Some New Thoughts for the New Year
CHEAP REPOSITORY SUNDAY READING
(SOME NEW THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR SOLD BY J. MARSHALL, PRINTER, TO THE CHEAP REPOSITORY FOR RELIGIOUS AND MORAL TRACTS)
SOME NEW THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR
How Mr. Thrifty the great Mercer succeeded in his trade, by always examining his Books soon after Christmas, and how Mr. Carless, by neglecting this rule, let all his affairs run to ruin before he was aware of it,
After which some Christian help is offered to all those persons, high or low, who have a mind to examine into the account of their own lives during the last year.
When Mr. Thrifty (who keeps that great Mercer’s shop in London, which has been getting on so famously of late) was once asked to dine two days after Christmas by his neighbor Careless (who I have heard by-the-by has been since made Bankrupt) Thrifty answered, that it was quite impossible to dine out then, for that he was settling his Christmas accounts, “which,” added he, “must not be neglected for the world, for I should never know where I was; I should not understand whether I was going forward or backward, getting rich, or growing ever so poor, if I was to neglect catching up, and balancing, and examining into ever thing at Christmas.”– “Why to be sure,” answered Careless “you have a large business Mr. Thrifty, and a large business must be looked after.” , “ ‘Tis by m looking after it that it has become so large,” returned thrifty with a look of great shrewdness, “and if I were not to look after it still, it would soon grow little again I warrant you.”
I am persuaded that my Readers and I shall one and all of us allow, that this was a very right observation of Mr. Thrifty’s, and yet I doubt whether we shall equally agree in the following remark, though it has nearly the same foundation; namely, that if we hope to be saved from ruin in the next world, and to succeed in our everlasting interests, it is necessary that we should use the very same kind of diligence in examining the state of our souls, which Mr. Thrifty used in examining the state of his worldly business.
There is also a manner of deceiving ourselves in our religious concerns, which is very like that in which they who fail in business are apt to be deceived. No man means entirely and at all times to neglect his soul; no, he merely puts off his self-examination, or he is idle and slovenly about it. Mr. Careless used always to be of opinion, that a regular yearly balancing of his books was not necessary. He thought he could form a pretty fair general guess at the state of his affairs, without taking all the trouble that Mr. Thrifty took in going particularly into them. It proved, however, when Mr. Careless broke, that the few goods he had to shew had been most strangely over-valued, and on the other hand, that the debts he owed amounted to about five times the sum he expected. Now I am persuaded, that those of my Readers who never examine their hearts, will, on the day of judgment, sind themselves as much mistaken in respect to the worth of their supposed virtues as well as the number of their sins (which are like so many debts due to God) as ever Mr. Careless was, and the only way of recovering from their danger, will be to do immediately what the friends of Mr. Careless advised him to do the Christmas before he brokeùI mean to look at their affairs fully in the face, to take instant measures for getting a true and just estimate of them, and then to adopt some, wife and prudent plan for their effectual relief.
I will add one other observation. This Mr. Careless, as I have hear, did not break through any violent misconduct: he never was guilty of any scandalous and immediately ruinous trans action like some others, but then he was inattentive to his business, and by this mere inattention he was year after year dropping down, without being aware of it, into sure and certain ruin: he never could be persuaded to look carefully into his affairs, which was owing at first to idleness, and latterly to this additional cause, that a certain kind of fearfulness and false shame had got about him, insomuch, that when some friends of his who perceived his ignorance of book-keeping, offered on the Christmas before he broke to lend him some assistance, he absolutely declined it, which was considered always as one of the most unpardonable parts of his whole conduct.
I propose now, after the example of these friends of Mr. Careless, to hold out to my Readers some assistance in entering into that self-examination which I am her pressing upon them, and if they think proper to neglect the help that is offered them, I can only say, that I think they really so much resemble Mr. Careless, and that they ought to come forward and take his part, and defend his character from those severe censures which I am told that his neglect of a like offer has every where brought upon him.
But let me first add a few more words to prove that the kind of comparison which I have spoken of is a really just one; for many people seem by no means to be convinced that a man may be ruined in his soul by mere neglect, in the same manner as he may in his trading business. I will venture to observe on this head, that neglect is apt to bring on ruin not in a mercer’s shop only, but even in every thing. Name me now, if you can any trade or profession in life which can thrive without diligence? Has not God so made the world as to shew that man must be diligent, and that it is at his peril to be neglectful? There is no business that will do itself; moreover, if a man be ever so diligent in one thing, b ut quite neglectful of another, he is sure to feel the consequence even of this partial carelessness. If a farmer was to look well to his labors in the field, but not to mind his marketing, or if trader Thrifty was to be always bringing up his books in the counting house but was never to go forward into the shop and wait upon his customers, do you think he would not suffer by it? So if a man minds this world only, and never thinks of the next, the business of the next world will certainly not be done, as he will sind hereafter to his cost. Some men, if any one should inquire into the state of their souls, and should ask “for a reason of the hope that is in them,” would merely answer in general that God is merciful, and that Christ died for them, and add the like general reasons, which any man in Christendom may give as well as they, and if you were to press them further they could only say, I know not much about the matter, I hope well, I trust God with my should: I shall fare as well as other men do: I thank God I never made any doubt of my Salvation.: now what do all such kind of saying discover, but a willful neglect of their Salvation. It is as if a ship-master should let his vessel alone and say, “I will venture it among the rocks, and waves, and winds: I will trust God with it: it will fare as well as other vessels.” I say what horrible abuse of God’s mercy is this! He commands us to give diligence to make our calling and election sure, and in this way of diligence to trust him.
It may be further added, that in general we sind in all our affairs in this life, that whatever is most important requires the highest degree of care and diligence: ought we not therefore to fear lest negligence should prove the most fatal of all in the concerns of the immortal soul, which are certainly the greatest of our concerns? What care is necessary to keep alive our body: it must be daily fed, and clothed, and cherished, and provided for in a vast variety of ways; and it is not necessary to lay violent hands upon it in order to destroy it. If due care be not taken of it, it perishes of course. So is it with a man’s soul, it is certainly perishing if it’s interests are neglected and forgotten by him, and it maybe effectually destroyed without any great sin, as the body may without any great blow.
Once more I beg leave to add, that it is no proof our souls are safe that we feel at present no harm or inconvenience from our neglect of them. Mr. Careless felt no inconvenience from his neglect at the time when asked Thrifty to dinner, his bankruptcy came upon him quite like a thunder-clap: his things indeed were in confusion before, but the same idleness which kept him from examining them, kept him from knowing beforehand the misery that awaited him. I apprehend, therefore, that the cheerfulness of which some thoughtless and irreligious people make their boast is no proof of their safety, but is merely like the gaiety of Mr. Careless on the day when he was making merry with his company, instead of calling up his books, and minding the main chance, as it is called.
But I must observe further, that there is one great error which a vast number of people fall into, and by which they are apt to be made very easy under the most complete neglect of their souls. The mistake I mean is the following one: they are diligent as they call it, at their duty: thus, for instance, they dig hard, if digging is their business, they write and call accounts and keep shop diligently if they are clerks or shopkeeps, or they do their exercise briskly and follow orders readily if they are soldiers or sailors, and having done this their daily work they think they have done all that can be required of them. Religion they possibly allow to be a good thing, but this, say they, is Religion: nay, to do their work well is the best sort of Religion, and they desire to know no other. Let us now combat this error which has a very fair appearance, and which has also some mixture of truth with it.
Presuming, my Readers, to believe the Bible, I will here, in the first place, quote Scripture on the subject. If to labor merely in our calling is on and the same thing as to labor for our souls, how comes our Saviour to have used for instance such expressions as the following: “Labor not for the meat that perishes but for the meat which endureth to everlasting life.” I grant our Saviour does not hereby mean that we ought not in any sense to labor for the “meat that perishes,” but he certainly must mean that we ought not to labor for this only, nor even for this chiefly; he must also mean that there is a duty called by him “laboring for everlasting life,” which is a different thing from laboring to support our bodies; for if these two things were not distinct, he would not have mentioned them so distinctly. Again our Saviour speaks of a man who had been “filling his garners and laying up goods for many years,” who evidently therefore was a very diligent man in his business, and yet this is the very man who is pointed out as one whose soul has been neglected: for it is said, “thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee.”
I will add another remarkable saying of our Saviour on the same subject. He describes the general invitation to attend to the Gospel by comparing it to “a Marriage Supper” to which, said he, when men were asked to come, “ they all with one consent began to make excuse, for one went to his farm, another to his merchandise. One said 1 have bought a yoke of oxen and I must needs go and prove them, and another said I have married a wife and therefore 1 cannot come.” Nothing can prove more plainly than this parable the point we are now urging; for it shews that attention to our worldly business, so far from being the same thing as attention to Religion, is often the main hindrance to it. I am going to my farm, said the men in Christ’s time, arid therefore I cannot attend to the Gospel. I am going to my farm, say these men now, but they have the face even to pretend that this is the same thing as attending to the Gospel, than which nothing can be more contrary to our Saviour’s declaration. Our Saviour ends his parable by assuring all the people who put him off by any such excuses that “none of those men that were bidden shall taste of his Supper;”’ which is as if he had said, “You who give no attention to the Gospel shall have no share in the benefits of it. You have been invited indeed, but since you do not come you shall never taste of it’s salvation.”
And indeed it seems quite agreeable to reason to suppose, that God, who has made man to consist both of body and mind, is not likely to be satisfied with his mere bodily labour, but that he must require the affections of the mind to be given to Him also. If mere diligence in our calling is all in all, I see not why a man may not be allowed even to deny the being of God: for an Atheist may very possibly be led to mind his business tolerably well from mere worldly motives, and just in like manner some persons who call themselves Christians, may be induced to go on regularly with their work, all the while forgetting God as much as if they were downright Atheists.
Having thus proved, as I trust, the necessity of attending to the interests of the soul, and having also shewn that it is not sufficient to carry on our worldly business merely on worldly principles, I shall proceed to the main point which is before us, namely, to offer the Reader some help towards a serious examination of his conduct during the last year, and I trust that what will be further said will throw much additional light on the general subject.
First then I desire the Reader seriously to ask himself, what has been the ordinary ground and motive of his actions during the last year. You profess, I doubt not, to believe in GOD, and you expect hereafter to be judged by Him; but have you in the last year made it the leading motive of all your actions to endeavour to please him? It is in vain to think that you have pleased Him if you have not intended to please Him. How is it that we judge in cases that arise between a man and his fellow creatures? I believe a wife, for instance, would not much thank her husband for doing her a kindness, if she thought he never intended her a kindness, and had her not at all in his thoughts when he did it. Her husband’s affection is the thing she chiefly wants, and the kind action is only so far pleasing to her, as it is a symptom of this affection in the mind. Now all this is extremely reasonable: there is some nicety I grant; in the distinction, but it is a nicety we all very well understand in our own case, and we have no right therefore to say that we cannot understand it when God is concerned. “My Jon(faith God to us in the scripture) “ give me thine heart” And again, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy strength, this is the first and great commandment,” Disregarding this claim, we toil, we dig, we labor for our daily bread without almost thinking of GOD in it, and at the year’s end we expect him to accept this bodily service (though performed with a mere view to our own worldly benefit) instead of the affections he has required of us.
Now as this is a very great and awful subject, and as it is one on which every thing else that we shall add will be made to rest, let us endeavour to lead the Reader to dwell very seriously upon it. God is that Being in whose character is to be found every possible perfection: He is most great, and glorious, and holy, and excellent, and bountiful and benevolent; and he is also full of compassion and tender mercy. Has any fellow creature a claim to our regard? God has a full clearer and more undoubted claim; and if we re refuse to pay regard to God, we may on much the same ground refuse to honor our father, to love our nearest relations, and to render thanks to all our earthly benefactors. They that never think of God may on a like principle excuse themselves from ever thinking of them also: for is He not our Benefactor? Is He not our Father? Is it not He that sends us those very friends who are such comforts to us, and who bestows upon us all our blessings? Endeavour now to count all His mercies to you during the past year. Number first all the blessings that have come to you by the means of friends, and all your various family comforts, these all have proceeded originally from God. Think next of the success which you may have had in your calling. It is not your own hand that has gotten you the guineas which perhaps you have been lately numbering. It is the Lord. Think next of the health you have had, and the degree of freedom from bodily pain, It is God also that defends us “from the noisome pestilence, from the arrow that flieth by night, and from the pestilence that walketh at noon-day.” Again, think of the dangers of other kinds which you may in the last year have escaped, whether from secret enemies or open violence; The dangers to your person, to your property, and to your reputation. Why is it that you are alive and well, and in so much security at the year’s end. It is because the Lord hath been with you by night and by day, to watch over you, and guard and protect you, and keep you from evil. To these mercies, if you add your own more particular and special mercies, and if you add moreover all the insinite blessings of the Gospel, such as the promise of the forgiveness of sins, through Jesus Christ, and the hope of ever- lasting life, surely you must own that the Lords goodness is vast: and unspeakable, and that his mercies arc over all his works, and that they are more in number than the hairs of your head, and as the lands on the sea-shore innumerable. Do you not now therefore begin to see the nature of your obligation to him, and the reasonableness of endeavouring to please a Being who is thus great and good also? What becomes then of that observation, so plausible to an irreligious mind, namely, that if we have but done our work regularly we have fulfilled our duty, even though God has not been thought of in it? Surely it is an observation full of baseness and ingratitude. I believe no man who loves his family and friends forbears to think or them now and then while his hand is at it’s labour and why are not our thoughts to ascend in like manner to. God, as the great father of mercies, while the day’s business is going forward, and why may not the desire to please Him well in all things form the very motive and spur to all our industry ?. Has this then been the ground and motive of your diligence during the last year? This is the first question that is proposed to you.
When this duty of regarding God in all things is well settled and understood (a duty which by-the~by is of all duties the strongest and clearest) then it becomes easy to prove a number of further points which are apt otherwise to be neglected; as for instance the obligation to worship God in public and in secret. If we feel that regard to God which has been spoken of we shall be naturally, as it were, disposed to pray to him. If we feel the obligations that have been mentioned, we shall be ready to kneel down and thank him, and if we are sensible that it is He who not only supplies our wants but also forgives us our sins, and likewise that it is by Him alone, as the Scripture tells us, that we are enabled to think a good thought, and to fulfill any one duty aright, it follows then that we shall be continually enlarging our petitions to Him, and that we shall call upon Him daily for all these important and indispensable blessings. Have you then been thus leading a life of dependence on God, and truly devout prayer to Him, both in the public congregation, in your family, and in secret during the last year?
When this duty to GOD is well understood, then the sin of neglecting the Sabbath begins to seem very plain also. This is that day which has been mercifully set apart for religious uses, it therefore is the day for more particular and earnest prayer in private and in public, and also for more regular self-examination than can always take place on other days; and it may be remarked, that as on every Sunday we ought to call ourselves to account for our behavior during the week, so at the year’s end it may be proper to take ourselves to task for all our conduct on the Sabbaths; for if they have been neglected it is more than probable that our whole duty has been neglected by us.
We will next speak of reading the Scriptures. The disuse of this practice arises from the same cause which we have before referred to, namely, the want of a due regard to God. Many of those who are most negligent in this point, nevertheless acknowledge the Bible to be the word of God, it is plain therefore that the negligence of these persons must arise from their feeling no desire to know what is the will of their Heavenly Father; for if they felt a desire to know his will, they certainly would take all means of knowing it. If a servant had got a letter directed to him which he believed to be from his master, and was zealous to do his master’s will, do you think he would not be eager to open and read the letter? And if we are earnest in like manner to know and do the will of God, shall we not be eager to open and read the scriptures? I believe it is the excuse of some that the scriptures are difficult to be understood, and that their meaning in many places is doubtful; to which I answer, that so is the meaning of all books more or less to some kind of persons. The objection proves only at the most, that you should read for the present those parts of them which are more easy, and which have the most manifest tendency to do you good. In fact however it is the want of a deep concern about the salvation of our souls, (which is the chief subject the Bible treats of) that causes it to appear so difficult, as well as insipid and unimproving as it does to some people.
We have spoken hitherto only of religious duties. We will now say something of the ordinary duties of life, and if we describe them truly it will immediately appear that even these are not likely to have been fulfilled in any respect as they ought, unless there has been a religious principle for the foundation. First, how have you performed the duties of your own calling in the last year? Here it may perhaps be answered by some people, “We have no calling, for we are able through the money which we have saved, or which our fathers have saved for us, to live without work. We have therefore had nothing to do; we are independent persons.” What, then, are you independent on God? It is the business of Religion to put an end to this fancied right to independence, and to subject every thought, word, and action, to the will of a superior, to the will I mean of a strict and holy God. What a blessing to society is Religion when considered in this view! It turns all those persons who are otherwise the drones of the community, into some of the most serviceable people in it, O, how many troubles and miseries are there in this land, which, if a few more of our independent ladies and gentlemen would be so good as to turn Christians, (I mean zealous Christians!) would presently be relieved. What a great number of poor cottagers are there who drag on life both in wickedness and misery for the want of being overlooked, and instructed, and advised, and now and then assisted by their superiors who dwell near them? Here perhaps a whole parish is neglected through want of a Christian parish officer; there the accounts of an hospital need examining, or a workhouse is given up to vice and ruin; here a useful club wants a Treasurer or Patron, or a declining charity school is without an Inspector, or a new school ought to be set up; here again a private quarrel is raging which the interference of a superior, if he should also be a Christian might presently heal. What innumerable opportunities also has an independent person of distributing religious books, or conveying serious advice to those whom Providence has placed under his influence. Now these are the employments which constitute the calling of independent people. Christianity brings them to a strict sense of their responsibility in these and many other like points, and at the same time enlarges their hearts in love to all their fellow creatures.
Well then, have you followed this your Christian calling, and followed it (diligently during the last year? Oh! no, you are one of those perhaps who have spent the whole year in some trifling employment, merely to gratify your own taste, or to please your own vanity. These are the things which have formed your chief calling, and while the vices of the poor have been dreadfully increasing in your parish, and the groans of the miserable have been almost reaching your door, you have been spending your little independent income on yourself, and fancying that all was well.
But let us next address the more laboring part of the community, and if they will allow us to examine them closely, I believe it will equally appear, that a Christian principle is necessary in their case, in order to carry them through their business with real faithfulness and integrity. First have none of you been on the whole very idle during the last year? Are there none who have slackened in their work because they thought the Parish, must relieve them whenever their idleness should have brought them to want? Are there none who have chosen rather to burden some charitable friend than to buckle heartily to their work? And has every one of you been as diligent just after he had got a week’s wages in hand as before? Now Christianity will have led you to work at all times, not on Saturday only, but on Monday also, making conscience of habitual diligence; nay, you will have been ready (as the apostle exhorts) “to work with your hands in the thing that is good, that you may have to give to him that needeth.” And how have you employed both your time and thoughts when the regular hours of work have been over? “Which of you,” says Christ, “having a servant ploughing or feeding cattle will say unto him by-and-by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit thou down to meat, and will not rather say to him, Make ready wherewith that I may sup, and gird thyself and serve me” Thus does our Saviour teach us that we are all (rich indeed as well as poor) like so many servants, who, when we have done serving our master in the field, must then go and serve him in the house. The Christian laborer therefore is one who has no sooner done serving Christ by his ordinary calling abroad, then he proceeds next to serve the same master by his Christian conduct at home, by useful conversation with his children, by reading a portion of scripture to them, and by uniting, with them in prayer to the great Father of Mercies for a blessing on all the family before they lie down to rest.
Again ask yourself whether you may not have been more or less an Eye-servant? If you are a common gardening man have you not worked harder when the head gardener was in the garden than when he was out of it? And if a clerk or apprentice, have you not made more speed when your employer has happened to come into the shop or counting house? If a footman have you been as faithful and diligent, have you risen as early, worked as steadily, gone your errands as nimbly, and turned your hand to any thing wanted of you as readily as if your master had stood by watching you? Now if you are a Christian servant you will have done every thing under the impression, that One who is far greater than your earthly master has been always at hand observing you? “Servants,” says the Apostle, “obey your masters, not with eye service as men pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of GOD from the heart.”
The idleness and eye-service which have been spoken of, necessarily imply also some injustice to your employer: You have agreed with him to give him so much work for so much pay, but if you have secretly wasted in idleness, or turned to your own use a part of that time which you engaged to give your master, you have then robbed him of his due, you have as much wronged your master, as your master would have wronged you if he had secretly taken back a part of the wages he had professed to give you, or had knowingly miscounted the money m his own favor while he was paying you.
Again, there are many kinds of dishonesty which are practiced almost without reflection, and with a very quiet conscience, because custom is supposed to authorize them; the New Year therefore seems a very proper time for examining into these points. It may in general be suspected that all profits or privileges, as they are called, which are carefully concealed; have something dishonest in them, for if they are quite honest, why should they not be public? The difficulty of breaking through these customs is often much increased by a certain false shame, which makes people afraid of doing it, lest they should thereupon be charged with pretending to be better than their neighbors. Religion however tends to cure this false shame, for when a deep concern about the salvation of the soul arises, a man is carried above all those little feelings which so often interfere with his duty, and being obliged to turn over a new leaf in many great points, he takes the opportunity of rectifying a thousand smaller inadvertencies, which many men of the world, though accounted moral, never think of doing, became they have no motive strong enough to put them upon a kind of change.
We shall now name a few more subjects for self- examination, which we shall not do with much particularity; since the Reader’s own mind may enlarge upon them.
How have you- behaved through the last year in respect to relative duties? It may not be amiss at this time of the year to recollect the names of our relations and connections one by one, and then to ask ourselves who is there of these whom I have either hurt by my misconduct, or neglected, through idleness or secret dislike, who is there of them whom I have put off by a little outward complaisance, when I ought to have been affectionate and kind? Again, who is there of them with whom I have too much agreed, not daring to shew any Christian Angularity in their presence, and conforming both to them and to the world, through fear of their ill will? The duty subsisting between near connections, such as husbands and wives, or parents and children, ought to form at this time of year a very great subject of self-examination, and that which our Christian duty dictates will be found to contribute exceedingly to increase our private happiness.
Have you also in the last year been temperate, sober, and chaste, as the Scriptures require? Have you not allowed yourself to live in any of those vices of which the scripture says that “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of “God.” Again, have you been combating with all your evil tempers in the last year, and what has been your success in the conflict? Every man has some particular infirmity. Some are apt to be stubborn and self willed, others weak and yielding. Some are bold and forward, others too fearful and ashamed. Some are sleepy and inactive, others are too busy and prone to meddle even in what does not concern them. Some are too silent and others as much too talkative. Some have affections that are continually betraying them into inconveniences if not dangers, and some have an ungracious and disagreeable harshness with which they ought to contend. Some also have much natural pride, or a strong turn to vanity.ùNow if you are used to search out your faults, you will have long since known in some measure which of these may be yours,, and you will be glad to be reminded at the year’s end that you ought to inquire how far you have gained ground on that sin which has most easily beset you.
We will only mention farther, have you been observant of the hand of Providence in all the events that have come across you in the last year? Have you referred your sickness or your health your losses in trade, or your successes, as well as all the deaths in your family and among your friends, together with every other incident of the year, to a Divine Providence, which has ordered all things that have befallen you. And have you considered the affronts and injuries of men, the hardships you have suffered, the national calamities also of which you may have borne your part, in the same religious light, namely, as the means by which God has been pleased to try you. And have you been therefore reigned and patient under sufferings, as well as thankful for your mercies.
And lastly, while you are now recollecting all the Escapes and Deliverances you have experienced, as well as the affecting Deaths and Changes which you have perhaps witnessed during the last twelvemonth in your family, are you led thereby to meditate on the uncertainty of your own future life, and on the coming of that awful day, when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account of the things done in the body,” and when both you and “ all that are in their graves shall come forth, they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.”
To this subject of self-examination which is now closed, one important remark shall be added. Perhaps some Reader will have been ready to reply to some of the first questions which have been put to him, “Why at this rate who can be saved? if all this be necessary for salvation I must despair and give up the point.” We would request every such desponding Reader to turn this Tract to the following use: Let him avail himself of it in the first place in order to alarm his fears, and to do away that false notion of innocence, which men who never examine themselves are apt to trust to as the ground of their salvation, and when what he has read has thus convinced him of his exceeding guilt, let it then send his thoughts to that Saviour of the world whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Let him proceed to think deeply and often on that instructive subject of “ his being justified freely by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ;” a subject the powerful force of which in turning the whole heart to God, the Reader has perhaps not yet taken into his calculation. Encouraged by the pardon of which this doctrine assures him if he is penitent, and accepting most heartily and thankfully it’s free and undeserved salvation, let him then account himself to be “ not his own, but bought with a price, and let him “ live no longer to himself, but to him that hath died for him.” A heart warmed with gratitude to Christ will stand in the place of a thousand arguments; it will make that labor pleasant which otherwise seems intolerable: and it will cause all those duties, which we seemed to describe with so much strictness, to appear now no more than a just and reasonable service.
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