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nothing seem very heavy or grievous now, which will be light and easy then. Let nothing now seem honourable, which will then seem despicable and vile. Consider of every thing as it will look at death, that when the day shall come which endeth all the joys of the ungodly, you may look up with joy, and say, Welcome heaven; this is the day which I so long expected, which all my days were spent in preparation for, which shall end my fears, and begin my felicity, and put me into possession of all that I desired, and prayed, and laboured for, when my soul shall see its glorified Lord. For he hath said, John xii. 26. "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be. If any man serve me, him will my Father honour." Even so Lord Jesus, remember me now thou art in thy kingdom, and let me be with thee in paradise; Luke xxiii. 42, 43. O thou that spakest those words so full of inexpressible comfort, to a sinful woman in the first speech after thy blessed resurrection; John xx. 17. "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." Take up now this soul that is thine own, that it may see the glory given thee with the Father; (John xvii. 24.) and instead of this life of temptation, trouble, darkness, distance, and sinful imperfection, I may delightfully behold, and love, and praise thy Father and my Father, and thy God and my God. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. Lord Jesus receive my spirit;' Luke ii. 29. Acts vii. 59.
And now I have given you all these Directions, I shall only request you in the close, that you will set your very hearts to the daily, serious practice of them; for there is no other way for a ripe, confirmed state of grace: and as ever you regard the glory of God, the honour of your religion, the welfare of the church and those about you, and the living and dying comforts of yourselves; O do not sluggishly rest in an infant state of grace! Did you but know how a weak and strong faith differ, and how a weak and a sound, confirmed Christian differ, as to the honour of God, and the good of others, and especially to themselves, both in life and death, it would quickly awaken you to a cheerful diligence, for so high and excellent an end. Did you but well
understand the wrong that Christ and the Gospel have sustained in the world, yea, in England, by weak, diseased, distempered Christians, your hearts would bleed, and with shame and grief, it would be your secret and open lamentation. Stir up then the grace that is given you, and use Christ's means, and do your best, and you will find that Christ is not an insufficient Physician, nor an uneffectual Saviour, or an empty Fountain; but that he is filled with all the fulness of God, and hath spirit and life to communicate to his members; (Zech. xii. 8.) and that there is no want which he cannot supply, and no corruption or temptation which his grace is not sufficient to overcome; John iv. 14. 2 Cor. xii. 9. Rom. vi. 4. 6. Col. iii. 1.3, 4.
END OF DIRECTIONS TO THE CONVERTED FOR THEIR ESTABLISH
MENT, GROWTH AND PERSEVERANCE.
A SOUND, CONFIRMED CHRISTIAN;
OF A WEAK CHRISTIAN,
OF A SEEMING CHRISTIAN.
WRITTEN TO IMPRINT UPON MEN'S MINDS THE TRUE IDEA OR CONCEPTION OF GODLINESS AND CHRISTIANITY.
DIRECTED TO MY WORTHY FRIEND, HENRY ASHURST, ESQ. CITIZEN OF LONDON.
DEAR AND FAITHFUL FRIEND,
WHEN this book was printed and passing into the world, without the ordinary ornament of a prefixed honoured name, my thoughts reduced me into the common way, though not upon the common reasons; assuring me that your name would be more than an accident or ceremony to such a discourse as this; even a part more substantial than a map is in a treatise of geography, or the well-cut figures in tractates of anatomy. Discourses of navigation, architecture, music, &c. may almost as hopefully instruct the learners, without any visible operations or effects, as the characters of well-tempered Christians can duly inform the minds of ignorant, ungodly men, of so divine a thing as Christianity and godliness, without acquaintance with some such persons, in whom these characters are manifestly exemplified. Wise and holy precepts, are to make wise and holy persons: it is such persons as well as such precepts which bear the image of God; which indeed is most perfect in exactness and integrity in the precepts; (for in them is no imperfection or error, as they are of God ;) but it is of greater final excellency, in activity and usefulness as it is in men. And therefore as God delighteth in his servants, and is glorified in and by them in the world, so satan usually chooseth such persous, to reproach and make odious to the ignorant, rather than the holy precepts immediately, by which they are directed; both because their holiness is most