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(BAXTER.] God's perfect power did this great world create, God's perfect wisdom all in order placed, God's perfect goodness made all very good, But sin God's image on man's soul defaced. Power caus'd necessity, and wisdom order, And both by goodness caused harmony; All in one perfect frame God's glory shew, Praise him and please him with pure melody. Sin could not change necessity, nor that Disorder which God fixed above men's reach, But the free Lord free agents also made, And there by sin free-will did make the breach. This breach to man was punishment itself, For God before had order'd nature so, That poison would cause pain, and wounds cause smart, And sin to sinners misery and woe. Goodness is love delighting to do good, Wisdom resolves this foul breach to repair, And make advantage of man's sin and woe, Justice and mercy largely to declare. Hurt is soon done : the wound was quickly made, The cure must be performed by degrees : A Saviour's grace must exercised be, Wisdom with love to do the work decrees. Man's soul incorruptible substance is, Essential life; not made itself to die. Its final state then like itself will be, Durable happiness or misery.
But it is plac'd in corruptible flesh,
Thus all on earth have some degrees of grace, Which reason tells us they should not abuse, Which bringeth some so far to Adam's case, They stand or fall as they these mercies use. But God will not his grace at random give, And leave the event to uncertainty, But hath his chosen, who shall surely live, In whom his saving grace shall never die. The two first brothers did this war begin, He kill'd and conquer'd who was first by birth; He that seem'd conquer'd triumphed by death, The victor's a curs’d vagabond on earth. This war continu'd is unto this day Between the holy and the serpent's seed, These brothers the prognostic instance were Of all that ever after should succeed. But the worst war is inward; grace and sin, The controversy daily their debate: That which the final victory doth win, Determineth man's everlasting state, A law of grace thus made to all mankind In Adam and Noe, common roots of all, Ill entertainment with fall’n man did find, Who mostly to idolatry did fall. The strength of sin is love to flesh and world, And averse strangeness to a better life. It stronger grew by custom, and abhorrd All motions tending to the soul's relief. But God's electing grace shall not be void, In Abel, Enoch, Noe, he this declared, But specially in Abraham, whose great faith He with a special promise did reward.
Not calling back the common law of grace,
Words were too weak for this, his works must do it;
to Heaven before their eyes; And before multitudes at Pentecost Gives them the gift of miracles and tongues, By giving them the promis'd Holy Ghost. They preach Christ to the world, speak various tongues, Work miracles, heal sickness, raise the dead: Convey this power and Spirit unto others; Thus through the world, the word of life they spread. These many wonders, not in corners wrought, Converted thousands, conquer'd unbelief; But, above all his great convincing works, The Spirit's sanctifying grace was chief. The erring know the truth; fools are made wise, The proud made humble, wrathful ones made meek, The world's fond lovers now do it despise, Kill fleshly lusts, and heavenly glory seek.