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the City

1.

erwhelmed in their Ruin.
ee a great wicked Man in
Courishing Condition, and
y Tranquillity a perpetual
Providence of God: What
one? You would not have
Brimstone

upon
his great Offender, since
Persons would neceffarily
? No; but you would have
ay suddenly by some fecret
1; or you would have him
Fortune, and reduced to
ch his Sins deserve. This,
ld be very just and rea-
hly becoming the Wiidom
ray,
has

your wicked Man
Relations, whose Happiness
ais Prosperity ? Has he no

W must beg with him when

e it overty and Distress? Ther (an, who is not relate: :

if not in all theie C en you allow in

ution of Justice, ing the Wicke's

co require he should

get by it? What y we know, or ought to P

know,

e are

18, that g for the srçy. Were

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ind answer Relati

the Wicked are often and common 204 DISCOURSE VIII. Borders of the Righteous and the Sinner, and sweep away one as well as the other. Thus far then the Reason of the Text most certainly extends, and shews us the great Mercy of God in forbearing to appear against Sinners in such visible and exemplary Punishments, which would destroy whole Countries, and bring even upon the best of Men the Punishments due only to the worst.

But are there not, you will say, many „Ways of punishing Men without including others in the Calamity? Do not Fevers, and many other Distempers, carry off single Perfons without spreading farther? And would not these be proper Messengers of Providence to single out desperate Sinners, in which Cafe there would be no Danger of involving the Righteous in the Punishment of the Wicked ? And if the Wicked are spared only for the sake of the Righteous, why are they exempted from these Punishments, in which the Righteous have no Concern or Connection with them?

In Answer to which several Things may be faid : And, First, to him that asks the Question, an Answer may be returned by a like Question ; How do you know but that

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punished ? and that the Thing is done every Day, which you complain of as never done? Wicked Men die every Day, and die in the Way you speak of, some by Fevers, some by other Distempers or Accidents. Can you distinguish whịch of them fall in the common Way of Nature, and which are taken away by the secret Judgments of God? Can you tell by the Pulse when a Fever is to be reckoned among the common Accidents of Life, and when to be ascribed to the Vengeance of God? If not, how can you tell but that every Hour may produce such In , stances, as you complain are very rare and scarce to be found, and the Want of which you

think so great an Objection against an overruling Providence? As to outward Appearance, the same Casualties attend both the Good and the Bad; but he has thought very little, who cannot see that the outward Appearance is no Rule to judge by in this Cafe. Lazarus died, and the rich Man died also: Thus far there was no Distinction in thejr Fate; the Lookers on could not say which was tal

way in Mercy, and which in Tdgmer he

very next Scene clearall

t, and shewed how tereath was to the rich Man,

how

Borders of the Righteous and the Sinner, and sweep away one as well as the other. Thus far then the Reason of the Text most certainly extends, and shews us the great Mercy of God in forbearing to appear against Sinners in such visible and exemplary Punishments, which would destroy whole Countries, and bring even upon the best of Men the Punishments due only to the worst.

But are there not, you will say, many „Ways of punishing Men without including others in the Calamity? Do not Fevers, and many other Distempers, carry off single Perfons without spreading farther? And would not these be proper Messengers of Providence to single out desperate Sinners, in which Case there would be no Danger of involving the Righteous in the Punishment of the Wicked ? And if the Wicked are spared only for the sake of the Righteous, why are they exempted from these Punishments, in which the Righteous have no Concern or Connection with them?

In Answer to which several Things may be faid: And, First, to him that asks the Question, an Answer may be returned by a like Question ; How do

you

know but that the Wicked are often and commonly thus

punished?

every Hour

punished ? and that the Thing is done every Day, which you complain of as never done? Wicked Men die every Day, and die in the Way you speak of, some by Fevers, some by other Distempers or Accidents. Can you distinguish which of them fall in the common Way of Nature, and which are taken away by the secret Judgments of God? Can you

tell by the Pulse when a Fever is to be reckoned among the common Accidents of Life, and when to be ascribed to the Vengeance of God? If not, how can you tell but that

may produce such Instances, as you complain are very rare and scarce to be found, and the Want of which

great an Objection against an overruling Providence? As to outward Appearance, the same Casualties attend both the Good and the Bad; but he has thought very little, who cannot see that the outward Appearance is no Rule to judge by in this Cafe. Lazarus died, and the rich Man died also: Thus far there was no Distinction in their Fate ; the Lookers on could not say which was taken away in Mercy, and which in Judgment: But the very next Scene cleared up all the Doubt, and shewed how terrible a Judgment Death was to the rich Man,

how

you think so

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