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wretched, and blind, and naked? Christ offereth a cure for your blindness, a covering for your nakedness, a remedy for your poverty; he tenders you his righteousness, his grace. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see."* Do you say, the condition is impossible, for I have not wherewith to buy! You must know, that this buying is "without money and without price," this buying is by begging and seeking with diligence and constancy in the use of God's means. God commandeth thee to know him and to fear him. Dost thou say, Yea, but my mind is blind, and my heart is hardened from his fear! I answer, God doth offer to enlighten thy mind, and to teach thee this fear; that is presented to thy choice. For that they § hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. So that now if men live in ignorance and estrangement from the Lord, it is because they will not understand and desire the the knowledge of his ways." "If thou criest after knowledge, if thou seekest her as silver, &c. then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."¶ Is not here a fair offer? "Turn ye at my reproof; behold I

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will pour out my spirit upon you."* Though of yourselves you can do nothing, yet you may do all through his spirit enabling you, and he doth offer assistance to you. God bids you "wash, and make you clean:" you say you are unable, as much as the leopard to wash out his spots:‡ yea, but the Lord doth offer to purge you, so that if you be filthy still, it is through your own wilfulness. § "I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged." "O Jerusalem, wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be?" God doth wait; when

you will be made clean; when you will yield to his motions, accept his offers, and let him do for you and in you, what you cannot do for yourselves. You do not know how much God will do upon your importunity, if you will be but restless and instant with him.

Though God hath not bound himself by express promise to wicked men, to give them grace, yet he hath given them abundance of encouragement to expect it from him, if they seek it earnestly in his way. His most gracious nature is abundant encouragement. If a rich and most beautiful man should see thee in misery, and bid thee come to his door, wouldst thou not with confidence expect at thy coming to find some relief? God appoints

*Prov. i. 23.

† Isa. i. 16. 23. Ezek. xxiv. 13. ¶ Luke xi. 8, and xviii. 5.

Jer. xiii. || Jer. xiii. 27.

thee to use such and such means in order to thy obtaining repentance and faith; doth not this argue, that God will bestow these upon thee if thou dost ply him diligently in prayer, meditation, reading, hearing, self-examination, and the rest of his means? Otherwise God should but mock his poor creatures to put them upon these self-denying endeavours, and then when they have been hard put to it, and continued waiting upon him for grace, deny them at last. Surely if a good-natured man would not deal thus, much less will the most merciful and gracious God.


AND now my brethren, let me know your minds. What do you intend to do? will you go on and die? or, will you set upon a thorough and speedy conversion, and lay hold on eternal life? How long will ye linger in Sodom?"How long will ye halt between two opinions?""* Are ye not yet resolved whether Christ or Barabbas, whether bliss or torment, whether the land of Cabult or the paradise of God be the better choice? It is a disputable case, whether the Abana and Pharpar of Damascus, be better than all the streams of Eden; or whether the vile puddle of sin is to be preferred before the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb? Can the world in good earnest, do that for you which Christ can? Will it stand by you to eternity? Will pleasures, land, titles, or treasures descend with you? If not, had you not need look after somewhat that will? What mean you to stand wavering, to be off and on? Shall I lead you at last no further than Agrippa, but almost persuaded. Why, you are for ever 1 Kings ix. 13.

* 1 Kings xviii. 21. Psal. xlix. 17. 1 Tim. vi. 7.

lost if left there; as good not at all, as not altogether Christians. You are half in the mind to give over your former negligent life, and set to a strict and holy course; you could wish you were as some others are, and could do as they can do. How long will you rest in idle wishes and fruitless purposes? When will you come to a fixed, firm and full resolve? Do not you see how Satan gulls you, by tempting you to delays? How long hath he drawn you on in the way of perdition? How many years have you been purposing to mend? What if God should have taken you off this while ?

Well, put me not off with a dilatory answer. Tell me not of hereafter; I must have your immediate consent: if you be not now resolved, while the Lord is treating with you, and courting you, much less are you like to be hereafter, when these impressions are worn out, and you are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Will you give me your hands? Will you set open the doors, and give the Lord Jesus the full and ready possession? Will you put your names into his holy covenant? Will you subscribe? What do you resolve upon? If you are still upon your delays, my labour is lost, and all is like to come to nothing. Fain I would that you should now put in your adventures. Come, cast in your lot, make your choice. "Now is the accept

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