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various. For instance, there is the ftill and calm voice of the gospel, where, like a "charmer, he charms never fo wisely." And then there is the thundering voice of the law, iffuing forth from mount Sinai, making the guilty conscience of the finner, like the wildernefs, to quake.
14, In the law we may hear fometimes his commanding voice, requiring duty, “ shewing us what is good, and what the Lord our God requireth of us." There is his forbidding voice. "Oh do not this abominable thing that my foul hates.". Many of the commands of the moral law are uttered in a way of prohibition, discharging and inhibiting us from this, and that, and the other fin. There we thall hear his warning and threatening voice, telling finners what will be the iffue, if they adventure upon hin, which is a tranfgreffion of the divine law. There he warns finners, that however sweet their fin:morsels may be under their tongue, yet they will be turned into bitterness in their belly, and bite like a serpent, and fting like an adder, that the curfe of God will follow it, and pursue the finner to the loweft hell. There we have his reproving voice, rebuking finners when they have turned away from the duty enjoined in the law. “I will sharply reprove Thee, and let thine iniquities in order before thine eyes." And Oh but his rebukes are awful, and full of majefty, whether in his word or providence. “ We perith (fays the church), at the rebuke of thy countenance." Here we have this fwearing voice, for the support of his veracity, engaged in the penalty of his law against rebellious and obftinate fin, ners, Pfal. xcv. we are told that God did “fwear in his wrath, that the rebellious Ifraelites should not enter into his reft :** and If. xxii. 14. “ As I live, faith the Lord God of hosts, your iniquity shall not be purged from you, till ye die.” And, lastly, we have his fentencing and finally condemning voice ; he has told us what is to be the doom of the ungodly world at the last day, Matth. xxv. 41. “ Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlalting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
2dly, His voice, I was saying, is to be heard in the gospel as well as in the law. And here we have a diversity of joyful founds that it makes in the ears of finners.
Here we have his teaching voice. Every doctrine of the gofpel is a leffon, by which he would let linners into the knowledge of God, and of his mind and will, as to the way of falvation through himself. And here his voice is meek and lowly; and how fond is he to open the deep things of God to us? “Come hither, ye children, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord." See how he, as it were, infinuates him
self upon sinners, commending his instructions to them, Provi viii. 6.-10.
In the gofpel we have not only his teaching but his promising voice. He begins after the fall with the voice of promise, Gen. iii. 15. “ The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the ferpent ;” and with this voice he spoke to Abraham, «í In thy seed Thall all the nations of the earth be blessed." These two promises are opened and multiplied in a vast vae riety of other promises through the word to the very end of the Revelation, where the canon of the scripture is shut up. And he delights much in uttering this voice, because it is the immediate ground of faith, his faithfulness and mercy being engaged therein.
In the gospel we have his counselling voice, as to Laodicea, Rey. iii. 18.“ I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, &c. Here we have his calling and inviting voice, utter. ed as it were by the sound of a trumpet from the high places of the city of God, Prov. viii. “ Wisdom crieth on the tops of the high places, and chief places of concourse : Unto you, O mer, do I call, and my voice is to the sons of men.” That none may pretend ignorance, he orders his servants to go out to the streets and broad ways," crying, as If. ly. 1..“ Ho, every one that thirfteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, let him come; come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price."
We have his expoftulating voice fomerimes in the gospel: -Oh! " wherefore do ye spend your money for that which is not bread? and your labour for chat which profits not? O my people, what have I done unto thee, and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.” His beseeching and intreating voice: “We beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Sometimes we may hear his arguing and reasoning voice : he is willing to dispute the matter with sinners, and to lec them see what a bad cause they have by the hand, and how advantageous it will be-unto them to comply with his invitations and offers : If, i. i8. “ Come now, and let us reason together, faith the Lord : though your fins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as (now; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” He challenges them to a dispute, Il. xli. 21. “ Produce your cause, faith the Lord ; bring forth your strong reasons, faith the King of Jacob.” Sometimes we find him entering into a dispute with himself, as if he were at a stand whether to let justice or mercy take place, toward
the the obstinate finner: Hof. xi. 8, “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? how shall I deliver thee, Israel, ? how shall I make thee as Admah ? how shall I set thee as Zeboim ? my bowels are turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.” Sometimes we fhall hear his lamenting voice, as if he were wringing his hands, and weeping over the folly and obstinacy of finners: Luke xix. 41. 42. “ When he beheld the city, he wept over it, saying, Oh that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace !"
Sometimes we hear his triumphing and rejoicing voice, when a prodigal finner is brought home. There is joy in heaven at the conversion of a finner :." Let us make merry (faith the fa. ther of the prodigal); for this my son was dead, and is alive again ; he was lost, and is found.”
Thus I have given you some account of the voice of the Angel of the covenant, that has the name of God in him, both from the law and from the gospel. Sometimes he stands on mount Gerizim, and sometimes on mount Ebal; sometimes he stands on mount Zion, and sometimes on mount Sinai; he turns from the one to the other, just as he finds the case of the finner requires it. But the delign of his voice, both in law and gospel, is to persuade finners to give him the hearing of faith, that their souls may live : and when nothing will do, then he is provoked to say, as he did to the old world, “ My Spirit shall no more strive with men upon earth;" or, as he did to Ephraim, “ He is joined to his idols, I will let him aa lone,”
Exod. xxii. 21.-Obey his voice : for my name is in him.
THE EIGHTH SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
THE second general head proposed upon this use was, to
1 inquire what is the voice of the great Angel of the covenant unto the present generation. He has been crying unto. all the generations that have gone before us; he spoke unto, the spirits, or souls of men, that are now in prison, viz. in ihe prison of hell, as he did to the old world in the days of Noah, by his ministry; and he is now lifting up his voice unto this. present generation.
And there are some more general, and some more particular cries, that he is giving at this day.
Firfi, I say, there are some general cries that he is giving unto all men every where, especially under the dispensation of the word.
1. then, One general cry he gives unto all men is, That « ail have finned, and come short of the glory of God;' or that which he uttered to the old world, That “ all flesh have corripted their ways, they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doth good, no not one." He is crying to all man. kind since the fall, as in Jer. ii. 12. 13. “Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, faith the Lord. For my people have committed two great evils; they have forsaken me," &c. Oh Sirs ! hear this cry of the Angel of the covenant, and consider it, that all man. kind fince the fall of Adam, and therefore you in particular, are far from God; that though God “made you upright," yet you have “found out many inventions ;" that though God « planted you a noble vine, wholly a right sced," yet ye are become “the degenerate plant of a strange vine : The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint; from the sole of the foot even unto the crown of the head, there is nothing but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores." Oh finners! hear what the Angel is saying, and lay to heart the corrup, tion of your nature, till ye be made to acknowledge with David, “I was conceived in fin, and brought forth in iniquity. Behold, I am vile, what ihall I answer thee?” It is for want of a right uptaking of natural corruption and depravation, that the gospel has so little success, and that Christ is so little valued and prized ; for “ the whole need not a physician, but they that are fick.”
2. The angel of the covenant, Jesus Christ, is crying unto every Christless finner, that death and the curse of God is pursuing him on the account of fin. You know the curse or penalty of the law is, “ In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die; The soul that sinneth, shall die :" and accordingly “ by one man sin entered into the world, and death by fin; and so death passed upon all men, in that all have finned :" and therefore, '“ Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Oh Sirs ! for the Lord's fake think upon it, for he that speaks from heaven is telling yon, that the vengeance of an i.finite God is pursuing you on the account of fin; you are “ condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on you; and therefore you are cursed in your basket and store, in the city and field, in your outgoings and incomings ;" cursed in your soul and body; cursed in time and through ecernity. And therefore I warn you, that “ in the hand of the Lord there is
ä сup, and the wine is red, it is full of mixture, and all the wicked of the earth Thall wring out the dregs thereof, and drink them.” .
3. Another cry I think the Angel of the covenant is giving, is that, Rom. viii. 22. “ The whole creation groaneth, and travaileth in pain together until now.” Whenever man fin. ned, the curse of God not only lighted upon him, but spread itself over the creation. The inferior creatures felt the dint of the curse of God, and were subjected unto bondage, through the fin of man; yea, the very earth under our feet lies groaning under the weight of it, “Cursed is the ground for thy fake ;” infomach, that if it were not for the patience and longsuffering of the great Creator, the earth would very foon do with men and women, as it did to Kotah, Dathan, and Abi. ram, Twallow them up. ; ; .
4. Tie Angel of God is crying to all men, that death and the grave will shortly devour and swallow them üp: " Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." See to this purpose, 1f. xl. 6.-8. «The voice faid, Cry. And he said, What Thall I cry? All flesh is grass," &t. And therefore, Sirs, in the name of the Angel of God, I warn you to make ready for death; for that grim meffenger of the Lord of hosts is every day making his approaches toward you, and will hue down these carcases of yours, that you are now pampering and feeding; they will be a pleasant feast for the worms.
5. Another cry is, that “ as it is appointed for all men once to die, so after death the judgement." Sirs, think upon it now; no sooner hath death dislodged you from these tabernacles of clay, and the eyes of your bodies shut, but that very moment you will find your souls fisted before the awful çribunal of ari infinite God, in order to have your éternal state determined. Oh Sirs!“ prepare to meet your God," for a meeting with him you must have ere it be long. There is another fort of a scene to open upon the back of death, than you now fee with your bodily eyes, or yet with the eyes of depraved reafon, though assisted with revelation. And if you die out of Christ, your hearts will be Itricken with a horrible surprise at the first sight of the awful and infinite majesty of God, as a vindiclive Judge and implacable enemy. Oh ! " who knows the power of his wrath ? according to his fear, fo is his wrath." Delolation and destruction will overtake the finner as a whirlwind.
6. Another cry the uncreated Angel of the covenant is ut. tering by the voice of his dispensations, is that which you have, Matth. iii. 10. “ And now also the ax is laid unto the foot of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire.”