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to you as he did to David, when he purposed to build him an house, “ It was well that it was in thine heart."

Who then would not apply himself to gain the approbation of such a master ? This aim, well established, would be a constant principle of holy obedience, and make us to abound in all those fruits of righteousness, which are through Christ to the praise and glory of God. Let this henceforth then be our sole ambition, to approve ourselves to him, by wbose sentence our final condition must be determined. And let it be our constant request at the throne of grace, that God by his almighty Spirit may exalt our souls above every mean and sordid view, and enable us always so to speak and act, not as pleasing men, but God who trieth our hearts."

-Then the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; and amidst all the changing scenes of life, we shall bave this for our rejoicing, even the testimony of a good conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world. Amen.

SERMON XXXVII.

Acts xi. 23.

- And exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart

they would cleave unto the LORD.

It is not easy to conceive a more complete or amiable character than that which is given of Barnabas in the following verse: “He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith.” And as a good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things; so this faithful minister of Christ, who had been sent by the church in Jerusalem to visit the new converts at Antioch, having seen those real effects of the grace of God among them, of which he had formerly heard the agreeable report, was filled with joy; and, like a true “ son of consolation,” which his name sigpi. fies, be “exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”—My design in discoursing from these words is,

1st. To explain the exhortation contained in them; 2dly. To enforce it by some motives and arguments; and, 3dly. To offer some directions which, through the blessing of God, may be useful to those who are desirous of complying with it.

I Begin with explaining the exhortation contained in the text. And,

1st. It is obvious, that it supposeth those to whom it is directed to be already entered upon a religious course of life. Barnabas addressed his discourse to persons who were real converts to Christianity. It appears from the 21st and 22d verses, that the tidings which had come to Jerusalem concerning them, expressly affirmed, that “a great number bad believed and turned unto the Lord :"> and Barnabas, soon after his arrival at Antioch, receiv, ed full conviction that this report was true; for “ he saw the grace of God, and was glad." The form of his exhortation indeed sufficiently distinguisheth the character of those to whom it was addressed; for such as had never been joined to the Lord could not, with any propriety, be exhorted to cleave or to adhere to him. And as this exhortation, when addressed to us, supposeth that we bave already chosen the ways of God; so it implies

also, that our choice is the fruit of mature and solid consideration. “ This purpose of heart,” with which we are to "cleave unto the Lord,” is not a blind and obstinate bigotry, which pusheth men headloug in a way which they know not. Persons of this character may have a fair show in the time of prosperity; but when they are brought to the trial of adversity, they will relinquish against reason what they began without it ; and will turn as violent in opposing religion, as ever they seemed zealous in promoting it. In the

2d place, The exhortation in my text requires the ha. bitual exercise of all the graces of the Christian life; the constant performance of every commanded duty. It is not enough that we draw near to the Lord on some stated occasions, or have some transient flashes of devotion, like the Israelites of old, concerning whom it is said (Hosea vi. 4.) that their goodness, like “ the morning cloud and early dew," appeared for a little, and then“ vanished” away. We must cleave to the Lord at all times; devotion must be the prevailing temper of our minds; and our habitual practice must correspond to it. It must be our fixed design, and sincere resolution, to keep all God's commandments, at all times, and in all places and circumstances.

Some there are who lay down resolutions for the performance of certain duties, with a designed exception of others: Or perhaps they purpose to perform all the branches of duty for a particular season, with a secret reserve, that when that time shall be elapsed, they will then return to their former course of life. But all such resolutions are an abomination to God, as being hypocritical and insincere; and plainly show that the first step in religion is not yet taken. For at the least, it is essential to the character of a true Christian, that there

Holy Ghost, and of faith.” And as a good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things; so this faithful minister of Christ, who had been sent by the church in Jerusalem to visit the new converts at Antioch, having seen those real effects of the grace of God among them, of which he had formerly heard the agreeable report, was filled with joy; and, like a true “ son of consolation," which his name signi. fies, he 6 exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”—My design in discoursing from these words is,

1st. To explain the exhortation contained in them; 2dly. To enforce it by some motives and arguments; and, 3dly. To offer some directions which, through the blessing of God, may be useful to those who are desirous of complying with it.

I begin with explaining the exhortation contained in the text. And,

1st. It is obvious, that it supposeth those to whom it is directed to be already entered upon a religious course of life. Barnabas addressed his discourse to persons who were real converts to Christianity. It appears from the 21st and 22d verses, that the tidings which had come to Jerusalem concerning them, expressly affirmed, that “a great number bad believed and turned unto the Lord:'' and Barnabas, soon after his arrival at Antioch, receiv, ed full conviction that this report was true; for “ he saw the grace of God, and was glad.” The form of his exhortation indeed sufficiently distinguisheth the character of those to whom it was addressed; for such as bad never been joined to the Lord could not, with any pro. priety, be exhorted to cleave or to adhere to him. And as this exhortation, when addressed to us, supposeth that we have already chosen the ways of God; so it implies

also, that our choice is the fruit of mature and solid consideration. “ This purpose of heart," with which we are to 6 cleave unto the Lord,” is not a blind and ob. stinate bigotry, which pusheth men headloug in a way which they know not. Persons of this character may have a fair show in the time of prosperity; but when they are brought to the trial of adversity, they will re. linquish against reason what they began without it; and will turn as violent in opposing religion, as ever they seemed zealous in promoting it. In the

2d place, The exhortation in my text requires the ha. bitual exercise of all the graces of the Christian life; the constant performance of every commanded duty. It is not enough that we draw near to the Lord on some stated occasions, or have some transient flashes of devotion, like the Israelites of old, concerning whom it is said (Hosea vi. 4.) that their goodness, like the morning cloud and early dew," appeared for a little, and then " vanished” away. We must cleave to the Lord at all times; devotion must be the prevailing temper of our minds; and our habitual practice must correspond to it. It must be our fixed design, and sincere resolution, to keep all God's commandments, at all times, and in all places and circumstances.

Some there are who lay down resolutions for the performance of certain duties, with a designed exception of others: Or perhaps they purpose to perform all the branches of duty for a particular season, with a secret reserve, that when that time shall be elapsed, they will then return to their former course of life. But all such resolutions are an abomination to God, as being hypocritical and insincere; and plainly show that the first step in religion is not yet taken. For at the least, it is essential to the character of a true Christian, that there

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