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set before them, and that the formal church are shewing their formality by despising it. And shall you be found backward, who have with much patience been instructed in this mystery? I trust not. You surely will not break yourselves upon that Stone which was laid in Zion, nor be among those despisers on whom it shall fall and grind them to powder. Shew that the doctrine of the near coming of the Lord, which in an Apostle's mouth was so effectual in delivering the first Christians from all the powers of this present evil world, hath not lost its effect, at a time when we stand so much nearer, as we believe so very close upon, the event : shew that it is powerful to the destruction of Satan's kingdom in your soul. Let the politician be a politician no more, but the good citizen of a city not yet manifested. Let the
speculating tradesman be no more speculative, but patient in his industrious calling, waiting for the portion that is to come. Ye anxious mothers, be anxious for your children's advancement in Christ's, not in Satan's, kingdom. Ye careful housewives, care for the one thing needful, the good part, that shall not be taken away from you. Ye priests, have the house in order, for the Householder hath given note and warning of his coming. Ye masters of the vineyard, look to your accounts, for the reckoning time is near. Ye gods, execute righteous judgment, oppress not the poor, regard the widow and judge the fatherless; or ye shall die like men, and fall like Satan one of the princes. Ye rich men, weep and howl for the desolations that are about to come upon you : ye cruel oppressors, be terribly afraid, for the cry of the oppressed ones ascendeth unto the ears of the Lord God of Sabaoth. Ye kings and judges of the earth, do homage to the Son, lest ye perish from the way, if once his wrath begin to burn: blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Finally, dearly beloved brethren, in order to impress upon your minds the awful importance of all these things which I have laid down under this the third head of our discourse, I do entreat you to bear in mind the end and purpose of our Lord by the whole parable, which was no less than to assure his disciples, and all the world which would give him ear, that the word of the Gospel preached by him, and to be preached by his church until he should come again, would utterly fail of taking root; or, if it took a root, of producing ripe fruit, in any of those three great classes of men which we have shewn to be signified under the emblems of the way-side, the thin and stony soil, and the thorns—that is, the hard and proud of heart, the gay and light-minded, the busy and careful. I do pray you, to whom I preach this Gospel of the kingdom, to give good heed, and evermore to bear in mind the word and lesson of the Lord which we are enforcing, and not to lose it in the multitude of arguments and illustrations, which we bring from all quarters of human experience, in order to stir up all minds to thought, and all hearts to meditate. The lesson is this—for it will bear to be often repeated—that the preaching of the Gospel cannot prevail against any one of those conditions of the natural man treated of in the three preceding Lectures, which do, every one, present a sufficient barrier and obstacle to the power of the word of God.
For though it be true in the end, that the word of God shall pre
vail against all his enemies on the earth-for he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet—that is not to take place in the present dispensation, but the future one; which are never to be intermingled together : for if the forms and ideas of the Mosaic dispensation would not contain the Spirit of Christ, which was only the fulfilment of the former, both belonging to the earthly things, insomuch that the Lord compared the attempt to the foolish one of putting new wine into old rotten bottles, or new cloth into an old worn-out garment; how much less ought we to endeavour to bound and limit the things of the future dispensation within the ideas proper to this spiritual dispensation? Which is what they do when they would crush you the Millennium and all its glorious attributes into the narrow conditions of the elect church ; losing the very idea of election in universality, and the idea of universality in that of church. There is a church and a kingdom: the church is now, the kingdom is hereafter: and they may by no means, without great and grievous scandal to both, be confounded. Therefore I
say unto you, who live under the spiritual, not the royal dispensation of the word, that Satan hath still a place upon the earth ; yea, hath the kingdoms, and the glory of the kingdoms, and giveth them to whomsoever he willeth: and I give you to wit, that he hath many a numerous troop, marshalled under various commanders, whose quarters the word of God cannot reach ; of which army of Satan I have discovered the three great divisions, shewing you all their strong and their weak points : and I solemnly charge you that you cannot serve these and serve Christ also:
you cannot obey their word, and obey the word of God also : and whosoever is enamoured of his quarters in the present world, and content with his allowances, and preferreth to abide as he is, must die the death. There is no trimming between the world that is, and the world that is to come; there is no serving of God and mammon; there is no fellowship between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial, between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Therefore make up your account, brethren, and choose this day which ye will serve; the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, or the gods of this present evil world. If ye are prepared to serve God, then my preaching may profit you-that is, if I preach the true and faithful word of the kingdom-but if not, not. Therefore be resolved.
There is no middle course: him that is neither hot nor cold, the Lord is ready to spue out of his mouth.
Oh that the Lord would bring it home to men's minds, that there are things which the preaching of the word cannot accomplish,many, very many things: it cannot move a man against his will, it cannot cast Satan out whether the possessed man will or not. Even under our Lord's personal ministry, it required faith to be healed; and all the Divine wisdom and power of his doctrine, and all the miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit, could not convert the chiefs and leaders of that generation, who came to a fearful end. No more will it convert the proud spirits, the political spirits, the earthly spirits of this generation, that they might be healed. And why? because their several errors and delusions have blinded their eyes that they should not see, and closed their ears that they should not hear, and hardened their hearts that they should not understand. Every man who would receive the kingdom of Jesus, must come forth out of his city and cantonment, without the gate, bearing his reproach. He must be content to forsake all, and follow him. For his people do still dwell alone. They are still separate from all men. And you must come and join us. We tell you, citizens of the world, that you shall all perish; who have heard the Gospel and rejected it. Reject it, and you perish ; receive it, and take up your cross and come forth. We shall teach you how to bless those from whom you came out, to bless and not to curse, to profit them by a faithful and true witness for the sake of truth, and to condemn them if they reject it. But, above all, how to save your own souls, which cannot otherwise be saved but by this word which we preach unto you: That there is no name given under heaven, by which men can be saved, but the name of Jesus.