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and this covenant which you have made with God, 1. Do come only from a present fear, and not from a changed, rénewed heart. 2. And if your resolutions be such as would not hold you to a holy life, if you should recover; but would die and fade away, and leave you as you were before, when the fear is past, then is it but a forced, hypocritical repentance, and will not save you, if you so die. Though a minister of Christ should absolve you of all your sins, and seal it by giving you the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ; for all this you are lost for ever, if you have no more: for absolution and the sacrament, are given you but on supposition, that your faith and repentance be sincere: and if this condition fail in you, the action of the holiest minister in the world, will never save you. .

But, 1. If your repentance and covenant come not only from a present fear, but from a renewed heart, which now loveth God, and Christ, and heaven, and , holiness, better than all the honours, and riches, and pleasures of the flesh and world, and had rather have them, even on God's terms. 2. And if this change be such, as if you should recover, would hold you to a holy life, and not die, or dwindle into hypocritical formality, when the fright is over, then I can assure you from the Word of God, that if you die in this repentance, you shall certainly be saved. And though late repentance have so many difficulties that it too seldom proveth true and sound, and it is an unspeakable madness to cast our salvation on so great a hazard; and to defer that till such a day as this, which should be the principal work of all our lives; and for which, the greatest care and diligence is not too much: yet for all that, when conversion is indeed sincere, it is always acceptable, how late soever: and a returning prodigal shall find better entertainment with God, than he could possibly expect; and never will Christ cast out one soul that cometh to him, in sincerity of heart. The Lord give you such a heart, and all is yours. Amen.

a Jer. xxxi. 34. Eph. i. 7. Acts v. 31. Eph. v. 26. Rev. i. 5. 2 Cor. vi. 16. Mal. iii. 17. John i. 12. iji. 16. Eph. ii. 14. Rom. viii. 1. 17. Luke iv. 18. Rom. v. 1. 5. Luke i. 74. John X. 28. Luke xxiii. 43. 1 Cor. xv. 8. 3, 4. Acts iv. 4–6. 1 Tim. i. 13–16.

Tit. iii.

A Form of Exhortation to the Godly in their Sickness.

Dear friend : Though nature teacheth us to have compassion on your flesh, which lieth in pain; yet faith teacheth us to see the nearness of your happiness, and to rejoice with you in hope of your endless joys, which seem to be at hand. We must rejoice with you as your friends that love you, and therefore are partakers of your welfare: and we must rejoice with you as your fellow-travellers and fellow-soldiers, that are going along with you to the same felicity; and if we are left behind for a little while, yet hope ere long to overtake you, and never to be separated from you more. This is the day for which Christ hath been so long preparing you ; and which you have so long foreseen, and have been so long preparing for yourself. This is the day which you thought on in all your prayers, and patience, in all your labours and sufferings, your self-denial and mortification, since God did bring you to yourself and him. Now you are going to see the things which you have believed; and to possess the things which you have sought and hoped for: to see the final difference between the righteous and the wicked; between a holy, and a worldly life, between the vessels of mercy, and of wrath. Your time is hastening to an end, and endless blessedness must succeed it. O now, what a mer. cy is it to have a Christ! Thạt you are not to encounter an unconquered death; nor to go to God without a Mediator; but that death is by Christ disarmed of its sting; and that you may boldly resign your soul into the hands of your Redeemer, and commend it to him as a member of himself. Now, what a case had your soul been in, if you had no intercessor? If you had been to answer for your sins, yourself only; and had not a Saviour to be your advocate, and answer for you? Now you may better perceive than ever you have done, whạt God did for you when he opened your eyes, and humbled, and changed, and renewed your heart: and how great a mercy it is to be a penitent believer. You may now see more fully than ever heretofore, what God intended for you when he converted you: when he forgave all your sins, and justified you by his grace, and adopted you for his child, and an heir of life, and sealed you with bis

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Spirit, and sanctified and separated you to himself. Now what a case were you in, if you were yet in your sins, and in the bondage of satan, and had not this evidence of your title to eternal life? If you had your heart to soften, and to humble, and to convert, and your faith and justification all to seek, and all your preparations for heaven to make ; if you had all this to do, with a pained body, and a distracted mind, in so short a time, with God, and eternity, and death before you, ready with terror to overwhelm your souls? If now you were to seek for an interest in Christ, and for the pardon of all your sins, and your peace with God were yet to make? If you had all your life past to look back upon, as consumed in sin; and when time is at an end, must cry out of all that is past, as lost? this is the case that God in justice might have left you to. But what an unspeakable mercy is it, that you have already been reconciled to that God that you are going to ? and that the sins which now would have been your terror, are all forgiven through the blood of Christ? That you can look back upon your time, since the day of your conversion, as spent in faithful devotedness to God, and in a believing preparation for your endless life ; and in godly sincerity, notwithstanding your manifold sin'ful imperfections, which Christ hath undertaken to answer for himself. Though you have nothing of your own to boast of; and no works that will justify you according to the law, at the bar of God, but you need a Saviour, and a pardon, for the failings, even of the best that ever you did; yet must you with thankfulness remember that grace which hath begun eternal life within you, and prepared and sealed you to the full possession of it. For all the mercy that is in God, and for all the glory that is in heaven, and for all the merits and satisfaction of Christ, and for all the fulness and freeness of the promise; if God had not given you a believing, penitent heart, and sanctified and sealed you by the Spirit of his Son, all this could have afforded you little comfort, but would have aggravated your misery, as it did your sin. Seeing then that many of the wicked, would be glad to die the death of the righteous; and when it is too late, they would all be glad, if their latter end might be like his; how glad should you be, that God by such a life, hath prepared you for such an end? And though a humble soul hath still an eye upon its own unworthiness, and satan is ready to aggravate our sins, in order to our discouragement and fear; yet must you remember what an honorable victory grace hath had over them; and look on them as Christ did, as the advantage of his grace; that “where sin abounded, there grace hath superabounded.” You have had something to humble you, and to shew you that you were a child of Adam; and you have had something for grace to contend with, and to conquer; and for Christ to pardon; bless him through whom you have had the victory. Had you not deserved hell, Christ could not have saved you from a deserved hell; and the song of the Lamb would not have been so sweet to you, in the everlasting remembrance, and experience of his grace. You have sinned as a man, and he hath pardoned as God; you have been weak and nothing, but his grace hath been sufficient for you, and by his strength you can do all things. He hath as dear a love to you now in his exaltation, as he had upon the cross, when he was bleeding for your sins. And will he suffer a chosen .soul to perish, for whom he hath paid so dear a price? A Christ in heaven that had never been on earth, would have seemed a stranger to us, and one that never was acquainted with our miseries, nor had testified his love at so dear a rate, as might have convinced, and encouraged, and won our hearts.

And a Christ on earth, that had not passed for us into heaven, would have seemed to us but an insufficient conquered friend; and were unfit to provide us a mansion with the Father, and to receive our souls, when they are separated from the flesh. But “now we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, and was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin;" and therefore “can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities : and therefore we may come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need a." This is your time of need, and here is a supply for all your needs. As we may come boldly through our high priest to the throne of grace, so may we boldly pass by his conduct into the presence of God in glory. For he is purposely gone before "to prepare a place for us, that where he is, there we may be also be.” O what a joy is it to our

a Heb. iv. 14-16.

b John xiv. 1-3.

departing souls, that we have our head and Saviour already in possession of the kingdom, which we are passing to ! What a support and joy is it, to receive this message from our ascending Head, “Say to my brethren, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; to my God, and your God.” What a joy is it to read his promise, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant bed.” You have served him, and are following him, and now are going to be with him where he is.

There you shall be delivered from the darkness of this world. How dimly did we see through the lanthorn of the flesh! How little did we know! And how much were we ignorant of! And what pains did our little knowledge cost us! But there, one sight of the face of God will put an end to this longsome night; and will shew you that, which all the reading and study of a thousand years could never satisfactorily have shewn you. There you shall understand the works of God; the frame of the creation; the place, and office, and reason of all things, which here you knew not. The mysteries of the Gospel, which angels pry into, will be there much more unfolded to you, than the clearest divines were able to explain them. All sciences there shall be one pansophy; and all things knowable shall appear to you, in their wondrous perfect harmony. What welcome will those blessed angels give you, that here disdained not to minister for you, and bear you up in all your ways, and interested themselves in your concernments, rejoicing before God at your conversion! How glad then will they be of your safe arrival at the promised harbour of felicity with themselves ! What joy will it be to you to be presently entertained, and welcomed into the acquaintance of those blessed spirits, and of all the holy souls that are delivered from this flesh and world, and to see their order, and be numbered with their society, and to be employed in their joyful work. O how much better company is that than the best below! There is no ignorance, and therefore no error; no want of love, and no contention; nor narrow, private interests to contend for, but all made happy in perfect love in him that is their universal end and happiness. There is no dissention, nor perverse disputes ; no ignorant zeal, nor blinding passions ; no proud or covetous designs, and therefore no hurtful

d John xii. 26.

e John xx, 17.

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