Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. II, 12. xxvfh. Chapter of St: MATTHEW. 69 2. The Terms of the Gofpel will not be more eafte, and we better able to obey them hereafter than now we are. The Laws of Chriflianity are alwayes the fame. The pleafures of fin muft one day be renounced, or we are for ever miferable.; and why not now ? Sin will be as fweet hereafter as now it is ; and Salvation difpenfed upon the fame terms. You cannot be faved hereafter with lefs adoe, or bring down Chrift or Heaven to a lower rate. If this be a reafon, it will ever be as a reafon againft Chrift and Religion, becaufe you are loath to part with this or that pleating lull ; and fo it will never be. 3. The Sufpicion that is upon a late Repentance : 'Tis feldome found, and there- fore alwayes queftionable. That is no true Repentance which arifeth meerly from horrour, and the fenfe of Heil. This fenfible work that men have upon them, may be but the beginning of everlafting defpair. All men Peek the Lord at length, but the wife feel him in time. This was the great difference between the wife and foolifh Virgins one fought him in time, the other out of time : They would covet his favour at laft. Upon a Death -bed the molt piophane would have God for their portion : When they can fin no more, and enjoy The World no longer, then they cry and howl for mercy and comfort, and a little well grounded hope of Heaven or eternal life : But who can tell whether this fenfible work that is upon them, be not meerly an a& of felf love, and the fruit of thofe natural de- fires which all the Creatures have after their own happinefs ; or a meer retreat others have when they can hold the World no longer. We cannot fay this Re- pentance is true, nor affirm the contrary, that 'tis falle but'tis doubtful. There is but that one inftance of the Thief on the Crofs, that trulÿ repented when he came to die. The Scriptures contain an Hiftory of four thoufand years, or there- abouts ; and yet all that while we have but this one inftance of a true Repen- tance juft at death ; and in that Inftance there is an extraordinary Conjun &ion of Circumftances, which cannot reafonably be expelled again. Chrift was now at his right hand, in the height of his love drawing (inners to God : Never filch a feafon as then, and 'tis more than probable, he had never a call before then. Well then, let. us put this neceffary work of Preparation for God out of doubt betimes ; yea let the Children of God, if they have not yet prevailed againft Poch a Luft, or lived in the negle& of fuch a Duty, could not bring their hearts to it hither- to, make fpeed, left furprized, and this defe& in their preparation make their death uncomfortable. A good Chriftian is alwayes converting, yet not ful- ly converted : The firft work is often gone over, and he is ftill getting nearer to God by a more affe &ionate compliance with his whole will. Do &. 2. That thofe that are finally refufed by the Lord, may yet have a defre of the oyes of Heaven. (r.) Confider them in this World, and in the hhorld to come. There two refpefts are different : For though Self -love be the common eagle of their defiring Heaven both now, and then; yet there is a difference : 'Tis more commendable to defire it now, than to defire it then ; though neither be an argument of any gracious Conftitution of Soul. 'Tis more commendable to defire it now, when 'tis a mat- ter of Faith to believe the World to come, than when 'cis a matter of Senfe ; as when all Shadows are chafed away, then 'tis no hard matter to convince men of things that lye within the Veil ; that is, of the truth and worth of Heavenly things : And yet if they fhould be convinced of this, we cannot fay they are gra- cious, however they are better than meer Infidels ; for carnal men may defire a "[hare in the Rate of the Bleffed, as Numb. 23. so. Oh that I might die the death of the Righteous ! Bahian; had his wifhes. And thofe that did not like Chrifts Do &rine, but departed from him, faid, 7oh. 6. 34. Lord, evermore give us of this bread of life. They would fain be happy : When this happinefs was reprefented unto them, it may and doth fit up ftrange motions in the Hearts of thofe that are unrenewed and unchanged. (2.) There is a difference in the End and Vfe of this defire pf Happinefs. Now and then God leaveth there Velleities and Inclinations as a Stock upon which to graft Grace ; as a Spinfter leaveth a lock of Wooll to faften the next thread as Nebuchadnezzar's fhape remained when he As turned a grazingamong the Beafts ; and as yob's Meffengers, I alone am efcaped to tell thee. There are there Inclinati