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purchased by my sin will signify no more to me than if they had never been, and all their alluring relishes will be gone and forgotten for ever; but then for ten thousand millions of ages after, I shall be feeling the smart and enduring the stings of them. When all my ill-gotten wealth is shrunk into a winding-sheet, and my vast possessions into six foot of earth, and I have none of its pomps or pleasures left, either to go along with or to follow after me, then will the guilt of all stick close to me, and raise a cry on me as high as the tribunal of God; a cry that will draw down an everlasting vengeance on my head, and ring peals of thunder in my conscience for ever. Lord! what a poor amends then is the momentary enjoyment of the goods of this world to me, that after a few years must pass into another, and there
, languish away a long eternity under the intolerable anguish of a damned spirit!
And thus you see, upon a just survey of the gains of this world, and the loss of a soul, how infinitely short the happiness of the one is to make us any tolerable compensation for the miseries of the other. And if the gain of all the world be too little to countervail this loss, what miserable losers are the generality of men, that forfeit their souls upon a far less valuable consideration! For no man was ever yet, or is ever like to be, so prosperous in his sin, as to gain the whole world by it; that is a scramble in which millions are engaged, and of which every one will be catching a share. But, alas! for the generality, the purchase of men's sin is so small and inconsiderable, that it is scarce a valuable consideration for the soul of a rat. For what doth the common swearer get by all his senseless and impertinent oaths, which are
capable of serving no other purpose but only to stop the gaps of his speech, or to man his rage, that he may rave and play the fool a little more genteelly? What doth the drunkard gain by all his intemperances, but only a short fit of frantic mirth and extravagant jollity; which, after a few hours, ends in a sleepless night, a sick and uneasy stomach, and a sottish confusion over all his senses? What doth the envious and malicious man get by all his studied mischiefs and revenges ? When he hath plucked out his enemy's eye, he cannot put it into his own head, nor can he increase the stock of his own happiness by diminishing his adversary's. When he hath made another the worse, he is never the better for it; nor do his injuries grow less by being retaliated : so that he vexes and disquiets himself to no purpose but to make his enemy bleed; he keeps his own wound green, and
, consequently multiplies evils in vain, and prosecutes mischief only for mischief's sake. I confess, there are some vices that are not altogether so unprofitable as these; in some vices there is a prospect of worldly gain and greatness, in others of sensitive pleasure and delight; but, alas ! when after a few days' enjoyment of those gains and pleasures, I am called away from them, and transported into a woful eternity, there to expiate the guilts of them with those sharp and everlasting torments I shall be made to endure, how shall I be astonished at my own desperate folly, to think what a mad bargain I have made! what a happiness I have sold to purchase those gains ! what a misery I have incurred to grasp and enjoy those pleasures ! O, now what would I give for a gaol-delivery from hell, or but for the least mitigation of my agonies and torments! If I had all the
wealth that I purchased by my sin, and ten thousand times more, how willingly would I part with it, to bribe my flames and corrupt my tormentors ! O, now I shall wish a thousand and a thousand times that I had rather chosen to famish for want of bread, than to enjoy those accursed profits and pleasures that were the fruits and wages of mine iniquities; but now, alas ! it will be too late to repent. As yet we have the opportunity to retrieve our own folly, and to revoke and cancel this our desperate bargain ; and by our serious repentance and hearty renunciation of the temptations of this world, we may release ourselves from our covenant with death and agreement with hell. But if we outstay our opportunity a few moments longer, till death hath put an end to it, the fatal bargain will be sealed past all revocation.
JOHN I. 14.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we
beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of his Father,) full of grace and truth.
. THESE words contain three distinct propositions.
I. The Word was made flesh.
II. And dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
III. And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of his Father.
Of each of these I intend to discourse in their order.
I. The first is, That the Word was made flesh. In handling of which I shall do these three things :
1. Shew you what we are here to understand by the Word.
2. Why it is called the Word.
3. What we are to understand by the Word's being made flesh.
1. What is meant by the Word ? I answer in general, that by the Word here we are to understand Christ; for in the following verse you will find that this Word was he of whom John the Baptist was the forerunner, and to whom he bare witness, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me. And in the other evangelists you will find that it was Christ whose forerunner the Baptist was, and to whom he gave this testimony, as you may see at your leisure, Matt. iii. 11. Mark i. 7. Luke iii. 16. where you find John Baptist giving the same testimony to Christ which here. he gives to the Word, especially verse 27. of this chapter : which is a plain evidence that Christ and the Word are only different titles of the same person. But that I may more par
Ι ticularly explain to you the meaning of this phrase, I will briefly deliver my sense of it in these following propositions :
1. That this phrase, the Word, as it is by way of eminence applied to a particular subject, is derived into the New Testament from the theology of the Jews and Gentiles.
2. That the New Testament giving no distinct explication of it, it is most safe and reasonable to fetch the sense of it from that ancient theology whence it was derived.
3. That the theology from whence it was derived uses it to signify a vital and divine subsistence.
4. That therefore our Saviour, to whom it is applied in the New Testament, is that vital and divine subsistence.
1. That this phrase, the Word, as it is by way of eminency applied to a particular subject, is derived into the New Testament from the theology of the Jews and Gentiles : which will plainly appear to any one that shall consider the exact agreement between those titles and characters which are given to our Saviour in the New Testament, and those which the Jews and Gentiles give to the Word, so often mentioned in their theology. For as for this phrase ó Móyos, the Word, it is very anciently used in the writings both of Jews and Gentiles, For Rab. Aza