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To this I answer: Were it as easy to -subdue it, as it is to discover it, a great part of the difficulty of Christianity would soon be at an end. It is a sin, which cannot long lie hid: it will betray itself, if not to the observation of others, yet at least to the observation of a man's own conscience. If conscience should ask you one by one, "What is thine, and thine, and thine iniquity?" every one would silently whisper to himself, "Oh! pride is mine:" " Hypocrisy is mine:" "Covetousness and worldliness is mine:" "Uncleanness is mine:" and who among us is there that could not give an answer? Yet, for farther satisfaction, take these particulars. 1st. That sin, which doth most of all employ and busy thy thoughts, that is thy most unmortified and peculiar sin.
Thoughts are purveyors for lust, which range abroad and bring in provision for it. Observe upon what objects they pitch: mark how they work. Do thy thoughts lie continually sucking at the breasts of pleasure? are they still drenched and bathed in carnal delights ?. Voluptuousness is thy peculiar sin. Do thy thoughts continually delve and dig in the earth, and return to thee laden only with thick clay? Covetousness is thy peculiar sin. Do they soar and tower up to honours, dignities, preferments; and still fill thee with designs and forecasts how to raise thyself to them? Pride and ambition are thy sins. And so, of the rest. 2dly. The unmortified and peculiar sin is always most impatient of contradiction and opposition.
(1st) It cannot bear a reproof from others. Let never so much be thundered against other sins, this makes no stir nor tumult: but, if the reproof fall upon his sin, you then touch the very apple of his eye; you then search him to the very quick: and this will cause some commotion and disturbance within. Hence it is, that many, who come to the word of God, sit very quiet under many a reproof and many a threatening, because they think thdse all fall beside them: but, if the bow drawn at a venture wound them under the fifth rib, if it strike their peculiar sin, oh! what mustering up of carnal reasonings and carnal evasions is there to shift it off! All this stir and bustle doth but plainly shew where the sore is. That is a galled conscience, which will not endure to be wrung by a reproof. And,
(2dly) As it cannot bear a reproof; so it cannot brook a denial, when it tempts and solicits.
Of all lusts, this tempts oftenest and most eagerly. Other corruptions are modest, compared to this; and will often desist, upon a peremptory denial: but this peculiar sin grows wild and outrageous: it will have its course, or the soul shall have no quiet: so that conscience is never harder put to it, than to stand it out against the importunity of this sin.
3dly. That corruption, which every little occasion stirs up and sets on work with more than a proportionable violence, that is the most unmortified and peculiar sin.
By more than a proportionable violence, I mean, when the object, temptation, or occasion is but slight and inconsiderable; and yet the lust; that is thereby moved, acts strongly and impetuously. And, therefore, the Apostle, Heb. xii. 1. calls it the sin, which doth so easily beset us: it stands always ready and prepared, upon the least hint of a temptation, to assault us. Now look what corruption it is, that doth most frequently interpose, that every little occasion stirs up and inflames to a greater height and rage than a strong temptation would another; be it passion, be it pride, or any other; this is the most unmortified and peculiar sin.
These may suffice, though others may be added, to discover what is our proper and peculiar sin; the lust, that is most natural and congenial to us.
Now since these sins have such a great advantage against us more than others have, they must therefore be more especially opposed than others. This kind, to use our Saviour's words, goeth not forth, but by prayer and fasting, and the most earnest endeavours of that soul, who is deeply afflicted with their power and prevalency.
 I shall only here offer two or three considerations, that may possibly prove subservient to the mortifying of these peculiar sins.
1st. Consider: it is no excuse or extenuation of thy sin, nor do thou look upon ifoas such, that it is natural to thee; that it is the sin of thy temper, complexion, or profession: but, rather, account this a heinous aggravation, that makes thy sin out of measure sinful.
Some are so absurdly profane, as to make the naturalness of a sin an argument to lessen the guilt of it: they are naturally passionate and peevish, naturally high-minded and ambitious, naturally voluptuous and sensual; and they cannot help it: it is fixed and rooted in their temper and constitution of body; and, therefore, it is no wonder if it sometimes break forth in their lives, unless they could put off the outward man as well as the Old Man. Is this, thinkest thou, an excuse? tell me, is not a toad therefore more loathsome and ugly, because its very nature and temper is venomous? And dost thou think it a good excuse for thy sins, that thou art naturally subject to them? thou art therefore more loathsome in the sight of God, whose infinite holiness stands at as great an antipathy to a corrupt nature as to a sinful life. And, therefore, we find David, Psal. li. 5. aggravating his actual sins from this consideration, that he was shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin. Certainly, original sin is no excuse, but rather an aggravation of actual; and the violent propension of a man's nature to one sin more than another, is but an especial expression of original corruption.
2dly. Avoid, especially, those occasions, that have an especial tendency in them to draw forth thy peculiar lust.
This, as it must be observed in the mortification of every sin, so must it be most carefully heeded in thy dealing against thy proper sin; because it will take advantage from every slight and trivial occasion to break forth and shew itself in act: it watcheth all opportunities; and a very little spark will suffice to kindle this tinder.. Thou complainest that thou canst not subdue such a corruption: it will rise and tumultuate in thee: it will still break from thee. Canst thou ever expect it will be otherwise, while thou heedlessly exposest thyself to so many occasions, on which thy corruption will take hold? Oh! how easy and comfortable might Christians make this great work of mortification, if they would herein be watchful! Corruption would not stir; or if it did, might soon be quelled, did not you yourselves entice it out by giving it such fair opportunities to exert itself. What saith the Wise Man, Prov. vi. 27? Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burnt? No; it is impossible: yet, truly, it is as possible for a man, that carries the prepared fuel of corruption in his heart, not toUttvq .it kindled and inflamed by his venturous running into occasions of sinning. You do but hereby provoke and dare corruption, which alas! is too apt to stir of itself. Certainly, he, who will venture on a near occasion of sinning, will venture on the sin itself; and, if he be all his days vexed and perplexed by it, it is the fault of his own carelessness.
3dly. Consider this: that proper and peculiar sins do deserve and call for proper and peculiar punishments. Why shouldst thou think, while any unmortified lust is thine own, that the punishment of it should not be thine own also? Is it reason, that the sin should be peculiarly thine, and yet the punishment of it Christ's? No; Christ never came into the world to take off the guilt of that sin by justification, from which he doth not in some measure take off the bent and propension of the heart by sanctification. And,
4thly. Consider: if,you are saints, you yourselves are not your own: and shall any sin then be your peculiar sin?
1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. Ye are not your own: but ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your bodies, and in your spirits, which are God's. And shall we ourselves be God's, and yet any sin be ours? What is this less, than, by a kind of practical blasphemy, to make our sins God's also? Such-like considerations as these, should be continually present with us, when we go forth against our proper sins. It is not ordinary endeavours, that will suffice to mortify these: they are so rooted.in and interwoven with the very principles of our nature, that they are the very last sins, which will quit their hold; and that, not without much difficulty and hardship.
Thus I have done with the First Branch of this Direction: To take notice of those sins, which have the greatest advantage and prevalency against us, which are customary and peculiar sins: and I have given you some particulars, to .help you in the mortifying of them.
2. The other branch of this direction is, to be continually pondering and weighing the Ground and Cause of the quarrel.
This will exceedingly animate your utmost endeavours unto mortification. It is the cause, which enspirits soldiers: tell them, that they are to fight for estates, liberties, and lives; that whatever is dear to them is laid at stake, and pawned upon their valour; this will sharpen their courage, yea and their swords too, and make every stroke laid on by such considerations fatal as death. What can be more effectually pressed upon the spiritual soldier, to heighten and inflame his courage? tell him but the cause he er.gageth for, and he must be either very much a coward, or else very treacherous against his own soul, that doth not resolve to stand it out to the utmost. It is for an everlasting kingdom, a crown of glory, a precious and immortal soul; for eternal life, for God himself, you are to fight: and will you sit still, and see all these lost and taken from you? There is not a corruption or temptation that assaults you, but seeks to deprive you of heaven nry_! happiness, and would spill the dearest blood of your souls. A Christian's all, his nearest soul, his dearest God, the rich and unconceivable glory promised him, the few precious graces bestowed on him to bear his charges till he hath attained it, are all here staked down: this is the prize you are to contend for: if you can suffer all these to be taken from you, and think them not worth the striving for, you are beyond the reach of a provocation. Let the Devil and your own lusts come armed against you, with all the strength and rage of hell; yet, if you can but then keep up lively and distinct considerations of the vast and important concernment which depends upon the issue of the conflict, it is impossible that they should ever prevail upon you to the* commission of any deliberate sin. Whenever, therefore, you are tempted;, and find unmortified corruption very violent, think seriously with yourselves, what it is that you are solicited to do: is it not to provoke your God, to betray yourselves? is it not, to defile, nay to destroy your souls?" Now, sin and Satan are very earnest to have me run myself into perdition: fain they would persuade me to forfeit heaven, and plunge myself deep into hell: they entice, they impel, they swell and tumultuate; but, if I yield, what becomes of all my hopes, of my crown of happiness, and of my own soul? It is happiness, which is the quarrel: and shall that be less dear to me, than my destruction is to Satan? Hath he cause to be so active and violent for my ruin, and have I no cause to be industrious and vigilant for my salvation? Shall I sell away all the great and glorious things of eternity, at the cheap and low price of a momentary sin?" Do but actually ponder and weigh these considerations, when a corruption moves and acts in you; set them before you; say them to yourselves, and run them over in your thoughts; and let me be bold to say, Sin then, if you can.
(1) There are Two considerations especially, which will be of mighty influence to the suppressing of a corruption while it is tempting and stirring, and are the most available helps to mortification of all other.
 A serious consideration of the great Guilt, that sin will bring upon us.
It must be the very first work of that Christian, who will successfully attempt the work of mortification, to charge a prevailing lust home with the full guilt of it. I confess it is a ghastly sight, a spectacle full of dread and horror, to view sin in its proper colours: but it is far better for thee to look sin in the face,