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under the wings of the Mediator ; to pursue our great interest with the utmost vigour; to cut off lusts dear as right hands and right eyes; to set our faces resolutely against all difficulties, and fight our way through all the opposition made by the devil, the world, and the flesh; are, all of them together, little enough for eternity.
Use II.--Here is a balance of the sanctuary, by which one may understand the lightness of what is falsely thought weighty; and the weight of some things, by many reckoned to be very light.
First, Some things seem very weighty, which, weighed in this balance, will be found very light. (1.) Weigh the world, and all that is in it, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and the whole will be found light in the balance of eternity. Weigh herein all worldly profits, gains, and advantages; and you will quickly see that a thousand worlds will not quit the cost of the eternity of woe: 66 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” Weigh the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season, with the fire that is everlasting, and you must account yourselves fools and madmen to run the hazard of the one for the other. (2.) Weigh your afflictions in this balance, and you will find the heaviest of them very light, in respect of the weight of eternal anguish. Impatience under affliction, especially when worldly troubles so embitter men's spirits that they cannot relish the glad tidings of the gospel, speaks great regardlessness of eternity. Such a one will stoop, and take up his cross, whatever it be, thinking it enough to escape eternal wrath. (3.) Weigh the most dif
ficult and uneasy duties of religion bere, and you will vo more reckon the yoke of Christ insupportable. Repentance and bitter mourning for sin on earth, are very light in comparison of eternal weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth in hell. To wrestle with God in prayer, weeping, and making supplication for the blessing in time, is far easier than to lie under the curse through all eternity. -Mortification of the most beloved lust is a light thing, in comparison with the second death in hell. Lastly, Weigh your convictions in this balance. O how heavy do these lie upon many, till they get them shaken off! They are not disposed to fall in with them, but strive to get clear of them, as of a mighty burden. But the worm of an ill conscience will neither die nor sleep in hell, though one may now lull it asleep for a time. And certainly it is easier to entertain the sharpest convictions in this life, so as they may lead Christ, than to bave them fixed for ever in the conscience, while in hell one is totally and finally separated from him.
Secondly, But, on the other hand, (1.) Weigh sin in this balance; and, though now it seems but a light thing to you, ye will find it & weight sufficient to turn up an eternal weight of wrath upon you. Even idle words, vain thoughts, and unprofitable actions, weighed in this balance, and considered as following the sinner into eternity, will each of them be heavier than the sand of the sea: time idly spent will make a weary eternity. Now is your seed-time: thoughts, words, and actions, are the seed sown ; eternity is the harvest. Though the seed now lies under the clod, unregarded by most men, every the least grain shall
spring up at length, and the fruit will be according to the seed: “ For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (2.) Weigh in this balance your time and opportu. nities of grace and salvation, and you will find them very weighty. Precious time and seasons of grace, Sabbaths, communions, prayers, sermons, and the like, are by many pow-a-days made light of: but the day is coming, when one of these will be reckoned more valuable than a thousand worlds, by those who now have the least value for them.
When they are gone for ever, and the loss cannot be retrieved, those will see the worth of them, who will not now
USE III, and last.--Be warned and stirred up to o flee from the wrath to come.” Mind eternity, and closely ply the work of your salvation. What are you doing, while you are not so doing? Is heaven a fable, or hell a mere scare-crow? must we live eternally, and will we be at no more pains to escape everlasting misery ? will faint wishes take the kingdom of heaven by force ? and will such drowsy endeavours as most men satisfy themselves with, be accounted fleeing from the wrath to come? Ye who have already fled to Christ, up and be doing: ye have begun the work; go on, loiter not, but “work out your salvation with fear and trembling:” “ fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Remember ye are not yet ascended into heaven; ye are but in your middle state.
everlasting arms” have drawn you out of the gulph of wrath ye were plunged into in your natural state;
Arise, ye pro
they are still underneath you, that ye can never fall down into it again : nevertheless, ye have not yet got up to the top of the rock: the deep below you is frightful; look at it, and hasten your ascent. Ye who are yet in your natural state, lift up your eyes, and take a view of the eternal state. fane persons, ye ignorant ones, ye formal hypocrites
, strangers to the power of godliness, “ flee from the wrath to come.” Let not the young adventure to delay a moment longer, nor the old put off this work any more: “ To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts; lest he swear in his wrath that ye shall never enter into his rest." It is no time to linger in a state of sin, as in Sodom, when fire and brimstone are coming down on it from the Lord. Take warning in time. They who are in hell are not troubled with such warnings, but are enraged against themselves that they slighted the warning when they had it.
Consider, I pray you, (1.) How uneasy it is to lie one whole night on a soft bed in perfect health, when one very fain would have a sleep, but cannot get it, sleep being departed from him! How often will one in that case wish for rest! how full of tossings to and fro! But, ah! how dreadful must it then be to lie in sorrow, wrapt up in scorching flames through long eternity, in that place where they have no rest day nor night! (2.) How terrible would it be to live under the violent pains of the cholic or gravel for forty or sixty years together, without any intermission ! Yet that is but a very small thing in comparison of eternal separation from God, the worm that never dieth, and the fire that is never quenched.
(3.) Eternity is an awful thought: O long, long, endless eternity! But will not every moment in eternity of woe seem a month, and every hour a year, in that most wretched and desperate condition ? Hence ever and ever, as it were a double eternity. The sick man in the night, tossing to and fro on his bed, says, “It will never be day :' complains that his pain ever continues ; never, never abates. Are these petty time-eternities, which men form to themselves in their own imaginations, so very grievous ? Alas ! then, how grievous, how utterly insupportable, must real eternity of woe, and all manner of miseries be! Lastly, There will be space enough there to reflect on all the ills of one's heart and life, which one cannot get time to think of now: and to see that all that was said of the impenitent sinner's hazard was true, and that the half was not told. There will be space enough in eternity to carry on delayed repentance, to rue one's follies when it is too late; and, in a state past remedy, to speak forth these fruitless wishes-that I had never been born ! that the womb had been my grave, and I had never seen the
O that I had taken warning in time, and fled from this wrath, while the door of mercy was standing open to me! O that I had never heard the gospel, that I had lived in some corner of the world, where a Saviour and the great salvation were not once named ! But all in vain. What is done cannot be undone: the opportunity is lost, and can never be retrieved: time is gone, and cannot be recalled. Wherefore, improve time while you have it; and do not wilfully ruin yourselves by stopping your ear to the gospel call.