Page images

for good, the worft of ills for all the good one ever at any time enjoyed. Yea, it is a turning of the good received from God against him; as if one advanced from the dunghill by his prince, fhould use all his favours in rebellion against him.

(3) It wrongs his holiness, Hab, i, 13. He cannot endure unholinefs. He is omnifcient and omniprefent; fo fin brings into the prefence of the great King, that which by all things he cannot endure to look at. It fets up the worst of defilement before his fpotlefs holiness; and does in its own nature tend to deface the glory of it.

(4.) Lastly, It breaks his law, the eternal rule of righteousness, 1 John iii. 4. It is all right, and of perpetual equity, and is the hedge which God has fet about his rational creatures: but fin breaks down that hedge, and breaks over it. And the finner is a rebel against the King's law, 1 Sam. xv. 23. and in effect fets God at defiance, inafinuch as it breaks the law, to which fuch a penalty is annexed.

7: 9:


1 fhall now deduce fome inferences,

Inf. 1. Let this commend the love of Chrift in dying for finners, Rom. v. 8. O matchlefs love, which made him willing to be made a curfe for us, that we might be delivered from the curfe of the law! Every fin deferves God's wrath and curse. What a flood of wrath behoved then to come on hin, when he flood in the flead of a whole elect world!

2. Let this convince you of the ill that is in fin. There is more ill in the leaft fin than the greatest fufferings. Therefore never fay in compliance with a temptation, It is but a little one. For the leaft fin will make you eternally miferable in hell; and can ye account that a little evil, which expoles to God's curfe here and hereafter?

3. Inexpreffibly terrible is the deferving of many fins, and grofs fins, when the leaft of them deferves

[ocr errors]

God's wrath. If one do fo, how great muft that wrath be, which thoufands and millions deferve? If an idle word deferves God's wrath and curfe, what muft deliberate lying words deferve, but a deep footing in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone? DISSE

4. Let believers admire free grace, pardoning mercy, and atoning blood, Pfal. xxxii. 1. that fe cures them from bearing the defert of their (fin. Let them live to the Lord, by whom they live. Think not little of your fins, O believer, though there be now no condemnation for you, being in Chrift Jefus, Rom. viii. 1. for every one of your fins deferves, though they cannot bring on, God's wrath and curfe. Yet tremble at the thoughts of fin; for ye are like the three children in the fiery furnace, compaffed with a fire of fin that would burn you up, but the effect of it is ftopt by the mediation of Chrift.

Laftly, Sinners, be convinced of your abfolute need of Chrift. Ye must be in him, or yerare ruined for ever. Can ye bear that wrath which incenfed juftice will inflict on all that are out of Chrift? Can ye get free of it without him? Wherefore be alarmed, and exhorted to flee from the wrath that is to come, by fleeing to the Lord Jefus, who delivereth all his people from it.



[ocr errors]



Of the Means of Salvation in general.

1000 97

HEBREWS ii. 3.


How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? — SINNER having heard, that fin deferves God's wrath and curfe, the queftion that natively follows, is, What way one may escape them? This is anfwered by the weighty queftion in the

text, How shall we efcape, if we neglect fo great falvation? Which we may take up in thefe two things. (1.) There is no escaping for finners, if they neglect the great falvation; they perish without remedy. (2.) They that do not neglect it, fhall furely escape. Here let us confider,


1. The danger finners are in by their fin: They are in hazard of perifhing under God's wrath and curfe; for that is the juft recompenfe of every fin, ver. 2.; of God's wrath confuming them, and his curfe binding them down under it for ever. He intimates, that all are liable to God's wrath and curfe, while he fays, How fhall we efcape, &c.


12. The way how they may efcape; namely, by not neglecting, but falling in with the great falvation The words intimate, (1.) That there is a poffibility of escaping; finners are not fhut up hopelefs under the curfe. (2.) The way of escape is not by fleeing from the Judge, and the execution of his fentence: nay he is omnifcient and omniprefent; one cannot outwit him, or get away from his fight, or out of his reach. Nor is it by refifting, for he is omnipotent, and none can outbrave him, nor make head against him. But he inay efcape by falling in with the means of efcape appointed by himself, and required by him to be made ufe of by us. He has provided us with a falvation, a great one, i. e. the gofpel which teaches the way of eternal falvation. He requires us, not to neglect it, but to improve it for our escape. It is neglected by unbelief, impenitency, and not ufing the means prefcribed. On the contrary, then, he requires of us faith and repentance, which are the fubftance of the gofpel, Acts xx. 21. Testifying to the Jews and also to the Greeks repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jefus Chrift; and he requires of us the ufe of. the means by which the falvation held forth in the gofpel is obtained, Prov. viii. 34. Blefed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting


at the posts of my doors for furely they neglect and flight the gofpel, who do not believe, repent, or ufe the ordinary means of obtaining the falvation.

The text affords the following doctrine.

DocT. Whofe would efcape God's wrath and curfe, must not neglect, but fall in with the great falvation. Or, "To escape the wrath and curfe of God due "to us for fin, God requireth of us faith in Jefus


Chrift, repentance unto life, with the diligent "ufe of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption."

For explaining of this, I fhall fhew,

I. The neceffity of faith in Jefus Chrift, in order to one's escaping the wrath and curfe of God.

II. The neceflity of repentance, in order to the fame end,

III. Anfwer the queftion, Are faith and repentance in mens power, fince God requires them of




IV. Shew the connection betwixt faith and repentance, and efcaping the wrath and curfe of God. V. The neceflity of the diligent ufe of all the outward means whereby Chrift communicates to us the benefits of redemption.

VI. Laftly, Deduce an inference or two.

I. I fhall fhew the neceffity of faith in Jefus Chrift, in order to one's efcaping the wrath and curfe of God due to him for fin. It is abfolutely neceffary; no man can escape God's wrath and curfe without it. For,


1. There is no pleafing of God without it, Heb. xi. 6. The reafon is, because he is only pleafed with Jefus Chrift, and those who are in him, or united to him, Matth. xvii, 5. If one fhould weep for his fins till no moisture were left in his body, faft his flesh to a fkeleton, and watch ever fo carefully against his fin, if he have not faith, he

is a loft man; he cannot pleafe God, but muft lie for ever under his difpleasure.

2. It is the great duty of the gospel, whereby one is made partaker of the remedy provided, and without which neither your perfons nor performances can be accepted. It is the work of God, John vi. 29. the command of God, 1 Joh iii. 23. Your perfons will ever be under condemnation without it, John iii, 18. And all your other duties will be but ciphers in God's account, multiply them as ye will, if faith be not at the head of them.

[ocr errors]

3. It is that which enters one into the covenant of peace; unites him with Chrift, and by which he comes to partake of all faving benefits. If ye would efcape God's wrath, ye must be within the covenant; ye muft believe, that is, confent to the marrage There is no escaping wrath without being in Chrift, and united to him, Rom. viii. 1. That union is by faith, Eph. iii. 17. We must be justified, and that is by faith, Rom. v. 1. and fanctified, which is by faith too, Acts xv. 9.

ovenant, John vi. 35.

4. Salvation and damnation turns upon this very point. Here is the decifion of the cafe, Mark xvi. 16. He that believeth shall be saved; but he that believeth not fhall be damned. Unbelief will undoubtedly ruin you, Pfal. ii. ult. Kifs ye the Son, left he be angry, and ye perifh from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Unbelief is a rejecting of Chrift; and they cannot efcape who refufe the remedy of fin, Luke xix. 27. Thofe mine enemies that would not that I fhould reign over them, bring hither, and flay them before me.

II. I proceed to fhew the neceffity of repentance, in order to one's efcaping this wrath and curfe. No adult perfon can be faved without it. As for infants dying in their tender years, and fuch others who are not capable of actual faith and repentance, in fo far as the Spirit dwells in them, they have the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »