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and make you unfit for the service of God. I say to you, as David to his son, And thou Solomon, my son,
know thou the God of thy fathers, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts : if thou seek him, he will be found of thee ; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Children, as soon as you are capable of knowing any thing, I would have you labour to know God, own him, love him, obey him, and serve him, and that with a willing mind, knowing that he searcheth your hearts ; you cannot deceive him, for he knows the imagination of all your thoughts better than you know them yourselves. If you seek him, he will be found of you : you may seek earthly friends, and at last be disappointed : you may seek riches, and lose your labour: but if you do rightly seek God, he will be found of you, and then happy are you for ever. You see that if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever.
O miserable and wretched are
they that are cast off by God; where shall they go for comfort that have lost his friendship and favour.
Children, if you lose all you have in the world, it is nothing to the loss of God's favour : if you lose father and mother, yet if God will take you up, you are happy: if all friends fail you, if God do not fail nor forsake you, nor cast you off, still you may be happy. Your true felicity lieth not in the things of this life, but in your portion in the everlasting God.
My children, if you honour God, he will honour you; but if you despise him, he will lightly esteem you : he will be with you while you are with him ; but if you forsake him, wonder not if he will forsake you : draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Children, honour God by choosing his word for your rule and guide, by choosing him for your alone portion : prefer him before all the world ; so that if the devil should come to you, as once to your blessed Saviour, and tell you of giving you great matters if you will but serve him, yet resolve to serve and please God : though he see fit to afflict you, yet love him and cleave to him, trust in him, and rely upon him. Honour God by keeping his commandments, by believing his promises, by walking in his ways : rather choose to die at a stake for your religion, than to deny God or his cause. Hath God said, he will be with you while you are with him ? 0 then keep close to God; beg him to keep you from falling, to preserve you blameless and unreproveable unto his heavenly kingdom : implore him to keep you by his mighty power through faith unto salvation.
Draw nigh to God in a way of duty, and he will draw nigh to you in a way of mercy.
My dear children, I charge and command you to love God, and keep his commandments : his commandments are not grievous, but his laws are all holy, just, and good. Let it be your aim and end, living and dying, to approve yourselves to God. Let his word direct and guide, counsel and comfort you in all conditions and states of life, whether high or low, rich or poor, in health or sickness : whatever your condition be in the world, if you belong to God, he can and will order it for your good ; therefore let that be your first care, that you are his. You are his by creation, you are his by redemption and purchase; therefore give up yourselves entirely to him, to be ruled, and guided, and disposed of as your heavenly Father thinketh meet. Say, Lord, here we are, do with us as seemeth best to thy godly wisdom : do but love us, and delight in us, and own us, and approve us, and take us for thine own; and then take what method thou pleasest to bring us to glory
Dear children, you were both dedicated to God in your infancy : remember to renew and keep your baptismal covenant, wherein you did promise before God, men, and angels, to renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to be entirely the Lord's, and his only; to keep his laws, and commandments, and statutes all the days of your life : dare not to live in the breach of any of them; watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation. Take heed of taking God's name in vain, of playing on the Lord's day, of lying, swearing, and idleness. I repeat these again, as being very common, and little taken notice of in the world.
My dear children, remember this counsel of your dear, deceased mother, as one that had a great concern for your precious and immortal souls.
When my spirit is overwhelmed, lead me, O Lord, to the Rock that is higher than myself! If I had no supports now to fly to, more than this vain world affords, I were a miserable creature; but God hath been pleased, in some measure, to bless me with