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converted. The clofe hypocrite, and the profane, are alike as to their state; however different their converfations be: and they will be alike in their fatal end, Pfal. cxxv. 5. As for fuch as turn afide unto their crooked ways, the Lord fhall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity. (4.) Young ones that are yet but fetting out into the world, have not that to do, to make themfelves children of wrath, by following the graceless multitude. They are children of wrath by nature: fo it is done already: they were born heirs of hell; they will indeed make themselves more fo, if they do not, while they are young, flee from the wrath they were born to, by fleeing to Jefus Chrift.— Lastly, Whatever men are now by grace, they were even as others, by nature. And this may be a fad meditation to them, that have been at ease from their youth, and have had no changes.

Now, these things being premifed, I fhall, in the first place, fhew what this state of wrath is; next, confirm the doctrine; and then apply it.

I. I am to fhew what this state of wrath is. But who can fully defcribe the wrath of an angry God? None can do it. Yet fo much of it must be discovered, as may ferve to convince men of the abfolute neceffity of fleeing to Jesus Christ, out of that fate of wrath. Anger in men is a paffion, and commotion of the fpirit for an injury received, with a defire to refent the fame. When it comes to a height, and is fixed in one's fpirit, it is called wrath. Now there are no paffions in God, properly fpeaking: they are inconfiftent with his abfolute unchangeableness, and independency; and therefore Paul and Barnabas (to remove the mistake of the Lycaonians, who thought they were gods) tell them, they were men of like paffions with themselves, Acts xiv. 15. Wrath then is attributed to God, not in refpect of the affection of wrath, but the effects thereof. Wrath is a fire in the bowels of a man, tormenting the man himself: but there is no perturbation in God. His wrath does not in the leaft mar that infinite repose and happiness, which he hath in himself. It is a moft pure undisturbed act of his will, producing dreadful effects against the finner. It is little we know of an infinite God: but condefcending to our weaknefs, he is pleased to speak of himself to us, after the manner of men. Let us therefore notice man's wrath, but remove every thing in our confideration of the wrath of God, that argues imperfection: and fo we may attain to fome view of it, however fcanty. By this means we are led to take up the wrath of God against the natural man in these three.

First, There is wrath in the heart of God against him. The Lord approves him not, but is difpleafed with him. Every natural man lies under the difpleasure of God; and that is heavier than mountains of brafs. Altho' he be pleafed with himself, and others be pleafed with him too; yet. God looks down on him, as difpleafed. First, His perfon is under God's difpleasure; Thou hateft all workers of iniquity, Pfal. v. 5. A godly man's fin is difpleafing to God, yet his perfon is

ftill accepted in the Beloved, Eph. i. 6. But God is angry with the wicked every day, Pfal. vii. 11. There is a fire of wrath burns continually againft him, in the heart of God. They are as dogs and fwine, molt abominable creatures in the fight of God. Tho' their natural ftate be gilded over with a fhiring profeffion, yet they are abhorred of God: they are to him as moke in his nofe, Ifa. lxv. 5. and lukewarm water, to be spewed out of his mouth, Rev. iii. 16. whited fepulchres, Matth. xxiii. 27. a gencration of vipers, Matth. xii. 34. and a people of his wrath, Ifa. x. 6.

Secondly, He is difpleafed with all they do: It is impoffible for them to please him, being unbelievers, Heb. xi. 6. He hates their

perfons; and fo hath no pleasure in, but is difpleafed with their best works, Ifa. lvi. 3. He that facrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck, &c. Their duty, as done by them, is an abomination to the Lord, Prov. xv. 8. And as men turn their back upon them whom they are angry with; fo the Lord's refufing communion with the natural man in his duties, is a plain indication of this wrath.

Secondly, There is wrath in the word of God against him. When wrath is in the heart, it feeks a vent by the lips; fo God fights against the natural man with the fword of his mouth, Rev. ii. 16. The Lord's word never fpeaks good of him, but always curfeth or condemneth him. Hence it is, that when he is awakened, the word read or preached often increaseth his horror. First, It condemns all his actions, together with his corrupt nature. There is nothing he does, but the law declares it to be fin. It is a rule of perfect obedience, from which he always in all things, declines; and fo it rejects every thing he doth as fin. Secondly, It pronounceth his doom, and denounceth God's curfe againft him, Gal. iii. 10. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curfe: for it is written, Curfed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them. Be he never fo well in the world, it pronounceth a woe from heaven against him, Ifa. iii. 11. The Bible is a quiver filled with arrows of wrath against him, ready to be poured in on his foul. God's threatnings in his word, hang over his head as a black cloud, ready to fhower down on him every moment. The word is indeed the faint's fecurity againft wrath, but it binds the natural man's fin and wrath together, as a certain pledge of his ruin, if he continue in that ftate. So the confcience being awakened, and perceiving this tie made by the law, the man is filled with terrors in his foul. Thirdly, There is wrath in the hand of God against the natural man. He is under heavy ftrokes of wrath already, and is liable to more.

ft, There is wrath on his body. It is a piece of curfed clay, which wrath is finking into by virtue of the threatning of the first covenant, Gen. ii. 17. In the day that thou eateft thereof, thou shalt furely die. There is never a difeafe, gripe nor ftitch, that affects him, but it comes on him with the fting of God's indignation in it. They are all cords of death, feut before to bind the prifoner.

2dly, There

2dly, There is wrath upon his foul. (1.) He can have no communion with God; he is foolish, and shall not stand in God's fight, Pfal. v. 5. When Adam finned, God turned him out of paradife : and natural men are, as Adam left them, banished from the gracious prefence of the Lord; and can have no accefs to him in that ftate. There is war betwixt heaven and them: and fo all commerce is cut off. They are without God in the world, Eph. ii. 12. The fun is gone down on them, and there is not the leaft glimpfe of favour towards them from heaven. (2) Hence the foul is left to pine away in its iniquity. The natural darkness of their minds, the averfenefs to good in their wills, the diforder of their affections, and diftemper of their confciences, and all their natural plagues, are left upon them in a penal way; and being fo left, increafe daily. God cafts a portion of worldly goods to them, more or lefs; as a bone is thrown to a dog: but alas! his wrath against them appears, in that they get no grace. The Phyfician of fouls comes by them, and goes by them, and cures others beside them; while they are confuming away in their iniquity, and ripning daily for utter deftruction. (3) They ly open to fearful additional plagues on their fouls, even in this life. First, Sometimes they meet with deadning ftrokes; filent blows from the hand of an angry God; arrows of wrath that enter into their fouls without noife, Ifa. vi. 10. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and fout their eyes, left they fee with their eyes, &c. God ftrives with them for a while, and convictions enter their confciences; but they rebel against the light: and by a fecret judgment, they are knocked on the head; fo that, from that time, they do, as it were, live and rot above ground. Their hearts are deadned; their affections withered; their confciences ftupified; and their whole fouls blafted; caft forth as a branch, and withered, John xv. 16. They are plagued with judicial blindness. They thu their eyes againft the light, and they are given over to the devil, the god of this world, to be blinded more, 2 Cor. iv. 4. Yea, God fends them strong delufions, that they should believe a lie, 2 Theff. ii. 1. even confcience, like a falfe light on the fhore leads them upon rocks; by which they are broken in pieces. They harden themselves against God; and he gives up with them, and leaves them to Satan and their own hearts, whereby they are hardned more and more. They are often given up unto vile affections, Ron. i. 26. The reins are laid on their necks; and they are left to run into all excefs, as their furious lufts draw them. Secondly, Sometimes they meet with quickning ftrokes, whereby their fouls become like mount Sindi; where nothing is feen, but fire and fmoak; nothing heard, but the thunder of God's wrath, and the voice of the trumpet of a broken law, waxing louder and louder: which makes them like Pafhur, (Jer. xx. 4.) A terror to themfelves. God takes the filthy garments of their fins, which they were wont to fleep in fecurely; overlays them with brimftone, and fets, them on fire about their ears: fo they have a hell within them.

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3dly, There

3dly, There is wrath on the natural man's enjoyments. Whatever be wanting in his house, there is one thing that is never wanting there, Prov. iii. 33. The curfe of the Lord is in the houfe of the wicked. Wrath is on all that he has; on the bread that he eats, the liquor he drinks, and clothes which he wears. His bafket and ftore are curfed, Deut. xxviii. 17. Some things fall wrong with him; and that comes to pafs by virtue of his wrath; other things go according to his with, and there is wrath in that too; for it is a fnare to his foul, Prov. i 32. The profperity of fools fhall destroy them. This wrath turns his bleffings into curfes, Mal ii. 2. I will curfe your bieffings: yea, I have curfed them already. The holy law is a killing letter to him, 2 Cor. The miniftry of the gofpel, a favour of death unto death, chap. ii. 15. In the facrament of the Lord's fupper, he eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, 1 Cor. xi. 29. Nay, more than all that, Christ himfelf is to him, a ftone of ftumbling, and a rock of offence, 1 Pet. ii. 8. Thus wrath follows the natural man, as his fhadow doth his body.

iii. 6.

4thly, He is under the power of Satan, Acts xxvi. 18. The devil has overcome him, fo he is his by conqueft; his lawfui captive, Ifa. xlix. 24. The natural man is condemned already, John iii. 18. and therefore under the heavy hand of him that hath the power of death, that is the devil. And he keeps his prifoner, in the prison of a natural ftate, bound hand and foot, Ifa. lxi. 1. Laden with divers lufts, as chains wherewith he holds them fast. Thou needeft not, as many do, call on the devil to take thee; for he has a fast hold of thee already, as a child of wrath.'

Laftly, The natural man has no fecurity for a moment's fafety from the wrath of God its coming on him to the uttermost. The curfe of the law denounced against him, has already tied him to the ftake: fo that the arrows of juftice may pierce his foul; and in him may meet all the miferies and plagues that flow from the avenging wrath of God. See how he is fet as a mark to the arrows of wrath, Pfal. vii. 11, 12, 13. God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his fword: he hath bent his bow, and made it ready; he hath aljo prepared for him the inftruments of death. Doth he ly down to fleep? There is not a promise, he knows of, or can know, to fecure him that he fhall not be in hell ere he awake. Juftice is purfing, and cries for vengeance on the finner: the law cafts the fire balls of its curfes continually upon him: wafted and long tired patience is that which keeps in his life: he walks amidst enemies armed against him: his name may be Magor Miffubib, i. e. terror round about, Jer. xx. 3. Angels, devils, men, beafts, ftones, heaven, and earth, are in readinefs, on a word of command rom the Lord, to ruin him. Thus the natural man lives, but he muft die too; and death is a dreadful meleager to him It comes upon him armed with wrath, and puts three fad charges in his hand. (1.) Death chargeth him to Eid an eternal farewell to all things in this world; to leave it, and make away to another world. Ah! what a dredful charge must this

be

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 increasing 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 must this be to a child of wrath! care was indeed taken to provide for the body things necellary 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 must 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 prison 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 ftate: 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 Chrift. Then fhall they receive that fearful fentence, Depart from me, ye curfed, into ever lafting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, Matth. xx. 41. Whereupon they hall go away into everlasting punishment, ver. 49. They thall be eternally fhut up in hell, never to get the leaft drop of comfort, nor the leait eafe of their torment. There they will be punished with the punishment of loss: being excommunicated for ever from the presence of God, his angels and faints. All means of grace, all hopes of a delivery, thall be for ever cut off from their eyes. They fhall not have a drop of water to cool their

tongues,

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