Imatges de pÓgina
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that finne of uncleanneffe, irreligious till God: fent Nathan to Hw dd k 6. seed yolimerly bark alone Ezekiah having reft,changed his mind,and proud of his treat fures, thewed them to his own difadvantage, and provoked Gods anger against himli bage carladt og EA Experience fhows us how the world, and the wealth and ho nours thereof do corrupt men of good minds before, and changeth their understandings, that Demas will forfake Paul, whom he hath long ferved; and fome difciples will no longer walk with Chrifto by dedemon wafu, vo vert a

The caufe hereof is because outward things unfanctified to the owner and user thereof, have no power to establish the heart; for the heart is eftablished by grace, and not with meats, nor with any outward things.

Reafon 2, Because there is no peace with the wicked man, he must be as violent and as unconftant as the fea, cafting up alfo foame and filth.

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Becaufe iniquity knoweth no measure, but runneth into all extremes, Virtutifque viam deferit ardua: Their mirth ́is madneffe, their mufick vanity fo their forrow is fullenneffe and difcontent: Conquered, they are base,and lick the duft from the enemies foot: Conquering, they are proud, and tyrannize over them whom they have fubdued.

Thus the mind of the wicked changeth in them.
The profit that we may make of this point is great.

1. It difcourageth us from greedy feeking of temporal profperity, because it hath this danger in it to change our minds,and to shift us from vice to vice: wherefore it is a good petition in our holy Letany In all time of our wealth good Lord deliver m. Prov.30.9 and that of Agur

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Give me not riches leaft I be full and deny thee, and say, who is the Lord?

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2. It comforteth the oppreffed that their oppreffors are not always of the fame mind, but they may have hope of fairer weather in the greatest stormes that do arise, because the minds of their enemies fhall change, as David faith,

He made them that led them away captive to pity them, for God bath a power in this change, which is mutatio dextræ excelfi.

2. They fall palle over them”

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Either to fome further queft of glory, or they fhall exceed 1. their Commiffion and go beyond the bounds appointed them, 2.. either in punishing whom God would have to be fpared, or in time, continuing the punishment beyond the time defigned.

God only knoweth how far he would have his judgment tó paffe; the Chaldæans do tranfgreffe and paffe over this meafure, whereby they grow intolerable, and their malice punish able::

Or pertranfibunt may be referred to their own fhort domina- 3. tion; for the Chaldæans were a few years after conquered by the Medes and Perfians, as the learned Jefuite Ribera obferveth. And we find that Nebuchadnezzar the King of the Chaldeans felt the smart of this prophecie in his own Perfon,

For he changed his mind and paffed over when he became as a brute beaft, and was driven from men, and did eat graffe as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven," till his hairs were grown like Eagles feathers, and his nails like birds claws.

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Thus he that paffed the bounds of Juftice in the oppreffion of the Jews, and the bounds of modesty in the pride of his victories, is changed in his und erstanding, and paffeth the bounds of common humanity.

All this proves that Gods employing the wicked to punish others doth not move them nor derive the favours of God upon them, they cannot keep within any compaffe.

1. If pertranfibit, paffe over, do fignifie a further queft of glo ry, we are taught hence, that the ungodly are infatiable in their defires, nothing will content them, every victory encourageth to a new warre, as we find in all examples of the greatest monarchies of the world, till their own weight ruine them.

2. As this paffing over dota fignifie their going beyond their bounds, we are taught, that they whom God employeth without their knowledge and Privity, do only feek their own ends, neither is God in all their ways.

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23. As this paffing over fignificth the short joy of their victory,
fo it teacheth that an ungodly man can never be an happy man,
nor a finful man a wife man; for in fhort time he will lofe that
what he hath unjustly gotten; for though God intended the ta-

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Dan. 4.33

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king away of the Lews land from them, he intended it but for a
time; he meant the Jews a sharp chastisement, not an eradica
tion.

I understand those words of a ceffation from any further profecution of this warre against the Jews, for he shall carry away fome captive into his own land, and the meaner fort he fball leave behind to husband Judea, and so shall cease.

And this doth ftrengthen our former doctrine, that those whom God ufeth as inftruments of his Juftice, fhall at length defift, God will not suffer them beyond his decreed time.

・3. They fall offend.

Let no man mistake this place, as if God did lay upon them a neceffity of offence; but he doth out of his Prefcience foretel that they will offend God, as with all their other finnes, so particularly with this their service done to him..

They are ftirred up to this warre by God, and it is hisjust will to punish the Iews, yet the Chaldeans that execute this will do offend, which was before proved by their evil intention, and will after more appear in the close of this text; wherein we have charged the action upon God, and the evill of the action upon the Chaldæans.

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2. God foreknoweth the fins of men.

He foreknew the fall of Adam, and provided a remedy for it in his eternal counsel.

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He foreknew the fins of the old world, and provided a judg. ment to punish them.

He foreknew the finnes of his Ifrael, and therefore he made all his promises conditional, and referred them to their obe dience.

He foreknew the trefpaffe of 7ndas, the cruelty of the Iews, the injuftice of the Romanes against his fonne, and he made his death medicinal and cordial for his Church, and a ruine to the enemies thereof; the fame stone which was the corner ftone of the Church, was a rock of offence to her enemies, modela de

This is the ground of Gods Juftice against the Chaldeans in the next fection of this chapter; for fore-feeing how they would offend, He did alfo fore-decree how he would punila them.

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He is called Otos a feer, for all things are manifeft in his fight: the eye of the Lord is over all the world, he feeth both the good and the bad.

God foreieeth offences before they be come into the hearts of men, as Christ knew Judas would be a Traitour before Judas knew it himself; and God by his Prophet told Hazaelhow crus 2 Reg. 13. el he should be, before Hazael was King, and when Hazael 8. thought fuch wickedneffe could not have bred in him. Am I a dog that I should do this great thing?

And Chrift told Peter that he would deny him, when Peter protested against it very ftrongly.

1. Because he knoweth the heart in which finne breede th, and knows how apt it is to conceive finne. He knoweth whereof we be made.

2. He foreseeth the temptations wherewith man fhall be tempted.

3. He knoweth what measure of ftrength and vertue is gone out from him to man, to enable him against thefe temptations.

1.Let no man therfore flatter himself that he can commit any Ufe.. finne fo fecretly that the eye of God fhall efcape it; he knoweth our thoughts long before, there can no darkneffe hide us from this eye; but the darkneffe is as light as the day to him, darkneffe and light are both alike.

And if God forefee offences to come, much more doth he remember fins past, and obferve fins prefent.

2. Let this ftirre us up to the feare of the Lord, which is a continual putting of us into the prefence of God, and filleth us with fervent prayers to God to keep us from finne, either from the defire of it, or from the committing of it, or from the pu nishment of it, by giving us ftrength to refift finne tempting us, tor at least to hate the evil which we do against the law of our mind, tranfported by the law of our members: or to give us the grace of repentance, that we may turn to him, and break off: Our lins by righteoufneffe and godly life.

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This is that petition in our Lords Prayer, Lead us not into temptation.

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Which petition followeth that former, forgive us our tref. paffes; for whom God pardoneth, them Satan tempteth molt,

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both because he defpighteth God, and because relapfe into fins once pardoned is a double danger.

And he prayeth God not to lead him into the temptation, because we must not only remember with grief the fins we have committed, but we must confider with feare what fins our infirmities may fall into.

Into which God leadeth us, by withdrawing his grace from us, or from which he keepeth and preferveth us by his affift ing grace.

Verf. 12.

The forefight of God is in respect of himself and his own perfect knowledge infallible and certain; that will come to paffe, which he forefeeth, and this is his wifedome; though man have a free will to do evil, yet he knoweth how far this his free will fhall mislead him."

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And for that cause he bath fet fuch a guard of Angels about the just, to keep them in all their ways that they fall not, to take them up again when they fall, and he hath given his word and lanthorn to their feet to guide and direct their paths.

Yet we may fay that this forefight of God may be in refpe& of the means conditional, and fo God may forefee fuch an event upon fome fecret condition, which yet by means may be prevented, and not fucceed."

1 Sam. 23.

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A great example hereof in Davids ftory.

He heareth that the Philiftims do rob Keilah, David goeth against the Philiftims, and overcometh, and faveth the men of

Keilah.

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Saul hearing of it, armes his forces to furprize Keilah secretly. David asketh of God; will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the band of Saul? tota

The Lord faid, They will deliver thee up? do da

Here God forefaw a finne in the men of Keilah which was never committed, but Saul had fent, and God knew the corrup tion of the heart of thofe men, and gave warning,

Here his forefight in refpect of himself was certain, which was, that David fhould take this warning to escape.

But in refpect of the fucceffe it was conditional, because it. hath reference to the means of evafion,

So God forefaw the death of Ezechiah by his conditional

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