Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

1 I 2 SERMONS upon the SEnM.X1Vo Love of God increaleth, and their comfortablenefs in Religion. Therefore flip the Caution is bound upon us, to take heed what Notions we have Of God, and that we have not any diniinifhing, extenuating thoughts of his goodnefs and mercifulnefs ; that we do not Rook upon him as one that lyeth upon the catch, to, fpy out Advantages againft us ; for that thought will mightily weaken our hands in the 'Lords work. Do not think of him as one that delights in the Creatures mifery : No, rather in fhewing Mercy and Goodnefs, and as ready to give out Grace to the humble that lye at his Feet, however he dealeth with the ftubborn and obflinate Refufers of his Grace. Anok therefore, if" I may di- grefs into Application, while I am yet in force doárina onfrderations ; I would advife, Firft, That to preferve the Senfe of Religion in the general, men would confi- der how much God ftandeth upon the Credit of his Goodnefs, and that he giveth them no caufe of difeouragement, as from him; Mich. 6.3. u my People, what have I done unto you, wherein have I wearied you ? That his Commands are not grievous, Mat. 1 r. 29. 1 john 3. q. That the Tryals fent by him are not above meafure, I Cor. to. t 3. nor his Punifhments above defervings, Neh. r 1. g,`t3. That he is not hard to be pleafed, nor inexorable upon our infirmities, Mal. 3. 17. Thefe things fhould be conftantly in our minds, for ithe Vindication and Juftification of God from our natural Jealoufies and evil Surmifes, that we have of his Con- duff and.Government. Secondly, I would advife poor trembling Souls, that are alarmed by their own fears, which reprefent God as an Enemy, and [landing at a diftance from them; that they would Rudy the Name of God : For furely things are known by their Names, and poor difconfolate Souls are bidden, Ifa. 50. to. To trufl in. the Name of the Lord, &c. Now what is the Name of God ? Even that which he proclaimed, Exod. 34. ç, 6, 7. I am the Lord God, merciful ,and gracious, long- fu/fering and abun- dant in Goodnefs and Truth ; keeping Mercy, for thoufandi, forgiving iniquity, tranf: greffion and (in. Therefore take all his Name, and meditate upon it. Satan la- boureth to reprefent God by halfs, only as a confuming Fire , as cloathed with Juftice and Vengeance.. Oh no ! 'tis true, he will not fuller his : Mercy to be abufed by contemptuous Sinners, he will not clear the guilty, though he waiteth long on them before he deftroyeth them ; but the main of his Name, is his Mer- cy and Goodnefs. Take it as God proclaimeth it, and fee if you have any reafon to have hard thoughts of God ; you will find, that though he be an high and holy one, yet he is willing to be treated with : That he is great, but yet good, ready to receive returning Sinners : if thou haft fin and mifery, Chrift bath Corn- paffion and Pity, he is the Father of Mercier, 2 Cor. r: 3. Miferieirs elt, cui alte- rius militia cordi eft: Mercy bath its name from Mifery, and is no other thing than laying. anothers mifery .to heart, not to defpife it, nor toadd to it, but eo help it: And therefore if thou be miferable, and knowefl it indeed', his Nature giveth a ftrong inclination to fuccour the miferable. I, but faith the convinced Soul, there is nothing in me to be regarded ; the Lord telleth,. I am gracious; and Grace doth all freely, and from a fell-inclination ; it giveth all the qualifi- cations he requireth ; but l' have been long a prefumptuous Sinner. Why, God telleth you, his Name is long Coffering : He that gave not the Angels one hours fpace for Repentance, hath long delayed the Execution of our Sentence, and call= eth us to hirirfelf, that we may efcape the Condemnation of Angels. But I am exceeding perverfe and wicked : The Lord telleth you, He IS abundant in Goodnefs. I am full of fears and doubtings : Still he it abundant in goodnefs and 7ruth. I have abufed much Mercy, and can Mercy pity me ? The Lord telleth you, He kéepeth Mercy for thoufands, and can forgive Iniquity, Tranfgreon and Sin. His Treafure of Mercy is not loon fpent and exhaufted : no fin can exclude a willing: Soul ; Mercy will pardon thy abufe of Mercy, if thou repenteft of it. Thirdly, To the People of God, who having a clearer fenfe of their Duty, and a larger Heart towards God than others have, and fo are the more troubled for the Poverty of their Graces; and weaknefs and Imperfetion of their Services than others are, which may breed Bondage and uncomfortablenefs'; I would have them confider, that Humility and Meeknefs doth (till become them, but not De- je &ion and Defpondency of mind, that they fhould ever be complaining, fearful; and ,difconfolate. -We have not an hard.Mafter, he hath made Joy a part .of our work :