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sense his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter therefore into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise ; be thankful unto him, and bless his name*. My brethren, it is a favour in which the salvation of

your souls is concerned ; and can that be small? Or ought it ever to be thought of but with the highest emotion, and enlargedness of heart? The gracious purposes of God towards his children are, to make every one of them Higher than the kings of the eartht, to give them more solid satisfaction than crowns and kingdoms can afford, and at length to raise them to a diadem of immortal glory. Oh what reason have you, with the apostle, to say, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, even to the hope of an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation I! Survey this great privilege which God has already given you, this high security, these glorious hopes. Has he not brought the beginning of glory already into your souls? Has he not wrought you to a filial temper, and taught you to Cry Abba, Father g? Has he not, in some measure, formed and fashioned your minds to a meetness to dwell with angels and perfected spirits in heaven? So that you can now say, even with relation to that which you already feel, that you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God I. You Are even now the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what you shall be [; but there is enough appears, and enough known, at present, of what you shall be, and of what you are, to revive, to delight, to transport the heart.

And is not this too, () thou aflicted soul, who art called to encounter with the most painful difficulties, enough to be the means of thy support, and to afford thee matter for thy strong consolation? You that are Tossed with tempests**, and obliged to struggle under various and long continued burdens, have you not here a joy that the world can neither bestow nor impair, a pleasure in public and in secret duties, and a Hope which is as the anchor of the soul both sure and stedfast, entering into that within the veil ++, and so enabling you to outride these storms and tempests? How glorious does your lot appear, when viewed in the light of scripture? You are expressly told, All things are yours*: The Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold froin yout: All the paths of the Lord, are mercy and truth to you f; and ere long you shall see how they are so. You have a sight by faith of the inheritance appointed for his children ; but he does not intend merely a distant prospect for you: You shall go in, and possess that good land , and shall ere long Be absent from the body, and present with the Lord ||: Yea, the Lord Jesus Christ ere long Shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe [, to be glorified and admired, in and by you in particular ; when bearing the image of your heavenly Father, you shall rise far beyond this earth and all its vain anxieties, and vainer amusements, to dwell for ever in his presence. And what is there in this world, that you imagine you want, which is by any means to be compared with these enjoyments and hopes ? Surely, Sirs, in such a view, you should be much more than content; and should feel your inward admiration, love, and joy, bursting the bonds of silence, and tuning your voices, that have been broken by sighs, into the most cheerful and exalted anthems of praise : Especially when you consider,

* Psal. c. 3, 4. || Eph. ü. 19.

* Psal. Ixxxix. 27.

i John iii. 2.

I 1 Pet. i. 3--5. ** Isa. liv. 11.

Gal. iv. 6. ++ Heb. vi. 19.

« How few there are that partake of this important favour, which God has extended to you."

I hope, I need not, after all I have said, remind you at large, that I intend not by any means to speak, as excluding those of different forms and different experiences ; as if, in consequence of that diversity, they had Neither part nor lot in this matter **. I hope that many, who are not so ready, as it were to be wished, to receive one another, are nevertheless in this respect Received by Christ to the glory of God ft. Yet the temper and conduct of the generality of mankind, even under a christian profession, too plainly shews, that they have the marks of eternal ruin upon them: And one can form no hope concerning them, consistent with the tenor of the whole word of God, any other than this, that possibly they may hereafter be changed into something contrary to what they are, and in that change be happy.

Now that you are not left among the wide extended ruins of mankind, but are set as pillars in the building of God is what you bave been taught by the preceding discourses to range of medicines, is ready, while life yet remains, not en. tirely to give over, but to repeat again what he had prescribed unsuccessfully before. And if God spares our lives, no doubt many of those things which I have before been urging, must in substance be repeated. But at present I will desist : I know not what more, or farther, to say : And if you are utterly unimpressed with what I have already laid before you, especially with regard to the character of the unregenerate,--the nature of regeneration,--the absolute necessity of it ;--and of the divine agency in producing it ;-I know not what further to urge, and must leave you either to the grace, or the judgment of God. The time will certainly come, when you will all see, and own the importance of these things. The word of God will, in one sense or another, take hold of every soul that hears it, and perhaps on some of you, in a very terrible manner, and in a very little time. But if it do, I may say with the apostle Paul, when in token of the solemnity with which he spoke, He shook his raiment, and took leave of his obstinate hearers, I am clean from your blood *; and since you refuse to be instructed, I turn to those who will regard what I say. And thus, according to the method I at first proposed, I proceed,

* 1 Cor. ij. 21. 11 2 Cor, v. 8.

* Psal. Ixxxiv. 11.

2 Thess, i, 10.

* Psal. xxv. 10.
** Acts viii. 21.

& Deud, iv. 22.
# Rom. xy. 7.

Seventhly, To conclude these discourses with an address to those, who, by divine grace, are experimentally acquainted with this great work of regeneration ; to shew them how they ought to be affected with the consideration of the truths that have been offered, and what improvement they should make of such a course of sermons as you have lately been attending.

Out of a general regard to the glory of God, and the good of souls, you have attended on what has hitherto been spoken to persons of a very different character; and I hope not altogether without some sensible refreshment and advantage : But now hear more immediately for yourselves, and suffer a word of exhortation in such particulars as these,-Be thankful to God for what you have experienced Improve it as an engagement to behave in a suitable manner -Study to promote the work of God upon the hearts of others :-And long for that blessed world, where the change that is now begun, and is gradually advancing in your souls, shall be universal and complete. Your own wisdom and piety have, no doubt, prevented me in each of these particulars; but you will be glad to enter when my

* Acts Xviü. 6,

than the least of all saints, is this grace given*, that I should be a regenerate adopted child of God, begotten to an inheritance of eternal glory. “ Oh,”, may one christian

say, “How obstinately did I strive against my own happiness! like a poor creature, that having received some dangerous wound, and being delirious with a fever attending it, struggles with the band that is stretched out to heal him. How did I draw back from the yoke of God! How did I trifle with convictions, and put them off from one time to another! So that God might most righteously have awakened any heart rather than mine. He admonished me by his word, and by his providence: He sent afflictions; he wrought out deliverances for me ; and yet I went on to harden my heart, as if I had been afflicted, and Delivered, that I might work greater abominations t; till The Lord being merciful to me, laid hold upon me, and drew me out of Sodom [.."

And here another christian will be ready to say within himself, “ If the

grace of God wrought sooner upon me, soul was more pliant, when my heart was comparatively tender, in infancy or childhood, or in early youth; yet what ungrateful returns have I since made for his mercy! How defective bave I been in those fruits of holiness, which might reasonably have been expected from me, who have so long a time been Planted in the house of the Lord! Alas for me! that I have flourished no more in the courts of my God S. How often have I forgotten and forsaken him ! how cold and negligent has my spirit been ! how inconstant my walk, how indolent my behaviour, for these many years that have passed since I was first brought into his family! How little have I done in his service, in proportion to the advantages I have enjoyed! All this he foresaw; all the instances in which my Goodness would be as a morning cloud, and as the early dewll; all the instances in which this perverse heart of mine, so prone to backslide, should Turn aside, and start back from him, like a deceitful bow 1: And yet he has mercy upon me, I know not why : I cannot pretend to account for it any otherwise than by saying, Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight**: Thou hast mercy on whom thou wilt have mercy, and thou hast compassion on whom thou wilt have compassion tt. I have revolted deeply from thee again and again ; yet thou sufferest me not to be lost to this very day, nor wilt thou ever suffer it: Thou restorest my soul; thou leadest me in the paths of

+

* Eph. iii. 8. | Hos, vi. 4.

+ Jer. vii. 10. Gen. xix. 16.

Psal. lxxviii. 57. ** Mat. xi. 26.

& Psal. xcii. 13. + Rom. ix, 15.

range of medicines, is ready, while life yet remains, not en. tirely to give over, but to repeat again what he had prescribed unsuccessfully before. And if God spares our lives, no doubt many of those things which I have before been urging, must in substance be repeated. But at present I will desist : I know not what more, or farther, to say: And if you are utterly unimpressed with what I have already laid before you, especially with regard to the character of the unregenerate,-the nature of regeneration,--the absolute necessity of it ;-and of the divine agency in producing it ;-I know not what further to urge, and must leave you either to the grace, or the judgment of God. The time will certainly come, when you will all see, and own the importance of these things. The word of God will, in one sense or another, take hold of every soul that hears it, and perhaps on some of you, in a very terrible manner, and in a very little time. But if it do, I may say with the apostle Paul, when in token of the solemnity with which he spoke, He shook his raiment, and took leave of his obstinate hearers, I am clean from your blood *; and since you refuse to be instructed, I turn to those who will regard what I say. And thus, according to the method I at first proposed, I proceed,

Seventhly, To conclude these discourses with an address to those, who, by divine grace, are experimentally acquainted with this great work of regeneration ; to shew them how they ought to be affected with the consideration of the truths that have been offered, and what improvement they should make of such a course of sermons as you have lately been attending.

Out of a general regard to the glory of God, and the good of souls, you have attended on what has hitherto been spoken to persons of a very different character; and I hope not altogether without some sensible refreshment and advantage: But now hear more immediately for yourselves, and suffer a word of exhortation in such particulars as these,-Be thankful to God for what you have experienced :-Improve it as an engagement to behave in a suitable manner :-Study to promote the work of God upon the hearts of others :-And long for that blessed world, where the change that is now begun, and is gradually advancing in your souls, shall be universal and complete. Your own wisdom and piety have, no doubt, prevented me in each of these particulars; but you will be glad to enter

* Acts Xviü. 6,

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