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much, to escape, if pollible, or to get rid, as soon as may be, of fo grievous, fo afflicting a Condition as this must needs be, even tho all these Fears were idle and vain and never should come to pass? But since This Dread is but the forerunner and harbinger of that black despair, that shall seize the Soul hereafter and prey upon it to all Eternity; what Folly, what stupidity, what Madness is it, to defer. but One Moment, the cafting out this Difturber at once of all our present Quiet, and the Earnest of Eternal Horror to come? And there is but One way to effe&t this: If thou prepare thine Heart and stretch out thine Hands towards Him; if Iniquity be in thy Hand, put it far away, and let mot Wickedness dwell in thy Tabernacle. For then foalt thou lift up thy Face without Spot, Yea thou foalt be fteadfast and Joalt not Fear. Job 10. 13, 14, Let us therefore now begin to be Wife and Happy, let us immediately set upon a Work of so mighty Consequence, let us wash away by Repentance that Guilt, which is our perpetual Tormentor here; and, if not remov'd, will continue exercising the same Tyranny over us to all Eternity. And having made a Reconciliation with our Consciences by a Reformation of our Lives, ever after remember, to treat this great Principle within us with all Reverence and Awe, Liftning always to its first Stirrings and
Intimations, its first hints and whispers in our Hearts, Left from a friendly, tho' faithful Monitor, it turn first an accusing and aggravating Witness, and proceed to be a Severe and Inexorable Judge. And if our Heart Condemn us, God is greater than our Heart and knoweth all things. But Beloved, if our Heart Comdemn us not, then have we confidence towards God, then may we lift up our heads with Joy and Triumph at the great Day; and in the mean while, all guilty and distracting Fears being banisht, enjoy a Taft of that Peaceful Bliss here, which we hope to be fully satisfy'd with hereafter. Then we shall to our unspeakable Comfort find, that both as to our Present and Future State, what is Foretold by the Prophet shall be verify'd, The Work of Righteousness ball be Peace, and the Effect of Righteaufness Quietness and Asurance for Ever.
Which God of his Infinite Mercy grant tbro' Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1 John II. 4, 5. He that faith I know Him and
keepeth not His Commandments, is à Lyar and the Truth is not
in Him. But whoso keepeth his Words, in
Him verily is the Love of God
T HE two commanding Faculties of
the Reasonable Soul, and which diftinguish it from that of the
Brutes that perish, are the Underftanding and the Will; 'and of these two Noble Faculties the Nobleft Acts are Knowledge and Love, the One shining like Light in the Understanding, the Other burning
A a 2
like Fire in the Will; and of these two the One has Truth, and the Other Good ness, for its proper Object; in which it is exquisitely delighted, and continually employ'd. Now God being Original Truth, and Essential Goodness ; Truth in to Eminent a manner, that Nothing else is True, but as it is conformable to the Primitive Ideas, which are ever present in his Eternal Mind; and Goodness so absolute, that nothing befides is Good, but by participation of That which is ever streaming forth from his inexhaustible fulness; it unavoidably follows that to Know God is the higheft Excellence of our Understanding, and to love him the utmost Perfection of our Will. To aspire therefore to the attainment of these chief accomplishments of a Rational Being; and in order to that, to 'enquire into the Nature of them, is without question both our greateft Priviledge and most bounden Duty. Now both of these are here treated of by the Apostle in my Text, And who so qualify'd to inftruct us in the Knowledge of God, as St John the Divine? Who fo fit to explain to us the Nature of Love, as the Disciple whom Jesus lovd? and it is he, that tells us, that the Only True Knowledge, and the Only Perfeat Love is Obedience Obedience is so much the Perfection both of the Knowledge and Love of God, fo properly the