« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
are lively, he is never ready to die. (4.) Are ye in Jesus Christ? These who are out of him are never ready to die. It is only these who are ready to die in the Lord, Rev. xiv. 13. who are ready to die. (5.) Is your pardon fealed ? Death will try you; and if your pardon be not sealed, ye will find that ye are scarce ready to die. (6.) I put this one question more to you, Have you provided your lodgings? It is high time, when mens houses are falling, to be looking out for new lodgings. This tabernacle is ready to be dissolved; have ye a building of God not made with hands secured to yourselves? God has given you time and means for doing all this; and if ye have not done it, then ye have finned against the Lord, and against your own souls.
Now, old sinners, if ye lay not to heart this warning, and lay not yourselves in the dust before God for your sins, then this new warning will be a dreadful aggravation among many others of your guilt. Consider your case in time, before it be too late. Are there not many who were not born for many years after you; and who, it may be, are dead many years ago, and having wrought their work, have got a blessed immortality; yet, it may be to this day ye know not what shall become of your souls. Think, old sinners, is it not a wonder that God has given you this warning after making light of so many: and will it not be a cutting reflection, if ye fit a warning near to the twelfth hour?
Now, children, young men, and fathers, old and young, I have by an appeal to your own confciences made good my charge against you, and fixed a great many particular fins upon you. I shall now proceed, i . i
IV. In the next place, to shew you what fatisfaction that fovereign King, at whose instance and in whose name I have impleaded you, requires of all and every one of you. His justice, at any rate, must be satisfied. It is not congruous to reason, it is not congruous to the holiness, justice and wisdom of the lawgiver, that fin should escape unpunished, and therefore, it is impossible it should pass without some signal and suitable mark of God's displeasure. He has declared posia tively in his word, he has confirmed it in his providences, that though hand join in hand the wicked shall not be unpunished, Prov. xi. 21. If angels and men should lay their hands and heads together, unite their wit, and their power, they shall not preserve one sin from the marks of God's displeasure. Some signal and evident token of it will reach sin, wherever it is. There 'needs no - proof of this, after what Christ has met with. And
ye must lay your account with it, that this punishment will not be some petty inconsiderable one. It must be in some measure suited to the crimes ye stand impleaded of: it muft, on the one hand, hold some proportion to the holiness and purity of that law you have broken, to the majesty and authority of that God whose authority ye have trampled upon; yea, it must hold some proportion to the several aggravations of your respective fins. Lay your account with it, finners, escape you cannot his hands who is every where. Whither will ye go from his spirit? whither will ye. fice from his presence? If ye ascend up into heaven, he is there, If ye make your bed in hell, behold, he is there; if ye take the wings of the morning, and • dwell in the uttermost parts of the fea, even there hall his hand lead thee, and his right hand shall
hold thee. If ye fay, Surely the darkness shall cover you, even the night shall be light about you; for the darkness hideth not from him, but the night Shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to him, Pfal. cxxxix. 7. - 12. There is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themfelves, Job xxxiv. 22. from his eye, or secure themselves against the inquiry God will make, or y the strokes that his almighty arm will inflict. Punished then finners must be. And if ye ask, what fatisfaction will he have of such finners ? I answer,
1. He will have you punihed in your estates, by a forfeiture of all. You invaded God's poffer fion; he will cast you out of yours. This is the ordinary punishment of rebellion; and we have proven you guilty of rebellion of the worst fort. Man, when God made him, was master of a fair estate. The sons of men now may value themfelves upon fome petty tenements which many of them hold by no good right, as we shall see anon; but none of them can vy possessions with Adam in innocency. He had a paradise replenished with all the rarities of innocent, of incorrupted nature, all the delicacies which the earth did yield, before it lost its strength by that curfe which man's disobedience brought it under, while it was impregnated by the blessing of God: and as he had this in possession, fo he had heaven in expectation, a noble and seemingly unfailing prospect of a paradise above. This was Adam's estate; and this Mould have been the estate of his pofterity, his defcendants : but all is forfeited by lin. Had Adam stood, he had then transinitted to us a goodly heritage, and none should have had reason to complain of his possession: but now we have by
fin forfeited all; we have no estate, no heritage. O sinners, by your sin ye have lost the right to all your enjoyments here, and all prospect of any. comfortable being hereafter. Adam when he fin. ned was banifhed out of paradise, and that was guarded against him.'
But ye will say, We are not forfeited ; for we enjoy houses, lands, meat and clothing, and a great many other such things : how can ye then say that we lost all; by what means get we these things ?
I answer, (1.) A rebel sentenced to die, is by the king allowed food, raiment, and other necesfaries for the sustentation of nature, till the time of the execution come: just so, God, for holy ends not now to be enquired into, having reprived man .for a while, suffers him to enjoy some such things, till he fee meet to put the sentence of death in execution, and then the forfeiture will take place. (2.) We say, ye have no right to any enjoyment fave that just now mentioned. The grant whereby innocent man held all his possessions, was the covenant of works: this was the ground of his fe curity as to what he possessed, and the foundation of his hope as to what he further expected. Now, this covenant being broken by your sin, ye have no more right to any enjoyment. (3.) As ye have already lost the right and title, so ye have lost the sweetness of all your enjoyments. Ye toil and fweat, but ye are not satisfied. What profit have ye of all your labour under the sun ? It is not able to give you satisfaction. This we have at great length made appear in our lectures upon Ecclesiastes. (4.) To conclude, in a very little ye will be entirely deprived of all. The day of the execution of the sentence draws on, when God will snatch all your enjoyments out of your hands. Now H4
indeed, some have more, and some have less, according to the pleasure of the great Judge, who has allowed every one their portion, till the day of execution come, and then all will go.
2. God, at whose instance ye have been impeached of fin, will have satisfaction in the death of the offenders. God threatened death to Adam in paradise : In the day that thou eatest thereof thou Malt surely die, or; dying thou shalt die, Gen. ii. 17. and the foul that sinneth shall die, faith the Lord by the prophet, Ezek. xvïi. 20. for the wages of sin is death. This is not to be limited to a natural death ; no, but is of a huge extent. It takes in a threefold death, a death spiritual, natural, eternal. Man in innocency had a threefold life, either in possession or prospect. (1.) A spiritual life, which consisted in the union of his soub to God, in a measure suited to his present condition, and in the fitness of all his faculties and powers for acting and doing what was well pleasing unto God. (2.) A natural life, which consisted in the union of soul and body. That lovely pair, his innocent soul and pure body, were matched together, and linked to one another by a thought surpassing art; so that they had a most near alliance, being compacted into one person, by a ty so strong, as to occasion a notable sympathy; and yet so secret, that no eye could ever see, no mind ever discover this imperceptible chain. (3.) Man had then a fair prospect of eternal life, in a full and close union to God, never to adınit of any interruption, or of any such interposition, as was between man and him in this lower world. But now upon his sin, he lost all by virtue of the primitive threatening of death to the soul that sins. Answerably hereunto, God