Mather - Houston-Packer Collection BS478 .M3 1705

7efalnent, in divers Manners. 25 (.) It cannot be meant, that nowmen began to profane the Name of the Lord. For the Apoftacy began before in Cain, and his Crew, which was before the Birth of Enos one hundred and fixyears. (2.) Neither can it be meant, that now there was the firft Religious Worfhip of God. For that had been long before by Abel; and by Adam and Eve, and others of the Godly in thofe times. (3.) Therefore it feemsclearly tobe meant of force newReformation of Religion : The wicked party being grown by this time very numer- ous ; the godly, as it feemeth, withdrew from them ; before, when there was but one Cain that had fallen off, Reformation might be attained by thrufling him out from among them. (4.) But now, fo great a number, and perhaps the greater ,part being corrupted, the Godly might not continue and mingle themfelves with them; nor could they caft them forth. For this, a minor part could not do to the greater part. (5.) Therefore they could do no more but withdraw and walk by themfelves ; and fo they came to be called the Sons of God, that is, Profeflórs of the true Religion ; who were called by this Name ; and the other were but Sons ofMen. From all which, it is matter of admiration, that there fhould be fo much of oppofition and averfion in the Minds of force, unto all manner of Church-Government and Difcipline at this day, in this height of Gofpel-Ligbt : Theoutward Signs and Ceremonies of Religion hav- ing been conneáedwith Difcipline in all Ages, from the firft Manifefta- tion of the Gofpel, even until now. 4 The Lord did in thofe days infpire, and raifeup Tome to be Prophets andPreachers ofRighteoufneJs befides the Inftructions of all the godly Parents to the Children. There were force perfons peculiarly eminent amongft them : as Enoch ; he prophefied that therewas a day of Judg- ment coming, yude 14. which was partly fulfilled in Noahs Flood ; but (hall be more fully and perfeétly at the great Day. The Name of bis Son Methufelah was a prediEion of the Flood. For it fignifieth Mortis Gladius, the Dart of Death ; or when he is dead,God will fend his fword, his Dart and Arrows of Divine Wrath and Vengeance againtt a wick- ed World. And Noah was a Preacherof Righteoufnefs, he lived a- mongft them fix hundred years before the Flood, and he preached and prophefied of the Flood for a hundred and twenty years before it came. Of whom we (hall foeak further by and by. Now this firft Difpenfation of the Lord unto his Church continued from firft to laft about fixteen hundred fifty fix years. For fo long it was fromAdam to the Flood : as you will find, if you compute and put E together