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destruction, Psal. 119.71, It is good for me, that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy Statutes.
And therefore he acknow. ledgeth to the praise of the wisdom, and rich grace of God, that in
very faithfulness to the interest of his Soul, the hand of the Lord had been upon him, so as it was.
Now lay all this together : That this was the great
end of Chriít's Incarnation, Death, and Suffering, and Intercession: The great end for which all Ordinances, and Providences are appointed to be subfervient unto, and it will evidently appear, that this was, and is, above all things else, most upon the heart of Christ, in our behalf, that our Souls might prosper ; therefore it ought to be most upon our hearts, and it is most rational, it should be so.
every way most agreeable to the belt, and highest principles of reason, with all possible diligence, and seriousness to mind that, the neglect whereof, will be our utter undoing, to all Eternity, and bring both Bo. dy, and Soul under the most abfolute, and unavoidable wo, and misery, that ever befell, or possibly can befall
any Creature, that ever God made, next unto the Devil himself. That principle of self-preservation planted in the heart of Man by Nature, if improved, cannot but teach him this ; That it is most rational for him to mind that, the
3. It is
neglect whereof would bring this ruine
upon him. Now what wo, and misery is laid up for a neglected, perishing, unprospering Soul, ye have fully expressed, beyond what can be conceived, in one verse, Matth. 41. whereof I shall mention but these two particulars,which are ofall others,most dreadful, and terrible.
(1.) Such a Soul is designed to be driven away from God; with his curse
them, Never to see his face, To be Eternally separated from those everlasting joys, which Souls that live and prosper, in a most absolute fullness do enjoy, in the enjoyment of God, whilst the everlasting God enjoys his own blessed felf. If this were all, the misery were unspeakable: It is said, A&t. 20.37, 38. that when Paul took his leave of his friends at Ephesus ; it was a very sad partting; They all wept very sore, fell upon Paul's neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all, for the words, which he spake unto them, that they should see his face no more.
If this were such an heart-breaking unto them, it must needs be impossible for any, that ever tasted, in any measure, how gracious the Lord is, to bear so much as a thought of never seeing,of never enjoying God more. Ye know, for a Man to lose his right were very sad, though he should have no pain in his eyes, Solomon faith, Eccles. 7. 11. Truly light is
sw.et, and it is a pleasant thing to behold the Sun: So that a Man would lcarce think, that the greatest Worldly prosperity were enough to 'repair that loss.
What then would this blind person think of his condition,if besides the loss of his sight, one should stand by, and continually be dropping scalding Lead into his eyes ? Yet so it is here,
(2.) A lost, unprosperous Soul is not only designed to be thus driven away from God, but it is designed to the same misery, and the fame torment with the Devils; and this theỹ can neither escape, nor endure. None can answer that question, Ezek. 22. 14, Can thine heart endure, or thine hands be strong, in the day when I shall deal with thee ? No, it cannot.
For who knoweth the
anger : even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath, Psal. 90. 11. None is able to express, yea nor to conceive, what
dreadful thing it is, to be buried; as it were, alive, under the Tomb-stone of the infinite wrath of the ever-living God, Heb. 10.31, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Rev. 6. 15, 16, 17,—They shall hide themselves in the Dens, and in the Rocks of the Mountains." And say to the Mountains, and Rocks, failor us, and hide us from the face of him that fittétb on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.
power of thine
For the great
day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand : This is that which Eye hạth not seen, nor Ear heard, nor can possibly enter into the heart of Man to conceive. Ye find up and down in the Scripture, that whatever is most terrible to sense, is made use of, to express the terribleness of it, and
yet comes far fhort of it. Let but this one argument sink into your hearts, and bė, if but once a week, seriously thought on, and possibly, this alone may convince you of the truth of what I say. That it is the most rational thing in the World, for all those who believe they have immortal Souls, in mortal Bodys, to mind the well-fare, and prosperity of their Souls, above all things else in the World.
4. Let me add one argument more. It is the most rational thing in the World, for every Man seriously to mind that, which above all things else, best answers God's great end in giving him his Being, and with it, all that is needful for support, together with more understanding then the Beasts of the field : And if ye ask, what this is ? ye have an answer, Prov. 16. 4, God made all things for himself.: For the glorifying of his own blessed name. Rom. I1, For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : To whom be glory for ever, Amen. Now as no Man dishonours God, but in doing that
which tends to the ruine and deftruction of his own Soul. So no Man doth any thing, or possibly can do any thing, which really tends to the will-fare of his own Soul, but therein he also glorifies God. For instance, To live in the exercise of Repentance; confeffing, and humbling our Souls in the fight of God, for our daily failings. To live in the exercise of Faith, applying our selves to Jesus Christ, as interceding, in our behalf for grace, and mercy, suitable to our daily necessities, resting upon his truth, and faithfulness in his promises, notwithstanding all difficulties appearing in the way of accomplishment : Walking in the fear of the Lord, and fruitfulness in every good work: These are all great fartherers of Soul-prosperity, Josh. 7. 19, My Son, give glory to God, and make confesion to him. Revel. 16.9,-They repented not, to give glory to God. Rom. 4. 19,20,--but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Isa. 8. 13, Sančtifie the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. Joh. 15.8, Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit. This is as certain, as that Jesus Christ glorified his Father, in finishing the work of Redemption, and Salvation, for loft finners. Joh. 17.4.
24 Thus ye have the Inference made good. vse. 2. If this be so, That Soul prosperity