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actually enjoys, his hopes are built on a personal experience of God's present goodness.

You see, there-

fore, what gratitude we owe to God, both for the unspeakable gift and for the clear knowledge of it which he has given us; which renders it to every Christian in the present life the private and personal seal of his future expectations.

It remains for me briefly to remind you, that the effect of a seal in any civil contract is to fasten the conditions of the covenant upon both parties. And thus it is to be understood, that the seal of the Spirit, as it confirms the promises on the part of God, and renders them in some measure personal to every one who find the impression of this seal in the testimony of his conscience, so it confirms the obligation to a holy life, and renders it personal on the part of the Christian. There is a general obligation upon all mankind to a strict discharge of the duties of religion as far as they are made known to them, arising from their intrinsic fitness and propriety, and from the common relation in which all men stand to God, as their Creator and Preserver. There is a more particular obligation upon Christians to observe the injunctions of their Lord, arising from the particular benefits and blessings of the Christian covenant, from the clear discovery of future rewards and punishments, and from the wonderful manifestation of the riches of God's mercy, who gave his Son to die for us while we were enemies. But there is besides these general obligations, besides the obligation upon all men to their natural duties, upon all Christians to the public injunctions of their Lord, - there is, I say, besides, upon every true Christian who has


of the Holy Ghost; who experiences in the improvement of his own mind and manners, the present powers of the world to come; upon every such person, there is a special and personal obligation, to cleanse himself from all impurity of flesh and spirit, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God; especially to listen with a vigilant and interested attention to the private admonitions of his own conscience, which is, indeed, nothing less than the voice of God within him. For as it is certain, on the one hand, that no man has any testimony from the Spirit of his present sanctification, no assurance of his final salvation but what is conveyed to him through the conscience; so it is equally certain, on the other, that every good suggestion of the conscience proceeds from the Spirit of God. And whoever stifles these suggestions, whoever is not diligent to consult this internal monitor, or reluctantly and imperfectly obeys him, grieves the Spirit whose oracle he is. And the danger is, that the Spirit will be quenched, that those assistances will be withdrawn which negligence and perverseness render ineffectual and useless. For God's grace is given to help the infirmities of the upright and sincere, but it will not forcibly reclaim the refractory or the thoughtless. Give, therefore, all diligence to make your calling and election sure:" For this shall effectually secure your admission into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To whom, &c.





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