« EdellinenJatka »
neither indeed can be." The will was once God's deputy
these are monsters of men. Be it so; yet, alas ! the world is fruitful of such monsters ; they are to be found almost every where. And allow me to say, They must be admitted as the mouth of the whole unregenerate world against heaven, Rom. iii. 14.
66 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness," ver. 19.
« Now we know, that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the
may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
I have a charge against every unregenerate man and woman, young or old, to be verified by the testimonies of the Scriptures of truth, and the testimony of their own consciences; namely, that whether they be professors or profane, whatever they be, seeing they are not born again, they are heart-enemies to God; to the Son of God, to the Spirit of God, and to the law of God. Hear this, ye careless souls, that live at ease in your natural state.
1st. Ye are enemies to God in your minds, Col. i. 21. Ye are not as yet reconciled to him, the natural enmity is not as yet slain, though perhaps it lies hid, and ye do not perceive it.. (1.) Ye are enemies to the very being of God, Psal. xiv. 1.“ The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." The proud man would that none were above himself; the rebel, that there were no King; and the un. renewed man, who is a mass of pride and rebellion, that there were no God. He saith it in his heart, he wisheth it were'so, though he be ashamed and afraid to speak it out. And that all natural men are such fools, appears from the Apostle's quoting a part of this Psalm, “ That every mouth may be stopped," Rom. iii. 10, 11, 12, 19. I own indeed, that while the natural man looks on God as the Creator and Preserver of the world ; because he loves his ownself, therefore his heart riseth not against the being of his benefactor : But this enmity will quickly appear, when he looks on God as the Rector and Judge of the world ; binding him, under the pain of the curse, to exact holiness, and girding himn with the cords of death, because of his sin. Listen in this case to the voice of the heart, and you will find it to be, No God. (2.) Ye are enemies to the nature of God, Job. xxi. 14. They say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." Men set up to themselves an idol of their own faney instead of God, and then fall down and worship it. They love him no other way, than Jacob loved Leah, while he took her for Rachel. Every natural man is an enemy to as he is revealed in his word. An infinitely holy, just, powerful, and true Being, is not the God whom he loves, but the God whom he loaths. In effect men naturally are haters of God, Rom. i. 30. And
if they could, they certainly would make him another than what he is. For, consider it is a certain truth, that whatsoever is in God, is God; and, therefore, his attributes or perfections are not any thing really distinct from himself. If God's attributes be not himself, he is a compound being, and so not the first Being ; (which to say is blasphemous,) for the parts compounding are before the compound elf; but he is “ Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.”
Now upon this I would, for your conviction, propose to your consciences a few queries:(1.) How stand your hearts affected to the infinite purity and holiness of God? Conscience will give an answer to this, which the tongue will not speak out. If ye be not partakers of his holiness, ye cannot be reconciled to it. The Pagans finding they could not be like God in holiness, made their gods like themselves in filthiness; and thereby discovered what sort of a god the natural man would have. God is holy ; can an unholy creature love his unspotted holiness ? Nay, it is the righteous only that can “ give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness," Psal. lxxxvii. 12. God is light ; can creatures of darkness rejoice therein ? Nay, "every one that doth evil hateth the light,” John iii. 29. For, “ What communion hath light with darkness ?" 2. Cor. vi. 14. (2.) How stand your hearts affected to the justice of God? There is not a man, who is wedded to his lusts, as all the unregenerate are, but would be content with the blood of his body, to blot that letter out of the name of God. Can the malefactor love his condemning judge? Or an unjustified sinner a just God? No, he cannot, Luke vii. 47. “ To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Hence seeing men cannot get the doctrine of his justice blotted out of the Bible, it is such an eyesore to them, that they strive to blot it out of their minds. And they ruin themselves by presuming on his mercy, while they are not careful to get a righteousness, wherein they may stand before his justice ; but “ say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil,” Zeph. i. 12. (3.) How stand ye affected to the omniscience and omnipresence of God? Men naturally would rather have a blind idol, than an all-seeing God; and, therefore, do what they can, as Adam did, to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord. They no more love an all-seeing, every-where-present God, than the thief loves to have the judge witness to his evil-deeds. If it could be carried by votes, God would be voted out of the world, and closed up in heaven: For the language of the carnal heart is, “ The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth,” Ezek. viii. 12. (4.) How stand ye affected to the truth and veracity of God? There are but few in the world, that can heartily subscribe to that sentence of the Apostle, Rom. iii. 4. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Nay truly, there are many, who, in effect, do hope that God will not be true to his word. There are thousands who hear the gospel, that hope to be saved, and think all safe with them for eternity, who never had any experience of the new birth, nor do at all concern themselves in that question, Whether they are born again or not? A question that is like to wear out from among us at this day. Our Lord's words are plain and peremptory, “ Except a manbe born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” What are such hopes then, but real hopes that God (with profoundest reverence be it spoken) will recall his word, and that Christ will prove a false prophet ? What else means the sinner, who, « when he heareth the words of the curse, blesseth himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart?” Deut. xxix. 19. Lastly, How stand ye affected to the power of God ? None but new creatures will love him for it, on a fair view thereof; though others may slavishly fear him upon the account of it. There is not a natural man but would contribute, to the utmost of his power, to the building of another tower of Babel, to hem it in. On these grounds, I declare every unrenewed man an enemy to God.
2dly, Ye are enemies to the Son of God. That enmity to Christ is in your hearts, which would have made you join the husbandmen, who killed the heir, and cast him out of the vineyard; if ye had been beset with their temptations, and no more restrained than they were. Am I a dog, you will say, to have so treated my sweet Saviour? So said Hazael in another case ; but when he had the temptation, he was a dog to do it. Many call Christ their sweet Saviour, whose consciences can bear witness, they
never sucked so much sweetness from him, as from their sweet lusts, which are ten times sweeter to them than their Saviour. He is no other way sweet to them than as they abuse his death and sufferings, forthe peaceable enjoyment of their lusts; that they may live as they list in the world ; and when they die, may be kept out of hell. Alas! it is but a mistaken Christ that is sweet to you, whose souls loathe that Christ, who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person.” It is with you as it was in the carnal Jews, who delighted in him while they mistook his errand into the world, fancying that he would be a temporal deliverer to them, Mal. iii. 1. But when he was come, and “ sat as a refiner and purifier of silver," ver. 2. 3. and cast them as reprobate silver, who thought to have had no small honour in the kingdom of the Messiah ; his doctrine galled their consciences, and they rested not till they imbrued their hands in his blood. To open your eyes in this point, which ye are so lothe to believe, I will lay before you the enmity of your hearts against Christ and all his offices.
1. Every unregenerate man is an enemy to Christ in his prophetical office. He is appointed of the Father, the great Prophet and Teacher ; but not upon the world's call, who, in their natural state, would have unanimously voted against him: And, therefore, when he came, he was condemned as a seducer and blasphemer. For evidence of this enmity, I will instance in two things.
Evid. 1. Consider the entertainment he meets with, when he comes to teach souls inwardly by his Spirit. Men do what they can to stop their ears, like the deaf adder, that they may not hear his voice. They always resist the Holy Ghost.“ They desire not the knowledge of his ways ;” and, therefore, bid him depart from them. The old calumny is often raised upon him, on that occasion, John x. 20.
“ He is mad, why hear ye him ?” Soul exercise raised by the spirit of bondage, is accounted by many nothing else but distraction, and melancholy fits; men thus blaspheming the Lord's work, because they themselves are beside themselves, and cannot judge of these matters.
Evid. 2. Consider the entertainment he meets with, when he comes to teach men outwardly by his word.