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Groupe de nature-et-conscience

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Hi Ride (Soulmade AR Remix) 2021

Time is, time was, but time shall be no more! Time was to sin in secrecy, to indulge in that sloth and pride, to covet the unlawful, to yield to the promptings of your lower nature, to live like the beasts of the field, nay worse than the beasts of the field, for they, at least, are but brutes and have no reason to guide them: time was, but time shall be no more.

Hi Ride (Soulmade AR Remix)

I realize if Japan is overrun, the rest of the developed world will be, soon, too, but I think it would be nicer to ride this thing out in a detached house and my own car in the U.S. rather than in a huge apartment building, relying on public transport.

But though undeniable reason thus presented, by the grace of God, do much cure some particular souls, yet alas, the World, the most of the Church visible & the Land is so far uncured, as that selfishness still triumpheth over our innocency, piety and peace, and seemeth to deride our hopes of remedy. Were Profession as rare as true Self-denial, I should be of their mind who reduce the Church into a much narrower room than either the Roman, the National, the Presbyterian, or Independent. Alas, how few are those true Believers, whose inordinate SELF-LOVE, SELF-CONCEITEDNESS, SELF-WILL, and SELF-SEEKING are truly conquered by FAITH, and turned into the LOVE of GOD as GOD, and of the PUBLICK GOOD, and of their NEIGHBOUR, as themselves; and into a HUMBLED UNDERSTANDING conscious of its Ignorance; and into a humbled submissive WILL, which is more disposed to follow than to lead, and to obey than to be Imperious and domineer; and into a LIFE entirely devoted to God and to the Common good?

Whence is it but for want of self-denial, that men are so hardly convinced of their sins, be they never so open, and odious, and scandalous, if they be but such as will admit of an excuse before the world? Most sins that are confest, are such as [Page] seem not to be disgraceful, or such whose justification would double the disgrace, or such as are confest in pride, that the Confessor may gain the reputation of humility.

According to the nature of these holy rules & examples, is the nature of theworkings of the Spirit of Christ upon the soul: He usually beginneth in shewing manhis sin and misery, his utter insufficiency to help himself, his alienation from God, and enmity to him, his blindness and deadness, his emptiness and nothingness, and then he brings him from himself to Christ, and sheweth him his fulness and sufficiency, and by Christ he cometh to the Father, and God doth receive his own again. It [Page] is one half of the work of Sanctification, to cast ourSelves from our Understandings, our Wills, our Affections, and our Conversations; to subdue self-conceitedness, self-willedness, self-love and self-seeking: to mortifie our carnal wisdom, and our Pride, and our concupiscence, and our earthly members: And the other (and chiefest part) consisteth in setting up God where self did rule: that his Wisdom may be our Guide; his Will, our Law; his Goodness the chiefest object of our Love, and his service the work & business of our lives. The Spirit doth convince us that we are not our Own, and have no power at all to dispose of our selves or any thing we have, but under God, as he commands us: It convinceth us that God is our Owner and absolute Lord, and that as we are wholly his, so we must be wholly devoted to him, and prefer his interest before our own, and have no interest of our own, but what is his, as derived from him, and subservient to him; Fear doth begin this work of selfdenial; but it's Love that brings us up to sincerity.

The first state of corrupted man, is a state of selfishness, and servitude to his own Concupiscence; where pride and sensuality bear rule; and have no more resistance, than now and then some frightening uneffectual check.

1. Observe but the striving that there is for Command and Dignity, and Riches, and this even among Professors of Religion, and judge by this whether they are self-denying men. Who is it for but themselves that men make such a stir, for Offices and Honours, and places of Superiority? Surely if it were for the good of others, they would not be so eager and so forward. We cannot perceive that their Charity is so h [...], [Page] as to make them so Ambitious to be serviceable to their Brethren. If that be it, let them keep their service till it be desired or much needed, and not be so eager to do men good against their wills, and without necessity. As Greg. Mag. saith of the Ministry, [Si non ad elationis culpam, sed ad utilitatem adipsci desiderat, prius vires suas cum eo quidem subiturus onere metiatur: ut & impar abstineat, & ad id cum metu cui se sufficere existimat accedat.] Men use not to be ambitious of duty or trouble. He that desireth Government ultimately and principally for himself, desireth Tyranny, and not a lawful Government, whose ultimate end is the common good. And will not the wrath of the King of Kings be kindled without so much ado, nor hell be purchased at cheaper rates, than all the contrivance, cares and hazards, that ambitious men do draw upon themselves? O ambitio, (inquit Bernardus) ambientium crux, quomodo omnes torques? Omnibus places, nil acrius cruciat, nil molestius inquietat, nil tamen apud miseros mortales celebrius negotiis ejus.] Wonderful! that such abundant warning tameth not these proud aspiring minds! They set up or admired them but yesterday, whom they see taken down and despised to day, and see their honour turned to scorn, and yet they imitate their folly! They see the sordid relicts of the most renouned Conquerours, and Princes levelled with the dirt; and yet they have not the wit to take warning, and humble themselves that they may be exalted! They know how death will shortly use them, and read of the terrors that pride and ambition bring men to; but all this doth not bring them to their wits. When Death it self comes, then they are as sneaking shrinking worms as any: and the worm of ambition that fed upon their hearts in their prosperity, doth breed a gnawing worm in their consciences, [Page] which will torment them everlastingly. But (ut Juvenal.)

2. Observe but mens desire of applause, and their great impatience of dispraise, and judge by this of their self-denial. Who is it that is angry with those that Praise them, yea though they exceed their bounds, and ascribe more to them than is due? Saith Seneca [Si invenimus qui nos bonos viros dicat, qui prudentes, qui sanctos, non sumus modica laudatione contenti; quicquid in nos adulatio sine pudore congessit, tanquam debitum prehendimus: Optimos nos esse, sapientissimosque affirmantibus assentimus, quum [Page] sciamus illos saepe multa mentiri. Adeo quoque indulgemus nobis, ut laudari velimus in id, cui contraria maxime facimus.] Even Proud men would be praised for Humility, and covetous men for Liberality, and fools for Wisdom, and ignorant men for Learning, and treacheros hypocrites for sincerity and plain honesty; and few of the best do heartily distaste their own commendations, or refuse any thing that's offered them, though beyond desert. But if they think they are lightly or hardly thought of, or hear of any that speak against them, or dishonour them in the eyes of men, you shall see how little they can deny themselves. O how the hearts of many that seemed godly men, will swell against them that speak to their disparagement? What uncharitable, unchristian deportment, will a little injury produce? What bitter words! What estrangedness, and division, if not plain hatred, and reviling, and revenge! Yea, it were well (in comparison) if a due Reproof, from neighbours or from Ministers (that are bound to do it by the Lord) would not draw forth this secret Venom, and shew the world the scarcity of self-denial. Let others speak never so well of God, and of all good men, and be never so faithful or serviceable in the Church, yet if they do but speak ill of them (though it's like deservedly and justly) these selfish men cannot abide them. By this you may perceive what interest is strongest with them; were they carryed up from themselves by the Love of God, they would delight to hear the Praise of God, and of their Brethren, and be afraid to hear their own; and say from their hearts, Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name be glory, Psal. 115. 1. To praise another may be our gain (in the discharge of a duty, and exercise of Love) but to be Praised our selves is usually our danger. Pride needeth [Page] no such fuel or bellows. Non laudato, sed laudant [...]bus prodest, saith Augustine. Esse humilem est nolle laudari in se: Qui in se laudari appetit, superbus esse convincitur, inq. id. It is the expectation of these proud and selfish men, that tempteth men to the odious art of flattery, when they find it is the way to please. And when one is flattering, and the other pleased with it, what a foolish and sordid employment have they? [Et Vani sunt qui laudantur, & mendaces qui laudant:] saith Austin. It is God to whom the Praise is due, whom we know we cannot Praise too much, whose praises we should love to speak and hear. [In laude Dei est securitas laudis; ut laudator non timet, ne de laudato erubescat] saith Austin. We may boldly Praise him, of whom we are sure we never need to be ashamed. It is God in his servants that we must praise, and it is only his Interest in our own Praise that we must regard.

4. Observe but how light most make of their own sins, and how easily they aggravate the sins of others; and how light they make of the good that is in others, in comparison of that which is in themselves, or those that are of their side; and judge by this of their self-denial! Judah would have judged Th [...]ar hardly; but he was not so severe against himself David pronounceth very peremptorily the sentence [...] against the offendor, till he heard from N [...]than, Thou art the man. How hard is it to convince a selfish [...]e of any sin that will admit of an excuse or cloak? All the Town can see the Pride of some, the covetousness of others, the unpeaceable unchristian behaviour of others, and yet themselves, that should most observe it, and best discern i [...], perceive it not, nor will by any means be brought to see it. No Minister can put them down, when they are justifying themselves; nor make them humbly and heartily confess that they have sinned. (But God will ere long convince them irresistibly, and teach their tongues another kind of language.) Let the case of another come before them, and how readily will they adjudge him to penitent confession, reparation, restitution, and through-reformation! But the case is altered, when it becomes their own. Such incompetent Judges are these selfish hypocrites. 041b061a72

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