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besides the reasons before given, there is this more in it, that the value and contentment that is taken in them, is by the great expectation and contentment that the mind feeks in the pre-apprehenfions and image that the mind makes to itfelf of them; for the con-tentment of the things themselves barely confidered, and in themselves, is but flat and empty; but the imagination dreffeth them up beyond themfelves, both in their pre-apprehenfions and fruition: And fo the value and contentment of them is due more to the fancy and falfe idea of the mind, than to the things themselves; and, therefore, if once the mind can be estranged from converfing with the thought and imagination of them, they will foon lofe their eftimate and delight; because they are feparated and kept afunder from that which gilds and dreffeth them into that delightful and amiable fhape which cozens and deceives men into their actings of them. Now this fevere hand against them, denying their accefs, refufing converfe with them, doth prevent the mind from fafhioning of imaginations of them, and dreffing up thofe imaginations of them in pleafing and delightful reprefentations, and then in a little while they are quite laid afide, and not miffed, nor thought of; and their own natural worth, without that fecret brooding of the mind upon them, doth not, with any strength, folicit or fubdue the mind to the actings of them. We are in this kind like children, who have gotten fome toys into their hands, that it may be, may be hurtful, and they mightily prize them, and fet a great rate upon them: But let them be taken away, in a little while they will not mils them, but be as merry and contented as when they had them.
14. The fuccefs of this uncourteous dealing with our lufts and temptations, will much countervail the unpleafingness of the duty. A man is tempted to a fin, he holds conference with it, and is enticed to treat with it and to think of it, and it pleaseth him; but it is a thousand to one if it ftay there; but unless some great diverfion
diverfion by the grace of God, or fome external reftraint by fhame or punishment, prevent him, he commits the fin; and fo luft, when it hath conceived, will bring forth fin; and fin, when finished, will bring forth fhame and death; or, at the best, fhame and forrow. How will a man reckon with himself; What am I the better for that contentment that I took in this fin? the contentment is past, and that which it hath left me, is nothing elfe but a mifgiving confcience, a sense of a displeased God, afhamed to bring my mind in his prefence; a pre-apprehenfion of fome mifchief or inconvenience to follow me; a defpondency of mind to draw near to God under it; and either a great deal of forrow and vexation, or affliction under it; or, which is the ufual gratification of Satan after fin committed, to put away the remembrance of a fin paft, with the committing of another, ⚫ till at last the guilt grows to fuch a moles 1, that a man is defperately given over to all kind of villainy; and, as his fins increase, his guilt and fhame increaseth. • On the other fide, I have denied my luft, or my temptation, and it is gone: First, I am as well without it, as if I had committed it; for it may be the fin had been past, and the contentment that I took in it, and I had been as well without it; but, befide all this, I have no guilt cleaving to my foul, no fting in my 'confcience, no defpondent nor misgiving mind, no in"terruption of my peace with God or myfelf; I enjoy 'my innocence, my peace, my accefs to God, with 'comfort: Nay, more than all this, I have a fecret ' atteftation of the fpirit of God in my confcience, that "I have obeyed him, and have pleafed him, and have ' rejected the enemy of his glory and my happiness: 'I have a fecret advance of my intereft and confidence
in him, and dependance upon him, and favour with him, and liberty and access to him, which doth in4 finitely more than countervail the fatisfaction of an impure and unprofitable and vexing luft, which 1 magnitude.
leaves no footsteps behind it but fhame, and forrow, ' and guilt.'
15. As refolution and feverity to a man's felf, is one of the best remedies against the flattery and deceit of luft, fo there are certain expedients that are fubfervient to that refolution: as namely, First, Avoiding of idleness; for the foul in the body is like a flame, that, as it were, feeds upon that oily fubftance of the body, which, according to the various qualifications or temper of the body, gives it a tincture fomewhat like itfelf; and, unless the foul be kept in action, it will dwell too much upon that tincture that it receives from it, and be too intent and pleafed, or at leaft too much tainted, and tranfported, and delighted, with those fuliginous' foul vapors that arife from the flesh and natural conftitution. Keep it, therefore, bufied about fomewhat that is fitted for it, that it may divert that intention and complacency in thofe fumes that the inferior part of the foul is apt to take in them; and fo to be tempted, tranfported, or abufed by them. Secondly, A frequent and conftant confideration of the prefence of God and bis holy angels 3, who are fpectators of conftancy to God and his party, and delighted in it; or of thy apoftacy, brutifhnefs, and bafenefs of mind, and grieved at it. If a good man were but acquainted with all my actions and motions of my mind, upon the advance of luft and temptations, it 'would make me afhamed to offend in his fight: But much more if a pure and glorious Angel did in my 'view attend, obferve, and behold me; but when the
eternal God doth behold me, who hath given me this command to deny my luft, and hath told me the danger of yielding to them, that they bring forth fin, and death, and hell, and offers his grace to affift me, promifeth reward to my obedience and con'ftancy; how fhall I then dare to offend with fo much prefumption? Thirdly, Afrequent confideration of Christ's fatisfaction, sufferings, and interceffion. Thefe 'sooty. ' vehemence of desire. Luke xv. 7, 10. 1 Cor. iv. 9. 2 A 3
lufts that now folicit me to their obfervance, were
under the laft act of my life, to his difhonour? Or, on the other fide, if I deny this bafe importunate 'meffenger of hell, and it fhould please God to ftrike 'me prefently after with fickness or death, would it
not be a more comfortable entrance into that black valley with a clear confcience and an innocent heart, that could with comfort fay, as once Hezekiak did upon the like occafion, Remember, O Lord, I be 'feech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart!.' Fifthly, A due confideration of the ijue of thofe felicitations of luft. If aflented unto, the end of it is death; it will be bitterness in Isaiah xxxviii. 3.
the end; it cannot, with all its pleasures, countervail that bitterness that will moft certainly attend it; nor can it give any fecurity against it. Suppose thou art folicited to a thought or act of injustice, impurity, or intemperance, if thou wilt needs be. talking with the temptation, ask it, Whether it be not a fin against that God, in whofe hands thy foul is? and if it be, 'whether his anger and difpleasure be not a neceffary confequence of that fin? and if it be, may not he inflict the iffues of that wrath of his, when, and in 'what measure he pleaseth? and if he may, what fe 'curity can this temptation give against it? hath it an arm of omnipotence to fecure me against the power of him that is omnipotent? and if he cannot, what ' compenfation or amends can it make me, to countervail the damage of his wrath, or the very danger of it? Can the pleafure or contentment of the fin do it? alas! the pleasure will pafs away in, it may be, a life, a day, a moment; but the guilt and torment continues to eternity.'