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ces, be would not bave been much sruer to his duty than you are,
« Now this is the reason why I desired you to consider, how you would exhort that man to confess and bewail his sins, whom you looked upon to be one of: the greatest sinners. Because if you will deal justly, you must fix the charge at home, and look no farther than yourself. For God has given no one any power of knowing the true greatness of any sins, but his own: and, therefore, the greatest sinner that every: one knows, is himself.
“ You may easily see how such an one in the outward course of his life breaks the laws of God; but then you can never say, that had you been exactly in all his circumstances, you should not have broken. them more than he has done.
“A serious and frequent reflection upon these things, will mightily tend to humble us in our own eyes, make us very apprehensive of the greatness of our own guilt, and very tender in censuring and condemning other people. For who would dare to be severe against other people, when for ought he can tell, the severity of God may be more due to him, than to them? Who would exclaim against the guilt of others, when he considers that he knows more of the greatness of his own guilt, than he does of theirs ?
“ How often you have resisted God's Holy Spirit ; how many motives to goodness you have disregarded; how many particular blessings you have sinned against ; how many good resolutions you have broken ; how many checks and admonitions of conscience you have stified; you very well know : But how often this has been the case of other sinners, you know
not. And therefore, the greatest sinner that you -know, must be yourself.
“ Whenever, therefore, you are angry at sin or sinners, when you read or think of God's indignation and wrath at wicked men ; let this teach you to be the most severe in your censure, and most humble and contrite in the acknowledgment and confession of your own sins ; because you KNOW OF NO SINNER -EQUAL TO YOURSELF." Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, Octavo edi
tion, 1729; p. 473_479.
1. THOU must first secure the peace of thy own Breast, before thou wilt be qualified to restore peace. to others. Peacefulness is a more useful acquisition than learning
The wrathful and turbulent man, who is always ready to impute wrong, turneth even good into evil ; the peaceful man türneth all things into good. He that is established in peace, is exempt from suspicion ; but he that is discontented and proud, is tormented with jealousy of every kind : he has no rest himself, and he will not allow rest to others; he speaketh what he ought to suppress, and suppresseth what he ought to speak; he is watchful in observing the duty of others, and totally negligent with respect to his own. But let thy zeal be exercised in thy own reformation, before it attempts the reformation of thy neighbour.
2. Thou art very skilful and ingenius in palliating and excusing thy own evil actions, but canst not
frame an apology for the aetions of others, nor admit it when it is offered by themselves. It would, however, be more just, always to excuse thy brother, and accuse thyself. If thou desirest to be borne with, thou must bear also with others. () consider, at what a dreadful distance thou standest, from that charity, which “hopeth, believeth, and beareth all things ;" and from that humility, which, in a truly contrite heart, knoweth no indignation nor resentment against any being but itself
3. It is so far from being difficult to live in peace with the gentle and the good, that it is highly grateful to all that are inclined to cultivate peace ; for we naturally love those most, whose sentiments and dispositions correspond most with our own : but to maintain
with the churlish and perverse, the irregular and impatient, and those that most contradict and oppose our opinions and desires, is an heroic and glorious attainment, which only an extraordinary measure of grace can enable us to acquire. 4. But there are some, that preserve
of their own breasts, and live in peace with all about them: and there are some, that having no peace in themselves, are continually employed in disturbing the peace of others : they are the tormentors of their brethren, and still more the tormentors of their own hearts : there are also some, who not only retain their own peace, but make it their principal business to restore peace to all that want it. After all, however, the most perfect peace to which we can at tain in this miserable "life, consists rather in meek and patient suffering, than in an exemption from adversity; and he that has most learnt to suffer, will certainly possess the greatest share of peace : he is
the conqueror of himself, the lord of the world, the friend of CHRIST, and the heir of heaven!!!
:T CHAP. IV.
OF SIMPLICITY AND PURITY. 1. SIMPLICITY and purity are the two wings, with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature. Şimplicity is in the intention ; purity, in the affection : simplicity turns to God, purity, unites with and enjoys him.
2. No good action would be difficult and painful, if thou wert free from inordinate affection: and this internal freedom thou wilt then enjoy, when it is the one simple intention of thy mind to obey the will of God, and do good to thy fellow-creature.
3. If thy heart was rightly disposed, every creature would be a book of divine knowledge : a mirror of life, in which thou mightest contemplate the eternal power and beneficence of the "AUTHOR OF LIFE; for there is no creature, however small and abject, that is not a monument of the goodness of Gop..so jow is · 4. Such as is the frame of the spirit, such is its perception and judgment of outward things. If thou hadst simplicity and purity, thou wouldst be able to comprehend all things without error, and behold them without danger : the pure heart safely. pervades, not only heaven, but helk 191:;.;:: **(5, If there be joy in this world, who possesses its more than the pure in heart ? And if there be tribulation and anguish, who suffers them more than the wounded spirit Elceny
6. As iron cast into the fire is, ipurified from its rust, and becomes bright as the fire itself ; so the soul that in simplicity and purity turns and adheres to God, is delivered from the corruption of animal nature, and changed into the new man," formed “after the image of him created him."
7. Those who suffer the desire of perfection to grow cold and languid, are terrified at the most inconsiderable difficulties, and soon driven back to seek consolation in the enjoyments of sensual life : but those, in whom that desire is kept alive and invigorated by continual self-denial, and a steady perseverance in that narrow path in which Christ has called us to follow him, find every step they take more and more easy, and feel those labours light that were once thought insurmountable.
OP PERSONAL ATTENTION. 1 1. WE ought to place but little confidence in our. selves, because we are often destitute boths of grace and understanding. The light we have is small, and that is soon lost by negligence.“ We are even insensible of this inward darkness : we do wrong, and aggravate our guilt by excusing it ; we are impelled by passion, and mistake it for zeal ; we severely reprove little failings in our brethren, and pass over enor, mous sins in ourselves : we quickly feel, and perpetually brood over the sufferings that are brought upon us by others, but have no thought of what others suf fer from us. If, however, a man would but truly and impartially examine himself, he would find but little cause to judge severely of his neighbour,