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Serm. This is certainly right and true; whatever
is not so. If then we will be wise for our
Nowe to him, who is the Lord of all
Power and Might, and the Author
Job iv. 17.
than God? Shall a Man be
N the early Ages of the World, SERM.
clare his Will in Dreams and Vifions, these Words were spoken to Eliphaz, 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, becaufe he thought he had been too presumptuous in his Complaints on the Miseries of Life, thereby tacitly accusing the Divine Providence of Injustice, in appointing him to
Serm. undergo fo heavy a Burden of Afflictions : III. For when Job's three Friends came to see
hin; 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 the Day perish wherein I was born, and the Night in which it was said, There is a Man Child conceived: Let that Day be Darkness, let not God regard it from Above, neither let the Light shine 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 ; for now pould I have lain still and been quiet, I jould have pept then, and have been at Rest with Kings and Counsellors of the Earth, which built desolate Places 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 Oppresor; the Small and the Great are there, and the Servant is free from his Mafler. At which
Complaint Eliphaz, being greatly incens'd, Serm. fharply rebukes him for not putting in III. Practice those 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 Oppreffors, whom God had always humbled, tho' they exalted themselves never so much against bim. And left these Observations should not be sufficient to convince him of his Error, he relates to him what he had heard himfelf in a Vision. A Thing was secretly brought to me, says he, and mine Ear receiv'd a little thereof; in Thoughts from the Visions of the Night, when. deep Sleep falleth on Men, Fear came upon me, and Trembling, which made all my Bones to fbake ; then a Spirit pased before my Face, the Hair of my Fless ftood up; it stood still, but I could not difcern the Form thereof; an Image was bem fore mine Eyes, there was Silence, and I heard a Voice, saying, 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 conteft the Jufice of God's Proceedings, or for an imperfect Creature to exalt himself against his Maker ; for tho' we suppose him to be as
Serm. eminently just and righteous, as he is unjust
Imperfection in him, he can't be perfectly
I. That the AMictions which happen to us in this Life are no Objections against the Justice of God. And then propose to shew,
II. That the Leffon 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 Wifdom, Knowledge, and Goodness, in these