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in the want of God, will shortly be taken away from you. At death, you will be stripe of them all, and carry nothing of them away with you. None of the good things of this world, will go along with you, or follow you, into the other world. And when you shall find all these things to be gone from you, what will you think when you shall find God also gone quite away from you.? Will you not then see yourselves to be in a most miserable and unhappy condition? Will not your distressing cry be that in Malih. XXV. 11. Lord, Lord, open to us ! Will you not wich greatest importunity beg, that you may be admitted to the enjoyment of God, in heaven ? But all cries will then be in vain. And you shall take up Sauls lamentation, and say, The Lord is departed from me, and will answer ane no more at all. :
i . 2. It will issue in everlasting destruction from God. Such as, abide aç a distance from God, shall be punished, not only with a bare separation from God, but also with perdition, or infiction of dreadful wrath from God. God will be far from them, as a good and gracious God, buc he will be near to them, as an holy, just and (in revenging. God. In his righteous indignation, he will be nigh to them, ta make their plagues wonderful and everlasting. The sentence, thac will be passed and executed upon them, carries in it the punishment of sense, as well as the punishment of loss. Mailh. xxv. 41. Depart from me, pe cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Exquisite, endless torment, in foul and body, will take hold upon them. Deltruction from the Lord, will be their portion. Psal. lxxiii. 27. Fer lo, they that are far from thee, ball perish; thou hast destroyed all them that go a coloring from ibee, God will destroy them and they Thall perith, not as to their being, but as to their wellbeing. Their destruction shall not be an annidilation, or furning tliem into nothing ; but an intolerable toisery, through the effufion of divine wrath upon them. They fliall be the eternal monuments of the vengeance of the Lord God Almighty.-Olet us ponder upon these things.
and seriously consider what answer we can make to those most solemn demands, in Ifai. xxxiii. 14. Who among us can dwell witb the devouring fire? who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings ? ; : : :
Doct. II. 'Tis the duty of men, so to hearken to the call of God, as to come unto him. The call in the text is, Inclinė your ear, and come unto me.- Under the former doctrine, we heard in what respects men naturally are at a distance, or departed, from God. And now in the same respects they should return, or come to God. Wherefore,
i. Men should come to God as their sovereign Lord. This is their great duty, to return to him as their supream Lord. And this is done thele iwo ways more efpecially,—viz. ; (1.) By acknowledging God for their Lord. They should come to God, owning his lordship over them, and right to rule them. This is what God calls them to, and to this call of God they should readily answer, as in Jer. ji. 22, Return, ye backsliding children, and I will beal your backsidings : behold, we come unto tbee, for:[hou art the Lord our God. We should renounce all other Lords, and profestedly chufe God for our only Lord. Thus did the people of Israel, in the days of Mofes. Deut. xxvi. 17. Thou bajt avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to Walk in his ways, and to keep bis ftatuies, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken to his voice. Thus also did they in che days of Jolkua. Josh. xxiv. 22, 24. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves, obat ye bave chofen you the Lord, to serve bim. And Ibey faid, we are witnesses. The Lord our God will we Jerve, and bis voice will we obey. In like manner, should we make a solemn election of the great God, for our Lord, and king, and law giver. This we should frequently do in our retirements. And this we should publickly do, whenever called of God thereunt. We should not be ashamed, before the whole world to own God for our Lord.
(2.) By actual subjeëling ourselves to God as our Lord. ?Tis not enough, in our words to own God for our Lord. Many do so, that yet do not the things which he commands, but in their works dený bim. Our profession of God for our Lord, thould be accompanied with cordial and practical fubjection to him. We must renounce the service of lin and fatan, and no longer be servants unto them: but yield up ourselves servants unto God. When we thus lend an obedient ear unto God, then do we incline our ear aright. And when we thus come under the yoke of God, then do we come unto him arighe.-Thus for the first thing.
2. Men should come unto God as their chief good. Under this notion of God, as the chief good of man, 'tis the duty of every one to return and come unto him. And this is done these two ways especially : " : 1. By making choice of God as their chief good. Men do then come to God as che chief good, when their wills do close in with God and chuse him for their portion; as in Lam. iii. 24. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul. Our souls should go out to God, and fix their choice upon him, as the only object that can make them blessed. All other things are to be renounced as insufficient to conftitute an happiness for us : and God alone is to be chosen and desired as a sufficient and everlasting portion for our souls. Pfal. lxxiii. 25; 26. Wbom bave I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth, ibat I desire, besides thee. God is niy portion for ever. : 12. By diligene seeking the enjoyment of God as their chief good. Our chuling of God, is to be followed with the diligent use of means for the enjoying of God. We should feek after communion with God here on earth, in the way's of his own appointment. Thus did David, who had chosen God for his portion. Pfal. xxvii. 4. One thing have í defired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in bis temple. Plal. Ixiii. 1, 2. O God, thou art my God : early will I seek ikee. My soul thirfieth for thee, my flesh longerb
for ibee, in a dry and thirsty land, where is no water ; to fee iby power, and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in tbe fan&tuary. Thus should we seek God, and follow hard after him, in all his holy ordinances, deliring more and more communion 'with him ; never resting fatisfied, 'till we come to the immediate and full fruition of him in the kingdom of heaven: Joh. xxiv. 23. Incline your beart to the Lord.
APPLICATION. The only Use I shall make of this point, shall be by way of Exboriation ; to press upon us che practice of this duty of coming to God; under that double consideration of him, as our sovereign Lord, and our chief good. Wherefore, ... in
EXHORT. I. Let us come to God as the sovereign Lord; owning him, and subjecting ourselves to him, as our Lord. We should take him for our Lord, to serve and obey bim, in all things, and at all times. To excite hereto,
1. Consider, God is our only rightful Lord. No other can lay any juft claim to dominion over us. Sin and satan, whom men naturally are subject to, are usurpers, that have no shadow of right to rule over us. None but God can make just pretensions to such authority over us; and his pretensions hereunto are indisputable. For, he is our creei stor. 'Tis he that has made us, that brought us out of nothing, and has given being unto us. Now this relation between God as our creator, and us as his creatures, gives him an unquestionable right to rule over us. · Surely, he that gave us being, has power to give laws unto us. We owe all posible respect and homage to him that made us, that formed and faithioned us, and should receive our law from him. This is mentioned as an argument engaging unto obedience to God. Pfal. xcv. 6. O come, let us worhip and bow dow”: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. This consideration is also mentioned as an aggravation of the people of Israel's disobedience to God. Deut. xxxii. 18. Of the rock ibat begal thee thou art unmindful, and baft, forgoties tbe God that formed thee. Again, God is our
preserver and benefactor. As he has given us our being, fo he upholds us in being, and bestows all those blessings upon us, that tend to our well and comfortable being. He gives to us life, and breath, and all things, and in bim we live, and move, and bave our being: Act. xvii: 25, 28. His Almighty hand sustains us, and his bountiful hand supplies us. , As therefore the law of creation, so likewise che law of preservation and provision, binds us to take God for our Lord to serve. For, this his good providence over us, gives him a just right to dominion over us. '. Who should rule us, if not he that maintains us? and to whom fhould we live, if not to him by whom, and upon whose bounty, we daily live? Hence this is mentioned as an ag. gravation of the sin of God's people. Isai. i. 2. Hear, a beavens, and give ear, eartb : for the Lord bath Spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they bave rebelled against me. So likewise as an aggravation of Belhazzar's fin. Dan. v. 23. The God, in whose band thy i breath is, and webose are all thy ways, bast thou not glori. ! fied.--From these things then it appears, thar God has a just citle to lordship over us. It is therefore an act of justice towards God, to take him for our Lord, and rot a meer act of liberty. . 'Tis not only a thing that we may do if we will, but a thing that we are in justice bound to do.
2. God is a most glorious Lord. He is a king, of most glorious majefty. Psal. cxlv. 5. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty. --His name alone is excéllent, and bis glory is above the earth and beaven. Psal. cxlviii. 13. There is none that may be compared with the Lord, for glory and excellency. Pfal. cxiii. 4, 5. The Lord is high. above all nations, bis glory is above the heavens : Who is like unio the Lord our God who dwelleth on high? He is indeed: one of infinite excellency and greatness. Pfal. cxlv. 3.' Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is un searchable. Surely, God is the most excellent being; infinitely excellent : and on this account is moft worthy $ to be owned and served as our Lord. His surpasting and incomprehensible excellency, makes all pollible hoinage