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THE DUTY OF ALL Christians, URGED, In a Discourse On I Cor. XV. 58. Delivered in a Congregation at NEWPORT, On Rhode-Island.

By NATHANAEL CLAP.

I Thes. iv. 1.

Further more then we beseech you, Brethren, and exhort you the Lord JESUS, that as ye have received of us how we ought to walk, and to please GOD, so you would Abound more and more.

NEW PORT: Re printed by the Widow Franklin.

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To those who Desired the Publication of the follow­ing Discourse.

My Christian Friends,

BY Desiring to Read what you had Heard, About the work of the Lord, you lay your Selves under Farther Obligation To Abound in that Work.

Let all see that you Do so, both in your Conversation & in your Preparation for all the Institutions of CHRIT.

This will Rejoice your sure Friend,

N. CLAP.
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The Duty of all Christians URGED.

I Corinthians XV. 58.

—Always Abounding in the Work of the LORD.

BY Perusing this Chapter, you may, Find, The Holy Apostle Paul is There­in, Propounding and Confirming that. Great Article of the Christian Reli­gion, The Doctrine of the Resurrec­tion From the Dead.

Among the Coronthians were some People, that had so Indulged themselves in their Abominable [Page 4]Sensualities, that they had exceedingly Extinguish­ed all Profitable Apprehensions, about unseen E­ternal Things. They had wonderfully Stupified their Consciences, by Gratifying their Sensual Ap­petites; and were become in a manner meer Sen­sitive Creatures.

THEY had sunk almost below the Exercise of Reason: So that they laid aside all suitable Noti­ons, about Natural Religion: Therefore, No won­der, if they Suppressed all Thoughts about Revealed Religion. They would say, Let us Eat and Drink, for tomorrow we shall Die. As if they had said, This Life is the only time, for us, to take our Pleasure in. After this Life, there will be nothing for us, to Enjoy. And we know not how soon this Life will end, therefore let us take as much Pleasure, as we can, while we Live.

THENCE, It is no wonder, if there were abun­dance of Disorders among them: And abundance of Pernicious Practices with Erroneous Opini­ens.

AMONG other things, the Doctrine of the Re­surrection from the Dead was not only Doubted or Scrupled, but was Denied and Renounced by some of them: Some said, There is no Resurrection of the Dead.

THEREFORE the Apostle spends the greatest part of a long Chapter, to prove the Resurrection of the Dead: And one of his chief Arguments to prove it, is, The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And of this he could Produce the clearest [Page 5]and fullest & most incontestible Evidences. For He was seen not only by one or two, but by all the eleven Apostles, and by five hundred People at once, & a great part of them were Living then, to Declare what they had seen. Yea, He himself could say, that he had seen the Lord Jesus Christ; And therefore it was Undeniable that He was Risen from the Dead.

BUT inasmuch as the Lord Jesus Christ was Risen from the Dead, and had sent His Ministers to Preach, that He was Risen from the Dead, and that People should Believe in Him for Eternal Salvation, and for Deliverance from the power of the Grave, it was therefore unreasonable, to Ques­tion, whether there would be a Resurrection from the Dead: unless all their Preaching were Vain.

BUT having Proved, that there would be a Resurrection from the Dead, and a Day of Judg­ment, wherein there would be a Reward given to all according to their Works, He Improves, in our Text, what he had Proved.

THEREFORE, That is, for as much as, there will be as Resurrection of the Dead; and Conse­quently, a time of Retribution for all the Godly; They shall be Graciously and Gloriously Recom­penced;

BE Stedfast; That is, be fully settled in the Belief of the Truth of the Gospel, and parti­cularly, in the Doctrine of the Resurrection, which is a Principal Article of Christianity.

[Page 6] BE immoveable, That is, be firmly fixed against all Opposition, from any of the Cavils and Assaults, that may be endeavoured by Wicked Sinners, to shake your Faith, in this great Doctrine of Religion.

THEN it Follows,

BE always Abounding in the Work of the Lord, That is, constantly strive to do & to grow better & better. And be more and more Diligent about the Work Prescribed and Accepted by the Lord.

FOR as much as ye know that your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. That is, the Lord will Cer­tainly, Graciously and Gloriously Reward all your Sincere endeavours, about His Work, at the Great and the Last Day. For so far will the Saints of God be, from finding that they have Laboured in Vain, while they have been about the Work of God, that they that have Laboured Abundantly shall be Rewarded Abundantly. The Recom­pences of their Endeavours will be Wonderful as well as Eternal. The Lord will take Effectual Care that they shall not lose their Labour.

WE need only further consider, that the things in this Epistle are Directed unto all Christians; For so is the Epistle Directed in Chap. 1. Ver. 2. —To all that in every Place, call upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

AND then the Doctrine to be Considered by us all, must be this,

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DOCTRINE. IT is the Duty of all Christians always to Abound in the Work of the Lord.

NO doubt, but all of us would be Accounted Christians. God knows what all of us are.

THIS Doctrine tells what is our Duty, if we be Real Christians.

THE Doctrine must be Explained, that our Du­ty may be understood. Our Duty must be un­derstood, that it may be Practised, there is no re­gular Practice without suitable Knowledge. There­fore we must know our Duty that we may do it well. To help us, to know our Duty, the Explanati­on of the Doctrine may in the Fear of God, by the Help of Christ, be Endeavoured under several Pro­positions. Hear then that your Souls may Live.

PROP. I. THERE is a Work of the Lord In­cumbent on all Christians. All Christians have a Work belonging to them, that may be Stiled, The Work of the Lord.

NO Christian may Live without some Work. It is a great Wickedness for any person to Live in Idleness. For Idleness & Christianity are altogether Inconsistent. It you say, An Idle Christian, you ut­ter a Contradiction. Idle Persons are no Christi­ans. Whatever they think, about themselves, and [Page 8]whatever others may think about them, God will not own them for Christians, if they don't Repent of their Idleness, and beg Pardon of God. for that, as well as for all their other Wickedness, for the Sake of Christ, who always Pleased God, went about doing Good and was never idle.

IF Persons are Born to great Estates and spend their Time, in Idleness and wast away their Es­tates, they will have a dreadful Account to give: They will not be found among Christians at the Last Day, unless they Repent.

IF Persons Live upon the Labours of others, and spend their Time in Idleness, without any Im­ployment, for the Benefit of others, they cannot be numbred among Christians.

YEA, If Persons Labour, to get great Estates, with this design, chiefly, that they and theirs may live in Idleness: They cannot be Acknowledged for Christians.

BE sure then, they that use Ungodly Methods, to get Riches, that they might Live in Idleness must for ever be Excluded from the Number of Christians.

THEIR Consciences, if Enlightned, must fly in their Faces, while they Pretend to Christianity, but Desire to Live in Idleness.

FOR all Christians have some Work Incumbent on them. And this work may be justly called, The Work of the Lord, Because it is Required by the Lord, and it will be Rewarded by the Lord. But should it be Inquited,

[Page 9] Quest. WHAT is Implied in the Work of the Lord which is Incumbent on all Christians?

HEREUNTO it might be Answered, in General.

Answ. THE Work of the Lord Injoined on all Christians, comprehends all the Duties of Chris­tianity; All the Exercises of a Christian Conver­sation, or a Conversation according to the Gospel of Christ.

ALL Duties of Piety, and Religion toward God, All Duties of Charity and Righteousness toward Man, all Duties of our General Calling, or such as are Common to all Christians, belonging to them as Christians, all Duties of our Personal Cal­ling, or such as are Special to Christians, in their several Orders and Stations in the World; these belong to the Work of the Lord.

THEY are Sum'd up, in the Old Testament, in Micah 6.8. The Lord hath shewed thee, O Man, what is good, what doth the Lord Require of thee, but to do Justly, to love Mercy and to walk Humbly with thy God?

THEY are Sum'd up, in the New Testament, in 2 Tim. 1.13. Hold fast the Form of sound words in Faith and Love, which is in Christ Jesus.

BRIEFLY, The Great work of all Christians, it is, To maintain such a Union with the Lord Jesus Christ by Faith, as to receive constant Supplies of [Page 10]Grace from Him, continualy to bear a Testimony for the Truths & Ways of God, before the World, for the Glory of God, in this World, and to make Preparation for Glory with God in the Heavenly World, for ever.

THIS is the Work of the Lord; a Work Pro­pounded by the Lord, a Work Well pleasing to the Lord.

BUT more Particularly,

[I.] BELIEVING on Christ, With a firm Faith, for Eternal Salvation, Living by Faith on the Son of God, is the Work of the Lord. So are we told, in John 6.29. This is the Work of God, that you Believe on Him whom He hath sent. That is, on Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of Sinners. (1 John 3.23.)

THEREFORE must we be so sensible of our Sinfulness and Misery, as to be made willing, to Repair to the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Salvation of our Souls Commiting and Resigning our selves to Him, as the Author of Eternal Salvation to all, that Obey Him; And Applying our selves to Him, as our Prophet, for Instruction, as our Priest, for Attonement, as our King, for Government; Rely­ing on His Righteousness, for Justification, Com­plying with His Spirit for Sanctification; Trusting in Him, to work, in us, all that is Well pleasing in His Sight; Waiting on Him, to fit us for, & bring [Page 11]us to Eternal Glory, by His Rich and Free Grace, and His Sovereign Almighty Power.

SO to Believe in the Eternal Redeemer, is the Work of God. And if we do nothing about this Work, our Souls must be, for ever Undone. We must lie down in Eternal Sorrow, if we Neglect this Work of Faith. We shall do nothing well, about any other Work, until we begin to Believe in Christ.

BUT if we attend this Work of God, to Believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, with all our Hearts, then shall we be Prepared, for other things, belonging to the Work of God.

THEREFORE must we be perswaded, to Ac­cept of that Invitation of our Lord, in Mat. 11.28. Where He says, Come to me all ye, that Labour and are Heavy Laden, and I will give you Rest. Rest not without coming to Christ, but come to Christ, and He will give Rest. Rest from Sin, Rest, from Grief, and Rest from Fear: But not Rest from Work. There will be more Work still. For says our Lord, Take] my Yoke upon you, Learn of me. So, True Believers on Christ have Work, to do, after they have Believed. They are, to draw in the Yoke of Christ, and therein, to attend the Work of the Lord.

INDEED, at Death will the Saints of God Rest from their Labours, according to what we Read in, Rev. 14.13. Blessed are the Dead, who Die in the Lord, they Rest from their Labours, and their Works follow [Page 12]them. Yet they do not Rest from the Work of Praising the Lord. For we Read in Rev. 4.8. With Reference to the Saints, in the Church Trium­phant, as well as, in the Church Militant, They Rest, not Night nor Day, from saying, Holy, Holy. Holy Lord God Almighty, which was and is, and is to come. The Saints of God, in Heaven will be Praising the Lord, their Creator & Redeemer & Sanctifier, for ever. But, be sure, in this World, they must not cease from Work, as long as they Live in this World. Tho' they have Believed, their Believ­ing in Christ will not Release them from other Parts of the Work of the Lord.

AND, to mention some other parts of that Work, we may now go on, to Affirm,

[II.] REPENTING of Sin, With Unfeigned Repentance and Maintaining the Life of such Re­pentance belongs to the Work of the Lord. So are we told in Act. 17.30. God Commandeth all men every where, to Repent. Repentance of Sin is Com­manded to God, and may be reckoned part of the Work of the Lord, the Work, which the Lord hath Obliged His People to attend, while they Live in this World. They must be so Convinced of their Sinfulness by Nature and Practice, their Sinfulness of Soul and Life, their Sins of Omission and Commission, their Sins against the Law, and [Page 13]against the Gospel, as to be Humbled before the Lord for all their Deviations from, and Violations of the Rules, that He hath set before them, and Confess and Bewail them all, with Grief & Shame, and Beg Pardon for them all, for the sake of Christ, with Sincere Desires, and Serious Purposes, and Earnest Endeavours, to Turn from all Sin, to God in Jesus Christ, and to Live more and more Exactly according to the Rules of the Gospel, eve­ry Day.

SUCH a Repentance belongs to the work of the Lord. Therefore must we be Perswaded to Com­ply with that Proposal in Prov. 28.13. He that Confesseth and Forsaketh His sin, shall have mercy. There will be the mercy of Pardon of Sin, the mercy of Power over & against Sin, the mercy of Peace and Reconciliation with God, the mercy of Quietness and Easiness of Conscience, to them that Heartily Confess and Forsake their Sins, with Sorrow for Sin, with Hatred to Sin, with Resolu­tion, by the Grace of God, in Christ Jesus, to live more according to the Doctrines of Godliness.

AND this work of Repentance must be continued all our Days, we must Never leave off the work of Repentance, while we live in this world. They that Pretend they have Repented enough, Declare, they have not Repented at all. They shew a certain Token that they know not what belongs to Repen­tance. They have not so much as begun to Repent, if they think they may leave off to Repent, If they [Page 14]think, they are so Perfect and Righteous, that they need no Repentance, it is very sure, that they have lived impenitently ever since they lived. And how­ever they mock & scoff at maintaining of our Christi­an Warfare, During Life. It is very sure they must lose their Souls forever unless they change their minds about their State, & see their Need of Re­pentance, & begin the Work of Unfeigned Repen­tance. They must Repent & Turn from all their Transgressions, & from their False & Vain Opinions, or their Iniquities will be their Ruin.

YEA, Christians must not only Repent every Day, for their Daily Sins, but they must also strive, to be more Sorry, for their former Sins. For many times God may Chastize and Afflict His Children, after their Believing in Christ, for their former Sins, that they committed before their Conversion, as well as, for their falls into Sin, after their Conversion because they have not been so sorry, as they should have been for their former Sins. He may let them fall so, as, to open their former Wounds, to make them Bleed afresh, that they may Repent, with a more bitter Sorrow, for their former Sins.

BUT they that have spent or lost, the most of their Time in their Unregenracy, & have not begun the work of Repentance, until their Old Age, must be very Diligent, about this Work of the Lord; To call their Sins to Remembrance; To Confess & Be­wail them; To Lament their Condition, before the Lord, so as to be Quickned, yet more Fervently to [Page 15]Beg for the sense of the Pardon of them. They should be more concerned, about such things, than most People are Accustomed to be, or things will Appear to be very sad with their Souls.

AND, be sure, the work of Repentance must be Continued by Repenting Sinners, until they are Perfectly Delivered from Sin, upon the Separati­on of their Spirits from their Bodies, by Death. Repentance must Live, until we Die. And we must Attend the Work of Repentance, all the time, that we Live, in this World of Sin. We must Live Repenting; yea, we must Die Repent­ing; And looking to the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, for Life Eternal.

AND if this Work of the Lord he well Attend­ed, then we shall Attend another Exercise, in that Work.

[III.] FOLLOWING and Perfecting Holiness in the Fear of God, all the Day long, and all their Life long, belongs to the Work of the Lord, that is Incumbent on all Christians. For so are we Ad­vised, in 2 Cor. 7. 1. Let us cleanse or selves from all Filthiness of Flesh and of Spirit, Perfecting Holi­ness, in the Fear of God.

WE should be daily considering what our Sinful Defilements are, and upon the sight of any Sinful Pollution, Appearing on our Souls, Immediately Repair unto the Fountain opened for Sin and for [Page 16]Uncleaness. We must Apply our selves unto the Purifying Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that our Souls may be more and more Purified from all our Sinful Impurities. And we should not be willing to Sleep, as long as we Apprehend our Souls un­der any spot or stain of Sin, for the Removal of which, we have not Expresly Addressed our selves unto the Pardoning, Purging Blood of Je-Christ.

WE are to Pray for Purity, in Heart, in Lip, and in Life, and Labour for Holiness, in all manner of Conversation; Striving to be Holy, as He that hath called us, is Holy, And Improve all Merciful things with which God is Favouring us, and all Sorrowful things, with which God is Chastening us that we may thereby be made more Partakers of an Holiness Resembling the Holiness of the In­finitely Holy God.

AND whereas we may all find Abundance want­ing, as to Perfection of Holiness, we may find Abun­dance to be done by us all in following of Holiness, we must take abundance of Pains, to be more Ho­ly. And therefore must we strive, to have our Faith every Day Exercised on the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Deriving of Grace from Him, our Faith must go forth unto Him, to fetch in con­stant Supplies of New Grace, from that Foun­tain of all Grace; to be Advancing in Holiness: That our Hearts being Purified by Faith, our ways may be daily growing more and more Pure, so [Page 17]that we may be continually making our selves more and more meet, to be partakers of the Inheri­tance of the Saints in light, and fitting for the Blessed-making Vision of the Lord.

WE know, from Heb. 12.14. Without Holiness, none shall see the Lord; And from Mat. 5.8. The Pure in Heart shall be Blessed with seeing of God. Therefore Endeavours, to Attain Perfection of Ho­liness, belong to the Work of the Lord, Incum­bent on all Christians.

BUT neither be these all the things, Belonging to that Work; For,

[IV.] PREPARING for, and Improving of, all the Holy Ordinances of God, for their Growth in Grace, and their Advancement in Holiness, be­longs to the Work of the Lord, Incumbent on all Christians. For we Read about certain Persons, that were attending the Work of the Lord, in Luk. 1.6. They were both Righteous before God, walking in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord, blameless. When it is said, They were both Righteous before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord. It implies, that if, they had not Regarded all the Commandments & Ordinances of the Lord, they could not have been Accounted Righteous be­fore God, nor Blameless: Therefore if Christians will Attend all the Work of the Lord Incumbent on them, they must have a Regard unto all the Ordi­nances [Page 18]of God, all the Institutions of Christ, in His Ecclesiastical Kingdorn in this World.

AND among the Ordinances, to be Regarded by Christians, that would Attend all the Work of the Lord, there is, not only Praying to God, in Se­cret, in Private and in Publick; on Ordinary and Extraordinary occasions: All Christians must at­tend these Kinds of Prayer, in their Seasons, if they will attend all the Work of the Lord, or indeed any Part of that Work, well; Not only Reading and Hearing the World of God; Christians, Be sure, must attend this, or they will Neglect some part of the Work of the Lord and are in the way, to Neglect all the Rest, that they should attend; If they will not Heart what the Lord says unto them, in the Publick Dispensation of his Word, by the Ministry of His Ambassadors, it is no wonder that other things be Neglected: But there be also the speci­al Sealing Ordinances of the Covenant of Grace, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, that are to be Attended and Improved.

ALL Christians, that are Able, Truly to say, that they Desire and Labour, to Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, for Eternal Salvation, should seek for Baptism, for Themselves, and their Chil­dren, if they have not been Baptized. But if any Professing of Christianity, are not willing to Repent of their Sins, Confessing them, and Professing a wil­lingness to Forsake them, and look to Christ, for the Pardon of them, that they may be Baptized, it [Page 19]is very sure, that they Neglect some part of the Work of the Lord, that they should Attend. For the Lord has commanded His Ministers, in Mat. 28.19. Go, Teach all Nations, Baptizing them, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Ho­ly Spirit, Teaching them to observe all things, whatso­ever I have Commanded you.

THEN they that would be Acknowledged for the Disciples of Christ, are to fit, and seek for Bap­tism; Nor may they expect to Enjoy it, until they do, by some way or other discover a willingness, to be the Disciples of Christ, if they are Up grown. For that Ordinance of God is called the Baptism of Repentance; and therefore no Apparently Im­penitent Sinner may be Baptized. John the Bap­tist would Baptize none, that Appeared unwil­ling, to manifest Repentance. Persons, that have not been Baptized, should Repent of their Sins, and manifest, by all proper ways, that they have truly Repented, that they may be Baptized. And being Baptized, they should Labour, to Improve their Baptism, to Promote their Holiness, if they would attend all the Work of the Lord. Un­to a Repenting Sinner, it may be Advised as, in Act. 22.16. Arise, and be Baptized, and wash a­way thy Sins, calling on the Name of the Lord. O­therwise, there would some of the Work of the Lord be Neglected.

AND then, those up grown Christians, that are capable of Examining themselves, concerning their [Page 20]Knowledge, to Discern the Lords Body; and con­cerning their Faith, to Feed upon Him; and con­cerning their Love to God and Christ, and the Saints, because of their Holiness; and to all their Neighbours to Desire their Benefit; and concern­ing their Unfeigned Repentance; and their De­sires & Labours about their New Obedience; They should Repair to the Table of the Lord; And they should Improve the Supper of the Lord, to Excite and Assist their Holy, Humble, Thankful, Delightful, Believing and Penitent Remembrance of their Lord, and of His Love to their Souls, that they may Grow in their Grace, Joy, Comfort and Preparation for the Injoyment of their Lord, in His Heavenly Glories. This they must do, if they would attend all the Work of the Lord. For so is it expresly Commanded, in 1 Cor. 11.28. Let a man Examine himself, & Eat of that Bread, & Drink of that Cup. And about Eating and Drinking the Sacramental Bread and Wine, our Lord says to His Disciples, This do, in Remembrance of me.

BUT Christians may not content themselves in the Injoyment of these Ordinances of God, but they must be careful, to Improve them, for the ends, for which God hath Appointed them; to Promote their Faith, Repentance, Holiness and Meetness for Heaven. For it is not the Injoy­ment, but the Improvement of Privileges, that will do Good.

[Page 21] NOR may Persons pretend, that they would Improve the Ordinances of God, if they might Injoy them, while they are not Prepared for them. If they are unfit for the Holy Ordinances of God, they cannot safely Attend them. It would be a Dangerous thing for Persons to Attend the Sealing Ordinances of God, while they Know them­selves, to be in the gall of Bitterness and in the bond of Wickedness; or under the Power of any Reigning Sin.

FOR if Persons are Baptized, while they know themselves to be Resolved Sinners, it is no won­der, if their Baptism Seal them up under their Impiety, forever: No wonder, if, like Simon Magus, they are given over to Ungodliness, and are more Ungodly after their Baptism than ever they were before.

AND then, be sure, if Persons Venture unto the Table of the Lord, while they Know themselves to be Resolved Sinners, It is no wonder, if they are, by that Ordinance, Confirmed in their Ini­quity. No wonder, if Satan do Enter into them, as into Judas, after he had Received the Sop, that might be offered to him, after the Admini­stration of the Passover. Wonder not, if such Woful Sinners become such Hardened Sinners, that they cannot Repent, They will not Repent; They will never be Renewed again to Repentance.

THE Ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ may not Administer these Holy Ordinances to any [Page 22]that appear to be Wicked Sinners and continue Impenitent in their Wickedness; This would be a Prophanation of those Holy Ordinances. But they must not be Prophanely Prostituted unto the Ungodly Lusts of wicked Sinners. This would be highly Displeasing to the Holy Lord.

THESE things are not mentioned for the Dis­couragement of any Serious Pious Persons, that may be Weak in Grace and may be under Doubts and Fears: For such will desire to attend the Work of the Lord with suitable Preparation: They will endeavour that their Hopes may over­come their Fears. And are willing to give a rea­son of their Hope, that they are Prepared for these Holy Ordinances.

AND if Persons Hope, they are Prepared for the Sealing Ordinances of the Covenant of Grace, they should beware lest they become chargeable with that Crime charged on some, in Mal. 3.7. Ye are gone away from mine Ordinances, saith the Lord. For if they are Guilty of such a Crime, they must Repent of it, with bitter Humiliation, before the Lord, and before the World, if they would attend all the work of the Lord. For Preparing our selves to Improve all the Ordinances of the House of the Lord, belongs to the Work of the Lord which Christians must not willingly Neglect, if they would keep clear from Rebellion against the Lord, who hath Commanded that Work for all Christians.

[Page 23] But we have still something more, to Add,

[V.] PROMOTING and Furthering the best Good of all about them, and especially of those that are any way Related to them, and peculiarly of those, that are under their Care and Charge, belongs to the Work of the Lord, that is Incum­lent on all Christians. For so are we Advised in Gal. 6.10. As we have Opportunity, let us do good unto all, especially to them, who are of the Houshold of Faith.

IT is not enough, that we seek our own Wel­fare and Comfort, and the Welfare and Comfort of those, that be related unto us: But we should strive, to Benefit all sorts of Persons, both Friends and Foes; Imitating our Heavenly Father, who causeth His Sun to Shine and His Rain to Fall on the Just and the Unjust, on the Good and the Evil. And we must Pray for them that Persecure us, and that Despitefully use us. These are some things belonging to the Work of the Lord, Com­manded by our Lord, in Mat. 5.44. I say unto you, Love your Enemies, Bless them, that Curse you, and Pray for them, that Despitefully use you and Per­secute you, that you may (Appear to) be the Chil­dren of your Father which is in Heaven.

BUT we must in a peculiar manner be con­cerned for all the People of God, all that call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and Love [Page 24]Him in Sincerity. These are of the Houshold of Faith; and to these (and to others) we must do Good, not only, by our Prayers and by our Coun­sels, and by our Giving to them, if they Need, and by our Forgiving of them, if they Offend, but also By setting before them, the Example of a Good Conversation, that they may see our Good Works, and Glorify our Heavenly Father. This belongs to the Work of the Lord.

AND most particulatly should we be Concern­ed for those, that be Related unto us and are un­der our Care and Charge, if we desire to attend all the Work of the Lord. For as True as well as Old is the Assertion, If Really Good then Rela­tively Good.

THEY that be most nearly Related should often think, How Knowest thou, O Man, but thou mayest save thy Wife! And how Knowest thou, O Woman, but thou mayest save thy Husband! They should strive to Live, as Heirs together of the Grace of Life, that they may Help one another in the way to Blessedness. If they would shew that they Sin­cerely mind the Work of the Lord.

AND Pious Parents, must Teach their Children about Christianlty, & Charge them, to mind Good Things and Warn them to shun Bad Things, and Pray daily for them and with them, & bring them up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord.

AND Godly Children must Honour their Pa­rents and Obey them and strive to Please them [Page 25]and Comfort and Rejoice them, and make their Souls Glad, by letting them see, that they Love to Walk in the Truth, if they Attend the Work of the Lord as it should be attended.

AND all Superious have Duties Incumbent on them, toward their Inferiours, that must be At­tended by them that will do the Work of the Lord. And,

[VI.] DILIGENCE and Faithfulness in their Particular Calling, belong to the Work of the Lord that is Incumbent on all Christians. For so are they Advised, in 1 Thes. 4.11. Study to be Quiet and to do your own Business, Working with your Hands, that you may Walk Honestly toward them, that are without, and that ye may have need of nothing.

IT is plain, that they do not Walk Honestly, that have no Business of their own to mind. Then they do not mind the Work of the Lord. Therefore Christians must have some Business of their own to mind. Their Bones, or their Brains, or both must be Imployed in some Good Business, whereby their Neighbours may be Ad­taged, in their Souls, or Bodies, or Estates, or some of their Desireable Interests; otherwise, they will not mind the Work of the Lord.

THE Apostle Adviseth in Tit. 3.8. I will that thou constantly Affirm, that they who Profess to have [Page 26]Believed in God, be careful to maintain Good Works. Part of the meaning is this; Professors of Christi­anity must have some Honest Imployment, that may be Good, Useful and Profitable, not only to themselves, but also to others: For else they do not attend all the Work of the Lord.

YEA, Christians must be Diligent in their Cal­lings, they must not think to Live without some Work, of some sort, or other. They are sorty Christians if they Deserve the Name of Christi­ans, who would attend no Business if they had wherewithal to Live in the World, without any Business. They that have no Work of their own, to mind, he sure, they do not mind the Work of the Lord. Persons may be Diligent about their Business, without being real Christians, but they cannot be Real Christians, that have no care about their Business.

HAVE not some of us known those, that would Pretend, that if they had less Business about their Callings, they would Spend more Time in the Exercises of Religion? But what Exercises of Religion have some such People At­tended, when they have had less, to do, or have done less, than they used to do, about their Par­ticular Callings! Their Drinking, or Gaming, or Smoaking away of their Precious Time, hath not been to spend their Time in the Work of the Lord. Spending their Time in Vain Talk, in Backbiting & Reviling, it Censuring & Slandering [Page 27]of their Neighbours hath not been to Spend it in the Work of the Lord. Nor hath it been the Work of the Lord, which those People have Attended, who have spent Abundance of Time, in Labouring, to Entice and Seduce their Neigh­bours from the Means of Grace, or to Prejndice their Minds against the Ordinances of God, or the Ambassadors of Christ, and so to Harden their Hearts in the Ways of Ungodliness. These have not been the Works of the Lord. But some Sinners have Attended such Works. But when will they Repent and give Glory to God, by giving any Evidence of their Unfeigned Re­pentance for their Wicked Works! Oh! That they would consider, whose Works these be, and what will be the Wages for such Works! And would be Excited unto Works Meet for Re­pentance.

BUT still, they that would Attend the Work of the Lord, must be Diligent about the Works of their Particular Callings, & Faithful in them, as well as Diligent.

CHRISTIANS must be Faithful in their Par­ticular Callings, by doing all in Obedience to God, with Dependance on Christ, for Assistance and Acceptance, in all that they do; with de­sign for the Glory of God, Relying on Him for Grace, to do all in such Order and Sea­son, after such manner, as may best Promore the great End of their Being.

[Page 28] NOR have we yet mentioned all: But to Sum up all in one Article more, we may now say,

[VII.] CONTINUANCE and Perseverance about the Work of their Souls, To work out their Salvation, to make sure of their Salvation, belong to the Work of the Lord, Incumbent on all Christi­ans. For so Advised the Apostle Paul, in Rom. 2.7. To them, who by Patient continuance in well-Doing, seek for Glory and Honour and Immortallity, God will render Eternal Life. And in Phil. 2.12. Work out your own Salvation with Fear and Trembling, for it is God, which worketh in you, to will & to do, of His good Pleasure. And so Advised the Apostle Peter, in 2. Epist. 1.10. Give Diligence, to make your Calling & Election sure. And the Apostle to the Hebrews Advises, Chap. 6.12. We desire that every one of you shew the same Diligence (that is the same Diligence, that you have shewed, and see that you continue Diligent:) unto the full Assurance of Hope, unto the End. To this agrees the Advice of our Saviour, in Mat. 10.22. He that endureth to the End, shall be Saved. And in Rev. 2.10. Be thou Faithful to the Death, & I will give thee a Crown of Life. All these Advices Prove that a continued Patience and a persevering Diligence must be maintained by them that do the Work of the Lord; And they should strive, to maintain such a Walk with God, as to Enjoy the constant Shines of His Countenance upon their Souls, that they might see know and be fully [Page 29]Assured, that He hath Loved them with an Ever­lasting Love, and that nothing shall separate them from the Love of God in Christ Jesus,

INDEED These are not the Common Attain­ments of the Generality of Christians: But all Christians, are obliged to be concerned for such Desireable Attainments.

FOR tho' the Work of the Holy Spirit of God, in Sealing the Souls of Believers on Christ, and giving to them a certain Assurance, that they are the Children of God, be an Arbitrary Operation of that Almighty and Eternal Spirit; He hath not bound Himself to attend our Endeavours; yet seeing we may not Expect the Impressions of the Holy Spirit by His Power on our Souls, without our serious Endeavours, Therefore should we be Diligent, in the use of all Means, that we may use, to come to know, that we are the Children of God; that we are born again, that we have passed from Death unto Life: And that we have Believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; And that we are in the Favour of God, and have our Sins Pardoned, and are daily Advancing in our meetness to partake of the Heavenly Inheritance, and that we shall safely Arrive, at last, in the Kingdom of Glory, to be ever with the Lord.

THESE are some Things belonging to the Work of the Lord, that is Incumbent on all Christians.

BUT now,

[Page 30] PROP. II. ALL Christians must Abound in this Work of the Lord. No Christians are Exempted from being Concerned in this Work of the Lord. The Things mentioned belong to the Work of the Lord, which all Christians must, in their several Places attend.

SOME of the Things mentioned are Absolutely Necessary to Salvation; there can be no Salva­tion without Believing on Christ, Repenting of Sin, Following of Holiness.

OTHERS of the Things, that have been Men­tioned, are Necessary to our Consolation, in this World, and our Preparation for the Glories of the Heavenly World: We must Attend the Or­dinances of God; we must Benefit our Neigh­bours, and we must be Diligent about our Par­ticular Callings; and we must Work out our Sal­vation, giving Diligence, to make our Calling and Election Sure, if we will have Solid Com­fort in this World, or Lasting Glory in the World to come. There can be no Well grounded Hope, nor Comfortable Satisfaction, for us, that we are in a Good Way, and shall come to a Good End, as long as we are Careless or Negligent about the Things mentioned.

NOR is it enough, that we do a little about these Things, but there is great and abundant Reason, that we should Abound in them. And if it be now Inquired,

[Page 31] Quest. BY what Motives, are we to be Excited, to Abound in the Work of the Lord?

We might Answer,

Answ. COMPREHENDING the Motive in our Text.

I. THE Glorious GOD, who is FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT, hath done Abundance, and is doing Abundance, and will do Abundance, for all Christians; and therefore should They all do Abundance in the Work of the Lord. And here, we might Consider,

WHAT hath the Glorious GOD done for all Christians?

1. GOD the FATHER hath Freely Loved them, from Everlasting & Chosen them, from Ever­lasting, to be Objects of His Everlasting Love; and hath given them to His Eternally Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Eternal Co­venant of Redemption; to Save them with Eter­nal Salvation, to bring them to Eternal Glory.

FOR unto every Sincere Christian may the Almighty God say, as in Jer. 31.3. I have Loved thee with an Everlasting Love, therefore with loving Kindness have I drawn thee.

AND about all Real Christians might our Lord Jesus Christ own, before His Eternal Father, as in Joh. 17.6. I have manifested thy Name unto them that [Page 32]thou gavest me out of the World: Thine they were and thou gavest them unto me, end they have kept thy Words.

GOD the Father hath had Eternal Purposes of Grace about His Chosen, whom He hath Given to His Son Jesus Christ, in the Eternal Covenant, wherein He hath Engaged, to bring them unto E­ternal Blessedness.

EVEN, before the Foundation of the World, in the Days of Eternity, the Eternal God intended Good things for His Chosen. He Promised these Good things unto the Lord Jesus Christ, (See 2 Tim. 1.9. Tit. 1.2.) And He Created the World, and Brought them into the World, and Ordered the Means of Grace, for their Benefit, that they might be brought unto Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. For He hath so Loved the World, that He hath sent His only Begot­ten Son into the World, that whosoever Believeth in Him should not Perish, but have Everlasting Life. And

2. GOD the SAVIOUR hath Loved the Chosen of God, so as to Accept of the Offer of them, by God the Father, in the Covenant of Redemption, He hath undertaken for their Salvation. He Pro­mised, To come into the World, To become a Man, To be made under the Law, To Die and Suffer for the Sins of His People, To Satisfy the Justice of God and to Deliver the Chosen of God from that Eternal Wrath, which they deserved by Sin. He [Page 33]Promised, To bring them our of their Misery and to bring them to Glory for Ever. And according to His Promise, He did, in the Fulness of time, at the Time appointed, come into the World to Save them, and to Die for them, that He might Save them. Answering all the Demands of the Law, He Obeyed all the Commands of the Law for them, and He hath Engaged that, He will not leave them, until He hath brought them unto His Glory.

HIS Design is declared, in 1 Tim. 1.15. This is a Faithful saying and worthy of all Acceptation, that Je­sus Christ came into the World to save Sinners (And in John 6.37, 38.9.40.)

HIS Desire is Declared in John 17.24. Father, I will that they, whom thou hast given me, be with me, where I am, that they may behold my Glory, which thou hast given me, for thou hast Loved me before the Foun­dation of the World. (And in Rev. 3.21.)

HE is become the Author of Eternal Salvation to all that Obey Him. He hath provided Eternal Blessedness for them, He hath bought them out of the Hands of Divine Justice, with His own most Precious Blood, and brought them out of the Kingdom of Satan, from under his Bondage, by His own Almighty Power, that they might be His willing Servants, To be improved for His Glory. And He hath Bought Heaven for their Eternal Possession. He had a Right unto Heaven, as He was the Eternal Son of God. But by His Obedi­ence to God, His Father, He Purchased a Right [Page 34]unto Heaven, for all the Children of God. And He makes over this Right unto them, that they may have it for their Everlasting Inheritance. Having Spent His Life, He shed His Blood for them, He Died for them, and Rose again from the Dead for them, and Ascended up into Heaven, to Take & Keep Possession of Heaven for them, until He brings them into the Possession of Heaven.

3. GOD the HOLY SPIRIT hath brought home the Benefits of Redemption, to all that are indeed Christians, who begin to Injoy the Sal­vation, that is Purposed, by God the Father for them and Purchased for them, by God their Saviour.

THE Eternal Spirit of God Awakens them, Inlightens them, Convinces them; and makes them Concerned, about their Eternal Affairs. And Excites and Quickens them, to mind the Things, of their Souls; He Inclineth and Assisteth them to Receive the Lord Jesus Christ, for their Prophet, their Priest and their King, with all that Wisdom and Righteousness and Holiness and Redemption, that He hath Procured for them: And He Per­swades them, to Accept and Embrace the Son of God for their Eternal Saviour, as He is offered in the Gospel. And He Comforts them, and Supports them and Strengthens them, and carries them through all Duties and Tryals, to the Glory of God.

[Page 35] AND God, who is Father Son and Spirit, Raises up, and Accomplishes and Authorizes, and Encou­rages and Sends forth and Prospers and Succeeds the Faithful Ministers of the Gospel, To Preach the Word of God, where His Chosen are scattered in the World; so that they may Hear the Call of the Gospel and be Invited to Accept of Salvation, offered in the Gospel.

YEA, that God, who is Father, Son and Spirit, sendeth His Holy Angels to Attend, to Defend, to Assist and to Comfort His Holy People, as long as they live in this World. And to receive their Spirits, at their Death and to convey them safely into the Regions of Glory. [As, in Psal. 34.7. Psal. 91.11. Heb. 1.14. Mat. 18.10. Luk. 16.22.]

YEA, All the Providences of God, as well as all His Ordinances, are intended and managed for the Benefit of the Faithful Children of God. The whole World being made for the Glorious Messiah, it is Preserved in its Being and in some Order, for His Glory, and for the Benefit of those, whom God the Father hath given to Him. And God will keep all things, in the whole World in such an Or­der, that all His Elect shall have Time, to be Pre­pared for Admission into His Kingdom of Glory.

THENCE it comes to pass, that sometimes Great Nations and Kingdoms, tho' very Sinful, are Preserved, for several Generations, for the sake of some of the Chosen of God, that are to be Born among those Nations, under those Kingdoms. [Page 36] Rahab the Harlot is an Instance of such a Thing. Several Nations and Kingdoms, notwithstanding all their Wickedness were Preserve for several Hun­dreds of Years, until she was Born, brought up and come to Years of Understanding so as to have the offer of Salvation, that she might Believe and be Saved.

AND sometimes, the God of heaven puts mighty Empires into Terrible Confusions, for the sake of some few of His Chosen, that Reside in those Em­pires, that they may be brought unto the Know­ledge of the way of Salvation. Was nothing like this Effected by the Taxing ordered at the time of the Birth of our Saviour?

YEA, the Gospel may be Preached a long time, in divers Places without very much Apparent Be­nefit, unto the People, that now Live in those Places. But God may have designs of Planting and Setling His Gospel there, for the Benefit of great Numbers of Souls, in after Generations.

HOWEVER, certain it is, that all the great things, that are Performed, by the Alwise God, in the World, from time to time, are Designed and Ordered, for His Glory, in the Eternal Salvation of His Chosen.

THEN, be sure, as God hath done, so He is do­ing Abundance for all Christians.

HE looks after them all their Life, Day and Night, continually. He gives His Holy Angels Chang concerning them. He keeps the Celestial [Page 37]Bodies, from Age to Age, in their Places and Mo­tions, for their Benefit. He Orders the Seasons of the Year for their Good. He Manages every thing upon the Earth, so as will, at last, be for their Welfare. And they will see and have cause, to own, the most High hath Performed all things well for them.

CERTAINLY then He hath done Abundance for them, and is doing Abundance for them; Therefore should they Abound in the Work of the Lord. They are under Everlasting Obliga­tions, to do so. If there were no more done for them, than what God hath already done for them and is doing daily for them, while they Live in this World.

BUT besides all that God hath done for them and is doing for them, all the time, that they Live here, there is more, Abundance more, that God will do for them, to all Eternity.

FOR the Eternal God hath Reserved the chief Recompences of Christians, for the Heavenly World. There He will show what He can do, to make them Inexpressibly Blessed, Inconceiveably Happy: To Fill and Please their Souls with Ever­lasting Satisfaction, so that they shall Desire no more, than they Enjoy.

ALL that God is doing for His People, here in this World, though it be Abundance, yet it is nothing to be Compared, with what God will do for His People in the World to come.

[Page 38] OH! How great is the Good, that God hath laid up, for them that Fear and Trust in Him, in this World, to be laid out upon them in the other World.

EYE hath not seen, Ear hath not Heard, nor hath it Entred into the Heart of Man to conceive, what God Will Do for His People hereafter, in the World of Eternal Glory.

HE will not only Receive their Spirits into un­utterable Glories, in the Heavenly Paradise, to Dwell in His Presence before the Lord Jesus Christ, until the Resurrection, But Then, He will Raise their Bodies, and make them Glorious, like the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, and will set them on Thrones, and set Crowns on them, and make them higher than ever were any of the Kings of the Earth, in this World. And He will Honour them, in the great Day of Judg­ment before all the World: And when that Day is finished, He will Receive them, both Body and Soul, into the Glories of His Heavenly Kingdom, where they shall be, For ever Beholding His Face in Righteousness and Satisfied with His Likeness; Drinking of Rivers of Delights and Swimming in an Eternal Ocean of Admirable, Spiritual and Soul­satisfying Pleasures.

THEY shall be continually Praising, Honouring, and Glorifying their Ever Glorious Creator and Redeemer and Sanctifier, before the Holy Angels of God: And Perpetually accompanying of those [Page 39]Blessed Spirits, in saying, Blessing and Honour and Glory and Power be unto Him that Sittethon the Throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

THEY will be for ever with Joyful Wonders, Contemplating on the Glorious and Excellent Per­fections of the Eternal GOD. They will see His Wonderful Power and Wisdom and Goodness, Dis­played in the Works of Creation; They will see further Displays of these Attributes, in the Works of Providence, wherein they will see also the Righteousness and Holiness and Faithfulness of God manifested. And further Manifestations of all these Eternal Excellencies will appear in the Works of Redemption, wherein likewise they will see Glorious Appearances of the Grace, and Mercy and Compassion of God, in the Exercises of His Loving Kindness toward Unworthy Miserable Sinners, for their Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. And these Contemplations will Excite them unto Everlasting Hallelujahs. They will never be weary of Praising the Lord. But will say, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath Loved us from Everlast­ing and given us to His own Son, to Save us; And Blessed be the Lamb of God, that hath Lov­ed us and Washed us from our Sins, with his own Blood; And Blessed be the Holy and Eternal Spirit of God, for His Applying to us all the Benefits of Redemption, and bringing us unto the Possessi­on of all the Happiness, purposed for us by God [Page 40]the Father and purchased for us, by God our Saviour.

AND they will find themselves Compassed with, and Confirmed in the Love of God Eternally. And will be so Satisfyed as to wish for no more.

BUT all Words are dark things, to Describe or Declare the Happiness of the Saints of God in Heaven, or to shew what God will do for all real Christians, in the Heavenly World.

HOWEVER, this we may say; none of their Labours in the Work of the Lord will be in Vain, they will be Abundantly Recompenced, with a far more exceeding and Eternal Weight of Glory.

THIS is part of what the Apostle intends, when he says, Your Labour shall not be invain in the Lord. And, by such Considerations he would have Christi­ans, to be Excited, to Abound in the Work of the Lord. And we should be all moved, to Abound in the Work of the Lord, by considerati­ons, about what God hath done, is doing and will do Abundantly for His People. He is Able, to do Exceeding Abundantly, above all that we can Ask or Think. And He will Glorify His Power in doing Abundantly for all that Love and Fear Him.

THE Apostle considering this, would Labour more Abundantly than others, and would have Christians to consider, what God hath done, in Shedding the Holy Spirit Abundantly on them [Page 41]that they may be Quickened to Good Works. And He considers the Exceeding Abundant Grace of the Lord Jesus unto Him, and thinks, if Grace hath much more Abounded, where Sin hath A­bounded, and God hath Pardoned Abundantly, where Sinners have Sinned Abundantly, then they should strive to Abound in the Work of the Lord. They that are Forgiven much are to Love much, and to do much for God, and never grow weary of well doing. But,

II. WICKED Sinners do Abound in Bad Works. And Commit abundance of Wickedness in Sinning against the Lord: Therefore should the Children of God shew their Love unto their Heavenly Father, by their Abounding in Good Works, doing Abundance for the Glory of God.

THE. Days Foretold in the Book of Daniel, seem to be coming Apace, when, The Wicked will do Wickedly. There is no Help for it. There is no Hindering of it.

YOUNG People Resolve to keep their Course, in the Ways of Ungodliness, though-the Word of God and His Judgments lesser and greater warn them, and they see their Companions going into Eternity, leaving them under Awful Appre­hensions about them; And though Parents warn them, they will not hearken to their Counsels. And though Plagues come and God pours out [Page 42]the Vials of His Indignation, yet Sinners will go on in the ways of Wickedness. And is there not Danger that the World will still grow more Wicked and more Woful than ever since the Days of Noah! Don't the Sins of Sodom Abound? Is there not Abundance of Idleness? If so, Then Abundance of other Wickedness will be. No wonder, If there be Abundance of Uncleaness, Injustice, Oppression, Extortion, Impiety, Pro­phanity; and if all manner of Iniquity Abound.

BUT the more Sinners do against God, the more should Christians do for God. They should be Studious to be Able to give a good Answer, to that Demand, Mat. 5.47. What do you more than others? They should strive to Excel in Goodness; to be Exceeding Good; and Con­trive to do Abundance of Good Remembring what our Lord says, in Joh. 15.8. Herein is my Father Glorified, that you bear much Fruit, so shall ye be my Disciples.

III HAVE not we our selves done Abundance against God? The Saints of God would own as, in Tit. 3.3. We our selves were sometimes Disobedient, serving divers Lusts and Pleasures. And this consideration is mentioned, to Excite them to be ready to every good Work. Then should we be Quickened, to Abound in the Work of the Lord, by considering we have done Abun­dance against the Lord.

[Page 43] PROP. III. IT is the Duty of all Christi­ans to Abound Always in the Work of the Lord. Not only while they are Young, but also when they are Old: And therefore they should begin betimes to do Abundance of Good, and continue to bring forth Fruit, in Old Age. Not only in times of Prosperity, but also in times of Adversity, they should Abound in the Work of the Lord. As God is Always at Work for them, so they should be always at Work for God.

Quest. BY what Methods are we to be Assisted in Abounding Always in the Work of the Lord?

Answ. I LAY a good Foundation, for well doing, by getting a Good Principle in your Souls. Therefore,

1. GET a good Knowledge of the Truths of God, in your Souls. It is not good, that the Soul be without Knowledge. This might Solomon Learn of his Father David, who Charged him, in 1. Chron. 28.9. To know the God of His Father, and serve Him, with a Perfect Heart and a Willing Mind. There can be no right Service of God without good Knowledge. But if we Know the Truths of God, then Happy are we if we do them. What Goodness without Know ledge? Therefore should we Labour, to Know [Page 44]the Truths of God; That there is a Glorious God; That there are Three Persons in the God head, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: That God Made and Rules the World; That Man was Made Holy; but by Sin, Fell in to a Miserable Condition, from whence he could not, by any Strength or Worth of his own, Re­cover himself; That the Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, becoming a Man, so being God and Man, in two Distinct Natures, in one Person for ever; is the only Saviour of Sinners; That He is a Prophet, a Priest and a King. for their Salvation; That He is Able and Willing to Save them, that come to Him; that there is no Salvation without Faith in Christ; That this Faith is the Gift of God; That God Gives it, in Answer to Prayer, to them that use the Means Appointed, to be Attended, by them, that will Enjoy the Influences of the Holy Spirit, for the Working of Faith in their Souls; That Saving Faith will be Accompanied with, and E­videnced by, Good Works; That there is an Heaven for the Godly and an Hell for the Wick­ed; That our Souls are Immortal, and there will be a Resurrection of our Bodies and a Day of Judgment, wherein all must be Ordered un­to their Eternal State; That our Life Time is the only Time of Probation, for us, to make Preparation for Eternity.

[Page 45] 2. FIRMLY Believe these Truths of God. He that cometh to God must Believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that Seek Him Diligently. And so must he that Worketh the Work of the Lord. Be not Satisfied, that you seem, to Assent to the Truths of God. But see, that you so Firmly Believe them, that you can Venture your Lives and your Souls upon the Truths of God, which you Profess to Be­lieve And then,

3. MAKE sure about a real Union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe in Him, with a true Faith. For nothing will be well done, about the Work of the Lord, until you begin about, the Work of Faith in the Lord. He says, Joh. 15.5. Without me, you can do nothing. There will be no Abounding in the Work of the Lord, by them that are out of Christ. Therefore get into Christ: And Exercise Faith in Him, to Re­ceive Strength from Him, to do the Work of God.

4. PENITENTLY Beg the Pardon of all Sin, for the Sake of Christ. The Guilt of Sin, like a Chain, Binds the Soul, and like a Weight, Clogs the Soul, so as, to hinder it from Good. If the Soul be Overwhelmed with Guilt, how can it run the Ways of the Commandments of God? Or Abound in the Work of the Lord? There­fore Cry to God, that, for the Sake of Christ, He would Pardon all Sin, both Original and [Page 46]Actual, as well of Omission, as of Commission, against the Law and against the Gospel, Secret as well as Open. Confess and Bewail every Sin, that you can Remember. Leave it, Loath it and Loath your self for it, and say as Rom. 7.24. O Wretched one that I am, who shall De­liver me!

LAY your Foundation Deep, in Penitential Humiliation for Sin past and for Indwelling Corruption, while you are Endeavouring, to A­bound in the Work of the Lord. You must cease to do Evil, and Beg Pardon for doing Evil, that you may begin to learn to do well, or you will never Persevere in doing well. And be sure to look to the Righteousness of Christ, for the Forgiveness of Sin. They that think, to Satisfy for their Bad Works, by doing of Good Works, will not Abound in the Work of the Lord. You must get Pardon for ill doing, be­fore you will do well.

THEREFORE Exercise Repentance and E­vidence Repentance. Let it be seen, that you do Repent. This indeed is part of the Work of the Lord, but such a Part, that it must be done, or no part of that Work will be well done. The Life of a Christian Abounding in the Work of the Lord, must be a Life of Re­pentance.

5. A Work of Grace must be wrought in the Soul, by the Spirit of God; or there will be [Page 47]no Abounding in the Work of the Lord. For in, Eph. 2.10. We are told, that We are His Workmarship Created in Christ Jesus, unto good Works, which God hath before Ordained, that we should Walk in them. Until a good Work of Grace be wrought in the Soul, by the Spirit of God, there will be no good Work done by the Soul. God must say to the Soul Live; or it will not Work any good Work; and then be sure it will nor Abound in the Work of the Lord.

THEREFORE must there be Prayer to God, for the Regenerating influences of the Spirit of God, before we shall begin, to do Well. People may not Indulge themselves, in Sloth and say we must wait, until God will please to Change our Hearts, and make us willing to do well: But they must Pray, to God, to work, in them, to will and to do that they may do well.

REGENERATION, by which the Soul passeth out of a state of Spiritual Death, into a state of Spiritual Life, is Absolutely Necessary, for Begin­ing, and Abounding in the Work of the Lord: And Supplication to the Lord is to be Attended by them, that would Experience a work of Rege­neration.

WHILE Souls are in the Kingdom and under the Power of Satan, they will not do the Work of the Lord: Therefore must People Pray to God, that being Delivered out of the Hands of their E­nemies, and from the Power of Darkness, and [Page 48]Translated into the Kingdom of Christ, and having a New Heart put into them and the Spirit of Life given to them, they may Serve the Lord, and Abound in the Work of the Lord, without any Sinful Fear, in Holiness and Righteousness before Him, all the Days of their Life.

II. TAKE heed of Mistaking, about the Af­fairs of your Souls. Be not Deceived, in Thinking that you are in a Good State, if you are not really turned from Darkness to Light, and from the Pow­er of Satan to God, and have not Received the Forgiveness of Sin, through Faith in Christ.

IF you don't lay a good Foundation, upon the Rock, Jesus Christ, by a True Faith in a Sound Repentance, with a Good Knowledge of, and a Firm Assent to the Truths of God, you may seem to do Well for a while, and Abound in Good things, But there is Danger, that you will Decay and your Leaves may Wither and Fall. There­fore Search & Try, that you may Know Yourselves. It is Advised, in 2 Cor. 13.5. Examine Yourselves. Thousands Perish by Presumption. They Think that things are well with their Souls. And they Hope, that they are well. But they will not Examine themselves, to Know certainly how things are: And so they are Undone for ever. They hope that they have Believed and Repented and are in a safe State: But are not willing to be at the Pains for an Impartial, Penetrating Self. [Page 49]Examination, so as to Know thorowly the State of their Souls, and so they Spend their Days under the Influence of their Vain Hopes, until they lye down in Eternal Sorrow. Therefore be wise, to make a thorow Tryal: And be not Satisfied until you are Certified that Christ is yours and you are His. And if you be really in Christ, then He will Strengthen you with Strength in your Soul to Abound in the Work of the Lord.

III. SET about the Work of God now; in this present time: Seek first the Kingdom of God. Make haste, without delay, to keep the Commandments of the Lord. Young People should begin Presently: Now while they are Young, to do the Work of God. And all Peo­ple should be Careful, to Improve the Present time, or they will not as they should Abound in the Work of the Lord.

IV. BE Sincere in all you Endeavours about Religion. Hypocrites Frequently turn Apostates. Pray to God, that your Hearts may be Sound in the Statutes of the Lord, and Right in the Sight of God. If you'l Abound in His Work. Be not Careless about the Secret Duties of Christi­anity. Let the Holy Angels of God see that you Fray in Secret unto God, as your Hea­venly Father constantly every Day. Be not [Page 50]Satisfied with a Name, to Live, nor with a Form of Godliness. But be thorowly Re­ligious.

V. THINK often, how Dreadful, to miss of Happiness, at last, by leaving the Work of God. And Remember, how it hath been with others. The Inhabitants of Capernaum, they did not as those of Nazareth, rise up, and thrust Christ out of their City, nor like the Gadarenes desire Him, to be gone out of their Coasts: But they Heard Him, every Sabbath Day, and seemed, to Delight in Hearing Him: And yet says He to them, in Mat. 11.25. Thou Capernaum, which art Exalted to Heaven, shalt be brought down to Hell. It is not enough, to Attend Sermons, to Commend Sermons, but you must Practice them, or they will Condemn you. Be Doers of the Word and not Hearers only, Deceiving your own selves. And Reallize to your selves, that Persons may do much, and go far, and yet after all fall short of Heaven, because they have not the Root of the Matter in them, and so they grow weary of the Work of God and will not Abound in that Work, but turn aside unto Crook­ed Ways and are led forth with the Workers of Iniquity.

VI. DREAD being Ruined by the Trinity of this World; The Lust of the Flesh, the Lust [Page 51]of the Eye, and the Pride of Life. They that are engaged in pursuing the Pleasures, the Trea­sures, and the Honours of this World, will not Abound in the Work of the Lord. Therefore is it Advised, in 1 Pet. 2.12. Abstain from Fleshly Lusts, that war against the Soul. And in 1 Joh. 2.15. Love not the World, neither the things in the World. If any Man Love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him. And in Joh. 5.44. How can you Believe, that Receive Honour, one of another, and Seek not the Honour that cometh from God only? By these Admonitions it plainly Ap­pears, that Sensuality, Covetousness and Ambi­tion must be Abandoned by them that will A­bound in the Work of the Lord.

VII. BEGIN Well and Conclude Well, every Day and every Week and every particular Un­dertaking; if you would Abound in the Work of the Lord. Therefore,

LET some of your first Thoughts in the Morn­ing and some of your last Thoughts in the E­vening, be about God and Christ and your Souls and Heavenly and Eternal Things. And in the Morning, think, What have I to Do this Day? And, how shall I Spend this Day for the Glory of God and the Salvation of my own Soul and the Souls of those, for whose Welfare, I should be Concerned? And if it should be my last Day, how would I have it Spent? Wish and Pray [Page 52]that you may Spend the Day Well, so as to be Able to give a Good Account before God, a­bout your Improving of the Day. And in the Evening think, what have I done this Day, a­bout the great Work of my Life? And Beg Par­don for the Sake of Christ, for all that hath been Amiss, before you Venture to lye down to Sleep. And try to Sleep in the Love of God. An Heathen would Condemn the Christian, that should Neglect all this Work of an Evening Self­Examination.

BUT all the Lords Day should be Spent in the Secret, Private and Publick Duties of Re­ligion, except what the Works of Necessity and Compassion Require: And they should be At­tended with such Holy Frames of Souls that we may be going toward Heaven, while we are At­tending those Works. And the little Spaces of Time, that bye between the Stated Exercises of Religion should be filled with Useful Thoughts, about Spiritual and Eternal Things, that we may be in the Spirit all the Lords Day and Finish the Day with God.

AND upon every Particular and Remarkable Undertaking, we should Think, will this be for the Glory of God? And how may it be best Managed for His Glory? And when it is Finish­ed and we Review our Managements of the Un­dertaking, we should Beg Pardon of God for all that Appears Faulty in our Managements. [Page 53]This might Help, to do Better for time to come.

AND if Christians did at the Conclusion of the Week, look over the Affairs of the Week past, and Ask Forgiveness from God, for what hath been Irregular, and Ask for Grace to Walk more Agreeably to Rule, in the next Week, it would Help them, to Abound in the Work of the Lord.

VIII. ALWAYS Repair to, and Rely on the Lord Jesus Christ, for Constant Supplies of New Grace, for every Exercise. Venture upon nothing, without looking to Christ, for New Grace to Help through all.

NEVER Imagine that you can do any thing without the Grace of Christ Helping. Strive to be Able to say as He could in Phil. 4.13. I can do all things, through Christ Enabling me.

WHEN a Duty is to be Performed, look to Christ for Grace, to Perform the Duty, when a Mercy is to be Improved, look to Christ, for Grace to Improve the Mercy.

WHEN a Trial is to be Endured, look to Christ for Grace to Endure it well.

WHEN a Corruption is to be Conquered, look to Christ, for Grace to overcome the Cor­ruption.

SO when a Temptation is to be Resisted, look to Christ, for Succour and for Assistance [Page 54]to Encounter the Temptation well and to Main­tain Humility, after the Victory over the Tempta­tion. So do all in the Name of Christ.

ACKNOWLEDGE that all Grace must come from the Everlasting Love of God the Father, as Purchased, by the Blood of Jesus Christ and Applied by the Holy Spirit, unto your Souls, most freely; both Inherent Grace and Assisting Grace; Directing Grace and Exciting Grace; Preventing, Upholding and Accepting Grace.

WHILE you Preserve your Union with Christ, by a Living Faith, Maintain your Communion with Christ, by a Working Faith, Deriving Grace from Christ, to Live to God and Work for God. So Live by Faith on the Son of God: Then will you Abound in the Work of the Lord, and be coming nearer and nearer unto the Happiness of always Abounding in that Desire-able Work. But,

IX. PRAYING always with all Prayer and Sup­plication Watching thereunto with all Perseve­rance, must be Remembred by them that would be so Happy as always to Abound in the Work of the Lord.

PRAYER is a great part of our Work, and it must be Attended, or no part of our Work will be well Attended: But there is other Work to be Attended besides Prayer: Therefore when we are Advised, to be Praying always (and to [Page 55]Pray continually, and to continue in Prayer:) It cannot intend, that we have nothing to do, But to Pray: But the meaning is, that we should always keep a Frame, for Prayer, and always mind the Time for Prayer; and be very often at the Work of Prayer. Abound in that Work.

ALL the Children of God should Wait on their Heavenly Father Night and Day with Pray­er, in their Secret Places.

ALL the Servants of God should wait on the Lord, with Prayer, Morning and Evening, in their Private Families.

ALL the People of God should wait on the Lord, with Prayer, on the Lords Day, in their Publick Assemblies.

THESE are the Ordinary Prayers, that they should Attend, that would Abound in the Work of the Lord. But Extraordinary Prayers must not be Neglected: They should be Attended many times in a Year: Nor must Ejaculatory Prayers be Neglected. They should be Attended many times in an Hour, by them that always A­bound in the Work of the Lord.

AND Watching must be joined with our Praying. We must Watch before Duty, Watch in Duty and Watch after Duty. Watch, To discern what we may do for the Glory of God, and Watch, To defear the Devices of our Foes, and Watch against all the Beginnings of, or Ten­dencies [Page 56]to Apostacy from God. And Watchfully Observe and Improve all Opportunities to do Good, as well as Watch in Prayer. And after all Watch against all Pride, on Account of our Doing any thing, that we may through Grace, hope is well done. For,

X. SELF-denial and Humility must not be for­gotten, by them that would Abound Always in the Work of the Lord. When our Lord was giving Lessons for them that would Engage in His Work, He said in Mat. 16.24. If any Man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow me.

SINFUL Self must be Denied Absolutely. We must Deny all Ungodliness & worldly Lusts, Hate every False way, hate vain Thoughts, They must not lodge in our Souls. We must be for Perfec­tion of Holiness, before God.

THEN Righteous Self must be Denied Re­spectively; In point of Justification we must Re­nounce all Reliance on our own Righteousness. And while we go on, about the Work of the Lord, in the Strength of the Lord, make mention of His Righteousness and that alone; saying, in the Lord have I Righteousness and Strength.

AND Relative Self must be Denied Compara­tively, so that we must be ready to Forsake all Relations rather than leave the Work of the Lord.

[Page 57] YEA, Natural Self must be Denied Conditionally, so that we must be willing to part with Ease, Health and Life, rather than to Neglect the Work of the Lord.

BUT then, Be sure all, Unnecessary, Unprofita­ble Familiarity with Ungodly Company must be Abandoned, by them that would Abound in the Work of the Lord: They that will keep the Com­mandments of God, must say, Depart from me, ye workers of Iniquity. They must deny themselves of the Company not only of Prophane Transgres­sors, but also of Formal Professors; for both will hinder from Always Abounding in the Work of the Lord.

AND they must take up their Cross, in their Expectation of Trouble and in their Preparation for Trouble, before it comes, and in their Hum­ble and Patient Sustentation of Trouble, when God brings Trouble upon them; yea, though the Trouble may come, on Account of their doing well, and because they Abound in the Work of God.

SO must they Follow the Lord Jesus Christ, both by Obedience to Him, and by Imitation of Him and they must Imitate Him in His Meek­ness, Lowliness, Humility and Patience. And let Patience have her Perfect Work, that they may be Perfect and Intire wanting nothing.

THEN after all these things, they that would always Abound in the Work of the Lord, must [Page 58]Renounce all Apprehensions or Imaginations, that they have Deserved any thing of Good, at the Hands of God, by any of the Good Works that they have done, though they have been a long time, Striving, every Day, to do Abundance for God and for His Glory. For that is Part of the Lesson, that they must always Remem­ber, in Luk. 17.10. When ye shall have done all those things, which are Commanded you, say, we are Unprofitable Servants: We have done that which was our Duty to do. We Deserve nothing, but have reason to be Thankful to God, that He will Accept and Improve us in His Service. It is a great Favour, an high Honour, that the Glo­rious and Eternal King of the World, will give us Leave, to do any Work for Him, and will give Grace to us, to do His Work so, that we may be Accepted, for the Sake of Jesus Christ.

AND therefore, though we may have a Re­spect unto the Recompence of the Reward, in the Heavenly World for the Encouragement of our Souls in the Work of God, yet we must not think, that we Deserve any of that Re­ward, by any of our Works, though we Abound never so much in Good Works. But after all our Abounding in the Work of God, we must look for Mercy. And the Reward must be Freely Bestow­ed, by the Free Grace of God.

AND though we seem, to Labour in Vain, and Spend our Strength for Nought and in Vain, [Page 59]as to any Success of our most Conscientious and Laborious Endeavours to do Good, in our work­ing for God, all our Days: And our Day may seem dark, like the Night, and we may say, We have been Toiling all the Night and have taken nothing yet we must not think, that God is deal­ing Hardly with us, in His Denying of Success unto our Endeavours. But we must for ever Justify the Lord, and say, He is Righteous in all His Ways and Holy in all His Works.

THE Lord is not Indebted unto Us, by our A­bounding in His Work, but we are Indebted unto His free Grace, for Assisting us in His Work. And therefore we must not Murmur, nor Com­plain at any of His Dispensations about us. But be willing, Humbly to deny our selves, and own that we deserve nothing of Good, by all that we have done, how much and how well soever we have done; But have reason to Lament and be Ashamed, that we have done no more nor better, and be Contented, whatever God will do with us, and submit unto His Sovereign Will in all things.

MOSES may take many Thousands of weary Steps, towards the Promised Land, with Hopes, at length, to arrive there; And yet after all must be contented without ever setting his Foot on the Desired Land.

ISAIAH may Preach a long Time to an hard­Hearted People, and may deliver Thousands of [Page 60]Sermons in their Audience, and yet after all, may see the Generality of an whole Generation of Sinners, Perishing in their impenitence, without ever getting any good, by his Preaching; but he must be satisfied with the Sovereignty of the most High God.

SO must the Servants of God be willing to Deny themselves, that they may always be Abound­ing in the Work of the Lord.

THESE are some Rules to help Christians to be always Abounding in that Work, wherein they shall find at last, that they have not Laboured in Vain.

BUT if it be Demanded, Who can Attend all these Rules?

It might be readily Replied, None but Real Christians will follow the Rules that have been men­tioned.

THEREFORE the Conclusion of all, must be, with Two Advices.

FOR it may be supposed, that, as in most Congregations, where the Gospel hath been Preached Faithfully for any considerable Time, so in this Congregation, there be two sorts of People to whom the Preceeding things have been Proposed. And both sorts must be Ad­vised and Exhorted, to Accept of, Comply with and Conform to, the Proposals.

MAY it not he feared that there be those, that have Lived all their Days, in their Miserable [Page 61]Unregenracy, and are still going astray in the Greatness of their Folly, and so have not begun to strike one stroke, about the Work of the Lord, and are far from Abounding in that [...] They Abound in the Work of Sin, but not in the Work of God. They are the Companions of Fools, that must be destroyed, if they don't Repent, they shew their Ungodliness by chusing the Company of the Ungodly. And of these commonly is the biggest Number of most Con­gregations. But,

MAY it not be Hoped, that there be some, at least, a small number, that are Converted unto God in Christ, and shew their Godliness, by chasing them that Fear God, for their Compani­ons. Both sorts must be Addressed.

First, LET them that Fear, that they are not become Real Christians, and so have not so much as begun the Work of the Lord, now become real Christians and begin that Work Immediately without any longer Delay.

DON'T Reject the Advice, with saying, We can't Convert our selves and therefore must lye still until God will Please to Convert us.

BUT O Mourn, that all your Days have Roll'd away under the Anger of God, and you have lost all your Time hitherto, and are in continual Danger of dropping down into Everlasting Burn­ings, because of your Unfruitfulness under the [Page 62]Means of Grace; and give Thanks to God, that you have yet a Space to Repent and a Time to Cry [...] pardoning Mercy, and any room to Hope, that [...] Cry may be Heard. And Cry mightily to [...], for His Mercy, for the Sake of the Lord Jesus Christ; And Beg that He would Bestow Converting Grace, on your Souls, and Pray for His Holy Spirit, to take Possession of your Souls and Work Saving Grace in your Hearts and bring you into a Real Union with Christ, and try to Give your selves to Christ, Commit and Resign your Souls into His Saving Hands, Comply with the first and the least Motions of His Holy Spirit, that are always Agreeable unto the Doctrines of the Holy Scripture: Break off your Sinful Cour­ses, Forsake your Ungodly Companions, Think on your Wayes and Turn your Feet into the Testi­monies of the Lord, make haste without Delay about these Things.

YOU are not Urged to do any Part of the Work of God, by your own Strength, but to Pray to God for His Grace and look, to Christ, for Strength, to Help you to Turn to God and to Believe in Christ, that you may do the Work of the Lord, and Abound always in that Work. The Lord Graciously Help you to do so.

Secondly, LET them that Hope, that they are become Real Christians, and have begun the Work of God, go on with that Work as Becometh [Page 63]Real Christians. Be Humbled for all Infirmities and Imperfections. Beg Pardon for all that hath been Amiss, for the Sake of Christ, be Thankful for all the Grace and Help that you have Re­ceived. Strive, in the [...] of Christ and with a constant Reliance on Him for Grace, to [...] forward. Be not Discouraged by any Diff­culties, [...] look at the Crown of Life and Glory and [...], that Fadeth not away; and look unto Christ on a Throne of Glory, calling to you and saying, be faithful and you shan't Lose your Labour; and I am Ready, to Help you at all Times, Therefore don't Fear. So press to­ward the Mark for the Prize of the High Call­ing of God in Christ Jesus.

FINIS.

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