Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

TO THE SAINT'S REST. 137 cure them. As for the ungodly, he knows if they should once earnestly examine, they would find out his deceits and their own. danger,- and so be very likely to escape him. How could he get so many mil - lions to hell willingly, if they knew they were going thither? And how could they avoid knowing it, if they did but thoroughly try ; having such a clear light and sure rule in the scripture to discover it ? If the snare be not hid, the bird will escape it. Satan knows how to angle for souls, better than to show them the hook and line, or fright them away with a noise, or with his own appearance. Therefore he labours to keep them from a searching ministry ; or to keep the minister from helping them to search ; or to take off the edge of the word, that it may not pierce and divide ; or to turn ,away their thoughts; or to possess them with prejudice. Satan knows when the minister has provided a searching sermon, fitted to the state and necessity of a hearer ; and there- fore he will keep him away that day, if it be possi- ble ; or cast him into a sleep ; or steal away the word by the cares and talk of the world : or some way prevent its Operation. § 6. Another great hinderance to self-examina- tion ariseth from wicked men. Their examples ; their merry company and discourse; their continually in- sisting on worldly, concerns ; their raillery and scoffs at godly persons; also their persuasions, allurements, and threats ; are each of them exceeding great temp tations to security. God doth scarcely ever open the eyes of a' poor sinner to see that his way is wrong, but presently there is a multitude of Satan's apostles ready to deceive . and settle him again in the quiet possession of his former master. "What !" say, they, " do you make a doubt of your salvation, who have lived so well, and done nobody any harm ? God is . merciful ; and if such as you shall not be saved, God help 'a great many ! What do "you think of all your forefathers ? And what will become of all you friends and neighbours that live as you do ? 5 S