Page images
PDF
EPUB

that you cannot fin and be wicked at fo cheap a rate as the children of ungodly men.

You have been train'd up in knowledge, and taught the good ways of the Lord, while they have been brought up in gross ignorance ; you have had good examples set before you, while they have had very bad ones; I am persuaded that you feel many checks of conscience which others do not, and I don't much doubt, but the good Spirit of God has been striving with you, and awakening some early convictions in your minds ; certainly, you must be dreadfully' harden'd indeed, if you can be easy in sin, and live in the neglect of God and his service. Besides all this, you have many advantages for religion which others have not; how many prayers

of

your godly parents are now, as it were, on the file for you! many fervent and faithful prayers which they have put up for your souls, and for converting grace for you! you may go to God, and plead with him, his covenant with your parents, for you are not the children of strangers ; you can call him your father's God;

well, and will you not chuse him for your God too, and resolve to serve him as your good parents have done before you? your own friend, and your father's friend forsake not. But I would not trespass too much on your time, and therefore I shall hasten to a close ; only let me leave with you these two or three directions with respect to this matter. If you

are

are, indeed, willing to make this happy choice and resolution which Joshua did; then 1.) Make it now: Chuse

you this day whom you will serve. Now while you are young is, in many respects, your chusing time, and it is the fittest time of all to set out for heaven. Some of you, it may be, are now chusing your employments in life : others, perhaps, are now chusing their companions for life : but here is a greater and more iniportant choice which you should make first of all, and that is, what God you will serve in life, and what portion you will have for ever. Now is the properest time for this

choice, before

you are entangled in the affairs of this world; and perhaps, it may be the only time :: you are reckoning, I know, on many years to come; but it is very possible that you may be mistaken in your account, and these many years may not prove so many days, nor hours: or should 'life be prolong'd, yet hereafter grace may be withdrawn and witholden from you, and then you will be lost beyond all remedy. It is certain that instances of old converts are very rare.

The scripture speaks of it as a sort of impossible thing; or however, such a miracle of grace as is very seldom wrought, for an old sinner to become a new man, Jer. xiii. 23. Can the ethiopian change, his skin, or the leopard bis Spots ? then may. ye also do good who are accustomed to do evil. Now is your time therefore to chuse your

God,

ever.

God, and make sure of beaven: if you would live comfortably, and die safely, and be happy for ever, chuse you this day whom you will serve:

2.) If you chuse to serve the Lord, chuse those for your companions in life who will serve him with you. Shun the company of wicked persons, as much as may be, and let those be your companions here, with whom you would wish to live hereafter, and for

Gather not my soul with finners, nor my life with bloody men, says David, Psalms xxvi. 9. It was well added by a good man, when he made that prayer his own, for I never loved their company.

3.) Resolve and endeavour with Josua, in our text, that both you and your houses will serve the Lord. If God brings you into new family relations, you should endeavour that all in your families may be related to God. Set out with this fixed resolution, that your families shall be religious families, and your houses shall be Bethels, i. e. houses of God, where his worship shall be duly and daily per formed in the family, as well as in the closet. In order to this, the choice of the nearest relation is of great moment: look to it, in the very first place, that you chufe such a one as will join with you in serving the Lord; for without this, there can be but little prospect of religion in your families : besides, how uncomfortable' will it be for you to be joined

with one for life, who'will draw against you in the way to heaven?' but when both the heads of a family make this resolution together with one heart, that they and their house will serve the Lord, then the work goes on with ease and pleasure: as in other business, so in religion, society and mutual encouragement will greatly facilitate the work, and promote the good success of it. Then may you hope for a blefling on your houses, for a blessing on your substance, and for a blessing on your souls

. May the Lord bless you every one, and make you holy and happy from this time forth and for ever.

SER:

115

S E R M O N V.

Early piety, peculiarly acceptable.

JEREMIAH Ïi. 2. Thus faith the Lord, I remember thee, the

kindness of thy youth, the love of thine efpoufals when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not Fown.

[ocr errors]

HESE words were a message from
God to the Jews, in which he upbraids

them with their defection from him, after all the kindness which he had shew'd them, and after their former expressions of love and duty to him. The time which they refer back to, is plainly pointed out in the latt clause of the verse; it was, when God led them through the wilderness, in their journey from Egypt to Canaan, and went before them in those visible tokens of presence, a cloud and a fiery pillar: when he fed them by miracles for fourty years together, in a barren and de

fart

« PreviousContinue »