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35, 37. So then, if the unbeliever efcape condemnation, it must be in a way unknown to us by the gospel; yea, contrary to the established order therein. For the unbeliever obeyeth not the great command of the gofpel, 1 John iii. 17. Nor is he under any one faving promife of it, Gal. iii. 14, 22.

Fourthly, Unbelief excludes a man from union with Christ, faith being the bond of that union, Eph. iii. 17. The unbeJiever therefore may as reafonably expect to be faved without Chrift, as to be faved without faith. Thus you fee what unbelief excludes a man from.

Secondly, Let us next fee what guilt and mifery unbelief includes men under; and certainly it will be found to be the greatest guilt and mifery in the world: For,

Firft, It is a fin which reflects the greatest dishonour upon God, I John vi. 10. "He that believeth on the Son of God, hath

the witnefs in himself. He that believeth not God, hath made " him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."

Secondly, Unbelief makes a man guilty of the vileft contempt of Chrift, and the whole defign of redemption managed by him. All the glorious attributes of God were finally manifested in the work of redemption by Chrift; therefore the apoftle calls him "the wifdom of God, and the power of God," 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. But what doth the careless neglect, and wilful rejection of Christ speak, but the weakness, and folly of that defign of redemption by him?

Thirdly, Unbelief includes in it the foreft fpiritual judgment that is, or can be inflicted in this world, upon the foul of man : even fpiritual blindness, and the fatal darkening of the understanding by Satan, 2 Cor. iv. 4. of which more hereafter.

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Fourthly, Unbelief includes a man under the curfe, and shuts him up under all the threatnings that are written in the book of God; amongst which, that is an exprefs, and terrible one, Mark xvi. 10. "He that believes not, fhall be damned." So that nothing can be more evident than this, that condemnation neceffarily follows unbelief. This fin and that punishment, are fastened together with chains of adamant. The ufes follow: Infer. 1. If this be fo, then how great a number of perfons are, vifibly, in the ftate of condemnation! So many unbelievers, fo many condemned men and women. That is a fad complaint of the prophet, Ifa. liii. 1. "Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Many there be that talk of faith, and many that profefs faith; but they only talk of and profefs it: There are but few in the world unto whom

the arm of the Lord hath been revealed, in the work of faith with power. It is put among the great myfteries and wonders of the world, i Tim. iii. 16. That Chrift is believed on in the world. O what a great and terrible day will the day of Chrift's coming to judgment be, when fo many millions of unbelievers fhall be brought to his tribunal to be folemnly fentenced! They are (as my text speaks) condemned already; but then that dreadful fentence will be folemnly pronounced by Jefus Chrift, whom they have defpifed and rejected: Then fhall that scripture be fulfilled, Luke xix. 27. "Thefe mine enemies that would not "that I fhould reign over them, bring them hither, and slay "them before me."

Infer. 2. Hence be informed how great a mercy the least meafure of faving faith is; for the least measure of true faith unites the foul to Jefus Chrift; and then there is no condemnation "to them that are in Christ Jefus," Rom. viii. 1. Not one fen. tence of God against them. So acts xiii. 39." By him all that "believe are justified in all things." The weakeft believer is as free from condemnation, as the strongeft; the righteoufnefs of Chrift comes upon all believers, without any difference. Rom. iii. 22. "Even the righteoufnels of God, which is by faith of "Chrift Jefus unto all, and upon all them that believe; for there " is no difference." It is not imputed, as it is in inherent righteoufness; one man hath more holiness than another: The faith that receives the righteousness of Chrift, may be very different in degrees of ftrength; but the received righteoufnefs is equal upon all believers: A piece of gold is as much worth in the hand of a child, as it is in the hand of a man. O the exceeding preciousness of faving faith!

Infer. 3. How dreadful a fin is the fin of unbelief, which brings men under the condemnation of the great God. No fin ftartles lefs, or damos furer: It is a fin that doth not affright the confcience, as fome other fins do, but it kills the foul more certainly than any of thofe fins could do: For, indeed, other fins could not damn us, were it not for unbelief, which fixes the guilt of them all upon our perfons. This is the condemnation. Unbelief is the fin, of fins; and when the Spirit comes to convince men of fin he begins with this as the capital fin, John xvi. 9. But more particularly,

First, Eftimate the evil of unbelief, from its object. It is the lighting, and refufing of the most excellent, and wonderful perfon in heaven or earth: the vifion of Chrift by faith, is the joy of faints upon earth; the vifion of Chrift above, is the happigels of faints in heaven. It is a defpifing of him who is altoge

ther lovely in himself, who hath loved us and given himself for

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It is a rejecting of the only Mediator betwixt God and man; after the rejecting of whom there remains no facrifice for fin.

Secondly, Let the evil of unbelief be valued by the offer of Chrift to our fouls in the gospel: It is one part of the great myftery of godliness, that Christ should be preached to the Gentiles, Tim. iii. 16. That the word of this falvation should be fent to us, Acts xiii. 26. A mercy denied to the fallen angels, and the greatest part of mankind, which aggravates the evil of this fin beyond all imagination. So that in refufing, or neglecting Jefus Chrift, is found vile ingratitude, highest contempt of the grace and wifdom of God; and in the event, the lofs of the only feafon, and opportunity of falvation, which is never more to be recovered to all eternity.

Infer. 4. If this be the cafe of all Unbelievers, it is not to be admired, that fouls under the first convictions of their miferable condition, are plunged into fuch deep diftreffes of spirit. It is faid of them, Acts ii. 27. "That they were pricked at the heart, ** and cried out, men and brethren, what fhall we do?" And so the jailor, "He came in trembling and aftonifhed, and faid, Sirs, "what must I do to be faved?" Certainly, if fouls apprehend themselves under the condemnation, and fentence of the great God, all in tears and trembling, their weary days, and restless Bights, are not without just cause and reafon. Thofe that never faw their own miferable condition by the light of a clear and full conviction, may wonder to fee others fo deeply diftreffed in Spirit. They may mif-judge the cafe, and call it melancholy or madnefs; but fpiritual troubles do not exceed the cause and ground of them, let them be as deep and as great as they will: And, indeed, it is one of the great mysteries of grace and providence ; a thing much unknown to men, how fuch poor fouls are fup. ported, from day to day, under fuch fears and forrows as are able, in a few hours to break the ftouteft fpirit in the world. Luther was a man of great natural courage; and yet, when God let in spiritual troubles upon his foul, it is noted of him, ut nec vox, nec calor, nec fanguis fupereffet; he had neither voice, nor heat, nor blood appearing in him.

Inf. 5. How groundlefs and irrational is the mirth and jollity of all carnal and unregenerate men? They feast in their prifon, and dance in their fetters. O the madness that is in the hearts of men! If men did but see their mittimus made for hell, or believe they are condemned already, it were impossible for them to live at that rate of vanity they do: And is their condition lefs

dangerous, because it is not understood? Surely no; but much more dangerous for that. O poor finners, you have found out an effectual way to prevent your prefent troubles; it were well if you could find out a way to prevent your eternal mifery: Bur it is easier for a man to stifle conviction, than prevent damnatiYour mirth hath a twofold mifchief in it; it prevents repentance, and increaseth your future torment. O what an hell will your hell be, who drop into it out of all the fenfitive, and finful pleasures of this world! If ever man may fay of mirth, that it is mad; and of laughter, what doth it! He may fay fo in this cafe.


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Infer. 6. Laftly, what cause have they to rejoice, admire, and praise the Lord, to eternity, who have a well-grounded confidence, that they are freed from God's condemnation? "O give thanks to the Father, who hath delivered you from "the power of darkness, and tranflated you into the kingdom "of his dear Son," Col. i. 13. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for if you be freed from condemnation, you are out of Satan's power, he hath no more any dominion over you. The power of Satan, over men, comes in by virtue of their condemnation, as the power of the jaylor, or executioner, over the bodies of condemned prisoners doth, Heb. ii. 14. If you be freed from condemnation, the fting of death fhall never touch you; for the fting of death fmites the fouls of men with a deadly stroke, only by virtue of God's condemnatory fentence. I Cor. xv. 55, 55. "The fting of death is fin, and the strength of fin is the law." If you be freed from condemnation now, you shall ftand with comfort, and boldnefs, at the judgment-feat of Christ, in the great day; and verily in this thing is the love of God perfected, 1 John iv. 17. O it is a privilege in which the grace, mercy, and love of God, fhine forth as clearly as the fun, when it shineth in its full ftrength. And certainly you will find caufe to lie at the feet of God, aftonished, and overwhelmed with the fenfe of this mercy, when you shall find yourselves free from the condemnation of God, whilft many others, as good as you were, are still under condemnation. Yea, yourselves freed, and many of your fuperiors in the world fill under the curfe, 1 Cor. i. 26. Yea, yourfelves freed and others, that fat under the fame means of grace, and had the fame external advantages you had, ftill in chains, 2 Cor. ii. 16. O brethren! This is a marvellous deliverance; look on it which way you will, your ranfom is paid, and not a penny of it by yon; it colt you nothing to procure your pardon; your pardon is full, and not one fia excepted out of it that you ever committed. You are freed,

SERM. XXXIII. and Jefus Chrift condemned in your ftead, to procure your difcharge; your pardon is fealed in his blood, and that for ever; fo that you shall never any more come into condemnation.

"He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that fent 46 me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condem"nation, but is paffed from death to life," John v. 24.

Let them that are fo delivered, spend their days on earth in praise, and chearful obedience; and, when they die, let them not shrink away from death, nor be afraid to take it by the cold hand, it can do them no harm. Yea, let them close their dying lips with, Thanks be to God for Jefus Chrift.

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Of the Aggravation of the fin, and Punishment of Unbelief under the light of the Gospel.

JOHN iii. 19. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, becaufe their deeds were evil.

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UT of the foregoing verfe it was fully proved in our laft fermon, that all Chriftlefs, and unregenerate men, are no better than dead men, being condemned already. Our Saviour proceeds in this verfe to aggravate the mifery of those that refufe, and defpife him; yet farther, and to let them know, that those who remain in unbelief, and the state of unregeneracy. muft expect fome greater, and forer wrath than other men; not only a fimple condemnation, but an aggravated, and peculiar condemnation. "This is the condemnation, that light is

66 come," &c.

In the words, we find these three parts.

1. The aggravation of fin, by the abuse of gofpel-light, "Light is come," &c.

2. The aggravation of mifery, in proportion to that abuse of light, "This is the condemnation."

3. The caufe, and occafion, drawing men into this fin and mifery, "Because their deeds were evil."

Firft, We have here the aggravation of fin, by the abuse of gofpel-light, "Light is come." By light we are to understand the knowledge, difcovery, and manifeftation of Chrift, and re

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