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their own evil Deferring, or noy Fore- and Punifhments without previous Conthought of it: That before any Mao had fideration of Mens Carriage ? But here we

Being, God mould have been in his muft ftand and go no further than the ScripCounsel, fitting so many to Destruction. tures walk with us; whatever Reasons or

Is it not a frange Mocking of the Crea Causes may be assigned, yet certainly, we eures, ko punish them for that sin and mutt at length come up thither: All Things Corruption, unto which by his eternal are, because be fo willed, and why willed Counsel they were fore-ordained ? This. we should not ask a Reason, because his is even that which Paul objects to him. Will is fuprean Reason, and the very felf, Is tbere Unrigbteousness with God? Self-rule of all Righteousness: Therefore As it not Uprighteousness to hate Esau be if once we know his Will, we loula fore he deserves it? Is he not unrighteous, presently conclude that it is most rigla10 adjudge bim to Death before he do teous and holy. If that Evasion of the evil? ver. 14. Let Paul answer for us, Fore-knowledge of Mens Sins and ImpeniGod forbidi why. There needs no more tency had been found - folid, certainly, Answer, but all Thoughts or Words Paul would have answered fo, and not which may in the leaft reflect upon his have had his Refuge to the absolute Will Holiness, are Abominacion cho we and Pleasure of God, which seems to per. could not tell how it is righteous and ho- plex it more; but he knew well, that there W with him to do it, yet this we must could nothing of that kind, whether Good bold that it is. It is his owa Property to or Eril, either actually be without bis comprehend the Reason of bis Counsels ; Will, or be to come without the Deter. i is our Duty to believe what he reveals mination of the famre Will, and fo could of them, without further Enquiry : He not be foreseen wichout the Counsel of tells us, that tbus it is clearly in this Chap. his Will upon it, and therefore it had fer , chis far then we must believe: He been but a poor Shift to have Refuge to cells us not how it is, then further we chat starting Hule of Fore-knowledge, out Haould not delire to learn ; God in keep- of which he must presently Aee to che ing Silence of that, may put us to Silence, Will and Pleasure of God, and fo he beand make us conceive, that there is a takes him Atraight Way to that he must Depth to be admired, not founded. Yet hold ar, and opposes that will to Man's ke goeth a litle further, and indeed as Doings. It is not of bim tbai willetb, &c, high as can be, to God's Will, He bath If he had meant only that Jacob and Efax Mercy on wbom be will, and whom be had actually done neither Good nor Evil

. will be barde netb. Now further he can be needed not return to the San&uary of not go, for there is nothing above this. God's Will, for still it might be faid, it We may defcend from this, but we cannot is of him that runs and wills, and not of afcend, or rise above it. But is this any God's Will as the first Original, because Answer to the Argument ? A Sophifter their Good and Evil foreseen did move could press it further, and take Advantage him to such Love and Hatred. It is all & from that very Ground; What, is not like of Works and of Men, whether there this to eftablish a meer Tyranny in the works be present or to come: There. Lord, that he doth all Things of meer fore, I would advise every one of you, Will and Pleasure, diftributes Rewards whatever ye conseive of bis Judgment or

Mercy.

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Mary, if ke Bumpe stewed Mergy to you, bound by a Rut 10 do fo with all? K O shen sett not in clay folf, bur arife and not be both juft and mercifut, and afcend du che come to the Height Aor neet that both bé fbewed fork? of this mat free Purposes and if shou 1 he puáith thee, thou can't not cott Conceive thy sin, ad Mifery, and Judy plain, for thou deserves in; I like thew ment, drou may go up alfo ro his holy Mercy, why should any quarrel, for it is Confels, for ehe Glory of his Name,

and free and undeserved Grace , by faving Silence choy self with them; but it hall be come le fhews his Grace, by deftroying most expedients for thee in the Thougbo of others he shews what all deserve. God the Miferies to return always within, and is fo far from being and Acceptes of Per search the Corruprion of thy Nature, fons according to their Qualifications and which may alone make thee hateful e Conditions, that he finds nocking in aning Bough to God. dou fearch thy own Creature to cast the Baltarice of his Conscience, it will stop thy Mouth, and Choice ; if he did choose Men for theit make thee guilty before God. Ler norWorks fake, or outward Priviteges, me che Thought of his eternal Counsels refuse others for the Want of chefe, then i diminith the Conviction of thy Guilt, or might be charged on him ; but he rather the Hatred of thy felf, for Sin and Cor-goes over all these, nay, he finds Kuprion, but dwell more constantly upon none of thefe ; in his firft View of Med this becaufe chou are called and command he beholds them all alike, and nothing to: ed fo to do. One thing remains fixed: determine his Mind to one more than one Though the hath fore-ordained Men to nother, fo that his Choice proceedecha Death; yet none shall be damned till wholly from within his own Breaft; I kis Conscience be forced to fay, that he is will bave Mercy on whom I will worthy of it a thousand Times.

But then Thirdly, our Hearts abject There is another Whispering and Sug- againft the Righteousness of God, that there gestion of the wicked Hearts of Men a- fatal Chain of Predeftimation overturne ait gainst the Predestination of God, which Exhortations and Perswalions to Gollinefs, infinuates that God is an Accepter of Per-all Care and Diligence in Well-doing : Fot fons, and so accuses him of partial and un- thus do many' profane Souls concieve, Y righteous Dealing, because he deals not be be in one Mind, and tobo can turn equally with all Men. Do ye nor say Him? shen, Whar needil pray? Since bie this within your selves, If he find all Guil- has already determined whar halt be, and ty, Why does he not punith all? Why what shall become of me: His Purpose does he spare fome? And if he look up- will take effect whether I pray, or pray ou all Men in his first and primitive nor; my Prayer will not make himni Thought of them, as neither doing Good change his Minds and if it be in his Mind Bor Evil

; Why does he not have Mercy le will do it ;: if her bave appointed to on all? But is thy Eye evil becaufe befave us, faved we lalibe, live as we lift; is Good? May be "nor do with his own as if he bath; appointed us to Death: die wé be pleafet? Because he is mercifuk so muft, live as we can. Therefore Men, fone Souls, fhalt Men-be displeased, and in this desperate Estate, chitowe kentselves do well to be angry? Or, because he of headtong into all Mannet. of Iniquity, and orto free Gorice extenderin tall he be that with Quietnes and teace! Thus do

man

many Souls perith upon the stumbling Stone ceipts, so he hath appointed this to be che Jaid in Zion, and wreft the Truths and very Way of obtaining what is wants ; Counsels of God to their own Destructi- this is the way of Familiarity and Grace, on, even quite contrary to their crue lo- | he takes with his own, to make thera tent and Meaning. Paul (Epb. i. 4.) call, and he performs his purpose in Anspeaks another Language, He bath cbo swer to their Cry. But suppose there were jen us in bim, that we should be boly nothing to be expected by Prayer, yet I and without Blame. His eternal Coun. say, that is not the Thing thou shouldA fel of Life is so far from loosing the Reins look to, but what is required of thee as to Mens Lusts, that it is the only certain thy Duty, to do that fimply out of Regard Foundation of Holiness ; it is the very to his Majesty, though thou should never Spring and Fountain from whence our profit by it ; this is true Obedience to serve Sanctification Aows, by an infallible him for his own Pleasure, though we had Course. This Chain of God's Counsels no Expectation of Advantage by it: Cerconcerning us, hath also linked together the cainly he doch not require thy SuppliEnd and the Means, Glory and Grace, cations for this End, to move him, Happiness and Holiness, that there is no and incline his Affections toward thee, destroying of them. Without Holiness it but rather as a Testimony of thy Homage is impossible to see God; so that those and Subjection to him ; therefore though who expect the one without any Desire of, they cannot make him of another Mind and Endeavour after the other, they are up- than he is, or haften Perforinance beon a vain Attempt to loose the Links of fore his purposed Time, so that in realiThis eternal Chain, Rom. viii. It is the cy they have no Influence upon him, yet

only eternal choosing Love of God, in praying, and praying diligently, thou which feparated so many Souls from the declares thy Obligation to him, and recommon Misery of Men'; it is that only spect to his Majesty, which is all thou haft which in Time doth appear, and rise as to look do, and to commit the Event foleit were from under Ground, in the ly to his good Pleasure. Streams or Fruits of Sanctification; and if The second Objection Paul inentions, the Ordinance of Life

ftand, so thall the tends to justifie Men. Wby tben doth be yet Ordinance of Fruits, Job. xv. 16. Epb. find Fault, wbo barb resifted bis Will? ü. 10. If he have appointed thee to Life, it Since by his Will he hath chained us with is certain he has also ordained thee to Fruits, an inevitable Necessity to Sin, what can we and chosen thee to be Holy; so that what do ? Men cannot wrefle with him ; why ever Soul cafts by the Study of this, there") then doth he condemn and accuse them? is too gross a Brand of Perdition upon its' But wbo art thou O Man wbo disputes Forehead. It is true, all is already deter: against God? as if Paul had said, thou mined with him, and he is incapable of art a Man, and so I am, why then looks any Change, or Shadow of turning ; no. thou for an Aoswer from me, let us raching then wants, but he is in one Mind cher both confider whom we speak of, about it, and thy Prayer cannot turn him: whom thou, accuseft, and whom I defend; Yet á godly Soul will pray with more it is God, what art thou then to charge Confidence, because it knows that as he him, or what am I fo to clear him? Be desexmined upoch all its Wants and Relieving ignorance is better than presum.

ptuous

mous Knowledge, especially in these for any Creature hath over another, yea, or bidden Secrets, in which it is more con over themselves, let that restrain us, and ceraing to be ignorant with Faith and Ad-, keep us within Bounds. He may do with miration, than to know with Presumption.us what he pleaseth, for his own Honour Dispure, thou, O Man, I will wonder ; re- and Praise, but it is his Will that we should ply thou, I will believe. Doth it become leave all the Blame to our selves, and ra ehee, the Clay to speak fo to thy Former, ther behold the evident Cause of our De. Wby baft tbou made me tbus? Let the strucion in our Sin, which is nearer us, Conlideration of the absolute Right and than to search into a secret and incompre Dominion of God over us, more than hensible Cause in God's Counsel.

Heb. xi. 3. Through Faith we undersiand that the Worlds were

made, &c. with Gen, i.

WE

E are come down from the Lord's to a far Country, and wandered into a

Purposes and Decrees to the Ex Wilderness where he could see no Inhaecution of them, which is partly in the bitants, but only Houses, Villages, and Works of Creation, and partly in the Cities built, he would straight way conWorks of Providence. The Lord having ceive, there hath been fonte Work men at resolved upon it to manifeft his own Glo- this, this hath not been done casually, but ry, did, in chat due and predeterminate by the Art of some reasonable Creatures ; Time, apply his own Power to this Bu- how much more may we conceive when finess; Having in great Wisdom conceiv- we look on the fabrick of this World, ed a Frame of the World in his Mind how the Heavens are stretched out from all Eternity, he ar length brings it for a Tent to cover them that dwell on forth, and makes it visible. We shall not the Earth, and the Earth settled and elta. inlift upon the particular Story of it, as it blished as a firm Foundation for Men and is set down in general, but only point at living Creatures to abide on, how all are some Things for our Instruction.

done in Wisdom and Discretion ; we canFirft, Ye see who is the Maker of all not but straight way imagine that there Things, of whom all Things visible and muft be some curious and wise Contriver, invisible are, it is God. And by this he and mighty Creator of these Things. It useth to distinguish himself from Idols, is here said, that by Faith we understand and the Vanities of the Nations, that he is that the Worlds were made. Indeed that Self-being, who gave all things a Faith only in the Word of God gives true Being, who made the Heavens and the and distinct Understanding of it. InnuEarth. This is even the most glorious merable have been the Wandrings and Mir Manifestation of an invisible and eternal takes of the wife of the World about this Being: These Things that are made, thew Matter,wanting this Lamp and Light of the hina forth. if a Man were travelling in Word of God, which done gives a true

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and perfect Account of this Thing. Many it had pleased his Majesty, he might have
ftrange Dotages and Fancies have they fal- created the World many thousand Years
len into ; yet certain it is that there is fo before that, so that it might have been at
much of the Glory of God ingraven with this Day of ten hundred times ten thou-
out on the Creature, and so much Reason fand Years standing, and he might have
imprinted on the Souls of Men within, given it as many years as there are Numa
that (if it were not for that judicial Plague, bers of Men and Angels, Beasts, yea, and
of the Lord's darkning their Underhand. Pickles of Sand upon the Sea-coast; Buc
ings, who do not glorify him in as far as it was his good Pleafure, that that very
they know him) no Man could, seriously Point of Time in which it was created
and Tobérly consider on the visible World, should be the Beginning of Time, and
but he would be conftrained to conceive from that he gires us a History of the
an invisible God. Would not every one World, upon which the Church of God
think within himself, all these Things, may reft, and so seek no other God but
fo excellent as they are, cannot be out of the God that made these Heavens and
Chance, neither could they make chem Earth.
lelves, so that of Necessity they must owe This will not satisfy the ungodly Curi-
what they are to something belide them- osity and Vanity of Mens Spirits, who
felves; and of this it is certain, that it can-, will reproach the Maker for not apply-
not have its Original from any other | ing sooner to his work, and fitting idle
Thing, else there should be no End; there such an unmeasurable Space of Eternity.
fore it must be some fupream Being, Men wonder what he could be doing all
that is from no other, and of which are that Time, (if we may call it Time which
all Things.

hath no Beginning) and how he was imBut next, consider when these, Things ployed; I befeech you reftrain such were made : In ibe Beginning, and what Thoughts in you with the Fear of his glo. Beginning is that? Certainly the Begin- rious and incomprehensible Majesty, wilo ning of the Creation, and of Time, to ex gives no Account of bis Matters: It is clude Eternity ; what ever may be said of enough that this is his good Pleasure to that Subcility that God might have created begin then , and he conceals his Reasons, the World from all Eternity, for it ap- to prove the Sobriety of our Faith, that pears even in created Things, that there all Men may learn an: abfolute and simple is no Necessity of the precedent Existence stouping to his Majefty's Pleasure. Re of the Cause, since in the same Instant that member that which a godly Man answer. many Things are into Being, in the same ed some wanton curious Wit, who in do they bring forth their Effects, as the scorn demanded the fame of him, He was Sun in the first Inftant of its Creation did preparing Hell for curious and proud iluminate ; yet certainly, we believe from Fools, said he: Let us then keep our ihe Word of the Lory, that the World Hearts as with a Bridle, and repress their is actually but of a few thousand Years boundless Wandrings within Bounds, left standing, fix are not yet run out lince the we by looking upward, before the Beginfirst creating Word was spoken, and lince ning of the World, to see what God was the Spirit of the Lord moved upon the doing, falt head-long into the eternal Pit Waters, and this we know, alfo, that if of Deftruction, and into the Hands of the

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