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CHAP. VII. MENS EXCEEDING TENDERNESS OF SELF IN CASE OF ANY SUFFERING

With Christ My Savior

CHAP. VII. MENS EXCEEDING TENDERNESS OF SELF IN CASE OF ANY SUFFERING

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CHAP. VII. MENS EXCEEDING TENDERNESS OF SELF IN CASE OF ANY SUFFERING

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  1. Another Discovering instance of the Dominion of self, and the scarcity of self-dental is, The exceeding tenderness of ourselves in any case of suffering, and the great matter that we make of it, and our displeasure against all that are the causes of it, be it never so just. I shall here also give you some more particular instances.
  1. When did you ever see an offender (at least very few) that Justified the Judge, and heartily confesseth that his punishment is due (unless some few at the Gallows, when the sight of death takes down their pride?) But at most everyone that suffereth for his fault doth repine at it, and at them that caused it, and think they have wrong, or are hardly dealt with. If all the Swearers, Cursers, Profaners of the Lords day, Drunkards, or Ale-sellers that reset them, or are otherwise guilty, were accused by their Neighbours, and punished by the Magistrate but according to the Law, how many of all these is there that would not be displeased with the accusers, and with the Magistrate, and think himself wronged, and bear them a grudge in his mind that did it? And why so? Is it not just and according to the Laws of God and man? Must we make a stir in choosing Parliament-men? and must they sit there month after month, and use their utmost skill and diligence to make such Laws as are necessary for the common good? and when all is done, must not these Laws be executed? why then it were better spare the Parliament-men the labour of sitting about them, and our selves the trouble of choosing us Parliament-men, than do all this for nothing. What is every Ale-seller, or Drunkard, or Swearer, or Profane person, wiser than all the Parliament and the Prince? or are they all better, and more just, and more honest than they? No; but its self that stands up against all. Its in vain to tell them of Kings, or Parliaments, or Laws, or common good, as long as you go about to cross the flesh, and trouble them in their private interest; set but self against all, and all goes down before it as nothing. There’s scarce a Thief or Murderer that’s hanged, but thinks he hath hard measure; because it is against himself.
  1. Nay, it is not only penalties, but words that men are very sensible of, if they be but against themselves. An angry or disgraceful speech, or any contempt or disrespect, doth seem a great matter against them; and they have aggravations enough to lay upon it. So tender are they of themselves, that you may see how little they deny themselves.
  1. Yea, Gods own Corrections do seem so heavy to them, that they murmur and are impatient under them. A little loss or cross to self doth lye as a mountain on them. Poverty, or sickness, or disgrace, or troubles, do make them complain, as if they were almost quite undone: and all this shows how little they have learned to deny themselves.
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