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2. To extricate them when involved in difficulties. So 2 Pet. ii. 9. " The Lord knowethhow to deliver the godly out of temp'' tation." They know not <how, but their God doth; they are often at a loss, but he is never. So 1 Cor. x. 13. "There "hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man, "but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted "above that which you are able, but will with the temptation "also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

3. To over-rule and order all their troubles to their good and real advantage. So runs that most comprehensive promise, Rom. viii. 28. "All things shall work together for good to them that "love God." In the faith whereof Paul concludes, Phil. i. 19. Even this shall work for his falvation. Thus the people of God were sent into captivity for their good, Jer. xxiv. 8. and Joseph into Egypt, Gen. l. 20. "Ye thought evil against me, "but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass as it is this "day, to fave much people alive."

2. Let us view the wisdom of God, in its relation to his providences, for there it shines forth eminently, Ezek. i. 18. The wheels were full of eyes, i. e. the motions and providential revolutions in this lower world are very judicious and advised motions; Non caeco impetu volvuntur rotae; it hath an end and design which no man understands till it open itself in the event.

The enemies of the church are oft-times men of the finest brains, and deepest policies: Herod a fox for subtilty, Luke xiii. 32. Julian and Ahitophel, with many others, who have digged as deep as hell in their counsels, and laid their designs so sure, that they doubted not to be masters of it; yet their hands could not perform their enterprize.

The wisdom of providence hath still befooled them, and baffled the cunningest head-pieces that ever undertook any design against the church, as fast as ever they arose; and here the wisdom of providence is remarkable in three things especially.

1. In revealing and discovering the secret conspiracies and counsels of the church's enemies, and thereby frustrating their designs, Gen. xxvii. 41, 42. Providence (as one calls it) is the bird of the air, that carries tidings, and whistles deeds of darkness; Job. xii. 22. " He difeovereth deep things out of darkness, '' and bringeth out to light the shadow of death." And this God hath done both immediately and mediately. 1. Immediately! 7 Kings vi. 11. 'What counsel soever the king of Syria took in his bed-chamber was still discovered by the word to the prophet So true is that, Job xxxiv. 22. "There is no darkness nor Iha"doul of death where the workers of iniquity may hide them"selves." Thus the design of Herod is revealed to Joseph in a dream.

But commonly he doth it by means; as,

t. By giving knowledge of it to some that arc under obligations of duty or affection to reveal it to those that are concerned in the danger^ So Paul's filter's son, Acts xxiii. 16. revealed the conspiracy against his life, and so the plot miscarried by revealing it before it was ripe for execution.

2. By the failure of some circumstance, the whole is brought to light; there be many fine threads upon which the designs of politicians hang ', if one break, the whole design is unravelled. Thus the wisdom of God sometimes prevents his people's ruin, by taking away the speech of the trusty from him, and making their own tongues to fall upon themselves.

3. By their own confession, so Psal. lxiv. 5,6, 7, 8. where you have the plot laid, ver. 5. "They encourage themselves in au "evil matter, they commune of laying snares privily, they fay, "who shall see them?" The deep contrivance of it, ver. 6. "They search out iniquity, they accomplish^ diligent search, "both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart "is deep." Their plot destroyed, ver. 7. "But God shall shoot "at them with an arrow, suddenly shall they be wounded." The method or way of provideuce in destroying it, ver. 8. "So "they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves, all ** that see them shall fly away." Thus hath the wisdom of our God wrought for us this day, beyond all the thoughts of our hearts; and oh that it might make such impressions upon all our hearts, as follow in ver. 9, 10 "All men shall fear, and shall "declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider his d,ing. ■ The , righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall tnist id "him, and all the upright in heart shall glory."

2. The wisdom of God discovers itself in behalf of that people who are his own, in diverting the danger from them, and putting by the deadly thrusts their enemies make at them; thus it spoils their game by an unforeseen rub in the green, and that especially three ways. *

1. By making their counsels to jar among themselves, in which jars is the sweetest harmony of providence; thus the counsel of Ahitophel jars with the counsel of Hushai, 2 Sam. xvii. 5, 7. by which means David escaped: The Pharisees clashed with thi Sadducees, Acts,xxiii. 7. and by that means Paul escaped.

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2. By cutting out other work, and starting some new design, which puts them, as a fresh scent does the dog, to a loss. Thus the people of God in Jerusalem were delivered by a diversion, a Kings xix. 7. "Behold, 1 will lend a blast upon him, and he "shall hear a rumour and shall return to his own land, andl

will cauie him to fall by the sword in his own land, so Rab"shakeh returned." By this means also was David delivered from the hand of Saul, 1 Sam. xxiii 27. And in this method of providence, that scripture is often fulfilled, Prov. xxi. 18, "The wicked shall be a ransom' for the righteous, and the "transgressor for the upright."

3. By cutting off the capital enemies of his church, by whose seasonable delkruction they are delivered. Thus fell Julian, that bitter enemy of the Christians, when he was preparing to put his last and most bloody design against them in execution. And thus fell Haman, Nero, and many more in the very height and heat of their designs against the church.

3. The wisdom of Cod gloriously displays itself in causing the designs of the wicked, like a surcharged gun, to recoil upon, and destroy themselves: it often falls out with the undermining enemies of the church, as it sometimes doth with them that dig dec^l mines in the ear.th, who are destroyed and buried in their own work; Psal. ix. 15, 16, "The Heathen are sunk down in *• the pit that they made, in the net which they hid is their own "feet taken. The Lord is known by the judgments which he V executeth, the wicked is soared in the work of his own hands. "Higgajon, Selah." There isa double mercy in this providence, one in delivering the saints from the danger, the other in causing it to fall upon the contrivers, and is therefore celebrated with a double npte of attention : in these observable strokes, the righteousness of God shines forth in repaying his people's enemies in theix own coin *.

Thus Haman did eat the first-fruits of that tree which his own hands planted, and thus Jerusalem becomes a burdensome stone to all that burden themselves with it, Zech. xii. 3.

4. Admire and adore the wisdom of your God in those great and unexpected advantages, which arise to you out of those very dangers and designs of your enemies that ihreatned your rnin; the very hands of your very enemies are sometimes made the in

* Nec ley: eft justior utla,

Quam nec is artifices arte per ire Jua, Ovid. Nor is there any justcr law, than that contrivers of mischief periih bf ', their own art, . \

fttnnents ©f your advancement and enlargement.; your persecutions become your privileges, the motto of the palm-tree fitly becomes yours, Supprejfa refitrgo.

In three things the wisdom of God makes advantage out of your troubles.

1. In fortifying your souls and bodies with suitable strength, when any eminent trial is intended for you; so it was with the apostles, 2 Cor. i. 5. " As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, "so our consolation by Christ." God lays in suitably to what men lay on mercikfly: Christ would not draw the poor timorous disciples out of Jerufalem unto hard encounters, until first he had endued them with power from on high, Luke xxiv. 40.

2. The wisdom of your God can, and often doth make your very troubles and sufferings, instead of fb many ordinances, to strengthen your faith, and fortify your patience. So the heads .of Leviathan became meat to his people inhabiting the wilderness, Plal. fxxiv. 14. And so the plots of Balak and Balaam were designed by God to be as a standing instructing ordinance for the encouragement of his people's faith in future difficulties, Mic. vi. 5. "O my peaple, remember now what "Bilak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of "Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may "know the righteousness of the Lord." q. d. You cannot but remember how those your enemies courted me with multitudes of offerings to deliver you up into their hands, and how faithfully 1 stood by you in all those dangers; that plot discovered at once the policy of your enemies, and the righteousness of your God.

3. His wisdom is discovered to your advantage, in permitting yonr dangers to grow to an extremity, on purpose to magnify his goodness, and increase your comfort in your deliverance from it. Pfal. cxxvi. 1.'.' When the Lord turned our capti"vity, we were as fhem that dreamed." Proportionable to the greatness of your dangers will your joys be.

SeEtion III. Well then, if the wisdom of God shines forth so gloriously in the times of his peoples trouble; be persuaded by faith to enter into this chamber also; it is a chamber where a believing soul may enjoy the sweetest rest and quietness in the most hurrying and distracting times; shut the door behind you, and improve this attribute to your best advantage.

1. Enter into this chamber by faith, believe firmly that the management of all the affairs of this world, whether public or persoaal, is in the hands of your all-wise God; more particularly, exercise your faith about the wisdom of God in these things.

1. Believe that the wisdom of God can contrive and order the way of your escape and deliverance, when all doors of hops are shut up to iensc and rciion; we know not what to do, said, good Jeholhaphat, but our eyes are unto thee; y. d. Lotd^ though I am at a lols, and lee No way to. escape, thou art never at a lols. The Lord (laith Peter) knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation: Divine wisdom hath inriuite methods and ways of deliverance unknown tp man, till they are opened in the event.

2. Believe that the wisdom of God can turn your greatest troubles and fears, into the choicest blessings aud mercies to you: I know (faith Paul) that this fhall turn to my falvation, Phil. i. 19. meaning his bonds and sufferings for Christ. Divine wisdom can give you honey out-of the carcalsof the lion, cause you to part with those afflictions, admiring and blessing God for them, which you meet with fear and trembling, as lulpecting your destruction was imported in them.

3. In consideration of both these, resign up yourselves to the wisdom ot God, and lean not to your own understandings y "Commit thy way unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall he; f established," Prov. xvi. i. When Melancthon was oppressed with cares and doubts abopt the distracting affairs of the church in his time, Luther thus chides him out of his despondency, Desinat Philippus cJJ'e refler mundi, do not thou presume to be the governor of the world; hut leave the reins of govern-' ment in his hand that made it, and best knows how to rule it: let God alone to chuse thy lot and portion, to order thy condition, and manage all thy affairs, and let thy foul take its rest {a this quiet chamber of Divine wisdom. But then,

2, Be sure to shut thy door behind thee, and beware, lest un> Relief, anxieties, fears, and doubts, creep in aster thee to dis-' turb thy rest, and shake thy faith in this point; we are apt, in, two cases, to be stumbJed in this matter.

1. When subtle and cunning enemies are engaged against us; this was David's case, 2 Sam, xv. 31. " One told David, fay"ing, Ahitophel is among the conspirators with Absalom; and "David faid, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahir "tophel into foolishness." When he heard Ahitophel was with

.the conspirators, it greatly pulled h,im. Though a whole conclave of politicians be against: us, yet if God be with us, let us not fear.

2. When our own reason intrudes too far, and offers its dictates too boldly in the case, we are apt to fay in the arrogancy pf our own reason, we cannot be delivered; but oh that we

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