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give you a crop without labour ; would you take this for a wise man? Again I tell you, your folly is more gross, that cannot all this while be resolved, whether you should cast away your wilful sins, and give up yourselves to Christ, and a holy life, to obtain the glory, and escape the misery that is hard at hand. If you stood up to the neck in water, or stood but in a storm of rain, you would not be so long in deliberating, whether it were better for you to stay there longer or come out. If your finger were but in the fire, you need not so long a deliberation, whether you should take it out. And yet these wise men are under many

thousand unpardoned sins, and under the curse of the law of God, and within a step of everlasting fire, and have no way possible to escape, but by conversion, faith, and holiness; and this God hath told them, as plain as the tongue of man can speak, and yet they are considering of it, whether it be best to come out of it; and yet they cannot be resolved. Did I say n. they are considering ? Nay, the Lord' be merciful to them, they are so dead-hearted and besotted, that they do not so much as seriously consider of it, but even run on without consideration. Ah, poor wretches ! they are ready to go to another world, and may look every day when the bell:tolls. for them, and when death will bring them to their endless life, and yet they have not wit enough to resolve whether they should make ready; no, nor wit enough in their most careless, worldly state, to know that they are unready. Death is coming, and judgment is coming, and the burning wrath of God is coming, and are even at the door; and yet these wise men are unresolved of that only way that is of absolute necessity to their safety; they must have more time yet to consider of the matter, whether it be best for them to turn or no. They stand at the very brink of hell; and yet they must further consider of it, whether it be better to turn back or go on. Nay, they will go on without consideration !. And yet these men would take it heinously, if one should lay hands on them, and carry them to Bedlam, or but tell them of the hundredth part of the sottishness that they are guilty of.

5. And it is further considerable, that these men that are all this while unresolved about their conversion and sancti fication, have wit enough to resolve of more doubtful and less necessary matters, without any such advising or delays: and they are men of ordinary parts and capacities for the matters of this world. They can eat when they are hungry, and drink when they are thirsty, without a twelyemonth's time to advise first on it. They can resolve to go to bed at night, and to rise in the morning, without a year's or a day's deliberation. If they have any thing to buy or sell, they will not deliberate upon it till the market be past; if they have land to plough, or their corn to sow, or reap, or mow, they will not take a twelvemonth's time to pause upon it. They can quickly resolve upon every day's business, their travels, their labours, and all their ordinary affairs. And yet these same men cannot resolve in seven years' time, and seven to that, whether heaven or earth should be more loved and laboured for? Or whether a corruptible flesh, a wicked fancy, a greedy throat, should be pleased before the God of heaven, though the pleasing of them cost them the loss of their salvation?

Why, sirs, a man that is well in his wits, would think that these matters should be more out of doubt than the former, and more speedily resolved on. One would think it should be an easier question, whether you should turn to God and a holy life, for the saving of your immortal souls ? than when ther you should eat or drink, or sleep, for the preservation of your bodies ? For I can, in many cases, bring some reas son that should persuade you to forbear eating or drinking, or sleeping for a considerable time. But no man breathing can speak a word of reason (except men's folly should be called reason) that should persuade you to forbear your conversion for a minute. And if you mistake about these bodily matters, the loss may be repaired, at least in the world to come. But if you die before you are resolved, and firmly resolved, to give up your soul and body to Christ, and live a holy, heavenly life, you are undone, body and soul for ever, and all the world can never save you.

O what a strange and horrible thing is it, that a man that hath the wit to manage his affairs as plausibly as any of his neighbours, that can overwit others in the matters of the. world ; that can govern towns and countries.; that is learned in his profession, in law, in physic, in merchandise, in navigation, or any the like: I say that a man of so deep a reach, so plodding and active a wit as this, should yet be unresolved, yea, at thirty or forty years old be unresolved, whether to be sanctified or unsanctified, whether to be holy and be saved, or be unholy, though God hath expressly said, that such shall not see the face of God; Heb. xii. 14. These are our wise men, these are too many (besides the ignorant countrymen,) of our gentlemen, our worshipful and honourable men, our great scholars, and men of noble or reverend esteem; that yet are unresolved, whether to be saved or to be damned. Though God hath written a Bible to resolve them, and a thousand books are written to resolve them, and preachers are studying and preaching to resolve them; and a thousand mercies are cast into the scales that one would think should help to turn them; and some sharp afflictions are helping to resolve them, and twenty or forty years' certain experience of the vanity of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and honour, and pleasure, and the unprofitableness of sin, one would think should resolve them; yet after all this they are unresolved whether they should presently let go their sin, and whether God or the flesh should be pleased or displeased? If this be the wisdom of these men, the Lord bless me and all his chosen from such wisdom!

6. Nay consider further of your unreasonable wickedness : are not many of your judgments resolved, when yet your hearts and wills are not reselved? I am confident, nay, I am certain it is so: you are at once both resolved and unresolved. What a confusion and war do you thus make in your own souls? The judgment is for one thing, and the will and affections are for another thing. What, are you not led by reason? Will you let out your affections, and lead your lives quite contrary to your knowledge? Would not most of you give it me as your judgments under your hands, that it is a thousand times better to cast away your drunkenness, your filthiness, your worldliness, and your known sins, than to keep them any longer? What say you? you not convinced that it were your wisest course to part with them this very day and hour ? Undoubtedly many of you are. And yet for all this, will you not resolve to do it? Are you not persuaded in your own consciences, that it is better to die in a holy, and heavenly state, than in a loose, and careless worldly state? And that it were your safest and wisest course to become new men, and lead a holy, heavenly life without delay ? Dare you deny this? Is it not your judgment? And yet will you not do it?

Are you re




solved that it should be done, and must be done, and yet will you not resolve to do it? Why, what is this but to be condemners of yourselves ? To carry a judge about with you in your own breasts, that is still passing sentence against

Happy is he," saith the Spirit of God, (Rom. xiv. 22.)“ that condemneth not himself in that which he alloweth.” If your judgments. be resolved, let your wills resolve, or else you are wilful adversaries of the light, and fight against reason, and unman yourselves, and sinning wilfully against your knowledge, shall be beaten with many stripes.

7. Methinks also, it should somewhat quicken you to resolve, when you consider what a case you had now been in, if death had found you unresolved. For if you are unresolved, you are unsanctified; and if not sanctified, you are not pardoned, or justified ; and, therefore, undoubtedly you had been past all help, in endless misery, if you had died all this while, before you were firmly resolved for God. O what a dangerous, ticklish condition have you stood in all this while ? What wise man would live an hour in such a case for all the world, for fear lest that hour should be his last? And yet would you stay longer in it ? and still are you unresolved ?

8. Believe it, Christ will not own you as his servants, nor trust you, whatever promises you may make him, as long as you are unresolved.

Who will take a servant that is not resolved to do any service? Who will take an unresolved person if he knows it, as a wife, or a friend, into his intimate love? And indeed you are not truly Christians till you are resolved to take Christ for better and worse. Whatever state is short of this, is also short of true sanctification, and will fall short of heaven. Christ is resolved to stick to his servants, and he will have no servants that be not resolved to stick to him.

9. And indeed if you be unresolved, as you are falsehearted at the first setting out, so it is certain that you will never go

well on, nor endure to the end in case of trial, nor can you do the business of a Christian's life, without resolution. If you will be Christ's disciples, you must reckon upon persecutions ; you must take up your cross and follow him; you must be hated of all men for his sake and the



Gospel's; and you must prepare for prison, and fire, and sword : there is no hope of being saved, while you purpose to save your pleasures, riches, liberties or lives; Matt. xvi. 25. Mark viii. 35. Luke ix. 24. And will a man that is unresolved forsake his friends, estate, and life for the sake of Christ and the hopes of glory? He cannot do it. I know that a carnal, ungrounded resolution may deceive a man in the day of trial, when the self-suspecting, fearful Christian may hold out; but yet without a humble, self-denying resolution, joined with an adherence to Christ for strength, there is no man will hold out. “ If thou be a waveringminded man, thou wilt be unsteadfast in all thy ways;" James i. 8. If thou be not resolved, the words of a man's mouth will turn thee out of the

way ;


mocks and scorns of a drunkard, or a fool that hath no understanding in the matters of salvation, will make thee shrink and hide thy profession, and be ashamed of Christ, in whom alone thou hast cause to glory. If thou be not a resolved man, what better can be expected, but that thou turn as the weathercock with every wind, and fit thy religion to thy worldly ends, and as another Judas, sell thy Lord for a little money. If thou fall not away, it will be but for want of a trial to procure it; and therefore in God's account thou art gone already ; because thy resolution was never with it.

When you turn to God, there will remain within you the remnants of your corruption, a body of death, a rebelling flesh; and this will be still tempting you, and drawing you from God. O how strong do these temptations seem to the soul that is unresolved! Yea, without a firm habitual resolution, it is impossible to overcome them. Your whole way to heaven is a continual warfare ; you have enemies that will dispute every foot of the way with you. There is no going a step forward, but as the ship doth in the sea, by cutting its way through the waves and billows; and as the plough doth in the earth, by cutting through the resisting soil. There is self, which is your principal enemy, and there is satan, and the world, and almost all that you meet with in it, will prove your hinderers; and you must make your way by valour and holy violence through all: and will an unresolved man do this? You will scarce ever bow your

knee to God in secret prayer, nor set yourselves upon serious meditations, but the flesh and the devil will be drawing you off;

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