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coldness of your prayers ; by your perfect want of delight in God, in Christ, in divine things, and in the prospect of the world to come. Whatever then be the case of other people, you have not the love of God in you. You have a dangerous fever, which will burn within you for ever, if it be not cured in this life.

5th, Though the experience of this may be painful, and hurt your pride and your lusts, yet is it wholesome; and you now are prepared to attend to the rest of the doctrines of Scripture. Once knowing yourşelves to be altogether evil, as the Lord by Moses in the text describes us, you have obtained one grand proof of the truth and certainty of the Scriptures. It is the only book which has laid open this evil state of man fully and clearly, with its cause and its effects and circumstances. You will be prepared to hear what the Lord declares in it for your cure. And indeed

And indeed you will obtain, in this way, the most satisfying proof of the truth of the whole word of God, and comprehend the true order and spirit of every other part of divine truth. It is for want of this true self-knowledge that there are so few true Christians in the world. The greater part, who call themselves so, do not care for religion. And some, who do, study books after books, without serious prayer for divine illumination, and without bringing doctrines to the test of experience. Their heads are busied, while their hearts and consciences are unexercised with religion. A little experimental knowledge is of great importance in religion. While men are too proud or too careless to cultivate that, they live ignorant of them

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selves, and build on this or on that great man's authority, without knowing any thing for themselves. Oh! Brethren, search your hearts, till you know what they are, and you will find that you need an entire change indeed.

I purpose, if God give me leave, in a few plain discourses, to go through a course of Experimental Divinity. Let this be considered as the first of them. There is a propriety in such a beginning. He, who knows not that “the imagination of his heart is evil from his youth,” has not yet begun any religion that will be of service to him. But, if you do indeed know yourselves to be thus evil, I say in the last place get yourselves acquainted with Jesus Christ, the great Physician of the soul. Men only trifle with a physician and his medicines, while they think themselves whole and sound. But, if you have this disease; if you are sure of it; if the

i poison of sin is felt both in its guilt and power; know, there is no Healer but the Son of God. Come to Him for cure. Get admitted into His house. All, who seek His help, he receives freely and without price. Rest on him by faith. Continue patient under his hand and abide there. He dismisses none incurable: In due time you shall find yourselves made whole: And you will be admitted, at length,

: to join in those songs of health and praise, that are for ever heard in the mansions of the blessed.




Isaiah lxiv, 6, 7.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous

nesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf ; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that culleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee : for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

It is one of the most afflicting things to a real Pastor of Christ's church, to see those, who profess divine truth, scandalizing it in practice, and after a fair appearance of godliness returning like the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. The evils of our fallen nature are so many, the world is so alluring, and the snares of Satan are so crafty, that many causes may be assigned for this grievous backsliding. But the chief cause is, the want of self-knowledge and of a just conviction of our own sinfulness. Self-love is flattering; we are apt to flatter one another; we do not easily see the depth of iniquity within us; lurking pride deceives us, and we are willingly deceived.

Indeed when it is considered how few spend any time in serious self-examination, we need not wonder that we are so much imposed on in this respect. To know our own selves, is what many great and wise men have never attained, living or dying. In persons, who have no Christian seriousness, it is not to be expected. All other religions, and all the doctrines of philosophers in all ages, are utterly void of this knowledge. It is among those only, who follow Christ in sincerity, that self-knowledge is to be found. All the rest are destitute of it.

The evils of this ignorance are great. Men without self-knowledge are proud and presumptuous ; walk rashly and carelessly; stumble at Christian doctrines; value nothing in religion, but what has

; present comfort in it; are displeased with the true language of humility; and do not cordially submit to Christ, who is the “ end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” After having healed their superficial convictions falsely, and finding no real food in the Gospel to feed on, they are apt to return to the world and its vanities.

To know ourselves, and to know God in Christ, are the two great objects of Christian enquiry. No man knoweth either aright, but by the Holy Ghost. Light from above is needful, in subjects which we are of all others, by nature, most insensible of, and most averse to. In hope of this effectual influence, I shall at present lay before you one of these two subjects, THE KNOWLEDGE OF OURSELVES. The words of the text, and indeed the whole prayer of which they are a part, illustrate it. It is the Church of God, which is praying and confessing her sins and miseries. Whoever do

. this in a right manner, always seem, in the opinion


of Pharisées, to say too much against themselves. The confession begins at the 15th verse of the foregoing chapter, and reaches through this.

They own the Lord as their Father, their Redeemer. They own themselves erring from his ways, and hardening their “heart from his fear.” In much sense of evil they beg for the Lord's manifestation of himself. They comfort themselves with expectations of his meeting them with his mercies; and they believe that upon those alone, who wait for him, he will bestow all they can ask or conceive. But they confess their own inward wicked

“ We are all as an unclean thing," not fit to appear before a holy God: Not some of us only,

a but all of us; not only hypocritical professors and open enemies of true religion ; but regenerate persons also, in whom is found a root of Christian sincerity, and who being clothed with Christ as their righteousness shall enjoy life eternal. But separate from Christ, and considered as they are in themselves, and in their best doings and best works, and best state, in this life, they are “ all as an unclean thing.” The holy Prophet takes himself into the number; and the whole strain of the confession shews that it belongs to the whole professing Church, among whom there always were some true' and genuine believers. And one mark of them I shall here venture to give. They are humble: They know and feel the plague of their own hearts : They are of all men most sensible of the uncleanness which defiles their best actions. Men who are apt to think much of their own holy attainments, very commonly, by their misconduct, give others great

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