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the flood came upon the world within an hundred years after this denunciation; which was made when Noah was five hundred years old, Gen. v. 32. And he was but fix hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth, ch. vii. 6. Now God doth feldom anticipate the execution of his judgments in wrath, but doth often prorogue it in mercy. It is as clear also, that many there were, even after the flood, whose lives were prolonged beyond this appointed period, but they found it veryburthensome and grievous, and miseries with their age daily came upon them; the first-born of death, about that time began to devour their strength, Job xviii. 13. and to take possession of them in the right of him that was to succeed. And they might then be said to die, in the same propriety of language, as Adam did in the day wherein he did eat the forbidden fruit; but the Pfalmift gives a more exact account of this thing, which may stand firm to this very day: The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of frength they be four score years, yet is their strength labour and forrow, for it is Joon cut off, and we flee away, Psal. xc. 10. But as the universal fabrick, that God at first extracted out of nothing, draws nearer to its end, so doth every particular structure therein made, weaken and decay. As the heaven and the earth wax old, so they that dwell therein mall die in like manner, Ifa. li. 6. And therefore it is not
to be thought, that in these days man's age should be so long, nor so many arrive at it, as in the days wherein the bow of universal nature abode in its greater strength. Nor can we exactly put the terms of any man's old age, so as to say he is now old at this present moment, but was not so before ; for it is that which creeps on by steps and degrees, as the Thadow upon a dial.
Inde minutatim vires, & robur adultum
Some of the flowers of age blow before othersome ; sometime on one bough, sometime on another ; here one, there one, insensibly; however when perfected, you have it stand in full bloom, as it is to be seen in the ensuing analysis
V. I. by way of Affertion.
Age is here described,
The evil days come. Negation. No pleasure
Inferiour. The light.
Subservient to them both. The fars.
Animal, v. 3. ap
(Limbs, of ,
Inferiour. The strong men mall bow themselves. culties.
pearing in the Mouth The grinders spall cease because they are few. External,
(Eyes. The lookers out of the window shall be darkned. rMe
Natural, v. 4. The beginniag. The doors shall be fout in the streets, wben the diate
voice of the grinding is low.
Mixt, v. 4. latter Sloward and outward in want of feep, which binds up both.
He shall rise up at the voice of the bird.
Vital and natural; The active daughters of musick belonging
to the vital; The paffive to the animal. All the daugbo
ters of mufick fball be brought low.
Simple eminent effects, The mind. Fear. ŞLeffer. He shall be afraid of that which is bigb.
Sperm. or hard. The grashopper shall be a bur-
Lihencefrom, as they relate to Exportation. The wbeelbroken at the cistern.
Statutum eft in cælis. It is a statute in heaven, for all men once to die, Heb. ix. 27. by virtue of which it is, that man must necessarily pass through all those various steps and parsages, from the womb to the tomb, that are appointed unto him in that unalterable decree. As sure as man is born, so sure he must pass along, and unless it please the Lord sooner by a violent stroke to take him to himfelf, he must go from state to state, from age to age, and never stay, till he come to these evil days, and unpleasant years mentioned in the text. There was, it is probable, within the compass of the creation, that which had a natural property in it to preserve mortal, yea, sinful man without alteration. Now left he put forth his hand and take alfa of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever ; therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken, Gen. iii. 22, 23. And when the creatures shall be delivered from the bondage under which they now groan, this panacea may again be restored to its primitive use: Then fball the leaves of the tree of life be for the healing of the nations, Rev. xxii. 2. but for the present, this is kept from us by a faming sword, and therefore not to be attained unto. And I never knew any one touch but the foot of that mount, I mean, attempt any thing that is but analogous thereunto, but his work, if not himself, was destroyed thereby. And as our
cafe now is, he that made us, he can save us ; he that made the fun, can cause it to stand still or go back at pleasure ; and he that made man, can uphold him without those changes, which otherwise unavoidably attend him. And in the days of wonder (when shoes and garments kept equal duration with mens ferh Deut. xxix. 5.) so he did his servant Mofes, concerning whom it is said, when he was one hundred and twenty years old, his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated, Deut. xxxiv. 7. But this is his own prerogative, when he pleaseth ; in his ordinary providence, as he hath set certain bounds that a man cannot pass, fo he hath fet certain other that he muft. Man that is born of a woman cometh forth as a flower, be fleeth as a sbadow, Job xiv. 2, 5. he fleeth from infancy to childhood, from thence to youth, and from thence to strength, from thence to full age, from thence to declenfion, from thence to the state we are uponi. And thus some interpret the fecond verse, While the fun is not darkened, (i. e.) the prime of youth be not spent, the light of that fun, is the full age; the moon, is declining age ; and the stars, are the beginning of old age ; but this I judge not fo primarily and properly the meaning of the place, as you will hear in this ensuing explication.