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plainest truths of God, yea, contradict them, our Saviour, 'What shall it profit a man to gain and cavil against them, when they can scarcely all the world and lose his own soul?' speak sense, and will believe them no farther O did you but know what matters they are than agrees with their foolish wisdom.
we are now speaking to you of! The saints in 2. As I know that God must needs be in heaven have other kind of thoughts of these the right, so I know the case is so palpable and things. If the devil could come to them that gross which he pleads against, that no man can live in the sight and love of God, and should have reason for it. Is it possible that a man can offer them all the luxuries of life to entice them have any good reason to break his master's laws, away from God and glory; I pray you tell me, reason to dishonour the Lord of glory, and rea- how do you think they would entertain the moson to abuse the Lord that bought him? Is it tion. Nay, if he should offer them to be kings possible that a man can have any good reason on the earth, do you think this would entice to damn his own immortal soul ? Mark the them down from heaven? O with what hatred, Lord's question, “Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye and holy scorn would they disdain and reject die ?' Is eternal death a thing to be desired ; the motion, and why should not you do so that are you in love with hell; what reason have you have heaven opened to your faith, if you had but wilfully to perish? If you think you have some faith to see it ? There is never a soul in hell, reason to sin, should you not remember that but knows by this time, that it was a mad exdeath is the wages of sin, and think whether you change to let go heaven for fleshly pleasure : have any reason to undo yourselves body and and that it is not a little mirth, a pleasure, or soul for ever? You should not only ask whe-worldly riches or honour, or the good will, or ther you love the adder, but whether you love the word of men, that will quench hell fire, or the sting. It is such a thing for a man to cast make him amends that loses his soul. O if you away his everlasting happiness, and to sin against had heard, what I believe, if you had seen what God, that no good reason can be given for it; I believe, and that on the credit of the word of but the more any one pleads for it, the more mad God, you would say, there can be no reason to he shows himself to be. Had you a lordship or warrant a man to damn his soul ; you durst not a kingdom offered to you, for every sin that you sleep quietly another night, before you had recommit, it were not reason but madness to ex-solved to turn and live. Could you by every sin obtain the If
you see a man put his hand in the fire till highest thing on earth that flesh desires, it it burn off, you marvel at it; but this is a thing were of no considerable value to persuade you that a man may have reason for, as bishop Cranin reason to commit it. If it were to please mer had when he burnt off his hand for subscribyour greatest and dearest friends, or obey the ing to popery. If you see a man cut off a leg, greatest prince on earth, or save your lives, or an arm, it is a sad sight; but this is a thing or escape the greatest earthly misery, all these a man may have good reason for ; as many a are of no consideration to draw a man in reason man doth to save his life. If you see a man to the committing of one sin. If it were a right give his body to be burned to ashes, and to be hand or a right eye that would hinder your sal- tormented with stripes and racks, and refuse devation, it would be your bounden duty to cast liverance when it is offered; this is a hard case it away, rather than
go to hell to save it. For to flesh and blood. But this a man may have there is no saving a part, when you lose the good reason for; and as many a hundred marwhole. So exceeding great are the matters of tyrs have done. But for a man to forsake the eternity, that nothing in this world deserves Lord that made him, and for a man to run into the once to be named in comparison with them, nor fire of hell, when he is told of it, and intreated to can any earthly thing, though it were life, or crowns turn, that he may be saved; this is a thing that can and kingdoms, be a reasonable excuse for mat- have no reason in the world, that is reason indeed, ters of so high and everlasting consequence. A to justify or excuse it. For heaven will pay for man can have no reason to cross his ultimate the loss of any thing that we can lose to get it, end. Heaven is such a thing, that if you lose or for any labour which we bestow for it. But it, nothing can supply the want, or make up the nothing can pay for the loss of heaven. loss ; and hell is such a thing, that if you suf- I beseech you now, let his word come nearer fer it, nothing can remove your misery, or give to your hearts. As
you are convinced
you have you ease and comfort. Therefore nothing no reason to destroy yourselves, so tell me what can be a valuable consideration to excuse you reason you have to refuse to turn, and live to for neglecting your own salvation. For saith God; what reason hath the worldling or drunk
ard, or ignorant careless sinner of you all, why | Or, do you think you may not have company you should not be as holy as any you know, and enough in heaven? Will you be undone for be as careful for your souls as any other? Will company? Or, will you not believe that God not hell be as hot to you as to others ? Should will execute his threatenings, because there are not your own souls be as dear to you as theirs so many that are guilty ?. All these are silly, to them? Hath not God as much authority unreasonable conceits. over you? Why then will ye not become a Object. 3. But all men are sinners, even the sanctified people, as well as they ?
best of you all. When God brings down the matter to the Ans. But all are not unconverted sinners. The very principles of nature, and shows you that godly live not in gross sins; and their very inyou have no more reason to be ungodly, than firmities are their grief and burden, which they you have to damn your own souls: if yet you daily long, pray, and strive to be rid of. Sin hath will not understand and turn, it seems a des- not dominion over them. perate case that you are in.
Object. 4. I do not see that professors are Now either you have reason for what you any better than other men: they will over-reach do, or you have not. If not, will you go on and oppress, and are as covetous as any. against reason itself? Will you do that which Ans. Whatever hypocrites are, it is not so you have no reason for? But if you think you with those that are sanctified. God hath thouhave, produce them, and make the best of your sands and ten thousands that are otherwise. matter, reason the case a little while with your Though the malicious world doth accuse them fellow creature, which is far easier than to rea- of what they can never proye, and of that wbich son the case with God. Tell me here, be- never entered into their hearts. And commonly fore the Lord, as if thou wert to die this hour, they charge them with heart-sins, which none why shouldest thou not resolve to turn this day, can see but God; because they can charge them before thou stir from the place thou standest in? | with no such wickedness in their lives, as they What reason hast thou to deny, or to delay ? | are guilty of themselves. Hast thou any reason that satisfies thine own Object. 5. But I am no whoremonger, drunkconscience for it? Or any that thou darest own ard, nor oppressor ; and therefore why should and plead at the bar of God? If thou hast, let you call upon me to be converted ? us hear them, bring them forth, and make them Ans. As if you were not born after the flesh, good. But alas, what false arguments, what ex- and had not lived after the flesh; as well as cuses, instead of sacred reasons, do we daily others. Is it not as great a sin, as any of these, hear from ungodly men ? But for their neces- for a man to have an earthly mind, to love the sity, I should be ashamed to name them. world above God, and to have a faithless uo
1. One saith, if none shall be saved but such humbled heart? Nay, let me tell you more, converted and sanctified ones as you talk of, that many persons who avoid disgraceful sins, heaven would be but empty; then, God help a are fast glued to the world, as much slaves great many.
to the flesh, as strange to God, and averse to Ans. What! it seems you think God doth not heaven in their more civil course, as others are know, or else that he is not to be believed: mea- in their more shameful notorious sins. sure not all by yourselves; God hath thousands Object. 6. But I mean nobody any harm, or and millions of his sanctified ones; but yet they do no harm; and why then should God conare few in comparison of the world, as Christ demn me? himself hath told us. It better beseems you to Ans. Is it no harm to neglect the Lord that make that use of this truth which Christ teaches made thee, the work for which thon camest into you ; •Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for the world, and prefer the creature before the strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that Creator; and neglect grace that is daily offered leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it; thee? It is the depth of thy sinfulness to be but wide is the gate, and broad is the way that insensible of it. The dead feel not that they leadeth to destruction, and many there be that are dead. If once thou were made alive, thou go in thereato_And fear not little flock, saith wouldst see more amiss in thyself, and marvel at Christ to his sanctified ones, for it is your Fa- thyself, for making so light of it. ther's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' Object. 7. I think you will make men mad
Object. 2. I am sure if such as I go to hell, under a pretence of converting them: it is we shall have store of company.
enough to rack the brains of simple people, to Ans. Will that be any ease or comfort to you? | muse so much on matters too high for them.
Answ. 1. Can you be more foolish than you falsely ? Surely if you believe not a particular are already ? Or at least, can there be a more eye of providence observing your hearts and dangerous madness, than to neglect your ever- lives, you cannot believe or expect any partilasting welfare and wilfully undo yourselves. cular providence to observe your wants and trou
2. A man is never well in his senses till he be bles, to relieve you. And if God had so little converted; he neither knows God, nor sin, cared for you, as you imagine, you would never nor Christ, nor the world, nor himself, nor what have lived till now : an hundred diseases would his business is on the earth, so as to set himself have striven which should first destroy you. Yea, about it till he be converted. The scripture the devil would have haunted you, and brought saith that the wicked are unreasonable men,' you away alive, as the great fishes devour the and that the wisdom of the world is foolishness less; and as ravenous beasts and birds devour with God ;' it is said of the prodigal, that when others. You cannot think that God made man he came to himself, he resolved to return. It is for no end, or use : if he made him for any, it a wise world when men will disobey God and was surely for himself. Can you think he cares run to hell for fear of being out of their wits. not whether his end be accomplished, and whe
3. What is there in the work that Christ calls ther we do the work that we are made for ? you to, that should drive a man out of his senses ? Yea, by this atheistical objection, you make Is it the loving of God, and calling upon him, God to have made and upheld all the world in and comfortable thinking of the glory to come, vain. For, what are all other lower creatures and the forsaking of our sins, and the loving of for, but for man? What doth the earth but one another, and delighting ourselves in the ser- bear us, and nourish us? The beasts serve vice of God? Are these such things as should us with their labours and lives : and so of the make men mad ?
rest. Hath God made so glorious an habitation, 4. And whereas you say,
that these matters and set man to dwell in it, and made all his serare too high for us, you accuse God himself vants: now doth he look for nothing at his for making this our work, giving us his word, hands; nor care how he thinks, or speaks, or and commanding all that will be blessed, to lives ? This is most unreasonable. meditate in it day and night. Are the matters Object. 9. It was a better world when which we are made for, and which we live for, did not make so much ado about religion. too high for us to study? This is plainly to Answ. 1. It hath ever been the custom to praise unman us, and to make beasts of us, as if we the time past. That world that you speak of, were like to them that must attend to no higher was wont to say, It was a better world in our matters than what belongs to flesh and earth ; if forefathers' days, and so did they of their foreheaven be too high for you to think on, and to fæthers. This is but an old custom, because we provide for, it will be too high for you ever to all feel the evil of our own times, but we see possess.
not that which was before us. 5. If God should sometimes suffer any weak- 2. Perhaps you speak as you think : worldheaded person to be distracted by thinking of lings think the world is best when it is agreeeternal things; this is because they misunder- able to their minds ; and when they have most stand them, and run without a guide. Of the mirth and worldly pleasure. I doubt not but two, I had rather be in the case of such a one, the devil, as well as you, would say, that then than of the mad unconverted world, that take it was a better world; for then he had more their distraction to be their wisdom.
service and less disturbance ; but the world is Object. 8. I do not think that God doth care best, when God is most loved, regarded and so much what men think, or speak, or do, as to obeyed. How else will you know when the make so great a matter of it.
world is good or bad, but by this ? Answ. It seems then you take the word of Object. 10. There are so many ways and God to be false, and then what will you believe? religions, that we know not which to be of; But your own reason might teach you better, if and therefore we will be even as we are. you believe not the scriptures : for you see God Answ. Because there are many, will you be doth not disneglect us, but that he vouchsafed in that way that you may be sure is wrong? to make us, still preserves us, daily upholds None are farther out of the way, than worldly, us, and provides for us; and will any wise fleshly, unconverted sinners. For they do not man make a curious frame for nothing ? Will err in this or that opinion, as many sects do; you make or buy a clock, or a watch, and daily but in the very scope of their lives. If you were look to it, and not care whether it go truly or going a journey that your life lay on, would you stop or turn again, because you meet some cross | easily will the light of that day confound and ways, or because you saw some travellers go the shame such reasons as these ? Had you the main-way, some the foot-way, and some per- world to look after ? Let the world which you haps break over the hedge, yea, and some miss served, now pay you your wages, and save you the way? Or would you not rather be the if it can! Had you not a better world to look more careful to inquire the way? If you have after first? And were ye not commanded to some servants that know not how to do your seek first God's kingdom and righteousness,' work right, and some that are unfaithful, would and promised, that other things shall be added you take it well at any of the rest, that would to you?' And were you not told, that godliness therefore be idle and do you no service, because was profitable to all things, having the promise they see the rest so bad ?
of this life, and of that which is to come?' Did Object. 11. I do not see that it goes any bet- the sins of professors hinder you? You should ter with those that are so godly, than with other rather have been the more watchful, and learned men. They are as poor, and in as much trou- by their falls to beware; and have been the ble as others.
more careful, and not to be more careless; it was Answ. Perhaps in much more, when God the scripture and not their lives, that was your sees it meet. They take not an earthly prosper. rule. Did the many opinions of the world binity for their wages. They have laid up their der you? Why, the scripture, that was your treasure and hopes in another world, or else they rule, did teach you but one way and that was are not Christians indeed. The less they have, the right way: if you had followed that, even in the more is behind : and they are content to so much as was plain and easy, you would never wait till then.
have miscarried. Will not such answers as these Object. 12. When you have said all that you confound and silence you? If these will not, can, I am resolved to hope well, and trust in God, God hath those that will. When he asks the and do as well as I can, and not make so much man, “Friend, how camest thou in hither, not ado.
having on a wedding garment ?' That is, what Answ. 1. Is that doing as well as you can, dost thou iu my church amongst professed Chris-, when you will not turn to God, but your heart tians, without a holy heart and life; what answer is against his holy and diligent service? It is did he make? Why, the text saith, he was as well as you will indeed; but that is your speechless,' he had nothing to say. The clearmisery
ness of the case, and the majesty of God, will 2. My desire is that you should hope and trust then easily stop the mouths of the most confiin God. But for what is it that you will hope ; dent of you, though you will not be put down is it to be saved, if you turn and be sanctified ? by any thing that we can say to you now, but For this you have God's promise; and therefore will make good your cause, be it ever so bad. hope for it, and spare not ; but if you hope to I know already, that not a reason that now you be saved without conversion and a holy life, can give me, will do you any good at last, when this is not to hope in God but in Satan, or your- your case must be opened before the Lord and selves : for God hath given you no such promise, all the world. but told you the contrary ; but it is Satan and Nay, I scarcely think that your own conself-love that made you such promises, and sciences are well satisfied with your reasons. For raised you to such hopes.
if they are, it seems then you have not so much Well, if these, and such as these, be all you as a purpose to repent: but if you do but purhave to say against conversion, and a holy life, pose to repent, it seems you do not put much your all is nothing, and worse than nothing; and confidence in your reasons which you bring if these and such as these seem reasons suffi- against it. cient to persuade you to forsake God, and cast What say you, unconverted sinners; have yourselves into hell, the Lord deliver you from you any good reason to give, why you should such reasons, from such blind understandings, not turn, and presently turn with all your heart ; and from such senseless hardened hearts. Dare or will you go to hell regardless of reason itselt? you stand to every one of these reasons at the Bethink you what you do in time, for it will bar of God? Do you think it will then serve shortly be too late to bethink you. Can you your turn to say, “Lord, I did not turn, because find any fault with God, or his work, or wages; I had so much to do in the world, or because I is he a bad master; is the devil, whom ye did not like the lives of some professors, or be- serve, a better; or is the flesh a better? Is cause I saw men of so many minds ?' How there any harm in a holy life? Is a life
cf worldliness and ungodliness better? Do | ishness, that makes children so delight in trifles, you think, in your conscience, that it would that they would not leave them for all your do you any harm to be converted, and live an lands ; so it is but foolish worldliness, fleshliness, holy life? What harm can it do you? Is it and wickedness, that makes you so much delight harm to you to have the Spirit of Christ within in your houses, lands, meat, drink, ease, and you, and to have a purified heart ? If it be honour, as that you would not part with them for bad to be holy, why doth God say, “be ye holy, heavenly delights. But what will you do for for I am holy? Is it evil to be like God? Is pleasure when these are gone? Do you not it not said, that “God made man in his own think of that? When your pleasures end in horimage? Why, this holiness is his image: this ror, and go out with a foul flavour, the pleasures Adam lost, and this, Christ, by his word and of the saints are then at the best; I have had Spirit, would restore you, as he doth to all that myself but a little taste of the heavenly pleahe will save. Why were you baptized into the sures in the fore-thoughts of the blessed apHoly Ghost; and why do you baptize your proaching day, and in the present persuasions children into the Holy Ghost, as your sanctifier, of the love of God in Christ ; but I have taken if ye will not be sanctified by him, but think it too deep a draught of earthly pleasures, so that an hurt to be sanctified ? Tell me truly, as be- you may see, if I be partial, it is on your side, fore the Lord ; though you are loth to live an yet I must profess, from that little experience, holy life, had you not rather die in the case of that there is no comparison : there is more joy those that do so, than of others? If you were to be had in a day, if the sun of life shine clear to die this day, had you not rather die in the upon us, in the state of holiness, than in a whole case of a converted man, than of the uncon- life of sinful pleasure. • I had rather be a doorverted—of an holy and heavenly man, than keeper in the house of God, than to dwell in of a carnal, earthly man? Would you not say the tents of wickedness; a day in his courts are as Balaam, · Let me die the death of the righte- better than a thousand any where else.' ous, and let my last end be like bis :' and why The mirth of the wicked is like the laughter will
you not now be of the mind that you will of a madman, that knows not his own misery : be of then ? First or last, you must come to therefore Solomon saith of such laughter, “it is this: either to be converted, or to wish you had mad; and of mirth, what doth it?— It is better been, when it is too late.
to go to the house of mourning, than to go to But what is it that you are afraid of losing, the house of feasting; for that is the end of all if you turn ? Is it your friends? You will but men, and the living will lay it to his heart: sorchange them: God will be your friend, Christ row is better than laughter; for by the sadness and the Spirit will be your friend, and every of the countenance, the heart is made better. Christian will be your friend. You will get one The heart of the wise is in the house of mournfriend that will stand in more stead than all the ing, but the heart of fools is in the house of
friends in the world could have done. The mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the ; friends you lose would have but enticed you to wise, than to hear the song of fools ; for as the ::: hell, but could not have delivered you ; but the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laugh
friend you get will save you from hell, and ter of a fool. All the pleasure of fleshly things bring you to his own eternal rest.
is but like passing vapour. Your loudest laughIs it your pleasures that you are afraid of los- ter is but like that of a man that is tickled, he ing; you think you shall never have a happy laughs when he hath no cause of joy. It is a day again, if once you be converted : alas, that wiser thing for a man to give all his estate, and you should think it a greater pleasure to live in his life, to be tickled to make him laugh, than foolish sports and merriments, and please your for you to part with the love of God, the comflesh, than live in the believing thoughts of glory, forts of holiness, the hopes of heaven, and to in the love of God, in righteousness and peace, cast yourselves into damnation, that you may and joy in the Holy Ghost, in which the state of have your flesh gratified with the pleasure of sin grace consists.
If it be a greater pleasure to for a little while. Judge as you are men, wheyou to think of your lands, and inheritance, if ther this be a wise man's part. It is your caryou were lord of all the country, than it is to nal unsanctified nature, that makes an holy life a child to play with toys, why should it not be a seem grievous to you, and a course of sengreater joy to you to think of the kingdom of suality seem more delightful. If you will but heaven being yours, than all the riches or plea- turn, the Holy Ghost will give you another nasures of the world ? As it is but foolish child-ture and inclination, and then it will be more