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We are born children of wrath; and continue so, until we be born again. Nay, as soon as we were children of Adam, we were children of wraih.
I shall usher in what I am to say on this point, with a few observes touching the univerfality of this state of wrath; wbich may serve to prepare the way of the word into your
consciences. Wraih has gone as wide as ever fin went. When angels finned, the wrath of God brake io upon them as a flood: “ God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell," 2 Per. ii. 4. And thereby it was demonstrated, that fio patural Excellency in the creature will shield it from the wrath of God, if once it becomes a finful creature. The finest and the nicest piece of the workmanship of heaven, if once the Creator's image upon it be defaced by fin, God cañ and will dash it in pieces, in his wrath ; unless satisfaction be made to justice, and that image be repaired : neither of which the finner himself can do. Adam finned, aod the whole lump of mankind, was leavened, and bound over to the fiery oven of God's wrath. And from the text ye may learn, (1.) That ignorance of that state cannot free men from it: the Gentiles that knew not God, were by Dature children of wrath, éven as others. A man's house may be on fire, his wife and children perishing in the flames, while he knows nothing of it, and therefore is not concerned about ita Such is your case, O ye that are ignorant of these things ! wraih is filently finking into your souls, while you are blessing yourfelves, saying, Ye shall have peace. Ye need tot a more certain tokes, that ye are children of wrath, than that ye pever yet saw yourselves such. Ye cannot be the children of God, thật never yet
saw yourselves children of the devil. Ye cannot be in the way to heaven, that never saw yourselves by nature in the high fuad to hell Ye are grossly ignorant of your ftale by nature ; and so ignorant' of God, and of Chrift, and your need af bim and ho? ye look on your ignorance as a covert from wrath ; ytt take it out of the mouth of God himself, that it will coin you, if it be not removed, Ila. xxvii. 11. " It is a people of no underítanding; therefore lie ihat made them, will no! have mercy on them.” See 2 Thess, i. 8. Hof, iv. 6. (2.) No outward privileges can exempt men from this state of wrath : for the Jews, the children of the kingdon, God's peculiar people, were children of wrath even as others, Tho' ye
be churchmembers, partakers of all church.privileges; tho' you be defcended of godly parents, of great and ironourable families; be what ye will, ye are, by nature, heirs of hell, children of wrath.
(3) No profeffion, nor attainments ia' a profession of religions do, or can, exempt a man from this state of wrath.
Paul was one of the straiteit sect of the Jewish religion, Acts xxvi. 5. yed a child of wrath, even as others, wll he was converted. The close hypocri.e, and, ihe profine,' are alike as t.) their stile ; however sifferent their cusverlations be : and they will be alike in their faral end, Pril. cxxv. 5. • As fur such as ruro alde onto their crooked ways, the Lord fall lead them for.h with thie workers of iniquity.” (H.) Young ones that are yet bus setting out into the world, have not that to do, to make themie [:lves children of wrath, by following the gaceless naltitude. They are children of wrath by nature; fu it is dune already : they « ere born heirs of helt; they will indeed inake themlelves more fo, if they do not, while they are young tree from that: vrath they were born to, by feeing to jesus Christ. Lastly,. Whatever' meo are now by grace they were even as others by nature. 'And this may be a fud meditativa io them that have been at ease from their youth, and have had no changes.
Now, these things being premfed, I'Mall, in the first place, Mew what this itúe of uraib is : ncxt, confirm the do&rise ; and ti en apply it. 1 I ain io few what is this state of wra:li.
But who can fully describe the wratis of an angry Gd? None can do it. Yet so niuch of it must be difcivered, as nay serve to convinças Gieo of the absolute pictüy of fleeing 10 Jesus Ci.rii?, out of that itace of wrath. 'Angér in men is a paision and commotion of tlie spirit for an irjiny received, with a desire to refent the
When it comes to a height, and is fixed in one's fpirit, ir is called wrath. Now there are no p. tans in God, pioperly speaking; they are inconfiftent with his absolute was changeableness and independericy: and therefore Paul axi Barnabas (iv remove the mistake of the Lycaoniar, vio. thought they were gods ) re them, they were iss machine paflions with themielves," Acts xis. 15. Wrath that it atiria buted to Go!, not in respect of the affeciun of writ, but the iets thereof. Wrath is a fire is te bowels of a nno, irre, nienting the man himSelf: but there is no pertubxion in Gud. His wiach does not in the lealt inai thac iaiinit report and .. happines, which he ha:h in him 15. Ti is a more and alle disturbe: act of his Will, producing dreariful tikets againte zlis. finner. I is but little we know of an injinice God; but coudu.. fcending to our weakness, he is pleased to speak of hima Fious alter iho maager of area. Let us therefore.boutine. Kamile's wratis,
but remove every thing in our consideration of the wrath of God, that argues imperfection : and so we may attain to some view of it, however scanty. By this means we are led to take up the wrath of God against the natural man in these three.
First, There is wrath in the heart of God against him. The Lord approves him not, but is displeased with him. Every natural man lies under the displeasure of God; and that is heavier than mountains of brass. Aliho' he be pleased with himself, and others be pleased with him too; yet God looks : down on him, as displeased. First, His person is under God's difpleasure : “ Thou hatest all workers of iniquity," Pfal.v. 5 A godiy man's fin is displealing to God, yet his person is still " accepted in the Beloved," Eph. i. 6. But"God is angry with the wicked every day,” Pfal. vii
. 11. There is a fire of wrath burns continually against him, in the heart of God. They are as dogs and swine, most abominable creatures in the right of God. Tho' their natural ftale be gilded over with a shining profession, yer they are abhorred of God: they are to him as
smoke in his nole,” Ifa. Ixv. 5. and luke-warm water, to be? ** Spewed out of his mouth," Rev. iii 16.“ Whited sepulchres,' Mathi xxiii. 27." A generation of vipers," Marth. xii. 34. and a
people of his wrath,” Ifa. x: 6. SECONDLY, He is displeased with all they do : It is impor fible for them to please him, being unbelievers, Heb. xi. 6. He hares their persons; and so hath no pleasure in, but is displeased
; with their best works, Isa. lvi. 3. *He that facrificeih a lamb, is as if he cut off a dog's neck,” &c. Their duty, as done by then, is “ an abomination to the Lord,” Prov. xv. 8. And as anen turn their back upon them whom they are angry with; to the Lord's refusing communion with the natural nian in his duties, is a plain indication of his wraih.
SECONDLY, There is wrath in the word of God againft him. When wrab is in the heart, it seeks a vent by the lips : so God fights against the natural man with “ the sword of his mouth," Rev. ii. 10. The Lord's word never speaks good of him, but always curseth or condemneth him. Hence it is, thar when he is awakened, the word read or preached, often increaseth his hortor. First, It condemns all his actions, together with his corrupt nature. There is nothing he does, but the law declares it to be fin.: It is a rule of perfect obedience, from which he always, in all things, declines; and so it rejects every thing he aloi has fin. Secondly, It pronounceth his doom, and denounGuu's curse again him, Gal, iii, 10." For as many as are
of the Works of the Law, are under the curse : for it is written, Cursed is every one that cousinueth bot in all things, which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them.” Be he never so - well in the world, it pronounceth a woe from heaven against him, lsa. iii. Ir. The Bible is a gniver filled with arrows of wrath against him, ready to be poured in on his soul. God's threarnings in his word, hang over his head as a black cloud, ready to thower down on him every moment. The word is indeed the saint's fecuriiy against wrath; but it binds the natu. sal nian's so and wrath together, as a certain pledge of his ruin if he continue in that state. So the conscience being awakened and perceising this tie made by the law, the man is filled with terrors in his soul.
THIRDLY, There is wrath in the hand of God against the natural man. He is under heavy Atrokes of wrath already, and is liable to more.
ift, There is wrath on his body. It is a piece of curfed clay, which wrath is Ginking into, by virtue of ihe threat ning of the firft covenant, Gen. ii. 17.“ In the day that thou cateft thereof, thou shalt surely die.” There is never a disease, gripe ner ftitch, that affects bim, but it comes on him with the Aling of God's indignation in it. They are all cords of death, fent before to bind the prisoner.
2dly, There is wrath upon his soul, (1.) He can have no communion with God; he is a foolish, and fhall not stand in God's figlit,” Psal. v. 5. her. Adani sinned, God turned him out of Paradise : and natural men are, as Adam left them, banished from the gracious presence of the Lord, and can have mo access to him in that state. There is war betwixt heaven and then : and so all commerce is cut off. “ They are wil hout God in the world,” Epis. ii. 12. The sun is gone down on them, and there is not the least glimpse of favour toward's them
from heaven. (2.) Hence the foul is left to pine away in its iniquity. The natural darkness of their minds, the aveife'nels to good in their wills, the disorder of their affedions, and dis. temper of their consciences, and all their natural plagues, are left upon them in a penal way; and being so left, increase daily. God cats a portion of worldly goods to them, more or less, as 'a bone is thrown to a dog: but alas ! bis wrath againt them appears, in that they get no grace. The Physician of souls comes by them, and goes by them, and cures others beside. them; while they are consuming away in their iniquity, and ripening daily for utter de&ruction. (3.) They ly open to
fearful additional plagues on their souls, even in this life. First, Sometimes they meet with deadoing strokes ; filent blows from the land of an angry God; arrows of wrath shut enter into their fouls without noise, Ifa. xi. 1o.“ Mike the heart of this people fac, and make their ears heavy, aod shut their eyes, le!! irey fee with Their eyes,” &c. God fisves with them for + while, and convictions enter their consciences; but they rebel against the light; and by a secret judgment, they are knocked on the head ; fo that, from that time, they do, as ic were,
live and rot above ground. Their hearts are deauned ; iheir affec. tions withered; their consciences stupified: and their whole souls blaited :- cast forth as a branch, and with red.” John xv. 16. They are plagued with judicial blindness. They shutthe'r eyes againit the light, and they are given over to the devils the god of in's world to be blinded more, 2 Cor. iv. 4. Yeş, “ God fends them strong delufior, that they hould believe a lie,” 2 Theff. 11. even coscience, like arialse light on the thore, leat's them upon rocks ; by which they are broken in pieces. They har.'en themfelves again it God; and he gives up with them, and leavs them to Satan and their own hearis, 'whereby they are hardened more and more. They are often given up 19to vile affeciio-s. Rön. i. 26. The reins are laid on their 10.;; and they are left to run into all excesses, as their furious luils draw them. Sccordly, Sometimes they meer' with quickning strokes, whereby their loo's become like mount Sinats. where nothing is feen, but fire a a" (moak; nothing. heard, but the thunder of God's wrath, and the voice of the trumper of a broken Laiv, waxing lurer and louder : - which makes them like Pashur, . (Jer. XX. 4.).“ A terris to thenisełyes,!' God. takes the fi'thy garments of iheir fins, which they were went to fleep ia fecurely ; overlays ibent with brimstone, and fetsthem on fire about their ears: fo'they have a bell within them
3ily, There is wrath on the Barural man's enjoyment Whatever be wanting in his hooli, there is one thing that is never wanting there, Prev. iii 37. “ The curse of the Lord is in the liouse of the wicked.” Wrath is on aił that he has ; 011 the bread he eats the liquor be drinks, and clothes which he
His basket and More are curfed, Deut. xxviii. 170 Some things fall wring with him; and that comes to pass by virtue of his wrath ; other things go according to his with, and there is wrath in that too; for it is a fnare io his soul, Prov..
* The prosperity of fools fhail destroy them:" This: sasha surns his biefings into curia, Mal. ii
.." I will curfe