Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

thou mayest Alee by, and that is the straight door of conversion and the new birth. Unless thou turn unfeignedly from all thy fins, and come to Jesus Christ, and take him for “the Lord thy righteousness," and walk in him in holiness and newness of life; as the Lord liveth, it is not more certain that thou art now out of hell, than that thou shalt without fail be in it but a few days or nights from hence. O fet thy heart to think of thy case. Is not thine everlasting misery or wel. fare that which doth deserve a little consideration ? Look again over the miseries of the unconverted. If the Lord hath not spoken by me, regard me not; but if it be the very word of God, that all this misery lies upon thee, what a case art thou in? Is it for one that hath his fenses to live in such a conditon, and not to make all possible expedition for preventing his utter ruin? O man! who hath betwitched thee, Gal. ii. 1.? chat in the present life thou shouldeft be wise enough to forecast thy business, foresee thy danger, and prevent thy mil. chief; but in matters of everlasting consequence shouldest be light and careless, as if they little concerned thee. Why, is it nothing to thee, to have all the attributes of God engaged against thee : Canft thou do well without his favour? Canft thou escape his hands, or endure his vengeance ? Doft thou hear the creation groaning under thee, and hell groaning for thee, and yet think thy case good enough? Art thou in the paw of the lion, under the power of corruption, in the dark noi. fome prison, fettered with lufts, working out thy own damnation; and is not this worth the confidering? Wilt thou make light of all the terrors of the law, of all its curses and thunderbolts, as if

3

they were but the report of children's pop-gans, or thou wert to war with their paper pellets ? Doft thou laugh at hell and destruction, or canst thou drink the envenomed cup of the Almighty's fury, as it were but a common portion ?

“ Gird up now thy loins like a man, for I will “ demand of thee, and answer thou me,” Job xl. 7. Art thou such a leviathan, as that the scales of thy pride should keep thee from thy Maker's coming at thee? Wilt thou esteem his arrows as straw, and the instruments of death as rotten wood ? Art thou chief of all the children of pride, even that thou shouldest count his darts as stubble, and laugh at the shaking of his spear? Art thou made without fear, and contemneft his barbed irons & Job xli. Art thou like the horse that paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his

strength, who goeth out to meet the armed men? Doft thou mock at, fear, and art not affrighted, neither turneft back from God's sword, when his quiver rattleth against thee, the glittering spear and the shield? Job xxxix. 21. 23. Well, if the threats and calls of the word will not frighten thee, nor awaken thee, I am sure death and judgment will. 0! what wilt thou do when the Lord cometh forth against thee, and in his fury falleth upon thee, and thou shalt feel what thou readeft ? If, when Daniel's enemies were cast into the den of lions, both them and their wives and their children, the lions had the mastery of them, and broke their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den, Dan. vi.

21;

what fhall be done with thee when thou fallest into the hands of the living God, when he shall gripe thee in his iron arms, and grind and crush thee into a thousand pieces in his wrath?

O do not then contend with God! « Repent and « be converted,” so none of this shall come upon thee, Ifa. lv. 6, 7. “ Seek ye the Lord while he

may be found ; call upon him while he is near : • Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighte

ous man his thoughts; let him return unto the « Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to Four God, for he will abundantly pardon."

C H A P. VI. Contairing DIRECTIONS for ConverSION. Mark x. 19. And there came one and kneeled to him,

and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life. EFORE thou readeft these Directions, I ad

I his holy angels, that thou resolve to follow them (as far as conscience shall be convinced of their agreeableness, to God's word and thy state) and call in his allistance and blefling, that they may succeed : And as I have fought the Lord, and consulted his oracles what advice to give thee, lo muft thou entertain it with that awe, reverence, and purpose of obedicnce, that the word of the living God doth require.

Now then attend; “ Set thine heart unto all " that I shall tellity unto thee this day; for it is

not a vain thing, it is your life,Deut. xxxii. 46. This is the end of all that has been spoken hitherto, to bring you to set upon (urning, and making use of God's means for your conversion. I would not trouble you nors

before
you:

rime," with the foret Mougt of your eternal misery, but in order to your making your escape. Were you

Il torment you

Thut up under your present misery without remedy, it were but mercy (as one speaks) to let

you alone, that you might take in that little poor comfort that you are capable of in this world; but you may yet be happy, if you do not wilfully refuse the means of

your recovery: Behold, I hold open the door to you; arise, take your flight : I set the way of life before you, walk in it, and “ you shall live, and

not die,Deut. xxx. 19. Fer. vi. 16. It grieves me to think you should be your own murderers, and throw yourselves headlong, when God and man cries out to you, as Peter in another case to his master, “O spare thyself.”

Hear then, O finner! and as ever thou would it be converted and saved, embrace the following counsel.

Direčt. I. “ Set it down with thyself as an un“ doubted truth, that it is impossible for thee ever " to get to heaven in this thy unconverted state.' Can any other but Christ save thee? and he tells thee he never will do it, except thou be regenerated and converted, Matt. xviii. 3. john iii. 3. Doth he not keep the keys of heaven è and canit thou

get in without his leave? As thou must, if ever thou come thither in thy natural condition, without a sound and thorough renovation

Direct. II. • Labour to get a thorough fight " and lively sense and feeling of thy sins." Till men are weary and heavy. laden, and pricked at the heart, and quite fick of fin, they will not come unto Chrift, in his way, for ease and cure : Nor to purpose inquire, “ What Thall we do?” Matt. xi. 28. AEt ji.

37
Matt.ix. 12.

They muít set themselves down for dead men before they will come unto Christ that they may have life, John v. 40.

L..

cry out

Labour therefore to fet all thy sins in order before thee, never be afraid to look upon them, but let thy fpirit make diligent search, Psalm lxxvii. 6. Inquire into thine heart and into thy life; enter into a thorough examination of thyself, and all thy ways, Psalm cxix. 59. ; that thou mayest make a full discovery; and call in the help of God's Spirit, and a sense of thine own inability hereunto, for it is his proper work to convince of sin, John xvi. 80; spread all before the face of thy conscience till thy heart and eyes be set abroach : Lcave not striving with God and thy own soul, till it under the sense of thy fins, as the enlightened jailor, “ What must I do to be saved?” Aets xvi. 30. To this purpose,

“ Meditate on the numerousness of thy fins.' David's heart failed when he thought of this, and considered that he had more fins than hairs, Psalm lx, 12. This made him

out upon

multitude of God's tender mercies, Pfalm li. I. The lothsome carcafe doth not more hatefully swarm with crawling worms, than an unfanctified soul with filthy lufts; they'fill the head, the heart, the eyes, and mouth of him. Look backward : Where was ever the place, what was ever the time, in which thou didit not sin ? Look inward : What part of power canst thou find in foul or body, but it is poisoned with fin? What duty dost thou ever perform, into which poison is not thed? O, how great is the sum of thy debts, who haft been all thy life running behind-hand, and never didit nor canft pay off one penny? Look over the fin of thy nature, and all its cursed brood, the fins of thy life : Call to mind the omisions, commissions, the fins of thy thoughts, words, and actions, the sins of

cry

« IndietroContinua »