Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

a while, and we shall be satisfied. Let us lift up our eyes towards heaven ; and it is but a few days distance between us and those glories. All that God hath, yea God himself, is ours. Let us therefore lay up our contentment with him, let us put all our interest into his hands, let us think of no fatisfaction below eternal happiness, and let eternal happiness fully satisfy us.

In the mean time, let the worldly wise man, if he pleases, glory in his wisdom ; and the rich man pride himself in his riches; and the proud man in his applause and vain-glory; but in us, les patience have its perfect work, that we may be perfeet and entire, wanting nothing ; let God be our hope at present, and he shall shortly be our reward.

[blocks in formation]

SERMON VII.

Danger of a Death-bed Repențince. [From KETTLEWELL's Measures of Obedience.]

MATT. XX, 9. And when they came that were hired about

the eleventh bour, they received every man a penny. T HESĘ words are part of the pa

rable of the labourers in the vine

yard, and are often alledged in behalf of a late or death-bed repentance; forasmuch as they who were hired late into the vineyard, received as much wages as they who were hired earlier.

In general, there is nothing more certain, than that such repentance only will be effectual to salvation, which produces a suitable change in the life and practice; that no man can with any fhew of reason hope to be acquitted and rewarded at the last day, but he who repents unto

amendment,

I 4

amendment, who is created unto gcod works, and is born again to a new practice and obedience.

But this is always understood with an exception, that if a man shall not live so long, as to be able to thew forth this effect in his future obedience, he fhall be accepted according to what he hath, and not according to what he hath not. Some men are called away forthwith, upon the change of mind that is wrought in them, before any opportunity of action comes. They have just time to become obedient in will and purpose, but not in life and practice. They have no leisure left them to work in ; but the night oomes suddenly upon them, when all the time of labour is at an end.

And this is the case of all dying penia tents.

And here, undoubtedly, the will shall be accepted for the deed. For in heart and mind, such penitents are become God's honest servants; their desires are in great strength, and their inward purposes are come up to effectual degrees, which want nothing but time wherein to shew them

selves,

selves, and are sufficient, whensoever an opportunity Ihall occur, to beget a change of life, and to make their actions answer them. So that if they are destitute of an entire obedience, and have not as yet evidenced their change of nature in their change of practice; that is not for want of inward readiness, but of outward opportunities; and therefore it is not so much their fault, as their unhappiness.' And when God sees it is thus with them, he takes the inward will and choice, for the outward service and performance. He judgeth us by our wills, which are in our own power; and not by chance and acci, dental opportunities, which are utterly without it.

But then here is the dangerous state, and deplorable case, of all such dying penitents; that it is twenty to one, if they defer repentance to their death-bed; that all the change which then appears in them, is not so sufficient, nor would prove so effectual, were there a due time allowed for the trial thereof. And of this we have a clear argument, in that among all the holy vows

and

« FöregåendeFortsätt »