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and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you." They who once thus part freely, will never halt again betwixt the two. Though they may have a weak fide by reafon of indwelling corruption, yet they have a found fide too, that is combating with that weakness: Gal. v. 17. "For the flesh lufteth against the fpirit, and the fpirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, fo that ye cannot do the things that ye would." And they are in confequence longing for the victory: Rom. vii. 24. "O! wretched man that I am, who fhall deliver me from the body of this death?" Unite with Jefus Chrift, and you will walk in him; for where he is once freely chofen for a pilot to the fhip, the finner's courfe through the fea of this world will be completely managed; that foul will never be fhipwrecked.

And now, if ye be in earnest not to halt any more, I give you an advice:-As foon as ye get home after this work is over, retire by yourselves, and confider where your weak fide lies, what is that luft or lufts that is moft likely to draw you over to its fide again; and having seen it, confider how your foul ftands affected to it, and labour by all means to make fure a final parting with it in your heart; that is, honeftly and refolutely before the Lord to give up with it again for ever. And as for the void space which the renouncing that sweet morfel will make in your heart, fill it up with Chrift himself, by taking him exprefsly in the room of that idol: Matth. xiii. 45. 46. " Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant-man feeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and fold all that he had, and bought it."

To this fome may object, Is there any faint in the world that is free of halting? Anfw. There is


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a great difference betwixt the Chriftian's halting through weakness, and the halting through wickedness spoken of in the text, which is really more than halting, properly fo called. The one is a halting like him that is lame of one leg, the other like him that is lame of both.-The Chriftian, whatever weakness he is attended with in his walk, is abfolutely determined for God and holiness, in oppofition to all his idols: the hypocrite wants this refolution of heart. The former longs, fighs, groans, and strives to get the victory over corruption; is never for truce and reconciliation betwixt the Lord and lufts, but for the extirpation of these lufts. But the latter is at bottom for both together, a reconciliation betwixt them, and cannot think to hold with the Lord without his lufts.-The Christian finneth not with that full swing of heart the hypocrite doth. The former hath a found fide, a renewed part, which lufteth against the flesh, and so far refifts the sway to the weak fide; whereas the latter has nothing found, and fo finneth with full confent of the will, however the conscience may reclaim and reprove.

2. Another cause is, unmortified lufts and light meeting together in the foul. An enlightened conscience puts it forward to God; unmortified, lively, reigning lufts, draw it back again. Thus one. is toffed from fide to fide, as in the cafe of Pilate and Balaam: Job, xxiv. 13. "They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof." Lufts rife against light, and thruft a man out of the paths thereof. It is with them as with David, in the battle against Abfalom. Upon the one hand, it was hard to lofe a kingdom; on the other hand, to lofe a Son: "Therefore deal gently," fays he, "with Abfalom." Even fo here, they


are loth to lose their souls, yet loth also to lose their idols. Hence they must do fomething for each of them.—In this case there is this

REMEDY:-Mortify your lufts, that you may trample on them, and follow the light : Ćol. iii. 5. "Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth," &c. Prune off these suckers, that ye may have a thriving foul. Deny their cravings, that ye may weaken and starve them. And that ye may be enabled to do this, let your conscience and your heart both together take up their rest in Chrift by faith. Know, O finner! there is enough in Chrift for the boundless defires of thy heart, as well as for the cravings of thy conscience: Cant. v. 16. « His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely." Col. ii. 9. 10. "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”——Here some may reafon,

(1.) How can that be? for, alas! there are many defires in my wretched heart, that are of fuch a carnal fort, that there can be nothing in Chrift for them. Anfw. Our Lord fatisfies the defires of poor finners, by enlarging fuch of them as are holy, fulfilling these, and extinguishing others of them that are unholy: Pfal. lxxxi. 10. "I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." Though thou canst not have in Chrift the unworthy thing thy false heart defireth, thou shalt have in him what is a thousand times more desirable; and then ́the desire of that thing will die away. None complains of the want of candles while the fun shines into the room, for that more than supplies the want of them all; and none will cry, "Who will fhew us any good?"


when the Lord "lifts up upon them the light of his countenance." A child may be fond of his rattle, and will not part with it; but put a more pleafing thing in his hand, and he will immediately let it go: Matth. xiii. 44. "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and felleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field."-Another may inquire,

(2.) What way fhall I take to get Chrift to fill my heart? The anfwer, in a word, is, BELIeve. -Wha: fhall we believe?

[1] Believe that there is a complete fulness in Christ, fufficient to fatisfy the boundless desires of your hearts: Col. ii. 19. " Holding the head, from which all the body, by joints and bands, having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increafe of God," He is infinite in perfections; and whatever is defirable in all the creation, is eminently in him as the fountain of all.

[2.] Believe that he, with all his fulness, is offered to you, in the way of exchange with all your lufts and idols. Sincerely confent to the ex change. There is a fuil Chrift before you; and the luft of the eyes, the luft of the flesh, and the pride of life, are with you. Give up with these as exprefsly and folemnly as ye can, and take Chrift in their room; believing there fhall be no miffing of them, and looking for the heart-fatisfaction in him ye used to feck in them. And believe it is a bargain unalterable for eternity: Matth. xiii. 45. 46. Pfal. Ixxiii. 25. " Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I defire befides thee.-God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."



[3] When your lufts come back, offering to entertain you as formerly, believe ye have in Chrift what is a thousand times better: Pfal. lxxxiv. x. « For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand." Say in your fouls, as the olive, Jud. ix. ..... Shall I come down from bread, and lie down to eat hufks? Shall I leave the milk and honey, and fill my mouth with gravel-stones? If the luft of Vanity fay, There is gaiety and finery, the eyes of beholders are fixed on thee. Let the foul fay, But I have in Christ a never-fading beauty, glorious robes of unspotted righteoufnefs, Chrift's love and his Father's, &c. that is folid and fubftantial, not to be exchanged for the airy nothings of the world's vanity. If the lust of Covetoufnefs fay, There is a good prize to be had by a very little ftretch, let the foul fay, But I have riches in Christ, and that without any sting, durable riches and righteousness.

[3.] Another course of this walking is, men's touching but very lightly on religion in its turn, but digging deep in their lufts in their turn: Pfal. lxxviii. 18. " And they tempted God in their heart, by afking meat for their lufts.” Ver. 36. "Nevertheless, they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues." They are as it were in jeft in the former, but in deep earneft in the latter; they fwim like feathers in the waters of the sanctuary, but sink as lead in the mighty waters of their corrupt affections.

In this cafe, I propofe this remedy-Labour to be experimental Chriftians: Pial. xxxiv. 8. "O taste and fee that the Lord is good." A tafte of the tranfcendent goodness of God, the hidden excellency of religion, would hold you fast to the right fide: John, iv. 10. "Jefus anfwered, and faid unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who



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