« PreviousContinue »
voice of the charmer, the sweet voice of Jesus Christ, is no more heard. O then, out of hand, let us set our. selves to hearken diligently unto Jesus Christ...-. Now, besides the things which have been mentioned under the Doctrine, I shall, here fubjoin some other confidera. cjons, to press upon us the practice of this important duty. Wherefore,
s. Consider the exceeding infulness of not bearken. ing to Christ speaking to us. Most ihat have the gorpel of Christ preached to them, do liccle consider what great sin they are guilty of, in not hearkening to Christ: therein speaking to them. How remiss and negligent are men in minding and doing the things wherein they are instructed by Christ ? and yet how quiet and content are chey, as if they were nothing blame-worthy? But the iniquity of such is very beinous. For,
1. Noc hearkening to Christ is a great contempt of his rich grace. 'Tis a most wonderful favour, that we have Jesus Christ speaking to us, and making known to us the great things that belong to our peace, in so clear a manner. This is a ble sled priviledge, which many more excellent than ourselves, would have been glad to have enjoyed. Matth. xiii. 16, 17. Blessed are your cars, for they bear. For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous inen have defired to hear those things which ye hear, but have not beard them. Though they had a sufficient revelation of Christ and the mysteries of the gospel unto their salvation, yet it was but dark and obscure, compared with what we do enjoy. Herein we are more highly favoured, than the servants of God under che old-testament were. How much more then are we favoured, than most of our fellow.creatures, who hear not the voice of the bridegroom Jesus Christ? how many are there to whom the word of salvation was never sent,? It is then a most distinguishing mercy, to have Jesus Christ speaking to us. And if so, it must needs be a high contempt of his grace, not to hear. ken to himn. For this is practically saying, that 'is no
fuch favour; to hear the voice of Christ ; and in saying this, we cast the greatest disparagement upon his grace.
2. Not hearkening to Christ will be an aggravation of all our sins.--.-Every sin committed by men, is great in itself, being against an infinitely great God. Yet however, Christ's speaking to us makes our sin to become much greater, than otherwise it would have been. Joh. XV. 22. If I had not come unto them, and spoken to them, they had not had sin ; but now they havé 110 cloke for their fin. Their sin had been nothing near fo great and inexcusable, if Christ had not come and spoken to them. For, by none is the horrid evil of Gin so clearly discovered, as by Jesus Christ. He gives us the most lively representation of the hateful nature, and destructive consequence of lin. This he has done, both by word of mouth, and by his own fufferings for it. In his word he has most plainly informed us, how contrary and pro. voking fin is to the holy God, and how dreadfully he will punish it, to all eternity. But more especially has he made known to us the evil of fin,in his own amazing sufferings to make atonement for it. Though he was the only begotten and most dearly beloved Son of God, yet God spared him not, when he took our iniquities upon him. Herein we have the highest demonstration of God's infinite displeasure at fin. Now for men to fin when Jesus Christ has so manifestly laid open the exceeding evil of sin to them, is a great aggravation of fin. The more knowledge men have of the vile and pernicious nature of sin, the greater is their crime in committing of it.--.-Again, Jesus Christ alone reveals to us the way of delivery, from sin and the destruction that follows it. He not only tells us, how great an evil sin is, but also how we may obtain salvation from it, that it shall not prove our ruin. Now, to continue in sin under such a full and gracious revelation of a remedy against sin, is an heinous aggravation of sin. When men will noc hear Christ speaking to them about a method for their eternal salvation, their iniquity is double iniquity.---Thus for the first ching,
10 Christ. 8e [2.7 Consider the great danger, that attends a not heark. ting to Christ, speaking to us. Men generally seem ļo be liccle aware of the mischief and hurt they lię exposed unio, in:not hearkening to the voice of Jesus Christ. They live in fecurity, as if they were exposed to no manner of hazard. But cheir condicion is exceeding dangerous. Afts iii. 23. And it shall come to pals, that query Joul which will not bear that prophet, all be destroyed from among the people. And therefore the apostle gives Thac folemn caution to them that have Christ speaking, 10 them. Heb. xii. 25. See that ye refuse not him that fpeaketh : for if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more ball not we escape, if we turn away from him that speakerh from heaven. Men had need ree co is, that they refuse no Chrift, speaking to them ; for their danger is exceeding great. Particularly, . · I. They are in danger of being smitten with inost dreadful spiritual plagues in this world..-.. Spiritual judga menis are the most fearful judgments, that can be ina flicted upon men in this world. The forest and hea. viest bodily calamities, are as nothing, compared willa those judgments which more immediately fall on the fpirits or souls of men. These are truly most dreadful fruits of the anger, and displeasure of the great God. Now such judgments as chefe, men are in danger of, who hearken not to Jesus Christ., Ex. gr. They are in danger of being given up to damning errors. When men refuse to hearken to Christ, so as not to believe and obey his voice, they are many times in just judgment left of God to embrace damnable errors. 2 Tielli ii. 10, 11, 12. Because they received not the love of tbe. truth, that they might be saved. For ibis. cause God fall send them strong delusion, that ihey fluuld believe a lie : that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth.
-- Again, they are in danger of being given, up to perpetual barrenness. When men wilfully refuse to hear. ken to Jesus Christ, he many times denounces,rhac fearful curse against them. Marib. xxi. 19. Les no fruit grow 013 chce benceforward forever. ---- Though they may
slill enjoy, and hear, the word of Christ preached to chem, yet it shall become ineffectual to them, so as that they shall receive no good, be made notbing better by: it, all cheir days. Afts xxix. 25, 26, 27. Well spake the holy Ghost by the prophet Efaias unto our fathers, Jay. ing, Go unto this people and say, Hearing ye sball hear and Shall not understand ; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed ; left they should see with their eyes, and bear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal thein.-.-- Again, they are in danger of being given up to the power of their lusts. When men refuse to hearken to the voice of Christ, thevare many. times judicially left to hearken to the voice of their correplions, and to be under the full fway of their lusts. Psal. Ixxxi. JI, 12. But my people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me: so I gave them up unto their own bearts lufts ; and they walked in tbeir own counsels.
2. They are in danger of the greatest damnation in the world to come..... The furure damnation of every finner, will be exceeding grear. Yet bowever, the damnation of some finners, will be much greater than that of others. Matth. xxiii. 14. Te Mall receive the. greater damnation. Now, of all finners, their damnation Thall be greatest, who refuse to hearken to Christ speaking to them. These are greater finners than others, and therefore înall receive greater punishment than others. They sin against greater light, and love, and grace, and means, and mercies, than others do.' Their Tins are therefore more aggravated than the sins of others : and consequently their damnation will be more aggravated. Sinners againit the light of nature, and the law of Mofes, shall not be so severely punished, as those that are finners against the gospel of Christ. Col. i. 2, 3. For if the word spoken by angels, was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward ; how small we escape, if we negleet jo great salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the
Lord ? And hence our Lord denounces the most dreadful wo; against those who abide impenitent and disobedient under the gospel preached to them. Matth. xi.' 20, 21, 22. Then began he lo upbraid the cities wherein nost of his inighty works were done, because they repentec nob. Wo unto thee, Chorazin, Wo unto thee, Bethsaida; for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in fackcloth and asbes. But I say unto you, it shall be inora tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than fur you. The most wicked and notorious sinners in the ungofpelized world, shall have an easier hell, chan fuch as abide in fin under the dispensation of the gospel.
There will be degrees. of punishment in the fucure world. And the greatest degree thereof will be inflicted on such who have had Christ speaking to them, buc hearkened not to him. Their damnation will, of all finners, be far che most dreadful.... Indeed in respect of privation of good, all sinners will be alike unhappy. None of the damned shall.enjoy the least positive favour or blef. Sing. All of them shall equally be deprived of God as the fountain of good, and also of every created good and comforting thing.--. In respect also of duration, all finners shall be equally miserable. The damnation of all fins niers, shall endure for ever. Not one finner chat goes down to the pit of destruction, shall ever return therefrom. Once there, and for ever there, they come no more out. Telus Christ will at the last day pass upon all ungodly sinners, a sentence of eternal dam; nation, and that sentence he will execure, without any repeal. In that raatter, he will abide of one mind, and not change. He will never recall the word that is gone out of his mouth, nor:repene of what he has said. The damnation of all finners will infallibiv be without end. In respect then of lofs of good, and duration of punishmeni, gospel-finners Ghall not receive greater damnation than other finners.--.Yec however, in other respects, their punishment will be more intole. rable than that of others. - Particularly, in respect of