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V. The most wise, righteous and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for n season his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption ot their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfolness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;' and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watehful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends."
feet gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 1 John ii. 16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Psahn l. 21. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence: thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them m order before thine eyes.
V. t 2 Chr. xxxii. 25,26, 31. But Hezekiah rendered not again, according to the benefit done unto him: for his heart was lifted up; therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart (both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem) so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. Howbeit, in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go number Israel and Judah.
v 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8, 9. And lest I should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto mo, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in mv infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon mo. Psahn lxxiii. throughout. Psahn lxxvii. 1,10,12. I cried unto God with my voice: even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (Read the intermediate vcrsesln the Bible.) Mark xiv. from the 66th verse to the end, with John xxi. 15,16, 17. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again tho second time, Simon, son of Jonas,.Invest thou me? He sarth unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me ? Peter was grieved, because he said unto him the third time, lovest thou me? And ho said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
VI. As for those wicked and ungodlymen, whom God aSf a righteous judge, for former sins, doth mind and harden.w from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;* but sometimes also witbdraweth the gifts which they had.y and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin ;l and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan :a whereby it comes to pass, that they harden themselves, even under those means which Uod useth for the softening Of others.1*
VI. w Rom. i. 24,26, 28. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: For even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobatemind, to do those things which are not convenient. Rom. xi. 7,-8. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day. x Deut. xxix. 4. Yet the Lord hath net given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
y Mat. xiii. 12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and heshall have more abundance : but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away, even that he hath. Mat. xxv. 29. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away, even that which he hath.
z Deut. ii. 30. But Sihon king of'Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day. 2 Kings viii. 12,13. And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children oT Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, the Lord hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.
a Psal. Ixxxi. 11,12. But my people would not hearken to my voice: and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their ewn heart's lust, and they walked in their own counsels. 2 Thess. ii. 10, 11, 12. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they yhould believe a lie. That they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. b Exod. vii. 3. And I will harden Pharaohs heart, and multiply my signs and mj> wonders in the land of Egypt. With Exod. viii. 15, 32. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he ha dened his heart,
VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh ore of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.0
and hearkened not unto them ; as the Lord had said. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one, we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other, the savour of life unto life: and who is sufficient for these things? Isa. viii. 14. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin, and for a snareto the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed. Isa. vi. 9, 10. And he said, Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indied; but perceive not. Make the heart of tliis people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. With Acts xxviii. 26, 27. Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand : and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive. For the heart of this people is v, axed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed: lest they should see with their eyes, and liear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
VII. c 1 Tim. iv. 10. For therefore we both labour, and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. Amos ix. 8, 9. Behold the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. For lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among, all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. Rom. viii. 28. And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Isa. xliii. 3,4.5,14. For I am the Lord thy God, the holy one of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Sheba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee : therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. Thus saitn the Lord, your Redeemer, the holy One of Israel, for your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and thg Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.
OF THE FALL OF MAN, OF SIN, AND OF THE PUNISHMENT THEREOF.
Our first parents, being seduced by the sublilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden lruit.a This their sin, God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.b
II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness, and communion with God,0 and so became dead in sin,*1 and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.0
I. a Gen. iii. 13. And the Lord God said unto the woman. What is this, that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 2 Cor. xi. 3. But I fear least by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
b Rom. xi. 32. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
II. e Gen. iii. 6, 7,8. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise ; she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden, in the cool of the day : And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, amongst the trees of the garden. Eccl. vii. 29. Lo, this only have 1 found, that God hath made man upright > but they have sought out many inventions. Rom, iii. 23. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
d Gen. ii. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Eph. ii. 1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
e Tit. i. 15. Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving, is nothing pure, but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Gen. vi. 5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of thethoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Jer. xvii. 9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it? Rom. iii. 10,11,12,13, 14, 16, 17, 18. As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way; they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doth good, no not one. Their throat is an open sepulehre; with their tongues they have used deceit: the poison of asps is under their
III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed/ and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.8
IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good,1' and
lips. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. And the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
HI./ Gen. i. 27, 28. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him : male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And Gen. ii. 16,17. And the horn God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou catest thereof, thou shalt surely die. And Acts xvii. 26. And hath made of one blood, all nations oVmen, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations. With Rom. v. 12,15,16, 17, 18,19. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one man many be dead; much more the grace of God and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation; but the freejrift is of many offencesunto justification. For if by one man's offence, death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the g'.ft of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefire as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners: so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. And 1 Cor. xv. 81, 22, 45, 49. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. And so it is written, The first man, Adam, was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. And as we have borne the imageof the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
g Psal. Ii. 5. Behold, I was shapen in miquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Gen. v. 3, And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth. Job xiv. 4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. Job xv. 14. What is man, that he should be clean P and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
IV. h Rim. v. 6, 7. For when we were yet without strength, in duo time Christ died for tho ungodly. Rom. viii. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law