Use 9 If there be so much evil in sin, this should be a loud cry to stop men, and turn them from sin.
Use IX. ANother Use is this, If there be so much evil in Sin, Then the consideration and meditation of all that hath been said, should be a mighty cry unto all, to turn back, and stop in the waies of sin. Oh thou Sinner, whosoever thou art, in whatsoever place of the Congregation thou art; God hath brought thee by his providence to hear or reade these Sermons concerning the evil of Sin; know that all these Sermons that have been preached unto thee, they be all but as one loud, loud crie to thy soul, stop, stop; Oh Sinner in thy sinful courses, stop here, turn, turn; Oh Sinner out of thy sin∣ful waies, turn, turn, why wilt thou die? why wilt thou die? Oh wretched, sinful soul, thou art lost, cursed, undone, and wilt perish eternal∣ly in that way thou art in; turn, turn, while thou hast time: God cries, his Word cries, his Mini∣sters cries, Conscience cries, all those that have known what the evil of sin means, cry to thee, unless thou wilt destroy thy self, undo thy self eternallie, stop in that way, for it is a dangerous desperate way thou goest in, the verie road way Page 477 to the Chambers of eternal Death. As ever thou wouldest be willing God shall hear thy crie up∣on thy sick bed, in the anguish of thy soul; thou wilt then crie, now Lord have mercie upon a poor, wretched, sinful soul: Thou wouldest be glad (I say) that the Lord should hear thy crie upon thy sick bed and death bed: Now then, as ever you would have God hear your crie, when you are in the greatest anguish of your souls upon your sick bed, and see death before you, be willing to hear the crie of God to your souls at this present: and know, if you do not hear the crie of God that cries to you, to stop you in sinful waies; then these verie words I have spoken to you at this present, may come in your mind, when you crie for mercie; and then you may think, Oh wretch, now I crie to God for mercy, but do I not remember such a time? was there not a loud crie in my Ears and Consci¦ence, as from God, that I should stop in my sinful waies and courses? and was not I then charged as in the Name of God, and as ever I expected God should hear my crie in such a time, that I should hear his voyce? Oh it will be dreadful for you to hear such a voyce as this, Because you would not hear me, therfore I will not hear you. Ther∣fore behold, I crie again in the Name of God, stop, stop, turn thee; Oh sinful soul; alas! whe∣ther art thou going? from God, from Comfort, from Life, from Happiness, from all good what∣soever, thou art going! I call Heaven and Earth to record, that these things that I have de∣livered to you concerning the evil of sin, are the Page 478 Truths of God, and have been the Truths of God: And certainlie what I have delivered, and you read, concerning the evil of sin, it will come and rise up one day against everie sinful man and woman that doth go on in anie known way of Sin; and it will prove as scalding lead in thy Conscience: Everie Truth thou hast heard, and everie Chapter thou hast read, concerning the evil of Sin, I say, if yet thou goest on in any one known way of Sin, it will one day be as scalding lead in thy Conscience; the dropping of scal∣ding lead in the eyes of a man, will not be more terrible to him, than the droppings in of these Truths will be in thy Conscience another day. Now it will be a sad thing, my Brethren, if God should send me amongst you by his Providence, onlie to aggravate anie of your Condemnations: God forbid, there should be this Errent sent a∣mongst you, that anie of his Messengers should be sent for this end, to aggravate your condem∣nation: this is that which is the prayers of my soul, that this may not be the Errent I am sent for, if possible; not to seal the condemnation of anie one soul: But this I know, except there be great reformation among manie, certainlie the verie Errand God intended in the conclusi∣on (though I do not say that is the primarie, and first end, but it is that which will prove so in the conclusion) through the stubbornness of the hearts of sinners, that will prove the Aggra∣vation of their condemnation. Wherefore yet let me labor with your souls; who knows whe∣ther anie of you shall hear me preach anie one Page 479 Sermon more? whether ever God will call af∣ter you any more? to stop or turn in the waies of Sin? whether ever you shall hear the Word more? Perhaps God will sear your conscience, and say to him that is filthie, let him be filthie▪ God now speaks to you, and cries after you, if you harden your hearts now, it is more than Angels or men know, whether ever you will have one crie more. Therefore let me abide here; tell me Oh Sinner what is it thou gettest in waies of sin that thou wilt dwel here? what is it the world hath to draw thy heart from the strength of all these Truths delivered in these Sermons? Sure it must be some mightie thing when such Truths as these, backed with Argu∣ments from Scripture, strength of Reason (as all these be) cannot restrain thee. Sure it must be some wonderful thing, that must over bal∣lance all these Sermons, and all these things: what hast thou such a heart, that is set upon any sinful way, anie secret hant of Sin, that thou fin∣dest such good in it? that by it all these Truths are over ballanced? Certainlie there is no such good in the world, if all Creatures in the world should joyn together, to give some comfort to ballance these Truths delivered concerning the evil of sin, all the Creatures in Heaven and Earth could not give such things as would ballance it▪ Therefore certainlie thou art deceived; the re∣fore return, return, Oh Shulamite, return▪ re∣turn. Oh that the Truths delivered in this Point might be as that sudden amazing •igh that came to Saul, when he was going o• i• cour∣ses Page 480 of Sin, Acts, 9. there was an amazing Light came and stopt Saul in his course. Oh that God would cause the light of these glorious Truths delivered concerning this Argument, to be as an amazing light to thy soul, to stop you in the waies of Sin.
Object. Oh but you will say, We cannot stop, you put that upon our power, that God must do.
Answ. 1 First, For that act (I have told you) what power God gives, though you have none of your own; God gives power for the bare outward act; and do not say you cannot do this; you know what convincements you have had of that, therefore say no more you cannot: And though you cannot, yet God useth to convey power through the Word, while God calls up∣on Sinners to stop and mend, Gods way is then to convey power: But in the mean time though there be no saving work of grace come in; yet thus much by an ordinarie and common work of Gods Spirit may be done, God may cause a Sinner to resolve whatsoever come of it, that way of sin I dwelt in, I will never meddle with∣al; and so there may be a sequestration of the heart from sin, though not a full possession of Gods Spirit come into the soul. As thus, It is many times with God and the Sinner, as with man and man; A man in debt, and not able to pay, an Ar•est comes on his Goods, and there is a Sequestration of the Goods, but so as they are to lie in other mens hands; so as though they, be not quite take •…way from the Debtor, yet they be out of his power, he can have no use of Page 481 thē for the present, til the debt is paid; but who∣soever wil come & pay the debt, he shal have the goods. So wth the heart, when the siner comes to venture on Christ for pardon of sin; the sinner se∣eth I cannot over-rule my self, sanctifie my heart, overcome my lusts; however, God sequesters the heart for the present so far from them, that I will not go on in these waies again, I will not follow that Company again; there is a forbear∣ance of those acts of Sin; that though the heart could not sanctifie it self; yet it lies thus before the Lord, Oh Lord, do thou pardon, do thou come in, and Oh, let Christ pay the debt for my Sin, and let him take possession of my heart, but in the mean time, Satan shall not use it, as be∣fore; and the waies of Sin, those gross waies I will forbear, though I die for it: I will rather sit still all my daies and never stir off my seat, than go to such wicked Companie; and I will rather never open my mouth again, than swear, and speak so filthilie; but Oh Lord, do thou dis∣charge my soul, and take it to thy self: and then comes in a sanctifying work of God, to sanctifie the soul, and save it. But Oh! that I might pre∣vail thus far, That there might be but a Seque∣stration of the Soul from sin this day; though Sanctification come not in, though the holy Ghost come not to rule in thy Soul; yet that there might be a Sequestration, that the heart might come and lie down, and say, Lord, come thou in, and take Possession; but for those de∣lights and contents, I took in sin before; I am resolved, though I perish for ever; I will not go Page 482 on in them hereafter. Here would be a good stop in the waies of sin; for a man that goes in a dangerous way, he must make a stop before he turns, and consider, Oh Lord, where am I? and whether am I a going? and is this my way? and then he turns. Now this I endeavor, if possible, to make a stop in sinful waies; that you might consider, Oh Lord, where am I? what am I a doing? what will become of me? Oh! that you might go away with such thoughts in your bosoms. And then followes the next.