תמונות בעמוד

And, at death, your souls shall go to Christ; and at the day of judgment, both soul and body shall be justified and glorified, and enter into your Master's joy.

All this the poorest beggar of you that is converted shall certainly and endlessly enjoy.

II. If you will be converted and saved, be much in secret, serious consideration. Inconsiderateness undoes the world. Withdraw yourselves often into secrecy, and meditate on the end for which you were made; on the life you have lived; the time yon have lost; the sins you have committed; on the lore, and sufferings, and fulness, of Christ; on the danger you are in; on the nearness of death and judgment; and on the certainty and excellency of the joys of heaven; and on the certainty and terror of the torments of hell, and eternity of both; and on the necessity of conversion and a holy life.

III. If you would be converted and saved, attend upon the word of God, which is the ordinary means. Read the scripture, or hear it read, and other holy writings, which do apply to it, constantly; and attend on the public preaching of the word. As God will lighten the world by the sun, and not by himself alone without it; so will he convert and save men by his ministers, who are the lights of the world. When he has miraculously humbled Paul, he sends Ananias to him; and when he has sent an angel to Cornelius, it is but to bid him send for Peter, who must tell him what he is to believe and do.

IV. Betake yourselves to God in a course of earnest and constant prayer. Confess and lament your former lives, and beg his grace to illuminate and convert you. Beseech him to pardon what is past, and to give you his Spirit, and change your hearts and lives, and lead you in his ways, and save you from temptation. And ply this work daily, and be not weary of it.

V. Presently give over your knowu and wilful sins. Make a stand, and go that way no farther. & drunk no more; b'trt avoid the place arid Occasion of it. Cast away ybi<r lusts and Artful pleasures with detestation. Gurse and swear and rail no iribre: and if you have Wronged any, restore as Zaccheus' did. If you will coWhtit again your old sitis, What Messing can you expect on the means for conversion?

VI. Presently, if possible, change your cohi^anf Not by forsakftfg your necessary relations, but your unnecessary sinful companions; and join ybufselveS with those that fearr the Lord;

VII. Delive* up yourselves to the Lord Jesus as" the Physicran of your Souls', that he may pardon you by his blobd, and sanctify you by his Spirit; by hi* word and ministers, the instruments of his Spirit. Hi is the tVay, the Truth, and the JLife; theft is itd ttftfiing to the Father but by hhn.(p) Nor is there any other name under lieaven by vbhich you can be saved.(p) Study therefore his person and nature, and what he has done arid suffered for yon, and what he is to you; and what he Witt be; and how he is fitted to the full supply of all your necessities'.

VIII. If you mean indeed to turn and Kvey do it without delay. If you be not willing to turn to-day, you are not willing to do it at all. Remerriber, you a¥e? all this while in your bloOd; unde* the gtrilt of many thousand sins, and under God's wrath, and yon' staWd! at the very brink of hell; there is' but a step between y&u arid death. And this is not a case for a man to be quiet in. Up therefore presently, and fly for ydiif lives; as you would be gone Out of your house, if it Were att on fire Over ,your head. O, if you did but know what danger you lite in, and What daily un* speakable loss you do sustain, and what a safer and jiw'eeter life ybtt ritight live, you would not stand trifling, but preseritly turn. Multitude* miscarry who wilfully delay, when they are convinced that it must t>e done. Your lives are short and uncertain; and ,*Vbat a case are you in; if you die before you thoroughly turn? Yori have staid too long already, and

(o) John xiv. 6. Acta iv. 12.

wronged God too long; sin gets strength and rootinj •while you delay. Your conversion will grow more hard and doubtful. You have much to do, and therefore put not all off to the last, lest God forsake you, and give you up to yourselves, and then you are undone for ever.

IX. If you will turn and live, do it unreservedly, absolutely, and universally. Think not to capitulate with Christ, and divide your heart betwixt him and the world; and to part with some sins, and keep the rest. 1\ w is but self-deluding: you must forsake a/( you have, or else you cannot be Ms disciples.(q) If yon will not take God and heaven for your portion, and lay all below at the feet of Christ, but must needs also have your good things here, and have an earthly portion, and God and glory is not enough for you,—it is in vain to dream of salvation on these terms; for it will not be.' If you seem ever so religious, if yet it be but outside righteousness, this is as certain a way to death, as open profaneuess, though it be plausible.

X. If you will turn and live, do it resolvedly, and stand not still deliberating, as if it were a doubtful case. Stand not wavering, as if you were yet uncertain whether God or the flesh be the better master; or whether heaven or hell be the better end; or whether sin or holiness be the better way. But away with your former lusts, and presently, habitually, fixedly resolve: be not one day of one mind, and the next of another; but be at a point with all the world, and resolvedly give up yourselves and all you have to God. Now, while you are hearing or reading this, resolve. Before yon sleep another night, resolve. Before you stir from the place, resolve. Before Satan have time to take yon off, resolve. You never turn indeed till you do resolve; and that with a firm and unchangeable resolution.

And now I have done my part in this work, that you may turn at the call of God, and live. What will become of it, I cannot tell. I have cast the seed at God's command, hut it is not in my power to give the

(?) Luke xiv. 26,.33.

increase. I can go no farther with my message; I cannot bring it to your heart, or make it work; l'camiot do your parts for you, to entertain it. I cannot do God's part, by opening your heart to cause you to entertain it: nor can I show you heaven or hell to your eye-sight, nor give you new and tender hearts.

But, O thou that art the gracious Father of spirits, thou hast sworn thou delightest not in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn and live; deny not thy blessing to these persuasions and directions, and suffer not thine enemies to triumph in thy sight, and the great deceiver of souls to prevail against thy Son, thy Spirit, and thy Word. O pity poor, unconverted sinners, that have no hearts to pity or help themselves: command the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the dead to live, and let not sin and death be able to resist thee. Awake the secure, resolve the unresolved, confirm the wavering: and let the eyes of sinners that read these lines, be next employed in weeping ever their sins; and bring them to themselves, and to thy Son, before their sins have brought them to perdition. If thou say but the word, these poor endeavours shall prosper, to the winning of many a soul to their everlasting joy, and thine everlasting glory. Amen.


That are purposed fo turn, and are under tlie work flf Conversion, that it miscarry not.

TjaE first aod greatest matter in the seeking afjet fhe sajvation of our souls, is to be sure tha£ we lay tjie foundatinn well, and ^at tlje work of convey jsinn be thpropghly wroughf. To this en,d I have ajr jready used niany persuasions with the unconverted tfl fe;turpf thinking all other directions yajo, till we bav« persuaded rnen tn a consent and willingness to practise jtlieio.—And jn tlfe end of that discourse, 1 added a jfew directions, for the use of such as are williug to be, converted, ^ut because 1 know that this is a matter of exceeding coosequence, I dare not thus leave it, pefore \ have added some further directions, to prevent {he miscarrying of this work where it is begun, ^nfl (est I should lose my labour, through the uopreparedness of the reader, 1 shall give you first soine preparing considerations, which may awaken you to the practice of the directions which 1 shall give you.

Consider first, That half-conversions are the undoing of many thousand souls. If you are but like Agrippa,(r) almost persuaded to be Christians, yoa will be but almost saved. Many a thousand that are now past help, have had the word come near them and cast them into a fear, and made some stir and trouble in their souls, awakening their consciences, and forcing them to some good purposes and promises; yea, and bringing them to the performance of a half-reformation: but this is not it that will serve your turn. Many have been so much changed, as not to be far from the kingdom of God, and yet came short of it.(s) There

[blocks in formation]
« הקודםהמשך »