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Therefore, my friends open your hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ, receive this blessed gift of God which he offers to you: And can God give you a greater, than the Son of his love ? And will not you gladly receive bim, and that great salvation which he hath purchased for you with his own blood ! But, say some people, we have received Christ, and believe in him, and believe the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures. But let me ask you, Who keeps house all this while ? What have you done for Christ? Christ hath died for you ; but hast thou lived to him? And hast thou died to the world, and died to thy sins and lusts ? Consider with yourselves, it is both your great duty and interest to die to sin, and live to Christ that died for you. And we must stand at Christ's tribunal, and give an account to him, of whatsoever we have done, whether good or bad ; and he will judge us at the great day of bis appearing. Blessed are you, that receive the blessed Son of God, that now stands in spirit at the door. and knocks : Open your heart, and make room for him, and let not tbe world keep bim out and he will come in, and sup with you, and you with him": And he will do that for you, which you cannot do for yourselves. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak : He will give the power over sin, and over the world, and over the devil: Whenever he shall assault thee with his temptations, say, Get thee behind me Satan, thou savourest not the things that be of God. When people come to be spiritually minded they will taste and savour the things, that are spiritual and heavenly: if they be not things. of God, do not touch with them, bave nothing to do with them; but walk in the spirit, and savour the things of the spirit. And hearken to the counsel of Christ, who speaks unto you in the name of wisdom; 'Oye simple ones understand wisdom, and ye fools be of an understanding heart; hear, for I will speak of excellent things, and the opening of
my lips shall be right things : Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors : For whoso findeth me, findeth life.' Hearken to the blessed counsel of Christ, hear his voice and obey it; they that do his will, shall know his doctrine : The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will shew them his covenant.
They that have the saving knowledge of God, and Christ Jesus, which is life eternal, they will walk in a correspondent and suitable manner to that knowledge, and be holy in all manner of conversation ; they will not be only nominal christians, but true christians, Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile : they will receive Christ Jesus, who is God's gift, and know the operation of his power in their souls. These persons are fit to live, and prepared to die; when Christ, who is their life, shall appear, they shall appear with him in glory. When the sound of the last trumpet shall be heard at the end of the world, time shall be no more; Come away! that day shall not be terrible to them that have put off the old man, and put on the new man; and have begun to live a new life, and to
have new affections, new thoughts, and resolu- tions, and have laid up their treasure in heaven,
where their hearts are also : They have that peace, which the world cannot give, and which death cannot take away. Blessed are they, that take sanctuary in the name of Jesus, as in a strong tower; they shall get power over their sins, and over the vanity of their minds, that die to sin, and live to God, and feel the constraining power and efficacy of the love of Christ, who hath loved them, and washed them from their sins, in his own blood, and made them kings and priests to God...
My friends, hear the voice of wisdom, who hath said, Whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord : But be that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul.' Be you early seekers : seek the kingdom of God in the first place. The Lord calls from heaven; ‘My Son, give me thine heart.' Let thy answer be; Lord take my heart, purify and cleanse it; break it, and make it new, make it fit for thy acceptance, that I may find favour in thy sight. Without me (saith our Saviour) ye can do nothing : Therefore desire him to do it for thee, and to work in thee both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. How dreadful is it to appear at the bar of God's justice, as miserable sinners! Those that have not Christ the great mediaator, to plead for them, are miserable indeed; Therefore lay hold on Christ now; believe in him, lay hold on his power and spirit in this day of your visitation. If thou art under the power of sin and Satan, thou mayest receive power from Christ, to overcome all the power of darkness: If the strong man armed hath got possession of thy heart, Christ will lay siege to it: and if thou be willing to open the door, Christ will come in and cast out the strong man, and spoil him of all his goods. He will cast out the grand enemy of thy soul, and take possession for himself ; that thou mayest be delivered from the power of Satan, and from the bondage of corruption, and brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God: And if the Son of God make thee free, thou shalt be free indeed. For this end Christ came into the world, for this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil; And he will not lose the design of his coming, but will finish transgression, and make an end of sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness.
Let us all come to Christ, and let none deceive themselves, and live in their sins, and yet think to come to Heaven: Be not deceived (saith the apostle) God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man
sows, that he shall also reap : He that sows to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap everlasting lise. Labour for a sure grounded hope, a just hope in the mercy of God for pardon and salvation; then you must know a work of Christ upon you, and ibe power of the Spirit of Christ within you, subduing your will to a holy subjection to the Divine Will; that you may say with the apostle; I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life wbich I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Then the call to judgment will be joyful to you; for you shall then be justified and acquitted before the whole world, at that great and general judgment, and have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and it shall be well with you for ever. Now, say to the righteous, it shall be well with him : not that it doth so appear at present ; for through many tribulations we must expect to enter into the kingdom of heaven: And many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver them out of them all. So that if in this life only (saith the apostle) we have hope, we are of all men most miserable : Yet, say to the righteous, it shall be well with him.' Whatsoever their trials, troubles and tribulations are, the Lord will deliver them in the best time; they have heaven in their eye, and they look to the recompense of reward. Now wbat hast thou in thine eye? Is it the high calling in Christ? Is this the mark thou aimest at, and which thou hast in view ? Is this the port and haven, that thou art sailing to, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame? Heb. xii. 2. The apostle, after he had been speaking of the suffering and martyr
dom of those great saints, of whom the world was not worthy; Heb. xi. How that through faith, they subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopt the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens; of women, that received their dead to life again, and others were tortured, not accepting of deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Then he comes to speak of the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and bids us, look unto him. Heb. xii. 1, 2, 3. “Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses ; Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us; and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith : Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied, and faint in your minds.” Blessed are they that can endure all these things, shame, reproach, contumely and disdain, persecutions and afflictions, that attend the testimony of Jesus ! Blessed are they, that can endure the cross, and despise the shame! It is an internal cross, which tbou must endure for Christ, or thy own heart will reprove thee, check thee and condemn thee for it : But if thou comest to know a being crucified with Christ, thou shalt reign with him, and be raised up to eternal glory with him. Unless thou knowest a dying to the world, and a being crucified with Christ, thou canst not have a well grounded hope of 'asting happiness.
fore now, Friends, examine yourselves our title to heaven. It is the wisdom and