Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

carrying away your substance? and even these which are most serviceable, and seem to retain something of their respect to man, sometime their Lord, do they not rebel? Doth not the horfe sometime throw his rider, the ox gore his owner? This man has lost his honour; nay, now he who once did reign, is become fin's Nave, and thereby falls under the lashes of fin and Satan's Maves. This, O finner, is a part of your punishment.

4. This yet will not satisfy justice. God purfués the quarrel to posteriry. I am a jealous God, says he in the threatening annexed to the third command, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children. Rebels children suffer with the fathers in all nations; and shall not rebellion against God be as severely punished, as that which is against an earthly sovereign ? If an Achan steal a Babylonish garment, and, sin against the God of Ifrael, then he and his whole family shall fall, man wife, and child: nay, and the very housholdfuff, his ox and his asses. God will pursue the quarrel to a dreadful length. You may fee this ferrible tragedy described by God, in that 7 chap. of Joih. from the 24 ver. God will spare nothing that sinners have used. Because finners have trode upon this earth, it must undergo the fire at the last day, before it can be freed from the bondage of corruption. O sinners, ye transmit a sad legacy to your wretched posterity! a legacy of which the distressed church, Lam. v. 7. heavily complains, Our fathers have finned and are not, and we have born their iniquities. : 5. Once more ; God pursues his quarrel yet further. He will have your names eternally ruin. ed. The memory of the wicked shall roi, Prov.xi. 7. After he has killed your bodies, and fouls, and children, and ruined your estates, then he will kill your names that there shall no rememberance of you be upon the earth, unless it be the french of a rotten name. Thus will the Lord deal with you, O finners. The whirlwind of the Lord, that goes forth with fury, will blow away all your enjoyments, turn you out of all your possessions.

[graphic]

The Lord will banish you his presence. That almighty arm that stretched out the heavens, will tear your souls from your bodies, and throw you headlong into perdition : the weight of infinite wrath will sink you down into the bottomless pit; and omnipotence will dig a grave for your memory, wherein it will eternally rot. For the greatness of your iniquity ye may expect this. This is thy lot, the portion of thy measure from me, faith, the Lord, because thou haft forgotten me and trust. ed in falshood, Jer. xiii. 25. This is the satisfaction God requires: and think on it; this way will he be glorified in your ruin, if ye continu: in your sins.

I have at some length proved you all to be offenders, that God demands a reparution, and what that reparation is, which he doth demand of his injured honour, I have at some length made appear; I now proceed, according to the method proposed,

V. To demonstrate the reasonableness of this demand. I have shewn your ways to be most unequal; now I come to shew that God's ways are most equal, and that he acts very reasonably, in demanding so high: and this will appear to the conviction of the most obstinate finner, if the confiderations we offer for clearing this be duly weighed. And,

1. Let it be considered, That sin deserves such a punishment; and therefore it is very just to inflict

[ocr errors]

it. Nay, I might perhaps run this a little higher, and assert that therefore it would be unjust to

require any less, any more easy punithment. That · fin deserves it, is very plain, if we consider,

1. Against whom it strikes. This is the way of measuring offences agreed to all the world over, that the measure should be taken from the consideration of those against whom they strike. This we may observe in the laws of God, which enjoin that offences shall be punished according to the quality and condition of the offenders and the offended. The daughter of the high priest, if the committed uncleanness, was to be burned without mercy, Lev.xxi. 9. so was not every one who was guilty in that way. Again, he that curseth his father and mother is adjudged to die, Lev. xx. 9. so was not he that curseth his equal. The same measure is kept in our laws: if one kills his equal, then he dies; but there doth not thereby redound any injury to his posterity; but if a man kills the king, makes any attempt against the government, then life, lands, name and all goes. Now, if we. consider in this case the quality of the offender, a poor mean worm, that dwells in cottages of clay, that has his foundation in the dust, that is crushed before the moth, that holds all of God: And then on the other hand, consider him who is offended by every sin, not a prince, or some great man, who is but flesh and blood at the best; but the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, he who is a great God, and a great king, above all the earth: behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the illes as a very little thing: and Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. All nations

before

[graphic]

before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? There is no proportion here. Now, if it deserves so severe a punishment that is committed against man, what must it not deserve that is committed against this God? As it were injurious to compare God to man; so it is injurious to compare the demerit of any offence com. mitted against man, and the demerit of that which is cominitted against the great God.

2. Consider the damage that sin doth; and then we will see what lin deserves: we will see that the terrible punishment we have been discoursing of, is nothing too severe. If we consider man with respect to the creatures that are un. der him, the inanimate part of the creation, and the brutes; he was appointed to be their mouth, by which they llould pay homage to their Creator; he was to be their treasurer, to pay in a revenue of glory for them to their Creator and governor: but man by sin purs himself out of all capa. city for this; he lays an ill example before his fellow creatures. But all this is nothing when compared with the injury he doth to God by every fin. This, if throughly and well understood, would for ever clear the justice of God, in punishing sin with eternal punishment. True it is indeed what Elihu says, If thou finnest, what doft thou against him? or if thy'transgressions be multiplied what doft thou unto him? Job xxxv. 6. That is to fay, God lies beyond our reach; we cannot by our fins detract from, as neither can we by our holi- : ness add to his happiness; but this is no proof that we do him no injury. A rebel clapt up in prison, or in the hand of the king's guard, is not

able

able to reach the prince's person, nor render him dissatisfied; yet he may then injure him, and doth it, when he unjustly reflects upon his government. Just fo is it with sinners: indeed they can. not scale the walls of heaven, they are not able to climb over the eternal ramparts, which raise the fence of the Almighty's sacred throne, and there stab his person; but yet they injure him in his name and honour, and even in his life, by every fin: it is intended murder; and this is death by the laws of God and man. That among men it is not always punished fo, is only because it is not always discovered; for when it is discovered by words, or overt, though ineffectual, actions, it is punished. Every sin spits upon God's holiness, tramples upon his authority, brands his wisdom with folly, denies his goodness, and braves, and gives a defiance to his power: what punilhiment then can be too great for this? Now sure, (3.) Sin deferves it, if we consider the obligations that are by every sin trampled upon. Every one will own that the sins of children against their parents, of fervants against their masters, of subjects againft their lord, and the wives against their husbands, fare sins of a black hue, à crimson dy, and deferve therefore, a very severe punishment; and accordingly are so punished in all nations: but all these

obligations are none to what we all ly under to · God; so that there is more perfidy, falfhood, and

treachery in all our fins against God, than in any of these: therefore, it is but just that there should be a proportion kept bewixt the offences and the punishment :

4. That sin deserves such a punishment, is the judgment of God; and we know that his judgment is always according to truth. It is not the

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »