Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

I. An Expojition upon the every Soul ofMan .thatdoeth evil. But alas, this is only a Verhll Belief contradicted and born down by a PraCHcal Atheifm. The little influence that fhe Belief ofan !foly and jufi: God harh npqn us, to regulate our Actions, and to caufc us to walk In an holy awe and dread of his Divine Majefty, clearly evinceth, that we m•y poffib_Iy fan~y thefe thmgs,.but do not believe them; for if thou dill: ferioul1y and hearttly beheve that there IS a Great and a Jealous God who hath fa id, Vengeance u r:~d hi~ {will repay it; what is there in the World that could Perfuade thee to ofPoffibly,, though thou believcft tha_t there is a God, y~t thou art not fnlly pcrfi.Jaded that he IS fa Holy, nor fa Juft as h1s Word declares hun to be; not fo holy in hating of thy fins, nor fo juft in punilhing them. But if thou relieft on this confidence, know, Firft, That this is only to hope in his Mercy in fpight of his Truth. He hath fworn that he will take Vengeance on all impenitent Wretches, and wound the hairy Scalp of fitch an one that goeth on frill in his Sins. And God will be true to his Th>eatnings, as well as to his Promifes, although thou, and ten thoufand others like thy felf, eternally perifh. Nay, Secondly, If thou bclievefl: there is a God, and yet thinkcft that this God will fpar~ thee, though thou go on in the prefumption of thy heart, to :1dd Iniquity unto Sm, thou art f.1r worfe than an Atheifl: ; for it is better to have no Opinion of God at all, than to have fuch an Opinion as is unworthy of him; for the one is hut Infidelity, the other is Contumely. ·* Even Piuiarch, an Heathen, could fay, That it were far lt; fs injurious to him, ifany lliould deny .that th~re is fuch a Man in the World as Plutarch, than if he lltould grant, that fitch an one indeed there is, but that he is Faithlefs, lnconftant, Cruel, or Revengeful. So it is not fo heinous an Affront againft the Divine Majefty, to deny that there is any fttch Supreme Being, as to acknowledge that there is indeed a God, but this God is not either infinitely holy in hating thy Sins, or infinitely true to his Threatnings, or in finiteJy·jnft in punifhing Mens Impenitency and Difobedience. This is a degree of Impiety worfe than Atheifm; and yet this, are all ungodly Sinners guilty of. Know then, 0 Sinner, and tremble, that there is a God who fees and obferves all thy Actions, who writes them down in the Book of his Remembrance, and will call thee to a ftriCl account for them: God will then judge thee out of thine own mouth, ""' thou wicked Servant. Thou hclieveft that there is a God, whydoft than not then fear and fervc: him ? Thou believefl: that there is an Heaven, and an Hell, and an Eternity to come, why then dolt thou not live anfwerably to this Belief? Either blot i t Qnt of you r Creed, and avow that you do not believe in God the Father Almighty, or elfe live as thofe lhould do, who own fo Great and Terrible, fo Pure and Holy a God. For a Speculative Atheift to be prophane and wicked, is but confonant to his Principles: for wherefore lhould not he gratifie all his lufrs and fenfi1al defires~ whofe only hope is in thisLife,and who doth not look upon hirnfelfas accountable for any thing hereafter? But for thee who acknowledgefr a Deity, to Jive as without God in the World, to break his Laws, to flight his Promifcs, to defpife his Thrcatnings, is the greate.l! and moft defperate Madnefs in the World: Thou fhewefl: thy felfhereby to be worfc not only than an Atheift, but worfe. than a Devil; for the not tremble. very Devils believe and tremble, and yet thou whoprofeffell: thy felf to believe, doll: If therefore we would not be inexcufabie, fince we know God, let us giorifie him as-God, yielding all holy Obedience to his Laws, and humble Submiffion to his Will; conforming our fclves to his Purity, dependin9. upon his Power and Providence, and trufting in his infinite Mercy and Good.nefs, till we at !_aft arrive unto that ftatc of pcrfc(l Blifs and Felicity, where we /hall fully know the ineffuble Myftery of the Deity, fee Him that is now invifible, :1nd live there as much by Senfe and Sight, as here we do by Faith and Expectation. And thus much for i:he firft Sin forbidden in this firft Commandment, which is Atheifm. · The fecond Sin that it forbids, is, Ignor.tnce of the true God.. For this Precept wh ich requires, us to have the Lord Jchovah for our God) as wellmcJudes the having of him in our underftandings, by knowing him aright, as in our wills and affections, by