Imatges de pàgina
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holy violence. Sue and strive by all means that the saving graces of the Spirit may be given to you. If we would have the Spirit poured out upon us, upon our persons, we must be in the way waiting for it. And that we could use utmost diligence and endeavors in this thing! It is a matter of most eminent and everlasting concernment. I might here urge those two things hinted in the text, The misery of being without, and the blessedness of having the Spirit poured out upon us, which comprehend all that can be said. But more particularly by way of motive, consider,

Mot. 1. if you have not the Spirit you are none of Christ's, you have no Christ, you are Christless persons, and have no more to do with the Son of God in your present state, as to any propriety in him, than the Devils had, (Luke viïi. 28.) You may talk of Christ, and it may be profess him, but you have no right nor interest in him. “ Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Rom. viii. 9. The Spirit is the bond of union on Christ's part, and it is the Spirit which works faith in us which is the bond of union on our part : whence Christ dwells in his people by his Spirit. Where therefore the spirit of Christ is not, there is no union of that soul to Christ, no faith wrought in the heart, and so no Christ dwelling in that soul. And now seriously consider what it is to be without Christ, to be none of his.

1. It is to have no pardon of sin. No Christ, no forgiveness. You are yet in your sins, under the guilt of them, and can have no pardon so long as you are without Christ. All the sins that ever you have committed, they stand on file against you, and you must answer for them. You lie under the heavy load of the guilt of innumerable evils, the which, if you had any sense, might make your hearts to fail at the thoughts of it. “ For innumerable evils have compassed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up: they are more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart faileth me.” Ps. xl. 12.' It is enough to make the heart of any person to fail indeed, to see the load of all his sins lying upon him unpardoned. What a dreadful thing is it for us who have been transgressors from the womb, endless in acting of sin, to have all our sins to answer for before God. “If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.” Job ix. 3. We cannot give a satisfying answer for one single sin of a thousand : But we must answer, that is, we must be called to an account for them all, if they be not pardoned, and pardoned they are not, if we have not Christ. In him pardon is to be had, (Rom. iii. 25.) “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” But pardon is no where to be had without him.

2. It is to have no favor with God. No Christ, no favor in beaven. The heart of God will never be towards any that are not in Christ, and that continue out of him. The world is at enmity with God, and reconciliation is only to be had in Christ Jesus. God will enter into friendship with, or show favor to no person but by the means and mediation of his Son. And therefore if thou art and continuest without Christ, God does and ever will look upon thee as an enemy, thou shalt find no favor in his eyes. “He that made thee will not have mercy on thee, he that formed thee will show thee no favor.” There will never be other than anger in the face and heart of God towards thee. We are all by nature children of wrath and enemies, but they who are gotten into Christ they are thereby reconciled. “ You that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, in the body of his flesh through death," &c. Col. i. 21, 22. But for others, the wrath of God abides on them, and there it will abide to eternity, for they can have no favor, if they continue out of Christ. “ He that believeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him.” John ïïi. 36.

3. It is to have no salvation. No Christ, no salvation. Whatever else men may have, if they have not Christ, they can never be saved. “ Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Acts iv. 12. “ He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” John iii. 36. Poor creature! what, dost thou dream of heaven, happiness, eternal life and glory, and hast no Christ? All thy hopes will prove to be but vain dreams, and will in the end vanish. “ He that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John v. 12.

4. It is to be reprobate, i. e. disapproved, disallowed and rejected of God. “Reprobate-or refuse and rejected—silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.” Jer. vi. 30. “Know you not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobates ?” 2 Cor. xiii. 5. They who are without Christ, though they may not be reprobate, as the word is opposed to elect; yet in their present state and as to what appears, they are no better than those that are reprobate. And continuing under gospel enjoyments without getting into Christ, is a fearful symptom of everlasting reprobation.

5. It is to be Satan's. If thou art none of Christ's, thou art the Devil's. The possession of men in the world is divided betwixt Christ and Satan. What Christ possesses not, are under Satan's power and tyranny. Know therefore that if Christ hath no possession of thee, thou art possessed of the Devil. Most lamentable tidings I bring to all unconverted sinners, you are possessed by the Devil : you are in the hands of that cruel enemy of souls, in the paw of that roaring lion who goes about seeking whom he may devour. Is it not a dreadful thing to have the body possessed ? See Mark v. 2, 5. “ There met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.—And always night and day he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones.' But how much more dreadful is it to have the soul in the Devil's possession ? Ah, sinner! Hast thou any reason to laugh and be merry, to enjoy one good hour, whilst thou art under the hand of so cruel a master and murderer of souls as thou art? He hath his will upon thee. “ Who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Tim. ii. 26. The evil spirit worketh in the children of disobedience, (Eph. ii. 2.) He trades there ; in some he keeps open shop, setting forth his wares before the world in those abominations and villanies by them committed : In others he deals more underhand, he does not appear so openly, but yet he is at work in the heart of every child of disobedience. Every sinner is the Devil's factor, and ere long unless thou withdraw from his service he will pay thee thy wages. Every Christless sinner is under Satan's power : Hence when persons are converted, they are turned from the power of Satan, delivered from the power of darkness. “ To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.” Acts xxvi. 18. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness." Col. i. 13.

Thus remember and consider that if you have not the spirit of Christ you are none of Christ's, and if none of Christ's, then what and whose are you?

Mot. 2. If you have not the Spirit you are worth nothing. The true worth and value of men is according to what of the Spirit of God is in them. And therefore Pharaoh judged right of Joseph on this account that he was an eminent man, a man in whom the Spirit of God was.” Gen. xli. 38. But if you are without this, whatever rate you may value yourselves at, or others may value you, you are indeed good for nothing.

For, 1. You know nothing of that which is only worth the krowing, and to which all other knowledge ought to be subservient. You know nothing of the things of God and his kingdom, of the mysteries of union and communion with God in Christ. Speculative knowledge you may have, but practical saving knowledge you have none, for the true saving knowledge of these is only attained by the help of the Spirit, which you are without. “ We have received the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.-But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can be know them, because they are spiritually

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discerned." 1 Cor. ii. 11, 14. You have little reason any one of you, he that knows most, to boast of, or be lifted up with your knowledge, for you know nothing as you ought to know. god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Cor. iv. 4. And therefore whatever you may imagine, or speak, or reason concerning spiritual things, it is but even as the blind man's imagination, discourse and reasoning concerning colors : It is very ignorantly : You do not really understand any thing about thein. Si Christum nescis, nihil est si cætera discis.

2. You can do no good thing. You have no ability to perform any good action. We are all naturally so impotent that we can do nothing that is good unless we have the Spirit to help our infirmities. Rom. viii. 26. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities ;" which you have not. We cannot take any step in a right path without the manuduction and leading of the Spirit. “ For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Rom. viii. 14. Uphold me with thy free Spirit.” Ps. li. 12. But you have no such guide. All spiritual life and every action of life comes from the Spirit of Christ, (Rom. viii. 11.) and without it nothing is to be done : And therefore let me tell you who have none of the Spirit of God, you never did any thing well in your lives, not any thing that God will accept.

3. You have no good in you. All the good that is or ever was in fallen man, it is wrought by the Spirit of God. And therefore if you have none of the Spirit of God, you have no real good in you. You may have these and those good natural dispositions, and some shows of good, but as for any spiritual, saving good that will abide the trial when God shall judge what is good and what is bad, you have none of it. And therefore it may be said truly of you (whatever you may think of your good heart, &c.) your heart is little worth. “The heart of the wicked is little worth.” Prov. X. 20. It is little worth indeed, for it is worth nothing. Hence it is said, “ God putteth away all the wicked of the earth like dross ;” (Ps. cxix. 119.) they being of no worth. Thus you see you are worth nothing, good for nothing, if you have not the Spirit of God in you : But they in whom the Spirit of God dwells, they are the “ excellent upon the earth.” Ps. xvi. 3. They are God's jewels. “ In that day when I make up my jewels.” Mal. iii. 17.

Mot. 3. If you do not get the Spirit of God to be in you, you will be like to be guilty of New England's ruin. I speak now to the generation coning on upon the stage ; if you or a considerable number of you do not take care to be right spirited for God, that you may duly manage his work and carry it on, and serve the

God of your fathers with a perfect heart and willing mind, you will be like to destroy and lay this pleasant land desolate ; your irreligion will be an occasion thereof." He turneth a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of them that dwell therein." Ps. cvii. 34. Your sin, your degeneracy, your not owning and worshipping God in spirit, will provoke God to lay it desolate, and then it will be charged upon you, you will be reputed guilty of it, as being you who have done it. “But they refused to hearken, &c.—for they laid the pleasant land desolate.” Zech. vii. 11-14. There is the fault and there will it be charged. And what a dreadful thing will it be to have the spoiling of such a blessed work as God hath here begun, to lie at our door ?

Mot. 4. While you are without the Spirit of God you are in extreme danger. You go in jeopardy of your lives, the lives of your souls every hour. If this night thy soul should be called for, what would become of thee, who hast none of the Spirit of Christ ? Assuredly Christ will say of you ; " I know you not, depart from me ye workers of iniquity.” And then how fearful would your condition be? “ There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." This is the danger you are in while the Spirit is not given to you. There is but a step betwixt your souls and eternal death. Sentence of condemnation is past upon you already. “ He that believeth not is condemned already.” John iii. 18. Hell does as it were gape for you, your condition is extremely perilous. Did sinners know in what danger of the lives of their immortal souls they walk in every hour they are without the Spirit of Christ, they would never sing care away with vain mirth and pastime, or please themselves with some show and formality of religion only. Oh the fearful amazing security of men and women that can sleep quietly and take their ease upon the brink of eternal misery !

Mot. 5. Consider, you know not how little time you may have for the getting of the Spirit. And therefore labor to get it quickly. It is certain you have but a short time to work in, but how short is uncertain. We have seen and see daily how suddenly they are cut down, by the sword, and now by this sore disease God hath sent among us, who in probability might have lived many days. These especially are times wherein none can promise himself continuance of life. Thou hast this day an opportunity of hearing the word of the gospel, and it may be mayest be something moved by it : But who knows but that some of us here may never have another? Oh that the present time could be improved by us all to strike the stroke for eternity! The present time is only ours, and to know and improve that, is our wisdom and duty. “Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor.

If we now improve it, it shall be a day of salvation to us. “While it is said, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not

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