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Consider well, my friends, what has been said. Revolve it again and again in your minds, and beseech God to bring it home to your hearts and consciences. You sometimes probably hear and read of men's being converted or unconverted, being renewed or unrenewed, and many like expressions. All these expressions come in fact to the same thing; and all questions respecting them are answered by the answer to the enquiry, which I have endeavoured to press upon you. Are you sincerely endeavouring to fulfil your baptismal vow, or are you living in the neglect of it? If you are habitually mindful of your baptismal covenant, and wish, and sincerely try, to live according to it, with earnest prayer for God's grace to enable you to do so, you are converted", are renewed, are in a state of grace, in a state of justification. If you habitually neglect it, or have wilfully drawn back, and continue to draw back, from it, you are unrenewed, and in a state of condemnation. the standard, under which you were enlisted to war; have drawn back from the engagements into which you had entered. Remember that they that draw back, forfeit the favour of Almighty God-his soul can have no pleasure in them and that they that draw back, “ draw back unto perdi“ tion.” Reflect upon the awful warning of the Apostle, in the Epistle to the Hebrews; “He that despised Moses' law, “ died without mercy under two or three 66 witnesses; of how much sorer punishment,
* By the term conversion, I mean a turninga turning from sin to God, the turning from the evil of our doings, the turning away from wickedness, and doing that which is lawful and right.
If you faithfully keep to the engagements into which you entered at the font; if you endeavour to renounce the sins of the devil, the world, and the flesh; if you sincerely believe all the articles of the Christian faith, even though your faith be weak; and if it is the desire and purpose of your heart to keep God's holy will and commandments, and to walk in the same all the days of your life, even though your obedience is marked with much imperfection; if, I say, this is the case, then, happy are ye. Your interest in the privileges conferred at baptism remains firm. Humbly beg God to keep you in this state, and seek for the confirmation and increase of all spiritual blessings, by devoutly partaking of the table of the Lord. But if, on the other hand, you unhappily have habitually broken, and are still living in the neglect of your baptismal vow, let me intreat you, before it is too late, to think upon the dangerous condition you are in. You“ have forsaken the “guide of your youth, and broken the co“ venant of your God.” You have deserted
suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, 66 who hath trodden under foot the Son of
God, and hath counted the blood of the “ covenant, wherewith he was sanctified,
an unholy thing, and hath done despite “ unto the Spirit of grace.” To this sore punishment, my friends, all those are exposed, who live in habitual and wilful neglect of their baptismal engagements. If you are of the number of such, let me intreat you, ere it is too late, to reflect upon the danger hanging over your heads. . “Escape for your life, for evil is before you.” Flee instantly from the wrath to • Heb. X. 39.
P Heb. x. 28, 29.
come, and labour to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. And because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without God, let us apply to him for grace and help in time of need. Let us say, “ Turn thou us, O good Lord, " and so shall we be turned;" and let us implore him to grant unto us the aid of the Holy Ghost to create in us a new heart, and renew a right spirit within us, to enable us for the future to keep steadily to our baptismal engagement, and to preserve us from again going back from it.
LUKE xxii. 19. This do in remembrance of me, A CHRISTIAN Pastor, anxious for the salvation of the souls committed to his charge, must be very desirous of seeing his people regular communicants at the Lord's table. He knows that nothing ought to keep them from it but absolute unfitness. He knows that if they are unfit for the Lord's Supper, they are unfit for heaven; and that if they are unfit for heaven, they are in constant danger of the condemnation of hell. He cannot therefore but be uneasy to see many-indeed, to see any of his flock, of mature years and understanding, in the habit of turning their backs upon that sacred rite, which was appointed for their spiritual sustenance.
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