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phet concerning them. They come unto thee, as the People cometh, and they fit before thee as my People, and they hear thy Words, but they will not do them : for their Heart goeth after their Covetousness. That is, altho' they profess Love, and Obedience to God, and attend the folemn Affemblies to hear the Words of the Lord delivered by his Prophet, yet they will not do them; their strongest, and prevailing Affections, being after Riches and other worldly Things, the Objects of their Covetousness.
Their Riches, and other earthly Things, are the Idols of their Hearts : therefore, Covetousness is declared to be Idolatry in Col. iii. 5. where Christians are commanded to mortify — inordinate Affections, evil Concupifence, and Covetou scness, which is Idolatry.
In Ephef. v. 5. it is declared, That no Whoremonger, nor unclean Perfon, nor covetous Man, who is an Idolater, hath any Inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ, and of God.
It appears from this Declaration, that it is decreed by the righteous Governour of the World, that covetous Persons shall not be admitted to partake of the Joys, and Happiness of the Kingdom of Christ, and of God: And this implies that they will be sent into endless Miseries in the next Woment, and that they are liable to destroying Judgments in this, when God proceeds in visiting a Nation for Sin.
The Covetous, instead of looking to, and relying on the Lord, place a Confidence in their Wealth. The rich Man's Wealth, is bis strong City, and as an bigb Wall in his own Conceit ; as it is said in Prov. xviii. 11. But let such know, and consider those Declarations recorded in Prov. xi. 4. viz. Riches profit not in the Day of Wrath; and Verfe 28. He that trusteth in Riches Mall fall.
Thus faith the LORD Let not the rich Man glory in his Riches, Jer, ix. 23.
In Jer. xv. 13. God says to the Wicked among his People, Tby Substance, and thy Treasures will I give to the Spoil without Price, and that for all thy Sins, even in all thy Borders, Jer. xv. 13. See also Jer. xvii. 3.
These Declarations plainly shew that the Covetous, and they who will go on in disobeying the Commandments of the Lord, have Reason to be afraid, when he is risen out of his place to punish wicked Nations.
I have now considered the principal Sorts of Perfons, Transgressors of one or other of the ten Commandments, against whom the holy God ¡has denounced his awful Threatnings.
A righteous Nation, a holy City, whose Inhabitants know, and love, and serve the Lord, and make it their Practice to obey all his Precepts, have no Cause to be afraid, but abundant Ground for Comfort, and Joy on the Account of the manifold Promises of Blessings in this World, and of everlasting Felicity in the next, which are made to the Righteous.
But if the Inhabitants of a City, or Country, have revolted from God, if the Generality of them have cast off the Fear of the Almighty, and have long been regardless of his Authority, and Laws, and have gone on stubbornly in wicked Ways, and remain incorrigible, notwithstanding the Obligations of multiplied Blesings, notwithstanding the Patience, and long Forbearance of God, notwithstanding the divers Threatnings, and the Feeling of lesser Judgments, they have then the strongest Reasons to expect that the righteous God will proceed in visiting them for Sin, and pour out the Vials of his Wrath
I shall now conclude these Papers with an Address to the Inhabitants of London, Westminster, and all the other parts of Great-Britain. F 2
I need not tell you that Infidelity, and Profaneness, that a Contempt, and Derision of the divine Providence, and the holy Scriptures, are crying Sins among us; nor that keeping holy che SabbathDay, and a due Attendance
the publick Worship of God are generally neglected ; nor that our Cities and Country have long been polluted with all Sorts of Immoralities ; neither need I say to you that the holy God has shewn himself angry with us, by a Series of awful Judgments, tho’ some of them thro' his abundant Mercy have been taken away.
And surely I need not say to you that Iniquities still abound among us, that Provocations of almighty Wrath are still committed, and that there appears very little of Reformation ; neither need I add that the Tokens of God's Anger do still subfift.
The great God has given us Warning after Warning, and Stroke after Stroke, and then ceased awhile, and waited to see whether we will consider our evil Ways, and repent of our Sins, and return unto him ; he has waited, and ftill waits that he may be gracious to us ; that he may, consistent with the Honour of his Government, with the Glory of his Name, forgive our Sins, and be reconciled unto us, and blefs us. But the Reconciliation is not yet brought about ; No, for we stubbornly perfift in our Rebellion against him: And it is too evident to be denied that his Hand is still stretched out against us.
Was it not that holy God who is of purer Eyes' than to behold Iniquity without Abhorrence, and without being incensed against the wilful Tranfgresfors of his Laws ? Was it not he who permitted our Enemics to draw the Sword, and from a Number, small, at first, to increase into a Mulcicude, and to march thro' the Heart of our Country, and to ap
proach so near this our Metropolis, as to fill the Minds of all crue Protestants, and faithful Subjects of our gracious Sovereign with a Dread of the Consequences, if he had not by his Influence turned them back by the way that they came, and afterwards intirely subdued chem? Was it not he, who sent the morial Sickness among our Caitle? and who has been thro' a Course of several Years destroying them ! and shewing that he can as easily destroy our Persons ! and does he not awfully proceed, in the Way of his Anger, by smiting the Beasts of the Field still with Sickness, and Death, in divers Parts of the Country?
Pray consider, That Destruetion of Cattle is one of God's threatned Judgments; and that this still subsists in the Land ; and that Earthquakes are another Sort of them, very terrible: And let us keep in Remembrance how the Almighty has once and again very lately made the Earth to tremble under these great Cities ; and has violently shaken the Houles of the Inhabitants over them; and that the divine Power might either have caused the Earth to open and swallow up the Buildings, and all the living Creatures that are upon it, or else without the Opening of the Earth might have shattered, and thrown down even the strongest Edifices, and have crushed to Death those who dwell in them; and who can tell what, or how many of his other Threatnings will be executed among us, or how soon!
I entreat you to read again, and again, and revolve in your Minds what has been offered to your Thoughts in the foregoing Papers.
Let every one faithfully examine himself, and consider whether he is not of one or other of the Sorts of Perfons whom God has threatened, not only with everlasting Torments in the future State, but with Miseries, with Distress, and Destruction even in this World, when he visits Cities, and Nations for their Sins.
If you compare your Lives with the holy Laws of God, your Consciences will tell you, whether you are among the miserable Objects of the divine Threatnings.
And is this your Cafe! I must then tell you, that you are under a dreadful Sentence of Condemnation.
For hitherto you have not repented of your Sins, nor believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
In John iii. 18, 19. it is thus declared, viz. He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the Name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the Condemnation, that Light is come into the World, and Men loved Darkness rather than Light, because their Deeds were evil.
O how deplorable is your Condition! in being Enemies to God by your wicked Works, in being the Servants of Sin, and Satan? How deplorable, I say, is your Condition, whatever be your worldly Honours, Riches, and Poffeffions, or Eminency for Learning! Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves Servants to obey, bis Servants ye are, to whom ye obey, whether of Sin unto Death, or of Obedience unto Righteousness! Rom. vi. 16.
How lamentable is your Case in your being Objects of the divine Anger ! For God is angry with the Wicked every Day, (Psal. vii. 11.) He is fo continually; and how wretched are you, in your being obnoxious to all the Miseries threatned to be inflicted in this Life! and in being liable to a speedy Death, and to the Pains of Hell for ever!
And what Comfort, what Peace can you have in your present State ? There is no Peace, faith my God, to the Wicked, Ifai. lvii. 21.
What have you to yield unto your Souls a rational, a sincere Consolation! Have you itately Houses, rich Furniture, large Estates, and great Honours ? yet these do not satisfy you.