Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

WHO LOSE THE SAINT'S REST. 97 together. With what a sad change he appears in ano- ther world ! Then if a man could but ask that hope- less soul, " Are you as confident of salvation as you were wont to be ?" what a sad answer would be re- turned ! , O that careless sinners would be awakened, to think of this in time ! Reader, rest not till thou canst give a reason of all thy hopes, grounded upon scripture promises ; that they purify thy heart ; that they quicken thy endeavours in godliness that the more thou hopest the less thou sinnest, and the . more exact is thy obedience. If thy hopes be such as these, go on in the strength of the Lord, hold fast thy hope, and never shall it make thee ashamed. But if thou hast not one sound evidence of a work of grace on thy soul, cast away thy hopes. Despair of ever being saved, except thou be born again ; or of seeing God without holiness ; or of having part in Christ, except thou love him above father or mother, or thy own life. This kind of despair is one of the first steps to heaven. If a man be quite out of his way, what must be the first means to bring him in again ? He must despair of ever coming to his journey's end in the way that he is in. If his home be eastward, and he 'is going westward, as long as he hopes he is right he will go on ; and as long as he goes on hoping, he goes farther amiss. When he despairs of coming home, except he turn back, then he will return, and then he may hope. Just so it is, sinner, with thy soul : thou art born out of the way to heaven, and hast proceeded many a year: thou goest on and hopest to be saved, because thou art not so bad as many others. Except thou throwest away those hopes, and seest that thou hast all this while been quite out of the way to heaven, thou wilt never return and be saved. There is nothing in the world more likely to keep thy soul out of heaven than thy false hopes of being saved, while thou art out of the way to salvation. See then how it will aggravate the misery of the damned, that with the loss of heaven they shall lose all that hope of it which now supports them; 4