Page images
PDF
EPUB

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man foweth, that shall be also reap. Let God be true, but every man: à liar. Thy word, O God, is true from the beginning. Hath He fpoken; and fball He not do it? Brethren, we have not followed cunningly devifed fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jefus Chrift. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we perfuade men (d).

Enquire now of the days which are gone what has been the end of all thofe, who in paft ages have difregarded the denunciations of God. Let God be the judge between you, and those who admonish you in His name. Let God by His paft difpenfations be the interpreter of His own word. When our first parents liftened in paradife to the enínaring question of the Tempter, Yea; bath God faid, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden: when, giving ear to his confident affertion, ye fhall not furely die, they ventured to confider the fentence of death as a judgement not defigned to be carried into execution: what was the confequence? They brought ruin upon themselves and upon their

(d) Gal. vi. 7. 19. 2 Pet. i. 16.

Rom. iii. 4. Pf. cxix. 160. Numb. xxiii, 2 Cor. v. II.

pofterity.

pofterity. When Noah admonished the world that the Spirit of God would ftill ftrive with finful man only during the period of an hundred and twenty years vouchfafed for trial and repentance: when that Preacher of Righteousness feemed unto them as one that mocked: what was the end of the unbelievers? The deluge came at its appointed hour, and fwept them to deftruction. When the fons-in-law of Lot made light of the threatenings of God: what was the event? They were overwhelmed at fun-rife by the tempeft of fire and brimftone. When Pharaoh cried, Who is the Lord, that I fhould obey his voice? When he hardened his heart, and gave no credit to the warnings of Moses: did God forbear to fulfil his word? Plague after plague overtook the king of Egypt: till having feen his country laid wafte by miracles of divine vengeance, and his own firft-born, together with the first-born of all his people, cut off in a fingle night, he perished with his mighty host in the Red Sea. When the Jews in the days of Jeremiah shut their ears against his message from Jehovah, that the city of Jerufalem fhould be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar did the words of the prophet prove an idle tale? The Chaldean army took the city, and burned it to the A a 3 ground.

ground. When Nebuchadnezzar himself in the pride of his heart defpifed the impending judgements revealed to him by Daniel: did they fail of coming to 'pafs? At the end of twelve months, a voice from heaven was heard proclaiming that the hour was come; and the thing was fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar the kingdom was taken from him, and he was driven from men, and did eat grafs as oxen, and his dwelling was with the beafts of the field. When the Jews in later times heard from the mouth of Jefus Christ that of their beloved city not one stone fhould be left upon another: when the Son of God feemed as one that mocked to the people whom he came to fave; what was the refult? The Roman armies advanced, and miferably destroyed thofe finners, and took away their place and nation. With all these examples before you, do you treat the words. of God as idle tales, and hope to escape? In the fate of thefe defpifers do you not read your own? Has the Omnipotent poured out upon all others the vengeance, which He has threatened against the impenitent and unbelieving; and. fhall He not pour it forth upon you? For your fake alone will He abrogate His word? For your fake alone will He annul His laws eftablished from eternity

unto

unto eternity? Deal plainly with yourselves.
Search out and fift your imaginations. Af
certain what is that twig of hope to which
you are clinging. Bring forth to the teft of
fcriptural examination the fecret fupport, be
it what it may, which buoys you up with
expectations that there shall at least be a par-
tial remiffion of the doom denounced against
guilt. Yea and why even of yourselves judge
ye not what is right (e)? Bring it forth to a
teft which you behold with more complacent
eyes, the test of reafon. Is it ignorance that
you ascribe to the Omniscient? Do you pre-
fume that He, to whom the future is naked
as the past, perceives not, as yet His own pur-
poses? From fuch a delusion folly itself turns
afide. It is not on fuch a plank that you
trust to survive fhipwreck. Do you then
flatter yourself that He with whom there is
no variableness nor fhadow of turning, He who
is the fame yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,
will fuddenly exchange ftedfaftnefs for in-
constancy, and abolish His fixed and promul-
gated decree? You abjure this madness.
"If the deftruction," you exclaim, "of the
"finner be indifputable until fickleness can
"be imputed to the Moft High; there re-
"maineth no refuge from defpair." And
(e) Luke, xii. 57,.
A a 4

[ocr errors]

what

[ocr errors]

what refuge from defpair remaineth to the perfevering finner? Produce your hidden confolation. Difclofe the bottom of your heart. Tardy and reluctant as is the confef fion, it is at length extracted. You conceive that the Deity has decreed from the beginning to relax from His threatened judgements: that while, for the purpose of aweing men into righteoufnefs, vengeance arrayed in fiery terrors affumes her feat in the clouds; mercy is at hand to avert the most formidable of her bolts, and to fhield the offender from all but that lighter chastisement, the fear of which would have been inadequate to the prevention of tranfgreffions. Compare then thy theory, thou who adventureft to theorise concerning the counfels of thy God; compare thy theory with facts. If in the denunciations of future vengeance a part only be intended for accomplishment, while `the refidue is empty air: whence is it that past menaces have been fulfilled to the uttermoft? Why was the old world deftroyed by the flood? Why were Sodom and Gomorrah and the incredulous fons-in-law of Lot overwhelmed? Why was Pharaoh cut off? Why did. the Egyptian hoft perish to a man? Why was Jerufalem delivered unto Nebuchadnezzar to be uprooted from the foundations? Why was

the

« PreviousContinue »