תמונות בעמוד
PDF

see their Faces in Reft? Do we',' as Paul, tell them weeping, of their fleshly and*arthly Disposition? And teach them publickly, and from House to House, at all Seasons, and with many Tears? And do we intreat them, as for their Soul's Salvation? Or rather, do we not study to gain the Approbation of critical Hearers; as if a Minister's Business were of no more Weight but to tell a smooth Tale for an Hour, and look no more aster the People till the next Sermon? Does not carnal Prudence controul our Fervour, and make our Discourses liseless, on Subjects the most piercing? How gently we handle those Sins, which will (b cruelly handle our People's Souls? In a Word, our Want of Seriousness about the Things of Heaven, charms the Souls of Men into Formality, and brings them to this customary, careless Hearing, which undoes them. May the Lord paidon the gi eat Sin of the Ministry in this Thing; and, in particular, my own!

§ 8. And are the Pe-.pie more serious than Magistrates or Ministers? How can it be expected? Reader, look but to thyself, and resolve the Question. Ask Conscience, and suffer it to tel! thee truly. Hast thou set thy eternal Rest before thine Eyes, as the great Business thou lust to do in this World? Hit thou watched ami laboured, with all thy Might, that

'no Man take thy Gotl"? Hast thou made Halie, lest thou ihouldst come too late, and die befoie thy Wuik be done? Hast thou pressed on through Crowds of Opposition iavaids the Mark, pr the Prize of 'the high Cciiiing cfGodin Chrijt Jesus, still reaching forth utd)

'lose Things ,urf)ich are lefirtf Can Conscience wimess your seciet Cries, and Groans, and Teais? l.ail your Family witness, that you taiigl* them the Fear of iheLoid,, and warned them not to go to that Plus of Torment? Can your Minister witness, that'he has

heard

heard you cry out, What f:all I do to be saved? and that you have sollowed him with Complaints against your Corruptions, and with earnest Enquiries aster the Lord? Can your Neighbours about you witness, that you reprove the Ungodly, and take Pains to save the Souls of your Brethren? Let all these Witnesses judge this Day between God and you, whether you are in earnest about eternal Rest. You can tell by his Work, whether your Servant has loitered, though you did not see him; so you may by looking at your own Work. Is yowt Loveto Christ, your Faith, your Zeal, and other Graces, strong or weak? What are your Joys? What is your Assurance? Is all in Order within you? Are you ready to die, if this should be the Day? Do the Souls, among whom you have conversed, bless you? Judge by this, and it will quickly appear whether you have been Labourers or Loiterers.

§ 9. O Blessed Rest, how unworthily art thou neglected! O glorious Kingdom, how art tfrou undervalued! Little know the careless Sons of Men, what a State they set so light by. If they once knew it, they would surely be of another Mind. I hope thou, Reader, art sensible, what a desperate Thing it is toS trifle about eternal Rest; and how deeply thou hast been guilty of this thyself. And I hope also, thou . wilt not now suffer this Conviction to die. Should the Physician tell thee, If you will observe but one Thing, I doubt not to cure your Disease; wouldst thou slot observe it? So I tell thee, if thou wilt observe but this one Thing sor thy Soul, I make no doubt of thy Salvation; shake off thy Sloth, and put to all thy Strength, and be a Chrijtian indeed; I know not then what can hinder thy Happiness. As sar as thou art gone from God, seek him with all thy Heart, and no Doubt thou shalt find him. As unkbid as thou hast G 2 been

been to Jesus Christ, seek him heartily, obey him unreservedly, and thy Salvation is as sure as if thou hadst it already. But full as Christ's Satissaction is, free as the Promise is, large as the Mercy of Ged is; if thou only talk of these, when thou sJbouldst eagerly entertain them, thou, wilt be never the better for them; and if thou loiter, when thou shouldst labour, thou wilt lose the Crown. Fall to Work then speedily and seriously, and bless God that thou hast yet Time to do it. And to shew that I urge thee not without Cause, I will here add a Variety of animating Cons' ftderations. Rouse up thy Spirit, and, as Asoses said to Israels Jit. thy Heart unto all the IVor-ds which I testify Mito thee this Day; for it is not a vain Thing, hecause It Is your Life (a). May the Lord open thy Heart, and saflen his Counsel efsectually upon thee I § io. Consider hew reasonable It is, that our Diligence jliould be answerable to the Ends we aim at, to tk Work wi have to do, to the Shortness arid Uncertainty of our Tim± and to the contrary Diligence of our Evemti.

The Ends of a Chrijlians Desires and Endc&iwr: must be subdued; Li/e, Friends, and Credit must be /lighted; Conscience on good Grounds be quieted; and Assurance of Pardon and Salvation attained. Though God must give us these without our Merit, yet he Will not give them without our earnest Seeking and Labour. Besides, there is much Knowledge to be got, many Ordinances to be used, and Duties to be performed: Every Age, Year, and Day; every Place we come to; every Person we deal with; every Change of our Condition; still require the renewing of our Labour: Wives, Children, Servants, Neighbours,. Friends, Enemies, all of them call for Duty from us. Judge then, whether Men thathave so much Business lying upon theirjrlands, should not exert themselves; and whether it be their Wisdom either to delay or

are so great, that no human Understanding on Eaith can comprehend them. What is so excellent, so . important, or so necessary, as, the glorifying of Goi1, the Salvation cf our own and other Mens Scuts, by .escaping the Torments cf Hell, and poss,ssing the Glory ej Heaven? And can a Man be too much affectfd.With Things of such Moment? Can he desne them too earnestly, or love them too strongly, or labour for them too diligently? Don't we know, that if our Prayers prevail not, and . our. Labour succeeds not,

we are undone sor ever? The IVork of a Christ"®

here is very great. and-varioas. The Soul, must be rt'neived; Corruptions'mud. be morpfudyCustom, Terns'tat ions, and worldly Interests,, must be conquered; Ekp

must

. . -\*) Dcut.'xxiii. 46, 47.

loiter. Time pajfcth on. Yet a sew Days, and we

stiii!l be here no moie. Many Diseases are lead'y to sfTmh us. We that are now preaching, and hearing, and talking, and walking, must very shortly be car. ii:.d, and laid in the Dust, and there left to the Worms in Darkness and Corruption; we are almost there already; we know not whether we shall have' another Sermon, or Sibbath, or Hour. H:lw active should they be, who know they have so short a Space

for.so great a Work:TM And vts have.Enemies that

Ctv a'wiys plotting. and labouring: fir, cur DestrucTunl How didigent is Satan. in. all Kind of Temptations"* I hcrefore:be.foirery be vigilant; .because your Adversary we Devil, asua rearing Lion, walketh about,.seeking w,nm he may devour. IVhsm resist Jhdfast in the Fai:b(\>). Mow diligent are all the Ministers cf Safoal Fase Teacher*, Scffers, Persecutors, and eur in.bved Cerrupti..m, the most busy and diligent of aii! Will a:seebler Resistance, serve our Turn? Should not . .i .. l : G 3 we

•W..\ ...' . i . ......

(fe) I Pet. v. 8, 9.

we be more active sor our own Preservation, than our Enemies are sor our Ruin?

§ ii. It should excite us to Diligence, when we covf.der our Talents, and our Mercies, our Relations to

G\d, and the Ajflitlions he lays upon us. The Talents

iMch we have received are many and great. What People breathing on Earth have had plainer Instructions, or more sorcible Persuasions, or more constant Admonitions, in Season and out of Season? Sermons, till/we have been weary of them; and Sabbaths, till we prosaned them? Excellent Books in such Plenty, that we knew not which to read? What People have had God so near them? or have seen so much of Christ crucified besore their Eyes? or have had Heaven and Hell so opened unto them? What Speed should sich a People make sor Heaven? Flow (hou'd they fiy that are thus winged? And how swiftly should they sail that have Wind and Tide to help, them? A small Measure of Grace beseems not such a People, nor will an ordinary Diligence in the Work

of God excuse them. All our Lives have been slid

tvith Mercies. God hath mercifully poured out upon \is the Riches of Sea and Land, of Heaven and Earth. We are fed, and cloathed with Mercy. We have Mercies within and without. To number them, is to count the Stars, or the Sands of the Sea-Shore. If there be any Difference betwixt Hell and Earth; y«> or Heaven and Earth; then certainly we have received Mercy. If the Blood of the Son of God be Mercy, then we are engaged to God by Mercy. Shall God think nothing too much, nor too good, sor us; and shall we think all too much that we dp* sor him? When I compare my flow and unprofitable Lise, with the frequent and wondersul Mercies received, itfhames

me, it silences me, and leaves me inexcusable. *

Besides our Talents and Mercies, our Relations to God

an

« הקודםהמשך »