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Thirdly, After hearing practise these Directi
1. Labour to keep alive those good motions, those good inclinations, thefe Heavenly affeéti. ans, and stirrings of Spirit which thou foundeft in time of hearing, Thou wilt quickly coat, when out of the Congregation, if thou take not heed.
2. When thou geet from the Congregation, be willing to speak and confer of what thou haft heard, labouring thereby to work those truths an thy onen beart, and on the hearts of others:.. O how sad is it chac people as soon as ever they are out of the Congregation, fall a talking of any thing racher than the Sormon they have heard ! They are free to talk of bargains, or news, or any thing else : But they are ashamed of such precife discourse, as to speak of the truths they have heard, though they concern them never so much.
3. Let fuch as are governours of families revive the truths they bave heard in publick, by repes tition in their Families : Our memaries are weak, and commands had need be repeated to forgecful servants. Ac first hearing many truths may be lost through distraction and wandring. Paul in bis Epifles does often repeat the same pas. sages; and renew the same exhortations. And he tels the Philippians, C.3.v.1, Ta sprite the fame things to them, was not to bim grievens, best for them jafé. 4o Retire thy self, and meditate on the truths
thou hast heard, and labour to fasten them by prayer in thy heart. Let thy Conscience in secret preach them over to thee again, Luke 2.19. 'Tis said, Mary pondered those sayings in her heart. O hoiv few will spend a secret hour on the Lords day to consider and meditate on what they have heard. One main reason Sermons do no more good is because people so soon forget them. And why do they forget them so soon? But because they do not consider and meditate on them, when chey have heard them, Heb.2.1.Therefore saies che Apostle, we ought to give the more earneft heed to the things which we have heard, left at any time we should let them sip. And 1 Tim.4.15. Me ditate upon these things, give thy self wholly to them, that tby profiting may appear unto all.
5. Be not abare hearer, but a doer of the Word. Speedily set upon the practise of what thou hast learned to be thy duty. Be ge doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own foules. Fam.1.22. Some do not care to hear, because they have no mind to practise. Some hear, and reff in it. 'Tis practise cbac proclaims the sincerity of our profession. In hearing we may look like Saincs, but in doing we live like Saines, Practise is the best commendation of a Sermon.
Having thus shewed chee what chou must do.
1. Before hearing the Word.
3. After hearing the Werd. I come now to give thee some Motives to quicken thee to the practise of these Directions.
i. Consider, such as wilfully neglect to prepare their hearts, before they come to bear, do tempe God to withdraw the assistance and blessing of his holy Spirit from them when they are come. Prefume noc on Gods assistance in an Ordinance, if you neglect to prepare for it. If the ground be not well prepared, we do not expect a crop,
2. Consider and remember, the Devils care is, not only to disturb thee at the Ordinance, but to indispose thee for it, before thou comeft. The Devil is stirring early on the Lords day morning. He is at work becimes: Be sure, he hath a mornings draught for thee; he will be presenting and suggesting something to thee, to unfit and indispose chee for the duties of the day.
3. Consider, as thou art more or les careful to prepare, so wilt thou ordinarily more or lesse tast the (weetnesse of the Ordinance. Preparation is like exercise before a meal: It will make thee come with the better appetite to the Word, and relish it the better,
4. Consider, preparation is not only advantsgeosts in order to i he ordinance, but it brings advintage to 145, considered in it felf. By preparatie on we have communion with God: We come te sidurft and ossr felves, and che case of our oirn fouls. Whilf ihon art preparing, thy Graces arc in
creasing; the work of Heaven goes on.
5. Consider, If thou makest Conscience thus to behave thy self before, in, and after hearing of the Word (as ihou haft been direited) thou wilt find it a great evidence of the fincerity and uprightneffe of thy heart. Outward respects may make people come to Church, buc to take pains thus with their hearts beforehand, argues a true defore after communion with God, and a real willingnesse to profit by the Word, and to grow in Grace.
6. Consider what a choice mercy it is to enjoy the Gospel. 'Tis not a dish that is set on every table. God hath not done so for every Nation, as for this. No Island so far from Jerusalem, had the light of the Gospel so soon as this. And I know not any particular promise whereby the Gospel is entailed on this, or any other Nation. If we Right the Gospel, for ought I know, we may quickly forfeit it; and provoke God to take ic from us. When the Israelites despised Manna, God quickly sent serpents among them. If we despise the Manna of his Word, aud count it light food; God may juftly send Serpents among us; I mean, such deceivers as with their pernicious Doctrines may poison many souls to their everlasting deltruction.
7. Lastly, Consider, though the Gospel may continue to the Nation, yet thou or I may quickly be deprived of our personal opportunities of enjoying of it. I have heard of one lying on his deathbed,
thac cryed out, Call time back, Call time back. Thou maist shortly cry our call Sermons back; Call Sabbaths back, and all in vain, if thou
neg. lettest the present opportunity and season of Grace. Consider the Spirit of God will not alwaies strive with the children of men. Consider, this may be the last Sermon that ever thou maist hear ; (Some one Sermon will be the last) And think thus with thy self, such a gale of the Spirit, as now I feel, may never be afforded me again. Shall I be so foolish then, as not to yeeld to these blessed motions ? To duy, while it is called to day, hear bis voice, and harden not thy heart. Luke 8.18. Take heed therefore how ye hear. Eccles.5.1. Keep thy foot when thou goeft to the
House of God, and be more ready to bear, than
not that they do evil.
whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him, of whom they bave not heardand how shall they hear without a preacha
er V.15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent ? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace,
And bring glad tidings of good things? Jam.1.18. Of his own will begat he us, with the Word of Tristh, that we hould be a kind of