« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
1. Read and open, as it were, the charge and indictment we do in God's name bring against you.
2. Lead witnesses, whereby we shall prove it a gainst you all in general.
3. Endeavour particularly by arguments to make our charge good. (1.) Against children and young men. (2.) Against these of a middle age. And (3.) against old men and old women. This we shall do, as it were, by taking you to the plaees, the companies and occasions where you have Inned, and incurred the guilt now' charged on you.
4. Shew what satisfaction our great Lord demands against such traitors."
5. What reason he has to require it. And then,
6. Endeavour to represent to you, your misery upon this account.
1. The charge we lay against you, is not some petty, fome small misdemeanour, that may be a toned for by à bare acknowlegement, by some pitiful mock, God have mercy upon me. No; the charge draws deep, it is no less crime than that of fin, sin against the great Sovereign of the world. Ye all have sinned. O if ye knew what a world of evil is in that cursed thing. Sin! When we say, ye have finned, you are ready to say, () we kpow that well enough, is this all ye have to say? When we heard of such a dreadful thing as a charge and indietment in the name of God against us, when we heard of leading witnesfes,and all the other parts of a trial, we did apprehend there was Some terrible thing a coming, kome dreadful, unheard of evil to be laid home to our door; but now we find there is nothing said against us but only that we are finners, and who will de.iy this?' Who knows it not? and this is
i but the common lot. God be merciful to us, we are all sinners, and there the repentance of most is done; their fores are healed, and they can live, and it may be die, without any fear in this case: such light apprehensions have most part of sin. . if yet ye will not fee its sinfulness, I will take you where you may fee fome more of it. Go take a view of it,
These, these it may be, are the apprehensions of not a few of you, upon hearing the charge: but if there be not blind minds, fhut eyes, deaf ears and dreadfully hard hearts amongst us ; ere all be done, some of you will, it may be, change your minds, and think this a very dreadful and heavy charge. If God would now concur by his spyrit; and enable us to manage our work to purpose, if he would let out of the convincing influences of his spirit, the weight of this charge would prefs you so, as to make your hearts fail and sink within you. · Sin is an ordinary word, a little word, and most inen do apprehend that there is but little in it; but mistake it not, there is much in it, more than angels or men can ever discover, or fully un- " fold; yet that all this that we have faid may not seem a groundless allegation, I shall, 1. set up to you fome glasses, wherein you may get a view of fin's ugly face; or I shall, as Balak did Balaam, take you to such places, where you may get a sight of its formidable nature, power and malig. . nity. 2. I fall tell you of some dreadful and monstrous evils that are lodged in every fin, the least idle thought or word. And, 3. I shall mention fome' killing aggravations that your fins are clothed with, that put an accent upon them, and inhance their guilt. And this will let you see the great evil of sin; this will open your indictment.
First. We shall give you some prospects of sin.
It may be many of you do think but very little of sin, but here I desire you to come and look at it, · 1. In the glass of God's law. See the holy, the high and exalted God, exhibiting his minu and will in two tables, tables containing safe, good, holy, just, spiritual, and every way advantagious rules, for that creature, whom God has taken so distinguishing and particular a care of. Well, what shall we fee of sin here? here, O here, you may fee fin breaking, nay, dashing to pieces these two tables, in a worle sense than Moses did, Exod. xxxi. 19. Every sin, the least sin, throws them both to the ground, for as the apostle James tells us, Whofoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all, James ii. 1o. Is it a small thing to you to trample upon, to tread under foot, the holy, the righteous law of God, that is, the perfect image and representation of all his holiness and spotlels purity ? but if yet ye will not see the cursed nature of sin, then we bid you, in the
2d Place, Take a view of it in the nature of the great God, the seat of all majesty, glory, beauty: and excellency; and if you look at it here, O how ugly will it appear ! Nothing in all the world contrary and opposite to the nature of God, but sin. The meanest, the most apparently deformed creature in the world, the toad, the crawling insect, carries in its nature nothing really opposite to the nature of God: sin, only sin ftands in opposition to him. This he cannot dwell with. Evil shall not dwell with him, nor finners stand in his fight. Such is that abhorrence that God has at sin, that when he speaks of it, his heart as it were rises against it, Oh do not that abominable thing, which I hate; in that forecited Jer. xliv. 4, And
3. In the threatenings of the law, and fee there what estimate God puts on it, and what a thing it is. All the power of heaven, the anger, the fury, the vengeance of God, all are levelled at the head of fin. Take but one instance for all, in that vii of Joshua; there a people accustomed to victory, turn their back before the enemy, fall a' prey to a people devoted to destruction ; nay, moreover, God in the 12 ver. calls all the people accurfed, and tells, they cannot stand before the e iemy, neither will I be with you any more, says he. Why, what is the matter wherefore is the heat of all this anger? what meaneth this vengeance? The matter was, there was a sin committed, Achan had taken fome of the spoil of the enesny. Thus you fee, one sin makes God breathe out threatenings against a whole nation. In fine, look through the book of God, and there you shall fee one threatening big with temporal, another with eternal plagues; one full of external, another of internal and spiritual woes; and all as it were levelled at the head of sin. And is that a finall matter which never fails to fet all the vengeance of heaven' against the person that is guilty of it? But yet this is not all, you may fee more, if ye . look at it,
4. In the judgments of God that are abroad in the earth. Look we to one nation, there we shall fee thousands falling before the avenging enemy, the fword glutted as it were with blood; men who a little before were possessed of wisdoin, courage, and all these endowments which serve to enhance the worth of the fons of men, are here laid heaps
upon heaps. Go we to another, there we hall see no fewer carried off by sickness and diseafes; ' and all wearing out by time. Go to church-yards, ånd fee what vast havoc these do make; there . you may see the rubbifh of many generations laid heaps upon heaps. Well, fee you nothing of fin in all this? What think you of all these lamentable evils, miseries and woes? Why, see you nothing of sin in them all? Sure you are blind if you do not. I ask you as Jehu did, when he saw the dead fons of Achab, 2 Kings X. 9. Who New all these? Who brought all these fons, of pride, who not long ago were strangely ruffling it out in the light of warlike glory, down to the sides of ihe pit? who filled your church-yards with heaps upon heaps, fathers and fons, high and low, rich and poor, of all fexes, ranks, ages and degrees? Surely sin has done this; for as by one mar sin entered into the world, and death by fin: and fo death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned, Rom. 1. 12. But if still you will look upon sin as a small , and light thing, we have yet another glass where
mining the natitit B in you may have a further sight of it.
5. Enter the houfe of a foul under trouble of conscience; look at a Heman, and you shall hear him making an heavy mone in that lxxxviii. Plalm: there you see a man that has a soul full of trouble, oppressed with all the waves and billows of the wrath of God, almost distracted with the terrors of God. Now, if you saw one in this case crying out in anguish of spirit; nay, it may be, tearing himself, beating his breast; ask him the Teason of all this distress, he will tell you, That it is sin that has done all this. He has no rest in his bones for ills that he has done, Plal. xxxviii. 3. And if yet ye have not seen enough of the sinful