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HOME now, my soul, and choose, for life and death are set before thee;
Choose while thy gracious Lord allows thee day, lest the night of darkness overtake thy neglect ;
Choose, but remember thy eternity is concerned, and examine well ere thou make thy resolve.
Call all the pleasures of the world before thee, and ask if any of them be worth such pains;
Ask if to satisfy some irregular passion can recompense the forfeiture of such felicities?
Ask if the vain, forbidden things thou lovest, deserve thy affection better than thy Maker?
Are they more worthy in themselves, or beneficial unto thee, that thou canst prefer them before thy Redeemer?
Dost thou expect to be quiet by enjoying them, or everlastingly happy in their procurement?
Will they protect thee at the hour of death, or plead thy cause at the day of judgment?
Oh no; they but deceive me with a smiling look, which I too often have proved by dear experience.
It is God alone that yields a true content; it is God alone that fills us with delight.
Take away, then, thy flatteries, false world, and leave me free for better thoughts.
Turn Thou Thy face to me, dear Jesus, and keep mine eyes still turned towards Thee;
That I may look continually on Thy glorious beauty, and be ravished for ever with the charms of Thy sweetness.
It is Thee alone I choose, and dedicate myself entirely to Thy service;
Thou art my sole and absolute Lord, be Thou my Portion and Inheritance for ever.
But, O my dearest Lord, do Thou choose me, and guide my uninstructed soul to choose Thee.
Oh make me choose to love Thee, till I come to see Thee; and then I cannot choose but love Thee, and be ravished with Thee for
Here we, alas! move slowly in the dark, led on by the argument of things not seen.
Did we but clearly see what we say we believe, we should certainly change the course of our lives;
Did we but see the damned in their flames, or hear them cry in the midst of their torments,
How should we fear to follow them in their sin, which we know hath plunged them into all those miseries!
How should we strive against the next temptation, and cast about to avoid the danger!
Did we but see the glories of the saints, or hear the sweet hymns they continually sing,
How should we study to imitate their lives, which, we know, have raised them to all their happiness!
How should we seek all occasions of improve
ment, and make it our business to work out our salvation !
Nay, did our faith but firmly believe the truths we every day recite in our creeds,
What should we do to attain those joys! what should we do to escape those sorrows! Would half an hour be too long to pray? or once a week too often to fast?
Would the pardon of an injury be too hard a law, or the making restitution too dear a price? Durst we return to our sins again, or spend our time in idleness and folly?
Yet all this is as sure as if we saw it, and would move us as much if we seriously considered it;
If we considered what I'm sure we believe, we should never live as I'm sure we do.
Which of us doubts but ere long we shall all be dust yet which of us lives as if we thought to die?
Pity, O gracious Lord, the frailties of Thy servants, and suffer not our blindness to lead us to ruin.
Supply our want of sight by a lively faith, and strengthen our faith by Thy powerful grace.
Make us to remember 'tis no children's sport to gain or lose the kingdom of heaven.
Make us choose wisely, and pursue our choice, and as well use the means as like the end.
Oh set Thou right the bias of our hearts, that in all our motions we may draw off from the world;
That they may still incline towards Thee, and rest at last in Thy holy presence.
Thou art our Lord, and we will serve Thee in fear; Thou art our God, and we will love Thee in hope, and in humble confidence, too, of enjoying Thee for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. AMEN.