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4. They have something of a foul affecting view of the new covenant, and the new way and method of falvation contained therein. They see there is no righteousness of man or angel that can justify them, none but the righteousness of Chrift alone, nothing but an infinite satisfaction can do their turn, and it is their cry, None but Chrik.
. 5. They are fully resolved on a rupture and breach with all the enemies of God, and to break all leagues and covenants with fin, satan, and the world, and that they will never be slaves to them as formerly : They heartily agree with the Pfalmift, Psal. cxix. 115.“ Depart from me, ye evil doers, for I will keep the commandments of my God.”
6. They are sensible of, and humbled for, the former treachery and falfe. dealing of their hearts with God. Are there not many who have formerly entered into covenant with God, have sworn allegiance to him as their Sovereign, and that not only at baptism, but have renewed this deed at the Lord's supper? But may not the Lord take up the same complaint against them, as against Israel? Pral. lxxviii:36. 37. “ They lied to him with their tongues; for their hearts were not right with him, 'neither were they stedfast in his covenant.” Well, if you be deeply affected on this account, the Lord will not reject you.
7. They fincerely accept ‘of Christ as their Surety and Cautioner before God; they esteem him altogether lovely, and infinitely precious. They renounce their own righteoufness in justification, and their own Arength in fanctification, and look to Christ for both, saying, as those, Isa. xlv. 24. “ In the Lord have I righteousness
and strength.” I have not sufficiency of myself, either · to make or keep covenant with God, but my confidence is entirely in Christ my all-sufficient Surety....
8. They are content to give themselves to the Lord, and all they are and have. Faith hath two hands; by the one it receives Jesus Christ, and by the other it gives the soul to him. Now, if your faith want either of these, it is lame. .. 9. They feel in dwelling sin as a grievous clog; they
desire heart-holiness more than any earthly thing, and resolve, through grace, upon more care and watchfulness against fin than formerly. .
Now, try your sincerity in covenanting with God by these marks, and if you can lay claim to one or more of them, then you are not hypocrites, nor of the number of those who give God the hand without the heart; who pretend to make a covenant with God, and yet keep a secret league with the devil, the world, and the flesh, who profefs a great outward respect to God and his ways, and yet keep a secret antipathy to Godliness, as, alas, many do, who come'to the Lord's table.
And, if you would manage this weighty tranfaction aright, you must be very deliberate in it: Take many a view of the nature and frame of the covenant of grace, and consider what God offers and promises therein, and what he doth require of us; and endeavour to get your hearts wrought up to a chearful compliance therewith. Your fouls are at the stake, and a mistake here ruins you eternally; but, if once it be well done, it is done for ever, This bargain is not for a short term, but for life, nay, for eternity; and therefore you should count the cost of it, and consider it duly; and be resolved, whatever trouble or perfecution shall arife, or whatever temptation you may meet with to leave Christ, to fay to them, like Ruth to Naomi, when she was stedfastly resolved to go with her, Ruth i. 16. Intreat me not to leave Chrift; for where he goes, I will follow him, though it were into banishment : Where be lodges, I will lodge, though it were in a prison : For neither death nor life all part Christ and me.
And, again, beware of delays of making or entering into covenant with God. It is a work for eternity, and therefore requires present dispatch. The time of youth is a rare feason for this work, and ought carefully to be improven, and no time loft. And here I shall address myself to the young.
O young people, and ye that never communicated beo fore, fet about this work of personal covenanting, before you approach to the Lord's table. Do not delay or put off to another year, or till old age or fickness
come on: For, what do you know but God may be provoked to harden your hearts so in old age (though ye thould live till that time) that ye shall have no liking to religion and the ways of God ? Must it not be highly displeasing to God, to reserve for bim the relufe and dregs of your strength and time? Will you give your Creator and Redeemer only so much of your time and strength as the devil and the world have left? O, what is this, but to offer the blind and the lame of the flock in sacrifice to God, Malachi į. 7. which is an abomina. tion!
O young folk, can you dispose of yourselves better is the days of your youth, than give up yourselves to the Lord? When you are ready to chuse callings and fets tlements in the world, can ye take a wifer course, than first chuse a settlement in Christ's family, which would make all other conditions and circumstances of life the more comfortable to you? Now, the way to be made a member of this family, is by the covenanting with God : Without this, you have no right to the childrens bread, nor the seals of the covenant. It is not enough that you were baptized, and are Christians by your parents dedication, unless you be Christians by your own free choice and confent. Remember, you are now to enter into the state of adult church membership, and to be ada mitted to thare of the childrens privileges sealed to you in baptism; and, therefore, now ye muft act as rational men and women, and make a choice for yourselves : You ought personally and explicitly to renew your baptismal covenant, and ratifying your parents deed, now when you are of age; otherwise your baptism and pa. rents dedication will not profit you. I call you to engage to no more here, than what you are already oblige ed to by your baptism; for it is just the same covenant you are to enter into now, that ye have already cone fented to by your baptism : Only, by your personal ree bignation, voluntary consent, and taking the second seal of the covenant, you are to bind yourselves the faster to it; the which if you neglect to do, your baptifm will be so far from profiting you, that it will be a witness against you, and cry for vengeance on you, and you will
in no better condition than the heathens that never were baptized.
O young communicants, take heed to your first communicating; for very much doth depend upon it. You are now as it were to lay the foundation-stone of your salvation-work, and this ought to be done with much spiritual skill and knowledge, if you would have a fure building. O then dig deep, and found your house, your salvation, your hopes of heaven, upon the rock Christ, by personal covenanting, and express closing with him upon the terms of grace : For if you do it not, but approach to the Lord's table in ignorance, unbelief, or hardness of heart, you may provoke God to smite you with judicial blindness and obduration, and give you up to such heart-hardness and formality in duty, as may cleave to you all your lives long, and so you are ruined for ever. The time of your first communicating, is a most critical juncture for your souls; for, according to the state, frame, and disposition of peoples souls, at their first communicating, so it very often fares with them in some measure at all the rest of the communions they partake of. Many have found this, fome to their sweet, others to their fad experience. Some, by their care iefs approach at firit, and neglecting expressly to covenant with God, have drawn down the plagues of heart-hariness and formality upon themselves, and provoked God to leave them to wander in the dark all their days, without any solid assurance, or comfortable view of their interest in Christ and the covenant of grace. But others, by means of their sincere preparation and covenanting with God at this time, have got a seal of their conversion, and a view of their interest in Christ, which hath proven very useful and comfortable to them all the rest of their lives, and especially in the time of distress, and when on a death-bed. Then they have remembered, how that at such a time and place they joined themselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant, and then and there God spake with them, intimated their pardon, and owned them as his covenanted children. As their souls were helped to say to the Lord, Thou art my God : So God said to them, I am your salvation. And hereby many have been strengthened, when ready to faint under doubts and discouragements. Therefore, O young communicants, as ye regard the well-being of your precious and immortal fouls for ever, look well to yourselves at this time; if matters be right with you now, they will never be altogether wrong afterwards. Labour to get fome distinct uptakings of the covenant of grace, and of the nature, ends, and uses of this solemn ordinance, which is the compend and feal of it, before your first partaking ; pray fervently for knowledge and fpiritual illumination ; apply to Jefus Christ, your great Prophet, for this, and fes to improve the means and helps which he is pleased to afford you for it. Retire for meditation and reading of the bible ; read and meditate much on the sufferings of Christ; read our Confeffion of Faith; Vincent's Catechism, Guthrie's Trial of a saving inter. est in Chrift, Doolittle, and other good books on the facrament, that ye may attain to some right impressions of the covenant, and the Lord's supper; and particular, ly, of the obligations you already lie under by the first seal of baptism; and then, under a humble sense of guilt, and with a hopeful view of the gospel-offer, go with all feriousness and solemnity, and renew those engagements; enter into covenant with God, and next come to his table, to get the transaction sealed and ratified, by getting the other seal of heaven appended to it.
And now, young people, I put it to your choice, as Joshua did to the Israelites, Jof. xxiv. 15.Choose you this day whom you will serve." Make choice at this time whom ye will be faved by, and whom ye will obey. Whom will you have for your master, whether Christ or the devil ? Both are courting your hearts; which of them will you yield to? Lay your hands on your hearts, and fee whether you will grant Christ's or the devil's defire ? Whether shall the devil have you, soul and body, to all eternity, or shall Chrift have you ? Oh, will any be fo foolish as halt betwixt two opinions in this cafe ; any fo mad as stand in doubt whether to be saved or damned, whether to live with Christ or the devil for ever? Now Michael and his angels, and the Dragon and