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his fon to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke xix. 10. So of all other forts of finners, the fpiteful and revengeful are the most unlike and contrary to God. -Now purity of mind is a necessary disposition for the entertaining of God : for the persons that shall be made happy, our Saviour tells us, are the pure in heart, Mat. v. 8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they fall see God; and Psal. xv. 2. He that walketh uprightly and speaketh the truth in his heart ; those fit a man in habit to see God, Psal. xxiv. 4. He that hath clean hands and a pure heart, who hath not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully; he mall receive the blesing from the Lord. Isaiah xxxiii. 15. He that walketh righteously and speaketh uprightly. So Rev. xxi. 27. There shall nothing enter into the new Jerusalem which defileth or maketh a lie, they are kept out of that place, Rev. xxii. 15. And Heb. x. 22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and cur bodies washed with pure water. For as a blemished eye doth very imperfectly fee and discern ; so a defiled soul hath no right and true perception of God. For every faculty is receptive of the object according to its own capacity and disposition. Every thing that is admitted, is admitted according to the difpofition and qualification of the receiver. The philosopher could tell us, that the naughtiness and viciousness of man's foul, doth quite marr and spoil the principles of the mind and understanding. It is nothing but an unclean spirit, such as the devils are, that would beg and pray of our Saviour, that they might have leave to enter into swine : the swine, whose character it is,
to besmear itself in mire. If any man will do his will, he frall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, John vii. 17. If you are of good lives and practices, and pure minds, you shall discern divine truth ; and the meek have the promise to be led unto truth, Psal. xxv• 9. The meck will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way. For this is a rule which
every: where prevails, we have universal experience of it, that nothing can ascend higher in act than it is in itself in state and habit : nothing can ascend higher, that is, be more perfect in product and action ; it cannot afcend higher in the act, than it is in state, difpofition, habit, and temper of mind.
These two directions are as qualifications and dipositions : if you would have a right sense and apprehension of God, so as to be accomplished by him, satisfied in him, and have full enjoyment of him, such as may make you happy. Thus have I given you an account of these words, to know and understand God.
God hateth Wickedness.
PSALM V. 4, 5. Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness ;
neither fall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy fight ; thou hateft all workers of iniquity.
F we enquire how it comes to pass, that man is
made by God, in the image of God, whom God made for himself, to be employed about him, to be happy in attendance upon him, and in the enjoyment of him ; how it comes to pass, that he is fallen un. der God's difpleasure and diflike : the text refolves it all into wickedness. This is that which makes the breach between God and us ; yea this is the abomination that makes defolate, Dan. xi. 31. For this is an open
affront to the maker and governor of the universe, a downright contradiction to him, a varying from that which is the quality and perfection of the divine nature. This is that which hath wrought all the mischief and disorder that ever hath been in the creation of God from the beginning ; this is that which threw the blessed angels out of heaven, and so transformed them, that now they attend upon advantages to do us mischief; this is that which turned
man out of paradise ; this is that which drowned the old world, and brought down fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah ; this is that which did dirsolve the Jewish commonwealth, and threw down the glorious temple which Solomon built. This is that which hath fo sunk and debased the nature of man, and made it so unlike to the divine nature ; this is that which from the beginning hath made a difference between God and his creatures ; this is that which is matter of God's offence ; and, until this is banished the world, the God of all grace and mercy, may of his own goodness have pity and compassion, but it is not possible he should have complaisance or delight in his creature, being become so unsuitable to him : but his creatures must be grievous to him, not only as neceflitous and miserable, but as base and unworthy; he cannot but conceive displeasure, whenever he takes cognisance of his creatures, because of their degeneracy, apostacy and contradiction to the nature of God, and variation from the state in which God made them. Wickedness, this makes a man an absolute enemy to God, and to all ways of goodness. By wickedness, a man passes quite into another state and spirit, and becomes an hater of God, and is also hated by God.
Whosoever is in love with evil, cannot be in love with the ways of goodness and righteousness ; for these are contrary affections to things contrary in themselves; if we love evil, we cannot but hate what is good, because there cannot but be a contrary affection to a contrary object. Whosoever consents to iniquity, does voluntarily part with God, and God
leaves him. Psal. I, 16. Unto the wicked God says, what haft thou to doʻto take my word into thy. mouth ? God will have nothing to do with him, nor does allow him to have any thing to do with what relates to God. Though he bids us to call upon him, to pray unto him, yet we must ceafe to do evil, and learn to do well, or he will not hear us. Holiness is the perfection with which God delights to cloath himself, he is often called in the old testament, the holy one of Ifrael. Isa. v. 15. God who is holy, shall be sanctified in righteousness, 2 Cor. vi. 14. There is 'no fellowship between righteousness and unrighteousness, between Christ and Belial. Wickedness is fatal to men, it is the bane of human nature. Eccl. vii. 17. Be not wicked over-much, neither be thou foolish ; why shouldst thou die before thy time! Wickedness ends in death, Gen. xxxviii. 7. Er, Judas' first born, was wicked in the Sight of the Lord, and the Lord few him.
I will give you an account of this great truth from the book of Job, the Psalms and the Proverbs; that so we may be apprehensive of the great danger we run into by consenting to iniquity : and I cannot take a more effectual course, than by shewing you what we have in holy fcripture, the words of which are more commanding than any words contrived by man, Fob x. 15. If I am wicked, woe unto me. Job xxi. 30. The wicked are reserved to the day of destruction, they frall be brought forth to the day of wrat). The psalms abound with expressions to this purpose. Pf. vii. 11. God is angry with the wicked every day. Pf. ix. 17. The wicked fall be turned into hell, with all that forget God. Pl. xi. 5. The wicked, the sons of violence, God's