122 (4.) Exculès argue an ill .Spirit, and an unwilling Heart. When they fhould do fometl:ing for God, there is fbmething Rill in the way, fome Danger, or fòme Dif- ficulty, which they are loath to encounter withal. Prov. a6. 13. The floathful Man faith, There is a Lyon in the way. ThPy are fruits of the Quarrel betweenConvi6ti- on and Corruption ; and are ufually found in us when we firft begin to underftand the away of the Lord, but are loath to come up to the Terms. Certainly, 'tis better be doing, than excufing : Doing is fàfe, but Exculès are but a Patch upon a fore Place. If we have done a Fault, 'ris better confefs, and feek a Pardon, than to excufe and extenuate. (5.) Confider the Invalidity of all things, that are ufually alledged by Sinners: And,to help you, confider, r. Nothing can be pleaded as Reafon, which God's Word difproveth. The Scriptures Were purpofely penned, to refute the vain Sophifms that are in the Hearts of Men. Heb.4. t z. To divide between Soul and Spirit,Joynts and Marrow; and to difcern the Thoughts arid Intents of the Heart : To difcover the Affe&ions of a fenfual Heart, how ever palliated with the Pretences of a crafty Underftanding, to hide the Evil from them - fèlves and others. You muff not lift up your private Conceits againft the Witdom of .God. 2. Nothing can be pleaded. as Reafon, which your Confciences are not fatisfied with as Reafon. That is the Reafon there are ft many Appeals to Confcience in Scripture : Do not your Confciences tell you, you ought to be better, to mind God more ? That if theft things be true, 2 Pet. 3.1i. That all the e things fhall be diff olved, what man- ner of Perfons ought we to be in all holy Converfation and Godlinefs ? 3. Nothing can be pleaded by way of Excufe, which reflects upon God, as if he had made an hard Law; We are apt to plead fo : The way of the Lord is not equal. The Woman thou gaveft me; fhegave me,. and I did eat. Will you excufe your Idle - nefs, and fin, by the Severity of your Mafter, and caft your Brat at his Doors ? 4. There can be no Excufe for a total Omiffmn of neceffary Duties. In a partial Omiffion, the Law it felf alloweth a Difpenfation ; as in cafe of Sicknefs, we are taken off from force Work, Nvhich'God requireth at other times. But force things are indifpenfibly required. john 3. 5. Except a Man be born of Water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Heb. 52. 54. Without Holinefs no Man (hall fee the Lord. 'Jere is Necetas precepts tr medii. 5. You should harden your felves with no Excufe, or Reafon, but what you dare plead, when you Eland before the Bar of Chrift : For then will the weight of all Pleas be confider'd. Now, God hath left all Creatures without Excufe, Rom. r. 20. There is fame Witnefs of God to them, that convinceth them of more Duty than they are willing to perform. . Secondly, And more particularly, The ufual Excufes are thefe : s. Objeít. I have no time to mind Soul - Affairs ; my Diftra &ions in the World are fo great, ,and my courfe of Life is fuch, I have no leifure. adnfw. r. Whatever your Bufrnefs be, you have a time to eat, and drink, and fleep ; and have you no time to be laved ? Better encroach upon other things, than that Religion fhould be call to the Walls, or fuftled out of your Thoughts. David was a King, and he had morè diftra&ing Affairs than molt of us have, or can have ; yet, Pfal. 519. 147i 148. the faith, I prevented the Dawning of the Morning, .and cryed : And, Mine Eyes prevent the Night- Watches, that I might meditate on thy Word. 2. Do you fpend no time in Idlenefs, 'vain Talking, or carnal Sports ? And might not this be better imployed about Heavenly things ? Ephef. 5. a6. Redeeming the Time, becaufe the Days are evil. 3. Much of Religion is tranfa &ed in the Mind. A Chriftian is always ferving God ; his Second Table Duties are Fir/l Table Duties. As carnal Men go about Heavenly things with a carnal Mind ; fo the Chriftian goeth about Carnal things with an Heavenly Mind. God would be lure to have a Portion of time ; therefore the Lord's Day was appointed. Ifa. 58. 13. If thou turn away thy Foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy Pleafure on my Holy Day, and call the Sabbath a Delight, the Holy of the Lord, Honoura- ble ; and fhált honour him; not doing thine own Ways, nor finding thine own Plea fere, nor fpeaking thine own Wordy &c. That it may be dear to us in the Flefh, and in the Lord, when we have God's Command, and the Laws of the Land too. . 5. All SEKMONSuponthe SERM.XVI.