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Serm. This is certainly right and true> whatever. Ut is not so. If then we will be wife for our
^vr" selves, let it appear by oar Actions. Who is a wife and knowing Man among you, lays St James, let him shew oat of a good Conversation his JVorks with Meekness of Wisdom. This is Religion, or Wisdom, as Solomon loves to call it, that is more precious than Rubies, that must always be cloathed with the Beauty of Holiness, and sliine forth in the lovely Ornament of a good Life.
Now to him, who is the Lord of all Tower and Might, and the Author and Giver of all good Things, let us continually offer up our humble Trayers, that he would graft in our Hearts the Love of his Name, increase in us true Religion, nourifi us with all Goodness, and of his great Mercy keep us in the fame* through Jesus Christ our Lord: To whom with the Father and Holy Ghoft, be ascribed, as is mojl due, all Honour, Glory, Might, Majesty and Dominion, henceforth aud so? evermore. <
SERMON III. .
Job iv. 17. SJjallmortal Man he more just' than God? Shall a Man he more pure than his Maker? ■
;N the early Ages of the World, Sermv j when the Almighty condescended Ut to speak to his Creatures, and declare his Will in Dreams and Visions, these Words were spoken to Elij>haz;t in a Vision of the Night, as he was ruminating, in a pensive Manner, upon the Circumstances of what'had happen'd to him before on such Occasions; and the Reason of his relating them to Job, was, because he thought he had been too presumptuous in his Complaints on the ,Miseries of Lise, thereby tacitly accusing the Divine Providence of Injustice, in appointing him i6'
Serm. undergo so heavy a Burden of Afflictions: III. For when Job's three Friends came to fee
^Vv him, of whom Eliphaz was one, and he had a long while in vain expected them to condole with him in his Miseries, and comfort him in his Sorrows, he could not forbear crying out, Let theDay perish -wherein I was born, and the Night in which it was said, Tloere is a Man Child conceived: Let that Day be Darkness, let not God regard it from Above, neither let the Light Jhine upon it: Let Darkness and the Shadow of Death stain it , let a Cloud dwell upon it; let the Blackness of the Day terrify it: As for that Night, let Darkness seize upon it., let it not be joined unto the Days of the Tear; let it not come into the Number of the Months: Because it shut not up the Doors of my Mother's Womb, nor hid Sorrow from mine Eyes j for now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept then, and have been at Rest with Kings and Counsellors of the Earth, which built defo. late Tlaces for themselves. There the Wicked cease from Troubling, and the Weary be at Rest; there the Prisoners rest together, they hear not the Voice of the Oppressor; the Small and the Great are there, and the Servant is free from his Master. At which
Complaint Eliphaz, being greatly incensM, Serm. fliarply rebukes him for not putting in m» Practice thole good Rules and Instructions which he had given others; and tells him, that he suspects his Piety and Goodness, because the Innocent were not wont to suffer such Things, but the Wicked and Oppressors, whom God had always humbled, tho' they exalted themselves never so much against him. And lest these Observations should not be sufficient to convince him of his Error, he relates to him what he had heard himself in a Vision. A Thing was secretly brought to me, fays he, and mine Ear receiifd a little thereof, in Thoughts from the Visions of the Night, when, deep Sleep fatteth on Men, Fear came upon me, and Trembling, which made all my Bones to stoake; then a Spirit faffed before my Face, the Hair ofwy Flesh stood up, it food still, but I could not discern the Form thereof; an Image was be~ fore mine Eyes, there was Silence, and I heard a Voice, faying, Shall mortal Man be more just than God? Shall a Man be more pure than his Maker? i. e. 'Tis in vain for frail Man to dispute, or contest the Justice of God's Proceedings, or for an imperfect Creature to exalt himself against his Maker; for tho' we suppose him to be as F eminently
Serm. eminently just and righteous as he is unjust ^jl. an& unrighteous, yet aslong as he hasthe least Imperfection in him, he can't be perfectly so, heean't therefore be as perfect as God who made him; for whatever Justice or Goodness is in Man, must be so in God in a more excellent Degree. From the Words of the Text, I propose to shew,
I. That the Afflictions which happen to us in this Life are no Objections against the Justice of God. And then propose to shew,
II. That the Lesson most proper and natural to be learnt from this, is, not to murmur and repine at any thing that befalls us, but to submit ourselves and our Cause to God.
First, then, I am to shew, that the Afflictions which happen to us in this Life are no Objections against the Justice of God. For to suppose the contrary, pro. ceeds from an Ignorance of God and Man. For any thing this Supposition suggests to the contrary, God may be indeed a Being endued with great Power,. but as for Wif'dom, Knowledge, and Goodness, in these