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ven. Men may talk of the Mercy of GOD, and conceit of being admitted to Heaven, after all their Carelessness and sinful Courses: But if Heaven be the Enjoyment of GOD, and the Business of it his Service, he whole Heart is its own Master, and who affects not fpiritual Gratifications, would find the Sight of God to be terrible, and his Seryice the most grievous Slavery,
It is not therefore among the least of the evil Consequences which sin hath brought after it, that it hath set you at Variance with GOD. Perhaps you may be easy enough for the present, and be now insensible to any Hurt you receive through the Want of an Obedience, Love, and Honor of Spirit, to your heavenly King. Your Backwardness to think of him, your Liftlessness when you are near him, the Unruliness of your wayward Heart, utterly averfe to do or to bear his Will; your intire Affection to the World, your Delight in carnal Pleasures, your Self esteem; all these Inventions which ; you have fought out, may give you little: Pain in this your Day upon Earth. But when you shall, by and by, be forced against, your Will into Eternity, then you shall feel to your Cost, what a sore Evil it is to be without the obedient Spirit of a Creatures: to be barren of all Love towards God, and to be desolate of all heavenly Graces, and
fo without all Possibility of Happiness for Tever. This World passeth, as a Dream when one awaketh, and the next altogether unfit
you ; what a disconsolate Soul must you be upon the Moment of your Separation! And
upon both these Consequences, follows in the
THIRD Place, as the Event of Man's Apoftafy, that a Sentence of Wrath is
gone forth against the World. God is able to maintain his own Caufe; he is able fully to vindicate the Wrong, which the lawless World hath done to his Honor. He doth -not affect a Dominion, which he wants Power to manage. He filteth over all from the Beginning, and he remaineth a King for
Hell and Destruction are before bim, Nor can any stay bis Hand, or say unto kim, What doft tbou? And can we conceit, that God, jealous of his Rights, who will not give bis Glory to another, shall tamely submit ito so provoking an Insult, as the universal Rebellion of his Creatures ? Shall he not avenge himself upon us, and make it known from one side of the Heaven to the other, by the exemplary Justice he will do himself upon us, that he is God, and there is none elle? We have. drawn a Curtain over his Glory, nor doth he yet make that his Glory to appear ; he suffers it to be hid a little Space; but he will magnificently glorify himself in the
Day of his Vengeance, and all the Earth Jall know that God is the Lord. You may make light of Sin, now that ye see not the Hand of Justice yet stretched out; ye may take little Account of the Dishonor ye do unto God in the strange Forgetfulness of your Ways : But hear what the God of Truth faith, he who changeth not, and whose Words shall not fail: The Lord is now to Anger, and great in Power, and will not at all acquit the Wicked (1): The Soul that sinneth shall die (u): And the Wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all Ungodliness and Unrighteousness of Men (x). Not to multiply Paffages; throughout the Gospel-Revelation the Offers made us of Mercy do ever suppose us to be in a lost and undone State by reason of Sin. The established Appointment and Decree of God in Heaven and Earth is, The Wages of Sin is Death (y). By the Punishment of Sin God will maintain his Glory, which the Insolence of Sin seems to have deprived him of, till the Recompence of Vengeance make his mighty Power to be known. Lay it to heart then, whoever you are ; you have sinned, provokingly rebelled against your Maker ; and how fearful a thing is it to fall into the Hands of the living God! Let me suggest to you the
(t) Nah.i. 3. (u) Ezek. xviii. 4. (*) Rom. i. 18. (y) Rom. vi. 23.
Certainty of that Wrath, the Eternity of that Vengeance, the Depth and Horror of that Tophet, the Fury of that Fire, which the Breath of the Lord kindles. If Sin, like a devouring Army, hath already brought Desolation after it ; if it hath intailed the Curse of God upon Nature and upon ourselves; judge then, what Store of Vengeance , is prepared for it against that Day, when it shall be fully rewarded : But whatever that Vengeance be, Sin hath made you all the Children and Heirs of it: This is the last Consequence of Man's Apostasy; it hath brought the Curse of God upon us. The great Governor of the World will not let Sin go unpunished.
And now what shall we say to these Things? You cannot deny the Accusation. The whole World is guilty before God. You cannot dispute the Consequences. You must own, that you have dishonored God's Government, and set yourself at a deplorable Distance from God and Happiness, and incurred his avowed Wrath. Sad State of a sinful World! Methinks, in such a view of ourselves, every Heart should be struck with an awful Sufpence, with a sacred Dread about the Issue. That trembling Anxiety, which seizes every Breast, upon Occasion of some more folemn Execution, when the Hand is now lifted up to strike the Blow,
should poffefs our Souls. And yet I have another Consideration to add, when we meet again, which must abundantly contribute to increase our Apprehension. But I shall difmiss you for the present with this awakening Passage of Scripture, which, you will find in the sixth Chapter of Genesis, introduces God's Denunciation of Vengeance upon the first World. God faw that the Wickedness of Man was great in the Earth, and that every Imagination of the Tboughts of bis Heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made Man on the Earth, and it grieved bim at bis Heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy Man, whom I'bave created, from the Face of the Earlb; for it repenteth me that I have made them. The Application is both easy to be made, and terrible to be thought of.