« AnteriorContinua »
caule him to declare his , faicb: 10 in Pharaoh did it convince him of rebellion to the Will of Gadi
So all our preaching, wherein we perioade repentance and promise life eternal, it ferveth to direct all that look for salvation in the way of life: andit fervech to convince the world of uprighteousnesse itchey obey bot.
:: .. Tre answer cken is, that whatlaever God willeth and decrecth voluntate beneplaciti, by the will of good pleasure dorb take effect : What Godwilleth voluntate figni by the Will signified, not always. Sin pitur
Reply: How then shall I know what to do, seeing the signifya: ing Will of God is my rule, and that seemeth uncertain, and not agrecable to the secret Will of Gods good pleasure ?
Sol. Do as Abrabam did, prepare to offerthy Son; do as thod art commanded, leave the event and the disposition ofchy obedie ence to God, who will further reveal himself unco, thec.,
Do as Hezekjab did, fec thinc house in order, yet use the means by Repentance and Prayer to prolong thy life.
Do as the Ninivites did, fast and repent, and call upon chey name of the Lord, and try him as the Prophet faith, whether he will shew mercy or not.
But to bring this home to mytext, when God pronounceth, the Decree of Judgment against the enemies of the Church, and promisech mercy to his Church, believe him in both : for neither can Gods enemies repent to change the course of his Justice, neither can his Church finne unto death, that he should take his mercy utterly from it.
So then the argument holdeth strong, 2God hath said and decreed what he will do against these Chaida ans, what for his Church; therefore it shall come to passe.
Quest. But if this be true; what need then is there of Prayer? Queft.
doihic not argue in us a kind of distrust in the favour of God, when we do not take his word, but are still importunate co fol, licite his favour?
To this our answer is, that this cannot discourage Prayer, because the decree is past and unchangeable; this is the proper foun
dation of Prayer; for the Apostle laith; Joh.s 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him; that if we ask asy
# thing according to his will he he preth us.
So that it is a necessary knowledge before we undertake to z pray, to know what is that good, that acceptable and perfect f. Will of God.
For we not only lofe our labour, but we do also offend God
if we ask any thing against or belide his will : therefore that we dit might not run into the errour of the sons of Zebedec, Nescitis os quid petatis, you know not what you should ask, Our Saviopi
hath fet down a forme of Prayer fo abfoluce, as that we cannot
Object . mend Prayer, secing all eveots do follow Gods Will and Decree, and not our Prayers ? Our answer is, that though the fupreme Agent in all operati
An/w. ons be the Will of God, yet the hand of operation in many things is Prayer, which God hath ordained and commanded as a means to draw forth his Will to execution.
Hills So God giveth every good gift: yet we are without any wrong to God, thankful to men, by whose means any good co
So that the doctrine doth remain firm; whatsoever. God hath promised to his Church, or threatned the perverse enemies therof that he will surely perform for the decrees and the word of God are unchaugable. 11:
Qnost. But when God threatneth 'me punishment, and des nounceth judgment against me; how shall I know whether it be voluntas figni, or bene placiti is there not an hope left me, that God may repent him of the evil that he threatned?
It is a note of the evil conscience to fcare where no feare is, ine, where there is no cause of fear; an elect man fearing judge. ment threatned which thall not come near him, feareth where no cause is of fear.
Sol. To this I answer; let not us difpute the Will of God, or search beyond that which is revealed, if God have revealed his Will to us, that must be our guide.
That revealed Will hath chreatned nothing in us but sin, and sin carriech two rods about it, shame and fear.
mech to us.
There be two things in a regenerate elect man.
Si. A Conscience of his fin.
22. Faith in the promises of God through Christ. So long as we do live we do carry about us Corpus peccati, the body of linne; and as that doch shake and weaken faith, fo doch
it confirme and strengthen fear. vje 1. : 11. We are caught from hence to believe the word of God; the
Apostle faith, He is faithful that hath promisedo
The faithful servants of God have this promise, I will not leave thee mor forsake thee ; David believes him, in convalle umbre mor. tis non timebo, in the valley of the shadow of death I will not fear. Jobbelievs him, Though he kill me I will trust in bim. David believes verily when he smarts, hall see the goodnesle of God in the land of the living. . It is a sweet content of the inward man, when the conscience pleads not guilty to the love of Gin, though our infirmitics mis
carry us often, that we may say wich Nehemiah, Remember me Neh.13.14 Lord concerning this, and blot not out the loving kindnese that I
Shewed to thy house and to the officers thereof; and with Hegekiah. Isa. 38. 3. Remember Lord now 1 beseechthee how I have walked before thee
in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good
Surely we carry all our good amongst a multitude of infirmicics and therefore we cannot rejoyce in our own integrity with a perfect and full joy ; yet is it a sweet repose to the heart, when God giveth us peace of conscience from the dominion of lin.
so on the other side believe God threatning impenitent sinners with his judgments, for he is wise to see the lins of the ungodly; he is Holy to hate them, he is Just to judge them, and he is Omnipotent to punish them.
Let me give one instance.
2 Consider what the law concerns Gods name wherin standech
Our help: 3. What is forbidde, taking it ia vain, and we pray SandifsCO!#r, Let it be hallowed,
But where all this will not serve, yet this is murus abenus,a bra. zen wall, one would think; God doth make yet another feoce about his name, an hedge of thorns.. The Lord will not. holà hing gueltlese that taketh his name in vain, Prvi
The Laws of God be unreversible decrees, heaven and earth hall passe, ere one of these words shall sink or lose strength. '!
Yer che blafphemer feareth nothing, that is, a crying linne in this land; not the houses only, the streets and high ways resound the dishonour of Gods name, this finne is grown incorrigible.es The land mournieth because of oaths.
Hoc dicunt omnes ante Alpha & Beta puelle. And beleeve God who cannot lie. He will not hold him guiltleffe that taketh his name • in vain.
Thas we may make use of this doctrine, co restrain, if potovercome, and to destroy the dominion, if not the being of finne 2. For the better rectifying of our judgments and reformation
Use 2 of our lives, let us observe the confonancy of God's practice in the world with the truth of his word; he bath declared himself an hacer of evil, and do we not fee daily examples of his judgemegts upon wicked men, how ill they prosper in theic eftaces, what shame and disgrace and losfe of all that they have unrighteously gotten comes upon them; how their postérity smartech, according co that'threarning in the second Commandement.God bringing che iniquity of the Fathers upon the children, and vifiting it to the third and fourch generation of them chachate him; that we may say, Let him that thinketh he st andeth take heed left he fall. Whence cometh all this but from the constant cruth of Gods unreversible decrees, because the word is gone out of his mouth ? and though the ungodly do not beleeve it though it be told them.
Verily there is a reward for the righteous, doubtlesse there is a Gotthut judgeth in the earth.
We may fay of our cimes as Hecuba did of hers.
Non ungnam tulit documenta fors majora quàm fragilă Loco star rent superbi : for
We live in rhe school of discipline, and the rod of correction is not only shewed, but used with a strong hand, that all men may fear to be unrighteous; we have not only Vigorem verboram, the vigor of words, chiding fin in our ministry of the word, bur rigorem uerborum, the rigor of stripes in the administration of Justice; never did any age bring both fuller examples of terfor, then we have heard with our ears, and seen with our eyes; for the wifedome of Gods decrees, and the word of Gods truth is juHified in our Gght; therefore lecing sentence executed upon evil works, let the hearts of the fons of men be wholly iet in chem to
do evil. use 3:
3. Let us consider the vain.confidence of the ungodly, and compare it with the constanç truth of the decrees and word of loc
God; Ifay expreffech it fully. Ifa.28.15. Te have said we have made a Covenant with death, and with hell T
"Are we at agreement ;, when the over-flowing Scourge shall passe Sthrough, it shall not come to us ; far we have made lies, our refuge, and under falshood have we hid our selves.
They are answered and confounded.
i The bed is shorter then a man can stretch himself on it, and the Vers, 20.
scovering narrower then he can wrap himself in it.
Solomon faith, Though a finner do evil an huadred times, and Eccl, 8.12
his day's be prolonged, yet surely I know it shall be well with them that feare God, which fear before him But it shall not be well with the wicked, weither shall be prolong his days, which are a shadow, bea
, cause he feareth not before God.