Imatges de pÓgina
[ocr errors]


struck the iron many years ago, when it was hotter than it is now.

Lastly, Halt as long as you will, you must not only be determined for the Lord, and against all your lusts, but also you must be joined to the Lord, and separated from them actually, else you are ruined for ever.

The case is plain, Mark xvi. 16, “ He that believeth not shall be damned.”—Ezek. xviii. 30, “ Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”—Matth. xviii. 3, " Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” So, if you have any mind to be free from the wrath to come, unless you have a mind to take your hazard with your lusts through all eternity, while God is God, to pursue the quarrel for the slight ye put on him, you must come to a point, and be determined for God, and give up with all your lusts.

Now, Sirs, there are two things lying before you this day, of one of which you are to take your choice.

1. You must either give up with God, Christ, heaven, and glory, quit all your part in the covenant of grace, the purchase of Christ, and his death, freely, and betake yourselves to your lusts, idols, and sinful courses, and make the best of them you can to live and die with them. Satan is fond of your making this choice. Or,

2. You must give up with your lusts, idols, and sinful courses, freely quit your part in them, not excepting your darling lust, and betake yourselves to the Lord in his covenant, taking this day God the Father for your Father, God the Son for your Saviour, God the Holy Ghost for your Sanctifier, Christ for your Prophet, to be led by his'word and Spirit; Christ for your Priest, to be saved by his obedience and death only; Christ for your King, to be ruled and governed by him according to his will absolutely. The Lord is willing that you make this your choice, and kindly invites the worst of you to it; Rev. iii. 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 I will sup with him, and he with me." And ch. xxii. 17, “ And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come: and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Nay, he commands you to make this choice : 1 John iii. 23, “ And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Clirist." And so earnest is he in this invitation, that he will pass all


former slights, if you will but now fall in with this offer : Ezek. xviii. 22,“ All his transgressions that he hath committed, they sball not be mentioned; in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.” Now, there is the choice in both parts, what say ye to it? Josh. xxiv. 15,


[ocr errors]

“Choose ye this day whom yo will serve.”—I demand your answer. What answer shall I return ?—your final adswer, for I cannot say that ever our Masier will send me again to you on this errand.- Are there any here,

(1.) Who will give that answer, Jer. ii. 25, “ There is no hope ; no; for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go." O Sirs ! take your word again, we are loth to carry back that word ; why will you die? why will you destroy yourselves? If we saw a cup of poison in your hand, which you would not part with, but would drink, we would flee to you, mix our blood with yours, before you should get it drunk; but what can we do in this case, but cry, 0 do yourselves no harm ! and protest before God, angels, men, and your own selves, that your blood is on your own head.- Are there

any here,

(2.) Who will give that answer, Jer. jii. 22, “Behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God.”—Job xxxiv. 32, “ If I have done iniquity, I will do so no more.” Then, I call heaven and earth to record, yoa are at a point for our Lord never to go back; that it is an everlasting bargain between God in Christ and you; that he is yours, and you are his; that although this bargain betwixt our Lord and you has been many times back and fore, it is now fully and finally concluded, you are married now, and there is no room for any other suitor's. O come, then, to your Lord's table with a holy boldness, and get the covenant scaled !

Lastly, Is that your answer, Acis xxiv. 25, “ Go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season, I will call for thice ?”! You say you will advise upon it. I declare we cannot take that answer : our commission does not bear us to indulge you even till to-morrow, in advising upon a matter of such importance : Heb. iv. 7, " To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Nay, we cannot allow you even another hour or half-hour in hesitation : 2 Cor. vi. 2," Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." Give your answer, therefore, instantly, I peremptorily claim it; if you delay longer, you may be in hell ero to-morrow, nay, next hour, it may be, next moment. What do you hesitate upon ?-whether you will obey God or the devil ?—whether you will cast the kindled coals of hell out of your bosom, or not ?-wliether you will travel in that narrow road which leads to life, or in that broad road which will land you in destruction ?-in short, wliether you will live for ever, or perish eternally? Oh! Sirs, be wise before it be too late, halt no longer, I beseech you, betwixt these two opiniotis: “To-day if ye will hear his voice; harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, the day of tentation in the wilderness.” When a gracious

[ocr errors]

God is now calling you, “ Turn ye, turn yo, why will ye die, 0 house of Israel ?" let the echo of your souls, and the answer of your tongues be, “Behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God."



1 Kings xvi. 21,
Elijah said, How long halt ye betwixt two opinions ?

In the ordinance of the Lord's supper, there is to be seen Jacob's ladder, with its foot set on the earth, and the top thereof reaching unto heaven, Gen. xxviii. 12. We trust yo have been essaying to mount it, though perhaps yo are yet not far from the ground. 0 that ye may have freely entered upon the first step! I must, however, warn you, whoever ye be, that are looking upwards towards the place to which the top reaches, namely, heaven, that there is such a voice to you from heaven in our text, as came to David from the castle of Zion, when he set himself to win it, 2 Sam. v. 6, “Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither." 1st, Unless the blind mind and heart that is still wavering in the choice betwixt the Lord and idols be taken away, and thou canst be determined absolutely and finally for the Lord, ye cannot come in hither. Of this we have discoursed already.t-There is a second voice. Except the lame feet whereby one is still going from side to side in practice, betwixt the Lord and idols, be taken away, you cannot come in hither. To this we are now to attend, in considering,

Doct. II. That an unequal and an unsteady walk, here-away thereaway, betwixt the Lord and idols, is an unaccountable and abominable way of walking through the world.

In discoursing from this, it is proposed to shew,
I. What is to be accounted such a walking.
II. The evil of this way of walking.

III. The causes of this unsteady walking; when we shall also point out some remedies against it.

IV. Make some improvement.--I am,
I. To show what is to be accounted such a walking.

This discourse was delivered immediately after the celebration of the Lord's supper, in Maxtoo, August 3, 1718.

† See page 245.


1. Random-walking is such a walking : Lev. xvi. 21, “ And if ye walk contrary to me, and will not hearken unto me, I will bring seven times more plagues upon you, according to your sins.” The original word, “contrary,” may be rendered, as by accident, at random, at all adventures. There is a generation that are at best but randomcustomers to religion, who take no more of it than they readily meet with. Their religion sits so light on them, that in their way through the world they take it as it comes to them. As the fashion of the time turus, they face as the stream runs about. They conform themselves to the taste and humour of whatever company they fall in with: they become a prey to every temptation, and are picked up like straying beasts by the first finder. Beware of this : that day yo get to heaven in this way, God and Baal shall be reconciled. Set up your mark in religion, and press unto it. Lay down a principle for God, and hold by it, however times, companies, or temptations may seduce you : Phil. iii. 15, “I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Acts xi. 23, " And exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should cleave unto the Lord;" that is, abide by his side with full purpose, laid down and determined beforehand.— I observe,

2. Wavering-walking is such a walking : Heb. x, 23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, without wavering.” When men are still unsettled in their way, hither and thither, are wavering in their purposes and practice, one day for God, another for the devil, and their lusts like men in an ague, with their hot and cold fits by turns, at one time destroying what at another time they were building up, they are never fixed. Hence they will be one day at the table of the Lord, another at the table of drunkards. Like water-fowls, sometimes they will be soaring aloft towards heaven in the exercises of religion, and quickly again swimming in their lusts, and over head and ears in the cares, profits, pleasures, and vanities of the world. Sometimes they will appear so serious in religion, that one would think they would never go back again to their sinful courses : anon, they give themselves the swing in their sinful courses, as they would never look back again to religion. Take heed of this; waverers will never get up the hill to Zion : Jam. i. 6, 7, 8, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering : for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he sball receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.Go straight forward in the Lord's way, as one that is resolute for God and his way: Prov. iv. 25, 26, 27, “ Let thine eyes look right on, and let thy eye-lids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of

[ocr errors]

thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left, remove thy foot from evil.”—I observe,

3. Unequal walking is such a walking : Prov. xsvi. 7,“ The legs of the lame are not equal.” The parts of the conversation of many answer no better than a long leg and a short one do. In the church they are saints, at home they are devils; in their profession they are fair, in their practice they are foul and false ; in their words the world is nothing, but in their affection it is their all. Their practice is made up of contradictions. They agree not with themselves, how can they with God? They pretend piety towards God, yet make no conscience of duty, mercy, and justice towards man: Matth. xxiii. 23,“ Woe to you, Seribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye pay tithe of mint, anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not left the others undone.” A wide conscience in substantials, and narrow in circumstantials of religion, is a conscience of a profane make. Beware of this; see the emblem of these folk, Prov. xxvi. 23, " Burning lips, and a wicked heart, are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.” The potsherd will be broken in pieces at length. Labour to have your whole conversation of a piece, if ever you would see heaven : Jam. iii. 10, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."--I obsorve,

4. Partial and divided walking is such a walking: Hos. x. 2, “ Their heart is divided." They keep not with one master, but in some things serve the Lord, in other things their own lusts. They would make void the commands of God; some they will comply with, others they will not regard. They will strain at a gnat in some things, and in others swallow a camel. At a communion, or under a conviction, they say, as in Deut. v. 27, “ Speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee, and we will hear it, and do it.” But when it comes to a labouring in their work, they will resolve to do, but they cannot: Prov. xx. 4, “The sluggard will not plough, by reason of the cold.” They have their particular idols of jealousy, which they can by no means part with. Beware of this; be universal in your respect to God's commandments, otherwise you will be clothed with shame at length: Psalm cxix. 6, “ Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.” The straight goul says, as in ver. 128, I esteem all thy precepts concerniug all things to be right, and I hate every falso way."--I shall now go on to show,

II. The evil of this way of walking. I shall sum up this in these four thing! :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »