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in this present life, but for oar unspeakable res
happiness to all eternity; to him who de- Vol.VII.
signed this happines to us from all eternity,
and whose mercy and goodnes to us endures
for ever; who when by willful tranfgressions
and disobedience, we had plunged our selves
into a state of sin and misery, and had for-
feited that happiness which we were design-
ed to, was pleased to restore us to a new ca-
pacity of it, by sending his only Son to take
our nature with the miseries and infirmities
of it, to live among us, and to die for us;
in a word, to him who is infinitely good to
us, not only contrary to our deserts, but
beyond our hopes, who renews his mercy up-
on us every morning, and is patient tho'
we provoke him every day, who preserves
and provides for us, and sparés us continue
ally, who is always willing, always watch-
ful, and never weary to do us good; to
him be all glory and honour, adoration and
praise, love and obedience, now and for e-

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The Lord is long suffering, and of great

Mercy.

I

Have considered God's Goodness
in general. There are two emi-

nent Branches of it, his Patience and Mercy. The Patience of God is his goodness to them that are guilty, in deferring or moderating their deserved punishment; the Mercy of God is his goodness to them that are or may be misèrable. 'Tis the last of these two 'I design to discourse of at this time; in doing which, I shall inquire,

First, What we are to understand by the Mercy of God.

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w Secondly, Shew you, that this perVol.VII. fe&tion belongs to God.

Thirdly, Consider the degree of it, that God is of great Mercy.

First, What we are to understand by the Mercy of God.

I told you it is his goodness to them that are in misery, or liable to it ; that is, that are in danger of it, or have deserved it. 'Tis mercy to prevept the misery that we are liable to, and which may befal us, tho? it be not a&ually upon us. 'Tis mercy to defer the misery that we deserve, or mitigate it ; and this is properly patience and forbearance 'Tis mercy to relieve those that are in misery, to fupport or comfort them. 'Tis mercy to remit the misery we deserve, and by pardon and forgiveness to remove and take away the obligation to punishmnent.

Thus the mercy of God is usually in Scripture set forth to us by the affection of pity and compassion, which is an affection that causeth a sensible commotion and disturbance in us, upon the apprehension of some great Evil that lies upon another, or hangs over him. Hence it is that God is

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said in Scripture to be grieved and af.

Vol. VII flicted for the miseries of Men ; his bow. els are said to found, and his heart to turn within him. But tho'God is pleafed in this manner to set forth his mercy

and tenderness towards us, yet we must take heed how we cloath the Divine Nature with the Infirmities of human Passions. We must not mea. sure the Perfection of God by the Expressions of his condescenţion; and because he stoops to our weakness, level him to our Infirmities. When God is said to pity us, we must take away the imperfection of this Passion, the commotion and disturbance of it, and not imagine any such thing in God; but we are to conceive, that the mercy and compassion of God, without producing the disquiet, do produce the effects of the most senlible. pity.

Secondly, That this . Perfection belongs to God.

All the Arguments that I used to prove the goodneß of God, from the acknowledgment of natural Light, and from Scripture and Reason, sørve to prove that he is merciful; because the mercy of God is an eminent Branch of

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