« ForrigeFortsett »
the bond-woman shall not be heir." Compare ver. 24. Heirs of wrath must not be heirs of glory. Whom the first covenant hath power to exclude out of heaven, the second covenant cannot bring into it.
Objection: Then it is impossible for us to be saved. Answer, It is so, while you are in that state. But if you would be out of that dreadful condition, hasten 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 him 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 domi. nion of grace; then all the curses of the law, or covenant of works, shall never be able to reach you.
Motive 2. O ye children of wrath, your state is wretched, for ye have lost God; and that is an unspeakable loss. Ye are without God in the world, Eph. ii. 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 my power-my majesty! But he tells a poor tale when he comes to speak of God, saying, Your God, Dan. ii. 47. and iv. 30. Alas! sinner, whatever thou hast, God is gone from thee. O the misery of a godless soul ! Hast thou lost God? Then, (1.) The sap and substance of all that thou hast in the world is gone. The godless man, have what he will, is one that hath not, Matth. xxv. 29. I defy the unregenerate man to attain to scul-satisfaction, whatever he possesseth, since God is not his God. All his days he eateth in darkness ; in every condition, there is a secret dissatisfaction haunts his heart like a ghost; the soul wants something, though perhaps it knoweth not what it is; and so it will be always, till the soul return to God, the fountain of satisfaction. (2.) Thou canst do nothing to purpose for thyself, for God is gone ; his soul is departed from thee, Jer. vi. 8. like a leg out of joint, hanging by, whereof a man hath no use, as
the word there used doth bear. Losing God, thou hast lost the fountain of good ; and so all grace, all goodness, all the saving influences of the Spirit. What canst thou do then? What fruitcanst thou bring forth, more than a branch cut off from the stock ? John xv. 5. Thou art become un. profitable, Rom. iii. 12. as 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 whose favour is life, (Psal. xxx. 5.) is gone from thee, and so the soul of thy soul is departed. What a loathsome lump is the body, when the soul is gone? Far more loathsome is thy soul in this case. Thou art dead whilst thou livest. Do not deny it, seeing thy speech is laid, thine eyes closed, and all spiritual motion in thee ceaseth. Thy true friends, who see thy case, do lament, because thou art gone into the land of silence. (4.) Thou hast not a steady friend among all the creatures of God; for now that thou hast lost the Master's favour, all the family is set against thee. Conscience is thine enemy; the word never speaks good of thee : God's people loathe thee, so far as they see what thou art, Psal. xy. 22. The beasts and stones of the field are banded together against thee, Job v. 23. Hos. ii. 18. Thy meat, drink, clothes, grudge to be serviceable to the wretch that has lost God, and abuseth them to his dishonour. The earth groaneth under thee; yea, the whole creation groaneth, and travaileth in pain 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 wise enter into it any thing that defileth," Rev. xxi. 22. Only “hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy como ing,” Isa. xiv. 9.-Lastly, Thy hell is begun already. What makes hell, but exclusion from the presence of God? Depart from me ye cursed. Now ye are 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 is 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 serye to awaken thee to flee out of this state. Consider, (1.) How, it has fallen on men. Even in this world, many have been set up as monuments
ding in fed not to Xected, if
surely Im not. he who
monks we acesso
of divine vengeance ; that others might fear. Wrath has
Lastly, Consider what a God he is, with whom thousama therm hast to do, whose wrath thou art liable unto : He is a kaltul pe God of infinite knowledge and wisdom; so that none of 4.2009 Of W? thy sins, however secret, can be hid from him. He in. x be able to fallibly finds out all means whereby wrath may be execut- less tho ed, toward the satisfying of justice. He is of infinite ti aor de power, and so can do what he will against the sinner. ead, to How heavy must the strokes of wrath be, which are laid the advic on by an omnipotent hand! Infinite power can make the BOT BUTL sinner prisoner, even when he is in his greatest rage arbres into against heaven. It can bring again the several parcels of miser dust out of the grave ; put them together again, reunite the soul ane the body, sist them before the tribunal, lurry tee? Hothem away to the pit, and hold them up with the one red befor hand, through eternity, while they are lashed with the main the other. · He is infinitely just; and, therefore, must punish:
sight It were acting contrary to his nature to suffer the sinner
at tho see to escape wrath. Hence the executing of this wrath is pleasing to him ; for though the Lord hath no delight in a Labour i the death of the sinner, as it is the destruction of his own kind aber creature ; yet he delights in it, as it is the execution of justice. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest.”-Mark the reason, * For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness," Psal. xi. 6,. “I will cause my fury to rest 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 Pi-pursue the quarrel Let us therefore conclude, It is a 11.2.prful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! Powie awakened then, O young sinner; be awakened, O
sinner, who art yet in the state thou wast born in. il tr security is none of God's allowance; it is the sleep Definisath : Rise out of it ere the pit close its mouth on you. artis true, you may put on a brcast-plate of iron; make Punis low brass, and your hearts as an adamant; who can choice. But God will break that brazen bow, and make Sou gri mantine heart, at last, to fly into a thousand pieces. linie, wili if ye will, labour to put these things out of your
Alotive vat ye may yet sleep in a sound skin, though in a Of God; al rath. Ye may run away with the arrows stickthis state. r consciences to your work, to work them away; Even in it beds, to sleep them out; or to company, to sport
cias coren withou shal
and laugh them away; but convictions so stilled, will have a fearful resurrection ; and the day is coming, when the arrows of wrath shall so stick in thy soul, as thou shalt never be able to pluck them out through 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 obtest and beseech them, as they love their own souls, to fall in with them. (1.) Retire yourselves into some 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 sin of your nature, heart, and life. A kindly sight of wrath flows from a deep sense of sin. They who see themselves exceeding sinful, will find no great difficulty to perceive themselves to be heirs of wrath. (3.) Labour 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. Humiliation of soul, before the Lord, is necessary for an escape. God will not sell deliverance, but freely gives it to those who sce themselves altogether unworthy of his favour. Lastly, Turn youreyes, O prisoners of hope, towards the Lord Jesus Christ; and embrace him as he offereth himselfin 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 interpose not betwixt him and you, ye are undore for ever. If ye would be safe, come under his shadow; one drop of that wrath cannot fall there, for he delivereth us from the wrath to come, i Thess. i. 10. Accept of him in his covenant, wherein he offereth himself to thee; and so thou shalt, as the captive woman, redeem 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. in
II. I shall drop a few words to the saints.
First, Remember, that, at that time, (namely, when ye were in your natural state,) ye were without Christ, hav- ' ing no hope, and without God in the world. Call to mind that state you were in formerly, and review the