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Rev. ii. 23.
thou art, is the place of his feet, Isa. Ix. 13. Ac faith upon the omniciency of God; all the churches shall not know that I am he that searches the heart, and trieth the reins : and I will give to eveTy one of you according to your works.
All things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do, Heb. iv. 13. Realize his infinite holiness. Into what a serious composed frame did the sight of God is his holiness put the spirit of the prophet? Isa. vi. s. Labour to get also upon thy heart due apprehensions of God, how tender he is over his worship, Lev. X. 3. And Moses said unto Aaron, This is that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in thein that come nigh me, and betore all the people I will be glorifiedol
A man that is praying (saith Bernard) should behave himself as if he were entering into the court of heaven, where he sees the Lord upon his throne, surrounded with ten thousand of his an
gels and saints ministring unto him.' When thou coinest from a duty in which this heart hath been loying and wander, ing, thou mayest say, verily God was in this place, and I knew it not, Suppose all the impertinencies and vanities, which have past through thine heart in a duty,
i were written out, and interlined with thy
petitions, couldst thou have the face to present it to God ? Should thy congue but
utter all the thoughts of thy heart in prayer, ch would not men abhor thee? Why, thy i thoughts are vocal to God, Psal. cxxxix.
If thou wert petitioning the king for i thy life, would it not proroke him to see
thee playing with thy band strings, or catching every fly that lights upon thy clothes, whilst thou art speaking to him about such serious matters ? o think sadly upon that scripture, Psal. lxxxvii. 7. God is greatly to be feared in the asa semblies of his saints, and to be had in reverence of all that are round about him. Why did God descend in thunderings and and lightnings, and dark clouds upon Sia nai ? Exod. xix. 16, 18. Why did the mountains smoke under him, the people quake and tremble round about him, yea. Moses himself not exempted ; but to teach the people that great truth, Heba xii. 28, 29, Let us have grace, whereby we may serve him acceptably with revea rence and godly fear ; for our God is a consuming fire! Present God thus before thee, and thy vain heart will quickly be reduced to a more serious fraine.
5 Help. Maintain a praying fräine of heart in the intervals of duty, What is
the reason our hearts are so dull, careisss and wandering, when we come to hear or pray, but because there have been such long intermissions in our conmunion with God, by reason whereof the heart is out of a praying frame? If that spirituak waruth, those holy impressions, we car. ry from God in one duty, were but preserved to kindle another duty ; it would be of marvellous advantage to keep the heart intent and serious with God.
To this purpose those intermediate ejaculations, betwixt stated, and solemn du. ties, are of most sweet and excellent use; by these, one duty is, as ic were, linked to another, and so the soul, as it were, wraps up itself in a chain of duties. That christian seldom misses his mark in solemn duty, that shoots up many of these darts in the intervals of duty. It is an excellent commendation Christ bestows upon the spouse, Cant. iv. 11. Thy lips. O my spouse drop as the honey-comb : up on which text one gives this sweet notes the honey-comb drops aa vally but sometimes, but it always hangs full of sweet drops ready to fall ; if our ejaculations were more, our lamentations on this aca count would be fewer,
6. Help. Endea vour to engage and raise thy affections to God in duty, if thou
wouldst have thy distractions, cured.
A dropping eye, and a melting lieart, are seldom troubled as others upon this account : when the soul is intent about any work, it gathers in its strength, and bends all the thoughts about it ; and when it is deeply affected it will be intent; the affections command the thoughts to go after them : deadness causes distraction, and
distrađion increases deadness, Could you 23 you but look upon duties as the galleries
of communion in which you walk with God, where your souls may be filled with those ravishing and matchless delights that are in his presence, your soul would not offer to stir from thence.
It is with the heart in duty, as it is with those that dig for goid ore; they try here, and, finding none, try, there, and so go from place to place, till at last they hit upon the rich vein, and there they sit down. If thy heart could but once hit the rich vein in duty, it would dwell and abide there with delight and constancy i O how love I thy law ! it is my medita-, tion day and night, Psal. cxix. 97. The soul could dwell day and night upon its knees, when once its delights, loves, and desires are engaged. What is the reason your hearts are so shuffling, especially in
secret duties'? Why are you ready to be gone almost as soon as you are come into the presence of God, but because your affecions are not engaged ?
-7 Help. - Mourn over the matter ta God, and call in assistance from heaven, when vain thoughts-assault thy heart in duty.
When the miessenger of satan buffeted Paul by wicked injections, as is supposed, he goes to God and mournsover it before him,2 Cor. xii.8. Never slight wandering thoughts in duty as small matters; follow every vain thought with a deep sigh ; turn thee to God with such words as these, Lord, I I came hither to speak with thee, and here a busy devil and a vain heart, .conspiring together, have set upon me. my God, what an heart have I.! Shall I never wait upon thee without distraction ! When shall I enjoy an hour of tree communion with thee? Help me, my God, this once ; do but display thy glory before mine
heart shall quickly be recovered : thou knowest I came hither to enjoy thee, and shall I go away without thee? See how the heart of thy poor child works towards thee, strives to get near thee, but cannot ! My heart is aground ; come thou, north wiod, blow, south wind; O for a fresh gale now from