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those Notions, dispels the Clouds and Mists that dwell upon our Reason, wipes away the Dust, discovers unknown Worlds, and makes even such things as were vulgar and obvious before, look with a new face, they being found, upon Consideration, things of greater consequence, of greater comfort, of greater necessity, of greater Vertue and efficacy, than before they were believed to be. So have I seen an old Picture thrown by, and buried among Rubbish, which afterwards being washed hath proved to be a costly Original done by a curious hand, and that which at first, while sullied with dirt, and duft was worth nothing, bath appeared to be of extraordinary value. Consideration is that Spunge, that washes the beautiful Picture of Grace and Glory, and now the curious Lines appear, the lively strokes of our great Masters hand are seen, the sweeter lineaments discover themselves, and make the Soul enamoured with the Spectacle.

It is much with Consideration, as it is with Microscopes, and Magnifying Glasses; what contemptible Creatures do some little Animals, and smaller sorts of Plants appear, while beheld with our naked eye, but view'd through Dioptrical Glasses, what curious Fabricks do we spy? How inconsiderable an Insect is a Gnat? How despicable a Creature is a Mite? Yet he that through such Glasses beholds in them all the perfections of the largect Animal, the Multiplicity of their parts, the variety of their motions, and how curiously every limb is wrought,

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how Mathematically all their little Members are

framed and set together, cannot but, Galex like the great Physician, wonder at

the spectacle, and break forth into admiration of the immense Wisdom of their Maker. Who would believe there should

be plumes of Feathers in the painted Wings of a Butterfly; who would suspect such things, as Needles, or sharp, transparent Pikes, in a Nettle-Leaf, or think that any glittering drawn Swords and Daggers should be found there. Who would take an Atom of Quicksilver to be a Globular Looking Glass, or the Sand we ftrow upon Paper to be like Fragments of Crystal, or Lumps of Allom? yet through such Glasses, these objects appear with a different shape from what they did before, 1

Consideration is that Glassy which represents {piriçual objecs

, in other colours, than before were obsery'd, and detected in them. Sin, that look'd byt with a faint red before, through this Glass appears. all Scarlet and Crimfor. God's Laws, which before were hardly regarded fo much as humane Injunctions, through this Glass, appear so beautiful, so rational, so wise, fo wonderful, fo suited to an intelligent Nature, that a Map with David cannot hold, but must cry out, O hom I love thy Law, it is my meditation all the day. The New Jerusalem, which look'd but like an ordinary Building before, when viewd through this Glass

, the Towers and Bul

warks

warks of it are seen glittering afar off, the Pearls and precious Stones, it's pav'd withal, shine with more than ordinary lustre; and that which look'd but dull and weak before, now dazles the Spectators eyes with its oriental brightness

. Till Consideration came in, the Prodigal saw little. He heard men talk of the beauty of God's ways, but alas ! he saw no such thing: To him they look'd as the ways of Sion, rugged, uneven and unfrequented, and the fruits of the Spirit appear'd unpleasant, and ill-tafted, fitter for the rabble and scum of mankind, than men of a brisk and airy temper: But he no sooner opens the Window, and lets in these Beams of Confideration, but all those fancies, as Witches at the Name of Jesus, vanish, and he is wrapt into that high esteem of the ways of God, that he prefers being but a Door-keeper in the House of God, before the Office of Grand Vizier at the Court of Ahasuerus.

But this will further appear, if we enquire into the essential parts, or necessary ingredients of these spiritual Opticks. Consideration, as it is the Sun that enlightens this Microcosm, Man, and irradiates the benighted faculties of the Soul, so that it may have this virtue, there is required (and it cannot be Consideration without it) Self-Examination, Expoftulation, and strong Resolution. 1 I. Self-Examination. That man , who examines not his spiritual estate or condition, whether he is that Sinner that shall be everlastingly

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miserable ? whether the threatnings of the Gofpel concern him ? whether he finds those qualifications in bimself, which the Son of God requires of all that shall be Heirs of Glory? whether be feels those things in his Soul, which men that have a Title to the great Inheritance are sensible of? and whether he walks in that strait way, and strives to enter in at that narrow Gate, the Holy Ghost doch speak of?

He that with Gallio cares for none of these things, is so far from considering, that he doth pot believe the immortality of his Soul, or another World. For were his heart feafond with a sound belief of that future state, he could not but enter into his Closet, and reflect. In this Bible, in this Book, which I do believe contains the Oracles of God, and his peremptory Will, concerning the salvation of men, I find stubborn, careless, unconverted Sinners adjudg’d to eternal torments ; I find God

protest he will know none in the last day, so as to shew them favour, but such as dare deny themselves for Heaven, and heartily endeavour to do the Will of their Father which is in Heayen ; I find God swear, that men who prefer their Farms, and Oxen, and secular Concerns, before his Injunctions and Commands, shall never caste of the great Supper of the Lamb.

Am I one of these stubborn, unconverted, careless men, or no? Why should I be afraid to ask such a Question, when there is no less than Ecrnily in the Case? I am not afraid to look in

to

to my Account-Book to know, what my Debts are, and what is owing to me; whether I am bebind or before-band in the World, whether. I thrive or decay, whether I get or lose, and shall I be afraid to know, whether I am a Wise Man or a Fool, a Friend, or an Enemy of God, a Favourite or a Reprobate ? whether the portion of Lazarus, or the lot of Dives will fall to my share ? Lord, when I hear, and read, that men, who are Strangers to Righteousness and Holiness shall be tormented with Fire, which is not quenched, Is it not worth, is it not just, is it not reasonable, I should ask, whether I am not that man? If I am none of this number, What means the bleating of Sheep, and the 1 Sam. 15.14. lowing of Oxen in mine ears? What means my earthly mindedness ?. What means my living in wilful contempt of so many commands of the Son of God? I take no pains to be fav’d; some little formalities and complements of Religion serve my turn, and fatisfie my Conscience. I can put off the great God of Heaven with the Worlds leavings, and throw him a dull heartless prayer at night, when I have been wallowing in Sin all day. I am for no devotion that's either expensive or troublesome to Alesh and blood, and such ejaculations as do not molest me in my pledsures, and as my flesh can easily spare, without any detriment in its fatisfaction, I am wil. ling to lay upon God's Altar. I feel little or

no

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