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out the Truth no Knowledge; without the Life no Living. Keep then in this Way, for it is unalterable; believe in this Truth, for it is infallible;. hope for, and aspire to this Life, for it is true, happy, and eternal Life. Continue in my Way, and thou shalt know the Truth, and the Truth shall make thee free, that thou may 'It
' inherit Everlasting Life. Mattb. xix.
If thou wilt enter into Life, keep the Commandments. If thou wilt know the Truth, believe my Words. If thou wilt be perfect, sell that thou hast. If thou wilt fave thy Life hereafter, despise it here. If thou wilt be exalted in Heaven, abase thy self upon Earth. If thou desire to reign with me, take up the Cross with me. For none but they who imitate my Cross, are in the right Way to Happiness and true Glory
Disciple.] This Way, O Lord, is strait and rugged, such as the World declines, and cannot endure to think of. Therefore I beg, thy Grace would enable me to despise the World, and diffent from the General Opinion of Men, in compliance with thy Command and
Example. For the Servant is not greater than Fobn xv.
his Lord, nor the Disciple above his Master. Let thy Servant then be guided in thy Steps, for with thee is Life and true Holiness. And all I read or hear from any other Hand, gives me no Refreshment, no true Delight. Cbrit.] If thou knoweft these things, my Son, bappy art
thou, if tbou do them. For Practice and not Knowledge, shall inherit the Blessing. He that keepeth my Commandments, and doth
them, be it is that loveth me, and I will love bim in return, and manifeft my self to bim, and fet him upon a Throne with me, in my Father's Kingdom.
Difciple.] Lord, make me a Partaker of this Gracious Promise. The Crofs, which I have received from thy Hand, I will bear with Constancy even unto Death.
The Life of a true Christian is indeed one continu'd Cross; but, since this is the Way that leads to Paradife, it is by no means fit, that I should depart from it, or repent of my holy Resolutions, and good Beginnings.
Come then, my Christian Brethren, let us advance boldly. Courage, for Christ is with us; he does not only lead us on, but will enable us to follow him. For his fake we have taken up the Cross, and for his fake we must persevere in bearing it. Behold, the King and Captain of our Salvation marches at our head, ready to fight our Battels. Let Us, like gallant Soldiers, follow, let us abandon our Fears, and manfully prepare to die in the Field; and not stain our Honour, and lose our Crown, by flinching from that Service, and those Hardships, which he hath made our Duty and our Glory.
CHA P. LXII.
Against being deje&ted with Temptations.
Chrift.] Udge not, my Song of thy Favour and
Acceptance with God, by such false Measures, as the Warmth of thy Devotion, and the Delight which results from the Discharge of thy Duty. For I am better pleased with Humility and Patience, and deep Contrition of Heart, in a disconsolate and afflicted State ; than with an eager Zeal, and the most exalted Acts of an easy and prosperous Piety. And whence is it, doft thou think, that every little Scandal, which detracts from thy Reputation, so sensibly affects thee? Were it yet more to thy Dif- . paragement, yet could it not be worth thy Concern. This is not the first Injury of this kind, nor is it like
to be the last, if thou live longer among Men. "And what is now new or strange, ought not to surprize thee. I know thy Courage and pretended Bravery, while Danger keeps its distance. Thou canst discourfe like a Philofopher and a Christian, and give excellent Advice to thy Friends, when they labour under any Distress : But when their Cafe happens to be thy own, and some unexpected Calamity comes home to thee; thy Prudence and Resolution forsake thee-quite,' and thou standeft no less in need of the Counsel and Support, which thou wert wont so freely to impart to others heretofore.
Let this Experiment remind thee of thy own Frailty, which, by such Instances, appears not to be Proof against the flightest Misfortunes. For even these Instances are greatly for thy Advantage, and bring thee to a right and perfect Understanding of thy own Condition. Grow wiser at least at thy own Expence ; and as thy calmer Reason shews they ought to be, fo let thy Behaviour manifest, that these tender Resentments of Temporal Evils are banished out of thy Mind. If thou canst not entertain Adversity with absolute Indifference, yet let it not drive thee to Despondency and wicked Diftruit; and, however the first Onset may disturb thee, yet rally quickly, and let it not long overpower thee. And tho' perhaps thou art not arrived to
that Perfection of counting it all yoy, when Fam. i.
thou falleft into divers Temptations ; thou canst not be excused from undergoing them with Meekness, and Resignation, and Patience. If thou art not yet got even thus far, but some indecent Reflections rife up in thy Mind ; yet let not this secret Indignation break out into irreverent Expressions, but set a Watch
upon thy Tongue, and keep the Door of thy Lips. Pfal. cxli.
Resolve at least, that thy Mouth Mall not of&c xxxix.
fend ; and though thy Heart be hot within thec, yet let not any passionate Complaints burst
out, which may cast Imputations upon the Honour of God, impeach the Justice and Goodness of Providence, or give Offence to thy weaker Brethren. For, by thus manning and guarding well the Outworks, thy inward Commotions will in time be composed'; thy Sorrow by degrees fhall turn into Joy, and the Favour and Mercy of God be inclined to relieve and comfort thee, in recompence for thy Reverence; and Submission to his good Pleasure.
As I live, faith the Lord, I will belp thee speedily, and comfort them who earnestly seek, me, who
put their trust in my Salvation. Call up thy Christian Fortitude, and sink not under thy. Burthen, but prepare for greater Trials. If thy former Troubles have overwhelmed thy Spirits, and prevailed over thy Temper and thy Virtue ; let not the Remembrance of thy former Trials discourage theer - The Lord knoweth whereof thou art -
Pfal.ciii. made, be remembreth that thou art but Duft: A Man, and not God; Flesh, and not Angel, or unbodied Spirit; How.canst thou then expect to continue in an undisturb'd State of Goodness? How should thy Virtue be above the shocks and shakings of Temptation, when even the Angels kept not their first Estate, and Man in Paradise fo foon fell from Innocence? I am thy fole Protection, who raise the Souls dejected with Sorrow, preserve those who acknowledge and bewail their own Weakness, and glorify with my self the humble Christians, who are alhamed of their Follies and Miscarriages.
Disciple.] Blessed be thy Mercy, for the gracions Words, which drop from thy Mouth, soft as the gentle Dew, and sweeter than Honey and the Honey-comb. What would become of me, in the Extremity
of my Distress and Anguish of my Soul, did not thy Promifes and seasonable Instructions refresh and comfort me? But be it as thou wilt ; for I cannot think it any great matter, how long or boisterous my Voyage is, so thou
at laft conduct me fafe to that peaceful Haven, where good Men are at reft. Let my Afflictions be never fo great, so thou grant a happy issue, and turn my Sufkerings to good effect. Be my Condition in this Life Adverse or Prosperous, no Prosperity will profit, no Adverfity harm me, but in Proportion to the State in which I die. And if I go well out of the World, my Continuance in it cannot be fo troublesome, that I should have cause to repent or complain. Order my Affairs then as thou pleafest; but always, O my God, remember me for good. Lead me in the right and ready way to thy Kingdom, difpofe my every Action towards the Attainment of Salvation, and let me fo pass through things Temporal, that I finally fofo not the things Eternal. Amen.
CHA P. LXIII.
Against Prying into Things too high for us, and pretending to Fatbom the Depths of God and Providence.
Cbrift.] O not, my Son, take upon thee to dif
pute, or determine any thing concerning abstruse and difficult Points; nor too curiously enquire into those mysterious Dispensations, which God hath purposely concealed from thee. Concern not thy self about the amazing Distributions of Grace or Providence ; why one Man is forsaken and in Diffavour with God, another fo furprizingly indulged by him ; This Person exercised with Amictions and Sorrows, or That fo gently dealt with, fo unaccountably exalted. These are things out of thy Sphere: And all the Parts and Penetration, the acutest Wit, and acquired Improvements of Man, are much too