The Ninth Sermon.
John 17.15. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
GOd hath spoken once, yea twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God. When God is pleased to strike twice upon the same string, it seems hee hath something more than ordinary mind, that you should observe the Tune. The Do∣ctrine was, That it is the Will of Jesus Christ, that his Servants should continue in the world, though they meet with nothing but trouble in the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world; let them stay Lord, be thou but their Pilot, and then keep them at Sea as long as thou wilt. God knows his Page 23Saints are very serviceable in their generation: They are, as it were, a pillar of fire unto the rest of the world, for guide, and light; by their doctrine and conversation they instruct the godly, and con∣vince the wicked: God will have his people stay in the world, that his power, providence, mercy, and goodness in their preservation may more clearly be discovered; that their afflictions here may work out for them an eternal weight of glory: These are the reasons why God will have them stay in the world, &c. Then
1. Saints carry your selves as becomes such in midst of such a world, with that wisdome, faithfulness, carefulness, humility, that may bring honour both to your selves, and to your profession: Walk as Lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; walk closely, warily, innocently, patiently, submissive∣ly, &c. all these are necessary while you are to con∣verse here in this wicked world.
2. •••m that truth, But that thou shouldest keep them from the evil; observe, preservation from sin is a greater mercy than exemption from suffering. Which 1. Informs us of a truth that carnal men will never beleeve till they come to Hell, that that is the height of folly, which the men of the world count to be the top of wisdome; they think it wis∣dome, to chuse sin, rather than suffering. 2. This will evidence that the people of God are not such fools as the men of the world think they are, but the wisest, that will chuse the greatest sufferings rather than the least sin. 3. This reproves those that will take more care to have their afflictions removed, than sanctified. 4. Be more afraid of sinning, and less afraid of suf∣fering: what, afraid of a lash, my childe, no, bee more afraid of a dis-inheritance; look on sufferings Page 24with Scripture Spectacles; Labour for integrity and uprightness of heart, that preserves when falling: Be watchful over thy thoughts and waies: Be a resolved Christian, if thou be not, thou wilt turn an Aposta∣tizing Christian: You must set your faces as thornes, resolution is absolutely necessary, not only under, but before a day of suffering: Be resolved for God, and be resolved against Sin, and that for fear, least in a day of suffering thou shouldest halt and founder, and so lose the things which thou hast wrought: which brings mee to