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sure, that we have any right thus to plead? Are we such as can thus truly plead? Tho' Christ have offered up himself a propitiatory Sacrifice for the Sins of the whole World, so that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everl::fting Life, yet they that believe not, ball be damned. Mar. 16. 16. Believers are made the Righteousness of God in him. Their Faith in him is accepted for Righteousness, but then it is such a Faith as purifierh their Hearts, and worketh by Love, no other Faith will avail any thing to their Justification and Salvation. And are we able to account for such a Faith. JESUS is the Propitiation for our Sins, but it is hereby we must know, that we know him to be so effectually to us, or that we so believe in him, as by our Faith in him to be justified, if we keep bis Commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his Commandments is a Liar, and the Truth is not in him. 1 Joh. 2. 3. 4. Therefore, let every one that nameth the Name of Christ, as his Advocate and Propitiation, depart from Iniquity. 2 Tim. 2. 19. else must he not hope to have his Sins cover'd, and passed over on his Account.
Now what can we say to all this? Have we by considering God's wonderful goodness to us, and our most unworthy Behaviour towards him, the greatness of our Receipts, and our own wasteful Courfes, truly humbled our Hearts in the fight of God, and grown vile in our own Eyes? God refifteth the Proud, but giveth Grace to the Humble. 1 Pet. 5.5. Have we repented of all our Sins, have we broken and contrice Hearts, and a godly Sorrow working Repentance unto Life never to be repented of? The Sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit; a broken and contrite Hearia
O God, thou will not despise. Psal. 51. 17. Are we no longer carnally, but spiritually minded? If we walk after the Flesh we shall die, but if we through the Spirit do mortify the Deeds of the Body, we shall live. Rom. 8. Have we indeed the Spirit of Christ, and do we walk after it? There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ JESUS, who walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom. 8. 1. But if any Man bath not the Spirit of Christ, be is none of his. v. 9. Are we in earnest desirous, and industrious to do the Will of God, and the Work which he hath fet us here to do? Cbrist gave bimself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, and purifie unto himself, a peculiar Peopie, zealous of good Works. Tit. 2. 14. By thus examining our Ielves, muft we learn how to answer God, and prepare such an Account, as he will graciously
After this manner therefore, must we give in our Account
every one for himself. Saying, O merciful LORD, here I lie proftrate at thy Footftool, and this I most freely to my shame confess unto thee, That thou hast given me many good Things to husband and improve to thy Ho. nour, and my own eternal advantage. Thou knowest, and there is no hiding it from thee, that I have made great waste, and have been a very unprofitable Servant to thee, and an ill Husband for my self. I can give but a very ill ACcount of any thing, nor bring before thee any thing of thine own, that hath not suffer'd by being in my Hand. I confess that I have no Excute at all for my misbehaviour; I had fufficient Inftructions from thee, and had by thy Grace a power given me to do my Duty faithfully; I wanted no encouragement nor help that was need
ful and I knew well enough what it lay upon to be just to thee in every thing. All therefore that I have to plead for my self, and to make that very imperfect Account I can give thee of thine own passable, is thy mercy, and gracious promise of Pardon through the Mediation of the blessed JESUS, thine only begotten SON, and my gracious Redeemer. My only hope and confidence is this, that I feel the mighly power of the Spirit of Christ humbling me with the Sense of my unworthy Behaviour, and therefore I doubt not of the grace which thou hast promis'd to the humble; and making me heartily forry and peritent for all my Sins, which I hate perfectly, and strive to forsake, mortifying, by all the means I can use, the Flesh with all its corrupi Affections and Lufts, hungring and thirsting after Rightcoufaefs; and therefore I doubs not of thy Pardon, which I most humbly sue for, through the Merits of my Saviour, nor of being filled with thy bleiling, as he hath promis'd. I find I fo firinly believe his holy Gospel, that I love thee above all things, and delight in doing thy Will, and count all things as nothing in comparison of thee, and can cheerfully deny my self; doing and sufföring any thing, how displeasing or grievous foever ir be to Flesh and Blood, or how foolish foc ver the World accounts me for it, so that I may please thee, and continue in thy favour. Therefore gracious LORD I doubt not, but thou wilt pass by all my Infirmities, and acquit me for whatt, ver I have hitherto done amiss.
Is it our constant practice thas to examine, and find out, and to confess and beg Pardon for our manifold failings; and thus also to examine and fry gur Graces, and to give God the glory gi U 4
them? It it be not, we cake care to prepare our shell Accounts, and we will never be able to excuse our
great negligence therein. The weight of the marter certainly requires it, and nothing without it can make our Life safe and comfortable.
IV. God is not wanting to us, in minding us of, and calling us to this Dury. We may fee him, and hear him every day calling us to him, and bidding us take notice that the end of our Stewardship draweth near, and therefore it is high time for us to see that our Accounts be ready. For besides that we have his Word written, as a constant standing Monitor to us, and we cannot at any time read, but a very little Portion of it, wherein we may not find something or other that puts us in mind nfour present mortal and uncertain condition, and of the preparations we are therein to be making for a change; and besides that he hath fet up an order of Men in his Church, whose Office is to be his remembrancers to us of these things, as well as Guides and Directors in the way to Heaven. The Ministers of Christ are in his Name, and by his Authority, to be always calling upon us, and stirring us up to all diligence in this matter. Knowing the Terror of the LORD, they are to perswade Men. Cor. 5. 11.
Besides this, I say, God is daily many other ways calling on us.
By the Death of our Friends and Neighbours he doth as good as bid us make ready for our own, for we know not which of us must next go that same way of all Flesh. Their Stewardships are ended, and our own may end before the Sun arise a, gain upon us. They, it may be, thought as litile of being called away before us, as we now
do of being called before any other of our Acquaintance, and possibly the last Funeral they were at, as little thought of their own being next, as any other of the Company. How is it possible we should hear the Bell toll for another, but we should call to mind that it will quickly toll or us? Or how should we see so many Graves as we do in every Church Yard we walk through, and not consider that the number of them will.. shortly be greater by our returning to the Earth? But more especially when we hear of any one's sudden Death, a thing which when it happens, and it happens not seldom, is much talk'a of, and taken great notice of by every Body, as of a fad thing, and which we are apt to tremble ar, and yet can it be so sad and dreadful on no other Account but this, that it may be such an one die ed before his Accounts were ready; for to him who can give a good Account of himself whenever he dies, a sudden death seems to be the mot desirable of any other. . because some die suddenly, and we know not but we may do so too, every one's sudden Death. that we hear of, should be a warning to us to have our Accounts always ready. And yet a more remarkable warning is such a Death, whenever we hear of any who are taken away by it in the ve
Act of Sin, as in Drunkenness or Adultery, or Quarrelling, or in fighting a Duel. We are apg to be concern’d for Persons so dying, and that because we have some reason to fear they can give no account of themselves that will be accepied. of.
Again, is not every sickness that we fall into, a fair warning from God to make ready our Ac counts? Doth any one know, when he begins