Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

t4ó THE RIGHT IMPROVEMENT OF LIFE.' [SEAM. XXXIX. All the elect of God are born into this world sinful and miserable, by their relation to the first Adam, therefore St. Paul seems to include himself, as well as the heathen infidels, when he speaks of the iniquity of their nature, and the guilt of their state. Eph. ii. 3. " We all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath even as others." Now this life is the time given to seek deliverance- from the wrath to come, to fly to the hope that is set before us,; f' now is the accepted time, now is the day of salva- tion," 2 Cor. vi. 2. Now while we are in our state of trial, before the gates of the grave have closed upon us, and before the gates of hell have been opened to receive us. We are all, by nature, strangers to God, enemies in our minds by wicked works, and under sentenceof con- demnation : Remember, O sinners, this is the time to get acquaintance with God, to return to his service, and obtaïn his special favour. We are defiled and guilty- creatures : This is the hour of cleansing while the foun- tainof the blood of Christ stands open, to wash us from sin and uncleanness. We are, by nature, utterly unfit for heaven, and all the works and the joysofit, because of the vicious inclinations that govern us. This is the day of repentance as well as pardon : This is the day given us to insure those blessed mansions on high, and to obtain preparing, graces. This temporal life is the only season, wherein the, sentence of our condemnation can be reversed, and wherein we may obtain eternal for- giveness, and a right to life everlasting. The blood and righteousness of the Son of God, are not proposed nor offered to guilty creatures in the other world: Now is the time to acquire a meetness for the inheritance in light, through the sanctifying influences of the blessed Spirit. After death there is nothing of this kind to be done: "" There is no work, nor device, no knowledge, nor wis- dom,' no faith or repentance to be exercised, no such duty to be performed among the dead, no opportunity to rectify the mistakes of life : There is no grace to be oltained for sinners " in the grave, whither we are all travelling," Eccles: ix. 10. What is left undone at that 4