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and made himself of no reputation for you,
that you might render your selves contemptible in the sight of the Almighty ; and died for you, to give life to your fins and follies? How absurd, how impertinent, how contradictory is this belief? How ! God, and encourage fin? Holiness it felf, and find out a way to promote iniquity? Can there be any thing, in nature, 'more Gilly or ridiculous? This is abusing the Cross of Christ, not trusting to it; and you that make it an occasion of fin, take heed, it do not prove a Itumbling block unto you, and in stead of crucifying sin in you, do not harden you in it. It is a thing not unusual with God, to punish sin with sin; and if men will be filthy, in despite of all endeavours to purifie them from their filthiness, to doom them to continue filthy still, and to make that their judgment, which at first was onely their transgression; Because there is no Truth, nor Merry, nor Knowledge of God in the Land; but stealing, and committing Adultery, therefore your Daughters shall commit Whoredom, and your Spouses Sall com. mit Adultery, saith God, Hos. 4. 1, 2, 13. i. e. I will utterly withdraw my Grace, and ly Spirit from you, whence it must neceflarily come to pass, that you will fink deeper and deeper in your fins, till you fink into the ne- ' thermost Hell; and that which was your
de. light, shall prove your burthen, and your joy shall be your plague; and when afterwards
you hall fee, what you bave brought your selves to,
and would fain step back, you shall not be able, but die in your fins. A Judgment enough to make a Mans hair stand on end, and yer it is but reasonable, especially in this point, of making light of the death of Christ Jesus ; fo
great a love, and written in such legible characters too, slighted and abused, and made a help to fin, improved into licentiousness, may justly be fupposed to draw down that Judgment we read of, Ifa. 6. 9, 10. Go and tell this
ye indeed, but understand not ; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; left they fee with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understond with their beart, and convert, and be healed.
But what is worse than all this, the death of the Son of God, which thus, instead of mortifying, makes fin reign in your mortal bodies, will be the greatest witness against you in the last day. The stone fhall cry out of the woll, and the beam out of the timber Mall answer against the oppressor, faith the Prophet, Hab. 2. II. And then sure, blood hath a louder voice, Heb. 12. 24. and the blood of a crucified Saviour, will be one day the greatest evidence against you. This, like Oyl, will encrease your fames, and prove the Brimstone, that shall make the fire blaze the more. That Jesus, whose Cross thou despisest now, will be thy accuser then ; and woe to that man, that hath the Judge himself for his enemy. That dreadful spectacle, the
Crucifixion of the Lord of life, which cannot engage thy Soul to consider the indignation, abhorrency, and hatred, God bears to lin, will be the great Argument then, that shall cover thy face with everlasting confusion. As lovely, as charming, as amiable as this Mercy looks now, it will look as dismal then, and that which is now thy Anchor , will be thy terror then , and thou wilt run away from Mercy as much then, as thou doest from Gods thunder now, for thou wilt not be able to look upon this Mercy without blushing, and to think, how thou haft undervalued it, will make thee ready to hide thy self from its brightness. Every beam will dart horrour into thy Soul, and every ray will be an arrow in thy heart. When thou (balt see in that day, the spirits of Men made perfect, the Men in wbite, who have wafh'd their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; when thou shalt reflect on their happiness, a happiness, which thou might'st have had as well as they, (if that blood could bave perswaded thee to cleanse thy self from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit) how. will thine eyes flow with tears, to think what strong delufions thou hast lay'n under, in thinking, that this blood was onely spilt, that thou mightest wallow more freely in the mire. The Lamb which was slain from the foundation of the World, and came to take away thy fins, as well as thy Neighbours, onely thou would'st not be clean; that Lamb, I say, as harmless as its looks
are now, will then change his aspect; and thou, that now thinkest a Lamb can be nothing but kind, wilt then find, by woful experience, that there is such a thing, as the indignation, and wrath of the Lamb.
Of the various mischiefs arising from negle&t of
Consideration. The want of it prov'd to be the Cause of most fins. Some Instances are given in Atheism, Unbelief, Swearing, Pride, Carelessness in God's Service, Luke-warmness, Covetousness, &c.
Rom what hath been said, we may safely
draw this Conclusion, That want of Conlideration is the unbappy Spring, from which most of the miseries and calamities of Mankind flow. There may be inferiour and subordinate causes , as the barrenness of a Field
may proceed from the Thorns which overspread it, from the stones which ly scatter'd upon it, from want of dunging, from the rushes that grow in it, &c. but the principal cause, is the Sluggard's Idleness, and Laziness ; fo here, the Miseries of Mankind may owe their existence to various accidents, and occurrences, but the Master-cause is want of Consideration. Indeed God, Ifa. 5. 12, 13. makes this the great
reason, Why his people were gone into 'Captivity, why their honourable Men were
famill’d, and their multitude dried
ир with thirst; why Hell had enlurged her self, and open'd her mouth without meafure, and their glory, and their Multitude, and their pomp descended into it. It's the want of it, which, in all Ages, hath procurd God's judg. ments, which by Consideration, might have been stopt and prevented. Had Adam jmprov'd his folitariness in the Garden of Eden, into serious Consideration of the nature of the Precept bis Master gave him, and reflected on the wildom of the Supreme Law-giver, that made it, on the immense bounty, his great Benefactor had crown'd him withal, on the abominable ingratitude he would make himself guilty of, by breaking so reasonable an Injunction. Had he but recollected himself (wben tempted to eat of the dangerous fruit, under a pretence that it would open his eyes, and make him wise as God) and thought, that the Creator of Heaven and Earth knew best, what degree of wisdom and knowledge became a creature of his quality and condition ; and he that was all love, and beauty, and kindness, would not have interdicted bim that fruit, if the food might have any way advanc'd his happiness, and that therefore there must be some cheat in the Temptation : That the Angels which were lately thrown down from their glory, could not but envy the felicity, he enjoyed, and for that reason would appear in all annner of shapes, and