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moment of his life in which he is not liable to the execution of that awful fentence which the law passes upon him. His life hangs in doubt, and depends on the mercy of his offended Judge. The almighty Sovereign has declared, that the workers of iniquity shall be cut off, that he is angry with the wicked every day; if they turn not he will whet his sword, he hath bent his bow and made it ready; he hath prepared for them the instruments of death.
How then, O sinner, can you be thoughtless and fecure, how can you reft quietly under the weight of all your crimes, and in so much danger ? You know not that you shall live another day, another hour. Death may meet you at your board, in your bed, in the field, or on the high way, and at once remove you from this world to another. You may be of the number of those who perish at the rebuke of his countenance. When he sends the ghastly messenger to summon you away, you cannot evade the call.
But what is still more awful, if you die in a state of impenitence, you will immediately enter on the bitter pangs of eternal death, O consider what it will be to have your souls everlastingly banished from the favourable presence of God, and shut up in darkness and perpetual despair. Can you read such awakening declarations as the following, with
out trembling? " He shall take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jefus Chrift: who shall be punished with everlasting deftru&tion from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power !” Though you can now live contented without the enjoyment of God's favour, your eyes will then be opened to see the infinite value of it.
The withdrawings of the light of God's countenance for a time, have filled holy fouls in this world with deep distress and sorrow. What then will it be to lie exposed to his awful indignation for ever? Your vain and delusive hopes, O sinners, will then exist no more, the felf-flattering delusion will be at an end. Your sensual delights will be over; in the room of them, there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, drinking of the wine of the wrath of God, poured out without mixture. O dreadful flate of hopeless misery, where their worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched!
Think, o finners, on the dangerous condition of
your poor souls, while there is yet hope of fleeing from the wrath to come. There is but a step between you and death, between you and that everlasting punishment prepared for the devil and his angels. Your breath is in your nostrils, when that departs, your everlasting state is unalterably fixed.
Your hearts, I fear, are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, so that the threatenings of God, your Maker, and your Judge, make no impressions on them. Is not this a fad indication that you are ripening for ruin? You are sleeping on the bed of carnal security, yet your judgment lingereth not.
Think on the miserable condition of those unhappy men, who were once as careless and as unconcerned as you can be, but are now lifting up their
eyes in hell, being in torments, and crying in vain for a drop of water to cool their tongues. They are execrating those days of vanity, when they lived in this world as you do now. They are calling themselves a thousand fools, for that stupidity, that forgetfulness of God, that disregard of the threatenings of his wrath, and of the promises of his mercy, of which you are now living examples.
And ancient writer used to say, “I would not for all the world be in the state of an unconverted man for one hour, left, in that hour, death should cut me off, and the dungeon of eternal darkness receive me.” What shall I say to you, O poor unconcerned sinners, to rouse you from your fatal fecurity? Who can dwell with devouring fire! Who can dwell with everlasting burnings! Will you not begin seriously to inquire how you shall escape that dreadful and never-ending punishment,
which is the just reward of your multiplied tranf: gressions ? Must it always be the lot of poor ministers to labour in vain, and to say, with the lament. ing prophet, " Who hath believed our report?”. If you die in a state of impenitence, you will most certainly feel, ere long, what you will not now believe. The threatenings of God's holy word will not fall to the ground. In the latter day, when all hope is past, you will consider them, and feel to your coft, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. You say,
I shall have peace though I walk in the way of my own heart," but it will be seen by and by, whose word shall Nand, yours, or that of the God of truth. Death and judgment will decide the controversy.
Perhaps some will say, “ You are very harsh and severe; why do you dwell so much upon God's favour? Will he disown his creatures ? We hope he is more merciful than you would represent him."
To this I answer, by asking such persons, “ Do you imagine that all men are in a state of acceptance with their Maker? Do
think that none shall be hereafter punished for their crimes? If you will not believe the awful declarations of his own mouth, but make the God of truth a liar, you will be convinced of your mistake, when convi&tion will come too late, and cost you dear. Hath he not said, that
he will not be merciful to any wicked and impenitent transgressor? Hath he not said of some, “ They are a people of no understanding, therefore he that made them will have no mercy on them, he that formed them will shew them no favour?"
How dreadful is the fate of that man who can. not be happy unless God falsify his word, but who muft perish if his word be true! He hath said most positively, for substance, that impenitent persons are not in his favour, that unconverted, unholy men cannot be saved, yet you hope it may be otherwise: that is to say, you hope that he who speaks to you in his facred word, is not God; for, if he be God, he must be holy, righteous, just and true, and not altogether such a one as yourselves. But know, O finners, that justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. He will by no means clear the guilty, the persevering finner. you, and set your fins in order before
Consider this, ye that forget God, left he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you. .
There are some persons who may fumers on God's favour. They imagine themselves in a state of acceptance with their Maker, yet have no fcriptural evidence of their being so. But that confidence, which is not supported by the divine word, is no better than presumption. A poor man
He will reprove
be called preo