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formerly resused; for it is a work preserable to all other works. The work of religion is your main, your chief work. (i.) It is the most pleasant work. Many are disgusted at the work of religion, because they think it unpleasant. But they have not yet tried it, and therefore are not sit judges. You have a more favourable account of it from Prov. iii. 17. " Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." See also Psal. iv. 7. 8. "Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and fleep; for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in sasety." There is work indeed in the vineyard that is very unpleasant to corrupt nature; but even out of this arises the most resined satisfaction to the new nature. And what are all the pleasures of the world, to reconciliation with God, and that peace of conscience and joy that there is in believing? (2.) It is the most prositable work. The prosit thereof is both for time and for eternity, 1 Tim. iv. 8. "For bodily exercise prositeth little, but godliness is prositable unto all things, having the promise of the lise that now is, and of that which is to come." . The prosits of it are durable prosits; they last, and will be prositable, when all others will be of no avail. Hereby you will gain the lise of your souls, and, as the loss is incomparably great, so also is the gain of it. (3.) It is the most necessary work. It is the one thing needsul, absolutely needsul, Luke, x. 42. We cannot be happy here or hereaster without it; without it, we are undone sor ever.
2. Ye are always working something. The greatest idler on earth is in some sort always busy. God does not require of you more work, but other work. The soul of man is like a watch, that goes as fast in going wrong as in going right. How
fad sad is it, that seeing men are always doing something, they should refuse only that work which would honour God, and save their own souls! Will you not, then, for God's fake, and your own fake, change your work?
3. It is fad work you are working while you resuse this. If you be not working out your own salvation, you are working out your own damnation. We are always going forward ', if not pressing a step nearer heaven, you are a step nearer hell. Every resusal, yea, every sin, is a new impediment in your way to heaven, a new call to Heaven for vengeance on the sinner, builds the separation-wall the higher, and lays on the greater weight to sink you for ever under the wrath of God.
4. Consider, if ye be not in some sort at as much pains to ruin your fouls, as otherwise might save them. There are difficulties in the ways of sin, as well as in the ways of God. Is the work of religion a toilsome work? but do not ye many times .weary yourselves to commit iniquity? Is there not as much pain when a sinner deprives himself of his night's rest, racking. himself about the world,' as when a faint communes with his heart on his bed about eternal things? The sinner travels to bring forth sin, Psal. vii. 14. What more than . this at the hard duties of religion! Since he that engages not in the work of religion is cumbeied about many things, had he not better take up with the one thing needsul? The faint has but one master to serve -, sinners have many, not only at war with God, but at war among themselves, one lust dragging them one way, and another another way.
5. The time is coming, when working in the vineyard will be over; and if ye continue to re
F 2 fuse, s suse, ye know not if Cvct you will get another ofser; "for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goeit." This day's delay may be an eternal loss, for you may be in eternity before another day. A new resusal is dangerous; God may take you at your word.
6. Our Lord is content yet to invite you to his work, notwithstanding your former resusals; you .will still be accepted: "Him that cometh unto me," says Jesus, "I will in nowise cast out."
7. Whatever hardships may be in the work of religion, it is not long ere you shall be freed from them all; you shall be made more than conquerors: "You shall rest from your labours, and your works shall follow you."
La/c/y, If you will not, then remember death will make you change your mind, and you will get a long eternity to repent that ye did not repent in time. But such a change can then be os no avail, but to increase your misery. Insinitely better, then, will it be for you if this change take place at present'; "for now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation."
THE NATURE AND EFFECTS OF A WEANED DISPOSITION OF SOUL. •
Pfal. cxxxi. 2. My soul is even as a weaned child.
THIS Psalm is David's prosession of piety 3 wherein he discovers what was the habitual bent of his heart, and course of his lise. The occasion of it seems to have been the injury done him by Saul and his courtiefs, who reproached him as a proud, ambitious, and turbulent man. His comfort is the testimony of his own conscience, which witnessed, I. The humility of his heart. This kept him from an aspiring temper, and within the bounds of his station. 2. His easiness in any condition with which the Lord was pleased to tryst him. God had promised him the kingdom, yet kept him from it long, and that in very hard circumstances; but yet he was easy under it; he was far from that restless itching after a crown, of which his enemies accused him.
In the text, he points out the spring of this easi- • F 3 ness;
*• Delivered Sabbath afternoon, August 1. 1714.
ness: My soul is even as a weaned child: That is, his heart was loosed from those things to which the hearts of men naturally are glewed. There is here, 1. Something supposed, namely, that the day was, when he was sucking the breasts which fallen Adam led all his children to, as well as others; that he was even as fond of them, and could as ill want them, as a child the breast. 2. Something expressed; that now there was a change, the child was weaned, set to another way of living, and could want the breasts. God had taken off his heart from those things on which naturally it was set, and now he sed at God's hand, instead of creatures. He does not speak of willingly forsaking these breasts of his own accord, but he was weaned by the power of grace. Now, this is his
comfort against the aspersions of his enemies. —
From this subject I take this
Doctrine, That grace makes a weaned foul.
In discoursing which, I shall inquire,
I. From what does grace wean the foul?
II. How is the foul weaned from these things?
III. What are the effects of a weaned disposition of soul?
IV. Make some practical improvement.
I AM to inquire, I. From what does grace wean the foul? Grace weans the foul, 1. From the dry breasts of the world. One part of pure religion, and undesiled, before God 3nd the Father, is to keep ourselves unspotted from the wcrld, James, i. 27. For fays John, istEp. Li- 16. "All that is in the world, the 3usi of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lise, is not of the Father, but is of the world."