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his ruin, Was there not deliverance from Satan and the world offered to you? Were not the means mentioned sufficient? This will eternally acquit them as to your destruction, and lodge it upon yourfelves as the principal cause of it, which is all we plead; for we do not exéme them from a share in the guilt of it. Now, this being in. contestably evident, it remains that either Chrift, or his ministers are chargeable with your damna. tion, or that ye yourselves only are fo. ..
As for our blessed Lord and master, we offer now to undertake his vindication against any that Thall dare to accuse him. We have abundance to speak in his behals; and are resolved to 'ascribe righteousness to our Maker. In his vindication, I appeal to your own consciences in a few particu, lars. (1.) Is he not indeed a fufficient Saviour, one able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God through him? Deny it you dare not; for this is the attestation of the glorious cloud of witnesses, who all have, by faith in his name, got above the reach of fin, death and hell. (2.) Did ever any of you come to him, and get a refufal? Produce your instances of this fort, if ye can. We dare boldly, in our Lord's name, give a defiance to earth or hell, to produce one instance of this fort. (3.) Has he not allowed, nay, invited, intreated, nay, commanded you to come unto him that ye might be sayed? If ye shall deny this, the word of God, the servants of God are witnesses against you. Has he not waited long upon you! Has he not given you precept upon prećept, and line upon line? And now, to conclude, I pose you on it, what could he have done more to you that he hasnot done! · But it may be ye will lay it to our door, and fay, though Christ did his part, yet his servants Q2
have not done theirs ;p, they have not given you fair warning. As for their vindication I answer a few things and i fay, (1.) Though they may be guilty, and conceal, or at least fail of faithfulness in their duty, yet your damnation is of yourfelves : for ye have the word of God that is plain, that is full, in its representation of your fin and misery; and had you paid a due regard to that, ye could not have missed of salvation : therefore, yet your destruction is of yourfelves. But, (2.) We refuse the charge of your blood, and tell you that ye have destroyed yourselves, if'ye sleep on in your sins. And for our own vindication, I put a few things home to you: Have we not plainly told you your fin and danger? Have we not done it frequently?- Have we not been particular in dealing with young and old of you? Have we not been pressing, in order to your conviction? We have told you with earnestnefs, both your fin and danger. We have looked from our watchtower through the prospect of the word of God, and have feen the wrath of God ready to seize you; and we have not concealed his righteoufiress within us. "And now, the Lord, the righteous judge, be witness berwixt you and us, for we have done as much as will free us of your blood. Indeed we cannot deny ourselves to be finners; and mult own that we have sinned, even with refpeét to you: but this will not make your blood to be
charged upon us ; fince, in order to our exoner-ation as to that, it is tonly required we give you
warning of your danger; and if ye be Nuin sleep ings ye are to blame. There is one word more I have to say to you in the ': 0 ,5L..****!!!! 1.16th Place; and then I shall leave you. What have we to do more with you? If ye comply not with the first part of our message) ye will be fure to refuse the second. Chriftiiwill be refused by you, and we will seem to you like them that mock. But whatever use ye make of it, we shall proceed in our work: 'and if we prove not the favour of life unto you, we shall prove the favour of death; for we are a fweet favour:unto God in them that are saved, and in them that perish, and if our go. Spel be bid, lit is hidi to them that are left, 2 Cor. iv. 3 Icome now, - Cvij sv.uk,
Secondly, To speak a word to such as-are awak: ened, and are saying, with the convinced jaylor in The text, What shall I do 4o be faved? and to you wé fay, yvon is siisting oss 201. Bless the Lord, who has opened your eyes. Ye were naturally as much inclined to sleep on as others, and it is only the distinguishing goodness of God that has made you to differo! it?
Be Study to'keep your eyes open. If ye shut them again, and lose convictions, then ye may never recover them again, Ifge quench the fpi. rit, it is hard tò fay but the iffure may prove fatal to you.ni If God," being provoked by your stifling conviction, shall give over dealing with you, I may fay, Wo unto you, fór ye are undone eter? nally. And that ye have got your eyes opened in some measure, to discover your hazard, will be so far from mending the matter, that it will make it much worse; it will put an accent upon your fin, and likewise upon your punishment. -3! 3. Endeavour to improveothe discoveries ye have got of tin, and seek not only to keep your eyes open, but to have them further opened. The more clear the sight of fin is, which ye get, the more welcome will ye make the gospel-tender of 1 *', 19.
to you widtion, Mali per for ye arer eyes op
d liketvile i will put after, that it to in
mercy and relief, the more sincerely and heartily will ye close with its i Br? Er det er i 4. Would ye indeed be saved? then take the advice in the text, Believe in the Lord Jesus Chrift, and thou shalt be faved. This leads me to that which I did principally design in the choice of this subject; therefore I shall, if the Lord will, insist upon it at length, because it is the very fum and substance of the gospel, that which comprises all the rest. •
We have hitherto represented your case by na: Mare, as ye are under sin; and have hinted shortly at your case, as under the influences of the fpirit in conviction : now. we shall proceed to a discovery of the gospel relief, that is provided by infinite wisdom, for fuch as are awakened to a discovery of their loft and undone ftate; and that lies before us in this 31 ver. Ye may remember, that when we did open to you the context, we did refer the explication of this verse, till such time as we had ended the former. This being now done, I shall briefly open the words, and then draw thence some such comprehensive truth as may giveground to difcourse of that which we have principally in our eye.
The words contain a direction given to the di. fressed and awakened jaylor: and in them we may take notice, ,
1. Of the person to whom the direction is giv. en ; and, as was just now said, he is an awakened and convinced sinner. This is the gospel method; it proposes its remedy, not to these who are whole and well, in their own eyes, but to such as are diseased. Christ is tendered to such as need him, and are sensible that they do so. The foundation of the gospel is laid in conviction of fin, Hence it is, that we find gospel ministers begin their work here; of which we have many eininent and
narable inftances in the scripture. John the Bap: