Page images
PDF
EPUB

S E R M O N II.

The Helplessness of Man.

ISAIAH LXIII. 5.

And I looked, and there was none to belp; and I wondered that there was none to uphold.

N:

O sooner had Adam sinned, than he felt

the terrible Consequences which Sin ever brings with it. Reflect a Moment upon the Circumstances he was in, when now having transgressed the divine Commandment, he beard the Voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden. Conscience in Alarm proclaimed his Guilt, and prevented the Accusation, Tbou bast eaten of the forbidden Fruit. The Curse founded in his Ears, In the Day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. God was at hand, to inflict the Vengeance. What Thould the Wretch do? He dared not stand the once-beloved Countenance of God. Nor

did he reflect, how vain it was to think of flying from his universal Presence. Foolishly he bid himself amongst the Trees, till the Voice of God commanded him forth. Sin instantly begets an abhorred Issue in the Soul, the Confusion of Guilt, Dinike of God, and a Dread of Vengeance. Adam was afraid, and hid bimself

Our God is a consuming Fire (z) to Sinners, Sin cannot endure his Majesty. Sin, dife

honorable to God, and apprehensive of his · avenging Arm, doth not like his Presence.

Say thou, who haft weighed the Consequences of Sin with any Consideration ; Is it a light Tbing, that thou hast dishonored God, and provoked his Wrath upon thy Head? Canft thou well bear to think of him, who, strict in Justice and almighty in Power, is thy Enemy and Avenger? Art thou not ready to act over again the fad Folly of Adam; to hide thyself from God's Presence; to drown the too terrible Reflexion in Care or Plea'sure, till God call thee forth and will be attended to ? It is well if thou hearken to that Voice, though the Sound of it be ter'rible to thy Soul. Well will it be with thee, if in this ity Day thou lay to Heart the Con. sequences of thine Iniquities, while yet there, is Hope ; if, though with Trembling and Astonishment, thou art made to feel the State of a Sinner, that most deplorable State of : (a) Heb. xii, 19..

being

being a Rebel, alienated from all Esteem : of God and Fitness for his Glory, and an , Heir of Vengeance and Rejection. Then with an interesting Concern thou wilt enter with me into this farther Inquiry, whether thou cant remove these Consequences from thee; whether thou canst restore the Honor thou hast taken away from the Governor of the World, bring back thy Soul to a Creature-like Disposition, without which thou must remain incapable of tasting spiritual Happiness, or averting God's Vengeance.

I must be allowed to tell you, you can: not.

This was the second Point.

AND, upon this Particular, I shall wish to drive you to the Distress of Jonab's Mariners; having raised a Tempest about you, to leave you without any other Hopes of Safety, than by casting forth into the Sea your Selfconfidence. You may be apt to look for Security and Salvation, and Healing the Breach that Sin hath made between God and you, by Labor and Repentance, purely your own. As the Mariners did, you may be rowing hard to this Land to save yourfelves, unwilling to throw yourselves upon Mercy as otherwise loft. - But when you shall not be able; when you shall find, that, you cannot trust in any thing you can do, either to glorify God, to recover Purity of • C2

Heart,

Heart, or to satisfy his Justice ; then with unwonted Attention you shall consider that mighty Redeemer, who is come to restore the Breach, and tenderly waits to hide and cherish you under the Covering of his bealing Wings.

I say therefore, that having been found guilty of Sin before the Majesty of God, thereby you have dishonored him, in such a Manner alienated yourself from God, that you are unfit for his Presence and Glory, and have intailed an eternal Curse upon you, But from these Consequences you cannot rescue yourself.

I would engage you to observe the Connection there is between these Consequences of Sin. It is notorious, that the Rebellion of Man's Will and Way dishonors God as the Governor of the World. This Rebellion hath destroyed all Capacity of Happiness in the Creature with the Creator, though in him only it is possible that a reasonable Being can be blessed; while the Glory of God, and the evil Dispositions of Man's rebellious Nature, lead directly to a State of endless Banishment from God's Presence, and of avowed and most required Punishment, Till God be glorified, till Man be humbled, the Separation between the Creator and Creature remains; and the Iffue, on the one Part and the other, must be Man's Ruin for-ever.

GOD

God remaining dishonored and Man rebellious, the Event is Enmity and Death. If therefore you would compose the Difference Sin hath made between God and you, you

must render back all the Glory you have de- prived God of, you must put on the Dif

position of a Creature, you must satisfy the Demands of infinite Justice. See now how incapable you are to effect either of these.

First, If you would remove the Consequences of Sin from you, you must render back the Glory to God you have deprived him of. I will suppose you sensible, that by your Sins and Rebellion you have dishonored God your Maker and Governor, and that you are willing to do all in your Power to render back that Glory to him. I will suppose you too, with the utmost Pu. rity of Heart and Integrity of Life, returned to your Allegiance; and that with such a Simpircity in yourself, your constant carneft Endeavour is to promote God's Glory in the World, by all the Influence you have upon others. But now, even in this Case, you will not advance a Step towards repairing the Dishonor which your past Sins have brought upon God. For what by such a Conduct are you doing, more than your Duty? Or was it not your Duty to have been with God always, as I suppose you now to be? It is true by such an humble

« PreviousContinue »