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faint not. Gal. vi. 9: and that of the apostle, Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; and that in the Philippians, Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; and that, This do ye in remembrance of me, 1 Cor. xi. 25: and that, let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching, Heb. x. 24, 25. Now a soul that would not be drawn away by this device of Satan, must not look with a squint-eye upon these blessed scriptures, and abundance more of like import; but he must dwell upon them; he must make these scriptures to be his chief and his choicest companions; and this will be a happy means to keep him close to Christ and his service in these times, wherein many turn their backs upon Christ under pretence of being interested in the great and glorious things that have been acted by Christ.
Rem. 2. Consider that the great and glorious things that Jesus Christ has done and is doing for us, should be so far from taking us off from religious services and pious performances, that they should be the greatest motives and encouragements to the performance of them that may be; as the scriptures do abundantly evidence. I will only instance in some; as that, That we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life, Luke i. 74, 75. Christ has freed you from all your enemies, from the curse of the law, the predominant damnatory power of sin, the wrath of God, the sting of death, and the torments of hell; but what is the end and design of Christ in doing these great and marvellous things for his people? It is not that they should throw off the duties of righteousness and holiness, but that their hearts may be the more free and sweet in all holy duties and heavenly services. So the apostle, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord almighty: mark what follows; Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit; perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, 2 Cor. vi. 16—18. And again, The grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, Tit. 11—14. Ah, Souls, I know no such arguments to work you to a lively and constant performance of all heavenly services, like those that are drawn from the consideration of the great and glorious things that Christ has done for you; and if such arguments will not take you and win upon you, I think the fear of hell will never do it.
Rem. 3. Seriously consider that those precious souls which Jesus Christ has done and suffered as much for, as he has for you, have been exceedingly active and lively in all religious services and heavenly performances. He did as much and suffered as much for David as for you, and yet who more in praying and praising God, than David 1 Seven times a day will I praise the Lord, Who more in studying and meditating on the word than David? The law is my meditation day and night. The same truth you may run and read in Jacob, Moses, Job, Daniel, and in the rest of the holy prophets and apostles, for whom Christ has done as much as for you. O how have all those worthies abounded in works of righteousness and holiness, to the praise of free grace! Certainly Satan has got the upper hand of those souls that do argue thus, 'Christ has done such and such glorious things for us; therefore we need not make any care and conscience of doing such and such religious services, as men say the word calls for.' If this logic be not from hell, what is? Ah, were the holy prophets and apostles alive to hear such logic come out of the mouths of such as profess themselves to be interested in the great and glorious things that Jesus Christ has done for his chosen ones, how would they blush to look upon such souls! And how would their hearts grieve and break within them, to hear the language and to observe the actings of such souls!
Rem. 4. Seriously consider this, that those who do not walk in the ways of righteousness and holiness, who do not wait upon God in the several duties and services that are .commanded by him, cannot have that evidence to their own souls of their righteousness before God, of their fellowship and communion with God, of their blessedness here and their happiness hereafter, as those souls have, who love and delight in the ways of the Lord, who are always best when they are most in the works and service of the Lord. Little children, saith the apostle, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. In this, says the same apostle, the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. If ye know that he is righteous, says the same apostle, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness, is born of him. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin, 1 John iii. 7,10; ii. 29; iv. 16; i. 6, 7. So James ii. 14. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and hath not works? Can faith save him? It cannot; for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. To look after holy and heavenly works, is the best way to preserve the soul from being deceived and deluded by Satan's delusions, and by sudden flashes of joy and comfort; holy works being a more sensible and constant pledge of the precious spirit, begetting and maintaining in the soul more solid, pure, clear, strong, and lasting joy. Ah, souls, as you would have in yourselves a constant and blessed evidence of your fellowship with the Father and the Son, and of the truth of Grace, and of your future happiness, look that you cleave close to holy services; and that you turn not your backs upon religious duties.
Rem. 5. Solemnly consider, that there are other choice and glorious ends for the saints' performance of religious duties, than for the justifying of their persons before God, or for their satisfying of the law or justice of God, or for the purchasing of the pardon of sin; viz. to testify their justification. A good tree cannot but bring forth good fruit. To testify their love to God, and their sincere obedience to the commands of God ; to testify their deliverance from spiritual bondage; to evidence the indwellings of the Spirit; to stop the mouths of the worst of men, and to glad those righteous souls that God would not have saddened, these and abundance of other choice ends there are why those who have an interest in the glorious doings of Christ, should notwithstanding that, keep close to the holy duties and religious services that are commanded by Christ. And if these considerations will not prevail with you to wait upon God in holy and heavenly duties, I am afraid if one should rise from the dead, his arguments would not win upon you, but you would hold on in your sins, and neglect his service, though you lost your souls for ever.
Dev. 5. The fifth device Satan has to draw souls off from religious services, and to keep souls off from holy duties, is, by presenting to them the paucity and poverty of those who walk in the ways of God, who hold on in religious practices. Says Satan, 'Do not you see, that those who walk in such and such religious ways, are the poorest, the meanest, and the most despicable persons in the world.' This took with them in John vii. 47; Then answered them the pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law, are cursed.
Now the remedies against this device, are these.
The first remedy is, to consider that though they are outwardly poor, yet they are inwardly rich. Though they are poor in temporals, yet they are rich in spirituals. The worth and riches of the saints is inward. The King's daughter is all glorious within. Hearken, my beloved brethren; hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he hath promised to them that love him! says James. I know thy poverty, but thou art rich; says Christ to the church of Smyrna. What, though they have little in possession, yet they have a glorious kingdom in reversion. Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom. Though saints have little in hand, yet they have much in hope. You count those happy in a worldly sense, who have much in reversion, though they have little in possession; and will you count the saints miserable, because they have little in hand, little in possession, though they have a glorious kingdom in reversion of this? I am sure the poorest saint that breathes would not exchange, were it in his power, that which he has in hope and in reversion, for the possession of as many worlds as there are stars in heaven, or sands in the sea.
Rem. 2. Consider that in all ages God has had some who have been great, rich, wise, and honourable; who have chosen his ways and cleaved to his service in the face of all difficulties. Though not many wise men, yet some wise men; and though not many mighty, yet some mighty have; and though not many noble, yet some noble have; witness Abraham, and Jacob, and Job, and several kings and others that the scripture speaks of; and O how many have we among ourselves, whose souls have cleaved to the Lord, and who have swam to his service through the blood of the slain, and who have not counted their lives dear unto them, that they and others might enjoy the holy things of Christ, according to the mind and heart of Christ.
Rem. 3. Solemnly consider that the spiritual riches of the poorest saints infinitely transcend the temporalriches of all the wicked men in the world. Their spiritual riches satisfy them. They can sit down satisfied with the riches of grace that are in Christ, without honours and without riches. He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst. The riches of poor saints are durable; they will bed and board with them; they will go to the prison, to a sick bed, to a grave, yea, to heaven with them. The spiritual riches of poor saints are as wine to cheer them, and as bread to strengthen them, and as cloth to warm them, and as armour to protect them. Now all