Imatges de pÓgina
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right and proper Methods, do yet miss of it at last. They endeavour but by halves, and Yeek it, either by too short, or too sleight Pains. They have not either the Resolution to set manfully about it, or the Patience to go thorow with it, and fo being either faint in their pursuit, or falling off before they are got to the end, they are not reclaim'd from their fins by all their Pains, but continue subject , and enslaved to them still.

But now when they fail on this account, it is not because they cannot, but because they will not help it. They might become good, if they would be at the trouble of it, and persevere with Patience, till they have finished it; but if they will use only sleight Endeavours and short Onfets; their milling of Success, must not be charged upon the impossibility of God's Laws, but upon their own floth and remifsness in performing them; they can and do rake great and incessant Pains to be rich, or great, or compass a worldly Interest : And if they please they can labour as vigorously, and as incessantly too to be good, and do what God Commands them. And if once they would do this, it would be the best

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Demon

Demonstration, how possible a thing Obedience is; since less Pains than this comes to, will ordinarily suffice them to that purpose.

And this will stop the mouths of all those Complainers, who have not been filenced by the two former Considerations. If they have not complain'd before they tryed, and if in trying to be good, they took a right method; yet want they one thing still

, they endeavoured but by halves, and were not vigorous and constant enough in their endeavours, and that is the reason why they failed : Whereas, if they will try again, and endeavour not only wisely, but also vigorously and incessantly, they will most certainly be enabled to perform their Duty: And their doing it actually, will be the most effectual Conviction that 'tis possible to be done.

Having said this, to remove the prejudice that lies against this possibility of performing the Laws of God, from the Complaints of those, who say they find it otherwise: I proceed now,

2. To sew that among Christians, there is no cause for such Complaints, and that they will be strengthned to the

perfor

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performance of all Duties, if they are
not wanting to themselves.

They must be careful as I have ob-
serv?d, to use their own endeavours, be-
cause God that made them, will not al-
so save them without themselves. And
these endeavours must be in wife ways,
since we must not expect God should
give effects to unsuitable means, and be
at the expence of Miracles, to supply
for our Follies. And when we endea-
vour thus wisely, we must do it also vi-
gorously and incessantly ; Obedience be-
ing a work of time and Pains, that re-
quires both the earnestnels, and the con-
tinuance of our Applications. These
things are required on our part, and if
we take care to perform that, the Grace
of Christ will make up the rest, and most
certainly enable us, as he did St. Paul,.
to do all things which he indispensibly
requires of us; he will give us some
strength at first, and as we employ that,
according to that great Rule of Gospel
Distribution, To him that hath shall be
given, Matt. 25. 29. he will add more,
till at last we perform as much, as is in-
dispensibly required, i. e. as I noted, ei-
ther not sinning wilfully, or sincerely
repenting, and amending whenfoever we
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do.

do. If they are thus careful, I say, in their own endeavours, this strength all Christians shall surely receive from the Grace of Christ to these performances, as the Apostle in the Text declares of himself ; I can do, &c.

Now that every wise, earnest, and incefiant Endeavourer,fhall be thus enabled to perform all Duties, will appear from these three things,

First, Because God indispensibly requires, and passionately exhorts us to this performance.

Secondly, Because he has promised this Ability, and Obedience to all who are so qualified and prepared for the fame.

Thirdly, Because all good men heretofore, and at this present time, do themfeives find, and experience it.

1. That they shall be thus enabled to perform all Duties, appears, because God indispensibly requires, and passionately exhorts us to this performance.

He indispensibly requires it. For now as St. Paul says, God commandeth all men every where to repent, Acts 17. 30. And that of all fins, they being all lyable to the same Punishment; The wrath of God

being

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being revealed against all unrighteousness,
Rom.1.18. And he that offends in one point
being guilty of all, Jam.2.10. And this he
requires under the strictest condition, as
ever they hope to avoid the wrath to
come, or to obtain everlasting Salva-
tion: If the wicked turn from all his fins,
and keep all my Statutes, then says God
by Ezekiel, but not before, he shall sure.

live, Ezek. 18.21. And they only that
do his commandments bave right to the tree
of life, faith Christ, Rev. 22. 14.

Now since God thus requires us to 0. bey all his Laws, it must needs be possible for us to obey them; for God never requires an impossible thing; what *Pfal. 5.2. he Commands, he both desires and * ex- Matt. 21. pects should be perforined; and there- 4

t fam. i. fore, calls men to the f performance of 25. it ; to be not only bearers, but doers of Jo. 13.17. the Law, Rom. 2. 13. And 'tis certain they may perform it, since he is too wife, either to desire, or expect what is not to be had.

Nay, he doth not only indispensibly require this Obedience, but Friendly and passionately exhorts us to it ; Repent and turn your selves from all your transgressions, fo iniquity shall not be

your

ruine. Cast a way from you all your transgressions, and

make

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