תמונות בעמוד

that made him, that he is far from the kingdom of God. May a man be civilized, and not converted? where then shall the drunkard and the glutton appear? May a man keep company with the wise virgins, and yet be shut out? shall not a companion of fools much more be destroyed May a man be true and just in his dealing, and yet not be justified of God? what then will become of thee, O wretched man, whose conscience tells thee thou art false in thy trade, and false in thy word, and makest thy advantage by a lying tongue? If men may be brought to the perform ance of holy duties, and yet go down to perdition for resting in them, and sitting down on this side of conversion, what will become of you, O miserable fami: lies, that live without God in the world ? and of you, O wretched sinners! with whom God is scarce in all your thoughts that are so ignorant that you cannot, or so careless that you will not pray?. O repent, and be converted: break off your sins by righteousness; away to Christ for pardoning and renewing grace, give up yourselves to him to walk with him in holiness or else you shall never see God! O that you would take the warning of God! In his name I once more admonish you: turn you at my reproof. Be sober, right: nous, godly. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts; ye double-minded. Cease to do evil. Learn to do well. But if you will go on, you must die. :30

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

• I MAY not leave you with your eyes half open, as he that saw men 'as trees walking. The word is profita able for doctrine, as well as reproof. And therefore having thus far conducted you by the rocks of so many mistakes, I would guide you into the harbour of truth.

Conversion then is a thorough change both of the heart and life: I shall briefly describe it in its nature and causes.-'... . " ;

a work a pirit, Johohost; an

of righ he saved thing in

ir k. The author, 'tis the Spirit of God, and therefore 'tis called the sanctification of the Spirit; yet not excluding the other persons in the Trinitysri for the apostle teacheth us to bless the Father of our Lord Je sus Christ, for that he hath begotten us again, And Christ is said to give repentance unto Israel, and the children which God hath given him. Yet this work is principally ascribed to the Holy Ghost;) and so we are said to be born of the Spirit, John iii. So fizemos, 6. So then 'tis a work above inan's power. Never think thou canst convert thyself; if ever thou wouldst be converted, thou must despair of doing it in thine own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead, a new creation, a supernatural work, Gal. vi. 15. ipsas' 12. The moving cause is Internal or External..? por

The internal mover is only free grace. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but of bis own

i 1,5 sore 10 God finds nothing in a man to turn his heart, but enough to provoke his loathing. Look back upon thyself; look upon thyself in thy blood. Open thy sepulchre. Behold thy putrid soul, thy. loathsome members. Behold thy ghastly visage, thy crawling lusts, thy slime and corruption! How then should holiness and purity love thee?. Be astonished, O heayeps, at this! Be moved, 0 earth! Who but must needs cry, Grace! grace! Hear and blush, you chil. dren of the Most High; O you unthankful generation! one would think you should be doing nothing but praising and admiring God, wherever you are. How can you make shift to forget such grace, or to pass it over with a slight mention? How affectionately doth Peter lift up his hands, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, who of his abundant mercy hath begotten us again, 1 Pet. i. 3. How feelingly doth Paul magpify the free mercy of God! God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved, Eph. ii. 4, 5.

ap . 13The external mover is the merit and intercession of the blessed Jesus. He hath obtained gifts for the ree

[ocr errors]

·bellious, and through him it is that God worketh in us what is well-pleasing in his sight. Through him are all spiritual blessings bestowed on us in lieareuly · places, Eph. i. 3. He intercedeth for them that believe not. Every convert is the fruit of his travail. O never was an jufant born into the world with that difficulty that Christ endured for us! How enphatically he groaneth iu bis travail : all the pains that he suffered on the cross, were our birth pains.' He sanetified himself, (that is, set apart himself as a sacrifice, that we may be sanctified, John xvii. 19. ..'708)

Tis nothing then but the merit and intercession of Christ, that prevails with God to bestow on us grace. If thou art a new creature, thou kuowest to whom thou owest it, to Christ's pangs and prayers." Hence the natural affection of a believer to Jesus Christ. The foal doth not more naturally run after the dam, than a believer to Jesus Christ. ..! !! ! -si13. The instrument is either personal or real. - - 2017 · The personal is the ministry. I have begotten you in Christ through the gospel, 1 Cor. iv. 15. Christ's ministers are they that are sent to open ineu's eyes, and to turn them to God. do 1811 ) -10 unthankful world, little do ye know what you are doing, while you are persecuting the messengers of the Lord. These are thev, whose business it is (under Christ) to save you. Whom have you're proached and blasphemed? · Against whoin have you exalted yourselves, and lifted your voice on high These are the servants of the most high God, that show unto you the way of salvation, Acts xvi. 17. and do you thus requite them? O foolish and unwise! 0 sons of ingratitude! against whom do you sport your selves ?. These are the instruments that God uses to convert and save you. i ;, ;'!ll. l.vn

The real instrument is the word. We were begotten by the word of truth: this is that which enlightelis the eye, which converteth the soul, Psal. xix. 7, 8. which maketh wise to salvation, 2 Tim. iii. 15. This is the incorruptible seed, by which we are born again. If we are washed, it is by the word, Eph. v: 26.

we are sanctified, it is through the truth, John xvii. 17. ... ... .. . wibre posso * 2:1, » You that have felt its renewing power, be for ever thankful for it; tie it about your necks, write it upon your hand. When you go, let it lead you; when you sleep, let it keep you; when you wake, let it talk with you say with holy David, I will not forget thy precepts for by them thou hast :quickened me; Psal. cxix. 93. : You that are unconverted, read the word with diligence, flock to it where powerfully preached, fill the porches as the multitude of the impotent, blind, halt, withered, : waiting for the moving of the water, John v. 3. Pray for the coming of the Spirit in the word; come off thy knees, to the sermon, and come to thy knees from the sermon: the seed doth not prosper, because not watered by prayers and tears, nor covered by ineditation. ., , ,

4. The final cause is man's salvation, and God's glory.--We are chosen thro? sanctification to salvation, 2 Thess. ij. 13. called, that we might be glorified, but especially that God might be glorified: that we should show forth his praise, and be fruitful in good works, Col. i. 10. O Christian! do not forget the end of thy calling; let thy light shine, Matt. v. 16. let thy lamp burn, let thy fruits be good, and many, and in season, Psal. i. 3. let all thy designs fall in with God's, that he may be magnified in thee..., 14.5. The subject is the sinner; and that in all his parts and powers, members and mind. .

184 nr: This change of conversion passes throughout the whole subject. A carnal person may have some shreds of good morality, but he is never good throughout the whole cloth, the whole body of holiness. Conversion is no repairing of the old building, but it takes all down, and erects a new structure: 'tis not the putting in a patch, or sewing a list of holiness; but, with the true convert, holiness is woven into all his powers, principles, and practice. The sincere Christian is quite a new fabric, from the foundation to the top-stone all fire-new. He is a new man, a' new creature. AU things are become new. Conversion is a deep work,


a heart-work; it turns all upside down, and makes a man be in a new world. It goes throughout with men, throughout the mind, throughout the motions of the whole man. .

.,'t t, porro 1. Throughout the mind. It makes a universal change within. First, it turns the balance of the judgment, so that God and his glory weigh down all carnal and worldly interest. It opens the eye of the mind, and inakes the scales of its native ignorance to fall off, and turns men from darkness to light The man that before saw no danger in his condition, now concludes himself lost for ever, except renewed by the power of grace. He that formerly thought there was little hurt in sin, now comes to see it to be the chief of evils; he sees the unreasonableness, un. righteousness, and deformity, that is in sin; so that he is affrighted with it, loathes it, flees it, and even abhors himself for it. He that could see little sin in himself, and could find no matter for confession before God, unless it were some few gross evils: now sịn reviveth within him, he sees the rottenness of his heart, and desperate and deep pollution of bis whole nature: he cries, “ Unclean, unclean! Lord, purge me with hyssop, wash me thoroughly, create in me a new heart.” He sees himself altogether become filthy, corrupt, both root and tree; he writes unclean upon all his parts, and powers, and performances: he sees the blasphemy, and theft, and murder, and adulteryo that is in his heart, which before he was igporant of: heretofore he saw no form or comeliness in Christ, or beauty, that he should desire him; but now be, finds the hid treasure, and will sell all to buy this. field.

in mid Now, according to this new light, the man is of another mind, another judgment, than he was: now. God

Muda is all with him, he bath none in heaven nor on earth like him, Psal. Ixxiii. 25. He prefers him before all' the world: his favour is his life; the light of his coun. tenance is more than corn, or wine, and oil, the good that formerly he inquired after, and set his heart upon Now let all the world be set on one side, and Gyd

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »