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Sabbath, May 23, 1697, she writes, "I cannot but remember that upon this day, now seventeen years ago, I first gave up my name to God in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. There, through his goodness, I found great sweetness. I trust the knot was then tied, and the bargain made which will prove an everlasting covenant, never to be broken. Amen.”
Henceforth her papers record increased anxiety that, by departing from iniquity, she might adorn the gospel. She was far from being satisfied with even a devotional attendance at the feast,' she aimed to manifest the reality of her faith by zeal for 'good works,' and so, with well doing put to silence the ignorance of foolish men."
How much soever practical godliness may, by some soaring religionists, be decried as too earthly to attract their notice, or as too legal to interrupt their piety, the humble Christian will not object to meet, in this connexion, with the substance of one of Philip Henry's sermons on the important subject. It is introduced from Mrs. Savage's copy, and as it, very probably, was her frequent companion in the closet, it may, on that account, appear the more interesting. The text is Psalm 1, 23, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God."
"There is a question-Psalm cxvi, 12. "What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits?" These words are an answer to it. Two things you must render-Praise-A well ordered conversation.
1. Praise. Be inwardly thankful in heart. Be outwardly thankful in word. This is our rent-to be paid daily-according as our receivings are. He that doeth this is said to glorify God, that is,
Pleases him. Glorifies me. Does the thing that I delight in. The prayer of the upright is his delight. But he hath more delight in their thanksgiving than in their prayers, because therein they do not seek themselves, but wholly his glory.
Glorifies me-that is, gets me a good name among men.
2. Besides this; another duty is to look to our conversation. Those that have received mercy from God should be very careful about their conversation.
You have all reason to feel weight from God's benefits; are you willing to know what you shall render?
DOCTRINE. Though thanks giving be very good, yet thanks living is a great deal better.
What is to be done that our's may be a well-ordered conversation? Two things are of great concernment.
1. Our conversion. Are we new creatures? born again? Are we passed from
pray see to this. Matt. xii, 33. This must be
death unto life? Without this there is no salvation. Matt. xviii, 3. 1 Let there be a principle. 2. Our conversation. ordered aright. What is that? I answer, living and walking by rule-as soldiers are set rank and file in their march. "These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." Psal. 1, 21. There is a time coming when God will set our disorders in order.
There are omissions, and commissions-sins of ignorance, and sins of presumption. He that orders his conversation aright now, need not be afraid of the day of judgment. A sad sight it will be when God shall set all the sins of a wicked man before him.
I shall give some rules for the ordering of the conversation aright.
1. Begin and end every day with God. He is the Alpha and Omega. Make him so. When you awake let your first thoughts be of God-not of the world, or vanity. Lift up your thoughts in thankfulness for the rest of the night-for the health of the morning. Will you remember this?
When you are up you must make a more solemn business of it. God expects to find you somewhere alone, every morning. "In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee." Afterwards, in the family. In a
well-ordered conversation, the man darcs not go about worldly business till he and his family have been together to worship God. In the evening worship God in your families also. Pray alone. Close the day with God. Let prayer be the key of the morning, and the bolt of the night. And-see to the manner of it-that it be done after a due order.— "I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord."
Set the Lord always before you. He is always before you. His eye is always upon us. But do you set him before you? "Mine eye is ever towards the Lord." "Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God." Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus to the glory of God.
3. Be good husbands of time, especially of opportunity time. Time is precious. Ask dying people. Ask damned people. An inch of time is worth a wedge of gold. I believe wherever God gives grace to a man, from that time he will value time at another rate than before. Especially value opportunities.
These are the cream of time, whether of doing or getting good. Improve them. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it." Eccl. ix, 10. Time may last, and opportunity be gone. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard." This present day is a price. 1
pray improve it. Think-what shall I do for God, or for my soul, this day.
4. Be diligent in your callings. Each of us ought to have a calling. We are not to stand idle in the market place of this world. The first Adam, heir apparent of the world, had a calling, so had the second Adam. For thirty years together our Lord worked with his supposed father in the trade of a carpenter. "Be diligent to know the state of thy flocks." Whatsoever your calling is, therein abide with God. Let it be never so mean, if honest, and followed diligently, with an eye to God, he accepts us. Take heed of inordinateness. Those are too busy who cannot find time from their calling to attend the service of God. Be industrious in the fear of God.
5. Look well to the duties of your particular relations. It is a certain truth that you are really what you are relatively-as husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, masters and servants, and fellow-servants. A well-ordered conversation discharges the duties of each of these relations with all might in the fear of God. "I and my house will serve the Lord," not only in immediate acts of worship, but in all family relations and duties. The second and third chapters of St. Peter's first Epistle are to direct in the several relations. All is comprised in one word-Love. Walk in love, and dwell in love. There is no