Imágenes de páginas

you ask,

“ But in whose Judgment ?" I answer, In your own ; I appeal to the Light of your own Mind. Is there not a Faithful Witness in your own Breast ? By this you must stand or fall. You cannot be judged by another Man's Conscience. Judge for yourself by the best Light you have. And the merciful GOD teach me and thee, whatsoever we know not !

Now, as I speak chiefly to those who believe the Scriptures, the Method I propose is this, First, To observe what Account is given therein of the Jews, the antient Church of GOD, inasmuch as all these Things were written for our Inflruction, who say, we are noro the Visible Church of the GOD of Israel. Secondly, To appeal to All who profefs to be Members thereof, to every one who is called a Christian, How far, in each Instance, the Parallel holds ? And how much we are better than they?

3. First, I am to observe what Account the Scriptures give of the Jews, the antient Church of GOD. I pican, with Regard to their Moral Character; Their Tempers and Outward Behaviour.

Na sooner were they brought out of Egypt, than we find them murmaring again't GOD. (Exod. xiv, 12.) Again, when he had just brought them thro' the Red Sea with a mighty Hind and a stretch'd out Arm. (c. XV. 24.) And yet again, quickly after, in the Wildes. ness of Zin, your Murmurings (faith Moses) are not againft us, but against the Lord, (c. xvi. 8.) Nay, even while he was giving them Bread from Heaven, they were still murmuring and tempting GOD, (c. xvii. 2, 3,) and their amazing Language at that very Season was, Is the Lord among us or not? (c. xvii. 4 )

The fame Spirit they shew'd, during the whole forty Years, that he bore their Manners in the Wilderness : A folemn Testimony whereof, Mofes Spake in the Ears of all the Congregation of Israel, when GOD was about to take him away from their Head ; They have corrupted themselves, (saith he) their Spot is not of his Children ; they are a pervers and crooked Generation. The Lord led Jacob about ; he instructed him; he kept him as the Apple of his Eye. (Deut. xxxii. 5, 10.) He made him ride on the high Places of the Earth, that he might


eat the Increase of the Fields : Then he forfook GOD which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his Salvation, (v. 11, 13, 15:):

In like Manner GOD complains long after this, Hear, O Heavens, and give Ear, 0 Earth! I have nourish'd and brought up Children, and they have rebelled against me. The Ox knoweth his Owner, and the Ass his Master's Crib : But Ifrael doth not know, my People doth not consder. Ah sinful Nation, a People laden with Iniquity, a Seed of evil Doers, Children that are Cor. rupters, they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel, (Isa. i. 2, 3, 4.) Can a Maid forget her Ornaments, and a Bride her Attire? Yet my People have forgotten me, Days without Number, (Jer. ii. 32.)

4. And as they did not like to retain GOD in their Knowledge, so they had small Regard to the Ordinances of GOD. Even from the Days of your Fathers, (faith GOD by his Prophets) ye are gone away from mine Ordinances, and have not kept then, (Mat. iii. 7.) Ye have said, It is vain to serve GOD; and, what Profit is it that we have kept his Ordinances ? (v. 13.) Thou haft not called upon me, O Jacob, but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel: Thou hast not brought me my BurntOfferings, neither haft thou honour'd me with thy Sacrifices, (Ifa. xliv. 22, 23.) And so the Prophet himfelf .confeffes, Thou meetest those that remember thee in thy W Pays But there is none that calleth upon thy Name. that firreth vp himself to take Hold of thee, (Isaiah lxiv.

5, 7.)

5. But they call'd upon his Name by vain Oaths, by Perjury and Blasphemy. So Jeremiah, Because of Szearing the Land mourneth (c. xxiii. 10.) And the they say, the Lord liveth, surely they swear falsely, (c. v. ii) So Hofea, They have spoken Words, fovearing falsely in making a Coveniant : So Ezekiel, They say the Lord seeth us not, the Lord kath forsaken the Earth. So Isaiah, Their Tongue and their Doings are againft the Lord, to provoke the Eyes of his Glory, (c. iij. 8.) They · Jay, Let him make speed and haften bis Work that we may see it, and let the Counsel of the Holy One dra7nigh and come that we may knozu it, (c. v. 19.) to Malacki, Ve have wezried the Lord with your

ye fay, every one that doeth Evil, is good in the Sight of the Lord, and be delighteth in them; And, Where GOD of Judgment ? (c. ii. 17.)

6. And as they despised his Holy Things, so they profaned his Sabbaths, (Ezek. 22. 8.) Yea, when GOD sent unto them, saying, Take Heed unto your felves, and bear no Burden an the Sabbath Day, neither do ye any Work, but hallow ye the Sabbath Day, as I commanded your Fathers ;-Yet they obeyed not, neither inclined their Ear, but made their Neck fliff, that they might not bear war receive Instruction, (Jer. xvii. 21, 22, 23.)

Neither did they honour_their Parents, or those whom GOD from Time to Time appointed to be Rulers over them. In thee in Jerusalem, saith the Prophet) they bave set light by Father and Mother, Ezek. xxii. 7.) And from the very Day when GOD brought them up out of the Land of Egypt, their Murmurings, Chiding, Rebellion and Disobedience, against those whom he had chosen to go before them, make the inost considerable Part of their History, so that had Lot Mofes food in the Gap, he had even then destroy'd them from the Face of the Earth.

7. How much more did they afterwards provoke GOD, by Drunkenness, Sloth and Luxury ? They have srred thro' Wine, (faith the Prophet Isaiah) and thro' Arong Drink they are out of the Way; (c. xxviii. 7.) which occafioned those vehement and repeated Warnings, against that reigning Sin ; Woe to ihe Drunkards of Ephraim, them that are overcome with Wine, (v. 1.), the Drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under Foot; 16. 3.) Woe unto them that rise up early that they may fole laru frong Drink ; that continue until Night till Wine inflm me then. But they regard not the Work of the Lord, neither confider the Operation of his Hands, (c. v. 11, 12.) Woe unto them that are mighty to drink Wine, and Men of Strength to mingle strong Drink ; (v. 22.) Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, that lie upon Beds of Ivory, and Aretch themselves upon their Couches, and eat the Lambs out of the Flock, and the Calves out of the Midst of the Stall; that chant to the Sound of the Kol, and invent to themselves Instruments of Mufick, that drink Wine in Bowls, and anoint themselves with.

the chief Ointments; but they are not grieved for the

Afliction of Joseph, (Amos vi. ver. 1, 4, 5, 6.) Behold this (saith Ezekiel to Jerusalem) was the Iniquity of thy Sifter Sodom ; Fulness of Bread and Abundance of Idleness was in her and in her Daughters, (c. xvi. 49.)

8. From Sloth and Fulness of Bread, Lewdness naturally follow'd. It was even while Mofes was with them, that the People began to commit Whoredom with the Daughters of Moab : Yea, of the Daughters of Zion Ifaiah complains, They walk with firetched-fortle Necks and wanton Eyes, (c. iii. 16.) And of his People in general GOD complains by feremiah, When I had fed them to the full, they assembled themselves by Troops in the Harlot's Houfes. They were as fed Horses in the Morning, every one neighed after his Neighbour's Wife, (c. v. 7, 8.) They be all Adulterers, an fembly of treacherous Men, (c. ix. 2.) The Land is fulï of Adulterers, (c. xxiii. 10.)

Yea, and fonie of them were given up to unnatural Lufts. Thus we read, Judges xix. 22. The Men of Gibeab beset the House. wherein the Stranger was, and beat at the Door, and spake to the Mafter of the House, saying, Bring forth the Man that came into thine House, that we may know him. And there were also long after Sodomites in the Land, in the Days of Rehoboam and of the following Kings : The very Shew of whole Counte nance witnessed against them, and they declared their Sin as Sodom, they hid it not, (Isa. iii. 9)

9. This was accompanied with Injustice in all its Forms. Thus all the Prophets testify against them, The Lord looked for Judgment, but bebold Oppression ; for Righteousness, but bebold a Cry, (Isa. v. 7.) Thou has taken Ufury and Increase ; thou haft greedily gained of tby Neighbour by Extortion-Bebold, I have fmitten my Hand, at thy dishonest Gain which thou hast made, (Ezek. xxii, 12, 13.) The Balances of Deceit are in Jacob's Hand; he loveth to oppress (Hof. xii. 7.) Are there not yet the scant Measure that is abominable ; the wicked Balances, and the Bag of deceitful Weights ? (Mic. vi. 19, 11.) He that departerb from Evil, maketh bimself a Prey, (Isa. lix. 15.) And the Lord saw it, and it displeased him, that there was no Judgment. The

Wicked devoureth the Man, that is more righteous than be. They take up all of them with the Angle, they catch them in their Net, and gather them in their Drag, (Hab. 1. 13, 14, 15.) They covet Fields and take them by Vio lence, and Houses, and take them away, (Mic. ii. 2.) They pull off the Robe with the Garment, from them that pass by securely, (v. 8.) They bave dealt by Oppreffion with the Stranger ; they have vexed the Fatherless and the Widow : (Ezek. xxii. 7) The People of the Land have used Opprefion and exercised Robbery ; and have vexed the Poor and Neerly, yer, they have oppressed the Stranger wrong fully, (v. 29.) Their Works are Works of Iniquity, and tbe Aet of Violence is in their Hands, (Isa. lix. 6.) Judgment is turned away backward, and Justice ftandeth afar off ; for Truth is fallen in the Street, and Equity cannot enter, (v. 14.)

10. Truth indeed was fallen, as well as Justice. E. very Mouth, faith Isaiab, Speaketh Folly, (c. ix. 17.) This is a rebellious People, lying Children, (c. XXX. 9.) their Lips have spoken Lies and muttered Perverseness. None calleth for Justice, nor any pleadeth for Truth ; they trust in Vanity and speak Lies, (c. lix. 3, 4.) This occafioned that Caution of Jeremiah, Take ye heed every one of his Neighbour, and trust ye not in any Brother for every Brother will utterly Jupplent, and every Neighbour will walk with Slanders. And they will doceive every one his Neighbour, and will not speak the Truth ; they have taught their Tongue to speak Lies, and weary themselves to commit Iniquity, (c. ix. 4, 5.)

11. And even those who abstained from these gross outward Sins, were still inwardly corrupt and abominable. The whole Head was sick, and the whole Heart was faint ; yea, from the Sole of the Foot even unto. the Head there was no Soundness, but Wounds and Bruises, and putrifying Sores, (Isa. i. 5, 6) All these Nations (faith GOD) are uncircumcised ; and all the House of Israel are uncircumcised in Heart, (Jer. ix. 26.) Their Heart is divided, (Hof. x. 2.) They have set up their Idols in their Heart ; they are all estranged from me through their Idols, (Ezek. xiv. 3, 4.)

Their Soul still clave unto the Duft. They laid up. Treasures upon Earth. From the least of them, faith


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »