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difpleafing to him; how he is thereby dishonoured, and robbed of his glory, that is due to his name; how he is angry with the generation; and what figns of his wrath do appear, Pfal lxix. 9. Hab. iii. 16. Matth. xvi. 3. God is the Governor of the world, and he is not an idle fpectator of that which men do on earth fince he looks to us, let us look up to him.
3. He must look within him, and behold what un, towardness is within his own heart, and appears in his own life and way, If. vi. 5. Never man fhall fave himself from an untoward generation, that does not begin here. Here he must look, and behold how he is in danger of being led aside into the way of the untoward generation, by reafon of the blindness of mind, and untowardnefs of heart and affections within his own breast.
More particularly, if you would fave yourselves from an untoward generation,
1. Return unto God by Jefus Chrift, in the way of the everlasting covenant held out to you in the gofpel: For the promife is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God ball call, Acts ii. 39. Be no longer ftiffnecked, but yield yourfelves to the Lord. Take falvation closely to heart now at length, and enter into the covenant, ye that are yet strangers to Chrift. And renew your covenant, ye that are the friends of Christ, give a new folemn confent to the marriage-covenant betwixt Chrift and your fouls. And I would advise both to do this, with a particular view to your being faved from this untoward generation. Sirs, we seem to be entering into a cloud, and darkness seems to be coming on: take hold of Chrift for your guide in time, left ye be wrapt up in the cloud without a guide, and there be a fad account of you, and fuch as you are, ere the darkness be over.
2. Endeavour close walking with God in your perfonal capacity, as did Noah, Gen. vi. 9. forecited. Strive to be acquainted with religion in the life and
power of it on your own fouls. In a dark and cloudy day upon the church, it is hard to keep faft an unfelt religion. When the winds of error and delufion are left to blow, the earth, fea, and trees, there is a fad account of them, Rev. vii. 3. And in a time of common calamity, one that cannot live by faith, will find it hard to live.
3. Beware of and stand at a distance from the finful ways and courfes of the untoward generation: Eph. v. 11. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. They that will partake of their fins, muft lay their account to partake of their plagues also, when God riseth up to plead his controverfy. Let it not encourage you to fin, that you fee others generally take a liberty to themselves that way; for by that means you enter into the confpiracy against God with the multitude, and fhall fmart with them. If ever you fave yourfelves from this untoward generation, you will be inftructed of God as he was, that he should not walk in the way of this people, If. viii. 11.
4. Mourn over the fins of the untoward genera- . tion, as well as over your own, otherwise ye are not free of them, Ezek. ix. 4. forecited. Pfal. cxix. 136. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, faid David;' because they (the wicked) keep not thy law. Alas! this public fpirit, is much gone in our day. God is difhonoured, his name is profaned, his ways, truths, and ordinances are trampled upon by an untoward generation; and we ftand by as unconcerned spectators, or else join in the affronting of him. Ah! is God our Father? is Christ our elder brother? are we on Heaven's fide? and can we be thus hale-hearted in fuch a cafe ?
5. Laftly, Take home Zion's cafe into your own foul; and be concerned how it fhall fare with the church and intereft of Chrift in this untoward generation. There has been much contending in Scotland even unto blood for all the parts of our cove
nanted reformation. Few of that generation are to the fore now; but we are arisen a new generation that knew not Jofeph, and it is like to go to wreck among our hands. And it is much to be lamented, that profeffors generally are very easy and secure upon the matter. They fee not the danger, they perceive not the weight of the thing, and they will not inquire into it. And hence no wonder, that they are not employed to wrestle with God upon it. But this is a day, that calls you to beftir yourselves on Zion's behalf, and inquire into and inform yourselves of her true interefts, and the weight of them which are at ftake; left ye lay yourselves open to that, Amos vi. 1. Wo to them that are at ease in Zion. Our Lord takes notice how men carry themselves in a time of his interet finking, and will see to it himself in due time; but their cafe is dangerous who ftand aloof from it, according to what Mordecai told Efther, chap. iv. 14. For if thou altogether holdeft thy peace at this time, then fball there enlargement and deliverance arife to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father's houfe fball be deftroyed.
HI. I fhall conclude with some motives to ftir you up to fave yourselves from this untoward generation.
1. The danger of this untoward generation is very great; Amos iii. 2. You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. For the debt of fin they have entered heirs to, the breach of covenant with God, the blood of the faints, and apoftafy of the late times, is very great and hainous. The multiplied causes of God's controversy, since the Lord returned the captivity of this church, are very many and of a deep
And the stroke has been long threatened, and of divers kinds, fword, famine, and peftilence. So that, in the ordinary course of providence it cannot mifs to be of extreme weight when it comes.
2. It seems to be making hafte, and to be very
near, Deut. xxxii. 35. Their foot fhall flide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that ball come upon them make hafte. For we fee that God is rifen up from his place, to punish the nations for their iniquity, in the peftilence that has fo long raged abroad. It is time for us to beftir ourselves to fave ourselves from this untoward generation, when our neighbours house is on fire. Befides, this untoward generation are visibly mending their pace in departing from God, and are making ftill quicker and quicker dispatch in filling up the cup of our iniquity. And as natural motions increase the more, the nearer they draw to the centre; fo the nearer nations are to the fatal day of wrath, they make the greater speed in pulling it down on themselves. And finally, our divifions speak it to be fo: A houfe divided against itself cannot stand.
3. Laftly, Now is the time to fave yourselves. God is yet on a throne of grace. He is calling to you, however far ye have gone on with the untoward generation, now to fave yourselves from this untoward generation.
Ifrael's Sin and Judgement, with regard to abufed Mercies, defcribed.
Preached at ETTRICK, November 7. 1725.
HOSEA ii. 8. 9.
For fhe did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her filver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the feafon thereof, and will recover my wod and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
N thefe words we have Ifrael's fin and judge
I. lfrael's fin, want of knowledge; a fin, though but a want. Men must reckon to God for the gifts and graces they want, which they are obliged to have, and may have. A heart-fin: the fins of the heart, as well as thofe of the life, are ruining; and a dark heart, as well as a heart rebelling against the light, is dangerous. In Ifrael's fin obferve two things.
1. The object they did not know. In a word, the divine bounty. God had been very kind to them, but they had taken no knowledge of all his kindness: they were more brutish than the ox or afs, If. i. 3. Obferve,
(1.) The good things he had furnished them with; and firft for the body. [1.] Neceffaries, corn, whereof their bread was made, ufually put for all neceffa