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Direct. 8. "Resign up all thy powers and faculties, and thy whole interest, to be his." "They gave their own selves unto the Lord."* "Present your bodies a living sacrifice." The Lord seeks not yours, but you: resign therefore thy body with all its members to him, and thy soul with all its powers, that he may be glorified in thy body and in thy spirit, which are his.‡

Again; thou must give up thy whole interest to him. If there be any thing that thou keepest back from Christ, it will be thy undoing.§ Unless thou wilt forsake all (in preparation and resolution of thy heart) thou canst not be his disciple: thou must hate father and mother, yea, and thy own life also, in comparison of him, and as far as it stands in competition with him. In a word, thou must give him thyself, and all that thou hast, without reservation, or else thou canst have no part in him.

Direct. 9. Make choice of the laws of Christ as the rule of thy words, thoughts, and actions." This is the true convert's choice, But here remember these three rules: 1. "You must choose them all:" there is no getting to heaven by a partial obedience.** None must think it enough to take up with the cheap and easy part of religion, and let alone

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the duties that are costly and self-denying, that grate upon the interest of the flesh: you must take all or none. A sincere convert, though he make most conscience of the greatest sins, and weightiest duties, yet he makes. true conscience of little sins and of all duties.* 2. For all times," for prosperity and adversity, whether it rain or shine. A true convert is resolved in his way; he will stand to his choice, he will not set his back to the wind, and be of the religion of the times. "I have stuck to thy testimonies; I have inclined my heart to thy statutes always, even unto the end. Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage for ever, I will have respect to thy statutes continually." This must not be done hand-over-head, but deliberately and understandingly. The disobedient son said, "I go sir," but he went not. How fairly did they promise, "All that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee, we will do it!" And it is likely they spoke as they meant; but when they came to the trial, it was found that there was not such a heart in them as to do what they had promised.§

Thirdly, Observe the special duties that thy heart is most against, and the special sins that it is most inclined to; and see whether it be truly resolved to perform the one and

*Psal. cxix. 6, 113. Mat. xxiii. 23. cxix. 31, 44, 93, 111, Deut. v. 27, 29.

117.

† Psal. Mat. xxi. 30.

forego the other." What sayest thou to thy bosom sin, thy gainful sin? What sayest thou to costly, hazardous, and flesh-displeasing duties? If thou haltest here, and dost not resolve, by the grace of God, to cross the flesh and go on, thou art unsound.*

Direct. 10. "Take heed of delaying thy conversion, and set about a speedy and present turning." "I made haste and delayed not." Remember and tremble at the sad instance of the foolish virgins that came not till the door of mercy was shut,‡ and of a convinced Felix, who put off Paul to another season, which we do not find ever came.§ O come in while it is called to-day, lest thou shouldst be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, lest the day of grace should be over, and the "things that belong to thy peace should be hid from thine eyes." Now mercy is wooing thee, now Christ is waiting to be gracious to thee, and the Spirit of God is striving with thee: now ministers are calling: now conscience is stirring: now the market is open, and thou mayest buy oil: now Christ is offered for thy acceptance; O strike in with the offers of grace; O! now or never. If thou make light of this offer, God may swear in his wrath thou shalt not taste of his supper.

+ Psal. cxix. 60. Luke

*Psal. xviii. 23, and cxix.
Mat. xxv. 11.
Acts xxiv. 25.

xvi. 24.

66

Direct. 11. "Attend conscientiously upon the word, as the means appointed for thy conversion."* Attend, I say, not customarily, but conscientiously; with this desire, design, hope, and expectation, that thou mayest be converted by it. To every sermon thou shouldst come with this thought; "O, I hope God will now come in; I hope this day may be the time, this may be the man by whom God will bring me home." When thou art coming to the ordinances, lift up thy heart thus to God; "Lord, let this be the sabbath, let this be the season wherein I may receive renewing grace. O let it be said, that to-day such a one was born unto thee!"

Direct. 12. "Strike in with the Spirit when he begins to work upon thy heart." When he works convictions, O do not stifle them, but join in with him, and beg the Lord to carry on conviction to conversion. "Quench not the Spirit:" do not outstrive him, do not resist him. Beware of stifling convictions with evil company or worldly business.

When

thou findest any troubles for sin, and fears about thy eternal state, beg of God that they may never leave thee till they have wrought off thy heart thoroughly from sin, and brought it over to Jesus Christ. Say to him, "Strike home, Lord, leave not the work in the midst. If thou seest that I am not wounded enough,

* James i. 19. 1 Cor. iv. 15.

that I am not troubled enough, wound me yet deeper, Lord; O go to the bottom of my corruption, and let out the life-blood of my sins." Thus yield up thyself to the workings of the Spirit, and spread thy sails to his gusts.

Direct. 13. "Set upon the constant and diligent use of serious and fervent prayer." He that neglects prayer is a profane and unsanctified sinner:* he that is not constant in prayer is but an hypocrite.† This is one of the first things conversion appears in, that it sets men on praying; therefore set to this duty: let never a day pass over thee, wherein thou hast not, morning and evening, set apart some time for set and solemn prayer in secret. Call thy family also together daily and duly, to worship God with thee. unto thee, if thine be found among lies that call not on God's name.§ and lifeless devotion will not reach half way to heaven. Be fervent and importunate; importunity will carry it, but without violence the kingdom of heaven will not be taken. Thou must strive to enter, ¶ and wrestle with tears and supplications, as Jacob, if thou meanest to carry the blessing.** Thou art undone for ever without grace, and therefore

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Woe be

the fami

But cold

Acts ix. 11. T Luke xiii. 24.

** Gen. xxxii. 24, compared with Hos. xii. 4.

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