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stified, for God is greater than our Consciences. * That
* That what was a Truth of God then, is
Lire, and should dare to venture upon wild Accounts without Order, without Abatements, without Contideration, without Conduct, without Fear, without Scrutinies and Confeffions, and Inftruments of Amends or Pardon; he either knows not his Danger, or cares not for it, and little underlands bow great a Horrour that is, that a Man Nould rett bis Head for ever upon a Cradle of Flames, and lie in a Bed of Sorrows, and never sleep, and never end his groans or the gnashing of his Teeth.
This is that which fome spiritual Perfons call awakening of the Sinner by the terrours of the Law; which is a good Analogy or tropical Expreffion to represent the Threatnings of the Gospel, and the Danger of an incurious and a linning Person : But we have nothing else to do with the terrors of the Law; for, blefled be God, they concern us not. The terrours of the Law were the intermination of Curses upon all those that ever broke any of the lealt Commandments, once, or in any Instance: And to it the Righteousness of Faith is opposed. The terrours of the Law admitted no Repentance, no Pardon, no Abatement; and were so severe, that God never infii&ted them at all according to the Letter, because he admitted all to Repentance that defired it with a timely Prayer, unless in very few Cases, as of Achan or Corah, the gatherer of Sticks upon the Sablath-day, or the like: But the state of Threatnings in the Gospel is very fearful, because the Conditions of avoiding them are easy and ready, and they happen to evil Persons after many Warnings, fecond Thoughts, frequent Invitations to Pardon and Repentance, and after one entire Pardon configned in Baptism. And in this sense it is necessary that such Persons as we now deal withal should be instructed concerning their Danger.
4. When the fick Man is either of himself, or by thele Considerations, set forward with Pụrposes of Repentance and Confession of his Sins in order to all its holy Purposes and Effects, then the Minifter is to affift him in the understanding the number of his Sins, that is, the several kinds of them, and the various
manners_of prevaricating the divine Commandments : For as for the number of the Particulars in every kind, he will need less help; and if he did, he can have it no where but in his own Conscience, and from the Witnefies of his Conversation. Let this be done by prudent Infinuation, by arts of Remembrance and secret Notices, and propounding Occasions and InItruments of recalling such things to his Mind, which either by publick Fame he is acculed of, or by the Temptations of his Condition it is likely he might have contracted.
5. If the Person be truly penitent, and forward to confess all that are set before him, or offered to his fight at a half Face, then he may be complied withal in all his innocent Circumstances, and his Conscience made placid and willing, and he be drawn forward by good Nature and Civility, that his Repentance in all the Parts of it, and in every step of its Progress and Emanation, may be as voluntary and chosen as it can. For by that means if the fick Person can be invited to do the work of Religion, it enters by the door of his Will and Choice, and will pass on toward Confummation by the Instrument of Delight.
6. If the fick Man be backward and without apprehension of the good-natur’d and civil way, let the Minister take care that by some way or other the Work of God be secured : And if he will not understand when he is secretly prompred, he must be hal; looed to, and asked in plain Interrogatives concerning the Crime of his Life. He mutt be told, of the evil Things that are spoken of him in Markets or Exchanges, the proper Temptations and accuftomed Evils of his Calling and Condition, of the A&ions of Scandal : And in all those A&ions, 'which are publick, or of which any Notice is come Abroad, fet care be taken that the right side of the Case of Conscience be turned toward him, and the Errour truly represented to him by which he was' abused; as the Injustice of bis Contracts, his oppreflive Bargains, his Rapine and Violence; And if he hath persuaded himself to think well of a scandalous A&tion, let him be in
instructed and advertised of his Folly and his Danger.
7. And this advice concerns the Minister of Religion to follow without Partiality, or Fear,' or Interest, in much Simplicity, and Prudence, and hearty Sincerity; having no other Confideration, but that the Interest of the Man's Soul be preserved, and no Caurion used, but that the matter be represented with juft Circumstances, and Civilities fitted to the Person with Prefaces of Honour and Regard, but so that nothing of the Duty be diminished by it, that the Introduction do not spoil the Sermon, and both together suin two Souls [of the speaker, and the bearer.] For it may soon be confidered, if the fick Man be a poor or an indifferent Person in secular account, yet his Soul is equally dear io God, and was redeeined with the same highet price, and is therefore to be highly regarded : And there is no Temptation, but that the spiritual Man may speak freely without the allays of Interest or Fear; or mistaken Civilities. But if the fick Man be a Prince, or a Person of Eminence or Wealth, let it be remember'd, it is an ill expression of reverence to his Authority, or of regard to his Person, to let him perish for the want of an honest, and juft, and a free Homily.
8. Let the fick Man in the Scrutiny of his conscience and Confession of his Sins, be carefully reminded to consider those Sins, which are only condemned in the Court of Conscience, and no where else, for there are certain Secrecies and Retirements, Places of Darkness, and artificial Veils, with which the Devil uses to hide our Sins from us, and to incorporate them into our Affe&tions by a constant uninterrupted Pra&ice, before they be prejudiced or discovered 1. There are many Sins which have Reputation, and are accounted Honour; as Fighting a Duel, answering a Blow, with a Blow, carrying Armies into a Neighbour-Countrey, robbing with a Navy, violently seizing upon a Kingdom. 2. Others are permitted by Law; as Usury in all Countries : And because every excess of it. is a certain Sin, the permis
fion of so suspected a matter makes it ready for us,
9. To which I add, for the likeness of the thing, that the matter of omission be considered; for in then lies the bigger half of our Failings : And yet in many Inftances they are undiscerned, because they very often