Sidor som bilder

pent, and Eve, and himself, all joined; first to make him a fool, and to deceive him, and then to make him miserable. But he first cozened himself, giving up bimself to believe a lie; and being desirous to listen to the whispers of a tempting fpirit, he finned before he fell; that is, he had within him a false understanding, and a depraved will; and these were the parents of his disobedience, and this was the parent of his infelicity, and a great occasion of ours. And then it was, that he entered, for himself and his posterity, into the condition of an ignorant, credulous, easy, wilful, passionate, and impotent person ; apt to be abused, and so loving to have it so, that if no body else will abuse him, he will be sure to abuse himfelf; by ignorance and evil principles being open to an enemy, and by wilfulness and sensuality doing to himself the most unpardonable injuries in the world. So that the condition of man, in the rudenesses and first lines of its visage, seems very miserable and deformed.

For man is helpless and vain; of a condition so exposed to calamity, that a mor-,


fel of bread is able to kill him; any trooper out of the Egyptian army, a fly can do it, when it goes on God's errand; the most contemptible accident can destroy - him, the smallest chance affright him, every future contingency, when but confidered as possible, can amaze him; and he is incompassed with powerful and malicious enemies, subtle and implacable: What Thall this helpless man do? shall he trust in God ? Him he hath offended, and he fears him as an enemy; and God knows, if we look only on ourselves, and on our own demerits, we have too much reason so to do.

Shall he rely upon princes ? alas, kings themselves rely upon their subjects; they fight with their swords, levy forces with their money, consult with their counsels, hear with their ears, and are strong only in their union; and, many times, they use all these things against them: but, however, they can do nothing without them while they live; and yet, if ever they can die, they are not to be trusted to. Now kings and princes die so evidently and notoriously, that it was used for a prover in

B 2

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holy scripture, re shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Who then shall we trust in? In our friend? Alas, he may help us in one thing, and need us in ten. He may pull us out of the ditch, and his foot may flip, and he fall into it himself. He gives us counsel in temporal things, and himself is to seek in spiritual. He counsels us to abftain from a duel, and himself destroyeth his own soul. Like a person void of understanding, he is willing enough to preserve our interest, and is very careless of his own; for he doth highly disdain to betray or be false to us, and, in the mean time, is not his own friend, and is false to God. And then, his friendship may be useful to us in fome circumstances of fortune, but no security to our condition. He may lay us by, justly or unjustly. He may grow weary of doing benefits; or his fortunes may change. Our need may be longer than his kindnesses, or such wherein he can give us no assistance. And indeed, generally it is so, in all the instances of men. We seek life of a physician that dies; and go to him for health, who can3 .



not cure his own distemper. And fo we become vain in our imaginations, abused in our hopes, restless in our passions, impatient in our calamity, unsupported in our need, exposed to enemies, wandering and wild, without counsel, and without remedy. .

At last, after the infatuating and deceiving all our confidences without, we have nothing left us but to return home, and dwell within ourselves. For we have a sufficient stock of felf-love, which will make us confident of our own affections, and persuade us that we may trust ourselves most surely. For what we want in skill, we shall make up in diligence; and our industry shall supply the want of other circumstances. And no man understands our own cafe fo well as we do ourselves ; and no man will judge so faithfully as we Thall do for ourselves; for we are most concerned not to abuse ourselves; and if we do, we shall be the losers, and therefore may best rely upon ourselves. --Alas! and God help us! we shall find it to be no such matter. For we neither love ourselves well, nor understand our own cafe.


B 3

We are partial in our own questions, deceived in our sentences, careless of our interests, and the most false, perfidious creatures to ourselves in the whole world. Even the heart of a man, a man's own heart, is deceitful above all things, and defperately wicked: who can know it ? :

And there is no greater argument of the deceitfulness of our heart than this, that no man can know it all. It cheats us in the very number of its deceits. But yet we can reduce it all to two heads. We say concerning a false man, Trust him not, for he will deceive you; and we say concerning a weak and broken staff, Lean not upon it, for that will also deceive you. The man deceives because he is false, and the staff because it is weak; and the heart, because it is both. So that it is deceitful above all things; that is, failing and disabled to support us in many things; but in other things where it can, it is falle and desperately wicked. The first sort of deceitfulness is its calamity; and the second is its iniquity, and that is the worse calamity of the two,


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