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fecutions of wicked men, to which the saints are often subject, mall not reft, always continue and abide, upon the lot, not the back, as Dr. Whitby cites the words, of the rigbteous, meaning either their persons or their goods, left the righteous, who are made so by the righteousness of Christ, put forth their bands unto iniquity, h. e. left, through the oppressions of wicked men, the instigation of Sacan and their own hearts, they should be moved to that which would dishonour God, bring a reproach on his ways, and wound their own souls; all which they may do, and yet not cease to be faints, true believers, truly good men ; as che instances of David, Peter, and others, fully make appear. The righteous may put forth their hands unto iniquity, and fall into great fins, and yet not totally fall away, or so fall as to be lost and perilh ; toral apoflacy is not intended by putting forth their hands unto iniquity.
III. 'Tis stranger still, that the care of God to prevent the righteous putting forth their hands unto iniquiry, should be improved into an argument against their peiseverance, and in favour of their apostacy. It will be readily allow'd, that what God is thus careful to prevent, even suppose a cotal apostacy was meant, mighe possibly befal the righteous, should they be left to
IV. 'Tis an egregious matka o ur, that “ there is no need of care to preverno chat which he (God) abiolutely hath engaged to preserve them from ”; lince Gat's engagement to preserve his people, is the true reason of the employment of his care about them; which is necessary to prevent their doing the iniquity, which otherwite would be done by them; God having ablo. lutely resolved, determined, and engaged, that those that trust in him should not be removed, but abide for ever ; therefore ) will be round about them for €444", 1","!'ra, care of them that bothing i. ;1! 4 , 11.1vy them; he will keep then by the posts through faith 05:s var
NUMB. IX. Psal. cxlv. 9.
The Lord is good to all ; and his tender mer
cies are over all bis works.
HE doctrines of election and repro
bation, and of particular redemption, are represented as contrary to the general mercy and goodness of God expressed
in this passage: With a view to these doctrines 'tis ask'd by one writer, “Why is it said, that bis tender, mercies are over all, bis works, if they are so restrained from his most noble creatures ? and it is observed by another, ” That it should not be said, His tender mercies are over all his works ; but his cruelties are over all his works”... To which Į reply,
1. That the said doctrines do not restrain the tender mercies of God in a providencia! way, of which this text only speaks, as wil! be shewn hereafter, from any of his creatures; no, not even from the non-elect, or those who have no share in the special grace and favour of God, and who are not eventu, ally saved; though these should not be reckon'd God's d most noble creatures; for sure
o Whitby, p. 159
Curcellaei Relig. Chrift, Inftit. 1. 6. c. 6. 9.8. p. 370.
ly they are not more noble chan che elech or God, or skole who are faved with an everlaiting falvation, or more noble chan the 11gels, who stand and never left their firit ettate in which chey were created. Admitting allo chat chefe doctrines carried in them ideas of cruelty, and want of compassion in God to those who are rejected by him, and excluded from redemption by Chrift; yet ic tould not be concluded from hence, chac she crielies of God are over all his works; Eoce, according to the known tenor of cheie cocres, icne of God's creatures are choleaven to eternal life, redeemed by the tico ock, and thail be certainly and
ed by God upon any of his creatures; but of his providencial goodness, which extends to them all, even to the brutal world, to all irrational as well as rational creatures, as appears from ver. 15, 16. compared with Psal. cxlvii. 8, 9. who have no concern in election and redemption ; so that if these words should be so understood, as to relate to the blessings of spiritual and eternal falvation, they would prove too much, more than our opponents desire; namely, that these blessings are provided for, and extend unto irrational creatures, yea, even to all the works of God, of every kind and fort. Therefore,
IV. The said doctrines are not at all repugnant to these universal expressions of God's goodness
' and mercy, since the nonelect, or such who have no saving benefit by the death of Christ, have a share in the providential goodness and tender mercies of God; who makes his fun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust, and is kind to the unthankful and to the evil : Nay, oftentiines the worft of men have the greatest share of the good things of this world ; their eyes stand out with fatness, and they have more than beart could wish; their temporal mercies are oftentimes larger chan those that the dear