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ut after him, and they shall keep the way of the 6 Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the " Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he « hath spoken of him *.?!
Nothing, indeed, can be more plain from reaSon itfelf, than that, in proportion to the impreffion which parents have upon their own-minds of the importance of salvation, will be
their concern and care that their children allo may, be the heirs of everlasting life. Suffer me to ask.every parent who reads this discourse, or ra. ther to beseech all such, to ask themselves les riously, what are their own strongest desires and hopes concerning their children? In those mo-ments when your affections are fondest, and your partial Aattering expectations moft diftinctly formed, are you obliged to confefs that your : minds run much more upon the prospect of your : childrens living in affluence and splendor; or be-ing promoted to places of honour and trust, than : their being brought to a saving acquaintance with Christ and him crucified, that whether they live : or die they may be the Lord's? If this is the case, you have just ground to fear that you are " of that unhappy number who “ savour not the " things that be of God, but the things that be 6 of man.”
* Gen, xviii. 17, 18, 19.
3. Another excellent evidence of regeneration is, the moderation of our attachment to worldly enjoyments in general, and habitual fubmiffion to the will of God. So foon as this change takes place, it will immediately and certainly abate the measure of our attachment to all earthly things. Formerly they were the all of the soul, its portion and its rest'; but now a clear discovery being made of greater and better bleffings, they muft fall back into the second place. There is a wonderful difference between the rate and value of present possessions of any kind, in the eye of him who lives under the impressions of eternity, and of him who believes it but uncertainly, who understands it very imperfectly, and who thinks of it as seldom as conscience will give him leave. It must be confeffed we are all apt to be immoderate in our attachment to outward blessings ; this is the effect and evidence of the weakness of our faith: but, so far as faith is in exercise, it must mortify carnal affection. There is no way in which an object appears so little, as when it is contrafted with one infinitely greater, which is plainly the case here. The truh is, time and eternity, things temporal and things spiritual, are the oppofite and rival objects of human attention and esteem. It is impossible that one of them can be exalted, or obtain influence in any heart, without a proportional depression of the other. They
are, also, as they severally prevail, the marks to distinguish thofe who are, and those who are not, brought again from the dead. For as the apostle says, “ To be carnally minded is death, 'but to 66 be spiritually minded is life and peace *.”
Further, it is not only in abating the measure of our attachment to worldly things that religion shews itself, and the change is discovered, but in the use and application of them. The real Chrif tian's powers and faculties; poffeffions and influence, are confecrated to God. His abilities are laid out for the glory of God. He no more confiders them as a mean of excelling others, and getting to himself a name, but of doing good. He finds it his highest pleasure to serve God with his talents; he thinks it his duty to plead for him in his conversation, to honour him with his subStance, to enforce and ratify the divine laws by his authority and example.
The same thing fhews plainly why a Christian must manifest his new nature by submission to the divine will. Does he receive his mercies from God? Does he love them less than God? Does he esteem it his duty to use them in his service? And can he posibly refuse to resign them to his pleasure? I am sensible that resignation at the will of God, absolute and unconditional, is a very difficult duty, but it is what every believer
. * Rom. viii. 6. A.'
habitually habitually studies to attain. He chides his remaining impatience and complaints, grieves at the continuing struggles of his imperfeâly renewed will, and is sensible that in this the superiority of his affection to God above the creature ought to appear. Unrenewed persons, when their earthly hopes are disappointed, immediately renew the pursuit; they only change the object to one more within their reach, or they alter their -ineasures, and endeavour to amend the scheme ;but real Christians, receiving a conviction of the vanity of all created things, seek their refuge and consolation in the fulness and all-sufficiency of God.
SECT. IV. A more particular enquiry into what properly confti
tutes the fincerity of the change.
THUS I have given a succinct view of the
most remarkable effects and visible evidences of regeneration. I cannot, however, fatisfy myfelf with this, because I am persuaded the great question is, how far they ought to go, and to what meafure of strength and uniformity they ought to arrive. There are not a few who may, in a certain degree, sincerely think themselves pofTefled of most or all the dispositions mentioned above, whose state is nevertheless very much to
be suspected. On the other hand, perhaps, some of the humblest, that is to say, the very best, may be in much fear concerning themselves, because they do not perceive either the vigour or steadin ness in their holy dispositions which they greatly desire, and are sensible they ought to attain. Ben sides, what hath been hitherto faid is only general, viz. that those who are born again will have · new apprehensions of things, will be humble, :mortified to the world, and submissive to the will of God. In this way it will be most applicable : to, or at least most sensible in those who had once gone great lengths in profanity, and were, by the almighty and sovereign grace of God, snatched as “ brands from the burning." The opposition between their new and old characters is ordinnarily so great, that it will not admit of any : doubt. To some others it may be necesary to make a more strict and particular enquiry into the nature of sincerity, and what is the full and proper evidence of the reality of the change.
That the reader may form as clear and distinct conceptions on this subject as possible, he may be pleased to recollect what was observed above, That perfect holiness consists in having the heart wholly poffest by the love of God, without the mixture of any inferior or baser passion; and that regeneration consists in a supreme desire to glo. sify God, and a.preference of his favour to every G5