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"you." We are not to be, like children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the deceit and cunning crastiness of men,whereby they ly in wait to deceive. Many and insidious are the arts that wicked men employ to make: Christians unstedfast in the faith, and tojurn them aside from the practice of their duty. This, fome endeavour to accomplish, by attacking divine revelation, with the view, no doubt, of fapping the foundations of Christian morality for, disguise it as they will, the enemies of our religion are not fo much ofsended at the sublimity of its mysteries, as they are at the purity and strictness of its precepts. Others, by the false colourings they bestow on vice, labour to make it appear beautisul. They magnify the pleasures a-hd supposed advantages of a sinsul lise; while, on the other hand, they represent religion as a dull and melancholy thing; as an enemy to our worldly interest, and of little use, but to damp the joys, and embitter the comforts of lise. In a word, by a vicious example, those ministers of Satan endeavour to accomplish' the ruin of fouls. And, when neither the ingenuity of their arguments, nor the influence of their example are effectual, they fometimes try the force of ridicule and derision. And, how often has this method proved fatally successsul? How many, especially in the inconsiderate seafon of youth, by commencing acquaintance with people of this characters have been induced to throw off every regard for virtue and religion? Let me entreat you, therefore, to beware, lest being led away with the error of the wicked, you fall from your own stedfastness.
Thus, I have endeavoured to shew you what it is to be stedfast and immoveable in the work of the Lord, and specisied fome of the many temptations to inconstancy to which you are exposed.
III. It remains, thirdly, That I lead you to consider the obligations under which you ly to be stedfast iru the work of the Lord, and immoveable against; allopposition.
You are not left at liberty to be stedfast, or otherwise, as suits your inclination. It is your indispen—fable duty. God, your Creator and Sovereign Lord,expressly requires it: "Be thou faithsul," fays he,
unto death."—" Stand fast in the faith ; quit your"selves like men; be strong."—" Continue in the
faith grounded and settled, and be not moved a"way from the hope of the gospel." Now, these are the commands of God; of God, your Almighty Sovereign: And will you dispute his authority? No; I hope better things concerning you.
But, you are not only obliged to be stedfast and-' immoveable in the work of the Lord, in point ofduty, but alfo in point of gratitude. Has not Godbeen stedfast to his covenant with you? Have not' you uniformly experienced that his providence is kind' and watchsul? Constancy and faithsulness are no less the invariable characters of his conduct, than attributes of his nature. He is with uSj while we are with him; his covenant is ordered in all things and sure. Has not God been ever found of you, when you fought him in sincerity? Has he not been nigh at hand to you, in all that you have called upon him for? And may he not, therefore, justly expostulate with- you in any instance of unstedfastness, as he did with Israel of old; "What iniquity have ye found "in me, that ye are gone far from me, and -have "walked aster vanity?"—But,.consider how constant and faithsul Jesus Christ was to' you, under all the trials and sufferings he met with, that he might accomplish your-redemption. His sufferings,- indeed, were such, as would have overcome the constancy of any created being.: But, did he- shrink back,; or faint under them? No; he travelled through the dismal
scene with unwearied perseverance. lie was faithsul to the trust committed to him; til), having fatissied Divine justice, he was able to cry out, " It is "sinished." If thou, then, O Christian, art unfaithsul to him, he may justly fay to thee, " I did not "serve 'thee fo in the garden of Gethsemane, and "when I hung upon the cross."
Finally, consider, that to be stedfast and immoveable in the work of the Lord, is your best and truest interest. Fer, on the one hand, if you are fo,- you will not only enjoy much present peace and comfort in walking with God, which is the greatest, or rather the only real happiness of the Christian's lise, in this world; but you have the most express promises of complete and everlasting happiness in the world to' come. If, by a patient continuance in well-doing, you seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, God will give you eternal lise: " Be thou faithsul," fays he, " unto death, and I wiil give thee the crown of "lise." Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, •when he comes, shall sind fo doing. Whereas, on the other hand, unstedfastness will not only deprive you of peace and comfort in walking with God, but is fo highly displeasing to him, that he who persists in it, is threatened with utter rejection: " If any man," fays he, " draw back, my foul shall have no "pleasure in him." In this matter, therefore, the everlasting interest of your fouls is deeply concerned.
If you be unstedfast in the work of the Lord, he may justly be fo far provoked, Ss to give you up to notorious backflidings, to open and gross sins, that will prove a scandal to our holy religion: " My "people," fays he, "would not hearken to my "voice; and Israel would none of me: fo I gave "them up unto their own hearts lust; and they walk"ed.in their own counsels." Tremble, therefore, lest, by your inconstancy, you provoke the Lord to withdraw, not only his strengthening, and comforting, but even his restraining grace. Remember, that God is jealous of his glory, and that the errors of those who prosess to be his children, are more heinous in his sight, than the sins of others. Remember that awsul faying, " You only have I known of all the '* families of the earth; therefore, I will punish you "for your iniquity."
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast and immoveable. Fight the good sight of faith. Lay hold on eternal lise, whereunto you are, alfo called^ and have prosessed a good prosession before many witnesses. I give you charge, in the sight of God who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good consession, that you keep this commandment without spou
And now, unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to the only wife God our Saviour, bs glory and majesty, domi* aion and power. Amen..
S ER. SERMON XXI.
ON ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORJW
j Corinth. xv. 58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, le ye ftedfaji, immoveable, always abounding in the -work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know, that your labour is not in vain in the Lor-d.
OUR holy religion, if considered without prejudice, in whatever light we view it, will appear amiable and sublime; particularly., if we view it as 'training us up, and leading us on, to greater and more eminent degrees of persection in holiness, and, consequently, to higher measures of happiness and .glory. "The path os the just," fays Solomon, " is "as the shining light, that shineth more and more "unto the persect day." In the gospel, our greatest excellency is recommended to us as our duty; and it argues insinite love and condescension in God, to enjoin such duties as have a native tendency to exalt our natute, and prepare us for the enjoyment of consummate selicity. Thus, in our text, we are not -only enjoined to be stedfast and immoveable, but also to " abound always in the work of the Lord; foras'** much as we know, that our labour is not in vain « in the Lord."
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