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build the hopes of your justification and salvation upon, seeing they are wholly insufficient to bear such a weight. However much these things have been esteemed and valued by you formerly, in the matter of justification ; yet if you resolve to be a wise builder, you will let them all now go, yea, count'them all but loss and dung that you may win Christ, (our only hope) build on him alone, and be found in him, not having on your own righteousness, which is but filthy rags.

Well, then, raze and tear up every false foundation, dig deep, till you get to the rock Christ. Dig deep into the holy law and nature of God; dig till you fee the infinite strictness of Divine justice, the unspeakable evil that is in sin, the hidden vileness and abominations of the heart, your own inability to do any thing for your help and relief. Dig yet further, till you see the infinite fulness and freeness of God's grace in Jesus Christ, that suitable remedy that answers all a poor liņ. ner's needs. Dig deep, and dig still on, till you get to this rock; let your cry be still to God, Lord lead me to the rock Christ, and his all sufficient righteous. ness, only. Act faith upon this rock, rely on it, build all your hopes on it, and say, “ this is my rest for ever; here will I'dwell, for I have desired it. 'Lord, the defire of my soul is only to Christ, and to the remembrance of his name. His name is a sweet ointment poured forth; therefore do the virgins love him." ,

IV. If you would rightly improve the sparing mercy and goodness of God, let it lead you to repentance and reformation of life. Turn from all these fins, whether of omission or commission, now in the day of health, which conscience challenged you for in the time of fick ness. Mind Christ's caution and warning to healed finners, John v. 14. ^ Behold thou art made whole ; fin no more, left a worse thing befal thee.” Olet fin die with thy fickness; and do not relapse into thy former security and sinful ways. Beware of returning with the dog to thy vomit, and like the low that is washed to the wallowing again in the mire of thy former fins and unclcannels ; left being entangled and


overcome again with the filthiness which thou now hast escaped, thy latter end prove worse than thy bem ginning.

Lafly, And to fum up all I shall say in this chapter, be careful to redeem time, and active in providing for an eternal state. O prize and value the mercy of health and strength, more than ever. Sympathise with those who are still lying on fick-beds, and under languishing distempers; neglect not to pity and pray for them. Remember the distressed cafe you were in yourselves, when you had no rest in your bones, when wearifome nights were appointed to you, and you were full of tollings to the dawning of the day. Consider how slippery is your standing. Though the late storm of trouble be over, yet the clouds will return after rain.

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Containing directions to those fick persons, who are apa

parently in a dying condition, and drawing near to another world. :

T HAVE already, in the first, third, and fourth chap

ters, given several directions concerning our fuba million to the will of God, making preparation for death, calling for ministers, edifying others by our discourse, fettling'our worldly affairs, &c. which are very proper for dying persons; and therefore I shall not repeat them, but proceed to speak of other things. Only let me add this word; have you hitherto neglected to make your wills, settle your worldly affairs, send for the ministers to discourse with, and pray for you; delay it no longer, but do it speedily, while you have the use of your rea

fon and understanding. And what I have more to say, .. take it in the following directions.


Direct. I. Consider, when Death ftares you in the

face, that now is the time, if ever, to exert the ute

most activity in preparing to meet with it. ALAS, it is to be regretted that the most part of men neglect their souls, mispend their life, misim prove their health, and leave undone the work for which they were created, preserved, and enjoyed the gospel. Surely a near prospect of death and judgment cannot but be un. easy to such persons. What a melancholy thought must it be for a dying man? “Oh! I had all my time given me to make preparation for endless eternity; and, alas, I never minded it till now, that I must leave the ftage of this world. Is there any hope for such a careJess and miserable sinner." I acknowledge the case is sad, but yet it is not remediless nor desperate ; seeing there is a sacrifice provided for your sins, and there is an all-sufficient Saviour in your offer, who never. did cast out any humbled soul that came to him for mercy. You have great reason indeed to abhor and condemn yourself before God, for your fin and folly ; yet despair not, but believe, whatever be your fins, your dangers, your fears, and temptations, that Jesus Christ is both able and willing to save to the urtermost all that come to God by him, and that his grace aboundeth more than your lin aboundeth. O how glad would devils and damned souls in hell be, if they were but in your case, and had your offers and hopes ! how diligently would they improve the time of mercy! O be persuaded then to spend the little time that now remains, with the utmost care, in making penitent confession of sin to God, and applying the blood of Christ for pardon. Nay, even the best of God's people have need to be die ligent at this time in making actual preparations for dying. God is now saying to you, as Joshua did to the Israelites, Josh. i. 11. " Prepare you victuals, for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God giveth you.” Lay in provisions for your passing over this Jordan of death : you know not how rough this paslage may be.

VOL. 1.

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· I shall give some motives to press this diligent and active preparation; and therefore consider,

1. The short time of your life that remains is all the time you have for working out your salvation.. . What you do for attaining heaven, or avoiding hell, must be done now, or never ; for there is no work nor device in the grave whither thou goest, nor is there any coming back to this world to amend what hath been done amiss. Dying is a thing you cannot get a trial of, it is what you can only do once, and no more, Heb. ix. 27.

2. Be diligent now; for as soon as death gets commission to cut you off, it will execute it: it will not spare you, nor allow you one minute more time to prepare for eternity. The most merciless enemies have sometimes been overcome by the prayers and tears of such as, on their kriees, do beg a little more time to prepare for another world ; and do hearken to their requests : but this enemy, death, will not grant one moment's re{pite.

3. Consider that your eternal state and condition will be according to the state in which you die. Death will open the doors either of heaven or hell to you, in one of which you shall take up your eternal abode. As the tree falls at death, so will it lie through eternity.

4. Consider what a serious and awful matter it is to die, and go into another world, for then you will have immediately to do with God your judge; there will be no veil then between him and your soul. You will then enter into a world of spirits, wherewith you are so little acquainted : you ate frighted now to go into a room alone, that is said to be haunted by a spirit ; how frightful then must the case of those be, who are hur. ried into a world of spirits, not knowing but devils must be their companions for ever! Surely then it is your interest to give all diligence now, to make your acquaintance with the Lord of that world, before you enter into it.

3. Put forth thy utmost activity for thy soul now; for, to be sure, Satan will put forth his utmost against it. If thou be in a Chrifless state at this time, he will use all his efforts and stratagems to keep thee from

Chrilt ; Christ; either by flattering thee that thy state is good, thereby to lull you asleep in sin and security, or by tel. ling thee, it is out of time to help matters with thee, thereby to drive you into despair. The devil will leave no method unattempted to ruin thy soul, when death is near; for he knows his time is short ; and, if he catch not the soul then, he will never get it: and neither can he hurt it hereafter ; for, if once it enter heaven, he can trouble it no more.

If thou art a believer in Chrift, Satan, thy malicious enemy, will not fail to attack thee, at this time, with all his might; for though he may know he cannot keep thee out of heaven, yet he will labour to render thy passage towards it as dark, tempestuous, and uncomfortable, as possibly he can. But it is the believer's happiness, this cruel enemy is under a strong chain, and cannot do all he would; for Jesus Christ is the good shepherd, that hath undertaken for all his sheep. Nevertheless, by his wise permission, this adversary may sometimes give great disturbance to a dying saint; which calls thee to the greatest diligence and watchfulness at this time. It is the observation of one, that as the devil iş most busy at the conclusion of a duty, as of prayer, that the Chrif. tian may be most disturbed and distracted, when he is to close up all in the name of Christ, and so all his defires be frustrated; so he is most busy in the coclnu. fion of our days, and when death is at hand, seeking by temptations, distractions, and falle imaginations, to do us all the mischief he can, and all because he knoweth his time is short; according to that word, Rev. xii. 12. " The devil is come down, having great wrath, because that he knoweth he hath but a Thore time.” He may fitly be called, the wolf of the evening, mentioned in Jer. v. 6. in regard he comes forth most fiercely in the evening of men's lives, to set upon their precious souls. Yea, so busy is he some times with believers under dangerous lickness, seeking to overthrow their faith and assurance, that it is the observation of a good min, that he seldom seeth a lick saint, followed close with temp. tations, recover of that lickness; for Satan, knowing he hath but a little time, proves as uneasy to him as he




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