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ality of their minds, and the greatness of their joys; but none of them arrive to such an experience, advance to such a height, as to be beyond the feelings of depravity. A Job, an Isaiah, a David, a Paul, high as their attainments were, still lamented the remains of corruption). A sense of your imperfection, therefore, must not so operate as to cause you to conclude you are still in a state of nature. Compare your present with your former state, and ask, Whether there be not at least some evidences of a new heart and a new spirit. I know professors may go to great lengths in deceiving themselves; but is it not your most ar. dent desire that you may not be deceived ? Have you not a portion of light that you once had not? Do you not feel such a sacred regard to God and divise things as you once did not ? Are not the people whom once you despised, the very characters whom, above all others, you most delight in? Can you now willingly keep away, and slight the ordinances as you once did ? Is not the Bi. ble, which you neglected and disesteemed, now more to you than your necessary food ? Are not sin and self, which were once your delight and confidence, now the great sources of all your trouble, and the objects of your greatest hatred ? Is not your life, which was once devoted to the world and its vanities, now given up to God? and is it not your constant prayer that you may ever avoid what he has prohibited, follow that which he has commanded, and make it your main end to serve him, and promote bis glory in the happiness of your fellow-creatures ? Then surely you may conclude that, weak and unworthy as you are, you are his. Could novelty, could education, could interest, could self-will, could the enemy of souls, could any human being, produce such sentiments and such feelings as these? No. It is the finger of God. It is his grace that has thus produced desires which he alone can satisfy. It is his power that has removed prejudices which no inferior influence could effect.
I would not, however, encourage you, without at the same time exhorting you to seek for a greater degree of faith. I would not have you satisfied with just being able to make out that you are a christian. When in a comfortable frame, perhaps, you may be able to ascertain this; but when darkness orverwhelms you, then you begin to doubt. Endeavour to live less on your frames, and labour after an increase of that holy assurance which shall produce peace in the soul under every storm. “ Weak faith (as one observes) will as surely land the christian in heaven as strong faith; for it is impossible that the least degree of true grace should perish, being all incorruptible seed. But the weak doubting christian is not like to have so pleasant a voyage thither as another with strong faith. Though all in the ship come safe to shore, yet he that is all the way sea-sick hath not so comfortable a voyage as he that is strong and healthful."* Labour, therefore, to obtain an increase of this grace of faith; for it is this that is the source of comfort, that honours God, that softens the rugged path, that conquers the world, and enables us tɔ triumph in Christ, and to see our interest clear in his love.
Finally, for your encouragement consider the prospect that is before you. How unlike every thing of a worldly nature, which ends in vanity and vexation of spirit! We take a vast deal of trouble to ascend the mount of worldly good; but, alas! when we arrive at the summit, it is all barren, and bleak, and cold ; but here the higher we go, the more enchanting the prospects, the more satisfying the objects we discover, and the more interesting and important the situation. Nothing is more natural than for the mind to be looking forward; and whether the objects be real or illusive, it is difficult to restrain the operations of hope, and to curb the imagination from painting some good which we expect in futurity to enjoy. But here the christian has the advantage. He may look forward with infinite satisfaction, and antici. pate the possession of every necessary good. ReHect, therefore, my dear reader, on this inestimable privilege. Adopted into the family of heaven, you are an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ. What greater thing can be said of a christian than this; for what may you not expect? The idea is grand beyond description. An heir of God!! Who can conceive, who can describe the immense riches of the divine nature? who can possibly dive into the depths of his grace, or reach the heights of his love? Who can form the least idea of his blessedness and glory ? A Being ever the same in all the excellencies of his perfections; in all the fulness of his Godhead. No commu. nications impoverish him ; he is still the overflowing Fountain of all good. Drop the earth, therefore, for a few moments, and endeavour to enter into this pleasant thought: 66 Why should
I be discouraged at the little trides of the present scene ? I am an heir of this Great Being, the So. vereign Lord of all worlds. He is my father and my friend, my present heritage and my everlasting portion. It is not felicity, it is not the saints, it is not heaven merely, that I am to possess; but God himself. Amazing thought! transporting idea! Whatever God is, whatever God has, his divinity excepted; whatever he can do, whatever he has promised; all are mine, through Jesus the Mediator. O let me die, then, to the world, and lose myself in him. Let no earthly scene, henceforth, allure me; let no worldly care or vexatious trial depress my spirits; for the Creator of heaven and earth is mine, my God, my glory for ever.” Thus you may meditate and rejoice, in the bright hope of enjoyments which eye hath not seen, ear heard, nor ever have entered into the heart of man to conceive.
But what will add still to your joys, and afford you encouragement under all the passing scenes of the present life, is the certain and sure hope of immortality. Here the fairest flower fades; the finest prospects are soon beclouded; the tenderest ties are dissolved; the strongest frame decays; the most extensive inheritance must be relinquished; the finest intellect grow dull; and the greatest temporal happiness of mortals terminate in sorrow and the grave. But behold ETERNITY. written upon the pleasures, the exercises, the society, of the celestial world. Come, christian, elevate your mind. Surely the thought of this is enough to outweigh every suffering of the present
state. Here, then, fix your thoughts, and sing as you pass along,
« Now to the shining realmıs above
There, from the bosom of my God,
IHUS I have endeavoured to suggest a few directions and cautions, and to propose some suitable encouragement to the sincere enquirer after divine truth. But should it fall into the hands of any who are yet careless and unconcerned, let me entreat them seriously to consider the importance and necessity of real religion. It is easy to ridicule, and common to make apologies for living without it. But reinember you must shortly die. You may die suddenly; you may in a moment be bereft of the use of your faculties. A tile falling from the house, a stone in the street, a little cold air penetrating through an opening pore, a fire in your dwelling, a sud. den fall, may be commissioned to take away your life in a very short time. But supposing you were to live an hundred years, how irrational, how ungrateful, how insensible, to pass away your time as if you had no soul to be saved; as if there -were no God to be served, no hell to shun, no