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fervice, to be governed by his laws, as your only Lord and King?
Finally, Was all this done from a deliberate and confirmed choice, and not from a mere tranfient flash of devotion? Then, indeed, you have been well employed; and we defire to give glory to God on your ac
But if, on the contrary, your hearts have been cold and infenfible, and your thoughts have been wandering without controul, upon the mountains of vanity; if you have felt no grief for fin, no love to the Redeemer, or only fuch a grief and love as a moving tale might have occafioned; if what you have felt hath not led you to bind yourselves irrevocably to the fervice of that Redeemer who encountered the wrath of God for you this was not to eat the Lord's Supper. Alas! my heart bleeds for you. Ye have been mocking him who declared that he will not be mocked with impunity; and who, unless you repent, will certainly convince you of this in another world.
Thefe are all the questions which I fhall
put to you at this time; and in whatever way you may find reafon to answer them, the inquiry muft turn out to your advantage. If, upon fearch, you discover the unfoundness of your hearts, even in that very fad discovery, you have the greatest advantage for falvation that you have ever had in the course of your lives. For now, your vain confidence being overthrown, you lie open to a deep and effectual conviction, which is the mercy introductive of all other mercies to your fouls. Your chief danger lies in judging too favourably, or in judging falfely, of yourselves. But if you do fo, how feverely will you fuffer for ' the fhort-lived deceit, when God fhall himfelf prove your works, or when he shall fay to you, as he said to the carousing king, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art "found wanting!" How confounded will be if this fentence fhall be pronounced? and how paffionately will you then wish for fuch an opportunity of "proving your own works" as you now enjoy?
But if, on the other hand, you can, upon good grounds, conclude, that notwithftanding
ftanding many imperfections in your holy service, you have been fincere and upright on the whole, how great may your comfort be? For God will not caft off the upright man. That which is the terror of the wicked will be your joy. As the son of a king rejoiceth in his father's power and magnificence, fo may you rejoice in those difplays of the divine Majefty, which fcare a' guilty world. How comfortable will the thoughts of a Saviour be, when you can fay, "My beloved is mine;" when by faith you can, like Thomas, " put your hand into "his fide, and your finger into the print of "the nails, and fay unto him, My Lord, "and my God?" With what joy will read the holy Scriptures, as the charter of your future inheritance, and ponder that
exceeding and eternal weight of glory," which you fhall one day poffefs? With what holy boldnefs may you approach the throne of Grace, when you can address God as your reconciled Father in Jefus Chrift? How cheerfully may you endure affliction ? How calmly may you leave this world?
If then any of these comforts are dear to you;
you; if you would enjoy them in a found state, or would have a clear and lively impreffion of them, let me befeech you to comply with the Apostle's exhortation, and prove your own works." So fhall ye have your rejoicing in yourselves, and never be ashamed. Amen.
JAMES iv. 17.
Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is fin.
HE unfruitful lives of profeffing Chri
ftians is a very general and a just complaint. But few of those who retail this complaint, are heartily inclined to remove the cause of it. We are melancholy examples of that which we pretend to lament; and we cease not to ftrengthen the inte refts of a party which we condemn. David, when he was treating with Araunah the Jebufite, for the purchase of his threhing floor, in order to rear an altar to God, refused to accept of it without a price, because he would not " offer burnt offerings "unto the Lord his God, of that which "coft him nothing." But, alas! our gene VOL. III.