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from the gofpel, was to this purpose: that on condition of man's stedfast faith, fincere repentance, and perfect obedience, he should be restored thro' Chrift to God's favour; and after death, to that life and happiness, which was promised to our first parents, without tafting of death. By this means God and man are brought together again; and man is redeemed from a state of fin and eternal death, to a state of holiness, and to the inheritance of eternal life. And this was the end for which the Son of God cloathed himself with our flesh, that as man, he might fuffer what our fins had deserved, and, as he was the Son of God, he might make a full, perfect and fufficient oblation and fatisfaction to the divine justice, for the fins of the whole world; who, for the joy of delivering fo many millions of fouls from mifery, endured the death of the crofs, and all the afflictions of his bitter paffion, which was the perfect facrifice whereby all mankind are restored to the favour of God, and put into a state of falvation; God having, for his Son's fake, promif- And our care ed to pardon all fuch as fhall repent, and forfake will not be their fins, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance; and to give his Holy Spirit to all fuch as fhall fincerely pray for the fame; and after death to make them eternally happy, if during this short state of trial, which is defigned to amend our corrupt and difordered nature, they endeavour to obferve the rules, which he has revealed in his word, and which are absolutely neceffary to make them capable of eternal happiness in the kingdom of heaven.
V.To conclude with the fentiments of a devout and pious divine; The great plea that men do generally make for the wickedness or carelefnefs of their lives is this, That it That it is in really is not in their power to live up to fuch a ftate of holiness and virtue, as the law of God obligeth them to: grace is in them too weak, and their natural corruptions too strong, for their ever being in a capacity, without more affiftance from God, to live strict and religious lives: converfion is the work of God, and cannot be wrought by a man's felf, and therefore till God fhall please to come upon them, with an irresistible power of his
every man's power to ceflary care of his foul.
Holy Spirit, they must be contented to live as they do; nay, they muft unavoidably live fo. Now it is readily granted, that without God's grace no man can do any thing; and we grant likewise, that it is very probable their circumstances may be fuch, that it is not morally poffible, unless they had greater ftrength and more grace than they have, on a fudden to live as they ought to do; for, their bad principles are really more powerful than their good ones: but yet, in the mean time, we must needs tell them, that they are not mere stocks and stones. How much reafon foever they have to complain of the infirmity or degeneracy of their natures yet fome things they can do towards the bettering of them: for inftance, though they cannot on a fudden conquer the inward bent and inclination of their minds, fo as to hate all fin, and to delight in virtue, yet they must needs confefs that they have a power over their outward actions: they can as well (if they think it reasonable) direct their feet towards a church, as to a houfe of gaming, or drinking, or lewdness: their eyes will ferve them as well to look upon a bible, or a serious discourfe about religion, as to read a fcurrilous and a prophane book: it is as much in their power (if they please) to yield their ears to the reasonable advice of their fober friends, as to the mad harangues of the diffolute company they keep. These things they must needs acknowledge they can do, if they will: nay, and they can do more than this; for (if they please) they may give themselves time to confider and think of what they read, or what is faid to them, or what their own experience or obfervation of things will fuggeft to their minds; and they can further, if they please, add to their confideration their prayers to almighty God to direct them, to affift them, to ftrengthen them. It is certain, that all this without God's especial grace will not be effectual for their regeneration and converfion; yet, if they will but do as much as this comes to, we can affure them, that in time they shall have this efpecial grace that they now want. In the fame proportion that they ufe and employ thofe gifts and powers,which they at present have, God will increase and enlarge them. And the truth of all this is confirmed to us by that memorable faying of our Saviour, which we find in his mouth at feveral times, and
upon feveral occafions: to him that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have in abundance; but from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath.
God, the protector of all that truft in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; raise up, I beseech thee, thy power, and with great might fuccour me, that, whereas through my fins and wickedness I am fore lett and hindered in running the race that is fet before me, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver me, through the satisfaction of thy Son; and, that as by thy fpecial grace preventing me thou doft put into my mind good defires, fo by thy continual help I may bring the fame to good effect: wherefore I humbly pray thee to increase and multiply upon me thy mercy, that thou being my ruler and guide, I may fo pass thro' things temporal, that I finally lofe not the things eternal: grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of thy Son Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen.
New Whole Duty of Man,
Which for the fake of its being read over Three Times in a Year
The Contents of the PREFACE.
Why difliked by the prefent Age
The Subjects there treated of not fuited to our Times
How the Old Whole Duty of Man has contributed to discredit
PART the FIRST.
CHA P. III. SUNDAY III.