« PoprzedniaDalej »
gels; woful unbelief, in suspecting It is said, that there was a great the truth of God's threatenings ; cry in Egypt, because there was not the blasphemous conception, that a house wherein there was not one the devil, (God's enemy and man's dead. In some towns and families murderer) is more to be credited in
how many are spiritually dead! his temptations than God in his as Husbands, wives, children and sersertions; horrible pride, in think vants are all dead, and God only ing to become like God by eating knows whether they shall ever live the forbidden fruit; contempt of
or not. God, in rushing upon his sword, and A dead man cannot stir; and so not fearing the plague denounced ; a spiritually dead man cannot perunthankfulness, when God had given form any spiritually good action, if every tree but one, to be med. heaven itself were to be gained by dling with that too; theft, in taking doing it. He may think and speak, what was not his own; and idolatry, it is true, of good things; as the in loving the creature more than good man may think and speak of God the Creator, who is blessed for evil things; but he is not the subever. Let us take a full view of, ject of one good thought or speech. and mourn for this sin, that made 'As the naturally dead man fears the first breach between God and not, so the sinner fears no dangers, man.
however great and imminent. As the 2. Every man, in the estate in which dead cannot be drawn to accept of he is born, is dead in sin, empty of the best offers, so were Christ to every inward principle of holy life, come out of heaven, and fall about and void of all grace. Many wick the neck of a natural man, and with ed men may do many actions, which tears in his eyes beseech him to acare externally good, such as praying, cept of his blood, himself, his kinghearing, and almsgiving; but not dom, and leave his sins, he could from any inward principle of holy not receive the offer. obedience. Weights may set a A dead man is blind and deaf, clock to running. Jehu was zealous, and the spiritually dead neither see but it was only for a kingdom : the nor hear God in a right manner. Pharisees gave alms, only to be They have no eye, no ear, no tongue seen of men. If one should write for Christ. They are senseless, and a will with a dead man's hand, the relish not the things of God. If they will would not be good in law, be speak of divine things, it is like a cause the deceased person did not parrot. They are destitute of the write it with intention, from an in breath of prayer: they cannot pour ward principle of life.
out their souls into the bosom of selfishness may induce a man to God. I wonder not, that there are preach, to hear, and sometimes to
so many prayerless families, for pray. Bring
Bring a dead man to the their members are dead, and lie fire, and chafe and rub him ; you rotting in their sins. may produce some heat by external Adead man has no beauty, is eaten applications; but take him from the of worms, and wants nothing but fire and he will soon be cold again : casting into the grave: thus the unso many a man living under a sound renewed sinner has lost all his minister, and the friction of a striv glory, is deformed in his moral chaing conscience, has some heat in racter, shall become an abhorrence, him, some affections, some desires, is subject to the gnawings of the some fears and sorrows; but re never-dying worm, and must be move the minister, and quiet con buried in hell, if Jehovah shall let science, and he presently becomes loose some judgment, and say, Take as insensible as ever, because he these dead persons out of my sight. wants a principle of spiritual life. If it was a wonder that Lazarus,
who had lain in the grave four days, as the sins of the life; for the sins should live again, Oh! wonder thou, of the heart breed, bring forth, that ever God should let thee live, and nurture all the litter, all the after having been dead in sin for troops of outward iniquities. Sin twenty, thirty, or sixty years to-. is more abundant and more permagether.
nent in the heart, than in the life; 3. Every natural man is, more for actual sins of the life fly out over, full of all sin. Rom. i. 29. His like sparks and vanish, but sin in whole body and mind are full of sin. the heart is like a brand always Foolishness is bound up, even in the glowing. The toad spits poison heart of a child. An evil man out sometimes, but it retains a poisonof the evil TREASURE of his heart ous nature always. Hence the aposbringeth forth evil thing's. The tle calls it sin that dwells in me. tongue is a WORLD of iniquity; and One enemy within the city is worse out of the ABUNDANCE
of the heart than many without; a traitor on the the mouth speaketh. The mind is throne, (and the heart is Christ's a nest of foul opinions and heresies: throne,) is worse than a traitor in the heart is a horrible pit of atheism, the open field. Mourn, therefore, sodomy, murder, whoredom, adul not so much that thou hast comtery, witchcraft, bestiality; so that mitted individual sins, as that thou if thou hast any good thing in thee, hast a sinful heart, and a sinful nait is as a drop of rose water in a ture. bowl of poison.
4. All the moral actions of a naAll these things are not stirring tural man are sin, in the sight of a in the natural man at once; and holy God, because they are perlike Hazael he
think that he is formed without any holy motive. not such a dog as to perpetrate As a man may speak good words, these crimes, but they are in him, but we cannot endure to hear him like a nest of snakes in an old hedge, speak, because of his offensive lurking in his heart, until tempta breath which defiles them; so a man tion brings them forth. When one may pray, fast, give alms, and come told Francis Spira, that he had to church, without performing these never committed such sins as Ma
externally good actions from a right nasses, and therefore was not, as he intention. The thoughts of the unjudged himself, the greatest sinner renewed are only evil, and that since the creation, he replied, that continually. Gen. vi. 5. All their he should have been worse than words are sins. Ps. l. 16. Their Manasses had he lived in his time, mouths are open sepulchres. Rom. and been on his throne. If you feel iii. 13. Their civil actions, their none of these sins, reader, consider eating, drinking, buying, selling, that fear, shame, education, good sleeping and ploughing, so far as company and God's restraining they are voluntary, and are not regrace alone may have kept thee from gulated by right motives, are sinful. being the vilest of the vile. Mr. Prov. xxi. 4. All their religious Bradford would never look upon actions are of the same moral chaone's lewd life with one eye, without racter, for the same reason. 6 The turning the other upon his own sacrifice of the wicked is an abomibreast,
and saying, In this my vile nation to the Lord.” « Even his breast remains that sin, which, with prayer shall be abomination.” Prov. out God's special grace, I should xv. 8, and xxviii. 9. All their most have committed as well as he. These zealous actions are sins. They may sins of thy heart are all ready arm
be like the act of Jehu in killing ed to fight against God, at the watch the priests of Baal, outwardly good; word, or alarm of any temptation ; and God may reward them with and are as bad in the sight of God temporal favours: but Jehu had a
hawk's eye upon obtaining a king 1st, that God is the dreadful enemy dom to himself by his zeal for the of unrenewed men. Ps. v. 5. “ Thou Lord, and therefore God threatened hatest all workers of iniquity.” to be revenged upon him. Hosea i. This God evinces, by hiding his 4. Their wisdom is sin. The car- face from every natural man (Isa. nal mind, the wisdom of the flesh is lix. 2.); by his threatenings and enmity against God. Rom. viii. 7. curses (Gal. iii. 10.); and by the “A corrupt tree cannot bring forth stripes which he inflicts upon the good fruit." . Every wicked man body and soul.
Never tell me, wants an inward principle of love therefore, that God blesses you in to God and Christ; and therefore, your outward estate, if you are unshould he seek to honour God ever renewed; for God treats you as a so much, all that he doth, being per father does a desperate son; he formed merely from love to himself, gives you full swing; and there is is abhorred by God. Acting always scarcely a greater sign of God's for himself, from regard to his own wrath. ease, credit, safety, or content, he 2. God hath forsaken them, and commits the highest degree of idola they have lost God. Eph. ii. 12. As try, plucks God from his throne, in the grievous famine of Samaria, and makes himself a god, or the dove's dung was sold at a great ultimate end of all his actions. Sin price; so worldly contentments are is a forsaking or departing from much esteemed, because men are God. Now every natural man re without God, and without spiritual mains in a state of separation from food. They have lost the favouraGod; wants the bond of union, ble presence, and special protection which is faith ; is always sinning;
of God; and like Cain, are fugiand being under the curse of God, tives from his face. Saul exclaimed brings forth nothing but briers and when the Philistines made war thorns.
against him, God is departed from But it will be objected, if the me! 1 Sam. xxviii. 15. And the praying and hearing of the natural loss of the sweetness of the divine man is sin, that he must not per presence, for a little time only, form these duties, for he must not made Jesus Christ cry out, My God, sin. I answer, good duties are good my God, why hast thou forsaken in themselves, although they be sin me ? But thou, sinner, hast lost ful when performed from a vile thy God all thy lifetime. Oh ! thine heart. Moreover, it is less sinful heart is brass, that it mourns not so to do them, than to omit them : long an absence. The damned in therefore, if thou wilt go to hell, go hell have lost God, and know it; in the least criminal path thou canst. and so the plague of desperate horFinally, venture and try to pray lieth
them : but thou hast and hear aright; for God may hear, lost God here, and knowest it not ; not for the sake of thy prayers, but and the plague of a hard heart lieth for his own name's sake. Though thou art a dog, yet thou art alive, 3. All natural men are condemnand art for the present under the ed, in the court of justice, by the law, table. Ask, and God may give thee which cries, treason, treason, against some crumbs of his mercy, even the Most High ; and in the court of whilst thou art not holy in thy sup
mercy, by the gospel, which brings plications.
in the verdict of murder, murder of II. Man's misery in regard to the Son of God, by unbelief: so the
consequences of sin are now to that they are damned in heaven and be considered. They are either
God is thy all-seeing, present or future. Of the PRESENT terrible Judge; conscience thine consequences of sin, we remark, accuser, and a heavy witness against
thee; this world thy prison : thy them. They were born blind to Justs are fetters: in the Bible thy saving truth; the devil has blinded sentence is recorded : death is thy them more by sin ; and God, in jushangman: and the fire unquencha tice, has blinded some of them ble will be thy tormenting final worse for sin. doom. The Lord in his patience,
6. The natural man is bound hand has reprieved thee for a time. 0! and foot in his natural estate, so take heed, to get a pardon, before that he cannot come out, of himself. the day of execution comes. “ We were yet without strength.” 4. Being condemned, natural Rom. v. 6.
· The natural man remen, in this prison, are subjected to ceiveth not the things of the spirit the bondage of Satan, who is the of God : for they are foolishness jailer. His servants they are whom unto him ; neither can he know they obey. They do the devil's them, because they are spiritually drudgery, and carry his pack. Satan discerned." 1 Cor. ii. 14. All kind overcame, and conquered all men of sins, like chains, have bound in Adam, their representative; and
every part and faculty of man. God has subjected them to the bon: These sins are strong, being as dear dage and dominion of the prince of as his members, nay as his life the power of the air, the god of (Col. iii. 5.7.): so that when he bethis world. Though he cannot com gins to forsake his vile ways, and pel a man to sin against his own purposes to become a new man, will, yet he has power, to present a devils fetch him back, the world sinful temptation, for the purpose entices him, and locks him up; and of alluring him to evil ; of following the flesh says, “Oh! it is too strict the man with it, if at first he should a course: farewell then, merry days, be shy of it; of disquieting and and good fellowship.” You may racking him if he will not yield to wish and desire, for some reason, it; of knowing their humours ; and to come out sometimes, but you canof acting the part of an enemy in not put strength to your desire, nor various ways. Satan is secret, de bear to execute it. You may hang ceitful, cruel and strong. He visits your head, like a bulrush for sin, but mankind in seeming courtesy, as cannot repent of it: you may prepoor, wandering, beggarly gentle sume, but cannot believe : you may men in necessity do their friends, come half way and forsake some to gain them as his own. He makes sins, but not all sins : you may come them believe that they are in a fair and knock at heaven's gate, as the way, when their condition is mise foolish virgins did, but not pass rable. He gags them, like the man through it: you may see the land of who had a dumb spirit, so that they Canaan, take much pains to go to can speak neither for God, to men ; it, and taste the bunches of its nor to God, in prayer. He, as the grapes, but never enter it; unless strong man armed, keeps his palace, the Lord come to your grave in sin, and his goods ; yea, and keeps his roll away the stone, and bid you subjects from so much as sighing or live. groaning under their bondage.
7. They are ready every moment 5. The natural man is cast into to drop into hell.
God is a conutter darkness ; even as cruel jail suming fire, and there is but the ers put their prisoners into the worst paper wall of thy body between thy dungeons. 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. They are soul and endless flames. How soon so blinded, that they see not God, may God stop thy breath? nor Christ, nor the happiness of the The FUTURE consequences of sin saints in light, nor those dreadful remain to be considered. torments, which should now in this 1. Men must die; and although day of grace, awaken and humble death is a sweet sleep to a child of
God, yet to the wicked it is a fear is no friend to persuade the impeniful curse, proceeding from God's tent, no minister to preach the goswrath. Like a lion he tears body pel, by which faith is wrought, and and soul asunder. It is a rare thing union to Christ effected ; and no to see the man who looks death power of returning and repenting. steadfastly in the face one hour to The night is come, and the day, in gether; but one day, like a mighty which we were commanded to work, captain, he will deal a bitter stroke is past. The punishment which will upon the ungodly, and then armies then be endured, will occupy all the of endless woes follow.
thoughts and emotions of the mi2. After death men must imme serable, and leave no room for any diately appear in their spirits, be thoughts of reformation. Like fore God in judgment. Heb. ix. 27. Dives, they will cry,
I am tormentThis is a particular judgment, which ed in this flame. Oh! that the conovery one meets with immediately sideration of this point might awakat the end of his life, and in which
en every secure sinner! What will every unrenewed soul is condemn. become of thine immortal soul, ed. Eccl. xii. 7.
when thou art dead ? Thou sayest, All have sinned ; and the wages I know not: I hope well. I tell of sin is death ; which is due so soon thee, after death comes the judgas a man exists a sinner. In justice, ment: then, farewell friends, when therefore, it should be paid as soon dying; and farewell God forever, as he is born; and it would be so when thou art dead! with the wicked, had not Christ ob May the Lord open the eyes of tained a reprieve for them for a sea sinners, to behold the terrors of the son. He has begged their lives; particular judgment. Their souls and is the Saviour
of all men, that shall be dragged from their bodies, is, not a Saviour of final preserva by the devil, as their jailer, into the tion from hell, but a Saviour of tem sensible presence of their Judge. poral reservation from dropping in They shall appear without any coto hell. This space of time, thus vering, friends, or comfort: and begged by Christ, is the only season shall be filled with a new light, in wherein a man may
which they shall look upon their with a displeased God. 2 Cor. vi. 2. Judge, whom they saw not in the During this time, the original sen world; and through which, hellish tence of death passed upon the horror shall strike their souls. Then whole family of man, is suspended; all their sins shall be brought into but when death has despatched their remembrance; and conscience them, the day of grace, the space shall fill the place of ten thousand for repentance has passed ; and witnesses. Many sins may have judgment only awaits them indivi been forsaken; but then, one leak dually. Then their personal doom in the ship will sink all: one secret, is read, and this is judgment after darling, allowed sin, unrepented of, death. If we would judge ourselves, will damn thee. Then God will dein the present life, we should not be part from thee, to'wait in patience, judged, or judicially condemned af offer a Saviour, and strive by his ter death: but wicked men will not Spirit, no more. Thou shalt see indo this, and therefore, at the end of deed the glory which others find, but, life, God will condemn them.
to thy greater sorrow, shalt never natural men are lost in this life, but taste their bliss. God shall surrender they may be found and recovered thy forsaken soul, into the hands of again. A man lost after death, how the devil, to be tormented, and forever, is irrecoverably lost, for there ever to be overwhelmed at thy preare no means of restoration after sent misery, as well as the thought death. In the world of spirits, there of that which is to come.
make his peace