« הקודםהמשך »
of the unconverted be not deplorably miserable; as we read of some persons that had bound themselves in an oath, and in a curse, to kill Paul, so thou must know, O sinner, to thy terror, that all the attributes of the infinite God are bound in an oath to destroy thee, Heb. iii. 18. O man! what wilt thou do? whither wilt thou flee? If God's omnisciency can find thee, thou shalt not escape: if the true and faithful God will save his oath, perish thou must, except thou believe and repent: if the Almighty hath power to torment thee, thou shalt be perfectly miserable in soul and body to all eternity, unless it be prevented by speedy conversion.
Il. The whole creation of God is against thee.-The whole creation (saith Paul groaneth and travaileth in pain, Rom. viii. 22. But what is it that the creation groaneth under? Why, the fearful abuse that it is subject to, in serving unsanctified men. And what is it that the creation groaneth for? Why, liberty from this abuse; for the creature is unwillingly subject to this bondage. If the unreasonable and inanimate creatures had speech and reason, they would cry out under it as a bondage unsafferable, to be abused by the ungodly, contrary to their natures and the ends which the great Creator made them for. It is a passage of an eminent divine, “ There is never a creature, but, if it had reason to know how it is abused till a man be converted, 'twould groan against him: the land would groan to bear him, the air would groan to give him breathing, their houses would groan to lodge them, their beds would groan to ease them, their food to nourish them, their clothes to cover them, and the creature would groan to give them any help and comfort, so long as they live in sin against God.”
Methinks this should be a terror to an unconverted soul, to think he is a burden to the creation. Luke xiii. 7. Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? If the poor inanimate creatures could but speak, they would say to the ungodly, as Moses to Israel, “ Must we fetch you water out of the rock, ye rebels?” Thy food would say, “Lord, must I nourish such a wretch
as this, and yield forth my strength for him to dishonour thee withal ? No, I will choke him rather, if thou wilt give me permission.” The very air would say, “ Lord, must I give this man breath to set his tongue against heaven, and scorn thy people, and vent his pride, and wrath, and filthy communication, and oaths and blasphemy against thee? No, if thou but say the word, he shall be breathless for me.” A wicked man, the earth groans under him, and hell groans for him, till death satisfies both, and unburdens the earth, and stops the mouth of hell with him. While the Lord of hosts is against thee, be sure the host of the Lord is against thee; and all the creatures are, as it were, up in arms, till upon a man's conversion, the controversy being taken up between God and him, he makes a covenant of peace with the creature for him.
III. The roaring lion hath his full power upon thee. Thou art fast in the paw of that lion that is greedy to devour; “ In the snare of the devil led captive by him at his will." You pity the poor lodians that worship the devil for their god; but little think it is your own case. Why, 'tis the common misery of all the unsanctified, that the devil is their god. Not that they intend to do him homage, they will be ready to defy him, and him that should say so of them; but all this while they serve him, and come and go at his beck, and live under his government; his servants you are to whom yé yield yourselves to obey. O how many then will be found the real servants of the devil, that take themselves for children of God! Doubtless the liar intends not a service to Satan, but his own advantage; ret tis he that stands in the corner unobserved, and putteth the thing into his heart.
Dost thou live in the practice of any known sin? know that thou art of the devil. Dost thou live in strife, or envy, or malice? verily he is thy father. 0 dreadful case! However Satan may provide his slaves with diverse pleasures, yet it is but to roll them into endless perdition. The serpent comes with the apple in his mouth, but thou seest not the deadly sting in his
tail. He that is now thy tempter, will one day be thy tormentor. O that I could but give thee to see, how merciless a tyrant thou gratifiest; all whose pleasure is, to set thee on work to make thy damnation sure, and to heat the furnace hotter and hotter, in which thou must burn for millions and millions of ages..
IV. The guilt of all thy sins lies like a mountain upon thee. Poor soul! thou feelest it not, but this is that which seals thy misery upon thee. While uncon-' verted, none of thy sins are blotted out.
How light soever you may make of it now, you will one day find the guilt of unpardoned sin to be a heavy burden. This is a millstone, which whosoever falleth upon, shall be broken; but upon whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to power, Matt. xxi. 44. What work did it make with our blessed Saviour! It pressed the very blood out of his veins, and broke ah his bones. And if it did this in the green tree, what will it do in the dry? : O think of thy case in time. Canst thou think of that threat without trembling, Ye shall die in your sins? John vüi. 24. O better were it for thee to die in a gaol, in a dungeon, than die in thy sins. If death, as it will take away all thy other comforts, would take away thy sins too, it were some initigation: but thy sins will follow thee, when thy friends leave thee, and all worldly enjoyments shake hands with thee: thy sins will not die with thee, as a prisoner's other debts will, but they will go to judgment with thee, there to be thy accusers; and they will go to hell with thee, there to be thy tormentors. Better to have so many fiends about thee, than thy sins to fall upon thee and fasten on thee. O the work that these will make! 0 look over thy debts in time, how much thou art in the books of every one of God's laws! how is every one of God's commandments ready to arrest thee, and take thee by the throat, for the innumerable bonds it hath upon thee! What wilt thou do then, when they shall together lay in against thee? Hold open the eyes of conscience to consider this, that thou mayest despair
cuthy work, ever is now as to thy senses, ery wound,
of thyself, and be driven to Christ, and fly for refuge to lay hold on the hope that is set before thee.
V. Thy raging Tusts do miserably enslave thee.While unconverted, thou art a very servant to sin, it reigns over thee, and holds thee under its dominion, till thou art brought within the bonds of God's covenant.
What a woeful spectacle was the poor wretch that was possessed with the legion! Would it not have grieved thy heart to have seen him among the tombs cutting and wounding himself? This is thy case, such is thy work, every stroke is a thrust at thy heart. Conscience indeed is now asleep; but when death and judgment shall bring thee to thy senses, then wilt thou feel the raging smart and anguish of every wound.
VI. The furnace of eternal vengeance is heated ready for thee. Hell and destruction open their mouths upon thee, they gape for thee, they groan for thee, waiting as it were with a greedy eye, as thou standest upon the brink, when thou wilt drop in. If the wrath of men be as the roaring of a lion, more heavy than the sand, what is the wrath of the infinite God! If the burning furnace heated in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery rage, when he commanded it to be made yet seven times hotter, was so fierce as to burn up even those that drew near to it to throw the three chil. dren in, how hot is that burning oven of the Almighty's fury! Surely this is seventy times seven more fierce! What thinkest thou, O man, of being a faggot in hell to all eternity? Can thy heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the day that I shall deal with thee, saith the Lord of hosts? Canst thou abide the everlasting burnings ? canst thou dwell with consuming fire? When thou shalt be as a glowing iron in hell, and thy whole body and soul shall be as perfectly possessed by God's burning vengeance as the fiery sparkling iron when heated in the fiercest forge! Thou canst not bear God's whip, how then wilt thou endure his scorpions? Thou art even crushed, and ready to wish thyself dead, under the weight of his finger, how then wilt thou bear the weight of his loins? How wilt thou endure, when God shall pour out all his vials, and set himself against thee, to torment thee? When he shall make thy conscience the tunnel by which he will be pouring his burning wrath into thy soul for ever, and when he shall fill all thy pores as full of torment as they are now full of sin; when immortality shall be thy misery, and to die the death of a brute, and be swallowed in the gulph of annihilation, would be such a felicity, as a whole eternity of wishes and an ocean of tears shall never purchase ? Now thou canst put off the evil day, and canst laugh and be merry, and forget the terror of the Lord; but how wilt thou hold out, or hold up, when God will cast thee into a bed of torments, and make thee to lie down in sorrow? When roarings and blasphemy shall be the only music, and the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, shall be thy only drink! When thou shalt draw in flames for thy breath, and the horrid stench of sulphur shall be thy only perfume! In a word, when the smoke of thy torment shall ascend for ever, and thou shalt have no rest night or day, no rest in thy conscience, no ease in thy bones, but thou shalt be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach, for evermore!
O sinner! stop and consider: if thou art a man, and not a senseless block, consider: bethink thyself where thou standeth; why, upon the very brink of this furpace. As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between thee and this. Thou knowest not, when thou liest down, but thou mayest be in before the morning; thou knowest not, when thou risest, but thou mayest drop in before night. Darest thou make light of this? Wilt thou go on in such a dreadful condition, as if nothing ailed thee? If thou puttest it off, and sayest, This doth not belong to thee, look again over the foregoing chapter, and tell me the truth: are none of these black marks found upon thee? Do not blind thine eyes, do not deceive thyself; see thy misery while thou mayest prevent it: think what