Sidor som bilder

belongs ; and not only but have Assu- 'Serm.
rance enough to expect, notwithstand- XI.
ing their wicked Lives and Actions,
which cut off all Ground of Expecta-
tion of any thing that is good, the
same Favcur of God, as those who are
never so righteous. Thus Balaam, .
who had liv'd the Life of the Wicked,
had Confidence enough, notwithstand-
ing that, to say, Let me die the Death
of the Righteous, and let my last End
be like his. However, Cain was so
incensed at this, that his Offering was
not accepted as well as his Brother's,
that he took an Opportunity to flay
him, thinking perhaps to ease his
troubled Mind, by venting his Wrath
upon a Person, whom his Envy had
mark'd out, as a proper Object of it;
But, alas! the dreadful Experiment
would by no means answer the End
propos’d: It was so far from remov-
ing one Evil, that it created a thou-
fand more, which now began to sprout
from it, and spread abroad thier fatal
Influences. The Blood which he
thought was spilt upon the Ground,
and which the Earth had opened her
Mouth to receive, and would soon
disappear for ever, now began to live,
and call - to Heaven for Vengeance.
And he said, What hast thou done ?
Hh 2 .


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Serm. The Voice of thy Brother's Blood crieth XI. unto me from the Ground. Here we

are to observe, that God does not ask this Question with an Expectation of being inform’d, as if he was ignorant of what Cain had done, but only to make him sensible of the Heineousness of his Guilt. In discoursing upon the Words of the Text I will shew, i i

First, That all Sin, especially Sins of a heinous Nature, such as Murder, calls to Heaven for Vengeance.

Secondly, I shall make some proper Observations upon it. '

First then, I am to shew, that all Sin, especially Sins of a heinous Nature, such as Murder, calls to Heaven for Vengeance. As God is the great Governor of the World, and a Being infinitely just, wise, and good, it is necessary to suppose, that he intends the Welfare and Happiness of the whole Creation ; and that he will put a sufficient Check upon whatever would destroy it. Accordingly he has inpress’d upon all Beings in the Universe certain Propositions of Action, as they stand to each other; and whatever Being acts out of this Proportion feels of Course an Inconvenience attending it ; which Inconvenience is likewise im


À press’d upon all Nature, and a Sense of it Serm. ļ upon every Being in exact Proportion, XI.

as it stands in the Universe. For without this it were impossible the World to sublist: Evil, as it is in its own Nature oppolite to Good, would, if it were not contrould, certainly destroy it; God has therefore sufficiently contrould it. In Beings that act necessarily, it is contrould by certain neceffary Laws, by which they are directed and govern'd for the Good of the whole. Thus the Sea ebbs and flows, and the Ground sends forth Herbs and Trees for the Delight and Use of Man; and all this according to certain Rules impress'd upon Nature: The heavenly Bodies too move on in their appointed Course, whereas were these subject to no Laws, the Disorder, i.e. the Evil that would ensue, would soon spread its destructive Influences over the Face of all Nature ; but God has fixed the Bounds of all Things, and therefore they, as the Psalmist fays, fulfil bis Word. To the Sea he has said, Hitherto Malt thou go, and no further ; and here mall thy proud Waves be stayed ; and to all things else be bas fix'd their Bounds, which they cannot pass.

In Moral Agents it is contrould by the Vengeance that is due to it, and


[ocr errors]

Serm that infallibly attends it: For to fup

XI. pose Evil without this is to fuppose m God not infinitely wise and good.

Now if there are the same Proportions between every two Men in the World, as there is between a Man and himself, as there certainly are, for what are all the Men upon Earth, but the General Man, or Human Nature, split abroad into Individuals, fecondly, no one can offer any Injury to another without doing an Injury to himself; for Punishment, which is the natural Reaction to Evil, will of course operate back upon him. Thus Vengeance which is every injur'd Person's Right in a State of Nature, when Men are form'd into Societies, is lodg'd in other Hands, who deal it out as well as they can, in proportion to the Injuries or Evils committed. But because all human Knowledge is vastly imperfect, and therefore cannot allot to every Crime the fpecific Vengeance that is due to it; and because every Injury or Evil a Man does to another, not only operates back upon himself, but flies directly up to God, as hurting or wounding him in his Image, he has taken Care to supply the Defects of human Injustice by allotting to every Crime its due proportion'd


Punilhment; and he, who knows the SeaM...
true Springs and Movements of every XI.
Action, who knows every minute Degreem
of Good or Evil that is in them, knows
how to deal out his Rewards and Pu-
nishments in exact Proportion : And
because every Evil, as it endeavours to
poison Good, is an Attempt to pollute the
very Fountain of Good, hence it is, that
God looks upon every Evil a Man does
himself, or another, or the Society, as
done to him, and will certainly punish it
accordingly :. And of this every Sinner is
sensible, and is sufficiently inform’d by
the Remorse that attends his evil Action,
which is the Beginning of the Ven-
geance that will follow them; and which
is a gracious wise Provifion God has
made to controul Evil, and at the same
Time to make Reparation to Justice;
for the Remorse that attends an evil
Action is a . Punishment of it, and from
the Sense every one has, that there is a
Punishment due to Sin, and will certain-
ly one Time or other overtake him,
if not in this Life, where he can have
only his Proportion of Chance, yet in the
next, where all Chance will be turn'd
into Certainty, there arises a well-ground-
ed Fear, which is a continual Check to
the Evil, and keeps the moral World up-
on its true Basis. Thus you see the Con-


[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »