Quest. 2. What is that selfe-seeking, which is inconsistent with Christ seeking?
Answ. It is a spirituall Monster with six heads.
1. When a Christian seeks his owne things dividedly from the things of Christ, when he seeks his owne case, safety and interest, and cares not at all what becomes of Jesus Christ, and his cause, when he sets up himselfe, and makes himselfe the principle, rule, and end of all his undertakings, acting from self as a principle, by selfe as a rule, for self as an end. When a Man makes himselfe his God, worshipeth himselfe, and doth whatsoever he doth for his carnall selfe, serves himselfe in Committees, Army, Parliament, Ministry, and cares not what becomes of Religion and Reformation. This is the first head of this Monster; such a selfe-seeker was Gallio the Deputy, Act. 18. 17. who cared not what became of Religion. If it had been a matter of wrong, he would have heard it, but because it was a matter of Religion, he cared for none of those things. Such selfe-seekers, were the people of M•roz, and therefore the Israelites were commanded to curse them, Judges 5. 23.
2. When a Christian seeks his owne things, and the things of Christ also, but seeks his owne things antecedently to the Page 14things of Christ. When he first seeks his owne things, and af∣terwards the things of Christ; of this the Prophet Haggai complanes, Hag. 1. 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11. The people said, It was not time to build Gods house, but it was time to build their owne houses. Therefore the Heavens over them were as brasse, and the Earth withheld her fruit.
3. When a man seeks his owne things, and the things of Christ also, but seeks his own things, chiefly and principally, not onely before, but more then the things of Christ, and that both in his value and esteem, and in his love and affection. When a man prizeth his owne profit and preferment, and loveth his owne praise and glory more than the profit, praise and honour of Christ and his Gospel. Such were the Gade∣rens, who preferred their Hogges before Christ. Such were the Merchants and Farmers, Mat. 21. 3. who made light of the call of Christ, and preferred their Farmes and Merchan∣dizing before Christ and his Gospel. Such was Demas, who forsook Paul and embraced the present world, and such were the Pharisees, John 12. 43. Who loved the praise of Men, more than the praise of God.
4. When a Christian seeks his owne things in seeking the things of Christ, when he pretends to seek the things of Christ, and yet intends no such thing, but seeks himselfe even under colour of seeking the things of Christ. Such a one was Jehu, who pretended a great deale of zeale for the Lord of Hoasts. Come (said he to Jonadab) and behold my zeale, &c. but he did but pretend a zeale for God, his zeal was to purchase the Kingdome to himselfe. Such a one was Balaam, who preten∣ded that if he had a house full of Gold and Silver offered him, he would not goe beyond the Commandement of God, and yet notwithstanding he did but counterfeit, for he loved the wages of iniquity, and was mad after the preserments that Balac proffered him. Such another was Demetrius the Silver-Smith, who pretended a zeal to the great Goddesse Diana, and therefore caused an uproare against Paul to defend the God∣desse, but it was the gaine he got by making Shrines for Di∣ana, that was the principle that set him on worke, he pre∣tended Diana, but intended himselfe, he had dolum in idolo, as one saith.
Page 15 5. When a man seeks his owne things, when they stand in competition with, and in opposition to the things of Christ, when things come to so narrow a bridge, that either he must part with Estate, Liberty, and Life, or with Christ and a good Conscience: If he chooseth to part with Christ and a good Conscience, rather than with his Liberty, Estate or Life, this is a wicked self-seeker. Such a one was the young man in the Go∣spel, who forsook Christ, rather than he would part with his great possessions. Such was Spyra, who himself tels the story; that he placed Wife, Children, Liberty, Estate and Life, in one part of the ballance; And God, Christ, the Gospel, and a good Conscience in the other, and forsook the last to preserve the first.
6. The last head of this Monster is, when a Christian seeks the good of his Body, to the prejudice of his Soule, when he bestoweth all his time, all his strength, and all his cares and indeavours, in providing for his perishing carcasse, and neg∣lects to provide for his eternall Soule, when he layeth up all his treasure upon earth, but hath no treasure layed up in Hea∣ven, when he is anxiously solicitous for his comfortable living in this world, but strangely neglectfull, to take care for his happy living in the other world, this is a sinfull, cursed, and devilish self-seeking. So much in answer to the second que∣stion.