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"after him, and they fhall keep the way of the "Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the "Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he "hath spoken of him *."""

Nothing, indeed, can be more plain from reafon itself, than that, in proportion to the impreffion which parents have upon their own minds of the importance of falvation, will be their concern and care that their children alfo may be the heirs of everlasting life. Suffer me to afk.every parent who reads this discourse, or rather to beseech all fuch, to afk themselves feriously, what are their own ftrongest defires and hopes concerning their children? In thofe moments when your affections are fondest, and your partial flattering expectations most distinctly formed, are you obliged to confefs that your minds run much more upon the profpect of your childrens living in affluence and fplendor; or be-ing promoted to places of honour and truft, than › their being brought to a faving acquaintance with Chrift and him crucified, that whether they liveor die they may be the Lord's? If this is the cafe, you have juft ground to fear that you areof that unhappy number who "favour not the "things that be of God, but the things that be ❝ of man."

Gen. xviii, 17, 18, 19

G. 3

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3. Another

3. Another excellent evidence of regeneration is, the moderation of our attachment to worldly enjoyments in general, and habitual fubmiffion to the will of God. So foon as this change takes place, it will immediately and certainly abate the meafure of our attachment to all earthly things. Formerly they were the all of the foul, its portion and its reft; but now a clear discovery being made of greater and better bleffings, they muft fall back into the fecond place. There is a wonderful difference between the rate and value of present poffeffions of any kind, in the eye of him who lives under the impreffions of eternity, and of him who believes it but uncertainly, who understands it very imperfectly, and who thinks of it as feldom as confcience will give him leave. It must be confeffed we are all apt to be immoderate in our attachment to outward bleffings; this is the effect and evidence of the weakness of our faith: but, fo far as faith is in exercife, it must mortify carnal affection. There is no way in which an object appears fo little, as when it is contrafted with one infinitely greater, which is plainly the cafe here. The truth is, time and eternity, things temporal and things fpiritual, are the oppofite and rival objects of human attention and efteem. It is impoffible that one of them can be exalted, or obtain influence in any heart, withut a proportional depreffion of the other. They are,

are, also, as they severally prevail, the marks to distinguish those who are, and those who are not, brought again from the dead. For as the apoftle fays, "To be carnally minded is death, but to "be spiritually minded is life and peace *.”

Further, it is not only in abating the measure of our attachment to worldly things that religion fhews itself, and the change is difcovered, but in the ufe and application of them. The real Chrif tian's powers and faculties, poffeffions and influence, are confecrated to God. His abilities are laid out for the glory of God. He no more confiders them as a mean of excelling others, and getting to himself a name, but of doing good. He finds it his highest pleasure to serve God with his talents; he thinks it his duty to plead for him in his converfation, to honour him with his fub- . ftance, to enforce and ratify the divine laws by his authority and example.

The fame thing fhews plainly why a Chriftian must manifest his new nature by fubmiffion to the divine will. Does he receive his mercies from God? Does he love them less than God? Does he esteem it his duty to use them in his service? And can he poffibly refufe to refign them to his pleasure? I am fenfible that refignation at the will of God, abfolute and unconditional, is a very difficult duty, but it is what every believer

habitually

Rom. viii. 6.
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habitually ftudies to attain. He chides his remaining impatience and complaints, grieves at the continuing ftruggles of his imperfectly renewed will, and is fenfible that in this the fuperiority of his affection to God above the creature ought to appear. Unrenewed perfons, when their earthly hopes are disappointed, immediately renew the purfuit; they only change the object to one more within their reach, or they alter their -measures, and endeavour to amend the fcheme; but real Chriftians, receiving a conviction of the vanity of all created things, feek their refuge and confolation in the fulness and all-fufficiency of God.

SECT. IV.

A more particular enquiry into what properly conftitutes the fincerity of the change.

THU HUS I have given a fuccinct view of the most remarkable effects and visible evidences of regeneration. I cannot, however, fatisfy myfelf with this, because I am perfuaded the great question is, how far they ought to go, and to what measure of ftrength and uniformity they ought to arrive. There are not a few who may, in a certain degree, fincerely think themfelves poffeffed of most or all the difpofitions mentioned above, whose state is nevertheless very much to be

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be fufpected. On the other hand, perhaps, fome of the humbleft, that is to fay, the very best, may be in much fear concerning themselves, because they do not perceive either the vigour or fteadi nefs in their holy difpofitions which they greatly defire, and are fenfible they ought to attain. Befides, what hath been hitherto faid is only general, viz. that those who are born again will have new apprehenfions of things, will be humble, mortified to the world, and fubmiffive to the willi of God. In this way it will be most applicable to, or at least most fenfible in thofe who had once gone great lengths in profanity, and were, by the almighty and sovereign grace of God, fnatched as brands from the burning." The oppofition between their new and old characters is ordinarily fo great, that it will not admit of any doubt. To fome others it may be neceffary to make a more strict and particular enquiry into the nature of fincerity, and what is the full and proper evidence of the reality of the change.

That the reader may form as clear and distinct conceptions on this fubject as poffible, he may be pleased to recollect what was observed above, That perfect holiness consists in having the heart wholly poffeft by the love of God, without the mixture of any inferior or bafer paffion; and that regeneration confifts in a fupreme defire to glo rify God, and a preference of his favour to every G 5 other

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