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our Voice, but are apt to flatter, and be out of tune, when our Mouths are full of Hosanna's in the highest. Briefly, our Imperfections are so deeply rooted in us, that we cannot get rid of them ; in our Closets, in our most serious and fixt Contemplations, they are with us ; nay, the very House of God is not a Sanctuary from them, but they are apt to bear us company even to the Altar: Yet this is for our Comfort, that if we sincerely endeavour to Conquer and cast them off, they are not Wilful Sins, nor will God reckon them unto us to our Condemnation, because they are Infirmities which we cannot help.

4. Besides all these Infirmities,' there are several indecent Actions, which though they cannot be justified, or totally excused, if rigorously consider'd, yet cannot properly come under the Notion of Sins that are perfectly Wilful; because they are not the result of mature Deliberation, but rathet are done casually, by means of some surprising Temptations without, which on a sudden overcome ones Passions, or by means of fome great disturbance within, which for that time hinders the use of Reasor, and are too hard for it. Even in a State of Innocence, Man was set lower than the Angels, though the Bruitish

part

.

part was so Subject to the Rational Fa. culey of his Soul, that it was wholly under its command. Ever since the Fall, Mens Affections have been Rebels; which have been apt to over-master them, and carry them away against their Reason ; because Reason being many times wonderfully disturbed by them, it is not powerful enough to Govern and Rule them. And though the Grace of God be abundant under the Gospel, and very powerful in such as humbly obey it; yet even in Men that are Regenerated by God's Spirit, there is still a mixture of Good and Evil, as the hottest Tempers have some degrees of Cold; fo that a Wise and Holy Man, may through Surprise, or Incogitancy, or the Violence of a Temptation, be overtaken unawares.

It was not the case of Moses alone, to speak unadvisedly with his Lips, being provoked to it by the Peoples Murmurings : Nor was it David's Cafe alone, to say in his hafte, all Men are Lyárs ; nay, it was not Peter's Cafe alone, to deny his Lord through extremity of Fear. Every one is apt. sometimes to be born down by the Tempter, or by his own masterful and disorderly Passions

nor is there any Man but is sensible of some perturbations of Soul, which are usually occafioned, either by his own Hereditary

weakness,

weakness, or by some ill Accidents in his
Family, or by some Troubles in his Cal-
ling, or by the disappointment of his Ex-
pectations, or by the common Crosses of
the World, or by the Apprehensions of
fome Evil to come, or by the Sense of
fome Calamity that is past, or by a Natu-
ral Distemper and Sickness, in his Consti-
tution, and by divers Accidents more,
which the 'Subtilty and Malice of the
Tempter maketh use of to disturb his Peace.
Now, though in these Actions there be
some little concurrence of the Will, e-
nough to make them imputable to us, if
God should deal with us according to ri-
gour and severity, yet by the Mercies of
the Gospel, they are not actually impu-
ted to a Good Man, because they are not
properly voluntary, that is, they proceed
not from propense Malice, or a deliberate
Judgment, but from sudden and dif-
pleasing Contingencies, so that he would
not be Guilty of them, were he not in Un-
fortunate Circumstances.

2. THE Nature and Quality of Un-
wilful Sins being thus Explained, it is ne-
cessary now in the next place to consider,
bow far, and to what degree, we are to
Repent of them before we Eat and Drink
at the Lord's Table: For if Men entertain
false Notions of this matter, it is impossi-

ble

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ble for them to be Satisfied that they are duly Prepared, as long as they labour under those Notions, especially if they be People of Tender and Scrupulous Spirits.

1. FIRST then in general we must Note, that we are not obliged to Repeat of Infirmities in such an high degree, as to Vow, Promise, and Undertake, that we will keep our felves free from all manner of Sin. Though we are bound to be very watchfui over our ways, and must resolve with our felves not to act knowingly and presumptuously against God's Commandments ; yet it doth not lye in our Power to live wholly Innocent from every the least offence. The Divine Grace doth allift and strengthen our Natures, but it doth not Destroy them: Men we are still, subject to the Frailties of Poor Mortal Creatures, and as long as we are compassed about with Flesh, we cannot lead such an Angelical Life, as to be clean from, all' Impurities, as those Blessed Spirits in Heaven are. The Condition of our Nature cannot bear it ; therefore the thing being impossible, we are not obliged at any time to resolve upon fuch high degrees of Sanctity as are out of our reach. For which Reason we cannot conceive our selves obliged to it in order to a due Celebration of the Eucharist : For at this great Solemnicy we renew that

Covenant

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Covenant we made at our Baptism, which
is, not to be void of all manner of un-
Cleanness, but to Renounce the Devil and
our own Lufts, so as not to follow or be led
by them, (as our Church hath excellently
expreft it in the Office of Baptism) that is,
so as not to be Govern'd, or Commanded,
or Perswaded by them, to do that which
we know to be Evil. 'Tis said indeed,
1 Joh. 3. 9. that whosoever is born of God,
doth not commit Sin; nay, that he cannot
Sin, because he is born of God." But this is
to be understood of Sins of forecast and
deliberation, which profligate Persons com-
mit.willingly and with greediness. There
is in a Regenerated Person, such a Vital
Principle of Grace and Goodness, as doth
alter and rectifie his Nature; so that if he
doth readily obey the energy thereof, it
must reeds have such an influence upon
him, that to Sin Wilfully, is, as it were,
against his Nature and Temper ; and though
it be not absolutely, yet 'tis Morally inipof- •
sible for him to AZ Presumptuously ; it

goes against his Stomach, like a Dose of * Poyfon, which he cannot away with,

but abhors the very thoughts of it. Now when a Man is thus disposed, his Repentance is right, and he ought to be comforted with it, and to bless God for it: And though he finds himself lyable to

I

many

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