« VorigeDoorgaan »
TO THE UNCONVERTED.
WITH A FORM OF COVENANTING WITH GOD.
O EARTH, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. Ye men of this world, ye spirits that are in prison, held captive to iniquity, under the prince of this world; in a covenant with death, at an agreement with hell, without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, without God in the world; who have said, we will not have this man to rule over us, let us break his bonds asunder and cast his cords from us; who are joined to idols, have chosen you other gods, are following after other lovers; who walk after the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; having your conversation in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and being still, as you were by nature, the children of wrath, in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity.
O ye sons of death, ye children of the night and of darkness, hear, and your souls shall live; to you also is the word of this salvation sent; even the strangers, and those who are afar off, that will lay hold on the covenant, and choose the thing that pleaseth God, these also shall have a name in his house, even the glorious name of sons and daughters. The Lord hath sent a word into Jacob, and it shall light upon Edom, and Amalek, and the uncircumcised Philistines, even as many of them as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:39.
Hearken, 0 people, you that are polluted in your blood, written in the earth, free among the dead; come in, let your covenant with death be made void, and your agreement with hell be disannulled; strike a league with the Almighty, and your names also shall be written among the living in Jerusalem. Stand
before the Lord; come, let us reason together. Where are you? What is your portion and inheritance? Ye are cursed with a curse. Fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest, this shall be the portion of your cup. Psalm 11:6. What are you seeking? Whither are you travelling? After a few years of your vanity are over, where must your dwelling be? Who can dwell with the devouring fire? Who can dwell with everlasting burnings? Look before you, behold that smoking furnace, that burning lake, that bottomless pit which is gaping for you, and which at your next step may swallow you up. Escape for your lives; why will ye die? Turn and live.
Do you believe the resurrection from the dead, the judgment to come, and the invisible world? Is it to the spirit of a man as to the spirit of a beast? Doth it perish with his body? Dieth a man as a dog
dieth? Dieth a wise man as a fool dieth? Fall all things alike to all, just and unjust, good and bad, after this life, as well as in it?
Do you believe the Scriptures ? Are they but a fable? If you hope they are, are you sure they are ? Dare you venture your souls upon it? While the saints venture on the truth, dare you venture your
, souls on the falsehood of it? Dare you stand forth and say, If this word be not a lie, let me be damned
, for ever; I am content that the everlasting worm shall gnaw my heart, that the infernal fire shall burn
my flesh and bones and soul for ever and ever, if it prove not at last a mere forgery and imposture!
Do you believe the Scriptures to be true indeed ? If you do, what do they preach to you? Do they speak any thing, if not this: That there is another life and death, besides that which is within the ken of mortal eyes; that the other life and the other death are eternal; that upon your being found within or without the covenant of God, hangs your eternal judgment, either for life or death; that while you are in a covenant with death, and in a course of iniquity, you are without the covenant of God, and can have no benefit by it; that under sin, you are out of covenant; out of covenant, you are out of Christ; and out of Christ, you are under condemnation ?
Are there any things which that word—which you profess to believe to be true, and to stand as sure as heaven and earth-are there any things which this speaks more plainly than these things and such as these? What, and yet secure in a state of sin ? Aliens from God, enemies of all righteousness, and yet in quiet? Are you resolved to sell eternity for time, life for death, a soul for the pleasures of sin ? Is this the choice you have made, and are you resolved to stand to it? “Let me have this world, my portion here, my good things here, and then let me be damned in the other world ; let me sin here, and suffer hereafter ; let me laugh here, and lament hereafter; let me flourish and prosper and live at ease and in honor and in pleasure and at liberty here, and let my prison and my pain and my anguish and my plagues be beneath; there let me be torn, let me burn, let me roar, let me die, so I may be rich and be merry, and rejoice a while here; let time be my heaven, and eternity be my hell!” Speak in earnest,
! is this your choice? Or that you may not be urged to make a new choice, will you take upon you to make a new gospel ? And dividing what God hath joined together, will you join what he hath divided ? Will you write this for gospel: "Holiness and hell, sin and glory, Christ and the curse, the devil and the crown: let the wicked hold on his way, and the unrighteous his thoughts; let him still run away from the Lord, and he shall have mercy, and from his God, and he will abundantly pardon! Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto death, and few there be that find it; but broad is the gate, and wide is the way, that leadeth unto life, and the whole world are going in thereat! Blessed are the proud in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! Blessed are they that laugh now; blessed are the froward,
the merciless, the impatient in heart, the persecutors for righteousness' sake; for great is their reward in heaven! Within shall be the dogs, the whoremongers, the sorcerers, the drunkards, the ruffians, the blasphemers, the idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie; and without shall be the lambs, the holy, and the humble, and the meek, and the merciful, and the upright in heart, and the poor in spirit, and peacemakers, the persecuted for righteousness' sake, and whosoever loveth truth and maketh God his trust: these shall go into everlasting fire, but the ungodly into life eternal !"
Are these the articles of your creed? Is this your gospel? If it be, O what is your heaven? If it be not, if the old gospel must stand, O where are your souls? Are your souls lost, and are they not worth the recovery? Why will ye die? Turn and live; O when shall it be?
As an ambassador for Christ, to whom is committed the word of reconciliation, having hinted to you what is law, so in the name of the eternal God, I publish to you THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL.
The Lord God having entered into a covenant of life with the first Adam, for himself and all mankind in him, this covenant has been broken, whereby sin hath entered, and death by sin; and all the world being now become guilty before God, bound over to the vengeance of eternal fire, and under an utter impossibility of recovery by aught which that covenant can do, God has out of his abundant grace made a new covenant, on which whosoever shall lay hold,