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rable time made Religion the great businefle o their lives; apprehending the chief happinesse of man to confit in reconciliation with God, parder of fin, in a gracious frame of heart, in communion with God, and a faithful serving of him: whether they have ser their affetions on things above
, have had their conversation in Heaven, beve pressed earnestly after the Glory of the other world, kave laid hold on eternal life, bave been treafering up for eternity, have improved their Talents for God, bave been serviceable to him in their generation. ... If their consciences ( upon a serious search ) can bear witnesse chat (through Grace ) it has been thus ( in some good reasure) with them, then they have great reason to encourage their hearts in the Lord, and to awaken all the powers of their Joules coblesse his holy Name for working so grs cious a frame of heart in them. · And let them still seek to che same feantain of Gtace, that he would please co perfect holinese more and more in thern, ill he bring them into the City of the li ving God, the Heavenly Ferufalers, to an inns mcrable company of Angels; to the general Al jembly and Church of the fir At born, to the spirits of juft men made perfect, and 10 Fefus the Medalour of the new Covenant, Heb.12.22.
· But if the case has not been thas ( in any con derable degree and measure) with them, but upon a serious search chey find they have been igno
le link and mistaken about, or too negligent and
leffe of the great things that concern their falo rucson, then let them bewail cheir fad condition, viai cry mightily to God to give them his hely Spi
to enlighten their minds, to convince them oughly of their fins, of the danger, folly, and ution of them; to give them a heart to repent pood earneft; to bestow upon them a broken and intrite Spirit; to diffolve their fony hearts into ( Godly forrów which worketh repentance to falo ion, never to be repented of, and which bringe
forth fruits meet for repentance; to discover to mtbeir great need of A Saviour; to draw their
les effe&tually unto him, that they may close with pfincerely and resolvedly for those ends and para
és for which he came ipto the world; namely, co score our pardon by his Merits, and co fanétifie
natures by his Grace and holy Spirit ; to mortiour corruptions, to deliver us from Sadans power, d to bring us back again anto God. And for the tter information of their minds in the things ey fhould know and believe in order co their talcion; and co direct their practise, I must rer them to the three first chapters of che first 171 of this Treatise, and the second and third Chapters of the second part ; which I desire them eedfully to mind and ponder upon.
Besides these Directions already mentioned, bere are some others also very requisite for fick ersons co mind and regard, As,
F. They should fettle their effates and world, affairs (if they have nou already done is, así prudence they faould in time of health) fo thai their minds may be free and vacant for piritsi exercises, and not disturbed with earthly cares and bafixeßes. And those that have eftstes, les chem noc forget to be charitable, and to depok fomething to pious ases; knowing that witb fuck facrifices offer'd in a right manner and to a right end) God is well-pleafed.
it. If they remember any wrongs or acts of injustice they have done co their neighbours, or thofe with whom they have had dealings, lec ehem fake reftitution of labour to give chem fatisf: Etion as they are able; that the guilt of thoke fins remain nor on their consciences.
HIT. 'If they be ac variance with any, ler chem feekreconciliation, and freely and heartily forgio those that have done them wrong, remembring howo mach they stand in need of forgiveneffe from God. -IV. Let them give good counsel co'chofe abes them, and the friends that come có visat chem, and exhort chen earnestly co mind the working oist their falvation intime of health, and not to la their hearts on this world, on the pleasures or pro fiis ofir, which will not avail them in che da of death : "Let them advise them now to live as to God, mom to lay a good fomodation against the time to com.. The words of fick and dying per
fons are to be much: Feeded and rememi bred.
V. Let them ( in the intervals of fharper pains) look over their life past, and recollect Gods wonderful favours and blessings beftowed upon them, to ftir up their hearts to praise and magnifie his holy Name. How many are there that if they would read over the hiftory of their life past, may
find matter enough of praife ; and to proHal voke them to fend up lome such thankful ejacula
cions as these? 'Blesed be the Lord in all my life stil time I never broke a bone, never fell into the er bands of robbers, never into publiek shame, or noi. for diseases: I have not begg’d my bread: God
gave me a right shape of body; the right afe of my t'understanding, careful and pious Parents, good
end bountiful friends, a religious education; deblivered me in such and fuch a danger, heard my
Brayers in such particular pressures of my spirit, &c. to what shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me!
VI. Let them decline ( as inuch as they can ) the vifits of vain and worldly persons, who (by :heir carnal and frothy discourses) are like to Vifturb and hinder them in their preparations for neath, and those piritual meditations and exer
"isési they should be employd in. Those 13that visit fack perfons, or attend about them whould not talk to chem ( as 'eis too common ) -bf vain, worldly, needlese businesses; but of
Things that concern the welfare of their soules
. And co this Head I may also refer this one thing more, that ac such a serious time no vain, idle, frothy books shoald be read to them, or by them
as is by many used to make them merry) ba uch Treatises as may better them to God-ward
, and further them in the way to Heaven. Tomeditate and seriously ponder on the four laft things treated of in the next Chapter will not be unprofitable for them,
VII. Let chem consult with, and take che asko vice of their fpiritual guides, while they have fome Strength of body, and the right use of their understandings; before their spirits are so spent chac chere is no conversing with them,
VII. Lec chem consider Gods aim and de Sign in sending sicknesle upon them: Lee them This Direttion is use. enquire into the meaning of fie!l not only for fuch as it, and consider what Gods are under sicknefe, but cals them to: let them hearkunder any other afflic en to the voice of the rod : Le
chem consider what corrupti ons they are especially to mortific, what fins to leave what duties to perform, what Graces to exercise: And (though ihey may and ought to use last means for the removing of their ficknesse, secking to the Lord for his blessing thereupon ) yer lec them not forget to pray as earnefly to have their sicknesse fanctified as removed. Blessede rhe man whom i ho correctest and tcacheft, pra 94.12.