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they will, we know how God will deal with them.
The Holy Jesus said to the Jews, If ye believe not that I am he, ye [hall die in your Sins. (John viii. 24.) which proves that the Unbelievers, if they continue such, can never escape everlasting Destruction.
Unbelivers, reject Christ from being their King; they will not have this Man to reign over them: But that Time will surely come, when this King will appoint them to be destroyed. But thofe mine Enemies. which would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither, andflay them before the. Luke xix. 21.
Are there not Infidels in this Age, Persons who do not and will not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and the promised Saviour? And may not those Predictions of his justly fill them with Dread? They may.
And so may those Predictions, recorded (2 Thes. i. 7, 8, 9.) where the Apostle foretells that The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty Angles, in flaming Fve, taking Vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting Destruction from the Presence of the Lord, and from the Glory of his Power.
These Predictions may well excite in rational Minds the most amazing Fears, if they are guilty of disbelieving the Gospel of Christ; because their reasoning Faculty renders them capable of considering the Evidence of true Propositions, and thereby of receiving Conviction of the Truth of the Gospel.
And if they are not convinced of the most plain, and molt important Truths, it is because they will not consider the Evidence of them.
If a Man at Noon Day, with a clear Sky, shall say the Sun does not shine, and that there is no such Thing as the Sun, he either is blind, or belies his Senses, and either he has no Reason, or knowingly contradicts it.
And thus if a Man shall say, the Gospel of Christ is not true, (since Christ by many infallible Proofs has established it,) he speaks and acts against Reason in rejecting it.
What the Holy Jesus said of the Jews, is applicable to these Unbelievers. In John xv. 24. the blessed Jesus said of them; If I had not done among them the Works which none other Man did, they had not had Sin; but now have they both seen and hated me and my Father. And it may be said of the Infidels (who have the Gospel among them, and will not believe it,) that they have Sin, and no Cloke for their Sin.
They shut their Eyes and will not £e, but they shall see, and be ashamed, as it is said; Isa. xxvi. 17. and it may be very soon: For when Death comes, tho' it closes the Eyes of their Bodies, it will open the Eyes of their Minds: And then they will fee that the Holy Scriptures are indeed the Word of God, and that the Gospel came from God, publishing and offering Salvation to all Sorts of Sinners, by Jesus Christ: Then they will fee the Worth of their Souls, and the Excellency of the Happiness purchased by Christ, and offered to them, and refused by them.
O what Horror, what Distress filled the Mind of St. Paul, when Jesus of Nazareth appeared to him in the Way, as he went to Damascus, and when he found that just One, whom the Jews had crucified, both Lord and Christ!
But how much greater Horrors, and even a
dreadful and irremoveable Despair join'd with
D 2 them, them, will fill the Souls of the Infidels, as soon as they are taken from their Bodies, by an Angry and a Sin-revenging God!
These Infidels are more guilty, and ftieir Guilt more aggravated than that of the Devils.
The Devils believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, and the Saviour of Men ; they believe all the Facts relating to him, mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.
But the Infidels deny them; and their Guilt is the more heinous, as Christ came into the World on purpose not to save the Devils, but the sinful Children of Men. And as the whole Series of his Actions, were Acts of Pity, of Love manifested both to the Bodies and Souls of Men, as he came to purchase the Pardon of Sins, Peace with God, and everlasting Felicity for all that would become his Disciples.
O Merciful God, awaken the Consciences of those desperate Sinners; bring them to believe that Faith which they have hitherto been labouring to destroy! Bring them to read, and consider what the blessed Jesus says, (in Matt. x. 32, 33.) whosoever therefore shall confess me before Men, him will J confess also before my Father, which is in Heaven. But whofoever shall deny me before Men, him will 1 a so deny before my Father which is in Heaven.
These Words should engage us not only to believe in Christ, but readily to own and acknowledge him to be our Redeemer, in whom we trust for Salvation, and they should restrain us from denying him.
In Mark viii. 36, 37, 38. Christ says, For what shall it profit a Man, if he gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? or what shall a Man give in Exchange for his Soul? Whoever therefore fbaU he ashamed of me, and of my Words
(which (which include his Doctrines and Laws,) in this adulterous, and Sinful Generations, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the Glory of his Father, with the Holy Angels.
These Sayings of Christ import not only that the Unbelievers, but also that those Professors of his Gospel, who to avoid Sufferings, or to gain any Worldly Advantage, shall either deny Christ, or be ashamed of him, or his Words and Doctrines, are appointed to inexpressible and everlasting Punishments, they lose their own Souls, and all the Happiness purchased by Christ, and offered to Sinners by the Gospel, and are not to be reckoned real Christians.
But though Men in Words may own Christ, and call themselves Christians, yet if they jive jn allowed Disobedience to the Rules of his Gospel, they are not sincere Christians. In Tit. i. 6. The Apostle says, They prof ess that they know God, but in Works deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good Work reprobate.
Thus it appears fiom insallible Proofs, that Jesus of Nazareth who was born of the Virgin Mary, who led a Life of Sufferings and Sorrows, who was crucified and put to Death under Pontius Pilate, and who rose again from the Dead the third Day; is'Christ, the promised Saviour.
I have said thtft much concerning the Sin of Unbelief, and of Professors being ashamed to own Christ; and his Gospel, to warn People against complying with any Temptations, which may incline them to be guilty of those Crimes.
Containing Remarks on some Parts of the Holy Scriptures, by which Persons may know themselves, whether they are sincere Christians, to whom the predicted Blessings do belong: And of their being in Covenant with God, and having the Holy Spirit dwelling in them: Likewise os the different .Manner, in which the Holy Spirit bringeth Persons to be sincere Christians.
Shall now take Notice of some Parts of the Holy Scriptures from which we may know, who are real, serious Christians.
In Matt. x. 3. the Holy Jesus says, Except ye be converted,' and become as little Children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom os Heaven: Therefore they who are not converted, and do not become as little Children, are not real, and serious Christians; because sincere Christians have many Promises, which are a solid Ground of Assurance that they shall be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Another plain Conclusion may be added, viz. that therefore the Ministers of Christ, should explain, and prove the Necessity of that Conversion, which Christ speaks of.