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Saints I Shut up in prison (little thinking that they were Saints) I gave my voice against them. I punished them oft in every Synagogne. And being exceedingly mad agairft them, I persecuted them.
Acts 26. 9,10, 11,12. He would not tell Agrippa that he was mad, but he might speak more freely of himself. 0 sirs, pitty poor men that have the temptations of worldly greatness and prosperity, and must go through a Camels eye if they will come to heaven : who stand so high that fun and wind have the greatest force upon them; Who see so much vanity, and little serious exemplary piery: who hear so much flatcery and falfhood, and so little necessary truth, faith Seneca, [Divites cum omnia habeant, unum illis deeft ; fcilicet, qui verum dicat : fi enim in clientelam falicis bominis potent umque per
veneris, aut veritas, aut amicitia perdenda eft.] If you were in their places, you know not how far you might be prevailed againft your felves. If little temptations can make you miscarry in your places so oft and foully as you do, what would you do if you had the ftrongest baits of the world, and allurements of the flesh, and the molt dangerous temptations that Saran could assault you with? Have you not seen of late before your eyes, how low fome have fallen from high professions, and how thamefully the most promising persons have miscarried, that were hifred up, and put to the tryal of such temptations of profpericy, as they had never been used to before? O pitty those that have such dangerous tryals to pass through, and be thankful that you stand on safer ground; and do not cruelly envy them their
perils, nor reproach them for their falls, but pray, and daily pray for their recovery.
6. Consider, this speaking evil of those by whom you suffer, hath too much of selfishness and cura rupted nature in it, to be good. If another suffered as you do, and you were advanced as another is, would you not speak more mildly then? Or if not so, yet the proneness of nature to break out into reviling words, though it were for Religion and for God, doth intimate to you that it hach a fufpicious root. Do you find it as casie to be meek and patient, and forgive a wrong, and love an enemy. Take heed left you serve Satan in vindicating the cause of God. Its an unfit way of serving God, to do it by breaking his Commands. Read seriously the description of a concentious, hurtful, foul-congued zeal, in fam. 3. and then tell me
what thanks Christ will give you for it. The two great Disciples fames and for thought it would have notably honoured Christ, and curbed the raging Spirit of the ungodly, if he would have let them call for fire from heaven, to consume a Town that refused to receive him. But doth Chrift encourage their destroying zeal? No: but he tells them, Te knowo not what spirit ye are of.] They little knew how unlike to the tender merciful healing Spirit of Christ, that fiery hurting spirit was, that provoked them to that defire ! nor how unpleasing their temper was to Christ. This is the very case of many thousand Christians, that are yet young, and green, and harsh, and have not attained to that mellowness, and sweetness, and measure of charity, that is in grown experienced Chriftians. They think their pas. fions, and desires of some plagues on the contemners of the Gospel, are acceptable to God, (and blame the charitable as too cold :) when they little know what fpirit it is that raiseth that storm in them, and how unlike, and unacceptable it is to Christ. Were you as zealous to serve all others in love, and to stoop to their feet for their salvation, and to become all things (lawful) to all
you may win some, this faving zeal would be pleasing to your Lord, who comes to do the work of a Physi. cian, and not of the Souldier, to Save and not to destroy, and therefore most approves of those that serve him most diligently in his saving work.
7. Lastly, consider your passions and evil speakings will bucincrease your suffering, and make it seem just, if otherwise it were unjust. If you are not meek, you