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neither the Sea, nor the Trees, till we have fealed
ruptio optimi.eft peffima.
every the leaft beginning of Corruption; and these being firft in the Guilt, are to be firft in the Punishment. And he faid unto them, Defile the Houfe, and fill the Courts with the flain; Go ye forth. These laft Words, Go ye forth, feem to be the laft Charge or Inftruction given to thefe Six Executioners, which it is faid in the next Words they punctually obferved: They went forth and flew in the City, V. 7. as the Seventh Man, who had the Writer's Inkhorn, did his; for it is faid, v. II. Behold the Man cloathed with Linnen, which had the Writer's Inkhorn by his fide, reported the matter; faying, I have done as thou hast commanded me. All which the Lord will haften in his time.
Of the PESTILENCE.
JEREM. IX. 21, 22.
21. Death is come up into our Windows, and is entered into our Palaces, to cut off the Children from without, and the young Men from the Streets.
22. Speak, thus faith the Lord, even the Carcafes of Men fhall fall as Dung upon the open Fields, and as the handful after the Harvestman, and none shall gather them.
The Pefti- T be confidered, is the Plague or PeHE next Inftance of Judgment to ftilence; which, as being one of the Sore Judgments that God inflicts upon a guilty Nation, Ezek. 14. 21. must also bear its Part in that Great Day of Trouble, as our Lord tells us, For Nations fhall rise against Nations, and Kingdom against Kingdom; and there fhall be Famines, and Pestilences, and Earthquakes in divers places, Matth. 21.7. And this indeed feems to be a deeper and more internal Manifeftation of the Curfe or Wrath of God in external Nature: For whereas the former feemed to be a more general and circumferencial Evil, in refpect of particular Perfons, who cannot be fuppofed (at least a great Part of them) any otherwise to fuffer, than in their In
terefts and Estates; this does affect every particular Perfon that draws in the common Air of the Country or Nation thus infected; that very Air which is the natural Medium of Life and Vegetation, becoming to us a Vehicle of Corruption and Death.
SI. WITH this God will chaftife and mor- The Pride tifie that other grand Divifion of Sin, The of Life. Pride of Life, which confifts in a perfect Oppofition to the Humility and Self-Abafement of the Crofs; as the other, viz. The Luft of the Eye, to the Love, and Meeknefs, and Poverty of the Chriftian Spirit; manifefting thereby, their Antichriftian Root and Original. But that we may be able more perfectly to discover its Nature and Properties, it will be neceffary to trace it to its firft Principles, viz. The Birth or Rifing of the corrupt or beftial Image in Man, upon his withdrawing himself from his Dependance upon God. The Confequence whereof was the withdrawing the chaft Virgin of God's Wisdom, wherewith Man was cloathed and illustrated, both internally and externally; inftead of which came Ignorance, Infirmity, Darkness and Death: His Soul that was before all Light, Harmony, and Beauty, being eftranged from the Light of God, became full of Darkness and Sin. His Paffions, that were before in perfect Subordination to the ruling Principle, viz. The Spirit within him, run into Confufion and Rebellion. His Body which was before Paradifical, Holy, Pure, and Immortal, became weak, heavy,
The Same further confidered.
and infirm. He is fubject and exposed to the evil Influences and divided Properties of the Elements, which have Power to impose on him the Neceffity of Pain, Sicknefs, Want, Hunger, Mortality, and Putrifaction. So that in fhort, his Light is become Darkness; his Strength is Weaknefs; his Beauty is Deformity; his Wisdom is Folly; and he that was created in the Image of God, bears now in his degenerate State the Image of the Devil.
§ 2. Now the Confideration of fo glorious a State as we have forfeited by our Tranfgreffions, and the deplorable Condition into which we are fallen, ought to have this good Effect upon us, viz. to keep us conftant in Humility and Self-Abasement: It should teach us to defpife this vile beastial Image, and to mortifie our corrupt animal Life, refreshing and feafting our felves with the Contemplation of the glorious everlafting Inheritance, out of which we have been fo long driven; but which is redeemed for us by the promised Seed, the Lord Jefus Chrift; even for fo many of us as fhall follow him in the dying Process of his Crofs, that we may be raised up with him in Newness of Life, as we are told by the Holy Apoftle; If we be dead with him, we Shall alfo live with him. If we fuffer, we shall alfo reign with him, 2 Tim. 2. 11, 12. But Rom. 8. notwithstanding all this, * tho' the Church of God has for many Ages been groaning and travelling together in Pain, for the compleat Adoption, viz. the Redemption or Reftitution of the firft pure paradifiaçal State