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miserable here. In common calamities, there is no difference between the righteous and the wicked. There is no peculiar antidote to secure them from pestilential infection; there is no strong retreat to defend thee from the sword of a conquering enemy: they have no secret provisions in time of famine ; for the wheat and the tares are bound in a bun. dle, and cast into the same fire: yea, oftimes the godly are in the worst condition, and merely on account of their goodness. They are daily oppressed, because they do not make resistance ; and loaded with sufferings, because they endure them with patience. They are for God's sake made the spectacles of extreme misery, while the insolent defyers of his majesty and laws enjoy all manner of visible felicity. And therefore, for the vindication of his justice, there must be a day of retribution, wherein God will reward every man according to his works. Divine justice requires that there should be a different procedure with those that differ among themselves; that it should be well with them that do well, and ill with them that do evil; and that every man should Teap according to what he hath sown.
Use 1. Labour to get a firm belief and persuasion of this great and awful truth. Alas! the most part of men are so busied about the affairs of this present life, that they do not mind the future. These awful words, death, judgment, and eternity, make no more impression upon their hearts, than if they were words of no signification. This is a truth of the greatest importance, and therefore is clearly and plenti. fully revealed in the holy scripture. Hearken then to the voice of this heavenly oracle, and believe and tremble at the thoughts of this awful day.
2. Think frequently on this terrible judgment, that the belief of it may be powerful on your hearts and lives. One great cause of men's woful neglect of duty is the want of serious thoughts concerning Christ's second coming. This Tenders them lazy and secure, so that they make no provision for it: but where it is firmly believed, and duly thought upon, O how active and diligent does it make them! It had this effect on Paul, 2 Cor. v. 9, 10, 11. Many put this day. far away, and set it at a remote distance from them; and this makes them stupid and secure. I have read of a minister, who in a sermon described the last judgment in all its terrors, with such ardent expressions, and those animated with such
an affecting voice, and such an inflamed countenance and action, that his hearers broke forth into passionate cries, as if the Judge himself had been present to pass the final sentence upon them. In the height of their commotion, the preacher bade them stop their tears and passions, for he had one thing more to add, the most affecting and astonishing consideration of all the rest, namely, that, within less than a quarter of an hour, the memory and regard of that which so transported them would vanish, and their affections return to their carnal objects in their usual manner. The neglect of serious consideration makes even the doctrine of eternal judgment to become without efficacy. It is needful, therefore, that the belief of this truth be so firmly seated in the heart, that it may engage the attention of the thoughts, and may have a royal power over the will and affections, that so our lives may be ordered according to its rules. Serious thoughts of this awful day would prove the most effectual restraint from sin ; and particularly.it would have a notable efficacy in keeping them back from secret sins, and deprive the devil of one of his greatest advantages against men, arising from solitude and secrecy. It would be a powerful remedy against sensual temptations, which so easily ensnare the hearts of men ; and would change the apprehensions of the mind, alter the taste of the appetite, and make the most enticing and irresistible lusts the objects of our greatest detestation.
3. We should fear and tremble at the thoughts of this awful day. The great ones in the world that are most powerful and unruly, may hence see that there is a power above them. Many oppose Christ and his interest now, saying, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us,' Psal. ii. 3. But they should remember that he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision,' verse 4. The day is hastening on, when ' he shall speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure,' ver. 5. He will break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel, ver. 9. The day is coming, when he shall appear in his power and great glory, and all the opposers of his cause and interest shall be sisted before his throne, and hear this dreadful sentence pronounced against them: “Those mine enemies that would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me,' Luke xix. 27.
4. Then this should make the saints patient under all their trials and sufferings. They have no reason to be ashamed of suffering disgrace for Christ; for he will abundantly reward them at the great day. Whatever injustice they have got ftom men, they will have righteous judgment from God. This should make them despise the reproaches and censures of their most malicious adversaries. There is a day appointed, wherein oppressed innocence shall obtain the noblest victory, and disgraced godliness the most public and highest honour. They may suffer under the tyranny of time, but they shall reign in the kingdom of eternity. The belief of this is enough to make them glory in the sharpest tribulations, and joyfully triumph over Satan with his perverted malignant world, Heb. xi. 25, 26. 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18.
5. Lastly, Make the Judge your friend in time, by receiva ing and embracing him as your only Saviour, offered to you as such in the gospel; and give all diligence that ye may be found in him, clothed with his righteousness, in that terrible day. There will be no standing before his awful tribunal,
be clothed in the garments of your elder brother; and there will be no access into the guest-chamber, unless ye have on the wedding-garment of imputed righteousness. Therefore kiss the Son, and be reconciled to him, and so shall ye appear before him as your Judge at the last day. Acquaint now yourselves with him, and be at peace; for thereby good shall come unto you, particularly that of a solemn acquittal in the last judgment. But if ye will not now submit unto the sceptre of his grace and righteousness, and subject yourselves to him as your only rightful Lord and Sovereign, willing to have him to reign over you, and to be ruled by his laws, ye shall not be able to stand in judgment, but be condemned with his enemies, and have your eternal habitation in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. Knowing therefore the terrors of the Lord, be persuaded to flee from the wrath to come, and so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
OF THE APPLICATION OF REDEMPTION.
AVING taken a view of our glorious Redeemer, in his
person, incarnation, offices, and his twofold state of humiliation and exaltation, let us now proceed to consider the application of that redemption which he purchased for us by his obedience and death.
If we cast our eyes backward to the preceding words, we find, (1.) Our wretched natural state, ver. 3. For we our selves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.' This is a dreadful picture of the depravity and misery of human nature; in which not only Pagans, who lived without God in the world, but Jews, the peculiar people of God, of which nation was Paul, were deeply involved. (2.) Redemption purchased for us by Jesus Christ, which is the way in which the love of God to man appeared. And this redemption is as extensive as the wretched condition of man. As all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, are by nature in a state of wretchedness, so redemption was purchased by Christ for both, and both are warranted to come to Christ for it; though none but the elect among both will obtain it. And in the text we have the application of that redemption, He saved us, &c. In which we have,
1. Sinful creatures made partakers of Christ's redemption. He saved us. He speaks of himself and other saints yet in the world, whom he says God has saved, saved by virtue of Christ's death, from sin and wrath, put them into a state of, and given them a right to, eternal complete salvation.
2. How they are made partakers of this redemption. Where we may observe, (1.) The impulsive cause : 'not according to our good works, these were not the moving causes of our salvation ; but his own mercy :' the same mercy that moved him to send our Redeemer, moved him to apply the redemption purchased by him. (2.) The way and manner of accomplishing it: By the renewing of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit makes the application of that re
demption, regenerating us, whereof baptism is the sign, and so renewing and making us new creatures. Thus, Christ made the salve for our sore, by his obedience and death, and the spirit applies it. Hence we have a proper answer
Quest. How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ ?'
Doct. Ans. "We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his holy Spirit.”
In handling this subject, I shall,
I. As to the purchase of redemption or salvation spoken of in the text, five things are to be considered.
1. What the redemption is. 1. It is a deliverance by pay. ment of a price, 1 Pet. i. 18. ' Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things,' &c. Sinners were the lawful captives of justice, Isa. xlix. 24. Shall the lawful captive be delivered?' And without shedding of blood there is no remission. This redemption consists of two parts. (1.) Deliverance from evil. (2.) Restoration to the good lost. (1.) Deliverance from sin, the chief evil, Matth. i. 21. He shall save his people from their sins. This is the house of bondage which our Redeemer finds all his people in, where they are in chains held fast to their drudgery. He came to deliver them and set them free from this slavery, Rom. vi. 6, 7. Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead, is freed from sin. (2.) Deliverance from wrath, 1 Thess. i. ult.— Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come.' The wages of sin being death, even eternal destruction of the sinner in hell, all mankind were liable unto it: but now a ransom is paid, whereby there is purchased to sinners freedom from wrath, the taking off the sentence of death lying on them, whereby they were bound over to everlasting misery.
2. Redemption includes in it a restoration to the good lost or a possession of all that happiness and all those blessings which men forfeited by the primitive transgression, which