{Conco. XX. Afternoon

    6. May 1694.

    1. Cor. 11. 31. For if we would judge our selves, we should not be judged. (Doctr.) Self-judging is ye only way to Secure us from divine judgments. (Q. 1.) What is this Self-judging which is expedient for our avoiding divine judgments (Q. 2.) Wt. judgments is this ye way to escape? (3. Q) Upon what account do we by Self-judging escape divine judgments? To proceed.

    • Qu. 4. Last: Why by Self-judging, may we escape divine judgments: Or to give some reasons of ye doctrine
    • R. 1. Because this is Gods end in his sending, or threatning afflictions to bring his people to such a frame yt their hearts maybe humbled: that they may be brought to sincere confession of their sin. And therefore when they are brought to such a frame God Spares them. Jer. 18. 7. 8. & 31. 18. 19. 20.
    • R. 2. Because this Self-judging tends to an emptying of the creature, wch is well pleasing to God. Isa. 66. 2. To this man will I look that is poor & of a Contrite Spirit. & 57. 15.
    • R. 3. Because by this Self-judging God is glorifyed. With this argument Joshua presseth Achan to make confession of his sin, & to judge himself, because hereby he would glorify God. Josh. 7. 19. & Judges 10. 14. 15. We have sinned, do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee &c. 1. Sam. 3. 18.
    • R. 4. Last: Because this great duty of Self-judging when, & where it is right will carry the Soul to the Mercy of God in Christ for all needed good. As we see in ye Self-judging Publicane: He smites upon his breast, & crys out, God be mercifull to me a sinner. Luke. 18. 13. So David upon his judging of himself, finds & feels yt nothing but free & rich mercy can help him, & accordingly renounceth all other helps, & flys thereto for remedy Ps. 51. &c.
    • 1. Use. See we here ye Reasonableness of the terms upon wch we may escape divine judgments. Why it is by judging our selves. God dos not require of us thousands of Rams, nor ten thousands of Rivers of Oyl; No, no, but he requires of us this Self-judging, & lying down at his feet & walking humbly wth our God. Micah. 6. 6. 7. 8. We count it reasonable that men confess their faults one to ye other: Oh how much more is it reasonable yt we should confess our sins to ye great & holy God: & how justly will they be miserable wo refuse such reasonable terms for prevention of divine judgments &c.
    • 2. Instruction. This truth may teach us to justify God under whatsoever judgments or punishments we suffer. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? Gen. 18. 25. He is a rock, all whose wayes are judgment. Deut. 32. 4. 5. We are ready to murmure against God, under calamities, especially when pinching, but alass we suffer for our own foolishness. Ps. 38. 5. God is righteous, & the fault whither we see it or not; lyes at our own door. Gen. 4. 7.
    • 3. Instruction, we may hince be taught to improve Gods judgments, unto a Self-judging. When God Speaks to us in our prosperity, we are ready to turn a deaf ear. Jer. 22. 21. O but now when we are under Gods rod, Sickness, reproach, or the like; O now its high time to apply our selves to ye work of self-judging. As we see Manassah did, & that to good purpose. 2. Chr. 33. 9. &c.
    • 2. Use. Here is matter of Reproof of all such as neglect this
    • 1. great work of judging themselves, (1) Such as know nothing of themselves, see nothing of their own Spiritual emptiness, & of their own sinfull fulness, & therefore have high thoughts of themselves; as the Laodiceans. Rev. 3. 17.
    • 2. Such as judge themselves but not to purpose & throughly. As
    • 1. Such as content themselves wth a Self-judging in common & generall. Alass! we are all sinners. There is none righteous &c. But in ye mean time they extenuate, & make little or nothing of all their transgressions:
    • 2. Such as judge themselves only for their sins which appear unto man, but never search into their heart sins: their heart-pride, their heart-coldness & deadness &c.
    • 3. Such as for all their Self-judging, yet make no amendment, strive after no reformation, as the truly godly do. Ps. 119. 58. 59. I thought on my wayes, & turned my feet unto thy testimonies. Luke. 15. 15. The Prodigal when he came to himself, he returns to his Fathers house. O then, I say, such as neglect this duty fall under Reproof. And consider
    • 1. God judgeth you every day. You will not judge your selves daily, but hereby you fall under Gods daily angry & wrathfull observance of you. Ps. 7. 11. He is angry with the wicked every day.
    • 2. Hereby you lye exposed to yt fruits of Gods incensed wrath every day. Text.
    • 3. Last: If you dye in this neglect, you will unavoidably fall under Gods eternall judging of you to condemnation. Those that do not know themselves now; God will not know them (so as to approve them) at the great & last day of judgment. Luke. 13. 24–28. Strive to enter in at yt Strait gate: for many shall seek to enter in, & shall not be able. When once yt Master of ye house is risen up, & hath shut to ye door; & ye begin to stand without, & lo knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; & he shall answere & say unto you, I know you not whence you are. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten, & drunk in thy presence, & thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence you are; depart from me all ye Workers of iniquity.
    • 3. Use. May be of Exhortation to this great duty of judging our selves. Now to press this duty we shall give some motives, & then Lay down some directions
    • 1. For Motives.
    • 1. Mot: Even nature teacheth this. It was a maxime or principle of the Learned Heathen. Nosce Teipsum. Know thy self.93 Yea, we are wont to twit men in the teeth with such an opprobrious speech as this, alass thou dost not know thy Self: or such a man dos not know himself: hereby meaning both ye gross ignorance, & wofull heedlessness of such a one, in that he knows little of that, concerning which he should know most.
    • 2. Mot: God expresly requires us to judge ourselves. 2. Cor. 13. 5. Examine your selves, Whither ye be in ye faith; prove your own selves: know ye not your own selves, how yt Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates. Examine your selves, prove your own selves; Try, see, Search Whither ye are Christians indeed: Whither you be converted, & whither your walks be as converted ones. Hag. 1. 5. 7. Thus saith ye Lord of Hosts, consider your ways. And again, he comes ever with this precept, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, consider your ways. Again, & again ponder your paths, look into your actions, & see, & try by the Law of God, whither they are such as he requireth.
    • 3. Mot: Christians are wont to practise this duty of judging of themselves. Ps. 119. 59. I thought on my wayes, & turned my feet into thy testimonys. So the Penitent Prodigali. Luke. 15. 18. I will arise, & go to my Father, & say Father, I have sinned against Heaven, & before thee. And so Ezra. Chap. 9. ult. O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous—behold we are before thee in our trespasses. And Dan: Chap. 9. 5. &c. We have sinned &c.
    • 4. Mot: This is the way to prevent Gods judgments. Text. If we would judge our selves, we should not be judged. We see it in David. 2. Sam. 12. 13. David said I have sinned against ye Lord. And Nathan said unto David the Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not dye. Se also in Ahab thô his Self-judging was but unsound, yet to encourage to this true self-judging, & to shew how God approves of it, God defers the judgments which otherwise he had executed. 1. Reg. 21. 28. 29. And so again, we have another instance in Rehoboam, & the Princes of Israel. 2. Chron. 12. 1. &c.
    • 5. Mot: Last: The neglect of this Self-judging provokes God to visit with his judgments. Text. If we would judge our selves, we should not be judged: intimating that if we will not judge our selves, God will judge us. Lam. 1. 9. Jerusalem remembred not her last end, therefore She came down wonderfully. They did not consider what would be ye end of her wicked courses, & judge her self for them, & therefore God judged her. The like sad instance, we have in old Babylon. Isa. 47. 7. &c. And so much briefly for motives to quicken us to this great duty of Self-judging, unto which naturally we are very backward &c.
    • 2. Now for some helps to this needfull work.
    • 1. Dir: If we would judge our selves, take we the knowledge of our selves which the Scripture gives us. Now the Scriptures assures us
    • 1. That naturally we are altogether filthy & polluted. Conceived in sin. Ps. 51. 5. None good no not one, but are fallen short of the glory of God. Ro. 3 .23. viz the image of God which was our glory
    • 2. The Scripture assures us that from this our originall filth, flows infinite pollutions. We go astray as soon as we are born. Ps. 58. 3. As ye fountain casts forth its waters, so do our filthy hearts their pollutions. Jer. 6 .7. Matth, 15. 19. We must then look upon our selves as such, & accordingly judge our selves.
    • 2. Dir: Impartially condemn we every deed, word, yea thought, as far as it wants conformity to Gods Law.
    • 3. Dir: Labour we after brokenness of heart, for every transgression of ye law, which upon strictest Scrutiny & Search we can find.
    • 4. Dir: Beg we God to help us in the inquiry into our own lifes & actions. Ps. 139. 23. 24. That we may over-look no sin, nor be unwilling to discern them in their bloodyest colours.
    • 5. Dir: Labour we after Reformation, & that of all discerned sins, & also constantly. 2 Cor. 7. 10. 11 Carefulness to avoid sin, & more indignation agst. sin, & ye like. And then this must be daily & constantly: Not like ye morning cloud, & the early dew &c. Hos. 6. 4.
    • 6. Dir: Last: In a sense of your own utter insufficiency & inability, to find out your sins, to hate your sins, to be heart-broken for your sins, to turn from all your sins, Look unto the Lord Jesus wo is exalted for this very purpose to give repentance, & remission of sins. Acts. 5. 31.

    Finis Textûs

    • 1694. 3. June. Job. 6. 55. Vide Lib. 15. pag. 1.
    • 7. Octor Pro. 9. 1–8. Ib. pag. 29.
    • 1695. July. 7. Cant. 3. 1. Lib. 21. pag. 1.