144 HOW TO DISCERN OUR TITLE is very easy. Many are now in hell, that never sus- pected any falsehood in their hearts, that excelled in, worldly wisdom, that lived in the clear light of the gospel, and even preached against the negligence of others. To be mistaken in this great point is also very common. It is the case of most in the world. In the old world, and in Sodom, we find none that were in any fear of , judgment, Almost all men among us verily looked to be saved : yet Christ tells us, there be few that find the strait gate, and narrow way, which leadeth unto life. (e) And if such multitudes are deceived, should we not search the more diligently, lest we should be deceived as well as they ? Nothing is more dangerous than to be thus mistaken. If the godly judge their state worse than it is, the conse- quences of this mistake will be sorrowful: but the mischief flowing" from the mistake of the ungodly is unspeakable. It will exceedingly confirm them in the service of Satan. It will render ineffectual the means that should do their good. It will keep a man from compassionating his own soul. It is a case of the greatest moment, where everlasting salvation or damnation is to be determined. And if you mistake till death, you are undone for ever: Seeing then the danger is so great, what wise man would not follow the search of his heart both day and night, till he were assured of his safety ? Consider how small the labour of this duty is, in comparison of that sorrow which followeth its neglect. You can endure to toil and sweat from year to year, to prevent poverty ; and why not spend a little time in self- examination, to pres=ent eternal misery ? Sy neglecting this duty, you can scarce do Satan a greater pleasure, nor your- selves a greater injury. It is the grand design of the devil, in all his temptations, to deceive you, and keep you ignorant of your danger, till you feel the ever- lasting flames ! And will you join with him to deceive yourself? If you do this for him, you do the greatest part of his work. And hath he deserved so well of (e) Matt. vii. 14.