« PreviousContinue »
Motion to Pride; Trust, void of all Fear ; Obedience, without the most secret Murmuring; Love, incire and unalloyed; while Holiness, Righteousness, Truth and Goodness; while Quietnefs and Peace, all of them dwelt there together; while the Soul of Man was thus divinely arrayed, was it not lovely? Were we not glorious within ? - But Sin hath effaced it all, scarcely left any Ruins of so glorious a Fabric. Sin hath
Sin hath propagated its ugly. Breed upon us ; hath made us proud and unbelieving, disobedient and unloving; hath ftamped us with the Likeness of the Prince of Darkness; hath drawn upon our Souls too near a Resemblance of his Envy and Hatred, his Bitterness and Malice and Revenge ; hath turned us after earthly Loves and brutal Joy, with the whole Bent of our Inclinations. Sin hath done us this irreparable Hurt; hath ruined what we were, and made us what we are, earthly, sensual, devilish, averse from God, unfit for Him and Happiness; all that is within us, since Sin entred, proclaims the melancholy Truth. Our Souls were as the Garden of Eden, before it: And lo, it hath left us a desolate Wilderness. And what, shall we stand upon any Terms of Friendship with such an Enemy? Though it look pleasing, and flatter, and smile upon us, and would betray us with Kifles; shall we not hate the Traitor, and hold it off with
wbierrence, as the very Bane of our Souls?
3. Six brings Misery with, and after it. You have heard how God threatens; you may tödl if you will how he now punishes it. Confider, I pray you, if Sin hath not curied the Ground under us, and turned the Heavens, one while into Brass, and another into a Deluge over our Heads; if it hath not armed the Sky with Thunder, and the Bowels of the Earth with Convulsions; if it hath not murdered all Joy, and chased Happincís out of the World, if it hath not brought on us l'exation and Sickness, and Crois and Care, making us very Slaves to keep ourselves alive, and then consigning tiis lordly Body of ours to the Worms and Duit. Ifpak not of unknown Things : I fpeak what we feel and struggle with, till we can hold Lite no longer, and depart to the Price arrcimed for all living (k). But after Death comes the Misery indeed, known now only in difrelerdion, but so felt even in the Expelurich, as to make all present Wo of no Account, when compared with it. Lanch your Thoughts into eternal Mifery; and you hall think of Man's momentary Wretchedness, with that Littleness of
Apprehension wherewith a Person failing • upon the vast Ocean reflects upon the River, which appeared great while he was passing (k) Job xxx. 23.' '.
out of it. And what is there that can be called Misery, which you do not see before you, as the eternal Iffue and Wages of Sin? To think of the Body's dwelling in Flames! Should you be invited, by strange Curiosity, to fee a Criminal burnt at a Stake, your Soul would be moved within you, though a few Minutes would put an End to his Tortures. But should you see him burning, and not yet dead, after a whole Day: And -should that Day be lengthened to a Week,
a Month, a Year, to a thousand Ages, to -for-ever! Intolerable even to think of it; "how then to bebold it, but how most into-lerable to suffer it! And this but the half, perhaps but the lesser half, of Man's eternal Misery! For to think of the Sufferings of the Soul ; consummate in all Wickedness to the fullest Measure, desperately hating God, and yet lying instantly under the Frowns of his irreconcilably enraged Majesty; how shall Conscience fting it, Rage gniw it, and Revenge consume it! How fhall hopeless Grief, impotent Malice, and utter Despair, burst forth into strange Complainings, citre Ting Groans, woful Curses and blafphemous Insultations, the Language of Hell; making the Voice of the Damned terrible, and filling their dark Chambers with Horror! And all this with tormenting Devils, the Outcasts of Heaven, wreaking their insatiable Malice upon them! O what
a Society, Place, Punishment, is here! And yet all this ibe Wages of Sin. See then, what an Enemy this Sin is to us, here and for-ever!
To conclude; I shall hope, that such Reflexions, upon the Dishonor Sin doth to God, upon the Defilement it brings upon the Soul, and the Misery which comes with and after it, may, by the Divine Grace, engage your Heart to fome DiNike of it: So that while you are searching after this most important Concern, the Reality, the Consequences of your Sins, and your Insufficiency to succour yourself; you may be disengaged from that Bias, which the Convenience of Sin and Self-fattery are too apt to give to the Soul; and in the Issue, may find yourself as earnest to be rid of Sin, as from the deplorable Events it hath produced. Thus disposed, you will be ready to hear the good News of Salvation, in the Ability and Willingness the Redeemer hath to help you; and will discover a becoming Forwardness in laying hold of his most gracious Offers. May God both prevent and assist you herein, for the sake of the same Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour!
S E R M O N
The Power and Love of CHRIST.
IS AIA Ħ LXIII. 5. Therefore mine own Arm brought Salvation
HEN a numerous
declared the Appearance of our Redeemer, their Song was, Glory to God in the bigbeft, and on Earth Peace, Good-will towards Men (). But what Songs are those which we send forth upon the Remembrance of that glorious Manifestation? What suitable Rejoicing do we fhew at this Season? Is the Voice heard among us of those, who rejoice for Hell shut and Heaven opened, for Peace and Glory promulged to a loft World?
The Substance of this Sermon was preached the funday before Christmas-day. By Luke ii. 14.