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of Salvation? So that let the World, the Flesh, or the Devil, speak against a holy laborious Life, this is my Answer, God hath commanded it.-Nay, there never was, or will be, a Mon, but will approve such a Life, and will cre Day justify the Diligence of the Saints. And who would not go that Way, which every Man shall finally applaud? True, it is now a IVay every where spoken ageing. But let me tell you, most that fpeak against it, in their Judgments approve of it; and those that are now againit it, will fhortly be of another Mind. If they coine to Heaven, their Mind must be changed before they come there. If they go to He'l, their Judgment will then be altered, whether they will or no. Renember this, you that love the opinion and Way of the Multitude; why then will you not be of the Opinion that all will be of? \Vhy will you be of a Judgment, which you are fure all of you shortly to change? Ob that you were but as wise in this, as those in Hell! Even t'ie bijt of Christiani, when they come to die, exceeding'y lament their Negliger.c?. They then with, “ Oh that I had been
a thousand Times more holy, more heavenly, "o more laborious for Soul! The World accuses me for doing too much, but
ту own Conscience « accuses ine for doing too little. It is far easier “ bearing the Scoff's of the World, than the Lalhes ss of Conscience. I had rather be reproached by the “ Devil for seeking Salvation, than reproved of God “ for neglecting it.” How do their Failings thus wound and disquiet them, who have been the Wonders of the world for their heavenly Conversation!
It is for 1'ant of mire Diligence, that Heavena i: cif is ofien lift. Vhen they that have heard the lvó it, and anar awith Hy: revived it, a'id lave dore mang Tusirg's cold heard the Minisers of Chrilt glad's (9';
Eilatz. xii, 20. I.L.K vi, 20,
fhall yet perish; should not this rouze us out of out Security? How far hath many a Man followed Chrift, and yet forsook him, when all worldly in terests and Hopes were to be renounced?-God hath resolved, that İleaven all not be bod on cafier. Termis, Reft must always follow Labour. 1Vithout Holiness no Man snall see the Lord (r). Seriousness is the very Thing wherein consists our Sincerity. If thou art not ferious, thou art not a Christian. It is not only a high Degree in Christianity, but the very Life and Effence of it. As Fencers upon a Stage differ from Soldiers fighting for their Lives; fo Hypocrites differ from serious Christians. I Men could be saved without this serious Diligence, they would never regard it; all the Excellencies of God's Ways would never entice them. But when God hath resolved, that, without serious Diligence here, you shall not relt hereafter, is it not Wisdom to exert ourselves to the utmost?
$ 15. But to persuade thee, if possible, Reader, to) be serious in thy Endeavours for Heaven, let me add Dore Confiderations. As for In?ance, consider,Gid is in earnest with you; and w'y fould not you be so with bim? In his Comunands, his Threarning, bis Promises, He means as He speaks. In his Judgment's He is serious. Was He not fo, when He drowned the World? When He consumed Sodom and Gomorrah? And when He fcatered the Jezus? Is it Time then to trifle with God! ----Jejus Christ was serious in purchasing our Redemption. In teaching, He neglected his Meat and Drink. In Prayer, He continued ail Night. In doing Good, bis Friends thought him befide him ef. In Suffering, He fosted forty Days, was temted, betrayed, lit 1207n, buffched, cctuned with Thains, sweat Dreps of Biood, was crucified, piercet,
died: (r) Heb, xii, 14.
died: There was no Jesting in all this. And should not we be serious in seeking our own Salvation?
The Holy Spirit is serious in solliciting us to be happy. His Motions are frequent, presling, and importunate. He friveth with us. He is grieved, when we resist him. And should not we be serious then in obeying, and yielding to, bis Motions --God is serious in hearing our Payers, and bestowing bis Mercies. He is affitted with us. He regar deth every Grsan and Sig?, and puts every Tear into his Bottle. The next Time thou art in Trouble, thou wilt beg for a serious Regard of thy Prayers. And shall we expect real Mercies, when we are flight and fuperficial in the Work of God?--The Ministers of Chrif are serious in exhorting and instructing you. They beg of God, and of you; and long more for the Salvation of your Souls, than for any worldly Good. If they kill themselves with their Labour, or fuffer Martyrdom for preaching the Gospel; they think their Lives are well bestowed, so that they prevail for the saving your Souls. And fall other Men be fo painful and care. ful for your Salvation, and you be so careless and negligent of your own!
-How diligent and serious pre all the Creatures in ferving you? What Hajte makes the Sun to compass the World? The Fountains are always flowing for thy Use; the Rivers still running; Spring and Harvef keep their Times. How hard does thy Ox labour for thee from Day to Day? How fpeedily does thy Horse travel with thee? And Malt thou only be negligent? Shall all these be so serious in serving thee, and thou so careless in thy Service to God? -The Servants of the IVorld and the Devil are serious and diligent. They work, as if they could never do cnough. They make Halle, as if afraid of coming to Hell too late. They bear down Ministers,
Sermons, and all before them. And shall they be more diligent for Damnation, than thou for Salvation? Haft thou not a better Master, sweeter Employment, greater Encouragements, and a better Reward?Time was when thou wafi ferious thyself in serving Satan and the Flesh, if it be not so yet, How eagerly didft thou follow thy Sports, thy evil Company, and sinful Delights? And wilt thou 'not now be as earnest and violent for God? You are te this Day in earnejt about the Things of this Life. If you are fick, or in Pain, what serious Complaints do you utter? If you are poor, how hard do you labour for a Livelihood? And is not the Business of your Salvation of far greater Moment? --There is no jesting in Heaven or Hell
. The Saints have a real Happiness, and the Danned a real Misery. There are no remifs or sleepy Praises in Heaven, nor such Lamentations in Hell. All there are in earnest When thou, Reader, shalt come to Death and Judgınent, О what deep, Heart piercing Thoughts wilt thou have of Eternity! Methinks I foresee thee already astonished, to think how thou couldft possibly make fo light of these Things. Methinks l'even hear thee crying out of thy Stupidity and Madness.
$16. And now, Rrader, having laid down there undeniable Arguinents, I do, in the Name of God, demand thy Resolution; Wilt thou yield Obedience, or not? I am confident thy Conscience is convinced of thy Duty. Darett thou now go on in thy common careless Course, against the plain Evidence of Reason, and Commands of God, and against the Light of thy own Conscience? Darest thou live as tootely, sin as boldly, and pray as seldom, as before? Darest thou profane the Sabbath, flight the Service of God, and think of thine everlasting State as carelessly
ás before? Or dost thou not rather resolve to gird up the Loins of thy Mind, and set thyself wholly to the Work of thy Salvation, and break through the Oppositions, and light the Scuffs and Persecutions of the World, and lay aside every Weight, and the Sin which doth to eafiy beset thee, and run with Patience the Race that is set biofore thee? I hope these are thy full Refolution. Yet, because I know the Obstinacy of the Heart of Man, and because I am solicitous thy Soul might live, I once more intreat thy Attention to the fullowing Questions; and I command thee from God, that thou stifle not thy Conscience; nor sehift Conviction; but answer them faithfully, and obey accordingly.--.nlf, by being diligent in Godliness, you could grow rich, get Honour or Preferment in the World, be recovered from Sickness, or live for erer in Prosperity on Earth; what Lives would you lead, and wliat Pains would you take in the Service of God? And is not the Saint's Reft a more excellent Happiness than all this? If it were Felony to break the Sabbath, neglect secret or Family Worship, or be loose in your Lives; what Manner of Persons would you then be? And is not eternal Death more terrible than temporal?
If God usually punished with some present Judgment every Act of Sin, as he did the Lye of
Ananias and Sapphira, what kind of Lives would you lead? And is not eternal Wrath far more ter. rible? If one of your Acquaintance should come from the Dead, and tell you, that he suffered the Torments of Hell for thofe Sivis you are guilty of; what Manner of Persons would you afterwards be? How much more should the Warnings of God affright you? ----If you knew that this were the laft Day you had to live in the World, how