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whether to be sanctified or unsanctified, whether to be holy and be saved, or be unholy, though God hath expressly said, that such shall not see the face of God; Heb. xii. 14. These are our wise men, these are too many (besides the ignorant countrymen,) of our gentlemen, our worshipful and honourable men, our great scholars, and men of noble or reverend esteem; that yet are unresolved, whether to be saved or to be damned. Though God hath written a Bible to resolve them, and a thousand books are written to resolve them, and preachers are studying and preaching to resolve them; and a thousand mercies are cast into the scales that one would think should help to turn them; and some sharp afflictions are helping to resolve them, and twenty or forty years' certain experience of the vanity of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and honour, and pleasure, and the unprofitableness of sin, one would think should resolve them; yet after all this they are unresolved whether they should presently let go their sin, and whether God or the flesh should be pleased or displeased? If this be the wisdom of these men, the Lord bless me and all his chosen from such wisdom!
6. Nay consider further of your unreasonable wickedness: are not many of your judgments resolved, when yet your hearts and wills are not reselved? I am confident, nay, I am certain it is so: you are at once both resolved and unresolved. What a confusion and war do you thus make in your own souls? The judgment is for one thing, and the will and affections are for another thing. What, are you not led by reason? Will you let out your affections, and lead your lives quite contrary to your knowledge? Would not most of you give it me as your judgments under your hands, that it is a thousand times better to cast away your drunkenness, your filthiness, your worldliness, and your known sins, than to keep them any longer? What say you? Are you not convinced that it were your wisest course to part with them this very day and hour? Undoubtedly many of you are. And yet for all this, will you not resolve to do it? Are you not persuaded in your own consciences, that it is better to die in a holy, and heavenly state, than in a loose, and careless worldly state? And that it were your safest and wisest course to become new men, and lead a holy, heavenly life without delay? Dare you deny this? Is it not your judgment? And yet will you not do it? Are you re
solved that it should be done, and must be done, and yet will you not resolve to do it? Why, what is this but to be condemners of yourselves? To carry a judge about with you in your own breasts, that is still passing sentence against you? Happy is he," saith the Spirit of God, (Rom. xiv. 22.) "that condemneth not himself in that which he alloweth." If your judgments be resolved, let your wills resolve, or else you are wilful adversaries of the light, and fight against reason, and unman yourselves, and sinning wilfully against your knowledge, shall be beaten with many stripes.
7. Methinks also, it should somewhat quicken you to resolve, when you consider what a case you had now been in, if death had found you unresolved. For if you are unresolved, you are unsanctified; and if not sanctified, you are not pardoned, or justified; and, therefore, undoubtedly you had been past all help, in endless misery, if you had died all this while, before you were firmly resolved for God. O what a dangerous, ticklish condition have you stood in all this while? What wise man would live an hour in such a case for all the world, for fear lest that hour should be his last? And yet would you stay longer in it? and still are you unresolved?
8. Believe it, Christ will not own you as his servants, nor trust you, whatever promises you may make him, as long as you are unresolved.
Who will take a servant that is not resolved to do any service? Who will take an unresolved person if he knows it, as a wife, or a friend, into his intimate love? And indeed you are not truly Christians till you are resolved to take Christ for better and worse. Whatever state is short of this, is also short of true sanctification, and will fall short of heaven. Christ is resolved to stick to his servants, and he will have no servants that be not resolved to stick to him. 9. And indeed if you be unresolved, as you are falsehearted at the first setting out, so it is certain that you will never go well on, nor endure to the end in case of trial, nor can you do the business of a Christian's life, without resolution. If you will be Christ's disciples, you must reckon upon persecutions; you must take up your cross and follow ; you must be hated of all men for his sake and the
Gospel's; and you must prepare for prison, and fire, and sword: there is no hope of being saved, while you purpose to save your pleasures, riches, liberties or lives; Matt. xvi. 25. Mark viii. 35. Luke ix. 24. And will a man that is unresolved forsake his friends, estate, and life for the sake of Christ and the hopes of glory? He cannot do it. I know that a carnal, ungrounded resolution may deceive a man in the day of trial, when the self-suspecting, fearful Christian may hold out; but yet without a humble, self-denying resolution, joined with an adherence to Christ for strength, there is no man will hold out. "If thou be a waveringminded man, thou wilt be unsteadfast in all thy ways;" James i. 8. If thou be not resolved, the words of a man's mouth will turn thee out of the way; the very mocks and scorns of a drunkard, or a fool that hath no understanding in the matters of salvation, will make thee shrink and hide thy profession, and be ashamed of Christ, in whom alone thou hast cause to glory. If thou be not a resolved man, what better can be expected, but that thou turn as the weathercock with every wind, and fit thy religion to thy worldly ends, and as another Judas, sell thy Lord for a little money. If thou fall not away, it will be but for want of a trial to procure it; and therefore in God's account thou art gone already; because thy resolution was never with it.
When you turn to God, there will remain within you the remnants of your corruption, a body of death, a rebelling flesh; and this will be still tempting you, and drawing you from God. O how strong do these temptations seem to the soul that is unresolved! Yea, without a firm habitual resolution, it is impossible to overcome them. Your whole way to heaven is a continual warfare; you have enemies that will dispute every foot of the way with you. There is no going a step forward, but as the ship doth in the sea, by cutting its way through the waves and billows; and as the plough doth in the earth, by cutting through the resisting soil. There is self, which is your principal enemy, and there is satan, and the world, and almost all that you meet with in it, will prove your hinderers; and you must make your way by valour and holy violence through all: and will an unresolved man do this? You will scarce ever bow your knee to God in secret prayer, nor set yourselves upon serious meditations, but the flesh and the devil will be drawing you off';
you will never attempt a faithful reproof, a liberal work of charity, a hazardous confession of Christ, or any dangerous or costly duty, but the flesh and the devil will plead against it, and put you to it. And in these and in many such cases of your lives, you will never break through, nor do any good on it, without resolution. Do I need to tell you how hard the way of salvation is, that fly from it on mistake, because you think it harder than it is? Do I need to tell you how false you will prove to Christ, if you have not resolution; that you know it by your ordinary, miserable experience, that a poor temptation will make you sin against your knowledge? How many good wishes and purposes have you had already, in sickness, or at a lively sermon, that are all come to nothing, for want of a firm habituate resolution! What abundance of timeservers, and of chaffy professors are lately fallen off to the way of rising and riches in the world, or to the pride and giddy levity of dividers, that oppose the truth of God, and their teachers, and trouble the church, and all because they were never well rooted by a sound resolution! They that take Christ but upon liking, do usually dislike him when he calls them to self-denial; for they had never that counatural principle that should effectually dispose their souls to like him; nor had they ever the inward experiences of power and sweetness, which are proper to the sincere, and should increase their liking of him. Either resolve therefore, or stand by and perish.
10. I beseech you consider also, What abundance of clear undeniable reasons doth God give in to thee, to turn the scales, and cause thee to resolve. He fetcheth reasons from his own dominion and sovereignty. Should not a creature obey the Lord that made him? He reasoneth with you from his daily preservations. Do you live upon him, and should you not obey him? He reasoneth with you from his almightiness: you are all at his mercy, and wholly in his hands; and yet dare you disobey him? He reasoneth with you from his love and goodness; never did evil come from him; nor did he ever do any wrong; never was there man or angel that was a loser by him; it is not possible to have so good a master, and yet will you not obey him? He fetcheth reasons from all his mercies; every bit of bread is from him, and should be an argument with thee to obey him: every day's health, and strength, and comforts, and every
night's rest and ease; thy mercies at home, thy mercies abroad, in private, and in public; all should be so many arguments with thee to resolve. You cannot look upon a plant or a flower under your feet, upon the sun or a star that is over your heads, or upon any creature, but you may see so many reasons that should move you to resolve. If all these will not serve, he fetcheth yet stronger reasons from the incarnation, example, and blood of the Son of God: canst thou look on God incarnate for sin, combating with satan, and conquering for thee, and dying, and bleeding, and buried for thy sin: and yet be unresolved to leave that sin, and turn to him that hath bought thee by his blood? If all this will not serve, he reasoneth with thee from thy own benefit. If thou care not for God, dost thou care for thyself? Dost thou regard thy own soul? If thou dost, it is high time to resolve. He reasoneth with thee from everlasting glory. Is a certain kingdom, and everlasting glorious kingdom nothing to thee? Art thou content to be thrust out of that eternal inheritance? Is the filthy pleasure of the flesh for a few hours, better than the endless joys of the saints? He pleads also with thee from the danger that thou art near. Poor soul! thou little seest what others see, that are dead before thee. Thou little knowest what they feel, that died before they were resolved for God. He fetcheth his reasons from the certain and everlasting flames of hell; and is there not force enough in these for to resolve thee? Good Lord! what a thing is a senseless sinner! Dost thou believe heaven and hell as thou takest on thee to do? If thou dost believe them, is it possible for thee believingly to think of heaven and its eternal glory, and yet to be unresolved whether to turn or not? Or canst thou think of the endless miseries of the damned, and yet be unresolved whether to turn or not? Can any heart be so senseless or deluded?
Moreover, he pleadeth with thee from the equity and sweetness of his service. It is but to love him, and to seek his kingdom, and forbear those things that hurt thy soul. His commands are not unreasonable or grievous. Darest thou speak out and say, that sin is better, and that satan hath provided thee a better work than God hath done? He reasoneth with thee also from his wisdom and his justice. He tells thee, that as satan hath nothing to do with thee, and