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moment. Thou, O God, hast given me life, and dost still preserve me in existence. Thou hast given me faculties, which render me capable of knowing, serving, loving, worshipping, and enjoying thee. Thou hast placed me in this Christian land, and given me the knowledge of thee, myself, and my duty, while thousands of my fellow creatures are left in darkness. Thou hast placed me in that situation in life, which is most favorable to virtue, contentment, and happiness; and hast given me parents tender and affectionate, who early devoted me to thee, and taught me to lisp thy name, and to know thy precepts. Through their means thou hast given me opportunities of improving those faculties I have received from thee, and thus rendering myself more fit to serve thee. But above all, O my God, thou hast given me an interest in thy Son, and in all the blessings he has purchased. Thou hast given me the Spirit of adoption, whereby I am enabled to cry, Abba, Father. Thou hast given me thy precious grace in this world, as an earnest of glory in the next. Thou hast also loaded me with daily and hourly mercies, more than I can number. Thou hast kept me with more than parental care. Thou hast preserved me in sickness, protected me from dangers, shielded me while awake, watched over me in sleep, supported me in trials, strengthened me in weakness, succored me in temptations, comforted me in afflictions, and defended me against mighty and numberless enemies. Thou hast overwhelmed me with thy mercies, my cup runneth over. Thy goodness and thy mercy have followed me all the days of my life.
Yet against all this goodness I have rebelled; have rewarded thee evil for good; thy mercies have only aggravated my guilt. O, my God, what have I done? what madness, what obstinacy, what ingratitude has possessed me! My sins have run parallel with thy mercies. I have struck and wounded the hand that made me, fed me, preserved me. I have wasted in sin and folly the life thou gavest me. I have perverted those faculties I received from thy goodness in dishonoring thee, and in disobeying thy commands. I was shapen in sin, and brought forth in iniquity. My understanding is darkened and alienated. from the truth; my will is stubborn and perverse; my
affections are corrupt and depraved, and every imagination of the thoughts of my heart has been evil, only and continually evil. My carnal mind has been enmity against thee, and has not been in subjection to thy righteous and holy law. From this corrupt and bitter fountain have proceeded innumerable bitter, polluting streams. Though I was early taught thy will, I neglected to perform it. I have broken all thy commands, times without number. My words, thoughts, and actions have been sinful. I have gone astray from my youth up.
And even after thou didst take pity upon me, when I was cast out polluted, to perish in my blood; after thou didst receive me, a poor, wretched prodigal, and didst cause thy wondrous goodness and mercy to pass before me, I have still continued to weary thee with my sins, and cause thee to serve with mine iniquities. I have broken that solemn covenant, by which I bound myself to be thine. I have indulged an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; and have in all things dealt very treacherously. How often have I mocked thee with solemn words on a thoughtless tongue. How have I neglected thy word, profaned thine ordinances, broken thy law, and resisted thy grace. How little of a filial temper have I felt to thee, my Father. How little gratitude to thee, blessed Saviour. How often have I grieved thee, O Holy Spirit, by whom I am sealed to the day of redemption. When thou liftest upon me the light of thy countenance, I grow proud, carnal, and secure ; and when thou leavest me in darkness, when my own foolishness perverteth my way, then my proud heart fretteth against thee, the Lord. All my duties are polluted with innumerable sins, and are as a leprous garment before thee. And after all thou hast done for me, I am still encompassed about with innumerable evils. Pride, unbelief, selfishness, lust, anger, hatred, malice, revenge, bitterness, slothfulness, vanity, love of the world, ignorance, formality, hypocrisy, and-with all these self-conceit, are still the inhabitants, if not the lords of my heart. And, as thou, O Lord knowest, these are not the ten thousandth part of my sins and iniquities, so that I am the chief of sinners, and the least of all saints. *******
O wretched man, that I am! Who shall deliver me
from this body of death? Vain, O Lord, thou knowest, are my endeavors, and vain is the help of man. I have ruined myself, and in thee alone, and in thy mercy, is my hope.
To this mercy, against which I have so often sinned, would I flee for refuge; and laying my hand on my mouth, and my mouth in the dust, cry, Unclean! unclean! True, Lord, I have sinned; but with thee there is mercy, with thee there is plenteous redemption. Thou, thou, art he, who blottest out our iniquities for thine own sake, and wilt not remember our sins against us. The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin; and to this would I flee for refuge. In him do I put my trust; O, let me not be ashamed. Let me plead before thee the merits of thy Son, and put thee in mind of thy gracious promises, that may be justified. In his name, and as an unworthy. member of his mystical body, would I come, and renew before thee that covenant, which I have broken, and bind myself to be thine forever. And do thou, for his sake, O God, assist me, for in thee is my strength..
Relying on this strength for support, and confessing myself guilty of all these and innumerable other offences; and that I deserve, in justice, nothing but the lowest hell, and renouncing the destructive ways of sin,-I do, with my whole heart and soul, in a most serious, solemn, and deliberate manner, choose and take the Lord Jehovah to be my God and Father, cheerfully and joyfully renewing all my past engagements; and in humble dependance on his grace, I engage to fear him, and cleave to him in love. And I do, most freely, give up myself, my interests, for time and for eternity, my soul and body, my friends and possessions, and all that I have, to his wise, just, and sovereign disposal. Especially do I devote myself to him in the service of the ministry, beseeching him to place me in that situation, in which I shall most glorify him. And wilt thou, O most gracious and condescending God, accept this offering of thy creature, who can give thee nothing, but what he has first received.
With equal joy and readiness, and in the same serious and solemn manner, do I choose and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ to be my only Saviour. I take him in all his offices-as my priest, to make atonement for all my offences as my prophet, to guide, teach, enlighten
and instruct me as my king, to rule in and reign over me. I take him, as the great head of influences, from whom alone I can receive all needed supplies of grace and assistance.
I do also take the Holy Spirit of all grace and consolation, to be my Sanctifier, and promise not to grieve him, or to slight his warnings.
And, O my God, what shall I more say? what can I ask, since I am thine, and thou art mine; mine, for time; mine, for eternity? O my God, I want nothing, but to be wholly thine. I would plead thy promise for a new heart and a right spirit. O write this covenant on my heart, and put thy fear there, that I may not depart from thee. May I be made an able, faithful, and successful minister of the New Testament. May the life and concerns, which I have now devoted to thee, be employed in thy service; and may I, at length, be brought to the full enjoyment of thee in glory, through infinite riches of redeeming love.
As a testimony of my sincere and hearty consent to this covenant, of my hope and desire to receive the blessings of it, and as a swift witness against me if I depart from it; I do now, before God and the holy angels, subscribe with my hand unto the Lord. EDWARD PAYSON.
And may this covenant be ratified in heaven. And do thou remember, O my soul, that the vows of God are upon thee.
"Having drawn up the above covenant, I spread it before the Lord; and after confession of sins, and seeking pardon through the blood of Christ, I did solemnly accept it before him, as my free act and deed; and embraced Christ in it, as the only ground of my hope. I then pleaded for all covenanted blessings, and was favored with great fervency and enlargement in prayer. An indisposition, which attended me through the day, rendered it less profitable than usual; yet I have abundant reason to bless God for the measure of assistance I received. I felt the most longing, intense, and insatiable desires after holiness, and to be employed in promoting the divine glory. The world with its applause seemed nothing in comparison with the approbation of God. Existence seemed worth possessing only as it could be employed in praising him."
Before the reader sits in judgment on the transaction a now recorded, and especially on the manner, in which it was conducted; before he censures the vows, by which the covenanter bound his soul, as too strong, the surren-· der as too complete and exclusive, or the terms in which it is done as extravagant,-let him inquire of his own heart, whether he has duly considered the claims of the great Jehovah, and treated these claims as a real servant of God, a true disciple of Christ. Even under his " easy yoke," the terms of the relation are, 'Except ye forsake all, ye cannot be my disciples.' And if "no man can serve two masters," we have no alternative, but to give up ourselves to God without reserve, or be disowned by him. However solemn the act, that can be neither unreasonable nor improper, which our Father in heaven requires. When we enter upon an enumeration of all that is comprised in dedicating one's self to God, we may well be filled with awe, and tremblingly alive to the danger of failing to perform our vows; but to withhold the offering, savors more of unbelief, of a selfish and rebellious heart, than of a wise caution, or a filial temper.
There is a class of persons, to whom the confessions in the above instrument will appear revolting, and by whom they will be stigmatized as religious affectation. He speaks of his sins as infinite in number, degree, and aggravation.' The Christian, whose 'sins have been set in order before him,' sees no hyperbole in such language and if it should meet the eyes of others, they are referred for an explanation, so far as it can be appreciated without Christian experience, to the seventh sermon in the posthumous volume of his discourses. Even the natural man' may there discern' enough to acquit the author of inconsistency; and it is no more than an act of common justice to allow him to be his own expositor.
In this and other places, he descends to specifications of sins in terms which may be thought applicable to none but a monster of wickedness; and yet they are the judgment passed on himself by a man, always and universally respected for the correctness and purity of his morals. His 'pride' never looked with disdain upon the meanest fellow creature; his' malice' and ' revenge' never inflicted actual injury; and of any out-breakings of the baser