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of them who through faith and patience do now inherit the promises. Were the glorified faints in heaven to address you, would they not, with one voice, invite you to follow them? Would they not say, “ Seek the Lord and his strength ; seek his face evermore?” They never repented of the happy choice they were enabled to make, when on earth they preferred the light of God's countenance to the increase of corn, of wine, and of oil; when they esteemed all the most flattering prospects the world can afford but drofs and dung, in comparison with the excellency of the knowledge of Chrift Jesus the Lord.
The Bereans are stiled noble, for their ready reception of that gospel which shews how finners are reconciled to God, through the death of his Son. Men of a noble spirit aspire after great things; and what honour can be compared with that of friendship with the King of kings? The ministers of the gospel, with one voice, pray you, in Chrift's stead, to be reconciled to God. Your godly neighbours and pious relations wish this for you above every thing else. The constant study and endeavour of those who hold forth unto you the word of life, is to bring you to God. This is the end of their prayers and their preaching. They travail in birth with you, till Chrift be formed in you. They
would think their toils sufficiently rewarded, if finners were brought to repentance, and engaged in seeking the divine favour, with their whole hearts. They are willing to spend and be spent.; if they may but, in so doing, win fouls to God. As friends of the Bridegroom, they would rejoice greatly in the betrothing of finners to him.
To the examples of the best of men, to the earnest solicitude of relations, to the prayers, the tears, the entreaties and persuasions of ministers, we may add the voice of the dying. Reader, could you be present with all those who lie on beds of languishing, and hear the cautions and counsels of enlightened souls, who are just going to launch forth into the eternal world, while capable of expressing their sentiments, to what would they call your im. mediate and earnest attention? What would they recommend to you, as most worthy of your pursuit? Would they not all, as with one voice, cry,
Make it your care to mind the one thing needful, to know Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Make it your care to seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; to fly for refuge to the hope set before you; to give diligence to make your calling and election sure; to renounce the world, with all its deluding vanities and vexatious cares; to look after the everlasting welfare of your soul, with car
nest and unwearied folicitude, that you may know your interest in the divine favour, and be made meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the ieints in light ?' *
• What if to the testimony of the dying, we could add that of the dead? What if God were to turn aside the veil which separates between us and the invisible world, and to permit the most careless finner among us to converse for a few moments with the inhabitants of it? If you were to apply yourself to a happy spirit, that trode the most thorny road to paradise, or passed through the most fiery trial, and to ask him, “ Was it worth your while to labour so much, and to endure so much for what you now posfess?" Surely, if the blessed in heaven were capable of indignation, it would move them to hear that it should be made a question.
And, on the other hand, if you could inquire of one tormented in that flame below, though he might once be clothed in purple and fine linen, and fare fumptuously every day, if you could ask him, " Whether his former enjoyments were any equivalent for his present sufferings and despair p" What answer do you suppose he would return ? Perhaps an answer of so much horror and rage; as you would not be able so much as to endure. Or if the malignity of his nature should prevent him from returning any answer at all, surely there would be a language even in that filence, a language in the darknels, and flames, and groans of that infernal prison, which would speak
If none of these will prevail with you, let me entreat you to consider the great end of the Redeemer's coming into the world. Was it not to seek and to save that which was lost ? Did he not die, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God? Was he not lifted up upon the cross, that he might draw all men unto him? Why was he a man of forrows, and acquainted with grief? Why did he agonize in the garden of Gethsemane, and sweat, as it were, great drops of blood falling to the ground? Why was he tricken, smitten of God, and afflicted ? Why was he bound with cords, scourged with rods, crowned with thorns, blindfolded, spit upon, and buffeted? Why was he led as a lamb to the flaughter? Why was he nailed to the cross? And why did he there offer up himself without spot to God?
to your very soul what the word of God is, with equal certainty, though less forcible convi&tion, speaking to your ear, that one thing is needful. You see it is so in the judgment of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, of the wisest and best of men, many, who seemed to judge most differently of it, when they come to more serious and deliberate thought, and not only of the dying, but of the dead too, of those who have experimentally known both worlds, and most surely know what is to be preferred.'
Dr. Doddridge's sermon on the Care of the Soul.
Was not all this that he might gain the hearts of finners to himself, and procure their peace, their pardon, their reconciliation to God, and their everlasting salvation? And is this of no weight with you? Are you still unmoved, still fecure ?
Shall I remind you, how intent the men of the world are to obtain the favour of their fellow-creatures ? Many will entreat the favour of the prince, and seek after the notice and regard of him that giveth gifts. The tenant is solicitous for the goodwill of his landlord, on whom he is dependent. Infériors covet the notice of their superiors, and sometimes seek to obtain it by obsequiously crouching to their capricious humours, and by base compliances with their unreasonable requisitions. The object of this solicitude is unworthy the pursuit.. If it could be gained, where would be the advantage? “ Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." But the favour of God is life; his smile is felicity; his frown is deftru&tion. Heaven and earth tremble before him when once he is angry. His displeasure may
make us miserable for ever; but the light of his countenance will constitute the objects of it completely and eternally happy. Who then would be unconcerned about friendship with him ? Surely