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denying terms. But he that will be saved, must be thus resolved, even to sell all, to buy the invaluable pearl ; Matt. xiii. 46, 47. To make sure of heaven, though he lose all on earth by it; to lay up his hopes in the life to come, and venture and let go all rather than those hopes; to take Christ absolutely upon his own terms, for better and worse, as being certain that there is no other way to life, and that there is no danger of losing by him. The hypocrite is like a man that when he delivereth up possession of his house, will make his bargain that he will keep this room or that room to himself, for his own use. Or like a seryant that will not be hired, but on condition that his master shall not set him to such and such work that he loves not; but Christ will have no such servants; you must deliver up all to him, or he will accept of none ; you must give him leave to make his conditions for you, and tell yon on what terms you must serve him, and wholly refer the matter to him, even for life itself, and not offer to put conditions upon him, and think to bring him to any terms of yours. It is not true resolution unless it be absolute and unreserved, and against all reserves; yea, and that also as to perseverance; that you resolve to give up yourselves finally as well as totally, not only without any reserve of a revocation, but against any such revocation: it must not be a coming to Christ upon essay, or mere trial that if he like it he will stand to it, but he must make an unchangeable, everlasting covenant; it must be part of your covenant, that you will never revoke it.

4. Moreover, your resolution must be well grounded ; you must know what the essentials are of that religion which you resolve on, and you must be moved to it by right and weighty considerations; and go upon reasons that will hold up your resolution. For should you resolve on the most necessary work (as this is) upon mistakes, or wrong, or insufficient, as the will of man, the custom of the country, the reputation of Christianity, or only such like; there is no likelihood that your resolution should endure, and it is not sincere while it doth endure.

5. Your resolution must be accompanied with a sense of your own insufficiency, to stand to it immutably, and execute it faithfully by your own strength; as knowing the corruption and deceitfulness of your own hearts. And it must be strengthened and supported by a confidence or dependence on the sufficiency of Christ, on whose grace and Spirit you must rely, both for the continuing, and the performing of your resolutions; as knowing, that without him you can do nothing, but that you can do all things (necessary) through Christ strengthening you.

6. Lastly, your resolution is not savingly sincere, unless it be habitually. It is a very hard question, how far some moving exhortation, or the approach of death in sickness, may prevail with the unsanctified for an actual resolution; undoubtedly very far. But that is a man's mind and will which is habitually his mind and will. When the very inclination and bent of your will is right, then only is your heart right. A bowl may, by a rub, or bank, be turned contrary to the bias; but when it is over the rub, it will follow the bias again. So the soul is, when hindered from ascending a little while, but when it is got over the stop, it will be mounting upward. A stone will move upwards against its nature, while it is followed by the strength of the hand that cast it; but when the strength is spent, it will quickly fall again. It is not an extraordinary act, that you can try yourselves by, but such a free course and tenor of your lives, as will prove that you have a new nature, or a heart inclined and habituated to God. The main business, therefore, is, to prove that you are habitually resolved. Set all these together now, and you may see what resolution it is that must prove you to be converted. 1. It must be a resolution for all the essence of Christianity, and not only some part. 2. It must be a resolution for present obedience, and not only for some distant time to come. 3. It must be an absolute, peremptory resolution, without and against reserves for the flesh, both total and final, without and against any revocation. 4. It must be soundly grounded, and moved by right principles. 5. It must be joined with a humble sense of your insufficiency, and a dependence on Christ, for continuing and performing it. And 6. It must be habitual, and such as sets right the bent and drift of heart and life. All this is of necessity.

Well, sirs, you see now what you must do ; the next question then is, What you will do. A great many of motions God hath made to you, to let go your worldliness and wickedness, and become new creatures, and live to God; and never could you be got to resolve and obey them.

Many thoughts you have had of it, I suppose, and long you have been purposing that, turn you would, but all have come to little or nothing, because you were never fully resolved. I am once more sent to you on this message from God, to see whether yet you will resolve. Whether, after all your trifling delays, and after all your wilful sinning, and abuse of God's patience, against your own knowledge and consciences, you will yet resolve. What say you? Shall God be your Master indeed? And shall Christ be

And shall Christ be your Saviour and Lord ? Shall heaven be your happiness, and have your hearts indeed ? Shall holiness be your business indeed, and shall sin be your hatred, and the flesh, and the world be your enemies indeed; and used accordingly, from this day forward without any more ado? I beseech you, sirs, resolve, and fully resolve.

And because I know if we prevail not with you in this, you are undone for ever; and, therefore, I am loath to let you go before we have brought you, if it may be, to resolve; I will give you here some considerations to turn the scales, and if you will but read them, and soberly consider of them, I shall have great hope to prevail with you yet, after all. One would think, that the fifty considerations under the last Direction, might suffice. But lest all should be too little, I will add these following:

1. Consider, I beseech you, what leisure you have had to think of the matter. You have lived many years in the world already, and you have had nothing to do in it, but to seek after true happiness. Even your worldly labours ought to have been all but in order to this; and yet are you unresolved ? Alas, sirs, have you lived some twenty, some thirty years and more in the world, and yet are you not resolved? What came you hither for, or what have you to do here? Is it twenty, or thirty, or forty years, since you set out, and should by this time have been far on your journey, and are you yet unresolved whither to go, or which way to go? as if you were newly entering the world, or as if you had never heard of your business. I think so many years are a fair time of consideration, and it is time to be resolved, if you will resolve at all.

2. And I pray you consider, what helps you have had to to have resolved you before this. If you did not know what you had to look after and which way to take, you should have inquired; you had the word of God to advise with; and many experienced Christians to advise with. You wanted not for the wisest, faithfulest counsellors, if you had been but willing and diligent, certainly you might have been resolved long ago.

3. And consider, I beseech you, what a case it is that you are unresolved in. Is it so hard a question, that all this time, and all these helps cannot resolve you? What! whether God, or the flesh should be first obeyed, and loved ? Whether heaven or earth, eternal glory or the transitory pleasures of sin should be preferred? Whether you should care and labour more to be saved from sin and hell, or from poverty and worldly crosses and reproaches? These and such like, are the questions to be resolved; and are these so hard, that all the wit, and all the advice you can have from Scripture and ministers, would not serve turn to help you to a resolution, no, not in twenty or thirty years' time? O wonderful! that ever the devil should be able so to befool men! That reasonable creatures should be so phrenetic, that they cannot be resolved whether it be better to be saved, or be damned? Or whether sin, with hell after it, be better than holiness with heaven after! The Lord have mercy upon the poor distracted world, and bring some more of them to their wits! We have wise men, if themselves may be judges, very wise in their own conceit, that know many great matters in the world, and yet do not practically know whether God or the devil be the better master ; whether sin or holiness be the better work, and whether heaven or hell be the better wages! If they say they know these things, judge by their lives whether they know them practically or not. Resolve they will not for God, and holiness, and heaven, nor against the flesh, the world, and sin, whatever they may be brought to confess to their self-condemnation. Is it not a pitiful case, that such points as these should seem so hard to reasonable men, as to be so long in resolving of them?

4. And I pray you consider, how horribly by this you disgrace your understandings. You that cannot abide to be derided as sots and fools in the world, do yet abuse yourselves thus grossly, as if there were never greater sots upon the earth. We have proud men that are so high in their own eyes, that they can hardly endure contempt from others,

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and love almost none that think but meanly and dishonourably of them; and yet what a horrible contempt and dishonour do they cast upon themselves. If one of these, our wise neighbours, should study seven years to know whether the sea be fire or water; whether a mountain be heavy; whether the fire be hot or cold; and could not be resolved after so many years consideration, what would you think and say of these wise men? Why, sirs, it is far grosser folly, I tell you again, it is far grosser folly to be unresolved whether you should be holy or unholy, which is, in plain English, whether it be better to go to heaven or to hell. For faith and holiness is the way to heaven ; and an unholy life is the way to hell. And if you will needs forsake the way to heaven, you may hope to come thither as long as you will; but you may as well hope to touch the moon with your finger, or

and down with a mountain on your backs. And if you will hold on in the way to hell, that is, in an unsanctified state, you may say you hope for all that to escape hell, even as wisely as to leap into the sea, and say, 'I hope to escape drowning me, as well as you.' Sirs, I beseech you, do not abuse God, and abuse Christ, and the Spirit, and Scripture, and withal abuse your immortal souls for I know not what; for a stinking sin ; for a thing of naught. Your souls are noble creatures, and your understandings are noble faculties. Why will you expose them to be the scorn of satan, and make them so base and sottish as you do? You can see the folly of a poor drunkard, that will make a beast of himself, and go reeling and talking nonsense about the street for the boys to hoot at him, and make himself the laughing-stock of the town. And, I pray you, why do you not understand, that till you are resolved for a holy, heavenly life, you are all drunk, while you think yourselves to be sober. You are as miserable as the other, and more in this, that yours is in your natures, and theirs is but an accident; yours

is continued, and theirs (in that particular) but by fits. In the name of God, sirs, bethink you, whether you can possibly more disgrace your wits, than to be unresolved of a case as plain as the highway, and which your everlasting salvation or damnation lieth on. If one of you could not, in twenty years, be resolved whether the sun be light or dark, or the day or the night be fitter for rest; or whether it be better to plough and sow, or let all alone, and hope God will

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