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therefore to close this discourse with some short admonitions, partly directed to those who have endeavoured to come unto Christ that they might have life; partly to those who have not hitherto fled for refuge to the appointed Saviour.
Those then who have come Unto Christ let me exhort to remember that, as a tree is known by its fruits, so is faith to shew forth its reality by good works. Let them give diligence to hold fast the true doer trine of the Gospel.. And let them give equal diligence to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Jesus Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem Us from all iniquity; and purify to himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. Christians are commanded conti- k nually to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour. They are^ to strive day by day to subdue sin ; to gainrthe mastery more and more over the evij dispositions and the evil practices to which ;they are especially exposed. As. long as. they remain in the body they will. perceive with St, Paul, that the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and seeks to bring them into captivity to sin: that in them^of
Vol. IL a' "G themselves,
themselves, dwelleth no good thing; that the good which they would do, which they wish, and confess themselves bound in conscience to do, they often do not; that the evil which they would not, the evil which in their hearts they condemn, which they acknowledge that they ought to avoid, they often do. Continue therefore instant in prayer, in watchfulness, in diligence to shun temptations, in holy exertions to withstand them. Fulfil your duty as a soldier, of Christ "Jesus. , Would you lay hold ..on eternal life? Fight the good fight of faith j persevere in well-doing. If you draw back from Christ, he will draw back from you. Unless you persevere in faith and holiness unto the end, you cannot be saved. Remember too, that you are to study to promote on every occasion the glory of the Lord Jesus. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
'works, and glorify your Father which is iri heaven. Let the happy effects of religion on your principles, on your tempers, oh your manners, on your actions, recom
"fnehd religion to others. Employ your
[ influence, your talents, your example, in
the service of Christ.; and in the greatest
of alY services to your fellow-creatures, in
- \ ~^"' winning
''Winning'them to the knowledge and love of ftiat lalvation, which is, in Christ Jesus, and in him alone. If you serve not your Redeemer in zealous obedience; where is your gratitude, where is your love? If yon labour not to forward the extension of Ills kingdom; where is your zeal for his glory, where is your pity for man?
With respect to those among you, who have not yet turned unto the Lord Jesus; I could scarcely say too much, if your attention, perhaps already wearied, would allow me to enlarge, on the wretchedness and danger of your situation, and on the madness of continuing in it. You have disregarded the.great object for whiclryoa were, sent into being. You have lived so this world. You have added sin to sin without repentance. You have defiedi.the Indignation of Almighty God. You have despised his Son Jesus, who stooped from the throne of his glory, and became man, that he might die for you upon the Cross. "You have fcorned^his osiers of mercy, and done despite to they Spirit of Grace. You lie as yet under the judgement of everlasting condemnation to tire lake of inextinguishable fire. What is'your purpose? Do you design still to set the Lord God Omnipo• G 2 potent tent at defiance; still,to trample on the blood of his Son; still to resist the Holy Ghost? For you then what remaineth, as surely as the Word of God is true, but wrath unchangeable, tribulation and anguish, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in flaming fire to take vengeance on those who know not God, and obey not the Gospel? Repent ye: even yet repent and ber saved. But perhaps you are appalled by the apprehen*, lion that after so long a period of slavery to the works of the devil, it is too late for you to repent. If these be your only alarms, hear for your encouragement the recorded declaration of God himself. As I live, faith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the zvickcd. Turn ye; turn ye. Why will ye die f Hear the words of the Prophet, Let the wicked man forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his paths : and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Hear the solemn assurance of Christ himself: Him that cometh unto me I will in no wife cas out. To whom is this language addressed from above? To you. You avow your belief of the Scriptures. While you credit the Scriptures, is it possible for .you to doubt of Christ's willingness to receive.
eeive, to forgive, and to bless you, if you will come unto him that you may have life eternal? Delay then no longer., Put not his forbearance to any farther trial. The time of your continuance on earth may be drawing to a conclusion. The hour of grace may be nearly past. The last sanda of the glass may be running out. Seize the opportunity which is yet afforded to you. Use the time which is yet in your power. Come unto the Lord Jesus, and you shall find that he is gracious. Persevere from * this time forward with godly sincerity in faith and, love, and holy obedience: and all your former transgressions" shall be blotted from his remembrance; and you shall receive through his merits a crown of glory, an inheritance of bliss that endureth for ever.