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worn out my marble heart, that is, the marbleness of my heart, and emptied the room of that former heart, and so given God a vacuity, a new place to create a new heart in. But when God hath thus created a new heart, that is, re-enabled me, by his ordinance, to some holy function, then, to put this heart to nothing, to think nothing, to consider nothing; not to know our age, but by the church-book, and not by any action done in the course of our lives, for our God, for our prince, for our country, for our neighbour, for ourselves, (ourselves are our souls;) not to know the seasons of the year, but by the fruits which we eat, and not by observation of the public and national blessings, which he hath successively given us; not to know religion, but by the conveniency, and the preferments to be had in this, or in the other side; to sit here, and not to know if we be asked upon a surprise, whether it were a prayer, or a sermon, or an anthem that we heard last; this is such a nullification of the heart, such an annihilation, such an exinanition thereof, as reflects upon God himself; for, Respuit datorem, qui datum deserit", He that makes no use of a benefit, despises the benefactor. And therefore, A rod for his back, qui indiget corde, that is without a heart13, Without consideration what he should do; nay, what he does. For this is the first enemy of this firmness and fixation of the heart, without which, we have no treasure; and we have done with that, cor nullum, and pass to the second, cor et cor, cor duplex, the double, the divided, the distracted heart, which is not inconsideration, but irresolution.
This irresolution, this perplexity is intended in that commination from God, The Lord shall give them a trembling heart": this is not that cor nullum, that melted heart, in which there was no spirit left in them, as in Joshua's time; but cor pavidum, a heart that should not know where to settle, nor what to wish; but, as it follows there In the morning he shall say, Would God it were evening; and in the evening, Would God it were morning. And this is that which Solomon may have intended in his prayer, Give thy servant an understanding heart's: Cor docile, so St. Hierome reads it, a heart able to conceive counsel: for that is a
14 Deut. xxviii. 65.
13 Prov. x. 13. 51 Kings iii. 9.
good disposition, but it is not all: for, the original is, Leb shemmeany, that is, Cor audiens, A heart willing to hearken to counsel. But all that, is not all that is asked; Solomon asks there a heart to discern between good and evil; so that it is a prayer for the spirit of discretion, of conclusion, of resolution; that God would give him a heart willing to receive counsel, and a heart capable to conceive and digest counsel, and a heart able to discern between counsel and counsel, and to resolve, conclude, determine. It were a strange ambitious patience in any man, to be content to be racked every day, in hope to be an inch or two taller at last so is it for me, to think to be a dram or two wiser, by hearkening to all jealousies, and doubts, and distractions, and perplexities, that arise in my bosom, or in my family; which is the rack and torture of the soul. A spirit of contradiction may be of use in the greatest councils; because thereby matters may be brought into farther debatement. But a spirit of contradiction in mine own bosom, to be able to conclude nothing, resolve nothing, determine nothing, not in my religion, not in my manners, but occasionally, and upon emergencies; this is a sickly complexion of the soul, a dangerous impotency, and a shrewd and ill-presaging crisis. If Joshua had suspended his assent of serving the Lord, till all his neighbours, and their families, all the kings and kingdoms about him, had declared theirs the same way, when would Joshua have come to that protestation, I and my house will serve the Lord? If Esther had forborne to press for an audience to the king, in the behalf, and for the life of her nation, till nothing could have been said against it, when would Esther have come to that protestation, I will go; and if I perish, I perish? If one mill-stone fell from the north pole, and another from the south, they would meet, and they would rest in the centre; nature would concentre them. Not to be able to concentre those doubts, which arise in myself, in a resolution at last, whether in moral or in religious actions, is rather a vertiginous giddiness, than a wise circumspection, or wariness. When God prepared great armies, it is expressed always so, Tanquam unis vir, Israel went out as one man". When God established his beloved David to be king, it is expressed so; Uno corde, he sent
17 1 Sam. xi. 7.
them out, with one heart to make David king 18. When God accelerated the propagation of his church, it is expressed so; Una anima, The multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and one soul19. Since God makes nations, and armies, and churches one heart, let not us make one heart two, in ourselves; a divided, a distracted, a perplexed, an irresolved heart but in all cases, let us be able to say to ourselves, This we should do. God asks the heart, a single heart, an entire heart; for, whilst it is so, God may have some hope of it. But when it is a heart and a heart, a heart for God, and a heart for Mammon, howsoever it may seem to be even, the odds will be on Mammon's side against God; because he presents possessions, and God but reversions; he the present and possessory things of this world, God but the future and speratory things of the next. So then, the cor nullum, no heart, thoughtlessness, incogitancy, inconsideration; and the cor duplex, the perplexed, and irresolved, and inconclusive heart, do equally oppose this firmness and fixation of the heart which God loves, and which we consider in this stem and stalk of Pythagoras' symbolical letter: and so does that which we proposed for the third, the cor vagum, the wandering, the wayfaring, the inconstant heart.
Many times, in our private actions, and in the cribration and sifting of our consciences, (for that is the sphere I move in, and no higher) we do overcome the first difficulty, inconsideration; we consider seriously: and sometimes the second, irresolution; we resolve confidently: but never the third, inconstancy: if so far, as to bring holy resolutions into actions; yet never so far, as to bring holy actions into habits. That word which we read deceitful, (The heart is deceitful above all things; who can know it?) is in the original gnacob; and that is not only fraudulentum, but versipelle, deceitful because it varies itself into divers forms; so that it does not only deceive others (others find not our heart the same towards them to-day, that it was yesterday) but it deceives ourselves: we know not what, nor where our heart will be hereafter. Upon those words of Esay", Redite prevaricatores ad cor; Return, O sinner, to thy heart: Longe eos mittit, says St.
18 1 Chron. xii. 38.
20 Jer. xvii. 9.
19 Acts iv. 32. 21 Isaiah XLVI. 8.
Gregory, God knows whither that sinner is sent, that is sent to his own heart for, where is thy heart? Thou mayest remember where it was yesterday; at such an office, at such a chamber: but yesterday's affections are changed to day, as to-day's will be, to-morrow. They have despised my judgments; so God complains in Ezekiel"; that is, They are not moved with my punishments; they call all, natural accidents: and then it follows, They have polluted my sabbaths; they have come to a more faint, and dilute, and indifferent way, in their religion. Now what hath occasioned this neglecting of God's judgments, and this diluteness and indifferency in the ways of religion? That that follows there, Their hearts went after their idols: Went? Whither? Everywhither: for, Quot vitia tot recentes deos 23: so many habitual sins, so many idols and so, every man hath some idol, some such sin; and then, that idol sends him to a further idol, that sin to another: for every sin needs the assistance, and countenance of another sin, for disguise and palliation. We are not constant in our sins, much less in our more holy purposes. We complain, and justly, of the church of Rome, that she would not have us receive in utraque, in both kinds: but, alas! who amongst us, does receive in utraque, so, as that when he receives bread and wine, he receives with a true sorrow for former, and a true resolution against future sins? Except the Lord of heaven create new hearts in us, of ourselves, we have cor nullum, no heart; all vanishes into incogitancy. Except the Lord of heaven concentre our affections, of ourselves, we have cor et cor, a cloven, a divided heart, a heart of irresolution. Except the Lord of heaven fix our resolutions, of ourselves, we have cor vagum, a various, a wandering heart; all smokes into inconstancy. And all these three are enemies to that firmness, and fixation of the heart, which God loves, and we seek after. But yet how variously soever the heart do wander, and how little awhile soever it stay upon one object; yet, that that thy heart does stay upon, Christ in this place calls thy treasure: for, the words admit well that inversion; Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, implies this; where your heart is, that is your treasure. And so we pass from this stem and stalk of Pythagoras' symbolical letter, the firm
22 Ezek. xx. 16.
ness and fixation of the heart, to the horns and beams thereof: a broader, (but on the left hand) and in that, the corruptible treasures of this world; and a narrower, (but on the right hand) and in that, the everlasting treasures of the next. On both sides, that that you fix your heart upon, is your treasure; For, where your heart is, there is your treasure also.
Literally, primarily, radically, thesaurus, treasure, is no more but Depositum in crastinum, Provision for to-morrow; to show how little a proportion, a regulated mind, and a contented heart may make a treasure. But we have enlarged the signification of these words, provision, and, to-morrow: for, provision must signify all that can any way be compassed; and, to-morrow must signify as long as there shall be a to-morrow, till time shall be no more: but waiving these infinite extensions, and perpetuities, is there any thing of that nature, as, (taking the word treasure in the narrowest signification, to be but provision for to-morrow) we are sure shall last till to-morrow? Sits any man here in an assurance, that he shall be the same to-morrow, that he is now? You have your honours, your offices, your possessions, perchance under seal; a seal of wax; wax, that hath a tenacity, an adhering, a cleaving nature, to show the royal constancy of his heart, that gives them, and would have them continue with you, and stick to you. But then, wax, if it be heat, hath a melting, a fluid, a running nature too: so have these honours, and offices, and possessions, to them that grow too hot, too confident in them, or too imperious by them. For these honours, and offices, and possessions, you have a seal, a fair and just evidence of assurance; but have they any seal upon you, any assurance of you till tomorrow? Did our blessed Saviour give day, or any hope of a to-morrow, to that man, to whom he said, Fool, this night they fetch away thy soul? Or is there any of us, that can say, Christ sayed not that to him?
But yet, a treasure every man hath: An evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil, says our Saviour": : every man hath some sin upon which his heart is set; and, Where your heart is, there is your treasure also. The treasures of wickedness profit nothing, says Job"; it is true: but yet,