Joseph Stennett.

The Works of the late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett : in five volumes ; to which is prefix'd some account of his life (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryJoseph StennettThe Works of the late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett : in five volumes ; to which is prefix'd some account of his life (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 28)
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you among the rare inftances of his free and
fovereign grace. And-if you are deeply {cn-

^ 2 Kings 7. 3, 4. I ■" Efther. 4. 16.

^ 2 Sam. 16. 12. I " Luke 15. 20,

I 2 fible

1 1 6 The reafonabknefs and advantages

fible of your paft iniquity, and earneftly
groan for a change in your fouls, for a new
and pure heart and a right fpirit °, it is to be
hop'd, that God, whole compaflions are in-
finite, has now at laft open'd your eyes, that
you might nox. Jlccp Ihejleep o/^ eternal death p ;
has made you himger and thirft after righte-
oiifnefs 1, with a defign to fatisfy you ; and has
wounded your.fpirits by 2i godly J or row % with
a purpofe to heal them with the oil of joy ^,
with the comforts of his free fpirit \ You
have run a llrange rilque to delay a work of
this nature, and of this confequence, till now ;
but if God has given you deep and ferious re-
pentance, he defigns you favour, and your
contrition gives hope of a pardon. Let the
wicked forfake his way, and the imrighteous
man his thoughts j and let him returtj. unto the
Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to
our God, for he will abundantly pardon ^

2. If you are truly converted, it is your
happinefs and honour : T^he hoary head is a
crown of glory, if it be found in the way of
righteoufnefs ".

But did you confecrate to your creator the
flower of your youth ? or have you only
ofFer'd him your later years ?

» Pfal. ^i. lo.
p Pfal. 13. 3.

* Jer. i. 2, 3. I


124 '^^^^ reafonablenefs and advantages

when you are near the confummation of all
your victories in an eternal triumph : to prefe
forward vigoroufly in your fpiritual race now
at laft, when you have almoft attained the
mark * j and to afpire earneftly after that
diadem of glory, with which you are fo fud-
denly to be crown'd :. to converfe conftantly
in heaven, now you are juft forfiking the
earth ; to live intirely by faith, fince you are
going to die in it ^ ; to die in the Lord % and
that in order to //"j^ with him '^ in a ftate that
will turn your faith into vilion, and your
hope into enjoyment.

If thus while age bends your bodies to-
wards the earth, grace raifes your fouls to-
ward heaven j if your faith grows fagacious,
while your eyes grow dim ; and your hope
grows firm, while your hands and knees are
feeble ; if the warmth of your love to God
increafes as your natural heat abates, and the
fallies of your afFedions after him grow ftrong
and lively, as the motions of your animal
fpirits grow weak and languid j then as your
lajl works will be ?nore than yoiirjirji % fo you
will honour God as well in the worfl part of
your time ^, as you have done in the beft of
it. And as by bringing forth much fruit even
in old age «, you will glorify your heavenly

- Phil. I. 13,14.

^ Hcb. II. 13.
'^ Rev. 14. 13.
^ 1 Cor. 13. 12,

« Rev. 2. 5.

*" — Prhhis fic major gratia po-

mis ;
Hybern& pretium Jic meruere

? Pfal. 91, 14.

father j

Serm. III. of an early converjion, 1 2 %

father ^ ; fo your hoary hairs will be honou-
rable in this world, and an exceeding and eter-
nal weight of glory * will be your portion in
the world to come.

Secondly^ Let me now addrefs myfelf to
you that are young j and intreat you alfo to
put this important queflion to your own
hearts, Whether you have yet remembred
your creator, fo as to dedicate yourfelves to
his fervice, or not ?

If you have devoted to him the firft-fruits
of your time,

(i.) It behoves you with profound humility
and reverence to afcribe 10 your maker the
glory of his grace, who made you willing in
the day of his power toferve kirn in the beauties
of holinefsj even from the womb of the morning
of your time ^, and to offer him the early
dew of your youth : for nojlejh may glory in his
frefence ' j feeing all flejh is gr'afs, and the
goodlinefs^ thereof as the fading flower of the
field •", in a moral as well as a natural fenfe.
If you have been diftinguifhed from others by
early impreffions of piety, know that it is
grace that hat hmade the difference " ; and glo-
rify that God, who perfects his praife out of
the mouths of babes and fucklings ° -, and re-
*ueals that to children^ which he fometimes
bides from the wife and prudent p. Blefs him

^ John 15. 8. r, ifa. 40. f< i Pet. i. 24.

2 Cor. 4. 17,
^ Pfal. 1 10. 3.

" I Cor. 4. 7.

° Pfal. 8.2. Mat. 21. 1 5.

.' i^?'^- A! *o- »P Luke JO, 21.


126 The reafonablenefs and advantages

that has redf^emed you frofn the earthy andfroni
among men "^j at a time when the pleafures of
fin, and the focieiy of finners appear In the
moft alluring form. Praife that God, who
by the early feeds of holinefs which he has
fown in your hearts, is preparing you to reap
a plentiful harveft of graces and bleffings
here, and a glorious reward hereafter.

(2.) Conlider the mighty obligations that
are upon you to engage you in a holy conver-
fation. As you have received more than many
others, more is required of you : and w^hat
we have faid may be jullly expe

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Online LibraryJoseph StennettThe Works of the late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett : in five volumes ; to which is prefix'd some account of his life (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 28)