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Resh may have to say against it. This is the true way to keep our minds in a steady decisive frame. "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. He who seeks to ascertain other points besides his duty, will find himself perplexed with perpetual difficulties. Embarrassed with attending to distracting and opposite counsels, his conduct will neither be firm nor graceful; and, even when he does what is right, he will be unable to enjoy the satisfaction of it, conscious that he did it not in that simplicity and godly sincerity which alone can render our obedience acceptable. We are therefore to yield ourselves to God as our supreme Lawgiver, who hath an unquestionable title to the service of all our ac tive powers, saying with Samuel," Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth;" and with the Apostle Paul," Lord what wilt thou have me to do ?”
2dly, We must yield ourselves to God not only to do but to suffer his will. The rewards of active obedience are not found in the present life : on the contrary, the most faithful servants of God are often visited with the severest dispensations of Providence. We must therefore not only have our loins girt about for cheerful obedience, but our minds prepared also for patient suffering. We must be ready to resign our most valuable possessions, and our dearest comforts, the moment that they are reclaimed by him who at first be
stowed them, saying with Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord;" and, with David, "I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that in very faithfulness thou hast afflicted me."
We are already in the hand of God, by our essential dependance, as the clay is in the hands of the potter; let us likewise be so by our own consent and choice. This is the true balm of life. It is this that softens adversity, and alleviates the load of sorrow. In this we unite the noblest duty which we can perform, and the most precious benefits which we can reap. What wisdom can compare with the wisdom of resignation, which not only softens inevitable evils, but turns them into real and permanent good; which not only soothes the sense of suffering, but secures a happy and a glorious reward.
3dly, We must yield ourselves to God, to be disposed of by his providence, as to our lot and condition in the world. "He hath made of one blood all that dwell upon the face of the earth." He hath fixed the precise issues of life and death, and hath appointed where we shall dwell, and what station we shall occupy in the world. To one he saith, Be thou a king; and to another, Be thou a beggar. All these things come forth of the Lord of Hosts; and in his will we must ebeerfully acquiesce, with a firm and meek resolution to be disposed of as he sees meet, and to glorify
him in the place and station which he hath assigned us; to serve him cheerfully, while he hath service for us to perform in this world; and at last to resign our souls into his hands, when he shall require them.
4thly, As we must be resigned to the will of God with respect to our outward lot, so we must be satisfied with his disposal, as to the measure of spiritual gifts which he is pleased to bestow on us. Should he make us but as the foot, we must be as well contented as if he had made us the hand or the head, and rejoice that we are found qualified for being even the least honourable member in Christ's mystical body. We must not envy our brother for being wiser or better than we, more than for being richer or nobler. And though we may covet earnestly the best gifts, yet if, in the use of appointed means, we cannot attain to them, we ought, with resignation to the Father of lights, to make a diligent and faithful use of what God hath given us, trusting that they who have been good stewards over a little, shall not fail to receive their proportional reward in the day of retribution. Every vessel of honour hath not the same capacity, but every vessel of honour shall be completely filled. None shall have a mean station in the heavenly temple, although some shall be more gloriously distinguished than others. They shall all be kings and priests unto God, and mansions shall not be want
ing to accommodate every class of guests in the New Jerusalem.
I proceed now to give you some directions as to the manner in which we ought to perform this duty, of yielding ourselves unto God.
1. Before we can perform this duty in an acceptable manner, it is necessary that we have just views both of God and of ourselves. In a particular manner, we must have a deep sense both of our original apostacy, and of the actual transgressions with which we are chargeable. We must yield ourselves to God, like condemned rebels, who cast themselves on the mercy of their sovereign. Yet while we are sensible of our miserable and condemned state, we must also have a view of those riches of mercy which are open to the chief of sinners. We are to remember, with faith and gratitude, that God so loved the world, as to send his only begotten Son, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might have life; that he only is the way, the truth, and the life; that he is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him; that in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; and that he is made of God to all that believe on him, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. The knowledge of these fundamental truths must influence the surrender which we make of ourselves to God, that it may
be an act of our understanding, accompanied both with humility and with hope.
II. We must yield ourselves unto God with serious, attentive, and awakened minds. It is seldom that any permanent good is obtained, in consequence of a hasty choice. Even when the object of our choice is just and valuable, our esteem of it is apt to decline, if it has been embraced at first with too rash and violent an affection. In proportion as the charms of novelty fade, our attachment to it subsides, and indifference or aversion succeed to the eagerness of a prompt and hasty passion. If therefore we would prove stedfast and faithful, we must not be precipitate, but weigh every circumstance with care, and ponder well ere we fix our choice. We must remember, that yielding ourselves to God, will involve in it the renouncing of many favourité engagements, the performing of many difficult duties, and the mortifying of many desires, which hitherto, perhaps, it has been the whole plan of our lives to gratify. Let us, therefore, represent to ourselves the probable consequences, before we embark in so important and solemn a transaction. Consider the self-reproach, the censures of others, and, above all, the displeasure of God, which you must incur, if you retract from such a deep engagement. God doth not wish to ensnare you into his service. He does not allure you by flattering prospects of ease. He does not conceal