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?has succeeded another in every age, and that true religion has been generally, as it is still, in a struggling or persecuted state, we ought ;to be humbled for the sin of our nature, and the {hare which each of us has contributed to the general guilt. Instead of sinding fault with Providence for the permission of sin, we ought to be silled with a holy indignation a.gainst ourselves and others, for the perpetration of it. We ought to admire that wisdom and power by which the King of kings sets restraining bounds to the violence of men. Neither ought we to omit adoring his holiness in the awful visitations with which he sometimes overtakes and overwhelms the wicked in their wickedness. When he fends out his fore judgements of war, famine, and pestilence; or when he looks to the earth, and it trembles, as unable to bear all the guilt that is laid upon it; when thunder, lightning, and tempest, seem to threaten the immediate disiblution of the whole fabric; we ought to consider all these as the just punishment of sin, and look forward with fear to that time, when he shall render to every man according to his works, and deserved vengeance shall not be partial, but universal; when it shall not be occasional and temporary, but sinal, unchangeable, and eternal.

;. You may learn, from what has been said, ;the state and danger of those who are charge

.able' able with' sins of a heinous and aggravated' nature.- If all without exception are " under fin; if every mouth must be stopped," &c. what shall be the condition of those who have the shameful pre-eminence of being sinners of the first order, who have done more thanv others to provoke the Lord to anger! If those who have lived to themselves, and not to God, shall not be able to stand in the judgement; what shall become ©f those who' have sold themselves tes work" iniquity, and' whose abominable practices are a reproach to reason, as well as a scandal to religion? I may" even say further, in the words of the apostle Feter> '' If the righteous searcely be saved, *' where shall the ungodly and the sinner ap"pear?" i Pet. iv. 18. I do the rather beg your attention to this, that we always sind loose livers the warmest advocates for libertine principles. It is the drunkard, the swearer, the impure fornicator, who are so ready to produce in conversation their pretended arguments against the corruption of human nature. I speak to all such within hearing. What benesit will you reap by. denying original corruption, when you are justly chargeable with so many actual transgressions? If there are, or ever were, any persons in the world without sin, surely you cannot pretend that you are so yourselves. You are ashamed to reveal your hiddenr scenes to your fellow-sinners, but how shall.

C a you1 you conceal them from the searcher of all hearts? If you cannot bear to be told your faults by your fellow-creatures, with what speechless confusion shall you stand at last before the judgement-seat of Christ! Let me therefore address you in the words of your maker by the psalmist, Psal. 1. 21. 22. "These things thou hast done, and I kept "silence: thou thoughtest that I was altoge"ther such a one as thyself: but I will re"prove thee, and set them in order before "thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that "forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and "there be none to deliver." May it please God effectually to convince you of your sin and danger, lead you to his mercy, as revealed in the gospel, for your forgiveness. I condude with the advice of the psalmist, Psal. ii. 12. "Kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye "perish from the way, when his wrath is kinM died but a little: blessed are all they that "put their trust. in him."


The- sinner without excuse before God.:.

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JTJstke and mercy are the perfections of the divine nature, in which we as sinners have a peculiar concern. Our world is the great theatre, and the human race the great, or, so far as we know, the only objects. of their united exercise. Clear and just apprehensions, therefore, of thole attributes, must lie at the foundation of all religion. It is easy to fee, that a discovery, both of justice and mercy, is necessary to bring £he sinner to repentance. He must fee the guilt and misery in s which he is involved, and the way by which * he may certainly, and by which he can only .' obtain a recovery. The fame views are equally necessary to every Christian, during his continuance in this imperfect state. They are , necessary to that self-denial which ought to be: his habitual character, and to that humiliation-•. C.3 and

and penitence which ought to be his frequent employment.

I must, however, observe, that though there are few of the attributes of God more frequently spoken of, perhaps there are few less distinctly understood. Men have either an imperfect knowledge, or weak persuasion of the justice of God, and thence despise his mercy. On the other hand, they are apt to take presumptuous views of his general mercy, and thence despise his justice and severity. This is not peculiar to those, who, upon the whole, are under the dominion of sin. Even the children of God themselves are ready, either to lose their views of the majesty and holiness of God, which mould incline them to serve him with reverence and godly fear j or, on the other hand, by neglecting his mercy, to fall into that state of slavish bondage and illiberal fear, which is equally injurious to the honour of God, and hurtful to their own peace.

On these accounts I have chosen to insist a little on. this passage of the psalmist David, in which we have an united view of divine justice and mercy; ** If thou, Lord, shouldst *' mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? "But there is forgiveness with thee; that *' thou mayst be feared." It is thought by some, that this psalm was composed in that memorable period of his life, when he was


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