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that Effe&ts have upon their Causes, it is more than probable, that tho'God had not pronounc'd, that in the Day that Adam finn'd he bosld surely dye ; yet sin without this po. fitive and Express Curse of God upon it, by its Own Efficiency,would have brought Mor. tality into the World ; and not only the Wages, but the very Work of Sin, would have been Death. But it is not of This, the First Death, but of the Second Death, even everlasting Deach, that the Apostle here speaks. And when all the Other milder Arguments can take no place ; when the Emptiness and Vanity, the Infamy, Baseness and Shameful Nature of Sin,can't withdraw us from it, when all the other different ways, which God uses to draw us to himself, by working upon our Hope, by all the Glorious Rewards he has promis’d, or upon our Love and Gratitude, by his Infinite Goodness and Mercy, and Loving Kindness, prove alike ineffeétual; what is there left · to awaken Wretches, fo Atupidly-ipfenfible, but to rouse up all their Fears, with the dismal denunciation of certain Destruction and eternal Death. Death Eternal, I say, for so the Antithesis, which the Apostle uses in the end of this Chapter gives it to be understood. For he speaks of such a Death as is oppos'd to Eternal Life, and that must be Eternal Death. The Wages, says he, of Sin is Death;

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but the Gift of God is Eternal Life. And when the work of Sin goes so diligently on, is it not high time to found aloud in the Ears of all, that are so busy in that Service, what • it is they are to expect for their Wages?

and if so warn'd, they will still serve so hard
a Mafter as Sin, that has not only, no other
Recompence for its Şlaves but Death, but
will not, nay cannor,give them their choice,
whether they will receive the Wages, which
they have serv’d for, or no ; who can picy
Them, or of whom can they complain?
Not of God certainly, without the greatest
Blasphemy and Injustice imaginable ; He is
far from deforing the Death of a Sinner, nay,
Death is none of his Creature, God made
not Death, says the Wise Man, He created
Man to be Immortal, and made him to be an
Image of his own Eternity; Nevertheless thro'
the envy of the Devil came Death into theWorld,
and they that do hold on his fide do find it : Wisd.
2. 23, 24. It is therefore great Impiety, to
question the Justice of God, in eternally pu.
nishing Wicked Men ; who, would they lide
with him, the Author of Life, are proffer'd
and invited to everlasting Bliss; but if they
choose to side with the Devil, who brought
Death into the World, most deservedly re-
ceive their Portion with him. For is there
not the choice offer'd? Is norLife and Death
ser before us, that we may stretch forth

our

our Hand to which we will? And does not that Eternal weight. of Glory, which God has promis'd those that serve him, as far at lealt, exceed all our Imperfect and Tran. sitory Services, as Eternal Torments can our 'Temporal indeed, but Despiteful and Malicious Sins ? and is there not then as much Reason for the Punishing to Eternity the one, as Eternally Rewarding the other? nay, is there not Infinitely more? Tince even the very best of our weak Performancès could not, without Infinite Mercy, be accepted; and the very least of our Sins justly de. serves Damnation. Yet, even in the very Declaration of Death to Sinners, does God's Mercy display itself equal to his Justice ; neither was Hell only made for their fakes, who were to suffer in it, but for their's also, who were to be warned and saved by it ; and it is owing to Eternal Punishments, that many Saints receive Eternal Rewards. So that could God dispense with, or remit those Eternal Torments, which by Holy Scripture we are assur'd he never will, and therefore ought not, from his Almighty Power, to argue against his Eternal Truth; yet would it not agree, even with his Mercy it felf, so to do. Since, then he would take away one of the strongest Motives to our Conversion and Obedience; when, God knows, This, with all the rest together, by their Effects

seem

seem to be but too few. Sure I am, that whoever goes about to perswade Men, that God will; or may relax chose everlasting Pains, with which he has threatnéd Sin, goes beyond his Commission; beyond it, did I say ? nay, contrary to it, Contrary to their Commision, whose Duty it is, Knowing the T'errors of the Lord,t0 perswade Men. We must Conclude therefore, that Holy is the Lord, and Just in all his Dealings towards the 'Children of Men; and let us Beseech him to give us Grace, perfectly to be asham'd of these fruitless Things,whose end is Deach; that so, as the Apoftle goes on in the Verse immediately following my Text, being made free from Sin, and become Servants to God; we may have our Fruit unto Holiness, and the end Everlafting Life.

Which God of his Infinite Mercy grant, thro' Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SERMON VII.

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