108 THE NECESSITY OF SEEKING [Chap. 7. should we not be serious, then, in obeying, and yielding to his motions ? God is serious in hearing our prayers, and bestowing his mercies. He is afflictedwith us. He " re- gardeth every groan and sigh, and puts every tear into his bottle." The next time thou art in trouble, thou wilt beg for a serious regard of thy prayers. And shall we expect real mercies, when we are slight and superficial in the work of God ? The ministers of Christ are serious in exhort- ing and instructing you. They beg of God, and of you ; and long more for the salvation of your souls, than for any worldly good. If they kill themselves for their labor, or suffer martyrdom forpreaching the Gospel, they think their lives are well bestowed, so that theyprevail for the saving of your souls. Andshall other men be so painful and care- ful for your salvation, andyou be so careless and negligent of your own ? How diligent and serious are all the creatures in serving you! What haste makes the sun to compass the world ! The fountains are always flowing for thy use ; the rivers still running ; spring and harvest keep their times. How hard does thy ox labor for thee from day to day ! How speedily does thy horse travel with thee ! And shalt thou only be negligent? Shall all these be so serious in serving thee, and thou so careless in thy service to God? The servants of the world and the devil we serious anddili- gent. Theywork as if they could never do enough : they make haste, as ifafraid ofcomingto hell too late : they bear down ministers, sermons, and all before them. And shall they be more diligent for damnation, than thou for salva- tion ? Hast thou not a better Master, sweeter employment, greater encouragements, and a better reward ? Time was when thou wast serious thyself in serving Satan and the flesh, if it be not so yet. How eagerly didst thou follow thy sports, thy evil company, and sinful delights ! And wilt thou not now be as earnest and violent for God ? You are to this day in earnest about the things of this life. If you are sick, or in pain, what serious complaints do you utter ! If you are poor, how hard do you labor for a liveli- hood ! And is not the business of your salvation of far greater moment ? There is no jesting in heaven or hell. The saints have a real happiness, and the damned a real misery. There are no remiss or sleepy praises in heaven, nor such lamentations in hell. All there are in earnest.