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and Charity, or unfeigned Love to God and Man, 2 Peter i. 6, 7
Praying always with all Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit, and watching there. unto with all Perseverance,” Eph. vi. 18. . But why God hath chofen fome in Christ before the Foundation of the World, Eph. i. 4. and not others ? We know not, but as we observed already, God can do what he will with his own: and Scripture informs us, that he “ predestinated some unto the Adoption of Children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good Plealure of his Will; to the Praise of the Glory of hisGrace, wherein he hath made them accepted in the Beloved,” Eph. j. 5, 6. " That the Purpose of God's Election might Itand, not of Works, but of him that caileth,” Rom.ix. 11. Therefore “thole Things which are revealed, and left upon Record for our Instruction, belong to us, and to our Children, but fecret Things belong to God,” Deut, xxix. 29. Forasmuch then as the Holy Ghost reveals the Mind of God unto his People, through the Scriptures, whereby Saints shall judge the World, as Witnesses for the Truth, i Cor. vi. 2. Therefore in whatsoever Company they be, they are no less than the King's Spies; and do inspect into the ill Conduct, and rebellious Practices of his Enemies. And they have Dove's Eyes, quick to difcern Truth from Error, Cant. i. 15. And wherefoever they discover any disorderly Persons, walking contrary to his Laws, they immediately make Report to their King, by sighing and grieving for their Impiety. And he that learcheth the Heart, knoweth the Mind of his own Spirit in his People, Rom. viii. 27. And as he said once, Who toucheth ny Clothes ? knowing Virtue was gone out of him, when the Woman who had an issue of Blood, touched the Hem of his Garment by Faith, and was healed from her Plague, Mark v. 27, 29, 30,
SQ 7, 8,
So now he feels the Sorrow and Grief his own Spis rit bears in his People, and how they fill up that which is behind of the Afflictions of Christ in their Flesh, Col. i. 24. As did also jutt Lot, who was vexed with the filthy Conversation of the Wicked, who grieved his righteous Soul from Day to Day with their unlawful Deeds, 2 Peter ii.
8,9. And when his Saints are grieved, God is angry with those who are the Cause of it, “ For whosoever toucheth them, toucheth the Apple of his Eye,” Zech. ii. 8. And as the Wicked grieve the Righteous from Day to Day; so “ God is angry with the Wicked every Day," Psal. vii. 11. And therefore is resolved what to do, viz. In the Day of Recompence, God's Eyes being over the Righteous to do them Good, i Peter iii. 12. He orders his Angels to lser a Mark on the Foreheads of the Men that figh, and grieve for the Ungodliness of the Wicked: and then destroy the Impenitent without Pitý; but not to come near any one on whom is the Mark, Ezek, ix. 4, 5, 6. To the same Purpose it is said, “ " Touch not mine Anointed, and do my Prophets no Harm, 1 Cor. xvi. 22. And again God faith, “ Hurt not the Earth, nor the Sea, 'till the Servants of God are sealed with a (distinguishing) Mark in their Foreheads," Rev. vii. 3. So God took particular Care of Lot in Sodom; for “ while he lingered, the Angels laid hold upon his Hand, and brought him without the City : and said, EYcape for thy Lile; for I cannot destroy Sodom 'till thou art got safe to Zoar. But as soon as Lot had arrived thither, then the Lord rained upon
Sodoin and Gomorrah Brimstone and Fire out of Heaven, 'till they were destroyed,” Gen. xix. 16, 17, 22, 23, 24. Thus the Lord knoweth how to deliver the Godly; and to reserve the Wicked unto the Day of judgment to be punished, 2 Peter ii. 9. Uncon
verted Men little think how God and good Men notice them; and how they expofe themselves in the Presence of the Just who live by Faith, Heb. ii. 4. And what a Disgrace it will be to them to be wilfully ignorant of Salvation. True it is that “ fome have not the Knowledge of God," but this is their Shame, i Cor. xv. 3, 4. Unbeliever is more or less ashamed of the Gospel, having no Interest therein (except his Death War
So very great is the Fall of Man from God! that the Apostle justly observes where he asketh, “ What Communion bath Light with Darkness ? and what Concord hath Christ with Belial?” and what Part hath a Believer with unconverted Men? 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15. Nay they abominate each other, Prov. xxix. 27.
Yet, notwithstanding, all Men are dead to God, for in Adam all died, and fo remain 'till Chrift makes them alive by a new Birth, 1 Cor. xv. 22. And Jesus tells us that “except a Man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. What then ? he fhall die in his Sins, and be reprobated from Christ for ever!
" For if any Man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his," Rom. viii, g. Yet Men by Nature are so expert in all worldly Affairs, yea, notwithstanding Ipiritual Ignorance, that in their Generation they are wiser than the Children of Light, Luke xvi. 8. Proud Man will not believe that his Eyes are blind, and his Ears deaf, before God calls him by his Grace, Ifa. xliii. 8. And therefore, either openly or tacitly asketh,“ Who are the Wicked whom God will punish if they die without Repentance ? and who are they of whom it is said, that where Christ is, they cannot come? John viii. 21. The Scriptures answer, All who delight in the Works of the Flesh, Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Laciviousness, Covetousness, which is Idolatry,
Witchcraft, Hatred, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Heresies, Envyings, Murders, Drunkenness, Revellings, and such like, which doubtless includes and condemn's all unlawful Gaming, Masquerades, Dancing, Play-houses, Horse-racing, Cock-fighting, Bull-baiting, Cudgel-playing, Sabbath-breaking, Card-playing, or any other finful Diversions, which tend to dishonour God's Word, and bring no Glory unto his holy Name.
The Apostle lays, " that they which do such Things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, Gal. v. 19, 20, 21. For they are Traitors to true Religion, and Despisers of those that are good ; heady, high-minded, Lovers of Pleasure more than Lovers of God. Having a Form of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof; from such heathenish Christians, God's true believing Church should turn away, 2 Tim. iii. 3, 4, 5For God will rank them at last (if they die in such Sins) among the Fearful and Unbelieving, Liars and Slanderers, Backbiters, and Whisperers, who sow Diffentions among Friends ; nay, with Thieves and Robbers, who rob their Neighbours of Goods, or good Name. All such shall have their Portion in the Lake which burneth with Fire and Brimstone which is the second Death, Rev. xxi. 8. “For God will bring every Work into Judgment, with every secret Thing, whether it be Good, or whether it be Evil,” Eccle. xii. 14. And there are many (the more the Pity) in this polite Age, who frequent
the Lord's Table one Day, and Play-houses, Balls, Card-tables, and other sinful Diversions the next Day; and think it no Harm, but go on during Life, for want of receiving the Love of the Truth as it is in Jesus, which only can make them free from the Slavery of Sin and the Devil, John viii. 32. Although such People promise themselves Liberty, they are the Servants of Corruption; for of whom a Man is overcome, of the same is he brought into Bondage, 2 Peter ii. 19. There are otheis who have orthodox Heads, but unfound Hearts (who can privily flander their Neighbours) which God will cut off from his Church, Pjal. ci. 5. For although they dream of a finished Salvation by Jesus Chriit, yet if they hold this Truth in Unrighteousness, Rom. i. 18. and can smite their Neighbours secretly, the Lord pronounceth them accursed, Deut. xxvii. 24. He therefore that in-' dulges any known Sin, may justly fcar that he never was a true Believer; for Christ is not the Minister of Sin, Gal. ii. 17. And the Holy Ghost faith, “ All Men shall worship the Beast,” viz. the Pride of Man, popish Superstition, and the Pomps and Vanities of this World ; whose Names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Lite from the Foundation of the World, Rev. xiii. 8. Therefore I fear all those Beast-worshipers, who are pure in their own Eyes, and never came to Christ to be cleansed from their Filthiness, Prov. xxx. 12. but continue to love the Pleasures of this World, will be of that unhappy Number spoken of by our Lord, when he faith, that many, shall come (when it is too late, the Door of Mercy being shut) saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us, for we have eaten and drank in thy Presence (we have often received the Sacrament) and thou hast taught in pur Streets (we have been frequently at Church) Luke xiii. 25, 26. But Christ will say unto them, I never knew you (i. e. in a conjugal Relation as my Bride, therefore depart from me, ye that work Iniquity,” Matt. vii. 22, 23. Forasmuch then as all true believing Christians know the Terrors of the Lord, having felt deep Conviction for Sin, and thus heard the Thunders of Sinai, they perfuade Men to flee from the Wrath to come, 2 Cor.