Annesley - Houston-Packer Collection BX9327 .M6 1664

120 How wisofi we yip fickperons r Serm.6. perfons,they are apt to think,that tick-bed applications are in a manner ufelefs and inetfe .ival : it may be a difcouragement which the Devil propofeth to Minitiers or others tomake them neglect this work, or be formal in it, efpecially when the perfons are ignorant or profane: the Devil may fuggeti the invalidity of a lick-bed rel entance, the cu- ilomarinefs and hypocritìe of tick-beddelires, 6-c. now to obviate fuck fuggeldions, confider thefe things. I. That the inftrti Lion of tick perlons is Gods inClitution, fo you fee in the Text a meffenger, i. e. one fent of God to this pur- pofe : nowGods infl:itutions are not in vain : every intiirution of God carries a proaiife in its bowels co him that Both not povere obicem, that cloth rightly ufe it : Minifters or Chriftian friends may go about it with much comfort, for it is Gods vvork, as he fail, Have riot I commanded you, &c. it is one of thole wvaies (as you fee in the Chapter) which God ordained to reclaim (inners : and whenyou attempt it, you may expeá Gods concurrence. You may pray in faith for Gods a(iìtiance in his Ordinance. a. Gods mercy is propofed by himfelf, and may be offered by Mi- nifters, even to languishing perfons : it is true, it muff be done cauti- oully ( as you !hall hear ) but is may be done, Ged doth indefinitely tender his mercy co all, and we milli not limit where God limits not. Mtnifiers may fafely follow Gods example ; and whereas it may be thought that filch men only come toGod as driven by neceflity, You mufl know that God is fo gracious, that he receives even fuck whom meer neceilîty drives to him, and indeed all true converts arefir(i per- fwaded to come to God by the fenfe of theirown necetiìties,though af- terwards they are elevated w a more noble difpofition : God never re- jeAed any upon this ground:howmany came to Chrifi meerly in fenfe of their bodily maladies,and were Pent away with fpiritual cure : Chrifi received her that came not to him, till íhe had in vain tried all other Phyíi ians. So in that parablecf the Prodigal ( wherein Cod is pleated ro repreíent the methods of his grace in the conversionand falvation of sinners ) you fliall find that Godcloth not reie& that poor prodigal, be- cufehe was forced home by that,Durum,telaaan nece pas ,by infuperable (traits and difficulties. ;. Sick-bed repentance is not wholly impoffiible (though it be hard) ficknefs is one means that God ufeth to wok repentance, God can work repentance even upon a lick bed, and it is God that mull do ir, even in health and to fpeak truly and ftridily, although the means of repentance be more probable, and the truth of repentance more difcernable in health than in ficknefs, yet the pradiife of re¡,entance is as