Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

SEAM IV.1 FLESH AND SPIRIT, &C:- 75 season, be has indulged unlawful airs, and complied toe far with the vices of company, when .thou observest his spirit vexed and pained inwardly, that he has indulged any criminal appetite or passion beyond what has been visible in thy own conduct; do not pride thyself in thy own purity, nor disdain thy mourning brother, but say within thyself, " Perhaps he has watched and laboured more than I have done, and yet his own iniquitywas too strong for him." Think with thyself that he was wrest ling with a giant, and fought hard, and was overcome; but thy own combat was but as it were with a dwarf or a child, with some feebler vice that had less root in thy constitution ; and therefore though thou hast laboured less, yet thou hast gained the victory. And to encou- rage such mourning christians, let me add, that in the future state, it is probable, the saints shall be reward- ed, not so much according to their actual success and victory, as according to the toil and labour of the combat. Yet take this caution by the way too : Such persons should not think themselves innocent, because they fight harder against sin than others do; let them not think all warnings useless, nor be angry with the gentle ad- monitions of their friends, as though they were hard censures : for such christians have more need of warn- ing than others, because they are more in danger. They ought to be crying out on themselves continually, O wretched creature ! who shall deliver me ? They should beg reproofs, and say, Let the righteous smite me, it shall be kindness ; and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil that shall not break my head ; Rom. vii. 4. Psal. cxli. 5. . Let my brethren watch over me, for I find I am not sufficient to be my own keeper ; and let them have compassion on me, plucking me out of the fire, for I hate, as well as they, the garment spotted with the (flesh; Jude, ver. 2:3. Thus the flesh must be brought under by constant watchfulness, prayer, and resistance, else we cannot maintain holiness and peace. Take heed therefore, O feeble and tempted christian, while thou art by prayer engaging the heavenly alliance on thy side, that thou let not thy own weapons drop, but maintain the .war. The