Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

'in Contriving Man's Redemption. Man, the more we !ball be inlhucted ro admire th.e glorious Wonder of faving Mercy. "-A./1 A deliberate Admiration fp ringing from our molr deep Thoughts, is part ot the Tnbute Chap. 11 • and Adoration we owe to God, who [o firangely faved us fro,m the YVrath to come. ~ And the molr bumble Ack nowledgments are due for it. When David told Mephibofoeth, 2 Sam. 9· 7, 8. that he iliould eat bread with him at his Table co11timudly; he bowat bimfelf, and {:lid, IVhat is thy Servant, that th01t'fbouldjl look.. on fitch a dead. Dog as 1 ""'? A Speech full of Gratitude and Humility; yet he was of a 1\.oyal ExtractiOn, tho' at that time in a low Condition. With a far greater fenCe of om Unworthine(s,we fhould reflect upon that condefcending Love, that provides the Bread of God for the Food of our Souls, wirhom which we had perifb•d fOr want. David in that divine Thank_fg'- ving recorded in the Scripture, refleCts upon his own meannefs, and from that magmfies the FavoUr of God towards him,. ~ Sam. 7· 18. J1'ho am I, 0 Lord God? and what is my Hmtfo, that thou haft brought me hitherto? And thi.t 1PtU yet afmaU thing in thy fight, 0 Lord God, but thou ba{l fpolzen of thy Servmzt.t Ho11fe for a great wbile to come: A11d is this the manner of Man, 0 Lord God? If fuch humble and thankful Acknowledgments were due for the Scepter of lfrael, what is for the Crown of Heaven? And that procured for us by the Sufter ings of the Son of God? Briefly, Goodnefs is the Foundation of Glory, therefore the molr folemn and affectionate Praife is to be rendered for tranfcendcnt goodnefs. The Confent of Heaven and Earth, is, in afcribing B!effing, rmd Hon011r, and Glory to him that fits on the Throne, and the Lamb for ever, R.ev. 5· 13. 2. The Love of God difcovered in our Redemption, is the molr powerful Perfuafive to Repentance. for the Difcovery of this we mufi confider, that real Repentance is the confequenrof Faith, and always in proportion to it. Therefore the Law which reprefen ts to us the Oivine .Parity and JuO:ice, wichout any aUay of Mercy, can never work true Repentance in a Sinner. When Confcieuce is under the firong conviCI:ion of Guilt, and of God's }L111ice as ;mplacable, it caufes a dreadfu l flight from him, and a wretchlefs neg lect of means. Defpair hardens. The brightelr DifCoveries of God in Nature are not warm enough to melt the frozen Hettrt into the current of Repentance. 'Tis true, the vifible frame of the World, and the continual Benefits of Providence, inlrructs Men ;~e~~~ rh;~;eJ~~~'· a~~~:~~~ t.fid "~~fi~lw~L~t 0~ ~~~~t~~;Je;:;~n~e~ee ,hi~{, ~~~:;~~~~ is defigned to lead Mm to Repentance, Acts 4· 17 . And the Apolrle aggravates the Oblrinacy of Men, that rend red that Method entirely fruitl efs. But the Declaration of God's Goodnefs in the Gofpel is in fi nitely more cl ear and po.werful, than the fi!ent Revelation by the works of Creation and Providence. For although the Patience and ge· neral Goodnefs of God olfer'd fome Intimations that he is plaeable, yet not a fufficient fupport for a guilty and jealous Creature to rel y on. The natural notion of God's J uflice is fo deeply rooted in the H11mane Soul, that till he is pleafed to procl aim an Aa of G,.ace and Pardon, on the conditions of Faith and Repentance, 'tis hardly pollible that convinced Simurs fbould apprehend him otherwi[e than an Enemy; and that all the common Benefi ts they enjoy, are but ProviGons allowed in the interval between the Sentoue pronounced by the Law, and the Execution of it at Death. Therefore God to O\·ercome our Fears, and to melt us into a compliance, bath given in the Scripture the highef1 atfurance of hi s willingnefs to receive all relenting and returning Sinners. He interpofes the molr folemn Oath to remove our Sufpicions. As J live, faith the Lord, J delight not in the D eath of the wick._ed, but that the wicfzed tiiYil from hi.t waJ and live, Ezek. 3l· I r. Aud have J a11y pleafitre at aU that the wick,.ed fbould die? faith the Lord God: And,zotthathejlJoHldreturnfromhi.tway.tand livel Ezek. 18. 23. TheMajefl:y and Ardency of the ?xprejfious tellifie the truth and vehemency of his Defiro, fo far as the Excellency of Ins Nature is capable to fell our Affections. And the 1\.eofon of it is clear; for rhe.Converfation of a Sinner implies a thorow change in the Will and Affections from Sm to Grace, and that is infinitely pleafing to ([;od 's Holinefs, and the giving of Lrfe to the Converted is mol1 fuitable to his Mercy. The Angels who are infinitely infe· nom to him in Goodnefs, rejoyce in the Repentance and Salvation of Men; much more God doth. There is an eminent difference between his Inclinations to exercife Mercy, and j uflice. He ufes Expreflions of regret when he is conlrrained to punilb, l'fal. 81. I 3·. 0 thtlt 1JI} Peopl~ had harl{,!1ed to me, aud l frae1 had walk._ed i11. 111J wa).t! And how fhaU 1 gtve thee up Ephraun? how foaU I deliver thee, l[rae l? mine Heart is turned within me, Hof. 11. 8. As a merciful Judge, that pities the Man, when he condemns the Malefa- ~.or. But he difpenfes Acts of Grace with pleafure, He pardons Iniquity, and pajfes hy 1,.a11fgrejfions, becaufe he delights in .LV!erry , M-ic. 7· 18. 'Tis true, when Sinners are fiw nail~ obdurate, God is pleafed in their 1\.uine, for the honour of his Juflice; yet 'tis not tn fuclt a manner as in their Converfion and Life, he doth not invite Sinn:~~0t~