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accept of this salvation, and made Jesus wait on an impenitent rebel, with the commission of mercy in his hand, while I have refused to receive it? Let my soul be this day awakened to lay hold of the covenant of grace, to submit to the gospel of Christ, lest to-morrow the days of bis commission of mercy toward me expire, lest the patience of a God be finished, lest the abused love of a Saviour turn into fury, and nothing remains for me but uus avoidable destruction,
6. It is a sentence of divine wrath, which shall be attended with the fullest conviction of sinners, and self-condemnation in their own consciences. This doubles the sensations of divine wrath, and enhances the anguish of the criminal to a high degree.
This final unbelief, and rejection of grace, is a sin against so much light, and so much love, that however, men cheat their consciences now, and charm them into silence, yet, at the last great day, their own consciences shall be on the side of the judge, when he pronounces wrath and damnation upon them, what in. fioite terrors will shake the soul when there is not one of its own thoughts can speak peace within ? When all its own inward puwers shall echo to the sentence of the judge, and acknowledge the justice and equity of it for ever?
Oh, who can express the agonies of pain and forture, when the impenitent sinner shall be awakened into such reflections as these “I was placed in a land of light and kuowledge ; the light of the gospel of grace shone all round me; but I winked my eyes against the light, and now I am plunged into utter and eternal darkness. I was convioced often, that I was a sioner, and in danger of death and hell; I was#convinced of the truth of the gospel, and the all-suthiciency of the salvation of Christ, but I loved the vanities of this life; I followed the appetites, of the flesh, and the delusive charms of a tempting world, I delayed to answer to the voice of providence, and the voice of mercy; the voice of the gospel iuviting me to this salvation, and the voice of Christ requiring me to be saved. My own heart condemns me with ten thousand reproaches : How righteous is God in his indignation! How just is the resentment of the Lamb of God in this day of his wrath! What clear, and convincing, and dreadfal equity attends the sentence of my condemnation, and
doubles the anguish of my soul!" SO***?:47. It is such wrath as shall be executed immediately and
eternally, without one hour of reprieve, and without the least hope of inercy, and that through all the ages to come: For though Jesus is the Mediator belween God and want, to reconcile those to God, who have broken his law, there is no Mediator appointed to reconcile those sinners to Christ, when they have finally resisted the grace of his gospel. There is no blood nor death that can atone for the final rejection of the blod of this dying Saviour. If we resist Jesus Christ the Lord, and his atonement, and his sacrifice, bis gospel, and his salvation, there remains no more atonement for us. Let us consider each of these circumstances apart, and dwell a little on these terrors, that our hearts may be affected with them.
1. This wrath shall be executed immediately, for the time of reprieve is come to an end. Here divine wisdom and justice have set the limits of divine patience, and they reach no further.
2. It is wrath that shall be executed without mercy, becau se the day and hour of mercy is for ever finished. That belongs only to this life. The day of grace is gone for ever : He that once made them, will now have no mercy upon them, and he that formed them, will shew them no favour ; Is, xxvii
. 11. The very mercy of the Mediator, the compassion of the Lamb of God, is turned into wrath and fury. The Lamb himself has put on the form of a lion, aod there is no Redeemer or advocate to speak a word for them, who have finally rejected Jesus, the only mediator, worn out the age of his pity, and provoked his wrath, as well as his Father's.
3. It is wrath without end, for their souls are immortal, their bodies are raised to an immortal state, and their wiiole nature being sinful and miserable, and immortal, they must endure a wretched and miserable immortality. This is the representation of the book of God, even of the New Testament, and I have no commission from God, either to soften these words of terror, or to shorten the term of their inisery.
REMARKS ON THIS DISCOURSE. I. “What a wretched mistake is it, to imagine the great God is nothing else but mercy, and Jesus Christ is nothing else but love and salvation.” It is true, God has more mercy than we can imagine ; luis love is boundless in many of its exercises, and Jesus his Son, who is the image of the Father, is the fairest image of his love and grace. His compassions have heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths in them, that pass all our knowledge; Eph. iii. 18. But God is an universal sovereign, a wise and righteous governor : There is majesty with bim, as well as grace; and Jesus is Lord of lords, and King of kings: He bears the image of his Father's justice, as well as of his Father's love; otherwise he could not be the full brightness of his glory, nor the express image of his person; Heb, i. 3.
And besides, the Father hath armed him with powers of divine vengeance, as well as with powers of mercy and salvation. Ps. ii. 9. He has put the rod of iron into his hands, to dash the nations like a potter's vessel. Rev. ii. 27. apd xix. 15. He is the eluci und precious corner. stone laid in Zion; 1 Pet, ï. 6. But he
is a stone that will bruise those who stumble at him, and those on whom he shall fall, he will grind them to powder: Mat. xxi. 44. He is a Lamb and a Lion too : He can suffer at Jerusalem and mount Calvary with silence, and not open his mouth; Isa. liii. 7. and he can rear from heaven with overspreading terror, and shake the world with the sound of his anger. See that his mercy be not abused.
II. “ The day of Christ's patience makes baste to an end." Every day of neglected grace hastens on the hour of his wrath and vengeance. Sinners waste their months and years in rebellion against his love, while he waits months and years to be gracious : But Christ is all-wise, and be knows the proper period of long-suffering, and the proper moment to let all bis wrath and resentment loose on obstinate and unreclaimable sinners. Oh may every one of our souls awake to faith and repentance, to religion and righteousness, to hope and salvation, before this day of our peace be finished, and gone for ever. Ps. ij. 12. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. There was once a season when he saw the nation of the Jews, and the people of Jerusalem wasting the proposals of his love; they let their day of mercy pass away unimproved, and he foretold their destruction with tears in his eyes. Luke xix. 41, 42. He beheld the city, and wept over it ; alas, for the inhabitants who would not be saved! He was then a messenger of salvation, and clothed with pity to sinners; but in the last great day of his wrath, there is no place for these tears of compassion, no room for pity or forgiveness.
III. 6. When we preach terror to obstinate sinners, we may preach Jesus Christ, as well as when we preach love and salvation, for he is the minister of his Father's government, both in vengeance and in mercy." The Lamb hatha wrath, as well as grace, and he is to be feared, as well as to be trusted ; and he must be represented under all the characters of dignity to which he is exalted, that, knowing the terrors of the Lord, as well as the compassion of the Saviour, we may persuade sinful men to accept of salvation and happiness ;". 2 Cor v. 11.
DISCOURSE VI. The rain Refuge of Sinners ; or, a Meditation on the Rocks
near Tunbridge-Wells, 1729. Rev. vi. 15, 16, 17.-And the kings of the earth, and the great
men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond-man, and every free-man hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains ; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide its from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ?
IN the former discourse of this text, we have taken a sur. vey of these two persons, and their characters, God and the Lamb, whose united wrath spreads so terrible a scene through the world at the great judgment-day; we have also enquired and found sufficient reasons, why the anger and justice of God should be so severe against the sinful sons and daughters of men, who have wilfully broken his law, and refused the grace of his gospel, and why the indignation of the Son of God should be superadded to all the terrors of his Father's vengeance. We are come now to the third, and last general head of discourse, and that is to consider, “ How vain will all the refuges and hiopes of sinners be found in that dreadful day, when God and the Lamb sball join to manifest their wrath and indignation against them."
These hopes, and shifts, and refuges of rebellious and guilly creatures, are represented by a noble image and description in my text: They shall call to the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them, and to cover them from the face of him that sus upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. As this address to mountains and rocks appears to be but a vain hope in extreme distress, when a feeble and helpless criminal is pursued by a swift and mighty avenger, so vain and fruitless shall all the hopes of sinners be to escape the just indignation and sentence of their Judge. In order to shew the vanity of all the refuges and shifts to which sinners shall betake theipselves in that day, let us spread abroad this sacred description of them in a para. phrase under the following heads :
1. Let us consider the rocks and mountains, as vast and mighty created beings, of huge figure, and high appearance, whose aid is sought in the last extremity of distress ; and what is this but calling upon creatures to help them against their Creator? What is it but flying to creatures to deliver and save them when their offended God resolves to punish? A vain refuge indecil, whico Ged, the aliuighty Dlaker of all things, and Jesus,
his Son, by whom all things were made, shall agree to arise and go forth against them in their robes of judgment, and with tbeir artillery of vengeance! What created being dares interpose in that hour, to shelter or defend a condemned criminal? What high and mighty creature is able to afford the least security or protection? The princes of the earth, and the captains, the kings, and heroes, and conquerors, with all their millions of armed men, are not able to lift a hand for the defence of one sinner against the anger of God and the Lamb. They themselves shall quake and shiver at the tremendous sight, and they shall fly into the holes of the rocks, like mere cowards, and shall join their outcries with the poor and the slave, entreating the rocks and mountains to befriend them with shelter
Not the highest mountains, not the hardest or the strongest rocks, not the most exalted, or most powerful persons, or things in pature can defend, when the God of nature resolves to destroy: When he, who is higher than the highest, and stronger tban tbe strongest, shall pronounce destruction upon rebels, what creature can speak deliverance? The rocks and the mountains. obey their Maker, they shiver in pieces at the word of his wrath, and will yield no relief to criminals: But man, relellious man, disobeys his Maker, and calls to the rocks and mountains to protect him.' Vain hope, Oh sinner! to make the most exalted creatures your friends, when God, the Creator, is your enemy. These inanimate things bave never learned disobedience to their Maker, and rather than screen a rebel from his deserv. ed judgments, they will offer themselves as instruments of divine vengeance.
2. Rocks and mountains, in their clefts and dens and caverns, are sometimes considered as places of secrecy and con: cealment. My text tells us, that kings, and mighly men, the rich and the free-man, as well as the poor and the slave, hid themselves in dens, and in the rocks of the mountains. They hoped there might be some secret corner, whose thick shadows and darkness were sufficient to hide them, where the Judy might not spy or find them out. Vain hope for singers to hide in the holes of the rocks, and the deepest caveros of the moun. tains, to escape the notice of that God, who is all eye and all ear, and present at once in every place of earth and heaven! Foolish expectation indeed, to avoid the notice of the Son of God, whose eyes are as a flame of fire ; Rev. i. 14. and shoot through the earth, and its darkest caves !
Read the cxxxix. Psalm, Oh sinner! and then think if it be possible to flee from the eye of God, and to hide thyself in the clefts of the rock, where his hand shall not find thee. -Не has already beset thee behind and before, and his hand already Vol. VII.