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Satan's facraments, that must be used with a kind of truth or belief of the fuccefs, at which the devil produceth the defired effect fometimes, God permitting it: for he cannot always do it.
2. Whereas it is a duty of this command to make God our chief end, it forbids,
1f, Men-pleating, Gal, i. 10. There is a holy man, pleafing which we should all learn, if we would please God, Rom. XV. 2. Let every one of us pleafe his neighbour for his good to edification. Paul was dex. terous at that holy art, 1 Cor. ix 19.-22. turning himself into all colours, but black to please them, for their good. But this finful man pleafing is, when we fet ourselves to pleafe men without regard to the pleafing of God, propofing their pleasure as our only or chief end, Tit. ii. 9. Compare Eph. vi. 6. Col. iii, 22, And this we are guilty of, either when we do a fin to please men, or do a good thing or lawful more to pleafe them than God.
2dly, Not making God our end at all, Pfal. lxxxvi. 14. when God's honour has no place at all in our projects and actions. Thus he who fhould have the chief place in all we do, has none; the chief cornerftone is not admitted into the unfanctified building, But felf is the beginning, middle, and end. Many fuch black pieces without mixture are in the web of our converfation.
3dly, Not making God our chief end, when tho we have an eye to God in our actions, yet not the chief eye; not feeking him above all, in all, and beyond all, 1 Cor. x. 31. Pfal, lxxiii, 25. Man's will at his creation was made chiefly looking to God; and the leaft deviation from this is our fin. But how often doth our refpect to God lie under, and that to ourfelves a top? God is made the mean, and ourselves the great end. Many pieces of the faints religion, and all the religion of others, are rather a ferving themfelves of God than a ferving of God,
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3. Whereas felf-denial is a duty of this command,
1st, Self-feeking. Not that we may not at all seek ourselves, but we must not make ourselves our only and chief end, Phil. ii. 21. That is finful feeking, when our own things exclude Chrift's things, or are above the things of Chrift; when, neglecting God, we feek only our own profit or pleafure; or when in any thing we have no view beyond thefe to God. In natural, civil, or religious actions, men may feek their own profit and delight, Prov. xxvii. 23. Eccl. ii. 24. & ix. 7. 8. Cant. i. 2. but these must be directed towards God, being fought, that thereby we may be in the better capacity to ferve our God. They must be used as ftage-coaches to help us on our way, not as beds to lie down in and rest there. But O what guilt is contracted in these matters! What self-seeking is chargeable on us,
(1.) As to natural actions, Zech. vii. 6. having no higher end in thefe than ourselves, no refpect to the -command of God, but our own appetite; not to fit us for the duties of our general or particular callings, but to please ourselves.
(2.) In civil actions, Prov. xxi. 4. No eye to God's command, no eye to his honour; but to our own wealth and outward eftate. This was the fin of the old world, Matth. xxiv. 38. Luke xvii. 27. 28. But religion teaches to eat and drink, because God has faid, Thou shalt not kill; to marry, because he has faid, Thou shalt not commit adultery; to work, because he has faid, Thou shalt not fleal, and that they may honour the Lord with their fubftance.
(3) In religious actions, Prov. xv. 8. How often is religion made to ferve mens intereft, and lacquey at the feet of carnal projects? What felf feeking is there in our religion, feeking worldly advantage, credit, and a great name, our own peace, and wel fare for eternity at beft, which is but felt fecking, if
we fee not that in God which makes us feek him for himself!
2dly, Self-love, 2 Tim. iii. 2. Love ourselves we may, our fouls, our bodies; but the love of God must regulate our love to ourselves, and we must love ourselves in God and for God, not more than God, nor as much, Matth. xxii. 37. 38. 39. The love of God is the first command. Our neighbour must be loved with an inferior fort of love, not as our God, but as ourselves: therefore the love of ourfelves muft be inferior to that of God. Now, finful felf-love is that inordinate affection which we bear to ourselves without due fubordination to God, a love of ourfelves that carries us off our duty to God. This prevails over us when we are not ready to facrifice our all to God at his call, Luke xiv. 26. Hence proceeds defection from the truth in time of trial, the gratifying of ourselves at any time at the expence of God's difpleafure.
3dly, Self-pleafing, Rom. xv. 1. It is a narrowness of fpirit, whereby, if we can please ourselves, we value notothe pleafing of others for their good, as if we had been only born for ourfelves. It is a fin that is highly difpleafing to God, and the bane of fociety, wherein men muft retrench fomething from themselves to please others, otherwife they will be as briers and thorns continually in the fides of one another: for what can be expected there where each will needs have his own way of it? Upon this it is that the ufing or not ufing of indifferent things is built.
4thly, Self-confidence, whereby men lean to the broken reed of their own wifdom and their own ftrength, inftead of leaning to God, Prov. iii. 5. & xxviii. 26. It carries men off from God, and brings down a curfe on that in themfelves which they lean
unto; their parts, their pains, abilities, refolutions, c. Jer, xvii. 5. There is much fin this way.
5thly, Self-conceit, Prov. xxvi. 12. It is mens blindness and ignorance that makes them fo. Were their eyes opened, they would fee they were nothing.
Self jealousing becomes us better, who have fo little to make any good of.
Lafly, Self-righteoufnefs. This is the worst kind of felfishness, whereby men puffed up with an opinion of their own works, put them in Chrift's room, and look to procure the favour of God by them, If. lviii. 3. This is a fubtil idol, venting itfelf many ways; as, (1.) Reckoning more on the quantity than the quality of duties, Luke xviii. 11. (2.) More on the quality of duties, when they are done vigorously, than on our intereft in the blood of Chrift. (3.) Expecting returns of favour or debt upon the well-doing of our duty. And (4.) Fretting and rifing of the heart against God under difappointments, &c.
4. Whereas humility of heart is required in this command, there is forbidden in it pride of heart, with all the branches of that curfed tree. It is a fetting up of a man's felf instead of God; a fwelling of the empty heart, that is most hateful to God, 1 Pet. v. 5. a fin that deftruction naturally follows. It has many poifonous branches; for it turns itfelf into ma ny fhapes, all here forbidden; as,
1, Counterfeit humility. Pride often goes abroad under the mask of humility, as a devil transforming to an angel of light. There was as much pride in the disfigured faces of the Pharifees, Matth. vi. 16. as in the proud looks of others; in Diogenes as in Plato. Men had need take heed they deceive not themfelves; for pride of heart may put them upon and make them please themfelves in great external bu miliations.
2dly, Infenfiblenefs of our own weaknefs, finfulnefs, and infufficiency, Hab. ii. 4. There is little impreffion of that on our hearts for the moft part; and when at any time it is made, how quickly does it go off? for our hearts are like a ftiff flick, that will quickly lofe the bend. This infenfiblenefs vents itself in, (1.) A woful felf-fufficiency, whereby men are carried off from depending on God, and hanging conti
nually about his hand, Jer. ii. 31. (2.) A miferable fecurity as to fin, efpecially fins of the groffer fort, to which we think we have no need to take heed. But if the pride of our hearts were fallen, we would fall in with the warning, 1 Cor. x. 12. Let him that thinketh be ftandeth, take heed left he fall. (3) Rigid cenfuring and rejecting of thofe we judge have finned. What is the cause of that, but the beam of pride and infenfibleness of our own weakness in our own eye? Matth. vii. 1. 2. 3. Therefore the apoftle recommends lenity and meekness on this confideration, Gal. vi. I.
3dly, Meddling with things without our fphere, Pfal. cxxxi. 1. 2. thrufting ourselves on duties that are not the duties of our ftation. This proceeds from pride of heart, that waits not for God's call, but invades the province given of God to others. Uzziah fmarted for this; as did alfo Uzzah.
Lastly, Refufing any duty we are called to for the meanness of it. It is pride of heart that reckons any thing unbecoming us that God requires of us; yet in many cafes our honour with us takes place of God's honour; and men not only do not do their duty, but fcorn to do it. God fays, Seek my face, be reconciled to me; but they fcorn to do it. They may honour God by fubmitting to inftruction, the difcipline of Christ's houfe; but they fcorn to do it as unbecoming them, 1 Sam. ii. 30.
5. Whereas refignation to the will of God is our duty required in this commandment, here is forbidden,
ift, All, even the leaft difcontent with our lot, or any thing that God puts in it. If God be our God, he muft chufe oùr inheritance for us, Pfal. xlvii. 4. It is a fad character to be complainers, viz. of their lot, Jude 16. that blame or are angry at their lot, Gr. A perfon has fomething in his ftate and condition that is not according to his mind and will, a husband a wife of a disagreeable temper, fomething they want