« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
repentance ; for it is unaccountable to put the soul in hazard of everlasting destruction, for all the profit or pleasure of a sinful course; a thousand times more than for one to put himself in hazard of drowning to catch a fly. But it is not a may-be, but certainly it shall be.
2dly, All other grounds of hope are cut off, if ye repent not. Tell me, 0 impenitent sinner, that will not turn from thy sin, what wilt thou trust to for salvation from the wrath of God? Wilt thou trust to the mercy of God ? I tell thee thou art a despiser of mercy, Rom. ii. 4; and thou canst not have it in this case, but over the belly of the truth of God; for he has said, “ Except ye repent, ye shall perish.” Pray consider, if thou wouldst have mercy, thou must seek it in God's way: Is. lv. 7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts : and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Wilt thou trust to Jesus Christ, his blood and merits ? Do not deceive yourself. Is not this Christ's own word, “ Except ye repent ye shall perish ?” does not the Saviour tell thee this ? Q. d. None of my blood shall ever be wared on a sinner to save him from wrath, that will not repent and turn from his sin. Why does any body at all perish that hears the gospel, if folk may continue impenitent, and yet share of Christ's blood ? No, no; to whom Christ will be a Saviour from wrath, he will be first a Saviour from sin, Matth. i. 21. He will first give repentance, before he give access to heaven; for Christ's blood was never shed to bring in dogs and swine into his Father's house, but shed," that he might redeem us from all ini. quity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, Tit. ii. 14.
3dly, Where will the fruit of sin be, when this dear reckoning begins? Heb. x. 31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Thou mayst get a time to run thy course : but at length thy eye-strings will break, the last pulse beat, and the soul will take wing and go to another world, and because of unrepentedof sin, be condemned to everlasting flames. And when thou enterest there, what will abide with thee of all the satisfaction thou hast had in thy sinful courses? No; then thou must bid an eternal farewell to all satisfaction, ease, or delight whatsoever, either in God or thy lusts.
4thly, How wilt thou be able to stand under the load of wrath in the pit of destruction ? Is. xxxiii. 14, “The sinners in Zion are afraid, fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites: who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who amongst us shall dwell with
everlasting barvings? How wilt thou be able to grapple with vengeance, the Mediator's vengeance, while God shall hold thee up with the one hand, and punish thee with the other ? Think in time on the worm that never dies, and the fire that is never quenched : for either thou must repent now, or that worm will gnaw thee, and that fire scorch thee for ever.
Lastly, Consider the eternity of this state. The pleasure, profit, and ease of sin are but for a moment; but the destruction for sin unrepented of is for ever, 2 Thess. i. 9. O madness! to run the risk of everlasting pain for a moment's pleasure! If ruing, sorrow, remorse, rage against one's self for sin, were repenting, there would be repentance enough in hell. Men stave off repentance now for the bitterness of it; but there is a sweet in it too: but then yo shall have the bitterness of it in full measure, but never taste of the sweetness of it; for then the hopes of mercy are razed; and a fearful sight of an everlasting continuance of misery, without end.
Have pity then on your own souls, and throw them not away for that which cannot profit.
2. If yo repent, ye shall never perish. Repentance is the way to keep off the wrath of God from nations, churches, &c. Repentance is the way for each of us escape the wrath of God: Ezek. xviii. 30, “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions ; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” Acts ii. 38, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins." All the threatenings of wrath are summons to repent, and have always that clause understood in them, “Except yo repent, ye shall perish:” Rev. ii. 22, “ Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds." Though ye have sinned with the world, if ye repent with God's elect, ye shall not perish with the world. Consider,
1st, It is not falling into sin, but lying in sin without repentance, that ruins folk to whom the gospel comes, John iii. 19. For there is a remedy provided; and it is for all diseases of the soul, even the worst and most desperate: and so nothing can be fatal to those that are willing to employ the Physician, and to undergo his method of
They are in glory this day, whose sins have been of the first magnitude, as David, Paul, Manasseh, Peter, &c.; but they were repenting sinners.
2dly, There is mercy for thee, if thou wilt repent, and come to Christ. Good news, 0 siuners, If ye repent, all your sins shall be blotted out, ye shall be embraced in the wide and warm arms of
mercy; if, as ye have gone away from God, so ye will come back again ; Is. lv. 7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the 40righteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Rev. iii. 20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” O şirs, will not bowels of mercy draw you? God is now on a throne of mercy; he stretches out the golden sceptre to you for peace, if ye will have it in his own way: and in his name we proclaim mercy to all poor sinners that desire to turn from their sins unto God. O will not the proclamation of the indemnity touch the hearts of rebel sinners, and cause them to relent?
OBJECTION 1. But my sins are many and great sins, ANSWER. God's mercies are many, Psal. li. 1. and great too, Psal, lxxxvi. 13; and his mercy is magnified in pardoning of such. If thy sins were as great as mountains, as many as the catalogue of them would reach from heaven to earth, there is meroy for thee, if thou wilt repent: Is. i. 18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." There are riches of mercy, Eph. ii. 4. abundance of pardoning grace, Is. lv. 7.
OBJECTION 2. I have relapsed, gone back with the dog to the vomit, and with the sow that was washed, to the wallowing in the mire, Answer. There is mercy for backsliders too; Jer. iii. 14, “ Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you." Ver. 22, “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” If it were not so, who could be safe ? Men must forgive in that case, and much more God will, Luke xvii. 4. For as the heavens are above the earth, so are God's thoughts above ours: Jer. iii. 1, " They say, If a man put away his wife, aud she
go from him, and become another man's, sball he return upto her again ? shall not that land be greatly polluted ? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.”
OBJECTION 3. But I have despised and slighted mercy, and the remedy of sin. ANSWER. They bad gone all that length, who had so far despised meroy, and the remedy of sin, as they had murdered the Lord of glory, and yet they obtained mercy, Acts ii. 36, 37, 38. Despise and slight it no more, and your former sins shall not be remembered.
OBJECTION 4. I have so long gone on in sin, that I can have no
hope. ANSWER. The longer the greater is your sin; yet God has not discovered to us any particular time, beyond which he will not wait. There are some called at the eleventh hour; and those that come in then, are not rejected. So was the thief on the cross. See Ezek. xxxiii. 10, 11; Luke xiv. 22; Joel ii, 21.
OBJECTION 5. But there is no body's case like mine. ANSWER. Consider the case of Manasseh, 2 Chron. xxxiii. and of Paul, 1 Tim. i. 13. Such instances are designed to encourage sinners to repent in hope of mercy, Eph. ii. 7. Adam's case was more hopeless, who had sinned against more light and mercy, than ye were capable to do. But suppose your case is a non-such evil, the mercy of God and the blood of Christ are non-such remedies. And ye may
be sure, since he has said, John vi. 37, “ Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out,” that he will work a new thing on the earth, rather than that your case be unhelped, if ye will put it in his hand. So I conclude that there is mercy for you, if ye will repent.
Lastly, Thou shalt certainly be saved for ever, if thou dost repent: Ezek. xviii. 30, “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin." No true penitents go to hell. Heaven is the landing-place of all true penitents. They that turn from their sins now, and turn unto God, shall for ever be with the Lord in another world.
O look to the glory that is above, and let your souls be moved to repentance by it. Cast not away the hope of eternal happiness for what does not profit.
Now, sinners, consider these things, and be stirred up to repentance, and do not adventure over the belly of fair warning to go on in a course of impenitency. Impenitency under the gospel is a sin of a deep dye; beware of it.
1. It is a continuation of sin; it draws out the thread of a Godprovoking course, adding sin to sin, till God cut the thread of life. And O are there not enough of items standing in God's accounts against you already ? why will yo be still adding more, instead of diminishing and breaking off the course by repentance ?
2. It seals sin and guilt on your soul. Impenitency keeps all the rest of your sins fast on your souls : John iii. 19, “ This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” If you would repent, no sins whatsoever you are guilty of should ever be able to ruin you: but if you do not, that one will keep all the rest in life and vigour, to your utter ruin. 3. It lies in the face of the gospel, of Christ himself, his apostles and ministers, who with one voice call sinners to repentance. If ye do this, ye do all; if ye do not this, ye do nothing; ye receive the grace of God in vain; it will be in vain to you that ever you heard the gospel, that Christ died for sinners, &c.; for ye will have no benefit by any of these things.
4. Lastly, It is a bloody sin, that will involve you in everlasting misery. For there is no escaping of the wrath of God; if ye do not repent, ye are undone for ever. For “except ye repent ye shall perish.”
Now, ye have had a message from the Lord, what answer shall I return to him that sent me? I think I may rank up all in these six sorts of sinners.
1. The brutish sinner, that hears as if he heard not. The word makes a noise in their ears, because they are capable of hearing ; but, alas! they are no better than the beasts, in so far as they make no reflections on it, with respect to their state and case. What shall I say to you, but that the time comes when these souls of yours, drowned in a moss of flesh and blood, will be separate from your bodies, and get a long eternity to reflect on the calls ye have had to repent? Is. i. 3, " The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” Psal. xxxii, 9, 10, “ Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding : whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked.”
2. The sullen, desperate sinner, whose answer will be that, Jer. ii. 25, “ There is no hope. No, for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.” Their hearts are glued to their sins, they have no will to part with them, and they have no hope that ever they shall be made willing, or if they were so, that God would receive them; and therefore they are resolved to take their time. But O consider, they have been reformed that have been as mad on their idols as you, as Manasseh and Paul.
If that cannot draw yon, pray answer that question, Is. xxxiii. 14, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who amongst us shall dwell with everlasting burnings
3. The crafty, subtile sinner, whose answer will be that of Saul to Samuel, 1 Sam. xv, 13. “Blessed be thou of the Lord : I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” But let the return to them be that of Samuel to Saul, ver. 14. “ What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear ?" What means your continuing in sin, your not wrestling and striving against it in heart and life, if it be so?