Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

xx'tJ'h Chi pter of St.` M Ver. 26, 2 7. A T T H E W. 12 >t Let a Man deceive himfelf now, and pleafe himfelf with thefe Pretences, as he will all his Excufeslhall be retorted upon him, and made matter of his Condemnation. -For the Judge is Impartial, and Omnifcient ; his Eyes cannot be blinded : nay, he can operi your own Corifciences; and fo overwhelm you with the Evidence and Con - :vifìion of your Sins, that yon (hall have nothing to lay. As in the a zth. öf Matthew, The Man war fpeechlefs when arraigned. But becaufe the excufing Humour is very rife, and many things ferve the turn now, which will not bear weight then ; I íhall .a little handle this Matter of Excufing. In the general, an Excúfe is an Apology, or vain Defence ; whereby the Sinner feeketh to palliate his Negligence in God's Serviced To undeceive you, Firfi, Take thefe general Confiderations. ( r.) That Carnal Men are ill verfed in the Art Of excafing Evil, when they have a right-Principle to go upon ; and that which they think maketh for them, ufually maketh againft them. Solomon telleth us, Prov. z6. 9. That a Parable in a Fool's .Mouth is like a Thorn in the Hand of a Drunkard. The Thorn was their Inf}runient of Sewing, as the Needle with us : Now, a Drunkard woundeth and gored) him - felf, becaufe of his uneven Touch, when his Spirits are difturbed with excels of Drink. Do but obferve, how contrarily and perverfely wicked Men will reafon, and what Inferences and Conclufions they will draw from thofe very Principles the `Godly . make a good. ufe of ? As in 1 Cor.' 15. 32. Let sir eat and drink ; for to Morrow we (hall die Now, compare this with a Cor. 7. 29, 3o. But this I fay, Brethren, the Time is ¡bort ; it rematneth, tbat,both they that have Wives, be di- though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept nut ; and they that rejoyce, as though they re- ¡geed not ; and they that buy, 'as thoug&h they pofefed not ; and they that ufe the World, as not abufng it : For the Fafbion of this World pafeth away. 2 Kings 6. 33. And while he yet talked with them, behold the Meffenger came down unto him; and he ford, Behold, this Evil is of the Lord ; why fhould I wait for the Lord any longer ? Compare this with I Sam. 3. 18. And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him ; and he laid, It is the Lord,. let him do what feemeth him good. So Haggai I. z. Thies fpeaketh the Lord of Haffs, The People far, the Time is not come, the Time that the Lord's Houfe fbould be built. Compare this.Scriptiere with z Sam. 7. z. And the Ding Paid unto Na- than the Prophet, See now, I dwell in an Houfe of,Cedar ; but the Ark of God dwelleth within Curtains. When David dwelt in a ftately Houle , his Heart was let upon building an Houle for the Lord. So Rom. 2.4. Or defpife f1 thou the Riches of his Good- nefs, and Forbearance, andLong-fuffering ; not knowing that the Goodnefs of God leadeth thee to Repentance; with Titus z. 1 r,1 z. For the Grace. of God, that bringeth Salvati- on, bath appeared to all Men; teaching us, that denying Vngodlinefs, and worldly Lugs, we fhould live Soberly, Righteotifly and Godly in this prefnt World. Jude.A.. Viigodly Men, turning the Grace of God into Lafcivioufnefs. (a.) Sometimes Carnal- Men pretend certain Caufes and Estafes, when their Con - fcience knoweth 'tis otherwife ; and then the things alledged, are not the real Opii.. nions, and inward Sentiments of their own Minds; but fòmething laid, or taken up to juftifie their Sloath. 1 Cor. 6. 9. Knowye nit, that the Vnriohteóus ¡hall not inherit the Kingdom of God ? Be not deceived, neither Fornicators, nor Ìdolators, nor Adulterers; nor Effeminate, nor Abufers of themfelves with Mankind, &c. As Hopes of Impunity, though they live a Godlefs and finful Conde of Life'; If they, were fèrious, Coefei- ence would tell them, Men may be deceived with thefe things, but God cannot : Ye may Rifle Confcience for a while, with thefe Allegations ; but it will fpeafc;'an!l then thefe furry Fig - leaves will not ferve the turn to hide your Nakednefi (3.) .Sometimes thefe Excufes are the Fruit of Blindaefs, Sottifhnefs, I rsordnce, and Infatuation ; and the Sluggard bath an high Conceit of his own Allegaions. Prov: 26. 16. The Sluggard is wifer in his osos Conceit, than leven Men that can render a Rea - fan. He thinketh others are mopilh, giddy, and crack- bráin'd People, that make more. ado with Religion than needed), are too nice and fcrupulous; take it to be good Prudence, to keep out of harms way : His very foolilh Thoughts lie thinketh are wife Reafons; that Religion is a merry thing. Prov. 15. 19. The nay of á¡loath- /al Man is a Hedge of Thorns, but the way of the righteous Man is made Dlate. He ima- gined) Difficulties, and intolerable Hardlhips in a courfè ofGodlineís. 'Tis our Cow - ardife and Pufillanimous Ignorance maketh the Ways of God loom liard: All thins are comfortable, plain and cake to the pure andlupri< *ht Heart. Thus he Mower!) !rot and cold'; fpeaketh contrary things, according as he loolteth upon them with a lfeigitt or pufillanimous Heart. R (4) Exculès