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yond ordinary, which will try their strength in a peculiar manner. Thus it is with God's servants ;

sometimes they meet with extraordinary temptations, or sufferings, and are called to extraordinary duties, to do for themselves, or to do for God. And truly there is the extraordinary duty of secret fasting and prayer, without which it is hard to live right : Zech. xii. 12. “ And the land shall mourn, every family apart."—We shall now,

ner of it.

II. Consider the service of God, as to the man

And unless it be performed in the right manner, God will not account it service to him, though ever so costly. If what we do, we would have the Lord to account it as service to him, we must perform it,

1. In obedience to, and under the sense of the commandment of God : Colof. iii. 17. (quoted above). What a person is prompted to, without any respect to the commandment of God, cannot be accounted as service to him, since it has no respect to his authority in the commandment: Psal. cxix. 6. “ Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have a respect unto all thy commandments.” We should learn to do good; and what we do, we should do it because God commands it to be done, if we would shew ourselves his servants. We should pray, because God commands it. We should eat, because he has said, Thou shalt not kill. We should work, because he hath said, Thou shalt not steal Now, doing what we do in this way, it will be all counted God's service. In serving God, we are,

2. To aim at his honour and glory in it: 1 Cor. X. 3iWhether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God!" We should make God, and not ourselves, he VOL. II.


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chief end of all our performances, if we would have them accounted service to God'; for God will never be the rewarder of that work whicla has not himself for the end of it: 6 Ye did not at all,” said God unto his ancient people, “ faft unto me, even unto me; and when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did ye not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves ?” Zech. vii. 5:6. If we seek ourselves, our own profit and peace, as our chief end in what we do, God will reject our services. For servant, if he should work ever fo diligently, if it be to himself, not to his master, it cannot be acceptable service ; fo also in this case. - In serving God, we are to do it,

3. Out of love to him : Heb. vi. 10. “ For God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and lahour of love, which ye have thewed towards his name, in that ye have ministered to the faints, and do minister.". This love is to be the predominant motive, of our service, and should be stronger than the fear of punishment, and hope of reward. God fees the heart, and no service but that which comes from the heart will be accepted of him : Col. iii. 23. “ And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.” He cares not for the service of slaves, who do not serve him, but through fear of his wrath ; nor can he away with the hireling-service of those who serve him only that they may make their own advantage by it. The heart must be in it and at it, or it is no service in his esteem.-We are to serve God,

Lastly, In faith : Rom. xiv. 23. “ For whatever is not of faith, is fin.” Faith is an ingredient abfolutely necessary in all service to God: Heb. xi. "G." Without faith, it is impossible to please him ; that cometh to God, must believe that he is,

and and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” And there is a threefold faith requisite here. (1.) The faith of God's command, requiring the duty, Rom. xiv. 23. ; for if persons do not believe that God requires such a duty of them, it is not service to him. (2.) The faith of the promise of strength for the duty, by which the soul is carried out of itself to the Lord, for strength to perform it. We are commanded to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. ii: 1. Thus God's service is called walking in the name of the Lord : Zech. x. 12.“ And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.” (3.) The faith of acceptance through Christ, by which the foul is carried over the work itself to Christ, to look for its acceptance only for his fake.--I am now to shew,

II. WHAT it is to make God's service our buliness, or when a person may be said to be thus employed. This will describe to you the person who may with confidence avow this claim, God, whose I am, and whom I serve.--In regard to such a perfon, I obferve,

1. That God's service is his grand design in the world, he may have many works on the wheel ; but this is the chief one : Psal. xxvii.


«. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I feek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” Whatever employment or trade a person betakes himself to, though he may at times put his hand to many other things, yet the work of his calling is still his chief business. Thus he who betakes himself to the service of God, will make this his chief


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business. There are many things to be done; but there is one thing more needful beyond all other things, and this is the person's great object in the world. Like Mary, he attends to this, and makes choice of that good part which shall not be taken from him, Luke, x. 42.-Here, however, there may be proposed this

Question, How may a person know whether he makes God's service his grand design in the world or not? As to this, I answer,

(1.) What is it that thou seekest to obtain with the greatest eagerness and concern ? Psal. iv. 6. 7. This is thy grand defign, be what it will; for what the heart is most fet upon, this the person will be most concerned about. Now, is it the service of God, in its various parts as above described, that your heart is fet upon ? then it is well, Pfal. xxvii. 4. (quoted above). That person whose heart runs like a hare in pursuit of the things of this world, but moves like a snail in the things of the world to come, is not so. He swims like a feather in eternal concerns, never diving into them; but he finks like lead in worldly ones, for these engross the whole of his attention.

(2). What is that the miscarrying in which lies nearest the heart? The person whose business is God's service, the miscarrying in soul-matters will lie moft heavy upon him; but the miscarrying of other matters will be heaviest on others. What the heart makes its chief business in a greater or less measure, will be most grievous. Thus Job, when he lost all, chap. i. was distressed; afterwards, when the Lord withdrew from him, he was infinitely more affected.

(3). When God's service and other things come in competition, which of those must yield in thy practice ? Luke, xiy. 26. “ If any come to me,


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and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and lifters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” A person who has got a sore leg, will dispose of his body as may best suit it; but a person who has a tree leg, will cut and carve with it, as may best suit his body. If a person has the unmortified love of the world in him, so that it is to him like a living limb, all things else mult yield to it; he will dit. pose of his religion, as may best suit his worldly interest, and will facrifice his fpiritual concerns to his temporal; and if God's service interfere with his worldly interest, he will juille it by. But it is just the contrary with those who make God's service their business; in their practice, every thing elle must yield to it. I observe,

2. That the person who makes God's service his business, serves him with the whole man : 1 Cor. vi. 20. “ For ye are bought with a price : Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." "He not only lends his hand to the work, as a person would do who passes by accidentally ; but fets his heart to it, as a person whofe business it is. He looks on himself as wholly the Lord's, and therefore devotes himself wholly to him, in foul and in body, to be at his call... It is the business of his mind, to know the Lord, and what belongs to his eternal peace, Song, i. 7. This is the grand inquiry with which he is taken up, What is the way I must take for another world? What is the duty Gud calls me to? What must I do to be saved ? --It is the business of his will, to conform to che will of God in all things : Psal. cxix. 112. “ I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes, always even unto the end." In that day in which the



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