« ForrigeFortsett »
kingdom. Obferve, therefore, to live according to his laws, confederate not with his enemies, but be true to your King and Lord.-Look on yourfelves,
(6.) As children of his family: 1 Pet. i. 14. "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lufts in your ignorance; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy." Have you come out from among those of Satan's family, and entered into the family of God? then walk as the children of God. Do not again mix with Satan's family: Pfal. xii. 7. "Thou fhalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Avoid them, their company, and their ways, as you would fhun a fociety infected with the plague: Acts, ii. 40. " And with many other words did he teftify, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Strive to be like your heavenly Father; ftudy to be obedient and dutiful children to him.-Look on yourfelves,
Laftly, As his fervants. So fays the text. Our Lord has been amongst us, fecking fervants to himself. Remember he is your Mafter, and you muft apply yourselves to his work.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONtinued.
ACTS, xxviii. 23. For there ftood by me this night the angel of the Lord, whose I am, and whom I ferve.
AVING confidered and improved the firft doctrine taken from these words, I now go
DOCT. II. That those who are the Lord's ought to make, and will make, God's fervice their bufinefs. For illuftrating this doctrine, I fhall fhew,
I. What is that fervice of God, which is the bufinefs of those who are the Lord's.
II. I am to fhew, what it is to make God's fervice our business, or when one may be faid to do fo.
III. I will confirm the doctrine. And then, IV. We shall add the practical improvement of the fubject. We are then,
I. To fhew what is that fervice of God, which is the business of those who are the Lord's.
This is to be confidered in refpect, First, Of the matter; Secondly, Of the manner of this service.
First, We are to confider the fervice of God, as to the matter of it. This is as wide and broad, as is the broad law of God; therefore ferving God, and keeping his commandments, are joined together. The fervant's work is to do the mafter's will: Luke, xii. 47." And that fervant which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, fhall be beaten with many ftripes." I. fhall offer you fome directions anent this fervice, that you may see what it is in respect of the matter of it.
1. There is falvation-work, and generationwork, which God puts in your hands, as the matter of your fervice.-There is falvationwork: Phil. ii. 12. " Work out your own falvation, with fear and trembling." You must begin this work, carry it on, and work it out. Sinner, thou art in hazard of perishing, God calls thee to fee to thyfelf, that thou perish not, and accounts it fervice to him that thou art concerned, and layeft out thyself for thy own falvation. It is moft neceffary work, for the finner's cafe is in this respect, like theirs, whom fome punish, and oblige to work, by putting them into a house where the water comes in on them, where they muft either work at the pump, or be drowned. There is generation-work: Acts, xiii. 36. " For David, after he had ferved his own generation, by the will of God, fell on fleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and faw corruption." There is fomething which God has put into every one of our hands, to do for him and his honour in the world; the duty of our ftations and relations, and the duty arifing from fome
special occafions we have of honouring God. It is our business to discern all this, to exert ourselves, and get it done before our time be done: Gal. vi. 10. "As we have, therefore, opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." If we do not, we are unprofitable fervants, cumberers of the ground, and useless for God in the world.
2. There is an external and internal service to God.-External fervice, a fervice with the outward man: 1 Cor. vi. 20. "For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." The whole man is God's, and therefore though internal service be preferable to external, yet God must have the one as well as the other. Here are to be taken in all external duties, of piety towards God, of righteousness and mercy towards our neighbour. These are a great part of our business in this world, if we be the Lord's fervants. Our ears must be employed to hear his word, our eyes to read it, our tongues to speak to him in prayer and praise; to fpeak of him and for him to men; our hands and all our members to act for him in the world. There is-Internal fervice, we are to glorify him with our fpirit, which is his : John, iv. 24. "God is a fpirit; and they that worship him, muft worfhip him in fpirit and in truth" This is the foul of religion, and the chief part in the fervice of God, without which the other is but a lifelefs, unacceptable carcafe; and therefore the character of a true fervant is taken from it: Phil. iii. 3. “We . are the circumcifion which worship God in the fpirit, and rejoice in Chrift Jefus, and have no confidence in the fiefh." Are you the Lord's ? Then it must be your business to love him, to fear him, to believe and depend upon him, to obey
and refign yourselves unto him. In a word, it is to keep the heart, and employ it in his fervice; it is to meditate on, rejoice and delight in him; fuiting your will to his in all things, and confecrating the whole of your affections to him.
3. There is ftated service and continual service. -Stated fervices are to be performed to God, at fuch and such times. Thus you are to serve him in fecret in your clofets, in private in your families, worshipping him morning and evening, Matth. vi. 6. Jerem. x. 25. If you be the Lord's, it is the leaft you can do, to pay thy homage to him, by thyself in the morning, when he gives thee a new day; and at evening, when thou are to enter into the darkness of the night. And if yourselves be the Lord's, you will also devote your houses to him, and pay him your homage in a family-capacity: Jofh. xxiv. 15. "But as for me and my houfe, we will ferve the Lord." Look on the morning-facrifice in your family as the Lord's due, as well as the evening one. Job had as great a family, as large a ftock, and as much work in hand, as any can pretend to, yet he duly obferved the morning-facrifice. Thus did Job continually, chap. i. 5. And then there is the Lord's weekly fervice in his own day, in the public duties and ordinances thereof. A piece of fervice this which thofe who are the Lord's will find themselves obliged to make confcience of, and not loiter away the day unneceffarily at home: "Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy houfe, and the place where thine honour dwelleth," Pfal. xxvi. 8. It was the godly Shunamite's practice, though the had a good way to go, 2 Kings, iv. 23. It was David's alfo, fo that Saul knew, when he was abfent, there was certainly fome extraordinary thing kept him away, Sam: xx. 26.— There