« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Where can ye lay the blame of it? (1.) Dare
ye fay thắt'ye wanted the means of salvation? No this ye cannot, ye dare not say, for if ye shall fo do, we are all here witneffes for God again t' you nay, your own consciences shall arise and fly in your faces, and force you, though unwilling, to own that ye have had the means. (2.) Dare ve fay that the means are not fufficient to the end for which they are offered ? No, I am sure there thall not be one that ever had'then, who shall dare to Charge then with insufficiency. And if any of you should arrive at that height of intolerable infolence and impudences to do it, it were easy, to stop their mouths: For God might alk you, when standing at his tribunal, Firs?, How do ye know thein to be in fufficient, since ve were never at the pains to try them! Next, He might stop your mouth thus, Behofd here upon my right hand that innumerable company out of all kindreds, tongues andnations: and how were they fav: ed? If ye should go to them all, and ask them onc by one, would they not all with one yoice answer to your eternal shame and confusion, that by the use of these very means you had, but neglected, they were saved? (3.) If yet ye will not see that all tlie blame of your destruction will come only to your own door, then I ask you, on whom will ye say the blame Dare ye say it upon any
other but yourselves, with any tolerable Shadow of ground:
not. To blame the devil, or the World, is'doxnright noffene, for.it is falvation froin them that ye was to feek, and to tell that there are the cife of your fuin, when ye hadi lief again hein offered, is vain ; for it may calily he asked at a person who has lived under the gospel, and gives Satan' or the world the blame of oudt $190 1?
I know ye
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 yourselves as the principal cause of it, which iş all we plead; for we do not exeme them from a share in the guilt of it. Now, this being in-i contestably evident, it remains that either Christ, or his ministers are chargeable with your damnation, or that ye yourselves only are fo.
As for our blessed Lord and master, we offer now to undertake his vindication against any that shall dare to accuse him. We have abundance to speak in his behalf; and are resolved to ascribe righteousness to our Maker. In his vindication, I appeal to your own confciences in a few particu• lars. (1.) Is be not indeed a fufficient Savioun, 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 witnefes fes, who all have, by faith in his name, got above the reach of finy death and hell.. (2.) Did ever! any of you come to him, and get a refulal? Pros: duce your instances of this sort, if ye can. We darai 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 saved? 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 precept, and line upon. line? And now, to conclude, 1 pose you on it, what: could he have done more to you that he has not done?
But it may be ye will lay it to our door, and fay, though Christ did his part, yet his servants!
have not done theirs ; they have not given you fair warning. As for their vindication I answer a few things ; and I say, (1.) Though they may be guilty, and conceal, or at least fail of faithfulness in their duty, yet your dannuation is of youre' selves: for ye have the word of God that is plain, that is full, in its reprefentation of your sin and misery; and had you paid a dué regard to that, ye could not have missed of salvation: therefore, yet your destruction is of yourselves. But, (2.) We refuse the charge of your blood, and tell you that ye have destroyed yourselves, if ye" 'leep 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 wel not been pressing, in order to your conviction? We have told you with earnestness, both your sin and danger. We have looked from our watchtower through the prospect of the word of God, and have seen the wrath of God ready" to seize you; and we have not concealed his righteousness with in us. And now, the Lord, the righteous judge, be witness betwixt 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 must own that we have sinned, even with respect to you. but this will not make your blood to be: charged upon us ; since, in order to our exoneration as to that, it is only required we give you? warning of your danger; and if ye be fain sleep! ing, ye are to blame. There is one word more 1 have to say to you in the
6th 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 sure to refuse the second. Christ will be refufed by you, and we will seem to you like them that mock. But whatever use ye make of it, we 'Thall proceed in our work: and if we prove not the favour of life you,
the favour of death; for we are a sweet favour'unto Ged' in them that are faved, and in them that perish, and if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lojt, 2 Cor, 1. 3. I come now,
Secondly, To speakra word to such as are awakened, and are saying, with the convinced jaylor in
the text, Whut Mall I do to be saved? and to you we fay,
1. Bless the Lord, who has opened your eyes. Ye were naturally as niuch inclined to sleep or as others; and it is only the distinguishing goodness of God that has made you to differ.in ***2. Study to keep your eyes open. If ye shut them again, and lose convia ions, then ye may never recover thein agáin. If ye quench the fpiFit, it is hard to say but the issue may prove fatal to you. If God, being provoked by your ftiAling conviction, fhall give over dealing with you, I may fay, Wounto you, for ye are undone eternally. And that ye have got your eyes opened in some meafure; to discover your bazard, will be fo far from 'mending the matter, that it will make it much worfe; it will put an accent upon your fin, and likest ife upon your puniftment.
3: Endeavour to improve the discoveries, ye have got of fin, and tetk not only to keep your' eyes open, but to have them further opened. The more clear the fight of sin is, which ye get, the more welcome will ye 'make the gospel-tender of 03
smercy and relief, the more sincerely and heartily will ye close with it.
4. Would ye indeed be sayed? then take the jadvice in the text, Believe in the Lord Jesus Chrift, and thou
shalt be saved. This leads me to that which I did principally design in the choice of this subject; therefore I hall, if the Lord will, insist upon it at length, because it is the very fum and substance of the gospel, that which compriles all the rest.
We have hitherto represented your cafe by na„ture, as ye are under fin; and have hiņted shortly fat your cale, as under the influences of the spirit in conviction : now we shall proceed to a discovery of the gospel relief, that is provided by infinite wisdom, for such as are awakened to a discovery of atheir loft and undone ftate; and that lies before us in this 3. 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 dis-course of that which we have principally in our eye.
The words contain a direction given to the distressed and awakened jaylor; and, in them we may take notice,
1. Of the person to whom the direction is given ; and, as was just now faid, he is an awakened and convinced linner. This is the gospel method; it proposes its remedy, not to these who are whole and welly in their own eyes, but to such as are disealed, Chrilt is tendered to such as need him, and are sensible that they do so. The foundation of the gospel is laid iis conviction of fin. Hence it is, that we find gospel ministers begin their work here; 'of which we have many eminent and