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hath in it all the fulness of the God-head.' his swallows up all our words, and answers Thus the incomprehensibleness and unsearch- to all our names, and he is but one pure and ableness of God, are the incomprehensible perfect act, and this pure and perfect act is dimensions and comprehensions of his love. The justice, the holiness, the power, the wis.

Thus you see how love and goodness is the dom, the sovereignty, the oneness, the un. highest, the most essential and universal per- changeableness, the purity, the simplicity, the section of the Diety. It is true God is one, the unity, the infiniteness, and eternity of his love. supreme unity absolutely undivided, compre- Thus, as hath been said, all his attributes are hending all excellencies, all things within the attributes of his love; so many several himself, in the simplicity of his own unity, names, expressions, glories and triumphs of incomprehensibly and infinitely above, all di- that love which is himself

. Thus love is the vision and composition, all things divided and moral goodness of God himself, and all his excompounded; he is perfectly one, and hath no cellencies, the universal perfection of the Diety; parts; the justice, the holiness, the power, the that perfection in which all his other perfecwisdom, the will, the goodness of God are all tions are united and concentred; they all cenone. As he is in one pure act of all excellen- tre in this divine love, which is the bond of cies at their greatest height and in one, so is perfection. he justice, holiness, power, wisdom, will and goodness all in one, and this unity of God is the highest and purest love ; for as I have been saying all along, God is love, the first and

CHAPTER XXIII. supreme love, is the most high, God over all blessed for ever. The highest, purest, and

Being a Warning to Sinners. most spiritual forms in one eternal spirit. This is the love, this is God; he is power, as he is I CANNOT leave this discourse without an a pure act of almightiness, and this is the alarm to sinners. Though God be love, all strength of his love. He is holiness as he is love to saints and sinners, yet he can never separate from all mixtures and composition love sin nor take the sinner into his bosom, with any thing of the creature; and this holi- into the eternal embraces of his love, until he ness as I have shown you, is a spring of all hath consumed sin. Do not then, from what beauties, sweetnesses and loves. He is justice you have read, be encouraged to trifle with, as he is a pure act of entire and most perfect and slight the anger of a God. There is no order, and this is the impartial, even and equal anger so great, so terrible as that which flows balance of his love. He is wisdom, as he is a from love, finally abused and provoked by us. pure act of highest and most perfect har. There is no anger like the anger of the Lamb, mony, and this is the conduct, the music of the meekest of all creatures. You may read his love. He is will, as he is a pure act of the terribleness of that anger, Rev. vi. highest and most diffusive goodness, of the It is dreadful scripture, sinners, that tells richest, sweetesi, and füllest love, in which you expressly, John iii. last,“ that the wrath are the proper objects, and so the perfection of of God abideth on you." I believe, through the the will, as hath been said. He is will, as he light that God hath given me, and the love I is a pure act of most heightened and most have for you, it shall not always abide upon comprehensive love, joy and complacency, you; but when it will cease who can tell ! I which as I have already shown you, are the know not the season of the general visitation, proper and most perfect operations of the will. though I believe it; sure I am, the fire of that Thus, as hath been said already, his will and anger and wrath will never go out until the his love are one in their nature, object or op- fuel is burnt up. eration. He is goodness as he is essentially, That it shall at last be so, over and above and so principally, and so perfectly, infinitely the reasons in this discourse, I conclude, begood. Goodness is the nature of God; but still cause we all, one as well as another, are by this goodness consists in his love, and the nature children of wrath; and yet the aposunchangeableness of it: "O give thanks unto tle saith of the first-fruits, “Eph. ii. we who the Lord, for he is good, and his mercy endur- were sometimes children of wrath hath he eth for ever.” The essence of God is good-reconciled.” This gives a firm hope that ness, the formal reason, the essence of his the same love and kindness will rescue the goodness is love. Thus his justice, holiness, children of wrath in the whole lump. But power, wisdom and goodness, do all meet in whilst I am writing of this universal love, let one in his love, at their purest heights, in their me admonish you what a fearful and dreadgreatest freedom, in their most proper and ful state it is to lie under the wrath of God, perfect operations. He himself is all these, to be a child of this wrath, which is beyond all these are himself in one pure, simple, per. all expression terrible. Moses cries out, fect act, at the heights of all activity, and this Ps. xc. 11: “Who knows the power of thine is called love. God is love, and this love is anger, even according to thy fear, so is thy God. He is love multiplying itself into innu- wrath.” If none can know it, who can tell it, merable representations and reflections of who can bear it, who then will yet dare try it! itself, that it may contemplate, possess and Let me give these two hints as I pass on. delight itself infinitely within itself; and in all 1. The power of all evil lies in the wrath its works there is no succession or division of God as in its root. The wrath of God is the of acts in God, in him one act comprehends root, the treasury, the store house, the power all acts. We indeed give several names to of all evils, all the evils which are scattered God's act, according to our partial and im- through the earth and hell, lie wrapped and perfect consideration of him; but one act of summed up together here. Who knows the

power of thy wrath, who knows these evils | God-head, in a direct contrariety to it, making beyond every name of evil, that is named in his glory itself a fire upon it. The same printhis life of sickness, melancholy, and horrors, ciple and power which in heavenly bodies is which the anger of God is able to bring forth, a glorious light, in earthly bodies is a raging, as twenty several shillings lie together with consuming fire ; so is the God-head a delightadvantage in one twenty shilling piece of ful light in itself, and to all good spirits, but gold, and that in a more precious metal, so to sinful man a devouring fire. O, sinner, all particular evils that are scattered through what will become of thee, when God shall earth and hell, they all lie wrapt up together, thus break forth upon thee in the naked apsummed up in one head in the wrath of God, and pearance of his wrath, and what a dreadtul that in a more eminent way, in an higher nature. estate art thou in, whilst in thy natural state;

2dly. There is an immediate, a naked pre- thou art but as so much fuel, so much dry sence in the wrath of God, to give a weight stuble for this wrath to kindle upon thee, and to it; some divines, as I remember, express consume thee. O fly from this wrath: that hell after this manner, all diseases, pains, love, that pure love which kindles this wrath griets ; here are evils by a weak tincture only at last upon thy final provoking it, is every of divine wrath, a little drop of wrath min-moment ready to receive thee, and prevent it. gling itself with them; hell is pure wraih. Hell Obj. But sinners may say to me, what do is the abstract of wrath, the evil of diseases, you mean to terrify us thus, by telling us we pains, and griefs abstracted from them and are in a state of wrath, and that the wrath of heightened to the utmost. I have no curiosi- God abides in us? For our parts, we feel noty about this matter, but as all the joys in the thing of all this you have said, and will not creatures are a weak tincture, a weak glance trouble ourselves about such bugbears and of divine love, like the sun shining upon the hobgoblins as you have been endeavouring to water, a weak touch of divine love, like the fright us with. And indeed, who is there rays of the sun-beams reflected in a burning among all the natural and carnal men in the glass, as the same person expresses it; but in world that will believe this report before they God, in Christ, all good, all beauty, all sweetess feel it, and how few are they that feel it be is to be found in an infinite purity without before it be too late? Take therefore these few ing alloyed, or limited by any mixture. In such accounts of their insensibleness. a manner may all evil be in the wrath of God. 1. You read in 1 Sam. xvi. 23, that when They tell us again, that God puts forth his David took his harp and played upon it, Saul strength to uphold the miserable wretches in had some ease froin that evil spirit which torhell under their torments, else they were un-mented him. Thy life in this world is an able to bear them. Admitting the one, the harp, which, while it is played upon, it enterother must be true. That God himself puts tains thee, diverts thee, and takes off from thee forth himself immediately and naked upon the sense of that wrath which thou liest under, them, at once to torment them, and also to and which abides upon thy soul. But alas, sustain them for their torments, I understood for all this, thy condition in this respect is no more of this, but in order to a refining ; ( no better than the devil's; for although he be and let God take his own methods for doing bound up in chains of darkness, yet hath he that, I am sure the almightiness of love and leave to go up and down upon the face of this goodness cannot eternally exact such an infi- earth, carrying his chains with him : he hath nite power to sustain his own offspring in liberty to enjoy the light of this world, and eternal torments.

this is some mitigation to his torment, and We read, Isa. xxx. 33: “ Tophet is prepared therefore in the story of the possessed man, of old,” &c. The breath of the Lord, like a when Christ came to dispossess him, the devil stream of brimstone doth kindle it; the breath first cries out, “ art thou come to torment us or the spirit of the Lord is the Lord in his before our time?" to cast us from the face of the spiritual and naked appearance, coming forth earth, where we have some relief to our torin that appearance to torment a soul. This ments, and so shut us up in the bottomless pit, gives me a purer notion than the vulgar ones Mat. viii. 29. before the great and the last day. of the torments of hell; and this gives me also And the same devil beseeches Jesus Christ a hope that that breath which kindles that that he would not send them out of the countorment will blow it out. When an angel only try, but that he would let them enter into the appeared as a friend and to a great prophet, swine, rather than not live upon the earth at to the prophet Daniel, yet he was not able to all. Thus thou and the devil are both in one bear the presence. O!whither, poor sinner, condition in this respect. The noise of rain wilt thou sink, what will become of thee, delights in this worldly life, doth for a while when God himself shall appear nakedly, and drown and lay asleep the miserable sense of immediately upon thee, in the fulness of his the sorrows of that state, of the sin and wrath God-head, and that as an enemy in the greai- under which thy soul lies, and this is a great est contrariety to thee, at the highest enmity device of the devil upon thee, and there wants against thee as can be? O! who can express nothing but the breaking up of the charms, the riches of the joy and glory of those spirits, and the dissolving of the enchantment of a upon whom God shall appear immediately seeming false life; there wants nothing but and nakedly as a friend, as a lover in union the opening of thy eyes, which may happen with them? And who can express those every moment, and thou art in hell, as is said pangs, those horrors, those unspeakable and of Dives ; the charms, the sorceries of a false nameless things which that poor soul must seeming life suffer thee not to have any sense then sink under, upon whom the same God of this thy state that as a bird of wings thou shall appear with the same nakedness of his 'mayest dy from it; but when thy eyes come

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to be opened the charms are broken, the sor- 3. In the 2 Cor. iv. 4, St. Paul tells us : ceries are dissolved, the false seeming life is “If his gospel be hid, it is hid from them fled away; now by dismal experience thou which are lost, in whom the God of this world findest sin to be a knot of devils iwining about hath blinded ihe minds of them that believe thy whole body and spirit, fixing in every part not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of their venomous and burning stings, filling all Christ, who is the image of God, should shine with the fire of hell.

unto them.” Thy insensibleness then of the 2. Let wicked persons do all they can fearful condition thou art in, is, 0 sinner, the to dissemble this matter, yet they are not greatest part of thy misery, and the greatest without sharp pangs, and quick feelings of design of the devil upon thee is to blind thine their dreadful state. Sinner, I appeal to the eyes and harden thy heart against the sight secret of thy own bosom, what means that and sense of the light of the divine beauty, horrid darkness which surrounds thy soul and the glory of the God-head, shining in the continually, which shuts out from thee the heavenly and eternal person of Christ. He light of God, and a comfortable eternity ? blinds thine eyes and hardens thy heart What means that worm of fear and anxiety to the sight and sense of that wrath thou art which is continually at thy heart, in the midst under, that so thou mayest be absolutely lost of all thy pleasures? What means those until the final recovery. strugglings and agitations of spirit, those di- In the valley of the sons of Hinnom, that Ge. vidings and sinkings of souls, as on a tem- henna of the Jews, that Tophet, you read that pestuous sea, as the length of a bottomless the idolatrous parents came and put their gulf without any harbour to receive thee, with children into the arms of the brass image, and out any bed in thy spirits on which thou then kindled a fire upon it and offered them up mayest cast thyself and rest? Art thou not, as a sacrifice by fire to Moloch ! and whilst the whether thou wilt or not, afraid of God? and poor infants and children were there lamentais there not a terror in thy soul as often as bly consuming in the arms of the idol image, thou thinkest of him; and when he at any the drums did beat perpetually to drown the time thrusts himself into thy thoughts, is it noise of their screechings, lest their parents, not with thee as it was with Felix ? Acts xxiv. hearing their cries, should be moved with 23: "and as Paul reasoned of righteous compassion and save them before they were ness, temperance and judgment to come, Felix quite consumed. Thus, 0 sinner, Satan deals trembled.”

with thee; he hath shut up thy soul fast in God himself, who best knows the spirits of the brazen arms of a spiritual death and poor men, tells the wicked men, Isa. lvii. 20, wrath ; but whilst thou art in this world, there 21, that “they are like a troubled sea which is some possibility, some hope of thy being cannot rest, and there is no peace to the wick- saved from this death and wrath, of thy flying ed." Let wicked men strive never so much from this wrath, and escaping if thou art once to make themselves deaf to conscience, yet it made sensible of it. The devil to prevent is not in their power, as one speaks, to make this, beats up the drums of all worldly pleaconscience dumb to them; every sinner hath sure, pomps and entertainments continually that in his own breast which is still accusing, upon thee, filling all thy senses with the sound convicting and condemning him: for there is of vanity, of fleshly impressions and pleasure, in every man a light, either shining or burn- that so he might drown in thy spirit the sense ing, refreshing or tormenting him, according of that death and wrath in which thy soul is to his actions; a witness which is not to be re-consuming until he hath hurried thee off from proached or contradicted; a judge which is the stage of this world; then he thinks he is not to be bribed, an executioner which can- sure of thee, and that thou art lost for ever. not be resisted. I appeal to all sinners, whether But he knows not the after-counsel of God, their own spirits are not as a den of lions, and not only he, but perhaps the angels in bears, and wolves, within the midst of all heaven do not yet know it. And now as their jollity without? I appeal to them, whether Adam when once he had fallen, had his eyes their mirth be not a forced, a necessitous open to see from whence and whither he was thing to prevent and anticipate their sad, dark, fallen : so now thy soul is lost and past reand melancholy thoughts, like a poor man covery, as the blind devil thinks. The devil of that is not easy at home, and therefore aban-himself makes haste to open thine eyes, and dons himself to ill courses abroad? I appeal give thee lender senses, that thou mayest into them, whether they are not often afraid of wardly have the sharpest feeling of that death themselves, and their own shadows ? whether and wrath which all this while hath lain upthey are not filled with shame, confusion, on thee. griefs, affrights, distractions, and despairs ? O my friends, think of this dreadful scripWhether their very rose buds are not as so ture : "if our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that many briars and thorns, burning their hearts, are lost, in whom the God of this world haih their flesh, their souls? Whether their very blinded the minds of them that believe not, joys and pleasures, are not so many tormeni- lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, ing as well as tempting forms of things ? who is the image of God, should shine into Whether in the heights of all their delights, them.” they are without their sharp pangs ? Are not I beseech you here to take notice of two these things irresistible symptoms of thai things which I will only mention : sense which sinners' more or less continually 1. The devil's grand design and end, and carry about in their bosoms of that dreadful that is to blind your mind. To what? To the state of wrath which they do feel themselves image of God. To what image of God? To to be in, or are at least afraid they are ? the spiritual and heavenly image of God, which is in the person of Christ. This is Christ, that if your heart be taken with any his grand design and end, to blind your minds thing of the creature, you will cast your souls that you should not see that spiritual image now into the arms of it, and cry out, certainly of God which is in the person of Christ, lest the altar of the Lord is before us. And this the light of the knowledge of the glory of God is the devil's strong delusion; and thus are in the face or person of Christ should shine ye in continual danger, and under the power into your heart and destroy his kingdom; for of his delusion, whilst your hearts cleave to there needs no more to the undoing of a cheat any part of this creation whatsoever it be. and impostor than a discovery.

i beseech you, according to this method of 2. Observe here the devil's highway to ac- the devil, and this way of his delusion, to learn complish his grand design and end; and this the true reason of your insensibleness of your is the world; he makes use of his power and own condition, and of the excellencies of prerogative, as he is God of this world. Christ; it is because the God of this world There is then another inferior image of God, hath blinded your eyes, that you should not beside this spiritual image of God in Christ, see the dreadfulness of one, and the glory of and this is the world, or the creation. Jesus the other; and if ye continue thus in this Christ is the essential increated image of blindness, it is because you are to perish God; this world is a shadowy and created with this world and the God of it. Till the image of him and divides itself into several God of this world and the master of the deimages.

vil save it and him. There is the sensual image, which con- God at the beginning did set up the image sists of the pleasant, the beautiful, the glorious of his own beauties in the creation; the devil things of the earth here below.

at the fall, did set up this image instead of the There is the celestial image which is made true beauties, so it became of an image an idol, up of sun, moon, and stars, and their bright a representation, a rebellion. and potent bodies above.

Thus the devil hath persuaded and deluded There is the rational, the intellectual, the you to fix your affections upon that shadowy angelical image, which consists in the invi- image, instead of Jesus Christ the true image, sible things, in the intellectual pleasures and and so fight against Christ in the defence of perfections of this world, in the principles that. and powers and sweetnesses of this creation. Hear this all ye souls that have any sense Now the devil makes use of all these, or of your wretched condition, and no discerning any of these, to set them before your eyes in- of, no desire after Christ. stead of Jesus Christ, and so to blind you, The devil as the God of this world, and that you should never look farther to that su- the father of lies, hath presented himself be. preme and heavenly image, to that original fore you, in all the delightful forms and glory which is Jesus Christ himself. images of things, making you believe that

The devil, as the god of this world and the these empty flying shadows are the true riches, father of lies, clothes himself with this world. the only realities, the only substance, and dy image of things, either in the visible, in the that Jesus Christ, the heavenly image of God, sensual, in the rational, intellectual, or ange- is but a pleasant fancy and fiction. Through lical parts of it; and thus he blinds your this created image of things, the devil pours mind, draws your soul down into his own forth himself, his filthy lusts, his false loves: foul and hellish embraces, and so fills your thus the God of this world hath wed you in a spirit with the filthy and polluted images of counterfeit shape of false beauties, sweet. this world, that you are insensible of your nesses, glories, powers, and joys. Thus the fa. own wretched condition, and incapable of ther of lies hath deceived and possessed your taking in the light of heavenly beauties which souls, and made them his strumpets, upon shines from the face or person of Christ. He which he continually begets young devils, talse sets before your understanding the sensual forms of things, which you kiss and dandle image of earthly created things in their bright- upon your knee, and play and sport yourself est beauty and sweetest pleasure, and if he with, stopping your ears to all the alarms and can fix this upon your souls instead of Jesus music of the preacher, who would waken you Christ, and make you to settle here, he satis- into a sense of your miserable condition, and fies himself, he destroys your souls with the open to you, that by these dalliances you suck less cost and trouble. But if you are yet rest in the poison and fire of hell, and of all the less in the midst of all the beauties and plea- devils into all your veins. I beseech sinners sures of sense, he will cover his hook and to consider seriously of this matter in their catch your souls with a bait of rational and retirement, and to think assuredly, as often as intellectual pleasures, and persuade you to this world attracts you, in any image of it, in think that you have here what should satisfy its visible excellencies, and in its invisible the better inclination of your souls. If he can- powers, that the devil is now casting you into an not here stop the unquiet and restless powers enchanting sleep, and in your sleep deluding of your souls, he will then carry you up to you with false dreams. That as ofien as this the invisible glories of this world, he will world presents itself to you in any of its beaumake you taste of the invisible powers of it, tiful and pleasant forms, you are as a man to in all the moral, literal, and angelical powers whom this present world presents herself as of it, and now he will persuade you that you a woman, with all the advantages of wisdom, are without doubt in a good condition. He loveliness, extraordinary skill and power to will present those invisible and angelical work wonderful things, and she offers herself images of this world before you in such a to this man to be his spouse; but all this glory, and counterfeit resemblance of Jesus while, this woman is a witch, a sorceress, an apparition from hell; think assuredly with | hypothesis. Every word is here fraught with yourself, that all these worldly images of a great and rich treasure of divine sense and things are the cup of the devil, that all the sweetness. I will not enlarge upon this text, fleshly lusts, the false loves that we drink in but only take notice of four words in it, and so greedily from this cup, are but the poisons leave the ingenuous and candid reader to given us from the devil, the very spirit of hell, make the application of it in my stead. and of all the devils; this is the spirii 1. The first word, the law came in. The that makes hell to be hell, and all the evil Greek word is Trapelona ber, the law entered subspirits to be devils. Think assuredly with intravit, it came in by the by, in the way, and yourselves that this world in all the parts of it under something else as subordinate and subis the devil's mouth, by which he woos and servient to it. solicits you into his embraces; that while you The great, the principal, the universal decourt and kiss your harlots and strumpets, sign in the counsel of God, which runs along your idols of gold and silver, of worldly wis- and spreads itself over all, through all, from dom and power, these earthly and fleshly eternity, is grace and love. This divine images of things, this world and the lasts there- grace and love, is that design from which all of, the delusive objects of this world in their things are constituted, to which all things vain and vile pleasures, profits and delights, serve, in which God beginneth and endeth you kiss the mouth of the devil and are kissed all his counsels, all his works, and in which by him, you embrace him and are embraced by he eternally resteth. In the current and him; and that by these kisses and embraces stream of this design, in the course of this he invisibly and insensibly breathes his own contrivance, the law is brought in, together spirit into you, the spirit of darkness, igno- with sin and death, not for their own sakes, rance, blindness and unbelief; the spirit of but to serve and heighten the chief design, as lust, passions, wrath and uncleaness; the spirit subservient to it, to set off and heighten the of vain, false, hellish loves, lulling you thus grand divine contrivance of divine love and asleep, and benumbing all your senses, that grace, to be to it like a foil well placed be. you apprehend not the danger you are in. neath a rich diamond, or as a black ground Think assuredly with yourselves, that this skilfully laid for a beautiful picture. That spirit is indeed a stream of brimstonę, of de- fcomes in like that part in a dramatic poem vouring flames, of anguish and torment, and which we call Desis, the tying of the knot; your bodies and spirits will burn unquench-that the other part which we call Lusis, the ably and endlessly while this spirit lasteih untying of the knot, may be more surprising in you, until God refine you out of it.

and delightful. Think with yourselves how soon this bed Sin reigns unto death, but sin and death of filth, shame, and security, into which the comes in by the law. The law together with devil hath allured you, will be changed into a these comes in, in the way and passage of the bed of fire and flame. How soon the devil, grand design, which is the reign of free grace, who now woos you as a great prince, and of divine love, by that divine righteousness gains you as the god of this world, in these unto eternal life. counterfeit shapes of false beauty and sweet- 2. The second word is where; where sin ness, will break forth upon you in his own abounded, grace did superabound. O, what a shape, as he thinks, of endless terrors and ground of faith to the most doubting and dehorrors; and though God will defeat his spairing sinner! O, what a sweet consolation thoughts, yet do not you venture to try. You to the most weary and heavey laden soul! are now so fondly pursuing the joys of the O, what a hidden ground of hope, for the creature, that you can hear and think of no- greatest, the worst, the most undone sinner is thing else.

here! No presence, no prevalency or preBut the time will quickly come when all dominancy of any sin can be a bar to the the joys of the creature will vanish in grace of God; yea, rather (bear it who can) the smoke and fire of the bottomless pit; great sins are arguments of greater grace. and the God of this world, who is now God himself saith, where sin hath abounded, pouring out his false loves and filthy lusts grace hath much more abounded. It is no into your hearts through all these joys of matter what thou sayest, or any sinner, or the creature, will cast off his angelical, his what the devil saith against thee and them ; god-like form, and appear in his own form to God hath said thus, say thou also, here in torment you, until God, which God knows this soul of mine sin hath abounded; then when, will release you and him.

draw the conclusion in the form of a prayer, and say, be it unto me according to thy word; here in this soul of mine, sin bath abounded,

let thy grace much more abound. Thou CHAPTER XXIV.

canst not make this prayer unless the spirit The last scripture I shall mention is Rom. v. 20, of God help thee. Will not that God, that

21: “Moreover the law entered, that the of spirit, which makes this prayer for thee, fence might abound; but where sin abounded, make it sooner or later for all his poor creagrace did much more abound. That as sintures; for thou couldst not make it without hath reigned unto death, even so might grace that spirit, nor can they do it without it. So we reign through righteousness unto eternal life, read, the Psalmist saith : “O thou that hearest by Jesus Christ our Lord."

the prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.” Tas very face and complexion of this scrip When did you make a prayer that you could ture, and much more the inward sense of it, call the prayer above all other? I then say that gives me very comfortable assurances of my 'Christ is the prayer for us all, as the Dutch



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