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Robert Smith.

A wheel in the middle of a wheel: or, Harmony and connexion of various acts of Divine Providence : A sermon delivered before the second Rev. Presbytery of New-Castle, and their correspondents, met at White-Clay-Creek, January 2d, 1759. online

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Online LibraryRobert SmithA wheel in the middle of a wheel: or, Harmony and connexion of various acts of Divine Providence : A sermon delivered before the second Rev. Presbytery of New-Castle, and their correspondents, met at White-Clay-Creek, January 2d, 1759. → online text (page 1 of 4)
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A Wheel in the MJ^DLF, OF A

OR,
The HARMONY and CONNEXION of

the various Afts of DIVINR P|l O V I D : fe N C E.



A



SERMON



Delivered before the fecond Rev. PRES-
BYTERY or NEW-CASTLE, and their CORRESPON-
DENTS, met at WHITE-CLAY-CREEK, January 2d,
'7S9'



By ROBERT SMITH,

Minifter of the Gofpel at PEQ.UEA.



Publiflied at. the Requeft'of the Hearers,



PHIL ADELPHI As

Printed by W. D.UNLAP, at the Nevveft-Printmg. Office,

MDCCLIX,



p PI
547




THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA



GIFT OF

Lewis F, Lengfeld



A Wheel in the Middle of a Wheel,

;

A

SERMON,



Ezekiel, i, 16. ffheir Appearance and tbeir Work was
as it were a WHEEL IN <IHE MIDDLE OF A



Y the Vifion of Wheels, and living Creatures
in this Chapter, Gondifcovered to E&kiel
?, particularly refpeding the
>, together with the Minifers of it.
The Minifters of divine Providence, are the 4nge1s t
thofe bright Intelligences of Glory, who are faid to
be four inNumber(<0, probably anfwering to the four
Wheels of a Chariot, the Appearance of which is fup-
pofcd in thisVifion(6). They are reprefcnted as hav-
ing

(a) Verfe, 5.

(b) In the ("acred Oracles, Angels are frequently called CHERU-
RJM, which Term has a near Affinity withREHUBIM thatfigni-
fies CHARIOTS. Now Chariots being the Honor, Defence, and
Military Strength of a Nation, and often ufed to humble haughty In-
vadors : and as in this Vifion we have reprefented the Chuiches

Glory



ing the Face of a Man, to denote their Wifdom and Sa-
gacity ; the Face of a Lion, to denote their Strength ;
the .Fdce of an Ox, to denote their Diligence in Bufinefs,
and the Face of an Eagle, to denote their Sttllimenefs .
The #.*<fr o/ <*^/* afcribed to them, may fignify their
Facility in doing their Work. Their Feet were
Kraight, not weakly, bending to this Side or that, but
with unconquered Firmnefs, proceeding to fulfil their
Million ; the Sole of which was like the Sole of a Calfs
Foot, pointing out their Purity, perhaps, as under the
Law, the Ox dividing the Hoof, was clean. They
had the Appearance of Lamps, and burning Coals of Fire,
their 'Fettfparkled like Brafs, and they ran as a F/ajh of
Lightning, to teach us their 48'ivity, their Brightneff,
and their faming Zeal for GOD. By their Wings we
are taught their Speed in executing divine Orders ; their
Readinefs to obey, and Concord, by their Wings ftretcbed
up, and joining to each other. As with two lifted up they
were ready to fly, fo with two they covered their Bodies,
cither to intimate Reverence and Decency, or to conceal
themfelves and their Ads, the overpowering Splendor
of which, is too glorious for our feeble Sight. Each
of the living Creatures had four Wings and four Foces t
confequently they ftood in equal Direction to every
Quarter of the Earth, ready co proceed where ve r they
were commanded. They wentjiraight forward, and
turned not when they went, by which it appears, that
they feadily profecute their Cottrfe, till they do the

Errand

Glory and Safety, Chaftifement and Deliverance from Calamity, by
the Providence of GOD conduced by Angels ; I therefore conclude,
that, moft probably, the Angels are her likened to liviflg Creature?
yoaked in a Chariot.



C 7 3

Errand on which they are fent, and in the Difcharge
of their Truft, they obferve divine Directions ; for wbe~
tberfoever the Spirit was to go, they went.

THUS we RrAthefeMniflersofGODj arecompleat-
ly qualified to tranfact the grand important Affairs
committed to them. How they do their Work, we
cannot tell, becaufe of our fmall Acquaintance with
the World of Spirits. It is of more Importance for
us to know the glorious Scene they A&> or divine Provi-
dence of which they are the Minifters. Now this is re-
prefenred by ONE WHEEL Standing by the LIVING
CRE47[/RES(c\ i. e. cne Standing by each of the
four living Creatures ; for the Wheels are four in
Number(df). And perhaps one only is mentioned here,
to teach us, that the Scene of Providence is but ONE t
tho* its Acts and Caufes are many. In Colour they
were like Beryl, i. e. a Sea-green, which either re-
fpscts the fluctuating Nature of external Difpenfations,
or rather the iritrinfic Beauty and Vigor of the Church,
to which the Wheels have a fpecial Direction. They
had ALL ONE LIKENESS, to fliew the exa& Agree-
went fubfifting between the various A8$ of divine Provi-
dence, which are all framed and direfted by the fame
exquiftte



THEN we are informed in the Words of my Text,
that tbeir Appearance and tleir U f ork was as it were a
WHEEL 7N THE MIDDLE OF J WHEEL. Some
fuppofe the Prophet here alludes to the Wheels of a

Ifttcb

(c) Vcrfc, 15. (d) Verfe, 18.



C 8 3

or Clock, which in their various Movements
concur, and mutually aflift each other in promoting the
Defgn of the Machine. But it appears more probable
to me, that the Figure is borrowed from the Wheels of
a Chariot, which are either of a circular Form, alefler
one being contained within a greater ; or rather of a
fpherical Figure, two Wheels croffing and interfering
each other at oppofite Points, the four Semi-circles of
which, compofe the four Sides, and the four Faces of
the Wheels mentioned Verfe 17. Thus have weaFigure
exactly reprefeming the Ideas the Spirit of GOD feems
here to teach us, viz. that the various Caufes in, and
48s of divine Providence, alike eafily affed: all Places
where GOD has Work to do, zn&fweetly concur in effec-
ting the Defgns of Heaven, how different foever their Di-
rections are ; for the Wheels are connected together ; 'i
fuch a Manner, as to form a Globe, or Sphere, with/0#"
Sides and four Faces, anfwering to the four Wings and
four Faces of the living Creatures, which look to the
four Quarters of the Earth ; and can therefore as readi-
ly move to one Place as to another, without the diffi-
cult, tedious Work of turning round, that (when the
Courfe is changed) circular Wheels are oblidged to.

DOCT. THO* the luflrurnents, and ^Bs of divine
Providence, have various tendencies and Directions, and
may feem to interfere with each other, yet a beautiful Con-
nexion and Harmony /ubfifi between them, in accompUfiing
GO D*s glorious Defgns towards the World in general, and
the Church in particular.



THAT



r 9 3

THAT DIFINE PRQFWEKCE fuperintends the
whole Creation, muft be granted by all that credit the
Scripture. His Kingdom rule s over d//(e). The Hea-
vens and the Earth, with their various H ,fts, all obey
the Commandof their Afaker(f)- He obferves the moft
minute Affairs ; for the very Hairs of our Head are all
numbered ; nor fliali zfngle Sparrow fall to the Ground
without his



THE regular Conduit of the inanimate World, and
the various ^Tribes of Infefis, proves a Providence . By
the imprefs of the divine Hand, univerfal Syltems ex-
off ly perform their various Revolutions . The litile Ant
without Intelligence, lays up Winter Stores in Summer,
and the diligent Bee builds her an Houfe, unequalled
by the skill of the voifef 4rcl>ite8 t r Mathematician.

No other Caufe can be affigncd for preternatural Ef-
feSs. The Lions devoured Daniel's Perfecutcrs be-
fore they reached the Bottom of the Den ; but hud no
Power againft himfelf. Nebuchadnezzar's fiery Fur-
nace, heated feven Fold, had no Influence on the three
Children, tho* it confumed the mighty Men who caft
them into it. The Fire ftood around Dionyjtus and Po~
lycarp) after the Manner of a Ships Sail full of Wind,
and xonld not touch them. Now, whatever a&s only
naturally i a&s ncceflarily, the Fire bums (jud uHimum
fuipoffet) to the utmoft Extent of its Power, confe-
qustly fuch Prefervations can proceed from Nothing
v B clfc,



e) Pfalm tin. 19. (f) Pfalm cxlvii, cxlviii. and Job xxxviii,
"atthew x, 29, 30*



C 10 3

elfe, than the irrejiflable Providence of GOD, idio can
give Check to the fixed Laws of Nature.

BESIDES, if GOD does not rule the World, the
Creatures are their own con/ewers^ which is as great ah
Abfurdity, as to.fuppbfe they were their own Creators.
The World can no more continue independent, than it
could exifl independent. Whatfoever owes its Being to
Power t owes the Prefervatien of its Being to that Jame
Power.

BUT to prepare this Subject further for Improve-
ment, I fliall briefly difclofe the Nature, and Properties
of D1F1NE PROVIDENCE, and then illuftrate and
confirm the Doctrine.



I. DIVINE PROVIDENCE,
CdREofthe World, by which hepreferves all the Crea-
tures, and Governs all their dflions'.

Firft. Govprefervet tie World, which he does by
upholding the Creatures in their diftinft Ranks of ffe-
ing, maintaining them, and providing fuicableSuftain-
ance for tjie Support of their feveral Natures. In him
<welive t move, and have our Bewgs(hy, and he upholds
all Things by the Word of fas Power(i). Tee LOKD pre-
fer 'ves Ala? and Beafi(]a} ; and the Eyes of alii kings wait
en him for Altai in dm Seafon, whoopenrhis Hand liber-
ally, and fatiifes the Defre of every Ihing that lives(l).
Jiis Blefling Caufes our Cloaths to warm, and Food to

nourifli

(h) Afts xvii. a8. (i) Hebrews i. 3, (k) Pfalm X3q<vi. 6.
(1) Pfalm cxlv, 15, 16,



C xi 3

nmii ifti us. Anc!,- b^ a perpetual Influx, he preferves
the Virtues and Powers of natural Beings in a Promp-
titude for Action, and enables them to aft fo as to at-
tain the various Ends of their Natures. As the Crea-
tures do not cxift by the intrinfa Principles of their
own Natures, they rauft depend on their Caufc for
Prefervation : For whatever receives its Being from
another, has Nothing to fupport its Being, but its
producing Caufe. If the Creatures fubfift independent
of JEHOVAH, they muft have a Self- lubfifting Nature,
and confequentlx are endowed with an incommunica-
ble Perfection of Deity, which is abfurd.



QUERY. Should GOD withhold [ufai
from the Creatures, would they drop into their primi-
tive Non-exiftence ?

ift. ANSWER. A nicer Sufpenfion of fuftanirig In-
fluence is impojfible ; GOD muft either/* 7 /// the Creatures
Exiftence, or A 1 /// it ; and then the Effect will n^cefla-
rily follow. But upon fuch a Sufpcnfion, were it
pofible, I cannot think the World would drop into a
State 6f Non-exiftence, otherwife the Creatures arc
only a meer Phantom, or Shadow. But as they are
produced by a pojitive A& of the divine U 7 iU^ they can-
not ceafe to be, till GOD really Nill their Exifwce : Ic as
certainty requires an Act of Almighty Power to anntii-
late, as it did to Create all flings.

ON the forefaid Hypothefis, indeed, Nature would

lofeits fyrings ofdffiwj and rulh into a wild Heap of

B a Corftfoa;



t 1* ]

Corfu/ton ; the beautiful Order of the Creatioo would be
broken, and all Things immediately reduced to their
original Chios. No more Ihould we breath vital Air,
nor the Crimfon flow in our Veins any more ! The
Earth would not produce Food for Man and Bcaft>
nor the Wings of the Wind fan the World ! The
winged Tribes would skim thro* the Air no more, nor
the Sea-Herd fport in the Waves ! Globes would dafh
on Globts, and univerfal Syfteras become the Wrack of
Matter ! As divine Providence prejerves t fo

idly. IT governs 'the IPorld, by directing and or-
daining all Events arid their Caufes as he pleafes. All
the Good or Evil, that affefts Individuals, or public
Communities, is ordered and appointed by him, who
does whatever pleafes him in Heaven, and in Earth, in the
Seaj,~ find all deep Places(m}. He puts down one, andfets
up anotber^rC) ; nor is there Evil in the Qty t and tie LORD
has not done #(o) ;

AND, as G o D orders Events, he alfo Rules all the Caufes
ufed as Instruments in bringing them to pafs, which
are of three Kinds, natural, accidental, and Moral.

ift. HE governs the natural World, the Heavens,
the Earth, theSea, and Air, which, with all the meer-
ly natural Beings contained in them, a& by a NeceJ/ity of
Nature, not of Choice. Matter attracts, or repels; the
Globes mutually Influence each other, and regularly

perform

(m) Pfalm cxxxv. 6. (n) Pfalm Ixxv. 7, (o) Araos iii, f



perform their various Movements, by \hc.fxeJ ta&s
ef FJeavw imprefled on them. Hence the Tides regu-
larly ebb and flow, and the Sun exhales Vapours from
our Earth, which, formed into pregnant Clouds, and
toffed on the Wings of the Wind, gently diftil hi
nourifliing Drops on the Earth again.

THEIR ALMIGHTY Former, opens the Trcafures
of the Snow and Hail, and unftops the Bottles of Hea-
ven ; lets loofe the imprifoned Wind, and at his Com-
mand Lightnings flafh, and Thunders roar. He gives
Springs to thele, and all other natural Caufes ; directs
their feveral Motions ; excites and curbs their various
Influences, as he pleafes : Where, in what Meafure^
and Seafon, they fluii give,, or withhold their Influ-
ence, he keeps in his own Power, and directs to an-
fwer the wife Ends of Governmcnt(^) . By thefe the
LORD produces, or deftroys the Fruits of the Earth,
and varioufly affects the Bodies of Mankind with
Health or Sicknefs ; and therefore by thele he governs
Moral Agents, rewards and punifhes *'.e World.

id. GOD governs accidwtalCaufts: Time and Cbance t
faysSoLOMON, btppentt all ^(q). Not thatChance,
or accident, can do any Thing(r) ; whatever is done,

has

(p) Job xjccrili. Joel ii. 23, 14, 25. Amos iv. 7, 8, 9. Jere-
. miah v. 24. (q) Ecclefiaftes ix. n.

(r) Ey Chance, Lack, and Accident, the Heathens understood
fomething that fell out without the Obfervation and Direftion of
Heaven j and I am apprehenfive that many profefled Chriftians,
wjckedly fix fome fuch Idea to thefe Terms. But however cafual,
sr accidental many Things are to us, Nothing is fo to GOD wh-a
and over-rules the very fmalleft Incidents.



t 14 3

has {bme natural Caufe that does it, an4 is determined
by Heaven's irre/tfable Order. But what we call an
accidental Caufe t is fuch a Concurrence of different natu-
ral Caufrs, a's produces unexpected and. undefiirnej tffefls ;
as one Man is unexpectedly enriched by finding a
Pur fe of Money ; another ts undefignedly impover-
ifhed by lofirig it. TFhe Hand of Heaven is in all fuch
Events, however dtbeijticafyttbuij/regtrtkflbj too ma-
ny. Nothing is more cafual than a L&t ; yet the whd*
difpofng thereof is ef the LORD(fy

$d . D TM N E Providence direfis and determines Moral
Caufes, or free Agents. When GOD rewards and pun-
iffies, heufually makes Choice of Men to execute his
Vengeance, and dtfpenie his Favors ; therefore he
fnuft have as abfolute a Government over afl their
Thoughts and Paflions, Counfels and Actions, as over
the Powers and Influences cf natural Caufes, otherwilcf
he cannot reward an(J punifh when, and as he pleafes;
our Lives, our Character and Eftates, v/ould entirely
depend on the fluctuating Humors of the World a-
rourdus. But tbe King's Heart is in the Hand of the
LORD, he turns it whither he ;/fl(t); and if the King's
Heart be in his Hand, certainly the Hearts of aJhthers
are in it. A Man's Heart may devife his IPty, but it is the
LORD that direfts lots Steps(u). GOD Influences Good
JVten to do that, which thro* Grace they have an In-
clination to, viz.. to glorify his Name, and do Good
to their Fellow-Men : Moved from a Reverence of

the

(0 Proverbs xvi. 33. (t) Proverbs xxi. i, (u) Proverbs xvi, 9.



r 15 i

the divine Law, and Gofpel Motives, thrydo out of
Temper and Inclination, what others are conftraincd
to. If at any Time they are left to Sin, he over rules
even this for Good, as in the Cafe of Jo/epk's Brethren's
felling him to the JJbmaelites. And through a peculi-
ar Impreffion of Fear, or Hope, Defire of Hoaor,
Alteration of Circu romances, or Interceffion of others,
the wicked are often reftrained from their evil Pur*
pofcs, or obliged to do that .Good which their wicked
Hearts did not incline to do. Thus Laban was not
fufFered to hurt Jacob, and Efaus Rage againft him was
ftayed ; Cyrus gave Orders to build the Temple and
Walls of Jerujalern, and dbafucrus commanded Deli-
verance to the Jews. Sometimes the LORD permits
them to execute the Evil Purpofes their debauched In-
clinations prompt them to, and thereby defervedly
punifhes themfelves and others, or over-rules their
Evil Deeds for Good : The JJJirian, the Rod of bis 4n-
ger, was lent againft Ifrael as a Scourge for their Ini-
quities, tho' be meant not Jo, nor did his Heart think fo( w);
Saul was fuffered to follow his wicked Devices, as a
juft Punifhment to himielf, and rebellious Jjrutl ; and
Deliverance arofe to Mrdecai, and the Jews, when
the Evil Haman defigned againft them, returned oi|
himfelf. But it is Time to confider

II. THE PROPERTIES of DIVINE PROVIDENCE.

I/. GOD rules the World with Jwtreign, abfohte
Power: He ruteth by his Power for ever, and dotb accord-
ing
(w) Ifaiah x . 6, jr,



[ 16 ]

ing to lit Will In tie Armies of Heaven, and among tie In-
habitants of the Earth, and none can fay bit Hand, or fay
unto him what dof /&( x) ? It docs not become
infinite WifHom to give Account of his Matters, nor
the Modefty of the Creature to demand it ; for, as ab~
ftlttte Power made all Things, it gives an abfolute RigH?
to a fovcreign irrt.ffible Government of all Things. He
fw ays a Scepter fo arbitrary, and uncontrollable, that
no Good, or Evil, can befal any of the Creatures,
but what he pleafes, and appoints for them.

NOR does this infer a fatal Neceflity kid upon hu-
man Actions : For Men Will, and Cbitfe as freely, and
purfue what they fuppofe makes for their own Intereft
and Satisfaction, as much, as if they were left entirely to
tfair own Management. Good Men do Good with Com -
placency ; and all the Evils wicked Men praclife, are
their own free Choice, even when they ferva thofe
Ends they never thought of ; fometiir.es alfo, thro*
Fear of the Confequcnce of omitting, and Hopes from
the Confequence of Acting, they chuie to do Good,
contrary to the prevailing Bias of their corrupt
Minds ; therefore they are, and always Ac^ as free d-
gents. Now, the Liberty of the rational Jj?W, muft
confift in ABlng out of Choice, and not in an Indifferency
to any Thing or itsoppofite ; otherwifc GOD himfelf,
who A&s with infinitely per} eft Liberty, is not free in his
Afts ; for tho' he has a moft abfolute Free Jam to do Good,
he cannot poffibly do a iveak t orfnful &w>-



(x) Pfalm kvi. 7, Daniel iv. 3|-



C 17 3

NEITHER is it any Reflection upon the Purity of the
divine Government, that it is abfolute ; for tho* GOD
irreverfibiy determines every Event t he moves none to Sin \
but the finful Actions of Men, (which are all of them-
felves) he over-rulesfor Good, toaccompliili his own
glorious Ends. GOD fent Jofeph into Egypt, and ad-
vanced him unto Pharaoh's Throne ; but the Sin of fel-
ling him to the Ijbntaelitefj lay at his Brethren's Door :
4s for you, (fays he to them) ye thought EvilagAinf me ;
but GOD meant it unto Good(y).
I

FROM all which we may learn the Righteoufnefs of
divine Conduct, in the various Afflictions laid on the
Children of Men ; for as they Sin of Choice, and at-
tempt to cake the Reins of Government out of his Hand t
with the greateft Equity GOD revenges their Infults on
his Majefty, and Contempt of his Authority.

IT is the Glory of GOD'S Dominion, andourHap-
pinefs, that he rules uncontrollable and unlimited ; for
all the Attsof his Power are conducted by a righteous
Will, and infinite Wifdom which cannot err. Hence
we learn how ignprantly fome object againft abfolutc
Authority in GOD as tyrannical, meafuring it with
what is called fuch among Men. Such a Government
among Men, is often prejudicial to the Subjects ; the
Reafon of which is, that it is not properly abfolute ;
for, being imperfect, it cannot Ao all 'Things. An ab-
folute Ruler is not laid under the fame reftraints by
the Laws of the Land as other Princes are, he may
C order

(y) Genefis xlv, 5, 7, 8, and 1. ao,



C i8 ]

order what he pleales, and do what he Wills, as far
as he can; hue he cannot obtain ail hisDefires, ahho"
no Man oppofe him ; and as to many Things he does
defire, neighbor ing Princes may lay a Curb upon him ;
and, when he Acts the Tyrant, his own Subje&s too
may rifeupagainft, and reiift him. Now, the proper
Caufesof the Injuftice practifed by iuch Governors, as
well as all others,are, [ i J that they have it not in their
Power to do what they have a Mind to do, without
doing Injury to others: Who would not rather receive
a Purfc of Money freely, than run theRifque of at-
tempting an A (Fault Tor ic ? [2] They are fw ay ed with
violent Paffions, to do what they know Ihould not be
done ; and Paflion di (covers great Weaknefs. But
neither the Weaknefs of Pafiion, nor Inability in any
Senfc, may be afcribed to GOD, who is fo perfect that
he can do whatsoever be U ills, and Wills Nothing but
what is tight ; therefore we may rejoice that the
LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNS; for as he is a-
l>k to do allVhings, and none can let him ; fo Power is a
generous Principle, and ic is ics Glory to do Good.

Secondly . DIVINE Providence is j/US7s ffe judges
tbe People ri^teoujly^ who governs the Nations upon Earth,
and is righteous in all his Ways(z}. We fpeak not
here of commutative Jufice % which, refpeding x-
changes ,.f Rights and Properties, is only found a -
mong iL. fe that in fome Refpect or other are Equals :
But Goi> being Supreme, the Right is all on his Side ;
there can therefore be no commutative Juftice between

him

(t) Pfalm Ixvii. 4. and orit. 17.



C 19 3

him and the Creature. Hence we are only to confl-
der diprihutive Juftic^ which confifts in rewarding and
punifhing Men according to. their Deeds', and may there-
fore be diftin^uifh-d into remunerative and vindictive.
According to his gracious Promife, GOD beftows on
Good Men, Rewardsofw^GWre, not of Debt : As far
as is conducive to his Glory and their Good, he defend?
their Perfons, vindicates their Character, fupports
them under all Difficulties, and withholds no good Ming
from them(a\ That they are often afflicted, is no Ar-
gument againft the Eauityof divine Conduct , for to chaf-
tize his Children, wliom yet he loves, isflrift Propriety
in a Father's Government. Our heavenly Father, in
Love, proves and chaftiz.es hisChildren, whofe Offen-
ces are greater than all their Sufferings. Be fides, he
executes Vengeance, on the impious for their criminal
Conduct ? In his Hand is a Cup of Red flPine, full of
Mixture ; the Dregs whereof they Jhnll wring out, and,
drink them mfb). What remarkable Inftances of this
were Cain, Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, Beljhazzar, Judas,
Francis Spira, and the overthrow of manyCities, Nati-
ons, Kingdoms, and Empires But to enumerate all the
Threatnings and Examples of this Kind would be end-
lefs. Frequently, indeed, the wicked profper in the
Jforld nor are they plagued as other Afen(c). Yet this
is no jit ft Objection againft the Ri*hteoufnefs of divine Dif-
penfations . For as the Juftice of Government does not
confift in hindering, but in punifhing A^ts of Jnjuftice ;
fo neither does it confift in always punifhing Crimi-
C 2 nals

(a) Pfalm xci. and xxxiv. 9, lo. and Ixxxiv. II.
(J>) Pfalm lixv, 8. (c) Pfsdra IxxiiJ. 5, i.



20 3

nals immediately as they defer ve ; but in adjuftingthe
Time and Meafure of Punifhment io wifely, astoan-
fwer, in the beft Manner, the noble Ends of Govern-
ment. This being a State of 'Probation, And. not of Re-
trilution, GOD fees it malt proper to defer the Execu-
tion of his fearful, bur juft .Sentence againft the un-
godly. Were they always puniilied immediately as
they deferve, the gieareft Part of Mankind would be
quickly thurft down to Hell ; which, inflead of go-
verning, would be an effectual Method, foon to put an
End to the Government of the World.

Thirdly . A s GOD is righteous in all bis Ways, fo he
is holy in all his Works^. He, in whofe Sight the Hea-
vens are net dean, and he charges his Aigels with Folly,
has no Pleafure in Wickedncfs ; nor faall Evil dwell witb
kirn: The foolifofoall not fiand^in his Sight, and he hates all
the Workers of Iniquitfa}. Reprefenting to Mankind
by his Promifcs, Commands, and Threatnings, theun-
fpeakable Beauties and Advantages of Holinefs ; th$
dreadful Deformity andConfeqaences of Sin ; he encou-
rages thcmtoaliyiitueand Goodnefs, and difcou rages
from all Kinds and Degrees of Vice and Wickednefs.
And is not the LORD known by the Judgments he exe-
r/rt(f) ? His holy Difpleafure at Sin, is difpiuyed by
Pains, Difeafes, and Death ; the Plague, the Peftilence,
Famine, and Earthquakes ; violent Changes of Go-


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Online LibraryRobert SmithA wheel in the middle of a wheel: or, Harmony and connexion of various acts of Divine Providence : A sermon delivered before the second Rev. Presbytery of New-Castle, and their correspondents, met at White-Clay-Creek, January 2d, 1759. → online text (page 1 of 4)