Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

I 96 NECESSITY OF DILIGENTLY opinion and way of the multitude; why then will you not be of the opinion that all will be of? Why will you be of a judgment, which you are sure all of you shortly to change ? O that you were but as wise, in this, as those in hell ! Even the best of Christians, when they come tó die, exceedingly lament their negligence. They then wish, "O that I had been a thousand times more holy, more heavenly, more laborious for my soul ! The world accuses me for doing too much, but my own conscience accuses me for doing too little. It is far easier bearing the scoffs of the world, than the lashes of conscience. I had rather be reproached by the devil for seeking salvation, than reproved of God for neglecting it." How do their failings thus wound and disquiet them, who have been the wonders of the world for their heavenly conversation ! It is for want of more diligence, that heaven itself is often lost. When they that have " heard the word, and anon with joy received it, and have done many things, and heard the ministers of Christ gladly,(z) shall yet perish; should not this rouse us out of our security ? How far hath many a man followed Christ, and yet forsook him, when all worldly interests and hopes were to be re- nounced ! God hath resolved, that heaven shall not be had on easier terms. Rest must always follow la- bour. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.(a) Seriousness is the very thing wherein consists our sincerity. If thou art not serious, thou art not a Christian. It is not only a high degree in Christia- nity, but the very life and essence of it. As fencers upon a stage differ from soldiers fighting for their lives; so hypocrites differ from serious Christians. If men_ could be saved without this serious diligence, they would never regard it: all the excellencies of God's ways would never entice them. But when God hath resolved, that without serious diligence here, you shall not rest hereafter, is it not wisdom to exert ourselves to the utmost? (z) Matt. xüi. 20. Mark. vi. 20. (a) Heb. xii. 14. ,