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and eternal life is his; and when once this news is come, then welcome life, and welcome death: welcome time, and welcome eternity: then the soul can say, O sweet eternity, O blessed eternity! O firs, be not satisfied without some good assurance of God's love to your souls, and your right and ti. tle to heaven and eternal life! Yea, without the fullest assurance that is attainable here; for know, that there are degrees in assurance itself. The scripture mentions three degrees of assurance. First, there is assurance, the work of righteousness is peace, and the fruit of righteousness is affurance for ever, Ifa. 31. 17. And give all diligence to make your calling and election sure, as in the place before quoted.
Secondly, there is much assurance: Our gospel came unto you, not in word only, but in power, and in the demonstration of the spirit, and much assurance, 1.Theff. 1. 5.
Thirdly, There is a full assurance. We desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end, Heb. 6. 11. Now my beloved, I would not have you fatisfied without assurance, without much assurance; yea, without a full assurance ; the more full your
assurance is, the more chearfully, joyfully, and triumpliantly will you die.
· Thirdly, Would you indeed have all right, all in order in the matters of your souls for a dying hour, then labour to maintain a constant actual | peace with God; every day making even with him, and renewing the senle of his pardoning love in your souls as a firm union with Christ, and a wellgrounded assurance of an interest in God, and eternal life; so also, an actual peace with God, and a daily renewed pardon from him is requisite to a thorough readiness and preparedness for a dying hour. David had an intereft in God; yea, and his interest was clear to him; yet how solicitous was he to get all even before God and him ? and how uncomfortable was it with him, till he had renewed his peace with God, when by his fall it had been broken ? Psalm 51.8, 12. This also is what is evidently held forth, Job 7. 21. Where Job pleads thus with God ;- Why dost thou not pardon mine iniquity, and take away my transgression? for now shall I sleep in the duft ; thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
In the verse before, he acknowledgeth he had finned, and here he intimates, that God frowned on him for his fin; the sense of pardoning love was not renewed in his soul, which here, therefore, he
pleads for, and that upon this account, because he was speedily to die; intimating he could not die with comfort, till he had a renewed sense of God's pardoning love. And this is the very thing which David begs in the psalm of my text, in order to his comfortable going hence, (viz.) That God would take away his transgressions, Plalm 39. 8.
As long as there is any fin, any guilt lying upon our consciences, any sin unpardoned, any difference between God and us, any frowns in his face towards us, we are unready for death, and cannot with that comfort and boldness of spirit, welcome it as we ought; but when our peace with God is maintained, and we have a renewed sense of his par. doning love in our souls, then are things right and in order with us in heed, and we may think of death with boldness and comfort ; and therefore mind this, as ever you would be found ready for a dying hour; every day even things between God and you; every day get a fresh sense of pardon from him.
First, As near as possible may be, do nothing that may occasion any breach between God and you, or raise any frowns in his face towards you: if you do not break with God, he will not break with you: all breaches as to peace and friendship between God and us, begin on our part; yea, neither will God break with us for little things, in case they be not
allowed by us, but watched and striven againlt; therefore, as near as poslibly you can, do nothing to break and interrupt your peace with God for one moment. And because when you have done all, many things may and will fall out: (we having finful sinning hearts, and living in a world of snares and temptations) for which God may jusly frown upon us. Let us,
Secondly, every day make even with him. In the close of every day let us consider wherein we bave broken with God, come short of duty, given any grief and distaste to his holy spirit; and by faith and prayer let us sue out the pardon of it; and let us not lie down, if possible, without some intimation of his pardoning love. For which end,
First, We should act faith on the blood and advocateship of Jesus Christ, whom God bath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his. blood, to declare his righteousness for remission of fins, Rom. 3. 24, 25. And indeed Christ hath set up a standing Office in heaven, which we may call the pardon-office; he procureth new pardons for bis people daily under their new Gns ;-We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins, 1 John 2. 1, 2.. Have daily recourse to the blood of Chrift; truly without it there's no living; the best, the ho
liest on earth have daily need of his blood, and should have daily recourse unto it, for the maintaining of their peace, and for the renewing of · God's pardoning love in their souls.
Secondly, We should be humbly and earnestly importunate with God in prayer, resolving not to let him go without his blessing, carrying upon our 'fpirits the sense of the worth, and also of our unworthiness of it. Thus the holy men of God, of old have done: they have ufed out the pardon of their fins by faith and prayer, and gotten a fresh sense of God's love when they have broken with bim ; as I might instance in Job, in David, and others.
We should every day pray, as that Father did, O Lord, faith he, do not, after the manner of a Judge, weigh or consider what I have done, what I have spoken, what I have thought; but blot out all my sins with thy own blood. And as another of them did ; Lord, faith he, there is that in me which may offend thy holy eyes, I know and confess it: but who shall cleanse me? Or, to whom thall I fly for relief but to thee? O hide not thy face from me. Truly, when we have walked most watchfully, most circumspectly, many things may, and will fall out, that may offend the pure eyes of God's glory, which we should confess and bewail