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God, and our redemption by his blood, che future re-
surrection of the dead, &C.... These are truths which
exceed our comprehension. We cannot fully conceive
how these things can be. Hereupon we may be apo
to have prejudices arise against them in our mind, so as
to call the truth of them into question, and to disbe.
lieve them. But we should cake heed of unbelief on
this account. For things may be certainly true, though
we cannot fathom chem with our shallow understand-
ings. And ic is the height of folly and pride, to ima-
gine that nothing can be true, but what we can per-
fectly comprehend. Though therefore the mysteries
revealed by Christ are incomprehensible by us, yet they
are to be received as undoubted truths; and that bec
cause of che infallibility of him who reveals them to
us. He is the faithful and true witness, who cannot
lie, or uicer any thing that is false. What therefore he
reveals, we are to yield a firm aslent unto, because of
his testimony which is unerring and truly divine. For
nothing.can give us greater certainty of the truth of
any thing, than che testimony of Jesus Christ. Thus
faith the Lord, is the surest foundation for faith. ;
: 2. Bé not prejudiced against che commands of Christ,
because of their strictness. Certain it is, that the com-
mands of Christ are very strict and holy. They give
not che least allowance to any fin, though never so
feemingly pleasing and profitable. They require exact
purity in heart and life. They call to the practice of
ducies, which are very contrary to fleth and blood.
They require us to forgive injuries, to those that have
wronged us ; to bless them that curse us ; to pray for
them that despitefully use us, and abuse us ; to deny
ourselves, and take up bis cross and follow him, if cal-
led thereunto. Of these things we may be apt to say,
They are hard sayings, who can hear them ? And here.
upon may be tempted to cast them off and neglect
them. But we should beware of entertaining any such
hard thoughts of the commands of Christ, which are
all holy, just, and good. Though they are strict, and

difficule

difficult to us, through the corruption of our hearts, yet through his grace enabling us, we may fo chearfully obey them, as to find his yoke easy, and his burden light; and to say from happy experience, that none of his coinmands are grievous. And though the gate that we are to enter inco, be sirait, and the way that we are to walk in, be narrow, yet it leadeth 60 eternal life. (Matth. vii. 14.) The way of his commandments is che way to beaven ; and that will make amends for all the labour and pains we are at, in obedience to him. An eternity of blessedness will fully recompense us, for all the difficulties we meet with, in the way thereunto. In the end, we shall, to our everlasting joy, find ic to be so. Thus for the first Direction.

Direct. 2. Let us pray to God, to give us an heart to attend and hearken unto Jesus Christ. Such an heart is the gift of God alone. Deut. xxix. 4. The Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ear's to bear, unto this day. 'Tis God, that opens men's understandings, so as to understand what is spoken to them. Luk. xxiv. 45. 'Tis God, that opens their hearts, so as to receive the truth, in the belief and love ot it. A£t. xvi. 14. 'Tis God, that causes men to walk in his statutes, and co keep his judgments and do them. Ezek. xxxvi. 27. If chen we would have an ear altentive to the voice of Christ, an understanding enlightned in the knowledge of his ways, and a flexible will co yield subjection to his commands, let us be earnest in prayer to God for it. These things many want, because they do not ask them of God, and wait upon him in prayer for them. Let us then be much in prayer to God, for an opened ear and heart, to entertain the words of the Lord spoken to us. It was David's repeated prayer to God, Psal. cxix. 18. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. *. 33, 34, 35. Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I fall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I ball keep thy laco, yea, I all observe it with my whole bears. Make ine to go in the path of thy commandments.

Incline

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KENING to CHRIST. · 90 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies. Thus earnest is hein prayer to God, that he may be enlightned, instructed, inclined, and enabled to walk in the way of God, fet before him in his word. And in this way of fervent prayer, he gained much spiritual wisdom and strength : whereby he became eminent in his obedience to God, so as to have that testimony of his being a man after God's heart, that fulfilled all his will. A&t. xiii. 22. If therefore we are desirous to know, believe, and do, the things that are spoken to us by Jesus Christ, let us apply ourselves to God in prayer, as the way for the attaining our desires. Prov. ii. 3, 4, 5. If thou criet after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding ; if thou Jeckest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid trea. Jures ; thon Malt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom : out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

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అని నిరంతర కర కర రంగురంగు +

Coming to God, and hearing Him, the way

for Men's Souls to live.

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IS AI. LV. 3. Incline your Ear, and come unto Me :

Hear, and your Soul fall live.---

2SPSS N the cwo preceeding verses, our Lord Jesus,

Christ invited finners to come unto him, and to 20202 hearken unto him. In this verse, God the Fa.

ther makes the same invitation unto finners. Such a change of persons is very frequent and usual in the writings of the prophets. And though their distinct personal names be not exprelly mentioned, yet they may be known by the things that are spoken. Thus, it is plain from the following context, that it is God the Facher, who here speaks. For 'tis he, that makes an ever. lasting covenant with men, in Christ the redeemer. And Pris he, that speaks concerning Christ, in ver. 4.' Bebold, I bave given him for a wiiness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Tis he, also that speaks to Chrift, in ver. 5. Bebold, thou halt call a nation that thou knowelt moi, &c. So that'cis God the Father, who here joins with

his Son Jesus Christ, in inviting finners to hearken and come to him, and this very consistently. For the Father and he are one, their essence and will, one and the same. So that the call of one is the call of both. Job. xiv. 10. Believest thou not, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me ? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of my Self : but the Father, wbo dwelleth in me.--He did not speak of his own head, or without che Father ; but the words he spake were both his and the Father's who was in him. And hence Christ says, He that beareth ine, or despiseth me, beareth or despiseth him that fent me. Luk. X. 16.

In the words of the text, we may observe two things.

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1. The duty which God calls finners unto; and that is double, to incline their ear and bear, and to come unto him.-.-To incline their ear and hear, is the same with hearkening diligently in the foregoing verse, which was there spoken to, and the less needs here to be insisted on. By coining to God, is meant, a returning to him as our chief good and happiness, our fovereign Lord, and our last end. And this supposes our distance and departure from God. Both of these are expressed in Jer. iji. 22. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backsidings. Behold we come unto thee, ; for thou art the Lord our God.

2. An encouraging promise ; and your soul mall live. The blessing promised is life; and the best fort of life too, even, the life of the foul, which is the most excellent part of man.

· Doct. I. All men naturally are at a distance from GOD...-- This is a truth implicd in God's calling upon them to come to him ; for this intimates to us, that men are departed, and gone away from God. The first apostacy has cast mankind into a distance from God; and while they continue in the state of nature, they

apostacy heparied, and commor this intimars calling u

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