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xxvi. 10.

ments, the contagions of the present evil state; ac- SERM.

LXVIII. cording to that reason alleged for punishments of this kind: All the people shall hear, and fear, and Deut. xvii. do no more presumptuously,) and in regard to the sufferers themselves, who thereby were prevented from proceeding further in their wicked courses e ; accumulating (or treasuring up, as the apostle Rom. ii. 5. speaketh) further degrees of wrath, as obdurate and incorrigible people will surely do: (Why, saith the Isa. 1. 5. prophet, should ye be stricken any more? (to what purpose is moderate correction ?) Ye will revolt more and more.) That he did with a kind of violence to his own inclinations, and reluctancy, inflict punishments on them. ( Ephraim, how shall | Hos. xi. 8. give thee up, O Ephraim! Yea further :

6. That, during their sufferance, God did bear compassion toward them who underwent it. His Isa. Ixiii. bowels, as we are told, sounded and were trou-Hos. xi. 8. bled; his heart was turned within him; his repent-20. ings were kindled together ; in all their afflictions vil. 21. himself was afflicted; he remembered, and consi- Psal

. ciii.

14. Ixxviii. dered they were but dust; that they were but flesh, 39. (that they were but of a weak and frail temper; that they were naturally prone to corruption and evil,) and did therefore pity their infirmity and their misery.

7. That God in his wrath remembered mercy, Hab. iii. 2. (as the prophet Habakkuk speaks,) mixing gracious intentions of future refreshment and reparation with Cen. vi. 3. the present executions of justice. I know, saith he Jer. xxix. in the prophet Jeremiah, the thoughts that I think .. xxxii. toward you; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to

Επιτίθησι τιμωρίαν, ου των απελθόντων απαντών δίκην, αλλά τα Mémorta Osop@cūzcevos. Chrys. tom. viii. p. 99. .

9, 15.

Jer. xxxi.

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2, 23

SERM. give you an expected end. Behold, I will bring LXVIII.

health and cure, I will cure them, and will reveal

unto them abundance of peace and truth. And, Isa. liv. 7. For a small moment, saith he again in Isaiah, have

I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I Ezek. xiv. gather thee. And, Ye shall be comforted concern

ing the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalemand, ye

shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord; (he saith so in Ezekiel ;) without cause, that is, without a beneficial design toward them.

8. Lastly, That he always signified a readiness to turn from his anger, and to forgive them; and upon

very equal and easy terms to be fully reconciled to Ps. ciii. 9. them; according to that in the Psalm, He doth not

always chide, neither will he keep his anger for ever; but upon any reasonable overtures of humiliation, confession, and conversion to him, was ready to

abate, yea, to remove the effects of his displeasure: Ps. xcix. 8. Thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou

tookest vengeance of their inventions.

These particulars, if we attentively survey those dreadful examples of divine severity forementioned, (the greatest which history acquaints us with, or which have been shewed on this theatre of human affairs,) we may observe most of them in all, all of them in some, either plainly expressed, or sufficiently insinuated by the circumstances observable in the historical narrations concerning them; so that even the harshest instances of God's wrathful dealing with some men, may well serve to the illustration of his mercy and goodness toward all men; may evince it

true, what our Lord affirms, that God is xenotós éri Luke vi. 35. & xapiotous kai trompoùs, kind and beneficent even to the most ingrateful and unworthy persons. To make SERM. which observation good, and consequently to assert

LXVIII. the verity of our text (that God is good unto all, and merciful over all his works) against the most plausible exceptions, I shall examine the particulars in the following Discourse.

38.

SERM. admonitions, solicitations, threatenings, moderate LXVIII.

corrections, and other such proper methods conducing to their amendment and to their preservation.

3. That the inflictions themselves, how grievous soever in appearance, were not really extreme in measure; not accompanied with so acute torments, nor with so lingering pains, nor with so utter a ruin,

as might have been inflicted; but that (as Ezra, in Ez. ix. 13. respect to one of those cases, confesseth) they were

less than their iniquities deserved. That, as it is Ps. Ixxviii. in the Psalm, He did not stir up all his wrath ;

which would have immediately consumed them, or infinitely tormented them.

4. That (consequently upon some of those premises) the afflictions brought upon them were in a sort rather necessary than voluntary in respect of

him; rather a natural fruit of their dispositions and Ezek. xviii. dealings, than a free result of his will; however conxxxiii. 11. trary to his primary intentions and desires. Whence

he no less truly than earnestly disclaims having any Hos. xiii. 9. pleasure in their death, that he afflicted willingly,

or grieved the children of men; and charges their disasters upon themselves, as the sole causes of them.

5. That further, the chastisements inflicted were wholesome and profitable, both in their own nature, and according to his design“; both in respect to the generality of men, (who by them were warned, and by such examples deterred from incurring the like mischiefs; were kept from the inconveniences, secured from the temptations, the violences, the allure

d Chrys. 'Avdp. 5. “Όμού και δικαστής και ιατρός και διδάσκαλός εστιν ο Θεός. Ιbid.

Lam. üi. 33

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xxvi. 10.

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ments, the contagions of the present evil state; ac- SERM. cording to that reason alleged for punishments of

LXVIII. this kind: All the people shall hear, and fear, and Deut. xvii. do no more presumptuously,) and in regard to the sufferers themselves, who thereby were prevented from proceeding further in their wicked courses ; accumulating (or treasuring up, as the apostle Rom. ii. 5. speaketh) further degrees of wrath, as obdurate and incorrigible people will surely do: (Why, saith the Isa. i. 5. prophet, should

ye be stricken any more? (to what purpose is moderate correction ?) Ye will revolt more and more.) That he did with a kind of violence to his own inclinations, and reluctancy, inflict punishments on them. ( Ephraim, how shall / Hos. xi. 8. give thee

up, O Ephraim! Yea further : 6. That, during their sufferance, God did bear compassion toward them who underwent it. His Isa. Ixiii. bowels, as we are told, sounded and were trou-Hos. xi. 8. bled; his heart was turned within him; his repent-20. ings were kindled together; in all their afflictions with 2: himself was afflicted; he remembered, and consi- Psal. ciii. dered they were but dust; that they were but flesh, (that they were but of a weak and frail temper; that they were naturally prone to corruption and evil,) and did therefore pity their infirmity and their misery.

7. That God in his wrath remembered mercy, Hab. iii. 2. (as the prophet Habakkuk speaks,) mixing gracious intentions of future refreshment and reparation with Gen. vi. 3. the present executions of justice. I know, saith he Jer. xxix. in the prophet Jeremiah, the thoughts that I think 6. toward you; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to

Επιτίθησι τιμωρίαν, ου των απελθόντων απαντών δίκην, αλλά τα Méxlorta topcükleros. Chrys. tom. viii. p. 99.

BARROW, VOL. III.

Jer. xxxi.
Gen. vi. 3.

14. Ixxviii. '. 39.

II. xxxiii.

M m

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