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The Pacience of God.
2 PET. III. 9.
The Lord is not slack concerning his Pro
mise, as some Men count Jackness ; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all bould come to Repentance.
Have made entrance into these words, in the handling of which, I propos’d to do these three things. First, To consider the patience and long-suffering of God, as it is an Attribute and Perfection of the Divine Nature' ; God is long (uffering to usward.
Secondly, To shew that the Patience of God, and the delay of his Judg- . ment, is no just ground why Sinners
au should hope for impunity ; God is not Vol.VII. slack concerning his promise, as some men
Thirdly, To consider the true reason of God's patience and long-suffering towards Mankind; He is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. I have already spoken to the
First of these, namely, The patience and long-suffering of God, as it is an Attribute and Perfection of the Divine Nature. I proceed now to the
Second thing I proposed, namely, To shew that the Patience of God, and the delay of Judgment, is no just ground why. Sinners Thould hope for impunity ; Godi is not flack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness ; that is, as the Scoffers here mentioned by the Apostle, did ignorantly and maliciously reason, that because our Lord delayed his coming to Judgment so long, therefore he would never come.
There was indeed some pretence for this Objection, because the Chriftians did generally apprehend, thật the day of Judgment was very near, and that it would immediately follow
the destruction of Jerusalem ; and it seems the Disciples themselves were
Vol. VII ofthat perswasion before our Saviour's death, when our Saviour discoursing to them of the destruction of the Temple,they put these two questions to him, Mat. 24. 3. And as he lat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? When Sall these things be? That is, the things he had been speaking of immediately. before, viz. the destruction of Feru.' Salem, and the dissolution of the Temple ; that is plainly the meaning of the first question, to which they subjoined another, And what Ball be the sign of thy coming? that is to Judgment; and of the end of the world? which in all probability, was added to the former ; because they supposed that the one was presently to follow the other, and therefore the same answer would serve them both; and it appears by our Saviour's answer, that he was not concerned to rectifie them in this mistake, which might be of good use to them, both to make them more zealous to propagate the Gospel, since
Ma there was like to be so little time for
it ; and likewise to wean their affecti.
One thing indeed our Saviour says,