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the body of the universe ? Thus thou art whilft unconverted; for thou canst not answer the end of thy being. Is it not for the divine pleasure that thou art and wert created ? Rev. iv. ii. Did he not make thee for himself? Prov. xvi. 4. Art thou a man, and hast thou reason? Why then bethink thyself why and whence thy being is: Behold God's workmanship in thy body, and ask thyself, To what end did God rear this fabric ? Consider the noble faculties of thy heaven-born soul: To what end did God bestow these excellencies ? To no other than that thou shouldeft please thyself, and gratify thy senses? Did God send men, like the swallows, into the world, cnly to gather a few sticks and dirt, and build their nests, and breed up
their young, and then away. The very Heathens could fee farther than this. Art thou so " fearfully and
wonderfully made," Psal. cxxxix. 14.; and doft thou not yet think with thyself, surely it was for fume noble and high end ?
O man! set thy reason a little in the chair. Is it not pity such a goodly fabric should be raised in vain? verily thou art in vain, except thou art for God: Better thou hadît no being, than not to be for him. Wouldest thou serve thy end? Thou must repent and be converted: Without this thou art to no purpose, yea to bad purpose.
First, To no purpose. Man unconverted is like a choice instrument that hath every ftring broke or out of tune : The Spirit of the living God must repair and tune it by the grace of regeneration, and sweetly move it by the power of actuating grace, or else thy prayers will be but howlings, and all thy services will make no music in the ears of the Most High, Eph. ü. 10. Phil. ii. 13. Hof,
vii. 14. Ifa. i. 15. All thy powers and faculties corrupt in their natural state, that
thou be purged from dead works, thou canst not serve the living God, Heb. ix. 14. Titus i. 15.
An unsanctified man cannot work the work of God: 1. He hath no skill in it; be is altogether as unskilful in the work, as in the word of righteousness, Heb. v. 13. There are great mysteries as well in the practices as in the principles of godliness: Now the unregenerate “ know not the myste“ ries of the kingdom of heaven,” Mat. xiii. 11. 1 Tim. iii. 16. You may as well expect him that never learned the alphabet, to read, or a good music-book for the lute, from one that never fet his hand to an instrument, as that a natural man should do the Lord any pleasing service. He must first be taught of God, John vi. 45. taught to pray, Luke xi. I. taught to profit, lja. xlviii. 17. taught to go, Hosea xi. 3. or else he will be uiterly at a loss. 2. He hath no strength for it. How weak is his heart! Ezek. xvi. 30. He is presently tired: “The “ Sabbath, what a weariness is it!” Mal. i. 13. “ He is without strength,” Rom. v. 6. yea, dead in fin, Eph. ii. 5. 3. He hath no mind to it. He “ defires not the knowledge of God's ways," Job xxi. 14. He doth not know them; he doth not care to know them, Pfal. lxxxii. 5. He knows not, neither will he understand. 4. He hath neither due inftruments, nor materials for it. A man may as well hew marble without tools, or limn without colours or instruments, or build without materials, as perform any acceptable service without the graces of the Spirit, which are both the materials and inftruments in this work. Alms-giving is not a fer
vice of God, but of vain-glory, if not held forth by the hand of Divine love. What is the prayer
of the lips, without grace in the heart, but the carcase without the life? What are all our confessions, unless they be exercises of godly sorrow and unfeigned repentance? What our petitions, unless animated all along with holy desires, and faith in the Divine attributes and promises ? What our praises and thanksgivings, unless from the love of God and a holy gratitude, and sense of God's mercies in the heart. So that a man may as well expect the tree should speak, or look for logic from the brutes, or motion from the dead, as for any service holy and acceptable to God, from the unconverted. When the tree is evil, how can the fruit be good ? Mat. vir 18.
Secondly, to bad purpose. The unconverted soul is a very cage of unclean birds, Rev. xviii. 2.; a sepulchre full of corruption and rottennels, Mat. xxiii. 27.; a loathsome carcase full of crawling worms, and sending forth a hellish ard most noisome favour in the nostrils of God, Ps. xiv. 3. O dreadful case ! Doft thou not yet see a change to be needful? Would it not have grieved one to see the golden consecrated vessels of God's temple turned into quaffing bowls of drunkenness, and polluted with idol fervice? Dan. v. 2. 3.
Was it such an abomination to the Jews, when Antiochus set up the picture of a swine at the entrance of the temple? How much more abominable then it would have been to have had the very temple itself turned into a stable or a stye, and to have had the Holy of, Holies served like the house of Baal, and to have been turned into a
draught-house ? 2 Kings X. 27. This is the very case of the unregenerate : All thy members are turned into instruments of unrighteousness, Rom. vi. 19. fervants of Satan, and thy inmost power into a receptacle of uncleanness, Eph. ii. 2. Titus i. 15. You may see the godly guests within by what comes out; for “out of the heart proceed evil “ Thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, “thefts, false witness, blafphemies," &c. these discover what a hell there is within. O abuse infufferable! to fee a heaven-born foul abafed to to the filthiest drudgery! To see the glory of God's creation, the chief of the works of God, the Lord of the universe, lapping with the prodigal at the trough, or licking up with greediness the moft loathsome vomit! Was it furn a lamentation, to see those that did feed delicately, fit desolate in the streets; and the precious sons of Sion, comparable to fine gold, esteemed but as earthen pitchers, and those that were clothed in fcarlet embrace dunghills ? Lam. v. 2., 3.; and is it not much more fearful to see the only thing that hath immortality in this lower world, and carries the stamp of God, become “ vefiel wherein there is no pleasure?” Jer. xxii. 22.; (which is but a modeft expresficos of the vessel men put to the most sordid ufe) O indignity intolerable! Better thou wert dashed in a thousand pieces, than continue to be abased to fo filthy a service.
Secondly, “ Not only man, but the whole vifis « ble creation is in vain, without this.” Beloved, God hath made all the visible creatures in heaven and earth for the service of man, and man only is
the spokesman for all the rest. Man is in the aniverse, like the tongue to the body, which speaks for all the members. The other creatures cannot praise their Maker, but by dumb signs and hints to man that he should speak for them. Man is as it were the high-priest of God's creation, to offer the facrifice of praise for ali his fellow-creatures. The Lord God expecteth a tribute of praise from all his works, Pfalm ciii. 22.; now all the reit do bring in their tribute to man, and pay it by his hand: So then if man be false and faithless and selfish, God is wronged of all, and ihall have no active glory from his works.
O dreadful thought to think of! that God should build such a world as this, and lay out such infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness there. upon, and all in vain ; and that man should be guilty at last of robbing and spoiling him of the glory of all. O think of this ! While thou art unconverted all the offices of the creatures to thee are in vain; thy meat nourishes thee in vain, the sun holds forth his light to thee in vain, the Itars that serve thee in their courses by their powerful, tho' hidden influence, Judges v. 20. Hof
. ii. 21, 22. do it in vain: Thy beast carries thee in vain.In a word, the unwearied labour and continued travail of the whole creation, as to thee, is in vain. The service of all the creatures that drudge for thee, and yield forth their strength unto thee, that therewith thou shouldest serve their Maker, is all but loft labour. Hence the whole creation groaneth under the abuse of this unsanctified world, Rom, viii. 22. that perverts them to the service of their