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opportunity, for the saving of our souls; we are shortly to go out of this world, and the Lord will call us to an account for our time, and all the talents which he hath given to us.
O that we may 50 live as to give up our account with joy! It is the desire of my soul that all the opportunities and seasons of
grace we now enjoy, may bring us nearer to God, and bring us to a better frame of spirit; that we may acquaint ourselves with God, and be at peace. Thus saith the Lord by the prophet,
Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you.' As men come to turn from their sins, and from the evil of their ways and doings, they shall come to know the mystery of God's salvation revealed to them. The secret of the Lord is vith them that fear him, and he will shew then bis covenant.' 0 keep yourselves from iniquity, and say when a temptation presents itself, How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?' Do not rush into sin, as a horse into the battle, with a brutish violence; not considering that death is before him. Do not indulge yourselves in any sin; do not gratify your lusts, and passions, and appetites, but keep them under government. Be of a considerate heart and mind, having the fear of God before your eyes, that you may say with the Psalmist, Psal. xvi. 8, 'I have set the Lord always before me, he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.' The enemy shall not move me, nor hurt me, nor prevail against me;
be cannot ensnare me. If I set the Lord always before me, I shall not want power and ability to resist the devil and overcome him. Those that bave set the Lord before them, be will be at their right hand, and they shall know and experience his preserving arm and power in the time of affliction and distress, and losses, and crosses, and disappointments : And in the time of great calamities, God will be
who will exalt them in due time. They breathe forth holy desires, and lift up their hearts to God, and say, 'Lord, I am as clay in the hands of the potter, O fashion and shape me, that I may be an honourable vessel in thy house, that I may be fit to glorify thee, and shew forth thy praise :* • Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, for they will be still praising thee;' they offer praise and glorify thee here for a short time, and thou wilt glorify them to eternity. God called Abraham, the father of the faithful, out of his own land, a land of idolatry; be obeyed the voice of God, went into a strange country and followed the Lord, not knowing whither he went: So God calls the sons and daughters of men out of their sin and transgression, that they may come to a land that flows with milk and honey ; that after all their wearisome labours and travels, through the wilderness of this world, they might come to an everlasting rest, and obtain salvation for their immortal souls. They that come to be convinced of the evil of their ways, and turn from them, that bitterly bewail their sins, and lament and mourn for their transgressions, and turn to the Lord with all their hearts; it may be said concerning such, these have learned that divine arithmetic, of numbering their days, and applying their hearts to true wisdom : These are the persons that take heed to their ways, and turn their feet to God's testimonies. They take more care, and are more concerned for their souls, than for all the perishing things of this world. Such an one will say, my soul is more worth, than ten thousand worlds: What will it profit me to gain the whole world, and lose mine own soul? Or what shall I give in exchange for my soul?' What is this world but an empty bubblé, a shadow that flies away? All its glittering profits, and charming pleasures, and delusory honours, that appear great to a carnal eye, how quickly do they vanish and disappear, and afford no true satisfa. tion to them that admire them, and pursue after tbem? Vanity of vanities (saith the wisest of men) Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, and vexation of spirit !. But worldly minded men, that set their hearts upon this world, they are not for these holy reflections; but the truly convinced men and women, that are touched with a deep sense of their misery, and of their own erring and straying, and wandering from God's holy ways, that fear to sin and provoke the Lord, and stir up the indignation of the Almighty, they love to reflect upon themselves, and to consider their ways, and turn to the Lord, and to set their faces Zionward: I say to all such persons, travel on, the Lord hath been gracious to you.
O improve your precious time! You know not how few days you have yet remaining to run your great race in. To day, while it is called to day, if you will hear the voice of God, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness. Let none of you be careless and slack, but let every one of you consider your latter end, consider how far you have done the work of God and whetheryou have been working out your own salvation, with fear and trembling, and give all diligence to make your calling and election sure ; that when you come to lay down your heads, it may be as conquerors that have fought the good fight, and overcome the enemy
souls. O Friends, we have a great and subtle enemy: If we be secure, and keep not our watch, he will surprise us and overcome us; but if we resist him, and fight against him, we shall overcome him, through Christ that hath loved us. O wretched man that I am, (saith the Apostle) who shall deliver me? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord ;' He will deliver me from
this great Goliab, that hath led me captive at his will. It is Christ that stands at the door of my heart and knocks, and bids me open to him that will be my deliverer : It is be of whom, David was a type, he will deliver me, and enable me to
overcome that Goliah, that grand enemy of my soul. When the sons of Jesse came before Samuel, one of whom God had appointed him to anoint king over Israel, the Lord said to Samuel, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of bis stature, because I have refused him; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth : for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart : and Jesse, made seven of his sons to pass
before Samuel, and he said to Jesse, the Lord hath not chosen these : then he sent and brought David, his young est son, a keeper of sheep, and he was anointed king.' He was little in stature, and ruddy, and withal of beautiful countenance and complexion ; yet was strong in heart, and of great courage ; of a wise and heavenly mind, that lived in the fear of the Lord, and also a man after God's own heart. When he came to fight Golialı
, that monstrous giant, that defied the
arınies of the living God, king Saul armed young David with his own armour, and put an belmet of brass upon his head, and also put on him a coat of mail, and he girded bis sword upon his ar
And David put them off him, and said to Saul, I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them. David fights Goliah after his own manner, out of the road of the mighty, and of the great ones of the earth : 'he took only his staff in his hand, and chose bim five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag, and his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine : and when Goliah saw David, be despised him, for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance : then said David to the Philistine, thou comest to me with a sword and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, whom thou hast defied; this day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand : and David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone and slang it, and smote the Philistine in the forehead,
and the stone sunk into his forebead, and he fell upon his face to the earth ; so David prevailed over Goliab, with a sling and a stone, and smote him, and slew him ; but there was no sword in the band of David.' Thus he conquered that great giant, though he was little and despised. - So our Lord Jesus Christ (of whom David was a type) when he came into the world, he was rejected and despised of men; but notwithstanding, there were many that bebeld his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
My Friends, it is Christ that hath conquered the devil
, that Goliah and great enemy of our souls : he bath spoiled principalities and powers, and overcome death, and hell, and all the powers of darkness : we also obtain the victory and are made more than conquerors, through the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Captain of our salvation. We are a people of his setting up: it is not by strength and human wisdom, not by arts and parts, and academical acquirements; not by power and might; but by the Spirit of the Lord, that we are enabled to overcome the enemies, of our salvation, sin, hell, and the grave, and to triumph in the power of God, and sing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb, a song of deliveBut before we come to sing this song
of Moses, there must be first a mourning state, an humbling of ourselves, and a bowing down before the Lord; we must say with the returning prodigal, Father, I bave'sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son :' and we may say, as the centurion, Lord I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof.' The power of divine truth must lay us low, and sink us into a deep bumility; they that come not to hear the voice of judgment, can never enjoy mercy of the Lord, nor know the working of God upon
their souls effectually to salvation. Yet he will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, till