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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 skould be made manifest in bim, i. e. They were not guilty of any particular heinous Sin, for which they thought this Affliction was fent, as a Judgment, but that the Glory of God might be made manifest in restoring his Sight. Ķ But, perhaps, it will be said, that to resolve 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 Cafe, 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 Afflictions, '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

capable

SER M. capable of Pain or Pleasure, Happiness or III. Misery; and therefore can have no Wrong 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 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 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 theres fore may very safely be relied on. Which brings me,

Secondly, To Thew, that the Leffon moff 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. Since Afflictions are not al. ways Evils, and, if they were, are however

no

no more than what we have deservd, 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 juft and good, and therefore will not afflict us without a sufficient 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 fome how or other for our Advantage, and yet, by a prom per 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 fubdued 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

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SERM. expect a Life of Ease and Satisfaction without
III. a Mixture of Sorrows and Calamities, nor to

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 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, he 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 Judge
ment, who shall set us a Time to plead? In
a Word, and to conclude, let us submit oura
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 parts
a future State will reconcile all those Diffi-
culties, and demonstrate, after all our rash
and unwarrantable Complaints, that the
righteous Lord loveth Righteousness, his Couna
tenance will behold the Thing that is just.

Ś ÉR

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GEN. iii. 15.
And I will put Enmity between

thee and the Woman, and be-
tween thy Seed and her Seed;
it foall bruise thy Head, and
thou Jhalt bruise his Heel.

N this Chapter we have a short, SERM.
but furprizing, Account of the IV.
Fall of Man, which introduc'd all

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' with the Divine

H

Presence,

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