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be to a child of wrath! He can have no comfort from heaven; for God is his enemy: and as for the things of the world, and the enjoyment of his lufts, which were the only fprings of his comfort; the fe are in a moment dried up to him for ever. He is not ready for another world: he was not thinking of removing fo foon: or if he was, yet he has no portion fecured to him in another world, but that which he was born to, and was increafing all his days, namely, a treasure of wrath. But go he muft; his clay god, the world, must be parted with, and what has he more? There was never a glimmering of light, or favour from heaven, to his foul: and now the wrath that did hang in the threatning as a cloud like a man's hand, is darkning the face of the whole heaven above him: and if he look unto the earth, (from whence all his light was wont to come) behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and he shall be driven to darkness, Ifa. viii 22. (2) Death-chargeth foul and body to part till the great day. His foul is required of him, Luke xii. 20. O what a miferable parting muft this be to a child of wrath! care was indeed taken to provide for the body things neceifary for this life: but alas! there is nothing laid up for another life to it; nothing to be a feed of glorious refurrection: as it lived, fo it muft die, and rife again finful flesh; fuel for the fire of God's wrath. As for the foul, he was never folicitous to provide for it. It lay in the body, dead to God, and all things truly good; and fo muft be carried out into the pit, in the grave-cloths of its natural ftate: for now that death comes, the companions in fin must part. (3) Death chargeth the foul to compear before the tribunal of God, while the body lies to be carried to the grave, Ecclef. xii. 7. The Spirit fhall return unto God who gave it. Heb. ix. 2, 7. It is appointed unto all men once to die, but after this the judgment. Well were it for the finful foul if it might be buried together with the body. But that cannot be: it must go and receive its fentence; and fhall be fhut up in the prifon of hell, while the curfed body lies imprisoned in the grave, till the day of the general judgment.

When the end of the world, appointed of God, is come; the trumpet fhall found, and the dead arise. Then fhall the weary earth, at the command of the Judge, caft forth the bodies; the curfed bodies of these that lived and died in their natural state: The fea, death, and hell, fhall deliver up their dead, Rev. xx. 13. Their miferable bodies and fouls fhall be re-united, and they fifted before the tribunal of Christ. Then fhall they receive that fearful fentence, Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, Matth. xx. 41. Whereupon they shall go away into everlasting punishment, ver. 49. They fhall be eternally fhut up in hell, never to get the leaft drop of comfort, nor the leaft eafe of their torment. There they will be punished with the punishment of lofs: being excommunicated for ever from the presence of God, his angels and faints. All means of grace, all hopes of a delivery, fhall be for ever cut off from their eyes. They fhall not have a drop of water to cool their tongues,

tongues, Luke xvi. 24, 25. They fhall be punished with the punish. ment of fenfe. They must not only depart from God; but depart into fire, into everlafting fire. There the worm, that fhall gnaw them, fhall never die; the fire, that fhall fcorch them, fhall never be quenched. God fhall, thro' all eternity, hold them up with the one hand, and pour the full vials of wrath into them with the other.

This is that ftate of wrath natural men live in; being under much of the wrath of God, and liable to more. But for a further view of it, let us confider the qualities of that wrath (1.) It is irresistible, there is no standing before it. Who may stand in thy fight, when once thou art angry? Pfal. lxxxvi. 7. Can the worm, or the moth, defend itself against him that defigns to cruth it? As little can worm man ftand before an angry God. Foolish man indeed practically bids a defiance to heaven: but the Lord often, even in this world, opens fuch fluices of wrath upon them, as all theis might cannot ftop; but they are carried away thereby, as with a flood. How much more will it be fo in hell? (2.) It is unfupportable. What one cannot refift, he will fet himself to bear but, Who fhait dwell with devouring fire? Who Shall dwell with everlasting burnings? God's wrath is a weight that will fink men into the lowest hell. It is a burden no man is able to ftand under. A wounded spirit who can bear it? Prov. xviii. 14. (3.) It is unavoidable to fuch as will go on impenitently in their finful courfe. He that being often reproved, hardneth his neck, fhall fuddenly be deftroyed, and that without remedy, Prov. xxix 1. We may now fly from it indeed, by flying to Jefus Chrift: but fuch as fly from Chrift, fhall never be able to avoid it. Whither can men fly from an avenging God? Where will they find a fhelter? The hills will not hear them; the mountains will be deaf to their loudest cries; when they cry to them, to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. (4.) It is powerful and fierce wrath, Pfal. xc. 11. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear, fo is thy wrath. We are apt to fear the wrath of man more than we ought: but no man can apprehend the wrath of God to be more dreadful than it really is: the power of it can never be known to the utmoft; feeing it is infinite, and (properly fpeaking) has no utmoft: how fierce foever it be, either on earth, or in hell, God can ftill carry it further. Every thing in God is most perfect in its kind; and therefore no wrath is fo fierce as his. O finner, how wilt thou be able to endure that wrath, which will tear thee in pieces, Pfal. 1. 22. and grind thee to powder, Luke XX 18. The hiftory of the two fhe-bears, that tare the children of Bethel, is an awful one, 2 Kings ii. 23, 24. But the united force of the rage of lions, leopards, and the bears bereaved of their whelps, is not fufficient to give us even a fcanty view of the power of the wrath of God, Hof. xiii. 7, 8. Therefore I will be unto them as a lion; as a leopard by the way will I obferve them. I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rent the caul of their heart, &c. (5) It is penetrating and piercing wrath. It is burning wrath, and


firey indignation. There is no pain more exquifite, than that which is caufed by fire; and no fire fo piercing as the fire of God's indignation, that burns into the lowest hell, Deut. xxxii. 22. The arrows of men's wrath can pierce flesh, blood and bones: but cannot reach the foul: but the wrath of God will fink into the foul, and fo pierce a man in the most tender part. Like as, when a person is thunderftruck, oft-times there is not a wound to be seen in the fkin; yet life gone, and the bones are, as it were, melted: fo God's wrath can penetrate into, and melt one's foul within him, when his earthly comforts ftand about him entire, and untouched as in Belshazzar's cafe, Dan. v. 6. (6.) It is conftant wrath, running parallel with the man's continuance in an unregenerate state; conftantly attending him, from the womb to the grave. There are few fo dark days, but the fun fometimes looketh out from under the clouds: but the wrath of God, is an abiding cloud on the fubjects of it, John iii 36. The wrath of God abideth on him that believes not. (7.) It is eternal. O miferable foul! If thou fly not from this wrath unto Jefus Christ, thy misery had a beginning, but it fhall never have an end. Should devouring death wholly fwallow thee up, and for ever hold thee faft in a grave; it would be kind, but thou must live again, and never die; that thoi mayst be ever dying, in the hands of the living God. Cold death will quench the flame of man's wrath against us, if nothing else do it: but God's wrath, when it has come on the finner, millions of ages will ftill be the wrath to come, Matth. iii, 7. 1 Theff. i. 10. As the water of a river is still coming, how much foever of it has paffed. While God is, he will purfue the quarrel. Laftly, Howfoever dreadful it is, and tho' it be eternal, yet it is most just wrath: it is a clear fire, without the leaft fmoak of unjustice. The fea of wrath raging with greatest fury against the finner, is clear as chryftal. The Judge of all the earth can do no wrong. He knows no tranfports of paffion, for they are inconfiftent with the perfection of his nature. Is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then, how fhall God judge the world? Rom. iii. 5, 6.

The Doctrine of the State of Wrath confirmed and vindicated.

II. I fhall confirm the doctrine, Confider, (1.) How peremptory the threatning of the first covenant is; In the day thou eateft thereof, thou shalt furely die, Gen. ii. 17. Hereby fin and punishment being connected, the veracity of God ascertains the execution of the threatning. Now all men being by nature under this covenant, the breach of it lays thein under the curfe. (2.) The juftice of God requires that a child of fin be a child of wrath; that the law being broken, the fanction thereof fhould take place. God, as man's ruler and Judge," cannot but do right, Gen. xviii. 25 Now it is a righteous thing. with God to recompence fin, with wrath, 2 Theff. i. 6. He is of purer eyes than-to behold evil, Hab. i. 13. And he hates all the workers of

iniquity, Pfal. v. 6. (3) The horrors of a natural confcience prove this. There is a confcience in the breafts of men, which can tell them, they are finners; and therefore liable to the wrath of God. Let men, at any time, foberly commune with themselves, and they will find they have the witnefs in themfelves, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit fuch things, are worthy of death, Rom. i. 32. (4.) The pangs of the new birth, the work of the fpirit of bondage on elect fouls, in order to their converfion, demonstrate this. Hereby their natural finfulness and mifery, as liable to the wrath of God, are plainly taught them, filling their hearts with fear of that wrath. Now that this fpirit of bondage is no other than the Spirit of God, whofe work is to convince of fin, righteoufnefs, and judgment, (John xvi. 8.) this teftimony muft needs be true; for the Spirit of truth cannot witnefs an untruth. Mean while, true believers being freed from the ftate of wrath, receive not the spirit of bondage again to fear, but receive the Spirit of adoption, Rom. iii. 15. And therefore, if fears of that nature do arise, after the foul's union with Chrift: they come from the faint's own fpirit, or from a worfe. Laftly, The fufferings of Chrift plainly prove this doctrine. Wherefore was the Son of God, a Son under wrath, but because the children of men were children of wrath? He fuffered the wrath of God, not for himself, but for thofe that were liable to it in theirown perfons. Nay, this not only fpeaks us to have been liable to wrath; but alfo that wrath must have a vent, in the punishing of fin. If this was done in the green tree, what will become of the dry? What a miferable cafe muft a finner be in that is out of Chrift; that is not vitally united to Christ, and partakes not of his Spirit? God, who fpared not his own Son, furely will not fpare fuch an one.

But the unregenerate man, who has no great value for the honour of God, will be apt to rife up against his Judge, and in his own heart condemn his procedure. Nevertheless the Judge being infinitely juft, the fentence must be righteous. And therefore, to stop thy mouth, O proud finner, and to ftill thy clamour against the righteous Judge, confider, First, Thou art a finner by nature, and it is highly reafonable that guilt and wrath be as old as fin. Why thould not God begin to vindicate his honour, as foon as vile worms begin to impare it? Why fhall not a ferpent bite the thief, as foon as he leaps over the hedge? Why fhould not the threatning take hold of the finner, as foon as he cafts away the command? The poifonous nature of the ferpent affords a man fufficient ground to kill it, as foon as ever he can reach it; and, by this time thou mayft be convinced, that thy nature is a very compound of enmity against God. Secondly, Thou haft not only an enmity against God, in thy nature; but haft discovered it, by actual fins, which are in his eye acts of hoftility. Thou has brought forth thy luft into the field of battle against thy Sovereign LORD. And now, that thou art fuch a criminal, thy condemnation is juft: for, befides the fin of thy nature, thou haft done that against heaven, which

if thou had done against men, thy life behoved to have gone for it; and shall not wrath from heaven overtake thee? (1.) Thou art guilty of high treason, and rebellion against the King of heaven. The thought and with of thy heart, which he knows as well as the language of thy mouth, has been, no God, Pfal. xiv. 1. Thou haft rejected his government, blown the trumper, and fet up the ftandard of rebellion against him: being one of these that say, We will not have this man to reign over us, Lake xix. 14 Thou haft ftriven against, and quenched his Spirit; practically difowned his laws proclaimed by his messengers; stopped thine ears at their voice, and fent them away mourning for thy pride. Thou haft confpired with his grand enemy the devil Although thou art a fworn fervant of the King of glory, daily receiving of his favours, and living on his bounty: thou art holding a correfpondence, and haft contracted a friendship with his greatest enemy, and art acting for him against thy Lord; for the lufts of the devil ye will do, John viii. 44 (2) Thou art a murderer before the Lord. Thou haft laid the ftumbling block of thine iniquity before the blind world; and haft ruined the fouls of others by thy finful courfe. And tho' thou doft not fee now; the time may come, when thou fhalt fee the blood of thy relations, neighbours, acquaintances and others, upon thy head, Matth. xviii. 7. Wo unto the world because of offences-Wo to that man by whom the offence cometh. Yea, thou art a self-murderer before God, Prov. viii. 36. He that finneth against me, wrongeth his own foul: all they that hate me, love death. Ezek. xviii. 31. Why will ye die? The laws of man go as far as they can against the felf-murderer, denying his body a burial-place amongst others, and confifcating his goods: what wonder is it the law of God is fo fevere against foulmurderers? Is it strange, that they who will needs depart from God now, coft what it will, be forced to depart from him at laft, into everlafting fire? But what is yet more criminal, thou art guilty of the murder of the Son of God, for the Lord will reckon thee among thofe that pierced him, Rev. i. 7. Thou haft rejected him as well as the Jews did; and by thy rejecting him, thou haft juftified their deed. They indeed did not acknowledge him to be the Son of God, but thou doft. What they did against him, was in a state of humiliation; but thoù haft acted against him, in his state of exaltation. These things will aggravate thy condemnation. What wonder then, if the voice of the Lamb, change to the roaring of the lion, against the traitor aud murderer.

Object. But fome will fay, Is there not a vaft difproportion betwixt our fin and that wrath you talk of? I anfwer, No; God punishes no more than the finner deferves. To rectify your mistake, in this matter, confider, (1) The vaft rewards God has annexed to obedience. His word is no more full of fiery wrath againft fin, that it is of gracions rewards to the obedience it requires. If heaven be in the promifes, it is altogether equal that hell be in the threatnings. If death were not in the balance with life, eternal mifery with eternal happiness,


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