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give up thyself to Christ, strive to pray, strive to meditate, strive an hundred' and an hundred times, try to do it as well as thou canst; and while thou art endeavouring in the way of thy duty, the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and help thee to do what of thy. self thou art utterly unable unto, Prov. i. 2t.
Direct, V. Forthwith renounce all thy sins. If thou yield thyself, to the contrary practice of any sin, thou art andone, Rom. vi. 17. In vain dost thou hope for life by Christ, except thou depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. ii. 19. Forsake thy sins, or else thou canst not find mercy, Prov. xxviii. 13. Thou. canst not be married to Christ except divorced from sin. Give up the traitor, or you can have no peace with heaven. Cast the head of Sheba over tlre wall : keep not Dalilah in thy lap. Thou must part with thy sins, or with thy soul : spare but one sin, and God will not spare thee. Never make excuses, thy sins must die, or thou must die for them, Psal. lxviii. 21. If thou allow of one sin, tho’ but a little, a secret one, tho thou mayst plead necessity, and have a hundred shifts and excuses for it, the life of thy soul must go for the life of that sin, Ezek. xviii. 21. And will it not be dearly bought ?
O sinner! hear and consider. If thou wilt part with thy sins, God will give thee his Ohrist. Is not this a fair exchange ? I testify unto thee this day, that if thou perish, it is not because there was never a Saviour provided, nor life tendered, but because thou preferredst (with the Jews) the murderer be
fore thy Saviour, sin before Christ, and lovedst darkness rather than light, John iii. 10. Search thy heart therefore with candles, as the Jews did their houses for leaven before the passover : labour to find out thy sins, enter into thy closet and consider, what evil have I lived in? What duty have I neglected towards God? What sin bave I lived in against my brother? And now strike the dart thro' the heart of thy sins, as Joab did thro' Absalom's, 2 Sam. xviii. 14. Never stand looking upon thy sin, nor rolling the morsel under thy tongue, Job xx. 11. but spit it out as poison, with fear and detestation. Alas! what will thy sins do for thee, that thou shouldst stick at parting with them? They will flatter thee, but they will undo thee; and cut thy throat, while they smile upon thec; and poison thee, while they please thee; and arm the justice and wrath of the infinite God against thce. They will open hell for thee, and pile up fuel to burn thee. Behold the gibbet that they have prepared for thee. Oh! serve them like Haman, and do upon them the execution they would else have done upon thee. Away with thein, crucify them, and let Christ only be Lord over thee.
Direct. VI. Make a solemn choice of God for thy portion and blessedness, Deut. xxvi. With all possible devotion and veneration avouch the Lord for thy God. Set the world, with all its glory, and paint, and gallantry, with all its pleasures and promotions, on the one hand ; and set God, with all his ipfipite excellencies and perfections, on the oher, and see that thou do deliberately make thy choice, Josh. xxiv. 15. Take up thy rest in God, John vi. 63. Set thee down under his shadow, Cant. ii. 8. Let his promises and perfections turn the scale against all the world. Settle it upon thy heart, that the Lord is an all-sufficient portion, that thou canst not be miserable while thou hast a God to live upon : take him for thy shield, and exceeding great reward. God alone is more than all the world; content thyself with bim : let others carry the preferments and glory of the world, place thou thy happiness in his favour, and the light of his countenance, Psal. iv. 6, 7.
Poor sinner! thou art fallen off from God, and hast engaged his power and wrath against thee: yet know, that of his abundant grace, he doth offer to be thy God again in Christ, 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. What sayest thou, man? Wilt thou have the Lord for thy God? Why, take this counsel and thou shalt have him, come to him by his Christ, John xiv. 6. Re. nounce the idols of thine own pleasures, gain, reputation, 1 Thess. i. 9. Let these be pulled out of the throne, and set God's interest uppermost in thine heart : take him as God, to be chief in thine' affections, estimations, intentions ; for he will not endure to have any set above him, Rom. i. 24. Psal. lxxxiii. 25. In a word thou must take him in all his personal relations, and in all his essential perfections.
First, In all his personal relations. God
the Father must be taken for thy Father, Jer: iï. 4, 19, 22. Oh! come to him with the prodigal, “Father, I have sinmed against heaven, and in thy sight, and am not worthy to be called thy Son; but since of thy wonderful mercy, thou art pleased to take me, that am of myself a dog, a swine, a devil, to be thy child, I solemnly take thee for my Father, commend myself to thy care, and trust to thy providence, and cast my burden on thy shoulders. I depend on thy provision, and submit to thy corrections, and trust under the shadow of thy wings, and hide in thy chambers, and fly to thy name. nounce all confidence in myself, I repose my confidence in thee, I depose my concernments with thee : I will be for thee, and for no other.” Again, God the Son must be taken for thy Saviour, for thy Redeemer; and righteousness, John i. 12. He must be ac. cepted as the only way to the Father, and the only means of life, Heb. vii. 25. Oh then, put off the raiment of thy captivity, on with the wedding garment, and go and marry thyself to Jesus Christ. 6. Lord I am thine, and all that I have, my body, my soul, my name, my estate. I send a bill of divorce to my other lovers, I give my heart to thee, I will be thine undividedly, thine everlastingly. I will set thy name on all I have, and use it only as thy goods, as thy loan during thy leave, resigning all to thee. I will have no king bui thee, reign thou over me: other Lords have had dominion over me, but now I will make mention of thy name only; and do here take an oath of fealty to thee, promising and vowing, to serve, and love, and fear thee, above all competitions. I disavow mine own righteousness, and despair of ever being pardoned and saved for mine own du. ties, or graces, and lean only on thine all. sufficient sacrifice and intercession, for pardon, and life, and acceptance before God. I take thee for mine only guide and instructor, resolving to be led and directed by thee, and to wait for thy counsel, and that thine shall be the casting voice with me," Lastly, God the Spirit must be taken for thy Sanctifier, Rom. viii. 9, 14. Gal. v. 16, 18, for thine advocate, thy counsellor, thy comforter, the teacher of thine ignorance, the pledge and earnest of thine inheritance, Rom. viii. 26. Psal. lxxiii. 24. John xiv. 26/Eph. iv. 30. Awake thou north wind, and come thou forth, and blow upon my garden, Cant. iv.
“Come, thou Spirit of the Most High, here is a house for thee, here is a temple for thee : here do thou rest forever; dwell here, and rest here : lo, I give up the possession to thee, full possession. I send thee the keys of my heart, that all may be for thy use, that thou mayst put thy goods, thy grace into thy every room. I give up the use of all to thee, that every faculty, and every member may be thine instrument to work righteousness, and do the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Secondly. In all his essential perfections. Consider how the Lord hath revealed him. self to you in his word : will you take him