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sticks between the womb and the world, it is dangerous, it hazards the life both of mother and child; so when a sinner rests in conviction, and goes no farther, but sticks in the place of the breaking forth of children; this is very dangerous, and hazards the life of the soul.
You that are at any time under convictions, O take heed of resting in them, do not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children ; though it is true, that conviction is the first step to conversion, yet it is not conversion ; a man may carry his convictions along with him into hell.
What is that which troubleth poor creatures, when they come to die, but this-I have not improved my convictions ; at such a time I was convinced of sin, but yet I went on in sin in the face of my convictions ; in such a sermon I was convinced of such a du. ty, but I slighted the conviction ; I was convinced of my want of Christ, and of the readiness of Christ to pardon and save : but, alas ! I followed not the conviction.
My brethren, remember this ; slighted convictions are the worst death bed companions. There are two things especially, which above all others, make a death bed very uncomfortable :
1, “ Purposes and promises not performed. 2. Convictions slighted and not improved ?"
When a man takes up purposes to close with Christ, and yet puts them not into exe
cution : and when he is convinced of sin and duty, and yet improves not his convictions : O this will sting and wound at last.
Now therefore, hath the spirit of the Lord been at work in your souls ? Have you ever been convinced of the evil of sin, of the misery of a natural state, of the insufficiency of all things under heaven to help, of the fullness and righteousness of Jesus Christ, of the necessity of resting upon him for pardon and peace, for sanctification and salvation ? Have you ever been really convinced of these things ? O then, as you love your own souls, as ever you hope to be saved at last, and enjoy God for ever, improye these convictions, and be sure you rest not in them till they rise up to a thorough close with the Lord Jesus Christ, and so end in a sound and perfect conversion. Thus shall you be not only almost, but altogether a christian.
matter of stumbling or discouragement to weak
way to heaven, and yet fall short; yet that soul
out serious reflections, and self-examination, may
en, and yet be but almost a Christian ; this shewn
know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
Secondly, A man may have great and aminent
gifts ; yea, spiritual, and yet be but almost a
gion, be much in external duties of godliness,
fore men, him will I confess before my Father
that mourn ? Answered,
and to others, and yet be but almost a christian, 56
our sins, he is merciful and just to forgive us
3. Many confess sin in general,
forsaketh, shall have mercy ? Answered, 59
strong purposes and resolutions against sin, and
bat against sin in himself, and yet be but almost