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exhorted by our blessed Lord in words, as follows, Ask, saith he, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for if children ask their unholy parents for things, they will scarcely deny, but give them it, how much more shall your father which is holy, and in heaven, give good things to them that ask. Therefore, our Lord saith, All things, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets. Now, most of us would wish for men to show us love and kindness; therefore we are commanded to show the same unto them as far forth as it lays in our power, whether they do it unto us or not. Eender not evil for evil, but overcome evil with good: I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and pesecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven, for he maketh his sun, to shine or rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. And again, our Lord saith, Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. So we see by these things, my friends, that the way to heaven is very straight, and it appears to be too straight for many, that is, it is so straight, and so narrow, and so holy, so right, so direct, and it is immediately, not to-morrow. So you see it restrains and confines man from vice and wickedness, and it is to be feared that there are thousands in the world, cannot go in this narrow way because of pride and the lust of their sinful nature; and many more things that keeps them from the straight way to heaven; but because wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat: so you see that the way, and the gate to hell, is so wide and so broad, so that when man is in a sinful state, it suits his fleshly and carnal appetite best, for the way is so broad, that he can let go the reins, and let his body and soul enjoy the lustful pleasures of this sinful world. (Matt. v. 6. 7.) But if thou will walk in the way of thy heart, and after the desire of thine eyes; but know for all this, 0 man, that God will surely bring thee into judgment. (Eccles. xi. 9.) And again remember, that this broad way goeth down to death; her steps take hold on hell. And lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them, (Prov. v. 5.) But look unto the 73rd psalm, and there you. may see the ungodly in their pride and grandeur, and the destruction of them. And again, our Lord saith, A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matt. vii. 18, 20.) And he also commands his disciples to preach the gospel boldly, and saith unto them, Fear not them which kill the body, hut are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matt. x. 28, 32, 33.) And if ye love me, saith he, Keep my commandments. (John xiv. 15.) And this is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John xv. 12.) And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosover will lose his life for my sake the same shall save it. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, of him shall the son of man be ashamed when he shall come in his own glory and in his Fathers and of the holy angels. Amen.
BOOK THE FOURTEENTH.
Christ Comforteth His People.
0 hore these promises do delight my soul, they fill my soul with such nigh degrees of joy and love, that the world never gave me neither can it take from me, if I love and serve my God aright; here is in this Book great and gracious promises and comforts for the children of God; and in this Book you mill find a short sketch of the Christian's happy experience while he is upon the Earth in the Jlesh; then, if the Christian enjoys such pleasures at some certain times while he is on the Earth in the flesh, what shall his joys be then when he leaves the flesh and his soul mounts up into Heaven, and drinks of the Rivers of Love?
This little Book contains some of the most comfortable passages that can be found in the Holy Scriptures, and is a great consolation to the Christian's soul, for when the Lord giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only. (Job xxxiv. 29.) But hear the gracious words of the Lord, by Isaiah, the prophet, Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness: and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah xxxv.) Again, he shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God, (Isaiah xl.) And again hear the kind and gracious words of our Lord, and behold his forbearance and love towards us. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (Isaiah xlii. 3.) And behold how Christ fortifieth, and strengthens, and encourageth his people, and calleth them his friends, saying unto them, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him which, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God; but he that denieth me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God. And he said unto his disciples, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat^ neither for the body, what ye shall put on. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse, nor barn; and God feedeth them: How much more are ye better than the fowls? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, That Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass which is to-day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, 0 ye of little faith? But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And he exhorteth us to lay our treasure up in heaven, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke xii.) And Christ forewarneth his people of trials and persecution by their near relations as well as their enemies, and he saith, Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish, that is, ye shall never be out of the sight of God, nor forgotten; but ye shall have afull reward, forinyour patience possess ye your souls. (Luke xxi. 17, 18, 19.) And again hear his gracious words: I am the door, saith he, By me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand r my Father which gave them""me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand, I and my Father are one. (John x.) Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be alfeo.. and if ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. And I will pray the Father, and he. shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the spirit of truth j whom the world cannot receive. (John xiv.J But some unconverted men perhaps will say, that they have heard much about this Holy Spirit being infused into the Christian's soul : but these men above mentioned, that live too much in the practise of sin, are of the world, therefore they themselves cannot receive it, therefore they are hard to be persuaded, that the Christian enjoys this Holy Spirit of God. But whether they believe it or not, I myself believe it, and thanks be unto Almighty God from whom I hope and trust, I have received it. The sinner perhaps may say, by what way or means doth the Christian obtain this Holy Spirit? My answer is, we may obtain it by Jesus Christ our Lord, and by his righteous merit, it brings the love of God into. our souls. Then the sinner may say, hast not Christ died for me as well as for you? Yes, I believe it sinner, then why do I not receive this Holy Spirit of God, as well as you? 0 poor sinner, hear my words and do not condemn me, this is the'way which I have stated, but then there is something more to be said, we cannot realize this Holy Spirit, as a truth in our souls, but by repentance and prayer. But some poor sinner may say, I pray, every night and morning by my bed side, but I never felt the power of the Holy Spirit infused into my soul, as to show me that my sins are forgiven; Ah poor sinner, it may be, You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. (James iv. 3.)
My fellow sinners, we must leave pride and "wicked lust, and the pleasures of this sinful world, we must be born again, that is, we must become new creatures in Christ Jesus. But again, to receive the Holy Spirit of God, it must be done by agonizing prayer, or fervent prayer to Almighty God, through. Jesus Christ our Lord. We must pour out our souls to God, and have a desire for the things that we ask for, we