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book of your account; think not you shall return as you came; the word will have its effect; it shall not return in vain, but shall accomplish the end for which it is sent. Isa. 55:11. The decrees of heaven are executed by the gospel ; some souls shall be quickened, and others shall be slain by the word of God's mouth. The gospel is a river of the water of life, which quickens and refreshes every thing that lives; but the miry and marshy places shall not be healed. Ezek. 47:11. How weighty, therefore, is that caution of our Lord, "Take heed how ye hear." Luke 8:18. When you come under an ordinance, you are sowing seed for eternity, which will spring up in the world to come. Preaching and hearing may be considered two ways, physically and morally; in the former respect, these acts are quickly over and pass away. I shall by and by have done preaching, and you hearing; but the consequences thereof will abide for ever. Therefore, for the Lord's sake, away with formality; no more drowsy eyes or wandering thoughts. Oh, when you come to attend upon the ministry of the gospel, that such thoughts as these may prepare your minds: The word I am going to hear will quicken or kill, save or condemn my soul; if I sit dead under it, and return barren from it, I shall wish one day that I had never seen the face nor heard the voice of the minister who preached it.

4. What a dreadful condition are all those in who are enemies to the gospel and those who preach it: who, instead of embracing and obeying the message of the gospel, reject and despise it; instead of opening their hearts to receive it, open their blasphemous mouths to deride it, and hiss it, if it were possible, out of the world. Ah, what a book of remembrance is written for such men. I fear that never, since Christianity blessed this nation, was there an age more deeply drenched in the guilt of this sin than the present. How are the messengers of the gospel slighted and rejected! What have we done to deserve it? Is not our

case this day much like that of the prophet? "Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them." Jer. 18:20. What brutish madness hath possessed the souls of these men! But alas, it is not so much they, as Satan acting in them; he is a jealous prince, the gospel alarms him, his subjects are in danger of revolting from him: no wonder, therefore, he makes an outcry at the preaching of the gospel, as is usually made when an enemy invades a kingdom. In this case Christ directs his ministers to shake off the dust of their feet for a testimony against them. Mark 6:11. The meaning of which is this, that as you shake off the dust of your feet, even so Jesus Christ will shake off those men who despise the gospel and abuse his messengers.

5. Hence it likewise follows, that the case of the heathen world will be easier in the day of judgment, than theirs who live and die unregenerate and disobedient under the gospel of Christ. There are more witnesses prepared, and records filed against the day of your account, than can possibly be against them: they have abused but one talent, the light of nature; but we thousands, even as many as we have had opportunities and calls under the gospel. Upon this account Christ saith, "Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily, I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than for that city." Matt. 10:14, 15.

Ah, what a fearful aggravation does it put on our sin and misery, that we are not only accountable for all the light we had, but for all that we might have had in the gospel-day. Capernaum was lifted up to heaven in the enjoyment of means and precious opportunities, Matt. 11 : 23; and had an answerable downfall into the depth of misery

from that height of mercy; as the higher any one is lifted up upon a rack, the more terrible is the injury he receives by the fall.

6. We may also infer, that the day of judgment must take up a vast space of time. God will bring every thing into judgment, Eccl. 12:14: not only sinful actions, but words, Matt. 12:36; not only words, but heart-secrets. Rom. 2:16. If all the records and registers now made shall then be opened and read, all the witnesses for or against every man examined and heard, judge then what a vast space of time will that great day take up. This is sure, things will not be huddled up, nor shuffled over in haste; you have taken your time for sinning, and God will take his time for judging.

Consider the multitudes, multitudes without number, who are to be judged in that day, even all the posterity of Adam, which are as the sand upon the sea-shore; that not only so many persons, but all that they have done, must come into judgment, even the very thoughts of their hearts which never came to the knowledge of men; their consciences to be interrogated, and all other witnesses fully heard: how great a day must this day of the Lord be.

But the main use of this point will be for EXHORTATION, that seeing all the offers of Christ are recorded and witnessed, with respect to a day of account, every one of you would immediately embrace the present gracious tender of Christ in the gospel, as you hope to be acquitted in that great day take heed of denials, nay, even of delays; "for if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" Heb. 22, 3. The question is put, but no answer made: 'How shall we escape?" The wisdom of men and angels cannot tell how. To enforce this exhortation, I shall



present you with ten weighty considerations, which may the Lord follow home, by the blessing of his Spirit on all your hearts.

7. Consider how invaluable a mercy it is that you are yet within the reach of offered grace. The mercies set before you this day, were never set before the angels who fell; no Mediator was ever appointed for them. O astonishing mercy! that those vessels of gold should be cast into everlasting fire, and that such clay vessels as we are, should be thus put into a capacity of greater happiness than ever they fell from; nay, the mercy offered to you is not only denied to the angels that fell, but to the greatest part of your fellow-creatures of the same rank and dignity with you: "He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 147: 19, 20. A mercy deservedly celebrated with a joyful Alleluia. What vast tracts are there in the world where the name of Christ is unknown; it is your special mercy to be born in a land of Bibles and ministers, where it is as difficult for you to avoid the light, as it is for others to behold and enjoy it.

8. Consider the nature, weight, and worth of the mercies which are this day freely offered you. Certainly they are mercies of the first rank, the most precious and necessary among all the mercies of God. Christ the first-born of mercies, and in him pardon, peace, and eternal salvation are set before you it would be surprising to see a starving man refuse offered bread, or a condemned man a gracious pardon. Lord, what a compound of sloth and stupidity are we, that we should need so many entreaties to be happy.

9. Consider who it is that makes these gracious tenders of pardon, peace, and salvation, to you; even that God whom you have so deeply wronged, whose laws you have violated, whose mercies you have spurned, and whose wrath

you have justly incensed. His patience groans under the burden of your daily provocations: he loses nothing if you are lost, and receives no benefit if you are saved; yet the first motions of mercy and salvation to you freely arise out of his grace and good pleasure. God entreats you to be reconciled. 2 Cor. 5:20. The blessed Lord Jesus, whose blood thy sins have shed, now freely offers that blood for thy reconciliation, justification, and salvation, if thou wilt but sincerely accept him ere it be too late.

10. Reflect seriously upon your own vileness, to whom such gracious offers of peace and mercy are made. Thy sins have set thee at as great a distance from the hope of pardon, as any sinner in the world. Consider, man, what thou hast been, what thou hast done, and what vast heaps of guilt thou hast contracted by a life of sin; and yet, that unto thee pardon and peace should be offered in Christ after such a life of rebellion, how astonishing is the mercy. The Lord is ready to pass by all thy former rebellions, thy deepdyed transgressions, and to sign an act of oblivion for all that is past, if now at last thy heart relents for sin, and thy will bows in obedience to the great commands and calls of the gospel. Isa. 55:2; 1:18.

11. Consider how many offers of mercy you have already refused, and that every refusal is recorded against you; how long you have tried, and even tired the patience of God already, and that this may be the last overture of grace that ever God will make to your soul. Certainly there is an offer that will be the last offer, a striving of the Spirit which will be his last striving; and after that, no more offers without you, no more motions or strivings within you for evermore. The treaty is then ended, and your last neglect or rejection of Christ recorded against the day of your account; and what if this should prove to be that last tender of grace which must conclude the treaty between Christ and you? what an undone wretch must you then be,

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