want; to see Lazarus, whom he would not permit to be seen at his door, now taken particular notice of in heaven, and to see himself now a beggar in hell. The Lord help you to think! O think how soon your sun will go down, and even your bodies will feel damnation, not only in respect to pain, but loss.

Bishop Usher's opinion was, and I heartily concur in it, that those who value themselves most on their beauty and dress, and do not love God on earth, will be most deformed in hell, and their bodies suffer. proportionally there. There is no dressing in hell, nothing but fare and brimstone there, and the wrath of God always awaiting onthee, O sinner, whoever thou art, man or woman. It was a fine saying of Maclane, who was executed some years ago, when the cap was pulling over his eyes, Must I never see the light of yon sun any more? Lord Jesus Christ, thou sun of righteousness, arise with healing under thy wings on my departing soul! May the Lord Jesus Christ do that for us all! When you are damned, the days of your mourning will be but at their beginning ; there is no end of your mourning in hell. There is but one song, if it may be called so, in hell, to wit, that of Dives, which will be always repeating, How am I tormented in this stame ! Consider this ye that forget God; O that God may bless you to-night with godly sorrow. Believers, pray for them: Lord help you, sinners, to pray for your vile selves. Some may think, what do you cry for? why, I cry for you. Perhaps you will say as a wicked one did to a poor woman in Scotland, when thousands were awakened there ; seeing her weep, he said, What do you weep for? for this people, says she ; weep

for yourself, says he ; she replied, I do ; but what is my soul to all these poor souls! O that ministers may never rise up in judgment against you : O may Moses, in the hand of the Spirit, make :: you mourn ! may the love of God make you cry! . may you not go home to-night with an arrow steeped in the blood of Christ. It was wonderful what a good woman awaking thought she saw written over her head. O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord! May every faithful soul be made to hear it; to awake, arise from their sin. The sun is going down, and death may put an end to all to-night : the Lord help you , to come though it is the eleventh hour: 0 that you would fly, fly this night to Christ, lest God destroy you for ever. Jesus stands ready with open arms to receive you whom he has first pricked . to the heart, and made you cry out, IVhat shall I do to be saved! he will then make you believe in his name, that you may be saved: God grant this may be the case of all here to-night. Amen.




Isaiah xxiv. ver. 15. ,
Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires.

VOU have oft, my dear hearers, let me tell you,

1 met with affliction; and I believe you may Persuade yourselves affliction is at hand, which

makes such deep impressions, when sent and blessed by heaven, as to thaw the very heart. Faith, like some glasses to view objects near us, sets them in so strong a light, that we cannot help being affected with the weight of the impression; hence the prophets, when under a divine impulse, foresaw things at a distance ; spoke and wrote of them as though actually present. They sung both of judgment and mercy, in such strong and persuasive strains, as to convince of the reality of their existence. Isaiah, who had a courtly education, being probably brother to a king, seems to excel in this kind of speaking; a person of good natural, as well as acquired abilities, which being tempered by the Holy Ghost, made him a kind of an angel of an orator, of a writer, and a prophet. When he penned this chapter, he probably foresaw the dreadful calamities coming on the land ; and so strong was his persuasion, that he writes as though he saw the things taking place. Behold, says he, the Lord maketh the earth empty, maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth ubroad the inhabitants thereof. How much is expressed in a few words! As with the people so with the priests, who perhaps on account of their situation in the church, might think they · should be exempted ; but if the priests sin with the people they shall be punished with the people. As with the servant, so with his master ; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. So you see that the visi tation would be universal ; that it should fall on all sorts of people. Ver. 3. The land shall be utterly emptied and utterly spoiled; probably, by a

foreign foe taking advantage of the domestic confusions, who shall destroy the fruits of the earth. Some may think, perhaps, that this will never come to pass ; but, saich Isaiah, The Lord huth spoken it. It pleased God the nation should be devoted to a dreadful stroke: The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world lunguished and fadeth areny, the haughty people of the curth do languish, whose crimes, one would think, would never be brought to punishment, on account of the eminence of their stations; they thought themselves out of danger, but they shall feel the common scourge; For the eurth also, as in the fifth verse, is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant. God did not strike without a cause ; for the earth groaned, as it were, under the sins of the inhabitants for their neglect of religion, for disowning God, for turning their backs on the Most High. Therefore hath the curse denoured the earth, (ver. 6.) and they that dwell therein are desolate. He does not say it shall be, but it is done. The inhabitants of the earth are burned, with dreadful fire of consuming vengeance,. and few men left. All the mercy hearted, that minded nothing but jollity and mirth, even they do sigh. The joy of the harp ceaseth ; they shall not drink wine with a song, strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The very great city, the metropolis, is broken down ; every house is shut up, because desolation is left in it. The inhabitants forsake it, their houses are left, shut up, because they are afraid some foreign power should come to their destruction. There is a crying for wine in the streets, all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone : no plays, no routs, no

assemblies now; the city is left desolate : the court not excepted ; desolation itself takes her seat, and ravages there. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgressions thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again. What an amazing scene is this! enough to fill us with horror even at this distance of time and place! But is there no way for escape? is there no light breaking through this dark shade? blessed be God, there is ; look at ver. 13, you will find in the midst of dangers, God shall lend his presence. When thus it shall be, pray mind that, in the inidst of the land among the people, what follows? there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleuning grapes when the vintage is done ; there shall be a few godly people left, let the devil do what he will ; but there will be but few... You know, after the people have gathered the fruits from the tree, they shake it to bring down the remainder; and after reaping of corn there are a few gleanings, so the Lord says, it shall destroy most people, yet in so discriminating a way, that God's people should be safe.

I cannot well recollect how archbishop Usher applies this; but this I am sure he says, there will certainly come a time when the world will undergo the greatest scourge that ever it felt, which shall chiefly fall on the outward-court worshippers, upon those that know not God; God will take particular care of securing his own ; and when the wicked are all destroyed, the Christians shall go to a little city, and there shall dwell in Goshen, till God shall call home his ancient people the Jews. - So God will take care of his people, that they shall be safe : pray look to ver. 14,

« VorigeDoorgaan »