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arms, the rope from about your neck; put you in such a dress as ye might be fit for the court of heaven, even to eat at the King's table. (5.) Remember your faults this day; as Pharaoh's butler, who had forgotten Jofeph. Mind how you have forgotten, and how unkindly you have treated him, who remembred you in your low estate. Is this your kindness to your friend? In the day of your deliverance, did ye think, ye could have thus requited him, your Lord?
Secondly, Pity the children of wrath, the world that lies in wicked. ness. Can ye be unconcerned for thein, ye who were once in the same condition? Ye have got ashore indeed, but your fellows are yet in hazard of perishing; and will not ye make them all possible help for their deliverance? What they are, ye sometimes were. This may draw pity from you, and engage you to use all means for their recovery. See Tit. iii. 1, 2, 3.
Thirdly, Admire that matchless love, which brought you out of the state of wrath. Christ's love was active love, he loved thy soul froni the pit of corruption. It was no easy work to purchase the life of the condemned sinner? but he gave his life for thy life. He gave his precious blood to quench that flame of wrath, which otherwise would have burnt thee up. Men get the best view of the stars, froin the bottom of a deep pit: from this pit of misery into which thou wast cast by the first Adam, thou mayst get the best view of the Sun of righte. ousness, in all its dimensions. He is the second Adam, who took thee out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay How broad were the skirts of that love, which covered such a multitude of sins! behold the length of it, reaching from everlasting to everlasting, Psal. ciii 17. The depth of it, going to low as to deliver thee from the lowest hell, Pfal. lxxxvi. 13. The height of it, in raising thee up to fit in heavenly
Fourthly, Be huinble, carry low sails, walk softly all your years: Be not proud of your gifts, graces, privileges, or attainments: but remember ye were children of wrath, even as others. The peacock . walks flowly, hangs down his starry feathers, while he looks to his black feet. Look se to the hole of the pit, whence ye are digged, and walk humbly as it becomes free grace's debtors.
Lastly, Be wholly for your Lord. Every wife is obliged to be dutiful to her husband ; but double ties lie upon her who was taken from a prison or a dunghill. If your Lord has delivered you from wrath, ye ought, upon that very account, to be wholly his : to act for hiin, to suffer for him, and to do whatever he calls you to. The saints haye no reason to complain of their lot in the world, whatever it be. Well may they bear the cross for him, by whom the curse was born away froin thein. Well may they bear the wrath of men, in his cause, who has freed thein from the wrath of God; and chearfully go to a fire for him, by whom hell-fire is quenched to them. Soul and body, and all thou hadít in the world, were sometimes under wrath: he has removed that wrath, fhall not all these be at his service? That
para unble, carry taces, prove
thy soul 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 Chrift; and shall not these eyes be employed for him, these hands act for him, that tongue speak for hin, 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 An of our nature, which wreaths the yoke of God's wrath, so early, about our necks, seem a linall thing in our eyes. Fear the Lord, be. cause of his dreadful wrath. Tremble at the thought of lin, against which God has fuch fiery indignation. Look on his wrath, and itand.
in awe, and sin not. Do you think this is to press you to slavill fear? 1. If it were so, one had better be a llave to God weh 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 xii. 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.
ainit it, a fiery for sin as the when you in feruieb. xii mitude:
HE A D III.
ROMANS V. 6. ! Por when we were' yet without strength, in due time Christ died for !! the ungodly: i John vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father, which
hath fent me, draw him. , W E have now had a view of the total corruption of man's nature,
VV and that load of wrath which lies on him, that guph of misery he is plunged into in his natural state. But there's one part of his Tnisery that deserves particular consideration; namely, his utter inabi. lity to recover himself, the knowledge of which is necessary for the
due humiliation of a signer. What I design here is, only to propose a few things, whereby to convince the unregenerate man of this his ivability; 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 himself out of it, but by one of two ways; either by doing all himself alone, or taking hold of, and irnproving the help offered bim by others: fò an unconverted man carinot be supposed to help himfelf out of that ftate, but either in the way of the law, or covenant of warks, by doing all himself without Christ: or else in the way of the gospel, or cove. fánt of grace, by exerting his own strength to lay hold upon, and to : make use of the help offered him by à 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 offcreth help to finners, cannot they take it? Cannot they improve help wben it comes to their hands? No, the second text tells us, they cannot: No man can come unto me, i.e. believe in me, 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 learining of the Father, which whoso partakes of, cometh to Chrift, ver. 25. 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 holdof 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 i 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 beft; thou shalt never be able to work thyself out of this state of corruption, and wrath. Thou must have Christ; else thou shalt perish eternally. It is only Christ in you, can be the hope of glory. But if thou wilt needs try it; then I must lay
before thee, from the unalterable word of the living God, two things which thou must do for thyself. And if thou canst do them; it must be yielded, that thou art able to recover thyself; but if not, then thop
di Pt R&T, filthis way, for the recover thyself, but do them; il banget
PIRBT, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, Matth. xix. 17. That is, if thou wilt by doing, enter into life, then perfectly 1 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 anfwer 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, end 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, B. lieve and thou shalt be saved; that would not have been so feasonable 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, luit. able 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 chou wilt recover thyself in this way, thou mult perfectly keep the cominandments 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 altegether without lin. For the law requires all Doral perfection; not only actual, bur habitual, and fo condemns original sin; impurity of nature, as well as of actions. Now, if chou 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 chine actions, even thy beft actions. (inful, for who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job xiv. 47 And doft thou think by lin, to help thy felf out of fin and mifery? (2.) Thy obedience 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 de. Bounceth the curse on him that continueth not in every thing written therein, Gal. iii. 10. Thou muft 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 faali love the Lord thy God, with
all thy heart, and with all thy foul, and with all thy mind. If one de. gree of that love required by the law, be wanting ; if each part of thy obedience be. not screwed up to the greatest height commanded; that want is a breach of the law, and so leaves thee still under the curse. One may bring as many tuckets of water to a house that is on fire, as he is able to carry, and yet it may be consumed ; and will be so, if he bring not as many as will quench the fire. Even so, al. though thou shouldst do what thou art able, in keeping the commands; if thou fail in the least degree of obedience which the law enjoins, thou art certainly ruined for ever; unless thoa take hold of Christ, renoun. cing all thy righteousness as filthy rags. See Rom. X. 5 Gal. iii. 10. Lastly, li must be perpetual, as the man Christ's obedience was, who always did the things that pleased the Father; for the tenor of the law is, Cuifed is he that continueth not in all things written in the law, to do them. Hence, tho' Adam's obedience was for a while absolutely perfect; yet because at length he tripped in one point, viz. in eating the forbidden fruit, he fell under the curse of the law. If one should live a dutiful subject to his prince, till the close of his days, and then conspire against him; he must die for his treason. Even so, tho thou shouldīt, all the time of thy life, live in perfect obedience to the law of God; and only, at the hour of death, entertain a vain thought, or pronounce an idle word : that idle word, or vain thought, would blot out all thy former righteousness, and ruin thee; namely, in this way, in which thou art seeking to recover thyself. .
Now such is the obedience thou must perform, if thou wouldit re. cover thyself in the way of the law. But tho' thou shouldst thus obey: the law (takes thee down in the state of wrath, till another demand of it be satisfied, viz.
SECONDLY, Thou must pay what thou owest. It is undeniable thou art a sinner; and whatever thou mayest be iu time to coine, justice must be satisfied for thy fin already committed. The honour of the law must be maintained, by thy suffering the denounced wrath. It may be thon haft changed thy course of life, or art now resolved to do it, and set about the keeping of the commands of God: but what halt thou done, or what wilt thou do, with the old debt? Your obedience to God, cho' it were perfect, is a debt due to him, for the time wherein it is performed; and can no more satisfy for former fins, than a tenant's paying che current year's rent, can satisfy the master for all bygones. Can the 'paying of new debts acquit a man from old accounts? Nay, deceive not yourselves, you will find these laid up in store with God, and fealed up among his treasures, Deut. xxxii. 34. It reinains then, that either thou mult bear that wrath, to which, for thy sin, thou art liable, according to the law; or else, tho! must acknow. ledge thou canst not bear it, and thereupon have recourse to the sure. ty, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me now alk chee, art thou able to fatisfy the justice of God? Canst thou pay thy own debt? Surely not: for, seeing he is an infinite God, whoin thou haft offended; the