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fulfil his pleasure, but would be sluggish and sleepy, and neglect his master's business? How much more, think you, will the great and terrible Lord of hosts, the Maker of Heaven and earth, be thus abused with us, who, in place of our sluggishness, should be still in readiness to fulfil his will; therefore this is (as it were) the putting of our instrument in tune to call upon the soul again and again, to stir it up unto watchfulness.
Now it is not enough for David to call and rouse up 1. his own soul; but 2. he saith : “ And all that is within me praise his holy name.” He, in the next place, setteth awork all the power and faculties of the soul within him, the understanding, will, affection, memory, &c. He knew well that all those faculties by nature were estranged from God, wherefore he now laboureth to turn the stream of them to Godward again. Now our instruction from hence is, that in God's service all the powers and faculties of soul and body must join, nothing must be wanting, a part will not suffice. God must have all. Now the ground of this is builded upon the equity of this commandment. “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” And, therefore, because it is Satan's policy first to disorder, and overthrow the heat of our affections, we must labour to stand fast and keep our ranks. For like as a mighty warrior striving to break the ranks, and to disorder his enemies' troops, after which all is gone and victory certainly ensueth, so Satan laboureth by all means, when he goes about to overthrow us, first to take away the affections, and edge of goodness, to disorder our troops, for then he knoweth there is a gap opened for our final overthrow. Therefore, I say, let us beware chiefly, how we appear before God in prayer, look when thou prayest that thou pray with understanding, life, and zeal, and that the devil have not stolen away thy affections from God. Now for trial hereof, let us a little look upon divers means and stratagems of Satan to steal away the whole man, the heart and affections from God.
"Mait. chap. 22. ver. 37.
First, the devil he will hinder the whole man from coming unto God, that they shall not come to the church at all to hear, as recusants, and others who will not, and make any trifling occasions enough to stay from church. And secondly, if for all this the body, for formality's sake, will needs come, yet he will procure, that all that time the mind shall be heavy and asleep. Beware when thou comest unto God. It is not, as Ecclesiastes speaketh, thy foot only that thou must beware of, thy outward man, but thereby is meant the whole man, soul and body, with all the powers and faculties thereof. A poor silly man sitteth all the time of the sermon with wandering affections, and yet when it is done, if he cry amen, he thinks all is well. But oh, fool, thou knowest not that all this while thou woundest thy conscience, when thy heart and affections are not present with thy body. As the Lord complaineth. “ This people draweth near unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far off from me.” Look, therefore, what he threateneth for this. - Therefore I will again do a marvellous work in this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wisemen shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Behold the miserable issue, beloved, of lazy and negligent performance of good duties, even a fearful hard-hearted security settled in thee, which will at length be sure to destroy thee. Aye, but here inay some simple men object, if matters be thus how shall I judge aright? The Papists, you say, are great doctors and learned men, who notwithstanding judge not aright, how shall I then get understanding ?
I answer, the Papists indeed are great doctors, but here are two sins, whereof the Church of Rome is guilty, that maketh them thus blockish. First, their heart is gone, they bring not with them their affections in order. Secondly, they are led by the traditions of men.“ In" vain do these people worship, teaching for doctrines men's precepts." And thus this plague cometh upon them, these great wise men are blind as beetles, because they come not prepared, to do God's will, according to his will, as the prophet complaineth. Thoui art near in their mouth, in their outward man, and far from their reins; they yet give thee not their hearts, they will tear and rend his blessed name, and profane his sabbath. Is this a coming unto God? Neither is this only subject to Popery, but if thou (whatsoever thou art) delightest not to serve God according to his will, he will be sure to set an idiot preacher over thee, and thou shalt live all thy life in blindness, because thou wouldst not serve God aright. So, I say, it is also in hearing of the word, as the Lord speaketh : “Alsok thou son of man, the children of thy people, that talk of thee by the walks, and in the doors of houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, come I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh from the Lord ; for they come unto thee as the people useth to come, and my people sit before thee, and hear thy words, but they will not do them, for with their mouths they make jests, and their heart goeth after their covetousness.” You see here what is wanting ; they come to hear, but their hearts are not there, they will not do those things they hear, thy mind in the mean time is set upon covetousness, on thy goods abroad, and other wandering thoughts, and lo, saith he, what followeth of this profaneness.
8 Matt. chap. 15. ver. 8. and Isaiah, chap. 29. ver. 13.
Matt. chap. 15. ver. 9.
66 Thou art unto them as a jesting song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can sing well, for they hear thy words but do them not.” But all is one, spare not cry unto them, that they may (at least) be so much the more hardened in their sins, against the day of wrath ; for when judgment cometh then shall they know that a prophet hath been amongst them. This is Satan's first blow, to keep back the outward man, and disorder the affections.
Again, he proceedeth from hence unto a second blow. He will persuade some men that it is both good and needful to have some of their inward man to perform good duties, permitting also the presence of the outward man.
Jerem. chap. 12. ver. 2.
k Ezek. chap. 33. ver. 30, 31.
He will be content that they shall have things (men call a good heart,) good affections, a mind to be in the right way, to do no wrong,
&c. Oh! but he will darken the understanding, corrupt the judgment, and blunt the memory; those shall present false objects in place of the true, and lead the will astray, like unto the Papists at this day, who are great doctors and honest plain dealing men, full of charity, alms, &c. They will wrong no man for a world ; they think they do well and carry a good mind with them, but their understanding and judgment, in the mean time, remaineth darkened, that they can neither understand nor judge aright of those things which be good and bad, to put a difference. But, may some say, what need we understanding of these things, can we not come to heaven by believing them ?
thou must understand what thou believest. David he is not content with a part, but he saith all that is within me praise his holy name. quireth all the powers and faculties of the same soul to aid him that nothing be wanting. But still, such object, What! may not a good meaning, a good heart be sufficient to God? What though I pray in Latin without understanding, doth not God, think you, understand Latin as well as any other language? But, I answer, thou art ignorant (who sayest so) of the end of prayer, which is to move, assure, and comfort thine own heart, speaking to thy understanding for thine own good, and not to let God understand any thing which he knoweth not, for he knoweth thee and thy wants before thou come to tell him thereof. But thou telling unto God these and these things, and obeying his will, thou speaking unto him from sense, feeling, and understanding, the reflex thereof shineth back upon thee again, with comforts of his love grounded upon his main sweet promises to the so-doers, and thus thy peace is settled. That the understanding must know what it doth, and that
in a strange tongue, which one understandeth not, is an abomination. Look where St. Paul saith, “ Except! I know then the power of the voice, I
1 I Cor. chap. 14. ver. 11.
shall be unto him who speaketh like a barbarian, and he who speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.” And it followeth, “ wherefore let him who prayeth in a strange tongue pray that he may interpret ; for if I pray in a strange tongue my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is without fruit.” This is the gross blockishness of the Papists, who will not only pray and sing in Latin, but also, when they have excellent Psalms of instruction from the Book of God, yet will they needs chant notes of their own making. This is Satan's second blow, to suffer the outward obedience, and a part of the inward, but to darken the understanding and corrupt the judgment.
Now his third stratagem is, that if he cannot thus prevail, but that good and true zeal burstet!ı out for all this, then, thirdly, he setteth upon the affections with might and main force, either gently at first (that he be not too soon perceived), to cool the heat of zeal, or (if he may) to quench the affections altogether. And therefore it is good for us to take unto ourselves that counsel of the apostle, “ Bem ye also patient therefore and settle your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth near. Behold we account them blessed which endure.” So, I say, we must gather and settle our hearts and spirits together, and be watchful lest Satan first cool and then quench our affections altogether. Let us, when we come unto prayer, not bring unto God a carcase of prayer only, but zeal, hunger, thirst, desire, and ardent affections : yea, we must Jacob in this case, to wrestle with God, to remember him of his nature, his former mercies. We must challenge his many and gracious promises in Christ Jesus; we must change from one passion, from one matter to another, until our affections be aloft; we must give the Lord no rest; we must lose good manners, and offer violence unto the kingdom; we must resolve, I say, to pass through all impediments until we obtain our desire.
Look, then, whatsoever he is that hath this ardent desire, love, zeal, and affection, that he will not be denied, that he will not neither give unto the Lord nor himself any
James, chap. 5. ver. 8, 11.