Marshall - BT765 M37 1788

rhe Gofpel.Illyflery Direa. VII. go before the -praCtiee of holinefs, that they may e- nable us for it; and we are equally left to labour in vain for holinefs, while we are in our curfed natural ate, whereby our finful corruption will rather be exafperated than mortified ; fo that we fhall never he dulyprepared for the reception of Chrift, as long as we live in the world. Thus, while we endeavour to prepare our way to Chrift by holy qualifications, we do rather fill it with ftumbling blocks, and deep pits, whereby our fouls are hindered from ever at- taining to the falvation by Chrift. Secondly, Any the leaft change of our hearts and lives from fin to holinefs before our receiving of Chrift and his falvation by faith, is not at all necef- fary according to the terms of the gofpel, nor requir- ed in the word of god, Chritt would have the vil- eft finners come to him for falvation immediately, without delaying the time to prepare themfelves for him. When the wicked jailor enquired, 0 What he 40 mutt do to be fared ?" Paul direCted him forth- with to believe on Chrift, with a promife that in fo doing he Ihould be faved; and ftraightway he and all his were baptized, ACts xvi. 30, 33. Paul doth not tell him, that he muff reform his heart and life firft, though he was in a very natty pickle at that time, having but a little before fattened Paul and Silas in the ftocks, and newly attempted a horrid wilful fed- murder. Thofe three thuufand Jews that were con-. vetted by Peter's preaching, and added the fame day to the churchby baptifm, Aas l. 41. feemed to have as much need of fame confiderable time to prepare themfelves for receiving Chrift as others, becaufe theyhad but latelypolluted themfelves with the mur- der of Chrift himfelf, ver. 23. Chrift commands his fervants to go out quickly into the ftreets and lanes of the city,. and to bring in to his feaft, the poor and the maimed, and the hait, and the blind; yea, to go out into the high-ways, and to compel them to come without allowing them to tarry until they had