THE UNGODLY CONDEMNED IN JUDGMENT.
S E R M O N
Preached at Springfield,
December 13th 1770.
On Occasion of the Execution of
By Moses Baldwin, A. M.
Pastor of the Church in PALMER.
The Third Edition.
“Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” Gen. ix. 6.
“Woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him: “For the reward of his hands shall be given him.” Is. iii. II.
BOSTON: Printed and Sold by Kneeland and Adams, next to the Treasurer’s Office in Milk-Street.
PSALM i. 5. First Clause.
Therefore the Ungodly shall not stand in the Judgment.
The sacred Penman of this Psalm sets forth the way and end of the righteous and wicked: The happiness of the one, and the misery of the other: The great difference in the temper of their minds and conduct in the world, and the great difference, which will be made between them in the future judgment. The godly and ungodly, the righteous and unrighteous, are in sacred writ opposed to each other. Godliness signifies piety towards God; and righteousness, equity towards man. But godliness and righteousness, being so often put for one and the same thing, they may, separately taken, hold forth the two branches of the good man’s character, piety towards God, and equity towards man: So the ungodly and unrighteous, being often used for one and the same person, separately taken, may signify men impious towards God, and unrighteous towards man; the real character of the wicked.
By the ungodly then, we may understand a sinner under the guilt and power of sin; disobedient and rebellious against the sovereign authority and righteous law of a holy God, and unrighteous towards man. This is the man, who, among others, must die and come to judgment. Being a sinner, death must be his inevitable portion; and as death leaves him, so judgment will find him! Being found in judgment ungodly, impious towards God, and unrighteous towards man, he cannot stand in judgment. By his character, it must appear before the righteous and impartial Judge, that he is an unbeliever, out of Christ; that he has not hence a righteousness which will answer the law: When therefore he appears in the judgment, not only without the righteousness of the law, but without so much as a personal righteousness, and his deeds produced before the judgment-feat as witnesses to prove him ungodly, he cannot in justice be justified and acquitted, but must fall, and be justly condemned. The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment. The propositions suggested, and to be illustrated, upon this solemn occasion, are
I. There will be a future Judgment.
II. The ungodly shall not stand in Judgment.
1. There will be a future Judgment. The certainty of this I shall endeavor to establish, and then give a brief account of the nature and design of it. May the attention of all be serious and solemn, and every heart be affected with truth, as the weight and importance of it require!
The certainty of a future judgment is sufficiently established in the divine word: “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil.” Eccl. Xii. 14. He has “appointed a day, in which he will “judge the world in righteousness.” Act. Xvii. 31. “We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.” 2 Cor. V. 10. That there is therefore a day appointed for a future judgment, and that all men must appear before the judgment-seat for judgment, is as true as the word of God. No man then, unless he be a profane and impious Deist, or a Rebel-infidel, will presume to call the truth of it in question. Besides, as God is a Being infinitely righteous and holy, both in himself and in all his proceedings with his creatures, it appears rational that there must be a judgment-day to justify the innocent, or to manifest their innocence, and to punish the wicked; this not being fully and always done in the present state. Though God at times overthrows the ungodly for their ungodly deeds; yet this being not a state of retribution, but of trial, he often forbears to execute sentence against evil works, and does not “punish the wicked according to their deserts.
” Eccl. viii. II. The ungodly are often, in the course of providence, exalted, and the godly cast down. A wicked Dives fares sumptuously every day, and a godly Lazarus lies full of sores; distressed with poverty, and is denied the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table. And is there not often wickedness in the place of judgment? Iniquity in human Courts of Judicature? The innocent condemned, and the guilty go free? The Son of God was wickedly arraigned, accused, condemned, and executed. Many, of whom the world is not worthy, suffer cruel bonds and imprisonment, and are persecuted unto death. The hearts of many are “fully set in them to do evil.” The ungodly will trample upon the laws of God; despite his authority; reject the gospel with contempt, and “crucify the Son of God.” “God afresh.” Shall such things lie in eternal silence? Nay, these things show that God will judge the righteous and the wicked: “For the Judge of all the earth will do right.” The holiness and justice of God call for a day of judgment, when his righteous government of the world shall be fully vindicated, and rightfully take place. – Again,
The voice of conscience gives its testimony to the certainty of a future judgment. The consciences of men with, and without, a revealed law, excuse or accuse, according as they do good or evil, and that in reference to a future state of rewards and punishments. To this purpose, when St. Paul reasoned before Felix, “of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,” we find he trembled. This arose from a conscience convinced of a future judgment, when he must account for his unrighteousness and intemperance. Upon the same principle, many, when they have been best prepared to judge of truth, have professed their belief, and dread of a future judgment. How many, who have put far away the evil day, and braved it out against death, and the terrors of God’s holy law, have at length, with horror, professed that they were going to that dreadful judgment of the great God, which they had neglected to prepare for? How many Atheists, Deists and Apostates, who have braved it out in a day of prosperity, have found in a day of distress, that they could stupefy conscience no longer, but have been obliged to fall before God, and acknowledge not only his being and word, but a future and terrible judgment? Great then is the force and evidence of this truth, and it shall prevail.
The account we have of the nature of this future judgment, is this, viz. that it will be a solemn, righteous, exact and critical, universal and final judgment. Must it not be the most solemn day, that ever angels or men have known, when the supreme Judge shall come forth with a shout! With the voice of the Archangel, and trump of God! The dead are raised! The judgment-seat is made ready, and the Judge hath took his feat! A countless multitude stand before this feat for justice: The sentence of absolution with a “come ye blessed of my Father,” is pronounced upon the godly in accents of inconceivable grace; and the sentence of condemnation is passed in accents of inconceivable wrath, and executed upon the ungodly! This will be a righteous and an impartial judgment. God will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ.
No partial favor will be shown here. The persons of princes will not be accepted for their grandeur; nor will the rich be regarded for their riches; nor will the poor be despised for their poverty: but with righteousness, and without partiality, will the just Judge distribute rewards and punishments to high and low, rich and poor. This will be a judgment most exact and critical: secret things are all to be laid open, tried and judged! The weighty matters of the eternal judgment are not to be hurried over. Some think the day of judgment will take up as long a time, as the world will stand: let this be as it will; the searcher of hearts will let no case escape, without the most exact and critical examination and trial. This will be a universal judgment: “We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ;” righteous and unrighteous, men and devils must obey the universal summons, and come to trial. This will be the final judgment. No appeal from the judgment-seat of Christ; the final sentence is there given. This sentence is, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, unalterable: it is a sentence for eternity, and the execution of it is unavoidable.
The great ends and designs of this future, final and eternal judgment are, for the manifestation of the honor and glory of the great Judge, and for the vindication of his righteous providence and government of the world; for the manifestation of his mercy and grace, in the complete salvation of the saints, and for the display of his justice, in the full destruction of the ungodly. I now proceed to day,
2. That the ungodly shall not stand in judgment. The proposition is fairly proved in the test. Peter gives us another proof, 2 Pet. Iii.7. “The heavens and earth – are reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men.” Jude another, 4, 15, verses, “The Lord cometh to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly of their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed.” These are threatening of God, founded on the unchangeable perfections of his nature: As God therefore is not man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent; so sure he will fulfill the threatening of his word: Nothing then can be more plain, than that the ungodly shall not stand in judgment. But further, to confirm and set home a truth so interesting and important, let me observe,
I. The ungodly shall not stand in judgment, because they have not the righteousness of the law; and so being found guilty in the eye of the law, strict and impartial justice will not acquit, but will condemn them in judgment.
The divine law is what God hath stated as the rule of proceeding towards man. “Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill the law.” That man therefore may stand in judgment, be acquitted, and find acceptance unto eternal life, he must have a righteousness, which the law requires, and will accept. What is the saints security, that they shall stand in judgment? They have the righteousness of the law. Not, that they imperfect sinful men ever did, or ever can in their own persons, answer the demands of the law: Nay, but this hath been fulfilled for them in the person of Christ their surety; which law-fulfilling righteousness hath been received by faith, placed to, and accepted on their account. So though they are saved by a new covenant, and by grace; yet they have a righteousness, which will answer the law; justice will not then condemn, but will acquit them upon trial. Can any ungodly sinner have any just pretence to this righteousness? He is an unbeliever, and without Christ: he hath then no part in him, nor his righteousness. This is the only righteousness, that will be accepted in judgment.
When therefore it is found upon fair trial, that the ungodly hath not this, must he not, when weighed in the balance, be found wanting? Yea, guilty in the eye of the law? Will not God then mark iniquity against him? How then shall he stand? Strict and impartial justice will require his blood. This is a reason, why men cannot stand in human Courts of Judgment. They are not, upon a fair trial, found righteous and innocent, but guilty in the eye of the law. This being the café, a righteous Jury cannot, in conscience, justify the guilty, and declare them innocent, but must bring in their verdict guilty; and a just Judge must acquiesce in their report, and pass the sentence accordingly. Let me observe,
II. That the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, because the grand evidence improved before the judgment-seat of God, will be their own practice or works; according to which evidence their state will be determined. These evidences will not be made use of to settle a determination in the mind of God, what the eternal state of the ungodly ought to be; but such a procedure will demonstrate to men’s own consciences, and to the world, the righteousness and equity of the final judgment. Though there may be many witnesses in the day of judgment, in order to enhance the condemnation of the ungodly, yet there will not need a train of witnesses; for facts themselves will be produced as evidences for or against men, and there is no room left to dispute plain matters of fact. This is according to the representation which the Judge gives of his proceeding in the last judgment, Matt. 25., latter end, where the sentence is passed on the saints according to, though not for, their works; and the sentence passed upon the ungodly, is according to their works. We have also a representation of the last judgment, Rev. xx. 12, &c. The dead are here said “to be judged out of those things, which are written in the books, according to their works.”
It is evident by this, that the deeds of the ungodly are all upon record in the book of God’s omniscience; that he will reveal them in the day of judgment, and make them revive in the book of the sinners own conscience, as well as manifest them before the assembled world. When this is done, and by their deeds they are proven ungodly, they fall in judgment. They cannot deny or extenuate their crimes before the judgment-seat; they appear in their true and real light; they cannot have any objection against evidences summoned; they are their own deeds which they will be convinced of: by the evidence then of their ungodly deeds, they will be condemned in judgment.
As in human Courts of justice, it is the fact substantially proved against the criminal, for which he is condemned, and for which he dies: so ungodly deeds, produced as witnesses against the ungodly in the final judgment, according to evidence, they must fall inevitably, under the righteous condemnation of God, and be justly sentenced to death eternal, and have the just sentence in its full length and breadth, depth and height, executed upon them. But,
III. The ungodly shall not stand in judgment, because they have no meet qualification to fit them for the presence of the just and holy Judge. They have no external righteousness to recommend them: naked and guilty then, they cannot stand before a just and holy Judge, but must fall with shame and blushing confusion. They have no internal holiness, but are un-renewed, unsanctified and unholy, and so have not the met qualification to appear with Christ in judgment, and to see him as he is: “For without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.” Holiness is a qualification absolutely necessary to fit men for the right hand of the Judge; for the glory, holy society, employments, entertainments and enjoyments of his heavenly kingdom. They shall not stand then in judgment, but will be spurned from the presence of the Judge, and sentenced to dwell forever with the unclean, unholy and abominable, in that fire never to be quenched.
Let us now attend to the APPLICATION.
I. Is the certainty of a future and final judgment so great, and the evidence so full, that the ungodly shall not stand in judgment; “what manner of persons ought we to be, in all holy conversation and godliness?” Though Christ hath wrought out a complete redemption, and brought in an everlasting righteousness; yet it is in vain for any to expect to appear with safety in the day of God, unless they by faith receive Christ, with the benefits of his purchase; partake of his spirit, and are holy, even as he is holy. To stand in the final judgment is a matter of such everlasting consequence to the souls of men, that our call to be actually ready to stand before the judgment-seat, and to receive a sentence for eternity, is immediate and loud. Should not the state of our souls be settled and determined, without delay? Should not the light and evidence about our safe appearing be so bright and clear, as to put the matter out of all present doubt? Then shall we be like the servant, that waits for his Lord’s coming and loves his appearing, and with him receive the blessed euge and crown of righteousness. Permit me,
2. To close the Discourse by way of Address and Exhortation.
And now, withal seriousness and solemnity, I shall first take liberty to address myself to you, unhappy man! Who are just going to judgment, and to receive a particular sentence for eternity. When I considered you as one of the previous souls committed to my charge; and as bearing a special relation to a number of respectable families among my people, let me say, with trembling, I consented to prepare my a final Sermon for you. Sensible of my great inability to deal with men in your situation, nature recoiled at the thought; and, had I consulted only the dictates of flesh and blood, I must have utterly refused: but Providence called; with the call of Providence I complied; and at your own Election I come forth to speak.
Permit me now, as a faithful watchman, in duty to God, and in compassion to your soul, to warn you of your danger, with all plainness, that having done my duty, I may shake my raiment, and say, “I am pure from the blood of your soul.” Though it may, to you, possibly seem cruel to rehearse over the evil deeds of a dying man, or reproachful; yet let me say, far be it from me, from having any desire of such a nature: any desire to reproach you, or to give your enemies occasion to rejoice in your misery. Believe me, whatever I may say upon the evil of your conduct, shall be with an hearty design, by the blessing of God, to bring you to a sense of the evil of your sins, and to convince you of your immediate necessity of Christ, and his salvation knowing, “that the whole doth not see his need of a physician, but he that is sick.”
And now were not you conceived in sin, and shaped in iniquity? Are you not by nature a child of wrath even as others, and an enemy to God by wicked works? Hath not your conduct been notoriously wicked? The character of the ungodly man in full; impious towards God, and unrighteous towards man, been your character? Have you not repented, there are but a few moments left you to reflect; to settle your accounts; to have your peace made with God, and to seek preparation for a never-ending eternity! But to be particular, let me appeal to your conscience in the sight of that God, before whom you are presently to appear, whether you have not, to an extreme degree, been guilty of the sin of intemperance? Have you not hereby dishonored God, and abused his bounty and goodness? Wronged your own soul and body? Wasted your substance? Brought yourself and family to poverty and distress?
Have you not followed this practice, until you became deaf to all warnings, regardless of all reproof, and even left to all sense and expectation of death and judgment to come? Hath not this been an inlet to a train of evils of the blackest nature? – A source of lying and profane swearing? – Abuse and grief to your own parents? – Abuse to your own wife and children? – A great grief and trial to your relatives and friends? – Quarreling and contention with others? Know then, if you are not a very humble penitent indeed, God will not hold you guiltless at his righteous bar, nor suffer you to inherit his kingdom; but will give you your portion in the lake of fire and brimstone. Besides, by the verdict of the Jury, upon what I called being present, a fair and impartial trial; in the judgment of the Court and Judicious, that attended the trial, with impartiality, you are verily guilty of the crying sin of MURDER. And let any friend to truth and justice but weigh with impartiality, the variety of reports you have yourself made of the tragic affair; and how they will be able to pronounce you innocent, I cannot see.
At one time you make report, that you were writing, and knew nothing of the affair; – again owned that you threw him down with your foot; – again owned that you did seize him by the neck; – at other times report, that you were asleep, and as ignorant about anything done to the man deceased, as the child unborn: when it can be, and has to me been sufficiently proved, that you were in reality awake. So many shifts and falsehoods argue guilt: for truth will bear its own weight, and is always consistent with itself. These things, with an evident disposition to deny, conceal and extenuate other crimes of an atrocious nature; together with the hand of providence, appearing evidently to frustrate every measure concerted for your help and escape, do not to me bespeak innocence, but guilt.
To me, then, as a dying man, it appears, you ought to acknowledge the justice of God and man, in your condemnation; and with David, say, “I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” With penitential brokenness, and submission to God, say, “Against thee, and thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou might be justified when thou speaks, and be clear when thou judges.” If a man be guilty, it is not the time to deny and plead not guilty, when he is going to the judgment-seat of an all-seeing Judge, to answer for his guilt. If you die in peace, you must have a clear conscience; a conscience, void of offense towards God and man. Do you hope for acceptance at the bar of God, die not concealing your guilt: for if you die with a guilty conscience, and lies in your mouth, you never will be renewed unto repentance, nor washed in the Redeemer’s blood: and unless you are in time washed in the blood of Christ, and clothed in his righteousness, you will not have a righteousness in which you can, with safety, appear before God; but your guilt, will all your evil works, appearing in judgment against you, in justice, you cannot stand.
And consider, today you are in a state of trial, and there is a grain of hope yet left; if you now believe in Christ, and repent of your sins, you shall have mercy. Consider also, that today you must appear before God, in judgment; and if found an impenitent in your sins, you fall at once under an eternal curse without repeal, and the execution of it will immediately follow, and without any reprieve for days. Jesus Christ, the Prince and Savior, now sets on a throne of grace, a seat of mercy: but will you not this day find him on a throne of justice? How then shall you, a sinner by nature and practice, this day appear with safety before a just and holy Judge? Let me say, if you find acceptance in judgment, you must by faith receive Christ, the Prince and Savior, and have his blood and merits, his law-fulfilling and magnifying righteousness transferred to you by a gracious imputation; otherwise, so sure as thou art now condemned by the law, so sure as thou hast already began to fall before justice, so sure thou shall not prevail, but shall surely fall before a just and holy God.
And what an awful state is a long, long eternity of misery! Your duty and business is now then to be deeply sensible of, and bewail your sins of nature and practice, until you are truly sensible of your wretched, undone and helpless condition, and absolute and immediate necessity of Christ, and salvation by him, that you may, under this conviction, essay to commit your precious and immortal soul into the hands of the blessed Redeemer, in whom alone there is help found for lost sinners.
You should be very earnest for a true fight of your present state, and plead with God in his abundant grace and goodness, to discover to you, an ill-deserving and hell-deserving sinner, the Savior, as being suited to all your wants, miseries and dangers; that he would give you a heart willing to renounce all other lords and lovers; all other hopes and dependencies; willing sincerely and in good earnest, really to choose and embrace him as offered in the gospel, and to venture your soul wholly upon him for eternal life. You should plead that “Christ of God may be made unto you wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption;” that you may be found in him, having that righteousness, which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that as you are going to judgment this day, you may be introduced with acceptance before the Judge: so that though you die as a condemned criminal, yet being in Christ, you may be pardoned of God, and acquitted in the final judgment. You should plead for a true fight and sense of sin, not merely as exposing you to public justice, and the wrath of God, but as opposite to the pure nature, odious and offensive in the sight of a holy and merciful God, that you may loath and abhor it, and have that godly sorrow for sin, that works repentance unto life never to be repented of.
You should be earnest for a heart to love God supremely, and his Son Jesus Christ, as one altogether lovely; for a heart to love the divine law, and to hate sin; to love and forgive your enemies, knowing that without these things, you must be denied the presence and glory of God in the coming world. And let me tell you, that the greatest sinners are not shut out from the saving blessings of the new covenant, if they will repent and believe the gospel. Not Menassah, who filled the streets of Jerusalem with innocent blood – not the Jews, who crucified the Lord of glory – not the Gentiles, who were slaves to their lusts, and guilty of the most abominable practices; gave themselves up to work wickedness with all greediness: free grace hath triumphed in the salvation of such sinners as these. And it is now a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save the chief of sinners:” that “he who was dead, but is alive again, and ever lives to make intercession,” is as able to save all that will come to God by him.
Now then, poor Man! Who have nothing to recommend you to God; no good works to boast of; who have been a great and notorious offender, let me bid you once more come under a sense of your sinful, miserable and helpless estate; come sensible how infinitely just God is, and will be, shall he execute his wrath eternally upon you; come sensible that there is help in the Lord, and surrender yourself up to Jesus Christ, the mighty Prince and Savior, and trust your soul wholly upon his infinite merits for justification and eternal life. His blood is all-sufficient for the pardon of your great sins, and can wash out your stains of the longest continuance. The Spirit of Christ can create a new an old transgressor and fit you for heaven. All things are possible with God. These things, with the example of the dying thief, who obtained mercy in the last hour, forbid you utterly to despair of salvation. Art thou now a child of wrath, as you were born? Have you been an old transgressor, and long sinned against light and love? Long hardened your heart against counsel and reproof? But are you at last deeply sensible of your guilt? Are you inclined no longer to harden your neck, but today – this last day, to hear the voice of God? Are you disposed to be made a new creature before you die, and to accept deliverance upon the very borders of hell? With infinite ease Christ can deliver a dying sinner from death eternal. Bu now to press all home, and to excite you immediately to comply with the instructions given, consider, if you are lost, what an awful account you will have to give to God, and how clear your condemnation will be?
Will not all the counsels and instructions that ever you have had? Will not the ministers that have been dealing with you since under a sentence of death, with all their solemn and weighty instructions, both in public and private, rise up in judgment against you? Will not the gospel, your own conscience, and all your evil works, rise up against you, and aggravate your just condemnation? If you now perish, better for you that you never had been born; better for you, that you had been executed on the day sentenced to die: for all the time given you, with all your respites, being sinned away, instead of being any benefit, hath only given you an opportunity to fill up the measure of your iniquities, and to make an intolerable hell seven times hotter. O for Christ’s sake, and in mercy to your own soul, I beseech you to linger no longer, but fly from the wrath to come, to the city of refuge! As a prisoner of hope, turn to the stronghold.
Flatter not yourself that God is altogether such a one as yourself: for he is a just and a holy God. Deceive not yourself, by thinking yourself something, when you are nothing. Believe, unless you are in Christ, you cannot stand in judgment. Know, unless you are born again, are a new creature, have all old things done away, and all things become anew, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Improve your few remaining moments in earnest and importunate breathings of foul, that God would show mercy to a dying sinner. In your last moments cry with the dying thief, “Lord Jesus, remember me in thy kingdom!” And say unto my poor soul, “this day shall thou be with me in Paradise.” What more can I say, but the Lord pity and have mercy on your soul!
And now, my Reverend Fathers and Brethren in the ministry of our Lord Jesus, let us, by this desperate instance before us, be stirred up to cry aloud, and spare not to show sinners their sins, and warn them of their danger; that whether they will hear or forbear, heir blood may not be required at our hands. Let civil Magistrates, who are powers ordained of God, and not to bear the sword in vain, exert themselves, by authority, example and endeavors, to bear down vice, and prevent, if possible, men from running to such lengths of wickedness, that they may not, for their overmuch wickedness, come to an untimely end. Let matters of public houses, take warning by this fad spectacle before you, to hold your hand from men of this character, lest the hungry and distressed cries of their wives and children, rise up to the ears of the Lord against you; and the blood of such men as die before they have lived out half their days, by this means, cry at your doors, and rise up in judgment against you. Let the dreadful example made of this poor criminal, be a warning to men of intemperance, especially to his own companions in wickedness. See the fruits of love to strong drink!
Let me lift up my voice, and cry aloud in the ears of all this solemn assembly, behold the dreadful effects of drinking to excess! And O let the voice of this alarming example found in the ears of drunkards in accents of thunder, and deter you from your horrid practice, even as though you heard the rump of God found, and the voice of the Son of God, saying, that the judgment of the wicked is come! Let this instance before us be a solemn warning to men of passion, who in their passion quarrel and smite with the fist of wickedness. O lay hands on no man, lest murder be committed, and you share in the fate of this poor man! Let young people take warning in season to guard against the sins of intemperance and contention. Let the solemn instance before us, with what we have this day heard, found an awakening alarm in the ears of every ungodly sinner. The solemn, righteous, impartial, critical, universal and final judgment, will come. The ungodly shall appear, but shall not stand in judgment. O Sirs, above all things, be concerned about the weighty matter of death, judgment and eternity! Prepare without delay to meet your God, the great Judge of quick and dead. And now let us all in un-dissembled woe drop a tear upon this sorrowful occasion.
O the distress of the aged Parents, this day bereft of their only surviving son after this sort! He hat should be the staff and comfort of their old age bringing their grey hairs with sorrow down to the grave. Say ye that are parents, could you bear up under such a trial as this, without an extraordinary measure of grace? What Tongue can express the distress of this poor man’s wife with her eleven children and all his relatives and friends? Pity, pity them, O ye people, and recommend them in your daily addresses at the throne of grace, to the abundant grace of God! But especially pity the poor man now to die by the hand of justice; and while you are attending the execution, lift up your hearts in the most earnest prayer, that he may be a monument of God’s rich, free, sovereign grace and mercy. Finally, let me caution all present upon this sorrowful occasion, to let your behavior be with all decency and moderation. It is not a day for rioting and vain merriment.
Such an occasion as this calls much rather for fasting, humiliation and prayer. Let me entreat old and young to stand off from everything rude and vain. To let your behavior be with sobriety and good order, and in due season, to retire to your respective homes. Remember your need of grace to keep you from falling, and let him that stands take heed lest he fall. “And now may the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us all perfect to do his will; working in us that which is well-pleasing in his fight, through Jesus Christ: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.