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Vol. VII.

SERMON VII.

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.

I

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

should

au should hope for impunity ; God is not Vol.VII. slack concerning his promise, as some men

count packnes.

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

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

there

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Ma there was like to be so little time for
Vol. VII.

it ; and likewise to wean their affecti.
ons from this World, which they
thought to be so near an end.

One thing indeed our Saviour says,
which (had they not been prepossest
with another Opinion) does sufficient-
ly intimate that there might be a con-
siderable space of time, betwixt the
destruction of Jerusalem and the day
of Judgment; and this we find only
in St. Luke, Ch. 21. 24. where speak.
ing.of the Miseries and Calamities that
should come upon the Jews, he says,
They fall fall by the edge of the sword,
and be carried into captivity into all na.
tions; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down
of the Gentiles, until the time of the
Gentiles be fulfilled. So that here were
a great many Events foretold, betwixt
the destruction of Jerusalem and the
end of the World, the accomplish-
ment whereof might take up a great
deal of time, as appears by the Event
of things, Jerusalem being at this day
still trodden down by the Gentiles, and the
Jews ftill continuing disperft over the
world: but the Disciples it feems did
not much mind this, being carryed a-
way with a prejudicațe conceit that

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