The fourth Rule, or Direction.
Be careful to beautifie thy soul; or more generally thus, (First:) Have a great care of thy spirit, look to thy spirit rather than to thy outward actions in thy walking with God; God is a Spirit, and will be worshiped in spirit and truth. One that would walk with God had need be very careful of his spirit, keep thy heart with all diligence, for it is with thy soul that God converses: Indeed 'tis the proper spheer of a Christian to be busie about his heart, to be busie in the inward man, there's the spheer of a Christi∣an: Page 324 It's not so much about the outward man, if the hear be kept in a right frame, the outward man will be brought over of its own accord; But be careful of thy spirit, (that is) of the thoughts of thy mind; Take heed of admitting of any uncleannesse in thy very thoughts, for the soul con∣verses with God in thoughts as well as we converse with men in words; how do you commune and converse with men but by speech? therefore doth God give speech to men that they may converse one with another, what speech is unto men, that the thoughts are unto God; we converse much with God by our thoughts, make consci∣ence of thoughts, labor to cleanse thy thoughts, and like∣wise the affections of thy heart, and the stirrings of thy heart, for God and thy soul doth converse together, in the workings and stirrings of thy heart look to thy spirit; and labor to beautifie thy soul with that that may make thee aimable and lovely in the eyes of God, and then the Lord will delight to converse with thee, and walk with thee. If you were call'd out to walk with a man that were your superior, with some Chief in your parish, Gen∣tleman, or Knight, or Noble man, If such a one should call you to walk with him, you would labour then so far as you were able to adorne your selves with such cloaths as were sutable unto the company of such a one: you that professe your selves Christians, God doth call you every day to walk with him, and if you would expect to have communion with God, and that God should take delight in you, you must labor to beautifie your souls, to dresse you with those things that may make you aimable in the eyes of God, and not to come dirtily and filthy into the presence of God. Now that that makes the soul aimable in the eyes of God it is, Holinesse, for that's the very Image of God, and God delights to walk with one where he can see his own Image, the more resplendent the Image of God is in the soul the more doth the Lord delight to walk with such a soul; labour for the behavior of thy soul to be suta∣ble unto God; When I walk with one that is my superi∣our Page 325 I must have such a demenour as is sutable to his pre∣sence, and as it was said before, To walk with God was to walk in the fear of God. And that's the fourth thing, Take heed to thy spirit, beautifie thy soul in that that may make thee aimable and lovely in Gods eyes, and car∣ry thy self so as is sutable to the presence of God; I shall only give you one Scripture about the beautifying of the soul, in the 45. Psalm, where it's spoken of the Church and of the Saints being brought into the presence of God, in the 13. verse, The Kings daughter, (that is, the Church) is all glorious within. (Many make great shews of Religi∣on without, but the Kings daughter is all glorious within,) her cloathing is of wrought gold: there's her ornaments: mark what follows in the 14. verse, She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle-work: (She shall be brought to the King, to Jesus Christ, with garments of needle-work) by that is meant, the several graces of the Spirit of God that puts a beauty upon the soul: as there is a variety in needle∣work that causes a beauty upon the work, and so she shall be brought to the King. So you must have that that may make you aimable and lovely in the eyes of the King.