THE SEVENTH MOTIVE.—To encourage thee a little farther, Set to the work, and when thou hast run thyself down weary, then the Lord Jesus will take thee up, and carry thee. Is not this enough to make any poor soul begin his race? Thou perhaps criest, ‘Oh! but I am feeble,’ ’I am lame, &c.’ Well, but Christ hath a bosom: consider, therefore, that when thou hast run thyself down weary, he will put thee in his bosom. “He shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom; and shall gently lead those that are with young.” This is the way that fathers take to encourage their children; saying, Run, sweet babe, until thou art weary, and then I will take thee up and carry thee. “He will gather his lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom.” When they are weary, they shall ride!
THE EIGHTH MOTIVE.—Or else he will convey new strength from heaven into thy soul, which will be as well. “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” What shall I say besides, that hath not already been said? Thou shalt have good and easy lodging, good and wholesome diet, the bosom of Christ to lie in, the joys of heaven to feed on. Shall I speak of the satisfaction and of the duration of all these? Verily to describe them to the height is a work too hard for me to do.
APPLICATION OF THE POINT.
Thus you see I have here spoken something, though but little. Now I shall come to make some use and application of what hath been said, and so conclude.
THE FIRST USE.—You see here, that he that will go to heaven must run for it; yea, and not only run, but “so run;” that is, as I have said, run earnestly, run continually, strip off every thing that would hinder in his race with the rest. Well then do you so run.
1. And now let us examine a little. Art thou got into the right way? Art thou in Christ’s righteousness? Do not say, ‘Yes,’ in thy heart, when, in truth, there is no such matter. It is a dangerous thing, you know, for a man to think he is in the right way, when he is in the wrong. It is the next way for him to lose his way; and not only so, but if he run for heaven, as thou sayest thou dost, even to lose that too. Oh! this is the misery of most men, to persuade themselves that they run right, when they have never one foot in the way! The Lord give thee understanding here, or else thou art undone for ever.
Prithee, soul, search when was it thou turned out of thy sins and righteousness, into the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I say, dost thou see thyself in him? and is he more precious to thee than the whole world? Is thy mind always musing on him? and also to be walking with him? Dost thou count his company more precious than the whole world? Dost thou count all things but poor, lifeless, empty, vain things, without communion with him? Doth his company sweeten all things; and his absence embitter all things? Soul, I beseech thee be serious, and lay it to heart, and do not take things of such weighty concernment as the salvation or damnation of thy soul, without good ground.