PRECEPTS FOR CHRISTIAN PRACTICE: Or, the Rule of the New CREATURE: Containing Duties to be daily ob­served by every Believer.

Gal. 6.16.




THE heads of the Ten DUTIES

The first Duty.

BEE alwayes sensible of thy Origi­nal corruption, and consider how it inclineth thee continually to all evil and indisposeth thee to any good, groan under it, and bewail it; Also take special notice of your actual sins or daily infirmities, in thought, word, and deed, and indeavour to make your peace with God before you go to bed.

The second Duty.

Get your union with Christ, and your [Page] interest in him, cleared and confirmed to you [...]aily more and more, that you are a branch in his Vine, and a member in his Body.

The third Duty.

Labour to draw and derive from Christ [...] the powerfull attractive force of Faith, spirituall abilities sufficient for the day.

The fourth Duty.

Performe all Duties, both in Family and Closet, especially these three, of prayer, medi­tation and reading, and do them with sincere attention, with heat of affection, and with diligence and delight.

The fifth Duty.

Fortifie your selves every morning against your special Lusts, to whic [...] [...] Nature you [...]re most prone, or shall be most tempted; [...]ee it Pride, Passion, Coveteousness, or the [...]ke.

The sixth Duty.

Get your hearts strongly fixed on God by [Page] trusting in him, and submitting to him, a­gainst all Feares, Cares, Doubts, Trials and Afflictions of every Day; For sufficient to th [...] day is the evil thereof.

The seventh Duty.

Get and keep continually a savory relish of your Christian priviledges, wherewith you are invested as you are new Creatures in Christ.

The eighth Duty.

Sanctifie the Lord in your hearts daily, make him your fear, your love and delight.

The ninth Duty.

Get a publike spirit, first, to minde the things of Jesus Christ as naturally as if they were your own; secondly, to look on the things of others, and to preferre Jerusalems welfare befo [...]e your chiefest joy, and the Gospels Liberty before your own, and to mourn for the sins of the times as the Godly in Je­rusalem did.


The tenth Duty.

Get your hearts daily weaned from the World, and from those Creatures and Com­forts in it which are dearest and sweetest to you, as Wife, Children, Friends, Goods, Liberty, House, and Life, &c.


PRECEPTS FOR CHRISTIAN PRACTICE, Or the Rule of the New CREATVRE, To be daily observed by every Believer, in the practice of these ten following DUTIES.

The first Duty.

Bee alwayes sensible of thy original corruption, and consider how it inclineth thee continually to all evil, and indisposeth thee to any good; groan under it and bewaile it as Paul did, Rom. 7.27. O wretched man that I am who shall deliver mee from the body of this death! Also take special notice of of your actual sin, or daily infirmities in thought, word, and deed; endeavour to make your peace with God before you go to bed.

Which must be done these four wayes.

1. BY repenting and confessing your sins to God; work­ing your hearts to grief and sorrow for them by some such melting con­siderations as these. 1. Of [Page 2] the goodness of God to you. 2 Of the un­reasonableness and every way unprofitableness of sin; and 3. Of the great damage, pre­judice, and hurt that commeth to the Soul by sin.

2. By believing and casting your self wholly on Christs Righteousness for remission of sin, and for reconciliation with God, Rom. 3.22, 23, 24▪ 25 22. Even the righteousness of God, which is by Faith of Jesus Chr [...]st unto all, and upon all them th [...]t believe: for there is no [...]. 23. For all have sinned and come [...] of the glory of God. 24. Being just [...]fied free [...]y [...] his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Ch [...]ist. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a prop [...]ation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the fo [...]bearance of God.

3. By cleaving to Gods promise of pardon and peace, as Isai. 43.25. I even I am he that bl [...]tteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Rom. 5.1. There­fore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. By waiting till the Lord shall speak unto you, Psal. 85 8. I will hear what the L [...]rd will speak, for he will speak peace unto his People, and to his Saints: but let them not turne again to folly.

[Page 3]

The second Duty.

Get your union with Christ and your interest in him cleared and confirmed to you daily more and more, that you are a branch in his vine, and a member in his body.

This is done three wayes.

FIrst, by daily renewal of your faith in Christ, especially of that act of faith whereby the soule knitteth or tyeth it self unto Christ; casts and rou [...]es it self on Christ for salvation. Cause your hearts in a solemn manner every day to act this part, or to put forth this pri­mitive act of faith in the view of the whole Soul: The daily exercise hereof will increase and strengthen the divine habit of faith in your Soul; and make your Soul sensible of the very act of it: By frequent believing you shall feel at your very heart that you do believe, so shall you have in your self a witness, that you are in Christ, 1 [...]. 5, 10. Hee that be­b [...]eveth in the Son of God hath the witness in him­self, &c.

Secondly, by examining your heart upon what grounds you took Christ to be yours: The grounds are these five. 1. A sight and [Page 4] sense of your sins, as of the guilt, power, and punishment of them, and of your misery by them, Mat. 11.28. Come unto me all yee that labour and be heavy leaden, and I will give you rest.

2. Your want of Christ seen, and felt at your very heart, to Justifie, Sanctifie, Redeem, and save you, else you are utterly lost, and un­done everlastingly, Luk. 19.10. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

3. Gods free and general offer of Christ to any that will take him by Faith, Joh. 3.16. For God so loved the World that hee gave his only be­gotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. There are manifold promises to that purpose, and the grounds of all Gods offers and donations of Christ to the poor soul are free Grace, rich Mercy, undeserved Love, Ephes. 2.4, 5, 6, 7. But God who is rich in Mercy, for his great Love wherewith he loved us; 5. Even when wee were dead in sins hath quick [...]ned us together with Christ (by grace yee are saved.) 6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus; 7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us. Titus 3, 4, 5, 6. [Page 5] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared; 5. Not by works of righteousness which we [...] do [...]e, [...]ut according to his mercy he saved us by the w [...]shing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. 6. Which he shed on us abundantly through Iesus Christ our Saviour.

4. Christs sweet and gracious invitation of such to come to him as are weary of sin, and that have neither worth in themselves nor mony to buy, Mat. 11.28. Come unto mee all yee that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Isai. 55.1. Hoe every one that thirsteth come to the waters, and he that hath no money, come yee, buy and eat, yea come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

5. As sinful vile wretches as you are, have been soug [...]t of Christ and found in Christ, 1 Cor. 6.10, 11. Nor the [...], nor covetous, nor drunkard, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall in­herit the kingdom of God. 11. Such were some of you: but yee are w [...]shed, but yee are sanctified, but yee are justified in the name of the Lord Iesus, and by the spirit of our God. 1 Tim. 1.13 Paul was a Blasphemer, Persecutor, and yet ob­tained Mercy. Therefore why may not you? Thus the more clearly you discerne on what grounds you take Christ, the clearer will your [Page 6] title to Christ be evidenced to your own soul.

3ly. By surveying and observing in what manner you take Christ daily, which is.

1. Whether you do wholly renounce all opinion and conceit of your own righteous­ness and desert, Mark 8.34. Whosoever will come after me, le [...] him deny himself, and take up his Crosse and follow me. Phil. 3.7, 8, 9. But what things were gaine to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord [...] for whom I have suffer­ed the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ. 9. And be found in him not having my own righteousness which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Thus you come to Christ empty of your self, yea very vile and nothing in your own eyes, unworthy to receive him.

2. Whether you lay hold on Christ with an empty hand of faith, joyning nothing at all with Christ in the matter of salva­tion, as the holy Martyr at the stake cryed out, None but Christ, none but Christ.

3. Whether you finde the Father drawing your hearts after Christ, Ioh. 6.44. No man can come unto mee except the Father which hath [Page 7] sent me draw him, and I [...]ill raise him up at the last day: Which is in hungring and panting desires that will never be satisfied without him; So that both the stream of your judge­ment, and affections run after him, as 1 Cor. 2. ver. 2. For I determined to to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified ▪ Gal. 6.14. But God forbid I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Iesus Christ, by whom the World is Crucified unto me, and I unto the World.

4. Whether you take Christ as well for a Lord to rule you, as a Jesus to save you, Col. 2.6. As ye tberefore have received Christ [...]esus the Lord, so walk ye in him: As one that is all in all to you, your wisdome, your righteousness, your sanctification and redemption, 1 Cor. 1.30. Your spiritual food, Ioh. 6.48. I am that bread of life ver. 55. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

Your rayment, Rom. 13.14. But put yee on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the Flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Your strength, Phil 4.13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Your life, Gal▪ 2.20. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I l [...]ve, yet not I, but Christ liveth in mee; and the life which I now live in the Flesh, [Page 8] I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved mee and gave himself for mee. Col 3.3. For yee are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.

5. Whether you seek and wait for Christ (out of the sense of your spiritual want and penury in every ordinance, publick and pri­vate, Word, Sacraments▪ Prayer, Meditation and Conference, not as they are your own works of Sanctification, but as they are Gods Ordinances appointed on purpose, for the ma­nifestation and communication of Christ to the Soul. Frequent perusal hereof will clear to you your manner of taking Chr [...]st, and that will evidence to you your right and title which you have in Christ Jesus.

The third Duty.

Labour to draw and derive from Christ by the powerful attractive force of Faith, spiritual ability sufficient for the day.

FIrst, to perform all your duties, Phil. 4.13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Secondly, to exercise all your graces, 2 Cor. 3.5. Not that we are sufficient of our selves, to think any thing as of our selves but our suffici­ency [...] of God.

[Page 9]Thirdly, to resist and overcome all your corruptions and temptations, Rom. 8.37. In all these things we are more then conquerers through him that loved us.

Fourthly, to undergo all your tryals and afflictions, Io [...]. 1.16. And of his fulness have wee all received, and grace for grace.

Make your provision of strength and grace from Christ, every morning fetch from him so much as you shall have occasion to use all the day long, yea and upon all occasions that fall out in the day, go to Christ still for the wisdome that must direct you, for the ho­liness that must Character you for the shoulder that must bear your Crosses, for the strength that must resist your temptations, and for abi­lity to perform all Duties as Duties.

To this end act your faith daily in the pro­mises of grace and strength, as Ioh. 1 16. Of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace, Isai. 44 3. I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine off-spring, Ezek. 36.26, 27. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27. And I will put my Spirit [Page 10] within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements and do them, Zech. 10.12. And I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord. These and the l [...]ke pro­mises are security given you by God, that you shall receive grace in the use of the ordi­nances, which are as the conduit pipes or in­struments of conveying the same from Christ to you.

This is the way and means to do all in the strength of Christ, and to take forth a great deal of Christ into your soules, that not you but Christ may live in you, Gal. 2.20. I am cruci­fied with Christ: Nevertheless I [...], y [...]t not I [...]ut Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the Fl [...]sh, I live by the faith of the Son of God▪ who loved me, and gave himself for mee.

The fourth Duty.

Perform daily duties both in Family and Closet, especially these three, of Prayer Medita­tion and Reading; and [...]o them with sincere in­tention, with heat of affection, and with diligence and delight. Jer 48.10 Cursed be hee that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully, or negligently, [Page 11] Mat. 1.14. But cursed be the deceiver which hath in his flock a male, and voweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King saith the Lord of Hosts, and my name is dreadful among the Heathen, 1 Chron. 21.24. And King David said to Or [...]a [...], [...], but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

To this end,

FIrst, watch to these duties, keep the heart in a good frame for them, undefiled with sin, untainted by the world, Ephes. 6.18 Pray­ing alw [...]yes with all prayer and suppl [...]cation i [...] the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perse­verance and supplication for all Saints.

Secondly, take the fittest time for the per­formance of them all, when you are least dull and sl [...]ggish▪ begin the day constantly with thoughts of God. Psa [...]. 57.7▪ 8 9 My heart is fixed, O God my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise: awake up my glory, awake Psaltery and harpe, I my self will awake early, I will praise thee O Lord.

Thirdly be very real, serious, and substan­tial with God in them, endeavour to feel all duties at your heart, inliving, inlarging, in­flaming [Page 12] your affections, Deut. 4.29 Thou shal [...] [...] t [...]e Lord thy God if thou s [...]ek him with all thy heart and with all [...]hy soul, Deut. 6.5. T [...]ou sha [...]t [...]ove th [...] Lord thy God with all thine he [...]r [...], [...] with all thy soul, and with all thy might, Psal 119.32. I will run the way of thy Com­mand [...]en [...]s when thou shal [...] inlarge my heart. These be the duties of most importance and consequent commodity and comfort to the Soul, be [...]ause they properly aim at, and reach to the souls good, and celest [...]al happiness, yea even to the training up of a soul for Heaven.

The fifth Duty.

Fortifi [...] yo [...]r s [...]l [...]es every morning against your [...], to which by nature you are most [...] sh [...]ll b [...] most tempted; bee it Pride, Passi [...]n, Coveteousness, or the like.

This is done,

FI [...]st by holy Arguments and reasonings within y [...]u [...] selves, drawn from the sad effects thereof as D [...]sp [...]op [...]et, Discomfort, D [...]sgrace or the l [...]ke; this will discover the unreasonableness of you [...] sins and make your souls ashamed of them. For [...], shall I b [...] proud? then I shall be sure to fall, for pride goeth before destruction, and a [Page 13] haughty spirit before a fall, [...]. 16.18. and God will account me for his enemy for God resi [...]teth the proud, Jam. 4.6. Shall I be angry? If I let passion in, I cannot keep Satan out, Ephes. 4.26, 27. Bee angry, but sin not, let not the Sun go d [...]wn upon your wr [...]h 27. Neither give place unto the Devil. Againe, I shall grieve the holy Spirit of God, Ver. 30 31. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God whereby yee are sealed to the day of Redemption. 31. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and [...], and cla [...]our, and evil speaking be pu [...] away from you, with all malice. Shall I be covetous? I can­not but be very si [...]ful, sith the love of money is the root of all evil. 1 [...]. 6 10

Secondly, By pondering in your minde upon the precepts in Gods book against your sins, Prov. 6, 23▪ 24. For the Commandment is a lamp, and the Law is light: and reproof of [...]n­struction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the [...] of a strange woman. And on the judgements threatned or infl [...]cted for them; as on p [...]oud H [...]rod, Act. 12 23. voluptuous D [...]ves, Luk. 16.23, churl [...]sh [...], [...] Sam. 25. [...]8

Thirdly, By applying the promises of mor­tification close to your hearts, as a plaist [...]r to the sore, for subduing your iniquities, Mic. 7.19 [Page 14] He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us: he will subdue our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depth of the Sea, Rom. 6.14. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the L [...]w, but under Grace,

Fourthly, By drawing vertue from Christs death into the soul, which hath in it a force of killing sin, Rom. Therefore we are bu­ried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father: even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. 6. Know­ing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Phil. 3.10. That I may know him, and the power of his re­surrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death.

The sixth Duty.

Get your hearts strongly fixed on God by trusting in him, and submitting to him, against all Fears, Cares Doubts, Tryals, and Afflicti­ons of every day, for sufficient to the day is [Page 15] the evil thereof, Psal. 112, 7. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings, his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. 2 Sam. 15.26 But if he thus say▪ I have no delight in thee, behold here I am, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. 1 Sam. 3.18. It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. Mat. 6.34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of it self: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

To this End,

FIrst, be prudent to fore-see your personal tryals and troubles, whatsoever they are like to be, Prov. 22.3. A prudent man fore-sees the evil, and hideth himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

2. Go hide, and lay up your self in God, run unto his name, for God is a rock of habi­tation, to which a poor soul may continually resort, yea God will give commandment to save all such as thus do come unto him, Psal. 71.3. Thou hast given Commandment to save me, thou art my rock and my fortress, 1 Pet. 4.19. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

[Page 16]3. Especially commit that very thing to God whatsoever you desire to keep, or fear to sore, put it into his hands, 2 [...]. 1.12. I know whom I have believed, and I am perswaded hee is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day: be it Life, Liberty, Name, [...], Maintenance, &c. What you would have resolved, if it be a doubt, Psal. 37 5. Comm [...]y way unto the Lord, trust also in [...], and hee sh [...]ll b [...]ing it to pass. Or suppl [...]ed if it be a want, Psa. 37.4. D [...]light thy self also in [...]he Lord, and he sh [...]ll give thee the d [...]sire of thy hea [...]. Or removed, if it be a cross, Prov. 16.7 When a mans wayes [...] the Lord; he maketh [...] his enemies [...] be at peace with him. And toge [...]her with the thing cast all your Care, Fear, Sorrow, and Troubles of M [...]nde about it▪ wholly on the Lord, Ma [...]. 6.31. Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewith shall we be clothed▪ ver. 33. But seek ye first the Kingdom of G [...]d, and his righteousnes [...], and all these things shall be added unto y [...]u. 1 Pet. 5.7. Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you. Psal. 55.22. Cast thy burthen upon th [...] Lord, and hee [...] sustain thee, he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Fourthly, Renew your Faith in those pro­mises [Page 17] every day▪ which most concern your present estate; and in promises fi [...]st of supplies, if you be in want, Psal. 34.8. O taste and see that the L [...]d is good, blessed as the man that trusteth in him. Psal 37.3. Trust in the Lord, and do good, so [...] the L [...]nd, and verily thou sha [...] be fed. And 84.11. For the Lord God is a Sun and a Shield, the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will hee wi [...]hhold from them that walk uprightly. Mat. 6.30. Wherefore if God so cloth the grass of the [...], which is to day, and to morrow is cast into the [...]ven, shall he not much more cl [...]h you, ye of little Faith 2. Of protection, if you be in danger, Psal 34.7. The Angel of the Lo [...]d encampeth r [...]und about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 3. Of Direction, if in doubt, Jam. 1 5. If any of you [...] wisdom, let him a [...]k of God, that give [...]h to all men libe­rally, and [...] not: and it shall be given him. 4 Of Deliverance if in trouble, Iob 5.19. He shall d [...]iv [...]r thee in six troub [...]es, yea in seven, th [...]re shal [...] [...] touch thee. 5 Of a good end, and sanctified use of all. Deut. 8.16. Who fed thee in the Wilderness with Manna, which thy Fath [...]rs knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might [...] thee, to do thee good at thy l [...]tter end, Jam. 5.11. B [...] ­hold, [Page 18] we account them happy which endure: ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very p [...]tiful, and of tender mercy. Rom. 8.28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God: to them who are called according to his purpose. Heb. 12.10. For they verily for a few dayes chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

F [...]fthly, Labour to see Gods hand, Psal. 39.9. I was dumbe, I opened not my mouth, [...] thou didst it. To believe his love. Heb. 12 6. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every Son whom he receiveth, Rev, 3.19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore and repent. And with all meekness, and patience resigne up your selves wholy to his will in every affliction. Mat. 26.39 O my Father if it be possibl [...], let th [...]s cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

The seventh Duty.

Get, and keep a savory relish continually of your Christian priviledges, wherewith you are invested as you are new Creatures in Christ.

[Page 19]AS, first, Of your dignity, that you are the Sons of God▪ 1 Joh. 3.1, 2. Behold! what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God. Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it doth yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 2. Christs Brethren, Heb. 2.11. He is not ashamed to call them Brethren: but saith, Jo [...]. 20.17. Go unto my B [...]e [...]hren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Fa [...]her, and to my God and your God. 3. Heavens Heirs, Jam. 2.5. Hearken my beloved Brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this World rich in Faith, and Heires of the King­dome which he hath promised to them that love him? 4. Partakers of a High, and Heavenly calling, Heb. [...].1.

2. Of your l [...]berty, that you are the Lords freemen. 1 Co [...]. 7.22. For he that is called of the Lord b [...]ing a S [...]rvan [...], is the Lords freeman. Delivered out of the hands of all your enemies. 2 Kin 17.39. But the Lord y [...]ur God shall ye fear & he shall d [...]iver you out of the hands of your enemies

Thirdly, of your victory, that you are through Christ more then Conquerors over all the World of Creatures, 1 Jo [...]. 5.4. For whatsoever [Page 20] is born of God, overcommeth the World, and this is the Victory overcommeth the World, even our Faith. Rom. 8.15. For ye have not re­ceived the Spirit of bondage again [...]; but yee have received the Sp [...]rit of Adopt [...]on, where­by we cry, Abba, Fa [...]her. ver, 16. The Spirit it self bearing witness with our Spirits tha [...] we are the Children of God, ver. 17 And if children, then heirs of God, joint heires w [...]th Christ; if so be that we suffer with h [...]m, that we may be also glorified together. Fourthly, of your Safety, that you have almighty God. 1. For your place of refuge, Psal. 48.2. God is [...] in h [...]r Palaces in Zion) o [...] a refuge. 2. For a hedge o [...] Pro­vidence, Iob 1.10 Hast thou not made a hedge about him, and about [...] house, and about [...] that he h [...]th? 3. For a guard of Angels, Psal 91.11. For he shall g [...]ve his Angels ch [...]rge over thee, [...] by waye [...]. 4. An inclosure of Mercy, Psal. 32.10 Many sorrows sh [...]ll be to the wicked, [...] he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy s [...]all c [...]mpass him; for the prom [...]ses of God are a writ of Protection for your defence. Heb. 13.5 6. Let your convers [...]tion be without covetousness, and be content w [...]th such things as yee have; for he hath said, I will never have thee, nor forsake thee. ver. 6. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my help, and I will not [Page 21] fear what man shall do unto me.

Fif [...]hly, Of your Riches, and durable substance in heaven, Heb. 10.34. For yee had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the [...]oiling of your good [...], knowing in your selves that you have in heaven a better and [...]nduring substance: also an incorruptible inheritance, 1 Pet. 1.4. To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, &c. A kingdom of glory, and a crown of life; for you are heirs of God, and co-heires with Christ.

Sixthly, Of your Joy and Pleasure, preci­ous, for k [...]nde, and plent [...]ful for measure, Psal. 16.11. Thou wilt shew me the path of Life, in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Peace uncon­ceivable▪ Phil. 4.7. And the place of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Chr [...]st Jesus. Joy unspeakeable 1 Pet. 1.8. Whom having not seen, ye love, in whom, though now y [...] see him not, yet believing, ye rejoyce with joy unspeakable, and full of gl [...]y. The [...] joy.

Get your hearts affect [...]d with all these as being yours. Chew and suck them by se­rious Meditation work▪ and warme them on your hearts by close application, rubbing them [Page 22] into your affections. Oppose these your spi­rituall priviledges to all your temporall pres­sures, setting the one against the other; as your heavenly friends to your earthly foes, your high dignity in Christ, to your low estate and meanness in outward condition, your wealth above to your want below, your fu­ture joyes and rest to your present troubles and sorrows. This will make you not onely patient under the afflictions of this life, Rom. 12.12. Rejoycing in hope, patient in tribula­tion, continuing in prayer; but also joyfull in them, as Rom. 5 3. And not onely so, but glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and triumphant over them, as 1 Cor. 15.55. O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? Thus did the Apostles Rom. 8.18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared w [...]th the glory which shall be revealed in us. 2 Cor. 4.17. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Verse 18. While wee look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not s [...]en; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternall. So Chap. 6. verse 8 9, 10. [...]y honour, and dishonour, by evill report, and [Page 23] good report, as decievers and yet true. ver. 9. As unknown and yet well known; as dying and behold we live; as chastened, and not killed. ver. 10 as sorrowful, yet alway [...] rejoycing; as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

These will provoke to duties, 1 Pet. 2.9. You are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, a holy Nation, a peculiar People, that you should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marveilous Light, ver. 11. I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly Lusts, which war against the Soul. ver. 12. Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that whereas they spake against you, as evil doers; they may by your good Works which they shall behold, glorifie God in the day of their visitation. And preserve you. 1. From fainting▪ 2 Cor. 4.16, 17. For which cause we faint no [...], but though our ou [...]ward man perish; yet the in [...]ard man is renewed day by day. And 2. From trouble of heart, Joh. 14.1. Let not your heart be troubled, ye [...] believe in God, believe also in mee. ver. 2. in my Fa­thers house are many Mansions; if it were not so, I would have told y [...]u; I go to prepare a place for you.

[Page 22]

The eighth Duty.

Sanctifie the Lord in your hearts daily, 1 Pe [...]. 1 15. But as [...] w [...]ich ha [...]h called you is holy [...] holy in all manner of conversa­tion. Make h [...]m your fear, Isai. 8.13. Sancti­fie the Lord of Hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. Your love and delight, as Psal. 37 4. Delight thy se [...]f also in the L [...]rd, and h [...] shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

To this End,

FIrst, have often high and honourable thoughts of God, serious med [...]tations of his glorious Atributes▪ as h [...]s Wisdome, Power, Truth, Mercy, [...]ustice, &c. and work them upon your hearts, that they may Eccho to them with pure, and melting aff [...]ctions. This will increase and nourish up the divine nature in you, 2 [...] 1.4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding g [...]eat and p [...]c [...]ous promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine Na­ture.

Secondly, Labour to be affected with all the works of God, as first to behold, and ad­mire the wisdome of God in the Creatures, Psal. 136.5. To him that by wisdome made [Page 23] the Heavens; for his mercy endureth for ever. 2. To see▪ and taste Gods goodness in every mercy, Psal. 34 8. O [...]aste and see that the Lord is good; [...] is the man that trusteth in him. 3. To take notice of▪ and to tremble at the anger, and displeasure of God in all his Judgements. Psa. 119 120. My flesh trembleth for fear [...]f thee, and I am [...]ffraid of thy Judgements. Hab. 3 16. When I heard, my [...]e [...]y trembled my lips quivered at thy voice, rottenness entred into my b [...]nes, and I trembled in my self but I might rest in the d [...]y of troubl [...]. 4 That you may answer the dispensations of Gods providence with suitable dispositions; let your hearts carry a counterpane in affection to a [...]l Gods actions, Is [...]y. 26.8. Yea, in the way of thy judgements have we waited for thee, the desire of our soul is to thy Name, and to the re­m [...]mb [...]ance of thee.

Thirdly▪ Wrestle with God by praying, and believing for an heart of flesh, which will re­ceive impressions from the very thought of God in the minde, E [...]ek. 36, 26. [...] heart also will I give you▪ and a [...] will I put wit [...]in you; and I will [...] away the stony Heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of Flesh.

Fourthly, Apply promises of particular [Page 26] affections: as first of love, Deut. 30.6. And the Lord thy God will [...]ircircumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest Live.

2. Of Fear. Jer. 32.40. And I will make an everlasting Covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them go [...]d; but I will put my fear in their Hear [...]s, that they shall no [...] depart from me. 3. Of Delight, Isai. 58 13.14. ver. 13, I thou wilt [...]urn away thy feet from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day. &c. ver. 14. Then shalt thou delight thy self in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high [...] of the Earth, and fe [...]d thee with the Heritage of Jacob thy Father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. There is heat, and life in these promises, sufficient to quicken and warm thy dead and frozen affections.

The ninth Duty.

Get a publick Spirit, first, to minde the things of Jesus Christ, as naturally as if they were your own, Phil. [...]3.20. For I [Page 27] have no man like minded, who will naturally care for your estate. ver. 21. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christs. Secondly, to look on the things of others, and prefer▪ first, Jerusalems welfare before your chiefest joy, Psal. 137.5, 6. If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. ver. 6, If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy. And secondly, the Gospels liberty before your own, as Paul did: And thirdly, to mourn for the sins of the times, as the Godly in Jerusalem did, Ezek. 9.4. And the Lord said unto him, go through the midst of the City, through the midst of Jerusalem; and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abomiations that be done in the midst thereof.

Especially lay to heart,

FIrst, The Churches misery, when Gods Ordinances go down, and Superstition goeth up, when Gods cause and side are put to the worst, when any thing falls out, that gives a blow to Religion, or proves an im­pediment to the Gospel. If the Arke be taken▪ call your comforts I [...]habods, 1 Sam. 4.21.

2. The afflictions of Joseph, Amos 6.6 [Page 28] That drink wine in bowles, and annoint themselves with the chief ointment; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph: the sufferings of Gods servants, whether Ministers or People. O sympathize with them, Heb. 13.3. Re­member them that are in binds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being your selves also in the body. Neh. 1.4. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sate down and wept, and mourned certain dayes; and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven: Labour to feel their trouble and sorrow at your very heart; and pray earnestly for them, as the Church did for Peter, Act. 12.5. Peter therefore was kept in prison, but Prayer was made without ceasing of the Church to God for him.

Thirdly, The signes of the times, which hypocrites cannot discerne (though they be well versed in the face of the Sky) to wit, the sad symptomes, and presages of approaching Judgements: as first, The commonness of sin; for all sorts transgress in all kinds of open sin­fulness with a high hand against the light of Nature, and the means of grace, Ezek. 12.3. Son of Man, prepare thee stuffe for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place unto another place in their sigh [...]; it may be they will consider though they be a rebellious house.

[Page 29]2. Contempt of Gods Ordinances, misusing of his Ministers, 2 Chron. 36.16. But they mocked the Messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his Prophets; until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

3. Departure of Gods glory from his house, Ezek. 9.3. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the Cherub whereupon he was, &c.

4. Incorrigibleness after former, and under present judgements, Lev. 26. from ver. 14, 15, 16. But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these Commandments, and if ye shall despise my Statutes, or if your soul abhorre my judgements; so that ye will not do all my Commandments; but that ye break my Cove­nants: I also will do this unto you ▪ I will even appoint over you Terror, Consumption, and the burning Ague; that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it: and so on to the end of the Chapter.

5. The death of many righteous men, and the carrying away of others to hiding places, Isai. 57▪ 1. The righteous perisheth, and no man layes it to heart, and merciful men are taken away; none considering that the righteous is taken away from the [...] to come.

[Page 30]6. The Vials of Gods wrath powred on the Churches beyond the Seas, Jer. 7.12. But go ye now unto my place which in Shiloh, where I set my Name at the first, and see what I have done unto it▪ for the wickedness of my people Israel.

7. The inundation of spiritual judgements, as a spirit of Errour, Superstition, Apostasie, &c. which do commonly end in temporal plagues, Isai. 6.10, 11. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes: lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed. ver. 11. Then said I, Lord how long? and he answered, until the Cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses with­out man, and the Land be utterly desolate.

Now the Holy Ghost is a publike Spirit breathing and acting in all the members of the mystical body of Christ: pray for it, Luk. 11.13. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your Children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Ghost unto them that as [...] him? believe for it, Gal. 3.14. That the blessing of Abraham may come on the Gentiles, through Iesus Christ; that we might re­ceive the promise of the Spirit; through faith. Ezek 36.37. I will yet for this be [...] of by the house of Israel, to do it for them ▪ will increase them with men like a flock.

[Page 31]

The tenth Duty.

Get your heart daily weaned from the World, and from those creatures and comforts in it, which are dearest and sweetest to you. As Wife, Children, Friends, Goods, Liberty, House, Life. This Christ requires of those that follow him, Luk. 14 26, 27. If any man come to me, and hate not his Father and Mother, and Wife and Children, and Brethren and Sisters; yea and his own life also, he cannot be my Disciple. 27. And whosoever doth not bear his Cross and come after me, cannot be my Dis­ciple. Mark 10.29, 30. Verily, I say unto you, there is no man hath left House, or Brethren, or Sisters, or Father, or Mother, or Wife, or Children, or Lands for my sake, and the Gospels; but he shall receive an hundred fold now in this time, Houses, and Brethren, and Sisters, and Mo­thers, and Children, and Lands with persecutions, and in the World to come eternal Life. This will prepare you either to suffer, or to dy when God calls you to it.

To this end consider seriously;

FIrst, that these things cannot satisfie your heart, when you have enjoyed them to the full, Eccles. 4 [...]. There is one alone, and there is not a second for he hath [...]either Childe nor [Page 32] Brother; yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he for whom do I labour, and berieve my Soul of good? this is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. and chap. 5.10. He that loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity: you soon grow weary of them, or glutted with them, so that you desire some new delights, or more of the old, or some over again.

Secondly, nor can they sanctifie you, but will expose you oft to many lusts, temptations, distractions, yea to a spirit of the World, and they will hinder you from following of Christ, 1 Tim. 6 9, 10. But they that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful Lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10. For the love of [...]ney is the root of all evil; which whilst some coveted after, they have erred from the Faith, and pierced them­selves thorow with many sorrows. Mat. 19.21, 22 Jesus said unto the young man, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven; and come and follow me. 22. But when the young man heard that saying, he went a way sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

[Page 33]Thirdly, nor can they save you from Gods wrath, from death and judgement, Prov. 11.4. Riches profit not in the day of wrath; but righte­ousness delivereth from death.

Fourthly, the wicked whose portion is only in this World, have often the greatest share of them. Iob. 21.7. to the 14. Wherefore do the wicked live, become old yea are mighty in power? 8. Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their off-spring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. 10, Their Bull gendreth and faileth not; their Cow calveth, and casteth not her ca [...]f. 11, They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. 12. They take the timbrel and harpe, and rejoyce at the sound of the organ. 13. They spend their dayes in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.

Fifthly, they serve only in this life, while we are on this side of the grave, they shall not be the least ingredients into our celestial hap­piness. When we come to be happy in Heaven, we shall stand in no reed of food, rayment phy­sick, marriage, &c. Mat▪ 22.30. For in the re­surrection they neither [...], nor are given in marriage; but are as the Angels of God in Heaven. We shall hunger no more, neither thirst any [...], Rev. 7.16. They shall hunger [Page 34] [...], neither thirst any more, neither shall the Sun light on them, nor any heat. We shall live by the a sufficient spirit of God, which never needs refreshing; we shall be clothed with long white Robes of immortality, Rev. 7.9. After this I beheld, and loe, a great multi­tude, which no man could number of all Nati­ons, and Kindreds, and People, and Tongues stood before the Throne, and before the Lambe, clothed with white robes, and palmes in their hands; In a word, when we come to Heaven the place of Gods Habitation, we shall enjoy the face, and beatifical presence of the most glorious Jeho­vah, blessed for ever, as an object, wherein all the powers of our souls will be satisfied with ineffable delight; and God will be unto us everlastingly all in all, 1 Cor, 15.28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son him self also be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.


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