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JII. This carelessness of the soul is the root of all the sin we commit, and therefore whosoever intends to set upon a Christian course, must in the first place amend that. To the doing whereof there needs no deep learning nor extraordinary parts; the simplest man living (that is not a natural fool) hath understanding enough for it, if he will but act in this by the same rules of common reason, whereby he proceeds in his worldly business. I will therefore now briefly set down some of those motives, which use to stir up our care of any outward thing, and then apply them to the soul.

IV. There be four things especially which use to awake our care ; the first is the worth of the thing; the second, the usefulness of it to us, when we cannot part with it without great damage and mischief; the third, the great danger of it; and the fourth, the likelihood that our care will not be in vain, but that it will preserve the thing cared for.

V. For the first, we know our care of any worldly The worth of thing is answerable to the worth of it; the soul. what is of greatest price we are most watchful to preserve, and most fearful to lose. No man locks up dung in his chest; but his money, or what he counts precious, he doth. Now in this respect the soul deserves more care than all the things in the world besides, for 'tis infinitely more worth; first, in that it is made after the image of God: it was God that breathed into man the breath of life, Gen. ii. 7. Now God being of the greatest excellency and worth, the more any thing is like him, the more it is to be valued. But 'tis sure that no crea

the earth is at all like God, but the soul of man, and therefore nothing ought to have so much of our care. Secondly, the soul never dies. We use to prize things according to their durableness. What is most lasting is most worth. Now the soul is a thing that will last for ever: when wealth, beauty, strength, nay, our very bodies themselves,

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fade away, the soul still continues. Therefore, in that respect also, the soul is of the greatest worth; and then what strange madness is it for us to neglect it as we do! We can spend days, and weeks, and months, and years, nay, our whole lives, in hunting after a little wealth of this world, which is of no durance or continuance, and in the meantime let this great durable treasure, our souls, be stolen from us by the devil.

VI. A second motive to our care for any thing is the usefulness of it to us, or the great The misery of mischief we shall have by the loss of it. losing the soul. Common reason teaches us this, in all things of this life. If our hairs fall, we do not much regard it, because we can do well enough without them; but if we are in danger to lose our eyes, or limbs, we think all the care we can take little enough to prevent it, because we know it will be a great misery. But certainly there is no misery to be compared to that misery that follows the loss of the soul. 'Tis true, we cannot lose our souls in one sense, that is, so lose them that they shall cease to be; but we may lose them in another, that we should wish to lose them even in that; that is, we may lose that happy state to which they were created, and plunge them into the extremest misery. In a word, we may lose them in hell, whence there is no fetching them back, and so they are lost for ever. ' Nay, in this consideration our very bodies are concerned, those darlings of ours, for which all our care is laid out; for they must certainly after death be raised again,' and be joined again to the soul, and take part with it in whatever state it is. If then our care for the body take up all our time and thoughts, and leave us none to bestow on the poor soul, it is sure the soul will, for want of that care, be made for ever miserable. But it is as sure, that the very body must be so too. And therefore, if you have any true kindness for your body, show it by taking care of your souls. Think with yourselves how you will be able to endure everlasting burnings. If a small spark of fire, lighting on the least part of the body, be so intolerable, what will it be to have the whole cast into the hottest flames, and that not for some few hours or days, but for ever? So that when you have spent many thousands of years in that unspeakable torment, you shall be no nearer coming out of it than you were the first day you went in. Think of this, I say, and think this withal, that this will certainly be the end of neglecting the soul; and therefore afford it some care, if it be but in pity to the body, that must bear a part in its miseries.

VII. The third motive to the care of any thing is The danger the its being in danger. Now a thing may soul is in. be in danger two ways: first by enemies from without. This is the case of the sheep, which is still in danger of being devoured by wolves; and we know that makes the shepherd so much the more watchful over it. Thus it is with the soul, which is in a great deal of danger in respect of its enemies; those, we know, are the world, the flesh, and the devil; which are all such noted enemies to it, that the

very first act we do in behalf of our souls, is to vow a continual war against them. This we all do in our baptism; and whoever makes any truce with any of them is false, not only to his soul, but to his vow also, and becomes a forsworn creature : a consideration well worthy our laying to heart. But that we may the better understand what danger the soul is in, let us a little consider the quality of these enemies.

VIII. In a war, you know, there are divers things that make an enemy terrible; the first is subtilty and cunning, by which alone many victories have been won; and in this respect the devil is a dangerous adversary; he long since gave sufficient proof of his subtiity in beguiling our first parents, who yet were much wiser than we are; and therefore no wonder if he deceive and cheat us. Secondly, the watchfulness and diligence of an enemy makes him the more to be feared; and here the devil exceeds ; it is his trade and business to destroy us, and he is no loiterer at it: He goes up and down, seeking whom he may devour, 1 Pet. v. 8.

He watches all opportunities of advantage against us, with such diligence, that he will be sure never to let any slip him. Thirdly, an enemy near us is more to be feared than one at a distance : for if he be far off, we may have time to arm, and prepare ourselves against him ; but if he be near he may steal on us unawares. And of this sort is the flesh; it is an enemy at our doors, shall I say? nay, in our bosoms; it is always near us, to take occasion of doing us mischief. Fourthly, the baser, and falser an enemy is, the more dangerous. He that hides his malice under the show of friendship, will be able to do a great deal the more hurt. And this again is the flesh, which, like Joab to Abner, 2 Sam. iii. 27. pretends to speak peaceably to us, but wounds us to death : 'tis forward to purvey for pleasures and delights for us, and so seems very kind; but it has a hook under the bait, and if we bite at it we are lost. Fifthly, the number of enemies makes them more terrible; and the world is a vast army against us: there is no state or condition in it, nay, scarce a creature, which doth not, at some time or other, fight against the soul. The honours of the world seek to wound us by pride, the wealth by covetousness, the prosperity of it tempts us to forget God, the adversities to murmur at him. Our very table becomes a snare to us, our meat draws us to gluttony, our drink to drunkenness, our company, nay, our nearest friends, often bear a part in this war against us, whilst, either by their example or persuasions, they entice us to sin.

IX. Consider all this, and then tell me whether a soul thus beset, hath leisure to sleep? Even Delilah could tell Samson, it was time to awake when the

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Philistines were upon him. And Christ tells us, if the good man of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken up, Matt. xxiv. 43. But we live in the midst of thieves, and therefore must look for them every hour; and yet who is there among us, that hath that common providence for this precious part of him, his soul, which he hath for his house, or indeed the meanest thing that belongs to him? I fear our souls may say to us, as Christ to his disciples, Matt. xxvi. 40. What, could


not watch with me one hour ? For I doubt it would pose many of us to tell when we bestowed one hour on them, though we know them to be continually beset with most dangerous enemies. And then, alas ! what is like to be the case of these poor souls, when their adversaries bestow so much care and diligence to destroy them, and we will afford none to preserve them ? Surely, the same as of a besieged town, where no watch or guard is kept, which is certain to fall a prey to the enemy. Consider this, ye that forget God, nay, ye that forget yourselves, lest he pluck you away, and there be none to deliver you. Psalm 1. 22.

X. But I told you there was a second way, whereby a thing may be in danger, and that is from some disorder or distemper within itself. This is often the case of our bodies; they are not only liable to outward violence, but they are within themselves sick and diseased. And then we can be sensible enough that they are in danger, and need not to be taught to seek out for means to recover them. But this is also the case of the soul ; we reckon those parts of the body diseased, that do not rightly perform their office; we account it a sick palate that tastes not aright, a sick stomach that digests not. And thus it is with the soul, when its parts do not rightly perform their offices.

XI. The parts of the soul are especially these

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