Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

firey indignation. There is no pain more exquisite, than that which is caused by fire; and no fire fo piercing as the fire of God's indignation, that burns into the lowest hill, Deut. xxxii. 22.' The arrows of men's wrath can pierce fieth, blood and bones: but cannot reach the foul: but the wrath of God will sink into the soul, and so pierce a man in the most tender part. Like as, when a person is thunderftruck, oft-times there is not a wound to be seen in the kin; yet life is gone, and the bones are, as it were, melted: fo God's wrath can penetrate into, and melt one's soul within him, when his earthly comforts stand about hin entire, and untouched as in Bellhuzzar's cafe, Dan. v.6. (6.) It is constant wrath, running parallel with the man's continuance in an unregenerate state; constantly attending him, from the womb to the grave. There are few so dark days, but the sun sometimes looketh out from under the clouds: but the wrath of God, is an abiding cloud on the fubjects of it, John iii 36. The wrath, of God abideth on hiin that believes not. (7.) It is eternal. O miserable soul! If thou fly not from this wrath unto Jesus Christ, thy misery had a beginning, but it shall never have an end. Should devouring death wholly swallow thee up, and for ever hold thee fast in a grave; it would be kind, but thou must live again, and never die; that thoiz mayst be ever dying, in the hands of the living God. Cold death will quench the flame of man's wrath against us, if nothing else do it; but God's wrath, when it has come on the sinner, millions of ages will still be the wrath to come, Matth. iii, 7. i Theff. i. 10. As the waterof a river is still coming, how much soever of it has passed. While God is, he will pursue the quarrel. Lastly, Howsoever dreadful it is, and tho' it be eternal, yet it is most just wrath : it is a clear fire, without the least smoak of unjustice. The sea of wrath raging with greatest fury against the finner, is clear as chrystal. The Judge of all the earth can do no wrong. He knows no transports of pallion, for they are inconfiftent with the perfection of his nature. Is God un.. righteous, who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then, how mall God judge the world? Rom. ill. 5,6.

[ocr errors]

The Doctrine of the State of Wrath confirmed and vindicated.

[ocr errors]

Avected all mener the cup wratta, hot, as mais a richte is of purs

II. I shall confirm the doctrine. Consider, (1.) How peremptory the threatning of the first covenant is; In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die, Gen. ii. 17. Hereby sin and punishment being connected, the veracity of God ascertains the execution of the threat. ning. Now all men being by nature under this covenant, the breach of it lays thein under the curse. (2.) The justice of God requires that a child of sin be a child of wrath ; that the law being broken, the fan&tion thereof thould take place. God, as man's ruler and Judge, cannot but do right, Gen. xviii. 25 Now it is a righteous thing with God to recompence sin with wrath, 2 Theff. 1. 6. He is of purer syes, than-to belold evil, Hab. i, 13And he hates all the workers of

iniquity, Psal. v. 6. (3.) The horrors of a natural conscience prove this. There is a conscience in the breasts of men, which can tell them, they are finners; and therefore liable to the wrath of God. Let men, at any time, soberly commune with themselves, and they will find they have the witness in themselves, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things, are worthy of death, Rom. i. 32. (4.) The pangs of the new birth, the work of the spirit of bondage on elect souls, in order to their conversion, demonstrate this. Hereby their natural sinfulness and misery, as liable to the wrath of God, are plainly taught them, filling their hearts with fear of that wrath. Now that this fpirit of bondage is no other than the Spirit of God, whose work is to convince of sin, righteousness, and judgment, (John xvi. 8.) this testimony must needs be true; for the Spirit of truth cannot witness an untruth. Mean while, true be. lievers being freed froin the state of wrath, receive not the spirit of bondage again to fear, but receive the Spirit of adoption, Rom. iii. 15. - And therefore, if fears of that nature do arise, after the soul's union with Christ : they come from the saint's own spirit, or from a worse. Lastly, The sufferings of Christ plainly prove this doctrine. Where. fore was the Son of God, a Son under wrath, but because the child. ren of men were children of wrath? He suffered the wrath of God, not for himself, but for thofe that were liable to it in theirown persons. Nay, this not only speaks us to have been liable to wrath ; but also that wrath must have a vent, in the punishing of sin. If this was done in the green tree, what will become of the dry? What a miserable case must a sinner be in that is out of Christ; that is not vitally united to Christ, and partakes not of his Spirit? God, who spared not his own Son, surely will not spare such an one.

But the unregenerate man, who has no great value for the honour of God, will be apt to rise up against his Judge, and in his own heart condemn his procedure. Nevertheless the Judge being infinitely just, the sentence must be righteous. And'therefore, to Itop thy mouth, O proud finner, and to still thy clamour against the righteous Judge, consider, First, Thou art a linner by nature, and it is highly reasonable that guilt and wrath be as old as sin. Why should not God begin to vindicate his honour, as soon as vile worms begin to impare it? Why shall not a serpent bite the thief, as soon as he leaps over the hedge? Why should not the threatning take hold of the sinner, as soon as he casts away the command? The poisonous nature of the serpent affords a man sufficient ground to kill it, as soon as ever he can reach it; and, by this time thou mayît be convinced, that thy nature is a very compound of enmity against God. Secondly, Thou hast not only an enmity against God, in thy nature; but halt discovered it, by actual sins, which are in his eye acts of hostility. Thou has brought forth thy lust into the field of battle against thy Sovereign CORD. And now, that thou art such a criminal, thy condemnation is juft: for, besides the fin of thy nature, thou halt done that against heaven, which

[ocr errors]

if thou had done against men, thy life behoved to have gone for it ; and shall not wrath from heaven overtake thee? (1.) Thou art guilty of high treason, and rebellion against the King of heaven. The thought and with of thy heart, which he knows as well as the language of thy mouth, has been, no God, Plal. xiv. 1. Thou hast rejected his government, blown lhe trumpet, and set up the standard of rebellion against him: being one of these that say, We will not have this man to reign over us, Lake xix. !4 Thou hast ftriven against, and quenched his Spirit; practically disowned his laws proclaimed by his messengers; .. stopped thine ears at their voice, and sent them away mourning for thy pride. Thou hast conspired with his grand enemy the devil Although thou art a sworn servant of the King of glory, daily receiv. . ing of his favours, and living on his bounty: thou art holding a correspondence, and hast contracted a friend hip with his greatest enemy, and art acting for him against thy Lord; for the lufts of the devil ye will do, John viii. 44 (2) Thou art a murderer before the Lord.. Thou hast laid the stumbling block of thine iniquity before the blind world; and haft ruined the souls of others by thy sinful course. And tho' thou doft not see now; the time may come, when thou thalt see the blood of thy relations, neighbours, acquaintances and others, upon thy head, Matth. xviii. 7. Wo unto the world because of offences-Wo to that man by whom the offence comith. Yea, tliou art a self-murderer before God, Prov. viii. 36. He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own Soul: all they that hate me, love death. Ezek. xviii. 31. Why will ye die? The laws of man go as far as they can against the self-murderer, denying his body a burial-place amongst others, and confiscating his goods: what wonder is it the law of God is so severe against Toulmurderers? Is it strange, that they who will needs depart from God now, cost what it will, be forced to depart from him at last, into everlasting fire? But what is yet more criminal, thou art guilty of the murder of the Son of God, for the Lord will reckon thee ainong those that pierced him, Rev. i. 7. Thou hast rejected hiin as well as the Jews did; and by thy rejecting him, thou hast justified their deed. They indeed did not acknowledge him to be the Son of God, but thou doftWhat they did against him, was in a state of humiliation ; but thou hast acted against him, in his state of exaltation. These things will aggravate thy condemnation. What wonder then, if the voice of the Lamh, change to the roaring of the lion, against the traitor and murderer.

Object. But fome will say, Is there not a valt disproportion betwixt our (in and that wrath you talk of? I answer, No; God punishes no more than the finner deserves. To rectify your mistake, in this matter, consider, (1) The vast rewards God has annexed to obedience. His word is no more full of fiery wrath against sin, that it is of gracious rewards to the obedience it requires. If heaven be in the promiles, it is altogether equal that hell be in the threatnings. If death were not in the balance with life, eternal misery with eternal happiness,

where

3dly, There is wrath on the natural man's enjoyments. Whatever be wanting in his house, there is one thing that is never wanting there, Prov. iii. 33. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked. Wrath is on all that he has; on the bread that he eats, the liquor he drinks, and clothes which he wears. His basket and store are cursed, Deut. xxviii. 17. Some things fall wrong with him; and that comes to pass by virtue of his wrath; other things go according to his wish, and there is wrath in that too; for it is a snare to his soul, Prov. i 32. · The prosperity of fools frall destroy them. This wrath turns his bleff'ings into cuirses, Mal ii. 2. I will curse your hieffings: yea, I have cursed them already. The holy law is a killing letter to him, 2 Cor. ji. 6. The miništry of the gospel, a favour of death unto death, chap. ii. 15. In the sacrament of the Lord's supper, he eateth and drinketh dumnation to himself, 1 Cor. xi. 29. Nay, more than all that, Christ himself is to him, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, i Pet, ii. 8. Thus wrath follows the natural man, as his shadow doth his body.

Athly, He is under the power of Satan, Acts xxvi. 18. The devil has overcome him, so he is his by conqueft; his lawfui captive, Ifa. xlix. 24. The natural man is condemned already, John iii. 18. and therefore under the heavy hand of him that haih the power of death, that is the devil. And he keeps his prisoner, in the prison of a natural ftate, bound hand and foot, Ifa.lxi. 1. Laden with divers lufts, as chains wherewith he holds them falt. Thou needest not, as many do, call on the devil to take thee; for he has a fast hold of thee already, as a child of wrath.'

Lastly, The natural man has no security for a moment's safety from the wrath of God its coming on him to the uttermost. The curse of the law denounced against him, has already tied him to the stake: fo that the arrows of justice may pierce his soul; and in him may meet all the miseries and plagues that flow froni thé avenging wrath of God. See how he is set as a mark to the arrows of wrath, Psal. vii. 11, 12, 13. God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword: he hath bent his bow, and made it ready; he hath aljo prepared for him the instruments of death. Doth he ly down to sleep? There is not a promise, he knows of, or can know, to secure him that he shall not be in hell ere he awake. Justice is prsuing, and cries for vengeance on the sinner: the law casts the fire

alls of its curses continually upon him: wasted and long tired pati. ence is that which keeps in his life: he walks amidst enemies armed arzun bim: his name may be Mugor Mifsubib, i.e. terror round about, jor. XX. 3. Age's, devils, men, bearts, stones, heaven, and earth, are in rcadirets, on a word of command rom the Lord, to ruin him.

Thus the natural inan lives, but he must die too; and death is a drcadiut nevenger to him It comes upon him armed with wrath, and puts three fed charges in his hand. (1.) Death chargeth him to bd in eternal farewell to all things in this world; to leave it, and make away to another world. Ah! what a dredful charge must this

be

be to a child of wrath! He can have no comfort from heaven; for God is his enemy: and as for the things of the world, and the enjoy. ment of his lusts, which were the only springs of his comfort; these are in a moment dried up to him for ever. He is not ready for another world: he was not thinking of removing so soon: or if he was, yet he has no portion secured to him in another world, but that which he was born to, and was increasing all his days, namely, a treasure of wrath. But go he must; his clay god, the world, must be parted with, and what has he more? There was never a glimmering of light, or favour from heaven, to his soul: and now the wrath that did hang in the threatning as a cloud like a man's hand, is darkning the face of the'whole heaven above him: and if he look unto the earth, (from whence all his light was wont to come) behold trcuble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and he hall be driven to darkness, Isa. viii 22. (2) Death chargeth foul and body to part till the great day. His soul is required of him, Luke xii. 20. O what a miserable parting must this be to a child of wrath! care was indeed taken to provide for the body things neceisary for this life: but alas! there is nothing laid up for another life to it; nothing to be a seed of glorious resurrection: as it lived, so it must die, and rise again sinful flesh; fuel for the fire of God's wrath. As for the soul, he was never solicitous to provide for it. It lay in the body, dead to God, and all things truly good; and so must be carried out into the pit, in the grave-cloths of its natural state: for now that death comes, the companions in sin must part. (3.) Death chargeth the soul to compear before the tribunal of God, while the body lies to be carried to the grave, Eccles. xii. 7. The spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Heb. ix. 2,7. It is appointed unto all men once to die, but after this the judgment. Well were it for the finful foul if it might be buried together with the body. But that cannot be: it must go and receive its fentence; and shall be fhut up in the prison of hell, while the cursed body lies imprisoned in the grave, till the day of the general judgment. '

When the end of the world, appointed of God, is come; the trumpet shall found, and the dead arise. Then ihall the weary earth, at the command of the Judge, cast forth the bodies; the cursed bodies of these that lived and died in their natural state: The fea, death, and hell, Shall deliver up their dead, Rev. xx. 13. Their miserable bodies and souls shall be re-united, and they filted before the tribunal of Christ. Then shall they receive that fearful fentence, D. part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, Matth. XX. 41. Whereupon they fall go away into everlasting punishment, ver. 49. They thall be eternally thut up in hell, never to get the least drop of comfort, nor the least ease of their torment. There they will be punished with the punishment of lofs: being excommunicated for ever from the presence of God, his angels and laipts. All means of grace, all hopes of a delivery, shall be for ever cut off from their eyes. They shall not have a drop of water to cool their

tongues,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »