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tain the base and low ends which they propose to themselves in the service of God; namely, (1.) Peace of mind, such as it is. The consciences of some are but half awakened ; thus a little thing quiets them, even the external performance of duties; but should these neglect duties altogether, they could have no peace. (2.) It gains a man credit in the world, and that is a strong cord to draw men to the outside of duties, namely, to be seen of men, and to have glory of men, as our Saviour expesses it, Matth. vi. 1. 2. It is to them no small matter to have a name to live ; to be called good is affected by such as are at no pains to be good.
What shall we say of those that will set about duties, and attend facraments, even while they are fure that they will be mocked and reproached for it by the wicked ? Ans. It is good, in so far as they are carried over these things : For, alas ! there are some so pitifully weak, that they will be blown over with the wind of the mouth of the wicked. A broad laugh, or silly taunt, out of the mouth of the profane, is an unanswerable argument againk religion and seriousness, to some who are in the cause of Christ like filly doves without heart. Such as are thus chargeable are very inconsiderate; Chrift gives a folemn warning to them, Mark, viii. 38. « Whosoever, therefore, shall be afhamed of me, and of my word's, 'in this adulterous and finful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be athamed, when he cometh in the glory of his father, with the holy angels." We doubt not but a hypocrite may come this length. We do not wonder if even a miser, a covetous wretch, part with his money to buy land; neither need we wonder if a hypocrite should facrifice credit among the profane, to gain credit among
the godly. He does but as a man on a ladder, tread on the lower step to win to the higher.
4. Because men may get duties done, and keep their lusts too. For instance, they may go to a communion-table one day, and the next to the table of devils. But to perform duties in a right manner, is inconsistent with peace with our lusts : Psal. lxvi. 18. “ If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Hence, over the belly of an express commandment, people will venture to the Lord's table without self-examination, or at least without searching to the quick. They cannot, however, communicate aright without a due attention to it. No, indeed. Says the apostle, 1 Cor. xi. 28. “ But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” Many, notwithstanding, can communicate without it, and keep their lusts too; here is the hellish advantage. There are secret lufts, which the man is unwilling to disturb, therefore he will not light the candle and search, left he be obliged to cast out the old leaven.
5. Because most men have low and mean thoughts of God, Mal. i. 6.-8. " A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master : If, then, I be a father, where is mine honour ? and if I be a master, where is my fear ? faith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name : and ye fay, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon my altar; and ye fay, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and fick, is it not evil ? offer it now unto thy governor, will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person ? faith the Lord of hosts.” It is not every one that knows the