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behind, of an Infinitely higher Concern, of Infinitely greater Weight and Moment, enough to make Men tremble at their danger, as well as blush at their Folly. For if they would but seriously lay to heart what our Saviour pronounces in the 8th. Chapter of St Mark and the laft Verse. Whosoever Jhall be asham'd of me in this adulterous and Jinful Generation ; of him also shall the Son of Man be asham'd, when he commeth in the glory of the Father with the holy Angels; they would certainly be convinc'd that it is of as dangerous Consequence for them to be asham'd of their Glory, as it is for the Others to Glory in their Shame.
I come now in the last Place to the Third Proposition in my Text; That tho Sin yielded never so much Fruit and Satisfa&tion, or were never so much in Efteem or Repute, yet the end of those things is Death. As Righteousnes tendeth to Life, so He that pursueth Evil pursueth it to his own Death. Prov. 11. 19. As Religion and Virtue tend directly to the preservation of the Health of the Body, as well as the Soul; fo Sin and Vice are as conftant Enemys to both; and as successful in haftning on Temporal, as they are sure in procuring at last Eternal Death. Insomuch that in the Natural course of things, from the unavoidable dependance
that Effects have upon their Causes; it is more than probable, that tho' God had not pronounc'd that in the Day that Adam finn'd he foould surely dye ; yet Sin without this positive and Express Curse of God 'upon it, by its Own Efficiency would have brought More tality into the World; and not only the Wages, but the very Work of Sin would have been Death. But it is not of This, the First Death, but of the Second Death, even Everlasting Death, that the Apostle here speaks. And when all the Other milder Arguments can take no place; when the Emptiness and Vanity, the Infamy, Baseness and Shameful Nature of Sin can't withdraw us from it, when all the other different ways which God uses to draw us to himself by working upon our Hope by all the Glorious Rewards he has promis d, or upon our Love and Gratitude bý his Infinite Goodnes and Mercy and. Loving Kindness, prove alike ineffečtual; what is there left to awaken Wretches so stupidly insensible, but to rouse up all their Fears with the difmal denunciation of certain Destruction and eternal Death. Death Eternal, 1 say, for so the Antithesis which the Apostle uses in the end of this Chapter gives it to be understood. For he speaks of such a Death as is oppos'd to Eternal Life, and that must be Eternal Death. The Wages says he of Sin is Deatb,
but the Gift of God is Eternal Life. And when the Work of Sin goes so diligently on, is it not high time to found aloud in the ears of all that are fo bufy in that Service, what it is that they are to expect for their Wages? and if so warn d they will ftill serve so hard a Mafter as Sin, that has not only no other Recompence for its Slaves but Death, but will not, nay cannot give them their choice, whether they will receive the Wages which they have serv'd for or no; who can pity Them, or of whom can they complain? Not of God certainly, without the greatest Blasphemy and'Injustice imaginable; He is far from defiring the Death of a Sinner, nay Death is none of his Creature, God made not Death, says the Wise Man, He created Man to be Immortal, and made him ta be an Image of his own Eternity ; Nevertheless through the envy of the Devil came Death into the World, and they that do bold on his fide do find it: Wisd. 2. 23, 24. It is therefore great Impiety to question the Justice of God in eternally pupishing Wicked Men, who would they sidewith him the Author of Life, are proffer’d and invited to everlasting Bliss; but if they choose to side with the Deyil, who brought Death into the World, most deservedly receive their Portion with him. For is there not the choice offer'd? Is not Life and Death set before, us, that we may stretch forth
our Hand to which we will? And do's not that Eternal weight of Glory, which God has promis'd those that serve him, as far at least exceed all our Imperfect and Tranfitory Services, as Eternal Torments can our Temporal indeed but Despiteful and Malicious Sins ? and is there not then as much reason for the Punishing to Eternity the one, as Eternally Rewarding the other nay is there not Infinitely more? since even the very best of our weak Performances could not without Infinite Mercy be accepted; and the very least of our Sins justlý deserves Damnation. Yet even in the very Declaration of Death to Sinners do's God's Mercy display itself equal to his Justice; neither was Hell only made for their sakes who were to suffer in it, but for their's also who were to be warned and saved by it; and it is owing to Eternal Punishments that many Saints receive Eternal Rewards. So that could God dispense with, or remit those Eternal Torments, which by Holy Scripture we are assurd he never will, and therefore ought not from his Almighty Power to argue against his Eternal Truth; yet would it not agree even with his Mercy it self so to do. Since then he would take away one of che strongeft motives to our Conversion and Obedience; when, God knows, This with all the rest together, by their Effects
seem to be but too few. Sure I am, that whoever goes about to persuade Men that God will or may relax those Everlasting Pains with which he has threatned Sin, goes beyond his Commission; beyond it, did I fay? nay contrary to it, Contrary to their Commission, whose Duty it is, Knowing the Terrors of the Lord to persuade Men. We must Conclude therefore that Holy is the Lord, and Just in all his Dealings towards the Children of Men; and let us Beseech him to give us Grace perfectly to be alham'd of these fruitless Things, whose end is Death; that so, as the Apostle goes on in the Verse immediately following my Text, being made free from Sin and become Servants to God; we way have our Fruit unto Holynes, and the end Everlasting Life.
Which God of bis Infinite Mercy grant, thro Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.