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all visible helps are out of sight, and he seen to be their enemy, Job xiii: 15.
V. Put on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit ; this is in the sight of God of great price. Study to be (1 Pet. iii. 4,) like your Father, slow to anger, ready to forgive, forgetting injuries, loving enemics, requiting ill-will with kindness, ill-words with courtesies, neglects with benefits; and if any wrong you, do him kindness the sooner : so shall you bear his likeness, and be his delight.And know, ye that are of unmortified pas. sions, and unbridled tongues, God hath an especial hatred and displeasure against a froward heart, and a froward tongue, Prov. iii. 32, and i. 19, and ii. 12, and viii. 13. Oh seek meekness: how can the holy dove rest in a wratbful beart? Cbrist is a Lamb of meekness, how can he take pleasure in an unquiet and contentious spirit ? Verily, with the froward he will shew himself frouard, Psa. xviii. 26. If you will not forgive others, he will not forgive you. Árt thou hard to be pleased ; a frowarı wife, a froward master, a cross and wilful servant ? Surely God will not be pleased with thee, he will mete to you as you measure to others, Matt, vii: 2.
VI. Get a spirit of self-denial. God is then pleased best, when self is displeased most.
When we can be content to be empty; content to be abased, that God may be honbred, and, with the holy Baptist, are willing to be eclipsed by Christ; willing to decreases counting ourselves no losers, whilst his interest is a gainer, John iii. 29, 30, rejoicing that
we are made low for Christ's advancement; this is well pleasing to God. How greatly was lie pleased with Solomon's self-denying choice, and gives him his asking, throwing inz riches and honor to the bargain? 1 Kings iii. 10, 11, 12. Strange was Abraham's selfdenial. What! to sacrifice, with his own hand, the whole hope of his family! the heir of promise! the child of his years ! a son ! an only son! when his life was bound up in the lad's life! Was ever mortal thus put to it?But Abraham shall not be a loser; God gives bim a testimony from heaven, blesses him, blesses lits seod, blesses all nations in him, Gen. xxii. 15, 16, 17, 18.
Wonderful was Moses in self-denial, but more wonderful was his acceptation and reward, Heb. xi. 24; none like Moses, Deut. xxxiv. 10. God
preferreth him in another manner than Pharaoh could. He must speak with him face to face, as a man with his friend; his word shall be, as it were, a law with God. Speak for whom he will, they shall be sparel, though they seem to be devoted to destruction. But speak against him who durst, he shall be sure to bear his iniquity, Num. xii. 8. Forget self; renounce thine own wisdom, thine own worthiness, thine own will. Bite in thy passions, curb thine appetite, bridle thy tongue : this do, and thou shalt be gently accepted, and shalt find that God's favor will infinitely reward thee, for all marmuring oppositions, and discontents of thy flesh, which will be ready to be impatient to have the reins held so hard. VII. Maintain a spirit of resolution and constancy in the way of God, Heb. x. 38. This was the renown of the three worthies, Dan. iii. they feared not the fierceness of Neba uchadnezzar's rage, nor yet the fire of the furnace; all the world could not make them bow : and how gloriously did God own them, and miraculously evidence his pleasure in them! Stand your ground : resolve to live and die by substantial godliness ; cleave to the Lord with full purpose of heart; let no difficulties make you change your station : then shall you be an bonor, and a pleasure to the God that made you. Well then, would you know what frame of heart is well pleasiog to God? Why, this humble, sincere, zealous, active frame, this believing, meek, selfdenying, resolved frame, this is the frame that is well pleasing in the sight of God.
Secondly, As to your performances, more briefly, that those may please God, you must heedfully look to these five things..
1. That they be done by the right rule, which is God's word : you must not follow the imaginations of your own hearts, Num.. XV. 39.
You must not do that which is right in your own eyes : in all sacred actions, you inust bave God's command to warrant you.-You may not offer to God that, of which you are not able to say, thou requirest these things at our hands, Isa. i. 12. In all civil actions, you must have God's allowance. Be sure he will never accept that which his word con. demns; under pain of God's displeasure, dare not to set your hands to what the word forbids.
9. That they be done to right ends, which is God's glory. How damnably did the Phar. isees err? How miserably did Jchu miscar. ry
? and both in acts for the matter com. manderl, for want of aiming at this end,
3. That they proceed from right principles. (1.) Faith, without which it is impossible to please God; prayer will not avail, except it be the prayer of faith, Heb. xi. 6. We believe, and therefore we speak. (2.) Love. If we should give our goods to the poor, and bodies to the fire, and not from love, it would profit us nothing. Where the slavish fear of hell only, or the lashes of conscience, or the love of man's praise, carries men to duties; where any other carnal principle is predominant in the act; it cannot please God. (3.) Fear. We cannot serve God acceptably, without reverence and godly fear, (no slavish fear.) The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in them that hope in his mercy.-Observe the happy mixture, where these two are conjoined, that is a true filial fear; saith David, I will come to thy house in the multitude of thy mercy, (behold his faith :) and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple, (there is his fear with faith.) Faith without fear were bold presumption ; fear without faith is sinful despair : join them together, and God is well pleased.
4. That they may be done in a right manher : preparedly, not rashly and inconsiderately, in the presence of so dreadful a Majes. ty : prudently, for lawful acts may be spoiled, and be done unlawfully, without consideration had to the offence, that may (in some cases) attend them; yea, holy duties, as well as. common actions, may be turned into sins, by being ill timed, and for want of a due attending the present circumstances : holily, not rasbly, ottering any thing with our months before God; but behaving ourselves as in his sight : heartily, not feignedly, with our lips going, when our minds are gadding.
5. That they be directed through the right means, that is, Jesus Christ, the only way to the Father. Bring all thy sacrifices to the High. Priest, offer all upon this altar, else all is lost. Not that it is enough to say, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen, at the end ; but in every duty you must come with lively dependence on him for righteousness and strength, for assistance and acceptance. Remember to do all in the name of the Lord Je. sus, to come leaning upon his band ; without this, all your services will be rejected at last,
CHAP. II. Third case of Conscience, grounded upon the
words of our Saviour : John viii. 29. For I do always those things
that please him. Quest. I. IS any man able, in this life, to come up to the example of Christ in this, To do always those things that please God ?
Ans. In regard there is none that doth good, and sinneth not, and God is not, nor can be