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SERMON

Preach'd before the Right Honourable the

LORDS
Spiritual and Temporal,

January the 30th, 173
At WestMINSTE R-ABBY,

By WILLIAM, Lord Bishop of St. Afaph.

LONDON:

Printed by T.H. for Charles Harper, at the

Fluwer-de-Luce, over-againit St. Dunstan's
Church in Fleet-sireet. 1710.

Die Martis, Jan. 31. 1709.

Ordered by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament Assem. bled, That the Thanks of this House Mall be, and are hereby given to the Lord Bishop of St. Afaph for bis Sermon, preach'd before this House Yesterday in the Abby-Church at Westminster ; And he is hereby Desired to Print and Publish the Janie.

Matth. Johnson, Cler' Parl

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Preach'd before the Right Honourable the House of LORDS,

January the jash, 17

Il Kings, Chap. viii. Ver. 13. And Hazael said, But what, is thy Ser

vant a Dog, that he should do this great Thing? And Elisha answered, The Lord bath Théwed me, that thou shalt be King of Syria.

HE King of Syria being sick, and hearing that a Prophet of the Lord was at Damascus, sent his Servant Hazael with

a very liberal Present to him, to enquire of God, by him, whether he should recover of his Disease. To this great Messenger, the Prophet answers--- Go fay unto bim--- Tbou mayt certainly recover ; bowbeit, tbe Lord bath Mewed me, that be shall surely die. Would the Prophet here have Hazael tell a Lie, and say his Lord Should live, when he was certain he would die, being told so by the Prophet? Or does he rather say ;--You will hardly be so ill a Courrier, as to tell the King, that

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ly be fo ill Of does he red die, being wild live, when

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he shall die ; you will leave so unwelcome a Meffage to any other, and rather choose to say, Thou mayest certainly recover, altho' I know very well he never shall recover, and tell you so, from God. This Senfe is natural and easy enough; but the Words do not say it exprelly enough. Or, does he bid him speak what is certainly true, if supplied with somewhat that Elisha knew very well ? Go and say to your Prince, Thou mayest certainly recover, i.e. from this Disease, which in ic self may not be mortal, Howbeit, the Lord barb thewed me, that be fall surely die, i. e. by another Hand, after another Manner. The former Part Hazael was to say to Benbadad, the latter Elisha said to Hazael: And each of them was true ; for Benbadad might have recover'd, had not Hazzel murther'd him. If therefore we respect the DiStemper only, it was true that the Propher bad him fay-- Thou mayest certainly recover ; but if we respect the Event, which God saw, and discover'd co the Prophet, it was also true, that the King jould certainly die. What che Prophet said, was certainly true, in this Sense, and we ought to take the Words in any other Sense, than such a one as would make a holy Prophet the Author of a Falthood. When he had spoken these Words, the Prophet settled his Countenance so ftedfaftly, look'd fo long and so intently upon Hazael, that he was perfectly confounded ; and the Prophet hiniself burst into Tears. Hazael ask'd him, what it was that occasion'd such a strange Emocion, and why he wept? The Prophet told him, It was to see, and consider, what mighty Mischiefs he, in time, would bring upon Israel, how he wouid fire their Strong-holds, itay their young Men with the Sword, dash in Pieces their poor lafants, and rip up their Women with Child. To whom Haziel replies, in the Words of the Text,

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