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sires and prayers, before they can have any just ground to expect, that God will save them from the destruction they fear and deserve.

3. If it be reasonable for men to give God the supreme affection of their hearts ; then it is reasonable to exhort them to exercise supreme love to God immediately. God is as worthy of supreme love now, as he ever will be. Sinners are as capable of loving him supremely now, as they ever will be. There is no station they fill, there is no business they are pursuing ; there is no

; situation they are in ; and there is nothing within or without them, that is any obstacle in the way of loving God supremely, at the present time, as well as at any future period. There is every reason, why they should give their hearts to God immediately, as why they should give their hearts to him at all. Every command, which requires them to turn from sin to holiness requires them to turn immediately. Every command, which requires them to repent, requires them to repent immediately. And every command, which requires them to make themselves a new heart and a new spirit, requires them to make themselves a new heart and a new spirit immediately. God says, “ Choose ye, this day, whom

ye will serve ;” and “ to-day, if ye will hear bis voice, harden not your hearts.” If it be reasonable for sinners to obey these commands, it must be reasonable to exhort them to obey, just as God requires them to obey. Those, who are to warn them from him and in his name, ought to warn them in his words and not in their own. They have no right to give them leave to delay giving their hearts to God, any more than to give them leave to delay reading his word, or calling upon his name, or doing any thing which he has required.


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And to intimate that they are doing their duty, while they are neglecting to give their hearts to God, which is the essence of all duty, is virtually teaching them disobedience and rebellion. But how often is this done? And how pleased are sinners, when their teachers teach them, to delay loving God supremely for the present, which is really teaching them to delay forever. It is taking off the whole force of the command in the text, “My son, give me thine heart ;” and of every other command in the bible.

4. If it be reasonable for men to give their hearts to God; then every scheme of religion, which allows them to withhold their hearts from him, is unreasonable, unscriptural and essentially false. All true religion essentially consists in supreme love to God; and therefore every scheme of religion, which allows men to withhold their supreme affection from him, is another gospel and diametrically contrary to the gospel of Christ. Such false and dangerous schemes of religion were devised and propagated in Christ's and the apostles' days; and they have continued to be devised and

propagated from that time to this. The Antinomians teach men to love themselves more than God, or to love him only for his favors, which is not loving him at all.--They maintain, that no man ought to love God before he knows, that God will save him ; which is implicitly

; saying, that men ought not to give their hearts to God until he gives his heart to them. Indeed, it is the fundamental principle of Antinomianism, that God is never to be loved supremely for what he is in himself, or for his supreme moral excellence, which is subversive of all true religion. The Arminians teach men to love themselves more than God, and keep their hearts to

themselves, while they pay him mere external respect and obedience. They teach the same doctrine, that the Scribes and Pharisees taught, which was, that all religion consists in mere external services, which may be performed without the least love to God. The Pharisee, that went up to the temple to pray and even Paul himself, thought he was blameless, while he loved him self supremely and externally honored God, with a heart which was far from him. The universalists teach men to love themselves more than God and to love him only for the sake of salvation. They allow them not only to keep their hearts to themselves, but to act them out as much as they please, with full confidence, that nothing can separate them from the everlasting approbation and enjoyment of God. As all these schemes of religion deny the necessity of a change of heart and the duty of loving God supremely, they are essentially erroneous and fatally dangerous. They are rotten at the root, and directly calculated to deceive and destroy those, who cordially embrace them. For these and all other false schemes of religion are agreeable to every natural heart, which is enmity against God. All men wish to be happy in a future state and .

a have no aversion to any scheme of religion, which they think will save them, while they withhold their hearts from God and love themselves supremely.

5. If it be reasonable for men to give their hearts to God; then it is extremely unreasonable in those, who have once given their hearts to God, to withdraw them from him. Those, who have once given their hearts to God, know what it is to love him supremely and what great and peculiar happiness is to be found in the love and enjoyment of him. And when they first

give their hearts to God, they are apt to imagine, that they shall always keep themselves in the love of God, and never forget, nor forsake bim. But many have been sadly disappointed in their early hopes and resolu. tions. The hearts of christians are like a deceitful bow, bent to blacksliding, and are not to be trusted, but to be kept with all diligence. God represents himself disappointed, when those, who have professed to be his dutiful children, withdraw their filial affection from him and falsify their profession. For he said,

Surely they are my people, children that will not lie." If we examine the feelings and conduct of God towards those, who had lost their first love, we shall find, that he manifested his peculiar displeasure towards them and often corrected them more severely than his real and open enemies. Saints are of all men the most unreasonable and inexcusable, for murmuring and complaining, like Job, Jonah and Elijah ; and acting like Aaron, Moses and Peter. Nothing can interrupt that supreme love to God, which is essential to the christian character, but directly opposite affections.... When christians do not love, they hate ; when they do not believe, they disbelieve ; when they do not obey, they disobey; and when they do not act for God, they act against him. And for them to hate bim, whom they have loved supremely ; or to disbelieve him, in whom they have perfectly confided ; or to disobey bim, whom they have delightfully obeyed; or to act against him, for whom they have cordially and sincere. ly acted, must be peculiarly inconsistent, unreasonable and criminal. The best of men, therefore, have abundant reason and sometimes realize, that they have abundant reason, to feel as Job did, when he said to God, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear ; but now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes."

6. If it be reasonable for men to give their hearts to God; then they may reasonably expect to meet his approbation and acceptance, when they do love him sincerely and supremely. It is not reasonable, that he should love them before they love him ; but after they do love him sincerely and supremely, they are truly amiable and worthy of his complacency and approbation. And they may assure themselves, that they are actually interested in his favor and entitled to share in the blessings of his kingdom. For he has promised to return to them, who return to him and to love them that love him and cause all things to work together for their good. Many are very anxious to know, whether they belong to the household of faith and are the children of God, and heirs with Christ to an heavenly inheritance. And for this reason, are often inquiring what are evidences of grace ; and sometimes they ask, what is the best evidence of grace. To this serious and important question, the whole tenor of this discourse replies, Supreme love to God. It is only for men to look into their own hearts, to know whether they are the children of God and heirs of eternal life. If they are conscious of loving God supremely, they need not doubt whether they are the children of God and subjects of his special grace. But nothing short of this can give them evidence that their hearts are really renewed; for self-love can put on every appearance of supreme love to God, though essentially different from it. Here lies the greatest danger of men's deceiving themselves. But still it may be inquired, how shall men know whether

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