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and cannot read more than what may make them inexcufable: " For the invifible things of God, from the creation of the world, are clearly feen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; fo that they are without excufe," Rom. i. 20. The book is as it were fealed. They have loft the art of praifing; hence the inftrument is hung by, being to little purpofe in the poffeffion of fuch perfons. They care not for beholding his glory, therefore the looking-glafs is overlooked, and very little ufe is made of it. Under this vanity they groan alfo.
3. The nature of the whole creation is in fome fort altered. When God looked on his creatures, he faw that they were very good, Gen. i. 31. And that is a fad alteration that makes them groan. Sin has caft the whole creation into a feverifh diforder. There is an evil which accompanies them now, that they long to be rid of. Man complains and groans under the evil of the creatures, and they complain and groan under him. The tranfgreffion of man is heavy on the earth, and the cafe of the earth bound up from his fervice is heavy upon him. Where is the creature that has no evil about it now? The fun fometimes fcorches man, and burns up the fruits of the ground; at other times his abfence makes the earth as iron, that he cannot ftand before the cold. The air often fickens and kills him. The diftempered winds often fink him in the fea. out of the earth, where he is to get his meat, fometimes he meets with poisonous herbs. What is the cause of all this? Impute it not to the creatures as they came from the creating hand of God,. but to the fall of man, whom nothing could have hurt, had he stood in his integrity.
4. The creature has fallen into the ha God's enemies, and is forced to ferve them. man stood, all the creatures were at his be were ready to come to him at his call. Bu he left Ged, all the creatures would have the fun would have fhined no more on air would have refused his breathing im earth would not have fed nor carried h if God had not subjected them anew to h viii. 20. "For the creature was made vanity, not willingly, but by reafon of hath subjected the fame in hope." far fome of them have gone in renou fervice to him, Job, xxxix. 7. 8. "Will the unicorn be willing to ferve bide by thy crib ?" And they would their fervice, as a faithful fervant mafter, when he goes out in rebellion fovereign, but that they were forced and therefore they groan.
5. They are ufed by finners to en God never made them. They ful they are abused, and therefore they made them for his honour, men abu difhonour. Never did a beaft fpeak laam's afs, Numb. xxii. 28. 30. and complaint on man for abufing it to which God never made it. The dur ked the madness of the prophet, that it to carry him in a way God forbad and where the angel ftood to oppofe 'could the creatures fpeak to us, we many complaints that way. God gav tures to be fervants to man, but man h for flaves to his lufts; and who would to be fo maltreated? There are two th make hard fervice:
4. The creature has fallen into the hands o God's enemies, and is forced to ferve them. When man stood, all the creatures were at his beck, and were ready to come to him at his call. But when he left Gcd, all the creatures would have left him, the fun would have fhined no more on him, the air would have refused his breathing in it, the earth would not have fed nor carried him more, if God had not subjected them anew to him: Rom. viii. 20. “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath fubjected the fame in hope." We fee how far fome of them have gone in renouncing their fervice to him, Job, xxxix. 7. 8. And ver. 9. "Will the unicorn be willing to ferve thee, or abide by thy crib ?" And they would all have left their fervice, as a faithful fervant will leave his mafter, when he goes out in rebellion against his fovereign, but that they were forced to go along; and therefore they groan.
5. They are ufed by finners to ends for which God never made them. They fuffer violence, they are abufed, and therefore they groan. God made them for his honour, men abuse them to his difhonour. Never did a beast speak but once, BaJaam's afs, Numb. xxii. 28. 30. and that was ? complaint on man for abufing it to an end for which God never made it. The dumb afs rebuked the madness of the prophet, that would have it to carry him in a way God forbade him to go, and where the angel ftood to oppofe him. And, ́could the creatures fpeak to us, we would hear many complaints that way. God gave the creatures to be fervants to man, but man has fold them for flaves to his lufts; and who would not groan to be fo maltreated? There are two things which make hard fervice:
(1.) Labour in vain, continual toil, and yet no profit by it. The creatures have no intermission in their fervice: Ecclef. i. 5. 8. "All things are full of labour." But O where is the profit of it all? The fun rifeth, and runs his race every day, and never refteth. But what is the iffue? If it were to let men fee to read God's word, to behold and admire his works, to perform acts of piety, to accomplish fubftantial good, all the toil would never be grudged by the creatures. But, alas! here is the cafe, for the most part men fee to fin more by it, the worldling, the drunkard, &c. to pursue their lufts by it. The night waits on in its turn, and the thief, the adulterer, and the like, get their ́lufts fulfilled with it. The air waits about us continually, and the fwearer gets fworn by it, the liar lied by it, and the like. The earth and fea wait on us with their produce; and people get their fenfuality, their vanity, pride, and the like, nourished by it. What wonder they groan, to be brought to this pass? Sun, moon, air, earth, and fea, are groaning for this as they can. If our very meat and drink could groan, they would groan in the dish, cup, throat, and belly of the drunkard, glutton, fenfualift, yea, of every one with whom they are not employed to nourish the body for the Lord and his fervice, but for the world, &c.There is,
(2.) Hard labour, and much lofs by it. Wehave both thefe: Hab. ii. 13. "Behold, is it not of the Lord of hofts, that the people fhall labour in the very fire, and the people fhall weary themfelves for very vanity?" The creatures not only toil for vanity, but as it were in the fire, where they smart for their pains. The covetous oppreffor's money kept from the labourer, groans in the corner of your cheft, and cries, "Behold, the