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as such a God? O sinner! here is the blessedest news that ever came to the sons of men : the Lord will be thy God, Gen. xvii.7. Rev. xxi. 3. if thou wilt but close with him in his excellencies. Wilt thou have the merciful, the gracious, the sin-pardoning God to be thy God? Oh, yes, (saith the sinner) I am un
I done else. But he further tells thee, I am the holy and sin-bating God: if thou wilt be owned as one of my people, thou must be boly, 1 Pet. i. 16. holy in beart, holy in life. Thou must put away all thine iniquities, be they never so near, never so natural, never so necessary to the maintaining thy fleshly interest. Unless thou wilt be at distance with sin, I cannot be thy God. Cast out the leaven, put away the evil of thy doings, cease to do evil, learn to do well, or else I can have nothing to do with thee, Isa. i. 16, 17, 18. Bring forth mine enemies, or there is no peace to be had with me. What doth thine heart answer ? “Lord, I desire to have thee as such a God : I desire to be holy as thou art holy, to be made partaker of thy holiness. I love thee, not only for thy goodness and mercy, but for thy holiness and purity. I take thy holiness for my happiness : Oh ! be to me a fountain of holiness, set on me the stamp and impress of thy holiness ; I will thankfully part with all my sins at thy command : my wilful sins I do forth with forsake ; and for my infirmities that I cannot get rid of tho' I would, I will strive against them in the use of means. I detest them, anch will pray and war against them, and never
let them have quiet rest in my soul.” Belov. ed, whosoever of you will thus accept of the Lord for his God, he shall have him.
Again, he tells you, I am the all-sufficient God, Gen. xvii. 1. Will you lay all at my feet, and give it up to my dispose, and take me for your only portion ? Will you own and honour mine all-sufficiency ? Will you take me as your happiness and treasure, your hope and bliss ? I am a sun and a shield, all in one : will you have me for your all ? Gen. xv. 1. Psal. xxxiv. 11. Now, what dost thou say to this ? Doth thy mouth water af. ter the onions and flesh-pots of Egypt? Art thou loth to exchange the earthly happiness, for a part in God? And tho’ thou wouldst be glad to have God and the world tuo, yet canst thou not think of having him, and nothing but him, but hadst rather take up with the earth below, if God would but let thee keep it as long as thou wouldst? This is a fearful sign. But now if thou art willing to sell all for the pearl of great price, Matth. xiii. 46. if thine heart answers, “Lord, I desire no other portion but thee. Take the corn, and the wine, and the oil, whoso will, so I may have the light of thy countenance. I pitch upon thee for my happiness, I gladly venture myself on thee, and trust myself with thee. I set my hopes in thee, I take up my rest with thee. Let me hear thee say, I am thy God, thy salvation, and I have enough, all I wish for. I will make no terms with thee, but for thyself : let me be but have thee sure, let me be able to make my claim, and see
my God :
my title to thyself, and for other things I leave them to thee ; give me more or less, any thing, or nothing, I will be satisfied in
Take him thus and he is thine Own.
Again, he tells you, I am the sovereign Lord. If
will have me for your God, you must give me the supremacy, Matth. vi. 24. I will not be an underling: you must not make me a second to sin, or any worldly interest. If you will be my people, I must have the rule over you ; you must not live at your own list.
Will you come under my yoke? Will you bow to my government: will you submit to my discipline, to my word, to my rod ?_Sinner, what sayest thou to this ? " Lord, I had rather be at thy command, than live at mine own list: I had rather have thy will to be done than mine : I approve of, and consent to, thy laws, and account it my privilege to lie under them. And tho' the flesh rebel, and often break over bounds, I am resolved to take no other Lord but thee. I willingly take the path of thy supremacy, and acknowledge thee for my Liege Sovereign; and resolve all my days to pay the tribute of worship, obedience, and love and service to thee, and to live to thee, as the end of my life. This is a right accepting of God.
To be short, he tells you, I am the true and faithful God : if you will have me for your God, you must be content to trust me, 2 Tim. i. 12. Prov. iii. 5. Will you venture yourselves upon my word, and depend on my faithfulness, and take my bond for your secu
rity ? Will you be content to follow me, in poverty, and reproach, and affliction here, and to see much going out, and little coming in, and to tarry till the next world for preferment? Matth. ix. 21. I deal much upon trust: will you be content to labour, and suffer, and to tarry for your returns till the resurrection of the just? Luke xiv. 14. The womb of the promise will not presently bring forth : will you have the patience to wait ? Heb. x. 36. Now, beloved, what say you to this?
Will you have this God for your God? Will you be content to live by faith, and trust him for an unseen happiness, an unseen heaven, an unseen glory ? Do hearts answer, “Lord, we will venture ou selves upon thee, we commit ourselyes te thee, we roll upon thee, we know whom we have trusted, we are willing to take thy word, we will prefer thy promises before our own possessions, and the hopes of heaven before all the enjoyments of the earth, we will wait thy leisure : what thou wilt here, so that we may have but thy faithful promise for heaven hereafter ?" If you can in truth, and upon deliberation, thus accept of God, he will be yours. Thus there must be, in a right conversion to God, a closing with him suitable to his excellences. But when men close with his mercy, but yet love sin, hating holiness and purity; or will take him for their bene. factor, but not for their sovereign ; or for their patron, but not for their portion; this is no thorough nor sound conversion.
Direct. VII. Accept of the Lord Jesus in all his offices, with all his inconveniences, as thine. Upon these terms Christ may be had. Sinner, thou hast undone thyself, and art plunged into the ditch of most deplorable miscry, out of which thou art never able to climb up : but Jesus Christ is able and ready to help thee, and he freely tenders himself to thee, Heb. vii. 23. John iii. 36. Be thy sins never so many, never so great, of never so long continuance, yet thou shalt be most certainly pardoned and saved, if thou dost not wretchedly neglect the ofřer that in the name of God is here made unto thee. The Lord Jesus calleth unto thee, to look unto him and be saved, Isa. xlv. 22, to come unto him, and he will in no wise cast thee out, John vi. 37. Yea, he is a suiter to thee, and beseecheth thee to be reconciled, 2 Cor. v. 20. He cri. eth in the streets, he knocketh at thy door, he wooeth thee to accept of him, and live with him, Prov. i. 20. Rev. ii. 30. If thoá diest, 'tis because thou wouldst not come to him for life, John v. 40. Now accept of an offered Christ, and thou art made up for ever: now give up thy consent to him, and the match is made, all the world cannot binder it. Do not stand off because of thine unworthiness. Man, I tell thee, nothing in all the world can undo thee, but thine own unwillingness. Speak, man; art thou willing of the match ? Wilt thou have Christ in all his relations to be thine; thy king, thy priest, thy prophet ? Wilt thou have him with all his inconven. iences ? Take not Christ hand over head, but