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of heaven, and comparing him with idol gods. Have any of the gods of the nations, faith he, delivered his land out of my hands, that the Lord fhould deliver Jerufalem out of my hand, Ifa. xxxvi. 18, 19,
Or certainly, here is fome uncircumcifed Phili fine that is rifen up to defy the host of Ifrael, which was fuch a provocation to David, that, upon it, he put his life into his hand, and went out against him, as you read, 1 Sam. xvii. 39, 40.
Or certainly, here is fome Baal's worship maintained and applauded; which was a provocation to Elijah's fpirit, that he commanded them to be taken and flain, every man of them, 1 Kings xviii. 40.
Or certainly, one would think that here was such a thing as falfe worship; which was fuch a provocation to Mofes, that made him throw down the tables which were in his hands, in which were writ the commandments of God, and to break them to pieces, as you find it, Exod. xxxii. 19. Or,
2. Some great enormity or departure from the im→ mutable and unchangeable law of everlasting righ◄ teoufnefs, goodness and truth; that law of heaven, which is according to the very nature of God himfelf. As Nathan reprefented to David, a cafe, wherein a rich man fpared his own flocks and herds, which were very many, and took the poor man's ewe-lamb, which he had nourished up, as you may read, 2 Sam. xii. 1, 2. Prodigious cruelty and unmercifulness! yea, fo great unrighteoufnefs, that at the very reprefentation thereof to David, tho' a perfon guilty, and he himself represented
by this fhadow, as having highly offended God; yet his anger was greatly kindled against the man, infomuch that he faith to Nathan, The man that hath done this thing, fball furely die.
Or elfe, certainly here is some such thing as the Ifraelites meditated against the Benjamites, when they lay in wait to destroy them, Joshua ii. 2. because they had set up a new temple, and provoked the Lord by their folly.
Or fomething like what St. John faw in his vifion, Rev. xvii. 2. A fpiritual whore, making drunk all the potentates of the earth, with the wine of her fornications; true caufes indeed, of indignation, and of just exasperation. Or,
3. If neither of these two, at least there is fome dreadful denunciation of judgment, and fome terrible threatnings, at which the very nature of man doth ftartle and tremble, as you have our Saviour speaking, Mat. xxiv. concerning the deftruction of Jeru falem, that there fhould not be one ftone left upon ang❤ ther, which fhould not be thrown down.
Or, fuch commiffion as was granted to Saul to deftroy Amalek, and not to leave either man or beast alive. And fo certainly one would think that the prophet is moved by human pity and compaffion, as Zipporah was at the circumcifion of the child, Exod. iv. 25.
Or certainly, here is fuch cruelty as is practised upon the cities of Ammon, 2 Sam. xii. 31. where we read, that David brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under faws and harrows of iron, and axes of iron, and made them pass through the A 2 brick
brick-kiln, &c. One would not think nor imagine lefs to be the cause that Jonah was fo highly dif pleafed, and greatly angry.
But here is the wonder; nothing that is any juft cause ; indeed there is no caufe at all of any true offence, or real provocation: 'tis a fhame to fay what is the caufe. The good man is displeased with God himfelf, and he is offended at the divine* goodness and compaffion, and that God hath re-. fpect to the repentance of finners; for so I find it, at the end of the foregoing chapter; and God faw their works, that they turned from their evil way, and God repented of the evil that he had faid that he would do unto them, and he did it not, Jonah iii. 10. And immediately it follows, that when Jonah understood this, he was highly difpleafed and greatly angry. But ftrange it is, that he fhould be angry at this; for this is a thing contrary to the fense of the lower and upper world.
1. Contrary to the fenfe of the lower world; for we find that the fhepherd rejoiceth when he hath found his loft fheep, Luke xv. 5. and verfe 9, the woman rejoiceth when the hath found her loft piece of filver; and the father rejoiceth when his prodigal fon returneth home again, verfe 20.
2. Contrary to the fenfe of the upper world; for we read, that the angels of heaven, they rejoice at the converfion and repentance of one finner, verse io.
But we have now found the man, of whom it is spoken in the gospel, that his eye was evil, because God was good, Mat. xx. 15. He doth prefer his own conceited
conceited credit and efteem, before the lives and beings of fixfcore thousand perfons; for fo God himself hath given us the number of them, verse II. of this chapter and I will fay conceited credit, because God himself hath given us to understand, that all his denunciations against finners are to be underftood with a clause of refervation; and he doth always except this cafe, if the finner repent. Though his denunciations feem to be pofitive and peremptory, yet they always include this condition, unless the finner do repent, as I will fhew youby three fcriptures for the present, among many, Jer. xviii. 8. where God faith thus, That if he doth declare against a nation or people; if that nation or people against whom he hath denounced evil, turn from the evil of their ways, he will repent of the evil he thought to do unto them; and, Ezek. xviii. 21. If the wicked turn from his evil way, and fet himfelf to obferve my ftatutes, and do that which is right in my fight, all his wickedness fhall not be remembred against him. Again, Ezek. xxxiii. 14, When I fay to the wicked, thou shalt furely die; if he turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall not die. Though God had said it before, that the wicked fhould furely die: but thus he would have it be understood, that if he forfake his iniquity, he shall furely live; and verse 19. you have the fame words. Thefe fcriptures I have brought you for the encouragement of men to repent, and to leave off to fin, and to return to their duty, and to convert to God, be their cafe never fo forlorn and defperate. For what can more encourage him,, than that judgment shall be suspended, and the reA 3 penting
penting finner received unto mercy and favour. You fee God doth make this declaration, even after his denunciation of judgment; if the cafe of repentance come between, then God is not bound to proceed. And for your fatisfaction further, I leave this notion with you. There is a mighty difference between God's declaring himself in a way of promise and in a way of threatning: if he declares by way of promife, he is obliged to make it good, for by this he gives a right to the thing promised; and claim as good title from God's promife, though of grace and favour; for God is faithful, and he will perform what he hath promised: but if he threaten, here is no right acquired; for who will demand of God that he will fulfill his threatning? But to proceed.
That which makes the wonder the greater; Jonah, whom we find in this diftemper, is of all the prophets the type of Chrift; our Saviour instanceth in him, There shall be no fign given, but the fign of the prophet Jonah, Mat. xii. 40. I am sure, in this temper and difpofition of his, he is no type of Christ; for our Saviour doth declare, that the Son of man came, to feek and fave that which was loft, Luke xix. 20. And he wept over Jerufalem, when he did but confider the deftruction that was approaching: but this temper of Jonah's admits of no apology. This selfishness that is in Jonah, and his preferring his own conceited credit before the safety of multitudes; I fay, this admits of no apology. You may see it in five particulars.