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animate the beasts of the l 6. Since this great trial field. But to their eternal then shall be upon life and sorrow it is far otherwise : death eternal, it will be for there is an account to wisely done to try beforebe given by every man of hand. Such is the advice his immortal soul, and of of the wise Siracides ; the image of God stamped “Before judgment, examine thereupon ; how this bless-thyself; and in the day of ed image hath been either visitation thou shalt find defaced, or kept undefiled ; mercy i." how it bath been obscured, To examine, accuse, or how shined; how de- / judge, and condemn thyformed, or how beautified, self in this life, may through through all the actions of the merits of Christ, acquit each man's life. For “ God thee in the life to come. will bring every work into So saith the Apostle ; “If judgment, with every secret we would judge ourselves, thing, whether it be good, we should not be judged k.” or whether it be evil 8.” 7. Now then (sinful man)
5. Upon every man's ex- | delay not to pass judgment amination, both in his upon thyself: remember particular, and in the gene- that the great Judge Himral judgment, depends his self hath said it, “I will reeverlasting well-being, or prove thee, and set before undoing for ever: each thee the things that thou man's condition then shall | hast done!.” Be wise then, be unchangeable, whether it and prevent this sad and be of glory, or misery. dismal reproof, by setting “They that have done good, in order before thyself all shall go into everlasting | the sins of thy life." And to life; and they that have this trial of thyself, these done evil into everlasting following particulars do nefire"." The execution of cessarily concur. this saying can no more (1.) A Tribunal must be fail, than the eternal God erected ; and this is not to Himself can fail, who is be without thee, but within the Fountain of truth and thee, even in thine own righteousness.
| heart m. & Eccles. xii, 14; Rom. ii. 16; xiv. 10; 2 Cor. v. 10. b Matt. xxv. 46. i Ecclus. xyii. 20. * 1 Cor. xi. 31. ii. 20, 21.
1 Psalm l. 21.
(2.) The Judge to sit | health and beauty after the upon this seat of judicature, image of God, except she must be thy reason guided bleed plentifully; bleed in by the law of the Most the tears of compunction High ; wherein beware of and godly sorrow ; bleed in a misunderstanding and the confession of her sins, “ wresting” of the letter of with an abhorrence of them, the law, to pass any unjust for the filthiness, guilt, and and partial sentence upon danger contracted by them, thyself, for that may undo so, as for the future, to rethee for ever".
nounce and abjure them for (3.) The Witnesses to be ever. produced against thee, are, 8. Thus to examine, The conscience bearing wit- judge, and condemn thyself, ness, and the thoughts the is the same Christian duty meanwhile accusing, or ex- which is called Repentance. cusing one another : and For as by self-examination, thus shall it be also “ in the so by repentance, such day when God shall judge as know not themselves, the secrets of men by Christ through pride and ignorJesuso."
ance, attain this saving (4.) The Executioners knowledge in the acknowthat stand ready to seize the ledgment of the truth, "and criminal, are Fear and Ter- recover themselves out of ror, and an borrible dread the snares of the devil, who overwhelming the soulp. are taken captive by him at These do ever attend; | his willy.” The great ne
(5.) Self-Condemnation, cessity of repentance, in which is an unfeigned and order to escape eternal persad acknowledgment to have dition, is most clearly and incurred the dismal sentence positively affirmed by our of condemnation to death Lord, saying, “ Except ye eternal. To prevent which, repent, ye shall all likewise
(6.) Execution must be perish?." And He saith the done, and the blood of the same words again, at the guilty soul must be shed. same time, and in the same
It is not to be believed or text recorded ; 1. To enhoped, that a black, diseas- force the great necessity of ed soul, should recover its repentance, against all car1 2 Pet. iii. 16. Rom. ii. 15, 16. P Phil. ii. 12 ; Ps. lv. 5. 4 2 Tim. ii. 25, 26.
Luke xiii. 3, 5.
nal, careless, self-conceited or (which is the same) to a and seduced persons. 2. To true repentance, both in manifest His great good respect of all its integral ness, “ Who would not have parts, and also of the fruits any to perish, but that all meet for repentance, which should come to repent- are no other but the “ good ances.”
worksa” of a new obedi9. Sinners we are all, less ence. or more'; but God, in great 11. “ The just man fallmercy, bas ordained and eth seven times b:” and upon commanded repentance, as consideration of his seven the great antidote against times daily failings, he the poison of sin, and pre- bath seven times daily conservative from death". And fessions to the praise of that repentance, which is Godd; with frequent lamenthus salutary, consists of tations in the night also e. two general parts : 1. To At least twice a day, mornconfess with sorrow our sins ing and evening, he takes a past; 2. For ever to abjure view of his miscarriages the and forsake them. And to by-past day and night, consuch a true penitent only is fessing and bewailing his mercy promised*.
frequent backslidings; and 10. To both these general | in all holy humility implorheads of true repentance, a ing, with tears of godly sorfull knowledge and deep row, the pardon of his daily sense of all heinous sins, offences, with firm resolueven punctually and parti tion of more care and caucularly, is absolutely neces tion, more zeal of innocence sary. For no man can con- and purity both in heart and fess his sins, who knows life, for the time to come. them not ; nor forsake them, 12. It is a great imwho is not feelingly sensible prudence, even madness, in of the guilt and danger the hearts of men, to put contracted by themy. off from day to day this
Self-examination is there self-examination, or reckonfore commanded, as a pre- ing with ourselves. Since vious duty necessarily con- it is difficult to account ducing to a true conversion?, I strictly for the misde
• 2 Pet. iii. 9. • James iii. 2. u Matt. iii. 7, 8. * Prov. xxviii. 13 ; John viii. 11; 1 John i. 9. y Psalm li. 3 ; Isaiah lix. 12. - Psalm iv. 4; Lam. iii. 40. a Col. i. 10. b Prov. xxiv. 16. < Psalm cxix. 164. Jos. vii. 19.
e Psalm vi. 6; lxxyii. 6.
meanors of one day, how true repentance, in all its much more hard then to set branches and worthy fruits. straight and even the ac- Hence the soul becomes incounts of a long sinful life ! | flamed with the ardent whereas he who daily ac heats of holy devotion, and counts with himself, and his fervent prayers for pardon offended God, for his daily and peace, mercy and grace, transgressions, shall have sanctification and redempbut one day's sins to account tion. Hence arise in the for upon his dying day'. heart holy resolves of new
13. We read of Moses, obedience, with holy breaththat his leprous hand was ings after God and His salmade whole, and recovered vation. Therefore is this its native whiteness, by duty of self-examination, thrusting it into his bo- called the magazine or storesom 8: and thus is the soul house of all Christian virtue. cleansed from the leprosy of 14. And because, to resin, by thrusting the hand, ceive worthily “the Comwhich is the instrument of munion of the Body and action, into the bosom of Blood of Christ,” is the thine own conscience, to chiefest of all Christian perenter, and strictly to search formances, and requires the into the inner man ; to ran- | practice of all Christian sack all the corners of the virtues; therefore, after an deceitful heart; to examine especial manner is selfwhat affections lurk there, examination commanded as and what excursions they a necessary preparative to have thence made into any that Sacramental feast; extravagant and sinful ac- which, from the doctrine of tions ; that they may be St. Paul, we are taught in thence ejected and aban- the principles of our relidoned.
gion, where, in the last quesThis is the way both to tion of the Catechism it keep the heart pure, and the is demanded, “What is rehands clean : hence comes quired of them that come both the knowledge of thy- | to the Lord's Supper ?” and self, and the fear of God : it is answered, “To exahence comes sense of sin, mine themselves, whether holy compunction, godly they truly repent them sorrow, humiliation, and of their former sins." Luke xii. 42, 43.
8 Exod. iv. 7.
IN BAPTISM. SINCE self-examination in the only-begotten Son of is a duty of so great, so God, shall not perish, but high, so general concern- / shall have everlasting lifek.” ment as hath appeared ; it But then this saving faith will be necessary that it be must not be only speculative sincerely and throughly per- | in the brain, and fruitful formed, not slightly, partial- | in the fancy, and presumply, and deceitfully ; not by tive of the Divine favour ; any false rules and erring but such a faith as is pracopinions, but by such a rule tical in the heart, lively, as will not deceive us, when vigorous, and working by we shall come to our great | love, which is the fulfilling examination and trial at of the law, and implies an the last day.
universal obedience to the 2. There are too many Gospel of Christ. who do flatter and deceive 3. The true rule of selfthemselves, by a bare and examination, which will not naked faith in Christ; by deceive us, is that accordvirtue whereof, they con- ing to which we shall be ceit themselves to be jus- | examined and tried at the tified, and of the number of last day; and that is not God's elect, and assured of our notions, and concepsalvation. But these are tions, and presumptions of groundless presumptions,ex- or upon a bare faith in cept thy « faith” do “pu- Christ, but the rule of rify thy heart from all in- Christian charity, as it is ordinate affections ";" and the life of faith, and a com" cleanse thy hands from pendium of the holy Gosall sinful actionsi;” and be pel of Christl. also“ fruitful in all good 4. This sum of evangeliworks.”
| cal obedience, is expressed It is an undoubted truth, in that vow which every that “whosoever believeth | true Christian hath made b Acts xv. 9. i 2 Cor. vii. 1 ; James iv 8. k John iii. 16.
I Matt. xxv. 35 ; 2 Thess. i. 8.