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arms, the rope from about your neck; put you in such a dress as ye might be fit for the court of heaven, even to eat at the King's table. (5.) Remember your faults this day; as Pharaoh's butler, who had forgotten Joseph. Mind how you have forgotten, and how unkindly you have treated him, who remembred you in your low estate. Is his your kindness to your friend? In the day of your deliverance, did ye think, ye could have thus requited him, your Lord?
Secondly, Pity the children of wrath, the world that lies in wickedness. Can ye be unconcerned for thein, ye who were once in the same condition? Ye have got ashore indeed, but your fellows are yet in hazard of perishing; and will not ye make them all possible help for their deliverance? "What they are, ye sometimes were. This may draw pity from you, and engage you to use all means for their recovery. See Tit. iii. 1, 2, 3.
Thirdly, Admire that matchless love, which brought you out of the state of wrath. Christ's love was active love, he loved thy soul froni the pit of corruption. It was no easy work to purchase the life of the condemned sinner? but he gave his life for thy life. He gave his precious blood to quench that flame of wrath, which otherwise would have burnt thee up. Men get the best view of the stars, from the bottom of a deep pit: from this pit of misery into which thou wast cast by the first Adam, thou mayst get the best view of the Sun of righte. ousness, in all its dimensions. He is the fecond Adam, who took thee out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay How broad were the skirts of that love, which covered such a multitude of sins! behold the length of it, reaching from everlasting to everlasting, Pfal. ciii 17. The depth of it, going to low as to deliver thee from the lowest hell, Pfal. Ixxxvi. 13. The height of it, in raising thee up to sit in heavenly places, Eph. ii 6
Fourthly, Be huinble, carry low fails, walk softly all your years: Be not proud of your gifts, graces, privileges, or attainments: but remember ye were children of wrath, even as others. The peacock walks flowly, hangs down his starry feathers, while he looks to his black feet. Look je to the hole of the pit, whence ye are digged, and walk humbly as it becomes free grace's debtors.
Loftly, Be wholly for your Lord. Every wife is obliged to be dutiful to her husband; but double ties lie upon her who was taken from a prison or a 'dunghill. If your Lord has delivered you from wrath, ye ought, upon that very account, to be wholly his : to act for hiin, to suffer for him, and to do whatever he calls you to. The saints haye no reason to complain of their lot in the world, whatever it be. Well may they bear the cross for him, by whom the curse was born away froin thein.
Well may they bear the wrath of men, in his cause, who has freed thein from the wrath of God; and chearfully go to a fire for him, by whom hell-fire is quenched to thern Soul and body, and all thou hadít in the world, were sometimes under wrath: he has removed that wrath, thall not all these be at his service? That
thy soul is not overwhelmed with the wrath of God, is owing purely to Jesus Christ; and thall it not then be a temple for his Spirit? That thy heart is not filled with horror and despair, is owing to him only; to whom then should it be devoted but to him alone! That thine eyes are not blinded with the smoak of the pit, thy hands are not fettered with chains of darkness, thy tongue is not broiling in the fire of hell, and thy feet are not standing in that lake chat burns with fire and brimstone, is owing purely to Jesus Chrift; and shall not these eyes be employed for him, these hands act for him, that tongue speak for hiin, and these feet speedily çun his errands? To him who believes that he was a child of wraih, even as others, but is now delivered by the blessed Jesus; nothing will appear too much, to do or suffer for his deliverer, when he has a fair call to it.
III. To conclude with a word to all ; let no man think lightly of fin, which lays the finner open to the wrath of God. Let not the fin of our nature, which wreaths the yoke of God's wrath, so early, about our necks, seem a small thing in our eyes. Fear the Lord, be. cause of his dreadful wrath. Tremble at the thought of lin, against which God has such fiery indignation. Look on his wrath, and Itand. in awe, and sin not. Do you think this is to press you to flavish fear? If it were fo, one had better be a slave to God with a trembling heart; than a free man to the devil, with a seared conscience and a heart of adamant. But it is not so, you may love him, and thus fear him too; yea, ye ought to do it, though ye were saints of the firit magnitude. See Psal. cxix. 10. Matth. x. 28. Luke xii. 5. Heb. xii 28, 29. Altho' ye have past the gulf of wrath, being in Jesus Chrift, yet it is but reasonable, your hearts fhiver, when ye look back to it. Your fin ftill deserves wrath even as the sins of others; and it would be terrible to be in a fiery furnace; altho' by, a miracle, we were so fenced against it, as that it could not harm us.
H E A D III.
ROMANS v. 6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for
the ungodly: JOHN vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father, which
hath sent me, draw him. WE
E have now had a view of the total corruption of man's nature,
and that load of wrath which lies on him, that gulph of misery he is plunged into in his natural state. But there's one part of his Tnisery that deserves particular consideration; namely, his utter inabi. lity to recover himself, the knowledge of which is necessary for the
dute humiliation of a signer. What I design here is, only to propofe a few things, whereby to convince the unregenerate man of this his isability; that he may see an absolute need of Christ, and of the power of his gráce..
As a man that is fallen into a pit, cannot be fupposed to help himself out of it, but by one of two ways ; either by doing all himself alone, or taking hold of, and iraproving the help offered him by others: fô an unconverted man cannot be supposed to help himself out of that ftate, but either in the way of the law, or covenant of warks, by doing all himself without Chrift: or else in the way of the golpel, or cove. fiant of grace, by exerting his own strength to lay hold upon, and to make use of the help offered him by à Saviour. But alas! the un. converted man is dead in the pit, and cannot help himself, either of there ways. Not the first way: for the first text tells us, that when our Lord came to help us, we were without strength, unable to recover ourselves. We were ungodly; therefore under a burden of guilt and wrath ; yet without strength, unable to stand under jt; and unable to throw it off, or get from under it: so that all mankind had undoubtedly perished, had not Christ died for the ungodly, and brought help to them who could never have recovered themselves. But when Christ comes, and off reth help to finners, cannot they take it? Cannot they improve help when it comes to their hands? No, the second text tells us, they cannot: No man can come unto me, (i.e. believe in me, John vi. 35 ) except the Father draw him. This is a drawing which enables them to come, who till then could not corne; and therefore could not help themselves, by improving the help offered
It is a' drawing, which is always effectual; for it can be no less than hearing and learning of the Father, which whoso partakes of, cometh to Chrift,
Therefore, it is not drawing in the way of mere moral suafion, which may be, yea, and always is ineffectual: but it is draw. ing by mighty power, Ephef.i. 19 absolutely necessary for them that have no power in themselves, to come and take hold of the offered help.
Hearken then, O unregenerate man, and be convinced, that as thou art in a moft miserable state by nature; fo thou art utterly unable to recover thyself, any manner of way. Thou art ruined; and what way wilt thou go to work, to recover thyself? Which of these two ways wilt thou chuse? Wilt thou try it alone? Or wilt thou make use of help? Wilt thou fall on the way of works, or on the way of the gospel? I know very well, thou wilt not so much as try the way of the gospel, till once thou haft found the recovery.impracticable, in the way of the law. Therefore we shall begin, where corrupt'nature teaches men to begin, viz. at the way of the law of works.
1. Sinner, I would have thee believe that thy working will never effect it. Work and co thy beft; thou shalt never be able to work thyself out of this state of corruption and wrath. Thou must have Chrift, else thou shalt perish eternally. It is only Christ in you, can be the hope of glory. But if thou wilt needs try it; then I must lay
before thee, from the unalterable word of the living God, two things which thou niuft do for thyself. And if thou canst do them; it mult be yielded, that thou art able to recover thyself; but if not, then thou canít do nothing this way, for thy recovery.
FIRST, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, Matth. kix. 17. That is, if thou wilt by doing, enter into life, then perfectly keep the ten commands. For the scope of these words is, to beat down the pride of man's heart; and to let him see the absolute need of a Saviour, from the impossibility of keeping the law. The answer is given, suitable to the address. Our Lord checks him for his com. pliment, Good Master, ver. 16. telling him, There is none good, but One, that is God, ver. 17. As if he had said, you think your self a good man, And me another but where goodness is spoken of, men and angels may vail their faces before the good God. And as to his question, wherein he discovered his legal disposition, Christ does not answer him, saying, В lieve and thou shalt be saved; that would not have been so feasonable in the case of one, who thought he could do well enough for himself, if he but know, what good things he should do; but, luitable to the humour the man wasin, he bid him keep the commandments; keep them nicely and accurately, as those that watch malefactors in prilon, left any of them escape, and their life go for their's, See then, O unregenerate man, what canst thou do in this matter; for if thou wilt recover thyself in this way, thou muit perfectly keep the commandments of God.
And, (1.) Thy obedience must be perfect, in respect of the principle of it; that is, thy soul, the principle of action, must be perfectly pure, and altogether without lin. For the law requires all moral perfection; not only actual, but habitual, and to condeinn original fin; impurity of nature, as well as of actions. Now, if chou canst bring this to pass; thou shalt be able to answer that question of Solomon's, fo, as never one of Adam's pofterity could yet answer it, Prov. xx 9. Who can say, I have made my heart clean? But if thou canst not, the very want of this perfection is a fin; and so lays thee open to the curfe, and cuts thee off from life. Yea, it makes all thine actions, even thy best actions sinful, for who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job xiv. 4. And doft thou think by sin, to help thy felf out of fin and misery? (2.) Thy obedience must also be perfect in parts. It must be as broad as the whole law of God: if thou lackest one thing, thou art undone; for the law denounceth the curse on him that continueth not in every thing written therein, Gal. iii. 10. Thou must give internal and externał obedience to the whole law; keep all the commands, in heart and life, If thou breakest any one of them, that will insure thy ruin. A vain thought, or idle word, will ftill thut thee up under the curse. (3.) Ic must be perfect in respect of degrees; as was the obedience of Adam, while he stood in his innocence. This the law requires, and will accept of no less, Mat. xxii. 39. Thou shali love the Lord thy God, with
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 Strokes of wrath be, which are laid on by an omnipotent hand! infinite power can make the finner prisoner, even when he is in his greateft rage against heaven. It can bring again the several parcels of dust, out of the grave; pue thein together again, reunite the soul and the bady, lift them before the tribunal, hurry them away to the pit, and hold them up with the one hand thro' eternity, while they are lashed with the other. He is infinitely just, and therefore must pụnish ; įt were atting contrary to his nature to fuffer 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 finner, as it is the destruction of his own creature, yet he delights in it, as it is the execution of justice. Upon the wicked he shall rain fnares, fire and brimstone, and'an horrible tempeft. Mark the reason, For the righteous Lord loveth righteousnefs, 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, O young finner ; be awakened, o old sinner, who art yet in the state thou waft born in. Your security is none of God's állowance, 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-plate 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, labour to put these things out of your heads, that ye may yet fleep in a found skin, 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 sleep them out; or to company, to fport and laugh them away: but convictions fo ftifed, will have a fearful resurrection : and the day is coming, when the arrows of wrath thall so stick in thy Toul, as thon thalt 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 beseech them, as they love their own fouls, to fall in with them. (1.) Retire yourselves into fome secret place, and there me. ditate on this your misery. Believe it, and fix your thoughts on it. Let cach put the question to himself, How can I live in this ftate? 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 lin. They who see themselves exceeding sinful, will find no difficulty to perceive themselves to be heirs of wrath. (3.) Labour