« הקודםהמשך »
P A R T I.
of the Swor D.
Ifa. 34. 2. The Indignation of the Lord is upon
all Nations, and his Fury upon all their Armies : He hath utterly destroy'd them, be bath deliver’d them to the slaughter.
1. The $1. THE First Evil to be consider'd, is,
$ Sword, the the Sword or
which our proper Pur Blessed Lord tells us must be first, Luke 21. the Luft of 19. When ye shall bear of Wars and Commotions,
be not terrified, for these things must first come to pass. And so we find it generally reckon'd by the Prophets as the beginning of Vengeance. This being (if I may to express it) a more circumferential Evil, may be an Allarm to the rest of the World, that other and greater Evils are following. For tho’indeed War be a very great Mischief to a Nation, yet it cannot properly be call'd an universal One in the sense here Izeant, as not affecting every particular Member of the offending guilty Nation, unless in their Fears and Apprehensions, of at most in their Estates, not their Persons, which are the only, or properly, the capable Subjects of Punishment or Amendment, Wars then are as the gathering of the Clouds, which are the fore-running Signs of an appoaching Storm, and will be to the
wise hearted a warning to shift for themselves, and prepare them a Shelter from the fubsequent Showers of Wrath. These are the proper Punishment of that great Branch of Sin, The Lust of the Eye, to which they owe their Original, and from whence they proceed as their proper and immediate Cause or Principle. For from whence come Wars and Fightings amongst you? ( faith St. James,.c.4. v. 1,2,3.) come they not bence, oven of your Lusts, that war in your Members ? Ye luft, and have not : Ye kill and desire to have, and cannot obtain : Te fight and war, yet ye bave not because ye ask not : Te ask and receive not, because je ask, amiss, that ye may consume it upon your Lufts. This is the predominant Vice of those, who having given them selves over to a boundless Ambition, make it their whole Concern and Business to grasp and seize all the Riches, Eftates, Preferments, and Kingdoms, that either their Power or Interest can bring within their reach; who (as the Prophet Habak. 2.5. expresses it') enlarge their Desire as Hell, and are as Death, and cannot be satisfied ; but gather unto them all people, and beap unto them all Nations. This is the Sin to which Satan tempted our Blessed Saviour, when he showed him all the Kingdoms of the World, and the Glory of them, all which he promised to bestow upon him, if he would fall down and worship him, Matth. 4. 8, 9. Whosoever are in this covetous and wrathful Spirit, are properly the Subjects and Children of Wrath ; and according as they are Persons of more or less Autho
rity in the Earth, may more or less spread and dilate this Fire of Contention; which when it comes to its heighth, produces always bloody Wars and Desolations. Un der this Signature or Form, Babylon seem'd!
to stand among the Ancient Prophets, a * Jer. 49. may be seen at large *; as did also, in a
50. lefs degree, Allyria and the Philistines, Egypt Ca. 13.14. and Syria. These, like so many Fires break
ing out in different Quarters of a City, did ever now and then set the World in a Blaze, and put all the neighbouring Nations into Confusion; whose End was this that when they had fufficiently executed the wise Counsels of God (who often turn the Fierceness of Men to his own Praise and Glory) they quickly fell by the same Fate ; fo faith the Lord to the King of A Syria by the Prophet, Isaiah 10. 12. When the Lord shall have performed his whole Work upon Mount-Zion and Jerusalem, I will the Fruit of the stout Heart of the King of A. Syria, and the Glory of his bigh Looks. And fo in this Senfe also, they that drew the Sword perished by the Sword, even as che Prophet Habakkuk affures us in the aforecited Chapter, v. 7. 8. That there shall arise up suddenly those that fall bite. them, and á. wake that shall vex them, and they shall be for Booties unto them; and because they have spoika many Nations, all the Remnant of the People fall Spoil tbem.
S 2. That this Judgment of the Sword this Fudg- shall be more General and Univerfal in the ment shall latter Days, is plainly foretold by the An: Sürely come. cient Prophecs, as also by our Lord and
his Apostles; by our Lord particularly in the above-mention'd place of St. Matthew and St. Luke ; and by the Holy Apostles, when they Prophecy of the perillous Times that shall come in the latter Days; where they tell us, that Men shall abound in all .
those evil Qualities, which, as we before observ’d, are the Seeds and Fuel of all the Strife, War, and Bloodshed, that so often difturb the Peace of Mankind, and put the World in Confusion. Thus St. Paul to Tim. 2 Ep. 3. 3, 4. tells us, that in the laft Days, Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, proud, disobedient, truce-breakers, fallé
accufers; or (as the Margin reads it) makebates, fierce, traiterous, headstrong, and highminded. Such are the Scoffers walking after their own Lusts, whom St. Peter, 2 Ep. 3. prophecies of; and the Mockers, Murmurers and Complainers, of St. Jude 16. 18. By which I understand, that these Vices were to be more common and prevailing in the Times. here prophecy'd of, than usual ; otherwise it were no great wonder if it were only meant that there should be some fuch Perfons in the World; for that hath been in every Age and Period of it. And whensoever Mankind shall be thus corrupted; when Men shall be discontented with their Conditions, and cover what does not belong to them; when Men shall despise and disobey their Superiours, violate their Oaths and Promises, delight in railing Accufations, and landerous Stories, be rebellious, itubborn, and headftrong, what can be the Consequence, but War, Contention, Vio
lence, and Desolation. The Circumstances of which must differ, according to the Quality and Authority of the first Movers, and the Grounds and Principles upon which they act. Thus some Quarrels shall be only Domestick or Oeconomical, confin'd to one or more Families, dividing the Members or Relatives of the fame House; as when the Father is divided against the Son, and the Son against the Fatber; the Mother against the Daughter, and the Daughter against the Mother; the Mother-in-law against the Daughter-inlaw, and the Daughter-in-law against the Mother-in-law, Matth. 10. 34. Luke 12. sl. Others shall be Political, betwixt Members of the same Society or Body Politick, or betwixt the Members and the Head : Such are the bold Insults of Traytors and Rebels. The Last is National, when Kingdom shall rise up against Kingdom, and Nation against Nation, which in this place we particularly
regard. 3. That it 13. That this latter Kind shall be Unishall be V- versaí in the latter Days, is, I think, abunmiverfal.
dantly foretold by the Prophets, who do in many places tell us of Universal Defolations by the Sword, which shall come up on all the Earth; which, tho' fome Interpreters do understand only of the Land of Yudea, and so confine it to that Destruction which was brought upon the Land by the
Chaldeans, Babylon, or the Romans, rendring 43 * the Words * not all the Earth, but all the 87 Land, or the whole Land : Yet I believe
it is possible to produce fame Prophecies, that are utterly uncapable of such a Limi