« VorigeDoorgaan »
please the Lord ? What! will you not avoid some petty sins that do highly offend your good God, and may cause him to hide his face from you? Thus saith the Lord, Seek ye me, and ye shall live.
But may not our conscience condemn us, and tell us, that that precious time that our good God hath given us to seek him, and to be reconciled to him, and to make our peace with him, even that time hath been spent in sin and very vanity, in adding iniquity to iniquity? We are commanded to keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
It is to no purpose to expect mercy from Christ, or to hope for eternal life, if we do not what we can to keep ourselves in the love of God. O then! let it be your study day and night to approve yourselves to the Lord, cheerfully obey his commands, patiently submit to afflictions, thankfully receive mercies, and make a holy improvement of them: look to yourselves, that you lose not those things which ye have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward.
Allow not yourselves in any sin, though never so small in your own eyes, lest God should say, as unto the church of Ephesus, Though thou hast made a profession of my name, and hast made conscience of some gross sins ; Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
If our love to God and his ordinances be not as fervent as formerly; if our hatred of sin, or sinful courses be lessened; if our care to please God, and our fear to offend him, be less than heretofore, we have just reason to fear that God will deprive us of our forfeited gospel, or harden our hearts that we shall not profit by it: which dreadful judgment, O Lord, in mercy prevent. If our outward carriage before. men should seem never so
if we can approve ourselves to
our own consciences in many respects, yet the all-searching God may truly say, not only that he hath a few things against us, but many things against us; therefore it is our wisdom to search and try ourselves, and turn again to the Lord, from whom we have too deeply revolted.
God hath been pleased to deprive me of my dear husband ; so that my care ought to be doubled in the education of my poor children, when I must discharge his part, and my own duty too : I know not how soon God may call me out of this world; I have frequent warnings of my mortality by the death of others, and my own often indisposition. My children are now young, and therefore what I say may not make due impressions on them, by reason of their tender
age; and when I come to die, I know not whether I shall have time, opportunity, or my senses, then to speak to them of the things that belong to their everlasting peace : for ought I know, I then may be seized, as often I have been, with convulsion-fits, which may soon carry my soul out of this into an endless life; so that I may not have any leisure to counsel, instruct, or charge them to take care of their dear, precious, and immortal souls : therefore I shall leave my charge and commands in writing, that they may often take a view of them, as being the commands of their dying mother.
Dear children, I charge you, as you hope to meet me with comfort at the day of judgment, that you avoid all sins,—as lying, swearing, taking God's holy name in vain, which I particularly mention, as incident to your age. I charge you to make conscience of keeping the Sabbath day holy: do not think your own thoughts, nor speak your own words, nor do your own actions; remember it is God's day, and must be spent
in his service. Before you go to church, bless God for the mercies of the night past, for giving you leave to see the light of another day, especially another Sabbath day, wherein you may have an opportunity of waiting upon God, and getting good to your poor souls. When you are in the solemn assemblies of God's people, let your carriage be grave, serious, and awful, as remembering God sees you; and let your minds be attentive to what the minister saith : hear so that your souls may live : be not forgetful hearers, but be ye doers of the word, and so shall ye be blessed in all that you do. Do not spend any time in idle recreation, or walking in the fields upon the Lord's day, for the profanation of that day is an inlet to many other sins.
My dear children, spend some time every day in reading God's word, and in prayer : you know not what a blessing it is to have the Bible, therefore do not slight it, but make a good use of it: do not squander away your time in reading plays, and romances, and filthy books, which will corrupt your fancies,