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everlasting evening are just ready to be stretched forth, who have their work yet to begin. O sad and mournful condition ! A great work to begin! a work that hath cost many waking nights, and fore toil and labour for many years; and this ye have to begin now, when your day is almost gone, when your. Sun is setting, is as it were going in over the hill, and ready immediately to dump down, and leave you in eternal night! This case were enough even to rend a heart of stone, and to force tears from a rock, if duly considered. O' what fin, what folly, what misery is there here! !
4. You have seen many providences, both such . as were of a more public nature, and concerned the state of the church of God in general, and such as concerned yourselves more particularly. Now. here I again enquire, (1.) What observations have ye made? The providences of God deserve to have a peculiar remark put upon them. Remember that thou magnify his works which men bey ' hold, Job xxxvi. 24. is a command of God that extends to all: and it is a grievous sin, for which we find a professing people heavily threatened, that they did not regard the Lord's doings. We unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that continue until night till wine inflame them: and the harp and the viol, the tabret and the pipe, and wine are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands, Isa. v. II, 12. Now, are there not many providences loft, and therefore as many sins? (2.) What experiences have ye got? Many providences afford many experiences : and they who have managed them to advantage, have reaped notable advantages by them, for their confirmation in the ways
of God: and if ye have not done so, ye have as many sins., as ģe have lost experiences. (3.) Where have they left you? nearer or further off from God than they found you? Every providence, mercy or judgment that has not brought you nearer to God, has carried you further from him; and consequently therein ye have sinned. O what multitudes of sins are here!
" . 5. As you are guilty by committing sins of your own, so you have contracted much guilt by seeing other 'men sin, when ye have not been suitably exercised therewith. That we should be exercised with other mens síns, the scripture makes menti. on expresly. Now, that I'may let you see' how many ways ye have sinned here, I pofe you upon it. (1.) You have seen many fins committed; what testimonies have you given against them? Every one that sees God dishonoured, should give a testimony for him, either by reproving sin, ac, eording to the direction of the apostle, Eph. v. 11. Have no fellowship with tbe unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them; or by with drawing from the fociety of such, according to the command of the Spirit of God, who bids us Ga
from the presence of a foolish man, when we per. ceive not in him the lips of knowlege, Prov. xiv. 7. For someriines any other reproof, than by with. drawing may be improper ; -for the wise man forbids us to reprove a scorner left he hate us, Prov. ix. 8, or if this cannot be got done, with out the neglect of moral duties, there is yet ano, ther way we may give a testimony against sin, and that is, by a circumspect walk, evidencing a re. gard to God, a belief of his threatenings, and the advantage of religion. Thus Noah reproved or condemned the old world, Heb; xi, 7: Now
fpeak, old sinners, 'What testimonies of this fort have ye given against sin? As many as ye have neglected, as many sins ye stand guilty of before the Lord. (2.) Ye have seen many sins; how many tears have ye shed? I fear there are here old men and old women, who never fighed, who never groned or cried, for all the abominations that they have seen committed in our land. It is our duty to mourn for the sins of others. There is a mark of preservation ordered to be put upon the foreheads of them that mourn for the sins of the land wherein they live, Ezek. ix. 4. And the Lord said unto the man that had the writer's inkhorn by his side, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a' mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh, and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And in the following ver. the destroying angel is commanded to spare neither old nor young fave only those who have that mark upon them. I fear there are few mourners here, among these who have seen many and monstrous fins. I shall not now speak of the national abominations which you have feen : but I am sure there are few of you come to age, who have not heard many horrid oaths sworn : you have seen horrid villanies committed; many dreadful provocations. Now, dare ye fay with the Pfalmist in that 119 Pfal. verfe 53. Horror hath taken hold of me, because transgreffors keep not thy law. It may be old hardened sinners think little of this fin; yet God is brought in as it were wondering at it, Jer. xxxvi. 24. when the roll containing Jeremiah's prophecies was burnt, it is noted as a wonderful, a monstrous wickedness, that they were not concerned, that they did not mourn; Yet, ' . H ..
says says God, they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king nor any of his fervants that heard all these words. I fear, even these who speak against fins' of others, are guilty of them by not mourning over them. (3.) You have feen many sins; and how many prayers have ye put up for the pardon of them? There is an express command to this purpose, i john v. 16. If any man
see his brother sin a sin, which is not unto death, che fall afk, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. It may be ye have con. demned others, and cried out upon them for their fins, while in the mean time ye are partakers with them, because of your not praying for them according to this command.
6. I say to you, Ye are great sinners, for ye have had many mercies, and I fear have abused mercies. If I hould begin here to recount particular mercies, I might know where to begin, but scarce where to make an end. I shall only enquire at you, (1.) Do ye yet know the God of your mercies? Hof. 11. 8. I fear many of you dare not say it. (2.) What improvement have ye made of them? Has the goodness of God led you to repentance, as it should do? Rom. ii. 4. (3.) Once more I alk you, Haye ye returned to the Lord according to the mercies received ? Put but these three questions home to your own consciences, and I believe they will discover many fins that ye never yet thought of..
7. Old sinners, ye have undergone many changes; ye are far decayed: then let me alk you, (1.) Are your souls renewed, as your outward man perishes ? I fear, I fear there are few among you who are bringing forth fruit in old age, who, when others fade, are fat and full of fap,
le to fin decis a great be failed
(2.) Has your love to sin decayed ? If this change were to be observed, it were a great blessing; but I fear, that, however strength may be failed so far that ye cannot fulfil your busts as formerly, yet the old heart-love to them remains.
8. Old sinners, ye have seen much of the world: and here I ask you, Are ye not guilty, (1.) By neglecting many discoveries of its vanity, which might have been of great use to you, if duly ob. served ? (2.) By retaining the same love to it, after many discoveries of its uncertainty and emptinefs ?
9. Once more, and I have done with you, Old sinners, You have lived long, and death is at the door. God has given you much time to pro. vide for it; and I fear ye are guilty, extremely guilty, by not improving time : and for discovering your sin here, I shall lay a few questions before you, and I plead that ye may lay them home to your own consciences. (1.) Are ye yet content to die? It 'is the indispensable duty of all, to be ever content to comply with the will of God in this matter ; and upon a call, to be ready cheer. fully to comply with the will of God as to death, the time and manner of it. Now, old sinners, are ye content ? It may be, some of you will forwardly enough answer, That ye are content; but if ye lay lo, I ask you, (2.) Are ye ready to die? I fear some are content to die, who are not ready; some may in a fit of discontent at the world, upon the back of some notable dilappointment, be so well content to die, that they will lay hands upon themselves, who yet are very far from being ready to die. If ye pretend that ye are; then for discovering the truth of what ye say, I enquire, (3.) Are your sins dying? A perion whose fins