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membring our Creator difficult to be firft begun; and therefore it is the greateft prudence imaginable to lay in this flock before they come, for it will certainly ftand us in great ftead when they come. It is the greateft imprudence in the world to defer that bufinefs which is neceffary to be done, unto fuch a time wherein it is very difficult to be done: And it is the greatest prudence in the world to do that work which must be done in fuch a feafon wherein it may be eafily and fafely done. He that lays in his ftore of remembrance of his Creator before the evil day come, will find it of the greatest use and fervice to him in that evil day.

Now thofe evil days are many, and all of them befall fome, but fome of them will certainly befall all mankind.

1. An evil day of public or private Calamities. He that beforehand hath laid in this stock of remembring his Creator, will be easily able to bear any calamity when it comes; but a man that hath not done this beforehand, will find it a very unfeasonable time to begin to fet about it, when fear, and anguifh, and perplexity, and ftorms, and confufion are round about him, and take up all his thoughts.

2. The evil day of Sickness is an unfeasonable time, or at least a very difficult time to begin fuch a business. When fickness, and pain, and disorder, and uneafinefs, shall render a man impatient and full of trouble, and his thoughts full of diforder, and difcompofure, and waywardnefs, then it will be found a difficult business to begin the remembrance of our Creator. It is true, no time is utterly unacceptable of God for this work, but furely it is beft to begin before this evil day come, for then it will be a comfort, and mitigate the pains and difcompofure of fickness, when a man can thus reflect upon his life paft, as Hezekiah did in his fickness; Remember, O Lord, that I have not failed to remember my Creator in the days of my health.

3. The evil day of Old and Infirm Age, which is a difeafe

difeafe and burden of itself, and yet it is ever accompanied with our fickneffes,pains and diseases, and a natural frowardness, and morofity, and difcontentednefs of mind, and therefore not fo feasonable to begin the undertaking of this work as the flourishing youth. And indeed, a man cannot reasonably expect, that the great God, who invites the remembring our Creator in the days of our youth, and hath been ungratefully denied, fhould accept the dregs of our age for a facrifice, when we have neglected the thoughts of him in our ftrong and flourishing age. But, on the other fide, that man that hath spent the time of his youth and ftrength in the remembrance of his Creator, may with comfort and contentment in his old and feeble age, reflect upon his paft life with Hezekiah, Remember, O Lord, I pray Thee, that I have not failed to remember Thee in the days of my youth and ftrength, and I pray Thee accept of the endeavours of my old decayed age, to preserve that remembrance of Thee which I fo early began, and have conftantly continued, and pardon the defects that the natural decays of my ftrength and age have occafioned in that duty.'

4. The evil day of Death. When my foul fits hovering upon my lips and is ready to take it's flight, when all the world cannot give my life any certain truce for a day, or for an hour, and I am under the cold embraces of death, then to begin to remember my Creator is a difficult and unfeafonable time: but when I have begun that bufinefs early, and held on the remembrance of my Creator, it will be a cordial even against death itself, and will carry my foul into the prefence of that God, which I have thus remembered in and from the days of my youth with triumph and rejoicing.

Briefly therefore:

1. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth; because thou knoweft not whether thou fhalt have any other feafon to remember him: death may overtake

overtake thee, and lay thee in the land of forgetfulnefs: Thy fpring may be thy autumn, and thy early bud may be the only fruit that mortality may afford thee.

2. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth; because it is a time of invitation: neglect not this feafon, because thou knoweft not whether ever thou shalt be again invited to it.

3. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, that thy Creator may remember thee in the days of thy fickness and old age, and in the evil day.

4. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, left thy Creator neglect thee in the evil day. Neglected favours, efpecially from thy God, may justly provoke him never to lend thee more, 'Because I called, and ye refufed, I alfo will laugh at your calamity, and 'mock when your fear cometh ".

5. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, because it will heal the evil of evil days; when they come, it will turn those days that are in themselves evil, to become days of ease and comfort; it will heal the evil of the day of affliction, of ficknefs, of old age, and of death itself; and make it a paffage into a better, a more abiding life.

1 Prov. i. 24, 26





PSAL. 51. 10.


THIS prayer imports or leads us into the confideration of thefe things: 1. What the condition of every man's heart is by nature: it is a foul and unclean heart. 2. Wherein confifts this uncleannefs of the heart. 3. What is the ground or caufe of this uncleannefs of the heart. 4. Whence it is that the condition of the heart is changed: it is an act of divine omnipotence. 5. What is the condition of a heart thus cleanfed, or wherein the cleanness of the heart confists.


L. If the heart must be created anew before it can be a clean heart, certainly, before it is thus new formed, it is an impure and unciean heart. And this that is here implied, is frequently in the Scriptures directly affirmed: The imagination of the thoughts of the ' heart of man is only evil continually 2: The heart is ⚫ deceitful above all things, and defperately wicked, who can know it ?" Out of the heart proceed ' evil thoughts, adulteries &c4.' And indeed all the evils that are in the world, are but evidences of the impurity of the heart, that unclean fountain and original of them.

II. Concerning the second; wherein the uncleann fs of the heart confifts. The heart is indeed the crafts, or collection of all the powers of the foul in the full Make me a clean heart, O God. . Gen. vi. 5. Jer. xvii. 9. • Mark vii. 21.

extent of it; and therefore takes in not only the will and affections, but the understanding and confcience, and accordingly hath its denomination proper to those feveral faculties, as a wife heart, a foolish heart, a believing heart, an unbelieving heart, an hard heart, a foft heart, and the like. But anfwerable to the propriety of the epithet clean or unclean, it principally concerns the heart under the notion of will or defire, and the confequents that are thereupon; and confequently according to the propriety of application, a clean heart is fuch a heart, as hath clean defires and affections; an unclean heart is that which hath unclean and impure defires, a heart full of evil concupifcence. And because the cleannefs or uncleannefs of the defires are denominated from their objects; and not from the affections or defires themselves, which are diverfified according to their objects; hence it is that a heart, that fixeth its defires upon pure and clean objects, it is faid in that act to be a clean heart; and that which fixeth its defires upon unclean or impure objects, is an unclean heart in that act: Therefore, before we can determine what an unclean heart is, it is neceffary to know what are unclean objects, the tendency of the defires of the heart whereunto, doth denominate an unclean heart. Generally, whatfoever is a thing prohibited by the command of God, carries in it an immundities, an impurity and uncleannefs in it :' But that is not the uncleannefs principally intended: it is more large and fpacious than the intent of the text bears but there are certain lufts and impure or immoderate propenfions in our natures after certain objects, which come under the name of unclean iufts, and those are of two kinds, the luft of the mind, and the luft of the flesh; for fo they are called and diftinguished by the Apoftle. The lufts of the mind are fuch as have their activity principally in the mind, though they may have their improvements by the crafis and conftitution of the body as the luft of envy, revenge, hatred, pride, vain-glory; thefe are more fpiritual


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