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wrath of an angry God, and from the fears of what may come hereafter.
These motives, to well-difpofed minds, will be fufficient to oblige them to fet about the work of their converfion with fear, and a concern worthy of fo great an intereft.
I fhall therefore conclude this difcourfe, after I have made a few useful obfervations from what has been said.
And firft; as this bleffing of peace is the gift of God, fo the conditions on which we may hope to attain it are fet down in his word. And if an angel from heaven fhould tell me that I might obtain pardon and peace, upon any other terms than repentance and holiness of life, I fhould have reafon to fufpect his meffage. How miferably disappointed then are they like to be, who continue in fin, depending upon God's mercy, upon the prayers of the faithful, or upon any other method which God has no where declared he will accept of!
2dly. If obedience to the laws of God be neceffary to obtain fuch difpofitions as shall fit us for heaven, what will be the lot of those who put off their converfion to the last moment of their lives? If becoming a new creature, (which is abfolutely required in the Christian difpenfation) if that be neceffary, fure it will require time to be formed, as all other creatures do.
Our third obfervation may be this: that fuch as make their whole lives a course of finning and repenting, depending upon God's goodness, fhould confider, that this is a very odd way of reasoning,-That because God is merciful, I may therefore be less careful to please him.
4thly. That fuch as dare not look into the state of their fouls, may depend upon it, they are not in the way of peace, however eafy they may be: because peace of confcience arifeth from a knowledge and affurance, that God will be favourable to me according to his word; because, upon confidering my ways, I find that they are ordered in fome good meafure according to that word.
Laftly. This bleffing is attainable by all forts and conditions of men, who fhall fet their hearts upon it. For as we may have all worldly bleffings, and yet want this, which is better than all befides; fo we may want those worldly bleffings, and be poffeffed of this, which will make us fufficient amends.
Our weakness cannot hinder us, when GoD has promised to hear and to help us.
Want of spare time to seek after it should not difcourage us, fince God, the author of peace, has appointed us our lot in this world.
Want of learning will be no excufe; for God has given us a confcience to fupply that want in a good measure; and he that attends
attends to that will in most instances know what will please God.
What have we then all to do, but with an humble faith to embrace thofe truths, which lie open to the meaneft capacities; with a willing obedience to do what we believe will please God; and with an unfeigned forrow to beg God's pardon whenever we know we have offended him, and strive in earnest to do fo no more.
Then the Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will be with us, and remain with us for ever.
WORKS, NOT WORDS ONLY, NECESSARY
MATTHEW vii. 21.
NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.
OW often do we hear these words of
That you may attend to what
is going to be faid to you upon this fubject, pray take notice, that the falvation of every foul of us will depend upon our understanding this declaration of our Lord, and upon our ordering our lives accordingly. Not every one that faith unto me, Lord, Lord; that is, who profeffeth himself a Chriftian, and obferves the outward duties of Christianity; fhall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father: he that leadeth a Christian life, he, and he only, shall be faved.
There is a most fad mistake, which people of all religions and profeffions do naturally
See Matth. vii. 23. x. 33. xxiii. 28, 29. Luke vi. 46, 48. viii. 2 Tim. ii. 19. James i. 22. I John i. 6. 21, xi. 28. I Cor. iv. 20.