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rashly in our private walk by the vehemency of our passion, Eccl. v. 6. or more deliberately in obedience to authority, Hof. v. 11. This has been, is at this day, and is still like to be more, the fin and snare of this land. But let us remember, that our covenant with God must regulate all other engagements we come under; and if once we take God to be our God, our hands are bound up from taking any other in his place. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth, 2 Cor. xiii. 8.
Lastly, All compact with the devil. Such is the corruption of human nature, that men will take the devil for their god. Here is forbidden, (1.) All witchcraft, sorcery, magic, and devilry. These renouncing God, become the devil's vaffals and servants in a special manner, to have comunion with him here in mischief and wickedness, and comunion with him in hell fire. Two things readily occasion it: either dif. content with one's own condition, or desire of revenge, which
ye would beware of. (2.) All using of spells and charms, whether for knowing of secret things past or to come, for curing or preventing of diseases in men or beasts, or for any other effect whatsoever. This is an implicit compact with the devil, which those that are far from express covenanting with him may fall into. Both are condemned, Deut. xvii. 10. &C. There are, alas ! many of these things which are unworthy to be named; but take this rule in this case, That whatsoever is brought to pass by means which neither by the appointment of God nor the nature of the mean used can be expected, is from the devil. The facraments and medicines are means of divine institution, and by the blessing of God, when ufed in faith, are conducive to the ends for which they are appointed. But the truth is, spells, charms, &c. are the devil's facraments. For what virtue can there be in words, a key, riddle, laying such or such things above a door-head, &c. to produce the effects expected by miserable creatures from them? but they are
Satan's facraments, that must be used with a kind of truth or belief of the success, at which the devil pro. duceth the desired effect sometimes, God permitting it: for he cannot always do it.
2. Whereas it is a duty of this command to make 23 God our chief end, it forbids,
19, Men-pleating, Gal. i. 10. There is a holy manplealing which we thould all learn, if we would please God, Rom. xv. 2. Let every one of us please his
neighbour for his good to edification. Paul was dex. S terous at that holy art, i Cor. ix: 19.--22. turning L himself into all colours, but black to please them, for e, their good. But this sinful man pleasingis, when we set
I ourselves to please men without regard to the pleasing and of God, proposing their pleasure as our only or chief this end, Tit. ii. 9. Compare Eph. vi. 6. Col. iii, 22, . And this we are guilty of, either when we do a fin to
please men, or do a good thing or lawful more to ut please them than God.
2dly, Not making God our end at all, Pfal. lxxxvi. En 14. when God's honour has no place at all in our she projects and actions. Thus he who should have the le chief place in all we do, has none; the chief corner. ch" itone is not admitted into the unsanctified building,
But self is the beginning, middle, and end. Many
fuch black pieces without mixture are in the web of 2. Our converfation.
3dly, Not making God our chief end, when the we have an eye to God in our actions, yet not the chief eye; not feeking him above all, in all, and beyond all, 1 Cor. x. 31. Plallxxiii, 25, Man's will
at his creation was made chiefly looking to God; and bi the least deviation from this is our fin. But O how
often doth our refpect to God lie under, and that to ourselves a top? God is made the mean, and ourselves the great end. Many pieces of the faints religion, and all the religion of others, are rather a ferving themselves of God than a terving of God,
Whereas: self-denial is a duty of this command, it forbids,
1/1, Self-seeking. Not that we may not at all seek ourselves, but we must not make ourselves our only.no and chief end, Phil. ii. 21. That is fipful feeking, mu when our own things exclude Christ's things, or are lo above the things of Christ; when, neglecting God, we seek only our own profit or pleasure; or when in any thing we have no view beyond these to God. In natural, civil, or religious actions, men máy
seek their own profit and delight, Prov. xxvii. 23. Eccl
. ii. 24. & ix. 7. 8. Cant. i. 2. but these must be directed towards God, being fought, that thereby we may be in the better capacity to serve our God. They must be used as stage-coaches to help us on our way, not as beds to lie down in and rest there. But what guilt is contracted in these matters! What felf-seeking is chargeable on us,
(1.) As to natural actions, Zech. vii. 6. having no higher end in these than ourselves, no respect to the command of God, but our own appetite ; not to fit us for the duties of our general or particular callings, but to please ourselves.
(2.) În civil actions, Prov. xxi. 4. No eye to Ciud's command, no eye to his honour; but to our own wealth and outward eftate. This was the fin of the old world, Matth. xxiv. 38. Luke xvii. 27. 28. But religion teaches to eat and drink, because God has faid, Thou shalt not kill; to marry, because he has said, Thou shalt not commit adultery; to work, because he has said, Thou shalt not seal, and that they may honour the Lord with their fubftante.
(3.) In religious actions, Prov. xv. 8. How often is religion made to serve mens interest, and lacquey at the feet of carnal projects? What self-seeking is there in our religion, seeking worldly advantage, un credit, and a great name, our own peace, and wela fare for eternity at best, which is but felt seeking, if
we fee not that in God which makes us feek him for himself!
2dly, Self-love, 2 Tim. iii. 3. Love ourselves we may, our souls, our bodies ; but the love of God must regulate our love to ourselves, and we must love ourfelves in God and for God, not more than God, nor as much, Matth. xxii. 37. 38. 39. The love of God is the first command. Our neighbour must be loved with an inferior sort of love, not as our God, but as ourfelves : therefore the love of ourfelves must be inferior to that of God.' Now, finful felf-love is that inordinate affection which we bear to ourselves without due fubordination to God, a Jove of ourselves that carries us off our duty to God. This prevails over us when we are not ready to facrifice our all to God at his call, Luke xiv. 26. Hence proceeds defection from the truth in time of trial, the gratifying of ourselves at any time at the expence of God's diipleasure.
3dly, Self-pleasing, Rom. xv. I. It is a narrowness of fpirit, whereby, if we can please ourselves, we value nótɔthe pleasing of others for their good, as if we had been only born for ourselves. It is a sin that is highly difpleasing to. God, and the bane of society, wherein men must retrench something from themselves to please others, otherwise they will be as briers and chornst continually in the sides of one another : for what can be expected there where each will needs have his own way of it? Upon this it is that the using or not using of indifferent things is built.
Athly, Self-confidence, whereby men lean to the broken reed of their own wisdom and their own ftrength, instead of leaning to God, Prov. iii. 5. xxviii. 26. It carries men off from God, and brings down a curse on that in themselves which they lean unto; their parts, their pains, abilities, resolutions, doc. Jer, xvii. 5. There is much sin this way. 5thly, Self-conceit, Prov. xxvi. 12.
It is mens blindness and ignorance that makes them fo. Were their eyes opened, they would see they were nothing.
Self-jealousing becomes us better, who have so little to make any good of.
Lastly, Self-righteoufness. This is the worst kind of selfishness, whereby men puffed up with an opinion of their own works, put them in Christ's room, and look to procure the favour of God by them, If. Iviii
. 3. This is a fubtil idol, venting itself many ways; as, (1.) Reckoning more on the quantity than the quality of duties, Luke xviii. 11. (2.) More on the quality of duties, when they are done vigorously, than on our interest in the blood of Christ. (3.) Expecting returns of favour or debt upon the well-doing of our duty. And (4.) Fretting and riling of the heart against God under disappointments, 6c,
4. Whereas humility of heart is required in this command, there is forbidden in it pride of heart
, with all the branches of that cursed tree.
It is a fet ting up of a man's self instead of God; a swelling of the empty heart, that is most hateful to God, 1 Pet. v. 5. ; a lin that deltruction naturally follows. It has many poisonous branches ; for it turns itself into many ihapes, aļl here forbidden; as,
1/1, Counterfeit humility. Pride often goes abroad under the mask of humility, as a devil transforming himself into an angel of light. There was as much pride in the disfigured faces of the Pharisees, Matth. vi. 16. as in the proud looks of others ; in Diogenes as in Plato, Men had need take heed they deceive not themselves; for pride of heart may put them upon and make them pleafe themselves in great external bu. miliations,
2dly, Insensibleness of our own weakness, finfulpess, and insufliciency, Hab. ii, 4. There is little im. pression of that on our hearts for the most
part; when at any time it is made, how quickly does it go off? for our hearts are like a ftiffstick, that will quickly lose the bend. This insensibleness vents itfelf in, (1.) A woful felf-sufficiency, whereby men are cara sied off from depending on God, and hanging copti: