« AnteriorContinuar »
your blessings : yex, I have cursed them already." The holy Law is a killing letter to him, 2 Cor. iii. 6. The ministry of the Gospel, a lavour of death unto death, chap. ii 15. in the facrament of the Lord's supper, lie catheth and drinketh dam. nation to himself, i Cor. xi. 29. Nay, more than all that, Christ himself is to him, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, i Pet. ii S. Thus, wrath follows the natural man, as his shadow doth his body.
4thly, He is under the power of Saran, Acts xxvi 18. The Devil' has overcome him, so he is his by conqueft, his lawful captive, Isa. xlix. 24. The natural man is condemned al. ready, John üi. 18. and therefore under the heavy hand of him that hath the power of death, that is the devil. And he keeps his prisoner in the prison of a natural state, bound hand and foot, Ifa. Ixi. I. Laden with divers lyfts, as chains where. with he holds them faft. Thou needeft not, as many do, call on the devil to take ihee; for he has a faft hold of thee already, as a child of wrath.
LASTLY,- The natural, man has no security for a mament's fafety from the wrath of God its coming on him
the uttermust. The Curse of the Law denounced against hini, has already tied him to the stake, so that the arrows of justice may pierce his soul; and in him may meet all the iniseries and plagues that flow from the arenging wrath of God. See how he is set as a mark to the arrows of wrath, Pfal. vii. !1, 12, 13.
- God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet bis sword: he hath bent his bow, and made it ready: he hath also prepared for him the inti ruments of death.” Do:h he ly down to sleep; There is not a promise, he knows of, or can know, to secure him thai be shall not be in hell ere he awake. Justice is pursuing, and cries for vengeance on the finner : the Law casts the pre-balls of its curfes continually upon hin : walled and long-tried pacience is that which keeps in his life :: he walks amidit enemies armed agaiolt him: bis name may be Magor MisTabib, i.e. "terror round about,". Jer. XX. 3. Angels, devils, mea, bealts, stones, heaven and earth, are in readiness, on a word of command from the Lord, to ruin him.
Thus the natural man lives, but he mult die too; and death is a dreadful messenger to him. It comes upon him armed with Wiach, and puts three fad charges in his land. (1.) Death chargezh him to bid an eternal farewel 10 all things in this world; to leave it and make away to another world. Ah! what a dreadful charge muit this be to a child of wrath ! Ile
can have no comfort from heaven; for God is his enemy: and as for the things of the world, and the enjoyment of his luits, which were the only springs of his comfort-; these are in a mo. men dried up to him for ever. He is not ready fur ano her world: he wis not thinking of removing fo foon : or, if he was, yet he has no portion secured to him in another world, but that which he was born 10, and was increasing all his days, namely, a treasure of wrath. But go he must-; his clay god, the world, must be parted with, and what has he more? There
never a glimmering of light, or favour from heaven, to his foul: and now the wrath that did hang in the threatning as a cloud like a man's hand, is darkning the face of the whole heaven above bim : and if he look unto the earth, (from whence ail his light was wont to come), behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish ; aud he shall be driven to darkness. Ifa. viii. 22. (2.) Death chargeth foul and body to part till the great day. His fuul is required of hin, Luke xii. 20. 0 what a miserable parting must this be to a child of wrath ! Care was indeed taken to provide for the body things neceffary for this life ; bui, alas! there is nothing laid up for another life to it ; nothing to be a seed of glorious resurrection : as it lived, fo it must die, and rise again finful fielh ; fuel for the fire of God's wrath. As for the soul, he'was never solicitous to provide for in. I lay in the body, dead to God, and all things truly good; and so must be carried out into the pit, in the grave clothes of its natural state : for now that death comes, the companions in fin must part. (3.) D ach chargech the soul to conpear before the tribunal of God, while the body lies to be carried to the gtave, Eccles, xii. 7. The spirit Thail return unta God who.. save it.” Heb. ix. 257: “ It is appointed unto all men once to die, but after ehis the judgment." Well were it for the line Brilloul if it might be buried together with the body. But that cannot be : it mult go and receive its sentence ; and shall be shut up in the prison of keil, while the cursed body lies impris. oned in the grave, till the day of the general judgment. When the end of rhe world, appointed of God, is
the frumper shall fouod, and the dead arise.
Then shall the weary earth, at the command of the Judga, cait forth the bodies, the curred bodies of these chat lived and died in their natural state " The fin, death, and hell, thall deliver up their dead," Rev. xx. 12. Their miserable bodies and fouls thall be reanited, and they lifted before the tribu'sal of Christ. Then fhall they receive that fearful fepterce, “ Depart from me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," Maith, xx. 41. Whereupon, they fhall go away into everlasting punishment, ver. 49. They shall be eterfully live up in hell, never to get the least drop of comfort, nor the leaft ease of their torment. There they will be punished wiib the punishment of loss : being excommunicated for ever from the prelence of God, his angels and faines: All means of grace, all hopes of a delivery; ihall Be for ever cut off from their eyes. They Thuld not have a drop of water to cool their. tongues, Luke xvi. 244, 25. They hall be punished with the punishment of fenfe. They must not only depart from God, but depart into fire, into everlasting fire.
There the worm, that shall gnaw them, shall never die : the fire that shall scorch them, shall never be quenched. God shall, thro' all eternity, hold them up with the one hand, and pour the full vials of wrath ioto them with the other,
This is that we of wrath natural men live in : being under much of the wrath of God, and liable to more,
But for a further view of it, let us consider the qualities of that wratli. (1.) It is ir:efiltible, there is no standing before it.
" Who may fand in thy light, when once thou art angry?" Psal. Txxxvi.
7. Can ihe worm, or the moth, defend itfelf against him that designs to crush it? As little can worm nan Hand before an angry God. Foolish man indeed practically bids à defiance to heaven : but the Lord ofred, even in this world, opens fuch Nuices of wrath upon them, as all their might cannot: Nop; but they are carried away thereby, as, with a food. How much more will it be fo in hell? (2.) It is unfupportable. What one cannot refilt, he will ser himself to bear : but, “Who' Thall dwell with devouring fire? Who hall dwell with everlafting burnings ?" God's wrath is a weight that will fiuk men inio the lowest hell. It is a burihen no man is able to stand under, 6 A wounded spirit who can bear ir ?” Prov. xviii. 14. (3.) It is unavoidable to such as will go on impenitenily in their sinful course. “ He that being often reproved, hardverh his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”' Prov. xxix. 1. We may now tly from it indeed, by flying to Jifus Christ: but such as fly from Chrift, ihall never be able to aroid it. Whither can men fly from an avenging God? where will they find a shelter? The hills will not hear them : the mountains will be deaf 10 their loudest cries; when they cry to them, to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. (4.) It as powerful and fierce to wrath, Psal. xc. II. " Who knoweuh
the power of thine anger ? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wraih." We are apt to fear the wrath of mao more than we ought : but no man can apprehend the wrath of God to be niore dreadful than it really is : the power of it can never be known to the utmost; seeing it is infinite, and (properly speaking) has no utnioft: how fierce soever it be, either on earili, or in hell; God can still carry it further. Every thing in God is most perfect in its kind; and therefore no wrath is so fierce as his. O finner, how wilt thou be able to endure that wrath, which will tear thee in pieces (Pfal. 1. 22.) and grind thee to powder, Luke xx. 18. The history of the two she-bears, that tare the children of Bethel, is an awful one, 2 Kings-ci. 23; 24. But the united force of the rage of lions, leopards and she-bears, bereaved of their whelps, is not sufficient to give us even a scanty view of the power of the wrath of Gud, Hof. xiii. 7. 8. " Therefore, I will be unto them as a lion; as a leopard by the way will I observe ihém. 1 Bill meet themi as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rent the caul of their heart," &c. (5.) It is penetrating and piercing wrath, It is burning Wrath, and fiery indigiration. There is no pain more exquisite, than that which is caused by fire ; and no fire so piercing as the fire of God's indignation, that burns into the lowest hell, Deut. xxxii. 22. The arrows of men's wrath can pierce flesh, blood and bones; but cannot reach the foul : .but the wrath of God will fink into the soul, and so pierce a man in the most tender part. Like as when a person is thunderstruck, oft-times there is not a wound to be seen in the skin : yer life is gone, and the bones are, as it were, melted : so God's wrath can penetrate into, ayd melt one's foul within him, when his earthly comforts ftand about him entire, and untouched, as in Belshazzar's case, Dan. v. 6. (6.) It is coolant wrály, running parallel with the nian's continuance in an unregenerate ftate ; constantly attending him, from the womb to the grave. There few lo dark days, but the fun fometimes looketh out from under the clouds : but the wrath of God is an abiding cloud on the subjects of it, John iii. 36. « The wrath of God abideth on him that believes not. (7.) It is eternal 0 miserable foul! if thou fly not from this wrath unto Jesus Chrift, thy misery had a beginning, but it hall never brave an end. Should devourit:g death wholly swallow thee up, and for ever hold thee faft in a grave, it should be kind; but thou mult live again, and never die ; that thou mayelt be ever dying; in the hands of the living Cod. Cold death wiil quench the fame of
man's wrath against us, if nothing else do it: but God's wrath,
The Judge of all the earth can do no wrong. He
The Doctrine of the State of Wrath confirined and vindi
II. I shall confirm the doctrine. Confider, (1.) How per-