Imágenes de páginas

our enemies against the gospel and Protestant religion, and preservir.g us from being invaded in our consciences, or cut off from the wells of salvation, and barred from the springs of ordinances, and having our teachers mur.. dered or driven into corners. Let us bless God, that we have the peaceable enjoyment of pure ordinances under the protection of proteitant magistrates, and are allowed to serve God according to our consciences, to read the bible in our own tongue, and examine the doctrines delivered to us by this rule ; and that we are not under the tyranny of bloody papists, forced to hide or burn our bibles, to bow to stocks and stones; or otherwise in hazard ourselves to be burnt in fires, or banished our native land, '

Let uz bless God that we live in a land of light," a valley of vision,” while other; about us“ fit in darkness, and in the region of the shadow of death ;" and that he allows us such rich gospel feasts, while others are visited with cleanness of teeth, and a famine of the word of God: That every Sabbath-day there is a free market of grace publicly proclaimed in our ears, whilst others enjoy Gilent Sabbaths ; yea, though we have flighted his goodness, and lothed the manna and honey-comb, his goodness is renewed and continued with us. . What Thall we render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards us?”

II. Another subject of meditation upon the Lord's day is the work of man's redemption this day completed by Christ's resurrection.

This is a subject the angels are still prying into ; and ought not we much more, who are the persons immediately concerned ? Christ never teftified such love to them, he never forgave them one sin, he never shed one drop of blood for them; and shall not we, for whom he poured out streams of blood, and to whom he hath forgiven ten thousand talents, be employed in prying into this mystery?

..1. Meditate upon the spring of this work, God's infinite free love, that moved him to pity lost mankind, and contrive a way to redeem him; when, in the mean time, he passed by a world of fallen angels, who were the elder brothers by creation, had a more natural claim


thall dels is ten clothed yea, th

to the inberitance, and might have been far more ser. viceable to their maker than we: Ytt, behold, there is not one word of their relemption, no facrifice provided for them; there is not one devil spared, not one of all the thousands of fallen angels recovered ; God present. ly took vengeance on them all : But O how did his bowels yearn, his heart pity and his eye (part poor fallen man in his miserable condition ! Indeed he drove Adam out of prardise, but it was a wonder he drove him not presently out of the world into hell, where he. had a little before plunged far more excellent creatures than Adam was.. Christ took not on him the nature of angels, but he was content to clothe himself with the rags of human flesh, that he might become out Saviour. O glorious incomprehensible love! . .

2. Think upon the wise contrivance of our redemp-' tion, "It would have eternally nonpluffed the wisdom of angels, to find out a method how to fátisfy God's justice, and secure man's happiness both at once, how to five the life of the law-breaker, and yet maintain the honour of the Law maker: But here's a way to do both, here's a device for reconciling justice and mercy, and satisfying both their demands. Sin is severely punished, as justice required; and yet the finner is pardoned, as as mercy pleaded. It would never have entered the thoughts of angels, that God would have parted with his Son and cheir Lord, to die a curfed death for vile worms; it would have been blasphemy for any to have thought or spoken it. Though fallen man-might have had the liberty' to chuse any way of redeniption he pleafed, he could never have proposed this. Indeed, when he had been perishing, he might have cried, O Son of God have mercy on us; but who would have said, 0. Son of God, come make thyself a man, come die a cürfed death, come fuffer hell's pains for me? This noble device bred only in the breast of the eternally wise God, for, had he waited till men or angiels had devia sed a way for our redemprion, we had been miserable to all eternity. But what do I fpeak! the won. ders of man's redemption can never be told: Here's a Jarge subject for meditation and admiration, that can

never be exhausted by men or angels to all eternity. Let this work be the delight of our fouls, especially on the Lord's day. O believers, think much this day upon the love of your Redeemer; remember what he hat! done, and suffered for you ; consider how much he hath given and forgiven to you ; view what he hath laid out and laid up for you; think what he hath performed and promised to you ; and so you will not want matter of meditation. : III. Another subject of meditation on the Lord's day is our fate, and here we may take a view of man's fourfold atate. 1. What he once was in a state of innocency., 3. What he now is in a state of nature. 34 What he may be in a state of grace. 4. What he thall be in a state of glory.

O liņner, retire this day and think on your misery.' If thou be yet in a state of nature, thou art without God and without Christ in the world, thou sleepest and walkcft in danger of hell; thou liest still under the heavy load of unpardoned guilt, there is not one of all the numberless millions of your line forgiven, an, they are heavier than ten thousand milstones hung a. bout your neck; for every one of them hath the fear. ful curses of the law hanging at them; and in the mean time, thou lieft on the very brink of the fiery furnace, like a man sleeping on the top of the mast in time of a storm; there is but one step betwixt thee and eternal death, nothing but a rotten thread of life keeps thee from dropping into everlasting burnings. Thou knoweft not, when thou rises in the morning, but ere night thou mayell make thy bed in hell; and when thou liest down, thou canst not tell but thou shalt wake in the flames; all the men in the world, nay all the angels in heaven, cannot affure thee of the contrary. O what a doleful condition is this, to be always in a state of damnation, not sure to be one hour out of hell! Å serious meditation upon your natural state, ( finner, might cause your heart of stone to trembie.

But hast thou any happiness while thou art on this side of hell? No surely, for your best worldly comforts and enjoyments are accursed to you : " Thou art U 2


cursed in the city, cursed in the field, cursed in thy baie ketard, thy store, cursed in the fruit of the body, and in the fruit of thy ground," Deut xxviii. 19. Nay, ea very bit of bread thou eatest, the curse of God goes down with it. All your blessings turn into curses, and your mercies into judgments; « your table is a fnare to you, the word is the favour of death," and the sacra ments are seals of condemnation to you. The best actions you perform are but an abomination to God; they bring the more guilt upon your head, and treasure up the more wrath against you. Better you had perished in infancy than continue to live in a Christless state ; for, the longer you live, still the more miserable you are; For every day, evexy night; every hour you live, you heat the furnace hotter by your new aétions, which are all ins, even the very best of them. O is this a ftate to be continued in Canst thou ly down content edly to seep another pight in this condition! God for *bid that thou live and die in this state ; for,vif thou doft, thou wilt rise in the same condition at the last dago Nayyour Atate then will be more dreadful than ever, for then thou wilt see above thee the judge frown. ing, beneath thee hell gaping, within thee conscience gnawing, without thee the world burning on the right hand your fins accusing, on the left hand the devils terrifying, the good angels keeping thee out of heaven, and the evil angels pulling thee down to hells0 poor Chriftless soul, continue to think on this subject till your heart begin to melt, your eyes to weep, aand your tongue to cry, sm what shall I do to be saved to: that I knew where to find Chrift:0 to be found in . him?'l.would give ten thousand worlds to be fure of this, it will be terrible if death or a tribunal find me before I be found in him... Is it not worth your while to spend fome time upon this foul concerning subject : Hath not God given you reason for this very end, and will you not exercise it? can you think to be saved otherwise ? Do you expect that God will carry you to heaven like a stone, or save you without or against thy will Dath the world and your bodies deserve to be remembred the whole day, or whole week or year throughout ?


and doth not God and your fout deserve to be thought on one day in the week, or one hour of the dayu Shy not that you have no spare time for this work iz for, if you will spare none of your own time for it, I heleech you to spend God's time well this way. Is it not beto ter to fpend fome part of the Sabbath in thinking upon your souls ftate, than in thinking upon the world? Spiritual things, alas ! troudle you little on weekdays, and why should- worldly things intrude u por God's day? 59* bi se mi 2. Think upon your happiness, if you be in a state of grace, and in Christ; you are delivered from fin's guilt, from fatan's fetters, from the law's curfes, from death's fting, and hell's terror. Thou hast now peace with God; justice- itself is thy friend; all thy enjoy. ments are sweetned by Christ's love; all your afflictions fanctified by his blood. God himself is your God, your Father, your Friend, your Portion'; yea, all things are yoursontrato...


160 m . IV. Death is a proper subject to be meditated upon on the Sabbath day; for in the xcii. Plalm, wherein the exercises of the Sabbath are described, God calls and teaches us to consider our latter end. First, the end of the workers of iniquity, who, though they spring up as grass, and flourith for a feason, thall yet in the end be destroyed for ever, ver. 7. 9." And again, the latter end of the godly, whose horn, though it be abafed to the dust for a while, yet in the end, thall be exilted, It is one principal work of ministers this day, to be proclaimers of mortality, and remembrancers of death, according to Ifa. xl. 6. 7. 8. So then it is our dury every Sabbath to have serious thoughts of death. Think with yourselves, What if this be the last Sabbath that tever I will fee on earth ? may be called to die, before I be called to hear another orier of Christ. Have I sitten the gofpel fummons this Sabbath, to come and embrace Christ, or to surrender my heart to him? What if I get a suinmons by death to come and ap. pear before him before the next Sabbath? this I cani. not fits - Death is a bold mefsenger, he cannot be de. forced; when he comes and takes a man by the throat,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »