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you, Hol. 9. 12. Yet they think it best when he departeth from them ; and the farther the better. This frame of heart is the ver ry blackness of Hellish darkness. It speaks the very language of Satan, Matth. 8.
29, What have vě to do with thee, thou Jesus, the Sox of God; art thou come to torment us before the time ? Thus it was of old, Isa: 30. 11, Cause the holy one of Israel to reafe from as.
(2.) Though the Soul be alive to God, yet fo far as the Image of the old Adam is unmortified, and any particular lust indat ged, so far God and the heart will be strangers. Not only the beam but even fuch'a moat in the eye, will make fürch Souls, to shun, what they can, the presence of God, and the prefence of those who, they think, will speak the mind of God unto them; as Ahab did the presence of Micaiah, 1 King. 22. 8. Such Souts are far from prospering. This is the very image of old Adam, Ger.3. 8, He heard the voice of God, and bid himself from the presence of the Lord.
3. Even those whose Souls do live, and in some measure, may be said to profper, though they dare not omit any external duty of Religion, yet they do too often, and too easily flip over this, without timely observation, till they take a review of their hearts, and then they see they have
cause to say, as Psal. 36. 11. Unite my. heart to thee, that I may fear before thee, all the day long : Or .unite my heart within it self, that it may not be diverted, or distracted, not carried this way, and that way, but that I may be able to say, 'It is fixed, it is fixed. Thus I say it is, and that too often with Souls that prosper according to their measure. Therefore we ought to charge our felves with this duty, and renew the charge from day to day. To set our selves under the actual confideration of God's All-seeing eye ; who hath absolute Soveraignty over us ; to whom alone we must stand or fall ;, who can tell us all our thoughts, and will render to every Man according to his works; and therefore hath a Book of remembrance for those that think upon him, and fear his name, Mal. And hath a bag for iniquity, wherein he doth, as it were,
up mens fins to bring them forth as Evidences, and charge them upon every one as the matter requires. And as God is said to have a Book, and a Bag, fo he is said
faid to have a Bottle, Pfal. 56. 8, Put my tears into thy bottle, are they not in thy book. This, I say, we should charge upon our hearts, and renew this charge from day to day, till we have some power over them. For though it be true, that God alone hatli the Soveraignty over, and is the
great disposer of our hearts, yet under him, we may do much. What Man is there, whose conscience will not tell him, if he consult with it, that when his heart is flat, and dead, alienated from all serious thoughts of the presence of God with him, that this is his own neglect, his own willful neglect; for he knows that when he hath a bu siness to manage of any considerable concernment for his outward estate, he can easily command his heart to think on it, yea and cannot put it out of his mind, when he would ; so that The abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep, Eccl. 5. 12. Therefore let us not neglect any longer to exercise that authority, which God hath given us over our hearts, if we desire our Souls should continue to prosper : We must serve him in righteousness, and holiness all our days, and every day : But all we do will come very far short, not only of what it ought to be, but of what it might be, unless we do what we do, before him, as in his sight, Luk. 1.75.
Thus of the Second Direction.
3. Spiritualize the Providences of every day: I mean, improve them to some spiritual advantage; fo as thereby some gracious impressions may be wrought upon your hearts; that thereby the duties of the day may be better performed; principles of god
liness more seasonably exercised ; and the workings, and stirrings of corruption more timely checkt, and throughly mortified. This will exceedingly help ( scarce
any thing more) to preserve the Soul in its thriving, and prospering frame. Consider then, that every day, in respect of the Providences of God, it is filled up withal, is either one of those two days mentioned, Eccles7 14. Either a day of Prosperity, or a day of Adversity. Or else like that day, mentioned, Zech.
6. Neither clear, nor dark, bur mixt; mercies given in, one part of the day, and crosses taking their turn in the other. Now, it hath been experienced to be a great means of promoting and preserving Soul-prosperity, to spiritualize both
and the other. (1.) If the day be a day of Prosperity, i. e. if no evil befalls us, but that according to the promise, Pfal. 121. 7, 8, The Lord fball preserve thee from evil: The Lord fall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, When God blesseth the beginning, and ending of what we undertake ; this hath enough in it, to raise up in our hearts, high thoughts of God, that he should load iis with benefits, Plal. 68. 19. Such as may be very effectual to keep us under those obligations, which his bounty, and goodness lays upon us. Thus it wrought in David, Pfal. 116. He
the one, a!
is reckoning up the mercies of God toward ! him: Then ver. 5. He exalteth God in his | heart : And ver. 7. His Soul retires into
God, and takes up its rest, and satisfaction in him alone : And ver. 9. He heightens his resolution. Thus it was with David, and thus it may be with us: Especially, when the thriving profpering Soul hath ground and reason enough to see the present mercies, of what kind soever they be, as having relation unto, and being pledges of Eternal mercies. This sweetens them, and heightens them, how little soever, how common soever they be; that they may fay as David, 2 Sam. 7.18,Who am I, and what is
my father's house ? This makes them more i heart-melting, more heart-obliging, then
otherwise they would be, or possibly can be to any Soul, that is either dead in sin, or in a dying, withering, languishing condition. Six pence received only as a fix pence, doth not affect the heart like thar which is received as an earnest of a greater Sum, which shall certainly upon such a day be given to us ; so it is here, when we can conclude, that he who kept us this day from evil, that it hath not grieved us, as Jabes prayed, 1 Chron 4. 10. and hath given us quiet , and comfortable rest this night ; can, and certainly will keep us by his mighty power, through faith, unto fals