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bim ;

Serm.of these Gifts of God, namely because VII

. they are not moral Gifts or Graces to un particular Persons, but parts of the gene

ral Scheme and Design of Providence in the Government of the World through succefsive Ages. Of the same kind, is that promise of God to David, Pf. lxxxix. 21. I have found David my Servant, with my Holy oyl bave I anointed him;

my mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my Covenant skall stand fast with

If bis children forsake my Law, and walk not in my judgments; Then will I visit their transgreffion with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes : Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly. take from him, nor suffer my

- suffer my Truth to fail; my covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips; Once bave I sworn by my Holiness, that I will not lye unto David. These Promises, were unalterable Prophecies, of a Messiah to arise out of the Seed of David; As had in like manner before been promised to Adam and the Patriarchs, to Abraham; to Isaac, and to Jacob. And therefore 'tis a weak thing in the

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modern Jews, to alledge that their Sins Serm.

VII. have prevented the coming of the Messiah ; which was one of the original great Conftitutions of Providence, and a Promise of God not to be repented of.

Lastly, God is unchangeable likewise in his Threatnings; that is to say, in such Threatnings, as are not merely personal ; For of Those I shall have occasion to speak presently: But in his general Threatnings, as well as in his Promises, God is, absolutely unchangeable. The Reason is, because, as his Love to Virtue and Goodness is unalterable, so his Hatred to Vice is irreconcibleable ; and also because these Threatnings are often Prophetick parts of the general Scheme of Providence. Thus in the case of Saul; though, upon his repenting in some measure, the Prophet consented to honour him for the present before the Elders of his people ; yet in the matter of the Kingdom as

to the Time to come, the Threatning of God, being more a Prophecy of the great Counsels of Providence, than a personal Threatning to Him, could not be reversed: I Sam. XV. 28. The Lord has rent

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Ser M. the Kingdom of Ifrael from thee this day, VII. and hatb given it to a Neighbour of tbine,

that is better than Thou; And also the Strength of Israel will not lie, nor repent ; for he is not a man, that be should repent. In like manner, the Dispersion and Captivity of the Jewish Nation for fome A. ges before and after the Coming of the Messiah ; at the same time that it was a just Punishment for their particular Sins, being morever in general one of the

great Events or Dispensations of Providence in the whole Oeconomy or Government of Mankind upon Earth; is always spoken of by the Prophets, as a Judgment which. God would indeed put an end to upon the Repentance of tha Nation, but the Sentence and Execution whereof he would not reverse, Jer. iv. 27. Thus bath the Lord said, the whole Land shall be desolate : - -- I have purpofed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it. And Ezek. xxiv, 14. I the Lord have spoken it, it shall come to pass, · and I will do it; I will not go back, nei. ther will I spare, neither will I repent. And therefore very remarkable is the

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Answer that was given to good King Serm.
Fofab; when, being grieved at these VII.
Threatnings, he sent to inquire of the
Lord ; 2 Kings xxii. 15, Thus faith the
Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent
you, I will bring evil upon this place,
and upon the inhabitants thereof;, But
to the King himself-thus fall ye say;

Because thine Heart was tender, and
thou hast bumbled thy self before the Lord,
behold therefore I will gather Thee unto
thy Fathers--in peace, and thine eyes
Mall not see all the Evil that I will bring
upon this place. And the Account given of
this matter in the following chapter, is no
lefs remarkable: ch. xxiii. 25, and ch.
xxiv. 4. Like him was there no King be-
fore bim, that turned to the Lord with all
his Heart,---neither after him arose there
any like him ; Notwithstanding, the Lord
turned not from the fierceness of his great
wrath, wherewith his Anger was kindled
against Judah, because of all the provoca-
tion that Manaseb had provoked bim with-
al; -mand for the innocent blood that be
shed, which the Lord would not pardon.

AGAINST

SERM. AGAINST all that has been hitherto
VII
. faid, concerning the unchangeableness of

God, there is One very obvious, and
great Objection ; drawn from those Texts
of Scripture, which seem to speak of
God in a very different manner from
those already cited, and to represent him
on the contrary as very frequently repent-
ing and changing his Purpose. Thus ’tis
recorded, Gen. vi. 5. that when God saw
that the wickedness of man was great in
the Earth, it repented the Lord that
be had made man on the Earth; and it
grieved him at his Heart ; and 1 Sam. xv.
35, that the Lord repented, that be had
made Saul King over Israel; and Num.
xiv. 30, 34, concerning a
ration of the people of Israel, Doubtless
(faith he) ye shall not come into the land,
concerning which I sware to make you

dwell therein, and ye skall know my breach of promise, or ( as it is better rendered in the margin ) Ye skall know the altering of my Purpose : And Jer. xxvi. 13. Amend

your ways and your doings, and the Lord will repent of the evil that he hath pronounced against you : And Jonah iii. 19.

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