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feveral years drudgery in his fervice, thus to involve me in eternal woe. O that I had never hearkened to his beguiling infinuations! O that I had rejected his very firft fuggeftions with the utmost deteftation and abhorrence! O that I had taken up my cross and followed Chrift! O that I had never ridiculed ferious godliness; and out of a falfe politenefs, condemǹed the truly pious as too fevere, enthufiaftic, or fuperftitious! For I then had been happy indeed, happy beyond expreffion, happy to all eternity, yonder in those bleffed regions where they fit, clothed with unfpeakable glory, and chanting forth their feraphic hallelujahs to the Lamb that fitteth upon the throne for ever. But, alas! these reflections come too late: these wishes now are vain and fruitless. I have not fuffered, and therefore must not reign with them. I have in effect denied the Lord that bought me, and therefore justly am I now denied by him. But muft I live for ever tormented in thefe flames? Muft this body of mine, which not long fince lay in ftate, was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuoufly every day, muft it be here eternally confined, and made the mockery of infulting devils? O eternity! that thought fills me with defpair: I must be miferable for ever.

Come then, all ye felf-deluding, felf-deluded finners, and imagine yourselves for once in the place of that truly wretched man I have been here defcribing. Think, I beseech you by the mercies of God in Chrift Jefus, think with yourselves, how racking, how infupportable the never-dying worm of a self-condemning confcience will hereafter be to you. Think how impoffible it will be for you" to dwell with everlast

ing burnings."

Come, all ye Chriftians of a lukewarm, Laodicean fpirit, ye Gallios in religion, who care a little, but not enough for the things of God; O think, think with yourselves, how deplorable it will be to lofe the enjoyment of heaven, and run into endless torments,

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Serm. XII. merely because you will be content to be almost, and will not strive to be altogether Chriftians. Confider, I beseech you confider, how you will rave and curfe that fatal ftupidity which made you believe any thing lefs than true faith in Jefus, productive of a life of ftrict piety, felf-denial, and mortification, can keep you from thofe torments, the eternity of which I have been endeavouring to prove.

But I can no more. Thefe thoughts are too me lancholy for me to dwell on, as well as for you to hear; and God knows, as punishing is his ftrange work, fo denouncing his threatenings is mine; but if the bare mentioning the torments of the damned is fo fhocking, how terrible muft the enduring of them be!

And now, are not fome of you ready to cry out, "These are hard fayings, who can bear them ? "

But let not fincere Chriftians be in the least terri fied at what has been delivered: no, for you is referved a crown, a kingdom, an eternal and exceeding weight of glory. Chrift never said that the righteous, the believing, the upright, the fincere, but the wicked, mercilefs, negatively good profeffors before defcribed, fhall go into everlafting punishment. For you, who love him in fincerity, a new and living way is laid open into the Holy of Holies by the blood of J fus Chrift: and an abundant entrance will be administered unto you, at the great day of account into eternal life. Take heed, therefore, and be ware that there be not in any of you a root of bitterness fpringing up of unbelief: but on the contrary, ftedfaftly and heartily rely on the many precious promifes reached out to you in the gofpel, knowing that he who hath promifed is faithful, and therefore will' perform

But let no obftinately wicked profeffors dare to apply any of the divine promises to themfelves: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and give it unto dogs!" No, to fuch the terrors of

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the Lord only belong. And as certainly as Chrift will fay to his true followers, "Come, ye bleffed "children of my Father, receive the kingdom pre"pared for you from the beginning of the world;" fo he will unalterably pronounce this dreadful fentence against all that die in their fins, "Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

From which unhappy ftate, may God of his infinite mercy deliver us all through Jefus Chrift; to whom, with thee O Father, and thee O Holy Ghoft, three perfons and one eternal God, be afcribed, as is moft due, all honour, power, might, majefty, and dominion, now and for evermore.

SERMON

XIII.

THE GREAT DUTY OF FAMILY-RELIGION.

JOSHUA Xxiv. 15.

As for me and my House, we will ferve the Lord.

HESE words contain the holy refolution of pious Joshua, who having, in a moft moving, affectionate difcourfe recounted to the Ifraelites what great things God had done for them, in the verfe immediately preceding the text, comes to draw a proper inference from what he had been delivering; and acquaints them, in the most preffing terms, that face God had been fo exceeding gracious unto them, they could do no lefs, than out of gratitude for fuch uncommon favours and mercies, dedicate both themfelves and families to his fervice. "Now, there

"fore, fear the Lord, and ferve him in fincerity and "truth, and put away the gods which your fathers " ferved on the other side of the flood."__ And by the fame engaging motive does the prophet Samuel afterwards enforce their obedience to the commandments of God, I Sam. xii. 24. "Only fear the Lord and " ferve him in truth with all your heart; for confi"der how great things he hath done for you." But then, that they might not excufe themselves (as too many might be apt to do) by his giving them a bad example, or think he was laying heavy burdens upon them, whilft he himself touched them not with one of his fingers, he tells them in the text, that what ever regard they might pay to the doctrine he had been preaching, yet he (as all minifters ought to do) was refolved to live up to and practise it himself: "Choose you therefore whom you will ferve, whe "ther the gods which your fathers ferved, or the "gods of the Amorites, in whofe land ye dwells "but as for me and my house, we will ferve the "Lord."

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A refolution this, worthy of Joshua, and no lefs becoming, no lefs neceffary for every true fon of Joshua, that is intrufted with the care and govern. ment of a family in our day: and, if it was ever feafonable for minifters to preach up, or people to put in practice Family Religion, it was never more fo than in the prefent age; fince it is greatly to be feared, that out of thofe many households that call themfelves Chriftians, there are but few that ferve God in their refpective families as they ought.

It is true indeed, vifit our churches and you may perhaps fee fomething of the form of godlinefs ftill fubfifting among us; but even that is fcarcely to be met with in private houses. So that were the bleffed angels to come, as in the patriarchal age, and obferve our fpiritual economy at home, would they not be tempted to fay, as Abraham to Abimelech, Surely "the fear of God is not in this place?" Gen. xx. 11..

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How fuch a general neglect of Family Religion first began to overfpread the Chriftian world, is difficult to determine. As for the primitive Chriftians, I am pofitive it was not fo with them: No, they had not fo learned Chrift, as falfely to imagine religion was to be confined folely to their affemblies for public worship; but, on the contrary, behaved with fuch piety and exemplary holiness in their private families, that St. Paul often stiles their house a church: Sa3 lute fuch a one, fays he, and the church which is in his houfe. And, I believe, we must for ever defpair of feeing a primitive fpirit of piety revived in the world, till we are so happy as to fee a revival of primitive Family Religion; and perfons unanimously refolving with good old Joshua, in the words of the text, "As for me and my house, we will serve the "Lord."

From which words, I fhall beg leave to infift on thefe three things.

I. First, That it is the duty of every governor of a family to take care, that not only he himself, but alfo that thofe committed to his charge, ferve the Lord.

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II. Secondly, I fhall endeavour to fhew after what manner a governor and his household ought to ferve the Lord. And,

HII. Thirdly, I fhall offer fome motives, in order to excite all governors, with their respective houfeholds, to serve the Lord in the manner that shall be recommended.

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And Firft, I am to fhew that it is the duty of every governor of a family to take care, that not only he himself, but also that thofe committed to his charge, fhould ferve the Lord.

And this will appear, if we confider that every governor of a family ought to look upon himself as obliged to act in three capacities: as a Prophet, to infruct; as a Prieft, to pray for and with; as a King, to govern, direct, and provide for them. It is truc

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