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Low, that it can Patiently suffer the great Fences of Modesty to be Publickly thrown down, and Debauchery to make a Notorious Inrode into Troops and full Assemblies, is the Just Objećt of Divine Pengeance, and must either be Reformed, or expect to be Destroyupon the Community, may be added the consideration of Those, which are de- | rived from the same Fountain upon the Prince himself. And these are observable under the II. Proposition implied in the Text, namely, That the Wickedness of a Peo- | ple is a Just cause of the Sufferings of their Prince. The Destrućtion, here denounced against the King, bears no Manner of Relation to his own Personal Qualities or Demeanour; but is represented as the Pure Effect, under God's Judgment, of JWickedness prevailing among the People. And the Reasons of such a Divine Dispensation are not so Obscure and Abstruse, but that they may Easily be recolle&ted and set in a clear Light; nor are the Principal ones so many, but that they may be brought within a very Narrow Compass of Illustration. And a much Narrower Compass still would be sufficient to contain all Insances of this Dispensation, which are recorded in the History of the jews. For, notwithstanding their Wonderful and Un- I parallel'd
ed? I shall add but One instance more, for the Proof and Illustration of the First Proposition; but 'tis an Instance, wherein all the Rules of Measuring and Determining National Wickedness do seem to Center and Unite. And this Flaming Instance is the Condemnation and Crucifixion of our Blessed Saviour; concerning which 'tis to be observed, that as No Nation ever was, or can be Guilty of Wickedness Equal to it, so no Nation ever Fell under the Weight of Calamities, equal to Those which were the Consequence of it, * Great tribulation, fuch as was not, since the beginning of the //orld to this Time; no, nor ever shall be. To the Consideration of the Terrible Effects, which National Wickedness brings
* Matt. xxiv. 21.
parallel’d Excesses in Wickedness; the Sufferings and Destrućtion of their Kings may, Generally be accounted for, and very plainly too, without charging then upon the Sins of the People. The Case of King josiah indeed may here particularly demand our Notice; because it both seems, as a Proper Instance, to Illustrate the Proposition before us, and also to carry along with it a Plain Reason of the Divine dispensation. The Virtues and Excellencies of this Prince are displayed, under a Multitude of Particulars, in the History of his Administration; and the Short Charaćter given of him is this, That * like unto him was there no King before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his Soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. And yet this Prince, Virtuous and Pi— ous, Accomplished and Adorned as he was, run into such Circumstances, under Providential permission, + if not under
“ 2 Kings xxiii. 25. See 2 Chron. xxxy. 21, 22.
some Stronger Effect of Providence, than pure Permission, that he fell by the Hands of Enemies in Battle. o The Reason of this Event, appearing in the History, relates to the Sinful state of the Kingdom, whereby God was provoked to determine and declare, That his *//rath should be kindled against it, and not be quenched, and that it should become a Desolation and a Curse. And after this Manifestation of the Certain Vengeance decreed against the Sinful Kingdom, God is pleased thus to Express himself to Good josiah, I will gather thee unto thy Fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy Grave in Peace, (i. e. most Probably, Before the Peace and .9%iet of the Kingdom be followed by the Confusion and Desolation denounced against it; which Interpretation seems to be suggested in the next Words,) and thine Eye shall not see all the Evil, which I will bring upon this Place. And God, who seeing Future things as perspicuous. ly as Things present, and therefore see
* 2 Kings xxii. 17, 19.
ing the Circumstances of this Prince's Death, before they Aétually Arose, as Distinétly, as when they did Aétually arise, spoke of his suffering Death, as of a Matter of Favour, must be understood to speak of it, as attended with Those Circumstances; and that Seeming Destruction, but Real Favour to his Person. was occasion'd, by the National Sims, and the Dreadful Punishments which were to ensue. When a Prince is Deeply affected with a Sense of God's Honour, and Tenderly Sollicitous for the Good of his People; Then must their Superfluity of Naughtiness /ex his righteous Soul from day today, and his Translation into the Celestial Regions of Purity is the most Effectual, if not his Only Effectual Relief from that Continual Vexation; And that Relief is the more Acceptable, because it secures him from the Sight of their approaching Miseries, which would Greatly Aggravate the Anguish he feels under the Sight of their Sims. And when They are become obdurate in Wickedness, and That Wickedness hurries them on, to Harrass,