Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. i, 2. xxvth Chapter of St. M A "t T H E W. 9 nor do they take their Lamps ; if they have an Hiflorical certainty, nor a tem- porary Faith. How much then of the Chriftian World would be cut off before we come to an accurate and exquifrte Tryal ? a Pet. 3. xi. What manner of per - fins ought we to be ? and Gal. 5. 24. They that are Chris have crucified the fle(b with the afellions and tuffs thereof If this be a fure rule to try by, what a multitude of Chriftians are there that do not belong to Chrift, that by a real Profeffion have given up their Names to him.? 2. Vfe, Is Caution to us all : let us take heed we do not deceive our felves, or reif fatisfyed with the piEture of Godlinefs. An Army would be very cautious if they knew before -hand that one half of them fhould be deftroyed now five of them were wife, and five were foolifh. Among the Virgin Profeffors that hold out an honourable Profeffion, many will be found foolifh. Yea, when Chrift bad faid, One of you fhall Betray me ; Lord, is it I, is it I ? laid the Difciples : Now you are here told not one but many ; now goe home, and fay, Lord, is it I ? In the. pureft Churches many may lye hid and not difcerned : Oh, therefore take not up with weak and groundlefs hopes. (I.) Do not pleafe your felves by being of loch a Sea, or filch a Profeffion. Men think the lafeft place to lie deep in, is Chrifts own lap : If they are of fuck a party, they think they are fafe but confider, Lead may be call into all forms, an Angel or Devil, but 'tis Lead frill. Confider, God is an exalt and impartial Judge, 1 Per 3. 17. 1f yox call on the Father, who without refpell of per/ons judoeth all men ; his People as well as others, if they build upon their Profeffien. 'Do. not content your felves with a Form of Godlinefs, though never fo (!rid, nor a Name of Godlinefs though never fo renowned. Thefe were Virgins, not defiled w.i `. Errour or Idolatry, or the fcandalous cufloms or fafhions of the world ; yet form of them were foolifh Virgins. (2.) Do not content your felves that you do not take up a Profeffion and an Intention of Religion meerly to ferve the times, and your felves of it, not know- ing your felves intentionally and induflrioufly to counterfeit ; as Judas that follow- ed Chrift for the Bag, being in his Heart a Traytor, and a Thief from the be- ginning, Jahn 13.6. or as Simon Magus at firfl hoped to make as good Market of ' his new Faith as his old Sorcery, profeffed to believe in Chrift out of defign. Nay-, -a man that for any thing he knoweth or perceiveth, may think that he is in good earneft, yet he may be a Temporary, though he is no Temporizer. Chrift knew them that knew not themfelves, Yoh. 2. 24. To fpealç in a word, though you may know nothing of Guile, yet do not content your felves with that meerly. (3.) Do not reff in this, that you find fome real work, and go no. farther. I A mans Heart may be foftened, but not opened to the purpofe : he may have a love and liking of Religion, and yet not come under the power of it; fome falh- es of Comfort, yet Peek his Happinefs in worldly things ; fome defires and good inclinations, and yet be flothful and negligent in the main, in mortifying Lufts, or not perfeling Holinefs ; and fain would have fame part in Chrift, but yet make but fender preparation ; get Oyl in his Lamp, but not in his Veffel ; fain he would have the Blef lugs of. Grace and Glory, if bare ìvifhes and defires would do it ; fain would goe to Heaven, but would do nothing for ir, unlefs it be in a lazy, cold and dull preparation; doth not make it the chief bufinefs of his Life to know the Will of God and do it. 3. Vfe, Is to Elliott us to be very ferious .in our Preparation for the coming of the Lord ; or as the Apoftle cautions the 'Ephefians, Eph. 5. r 5,16. See that ye walk circumfpeilly, not as Fools but as wife. To this end confider, Firff, That our. whole Life is nothing elfe but a preparation for Chrifts corn ing.' The common Duty of all Chriflians, is to go forth and meet the Bridegroom ; or to make fure of Life Eternal, is the neceffary bufinefs we have to do in the world: Our whole Life was appointed for this end, and all the time we 1pend here is worfe than loft, if it be not imployed and ufed for this end. 'Tis now Pre- paration tithe; theft are the Months of our Purification for our Immortal. Souls, therefore our continual care fhould be to make ready. Secondly, We may deferr this work tdo long, wo cannot begin it too loon. The foolifh Virgins would get Oyl in their Veffels, but it was too late. Never, C any