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ell Head Il. Duty of those who are delivered from Wrath. 115

.to justify God in this matter. To quarrel with God. about it, and to rage like a wild bull in a net, will but fix you the more in it.” Humi. fiation of foul, before the Lord, is necessary for an escape. God will not sell deliverance, but freely gives it to those, who see themsiives altogether unworthy of his favour. Lastly, Turn your eyes, prisoners of hope, towards the Lord Jesus Chrift; and embrace him

as he offereth himself, in the gospel. There is no Salvation in any other, di Acts iv. 12.

God is a consuming fire ; ye are children of wrath: if 9 the Mediator interpose not betwixt hiin and you, ye are undone for

If ye would be safe, come under his shadow: one drop of that wrath cannot fall there, for he delivereth us from the wrath 10%come, Thess. i. 10

Accept of him in his covenant, wherein hé offereth himself to thee: and so thou shalt, as the captive woman, redeern thy life, by marrying the Conqueror. His blood will quench that fire of wrath, which burns against thee: in the white raiment of his righteousness thou shalt be safe; for no storm of wrath can pierce it.

II. I shall drop a few words to the saints.

First, Remember, that at that time, (namely, when yé were in your natural state) ye,were without Chrift-having no hope, and without God in the world' Call to mind that state, ye were in formerly; and re

view the misery of ic There are five memorials, I may thence give të in to the whole affeinbly of the saints, who are no more children of

wrath: but heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, tho' as yet in their minority. (1) Remember, that in the day our Lord took you by the hand, ye were in no better condition than others? O what moved him to take you, when he past by your neighbours! he found 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 as others; and from amongst the multitude of condemned malefactors, he picked out you, commanded your fetters to be taken off, put a 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, ia the day he first appeared for your deliverance. Ye were children of wrath, even as others, fit for hell, and altogether unfit for heaven : yet the King brought you into the palace: the King's Son made love to you a condemned criminal, and efpoufed you to himself, on the day in which ye might have had been led forth to execution. Even so, Father, for so it seemesh good in thy fight

, Matth ix. 26. (3.) Remember, ye were fitter to be lothed than loved in that day, Wonder, that when if he saw you in your blood, he looked not at you with abhorrence, and

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 his comeliness, which is upon you, ver. 14. It was he that took
off your prison.garnents, and clothed you with robes of righteousness,
garments of salvation: garments where with ye are artayed as the lilies,
which toil not, neither do they spin. He took the chains froin off your


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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 Joseph. 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 foul 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, from 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. oufness, in all its dimensions. He is the second Adam, who took thee out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clayHow broad were the skirts of that love, which covered such a multitude of siņs! 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. Ixxxvi. 13. I'he height of it, in raising thee up to fit in heavenly places, Eph. ii 6

Fourthly, Be huinble, carry low fails, 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 Slowly, hangs down his starry feathers, while he looks to his black feet. Look je 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 froin 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 have no reason to complain of their lot in the world, whatever it,be. Well nay they bear the cross for him, by whom the curse was born away from 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, thall not all these be at his service? That

thy 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 Christ; and fhall not these eyes be employed for him, these hands act for him, that tongue speak for him, and these feet speedily run 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 Itand. in awe, and sin not. Do you think this is to press you to slavish fear? If it were fo, one had better be a slave to God wih 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 thiver, 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.

Man's utter Inability to recover himself.

ROMANS v. 6. Por when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for

the ungodly: John vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father, which

hath fent me, draw him.
E have now had a view of the total corruption of man's nature,

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 Tnisery that deserves particular consideration; namely, his utter inability to recover himself, the knowledge of which is necessary for the



of his grace.

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 isability; that he may see an absolute need of Christ, and of the power

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 ira proving the help offered him by others : fô an unconverted man carinot 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 Christ: or else in the way of the gospel, or cove. tiánt 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 it; 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 offtreth 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 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 learning of the Father, which whoso partakes of, cometh to Chrilt

, 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 hold of the offered help.

Hearken then, unregenerate man, 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 hast 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.

1. 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, elle 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


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before thee, from the unalterable word of the living God, two things which theu nruft do for thyself. And if thou canst do them; it mult be yielded, that thou art able to recover thyself; but if not, then thop canit do nothing this way, for thy recovery.

FIRST, Vf 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 compliment, Good Master, ver. 16. telling him, There is none good, but One, that is God, ver. 17. As if he had said, you think your self 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, Chrilt does not answer him, saying, B. lieve and thou shalt be saved ; that would not have been {o seasonable 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, fuitable 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, O 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 fin. For the law requires all moral perfection; not only actual, but habitual, and to 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 lo lays thee open to the curfe, and cuts thee off from life. Yea, it makes all thine actions, even thy beft actions sinful, for who can bring a clean thing out of an anclean? Job xiv. 4. And doft thou think by lin, to help thy felf out of fin and misery?' (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. nounceth the curse on him that continueth not in every thing written therein, Gal. iii. 10. Thou must give internal and externáł obedience 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 vain thought, or idle word, will still shut thee up under the curse. (3.) It 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 accept of no less, Mat. xxii. 39. Thou faali love the Lord thy God, with


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