Obrazy na stronie

long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? Pfal.49.11. Their inward thought is, that their

houses shall continue for ever, drheir dwelling places to all generations ; they call their lands

after their own names. Pfal.119.59. I thought on my waies, and turned

myfeet unto thiy testimonies. Prov.16.3. Commit thy workes unto the Lord,

and thy thoughts shall be established. Prov.4.23. Keep thy heart with all diligence, for

out of it are the issues of life.

Secondly, Watch over thy Affections, the motions and stirrings of thy will, the out-goings of thy heart.

Rightly to order our Affections, is one of our principall businesses, in this life. When they are rightly ordered, and governed, they do much further & help on our course in Godlinesse. Whereas disordered paffions blind the judgment, hurry away the will, fill the heart and mind with disquiet, and interrupt prayer, and other holy duties. Keep an especial watch therefore over.thy Affections: Be careful they be not sec on wrong objeets, por suffered co grow unruly, and exorbitánt, Grace doth not extinguish, but rectifie affections. Christ (who was free from all sin) was not without affections : He was angry, did grieve, rejoyce, Let it be thy care therefore to look to che righe regulating of


these 0p$ ;

these powers, and thefe affe&tions that God hach placed in thee.

And to help thee io chis work, observe these Directions.

1. Beg of God, a foond mind, aright underlanding, a dear judgment, that thou maist be able rightly to discern between good and evil; and maist not take shews and appearances for rear lities. There is greac danger in misapprehenfa

for as the apprehensions of the mind are weaker or stronger, fo che affections are bøtter or cooler.

2. Labour to bring thy will, sense, and apo petite under subjection to right reason. If findo feem pleasant to thee, (as the forbidden fruit Eve) lec reason tell thee 'ris forbidden fruit ; and therefore thou must not couch it. A man is Lord of himself, when reason rules bim: buc his own save, when wilfulnesse, appecice, or pafsion bear sway in him. When the Coachman cannot rule the horses, but is hurried violently away with them, there is noching but confusion to be expected; so it is with a man whose reason is overborn, or hurried away by his headstrong passion. Affections are like fire and water ; good servants, but very bad Masters: Fire does well while'tis kept in the chimney ; & water is useful, while 'cis kepe within its banks; if they break out, they are very mischievous Elements : Affe&tions (while they are modera


ted,8 kept within their due bounds)they are very serviceable ; but if they overflow chose banks and bounds, what a world of mischief follows ?

3. Labour to foresee such things before they come,


may prove great provocacions co thee, and are like to kindle and excite thy passions. Use preçantion, and wisely avoid such occasions as much as thou canst. Passions are far more easily prevented, than moderated: And here premeditation is of singular use, whereby the mind may fortifie & Arengthen ic self against the exorbitancy of passion, before it arise ; * by considering the unreasonablenese of it, and the bitter

fraits and effects of ic. 4. Refist evil affections ac the beginning, before they grow high and headstrong ; Dah Babylons bracs against the wall: If they once get strength, they may be coo hard for chee. Lults, and vile affections let alone, do often end in grosse fins. There are works of the flesh, that follow lists of the flesh, Gal.5.19. Love of pleasure, if uncontro l'd, may end in drunkennesse, or uncleaonesle. Envy, and malice, if uncheck’d, may end in murder, or violence. Fudas allowing himselfe in Covęcousnesse, that brought him co deny his Master.

5. Temperance, and keeping under the body is an excellent means to mortifie lusts, pafsions,

and vile affections. He chat pampers his Aesh, feeds his enemy. And how much better


is it to endure the pains of morcification here, than the horrours of everlasting darknesse hereafter?

6. Remember, that when thy blood and Spirits are moved, and thy passions are up, whatever is presented to thy imagination, tends to the delusion of thy soul. Passions like some kind of glasses, represent things falsely: fom. times of a mountain, chey make a mole-hill; and somtimes a mole-hill, they magnifie inco a mountain. Therefore if it be poffible in pas fios make no resolutions. Let it be one of thy main cares, then to suffer thy spirit and blood to cool, and thy passions to fink, and melt away, and then thou wilt come co righe ap prehensions. Many have grievously overhot themselves in palfion, and repented of it at leifure.

7. Consider the root of all inordinate passion is felf-love. The larger the branches of paffion, the deeper the root of selflove. Therefore labour to dig up the root, and do not only lop off the branches. Inordinate self-love ought to be subdued, and morcified.

8. Medicate often on the abafings, sufferings, death, and passion of our Lord, and Saviout, Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, saith che Apoitle, i Pet.2.21. that we

should follow his steps. Was he crucified for us? and Thall not we crucifie our vile affections for him?

Did he renounce his own will, to accomplish our salvacion ? and shall not we deny our wills for him? our corrupe wills? The wills of the flesh and of the mind, as the Apostle callech them, Eph.2.3. The lustings of the lower and the upper soul

. Was he made of no reputacion for us : and shall we be proud ? Did he lay down his very

life for us his enemies and shall not we forgive an enemy for his fake? O labour from the consideration of Christs sufferings to morti fie thy lasts and vile affections.

9. By earncst Prayer, even the prayer of Faith, seek for succour from Heaven, against all chine inordinate affections. Humbly plead that promise before the Lord, Rom.6.14. Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ge are not under the Lam, bøt under Grace.

10. Take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, Eph.6.17. and therewich labour to slay thy inordinace affections. Apply che Commands and Threatnings of Gods Word co thy self, when thou findest any strong passion or luft ftirring in thee : As suppose Anger be op in chee; cake that sword of the Spirit thou wilt find Eph.4.26,27. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil. If hatred against thy Brother be working in thee, take that sword, i Fonn 3.15. Whoever hateth bis Brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. If thy


« PoprzedniaDalej »