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"casts himself into the fountain for sin and for uncleanness."*

The sound convert is heartily engaged against sin; he struggles with it, he wars against it; he will never yield the cause, nor lay down his weapons, but he will up and to it again, while he has breath in his body. He can forgive his other enemies, he can pity them and pray for them,† but here he is implacable, here he is set upon revenge: his eye shall not pity, his hand shall not spare, though it be a right hand or a right eye.

Be it a

gainful sin, most delightful to his nature, or support to his esteem with carnal friends, yet he will rather throw away his gain, see his credit fall, or the flower of pleasure wither in his hand, than he will allow himself in any known way of sin. He will grant no indulgence, he will give no toleration, he draws upon sin wherever he meets it, and frowns upon it with this unwelcome salute," Have I found thee, O mine enemy?"

Reader, hath conscience been at work whilst thou hast been looking over these lines? Hast thou pondered these things in thy heart? Hast thou searched the book within, to see if these things be so? If not, read it again, and make thy conscience speak, whether or not it be thus with thee.

Hast thou "crucified thy flesh, with its

Zech. xiii. 1 † Acts vii. 60. + Luke xix. 8.

affections and lusts;" and not only confessed, but forsaken thy sins? All sin in thy desires, and the practice of every deliberate and wilful sin in thy life! if not, thou art yet unconverted.

Secondly, Satan.-Conversion "binds the strong man, spoils him of his armour, casts out his goods, and turns men from the power of Satan unto God."* Before, the devil could no sooner hold up his finger to the sinner to call him to his wicked company, sinful games, filthy delights, but presently he followed, "Like an ox to the slaughter, and a fool to the correction of the stocks; as a bird that hasteth to the prey, and knoweth not that it is for his life." But when he is converted, he serves another master, and takes quite another course;† he goes and comes at Christ's beck. He watches against the snares and baits of Satan, and studies to be acquainted with his devices: he is very suspicious of his plots, and is very jealous of what comes athwart him, lest Satan should have some design upon him: he "wrestles against principalities and powers;"§ he entertains the messenger of Satan as men do the messenger of death; he keeps his eye upon his enemy, and watches in his duties lest Satan should put in

his foot.

Thirdly, The World.—Before a sound

*Acts xxvi. 18. Eph. vi. 12.

+ 1 Pet. iv. 4. || 1 Pet. v. 8.

Col. iii. 24.

faith, a man is overcome of the world: either he bows down to mammon, or idolizes his reputation, or is a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God."* Here is the root of man's misery by the fall; he is turned aside to the creature instead of God, and gives that esteem, confidence, and affection to the creature, that is due to God alone.t

But converting grace sets all in order again, and puts God on the throne, and the world at his footstool.‡ Christ in the heart, and the world under the feet.§ So Paul, "I am crucified to the world, and the world to me."|| Before this change, all the cry was, “Who will show us any worldly good?" But now he sings another tune, Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me," and let who will take the corn and wine. Before, his heart's delight and content was in the world; then the song was, "Soul, take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry; thou hast much goods laid up for many years." now all this is withered, and there is no comeliness that he should desire it;" and he tunes up with the sweet Psalmist of Israel, "the Lord is the portion of inheritance: my the lines are fallen to me in a fair place, and I have a goodly heritage." He blesseth him

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† Rom i. 25. Mat. x. 37. Psal. lxxiii. 25. || Gal. vi. 14.

Rev. xii. 1.

self, and boasteth himself in God.* Nothing else can give him content. He hath written vanity and vexation upon all his worldly enjoyments. He hath life and immortality now in chase. He pursues grace and glory, and hath an incorruptible crown in pursuit. § His heart is set in him to seek the Lord. {} He first seeks the kingdom of heaven and the righteousness thereof;" and religion is no longer a matter by the by with him, but the main of his care.¶

Well then, pause a little, and look within: doth not this nearly concern thee? Thou pretendest for Christ, but doth not the world sway thee? Dost not thou take more real delight and content in the world, than in him? Dost thou not find thyself better at ease when the world goes to thy mind, and thou art encompassed with carnal delights, than when retired to prayer and meditation in thy closet, or attending upon God's word and worship? No surer evidence of an unconverted state, than to have things of the world uppermost in our aim, love, and estimation.**

With the sound convert, Christ has the supremacy: how dear is his name to him! How precious is his savour!tt

*Psal. xxxiv. 2. Lam. iii. 24.

1 Cor. ix. 25.

Rom. ii. 7.

xxii. 9, and 2

Chron. xv. 15,

Psal. xxvii. 4. †† Cant. i. 3.

The name

† Eccles. i. 2.

|| 1 Chron.

T Mat. vi. 33. ** 1 John ii. 15. James iv. 4.

Psal. xlv. 8.

of Jesus is engraven upon his heart.* Honour is but air, and laughter is but madness, and mammon is fallen, like Dagon before the ark, with hands and head broken off on the threshold, when once Christ is savingly revealed. Here is the pearl of great price to the true convert, here is his treasure, here is his hope. This is his glory, "My beloved is mine, and I am his." O, it is sweeter to him to be able to say, Christ is mine, than if he could say, The kingdom is mine. The Indies are mine.

Fourthly, Your own righteousness. Before conversion man seeks to cover himself with his own fig-leaves, and to make himself whole with his own duties. He is apt to trust in himself, and set up his own righteousness, and to reckon his counters for gold, and not submit to the righteousness of God.** But conversion changes his mind, now he casts away his own righteousness as a filthy rag. Now he is brought to poverty of spirit, complains of and condemns himself, and all his inventory by nature is "poor, and miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked." He sees a world of iniquity in his holy things, and calls his once idolized righteousness but

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