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long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? Pfal.49.11. Their inward thought is, that their
houses shall continue for ever, draheir dwelling places to all generations ; they call their lands
after their own names. Pfal.119.59. I thought on my waies, and turned
myfeet unto thy testimonies. Prov.16.3. Commit thy workes unto the Lord,
and thy thoughts shall be established. Prov.4.23. Keep thy heart with all diligence, for
out of it are the issues of life.
Secondly, Watch over thy Affe&tions, the motions and stirrings of thy will, the on-goings of thy heart.
Rightly to order our Affections, is one of our principall businesses, in this life. When they are rightly ordered, and governed, they do much further & help on our course in Godlineffe. Whereas disordered paffions blind the judgment, hurry away the will, fill the heart and mind with disquier, and interrupt prayer,, and other holy duties. Keep an especial watch therefore over.thy Affections: Be careful they be not set on wrong objects, por suffered to grow unruly, and exorbitant, Grace doth not extinguish, but re&tifie affections. Chrift (who was free from all fin) was not without affections: He was angry, did grieve, rejoyce, Let it be thy care therefore to look to the right regulacing of
chese powers, and these affe&ions that God hach placed in thee.
And to help thee in this work, observe these Directions.
1. Beg of God, a fonsad mind, aright inderStanding, - dear judgment, that thou maist be able rightly to discern between good and evil; and maist not take shews and appearances for ren litics. There is great danger in misapprehensops; for as the apprehensions of the mind are weaker or stronger, fo che affections are better or cooler.
2. Labour to bring thy will, fenfe, and petite under subje&tion to right reason. If sin do seem pleasant to thee, (as the forbidden fruit ta Eve) lec reason tell thee 'ris forbidden fruit; and therefore thou must not touch it. A man is Lord of himself, when reason rules bim: buc his own Nave, when wilfulnesse, appetite, or passion bear sway in him. When the Coachman cannot rule the horses, but is hurried violently away with them, there is noching buc confusion to be expected; so it is with a man whose reason is overborn, or hurried away by his headstrong passion. Affections are like fire and water ; good servants, buc pery bad Masters: Fire does well while 'tis kepe in the chimney ; & water is useful, while 'cis kepe within its banks; if they break out, they are very mischievous Elemencs : Affections (while they are modera
ted,& kepe within their due bounds)they are very serviceable ; but if they overflow those banks and bounds, what a world of mischief follows?
3. Labour to foresee such things before they come, which may prove great provocacions co thee, and are like to kindle and excite thy passions. Use precaution, and wisely avoid such occasions as much as thou canst. Passions are far more easily prevented, than moderated: And here premeditation is of singular use, whereby the mind may forcifie & Rrengthen it self against the exorbitancy of passion, before it arise by considering the unreasonablenese of ir, and the bitter
fraits and effects of it. 4. Refilt evil affections ac che beginning, before they grow high and headftrong ; Dah Babylons bracs against the wall: If they once gec strength, they may be too hard for thee. Lufts, and vile affections let alone, do often end in .groffe fins. There are works of the flesh, chat follow lasts of the flesh, Gal.5.15. Love of pleasure, if uncontro l'd, may end in drunkennesse, or uncleaonefle. Envy, and malice, if uncheck’d, may end in murder, or violence. Fudas allowing himselfe in Covęcousnesse, that brought him co deny his Master.
5. Temperance, and keeping under the body is an excellent means to mortifielusts, passions, and vile affections. He chat pampers his
, flesh, feeds his enemy. And how much better
is it to endure the pains of mortification here, than the horrours of everlasting darknesse hereafter?
6. Remember, that when thy blood and Spirits are moved, and thy pafsions are up, whatever is presented to thy imagination, tends to the delusion of thy soul. Passions like some kind of glasses, represent things falsely: fom. cimes of a mountain, they make a mole-hill; and somtimes a mole-hill, they magnifie inco a mountain. Therefore if it be poffible in pas fror make no resolutions. Let ic be one of chy main cares, then to suffer thy spirit and blood to cool, and thy passions to fink, and melt away, and chen thou wilt come co righe ap. prehensions. Many have grievously overfor themselves in paffion, and repenced of it at leifure.
7. Consider the root of all inordinate passi. on is felf-love. The larger the branches of passion, the deeper the root of self. love. Therefore labour to dig up the root, and do not only lop off the branches. Inordinate self-love ough to be subdued, and moreified.
8. Medicate often on the abafings, sufferings, death, and passion of our Lord, and Saviour, Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, saith the Apoitle, i Pet.2.21. that we
should follow his fteps. Was he crucified for us? and Thall not we crucifie our vile affections for him? Did he renounce his own will, to accomplish our salvation ? and shall not we deny our wills for him? our corrupc wills? The wills of the flesh and of the mind, as the Apostle callech them,
Eph.2.3. The lustings of the lower and the upper soul. Was he made of no reputacion for us and shall we be proud? Did he lay down his very
life for us his enemies and shall not we forgive an enemy for his fake? O labour from the consideracion of Christs sufferings to morei fie thy lusts and vile affections.
9. By earnest Prayer,even che prayer of Faith, seek for succour from Heaven, against all chine inordinate affections. Humbly plead that promise before che Lord, Rom.6.14. Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ge are not under the Lam, bet under Grace.
io. Take the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, Eph. 6.17. and cherewith labour to Nay thy inordinace affections. Apply che Commands and Threatnings of Gods Word to thy self, when thou findest any strong passion or luft ftirring in thee : As suppose Anger be op in thee ; cake that sword of the Spirit thou will find Eph.4.26,27. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath ; neither give place to the devil. If hatred against thy Brother be working in thee, cake chac (word, i Fonn 3.15. Whoever hateth his Brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. If thy