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7. “ Why, I would not meddle with it, but I am forced, by my parent, husband, or master.” If you are forced by your father or mother to rob, you will be hanged nevertheless. This may lessen, but does not take away the fault; for you ought to suffer rather than sin.
8. “But I do not know, that it was run." No! Did not he that sold it, tell you it was? If he sold it under the common price, he did: the naming the price, was telling you,
- This is run.' 9. “But I don't know where to get tea which is not run.” I will tell you where to get it. You may have it from those whose tea is duly entered, and who make a conscience of it. But were it otherwise, if I could get no wine, but what I knew to be stolen, I would drink water: yea, though not only my health, but my life depended upon it: for it is better to die than to live by thieving.
10. “But if I could get what has paid duty, I am not able to pay the price of it. And I can't live without it.” I answer, 1. You can live without it, as well as your grandmother did. But, 2. If you could not live without it, you ought to die, rather than steal. For death is a less evil than sin.
11. “But my husband will buy it, whether I do or not. And I must use what he provides, or have none.” Undoubtedly to have none is a less evil, than to be partaker with a thief.
IV. Upon the whole then, I exhort all of you that fear God, and desire to save your souls, without regarding what others do, resolve at all hazards, to keep yourselves pure. Let your eye be fixed on the word of God, not the examples
Our Lord says to every one of you, What is that to thee? Follow thou me! Let no convenience, no gain, no pleasure, no friend, draw you from following him. In spite of all the persuasions, all the reasonings of men, keep to the word of God. If all on the right-hand and the left will be knaves, be you an honest man. Probably God will repay you, (he certainly will, if this be best for you,) even with temporal blessings : there have not been wanting
remarkable instances of this. But if not, he will repay you with what is far better: with the “ testimony of a good conscience toward God'; with “joy in the Holy Ghost;" with an “hope full of immortality;" with the “ love of God shed abroad in your hearts.” And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!"
LONDON, Jan. 30, 1767.
A WORD TO A CONDEMNED MALEFACTOR.
WHAT a condition are you in! The sentence is past : you 'are condenined to die; and this sentence is to be executed shortly. You have no way to escape; these fetters, these walls, these gates and bars, these keepers, cut off all hope. Therefore die you must : but must you die like a beast, without thinking what it is To die. You need not: you will think a little first: you will consider, What is Death? It is leaving this world, these houses, lands, and all things under the sun; leaving all these things, never to return; your place will know you no more. It is leaving these pleasures; for there is no eating, drinking, gaming, no merriment in the grave. It is leaving your acquaintance, companions, friends ; your father, mother, wife, children'. You cannot stay with them, nor can they go with you; you must part; perhaps for ever. It is leaving a part of yourself; leaving this body which has accompanied you so long. Your soul must now drop its old companion, to rot and moulder into dust. It must enter upon a new, strange, unbodied state. It must stand naked before God! "! 2. But, O! how will you stand before God? The great, the holy, the just, the terrible God? Is it not his own word, 6 Without holiness, no: man shall see the Lord ?” No man shall see him with joy : rather he will call for the mountains to fall upon him, and the rocks to cover him. And what do you think holiness is ? It is purity both of heart and life. It is the mind that was in Christ, enabling us to walk as he also walked. It is the loving God with all our heart, the loving our neighbour, every man, as ourselves, and the doing to all men, in every point, as we would they should do unto us. The least part of holiness is, To'do good to all men, and to do no evil either in word or work. This is only the outside of it. But this is more than you
have. You are far from it; far as darkness from light. You have not the mind that was in Christ: there was no pride, no malice in him; no hatred, no revenge, no furious anger, no foolish or worldly desire. You have not walked as Christ walked : no: rather, as the devil would have walked, had he been in a body; the works of the devil you have done, not the works of God. You have not loved God with all your heart. You have not loved him 'at all. You have not thought about him. You hardly knew or cared whether there was any God in the world. You have not done to others as you would they should do to you; far, very far from it. Have you done all the good you could to all men? If so, you bad never come to this place. You have done evil exceedingly: your sins against God and man are more than the hairs of your
head. Insomuch that even the world cannot bear you; the world itself spues you out: Even the men that know not God, declare, “ You are not fit to live upon the earth!”,
3. O repent, repent! Know yourself: see and feel what a sinner you are. Think of the innumerable sins
have committed, even from your youth up. How many wicked words have you spoken? How many wicked actions have you
done? Think of your inward sins! Your pride, malice, hatred, anger, revenge, lust: Think of your sinful nature, totally alienated from the life of God. How is "soul prone to evil, void of goods.corrupt, full of all abomi. nations! Feel, that your carnal mind is enmity against God. Well'may the wrath of God abide upon you. He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity: he hath said, «« The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” It shall die eternally, shall be “punished with everlasting destruction,
from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.”
4. How then can you escape the damnation of hell ? The lake of fire burning with brimstone? Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched : You can never redeem
own soul. You cannot atone for the sins that are past. If you could leave off sin now, and live unblamable for the time to come, that would be no atonement for what is past. Nay, if you could live like an angel for a thousand years, that would not atone for one sin. But neither can you do this: you cannot leave off sin : it has the dominion over you: if all your past sins were now to be forgiven, you would immediately sin again : that is, unless your heart were cleansed; unless it were created anew. And who can do this? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Surely none but God. So you are utterly sinful, guilty, helpless! What can you do to be saved?
5. One thing is needful: “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved !” Believe (not as the devils only, but) with that faith which is the gift of God, wbich is wronght in a poor, guilty, helpless sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. See all thy sins on Jesus laid. God laid on him the iniquities of us all. He suffered once, the just for the unjust. He bore our sins in his own body on the tree. He was wounded for thy sins: he was bruised for thy iniquities. “Behold the Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world!" Taking away thy sins, even thine, and reconciling thee unto God the Father! Look unto him, and be thou saved !" If thou look unto him by faith, if thou cleave to him with thy whole heart, if thou receive him both to atone, to teach, and to govern thee in all things, thou shalt be saved, thou art saved, both from the guilt, the punishment, and all the power of sin. Thou shalt have peace with God, and a peace in thy own soul, that passeth all understanding. Thy soul shall magnify the Lord, and thy spirit rejoice in God thy Saviour. The love of God shall be shed abroad in thy heart, enabling thee to trample sin under thy feet. And thou wilt then have a hope full of immortality. Thou wilt no longer be afraid to die, but rather long for the hour, having a desire to depart, and be with Christ.
6. This is the faith that worketh by love, the way that leadeth to the kingdom. Do you earnestly desire to walk therein? Then put away all hindrances. Beware of company: at the peril of your soul, keep from those who neither know nor seek God. Your old acquaintance are no acquaintance for you, unless they too acquaint themselves with God. Let them laugh at you, or say, you are running mad. It is enough, if you have praise of God. Beware of strong drink. Touch it not, lest you should not know when to stop. You have no need of this to cheer your spirits; but of the peace and the love of God: beware of men that pretend to shew you the way to heaven, and know it not themselves. There is no other name whereby you can be saved, but the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And there is no other way whereby you can find the virtue of his name, but by faith. Beware of Satan transformed into an angel of light, and telling you, it is presumption to believe in Christ, as your Lord and your God, your Wisdom and Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption. Believe in him with your whole heart. Cast your whole soul upon his love. Trust him alone: love him alone: fear him alone: and cleave to him alone: till he shall say to you, (as he did to the dying malefactor of old,) “ This day shalt thou be with me in paradise !"
A WORD IN SEASON; OR, ADVICE TO AN ENGLISHMAN. Do you ever think? Do you ever consider? If not, it is high time you should. Think a little before it is too late. Consider what a state you are in. And not you alone, but our whole nation. We would have war. And we have it.
* This was published at the beginning of the late Rebellion.