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feftion of their own Sinfulness, from ticulars, yet such Particulars as comprewhich Grounds they justify God's pro- hend many others. And in this Con. ceeding with them; they take the Cause fellion, you may look on the Spirit's upon themselves, and justify him in his work, having some Characters of the Judging, whether temporal or spiritual Spirit in it. , Firft, They take a general Plagues were inflicted. In this Verse, View of their Uncleanness and loathsome they take a general Survey of their sinful Estate by Sin; not only do they see Sin, Eftare, concluding themselves unclean, but Sin in the Sinfulness of it and UAand all their Performances and comman cleanness of it. Secondly, They not ded Duties, which they counted once their only conclude so of the narural Estate Righteousness : And from this Ground, they were born into, and the Loathsomthey clear God's dealing with them, and ness of their many foul Scandals among put their Mouths in the Duft ; and so them: But they go a further Length; to from the Lord's Judgment they are forced pass as severe a Sentence on their Duties to enter into a Search of the Cause, so and Ordinances, as God hath done, Ifa. : much Sin, and from discovered Sin, they i. and lxvi. The Spirit convincech acpronounce God righteous in bis Judg. cording to Scripture Light, and not acment : Perceiving a great Difference in cording to the dark Spark of Nature's the Lord's Manner of dealing with them Light; and so that which Nature would and their Fathers, they do not refound have busked itself with as its Ornament, it upon God who is righteous in all his that which they had covered themselves Ways, but retort it upon themselves, and with as their Garment, had spread their find a vast Discrepance between them. Duties as Robs of Righteousness over selves and their Fathers, Ver. 3. And so their Sins to hide them; all this now. it was no. Wonder that God's Dispen- goeth under the Name of Filthiness and fation changed upon them; God was Sin. They see themselves wrapt up in as wont to meet others, to new himself vile Rags as they covered and hid; gracious, even to prevent Strokes : But commanded Duties and manifeft Breaches now he was wroth with them ; nay, but come in one Category: And not only there is good Cause for it, Tbey rejoice is it some of them which their own Conand wrought Righteousness, but we have science could challenge in the Time, finned. And this may be said in the ge- but all of them and all kinds of them, neral, never one needeth to quarrel God moral and ceremonial, Duties that were for severe dealing: If he deal worse moft Gincere, had most Affe&tion in with, one than with another, let every them, all of -im are filthy. Rags now, Man look into his own Bosóm, and see which but of late were their Righteous-, Reason fufficient ; yea more Provoca ness. Thirdly, There is an Univerfality, tion in thenifelves than others. Always, not only of the Actions, but of Persons ; in this Verse, they come to a more not only all the Peoples or Multitudes diftinct View of their loathfome Con. Performances are Abomination, but all: dition. Any Body may wrap up their of them, isaiab; and one and other, the Reperitance in a general Notion of Sin, holiest of risem come in, in this Category but they declare themselves to be more and Rank: Wä are all unclean, &c. touched with it, and condescend on Par. Tho' the People, it may be, could not
join holy Ifaiab with themselves, yet and Security, to lay hold on thee : Lord humble Isaiab will join himself with the thou art going away, and taking Good People, and come in, in one Prayer : And night of the Land, and no Body is like no doubt, he was as sensible of Sin now, to hold thee by the Garment: No Jacots as when he began to prophecy; and bere, wbo will not let tbee go, sill icoa growing in Holiness, he must grow also bless them; none to prevail with thy in Sense of Sinfulness: Seeing at the first Majesty, every one is like to give Christ Sight of God's Holiness and Glory, he a free Pasport and Testimonial to go oried unclean, &c. Ifa. vi. s. certainly abroad, and are almost Gadarens, to he doth so now, from such a Principle pray him to depart out of their Coalis. of Access to God's Holiness, which mak. There is a strange Lousness and Indif. eth him abhor himself in Dust and Ales.ferency in Mens Spirits concerning the Fourtbly, They are not content with one Thing necessary: Men ly by and such general, but condescend to two
dream over their Days, and never put special Things, two fpiritual Sins, to wit, the Soul's Estate out of Question ; Omillion, or lifting of spiritual Duties, none will give so much Pains, as to clear which contained the Substance of Wor: their Interest in thee, to lay hold on thee, fhip: None calletb on thee, few or so as they may make Peace with thee. none to count upon calleth on
Now, can there be a more ample and thee; that is, careth for immediate Ac | lively Description of our Estate, both of
cess and approaching unto God in Prayer the Land and of particular Persons of it. . ..and Meditation, Go. Albeit external Since this must not be limited to the . and Temple-duties be frequent, yet who Nation of the Jews, tho' the Prophet prayeth in Secret ; or if any pray,' that spake of the Generality of them ; yet cannot come in Count, the Lord knowo no doubt, all Mankind is included in ihe eth them not, because they want the first lix Verses; and any secure People Spirit's Stamp on them. This must be may be included in the seventh Verse, some other Thing nor the general Con for Paul applyeth even such like Speeches viction of Sin which the World hath,(Rom. xiii.) that were spoken, as you who think they pray all their Days; would think, of David's Enemies only; here People, who tho' they niake many yet the Spirit of God knowing the Mind Prayers,ifa. i. yet they see them no of the Spirit, maketh a more general Prayers, and no calling on God's Name Use of their Condition, to hold out the now. But Fiftbly, To make the Challenge natural Estate of all Men out of Christ the more, and the Confession more fpi- Jesus. ritual and complete, there is discovered But there are in these two Verses, to them this Ground of their Slackness other two Things, beside the Acknowand Negligence in all Spiritual Duties, | Tedgement of Sin; Firdi, The Acknow. None stirrelb up bimself to take hold on ledgement of God's Righteousness in pupilhthee. Here is the Want of the Exercise ing them, for now they need not quarrel of Faith : Faith is the Soul's Hand and God, they find the Cause of their fading Grip, Jobni, 12. Heb. vi. 18. i Tim. in their own Bosom: They now join vi. 12. Isa. xxvii. s. No Body awak
No Body awak. Sin and Punishment together, whereas in eta themselves out of their Deadness the Time of their Prosperity, they lepa
rated - Punishment from Sin; and in the yet they prayed not, Affliction did not Time of their Security in Adversity, awake them out of Security, and so the they separated Sin from Punishment ; at laft Words, Thou baft.consumed us, &c. one Time making bare Confession of are differently exponed and read; fome Sin, without Fear of God's Justice, at make it thus, as it is in the Translation, another Time frering and murmuring Tbou balt bid thy Face, and left us in at his Judgments, without the Sense of a Spiritual Deadness, that to there their Sin : But now they join both these, might be no Impediment to bring on deand the Sight and Sense of God's Dil: served Judgment: If we had called on pleasure maketh Sin more bitter, and to thee, and laid hold on thee, it might have abound more, and to appear in the been prevented, we might have prevailed loathsome and provoking Nature of it, with God, but now our Defence is reso that their Acknowledgement hath an moved, and thou haft given us up to a Spirit Edge upon it. And again, the Sight and of Slumber, and so we have no Shield Sense of Sin maketh the Judgment ap to hold off the Stroke, thou hast now pear most righteous, and stoppeth their good Leave to consume us for our Sins. Mouth from murmuring. In the Time Another Şense may be (thou haft fufof their Impenitency under the Rod, fered us to consume in our Iniquity, their Language was very indifferent, thou haft given us up to the Hand on Ezek. xviii. 2. The Faibers' bave our Sins :) And this is also a Consequent paten Gover Grapes, and the Child of his hiding his Face ; because thou hid drens Teeth are set on edge; they thy Face, thou letteth us perish in our have linned and we fuffer, they have sins; there needeth no more for our done the Wrong and we pay for it: But Consumption, but only help us not out it is not so now, Ver. 5. The Fathers of them, for we can foon destroy ourhave done Righteousness in respect of selves. us, and thou was good unto them, but First, Sin is in its own Nature Loathwe are all unclean, and have finned, and fome, and makeib one unclean before so we are punished. Secondly, They God Sin's Nature is Filthiness, Vilefind some Cause and Ground in God of ness, so doth Isaiah speak of himself, their general Defection, not that he is Chap. vi. 5. when he saw God's Holithe Cause of their Sin, but in a righteous ness; so doth Job abhor himself, which Way he punished Sin with Sin. God is the Affection which turneth a Man's hid his Face, denied special Grace and Face off a loathsome Object, when he saw Influence; and so they ly still in their God, Job xl. 4. and xlii. 6. Look how Security and their Sin became a spiri- loathsome our natural Condition is holden tual Plague. Or this may be so read, out by God himself, Ezek. xyi. You none calleth on thy Name, when thou cannot imagine any Deformity in the hid thy Face from us, and when thou Creature, any Filthiness, but it is there. consumed us because of our Iniquities; The Füthiness and Vileness of Sin shall and lo it serveth to aggravate their deep appear, if we consider first; Sin is a Security, that tho' the Lord was depar- | Transgression of the holy and fpiritual ting from them, yet none would keepCoinmand, and fo a vile Thing ; Tbe him and hold him; tho he did ftrike, Command is boly and good, Rom. vii.
an high Contempt and Rebellion done to Excellency ; Sir, made Adam of a
And fin violateth and goeth flat contrary contrary to him, coatradicteth his-Will, to the Command, - Jobn iii. When so debaseth his Authority, despiserh his Sove. juft and fo equicable a Law is given, reignty, vilipendeth his Truth. There God might have exacted other rigorous is a Kind of Infiniteness in it; nothing Duries from us, but when it is so framed, can express is but itself, no Name worse that the Conscience must cry out, all is than itself to set it out; the Apostle can Equity, all is righteous, and more than get no other Epithet to it, Rom. xvii. 13. righteous, thou might command more, Sinful Sin ;, so that it comech in most and reward none; it is Justice to com- direct Opposition unto God. All that is mand, but it is Mercy to promise Life to in God, is God himself, and there is no Obedience, which I owe: What then Name can express him fufficiently ; if must the Offence be, against such a just you say God, you say more than can be Command, and so holy. If Holiness be exprest by many thousand other Words ; the Beauty of the Creation, Sin must be ro it is here, Sin is purely. Sin, God is the Deformity of it, the only Spot in its purely good and holy, without Mixture,
Holiness itself; Sin is limply evil, wichSecondly, Look upon Sin in the Sight out Mixture, Unholiness iself; whatever of God's Holiness and infinite Majesty, is in it, is Sin, is Uncleanness;Sin is an inand O ! how hainous will it appear ; and finite Wrong, and an infinite and boundtherefore no Man hath seen Sin in the less Filthiness, because of the infinite Per. Vileness of it, but in the Light of God's son wronged, it is an Offence of infinite Countenance, as Ifa. vi. 5, Job xl. and Majefty, and the Person wronged aggraxlii. God is of purer Eyes tban to behold vateth the Offence ; if it be fimply. conIniquity, he cannot look on it, Hab. i. trary to infinite Holiness, it must be in 13. All other Things beside Sin, God that Respect, infinite Unholiness and Us looketh on them as bearing fome Mark Cleannels. of his own Image, All was very good, Thirdly, Look upon the sad Effects and and God saw it, Gen. i. and ii. Even Consequences of Sin, how miserable, how the baseft Creatures God lookethonebem, ruinous it harb made Man, and all the and seeth himself in them ; but Sin is Creation, and how vile muft it be? Fico, only God's Eye-sore, that his Holiness Look on Man's native Beauty and Es cannot away with, it is most contrary cellency, how þeautiful a Creature ? But unto him ; and as to his Soveraignty, it is sin hath cast him down from the Top of
his God's Majesty ; it putteth God the
, with Throne, will take no Law from him, God an open Rebel. Was oor Man's will not acknowledge his Law, but ( as it Soul of more Price nor all the World, so were ) spitteth in his face, and establish that nothing can exchange it? Yet hath eth another God. There is no Punish. Sin debased it, and prostitute it, to all ment so evil, that God will not own as vile filthy Pleasures.; hath made the imhis Work, and declare himself to be the mortal Spirit dwell on the Dunghill, Author of it, but only Sin; bis Soul ab. feed on Alhes, catch Vanities, lying Va horeth it, his holy. Will is against it, he nities, pour out itself to them, serve all will have no Fellowship with it; it is so the Creatures; whereas it should have
made them Servants, yea a Slave to his Secondly, Sin haih so redounded thro' own greatest Enemy, to the Ground he
Man unto all the Creation, that it hath dc. treadeth upon. 0! what a degenerate filed it, and made it corruptible and fubPlant ; it was a noble Vinc once in Para- ject to Vanity, Rom. viii. 20, ESC. So dise, but Sin hath made it a wild one, that this is a Spor in all the Creatures to bring forth four Grapes. What is there Face, chat Man hath lipned, and used all in all tbe World could defile a Man ? as Weapons of Unrighteousness, so that Mat. xv. 20. Notbing tbat goeth out or now the Creature groaneth so be des cometb in, but sin that proceeded out livered. of the Heart. Man was all Light, his Thirdly, It hath brought on all the Mi. Judgment shined into his Affections, and sery that is come on Man, or that is to thro' all the Man ; but Sin hath made come; it hath brought on Death and all Darkness, cleled up the poor captive Damnation as its Wages, and the Curse Understanding, hath built up a thick Wall of the eternal God, Gal. ij. 13. Rom. of gross corrupted Affections about it, vi. 23. How odious then an Évil mult so that Light can neither get in nor out. it be, that hath so much Evil in it, yea The Soul was like a clear running Foan. all Evil in the Bofom of it: Hell is not tain, which yielded fresh clear Streams of evil in respect of Sin, for Sin deferveth holy Inclinations, Desires, Affections, Hell; it hath ruined Man, and made all Adions, and emptied itselt in the Sea of the beautiful Order of the Creation to immense Majesty, from which these change. Streams first flowed; but now it is a Fourtbly, It separateth Man from God. standing putrified Puddle, that casteth a which is worst of all; and this is invile Stink round about, and hath oo Illuecluded in the Text, We are all as an towards God. Man was a glorious Crea unclean Thing, or Man, as a leprous cure, fit to be Lord over the work of Man set apart, because of Pollution, that God's own Hands, and therefore had may not come to the Temple, or worGod's image in a special Manner, Holi- ship God, fo hath Iniquity separated be ness, and Righteousness, God's Nature ; tween God and us, Ifa. lix. 2. And 0 : a Piece of Divinity was stamped on Man, how fad a Divorcement is this, it makech which outshined all created Perfe&tions; Men witbout God in the World, in the Sun mighe blush when it looked on whom we live and move and bave our him, for what was material Glory to the Being, in whose Favour is Life, and Glory of Holiness, and Beauty of God's at wbose right Hand are pleasures for Image ? But Sin bath robbed poor Man evermore. Now poor Man is made miof this glorious Image, hath defaced Man, ferable, deprived of his Felicity, which marred all his Glory, put on an hellich only conlisted in Enjoyment of God : Likeness on him ; Holiness only putteth Sin as a chick Partition-wall is come in the Difference between Angels in Hea between, Enmity also is come in, and diven and Devils in Hell; and Sin only videth old Friends, Epb. ii. 14, 15, 16, hath made the Difference between A 17. And now no heavenly or comfort dam in Paradise, and Sinners on the able Influence can break thorough ; the curted Gronnd, Rom. iii. 23.
Night of Darkness is begun, which must