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PART III.

Of the FAMIN E.

73

Amos 4.7. I have with-holden the Rain from you, when there is yet three Months to the Harveft, and I caufed it to rain upon one City, and caused it not to rain upon another City : One piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. V.9. I bave fmitten you with Blafting and Mil- bear Blofdew; when your Gardens, and Vineyards, and foms, or your Fig-trees, and your Olive-trees encreafed * Fruit, the Palmer-worm devoured them.

ג

Began to

fructifie,

more properly.

Punish

Sx. TH HE next Inftance of Judgment, The Famine which God will bring upon the hall be the impenitent World in the latter Days, will Puni ment of the be the Famine; which (according to our Luft of Bleffed Lord's Prediction, Matth. 24. 7. the Flesh. Mark 13. 8.) fhall be one of the great Afflictions of thofe Days, and which feems as if it were peculiarly intended to punish the laft great Branch of Sin, The Luft of the Flesh: Which is fuch a degree of brutish Degeneracy, as to fet a Man almost upon the Level with the Beasts that perish; and those Perfons who are in Captivity to this Sin, are not only Strangers to the Life and Light of God, but are fo miferably blinded, as not to be able to receive the dim Light of Reason it self, which (if they would

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but open their Eyes) would reprove 20 condemn thofe beaftly and luxurious Ple fures, which they fo inconfiderately i dulge themselves in. These are they that far away the evil Day, and caufe the Seat Violence to come near; They lye upon Beds of ea and stretch themselves upon Couches, and esti Lambs out of the Flock, and the Calves at of the midst of the Stall; They chant to the fund of the Viol, and invent to themselves Inftrume of Mufick; They drink Wine out of Bowls, anoint themfelves with the chief Ointmen Amos the 6th, v. 34, 56. They rife up ear in the Morning that they may follow ftrong Drin and continue until Night, till Wine inflame them and the Harp, and the Viol, and the Pipe, a Wine are in their Feafts, Ifa. 5. II, 12. B they regard not the Works of the Lord, nor the Operation of his Hands: Nay, though th Hand of God be lifted up over them they will not fee, Ifa. 26. 11. But in their impetuous Purfuit of new Pleafures and fresh Enjoy ments, they defpife and overlook all manner of Obligations, whether of Civility or Religion; and rather than want what they defire, they will ftick at no manner of Violence or Injuftice. They will even re move Land-marks, and violently drive away th Flocks of the Poor, and feed thereof; They driv away the Afs of the Fatherless, and take the W dow's Ox for a Pledge; They turn the Needy of the way, and make the Poor of the Ear bide themjelves together; They cause the Naku to lodge without Clothing, that they have Covering in the cold; They pluck the Faber from the Breaft, and take a Pledge of the Poor;

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They caufe him to go Naked, and take away the Sheaf from the Hungry, who though they make Oil within their Walls, and tread their Winepreffes, yet are forced to fuffer Thirst, Job 24. They will not give Water to the weary to drink, and they with-bold Bread from the hungry; They fend the Widows away empty, and break the Arms of the Fatherlefs. Whilft themselves are mighty and poffefs the Earth, Job 22. Their Seed is established in their fight, and their Houfes are Safe from fear, neither is the Rod of God upon them; They fend forth their little Ones like Flock, and their Children dance; They take the Timbrel and Harp, and rejoice at the found of the Organ, Job 21. They are not in Trouble like other Folks, neither are they plagued like other Men; Their Eyes ftand out with fatness, and they have more than Heart can wish; These are they that profper in the World, and thefe have Riches in abundance, Pfal. 73.

Sin more

$ 2. THESE feem to me to be the Perfons This pointed at by the Holy Spirit, as eminent- Branch of ly and peculiarly comprehended under this particular great Branch of Sin,The Luft of the Flesh. Now ly confiderthis Sin may be confidered divers ways; ed. I. In General; as it confifts in a perfect Oppofition to that Mortification and Abftinence, fo earneftly recommended both by the Examples and Precepts of our Blef fed Lord and all his faithful Followers, and fo it expreffes a fixt Refolution, or rather a blind Impetus or Inclination to all forts of Pleasure, though never fo brutifh, or op pofite to the Purity and Dignity of Human Nature, or the Will of God: And at the fame time (which is neceffarily implied)

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2 fix: Avertion to all forts of Croffes and Sufferings, though never fo Salutary, or for never fo good Reasons, yea, though it were to gain an infinity of Happiness in Reverfion; but, like the Beafts that perish, the Man of Pleasure is affected with nothing but what can for the prefent gratifie the furious Appetites of the Animal Life, to which he is intimately wedded; that being the only Principle that is awakened in him, and in which he may be properly faid to be swallowed up. II. It may be confidered in its feveral Branches, as it may be diverfified in the Gratification of each particular Senfe; fuch are the gratifying the Palate with delicious and luxurious Meats and Drinks, folely for the fake of Pleasure; the Ear with Jovial Songs or Diffolute Tunes, which can have no other Effect, than to ftir up and footh the Animal Inclinations, &c. And fo of others, even those which are particularly and emphatically called The Lufts of the Flesh. III. It may be alfo confidered in its Effects and Confequences; fuch as are the strengthening our Self-Love, the great Root and Fountain of Iniquity in us, and the Deftruction of Christian Charity; inasmuch as this prompts a Man to all manner of Violence, in order to obtain whatsoever his Soul lufteth after; whether his Neighbour's Wife, Goods or Eftate, if he can but do it fecurely from the Judgment of this World; and at the fame time hardens his Heart against the Afflictions of his needy Brother, whom he neglects and defpifes,

left

left it should disturb his Reft, or for his Enjoyments; or because he is fure he fhall get nothing by him. Under this Head may alfo be comprehended that Sin of theirs, who being Strangers to the Life of Faith, believe that Man can live no other way than by Bread alone, notwithstanding what the Scriptures have told us, Deut. 8, 3. Matth. 4. 4. Luke 4. 4. that Man doth not live. by Bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the Mouth of God; i. e. God can, notwithstanding the want of all external visible Means of Subfiftence, fupernaturally provide for us, either by procuring for us neceffary Food, or fupporting us without; of both which we have frequent Inftances in the Holy Scriptures: Of this fort were the Ifraelites in the Wilderness, who murmured against God, for having brought them into the Wilderness, where he was not able to fupport them, Exod. 16. As alfo the unbelieving Lord, 2 Kings 7. And thofe Gentiles of whom our Saviour fpeaks, Matth. 6. who were perpetually carking and caring for their Subfiftence in this Life, without one Grain of Faith, to believe that God knew their Wants and Neceffities, and would infallibly fupply them, if they had but Faith to believe in him. But these latter seem not to be fo deeply immersed in the Luft of the Flesh as the other.

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3. THIS feems to be the Portraiture That this of the grand Branch of Sin, which is at Sin does this Day fo very prevailing, amongst all ufually produce Sorts and Degrees of Men, in fome In-this Puftance nishmen

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