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Ija. 59. 12, 13, Our transgretlions are multiplied betore thee, and our fins celtitie agaioft us, for our transgressions are with us, and as tor our iniquities we know them, in tranfgrelling and lyeing agatott the Lord,and departing away from our God,lpeaking oppreffion and revolc, conceiving and uttering from the beart words of falfhood.
2. Oor fpiritual Mercbane hath his Book of Roy ceipts, wherein be records all bis mercies received, from whence be can extract a lift of them in his day of thanksgiving and rejoicing before the Lord; and tbis piece of frogal improvement, we may make hereof, ebat wben we meet with any cross dispensas 'tion, we may produce che foresaid lift of mercies to counterballance our grievances, and to argue our felves into a rational conteniment with Gods pleasure, Job 2. 10. Wbat, fall we receive good at the band of God, and taill we not receive evil i O what oomfort accrews to the Believer in corning over the leaves of this book wherein he finds a particular res gifter of the mercies of God fpiritual and bodilie, there is set down, fucb a day I bad Gods presence in prayer, I met with God in such a preaching, at luch a communion, I found Gods power in reading such a passage, or portion of Scriptore, I saw God in such a providence, &c. O Birs, is it not worth the while to remember ro manie meetings with Godthere also he keeps account of such prevents ing.mercies, as he was moll capable to guess at; on fach a day I was in eminent bazard of my life by fea, at another time by a dangerous sicknels etc, but he Lord gave me not over to death; I was on
day accofted with a turious temptation, & I should no doube baye tulilled such a lutt, or bave perfore med luch a mischicrous ill action if the all&ances of foíficient grace had not prevented in seafoo, for I wanted neither to will nor to work of my telf,
so impetuous and keen were my corrupt pallions; and so after this mapger the diligen: Chriftian records th: blessings and kindnefles of God, wbicb helpsode a little to turoith and enlarge us in the praises of God. Blefled be the Lord, lays the Pfalmift, wbe daily loadeth us with his benefits, Pfal.68 19. which implies there was daily account kept of tbem. In the 103. and the to7. Pfalms, you have a large recapie colation of Gods lignal mercies and providences tos wards the children of Israel, with this frequent Es pipbon:m), Ob that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and in the close of the Psalm.says the Penman, whoso is wise & will observe cbole things (or record chem) even they shall underftand the loving kindness of the Lord.
3. This our fpiritual Merchant bath allo bis Book of Profitio Lofs, wherein be notes wbither be grows or decays in grace, what graces be hath most need of, what graces are in exercise, what evidences be hath of a gracious converted fate, when he began to fall from his firft love, bow he came by his fpirie toal losses, whether be reaps advantagefron Goly pel-ordinances, from dispensations of mercies or judgements etc. and thus keeps ab account of the pps and downs, of the revolutions and changerol his fpiritual lot. It feems David was thas concerned, en oral, 30. 5,6; 7. he tells us, that by interchange
piden at noon will I pray. Plal. I 19, 164, Seven times a day
miandable courses and turns, he had Gods anger and fax buvour, rejoicings and inouroings, prosperitie & ads advertisie, tbe shinings of Gods countenance, and
Ecclipset, or the bidings chereof.
4. This oor fpiritual Merchant keeps bis Dieric pabes of daily Dutiesywhere be ponetgallie tets down what the hated or occasional duties, he either performs or Betty omits, and also with what frame he manages them, he wherber enlarged or Atraitned, wbether with alaialnih critie or dulness, wbecbec witb affe&tion or in a 68199 coldriff way, and whether be meet with God in his beo duties. These following passages seem to point at onetebis practice, Píal. 55. 17. Evening and morning and frechy do I praise tbec: Dan. 6. 10. 2 Cor. 12.8. che le 5. This our spiritual Merchant notes down like en wile the returns and answers of his prayers, if he bacb bales petition lying before tbe Tbrone, be continues in lalay duty with patienee expeđing a propitious answer,
and when he obtains it, be records'it as a double No mercy, and thus pollecb cbe gracious returns of his
prayers among the rest of bis accounts, Pfal. 138. 3. pole In the way to ben Icryed tbox answeredt me, Arengthe
nedA me with Arength in my soul, Pfal.66 19,20 & 1185 be 6. This our spiritual Mercbant is so much of a hi publick spirit, and so far concerned in the Commonjonwealeb of Israel, as also co let down in bis Diarie,
what motable passages of providence fall oue, wbat figa
dal revolutions cometo pass that concern the church' and of God, and be derives not a little spiritual profitio
bimself from this practice, for thereby be is helped!" to a leasonable good frame of spirit, and to
tbe better, for ye are io the fairer profpe&t of mols pho
swerably afected with che welfare, or illfare of the work & people ofGod, be mourns with them when they moorn, and rejoicetb with them whes they rejoice. And also comes to be as one of the men of I Backur that know the times & ebe seasons, & what Ifrael ought to de, Ezra 6, 1, 2, E4b, 3, 12. In the tbirs teerib day of tbe firfi moneth, sbere was written Letters ab &c. Elb. g. 20, 21, 22, And Mordecai wrote tbefe rbings &c.
From what we have been saying, ye may see how usefyll & neceffar it is for a Merchant to keep clear counts, and it is an ordinar observe,cbat chefe Mers chants wbo are either ignorant or careless in this matter, seldom come to be wealeby or ia reputatis on, and their affairs often go to dangerous confpG. on; so likewise careless Cbriftians who take ao Care how affairs go betwixt God and their souls, coms monlie they are weak and wantbriven, or elfe deges nerate and fall from what pitches they feemed to arrive at.
SECTION II. 4. Dlred. Set up Trade as soon as may be, or beca
gin betimes to buy from Chrift, the sooner
ciplying to be rich, ic is a great advantage to be puce to a Trade in Youtb, In prosecuting this Direction, I am pallionatlie desiroos to perswade Young Per fons co remember their Creator and ply Religion io their tender years, therefore I offer these following Reasons to their serious Confideration, © Why Young Persons should begin bes
times to trade with Chrift, Youthbood is the prime and fittef season for taking in Lessons and luftru&is ons, then is there most mettal in your Spirits, then are your Capacities molt clear and comprebentive, then are all the intellectual Facalties belt able to help in learniog the Arts and Sciences, which will require labeur and induftrie. Even so as to fpiritual concerns, wbere ebe grace of God works wich Begioners in the first moft vigoroo9 times of their Youtb, Obow clear and clever is che Uoderltands ing, for apprebending the nature and preperties of heavenlie things, Ohow readie is the Wilcorun as with Hyndssteet in the ways of God, and bow foon are the spiritoalized Affections rapt and drawn out after Ged, after Chrift, after Ordinances & Duties; O with what a Atrong zeal and courage de lach ops pole Temptations & overcome their Tempters: 0 with what love and constancie ace they readie to follow God amidit greated Difficulties; I lay what mightie Feats are Yoong Saints vont to do when they are both fpiritual and solid, sometimes they have far outruo older Disciples.
2. Real Youthbood as it is tbe prime season, fo it is a paffing season, of very fhort continuance, yea our whole Life is but a shadow, that quickly paffech by, therefore we should improve our seafon wisely while we have it, leaft being once gone, we be left robemoan, that we were lo f@olila as to flipe ebe Tyde, wbich we could not expect would abide.
3 Reas. To begin betimes is the ready way to be wellskilled in the mysteries of Trade and to treat opa ftock of profitable experiences, you may