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Sword, the

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Ifa. 34. 2. The Indignation of the Lord is uporz all Nations, and his Fury upon all their Armies: He hath utterly destroy'd them, he hath deliver'd them to the Slaughter.


1. The S1.THE First Evil to be confider'd, is, the Sword or War, which our proper Pu- Bleffed Lord tells us must be firft, Luke 21. nishment of the Lust of 19. When ye shall bear of Wars and Commotions, the Eye. be not terrified, for thefe things must first come to

pafs. And fo we find it generally reckon'd by the Prophets as the beginning of Vengeance. This being (if I may fo express it) a more circumferential Evil, may be an Allarm to the rest of the World, that other and greater Evils are following. For tho' indeed War be a very great Mischief to a Nation, yet it cannot properly be call'd an univerfal One in the Senfe here reant, as not affecting every particular Member of the offending guilty Nation, unless in their Fears and Apprehenfions, or at most in their Estates, not their Persons, which are the only, or properly, the capable Subjects of Punishment or Amendment, Wars then are as the gathering of the Clouds, which are the fore-running Signs of an appoaching Storm, and will be to the wife

wife hearted a warning to fhift for themfelves, and prepare them a Shelter, from the fubfequent Showers of Wrath. These are the proper Punishment of that great Branch of Sin, The Luft of the Eye, to which they owe their Original, and from whence they proceed as their proper and immediate Caufe or Principle. For from whence come Wars and Fightings amongst you? (faith St. James, c. 4. v. 1,2,3.) come they not bence, even of your Lufts, that war in your Members ? Te luft, and have not: Te kill and defire to have, and cannot obtain: Ye fight and war, yet ye bave not because ye ask not: Te ask and receive not, because ye ask amifs, that ye may confume it upon your Lufts. This is the predominant Vice of thofe, who having given themfelves over to a boundless Ambition, make it their whole Concern and Bufinefs to grafp and feize all the Riches, Eftates, Preferments, and Kingdoms, that either their Power or Intereft can bring within their reach; who (as the Prophet Habak. 2. 5. expreffes it) enlarge their Defire as Hell, and are as Death, and cannot be Satisfied; but gather unto them all People, and heap unto them all Nations. This is the Sin to which Satan tempted our Bleffed Saviour, when he fhowed him all the Kingdoms of the World, and the Glory of them, all which he promised to beftow upon him, if he would fall down and worship him, Matth. 4. 8, 9. Whofoever are in this covetous and wrathful Spirit, are properly the Subjects and Children of Wrath; and according as they are Perfons of more or less Authority

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rity in the Earth, may more or lefs fpread and dilate this Fire of Contention; which when it comes to its heighth, produces always bloody Wars and Defolations. Under this Signature or Form, Babylon feem'd to ftand among the Ancient Prophets, as *Jer. 49. may be feen at large*; as did alfo, in a 50. lefs degree, Affyria and the Philistines, Egypt a. 13.14 and Syria. Thefe, like fo many Fires break

2. That

ing out in different Quarters of a City, did ever now and then fet the World in a Blaze, and put all the neighbouring Nations into Confufion; whofe End was this, that when they had fufficiently executed the wife Counfels of God (who often turns the Fiercenefs of Men to his own Praise and Glory) they quickly fell by the fame Fate; fo faith the Lord to the King of AfSyria by the Prophet, Ifaiah 1o. 12. When the Lord fhall have performed his whole Work upon Mount-Zion and Ferufalem, I will punish the Fruit of the ftout Heart of the King of Affyria, and the Glory of bis bigh Looks. And fo in this Senfe alfo, they that drew the Sword perished by the Sword, even as the Prophet Habakkuk affures us in the aforecited Chapter, v. 7. 8. That there shall arife up fuddenly thofe that shall bite them, and a wake that shall vex them, and they shall be for Booties unto them; and because they have spoiled many Nations, all the Remnant of the People shall Spoil them.

S2. THAT this Judgment of the Sword bis Fudg fhall be more General and Univerfal in the ment all latter Days, is plainly foretold by the AnSurely come cient Prophets, as alfo by our Lord and


his Apoftles; by our Lord particularly in the above-mention'd place of St. Matthew and St. Luke; and by the Holy Apoftles, when they Prophecy of the perillous Times that fhall come in the latter Days; where they tell us, that Men fhall abound in all thofe evil Qualities, which, as we before obferv'd, are the Seeds and Fuel of all the Strife, War, and Bloodfhed, that fo often difturb the Peace of Mankind, and put the World in Confufion. Thus St. Paul to Tim. 2 Ep. 3. 3, 4. tells us, that in the laft Days, Men fhall be lovers of themselves, covetous, proud, disobedient, truce-breakers, falfe accufers; or (as the Margin reads it) makebates, fierce, traiterous, headstrong, and highminded. Such are the Scoffers walking after. their own Lufts, whom St. Peter, 2 Ep. 3. prophecies of; and the Mockers, Murmurers and Complainers, of St. Jude 16. 18. By which I understand, that thefe Vices were to be more common and prevailing in the Times. here prophecy'd of, than ufual; otherwise it were no great wonder if it were only meant that there fhould be fome fuch Perfons in the World; for that hath been in every Age and Period of it. And when foever Mankind fhall be thus corrupted;. when Men fhall be difcontented with their Conditions, and covet what does not belong to them; when Men fhall defpife and difobey their Superiours, violate their Oaths and Promises, delight in railing Accufations, and flanderous Stories, be rebellious, stubborn, and headftrong, what can be the Confequence, but War, Contention, Vio


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lence, and Defolation? The Circumstances of which muft differ, according to the Quality and Authority of the first Movers, and the Grounds and Principles upon which they act. Thus fome Quarrels fhall be only Domestick or Oeconomical, confin'd to one or more Families, dividing the Members or Relatives of the fame Houfe; as when the Father is divided against the Son, and the Son against the Father; the Mother against the Daughter, and the Daughter against the Mother; the Mother-in-law against the Daughter-inlaw, and the Daughter-in-law against the Mother-in-law, Matth. 10. 34. Luke 12. 1. Others fhall be Political, betwixt Members of the fame Society or Body Politick, or betwixt the Members and the Head: Such are the bold Infults of Traytors and Rebels. The Laft is National, when Kingdom fhall rife up against Kingdom, and Nation against Nation, which in this place we particularly regard.

3. That it 3. THAT this latter Kind fhall be Unifall be U-verfal in the latter Days, 15, I think, abunmiuerfal dantly foretold by the Prophets, who do in many places tell us of Univerfal Defolations by the Sword, which fhall come upon all the Earth; which, tho' fome Interpreters do understand only of the Land of Judea, and fo confine it to that Deftruction which was brought upon the Land by the Chaldeans, Babylon, or the Romans, rendring the Words * not all the Earth, but all the Land, or the whole Land: Yet I believe it is poffible to produce fome Prophecies, that are utterly uncapable of fuch a Limitation,

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