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confcience justice; let confcience speak freely, and tell'whether things be fo or not. They must either own that there was not a regard ro the command, that there was not a desire after the sincere milk of the word, occasioned by a taste of the Lord's goodness, that there was not that ferious application to God by prayer, either for a minister, or for the blessing of the ordinance; or that there was; and this will cast you all into two clafses. 1. These who have not been so employed. in this matter, and consequently have not been acting for right ends. And 2dly. These who have been busied in duty, in the way just now mentioned. To each of these a word. And, .
First, As for you who have not had a regard to your duty in this matter, who have not been wrestling with God in prayer, that God might fend you a minister, with the fulness of the bler sing of the gospel. To you we say,
1. Your designs are not such as God will apa prove of. Had they been such as we mentioned in the former part of this difcourse, then furcly they would haveled you to earnest wrestling with God, for his direction, who only can point to ones that is meet to answer these blessed ends.
2. You are guilty of horrible wickedness. You have committed a great provocation, in calling a minister upon any other design. God designed them for the ends formerly mentioned, and no on, ther; and your calling them upon other aims, is: an endeavour to counteract God, prostiture his ordinance, and serve your lusts of that which God! designed for his own glory.
3. Whatever good others may get by the go-'! (pel, you ha re no reason to look for any. God may answer you according to the idols of your
own hearts; and when he fatisfies the foul of the
4. Repent therefore of this your wickedness,'
5. Bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Let us know by your carriage that you are really penitent, and that now you have got the right de, signs in view; and this you may do by a close attendance upon all the ordinances, by hearing and doing whatever is enjoined you of God,, and by all the other ways mentioned in the doctrinal part of this discourse. "
6. And lastly. Whether you hear or forbear, yet we tell you, the kingdom of God is come near unto you; whatever you design, the Lord has given you a gospel-day; and if our gospel be hid from you, it is because you are loft, the God of this world having blinded your eyes, that you Should not discern the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the image of God.
As to the second sort of persons, these who have been importunate with God, and have had an eye to his command in this work. To you we say,
1. This your conduct, paft all peradventure, is no mean evidence of the sincerity of your good intentions: and this is certainly matter of thankfulness, and is moreover a ground to hope,
that the Lord may not altogether frustrate your defires.
2, Do not think your work is over. Wrestle, plead strongly with God for the blessing of gospel. ordinances: whoever plants or waters, it is only God that gives the increase; and therefore, if you mean to grow under the means, be instant in prayer for the blessing of them ; plead that God may not send leanness to your souls, while he provides plenty of spiritual provision for you.
3. Beware of sitting down upon gospel-privileges. You may, if you do fo, lole what you have wrought, and justly bring the fincerity of your aims in question. There is nothing more ordinary, thán.upsitting of this fort. Persons, who it may be would say, I had they a gospel-dispensation! how glad would they be, how carefully would they improve it; and yet when they get what they seek, their improvement is in no measure an. fwerable to their resolutions; take heed of, and guard against this. .
4. Let there be a suitable care to evidence your sincerity in this matter, by the whole of your deportment. If you turn careless in attending ordinances, if you hear, but do not, if you neglect your own work, and be wanting to yourselves in this matter; then who will believe your sincerity ? Who can believe it? your own consciences will accuse you; and If your hearts condemn you, God is greater than your hearts, and knows all things. 1 John iii. 20.
5. If you find that the Lord has made endeávours successful, take care that you sacrifice not to your own net, and burn incense to your drag. God is a holy and jealous God, and will not be mocked; and if you begin to rob him of his glo
ry, he will get him glory in such a way, as may lay you low, and make you smart severely for your own folly.
6. If the Lord give you the gospel light, then walk in the light while you have it. Carry like children of the light and of the day, work out the work of your salvation with fear and crembling; for none of us can tell how foon our gospel day may be gone, and the night succeed, wherein none can work.
We shall conclude this discourse with a few general advices to all of you. Would you have our ministry made fuccessful ? would you obtain the real advantage of gospel ordinances, and have our meetings such as may be matter of rejoycing both to you and me in the day of the Lord ? then we intreat, beseech, nay, and obtest you by the mercies of God, in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, as you would have your own fouls and ours to be saved; .
1. Pray for us. As a minister is indispensably obliged to mind his people before God, and to carry them over upon his heart, so are they obliged to pray for their minister. Pray for us, says the apostle, Heb. xiii. 18. for we trust we have agood conscience in all things, willing to live honeftly: and to make this advice have the more weight, I hall lay before you a few considerations. And,
(1.) Consider ministers are not sufficientof themfelves for this work; the work is great, weighty and important, and the difficulties are many; and who is sufficient for it? Sure ministers are not; for if the apostle faid with justice of himself, That be was not of himself suficient to think any thing as he ought, 2 Cor. qii. 5. Then much more inay golpel ininisters now a days own it to be so with
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them; and therefore all their fufficiency is only of God, from whom suitable and needful supplies should be sought.
(2.) Consider, that in their plenty and fulness you shall have plenty. They are indispensably obliged to lay out what they receive for you, to fpend and be spent in the work and service of your faith ; and therefore, it is your interest that they abound, since it is like to turn to a good account to you ; and the more so, if you be instrumental by your prayers, in procuring advantages and supplies for them.
(3.) Consider, that they are exposed to great hazards for your fake, and therefore, you are to F contribute your utmost to their assistance this way, wherein you may be most helpful to them. They being made watchmen, do hereby become the butti of Satan's malice; and the more faithful they are, the more will he oppose them and seek their ruin. The enemy's principal design is sure to be against the watchman, because he prevents the surprising of his people by Satan, at least it is his business to do so; and therefore, no stone will be left unturned, in order to his ruin. 1. Satan will endeavour to lay him asleep, to make him turn secure, that he may neglect his post. 2. If he miss of this, he will endeavour to fill him with disturb, ance and fear, that so he may be diverted from his dury, and made to quit his post. Or, 3. he will ply his corruptions, that he may, by attending to them, and striving against them, take him off from, or discourage him in his opposition to those of others. 4. He will endeavour to blind his eyes by false appearances, that so he may give false alarms; and this will weaken his credit, and make people not believe his warnings. 5. He