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we would have been a willing people; we would have made no referves in clofing with Chrift.Confider,
4. That if Chrift is not loved fupremely, there is a root wanting, the fruit of which is neceffary to evidence fincerity. (1.) There is no root of univerfal obedience, the want of which will leave us afhamed, Pfal. cxix. 6. There will always be, in this cafe, one thing lacking, that will marr all other good things about us. There will always be fome idol of jealousy that gets Christ's room; fome offending right hand spared, that will bring the whole body to hell at length. (2.) There is no root for Christian fuffering, bearing the crofs of Chrift, which is a crofs of Christ's chufing, not of our own. Our part is, to take up the crofs that Chrift lays down to us; and without this we cannot be his difciples. And when Christ
lays on his crofs, it is found, that readily he will have the man tried in that which of all things lies nearest his heart, and bids faireft for Chrift's room; fo that, if any thing be dearer than Christ, the crofs readily discovers it, and the man's hypocrify with it.
You, then, that are to fit down at the Lord's table, may fee how you are to manage this folemn tranfaction, so as that it may be ratified in heaven. If you take Chrift, let thefe go their way. Lay down your all at Chrift's feet, with all folemn ferioufnefs; if there be ought kept back, you do but ruin your own fouls. The laws of Chrift's fchool are read before you. Examine yourselves this night, whether ye be content with Christ on these terms or not. If you be not, it will be unneceffary, and even criminal, for you to come to his table; you cannot be his disciples. If you be
content, then give up your all to him, and lay down your all at his feet. Because of the deceit
fulness of your heart, it will be good to be very diftinct and particular in this point, on which eternity depends.-In confequence, I would advise you,
1. To give up with all your lufts. You have held the grip long, let it now go: "Ephraim fhall fay, What have I to do any more with idols?" Hof. xiv. 8. Let none escape, let there be no reserved morfel, as you would not quit your lot and portion in Christ. Let every man give up with " the iniquity he knoweth," as the phrafe is, 1 Sam. iii. 13. If there be any bofom-luft, which has been a fignal competitor for the heart with the Lord, let it be given up with in a particular manner. Sure, if lawful things must be laid at the Lord's feet, unlawful must much more be laid down. I would advise you,
2. To lay down at the Lord's feet your nearest and dearest relations, fo as that you may never break with Chrift for them; his favour, truths, and ways, must be dearer to you than them. And fure I am, if thou meetest with Chrift at his table, thou wilt fay, "Henceforth know we no man after the flesh." I will love my father, mother, wife, children, brethren, and fifters; but my Lord Jefus more than all.'
3. Lay down at the Lord's feet your substance in the world, be it great or fmall, houses and lands, goods, &c. that he may difpofe of them as he may fee meet. Times have been, and they are like to return, wherein the Lord has fent for these things from profeffors, even by wicked messengers, as he fent for the afs and colt, Matth. xxi. 3. " Saying, The Lord hath need of them." And they that had before fairly given them, with themselves, to the Lord, did not stand to deliver him his own: "Go thou, and do likewife."
4. Lay down at the Lord's feet, your credit and efteem in the world. This is often a great idol, and goes betwixt many a man and Christ. There are few that ever have it, but fuffer an eclipfe in it fome time or other. God even fends for his people's credit, to be a stepping-stone for his glory. But if thou makest sure work in this tranfaction, thou wilt even be content at his call to creep down, and lie among the pots, till he himself bring thee out again. Thou wilt be content to commence a fool to the world, that thou mayeft be wife to God.
5. Lay down at the Lord's feet, your ease and liberty: Acts, xxi. 13. "I am ready," faid Paul, "not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerufalem, for the name of the Lord Jefus." The flesh will cry, Man, fpare thyself;' but the spirit muft offer all to the Lord. Thou wilt not break with Chrift, though thou shouldft never get an easy hour, but be hunted as partridges, till in heaven. He to whom his ease and liberty is dearer than Chrift, is a flave to the devil, and cannot be Chrift's disciple.
6. Lay down at Chrift's feet, your defires. Your defires fhall be to your fpiritual Husband, who shall chuse for you your inheritance, Pf. xlvii. 4. If he fhall grant your lawful defires, it is well; if he see meet to refuse them, it must even be well alfo in your eye; you are to take himself, and give up with your own will, and fay, Thy will be done.
Laftly, Lay down at the Lord's feet, your life. Let your bodies be given now to the Lord, not only for fervice, but also for a facrifice, if he requires it. The text makes it plain, none go to heaven but martyrs, either in action or in affection. It may be the Lord may have use for your ftrength, for your health, it may be for your
blood. Refign all to him now. If you hate not your life, you cannot be his difciple. Be not deterred from the facrament by this, for, by the word of God, the way to heaven is no easier.. But when the time comes, that the faints are to be carried to the table above, they will not be supposed to stand and look on, as when they present themselves before the lower table; the fearful and unbelieving fhall be excluded from that table, Rev. xxi. 8. It is neceffary at all times. that people fhould manage matters thus when they fit down at the Lord's table, but especially at this time, when the cloud of the church's trouble is gathering so fast, and our peace is flying from us. That party has now got the afcendant, whose temper always has been to breathe out threatenings, cruelty, and blood, and furioufly to drive their plough over the back of the church, and to make their furrows deep, till the righteous. Lord do cut the cords of the ungodly crew. They have brought in their fuperftitions already, by the favour of a toleration which reflects fhame on themfelves before the world, as if they were men of no faith, but as to one article. By their means we are threatened with idolatry, and with a French government. But God fits in heaven, and can bring order out of confufion. Let us prepare for whatsoever may come, honeftly committing all to. the Lord, and he will raife the fincere foul above itself, and give the back to bear its own burden, if we be but willing to ftoop, and take it on for his fake. He left all for us, and fhall we account any thing too much for him? However, this is the fettled law of heaven, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and fifters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my difciple. Amen. R 3
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
LUKE, xvi. 26. If any man come unto me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and chil dren, and brethren, and fifters, yea, and his own life alfo, he cannot be my difciple.
AVING, in the preceding discourse, attended to what was proposed as the first and second heads of method, I now proceed,
III. To offer fome reafons why Chrift is dearer to his true difciples than what is deareft to them in the world. Among other reasons, the following are mentioned.
1. Because to every true disciple, fin, of all bitter things, is the bittereft. A man will get a clearer view of the ftars from the bottom of a deep pit, than from the top of a high mountain; and the lower that a man is laid in humiliation for fin, Chrift will be the dearer to him. Many things,
* Delivered at Selkirk, Monday, Oct. 12, 1712.