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ments of your blood, which is my intention in this serious address ; and I beg you all to take the warnings that I give you, that you may be saved.
12. The tender care that God manifests for souls and the concern that he has for their wel. fare, are great evidences of their worth; for why should the Lord manifest a great regard for the soul, except it were exceeding precious ?
“O that they were wise ! that they understood this! that they would consider their lat. ter end!” This is the language of a kind and compassionate God, and shows that he highly values the souls of men.
And he forbids us all to do any thing that may occasion the loss or ruin of our precious souls.
Lastly, and to mention no more evidences of the worth of souls : the angels of God being their guardians and attendants, is sufficient to shew that they are exceedingly valuable.
These things which have been mentioned, are only short hints ; a volume might be wrote upon the subject; but what has been said is sufficient to show the worth of your souls, and that it is the greatest madness in the world to neglect the care of them.
O what an immense loss must it be to lose your souls ! Let me plead with you, in the most earnest and affectionate manner, no longer to trifle with such important concerns as those of salvation are.
I could freely come upon my knees, to beg that you would attend to this “ one thing needful,” the care of the soul; for
this I am willing to labour night and day; to suffer reproach and scorn ; yea, I am willing to spend and be spent, if I might be instrumental in bringing you to a proper concern about the salvation of your souls. Oh! how have I been often shocked to hear poor wretches call upon their Maker for damnation upon their precious souls ! what ! does that damnation, that for a long time neither lingreth nor slumbereth, come so slow, that they must needs call for it so earnestly, and frequently ! Oh! if I could weep even tears of blood, they should be shed for the folly and madness of those who thus cast them
and value not their souls at all, tho' the glorious God values them so highly.
If you desire the salvation of your souls, pray be kind enough to take the following ad. vice !
Quit all vain company and conversation as much as possible, for until you do this, all seri. ous advice is lost upon you ; as vain, trifling, foolish talking and jesting, naturally tend to root out at all serious consideration.
Keep company as much as possible, with such who are truly in earnest for themselves and others. It is more dangerous to keep company with light, vain and carnal professors of religion, than with the people of the world in general, for they sometimes draw you more effectually into levity than the openly profane would do.
Beware of infidelity, and of those who profess and plead for it ; the chance is wholly against them; for should they who deny revelation be in the right (the contrary of which is easily proved)
upon their own principles, we could gain nothing valuable in joining them ; but if they are wrong, what a most dreadful situation are they and their followers in !
Attend upon the means of grace, such as prayer, reading, hearing the gospel, and meciitation, with the greatest seriousness imaginable, and never neglect them, if you can possibly avoid it
Endeavor to get a feeling sense of your lost and undone condition out of Christ, and be willing to know the worst of your state, that so you may come to feel the need of a Redeemer.
And, O !. let me beg you never to rest short of a saving interest in the Lord Jesus Christ; he only is able to save your precious souls. Come, cast yourselves at his feet, and resign yourselves to him in the following manner :
« O Lord ! thou who knowest the worth of souls, hast said, “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?" Lord, I am amazed to think how much I have attended to trifling concerns, and how shamefully I have neglected my precious soul, but being now convinced of the value of my soul, and that I am undone without ther; and feeling myself wholly condemned, and that thou art just, and I altogether to blame, I resign myself into thine hands, to do with me as seemeth good in thy sight. (: I know thou canst do me no injustice ; if I perish I will perish at thy feet, begging for mercy.
O thou that didst sweat as it were great drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane, that sufferedst pain and shame,
and finally diedst on the cross for the souls of men, and for mine among the rest, to whom should I go but unto thee? My soul is no where safe but in thine arms, to thee would I therefore commit my cause ; I trust my all for time and eternity in thine hands.;. lead me as thou pleasest, by whatever way thy wisdom shall choose, so that I may be purified from sin, envy, pride and wrath, separated from all self. ishness, and intimately united to thyself, who art the Fountain of all good. Grant me a gracious answer of peace, O Lord, for thy mercy's. sake.”
To encourage you to pray, read the following texts of scripture ; St. Mat. vii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be opened unto. you : for every one that asketh, receiveth ; and he that seeketh, findeth ; and to him that knocke eth, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom, if his son ask bread, will he give give him a stonie ? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent ? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your chil. dren, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask hiin. St. Mark, xi. 24. Therefore I say un. to you, What things soever ye desire when ve pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. See also. St. Luke, xi, from the first to the fourteenth verse. St. John, xiv. 13, 14. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glo. rified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in
my name, I will do it. Chap. xv. 7, 16. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name he may give it you. Ch. xvi. 23, 24, 26, 27. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name : ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. At that day ye shall ask in my name ; and I say not ento you, that I will pray the Father for you : For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. Acts, ii. 21. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Rom. x. 12. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek : for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. Heb. iv. 15, 16. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. James, i. 5, 6. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraidetha not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. Ch. v. 15, 16,