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foul hates ; upon the wicked God fall rain storms of fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempeft; this shall be the portion of their cup. Pl. xxxiv. 2. Evil fhall say the wicked, they shall perish in their own iniquity ; that which is their affectation, shall be their ruin and destruction. Pf. xxxvii, 9. Evil doers shall be cut off ; yet a little while and the wicked hall not be, they that look for him shall not find him ; ver. 36. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay-tree, but suddenly he passed away, and he was not ; I fought him, but he could not be found. To one in the state of wickedness a man cannot say, God speed, nor wish him well in the name of the Lord. In this. case we may pray against him, that God would fruftrate and disappoint him. Pf. lix. 5. Be not merciful to any wicked transgressor, i. e. so far as he is wicked, confound him in all his contrivances ; but we may and ought to pray that God would give him repentance. Ps. lvii. 8. In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same, but the dregs of it all the wicked of the earth Mall wring out and drink them. Pl. xcii. 7. When the wicked spring up like grass, when the workers of iniquity do flourish ; it is but for a while, it is but in thew, for it is that they may be destroyed for ever. This is the consequent upon it, but not in God's intention ; for when he does plague, he intends a reformation. Pf.cxix. 119. He putteth away all the wicked of the earth like drofs. Ps. cxxxix. 19. Surely thou wilt pay the wickel, O Lord. Pl. cxlv. 6. He casteth the wicked down to the ground. Thus we see out of the book of Psalms, how God does declare himself against the impiety of
the world, the wickedness and profaneness of men, Add to thcse some places out of the Proverbs. Prov, ii. 22. The wiiked fmall be cut off from the earth, transgreffers fvall be rooted out of it. These men promise themselves a portion here, and think to thrive in the world, but IVifdom says they shall be cut off from the earth, there shall be no enjoyment for them, no not in this state. Prov. x. 57. The name of the wicked shall rot; while he lives, he is a burden upon earth ; and when he is gone, his memory shall perish, ver. 24: as the whirlwind pafseth away, so is the wicked na more, Prov. xi. 5. The wicked fall fall by his own wickedness. ver. 31. the righteous fhall be recompenced on the earth, much more the wicked and the finner. All good men have God's promise, but observe what the wise man lays, much more the wicked and the finner ; for if good men do not meet with things answerable to their goodness here, there is space enough in eternity for their reward ; but it is much more requisite that the finner should fall under God's displeasure here. Prov, xii. 21. I he wicked shall be filled with his own mischief, Prov. xiv. 32. The wicked shall be driven away in his wickedness. Prov, xxi. 12. God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness. I will not go on to other places, though others be equally pregnant in this particular,
But some may say, notwithstanding all these declarations, we do not find it so in fact; for those that are wicked, injurious, and oppressors, do thrive and prosper, and many times carry the world before them. To this, I say, we know not the length of God's patience, which is for our repentance ; that is, an argument and inducement to it; in the intention of
God it is so, who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance: it were well if it were so understood.
Some may say, that all I have quoted, is out of the old teftament; but that under the gospel, God is more known by his patience, grace and kindness, & c. But it does not become us to turn the grace of God into wantonness; therefore left any should make this an encouragement to go on in any
wicked courses, I will citę some places out of the new testament. St. Matıb. xxv. 41. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; this is said to the goats at Christ's left hand : but who are they? You will find them to be unmerciful and uncharitable men. Rom. i. 18. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrightea, qusness. Chap. ii. 5. Thou, through thy hardness and. impenitenț heart, treafureft up unto thyself wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. ver. 8. To them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, indignation and wrath ; tribulation and anguish, upon every foul of man that doth evil. ? Thes. i. 8, 9. He fall come in flaming fire, to take Vengeance upon them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of God, and from the glory of his power. the scripture begin, thus it goes on and ends, Rev. xii. 15. without are dogs ; who are those ? Sorcerer's, whoremongers, murderers, and whoso loveth and maketh a lie. And there is great reason for all this ; because
these men have made themselves enemies to God by wicked works, Col. i. 21.
I have heaped up these texts because atheists make the prosperity of wicked men an argument against divine providence ; and it is not so in these days only, but it was so of old. 2 Pet. iii. 4. The scoffers that derided religion, made this an argument. All things continue as they were ; so the Psalmist says, PS. x. 13. They that contemn God, say in their hearts, God hath forgotten, he does not see, he will not require it, he is not concerned. And this has been a temptation to good men ; Ps. Ixxiii. 2. My feet were almost gone, because I was enviou s at the prosperity of the wicked. So the prophet Jeremy, though he was well resolved that God was righteous in all his ways, yet, fays, he, let me reason with thee of thy jud ments; how is it that the wicked man prospers, that he is exalted that deals very treacherously? It may be fo for a while, but then they have their portion in this life; yet there is no security : for none of them know what a day may bring forth. Also this is but a preparatory state ; the excellency of this state lies in this, that it is a probation and preparation for eternity; another state is to come after this. Allo judgment is not the proper work of a day of grace. Lastly, God does not reckon time as we do for one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, 2 Pet. ii. 8. These things I do but interpose as com
my way. That, for which I have heaped up soʻmany scriptures, is to shew how fully God declares himself against all wickedness and finners ; by which we are to understand those who are settled in a way of wickedness,
Yet lest I should discourage any that are in mo. tion to repentance, I must tell you, that to be wicked, to be a sinner, an evil-doer, a worker of iniquity, are things of deep denomination in fcripture, and do not take in those who from weakness, imperfection and indisposition at times, or from mistakes or mife apprehenfions, or errors in judgment, are overtaken with fin; never is any one from these deemed an evil person, a finner or worker of iniquity; so that we are not all finners in fcripture sense. See how the fcripture denominates finners, Gen. xiii. 13. The Sodomites were wicked finners before the Lord ; these were a sort of persons so monitrous and unnatural, that their fins are not fit to be named in a christian congregation ; these are said to be sinners before the Lord. And this is the first time we meet with the word finners in scripture : the second time is in Num, xvi. 38. Sinners against their own fouls ; this refers to Corah, Dathan and Abiram ; who rose up against the very
institution of God, and pretended that all the people of the Lord were holy. The third time I meet with this denomination, finner, is, 1 Sam. xv. 18. Utterly destroy those finners the Amalekites, such as God had appointed to destruction. To go on, Pf. i. 3. The good man is faid, not to stand in the way of Jinners, Pl. xxvi. 19. Gather not my foul with finners, nor my life with blood-thirsty men. Pi. civ. 10. Let finners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Prov. i, 10. If sinners entice thee, consent thou not ; you know what is meant by the strange woman in the Proverbs of Solomon ; persons of defperate wickedness, that have fold themselves to do