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serve him? Turn to these soul-encouraging scriptures, Prov. ii. 1, to 6. Luke xi. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Prov. viii. 34, 35.
Is it not good comfort, that he calleth thee ? Mark x. 49. Doth he set thee on the use of means, and dost thou think he will mock thee? Doubtless, he will not fail thee, if thou be not wanting to thyself. Oh, pray and faint not, Luke xviii, 1. A person of great quality having offended the Duke of Buckingham, the King's great favorite, being admitted into bis presence, after long waiting, prostrates himself at his feet, saying, I am resolved never to rise more, till I have obtained your Grace's faror : with wbich carriage he did overcome bim. With such a resolution do thou throw, thyself at the feet of God: 'tis for thy life, and therefore follow him, and give not overy Resolve thou wilt not be put off with bones, with common mercies. What though God do not presently open to thee : is not grace worth the waiting for ? Kuock, and wait, and no doubt but sooner or later, mercy will
And this know, that thou hast the very same, encouragement to seek and wait, that the saints now in glory once had, for they once were in thy very case : and have they sped so well, and wilt thou not go to the same door, and wait upon thy God in the same course ?
Direct. XV. Forsake thy, evil company, Prov. ix. 6, and forbear the occasions of sing Prov. xxiii. 31, Thou wilt never be turned from sin, till thou wilt decline and forego tlie temptations of sin,
I never expect thy conversion from sin, un. less thou art brought to some self-denial, as to fly the occasions. If thou wilt be nibbling at the bait, and playing on the brink, and tampering and meddling with the snare, thy soul will surely be taken. Where God doth expose men in bis providence unavoidably to temptations, and the occasions are such as we cannot remove, we may expect special assistance in the use of his means; but when we tempt God, by running into danger, he will not engage to support us when we are tempt. ed. And of all temptations, one of the most fatal and pernicious is evil company. Oh, what hopeful beginnings have these often stifled! Oh, the souls, the estates, the families, the towns that these have ruined ! How many a poor sinner hath been enlightened and convinced, and bath been just ready to give the devil the slip, and hath even escaped the snare, and yet wicked company have pulled him back at last, and made him seven-fold more the child of hell. In one word, I have no hopes of thee, except thou wilt shake off thy evil company. Christ speaketh to thee, as te them in anotber case, If thou seeko me, then let these go their way, John xvii. 8.Thy life lies upon it: forsake these, or else thou canst not live, Prov. ix, 6. Wilt thou be worse than the beast, to run on when thou seest the Lord with a drawn sword in the way? Num. xxii. 33. Let this sentence be written in capitals upon thy conscience, A COMPANION OF FOOLS SHALL BE DESTROYED, Prov. xiii. 20. The Lord hath spoken it, and who shall reverse it ?And wilt thou run upon destruction, when God himself doth forewarn thee? If God do ever change thy heart, it will appear in the change of thy company. Oh ! fear and fly this gulf, by which so many thousand souls have beon gwallowed into perdition. It will be hard for thee, indeed, to make thine es. cape: thy companions will be mocking thee out of thy religion, and will study to fill thee: with prejudices against strictness, as ridiculous and comfortless. They will be flattering thee, and alluring thee; bui remember the warnings of the Holy Ghost, My son, if sin. ners: entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, cast in thy lot among us; walk not thou in the way with them, refrain thy foot from their path ; avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away : for the way of the wicked is as darkness, they know not at what they stumble: They lay učait for their own blood ;- they lurk privily for their. own lives, Prov. i. 10 to 18, and iv. 14 to 20. My soul is moved within me, to see how many of my hearers are like to perish, both they and their houses, by this wretched mischief, even the haunting of such places, and company, whereby they are drawn into sin.Once more I admonish you, as Moses did Israel, Num. xvi. 26, And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men.
Oh ! Ree them as you would those that had the plague-sores ruuning in their foreheads. These are the devils panders, and decoys; and if thou dost not make thine escape, they will toll thee into perdition, and will prove thine eternal ruin.
Direct. XVI. Lastly, Set apart a day to humble thy soul in secret, by fasting and prayer, to work the sense of thy sins and miseries upon thy heart. Read over the Assembly's exposition of the commands, and write down the duties omitted, and sins committed by thee against every commandment, and so make a catalogue of thy sins, and with sbame and sorrow spread them before the Lord. And if thy heart be truly willing to the terms, join thyself solemnly to the Lord in that covenant set down in the tenth direc tion, and the Lord grant thee mercy in his sight.
Thus I have told thee, what thou must do to be saved. Wilt thou not now obey the voice of the Lord ? Wilt thou arise, and set to thy work? O man, what answer wilt thou make, what excuse wilt thou have, if thou shoukist perish at last through very wil. fulness, when thou hast known the way of life? I do not fear thy misearrying, if thine own idleness do not at last undo thee, in neglecting the use of the means that are so plaialy here prescribed. Rouse up, O sluggard, and ply thy work : be doing, and the Lord will be with thee. A short soliloquy for an unregenerate Sinner, | AH wretched man that I am what a condition have I brought myself into by sin !
Oh ! I see my heart hath but deceived me ali this while, in flattering me, tbat my condition was good. I see, I see, I am but a lost and undone man, forever undone, unless the Lord help me out of this condition. My sins ! my sins ! Lord, what an unclean, polluted wretch am I ! more loathsome and odious to thee, than the most hateful venom, or noisome carease can be to me. Oh, what a hell of sin is in this heart of mine, which I have flatter. ed myself to be a good heart! Lord, how universally am I corrupted, in: all my parts, powers, performances ! all the imaginations of the thoughts of my heart are only evil cona tinually. I am under an inability to, averseness from, and enmity against any thing that is good; and am prone to all that is evil. My heart is a very sink of all sin : And Oh the innumerable hosts and swarms of sinful thoughts, words, and actions, that have flown from thence !: Oh the load of guilt that is on my soul ! my head is full, my heart full, my mind, and my members, they are all full of sin. O my sins ! how do they staré upon me ! how do they witness against me! wo is me, my creditors are upon me, every commandment taketh hold upon me, for more than ten thousand talents, yea, ten thousand times ten thousand. How endless then is: the sum of all my debts! if this whole world were filled up from earth to heaven with paper; and all this paper written over, within and without, by arithmeticians'; yet when all were cast up together, it would come incon. seivably short of what I owe to the least of