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EARLY RELIGION, Urged in a SERMON, The Duties Wherein, And the Reasons Wherefore, YOUNG PEOPLE, Should Become Religious.

Whereto are Added, The EXTRACTS of several Papers, Written by several Persons, who here Dying in their Youth, left behind them those Admonitions for the Young Survivers; with Brief Memoirs rela­ting to the Exemplary Lives of some such, that have gone from hence to their Everlasting REST.

By Cotton Mather.

Wherewith shall a Young man cleanse his way? By taking heed, according to Thy Word.

Boston, Printed, by B. [...] for Michael [...] under the West-End of the Town-house [...]

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EARLY RELIGION URGED.
On a Day of PRAYER, kept by the Congregation at [...]eading, for the Success of the Gospel, on the Hearts of the Young in that Congregation. Anno 1693.

IT was the Gracious and Savoury Speech uttered by One of the Greatest Personages in England, and perhaps in all Europe, unto a Grave Minister; I have (said he) passed thro [...] many [...]laces of Honour and Trust, both in Church and State, more than any of my Or­der in England, for Seventy Years before. But were I assured, that by my Preaching I had Conver­ted but one Soul unto God, I should therein take more Comfort, than in all the Honours and Offices that have ever been bestowed upon me. Yea, 'Twas the Speech of a much Greater than he, He that Winneth Souls is wise. And in­deed, a true Minister of the Gospel, can have no Joy equal unto that of seeing the Conversion of his people unto God! But if the Conversion of any among our people, more than others, would give Joy unto us, 'tis our Young People [Page 2] whose Turn to God, we should behold with most of Satisfaction. To win one of those, is both Argument and Apology sufficient, for the most vigorous Essayes of our Ministry. For my own part, I observe the Generation, whereto I do my self belong, advancing very far into the Affairs of the World; But I also observe, the dreadful Plagues of Heaven making a most Lamentable Havock of this my poor Generation. Upon this Ob­servation, what better thing is there to be done for this Generation, then perswasively to Recommend unto them, that Religion, the want whereof does not only Unfit them for the Action expected from them, but also Expose them to the Judgments of a Righteous and a Terrible GOD? Where­fore, although I have many a time already made the most publick Addresses, that I could, unto the Young People of my Coun­trey, I am willing now at an Age thus far Extending, to conclude my own Youth, with one Affectionate Endeavour more, That they may know the Things of their Peace i [...] this their Day. And among other things [...]hat give Countenance unto such an Undertaking, Let me particularly mention the Example of Jonathans Expedition, wherein we have one Young Man calling upon another, to do Ser­vice for God and their Generation. When I Read the Cha [...]ge of our Lord Jesus Christ▪ [Page 3] unto His Peter, and in him unto every Pastor, I find that the, Feeding of Lambs, is to be the First part, and at Least one Third part, of our Pastoral Care And standing this Day in an Assembly so much consisting of those Lambs, we would a little Exemplifie that Care, by setting before them that Word of God, which may be the more Adapted Food [...]f their Souls. Young People, We that are this Day Fasting our selves with our Prayer to God, for your Conversion, would be Feeding of you, with the Word of God, in order to that Conversion.

Give now your particular Attention to that Portion of Scripture, in,

PSALM CXIX.9.

Wherewith shall a YOƲNG MAN cleanse his way? By taking heed, according to Thy Word.

THERE are those Words now lai [...] before you, whereof I am to mind you, that like the rest of the Sacred LOOK, wherein you have these words, they are, Non tam Legenda, quam Vivenda, not only to be Read, but also, and much more, to be Liv'd, by all who desire the Lives, of thei [...] Never Dying Spirits.

[Page 4]The Psalm wherein you find these words, was in a Vision Represented unto the Great Austin, as, The Tree of Life, in the midst of Paradise ▪ and I have now gathered a Deli­cate Fruit from this Glorious Tree, to partake whereof, I would this Day most affectionately Invite my own Generation; Eat, Friends, and Live; Eat, that your Souls may Live!

We have here one of the greatest Paragraphs in the BIBLE, Written to Celebrate the great­ness of all the rest. The Word of GOD mention'd in every Verse but Four or Five, [...]n this Longest, but Sweetest of the Psalms, is here justly magnify'd, for its manifold Excel­lency, and Efficacy. And in this verse the Sanctifying Vertue of that Word, even upon the Young, which are the most unsancti­fy'd part of Mankind, is particularly Speci­fy'd.

The Psalmist had been showing that the Word of God points out the way to Happi­ [...]ess; and it is here intimated, What way that [...]s, 'tis the Way of Holiness! and the Young Man is here called into that Blessed way.

The Psalm i [...] Composed in a singular man­ner Alphabetically; Wherein the Memories, and perhaps the Writing-books, of the Children a­mong the Ancient People of God, seem con­sulted: and a Text from such a Psalm then [...]ay be very prope [...] addressed unto a [Page 5] Young Auditory; as it this Day.

I Remember that the Wise man does in a certain place report unto us, How his Royal Father did use to Catechise him in his Youth; and his being so Catechised was that which more than a little contributed unto his beco­ming so wise a man, even while a young one. It is likely that we have here found one of those Admirable Echo's which then passed between those Illustrious Personages: I pray, Let all of that age attend unto it.

Our Text is a Demonstration of the Asser­tion, That the Word of God shows the way to our Happiness. 'Tis Demonstrated by this; That this Word Enjoyns and Effects our Ho­liness. And this is here proved, with an Ar­gument a Fortiori; ‘That which will be ser­viceable unto the Designs of Holiness in a Young man, will be so for any man; for No man is ordinarily more Unholy or more un­likely to be Holy, than the Young man: But the Word of God will do this; if such a wild, such a mad, such an unclean thing as a Young man, will Give Heed unto it, his clean­sed Heart and Life will have the Marks of a Glorious Holiness thereupon.’

In the Text we have two things.

First, We have a Question. That is, VVhere­with shall a Young Man cleanse his way? It is herein supposed, That the Wayes of Young [Page 6] People have much, yea, most of Sinfulness defi­ling of them. It is also supposed, That Young People should be sensible of their Defilement. It is further supposed, That the Defilement of Young People is Curable. But it is thereupon Enquired, What shall be done for the Redres­sing of our Disorders▪ and which demands for yet more of your Observation, it was pro­bably a Young man that here made this Enquiry

Secondly, We have an Answer to the Quest­ion. That is, By Taking heed thereto according to thy VVord. In this Answer, we see, First, a Medicine to be apply'd. That is, The VVord of God; whereby is meant, the Revelation which God has given of His Mind and Will unto us. We see, Next, the Manner of applying it. That is, By taking heed; which imports a se­rious Labour of Soul to Conform unto what­ever our God has therein required of us.

I confess, That I want a further Commentary upon this Text; but that is a Practical one; and I must come to YOU, my Young People, for it. It is to YOU, that I come this Day; and it is with this All concerning Doctrine that I come.

It is the High Interest, and it should be the Great Study of YOUNG People, to TAKE HEED, that Their WAY may be Cleansed, according to Gods WORD.

[Page 7]There are two Propositions which I must Entreat my Young Folks, to Consider in the Fear of God. Believe it, Sirs;

PROPOSITION I.

There is a woful Uncleanness with which the VVay of All People, and especially of young People, too often is contaminated. Our way is the course of our Actions; the course of our Thoughts, our Words, our Deeds. That this VVay in young People, should be unclean, is not so great a matter of Wonder, as it is of Sorrow; for the Heart of young People is Unclean. The youngest of us all, have cause to say, as in Psal. 51.2, 5. Oh cleanse me from my sin, for I was shapen in Iniquity. But we may rather ask, what is that Uncleanness, which usually cleaves to our way? Now, to that I Reply shortly, SIN is that Un­cleanness! The most vile Thing in the World, is not so odious unto Us, as all SIN is unto our God, who is Of Purer Eyes than to behold that Evil. Those Oracles of God, which never mis­call'd any thing, do still represent, every Trans­gression of His Law, as the vilest Filthiness. 'Tis possible, Young People, that when you do some Sinful Thing, they seem Comely or Plea­sant things unto you; But I pray, Remember, They are all the most Filthy Things imagina­ble. [Page 8] Rash Youths, you touch what is infinitely worse then the foulest Pitch, when you meddle with them. Now there is a double Unclean­ness whereto our Wayes are liable; there is the Sin of Uncleanness, and there is the Uncleanness of Sin.

First; Sometimes Uncleanness is taken in a stricter Sense, for the SIN OF UNCLEAN­NESS; and there are few Young People so strict in their Wayes, as to be altogether free from that Uncleanness. The Luxuriant Intem­perances, which Violate the Seventh Command­ment in the Decalogue, are distinguished by the Name of UNCLEANNESS, because of a singular Loathsomness in those Enormities. But it is a rare thing for Young People duely to Loath all those Impieties: Oh! how rare a thing is it for Young People, truly to say after the Blessed Ezekiel, Ah Lord▪ My Soul ha [...] not been p [...]lluted from my Youth up. 'Tis a common thing, for Young People to Debauch themselves in the Vomits, and Quag­miras, of the Uncleannest Wantonness. VVe read of Some, in Job 36.14. They Dy in Youth, and their Life is among the Unclean; and in­deed how Many are there that hasten upon themselves an Early Death, by wallowing in such Uncleanness until they Dy! The King of Israel saw once a wretched person Ensna­red in the Ruines of Uncleanness; but whom [Page 9] did he see? VVe are told in Prov. 7.7. I discerned among the Youths, a Young Man void of Understanding. Young People, have in them the most of Tinder for the Temptations of the Unclean Spirit; and oftentimes that Spirit is hideously and hellishly inflaming of them. Hence 'tis, that if Young People are kept from Further Pollutions, yet they frequently plunge themselves into most horrible Self-pollutions; 'tis by them, that these woful Chil­dren of Onan do Sacrifice the [...]lood of their Souls unto Baal-peor, unto Priapus, unto the Devil. Famous is the Story of the Young Nicaetas, who, being sollicited unto the Vio­lations of his Chastity, with Circumstances, which he feared he should not otherwis [...] withstand, he bit off a piece of his own Tongue, and Spit it in the Face of the Ha [...]lot; and by the pain of that VVound, in­creased the Indignation which he thus Ex­pressed on that occasion. But how seldom does the Resolution of Young People, against all Uncleanness, prove so obstinate? how sel­dom do they Look upon every Glance of Uncleanness, with Resentments like those of Joseph, How shall I do thts VVickedness, and Sin against God! But,

Secondly, Sometimes Uncleanness is taken in a larger sense, for the UNCLEANNESS OF SIN; and in that sense also the ways of Young [Page 10] people are liable to very much Uncleanness. There is an Uncleanness in all Iniquity; Original Sin is a deadly Leprosy, and all the out-break­ings of it are but so many Putrifying Sores. Now Young people, may upon this very account with peculiar Lamentations, lay their Hands upon their Lips, and cry out, Unclean! Un­clean! T'were an impertinency to quote Au­thority for it, That all men are sinners; but besides the Authority of Ambrose, that Vicina Lapsibus est Ad [...]l [...]scentia, we may bring an un­happy Experience for it, That Young people are most emi [...]ntly, and most viol [...]ntly sinners. And there are some Sins whereto the Young more than others are disposed. Such are the sins, where­of it was Cautioned, in 2 Tim. 2.22. Flee [...]uthful Lusts: The Sins whereof it was re­quested in Psal. 25.7. Remember not the sins of my youth: The sins whereof it was com­plained, in Job 13.26. Thou makest me possess the Iniquities of my youth. There are some special Puddles of Hell, wherein Ungodly young people are, as in their Element. The Sin of Inconsiderateness, or, putting far away the evil day; the Sin of Sensuality, or, Walking in the sight of the Eyes; the sin of Evil-Fellowship, or sitting with vain persons; the sin of Mispence [...]f time, or Forgetting the Latter End; and, the [...] Pride, or, the want of a sober mind; [...] as these are the sins, which young people [Page 11] are generally too prone unto; yea, when shall you find any of them, that can say, I have cleansed my heart from such Iniqui­ties!

But there is a way for it. For, I am now to tell you,

PROPOSITION II.

The WORD of GOD is of Glorious Use, to cleanse the way of all people, and even of Young people, from its Con [...]minations. Tis marvellous! What is the Word of God for? 'Tis answered, in Prov. 1.4. 'tis To give to the young man, knowledge and discretion; So, 'twill Give to the Young man Cleanness and Purity. But there are Three Things, after which we are to be Inquisitive.

I. What WORD of God, should Young people reg [...]rd, for the Cleansing of their way?

For Answ [...]; Let young people [...] no­thing less tha [...] the WHOLE WORD of GOD. There is no Word of God, whereof you may not say, Good is that word [...] the Lord! You are told, in 2 Tim. 3.16.17. All Scripture is profitable, for [...]struction in Righteousness; that the man of God ma [...] be perfect, throughly furnished un­to all good works. Truly so, The whole Word [Page 12] God, is profitable to make Young people Righteous; that the young man may be throughly purified, in all good ways. But more particularly, There is the Word Written, and you are to regard that Word. It is said in, 2 Peter 1.9. We have a more sure word of Prophecy, whereto ye do well, that ye take heed, as unto a Light that shineth in a dark place. You, Young people, are Young Sai­lors, thro' a Dark, Tempestuous, Dangerous World: You had need make the Written Word of GOD, the Pole-star, by which alone you may shape your Course; and therefore you had need, at least every Four and Twen­ty Hours, to take Observation by that Word. Again, there is the W [...]rd Preached, and you are also to regard that Word. It is said, in Jer. 3.15. I will give you Pastors according to mine Heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and with understanding. You that are Young People, are the Young Lambs of our Flocks; Where the Preached Word of GOD is to be Enjoy'd in those Assemblies are the Folds of Him [...] is the Great and the Good Shepherd of yo [...]r Souls; you should t [...]efore every Week, be there Folding in the Green Pastures, and by the Still W [...]rs, where you may hear the Voice of your Eternal [...]hepherd. But then,

[Page 13]II. What is that CLEANSING of the Way, which Young People may obtain from this Word of God?

For Answer; Young People, 'Tis the MEN­DING of your Way, that is to be the Clean­sing of your Way. The Purification of your Way, is to be by the Reformation of what is amiss in your way. The Cleansing of your way, has those two things belonging thereunto; in 2 Cor. 7.1. First, Let us cleanse our selves from all Filthiness of Flesh and Spi­rit; and Secondly, Let us perfect Holiness in the Fear of God. The Way of Young Peo­ple is Cleansed, Firstly, When they Repent what is Ill. It is prescribed, in Prov. 28.13 He that Confesseth and Forsaketh shall find Mer­cy. When you do with a bitter Sorrow of Soul, Acknowledge and Abandon all that is amiss in your Wayes, you then have that Mercy of Cleansed Wayes. But the Way of Young People is further Cleansed, when they Practise what is Good. It is Expressed, in Act. 24.16. I Exercise my self to have always a Conscience void of Offence towards God and to­wards Man. We have Cleansed Wayes, when we are Conscientious in all our Wayes; and when we have nothing Offensive, nothing Provoking, nothing Injurious in them. In short, Young People are to Forsake that Way, which the Preacher calls, The way of [Page 14] their own Heart; and they are to Follow that way which the Prophet calls, The good way, Leading unto Rest. It is by doing so, that our way, is cleansed before the Lord. But now,

III. Which way does the Word of God Ope­rate for this cleansing?

For Answer; Many ways. But, Thus especially.

First, The Word of God, is the GLASS, which gives Young People, to see the Uncleanness of their Wayes. It is said, in James 1.23. The Hearer of the Word, is like to a man, be­holding his Natural Face in a Glass. Young People do often visit the Glass; but, Look here, is a most Impartial and most Heavenly Glass for you; This Book is that Glass. If you will fairly set your selves before the Commandments in this Book; and Examine your selves upon every one of th [...]se Com­mandments, How far have I Omitted, what is in this Law required? Or, How far have I Committed what is in this Law forbidden? You'l then see the manifold Uncleanness of your Wayes, in order to the Removal of that Uncleanness.

Again, The Word of God is the RULE, which tells Young People, how to get off the Uncleanness of their Wayes. This is the Rule of proceeding, in that Business, in Isai. 1.16. Wash ye, Make you clean, put away the [Page 15] Evil of your Doings ▪ Young People have a Rule here, to show them what is Clean, and what is Unclean; and a Rule, how to Gain the former, how to Shun the latter. If you will Consult this Directory, and the L [...]mits, and the Touchstones, of Christianity, therein directed; you'l see the Remedies of Uncleanness, as well as the Opposites of Uncleanness, and get your Wayes Conformed accordingly.

Furthermore, The Word of God, is the SPUR, which moves Young People, to seek a Cure for the Unclearness of their Wayes. What Incentives unto Holiness, have we in the Word of our God? Lord, Thy Word is very Pure, and we would Love it, because it quickens us to be so! The Apostle says, in 2 Cor. 7.1. Dearly Beloved, Having these Promises, Let us Cleanse our selves. Thus, Let me say, Belov­ed Youths, In this Word, it is Promised, That if you'l be Pure in Heart, you shall See Good; it is Promised, That if you'l be Undefiled in way, you shall be Blessed; it is Prom [...]sed, Th [...]t if you'l have Clean Hands and a Pure Heart, you shall Receive the Blessing from the Lord, and Righteous­ness from the God of your Salvation. But more than so; In this Word it is also Threatned, That if you Obey Unrighteousness, there is a Terrible Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish, to be rendred unto Every Soul of you. Well then, How shall we do any other than [Page 16] Cleanse our Wayes, upon the awful Intimati­ons of such a Word!

Moreover, The Word of God is the VEHI­CLE of that Spirit, who Washes Young Peo­ple from the Uncleanness of their Wayes. How or whence is it, that we are any of us Clean­sed from our Sinfulness? It is answered, in 1 Cor. 6.11. Ye are Washed by the Spirit of our God. Now the Spirit of God applies Him­self to the Souls of Young People, in and by this Word of His; a Word given by the Inspi­ration of that Spirit. The Regenerating, the Sanctifying Spirit of God, Breathes in His Word; the Word of this Gospel, is the Dis­pensation, and the Ministration of the Spirit. Young People, you are in the way of the Spi­rit, when you are sitting under the Word of God: and that's the way for you, to obtain the Cleansing of your Way.

Finally, The Word of God Exhibits unto Young People, the MEANS whereby they may be Cleansed from the Uncleanness of their Wayes. What is the only Abstersive, where­by our Sinful Uncleanness may be taken a­way? We are answered in 1 Joh. 1.7. The Blood of Jesus Christ, cleanseth us f [...]om all Sin. Now that Invaluable and Efficacious Blood, which is the Blood of God, is tendered unto Young People in the VVord of God. This is the Golden Vessel, wherein there is brought unto you that Liquor of Everlasting Life. The [Page 17] Blood of our Saviour, is that Blood whereby we are Sanctify'd: Well, but when you have the Word of God Laid before you, you have a most Marvellous, and Gracious profer of this Inestimable Blood. The voice of this Word unto you is, Young People, Behold the Blood of a precious Redemer provided for you; Here, you may Enjoy the Benefits of that Glo­rious Blood; it is a Soul-cleansing Blood, an Heart softning Blood, a Mind-Healing Blood; Consent that it should be to you such a Blood, and you shall Enjoy the Benefits of that Blood. The Word of God will Cleanse your Wayes, when it procures your Consent unto the Cleansing Vertue of our Lords BLOOD upon your Souls. But of these things we may now pass unto some,

APPLICATION.

I confess, that the Hebrew word Nagnar signifying A Young Man, comes from a word that signifies, to cast off; and some give this Reason for it, because Young men are too rea­dy to cast off, all the wholsome instructions that can be given them. Young People, I pray GOD forbid, that you should this Day come under that unhappy Character! Do not cast off the instructions which are now to be ten­dred you; O do it not, lest you provoke the [Page 18] Great GOD thereby to Cast off your souls, and cast off your Prayers, and make doleful Cast-a-ways of you, throughout Eternal Ages. GOD will deal with your souls, and prayers, just as you deal with His Words; Wherefore, in the Language of Jotham, I Address you; Young people, Hearken to me, that GOD may hearken to you another Day!

And now first, there is to be laid before you;

One Praeliminary Lesson.

And that is this; 'Tis possible for YOUNG People, to be GOOD People. Even a Young man may cleanse his way, if he will will take heed, according to the Word of GOD; and there are some Young men, who do take heed accor­dingly. Indeed, Our whole Hundred & Nine­teenth Psalm here, is the Language of a New Creature; and yet it is commonly conceived that a Young person was the Writer of it; e­ven that very David, who elsewhere could say, as in Psal. 71.5. Thou art my Hope, O Lord God, Thou art my trust from my Youth. 'Tis to be confessed, and as much to be bewailed, that many, yea, that most, Young people, are strangers to real Godliness. The Greeks use the same Name for, A child, and A fool; truly, 'tis not only a rare thing to see a child, that is not morally a fo [...]l; but the sinful folly of the young usually stick [...] by them, and cleaves [Page 19] to them, till they are Old in sin. As there was one possessed by a Divel, concerning whom in Mark 9.21 Jesus asked his father, how long is it ago, since this came unto him? and he said, of a child. So, there are multitudes of Young people possessed with a Vice; about whom, if it may be asked, How long is it ago since they were under the power of this? it must be answer­ed, Of a child! Oh! how many Children are there, Led captive by Satan at his will! Never­theless, there are some young people, that come under a more laudable Character; we may speak of them, Those better things which accom­pany Salvation. There is an execrable proverb A young Saint, and an old Divel; but Erasmus well saies, That the Divel invented that Proverb, I am sure the Proverb, is none of Solomons, who saies, in Pro. 22.6. Train up a Child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. There have been Young Hypocrites, that have made Old Devils; there have been young Sinners, that have made Old Divels; but Young Saints will make Old An­gels; and, blessed be God, there are such Young Saints in the World. There are young Jo­ [...]phs, who, tho' they want not for courage, yet they durst not sin against God. There are Young Moses's, who prefer Affliction with the People of God, before the Momentany pleasures of sin. There are Young Samuels, who wait [Page 20] upon God in his House for his Word, while their Childhood is yet scarce expired. There are Young Solomons, who Choose Wisdom in the Fear of God, before all the Riches, the Honours, the Delights of this Life. There are Young Abijahs, who even in their Infancy have many Good Frames towards the Lord God of Israel. There are Young Obadiah's, who not only Fear the Lord greatly, but also do it, From their Youth. There are Young Josiah's, who while they are yet young, do seek after GOD. There are Young Jeremiah's, who are Sancti­fy'd unto the Service of God, and Replenished with the Spirit of God, even in their Tender Years. There are Young Daniels, who will by no means be perswaded unto any thing, whereby they may be polluted. There are Young Baptists, full of the Holy Ghost, even while they are yet in their School-Boyes Cloaths. There are Young Johns, who over­flow with the Love of God, and are Beloved Disciples And there are Young Timothies, who by the Knowl [...]ge of the Scriptures, are Betimes Made wise unto Salvation. Young People, To bespeak, and procure your becoming such Young People, is my Errand unto You th [...] Day. And now, having thus taken it for granted, That you may become such, that which Remains is, a fervent,

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EXHORTATION,

Recommending of RELIGION unto the Rising Generation. Religion, (if you derive it, a Re- [...]l [...]gendo) is but a Choosing over again. When it is said, in Eccl. 12.1. Remember thy Creator in the Days of thy Youth, in the Original there is that Emphasis, Do it in the Dayes of thy Choice. Truly Sirs, The Dayes of your Youth, are the Days of your Choice; and in these Days you make that Choice, whereon de­pends your Everlasting Blessedness or Misery. During all the doleful Days of your Unregene­racy hitherto, you had made a Bad Choice: You have not Chosen, like Young Moses, the Condition of the People of God: You have not Chosen, like Young Mary, the Good part that cannot be taken away: You have Chosen like them that have Loved Death, by your Choosing to Wrong your own Souls, in Sinning against the Lord Jesus Christ. But, Oh! that you would by Religion immediately mend your Choice; and make such a Choice, as you may Joyfully stand by, throughout Eternal Ages! Choose God for your Portion, Choose Christ for your Saviour, Chose Heaven for your Inhe­ritance; and therefore Choose Religion for the whole Conduct of your Li [...]es. There ate some have made, not Reason, but Religion ▪ the [Page 22] Essential Difference between a Man and Beast. This I am sure of, There is all the Reason in the world, that as soon as ever you are come to the use of Reason, you should Employ it in the Ex­ercises of Religion; and until you come to This, You are even, worse then the Beasts that Perish.

Now the Religion, to be recommended unto the choice of our young people, is, you see, under a Three-fold Notion to be set before them; a Good WAY, a Good WORD, and a Goo [...] HEED: wherefore, Come, ye Children, heark [...]n unto me, and I will teach you the Fear of the Lord.

I. A GOOD WAY, is the first thing, that our Young People, must have Recom­mended unto them. See to it, Young People, that your Way be Rectify'd, and by being Re­ctify'd, be Purify'd, according to the Orders of your God. Young men, you Stand, as the Poets report of young Hercules, after a sort, In Bivio, having the prospect of Two Wayes before you; there is a Vertuous VVay on the Right-Hand, and a Vicious VVay on the Left-Hand; whereto you are sollicited. O take the Better of these VVayes; whereof in­deed there is but One Good; and Know, that your Standing at the Right-Hand or the Left-Hand of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Dreadful Day of His Appearing depends on [Page 23] your taking of this VVay. But, VVhat VVay? O let it not be said of you, The Way of peace they have not known, and, They have Set themselves in a Way that is not good. But let your Way be, The Narrow Way, that Leadeth unto Life. Let not your way be that which is called in Eph. 2.2, 3. A Walk, according to the course of this World, [...]cording to the Prince of the Power of the Air, and in the Lusts of the Flesh. O may the good God keep you out of the way, to which the World, the Devil, and the Flesh invite you▪ Let not your way be, The way which wicked men have trodden: but, instead of that, let your way be that which is called in Prov. 2.20. The way of Good men. O that this might once be the way of Young men.

There is the Way of Repenting; let that be yours; and be you continually crying to GOD for power against your sins, as well as for the pardon of them all.

There is the Way of Believing; let that be yours; and be you continually Looking unto the Lord Jesus Christ, for the supply of your Souls with all Grace from his All-sufficient Fulness.

The way of the New-Covenant, and of Re­signing yourselves up unto the Most High, to be, for Him, and not for another, according unto that Covenant ▪ let this be your way: that so when you come to the End of your way, [Page 24] you may joyfuully hear the GOD of Heaven saying, as in, Ezek. 16.60. I will remember my Covenant with thee, in the days of thy youth. This is the Good old way to Everlasting Rest: Young man, take this old way; never balk any part or step of this way; take, and keep, and hold, and never be guil [...]y of such great folly, as to leave, this way of understanding. But then,

II. A GOOD WORD, is the ne [...]r thing that our Young People must have Recom­mended unto them. See to it, Young People, that you Study the Word of God; and, Search the Scriptures, like busy Miners, pursuing the inestimable Treasures in them. Let none of us despise or neglect our Larger Bible, when David that had but a little Moyety of the Bible, cry'd out, O 'tis more desirable than much fine Gold, and sweeter than the Honey comb. Give a due entertainment unto this invalua­ble Word of God. But how? I say, Entertain the Word of God Awfully. So did they in 1 Thess. 2.13. Ye received it, not as the Word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, Realize the voice of the Omnipotent God, in every line of this Word. Suppose that the Great God should with Rapid Peals of Thunder in the Sky over your Heads, articulately say, Young man, I have given thee thy Life, now give me thy Heart, and seek thou my face, that thy Soul may Live ▪ Would it nothing affect you? Why [Page 25] you may truly suppose, That the terrible Voice of God, as distinctly thus calls upon you in the Thunder Claps of his Word. Suppose it, and say, Lord, my heart stands in Aw of this Word! Again, Entertain the Word of God Frequently. This was enjoined, in Deut 6.7. Thou shalt talk thereof, when thou sittest in thine House, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. This Word falls like the Manna about you every day; and you should every day gather a Portion of this Manna. Ordinarily count the Day lost, or that you have had▪ but a Dark and a Black day of it, wherein you have not had something of this Word laid before you; let this Word be the Young mans, as 'tis the Good mans, assiduous Meditation! Once more, Enter [...]ain the Word of GOD Profitably. Let the Word be mixed with such things in you, as m [...]y conduce to your pro­fiting by this Word: and especially, let un­ceasing Prayer, accompany it. What said the Psalmist? in Psal. 27.8. When thou saidst, seek ye my Face, my heart answered, thy Face, Lord, I will seek. Even so, when God speaks to us, let us then seek to him. I have known a very Young person, who in hearing a Sermon sometimes, has not permitted one Text, or one Head, in all the Sermon pass him, without a pertinent Ejaculation thereupon. Thus, When [Page 26] we hear a Sin rebuked in the Word of God, follow it wi [...]h a Prayer, Lord, save me from that sin. When we hear a Grace proposed in the Word of God, follow it with a pray­er, Lord, fill me with that Grace. When any thing is Promised in that Word, Pray, and Wish, Lord, let this be my Heritage, and the rejoycing of my heart. And when any thing Threatned, then Wish, Lord, let not those Judg­ments come upon me. There was one of but Fight years old, that could say all the New-Testament by Heart: but it may be that thy Leaky Heart, like a Sieve, do's let slip the Word of God, which is poured thereinto; nevertheless, if the Word passing thro' thy Heart, excite such Prayers and Wishes, in it, a marvellous Purificati [...]n of S [...]ul, will be there­by Attained. And then,

III. A GOOD HEED is therefore, Last­ly, to be Urged upon the Young People before the Lord this Day. You are to Take Heed; and you shall be told, Of What?

First, Young People, TAKE HEED, Lest by Forgetting of your SOULS you Starve them, you Slay them, you Ruine them. The Youngest of you all, have a Precious, and an Immortal Soul within you; a Soul, by its Fall from God, plunged into such an Universal Wretchedness, as would amaze you, [Page 27] if one part of it, were not your being Star's Dead in it; a Soul, that cannot be Saved from that Wretchedness, by a Less Ransome than the Blood and Life of God Himself; a Soul, which is to Stand like a Rock in the Sea of an Eternity, either Comfortable, or Misera­ble, according to your Youthful Preparations for that Eternity. But, oh! what have you hitherto done, for the Welfare of this Ne­ver-Dying Soul? I say, Take Heed, Lest you fall into that most woful Disaster, in Math. 16.26. VVhat is a man profited, if he Gain the whole VVorld, and L [...]se [...] his own Soul? I hope, You Study to get into some honest Way of Living; You Labour to get Afore-hand in the World; You Desire to be Setled in a Family, with all the Conveniencies of a Credible Fami­ly about you; and you, Do well. But, O Take Heed, that all this while, you don't Neglect your Invaluable SOULS, and that Great Salva­tion, which is altogether necessary for your Souls. 'Tis reported, That when Herod Butch­ered a Son of his own, among the Children which he Murdered at Bethlehem, the Roman Emperour said upon it, It were better to be He­rods Swine, than Herods Son. Truly so, It may be said of many a Young Man, That Young man will do more for his Carcase, yea, he will do more for his Horse, or for his Dog, than he will do for his own Soul. But, [Page 28] in the Name of God; Is this to Act Reasona­bly? Take Heed, I say, Take Heed, Lest that SOUL of yours, have cause to complain, A Goodly Price am I Valued at of them! You set such a Price upon a Body, which the Worms are a few Dayes hence to Feed upon, that you have spent many a weary Year, for the Feed­ing, the Cloathing, the Pleasing of it. But in the mean time, will you Begrutch a Serious Hour, to be now and then Laid out in Work­ing out the Salvation of a SOUL, that shall En­dure, till the very Heavens be no more? A Goodly Price, Young People, A Goodly Price, for such a Soul! Oh! Methinks I over-hear that poor SOUL, making this Loud Cry, in its Owners Ears; Have Pitty on me, Wretch, Have pitty on me! Art thou careful of every thing else, but of MEE? O Do some­thing to Rescue me out of the Terrible Damnation whereinto thy Wickedness has H [...]l [...]d me; Do something that I mayn't be Left without God, without Christ, without Hope, as I have been hitherto I again say, Take Heed, Lest a Slight­ed SOUL, become an Eternal Cast-away!

Secondly, TAKE HEED, Lest your Com­pany prove your Confusion. [...]rigidus (O Juve­nes fugite hinc) Latet Anguis in Herba. Oh! That our Young People, who are generally by Nature Sociable, would be sensible of the Concernment that Lies upon them, to be [Page 29] wonderfully careful concerning their Society! I am to tell you, That your Society, will be perhaps the first Mark of your Conversion un­to God. You will no sooner begin to be in Earnest about your Everlasting Interests, but it will be seen, by your Abandoning that Wild, Mad, Frolicksome Company, which has it may be heretofore Enchanted you. But I am also to tell you, That your Society is like to be the worst [...]ane of your Conversion. What is it that [...]inders you from that Sober, Serious, Thinking Disposition of Spirit, which might probably bring matters to that pass with you, He Thinks and he Turns! It is the Entangle­ment of Evil Company, that keeps the most of you, in the Snares of Death. I say then, Take Heed, Young Man, Take Heed, Lest you go to Hell with and for your Company; such Company, as I assure you, will but Enflame that HELL, till it be Seventimes Hotter, than it Would have been without such woful Company! Hear, that Loud Call of Heaven De­part from the Tents of these wicked ones, Lest you perish in all their sins. How often have you been Warned, That your Society is for your Eternity! Say then; Would you be willing, throughout the Days of Eternity to be Lodg'd among these Lewd Youths, Who never had one Savoury Word in their mouths, Who Scoff at all that has any Savour of Devotion, Who do [Page 30] all they can to decoy one another into the Courses of Gaming, Drinking, and Abomi­nable Filthiness? Doubtless, 'Twill be your most Lively Cry to God in a Dying Hour; Lord, Gather not my Soul with such Sinners! And, I believe, if some of those wicked Companions, might come into your Cham­bers, when you are Lying on your Death-beds, the sight of them would smite your Souls with more Horror, than if all the Ugly Toads of Egypt were Crawling then about you. How often have I heard the Doleful Groans of Young People, when the Dimness of the Anguish of Death has been upon them, and when their quivering Souls have set upon the [...] Pale and Cold Lips, ready to be Gone for ever, alas, they knew not, Whither! then Crying out, O my vain Company, it has undone me! my Sitting with vain persons, has been the Damnation of my Soul! But, Young Man, Why do you not withdraw your self presently then from such Loathsome Sinners? VVe find, that when our Lord was going to be Crucify'd, in Mark 14. 51, 52. There followed Him a certain Young Man, and the Young Men Laid hold on him; and he Fled from them Naked. Young People, If you are Following the Lord Jesus Christ, in the practices of Christianity, there are other Young Ones, that will go to Lay hold on you, [Page 31] and oblige you to Accompany them in offer­ing all manner of Indignities unto the Lord Jesus Christ; Yea, those Impieties, wich do Crucify the Son of God afresh: But, Fly from them; Fly, whatever it cost you. Instead of Them, why should you not Associate your selves, with such Young People, as have their Pious meetings, every Week, to seek the Face, and Sing the Praise, and Repeat the word, of God, and [...] one another? Blessed be God, that we have so many such meetings among us! Tis an Ex­treme Sleepiness in our Churches abroad in the Country, that they no more Consult their own Hopeful Growth, by encouraging their Young People, to such Preparations for further Com­munion among the People of God. Such Pray­ing meetings of Young People, I am sure, will tu [...]n to better Account, than those Husking meetings, whereat so many of our young Peo­ple in the Country do debauch themselves; better I say, than those whereat the Young People, instead of answering the demands of God for Green Ears of Corn to be brought him in our Ear [...]y Piety, do make the pulling of Ripe Ears of Corn, an occasion of all the Lewdnesses in th [...] World. But oh! Let none of our Young Folks, ever disregard that Oracle of Wisdom, He that walketh with the Wise shall be wise, but a Companion of Fools shall be de­stroyed.

[Page 32]Thirdly, TAKE HEED, Lest your Delay­ing prove your Damnation. There is nothing more frequently or more dreadfully Threat­ens the Destruction of Young People, than their Delay of their Duty. They will not positively say, We will n [...]t hearken to the Word of God, but they say, We will hereafter Hear­ken: Like unhappy [...] in Act. 24.25. they [...] of, A more convenient Season. [...]ut VVhen? I beseech you, Vain Youths, when will that More Convenient Season, come? O do not say like them of old, in Hag. 1.2. The TIME is not yet Come. Take Heed, Lest by a by a Dre [...]m of, Hereafter, you utterly Lose the opportunity of making your Peace with God, and throw your selves beyond the reach of Mercy. Let This awaken you, That if you are not now in your Youth brought home unto God, it is probable that you never will be so at all: for the most of Them that are brought Home unto God, are so before their Youth is altogether out. But let me more particularly Admonish you, That you will Forfeit your Whole Opportunity, of Getting into the Lord Jesus Christ, if you Neglect the taking of your Present Opportunity after plain Warnings that have advised you to take it; if after you have been most fai [...]ly and fully Forewarned of the Danger in Delayes, you will still Delay to Turn unto God, upon a presumption of your having [Page 33] Time and Strength to Turn at your own Dis­pose, 'tis to be Look'd for, that the Righteous God will in His Wrath Swear against you, That you shall never Know the Things of your Peace; that you shall never be Purged from your Filthiness; that you shall never Enter into His Rest You have been told, Youth is Vanity; and its passing so soon, so fast away▪ is one thing that makes it Vanity. But, O Take Heed, Lest by Sweeling away your Youth in the Vanities of this World▪ you so offend the Spirit of Grace, that He Leave you in a Graceless Condition all your Dayes. If you Grieve that Spirit, you do but throw your selves into Interminable Griefs; If you Vex that Spirit, you do but procure▪ Everlasting Ve [...]at [...]ons for your selves; If you Quench that Spirit, you will but throw your selves into the Fire, that never shall be Quenched. All this you do, by▪ Delaying to do what is inc [...]mbent on you, in order to the Good Settlement of your Eternal Concerns. Wherefore, Take Heed of this Folly; and be able to say, Lord, I made Hast, and I did not Delay to keep thy Commandments!

THIS is that RELIGION, which we have Recommended unto the Rising Generation; and now we must bring this matter to some issue, before we part. Say, my Young People, will you now Comply, or will you still Delay?

If you would now COMPLY, and with Conquered Souls Reply, The Lord shall be my [Page 34] Father, and the Guide of my Youth; my Saviour, and the Love, the Hope, the Joy of my Soul! Then we would leave Preaching to you; we would fall to Praising of God for you. Yea, there is a very Charming thing that I am now to utter; I am now demanding the Consent of your Souls, unto the Blessed Proposals of RELIGION; and the Angels of God, with the God of Angels, are this Afternoon obser­ving whether you give an Hearty Consent un­to those Proposals. If you do it, the Glad Report of the Change now wrought upon you, will immediately be Spread through the Heavenly Regions, and the Caelestial CITY of GOD, will be All Joyfully Moved at the Report. All HEAVEN will quickly Ring with it, That such a Young Person is received into the Favo [...]r of the Eternal King, and into an Union with the Lord of Glory! And all the Three Persons of the Undivided and Ado­rable TRINITY, With the Myriads of Bright Spirits, that are about his Throne, will Re­joice over the Poor Youth, which was Lost, but is Found, which was Dead, but is Alive. Hard-Hearted Youth, how canst thou Resist a Charm so very powerful! Do not envy un­to Heaven, the Satisfaction of seeing the Youngest Creature here made an Happy Crea­ture! Do not hinder the Lord of Heaven from laying of thee, in that Bosome, where [Page 35] there once lay the Youngest of his Disciples! If when Jesus beheld a Civil, Moral, Well Dis­posed Young Man, He loved him, what will He do, think you, when he beholds, a Tru­ly Religious Young man? O be perswaded now to make Joy in Heaven this Afternooon, lest God Almighty Smite thee with Never-ending Sorrow in Hell another Day, for thy being such a Child of Unperswadeableness!

But it is to be feared, that there are Ob­stinate Souls, who will still DELAY, to Cleanse their ways, by taking heed, according to the Word of God: and as for these, there are some further pains to be taken for the Re­claiming of them.

As for You that are OLD PEOPLE, God forbid, that you should procastinate in Religion, whoever others do so procrastinate. You that are most unquestionably very near to your Everlasting Estate, had need get quickly be­yond Peradventures about that Estate; and make sure, that your Future [and yet so Nigh, that it is hardly to be called Future!] Estate, may be, That which remains for the Peo­ple of God. I say, Father, make hast; and tho' with One Foot in the Grave, yet Run, to and in, the Way of Gods Commandments. Art thou, A Sinner half an hundred Years Old! Oh, Tar­ry not One hour longer so much under the [Page 36] Formidable Curse of God, but give thy self up to God in Christ. This hour with hearty Lamentations over all the former Errors of thy Life. It has been sometim [...]s enquired, Quis Miserrimus! Or, who is the miserablest man in the World! And it has been Answered, Senex Egenus, or, A Needy Old Man. But I'l tel you who is a far more miserable man; A Godless Old man, a Christl [...]ss Old man, an Old man unacquainted with the comforts of true Religion. I [...] there be One such Old man within Hea [...]ing here, I would say This to him; Friend, It is not yet altogether Too Late for you to embrace the Tenders of the New Testament. Altho' that Old Age has Ploughed its Furrowes in your Faces, it is not yet al [...]ogether Too Late for you to be Ploughing up the Fallow ground of your Hearts, by true Repentance.

But yet I must say This also; That it will quickly be Too Late. Wherefore, make Hast, Old man, make Hast, in thy Cleansing of thy ways. We read, in Luc. 4.40. when the Sun was S [...]tting, all they that had any sick with diverse Diseases, brought them unto Jesus Christ; and He Laid His Hands on every one of them, and Healed them. Truly, Tho' thou a [...]t just come To thy Sun-Set, yet thou mayst be welcome unto the Lord Jesus Christ, with all thy Spiritual m [...]ladies; Repair to him, as the Prophet, the Priest, the King, of thy Soul; [Page 37] and that Sun of Righteousness will yet arise unto thee, with Healing in His wings. But if thou stay till it be Past thy Sun-set, there will then be no Remedy nor Escaping for thee; thou wilt then unavoidably Perish in Outer Darkness for evermore.

But with you, that are YOUNG PEOPLE, it is, that I am this Day concerned; I may not allow my Self to wear the Character of the Idol-shepherd, in zech. 1.11 16. He shall not seek the young one: but I pray, let a young man say as one of the Ancients, in many Sermons would, Ad vos mihi sermo O Juvenes! or, Tis to you, Young Foles, that my Sermon is now directed. As we read, Of a Young man, a Prophet, who in 2 King. 9.5. said, I have an Errand unto thee: And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, unto thee O Captain. So i [...] it be asked, unto whom I have an Errand from the Great God this Day, I must say, 'Tis to thee, O Young man! And my Business with you is, to Con­vince you, That you ought Immediately to set upon the practice of that Religion, wherein You shall Cleanse your VVayes, by Taking Heed ac­cording to the VVord of God. Wherefore, Come, [...]oung men, Let us Reason together; Hear my De­mands, in the Name of the God that made you.

Quest. I. Are not Gods COMMAND­MENTS, Gods Promises, Gods Threatnings, [Page 38] particularly directed unto YOU, Young People, to Engage YOU in Gods Religion? We read in 2 Joh. 4. of, Children walking in Truth, as we have Received a Commandment from the Father. God our Father has given a Commandment unto Us, Young Folks, to approve our selves [...]is Children, by Walk [...]ng in Truth, or, as His Truth directs. 'Tis the Commandment of God, Cast away from you all your Transgressions; but is it any where said, Let none but Old People Cease Transgressing? 'Tis the Commandment of God, Let the VVicked forsake his way, Returning to the Lord; but was it ever said, Let none but Old People Return from Wickedness? Never did you yet find any such Clause in all the Edicts of Heaven; but the Thing intended by the God of Heaven is, Let all people do so! So then, you Young People, are to do it. It is the Commandment of God, That All men should Re­pent; and it is His Commandment, That We should all Believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ. And what? Have you not so much Grammar in you, as to know, that the Imperative Mood has no Future Tense? It is not for the Time Future, but the Time Present, that you are thus Commanded.

Briefly, There is a Debt of Obedience, whic [...] You, Young Folks, Owe to the Almighty God. Well, suppose No Day had been Expressed in the Bill for this Debt. Why, Then Present [Page 39] Payment is to be Demanded. And now, as an Off [...]cer, of the Great God, this Day I make this Demand. Souls, You Owe to the Glorious God, all the Glory that by Loving Him, Seeking Him, Serving Him, and Giving your whole Selves unto Him, you can render Him. Don't put me to prove the Debt; You dare not but Own it all. I say then, Pay it out of hand, Pay it without any more ado; Let your God Now, presently have those Good Things which he Requires of you. But now I do again Think of it, There is a Day Ex­pressed, for your Obedience unto God; and I am to tell you, my Young Folks, that it is, THIS VERY DAY. As David said Long ago, To Day, O that you would hear the Voice of God! And Paul said again Long after him, To Day, O that you would hear the Voice of God! Thus, In Every Age, The same Thing still is to be said; and it is to be said also To every Age; What is to be done in Obe­dience unto the Voice of God, must be done, TO DAY. And therefore you have so many a, NOW, in the Commandments of God. His Voice is, in Jer. 25.23. Turn ye [...]OW every one from his Evil Way. Hs Voice is in Josh. 24.14. NOW Fear the Lord, and and Serve Him in Sincerity 'Tis His Voice, in 2 Cor. 6.2. Behold, NOW it the Accepted Time; Behold, NOW is the Day [Page 40] of Salvation. Agreeably whereunto, is the Speech of the Jewish Rabbins, Gnabar Zeman, Gnabar Corb [...]n; the offering is past, if the season be past, Well, But who is to Regard this NOW? Are they none but Old People, that should NOW be concerned about the Welfare of their Souls? Nay, Let Young People Hear; 'Tis Expressed, in Eccl. 12.1. Remember NOW thy Cre [...]t [...]r in the Dayes of thy Youth. And a­gree [...]ble hereunto, are those Calls in Psal. 148. 12, 13 Both Young men and Maidens, Old men and Children; Let them Praise the Name of the Lord. Plainly then, There is not so much as one Reasoning [...]abe among you to be Excu­sed from the Work of Praising the Lord; How? But by a Well-Ordered Conversation. Tho' our God Loves not that any should be Babes in Rel [...]gion, yet He Loves well to have Religion in Babes. In fine, The King of Hea­ven will have Young men, to stand before Him, and I am to do the part of a Press Master, for that Great King this Day. Young People, You are to List your selves under the Banners of the Lord Jesus Christ; and being so Listed, you are to Fight the Good Fight, by a perpetual Reli­gion, Opposing all the Enemies of His Kin [...] ­dom. THIS is the Service, whereto I do [...] Press you this Day in the Name of the Eternal MAJESTY. Shall I show you the Glorious Pay, that you are to Receive, if you Obey? [Page 41] 'Tis Contained in the Promises of God. Read that Promise, in Prov. 8.17. They that Seek Me Early sh [...]ll find Me; and say, what think you a­bout Finding the Lord Jesus Christ, That Pearl of Great Price. 'Tis here promised under the Hand and Seal of Heaven, That if Young peo­ple will come to Walk uprightly, they shall have Grace and Glory, and no Good Thing shall be Withheld from them. Young people, What are you for? Are you for Pl [...]asures? Become Ver­tuous, and you have a Promise of Pleasures at Gods Right-Hand for ever more. Are you for Profits? Become Ver [...]uous, and you have a Promise of Durable Riches with Righte [...]usness. Are you for Honours? Espouse vertue, and you have a Promise of a Crown, a Throne, an Eternal Kingdom. Well, but on the other side, I am also to set before you the Death, which is to be inflicted on you, if you Refuse. 'Tis Described in the Threatnings of God. Read that Threat­ning in Isa. 9.17. The Lord shall have no Joy in their Young men, for every one is an Evil Doer; and then Think, What will come upon you, if you continue in your Evil Doings. 'Tis Threatned, That if Young people, as well as others, [...] Sin against God, their Souls are to Dy for their Sins: Oh! but, The Death of a Soul, What a Formidable Thing is That! It is the Threatning of Heaven, That the Wicked shall be Turned into Hell, and all the Nations that Forget [Page 42] God. But what? Are there no Wicked Ones, but such as have Gray Hairs upon them, that fall within the reach of this Commination? Yea, There are Small Chips as well as Great Logs, Burning in the Fire of Hell. It is the Threatning of Heaven, That the Wrath of God shall be Revealed from Heaven, against all Ungod­liness, and Unrighteousness of men. But What? Shall only Aged men, if they be Ungodly and Unrighteous, fall under the Wrath of God? Nay, the Least of you all, do Ly open to, not the Least of that Wrath. Oh! Lay the Threat­ning of the Almighty, before your Eyes; and, I pray, Don't count the Darts of God, but Stubble, don't Laugh at the Shaking of His dreadful Spear. What shall I say more? David when there was a Great Work to be done for God, by his Young Son, thought it no Excuse for him to say, My Son is Young and Tender. Thus, Be any of you never so Young and Tender, yet I am to tell you, that you have a Great Work, for God, for Christ, for your own Souls, and for the Temple, incumbent on you; Oh! Be up, and be Doing, My Son, and the Lord be with thee. Don't slight the Commands of that God, at whose Voice, the Pillars of Heaven Tremble and who can with hot Thunder Bolts Reveng [...] thy Disobedience!

Quest. II. Can you not see that NECES­SITY in Religion, which may fully and [Page 43] fairly take off eve [...]y▪ Objection against it? There are I know not what, Objections, which Young People often have, against the Fear of God. But how easily answered! Sometimes 'tis objected, If we be Religious we shall be deri­ded. But, by whom, I pray? Derided by none but a Crue of silly Fool, whose Praise, I hope, do's not Co [...]ntervail with you, the Praise of God! By none but Wretches Act­ed so much by the Devil, that it is an Honour to be Reproached among them; I am sure, that the Apostles of Our Lo [...]d, once Reckoned so. As for all such as a [...]e not in Madness, gone to the farthest Elevation; they do all Esteem you the Better, for those things, for which these Bats de [...]i [...]e you. As the King of Israel upon the Atchivements of Young David, asked, Whose Son i [...] this Youth? So will every true Israelite, with great respect, be saying of you, What a Worthy Youth is this? And is it not better to have it said, There goes a Godly, Honest, Useful Young Man, than to have it said, There goes a Young Bully, as full of the Devil as ever he can hold? Ay, and I say this further; Let those People Scoff: but, Let him Laugh, that Wins. They Now [...]idicule you, for your Conscientiousness; they Mock at your Sabbaths, your Meetings, your Cautions. Well, Wretches, Mock on! But see you not, Their Day a Coming? I assure you, [Page 44] The Day is just at Hand, when these Mock­ers will be Trembling under the Last Arrest of Death upon them; and, Then! When they see GOD Frowning on them, Hell Gaping for them, and a Legion of Devils just going to Drag them away into their E­ternal Prison; How Then! Why, Then, will these Woful Creatures Gnash th [...]ir Dying Teeth, with Changing Wishes, Ō that I had Lived like those Young People, which I once Fl [...]uted at! Ō that I had been one among those Young People, which I spent my scoffs upon! Ō if I might now go back from the Pit, I would make those Young Men see that I Honour them, and that I Despise, all that are not like to those. This as to That.

Again, 'Tis Objected sometimes. 'Tis very Difficult for to be Religious— 'Tis True; But will not the Wages abundantly make amends for all the Difficulty? You Run, but it is for a Prize; You Fight, but it is for a Crown; You are to Work hard; yea, but it is your Salvation, which you are all this while working out. Besides, we say, To the w [...]lling all things are Easy. Make a Tryal! And Let Me Undergo all your Indignation, if upon the Trial, you don't find your Devotions more facil and more pleasant Things, than those Drudgeries of the Devil, whereby you are dai­ly Damning of your own Souls. Young People, [Page 45] 'Tis a most lamentable Paradox; That many of you are at more pains to procure for your Souls a Lodging among the Dragons, of the Pit below, than you are to make sure of your E­verlasting Weal; Yea, That half the pains which many of you take in the Debauching and the Destroying of your Souls, better placed, were enough to [...]ay Hold on Eternal Life. It is said of some, They Weary themselves to commit Ini­quity. Even so, Deal Honestly, Young Man, and say; Have you not been more VVeary in many of your VVandrings from God, than ever God required you to be in the severest Mortifi­cations of Holy Living? Let our Young people then say no more of That!

But in Fine; Let the Objection against Religion be what it will, there is This one thing to extinguish it; and that is, that this is▪ as Our Lord Speaks in Luc. 10 42. The One thing Needful. As Paul said about the Preaching of Religion, So let me say, about the practice of it, Necessity is laid upon you, and wo unto you, if you do it not. We say, De Necessaris non est deliber­andum; when a thing must be done, there is no room for Deliberation whether it shall be done. Come then, my Young people; I must allow you no Longer Time to Delibe­rate upon this Point, whether you shall en­tertain the Fear of God, or no; for you must, I again say, you must; and I am ashamed [Page 46] that you should put me upon using the least Argument about it. Hear the Dilemma; ' [...]is that, in, Ezek: 18.30.31. Turn, and so Iniquity shall not be your Ruine; make you a New Heart, and a New Spirit; for why will you Dy. Is this then, a matter of Disputation with you, whether you should Court your own Death and Ruin! Fearful Infatuation! Suppose a Law suit Commenced against thine Estate, wherein the Plantiff will certainly be too hard for thee; Wouldest thou not, Agree quickly with thine Adversary! Young man, Thy Title to Heaven Li [...]s obnoxious; there must be something done Quickly for the settling of it. Suppose a Dangerous Wound made upon thy thy Body, wouldest thou let it alone, till an Irretriveable Gangrene should overspread it! Why, thy Soul, That has bloody Wounds, and Brvises, and Ulcers upon it; it is Non-sence to Dispute, Shall I seek a Cure of these wounds? it must be done immediatly, suppose thy House were on Fire over thy Head, wouldest thou securely drowle and say, When I have taken t'other Nap, I'l see to the putting of it out! Why, thy Soul is in a plight, which has the Fires, of the Divine Displeasure Enkindled thereupon tis Phrenzy to Dispute whether they should be stopt or no; care must be taken immedi­ately to prevent the proceeding of those [...]i [...]e­ful [...]lames. Methinks, The very Instinct of [Page 47] Nature puts more sense into the very Brute Creatures, than there is in our Young People who dare continue in a state of Nature There are of them that will Shoot into their Burrows upon the First Sight of the Dog. Young man, the Bandogs of Hell are sensibly pu [...]suing of thee; and wilt thou not immediately then [...]ly into the Rock that is Higher than thee? There are of them, that will upon the first Approach, or even the Shadow of the Kite, get under the Wings of their Dam. Young man, the Har­pies of Hell are [...]luttering about thee; and wilt thou not Immediately now Fly to the Re­deemer that would fain gather thee, as an Hen does her Chickens under her Wings? Briefly, Whatever the Devil has to Object against Re­ligion, you may stop the Mouth of that Foul [...]iend, with telling what is Written. Say, 'Tis Written, in Heb. 12.14. Follow Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Say, 'Tis writ­ten, in Joh. 3.3. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. And this is Written for Young People, as well as Old! In a word; A Young man once had betaken himself, to the Severities of a Christian Life; and Re­ceiving Letters from his Father, with some o­ther pretended Friends, which he understood, were to Disswade him from his Christian Course, he never broke the Seal [...], [...]ut he threw the Let­ters into the Fire, protesting, I will never so much [Page 48] as give the Hearing, unto any thing that can be said against the Christianity wherein I am En­gaged. I say, inasmuch as you must be Reli­gi [...]us, you should not so much as give the Hearing unto any Objection against your being so. If the Old Serpent go to Charm you, be you like the Deaf-Adder, to all his Charms.

Quest. III. You have put off Religion a LONG WHILE ALREADY; and, I pray, is not That Long Enough? Let me call upon our Young People, as the Angel did upon Young Austin; Take up and Read! Take up and Read! And now, Like Him, upon that Cal [...], Read what is in Rom. 13.11. Now it is High Time to Awake out of Sleep. You are fast Asleep, Young People, till you come to be Religious: But O Awake, and see how high the Sun is Risen. They are no Incon­siderable Things that you have to do; There are a vast multitude of Sins, whereof there is a Pardon to be obtained; You have migh­ty Corruptions to be Subdued; You have migh­ty Temptations to be Conquered; You have many Relations to be Fulfilled; and many Services to be Performed: and your Evidences for Heaven are all still to be Treasured up. And what? Asleep still! Begin to be Religious, when you will, you may say, Nimis sero Te A­mavi, O [...], Lord, I blush that I have made it so [Page 49] Late, before I begin to Love thee. I am sure, as to many of you, That if you should (And Oh! that you would!) this Afternoon Turn to God, yet you will have cause to Admi [...]e the Credit, and Comfort of some others, whereof you may Confess your selves with Paul, As Born out of Due Time. To Stand Barren among the People of God, for Three Years together, is by much too much; but it is Likely that some of you have stood so, for more than Three-times Three. Let me Enquire of you; I pray, How Old are you? It may be, Twelve, or Fifteen, or Twenty Years Old. And what? A Slave of the Devil all this while! Sure, 'Tis Time for you now to say, as in 1 Pet. 4.3. The Time past of our Life may Suffice us, to have wrought the will of the Gentiles; And much more, To have wrought the will of the Devils! All the World has Cry'd out upon the Insolence of that Pope, who made the Roman Emperour wait Three Dayes upon him Abroad, before he would give him any Audience. Young man, The Spirit of Almighty God has been waiting for an Admission into thy Heart for this many a Day; He has been Calling, Open to Me ▪ and this, till His Head has been wet with the [...]ew; but thou hast kept the Door of thy Sinful, Doleful Heart hitherto shut upon Him. And what? Is it not yet Long Enough? Young man [Page 50] Wilt thou not be made Clean? When shall it once be?

Quest. IV. There are OTHER SORRY TRIFLING THINGS; Do you while off Those Things, as you do Religion? What if your Betters, bid you be sure to meet them, at such a time and place? You do not make Them stay for you. But the Glorious Lord Jesus Christ has Ordered you to meet Him in His Ordinances; He has an Hundred Times in a Year, for this many a year, been here Looking for you; And still you make Him Stay! What if your Neighbours request a Courtesy from you? You then say not unto them, Go away, and come to morrow! But your own Souls are begging of you, that you would afford some Relief unto them; And yet you Regard them not! It has been said, The Kings Business requires Hast: But Religion, that is the Business of that, Blessed and only Potentate, who is the King of Kings; and Lord of Lords: And I pray, Why no more Hast about That Business? Nay, Young People, I have a worse Complaint still to make of you; You have not put so much Disrespect upon the Devil himself, as you have done upon the Eternal God! We read of the Tempted Young man, in Prov. 7.22. He goeth straightway. Truly, when the Devil has been Beckening un­to thee, Young man, to follow him in those [Page 51] Youthful Villanies, which were the undoing of thy Soul, Straightway thou hast followed this Devil, Straightway thou hast Thrown a­way thy own Soul. There, the Young People, Sponte sua properant; Labor est inhibere volantes. But the God of Glory has been urging of thee, unto that Religion, which would infallibly bring thee unto Eternal Glory; and He must after all say, I would have Purged thee, and thou woul­dest not be Purged. Mourn, O my Soul, mourn when thou seest what a Wonderful and an Horri­ble Thing is done by the Young People in our Land!

Quest. V. Suppose the God of Heaven, should Put YOU off, as you put off the Religi­on of that God; I beseech you, How would you like it? You are not only Impatient, if a Servant of your own stay long upon an Er­rand; With how much discontent say you up­on it, How Long this Lazy Creature Loiters! Whereas the Infi [...]i [...]e God sent you into this World, upon that Errand of, Bearing some Te­stimonies for His Truths and Wayes; and you have been Loite [...]ing, even for some whole Prentice ships of Years! Methinks, I Over-hear the Resentments of my God upon it; I [...] this Person upon an Errand for my Service, more than Ten Years ago; and the Vain Youth has never done yet so much as one stroke of that Errand! Say, Young man; Is this Conveni [...]nt? But [Page 52] we'll Turn our Discourse another way. I say then; What if the Great God Himself, should not presently Accommodate You, when you Cry unto Him for His Mercies? In what [...] Importunate Hast are you; Like that in Psal. 70.1. Make Hast, O God, to deliver me; Make Hast to help me, O Lord! Or, Like that in Dan. 9.19. O Lord, Hear, O Lord, Forgive, O Lord, Hearken and Do, and Defer not! Or, Like that in Psal. 143.7. Hear me speedily, O Lord, my Spirit faileth! Well, and what if the Blessed One should now give no Answer but this, Be Patient, Sinner; Be Patient; It may be Twenty or Thirty Years hence, I'le consider, whether any thing should be done for thee? How Discomposed would you be upon such a Denial? With what Raging Souls would you Expostulate, as in Psal. 13.1. How Long wilt thou forget me? O Lord, for ever? How Long wilt thou Hide thy Face from me? Yea, 'Tis well if you don't become so Froward, as to say with him, Why should I wait for the Lord any Longer? Unreaso­nable Youth; Why then must the Most High, be continually Calling in thine Ears, Make Hast, Young man, make Hast to S [...]rve me; Defer it not, but speedily do it; and your Answer be, that you will do it, you scarce know, When, your selves? What if you should hereby pro­voke Him to say, I will not wait for that Young Sinner any Longer? I cannot but own, Lord! [Page 53] Thou wouldest be Just in thy Speaking, and Clear in thy Judging so!

Question VI. You delay to set about Re­ligion; But HOW LONG do you design to Delay? I pray, What is it, that you stay for? Alas, my Young Folks will not present themselves unto the Lord, until they become as Blind and as Lame, as those Jebusite Idols, which were Hated by the Soul of the David. But Let me debate this Point a little with you. You will be Religious, when Old Age comes to tread Hard upon you. Will you so? That is, you will do no Good things till you come to your Evil Dayes! You will never Look unto the Lord Jesus Christ, until your Eyes cannot see without Glasses! You will never Hear the Voice of God, until your Ears be­come as Deaf as a Beetle! You will never Walk in the Path of Life, until your Feet can­not carry you without a Staff! And is this all the Offering that you'l have to bring un­to an Infinitely Glorious God? Let me Plead with you, as the Prophet with his Peo­ple did; Sacrilegious Youth, Offer such a thing now unto thy Governour; Will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy Person? saith the Lord of Hosts. Well, But you will be Religious, when Sick­ness has laid you on a Bed, whence you may suspect that you may not come off Alive. And Why Then? That is, When Legions [Page 54] of Devils Commissioned by a Neglected and Offended God are about you, throwing the Chains of Eternal Darkness, over you, you'l then think of escaping from them▪ You will then first fall to Serving of God, which cannot be done without Fervour of Spirit, when all the Spirits you have left you will not be enough to Grapple with the pains of your Bo­dies! Then, when like Israel in Bondage, you will be able to hearken unto nothing for Anguish of Spirit, you will, it seems, never Hearken until Then! Yea, Art thou not fear­fully Distracted, Silly Y [...]uth, to do nothing for thy Soul, until, the Time, when, for ought thou now knowest, thou shalt be so Distract­ed, as that, not one Coherent Thought can come into thy mind! But I'l suppose, that God may Allow you such a long Space to Repent as you allot upon. I am nevertheless to tell you, That a Late Repentance, is very seldom a True Repentance. We have a Daily De­monstration of this, in those Multitudes of Wretches, who while they lye, as they think, a Dying, do bitterly bewail all their Divellism, and yet recovering, they play the Devil, as much as ever they did before! We have the Report of such a Repentance, in those Terms, Psal. 78.34.36. When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they returned and Enqui­red Early after God. Nevertheless they did Flatter Him with their Mouth, and they Lyed unto him, [Page 55] with their Tongues; for their heart was not right with him! As I have known many Con­demned Malefactors, under the Expectation of their Execution, have such Marvellous ex­pressions of Repentance, that one could not have imagined meer Hyp [...]crisy in the bottom of all. And yet I must freely say it, Of those pretended Penitents, that have been Reprieved and Pardoned, I can't Remember Two, but what have afterwards Proved Prodi­gies of Wickedness. Thus Deceitful uses to be that Repentance, which counts it Early e­nough to be Seeking of God, when men find the Almighty God slaying of them! Yea, But I have another Check for your Young People's Dilatory Phrenzy; and that is this. How do you know, Young People, but that an Early and a Sudden Death, may overtake you! We Read of some, in Job 36.14. They dy in Youth. Pray, mind, the next time you step into the Burying-Place, whether you can see no Graves there, that are shorter than yourselves? We Read of some, in Job. 21.13. In a mom [...]t they go down to the Grave. Pray, How many go out of the World, not having Liberty to say, Lord, have Mercy on me! at their going?

I say then, Are you sure, that you shall e­ver see either Old Age, or Sickness! If not, Be not so Mad, as to Venture your Everlast­ing Interests, upon such desperate Peradven­tures. [Page 56] Young Man, What if thy Life should be out, before this Year be out? Why, as the Prophet of Old said unto One, thus 'tis probable, that there are some now in this Congregation, Whereof it may without an extraordinary Prophecy be said, This Year thou shalt dye. And What? will not the suspicion of such a Thing make thee this Year, Give All diligence to make thy Vocation and Election sure? Yea, 'twas a necessary Advice of a Rabbi to a Scholar, You must be sure to Repent, at Least one Day before you Dy. And I am to tell You, that your Death will be very lamen­tably Ci [...]cumstanced, if at It you cannot say, 'Tis at least a Day since I made my Peace with God. But I am to tell you one thing more; Namely; That you cannot Be sure of this most Necessary thing, except you do it this very Day. For, Boast not of to Morrow; thou knowest not what a Day may bring forth!

Besides all this; Peradventure you should come to a Pensive Old Age, or to a Ling [...]ing Sickness; Yet it is bur a Peradventure, that the Grace of Repentance may then be given You. The Apostle speaking of Sinners that Oppose the Calls of God, has this unhappy Discouragement upon his heart about them, in 2 Tim 2.25. If Peradventure, God will give them Repentance.

[Page 57]'Tis beyond Peradventure, that if you don't hear the Voice of God now to To Day, your Hearts will grow Harder and Harder every Day, [See Hebrews 3.7. & 8.]

'Tis beyond Peradventure, that the Longer you continue in your Sins, the deeper and the faster will those Weeds of Hell be Roo­ted in your Souls: The Longer the Devil has possession of your hearts, the Strong Ar­med One, will have so much the Stronger hold of you▪ The more Inveterate your Dis­tempers are, the more like to be Incurable: Every Day that you go on in your Infide­lity, you lay a New Stone, upon that Hide­ous Wall of Separation between God and You.

For this, there is no Peradventure; But it is a meer Peradventure, that after you have sleighted the Grace of God, which now pro­fers to bring you unto Repentance, you should at last have this Grace as it were, Forced upon you; Or, that the Soveraign God, who Works in us to will and to do, what­ever Good we either Will or Do, should saving­ly Work upon you, after you have been ma­ny years, presumptiously throwing off all Fear & Trembling, about your own Salvation! Con­sider, Young Men; and Play not the Mad-men any more.

[Page 58]Quest. VII. You Procrastinate in Religion; but what is the LANGUAGE of that Pro­crastination? Many of my Young People say, That they will not yet Cleanse their Wayes; But what is the English of this? For the Inter­pretation of Deeds is much easier and surer, than that of Words. The plain English of it then is; That you will still remain an Enemy of God, and a Child of the Devil! This, O Inconsiderate Youth! Even This, is the Foaming Language of thy Delayes to be Religious. You say, That you will still Go on, to Rob God of a Servant, Christ of a Subject, the Holy Spirit of a Temple, and all Mankind of an Honest Neighbour. For your Procrastinations in the Business of Religi­on, your Plea is, Non vacat, or, I have no Lei­sure for it; but the Truth is, Non placet, or, I take no Pleasure in it. It is noted, That the Building of the City of God, went on apace; because as in Neh. 4.6. The People had a Mind unto the work. But it is no Uncharitable Cen­sure upon You, Young People, who have never done any thing yet for the Growth or the Peace of that City, That you have no mind unto the Work. You say, To Morrow, You'l Consider your Wayes; but your meaning is, To Morrow come never; God Almighty takes it so. In­deed, you say, That God will never be Glorious, That Christ will never be Precious, That Sin [Page 59] will never be Dangerous, That Satan will never be Bloody, That Hell will never be a Place of Torment, and, That Heaven will never be the Pleasant Land. For Mark it; If these Objects are not so just Now, they will Never be so; They'l Never be any other than what they are Just Now. And you say, They are not thus J [...]st Now; for else, you would by Religion ac­knowledge their being Thus. Behold, Young man, Behold the Blasphemies, in the Bowels of thy prolonged Unbelief! Yea, Tho', I hope, thy very Soul within thee is moved with a Just Horror, at those Greater Devils Incarnate, who Dare the Almighty to Damn them, which is an Impudence beyond what the other Spiri­tual Devils have ever yet arrived unto; Yet I here Indict Thee, for using of that very Lan­guage, in thy Sinful Procrastinations to Leave off thy Sins. What says the Psalmist, in Psal. 68.21. God shall Wound the Head of his Enemies, and the Hairy Scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his Trespasses? Wherefore, when Thou Goest on still in thy Trespasses, thou dost in Effect say, Let God Almighty Wound me if He please; I va­lue not His Wounds! But, Hold, Young man; Oh! Talk not so exceeding Lewdly, neither Let such Arrogancy come out of thy mouth.

Quest. VIII. What if you should unhappily DY before you are Acquainted with Religion; [Page 60] What will then become of you, throughout Eternal Ages? We read, That the Threat of a Fiery Furnace, once made all the Country, ex­cept three or four Young men, to Renounce the God of Heaven. But I do this Day require all of our Young Folks, to Adore, to Obey, to Glorify that Great GOD, by the Denunciation of a more Terrible Fiery Furnace unto the Dis­obedient. It was long ago said, in Mat. 3.7. Who hath Warned you to Flee from the VVrath to come? Let our Young People now take notice, That they have the fair VVarnings of such a VVrath, and VVho 'tis that has given them such VVarnings. Young People, you must Expect that the VVrath of God, will multiply Desolations upon you, in this World, if you Despise His Religion. It is from Him that I do this Day de­clare this Thing among you; if you Apostatize from the God of your Fathers, He that was your Fathers Friend, will become your Unap­peasable Enemy, and with Ireful, Direful, VVasting Plagues, He will take Vengeance on you, for your Apostasy. If you persist in putting slights upon Him that would be the Lord-Re­deemer of your Souls, the Angels of Death, will get leave to smite you with the Arrows of Death, till there be Left but a little Remnant of you. My Brethren, It astonishes me, that I see you no more astonished with the Fearful Judgments, wherewith a Righteous and an Angry God, is daily Consuming Our Generation; and, The [Page 61] Fury of the Lord is poured on the Assembly of our Young men together! But as the Prophet said once unto a Great man, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast not hearkened unto my Counsel; So, if you still give a Deaf Ear unto the Counsels of Religion, I know, that God has Determined still to Employ the Beesome of Destruction upon my woful Gene­ration; and, I know, that some of you, must Ly open to the Sweeping Strokes of that Fla­ming, Deadly Beesome. O my God, Thou know­est the Griefs, the Fears, the Tears, wherewith I Deliver this thy Message.

But this is not all the Message; I am to tell you, That if you thus Dye in your E­strangement from Religion, there is a more Dreadful Wrath still to come upon you in a­nother World; and such a Wrath to Come, that after 'tis already Come, there will be still more to Come, and more to Come, through­out Everlasting Ages. Your Tortures, by the Fire of Gods Displeasure, Flashing like Hot and Fierce Lightning into your Souls, and by the Worm of your own Conscience, like a Snake perpetually Stinging of you with Reflections upon your Old Miscarriages; These Tortures will not only be Intollerable, but Interminable. When you then feel yourselves passing into those Tortures, with what an Horrible Con­sternation, will you Roar out your Vain [Page 62] Shrieks for a Rescue, o [...] at Least, a Respite, from the Place of Torment! Oh! When you indeed find your selves Drawing Nigh to that Hideous Place, Then, as Job Speaks, [...] would Fain Flee out of the Hands of God! and, Then, with what inex­pressible Fevers in you Souls, will you beg, Like the Foolish Virgins, Lord, Lord! Open the Door of thy Kingdom unto me, and Let me not go down into the Horrible Pit! Or, Lord, Lord! spare me▪ that I may have a little more space to look after my soul, before I go hence, and be no more! But [as it has been truly said, Justum est ut a Deo Contemnatur Mo­r [...]en [...], qui Deum Omnipotentem Contempsit vivens:] the Blessed God will Then in the Day of His Vengeance, be as Regardless of your Cries, as you have been of His Calls Now, in this Day of His Patience. Young man, Read the Last Verses in the First Chapter of the Proverbs, and be Awakened! Know it, That your Per­dition will then be unavoidable; and God will Accomplish upon you, that VVord of His, i [...] Jer. 11.14. I will not Hear them in the Time that they Cry unto me. And what an Horrid Welcome, Young People, what a Wel­come do you think, you shall then have of those Cruel Devils, to gratify whom, you have scorned the Religion of God? We have late­ly Seen, befalling a great many Young People [Page 63] in this Land, one of the most Prodigious Things, that ever happened in the World! The Devils have actually Seized those Young People, and cruelly Scalded them, so that VVe, the Standers-by, could see Blisters, and Smell Brimstone, when yet our Eyes could not perceive the Instruments of those Cruelties. The De­vils have, with Ghastly Spectres appeared unto these Young People, and Wounded them with a Thousand Preternatural Vexations; but still so Captivated their Senses, that ordinarily they might not mind any thing that was Devout. These Devils have kept some of these poor Creatures in a Starving Fast, for Nine, yea, for Fifteen Dayes together. And the most Killing Mischiefs thus inflicted have been presently Cu­red, that so there might be a Daily Renovation and Repetition of those Mischiefs. This Live­ly Picture of Hell have we Young People, seen upon several of our own Generation; when 'twas perfectly Impossible, there should be any Humane Legerdemains in the Drawing of it. But as it was once urged, Surely if one went un­to them from the Dead, they will Repent; Even so, By the permission of God, the Devils co­ming from the Damned, have in the Possessions of many Young People, display'd an Image of HELL before our Eyes. And, I remember, One of the Possessed, Lying in such Anguishes as would have broke an Heart of Stone to [Page 64] have seen them, once got [...]o much Liberty from the Infernal Fetters that were upon her, as to Cry out, Oh! All you that Stand by, Be­hold, what an Hard Master the Devil is! One would think, that the Rest of our Young People, should now Repent of all their Misde­meanours! But, Wicked Youths; if you will not yet Leave your Hard Masters, you have a lit­tle seen after what a T [...]culent, and what a Tremendous Fashion, They will handle you, when you shall at last fall into the Hands of those Hellish Fiends; you have seen, a Little, How t'will be, when those Freckled Adders, are Crawling and Coyling about you for ever­more. O That by the Fear of this thing, I might Pull you out of that Fire, that never shall be Quenched! Finally,

Quest. IX. Do! Dy Strangers to Religion; and how will you hold up your Heads in the Day of GODS PLEADING with you? It was the Premonition once given to the Young man, in Eccl. 11.9. O Young man, Know thou, that God will bring thee into Judgment. Well but then, O Young man, Know thou, What Wit­nesses will appear against thee, in that Judg­ment, if thou dost not now by Religion prepare for [...] [...]dgment! Of two things, you may be certa [...]n: One is, That God has Appointed a Day, wherein He will Judge the World in Righteousness, [Page 65] by that Man [...] He hath Ordained: The o­ther is, That This Day of the Lord, it is Near, it is Near, and it hastens greatly. But now, Consider, O Young People, What Witnesses your Irreligion, will in that notable Day, be Condemned with. As Moses could say to the perishing Israelites, in Deut. 1.43. I spake unto you, and ye would not Hear, but Rebelled against the Commandment of the Lord: Even so, There will at Last be a Triumph of Justice over you, when there shall come in an Army of Witnes­ses against you; saying, We Spake to this Young man, but in spite of all our Speaking, he would Re­bel against the God, that Made him. Tis possible, Your Parents may then after this manner testi­fy against you: Lord, when this person, was un­der our Instruction, we often charged him to Serve thee with a perfect Heart, and a willing Mind; We told him, that if he Sought thee, thou wouldest be found of him, and if he forsook thee, thou woudest Cast him off for ever. We Dedicated him to thee, and would fain have Educated him for thee. We did in our poor measure set the Example of a Godly, Zealous, Watchful Walk before him; we Pray'd for him, we Wept over him, we were in A­gonies of Soul that we might see thy Image formed in him. He slighted all; and therefore we have nothing now to say, why thou shouldest not make him a Vessel of thy Wrath World without End. Young man, With how many Scorpions will this Lan­guage [Page 66] of thy Disappointed Parents Lash thee, in the Day of God! Add hereto; 'Tis pos­sible, Your Masters may then in like man­ner testifie. Lord, When this Person dwelt with us, we often set before him the Danger of all his Evil Courses; we fore-warned him of the Snares wherein Lay his Eternal Hazards; He had the Daily Devotions of our Families to For­ward him in thy Fear: We put Good Books in­to his hands; we Encouraged him to wait upon thee in the Meetings of thy People; and we al­low'd him Time every Day for his Communion with thy Majesty. Nothing would work upon him; and therefore we cannot but Leave him to the Proceedings of thy Everlasting Righteous­ness. Young man, Is this the Report which thou wouldest have thy Masters bring in, unto the Judge of the World▪ concerning thee?

But in Fine, Your PASTORS: They that now Long fo [...] your Salvation; They, that are continually Studying, Praying, Fasting, Wee­ping and Watching, for your Salvation; e­ven These too, must become Accusers, when they meet you e're long before the Tribunal of the Dreadful God. Syrs, we should not count even our Hearts-Blood, a thing too considerable, to be Spent, if the Spending of that would certainly obtain the Conversion, though but of any one Young Soul among [Page 67] you. And if [...] might see our Young Doves Flocking apace unto the Windows of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we should count ourselves Richly Recompenced, for all the Travels of our Weary Souls. We know what the Apos­tle saies about his Beloved Thessalonians, in 1 Thess. 2.19. What is our Hope, or Joy, or Crown of Rejoycing! Are not even ye, in the Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ at his Co­ming? It seems, that in the other World, A Paul shall see and know those that have by His Ministry been brought Home unto God, and he shall Rejoice to behold them gathered like a Crown about him. Truly, I think, I cannot in any one thing Rejoice more, than I do in a Thought which now entertains me; There is a Vast Crowd of Young People Assembled here this Day; but there are many now in this Crowd, that shall be our Immarcescible Crown, in the Day of the General Assembly. Yea, We shall enjoy a Glad Eternity, with some of You, O our Young People; Whom we shall FIND, and SEE, and KNOW again, in the Kingdom of GOD, and hear saying, Blessed be GOD, That ever I saw the Face of such a Minister! Oh Sir, my God helped me to follow the Counsels that you gave me in His Name, and from His Word; and now, 'tis as you told me! You have brought me to this Glorious Heaven with you. Yea but [Page 68] if you remain Incorrigible in your Indispo­sitions to Cleanse your Ways, by taking Heed according to the Word of God, it is a sad Mee­ting which you are like to have with us in the Day of the Lord. We have had Our Death hastned, by the Afflicction which we have endured in Our own Souls, and by the Displeasure which the Jealous God has at Yours, for your Incorigibleness. But Methinks, what passed between Reuben and his Brethren, when they stood before Joseph, carries a little Resemblance, of the In­tercourse which You are to have with Us, before the Judgment-Seat of Jesus; in Gen. 42.21.22. They said one unto another, We are verily Guilty concerning our Brother; in that we saw the Anguish of his Soul, when he be­sought us, and we would not hear: therefore this Distress is come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, Saying, O do not Sin—and ye would not Hear. Even so, When the Anguish of the Sccond Death is taking hold on you, You will then say, We are verily Guilty concerning Our Minister; We saw the Anguish of Soul, the Sweats, the Tears, wherewith he besought us to be Reconciled unto God; but we Sleighted all; and therefore Our Souls are now thrown into an Eternal Anguish. But, are you willing that We should then declare before the Lord of the whole World, [Page 69] Lord, we spake unto these poor sinners; We told them of the sins that Ruined them; We told them of the Jesus that would save them from their sins; We told them, How and Why they should make their Peace with God; but no means would Prevail upon them! The Blood of Your Souls, will Then be Laid, where it Now truly Lies; As for us, We shall be Clear of that Blood!

But Oh! With what Resolution, shall your Tired Preacher, after this Long importunity, now Dismiss you?

When the Prophet spoke the Word of God, unto an Altar of Stones, it Rent be­fore that Word; O let not your Hearts now be so much Harder than Stones, that the Word of the Most High, shall find, or make no entrance thereinto. As the Roman Embassador, demanding an Answer to his Message from a Person that was willing to have consider­ed first a little further on the Message, made with the Point of his Sword a Circle about him, saying, Intra Hunc!— Sir, You sha'nt stir from hence, till I have your Answer; Tru­ly, I have by an Importunity now grown into the Third Hour, let you see, how Loth I am to let you Stir, till I have your An­swer to the Demands of Religion, which have [...] made you in the Name of God. [Page 70] But, O my Young People, what Answer will you give? Do not say, 'Tis too soon for you to Cleanse your Wayes: Except it were Too soon for you to be Saved from all the Horri­ble Plagues which your wandring from God have brought upon you; Except it were Too Soon for you to enjoy the Wisdom and Righ­teousness and Sanctification and Redemption, which the Lord Jesus Christ has to bestow upon you: Or, Except it were Too soon, for you to Dy, and it were never known that persons younger than you are, have Dy'd in their Sins: never say of Religion, 'Tis Too soon for That! He that now tells you, 'Tis Too soon, will shortly tell you, 'Tis Too Late. And if it should once come to be Really Too Late, what will you then say of your selves? The Wise man has call'd, The Sinner, by that Name of, A Fool, more than Fifty Times over. But thou wilt then keep Chiding and Branding thy self as, A Fool, for more than Fifty Millions of Ages. They that gathered Manna, were to do it in the Morning, or not at all. And why should it be Too soon, for you in the Morning of your Youth, to be Looking afte [...] an [...]nterest in the Lord Jesus Christ, The Bread of Heaven? In the Catalogue of those that came to make Da­vid a King, we read, There was one Zadok, a Young man; mighty of Valour. A [...]d why [...] it be, Too Soon, for you that are in [Page 71] your Flourishing Age, to appear in and for the Kingdom of our David? It is reported of Hezekiah, That in the First Year, and in the first month of his Reign, he opened the Doors of the House of the Lord. And why should it be Too Soon, for you in the First Year, and in the First Month, of your Reason, to open the Doors of your Hearts unto the Lord? When the Lord Jesus was but Eight Dayes old, He parted with some of His Blood for us. And can it then be, Too Soon, even for you that are Eight Years old, now to part with your Sin for Him? O say not so; but by the Circumcision of your own Hearts, Put off the Old man, while you your selves are yet far from Old. Like a Servant of Abraham, I am this Day Wooing of your Young Souls, That you would become United and Married, unto the Son of my Glorious Master, the Prince of Life, the Lord of Glory; and here I am sure, Blessed is that Wooing, that is not Long a Doing. Say, Can it be, Too Soon, for you to be Match'd unto the King of Hea­ven? If you will Go with me, I would carry you, as far as I can, into the New-Covenant of Grace; unto all the Proposals of which Cove­nant I once again ask the Consent of your Souls. Well, Will you Go? O 'Tis far from Too Soon, for you to say, I will Go. With Conquered Souls then say it; and so take the Blessings which we are to Leave upon you. It was said, in Psal. 119.147. I prevented the [Page 72] Dawning of the Morning, and I Cried: I hoped in thy Word. Why, If you will now in the Dawning of this your Morning, devote your selves unto God, by true Religion, you may then Hope for all those Blessings which the Word of God has Entail'd upon such Religion. May these Blessings in a singular manner and mea­sure now be Poured down, with the Spirit of my God, upon my Generation; and may there be many Young Ones among us, whereof the Lord may say, These are pleasant Children, I will surely have Mercy on them!

Appendix

INasmuch as Example has a singular Force to Teach and Move the Beholder of it, We shall by way of Appendix unto our Medi­tations upon Early Religion, annex the Extracts of several Papers, which divers Pious Young Persons, who have Dy'd among us, have Left Written for the Instruction, the Awakening, and the Encouragement of the Young Survi­vers. There have in this Country Expired sundry Young Persons, who under the Fore-bo­dings of their own premature Mortality, have drawn up their Affectionate and Experimental Resentments of Early Religion, which they have [Page 73] Left behind them [...] their Young, Friends, to improve as the best Legacies of the [...] Friendship. I hope it will not be either Unacceptable or Unprofitable, for me to Communicate a few passages which I have seen in some of those Memorials: And unto those it may not be a­miss to add a few Memoirs relating to the Ex­emplary Lives of some Young People, who have Gone from us, to the Rest of God. But, If One Come unto my Generation from the Dead, sure­ly they will then Repent!

(I)

There Dyed among us, in the year 1688. a Young man, upon whose Grave-Stone there were those words deservedly Inscribed, The Ashes of an Hard Student, a Good Scholar, and a Great Christian. I shall for some Rea­sons forbear to mention so much as the Name of this Exemplary Young man; much less give any part of the Character which he had for those things that made him Exemplary. But I shall truly Copy out for the Young Reader, a Few [never yet exposed] of those many papers, which this Young man left behind him, when he left the world. And These I offer, single▪ I out from the rest, because they are particularly accomodated unto some Designs of Religion, which I was Desirous to have particularly Recommended.

T [...]e, First, his Explicit Consent unto the [Page 74] proposals of the New-Covenant; That I find written by him in these terms.

I do Renounce all the Vanities and wret­ched Idols and Evil Courses of the World.

I do Choose, & will ever Have, the Grea [...] God, for my Best Good, my Last End, my On­ly Lord. He shall be the Only One, in th [...] Glorifying and Enjoying of whom sha [...] be my Welfare; and in the Serving of whom shall be my Work.

I will ever be Rendring unto the Lord Jesus Christ, my proper Acknowledgments, as unto my Priest, my Prophet, and my King; and the Physician of my Soul.

I will ever be Studying what is my Duty in these Things; & wherein I find my self [...] fall short, I will ever count it my Grief, and Shame; and betake my self to the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.

Now, Humbly Imploring the Grac [...] of the Mediator to be sufficient for me, I do as a further Solemnity, hereunto Subscribe my Name, with both Heart and Hand.

Take Next, a Reflection written by this Young man, about the Power of Sin.

Dr Owen of Spiritual-mindedness, has this passage: It is required, that our Affection is be so Set on Spiritual Things, as to be a c [...]ntinual Spring of Spiritual Thoughts and Meditations. I cannot yet find it so with my self; An [...]gu­ment [Page 75] that I never had my Affections yet Spiritually Renewed. O Wretched Creature that I am!

But why should I be Discouraged as to the State of my Soul; feeling the Power of Sin never so great? Let Corruption have never so great Rooting in my Temper, Let my Con­tinuance therein have been never so long; yet if I Come unto Christ, I cannot doubt His Power to Relieve me. These Three Scriptures do sufficiently clear That; 1 John 1.8. The Blood of Jesus Christ, Cleanseth from all Sin; And Mic. 7.14. He will Subdue our Iniquities; And, Heb. 7.25. He is able to Save unto the uttermost. As to His Willingness, 'tis sufficiently cleared, in Mat. 11.28. Come to Me, all ye that Labour and are heavy Laden: And, Joh. 6.7. Him that comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out. Shall I then Tarry and Perish in my Natural Estate? Shall I be so much wanting to my self, as to perish, while I have a Physician, that is both Able and Rea­dy to help me? Is not his Death deserved, who may have a Physician to Cure him, and will yet Refuse him?

Let me set my self, now in Earnest, to Get an Interest in Jesus Christ; and therefore with Earnest Prayer, Let me Come to God, as a poor sinful, helpless, miserable Creature▪ to beg for this Interest.

[Page 76]Take, Thirdly, One of his Meditations A­bout, Prizing the Publick Ministry of the Word was this,

Shall I not Prize the Word of God, not only as the Private Meditation, but also the Publick Dispensation of the Word? There are Motives to This, not Inconsiderable.

Is not the Word, especially the Publick Ministration thereof, that which doth In­struct me, in the Knowledge of God, and Christ, whom to know is Life Eternal? Do's it not shew me what I am to Believe concerning God, and what Duty God re­quires of Me? Does not attendance here­on, Issue in Spiritual Life, and Quicken­ing?

Again, Is not the Word of God, the means of Transforming me into His Image? Is it not the means, whereby I may hope to have my whole Soul cleansed from the Leprosy of Sin? Is not the Hiding of the word in my heart, the great means to keep me from Sinning against God? Is not here Di­rection given me, how to apply the Word, for the Nourishment of my Soul?

Once more, Is it not by the Word of God, that I must have all the Assurance, that I must expect, to have in this World?

[Page 77] Furthermore, If I be Deprived of the Publick Ministration of the Word, must not my Soul needs be in a Condition Languishing and Unprosp [...]ing?

Yet Further, Is not the Word, the great Instrument of Regeneration? Must I not therein seek the Food of my Soul? Shall I not bring a Curse on my Soul by neg­lecting it?

Finally, Is it not an Ordinance of Gods Institution?

And now, shall not this make me willing to chuse rather to suffer the greatest Afflicti­ions, than not to attend on the Preaching of the Word?

In the Fourth Place, I will Transcribe the Motives Written by him, to determine his Choice for the Sevice of God.

I do [he Writes] much admire, how Persons, that know that they are Enemies to Religion, and that if they should be called out of the World within a little while, they should be excluded from the Fruition of Eternal Happiness in Heaven, can have a­ny quietness in their Hearts, while they are yet unresolved, To live unto God! But when look upon my self, and see how Unconcerned I am in my Actings about these matters, which do call for the greatest Seriousness, it makes me the less to Wonder at it, yet it ex­cites [Page 78] in me a very great Shame, that the Mat­ters being of so great Concernment, I should so Trif [...]le about them. And who would imr­gine, That a person, who believes, there is an Eternal Felicity offered unto him, for him, for him to set his Heart upon instead of a Temporal One, which a man is not sure to hold for an Hour; should so lit­tle value the Former, as to stand Questioning Whether he should set his Affections on Things a­bove? Or, Whether he should make the Things of this VVorld the utmost of his hopes and his Desires? For my part, I cannot but greatly wonder to see my own Sluggishness in this particular! When I Consider, Whether of the Two, I should choose, if they were offered me, An Eternity in the Pleasures, Profits and Honours of this World, or, to speak specially to my self, That I might always continue in the Condition I am now in: Or, on the other side, An Eternity in the, Enjoyment of God in Christ, after my Living here a few years, at the utmost, Fourscore Years, and it may be not a Fourth part of so many years: And when I see how Loth I am to Choose this Latter, altho I cannot expect, now the Af­fairs of the World are so Ordered as they are, to continue here on Earth for ever. But it is the most Reasonable Thing in the World, that I should make such a Choice, as is now [Page 79] Offered unto me; and there is nothing in This world, for which there may be brought a Reason, but either the same Reason or some one of as much weight, may be given to stir up unto this choice.

In the Fifth place you shall have his Advice to a Friend, for his Releif against Blasphemous Thoughts. 'Twas written in these brief Terms.

I address this Answer to your Request. Take Notice, No Temptation befals you, but what is common to men: And it is usual with God, when He is Converting of a sinner, to leave him unto This Temptation. Know also, That Christ Himself was Assaulted with, such Thoughts. If they drive you to Despair, plead, That you allow them not. They are but your Crosses, as long as you hate them; however there may also be much of your Corruption in them. I advise you, to observe the scope of Satan in this Temptation; which is to Rob God of the Glory of His Grace. Wherefore Do not Conceal it; neither do you Reason with the Divel about it. When these thoughts a­rise, tho' you are to be Humbled, and pray for pardon; yet you are not to be Dejected. But labour to Cross them with good thoughts, just contrary to them. Make Conscience of the Duties which God requires in order to your Victory; patiently submit unto the Cor­recting Hand of God; but be Thankful it is [Page 80] no worse; and be willing to stay Gods Time for Deliverance. During the Hour and Power of Darkness, avoid Solitariness; and avoid Idle­ness; and Holily tho' not Haughtily, Deride the Divel; so you shall do do well.

In the Sixth place I will tender you one of his Self-Employments, which he Entituled,

Meditations, Tending to the Exercise Of Repentance and Faith, And Preparation for Death.

Am I not exposed unto the Curse of the Law of God; and that both because of the State of sin that I am in, and by reason of the Course of Actual sins, whereof I have been guilty?

Is not the Wrath of God, most Intoller­able and most Dreadful? Is it not a Fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the Living God? Can my Heart endure, or my Hands be strong; in the Day, that God will deal with me?

Can I endure Material Fire? And if I can't endure to Ly in That, what shall I do to lye under the Wrath of the Almighty for ever, and ever? My Soul Trembles with­in me at this; the thoughts hereof do ex­ceedingly terrify my Soul.

Is it indeed so, O my Soul? And shal I continue in the Condition that I am in? [Page 81] Shall I continue in a State of Condemna­tion?

Shall I not then make as much Hast to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Men pursued by the Avenger of Blood, did to the City of Re­fuge?

Shall not this make me, instead of Deligh­ting in Sin, to Grieve for it, and Heartily to Turn from it, unto God?

Shall I allow of any One sin, seeing that the Least sin allow'd, will prove my Eter­nal Damnation? Far be it! Either I must be the Death of sin, or sin will be my Death, to Eternity.

Am I every Moment in Danger of Eter­nal Damnation? Do's my Life hang in uncertainties? May I not be called out of the World in a Moment? Yea, before I lye down to Night?

Surely then, It is highly Incumbent on me, to Fly unto the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Deliverer from the Wrath to come: and give my self unto him, to Save me freely by His Grace: and resign my self wholly unto Him, to be His Servant for Ever­more?

The Seventh and Last Entertainments, that you shall have of this Young Mans, are his Rules of Behaviour.

[Page 82]1 Keep an Exact Diary, of Your Actions and of Memorable Passages.

2 If in the conduct of your Affairs you have been Deceived by others, or committed any Error your self, 'twill be Discretion, to Note it.

3 Tu teipsum Oblectes, et Vulgi Verba Loquacis, Sperne; Bene hic de te dicet, et ille Male.

4 The best El [...]xir is,

Never to do that By Another hand, which you can do by your own.
Never to do that To Morrow, which you can do To Day.
Not to Neglect the Least Things.

5. Gods Eye is always upon you, therefore let Yours be always upon Him.

6. Let your Prayers be as frequent as your Wants, and your Thanksgivings as your Bles­sings.

7. In the Morning think, What you have to do? And ask Gods Blessing: In the Eve­vening think, What you have done? And ask God Pardon.

8. The whole Universe, is your Library; Conversation, Living Studies, and Observati­ons, your best Tutors.

9. Let nothing discourage you; Worth is ever at home, and carries its own welcome with it. A Gallant Spirit will make you Co­zen-Germain to a Caesar.

[Page 83]10 He hath no serious Belief of God, or the Life to Come, who Dare be Wicked.

11 He that dares sometimes be Wicked, for his Advantage, will alwayes be so if his Int [...]rest call for it.

12. Make your Peace with God, at the end of Every Day, so at the last, you will have but One Day to Repent of.

13. Hear no Ill of a Friend, nor Speak any of an Enemy: believe not all you hear, and speak not all you believe.

14 Give not your advice, or opinion, be­fore you are asked.

15. Find not fault with other Men; for you are not bound to Weed their Gar­dens.

16 Commend not a Person to his Face, but to others; nor dispraise any man behind his back, but to his Face; And use not over great Encomiums of any Per­son.

17. Keep an Humble, and Serene De­portment.

18 Let your Behaviour, be like your Gar­ment, neither Straight, nor Loose.

19 Deride not any Person for his Infir­mities.

20 Never impart that to a Friend, which may Impower him to be your Ene­my.

[Page 84]21 Carry an Eye of Wariness on your­self, and an Eye of Observation on others.

22 Parca Lingua, Aperta Frons, et Clausum Pectus, are the best Ingredients of Wis­dom.

23 Be not too Affirmative in any Asser­tion.

24 Never Magnify your self; the weak­est Wings, are the highest Flyers.

25 Speak not Ill of any; Disoblige None.

26 Let not any Passion be above you.

27 Be like the Caspian-Sea; never Ebb, ne­ver Flow.

28 If you have an Injury done you, you do your Adversary too much Honour to take notice of it; and think too meanly of your self to Revenge it.

29 It is a Noble way of Revenge to Forget, and Scorn it.

30 Be not like a Sun-Dyal in a Grave, of no Use.

31 A Friend, like a Glass, will discover to you, your own Infirmities.

32 To Doubt nothing, and Understand nothing, are alike Verifiable.

33 Don't quote Authors, nor Talk in Scho­ [...]stic Phrases, nor Vent Metaphysical Notions in [...] Company of Gentlemen.

34 It is a sign of a Good Judgment, to [Page 85] be able to ask, a Discreet, and Pertinent Question.

These were his Rules. But from him, we will pass to another.

(II.)

IT is not a Year ago, that there Dy'd, a Serious, Vertuous, Hopeful Young man, a­mong us; whose Name was, NATHANAEL SHOVE. He was the Son of a Worthy Minister, whom, the Town of Taunton, Long Enjoy'd, as their Watchful Pastor. But being Arrested by a Languishing and Consuming Sickness, he did with his Dying Hand, Write about Threescore Texts of Scripture, which God had made more singularly useful unto him; whereto he added this Account of his Experiences.

Thus He.

(III.)

THe Wars that have Lately Distressed our Land, have been singularly Destru­ctive to our Young men; but among the Young men Lost in these Wars, there were some, who were like Josiah. They Dy'd in Peace, tho' they Dy'd by the Sword, inasmuch as they had made their Peace with God before they Dy'd. Some of These had strange Fore-bodings upon their Minds, that they should not Survive the Expeditions which they were then upon; and according to those Fore-bo­dings, tho' they Returned Alive, yet a mor­tal [Page 96] Sickness presently carried them off. But before their Going out, they Wrote some Affectionate Addresses, unto the Young Peo­ple of their Acquaintance, of which Wri­tings, there are some fallen into my Hands. From only Two of these, I shall now Tran­scribe only a few Passages, which I hope will be considered, not only by the Young Peo­ple of those Towns, whereto these belonged, but also, by the rest of our Generation.

The first of these hopeful Young men, be­longed unto the Town of Weymouth; and his Name was Nash. He Left behind him, in the Hands of his Young Friends, a Large Paper, of Admonitions, wherein One might perceive what Impressions had been made upon his Young Soul, by the Ministry of that Able, Faithful, Painful, and Excellent Person, who is at this Time, the Burning and Shining Light, in that Plantation. Out of that Paper, I have Transcribed the following passages.

In the first place, I do acknowledge my self to be unworthy, even to take the Name of the Great and Blessed God, into my mouth; and much more to do any Service for Him. Yet I know, it is my Duty to do what Good I can, in such an Extraordinary Time as this is.

We have been going away from the Lord our God; which doth plainly appear by His [Page 97] Dispensations towards us. Would the Great and Blessed God, have sent His Judgments down upon our Heads, thus one time af­ter another, if we had not provoked Him by our Sins in Departing from Him.? Hag. 1.5. Now therefore, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Consider your Wayes. But God hath also been calling of us to Turn, by the Voice of His Servants in the Ministry. Oh the many solemn Warnings, we have had in Time past, by the Servants of Christ, especially upon Election Dayes, whereby we have been called upon to Repent and Re­form, and have been told wherein we should Reform!

Now, notwithstanding all that God hath hath done in a way of Judgment, yea, and is yet doing, we have cause to hope, that God is saying, to New-England, as to E­phraim of Old, How shall I give Thee up?

If now we compare Gods Works with his Word, we shall certainly find, that we have Something to do, and that God is calling for some extraordinary thing from us; and there­fore we should every one as we are able, be putting forward, and Labouring in this Great Work of REFORMATION.

Let us Look into the Word of God, and enquire there; and consider, Firstly whether [Page 98] there be not a Breach of Covenant, between us, and Our God; and that by a great neglect of Duty, in Parents towards their Children, in their not labouring to Train them up for God.

Secondly, We may Consider, Whether we have not provoked our Lord Jesus Christ exceedingly to Anger against us, by our Co­veteousness and Worldliness, which is Idolatry. We seem to be Laying out the greatest part, if not all our Time and Strength, in and about the Things of this Life; and so we have been Exchanging our God.

Thirdly, We may also Consider, Whether we have not provoked our Lord Jesus Christ exceedingly to Anger against us, by our un­worthy Carriages one towards another; by giving one another just occasions of Offence. And for Church-Members, that have given themselves up unto the Lord Jesus Christ, to Walk with Him; their Scandalous Lives cause a Reproach to be cast upon Christ, His Church, and the Christian Religion. Also instead of Provoking one another to Love and Good Works, we have been provoking one a­nother to Evil, and to Sin; and instead of Lo­ving one another, as we are Commanded, there is Hating one another, and Envyings, and Backbitings, all which are directly contra­ry to the Command of Christ.

[Page 99] Fourthly, We may also Consider, Whether we have not provoked the Lord to Anger, by the neglect of so great and profitable a Duty as, Secret Prayer. It is a Duty, whereby we may freely and fully pour out our Com­plaints to God, which we cannot so freely do before others; and it is a Duty, that Christ has Commanded us to perform, in Math. 6.6. and Eph. 6.18. but it is to be feared, that many, if not the most of Visible Church Mem­bers do neglect it, or at Least, are not Con­stant in it. But I wonder, (saith Mr. Increase Mather, in his Sermon) how such Men and Women can think, that they belong to God, or that they have a Real Interest in Heaven, who can find in their Hearts to Live without Secret Prayer!

Yet Again, We may Consider farther, for our Humiliation, Whether or no, we may not be some Hindrance to the Work of Con­version, by our Bad Examples; for many do give Bad Examples upon several Accounts. If Children and Young Persons, do see Pa­rents and Masters, Sleep at the Meeting, they'l think, they may do so too; and we are all generally too apt to follow Bad Examples. And, tho' our Fore-fathers had a Design to Labour the Conversion of the Heathen, yet how many be there now, who Teach them to Sin, and so are an Hindrance to the Work of Christ among them?

[Page 100] We may Consider, whether there has been any thorough Reformation, since there was a Synod-Book put forth, wherein God did no doubt declare the very Evils, whereby He was provoked.

Oh! That we may therefore Set to it, in Good Earnest, that we may Pour out our Souls before God, in secret places, that He may be pleased to Pour out His Spirit, and Conver­ting Grace, upon New-England, and upon His Churches here, and upon the Rising Genera­tion!

The other of those Young Men, belonged unto the Town of Dorchester; and his Name was Wykes. A little before his Decease, he wrote a Paper full of Affectionate and Broken Hearted Expressions, wherein he apply'd him­self to the Young Folks of his Acquaintance, with Urgent Entreaties that they would mind such Lessons of Religion, as their Faithful Pa­stor had so often pressed upon them. The most of what he writ, I shall Omit, as more proper to be Confined unto the Manuscript; but I shall Transcribe some of the more pun­gent Passages,

Tho' I am now in the Dust, and am Numbred with the Dead; yet here is my mind, while I were Alive; and that is, That you would take Warning by me, and prepare for Death, while you have Time, while your Golden Season Lasts.

[Page 101] We read in Rom. 13.11. Now 'tis High Time to Awake out of Sleep. Why should we Ly still, when Hell flames are kindling upon us? Why should we stay in this our Dunge­on, when we may be in the clear Sun-shine? and why will we Love Darkness rather than Light? Surely, 'Tis because Our Deeds are Evil.

How Delightful it is, unto Sinners, to do the Devils Drudgery! They will break whole Nights Sleep, but they will accomplish it; it is so delightful unto them, that they are never weary of it; it is a Race that is Down Hill, I think I may say, Down to Hell; they are in the way, and if they keep on, they will quickly be there; it may be, before they are aware of it.

I can safely say it, it is the mind of my Heart; I could freely give all the World▪ nay, Ten Thousand Worlds, had I them; could I Recal the Time that I have mispent; those Rich Opportunities that I have neglect­ed.

The Thoughts of Death, are enough to Rend an Heart of Stone. The Thoughts of going out of the World, and beholding mans Face no more, are dismal indeed; to think to go down to the Pit of Silence, and into the Grave of Rest! Yet, these things are but a meer Shadow, to what shall be, when [Page 102] God shall say, Depart from Me, Ye Cursed, in­to Everlasting Fire.

I have taken Pleasure in Merry Meetings, and Company Keeping; and now, I would, give all the World, that I could undo these things. Now I begin to see the miserable Estate that I am in; and I would give all the World that I could do any good unto You, that I could any ways Awaken you. For my part, I will Turn and Seek the Lord, and I would have you do the same. I will now return, and will not Walk in those Ways any Longer. If you continue in Sin, you shall Reap the Fruit of it, in the Pit of Hell, where Hot Fiery Coals will be your Bed, where Dismal Fire-brands shall be your Pillow, and Flames shall be your Coveri [...].

A little while ago, I thought I heard a continual Voice, as it were, say, Come, ye Bles­sed, Enter into my Kingdom, that I may Execute Vengeance on the Ungodly. God is now about to do these things; if nothing else do shew it, it would be plain enough, by this Sign; To see all the World in such a Confusion and Uproar. And you that dare put God off, till, To mor­row, when you see These Things, do you think that when you have disposed of all your pure Grain, God will accept your Chaff?

I do believe, that you are more concerned, how to get an Estate in this World, than how [Page 103] shall Glorify God. But I warn you all, that you spend the rest of your Dayes to the Glo­ry of God. It is so prest on my mind, that I cannot help it—I must say this to you, Turn from your sins; take warning by me, and improve your time here as if it were but a Moment that you should Live.

(IV.)

Sect. 1. LIttle more than Thirteen years Old, was JOHN CLAP of Scituate, when He Dy'd; but it might very Truly be said of him, That while he was yet Young, he began to seek after the God of his Fa­ther. From his very Infancy he discovered a Singular Delight in the Holy Scripture, whereby he was made Wise unto Salvation; and he also made him self yet further Amiable, by his Obedience to his Parents, and his Courtesy to all his Neighbours. As he grew up, he signalized his Concern for Eternity, not only by his diligent attendance upon both Publick and Private Catechising, but also by the like attendance on the Mini­stry of the Word, which he would Ponder and Apply, and confer about, with much Discre­tion of Soul, and Pray for the Good effect thereof upon his own Soul. Yea, 'twas even from his Childhood observable in him, that [Page 104] ever after he began to speak Reasonably, he would both affectionately regard the Family-Prayers, and likewise, both Morning and E­vening, with a most unwearied constancy re­commend himself by his own Prayers unto the Mercies of God.

Sect. 2. Arriving higher in his Age, he was very Conscientious of his Duty, both to God, and Man; and particularly careful of his Fathers Business, which now became his own Calling. At Work with his Father in the Field▪ he would frequently be propounding of Questions, by the Answers whereof he might be promoted in the knowledge of God: and at the seasons which others usually imploy to vain purposes, he would be abounding in the exercises of Devotion. But of all the Imitable things to be seen in him, he was exemplary for nothing more, than his endeavours in Pre­paration for, and Sanctification of, the Lords-Day. Yea, his Parents have affirmed, that for a Year or two before he Dy'd, They ne­ver heard an Unprofitable Word come out of his Mouth; but, he would often bewayl the Idle, Tryfling, Vain Discourses of other People.

Sect. 3. About a a Year and a half be­fore he Dyed, the Good Spirit of God, Bles­sed him, with yet a more thorow Convicti­on of his Misery by reason of Sin both Ori­ginal, and Actual: whence tho' he had been [Page 105] such a Pattern of Innocency, yet he would ag­gravate his own Sinfulness, with Lamentations truly extraordinary. And for his Relief a­gainst the Terrors of God, wherewith he was now Distracted, he was brought unto an ut­ter Dispair of his own Righteousnesses and Abilities; but in this Condition, he came to Adore the Grace of God, offering a JESUS who is Able to Save unto the Uttermost: In his Longings to enjoy the Love of God, thro' Jesus, He was like the Hart panting after the Water-brooks!

Sect. 4. The Wounds of his Spirit, were accompany'd with a Languishing and Con­suming of his Flesh; yet with Great Patience he endured the Hand of God, and he follow­ed the Lord with Prayers, with Cries, with Tears, for the manifestation of the Divine Love unto him.

It was also Observed and Admired, that when he was abroad at the Publick Worship, in the time of his Weakness, he would stand the whole time of the Long exercises, and be so affectionately attentive, that one might see every Sentence uttered in those Exercises, make some impression upon him. The best Christians in the place professed thems [...]ves, made ashamed by the Fervency of this Toung Disciple! And in Days of Publick Humiliati­ons, or Thanksgivings, kept with regard unto [Page 106] the general Circumstances of the Countrey, he would bear his part, with such a sense of the Publick Troubles or Mercies, as argued more than a common measure of a Publick Spirit in him.

Sect. 5. The Minister of the Place, visit­ing of him, after Sickness had confined him, found him, in an extreme dejection of Soul; his very Body Shook, thro' his Fear, lest the Day of Grace were over with him; yet jus­tifying of God, tho' he should be forever cast among the Damned. But yet his Fears were accompany'd with Hopes in the Alsufficient me­rits of the Blessed Jesus: in which Hopes he still continued using all the Means of Grace, according to his Capacity, and Lamen­ting after those whereof he was not Capa­ble.

Sect. 6. A month before he Dy'd, he kept his Bed; the First Fortnight whereof he was very Comfortless, and yet very Patient; a­bounding all this while in Gracious Admo­nitions unto other Young People, that they would be concerned for their own Eternal Salvation. And you should not now have heard him complain, that he wanted Health, and Ease, tho' he did so; but that he want­ed Faith, and Peace, and Christ; yet Expres­sing a profound Submission to the Will of God. But in the Last Fortnight of his Life, [Page 107] this poor Child of God, had his weary Soul more comfortably Satiated with the Promises of the New-Covenant. God filled him with a marvellous Assurance of His Love, and so Sealed him with His own Spirit, that he Re­joyced with Joy Unspeakable and full of Glory. He would often be saying, Whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there is none on Earth, that I desire beside thee: My Flesh and my Heart faileth, but God is the Strength of my Heart, and my Portion for ever. And, I know that my Re­deemer Lives, and that He shall Stand at the Lat­ter Day upon the Earth. And, If I Live, I shall Live unto the Lord; if I Dy, I shall Dy unto the Lord; and whether I Live or Dy, I am the Lords. And, When Christ, who is my Life, shall appear, then shall I also appear with him in Glory. He would profess, that his Communion with the Lord Jesus Christ, was Inexpressible; and the Spectators judg'd his Consolations, to be as Great, as could be born, in a mortal Body. Being now asked, Whether the Thoughts of Dying Troubled him not? He replyed, No, Death is no Terror to me, because Christ has taken away my Sin, which is the Sting of Death. But being ask­ed, Whether he was willing to Live? he answered, I am willing to submit unto the Will of God; but if God have appointed me to Life, I desire I may Live to His Glory. And being asked, Whether God had put out of Doubt, his Interest in a [Page 108] Dying and Rising Jesus? He returned, Yes; and God has fully answered my Desires; I am now going to a thousand times better World. He told his Mother, I Love you as dearly as my own Life, yet I had rather Dy, and be with Christ.

Sect. 7. He continued Six Dayes, with his Teeth so shut, as that they could not be open­ed; and for the first Three Dayes and Nights, he took no Sustenance; afterwards, tho' this also but seldome, he Sucked in between his Teeth, nothing but a little Cold Water: in which Time, they that Laid their Ears to his Lips, could over-hear him continually Expressing his Comfort in God. But just before his Death, his Teeth were opened; when he would often say, Oh! how precious is the Blood of Christ, it is worth more than a Thousand Worlds! and often pray, Come, Lord Jesus, Come quickly! and at Last, he gave up himself to God, in those words, Lord Jesus Receive my Spirit. He de­sired his Mother to turn his Face unto the Wall; whereupon she said, John, Dost thou now Re­member Hezekiah's Turning his Face unto the Wall? he said, Yes, I do Remember it: and as she Turned him in her Arms, he so quietly breathed his Soul into the Arms of his Blessed Saviour.

[Extracted out of the Account, Written and Printed, by Mr. Witherel, and Mr. Baker, Ministers of Scituate; and Prefa­ced [Page 109] by Mr. Urian Oakes, who takes that Occasion to say, of this John Clap, He was a Young Old Man, full of Grace, tho' not full of Dayes.]

(V.)

GOD was pleased by an Early Death, to take SARAH DERBY, out of this pre­sent Evil World. Her Expectation of, and her Preparation for, her Death, even in the Time of her greatest Health, was more than usual; and having by an Exemplary Conversation Recom­mended Early Religion unto those that knew her, about the Age of Nineteen, She left them to Follow her Faith, and Consider the End of her Conversation.

But a few months before she Dyed, she gave to one of her Friends, this Account of the Divine Dispensations towards her Better [...]

My Soul desires to Believe and Profess that Holy Religion, which is Contained in Mr. Cottons Catechism. The Spirit of God has been a Long Time Striving with me; tho' my Father Dy'd when I was a Child, yet God hath been a Father to me. He left me a Mother, who did abundantly put me upon Secret Prayer, and upon Turni [...] from Sin, when I was about Six Years Old. But I thought my self Too Young for such things; so I neglected my Duty to God.

At length, God made my Baptism to be [Page 110] my Terror. I had been Baptised; and hearing Mr.—Say, How Baptism obliged us to put on Christ, I was terrify'd to think, how little I had answered my Baptismal Obligati­ons.

It pleased God, in the Year 1688. To lay me under Sore Sickness. I was then A­wakened with a Sense of my Condition, and made many Promises, about walking with God: Which I doubt I have not kept as I should have done.

At last, it hath pleased God, by the Ministry of— to bring me home unto Him­self.

[...] gone through much trouble of [...] ▪ about my own State, and wondred, that I have been out of Hell. But I have [...] to Bless God for ever, for what he has done for me; and particularly for my Acquaintance, with a number of Young Women, who have been very helpful to One Another in the Wayes of God.

I have been much Awakened & Comfor­ted by Mr. Increase Mathers Book Entituled, A Call to the Rising Generation.

And I have been much Concerned that I might not resist the Strivings of the Holy Spi­rit because it is said, in Gen. 6.3 My Spi­rit shall not always strive.

[Page 111]I humbly Bless God, for his Restraining Grace, which I have in some Good measure, enjoy'd all my Days. And I am not with­out hopes, that he hath bestow'd something of his Renewing Grace upon me.

That Scripture has much comforted me, & di­rected me in the affairs of my Soul; Jer. 31.18 19. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself, thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised—Turn thou me, and I shall be turned.

I have been brought to see Sin as a most Evil thing. God has enabled me, that I de­sire to Mourn for it, and to Turn [...] from it; and therewithal to see more of its Loath­someness, and the Loveliness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have been brought to see, my own Righ­teousness and Strength, as nothing before the Lord; and I would go to the Lord Jesus for all; I must come to him, very poor and miserable.

I have thought my self a Great Sinner, and one of the Greatest. I have finned with Ag­gravations; and been terrify'd by that Scrip­ture, in Rom. 2:4.5. Despisest thou the rich­es of his Grace? thou treasurest up to thy self Wrath against the Day of Wrath.

But the three first Verses in the Fifty fifth Chapter of Isaias, have supported me.

[Page 112] I have also had many sad Doubts and Fears whether I might venture upon all the Ordi­nances of the Lord Jesus Christ, and whether I should walk answerably to my Engagements But I have been convinced, that I must not live in any sin of Omission, upon such ex­cuses.

Wherefore I enter into Covenant with God, and I desire that the Lord Jesus Christ would for ever take me, and keep me, near unto himself.

The last Lords Day of her being abroad, while she was yet in Perfect health, she told one of her intimate Friends, that She had lately in some singular Distress of her Mind, set up al­most all night, crying to the Lord, that he would please to apply unto her, by His own Holy Spirit, a Promise, which might Releive the Disconsolations of her Soul. At last she felt a most Powerful Application of a Promise, which at once dispelled all her Fears and re­moved all her Doubts, and caused her, to Lye down and sleep in peace with God. It was that in Isa. 54.8 In a little Wrath, I hid my face from thee, for a Moment, but with Everlasting kind­ness will I have mercy on thee, Saith the Lord thy Redeemer; and what follows. Whereupon She now signified, that the Peace of her Soul, was confirmed; and that she should within a few Days Dy in that Peace; which accordingly came to Pass.

[Page 113]

(VI)

Sect. I. LOth to Leave the Other Sex, without some Entertain­ment, which may more particularly Engage Them, unto Early Religion, I shall add this Example.

Mr. Thomas Thornton the aged and faithful Pastor of Yarmouth, was blessed with a Daughter named Pris­cilla, which at the Age of Eleven, left this world, ha­ving first given demonstrations of an Exemplary Piety.

Sect. 2. She was one remarkably grave, devout, se­rious; very inquisitive about the matters of Eternity; and in her particular Calling very diligent. She was nevertheless troubled with sore Temptations and Exer­cises about the state of her own Soul: the Anguish of her spirit, about Her body of Death, caused her to pour out many tears & prayers; and she pressed, That some other pious children of her acquaintance, might with her keep a Day of Humiliation together, That (as she expressed it) they might get power against their sin­ful Natures. But it pleased God at length to bless the words of her godly mother, for the qui [...]ting of her mind. It was her singular Happiness, that she had such godly parents; but it was her Opinion and Ex­pression, We trust too much to the Prayers of our Parents, whereas we should pray for our selves.

Sect. 3. At last, she fell mortally sick. In the be­ginning of her Sickness, she was afraid of Dying; For, said she, I know of no promise to encourage me. She could not but own that she had in some measure wal­ked with God; yet she complain'd, That she had not [...] God meeting her in her prayers, and making her [Page 114] heart willing to be at his Dispose; and that the Pride of her heart, now lay as a Load upon it. She own'd, That she had many Thoughts of Jesus Christ, & that it grieved her that she had sinned against Him who had done and dy'd for her.

Sect. 5. But many dayes were not past, before she could profess her self Willing to Dy, with some Assu­rance of her then going to eternal Blessedness. Many Thanks and Loves did she now render to one of her Superiours, declaring, 'Twas because they had curb'd her, and restrain'd her from sinful vanities. And she said, Were I now to choose my Company, it should be among the People of God; I see plainly that they are the only company. She was not without her Conflicts in this time, wherein one of her Speeches was, Damnation, that is the worst thing of all, but Christ is of all the best; I find it so; Christ is to me, Wisdom, Righitousness, San­ctification, and Redemption. She told her Father, She knew she was made up of all manner of Sin; but said she, I hope God has humbled me and pa [...]doned me in the Merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unto her affectionate Mother she said, Mother, why do you weep, when I am well in my soul? Will you mourn, when I am so full of Joy? I pray rejoice with me.

Sect 5. When she was extreamly spent, she said unto her Parent, O my Father, I have been much trou­bled by Satan, but I find Christ is too hard for him, and sin, and all. She now said, I know now that I shall dy; and being asked, Whether she were afraid of Death; with a sweet smile she replied, No not I, Christ is better than Life! And so she continued in a most joyful [...]ame, till she dyed: a little before which, it being the Lords-day, she asked, What time of the day 'twas, [Page 115] and when they told her, 'Twas Three of the Clock; she replied, What? is the Sabbath almost done? well, my Eternal Sabbath is going to begin, wherein I shall en­joy all Felicity, & sing Hallelujahs to al [...] ETERNITY. And hereupon she quickly fell asleep in the Lord.

(VII.)

INasmuch as 'tis usual in several Towns of the Coun­trey, for the Pious Young men, to Associate them­selves in pious Meetings, for their mutual Assistence in the Affairs of Religion; and inasmuch as 'tis of singular Consequence, not only for Young men to be quickened by their Pastors unto such quickening Methods of Devotion, but also to have such Meetings under an Exact Regulation: I shall here annex a Copy of the Orders, Agreed, Used, and Signed by a Young mens Meeting in our Neighbourhood; that if God please, it may indeed prove a Copy, so far as the promoters of such things do find convenient, for the Imitation of many others.

Our Agreement.

WE that thro' the Grace of God, have been Awa­kened in our Y [...]uth to be concerned about the Things of our Everlasting Peace, and that would Re­member our Creator therefore in the Dayes of our Youth, do now desire to give up our selves unto God in Christ according to the Terms of His New Covenant; profes­sing with His Help, that according to the Duty and the Promise of that Covenant, we are willing with full purpose of Heart to cleave unto Him.

And for our Assistance in the Designs of Early Re­ligion, as well for the prevention of the Snares, which Young People frequently find in Evil Company, we As­sociate our selves, for the Observation of the Ensuing O [...]ers.

[Page 116]I. It shall be our Endeavour, to Spend the Two Hours, from Seven to Nine, on the Evening of eve­ry [...] in Praying together by Turns; One to Begin, and another to Conclude, the Meeting; and between the Two Prayers, having a Sermon Repeat­ed; whereto the Singing of a Psalm shall be annexed.

II. If after the Stated Exercises of the Evening are over, there be any Residue of Time, we will Confer upon some Question of Practical Christianity; in or­der whereunto every one of us, in his Turn, is to be provided with a Question, altho' the Answer to it shall be Left wholly Free unto every one, as he shall see cause to say More or Less concerning it.

III. We resolve to be Charitably Watchful over one another; & therefore we engage, that as we will not unkindly divulge one anothers Infirmities, but yet lovingly Inform one another of what we shall know or hear to be a Fault, so we will never manifest ourselves Offended at any of our Number that shall bestow a Christian Reproof upon us for any of our Miscarriages.

IV. They that would be admitted into our Society, shall be First Proposed one Evening; and then, if they be allow'd, they shall the next Evening be Present; when, if their Dispositions to be of us, do continue, One or Two of us appointed by the Rest, shall go with them unto the Minister of the Place, whose consent, and counsil about the persons to be admitted, being obtained, they shall then set their Names with ours in our Catalogue.

V If any Person Enrolled among us do fall in­to any Scandalous Iniquity, we will admonish him of his Evil; & suspend him from coming among [Page 117] [...] for a Shorter, or a Longer Space, according to [...] Nature of his offence; nor shall he be again [...]eceived, without Credible Expressions and Evi­ [...]nces of Repentance.

VI. Our List shall once in a Quarter, be called [...]ver; when if it be observed that any in it, have [...]ong or oft Absented themselves from us, we will [...]end some unto them, to enquire the Reason of their Absence; and if no Reason be given but such as intimates an Apostacy from Good beginnings, they shall, without speedy Reformation [...] be Obliterated.

VII. Once in Three Months, we will have a Col­lection, out of which the Necessary Charges of our Lights, Fires, and Entertainments, are to be defray'd, [...] the Rest shall be scattered among the Poor of our Neighbourhood, according to Agreement.

VIII. Once in Two Months, we will devote our whole [...] unto Supplications, for the Conversion and Salvation of the Rising Generation in our Land; & more particularly, for the success of the Gospel, a­mong the young in that Congregation, whereto, we do ourselves belong.

IX Upon Special Occasions, cast before us by the Providence of God, we will set apart our Whole Eve­nings, either for Humiliations, or for Thanksgivings; and we will, when we can, have W [...]o [...]e Dayes for the like purposes, on the like occasions.

Now, may the Grace of our God be sufficient for us!

FINIS.
[Page]
[...]
  • 1. THe Call of the Gospel.
  • 2. Military Duties: An [...] Sermo [...].
  • 3. Right Thoughts in Sad Hours.
  • 4. Early Piety Exemplified.
  • 5. Memorable Witchcrafts and Possessions.
  • 6. Discourses, to Serve the Designs of Practical Godliness.
  • 7. Souldiers Counselled and Comforted.
  • 8. The Wonderful Works of God Commemorated.
  • 9. Work upon the Ark.
  • 10. Speedy Repentance Urged.
  • 11. A Publick Spirit.
  • 12. A Companion for Communicants.
  • 13. The Serviceable Man: An Election Sermon.
  • 14. Serious Thoughts in Dying Times.
  • 15. Addresses to Old men, Young men, Litle Children
  • 16 The Life of the Renowned John Eliot.
  • 17 Expectanda; Or Things to be Look'd for.
  • 18 Little Flocks guarded against Grievous Wolves
  • 19. Ornaments for the Daughters of Zion.
  • 20 Blessed Unions Recommended.
  • 21. A Sacred Exorcism upon Sinful Discontent.
  • 22. The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Spirit.
  • 23 Meditations on the Day of Judgment.
  • 24. A Midnight Cry.
  • 25. Op [...]anda. Good Men Described, and Good Things Propounded.
  • 26. The Wonders of the Invisible World.
  • 27. Awakenings for the Unregenerate.
  • 28 Warnings from the Dead.
  • 29. The Day, and the Work of the Day.
  • 30. Winter Meditations.
  • 31. [Now in the Press,] The Short History of New Eng [...]and.

All by this Author.

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