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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 souls 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 some distinèt 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 past king; pray fervently for knowledge and spiritual illumination ; apply to Jesus Christ, your great Prophet, for this, and fee 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 intereft 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 particularly, 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 folemnity, and renew those en. gagements ; enter into covenant with God, and next come to his table, to get the transaction sealed and ratified, by getting the other feal of heaven appended to it.
And now, young people, I put it to your choice, as Jolkua did to the Israelites, Jof. xxiv. 15. “ Choose you this day whom you will serve." Make choice at this time whom ye will be saved by, and whom ye will obey. Wbom 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 see whether you will grant Christ's or the devil's defire? Whether shall the devil have you, foul and body, to all eternity, or shall Christ have you? Oh, will any be fo foolish as halt betwixt two opinions in this cale; 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 his angels are fighting about your hearts; the devil is holding, and a dying Saviour is drawing : 0, will you not be on Christ's fide, and wilh Michael may prevail, that the red dragon's head may be broken, that the devil may get a total defeat, and that Christ may get your hearts for ever? Remember, Christ will have none but willing servants, Psal. cx. 3. none but those who freely offer themselves unto the Lord. Amaziah the son of Zichri, is recorded with great honour, 2 Chron. xvii. 16. because “ he willingly offered himself unto the Lord." O for many Amaziahs, many such free will offerings, among young communicants. It would be a most pleasant Gght to God and ministers, to faints and angels, whose eyes are upon you. The first-fruits under the law were to be offered to the Lord. « The kindness of youth is much remembred by him,” Jer. ii. Young folks praying, repenting, and covenanting, are most melodious music in his ears. O, give Christ the first and best of your days, for he well deserves this. Make earnest of covenanting-work in secret, that the commu* nion-day may be a day of your espousal to the Lord Jesus, and the marriage-knot may be cast so sure at this table, that death nor heil may never be able to loose it:
Need I use any motives to press you to make this bargain, which is so advantageous for your souls? God invites you to treat with him, nay, he summous you to do it, 2 Chron. xxx. 8. “ Yield yourselves to the Lord,”. strike hands with God, submit to his mercy, accept of the terms of grace. O, that God himself would sound an alarm in your ears, and shew you the misery of an unconverted state!
1. While you are in this state, you have no interest in Christ, no share in his blood or purchase ; you have neither art nor part in the God of Israel, Eph. ii. 12.
2. You are under a covenant of works, and the pow. er, terror, threätning, and curses of a broken law. The sentence of death is pronounced against you, and you may look for the execution of it every moment.
3. While you are out of the covenant, you have no right to any mercy, and all the mercies you receive are VOL. I.
cursed to you, and you know not how soon God may ftrip you of all you have..
4. Consider what a sad stroke death gives to an un.. covenanted foul. It deprives him of all mercies, temporal, fpiritual, and eternal, at one blow; and fets him agoing for ever. And whither can you flee in the day of visitation, when nothing but grim horror and defpair do stare you in the face? When the body is on the brink of the grave, and the soul is on the brink of hell, how will you have confidence to cry to an uncovenanted God, to whom you have been strangers all your days? Muft it not be terrible for an uncovenanted soul to think, I am going to appear before that God I do not know, have no interest in, nor acquaintance with Can I look for friendship from him now, since I never sought after it before? But, on the contrary, how pleafant then will it be for a covenanted soul to look death in the face, who can say, I know whom I bave believed, and I know whither I am going : The place I know, the way I know, and the God of that land I know Why should I be backward to go to my covenanted friend, with whom I have oft conversed, been long acquainted, and in whole presence I have placed my happiness? ,
5. Consider how lamentable your cafe will be for evermore, if you flight the present opportunity : The treaty will not always last with you, nay, the day is not far off when it shall end, and God will treat with you no longer. The door will be eternally shut, and God will become inaccessible, inexorable, irreconcileable, for evermore: Christ, the blessed Mediator, will become thy implacable Judge; and, how will you look him in the face, when on the throne, whom you fo basely flighted at a communion-table? What wilt thou do when thou findest thyself thut up under flaming wrath, without hope ? The remembrance of lost opportunies will be as oil to thy flames. Time was, when God treated, and would have made a bargain with me, but I would not ; this will be the burden of thy eternal lamentation. O, how will you be able to bear the wrath of an uncove. nanted God! Who can dwell with devouring fire ? A fmall fhower of fire and brimstone lighting on our heads
now, would be very terrible. , But 0, it will be infinitely more so, when it shall be poured down in whole streams, and that not for a time, but for ever and ever. Will not ten thousand years suffering do the turn? No, no ; it will be eternal. ..Well, if you be able to dwell with everlasting burrings, you need not treat with God : But O, it is fearful to fall into the hands of the living God, one that lives, and will for ever live, to revenge himself upon you!
Hard must your hearts be, if they be not moved by these threatenings; but yet harder must they be, if they be not melted by God's condescending intreaties. Hear him, Ifa. lv. 1. 2. 3. “ Ho, every one that thirsteth, Come, &c. Incline your ear, and come unto me; Hear, and your foul shall live, and I will make an ever. lafting covenant with you.” Is God fo willing to make a covenant with his creature, a llave, a worm; and are you not willing to cast down the weapons of rebellion, and enter into a league with : Is it not a bargain most suitable for you, and all your circumstances and neceflities? Is it not most glorious and honourable for you to be betrothed to fo great a prince? Hof. ii. 19. Is it not rich and advantageous for you, to be infeft in so. great an inheritance, and to have a sealed right to such bleffed privileges as a free pardon, gracious access, covenant-provision, covenant protection, and covenante comforts?
Object.“ Alas, I have made a perfonal covenant be. fore, but have broke it."
Ang. You have cause to be humbled for it before God; and if you be not, it is a bad sign indeed. 2. All sen. Gible and mourning backsliders are invited to return to him, and renew their covenant, Jer. iii. endeavour to make the bargain surer than you did before.
Obje&t. “I am afraid of breaking it over again : And. is it not better not to engage ??"
Anf. 1. It is good to be jealous of yourselves, and feared for breaking; for, the more you distrust your own strength, the dronger you are.
2. If you covenant honestly, you will get covenantgrace and strength which shall be sufficient for you ; you will get the dominion of fin broke, and power to wrestle againft it : And, above all, you will get Chrift engaged for you as your surety ; and, to be sure, though you be weak, he is able enough,
Direct. XII. Labour for a thorough cleansing of both
Heart and Life from Sin, and turn unto the Lord in the ways of Rew obedience, before you come to the Lord's Table.
ALL that would attend a holy God, and expect a communion with him in this holy ordinance, must see to have pure hearts and clean hands, Psal. xxiv, 3. 4. Jam. iv. 8. What was David's pious resolution, Pfal. Xxxvi. 6. ought to be yours at this occafion, “ I will wash my hands in innocency, and so will I compass thine altar, O Lord.” He alludes to the ceremony of the priests washing at the brazen laver, before they mi nistered at the altar; to let us see, that though this ceremony belonged only to the priests, yet the morality belongs to all; and there is a washing which concerns all before they męddle with holy seryices, and especially such as the sacrament of the Lord's supper. There is a double washing required of all communicants; 1. A washing of yourselves in Chrift's blood by the actings of faith. 2. A washing of yourselves by the exercise of true reperitance and reformation, which is an effect of the former ; by the one, the guilt of sin is taken away, and by the other, the filth of fin is removed, '. Now, this cleansing must be both external and inter
nal, more than the outGde of the cup and platter must be washed, for God looks principally to the heart. Observe those parts of the sacrifice, that in a special mauner behoved to be washed under the law, Lev. i. 9. “! But the inwards and his legs shall he wash in water." Now, why should the inwards and legs of the sacrifice be walhed above all the rest ? Because the intrails con