Sivut kuvina

felf-conceit: Il. lviii. 3. “ Wherefore have we fafted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore. have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge ? Behold, in the day of your fast, ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours." The more a person is graciously enlarged in duties, the more his finfulness, weakness, wants, and nothingness appear, notwithstanding of all his meltings, mournings, humiliations, &c. But the hypocrite, the more he is enlarged, appears to himfelf the more worthy that Chrift should do great things for him; and he becomes the less self-denied.

(2.) Gracious enlargements are fanctifying; they promote holiness in heart and life : Zech. xii. 10. “ And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the fpirit of grace and supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” They are a burning, as well as a shining light, and make persons more tender in all moral duties to God and man. If one has been taken into the temple of God in duties, it will appear about him in the substantials of morality. He will fear sin more, and be more exercised to keep a conscience void of offence towards God and towards men. But delusive enlargements have not this effect. On the contrary, they readily leave people more proud, peevish, and selfish, often making them such fons of Belial, that a person cannot speak to them; and never strike at inward beloved lufts to mortify them. true mourners, Zech. vii. 3. One may hear the word, or pour out a prayer with wet cheeks, and yet have a whole heart, a heart far from being broken for fin. Efau was in a flood of tears, feeking the blefling. Many times, where water goes out in their cale, wind enters in. It is not always humbling grace that produces tears.

2. But to be more particular,

(1.) A hypocrite may be much affected with forrow for sin in his duties. All mourners are not


Some are of soft dispositions, and easily wrought upon by a melancholy object, without any efficacy of grace, like the daughters of Jerusalem, Luke, xxiii. 27. and downwards. Some, of most rugged dispofitions, because their affections are vehement in any cafe, may be thus touched and affected, and yet there be nothing more than the product of nature. Thus, when David shewed him mercy, even Saul lifted up his voice, and wept, Sam. xxiv. 16. But the difference betwixt the Christian and the hypocrite lies here, (1.) That the chief ground of the true Christian's sorrow for fin is, the offence and dishonour done to a holy gracious God, as an ingenuous child is moved with his father's displeasure and dishonour : Psal. li. 4. “. Against thee, thee only, have I finned, and done this evil in thy fight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” But the hypocrite's chief ground is felfish, because of the evils to which he has thereby exposed himfelf, whether in time or eternity. (2.) The hypo. crite's sorrow is foon over; it is but a flash, and away; and he goes back again, if not to the same fins, yet to others no léfs offensive to God. His sorrow never goes the length to loose the bonds of wickedness : Ifa. lviii. 5. 6. “ Is it such a fast that I have chosen ? a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread fackcloth and ashes under him ? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chofon? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy bura dens, and to let the opprefled go free, and that ye break every yoke ?" It is not so with the godly: Lam. iii. 49. 50. « Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermifion : Till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven." Their sorrow for sin is habitual, because the body of fin still remains, and this forrow influences them to war against all fin.

(2.) A hypocrite may have a kind of love to God and Christ, and a defire after grace and good things. Hence Paul prays for grace to “ them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in fincerity,” Eph. vi. 24. The Christian in the letter may say, “ Lord, evermore give us this bread,” John, vi. 34. and join the foolish virgins in their desire to partake of the oil of the wife. But the difference betwixt the Christian and the hypocrite here lies :

(1. That a hypocrite may love God as his benefactor, as one who does him good every day, and from whose hands he looks for good in time coming, either for time or for eternity, Mal. iii, 1, This is to love God for one's self. But the true Chriftian loves bim, not only because of his benefits, but because of his lovely nature, his perfect holiness, truth, hatred of lin, &c. This is to love God for himself: Psal. xxx. 4. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” And this the unholy heart can never do, Rom. viii. 7. “ Because the carnal mind is enmity against God.” Now, they that love God thus, they love his image, wherever it appears, and particularly in the holy law, even where it strikes against that fin which most easily besets them: Rom. vii. 22. VOL. II.

« For

“ For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.”—The difference lies,

[2.] That they may desire grace, for its neceffity in order to save them, but not for its intrinsic beauty and likeness to the Lord : Matth. v. 7. “ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirft after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” It is the chief thing the true Christian desires, grace to be holy, as well as grace to be justified and pardoned : Psal. xxvii. 4. « One thing have I defired of the Lord, that will I feek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." -The difference lies,

Lafly, That a hypocrite may have much joy and delight in the duties of religion ; fo had the stonyground hearers, Matth. xii. 20.--If. lviii. 2. “ Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forfook not the ordinances of their God; they ask of me the ordinances of justice ; they take delight in approaching to God." There may be delusive raptures of joy, as well as unfound floods of sorrow. I shewed very lately the difference betwixt genuine joy and these delusive raptures. True joy riseth orderly, after a preceding renting effect on the heart, &c.; delusive joy more quickly, &c.*-I now come,

III. To make some short improvement.--I have endeavoured to lay before you, the differences betwixt the hypocrite and the fincere Chriftian; and from the whole, I think you may carry away these leffons.-We may hence see, 1. That it is no easy thing to be a real Christian.


* See Catechetical Sermors cn Rom. v. 2.

A parcel of external performances do not make a Christian, nay, nor even internal things also, without the genuine spirit of duties, performances, and attainments: That the great thing which makes the difference is, not so much what is done, as how it is done, the principles, ends, manner, &c. of doing it.-- We may learn,

2. That a man may go a very great length in religion, and notwithstanding be naught in God's esteem. A person may look fo like a true Chriftian, that he may deceive both faints and sinners, like him who is said to have made an image with such motion, that others thought it had life. Nay, I know not but he may deceive the devil himself : Jer. xvii. 9. « The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.; who can know it ?” like him who is said to have painted grapes so lively, that the birds came and picked at them. He may deceive himself like the Laodiceans, and go to death with the delusion, like the fpolish virgins.-We may learn,

3. That however far the hypocrite goes, the true Christian goes beyond him; and therefore we must not, we ought not, to satisfy ourselves as to the point of sincerity, unless there be something in us which is not to be found in hypocrites. And therefore I exhort you to put yourselves to the trial. Try yourselves whether you be in Christ or not, whether you be sincere Christians or not.-- Consider,

(1.) True religion is very rare at all times: Mat. vii. 14. “ Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” The miserable decay and untenderness among all sorts of persons, shew it to be especially rare at this time, in which we may say, “ Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth;



« EdellinenJatka »