Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

160 THE DUTY OF GOD'S PEOPLE reject the words of the Almighty. Be frequent with men in this duty of exhortation. If we are always to pray, and not to faint, because God will have us importunate with himself; the same course, no doubt, will be most prevailing with men. Therefore we are commanded to exhort one another daily(k) and with all long- suféring.(l) The fire is not always brought out of the flint at one stroke ; nor men's affections kindled at the first exhortation. And if they were, yet if they be not followed they will soon grow cold again. Follow sinners with long, loving, and earnest entreaties, and give them no rest in their sin. This is true charity, the way to save men's souls, and will afford you comfort upon review. Strive to bring all your exhortations to an issue. If we speak the most convincing words, and all our care is over with our speech, we shall seldom prosper in our labours : but God usually blesses their labours, whose very heart is set upon the conversion of their hearers, and who are therefore inquiring after the success of their work. If you reprove a sin, cease not till the sinner promises you to leave it, and avoid the occasion of it. If you are exhorting to a duty, urge for a promise to set upon it presently. If you would draw men to Christ, leave not till you have made them confess the misery of their present unregenerate state ; and the neces- sity of Christ, and of a change, and have promised you to fall close to the use of means. O that all Chris- tians would take this course with all their neighbours that are enslaved to sin, and strangers to Christ !-- Once more, be sure your example exhort as well as your words. Let them see you constant in all the duties you persuade them to. Let them see in your lives that superiority to the world which your lips recommend. Let them see, by your constant labours for heaven, that you indeed believe what you would have them believe. A holy and heavenly life is a continual pain to the consciences of sinners around you, and continually solicits them to change their course. (k) Heb. iii. 13. (l) 2 Tim. iv, Q.