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ing exhort and beseech you not wholly to forget the warnings you have had while under my ministry. When you and I shall meet at the day of judgment, then you will remember them : The sight of me, your former minister, on that occa. sion, will soon revive them in your memory ; and that in a very affecting manner. O do not let that be the first time that they are so revived !
You and I are now parting one from another as to this world ; let us labor that we may not be parted after our meeting at the last day. If I have been your faithful pastor, (which will that day appear whether I have or no) then I shall be acquitted, and shall ascend with Christ. O do your part,that in such a case, it may not be so, that you should be forced eter. nally to part from me, and all that have been faithful in Christ Jesus. This is a sorrowful parting that now is between you and me ; but that would be a more sorrowful parting to you than this. This you may perhaps bear without being much affected with it, if you are not glad of it ; but such a parting in that day will most deeply, sensibly, and dreadfully affect you.
111. I would address myself to those who are under some awakenings.
Blessed be God that there are some such, and that (although I have reason to fear I leave multitudes in this large congre. gation in a Christless state) yet I do not leave them all in total stupidity and carelessness about their souls. Some of you, that I have reason to hope are under some awakenings, have acquainted me with your circumstances ; which has a tendency to cause me, now I am leaving you, to take my leave of you with peculiar concern for you. What will be the issue of your present exercise of mind I know not ; But it will be known at that day, when you and I shall meet before the judgment seat of Christ. Therefore now be much in considerą. țion of that day.
Now I am parting with this flock, I would once more press upon you the counsels I have heretofore given, to take heed of being slighty in so great a concern, to be thorough and iş good earnest in the affair, and to beware of backsliding, to hold on and hold out to the end. And cry mightily to God, that these great changes that pass over this church and congregation do not prove your overthrow.
There is great temptation in them; and the devil will undoubtedly seek to make his advantage of them, if possible to cause your present convictions and endeavors to be abortive. You had need to double your diligence and watch and
be overcome by temptation. Whoever
hereafter stand related to you as your spiritual guide, my desire and prayer is, that the great Shepherd of the sheep would have a special respect to you, and be your guide, (for there is none teacheth like him) and that he who is the infinite fountain of light, would“ open your eyes, and turn you from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that you may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified, through faith that is in Christ;" that so, in that great day, when I shall meet you again before your Judge and mine, we may meet in joyful and glorious circumstances, never to be separated any more,
IV. I would apply myself to the young people of the congregation.
Since I have been settled in the work of the ministry in this place, I have ever had a peculiar concern for the souls of the young people, and a desire that religion might flourish among them ; and have especially exerted myself in order to it; because I knew the special opportunity they had beyond others, and that ordinarily those whom God intended mercy for, were brought to fear and love him in their youth. And it has ever appeared to me a peculiarly amiable thing, to see young people walking in the ways of virtue and Christian piety, having their hearts purified and sweetened with a principle of divine love. And it has appeared a thing exceeding beautiful, and what would be much to the adorning and happiness of the town, if the young people could be persuaded when they meet together, to converse as Christians, and as the children of God; avoiding impurity, levity, and extravagance ; keeping strictly to rules of virtue, and conversing together of the things of God, and Christ, and heaven. This is what I have longed for: And it has been exceeding grievous to me when I have heard of vice, vanity, and disorder among our youth. And so far as I know my own heart, it was from hence that I formerly led this church to some measures, for the suppressing vice among our young people, which gave so great offence, and by which I became so obnoxious. I have sought the good, and not the hurt of our young people. I have desired their truest honor and happiness, and not their reproach ; knowing that true virtue and religion tended not only to the glory and felicity of young people in another world, but their greatest peace and prosperity, and highest dignity and honor in this world; and above all things to sweeten, and render pleasant and delightful, even the days of youth.
But whether I have loved you, and sought your good more or less, yet God in his providence, now calling me to part with you, committing your souls to him who once committed the pastoral care of them to me, nothing remains, but only (as I am now taking my leave of you) earnestly to beseech you, from love to yourselves, if you have none to me, not to despise and forget the warnings and counsels I have so often given you ; remembering the day when you and I must meet again before the great Judge of quick and deads when it will appear whether the things I have taught you were true, whether the counsels I have given you were good, and whether I truly sought your good, and whether you have well im. proved my endeavors.
I have, from time to time, earnestly warned you against frolicking, (as it is called) and some other liberties commonly taken by young people in the land. And whatever some may say in justification of such liberties and customs, and may laugh at warnings against them, I now leave you my parting testimony against such things; not doubting but God wil approve and confirm it in that day when we shall meet before him.
V. I would apply myself to the children of the congregation, the lambs of this flock, who have been so long under my care.
I have just now said that I have had a peculiar concern for the young people; and in so saying I did not intend to ex. clude you. You are in youth, and in the most early youth : And therefore I have been sensible that if those that were young had a precious opportunity for their souls' good, you who are very young had, in many respects, a peculiarly precjous opportunity. And accordingly I have not neglected you : I have endeavored to do the part of a faithful shepherd, in feeding the lambs as well as the sheep. Christ did once commit the care of your souls to me as your minister; and you know, dear children, how I have instructed you, and warned you from time to time : You know how I have often calle ed you together for that end; and some of you, sometimes, have seemed to be affected with what I have said to you. But I am afraid it has had no saving effects as to many you; but that you remain still in an unconverted condition, without any real saying work wrought in your souls, convincing you thoroughly of your sin and misery, causing you to see the great evil of sin, and to mourn for it, and hate it above all things, and giving you a sense of the excellency of the Lord Jesus Christ, bringing you with all your hearts to cleave to þim as your Saviour, weaning your hearts from the world and causing you to love God above all, and to delight in holiness more than in all the pleasant things of this earth : And so that I now leave you in a miserable condition, having no interest in Christ, and so under the awful displeasure and anger of God, and in danger of going down to the pit of eternal misery.
But now I must bid you farewell : I must leave you in the hands of God: I can do no more for you than to pray for you. Only I desire you not to forget, but often think of the counsels and warnings I have given you, and the endeavors I have used, that your souls might be saved from everlasting destruction.
Dear children, I leave you in an evil world, that is full of snares and temptations. God only knows what will become of you. This the scripture hath told us, that there are but few saved ; and we have abundant confirmation of it from what we see. This we see, that children die as well as others: Multitudes die before they grow up; and of those that grow up, comparatively few ever give good evidence of sav. ing conversion io God. I pray God to pity you, and take care of you, and provide for you the best means for the good of your souls; and that God himself would undertake for you to be your heavenly Father, and the mighty Redeemer of your immortal souls. Do not neglect to pray for yourselves : Take heed you be not of the number of those who cast off fear, and restrain prayer before God. Constantly pray to God in secret ; and often remember that great day when you must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and meet your minister there, who has so often counselled and warned you.
I conclude with a few words of advice to all in general, in some particulars, which are of great importance in order to the future welfare and prosperity of this church and congregation.
1. One thing that greatly concerns you, as you would be an happy people, is the maintaining of family order.
We have had great disputes how the church ought to be regulated ; and indeed the subject of these disputes was of great importance : But the due regulation of your families is of no less, and, in some respects, of much greater importance. Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules. And family education and order are some of the chief of the means of grace. If these fail, all other means are like to prove ineffectual. If these are duly maintained, all the means of grace will be like to prosper and be successful.
Let me now therefore, once more, before I finally cease to speak to this congregation, repeat, and earnestly press the counsel which I have often urged on heads of families here,