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sons, whom God will judge; scoffers of piety, malige ners, and mockers of feriousness, whose bands shall be made strong; in a word, all those who are loose and licentious in their lives. These are finners with a witness; and wo to them whose souls shall be gathered with them in the other world, Gal. v. 19,—21.--“ They which do such things, shall not inherit the kindgom of God.” Luke xix. 27.“ Those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me.

3. Mere moralists, who satisfy themselves with moral virtue, in obedience to the letter of the second table of the law, but neglect the duties of religion towards God. They are just and honeft in their dealings with men, but neglect their duty to God. These allo are finners, and miserable will be the case of those whose souls are gathered with them in the other world, Matth. v. 20.“ For I say unto you, That ex. cept your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kindom of heaven." They seek not God's: face, and they will be hid from it.

4. Formalifts, who have a form of godliness in a profession of religion, and performance of acts of devotion; but are strangers to real religion, 2 Tim. iii. 5. Some of them are grofs hypocrites, who stain their profession of religion with their untender walk in matters of the second table, Matth. xxüi. 23. Others are close hypocrites, whose outward conversation is blameless, but they are strangers to heartwork, the secret part of the Christian life, and entertain always some beloved luft or other. These also are finners, Mark x. 21.;

and wo will be to those whose souls are gathered with them in the other world, Pfal. cxxv. ult. “ As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the work. ers of iniquity.” Matth. xxiv. ult. “ And shall cut

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him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Now all these are finners, grievous finners, who, if they continue so, will undoubtedly perifh. They are justly called and reputed finners, in opposition to saints. For,

(1.) They all miss the mark totally that men should aim at. The word by which the Holy Ghost expresseth sin, is properly to miss the mark, Judg. xx. 16. The mark that all men are obliged to aim at and hit, is the glory of God, the chief end of man, I Cor. x. 31. The saints brought to the enjoyment of God in Chrift, do all hit it, though not perfedly, Phil. i. 21. Rom. xiv. 7, 8. They live to the glory of God their Creator and Redeemer. But all natural, men miss it totally, Rom. iii. 23. They are conjured within the circle of self; they live to themselves, not to God; their lusts, morality, and religion meet all in the dead sea of self. They are a company of selflovers, self-seekers, self-pleafers, Phil. ii. 21. So they and their way, not being directed to God, shall perish from his presence, Psal. i. ult.; and their straying will end in their falling into the pit.

(2.) They are all guilty of death before the Lord, 1 Kings i. 21. with Rom. iii. 19. The sentence of death is in force against them, and they are sons of death. The curse of the broken law lies on them, binding them over to avenging wrath. But the saints are not so; though they are not without fin, yet they are without guilt of eternal wrath, Rom. viü. 1. They are obsolved in their justification; but natural men, whatever be the difference of their crimes, are all finners, law condemned criminals.

(3.) They can do nothing but sin, Pfal. xiv. 3. It is true, the saints sin in every thing they do ; but yet they do things truly good, and accepted of God, Isa. lvi. 7.; the imperfections attending their duties do not quite mar them, 2 Cor. viii. 12. But natural mens

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actions are all fins, their natural, civil, and religious actions, only evil. Their whole life is woven into one web of sin from the beginning to the end, without one thread of purity in it; fo they are finners in a most proper sense.

Qef. How can that be, since they do things that are unquestionably good? Anf. It cannot be otherwife. For,

[1.] The principle of action in them is quite wrong. They themselves are wholly corrupt and loathsome, and fo is all they do. Pat the best of liquot in a veilet used to filthy uses, and one cannot look on it, Tit. i.


“ Unto them that are defiled and unbelieve ing, is nothing pure; but even their miód and consciences is defiled." Their filthy ftate defiles their duties, but their duties cannot purify them, Hag. ii.

[2.] The end of their actions is quite wrong. They are like a servant very busy, but in the mean time he is working to himself, not to his master, Zech. vii. s. “When ye fasted and mourned did ye at all fast unto me, éven unto me ?"

(4.) They all sin with true whole heart and good will, to it. The saints do not fo, i John iii. 9. They have a contrary principle in them that contradies the inclination to fin, fo thať at most it is but with a half-will, Gal. v. 19. But natural men ate all flesh, wholly corrupt, therefore the heart goes with a bent fail to fin. It is true, there may be something oppofing fin in the unregenerate; but then that struggle of theirs is bút betwixt flesh and fpirit, but betwixt the flesh in one part lufting, and in another fearing.

(5.) All their fins that ever came on them through the whole course of their lives, are fill abiding on theni, in the guilt, filth, and dominion of them. It is not so with the faints ; guilt contradicted is done away, the filth is in part removed, the reigning pow. er of sin is broken. Sin in them is like mud in a {pring, but in natural men like mud in a pool. Sin

is evet coming on, never going off; but all fticks, original and actual; for there is no remiffion of fin to them, and no fanctification by the Spirit. Unbe. lief is a need-nail to all their fins, John viii. 24.

Laply, They continue finners in the other world, Prov. xiv. 32.." The wicked is driven away in his wickedness.” In the moment of death the saints are perfected, they are no more finners ; but natural men have fin left on them, when they die; then the fentence takes place, Rev. xxii. II. “ He that is unjuft, let him be unjust still, and he which is filthy, let him be filthy ftill," and they are cast out as unclean into the unclean place.

III. I PROCEED to shew what it is for one's soul to be gathered with finners in the other world. It implies,

1. All mens souls are to be gathered out of their bodies by death, Job xxxiv. 14, 15. “ If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; all flesh fhall perish together, and man shall turn again unto duft.” Man confifts of a foul and a body; the body was originally duft lying here and there scattered on the earth; and at death it must be reduced to the fame condition again; the foul came immediately from God, and at death muft return to him, Eccl. xii. 7. And no man can have power to retain it in the body, but it must be sepaPated from it, and fo the man dies.

2. There are very different receptacles of feparate fouls ; there is a blefled receptacle of the fouls of saints, wherein they shall all be together in the other world; and a miserable receptacle of the souls of fin. ners, where they also fhall be together in that world. Tho' the receptacle of the bodies of faints and finners is common to both in this world, both lying in the fame church-yard, yet that of their fouls is not so. 3. A separation of the soul from the society of saints,


Matth. xii. 41. At death, finners that were mixed with the saints in this world, are gathered out from among them, like weeds from among the corn, and tares from among the wheat. And we should be concerned now, that that be not our lot. For it will be a. most terrible excommunication, Psal. i. 5. “ The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor finners in the congregation of the righteous.'

Lastly, A placing of the foul in the society of fine ners in the other world, putting them in the same place with them, and in the same state. This is to be deprecated, “Gather not my soul with finners." To be gathered to finners as our people, shut up

with them in the same receptacle of spirits, to have our lot with them in the other world, and fare as they fare for eternity, is what we should be in the greatest care and concern, that it be not our lot.


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IV. I SHALL consider this care and concern ; thew what is implied in this earnest request, “Gather

soul with finners.” It implies, 1. A fure and certain expectation, that our souls must be gathered into the other world by death. The Psalmist prays not against the gathering simply, for in that case neither prayers nor tears can prevail, force nor fraud, Pfal. lxxxix. 48. “What man is he that liveth and shall not see death?” But since they must be gathered, they pray that they be not gathered with finners. There is no may be here, but it must be, as it is 6 appointed unto men once to die," Heb. ix. 27. We must lay our account with it, as an event inevitable.

2. A belief of the miserable state of finners in the other world, and the happiness of saints. If one is not persuaded of these, he will be in no concern about the matter. But we must look beyond this world. into the other, and in the glass of the word take a view of the state of finners and saints there, to raise


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