« EelmineJätka »
Serm. most common Christian among us cannot be IX. ignorant, that the Grace of God bath appeared
u nto all Men, in and by the Gospel, teaching them to deny all Ungodliness (n). What therefore must we conclude other, than that, if we will have any Part or Lot in the Blessings of it, we must live according to our Belief, and give up ourselves to be wholly governed by its Rules and Precepts ?
Wicked Men, milled by their Vices, may Aatter themselves as they please: But we have the best Foundation from God's infallible Word for believing, . that God and Mammon cannot be served acceptably together (0). Nay, our Fellow-creatures scorn our partial Affections and a divided Service; and can we think such an Offering will be agreeable to the God of Heaven ? If he has condescended to make our Souls the Temple of his Residence, let us not so heinously affront him, as to erect each one his favourite Idol near him, and pay the most ardent and assiduous Devotion to it : Let us not be deceived, the Almighty will not be mocked: As he has an absolute Title to our whole Obedience, he will not be put off with such a Proportion only, as our Vices
can (n) Tit. ii. 11, 12, (o) St. Matth. vi, 24.
can spare him ; nothing less than an uni- Serm. versal Subjection will satisfy the infinite Be- IX. ing, whom we serve. He that will be blameless before him, must walk in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord (P), and he that will lay hold on eternal Life, must stand perfe&t and compleat in all the Will of God (9). Be our Lufts as dear to us as a Right Eye or a Right Hand, we must pluck them out, or cut them off, and cast them from us, er'e we can enter into Life (r), nor expect, that God will yield to our Intercessions for them. They are in the Number of those Enemies, which the Lord of Hofts has appointed to be utterly rooted out, and if we shew' them any Indulgence, our Sentence will be the same as was passed on the King of Israel for letting go the Syrian King devoted to Destruction, our Lives shall go for them (s).
What the Prophet Malachi upbraids the Jews with an Account of their faulty material Sacrifices, is very applicable to the. defiled spiritual Oblations of Christians. If ye offer the Blind for Sacrifice, is it not Evil ? And if ye offer the Lame and Sick, is
(p) St. Luke i. 6. (9) Col. iv. 12.
Serm. it not Evil? Offer it now unto thy GoverIX. nor : Will be be pleased with thee, or accept
thy Person (t)? So if we present the odious Sacrifice of a polluted Soul, is it not Evil? Do we not affront, instead of honouring, the Divine Majesty! And can we, fo long as we persist in the avow'd Omission of our Duty or Commission of Sin, in a State of Enmity with God, who cannot but loath every Transgression, expect to enjoy his Favour, to obtain his Rewards, or escape his Punishments? Will he not rather say, I have no Pleasure in you, neither will I accept an Offering at your Hands (20)?
Upon the whole then, this Truth must be admitted for a principal Scripture Doctrine, that Obedience in numerous Particulars will be of no Consequence, where there is a willfull Disobedience in any : And whoever takes up with so vain a Conceit, will find himfelf wretchedly disappointed at the great Day of Retribution, when the Judge of all the Earth shall administer true Judgment. It will be of small Avail at that searching Conjuncture for luch". to plead the laving Efficacy of Christ's Death, as have rejected the reforming Efficacy of it in their Lives,
and, instead of fulfilling the Conditions, on Serm.
And the Agreeableness of this Decision in the Matter before us to Reason, is as open and visible, as to Scripture. It stands built on very conclusive Arguments drawn from the Divine Attributes and Government.
The Attributes of God are as necessary to him, as his Existence, among which Purity
SERM. and Knowledge are chief, this arising from IX. the Immensity of his Nature, that from the
'Rectitude of his Will: Now if God be endued with consummate Purity, and his Knowledge be as absolute as his Holiness ---and if the one of these Perfections not only places him at an infinite Distance from all immoral Defilement, but makes him to abhor it in every Shape in every one of his Creatures,---and if the other renders all, even our most secret Transactions naked to his View and he cannot but see what he cannot but deteft : Must not Men's Vices fadly pervert their Judgements and darken their Understandings, e're they can persuade themselves to think, that he, with whom they have to do, will either not censure or not obferve every moral Defect in them,---will approve of, or dispense with, the least Sin, though he may, on wife and weighty Considerations, pardon the greatest ?
Then, with Regard to God's Government, if his all-forming Power vests him with an unbounded Jurisdiction over the whole Universe, where is the Person, where is the Action exempt from its directing Influence? If God's Right to lay his Commands upon us be universal, our Obligations to fulfill them