Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

84 SECOND SERMON Sometimes men, either by the power of the word, or by the sharpness of some afflictions, are quickened and inflamed unto pious purposes, like green wood which blazeth while the bellows are blowing ; and now they think they have their hearts sure, and shall con- tinue them in a good frame, to- morrow shall be as this day. But presently, like an instrument in change of weather, they are out of tune again, and, like the . chamelon, presently change colour, and as Chrysostom saith, the preacher, of all workmen, seldom finds his work as he left it. Nothing but the grace of God doth balance and establish the heart, and holy cove- nants are an ordinance or means which he hath pleased to sanctify unto this purpose, that by them, as instruments, grace as the principal cause might keep the heart stedfast in duty. If then Isaiah bewail the uncleanness of his lips, and Job suspect the un- cleanness and wandering of his eyes, what reason have we to be humbled for this unstedfastness of our hearts, from whence the diffluence and looseness of every other faculty proceeds. (2.) If we must bewail the falseness of our hearts that stand in need of covenants, how much more should we bewail their perfidiousness in the violation of covenants ! That they take occasion, even by restraint, like a river that is stopped in his course, to grow more unruly. Or, as a man after an ague, which took away his stomach, to return with stronger appetite unto sin again. To crucify our sins, and in repentance to put them, as it were, to shame, and then to take them down from the cross again, and fetch them to life, and repent of repentance. To vow, and " after vows to make inquiry," Prov, xx. 25. This is a very ill requital unto Christ. He came from glory to suffer for us, and here met with many