« VorigeDoorgaan »
but shine forth in fuch amazing Brightnefs before the Face of fuch as afflicted them, and made no account of their Labours, that they, repenting and groaning for Anguifh of Spirit, fhall fay within themselves, Thefe are they, which we had sometime in derifion, and a Proverb of Reproach. We Fools accounted their Life Madness, and their End to be without Honour: But how, for their eminent Wisdom, are they numbred among the Children of God; and, whilst our more than brutish Folly condemns us to everlafting Torments, is their Lot among the Saints ?
EZEK. 33. II.
As I live, faith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the Death of the Wicked; but that the Wicked turn from his way, and live: Turn ye, Turn ye from your evil ways for why will ye die, O House of Ifrael?
Fall the glorious Attributes and Perfections of our Maker, none fo frequently unfolds its excellent Beauty to us in the facred Oracles, as this of Mercy. 'Twas by this Name, that God,
before the numberless Hoft of Heaven, the glorious Battalions of attending Angels upon Mount Sinai, most folemn ly proclaim'd himself to his Servant Exod. 34. Mofes. The Lord, fays he, The Lord 6.God, merciful and gracious. And the whole Divine Song is nothing else, but a lovely Representation of it by all the Flowers and Delicacies of the most exalted Poetry. Nay, 'tis fo frequently inculcated, that (as an ingenious Author fpeaks) Were it not for the Mystery of the Thing, and that there is no Tautology in Love, the Scriptures would feem chargeable with vain Repetitions. But though the Holy Ora cles almost in every Page speak to us in the comfortable and ravishing Voice of Mercy; yet they no where do this more emphatically, than in the Words of my Text: For though God is not Numb. 23. a Man, that he should lie, neither the Son of Man, that he should repent, but when he hath faid, he will affuredly do it; and when he hath fpoken, he will infallibly make it good; yet He is not contented with these moft folemn, innumerable, and most affectionate Declarations of his abundant Goodness; but here, in a miraculous and most astonish.
aftonishing Condefcenfion to the Infirmities of his Creatures, and that the broken and contrite Spirit may have the fureft Word of Promise that can poffibly be given it, vouchfafes even to interpose his Oath, and as folemnly to fwear. the fame thing. As I live, faith the. Lord God, I have no pleasure in the Death of the Wicked; but that the Wicked turn from his way, and live: Turn ye, Turn ye from your Evil Ways; for why will ye die, O House of Ifrael?
In difcourfing upon which Words, I shall endeavour, I. To make good this Propofition,
That God in his infinite Mercy, offers to all the Children of Men, Grace fufficient for their Converfion and Salvation. II. Toanswer fome Objections, that have been raised against it. And, III. I shall infer from the whole, and conclude.
I. fhall endeavour to make good this Propofition, That God in his Infinite Mercy, offers to all the Children of Men, Grace fufficient for their Converfron and Salvation. And this I fhall do, i. From
1. From the Nature of the New Cove
2. From thofe manifold Calls and Invitations, and those Pathetical and most affectionate Proteftations and Promifes, which God makes to Sinners. And,
3. From plain and exprefs Texts of Scripture.
1. From the Nature of the New Covenant. Before the Breach indeed of the First Covenant, or the Shameless, inexcufable Tranfgreflion of Adam in Paradise, we stood in no need of this Supernatural Affiftance. The Soul of Man was healthful and strong, and girded about with Power. Her Locks were unfhorn, her Wings unclipt, and she could easily bear her felf up in the purer Air, above the Attractions and Enchantments of Senfible Objects, and converfe freely with God. He could, upon the Stock of his Natural Abilities, travel without wearinefs in the Paths of Vertue; yea, (like his elder Brethren above) continually run with Chearfulness the Ways of Gods Command