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Conform not your self therefore to those that despise and neglect Religion; but always remember what the Apostle faith, it is better to please God, than Man; and that if I please Men, I am not the Servant of Christ.
When I consider these Men, I do not know whether to wonder at their Folly, or deplore their Condition. Certainly it is the Height of Madness not to believe the Gospel, the Truth of which the Blood of Martyrs hath testified, the Apostles have preached, Miracles proved, Reason confirmed, the Elements declared, and the Devils confessed.
But far greater is that Madness, if not doubting of the Truth of the Gospel, we live as if we were satisfied of the Falseness of it. If it is true, that a covetous Man shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, why are we so anxiously heaping up Riches? If it is true, that we are to seek Glory from God and not from Men, why are we so solicitous for their Applause? What shall I say more, there are indeed many that are called Christians, but few are so in Reality.
Do you endeavour to enter in at the strait Gate, and not regard what others do, but what ought to, be done.
For neither will your Glory be less, if you are happy with a few, nor your Punishment lessened by the Multitude of Fellow-sufferers.
There are two Remedies against the Allurements of the World and the Devil, which may be always present with you, namely, Charity and Prayer; for what can we do without the Assistance of God, or how will he assist us uninvoked, and invoked how will he hear us, who regard not the Cries of the Needy? It is written, with what Measure thou metest, it shall be pleasured to thee again.
When I exhort you to Prayer, I dq not mean long
b, 2 Prayers, Prayers, but those that come from the Secrets of the Heart, which are only acceptable to God.
Be not concerned how long, but how ardent your. Prayer is, rather interrupted by Sighs, than continued.
If you desire to be pleasing to God, and to be for ever happy, let no Day pass without approaching the throne of God, by humble Prayer, through the Intercession of Christ Jesus our Redeemer; not with the Lips only, but with all the Affections of your Soul: Cry out with the Royal Prophet, Remember not the Sins of my Youth, but according to thy Mercy remember trie for thy Goodness Sake, O Lord.
I make it my humble Request to you, that you would not fail to read the Holy Scriptures Night and Morning with great Attention; for as it is our Duty to meditate upon the Law of God Day and Night, so nothing can be more useful.
For there is in the Holy Scriptures a Celestial and efficacious Power, inflaming the Soul with the Divine Fear and Love.
Lastly, you should never forget that the Son of God died for you, and that this Life is of a very short Continuance-, with these two Spurs, the one of Fear, the other of Love, hasten through this your short Stage of momentary and uncertain Life, to the Rewards of an eternal Bliss.
Of the Holy Scriptures, their Authority and Excellence; how they are to be meditated upon, observed and obeyed.
* Tim. iii. 16, 17. ALL Scripture is given by Inspiration of J\ God, and is profitable for Doilriney fir Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness.
That the Man of God may be perfect, throughly furnijhed unto all good Works.
Rom. xv. 4. Whatsoever Things were written afore-time, were written for our Learning, that we through Patience and Comfort of the Scriptures, might have Hope..
Deut. viii. 3. Afan doth not live by Bread only, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the Mouth of the Lord doth Man live.
Luke xvi. 29, 31. Abraham faith unto him, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.
If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded tho' one rose from the Dead.
Deut. xi. 18, 19. Therefore Jhall ye lay up these my Words in your Heart, and in your Soul, and bind them for a Sign upon your Hands, that they may be as Frontlets between your Eyes.
And ye Jhall teach them your Children, speaking of them when thou fittest in thine House, and when thou walk est by the Way, when thou liest down, and when thou rifest up.
Heb. i. 1,2. God who at sundry Times and in divers Manners spake in Time past unto the Fathers by the Prophets,
Hath in these last Days spoken unto us by his Son.
John v. 39. Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal Life, and they are they which teflify of me.
John xx. 31. These are written, that ye may believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that believing ye might have L'fe through his Name.
Luke xxiv. 44, 45. These are the»Words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all Things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me.
Then opened he their Understanding, that the% might understand the Scriptures.
Mark xiii. Ji. Heaven and Earth Jballpass away, but my Word /hall not pass away.
John xvii. 8, zo. / have given unto them the Words which thou gaveft me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which stall believe on me through their Word.
Heb. ii. 3, 4. How stall we escape if we negledt so great Salvation, which at the firjl began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed un(o us by them that heard him?
God also bearing them Witness, both with Signs and Wonders^ end with divers Miracles and Gfts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own Will.
Coloss. iii. 16. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all Wisdom, teaching and admonisting one another in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, singing with Grace in your Hearts unto the Lord.
Gal. i. 7, 8, 11. There be some that trouble you, andwouli pervert the Gospels of Christ.
But tho' we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you, than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
I certify you, Brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after Man.
1 Tim. vi. 3. If any Man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome Words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Doflrine that is according to Godliness,
He is proud knowing nothing.
2 Tim. i. 13. Hold fast the Form of found Words, which thou hajl heard of me, in Faith and Love, which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim. iii. 3, 14, 15. Continue thou in the Things which thou hajl learned, and hast been assured os, knowing os whom thou haft learned them.
And that from a Child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation, through Faith, which is in Christ Jesus.*
James i. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. IVherefore lay apart all Filthinefs, and Superfkjty of Naughtiness, and receive with Meekness ihe engraftedWord, which is able to save your Souls.
But be ye Doers of the Word, and not Hid,in only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a Hearer of the Word, and not a Doer, be is lite to a Man beholding his natural Face in a Glass ■
For hebeboldeth himself, and goeth bis Way, and straitwav forgetteth what manner of Man he was.
But whofilooketh into the perfect Law of Liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful Hearer, but a Doer of the Word, this Manjhall be blessed in his Deed. f
Luke vi. 47, 48 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth mi Sayings, and doth them, 1 willjhew you to whom he is like
1 ?* ikea,^an whii buih an House, and digged deep', and laid the Foundation on a Rod: and when the Flood arose the Stream beat vehemently upon that House, and could not shake it • for it was sounded upon a Rock. y
r ?h !i V' f,kJsld "Jht Man that walieih "ot'»the Counsels the Ungodly norstandeth in the Way of Sinners, nor Rtteth in the Seat of the Scornful. J
1 SH. b" ?Tn" in **?£"? "f the Lord> and * bis Law doth he meditate Day and Night.
PC xix. 8, 10, 11 The Staiutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the Heart: the Commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the Eyes. r'
More to be desired are they than Gold, yea than much fine Gold: sweeter also than Honey, and the Honey-comb.
Moreover, by them is thy Servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great Reward. & J
JJ'pCfX;?-' W"TM""! fall a young Man cleanse his Way? by taking Heed thereto according to thy Word 12. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy Statutes 49- Remember thy Word unto thy Servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
ir7?'aThl Haldi rhaVif,made m> MtsaJhionedme, give me Understanding that I may learn thy Commandments
89. Forever O Lord, thy Word is settled in Heaven
96. I have seen an End of all Perfections; but thy Commandment is exceeding Broad. J ^TMrai
myTaih^ *"* " "**"* "** my F'"> anda Li*ht «**
116. Uphold me according to thy Word, and let me not be aJbamed of my Hope.
ir X?°n *?' France of thy Words givetb Light: it giveth Understanding unto the Simple. *