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and has given you rain and fruitful seasons ; now what if the Lord should restrain his hand in those things from you, that do so devour them and consume them, and waste them upon your lusts, could you say any otherwise, but the Lord is just in so doing ? seeing that you amend not your lives, ways, words, and doings; and are such that feast and are feeding yourselves without all fear, as you may see in Jude xii. and so are the clouds without water, and trees without fruit. So, if God should send you clouds without water in them, and your trees without fruit; remember the fig-tree that Christ cursed, that did not bear fruit and think upon yourselves, and you are all as trees: but see what fruits of righteousness, of Godliness, of virtue, and of holiness you bear to God; for, without holiness none shall see God:' and therefore take heed of promising yourselves liberty, whilst yourselves are servants of uncleanness and corruptions, as in 2 Peter. ii. And when you destroy, consume and devour God's good creatures upon your lusts, do you think of God? do not you feed without any fear of God? and do not many live after that sort, as they did that said, 'let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die ? as in 1 Cor. xv. 42. And doth not the apostle say, . That every creature of God is good, and nothing ought to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for God hath created them to be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer?' And now, when you destroy the creatures upon your lusts, with gluttony, greediness, and drunkenness, you are not in a capacity then of praying or giving thanks, but of cursing, swearing, damning, and murdering, and all other evils you are subject to run into, and then often bring misery, and many evils upon yourselves and families.
1 Tim. iv. Now, “Every creature of God is good, [mark,) and nothing ought to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving;' for God created them to be received with thanksgiving. And the thanksgiving must be given to him that created them; and therefore you ought to receive no creature but with thanksgiving to the Creator, and you ought to give him thanks that created all to his glory, and if you do not, you are of them that feed without all fear of God, your and their Creator. And they that take the creatures in God's fear with thanksgiving, will not destroy them, nor consume them upon their own lusts, and they are sensible of the goodness of the creatures, and of the goodness of God that gave them. And they that feed without the fear, and are the clouds without water, and the trees without fruit, and devour, consume, destroy, and waste the creatures of God upon their own lusts, destroy their bodies and souls, their own families, wives and children, and bring themselves to rags and beggary.
And such are not sensible of the goodness of the creatures, nor the goodness of the Creator; and from such God had no true thanks, but
his name is blasphemed by such daily: and though many may say, that we say grace before meat and after;' but you should live in grace, and not turn from the grace of God into wantonness, and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace; for the true giving of thanks to God, is with the spirit of grace and supplication.' Zach. xii. 10, and Jude xiv.
So they cannot truly give thanks to God, that turn the grace of God into wantonness, and that walk despitefully against the spirit of grace; and therefore 'quench not the spirit.? 1 Thes. v. 19. And the Lord saith, what hast thou to do to take my name into thy mouth, and hatest to be reformed ? and every one that names the name of Jesus, is to depart from iniquity; else, Christ will bid such as do not depart from iniquity, depart from him;' this is a sad sentence, for the Saviour and Redeemer and Mediator, to bid them depart from me ye workers of iniquity, for I know you not: so, though you may say grace (as you call it,) with your lips, yet if you feed without fear, and work iniquity, Christ will not own such.
And James saith, ye have lived in pleasures on the earth, and in wantonness ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter,' and so forth: were not such to weep and howl?' and therefore do not you think this day will not come upon you, that are found in these things: therefore be you warned in time.
And doth not the apostle command you, Ephes. v. 16, 'to redeem the time, for the days are evil. And therefore see how you can redeem your time that is past; for does not the apostle tell you what the fruits of the flesh are, and what the fruits of the spirit ? so see what fruits you bear, and of what sort.
And do not you read in Rom. i. of such that gave themselves up to vile affections, and were filled with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, full of envy and murder, debate and deceit, taking all things in the evil part, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, doers of wrong, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affections, such as never cease from sin, which men (though they knew the law of God, how that they which commit such things are worthy of death,) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Rom. i. And therefore consider these things, all you who are found in these practises, and amend, lest God's wrath and judgments break forth suddenly upon you, ere ye be aware. For, do not you know, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor idolaters, nor wantons, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, nor railers, shall inherit the kingdom of God:' therefore ye must forsake all these things, if ye expect to inherit the kingdom of God, as you may see in 1 Cor. iv.
And do not you read of some, that in words professed God, but in their works denied him? and have not they that professed themselves christians, brought a great dishonour to christianity, yea, among the very Turks and heathen, by their drunkenness, whoredoms, and uncleanness, cozening and cheating, and cursing and swearing, thefts and murders; so that amongst the Turks it has become a by-word, 'what! dost thou think I am a christian?' therefore, oh! that that holy name (whose name is above every name,) by which you are called, that you should walk so unworthy of it, as to cause his holy name to be blasphemed! and knowing there is no salvation by any other name under heaven, but by the name of Jesus, oh! therefore, that every one that names his name, would depart from iniquity, and might walk as he walked: and let your moderation (ye that be called christians,) be known unto all men; for the Lord is at hand, and sees all things, and will render unto every man according to his works: and do not you know, ye must give an account for every idle word? and therefore, ought they not to be gracious, and seasoned with grace?
And whether, therefore, 'you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.' 1 Cor. x. 31. Now there is no waster, drunkard, glutton, that can eat and drink to the glory of God; but to the dishonouring God, devouring and destroying his creatures, and consuming them upon their lusts, and feeding themselves without the fear of God: and if all christians did mind this, whether they eat or drink, that they do it to the praise and glory of God,' there would be no drunkard, no destroyer, no devourer, nor waster of God's creatures found in Christendom.
And likewise, whatsoever you do, do it to the praise and glory of God.' [Mark,] whatsoever you do:' in this no christian would dishonour God; in this they would always have the Lord before their eyes, and his fear placed in their hearts.
And therefore, whether we live, we should live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we should die unto the Lord: so all that are true christians do live and die unto the Lord; but they that live in pleasures, are dead whilst they live,' as in 1 Tim. v.
And consider ye what the prophet Hosea saith to the professing Jews, that did not live according to the law of God, nor the prophets; and may not the same be said unto you, that profess yourselves christians, but live not according to the gospel? Saith the Lord, I gave them corn, wine, and oil, and multitude of silver and gold, &c. And therefore I will return, saith the Lord, and take away my corn in the time thereof; and my wine in the season thereof; and I will recover my wool and my flax, given to cover their shame.'
And therefore, consider this, ye christians, what,' I say, if the Lord
should stop the earth from increasing,' for the Lord hath given you corn, wine and oil, silver and gold, wool and flax, which you consume and destroy upon your lusts, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, “so that you should not have so much corn as to feed you, and as much flax and wool as to cover your shame,' think you, would it not be just with the Lord so to do? let the witness of God in your consciences, and your daily practice, and the scriptures answer and testify against you.
For truly, when I was in Lancaster prison, I looked out of the bars of the window in the tower, and saw the angel of the Lord God, with his drawn glistering sword, shaking it over this nation, to execute God's vengeance, and the court was all as a flaming fire; and this I saw before the beginning of the Dutch war, before the plague, and before the fire: and now I say again, if God Almighty, that created all for his glory, and gives the increase of all, (for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,) and, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, you should do it to the praise and glory of God: and now, if you do not, but consume the creatures of God upon your own lusts, and with gluttony and drunkenness waste and destroy them, and live wantonly, wickedly, and in pleasures on the earth, which is a mark that such are dead from God and Christ whilst they live: now, I say, if God Almighty the Creator, should stop the earth from increasing with cattle and other creatures, and bring a famine upon you, how could any but say, the Lord is just in so doing? for, look over Christendom, and see what voluptuousness, drunkenness, excess, rioting, debauchery, oaths, cursing and swearing, that makes the land to mourrr! do you think there was the like in Sodom and Gomorrah, whom God set forth as examples of his wrath, and such as suffered the vengeance of eternal fire, who followed strange flesh ? therefore, dread all ye that defile yourselves, and follow after strange flesh; see Jude. Though you may think ye sit as queens, and glorify yourselves in your pleasures, and may say in your hearts, ye shall see no sorrow; but alas! woe and torment will follow: and therefore, before it be too late, repent, and consider these things.
And remember Esau, that profane person, who for a morsel of meat sold his birthright, and afterwards he would have inherited the blessing, but he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it with tears: and therefore, while ye have time, repent; for, know ye not, that all that forget God, and do wickedly, he will turn into hell ? and therefore forsake your wickedness.
And do not you read, that the Lord Jesus will shew himself from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto them that do not know God, and which obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, [mark,] that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ; people may talk of it, but not obey it; who shall be punished with everlasting perdition from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.' Mark this sentence, and take it to heart, as in 2 Thes. i. 7,8. And see the sad sentence upon the wicked, in Matt. xxiv. 51. and xxv. 41.
And was it not in all ages the sins of the people, and their committing evil and wickedness in the sight of the Lord, that brought the wrath, and the plagues, and the sword, and the famine upon them, as you may read from Moses, in the time of the law, to the days of Christ and after Christ? and is it not the same that brings it upon them called christians now, that make a profession of the new testament, as the Jews did of the old, and live not according to it? oh England! consider these things; oh Christendom, (so called,) consider these things; and walk honestly, as becomes the gospel, and not in gluttony and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness, neither in strife nor envy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and take no thought for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Rom. xiii. 13.
• But unto them that are contentious, and disobey the truth, though they may talk of it, shall be indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish will be upon the soul of every man that doth evil:' and therefore take heed, lest (after the hardness of your hearts, and your impenitency,) you heap unto yourselves wrath against the day of wrath, and of the Revelation of the just judgment of God:' take heed of this, you that deny Revelation; you will find that you will feel it in the end, if you amend not. Rom. ii.
And therefore, take heed of disobedience, and rebelling against the Lord's good spirit, as in Neh. ix. For unto them who are disobedient, Christ is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; and therefore it is not the professing, but the obedient and believing, to whom he is elect and precious.
· For behold, saith the Lord, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, and shall leave them neither root nor branch. Mal. iv.
Therefore consider, all ye that are proud, and do wickedly; do ye think this day will not come upon you ere you be aware, and neither leave you root nor branch ? what good will all your profession do you, if ye do wickedly, and are proud, when ye are found but as chaff and stubble consumed by fire ? therefore take these things to heart in your private chambers, and see whether you be not as stubble or chaff: but upon them that fear the name of the Lord, shall the Son of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings; and they shall grow up as calves in the stall. And therefore, my desire is, that you may all repent, and amend