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the wrath of God. Wo's me that there is any
so grofly ignorant, in a church that has been bles-
sed with more clear and satisfying discoveries of
God's mind and will, than most churches in the
world. Ye say, ye have done no man any inju.
ry, and therefore ye will be saved. I answer, Ye
have injured God, and therefore ye will be dam-
ned. Ye say, ye have injured no man; I answer,
Ye understand not well what ye say, otherwise ye
should not have the confidence to talk at the rate
ye do. (1.) Ye have injured all with whom ye
have conversed, in whom ye are concerned, in as
far as ye have not laid out yourself in paying the
debt ye owe them. Love is a debt we owe to all,
Rom. xiii. 8, and he that has never evidenced his
love to them, in a serious concern about their fal.
vation, is extremely injurious to them, in as far
as he detains from them that which is unquesti-
onably their due: and past all peradventure, he
that was never serious about his own salvation, was
never really concerned about the salvation of o-
thers; and therefore has detained from them
what was their undoubted right. (2.) Didst thou
never see thy brother sin ? No doubt thou hast. :
Well then, didst thou reprove him? I fear not.
Yea, many of this sort of persons can, it may be,
see their own children, wives, servants, and near-
est relations, commit gross acts of sin, and yet ne.
ver reprove them. Is it not so with many of you?
I am sure ye cannot deny it. Well, is not this a
real injury done to those persons ye shouid have re-
proved ? It is a hating them in your heart. God
himself says so, and sure his judgment is accord-
ing to truth, Lev. xix. 17. Thou shalt not hate
thy brother in thy heart: thou shalt in any ways
rebuke thy neighbour, and not fuffer sin upon him.

fee tekeitions, comm. Is it not

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In fine, with what confidence dare ye say ye have done no man any injury, when by a tract of sin, ye have been doing the utmost ye could to bring down the wrath of a sin-revenging God upon your selves, and upon all who live with you in the same society? *- IV. Others, when pursued by the discoveries of sin, get in behind the church privileges, and think there to screen themselves from the wrath of God. Thus it was with the wretches spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah, in that vii chap, of his book; they did steül, murder, commit adultery, swear falsy, burn incense unto Baal. Well, the Lord threatens them with wrath, bids them amend their ways and their doings: but they fat still secure and unconcerned, never affected either with the discovery of fin, or with threatenings of wrath. What is the matter? Have the men no sense of hazard at all? They could not altogether. 6 Thut their eyes upon the clear discoveries the prophet made of their sins to them, or of that consequential misery he did threaten them withal; but they sheltered themselves behind their church privileges, and they cry out to him, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these, ver. 4. And I make no doubt but it is so with fome of you. It may be, ye rea. son as Manoah did in another case, If the Lord designed to damn us, he would not have given us. ordinances as he has done. Now, I only offer two or three things that will sufficiently expose the weakness of this defence,' or hiding place. And, (1.) I fay, Ye may indeed reason thus, God has established gospel ordinances, the signs of his presence amongst us; therefore he will fave fome. He will not bring the means of grace without doing


fome good by them. Yet, (2.) I say ye cannot thence infer that he will save you; for, 1. Many who have had the gospel ordinances have been damned. 2. It is not the having, but the improving of them that faves any. 3. To lean up. on them is the worst misimprovement of them possible, and therefore take care that ye trust not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are there. · V. Others finding no shelter from their convi. {tions here, betake themselves to their good duties. We tell them, they are sinners, and lay open to their eyes their miserable and wretched condition and state : they turn their eyes to their duties, and, like the Pharisee spoken of by our Lord, Luke xviii. 11. they will stop the mouth of conscience, with an enumeration of their performances, whereby they excel others. True it is, will such an one fay, I have finned; but on the other hand, I am not guilty of grofs outbreakings, and scandulous fins; nay, more, I am much and frequent in the performance of the duties of religion, I pray, I fast, I communicate, and a great many other things I do, and therefore I hope to get heaven notwithstanding all my sins, o how natural is it for man to prefer a defenceless hiding place of his own contrivance, to the impreguable city of refuge contrived by infinite wif dom and grace. the homespun robe of his own, to the heaven-wrought robe of Christ's righteous

Chrifti ishrewna ness? Here many of you hide yourselves; I pray, I read, I seek into God, and therefore all is well: A fad conclusion! To this plea l'anfwer, (1.) If ye should dissolve in tears, pray till your knees grow into the ground, and give all ye have in alms, and fast every day; all this will not atone

N 2:1


Thelter their good discovered in and convictions

for one sin. (2.) Your best duties do but increase your guilt. This the church well faw, Ifa. Ixiv. 6. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags, (3.) Good duties when rested on, have damned many, but never did, nor ever shall save any. To lean to them, is to say to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods; a sin that the Lord forbids and abominates.

VI. Another fort of persons, when convictions get hold of them, and their in and misery are plainly and clearly discovered to them, get in behind their good resolutions, and thereby they shelter themselves. They resolve to consider of this matter at a more convenient season, like Fe. lix who disinissed Paul when once he came to deal closely with him, and promised him a hearing afterwards: fo do many, when they are almost convinced, they dimiss convictions, and promise to hear them afterwards. Now, I shall address myself to such in a few serious expoftulatory que Ntions. And, (1.) I enquire at you, Is the confideration of sin and misery, and of your escape from it, a business to be delayed? Is there any thing that ye can be concerned about that deserves to be preferred to this? Is there any hazard like damnation ? any mercy comparable to salvation from the wrath of God? If a man gain a world and lose a foul, is he profited by the exchange? (2.) Who is better judge of the most convenient : occasion, God or ye? He has determined the prefent opportunity to be the best: Now is the ac

cepted time, now is the day of salvation, (3.) I When art thou refolved to take under serious con

sideration thy sin and misery, that now thou Thiftest the thoughts of? Ye must surely fay, that it will be some time after this. But now I ask you,


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What certainty have ye of such a time? And what
certainty have ye that ye shall then have the means.
that are necessary in order to this end ? I believe
ye dare not say that ye are sure of either. (4.)
Sure I am, fome who in the same manner have
made many fair promises and resolutions, have.
thereby cheated themselves out of their souls.
But a ,
. VII. Sort get in behind their own ignorance,
and think to shelter themselves there. They pro-
mise themselves safety, though they be not con-
cerned about salvation, because they are but igno-
rant. God, say they, may deal severely with o.
thers that know better things; but for me, I hope
he will have mercy upon me, because I know no
better. With what astonishing confidence have
we heard some plead this! Ye say ye are ignorant,
and therefore God will have mercy upon you; I
say ye are ignorant, and therefore God will have
110 mercy upon you, Isa. xxvii. ii. Ye are igno-
rant, but whose fault is it? Has not God given
you the means of knowlege? Has not the light of
the glorious gospel shined clearly about you? Have
not others got knowlege by the use of the very
lame means which ye have neglected and night-
ed? This is a common excuse for sins, but a most
unhappy one as ever any meddled withal; for,
(1.) God has expresly told us, that ignorant people
shall be damned, 2 Theff. 1. 8,9. (2.) He has
told us that ignorance will be the ground of the
sentence. This is the condemnation of ignoranti
sinners, that they love darkness rather than light,
John. iii, 19. Nor will it excuse you to tell, that
ye want time ; for, (1.) All other things should
give place to this. Seek forft the kingdom of God,
and the righteousness. thereof, and other things will




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