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tice of that more general Caution of the Prophet, Cease ye from Man, whole Breath is in his Nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted of? If. 2. 20.
Upon the whole, to conclude this Point, invest Man with what Power he wants or desires, and yet if he has not in his Hands the occasions and opportunities of employing it, he is still as helpless, in respeět either of the publick or private Needs of Mankind, as if he were the weakest and most im. potent Being in the World; for if my Friend or Child is dying, when I am at the distance of a thousand Miles, what would it avail them or me,
if I carried the most infallible Medicine in my Pocket? Or suppose the black Con. spiracy of this Day, had been known at Constantinople, the Day or Week before its design'd Execution, how could the Blow have been prevented by any seasonable discovery from that Quarter? Unless therefore Man could see from one end of Nature to the other, and command her Motions, and supply the room of a God upon Earth, he can neither promise himself,nor ought others to expect from him any other degree of
Safety or Protection, from the common
I come now then to shew, 3dly,
the Sphere of Gods Mercy and Goodness, that we need not confine our View to particular and private Examples, for God has been in a most signal manner the Patron and Guardian of his whole Church, and when it was confin'd to the Jewish Nation; His Power was as visible, and as frequently exercis’d in its Protection and Defence, as his Wisdom was in giving it Laws, and prescribing the Order and Oeconomy of it; if we take a survey of the State of this people, when they groan'd under their Egyptian Servitude, their Fetters seem'd roo strong to be broke, because their Tyrant appear's too big to be con quer'd: But yet Almighty Wisdom contriv'd away for their Escape, and Almighty Power gave Şuccess to it; for by the fame Miracle of Providence, were Gods Enemies destroy'd, and his Favourites set at Liberty : And when che fame People were expos’d to an infinite variety of Hazards, in the course of a long March thro' a barren Desert, the same God attended and preservd them thro' their whole Journy, fed and sustain’d them by daily Miracles, and protected them againit
of Beasts, and the worse effects of their own Mutiny and Dircontent, till at last they arriv'd safe in the Land of Promise: Nor did the protecting Angel then forsake them, when Plenty crown'd their Tables and Milk and Honey flow'd round their Tents, for, in all their Wars with the Heathen Nations, 'twas God still that fought their Battles, and went out with their Armies, so that if they assaulted vast multitudes with a small handful, or Besieg'd Cities, made by Nature and Art almost impregnable ; the Enemy should be baffl'd by their own frights, and their Walls fall down at the sound of a Rams-horn; but Proyidence would find a way to Rescue and Deliver his darling Favourites! And altho' no Records can afford so many eminent Footsteps of omnipotent Goodness, as the sacred Writings, yet God has never been wanting in any Period of the World, to the safety and protection of such Kingdoms and States, as profess'd his Religion, and walk'd in his Fear. 'Tis not perhaps every Eye that can discern the Signatures of Providence in the Government and Defence of such large and publick Bodies,
but we may easily affirm, That unless the Lord keep the City, the Watchman waketh but in vain, Pfal. 127. 1.
and there could not one Common-Wealth, from the Grecian and Roman, down to these times, have sublisted on any other Bottom than the preserving Providence of God; at least we of this Kingdom, have abundant Reason to own, 'tis of the Lord's Mercies that we were not consum'd, when Men, cruel and blood-thirsty Men rose up against us; for not to recount the many memorable Deliverances vouchfäf'd to this Na. tion, the Signal Rescue of this Day, from the truly Hellish Plot, design’d by Powder, ought to lie deepest in our Hearts, and stand formost in our Annals too; for the Power of God will appear wonderful in our Deliverance, whether we consider the greatness of our Danger, or the seasonableness of our Escape: As for the Danger it self, 'twas as formidable, as the Leagues of a subtle Party, influenc'd by a cruel Religion, and cemented by folemn Vows and Sacraments could make it. One would have thought by their villanous Zeal to accomplish this black Design, that t!e Jesuits concern'd in it, had bor.