If we do but consider. The Evil of Evils: The Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin Oh this is a mighty mistake, thou hast ventured the loss of a great deal of good, for that which hath no good at all. If all the strength of all the men that ever were since the beginning of the world, evlis all the Angels in Heaven were put into one, and he had but that weight jeremuah him that Christ had, it rvil have made him sink down into eternal despair: Thus he gives a dreadful shreek at sin; see what a difference he makes between Affliction and Sin, and accounts it abundantly more evil to be in sin, than in affliction. I said before, sin was continually working against God; but now I say.
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Mead, C. The Inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the People that dwell therein shall be forgiven their Iniquities, Isai. London, Printed for Dor. Christian Reader, THe provident care of God is manifested toward his People in the present Preservation of, and provision for them. For although many now living, do through mercy enjoy able Teachers and Instructors; yet do they owe to him the Name of Father, as an Instrument of their Conversion. These Sermons presented to thy view, are with the help of an able Learned Divine, who also heard these Sermons preached, cast into that form of a Tract that now thou seest them in, without any material Additions or Alterations.
The time when the Reverend Author preached them, was next in order after those convincing Sermons, of the sinfulness of Sin; so that this Gospel Soul-Reviving Discourse was then a word spoke in due season.
If therefore thou prizest peace with God through Jesus Christ, Pray for light to direct thee into a distinct knowledge of this Gospel Truth, and take up this Book and read it, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things, answerable to the Design of the Author, and the Prayer of him who heartily wisheth thy Salvation, and growth in the knowledge of God, and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Stationer to the Reader. IT is now long since I undertook the Printing of this Book, and as my Incouragements were many, so I had obtained of one of those Reverend Divines that have given their attestation to it, to peruse the Work, and had his Testimony that he heard those Sermons preached; and upon Perusal of them found not any thing Material left out, of what the Author Mr.
Burroughs delivered; and knowing that Mr. And now at last being so much wished thereunto by his friends; being assured that as the whole is abundantly spiritual and lovely in its Matter, and that wherein the very spirit and style of Mr. Some of the greater faults in Printing to be thus amended Page 2. Gospel Remission.
Blessed is he whose Transgression is forgiven, and whose Sin is Covered. I Have, as you may remember, in many Sermons endeavoured to shew unto you the malignity and dreadful evil that there is in Sin; And what more seasonable and suitable Argument can we now treat of, than the blessedness of Pardon of Sin?
How readily will they say, with the Prophet, How beautiful are the feet of those that bring such good tidings? Wherefore, me thinks, while I am reading this Text, I should be like a man at an Eccho, that hears the words thereof resounded back again, by every broken hearted sinner in this Congregation, O, blessed, blessed is the man indeed whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is covered.
This Psalm in the title of it is a Psalm of David Maschil; that is, a Psalm of Instruction; or, for Instruction: And what is a more useful Instruction than to instruct the soul where true blessedness lies? And what is a better instruction than to tell man the way of the pardon and forgiveness of sin? But then not only to know our selves, but our own happiness, where our blessedness lies; this must needs be a profitable instruction.
David that had the riches of this world, did not say, Blessed is he that hath this worlds goods. David that had honours, and was reputed among the mighty men, did not say, Blessed is he that hath worldly honours. David that had many Victories over Enemies, says not, Blessed is he that rides in Triumph over his Enemies. David that had sumptuous Palaces, and the delights of this world, does not say, Blessed is he that has them.
But in the midst of all Outward good things, David enjoyed in this world, he finds his blessedness to consist in this, The pardon and forgiveness of his sins; he pronounces them and them only blessed, whose sin is pardoned. Nay, although we had ten thousand Instructors in other things, not only in Natural knowledge, but in Divinity too, in all the points of it; yet we could never be wise unto Salvation, except we were instructed with this instruction, in the blessedness of Justification and pardon of sin.
Luther says, Let this Doctrine lie dead, and all the whole knowledge of other Truths is to little purpose. Therefore well may the title of the Psalm be a Psalm of Instruction: Blessed is the man whose Transgressions are forgiven, and whose Iniquities are covered. Wherefore our Point of Doctrine according to the words is this, Doct. That is our point; the blessedness of any man or woman does not consist in the enjoyment of any thing in all this world, but in the free grace of God forgiving of his sin; It neither consists in any thing we can do or have, but in the free grace of God forgiving of sin; and that is the meaning of that Text, Rom.
The scope of the Apostle in this place is, to declare the blessing of Abraham the father of the faithful, consisted not in any thing he had or did, but in the free grace of God forgiving of his sin, Gal. How comes it to pass that your hearts are so taken off from the esteem you then had of it?
Where is then the blessedness you spake of? God grant it may not be so with some of you, who when you heard lately the Doctrine of the Evil of Sin, your hearts were mightily affected, and you said, O what a dreadful evil is there in sin, in the least sin; and being convinced of it, you began to reform; yet afterwards you fell off again. May it not be said of you, Where is the sence of the Evil of Sin you spake of?
Where is that bitterness upon your hearts, on the convictions you had of the evil of sin? Where is it? What is become of it? As St. Paul says, the blessedness you spake of, Where is it?
What is become of all that strength and power the Doctrine of Remission of Sin had upon your hearts? Wherefore then served the Law? Of the Blessedness of the Pardon of Sin, which appears 1. Negatively in the Evil it frees us from. THat, that hath been lately delivered of the Evil of Sin, may be of great concernment to discover wherein the blessedness of pardon of sin lyes, the deliverance from so great an evil, as you heard, the evil of sin was; surely, Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven.
If sin be so dreadful an evil as you heard, surely, Blessed is the man that is delivered from all that evil: if it remain fresh upon your minds, what the evil of sin against God was, and what it brought upon your selves; you cannot but say, this is one principal thing wherein it appears, that man or woman is blessed that hath his sin pardoned: If any man or woman be in any great danger, or under any great evil or misery; and if he be delivered from it, we say, that man is a blessed man, or a blessed woman that is quit from such a woful evil that was upon them; you account your selves happy to be delivered firm any dangerous storms, and to have a calm; Are not they then happy that are delivered from the evil of sin?
Let me speak a little to a poor sinner that understands what the meaning of sin is, and that understands somewhat of the dreadful evil of it: I would ask of thee oh poor sinner; What seest thou? Oh I see the angry Countenance of an Infinite God against me, whose eyes are as a flaming fire looking with indignation upon me!
I see a black dismal cloud of the displeasure of the Almighty hanging over me! I see a most hideous and dreadful sentence of wrath ready to fall upon me! I see woe, misery, and destruction pursuing of me! I see blackness of darkness and desolation even surrounding me! I both see and feel the woful accusations of a guilty Conscience within me, condemning me; continually grating upon my soul, and terrifying me with dreadful Visions of eternal miseries to betide me!
I see the chain of black guilt and horrour on my soul, that I carry with me wheresoever I go! I see the bottomless gulf of eternal horrour and dispair with the mouth of it wide open ready to swallow me up!
Is not this a blessed man, comparing his former condition with his present state, looking on him as even now, having the sense of the dreadful evil of sin upon his Conscience, and the heavy burden of it on his back, ready to sink under it, into the gulph of misery, and now pardon of sin comes; O what a blessed change is this! O blessed is the man whose sin is pardoned.
Brethren, by reason of the sin of man, there is a curse upon the whole Creation, and this old Creation must come to confusion: therefore it is an evil thing for any man to seek his happiness in any thing here in the old Creation, for there is a curse upon it, and it will come to confusion. Of the Positive Blessedness of the Pardon of Sin. To thee Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, forgiveness is the fruit of glorious mercies, Exod.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving inquity. Now I shall open this positively, and shew the riches of mercy in forgiveness of sin. When the Scripture applys mercy to forgiveness of sin, it hath divers expressions, sometimes calls it riches of mercy, Ephes. I might give divers other places, but those may suffice; it is rich, plenteous, fulness of compassions, and multitude of mercies; When God forgives sin, he shews mercies in all these expressions.
For the opening of it unto you, I shall shew you what abundance of mercy God shows in the forgiveness of sin, consider mery 1. Of the Efficient Cause of Mercy in forgiveness of Sin.
Of the Final Cause of Mercy in forgiveness of Sin. Well then, that man to whom such mercy is shewn must needs be very blessed. Of the wonderful Mysteries of Godliness in forgiveness of Sin. Of the first Mystery, it is by means of a Mediator. Of the second Mystery, It is through Christs undertaking the Debt upon himself. I remember that expression of Nathan to David, 2 Sam. Now they must needs be blessed that God does so much for, and know thou if ever thy sin be pardoned, God does do so much for thee.
There is this mystery in it; Where ever sin is pardoned, God does not only pass by sin and forgive it, but he makes the soul stand righteous before him; every justified man stands righteous before the Lord. A malefactor may come to a Prince, and be forgiven his fault, and yet not accounted a righteous man, he may be lookt upon as a wicked wretch still, though out of free grace the Prince forgive him: But God never forgives the offence of any one sin, but that man is set righteous before the Lord, this is done by an Act of Justification; I speak not of Sanctification: A Prince may forgive a Traytor, but the Law is not satisfied; but God when he forgives sin, takes such a course as that the offence is not only forgiven, but the Law comes to be satisfied, and the soul stands before God as a righteous person; and surely he that is righteous must needs be blessed.
Of the fifth Mystery, This Righteousness is in another. Paul counted his own righteousness as dung that he might be found in him, that is in Christ, Not having my own Righteousness which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God that comes in by faith; and so Rom.
You in me, and I in you; there are no two things so nearly united, though the members be in the body, the body is not in the members; so the branch, though it be in the root, the root cannot be in the branch; but the Union between Christ and us, Is Christ in us, and we in him; He that is joyned to the Lord is one Spirit: It is a spiritual Union, and the Union of spiritual things is the nearest that can be: Now, Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven, because by this means, God brings the Soul and Christ to such a near Union, that all natural Unions are but dark shadows of it.
Of the seventh Mystery, It is by Faith, yet boasting excluded. It must be by Faith, and that is the most glorious work that ever God inabled a poor creature to do, yet boasting must be excluded, the Scripture excludes boasting from both, not only from the Law of works, but the Law of faith; but you may say, How can both be excluded both the law of works and the law of faith?
But now, God when he comes to give faith, he gives a higher thing than ever was due to the nature of man; hence there is a greater mystery in faith than in any other grace; and therefore it is a great mystery that God should justifie a man by faith, and yet this excludes boasting more than any other thing.
Of the eight Mystery, God is infinitely Just, and yet infinitely Merciful. The eighth particular is this, that shews pardon of sin is a great mystery, because where-ever God pardons sin, he is infinitely just, and yet infinitly merciful; there is an admirable reconciliation, between Gods Justice and Mercy, which shews it to be a great mystery: There are three great mysteries in Religion, 1.
The great mystery of the Trinity, that there should be divers Persons and yet but one God. The second is, that in the Person of Christ there should be two Natures and yet but one Person. And then the third is, the reconciliation of the mercy and justice of God in the forgiveness of a sinner.
Many people when they seek for pardon of sin, they only think of Gods infinite grace and mercy, but not of his justice: But certainly, who ever he be that comes to be pardoned, God shews himself infinitely just as well as merciful; that he is merciful, that is clear to every one: But how does it appear he is so infinitely just?
To declare at this time his righteousness that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus; so that God in the justifying of him that believes in Christ is just as well as merciful. Now then poor sinner, lay these together, that God should work so strangely in bringing about the pardon of thy sin in such a mysterious way as this is; certainly it does demonstrate that thou art a blessed man: I beseech you think of what hath been said, and lay it in your breasts; go away with this upon your spirits, Lord, I indeed heard much of the evil of sin, and that it was a greater evil than ever I thought it to be, and now I have begun to hear of the mighty work of God in pardon of sin, I hope I shall for ever retain higher thoughts of it than before.
Brethren, there is nothing in the world that people have slighter thoughts of, than of the pardon and forgiveness of sin, they think it a slight matter.
Of the ninth Mystery, When God forgives sin, for the present, he forgives all to come. The ninth mystery is this, and this may seem one of the strangest of all, When God forgives a sinner any one sin for the present, he likewise forgives him all the sins that ever he shall commit afterward, this is a mighty mystery; for God when he takes a poor soul and forgives him his sin, he does not only forgive him his present and past sins, but lays in a pardon for all the sins that ever shall be committed by him afterwards; this is a way of pardoning sin proper to God alone; there is no creature pardons the offence one of another, so as God pardons here; therefore the Prophet cries out, Micah 7.
Who is a God like unto thee that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgressions of the remnant of his heritage? Who is a God like to thee; who in all the world can pardon sin as God doth?
This is a great mystery, and they that teach otherwise rob the people of God of abundance of comfort that otherwise they might have, were this Truth made clearly known unto them. May not they say, that though they do sin, yet there is a Pardon laid in before hand for them? And he is the Propitiation not only for our sins, but the sins of the whole world; he means believers: Now in the third vers.
Hast not thou the Conscience, and the rather upon the knowledge of this, to keep Gods Commandements?
To the Reader. And I think amongst all the Treatises of this blessed man, Mr. That which is the undoing of those who think themselves no small Christians, is resting in a bare notion of the Creatures emptiness, Sins filthiness, Christs Fulness, and having some high towering speculations concerning the Nature and Object of Faith: and to be able to discourse of these things in company, and upon occasion, is the Religion of the World, and more especially of our Formal Professors. Many mens thoughts language, and lives are such, that if they were certain there is no God, no Sin, no Hell, no wrath to be feared, no Grace to be minded and attained, no Judgment day when they must give an account, they could not be worse than they are, nor do worse than theydo; Oh the horrid Athiesm bound up in mens hearts, and they see it not, how else durst men be so prophane in their lives under Gospel light?
The Evil of Evils, or the Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin
Nikomi Sin cannot be the Object of a rational Creature. This is the sore displeasure of God against them, that God I say should not look upon the Angels that he hath made glorious Creatures, the most excellent of all the work of his hands: How doth this appear? Because there is no Attribute abused to be an Abettor to Sin, more than the Mercie of God is; and its abused and made to harden the hearts of men and women in Sin, no Attribute so much abused. These fears and horrors I say are not the chief; the chief of all is the humiliation of the soul for sin, as it is against God; then is the heart humbled aright for sin, when it apprehends how by sin the soul hath been against the infinite glorious first-Being of all things.
The Evil of Evils
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