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but as for the way of the Lord we have not known it.
Ilovepos which signifiech a wicked man, comech of aóvos which fignifieth labour, for it is a great deal of labour thac they cake that live in pursuic of honour, in the oppression and molestation of cheir brechren,iv the racking vexation of covetous congestions of wealch.Cain vexeth himselt, Nimrod must be a mighty hunter before the Lord, Lamech must kill a mån, the earth must be full of cruelty, to have their own will, this is labour in the very fire to do mischief
The head of wickedneffe must be always plotting and projecting: they imagine wickednesfe upon their bed; it will not Tufter them to sleep.
The hand of wickednesle must be always working.
Deut. 289 Shall I give you a full description of the labour of the unrigh- 65, teous, drawn to the life?
The Lord fhall give thee there a trembling-heart, and failing of eyes, and forrow of mind,
And thy life jhall hang in doubt before thee, and thou halt feare day and night, and thou Thalı have none assurance of thy life.
In the morning thon shalt foy' would God it Were even, and at even thou shalt say would God it were morning: for the fear of thine heart which thon phalt fear, and for the fight of thine eyes which thom halt see.
Here is anquietnesse even upon the bed of rest; the rea. son is given. For the bed is shorter then a man can stretch himself Ifa.28.20 on it, and the Covering narrower then he can wrap himself in it.
For there is no Peace to the picked man.
It is one of Sacans suggestions that the way of righteousnelle is painful, and denieth a man the content of his heart,
Aad from hence arise these flattering temprations, Shall I la bour and travel all my days to furtain my life with mine own pains, when a little violence will strip my neighbour' out of all that he hath gotten together, and make it mine own? 'cisi 1
Shall I make conscience of an oath or a lye, when it may get me more wealth in an houre, then my labour Thall carac, in a year? 002
Shall I work my self when I may make prize of the labours of other men, and drink down merrily the sweat of others brows?
Shall I sit low aná be despised in the world, when I may lay my neighbours on heaps under me, and raise up my self upon their ruines?
Shall I undergo the charge of a family, and thecare of pofte. rity, when rich gifts and fair words may fubdue change of beauties to my welcome desires and lusts of the flesh?
Shall I expect a flow and lingring advancement by the worth
of vertue in the service of God, when I see the fervants of Mam. Mal.3.15
mon carry all honours and preferments before them?
Shall I be humble when I fee the proud happy ? shall I live a godly life, when they that work wickednesfe are built ?
Let us here observe how there wicked ones do work to compasse their ends; they labour in the very fire, the fire of hell. The Way of Peace they have not known.
2. The next point castech up the account of their gettings, and it is anoughts, a meer Cypher in Arithmetick; Vanity, very Vanity.
Is it riches? then is it a thing corruptible, it is a thing uncertain, and little of it is for use, and what profit hach the Pollesfor thereof in the surplusage, but the beholding thereof with
When a màn considers his wealth gotten by oppression and
injury, how can he but think it may be so lost as it was gotten? risi Isit the favour of Princes and great men: True, they be gods
upon earth, but they die like men at last : and they change their
Is it honour that thou labourest for that also is vanity : Honour is in bonorunte, as Aristotle faith, it is very unhappy for a man to have his honour without himself, his pride within him, and his happinesse without him.
Wise Salomon that bad all temporal felicitie in the fullest measure, and all of the gift of God, yet called all those things Vanity of Vanities!
I will shut up this point in the words of David, :: Doubtlesse man walkerb in a shaduw, and disquieteth himself in
Pf. 398 6. vain,
3. Is it not of the Lord ? Many crosse betydings befall the ungodly, and they never obTerve who opposech chem. It is the Lord that bringech all the labours of the ungodly to loffe and vanicy; that when they come to chrash their crop of travel in che world, they find nothing but strawe and chaffe.
To expresse his power to do this, he is here called the God of Hofts; for all things terve him, and he refifteth the proud, he and his Hosts.
He layeth their honours in the dust, he disperseth their rich, cs, and givech them to the poor: he spoiled them of all their treasures, he that exalced them made chemlow, ke that gave to them taketh away.
They had need be made to see this, therefore he saich, Nonne ecce à Domino hoc, is it not of the Lord ?
In the time of the Perfecutions under the bloody Emperours, if at any time they succeeded not in their wars, they cried, Chris ftiani adfurcas, -ad leones, Christians to the gallows to the lyons; they saw not the hand of God against them;this makes Balaam smite his Affle ; he feeth not Gods Angel.
lo the processe of humane affairs, they that go on in thefe fins, which God himself threatnech with woe, chongh they find these fins profitable, and to afford them large revenews, that they live plentifully upon the wages of unrighteousnesle, yet have they many crosses in their ways, many great losses they surstain; these they impute to second caufes, and lay great blame upon those whom they do oppresse, because they stand not to it whilft oppression grindeth them; they observe not the hand of God against them, yet faith God, Is it not of the Lord of Hoftis that they weary themselves for very vanity?
It is a great matter to know who it is that protecteth his fervants, that crosseth the delignes of their enemies.
David prayeth for Gods saving help to them, and That they PL.109 27 may know that this is thy hand, that thou Lord bast done it.
For let all offenders in this kind of oppression, and indeed in all kinds of bold and prefumptuous fins, know.chat they fin with
an high band. They are a People that provoke Gad to anger conti. Ifa. 65.3
nually to his face.
If you observe the text well, you will find cwo things in it; and chey are two great judgments, and both of the Lord.
1. Is it not of the Lord of Hoftes that the People ball
labour in the very fire, and shall weary themselves? 2. Is it not of the Lord of Hofts, that the People fall la
bour for very vanity? For the hand of God is in both for their punishment, both in putting them to excreme labour, and in turning all their la. bour inco vanity.
He asketh the question, as if he should say Come now and let us reason together, to what do you impute ic, that this people take such pains and prosper so ill ? do you not perceive that Gods hand is in it, and that I the Lord do undo all that they do?
1. It is of the Lord that they labour in the fire. For God faith, Ego creo malum; labour and travekis the curse of man, the wages offin: In labore vefceris, in fudore vultus : Here is fire chat melcech and diffolvech us into water.
Allthe pains that is taken here on carth to do evil, is of the Lord.
1. In respect of the strength and wit ufed therein; for in him We live and move; he planted the care, &c.
2. In respect of his permission; for he hath chains to bind up Satan and bis instruments, and he can carry, fnares when be will to catch finners. This is not approbation but poleration for a time.
3. It is of the Lord in respod of his will; for he scourgech a man with his own lins in just judgement, and letteth the wicked wear ouç themselves wiib extreine labours for their punishment. Whereas if he have a favour to any he cals upon
them; P1.117. 2. It is vain for you to rise up early, to fit sp late, to car the bread
of sorrows; for be giveth bis beloved pleep:
And our Saviour faith, Nolite sollicitielle, Be ye not careful.
of silver, and fewels of Ex.14.25 gold together : it is of the Lord; and they shall pursue Israel into the
sea; and to make them work he took off their charet Wheels thar they s druve them heavily.
2. It is of the Lord that all their labour is loft., For the fewels of Gold and Jewels of silver which the Ægyptians have gathered, the Ifraclites shall carry uway. And they and their chariots which they have driven long, shall all be covered with
The Prophet putteth them together.
Thou shalt row, but thou shalt not reap : tbou shalt tread the O- Mic.6.15 lives, brit shalt not annoint thee With the oyle; and sweet wine, but thou shalt not drink wine,
For God professeth it, I will walk contrary anto you, and punish Lev. 26 24 i pon seven times for your firs.
It is a great wisedome in our labour to consider whither God i be with us and walk with us, or walk contrary to us. For if we lfa. 57. z.
fear God, and walk in his ways, we are said to walk with God.
But if we do that which is evil in his fight, and cover an evil cos E vetoaineffe co build our nests and to gather riches by unlawful
means, such as God in his word hath forbidden, we hall fee and find that God will walk contrary to us.
The proud wan shall find thát when he is at the highest, God can cast him down: The extortioner shall find that no bonds nor ftatutés will hold his debrors, they will say we will break these bonds, and cast away these cords from us.
The wanton shall find that the fins of his youth shallake in the i bones of his age; and they that low in wickednessę fhall reapin
1. That God walketh contrary to them and crossech them.