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and Skill in the Science of War, 1-feaJI forbear transcribing them, upon this Oceaiion.
2 Sam.iii. \\rc rea(j that there was long wdr between the house of Saul; and the house of David; Jshbosheth the Son of the former, by the
ib. ii. i«. Strength of a mighty Party, reigning over Israel two years, in Opposition to the latter; who, all that while, had no other Adherents than the House of Judah. But God having given away the Kingdom from the House of Saul to that of David, as had long before been declard by the Prophet Samuel and all Obstacles being by degrees remov'd out of his Way j all the Tribes and Elders
ib. v. 3. of Israel came to him to Hebron: And hi made a league with them in Hebron, before the Lord j and they anointed David King over Israel.
David was victorious in all his Battles; and having subdued the Nations round about him, left the Kingdom in profound Peace to his Son Solomon; who was wife enough to maintain and preserve ir, in the same Condition, all his Days; to fay nothing of his adorning and improving it with the advantageous Benefits of Commerce, and those Arts and Sciences which so constantly attend a solid and weH-establim'd;
Peace, and are the almost infallible Test of its being so. . ,,i n.yS
After the Death of Solomon, the Kingdom's being divided in two, laid a Foundation for frequent Bickerings between the Kings of Judah and Israel; in which they harrafs'd and worried each other. But this . was not all j by their presumptuous Disobedience they provok'd the Lord, to raise them up Enemies out of the mighty Nations of the Egyptiansy Syrians, Assyrians* and Babylonians: Whereby Israel was finally carried away into Captivity, from which they never return'd; and Judah into one for seventy Years j as we have more fully declar'd already.
And the latter, after their Return, were again oppress'd by the Syrians-, infested by the Samaritans; and oblig'd to contend with the Idumeeans, and other Nations that border'd upon them. Of all whom, after a long Course of Troubles, they had no sooner got the better, than they began to fall out among themselves; and by that means, gave the Romans both a Handle and an Opportunity to reduce them under their Subjection. In which State they continued till their factious, stubborn Spirits,
laid those Conquerors of the Worirfshjde?
a Necessity of destroying their Cfc^r T2fa pie and Nation. • • - * j
... co.vcr trs/ o.^^
To conclude. From this Revk^tf the Bible, every serious impartial Mind will be ready to allow, that there is nothing contain'd in it deserving that Sneer and Contempt, with which raw and shallow-Thinkers are apt to treat it. As the oldest: History of the most ancient People, ic is venerabk upon account of -.its Antiquity. As it delineates the merciful Judgments of God, and abounds with all those Precepts of Morality which relate to the Duty of Man, it must appear to be a sacred and a divine Book to every unprejudiced Reader. And, to those who truly believe the Contents of it, and know by Faith hovv to apply them, it will ever be an inexhaustible Fountain of spiritual Consolation;4 ■
Here, we see that God, of his infinite Goodness, created Man in a State of Innocence and Purity, and gave him to understand that nothing but his own wilful Disobedience could ever occasion his Ruin. That, Man j notwithstanding this fair Warning
ing did disobey; and thereby, not only forfeit his own Happiness, but, by a kind of Contagion, propagate his Sin and Misery, among his unhappy Progeny. No Circumstance of which Proceeding appears, in the least, to impeach God's Benignity, but only to demonstrate the Weakness and Depravity of Man. The Certainty of which Truth the wife Son of David discovers, when all the rest of his Searches were vain and fruitless. Lo! this only have I found, Eccles. that God made man uptight', but they have vii-Z9* Jbught out many inventions.
Nor has Man any Reason to complain that he Was not created in such a State of Perfection, as to have been incapable of falling. Since absolute Perfection is an incommunicable Property of the very and eternal God alone. Who was sufficiently gracious to Man, in creating him with Fa^ culties capable of distinguishing between both positive and moral Good and Evil; and with a free Will to choose accordingly. The Possibility of offending in the Creature, is implied in the Existence of Mercy in the fupreamBeing; there is so close a Connection between them, that the one cannot subsist without the other.
But farther, to convince Mankind that they are not the onl3f.Creatu*e*&u$>i«|calt with, we read of a Fall of Angeky w/xv though in a Class, weknow not how much, John viii. superior to ours, abode not in the truth,œ& Jude 6. consequently keptTiot their first estate, but aPeuii.4. jgj'ttbeir Own habitation, and are-re/trved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day* Whose prosent Situation appears to be, at least, at much more deplorable than ours, as in their primitive Condition they excelled us* For no sooner was Man fallen, but he was rais'd from Despair .fey the comforta\>b Prospect of a futus«lR)Bi'D Semir. The Promise os whose Coming, for the Salvation of Mankind, was the Object of Faith to them that liv'd before his Time; as the Performance is to those who have been born since. And, as it is reveal'd that God created the World, and sent our Saviour into it, in the Fulness of Time, it must be an Instance of Weakness or Presumption in any one to ask, Why God did not do both these things sooner; since we maybe sure his Wisdom best knew the proper Times for both, and conclude that his Goodness determin'd him to employ them accordingly.