so no businesse cín hinder chem. When a Minister is preaching, and finds his heart cold and livelesle in the service, or when in folemn prayer he finds his spirit indifposed, dry, and barren; How may be speed one of chese swift and silent meßengers, one of these fervent ejaculations to Heaven, for help and allistance ? When a Chriftian is hearing the Word, of how much advancage is it, co send up such filent and fervent prayers, that God would let home such or such a Doctrine upon his heart ; or

help

[ocr errors]

help him to forsake such a fin, then reproved ? or enable him to believe, and embruce such a Truch. When Christ was preaching to his Apostles, chac h.ird leßon of broch-rly forgiveness, we find in the 17th of Luke, v.5. They seni up thac hɔly ejaculation, Lord encrease our Faith. A man that is riding, or walking, or emoloyed in his lawful calling, may thus converse with Heaven, and yet no waies hinder his presenc busineile.

And further to persivade thee to che practise of this direction, confider,

I. Thele ejịculatory prayers do very much honour God; in that they acknowledge bim, to be a God, that can understand the language of our hearts, and the least movings of our defires, towards him; and that he is a God hearing prayers, and a very present help in time of trosble

II. They are a good means to keep our hearis spiritual, and heavenly, and in a good frame. Strangenesse often growes between God and our fou es, for want of these. And miny affecting providences loose their kindly wo k upon us for want of a present lifting upot our hearts in fume sucable ejaculations.

III. They are a special means to fi: us for more folemn prayer. We must begin duties with ducies: Gud prepares the hearts of his people, to pray acceptably unto him, by these preparatory ejaculacions.

X

Bus

But here observe there few cautions and directions.

1. Take heed of formality, sightnes, and customarineß in them. Let them be serious, and fervent, and from thy heart. Nothing more usual with many people, than God forgive me, Lord blesse me, God help me, when the heart is nothing affected; nor does it fend up chese as earneft requests unto the Lord, looking for an answer.

2. Use these holy ejaculacions, not only in a way of petition, but also of thanksgiving. Thus our Saviour, Father I thank thee, M1.11.25,26. Thus David ofren, as may be seen in his Psalms, that are full of sach holy breathings and affecti. onate thanksgivings.

3. Take heed under this pretence of laying afide, or neglecting solemen prayer is a continued way: For that many ignorant people are apt to do; thinking a few formal, sori ejaculations to be devocion enough; and begrucch God any more of their time.

4. Get a deep senfe of thy own Weaknesse, inabi, lity, insufficiency, and of thy continuál need of help from God, and that will dispose thy heart 10 be ready in everything by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, to make i hy requests known into God.

Direct. 2. Retire thy self every night, and of view and reflect upon all thy actions and whole behaviour in the day past. We read that God

himself

« PreviousContinue »