Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

á. 140 A HOPEFUL YOUTH [SEEM. VIII. be the hottest also, amongst all your companions in misery. What anguish and inward vexation will seize you, when ye shall reflect how high ye were raised in outward privileges, and how near ye were brought to heaven ? and how you quitted your interest, and your hopes there, for the trifles of this life, for a base lust, or a foolish vanity ? What will ye say, when ye shall see many coming from the east, and from the west, from families of wickedness, from the ends of the earth, and from the borders of hell, and sit down with your fathers in the kingdom of heaven; while you, the children of the king- dom, are cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Mat. viii. 11, 12. I presume thus far with freedom to address you, if by any methods I might provoke to emulation them which are of the flesh of Israel, of the kindred of the saints, and might save some of them, Rom. xi. 14. 4. To those who have taken some pains in seeking after eternal life, and are still enquiring the way thither. Have a care of resting in the mere practice of moral du- ties, or in the outward profession of christianity : never content yourselves with the righteousness of the phari- see. Were your virtues more glorious than they are, and your righteousnesses more perfect, they could never answer for your former guilt, before the throne of a just and holy God. It is only the atonement of Christ, and his all- sufficient sacrifice, which can stand you in stead there; and it is pity that a youth, of so much virtue, should fall short of heaven, and be but almost a Chris- tian. It is pity that you should have gained so large a share of knowledge, and so honourable a character of sobriety, and, after all, want the one thing needful, an universal change, and renovation of your hearts, by re- ceiving the gospel. Have you proceeded thus far, and will you not go on to perfection ? Take heed that ye lose not the things that ye have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward, 2 John 8. It is pity you should enquire the way to heaven, and not walk in it, when it is marked out before your feet with so much plainness: It is pityyou should indulge the love of this world so far, as to suffer it to forbid you the q