Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

obedient, for ungodly, and for sinners;" it is their law and their rule; and there is nothing in that law, under which the sinner lives and under which he dies, that has the least tendency to a reconciliation with God, nor affords the least encouragement to expect it; but the reverse: it reveals sin, and stirs it up; it makes the offence abound, and sin become exceeding sinful; it is the strength of sin; and the motions of sin, which are by the law (that is, which are by the law discovered, and by the law forbidden,) work in the sinner's members to bring forth fruit unto death; and this fruit will ever be brought forth in hell; the heart will ever conceive malice against God, and the mouth will bring forth its blasphemy: for the law worketh wrath in this world, and how much more in hell! If the apprehension of its curse works distraction and madness, whạt will the execution of its sentence do? Wrath, hatred, enmity, desperation, and rebellion, are sadly stirred up in the awakened sinner, who is ordained to life, by the threatenings it gives, the bondage it communicates, and the vengeance it reveals. The wages of sin, which the law gives, is eternal death. This raises the mind of the sinner to hate God, and all that is good. “ The carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can bę. And by the law this enmity never was, nor ever shall be, slain; nor is there any reconciliation offered in it; nor shall any ever be effected by it; and therefore the wrath that the law reveals, and works, shall never be removed from the wicked; nor shall the vail, that is upon the heart of the sinner that dies under the law, ever be removed either. The rich man in hell is as ignorant of salvation by Christ, which was prophesied by Moses and the prophets, as ever he was. “Nay, father Abraham, but, if one went uuto them from the dead, they will repent." No, says Abraham; “ if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” So ignorant are they, that in the dreadful day of God they will pray to the rocks and mountains to fall on them; and at the very bar of God they will plead their own merit, though some of their souls will then have been in hell five or six thousand years. When saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee not? thirsty, and gave thee no drink? naked, and clothed thee not? sick, or in prison, and visited thee not? And others will knock, and expect to enter the guest chamber, without either grace in their hearts or any righteousness on their souls; and when they are condemned they will fret themselves, and curse both their King and their God, and so continue for ever and ever: for the law shall never be repealed, nor its sentence ever be recalled; nor can the law ever work any thing in them but indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish. And, as to the covenant of grace, it never was made with any but with Christ and his seed, and his seed's seed. By Christ's seed is meant his children, who are called; and by

his children's seed is meant their converts, not hypocrites; for ministers do not beget goats through the gospel, but they beget their own likeness. Their seed, or converts, are partakers of their grace, which Christ communicates bv their instrumentality. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ; these two always go together; but “they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth."

22. Nor is there any thing in the fiery torments of hell of a humbling, softening nature, any more than there is in the sight of a gallows to a criminal who is going for execution; nor is there any thing in hell torments of a purging or purifying nature, any more than there is in lying on the stones in the cells of Newgate, to the keeping of a man clean, comely, and healthy. It is not intended to purge, but to punish. The devils, who have been a hell to themselves, and have been filled with dreadful torments for some thousand years, are as foul, filthy, and unclean, as ever. They are full of all mischief, malice, cunning, deceit, guile, hypocrisy, and falsehood; as unhumbled, unsanctified, unrelenting, and as rebellous and impenitent, as ever; and so desperate against God as to tempt awakened sinners to curse him: witness Job, Paul, Solomon, and others. And in the great day the devil will make sinners do it; and in this malice they will ever remain. And so ungrateful is this devil, that he torments them the most who are the greatest friends to his interest; witness Judas, Saul, and Haman. Nor will he ever give Winchester one tribute of praise for all the pains he has taken about his restoration. It was Satan who set the son of Sceva to abuse the name of the Lord Jesus upon the apostles; and he drove them out of the house both wounded and naked when they had done his work. And Mr. Winchester will get little more for all the favour and friendship that he has shewn to Satan. These spirits will never be humbled, nor reconciled; nor will the flames of hell ever purge them. Nothing can cleanse from sin but the blood of Christ; and that is wholly confined to the elect, to the house of David, to Jerusalem, to mount Zion, and to the remnant whom the Lord shall call. Nothing can reconcile a rebel but the love of God; but the wicked are children of wrath. Nothing can subdue sin, or renew the sinner, but God's grace and Holy Spirit. But “ they that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”

23. The rest that God has provided, appointed and promised, never was designed for the reprobate. This rest remains for the people of God: but all are not his people; some bear the name of Lo-ammi, “ for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God,” Hosea i. 9. You hear not my words, because ye are not of God. The people of God are they whom God has chosen in Christ, whom Christ has redeemed from among men, and whom the Spirit sanctifies. This rest is

promised to them, and to none else. And, if the unbelieving Israelites could not enter into the temporal Canaan because of unbelief, much less shall infidels enter into the heavenly country that Abraham sought. The elect enter into rest in this life by faith in Christ; they rest from the burden of sin, from their legal labour for life under it, and from rebellion and war both against God and conscience; and this is an earnest of that rest that remains to the people of God: nor shall the wicked ever enter into it, to applaud their own sufferings, and sing the glory and praises of hell torments among them, for the wicked shall cease from troubling and the weary shall be at rest. The oath of God secures us from this noise and trouble. “I sware in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my rest.” “ They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”

24. The kingdom of heaven was never prepared for all men, only for Christ and his subjects. His kingdom is not of this world; his kingdom is from above, and consists of subjects chosen and born from above, chosen out of the world, and who are not of the world, as Christ is not of the world. He is King in Zion, where God commanded the blessing; not of Sinai, where the curse remains. He is King of saints, such as ar set apart in the purpose of God, and not of sinners rejected; Satan is their king, and rules in the hearts of the disobedient still. Christ's subjects are translated from Satan's kingdom, and others

« AnteriorContinuar »