« FöregåendeFortsätt »
education, no use and improvement of his natural powers
and faculties ; or else, he hath been inadvertent and regardless. And thus many live, as it were, without God in the world ; forget God, not having their senses exercised to perceive and difcern; having no affection nor devotion towards him ; have no regard to their future glory, nor to their soul's immortality ; do good and bad, without difference or distinction; confound the sense of good and evil ; they think not on the future account, nor upon eternity. Thus did not David; for he tells us, Psal. cxix. 59. That be considered his ways, and turned his feet unto God's teftimonies. The wicked, on the contrary, are said to forget God, Psal. I. 22. Job viii. 13. They call not on his name, Pfal. Ixxix. 6. They live but to gratify sense, pamper their Aesh, and feed the beast, Rom. xiii. 14. They make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lufts thereof They make it the business and employment of their mind and understanding to cater for the body. their reasonable souls only serve for salt to keep the body from stench and putrefaction. • 3. Vainly fraught, and poffefs’d, so as to flatter themselves, deceive their own souls, put themselves into a fool's paradise, live in a lie, go on blindfold to destruction. Fancy and humour, and not the reason and truth of things rule in their lives. Or else,
4. They are wilful and desperate, casting off all obligations to God, and hold the truth in unrighteouf ness ; make havock of conscience ; turn the grace of God into wantonness, and contract reprobacy of mind, and say with them, 1 Cor. xv. 32. Let us eat
and drink, for to marrow we must die. Come, say they,
had an account of tixe caution, and admonition: be instructed.
II. Now for the inforcement. Left my soul departfrom thee; left I make thee defolate, a land nat inbabited.
Left my foul depart from thee; these words are a metaphor taken from a member put out of joint, that cannot be fet again; it is of the same import with that we read, Ezek. xxiii. 18. So she discovered ber whoredoms, and my mind was alienated from her : and Heb. x. 38. My foul shall have no pleasure in him. The meaning of God in all fuch expressions, is, that we should return unto him; therefore here observe, how hardly doth God forget his relation to his people ? how doth he inforce- his arguments ? he gives admonition; and how doth he inforce and back it, that they may take notice, God's meaning is, they should return to him, because of his forwardness to admonish ? in these words you have a: double argument.
Argumentum amoris, &
Argumentum timoris. 1. An argument of love and good will, left my foul depart from thee. 2;. An argument from fear, left I make thee defolate. A double argument is as a double testimony, by which every word is established, 2. Cor. xiii. 1. Here is an obligation upon ingenuity : and the constraints of necessity. This double argument shews us two things.
1. The stupidity and senselessness of those who are made to the perfection of reason and understanding, and yet act contrary to.it,
2. The impiety and unrighteousness of finners, who are a real offence to God, cause his displeasure, and. bring upon persons and places, ruin and destruction. For can any one imagine that it is a matter of nothing, that man, who is endued with mind and understanding, and so made capable of God, to live in a constant neglect of God, and abuse of those principles, whereby he is capable to ferve God ?
Since all the ways of God, are ways of righteousnefs, judgment and truth, in whom there is fulness of power and liberty , yet cannot by power pervert that which is right : is it to be endured by the Governor of the world, that a limited creature, of bounden duties, should extend liberty to the confounding of order and right, and all difference between good and evil ? that he should take liberty to the introducing of all confusion and disorder in the family of God (for the whole world is his family) and live in the violation of all the laws of righteousness, goodness and truth, which are the laws of heaven. Let us think impartially, and judge righteous judgment.
Now because some think that fin is a trifle, and wonder that God should think himself concerned to restrain and limit his creatures, in what they have amind to do ; that God should refuse to let them enjoy that liberty ; that God should deny his creatures satisfaction. I shall therefore shew that those things which we call sinful, have an intrinsick
malignity in them; and therefore are forbidden by God, because of their naughtiness.
And for further security to us against such poison, God (out of his care for us) hath superadded the use of his own authority over us, and our interest (which in all reafon ought to prevail with us) that we should not do ourselves that mischief ; that we should not meddle with what is so hurtful and dangerous.
This may be said concerning the liberty, that by our Saviour we are brought into : that in the state of the gospel, I know nothing forbidden, which one of true reason would desire to have liberty to do.
There is intrinsick rancour, venom, and malignity in every fin, tho' in several degrees : and this I will shew in four particulars.
1. Sin is a variation from the law and rule of God's creation : It is contrary to the order of reason : and when I say this, I fay as bad as can be spoken. Every fin is against the order of reason, against the law and rule of God's creation and it is unnatural to the state of a creature.
What other creature in nature doth vary from the state of it's creation, but man ? who ought to be most regular, conftant and uniform. If the rest of the creatures should do fo, the world would soon be turned into a chaos and confufion. If the fea should do fo, it would foon overflow all its banks. If the sun should give no more light, but be the cause of stench and putrefaction ; that instead of the splendid rays, which he cafts upon the world, and revives those things by, which are below, it should send forth noisom vapours, how would the universe be unfurnished and disordered ?
The like may be said of all other creatures, which if they should act as irregularly, and unnaturally as man, every thing would be brought into disorder and confusion, and the world turned into a chaos. What is it in human nature to do contrary to the order of reason, and law of heaven? It is a phrase characteristical of venom and malignity ; to which there can be no comparison.
2. In fin, there is open and manifest neglect of God, to whom all reverence and regard is most due. For whosoever converts himself inordinately to the creature, averts himself from God ; and then, what becomes of our due acknowledgements to God, and thankfulness, than which, nothing in the world is more reasonable ; for, the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass, his master's crib, Isa. i. 3.
3. By sin, there is a disturbance in God's family : (as the whole world is.) It is an interruption of that intercourse and communication there ought to be amongst creatures; for every finner destroys much good. Wherever there is irregular motions, agents will interfere ; and hence arise exasperations, contradiction and offence. Were mankind regular in their motions, and confined themselves to warrantable actions, there would be nothing of displeasure, passion, provocation or offence found among men.
4. By the practice of iniquity we marr our spirits, spoil our tempers, and acquire unnatural principles, and dispositions. By fin, we part with the modesty and ingenuity of our natures. Now therefore let the atheistical and profane person be aggrieved if he can, or find fault with God, that he should cut