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OR, THE DOOM AND DOWNFALL OF THE FRUITLESS PROFESSOR:
SHOWING THAT THE DAY OF GRACE MAY BE PAST WITH HIM LONG BEFORE HIS LIFE IS ENDED: THE SIGNS, ALSO, BY WHICH SUCH MISERABLE MORTALS MAY’ BE KNOWN.
TO THE READER.
A cumber-ground professor is not only a provocation to God, a stumblingblock to the world, and a blemish to religion, but a snare to his own soul also. “Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds, yet he shall perish for ever, like his own dung; they that have seen him shall say, Where is he?”
My exhortation therefore is to professors, that they look to it that they take heed.
The Church and a profession are the best of places for the upright, but the worst in the world for the cumber-ground; he must be cast, as profane, out of the mount of God — cast, I say, over the wall of the vineyard, there to wither, thence to be gathered and burned. It had been better for them that they had not known the way of righteousness. And yet if they had not, they had been damned, but it is better to go to hell without than in or from under a profession. These shall receive greater damnation.
If thou be a professor, read and tremble; if thou be profane, do so likewise. “For if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinners appear?” Cumber-ground, take heed of the axe; barren fig tree, beware of the fire.
But I will keep thee no longer out of the book. Christ Jesus, the dresser of the vineyard, take care of thee, dig about thee, and dung thee, that thou mayest bear fruit, that when the Lord of the vineyard cometh with his axe to seek for fruit or pronounce the sentence of damnation on the barren fig tree, thou mayest escape that judgment. The cumber-ground must to the wood-pile, and thence to the fire. Farewell.