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on, will not be content to trife in these duties which have so immédiate, so remarkable an influence upon his eternal condition. If he neglects them, then he lies open to the fury of God, which, according to the prophet Jeremiah's pray. er, will fall upon the heathen, and the families that call not on the name of God, Pfal. Ixxix. 6. Jer. X. 25. If he prove remiss, he falls under the wo denounced against the deceiver, Mal. i. 14. Curfed be the deceiver which hath in his flocka male,and voweth and sacrificeth to the Lord a corrupt thing. And he thinks his case hard enough already, without the addition of that new wrath.
The last fort of means of salvation are such as are called public. A concern about salvation will, discover itself in reference to these many ways; of which we shall only name two or three. (1.) It will make us lay hold upon every opportunity of this fort. A man that is in great danger, and knows himself to be fo, will be sure to frequent these places which promise him safety. (2.) It will be a satisfaction and matter of joy to hiin that there are any such opportunities, and that his cafe is not entirely desperate and hopeless. (3.) When he comes to them, he will still have falvation in his eye, and will greedily look what afpect every thing he hears and fees has upon his own salvation. (4.) He will not be satisfied with any thing unless he see how he may be faved: Now, is this your carriage, when ye pretend to be concerned about salvation : Do ye with satisfaction embrace every opportunity of the ordinances? Do ye joy when they say to you, Let us go up to the house of God? Do ye keep your eye fixt upon Salvation ? Or, are ye more intent upon other things? This is a good way to know whether ye
be concerned about falvation or not... Now, to conclude this mark, I say, that if ye do neglect, or carelesly use the means of sályation, whether private, secret or public, it discovers your unconcernedness about salvation, A man that has fallen into the sea, and is in hazard of drowning, will haste toward every thing that may contribute to his fafety; and when he comes near the shore, he will not spend time in observing the form of the shore, but its usefulness to him. So a man that sees himself in danger of sinking in the wrath of God, will look to all the means of salvation; and that which his eye will fix principally upon, will certainly be their usefulness to himfelf. That duty, and that way, and manner of performing it, that levels moft directly at his salvation, will please him best. I fall, in the ',,,?
gth and laf place, Put this one question more hoine to you for trial. Will finall and inconsiderable difficulties make you lay aside thoughts of falvation, or the use of the means? If so, it is a fad sign that ye are not yet arrived at that concern, which is the fruit of sound conviction. One that is soundly convinced of lin, and is thence induced to lay salvation to heart, will not stop at any thing he meets with in his way: for he can see yo'lion in the way, that is so terrible as that wrath of God he fees py: luing him; nor can he hear of apy enjoyment, to make him turn back again, that is fo valuable as that falvation ho seeks after, All hinderances that ye can meet with in the way to heaven, I mean, such as are proposed for rational inducements, to persuade you to give aver, may be reduced to one of two. The tempter must either say, Desist and quite thoughts of falvation; for ye will run a great hazard if ye step
one step further; or, if ye will desists, ye fall
have this advantage or the other, but a solidly - convinced sinner has two questions that are e nough for ever to confound and silence such pro posals. The (1.) is this, Ye tell me, That if I hold on, I thall meet with such a hazard; I mult be undervalued, reproached, opposed, and, in fine, meet with all the ill treatinent that the devil, the world, and lin can give me: but now, Satan, I have one question to propose to you here, Are all these, taken together, as ill as damnation if not, then I will hold on. But whereas,, tempter, (2.) Ye say, That I shall get this pleasure or the other, if I delift and quite the way that I have espoused,'I alk you, Is that pleasure as good as eternal salvation? Or will it make damnation tolerable? These two questions make a soul, that is really concerned about salvation, hold on in the diligent use of means. A man if ever he run, will then run, when he has happiness in his eye, -. and misery pursuing him; and thus it is with every sinner that is throughly awakesed, and lays sálvation to heart; therefore it is no wonder such an one refuse to be discouraged, or give over, whatever he meets with in the way, but pow, are there not anong you, not a few who will be startled at the least difficulty, and quite thoughts of the means of salvation, for very trifles? This is a sad evidence, that ye are 'not ideed solidly convinced
Now I have hortly run through these particu Jars; and, in the conclusion, 1 enquire of every one of you, de, 1. F .: 2010 3.1. Have ye applied these marks to your own consciences, as we went through thein : or, have ye carcle/xsheard them, if ye jhad up concern
ment in them? To such of you as have not applied thein, I say only in so many words. (1.) If ye will not judge yourselves, ye shall surely be condemned of the Lord. When persons will not try their case, it is a sure sign that matters are not right with them. (2.) We may safely enough determine, that ye are unconcerned about salvati. on and fast alleep in your fins, nay, dead in them., (3.), Ye will come to fuch a sensible determination of your estate ere it be long,' as will force you to think upon these things with seriousness, but not with fatisfaction. But to such as have been apply. ing these marks as we went along, in the
2. Place, I, propose this question, 'Do ye find upon trial that ye have indeed been laying falvation to heart above all things, or that yet ye are not in earnest about it? I beg it of you, nay, ! obtest you, to deal impartially with your own fouls; and I'am sure ye may come to understand how it is with yon. This qucstion, if fairly applied, will divide you into two sorts."
1. Such as are not laying falvation to heart, and so have not been convinced of fin.
2. Such as are really concerned about salvati. on, and are with the jaylor, saying, What must I do ta be faved?
I shall conclude this doctrine in a short address to these two forts of persons, and then proceed to the apostles answer to the jaylor's question.
I begin with the first, such of you as are not convinced of fin, and therefore do not lay falva. tion to heart. Tre there any such miserable wretches here, after all that has been faid? No doubr there are; and I fear that the most part are fuch. To you I say, 3 - of 4.1. Whence is it that ye are not convinced of
your fin and misery, which has been so plainly, and at fo great length inculcate upon you? Surely it must be upon one of three accounts ; either, first, Ye have not heeded what has been said; or, fecondly, Ye have not believed it; or, thirdly, Ye have some one false defence or other, unto which ye lean: Now because this is a matter of no small moment both to you and us, we Thall here discourse a little of these three. It is of great moment to you to be undeceived here, because a deceit here will ruin you éternally; and it is of great moment to us, because unless we get you undeceived in this matter, we lose all our pains in holding forth Christ and the way of Palvation by him. Persons who are not convinced of fin, will, past all peradventure, make light of Christ, and refuse him. "
(L.) Then, I shall speak a word to such as have - not taken heed to, or regarded what has been said
for their conviction. I make no doubt but there · are some such here, whose hearts have been with the fool's eyes, in the corners of the earth, and who have scarce been thinking all the while what they were hearing. Your consciences can tell you whether this has been your practice ; and if it • has, then I fay, (1.) It is indeed no wonder that ye do not lay falvation to heart, that ye are not convinced of fin ; since ye will not hear what will serve for conviction, and is designed that way. (2.) Do ye thus requite the Lord, o foolish and unwife? Has God condescended so far to you, that he has sent his servants to you, and will ye not be at the pains to give them a hearing ? How do ye think would your master or your ruler take it, should ye deal thus by him? If when he were speaking to you, either himself or by his servants, ye were