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7. Both heaven and hell strive for the soul of man, and this contention speaks it a most precious and invaluable treasure.
8. There is great joy in heaven among the angels, and great rage in hell among the devils, when a soul turns to God; and that which makes Christ, saints, and angels rejoice, is no light or trifling thing; and therefore it is evident that the soul is very precious.
9. The institution of gospel ordinances, &c. (compared in the scripture to a lamp fed with golden oil) for the express purpose of saving souls, is no small evidence of their value. The preciousness of the light of the gospel shows that the work to be accomplished by the same is of the greatest importance.
10. The great encouragement and rewards that God promiseth to them that win souls proclaim their worth, and the great value that God sets upon them.
"He that winneth souls is wise; and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever."
11. The dreadful threatenings of God against such as neglect souls are great proofs of their worth. These thunder bolts are found in many places in scripture, but especially in Ezek. iii. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. and chap. xxxiii. from the beginning to the end of the 9th verse, where God assures the unfaithful watchman, that the blood of those who perish through his neglect shall be required at his hand. O dreadful. thought! Therefore I desire to clear my gar
ments of your blood, which is my intention in this serious address; and I beg you all to take the warnings that I give you, that you may be saved.
12. The tender care that God manifests for souls and the concern that he has for their welfare, are great evidences of their worth; for why should the Lord manifest a great regard for the soul, except it were exceeding precious?
"O that they were wise! that they understood this! that they would consider their latter end!" This is the language of a kind and. compassionate God, and shows that he highly values the souls of men. And he forbids us all to do any thing that may occasion the loss or ruin of our precious souls.
Lastly, and to mention no more evidences of the worth of souls: the angels of God being their guardians and attendants, is sufficient to shew that they are exceedingly valuable.
These things which have been mentioned, are only short hints; a volume might be wrote upon the subject; but what has been said is sufficient to show the worth of your souls, and that it is the greatest madness in the world to neglect the care of them.
O what an immense loss must it be to lose your souls! Let me plead with you, in the most earnest and affectionate manner, no longer to trifle with such important concerns as those of salvation are. I could freely come upon my knees, to beg that you would attend to this one thing needful," the care of the soul; for C
this I am willing to labour night and day; to suffer reproach and scorn; yea, I am willing to spend and be spent, if I might be instrumental in bringing you to a proper concern about the salvation of your souls. souls. Oh! how have I been often shocked to hear poor wretches call upon their Maker for damnation upon their precious souls! what does that damnation, that for a long time neither lingreth nor slumbereth, come so slow, that they must needs call for it so earnestly, and frequently! Oh! if I could weep even tears of blood, they should be shed for the folly and madness of those who thus cast themselves away, and value not their souls at all, tho' the glorious God values them so highly.
If you desire the salvation of your souls, pray be kind enough to take the following ad
Quit all vain company and conversation as much as possible, for until you do this, all serious advice is lost upon you; as vain, trifling, foolish talking and jesting, naturally tend to root out at all serious consideration.
Keep company as much as possible, with such who are truly in earnest for themselves and others.. It is more dangerous to keep company with light, vain and carnal professors of religion, than with the people of the world in general, for they sometimes draw you more effectually into levity than the openly profane would do. Beware of infidelity, and of those who profess and plead for it; the chance is wholly against them; for should they who deny revelation be in the right (the contrary of which is easily proved)
upon their own principles, we could gain nothing valuable in joining them; but if they are wrong, what a most dreadful situation are they
and their followers in !
Attend upon. the means of grace, such as prayer, reading, hearing the gospel, and meditation, with the greatest seriousness imaginable, and never neglect them, if you can possibly avoid it
Endeavor to get a feeling sense of your lost, and undone condition out of. Christ, and be willing to know the worst of your state, that so you may come to feel the need of a Redeemer.
And, O! let me beg you never to rest short of a saving interest in the Lord Jesus Christ; he only is able to save your precious souls. Come, cast yourselves at his feet, and resign yourselves to him in the following manner :
"O Lord! thou who knowest the worth of souls, hast said, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" Lord, I am amazed to think how much I have attended to trifling concerns, and how. shamefully I have neglected my precious soul, but being now convinced of the value of my soul, and that I am undone without thee; and feeling myself wholly condemned, and that thou art just, and I altogether to blame, I resign myself into thine hands, to do with me as seemeth good in thy sight. I know thou canst do me no injustice; if I perish I will perish at thy feet, begging for mercy. O thou that didst sweat as it were great drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane, that sufferedst pain and shame,
and finally diedst on the cross for the souls of men, and for mine among the rest, to whom should I go but unto thee? My soul is no where safe but in thine arms, to thee would I therefore commit my cause; I trust my all for time and eternity in thine hands; lead me as thou pleasest, by whatever way thy wisdom shall choose, so that I may be purified from sin, envy, pride and wrath, separated from all selfishness, and intimately united to thyself, who art the Fountain of all good. Grant me a gra cious answer of peace, O Lord, for thy mercy's. sake."
To encourage you to pray, read the following texts of scripture; St. Mat. vii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you for every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findetli; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom, if his son ask bread, will he give give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your chil dren, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him. St. Mark, xi. 24. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. See also St. Luke, xi. from the first to the fourteenth verse. St. John, xiv. 13, 14. And whatsoever, ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glo rified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in