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world and flesh, which in your baptism you re.
nounced: set your hearts to the message which we · bring ; allow it your manlike Gober thought ; search
the jcriptures, and see whether the things we ipeak of be so or no. We offer you nothing but what we have resolvedly chosen ourselves, and that after the inolt serious deliberation we can make. We
ve many times looked round about us, to know what is the happiness of man: and had we found better for ourselves, we had offered better to you. If this world would have served our turns, it would have served yours also, and we would not have troubled you with the talk of another world ; but it will not, I am sure it will not serve your turns to make you happy, nor shall you long make that self-deceiving shift with it as now ye do.
But if you will not think of these things, if you will not use the reason of men, alas! what can we do to save your souls ? O pity them, Lord, that they may pity themfelves; have mercy on them, that they may have some mercy on themselves; help them, that they help themselves and us. stilliefule, will not your loss be more than ours ! If we lole our labour, (which to ourselves we shall not; if we lose our hopes of your salvation, what is this to your everlasting lors of salvation itself ? And what are our sufferings for your sake, in comparison of your endless suffering?
But O! this is it that breaketh our hearts, that we leave you under more guilt than we found your : and when we have laid out life and labour to save you, the impenitent souls must have their pains increased for refuling these calls; and that it will be part of your hell to think for ever, how madly you refused our counsel, and what pains, cost, and patience were used to have saved you, and all in vain. It will be so, it must needs befo. Christ faith, It shall be easier for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for the rejccters of his gospelcalls. The nature of the thing, and the nature of Justice, certainly inform you it must be lo.
O turn not our complaints to God against you ! turn us not from beseeching you to be reconciled to God, to tell him you will not be reconciled; force us not to say, that we earnestly invited you to the heavenly feast, and you would not come : force us not to bear this witness against you,
Lord, we could have born all our labour and sufferings for them much easier, if they would but have yielded to thy grace. But it was they themselves that broke our hearts, that loft our labour, that made us to preach and intreat in vain; it was easier to preach without maintenance than without success. It was they that were worse to us than all the persecutors in the world. How oft would we have gathered them, but they would not, but are ungathered still ?” How many holy, faithful Minifters have I known, these eleven years last past, who have lived in pintng poverty and want, and hardly by charity got bread and clothing, and yet if they could but have truly faid, Lord, the fermons which I preach privately, and in danger, have won many fouls to thee, it would have made their burden easy. But I tell the senseless and impenitent finner, thou that denied ft God in thy heart, aud that deniedst them hy conversion, which was the end of all their labours, hast dealt much more cruelly with them than they that denied the Levites bread.
Poor finners! I know that I am speaking all this to those that are dead in fin, but 'tis a death consisting with a natural life, which hath a capacity of fpiritual life; or else I would no more speak to you than to a stone. And I know that you are blind to fin; but 'tis a blindness consisting with a reasonable faculty, which is capable of spiritual illumination: or else I would no more persuade you than I do a beast. And I know that you are in the fetters of your own lufts; your wills, your love, your hearts are turned away from God, and strongly bewitched with the dreams and dalliances with ihe flesh and world: but your wills are not forced to this captivity: Surely these wills may be changed by God's grace,
when you clearly see sufficient reason to change them; else I would as soon preach i were I capable) to devils and damned fouls. Your case is not yet desperate : O make it not desperate. There is just the same hope of your salvation as there is of your conversion and perseverance, and no more. Without it there is no hope. And with it you are safe, and have no cause to doubt and fear. Heaven may yet
you will. Nothing but your own wills, refusing Christ and a holy life, can keep you out. And shalt thou do it? Shall hell be your own choice? And will you say, you will not be saved.
O think better what you do ! God's terms are reasonable, his words and ways are good and equal, Christ's yoke is easy, and his burden light, and his commands are not grievous to any, but so far as blindness and a bad and backward heart makes them so. You have no true reason to be unwilling : God and Conscience shall one day tell you and all the world, that you have no reason for it. You may as wisely pretend reason to cut your throats, to torment yourselves, as plead reason against a true conver fon unto God. Were I persuading you not to kill yourselves, I would make no question but you would be persuaded ; and yet I must be hopeless, when I persuade you from everlasting misery, and not to prefer the world and flesh before your Saviour, and your God, and before a sure everlasting joy? God forbid !
Reader, I take it for a great mercy of God, that before
my head lies down in the dust, and I go give up my account untomy Judge, I have this opportunity once more earnefly to be peak thee for iliy own salvation. I beg it of thee, as one that must shortly be called away and speak to thee no more till we come unto our endless state, that thou wouldest but sometimes retire into thyself, and use the reason of a man, and look before thee whither thou art going, and look behind thee how thou halt lived, and what thou haft been doing in the world till now; and look within thee, what a case thy soul
is-in, and whether it be fit to enter upon eternity:
and Just and appetite have no reason: but I know thou haft reason thyself, which was given thee to overrule them, and that he that will not be a man cap. not be a faint, nor a happy man. I know thou livest an a tempting and wicked world, where things and perlons will be daily hindering thee; but I know that this is no more to a man that by faith fees heaven and hell before him, than a grain of sand is to a kingdom, or a blaft of wind to one that is flying for his life. O man! that thou didst but know the difference between that which the devil and fin will give thee, if thou wilt sell thy soul and heaven, and that which God hath promited and sworn to give thee, if thou wilt heartily give up thyself to him! I know thou mayest pollibly fall into company, (at least among
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fome fots and drunkards) that will tell thee, All this is but trouble fome preciseness, and making more ado than n:eds ; but I know withal what that man deserveth who will believe a fool before his Maker; (for he can be no better than a miserable fool, that will contradiet and revile the.word of God, even the word of grace that would save men's fouis.
And, alas, it is possible thou mayest hear some of the tribe of Levi (or rather of Cain) deriding this ferious godlinefs, as mere hypocrisy, and fanaticism, and self-conceitednefs ; as if you must be no better than the devil's flaves, lest you be proud in thinking that you are better than they; that is, you must go with them to hell, lest in heaven
ye hypocrites, for thinking yourselves happier than they.
It may be they will tell you, that this talk of. Conversion is fitter for pagans and infidels to hear, than for Christians and Proteftants, because such men's big look or coat may, make the poison ke the Leasier taken down: I will intrcat thee but (as be. fore God) to answer the following questions, or to get them answered, and then judge whether it be they or we that would deceive thee: and whether as men use to talk against learning that have none themselves, so such inen prate against conversion and the Spirit of God, because they have no such thing themselves.
9. 1. I pray ask them, whether it be a Puritan or Fanatic opinion that men muft die! And, what all the pomp, wealth, and pleasure of the world will signify to a departing soul? Ask them whether they will live on earth for ever, and their merry hours and lordly looks will have no end? And whether it be but the conceit of hypocrites and schismatics, that their carcass must be rotting in a darkfome grave?
OW Fees dis t 18 but the fell eath