Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. 5. xxv'h. Chapter of St. M AT T HE w. 25 merrily, quietly, in a carelefs and Unprepared Eftate ; this is neceffarily to be ta- ,ken in as the caufe of the two former. In the flumbring and fleeping of the fool- i!h Virgins the Cafe is clear ; Chrift's abfence or tarrying long is the occafion the World takes to grow fecure and wicked ; the Scoffers walked after their own Lufts, becaufe they faid, Where is the Promife of his coming, z Pet.;. 3, 4. And in the degenerate Church, the reafon why they were given to Senfüality, carnal Pomp and Perfecution, is fet down, Math. 24. 48, 49. My Lord delayeth his coming : There fore the Officers of the Church fmite their fellow Servants; and eat and drink with the Drunken ; encourage the wicked, and fmite the Godly with Cenfures As it was with the Ifraelites, there was no fpeech of making a Calf when Mofes finit went up to the Mount, but when he tarryed long, Exod. 32. And as for this M %s we wet not what is become of him ; then nothing would content .them but making a Calf. The Ordinances and Inftitutions of Chrift had never been fo per- verted in the Chriftian World, but that they.forgat Chrifts coming to fee how they have been obferved, r Tim. 6. 14. That thou keep this Commandment without /pot, un- rebukeable until the coming of the Lord Yefus Chrift. But now for the wife Virgins, alas ! there is not fuch a confiant waiting for the coming of the Lord ; for if we did not leave off to think of it, furely we would walk' more cautioufly, and ferve God with greater ardency and alacrity of Spirit ; but when we forget ir, we fet loofe the Reins, and flacken our diligence, and yield to the importunity of the flefh, and fuller our felves to be diftraEted with worldly cares, or benummed with flefh- ly delights, that we do not mind our Duty of preparing for the Lords corn. ing. Secondly, How far may this feize upon Chriftians ? The Queftíon may be fta- ted Negatively and Affirmatively ; how far it may, and how far it may not. Firft, Affirmatively. I. It may feize upon them not only when they are young, but when they are of long ftanding. When they are young ; many a man newly Converted, ha -. ving had as yet no thorough experience of the ftrength of Sin, the danger of Temptations, and his own Weaknefs, may bear a little too high upon the Confidence of his own refolutions, which becaufe the are fincere, he think: eth they will eafrly obtain their effeEt. In this rank I put Peter, whileft as yet the Spirit was not poured out, and was only under his Mafters wing, I count him but a Novice then, in comparifon of what he was afterwards. He was fo confi= -dent of his afte&ion to Chrift and refolution, that he had not a due fenfe of his danger, Matth. z6. 33. But alas, how loon were his unpraEtifed Wings clipped, and he taken in the Snare -of the Fowler ! Honeft Peter would not believe fuch Weaknefs in himfelf ; and fo unexperienced Chriftians can hardly believe them - felves to be fo weak as a Temptation fheweth them to be ;:the more fincere-their purpofe is, the more confident they are in their own Strength, even when near a fearfull fall : So a man of long ftanding being affured of Salvation, may grow negligent, and fuppofng he bath Grace, and is poffeffed of the Love of God, prelumes that he needeth not fuch diligence as when he was doubtful of his State ; and if he go round in a courfe of Duty, and avoid groffer fins, he may think'ris enough, as if he were now pall all danger, and fo infenfibly falleth afleep or into decay : Rev. 3. 18. Becaufe thou fayefi that I am rich, and intreafed withgoods, and have need of nothing, and knoweft not that thou art wretched, and miferable, 'and poor, and blind, and naked : I counfel thee to buy of me Gold tried in the (re, that thou mayeft be rich, and white Rayment that thou mayeft be clenched, that the Theme of thy nakednefr do not appear, and Eye -falve that thou mayeft fee. 'Tis not fpoken to the grofs Carnal, or to beginners, or perfons unacquainted with Chrift ; but to lukewarm Profeffors, after the firft labours of Regeneration, and the difficul- ties of Reconciliation with God are part over, and the terrours of the Law well vanquilhed, and fome peace and confidence gotten ; then we are in danger of fecurity, by which means all may run to waft in the Soul, and fins break out and make our blindnefs and nakednefr appear. The wife Virgins flept not 'till their main work was in Tome meafure over : and therefore a ftrange fecurity and fleepinefs is incident to us, and may befall not only the wicked, who fcarce ever think of the world to come, being blinded with wiefent things; but thofe that are good, have their drowfie fits, by which they remit of their Zeal, and grow more dead, and are not fo diligent in feeking occafions to do good. E z. When