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murmurer's, and none but an almighty God can root it out; those roots of bitterness have so spread and strengthened themselves in the hearts of murmurers, Isa. xxvi. 4. that everlaststrength'must put in, or they will be undone for ever. But,
(2.) Consider, that the Holy Ghost hath set a brand of infamy upon murmurers,
he hath stigmatized them for ungodly persons, Jude 15. 16. “ To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. But who are these ungodly sinners? They are murmurers, com plainers, walking after their own lusts, &c. ver. 16. When Christ comes to execute judgment upon ungodly ones, murmurers shall be set in the front; they shall experience the first of his wrath, and the fierceness of his wrath, and the greatness of his wrath. The front, you know, is first assaulted, and most strongly assaulted; Christ. will bend all his power and strength against murmurers; his little finger shall be heavier upon them than his loins shall be upon others, 1 Kings xii. 11. 14.; other sinners shall be chastised with whips, but ungodly murmurers shall be chastised with scorpions. If you can joy in that black character of ungodly sinners, be murmurers still; if not, cease from murmuring: Where murmuring is in its reign, in its domi. nion, there you may speak and write that person ungodly. Let murmurers make what pro
fession they will of godliness, yet if murmur ing keeps the throne in their hearts, Christ will deal with them at last as ungodly sinners. A man may be denominated ungodly, as well from his murmuring, if he lives under the dominion of it, as from his drunkenness, swearing, whoring, lying, stealing, &c. A murmurer is an ungodly man, he is an ungod like man, no man on earth more unlike to God than the murmurer; and therefore no wonder, if when Christ comes to exécute judgment, he deals so severely and terribly with him. In the wars of Tamerlane, one having found a great pot of gold that was hid in the earth, he brought it to Tamerlane, who asked, Whether it had his father's stamp upon it? but when he saw it had not his father's stamp, but the Roman stamp upon it, he would not own it, but cast it' away. The Lord Jesus, 'when he shall come with all his saints to execute judgment, Oh! he will not own murmurers; nay, he will cast them a-. way for ever, because they have not his Father's stamp upon them. 'Ah souls! souls ! as you would not go up and down this world with a badge of ungodliness upon you, take heed of murmuring.
(3.) Consider, that murmuring is a mether sin ; it is the mother of harlots, the mither of all abominations, a sin that breeds many other sins, Numb. xvi. 41. chap. xvii. 10. viz. disobedience, contempt, ingratitude, impatience, distrust, rebellion, cursing, carnality; yea, it charges God with folly, yea,
with blasphemy. The language of a murmuring, a muttering soul, is this, Surely God might have done this sooner, and that wiser, and the other thing better, &c. As the river Nile bringeth forth many crocodiles, and the scorpion many serpents at one birth; so murmuring is a sin that breeds and brings forth many sins at once. Murmuring is like the monster Hydra, cut off one head, and many will rise up in its room, Oh! therefore, bend all thy strength against this mother-sin. As the king of Syria said to his captains, 1 Kings xxii. 31. “ Fight neither with small nor great, but with the king of Israel :" so say I, Fight not so much against this sin or that, but fight against your murmuring, which is a mothersin : make use of all your Christian armour, make use of all the ammunition of heaven, Eph. vi. 10, 11. to destroy the mother; and in destroying of her, you will destroy the daughters. When Goliath was slain, the Philistines fled; when a general in an army is cut off, the common soldiers are easily and quickly routed and destroyed : so destroy but murmuring, and you will quickly destroy disobedience, ingratitude, impatience, distrust, &c. Oh! kill this mother-sin, that this may never kill thy soul. I have read of Senna. cherib, that after his army was destroyed by an angel, Isa. xxxvii. 36. and he returned home into his own country, he inquired of one about him, what he thought the reason might be, why God so favoured the Jews? He answered, that there was one Abraham their father that was willing to sacrifice his son to death at the command of God, and that ever since that time God favoured that people. Well, said Sennacherib, if that be SO,
I have two sons, and I will sacrifice them both to death, if that will procure their God to fayour me; which when his two sons heard, they (as the story goeth) slew their father, Is. xxxvii. 38. chusing rather to kill, than to be killed : so do thou chuse rather to kill this mother-sin, than to be killed by it, Psalm cxxxvii. 8, 9. or by any of those vipers, that are brought forth by it.
(4.) Consider, that murmuring is a Godprovoking sin; it is a sin that provokes God, Numb. xxvi. ult. Numb. xii. 10. Rev. xvi. 9, 10, 11. not only to afflict, but also to destroy a people, Numb. xiv. 27, 28, 29. “ How long shall I bear with this evil congregation which murmur against me? I have heard the murmuring of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 1 Cor. x. 10. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer." All our murmur. ings do but provoke the Lord to strike us, and destroy us.
I have read of Cæsar, that having preparera
a great feast for his nobles and friends, it so fell out, that the day appointed was so extremely foul, that nothing could be done to the honour of the meeting ; whereupon he was so displeased and enraged, that he commanded all them that had bows to shoot up their arrows at Jupiter, their chief god, as in defiance of him for that rainy weather ; which when they did, their arrows fell short of heaven, and fell upon their own heads, so that
many of them were very sorely wounded. So all our murmurings, which are as so many arrows shut at God himself, they will return upon our own hearts; they reach not him, but they will hit us: they hurt not him, but they will wound us ; therefore it is better to be mute, than to murmur; it is dan. gerous to provoke a consuming fire, Heb. xii. ult.
(5.) Consider, that murmuring is the de. vil's image, sin and punishment. Satan is still a murmuring; he murmurs at every mercy that God bestows, Job i. 8, 9. at every grace he gives, Luke xxii. 31-34. he murmurs at every sin he pardons, and every oul he saves, 2 Cor. xii. 5, 9, 10. A soul cannot have a good look from heaven, nor heara good word from heaven, nor receive a love-letter from heaven, but Satan murmurs at it: he murmurs and mutters at every act of pityinggrace; and at every act of preventing-grace ; and ai every act of supporting grace; and at every act of strengthening-grace; and at every act of comforting-grace, that God exers