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phets to warn us of it; and hath established an order of men, whofe office it is, like Watchmen, to give an alarm at every approach of danger. And all this, only to persuade men not to be extremely miserable, for nothing, for vanity, for trouble, for å diseafe ; for some things naturally are difeafes and imperfections, contrary to goodnefs, to felicity, and to God himself.
And moreover, God hath hedged fin round about with thorns; and fin of itfelf is full of difficulties : It abuses a man in all his capacities ; and placés poison in all those feats and receptions, where he could possibly entertain happiness.
For if sin pretend to please the sense, it doth first abuse it shamefully, and then humours it. It can only feed an imposthume; no natural, reasonable, and perfective appetite.
And besides its own essential appendages and proprieties, things are so ordered, that a fire is kindled round about us; and every thing within us, above, below us, and on every side of us, is an argument against, and an enemy to lin; and for its single
pretence, that it comes to please one of the senses, one of those faculties which are in us the same they are in a beast, it hath an evil fo communicative, that it doth not only work like poison, to the diffolution of soul and body, but it is a sickness like the plague, it infects all our houses, and corrupts the air, and the very breath of heaven: For it moves God first to jealousy, and that takes off his friendship and kindness towards us; and then to anger, and that makes him a resolved enemy. And it brings evil, not only upon ourselves, but upon our children.
And therefore, if a man should despise the eye or sword of man, if he fins; he is to contest with the jealousy of a provoked God. If he doth not regard himself, let him pity his children. If he be angry and hates all that he sees, and is not solicitous for his children; yet let him pity the generations which are yet unborn. Let him not bring a curse upon his whole family, and suffer his name to rot in dishonour, and his memory to be polluted with an eternal stain.--If all this will not deter a man
from sin, there is no instrument left for that man's virtue, no hopes of his felicity, no recovery of his forrows and sicknesses ; but he must sink under the strokes of a jealous God, into the dishonour of eternal ages, and the groanings of a never-ceasing forrow.
I the Lord thy God am a JEALOUS God: - That is the first and great stroke he strikes against fin. He speaks after the manner of nien; and in so speaking, we know, that he who is jealous is suspicious, is inquistive, and is implacable.
God is pleased to represent himself a person very suspicious; both in respect of persons and things. For our persons, we give him cause enough. For we are finners from our mother's womb. We make solemn vows, and break them instantly; we cry for pardon, and still renew the fin; we desire God to try us once more, and we provoke him ten times farther; we use the means of grace to cure us, and we turn them into vices and opportunities of fin; we curse our fins, and yet long for shem extremely ; we renounce them pub
·lickly, tickly, and yet fend for them in private, and shew them kindness; we leave little offences, but our faith and our charity are not strong enough to master great ones; and fometimes we are shamed out of great ones, but yet entertain little ones; or if we disclaim both, yet we love to remember them, and delight in their past actions, and bring them home to us, at least in our imaginations, and we love to be betrayed into them. We would fain have things so ordered, by chance or power, that it may seem necessary to fin, or that it may become excusable, and dressed fitly for our own circumstances. We so loath our freedom, that any temptation will make us return to our fetters and bondage. And if we do not tempt ourselves, yet we do not resist a temptation; or if we pray against it, we desire not to be heard; and if we be affifted, yet we will not work together with those affiftances : So that unless we be forced, nothing will be done. We are so willing to perish, and so unwilling to be saved, that we minister to God abundant reason to suspect us.
And as God is suspicious, fo he is also inquisitive. He looks for that, which he fain would never find. God fets spies upon us. He looks upon us himself, through the curtains of a cloud; and he fends angels to espy us in all our ways; and permits the devil to accuse.us; and erects a tribunal and witnesses in our own consciences : And he cannot want information of our smallest irregularities. Sometimes the devil accuseth us; but he fometimes accuseth falsely, either malicioufy or ignorantly, and we stand upright in that particular by innocence, and sometimes by repentance; and all this while our confcience is our friend. Sometimes our con. fcience doth accuse us unto God, and then we stand convict by our own judgement, Sometimes, if cur conscience acquit us, yet we are not thereby justified: For, as Moses accused the Jews, fo do Christ and his apostles accuse us, not in their persons, but by their works and by their words, by the thing itself, by confronting the laws of Christ and our practices. And all this is the direct and proper effect of God's jea