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Rom. xii.
15.
1 Cor. xiii.
6.

15.

are re

vii. 7.

nandñvar. Rom. i. 12.

SERM. How unconfinedly and inexhaustibly vast is that delight; XLIII. which a charitable complacence in the good of our neigh

bour (a rejoicing with those that rejoice) may afford! a man thence engrossing all the good in the world, and appropriating to himself all the prosperous successes, all the

pleasant entertainments, all the comfortable satisfactions Rom. xii. of his neighbour. Even a charitable sympathy, or con

dolency, in the adversities of our neighbour, is not deftitute of content; for the soul is thereby melted into a gen

tle temper, susceptive of the best impressions; we share in 2 Cor. i. 6. the comfort which we minister to others; we

freshed in that kindly submission to the good pleasure of Evurage- God, in that lightsome contemplation of God's mercy, in

thofe comfortable hopes of a happy issue, which we suggest to the afflicted; we thence are disposed to a grateful sense of God's goodness, in preserving ourselves from those calamities, and in qualifying us to comfort our brethren; we feel fatisfaction in reflecting upon this very practice, and observing that we do act conformably to good-nature, to the dictates of reason, to the will of God, therein difcharging a good conscience, and enjoying a portion of that continual feast.

I should, if the time would permit, farther declare how we should find delight in the contemplation of all God's attributes, of his works, of his word; in thankful resentment of all God's benefits; in willing obedience to all God's laws; how joy is a proper fruit growing on the practice of humility, of justice, of temperance, of devotion, of every virtue and grace: more particularly I should have · evidenced how, from a patient submission to God's afflicting hand, from penitential contrition of heart for our fins, from a pious fear and solicitude in working out our salvation, most sweet consolations (so tempering those ingredients as to render their bitterness very favoury) may spring: but in recommending joy I would not produce grief; and therefore shall not farther annoy your patience.

SERMON XLIV.

KEEP THY HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE, &c.

PROV. iv. 23

מן

Keep thy heart with all diligence, &c. BEFOREW we do apply ourselves to inculcate this precept, SERM. it is requisite that we should somewhat explain the terms, XLIV. and settle the meaning thereof; in doing that, we begin with the last words, which qualify the action enjoined as to its degree, or extent; with all diligence : the words (opwp-kan) answering to these in the Hebrew, do, according to the various use or force of the particle admit a threefold acception. They may (1.) denoté abfolutely the intenseness in degree, or extension in kind, of the performance required in this precept: πάση φυλακή τήρει στην xapdías, Omni custodia serva cor tuum ; keep thy heart with all custody; that is, with all sorts or with all degrees of care and diligence; so the LXX. Interpreters, and the vulgar Latin following them, render those words. They may, (2.) taking the particle for a Mem excellentiæ, as they call it, fignifying comparatively, præ omni custodia serva cor tuum; keep thy heart above all keeping; that is, especially and more than thou keepest any other thing; so doth Pagnin understand them, not without cause, both for the reason fubjoined here, because from it are the issues of life; that is, because it is the principal part and fountain of all vital operations, and therefore deserveth the best custody; as also for that in what follows, and in

SERM. other places of Scripture frequently, we are enjoined to XLIV. keep our tongues from bad discourse, our eyes from wan

dering after bad objects, our feet from declining to bad courses; and therefore probably in comparison to these, although needful and inferior cuftodies, we are admonished to this most especially incumbent custody of our hearts. They may also, (3.) and that probably enough, be taken fo as to denote the universality of the object, or matter of this keeping, or the adequate term and bound thereof; keep thy heart, únò Wartòs Quaequatos, ab omni re custodienda, from every thing which it should be kept from; that is, from every thing offensive or hurtful to it: so did Aquila and Theodotion translate the words. These senses are all of them good, and each may fairly pretend to find place in the meaning of the words; which of them with most likelihood I shall not discuss, meaning only to infift upon the substance of the precept; the nature of which being duly considered, will infer that it is to be observed according to the manner and measure prescribed, understood according to any of those senfes, or according to all of them conjointly.

As for the meaning of the words, Keep thy heart, two inquiries may be made: 1. What the heart is, which Solomon adviseth us to keep: 2. What to keep it doth import.

To the first I. answer, that in the style of Scripture the

heart doth commonly import the whole inward man, the Rom. vii. o čow áv Spumos, the man within us, as St. Paul speaketh, the

ο κρυπτός της καρδίας άνθρωπος, the hidden man of the heart, as St. Peter calleth it, comprehending all the thoughts and imaginations, all the inclinations and dispositions, all the judgments and opinions, all the passions and affections, all the resolutions and purposes forined within us; in short, all interior, whether tendencies to move, or actual inotions of huinan soul. For the Scripture (by the way we may observe it) seemeth to favour that anciently most common and current opinion, (embraced by Aristotle himself, even as true in striet philosophy, although rejected by most of the latter schools,) that the heart, that material

22.
į Pet, iii. 4.

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part and principal entrail of our body, is the chief seat of SERM
the foul, and immediate instrument of its noblest opera- XLIV.
tions. However, because the heart in a man's breast is
most inwardly feated, most secluded from fight, guarded
from access, fenced from danger, thence whatever is
inmost, most invisible, most inacceslible in any thing, is
called the heart thereof; and all a man's secret thoughts,
inclinations, opinions, affections, designs, are involved in
this name; sometimes all, or divers of them conjun&ly,
are called his heart; sometimes any one of them fingly
(as there is subject or occasion of using the word) is so
termed: instances in every kind are innumerably many,
and very obvious; and therefore I shall not spend time in
producing any; but shall suppose that here the word may
be understood in its utmost extent, so as to comprehend
all the particulars intimated; there being no apparent rea-
son for preferring or excluding any; all of them being ca-
pable of moral quality, both fimply and immediately in
themselves, and confequentially as they may be the prin-
ciples of good or bad actions; and because all of them may
be, need to be, ought to be, the objects of the keeping
here enjoined.

But then what is this keeping? I answer, that the word,
as applied to this matter, is especially capable of three
fenses, each of which may be exemplified.

1. It may imply to observe, that is, to keep it under a constant view, as it were; to mark or attend unto, to inquire into and study our heart. So, My Son, faith the Prov. xxiii. Wise Man, give me thy heart, and let thine eyes keep (or observe) my ways: the same word which here, is there used, both in the Hebrew and Greek, and can there well fignify no other custody but that of attending unto; it being the office of the eye only to look and observe. Likewise, Olferve, faith God in the Law, and hear all Deut. xii. these words which I command thee; that is, hear them very attentively: and so in divers other places.

2. It may also denote the governance or good management of our hearts, keeping all the motions thereof in due order, within fit compass, applying them to good, and

26.

28.

1.

18.

SERM. restraining them from bad things: so the Psalmist useth

XLIV. the word, when he faith, I will keep my mouth with a Pral. xxxix. bridle; that is, I will fo rule and curb it, that no evil lan

guage shall issue from it : fo when the Wise Man adviseth Eccl. v. 1. to keep our foot when we go to the house of God; by keep

ing it, he means rightly to guide and order our proceed

ings, or well to dispose ourselves when we address ourProv. xxvii. selves to religious performances : so again, He, faith he,

that keepeth the fig-tree, shall eat the fruit thereof; he that keepeth it, that is, he that dresseth and ordereth it to advantage for bearing fruit.

3. Again, keeping may be taken for preserving, guarding, securing from mischief or damage; which indeed is the most common use of the word, and therefore we need no instancing to countenance it.

Now any of these fenses may be intended here, or all of them together; and they indeed are in the nature of the thing so coherent, or so mutually dependent one on the other, that any one of them can hardly be practised without the rest: for without heedfully observing our heart, we cannot well govern it; and an ill governed heart cannot easily be attended to; and without both watchful observation and skilful management of it, we cannot guard it from evil; and reciprocally, without guarding it, we cannot well rule it, or duly mind it: such a complication there is in practice of these three custodies.

I shall at present only discourse concerning the first of them, which seems in the nature of things, and according to our method of acting, to precede. According to this expofition, when it is said, Keep thy heart with all diligence, we may understand it as if each of us were thus advised : With a most constant and wary care observe all the interior propenfions and motions of thy soul; whatever is done or designed within thee, whither thy desires lean, what thy affections are stirred by, to what thy judgment of things doth lead thee; with greatest attention and affiduity mark and ponder it.

It is a peculiar excellency of human nature, which feemeth more to diftinguith a man from any inferior rank

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