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the voice of God? Let your consciences speak, and I am sure a great many of these evils ye will find yourselves guilty of. (3.) I would pose you, as to the fruit of these approaches. What good get ye for your coming? Do ye get convictions, and Shift them? Do ye get calls, and fir them? Do ye hear reproofs, and hate them? Do ye hear instruétions, and forget them? Who of you can clear yourselves of these fins? Sins done in the very pre pot *sence of God, i fins wherein his honour and glo- Ka ry is in a more than ordinary manner concern. ed, because they do extremely reflect upon it.

26 We shall next follow you to your employ. ments, and enquire a little what your carriage is sivut there.' I take it for granted that all of you have ting some honest occupation or other. If there be any who have not, these persons, as they sin in wanting, because thereby they idle away God's talents; so they ly open to all sins. Now, such of you as have bee employments, I shall desire you to answer me a few questions in reference to your deportment in them. And, (1.) I would know if ye did con- MC sult God in the choice of them? Did ye make it and your endeavour to understand what God was cal-eten. ling you to? God, either dy giving a man specials endowments, a peculiar genius, with other congruous circumstances, or by hedging up the way to all other employments, or some one fuch providential way or other, calls every one to a particulier lar employment. And therefore, when we engage el in any, we should endeavour to understand God's hea 'mind in it, what it is our duty to do; for we are par commanded, in all our ways, to acknowlege God.tid Prov. iii. 6. In all thy ways acknowlege him, and ! he ball direct thy paths. Now, did ye, in this the Itep of your way, acknowlege God, I mean, in

the

the choice of your employments? I fear few dare say that they bowed their knee to God to crave

his direction. Well then, here your iniquities 0 have found you out. (2.) Do ye sef God before

you in following your employments? Do ye make it your business to know how ye may glorify God

in them? Whatever we do, we are obliged to do De it to the glory of God. Let conscience now

speak, and it will tell many of you, That to this

very day ye never had a thought of promoting the Once

glory of God by your employments. So that here you are found guilty, not of some one sin only, but of a tract of sin, and that even from the morning of your day, continued till now. (3.) 1 Do ye depend upon God for a blessing upon the

work of your hands? Who of you dare say, That 19 however ye do use means diligently, yet, it is to

God ye look for the blessing? And are ye earnest 15 in dealing with God that he may succeed the

works of your hands, and make you prosper in new them? (4.) To whom do ye attribute the success

of them? When the Lord fucceeds the work of your hands, do ye heartily bless God for it? Dare ye say, That this leads you to praise the God of your mercies, and to walk humbly before him, who deals kindly even with the unthankful and

finners, and has given a proof of this, in giving po you success in these employments ? (5.) When

ye are successful in them, what use make ye of on your success? Does it engage you to the ways of

God, and make you walk more' humbly? or are *ye lifted up, and forget yourselves, and forget the u Lord? And do ye spend upon the service of fin

what the Lord has graciously given to you? Sure, in if ye conscientiously put thele questions home to 'G 2

your

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your own hearts, they will discover very much sin. But,

3. We shall in the next place take a view of you in your converse in the world, and there see whether we can find you guilty-of sin or not. And with respect to your converse in the world, I would pose you upon' a few things. And,

1. I put the question to you, What company do ye make choice of? Do ye choose the company of them that fear God, or the company of irreligious persons ? I am sure, if many of you deal impartially with your own hearts in this matter, ye will find guilt. Your consciences can tell, That you have the greatest intimacy with persons who have no religion, persons who have no fear of God before their eyes; not regarding what the wise man long ago observed, That he that walks with the wise fall be wise, but a companion of fools fall be destroyed, Prov. xiii. 20. And such are all irreligious men in God's account. I would not be understood to extend this too far, as some, through a mistake dangerous enough, do, as if thereby we were forbid civil or neighbourly con. verse with persons that are not religious; for this is not only lawful, but a duty; we have not only

scripture commands to this purpose, but the very ; law of nature obliges us to it: and we are sure, God

did never by any positive precept enjoin us anys
thing contrary to this. Nay, upon the contrary, ..
we see plainly, That a walk according to the law :
of nature in this matter, is highly congruous to
religion. If such persons do visit us, we may
visit them again, and carry it friendly. This is
one part of that courteousness that the apostle Pe-
ter enjoins us, 1 Pet. iii. 8. Finally, be ye all of
one mind, having compassion one of another ; love

as

as brethren, be pitiful, be courtecus. And whereas the refusal of civil converse, in enquiring after one another's health, visiting at some times, and the like acts of kindness, is looked upon by some as a piece of strictness and perfection, it is quiteotherwise; for the very contrary is determined to be a piece of a perfection, by our great Lord and Master, who is the best judge, Matth. v. 47, 48. And if ye salute your brethrenonly, what do ye more than others ? do not even the publicans 7? Be therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect. The plain meaning of which is this, A Christian should be a man every way beyond others, and should have something peculiar in the whole of his conduct; but if ye deal only. civilly and neighbourly with these of your own persuasion, with these who in every thing do jump with you, wherein do ye go beyond the publicans and sinners, the most signally impious : wretches that the world can new again ? Even thieves and robbers will keep some correspondence and civility toward these of their own fort; but christian perfection calls for inore enlargement of soul, and requires that we carry obligingly to all, and perform, as occafion calls, all' the duties of love, which comprehend certainly these of civil converse and neighbourliness, as the apostle puts beyond all question,' i Cor. x.. 27. If any of them that believe not, bid you to a feast, and ye be difi posed to go; whatsoever is fet before you, eat, asking no queftion for conscience sake. Thus we fee Christianis are allowed to converse civilly with these who are unbelievers. And indeed not to do so, has a tendency to bring the way of God into con.' tempt, and to make religion to be evil spoken of, and is contrary to the very fpirit of the gofpel, and

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these many express commands which we have of adorning the gofpel, and of converfing, so as thereby we may leave a testimony upon the consciences of men. Nay, it is to bear witness against God's goodness, and to rub shame upon our religion, as if it did narrow our fouls, and make us defective in these duties which it obliges us to abound in. But though what we have faid doth condemn the unchristian rigidity of fome, yet it will not justify the unwarrantable choice of persons who have :20 religion, for our intimates, or for our ordinary and daily companions. No, we are obliged to guard against this. If we do this, we are out of our duty, and therefore have no reason to promise to ourselves. God's protection. A person that walks, that ordinarily converses with such men, has reason to fear that the Lord may leave him to become like to them; and this intimacy, I fcar, is what most of you are guiltty, of. .

2. I would ask you, What company do ye delight most in? This is a great indication of the frame of the heart. A man that takes molt pleasuwe in the company of irreligious persons, furely sins in it. Some, when they are in the company of the godly, carry it as if they thought themselves in fetters; and when ever they get out of it, to their own companions again, their minds are at ease, and they find satisfaction; as a man doth that is looled out of the stocks. Are there none here whofe consciences can tell them that they are of this number? Let such look to the i Pfal. and i ver, and there they will see how far otherwise they ought to carry it.

3. I would further put the question to you, What converse do you delight in? Some, it may

be,

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