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*** *ning O happy souls that you are! others of us, and those, by far the most (I fear) are utterly negligent in this business ; death and eternity are little minda ed by us; but we are in a sleepy, drowsy, secure fpirit, and to such (methinks) this truth speaks in a language much like to that of the ship master to Jonah, chap. 1. 6. " What meanest thou, o “ sleeper? Arise and call upon thy God, if fo be " he will think on us, that we perish not.”
So what mean you, O you sleepy, drowsy, secure souls! Arise, make ready for a dying hour; set all things right, all things in order in your spiritual concernments, lest death come upon you unawares, and you be lost for ever; and to such of us I would say, as sometimes God did by the prophet to Hezekiah, Ilai. 38. 1. 6 Set thine house in order, for " thou shalt die, and not live.”
So I say to you, set your hearts in order, your spiritual concerns in order ; make all even between God and you, for you shall shortly die, and not live ; you shall shortly go hence, and be no more.
And why should we not all do so, if you be to change your condition in the world, how careful and solicitous are you to have all things ready and in order for that change
Why (my beloved) you are shortly to pass under that great and last change ; a change from time to eternity ; and will you have no care, no solicitude to make ready for that change? If you are to take a journey, though but a few miles, or to make a voyage into a strange land; O how are you concerned to have all things ready, all things in a prepared pofture, in order thereunto ?
And (my beloved) should not you be more concerned to make ready for your great journey, your last and great voyage? You are making a joumey, a voyage out of time into eternity; you are just launching forth into the great ocean: and what, nothing in order, nothing ready, nothing set right in order thereunto? That is strange! If you have fome great business, a business of more than ordinary importance to be done, or a suit at law to be tried or determined; O how close do you follow it? and how careful are you to have all things ready in order thereunto ?
And (my beloved) lould you not be as careful and diligent to prepare, and set all things right for the great business of your souls in another world? Have you any business, any concern of greater importance to you, than the concern of your souls, and eternity? If you are to appear before some earthly judge, especially if it be about a matter that concerns your life; O how thoughtful are you to have all things ready and in order, in reference thereunto P
And (my beloved) should you not be as thoughtful and solicitous to make all ready, and to set all right, in order to your appearing before the Judge of all the earth; and that about a matter which concerns the life of your souls, about a matter of eternal life and death,
Well, what shall I say? Will you set about this great business, this great concern? Or, is it all one with you, whether you live or die, are laved, or damned to eternity? God yet spares you, bles. sed be his name ; will you not set all right, before you go hence and be no more? Sinners, will you set about this great business? Your work is wholly yet to do; though, it may be, your day is far spent, your glass is almost run, your sun near setting, and all your work to do. Oh 'tis high time for you to awake out of leep; unless you mean to sleep the sleep of eternal death.
Saints, will you set about this great business, while God spares you? You have done somewhat, but there is much more yet to be done ; there is. much out of order yet in your souls: grace weak,
(it may be) corruption strong, peace broken, evi. dences stained and blotted; unbelief powerful within you, the heart much estranged from God; little suitableness to heaven in your spirits, and the like; will you now labour to recover strength? How many of us may complain, as that hely man (St. Bernard) once did? “ I am ashamed to live, “ because I am so unprofitable; and I am afraid to “ die, because I am so unprepared.” Surely this truth concerns the best of us all : and if we understand ourselves, we cannot but know it; the Lord help us to know it effe&tually.
And if after all, you would indeed address to this great work and business, then I have several great and weighty directions to propound to you for your help therein, of which some more general, some more particular, and I would speak of each distinaly.
WHEREIN ARE PROPOUNDED SEVERAL DIREC
TIONS, IN ORDER TO A THOROUGH PREPARA...
1. W OULD you indeed set all things right in your souls, make all ready for a dying hour? Then in your most prosperous and flou. rishing state here, maintain a frequent and serious, remembrance of death and the grave upon your fpirit. If a man live many years (saith Solomon) and rejoice in them all; yet let them remember the days of darkness, for they are many, Eccles. 11. 8.
By; the days of darkness here, we are to understand death, and the state of death; the abode of our bodies in the grave, which is a land of darkness, and where the light is as darkness, Job 10. 20.. Now, faith he, though a man live many years, and, rejoice in them all; that is, though a man live long, and prosperously, long and joyfully; yet let him. remember death and the grave, the future state,
'Tis true, there are other days of darkness, which we are subject to in this world, and should be re