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God hath made an Ad against them, their judgment is sealed, they have nothing but vanity and lyes to support their staggering and reeling estate of temporal felicity; God is not in all their wayes, nor che direction of God to manage them, and therefore noc the prote&tion of God to defend them; hc Icads cheń into temptation, but be doch not deliver them from evill.
But God is a Rock for foundation, and a Castle for defence to all such as put their crust in him.
3. The patient expe&tation which he requireth in the Prophet for the peformance of this promise;
Though it sairy, wait for it. We must not not think long to carry the Lords leasure; it is Doftri the Prophets rule, He that beleeverb hall not make bafte; and ic Ifa.38.16... is Davids precept, Wait on the Lord, and keep his way.
Pl.37.34. And we have Jobs example, All the dayes of my appointed time will I wait.
The promise of the Messiah was made in Paradise, The seed of the woman shall braise the head of the Serpent.
This was the Gospel that God himself preached to the Serpent, and all the sacrifices of the old law, and all the Prophecies of former ages, and all the Types in the Old Testament, were Commentaries upon this text; the Fathers in all ages of the Charch before Chrift, rested on this; the Apostle saith of them,
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but ha- Heb.11.13 ving seen them a fur off and were perswaded of them, and embraced them. 1. Because this doth best fit the constant decree of God, that
Real. we do rest in it; for it were in vainc for us to serve a God whom we might not trust, and upon whose word we could not build af. surance. It is the Apostles rest, Scio cui credidi, I know whom I have belecved.
2. Because this doth best declare our faich, for faith being of Reas. s. things not feen in themselves, the Apostle faith here, we fee in
glalle ; faich is a Christian mans Profpe&ive, through which he beholdeth all things far off as if they were ticar at hand.
3. Because this is an exercise of our patience; for ge bave neeä Rear 3. of patience, that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive Heb. 10:36 she promise,
'cause him to declare his , faicb:fo in Pharaob did it convince him of rebellion to the Will of God.
So all our preaching, wherein we perioade repentance and promise life ecernal, it Servech có ditect all that look for falvation in the way of life and it fervech co convince the world of unrighteoufneffe if they obey not.
Lob. The answer then is, that whatlocver God willeth and decreeth voluntate beneplaciti, by the will of good pleafure doth take effect : What God willecl voluntate figni by the Will signified, not always, sind einer
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?or?
Sol. Do as Abrabam did, prepare to offerthy Son; do as thou art commanded, leave the event and the disposition of clay obedic ence to God, who will further reveal himself unto thec. ,
Do as Hezekiab did, fec thinc house in order, yet use the means in by Repentance and Prayer to prolong thy life.
Do as the Ninivites did, faft and repene, and call upon the 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 promiseth mercy co 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 bis mercy utterly from it.
So then the argument holdeth strong, God hath said and decreed what he will do against these Chaldæans, what for his
Church; therefore it shall come to paffe. Queft. .
Quest. But if this be true; what need then is there of Prayer? doch it not argue in us a kind of distrust in the favour of God, when we do not take his word, but are still importunate to 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 foundation of Prayer; for the Apostle Jaith; And this is the confidence that we have in him; that if we ask any
thing according to his will be he preth w,
So that it is a necessary knowledge before we undertake to pray, to know what is that good, that acceptable and perfect will of God.
For we not only lose our labour, bue we do also offend God if we ask any thing against or belide his will : therefore that we might not run into the errour of the sons of Zebedee, Nescitis quid petatis, you know not what you should ask, Our Saviour Kath let down a forme of Prayer fo abfolucc, as that we cannot justifie the asking of any thing according to the Will of God that hath not reference to one of those peticions,
Object . Reply. If then we prevail in our Prayers, why do we com, mend Prayer, secing all cvcars 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.
Brempi So God giveth every good gift: yet we are without any wrong to God, thankful to men, by whose means any good comech to us.
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 :
Inost. But when God threátnech 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 thae he threarned?
It is a note of the evil conscience to fcare where no feare is, ise, where there is no cause of fear; an elect man fearing judgement chreained which shall not come near him, feareth where no cause is of fear.
Sol. To this I answer; lct 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 hach chreacned nothing in us but sin,and sin carriech two rods about it, shame and fear.
There be cwo things in a regenerate elect man.
Sı. A Conscience of his fin.
22. Faith in the promises of God chrough Christ.
it confirme and strengthen fear.
Apostle faith, He is faithful that hath promiseda
The faithful fervants of God have this promise, I will not leave thee xor forsake thec ; David believes him, in convalle umbre more 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 lin, though our infirmitics mif
carry us often, chat we may say with Nehemiah, Remember me Neh.13.14 Lord concerning this, and blot not out the loving kindne le that I
Shewed to thy house and to the officers thereof, and with Hezekiah. Isa. 38. 3. Remember Lord now 1 besecchihee bow I have walked before thee in truth, and with
a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy fight. But it followcth.
And Hezekiah wept fore. If he were so good a man, why did he weep? if noc so good why did he boaft?
Surely we carry all our good amongst a multitude of infirmicies and therefore we cannot rejoyce in our own integrity wich 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 Gin.
so on the other side believe God threatning impenitent sinners
Let me give one instance.
2 Consider what the law concerns; Gods name wherin standeth
Our help 3. What is forbidde taking it in vain, and we pray Santifice Wr, Let it be hallowed,
But where all this will not serre, yet this is murus ahenus,a brazen wall, one would think; God doth make yet another fence about his name, an hedge of thorns.. The Lord will not. hold hins gueltlefse that taketh his name in vain. ::
The Laws of God be unreversible decrees, heaven and carch shall paffe, ere one of these words shall sink or lose strength.
Yet the 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. »
The land Tourneth because of oaths.
Hoc dicunt omnes ante Alpha & Beta puella. And beleeve God who cannot lie. He will not hold him guiltleffe ebat taketh hes name in vain.
Thas we may make use of this doctrine, co restrain, if not 0vercome, and to destroy the dominion, if not the being of finne
2. For the better rectifying of our jadgments and reformation use a of our lives, let us obferve the confonancy of Gods practice in the world with the truth of his word; he hath declared himlelf an hater of evil, and do we not fee daily examples of his judgements upon wicked men, how ill they prosper in their estaces, what shame and disgrace, and losse of all that they have unrighteously gotten comes upon them; how their postérity smartech, according to that threatning in the second Commandement.God bringing che iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and visiting it to the third and fourth generation of them that hace him; that we may say, Let him that thinketh be ft 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 ben told them.
Verily there is a reward for the righteous, doubtlesse there is a Gotthut judgeth in the earth.