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his right hand, and hear that word, (which I earnestly beg of God you and I may hear;) "Come, ye blessed, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world!"
A WORD TO A DRUNKARD.
ARE you a Man? GOD made you a Man, but you make yourself a Beast. Wherein does a Man differ from a Beast? Is it not chiefly in Reason, in Understanding? But you throw away what reason you have. You strip yourself of your understanding. You do all you can to make yourself a mere beast: not a fool, not a madman only, but a swine, a poor filthy swine.
O how honourable is a beast of God's making, compared to one that makes himself a beast? But that is not all. You make yourself a devil. You stir up all the devilish tempers that are in you; you heighten and increase them. You cause the fire of anger, or malice, or lust, to burn seven times hotter than before. At the same time you grieve the Spirit of God, till you drive him quite away from you. And whatever spark of good remained in your soul, you drown and quench at once.
So you are now just fit for every work of the devil; having cast off all that is good or virtuous, and filled your heart with every thing that is bad, that is earthly, sensual, base, and devilish. You have forced the Spirit of God to depart from would take none of his reproof: you; for you and you have given yourself up into the hands of the devil, to be led blindfold by him at his will.
Now, what shall hinder the same thing from befalling you, which befell him who was asked, Which was the greatest sin adultery, drunkenness, or murder? He said,
Drunkenness was the least. Soon after, he got drunk: he then met with another man's wife, and ravished her; the husband coming to help her, he murdered him. So drunkenness, adultery, and murder, went together.
I have heard a story of a poor, wild Indian, far wiser than either him or you. The Englishman gave him a cask of strong liquor. The next morning he called for his friends together, and setting it in the midst of them said, "These white men have given us poison. The man who gave me this was a wise man, and would hurt none but his enemies. But as soon as he had drunk of this, he was mad, and would have killed his own brother. We will not be poisoned.' He then broke the cask, and poured the liquor upon the sand.
On what motive do you thus poison yourself? Only for the pleasure of doing it? What, will you make yourself a beast, or rather a devil? Will you run the hazard of committing all manner of villanies; and this only for the poor pleasure of a few moments, while the poison is running down your throat? throat? O never call yourself a Christian! Never call yourself a Man! You are sunk beneath the greater part of the beasts that perish.
But you say, "You drink for the sake of company. You do it to oblige your friends." For company do you say? How is this? Will you take a dose of ratsbane for company? If twenty men were to do so before you, would you not desire to be excused? How much more may you desire to be excused from going to hell for company? But, "to oblige your friends?" What manner of friends are they, who would be obliged by your destroying yourself, who would suffer, nay entice you so to do? They are villains. They are your worst enemies. They are just such friends, as a man that would smile in your face, and stab you to the heart.
O do not aim at any excuse. Say not, as many do, “I am no one's enemy but my own." If it were so, what a poor saying is this, "I give none but my own soul to the
devil?" Alas! is not that too much? Why shouldest thou give him thy own soul? Do it not: Rather give it to GOD.
But it is not so. You are an enemy to your King, whom you rob thereby of an useful subject. You are an enemy to your country, which you defraud of the service you might do, either as a Man or a Christian. You are an enemy to every man that sees you in your sin; for your example may move him to do the same. A drunkard is a public enemy. I should not wonder at all if (like Cain of old) you were afraid, that "every man who meeteth you should slay you.”
Above all, you are an enemy to GOD; the great God of heaven and earth to him who surrounds you on every side, and can just now send you quick into hell. Him you are continually affronting to his face. You are setting him at open defiance. O do not provoke him thus any more. Fear the great GOD.
You are an enemy to Christ, to the Lord that bought you. You fly in the face of his authority. You set at nought both his sovereign power and tender love. You crucify him afresh. And when you call him your Saviour, what is it less than to "betray him with a kiss?",
O repent! See, and feel what a wretch you are! Pray to God to convince you in your inmost soul, how often you have crucified him afresh, and put him to open shame. Pray that you may know yourself to be (inwardly and outwardly) all sin, all guilt, all helplessness. Then cry out, "Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. Thou Lamb of God, take away my sins:-Grant me thy peace:-Justify the ungodly:-O bring me to the blood of sprinkling, that I may go and sin no more :-that I may love much, having had so much forgiven!"
A WORD TO AN UNHAPPY WOMAN.
WHITHER are you going? To heaven or hell? Do you not know? Do you never think about it? Why do you not? Are you never to die? Nay, it is appointed for all men to die. And what comes after? Only heaven or hell. Will the not thinking of death, put it farther off? No; not a day not one hour. Or will your not thinking of hell, save you from it? O no: you know better. And you know every moment you are nearer hell whether you are thinking of it or not: that is, if you are not nearer heaven. You must be nearer one or the other.
I intreat you think a little on that plain question, Are you going toward heaven or hell? To which of the two does this way lead? Is it possible you should be ignorant ? Did you never hear, that neither adulterers nor fornicators, shall inherit the kingdom?-That fornicators and adulterers God will judge? And how dreadful will be their sentence, 66 Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!"
Surely you do not mock at the Word of God! You are not yet sunk so low as this. Consider, then, that awful word, "Know ye not, that ye are the temples of God?" Were not you designed for the Spirit of God to dwell in? Were not you devoted to God in baptism? But if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy. O do not provoke him to it any longer. Tremble before the great, the holy GOD!
Know you not, that your body is, or ought to be, the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you? Know you not, that you are not your own? For you are bought with a price. And, O how great a price! You are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. O when will you glorify God, with your body and your spirit, which are God's.
Ah poor wretch! How far are you from this! How low are you fallen! You yourself are ashamed of what you do. Are you not? Conscience, speak in the sight of God! Does not your own heart condemn you at this very hour? Do not you shudder at the condition you are in? Dare for once to lay your hand upon your breast, and ask, "What am I doing? And what must the end of these things be?" Destruction both of body and soul.
Destruction both of body as well as soul! Can it be otherwise? Are you not plunging into misery in this world, as well as the world to come! What have you brought upon yourself already!-What infamy!-What contempt! How could you now appear among those relations or friends, that were once so loved, and so loving to you? What pangs have you given! How do some of them still weep for you in secret places! And will you not weep for yourself? When you see nothing before you but want, pain, diseases, death? O spare yourself! Have pity upon your body, if not your soul. Stop! before you rot above ground and perish!
Do you ask, What shall I do? First, sin no more. First of all secure this point. Now, this instant now, escape for your life. Stay not. Look not behind you. Whatever you do, sin no more: starve, die, rather than sin. careful for your soul than your body. Take care too: but of your poor soul first.
"But you have no friend: none, at least, that is able to help you." Indeed you have: one that is a present help in time of trouble. You have a friend that has all power in heaven and earth, even Jesus Christ the righteous. He loved sinners of old; and he does so still. He then suffered the publicans and harlots to come unto him. And one of them washed his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. I would to God you were in her place! Say, Amen! Lift up your heart, and it shall be done. How soon will he say, "Woman, be of good cheer! Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven thee. Go in VOL. XI. Bb