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age, and which of the poor have ye relieved? Are ye so foolish as to put wages into the bag with holes, or so licentious as to waste them in adorning the temple of vanity, raising altars to pride, and buying in provision for these wild devourers, the lusts of the flesh? Sober and good men of every denomination observe with regret many evidences, and the shew of your countenances is one, of health and fulness of bread having spoiled your temper, and rendered you rude and haughty, and impatient of all rule and restraint. And I have been long enough in the country to be acquainted with facts which warrant me to say, that among you relative holiness is ready to die; and that, through want of fidelity, the name and the word of God is daily blasphemed. Some servants cannot be trusted. Some answer again, and double the fault with uncivil and immoral language. Others, when reproved, say, with a stiff neck and a scornful eye, Pay us our wages, and we shall be gone. The temper of Ezekiel's people is breaking out among ours. "They are impudent children, and "stiff-hearted." In places planted and watered with the gospel, we behold thorus and briars springing up, and choking the seed which the ministry hath sown. When the best is a briar, and the most upright is sharper than a thornhedge, the day of visitation and perplexity cannot be far off. Sons of Belial are as thorns that must be thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands, and the man that toucheth them must be fenced with iron and the
staff of a spear. Lilies and thorns grow together in our gardens, and wheat and tares in our fields. But things accompanying salvation in some, should not restrain us from raising our voice, and crying aloud in the hearing of all. Among men of high degree and men of low degree godliness is disappearing, and goodness, and righteousness, and truth, are perishing. The wrath of God being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, our situation must be alarming; and, if reformation be not speedily revived and eagerly pursued, awful consequences will certainly follow.
Rich and poor, master and servant, and all without exception, I exhort to acknowledge their iniquity; and, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, to implore mercy and forgiveness. Through this precious blood God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse
us from all unrighteousness. If this exhortation be hønoured in believing, endeavours will be exerted in holiness, and reformation introduced into the manners and families of men. without delay. To new obedience unto the Lord our God and Redeemer we are bound by his law, allared by his promises, led by his goodness, drawn by his love, and furnished and enabled by his Spirit. This obedience, which is the fruit of faith in the blood of Christ, and the spirit and essence of gratitude for redeeming love, is of more account in the sight of God than rivers of oil and thousands of rams: "Behold, to obey is better than "sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." "I will "praise the name of God with a song, I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This shall please the Lord better "than an cx, or bullock, that bath horns and hoofs. The "humble shall see this and be glad, and your heart shall ive that seek God."
Your heart shall live that seek God!"-Consider these gracious words, O sinners! Though under the curse, and dead in sin, and without strength, you are able to read, and to hear, and to think; and though scripture doth not speak unto you as saints and as sons, it addresses you as sinners and as men. Is it not your duty to seek God? Is it not your interest to seek God? Are you not commanded to seck God? Are you not encouraged to seek God? Have you not time to seek God? And do you not know in whom to find God? God was, and is, and will be, in Christ reconciling the world to himself. We instruct and exhort you to seck him in Christ, to seek him while he may be found, and to call upon him while he is near. In Christ, and in none else, God is to be found. Behold encouragement held up to you by Christ: "Ask and it shall be given you, "seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto
you. For every one that asketh recciveth, and he that "seeketh findeth, and to him that knocket it shall be "opened."
Is not judgment already passed? True-"By the of fence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemna"tion." Doth not the curse hold sinners under guilt?Truc➡“Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." Is not the law, which we have transgressed,
Matth. vii. 7, &
just? Truc-"The law is holy, and the commandment "holy, just, and good." Are we not disabled for fulfilling the righteousness of the law? True-You are "without "strength," and "dead in trespasses and sins." The law cannot justify the guilty, the ungodly, the unjust. True
"By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justifi "ed in the sight of God; for by the law is the knowledge of "sin." And is not our state hopeless?
Now, sit down to the Bible, pray, spell, read, hear, wonder, believe. "For God so loved the world, that he gave "his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him "should not perish, but have everlasting life!"* "For what "the law could not do, in that it was weak through the "flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful "flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the "righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through "faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the re"mission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of "God. To declare at this time his righteousness, that "he might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth "in Jesus." "For Christ is the end of the law, for righte"ousness, to every one that believeth."§ "For he hath "made him to be sia for us, who knew no sin, that we "might be made the righteousness of God in him."|| "For "as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, "so by the obedience of one shall many be made righte"ous. Moreover, the law entered that the offence might "abound, but where sin abounded grace did much more "abound. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so "might grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal "life by Jesus Christ our Lord."¶ "For the wages of sin "is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus “Christ our Lord.”** “For if by one man's offence death "reigned by one, much more they who receive abundance "of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in "life by one Jesus Christ."†† "For Christ hath once suf"fered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring "us to God.":
*John. iii. 16.
†Rom. viii. 3, 4. Rom. iii. 25, 26.
112 Cor. v. 21.
Rom. v. 19, 20, 211
The state of the guilty, the ungodly, the unjust, is not hopeless. Read, O sinners, consider, hear, and believe these scriptures. Behold a foundation, a foundation strong, firm, and broad, sufficient to support the hope of the world; a foundation laid, not on sand, but on rock; not on the dishonour, but on the glory of the law, displaying the holiness and the love, the mercy and the righteousness of the Sovereign, in justifying, sanctifying, and saving the ungodly who believe in Jesus.. Unto them who. are built upon it there is no condemnation;, and to build upon it all are invited, all are warranted, all are commanded.. "This is his commandment, that we should believe "on the name of his Son Jesus Christ."*
But those sinners only who were chosen and ordained to eternal life shall be justified, sanctified, and saved; and except we be among them we can never believe. TrucAll the Father hath given to Christ come unto Christ, and as many as were ordained to eternal life believe. In believing, however, sinners, who were elected and redeemed, are drawn unto Christ, not by a revelation of secret purposes, but by the truth of open declarations. The book of life and the book of scripture are separate records.--God is the author of both, and sees that the open declarations of his word are perfectly consistent with the secret determinations of his will. Difficulties may appear to us in these records; but this is most certain, that the door of faith is neither shut nor narrowed by election; that, notwithstanding election, the world may enter, and that in entering, according to scripture, nothing is attempted contrary to election. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the "wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up: that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have "eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him "should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God "sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through him might be saved." In testimony of our assurance that the written record which God hath given of his Son is true, and worthy of all acceptation, we will say, Amen.
*1 John. iii, 23. † John. iii. 15,-17.
WAR FROM HEAVEN
JOB Xxxviii. 22, 23.
Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
THE speech of which these words are a part was addressed unto Job. It was spoken by God, who is plen teous in mercy, and great in power; and his power and mercy, mingling their glory, produced correspondent effects on the ear and on the heart of that diseased and tormented man. He heard it, not from the top of Sinai in lightning and thunder, nor from between the cherubim in a holy of holies, but out of a whirlwind. A whirlwind, which teareth the rocks, which overturneth the cities, which sweepeth the forests, and which breaketh the cedars in Lebanon and the ships of Tarshish, is a sensible emblem of the majesty of the Lord, whose power nothing can resist, and who out of a whirlwind speaks with the same serenity and ease as on a mercy-seat.
The glorious Speaker, seated in whirlwind, and through that resistless medium uttering his mind, delivereth himself in the style and manner of Jehovah. Interrogation. presses upon interrogation, and one material wonder appears after another, to express and bring under observation the secrets of his wisdom, and the hiding of his power; the rights of his justice, and the wide and indisputable claims of his sovereignty. "Where wast thou when I laid "the foundations of the earth?-Whereupon are its foun"dations fastened, and who laid its corner-stone?-Who
*Preached March 1785, on occasion of a severe storm.