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To prevail with you in complying with this exhortation, I shall lay before you the following MOTIVES.
Mot. 1. If you be not the servants of God, you are the servants of the devil : John, viii. 44. “ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lufts of your father
will do.” There is never a spare servant in this case. If the finner depart from God, whose he is, and whom he ought to serve, presently Satan picks him up as a stray, and sets him to his work ; and his service is sad service.
- To make this appear, you may confider,---(1.) His work is fin. Satan is the Egyptian task-mafter, who seduces poor mortals, who will not work out their own salvation. He
puts another task in their hand, to work out their own ruin and destruction. And is not this the work about which most of the world are busy, who are twisting cords of guilt every day to bind their souls under God's wrath ?-(2.) His wages is death, eternal death: “ For the wages of fin is death,” Rom. vi. 22. Satan goes about, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is the father of lies, has had a long trade of it, deceiving poor sinners, catching some with one bait, some with another; that first he may be a prevailing tempter, and then a cruel tormentor, who, because he is beyond hope himself, would wish to have all the world as miserable as himself. ·
Mot. 2. God is the best of Masters, and his service is the best of service. This have all the faints witnessed, and so Mall all of you, upon a full trial of it.--To make this good, consider,
(1.) That it is the most honourable service. He who ferves God, ferves him who is the fountain of all honour : Psal. xxxvi. 9. “ For with thee is the fountain of life: In thy light thall we fee light” Surely it is far more honourable to be a servant of the Lord, than to be a mighty king. What great work is there at times to get into the service of great men, especially of kings and princes! but Ö! why so little to get into the service of the King of kings ? Consider,
(2.) That it is the most rational fervice : Rom. xii. 1. « I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Is he not our Creator, our Redeemer, our Sanctifier, our universal Benefactor, and our covenanted God ? Is there any who has that right to our service which he has ? Can it be our interest so much to be in the fervice of any other as it is to be in his service? --Confider,
(3.) That it is the most pleasant and comfortable service : Prov. iii. “ Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”. There is a joy in the service of God, even the hardest of it all, which, whoso tastes of, will not exchange Christ's cross for the world's crown. Hear the psalmist's judgement of it: Pfal. Ixxxiv. 10. “ For a day in thy courts is better than thousand. I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” How did Hanuah rejoice after a prayer! the Eunuch after a fealing ordinance ! If some find it not to be so pleafant, it is either because their nature is not renewed at all, or grace is low, and corruption trong.
(4.) Confider that it is the most advantageous service. Never was service forewarded, as God'síervice iş. There is a reward in hand, which accompanies the work : Plal. xix. 11. « In keeping of thy commandments, tlicre is a great reward."
There is also a reward in hope,-the eternal weight of glory. They shall be Courtiers of the King of heaven in glory for evermore: Rev. xxii. 3.
" And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him : And they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads." Amen.
GOD'S GRACIOUS CALL AND PRECIOUS
PROMISE CONSIDERED *.
Psal. Ixxxi. 10. Open thy mouth wide, and I will
THE great design of the gospel, and of all
gospel-ordinances, is to make souls happy, and for this end to bring them to God through Chrift, in whom they may find solid and complete satisfaction. All men desire to be happy; they are conscious to themselves of wants, which the natural desire of happiness influences them to get supplied. But, alas! they apply to improper quarters, and suck at those breasts which can never fill them, even those of their lusts. Since Adam forsook God for the creature, mankind have been so intoxicated with creature-sweetness, that they stand as it were chained at the creature's
door, * Delivered at Wamphray, Saturday, June. 30. 171. immediately before the dispensation of the Lord's supper there.
door, begging fatisfaction, even after a thousand denials. They cannot lift their eyes to the Lord, they cannot move their feet towards him, till grace
break the bands of iron and brass with which they are held.
In the 'text, the Lord comes to finners as thus situate, and outbids all others which they in their hearts and lives are following after ; and he does this even while they will not look over their shoulder to him, from their madness on their idols. This is the scope of the text; for in this verse, the Lord pleads the grand purpose of love laid down, ver. 9. which is, that they should renounce all others for him, give up with their idols, and take him for and instead of all. And to enforce this, he thus reasons with them : 1. I have done for you what all your idols never did, and never could have done, “ I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.” Where were all your strange gods, when Pharaoh refu. sed to let you go ? Deut. xxxii. II. “ So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him." Lcok to all the real good that ever you met with, and say, Was it the Lord or your idols that did it for you ?-2. I will do and can do for you, what they cannot all do for
you: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it abundantly. Many a time
a time you have opened your mouths, and wide enough, to your idols ; so wide that it has been no small pain to get them shut again ; and yet they remain still empty for them, they were never filled. But says the Lord, Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Where more particularly observe,
*1. That there is an emptiness supposed in poor finners, which needs to be filled. They have lost God, and a thousand worlds cannot fill up his VOL. II.