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the Sword of War, which as it has been upon a great Part of the World now for many Years, and has forely afflicted us, and the neighbouring Kingdoms, fo are there many Indications that it may be rekindled, and fo ftill more fully contribute to that prodigious Diminution of Mankind, which is foretold as the Confequence of the Judgments belonging to these Times. [. xxiv. 6.] Now if we look into the xivth Chapter of Ezekiel, we fhall find, that three of thefe four Judgments already mentioned, which we have now to fear, I mean Famine, and Sword, and Peftilence, [Ezek. xiv. 12. -21.] are there fet down as fuch Punishments for heinous national Sins, that nothing of the Interceffion of the best Men, which ufed in many Cafes, to appease the Anger of God, would be hearken'd to: [v. 12, 13, 14.] The Word of the Lord came to me again, faying, Son of Man, when the Land finneth against me by trefpaffing grievously, then will I ftretch out mine Hand upon it, and will break the Staff of the Bread thereof, and will fend Famine upon it, and will cut off Man and Beast from it. Tho' thefe three Men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver neither Son, nor Daughter, but their own Souls (or Lives) by their Righteousness, faith the Lord God. And the very fame is faid in the following Verfes, as to the Noisome Beafts, the Sword, and the Peftilence. I shall add the 21st, 22d, and 23d Verfes, as affording Comfort to good Men in fuch dismal Calamities; as well as the former ought to be very terrifying to the Wicked at the fame Time; fince these feem to be the very


Circumstances of thofe Judgments, upon London in particular, we are now speaking of. Thus faith the Lord God, how much more when I fend my four fore Judgments upon Jerufalem; the Sword and the Famine, and the Noifome Beaft, and the Peftilence, to cut off from it Man and Beaft: Yet behold therein fhall be left a Remnant, that fhall be brought forth Sons and Daughters; behold they fhall come forth unto you, and ye shall fee their Way and their Doings; and ye shall be comforted concerning the Evil that I bave brought upon Jerufalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you when ye fee their Ways and their Doings, and ye shall know that I have not done without Cause all that I have done in it, faith the Lord God. However, we may fee the State of Europe, how it appears at present after all the Judgments that God has lately brought upon its Inhabitants in vain, inthe ixth and xth Chapters of Ifaiah: [ix. 12—17-21. X.4.] I mean that, For all this his Anger is not turned away, but his Hand is ftretch'd out ftill. And fo, for certain, will it be ftill, unless Europe in earnest set about a through Reformation. In which last Cafe, which yet is rather to be wifh'd for than expected, the Prophet Ezekiel affures us, [xviii. 21, 22.] If the Wicked will turn from all his Sins, that he hath committed, and keep all my Statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall furely live, be fball not die. All his Tranfgreffions that he hath committed, they shall not be mention'd unto him: In bis Righteoufnefs that he bath done be fhall iive.


The Seventh and last Judgment, belonging to thefe Times, I reckon to be Storms of Thunder and Lightening, and Tempests, and their confequent Shipwrecks, which have been fo frequent and dreadful of late; beginning, in my own Life-time, with that amaz. ing Storm, Nov. 27, 1703. On Account of which that admirable Collect of Thanksgiving and Prayer, was appointed and used in the publick Service; which I have formerly fet down, Pag. 409, 410, and which is highly fit to be appointed and ufed again upon Occafion of the late Earthquakes and Storms, as it ftands in the fecond Edition of my Common Prayer Book, herewith published. But I have already fo fully fpoken of these Storms, and Earthquakes, as the fulfilling of facred Predictions, No. 35, and 52, priùs, that I fhall add no more upon them in this Place.

But before I proceed farther, I must add one Obfervation, that many of our minute Philofophers, (and very minute Philofophers they must be who reason thus) pretend, that all this is done by the Air, or Water, or Earth, or Fire; that all this is no more than the neceffary Effects of natural Causes; and that there is therefore no Occafion to have Recourse to the Interpofition of Providence, or of any invisible Beings, in Murrain or Locufts, in Meteors or Earthquakes, in Famines, in Storms at Sea or Land, or Peftilences, in Deluges or Conflagrations, &c. And fo all fuch Addreffes as are now made for Reformation and Amendment, in order to propitiate God Almighty, and avert his Indignation, are no better than the Effects of Enthufiafm,

thufiafm, and Superftition; and ftill to no Manner of Purpose. Natural Causes, say these pretended Philofophers, will have their natural Effects: Nor are we to attempt to folve fuch Phænomena otherwife than by Philofophy. This Reasoning always puts me in Mind of what I met with fome Years ago in one of our News-Papers, which was written to comfort thofe Men, who began to be af frighted at the killing of fome Perfons by Thunder and Lightening; where the Writer gravely tells them, that Philofophers ought to take away the Causes of fuch Terror, by informing them of the mechanical or philofophical Solution of Thunder and Lightening; as if any fuch pretended, and but pretended Solutions could prevent the killing of any Men, or other Animals, by the like Storms afterwards. This is quite to mistake the State of the Cafe, and to confound the fecondary Inftruments with the original Agents. This is to folve the Slaughter of Men in a Battle, by observing that Gunpowder, and Guns, and Swords, and Spears, &c. are all natural Bodies, and by pretending that they can murder Men of themselves mechanically without any Recourfe to the Commands of Princes, or Generals of Armies, or the fighting of Soldiers, or to the Reasons and Causes of fuch Battles, which yet are certainly not bare mechanical Tools, but the Acts of rational Creatures, and capable of Rewards or Punishments, according as the Caufes of fuch Wars are just or unjuft; who are alone accountable for the Effects that are mechanical, and for the Slaughters there made. The Ark of Noah was a mechanical


Building, and when built would naturally fwim upon Water, and fave the Creatures therein contain'd: Yet does not this hinder, but the Salvation of Noah and of his Family, and of the Animals in the Ark with him, is juftly to be ascrib'd to the Divine Direction for building fuch an Ark, and to Noah's Obedience to that Direction. Brimstone and Fire are natural Bodies, and would naturally burn Sodom and Gomorrah, if they fell upon thefe Cities. Yet does this no Way leffen the Interpofition of Providence, and Inftrumentality of the Angels of God, who were fent to bring down that tremendous Judgment upon its most wicked Inhabitants. Nor did Lot's Sons-in-Law, who looked upon Lot as one that mock'd or banter'd, [Gen. xix. 13.] when he would have them believe what the Angels faid, gain any Thing by their Scepticism; but immediately perifhed in the Iniquity of the City; [v. 14.] Mechanical Caufes do not difpofe and act of themselves, independently on those rational Agents that are employed, much less independently on the Author of all thofe natural Causes and rational Agents themselves, Almighty God, the common Creator and Governor of all Things. Our Business therefore, is not here with aerial Vapours, with Sulphur, or Nitre, which are the inanimate Inftruments on these Occafions, &c. but with the rational Inftruments themselves employ'd by God, either for the Delivery of the Good, or the Punishment of the Bad; which, if we take our Notions from the Experience and Teftimony of all Ages, facred and profane, are no other than the An


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