Imatges de pàgina
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nance was changed, and his thoughts troubled bim, so that the joynts of his loynes were loofed, and his knees (mote one against another. The meffengers whom the Chief Priefts fent to entangle Chrift in his words, were runners, they came with purpose to do Chrift wrong, but his preaching was like a table fo fairly writ ten, that they could not but read; and they returned, faying, Never man spake like that man.

If they that run from the word may be taken thus with a glance upon it, you may foone conceive what effect it may work in thofe that run to it, that are fwift to hear, that hunger and thirst after righteoufneffe; If they that hear or read the word immediately, aliud agentes,may perceive the mind of the Lord by the plain opening thereof: much more they that come of purpofe and run to it, that come with appetite and defire after it, with delight in it, with purpofe to profit by it, and with due Preparation of the heart by earneft Prayer, for the holy bleffing of God upon the Miniftry, and hearing of it, therefore quid Scriptum eft? quomodo legis? what is written ?how readeft thou? 2. The affurance that he gives of the performance of his parpolcin due time.

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The Vijon is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall Speak and not lie. Next verfe.

It will fuely come, it will not tarry.

This is Rhetorically fet down; For

1. Here is veritas decreti, the truth of the decree: The Vi-
fion is yet for an appointed time.

2. Here is veras verbi, the truth of the word:it shall speak,
it shall not ly

3. Here is veritas facti, the truth of the deed: It will fure
ly come, it will not tarry.

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1. Decretum, the Decree.

The Vifion is here put for the thing feen,as you have heard,and that is the declaration of Gods juft judgment in the caufe of his Church against the Chaldeans; for he faith the time is appoin ted, meaning in his own holy and fixt decree which is unchangeable.

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2. Verbum, the Word.

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God will fpeak his minde by this Vifion, and declare what he intendeth against the Chaldeans, and therein he will deal truely and faithfully; for he is truth, he cannot lyen

For these be two Premifes or Antecedents to one conclufion, for we may conclude both wayes. huoneidend

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1. The Decree of God is paft: Ergo veniet,non tardabit,he fhall come, he will not tarrie.

2. The Word of God is paft: Ergos on use

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From thence we are taught, o00% bod year

That whatfoever God hath decreed or fpoken, fhall certainly take effect in the appointed time.

The holy word of Scripture confirmeth this: Indeed who fhould alter Gods decrees? for he himself will not, I may lay truly he cannot change them; for the Apostle faith, be worketh Eph. 1.11. all things after the councell of his willen die via pllah, i And the Will of God is himself.

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2 Tim.2.13

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And he cannot deny himself.a ya beli
Neither can he repent, as Samuel told Saul,

Sam. 15. The strength of Ifrael will not lye ng repent, for be is not a man that he should repent.

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And if God himfell be without variableneffe and fadow of change, his Will being established by his counsell and wisdom, we may be fure that there is no power beneath him that can fwerve him from his own ways for the wileman-aith;

Pro.21.30. There is no wisdom nor understanding, nor comfell against the
rev's boshlagan tu mītos zi ach
ma vida
One reafon may ferve of this Doctrine.

LORD.
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God is equall, infinite in his wifdom, juice and mercie; to
conceive him infinite in power to do whoever he will, and
not infinite in wisdom to decree, whatfoever he will do, were to
make him a Tyrant, not a Tuum eft regnum & poten
King; but faith; The Lord is
King, and do afcribe it to him,
tia, thine is the Kingdom and power
equall proportion of wisdom, mult
cruelty,mis 90: dhist od torznobladed: faigzn
..... This wildom fore feeth all things that all be, this wildom
decreeth all things that he will do, which his power after in the
times appointed, doth performe, and bring to act.

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Against

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for power without needs degenerate into

Against this doctrine is objected.

1. Why then do so many texts of Scripture tell us that God repenteth.

Sometimes he repenteth of the good that he hath done: for i to make man upon the earth was a good work, yet it is faid And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, Gen. 6.6. and it grieved him at his heart :

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So to make Saul King over Ifrael was a good work, for it was his own choice, yet himself faith, It repenteth me that I have fet up Saul to be King.

Sometime God is faid to repent of the evil that he hath done: malum poena, the evil of punishment is there to be understood. So after the great plague when David had made a fault in numbring the people.

Object.

1. That the Will of God, that is, his counfell decreeing what he will do, is conftantly the fame and unchangable, as we have taught.

When the Angel stretched out his hand upon ferufalem to detroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and faid to the An- 1Sam.24. gel, It is enough, ftay thy band.

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And concerning his Word, we have frequent examples in Scripture of events contary to the letter of his Word. For example,

His word was to Hezekiah by Ifaiah, Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die, non vives...

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Yet Hezekiah did live 15 years after that; his word was to Niniveh by fonah, Fourty days and Ninivch shall be destroyed; yet it fell not out fo, and the ftory faith, God repented him of the evill loh. 3. 10 that he had faid that he would do to them.

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To all we answer.

1 Sam. 15.

II.

For we are faid to repent when we change our minds; now the God of wifedome and power never changeth his mind, but fometimes he doth change his operations; there is not mutatio mentis, but mutatio dextra Exclefi, as St. Ang. Pœnitudo dei eft muta ndorum immutabilis ratio; by which he without changing of Y his

2.Where it is in Scripture charged upon God that he doth repent, we fay with Chryfoft, it is verbum parvitati noftra accom Hom.21.in modatum, a word accommodated to our weakneffe.

Gen.

his own decree, ma..eth alterations in the difpofition of things mutable.

This for want of understanding in us to comprehend the ways of God, is called repentance and grief in God: but as Augustine faith, Boog #awd

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Non eft perturbatio, fed judicium quo irrogatur pæna; as Saint Paul, peak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh.

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3. I approve that received diftinction of the Will of God.
JI. Voluntas figni, of the figne.

12. Voluntas beneplaciti, of his good pleasure.

1. God doth reveal his ways to the fons of men, and sheweth them what he would have them 'do, and openeth to them the knowledge, and tendreth to them the ufe of fit means to per form that which he would have them, and fo it is faid he would have all men to be faved, and to come to the knowledge

of his Truth.

According to this revealed Will of God, he doth offer mercy to all, and he doth withal threaten judgment to fuch as forfake their own mercy, as Jonah faith,

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And when he feeth caufe to call in either his mercy from them that abuse it, or to ftop the course of his Juftice to them whom correction doth amend, then we fay he repenteth him of that which he hath either promised or threatned for clearing where. of understand.

That God never changeth in promife, or in threatning, but only in things concerning this life; as in all the examples repeated, all thofe promifes and threatnings be used as motives to induce obedience, and therefore they are not abfolute but conditional.

For it is no good argument to perfwade a man to be Religi ous, and to fear God, abftaining from all the pleafing delights of the world, to promife him his hearts defire, if he know that that promife doth bind God, that whatsoever he do, he Chall be partaker of the promise.

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And it is no inducement to diffwade fin by the Commination of judgment, if the judgment must of neceffity be inflicted.

1 herefore this revealed Will of God is conditional, and hath

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reference to our obedience, and faith, and good life, and ufe of the means ordained by God and tendred to us.

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This is the rule of life, and by this Will is the Church of God governed, for by this he doth reveal himself both in his word, and in his permiffions, and in his operations.

1. God fignifieth his Will by his Word; for that doth declare in precepts, prohibitions and examples, what God would have to be done, what not to be done; it revealeth both rewards and punishments and it ufeth both promises and threatnings.

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2. God fignifieth his Will by permiffions, because he declareth thereby, that what he faffereth to be donet,hat he willeth to be effected.

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3. By operations; for what God doth, he doth according to his Will. No furto 'sudo das peta Na 2. Voluntas beneplaciti, is the fecret Will of God referved in himfe if, in which

1. There is confilium, the wisedome of God foreseeing what is +

to be done.

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. There is decretum determining it; and herein the counsel of God is not the rule of his Will; for there is nothing in God above his Will: but willing all things to be thus as he hath decreed, he forefeeth in wifedome what he willeth ; and therfore the rule is not with God.

This is good, therefore I decree it; but this I decree,therefore it is good.

Now fometimes there feems to be an oppofition between thefe two wils of God,which is thus reconciled.

The Will of God is revealed to man,

1. Either for neceffary and abfolute obedience as in the whole moral law of God.

2. For probation and tryall; as in the Commandment given to Abraham to offer up Ifaac, wherein God concealed his fecret Will which was to preferve Ifaac: and concealed the purpose of his Commandments which was to try the faith of Abraham.

So on the contrary, he fent to Pharaoh commanding him to let Ifrael go, yet it was not his fecret Will that Ifrael (hould go yet: but the Commandment was given to convince Pharaoh of hardnéffe of heart: and as in Abraham the commandment did caufe

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