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findest there forbidden? This is the way to be found in God's statutes, that thou mayest never be ashamed, Ps. cxix. 80. Thirdly, Observe the special duties that thy heart is most against, and the special sins that 'tis most inclined unto; and see whether it be truly resolved to perform the one and forego the other. What sayest thou to thy bosom sin, thy gainful sin? What sayest thou to costly, and hazardous, and flesh-displeasing duties? If thou haltest here, and dost not resolve, by the grace of God, to eross thy flesh, and put to it, thou art unsound, Ps. xviii. 23, and exix. 6.
Direct. X. Let all this be completed in a solemn covenant betwixt God and thy soul, Ps. cxix. 106, Neh. x. 29. For thy better help therein take these few directions.
First, Set apart some time, more than once, to be spent in secret before the Lord.
1. In seeking earnestly his special assistance, and gracious acceptance of thee.
2. In considering distinctly all the terms or conditions of the covenant, expressed in the form hereafter proposed.
3. In searching thine heart, whether thou art sincerely willing to forsake all thy sins, and to resign up thyself, body and soul, unte God, and his service; to serve him in holiness and righteousness, all the days of thy life.
Secondly, Compose thy spirit into the most serious frame possible, suitable to a transaction of so high importance.
Thirdly, Lay hold on the covenant of God, and rely upon his promise of giving grace and strength, whereby thou mayest be enabled to perform thy promise. Trust not to thine own strength, to the strength of thine own resolutions, but take hold on his strength.
Fourthly, Resolve to be faithful; having engaged thine heart, opened thy mouth, and subscribed with thy hand unto the Lord, resolve in his strength never to go back.
Lastly, Being thus prepared, on some convenient time set apart for the purpose, set upon the work, and in the most solemn manner possible, as if the Lord were visibly present before thine eyes, fall down on thy knees, and spreading forth thine hands toward heaven, open thine heart to the Lord in these or the like words:
O MOST dreadful God! for the passion of thy Son I beseech thee, accept of thy poor prodigal, now prostrating himself at thy door, I have fallen from thee by mine iniquity, and am by nature a son of death, and a thousand fold more the child of hell, by my wicked practice; but of thine infinite grace, thou hast promised grace to me in Christ, if I will but turn to thee with all my heart: therefore upon the call of thy gospel, I am now come in, and, throwing down my weapons, submit myself to thy
The terms of our communion are either from which or to which,
And because thou requirest, as the condition of my peace with thee, that I should put
The terms away mine idols; and be at from which we defiance with all thine ene must turn, sin, mies, which I acknowledge I sutan,theworld have wickedly sided with, and our own against thee; I here from the righteousness, bottom of my heart renounce which must be them all, firmly covenanting thus renounc- with thee, not to allow myself in any known sin, but conscientiously to use all the means that I know thou hast prescribed for the death and utter destruction of all my corruptions. And whereas I have formerly, inordinately and idolatrously, let out my affections upon the world, I do here resign up my heart to thee that madest it, humbly protesting before thy glorious Majesty, that it is the firm resolution of my heart; and that I do unfeignedly desire grace from thee, that when thou shalt call me hereunto, I may practise this my resolution, through thy assistance to forsake all that is dear unto me in this world, rather than to turn from thee to the ways of sin; and that I will watch against all its temptations, whether of prosperity, or adversity, lest they should withdraw my heart from thee; beseeching thee also to help me against the temptations of satan, to whose wicked suggestions I resolve, by thy grace, never to yield myself a servant. And be cause my own righteousness is but menstruous rags, I renounce all confidence therein, and acknowledge that I am of myself a hope
less, helpless, undone creature, without right
eousness or strength.
And for as much as thou hast, of thy bottomless mercy, offered most graciously to me wretched sinner, to be again my God, through Christ, if I would accept of thee; I call heaven and earth to record this day, that I do here solemnly avouch thee for the Lord my God; and with all possible veneration, bowing the neck of my soul under the feet of thy most sacred majesty, I do here take thee, Lord JEHOVAH, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for, my portion, and chief good; and do give up myself, body and soul, for thy servant, promising and vowing to serve thee in holiness and righteousness, all the days of my life.
The terms to which we must turn are either ultimate or medi
And since thou hast appointed the Lord Jesus Christ the only means of coming unto thee, I do here, upon the bended knees of my soul, accept of him, as the only new and living way by which sinners may have access to thee; and do hereby solemnly join myself in marriage covenant to him.
The ultimate is God the Father, Son, & Holy Ghost, who must be thus accepted.
The mediate terms are either principal, or less principal. The princi pal is Christ the Media
tor, who must thus be embraced.
O blessed Jesus, I come to thee hungry and hardly bestead, poor, and wretched, and mis
erable, and blind, and naked; a most loathsome, polluted wretch, a guilty, condemned malefactor, unworthy for ever to wash the fect of the servants of my Lord, much more to be solemnly married to the king of glory: but sith, such is thine unparalleled love, I do here with all my power accept thee, and do take thee for my head and husband, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, for all times and conditions, to love, honor, and obey thee before all others; and this to the death. I embrace thee in all thy offices: I renounce mine own unworthiness, and do here avow thee to be the Lord my righteousness: I renounce mine own wisdom, and do here take thee for mine only guide: I renounce mine own will, and take thy will for my law.
And since thou hast told me that I must suffer if I will reign, I do here covenant with thee to take my lot, as it falls, with thee, and, by thy grace assisting, to rnn all hazards with thee; verily supposing that neither life nor death shall part between thee and me. And because thou hast been The less prin- pleased to give me thy holy cipal are the laws as the rule of my life, and laws of Christ the way in which I should which must be walk to thy kingdom, I do thus observed. here willingly put my neck under thy yoke, and set my shoulder to thy burden; and subscribing to all thy laws, as holy, just and good, I solemnly take them as the rule of my words, thoughts and actions; promising that though my flesh contradict and rebel, yet 1 will en