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as if the voice were still in 66 your ears: turn, or die?" O happy were your fouls if it might thus work with you, and never be forgotten, or let you alone till it have driven home your hearts to God.-But if you will caft it out by forgetfulness or unbelief, how can it work to your converfion and falvation? But take this with you to your forrow, though you may put this out of your minds you cannot put it out of the Bible, but there it will ftand as a fealed truth, which you fhall experimentally know forever, that there is no other 66 but way turn or die.'
O what is the matter then that the hearts of finners be not pierced with fuch a weighty truth? A man would think now that every unconverted foul that hears thefe words fhould be pricked to the heart, and think with themfelves, this is my own cafe,' and never be quiet till they found themselves converted. Believe it, Sirs, this drowfy carelefs temper will not laft long. Converfion and condemnation are both of them awakening things, and one of them will make you feel ere long. I can foretel it as truly as if I faw it with my eyes, that either grace or hell will fhortly bring thefe matters to the quick, and make you fay,
What have I done? what a foolish wicked courfe have I taken?' The fcornful and the ftupid ftate of finners will laft but a little while; as foon as they either turn or die, the prefumptuous dream will be at an end, and then their wits and feeling will return.
BUT I foresee there are two things that are like to harden the unconverted, and make me lofe all my labour except they can be taken out of the way; and that is the mifunderstanding of thofe two words (The wicked) and (Turn.) Some will think to themselves, it is true the wicked muft turn or die; but what is that to me, I am not wicked, though I am a finner, as all men be: Others will think, it is true that we auft turn from our evil ways, but I am turned long
ago, I hope this is not now to do. And thus while wicked men think they are not wicked, but are already converted, we lofe all our labour in perfuading them to turn. I fhall therefore before I go any further, tell you here who are meant by the wicked; and who they be that must turn or die; and also what is meant by turning, and who they be that are truly converted : And this I have purpofely referved for this place, preferring the method that fits my end.
And here you may obferve, that in the fenfe of the text, a wicked man and a converted man are contraries. No man is a wicked man that is converted; and no man is a converted man that is wicked; fo that to be a wicked man and to be an unconverted man, is all one; and therefore in opening one, we fhall open both.
Before I can tell you what either wickedness or con. verfion is, I must go to the bottom and fetch up the matter from the beginning.
It pleafed the great Creator of the World to make three forts of living creatures: Angels he made pure fpirits without flesh, and therefore he made them only for heaven, and not to dwell on earth. Brutes were made flesh without immortal fouls, and therefore they were made only for earth, and not for heaven. Man is of a middle nature, between both, as partaking of both flesh and fpirit, and therefore he was made both for heaven and earth. But as his flesh is made to be but a fervant to his fpirit, fo is he made for earth but as his paffage or way to heaven, and not that this fhould be his home or happinefs. The bleffed ftate that man was made for, was to behold the glorious majefty of the Lord, and to praife him among his Holy Angels, and to love him, and be filled with his love forever. And as this was the end that man was made for, fo God did give him means that were fitted to the attaining of it. Thefe means were principally two: For the right inclination and difpofition of the
mind of man. Secondly, The right ordering of his life and practice. For the firft, God fuited the difpofition of man unto his end, giving him fuch knowledge of God as was fit for his prefent ftate, and an heart difpofed and inclined to God in holy love. But yet he did not fin or confirm him in this condition, but, having made him a free agent, he left him in the hands of his own free will. For the fecond, God did that which belonged to him; that is, he gave him a perfect law, required him to continue in the love of God and perfectly to obey him. By the wilful breach of this law, man did not only forfeit his hopes of everlasting life, but also turned his heart from God, and fixed it on these lower fleshly things, and hereby did blot out the spiritual image of God from his foul; fo that man did both fall fhort of the glory of God, which was his end, and put himfelf out of the way by which he should have attained it, and this both as to the frame of his heart, and of his life. The holy inclination and love of his foul to God he lost, and instead of it he contracted an inclination and love to the pleafing of his flesh, or carnal felf, by earthly things! growing strange to God and acquainted with the creature: And the courfe of this life was fuited to the bent and inclination of his heart; he lived to his carnal self, and not to God; he fought the creature for the pleasing of his flesh inftead of feeking to please the Lord. With this nature or corrupt inclination we are all now born into the world; for for who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" Job xiv. 4. As a lion hath a fierce and cruel nature before he doth devour; and an adder hath a venomous nature before fhe fting, fo in our infancy we have thofe finful natures or inclinations, before we think, or speak, or do amifs, And hence fpringeth all the fin of our lives; and not only fo, but when God hath of his mercy, provided us a remedy, even the Lord Jesus Christ, to be the Saviour of our fouls, and bring us back to God again, we naturally
love our present state, and are loth to be brought out of it, and therefore are fet against the means of our recovery, and though cuftom hath taught us to thank Chrift for his good will, yet carnal felf perfuadeth us to refufe his remedies, and to defire to be excufed when we are commanded to take the medicines which he offereth, and are called to forfake all and follow him to God and glory.
I pray you read over this leaf again, and mark it, for in thefe few words you have a true defcription of our natural state, and confequently of a wicked man; for every man that is in this ftate of corrupted nature is a wicked man, and in a state of death.
By this alfo you are prepared to understand what it is to be converted; to which end you must further know, that the mercy of God, not willing that man fhould perifh in his fin, provided a remedy, by caufing his Son to take our nature, and being, in one perfon, God and, man, to become a Mediator between God and man, and by dying for our fins on the cross, to ranfom us from the curfe of God, and the power of the devil; and having thus redeemed us, the Father hath delivered us into his hands as his own. Here úpon the Father and the Mediator do make a new law and covenant for man, not like the firft, which gave life to none but the perfectly obedient, and condemned man for every fin; but Chrift hath made a Law of Grace, or a promise of Pardon and Everlasting Life to all that, by true repentance, and by faith in Chrift, are converted unto God; like an act of oblivion, which.. is made by a prince to a company of rebels, on condition they will lay down arms and come in, and be loyal fubjects for the time to come.
But, because the Lord knoweth that the heart of man is grown fo wicked that, for all this, men will not. accept of the remedy if they be left to themselves, therefore the Holy Ghoft hath undertaken it as his of fice to infpire the Apoftles and feal up the Scriptures
by miracles and wonders, and to illuminate and cou vert the fons of the elect.
So that by this much you fee, that as there are Three Perfons in the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghoft, fo each of thefe perfons have their feveral works, which are eminently afcribed to them.
The Father's works were, to create us, to rule us, as his rational creatures, by the law of nature, and judge us thereby, and in mercy to provide us à Redeemer when we are loft, and to fend his Son and accept his ranfom.
The works of the Son, for us were thefe: To ranfom and redeem us by his fuffering and righteoufnefs, to give out the promife or law of grace, and rule and judge the world as their Redeemer on terms of grace, and to make interceffion for us that the benefits of his death may be communicated, and to fend the Holy Ghoft (which the Father alfo doth by the Son.)
The works of the Holy Ghoft, for us, are thefe, to indite the holy Scriptures, by infpiring and guiding the Apostles and fealing the word, by his miraculous gifts and works, and the illuminating and exciting the ordinary minifters of the gofpel, and fo enabling them and helping them to publifh that word; and by the fame word illuminating and converting the fouls of men. So that as you could not have been reasonable creatures, if the Father had not created you, nor have had any access to God if the Son had not redeemed you, fo neither can you have a part in Chrift, or be faved except the Holy Ghoft do fanctify you. i So that by this time you may fee the feveral caufes of this work: The Father fendeth the Son, the Son redeemeth us and maketh the promife of grace: the Holy Ghoft inditeth and fealeth this gofpel; the A poftles are the fecretaries of the fpirit to write it; the preachers of the gofpel to proclaim it and perfuade them to open it; and the Holy Ghoft doth make