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that were liable to it in their own persons. Nay, this not only speaks us to have been liable to wrath, but also that wrath must have a vent, in the punishing of sin. If this was done in the green tree, what will become of the dry ? What a miserable case must a sinner be in, that is out of Christ, that is not vitally united to Christ, and partakes not of his Spirit? God, who spared not his own Son, surely will not spare such an one.

But the unregenerate man, who has no great value for the honour of God, will be apt to rise up against his Judge, and in his own heart condemn his procedure. Nevertheless, the Judge being infinitely just, the sentence must be righteous. And, therefore, to stop thy mouth, O proud sinner, and to still thy clamour against the righteous Judge, consider, First, Thou art a sinner by nature, and it is highly reasonable that guilt and wrath be as old as sin. Why should not God begin to vindicate his honour, as soon as vile worms begin to impair it? Why shall not a serpent bite the thief, as soon as he leaps over the hedge? Why should not the threatening take hold of the sinner, as soon as he casts away the command ? The poisonous nature of the serpentaffordsaman sufficientground to kill it, as soon as ever he can reach it; and, by this time thou mayest be convinced, that thy nature is a very compound of enmity against God. Secondly, Thou hast not only an enmity against God in thy nature, but hast discovered it by actual sins, which are in his eye acts of hostility. Thou hast brought forth thy lust into the field of battle against thy Sovereign Lord. And now, that thou art such a cri. minal, thy condemnation is just; for besides the sin of thy nature, thou hast done that against heaven, which if thou hadst done against men, thy life behoved to have gone for it; and shall not wrath from heaven overtake thee? (1.) Thou art guilty of high treason, and rebellion against the King of Heaven. The thought and wish of thy heart, which he knows as well as the language of thy mouth, has been, no God, Psal. xiv. I. Thou hast rejected his government, blown the trumpet, and set up the standard of rebellion against him; being one of those that say,

« We will not have this man to reign over us,” Luke xix. 14. Thou hast strived against, and quenched his spirit; practically disowned his laws proclaimed by his messengers ;

The Doctrine of the State of Wrath confirmed and

vindicated. II. I shall confirm the doctrine. Consider, (1.) How peremptory the threatening of the first covenant is; « In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die," Gen.ii. 17. Hereby sin and punishment being connected, the veracity of God ascertains the execution of the threatening. Now all men being by nature under this covenant, the breach of it lays them under the curse. (2.) The justice of God requires that a child of sin be a child of wrath ; that the law being broken, the sanction thereof should take place. God, as man's Ruler and Judge, cannot but do right, Gen. xviii. 25. Now it is a righteous thi: ,; with God to recompence sin with wrath, 2 Thess. i. 6. He is of purer eyes, than to behold evil, Hab. i. 13. And he hates all the workers of iniquity, Psal. v. 6. (3.) The horrors of a natural conscience prove this. , There is a conscience in the breasts of men, which tell them they are sinners, and therefore liable to the wrath of God. Let men, at any time, soberly commune with themselves, and they will find they have the witness in themselves, “ knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death,” Rom. i. 32. (4.) The pangs of the new birth, the work of the spirit of bondage on elect souls in order to their conversion, demonstrate this. Hereby their natural sinfulness and misery, as liable to the wrath of God, are plainly taught them; filling their hearts with fear of that wrath. Now that this spirit of bondage is no other than the Spirit of God, whose work is to convince of sin, righteousness, and judgment, (John xvi. 8.) this testimony must needs be true ; for the Spirit of truth cannot witness an untruth. Meanwhile, true believers being freed from the state of wrath, 6 receive not the spirit of bondage again to fear, but receive the Spirit of adoption,” Rom. ii. 15. And, therefore, if fears of that nature do arise, after the soul's union with Christ, they come from the saint's own spirit, or from a worse. Lastly, The sufferings of Christ plainly prove this doctrine. Wherefore was the Son of God, a Son under wrath, but because the children of men were children of wrath ? He suffered the wrath of God, not for himself, but for those

that were liable to it in their own persons. Nay, this not only speaks us to have been liable to wrath, but also that wrath must have a vent, in the punishing of sin. If this was done in the green tree, what will become of the dry ? What a miserable case must a sinner be in, that is out of Christ, that is not vitally united to Christ, and partakes not of his Spirit? God, who spared not his own Son, surely will not spare such an one.

But the unregenerate man, who has no great value for the honour of God, will be apt to rise up against his Judge, and in his own heart condemn his procedure. Nevertheless, the Judge being infinitely just, the sentence must be righteous. And, therefore, to stop thy mouth, O proud sinner, and to still thy clamour against the righteous Judge, consider, First, Thou art a sinner by nature, and it is highly reasonable that guilt and wrath be as old as sin. Why should not God begin to vindicate his honour, as soon as vile worms begin to impair it? Why shall not a serpent bite the thief, as soon as he leaps over the hedge? Why should not the threatening take hold of the sinner, as soon as he casts away the command? The poisonous nature of the serpentaffordsaman sufficient ground to kill it, as soon as ever he can reach it; and, by this time thou mayest be convinced, that thy nature is a very compound of enmity against God. Secondly, Thou hast not only an enmity against God in thy nature, but hast discovered it by actual sins, which are in his eye acts of hostility. Thou hast brought forth thy lust into the field of battle against thy Sovereign Lord. And now, that thou art such a cri. minal, thy condemnation is just ; for besides the sin of thy nature, thou hast done that against heaven, which if thou hadst done against men, thy life behoved to have gone for it; and shall not wrath from heaven overtake thee? (1.) Thou art guilty of high treason, and rebellion against the King of Heaven. The thought and wish of thy heart, which he knows as well as the language of thy mouth, has been, no God, Psal. xiv. I. Thou hast rejected his government, blown the trumpet, and set up the standard of rebellion against him; being one of those that say, “We will not have this man to reign over us,” Luke xix. 14. Thou hast strived against, and quenched his spirit; practically disowned his laws proclaimed by his messengers ;

stopped thine ears at their voice, and sent them away mourning for thy pride. Thou hast conspired with his grand enemy the devil. Although thou art a sworn servant of the King of glory, daily receiving of his favours, and living on his bounty ; thou art holding a correspon. dence, and hast contracted a friendship with his greatest enemy, and art acting for him against thy Lord ; for, The lust of the devil ye will do, John viii, 44. (2.) Thou art a murderer before the Lord. Thou hast laid the stumb. ling-block of thine iniquity before the blind world; and hast ruined the souls of others by thy sinful course. And though thou dost not see now, the time may come, when thou shalt see the blood of thy relations, neighbours, acquaintances, and others, upon thy head, Matth. xvii. 7. i Wo unto the world because of offences.-Wo to that man by whom the offence cometh. Yea, thou art a selfmurderer before God,” Prov. viii. 36. “ He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul; all they that hate me love death,” Ezek. xviii. 31. Why will ye die ? The laws of men go as far as they can against the self-murderer, denying his body a burial-place amongst others, and confiscating his goods; what wonder is it the law of God is so severe against soul murderers? Is it strange, that they who will needs depart from God now, cost what it will, must be forced to depart from him at last, into everlasting fire?. But what is yet more criminal, thou art guilty of the murder of the Son of God, for the LORD will reckon these amongst those that pierced him, Rev. i. 7. 'Thou hast rejected him as well as the Jews did; and by thy rejecting him, thou hast justified their deed. They indeed did not acknowledge him to be the Son of God, but thou dost. What they did against him was in a state of humiliation : but thou hast acted against him in his state of exaltation. These things will aggravate thy condemnation. What wonder, then, if the voice of the Lamb change to the roaring of the lion, against the traitor and murderer.

Object. But some will say, Is there not a vast dispro. portion betwixt our sin and that wrath you talk of? I answer, No; God punishes no more than the sinner deserves. To rectify your mistake, in this matter, consider, (1.) The vast rewards God has annexed to obedience. His

word is no more full of fiery wrath against sin, than it is of gracious rewards to the obedience it requires. If heaven be in the promises, it is altogether equal that hell be in the threatenings. If death were not in the balance with life, eternal misery with eternal happiness, where were the proportion ? Moreover, sin deserves the misery, but our best works do not deserve the happiness; yet both are set before us; sin and misery, holiness and happiness. What reason is there then to complain? (2.) How severe soever the threatenings be, yet all has enough ado to reach the end of the law. « Fear him," says our Lord,

which, after he hath ki!2d, hath power to cast into hell ; yea, I say unto you, fear him,” Luke xii. 5. This bespeaks our dread of divine power and majesty ; but how few fear him indeed! The Lord knows the sinners hearts to be exceedingly intent upon fulfilling their lusts; they cleave so fondly to those fulsome breasts, that a small force does not suffice to draw them from them. They that travel through deserts, where they are in hazard from wild beasts, have need to carry fire along with them; and they have need of a hard wedge that have knotty timber to cleave; so a holy law must be fenced with a dreadful wrath, in a world lying in wickedness. But who are they that complain of that wrath as too great, but those to whom it is too little to draw them off from their sinful courses ? It was the man who pretended to fear his lord, because he was an austere man, that kept his pound laid up

in kin; and so he was condemned out of his own mouth, Luke xix. 20, 21, 22. Thou art that man, even thou whose objection I am answering. How can the wrath thou art under, and liable to, be too great, while yet it is not sufficient to awaken thee to fly from it ? Is it time to relax the penalties of the law, when men are trampling the commands of it under foot ? (3.) Consider how God dealt with his own Son, whom he spared not, Rom. viii. 32. The wrath of God seized on his soul and body both, and brought him into the dust of death. That his sufferings

were not eternal, flowed from the quality of the sufferer, who was infinite ; and, therefore, able to bear at once the whole load of wrath ; and, upon that account, his sufferings were infinite in value. But in value, they must be protracted to an eternity. And what confidence

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