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Be a/hamed and confounded for your own ways, 0 house of Israel. But yet it is alfo true, that the infinite mercy of God is more than equal to all our unworthinefs, to allour difficulties, and to all our wants. There is forgiveness with God, that he may befeared and with him is plentecus redemption. And God is in Christ reconciling the world to him/ef, not imputing their tre/pasės. You should approach the prefence of God, not only with a most abafing fenfe of your finfulnefs, pollution, and unworthiness; and with most earneft importunity for the influences of his Spirit and grace; but also with an humble confidence in the riches of his infinite mercy; and with a supporting hope, that for his own fake and for his Son’s fake, (though not for yours) he will accept, pardon, fanćtify and fave you. While you are entertaining hard thoughts of God, giving into desponding frames, and nourishing your distraćting discouraging fears, you are difhonouring God our Saviour, grieving the Holy Spirit, hardening your own heart, and going further and further from mercy. Come therefore before God, felf-loathing and felf-condemning, yet not with a distruftful dread : but come to him with expećtation and dependance. Plead the merits of his Son; plead the riches of his boundlefs grace ; yea, plead your own mifery and want before him ; hope in his mercy, and wait for his falvation. 4. Review your paft life ; and be as particular as you can, in your repentance towards God, as also in fetting all - things right with your neighbour. It is our duty particularly to confefs and lament our fins before God; thofe especially which are peculiarly aggravated, or have been willingly and customarily indulged. It is our duty to make up all breaches with our neighbour, and to repair all injuries we have done him, as faras possible. It is therefore neceffary, to call ourselves to an account for all the paft condućt of our lives, both toward God and man. Look back then to your early age, and bring the fins of yçur youth to remembrance. Confess them particularly, lament them before God, and lift up your ardent and frequent petitions to him, that he would not remember the fins of your youth, nor your tran/gressions. Continue your view, to the succesfive periods of your life. Confider what duties you have omitted, whether personal or relative;
what parts of instituted worship you have neglećted, or by a carelefs, hypocritical, and trifling performance, have flighted and profaned, whether in your clofet, in the family, or in the house of God. Confider what relations you have fustained, and what have been your fpecial defećts in each of them. Humble yourselves in the fight of God, on account of them all ; cry to him for pardon, in the blood of Christ ; and for grace and ftrength to ferve him acceptably by a right difcharge of your respećtive duties, in each station and circumstance of life, as well as by a due performance of the feveral offices of devotion. Confider your many fins of commillion, according to their refpećtive natures and aggravations. Confess them before God ; and confefs the innumerable multitụde which were unobferved when committed, or forgotten fince. Endeavour to imprefs a just fenfe of their number, enormity, and guilt upon your confcience, till you arc forced to groan out that language of a repenting foul : innumerable evils have compassed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, they are more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart faileth me. Endeavour to bring them all (thofe which you can remember, by a particular enumeration; thofe which you cannot remember, by a general confeffion) to the fountain fet open for fin and for un · cleannef, pray for faith, and endeavour to truft in the infinite merits of the Redeemer’s blood, and the infinite mercy of the God ofall grace, for a free pardon ofall your fins, how extenfive foever in their number, how great foever in their aggravations. Thus endeavour to have your
paft account balanced by the blood of Christ.
In like manner be careful to review the defećts of the duties, and the violations of the precepts of the fecond table of the moral law. Confider whether there be none who have offered you injuries and indignities; and fee to it, that from your heart you forgive them their trefpaíses, and that you remember each of them at the throne of grace, feeking mercy for them, as for your own foul. Confider what differences and controverfies you have maintained with any man, and in the most kind and condescending manner attempt all reafonable methods of reconciliation, committing the cafe to God by prayer. Confider whether in the course of your life : have not fome way or other
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been injurious to your neighbour, by word or deed, in your commerce or converfation ; and never reft till you have made reparation and fatisfaċtion, ifany thing of that kind can be remembered. Confider whether there beno enmity or rancour of Spirit, no prejudice or ill will, harboured in your breaft against any man ; and never rest till you can feel an univerfal benevolence to every individual of the human race, and have that love in exercife, which is the fulfilling of the law. Confider whether you have learned of Christ to be meek and lowly of heart, to live in peace and kindnefs ; and be excited by the gentlenefs of Chrift, to maintain the exercife of thofe fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, long fuffering, gentleness, goodnefs, meeknefs, temperance. Confider whether you have praćtifed fufficient liberality towards the poor and indigent ; and confult how you may now fo caf? your bread upon the water, as to find it again after many days. And in a word, feek pardon through the blood of Chrift for ali your paft defećts ; and confult how you may, for the future, render yourself the most extenfive blefsing to the world while you live in it. 5. Be very careful, faithfully to difcharge the refpestive duties of the feveral relations you fustain. , God having placed you, Sir, in a station of public truft, he calls upon you in the language of Jehoshaphat to his judges: Teke heed what ye do, for you judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment : therefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you, take heed and do it. It would be arrogance in me, to pretend to direćt you in the particular duties of your honcurable ftation ; and the parricular methods of difcharging them. It is your concern, in the execution of your truft, to approve yourfelf a minifier of God to his people for their good; a terror not to good works, but to the evil, the patron and defender of the opprefied and injured, and an impartial restrainer and punisher of the vicious and immoral; a fhining pattern ofa regular life ; and one that feeks the welfare of your people. - Allow me further to obferve, As you are likewife remarkably blefied in your corju: gal relation, that a full compliance with the laws of Chriť. ianity will greatly add to your mutual happiness. I do not mean by this, to recommend to you that love, tender
affestion, and most obliging kindness, which the word of Godinjoins upon all in that relation ; and which is fo abfolutely neceffäry to all fuch, in order to their prefent comfort or future happiness: fince in thefe things, you have praćtically declared to the world, that you fland in no need of a monitor. But what I would particularly offer to your confideration, is, that the foul is the principal part of human nature; and confequently the principal objećt of love and regard, in that near and intimate relation. It should therefore be the chief care of thofe who are thus nearly united, to live together as fellow heirs of the grace of life, to affift, counfel, quicken and comfort one another, in the ways of God and godlinefs ; and to confult all proper me
thods to promote each others fpiritual and eternal welfare.
Thus the bands of union and motives of deareft affestion
endeavour not only to give them a doćtrinal, but a prac
nate manner poffible, endeavour to restrain their vicious inclinations and praćtices, and inftill into them principles of reverence to the aged, of honour and gratitude to their Parents, of kindness and love to one another, and of piety and mercy to the indigent and difirefled. You should with constant and importunate ardour of foul, wrestle with God Mọr their spiritual welfare; and even travel in birth, 2o6 Direátions for Walking with Gop. to see Christ formedin their fouls. This is the way to make them indeed bleffings in their generation, to make thean happy while they live, happy when they die, and happy for ever. By this means therefore, shew that you love them indeed. To this I must add, that you are under a like obligation to take care of the fouls of your fervants, as of your children; and in like mainer to instrućt them, and to impress upon their minds the vast concerns of eternity. For you should always remember, that the foul of your meameít slave is of more value than this whole world. I shall only fubjoin under this head, that you fustain the charaĉter of a neighbour, unto which are many duties annexed. The poor you have always with you, to whom you owe charitable and compaffionate relief. You have frequent occasions of conversation, which fhould be good to the tije of edifying, that you may administer grace to the ‘hearers. You have special intereft in and influence upon many: this you should improve with care for their spiritual advantage. You will find frequent occafion to exhort and to reprove others, which should be done with fuch unaffećłed ferioufnefs and kindnefs, condefcenfon, and humility, as will both touch the conscience, and engage the affections; and thereby have a prospeċt of fuccess. In fine, you should watch for opportunity to do what fervice you can, both to the bodies and fouls of your neighbours; and thereby fulfil the royal law of love. 6. Walk by rule, in an exaĉt observance of stated devotions. We are exhorted to walk circumfpećłły, redeeming the time; to be always abounding in the work of the Lord ; doing the duty of every day, in its day; of every feafon, in its feafon. And to time things to best advantage, to methodize things well, and be steady to fome certain rules of proceeding, will very much befriend a life of religiơm. We are counfelled, to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long ; to pray without ce fing, and to meditate in God’s law day and night. Nothing can be cf greater importance to our present or future happigefs than a careful compliance with thefe divine precepts. You should therefore begin the day with Gop. When you awake in the morning, let God have your first thoughts, Lift up your heart to him, with thankfulnefs for the pre