o Chap. 2. Of Preparation. before Hearing. Introdua. Ell.; 5.16. follow theApotles Connie( ;<s.7 >swv.,' t w eìv and redeem the time, for thenegle h of this duty cannot becxcufed by multiplicity of bufinefs, for though aprovident care cz. ;. Y he lawful, yet when it hinders us from coming to God, it becomes fin. Nor can Ga,. 1:5. 7. 'pafiimeprivdcdge us, for there'sno other reafon given that Efau wasevil, but that he r was a man ofthe field, or lived in the fields,,and loved his gaine andpleafures. And it', t sod 3:.6. was the If aelites fault;Sedcbat impulses Mere, furrexirextern ludere, thepeople fat down to eat, and rofe up toplay. This was fpoken to their Reproachand Infamy. And there- to. fore it is well faid of One, Menootiefa.nihilaliudcogitarenovit, guamdeefcir, aatguam de venire An idle manthinks of nothing but his belly. And another, Nihif infenilo Hz , nd Den,e- propofitio nth)deteritts eft, Nothinghinders holy intentions more than Idlenefs. Nor the fpirit of cloth. The Prophet tells the Jews, TheLord hath covered you with a Eis. zy. is. fpirit of,flumber, and bath flint up your eyes. If aman bath not a mind to go to this exercife, it willnot excufe him, he milt roufe up himfelf, and remove all impe- diments. But if Sicknefs'feize upon us, or fame extraordinary occafion, that cannot be avoided, neceffitates us, and keeps us back at any time from thisduty, weare to follow the Apòftics rule before mentioned, and redeem the time by our better future diligence. mar. zi. 13. 3. N forafmuch as we know, that every comer is not welcome, but he that cometh in his Wedding Garment, that come prepared as he ought : and that we fee z Chr.z9. 34. King Elezekiehwould not proclaim a folemn paffeovertill the Priefts-and Levites were prepared and that KingDavid, thoughhe had taken as,goodorder as he could, yet Chr.z9. 17. (not confident of the Abilitiesof himfelfand his people ) betook himfelf toprayer.that mt 3.3 God wouldprepare their hearts. And that in theGofpcl tho Office of 7obn the Baptift was to prepare the way of the I,ord, and tomakehis.paths ftraight. Laftly, that the f o. 47' Servant which prepared not himfelf was feverely punilhed. We ought to fit our felves to thisDuty by way of Preparation, for certainly this is a molt neceffary Duty f\inos s- i z .required in every one that defireth to know God. Prepare to meet thy God, faith the Ads s" as.. Prophet. And Barnabas in his Sermon to the Antiochians ( the firft that were called Chriftian.$)exhorted them,that withpurpofe of heart they wouldcleave unto theLord. And this everyone ought firmly to believe, that whofoever intends tobe an Audi- tormuff hear upon thiscontideration to makeufeof his hearing,' in the courfeof his Pfalin 1:9. 9. life, and put inpratlifewhat hehears. The Pfalmift faith, That a young man mutt rule himfelf according to theword, to the end that hemay cleanfe his waycs.And he, that pra&ifeth not what he heareth, faileth in thefirft point. Our Saviour called the DoEtrine of the PharifeesLeaven : and Chriftian DoEtrine Lupo 1z r may be calledferment-ton Cbriftianum, Chriftian Leaven, whole property is tochange Cu. 5' 6' thewhole lump. into its own nature and quality. So if we hear the word of God, it muff be leaven untous, and turn the whole lump into the tafteof it felf. if it be not fo with us; but that we hear continuallywithout preparation or praEt- ife, there is a bitter place againft us, we (hall be like roots, bearing gall and worm- Deer. :y ts.,wood, bitternefsit.felf. And thus much for the general notionof Preparation. Now for the particular, how we ought to prepareour felves. TheRabbins prefcribe forty eight Rules to this purpofe, which may be reduced to two. r . Preparare in timore, prepare your hearts in fear. Take heed to thy feet (faith the Edef. 5. r. Preacher) when thou entercft into the houfe of God. That is, come not to Gods houle, to hear hisholy Word, carclefly or unreverently, but with reverence and fear. W c arc net to comethither as toan ordinary place, but with an awful preparation,as Gen. z8. t7. in Godsprefence. How fearful is this place (faith7acob) this is none other but the Pfaimz.tt, houle of God. And it is fearful inrefpeEtof theMajeftyofGod, mote fully here than 7 in other places, as being the Prefence-chamber of God, where he will be waited upon with all due preparation and refpeEt. Serve the Lord with fear, was King D4vids counfel, and it was his praEtife too. I will come into thy houtc (faith he) and in thy fear will I worfhip towards thy holy Temple. z. Another realen that we fhould be qualified with fear when we corn; is, That Prov. r. 7. becaufe(as Solomon fpeaks) fear is the beginning,or head, and chiefpoint of wifdom, it mufl needs be theground-work and foundation of our preparation. The fear of the '9' z3 Lord (as he alfo) leadeth unto life: it is the High-way to all other Chriftian Duties. Pfalnr 89.9. HisSalvation (faith thePfalmilt) is nigh to them that fear him. It Bands us therefore Prov, z ;, r7, upon tobe thusprepared, elfe the Wife-man would have fpared this connfel. Be thou in the fear of the Lordcontitivally; in.