Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. 13. xxvth. Chapter of St. M A T TH E w. 73 particular time of Chriffs coming is kept fecret, that we may be moved at all times to prepare for it. The Lord forefaw that we would be prone to negligence and carnal fecurity, and that the knowledge of the exprefs time of his coming would be hurtful to us ; therefore 'ris inter Arcana lmperü, among the Secrets kept in the Fathers bofom, that we might be alwayes ready : So Luk. 21. 36. VVatchye there- fore, and pray alwayes, that ye may be accounted worthy to /land before the Son of Man The meaning is, that we may efcape the Judgments then to be poured out upon the wicked and die carelefs ; that we may not caufa cadere, that we may have a Sentence of Approbation pafs'd in our favour. There are the two forts of Watch- ing preffed upon us in Scripture, the one to avoid the Snares of the Devil ; the other that we may. be ready for the coming of the Lord. Fieft, Watching with refpe& to our prefent State and Safety. This again is two- fold : A watching to avoid evil, and a watching for the careful performance of that which is good : The Scripture fpeaketh of both, and both are enforcedby their own proper Reafons. (r.). For the avoiding of Evil: There is in us all a finfull pronenefs to evil, which we muff to cure and prevent. Prov. 4. 23. Keep thy Heart with all diligence, for out of it are theiffàes of life. The Heart is terminus daimon ad intra, c fins altionum ad extra ; 'tis the Heart that God aimeth at in all that he doth upon us, and 'tis the Heart that is the Ground of all our Aétions. The Fountain mutt be kept pure from pollutions, that the ftreams may be the more limpid and clear. Every man hath a little Garrifon to keep, and he $imfelf is the Watchman of it ; his Confcience is to fit Porter at the Door, and to examine whatever cometh out and entreth in, as a Watchman doth at the Gates of a City : All the thoughts, affeEli- ons, words, aEtions, are to be examined, what they are, whither they go, whence they come, whither they tend, left a Temptation be let in, or a Corruption be let out ; otherwife the Heart cannot be kept pure and loyal to God. Solomon tell - eth us, Prov. 25. 28. He that hath no Rule over his own Spirit, is like a City that ie without walls. A Town without walls lieth open to every comer : Sin and danger, and all kind of evil motions go to and fro, without any kind of check and controul : Things will 'pats out which fhould be fuppreffed and kept in; and Temptations will enter which fhould`be kept out. Now this Caution is no more than needeth, if we confider the Enemies ofour Salvation, the Devil, the World, and the Flefb. Firfl, The Malice of Sathan. Our Adverfary is very watchfull, and getteth ad- vantage by nothing fo much, as our fecurity. Vigilar Arofiis, e'r dormía ? 'Twas an old word ;. The Devil is neither dead nor afleep, and fhall not we (land upon our guard? t Pet. 5. 8. Be faber and watchful, for your adverfary the Devil goeth about like a roaring Lyon, feeking whom he may devour. Sathan is a reftlefs Adver- fary, full of Malice and Craft, his end is to deftroy and devour Souls, and his diligence is anfwerable to his malice. Night and day we are in danger every one of us. There were but two Adams, and they were both tempted, though the one was made after Gods Image, and the other had the fulnefs of the Godhead dwell- ing in him bodily. Adam in Innocency, and Chrift in humane nature were tempt- ed, and can we hope to efcape ? Neglect your Watch, and you become a ready prey to the Devil : When the Servants fiept, the Enemy (owed Tares, Math. 13. 25. He obferveth all our drowfie fits, and is waiting for fome Advantage, or at leaft fome . Occafion. Sometimes we give him an Advantage by our folly and indifcretion : 2 Cor. 2. xi. left Sathan fbould get an advantage againfl ue : Or if not, he taketh Occafion, as he tempted Chrift when he was an hungry, Matth. 4.2. and 2 Cor. 7. 5. that Sathan tempt you not. He can interpret the filent language of a blufh, a fmile, a frown, a look, the glance of a luflfull eye, the molt fecret difcovery of wrath, and difcontent, and fuiteth his Temptations to all the pollutes of fpirit we are in. Secondly, There is betides this, Hoflis domefticus, the bofom Enemy, the Flefb, or the inbred Corruption of our Nature, that is ready to betray us to the bafeft Tem- ptations, and to open the Gates to the Enemy without. Man needeth no Devil to tempt him, we have enough in our own bofoms to prompt and urge us to fin. Yam. r, 5. The Spirit in us lufleth to envy. Gen. 6. 5. The thoughts and imaginations of our hearts are evil continually : 'Tis eafie to let Tinder, Gunpowder, or Flax on fire, and therefore they had need to be kept afunder:'We cannot be too careful, the beft of us have a good Pelf and a bad Pelf ; the one muff watch over the other, or all will come to twine, and Grace will be ready to die. Rev. 2. 2. Be watchful and flrengthen