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SERMON

Preach'd before the Right Honourable che

LORDS
Spiritual and Temporal,

January the 30th, 173
At WESTMINSTER-ABBY,

By WILLIAM, Lord Bishop of St. Asaph.

LO N D ON:

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

Flower-de-Luce, over-against St. Dunstan's
Church in Fleet-street. 1710.

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Die Martis, Jan. 31. 1709.

Ordered by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament Assem. bled, That the Thanks of this Houfe Shall 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 aird Publish the Sance.

Matth. Johnson, Cler' Parl

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

January the zoch, 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 shewed me, that thou shalt be King of Syria.

THE King of Syria being sick, and hear

ing 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 say unto bim--- Tbou mayst certainly recover; bowbeit, the Lord barb Shewed me, that be hall 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 Courtier, as to tell the King, that B 2

he

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 reciver, i.e. from this Disease, which in it self may not be mortal, Howbeit, the Lord barb Shewed me, that be fhall surely die, i. e. by another Hand, after another Manner. The former Part Hazael was to say to Benbadad, the latter Elisha said co Hazael: And each of them was true ; for Benbadad might have recover'd, had not Hazel murther'd him. If therefore we respect the DiStemper only, it was true that the Prophet bad him fay-- Thou mayest certainly recover ; but if we respe& the Event, which God saw, and discover'd co the Prophet, it was also true, that the King should certainly die. What the 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 ftedfastly, look'd so long and so intently upon Hazael, that he was perfectly confounded ; and the Prophet hiniself burst into Tears. Hazael ask'd hini, what it was that occafion'd such a strange Emotion, 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, llay 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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