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and joy blossom together, and whence welcome death, will ere long, translate your triumphant soul to those unseen, unheard-of, inconceivable glories, which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor. ii. 9.
Nor will the blossoms of heavenly peace and joy, only diffuse their divine fragrancy in your soul; all the fruits of holiness will grow together with them, to the glory of God, and the profit of mankind. And thou wilt not be the last, thou fair, thou blushing humility, to bend all the spreading branches of pride to the tree of righteousness. No, we cannot be vain, or despisers of others, when we see that we are all corrupted, dying shoots of the same corrupted, dead stock: We cannot be self-righteous, when we are pursuaded, that the best fruit which we can naturally produce is only splendid sin, or vice coloured over with the specious appearance of virtue: We must lie prostrate in the dust, when we consider the ignominious cross, where our divine Surety hung, bled, and died to ransom cur guilty souls.
A genuine conviction of our corruption and demerit thus striking at the very root of our pride, necessarily fills our hearts with inexpressible gratitude for every fayour we receive, gives an exquisite relish to the least blessing we enjoy, and teaches us to say with the thankful patriarch, I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies and as it renders us grateful to God, and all our benefactors, so it makes us patient under the greatest injuries, resigned in the heaviest trials, glad to be reproved, willing to forgive the faults of others, open to acknowledge our own, disposed to sympathise with the guilty; tender-hearted towards the miserable, incapable of being offended at any one, and ready to do every office of kindness, even to the meanest of mankind.
Again, no sooner are we properly acquainted with our helplessness, than we give over leaning on an arm of flesh, and the broken reed of our own resolutions. Reposing our entire confidence in the living God, we fervently implore his continual assistance, carefully
avoid temptations, gladly acknowledge, that the help which is done upon the earth, the Lord doth it himself, and humbly give him the glory of all the good that appears in ourselves and others.
Once more, as soon as we can discover our spiritual blindness, we mistrust our own judgment, feel the need of instruction, modestly repair to the experienced for advice, carefully search the scriptures, readily follow their blessed directions, and fervently pray, that no false light may mislead us out of the way of salvation.
To conclude: a right knowledge, that the crown is fallen from our head, will make us abominate sin, the cause of our ruin, and raise in us a noble ambition of regaining our original state of blisful and glorious righteousness. It will set us upon an earnest inquiry into, and a proper use of, all the means conducive to our recovery. Even the sense of our guilt will prove useful, by helping to break our obdurate hearts, by imbittering the baits of worldly vanities, and filling our souls with penitential sorrow. Before honour is humility. This - happy humiliation makes way for the greatest exaltation: For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity. I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and the heart of the contrite, to fill the hungry with good things, and beautify the meek with salvation. Isaiah Ivii. 15.
If these advantages, which exceed the worth of earthly crowns, necessarily result from the proper knowledge of our corrupt and lost estate; who but an infatuated enemy of his own soul, would be afraid of that self-science? Who but an obstinate pharisee, would not esteem it next to the knowledge of Christ, the greatest blessing which heaven can bestow upon the self-destroyed, and yet self-conceited children of
Careless reader, if thou art the person, if remaining unshaken in thy carnal confidence, and supposing thyself wiser than seven men that can render a reason,
thou not only despisest the testimony of the sacred writers and our pious reformers, laid before thee in the first part of this treatise, but disregardest the numerous arguments it contains, tramplest under foot both matter of fact and common sense, and remainest unaffected by the most dreadful consequences of selfignorance on the one hand, and by the greatest advantages of self-knowledge on the other; I have done, and must take my leave of thee.
May the merciful and holy God, whose laws thou dost daily violate, whose word thou hourly opposest or forgettest, whose salvation thou dost every moment neglect, whose vengeance thou continually provokest, and whose cause I have attempted to plead, bear with thee and thy insults a little longer!....May his infinite patience yet afford thee some means of conviction, more affectual than that which is at present in thy hands!....Or shouldest thou look into this labour of love once more, may it then answer a better purpose than to aggravate thy guilt, and enhance thy condemnation, by rendering the folly of thy unbelief more glaring, and consequently more inexcusable !
END OF THE APPEAL.
THE SERIOUS READER,
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED ?
"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no Physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered.?" JER. viii. 22.