| What Must I Do To Be Saved?
by Cotton Mather
The Greatest Concern in the World
[The jailer] "brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be
saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:30-31)
(Cotton Mather was a leading pastor in Boston at the beginning of the
What Must I Do to Be Saved?
It is impossible to ask a more weighty Question! It is deplorable that we
hear it asked with no more Frequency, with nor more Agony. The Spirit of
Slumber which the Poison of the old Serpent has brought upon the children
of Men is to be deplored exceedingly. Awaken us out of this [terrible]
stupidity, O God of all Grace, lest we perish [eternally].
My Design is to bring in a Good and full Answer to this Weighty Question,
Oh! how Thankful ought we to be, for the Glorious Gospel of the Blessed
God, that makes us able to Answer it! The Gospel which we have in our
hands, this a Gospel of such astonishing Mystery, of such Heavenly
Majesty, and of such Consummate Purity, that it can be no other than the
Word of God; It must be of a Divine Original. Oh! highly Favoured People,
who know this Joyful Sound! Oh! Unavoidably and Inexcusably Wretched, if
we disregard it.
The Devils knew, That those Excellent Ministers of the Lord Paul and
Silas, were come to Philippi, with a design to answer this Weighty
Question. They could not bear it; they feared it would issue in a
Destruction upon their Kingdom there. They stirred up the minds of some
Wicked People, to abuse and Revile these Ministers, and run them into
Prison. Some Wicked People were afraid lest they should lose a little
Money, by the coming of such Ministers among them; and the Devils inspired
these Muckworms to use incessant Endeavours until they had made these
Ministers uncapable of Preaching any more unto them.
Our Glorious Lord appeared for his Faithful Servants. They Glorified Him
in the midst of their Trials. They Sang His Praises under the Stripes and
the Stocks which the Satanic Party inflicted on them. Oh, Patient Servants
of the Lord! What a symptom have you that you shall one Day Reign in Glory
with Him? These poor men Sang unto the Lord; the Lord heard them, and
sav'd them! A terrible Earthquake at Midnight shook open the Doors of
their Prison. The Keeper that had the now superseded keys of the Prison,
was terrified. In his consternation, he falls down at the feet of his
Prisoners, he treats them no longer as Prisoners, but rather as Angels. He
fervently puts to them the Question, which, Oh! That it were often heard
with an equal fervency among us! What must I do to be Saved?
Some Learned men think that the Gaoler had from the Traditions of their
Philosophers, conceived some Hope of a better Life; and seeing his Life
here in danger, he does, as distressed Wretches in the Last minutes of
their Life use to do, Cry out for some help to make sure of a Better Life,
Or, more probably, the late words of the possessed Young Woman in the Town
about these Ministers; These men are the Servants of the most High God,
who show unto us the way of Salvation; might run in his mind, and mind him
of that Salvation, and make him think, whether these men were not
appointed of God, for the Instruction of others in the way to that
There is a most important matter which must now be undertaken to be
demonstrated. That whereas there must be something done, by every man that
would be saved, it should be the Sollicitious Inquiry of every man What
must be done by him, that he may be Saved.
We will proceed upon the awakening Demonstrations of this thing;
Demonstrations more powerful than any Thunderbolts. Oh! that the issue
might be, that the Hearers may be Awakened, with a mighty Impression upon
their Souls to make the Enquiry What must I do to be Saved?
I. You must know, that There is a Great Salvation proposed unto the sinful
Children of men; And you must Know, and Think, That there is Nothing of So
Great Concernment for any man, as to obtain a part in that Great Salvation.
Indeed Knowledge is the first Thing, that is necessary in order to
Salvation; And it is absolutely necessary, Unspeakable Necessary. [Prov.
1] We read Hosea 4:6. of People Destroyed for the lack of Knowledge.
Ah! destructive Ignorance, what shall be done to chase thee out of the
World! A world which by thee is rendered a dark World, the Kingdom of
Darkness! The Oracles of Wisdom have assured us The Soul without knowledge
is not good; They assured us,
They who know not God shall have a Vengeance in flaming Fire, taken of
them; They have assured us; 'Tis Life Eternal, to know the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. An Ignorance of the [true] Gospel, is
attended with a long Train of Unknown, but very Evil Consequences. Tis the
Gospel of Salvation; They that are Ignorant of it must needs miss of
'Tis an Erroneous and Pernicious Principle, That a Man may be Saved in any
Religion, if he do but Live according to it. The unerring and infallible
Gospel has expressly taught us otherwise [in] 2 Cor. 4:3 "If our gospel be
hid, it is hid unto them that be lost."
It is not unseasonable here, and as Early as may be, to bring in that
Knowledge, Knowledge; To get good Knowledge, let that be the First Care of
them that would be Saved. Knowledge, 'Tis a Principal thing; My Child, Get
Knowledge; with all thy might, Get understanding. Oh! That this Resolution
might immediately be made in the minds of all our people; I will get as
much Knowledge as ever I can!
The Word of God must be Read and Heard with Diligence that so you may
arrive to the Knowledge that is needful for you.
The Catechisms in which you have the Word of God fitted for your more
early Apprehension of it must be diligently Studied.
Unto all the other Means of Knowledge, there must be added, Humble and
Earnest Supplications before the Glorious Lord, You must cry to God for
Knowledge, and lift up your Voice to Him for Understanding; Prefer it
before Silver, Before any Earthy Treasures.
There may be some so very Ignorant, that they know not how to Pray. I
would advise them to take the Hundred and Nineteenth Psalm. They will find
in it many a Prayer suited unto their circumstances, Take it, Use it, and
particularly those Petitions in it: Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy
Statutes; and Lord, Teach me Good Judgment and Knowledge; and Lord, Give
me Understanding, that I may know thy Testimonies: Give me understanding
and I shall Live. Take Encouragement from that word; and Plead it before
the Lord: James 1:5. If any of you lack of Wisdom, let him ask of God that
giveth to all men Liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
And now to pursue diverse Ends at once, I am to tell you That the Main
Things which 'tis necessary for you to know, are the things which concern
Salvation. More Particularly;
You must know, first; From What you do need Salvation. And here, First;
You are to know, That the One Eternal and Infinite God who Subsisteth in
Three Persons which His Word call, The Father and the Son, and the Holy
Spirit Created our First Parents, in an Holy and Happy State, at the End
of the Six Days, in which He Created all things.
But, our First Parents hearkening to the Temptations of Wicked Spirits,
did Eat a Forbidden Fruit; and by that sin, they fell from God, and from
their Holy and Happy State;
And their Fall has bro't their Children with them, into a State of Sin and
Misery, their Sin was our Sin, from their corrupt nature we are born into
the world envenom'd with such a Nature [heart].
The Death [eternal] which the Broken Law of God threatened unto them; is
due to us all: A Death which intends all Misery, not only in this World,
but in Another, where our Souls continue Immortal [live forever], after
they have left this world.
Then you are to know; That there is a Law given to us, which, is the
Everlasting Rule, according to which God requires us to glorify Him; a Law
of Love to God and Man, contained in our Ten Commandments.
But, that you daily break this Law; and that every Breach of it Incurs the
Wrath of God who is of Purer Eyes than to behold Evil and cannot look upon
Lastly, you are to know, That while you lie under the Guilt of Sin, you
are also under the Reign of Sin, and under the Reign of Satan too; A most
woeful Oppression from the Worst Enemies That Can Be. God is in Ill Terms
with you. He visits you not with His great consolations All Things are
against you; The things that appear for your Welfare, do but Ensnare you,
do but Poison you, do but produce your further Distance from God.
Your very prosperity hurts you; Your Adversary lays the Chains of Death
upon you. You are every moment in danger, of being seized by the
formidable Justice of God for Eternal Burnings. If you Die Unpardoned, you
are sent among Devils. Damn'd unto torments; must undergo a strange
Punishment, and a long one which is Reserved in a Future State, for the
workers of iniquity [unrepentent sinners].
Oh! Sinner; this, is thy Lamentable Case And Knowing this how canst thou
do any other than make that Sollicitious Enquiry; What must I do to be
Saved? Knowing this Terror of the Lord. Oh! Be Perswaded!
You must know secondly by Whom you may have Salvation. And here; You are
to know the great mystery of godliness God manifests in flesh. Your
Salvation depends on your knowing of such a Saviour.
We have not the least Intimation in the Book of God, That a unknown
Saviour will be ours. But it is dreadfully intimated, That if People have
no Understanding of Him, He that made them will not have mercy on them and
He that formed them will shew them no Favour.
You are then to know; That the Son of God assumed the Blessed Jesus, the
Sinless and Holy Son of a Virgin, into one person with Himself.
And this Admirable Person, who is God and Man in one Person, has as our
Surety, fulfilled the Law of God for us; answered the precept of it, in
his Righteous Life; answered the Penalty of it, in His grievious death;
suffered the Cross, and Endured the Curse in our stead.
You are to know herewithal; that this mighty and matchless and Only
Saviour of the world, who is also the Govenor of the World, is Risen from
the Dead, and is Enthroned in the Heavens, and will return to rule and
Judge the World; but He will Save unto the utermost All that come unto God
Oh! Undone Sinner; canst thou hear of such a Saviour and not make that
Sollicitious enquiry, What must I do, that I may have an Interest in the
You must Know, Thirdly; What shall be done for you if you find Salvation.
And here; You are to know that no good thing shall be withheld from the
Saved of the Lord. Wonder wonder. Be swallowed up with wonderment, at this
Grace, O self destroyed ones!
There is Proposed unto You A deliverance from all the undesirable
Circumstances, into which you have Run, by your Departure from God.
It is proposed unto you, That you shall No longer be the children of
Death, but be made the Children of God. That you shall be Forgiven and
Accepted with a Reconciled God and be followed with perpetual Testimonies
of his Fatherly Love: That No Iniquity shall have Dominion over you, but
you shall become the amiable Temples, wherein He will dwell, with the
sweet Influences of His Good Spirit forever irradiating of you.
It is propos'd unto you; That your Spirits, at your Dissolution [death]
shall put on the Garments of Light, and Enter into the Peace a Rest of an
Heavenly Paradise: That your Bodies ere long by a Resurrection shall be
Restored unto your Spirits: but be the Lively, the Lovely, the most
Agreeable and Everlasting Mansions for them: That you shall have a Joyful
Portion in the city of God, and have His marvelous kindness Forever doing
unutterable things for you, in that strong city: There you shall at length
be filled with all the Fulness of God and have God become All in All unto
you for ever and ever.
All this is contained in the Salvation whereof You have a Tender.
Salvation, 'Tis a comprehensive Word as Incomprehensible Good! Eye has not
seen, Ear has not heard, no Heart can conceive, what is laid up in the
Salvation of God.
Oh! Ruin'd Sinner; why does it not now become thy Sollicitous Enquiry;
What must I do that I may not lose the vast things whereunto I am invited
by my Saviour?
These are the things that must be known. And if these Things Be known, and
Own'd, the plain Inference from them will be this; That the Man is
forsaken of Reason, Unworthy to be called a Reasonable Man, who is not
very solicitously Inquisitive; What must I do to be saved?
But now, 'tis time to answer that great Enquiry, we will do it by calling
in a Second Proposition.
II. Something must be done by every man that would not forfeit all claim,
Reject all Hope of the Great Salvation.
And this also must be known. You must Know What must be done. And
thereupon it shall be said unto you; Job 13:17. "When you know these
things happy are you If you do them." It is Not Enough to Know; There must
be Practice Joyn'd With your knowledge.
Something must be done; Else it had never been said, Hebrews 5:6 "Christ
is the Author of eternal Salvation, unto all them that Obey him",
Something must be done; Else we had never been told; Hebrews 6:9 "There
are the things that accompany Salvation."
We are often instructed in the Sacred Writings, That there Is a Way,
wherein alone Salvation is to be Expected, A way called The way of Life;
and, The way of truth; The way of the Lord; and the way of Peace; and The
way of Good men; and, The way of the Righteous. In this way, Something
must be done, There are Steps to be taken that we may Fnd this way, and
Keep this way. Tis the Everlasting way; There is no Altering of it.
Something must be done; For we are sure, All men are not saved. There are
some, who are Children of Perdition, There are some, who are Vessels of
wrath; there are some who go away into everlasting punishment, Something
must be done, to distinguish you from that crooked Generation. We read,
Matthew 7:14 "Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and Few there be
that Find it".
Indeed there is Nothing to be done by us, to merit our Salvation, But
something must be done to secure our Salvation.
Indeed there is Nothing to be done by us, in our own strength. But
something Must be done by us, thro' Christ who strengthens us.
More plainly, Our Blessedness now come not unto us, on the Terms of a
Covenant of works, 'Tis not properly our doings, that is the condition of
our Blessedness. We are to be Saved, by Taking rather than by Doing. The
condition is receive and be saved. It is, approve, and be Saved. Or, Be
willing to be Saved. We speak of Doing, in the Largest sense of the word;
and we still say, something must be done, that we may be Saved.
Let the Question then come in. And, Oh! Bring it in with all the
Solicitude, which were proper for, the Greatest Concern in the World.
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
I have seen this Question Scandalously answered, in Pamphlets that have
been dispersed about our Nation. The One Thing that is needful has been
left unregarded, unmention'd. Perhaps the Observation of certain
Superstitious Holidays has been recommended instead of that one thing.
Alas how have the souls of men been betrayed, by men unskilful in the word
of righteousness! How unskilfully, and unfaithfully have the methods of
Salvation been declared by many who pervert the Gospel of Christ! Not so
now I hope! A pure gospel, a sound doctrine, must be pursu'd, You are now
to be treated with nothing but wholesome Words; nothing but the faithful
sayings of God.
I. And what Better, what other Answer can be given, (Other Foundation can
no man Lay!) to this Question, but what the Apostles of God gave to it of
old? When the poor man said what must I do to be Saved, we read they said
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
This is the Sum of the Gospel; This is the Charge given to the Ministers
of the Gospel; Mark 16:15, 16 "Preach the Gospel to every Creature. He
that believeth... shall be saved."
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Only Saviour; This, This must
be found in all that will be saved.
The faith, which is, A satisfaction of the mind in the way of Salvation by
a Glorious Christ Revealed in the Gospel.
The Faith by which we deny our selves, and Rely on a Glorious Christ, for
The Faith by which we Receive a Glorious Christ, and Rest on Him for
Salvation as He is offered unto us.
But How must this faith operate in all that would be saved?
Oh Set! Your Hearts to these things; they are not vain things; Your Lives,
the very Lives of your Souls are concerned in them.
If your Hearts may now fall in with these things, and form'd and shap'd
according to the Evangelical Mold of them lo, This Day Salvation is come
unto your souls. Glorious Lord, incline the hearts of our People, to do
what must be done that so thy Salvation may be bestow'd upon them.
First this must be done; You must come to be bitterly Sensible, that you
want [lack] a Glorious Christ for your Saviour.
We read, John 7:37. "If any Man Thirst let him come unto me." Truly, no
man will come to a Christ, until a Thirst or a pungent and Painful Sense
of the Want of a Christ be raised in him.
You must feel the Burden of your sin, lying on you; and cry out, Oh' Tis a
heavy Burden too heavy for me! You must see God Angry with you, Sin
Binding of you, Hell gaping for you; and utterly Despair of helping
yourselves out of the confusion that is come upon you.
You must be filled with sorrow, for what you have done; with horror at
what you are Expos'd unto. The Cry of your Uneasy Souls must be that; of
Romans 7:24. "O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me!" You must be
no strangers to such soliloquies as these; I have sinned; I have sinned,
and, woe is unto me, that I have sinned, I have lost the knowledge of God
and lost the Image of God, and lost the Favour of God. My Sin renders me
obnoxious to the Vengeance of God. Lust enchants me, enslaves me; Satan
Tyrannizes over me. I am in hourly Hazzard of an Eternal Banishment from
God, into Outer Darkness, into the Place of Dragons. Oh! wretched man that
I am: I can do nothing to deliver myself. I perish, I perish, except a
Glorious Christ be my deliverer.
The Degree of this Distress on the minds of them that shall be saved is
Various. There is a Variety in that Prepatory Work, which does distress
the Elect of God, in their coming to a Saviour. Converts do sometimes
needlessly Distress themselves, and Even deceive themselves, by insisting
too much on the Measure of this Preparation.
But so much of this Work, as will render us restless without a Christ; so
much of this Work, as will render a whole Christ precious to us before
there must be so much in our Experience, if we would be saved.
Secondly; This must be Done; You must confess yourselves, Unable To Do
Anything Effectually of yourselves, in coming to a glorious Christ, as
With a fearful trembling of Soul, you must make this Profession; Lord thou
worketh in us to Will and to Do, of thy own good Pleasure!
Your Profession must be that of Eph 2:8 "By Grace are ye saved, thro'
Faith and that not of yourselves it is the Gift of God."
Your Profession must be that of John 6:65. "No man can come, except it be
given to him." Oh! Lie at the Foot of Soverign Grace confessing and
Imploring Lord, I am justly destroyed. If I do not sincerely renounce my
sin, sincerely embrace my Saviour. But I cannot, Oh! I cannot! I have
deadly fetters upon my Soul; I shall never answer thy gracious Calls,
except thy Soverign Grace enable me. Oh! Quicken me: Oh! Strengthen me:
Oh! Enable me; Turn thou me and I Shall be Turned.
Your Impotency must not now be made an Excuse for your Impenitency. Your
Inability must Affright you exceedingly. Affect you Exceedingly; It may
not Excuse you in a slothful Negligence. You must Not Remain Careless of
doing anything, Because you can thoroughly do nothing.
Having first Cry'd unto God, that He would help you to do what you have to
do, you must now try to do it; now try, whether He do not help you to do
Thirdly; This must be done; You must Admire, You must Adore, You must
Address a Glorious Christ, in all His offices for all His Benefits. Oh!
Hear a Compassionate Redeemer Calling you; Isai. 45:22 "Look unto me all
ye Ends of the Earth, and be ye Saved." Comply, Reply; Lord, I look unto
thee, I will be thine, Save me.
And here, you are to Remember that the First Thing you want is Attonement
and Acceptance with God.
For this Purpose you must behold a Glorious Christ, as a Priest bringing a
Sacrifice and making a Righteousness for you Accordingly.
Your first Address to Heaven must be this; Lord let my many and horrid
sins be Forgiven me for the sake of that great Sacrifice, which thou hast
had in the Blood of Jesus Christ thy Son, which Cleanseth from all sin.
And Lord Let me who am a poor Sinner utterly hopeless of working out for
myself a Righteousness now stand before Thee in the wondrous Righteousness
of that Lord, who is the Head of His church, and who has wrought out a
Spotless Righteousness for us.
But Remember to Depend on this most sufficient Sacrifice and
Righteousness, not as Qualified for it by any good Thing to be observed in
yourselves. Do not stay from it on a Prospect anon to come recommended
unto it by some commendable goodness in yourselves first attained. No
Depend, and Venture upon it, as Encouraged by no other Qualification but
this; A most miserable Sinner; yet invited, yet Compelled unto this Mercy
of the Lord.
Well; If the Faith which has got thus far, be not a counterfeit, it wont
stop here. You must behold a glorious Christ, as a Prophet, and a King.
Faith has other errands unto the Saviour besides that, of a desire to be
Justified. A true Believer will not count himself saved, if he be not
Sanctified, as well as justified.
The Saviour puts this demand unto you; Matthew 20:32 What will ye that I
shall do unto you? You answer; O, my great Saviour I come unto thee that
by thy being my Sacrifice and my Righteousness and my Advocate, Everliving
to make Intercession for me, I may be Saved unto the Uttermost.
But this must not be all. There must be this in the Answer, O my Saviour I
come unto thee for Instruction: Let thy Spirit with thy Word cause me to
Know the Things of my Peace, and keep me from all Delusions.
And there must be this in the Answer, O my Saviour I come unto thee for
Government: Let thy Spirit of Grace, conquer the Enmity of my Heart
against the things that are pleasing to God and make me a conquerer over
all my Spiritual Adversaries.
This is that Faith, whereof the End is the Salvation of the Soul. Believe
after this manner, and you believe to the Saving of the Soul.
II. But we may carry on the Answer, without being reproved for adding
anything unto the words of God. A true Faith, will always have Repentance
accompanying of it.
Repentance unto life; Tis a Dead Faith which cannot show it; A Dead Soul
that has it not,
A genuine Faith is always a Repenting Faith. We see the two sisters hand
in hand; Acts 20: 21 Repentance towards God and Faith toward our Lord
Jesus Christ. We constantly see it in the Experience of all the Faithful.
'Tis the Denomination of Repentance; 2 Cor 7:10. Repentance to Salvation.
It must be found in all the Candidates of Salvation.
Well then; First; This must be done; You must heartily and bitterly Bewail
all your Sins.
Your Original Sin, your Actual Sin; the monstrous Aggravation of your Sin;
You must be convinced of it.
A contrition must follow this conviction; With a Broken heart you must cry
out, Psalm 38:18 "I will declare my iniquity, I will be sorry for my Sin."
You must mourn for your Sin, and mourn for the Offence given to God by
your Sin, as well as for the Mischief done to yourselves: Mourn, Mourn,
and never count that you have mourned enough.
Secondly; This must be done You must make a Penitent Confession of your
Sins; a Remorseful confession of them, All your known crimes, you must as
particularly as you can, Enumerate with shame and grief before the Lord.
You must be able to say; Psalm 51:3, "I acknowledge my Transgressions and
my Sin is ever before me. Your Acknowledgement of your secret Sins must be
only to the Lord: but where your Sins are Known, where your Neighbors have
been either Sufferers by, or Witnesses of your Miscarriages, they also
should Know that you acknowledge them.
Thirdly; This must be done; Every way of Sin must be Abhorr'd, must be
Avoided, must be Forsaken.
Amendment is Essential to Repentance: Except you reform you don't repent.
So you are warn'd of God; Prov. 28:13. "He that confesseth and forsaketh
shall find mercy." If you go on in any Evident way of Sin you will find it
a Way of Death, a Path of the Destroyer; it will bring to a Damnation that
Very tremendous Things will be done to those Enemies of God, who go on
still in their trespasses. Have you done Amiss? You must say I will do so
no more you must not persist in what you have done.
And hence, if you have wrong'd another man in what you have done, you must
Vigorously Endeavour all possible restitution, restitution, a Thing too
little understood, too little exhorted, too little practised; restitution
without which there can be no right repentance. This is the Repentance
which is found in every true believer; It must be found in every one that
would be saved.
III. And, Holiness, Holiness; A patient continuance in will doing.
There is No Life in the Faith, which is not Productive to an Holy Life;
'Tis not a Faith which will bring to everlasting Life. If the Grace to
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, be infused into the Soul, the Habit of
every other Grace is at the same Instant infused.
I will show you the Motto on the Golden Gates of the Holy City; Hebrews
12:14. "Without Holiness no man shall see the Lord." An Holy Life, A Life
pressing after Universal and Perpetual conformity to the Rules of
Holiness; This, This is the Royal Path leading to salvation; Yea, tis no
little part of our Salvation.
This must be done; You must Resign yourselves up unto the Holy Spirit of
the Lord; Consent, Request, Entreat, That He would Eternally take
Posession of you.
From the Dust, cry unto Him; Psalm 141:10. "Thou art my God thy Spirit is
good; lead me unto the land of Rectitude." Cry unto Him; O Spirit of
Holiness, Raise me out of the Ruins that my Sin has brought upon me.
Possess me forever. Cause me to fear God, and Love Christ, and hate Sin,
and slight this World and know myself, and make me meet for the
Inheritance of the Saints in Light; Bring me to be one of them, I pray
thee, I pray thee! There is a good Foundation of Holiness laid in this
But then, This must be done; You must Livelily Pursue the Death of Every
You must fly to the Death of your Saviour, as the purchase and the Pattern
of so great a Blessing; but you must count no Trouble too much to be
undergone, that you may come at such a Blessing. This is that Holiness
without which no man shall see the Lord.
This must be done: You must set before yourselves the Example of your
Saviour: Study how He was in the World; Study to walk as He walked;
mightily Delight in every stroke of Resemblance unto Him; Yea, tho' it be
in Sufferings that you resemble him. This is that Holiness, without which
no man shall see the Lord.
This must be done; You must by a solemn Dedication of yourselves, and your
All unto the Lord, become the Lord's.
It must therefore be your Desire to have all your Talents, all your
Posessions, and Enjoyments and Interests employ'd for the Honour of the
Lord: and owning the Lord, as the great Giver, and Owner, the Lord
Proprietor of all that you have, you must be ready to submit unto the will
of God when he pleases with afflictive Dispensations to take any of it
from you. This is the Holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.
This must be done; You must remember, That the Eye of the omnipotent God
is upon you,
You must often bring this to remembrance, God sees me, hears me, knows me,
is acquainted with all my ways, A sense of your being under the Notice of
God, and of the Account unto which you will be called by God must make you
afraid of incurring His Displeasure; Afraid even of Secret Miscarriages.
This is that Holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.
This must be done: You must make it your Exercise to keep a conscience
clear of Offence towards God and towards Man.
You must labour to be Acquainted with your Whole Duty; and your
Acquaintance with the Will of God must be followed with proportionable
Desires and Labours after Obedience to it.
You must Pray always with all Prayer, with secret Prayer, with Household
Prayer, with Public Prayer.
You must have an High Value for those two Sacraments of the New Testament,
the Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.
You must religiously Observe the Lord's Day.
You must Preserve your own Place and Life and Bed and Wealth and Name: You
must, with the same Sincerity, befriend your Neighbours also in theirs.
Love your Neighbours as yourselves, and Do as you would be Done unto.
You must be especially and mightily conscientious of Relative
Christianity. Carry it well in all the Relations wherein the Lord has
placed you, whether Superiors, or Inferiors, or Equals; with such a
Carriage as may adorn the Doctrine of God your Saviour; such a Carriage as
may render your co-relatives the better for you.
Briefly, You must Deny all Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts and Live godily
and soberly and righteously in the World. This is that Holiness without
which no man shall see the Lord.
Methinks a most Obvious Inference may be drawn from these Things, That the
Ministry of the Gospel must be attended, and not neglected, by them who
would not neglect the great Salvation; A most awful Inference,
That it is a dangerous Thing to live without the means of Salvation, which
are in the ministry of the [True] Gospel ordinarily to be met withal. The
Wells of Salvation are kept open in such a ministry. Oh! Do not undervalue
the Blessings of those Upper Springs! There are men, who by the command of
a glorious Christ, give themselves up unto the service of the Evangelical
Ministry, and are the Preachers of the Gospel unto the rest of the world:
An order of men concerning whom our glorious Lord has promised Matthew
28:20, "Lo, I am with you always to the end of the world." If an Angel
should come from Heaven unto you as unto Cornelius, once to Speak unto
this Question, What must I do to be saved? He would unquestionably say,
Repair to such a ministry don't think to live without it.
We have settled the Point; Without Faith we can have no Salvation. But I
assume: Romans 10:14, 17 "How shall they believe in Him of whom they have
not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith cometh by
hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Oh! That the Ungospelized
Plantations which live, I should rather say, which die, without the means
of salvation, would consider of it.
Your Question is answered. O souls in Peril, I may now say unto you; I
Cor. 15:2 "You are saved if you keep in memory what I have preached unto
you." And yet I must say unto you,
That if after all, you trample upon these things, it will be good for you
that you had never been born; the very mention of them will dreadfully
increase and inflame your condemnation.
But the success of all must be left with the Glorious One.
And O Father of mercies, Do thou mercifully look down upon the Soul that
has heard these Things. Dispose and assist that soul, to do those Good
Things, upon which thou hast promised the salvation of the soul. I Pray
thee, I Pray thee!
Awake up my soul! the awful day,
Is coming swiftly on,
When thou must leave this House of Clay,
And fly to Worlds unknown.
Oh! do not pass thy Life in Dreams,
To be surpriz'd by Death:
And drop unthinking down to Flames,
When I resign my Breath.
No: every day thy Course review,
Thy real State to learn:
And with an ardent Zeal pursue
Thy Great and Chief concern.
Rouze all the man: thy Work is great,
And all the man demands;
Thine Head, thine Heart, thy Breath, thy Sweat,
Thy Strength and both thine Hands.
Oh! let the important Work be done,
Done whilst 'tis call'd to Day.
Lest thou the time of Hope out-run,
And rue the mad Delay.
Repent (my soul) Believe and Pray:
Bid every lust farewell.
To thy Redeemer haste away,
And scape from Death and Hell.
To whom Dear Jesus, should I live
To whom but Thee alone.
Thou didst at first my being give,
And I am all Thine own.
To Thee I'll then my self devote,
My Life and all my Pow'rs.
Each warm affection, busy thought,
And all my passing Hours.
O Let those glorious Hopes refine,
And elevate my Soul.
To heavenly Things my Heart incline,
And meaner Joys control.
May Faith and Hope stretch all their wings,
And bear me up on high;
And as I mount may Earthly Things,
Below unheeded lie.
JESUS my Saviour and my God,
My Life and Sacrifice,
My Hopes deep founded in thy Blood,
Raise far above the skies.
Prepare me, Lord, for thy Right Hand,
Then come the joyful Day:
Come Death, and come Celestial band,
To bear my Soul away.
F I N I S
. . . or why not visit