תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

$ 4. (2) We must take all Opportunities we posibly can, to instruct them how to attain Salvation. If the Perlon be igrorant, labour to make him understand the chief Happiness of Man, how far he was once pofJeled of it; the Covenant God then made with him; h w be broke it; what Penalty he incurred; and what Mifery be brought himself into: Teach biin his Need of a Redeemer; how Christ did mercifully interpose, and bear, the Penalty; what the New Covenant is; barv Men are drawn to Christ; and what are the Riches and Priviledges which Believers have in him. If he is not moved by these Things, then shew him the Excellency of the Glory he neglets; the Extremity and Eternity of the Toiments of the Damned; the Justice of evduring them for svilfu.ly refusing Grace; The Certainty, Nearres, and Terrors of Death and Judgment; the Vanity of all Things below; the Sirifulness of Sin; the Precious efs of Chrill; the Necility of Regeneration, Faith, and Holiness; and the true Nature of their

If after all, you find him entertaining false Hopes, then urge him to examine his State; Thew him the Necrljig of doing jo; help him in it; nor leave him till you have convince him of his Misery and Remedy. Shew him how vain and dzfruttive it is to join Christ and lis Duties, to comple bis jau liif;ing Righteousness. Yet be jure to draw him to the Uje of all Nítails : fach a bearing and ri

adiig ihe Wird, calling upon God, and affeciating with the Godly: Perfuade him is f rake Sin, arid all Temptations to Siri, ecially evil Companions, ad to wait gaiicutiy on Goeirise Vie rof Mc111s, as the way in which God will

$5 Lut because the Manuer of performing this Work is of great Momen', observe therefore there Rules.- Enter ufon it with right Intentions. Ain at the Glory of God in the Perion's Salvation. it not to get a Naine, or Eileem to thyself, or to

Do

bring Men to depend upon thee, or to get thee Followers, but in Obedience to Chrift, in Imitation of him, and tender Love to Men's Souls. Do not as as those, who labour to reform their Children or Servants from fuch Things as are against their own Profit or Humour, but never seek to save their Souls in the Way which God bath appointed. —Do it speedily. As you would not have them delay their Return, don't you delay to seek their Return. While you are purposing to teach and help him, the Man goes deeper in Debt; Wrath is heaping up; Sin taking Root; Cuftom faftens him; Tempiations to Sin multiply; Conscience grows feared; the Heart hardened; the Devil rules; Christ is shut out; the Spirit is resisled; God is daily dishonoured; His Law violated; He is without a Servant, and that Service from him which He should have; Time runs on; Death and Judgment are at the Door; and what if the Man die, and drop into Hell, while you are purposing to prevent it? If in the Case of his bodily Distress, you must not ay to him, go, and come again, and To-morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee (a); how much less nay you delay the Succour of his Soul? That Physician is no better than a Murderer, who negligently delayech till his Patient be dead or paft Cure. Lay by Excuses then, and all leífer Business, and exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; left any be hardened through the Deceitfulness of Sin (b)--Let gour Exhortation proceed from Compassion and Love, To jeer and scoff, to rail and vilify, is not a likely Way to reform Men, or convert them to God. Go 10 poor Sinners with Tears in your Eyes, that they may see you believe them to be miserable, and that z'ou unfeignedly pity their Case. Deal with them with earneft humble Intreatings. Let them perceive

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

it is the Defire of your Hearts to do them good; that you have no other End but their everlasting Happiness; and that it is your Sense of their Danger, and your Love to their Souls that forceth you to speak; even because you know the Terrors of the Lord, and for Fear you should see them in eternal Torments. Say to them, “ Friend, you know I seek no Advan

tage of my own: The Method to please you, and " kerp your Friendship, were to footh you in your

Way, or let you alone; but Love will not suffer “ me to see you perith, and be filent. I feek nothing " at your Hands, but that which is neceflary to your

own Happiness. It is yourself that will have the “ Gain and Comfort, if you come to Christ,” If we were thus to go to every ignorant, wicked Neighbour, what blessed Fruit should we quickly see!Do it with all possible Plainness and Faithfulness. Don't make their Sins less than they are, nor encourage them in a false Hope. If you see the Case dangerous, speak plainly; “ Neighbour, I am afraid God hath

not yet renewed your Soul; I doubt you are not yet recovered from the Power of Satan to God; I

you

have not chosen Christ above all, nor " unfeignedly taken him for your lovereign Lord. If

you had, surely you durft not so easily disobey him, “ nor neglect his Worthip in your Family, and in “ publick: You could not so eagerly follow the “ World, and talk of nothing but the Things of the “ World. If you were in Chrift, you would be a new Creature; old Things would be pased away, " and all Things would become new: You would have “ new Thoughts, new Talk, new Company, new “ Endeavours, and a new Conversation: Certainly “ without these you can never be faved: You may “ think otherwile, and hope better as long as you “ will, but your Hopes will all deceive you, and

I

" perith

« doubt

“ perish with you.” Thus must you deal faithfully with Men, if ever you intend to do them good. It is not in curing Men's Souls, as in curing their Bodies, where they must not know their Danger, left it hinder the Cure. They are here Agents in their own Cure, and if they know not their Misery, they will never bewail it, nor know their Need of a Saviour. Duit a!? Jerisufy, zealously, and effectually. Labour to make Men know, that Heaven and Hell are not Matters to be played with, or passed over with a few carelets Thoughts. “ Is it most certain, that one of " these Days thou shalt be in everlasting Joy or Tor

ment; and doth it not awaken thee? Are there fo a few that find the Way of Life? So many that go “ the Way of Death? Is it so hard to escape? So easy “ to miscarry? And yet do you fit ftill and trifle? " What do you mean? The World is pafing away: “ Its Pleasures, Honours, and Profits are fading and ss leaving you: Eternity is a little before you: God “ is just and jealous; His Threarnings are true: The " Great Day will be terrible: Time runs on: Your " Life is uncertain : You are far behind Hand: Your 5. Cafe is dangerous: If you die To-morrow, how “ unready are you! With what Terror will your « Souls go out of your Bodies ! And do you yet 66 loiter? Consider, God is all this while waiting “ your Leisure: His Patience beareth: His Long“ suffering forbeareth: His Mercy intreateth you: 66 Christ offers you his Blood and Merits: The Spirit " is persuading: Conscience is accusing: Satan waits 56 to have you: This is your Time; Now or Never. “ Had you rather burn in Hell, than repent on Earth? 6 have Devils your Tormentors, than Christ your - Governor? Will you renounce your Part in God 66 and Glory, rather than renounce your

Sins ? 0 56 Friends, what do you think of these. Things?

16 God

“ God hath made you Men; do not renounce your “ Reason where you should chiefly use it.” Alas, it is not a few dull Words between jest and earnest, between sleep and awake, that will rouze a deadhearted Sinner. If a House be on fire, you will not make a cold Oration on the Nature and Danger of Fire; but will run, and cry, Fire, Fire. To tell a Man of his Sins, as softly as Eli did his Sons; or reprove him, as gently as Fehosaphat did Ahab, Let not the King say so, usually doth as much Harm as Good. Lothness to displease Men, makes us undo them.

$ 6. Yet left you run into Extremes, I advise you to do it with Prudence and Discretion.

Chuse the fittest Seajon. Deal not with Men when they are in a Passion, or where they will take it for a Disgrace. When the Earth is soft, the Plough will enter. Take a Man when he is under Affliction, or newly impressed under a Sermon. Christian Faithfulness requires us, not only to do Good when it falls in our Way, but to watch for Opportunities. -Suit

yourself also to the Quality and Temper of the Person. You must deal with the Ingenious, more by Argument than Persuasion. There is need of both to the Ignorant. The Affections of the Convinced should be chiefly excited. The Obstinate muft be sharply reproved. The Timorous must be dealt with tenderly. Love, and Plainness, and Seriousness, take with all; but Words of Terror some can scarce bear, Use also the aptest Expressions. Unseemly Language makes the Flearers loach the Food they should live by; especially, if they be Men of curious Ears, and carnal Hearts. - Let al y ur Reproofs and Exhortations be backed with the · Authority (f God. Let Sinners be convinced that you fak riot of your own Head. Turn them to the 1 tery Chapter and Verse where their Sin is condemned,

a::

I 2

« הקודםהמשך »