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merciful as well as strong ; if thou have, Gifts of Grace;thou would have these Graces Sin and Misery, I have compassion and to procure His Favour, and to make them Pity: My Mercy may be a Copy and the Ground of thy believing in His PromiPattern to all Men to learn it of Me, eles, but Grace, is without Money, it im. ven towards their own Brethren, Luke vi. mediately contracts with discovered Mise36. Therefore he is called the Fatber of ry, fo that if thou do discover in thy self Mercies, 2 Cor. i. 3. Misericors eft Misery and Sin, though thou find nothing cui alterius miseria cordi eft. Mercy hath elle, yet do not caft away Confidence, its very Name from Misery, for it is no bue so much the more addrels thy self to other Thing than to lay another's Misery to Mercy and Grace, which doth not feek ReHeart, not to delpise it, not to add to it, pentance in thee, but briogs Repentance but to help it ; it is a strong Inclination to and Faith with them into thee; yet there fuccour the Misery of Sioners, therefore is something in the awakned Conscience, thou needs no other thing to commend I have gone on long in Sin, I have been a thee to him. Art thou miserable, and prefumptuous Sinner, can He endure me knows it indeed? Then He is merciful, longer? Well, hear what the Lord faith, and know that also, these two suit welt. I am long-suffering, and patient; and if
Nay, but faith the convinced Soul, 1 he had not been so, we had been damned know not if He will be merciful to me, ere now, Patience hach a long Term, for what am I? There is nothing in me and we cannot out-run it, our-weary it
. to be regarded, I have nothing to concili- Why do we not wonder that he presently ate Favour, and all that may procure and instantly executed His Wrath on Ann Hatred. But, faith the Lord, I am gra- gels, and gave them not one Hour's Space cious, and dispense Mercy freely, without for Repentance, but caft them down headrespect to Condition or Qualification: Say long into Destruction, as in a Moment; not, if I had fuck a Measure of Humiliati- and yet His Majesty hath so long delayed the on as such a one, if I loved Him so much, Execution of our Sentence, and calls unto if I had so much godly Sorrow and Re- Repentance and Forgiveness, that we may pentance, then, I think he would be merci escape the Condemnation of Angels: His -ful to me, Say not so, for behold He is Patience is not Slackness and Negligence, gracious, He hath Mercy on whom He as Men count it, 2 Pet. iii. 9. He lits will have Mercy, and there is no other not in Heaven as an Idol and idle Specta. Cause, no Motive to procure it, it comes tor of what Men are doing; but he ob. from within His own Breast. It is not ferves all Wrongs, and is sensible of them thy Repentance will make Him love thee, allo: And if we were mindful and fen. nor thy Hardness of Heart will make Him fible of them also, he would forget them. hate chee, or obstruct the Vent of His He is long-suffering : This is extended Grace towards thee: No, if it be Grace, it and stretched-out Patience beyond all Ex. is no more of Works, no Works in that pectation, beyond all deserving, yea, con Way that thou imagines ; it is not of Reo trary to it. Therefore, as long as he for. pentance, not of Faith, in that Sense thou bears, if thou apprehend thy Misery and conceiveft, but it is freely, without the Sin, and Continuance in it; do not conclude Hite, without the Price of Repentance, that it is desperate, Why sbould a living or Faith, becaule all those are bue the free Man complain? As long as Patience
lengthens the Life, if thou desire to come with Jealousie? Jealouse would quench to Him, believe He will accept thee. any Creatures Love, but though it grieve
But faith the doubting Soul, I am ex and provoke Him, yet He will not ceeding perverse, and wicked, there is no change, He will not diminish His ; only do ehing in me but Wickedness, it fo abounds not think your Disputings, and Quarrelin me, that there is nothing in me but Wic- ling innocent and Harmless Things ; no kedness, it fo abounds in me, that there is certainly, they grieve the Spirit, ftir up none like me ; but faith the Lord, I am the Beloved to go away, as it were, bez abundant in Goudness. Thy Wicked- fore He please, and make thee walk with ness, though it be great, it is but a created out Comfort, and without Fruit; yet He Wickedness, but my Goodness is the Good- will bear with,and not quench the smoaking ness of God; I am as abundant in Grace Flax of a Believer's Desires, though they and Goodness as thou art in Sin, nay, in- do not arise to the Flame of Affurfinitely more ; thy Sin is but the Trans- ance. grosion of a finite Creature, but my But the wounded Spirit hath one or Mercy is the Compassion of an infinite two Burdens more : I have abused much God, it can fwallow it up; fuppofe thy | Mercy, how can Mercy pity me?' I have *Sin cry come up to Heaven, yet Mercy turned "Grace unto Wantonness, so that reaches abore Heaven, and is built up when I look to Mercy and Grace to comfor ever. Here is an Invitation to all fort me, they do rather challenge me; Sinners to come a nd taste, O come and taste the Sins of none are like mine, none of and see how good the Lord is; Goodness fuch a hainous presumptuous Nature : But. is communicative, it diffuses it self, like let us hear what God the Lord speaks, the Sun's Light. There is Riches of His I keep Mercy for T bousands, and for Goodness, Rom. ii. 4. Poor Soul, thou give Iniquity, Transgression, and Sin; canft not spend it though thou have many Thou hast wafted much Mercy, but Wants.
more is behind, all the Treasure is not But I am full of Doubtings, Fears and spent ; though there were many thousand Jealoufies ; I cannot believe in His Pro Worlds beside, I could pardon-them all, miles, I often question them ; How, how if they would fee unto my Mercy, chou then wilt He perform them? I say, halt not be Atraitned in me, Mercy will ( faith the Lord) I am abundant in Truth, pardon thy Abuse of Mercy, it will forHe will certainly perform, Sball our Un give all Faults thou doft against it felt. belief, or Doubting, make the Faith of Thou that fins againft the Son of Man, God of none Effect, &c. Rom. iii. 3. the Redeemer of the World, and Re. God forbid, His Faithfulness reaches untomedy of Sin, yet chere is Pardon for the Clouds, He will keep Covenant with thee whatever the Quality, Condition, or thee, whose Soul hath chosen Him, Circumstance of thy sin be; whoever, though thou often question and doubt convinced of it, and loadned with it, de of Him. Indeed, thou nouldnt not fires reft to thy Soul, thou may find it in gave) Indulgence to thy Doubtings and Chrift, whose former Kindness thou haft Jealousies, but look on them as high answered with Contempt; many Sins, Provocations ; for what 'can be more many great 'Sins, and these presumptuous grievous 10 fervent Lore than to meet i Sips cannot exclude, nay, no Sin can er
against;uch as do acquit and clear themselves. 67 clude a willing Soul. Unbelief keeps thee , mination of your ways, and do not arraign unwilling, and so excludes thee.
your felves before God's Tribunal daily, Now, as the Spider fucks Poison out till you find your selves loathsome and deof the sweetest Flower, so the most part of Sperate, and no Refuge for you ; you who Souls fuck nothing but Delusion, and Pre-Jo Aatter your selves always in the Hope fumption, and Hardning, put of the Gol of Heaven, and put the fear of Hell alpel; Many Souls reason for morè Liber ways from you, I say, God will by 110 ty to Sin from Mercy ; but behold, how Means, no Prayers, no Intreaties clear or the Lord back's it with a dreadful Word, pardon you, becaule you come not to Jeliis wbe will by no Means clear the guilty. Chrift, in whom is prenched Forgivene's As many as do not condemn themlelves, and Remission of Sins. You who take and judge themselves before His Tribu Liberty to Sin, because God is gracious, nal of Justice, there is no rescinding of and delay Repentance till the End, be. the condemnatory Sentence, but it stands cause God is Long-luttering; know God above your Heads, He tbat believes not will not clear you ; He is Holy and Juft is condemned already. Justice hath con- as He is Merciful. If His Merly make demned all by a Sentence ; he that doth thee not fear and tremble before llim, and not in the sense of this fee into Jesus do not separate thee from thy Sins ; if Christ from Sin and Wrath is already con- Remission of Sins be not the strongest demned ; his Sentence is fanding, there Perswasion to thy Soul of the removing needs no new one, since he fees not to of Sin, certainly thou doft in vain presume Mercy for Absolution, the Sentence of upon His Mercy. Now, consider what Condemnation stands unrepealed, You Influence all this glorious Proclamation guilty Souls, who clear your selves, God had on Mofes ; it stirs up in him Rewill not clear you; and alas! How many verence and Affection, Reverence to such of you do clear your selves? Do you not a Glorious Majesty, and great Desire to extenuate and mince your Sins ? How have him amongst them, and to be more bardis it to extort any Confession of Gilt one with Him: If thy Soul rigluly dil. out of you, but in the general ? If we cover God, it cannot but abale thee, he condescend to Particulars, many of you made halte to bow down and worship : will plead Innocency, almoft in every O, God's Majesty is a surprising and aftoThing, though you have, like Children, nishing Thing, it would bow thy Soul ia learned to speak these Words, That ye are the Duft if it were presented to thee ; laSinners, I beseech you consider it, it is bour to keep the right and intire Repre. no light Matter, for God will by Means fentation of God in chy Sight, His whole clear the guilty ; by no Means, by no In Name, Strong, Merciful, and Just; treaties, no Flatceries ; Whát ? Will He Great, Good, and Holy. I say, keep not pardon sin? Yes indeed : His Name both in thy View, for half Representatitells you He will pardon all kind of Sins, ons are dangerous, either to beget Preand absolve all manner of guilty Perfons, sumption, and Security, when thou looks but yet such as do condemn themselves, on Mercy alone, or Despair, when thou such as are guilty in their own Conscience, looks on Justice, and Power alone ; let and their Mouths stopped before God; thy Soul consider all jointly, that it may you who do not enter into the serious Ex receive a mixed Impression of all ; and this
is the Holy Composition, and Temper of aim at more Union and Communion a Believer, Rejoice with trembling, Love with Him, who is such a Self-sufficient, All with Fear ; let all thy Discoveries of Him fufficient, and Eternal Being,
John iv. 24. God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him muft worship
Him in Spirit and in Truth. We have bere something of the Na Knowledge of Him; many think they
ture of God pointed out to us, know something, when they can speak of and something of our Duty towards Him. those Myfteries, in some singular Way, God is a Spirit, that is His Nature ; and and in some Terms, removed from comMan must worship Him, that is his Du- mon Understandings, which neither them. ry; and that in Spirit and Trutb, that felves nor others know what they mean; is the right Manner of the Duty: If these and thus they are presumptuous, self-conthree were well pondered till they did sink ceited, knowing nothing as they ought to into the Bottom of our Spirits, they would know'; There is a Knowledge that puffs make us indeed Christians, not in the Let up, and there is a Knowledge that cafts ter, but in the Spirit : That is presuppof down, a Knowledge in many that doth ed to all Christian Worship and walking, but swell them, not grow them ; 'tis but to know what God is; 'tis indeed the a Tumor full of Wind, a vain, and emPrimo cognitum of Chriftianity, the first pty, frothy Knowledge, that is neither Principle of true Religion, the very Root good for edifying others, nor saying a out of which springs and grows up walk- Man's self; a Knowledge that a Man ing suitably with, and worshipping answer knows, and reflects upon fo as to ascend ably of, a known God. I fear, much of upon the Height of it, and measure himour Religion be like the Arbenians, they self by the Degrees of it; this is not the builded an Altar to an unknown God; and true Know ledge of God, which knows like the Samritans, who worshipped not it felf, Jooks not back upon it felf, but they knew not what. Such a Worship, 1 straight towards God, His Holiness and know not what it is, when the God wor- Glory, and our Baseness and Misery, and Ahipped is not known. The two Parents therefore it constrains the Soul to be aof true Religion are, The Knowledge of Thamed of it self in such a glorious PreGod, and of our felves; this, indeed, is fence, and to make hafte to worship, as the Beginning of the Fear of God, which Mofes, Job, isaiah, did. the wise Preacher calls, The Beginning of
This Definition of God, if we did tru. true Wisdom : And these cwo, as they bely understand it, we could not but wor• get true Religion, so they cannot truely ship him in another Manner. Gou is a be one without the other : It is not many Spirit : Many ignorant People form in Notions, and Speculations about the Divine their own Mini fome Likeness, and lo Nature, it is not high and strained Con- mage of God, who is invisible; you know ceptions of God, that comprizes the true how ye fancy to yourselves fome bodily
Shape ; when you conceive of him, you Corners of Heaven, e're you could hear chink he is some Reverend and Majestick or see an Angel; if you would sawe a Man Person, sitting on a Throne in Heaven: alunder, and resolve him in Aroms of
But I beseech you, correct your Mistakes Duft, yet you could not perceive a Soul of Him ; there is outward Idolatry, and within him ; why? Because these are Spi
shere is inward; there is Idolatry in Acti- rits, and so without the Reach of your on, when Men paint or engrave fome Si- Senses. militude of God; and there is Idolatry in II. If God be a Spirit, then he is invi. Imagination, when the Fancy and Appre fible, and dwells in Light inaccessible, hension runs upon some Image, or Like which no Man hath seen or can see, then ness of God; the first is among Papists, our poor narrow Minds that are drowned, but I fear the latter be too common a. as it were, and immersed into Bodies of mong us, and it is indeed all one, to form Clay, and in this State of Mortality, refuch a Similitude in our Mind, and to enceives all Knowledge by the Senses, can. grave or paint it without ; fo that the God not frame any suitable Notion of his fpiwhom many of us worship, is not the ritual and abftracted Nature. We cannot living and true God, but a painted or gras conceive what our own Soul is, but by ven Idol. When God appeared most vi- fome sensible Operation Rowing from it, sible to the World, as at the giving out of and the Height that our Knowledge of that the Law, yet no Man did see any Like- noble Part of ourselves amounts to, is but ness at all, he did not come under the Per- this dark, and confused Conception, that ception of the moft fubtle Sense, he could the Soul is some inward Principle of Life, not be perceived but by the retired Un and Sense and Reason: How then is it derstanding, going aside from all Things possible for us to conceive aright of the Dia visible, and therefore you do but fancy an vine Nature, as it is in itself, but only in Idol to yourselves instead of God, when a dark and general Way? We guess at His you apprehend him under the Likeness of Majesty, by the glorious Emanations of any visible, or sensible Thing, and so what His Power, and Wisdom, and the Rays ever Love, or Fear, or Reverence you thereof which he displays abroad in all the have, it is all but mispent Superstition, Work, of His Hands, and from all these the Love and Fear of an Idol.
concurring Testimonies, and Evidences of 1. Know then, that God is a Spirit, and His Majesty, we gather this confused Notherefore he is like none of all chele Things tion of Him, that He is the fountain-felf you see, or hear, or smell, or taste, or Independent Being, the Original of all touch: The Heavens are glorious indeed, these Things, and more absolute in the the Light is full of Glory, but he is not World, than the Soul is in the Body, the like that. If all your Senses Should make true Anima mundi, the very Life and the an Inquiry; and search for him throughout Light of Men, and the Soul that quickens, the World, you should not find him : moves and forms all this visible World, Though he be near hand every one of us, that makes all Things visible, and him felf yet our Eyes and Ears and all your Sen is invisible: Therefore it is that the Lord ses, might cravel the Length of the Earth, speaks to us în Scripture of Himself, acand Breadth of the Sea, and mould not cording to our Capaciues, of His Face, had him, even as you might search all the His Right Hand, and Arm, His Throne,