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may be said of
fear that you de cline in Grace, and go backward rather than forward. It may be, you now see and discern more of the Revoltings and Backslidings of your evil heart than heretofore you did ; and out of the great desire you have to grow better, you are jealous of your self, and afraid that
you grow worse. 3. 'Tis the usual course of God's Providence when he is about to bestow more Grace, to lay the Foundation thereof in a deeper sense of the want of Grace. For hereby he stirs up in Men more earnest Desires after Grace, so that they pray for it more Fervently and Constantly, and Apply themselves to the use of all other Means for Attaining it with more Diligence and Seriousness.
Hitherto of trusting in God for subduing Corruption, and for Increase of Grace and Spiritual Strength.
2. Let us trust in God for Strength and Ability to serve him, and do our Duty in our Respective Places and Stations. For Encouraging and Strengthning your trust in God for his Affiftance, Consider,
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1. That God never calls a Man to any Imployment or Service, he never puts him upon any Business, but he furnisheth him with Ability in some measure to undergo it. To ingage a Man in Imployment and put
him upon Service, and then to deny him that Aslistance which is Absolutely necessary for the performance of it, is neither Consistent with the Wisdom, nor with the Goodness, nor with the Faithfulness of God. Wise Men will not put others upon Imployment which they know them to be unable to go through with : and good Men, yea, such as have but any thing of good Nature will not deny their Assistance to those whom they have ingaged in any Undertaking ; much less will they be wanting to them and fail them when they have promised them their best Affistance. This were such Falsehood and Treachery, as no Honest Man, no Man that deserves to be trusted would be guilty of. Far be it from us therefore to have such Unworthy and Dishonourable thoughts of God.
2. Consider that God many times enables weak Men, that seemed to have small Abilities for the due performance of what is Incumbent on them ; I say he
enables them to discharge the Duties of their Imployment beyond all expectation. And this,
1. That his own Power may be fo much the more. Conspicuous, and the Glory thereof be so much the more Exalted and Magnified, when out of the mouths of babes and sucklings he ordaineth strength, as the Psalmist speaks, Psalm
2. That he may hereby incourage weak Instruments to serve him when he calls them thereunto, and puts them upon it. But this Assistance inay they especially expect who are ingaged in Services in which the Honour of God is more Immediately and more Eminently concerned. But they who may warrantably expect the Presence, Assistance, and Blessing of God in their Undertakings, must be careful.
1. That they have a call to the Ima ployment which they Undertake, and Îngage themselves in. If they put themselves upon Service without a call thereunto, they may not expect God's Presence with them, and Assistance, upon the account of any Promise that he hath made, for he hath no where made any Gg 4
fuch Promise but to thofe only whom he Imploys, and fets at Work.
2. They must serve God faithfully in that Service which he Imploys them in, they must leek his Glory, they must Sin cerely and in Singleness of heart design it, and aim at it in what they do.
3. They must Earnestly and Constantly implore his Grace,and beg his Aslistance in what they undertake.
4. They must thankfully acknowledge him in whatever Assistance they have, and in whatever Successes their Endeavours are attended with ; and give him all the Glory of it. If thus they enter upon their Imployment and if thus they Endeavour to serve God in the managing of it, they have all Reason to expect and make sure account of his Gracious Presence and Affistance. And yet however they may not think to enjoy it always alike. God never intended so to oblige himself by any Promise, but that he is still at liberty sometimes to withdraw from his Servants or to Abate and Suspend the Influences of his Gracious. Presence, as to his own Wisdom seems beft. And this he doth,
1. To make them the more sensible of their continual need of his help, and
of the Absolute necessity of their con-
2. God sometimes withdraws from