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God; and if children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ"." It witnesseth our adoption, by evidencing it; as a seal or pledge doth witness our title to that which is so confirmed to us. The nature of every thing is suited to its use and end; God would not have given us a heavenly nature or desire, if he had not intended us for heaven.

Direct. Ix. Look also to the testimony of a holy life, since grace hath employed you in seeking after the heavenly inheritance.' It is unlawful and perilous to look after any works or righteousness of your own, so as to set it in whole or in part, instead of Christ, or to ascribe to it any honour that is proper to him; as to imagine that you are innocent, or have fulfilled the law, or have made God a compensation by your merits or sufferings, for the sin you have committed. But yet you must judge yourselves on your sick beds as near as you can, as God will judge you. And "he will judge every man according to his work ;" and will recompense and reward men according to their works. "Well done good and faithful servant! thou hast been faithful over a little, I will make thee ruler over much; come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you—for I was hungry and ye fed me, &c." "He is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him "." "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man, that built his house upon a rock —” Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gate into the city; for without are dogs," &c. "Thus must you rejoice in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ," not only as he was crucified on it for you, but also as you are crucified by it to the world, and the world to you." He that as a benefactor will give you that glory which you could never deserve of him, on terms of commutative justice, (for so no creature can deserve any thing of God,) will yet as a righteous governor and judge, deliver it you only on the terms of his paternal, governing, distributive justice; and all shall receive according to what they have done in the body. And therefore you may take comfort in that evangelical

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P Heb. v. 9.

⚫ Gal. vi. 14.

righteousness, which consisteth in your fulfilling the conditions of the new covenant, though you have no legal righteousness, (which consisteth in innocency, or freedom from the curse of the law,) but only in the merits and sacrifice of Christ. If you are accused as being impenitent, unbelievers, or hypocrites, Christ's righteousness will not justify you from that accusation; but only your repentance, faith, and sincerity (wrought in you by the Spirit of Christ). But if you can but shew the evidence of this evangelical righteousness, Christ then will justify you against all the other accusations of guilt that can be charged on you. (Of which more anon.) Seeing therefore the Spirit hath given you these evidences, to difference you from the wretched world, and prove your title to eternal life, if you overlook these, you resist your Comforter, and can see no other ground of comfort, than every graceless hypocrite may see. Imitate holy Paul," For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world-"" "I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that day and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." To look back and see that in sincerity you have gone the way to heaven, is a just and necessary ground of assurance, that you shall attain it. If you say, ' But I have been a grievous sinner! I answer, so was Paul that yet rejoiced after in this evidence! Are not those sins repented of and pardoned? If you say But I cannot look back upon a holy life with comfort, it hath been so blotted and uneven!' I answer, hath it not been sincere, though it was imperfect? Did you not "first seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness?" If you say,' My whole life hath been ungodly, till now at last that God hath humbled me:' I answer, It is not the length of time, but the sincerity of your hearts and service, that is your evidence. If you came in at the last hour, if now you are faithfully devoted to God you may look with comfort on this change at last, though you must look with repentance on your sinful lives.

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"2 Cor. i. 12.

x 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.

y Matt. vi. 33,

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Direct. x. When you see any of this evidence of your interest in Christ, appeal to him to acquit you from all the sin that can be charged on you:' for all that believe in him are justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses, "There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, that walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"." Whatever sin a penitent believer hath committed, he is not chargeable with it; Christ hath undertaken to answer for it, and justify him from it; and therefore look not on it with terror, but with penitent shame, and believing thankfulness, as that which shall tend to the honour of the Redeemer, and not to the condemnation of the sinner. He hath born our transgressions and we are healed by his stripes.

Direct. XI. Look back upon all the mercies of your lives, and think whence they came and what they signify.' Love tokens are to draw your hearts to him that sent them; these are dropt from heaven, to entice you thither! If God have been so good to you on earth, what will he be in glory? If he so blessed you in this wilderness, what will he do in the land of promise? It greatly emboldeneth my soul to go to that God, that hath so tenderly loved me, and so graciously preserved me, and so much abounded in all sorts of mercies to me, through all my life. Surely he is good that so delighteth to do good! And his presence must be sweet, when his distant mercies are so sweet! What love shall Í enjoy when perfection hath fitted me for his love, who have tasted of so much in this state of sin and imperfection? The sense of mercy will banish the fears and misgivings of the heart.

Direct. x11. Remember' (if you have attained to a declining age) what a competent time you have had already in the world.' If you are grieved that you are mortal, you might on that account have grieved all your days; but if it be only that you die so soon, if you have lived well, you have lived long. When I think how many years of mercy I have had, since I was near to death, and since many younger than I are gone, and when I think what abundance of mercy I have had in all that time, ingenuity forbiddeth me to grudge at the season of my death, and maketh me al

z Rom. viii. 1.

most ashamed to ask for longer life. How long would you stay, before you would be willing to come to God? If he desired our company no more than we do his, and desired our happiness in heaven, no more than we desire it ourselves, we should linger here as Lot in Sodom! Must we be snatched away against our wills, and carried by force to our Father's presence?

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Direct. XIII. Remember that all mankind are mortal,

and you are to go no other way than all that ever came into the world, have gone before you (except Enoch and Elias).' Yea, the poor brute creatures must die at your pleasure, to satisfy your hunger or delight. Beasts, and birds, and fishes, even many to make one meal, must die for you. And why then should you shrink at the entrance of such a trodden path, which leadeth you not to hell, as it doth the wicked, nor merely to corruption, as it doth the brutes, but to live in joy with Christ and his church triumphant?

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Direct. xiv. Remember both how vile your body is, and how great an enemy it hath proved to your soul; and then you will the more patiently bear its dissolution.' It is not your dwelling house, but your tent or prison that God is pulling down. And yet even this vile body, when it is corrupted, shall at last be changed "into the likeness of Christ's glorious body, by the working of his irresistible power"." And it is a flesh that hath so rebelled against the spirit, and made your way to heaven so difficult, and put the soul to so many conflicts, that we should the more easily submit it to the will of justice, and let it perish for a time, when we are assured that mercy will at last recover it.

Direct. xv. Remember what a world it is that you are to leave, and compare it with that which you are going to; and compare the life which is near at end, with that which you are next to enter upon.' Was it not Enoch's reward when he had walked with God, to be taken to him from a polluted world? 1. While you are here, you are yourselves defiled; sin is in your natures, and your graces are all imperfect; sin is in your lives, and your duties are all imperfect; you cannot be free from it one day or hour. And is it not a mercy to be delivered from it? Is it not desirable to you to sin no more? and to be perfect in holiness? to

a Phil. iii. 20, 21.

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know God and love him as much and more than you can now desire? You are here every day lamenting your darkness, and unbelief, and estrangedness from God, and want of love to him. How oft have you prayed for a cure of all this! And now would you not have it, when God would give it you? Why hath God put that spark of heavenly life into you, but to fight against sin, and make you weary of it? And yet had you rather continue sinning, than have the victory and be with Christ! 2. It is a life of grief as well as sin and a life of cares, and doubts, and fears! When you are at the worst, you are fearing worse! If it were nothing but the fears of death itself, it should make you the more willing to submit to it, that you might be past those fears. 3. You are daily afflicted with the infirmities of that flesh, which you are so loath should be dissolved. To satisfy its hunger and thirst, to cover its nakedness, to provide it a habitation, and supply all its wants, what care and labour doth it cost you! Its infirmities, sicknesses, and pains do make you often weary of yourselves: so that you groan, being burdened," as Paul speaketh, 2 Cor. v. 3, 4. 6. And yet is it not desirable to be with Christ? 4. You are compassed with temptations, and are in continual danger through your weakness! And yet would you not be past the danger? Would you have more of those horrid and odious temptations? 5. You are purposely turned here into a wilderness, among wild beasts; you are as lambs among wolves, and through many tribulations you must enter into heaven. You must deny yourselves, and take up your cross, and forsake all that you have; and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution: in the world you must have trouble: the seed of the serpent must bruise your heel, before God bruise satan under your feet! And is such a life as this more desirable than to be with Christ? Are we afraid to land after such storms and tempests? Is a wicked world, a malicious world, a cruel world, an implacable world more pleasing to us than the joy of angels, and the sight of Christ, and God himself in the majesty of his glory? Hath God on purpose made the world so bitter to us, and permitted it to use us unjustly and cruelly, and all to make us love it less, and to drive home our hearts unto himself? and yet are we so unwilling to be gone?

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