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abomination to the juft; and he that is upright in the way, is an abomination to the wicked," Prov. xxix. 27. The godly hate their ways, not their persons: we are obliged to love your persons, but to hate your vices, Plal.cxxxix, 21, 22. They cannot but be as figns and wonders to the wicked, efpecially when they hace that which they love, and love that which they hate. And the world is not be. hind with them, in their hatred : for, as the godly hate the wickedness of the wicked, as far as he is goully ; to the wicked hate the godly, and their godliness both; The carnal mind of them is enmity against God: ard the heart being full of enmity, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and speaketh reproach. fully. The very root of all this opposition, is the enmity that is put between the feed of the woman, and the feed of the serpent.
4. They are for fögns and for wonders in Israel, and in the world, becaule they reprove the world, and do what they can to cause them leave their carnal joy, their darling pleafures, and finful delights, of which they are so fond. The children of God are the lights of the world, Phil. ii. 15. “ That ye may be blamelels and harmless, the lons of God wi bout rebuke, in the midst of a.crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” Now, the natural man loveth not to come to this light; “ Every one that doth evil, hateth the light; neither cometh to the light, lest lais deeds lhould be re. proved,” John iii. 20. They will not come near the god. ly, so to spe:+k; they will not so much as come in speaking terms with them, upon any fpiritual heavenly discourse : they love not to talk with them, otherwise their talk would Feprove theirs, which is nothing but the langu:ge of Asia dod: they love not to walk or converse with them, other. wise their walk and conversation would reprove and con. demn theirs; and hence they care for none of their change;. their company is but a burden to them; they are in bond. age when they are obliged to be in their company any time, especially if they be very spiritual Chriftians: the more spiritual their conversation is, the more hateful it is to the carnal man. --The godly are the salt of the earth, to keep the world from stinking; this falt will smart their
wounds and fores; and they cannot endure to be cross fed: hence they hate them that rebuke in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly, Amos v. 1o.“Re. prove a scorner and he will hate thee,” saith Solomon, Prov. ix. 8. See also ver. 7. "He that reproveth a scorner, getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man, getteth to himself a blot.” Men speak against religion, because it speaks against them. Why were the Pharisees so exasperated againit Christ, but be. cause he spake his parables against them? John vii. 7. He was a sign every-where spoken against, because his doctrine every-where speaketh against the way of the world : , and no wonder then that all these speak against it, who hate to be convinced by it, and fear to be condemned by it. Why are faithful ministers so much hated in the world, but because they shew people their transgressions, their drunkenness, whoredom, fwearing, lying, and Sabbath-breaking; their villainy, knavery, and vice ? Though none pretend it is for that cause they hate them, but, perhaps, fay, it is for some illthing they alledge against them: for Satan hides his calumny and cruelty belt under a cloak of pretence for religion. But, however, if they would flatter men, and speak peace to them, ta whom God fpeaks no peace, they might avoid a great deal of reproach and censure; but they dare not do it: they are not to make a new law, or a new gospel, but to preach that which is made, Jer. xv. 19. There we have the ministerial commission; “Let them return un. to thee, but return not thou unto them.' The hearts and lives of men must be brought to comply with the word of God; for the word of God can never be made to comply with the humours and fancies of men: if they aim at pleasing men, they cannot approve themselves the servants of Christ; and therefore they are reproach. ed and evil spoken of..
V. The Fifth thing was, The Application of the subject; which we shall essay in an ufe of information, tri. al, and exhortation.
The First use then is of information. Is it fo, as has been said, That Christ and his people, are hated, con.
temned, reproached, and wondered at by the world ? Then hence we may fee,
1. The necessity of the day of judgment : for, if the world might be judged here, the best in the world would be run down with reproach and condenined; yea, hated as monsters. But what a wonder of divine patience is it, that this glorious One, who hath so much faid against him and his followers, while he and his children are loaded with reproach, doth not answer all these reproach. es with thunder and lightnirg? Why, it is a day of pa, tience: but there is a day of vengeance coming, where. in he will no longer keep silence, Jude, ver. 14, 15. &c, This day God will not anticipate, for he knows it is coming, Plal. xxxvii. 13.
2. Hence see the duty of all that hear these tidings : the duty of professors, the duty of profane persons, and the duty of laints.--See the duty of professors, to beware that they be not a scandal to the wicked, I Tim.' V. 14. Your scandalous conversation may occasion the reproaches, that are cast upon the saints by the wicked world: for, when you that profess religion, are but vain and frothy in your conversation, double and deceitful in your dealings, loose and untender in your walk, you bring ụp an ill report upon religion, and make enemies think that religion is but a sham,-See the duty of profane folk : that they beware of reproaching and contemning religion, and religious people, upon whatever pretence: And if none but saints Thall win to heaven, what will be · come of thein that look upon such as monsters! See al. so the duty of saints, and of all the children of God that are reproached : they are not to account it a strange thing though the world look upon them as monsters; yea, so blind is the world, that they may reckon you the very folk thật should be banished out of the world. Paul, before his conversion, looked upon the saints as worthy of death; Acts xxvi, 9, 10, 11. “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus: which thing I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having receiv. ed authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punish,
ed them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to bla pheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I prsecuted them even unto strange cities." Think it not strange, that the world should condemn you, and contemn you; you are contemned and despised with good company, even with the belt of company, with Christ himself: “ Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for igns and wonders." I fear, to enlarge on this subject were to purchase myself more of that reproach *
3. Hence see the reason why the godly, in all ages, have been perfecured and barbarously used as monstrous persons, and religion as a monstrous cpinion. The Lord's people need not look upon it as a rare thing; ** Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though fome strange thing happened unto you," i Pet. iv. 12. We need not think it strange if religion itfelf be ridiculed; IPSA RELIGIO. IN OPPROBRI. AM VERTIT, faid Bernard. Here many things might be condescended upon for the illustration of this point; but having assigned a variety of instances above, on the second head, concerning Popery, &c. We shall supercede any further enlargement.
4. Hence fee what reason the godly have to bear re. proach and contradiction with patience, seeing Christ himself, and all his followers, have been thus treated. We are ready to represent any reproach very hainoully, faying, “We do well to be angry; it is not a thing to be endured:” yet, О how much doth God bear with the contempt caft upon his name! How much doth Christ bear with the reproach cast upon his name! And surely this should moderate our resentment of any indignity. done to our name. This doth not hinder our taking all proper methods, for vindicating our own reputation, and good name, which is as precious ointment: but only it should mitigate our resentment ; for, whọ are we
* About the time when this sermon was preached, there were mighty altercations amongst both ministers and people about the Marrow DOCTRINE ; Our Author being a favourer of that doarine, got his own share of the contumely and oblogay of these lines.. .
that we should not be contradicted, seeing Christ himself endured the contradiction of finners againit himself?.
5. Hence fee what a wonder of divine power it is, that true Christianity and its followers have been kept up, and maintained, and preserved in the world, notwithstanding of the universal contradi&tion and opposition it hath met with. The plantation of the gospel-church, at first, was opposed by all the powers of darkness; and in all ages it hath met with such opposition, that if it had not been of God, it had come to nought ; “ This is the doing of the Lord; and it is marvellous in our eyes,” That a profeffion, fo opposite to the carnal thoughts, and sensu. al delights of men, should be yet preserved in the world, is a wonder, feeing it is every where spoken against, ré. proached, and reviled, and yet strangely victorious, not only without, but against secular power and force, for fome ages. Here is the bush burning, and yet not confumed.
Mahomet's delusions could never prevail in the world, till, getting the power of the sword, he discharged, upon pain of death, speaking against him or his doctrine ; and by such barbarous methods it hath been supported now, above these thousand years. Thus antichrist alsa had maintained his interest, by causing as many as would not worship the image of the beast, to be killed, Rev. xiii. 15. Thus have errors and false religion been propagated: but strip them of these supports, and they fall to nothing of course, Where is all the splendor of the heathen deities and idolatries! Are not their oracles filent, their altars deserted, their gods faniished and perished from the earth? We may not only say, “ Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? Where are the gods of Sepharyaim, Hena, and Ivah?” But, where are the gods of Babylon and Egypt, Greece and Rome; and the illustrious names of Saturn, Jupiter, Juno, and Diana, &c. Where are the gods of our British ancestors, before they received the light of the glorious gospel ? Their names are written in the dust. But, behold! Christ and his glo. rious doctrine ftill flourish, in some place of the world, to this day; though, for many ages destitute of all sę. cular support, and assaulted on all hands, by daring and