Sivut kuvina

xxxiii. 5.

cxlvi. 8.) Psal. xi. 5.

Psal. xxxiv.

As these causes are always inseparably connected, (for SERM. what is justness, but a disposition of will to follow, without LXX. deflection, the dictates of wisdom?) so the effect must necessarily follow; according to numberless testimonies in Scripture, importing that The righteous Lord loveth righl- Psal. xi. 7. eousness ; but the wicked, and him that loveth violence, his (vii

. 1.1. soul hateth: The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous- xlv. 7. but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

3. God is impartial, because he is infinitely great and v; 5. potent; whence all creatures are in the same degree infe-15, 16. rior, at the same distance remote from him; all are equally at his discretion and disposal ; he hath no need of any: what therefore should incline him to regard one before another, excepting only goodness, wherein he delighteth ? So the Wise Man discourseth, He that is Lord of all shall Wisd. vi. 7. fear no man's person, neither shall he stand in awe of any man's greatness ; for he hath made the small and great, and careth for all alike. So Moses did imply, The Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of Lords, a great God, Deut. x. 17. a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons.

4. God is impartial, because he is immensely good and Exod. xxiv benign; both intensively in the degree, and extensively as Mumb. xiv. to the objects of his goodness; so that he favoureth all 18. equally, because all thoroughly, so far as may well be ac- 5, 15. ciii. cording to their condition and capacity; whence if there 3. exlv. 8. be any difference or defect, the ground thereof is not in his nature or will, but in the different qualifications of creatures.

There is a double goodness or love of God; one absolute, preceding all regard to personal qualities, or deeds; the other conditionate, and consequent on special regards: in both these God is impartial; for the first is general and unconfined, according to that of the Psalmist, The Lord is Ps. erlv. 9, good to all, and his mercies are over all his works; and those sayings in the Gospel, He is kind unto the unthankful and Luke vi. 35. to the evil: He makcth his sun to rise on the evil and on Matt. v. 45, the good; and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. The second is grounded on special reasons of the case, and

Ps. lxxxvi.


xxxiv. 15.

xxxiv. 9. xxxiii. 18.


SERM. adapted to the rules of justice demanding it; according LXX. whereto, The Lord is rich in mercy) toward all that call Rom. x. 12. upon him. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him, Ps.cxlv. 18. and preserveth all them that love him. cxlv. 19, 20. In the first there is no difference ; in the second the dif

ference is made by ourselves, being founded in our voluntary demeanour.

5. God is impartial toward all persons, because he hath the same (natural and original) relations toward all.

1. He is the maker and father of all ; according to that Mal. ii. 10. of the prophet, Have we not all one father ? Hath not one Eph. iv. 6. God created us? and that of the Apostle, There is one Gol

and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all: he therefore hath the same parental kindness toward all, the same tenderness for the good of each ; he is not capable of that imperfection, which is observable in some pa

rents, to be fond and indulgent to some children above others; Prov. xxii. but in his affection the rich and poor, as the Wise Man

saith, do meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.

Hence Job did collect that God accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor; for, saith he, they are all the work of his hands.

Hence the same holy man did infer, that he was obliged 13, 14, 15. to deal fairly with his own servants, for that God in judg. ment would consider their case no less than his, upon

this Job xxxi. account, for, Did not he that made me in the womb make

him? and did not one fashion us in the womb ?

Hence the Wise Man, who imitated Solomon, did argue Wisd. vi. 7. an equality of gracious providence toward all; He hath

made the small and the great, and careth for all alike.

2. God is the common Lord of all; and therefore is concerned to protect all with the like care, to govern all with the same equity.

Hence St. Paul gathereth, that God is indifferently willing to shew mercy and dispense blessings to all people ; to confer the means of salvation, and to accept pious endeavours, without distinction of Jew or Gentile ; Is he, saith he, the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the

Job xxxiv. 19.

Job xxxi.


Rom. ii. 29.

upon him.

1 John iv. 14.

John iii. 17.

2 Cor. v. 19.

Gentiles? And, There is therefore no difference between the SERM. Jew and the Greek ; for the same Lord over all is rich unto LXX. all that call

Rom. x. 12. Hence the same Apostle doth urge masters to be just and kind to their servants ; for that God, as the common master, hath an equal respect to both ; knowing that your Eph. vi. Master also is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with him.

3. God is the Saviour of all; desiring and designing that I Tim. ir. all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the 10. ii. 4. truth ; being willing that no man should perish, but that 2 Pet. iii. 9. all should come to repentance.

Wherefore out of philanthropy and love to mankind, he sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world; to give hin- Tit

. ii

. 11. self a ransom for all men, to taste death for every man.

And what greater instance could there be of perfect im- Luke ix. partiality ?

So by reasons from the principal attributes and relations xii. 47. of God his impartiality may be deduced: the same also may be declared from his proceedings and dealings with 1 Tim.ii. 6.

Heb. ii. 9. For, 1. God hath proposed to all men indifferently the same Clem. Pæd. terms and conditions of obtaining his love and favour, ofi. enjoying his bounty and mercy, of obtaining rewards and felicity from him.

The same laws and rules of life are prescribed to all persons, as men, and as Christians.

The natural dictates of reason, the precepts of holy Scripture, the great moral duties of religion, by observance whereof God's favour is retained, and salvation assured, are of general concern and common obligation to all without exception.

God hath not framed one Law, or one Gospel, for princes and great men, another for peasants and mean artisans ; he hath not chalked out one way toward heaven for the rich, another for the poor to walk in; bụt all, high and low, rich and poor, one with another, are tied to Psal

. xlix. observe the prccepts of piety, of charity, of justice, of teinperance, sobriety and chastity, of modesty, humility,




Matth. xix.

Luke xiii.
Psal. xxxiv.

SERM. and patience; none, great or small, can otherwise, than by

LXX. proceeding in the common road of virtuous practice, arrive Matth. vii. to happiness. He that doeth the will of my Father that is

in heaven, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments : 17. vii. 13. Enter in through the strait gate : Blessed are they that do

his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of

life: To them, who by patient continuance in well-doing Rev. xxii. seek glory and honour and immortality, eternal life will be Rom. ii. 7. conferred: these are the grand infallible maxims, the fixed

irreversible decrees, expressing the general duty and doom of mankind, according to the eternal reason of things, and the declared will of God Almighty, our sovereign governor and judge.

Whoever it is, that will please God, that will have his love, that will be happy by his grace, must humbly submit to God's will, must faithfully obey God's laws, must carefully walk in God's way; from this course there can be no exemption, no dispensation, no special privilege for any person whatever.

As all men naturally, by indissoluble bands of obligation, are the subjects and servants of God; so God indispensably and inexcusably doth require the same loyalty and fidelity, the same diligence, the same reverence from

John xv.

Great men sometimes may live, as if they conceited themselves free from the obligations which bind other men ; as if they had not souls (as we poor mortals have) to be saved, or were to be saved in some other way; as if obedience to the divine laws doth not touch them, but only doth belong to the commonalty ; as if they had special indulgence to live in pride, luxury, and sloth, might warrantably practise injustice, oppression, revenge; might cum privilegio be lewd and lascivious, withhold their debts, take God's name in vain, neglect devotion and the service of God: but in thus doing they much abuse themselves ; for they no less than others are obnoxious to guilt and to punishment, for such misdemeanors against the divine laws. In truth, if there be any difference in the case,



it is only this; that they, in all equity, ingenuity, and serm. gratitude, are obliged to a more strict, more faithful, more LXX. dilligent observance of God's laws; they being more indebted to God for his special bounty to them; they having larger talents and advantages committed to their trust, their deportment being of higher consequence, and most influential on the world, they being liable to render an account according to that just rule, Unto whom much is Luke xii. given, of him much shall be required; whence their eminency

of condition doth not excuse them from common duties, but doth advance their obligation, will aggravate their neglect, will inflame their reckoning, will plunge them deeper into woful punishment ; according to that of

Wisd. vi. 5. the Wise Man, A sharp judgment shall be to them that are in high places ; for mercy will soon pardon the meanest, but mighty men shall be mightly tormented.

2. All persons have the same means, the same aids, the game supports afforded to them, for ability to perform their duty, and attain their happiness.

The word of God, as the light of heaven, doth indifferently shine to all men, for instructing their minds, for directing their practice, for guiding their fect in the way of peace.

The divine grace is ever at hand, ready to assist all those who sincerely and seriously do apply themselves to serve God.

Seasonable comforts are never wanting to support those who need them, and who in their distress seek them from God, who healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their Ps. cxlvii. 3.

(cxlvi. 7.) wounds ; so that when the poor man crieth, the Lord heareth him, and saveth him out of his troubles. The universal good Spirit of God (the fountain of light

7. and wisdom, of spiritual power and strength, of consolation and joy) is communicated according to the needs of men, and exigencies of occasion ; preventing them by direction to the right way, by reclaiming them from ill courses, by exciting in them good thoughts and good desires; quickening their good resolutions, and assisting in the pursuit of them; enabling them to resist temptations, and to combat

Ps xxxiv.6.

1 Cor. xii.


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