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this Man, or his Parents, that he was Serm. born blind : But to let them see that there III. were other Reaforis for it than they were aware of, Jesus answer’d, Neither hath this Man finned, nor his Parents, but that the Works of God poould be made manifest in bim, 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 manifest in restoring his Sight

But, perhaps, it will be said, that to refolve 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 satisfactory to Reafon: For they that call in Question the Justice of God in this Case, will probably ask, how that can be clear'd up by resolving Things into an arbitrary Will ? For if it be unjust for good Men to suffer Amictions, 'tis not the saying, it is the Will of God to have it so, that can make it otherwise, that can alter the Naturę of Things, and make that just which is in itself unjust. The Potter has indeed Power over the Clay, and accordingly makes what he pleases of it; but then it may be said, The Clay is not an intelligent Being, nor

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SERM, capable of Pain or Pleasure, Happiness or
III. Misery; and therefore can have no Wrong
u or Injustice done it. To all which let it

be answer'd, that if the Will of God was
capable of having a wrong Biafs put upon
it, like that of Man, there would be a great
deal of Strength in the Objection ; for then
whatever was left to the Will, would be
left to all the Mischief that could possibly
proceed from a wrong Judgment, which,
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 in
fluenc'd bụt 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 there-
fore may very safely be relied on. Which ¿
brings me,

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

. no

no more than what we have deserv'd, we Sermi should humble ourselves under the mighty III. Hand of God, who is infinitely wise, and therefore best knows what is most proper for us, and infinitely just and good, and therefore will not afflict us without a fufficient Reason for fo 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 same thing as if we could find it out. For as God is a Being infinite every Way, by a proper Submission to him, we have the same Complacency and Satisfaction of Mind as if we faw 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, fo it ought to be subdued with all possible Speed; especially if we consider, that we profess ourselves Christians, haye 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

SERM. expect a Life of Eafe and Satisfaction without

III. a Mixture of Sorrows and Calamities, nor to Mar

arrive at perfe& 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 says, Doth the wild Ass bray when be hath Grass ? or loweth the Ox over his Fodder : Yet still what will it signify to strive against God; for he giveth not Aca count of any of his Matters? What will it profit to oppose ourselves to the Almighty ? Who hath hardened himself against him and bath prospered ? Behold, be taketh away, who can hinder him ? who will say unto him, What doest thou ? If we speak of Strength, lo he is strong; and if of Judga ment, who pall set us a Time to plead? In a Word, and to conclude, let us submit ours felves 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 Difficulties, and demonstrate, after all our rash and unwarrantable Complaints, that the righteous Lord loveth Righteousness, his Cound tenance will behold the Thing that is just.

SER

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Gen. iii. Is.
And I will put Ermity between

thee and the Woman, and be-
tween thy Seed and her Seed ;
it fall bruise thy Head, and

thou falt bruise his Heel. i es vooN this Chapter we have a short, SERM.

1 but furprizing, Account of the IV.
Te Fall of Man, which introduc'd all

m y .
the Sin and Misery that has ever
fince been fpreading 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 fo !) but presently
the Scene is chang'd, and they, who before
were wont to be bless’d with the Divine

Presence,

H

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