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their Lufts, and fecure Heaven; build Tabernacles here, and fecure Manfions hereafter; keep in with God and Man, and like the Samaritans, 2 Kings, 17. 41. fear the Lord, and terve graven Images. This Doctrine, that Chrift hath freed them from the wrath of God, in their lanfe, makes Religion fit foft and eafie upon them, and doth not disturb them in their fenfual Enjoyments. It's a comfortable Do&rine to flesh and blood; never could any thing have been invented more agreeable to their Lufts; and if God had studied to do them a kindness, he could not have done them a greater, than to let his Son fuffer all that is to be fuffered by them; and fo after their delights and finful fatisfactions here, conduct them into a far more glorious Paradife. If it be fo, truly Confideration is Vanity, and the Preachers are Fools and Mad-men to press it upon their Auditors: Spiritual Men are distracted, and fitter for Bedlam than the Pulpit. Their Religion is nothing but a Trick, and they keep a great tftir to no purpose; cry aloud, but edifie not; and lift up their Voices meerly to trifle away time, and confirm the Houfe of Jacob in their Sins. But who fees not that this is an invention of the Devil, firft to darken the Sinner's understanding, and when the Candle is out, to rob him of his everlasting Happiness!
And, Sirs, will you be robbed thus quietly of your Blifs and Glory? Will you fuffer your felves to be ftript of all you have, without the leaft oppofition? Is it poffible for you to believe, That the Son of God came down from Heaven to encourage
you in offending God; and made himfelf of no Reputation for you, that you might render your felves contemptible in the fight of the Almighty; and died for you, to give life to your fins and follies? How abfurd, how impertinent, how contradictory is this Belief? How! God, and encourage Sin Holiness it felf, and find out a way to promote Iniquity? Can there be any thing in Nature more filly or ridiculous? This is abufing the Cross of Chrift, not trusting to it; and you that make it an occafion of Sin, take heed, it do not prove a ftumbling-block unto you, and instead of crucifying Sin in you, do not harden you in it. It is a thing not unufal with God, to punish Sin with Sin; and if Men will be filthy, in defpight of all endeavours to purifie them from their filthineffes, to doom them to continue filthy ftill, and to make that their judgment, which at first was only their tranfgreffion; Because there is no Truth, nor Mercy, nor Knowledge of God in the land, but Stealing, and committing Adultery, therefore your Daughters shall commit Whoredom, and your Spouses fhall commit Adultery, faith God, Hof. 4. 1, 2, 13. i. e. I will utterly withdraw my Grace, and my Holy Spirit from you; whence it muft neceffarily come to pass, that you will fink deeper and deeper in your Sins, till you fink into the nethermoft Hell; and that which was your delight, fhall prove your burthen, and your joy fhall be your plague; and when afterwards you fhall fee what you have brought your felves to, and would fain ftep back, you fhall not be able, but die in your Sins. A Judgment enough to
make a Man's hair stand on end, and yet it is but reasonable, especially in this point, of making light of the Death of Chrift Jefus; fo great a love, and written in fuch legible Characters too,flighted and abused, and made a help to Sin, improved into Licentiousness, may juftly be supposed to draw down that Judgment we read of, Isa 6. 9, 10. Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but underStand not; and fee ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and fhut their eyes; left they fee with their Eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed.
But what is worse than all this, the death of the Son of God, which thus, instead of Mortifying, makes Sin reign in your mortal Bodies, will be the greatest witness against you in the last day. The ftone fhall cry out of the Wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer against the oppreffor, faith the Prophet, Hab. 2. 11. And then fure blood hath a louder voice, Heb. 12.24. and the Blood of a crucified Saviour will be one day the greatest Evidence against you. This, like Oil, will encrease your flames, and prove the Brimftone, that fhall make the fire blaze the more. That Jefus, whose Cross thou defpifeft now, will be thy accufer then; and woe to that Man, that hath the Judge himself for his Enemy. That dreadful Spectacle, the Crucifixion of the Lord of Life, which cannot engage thy Soul to confider the indignation, abhorrency, and hatred God bears to Sin, will be the great Argument then, that shall cover thy face with everlasting confusion. As
lovely, as charming, as amiable as this Mercy looks now, it will look as difmal then; and that which is now thy Anchor, will be thy Terror then; and thou wilt run away from Mercy as much then, as thou do'ft from God's Thunder now, for thou wilt not be able to look upon this Mercy without blufhing, and to think how thou haft undervalued it, will make thee ready to hide thy felf from its brightness. Every Beam will dart horrour into thy Soul, and every Ray will be an arrow in thy heart. When thou shalt fee in that day the Spirits of Men made perfect, the Men in white, who have washed their Robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; when thou fhalt reflect on their Happiness, a Happiness which thou mighteft have had as well as they, (if that blood could have perfwaded thee to cleanse thy felf from all Filthiness, both of Flesh and Spirit,) how will thine Eyes flow with Tears, to think what ftrong delufions thou haft lain under, in thinking that this blood was only fpilt, that thou mighteft wallow more freely in the Mire. The Lamb which was flain from the foundation of the World, and came to take away thy Sins as well as thy Neighbours, only thou wouldft not be clean; that Lamb, I fay, as harmlefs as its looks are now, will then change his afpect; and thou, that now thinkest a Lamb can be nothing but kind, wilt then find, by woful experience, that there is fuch a thing as the indignation and wrath of the Lord.
Of the various Mifchiefs arifing from neglect of Confideration. The want of it proved to be the cause of most Sins. Some Inftances are given in Atheism, Unbelief, Swearing, Pride, Carelefnefs in God's Service, Lukewarmnefs, Covetousness, &c.
'Rom what has been faid, we may fafely draw this Conclufion, That want of Confideration is the unhappy Spring, from which most of the Miferies and Calamities of Mankind flow. There may be inferior and fubordinate causes, as the barrenness of a Field may proceed from the Thorns which overfpread it, from the Stones which lie fcattered upon it, from want of Dunging, from the Rushes that grow in it, &c. but the principal caufe, is the fluggard's idlenefs, and laziness; fo here, the Miferies of Mankind may owe their existence to various accidents and occurrences, but the Mafter-cause is want of Confideration. Indeed, God, Ifa. 5. 12, 13. makes this the great reafon, Why his People were gone into Captivity; why their honourable men were famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst; why Hell had enlarged her felf, and opened her month without measure, and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, defcended into it. Its the want of it which in all Ages hath procured God's Judgments, which by Confideration might have been ftopt and prevented. Had Adam improv'd his Solitarinefs in the