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If these things be in thee and abound, thou art made a partaker of the promised blessing; for blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. Luke 11, 28. But if thou lackest these things, thou hast no part in this salvation, neither art thou a real christian; for to boast of the name of christian, when our walk declares unto the world the contrary, is a mockery of Christ; for he that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2, 6.


6. Examine whether thou canst still spend thy time in idle company, in jesting, in folly and all kinds of wantonness; whether thou canst still act the hypocrite, like all the false prophets, that men may speak well of thee. Luke 6, 26. Or art thou the true salt of the earth? Dost thou confess Christ before an adulterous and sinful generation? Mark 8, 38. thou clothed with the word of truth in the power of God, by the armor of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left? 2 Cor. 6, 7. Art thou a light to the world, and a city built on a hill, that thy good works may appear unto all men? Dost thou add to thy faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, tem

perance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kind. ness, charity? For if these things be in thee and abound, they make thee that thou shalt be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; but if thou lackest these things, thou art blind and canst not see afar off, and (although thou wast once purified) thou hast forgotten that thou wast purged from thy old sins. 2 Pet. 1.


Now, my dear reader, pause here a while; seriously reflect upon and attentively consider thy condition; let God and thy conscience pass sentence, and observe closely whether the word of God and thy conscience agree in their verdict; suffer not thy conscience to speak before the word of God; but the word of God must speak first and bring in the indictment at the bar, thy conscience meanwhile standing up and bearing witness. Now the word of God is propounded unto thee; give it room to speak in thy heart; let it pierce as a sharp two edged sword, transfixing the heart, dividing asunder the soul and spirit, the joints and the marrow, discerning the

thoughts and intents of the mind, and manifesting all things unto thee. Heb. 4, 12. 13. For it concerns thy salvation and condemnation, heaven or hell, death or life, curse or blessing, one of which will be thy portion. Therefore, let thy conscience also speak. What is its reply? Does it speak salvation to thy soul, or not? Ponder well; pass not lightly over it, as though it was a mere fable, for it is the word of God acting upon thy heart; it is to thee either a savor of death unto death, or a savor of life unto life. 2 Cor. 2, 16. Wherefore, oh my reader, endeavor to be in earnest; give diligence to make thy calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1, 10.); run, not as uncertainly; fight, not as one that beateth the air. 1 Cor. 9, 26. Wherefore ask thy conscience again, whether thou ever wast poor in spirit, ever experiencedst sorrow of soul; whether thou art truly meek and feelest spiritual hunger; whether thou art merciful and charitable; whether thou hast obtained purity of heart in which thou mayest see God; whether thou hast obtained peace with God, which peace controuls thy mind in contrariety or preference to reason; and whether for the righteousness of God and his truth's sake thou

art contemned, reviled and persecuted, and according to the words of Christ, hated for his name's sake. Matt. 10, 22. Mark 13, 13.

Now, what reply does thy conscience make? Does it answer no, thou hast not attained these things; thou art not yet purged by the blood of Christ from dead works to serve the living God. Heb. 9, 14.

Therefore, oh beloved reader, if thy conscience bears witness of this kind against thee, be not foolish, but take counsel and work out thy salvation with fear and trembling. Phil. 2, 12. For if thou art capable of reflection, is it possible for thee to lie down and enjoy undisturbed repose, when there is nothing to assure thee that thou mayest not waken up in death, or on the very verge of hell? Then, having thy conscience convinced, oughtest thou to trifle away this great salvation, which can be purchased without money and without price? Or wilt thou, like the foolish virgins, supplied with light but destitute of grace, run headlong into everlasting destruction? O what a gnawing worm will harass and torment thee forever! and in what gloomy colors will not thy mad folly be pourtrayed before thy unwilling eyes!

No man of common sense starts upon a journey without knowing, or at least thinking where he is going to, and he prepares himself accordingly; yet thou, who art travelling towards a long and endless eternity, makest no preparations; sleepest secure in sin, and livest in the desperate indulgence of a false confidence. Does not the merchant supply his ship with a compass, and procure a captain capable of conducting it in safety to the place of destination? And wilt thou, unaided by the compass of the word, and destitute of the directing influence of the Holy Spirit, hazard thy soul's frail bark upon the boisterous sea of temptation, not knowing what instant it may be dashed into a thousand pieces, as it plunges with horrid bound and terrific impetuosity into the dark and gloomy gulf of everlasting perdition!

Is there any person so foolish as not to be willing to be set right when he is going a wrong road? Yet thou, who art convinced that thy way is not good, art so foolish and stiffnecked, that thou wilt not receive counsel, but persistest still in thy perverse course. Jeremiah 8.

The irrational creatures in the time of Noah, being afraid of the approaching

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