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PREACHED UPON

SEVERAL OCCASIONS,

BY

ROBERT SOUTH, D.D.

PREBENDARY OF WESTMINSTER,

AND CANON OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.

A NEW EDITION, IN SEVEN VOLUMES.

VOL. VI.

OXFORD,

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.

TBXS133

S7

Jeuh 12-6-11

THE

CHIEF HEADS OF THE SERMONS.

VOL. VI.

SERMON XXVI.'

John ix. 2, 3. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin,

this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his pa

rents : but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. P. 1.

The circumstance of this blindness, thus expressed in the words of the first verse, was the occasion of those words that follow in the two next; in which we have,

1. A question of Christ's disciples. The design of the proposal may be twofold. (1.) Simply and positively as

( their opinion, really judging all maladies of the body to come from the antecedent demerit of sin, as past and actually committed, or as future and foreknown by God, 2. (2.) Only for argument sake, 3.

2. The answer or rejoinder of Christ, in which, by a reprehensive shortness, he both clears the man's innocence, and vindicates God's proceedings, 4.

The words thus cleared briefly exhibit to us the erroneous curiosity of the disciples, in their inquiry into the reason of God's judgments, and the state of another man's ; soul: the design of them is prosecuted in three propositions, 7.

I. That men are prone to charge God's judgments upon false causes. And,

:

1. These false causes are shewn; which are, (1.) Sin on his

part that suffers, 8. (2.) Hatred on God's part, 9.

2. The principles are shewn, inducing men to make such false references: and these are, (1.) The fallibility of the rule, and the falseness of the opinion by whịch they judge, 11. (2.) Their inability in discerning, joined with their confidence in pronouncing, 13. (3.) The inbred malice of our nature, 15.

II. That not always the sin or merit of the person afflicted, but the will of God that afflicts, is sometimes the sole, but always the sufficient reason of the affliction, 17.

In support of which, God's own testimony, Job xlii. 7, is produced; a distinction is made between punishments and afflictions, 18. and God's proceeding herein cleared from injustice upon these reasons: 1. His absolute, unaccountable dominion and sovereignty over the creature, 18. 2. The essential equity of his nature, 20. 3. His unerring, all-disposing wisdom, 23.

III. God never inflicts evil upon men but for the great end of advancing his own glory, and that usually in the way of their good.

This is sufficiently clear in the present instance, 24. and expressed in those words of the text, that the works of God might be made manifest in him. The works that God intends thus to glorify, usually are, ]. The miraculous works of his power, 25. 2. The works of his grace, 27.

The use and improvement of the doctrine thus discussed is a confutation and reproof of the bold, uncharitable interpreters of God's providences; whose peremptory way of judging is peculiarly odious to him for the cursed cause of it, curiosity; which may be properly accounted the incontinence of the mind, and is but one remove from the rebellion of it, 30.

SERMON XXVII.

PSALM CXxx. 4.
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be

feared. P. 33. After man had once sinned, and so was for ever disabled

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