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Suffering the vefels of wrath fitted to De- SER M. ftruction; And that he might make known the Riches of his Glory, on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto` glory? Even Us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles, Rom. ix. 15, 21, 22. In all which, there is no declaration of any arbitrary proceeding in God, with refpect to the last and great judgment; as fome have very unreasonably apprehended: (For, the long-fuffering here mentioned towards the veffels of wrath, i. e. the unbelieving Jews, was in expectation even of Their Repentance and Amendment; and the vessels of mercy here described, are not particular perfons fingly confidered, but the whole Body of Chriftians as oppofed to the whole Nation of the Jews, and as including both Gentile as well as Jewish Believers; Even Us, faith the Apostle, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?) But the plain and whole intention. of the words, is to juftify God's dealing with the Nation of the Jews, in rejecting them and receiving in the Gentiles; and to fhow, that men have no just reafon

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SERM.to complain against God, for manifefting XI. his Power and Glory in different difpenfations to different Perfons at different times, and for diftributing differently his undeferved Bounty, and allowing men various and different advantages, after fuch manner as he himself thinks fit: Inafmuch as they who enjoy the fewest advantages, receive always more than they deferve or can claim; and have no wrong or injury done to them, by the abounding of God's free Goodness to others. It was no injustice at the first to other Nations, that God, out of his free Bounty, was pleased to blefs in a fingular manner the Pofterity of faithful Abraham for many generations; nor was it afterwards any injury to the Jews, that God was pleased to receive the Gentiles likewife, into a participation of the fame Favour and Bleffings with themselves. So far as the Advantages of God's peculiar people were temporal, the confideration of his Sovereign Power and Authority is a lufficient and fatisfactory account of the Difference; But as to mens fpiritual and eternal concern, the Judge of all the Earth knows

knows how to do what is right; With SR M. Equity will be judge the Nations, and will XI. make an equitable and proportionable allowance, for the unequal circumstances of every man's cafe. Yet, even here alfo, there is no injustice, in giving men different opportunities and different advantages; in entrusting them with different talents; and putting into the hands of Some, according to his own good pleafure, a greater poffibility of obtaining larger Rewards. Neither further in this likewise can there be any ground of complaint, if he fhall ftill think fit to make ufe of his Supreme Right, in giving freely as great a recompence to Some of whom he has not exacted fo fevere a Service, as to Others who may imagine themfelves, by the performance of a ftricter Duty, to have acquired for themselves a title to a more ample Reward. Our Saviour represents this to us in the Parable of the Labourers in the vineyard, who having been hired at different times of the day, and receiving each of them in the Evening the fame reward; those which had been hired in the morning, though they

SER M. received their full payment, yet were dif XI. pleafed at their Lord's free bounty, in m giving the Same to those who had been hired laft; and murmured againft him,. faying; Thefe last have wrought but one bour, and thou hast made them equal unto Us, which have born the burden and heat of the Day: But he answered one of them, and faid; Friend, I do thee no wrong; didft not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way; I will give unto this last, even as unto thee: Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine Eye evil, becaufe I am good? St Matt. xx. 12. The Parable may be understood, to refpect God's dealings either with the Jews and Gentiles in different Ages of the World, or with Perfons converted to the belief of the Gofpel in different Periods of their lives. God's various distribution of his free gifts and undeferved mercies, affords no juft reafon of complaint to thofe, who only want what no man has a right to claim, and what those who have, must acknowledge to be of mere bounty. And this is plainly the cafe in most of thofe things,



which we are apt to look upon as fome SEM. of the greateft Afflictions and Calamities of Life. They often are not any real and pofitive infliction of Judgments from the hand of God, but merely the original differences of mens ftate and circumstances, the variety of God's Creation, the different Talents committed to mens charge, the different Stations God has placed men in, for their various trials, and in order to the exercise of a diverfity of Duties. Poverty has not always the nature of an af fliction or judgment, but is rather merely a ftate of life, appointed by God, for the proper tryal and exercise of the Virtues, of Contentment, Patience, and Refignation: And for one man to murmur against God, because he poffeffes not thofe Riches which he fees given to another; is the wrath that killeth the foolish man, and the envy that layeth the filly one; Job v. 2. The like may be faid of want of Honour and Power, want of Children to fucceed in our Eftates and Families, Weakness of Body, Shortness of Life, and the like; nay, and even of Spiritual difadvantages themfelves likewife; want of capacity and S 4 good

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