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2dly. To such as have any manner of authority over others, whether magifirates, parents, or masters, who all have it in charge, and, through the blessing of God, in their power, to hinder people from ruining themselves and others; to the sad sorrow and grief of those who have any serious concern for their friends' everlasting welfare.

And, first, Every clergyman, who knows what a frightful and difficult part of his duty it is to deal with habitual finners upon the bed of sickness, should be at any pains to prevent so afflicting and uneasy a work; and which only can be prevented by dealing with such people very often and plainly, while they are in health :-by representing to them the danger they are in, while they live in open rebellion against God, and in defiance of his laws;-that as sure as there is a righteous and omnipotent God, he will punilh them for the abuse of his good creatures,—for defiling their own bodies, which at their baptism were made temples of the Holy Ghost,-for tempting others to fin, and being accessary to their eternal ruin,-for misspending that very time which God has given them in which to work out their falvation,-for the evil example they give, or for leading an idle and an unprofitable life;-and that all this while they are under the displeasure of a God who can destroy both body and foul in hell.

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VOL. IV.

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By doing this often, a pastor will keep the fears and confciences of such finners awake. They will at least fin with uneasiness; and finding that the ways of sin are a state of real Navery, they may at last resolve to seek for that ease and peace, which is only to be found in the ways of God's commandments.

After this, a faithful pastor will endeavour to drive such finners from all their holds of false hopes, and vain purposes of repenting time enough before they die, as if finners could repent when they please; or as if, by deferring their repentance, they might not at last provoke God to give them over to a reprobate mind.

He will convince them, that they have no reason to depend upon the mercy of God, if it does not lead them to repentance; and that there is certainly the greatest evil towards that man, who sins and prospers in his fin, it being a sign of God's greatest displeasure, that such a man is left to himself:-à condition the most to be dreaded of any thing in this world.

That, notwithstanding all this, if a sinner is truly sensible of his fad condition, in having been in the hands, and power, and a slave to Satan, and desires to return to God and to his duty; he ought to be assured, that that defire is from the good Spirit of God; and if he closes with it, God will receive him into favour upon his true repentance.

We

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We have the word of the Son of God for it:5 Verily all fins fall be forgiven unto the fons of men;- to encourage the greatest finners to apply to God for mercy and pardon, and not to defer doing so one moment.

If to this, a faithful pastor would add his own most earnest prayers in behalf of such finners; beseeching God, over and over again, to touch their hearts most powerfully from above; to take from them all that obstinacy and blindness which hinders their conversion; he would not so often have reason to be concerned and sorrowful for so many of his flock, nor to repeat those words in the office for the dead with a sad heart and doubtful mind, “ That we may rest in Christ, as our hope is " this our brother does.”

At least, a pastor will have the comfort of having done his duty, and of reflecting that the blood of those that perish will not be required at his hands.

But there is another sort of people, though not such profligate sinners, who are yet in the way of perdition, and which a pastor ought to make them sensible of, lest he mourn at the last, when it may be too late to recover them. . And these are, such formal Christians as hold the truth in unrighteousness; who perform the common duties of Christianity without concern to do them well, or without being bettered by them; who profess to believe in God, without fearing to offend him, and in Jesus Christ,

without

• Mark iii. 28.

without feeling the necessity of a Redeemer. In short; who hope to go to heaven when they die, with the indifference of one who never considers that without holiness no man muji see the Lord.

Such formal, indifferent, thoughtless Chriftians should be made sensible of the absolute necessity of an inward conversion of the soul to God, as well as of an outward religion.

And as an outward religion is not, at our peril, to be neglected, being ordained to honour God, and to create and keep in our hearts a lively sense of his majesty, and to obtain his graces; fo neither is it to be depended upon, unless it lead us to love God with all our soul, and to keep his commands, in order to restore us to the image of God in which we were created, and without which we must never hope to go to heaven.

A pastor, who does this faithfully, will have no reason to sorrow as those that have na bope, for such of his flock as sleep in Christ.

The next who are most capable of laying a good foundation of comfort and happiness both for the dead and the living, are Christian Parents. Most

parents are concerned for their children's present well-being; and too often forfeit a good conscience rather thannot provide for them; while too few are careful to give them such instructions, and such examples, as, by the grace of God, might

secure

secure them an inheritance in heaven when they die.' And so it comes to pass, that instead of comfort in their children, they often have the torment, the sorrow, of seeing them in the way of ruin while they live, and of mifery' when they die.

And although this cannot always be helped, even by the most sober parents, yet they ought not, at the peril of their own souls, to neglect all that is in their power; namely, to see they be instructed in the principles of the Christian religion, to pray for them every day of their lives, and to be sure that they pray for themselves, and to take great care that their natural corruption be not strengthened and increased by evil examples; that they get not habits of vanity, of idleness, of pride, of intemperance, of lying, of fraud, or of uncleanness, under their own eye, or through the examples they themselves set them."

When they are grown up to years of difcretion, they should be brought to the ordia nances of religion, and made to understand them; to confirmation, and to the Lord's supper; that once understanding the promises and threatenings of the gospel, they may not fall into fin without the checks of conscience, and a fear for themselves.

And when parents are providing for their children, the Wise Man's maxim should be always before their eyes: Better is a little with righteousness, that is, honestly gotten, than great

revenues

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