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struments of death. But O how hopeless a warfare is it to contend with bim! Who ever hardened himself against God and prospered? Is there any strong hold, where the enemies of his government may be safe? Go try the whole extent of creation. Ascend to heaven, and he is there in the brightness of his majesty. Go down to the regions of darkness, and he is there in the severity of his justice. Take the wings of the morning, and fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, even there his boundless dominion extends; even there his right hand shall hold thee a prisoner to his vengeance. Listen, O sipner, to the tremendous declaration of this omnipotent, omnipresent God. “I, even I, am he, and there is no God with me; I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand: for I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood."
3dly. It cannnot be well with the wicked, because they lie under the guilt of all the sins which they have ever committed. A dreadful load! One sin ruined myri. ads of beings superior to man; how shall they escape, then, who from their youth upwards have drunk iniquity even as the ox drinketh water? It is possible that you may sooth yourselves with the thought of having repented of the grosser sins with wbich your lives hare been stained; you trust that these are forgiven, and presume that a mercifol God will overlook the rest. But I must be allowed to inform you, that this is a rash and groundless thought. There is no such thing with God as partial forgiveness. If all your sins are not pardoned, not one of them is; and unless you have been renewed
by the grace and Spirit of God, those sins you commit. ted in your earliest years, are as much in force against you as those of the most recent date you can name. Conversion and pardon are inseparably connected; and it will ever remain a certain truth, that whom God justifies, them be also sanctifies. There is indeed po con. demnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; but, on the other hand, these are such as walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
4thly. It cannot be well with the wicked, because, while they remain in this state, nothing they do can please God. I mean not to affirm, that they cannot perform actions materially good, the substance of which is commanded by God. The morality of Christ's religion is so much accommodated to the interest of individuals, and to the good of society, that even they, who have no higher motives, may find it profitable to comply with some of its injunctions. Far less is it my meaning, that it would be better, or as good, for such persons to neglect or disobey these injunctions. But my meaning is, that there are so many defects, and so much unsoundness of motive in their best actions, that God can have no delight in them, such as he has in the obedience of his own people, who are reconciled to him by the great Mediator.
They cannot so far please God as to render their per. sons acceptable to him; nor have they any promise that this partial obedience of theirs shall be recompensed with any favour or reward. The truth of these observa. tions is confirmed by a multitude of passages of Scrip. ture. There we are told, that the thoughts of the wicked are abominable to him; that the ploughing of the wicked is sin; that the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomina.
tion; yea, be that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer, saith Solomon, shall be an abomination unto God. And how can it be well with the man, whose whole life is a perpetual offence to the God that made him ? Consider this, ye that now despise reproof, trample on the blood of Christ, and resist the motions of bis Spirit. In vain do you rest on the favourable parts of your character, as a compensation for this ungrateful abuse of the divine goodness and long-suffering. In the sight of men, indeed, this balance may be of some avail to you; but God seeth not as man seeth. In bis sight your whole character is depraved, and every part of your conduct offensive. I shall only add, in the
5th and last place, That if you die in this state, your perdition is inevitable. “ Except a man be born again," saith our Lord, “ he cannot see the kingdom of God.” _“Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye cannot enter in. to the kingdom of heaven." These passages are plain and decisive; and I have selected them, among innumerable others to the same purpose, for this reason, that they were uttered by the firmest and tenderest friend of the human race, the truth of whose warnings we can have no reason to doubt.
In reviewing what has been said, the impression left is undoubtedly gloomy, and nothing but a sense of duty could have prevailed on me to deliver so harsh a mes. sage. But that watchman would be very unfaithful to his trust, who would not call the alarm of fire, because of the unpleasant sound it has in men's ears. I have not been sternly delivering truths in which I have no concern myself. We are all embarked in the voyage of life upon the same conditions. These conditions I have endeavoured to set before you, according to that commandment of God, “Say ye to the righteous, it shall be welljeni with him, for he shall eat the fruit of his doings; but wo ve to the wicked, it shall be ill with him, neither shall be in prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he tb feareth not before God." Knowing, therefore, the ter. are rors of the Lord, I have been endeavouring to persuade ape you to fly from the wrath to come.
has The way to escape all this misery is patent, even to has the chief of sinners. The door of mercy is open. God is he, seated on a throne of grace, ready to receive every hum. bec ble penitent; and this is his call to the sons of men, “Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die?-Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.
No -Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous call man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and thei he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will tor abundantly pardon.-Incline your ear, and come unto
An me; hear, and your souls shall live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies
tbe of David." Amen.
REVELATION i. 5.
pas spec eye but and
Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent,
and do the first work's; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
THESE are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to the church of Ephesus. They contain a call to repen. tance and reformation, with a severe and terrible threat
ed of u
I bevening in case of disobedience. In the second and third i; bu verses, we have an acknowledgment of what was good sha' in that church, " I know thy works, and thy labour, and carthy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which , the are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are pers apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and
hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake t. et hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” Nevertheless, says 1. bi he, in the 4th verse, “I have somewhat against thee, ery because thou hast left thy first love." Their affection jo i was cooled, their zeal was abated, they were become thal more remiss and lukewarm in the duties of religion.
Now, this our Saviour could not bear; be therefore rizit calls them to remember their first estate, to consider
their present degenerate condition, to mourn over it, and to rise from it by a speedy repentance and reformation. And to give this summons the greater efficacy, he threatens them with the removal of the gospel from them, if they did not repent: “ I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
Many useful observations might be made from this passage; as, first, That our Lord Jesus Christ takes special notice of those to whom the gospel is sent. His eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good; but he walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks, and carefully observes the improvement which men make of this precious light. This teaches us what manner of persons we ought to be. We are placed here, as it were, on a theatre, and act in the immediate view of our King and Judge. Yea, he hath in a manner entrusted us with his glory, and called the world to take notice of us, as the persons by whom he expects to be honoured, and therefore our behaviour cannot be indifferent to