life which thou hast laid up for those that persevere in holiness, and go from one degree of grace to another, till they come to appear before thee their God in Zion.

Hold out faith, hold out patience, it will not be long, O my soul, ere thou be at thy journey's end; therefore do and suffer the will of God patiently: if he see fit to deprive thee of those comforts that thou hast and dost now enjoy, be content; ere long it will not be a pin to choose what part thou hast acted here upon the stage of this world. You must shortly appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that you may receive according to the things done in the body, whether it be good or bad. O what a dreadful and fearful account have I to give; the sins of my youth and riper age are so many and so great, that I am confounded and amazed when I, though slightly, take a view of them. My omissions, and my commissions, iny original and my actual sins are such, that I cannot bear the scrutiny of my own conscience, how then shall I do when the Almighty contends with

me? My sins of ignorance, and sins against knowledge, my presumptuous sins, my abuse of mercies, my incorrigibleness under judgments, my unthankfulness for former mercies, and my distrust of the goodness of God for the future ; these may justly provoke God to depart from me, and say, he will have no more to do with such a vile wretch as I am.

But blessed Father! I humbly implore, that thou wilt not leave nor forsake the work of thy own hands : thou canst make me clean; O when shall it once be? Let my sins be all done away, and let me, me poor sinner, be made meet to partake of thy kingdom and glory. Othat my Saviour would say, as Paul did to Philemon, What he oweth, put that on mine account. Lord, my sins are so many and so foul, that I cannot answer for one of a thousand; how then shall I appear before thy tribunal, where I must give a strict account of all that I have done in the body, whether it be bad or good ? Lord, I cannot answer for my numberless number of sins: since thou hast, dear Re

deemer, died for sinners, let me not die in my sins. Thou hast paid a sufficient price for the sins of the whole world ; let not mine be laid to my charge, nor rise up against me in this world to shame me, nor in the other to condemn me. Remit my debt, too vast for me to pay, before the last accounting day.

Let me have some well-grounded hope, that the state of my soul is good ; that however it goes with my body and bodily concerns, that I


be assured it will go well with me to all eternity, and then I may be enabled to bear the inconveniences of my pilgrimage state. Lord, I humbly beg thou wouldst take care of me, and provide for me what thou in thy infinite wisdom and goodness seest fit for me, and let me be perfectly willing to be, do, and suffer what my God seeth good : not my will, but thine, O Lord, be done in all things; only I beg I may not be left to unsupportable difficulties.

Let me have thy love to sweeten all, and carry me patiently through the remaining

part of my days and trials.

Be with me when I pass through the fire, and through the water, for my eyes are unto thee, O Lord my God; in thee is my trust, leave not my soul destitute.


Ye will not come unto me that ye may have life. O the stupidity of poor, careless and secure sinners! What! will you not come to Christ, who alone can give you life, natural life, and spiritual life, and life eternal ? We spare no pains nor cost to save the life of the body; but what fools, what senseless and sottish creatures are we, not to provide for eternal life! What is this momentary life given us for, but to provide for our departure hence, to labour to get an interest in God and Christ?

Our time was given us that we might have ·an opportunity of working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and that we may make our calling and election sure; that we may get some comfortable hopes that we do belong to the election of grace. O get your title to heaven cleared, that you are born again, that your sins are pardoned, that your person is justified, and that you are truly sanctified and cleansed from all wilful filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Do not indulge yourself in any known sin, nor in omitting any known duty, nor in the commission of any known sin.

The least sin, without repentance, is damnable ; but the greatest sin, upon true repentance, is pardonable : for the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sins, even those that are of a crimson dye; If our sins be as scarlet, God can make them as white as snow, if we do but truly repent of them, and forsake them. Let not that complaint of the prophet, Hos. v. 4. be verified in you, that you will not frame your doings, to turn unto the Lord. What will you not do what in you lies, to frame your doing to

« VorigeDoorgaan »