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only well contented with, but very thankful for the very lowest place in God's Family ? Any thing, be it ever so liitle, must needs be too good for the very best of us, and whilst we are suffer'd to live and eat, cho'it be in the lowest rank, and of the coursest fare, we ought to esteem it a very great mercy to such as we are, who have made so much wafte of his Goods by whom we are fed. Whilst we are not cast into Hell, nor finally condemn'd to suffer the just Punishment which our unfaithfulness hath merited, we have very great cause to be thankful. But then let us remember what we have to do. Let us amend our faults, and become more faithful for the time to come, otherwise by our hardness and impeni. tent hearts, we do but Treasure up for our selves wrath against the day of wrath. Let us hearken to the good directions which are given us. 1 Pet. 4. 10. As every Man bath receiv'd the Gift, even • Minister the same one to another, as good Štewards of the manifold Grace of God. If any Man speak, let him Speak as the Oracle of God; if any Man Minister, let him do it of the ability which God giverb; that God in all things may be glorified through JESUS Christ ; to whom be Praise and Dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Thirdly, We are now in the last place to fee, what the Accufation of this Unjust Steward to his Mafter signifitth. And the same, that is, the Steward was accused unto him, that is, his Master, that he had wasted his Goods. Now we have said, That we are all of us the Stewards of God; and that we are all great wasters of our Lord's Goods of all sorts : We therefore are they, who are accused •unto God our Master : That which
we would learn is, what this Accusation meanech. Whoever are our Accusers, or after whal manner foever it is that they Accuseus, certain it is, That God needs not to be told or inforin'd of what we do in this lower World, no body needs go hence to carry him intelligence.' He is every where present with us, Whitber mall we go from his Spirit? Or whither shall we free from his Presence? Psal. 139. 7. Can any hide himself in secret Places, that I cannot see him, saith the LORD? Do not I fill Heaven and Eartb? Saith the LORD. Jer. 23, 24. The Eyes of the LORD are in every place beholding the Evil and the Good. Prov. 15, 3. The ways of Man are before the Eyes of the LORD, and be pondereth all his goings. Prov. 5. 21. He understandeth our thoughts afar off. Pfal.139. 2. What need then can ihere be of any ones accusing us to God? There is none, indeed, and therefore it is not necessary that by ihe un. just Steward's being Accused unto his Master, we Thould understand any more; but God's certain and clear Knowledge of our whole misbehaviour. In our feveral ways of wasting God's good Gifts, how closely or cunningly foever we carry the matter, all is manifeft to God. We have abundance of shifrs to hide our Faults from Men, buc by no means can we possibly conceal them froin God.
In our Courts of Judgment, there is no fair and legal Proceedings against Offenders, but a formal Accusacion and Indictment, and the hearing of a sufficient number of Witnesses to prove the things which are laid to their charge. But before the great Judge of all the World, there is no need of any such formal process. No Ma. Iter among Men can have his Eyes in every corner
t) to observe the carriage of every Servant that belongs unto him, but needs an informer in many things. It is not so with God. All things are naked and open'd unto the Eyes of him with whom we have to do. Heb. 4. 13. His Eyes are upon the ways of Man, and be seeth all his goings. Job 34, 21. God's Oniniscience is to him instead of all information, Accufation, and Evidence or Testimony. .
Our Sins then lying all open to the Eyes of our Righteous Judge, and he being himself an Eye witness of all our miscarriages, there need no other Accusers than our Sins themselves; some whereof are of that hainous nature, that God thinks fit to let the World see, that he is highly offended by them, and therefore he punisheth them with some extraordinary judgment in this World. And these fins are said to cry unto God for Vengeance. As the thedding of Abel's blood cried unto God for a curse on Cain the wicked fratricide. Gen. 4. 10. And the cry of Sodom and it's Neighbours is said by God to come up unto him, calling for Fire and Brimston to be rained down out of Heaven upon them. Gen. 18. 2ų. Thus is every Man's Sin his Accuser, and hath a Voice which God doth certainly hear. And the Sighs, and Tears, and Prayers of the Oppressed, and such as suffer by our fins are our Accusers. The cry of the poor Ifraelites in Egypt whilst they were in Bondage came up to God, Exod. 2. 23. For the Oppression of the Poor, and for the fighing of the Needy, I will' arise faith the LORD. Psal. 12. 5. The Devil, as he accused righteous Job unjustly and maliciously, and is the Accuser of the Brethren, accusing ihem Day and Night, Rev. 12. 10. will without doubę be as ready to accuse the Sinner, as he was busy with his Temptations to make him so. And lastly, every one of us will at last be found his own Accuser, his own Conscience, whatever Thifts he now makes to filence, and lay it asleep, will at last awake, and be his Accuser to God, and instead of a thousand Witnesses to prove the Accusation.
O, how uncomfortable a thing, when well considered, is a wicked Life? What a Devil is that Man to himself, that lives in continual fear of himself, and dares nor reflect with seriousness upon his own Actions, lest his own Soul should awake within him, and his Conscience begin to accuse him? In what a Condition is he, that is always offending, and always hath the Eye of his Judge upon him, and always carries a Spy, and an Accuser, and a Witness against him in his own Breast, which, tho' he may make a shift for a time to take notice of, will not be bribed to be filent for ever?
Why then will we be so foolish as to go on se curely in an evil way? How dare we fo confidently throw away our Master's Goods on our own Lusts, as tho' we were sure never to be accused unto him for ic ? How freely and merrily do we spend all we have of God's Gifts in such things as he is most dishonoured by, and which he hath exprelly forbidden us upon pain of incuring his high displeasure, as tho' we acted all things with the greatest secrecy and fatery in the World, no Eye seeing us. Men encourage thenselves in an evil Matter, they commune of laging Snares privily, they say who shall see them? Psal. 63
And he called him, and said un
to him, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an Account of thy Stewardship; for thou mayst be no longer Steward,
MTHE unjust Steward having wasted his Ma
I fter's Goods, was accused unto him for it. This we have heard, and what is signified by it. Here we are inform'd what course his Master took with him, how he would not let him go on always without check in his own way, making what waste he pleased of his Master's Goods. He takes an Opportunity to call him unto him, and talk with him about his Behaviour, and to make
- phiyo mahinunto, and him sensible of his ill Carriage towards him. How is it (faith he) bat I hear this of thee? How comes this to pass which I have heard of thy wasteful Courses. Consider it well, if either thou canst deny what I have heard to be true, or canst give any reason why thou should do so wickedly. How is it possible thou shouldst be fo insensible either of the good condition thou hast been in with me in my Service, or of my concern