Page images
[ocr errors]

thou canst by no means throw off; no, not tho' thine head were waters, and thine eyes a fountain of tears, to weep day and night for thy fin. That is what the law cannot do, in that it is weak through the flesh, Rom. viii

. 3. Now thou art another profane Esau, that hath fold the blessing; and there is no place for repentance tho’thou seekelt it carefully with tears, while under that covenant. (5.) There is no accepting of the will for the deed under this covenant, which was not made for good will, but good works. The mistake in this point ruins many. They are not in Christ, but stand under the first covenant; and yet they will plead this privilege. This is just as if one having made a feast for those of his own family, when they sit down at table, another man's fervant that has run away from his master, should presumptuously come forward and sit down among them: would not the master of the feaft give such a Itranger that check, Friend, how camest thou in hither? And lince he is none of his family, command him to be gone quickly. Tho' a master accept the good will of his own child for the deed, can a hired servant expect that privilege? (6.) Ye have nothing 10 do .with Christ, while under this covenant. By the law of God a woman cannot be married to two husbands at once : either death or divorce must disolve the first marriage, ere she can marry another. must first be dead to the law, ere we can be married to Christ, Roin. vii. 4. The law is the first husband; Jesus Christ, who raiseth the dead, marries the widow, that was heart-broken, and slain by the firit husband. But while the soul is in the house with the first husband,

it cannot plead a marriage-relation to Christ; nor the benefits of a 7 marriage-covenant, which is not yet entered into, Gal. v. 4. Christ is

become of no effect to you ; whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace. Peace, pardon, and fuch like benefits are all benefits of the covenant of

grace. And ye must not think to stand off from Christ, and the marriage-covenant with him, and yet plead these benefits; more than one inan's wife can plead the benefit of a contract of marriage paft betwixt another man and his own wife. Laftly, See the bill of exclusion, part in the court of heaven, against all under the covenant of works, Gal. iv. 30. The son of the bond-woman shall not be heir. compare ver. 24. Heirs of wrath must not be heirs

Whom the first covenant hath power to exclude out of heaven, the second covenant cannot bring into it. Objetion. Then it is impossible for us to be saved.

impossible for us to be saved. Answer, It is so, while you are in that Itate. But if you would be out of that dreadful condition, haften out of that state. If a murderer be under sentence of death, so long as he lives within the kingdom, the laws will reach his life; but if he can make his escape, and get over the sea, into the dominions of another prince, our laws cannot reach fiim there This is what we would have you to do: flee out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of God's dear Son; out of the dominion of the law, into the dominion of grace; then all the curses of the law, or covenant of works, shall never be able to reach you.

of glory.

[ocr errors]

Motive 2. Oye children of wrath, your state is wretched, for ye have lost God; and that is an unspeakable lofs. Ye are without God in the world, Eph. il. 12. Whatever you may call yours, you cannot call God yours. If we look to the earth, perhaps you can tell us, that land, that house, or that herd of cattle, is yours : But let us look upward to heaven, is that God, that grace, that glory yours? Truly, you have neither part nor lot in that matter. When Nebuchadnezzar talks of cities and kingdoms, O how big does he speak! Great Babylon that I have built, trny power,-my majesty! but he tells a poor tale, when he comes to spcak of God, saying, rour God, Dan: ii. 47. and iv. 30. Alas! finner, whatever thou hast, God is


from thee. O the misery of a godless foul ! Hast thou loft God? Then, (1.) The fap and substance of all that thou hast in the world, is gone. The godless man, have what he will, is one that hath not, Mat. XXV. 29. 1 defy the unregenerate man to attain to foul- fatisfaâion, whatever he poíseiseth; since God is not his God. All his days he eateth in darkness: in every condition, there is a secrer disatisfaction haunts his heart like a ghost: the soul wants something, tho' perhaps it knoweth not iliat it is: and to it will be always, till the foul return to God, the fountain of Citisfaction. (2.) Thou canst do nothing to purpose for thyself; for God is gone, his fouil is departed from thee, fer. vi. 8. like a leg out of joint hanging by, whereof a inan hath no use, as the word there used dath bear. Losing God, thou hast lost the fountain of good; and so, all grace, all goodness, all the fitting influences of his Spirit. What canit thou do then? What fruit canst thou bring forth, more than a branch cut off from the stock? John xv. 5. Thou art become unprofitable, Rom. in 12. 25 a filthy rotten thing fit only for the dunghill. (3.) Death has come up into thy windows, yea, and has settled on thy face; for God, in whole favour is life, Píal. XXX. 5. is gone from thee, and fo the soul of thy soul is departed. What a lothsome lump is the body, when the soul is gone? Far more lothsome is thy soul in this case. Thou art dead while thou liveít. Do not deny it; seeing thy speech is laid, thine eyes closed, and all fpiritual motion in thee reale:h. Thy true friends, who see thy case, do lament, because thou art gone into the land of silence. (1 ) Thou haft not a steady friend among all the creatures of God; for now that thou hast loit the Master's favour, all tlre family is fer against thee. Conscience is thine enemy: 'the word never speaks good of thee: God's people lothe thee, fo far as they see what thou art, Pfal. xv. 22. The beasts and stones of the field are banded together against thee, Job v. 23. Hof. ii. 18. Thy insat, drink, clothes, grudge to be serviceable to the wrerch that has lost God, and abuseth them to his dishonour. Tie earth groaneth under thee; yea, the wurole creation groaneth, and tr kvaileth in p:in together, because of thee, and such as thou art, Rom. viii 22- Heaven will have nothing to do with thee: for there shall in no mzife enter in!o it any thing that defileth, Rev. xxi. 22. Qnly fell from beneath is moved for thile, io meet thee at thy coming



Ifa. xiv. 9.'. Lastly, Thy hell is begun already. What makes hell, but exclusion from the presence of God? Depart from me ye curfed. Now ye arę gone from God already, with the curse upon you. That shall be your' punishment at length (if ye return not) which is now your choice. As a gracious state is a state of glory in the bud; so a graceless state iş hell in the bud; which if it continue, will come to perfection at length. Motive

3. Consider the dreadful instances of the wrath of God; and let them serve to awaken thee to flee out of this state Consider, (1.) How it is fallen on men. Even in this world, many have been fet up as monuments of divine vengeance ; that others might fear.

Wrath has swept away multitudes, who have fallen together by the ! hand of an angry God. Consider how the Lord spared not the old

world, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly: and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into alhes, condenined them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly, 2 Pet. j. 5; 6. But it is yet inore dreadful to think of that weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, amongst those, who in hell life up their eyes, but cannot get a drop of water to cool their tongues.

Believe these things, and be warned by them; left destruction come | upon thee, for a warning to others. (2.) Consider how wrath fell

upon the fallen angels, whose case is ablolutely hopeless. They were the first that ventured to break the hedge of the divine law; and God set them-up as monuments of his wrath against fin, They once left their own habitation, and were never allowed to look in again at the hole of the door ; but they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day, Jude 6. Lastly, Behold how an angry God dealt with his own Son, standing in the room of elect finners, Rom viii. 32. God /pared not his own Son. Sparing mercy might have been expected, if any at all. If any person could have obtained it. surely his own Son would have got it; but he spared him not. The Father's delight is made a man of sorrows: he who is the wisdom of God, becoines fore amazed, ready to faint away with a fit of horror. The weight of this wrath makes him sweat great drops of blood. By the fierceness of this fire, his heart was like wax melted in the midst of his bowels. Behold here how fevere God is against sin! the sun was struck blind with this terrible fight ! 'rocks were rent! graves opened ! 'death, as it were, in the excess of astonilhment, letting its prisoners slip away. What is a deluge, a shower of fire and brimstone on Sodomites, the terrible noise of a dissolving world, the whole fabrick of heaven and earth falling down at once, angels cast down froin heaven into the bottomless pic? What are all these, I say, in comparison with this? God suffering! groaning, dyiøg upon a cross! infinite holiness did it, to make fin look like itself, viz. infinitely odious. And will men live at ease, while exposed to this wrath.

Laftly, Consider what a God he is, with whom thou hast to do, whose wrath thou art liable unto : He is a God of infinite knowledge



and wisdom ; fo that none of thy fins, however fecret, can be hid from him. He infallibly finds out all ineans whereby wrath may be executed, toward the satisfying of justice. He is of infinite power, and so can do what he will against the finner. How heavy must the Itrokes of wrath be, which are laid on by an omnipotent hand! infinite power can make the finner prisoner, even when he is im his greatest rage against heaven. It can bring again the several parcels of duft, out of the grave; put thein together again, reunite the soul and the body, lift them before the tribunal, hurry them away to the pit, and hold them up with the one hand thro' eternity, while they are lached with the other. He is infinitely just, and therefore must punish; it were acting contrary to his nature to suffer the finner to escape wrath, Hence the executing of this wrath is pleasing to him; for tho' the Lord hath no delight in the death of the finper, as it is the deftruction of his own creature, yet he delights in it, as it is the execution of justice. Upon the wicked he shall rain fnures, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempeft. Mark the reason, For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness, Pfal. xi. 6,7: I will cause my fury to reft upon them, and I will be comforted, Ezek. v. 13. I also will laugh at your calamity, Prov.i. 26. Finally, He lives for ever, to pursue the quarrel. Let us therefore conclude, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Be awakened then, young finner ; be awakened, old sinner, who art yet in the state thou waft born in. Your security is none of God's allowance, it is the sleep of death: rise out of it ere the pit clofe its mouth on you.

It is true, you may put on a breaft-place of iron, make

your bow brass, and your hearts as an adamant: who can help it? But God will break that brazen bow, and make that adaman. tine heart, at last, to fly into a thousand pieces. Ye may, if ye will, Jabour to put these things out of your heads, that ye may yet fleep in a found fkin, tho' in a state of wrath. Yę may run away with the arrows sticking in your consciences to your work, to work them away; or to your beds, to fleep them out; or to company, to fport and laugh them away: but convictions fo ftifled, will have a fearful resurrection : and the day is coming, when the arrows of wrath thall so stick in thy foul, as thou shalt never be able to pluck them out thro' the ages of eternity, unless thou take warning in time.

But if any desire to flee from the wrath to come; and for that end, to know what course to take; I offer them these few advices, and ab. test and Leseech them, as they love their own souls, to fall in with them. (1.) Retire yourselves into fome secret place, and there meditate on this your misery. Believe it, and fix your thoughts on it. Let each put the question to himself, How can I live in this state? How can I die in it? How will I rise again, and stand before the tribunal of God in it? (2) Consider seriously the fin of your nature, heart and life. A kindly sight of wrath flows from a deep sense of fin. They who see themselves exceeding sinful, will find no great difficulty to perceive themselves to be heirs of wrath. (3.) Labour



Head Il. Duty of those who are delivered from Wrath. 115 to justify God in this matter. To quarrel with God about it, and to rage like a wild bull in a net, will but fix you the more in it. Humi. liation of foul, before the Lord, is necessary for an escape.

God will not sell deliverance, but freely gives it to those, who see themfiives altogether unworthy of his favour. Lastly, Turn your eyes, O prisoners of hope, towards the Lord Jesus Chrift; and embrace hin as he offereth himself, in the gospel. There is no Salvation in any other, Acts iv. 12. God is a consuming fire; ye are children of wrath: if the Mediator intèrpose not betwixt himn and you, ye are undone for

If ye would be safe, coine under his shadow: one drop of that wrath cannot fall there, for he delivereth us from the wrath toʻcome, i Thess. i. 10 Accept of him in his covenant, wherein he offereth himself to thee: and so thou shalt, as the captive woman, redeemn thy life, by marrying the Conqueror. His blood will quench that fire of wrath, which burns against thee: in the white raiment of his righteousness thou shalt be safe; for no storm of wrath can pierce it.

II. I fhall drop a few words to the saints.

First, Remember, that at that time, (namely, when ye were in your natural state) ye, were without Chrift-having no hope, and without God in the world' Call to mind that state, ye were in formerly; and re-* view the misery of it There are five memorials, I maý thence give in to the whole affeinbly of the saints, who are no more children of wrath: but heir of God, and joint heirs with Christ, tho' as yet in their minority. (1) Remember, that in the day our Lord took you by the hand, ye were in no better condition than others? O what moved him to take you, when he past by your neighbours! he found you children of wrath, even as others; but he did not leave you fo. He came into the common prison, where you lay in your fetters, even as others, and from amongst the multitude of condemned malefactors, he picked out you, commanded your fetters to be taken off, put a pardon in your hand, and brought you into the glorious liberty of the children of God; while he left others in the devil's fetters, (2.) Re. member there was nothing in you to engage him to love you, in the day he first appeared for your deliverance Ye were children of wrath, even as others, fit for hell, and altogether unfit for heaven: get the King brought you into the palace: the King's Son made love to you a condemned criminal, and espoused you to himself, on the day in which ye might have had been led forth to execution. Even , Failer, for so it seemeth good in thy fight, Matth ix. 26., (3-) Remember, ye were fitter to be lothed than loved in that day. Wonder, that when he saw you in your blood, he louked not at you with abhorrence, and passed by you. Wonder that ever such a time could be a time of love, Ezek xvi. 8. (4.) Remember, ye are decked with borrowed feathers. It is bis comeliness, which is upon you, ver. 14. It was he that took off your prison.garments, and clothed you with robes of righteousness, garments of salvation: garments where with ye are arrayed as the lilies, which toil not, neither do they spin. He took the chains froin off your



« PreviousContinue »