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245 even the best of them; for thou canst do nothing but sin, canst do no good at all, Psal. xiv. 1. The opening of thy mouth to God in prayer or praise, is but like the opening of an unripe grave; all thy fair promises and engagements to duty, are but abominable deceit, Rom. iii. 13. The meddling with God's holy things, see what it is, Isa. Ixvi. 3. · He that killeth an ox, is as if he slew a man : he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck: he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood: he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol : yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. For a child of the devil can never please God in any thing, till hę come out from among them, and be separate, Heb. xi. 6.
3. There is nothing but rank poverty among them, nor ever will be, Rev. iii. 17. The best raiment among them to cover the soul's nakedness, is rags, filthy rags. And they must appear before God as their Judge; and that is all they have to hide their shame, and it will never do. The whole family is drowned in debt to the justice of God, and they have nothing wherewith to pay. Sin is the debt, and it will be exacted, and as long as ye are among them, ye cannot have a cautioner, for in the whole family there is not one that is able to answer for it. And there is no forgiveness of the debt, while ye remain among them, Acts iii. 19.
4. There is a cloud of wrath hangs above them continually, and abideth on them, and every one that is among them, John ii. ult. While ye are among them, your state is a state of wrath, and ye are children of wrath. There is never a gleam of light or favour towards you, Psal. vii. 11. There is never one word of God speaks peace to you. While ye dwell among them, ye dwell under Mount Sinai, that fiery mountain where the curses of a broken law are flying about your ears. And though being asleep ye are secure, ye shall no sooner be awakened, than ye shall see the fearful lightnings, hear the thunders of wrath, and the voice of the trumpet, &c. Therefore I would say to you, as Deut. i. 6. Come out from among them ; ye have dwelt too long in this mount.'
5. Death reigns among them. See where they sit, Matth. iv. 16. • In the region and shadow of death. The whole society are a parcel of condemned criminals, John iii 18. that know not how soon the sentence shall be executed upon them; their father the devil ready to be the executioner; they are all in a dying condition, their souls have got their death's wounds, and they are pining away in their iniquity, while in the mean time their eyes are held that they cannot see the preciousness of the Physician. Nay, they are dead already in a spiritual sense; God, the life of the soul, is departed far from them. O! why will ye stay in the congregation of the dead? Come out from among them to the Lord of life.
6. Lastly, They are not to stay in this upper house of the world; they will all be down in the lower house together ere long. The devil's upper house is a throng house now; but the day comes that God will set it on fire about their ears, 2 Pet. ii. 10. And then the whole family shall go away together into the bottomless pit, and be all under one roof, so as not one shall remain behind. There are some dropping down to it daily; yet the rest remain secure; but it will not be always so. There was a dreadful cry at Dathan and Abiram's downgoing, Num. xvi. 34. What a cry will there be, when the whole family shall go down together? Rev. xx. ult. Therefore I would say to you, as Num. xvi. 26. “Come out from among them; depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.'
Mot. 2. Come out from among them, and be ye separate; and the Lord will take you into his family, and that in the quality of sons and daughters. Ye have his word expressly for it in the text : and that has been the lot of all that came
And that this may take with you, consider,
1. The glorious society ye shall be taken into, being taken as children into God's family by adoption. The apostle declares this at large, Heb. xii. 22,—24.
2. I might say much to the commendation of the Father of the family. He is the most honourable, loving, helpful
, and rich father, the wisest father, and he is an immortal father. His children shall never be fatherless; let all the world leave them, they shall have a father to take them up. And while they are under minority, they shall have the best at
endants. The elder brother of the family is fairer than the sons of men, and he is of our nature, and will own us as of his flesh and of his bones, Eph. v. so. And the most loving to his adopted brethren; he died for them while they were yet in the devil's family. And he can do all with his Father,
having the entire management of the house of heaven, John v. 22. He is a most compassionate and merciful High Priest, The Spirit of the family is a noble spirit, that will spirit you for the greatest atchievements; a holy and sanctifying Spirit, that will make the vilest heart holy; a quickening Spirit, an enlightening Spirit. And all the children partake of this Spirit.
3. Ye shall have glorious privileges here; and, among the rest, establishment and perseverance in the family, John viï. 35. Come once in, and
shall never be cast out, and never get leave to fall out again.
4. Lastly, The full possession of your eternal inheritance in heaven, Matth. xxv. 34. He will give the kingdom to all
his children, sons and daughters. Your elder brother will ci give you to sit on his throne.
Come out from among them, then, unto Jesus Christ, and so be entered into God's family by adoption. Seemeth it a small thing to you to be children of the house of heaven, to have God for your Father, and ye to be his sons and daughters ; Believe this offer of the gospel, therefore, made to you, O children of the house of hell, and close with the offer of adoption into God's fainily, and receive the seal of it in the sacrament. I beseech you to accept it, nay, I charge you to come out from among them this day, and enter into God's family through Jesus Christ, under the pain of God's eternal displeasure. What ails you at it; the language of the hearts of many will be,
1. They do not like the laws of the house. They think it would be what would take away their liberty, and pent them up to intolerable bondage. Ans. No Satan's service is slavery, and the worst of slavery. If
If ye continue in it, your chains will be ever on you; the chains of your lusts are rattling about you now, 2 Tim. ii. 26. and the chains of wrath will be rattling about you through eternity, Matth. xxi. 13. But those of God's family enjoy true liberty, John viii. 36. And their liberty shall be enlarged after, and
very glorious, Rom. viii. 21. 2. They like not the society of the house. They think it is but the peevish silly part of mankind, the scum of the world, that trouble themselves with these things. Ans. No; they are the excellent in the earth, Prov. xii. 26. David, a king, thought them so, Psal. xvi. 3. Why do ye despise
them, but because they are of another spirit than the spirit of the devil's family ? Remember, that not many wise men after the flesh are called,' &c. 1 Cor. i. 26, 27, 28. But I assure you the main quarrel and the ground of this is, ye like not the Father of the family, and therefore not those that bear his image, 1 John y. 1. However, remember, that the day comes when you will say, O that my soul were in their souls stead! Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.'
3. Lastly, They do not believe any such thing, as that God will make men his sons and daughters. Ans. Then ye do not believe God's word in the text, John i. 12. Christ's death and sufferings must lose their end, Gal. iv. 4, 5. But ye will cured of that, if not before, yet at their receiving their inheritance as children, Matth. xxv. 34. when unbelievers get their doom.
But there may be some that would fain believe it, and that with application too, that they might come away and partake of it. But Satan and their hearts muster up objections against it; such as,
1. Was it ever heard, that there was an adoption where the party adopting was not childless ? Ans. God's ways are not man's ways. It is free grace only, and no need, that puts the heavenly Father to adopt any of his creatures. Yet there is a suitableness in it to the divine wisdom. God's family suffered a vast diminution by the spiritual death of children, and thus it is made up again.
2. But how is it consistent with the honour of the adopter to take men as children into his family? Ans. This is provided for by the incarnation of the Son; man's nature is thereby nobilitated. The Son of God became the Son of man, that so the sons of men might become the sons of God, in a consistency with God's honour.
8. But I am afraid God will never take me into his family. Ans. Wherefore, if ye come in by the door, through Jesus Christ? The greatness of your former sins will not hinder it, Isa. i. 18. the multitude of them, 1 John 1. 7. your backslidings neither, Jer, iii. 22, though ye have been the worst of sinners, 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, 11. In ye must be, or ye perish.
4. But Satan plies me at a terrible rate, so that I think I will never get away out from among them. Ans. When the devil apprehends his time short, he has great wrath. When the children of Israel were nearest their deliverance, Pharaoh made their bondage hardest. Be resolute, like the lepers of old.
5. Lastly, But I fear I will never be able to carry suitably to the character of one of the heavenly family. Ans. Take Christ for sanctification, put your heart and life in his hand this day, for purifying and managing it, Eph. v. 25, 26. • Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water, by the word.' Believe the promises of sanctification, and cleanly through bearing; look on them as sealed by the sacrament, and conscientiously use the means of holiness.
To shut up all, I testify to every one, that they are undone, for ever, if they come not out from among them, and be separate, and touch no unclean thing; and that there is nothing to hinder your entrance into God's family, if ye be content to come out from among them, and to close with Christ. He will receive you, and introduce you into his Father's family, entertain you at his table, and at length carry you to the upper house, where ye shall be for ever with the Lord.
1 CORINTHIANS vi. 11.-- But ye are sanctified by the Spi
rit of our God. N this verse the apostle tells the believing Corin- :
thians. 1. What some of them sometime were, such, viz. as those ver. 9, 10. · fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners;' even the worst and grossest sinners, who therefore could have nothing to move God to sanctify them.
2. What they now all were, viz. the true believers among them; they were “washed. Though some of them in their natural state were more unclean and vile than others, yet they all needed to be, and accordingly were washed,
(1.) In sanctification, whereby sin itself is gradually carried