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not profit him. He will never turn his back, because we bring nothing with us, If. lv. 2.
2. Mistake not the reason of our Lord's earneftness with you to bring you to repentance. It is not that he expećts any advantage by your return; it is for your own good, not for his. He is not dealing with you, as one that hires a servant, because he needs one and cannot want one; but like a compassionate person that is dealing with a frantic one, that will needs destroy himself in the water. God may say to the greatest men, the richest, aye and the most penitent linners, and the holiest alive, I have no need of you.
3. Ye can do God no real hurt by your continuing impenitent in your sins, Job xxxv. 6. 8. Your fins can reach him as little to his loss, as your obedience to his profit. All sin is against the mind of God, but there is no sin against the lappiness of God. If it were possible, and all the angels in heaven, and all the men on earth, should conspire with the devils against him, it could not diminish one jot of his happiness, nor create him the least real uneasiness thereby, All is but like a dog's barking at the moon, or one's rushing his head against a rock, which stands unmoved, but he is wounded. 1:14. Lastly, Bythy compliance with the call of God and the duties of religion, while others flight them, do not thou think thou obligest God, or that he is more indebted to thee.than to others, Luke xvii. 10. Thou acteft indeed more for thy own interest than they ; 1 Lut as he suffers no damage by their folly, so hesreaps no advantage by thy duties.
if thou compliest with the call of the gospel, othe profit shall be thine own; though God do not and cannot gain by it, thou shalt, Thou shalt be wise for thyself. The phrase imports two things. 21 11/t, 1 hou shalt gain by it, thou shalt advance tlıy own interest thereby. Men praite them that do good to themselves; they that hearken to the gospel-call do to. When the reit of the world are mispending ye will
1. We are workers with God. It is not our own, but our Lord's work that we are about. God has made our Lord and Master heir of all things, and he has sent us forth to court a spouse for him. There is none that can say so much to the commendation of their Lord as we may : for he is white and ruddy, the chiet among ten thousand, yea he is alto. gether lovely: and there is no bride fo unworthy as the daughter of Zion. And fhall our Lord get the naysay off the hands of ugly, hell-hued, beggarly fouls, and the prince of darkness be preferred to the Prince of peace ? Our Lord has got the gift of the kingdom from his Father, and of this land among others, Pfal. ii. 8.; and he has sent us out to beseech you and command you in his name to submit to our royal Master: and must we take him word, that not have this man to reign over you? Luke xix. 14.
2. God works with us. We are but the voice of one crying; the speaker is in heaven, and speaks from heaven, though by men, Heb. xü. 25. Therefore the flighting of our message is a flighting of the Lord himself: See Matth. xxviii. 20. Lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the world. Have ye never had the secrets of your hearts made manifest by the preaching of the word? why then fall ye not down before our Lord? why say ye not, We will go with you, for the Lord is with you? O fight not againit God.
3. The message we bring you is the grace of God; and shall it be received in vain? This gospel,
(1.) Is moft neceffary grace. What a ditiral dark nels overclouded the world by Adam's fall, more terrible than if the sun, moon, and stars had been for e. ver wrapt up in the blackness of darkness, in which we should for ever have lien, had not this grace appeared as a fhining fun to dispel it, Tit. ii. 11. So the word
rith, and the sea of trouble he was tossed in, on account of the unma nageable spirit of the parishioners, fed by the malignant leaven which the Old Diffenters. Spread through it, and of which he repeara edly and heavily complains in his Memoirs.
rendered appeared properly signifies. And thall we now like night owls flee from the face of the rising sun, and like wild beasts get into our hellish dens, when this fun is up? Are we ftruck blind with its light, and such creatures of darkness that we will love darkness rather than light?
(2.) It is uncommon grace. This fun enlightens but a small part of the world. The most part are yet without the gospel ; and this land had it not always. Nothing but grace brought it to, and has kept it with
And shall we receive it in vain ? Ah! will not the wild Americans think us unworthy of a place in the same hell with them?
(3.) It is the greatest grace that God ever bestowed on the world. God has given some nations gold mines, precious stones, spices, plenty of corns, &c.; and he lias given fome the gospel without these ; so that we may lay of them, Israel then shall dwell in safety alone : the fountain of Jacob shall be'upon a land of corn and wine, also his heavens Mall drop dosun dew, Happy art thou, 0 Ifrael: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the field of thy help, and who is the jword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places, Deut. sxxiii. 28. 29. Barley-bread and the gospel is good cheer, if people receive it not in vain, Il. xxx. 20. 21. There is, a treasure in the gospel, Christ in it is the greatelt of all mercies, Mattb. xiii. 44. Ah! shall such a price te put in the hands of fools, that have no heart to it!
(4.) It is God's last grace to the world, Heb.i.1. No other dispensation of grace shall ever the world see more. Now, Sirs, the last ship for linmanuel's land is making ready to go; therefore now or never, Heb. X. 26. 27. For if we fin qilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more facrifice for fins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgementy and fiery indignation, which ball devour the adversaries. This gospel is the Lord's farewell fermon to the world. The Lord has made a feast for the world these five
thousand years, and the last dish is served up now. O
that may be lost, Matth. xxiii. 37. 38. The sun of the gospel has gone down in fome places, where it shined as clearly as ever it did in Scotland, and God knows if ever it rise again there. That we have received it much in vain, is plain from the heavy hand of God on us at this day in temporal calamities, Hof. ii. 9. yea and his threatening us with the removal of the gospel, ver. 11. O then receive it not in vain; but, while ye have the light, be walking in it: for to look no farther than the entertainment the gospel is getting at this day, it is a fad sign there is a black night abiding us : so that I think ministers and people should set themselves about it as a way going commodity.
The Danger of not complying with the Gospel
PROVERBS ix. 12.
scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
gospel-treaty with finners, carried on with them by the messengers of Christ in his name. It is a fo. lemn declaration or proteftation that it is shut up with. The entertainment the gospel meets with is twofold, and there are two forts (and but two) of gospel-hearers. (1.) Compliers with the gospel-call; these are called the wise. (2.) Refusers; these are styled fcorners. The declaration looks to both, and is carried as it were, after the offer is made, to every individual man and woman's door that hears the gospel. It is not, They that are wise shall be wise for themselves ; but hereby the Lord speaks to every one in particular,
If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself, &c. Which class soever one puts himself into, here is his case declared. (1.) If thou be wise and comply, the gain shall be thine own; it is not the Lord's, but the fruit shall drop into thine own lap. (2.) If thou scornest and refuseft, the loss shall be thine, it will lie chiefly at least on thine own head. So the exclusive particle is taken, Pfal. li. 4. Against thee, thee only have I finned.
I design not to inlift on these words, but only with them to shut up the call to the improvement of the gospel and religion which I have been giving you. Thus the great duty is laid before you: and now I would apply the words of the text unto you on this occasion, and to every one of you. Ye have heard the nature of faith and repentance, the utility of public ordinances for salvation, and the necessity of not receiving of the gospel in vain. Now, finner, what wilt thou do? wilt thou comply with the gospel-offer or not? Well I protest and declare in the terms of the text, If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself : but if thou fcornest, thou alone halt bear it. I shall branch out this protestation in three particulars.
First, if thou be not a complier with the gospel-call, thou art a fcorner of it: there is no mids. This is co' vident from the text, which divides all gospel-hearers into these two forts. Now, thou art not a complier wich the gospel-call, as long as,
1. Thou entertainest any prejudice against religion, and wilt not come to Christ, John v.40. Thou art a refuser in that cafe, thou wilt not be obedient, but turneft away thine ear and shoulder. Men may receive and comply with a form of religion and a profesfion, who yet are under reigning prejudice against the power of godliness, 2 Tim. iii. 5. Now, since religion lies inwardly, and consifts not in word, but in power, these are not compliers, for they say they will not come into the inner court.
2. Thou art in a doubt whether to come or not, or delayelt and puttes it off. Halters between two opiVol. III.