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have not refused our testimony, but the testimo. ny of God, who cannot lie: and he that believ. eth not the record of God, hath made him a liar; than which none can charge a greater impiety upon the holy God, who values himself upon this, that he cannot lie, which is peculiar to God only; for however there be of the creatures that do not lie, yet of none of them can it be faid, that they cannot lie; this is God's sole prerogative. (2.) Ye have shut your eyes upon clear light. Your sin and misery have been set before you in the clearest light, the light of God's word. The matter has not been minced, but ye have been plainly and freely dealt with upon this head: therefore ye need to look well to yourselves, that God strike you not judicially blind. This he is frequently wont to do to those who resist clear light; he leaves them to Satan, the God of this world, to blind their eyes, and gives them up to strong delusions to believe lies, that they may all be damned that believe not. (3.) We did call in ' , heaven and hell, the creator and the whole creation, as witnesses of that certain and fad truth, that man has sinned and come short of the glory of God. I know not one witness more but fense, and since no less is like to do, take care that sense of misery do not convince you of its truth. Hell will make you, even the most incredulous of you, be. lieve, and tremble too, as the devilsand damned do."
(3.) I come now to discourse those who there. fore are not convinced of sin, or induced to lay falvation to heart, notwithstanding the pains taken on them, because they have defended themselves against the force of the truths proposed, by some Thifts, which upon occasion they use for quieting or keeping quiet their consciences. Of this fort I
fear there are many, too many here present; and therefore I shall deal more particularly and closely with such. We have laid before you all your fin and misery; but few are yet awakened ; few fay* with the jaylor in the text, What must I do to be faved? Whence is it so ? Has not fin been laid open to your view ? Has not the sad but certain truth, That all have finned and come sort of the glory of God, been plainly demonstrate from many incontestable evidences? Nay more, has not the particular concernment of every one of us in this truth, been plainly unfolded? Yes, no doubt: but whence is it then, that the most part are so secure? that there is so little fear of hell, wrath and damnation amongst us? Are there none here who have reason to fear it? No doubt, there are many, , ; too many such amongst us: but here it lies; when the truth is pressed home upon the conscience, we have a strange way of putting divine truths away from us. Now, I shall lay open the nakedness of these fences, behind which most of us screen ourselves from convictions. I . • 1. When sin and misery are discovered, fome there are amongst the hearers of the gospel, who take with the charge. If we say to them, as Naa . than did to David, in the application of the parable, Thou art the man, thou art the woman that has sinned, that art in danger of the eternal wrath of God: 0 then, answers the sinner, it is very true what ye tell, I have finned; and God be mere ciful to us, we are all finners; I hope God will be merciful to me. And there the wound is skinned over, as foon as made, and the person is heal. This is the refuge to which many of you betake yourselves : but we shall pursue you to the horns of God's altar, and fetch you down thence. Ye.
fay God is merciful: I say, (1.) It is very true, he is so. The Lord has long since proclaimed his name, The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, and he delights in such as hope in his mercy, Pfal. cxlvii. 11. But, (2.) notwithstanding of the mercy of God, there are but few that shall be sav, ed, Luke xiii. 23. Now, who has told you, that ye shall be among that few? Ye say, ye hope to be amongst that few who shall find mercy; and I fear ye shall not. . Now, whether are your hopes or my fears best grounded? I can give some account of my fears; but I doubt if ye can give any of your hopes. I say, I fear that many of you be damned; for, as I said before, there are but few that shall be saved; and these few are all penitent finners, who have been convinced of fin and mifery, and have laid salvation to heart above all things, and have accepted of Christ upon the gospel terms. Now, it is obvious that there are but very few of you of this fort; and our Lord has faid positively, That he who believeth not, shall not fee life, but shall be damned. Now where are the grounds of your hopes? Ye fay, God is merciful: and I answer, he is just also; and his justice has as fair a plea against you, as his mercy has for you: ye say', he has saved some sinners, and there. fore hope he will have mercy upon you. I an. swer, He has damned more than he hath had mercy upon, and therefore he may deal fo with you too. Ci but, say ye, I cannot think that God will be so cruel as to damn me. I answer, What more cruelty will it be to damn you, than to damn the heathen world? What more cruelty to damn you, than to damn the generality of unbe. lievers, which make the fargreater part of the hearers, of thegospel : Infine, is it cruelty to damn you, who
have innumerable fins, when it was none, God thought it none, to send so many angels into hell for one sin ? Is it cruelty to punish you, who have neglected the means of salvation, when others have been damned that never had them? Who would say the prince were cruel, or wanted mercy, who caused execute the threatened punishment against obstinate offenders? Now, where are all your hopes from the mercy of God? I tell you, there are thousands this day in hell, who have been ruined by such presumptuous hopes of mercy; and I fear there are many more who shall be fo, ere all be done.
II. Others again, when beat from this defence, betake themselves to another not one whit better: O, say they, we are in no danger, for we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I answer, (1.) It is very true, they who do believe are indeed out of all hazard. But I say, (2.) Are ye sure that ye believe? Many have been mistaken; and are ye sure that ye are in the right? The foolish virgins thought themselves believers, and it may be went a further length than ye can pretend to have gone; as ye may see if ye look to the parable, Matth. xxv. 1. They had professions, they had lamps; upon the bridegroom's call they awake, and endeavour to trim their lamps to make them shine; they are convinced of the want of oil, and endeavour to get it; and yet were éternally shut out from the presence of God. Now with what face dare any of you pretend to believe, when ye come not up that length that we have just now let you see others come, and yet perish? Are there not among you who will say ye believe, and yet can drink drunk, can swear, mock religion, and entertain a heart-batred at such as go beyond you in
strictness, can ridicule them, and call them hypocrites? I fear there may be some such amongst you. I tell you, ye have no faith but such as may go to hell with you. Faith works by love, is a heart-pu. rifying grace, and discovers itself by a course of obedience, according to that of the apostle James, Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will Mew thee my faith by my works, Jam. ii. 16. (3.) Ye say ye believe: when did ye believe? Did ye always believe? Yes, we always did believe. Say ye fo? O horrid ignorance ! Ye say ye did always believe; I say, ye did never to this day believe ; for we are not born believers, but unbelievers; and if ye think that ye did always believe, it is proof enough, that to this day ye are strangers to the precious faith of God's elect. I shall not at present insist in discovering the folly of luch a pretence to faith, because I shall have occasion, if the Lord will, afterwards to discourse more at length, of faith, and of the difference betwixt it, and those counterfeits of it whereon many do rely. Only I say at present, that where faith is, it will lead to concern about salvation, and will lay hold upon the discoveries of fin, and that faith which is not endeavouring to get the soul in which it dwells, more and more convinced of, and huinbled for fin, is to be suspected.
III. When sin is held forth, and the law preach-'. ed, then others will shelter themselves under the fig-leaf of their own blameless walk. Come to some of these who have all their days lived in a state of estrangement and alienation from God, and pose them, when they ly upon a sick-bed, or a death-bed, as to their state: they will say, they hope all is well, they fhall be saved, they never did any body ill; and therefore they never feared