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WEPT OVER LOST SOULS.
A TREATISE ON LUKE XIX. 41, 42.
WITH AN APPENDIX,
WHEREIN SOMEWHAT IS OCCASIONALLY DISCOURSED, CONCERN-
HOW GOD IS SAID TO WILL THE SALVATION
OF THEM THAT PERISH.
BY JOHN HOWE, M. A.
PUBLISHED BY EZRA COLLIER,
No. 148 Nassau-street,
WHEN spiritual judgments do more eminently befall a people, great outward calamities do often ensue. We know it was so in the instance which the text here insisted on refers to. But it is not always so; the connexion between these two sorts of judgments is not absolutely certain and necessary, yea, and is more frequent with the contraries of each. For this reason therefore, and because judgments of the former kind are so unexpressibly greater, and more tremendous, this discourse insists only upon them, about which serious monitions both have a clearer ground, and are of greater importance; and wholly waives the latter.
Too many are apt first to fancy similitudes between the state of things with one people and another, and then to draw inferences; being perhaps imposed on by a strong imagination in both; which yet must pass with them for a spirit of prophecy, and perhaps they take it not well, if it do not so with others too. It were indeed the work of another prophet certainly to accommodate and make application of what was spoken by a former to a distinct time and people. 'Tis enough for us to learn from such sayings as this of our Saviour, those rules of life and practice, such instruction and cautions as are common to all times, without arrogating to ourselves his prerogative, of foretelling events that shall happen in this or that. The affectation of venturing upon futurity, and foreboding direful things to kingdoms and nations, may, besides its being without sufficient ground, proceed from some or other very bad principle. Dislike of the present methods of Provi. dence, weariness and impatiency of our present condition, too great proneness to wish what we take upon us to predict, the prediction importing more heat of anger than certainty of foresight, a wrathful spirit, that would presently fetch down fire from heaven upon such as favour not our inclinations and desires, so that (as the poet