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will be nothing unless I see the Lamb in the midst of the throne. Has God wrought in thee a desire to promote his glory, to be upon the stretch for God, to deny thyself, to take up the cross daily and follow him; if God has wrought this in thee, and I verily believe from my soul he has wrought it in some degree in many of you, O you may well say, what has God wrought ! especially if you consider the manner, and the time in which he wrought it; if you consider the instruments he made use of, when, and by which he wrought it; and if you consider the inestimable price that was paid for it, and the Spirit taking possession of your hearts. One part of our entertainment in heaven will be, to count the steps of the ladder, by which God brought us there; one will say, God wrought it in me when I was young; another, when I had
hairs. Mary Magdalen will say, God wrought it in me when I was a sinner: the expiring criminal will say, God wrought it in me just as I was turned off,— I was a brand plucked out of the burning. The anthem, as good Mr. Erskine observes, will be in heaven, what has God wrought! Curiosity led me to hear the preacher, and God touched my heart; there was a young fellow called emphatically wicked Will of Plymouth, who came, as he said, to pick a hole in the preacher's coat, and the Holy Ghost picked a hole in his heart. What has God wrought, to work it in you, and not in your father; you, and not your children ; work it in you, and not a fellowservant; work it in one brother and not in another; all these things will make us cry, what has God wrought! Well, I do not want you to rest in this, by no means; I do not like to hear people talk and speak against inward frames and inward works, nor do I like to hear people legal; let every thing have its proper place. It is about thirty-three years ago, or very near, when a man came to me, after I had preached upon marks and evidences, at Whitechapel, I think it was, and said, I am come to tell you, that I do not choose any marks at all; then, said I, you must be content with the marks of the devil, for you must have the one or the other.
Now, my brethren, if God has wrought this in us, what shall I say? Why, I pray the Lord Jesus Christ that your life and mine may be a life of praise. I would have you not only dwell upon particular words of God set home upon your hearts, but his various providences, the numerous trials he has brought you through. O think how often you have been kept, think how often you would have run away from God if he had not stopped you ; what has God wrought, by delivering me from blasphemous thoughts; what has God wrought, in snatching me out of the jaws of ruin ; even after conversion,
when I was damning my own soul, his grace arrested me. Have we brought ourselves into trials, how has he made these very trials work for good; made our scolding husbands and wives, persecuting fathers, friends and relations, that you have thought would devour you, made the bulls of Bashan instruments of bringing you nearer to God; and eternity will be too short to cry perpetually, what hath God wrought!
And if God hath not wrought this in any of you that are here, which perhaps may be the case, though I cannot think what should bring any body here if they had not a desire of the salvation of their souls ; if God hath not wrought it in you yet, О that this may be the time; 0 that God may give us some parting blessing; that some poor creatures that have nothing but the devil's work in them, yet, may now seek after the blessed work of the Holy Ghost. If we may ask what God has wrought, let me ask you what the devil hath wrought in you. O thou unconverted soul, sin has made thee a beast, made thy body, which ought to be the temple of the living God, a cage of every unclean bird; what hath Satan wrought in thee? but made thee a nest of vile stinking swine; and what will he give thee? Hell, hell, hell. The wages the devil gives, no man can live by; the wages of sin is death : and here I come to bring you good news, glad tidings of great joy. O that God may now counter-work the devil, and take thee into his own workmanship, create thee anew in Christ Jesus, give thee to feel a little of his Spirit's work on thy heart, and make thee, a child of the devil, a child of God! Say not, it cannot be; say not, it shall not be; say not, it is too late ; say not, it is for others but not for me; my brethren, God help you to cry, and to try to-night, if thou canst turn the text into a prayer, Lord God, I have felt the devil work in me, now, good God, let me know what it is for thee to work in me; make me a new creature, create a new spirit within me, that I may join with thy dear people in singing, what hath God wrought ! O remember, if this is not the case with you, you must have a dreadful different ditty in hell; the note there will be, what hath the devil wrought! what hath he wrought! how am I come to this place of torment! I sold my birth-right for a mess of pottage! Heaven or hell is set before you to-night; Jesus grant, that the terrors of the Lord may awaken you tonight, and that you may not rest till you have comfort and support from God.
You that have this work begun in you, look still for better things to come, even after death, when our bodies are made like Christ's glorious body, and our souls filled with the fullness of God, we shall then cry, Churchmen and Dissenters,
Methodists and Foundry-men, and the Lock too, we shall all then join without any bickerings, saying, what has God wrought!
I could enlarge, but I am afraid I have been too long al· ready; yet, as I think the providence of God calls me, and I shall give a particular account of my call to-morrow evening at the other end of the town, I think if I should keep you a few minutes longer, it might be excused. I begin to feel already it must be executed in a few days; I feel already that I shall soon part from you, and O that God may awaken many of your poor unawakened souls: my heart bleeds for you: 0 may the oil of the blessed Spirit soften every hard unconverted heart, that we may go away praising and blessing God that we shall at last meet, whether we go by land or by water, before the throne, where we shall ascribe glory and honor, and power, to him for ever more. Amen.
NEGLECT OF CHRIST THE KILLING SIN
John V. 40.
And ye will not come to me that ye may have life.
The great apostle of the Gentiles, after he had set before the Hebrews, the great cloud of witnesses of Old Testament believers, exhorts them to look higher, even to Jesus the common Savior, and that not transiently, but earnestly and constantly, in his mediatorial character of humiliation, as enduring unheard of, unparalleled contradiction of sinners against himself; lest, says he, ye be weary, and fa
and faint in your
minds. If we had not such an example set before us, and brought to us by the Holy Ghost in a suffering hour, we should never hold out to the end. This was not the contradiction of the openly profane and scandalous, those that were without, so much as from those that were within the pale of the church, even those to whom were committed the lively oracles of God, who had not only the very Bible in their own hands, but were set apart to explain it to others. That the words of our text were spoken to them, appears from the preceding verse, in which he bids them search the scriptures ; as a person digs
for a mine, or searches for some hidden treasure. The word Bible, or book, which I have in my hand, is well applied to the holy scriptures, because it is the book of God, written by him, that is, by his order, and by those who were inspired by him for that end ; and yet, of all writings in the world, these are most neglected! God has condescended to become an author, and yet people will not read his writings. There are very few that ever gave this book of God, the grand charter of salvation, one fair reading through : though we profess to have assented to the truth of scripture, as our Lord said, in them we think we have eternal life, yet most read them as they would a proclamation, a romance, a play, or novels, that help only to bring them to the devil, but choose not to read God's book which is to be our guide to glory; they are they, says Christ, which testify of me. Lord God convert and change our heart.
However, this was spoken in reference to the Old Testament, and certainly shows us that Christ is the treasure hid in that field; yet as there are equal proofs of the divinity of the New Testament, the word Holy Scriptures include both, especially as Christ is the antitype of all the types, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all divine revelation: would to God he was your Alpha and Omega too! Now, saith Christ, you pretend to reverence the scriptures; you that are set apart as persons learned in the scriptures, ye scribes, ye lawyers, such as were mentioned in the gospel to-day. I fancy some people think, that when we read of lawyers, in the scriptures, that we mean such lawyers as ours who deal only in the civil and common law, but they were those that opened and explained the law to the people; these were the persons who thought and professed, that in them they had eternal life, that they testify of Christ the great Prophet that was promised in the scriptures to come into the world : yet saith our divine master, to these very professors, these masters in Israel, ye will not come to me that ye may have life : though I am now present with you, though I am now come to explain the scriptures, and fulfill them, and now come to proclaim to you that life, that eternal life, which the scriptures declare were to be published and proclaimed by me, yet ye will not come unto me that ye may have life.
By eternal life we are to understand, all the blessings of a converted state, particularly the pardon of sins, not only before conversion but after. It is impossible but there should be sin every day and every hour in every professing person. My dear hearers, as I shall not have an opportunity for some time to speak to you, I do not choose, especially when I am about to take my leave of you, to speak any thing that is severe; but
I assure you, without attempting to offend, with a broken heart I assure you, that this was the treatment Jesus Christ met with of old, and God knows, this is the treatment Jesus Christ meets with now; ye will not come to me that ye may have eternal life.
If I am not mistaken, and I think I am not, the words suppose, that they and we are all dead in sin, for if we are not, do not know why we need come to have life; and I mention this, because for want of believing and knowing this, some that pretend to know Christ and to preach him, forget to lay the proper foundation, original sin; and that there is no ability or inclination in the heart of natural man, so much as to do any thing spiritual ; he is stupid and dead. But if we have eyes to see, if we have ears to hear, and if our hearts are not waxed hard, doubtless it would appear as clear to us as the sun shining in its meridian brightness, that man was dead till God breathed into him the breath of life, and then he became a living soul. I know some people believe that the words mean this, that God breathed into man, and he became a natural liv. ing soul, like other animals, but then they do not consider what a life God did breathe into the soul ; he breathed into it the life of God, a spiritual life was breathed into the soul ; it is expressed in the strongest, but at the same time in the most concise terms that is possible; none but God, none but a man inspired by God, could say so much in so few words; it shows great skill in men to say so much in a little; what uninspired man ever wrote as Moses did ? Now Moses when he penned the scriptures said, God made man after his own image, and you know ten thousand volumes could not have said more than that. How long do you think it was that man continued in his original purity? I do not know that I ever yet heard, that any one thought he continued in his blessed state so long as from Saturday to Saturday. Mr. Boston, who, perhaps, is one of the best writers that ever Scotland produced, says, that there is an allusion in one of the Psalm's to man's sudden fall, Man being born in honour continued not, i.e. but a night before he fell. O much good may it do those that boast of their free-will, that think they can stand by a power of their own, when father Adam, who had no corruption, did not stand a week, perhaps not two days; and how can we pretend to stand, let us have what grace we will, when that grace has so much corruption to oppose it? If Jesus Christ did not take care to secure our standing, we should fall to our ruin. Adam fell, and being our federal head, we fell in him. Why, says a deist, and too many professors also, pray what business had God Almighty to make our fall or our standing depend on