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eause he is a captive; a captive who cannot pay the price of his redemption, because he is overwhelmed with debt; a debtor who did not become miserable as by chance, for he is guilty, being all covered with crimes; not only guilty, for sometimes the guilty is in health, and rejoices; but he is seized with a mortal disease; not such a diseased one who can call the phy. sician, but is sunk in a deep sleep; not a sleeper only, who may awake, but dead; not a dead person who cannot offend, but such a dead one who is a rebel and an enemy against God, Tit. iii. 3. Eph. iv. 18. Col. i. 21 t. How humbling every line of the sinner's character! He is a bond servant, a captive, a debtor, guilty, sick, sleeping, dead, an enemy and an open re. bel. Therefore,

3dly. Such as die under the covenant of works must perish for ever. Being neither justified, nor sanctified in this world, they must be for ever miserable in that which is to come. They are not sanctified, inasmuch as they are not conformed to the preceptive part of the covenant; nor justified, being subjected to its penalty; and continuing in this state, what but damnation can be the end? The curse, not causeless, will at last come as an armed man, and like a whirlwind it shall hurl the sinner into destruction, He may sleep, but it lingereth not. It shall drive him away in his wickedness, cut off his presumptuous hopes like a spider's web, and cast him into hell. At two different periods it shall lay its iron hands upon him, viz. at death, and judgment.

1st. At death it shall arrest him and tear him in sunder; throwing his carcase into the grave, and his guilty soul into unquenchable fire. Death, as a most unwelcome messenger, shall sieze him in virtue of a broken covenant. It shall put a writ of summons into his bands, charging him to appear before the Judge of all the earth, to answer for all that he has done. The summons must be obeyed. The sinner could snuff at

† Pictet. Compend. p. 257.

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the gospel-offer, and jeer at those who brought it, but with this pale-faced messenger he must go. Rise he must, secure as he sat in his own apprehension, and bid an everlasting farewell to every thing in which his soul delighted. Through the dismal valley of death, he must go unaccompanied, unless with devils, and the ghosts of his guilt. At the dread tribunal of the Lord he must stand, covered with all his crimson crimes, and receive the sentence due. No shifts no evasions now. The Judge is all eye, and cannot be blinded; all justice and cannot be bribed; all power, and cannot be disobeyed. And, ah! now hell follows as on the heels of death, Rev. vi. 8.

2dly, At the general judgment, the curse of the covenant shall fall as in all its weight upon the sinner. Then he shall be brought forth of the grave, not in virtue of Christ's mediation, as shall the saints; but in consequence of the curse of the broken covenant: brought forth as from a prison, to the dreadful execution of the legal sentence. The body that joined in violating the covenant, shall also be a partner in the awful punishment. How the soul shall shudder at the thought of reunion with its body, knowing that thereby its capacity of pain shall be dreadfully enlarged, that it shall be a fitter subject for the gnawings of the deathless worm, and fitter fuel for the fire that can- . not be quenched. · But enter the body it must, and therein appear the second time before an angry God. All the sinner's guilt shall then be read aloud, before the whole intelligent creation, his own conscience being as a thousand witnesses against him. Seeing no. thing but wrath in the Judge's face, indignation in angels and saints, scorn in devils, and utter confusion in the wicked, he shall hear the irreversible sentence from the throne, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlast. ing fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. And now it is said, It is done. The breath of the Lord kindles a fire around them, which shall burn to the lowest hell. The flaming sword avenges the quarrel of his covenant, the fiery law heaps burning coals on their head, and casts them into a pit, whence they shall never, never rise.

And now all ye who are under the covenant of works, this shall be the portion of your cup,


die in such a state. But who, will some say, is under that covenant? Why, all ye, who never saw your wretchedness by nature, who never fled to Christ for righteousness and strength, who live as ye list, and not as the law directs. It is you, it is you whom the curse shall overtake, and whose foot shall slide in due time. Be wise, therefore. Suffer the word of exhortation, and flee from the wrath to come. Flee from the covenant of works to that of grace. The one is such a weak, and broken vessel, that it cannot bear the weight of one sinner. The other, having the cross of Christ for its bottom, and himself for its pilot, can carry all the seed of Adam, would they go on board of it. It is the only vessel bound for Immanuel's land. In it therefore ye must be, else ye shall never, never see heaven. In this ark of the covenant ye shall ride out every storm; but despising it, ye shall be engulfed as in a sea of wrath. "And will ye sinners, will ye still despise? That ye may not, I shall suggest two motives only, and have done.

1st. Consider who it is that warns you to flee unto the new covenant. The whole Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are all engaged here. This is the Father's commandment, that they should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, 1 John iii. 23. He has sent his Son, the highest messenger heaven could give, and he expects that him ye will reverence. Having made the covenant with him, he sent him to reveal it to sinners, and to solicit their acceptance. He is now saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him. Beware of him, obey his voice, and proyoke him not, for


Name is in him, and my covenant he brings near to you.

The Son, the Mediator, the Messenger of the Covenant, Mal. iii. 1. is standing as at its door, and saying to each of you, Come thou, and all thy house into the ark.

He came to our world to reveal the new covenant, and to fulfil its condition. Thus he dealt with both parties, God and sinners. With him as a Priest, with them as a Prophet. He staid till he had finished his work. He was employed in beseeching sinners, as long as he could, for he staid till it was expedient that he should go away, John xvi. 7. and therefore he could tarry no longer.

The Holy Ghost is beseeching your acceptance of Christ and his covenant. He saith, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, Heb. iii. 7. The constitution of the covenant belonged to the Father, the revelation to the Son, and the application of it to the Spirit. In pursuance of this his office, he is now striving with sinners, in mercy conquering some, and in awful judgment leaving others. He is standing and knocking as at your door, and ah! if once he depart, wo, wo, unto you. Death, and devils, and hell following the pale horse, shall enter next. Therefore,

2dly. Consider what will be the unavoidable consequence if ye reject the covenant of grace. There is no escaping, if ye neglect the great salvation, Heb. ii. 3. If ye appeal to Cæsar, to Cæsar ye must go. If ye will remain under the covenant of works, by that covenant ye shall be judged. If ye will not flee to the sanctuary, ye must be haled to the tribunal. If

ye despise the healing waters, ye must face consuming fire. Yet a little, and the draw-bridge of the covenant, so to speak, shall be taken up, the olive-branch of peace shall wave no more, but the black flag of ven. geance be hung out, and sinners irreversibly sealed up to destruction. Now is the gospel-day, and it is but a day; the night, the night, the black, the dark, the everlasting night, approaches fast. Mercy, so long a suppliant, will get as from her knees, wipe her tears and retire; and Justice, flaming justice, shall take the field against obstinate sinners. Against these briars and thorns it shall march, and burn them up together.

Ye who now despise shall perish then. The higher the privileges ye trample under foot, the deeper shall your

damnation be. Ye shall be more miserable than those who had not the gospel in such purity and plenty as you. Such as lived in those corners of the church where the silver trumpet gave in many cases an indistinct sound, it shall be more tolerable for them than for you. Heavier shall be your chain, and hotter your furnace, than those who never heard of the new covenant at all. They shall perish by their sins against the light of nature: you, by sin. ning against the exceeding riches of grace: ye shall perish, not because ye did not hear of Christ, but because ye would have none of him: not because the door of the new covenant was never opened to you, but because ye would not enter in. That breath of the Lord which now blows so sweetly in the gospel-offer, shall, like a stream of brim. stone, kindle Tophet's devouring fire around covenant-despising sinners. The memory of so many sermons, Sabbaths, and days of the Son of man, shall be like oil to the flame. These ministerial offers of Christ which seem now to die, soon as they have passed the preacher's lips, shall be engraven in your conscience, in characters deeper than eternity itself shall ever be able to efface. If he who despised Moses's law died without mercy, surely inconceivably sorer punishment is reserved for him who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith the Son himself was sanctified, an unholy thing; and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace, Heb. x. 28, 29. Thus, sinner, I have standing as on mount Ebal, shewed thee Thy covenant, a covenant under which thou wast born, to the curse whereof thou art exposed, and by which thou canst not possibly see heaven. I have also as from Gerizzim, shewed thee another and a better covenant which may be thine by faith, Zech. ix. 11. A covenant, by the blood of whicl}, thou a prisoner mayest come forth of the pit where.

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