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titude of sins," and atone for the, want of every thing else.
In short, men will present their bodies to God, and fondly presume that it is an holy, and must needs be an acceptable, service; though all the while the heart is withheld, or secretly surrendered to the lusts of the flesh, or the lusts of the eye, or the pride of life. God knows that (for “ all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do”); and, therefore, when he says,
My son, give me thine heart," it is as if he said, - Do not tell me of this or that: I will have the heart, or nothing. To what purpose is the multitude of thy fair speeches unto me? --such incence is an abomination. I insist upon a free and full sur render of thy whole self, body, soul, and spirit, with all the parts and powers and faculties of each. O my son ! my son! why art thou so backward to yield thyself to me! Why wouldst thou put me off with any thing, rather than that which thou knowest I principally require and delight in! Have I been a barren wilderness unto thee? What could have been done more unto thee that I have not done? Why then, my son, why wilt thou not give me thine heart?'
Whose conscience does not upbraid him with ia* gratitude ? Who doth not blush, that God should be obliged to ask, and ask again, for what we should freely and long ago have offered him?
III, When should we give our hearts to God?
I apswer, Immediately, the moment God calls for them. Say not to God, 'Go thy way, and come again, and to-morrow I will give,' when thou hast it by thee. Why would you put him off till to
morrow? Why not to-day? Why not now? What excuses are you framing Imam' You are busy ?! What is that business, which is more important or urgent than the salvation of your souls You are happy as you are ? What is that happiness, which the very thoughts of death will damp, and the apa proach of death destroy, and which, after death, will issue in weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth for ever.,“ You are young.” For that very reason give your hearts to God. He loves them that love bim; and “those that seek him early, shall find him."-"You are old ' The more need there is, that what you do you should do quickly.-your
hearts are wicked ?' Alas! till you have given them to. God they never will be better. Give those stony, deceitful, and desperately wicked hearts to God; and beg that he would give you, in the room of them, a new heart, a heart of flesh, a clean beart, an upright heart.
No, none of your excuses will serve. But why should you seek excuses for delaying what can never be done to better advantage than now? “Behold, now is the accepted time ; behold, now is the day of salvation.” You know not whose your hearts may be, nor where your hearts may be, to-morrow. When God, therefore, comes down among us, and says, “ My son, give me thine heart,” let it not be three or four only who comply ; let it be a general act; let nothing be heard but“ the voice of much people,” saying, Lord, here is my heart, and, Lord, here is my heart, and mine; and so let it go round, till God has every heart among us.-What a happy beginning of the New Year would this be! Who knows what important events this year may be big with !
6 Go to
now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go
changes you undergo, " all things shall work together for your good ;"—that '“ the Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul: the Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, from this time forth and even for evermore.
And then, too, what a blessed preparative is this for the Lord's Supper ; that sacred, that spiritual, that divine feast ! Words cannot express the endearing scenes that have then and there passed between Christ and believers !
“ He gives me there his bleeding heart,
Pierc'd for my sins with deadly smart;
So that for any 'to go there who are not disposed to give their hearts to Christ, is just as if a person should go to market for such and such things, when he was resolved not to lay out any money. Such might as well—they had much better-stay at home. Such might well tremble, when the King comes in to see his guests, and eat his pleasant fruit, lest, coming to them, expecting fruit, and finding nothing but leaves only, he should be provoked to say, “Let no fruit grow on thee from henceforth for ever.”-Oh what a fatal, what a visible withering would there be !
But “ I hope better things of you, even things which accompany salvation, though I thus speak.”' You are ready to give up your hearts to God: and, therefore, let not a sense of your imperfections and unworthiness discourage you ; for if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not.
Is it not the language of your souls, “ Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee?"2" Go thy way; eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy work.”
It only remains to show,
I. Because he demands them, and has a right to them.
He demands them. He-who-Not the world, not Satan— Alas! they seldom need to ask twice : a thousand and a thousand hearts have been yielded to them upon the first summons, though they had no power to enforce their demand: but they hold up some glittering gewgaw, and, while the silly soul is gazing at it, they fasten on his chains, and then lead him captive at their will.--No; it is God that calls for your hearts ;-God, whose. word gives law to the universe. Even “ fire and hail, snow and vapour, and stormy winds, fulfil his word.” Angels, amidst all their hallelujabs, hearken to the voice of his word; and devils tremble before it. He it is that says, "My son, give me thine heart."_How dare you disobey him? The next time he speaks he may say, “ Those mine enemies, that would not give me their hearts, bring them bither, and slay the
, be. fore me." And if he should say it, the whole world could not prevent the execution of it. "God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God.”
But I do not argue it so much from might as from right. God has a right to what he demands. " All souls are mine," says he. “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that