« PreviousContinue »
Believest thou this ? If thou dost, art thou not worse than distracted, that will not take possession, when the gates are flung open to thee, and thou art bid to enter? O ye sons of folly, will ye embrace the dunghills, and re, fuse the kingdom ? Behold the Lord God taketh you up into the mountain, shews you the kingdom of heaven, and all the glory thereof; and tells you, All this will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me; if you will submit to mercy, accept my Son, and serve me in righteousness and holiness. O fools, and slow of heart to believe ! will you court the harlot ? Will you seek and serve the world, and neglect the eternal glory? What! not enter into paradise, when the flaming sword that was once set to keep you out is now used to drive you in! But you will say I am uncliaritable to think you infidels and unbelievers. Why, what shall I think you ? Either you are desperate unbelievers, that do not credit it, or stark distracted, that you know and believe the excellency and eternity af his glory, and yet do so fearfully neglect it. Surely you have no faith, or no reason; and I had almost said, conscience should tell you so before I leave you.
Do but attend what is offered to you : 0 blessed kingdom! a kingdom of glory, 1 Thess. ii. 1, a kingdom of righteousness, 2 Pet. iii. 13, a kingdom of peace, Rom. xiv. 17, an everlasting kingdom, 2 Pet, i. 11. More thou shalt dwell, here thou shalt reign
YGror, and the Lord shall set thee in a throne of glory, Matt. xix. 28, and with his
own hand shall set the royal diadem upon thine head, and give theë a crown, not of thorns, (for there shall be no sinning nor suffering there, Rev. xxi, 3, 4, 5, 23, 27) not of gold, (for this shall be viler than the dirt in that day) but a crown of life, James i. 12, à crown of righteousness, 2 Tim. iv. 8, a crown of glory, 1 Pet: v. 4. Yea, thou shalt put on glory as a robe, 1 Cor. xv. 53, and shalt shine like the sun in the firmament, in the glory of thy Father; Matt. xii. 43. Look now upon thy dirty flesh, thy clay, thy worm's meat; this very flesh, this lump, this carcase shall be brighter than the stars, Dan. xii. 3.
In short, thou shalt be made like unto the angels of God, Luke xx. 36, and behold his face in righteousness, Psal. xvii. 15. Look in now, and tell me, dost thou yet believe ? If not, conscience must pro. nounce thee ap infidel ; for it is the very word of God that I speak.
But if thou say thou believest, let me next know thy resolutions. Wilt thou embrace this for thy happiness? Wilt thou forego thy sinful gains, thy forbidden pleasures ? Wilt thou trample on the world's esteem, and spit in the harlot's face, and stop thive ears at her flatteries, and wrest thee out of her embraces? Wilt thou be content to take
up with present reproach and poverty, if it lie in thy way to heaven, and follow the Lord with humble self-denial, in a mortified and flesh-displeasing life? If so, all is thine, and that for ever.
And art not thou fairly offered ? Is it not pity but he should be damned
that will needs go on and perish, when alt this may be had for the taking? In a word, wilt thou now elose with these proffers ? Wilt thou take God at his word? Wilt thou let
go thy holdfast of the world, and rid thy bands of thy sins, and lay hold on eternal life ? If not, let conscienee tell thee whether thou art not distracted or bewitched, that thou shouldst neglect so happy a choice, by which thou mightest be made up for ever.
3. God will settle unspeakable privileges at present upon thee, 1 Cor. iii. 22. Heb. xii. 22, 23, 24. Though the full of your blessedness shall be deferred till hereafter, yet God will give you no little things in hand.
He will redeem you from your thraldom, John viii. 36. He will pluek you from the paw of the lion, Col. i. 13.
The serpent shall bruise your heel, but you shall bruise his head, Gen. iii. 15. He shall deliver you from the present evil world, Gal. i. 4. Prosperity shall not destroy you, adversity shall not separate between him and you, Rom. viii. 35, 37, 38. He will redeem you from the power of the grave, Psal. xlix. 15, and make the king of terrors a messenger
of you. He will take out the curse from the cross, Psal. cxix. 71, and make affliction the fining pot, the fan, the physic, to blow off the chaff, purify the metal, and purge the mind, Dan. xii. 10. Isa. xxvii. 9. He will save you from the arrest of the law, and turn the curse into a blessing to you, Rom. vi. 14. Gal. ii. 24. He hath the keys of hell and death, and shutteth that no man openeth,
Rev. iii. 7, and i. 18, and he will shut its mouth, as once he did the lions, Dan. vi. 22, that you shall not be hurt of the second death, Rev, iï. 11.
But he will not only save you from misery, but install you into unspeakable prerogatives : he will bestow himself upon you, he will be a friend unto you, and a father to you, 2 Cor. vi. 18. He will be a sun and a shield to you, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. In a word, he will be a God to you, Gen. xvii. 7. And what can be said more? Whatever you may expect that a God should do for you, and be to you, that he will be, that he will do. She that marries a prinçe expects he should do for her like a prince, that she may live in a suitable state, and have an answerable dowry. He that hath a king for his fatber, or friend, expects he should do for him like a king. Alas! the kings and monarchs of the earth, so much above you, are bat like the painted butterflies amongst the rest of their kind, or the fair coloured palmer-worm amongst the rest of the worms, if compared with God. As he doth infinitely exceed the glory and power of his glittering dust, so he will, beyond all proportion, exceed in doing for his favorites whatever princes can do for theirs. He will give you grace and glory, and with hold no good thing from you, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. He will take you for bis sons and daughters, and make you heirs of his promises, Heb. vi. 17, and establish his everlasting covenant with you, Jer. xxxii. 40.
He will justify you from all that law, conscience and Satan can
charge upon you, Rom. viii. 33, 31. He will give you free access into his presence, and accept your person, and receive your prayers, Eph. ü. 12, and i, 6. 1 John Ý. 14.' H. will abide in you, and make you the men of his secrets, aud hold a constant and friendly communion with you, John xiv. 23, and xv. 15. 1 John i. 3. His ear shall be opened, his door opened, his store open at all times to you. His blessing shall rest upon you, and he will make your enemies to serve you, and work about all things for good unto you, Psal. cxv. 13. Rom. viii. 28.
4. The terins of mercy are brought as low as possible to you. God hath stooped as low to sinpcrs as with honour he can. He will not be thought a favourer of sin, nor stain the glory of his holiness: and whether could lie come lower than he hath, unless he should do this ? He hath abated the impossible ters of the first covenant, Jer. iii. 13. Mark v. 2. Acts. xvi. 31, and iii. 19. Prov. xxxviii. 18." He doth not impose any thing unreasonable or impossible, as a condition of life, upon you. Two things were necessary to be done, according to the tener of the first covenant, by you: (1.) That you should fully salisfy the demands of justice for past offences. (2.) That you should perform person. ally, perfectly and perpetually the whole law for the time to come. Both these are to us impossible, Rom. viii. 3. But behold God's gracions abatement in both! He doth not stand upon satisfaction, he is content to take of the surety, (and he of his own providing