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proveth us to be Christians indeed : “ Yea, “ in this the children of God are manifest, ss and the children of the devil. He that “ doeth not righteousness, is not of God."

The formalist, as I have already admitted, may go a considerable length in an outward reformation of manners; he may abstain from pollutions of the groffer kind, and even do many things that are materially good: but still he hath his exceptions : some fins are so dear to him, that he will by no means consent to part with them; and some duties are so displeasing to the flesh, that he cannot be reconciled to them at any rate : he therefore endeavours, either to suit his opinion to his inclination, by persuading himself that they are no duties ; or, if the evidence of their authority is too strong to be evaded, he may attempt to do something like them in a cold and superficial manner; but the things themselves he will not do.-_Whereas the godly man “ efteems all God's commandments con- ; “ cerning all things to be right, and hates, “ with a perfect hatred, every false and wicked way.” This is the habitual lan

guage

guage of his soul : “ O that my ways were “ directed to keep thy statutes ! -- Show “ me thy way, O Lord, teach me thy path, “ lead me in thy truth, and teach me; for “ thou art the God of my salvation ; on thee “ do I wait all the day.---What I know “ not, teach thou me: If I have done ini“ quity, I will do so no more. Let the “ words of my mouth, and the meditations “ of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, « O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.” _“ His delight is in the law of his God;" and instead of complaining, that the duties required of him are many or burthensome, he rather rejoices, that he is furnished with such a variety of means and occafions of testifying his gratitude to that amiable Sovereign, to whom he hath devoted himself, and his all : Love makes the Redeemer's yoke to feel easy, and his burden light; and nothing grieves him so much, as that he cannot do all that he would, in acknowledgement of those manifold inestimable favours he hath already received, or hopes to enjoy. Such is the godly man ; and after this man

ner

ner doth godliness exert its power, “ casting “ down imaginations, and every high thing " that exalteth itself against the knowledge “ of God, and bringing every thought,” word, and action, into full “ captivity to “ the obedience of Christ.”

Here then, let me intreat you, in the ferious review of what hath been delivered upon this branch of the subject, to make a fair and impartial trial of yourselves. God, who knoweth all things, is already acquainted with you: each of you must very soon be acquainted with himself, and all the world shall know you too: death is at hand to open your own eyes, and the last judgement fhiall publish your real character, and expose it to the view of angels and men ; so that, upon all accounts, it is necessary that you be early and thoroughly assured of your condition. If, when weighed in the balance, you are found wanting, you shall have this advantage by the discovery, that it will rouse you from that lethargy, out of which the unquenchable fire would at length awaken you; and powerfully incite you to do something for your safety, ere it be too late:

« God's

“ God's arm is not shortened that it cannot “ save, neither is his ear heavy that it can“ not hear.” The Lord Jesus is still as “ mighty as ever, to save to the uttermost “ all who come unto God by him ;” and there is nothing that puts you fo far out of the road of his mercy, as self-deceit and presumption do. Let your case be ever fo bad; yet, if you are truly sensible of it, and apply to him for relief, you shall find him, at all times, ready with open arms to receive you : nay, he invites you to come to him in the mildest terms of condescension and grace; “ Come unto me, all ye that labour “ and are heavy laden, and I will give you

rest.” So that the most compassionate and friendly office that a minister of the gofpel can perform, is to call upon finners loudly and repeatedly, “ to examine and “ prove their ownfelves,” that from an alarming sense of danger, they may be compelled, by a happy necessity, to flee for refuge to that Almighty Saviour, who alone can deliver them from the wrath to come. This indeed is the principal aim of my discourse ; I have furnished you with several characters

,

of of true godliness, by the help of which you may discover whether you are possessed of it or not. -Ihese I now leave with you, that every man's conscience may apply them to himself in particular, and pronounce sentence according to the evidence it may find;

and shall proceed to enquire, very briefly, in the

Second place, Whence it is, that any who deny the power of godliness, should submit to the drudgery of maintaining the form of

it?

With respect to many, it may be said, that they appear in the form of godliness by mere accident; because it happens to be in repute among those with whom they converse. They go to church, purely because others do it; they observe an outward decorum of manners, to avoid fingularity, and walk the customary round of duties from a natural timidity, or perhaps civility, of temper, which will not suffer them to do any thing that may be shocking or offenfive to their friends or neighbours. Of this fort, numbers are to be found in every

Christian

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