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cauft, before it is ripe for judgment, or the execution of it. Now the Spirit of God and been litigating and reafoning with thete men in the court, and at the bar of their own confciences, about their fins, by one providence or another, and by one minifter or another; particularly by Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and that to no purpose: Hence he determines to go on no longer in this way, but to proceed to pafs and execute the sentence of condemnation on them, fince they were fo very corrupt, being anthing else but flesh; However, to flew as clemency and forbearance, he gra reprieve for one hundred and tryg which is that long-fuffering of G
fle fpeaks of, that wasted on se but a Noah, while the ark was preparin, rela it appears, that the Arts of the la God with thefe men, were stayi ternal miniftry of the work, a
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are disagreeable to a natural man; 'tis no wonder that the external ministry of the word and ordinances are defpifed, opposed and refifted. The external call may be rejected; yea, fome inward motions and convictions may be over-ruled, ftifled and come to nothing; nay, it will be granted, that there may be, and is an oppofition and refiftance to the work of the Spirit of God in - converfion; but then the Spirit cannot be fo refifted in the operations of his grace as to be obliged to ceafe from his work, or to be overcome or hinder'd in it; for he acts with a defign which cannot be fruftrated, and with a power which is uncontroulable; were it otherwife, the regeneration and converfion of every one must be precarious; and where the grace of the Spirit is effectual, according to the doctrine of free-will, it would be more owing to the will of man than to the Spirit of God.
IV. It may be asked, whether the old world had a day of grace, and so all mankind, in which they might be saved if they would? during which time the Spirit ftrives with man; and when that is expired he ftrives no longer.
1. The space of one hundred and twenty years allow'd the old world for repentance
So Barclay in his Apology, p. 153, 154°
3. The whole gofpel difpenfation in general may be called a day of grace; but this day does not expire while men live, or at their death; it reaches from the coming of Chrift, unto the end of the world; it will continue until all the elect of God are gathered in Nor can it be faid of any man, that he has out-liv'd, or out-finned this day of grace; for ftill it is faid, To day if ye will hear his voice“, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.
4. The open special day of grace to God's elect, begins at their converfion, which will never end; never be over with them, tho' they may have their clouds and darkness, until it is changed into the everlasting day of glory.
NUMB. III. Deut. v. 29.
O that there were fuch an heart in them that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children for
HESE vehement defires of God for the good of these people, are faid to be irreconcilable with his decrees of election
u Heb. iii. 7. 2 Cor. vi. 2.