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own deplorable state, to detest the hellish monster sin, which thou hast so long nourished in thy breast, and which is the true cause of all thy misery..
-Consider, thirdly, what tlie soul loses by sin, and what she gains in recompence of this loss. She loses the grace of God, the greatest of all treasures; and in losing this, she loses God himself. She loses the fatherly protection and favour of God; she loses the dignity of a child of God, and spouse of Christ; she forfeits her right and title to an eternal kingdom; she is stript of all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, robbed of all the merits of her whole life; becomes a child of hell, and a slave of the devil; spiritually possessed by him, and with him liable to eternal damnation : this is all she gains by sin: because the wages of sin is death, Rom. vi. the death of the soul here, and a second and eternal death hereafter. Ah! wretched sinners, open your eyes to see, and bewail your lamentable blindness, in thus exchanging God for the devil, heaven for hell.
Consider, fourthly, that sin is infinitely odious and detestable in the sight of God, as being infinitely opposite to his sovereign goodness. He hates it with an eternal and necessary hatred; and can no more cease to hate it, than he can cease to be just. Hence if the most just man upon earth were so unhappy, as to fall into the least mortal sin, he would in that instant become the enemy of God, and were he to die in the guilt thereof, he would certainly feel the weight of God's avenging justice for all eternity. Ah! Christians, never let us be so mad as to venture to wage war with God. Alas! how many dreadful judgments does he daily exercise upon › sin and; sinners? How many, in punishment of sin, are snatched away in the flower of their age, by sudden and unpro-s vided death? How many die in despair? How many, after having long. abused God's graces, are given up to a reprobate sense, to hardness of heart, the worst and most terrible of all his judgments? O! let us tremble at the thoughts of so great a misfortune; let i us be convinced, that there can bet G
no misery so great as that which we incur by mortal sin; and that we are more our own enemies and do our selves more mischief, by consenting to any one mortal sin, than all the men upon earth, and all the devils in hell could do us, though they were all to conspire together to do their worst because all they can do, so long as we refuse consent to sin, cannot huit the soul; whereas by consenting to one mortal sin, we bring upon our own souls a dreadful and eternal death, Good God! never suffer us to be so blinded as to become thus the murderers of our own souls.
Consider, fifthly, O my soul, and tremble at the multitude of thy treasons against God, by which thou hast so of ten provoked his indignation during the whole course of thy life Alas! is it not too frue, that no sooner didst thou come to the use of reason, than thou didst abandon thy king and thy God, under the wings of whose fa therly protection thou hadst happily passed the days of thy innocence? Ah! how early didst thou run away from the best of fathers, and like the pro
digal son squandering away thy sub stance in a strange land, hast sought in vam to satisfy thy appetite with the husks of swine. Recall to thy remem brance, in the bitterness of thý soul, all the years of thy past life; and see what treasures of iniquity, in thought, word, and deed, will discover themselves 'to thy eyes: see how long thờư Irast unconcernedly sported on the brink of a dreadful precipice, having no more than a hair's breadth betwixt thy soul and hell. Be confounded at thy past folly admite and adore the goodness of thy God; and now at least resolve to embrace his mercy.
On the relapsing Sinner.
Onsider, first, that if one morta sin be so keinous a freason against the sovereign majesty of God, as we' Have seen in the foregoing chapter; if every such sin be an abomination to our Lord, and the death of that unhappy sinner who is guilty of it, what must we think of the miserable condition of relapsing sinners, that is, of such Christians as are continually fal Gii
ling again and again into the same mortal sins, after repeated confessions and solemn promises of amendment ? Alas! what can we think, but that by this method of life they are treasuring up to themselve wrath against the day of wrath and will in all ap pearance, sooner or later, draw down a dreadful vengeance upon their own heads. Because by every relapse their crime is aggravated, and their latter Condition becomes worse than the former.
Consider, secondly, the ingratitude the perfidiousness, the contempt of God, which the relapsing sinner is guilty of, as often as, after his reconciliation, he returns like a dog to the vomit. He is guilty of the highest ingratitude, in treading under foot the grace of reconciliation, by which hẹ had been a little before raised from the dunghill of sin, and even drawn out of the jaws of hell; and by a distin guishing mercy restored to the friendship of God, to the dignity of a child of God, and heir of heaven, He is guilty of a base perfidiousness,in breaking his solemn word given to God in