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Thirdly, After hearing practise these Directi
1. Labour to keep alive those good motions, those good inclinations, these Heavenly affectio ans, and stirrings of Spirit which they foundest in time of hearing, Thou wilt quickly cool, when out of the Congregation, if thou cake nec heed.
2. When thou goes from the Congregation, be willing to speak and confer of what thou haft heard, labauring thereby to work those truls an thy oman bears, and on the hearts of others: how fad is it thac people as soon as ever they are out of the Congregation, fall a talking of any shing racher than the Sermon they have heard ! They are free to talk of bargains, or news, or any thing else : But they are ashamed of such precife discourse, as to speak of the truths they have heard, though they concern chem never so much.
3. Let such as 4re governours of families revive the truths they bave heard in publick, by repes tition in their Families : Our memaries are weak, and commands had need be repeated to forgecful servanış. Ac first hearing many truehs may be lost through distraction and wandring. Paul in his Epifles does often repeae che same pal. sages, and renew the same exhortations. And he tels the Philippians, C.3.v.1, To write the fame things to them, was not to him grievous, bust for them Jafe. go Retire thy self, and meditate on the truths
thou baft heard, and labour to fasten them by prayer in thy heart. Let thy Conscience in secret preach them over to thee again, Luke 2.19. 'Tis said, Mary pondered those sayings in her heart. O how few will spend a secret hour on the Lords day co consider and meditate on what they have heard. One main reason Sermons do no more good is because people so soon forget them. And why do chey forget them fo foon? But because they do not consider and meditate on chem, when chey have heard them, Heb.2.1.Therefore saies the Apostle, we ought to give the more earneji heed to the things which we have heard, left at any time we should let them slip. And 1 Tim.4.15. Me ditate upon these things, give thy self wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear unto all.
5. Be not a bare hearer, but a doer of the Word. Speedily set upon the practise of what thou haft learned to be thy duty. Be ge doers of the Word, and net hearers only, deceiving your own foules. Fam.1.22. Some do not care to hear, because they have no mind to practise. Some hear, and rest in it. 'Tis practise chat proclaims the sincerity of our profession. In hearing we may look like Saincs, but in doing we live like Saines, Practise is the best commendation of a Sermon.
Having thus shewed chee what thou must do.
I. Before hearing the Word,
3. After hearing the Werd. I come now to give thee some . Motives to guicken thee to the practise of these Directions.
i. Consider, such as wilfully neglect to prepare their hearts, before they come to bear, do tempe God to withdraw the assistance and blessing of his holy Spirit from them when they are come. Presume noc on Gods assistance in an Ordinance, if you neglect to prepare for it. If the ground be not well prepared, we do not expect a crop
2. Consider and remember, the Devils care is, not only to disturb thee at the Ordinance, but to indispose thee for it, before thou comeft. The Devil is stirring early on the Lords day morning. He is at work becimes: Be sure, he hath a morija ings draught for thee; he will be presencing and suggesting something to thee, to unfit and indispose thee for the duties of the day.
3. Consider, as thou art more or less careful to prepare, fo wilt thou ordinarily more or lesse tast the (weetnejle of the Ordinance. Preparation is like exercise before a meal: It will make thee come with the better appetite to the Word, and relish it the better.
4. Consider, preparation is not only advantsgeous in order to ihe Ordinance, but it brings advintage to 945, considered in it felf: By preparati. on we have communion with God: We cometa $3 idirftand ossr felves, and the case of our own fouls. Whilst thou art preparing, thy Graces arc in
creasing; the work of Heaven goes on.
si Consider, If thou makelt Conscience thus to behave thy self before, in, and after hearing of the Word (as thou haft been direited) thou wilt find it a great evidence of the fincerity and uprightneffe of thy heart. Outward respects may make people come to Church, but to take pains thus with their hearts beforehand, argues a true defore after communion with God, and a real willingnesse to profic by the Word, and to grow in Grace.
6. Consider what a choice mercy it is to enjoy the Gospel. 'Tis not a dish that is set on every table. God hath not done so for every Nation, as for this. No Island so far from Jerusalem, had the light of the Gospel so soon as this. And I know not any particular promise whereby the Gospel is entailed on this, or any other Nation. If we flight the Gospel, for ought I know, we may quickly forfeir it ; and provoke God to take ic from us. When the Israelites despised Manna, God quickly sent serpents among them. If we despise the Manna of his Word, aud count it light food; God may juftly send Serpents among us; I mean, such deceivers as with their pernicious Doctrines may poison many souls to their everlasting deltruction.
7. Lastly, Consider, though the Gospel may continue to the Nation, get thou or I may quickly be deprived of our personal opportunities of enjoying of it. I have heard of ane lying on his deathbed,
thac cryed out, Call time back, Call time back.
House of God, and be more ready to bear, than
not that they do evil.
whom they have not believed? and how shall
bring glad tidings of good things? Jam.1.18. Of his own will begat he us, with the Word of Truth, that we jould be a kind of