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1. MERCY, being full of pity towards the miferable, comes walking alone in the cool of the evening, and meekly craving leave to fpeak, nothwithstanding, that truth and justice be present at the meeting: It is true, fays MERCY, That man hath finned, and just that man should die; but art not thou, O Lord, full of pity and compaffion, the Lord, the Lord God, pardening iniquity, tranfgreffion and fin? What tho' man bath finned, and is all over befmeared with mire and blood? yet look upon him in love, and defroy not the work of thy own hand; he was made a child after thy own image; tho' now his garment be rent and all bloody, yet fee, is not this thy Jon's coat? JOSEPH is gone, and wilt thou lofe BENJAMIN alfo? Angels are gone, and shall men be loft alfo? Miriads of angels are fallen, and that irrecoverably; and shall man perish allo? O fpare him! is he not a little one? and his foul fhall live. I fee, might MERCY fay, that TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS or JUSTICE, which have the poor finner in their chains, are here prefent ready to speak in this affembly for their intereft and honour against the criminal: But let it be marked in the minutes of this court, that MERCY craves to be magnified and must have honour at this meeting. Well, MERCY having fpoken her mind,

2. TRUTH comes in naked and open-mouthed, in favour of God's faithfulness, and in oppofition to man's perfidy and treachery, faying, I have beard what MERCY craves in favour of this criminal; but, O thou faithful and true God, the word is gone out of thy mouth, and there is no revoking of it; thou haft faid to Adam, In the day thou eatest thou fhalt furely die; and now he hath eaten, he hath finned, and shall be not die? What, is there Yea and Nay with God, who bath faithfulness for the girdle


of his loins? Muft not God's word of threatning take effect? Yea, heaven and earth fhall pass away, but a jot of his word fhall not fall to the ground: And therefore, whatever be the demand of MERCY, let it be marked in the records of this meeting, that TRUTH craves to be magnified; and that its honour be not infringed in the least, by any claim or plea that MERCY had brought in. Well, Truth having spoken, gives way to her fifter juftice; and thereupon,

RIGHTEOUSNESS or juftice comes in, and impleads against the rebel finner: Righteousness, I fay, bringing her scales in her hand, in which the had tried him, and found him lighter than vanity itfelf: He is weighed in the balances, and found wanting; yea not only wanting and deftitute of all that perfection and obedience which the law required, but full of all that rebellion which the law discharg-. ed, having finned and come short of the glory of God; and fo is righteously fubjected to the fanction of the law, and fentence of eternal death: and therefore, fays RIGHTEOUSNESS, O thou infinitely righteous and just judge, MERCY can have no hearing in this court to the prejudice of thy bonour and glory, as a just and righteous God. As TRUTH hath pronounced the fentence of wrath and vengeance against fin; so if tbou be a juft God, the infinite vengeance due to fuch an infinite evil must be executed to the full. This criminal is my prifoner, and loofed he shall not be, till I fatisfaction, and my fword be drunk with blood; for, get full vengeance is mine, and I will repay it, faith the Lord; and I will by no means clear the guilty: And therefore let it be registered in this court, that RIGHTEOUSNESS craves to be magnified, and JUSTICE to be glorified in a full fatisfaction; and this is claimed and demanded in the name of the righteous


and just judge of the univerfe; and shall not the judge of all the earth do right? Here is the language af justice. What then? O! fhall the demand of mercy be utterly run down by thefe powerful oppofing pleas of truth and righteousness? Is there no friend in this court to take mercy's part? Yea, there is: Therefore,

4. PEACE immediately fteps in with an olive branch in her hand, faying, Fury is not in me; and may I speak a word in behalf of forelorn mankind? may I offer a meek anfier to the claim of. TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS, which they have advanced in oppofition to the demand of MERCY? for a foft answer turneth away wrath. Well, PEACE being allowed a hearing, proposes a healing overture, faying, O thou God of peace, may not an atonement be made, a reconciliation thought of, betwixt thy Majefty and thy creature? May not one be found out to ftand in the gap, and bear off this wrath, to become furety for this great debtor, to acquit and liberate this poor miferable prifoner and criminal? May not one be found out that will make up the breach, by vindicating the honour of TRUTH, and fatisfying the demands of JUSTICE, and fo making way for the claim of MERCY; and then all differences may be peaceably compofed, fo as we may harmoniously agree and kifs one another? O! may not then a peace-maker be found out, in whom we may find all our demands fatisfied at once, without prejudging one another; why, if Juch an one can be found, furely his name fhall be called wonderful, counfellor, the prince of peace. Well, the overture and propofal of peace being recorded among the rest of the archives of the glorious court; and it being fuch a peaceable overture, no member of the meeting could difprove it; but the great question then is,


how it could be effectuate? For, if one man fin against another, a man might determine; but, if a man fin against Jehovah, who fhall intreat for him? For when an infinite majefty is offended, who among finite creatures is able to fatisfy it, or, What can countervail the king's lofs? Wherewith then shall he come before the Lord, or bow himself before the most bigh God? Will thousands of rams do it, or ten thousand rivers of oil, or the fruit of the body for the fin of the foul? No, no; facrifice and offering thou wouldft not; for it is impoffible that the blood of bulls or of goats fhould take away fin, Heb. x. 5.

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then, will angels become furety for the fin of man? No, no, tho' they had a will, they have not power, they have but oil enough in their veffels for their own lamps. What then shall be done? Why, might Peace fay, let us not ftand in a demur; we have infinite Wisdom here present with us at this meeting, let us hear her judgment concerning this peaceable propofal, if it be poffible that fuch a perfon can be found in whom we may harmoniously centre at laft. Then WISDOM fits down upon the privy-council bench, and, being full of eyes, does gravely determine this doubtful cafe with a happy iffue: It is expedient, fays WisDOM, that one die for the people, that the whole nation of mankind perish not; but he must be fuch a righteous one, that can justify many; yea, he that will undertake this, must be finite, that he and infinite, that he may conquer death, and fatisfy infinite juftice: But lo, there is none fuch to be found among all the creatures that ever God made, neither can fuch an one be found, uniefs the Son of God himself, the fecond perfon of the glorious Trinity, fhall be pleafed, by an unspeakable mystery, to become flesh, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem VOL. II.





them that are under the law, that they may receive the adoption of fons, Gal. iv. 4. That for when he, that hath no fin, fhall become fin for man; man, who hath no righteousness, may become the righteoufnefs of God through him, 2 Cor. v. laft: And thus MERCY may be magnified, TRUTH justified, RIGHTEOUSNESS cleared, JUSTICE fatisfied, PEACE concluded, and all contented. WISDOM having determined how this propofal of peace might be effectuate, all parties hearkned, as it were, with pleasure, and willingly fubfcribed to the happy overture; and, then heaven and earth confpired together in folemn thanksgiving, faying, Glory to God in the higheft, on earth peace, and good-will towards men. Thus the jarring attributes of God are now reconciled; and behold, the members of the meeting, that feemed to be at the greatest variance, are embracing one another in their arms; Mercy and truth are met together, &c.

The Second thing was, when and where did these bleffed parties meet together? When we speak of a remarkable meeting, it is ufual to enquire into the time and place of the meeting. Now, the place where, and the time when, as to this wonderful meeting, are two questions, which I put together; for they may both be answered at once, because of their near relation.

ift, Then, in general, the meeting-place, or the place of the meeting, is CHRIST; and the time of the meeting was, when Chrift put himself in our room, or fubftitute himself in the place of the finner, to anfwer the demands of all the members of the meeting, who had any objection against our falvation, or any thing to lay to our charge. Where then, and when did they meet together and

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