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infidel or hardened sinner, nor with the terrors of those that have no God, no Christ, no hope; (except when temptation bringeth him near to the borders of despair.) His death indeed is unspeakably safer than the death of the ungodly, and the joys which he is entering into will quickly end the terror; but yet he hath no great comfort at the present, but only so much trust in Christ, as keepeth his heart from sinking into despair.

3. But to the hypocrite or seeming Christian, death and judgment are the most unwelcome days, and the thoughts of them are the most unwelcome thoughts. He would take any tolerable life on earth, at any time, for all his hopes of heaven; and that not only through the doubts of his own sincerity, (which may sometimes be the case of a tempted Christian,) but through the unsoundness of his belief of the life to come, or the utter unsuitableness of his soul to such a blessedness; which maketh him look at it as less desirable to him, than a life of fleshly pleasures here. All that he doth for heaven is upon mere necessity, because he knoweth that die he must, and he had rather be in heaven than in hell, though he had rather be in prosperity on earth than either. And as he taketh heaven but as a reserve or second good, so he seeketh it with reserves, and in the second place. And having no better preparations for death and judgment, no marvel if they be his greatest terror. He may possibly by his self-deceit have some abatement of his fears, and he may by pride and wit seem very valiant and comfortable at his death, to hide his fear and pusillanimity from the world. But the cure of all his misery is, that he sought not first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and laid not up a treasure upon heaven, but upon earth, and loved this world. above God, and above the world to come; and so his heart is not set on heaven, nor his affections on things above; and therefore he hath not that love to God, to Christ, to saints, to perfect holiness, which should make that world most desirable in his eyes, and make him think unfeignedly that it is best for him to depart and live with Christ for ever. Having not the Divine nature, nor having lived the Divine life in walking with God, his complacency and desires are carnal, according to the nature which he hath. And this is the true cause, (and not only his doubts of his own sincerity,)

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of his unwillingness to die, or to see the day of Christ's appearance; Matt. vi. 33. 19-21. 1 John ii. 15. Col. iii. 1-4. Rom. viii. 5-8. 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14. 2 Pet. i.4.

And thus I have shewed you from the word of God, and the nature of Christianity, the true characters of the Confirmed Christian, and of the Weak Christian, and of the Seeming Christian.

The Uses for which I have drawn up these characters, and which the reader is to make of them, are these:

1. Here the weak Christian and the hypocrite may see what manner of persons they ought to be. Not only how unsafe it is to remain in a state of hypocrisy, but also how uncomfortable, and unserviceable, and troublesome it is, to remain in a state of weakness and diseasedness; what a folly (and indeed a sign of hypocrisy) is it to think, 'If I had but grace enough to save me, I would desire no more, or I would be well content.' Are you content, if you have but life here, to difference you from the dead? If you were continually infants that must be fed, and carried, and made clean by others; or if you had a continual gout, or stone, or leprosy, and lived in continual want and misery, you would think that life alone is not enough; and that ‘non vivere tantum sed valere vita est;' that life is uncomfortable when we have nothing but life, and all the delights of life are gone. He that lieth in continual pain and want is weary of his life, if he cannot separate it from those calamities. He that knoweth how necessary strength is, as well as life, to do any considerable service for God, and how many pains attend the diseases and infirmities of the weak, and what great dishonour cometh to Christ and religion, by the faults and childishness of many that shall be pardoned and saved, would certainly bestir him with all possible care to get out of this sick or infant state.

2. By this you may see who are the strong Christians, and who are the weak. It is not always the man of learning and free expressions, that can speak longest and most wisely of holy things, that is the strong, confirmed Christian; but he that most excelleth in the love of God and man, and in a heavenly mind, and holy life. Nor is it he that is unlearned, or of a weak memory, or slow expression, that is the weakest Christian; but he that hath least love to God and

man, and the most love to his carnal self, and to the world, and the strongest corruptions, and the weakest grace. Many a poor day-labourer, or woman, that can scarce speak sense, is a stronger Christian (as being strong in faith, and love, and patience, and humility, and mortification, and self-denial) than many great preachers and doctors of the church.

3. You see here what kind of men they be that we call the godly; and what that godliness is which we plead for, against the malicious serpentine generation. The liars would make men believe that by godliness we mean a few affected strains, or hypocritical shews, or heartless lip-service, or singular opinions, in needless scrupulosity, or ignorant zeal; yea, a schism, or faction, or sedition, or rebellion, or what the devil please to say. If these sixty characters describe any such thing, then I will not deny, that in the way that such men call heresy, faction, schism, singularity, so worship we the God of our fathers. But if not, the Lord rebuke thee satan, and hasten the day when the "lying lips shall be put to silence;" Psal. cxxxi. 18. cxx. 2. cix. 2. Prov. xii. 19. 22. x. 18.

4. By this also you may see how inexcusable the enemies of Christianity and godliness are, and for what it is that they hate and injure it. Is there any thing in all this character of a Christian, that deserveth the suspicion or hatred of the world? What harm is there in it? Or what will it do against them? I may say to them of his servants as Christ did of himself: "Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me?" John x. 32. Many heavenly graces are in the sanctified believer: for which of these do you hate and injure him? I know that goodness is so far in credit with human nature, that you will answer as the Jews did: "For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy;" ver. 33. We hate them not for godliness, but for hypocrisy and sin. But if it be so indeed, 1. Speak not against godliness itself, nor against the strictest performance of our duty. 2. Yea, plead for godliness, and countenance and promote it, while you speak against hypocrisy and sin. 3. And choose out the hypocrite whose character is here set before you; and let him be the object of your enmity and distaste. Let it fall on those that are worldlings and time-servers, and will

stretch their consciences to their carnal interest, and can do any thing to save their skin; and being false to Christ, can hardly be true to any of their superiors, but only in subordination to themselves. As it is said of Constantius, that he commanded that all his servants should be turned out of their places that would not renounce Christianity. And when he had thereby tried them, he turned out all the apostates, and kept in the sincere, and told them, they could not be true to him, that were not true to their God and Saviour. 4. And see that you be not hypocrites yourselves. You profess yourselves Christians; and what is it to be a Christian indeed, you may here perceive. If any that fall under the character of hypocrites, or worse, shall vilify or hate the sincere Christians as hypocrites, what a horrid aggravation of their hypocrisy will it be?

Indeed it is the best and strongest Christians that have most of the hatred both of the unbelieving and the hypocritical world. And for my own part I must confess, that the very observation of the universal implacable enmity, which is undeniably seen throughout the world, between the woman's and the serpent's seed (being such as is not found among any other sorts of men on other occasions), doth not a little confirm my belief of the holy Scriptures, and seemeth to be an argument not well to be answered by any enemy of the Christian cause. That it should begin between the two first brothers that ever were born in the world, and stop in nothing lower than shedding the righteous blood of Abel, for no other cause, but because the works of Cain were evil, and his brother's righteous; 1 John iii. 12, 13. And that it should go down to the prophets, and Christ, and the apostles, and primitive saints, and continue to this day throughout the earth; and that the profession of the same religion doth not alter it, but rather enrage the enmity of hypocrites against all that are serious and sincere in the religion which they themselves profess. These are things that no good account can be given of, save only from the predictions and verities of the word of God.

5. Also you may hence perceive how exceedingly injurious hypocrites and scandalous Christians, are to the name of Christ, and cause of Christianity and godliness in the world. The blind, malicious enemies of faith and godliness, instead of judging them by the sacred rule, do look only to

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the professors, and think of religion as they think of them. If they see the professors of Christianity to be covetous, proud, usurpers, time-servers, self-exalters, cruel, schismatical, rebellious, they presently charge all this upon their religion; and godliness must bear the blame, when all comes but for want of godliness and religion. And all the world hath not done so much against these and all other sins, as Christ hath done. What if Christ's disciples strive who shall be the greatest, is it long of him who girdeth himself to wash and wipe their feet? and telleth them, that "except they be converted, and become as little children, they shall not enter into the kingdom of God?" Matt. xviii. 3. and telleth them, that though" the kings of the Gentiles do exercise lordship over them, and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors, yet ye shall not be so?" Luke xxii. 25, 26. Is it long of him that hath said to the elders, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords, over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock?" Who hath set the elders such a lesson as you find in Acts xx. 2 Tim. iv. 1—3. 1 Tim. v. 17. If any called Christians should be truly schismatical, factious, or turbulent, is it long of him that hath prayed the Father that they may all be one? John xvii. 21-23. and hath so vehemently entreated them "that they speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among them, and that they be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment;" 1 Cor. vii. 10. and hath charged them to "mark them that cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which they had learned, and to avoid them?" Rom. xvi. 16, 17. If any called Christians shall be seditious, or rebellious, or as the Papists believe, that the clergy are from under the jurisdiction of kings, and that the pope hath power to excommunicate princes, and absolve their subjects from their allegiance, and give their dominions to others, as it is decreed in the general council at the Lateran under Innocent the Third, Can. 3. Is all this long of Christ, who hath paid tribute to Cæsar, and hath commanded that every soul be subject to the higher powers, and not resist, and this for conscience sake? Rom. xiii. 1-3. and hath bid his disciples rather to turn the other cheek, than to seek revenge? Luke vi. 29.

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