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der. Let me entreat you to regard what the apostle says to the Hebrews; " We desire that every one of you do fhew the same diligence to the full afsurance of hope unto the end." The full assurance of hope is a special degree of its advancement and improvement. A weak and imperfect hope will give but a weak and imperfect relief under trouble ; but that which riseth up to a full assurance will carry us comfortably through all the difficulties and afflictions attendant on the present state. Now diligence is necessary to be shewn, if we would enjoy this full assurance of hope. This is God's appointment: “ Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Chrift."

Diligence hath a proper and natural tendency to the end proposed. For by the use of diligence, we grow in grace, so that our interest in the promises of God is cleared up unto us.

There is no instance wherein we may allow ourselves to lay aside this diligence; for it must be shewn unto the end. There is no condition in life. wherein it will not be necessary. It must be maintained, if we would enjoy the full assurance of hope, till we are absolutely discharged from our warfare.


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Many fall short of a fettled assurance of interest in the divine favour, for want of seeking it. Could they be persuaded to pray for themselves, with that earneftness and importunity which the apostle Paul discovered with respect to others, they would, no doubt, be brought to experience the privilege in question. “ I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of him: the eyes


your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Chrift, that he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner-man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

Would those who are at uncertainties concerning their spiritual state, be prevailed upon to seek with diligence, earneftness, and perseverance for


what is requefted in these petitions, they certainly would be brought to experience what they have not yet known. For it is faid by him that cannot lie, “ Ask, and ye fhall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that afketh, receiveth; he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." The plain matter of fact chen is, “ Ye have not because ye ask not." O that you would be entreated to make the experiment, and see whether the God of truth and

grace will falsify. bis own word.

Some walk perpetually in the dark refpe&ting their interest in the divine favour, through the indulgence of some known sin. Confcience! {peak; thou art a witness for God. Discharge thy office faithfully. Arrest the guilty reader, and urge him him here to make a folemn pause...... Though no one was farther from a legal spirit than the apostle Paul; though no one was more dependent upon Jesus Chrift for acceptance with the Father; yet he says, " Herein do I exercise myself, to have a conscience void of offence, both towards God and towards men."

If we live in any known sin, or allow ourselves in the customary omission of any known duty, how is it poffible to preserve a comfortable fense of our


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interest in the favour of God; since the Holy Spirit will, in that case, be grieved, and withdraw his evidence in our behalf ? But could we retain our hope towards God, we certainly should not be easy or happy. If a traveller were sure of reaching his journey's end in safety, yet if he walked a great part of the way with a thorn in his foot, he must take every step in pain. Such a thorn, as is justly observed by a pious writer, will be felt in the conscience, till we are favoured with true fimplicity of heart, and made willing in all things, great and small, to yield obedience to the Lord's precepts, and make them the standing rule of our conduct, without wilfully admitting a single exception. It must be owned, that the best and holiest of men are conscious of innumerable failings, imperfections and miscarriages; yet their hearts being upright, these things will not break their peace. But if we trifle with light received, and connive at what we know to be wrong, our hands will be weak, and our minds dark, restless, and uncomfortable. Many, who, one would hope, are the children of the King, are lean from day to day, be. cause of the indulgence of some secret sin. They are as distant from the enjoyment of that happiness which arises from a sense of interest in the divine favour, as they are from the possibility of recon

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Reader, beware of that reluctance to self-examination which is so common to the human mind. Look into your own heart; search and try your ways, that you may find out that which deprives. you

of the comfortable sense of God's favour. Let your fpirit make diligent fearch, that you may dif. cover the latent iniquity which robs you of fo great a privilege. And if you find it, do not spare it ; but, humbling yourself in the fight of the Lord, seek for pardon; and cry to him who is able to fave, for deliverance from the fin which eally be fets you. Say with Job, “Wherefore hideft thou thy face, (O God) and holdeft me for thine enemy?! Make me to know my transgression, and my fin.". God giveth grace unto the humble. " Humble yourself in the fight of the Lord, and he shall

you up. He comforteth those that are cast down. He dwells with hin that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

Beware of neglecting God's ordinances. Dilia gently wait upon him in his appointments. Give good heed to the ministration of his holy word Hearken and hear what the Lord speaks by his minifters; for he will speak peace to his people and



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