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the sense of God's wrath, which shall fall more hea vily upon them, being vessels more filled with the wrathi of God, than others And also in respect of the cormenting reflections of conscience, which will be far more incolerable. For conscience will have more to accuse, 'upbraid and reproach them for, than others will have...--O chen consider these things, and no longer refuse to hearken to Christ speaking to you, lest that fcripture be verified concerning you, Prov. V. II, 12, 13. And thou mourn at the last, and say, How bave I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof ; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine è ar to them that instructed me !
Doct. II. Such as hearken diligently unto Jesus Christ, shall be made to partake of really good and foul fatisfying blessings ; or, Diligent bearkening to Jesus Christ, is tbe way to partake of really good and soul satisfying Blef. lings. This our Lord himself has declared to be the true way for attaining blessedness. Prov. viii. 34. Blef. sed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.---More particularly,
I. Diligenc hearkening 1o Chrift, is the way to aliain forgiveness of sin..-.- Pardon of sin is undoubredly a very great Blessing. The holy psalmist does once and again pronounce him a blefled man, who partakes in pardoning mercy. Pfal. xxxii. 1, 2. Blefjed is ibe inan, whose tranfgression is forgiven, whose fin is covered. Blef. jed is the man, to whom the Lord imputech not iniquiry. A pardoned man, is reconciled to God, exempied from condemnation ; and therefore is in a most safe and happy condition. Hence our Lord said to the man fick of che pallie, Matib. ix. 2. Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be fürgiven thee. Forgiveness of sin, is a ground of everlasting confolation.--Now, this great and soul-comfuriing blelling is attained in the way of hearkening unto the voice and call of JESUS CHRIST ; which implies both faith and repentance. He calls men to repentance. Naiib. ix. 13. I on come, .308 to call the rigbreous, but
inners, to repentance. When this call is hearkened to and complied with, then do they receive the remission of sin. Act. ü. 19. Repent and be converted, that your foris may be blotted out. This repentance towards God accompanies faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. And Christ calls to faith, as well as repentance. Matth. xi. 28. Come unto me, &c.
2. Diligent hearkening to Christ, is the way to attain gracious coinmunion with Jesus Christ. Fellowship with Jesus Christ, is a blesied foul fatisfying privilege. So the apostle speaks of it, I Yoh. i. 3, 4. That ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." And ihese things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. How great an honour and happiness is it, for Jesus Christ to entertain friendly and familiar communion with us? This is a foretaste, and che beginning of heaven's blessedness itself. Now this singular and invaluable favour is attained by hearkening onto Jesus Christ. Thus he himself informs' us, Rev. ii. 20. Behold, I stand at the door, And knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will fup with him, and he with me. By Christ's coming' into us, and supping with us and we with him, is meant, his affording his gracious presence, and maintaining sweet communion with our souls. And this is attained in the way of obedient hearkening to his voice and yielding our consent that he should take possession of us for himself....-Another such blerfed promise Christ makes to all them that obediently hearken to him, Joh. xiv. 21, 23. He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and be that loveth me, fall be loved of my Faiher, and I will love him, and will manifest anyself unto bim. If a Mari love me, he will keep my words : and my Father will love bin, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with bim. Jesus Christ will inanifest himself to them, so as not to the world. Not by à meer external revelation of himself in the word of the gospel ; but by an in: pard revelation of himself to their minds, so as that
they shall have such a view of Christ in his loveliness
and glory, as shall all them with admirations of him. · He will also come to them and make his abode with them, so as that they shall apprehend him present with them, near them, about them, day and night. They Ihall so pray to him, as if he were here on earth, in ihe very closet with them : Opening their hearts to him, and : pouring out their souls into his bosom. :
3. Diligent hearkening to Jesus Christ is the way to attain asurance of our belonging to the election of grace. It is an effect of wonderful love, for a man to be of the number of God's elect. And to have the knowledge hereof, is a foundation of everlasting consolacion. Luk. X. 20. Notwithstanding, rejoice not in this, that the spirits are subject to you : but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. "To know that our names are written down in the book of life, as those who are chosen and ordained to partake of elernal life, is a greater ground of rejoicing, than to have all the evil spirits in subjection to us. Now, the way to arrive at this knowledge, is to hearken to the voice of Jesus Christ. Our chus doing, will be an infallible evidence of our being of the number of those theeps for whom Christ has laid down his life, and who were from eternity given to him by the Fatner, to be saved by him. Hob. X. 27, 28. My sheep hear my voice, and I know thein, and they follow me. And I give unto thein eternal life, and they shall never perish, nor shall any one pluck then out of my hand. : Hearkening tô the calls of Chriít, shews that they are effectually called ; and this, that they are elected, Rom. viii. 30.
4. Diligent hearkening to Chrift, is the way to at. rain eternal blefjedness in heaven. The blessings of the kingdom of glory, are of all blessings the best and most excellent. There are fully farisfying and ever-endus ring blesings. Now, hearkening to Christ is the way to be brought to the participation of these heavenly good things. Joh. 7. 24. Verily, verily, I fay unto you, be that beartih mny words, and believeih in bin that sena.
... ? ; ; ; men
me, batha everlasting life, and shall not come into condem-
Fouls shall livece of this, more, whandling the
As ever we would partake of foul. Satisfying blessings, let us diligently bearken to Jesus Christ. None but je. sus Christ reveals to us the true good things, in the enjoyment whereof our souls can be made happy. In vain do we look for a discovery of them from any other. Job. vi. 68. To whom all we go ? Thou hast the words of eternal life ; even Thou, exclusively of all others. Jesus Christ only has brought eternal life and immortality to light, and he only makes known the way that leads thereunto. then let us diligently hearken unto him. To this end, observe these di. rections and advices.
Direct. 1. Take heed of those things which may be hindrances of your diligent hearkening to Jesus Christ. There are many things which are grievous obstructions hereunto, and these should be carefully watched against. ·
1. Worldly encumbrances.'. When men's hearts are set upon this world, and deeply engaged in the pursuit of it, this is a great impediment unto their hearkening to the words of the Lord, so as to comply therewith in their practice. Marth. xiii. 22. He that received feed among the thorns, is he that beareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and be becometh unfruitful....Such immoderate desires of and cares about worldly things, do choke preparations to hear the word of Christ. When men's minds are taken up with the world, they can find little heart, or leisure, to make suitable preparacions unto attending on the word of Christ. There is little meditation on what they are about to do, when they are going up to
the house of God; and little prayer for a blessing upon what they may bear. They are so cumbred about the world, and so spent in labours for it, that they neglect preparations for hearing the word of God.---- Again, these worldly cares also choke due attention to the word of Christ. When men come to hear, if their hearts are drenched in worldly affairs, they give licile or no attention to what is spoken. · Their hearts go away into the world, employing their thoughis about this, and that, and the other worldly concern, so that many times they no more hear what is spoken to them from the Lord, than the seats whereon they fit..--- Again, these worldly cares do choke the after-improvement of the word. If men do attend to what is spoken, yet if their hearts be eagerly set upon the world, all concern to put it in practice is laid aside and lost. Their minds are so taken up with the world, as to forget what they heard, to think no more of it, and be altogether re. gardless about doing of jr. Ezek. xxxiii. 31. They come 10 thee as the people cometh. They fit before thee asily people, and they hear thy words; but they will not do them: For with their mouch then Anew much love, but their beari goets after their covetou (ne's. ' :
Unjust prejudices against the doctrines and precepts of Jesus Christ. Soch groundless prejudices against what is spoken to us by Jesus Christ, are a great occasion of not hearkening to him. The unbelieving Jews had taken up prejudices against the person of Christ, and the doctrines caught by him ; and that was one main ground of their refusing to hearken io bim. We mhould therefore beware' of harbouring any prejudices in our minds against ihe word of Christ... Particularly, . 1. Be noc pre judiced against the truths revealed by Christ, on the account of their mysteriousness. There are many things which Christ makes known as articles of faich, necefl'ary to be believed in order to falvation, wbics yet are very deep and myterious. Of this narurs, are the doctrines of the crinity of persons, in the Poliy of the Godhead ; the incarnation of the Son of