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the mind with a deep sense of the evil of sin, the desert, misery, and danger of sinners, the excellency of his law, the holiness of his nature, and the awful justice of his government; as well as to show the riches of his mercy, and to prove the insufficiency of all other methods of salvation: at the same time, the greatest encouragement is given to the humble penitent, and the most effectual motives furnished to all holy cheerful obedience for the future." Other Foundation can no

man lay but Christ Jesus," the eternal Son of God in our nature, our Surety, High-priest, Sacrifice, and Intercessor: in his person, "God ma"nifest in the flesh," all salvation is treasured up, purchased by his meritorious life and agonizing death, given through his intercession, and by the supply of his Spirit to sanctify our souls. The sinner who is convinced of his danger, humbly conscious of his guilt, sensible of the worth of his immortal soul, and drawn off from all other hopes, in the exercise of genuine repentance, and believing the testimony of God's word, that Jesus is able and willing to save to the uttermost: encouraged by his invitations and promises, with earnest desires, trembling expectations, and fervent prayers, comes, applies, and waits on him for this salvation; waits also his time, and never waits in vain. He is now willing to renounce his sins, deny himself, and undervalue other interests and

Read Matt. xi. 28-30. xxii, 2 Cor. v. and vi.

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pleasures, when they come in competition with the salvation of his soul, and the excellency of Christ. In this way he "passes from death unto life," obtains pardon of sin, peace of conscience, the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit, becomes " new creature," "walks in newness of life;" ceases to do evil, learns to do well;" and by the grace of God (which he earnestly seeks in daily prayer) is taught, inclined, and enabled "to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live "soberly, righteously, and godly in this present "world."

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This man is indeed a christian, has "a hope" of glory "which maketh not ashamed," and is therefore fit for death and judgment; because he is entitled to, and meet for, the inheri tance of the saints in light, But, deceive not yourselves this man alone is fit to die; for with out repentance of sin, faith in Christ, love to him, and holiness of heart and life through the sanctification of the Spirit, no man can find acceptance with God, or admission into heaven. Consider therefore in this time of adversity, whether you have built on this Rock, fled to this Refuge, come to God in this Way, and experienced this change of disposition and behaviour. If this be indeed your happy case, your consideration will issue in inward peace and joy, and gratitude to God even for his fatherly correction; and submission to his

Read Phil. iii.

Read Heb. xii.

will whether for life or death: and you will endeavour to convince your fellow sufferers, that religion is the source of the most effectual consolations, the cure of impatience, and the remedy against the fear of death.

If this matter be yet doubtful, you will see the necessity of improving your confinement and retirement, the continuance of your life, and the use of your reason, (of which you may so soon be deprived,) in searching the scriptures, and serious self-examination, and with humble particular confession of the sins of your past life. You will use fervent constant prayers to God to teach you his truth, and salvation, to grant you true repen'tance and his holy Spirit.' You will beg for Christ's sake that he will forgive your sins, give you the comfort of his pardoning love, and by renewing you to holiness, prepare you for a holy heaven whenever you leave this world. In short, you will see cause, without delay," to seek the "Lord whilst he may be found," in all the means of grace, as far as your disorders will admit of it. For, if, flattering yourself with hopes of recovery, and future years, you should postpone this one thing needful, and your sickness should end in death, (which, considering that you live and move and have your being in that God with whom you thus trifle, may probably be the case,) the event and disappointment will be indeed tre

'Read Isaiah Iv.


But whether life or death be before you, the counsel here given must be good; and the calm, arising from such serious attention to the concerns of eternity, would best concur with the medicines in restoring your health.

4. You should next consider what is the best method of bearing your affliction. It must be born, and cannot be avoided: but the question recurs, How may the burden be best supported, and rendered lightest? Surely impatience, fretfulness, and peevishness not only provoke the indignation of God, but increase the weight of your sufferings, and render all around you weary of assisting you. On the other hand humble submission, patience, and quietness of spirit break the force, and lessen the weight of afflictions; and render every person cheerful, and ready to afford you the help which you are capable of receiving, And "why should a living man complain, a man "for the punishment of his sins?" Is it not "better to be chastened of the Lord, than to be "condemned with the world?" We are punished much less than our iniquities deserve: and 'tis our own fault and folly, if all our sufferings do not prove blessings to us; as they are the appointment of infinite wisdom and love, and have a direct tendency to our good, if our obstinacy and depravity do not render them ineffectual.

'Read Heb. iii.

Read Lam, iii. 22-41. Heb. xii. 1-11.

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5. This introduces another subject of consideration; namely, how you may extract benefit from your afflictions, should it please God to restore your health? "Have suffered so many things:


"in vain?" He who derives no benefit from afflictions must be a great loser; for he adds ingratitude to his former provocations; and, if not given up to final impenitency, still sharper corrections will be requisite to bring him to himself," seeing milder measures have been ineffectual. The sinner, who is not humbled, and brought to repentance and newness of life, by affliction, has evidently suffered in vain, and has cause to suspect that his recovery will not prove a blessing to him. But he, who like Manasseh, under his affliction, seeks the Lord, and humbles himself greatly before him, with penitent confessions and fervent supplications; who with true repentance, and faith in Christ, seeks and obtains the pardoning mercy of God, and the grace of his holy Spirit, by which he may be enabled henceforth to lead a new life; will have cause to be thankful, both for sickness and for recovery, and may say, "Before I " was afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept thy word;"" It is good for me that I have been "afflicted.".


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6. You should consider the goodness of God to you, in the care taken of you by this Charity,

"Read Luke xv.

* See 2 Chron. xxxiii.

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