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and true; Pfal. 147. 11. 'tis said, Vol.VII That God taketh pleasure in them that
hope in his mercy. As he delights in mercy, so in our acknowledgments of it ; that Sinners should conceive great hopes of it, and believe him to be what he is. Provided thou dost submit to the terms of God's mercy, thou haft no reason to despair of it ; and he that thinks that his fins are more or greater than the mercy of God can pardon, must think that there may be more evil in the Creature than there is gordness in God.
Ve 5. By way of Caution against the presumptuous Sinner. If there be any that tiefpafs upon tle goodness of God, and presume to encourage them. felves in fin upon the hopes of his mer. cy, lét such know, that God is just as well as merciful. A God all of mercy is an Idol, such a God as Men fer up in their own imaginations"; but not the true God, whom the Scriptures de fcribe. To such persons the Scripture describes him after another manner ; Nah,s.2.God is jealous,the Lord revengelh endis furious, the Lord will take venge. ince on his adversaries, and reserveth wrath for his enemies. If any Man a
buse the mercy of God to the strength ning of himself in his own. wickedness, Vol.VII. and bless himself in his heart, saying, Í jball have peace, tho’ I walk in the imagination of my own heart and add drunkeness to thirji : The Lord will not spare him, but the anger of the Lord and his jealoua fie fall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book Jhall lye upon him, and he will blot out his name from under heaven, Deut. 29. 19,
Though it be the nature of God to be merciful, yet the exercise of his mercy is regulated by his Wisdom ; he will not be merciful to those that despise his mercy, to those that abuse it, to those that are resolved to go on in their fins to tempt
mercy, and make bold to say, Let us sin that grace may abound, .God designs his mercy for those that are prepared to receive it ; IJ. 55. 7. Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and turn unto the Lord, and he will have mercy,
and to our God, for he will abun. dantly pardon. The mercy of God is an enemy to sin, as well as his justice; and 'cis no where ofer’d to countenance sin, but to convert the finner
and is not intended to encourage our Vol Vil. impenitency,
impenitency, but our repentance, God hath no where said that he will be merciful to those, who upon the score of his mercy are bold with him, and presume to offend him ; but the mercy of the Lord is upon them that fear him, and keep his covenant, and remem. ber his commandments to do them. There is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared; but not that he
may Sed and affronted. This is to contradi&t the very end of God's mercy, which is to lead us to repentance, to engage us to leave our sins, not to encourage us to continue in them.
Take heed then of abusing the mercy of God; we cannot provoke the justice of God more than by presuming upon his mercy. This is the time of God's mercy, use this opportunity; if thou neglecteft it, a day of justice and vengeance is coming; Rom.2. 4,5. DeSpisest thou the riches of his goodness, not knowing that the goodness of God leads to repentance ? And treasuresi up to thy self wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God? Now is the manifestation of God's mercy; but there is a time a
coming, when the righteous Judgment of God will be revealed against Vol.VIL those who abuse his mercy, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth to repentance. To think that the goodness of God was intended for any other end than to take us off from sin, is a gross and affected ignorance that will ruin us; and they who draw any conclufion from the mercy of God, which may harden them in their fins, 'they are such as the Prophet speaks of, if. 27. 11. A people of no understanding ; therefore he that made them will not save them, and he that formed them will have no mercy on them. Mercy it felf will rejoyce in the ruin of those that abuse it,and it will aggravate their Condemnation. There is no person towards whom God will be more severely just, than toward such. The justice of God exasperated, and set on by his injured and abused mercy, like a Razor fet in Oyl, will have the keener edge, and be the sharper for its smoothness. Those that have made the mercy of God their Enemy, must expect "the worst his justice cando unto them.