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in « the fear of Jehovah.” The grace of God does not merely teach us occasionally to act, but uniformly to live “ soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world.” The thirteenth, and last discourse in this volume is designed to animate you to diligence in the work of the Lord by exhibiting the happy issue of a life spent in his service and communion. “ To those who by patient continuing in well-doing seek for glory, and honor, and immortality, eternal life,” through the aboundings of free grace, shall be awarded.
Brethren, I can assert, without the least ostentation, that I have " longed to impart to you this spiritual gift;" and in return make a single request ofevery reader, whether parent or child. The request is reasonable, and I entreat, and adjure, and must even demand your compliance, by all the solemnities of that hour when we shall stand face to face at the judgment-seat of Almighty God. The request which I make is this, that if any duty recominended in these pages appears founded on divine authority you instantly and sincerely perform it. “ The servant who knoweth his Lord's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.” Feeble as the execution of this work may appear, it has cost me some labor of body, and much anxiety, and even anguish of spirit, lest these truths which are intended for edification should issue, through the neglect of any, in their greater condemnation. Of
ten when sitting in my study, or lying ac wake upon my bed, I have passed in imagination through your settlements: I have painted to my mind some who are altogether unconcerned about their future destinies; others living from day to day without prayer, or any improvement of the scriptures; others wasting the sabbath in fishing, or fowling, or unnecessary visits; parents who labor arduously for the bodies of their children, but rarely offer up a petition for their souls, or speak to them of Jesus, who alone “ delivers from the wrath to come.” God is my witness that after such a survey of your situation, I have sought with melted heart, and on bended knees, some truth which might be effectual for your conviction and salvation; and the thought, that these discourses should be blessed for that end, would be as “ life from the dead.” How much should I consider my debt increased to sovereign mercy which disposed my mind to this labor of love? How would my helpers in Christ Jesus, who contribute to its circulation, rejoice that the sacrifice of a little perishable gain on their part should conduce to your eternal profit?
“O Lord, I know that all instruction will be unprofitable without thy blessing ; it must fall like water on the flinty rock making no impression; or like dew upon the barren mountain producing no fruit. But thou hast commanded us to be instant in sea. son, and oui of season ; to watch for souls as
those who must give account; and although incomparably the most weak and worthless of thy servants, I can appeal to thyself that this work has been prosecuted in some measure in obedience to these commands; and to the operations of thy free Spirit it is now committed. Wilt thou in thine abundant mercy accept of this offering, and crown it from age to age with thy blessing ? Seal it upon the hearts of many sinners for their saving conversion, and of thy true followers for their greater enlargement in running the way of thy commandments: Surely the more insignificant or contemptible the messenger is, the more illustrious must thy condescension appear both to angels and men in honoring him as the instrument of advancing the interests of thy kingdom: And, now, to thee most Holy Father, and thy dear Son, our Divine Redeemer, and the Spirit, who gives everlasting consolation and good hope through the riches of his grace, be glory attributed, by all the heirs of this grace, world without end." AMEN.
The advantages of Secret Prayer.