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2. Be not secure when the world (miles: though åt smile this moment, it may look four the next. In the midst of its triumphs one may be knocked down. Therefore rejoice with trembling: for often when affliction seems farthest off, the hand is only lifted back to fetch the greater stroke; Job xxi. 13. They
Spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down Fa te the grave.
3. How much more desirable and valuable are the spiritual mercies of peace with God, pardon, and eternal life? These are things one may be sure
of; the world cannot take them away, and God will e not; For the gifts and calling of God are without re
pentance, Rom. xi. 29. Temporal mercies are a crown that common providence may set on with its hand to-day, and kick off with its foot to-morrow. But spiritual privileges are liable to no such uncertainties, Matth. vi. 19. 20. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and ruft doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treafures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
4. Let not God's people lose their hope and confidence in God for å delivery, when their cafe is even come to an extremity. There is a counter-part of this dispensation, which the people of God often meet with, Deut. xxxii. 36. For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants; when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none. fout up, or left. It is as easy for God to turn the wheel of providence the one way as the other; to
make night day, as day night; to make the sun arise, * at midnight, as to go down at mid-day, Zech. xiv.
Lastly, Sit loose to the world: neither be cast down with its frowns, nor lifted up with its finiles; but lay your weight on Christ, trusting in him alone for all things. ,
I will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
Doct. God's taking away outward mercies from the abusers of them, is a recovering them out of their hand.
1. It imports, that they have forfeited their right to them, and are in a sense violent poffeffors of them; that a stronger than they must recover them out of their hands. Wicked men have no covenant-right to the creatures: but God gives them a providential right to them; and even that they forfeit before the Lord by their abuse of them.
2. The creatures are unwillingly detained by them, and groan to be recovered out of their hands, Rom. viii. 20. 21. The creatures were made for the honour of God, but wicked men use them as iniltru.. ments to dishonour God with: therefore they groan as captives and prisoners to be delivered out of their hands. Their corn groans from their fields and barns, their drink from their cups, their filver and gold from their pockets, for that they should be used for the maintenance of their lufts: and the godly express their groans as the mouth of the creation, Rom. viii. 22. 23. For we know that the wbole creation groana eth, and travaileth in pain together until now: and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
3. Abused mercies are still the Lord's; let men use them as they will, God has not given up his property in them: My corn, wool, &c. Men are apt to think that they may do with their own what they will: but mind, nothing is yours, but in subor: dination to God. And therefore ye must give account to God how ye dispose of every measure of your corn, and cup of your drink, every penny of your Gilver and gold : and as much of these as hasi
been laid out in the service of your lufts, ye shall be made to suffer for, as unjust stewards that have wafted your Master's goods.
Lastly, He will take them in again to his own hand, to dispose of them another way. They are never out of his reach : he can strip thofe of them in life, make wings to them, and cause them fly away, and leave them nothing, who sometimes had an affluence of all things, whereof every age affords many instances. He will surely strip them of them at death, and hasten on their dying day, for to recover his mercies out of their hands, Jer. xvii. U. As the
partridge fitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not : so i he that getteth riches, and not by right, fall leave
them in the midst of his days, and at his end fall be a fool.
Use. Let abusers of God's goodness hold as fast as they can, their abused mercies will be sure to leave them, leaving a fting behind them. Since God takes it on him to recover them, he will do it effectually at length: and since he will take them from them, by way of recovery, there is a piercing sting that the
removal will leave behind it. The rich man in hell i had not a drop of water to cool his tongue : the wine
he drank plentifully in his faring deliciously every day, made this the more bitter. It is not so with the godly losing their creature-comforts in the midst of their fober use of them, as Job vi. 13.
For fbe did not know that I gave her corn, &c.
Doct. God takes it hainously that men should not know and consider themselves to be his debtors for their meat, drink, and money, but Jould lay them out on their lufts and idols.
This imports these things.
1. Men need thefe things, in this their imperfect ftate in this world. Therefore we are taught to pray,. Give us this day our daily bread. In heaven the saints
will need none of them : in hell they will not get a drop of water, however much they need it. Here we must have meat and drink for the support of our bodies : and money is necessary for conveniency of life, Eccl. x. 19. Money answereth all things.
2. God is the giver of them, the meat, the drink, the money. They are all his. So the texty My corn, my wine, &c. Hag. ii. 8. The filver is mine, and the gold is mine, faith the Lord of hosts. And he gives them to whom, and in what measure he sees good, James i. 17. Every good gift, and every perfeet gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of a lights. Though men earn them by their labour and industry, though they be left them by parents or 0ther friends; God is fill the giver, as being the first cause, without whom all other could do nothing.
3. God requires men to consider themselves as his debtors for all, and to behave themselves accordingly, using them all for his honour. This is the burden he affects his gifts with, Prov. ii. 9. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase. And according as he gives, so he requires a proportionable improvement, Luke xix. 13. Occupy till I come. The more liberally God bestows on any, the more are they obliged to be useful for God, Luke xii. 48. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him Sball be much required.
4. Notwithstanding corrupt men bestow God's good gifts on their lusts, James iv. 3. By these they feed them, protect and defend them, against God and his holy law. The meat, drink, and money, are employed that way. One feeds with them a lust of gluttony, another that of drunkenness, another a lust of pride and vanity. Many that have the greatest abundance of them fpend them on harlots. So by this means they proclaim war against God, and carry it on against him with weapons got out of his own magazine, James iv. 4. 5. It is owing to mens not considering that they
are God's debtors for these things, that they dare venture to bestow them on their lusts. If they laid to heart their dependence on him for all they have, they would not dare to use them to the dishonour of the giver ; knowing that he whose plenty they abuse, can soon bring them to the lack of neceffaries.
6. Lastly, This is highly provoking in the fight of God. We can make him no recompense for his mercies, but shall we not acknowledge the receipt of them? What he gives us for our necessity and conveniency, shall we use to the dishonour of his name? Do ye thus requite the Lord, o foolish people and unwife?. Deut. xxxii. 6.
Use. 1. See here the true cause of the present stroke; how trade' comes to be fo low, money scarce, and the corns many of them so far ruined. We have not known that God gave us corn, and wine, and oil, &c.
2. Be warned then to consider, that ye are God's debtors for your meat, drinks and money; and, under the pain of God's high displeasure, cease to consume them on your lusts. Provoke him not to jea
lousy, as if ye were stronger than he: for there will El be a bitter reckoning for mercies so abused.