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SERMON XLIV.

KEEP THY HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE, &c.

Prov. iv. 23. Keep thy heart with all diligence, &c. BEFORE we do apply ourselves to inculcate this SERM. precept, it is requisite that we should somewhat ex- XLIV. plain the terms, and settle the meaning thereof; in doing that, we begin with the last words, which qualify the action enjoined as to its degree or extent; with all diligence : the words (pup-hop) answering to these in the Hebrew, do, according to the various use or force of the particle yp, admit a threefold acception. They may (1.) denote absolutely the intenseness in degree, or extension in kind, of the performance required in this precept: raon Duaký týpet ono kapdrav, Omni custodia serva cor tuum ; keep thy heart with all custody; that is, with all sorts or with all degrees of care and diligence; so the LXX. interpreters, and the vulgar Latin following them, render those words. They may, (2.) taking the particle for a Mem excellentiæ, as they call it, signifying comparatively, præ omni custodia serva cor tuum; keep thy heart above all keeping; that is, especially and more than thou keepest any other thing; so doth Pagnin understand them, not without cause, both for the reason subjoined here, because from it are the issues of life;

BARROW, Vol. III. B

I

SERM. that is, because it is the principal part and fountain

V. of all vital operations, and therefore deserveth the

best custody; as also for that in what follows, and
in other places of scripture frequently, we are en-
joined to keep our tongues from bad discourse, our
eyes from wandering after bad objects, our feet from
declining to bad courses; and therefore probably in
comparison to these, although needful and inferior
custodies, we are admonished to this most especially
incumbent custody of our hearts. They may also,
(3.) and that probably enough, be taken so as to de.
note the universality of the object, or matter of this
keeping, or the adequate term and bound thereof;
keep thy heart, anò tartós pudáyuatos, ab omni re
custodienda, from every thing which it should be
kept from ; that is, from every thing offensive or
hurtful to it: so did Aquila and Theodotion trans-
late the words. These senses are all of them good,
and each may fairly pretend to find place in the
meaning of the words; which of them with most
likelihood I shall not discuss, meaning only to insist
upon the substance of the precept; the nature of
which being duly considered, will infer that it is to
be observed according to the manner and measure
prescribed, understood according to any of those
senses, or according to all of them conjointly.

As for the meaning of the words, Keep thy heart, two inquiries may be made: 1. What the heart is, which Solomon adviseth us to keep: 2. What to keep it doth import.

To the first I answer, that in the style of scrip

ture the heart doth commonly import the whole inRom. vii. ward man, the o čow äv@pwros, the man within us, as

St. Paul speaketh, the ó KPUTTÒs tñs kapdías ävOpwnos,

22.

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