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with sin, and my heart with sorrow; when the va. nity of this life is ready to forsake me, and there is nothing left but misery and shame to seize upon me; I have not yet resolved seriously to come unto thee..
Lord, leave me not unto the weakness of mine own infirmities, expose me not unto the raging billows of these strong temptations, suffer me not to sink into this depth of frn, to be destroyed by this: dreadful storm of fatan, and mine own accusing conscience; rebuke these winds and waves, and cause a blessed calm within me; reach out thy hand of mercy, and support me; strengthen my drooping soul, that I may joyfully, and faithfully lay hold upon thee: give me a fixed heart, that I may seriously return unto thee, and may this hour be graciously accepted of thee.
Lord wean me from the false embraces of this evil world, turn all these sinful joys to bitterness unto me, make me to see their foulness and deformity, their emptiness and vạnity, their fhortness and uncertainty, their fashood and flattery, their weariness and misery. I
O let my heart be filled, let my soul be ravished with those transcendent joys of thine which are for ever; give me a joyful soul to rest securely in them, a ready heart devoutly thankful for them,
Lord, moderate my desires to outward enjoyments; let me relish no sweetness but in thy love, no good. ness but in thy grace, no comfort but in the full assurance of thy glory.
Forgive those wretched hours which have been stolen from thy service: O Lord, my God, I heartily bewail them, and willingly resolve to spend my days in sorrow for them.
Make me more watchful over my corrupt heart, more careful of my precious time, more serious inthe weighty work of my salvation ; more forrowful for fin, more mindful of the hour of death and day of judgment: that so I may affećt the pleasures of this life soberly, enjoy them sparingly, and leave . them chearfully, AMEN.
V PON THE GREAT DANGER OF DEFERRING THE
HOUR OF REPENTANCE,
CONSIDER, O my soul, of the great danger of delaying thy repentance; of judging that so easy, 'which will prove so difficult; of thinking that almost finished, which is scarce yet begun; believest thou it will suffice thee to have some transitory thoughts of thine amendment, to have perhaps some pinching sighs, some stings of conscience, some shews of sorrow for thy sins; to hang down thy head like a bulrush for a day, and yet afterwards to return with the dog to thy filthy vomit, and with the low to the wallowing in the nasty mire of sin, while thou continuest in this course, thy hopes of amendment are extremely doubtful, of reconciliation dangerous, of repentance desperate.
If ever thou hopeft to inherit heaven, let not fatan thus delude thee; look well into thine evil and corrupt heart, and thou shalt there find, that this is not the cure, but the disease of sin; that thou grievest not for thine offence, but for thy punishment; that thou mayst yet. go much farther in this supposed path of thy repentance, and still
be far short of that smcerity of heart which God requireth of thee, and yet have no pari nor fellowship in Christ: thou maist with Saul express thy forrow with thy tears; with thofe believers in the gospel, receive the word with joy; with Demas, shew thine inward grace by thine outward obedience, and in some sort be made partaker of the holy ghost, and have a taste of the good things of the world to come, and yet for all this, come far short of this unfeigned work of true repentance. Alas, what can it profit thee to bewail that fin which thou wilt not forego? what reward canft thou expect for that obedience which so soon fainte:h? what comfort in that joy which is but temporary.
Remember how great a work thou hast in hand, how many millions of lost souls complain eternally in hell of this neglect; O look into the foulness of thy fin, and then into the trueness of thy sorrow: if thou art Gods child, thou wilt be grieved for offending so good a Father; thou wilt abhor that fin that hath so much provoked his displeasure, thou wilt most solemnly protest against it, and seriously resolve for ever to avoid it ; thy sin will be ever be. fore thee, to humble thee here, to exalt thee hereafter.
Thy degrees of fin will have thy degrees of forrow; thy measure of pollution will require thy
measure of fan&tification: as thou hast given up thy members to be servants of fin, so thou must nów yield them up to be weapons of righteousness; as thou hast been drowned in pleasure, so thou must be drencht ini tears; yeà those tears will be thy daily' food, to nourish thee in grace, to enrich thee in glory.
O how truly blessed is that soul, which hath unfeignedly resolved on this good, this great, this necessary work ? that can chearfully and joyfully express itself with holy David, and say, Lord, I am bowed down greatly, I go mourning all the day long, I have roared out for very anguish and unquietness of heart. If thou hast David's sorrow (O my soul) thou shalt as assuredly have David's joy, thou shalt say with him also, Lord, I am thy child, and the son of thine handmaid, thou haft broken my bonds in sunder. Pfal. 16. 16. Satan may now tempt thee, and through thy frailty and infirmity prevail against thee; but to become a customer to evil, the powers of he i cannot entice thee; a thousand worlds are not now of that value with thee, as the joyful remembrance of thiy passed dangers, thy present comfort, thy future safety.
Thou hast now seen (O my soul) how abso. lutely necessary this great work is; think now how happy will be the performance, how full of danger