Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

TO EXCITE OTÎIERS, &C. 159 your governor? will you renounce your part in God and glory, rather than renounce your sins? O friends what do you think of these things? God bath made you men : do not renounce your reason, where you should chiefly use it." Alas, it is not a few dull words, between jest and earnest, between sleep and awake, that will rouse a dead hearted sin- ner. If a house be on fire, you will not make a cold oration on the nature and danger of fire; but will run and cry, fire ! fire! To tell a man of his sins, as softly as Eli did his son ; or to reprove him as gently as Jehosaphat did Ahab, Let not the king say so; usually doth as much harm as good: lothness to dis- please -men makes us undo them. 6. Yet lest you run into extremes, I 'advise you tó do it with prudence and discretion. Choose the fittest season. Deal not with men when they are in a passion, or where they will take it for a disgrace. When the earth is soft the plough will enter. Take a man when he is under affliction, or newly impressed_ under a sermon. Christian faithfulness requires us, not only to do good when it falls in our way, but to watch for opportunities. Suit yourselves also to the quality and teinper of the person. You must deal with the ingenious more by argument than persua- sion. There is need of both to the ignorant. The affections of the convinced should be chiefly excited. The obstinate must be sharply reproved. The timor- ous must be dealt with tenderly. Love, and plain- ness, and seriousness, take with all; but words of terror some can scarce bear. Use also the aptest expressions. Unseeming language makes the hearers loathe the food they should live by ; especially if they be men of curious ears, and carnal hearts. Let all your reproofs and exhortations be backed with the authority of God Let sinners be convinced that you speak not of your own head. Turn them to the very chapter and verse where their sin is condemned, and their duty commanded. The voice of man is contemptible, but the voice of God is awful and ter rible. They may reject your words, that dare not