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mercy upon any terms: "Hast thou not one blessing for me, even for poor me, O my Father ?" If there be not enough of merit in Chrjst to save me, I do not seek salvation; but in him I know there is a sulness of redundancy, a treasure that cannot be emptied. And, Lord* art thou not willing as well as able? Hast thou not opened thy side, that I might look in and foe the yearning of thy bowels? yea, I have heard them many times (bunding towards lost sinners: Why then should I go dwell with everlasting burnings i " What prosit, Lord-, is there in my blood? The dead cannot praise thee, they that go down to the pit cannot celebrate thy goodness." Is it not better to make me a friend, than let (He be an enemy? Is it not better that I should etemaliy sing thy praise, than live sor ever blaspheming thy Same ?" Lord, what fhall I do to be saved? Is there no baln* in Gilead sor a wounded soul V Is there no , hope for a distressed sinner? Is there no city of resuge for a pursued criminal? L-Trd, I am come like a starring beggar to the last door for relies, if thou help me not I must peristi at thy threshold, I can go no surther Could we believingly make use of such arguments as these, Christ's pitisul heart would burst out in midst thereof, and say to us as to the woman of Canaan, Mat. jtv. -" O woman, great is thy saith, be it to thee even as thou-wtft."
VIII. A« on Sabbath morning we should address God with more solemnity and intenseness, and with greater length than ordinary; su also with special petitions for the day. r. Pray for yourselves that God may give you hearts and frames to sanctify a Sabbath to the Lord; that he may prepare your hearts for hearing, strengthen and sanctify your memories, go alongit with you to the sanctuary, and allow his presence there. Besore you enter upon the public work of this day, labour to get'your hearts possessed essectually with these truths: That God must work his own work, in you and for you, or it will never be done j and without •him you can do nothing : That there is np healing virtue in the waters of the sanctuary, unless the Angel of hi* presence descend and move them: That as in the sirst creation the Spirit moved on the wate*s, and then the living creatures were formed; su the- Spirit must move upon the waters of ordinances, before they can produce or increase spiritual lise \ and as he must move . upon the ordinances, and give virtue to thorn, so he must -move upon .your souls in attending on them. Pray earnestly then, that God may give you his Spirit to prepare you for hearing of his w;ord, and to assist you in hearing; and, particularly, that he may give you attention to hearken, understanding to conceive, wisdom to apply, judgment to discern, saith to believe, memory to retain, and grace to practise what you shall hear; that so the word may prove unto you "the savour of lise onto lise," and not " the savour of death unto deafh." O pray servently, that it may not be your condemnation to go to the sanctuary every new Sabbath to get new bands laid upon you, to get your hearts more hardened, your assections more deadened, and your souls .slain by the words of God's mouth; but that the word may be attended with saving power, for your conviction of sin, and your conversion- to God in Jesus Christ the Mediator. Be su intent for Christ's presence this day, that no Lord's day may satisfy you without the Lord of the day. O what is the best day that ever was without- the Ancient of days? What are the ordinances of God, without the God of ordinances? What are the assemblies of saints, without the Master; of assemblies? Whatis a sermon, without a Saviour? What is a communion table, without a communion with God i Whatis a Sabbath-day, without the Lord of the Sabbath? Pretest theresore in a humble but aa importunate manner, that you will be satissied with nothing this day, without his presence; say with Moses, Exod. xxxiii. 5. "If thy presence go not .with me, carry us not up hence." And cry to him with the church, Isa. Ixiv. 1. "O that thou wouldst this day rend the heavens! O that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might How at thy presence."
2. Pray "for him that- dispenseth the word, that God may open to-him both a door of utterance, and H door of durance; and particularly, that God may OstbeLorPsDasi ;ij|3
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direct hiffi'to speak something that maybe suitable to your atse. j'H is a great loss to yourselves, as Well as to ministers, that y6u pray so little for them: Whar is the reason that many times ministers are straitened in delivery, dWriot te*ch your hearts, nor speak closely to your case Mt is' because you pray not for them. Mind that sads- threatening, Ezek. iii. 26. where the Spirit filth to the prophet, " I will make thy tongue cleave so tsite roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and'fflalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious houfe." O pray against this fad judgment- and btg'lhat God may loose the minister's tongue, and put i word in bis- rtnooth for you. Can you expect a blesfingon your food, when you will not so much as seek it from God, by praying for him that'is to break the bread of lise 10 yWr1-'
3tC Pfa*for the whole congregation, that the Sabbath may be-^day of the Son of man, and a day of God's power «nt©'lliem: Pray that Christ may mount'"the.1 while horse'of the gospel, gird his swwd on his thigh, a«d''fide fal triumph among them; that the arrows of /hiirito&rtf'Wiiry be sharp, and pierce hearts. Beg that some maybe convinced, others strengthened, and others comforted: Pray that God's word preached, may not only be as a'iiving song to the hearers, as Ezek. xxxsiT: but as a lively song to them, that many may have it to say a•'David, Psal. cxix. 50. " Thy word hath quickenedme.'!'Pray trwt God may this day make his word; as sharp two-edged sword,TM to divide betwixt sin- '". nerS and their- sins; that he may cause its poinfprick their hearts and savingly wound their consciences, and make its edge seteh blood from their lust6, yea hew them in pieces like Agag, besore the Lord. Pray that CJrid • may make his word botn as a sire and a hammer to the congregation; a sire to burn up^the stubble of their corruptions, and a hammer to break the rocks of their hearts into pieces. Pray that it may be as the key of Da?id', both- to open and fhut many hearts on this day; a1 key to open ht&pssV'Vo as- they may never more be shut upon"' Christ when? he stands-and knocks-'at them; and a key' to shut hearts, su that they may never open-to lin - nd
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when they knock for entrance. Pray that the whol* congregation may get grace to hear sermons, and put up prayers this day, as if they were the last that ever they were to hear or put up in this world s And that Zion's King rr.ay take to himself his glorious conquering power, and in his majesty ride prosperously \ an£ that he may make the arrows of his word " fharp in the hearts of his enemies, su that the people may fall under him"
IX. You must take care, that your secret prayers 09 Sabbath morning he early and seasonable, that they intersere not with family-worship, which ought this morning to be timeously persormed besore the public worship begin; for one duty must not justle with another, every duty is beautisul in its seasun- And in family* prayer you must be more solemn and particular than at Other occasions; our sacrisices this day ought to be doubled. O it were happy, if secret and samily duties were our souls delight on this day; and if we had such spiritual skill to persorm them, that they might be helps, not hindrances to public ordinances.
Lastly, Having this morning put up your servent prayers to God, you ought to look and wait for a return of them through the day. A wise merchant, that sends a ship to the lea, will enquire after her Prayer brings your food from asar, look u hat becomes of it. If you present a petition to a prince, you wait what answer will be returned; and are ye not much more concern* ed in this case to do it "i If you look not aster your pray> ers, it is a sign you have little sense of your needs; little sense of the burden and yoke of sin; little sense of the preciousness of Christ- or the excellency of these mercies you have been seeking. You ought this day to be able to say, as Psal. xxv. 5. " On thee do I wait all the day." Your souls should be still panting aster God and the light of is countenance, saying, " O that 1 may this day behold the beauty of the Lord ! O that I may see his power and gioty! O that 1 may taste that he is good I Q that I may hear his voice, may bear his image, may be brought into the chamber of presence, and see him through the latttse of ordinances.
If ye would have a gracious return thfc diy, you must be looking above ordinances and duties to him, who is " the dew of Israel," and expect the heavenly rain from himself; otherwise your fleece will remain dry, for all that men or angels can do. Theresore plead With God that he will bless and concur with the means, and " breathe upon your dry bones," without which the breath of men can never make them alive.
III. Of Self searching.
As to the duty of self-seatchin.:, it is very necessary en the Sabbath morning, in order to prepare your souls for the work of the day.
I Erquire into your own state ; try whether you be in nature or grace, that, when you hear the word, you may know what belongs to you: For, if you be ignorant of your «ndition, you may apply pro rises for threatenings; conclude for heaven, when you are heirs of wrath; persuade yourselves of the love of God, when you are in a state of enmity.
II. Enquire into your particular necessities, what are these wants you would have supplied by the word, these sins and lusts you would have slain by it, what are these weak graces you would have strengthened by it, what are these doubts you would have resolved by it, and these heart-plagues you would have cured.
III. Enquire into the frames of your hearts, and sec if they be duly qualisied and disposed for attending the public ordinances.
§>uej}. What fort of hearts ought we to bring with us?
Ans. 1. Bring humble hearts. Consider that you are pieces of mean and vile dust venturing into the presence of an insinitely glorious God, to hear the " voice of the Lord, that is sull of majesty," and solemnly to converse with him, besore whom the " angels vail their faces," •
2. Bring soft hearts, that the word may make some impression on them; for an arrow fhot against a stone sticks not, but falls to the ground. Labour to get the ." fallow ground of your hearts plowed up, and broken," A a 2 besore