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tions, is not the safest place to die in: and I have most mind to live where I would die. Where men are barbari moribus, et si non natione;' Christians in name, and infidels in conversation: the sweetness of their Christian names will not preserve them or you from the danger of their unchristian lives. It was not the whole of Lot's deliverance to be saved from the flames of Sodom, but it was much of it to be freed from their malicious rage, and filthy grievous conversations: the best medicine against the plague is to keep far enough from the place that hath it. The proverb saith, 'He shall have fleas that will lie with the dogs.' Desire not that condition, where all seem friends, but none are friends indeed; but they that seem to be your servants, are by flattery serving themselves upon you: where few persons or things are truly represented; but men are judged of by the descriptions of their enemies, and the lambs have the skins and names of wolves and the best are odious when bold calumniators load them with odious accusations. In a word, desire not the place where the more men seek, the less they find, and the more they find, the less they have; and the more they have, the less they do enjoy: where the more are their provisions, the less are their supplies; the more their wealth, the more their want; the more their pleasure, the less their peace; the greater their mirth, the less their joy; the greater their confidence, the less their safety: where the great mistake about their happiness, their best, their end, doth make their lives a constant error, and death a doleful disappointment: He must needs lie crooked that hath so short a bed.

Direct. 2. Keep all clean and sound within, that there may be little of loathsomeness to disaffect you, or terror to frighten you from yourselves; it is a frightful thing to be much conversing with a guilty soul, and hearing the accusations of a conscience not cleansed by the blood of Christ: and it is an unpleasant thing to be searching in our wounds, and reading the history of a life of folly; especially of wilful sin, and of ungrateful neglect of offered grace. Make not such work for yourself, if you love it not. We make our beds ill, and then we are weary of them, because they are so hard: our comforts are more in our own hands than in any others: the best friend or pastor cannot do so much to promote them, nor the greatest enemy so much to destroy

them, as ourselves. If we will surfeit, and make ourselves sick, we must endure it. If wasps and vipers be our guests, no wonder if we dwell not quietly at home; and if we sit not at ease, when we carry thorns about us. Folly and concupiscence breed our misery: it is the smoke of our own corruptions that troubleth our eyes, and the scent and smart of our ulcerated minds that most annoyeth us. We cannot waste our peace, and have it. Turk and Pope, and all the terrible names on earth, are not so terrible deservedly to a sinner as his own: the nearest evil is the most hurtful evil : If a scolding wife be such a continual dropping, and troublesome companion, as Solomon tells us, what then is a distempered, troubled mind, and a chiding conscience? It is a pity that man should be his own afflicter, but so it is: and, as the proverb is, ' He hath great need of a fool, that will play the fool himself;' so I may say, He hath great need of a tormenter, that will be a tormenter to himself. Folly, and lust, and rashness, and passion, are sorry keepers of our peace: darkness and filth do make a dungeon, and not a delightful habitation of our hearts; God would take pleasure in them, if we kept them clean, and would walk with us in those gardens, if we kept them dressed: but if we will defile his temple, and make it unpleasing unto him, he will make it unpleasing unto us. Terror and trouble are the shadow of sin, that follow it, though the sun shine never so brightly. If we carry fire in our clothes, we shall smell it at the least. Keep close to God; obey his will: make sure of your reconciliation and adoption; keep clear your evidences, and grieve not the Holy Spirit which sealeth you, and must comfort you. And then it will do you good to look into your heart, and there you shall find the most delightful company; and the Spirit that you have there entertained, will there entertain you with his joys.

But if disorder have prevailed and made your hearts a place of trouble, yet fly not from it, and refuse not to converse with it for though it be not at the present a work of pleasure, it is a work of necessity, and may tend to pleasure in the end: conversing wisely and faithfully with a disordered, troubled heart, is the way to make it a well-ordered and quiet heart.

Direct. 3. In judging of your present state and actions, let one eye be always on the end: this will both quicken

you to be serious in the duty, and direct you in all particular cases to judge aright. As the approach of death doth convince almost all men of the necessity of studying themselves, and calleth them to it from all other studies; so the considerate foresight of it would do the like in better time. And it is the end that communicateth the good or evil to all things in the way and therefore as they have relation to the end, they must be judged of. When you peruse your actions, consider them as done by one that is entering into eternity, and as those that must all be opened in a clearer light. If we separate our actions in our considerations from their ends, they are not of the same signification, but taken to be other things than indeed they are. If the oaths, the lies, the slanders, the sensuality and filthiness of impure sinners, had not relation to the loss of heaven, and to the pains of hell, they were not matters of that exceeding moment as now they are. And if the holiness, obedience and watchfulness of believers, had no relation to the escaping of hell fire, and the attainment of eternal life, they would be of lower value than they are. The more clearly men discern that God is present, that judgment is at hand, that they are near to heaven or hell, where millions have already received their reward, the more seriously will they study, and the better will they know themselves.

Direct. 4. Though you must endeavour to judge yourself truly as you are, yet rather incline to think meanly, than highly of yourself, and be rather too suspicious than too presumptuous. My reasons for this direction are, because man's nature is generally disposed to self-exalting; and pride and self-love are sins so common and so strong, as that it is a thing of wondrous difficulty to overcome them, so far as to judge ourselves impartially, and to err as little in our own cause, as if it were another's: and because self-exalting hath far more dangerous effects than self-abasing, supposing them to exceed their bounds. Prudent humility is a quieting grace, and avoideth many storms and tempests, which trouble and shake the peace of others. It maketh men thankful for that little as undeserved, which others repine at as short of their expectations: it telleth the sufferer that God doth afflict him much less than he deserveth; and causeth him to say, "I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him." (Micah vii. 9.) It teacheth

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us a cautelous suspicion of our own understandings, and a just submission to those that are wiser than ourselves. When pride keepeth out wisdom, by keeping out the knowledge of our ignorance. And as Pliny tells us of some nations, where they are grey-headed in their infancy, and black-headed when they are old: so pride maketh many wise so soon, that they never come to be truly wise they think in youth that they have more than the wisdom of age, and therefore in age they have less than what beseemeth them in youth. Every hard report or usage is ready to break a proud man's heart; when contempt doth little disquiet the humble, because they judge so meanly of themselves. The proud are frequently disturbed, because they climb into the seats of others; when humility sits quietly, and no one bids it rise, because it knoweth and keepeth its own place. Therefore it is, that true contrition having once told us of our folly to the heart, doth make us walk more circumspectly while we live; and that no man is better resolved than he that was once in doubt, and that no man standeth faster than he that hath had a fall: and no man is more safe, than he that hath had most assaults. If you love your safety, desire not either to be, or to seem too high. Be little in your own eyes, and be content to be so in the eyes of others. As for worldly greatness, affect neither the thing nor the reputation of it: look up, if you please, to the tops of steeples, masts and mountains; but stand below if you would be safe. Though the chimney be the highest part of the house, it is not the cleanest or the sweetest part; it is scorched more with the fire, and suffocated with the smoke than other parts. And for spiritual endowments, desire them, and improve them; but desire not inordinately the reputation of them. It seldom increaseth a man's humility to be reputed humble; and though humility help you to bear applause, yet the remnants of pride are ready to take fire, and other sins to get advantage by it.

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Direct. 5. Improve your self-acquaintance to a due apprehension of what is most suitable, most profitable, and necessary for you, and what is most hurtful, unsuitable and unnecessary. He that hath taken a just measure of himself, is the better able to judge of all things else. How suitable will Christ and grace appear, and how unsuitable will worldly

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pomp appear to one that truly knows himself! How suitable will serious, fervent worship appear, and how unsuitable the ludicrous shows of hypocrites! And one pair of eyes will be valued above many pair of spectacles; and one pair of legs before two pair of crutches, by one that is not a stranger to himself. He that takes grass and provender to be his best and most delightful food, hath surely forgotten that he is a man, and taketh himself to be but a beast, or else he would not choose the food of a beast, nor use himself as a beast. If a man knew aright the capacity and tendency of the reasonable nature, and the evil of sin, and the necessity and distress of an unrenewed soul, what sweet, what longing thoughts would he have of God, and all that tendeth to the pleasing and enjoying of him! How little would he think himself concerned in the trivial matters of honour or dishonour, riches or poverty, favour or displeasure, further than as they help or hinder him in the things that are of more regard! Know yourself, and you will know what to love and what to hate; what to choose and what to refuse; what to hold and what to lose; what to esteem and what to slight; what to fear, and when to be courageous and secure the curing the dotage thus, would cure the night-walks of the dreaming, vagrant world. And they that find that music cureth not the stone or gout, would know that mirth and gallantry, and vainglory, are no preservatives from hell, nor a sufficient cure for a guilty soul: and that if an aching head must have a better remedy than a golden crown, and a diseased body a more suitable cure than a silken suit, a diseased soul doth call for more.

Direct. 6. Value not yourself by mutable accidents, but by the essence and substance of Christianity. "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance which he possesseth." (Luke xii. 15.) Paul knew better what he said, when he accounted all but loss and dung for the knowledge and fruition of Jesus Christ, (Phil. iii. 7, 8,) than they that dote on it as their felicity. And is a man to be valued, applauded, and magnified for his dung, or for his personal endowments? Is that your perfume that stinketh in the nostrils of men of sounder senses? Judge not of the person by his apparel, when the foolishest and the worst may wear the same. The master and inhabitants honour the house more than the

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