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this Man or his Tarents, that he was Serm. horn bltnd > But to let them see that there IIL were other Reasons for it than they were ^^ aware of, Jesus answer'd, Neither hath this Man sinned, nor his Barents, but that the Works of God Jkould be made manifest in htm i. e. They were not guilty of any particular heinous Sin, for which they thought this Affliction was sent, as a Judgment, but that the Glory of God might be made ma~ rarest m restoring his Sight. f -But, perhaps, it will be faid, that to revive these Things into the Will of God instead of clearing the Difficulty, is the only Way to make it the more perplexing. This may seem too arbitrary a Way of proceeding to make it fatisfactory to Reason: For they • that call in Question the Justice of God in this Cafe, will probably ask, how that can be clear d up by resolving Things into an Arbitrary Will? For if it be unjustfor gooS Men to suffer Afflictions, 'tis not the siy W

;tistheWillofGodtohaveitso,tlJcan
make it otherwise, that can alter the Nature
of Things, and make that just which is in
"self unjust. The Potter has indeed Po v"
over the Clay, and accordingly makes what
he pleases of it; but then it may be faid
The Clay fa not an intelligent Being, nor ■

capable

Serm* capable of Pain or Pleasure, Happiness or III. Misery; and therefore ean have no Wrong

^7"^ or Injustice done it. To all which let it be answer'd, that if the Will of God was capable of having a wrong Biass put upon if, like that of Man, there would be a great deal of Strength in the Objection -7 for then whatever was left to the Will, would be left to all the Mischief that could possibly proceed from a wrong Judgment, \vhich> if the Will is determin'd by the Judgment, as it necessarily is, will have the Direction of it in its Turn, as well as a right one. But the Case is otherwise; for the Will of God, as it has an infinitely perfect Mind belonging to it, is incapable of being influenc'd but by the infinite Truth of Things. Whatever, therefore, is left to the Will of God, is left to infinite Wisdom, infinite Goodness, and infinite Truth, and therefore may very fafely be relied on. Which brings me,

Secondly, To shew, that the Lesson most proper and natural to be learnt from this, is, hot to murmur and repine at any thing that befalls us, but to submit ourselves and our Cause to God. Since Afflictions are not always Evils, and, if they were, are however

no

ho more than what we have deserv'd, we Sermi fliould humble ourselves under the mighty III* Hand of God, who is infinitely wife, and l-orN^ therefore best knows what is most proper for us, and infinitely just and good, and therefore will not afflict us without a sufficient Reason for so doing. That we can't find out the Reason is no Wonder, because it is one of those Secrets of Providence which. will not be unfolded in this Life, any further than this, in general, that it is some how or other for our Advantage, and yet, by a proper Submission and Resignation to the Will of God, it is the lame thing as if we could find it out. For as God is a Being infinite every Way, by a proper Submission to hirh^ we have the fame Complacency and Satis-. faction of Mind as if we few the Reason explicitly laid before us; whereas to murmur and repine, is to cut ourselves off from this Benefit, 'tis to distrust God, and deny the Reason of his Proceedings: And as it is founded in Unbelief, so it ought to be subdued with all possible Speed; especially if we consider, that we profess ourselves Christians, have taken up the Cross, and must behave ourselves like the Disciples of Christ. We have promised to renounce the Pomps and Vanities of the World, we can't therefore

expect

Sf.rm. expect aLise of Ease and Satisfaction without. III. a Mixture of Sorrows and Calamities, nor to

*,y*>*J arrive at perfect Happiness but thro' much Tribulation. This Argument, one would think, should make us easy under all Afflic• tions. Indeed 'tis easy for them who feel no Pain or Anxiety to forbear Complaints; for, as Job fays, Doth the wild Ass bray when be hath Grafs? or loweth the Ox over his Fodder? Yet still what will it signify to strive against God; for he giveth not Account of any of his Matters? What will it frofit to oppose ourselves to the Almighty i IVJoo hath hardened himself against him and hath proffered i Behold, he taketh awayi who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doesl thou? If we speak of Strength, lo he is strong; and if of Judgment, who Jfoall set us a Time to plead? In a Word, and to conclude, let us submit ourselves to God in every Condition of Life,. and take care how we suspect the Justice of his Proceedings before we know the Whole of Things. At present we know only in part> a future State will reconcile all those DifEpultiesj and demonstrate, aster all our rash and unwarrantable Complaints, that the righteous Lord loves hRighteousness, his Conn-* teuauce will behold the Thing that is jufi

S E

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SERMON IV.

Gen. iii. iy. yind I will put Enmity between thee and the IFoman, and between thy Seed and her Seed; it Jhall bruise thy Head, and thou Jhalt bruise his Heel.

N this Chapter we have a stiort, Serm. but surprizing, Account of the IV. * Fall of Man, which introdue'd all «-^W» the Sin and Misery that has ever since been spreading itself over the Face of the whole Earth. No sooner do we behold the happy Pair pure and upright, as they came from the Hands of their Maker (and happy indeed had it been for them, and for us, had they continued so !) but presently the Scene is chang'd, and they, who before were wont to be bless'd with the Divine H Presence,

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