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new joy through all thofe happy regions. There is joy in the prefence of the angels of God over one finner that repenteth, Luke xv. 10. They are glad of fo happy change, and rejoice to fee fuch an unprofitable wretch become fo profitable and excellent a creature.
Thus I have clear'd up the doctrine which I rais'd from my text, viz. that regeneration changes an unprofitable finner into a profitable faint. It now remains that we make fome practical application of this fubject. As
1.) I would intreat fuch as have been made. partakers of regenerating grace, to confider, and remember, what is expected from them. It is expected, and God expects it, that you should live very profitably; you have received greater mercies than others, and you are intrufted with greater talents than others, What do ye more than others? Christ once put that queftion, let confcience now repeat it.. "What do I more than others? The grace "of God has diftinguifh'd me from thou
fands, has wrought a good work in me, "and begotten me again to a lively hope of "eternal bleffedness, but what do I do more "than others? More for God's honour, and "more for the falvation of my perishing "fellow-creatures?" Can you, my friends, be unconcern'd for perifhing fouls? fure you cannot. Ifrael must have compaffion on ftrangers, because they had been strangers themselves, Exod. xxiii. 9. Thou shalt not opE 5
prefs a stranger, for ye know the heart of a Stranger, feeing ye were ftrangers in the land of Egypt. So may I fay to you, who have been the happy inftances of the power of converting grace, ye know the heart of an unconverted finner, and ye know what danger fuch a one is in; ye know by experience the folly, and the perverfenefs of the hearts of fuch perfons, and how miferably Satan impofes upon them; O! pity their cafe, and labour all you can for their converfion and falvation. Can you be without a warm zeal for God's honour and glory, by whofe mercy and kindnefs you have been, fo wonderfully, diftinguifh'd? fhould you not labour with double diligence to be profitable to his interest now, fince in time paft ye were fo unprofitable?
2.) I would take an occafion from what has been offered, to recommend true godlihefs to all, and efpecially to young perfons, whofe benefit I have chiefly aim'd at in this discourse. You are now in your chufing time, and, most probably, the choice which you now make will fix you for life, and fix you for eternity. It commonly proves fo, men feldom change much when they grow into years it is certain there are few, very few inftances of old converts. Well, and what will you now chufe? will you chufe to live unprofitably, and die eternally, to be mere cumber grounds on God's earth, and lofe your fouls at laft? God forbid! and yet
this will be the cafe if you live in fin, and con tinue in your natural ftate. With all your accomplishments you will be but ufelefs and worthlefs creatures. You will neither be profitable to God, nor yourselves, nor others; and then, what were you made for? What account will you have to give of yourselves at the great day? But I would fain hope better things of you, you who are now in the bloom of life; you are the hope of the world, and the hope of families, and the hope of the churches of Chrift: there is fomething very pleasant and taking in youth, which makes almost all perfons love you; we cannot but wifh you well, and fhould be very glad to fee you do well; O! do not difappoint the fond wishes and hopes of your parents and friends. And now, if you would live usefully, and profitably, and die comfortably too, and be happy for ever; you must chufe the Lord for your God, and Chrift for your Saviour, and you must chufe the ways of godlinefs for your practice; you muft be converted and born again, and, furely, the fooner the better. Confider what wretched unprofitable creatures you are 'till that great work is done; but that, and that alone, will make you truly lovely, and greatly valuable and ufeful; it will recommend you both to God, and Angels, and men: it will make you very profitable while you live, and it will lay a fure foundation of your everlasting happi
nefs when time fhall be no more. Therefore, to close all, cry mightily to God for converting grace. 'Tis true (as I have fhewed you before) you cannot convert yourselves; but God can do it, and he has promised that He will give bis Spirit to them that ask him. He bath faid, that He bath no pleasure at all that the wicked should die, but had rather they should turn and live. Never doubt his willingness, therefore; if you are but willing, God is willing, and then the work fhall foon be done, and the happy change fhall foon be wrought. Let me recommend it to you farther, that you would diligently attend on the means of grace, and efpecially, on the preaching of God's word, which is the ordinary standing means of converfion and falvation.
Faith cometh by bearing. The poor cripples who could not heal themfelves, could lie at the pool, where God did fometimes heal miraculoufly; fo you may lie at the pool, as it were, and wait upon God in his appointed means, and there you may hope for the bleffing of his grace: then it will be but a reasonable hope, that God will be pleafed to beget you to himself by the word of his grace. By all means take heed of ftifling convictions, if at any time the good Spirit of God is at work upon you. Quench not the Spirit, least he fhould be grieved and depart from you, and you should hear from him no more, but be delivered up (as fome finners have been) to a
hard heart and a feared confcience. And now refolve, in the ftrength of Christ, and by the affiftance of the grace of God, that if any of you have hitherto lived unprofitably, you will from henceforth live to better purpose. O! that you would begin this new year with a hearty furrender of yourselves to God, and his fervice. This will, indeed, make it a happy, and a comfortable year to you; and nothing can poffibly make it an unhappy one: afflictions cannot make it unhappy to a child of God, to whom all afflictions fhall furely be fanctified: death itself cannot make it unhappy to a heir of glory: then the fooner you die, and leave this world, the fooner will you be where Chrift is; and it will be a happy exchange of fin and forrow, for perfect holinefs, and everlasting joy..