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the Effects of it may be less visible. For I, who taught them then, continue teaching still, Nay, I diređ my Speech to All, but All will not hear it. For there are Many deaf to all my Charms, and therefore deaf, be
*cause they stop their Ears ; hate my Inftru
Etions; and will none of my Reproofs. They listen to the World much rather than to God, and are more disposed to obey their own Corrupt and Sensual, than his Pure and Heavenly Will. The World invites them with short and transitory, trifting and empty Joys, and they greedily engage in its Service; 1 covenant for Eternal and Excellent Rewards; and the infensible Wretches will not consider, or think them worth their Acceptance. This Folly is universal; For who among the Sons of Men, expresses half that Zeal and Earneftness, that solicitous Desire to pleafe, and datiful Fear to offend, in his Deportment towards me, which he does in Matters relating to this World, of in Obedience to Masters upon Earth ? Consider this
, and blush for shame; for What but Shame and Confufion of Face, can be the Effect of thy Reflection upon this unworthy Usage, this most absurd Folly?
A fmall Preferment is esteemed a valuable Confideration for long and painful Journeys. Men fly for it eagerly, and hasten all they can to get ground of their Competitors; This is every one's Care, and it is accounted a Reproach to be negligent in such Pursuits, But, when Advancement to Heaven and Eternal Happiness is offered, they are slothful and unactive, and scarce a Man to be found, who thinks it worth the while to mend his Pace, or sets one Step forward to meet, or to secure, fo glorious an Advantage. A little sordid Gain engages all Mens Industry; a trifling Sum embroils them in tedious and expensive Suits ; And Promises of things scarce worth their having, they are 'content to drudge for; to lose the Ease of their Days, and the Sleep
of their Nights, and think their
Toil and Anxious Care well paid, if they can compass them at laft: But a substantial and unchangeable Good, a Recompence greater than they know how to value juftly, Immortal Glory, and the Honours of the Saints, are sunk so low in wretched Mens Efteem, that the least. Pains and Hardship are thought too much for them.
And art thou not ashamed, lazy, insensible, grumbling Wretch, that the Children of this world should pursue Death and Ruin, with a more vigorous Industry and Zeal, than thou canst find in thy heart to bestow upon Life and Happiness ? Shall Toys and Va
nities.win more upon their Affections, than solid and : true Good can upon Thine ? Nay, even those Vani
ties whose very Enjoyments are empty, do often mock
their Hopes, and are never enjoyed at all; Their & Friends promise and deceive; They labour but can- not attain; But my Promises are without Repentance;
None taxéth, Me with Breach of Faith, or can complain, that his Dependance upon My Word hath at any time disappointed him. For I require only Love and Perseverance; And, if these be not wanting, I answer to the full nay , I far exceed my Servants largest wishes and longing Expectations. Yet false and fickle Men can easily persuade, and the God, who cannot lye, calls and promises in vain! I am the sure Rewarder of all that diligently seek me ; and if fuch meet with Sufferings and sharp Temptations, these are not Marks of my. Displeasure, but wisely ordered, and kindly intended, to prove the Sincerity of my Servants Zeal, and to illustrate their Virtues.
Write then my Words in thy Heart; Grave them in deep and lasting Characters ; Ponder them diligently, for thou shalt find them a seasonable Relief and neceffary Support in the Day of Tryal and Adversi
ty: What Reading only hath not taught thee, AfTu Hiction will interpret and make plain. For I do not
always visit my Chosen alike. Sometimes the Comforts of my Grace are proper; át Others, the wichdrawing those Comforts, and bringing their Patience and Constancy to the Touch, by Outward Calamities, and Inward Anguish of Spirit. ThusI daily train them up in Goodness, by chastising and making them hate their Sins, and cultivating and encouraging their Advancement in Virtue. The One Dispensation enga. ges their Love of Me, the Other abates their Fond ness for the World. But loft and wretched is that ftupid Creature, upon whom these Methods make no
Impression; For He that rejectetb Me, and John xii. 46. receiveth not my Words, hatb Ove tout judgeth bim in the last Day,
CH A P. IV.
A Prayer for Heavenly Instruction and Devotion.
Lord, my God, Thou art my All, my
only Good ; but Who, alas! am I, that I should take upon mé to speak to so Great, so Glorious a Majesty Poor sinful Duft and Ashes; a wretched Worm ; less than the least of all thy Servants ; much less, much viler and more despicable than I dare to think, or am able to express or conceive. And this very Vileness, Lord, I beg thou wouldst consider, that so my helpless desolate Condi: cion may move thy tender Pity, tp a miserable Creature, who neither is, nor hath, nor can do any thing, without thee. For Thou only art Good, and Holy, and Powerful ; and that of Power so boundless, of Mercy fo diffusive, that thou fillest all things with thy Goodness; and none but those guilty Souls, who refuse to partake of thy Graçe, are lhut out from its kindly
Influences. Behold me then hùngring and thirtting after thy Righteousness, and let me not be fent empry away. Call up thy Bowels, and remember thy Compassions and old Loving-kindnesses ; and fill my Soul with thy Grace and Heavenly Dispositions, that it may be a Dwelling fit to entertain that blessed Inhabitant, who will not take up his Abode in defiled and desolaté Placeś.
But how can I furnish a House for my Lord, except he vouchsafe to assist and supply my Wants? How can 1 sustaiti the Miseries ärid Temptations of a Troublesome Dangerous World, except thou graciously interpose and support my Weakness? Turn not then thy Face away from me ; neither delay thy Fatherly Care; for if thou gränt not refreshing Dews, and water noe my Heart with thy Grace, it will remain a dry and barren Ground. Teach me, dear God, to know and do thy Will, and with sincere Humility, and indesa: tigable Zeal, enable mie to persevere in my Obedi:
For Thou art my Wildom, and my RighteHousnefs ; my Infirmities are not hid from Thee ;
Thou knowest me perfe&ly, and understoodest all my Defecs, not only before I was born, but even long before the World it self was made.
CH A P. V.
Walk humbly with thy God, and worship Him in
Do indeed, my Son, know thy Frailties,
and thy Dangers, but ler not these discoufage thy Endeavours. Seek and love the Truth, and let thy Heart be right with me, and all shall be well #t laft. For Truth and Sincerity will be thy Protection, and defend thee from the Assaults of the De vil, and the Attempts of wicked and deceitful Meu
Those who are thus set free, shall be free.ir Solm viii. deed, nor shall the Seducements or the Di couragements of Enemies to the Truth, be able to en fnare or divert them from their Duty.
Disciple.] True, Lord. And this Perswasion makes me more earnestly implore thy Aslistance. That'thon, who art Truth it self, wouldit in much Mercy condescend to instruct, and direct me; to preserve and protect me; to break the Snares of the Ungodly to pieces; to deliver my Soul, and establish me unto che End; To purge me from all corrupt and inordinate Affe&tions, that my own happy Experience may convince me of what I already believe, and render chy Service perfect Freedom.
Christ.] My Children cannot be more zealously disposed to ask these Blessings, than I am ready and pleased to grant them. Hear therefore the Truth, and how thou mayest recommend thy self to my Favour and Acceptance. Reflect with sad Remorse upon thy past Offences.; let the Remembrance of these render thee vile in thy own Eyes ; and take heed, that no Confidence in thy beit Actions, swell thee with vain Conceits of thy own Deserts. For, sure it is, thou art a Sinner, laden with Guilt and many grievous Infirmities ; prone in thy own Nature to Vanity, easily seduced, quickly diverted from good Resolutions, and overcome by very slight Temptations. In short, No Excellence belongs to thee, which can in any degree justify thy Pride or Boasting ; but infinite Occasions there are to exercise thy. Humility and Lamentation, infinitely more in truth, than thou canst be duly sensible of.
Let not then the mistaken Value of any thing thou art or doit, delude thee 'with false Appearances of Worth and Perfection ; Let not thy Affections be fe