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have reason to think, that the Lord gave the man a broad sight of all his other impieties. When the Lord lights a candle in a sinner's bofom, though some one great sin occurs first, yet he quickly turns to others, and looks through the ugly heart that was never seen before, and sees it full of sins. The Lord tells sinners sometimes' all that ever they did, by telling them one sin; and thus no doubt it was with the jaylor. In the .
10. And last place, the posture the poor man is in when he puts the melancholy question, What must I do to be saved? deserves our notice; he is fallen upon his face; not to worship: this the apostles would not have permitted, as they did not upon other occasions: but either it is only a civil respect he pays them after the fashion of fupplicants in the eastern countries; or his trembling
legs were not able to support his body; or partly - the one, and partly the other occasioned this posture.
The next thing that falls under our consideration, is the answer which the apostles give to the jaylor's question, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house. This contains the substance of the gospel; and'it is this part of the words we principally design to insist on. I shall refer the explication of them, till such time as I have done with what is designed from the question; because I do not incline to burden you with too tedious an explicaton of the words.
From the question itself then, according to the account just now given of its ineaning, we 1117!! lay before you, and discourse of this one doctric nal proposition. '
“A linner that is awakened and foundly con« vinced of sin, and of misery its necessary confe
“ quent “ quent and companion, will lay falvation ferious
“ ly to heart; or will with concern put the questi. i “ on, What must I do to be saved?"
This we fee is the first fruit of conviction in the jaylor, Sirs, What must I do to be faved? This was the immediate result of conviction in the awakened converts, Acts ii. 37. And thus it will be with all who are indeed awakened and con. vinced of sin, unless there be fome such concomi. tant circumstances as hinder it necessarily, of which anon. -. In discoursing this doctrine, we shall,
I. Premise a few things for clearing the doetrine..
II. Enquire what this falvation is, which awak„ened (inners feek after. . .
Ill. We shall endeavour to give some account of this concern about salvation, which is the result' of conviction.
IV. We shall Mew why it is that convinced sinners do lay falvation to heart. Now, of each of these in order. . . . . - I. We begin with the first, and for clearing our doétrine, we offer to your consideration a few propofitions.
1. Conviction is that sight of sin and misery which finners get, when the spirit of God presents them to the foul's view, in their nature, and their necessary connection with one another, together with the firner's interest and concernment in them; and that in fo clear a light, that he cannot but take notice of them. (1.) We say the spirit of God fets fin and misery in their own nature before the sinner's eyes, in a clear light. There is no man who has not some apprehensions of sin and misery; every one discourses of these things.
jou Education, the dispensation of the word, and con. Eelis verse have begot some notions of fin in every bo.
dy's mind: but for åny.clear discoveries of sin in its nature, few have them. The thoughts of men about fin, are, for the most part, like the thoughts of a man who never saw a toad with a full light: if any man should tell him how lothsom a crea. ture it were; and withal, in the twilight thew him one, when he could not distinguish it from a piece of curious jet lying by it, he would not be much affected with the account, nor would his thoughts of its deformity and ugliness answer the thing itself: but if the Sun should dart down a beam of its light upon the lothrom creature, the man would fee it, and it may be then his fieth would begin to fhrink, and it would fill him with averfion. Just so is it with unconvinced sinners: they fee fin, but it is only in the twilight of reason, education, or the external dispensation of the word; therefore they are not affected with it, nor do they fee any peculiar deformity in it, uniil the Spirit of God let in a ray of fupernatural light, and then this very quickly fills the foul with a view of its exceeding finfulness, which makes the heart begin to shrink at it, and entertain it with aversió on. The cafe is just the same with respect to that mifery that is the consequent and companion of sin. Till once the Lord make bare his arm, in the finner's view, and cast in fome drops of wrath into his soul, with a certification that chele are but drops, he will never be duly affected with it. (2.) The Spirit of God in conviction not only presents fin and misery to the soul in their own nature, but likewise in their connection. God has
linked sin and hell together. It always was low · but finners do not always think so. Groundless
. ap. apprehensions of God, as if he were all mercy, his patience in forbearing the execution of such as deserve double destruction, the subtil reasonings of Satan, the world and deceitful lufts, either beget a persuasion that sin and wrath may be separate, or elfe a fufpicion that it is not certain that they are so linked together, as the word says, and ministers aver. But the Spirit of God presents the two in their dependence and connection, in such a light to the finner's mind, that he cannot but believe that there is no parting them. (3.) The Spirit of God discovers to the finner how deeply he is concerned in sin, and consequently in that wo that is linked to it. He not only lets him see the toad crawling at a distance, but upon his very clothes. He not only tells him that a certain man has finned, as Nathan did in the parable; but ap. plies the parable, and says, Thou art the man. He not only lets the sinner fee hell and sin linked together; but also lers him fce the one end of the chain, fin, fastened to himself: and all this he discovers with such clearness, as obliges the sinner to notice it.
2. We premise this, That there are different degrees of conviction, and that both as to its clearneis, extent and continuance. Upon loine per. fons, fome, faint rays break in, and open their eyes fomewhat above nature's power, letting thein see å little more clearly. Upon others there come in full beains, discovering all distinctly, like the Sun shining in his strength. Again, fome discover only a few; others get 'under their view many sins: the light that shines upon some, is only like a Hath of lightening, that fills the house with furpriling light, and is presently gone again; or like the warm bliuks of the Sun before a shower, which
are presently gone, and the sky filled with dark clouds. So various are convictions, as to their de: grees of clearness, extent and continuance. These convictions which are only faint, and reach only to a few fins, we are not here speaking of, when we speak of a sinner that is throughly awakened or convinced.
3. The issues and consequences of conviction are no less various. These fainter discoveries of sin, which many meet with in the dispensation of the word, or by awakening providences, usually carry people the length of some faint desires after deliverance; or if they rise' higher, it feldom goes further than good resolutions, and there they die. The great flashes of light, which dart into the minds of some, very often miscarry, and turni to nothing. It is much with the persons who fall under them, as it is with a man that is awakened by a flash of lightening that darts into his bed : the noise of a thunder-clap that comes along with it, may make the man start up before he is well awaked; and the light unexpectedly discovering many things, occasions a great confusion in his rnind; but presently the noise is over, and the light gone, and then the natural temper of his body, the softness and ease of the bed he lies in, do invite him afresh to sleep; and though by the light that came in, he might see the room full of enemies, he is easily persuaded that all was but illusi. ons of fancy, and therefore he lays himself down as gain,and falls faltasleep. Thus it is with many: they hear the thunderings of the law in the preaching of the word, and sometimes the Spirit of God'lets a beam of light into the heart with them, that fills all the soul with fear, discovering the deadly foes that are lodged and secretly entertained there; this