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Lord, begged God's direction therein, for the furnishing of his family, and done his best endeavour in the way of means, he may have the more peace whatever way it fall.
3. Servants, in your disposing of yourselves, own. God the great Master; and make it a matter of fo-, lemn seriousness, what company ye cast yourselves into. Have regard to the interest of your souls, and not to your worldly interest only, in that matter. It is a business of great weight, how ye dispose of your..
felves, and there may be in it either a snare to your souls, 1 or advantage to them. And it is a pity it should be
fo lightly thought of. Labour to know the mind of God in the matter, by his word and by his providence. And labour to be sure ye be there where God is guiding you to by his eye set on you.
4. Lastly, Let every one in their civil affairs in the world own God, and carry their religion about with them, in whatever business providence lays to their hand. Remember the text, and split not on the rock which the princes of Israel dashed upon. Therefore,
ist, Entertain no project, though promising never 7 fo fair for your temporal advantage, which is not just,
being weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, no project which will wound your conscience in the leaft. Consider that passage, Il. xxxiii. 14. 15. The finners in Zion are afraid, fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites : who among us fall dwell with the devouring fire? who amongst us fball dwell with everlasting burnings ? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppresions, that soaketh his hands from-holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and sbutteth his eyes from seeing evil : hejball dwell on high, &c. An unjust project, tending to the wronging of any man, is what God will never bless; and is to be looked on as a bait of the devil, for catching the soul, wherein
the loss is a thousand times more than the gain, as will appear at balancing the accounts. · 2dly, Lay all your just projects and lawful designs, cspecially in matters of greatest weight, before the Lord in prayer, Phil. iv. 6. Be careful for nothing : but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. Beg of God direction to what may be most convenient for you, Prov. xxx. 8. laying yourselves down at his feet. It is he that has determined the bounds of all mens habitations, has the hearts of all men in his hands, and can bring them together for their comfort, who knew not of one another. Beg of him wisdom and discretion to manage your affairs; for he it is who doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him, Il. xxviii. 26. And beg of him success in yout. lawful undertakings, Psal. i. 3.
3dly, Pursue folemn prayers with frequent ejaculations to the Lord in the time of the management of your affairs, i Theff. v. 17. Pray without ceasing. Sometimes ye must come into difficulties in these things. Faithless thinking how to do, becomes not a Chriftian. Look up to the Lord, and think, pray, and consider what is best to be done. Perhaps the na.' ture of the thing will not allow folemn prayer. But people can never be in such a hurry or haste to come to a point, but they may get time for an ejaculation, for a glance of the eye of the soul to the Lord, as Nehemiah did, chap. ii. 4. There is a promise to fix on in such a case, Prov. iv. 12. When thou goeft, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runneft, thou Ahalt not stumble.
4thly, Hold closely and strictly by the rule of justice, as managing your affairs under the eye of a juft God, who hates all unrighteousness. God requires this of thee, Micah vi. 8. to do justly. i Thess. iv. 6. That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter. A man may be just in his dealings, and yet no good Chriftian; but no man can be a good
Chriftian who is not just in his dealings. Keep the golden rule of righteousness always before your eyes, Whatsoever ye would that men Azould do unto you, do ye
even fo to them. And do not to others, what you would 2) not have done to you in their circumstances. And
remember, that God the Judge of all is no respecter of perfons, nor can be bialled in favour of any man.
5thly, Never reckon that advantageous which will not be for God's honour, and for your soul's good, i Cor. x. 31. forecited. Separate gain from godli
ness, and the gain will not be worth the taking up at 1 your foot, being but a bait to cover the hook that will pierce into the soul. The interest of eternity is the greatest interest, and what is best for that is best for the man, be what he will. And therefore in all changes and projects whatsoever, ask yourselves, Will this be best for my soul's behoof?
6. Lastly, Manage your matters without anxiety and distruitful cares, but with a believing dependence on the Lord, having first laid them over on God. It becomes a Christian well to rest satisfied, and say, He fall chufe. our inheritance for us, Pfal. xlvii. 4. Anxiety is unprofitable; but dependence on the Lord both gives ease to the heart, and has its plentiful income of fruit in the Lord's own time. For motives, consider,
Motive 1. God's eye is on us at all times, and he will call us to an account of our behaviour in our civil affairs as well as in others, Eccl. xii. 13. 14. Fear God, and keep his commandments : for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Let us keep in view that awful tribunal then where-ever we go, whatever we be employed about; fo shall we be excited to walk as in the fight of him, who is now our witness, and will hereafter be our judge. Mot. 2. Our time is fo fhort, and the continuance
of mateffes in the wor Riches are
The Duty of acknow ledging God, &c. of our business in the world so uncertain, that nothing which can be gained by going out of God's way, is worth the pains of going off our way for it. A little ground will serve each of us ere long, and ere long we shall have no more portion in what is done under the sun.
Mot. 3. A little gain with God's good-will and approbation is better than much without it, Pfal. Xxxvii. 16. There is more fap and foison in it, men have a furer hold of it, and there is a vast difference in the after reckoning. • Mot. 4. This is the most comfortable way in case of matters misgiving, and in case of disappointments and crosses in the world. Our comforts in the world are very uncertain. Riches are not for ever. A man may meet with a cross in the way where God bids him go, and with a stroke in the way he went without God's leave. But the former has inward peace, which the other wants in that case.
Mot. 5. · At this rate, ye may have communion with God in your civil affairs, and experiences of the Lord's love in your worldly business, which the world knows not of, as Jacob had, Gen. xxxiii. 10. Answers of prayer are sweet in whatever matter they be; and to get a common mercy in the way of de : pendence on the Lord, puts a double value on it.
Mot. 6. The striving against the stream of a wickcd generation requires this. There are many to dishonour God, by not owning him in their civil affairs; join not with them, left religion be wounded through your fides. When the best is as a brier, and the most upright as a thorn-hedge, it paves the way for a national stroke, with which we are so much threatened. · Mot. 7. baft. As ever ye would have a blessing, and escape a curse on your labours, and your souls too, own God in your affairs. For whoso honoureth God, he will honour, and make him prosperous. Wisdom will be justified of her children.
Resolute cleaving to the Lord Jefus
illustrated and enforced..
Preached at Galafhiels, Sabbath afternoon, August 6 . 1721, after the Celebration of the Sacrament
of the Lord's Supper.
ACTs xi. 23.
would cleave unto the Lord.
TN fome addition make ton "Antioch and ot
TN fome preceding verses we have an account of
1 a great addition make to the Christian church, by the conversion of many in Antioch and other places. The means of it was the preaching of Christ; that is the appointed means of the converfion of finners, Gal. iii. 2. The occasion of the gospel coming to that people, was the perfecution raised at Jerusalem. Satan's design in it was to quench the holy fire, but God turned it about to the spreading and increasing of it. Thus Satan is often outfhot in his own bow; and God's people, the more they are oppressed, the more they grow. What this success was owing to, was the hand of the Lord with the preachers. No doubt there was a more than ordinary edge upon the spirits of the persecuted mic nifters who preached to them, but that was not it which did the business, but the hand of the Lord with them. The nearest means of their conversion was their believing : faith is that which turns the whole