Caryl - Houston-Packer Collection BS1415 .C37 v11

Ì 9 p 3 P l' Po J. or the lives of the wicked, are preferved only by that common Providence ofGod, which extends even to the Beads of the field; they are not preferved by any fpecial Providence or Promise of prefervation made to them: their Souls are not found to the bundle of life with the Lord their God,asAvigail allured `Davidhis flould be (1 Sam. a5.'29.) nor are they, as one very well expreffeth it in the Language of the Prophet Ifaiah ( Chap. 4. 3.) written ( or reckoned ) among the living in Jersafalem. Neither their life, nor their death, is preciousin the Lords fight, as both of the meane t Saints are (Pfal. t ¡G. r 5.) The fpecial Promues of prefervation are made co the godly ; the common Providences of prefervation extend to the wicked. God preferves many wicked men, but rror oneof them can plead a Promise for his pre- fervation, or fay, Lord, thou haft undertaken to preferve me, I have thy Word or Warrant for my; prefervation. So then , the Lord Both not preferve the life of any wicked man upon a word of Ptomife. Secondly, I answer, When the lives of the wicked are preferv- ed, they are not preferved for any love which Cod bears to their perlons as fuch, but either, First, to bring them into a better !late, that is, to turn them from their wickednefs, that being con- verted, they may be faved at laft,according to,his purpose t Or Secondly, they are preferved, to ferve,fome ends. andputipofes of his in this World. For though God bath no pleasure in them, yet he makes fome use of them, and loth his pleasure by them Or, I may fay, they are preferved to be Executioners of hisdif pleafure, in chaftening and correEting his own people. The King 9fAffyriawas prefervedin great Power ; and to what end ? Iwile fend himagaintan hypocritical Nation, ( Ifa. to. 6.) He mull go on my Errand, though be meaneth notfo, nor dothhis heart thins;fo, (as the Lord fpake, verl. 7.) He bath other matters and designs in his head, bur I have this use ofhim, and of his poxer, even to puni(h thepeople ofm) wrath, TheLord made use alit) of Ne6u- e:hadnezar,and his Army,ro serve him in the deflroyingof 7ÿru.r, and of him andhis Army he faith, Theywrought for me, (Ezek. 29. ao. ) Thus the Lord doth fome of his work, his ftranAze work efpecially, his w ork ofJudgment, by the hands of wicked men ; and therefore hepreferves their lives. Yea, he preferves rlaem many a iinae to be a helpand a defence to hispeople. A _-.-- +;" r o Chap. 6. n Ex o dtiue u n the Boo{; o o E. 'erl G'