It is of the LORD's Mercies that we are not consumed.

A SERMON Preach'd By Dr. Colman, AT THE Friday-Lecture in Brattle-Street, March 4, 1736, 7. After a most merciful and wonderful Preservation of the Town from being consumed by Fire, which broke out in Union-Street, about Four that Morning.

Printed at the earnest Request of the preserved Nei'bourhood and others; to be in their Houses some Memorial of the Divine Compassions, and a small Testimony of their Thank­fulness to GOD for the Deliverance granted them.

Amos vii. 4, 5, 6. The Lord God called to contend by Fire: Then said I, O Lord God, Cease, I beseech Thee! — The Lord repented for this; This also shall not be, saith the Lord.

BOSTON: Printed by J. Draper, for J. Edwards and H. Foster, in Cornhil. 1737.


THE Divine Compassions new every Morning.

Lamentations iii. 22, 23.

It is of the LORD's Mercies that we are not consumed, because His Compassions fail not; they are new every Morning.

WELL may every One of us, every Day we live, awake from our Sleep, and rise from our Beds with these high and holy Words of humble Confes­sion and Acknowledg­ment, and of thankful joyful Praises to the GOD of our Lives, the Num­bers of whose daily and mighty Salvations we know not.

[Page 2] Day unto Day utters these Words to us, and Night unto Night shews them, "That it is of the LORD's Mercies we are not consumed, because His Com­passions fail not. But there are the Days & Nights of our more sensible and singular Preservations, like this present Day to the Families in this Neigh­bourhood, whose Dwellings in the Night past were in the greatest Danger of being consumed; when such a Flame broke out in the midst of such a Thicket of combustible Matter, as is scarce to be found again in the whole Town.

My Text considers us, 1. in our Sins, and speaks of God in his Justice as a consuming Fire: It con­siders us also, 2. under the Wing of the Covenant of God's Grace, and it speaks of the Mercies and Compassions of God, to his sinful provoking Peo­ple, as new every Morning.

We are here supposed every Day to do enough to provoke the consuming Anger of our God; and this gives the Glory to His Mercies, in all their Constancy and Multitude, notwithstanding our daily Forfeitures of them all, and Desert of con­suming Wrath.

The Church in my Context was in a manner, and in the very Letter consumed; Judea, Jerusa­lem, the Temple of God, and his Synagogues thro' the Land, were burnt with Fire; most of the In­habitants had been slain with the Sword, and the Residue, a small Remnant, were led into a doleful Captivity, to consume away there for seventy Years. This it is that the Prophet Jere­miah is here lamenting in the Name of the deso­late Church; yet never the less, that there was [Page 3]a Remnant or escaping, he acknowledges to be of the Lord's Mercies, and of his unfailing Compassions.

He writes for our Warning and learning, on whom the Ends of the World are come, and aw­fully admonishes us in the Name of the Lord, "That when the Day of Mercy is past with Places and Persons, they will be consumed by the burning Wrath of God; His Mercies will be clean gone, and his Compassions fail for evermore. —This Day of Mercy might have been past with us long since, and that it is not so is because God's Compassions fail not.

Many more and various are the Reflections which the Text affords us, but I will content my self with these three most plain and easy Obser­vations.

1. The Lord our God is of great Mercies and Compassions. 2. His Compassions fail not. 3. Hence it is that we are not consumed.

I. The Lord our God is of great Mercies and Com­passions. These my Text supposes, asserts and magnifies.

Mercy in God is his Goodness and Grace ex­tended and exercised toward sinful Creatures. Compassion in God speaks ad Hominem, to the Pity and Bowels of Human Nature toward Consorts, Children, Relatives and Friends in Affliction. We know well what a Mother's Bowels are, and a Fa­ther's Pity, and a Friend's Sympathy; and by these it pleases God (in his great Condescention) to represent the working of his Mercy toward his [Page 4]People. Psal. ciii. 13. Like as a Father pitieth his Children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Jer. xxxi 20. I earnestly remember him, my Bowels are troubled for him.

Compassion in Man causes a painful Commotion within him, being mix'd of Grief and Love; but the render Mercies of God are without the Infir­mity of our Pity.

No wonder that the Scripture abounds in this most endearing Representation of God to us; for if he will be a God to Sinners, He must be a God of Compassion.

It speaks all the Glories of the Name of God, proclaimed before Moses, "merciful, gracious, long­suffering and abundant in Goodness. Psal lxxxvi. 15. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of Compassion and gracious, longsuffering and plenteous in Mercy. And again, Psal. cxlv. 8. The Lord is gracious and full of Compassion, slow to Anger, and of great Mercy.

But there is no Expression more moving than that, Isai lxiii 15. The sounding of thy Bowels, and of thy Mercy toward me: and that, Luke i. 78. The Bowels of the Mercy of our God. The Bowels of a God are more tender than those of a Father or Mother: Isai. xlix 15. Can a Woman forget her sucking Child, that she should not have Compassion on the Son of her Womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

When the Apostle would raise us to the last Pitch of Brotherly Love and Goodness, he bids us put on Bowels of Mercies; and when another [Page 5]Apostle is naming the Love of God to us, he as vehemently forbids our shutting up Bowels of Com­passion from one another.

Such are the Divine Compassions: And if you ask, "Whence then is it that we see so many Objects of Misery round about us, and that the Children of God themselves are so often the Sub­jects of grievous Afflictions? the Answer is easy,

1. They are of our Selves and our Sins; this is the Original and meritorious Cause of them: We may not charge God with them, but must take the Blame and Shame of them to our Selves. Lament. i. 18. The Lord is righteous, for we have rebelled against him. Jer. ii. 19. Hast thou not pro­cured this unto thy Self? thine own Wickedness shall correct thee, and thy Backslidings shall reprove thee: Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my Fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of Hosts.

2. God sends sore Afflictions on Sinners very often in great Mercy and in tender Pity: to con­vince them of the Evil of their Sins, to bring them to Repentance, and so to prepare them for the Favours of his Providence and the Comforts of his Grace in this Life, and for his Everlast­ing Mercies in that to come. Rev. iii. 19. Whom I love I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore and repent. Heb. xii. 6. For whom the Lord loveth he chastneth, as a Father his Son in whom he delighteth. —A loving Parent corrects his Son from a real and strong Affection, and from true Compassion. A Father can be very angry with a sinning Child, but upon his Humiliation and Repentance he [Page 6] tenders him again. And so does our Heavenly Father: Jerem. xxxi. 18. I have surely heard E­phraim bemoaning himself thus, "Thou hast chastised me, &c: "Is he a dear Son, is he a pleasant Child? for I do earnestly remember him still, I will surely have Mercy on him, faith the Lord. Souls in the deepest Humiliation of Repentance, should be in the strongest Exercise of Faith in the Divine Compassions. This is in a lively manner repre­sented in my Context, Ver. 28—32. He sitteth alone and keepeth Silence, he putteth his Mouth in the Dust, he is filled with Reproach; for the Lord will not cast off for ever, but tho' he cause Grief yet will be have Compassion, according to the Multitude of his Mercies; for he doth not willingly afflict or grieve the Children of Men.

II. I am now to go on, and say of these Di­vine Compassions and Mercies, that they fail not: No, they are new every Morning: they continue and abide, keep their Course and go their Round; returning on us as constantly as the Day and as the Sun do. Every Day brings new Mercies; and they are like the Rayes of Light for Number and for Kind, bright and conspicuous, and in infinite endless Successions. Or if you will take the Comparison from the living Springs and Fountains of Water, which send forth their chris­tal Streams day and night for our Supply and Refreshment; God is this Fountain of living Wa­ter; a Spring of Water, whose Waters fail not, Isai. lviii. 11.

We read of the Blessed God, that He is rich in in Mercy, plenteous in Mercy, abundant in Mercy, [Page 7]and that it is Everlasting: A Mercy that never fails must be all this, can be nothing less.

As God is in Himself, such must his Mercies be. If He be the immense infinite Being, eternal and unchangeable; how should his Compassions fail? any more than Eternity and Infinity be exhausted.— With what a Run of Repetition therefore, and of Pleasure, does the Holy Ghost teach us to sing of a Mercy that never fails? Psal. cxxxvi. "For his Mercy endureth for Ever! for his Mercy endureth for Ever! &c.

The Compassions of God may cease indeed toward particular Persons and Places, and yet He remain the same Compassionate God: His Spi­rit will not always strive with provoking Sinners; the Day of his Grace ends with many, and with some sooner than with others: His Mercies cease for ever as to impenitent Sinners, and are gone for evermore as to them that die so: But they can never fail at all toward the proper and only Ob­jects of them, or in that Course which the Holi­ness and Wisdom of God has settled for the per­petual and everlasting Display of them: The Immutability of God and the Promises of his Word make it impossible. Isai. xxx. 18. There­fore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious, and will be exalted in shewing Mercy, for the Lord is a God of Judgment, and blessed are all they that wait for him. As God's Righteousness is like the great Mountains, high and conspicuous, fix'd and im­movable; so his Compassions stand upon his Truth and Faithfulness: Isai. liv. 10. The Mountains shall depart, and the Hills be removed; but my Kind­ness shall not depart from thee, nor the Covenant of my [Page 8]Peace be removed, faith the Lord that hath Mercy on thee.

We have highly deserved that the Compassions of God should have been at an utter End, as to us, long ago; yet they have not failed even to us evil & unthankful, unto this Day; no not in any or all of the Afflictions that have come upon us for our Sins: Ezra ix. 13. Thou Lord hash punished us less than our Iniquities have deserved. Psal. lxxviii. 38. But He being full of Compassion destroyed them not, yea many a time turned he his Anger away, and did not stir up all his Wrath.

I come therefore to say,

III. Hence it is that we are not consumed; even of the Lord's Mercies, and because they fail not:

Let us turn aside and see this great Sight, this Wonder of Grace! like that which Moses had in Horeb; he saw a Bush on Fire, and it was not consumed! My Text gives us the same Sight of God, as a consuming Fire, and of our Selves as Chaff and Stubble before devouring Fire, and yet not consumed thereby. As the Word of God, so a wicked World is full of these two things; the flaming Anger of God against Sin, and yet a Multitude of Sinners not consumed thereby.

The Reason and Cause of this is to be sought, and can be only found in God Himself: It is of the Lord's Mercies and his unfailing Compassions. Not for our Repentance, or Righteousness, be it known to us, but for His own Name and Mercy sake. "Not unto us, O Lord! must we say, Not unto us! but to Thy Name give Glory; for thy Mercy [Page 9]and for thy Truths sake, Psal. cxv. 1. As we must take our Pleas in Prayer from God Himself, his own Perfections Word and Works; so we must ascribe to the Glory of his Name and Attributes in our Adorations and Thanksgivings.

First, We behold God here in his Justice and in his Judgments a consuming Fire; and Sinners the Chaff and Stubble, ready to be consumed. Heb. xii. 29. For the Lord our God is a consuming Fire. God is angry with the wicked every Day. His holy Anger burns against the provoking Trans­gressors of his righteous Law, and if it falls upon them they are consumed. We read of the Heat of his Anger, and of its smoaking against a Person or People. This is seen and felt in his Judgments, of one Kind or of another. Exod. xxxii. 10. Let me alone, that my Wrath may wax hot against them, that I may consume them. Isai. v. 24. As the Fire devoureth the Stubble, and the Flame con­sumeth the Chaff; so is the Anger of the Lord kindled against his People.

God easily consumes a wicked People by pes­tilential Sicknesses, by Famine or War; by Fires ashore and by Storms at Sea. He needs not call for his more strange Works of Terror, Earthquakes and Inundations. He burns down our Bodies as well as our Dwellings, when he pleases. The various Fevers that consume us from our Dwell­ings, are but so many putrid noxious Fires within us, which God kindles & quenches as he pleases. Psal. xxxix. 10, 11. Remove thy Stroke away from me, I am consumed by the Blow of thy Hand.

[Page 10] The Fire of God's Wrath is yet seven times hot­ter in the Souls and Consciences of Sinners; and the Flame of it drinks up their Spirits. Hell Torments are represented to us by a Worm that never dies, and by Fire unquenchable. This Tophet is ordained of old, from the Day wherein the Angels fell it was prepared; it is deep and large, the Pile thereof is Fire and much Wood; the Breath of the Lord, like a Stream of Brimstone, doth kindle it. This Lake of Fire is the second Death. Souls are tormented in this Flame, and never consumed. This is Ven­geance to the uttermost, "the Vengeance of Eter­nal Fire:—Consume them in Wrath, consume them, that they may not be! But Oh! they can never cease to be! the Smoke of their Torment ariseth for ever and ever! and so continues their Weeping and Wailing and gnashing of Teeth unto Eternal Ages!—Let us tremble at the Thought of this devouring Fire, these everlasting Burnings! God has mercifully warned us to flee from this Wrath to come, and to bring forth Fruits meet for Repentance. Wherefore let us turn again our Eyes, and see

Secondly, GOD in his Mercies and Compassions sparing, preserving and saving Sinners from be­ing consumed by his Wrath. In the Riches of his Patience, Forbearance, and Long-suffering, he waiteth on them to be gracious: He reveals his saving Mercies to them, he offers it; shows 'em the Way of it, how it can be glorified to them, and then tenderly invites and beseeches them to seek after it and accept of it. He calls on them by his Word, strives with them by his Spirit, sends all his Servants his Ministers, rising up early and sending them; allures them by the Mercies and Sal­vations of his Providence, and awakens them by [Page 11]his Judgments: He calls on 'em to repent, gives them a Space for Repentance, threatens 'em in their Impenitence, and yet in his Compassions tries 'em again, with Line upon Line and Precept upon Precept. The Language of all this we have in Isai. lxiii. 6, 7. For he said, surely they are my People, Children that will not lie, so he was their Sa­viour: In all their Affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his Presence saved them: In his Love and in his Pity he redeemed them; he hare them and car­ried them all the Days of old.

Thus it is of the Lord's Mercies that we are not consumed by temporal Judgments, and cut off by the Blow of his Hand; and it is yet more of his Mercies that our Souls are not roaring under that Fire of his Wrath, which burns to the lowest Hell.

It is of his Sovereignty, who has Mercy on whom he will have Mercy, and hath Compassion because he will have Compassion: Rom. ix. 15. And what if God willing to shew his Wrath and to make his Power known, endure with much Long-suffering the Vessels of Wrath fitted for Destruction.

It is of his Unchangeableness and Faithfulness, as it follows on my Text, "Great is his Faithfulness! and as He tells us of Himself, Mal iii. 16. "I am the Lord, I change not; therefore the Sons of Jacob are not consumed.

But in short, It is owing to the Sacrifice of Christ for Sin, that the Mercies of the Lord and his Compassions are so great and unfailing toward us, and new every Day. All the Mercies of God [Page 12]come to us thro' our Lord Jesus; and for His Sake it is that we are not consumed. The con­suming Anger of God fell on Him, who was able to bear it; and bore it for us, and bears it away from us. He was made Sin for us, and bore the Weight of Divine Wrath in his holy Soul; made his Soul an Offering, to satisfy and appease the in­censed Justice of God; and it is the Water and Blood from his pierced Side that quenches the burn­ing Wrath of God, which preys upon unbeliev­ing and impenitent Sinners for ever and ever. The Reprieve and Respite of our forfeited Lives from instant Death, and even the daily Preserva­tion of our Dwellings from consuming Flames, is from the sprinkling of the Blood of this our sacri­ficed Lord and Passover on our Houses and Fami­lies. Christians should thus see and adore their Saviour, in all the common Mercies of their Lives from Day to Day. God grants us Life and Fa­vour for Christ's sake: "He redeemeth our Life from Destruction, and crowns us with Loving­kindness and tender Mercies.

And now to lead You into some Application and suitable Improvement of the present Truth;

I. Let the great Mercies and Compassions of our God endear his blessed Name to us, and command our thankful Love and joyful Praises. God is Love! how glorious an Object of Admiration and Adoration does He appear to us in this Idea! How great is his Goodness, how great is his Beauty! So when the Lord was pleased to make all his Glory to pass before Moses, He proclaimed his Name, "The Lord God, gracious and merciful, long­suffering [Page 13]and abundant in Mercy! and Moses made haste, and bowed his Head to the Earth, and wor­shiped.

II. Let us desire to be like the blessed God in this his Glory; to be merciful and compassionate to Those that are in Misery, in Want and Indigence, as God is to us. This is the Rule and Law that Christ has given us, Luke vi. 36. Be ye therefore merciful, a your Father is also merciful. In this let us be Followers of God as dear Children and walk in Love. The merciful God cannot bear unmerci­fulness in us. Mat xviii. 33. Oughtest not thou to have Compassion on thy Fellow-Servant, even as I piti­ed thee? The Argument of the Apostle John car­ries strong Conviction in it, 1 John iii. 17. Who­so hath this World's Goods, and seeth his Brother have Need, and shutteth up his Bowels of Compassion from him; how dwelleth the Love of God in him? This is pure Religion from the Days of Job, but car­ried to a greater Height by the Gospel of Christ. He was a Type of Christ as well in the Days of his Prosperity as Adversity. "Did I not weep for him that was in Trouble? said he; Was not my Soul grieved for the Poor? "If I withheld them from their Desire, or caused the Eyes of the Widow to fail! if I have eaten my Morsel alone, and the Fa­therless hath not eaten thereof? if I have seen any perish for want of Cloathing, or the Poor without Covering!

But Christ commendeth his Love to us, in that while we were Enemies he died for us. In this David was his royal Type, Psal. xxxv. 11, 12. False Witnesses did rise up, they laid to my Charge things that I knew not; they rewarded me Evil for Good to the spoiling of my Soul; But as for me, when they were [Page 14]sick my Cloathing was Sackcloth, &c. Such a Law well became the Mouth of Christ, "I say unto you, Love your Enemies. He has given the Illus­trious Example, in his Compassions on us.

III. Let us admire God in his Eternity and Un­changeableness; because his Compassions fail not, but are new every Morning.

The Incommunicable Attributes of God give infinite Glory to his other Perfections. They are all eternal and immutable. These highest Glo­ries of the Godhead exalt Him above all Blessing and Praise. It is High, and we cannot attain unto it.

1. Here is everlasting Consolation to the People of God. They have the eternal Truth and Power of an Unchangeable God to trust in. Read how the Prophet mildly rebukes their Fears, and tenderly reproaches the Weakness of their Faith, when they were ready to stagger at the Promise in the Day of Trial and Affliction: Isai. xl. 27,—31. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest O Israel, My Way is hid from the Lord, and my Judg­ment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the Ends of the Earth, faint­eth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his Understanding. He giveth Power to the faint, and to them that have no Might be increaseth Strength: E­ven the Youths shall faint and be weary, and the young Men shall utterly fail; but they that wait on the Lord shall renew their Strength; they shall mount up with Wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

[Page 15] 2. Let us see to it that we be interested in and are the Objects of the Divine Compassions. Else what signifies it to us that they can never fail to­ward the proper Objects of them. Unless we re­pent of our Sins, and believe in Christ, and sub­mit to Him as our Lord and Saviour, and obey the Gospel, we do not put our Selves in the Way of his sure and everlasting Mercies: Nay we are sure to be at last consumed by the Fire of God's Wrath. This is the sad Case of the finally im­penitent and ungodly, that the Compassions of God do not at all belong to them; but while Compassion is glorified for Ever on the Vessels of Mercy, Wrath lies on them to all Eternity.

3. Let us learn to be constant and fixed in a merciful Spirit. This shall be some Feature and Image of the unchangeably good God, stampt on us. I will not say we must be unchangeably good, but as much so as we can. We must hold fast that which is good, and continue in well do­ing. It is he that endureth to the End, that is saved. If we forgive it must be until seventy times seven, and if we give, it must be to seven and to eight. As Objects and Opportunities return, and as Ability continues, so we must do good to all Men, especially to the Houshold of Faith.

4. As God's Compassions fail not to us, so never let our Devotion, Gratitude and Obedi­ence fail toward Him. True Charity, be it the Love of God or of our Nei'bour, never faileth: 1 Cor. xiii. 8. That lives in Death, when Faith comes to an End; it goes with the Soul into Hea­ven and is there made perfect. It is the Princi­ple of lively Devotion and Obedience, and new [Page 16]every Morning: An immortal Seed and has eter­nal Life in it. It is the fulfilling of the Law, in a Course of universal delightful Obedience. It rejoiceth and worketh Righteousness; rejoices in the Lord always, and lifts up the Heart and Feet in God's Ways.— Great indeed should be our Faithfulness in the Covenant of God, because his Compassions and Covenant-Faithfulness toward us does not fail. As these are new to us every day, so they should cause us to renew our Strength; to walk before him and be perfecting Holiness in his Fear. Let it be our Care not to fail God's righteous Expectations from us. 1 Cor. xv. ult. Wherefore my beloved Brethren; be ye stedfast, immov­able, always abounding in the Work of the Lord; for as much as ye know that your Labour is not in vain in the Lord.

IV. Is it of the Lord's Mercies that we are not consumed? We learn

1. The great Evil in Sin. It is a consuming thing to us. It consumes our Bodies, our Families, our worldly Substance and Comforts; and it con­sumes our Souls, their Powers, Pleasures and eternal Life.

Death bodily and spiritual is the Wages of Sin. It is a Consumption on the Body while we live in it, by various Maladies and Pains, which bring on its consuming away in the Grave from our Dwellings, Psal. xlix. 14. This sorrowful Note is repeated, Psal xc. For we are consumed by thy Anger, and by thy Wrath we are troubled: Thou hast set our Iniquities before thee, our secret Sins in the Light of thy Countenance; For all our Days are passed away in thy Wrath.

[Page 17] But spiritual and eternal Death consumes the Soul. It is dead while it lives, and the second Death has power over it. It is buried in Earth here, and in the bottomless Pit of Corruption for ever. It goes to the Generation of the miserable, unclean and accursed Spirits in Darkness, never to see Light.—Our Days here are consumed in Va­nity and our Years in Trouble, by our Sins, those unfruitful Works of Darkness; but how a mise­rable Eternity will consume away, or a Soul in the Flames of Hell which consume it not, no Mind can now conceive nor Words express.

2. The Anger of God is a dreadful thing, and He is terrible in his Justice to impenitent Sinners. We should fear before the Holy One always, as they did at Horeb: When they saw the burning Mountain and heard the roaring Thunders, they said 'this great Fire will consume us. Deut. v. 25. Even Moses himself said, "I exceedingly fear & quake. Who knows the Power of God's Anger? infinitely beyond all our Fears is his Wrath. Destructi­on from God should be a Terror to the Wicked, for they are liable to be consumed every Moment. "God judgeth the righteous, but he is angry with the wicked every Day: if he turn not he will whet his Sword, he hath bent his Bow and made it ready; he has prepared for him the Instruments of Death. "God is jealous and the Lord reveng­eth, he reserveth Wrath for his Enemies: He is slow to Anger and great in Power, and will not at all acquit the Wicked: the Hills melt and the Earth is burnt up at his Presence: Who can stand before his Indignation? & who can abide in the Fierceness of his Anger? Yet is the Lord good, a strong Hold in the Day of Trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him,

[Page 18] 3. See what we owe to Christ, of whose Merits and Righteousness it is that we are not consumed; or that the holy God can have Mercy and Com­passion on us. The naked Eye of Nature sees the abundant Mercies of God in a World of Sin, but it is only in the Glass of the Gospel that it can make any true Observation thereof. No Idea of absolute Goodness reaches the Case of the Divine Compassions toward us. The Angels of Heaven therefore look down intently on the Mercy Seat, and admire the great Propitiation for Sin in the Death of Christ. We must look up, and lift up our Hearts with our Eyes to the Lamb slain in the Midst of the Throne of God, and say— "God who is rich in Mercy, for his great Love wherewith he loved us, who were by Nature Children of Wrath and dead in Sins, to show the exceeding Riches of his Grace, in his Kindness toward us thro Jesus Christ! Eph. ii. 4, 7. Words cannot be put together, to reach this amazing Grace.

4. Is it of the Lord's Mercies that we are not consumed? it loudly and earnestly calls upon us to repent of our Sins, and should be a powerful Constraint of Grace upon us. The sparing Mercies and the consuming Judgments of God, his threat­ned Wrath and his Bowels of Compassion, have one Voice to us, and should have the same Effect on us.

And I. May the Judgments of God not con­sume us, but refine us; purge away our dross and refine us as Silver. This is the Mercy of God meant and shown to his chosen People, the called by his Grace; and the Evangelical Prophes abounds in this Account of the Mind and Will [Page 19]of God in the Judgments of his Providence *: "I will turn my Hand upon thee, and purely purge a­way thy Dross, and take away all thy Tin: Zion shall be redeemed with Judgment and her Converts with Righteousness; & thou shalt be called the City of Righ­teousness, the faithful City. "By this shall the Iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the Fruit to take away his Sin "For my Name sake will I defer my Anger, and for my Praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off: Behold I have refined thee but not with Silver, "not in so vehement a Fire as Silver is refined, I have chosen thee in the Furnace of Affliction: For my own sake, even for my own, will I do it O the dear Love and Mercy in such sanc­tified Afflictons! it is enough to make us zealous in repenting when God afflicts us. And so

2. The Mercies and Bounties of Providence; and all the Salvations of it from Day to Day, should have the like saving Effect on us; and all the Goodness of God should lead us to Repentance. Rom. ii. 4. Those memorable and awful Words should come with Power on our Hearts; "Or despisest thou the Riches of this Goodness, Forbearance and Long­suffering? and after thy Hardness & impenitent Heart treasurest up Wrath against the Day of Wrath.

In the Day of Sodom, the Angels those Ministers of Vengeance on the wicked City, hastened Lot early in the Morning, saying, Arise, lest thou be consumed! and while he lingred they laid hold on his Hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and bro't him out and his Family with him, and bid them again escape to the Mountain, lest they should be consumed.

[Page 20] So Mercy would always rejoice over us in the midst of Judgment, and save us from the Flames of Hell, that Lake of Fire and Brimstone, whereof the polluted Cities of the Plain were set forth for an Ex­ample, suffering the Vengeance of eternal Fire, Jude v. 7.

O the Mercy to Sinners when the common Mer­cies, or the singular Salvations of Providence, prove saving to them! This is indeed to the Praise of the Glory of Divine Grace! Here is Goodness car­ried to the highest Pitch! so it would bring forth after its Kind! as a Corn of Wheat sown in the Earth, to yield sixty or an hundred-fold.

God would have every Mercy of our Lives work thus. The Well of Water at your Door, he would have rise and spring up unto eternal Life; become Water of Life to us even now in our Way to Hea­ven. Every Gift of Providence, and all the Sal­vations of it are in the Hand of Christ, and He would have them minister to our Eternal Salvation.

O blessed Provinces, whatever they are for Kind, that are holily improv'd, and in the End prove Means of our Sanctification! How are such Bounties of Providence the Fruits and Evidences of the Love of God in Christ Jesus to our Souls! and how are such Afflictions made joyous in the Islue, however greivous they may be for the pre­sent! Wise and happy they that sowe beside all Waters, and make Advantage of every Wind and of all Weather: They are certainly under a Di­vine Conduct and Blessing, and all Things shall work together unto the Glory of God from them, and unto their Everlasting Blessedness in Him. Amen.


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