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dence to his duties, that he may live to Christ. He is neither a workless believer, nor a faithless worker, but a working believer.

And now, Sirs, to conclude, I beseech you in the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye will consider what I have said, and impartially try your state by it. It was with fear and trembling I entered upon, and went through these words, because of the exceeding weightiness of the matter, as determining the state of souls before the Lord; and therefore I did not choose to heap up many particulars, but to speak largely to a few, that the 'evidences might be plain, useful, searching, and safe. For I reckon, that as giving of marks of true saints is one of the most difficult parts of preaching, so marks overly proposed, and not followed out, are to the most part of hearers either useless or hurtful. I hope they have been confirming to some; I wish they might reach their design in others, yet strangers to Christ. Let it be acknowledged to the praise of the good hand of God, that falling to be delivered in the winter, (in which I have something to remark for myself with thankfulness), the season has been so very good, that ye have not been hindered, by the badness of the weather, from attending, as usually in that time of the year; though, alas for it! summer and winter are much alike, in that respect, to several careless perishing souls among you. Sirs, according to the state of your souls now, so will it be with you through eternity. Examine yourselves therefore now, whether Christ be in you or not; whether ye be yet in the black state of nature, uncircumcised spiritually; or whether ye be in the state of grace, and of the true circumcision. Ye have heard the characters, let conscience make the application; and judge yourselves, that ye be not judged and condemned with the world. See now on what ground ye stand; for as ye stand in the world, so shall ye stand before the tribunal of God. Deceive not yourselves Religion is a mystery to most of the hearers of the gospel; and as some have no shadow of it, many embrace the shadow of it instead of the substance, and please themselves with those things that will not abide trial by the word here, and will evanish as a dream when they are sisted before the tribunal of Christ. If your state be found right upon an impartial trial, it will be an unspeakable comfort: if it be found wrong, it is not the trial that makes it so, it only discovers it to be what it is; and there is yet time to get wrongs righted, and to lay a new foundation, which may last for the eternal welfare of your souls. Consider what I have said, and the Lord give you understanding in all things.



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