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Phil.2.15. That ye may be blamelesse, and harma
leffe, the sons of God without rebuke, in the
whom ye shine as Lights in the world.
true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Hiving now dispatched those four things thou must watch over, namely, thy Thoughis, thy Affections, thy Words, and thy Actions. I come now in the second place to speak of those fix things thou most especially watch against.
1. Against chose fins chou art most enclined to, by temper and natural constitution. The weakest part of the Cicy must have the strongest guard. Some Affections are predominant in one Age, some in another : There are youthful lufts, 2 Tim.2.22. as well as infirmities proper to old Age. 'Twas a greac Argument of Davids sincerity that he could truly say, Psal.18 23. I was upright before thee, and kept my self from mine iniquity.
Study therefore thy heart, and consider what fins thou are most prone unco. All fins fight against the soul, but thy Masterofin is che Golish; endeavour (through che aids of Grace) to play
that, and the whole Army of the Philistines will be easily vanquished.
2. Against the fins thou art most obnoxious to, by reason of thy particular Calling, Condiți. on, State, and course of life, A man by reason of his calling, or condicion of life may have more frequent, and stronger inducements to fome fins, chan to others, which he is chere. fore the more especially to keep watch against, 2 King.5.18. In this thing the Lord pardon thy fervant, that when my Master goeth into the house of Rimmon, to worship there, and he leaneth on noy band, and I bow my self in the house of Rimmon ; when I bow down my self in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy fervant in this ibing.
3. Against the fins of the times, and places wherein chou liveft. We must be careful of being carried away with the evil of the times. 'Tis a description of wicked men, Eph.2.2. cha they walked according to the courte of this world, 3. e, according to che Age, as the manner of the. times went. But of righceous Noah, we have another kind of Character,Gen.6.9. Noah was a just mar upright in his generation,& Noah walked wrih God. And so in 2 Chron. 17.3.4.We read, that the Lord was wich Fehosaphat, because he walked in the first waies of his father David, and fought rot unto Baalim, best fought to the Lord God of his Father,and walked in his Commandments, and nos after the dyings of Israel. And the Apostle ex.
horts the Philippians, Chap. 2. v.15. that they should be blamelese, and harmlesse, the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and a perverse nation, among whom (saies he) ye bine as Lights in the world. 'Tis a high point of Grace, not to be fnared with the evils of our own times.
4. Against all occasions, and temptations, thou foreseest are likely to endanger thy soul. We that pray to God, not to lead us into temptation, must not run our selves inco it: A prudent man should therefore forethink, and consider
in the morning, what temptations he is like to 4. be encountred with that day, thac so he may
(if possible) decline them, or elle set his guards the stronger against them. A weak temptation that takes us unawares, will prevail more than a stronger forseen. A prudent man faith Solomon,
Prov.22.3. foreseeth the evil, and bideth himself, but the foolishgoon still and are punished. 'Tis a point of true spiritual wisdom co forefee fin afar off, in the occasions, and cempcacions chac lead to it, and by avoiding the one co prevenc the other. 'Tis easier and safer for che Fowlco passe by the snare, while she is yet out, than ic is to wind her self out again, when she is once in.
Watch and pray, saies our Saviour to his Disciples, Mat.26.41. that ge enter net into temptation. If ye do rashly enter the lists of temptation, a thousand to one (luch is mans nacurall weak
nesse) you will not come out without some foil.
5. Against dishoncuring God in the use of t larofal things, Juch as meat, drink, apparel, landful refreshments, Sc.
Rémiember chac 'cis in the use even of things indifferent, that Sacan most usually sexcech his "Snares for Gods servants ; for here the snare is not so visible, as in grosser fins; and he prevailech more often against those that be nor grosseJy prophane and angodly, by the immoderate or undue use of things in themselves lawful, chan by drawing them to such things as are simply. vil, and unlawful. The Devil knowes well
, that he that will do all he may do, will soon be drawn to do fomwhat be ought not to do. 'Tis dan. gerous to come near the borders and confines of for: Those that will go to the atmoft extent of their Chriftian Liberty and venture themselves so near the brink, do many times fall into ibe' pit of fin. All things (faith 'che Apostle) are' lawful santo me, but all things are not expedient, i Cor.6.12. and 10.23. All things. i.e. not all things absoListely, but all things in their own nature indiferent aré lawful to me; yet all such things are not alwaies expedient. ?Tis better for us many times to forbear many things we may do,(it will never be grief or offence of heart to'us, as was said to David, in another case, 1 Sam.25.31.) chan be once bvertaken in what we should not do.
6. Watch against Errour.
As thou must be careful to keep thy heart from finsul lults, and thy life from being spocced and stained with sinful practises ; lo chou muft be vigilant also to keep thy judgment found, and thy mind from being tainted and Ay-blown with Errour. Thou must take heed of a corrupt judgment, as well as a retten heart and a wicked life. 'Tis a great jodgment to be given up either to an erroneous mind or co vile affections. Some there are that seem very strict in their lives, and pretend as much tendernesse in maccer' of morality, as Lot did of his guests, Gen.19. yet are very loose as to their judgments; exposing them as he his Daughters to be defiled with any corrupt Doctrine chat comes to cheir doors. Fulian the Apostate was a just, temperate, strict man, but a bitter enemy co Chrift: Some that are fóber in their lives, are yet drunk with Errour. But lec such consider, that as they fay of fish, they begin to stink at the head, so a corrupt judgment is very frequently a beginner and introducer of a depraved conversacion. Men in this age are wanton, and play with opinions ; buc (believe ic) 'cis not of small moment, whac opinions we hold, and whecher we be found in the Faith, or no. Grace and Truth use to thrive together : The way of truth is the way of life, and erroux tendeth to death. The Apostle cels us of pernicious Doctrines, and damnable Herefies,