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6. Thou hast heard, that he that neglects God's | earth shall pass away, rather than one jot, or one great salvation shall never escape his great dam- tittle of the word shall fail, 'till all be fulfilled,' nation. He. ii. 3, compared with Lu. xiv. 24, and Re. xiv. they are so certain. Lu xxl. 83. Mat. v. 18. 19, 20.
And yet when thou art invited, intreated, [Second PROMISES.) But leaving the threatenand beseeched to come in, thou wilt make any ings, let us come to TTIE PROMISES, and speak excuse to serve the turn. La xiv. 17, 18. Ro. xii. 1. 2 Co. somewhat of them, and you may see how light v. 19, 20. Nay, thou wilt be so wicked as to put off men make of them, and how little they set by Christ time after time, notwithstanding he is so them, notwithstanding the mouth of the Lord hath freely proffered to thee; a little ground, a few spoken them. As oxen, a farm, a wife, a twopenny matter, a play; 1. •Turn,' ye fools, ye scorners, ye simple nay, the fear of a mock, a scoff or a jeer, is of ones, ‘at my reproof;' and behold I will pour greater weight to draw thee back, than the salva- out my Spirit unto you.' Pr. I. 23.
And yet persons tion of thy soul to draw thee forward.
had rather be in their foolishness and scorning 7. And thou hast heard, that whosoever will be still, and had rather embrace some filthy lust, a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Ja. Iv. 4. than the holy, undefiled, and blessed Spirit of But thou regardest not these things, but contrari- Christ, through the promise, though by it, as xvise; rather than thou wilt be out of the friendship many as receive it, “are sealed unto the day of reand favour of this world, thou wilt sin against demption,' Ep. iv. 30, and although he that lives thine own conscience, and get thyself into favour and dies without it, is none of Christ's. Ro. viii. 9. by fawning and flattering of the world. Yea, 2. God hath said, if thou do but come to him in rather than thou wilt go without it, thou wilt dis- Christ, • Though your sins be as 'red as 'scarlet, semble, lie, backbite thy neighbour, and an hun- they shall be as white as snow ;' and he will by no dred other tricks thou wilt have.
means cast thee away. Compare Is. i. 18, with Jn. 8. You have heard that the day of judgment is vi. 37. Yet
souls will not come to Christ that near, in which you and I, all of us, must appear they might have life, Jn. v. 40, but rather after their before the tribunal of Jesus Christ, and there be hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto made to give an account to him that is ready to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and judge the quick and the dead ; even of all that revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Ro. ii. 5. ever we did, yea, of all our sins in thought, word, 3. Christ Jesus hath said in the Word of truth and deed, and shall certainly be damned for them that if any man will serve and follow him, where too, if we close not in with our Lord Jesus Christ, he is, there shall also his servant be.' Jn. xii. 26. and what he hath done and suffered for eternal But yet poor souls choose rather to follow sin, life ; and that not notionally or traditionally, but Satan, and the world, though their companions be really and savingly, in the power, and by the opera- the devils and damned souls for ever. Mat. xxv. 41. tion of the Spirit, through faith. Ec. xi. 9; xii. 14. Ac.
4. He hath also said, • Seek ye first the king. 1. 42 ; xvii. 30, 31, 2 Co. v. 10. He. ix. 27. Re. xx. 12. • And I dom of God, and all’other 'things shall be added.' saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; But let whoso will seek after the kingdom of and the books were opened: and another book was heaven first for them ; for they will take the first opened, which is the book of life, and the dead time, while time serves to get the things of this were judged out of those things which were written life. And if it be so, that they must needs seek in the books.' There is the book of the creatures, after heaven, or else be damned, they will stay till the book of conscience, the book of the Lord's re- they have more leisure, or till they can better membrance, the book of the law, the book of the attend to it; or till they have other things handgospel, 'Ro. i. 20, compare with Ro. ii. 12, 15, Re. vi. 17. some about them, or till they are older; when they Jn. xii. 48. Then he shall separate them one from have little else to do, or when they come to be another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep on the sick, and to die. Then, Lord, have mercy upon right hand, but the goats on his left.' Mat, xxv. 30–82. them! though it be ten thousand to one but * And shall say to them on his right hand, Come, they perish for ever.
blessed.' But to the other, go, or • De- For commonly the Lord hath this way to deal part, ye cursed.' ver. 41. Yet, notwithstanding the with such sinners, who put him off when he is Scriptures do so plainly and plentifully speak of striving with them, either to laugh at their calathese things, alas ! who is there that is weaned mity, and mock when their fear cometh. Pr. i. 26, 28. from the world, and from their sins and pleasures, Or else send them to the gods they have served, to fly from the wrath to come ? Mat. ii. 7.
Notwith which are the devils. Ja X. 13, 14. Go to the gods standing the Scripture saith also that heaven and you have served, and let them deliver you,' saith
he ; compare this with Jn viii. 44. For an admirable and deeply impressive accoint of these distinct books, see Bunyan on The Resurrection of the Dead,
5. He hath said, “There is no man that for. vol. ii., p. 108.—(Ed.)
or mother, wife, or children, or VOL. III.
lands, for his sake and the gospel's, but shall have and shall obtain favour of the Lord.' Pr. vii. 33–45. a huudred fold in this world, with persecution, and Take heed that no man deceive you by any means. in the world to come life everlasting.' Mar. x. 29, 30. • Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for
But men, for the most part, are so far off from that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.' believing the certainty of this, that they will scarce Jn. vi. 27. Strive to enter in at the strait gate.' lose the earning of a penny to hear the Word of Lu. xiii. 24. • Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou God, the gospel of salvation. Nay, they will shalt be saved.' Ac. xvi. 31.
• Believe not every neither go themselves, nor suffer others to go, if spirit
, but try the spirits.' • Quench not the they can help it, without threatening to do them a Spirit.' • Lay hold on eternal life.' • Let your mischief, if it lie in their way. Nay, further, light so shine before men, that they may see your many are so far from parting from any worldly good works, and glorify your Father which is in gain for Christ's sake, and the gospel's, that they heaven.' Mat. v. 16. Take heed, and beware of are still striving, by hook and by crook, as we say, hypocrisy ; 'watch and be sober,' • learn of me,' by swearing, lying, cozening, stealing, covetous- saith Christ, come unto me.' ness, extortion, oppression, forgery, bribery, flat- 3. Forewarning. tery, or any other way to get more, though they What forewarning is here? get together with these, death, wrath, damnation, • Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee hell, the devil, and all the plagues that God can away with his stroke, then a great ransom cannot pour upon them.
And if any do not run with deliver thee.' Job xxxvi. 18. • Be ye not mockers, them to the same excess of riot, but rather for all lest your hands be made strong, for I have heard their threats will be so bold and careless, as they from the Lord God of hosts, a consumption even call it, as to follow the ways of God ; if they can determined upon the whole earth.' Is. xxviii. 22. do no more, yet they will whet their tongues like · Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you that a sword to wound them, and do them the greatest is written, Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and mischief they can, both in speaking against them to perish. For I work a work in your days, which neighbours, to wives, to husbands, to landlords, and ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare raising false reports of them. But let such take it unto you.' Ac. xiii. 40, 41. Let him that thinketh heed lest they be in such a state, and woeful condi- he standeth take heed lest he fall.' 1 Co. L. 12. tion as he was in, who said, in vexation and anguish | Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptaof soul, One drop of cold water to cool my tongue. tion.' Mat. xxvi. 41. • Let us therefore fear lest a
Thus might I add many things out of the holy promise being' made, and • left us of entering into Writ, both threatenings and promises, besides those his rest, any of you should seem to come short of heavenly counsels, loving reproofs, free invitations it.' He. iv. 1. I will therefore put you in remem
. • to all sorts of sinners, both old and young, rich brance, though you once knew this, how that the and poor, bond and free, wise and unwise. All Lord having saved the people out of Egypt, afterwhich have been, now are, and is to be feared, as ward destroyed them that believed not.' Jude 5. long as this world lasts, will be trampled under the “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take feet of those swine, I call them not men, who will thy crown.' Ne, iii. 11. continue in the same. But take a review of some 4. Comfort. of them :
What comfort is here? 1. Counsel.
• Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast What heavenly counsel is that where Christ out.' Jn. vi. 37. • Come unto me, all ye that labour, saith, 'buy of me gold tried by the fire, that thou and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' mayest be rich, and white raiment that thou Mat. xi. 28. • Be of good cheer, thy sins be formayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy given thee.' Mat. ix. 2. • I will never leave, nor nakedness do not appear.' Re. iii. 18. Also that, forsake thee,' for I have loved thee with an * Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the everlasting love.' Je. xxxi
. 3. *I lay down my life waters ; yea, come, buy wine and milk without for the sheep.' I lay down my life that they may money and without price.' Is. Iv. 1. • Hear, and have life. *I am come that they might have life, your soul shall live.' ver. 3. “Take hold of my and that they might have it more abundantly.' 'I strength, that you may
peace with me, and liave heard thee in a time accepted, and in the you shall make peace with me.'
day of salvation have I succoured thee.' 2 Co. vi. 2. 2. Instruction.
• Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as What instruction is here?
white as snow, though they be red like crimson, • flear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. they shall be as wool.' - For I have blotted out Blessed is the man that heareth me,' saith Christ, as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a clouıl • watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts thy sins ; return unto me, for I have redeemed theo.' of my doors. For whoso findeth me, findeth life, / Isa xliv. 22.
Is. xxvii. 5.
5. Grief to those that fall short.
And if they come once to this, unless they be stark O sad grief !
mad, they will have a care how they do throw • Ilow have I hated instruction, and my heart themselves under the lash of eternal vengeance. despised reproof, and have not obeyed the voice of For the reason why the Thessalonians received the my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that Word, was, because they believed it was the Word instructed me.' Pr. v. 11–13. They shall curse of God, and not the word of man, which did effectheir king and their God, and look upward. And tually work in them by their thus believing. When they shall look unto the earth, and behold trouble ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, and darkness, dimness of anguish, and they shall saith he, ‘ye received it not as the word of man, be driven to darkness.' Is. viii. 21, 22. • He hath but, as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effecdispersed ’abroad, he hath given to the poor, his tually worketh also in you that believe.' 1 Th. ii. 18. righteousness endureth for ever. The wicked shall So that did a man but receive it in hearing, or see it, and be grieved, he shall gnash his teeth, reading, or meditating, as it is the Word of God, and melt away ; the desire of the wicked shall they would be converted. “But the Word preached perish.'I's. cxii. 9, 10. • There shall be weeping, did not profit, - not being mixed with faith in them when
ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, that heard it.' He. iv. 2. and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and 2. [Ground.) Because they do not indeed see you yourselves thrust out.' La. xiii. 28. All which themselves by nature heirs of that exceeding wrath things are slighted by the world.
and vengeance that the Scriptures testify of. For Thus much, in short, touching this, That ungodly did they but consider what God intends to do with men undervalue the Scriptures, and give no credit those that live and die in a natural state, it would to them, when the truth that is contained in them either sink them into despair, or make them fly for is held forth in simplicity unto them, but rather refuge to the hope that is set before them. But if cry out, Nay, but if one should rise from the dead there be never such sins committed, and never so then they think something might be done; when great wrath denounced, and the time of execution alas, though signs and wonders were vrought by be never so near, yet if the party that is guilty be the hands of those that preach the gospel, these senseless, and altogether ignorant thereof, he will poor creatures would never the sooner convert, be careless, and regards it nothing at all. And though they suppose they should, as is evident by that man, by nature, is in this condition, it is evithe carriages of their forerunners, who albeit the dent. For, take the same man that is senseless, Lord Jesus Christ himself did confirm his doctrine and ignorant of that misery lie is in by nature, I by miracles, as opening blind eyes, casting out of say, take him at another time when he is a little devils, and raising the dead, they were so far from awakened, and then you shall hear him roar, and receiving either bim or his doctrine, that they put cry out so long as trouble is upon him, and a sense him to death for his pains ! Though he had done of the wrath of God hanging over his head, Good 60 many miracles anong them, yet they believed sirs, what must I do to be saved ? not in liiin. Jn. xii. 37.
Though the same man at another time, when But to pass this, I shall lay down some of the his conscience is fallen asleep, and grown hard, grounds of their rejecting and undervaluing the will lie like the smith's dog at the foot of the anvil, Scriptures, and so pass on.
though the fire-sparks fly in his face. But, as I 1. [Ground.] Because they do not believe that said before, when any one is a little awakened, 0 they are the Word of God, but rather suppose them what work will one verse, one line, nay, one word to be the inventions of men, written by some politi- of the holy Scriptures make in his heart.2 He cians, on purpose to make poor ignorant people to cannot eat, sleep, work, keep company with his submit to some religion and government. Though former companions, and all because he is afraid they do not say this, yet their practices testify the that the damnation spoken of in Scripture will same; as he that when he hears the words of the fall to his share, like Balaam, who said, 'I cannot curse, yet blesseth himself in his heart, and saith go beyond the word of the Lord.' No. xxii. 18. So he shall have peace, though God saith he shall have long as he had something of the word of the Lord none. De. xxix. 18–20. And this must needs be, for did with authority, scverity, and power on his heart; but men believe this, that it is the Word of God, but at another time he could teach · Balak to cast then they must believe that he that spake it is true, a stumbling-block before the children of Israel.' therefore shall every word and tittle be fulfilled. Re. ti. 11.
3. [Ground.] Because the carnal priests do 1 This idea prevails to a vast extent. The splendour, power, and intolerance of national hierarchies is mistaken for the hum- 2 This is exemplified in Bunyan's experience, published by ble benignity of the Bible system of Christianity or personal him in Grace Abounding. "That scripture also did tear and religion. Antichrist, tricked out in roles and gewgaws, is, by rend my soul. Is, lvii. 22.' Sec. 104. “That scripture did perverted minds, received as Christ.—(ED.)
seizo upon my soul. He. xii, 16, 17. Sec. 141.-(ED.)
Eze. xxxii. 6.
tickle the ears of their lcarers with vain philosophy a covenant of works, and so indeed it doth kill, and and deceit, and thereby harden their hearts against must do so, because it is just, forasmuch as the the simplicity of the gospel and Word of God, which party that is under the same is not able to yield to things the apostle admonished those that have a it a complete and continual obedience. But yet I mind to close in with Christ to avoid, saying, will call Peter and Paul to witness that the Scrip• Beware lest any man,' be he what he will, ‘spoil tures are of a very glorious concernment, inasmuch you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the as in them is held forth to us the way of life ; and traditions of men, and rudiments of the world, and also in that they do administer good ground of hope not after Christ.' Col, ii. 8. And
who muzzle to us. •For whatsoever things were written aforeup your people in ignorance with Aristotle, Plato, time were written for our learning, that we through and the rest of the heathenish philosophers, and patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have preach little, if anything, of Christ rightly; I say hope.' Ro. xv. 4. And again, . Now to him that is
you I have sinned against of power to stablish you according to my gospel, God, and beguiled your hearers, when God shall, in and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the the judgment-day, lay the cause of the damnation revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret of many thousands of souls to your charge, and since the world began, but now is made manifest
, say, He will require their blood at your hands. and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according
to the commandment of the everlasting God, made 4. [Ground.] Another reason why the carnal known to all nations for the obedience of faith.' unbelieving world do so slight the Scriptures and Ro. xvi. 25, 26. And therefore whosoever they be that Word of God, is, because the judgment spoken of slight the Scriptures, they slight that which is no in the Scripture is not presently executed on the less than the Word of God; and they who slight transgressors. • Because sentence against an evil that, slight him that spake it; and they that do work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of so, let them look to themselves, for God will be the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.' Ec. revenged on such. Much more might be said to viii. 11. Because God doth not presently strike the this thing, but I would not be tedious. poor wretch as soon as he sins, but waits, and for- A word or two more, so I have done with this. bears, and is patient, therefore the world judging Consider the danger of slighting the words of the God to be unfaithful, go to it again and again, and prophets or apostles, whether they be correction, every time grow harder and harder, till at last God reproof, admonition, forewarning, or the blessed is forced either to stretch out his mighty power to invitations and promises contained in them. turn them, or else send death, with the devil and 1. [Consider] Such souls do provoke God to hell, to fetch them. Thou thoughtest,' saith God, anger, and to execute his vengeance on them.
that I was altogether such an one as thyself, but i • They refused to hearken, and pulled away the I will reprove thee, and set them in order before shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, not hear' the law, and they made their hearts as lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.' | an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law,
and the words which the Lord of Hosts hath sent 5. [Ground.] Another reason why the blind in his Spirit by the former prophets; therefore came world do slight the authority of Scripture, is, a great wrath from the Lord of Hosts.' Zec. vii. 11, 12. because they give ear to the devil, who, through 2. [Consider] God will not regard in their his subtilty, casteth false evasions and corrupt calamity. Because I have called, and ye refused; interpretations on them, rendering them not so I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; point blank the mind of God, and a rule for direc- but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and, tion to poor souls, persuading them that they must would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at give ear and way to something else besides, and your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh, beyond that; or else he labours to render it vile When your fear cometh as desolation, and your and contemptible, by persuading them that it is a destruction cometh as a whirlwind. Then shall dead letter, when indeed they know not what they they call upon me, but I will not answer; they say, nor whereof they affirm. For the Scripture is shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.' not so dead but that the knowledge of it is able to Pr. i. 24–28. make any man wise unto salvation, through faith 3. [Consider] God doth commonly give up such and love, which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Ti. iii. 15; and men to delusions, to believe lies. • Because they is profitable for instruction, reproof, and correction received not the love of the truth that they miglit in righteousness, that the man of God may be be saved,' therefore. God shall send them strong throughly furnished to all good works. ver. 17. delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they
And where it is said the letter killeth, he meaneth all might be damned.' 2 Th. ii. 10–12. the law, as it is the ministration of damnation, or 4. [Consider] In a word, they that do continue
L's. 1 21, 22.
2 Ch. xxv. 15, 16.
to reject and slight the Word of God, they are such, to, both for saving them that believe, and damning for the most part, as are ordained to be damned. them that do not. That therefore which I have Old Eli, his sons not hearkening to the voice of said I will make good, whether they hear or fortheir father reproving them for their sins, but dis- bear. And as for this desire of yours, you obeying his voice, it is said, It was because the good desire me to make a new Bible, and so to Lord would slay them.' 1 Sa. ii. 25. Again see in revoke my first sayings by the mouth of my proAmaziah having sinned against the phets. But I am God and not man, and
Word Lord, he sends to him a prophet to reprove him; is immutable, unchangeable, and shall stand as but Amaziah says, “Forbear, why shouldest thou fast as my decrees can make it; heaven and earth be smitten?' He did not hearken to the word of shall pass away, but one jot or tittle of my Word God, . Then the prophet forbare, saying, I know shall not pass. Mat. v. 18. If thou hadst ten thouthat God hath determined to destroy thee, because sand brethren, and every one in danger of losing thou hast - not hearkened unto my counsel.' Read, his soul, if they did not close M with what is contherefore, and the Lord give thee understanding. tained and recorded in the Scriptures of truth, they For a miserable end will those have that go on must even every one of them perish, and be for sinning against God, rejecting his Word.
ever damned in hell, for the Scriptures cannot be Other things might have been observed from this broken. I did not send them so unadvisedly to verse, which at this time I shall pass by; partly recall it again by another consideration. No, for because the sum of them hath been touched already, I speak in righteousness and in judgment, Is. lxiii. and may be more clearly hinted at in the following 1-3, and in much wisdom and counsel. It being verse; and therefore I shall speak a few words to therefore gone out of my mouth in this manner, the next verse, and so draw towards a conclu. it shall not return in vain, until it hath accomsion.
plished the thing whereto I have sent it. Is. lv. 11. ·
But again, thou supposest that miracles and Verse 31.—'And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and wonders will work more on them, which makes
the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one thee say, Send one from the dead. But herein rose from the dead.'
thou art mistaken, for I have proved them with that • And he said ;' that is, and God made answer once and again, by more than one, or two, or three to the words spoken in the verse before, ' And he of my servants. How many miracles did my servant said unto him, If they hear not Moses,' &c. As Moses work by commandment from me in the land if he had said, Moses was a man of great renown, of Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness! a man of worthy note, a man that talked with God Yet they of that generation were never the sooner face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend. The converted for that; but, notwithstanding, rebelled words that Moses spake were such as I commanded and lusted, and in their hearts turned back into him to speak. Let who will question them, I will Egypt. Ac. vii. How many miracles did Samuel, own them, credit them, bless them that close in David, Elias, Elisha, Daniel, and the prophets, with them, and curse those that reject them. together with my Son, who raised the dead, cast
I myself sent the prophets, they did not run of out devils, made them to see that were born blind, their own heads, I gave them commission, I thrust gave and restored limbs ! I
Yet for all this, as I them out, and told them what they should say. said before, they hated him, they crucified him. In a word, they have told the world what my mind I raised him again froin the dead, and he appeared is to do, both to sinners and to saints ; . They have to his disciples, who were called, and chosen, and Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.' faithful, and he gave them commandment and Therefore he that shall reject and turn his back commission to go and testify the truth of this to either upon the threatenings, counsels, admoni- the world; and to confirm the same he enabled tions, invitations, promises, or whatsoever else I them to speak with divers tongues, and to work have commanded them to speak as to salvation miracles most plentifully, yet there was great perand life, and to directions therein, shall be sure to secution raised against them, insomuch that but a have a share in the many curses that they have few of them died in their beds. And, therefore, spoken, and the destruction that is pronounced by though thou thinkest that a miracle will do so them. Again, 'If they hear not Moses and the much with the world, yet I
For if they prophets,' &c. As if he had said, Thou wouldst will not believe Moses and the prophets, neither have me send one from the dead unto them ; will they be persuaded though one should rise from what needs that? They have my mind already, the dead. I have declared unto them what I intend to stand From these words, therefore, take notice of this
truth, namely, that those who reject and believe * This word was, by a typographical error, printed doctrine,' in an edition of 1707; this error has been followed in all the not Moses and the prophets are a very hardlater copies.-(Ev.)
hearted people, that will not be persuaded though