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deed often fin; but they are not the servants of fin. Whoso are such are none of Christ's, but they serve the devil and their lufts. They fin against the gospel-remedy, going on in a state of unbelief and impenitency. They are not only infected with the plague of sin, but they slight the Physician with his remedies, namely, his blood and Spirit; they will not have this man to reign over them, Luke, xix. 14. « Sin reigns in them like a king; they readily obey it in the lusts thereof,” Rom. vi. 16. and fairly yield themselves to it. They are in the fnare of the devil, and are taken captive by him at his will. Do not think you can de fervants of God, who are thus situated. No man can serve two masters.
Lastly, Those who make the Lord's service but their by-hand work, not their chief employ. These are religion's chance-customers, who will never enrich themselves with it. -- And such are these who nerer make religion their predominant concern. The chief stream of their care and anxiety runs in
another channel than the grand inquiry, What shall < I do to be saved ? The things of time lie nearest
their heart, not the matters of eternity.-Those who fellow religion no farther than their other ends will allow of, who make it yield to their temporal interests, and embrace it only when those do not interfere with it, like the allowance Pharaoh made for religion, by calling idleness the spring of it, Exod. v. 17.— Those who confine their religion to their religious duties, and do not weave it into the whole of their conversation. Suppose one to be very exact in a due performance of secret and family-duties ; yet if he do not walk with God in the interval of duties, and Carry his religion through his worldly business,
God's service is not his business.--I would now improve this subject,
2. In an use of trial.
You may and thould try yourselves, whether you be the Lord's or not. If
you can say, “ It is God whom Iserve,' ye may fay, 'It is God's, whose I am.' If religion be your business, you are God's fervants, and he will own you to be so. A fervant of God moves two steps, by which he advances beyond others.
(1.) He serves God, and so goes beyond the profane careless generation in the world, who mind nothing but the world, the profits and pleasures which are in it: Phil. iii. 19. 6. Whofe end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, and who inind earthly ihings.” As for the service of God, they are free of it, they are sons of Belial, and go without a yoke; they are the serpent's seed, on their belly they go, and dust is their only meat ;, the duties of religion they make no conscience of.
(2.) He makes God's service his business, and so goes beyond the formalist, who ferves God, but makes not God's service his chief work. The hypocrite has always one thing, which goes above all other things with him ; but that is the world, or some one lust or other, not the one thing needful, which is the chief thing the servant of God is ever in quest of.
We have heard already the marks of a person who makes religion his business. Try yourselves by these, whether God's servicebe your grand objectin the world, and if you serve him with the whole man &c. as defcribed in the second head.--I come now,
3. To an use of exhortation. I exhort you to evidence yourselves to be the Lord's servants,
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by serving him.-And with this design I beseech you,
(1.) To enter to his service, and serve him. Serve him in your salvation and generation work, in external and internal service, in stated and continual service, in doing or suffering service, in ordinary and extraordinary service. Put your hand and heart to the several pieces of service to which he calls you. And I would recommend in this
cafe to you,
[1.] Be attentive to your Mafter's orders, and labour to know his mind, as to what may be your duty: Pfal. cxxiii. 2.“ Behold, as the eyes of fervants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the
eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, fo our eyes
the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.” Consult his word, which contains his orders to his servants, and read the Bible as the book of
instructions. Take the providential hints of duty. he gives you; for he has faid, Pfal. xxxii. 8. “ I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go : I will guide thee with mine eye." Be always willing to know his will, and make application to him by. prayer, for the discovery of it in particular cases, especially such as are difficult; do nothing with a doubting conscience.
[2.] Be willing servants, not refractory and wilful. Follow the example of Abraham, whoobeyed, and went out, not knowing whether he went, Heb. xi. 8.
The Master's orders being known, do not dispute them, but readily obey them. Choose not the work
you will do, whether it be suffering or doing work, whatever the burden be, which he lays on you, bow your shoulders to bear it; the cross he lays down, do you be ready
to take it up. For it becomes him to command, and us to obey.
[3.] Weary not of your work : James, i. 4. “ But let patience have her perfect work, that
ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." However hard you apprehend your task to be, give not way to wearying of it : Gal. vi. 9. 6 And let us not be weary in well-doing ; for in due feason we shall reap, if we faint not.” We should think all light while we are out of hell. Impatience betrays us into the hands of the adversary, who is ready to offer his hellish help to those who are weary
of the task God has laid on them ; of which we have dreadful instances, which may make all of us tremble, and resolve through grace to bear till himself give deliverance,
[4.] When you are checked for your mismanagements, or corrected on account of them, learn this property of a good servant, not to answer again, Titus, ii. 9. Murmuring under the rebukes of providence, is very unbecoming, and highly provoking in God's light : Lam. iii. 39. “Where- . fore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins ?” They who enter into the family of God, must not think it strange that. they have to submit to the discipline of the house. -I would exhort you,
(2.) To hold by his service, as the great business which you have to do in the world. Never give it over, but pursue it as the grand business of your life, for doing which you were sent into the world. You have many things to do.: But this is the one thing above all other things, O! give it the preference in your hearts and lives. Never reckon that your other business goes well, when this does not; nor ill, when this goes well. Hold on it, till death loose
plished, plished, as an hireling, your days.--As to this I would recommend to you,
[1.] Serve him honestly and uprightly: Josh. xxiv. 14. “ Now, therefore, fear the Lord, and ferve him in fincerity and in truth.” Let him be your only Lord and Master; and while you profefs to serve God, give not a secret-service to any idol ; for there is no hiding the matter from your heavenly Mafter.
You are in God's account, what you are inwardly in heart.
[2.] Serve him chearfully with heart and goodwill. He is the best of masters, and desires none to serve him for nought. To be heartless in his fervice, as if it were a drudgery, is very difpleasing to him : Deut. xxviii. 47. 48. “ Because thou servedft not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord fhall send against thee in hunger and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things : And he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee." [3.] Serve him fervently and zealously: Rom.
« Not flothful in business ; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Our God is the living God, and he requires his servants to be lively, their hearts stirring within them in his service. The greatest love which ever appeared being shewed by our Lord, this doubtless requires such
[4.] Serve him diligently and laboriously: Acts,
“ Unto which hope, our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.” Why should we grudge pains for him, who thought not his own life too much for us? The servants of fin and Satan' are indefatigable, alas ! that the servants of God should be so sloth