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thy foul is not overwhelmed with the wrath of God, is owing purely to Jesus Christ; and thall it not then be a temple for his Spirit? That thy heart is not filled with horror and despair, is owing to him only; to whom then should it be devoted but to him alone? That thine eyes are not blinded with the smoak of the pit, thy hands are not fettered with chains of darkness, thy tongue is not broiling in the fire of hell, and thy feet are not standing in that lake that burns with fire and brimstone, is owing purely to Jesus Christ; and shall not these eyes be employed for him, these hands act for him, that tongue speak for hiin, and these feet speedily çun his errands? To him who believes that he was a child of wrath, even as others, but is now delivered by the blessed Jesus; nothing will appear too much, to do or suffer for his deliverer, when he has a fair call to it. .
III. To conclude with a word to all ; let no man think lightly of fin, which lays the finner open to the wrath of God. Let not the fin of our nature, which wreaths the yoke of God's wrath, so early, about our necks, seem a sinall thing in our eyes. Fear the Lord, be. cause of his dreadful wrath. Tremble at the thought of lin, against which God has such fiery indignation. Look on his wrath, and land.
in awe, and sin not. Do you think this is to press you to slavilh fear? 1. If it were fo, one had better be a slave to God with a trembling heart;
than a free man to the devil, with a seared conscience and a heart of adamant. But it is not so, you may love him, and thus fear him too; yea, ye ought to do it, though ye were saints of the firit magnitude. · See Psal. cxix. 10. Matth. x. 28. Luke xi 5. Heb. xii 28, 29. Altho' ye have past the gulf of wrath, being in Jesus Chrift, yet it is but reasonable, your hearts fhiver, when ye look back to it. Your sin still deserves wrath even as the sins of others; and it would be terrible to be in a fiery furnace; altho' by, a miracle, we were so fenced against it, as that it could not harm us.
Η Ε Α D ΙΙΙ.
, ROMANS V. 6. i! : ".. por when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for
the ungodly: 1 JOHN vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father, which
hath sent me, draw him.
VE have now had a view of the total corruption of man's nature, VV and that load of wrath which lies on him, that gulph of misery he is plunged into in his natural state. But there's one part of his misery that deserves particular consideration; namely, his utter inabi. lity to recover himself, the knowledge of which is necessary for the
118. i 'Man unable to me
Man unable to recover himself., State II. due humiliation of a sinner. What I design here is, only to propofe a few things, whereby to convince the unregenerate man of this his inability; that he may see an absolute need of Christ, and of the power of his grace. 1 As a man that is fallen into a pit, cannot be fupposed to help him. self out of it, but by one of two ways ; either by doing all himself alone, or taking hold of, and irwproving the help offered him by others: fò an unconverted man cannot be supposed to help himself out of that state, but either in the way of the law, or covenant of warks, by doing all himself without Chrift: or else in the way of the golpel, or cove. hant of grace, by exerting his own strength to lay hold upon, and to make use of the help offered him by a Saviour. But alas! the un. converted man is dead in the pit, and cannot help himself, either of there ways. Not the first way: for the first text tells us, that when our Lord came to help us, we were without strength, unable to recover ourselves. We were ungodly; therefore under a burden of guilt and wrath; yet without strength, unable to stand under jt; and unable to throw it off, or get from under it: so that all mankind had undoubtedly perished, had not Christ died for the ungodly, and brought help to them who could never have recovered themselves. But when Christ comes, and offcrech help to finners, cannot they take it? Cannot they improve help when it comes to their hands? No, the second text tells us, they cannot: No man can come unto me, i.e. believe in mie, John vi. 35 ) except the Father draw him. This is a drawing which enables them to come, who till then could not coine; and therefore could not help themselves, by improving the help offered It is a' drawing, which is always effectual; for it can be no less than hearing and leáriiing of the Father, which whoso partakes of, cometh to Christ, ver. 23: Therefore, it is not drawing in the way of mere moral suasion, which may be, yea, and always is ineffectual: but it is draw. ing by mighty power, Ephef.i. 19 absolutely necessary for them that have no power in themselves, to come and take hold of the offered help. :
Hearken then, O unregenerate nian, and be convinced, that as thou art in a most miserable state by nature; fo thou art utterly unable to recover thyself, any manner of way. Thou art ruined; and what way wilt thou go to work, to recover thyself? Which of these two ways wilt thou chuse? Wilt thou try it alone? Or wilt thou make use of help? Wilt thou fall on the way of works, or on the way of the gospel? I know very well, thou wilt not so much as try the way of the gospel, till once thou haft found the recovery-impracticable, in the way of the law. Therefore we shall begin, where corrupt nature teaches men to begin, viz. at the way of the law of works.
I. Sinner, I would have thee believe that thy working will never effect it. Work and do thy best; thou shalt never be able to work thyself out of this state of corruption, and wrath. Thou must have Christ; else thou shalt perilh eternally. It is only Christ in you, can: be the hope of glory. But if thou wilt needs try it; then I must lay
Therefait found th
teaches men law.
before thee, from the unalterable word of the living God, two things which thou niuft do for thyself. And if thou canst do them; it mult be yielded, that thou art able to recover thyself; but if not, then thou canit do nothing this way, for thy recovery.
FIRST, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, Matth. kix. 17. That is, if thou wilt by doing, enter into life, then perfectly keep the ten commands. For the scope of these words is, to beat down the pride of man's heart; and to let him see the absolute need of a Saviour, from the impossibility of keeping the law. The answer is given, suitable to the address. Our Lord checks him for his com.
pliment, Good Master, ver. 16. telling him, There is none good, but One, ' that is God, ver. 17. As if he had said, you think yourself a good man,
and me another? but where goodness is spoken of, men and angels may vail their faces before the good God. And as to his question, wherein he discovered his legal disposition, Christ does not answer him, saying, В lieve and thou Malt be saved; that would not have been fo reasonable in the case of one, who thought he could do well enough for himself, if he but knew, what good things he should do; but, luitable to the humour the man wasin, he bid him keep the commandments; keep them nicely and accurately, as those that watch malefactors in prison, left any of them escape, and their life go for their's, See then, unregenerate man, what canst thou do in this matter; for if thou wilt recover thyself in this way, thou muit perfectly keep the commandments of God.
And, (1.) Thy obedience must be perfect, in respect of the principle of it ; that is, thy soul, the principle of action, must be perfectly pure, and altogether without fin. For the law requires all moral perfection; not only actual, but habitual, and to condeinns original fin; impurity of nature, as well as of actions. Now, if thou canst bring this to pass; thou shalt be able to answer that question of Solomon's, fo, as never one of Adam's posterity could yet answer it, Prov. XX. 9. Who can say, I have made my heart clean? But if thou canst not, the very want of this perfection is a fin; and so lays thee open to the curfe, and cuts thee off from life. Yea, it makes all thine actions, even thy best actions, sinful, for who can
bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job xiv. 4. And doft thou think i by sin, to help thy felf out of fin and misery? (2.) Thy obedience 4. must also be perfect in parts, It "must be as broad as the whole law
of God: if thou lackest one thing, thou art undone; for the law denounceth the curse on him that continueth not in every thing written therein, Gal. iii. 10. Thou must give internal and external obedi. ence to the whole law; keep all the commands, in heart and life, If thou breakest any one of them, that will insure thy ruin. A yain thought, or idle word, will still fhut thee up under the curse, (3-) Ic must be perfect in respect of degrees; as was the obedience of Adam, while he stood in his innocence. This the law requires, and will aç.. cept of no less, Mat. xxii. 39. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with
and wisdom; fo that none of thy, fins, however fecret, can be hid from him. He infallibly finds out all ineans whereby wrath may be executed, toward the satisfying of justice. He is of infinite power, and so can do what he will against the finner. How heavy must the Itrokes of wrath be, which are laid on by an omnipotent hand! infinite power can make the finner prisoner, even when he is in his greatest rage against heaven. It can bring again the several parcels of duft, out of the grave; put thein together again, reunite the soul and the bədy, lift them before the tribunal, hurry them away to the pit, and hold them up with the one hand thro' eternity, while they are larhed with the other. He is infinitely just, and therefore must pụnish; it were acting contrary to his nature to suffer the finner to escape wrath, Hence the executing of this wrath is pleasing to him'; for tho the Lord hath no delight in the death of the finner, as it is the deftruction of his own creature, yet he delights in it, as it is the execution of justice. Upon the wicked he shall rain (nures, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempeft. Mark the reason, For the righteous Lord loveth righteousnefs, Pfal xi. 6,7. I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted, Ezek. V:13. I also will laugh at your calamity, Prov.i. 26. Finally, He lives for ever, to pursue the quarrel. Let us therefore conclude, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. * Be awakened then, O young finner; be awakened, o old sinner, who art yet in the state thou waft born in. Your security is none of God's allowance, it is the sleep of death: rise out of it ere the pit close its mouth on you. It is true, you may put on a breast-plate pf iron, make your bow brass, and your hearts as an adamant; who can help it? But God will break that brazen bow, and make chat adaman. tine heart, at last, to fly into a thousand pieces. Ye may, if ye will, Jabour to put these things out of your heads, that ye may yet fleep in
a sound skin, tho' in a Itate of wrath. Yę may run away with the -arrows sticking in your consciences to your work, to work them away; or to your beds, to sleep them out; or to company, to fport and laugh them away: but convictions fo ftified, will have a fearful resurrection : and the day is coming, when the arrows of wrath thall so stick in thy Toul, as thói Thalt never be able to pluck them out thro' the ages of eternity, unless thou take warning in time. . ! But if any desire to flee from the wrath to come; and for that end, to know what course to take; I offer them these few advices, and ab. test and Leseech them, as they love their own souls, to fall in with them. (1.) Retire yourselves into fome secret place, and there me. ditate on this your misery. Believe it, and fix your thoughts on it. Let each put the question to himself, How can I live in this state? How can I die in it? How will I rise again, and stand before the
tribunal of God in it? (2.) Consider seriously the fin of your nature, · heart and life. A kindly sight of wrath flows from a deep sense of
fin. They who see themselves exceeding sinful, will find no great difficulty to perceive themselves to be heirs of wrath. (3.) Labour
ell Head II. Duty of those who are delivered from Wrath. lis
liation of soul, before the Lord, is necessary for an escape.' God will
as he offereth himself, in the gospel. There is no Salvation in any other, Hi Acts iv. 12. God is a consuming fire ; ye are children of wrath; if
the Mediator interpose not betwixt himn and you, ye are undone for in ever. If ye would be safe, come under his shadow: one drop of that 0; wrath cannot fall there, for he delivereth us from the wrath to come,
1 Thess. i. 10. Accept of him in his covenant, wherein hé offereth
life, bý marrýing the Conqueror. His blood will quènch that fire of ** wrath, which burns against thee: in the white raiment of his righte: ousness thou shalt be safe; for no storm of wrath can pierce it. :
II. I fhall drop a few words to the saints.
First, Remember, that at that time, (namely, when ye were in your patural state) ye were without Chrift-having no hope, and withoui God in the world Call to mind that state, ye were in formerly; and re."
view the misery of it There are five memorials, I may thence give si in to the whole affeinbly of the saints, who are no more children of Po wrath: but heir of God, and joint heirs with Christ, tho as yet in- their minority. (1) Remember, that in the day our Lord took you 121 by the hand, ye were in no better condition than others? O what 4 moved him to take you, when he past by your neighbours! he found 3 you children of wrath, even as others; but he did not leave you so.
He came into the common prison, where you lay in your fetters, even at as others, and from amongst the multitude of condemned malefactors, E he picked out you, commanded your fetters to be taken off, put à
pardon in your hand, and brought you into the glorious liberty of the children of God; while he left others in the devil's fetters. (2.) Re. member there was nothing in you to engage him to love you, in the day he first appeared for your deliverance Ye were children of wrath, even as others, fit for hell, arid altogether unfit for heaven; yet the King brought you into the palace: the King's Son made love to you a condemned criminal, and espoused you to himself, on the day in which ye might have had been led forth to execution. Evento, Father,
for so it seemech good in thy fight, Matth ix. 26.". (3.) Remeinber, 2 ye were fitter to be lothed than loved in that day, Wonder, that when Dit he saw you in your blood, he looked not at you with abhorrence, and tits passed by you. Wonder that ever such a time could be a time of love, - Ezek. xvi. 8: (4.) Remember, ye are decked with borrowed feathers.
It is bis comeliness, which is upon you, ver. 14. It was he that took