The eighth book of Mr Jeremiah Burroughs. Being a treatise of the evil of evils, or the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Wherein is shewed, 1 There is more evil in the least sin, than there is in the greatest affliction. 2 Sin is most opposite to God. 3 Sin is most opposite to mans good. 4 Sin is opposite to all good in general. 5 Sin is the poyson, or evil of all other evils. 6 Sin hath a kind of infiniteness in it. 7 Sin makes a man conformable to the Devil. All these several heads are branched out into very many particulars.
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646., Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.
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THE EVIL of EVILS: OR, The Exceeding Sinfulness OF SIN.*. [Reader, •…is Trea∣ise was first Prea∣ched at Stepney, neer Lon∣don, on the Lordsday mornings t was be∣gun Nov. 29. 1641 and fini∣shed Feb. 27 1641. It is thought good o give the Reader Notice hereof, in espect to ome Ex∣pressions •…d in 〈◊〉 Trea∣•…e.]
Page  75

CHAP. XIV.

Sin wrong God in the End for which he hath made all things.

FOurthly, Sin wrongs God in the End for which he hath made all things, which is his own Glory. Now we know that of all things a man cannot endure to be wronged in his End, when he hath an End to such & such a thing, and aims to bring such and such a thing to pass, though he should be frustrated in regard of some means, this troubles him not, but when he comes to lose his End, this troubles him exceedingly. Thus it is with a sinner, he sets himself against God to do what lies in him that God should lose his End of all that ever he hath done: and if so be God were not Almightie to over power things, certainly sin would quite frustrate God of his End of his Works, for which he did make all things, to wit, his Glory. Now a sinner doth what he can to darken the glory of God, doth in effect stand up and say, if I can help it, God shall have no glory in the world. I say, you that walk on in waies of sin, this you are charged with in the name of God this day, that you are guiltie of this, you have in effect stood up, and as it were said, If I can help it God shall have no glory in the world: and yet it was for his glory that God made all things. Truly Brethren, it Page  76 cannot but be a soul-piercing Consideration for any stout stubborn sinner in the world for to have this one thought (take it with you, and work it upon your hearts, see what it will do) to think thus, Had I never been born, God had never been so much dishonored: this one thought hath a mightie power to pierce the stoutest hearted sinner in the world. Oh! is not God infinitely worthy of all glory and ho∣nor in the world? hath he not made all Crea∣tures for his glory? and if I had never been born, and never had had a being, God should never have been so dishonored, he would have had more glorie if I had never been. If God had made me a Dog or a Toad, a Snake or a Ser∣pent, God should have had more glory than by making me a Man. True, God will bring about his glory, and have more glory from thee ano∣ther way, than if thou hadst been made a Dog or a Toad; but no thanks to thee, thou dost what thou canst in way of sin to hinder his glory, Gods Almightie Power brings this to pass. But if thou goest on in waies of sin, it may be said of thee, that if thou hadest been made a Dog or Toad, God would have had more glory in the world than now he hath in making thee a Man: yea, thou art so far from bringing God glory that thou dishonor'st God as much as in thee lies. And this, if it lies upon the heart as it should is a sad Consideration to humble the proudest heart in the world; to think that thou livest, and God hath no glory by thee, though this be the End for which God made the world. Think Page  77 thus, suppose God should have no more glorie by all the world, than by me, to what end were the world made? Suppose one that lives in a meer Atheistical way, and takes no notice of the Majestie and Glorie of God, but lives only to eat and drink, and play and swear, and the like; now if his conscience tell him this hath been his way, I speak to such a one in these words, sup∣pose God had never had more glory from any Creature than from thee? to what purpose had the world been made? For God that hath wrought so wonderfully and gloriously in rai∣sing such a glorious Edifice and Frame, certain∣ly it was, that he might have some glory from what he hath done. No man works any thing but for some end, and Wisdom directs every man that his end be worth his Labor, that, that which he aims at shall be worth all his work. Now God had some end therefore in making thee, and he must needs have some excellent end; but now, what do I think in my conscience was the End of God in making of the World and me? what was it for no other end but that men and women might live and eat and drink, and lye, and swear, and commit such wickedness? was this Gods end? I put it to your conscience every sinful man or woman; think how hast thou lived? what hast thou done in all thy life? look back to thy former life, and think how hast thou spent it? I have gotten money, and what to do? is it only to eat and drink, and the like? and thou hast lived in a Course of Nature thy Conscience tells thee thus, now I put this to Page  78 thee, Doest thou think in thy conscience this is the end thou livest in the world for? Did God (when from all Eternity he intended to make such a Creature as thou art, to live in such a time in such a place, and preserved thee all this while from such dangers at Sea, or at Land) I say, did God aim at no other end but this that thou shouldest live to do thus? Certainly thy Conscience will condemn thee if thou hast but a heart for to think of it. Thou wert upon thy sick bed, and then thou cryedst to God to spare thee; well, thou didest escape, now I put this to thee, Dost thou think God spared thee, and gave thee thy life, to live to no other end but this? dost thou think this was the only end? Take heed thou dost not go on in waies of cros∣sing God in his end, for God will have his end one way or other. If a man have been at a great deal of cost to deliver another man from misery, redeemed him from Captivitie, and when he hath brought him home, he rails at him that did this for him, and doth him all the mischief he can: And in any mans account he is exceeding∣ly wronged that hath done thus and thus for one that is thereby as it were his Creature, and yet he live and do thus and thus wrong and abuse him. Certainly then, God is wronged when he hath given thee a Body, delivered thee from such and such dangers, and thou livest to no o∣ther end but to satisfie thy lust; thou excee∣dingly wrongest God. This is so cleer, that a man would wonder where mens consciences are, that they live quietly, and that their consciences flies not in their faces continually.

Page  79 Certainly, when God shall enlighten the Conscience, and bring these things with power to their Souls, then Sinners will stand amazed and wonder they saw not this before: These things be so clear, that its a wonder I was so blind, that I had not eyes to see these before, and yet who laies these things to heart? And thus we have done with this First thing in the Explanation, the wrong Sin doth to God in his Nature, working against, and striking at God, and in his Relations, &c. Now there are, I con∣fess, those things I most aimed at in this work behind, therefore I will wind up in a word or two, in some Corollaries, and Consequences, to be drawn from hence: Only thus much, when I have told you Sin is a greater evil than Afflicti∣on; yea, a greater evil than all the torments of Hell, as I said in the beginning. Then you may see by what I have said, how this Truth results out of these Consequences, because it wrongs God, and God is so infinitely good. If anie man be afflicted, or perish in Hell eternally, it is but the good of a Creature, and the comfort of a Creature crossed in this, but in Sin there is the crossing of the good of an infinite God, and of his glory; and there is more good in Gods glory, than in all the Peace and Comfort of all Creatures in the world: and if so, then cer∣tainly there must be more evil in Sin that is cross to Gods glory, than in all pains and torments that are but only cross to the Peace and Com∣forts that are in the Creature: I say, Hence fol∣loweth these Corollaries.