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we would have been a willing people; we would have made no reserves in closing with Chrift.Consider,
4. That if Christ is not loved supremely, there is a root wanting, the fruit of which is neceffary to evidence sincerity. (1.) There is no root of universal obedience, the want of which will leave us ashamed, Psal. cxix. 6. There will always be, in this case, one thing lacking, that will marr all other good things about us. There will always be some idol of jealousy that gets Christ's room ; some offending right hand spared, that will bring the whole body to hell at length. (2.) There is no root for Christian suffering, bearing the cross of Christ, which is a cross of Christ's chusing, not of our own. Our part is, to take up the crofs that Christ lays down to us; and without this we cannot be his disciples. And when Christ lays on his cross, it is found, that readily he will have the man tried in that which of all things lies neareft his heart, and bids fairest for Christ's room ; so that, if any thing be dearer than Christ, the cross readily discovers it, and the man's hypocrisy with it.
You, then, that are to sit down at the Lord's table, may fee how you are to manage this folemn transaction, fo as that it may be ratified in heaven. If you take Christ, let these go their way. Lay down your all at Christ's feet, with all folemn fériousness, if there be ought kept back, you do but ruin your own souls. The laws of Christ's school are read before you. Examine yourselves this night, whether ye be content with Christ on these terms or not. If
be not, it will be unnecessary, 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.
all at his feet. Because of the deceit. fulness of your heart, it will be good to be very distinct and particular in this point, on which eternity depends.--In consequence, I would advise you,
1. To give up with all your lusts. You have held the grip long, let it now go: “ Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols ?" Hof. xiv. 8. Let none escape, let there be no reserved morsel, as you would not quit your lot and portion in Christ. Let every man give up with the iniquity he knoweth,” as the phrase is, 1 Sam. iii. 13. If there be any bosom-lust, which has been a signal 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
nearest and dearest relations, so as that you may never break with Christ for them; his favour, truths, and ways, must be dearer to you than them. And sure I am, if thou meetest with Christ at his table, thou wilt say, « Henceforth know we no man after the flesh.” I will love
father, mother, wife, children, brethren, and fitters; but my Lord Jesus more than all.'
3. Lay down at the Lord's feet your substance in the world, be it great or small, houses and lands, goods, &c. that he may dispose of them as he may see meet. Times have been, and they are like to return, wherein the Lord has sent for these things from profeffors, even by wicked mefsengers, as he fent for the ass 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 esteem 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 suffer an eclipse in it some time or other. God even sends for his people's credit, to be a stepping-stone for his glory. But if thou makest sure work in this transaction, 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 mayest be wise to God.
5. Lay down at the Lord's feet, your ease and liberty : Acts, xxi. 13. “I am ready,” said Paul, “ not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus." The flesh will cry, Man, spare thyself ;' but the fpirit must offer all to the Lord. Thou wilt not break with Christ, though thou shouldīt never get an easy hour, but be hunted as partridges, till in heaven. He to whom his ease and liberty is dearer than Christ, is a slave to the devil, and cannot be Christ's disciple.
6. Lay down at Christ's feet, your desires. Your desires shall be to your spiritual Husband, who shall chuse for you your inheritance, Pf. xlvii. 4. If he shall grant your lawful desires, it is well; if he see meet to refuse them, it muft even be well also in your eye ; you are to take himself, and give up with your own will, and say, Thy will be done.
Lastly, Lay down at the Lord's feet, your life. Let your bodies be given now to the Lord, not only for service, but also for a sacrifice, if he 'requires it. The text makes it plain, none go to heaven but martyrs, either in action or in affec. tion. It may be the Lord may have use for your strength, for your health, it may be for your blood. Resign all to him now.
hate not your life, you cannot be his disciple.
Be not deterred from the sacrament by this, for, by the word of God, the way to heaven is no easier. But when the time comes, that the saints 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 necessary at all times that people should 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 ascendant, whose temper always has been to breathe out threatenings, cruelty, and blood, and furiously 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 superstitions already, by the favour of a toleration which reflects shame on them. felves 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 sits in heaven, and can bring order out of confusion. Let us prepare for whatsoever may come, honestly committing all to the Lord, and he will raise the sincere soul above itself, and give the back to bear its own burden, if we be but willing to stoop, and take it on for his fake. He left all for us, and shall we account any thing too much for him? However, this is the settled 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, be: cannot be my disciple. Amen.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
SER MON XXXIV.
Luke, xvi. 26. If any man come unto me, and hate
not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Aving, in the preceding discourfe, attended
to what was proposed as the first and fecond heads of method, I now proceed,
III. To offer some reafons why Christ is dearer to his true difciples than what is dearest to them in the world.- Among other reasons, the following are mentioned.
1. Because to every true disciple, sin, of all bitter things, is the bittereft. A man will get a clearer view of the stars 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, Christ will be the dearer to him. Many
things, * Delivered at Selkijk, Monday, Oct. 12, 1712.