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Will can be manifested to Us only two Ways ; Either by the Declarations, or by the Operations and Effects of it.
ist, As to the Declarative Part, God has been pleased in favour to Mankind, to Encourage them in Piety and Obedience by Assurances and Promises, that he will Bless and Reward them for it
i Sometimes immediately from himself, as Ex. xix. 5. If ye will indeed Obey my Voice and Keep my Covenant, Then ye shall be a Peculiar Treasure unto Me.
Which we find very frequently Confirmed to us, by those Holy Penmen, that have recorded to us the Dictates of his Will, and the Promises he has made to the Righte,
“To Administer Strength and 6 Comfort to their Weakness; To sup
port and Relieve them in their Di“ Atress; To Preserve them from, or « Protect them Under, Dangers and “ Calamities To Bless them in All “ they had To Prosper the Work
of their Hands - To beat down « their Enemies before their Face, and " Destroy all that Hated them.” Thus Mofes Deut. vii. If Thou wilt hearken unto bis Commandments, he will Love thee, and Bless thee, and Multiply thee, He will Blejs the Fruit of the Womb and the Fruit of thy Land; Thy Corn and thy Wine and Thine
Oyli Qyl ; The Encrease of thy Kine and the Flocks of thy Sheep Thou shalt be Blessed above All People He will open the Treae sures of Heaven upon you, to Give you Rain and Fruitful Seafons, &c. But Da
vid is above all exceedingly Copious upPf. i. 3. 4. on this Subject He whose Delight
is in the Law of the Lord, his Leaf Jall not
wither; and look, whatsoever he doth, it Pf. xxxiii. ball Prosper
The Eye of the Lord is upon them that Fear him, and
them Pl. xxxiv.that put their Trust in his Mercy The
Angel of the Lord tarryeth round about them Ps. 84. that Fear him, and delivereth them - No
Good Thing will he withold from them that Pf. xci. live a Godly Life
There fall No Evil befal him, neither shall any Plague come nigh his Dwelling
But I must forbear any more Particular Quotations, lince Gods Special Care and Protection of the Righteous, is the Doctrine that he Preaches in almost every Psalm; This he speaks of as their Sanctuary in Time of Danger, their Sure Refuge in the Needful Time of Trouble. Though Enemies rounde about; nay, though all the Powers of Darkness, Táll band themselves together against the Tents of the Righteous, yet shall they not Prevail. Stronger is He that is with them, then All that can be Against them.
When Balaam found that the People of Israel were under the In,
mediate Blessing of Heaven, he knew
But zdly, God has not only Manifested his Will, to Bless and Reward Piety and Obedience, by Declarations and Promises; But he has farther Manifested his Will by Correspondent Performance of those Promises. The Time would fail me to tell of Eminent Patriarchs and Prophets of Old ; Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph ; Of Moses, Job, Daniel, and Many more, who as they carefully and faithfully Serv'd God and Obeyed him, so they were remarkable Examples of his Special Providential Care and Protection. But I will instance particularly in David, who found so great Changes in the Divine Favour and Affection, according as he Observ’d or Neglected his Düty to God. Whilst he made the Law of God his Rule, God made him to Prosper in All that he did : He was fafe with an handful of Men against all the Power of Saul : The Angels of the Lord encamped round about him; and all the Craft and Wiliness of his Enemies were never able to hurt him. But when he
forsook the Law of the Lord, and No longer took God to Counsel, Then it was that he so mournfully bemoans himfelf as Destitute and Forsaken.
But This was yet more remarkably the Case of the whole Jewish Nation, whom God had Promised to Bless and Protect if they kept his Laws and Commandments; but if they would not Walk in bis Laws, he would then abandon them, and give them up unto the Will of their Enemies : Accordingly Their Fortunes and Condition Ebb'd and Flow'd according to the Meafures of their Obedience; according as they put their Trust in Dead Idols, or in the Living God. So that for many Ages Their State was Nothing else but a Constant Vicissitude, An Alternate Interchange of Bondages and Deliverances. *
Now from these Manifestations of God's Will, his Declarations and Promises and Correspondent Dispensations to Mankind, We may deduce our Conclusion, That God does favour Vercue and Pie
Quamdiu Præceptis Salubribus obtemperarunt, de Paucis Innuneri fa&ti; de Egentibus Divites; de Servientibus Reges ; Modici Multos; Inermi Armatos, dum fugiunt, insequentes, Dei Juflu, et Elementis ada ditentibus, obruerunt, Says Minucius Felix, Speaking. of the Fims,
and usually Crowns them with Bleffings, even in This World.
Tho indeed it may be Questioned, Whither We may, on so good Grounds, Rely on those Promises of Temporal Blessings and Prosperity, as the "Jews might, who had Nothing besides, (I mean in full Light and View,) to encourage and animate their Obedience
; whilft We have so much Better and Nobler Motives to Ours. But This Consideration may afford us a Reason- . able Answer to That Expoftulation, Why God should oftimes more eminently and in a Miraculous Manner exert his Power for Their Defence and Security, than he is pleased to Do for Ours ? With his own Right Hand would he sometimes Fight Their Battles, and display the Hofts of Heaven against their Adversaries, and make them in their Courses, Fight against them. For Victory over their Enemies, and Peace and Plenty, and other Branches of Worldly Happiness, being directly Promised Them, to Engage them
to Obedience,That Foundation was by all Means to be made Good to Them. But Our Kingdom is like our Lords,Not of this World : it is a Future Happiness,a Heavenly Kingdom, that is promised vs to engage Our Obedience, to which we may be train’d up
and Conducted, and perhaps more safely,