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but the common lot. God be merciful to 118, we are all sinners, and there the repentance of most is done; their fores are healed, and they can live, and it may be die, without any fear in this case: such light apprezensions have most part of sin.
These, these it may be, are the apprehensions of not a few of you, upon hearing the charge: but if there be not blind minds, shut eyes, deaf ears and dreadfully hard hearts amongst us ; ere all be done, some of you will, it may be, change your minds, and think this a very dreadful and heavy charge. If God would now concur by his sprrit, and'enable us to manage our work to purpose, if he would let out of the convincing influences of his fpirit, the weight of this charge would press you so, as to make your hearts fail and sink within you. , · Sin is an ordinary word, a little word, and most men do apprehend that there is but little in it; but mistake it not, there is much in it, more than angels or men can ever discover, or fully unfold; yet that all this that we have said may not seem a groundless allegation, Inhall,, 1. set up to you some glasses, wherein you may get á view of fin's ugly face'; or I shall, as Balak did Balaam, take you to such places, where you may get a fight of its formidable nature, power and malignity. 2. I shall tell you of some dreadful and monstrous evils that are lodged in every sin, the lesit idle thought or word. And, 3. I shall inention fome killing aggravations that your fins are clothed with, that put an accent upon them, and inhance their guilt. And this will let you see the great evil of sin; this will open your indictment.
First. We thall give you some prospects of sin.
It may be many of you do think but very little of sin, but here I desire you to come and look at it,
I, In the glass of God's law. See the holy, the high and exalted God, exhibiting his mind and will in two tables, tables containing safe, good, holy, just, spiritual, and every way advantagious rules, for that creature, whom God has taken so distinguishing and particular a care of. Well, what shall we see of sin here? here, O here, you may see sin breaking, nay, dashing to pieces these · two tables, in a worse fenie than Moses did, Exod. xxxii. 19. Every sin, the least sin, throws them both to the ground, for as the apostle James tells is, Whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet of fend in one point, he is guilty of all, James ii. 10. Is it a small thing to you to trample upon, to tread under foot, the holy, the righteous law of God, that is, the perfect image and representation of all his holiness and spotless purity? but if yet ye will not see the cursed nature of sin, then we bid you, in the
2d Place, Take a view of it in the nature of the great God, the seat of all majesty, glory, beauty and excellency; and if you look at it here, O how ugly will it appear ! Nothing in all the world contrary and opposite to the nature of God, but fin. The meanest, the most apparently deformed creature in the world, the toad, the crawling infect, carries in its nature nothing really opposite to the nature of God: sin, only fin stands in opposition to him. This he cannot dwell with. Evil fall not dwell with him, nor finners stand in his Jight. Such is that abhorrence that God has at lin, that when he speaks of it, his heart as it were rises against it, Oh do not that abominable thing, which I hate; in that forecited Jer. xliv. 4. And
if yet ye will not see its sinfulness, I will take you where you may see some more of it. Go take a view of it,
3. In the threatenings of the law, and see there what estimate God puts on it, and what a thing it is. All the power of heaven, the anger, the fury, the vengeance of God, all are levelled at the head of fin. Take but one instance for all, in that vii of Joshua; there a people accustomed to victory, turn their back before the enemy, fall a prey to a people devoted to destruction; nay, moreover, God in the 12 ver. calls all the people, accursed, and tells, they cannot stand before the enemy, neither will I be with you any more, says he. Why, what is the matter ? wherefore is the heat of all this anger? what meaneth this vengeance? The matter was, there was a sin commitited, Achan had taken some of the spoil of the enemy. Thus you see, one sin makes God breathe · out threatenings against a whole nation. In fine,
look through the book of God, and there you shall see one-threatening big with temporal, another with eternal plagues; one full of external, another of internal and spiritual woes; and all as it were levelled at the head of sin. And is that a small matter which never fails to set all the vengeance of heaven against the person that is guilty of it? But yet this is not all, you may see more, if ye lgok at it,
4. In the judgments of God that are abroad in ,' the earth. Look we to one nation, there we shall
see thousands falling before the avenging enemy, the sword glutted as it were with blood; men who a little before were possessed of wisdom, courage, and all these endowments which serve to enhance the worth of the fons of men, are here laid heaps
upon heaps. Go we to another, there we shall fee no fewer carried off by sickness and diseases, and all wearing out by time. 'Go to church-yards, and fee what vast havoc thefe do make; there you may fee the rubbish of many generations laid heaps upon heaps. Well, see you nothing of fin in all this? What think you of all these lamentable evils, miseries and woes? Why, see you anothing of sin in them all? Sure you are blind if you do not. I ask you as Jehu did, when he saw the dead sons of Achab, 2 Kings x. 9. Who few all these? Who brought all these fons of pride, who not long ago were strangely ruffling it out in the light of warlike glory, down to the sides of the pit? who filled your church-yards with heaps upon heaps, fathers and fons, high and low, rich and poor, of all sexes, ranks, ages and degrees ? Surely sin has done this; for as by one man fin ens tered into the world, and death by fin: and so death
passed upon all men, for that all have finned, Rom. 7. V. 12. But if still you will look upon sin as a small
and light thing, we have yet another glass where in you may have a further sight of it.
5. Enter the house of a soul under trouble of conscience; look at a Heman, and you shall hear him making an heavy mone in that lxxxviii. Pfalm: there you see a man that has a soul full of trouble, oppressed with all the waves and billows of the wrath of God, almost distracted with the terrors of God. Now, if you saw one in this case crying out in anguish of spirit; nay, it may be, tearing himself, beating his breast; ask him the reason of all this distress, he will tell you, That it is fin that has done all this. He has no rest in his bones for ills that he has done, Pfal. xxxviii. 3. And if yet ye have not seen enough of the linful
ness and evil of sin, I shall give you another proSpect of it,
6. In the hateful, monstrous and enormous crimes that are commited in the world. Some sins there are which bring along with them infamy and disgrace, even before men. Human nature, as corrupt as it is,, shrinks at some sins, they carry in thein such an evident contrariety to the faint remains of natural light. Sins there are, which, as the apostle says, 1. Cor. y. 1. are not so much as named among the Gentiles. Now if a man be guilty of any of these crying abominations, thefe crimson sins, then he becomes odious in the world. Call a man a murderer, an incestuous perfon, an abuser of his parents, or the like, every fober person will flee from, and evite as a pest the company of such an one: but why? what is the matter? what is there so odious in these crimes, that every one flees from the person guilty of them? there is sin in them; and hence it is, they are so hateful: and the only thing that distinguisheth thefe from others, is, That they have different circumstantial aggravations: for in the nature of sin they all do agree, the least and the greatest; the least sin strikes at the holy law of God, contemns the authority of the great and supreme lawgiver, as well as the greatest doth. And if sin be lo odious when you get a fuller view of it, as it were in thefe large, these great and crying provocations, it is no less so, when it is less perceptible in these sins which quadrate better with our vitiated and corrupted natures; for indeed the difference among fins, as to greater and less, lies not so much in the nature of the fins, as in their dif ferent respect to our understanding, arising from the objects about which they are conversant. But