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flaming fire ; taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Chrift, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. And this to do, is said to be a righteous thing on God's part, and a worthy and fitting thing to be done on man's part, v. 5, 6, 11, For the state of the subject the reason of the things, ground and proportion are indifferently observed. Which being so, we may have a fare-sight of things future, from what we now are, and feel ; whereas, of things perfectly new and never before, or altogether arbitrary and fubject to will, there can be no fore-knowledge arising from ought of the things themselves..
4. Then let us have faith and patience to go through the world withal; for the day draws on apace, for the stating and rectifying of things ; the proportioning of recompence and reward to action, and the compleating and consummating what is weak and imperfect for the present.
He is unreasonably impatient, and hasty, who will not stay and expect the season of the year, and what that brings ; but mutters and complains of injury, and hard measures, because he cannot have harvest in seed-time.
Tho'an inheritance fall to a person not at years, or a parent will by benevolence to his child, antevert his own decease, and preposterously make him heir per voluntatem before-hand, who is to be per naturam in succession (as Charles the V. king of Spain
and the Netherlands, distinguish'd in his speech to his fon Philip, when he surrendered his kingdoms to him, having before surrendered his empire of Germany to his brother Ferdinand) yet the general law which in common looks at particulars, and only aims at minors advantage and security, admits not-an undoubted heir at law, the power, or liberty of dispose in his incomplete state, left thro’immaturity, or inexperience, he consent to what after-wisdom would choose to have otherwise. Neither is this remora, or detention esteemed matter of tyranny, or a grievance, but' meets with equal come pliance, being a provision of fecurity
Scriptures and experience of ages shew us, that ingentia dei opera magnam patiuntur moram. God takes a large compass to bring about his great works. Shall not we acknowledge God's priviledge, and yield to his pleasure, by being content to stay till the time appointed of our heavenly father, Gal. iv. 2. · He deals very unequally with God, from whose goodness and bounty we expect all things of faith and hqpe, for matter and substance ; who will not permit to his liberty, circumstances of time and place. We are wont to fay, to persons who gratify us, take your own time : and we stay with patience, and receive with kind acceptance.
I doubt not, but as God in the world of nature, hath fitted one thing to another, as the wife man obferves, Eccl. vii. 14. whereby vanity, deformity and ineptitude to the end are excluded, which might extend to the maker's reproach, as failing in skill, or goodness ; fo will he also in the intellectual world of souls and spirits, finally proportion capacities and states (for the other world will be admirable for congruities) and fit moral actions and dispositions with recompence and reward, that no challenge may befal his superintendency, and government.
The Necessary REPENTANCE of a
IŚ A IH i. 16. '. Washi ye, make ye clean, put away the evil of your doin : ings, &c.
Wo things are necessarily to be acknowledg-
ligion, endeavours after piety, and applicati-
Secondly, That by this assistance of God's grace and spirit, we are enabled to do our duty. That God doth afford his aid and assistance ; and that by this we are enabled to do our duty, and that which God requires of us ; these two things are neceffary for us to believe and understand, to
strengthen our hands in our work, and so encourage us in good endeavour, and to make application to God, or else we shall fall into one of these two inconveniencies.
First, We shall be ready to say or think, that God doth reproach us when he doth seem to exhort us, and that he doth as it were but mock at us, in our misery and necessity, when he speaks most kindly to us ; than which, nothing is more unworthy the divine goodness. This is to do something like that which St. James doth reprove, James ii. 16. for one to fay to a brother or a fifter, that is naked and destitute of food, be ye warmed and filled, but gives them not those things that are necessary for the body. Now I ask, can we think that God will do that himself, which he finds fault with in others? Is there not quite another representation made of God, Pfal. ciii. 13. That God pities them that fear him, as a father doth his children : because that he knoweth their frame, and remembers that they are but flesh.
By which the prophet would teach us, that God doth make allowance for our advantage, and that he is full of compassion, and that it is far from him to make a shew of that, which he doth not mean ; this being a thing so horrid, that no person among us of any fairness, candour, or ingenuity, is guilty of ; and when any one is found out, to speak that which he did not mean, and intend to perform ; he is the more disrelished and avoided. . Or else,
Secondly, That the exhortations that are in scripture are to no purpose, and shall take no effect ;
all which doth ill reflect upon God, and misrepresents him to his creatures, and discourages our application to him, and is apt to take us off from fol lowing after God, and laying hold of him, as the phrase is, Prov. iii. 18. of wifdom, lay hold of her, let her not go, for the is thy life. Should we believe any thing of this nature, concerning God, it would be so great a discouragement, that we Mhould let all alone, and not think ourselves greatly concerned to act in a way of religion.
For I remember the great philosopher hath observed, * That no man, in point of wisdom, tho’he be concerned never so much, will take into consideration things that are impossible.
There are two things which no wise man doth submit to his own care or thought, and they are necessaries, and impossibles. For things necessary, he needs not charge himself with them ; for they will be done of course ; and for things impossible, it is a vain thing for him to undertake ; for they cannot be done by him, or any power whatsoever. Wherefore we are not to conceive ourselves to be in the state of impossibility ; therefore we must suppose, that God is with us by his grace and affiftance ; and while God is with us, that we are able to do those things that he requires of us, to wash and make us clean, and to put away the evil of our doings. Which words are to be considered,
First, According to their form.