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I renounce mine own wisdom, and do here take thee for mine only guide. I renounce mine own will and take thy will for my law.
And since thou hast told me that I must suffer if I will reign, I do here covenant with thee to take my lot as it falls with thee, and by thy grace assisting, to run all hazards with thee, verily supposing that neither life nor death shall part between thee and me.
And because thou hast been pleased to give me thy holy laws as the rule of my life, and the way in which I should walk to thy kingdom, I do here willingly put my neck under thy yoke, and set my shoulder to thy burden, and subscribe to all thy laws, as holy, just, and good. I solemnly take them as the rule of my words, thoughts, and actions; promising that though my flesh contradict and rebel, yet I will endeavor to order and govern my whole life according to thy direction, and will not allow myself in the neglect of any thing that I know to be my duty.
Only, because through the frailty of my flesh I am subject to many failings, I am bold humbly to protest that unallowed miscarriages, contrary to the settled bent and resolution of my heart, shall not make void this covenant; for so thou hast said.
Now, Almighty God, searcher of hearts, thou knowest that I make this covenant with thee this day, without any known guile or reservation; beseeching thee, that if thou seest any flaw or falsehood therein, thou wouldst discover it to me, and help me to do it aright.
And now, glory be to thee, O God the Father, whom I shall be bold from this day forward to look upon as my God and Father, that ever thou shouldst find out such a way for the recovery of undone sinners. Glory be to thee, O God the Son, who hast loved me, and washed me from my sins in thine own blood, and art now become my Saviour and Redeemer. Glory be to thee, O God the Holy Ghost, who by thine almighty power hast turned my heart from sin to God.
O dreadful Jehovah, the Lord God omnipotent, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, thou art now become my covenant Friend, and I through thine infinite grace am become thy covenant servant. Amen. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
TO GOD'S COVENANT PEOPLE.
Come, ye people beloved, you that are highly favored: the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among men. The lines are fallen to you in a pleasant place, yea, you have a goodly heritage. Come and enter upon your lot; let your hearts be glad, let your glory rejoice. But that your joy may be full, hearken to these following counsels.
I. MAKE SURE YOUR INTEREST in the covenant. Rejoice not in that which is none of thine. Make sure; all lies upon this; your life and all the comforts and concerns of it, both your eternal safety hereafter and your success in all the parts of your Christian course here, depend on your interest in the covenant. What have you, if Christ be not yours; and what have you in Christ, if you be not in covenant? Whence are your hopes, either of mercy at last, or of prospering in any thing at present, but from the covenant of promise? And what have you thence, if your name be not in it? O give not rest to yourselves, till this be put out of doubt; whatever duties you perform, whatever ease or hope you find hereupon, whatever transport of affection you feel in your hearts, in the midst of all inquire, “But am I in covenant ?” How shall I know that? you will say. Why, make a strict and narrow inquiry whether those special graces already mentioned be wrought within you. Common mercies, though even these are covenant mercies to the saints, yet will not prove themselves so to be; but special graces will be their own evidence. Things outward fall alike to all: No man knoweth love or hatred by aught that befalls him. Eccl. 9:1. Thou mayest be a son or an alien, notwithstanding all that thou enjoyest or sufferest here; but there is not one of the forementioned graces but is a child's portion, God's mark upon the heart, to distinguish children from strangers. Prove that thou truly knowest the Lord, hast one heart, a tender heart, etc., and thou therein provest thyself to be a child of promise. Read over the descriptions that have been given of these graces ; observe diligently where the main difference lies between common and special grace; compare thy heart with it, and thereby thou mayest give a judgment of thy state. If it be yet questionable whether such evidence be found or not, sit not down till thou hast obtained it; but having obtained,
II. KEEP YOUR EVIDENCES CLEAR. Have you peace? maintain it carefully. The hidden manna will never breed worms by long keeping. Content not yourselves that you once had peace ; it will be but a poor livelihood you will get out of what is wasted and lost. Get you good evidences that God is yours, and keep them by you till you need them no more. Grace is your best evidence; cherish and preserve it. Get a seeing eye, and keep your eye open; get a single heart, and let it not be again divided; get a tender heart, and keep it tender: let the love and fear of God be acted in holy obedience. An obedient, gracious, watchful, active life will keep grace in heart; and flourishing grace will speak for itself and you. Look not that the Lord should so far countenance your declinings to a more fleshly, careless state, as to smile upon you in such a state; God will not be an abettor to sin. Count upon it, that your grace and peace, your duty and comfort will rise and fall together; suspect those comforts that accompany you into the tents of wickedness, and forsake you not when you forsake your God. Keep up your spirits, and then lift up your heads, keep heedfully on your way, and your joy shall no man take from you. Particularly,
1. Keep close to God. Keep thyself under his eye and influences. As both thy grace and thy comforts had their birth, so must they have their nourishment from heaven. Lose the sight of the sun, and darkness follows. Let thine eyes be towards the hills. Let divine love be the pleasure of thy life. Let it be thy Lord's cord upon thy heart, let it bind thee to him ; he loves captives, let thine ear be bored to the threshold; be familiar in heaven, keep thine acquaintance there, and be at peace; chide back thy gadding heart: “Soul, whither art thou going? who hath the words of eternal life ?" Let the interviews of love between thy Lord and thee be constant; let them not be limited to some few holy days of thy life. Count not thou hast lived that day, in which thou hast not lived with God.