The vanity of thovghts discovered with their danger and cvre. By Tho: Goodvvin, B.D.
Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.

Vse. 1.

HAving discovered the vanity of your thoughts and your estates thereby, bee humbled for them; This I ground upon, Proverbs 30. 21. where Agur teacheth us to humble our selves as well for thoughts as acti∣ons. Page  103If thou hast done foo∣lishly in lifting up thy selfe, or if thou hast thought evill, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. Now as smiting upon the thigh is put for re∣pentance and shame and sorrow in Ephraim, Ierem. 31. 19. so is laying the hand upon the mouth put for greater and deeper humi∣liation, as arguing full con∣viction of ones guilt, Rom. 3. 19. Every mouth must be stopped. Having nothing to say, not to plead and excuse, that thoughts are free, and it is impossible to bee rid of them, &c, but as Ezechiel, 16. 65. To re∣member and to bee confoun∣ded, and never to open thy mouth more! to bee vile, and Page  104 not to answer againe, as Iob 39. 27, 28. this is to lay thy hand on thy mouth, that is, to humble thy selfe.

And indeed there is much cause, for your thoughts they are the first begotten, and eldest sons of originall sin, and there∣fore the strength of it, as Iacob called Reuben the first-borne; yea also, and the Parents and begetters of all other sinnes, their brethren; The first plot∣ters and contrivers, and Achitophels, in all the treasons and rebellions of our hearts and lives; the bellows and incendiaries of all inordinate affections; the Panders to all our lusts, that take thought to Page  105 provide for the satisfying of them; the disturbers in all good duties, that inter∣rupt and spoile and fly∣blow all our prayers, that they stinke in the nostrills of God.

And if their hainous∣nesse will nothing move you, consider their num∣ber, for they are continu∣ally thus: which makes our sinnes to be in number more than the sands: the thoughts of Solomons heart were as the Sand, and so ours; not a minute, but as many thoughts passe from us, as in a minute sands doe in an Houre-glasse. So that suppose, that taken seve∣rally, they be the smallest and least of your sinnes, Page  106 yet their multitude makes them more and heavi∣er than all your other. Nothing smaller than a graine of Sand, but if there bee a heape of them, there is nothing heavier, Iob 6. 3. My griefe is heavier than the Sand. Suppose they be in themselves, but as Far∣thing-tokens, in compari∣son of grosse defilements: yet because the Mint never lies still, sleeping nor wa∣king, therefore they make up the greatest part of that treasure of wrath which wee are a laying up: and know that God will rec∣kon every Farthing, and in thy punishment bate thee not one vaine thought. And that God lookes up∣on Page  107 our thoughts thus, see but the inditement he brings in against the old world; which stands still upon record, Gen. 6. when he pronounced that heavy judgement of destroying the old world, doth he al∣ledge their murthers, adul∣teries, and grosse defilements chiefly as the cause? Their thoughts rather; which because so many, and so continually evill, provoked him more than all their other sinnes. Goe downe therefore into thy heart, and consider them well, to humble thee, to make thee vile, and if in one roome such a treasure of wickednesse bee found laid up, what in all those Page  108 other Chambers of the belly, as Solomon calls them? consider them to humble thee, but not for all this their multitude to discou∣rage thee. For God hath more thoughts of mercy in him, than thou hast had of rebellion, Psal. 40. 5. Thy thoughts to us-ward, (spea∣king of thoughts of mer∣cy) are more than can bee numbred. Thou begannest but as yesterday to thinke thoughts of rebellion a∣gainst him, but his thoughts of mercy have beene from everlasting, and reach to everlasting: and therefore in Esay 55. vers. 7. having made mention of our thoughts, let the unrighte∣ous man forsake his thoughts, Page  109 and hee will have mercy on him; because this object∣ion of the multitude might come in to discourage men from hopes of mercy, therefore purposely hee addes, hee will multiply to pardon; and to assure us that hee hath thoughts of mercy to out-vie ours of sinne, hee addes, for my thoughts exceed yours, as Heaven doth the earth.