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seek or strive for Mercy? In which Way have we the best Profpect of Success? By entertaining false and dishonourable Conceptions of the divine Being, and denying to God the Glory which is due to his Name? Or else by lying at the Foot of a Sovereign, and thereby ascribing to him the insinite Persections of his excellent Nature? Though in this latter Way you can make no Change in God, you will nevertheless have the Evidence that he has made a Change in you,and a comfortable Profpect, that by bringing you to a Submission to his Sovereignty, he has a Design of special Favour to your Soul. , If we should yet surther continue our View of this Case, ic will appear, that a Submission to the mere sovereign Mercy of God is most conducive to your omin Comfort., Safety and Happinefs.— —This Consideration is a just Foundation of Comfort and Hope, in that it obviates the Darkness and Discouragements that would otherways arise from a Sense of your Guilt and Unworthiness, and from your Impotence,' and unavoidable Insirmity and Impersection in the Service of God.—What Hope could you sind from your Duties, when, aster your best Endeavours, you would see so much Deidness, Formality and Hvpocrisy, in your highest Attainments? What Hope from your Reformations, when you sind so much bin and Corruption gaining Ground against all vour good Purposes and Resolutions ?—What Hope from your good Affections, when so much Hardness of Heart, Worldly-mindedness, Sensuality, and carnal Depositions are separating between God and you ?< Can you quiet

your Soul by imposing upon an omniscient God, with your vain Shews and flattering Pretences? No, Sir, if you have any true Discovery of your own Heart, thele Considerations must continually perplex and distress your Soul with distractlag Fears and Despondencies, as long as you arc thus compuffing yourselfabout with iiparki of your own kindling. For these Desects and Impersections will certainly accompany your bell Resolutions, Endeavours and Attainments—But then on the other Hand, if you lie at Mercy, and submit to God as the sovereign Dispofer of his own Favours, you have good Grounds of Encouragement and Hope.—.Are your Sins great, and greatly aggravated? the Mercy of God exceeds them all.— Have you no agreeable Qualifications to recommend you to the Favour ot God? Multitudes of others have found vlercy, who had no better Qualifications than you have.—Have you no special Promise to depend upon, as belonging to you, while in an unconverted State i yet is it not sufficient, that you have gracious Encouragement to leave all in the Hands of that Vlercy, which insinitely exceeds your highest Apprehensions or Imaginations ?— Are you incapable to come up to the Terms of Grace propofed in the Gospel ? there is yet Hope in God's omtvpotent Mercy, that he will work in you both to 'will and to do of his oiun good Pleasure; he has done it for thousands of Sinners no better than you.

Now, Sir, look around you, and see what Resuge you can possibly etake yourself t, .—You are in the Hands of Justice; and which Way can you make yO' r Escape I If y' u attempt to fly from God, you perish; but if you fly to him, there is Hope —He is sovereign in the Donation of his Favours; vou have therefore as good a Prospect of obtaining Salvation (in the Use of appointed Mc.tns) ai any unn generate Person in the World.—Your Desects and D merits need not be any Discouragement; tor his Mercy triumphs over the Guilt and Unworthiness of the greatest Sinners.—Is it there*

fore fore not your greatest Sasety to lie at his Foot, in the Way of his Appointments, where there is a blessed Hope fet before you ?~~In this Way you have the insinite Mercy of God, the gracious Encouragements of the Guspel, the glorious Success of so many thousands who have tried this Method, to animate your Diligence and Hope: And there is no other Way, in which you have any Encouragement to expect renewing Grace and pardoning, saving Mercy.

Since you wholly depend upon God's free sovereign Mercy, you should use the more diligent and earnest Application, in all the Ways ofhis Appointment, that you may obtain it. Since you

mu!t obtain Mercy of God, or perish, O with what Diligence and Importunity, with what Ardor of Soul, should you address the Throne of Grace, for Deliverance from your Guilt and Danger ?—Since in a Way of Sovereignty, God is pleased to bestow his special Grace, with an Interest in his Son and his great Salvation, at what Time, and by what Means it fhall seem best in his Sight, you mould therefore at all Times, and in the Use of all the Means of Grace, be feeking the Lord while he may be fou nd, and calling upon Him while he is near..

Can it be thought just Reasoning, that because you cannot help yourself, and there is none but God can help you, it is therefore in vain to apply to him for Help ? Thu because you have no Claim to his Favour, but lie at his M-rcy, you will not therefore seek Mercy at his Hands ? - Does not this, at the sirst View, appear contrary to all the Methods of Reasoning we should use in any other Case ?—Can you promise yourself Comfort from such Reasonings, and such Conclusions as these, in your last expiring Moments, when your Soul is entering upon its eternal and unchangeable State? But you object, " If God in Sovereignty de"figns Mercy for us. we fhall obtain it, whether "we seek or no: and, if not, it is in vain to "strive." —To this it is sufficient Answer, that God never does in Sovereignty appoint Salvation for any, in the final wilsul Neglect of GofpelMeans.—He is sovereign in the Appointment of the Means. as well as of the End. The same glorious Sovereign, who assures us it is not for our Sakes that he bestows his special Grace upon us, but for bit o*wn Name's Sake, does also let us know, that he 'will be enquired of by the House of Israel, ta do this for them.— Whence it follows, that if we have not a Heart to seek with earnest Diligence, for the gracious Influences of the Spirit of God, there is no Prospect we shall ever obtain; lor God will make us seel the Want of his Mercy, and will make us esteem bis Salvation worthy of our Care and Pains, or leave us to the unhappy Effects of our own Madness and Folly.—But if we have Hearts given us, to be humbly and earnestly attending upon the Means of Grace, it is an encouraging Sign, that he who has excited our Diligence, intends to crown it with Success.

You see, Sir, I have obeyed your Commands, anH have addressed you with as much Plainness and Familiarity as the Cause requires, and you yourself have demanded.

That God may effectually bring you to submit to the Terms of his Grace, and enable you so to rwt as that you may obtain, is the Prayer of,

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LETTER VIII. Wherein the Difference between a true faving Faith, and a dead temporary Faiths is distinctly considered.


YOUR Complaints do exactly answer my Expectations. It is not yonr Case alone, to have "unw orthy Apprehensions of God, vain, trifling {' Imaginations, and strange Consusion of Mind, "accompanying the Exercises of Religion." It is no new Thing for thofe who are setting out in earnest in a religious Course, to sind by Experience, that their " Progress in Religion bears no l'ro"portion to their Purpofes;" and that their "good Designs and Resolutions come to but lit"tie more than outside Appearances, and no Way "answer their Hopes."—It is Matter of Thankfulness, that you have a seeling Sense of this 1

hope, if no other Argi ments will convince you of the Truth of what was insilled on in my last, you will at least be convinced, by your ownExperience, that you lie at IMercy.

You " thank me for my Plainness and Faith"sulness to a poor wretched Insidel, who yet "breathes out of Hell, by the mere Patience of

"an affronted Sav our."— 1 had not only the

Warrant of vour Commands, but the vast Importance of the Concern before us, to embolden me to lay by all Reserves; and even to transgress the common Rules of Decorum and Respect in my former Letters; and you need not" conjure me to "retain the fame Freedom." I am no Courtier; nor am I at all acquainted with the sashionable Methods of the Beau Monde. I shall therefore ap


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