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will bring you to the test. Christians, doth the fear of God possess and seize upon your spirits ? doth it make you men of truth, hating covetousness ?” doth it engage your souls to serve him “ with reverence and godly fear ?" doth it make you afraid of his threatenings, fearful to offend him, careful to please him ? do you worship him " in his fear ?” doth it make you run to him " as your hope and confidence ?” are your souls in the fear of the Lord "all the day long ?” doth the fear of God cast out the slavish fear of men ? doth it make you work out your salvation with fear and trembling? doth it make you tremble at his word, and willing to obey the voice of his servants? doth it keep you humble and self-denying, instead of being proud and high-minded ? do you fear God and give glory to him on seeing his works? in a word, do you fear God and work righteousness, fear God and hate wickedness ? * Is it thus with your souls. Lay your hand upon your heart, and seriously answer these questions. I know you will all say you have the fear of God; but whether hath it these evidences ? and, one word more, whence springs this fear of God ? doth it flow not only from the apprehension of God's majesty and strict justice, but from the sense of his free grace and goodness? so God saith, in Hos. iii. 5, “ they shall fear the Lord and his goodness;" so saith David, Psalm cxxx. 4, there is mercy with thee that thou mayest be feared.” O this is a kindly operation, when the sense of God's love awes the soul to obedience, and works upon it tenderness of conscience, that it can say, I dare not grieve so good a God, or offend so loving a father, who never

* Exod. xviii. 21. Heb. xii. 28. Prov. iii. 7. Psalm v. 7. Prov. xiv. 26. Prov. xxiii. 17. Matt. X. 28. Phil. ii. 12. Isaiah lxvi. 2. Isaiah 1. 11. Rom. xi. 2C. Rev. xiv. 7. Acts X. 35. Prov. xiv. 16.

did me hurt, who is always doing me good—shall I render evil for good? God forbid. This is child-like and ingenuous, and doth demonstrate a covenant relation.

5. Sanctification is another covenant promise, Ezek. xxxvi. 25, “ then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you.” This is a gracious disposition, what can you say to it? not that the soul in this life can be free from the remainders of corruption; for “ what is man, that he should be clean? but the power, strength and dominion of sin is crushed in a covenanted soul; so that it may be truly said of the regenerate, that he hath “a clean heart, and clean hands;" and Christ said, “his disciples were clean, all except Judas.” Well, then, hath the good word of God made you holy, and cleansed your hearts ? do you desire to make clean “ the inside of the cup, as well as outside ?" I mean, do you cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, resolving “to perfect holiness in the fear of God ?” are you growing stronger and stronger? He that hath clean hands doth renew his strength. Are you washed from your idols, that is, the sins to which you are most addicted, and keep yourselves from your own iniquity ? can you say you hate every false way? can you cut off a right-hand sin, pluck out a right-eye sin, though never so dear and useful, pleasant and profitable ? do you resist and conquer, in some measure, your master lusts ? so that you can say, that through grace, sin hath not dominion over you, though you feel to your cost it hath possession in you. Can you say you are prepared for duties and ordinances, though you be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary? doth faith in God's promises purify your hearts ? do you cleanse your ways by

observing Scripture precepts? do you pray hard, for a clean heart as well as a clear state? * O sirs, try yourselves in these things, unless you be sanctified you are not justified, many are undone through self-deceit-in this case, Solomon saith, there is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, yet are not cleansed from their filthiness, Prov. xxx. 12. Take heed of this, and labour to evidence your justification by your sanctification.

6. Another gracious effect of the new covenant is, a new heart, and a new spirit,” Ezek. xxxvi. 26. This is a holy disposition, a habit of grace, the image of God, the divine nature strangely changing, altering, metamorphosing the soul, casting it into a new mould, and turning the stream and current of the soul's emotions and affections into another channel, to a compliance with God's will, and a tendency towards heaven, and the things of heaven. This is a wonderful act and fruit of God's “ free grace,” and “ sanctifying Spirit ;" and O what a change doth it produce in the heart and life! not only a mental change, to have the mind furnished with some general truths in a notional way ; so that whereas previously a man was sunk in ignorance, now he is grown a knowing person, and learned discourser or disputant; nor is it only a moral change, whereby a man, formerly a notorious offender, is grown a respectable member of society ; nor yet a formal change, by which a careless neglecter is become a constant performer of religious duties, which is good so far, yet no more than a hypocrite may do, Simon Maguis believes, Herod doth many things, Ahab fasts, Judas can pray and preach; but the new creature goes beyond them all, for it

Job xv. 14. Psalm xxiv. 4. John xiii. 30. John xv. 3. 2 Cor. vij. l. Job xvii. 9. Psalm xviii. 23. Rom. vi. 14. 2 Chron. xxx. 19. Acts. xv. 9. Psalm cxix. 9. Psalm li. 10. VOL. II.

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is a cordial, spiritual, evangelical change of the whole man to what is good; so that now the soul hath new emotions, actions, and conversation, a new rule, a new principle, a new end, new affections and delights, a new light and life, new heat and strength, new companions and acquaintance, new griefs, fears, burdens, hopes, hatred, desires, and expectations, " old things are past away, and behold, all things are become new;" so that it may well be called a new creation, 2 Cor. v. 17. Christians, try yourselves in this—what work of God hath passed upon your souls ? have you a new heart ? are you made holy as God is holy ? doth this new heart hate and expel sin? doth it close with real saints as saints ? doth it breathe after grace in the souls of relations and neighbours ? doth it make you sensible of the smilings and hidings of God's face ? doth it raise your hearts to heavenly objects and delights ? doth grace in some measure grow, thrive, increase, and come on in your souls ? do you worship God in a spiritual manner, and long for coinmunion with him here, and in heaven?

7. A soft heart is promised in the new covenant, Ezek. xxxvi. 26, “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh,” that is, a soft, broken and tender heart, a flexible, pliant, and melting disposition ; not so much the eyes pouring floods of tears, for that may proceed from a natural constitution, but a soul grieved for sin, as offence against God, which, in the sinner's account and estimation, he looks upon as the greatest evil, and worse than the worst affliction; and, if it were to do again, he would rather be torn to pieces, than willingly commit such sin-he would give all the world, if in his power, that it were undone again ; and, therefore, it is that the Scripture rather expresseth it by mourning than by weeping, for weeping is a passionate act of the outward

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senses and excitable faculties, and it may be desirable to give vent to inward sorrow by outward tears, but mourning is a contrition and compunction of heart for sin, as dishonouring God, grieving his Spirit, crucifying his Son, and violating his holy and righteous law. Well, then, have you soft and tender hearts ? that is, can you lay to heart your sins as the greatest evils that ever befel you? can you justify God if he should condemn you ? can you condemn yourselves as worthy to be condemned to hell for ever? do you loathe yourselves for all your abominations ? can you wish you had been upon the rack when you committed such sins ? are you weary and heavy laden with the intolerable burden of guilt? and what would you give or lose to have it taken off? is your heart sensible of the absolute need you have of Jesus Christ ? are you soft and pliable to God's holy will, attentive to divine suggestions, retentive of divine impressions ? doth the least hint of God's mind find in you an observant spirit ? when God saith, “ seek my face," doth your heart readily echo,“ thy face, Lord, will I seek?” do your souls tremble under a sense of threatenings and judgments ? does a consideration of God's loving kindness melt and attract your heart ? doth this strongly lead and draw you to repentance? Ask your own souls such questions as these, whereby you may know whether you have this condition and disposition of the gospel covenant.

8. The last disposition that is promised in the new covenant, as a singular mercy, is holy practice, or spiritual obedience; so Ezek. xxxvi. 27, “ I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.” This is a holy, watchful, cheerful, faithful, fruitful

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