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5. Sinners do not relish the manner of the application. They are ready, say they, as one who came in old times to the prophet of Israel. "Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Why may I not wash in them and be clean?" Thus sinners complain of the application.

This deep repentance, and this being healed by faith, destroys all human agency and contrivance, and gives God all the glory.



Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?

MAN can give no good account of himself, nor can his fellows give a good account of him, nor has his Maker any better account to give of him-"The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint." We do not wonder at God's account of him-" Thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest."

Man is the most unaccountable creature in all the creation of God-absurd in all his movements

I. He is entirely limited in his powers, "is of yesterday, and knows nothing," and yet is a proud and self-sufficient being, who will not yield to be instructed, of even the Lord of hosts.

II. He is a being of so little might, that he is said to be "crushed before the moth," and yet "he lifteth his mouth against the heavens, and his tongue walketh through the earth." "He rushes upon the thick bosses of Jehovah's buckler," and impudently inquires, "Who is the Lord, that I should serve him?”

III. He is the only accountable creature, and the only careless one. He knows that he must stand before the bar of God, and be judged for all the deeds done here in the body, and yet is heard to say, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."

IV. He is the only reasoning creature, and the yet only one that acts unreasonably. He can look at the face of the sky and know the signs of the times, and yet permits the dread concerns of eternity to close in upon him, unheeded, in the twinkling of an eye. He is crying, Peace, peace, till the moment when sudden destruction comes upon him, as travail upon a woman with child.

V. He is the only probationer for eternity, and yet the only being prodigal of time. He only needs, and has invented pastimes -things to kill time. And yet when he is considered in connection with the things he is constrained to contemplate, time is to him eternity.

VI. He only is capable of looking at the heavens, and has received from them mercies innumerable, "new every morning, and fresh every evening," and yet he is the only being of all the creatures of God who is unthankful. He only is proud of what enslaves and degrades him. He only is vain of what is loaned him, covetous of what is not his own, and what he must quit so soon.


1. How evidently is man in a state of pain; had his soul retained moral health, he would not have been liable to all this absurdity of moral movement.

2. How lamentably slow is the work of renovation seen to be going on in the believer! When will he ever be what God would have him to be ?

3. How mad are men to suppose that any thing, less than regeneration, can make man a correct being.

4. How mad is man who trusteth in his own heart. The scriptures pronounce him a fool.

If men may put no confidence in one another, they put none in themselves. Man may be deceived and ruined while he thinks he has a sure guide.

No. IX.


It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

WHY will it be so fearful a thing to fall into the hands of the living God?

Not because he is not the kindest being in the universe, and too just to do wrong to any being. "He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in goodness and truth."

But the text does not mean to say, that sinners are not now in the hands of the living God, but has allusion to the time when he will make them the subjects of his vindictive wrath; when he will display his hatred of their character in their everlasting destruction.

Why will it be so fearful a thing to fall into the hands of the living God?

I. Because he suffers his wrath to accumulate.

Men inflict vengeance as soon as they begin to be angry. They punish when their "wrath is kindled but a little," perhaps when but one act of aggression has been committed.

God waits long. The iniquity of the Canaanites was not yet full. He waited in the old world, after the decree to destroy it had gone out, one hundred and twenty years.

II. Because delays to punish do not at all neutralize his anger. Men sometimes forget the deed that enraged them, and become quite pacified after having been angry, although they have not taken vengeance.

"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

III. Because, while he delays to punish, he continues the means of grace, and thus shows himself willing not to inflict the deserved wrath.

"O that thou hadst hearkened unto my commandments, then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea."

IV. While he waits on the sinner, he continues to him the wonted indulgences of his providence. He feeds his enemies while he is waiting the hour of their execution, and he often waits very long. V. While he waits, he gives no intimation that he continues angry.

The sinner would not know by any mere token of divine wrath, that God had marked him out for destruction.

Vl. Because he fixes no set bounds to his indulgences.

One he bears with a longer time, another a shorter-condemns one at the age of twenty, another at the age of forty, and another at the age of sixty.

VII. The longer he waits, the less hope there is of forgiveness. It is otherwise with men; if they delay vengeance, we hope they have forgotten their wrath-not so with God.

VIII. Because he always produces conviction of desert when he punishes.

It is often otherwise with men. They are sometimes convicted and condemned while innocent.

IX. When he punishes, it is always a final and complete destruction. Wrath shall come upon them to the uttermost.

X. It will be jealousy when he punishes, and no wrath is so dreadful. It is the wrath of the Lamb. Jealousy is love soured.

XI. He is the living God!

No idea can be more dreadful. He lives to finish the wrath he began to inflict. He will eternally be alive to punish.


1. How amazing is the supineness of the sinner, who must so soon fall into the hands of the living God!

2. How yet more amazing their mirth and jollity-dancing in their chains!

3. How astonishing the indifference of believers! They would feel serious at the prison grates of some convict that must die a natural death as soon as many around them must die eternally.

4. If this subject is so solemn and dreadful in its application to sinners in general, how much more dreadful must it be in application to those who have set out for heaven, and then drawn back to perdition! Such will be convicted of having "trodden under foot the Son of God," in a peculiar and terrible sense, "and put him to an open shame."

No. X.

Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?

PAUL had preached the gospel to the Galatians, had been the means of turning many to the Lord Jesus Christ, and drawn toward himself their strong attachment.

If it had been possible, he says, they would have plucked out their own eyes and given to him. But he had now become their enemy because he told them the truth.

But the great calamity was, that while they had become cold in their affections towards their spiritual father, they had also declined in their affections towards Jesus Christ, and there was need that he be formed again in them the hope of glory.

But as no scripture is of private interpretation, the subject will lead me to inquire of believers, "Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?" What cause has there been, and what excuse can be offered, for a decline of Christian affection, since the time of your espousals to the Lord Jesus Christ?

That there has been a decline in the warmth of feeling and and promptness of action, since the day of your covenant with God, it is presumed no one will require us to prove.

The only inquiry that must be made, is into the cause or ground of this decline.

I. Is not Jehovah the same great and good being he was when you gave him your whole heart, and covenanted to be his for ever? And does he not govern the world on the same principles of grace and mercy by Jesus Christ? And does he not foster the church with the same care and kindness he did when you first took sanctuary in her bowers? Has there been any correspondent cooling of affection in the bosom of the angels, and the "spirits of just men made perfect," towards Jehovah? Is he not as nigh to you, and as necessary, as when you first diccovered that the world was full of God? "Should you ascend up to heaven, is he not there? Should you make your bed in hell, is he not there? Is not his favor life, nd his loving kindness better than life?" If plunged into trials, are you not still obliged to say, "The Lord

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