Expressed in brief Medita­tions upon the 84 Psalme: and more particularly upon the 11 Verse thereof.

Studied for the use of the right Worshipfull Company of Dra­pers LONDON.

By W. F.

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom then shall I feare? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom then shall I be a­fraid, Psal. 27.1.

LONDON, Printed by Tho. Harper for Richard Harper, and are to be sold at his shop at the Bible

TO THE RIGHT Honourable Sir Maurice Abbot Knight, Lord Major, Master of the Company of Drapers, and to M. Thomas Goodyer, M. Thomas Bewly, M. Steven Burton, and M. David Ed­wards Wardens: as also to the Assi­stants and rest of that Company, William Freake wisheth all hap­pinesse conducing to this life and a better.

Right Honorable, and Worshipfull:

TO give a publike account of the reasons moving mee to make a private dedication of these Meditations to your Compa­ny, may be expected by some: But it sufficeth me, and I hope will content others that I acknowledge a loving [Page]relation to your Company, which un­to me is a strong obligation for a due and thankfull respect to you all. I must confesse, some of you in your parti­culars have deserved of mee more then ordinary, but your Company in general above all the Societies of this City, though divers others well, to God be the glory for it. Accept then I pray you this oblation of grati­tude from him who is and will be whiles God shall grant life, for the welfare and everlasting happinesse of you all.

A daily petitioner to the throne of Grace, William Freake.

THE PRIVILEDGES OF the upright in heart.

PSAL. 84.11.

For the Lord God is a Sun and a Shield: the Lord will give grace and glory; and no good thing will he with­hold from them that walk uprightly.

THat wee may make no dis­orderly entrance upon the exposition of this Verse, the Porter which standeth before the doore thereof must first be spoken with­all, this causall conjunction. [...]ox: For the [Page 2] Lord is the Sunne and a Shield: And hee directs us to reflect our Meditations for a while upon the words of this Psalme in the verses foregoing, the serious consideration and true understanding wherof will open us the right door of entrance to that which we desire. The Prophet David in this Psalme expresseth an earnest longing after the com­munion of the Sanctuary, in the 1, 2, 3, ver­ses, because of the blessednesse of those that enjoy the same, as hee expresseth in the 4, 5, 6, and 7 verses. And upon this Meditation, hee layeth the foundation of his prayer to God, that he would be pleased once more to admit him thereunto, in the 8 and 9 verses: Adding two forcible Reasons of his earnest longing in this case; the one in the 10 verse, the other in the words of this verse. In the tenth verse, For a day in thy Courts is better then a thousand elsewhere: and I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, then to dwell in the tents of wickednesse, that is his first Reason. The second Reason is exprest in the words of this verse, For the Lord God is a Sun and a shield, &c. I have given you the coherence and occasion of these words, now take the division of them.

Here is, first, the party spoken of: Domi­ [...] [...]

Secondly, what is said of him: and that is in severall particulars.

First, He is instiled a Sun: Dominus Deus Sol est: The Lord God is a Sun.

Secondly, He is intituled a shield: Domi­nus Deus clypeus est: The Lord God is a shield.

Thirdly, Hee will give Grace and Glory: Gratiam & gloriam ministrabit.

Fourthly, He will withhold no good thing from them that walke uprightly.

These are the particulars, which I shall endevour (God willing) to handle in order as they arise under my hand. But first I crave your patience that I may have leave to stoop and gather a flowere or two, as they grow in the way to our Text: for so the first word therof adviseth mee, being a conjunction causall, and directing us a little to look back upon the coherence. The Psalmist at such time as he composed this Psalme, was driven out of Ierusalem by his rebellious sonne Absolon, and now in this time of exile from the tabernacle, hee is possest with frequent meditations concerning it, and is brought to set a larger estimate upon the comforts therof, carendo quàm fruendo; by feeling the losse, then by the enjoying the comforts of it.

[Page 4] 1. Object. A disease that the best man may be subject unto. Before this storm fell upon David, even when hee had full freedome to to frequent the Tabernacle, he could for all his thoughts thereof be too indulgent to himself, and his lawlesse lusts in the case of Bathsheba. To let us see how too much peace and prosperity is subject to befoole even the most sanctified soule. Wee have Davids own confession to this purpose, Psal. 30.6, 7. In my prosperity, I said I shall never be moved: thou, ô Lord, of thy goodnesse hadst made my hill so strong. A passage of holy Writ that much confirmeth the truth of that which a Reverend Bishop of our own maketh his observation: viz. The tempta­tions on the right hand are more perilous than those on the left, and destroy a thousand to the others ten: as the Sunne more usually causeth the Travayler to cast off his cloke then doth the winde. The saying is old and true, Plures interimit crapula quàm gladius: More lives are cast away through wanton­nesse in surfet, then are cut off by the sword: And I dare say more soules are undone by the pleasures of prosperity, then are ship­wrackt by the stormes of adversity. I would to God that the practice of these times did [Page 5]not proove this too true, even among our selves. Wee wantonnize with the Gospell, and because the glorious Sun-shine thereof hath continued without interruption for some scores of years, our souls begin to loath this heavenly Manna, as did those lusting Israelites, Numb. 11.6. And if God should so deale with us as he hath with our Neigh­bour Churches, that we should be debarred the happy freedome and liberty of the Go­spell, as many of us as belong to God would finde just cause to be troubled, as David confesseth himselfe was, when God upon the like occasion had turned his face from him, Psal. 30.7. and wee should learne better to prize the Word of God and his blessed Or­dinances, when our soules finde the misse of the comforts of his Sanctuary, then now we do: Our soules would then sonne cry out with Davids in this Psalme, Oh how amiable are thy tabernacles, thou Lord of hosts; my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the Courts of the Lord, Verse 1, 2. Which extremity that our souls may never be driven to, let us make it our suite daily to Almighty God, that wee may know the day of our visitation: the want wherof was Ierusalems unhappinesse, Luke 19 44. And knowing the same wee [Page 6]may labour to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, before our Candlesticke be re­moved out of its place. But I insist no lon­ger upon this first observation, I am yet but in the way to our text.

2. Whereas in the fourth Verse of this Psalme David describeth the blessednesse of such as dwell in the house of God, because they have daily opportunity to prayse him, as those Priests and Levits, who by his ap­pointment were to minister before the Lord in his Tabernacle. I Chron. 16.4, 5, 6. con­cerning whom in particular, the Hebrew Rabbins understand these words to be spo­ken: It may serve to shew us the duty and dignity of the Ministers of Gods word, what their chiefe care should be, even to attend upon God in the duties of their holy Fun­ction, for the glorifying of his Name by the winning of soules: what their dignity is in that they are permitted to frequent Gods house day by day, and there to sing prayses unto his holy Name that by this double me­ditation they may be every day put in mind Hoc agere, to doe that wherunto they are appointed, without giving themselves liber­ty to follow the pleasures or profits of this bewitching World.

[Page 7] 3. Whereas it is said in the fifth Verse, that the man is blessed, whose strength is in the Lord, and in whose heart are his ways: which the Hebrew Rabbins understand to be spo­ken of the people of Israel in generall, who placed the strength of their confidence in the protection of the God of Israel, and set their mindes upon those ways which from each quarter of their Land, tended towards the place where the tabernacle was pitched. Wee may learne where the confidence of a Christian heart should be placed, namely, in the Lord his God: whom the Psalmist so con­fidently stileth his rocke, his fortresse, his deli­verer, his God, his strength in whom hee would trust, his buckler, the horn of his salvation, and his high tower, Psal. 18.2.

4. As also, whereas it is said: Blessed is the man whose strength is in the Lord, and in whose heart are his ways: It may serve to teach us, that if we expect protectiō from God as our strength, we must be mindfull to keep our selves in the ways of God, and to have them still in our heart. That precious promise which God maketh of preservation by the Ministery of his holy Angels, is to those one­ly that minde the ways of God, Psal. 91.11 Mandabit Angelis, &c. He shall give his An­gels [Page 8]charge over thee, to keepe thee in all thy ways, not in thy by-ways which are of thine own chusing, but in thy right wayes, as of Gods appointing: And this is the reason (as most of the Fathers conceive) why the De­vill when he tempted our blessed Lord with this Scripture, Math. 4.6. left out that clause in viis tuis.

5. In which ways, albeit they lye through the valley of Baca, the vale of teares, yet they that minde the way to Gods Tabernacle, even therin shall finde many sweet refresh­ments, Verse 6.7. That they faint not tho­rough thirst, they shall have wels of water, and the rain shall cover their pooles: wels of water, but of their own digging: They must use all good means afforded unto them, and then the Lord from Heaven shal rain upon them: he shall comfort them with the dew of his grace, hee shall powre upon them the conti­nuall dew of his blessings. Wherwith being supplyed in their journey, they shall walk from strength to strength, till every one appeare before God in Sion, Verse 7. Et hic quoque succurrie gratia diuina, saith Musculus on this place. Herein the grace of God prevents and assists them, so abundantly strengthening those that minde this way aright, that no difficul­ty [Page 9]in passage, no violence of opposition, can any way take them off, but doth rather in­flame the heate of their courage, making them constant unto the end, and their abi­lities both of knowledge and practice, grow­ing by the daily use they have therof: so that they walke from strength to strength untill they appear before God in Sion.

6. Great cause therfore have we every one of us to pray with the Psalmist, upon these grounds of Meditation, as Verse 8, 9. Oh Lord God of hosts heare my prayer, give eare ô God of Iacob. Behold, ô Lord, our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. Oh look upon the meritorious intercession of thine anoin­ted, thy Christ, our Redeemer, and for his sake give us strength and grace to finish our course in thy ways, that we may appeare be­fore thee in Sion.

7. And that for these two Reasons which our Psalmist addeth.

First, Because a day in thy Courts is better then a thousand elswhere: and I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, to have im­ployment there in the meanest office that may entitle me Gods servant upon grounds of just relation, then to dwell at freedome and libertie, in all height of pleasures in the tents of wickednesse, as ye have it in the words [Page 10]next before my text. That is the first Reason.

The second Reason is in the words of my text, wherunto the way hath brought us in a direct course now at the last, upon which (by Gods blessing) wee will be bold now to en­ter; having the doore orderly opened, For the Lord (God) is a Sun and a shield, &c.

And here according to the division of this Verse, I begin with the subjectum, the partie spoken of, which is Dominus Deus, the Lord God.

8. The great Lord Paramount of Hea­ven and earth by right of Creation, the God of Iacob, as hee is stiled, Verse 8, the GOD of his Elect and chosen people Israel, the God of all true believers, the children of Abrahams faith, of what Nation soever that the Sun shineth upon. This is he for whose Tabernacle David so longed, be­fore whom all the travailing Israelites were carnest to present themselves at the end of their journey, as their God in whose presence is the fulnesse of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore, Psal. 16. last verse. And well might they long to appear before such a God in Sion: in Sion, the beauty of the whole earth, as he speaks elswhere, Psal. 48.2. in Sion, where God appeareth in perfect beauty, Psal. 50.2. where was that beauty of [Page 11]holinesse, mentioned, 2 Chron. 20.21. such a beauty as could not be so sufficiently con­ceived, nor expressed in any termes sutable to our capacity, as by this Metaphor of the Sun in his strength, and therefore hee saith, Dominus Deus est Sol.

9 Obser. A figurative speech, a Metaphor, as Rhetoricians call it, but a most significant one, if rightly understood, fully expressing, that, what the Sun the publike eye of Hea­ven is to the World, the same is God to the soule of every one that longeth after him with Davids affection. Sol ortu suo coeli tri­stitiam discutit, noctis tenebras fugat, terram universam illuminat, saith Musculus upon this place. The Sun at his arising pulleth of that sad mantle of darknesse, wherwith his absence had clad the Heavens, dispelleth the sable clouds of night, restoring light and comfort to the whole earth. A passage which is excellently described by the Psalmist, Psal. 19.4. where hee speaks of the tabernacle of the Sunne set in Heaven, out of which hee commeth as a Bridegroom out of his cham­ber. A most cleare demonstration of the glorious worke of God in the heart of a Christian, so farre as our weake capacities can conceive. Qui gratia suae aspectu, idem [Page 12]est piorum mentibus, quod Sol virtute suâ uni­verso terrarum orbi, saith the same Exposi­tor: who communicateth not only as much comfort to the souls of the godly by the il­lumination of his grace, but much more; then the Sunne doth to the World by the influence of his beames. Hence is it that our blessed Lord, who by Saint Paul is ter­med the expresse image of the Father, 2 Cor. 4 4. is by Saint Iohn stiled the true light that lighteth every man that commeth into the world. Iohn 1.9. And it is a thing wherof you can­not be ignorant that the Sun alone with the brightenesse of his beames though he be but one, quite expelleth the darknesse of the night, which the Moon and all the Stars are not able to doe without him: even so our blessed Lord that perfect Sonne of righte­ousnesse, as the Prophet stiles him, Mal. 4.2 by the rayes of his divine light, not onely dispels those mists of ignorance wherin all men naturally are inveloped, but giveth the true knowledge of that way to salvation, which all Philosophy and humane learning could never lead a man unto: because indeed (as Saint Paul most truly delivers it) Colos. 2.3. in him alone are bidden all the treasures of true wisdome and heavenly knowledge. Again, [Page 13]as in our Horizon when the Sunne in our night-time is subterraneous, all that light which the Moone or Stars have is borrowed by reflexion from the Sun: So in all opini­ons and doctrines that tend towards Reli­gion, if there be any light at all, it is by re­flex from this Sun of the World our blessed Lord Christ Iesus. Most significantly there­fore is our God stiled our Sunne, and our blessed Lord the Sonne of God, that life which is the light of men, John 1.4. And most punctually true is that word of our Saviour, Iohn 3.20, 21. that every one that doth evill, hateth this light, neither com­meth to it, lest his deeds should be discove­red: But he that doth truth, commeth to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.

Ʋse. That we may be perswaded, as our blessed Lord hath admonished, while wee have this light, to believe in this light, that we may be the children of light, Iohn 12.36 and while we have this light to walk in this light, lest darknesse come upon us, ibid. v. 35. As never forgetting who it was that said of himselfe, what could never be truly said of any but himself, Iohn 8.12. Ego sum lux mun­di, I am that light of the World, he that fol­loweth [Page 14]mee, shall not walke in darknesse, but shall have the light of life. So that now you have heard how our God is a Sun, now mark how he is a shield also: For our God is a Sun and a shield.

10. The shield is a piece of defensive Armes appropriated to fighting men. And because Christians in the Church Militant have need of protection against the mani­fold assaults of spirituall enemies, the Lord GOD who is a defender of all those that fight his battails, is elegantly by the Holy Ghost stiled, the shield of his people that put their trust in him. David in his greatest extremity at Ziklag, when his people upon the spoile therof by the Amalekites, spoke of stoning him, and the text saith, he was great­ly distressed, yet comforted himselfe in the Lord his God, 1 Sam. 306. And trusting to his protection as to his shield and buckler, consulted him by Abiathar the Priest, and re­ceiving a gracious answer, following the di­rections of the Oracle, hee recovered all a­gain, as you may reade in the sequell of that Chapter. The Lord hereby giving just cause unto David thus to sing in that his [...] or triumphant song, when God had delive­red him from the hands of all his enemies, and from the hands of Saul, 2 Sam. 22.1. [Page 15]at verse 35. Dedisti mihi clypeum salutis tuae, Thou hast given mee the shield of thy salva­tion, as Saint Ierome reads it. Thus was hee Davids shield. A patterne for religious Prin­ces. Moses and Aaron in the like distresse, when the whole Congregation cryed out to stone them, were safe under the protection of this shield, and when all humane help fai­led, were rescued by the appearing of the glory of the Lord, at the doore of the Taber­nacle of the Congregation, before all the children of Israel, Numb. 14.10. Thus was the Lord God a shield to Moses and Aaron▪ A patterne for pious Governours in Church or State. Abraham in all his peregrinations from Ʋr of the Caldees unto and in the land of Canaan was safe under this shield, even as God had promised saying, Gen. 15.1. Fear not Abraham, I am thy shield. A president for all the faithfull, the children of Abrahams saith, whether Iews or Gentiles in what di­stresse soever that can affront them in this vale of tears: To shew them, that if they trust in the Lords protection in their wayes of o­bedience, they may sing with the Church, even when the world saith of them, there is no helpe for them: But thou, ô Lord, art my shield, thou art my glory and the lifter up of my [Page 16]head, Psal. 3.2, 3. For thou, Lord, will blesse the righteous, and with favour wilt thou compasse him as with a shield. Psal. 5.12. For why? Be­hold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy, Psal. 33.18. To deliver their souls from death, and to keepe them alive in famine, ibid. verse 19. upon which assurance Gods children may sing joyfully, as ibid. verse 20. Our soule wayteth for the Lord, he is our helpe and our shield.

Thus have you heard how the Lord is a shield also.

And yet this is not all the instruction that these words afford us.

II. For even in this conjunction of the Sunne and Shield, is a marvellous comfort laid up for true believers, if it be rightly con­sidered, Deus Sol illuminationis, Deus Clypeus protectionis, saith Musculus, upon this Text, God is the Sun of his Church to enlighten the same with saving knowledge, that his people may understand the way wherin hee would have them to walke, and to direct all their goings: to make good that of the Psal­mist, Psal 37.23. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and hee delighteth in his [Page 17]wayes. This Sun alone doth light us into the way wherin himself would have us to walk, and out of which way wee may expect no blessing. And, because, even in this warrant­able way the afflictions of the righteous are many, Psal. 34.19. God contenteth not him­self to be our Sun only to direct, but he is our shield to protect us also: liberabit eos omnibus afflictionibus, the Lord wil deliver them out of all, as it followeth in that part of the Psalme.

12. Again, because as S. Paul fpeaks, Act. 14 24. [...], &c. Wee must through many tribulations enter into the Kingdome of God: therfore is our God our shield, as to defend us from affronts under his protection, so, to enable us to bear those wee meet with, not suffering us to be tempted above our strength, 1 Cor. 10.13. nor yet our faith to faile, Luke 22.32. [...] the very houre of temptation, be wil keep us from the evill of it, Revel. 3.10. and in the deepest distresse therby will make his Grace sufficient for us, that his strength may be made perfect in our weaknesse, 2 Cor. 12.9. In a word, the Lord our God is a Sunne to his Church according to the promise of our blessed Redeemer, shining in our hearts by that spirit of truth, who guideth into all truth, Iohn [Page 18]16.13. And the Lord is the shield of his Church, being with the same alwayes even unto the end of the World, Matth. 28, last verse, That the gates of hell may never pre­vaile against it, as our blessed Lord hath promised, Matth. 16.18.

13. And doubtlesse wee have very great reason to depend upon this truth, by build­ing our faith upon the illumination of this Sun, and protection of this shield: seeing (as it followeth in the next words of this verse) it is this Sun alone that giveth grace, this shield that giveth glory. Deus enim Sol & clypeus, dabit gratiam & gloriam. The Lord will give grace, saith the text. Most truely, whether it be the first touch and beginning of Grace in the heart of a Christian, or it be the progresse and increase of it, or it be the perfecting thereof in the soule; it is freely Gods gift. Dominus dat, Saint Iames affir­meth it positively, Iames 1.17. Every good gift, and every perfect giving is from above, and commeth down from the Father of lights, where it is not altogether unworthy your noting that he stileth God patrem luminum, in rela­tion to the Metaphor in our Text, where hee is called our Sunne, That we may know that whersoever our God is not by the influence [Page 19]of his light, there is all darknesse without any exception, according to the sence of the holy Ghost in our Text. If wee looke upon man in his naturall estate, hee is not onely lame, but dead in sins and trespasses, Ephes. 2 1 By the influence therfore of Gods Spirit, there must be created in us a new lise that was not, and not onely the former life ex­cited which was, according to that of the Psalmist, Psal. 51.10. Create in mee a new heart, ô Lord, not onely stirre up that clean one which hath been somwhat defiled, saith a reverend Bishop of our own Church, in his Roma irreconciliabilis, cap. de libero arbitrio. Nay, I goe further, and by the warrant of Scripture too: The old heart which is natu­rally dead in sinne must be taken away, and a new heart by Grace put in the room ther­of, Ezek. 11.19, 20. I will put a new spirit within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you an heart of flesh: that yee may walke in mine Ordinances, and keep my statutes to do them. So absolute is that truth which we deduce from the words of our Text, that the first touch and begin­ning of Grace in the heart of a Christian is the free gift of God, and that without the influence of this Sun, there can be no light [Page 20]of Grace in the heart. Yea, but when the Grace of God is kindled in the heart of a Christian, who shall blow it up to a flame? Is man able of himselfe to doe it? Oh, no: Without me yee can do nothing, saith our blessed Lord, Ioh. 15.5. Without the grace of God both preventing and assisting wee are no more able to prosper and grow in grace, then the branch which abideth not in the Vine is able to bring forth fruit, Iohn 15.4. And, as for growing towards perfection, S. Paul delivereth it positively, that God the Father hath by his Sonne our Redeemer appoin­ted the work of the Ministery for the perfect­ing of the Saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till wee all come in the unity of faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ, Ephes. 4 12, 13. So that it is God a­lone who by his blessing upon his holy Or­dinances, the preaching of the Word, and ad­ministration of his Sacraments consciona­bly waited upon, bringeth this worke to ef­fect.

To speake yet more particularly. Every man by nature is both ignorant and an un­believer: who shall now give him spirituall understanding? who shall perswade him to [Page 21]believe? The naturall man perceiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse unto him, neither can he know them, saith Saint Paul, meaning, while hee resteth in his natural estate, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. 2.14. It must be therfore a beame from this Sun mentioned in our Text, that must lighten mans eyes that he sleep not in death, Psal. 13.3. For it is God alone that giveth grace to understand the things that belong to our eternall peace. As rouching believing the Gospell unto salvati­on, which is only by a true and lively faith: this is not in the heart of man by nature it is the gift of God onely, who purifieth the heart by faith, as hee did the hearts of the Gentiles at their first conversion to Christianity. Acts 15.9. As touching Repentance, who can deny it to be the immediate gift of God, that shall reade what Saint Peter so positively delive­reth, Acts 15.31. How God by his owne right hand hath exalted his Son lesus to be a Prince & a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel for remission of sins. Take the word then as you will, it falleth out most true, that God giveth Grace, the beginnings, the increasings, the perfection of grace: the grace to know God aright, to believe unto salvation, to repent [Page]and to turn from sin; it is God that worketh in you both to will and to doe, saith Saint Paul, Phillip. 2.13. Inabling you to worke out your own salvation with feare and trembling, Phil­lip. 2.12. Dominus dat gratiam, as it is in my Text.

14. And as he giveth grace, so glory also. Hence is it that the Lord hath promised by the Prophet Isaiah, That he will be a crown of glory, and a Diademe of beauty unto his people, Jsa. 28.5. as also, that the Sun shall be no more their light by day, nor the Moon by night: but, saith he, the Lord shall be to thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory, Isa. 60.19. Hence it is that Saint Paul to the Corinthians, maketh mention of an eternall and exceeding weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4.17. and of Christs bringing many sonnes to glory: Heb. 2.10. That yee may know (as our Psalmist singeth most sweetly) that it is God alone who guideth his people with his grace, and so fitteth them for glory. Thou wilt guide me with thy counsaile, and afterwards receive me to giory, Psal. 73.24. according to the words of my Text, the Lord will give grace and glory.

15. And yet (which I desire you to ob­serve with mee out of the order of the [Page 23]words) first, Grace, then Glory. For whom­soever God did for know, he did also predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, saith S. Paul, Ro. 8.29. and whom he predestinateth to glory, thē he calleth by his grace to the knowledge of himselfe: whom he calleth, them he justifieth, and whom he justifieth, them he glorifieth, ibid. v. 30. so that the high road towards Heaven and glorification there, is the way of grace by sanctification here. The Romans in their blindnes [...]e of Heathenisme had a glimpse of this, and therfore they so contrived the buil­ding of the Temple of Honour, that there was no way into it but by going first through the Temple of Vertue: that men might learn to seek honor onely by a course of vertue. Which should be the care of true Christians much more, as who cannot be ignorant that except they live here the life of grace, there can be no expectation of glory in the life to come, God is the God of Order, not of confusion, and as in natural things hee useth to proceed from one extreme to ano­ther by degrees, through the means; so doth he in this spirituall worke, the salvation of mans soule. The Sun doth not at one jumpe leap from his rising place to the highestpiton in the South, but in processe of certaine [Page 24]houres accomplisheth it by noon. The sea­sons of the yeare are not altered in one day from scorching heat to nipping cold, but by degrees: so in spirituall things God never bringeth any man from his estate in sinne to the estate of glory, but through the estate of grace, for God giveth grace and glory. And no good thing will hee withhold from them that walke uprightly, as it followeth in the last clause of this verse, to which I now descend.

16. Nihil boni detraket in synceritate ambu­lantibus, He will withhold nothing: For, all things are yours, saith Saint Paul to his Co­rinthians, 1 Cor. 3.21. Whether Paul, or Apol­los, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours: And why? for you are Christs, and Christ is Gods, ibid. verse 22, 23. Nay, further, He will withhold no good thing from them that walke uprightly. Nothing that his divine wisdome shall see to be good indeed: nothing, that may truly and really be conducing to their good for he hath said in our Text, Nihil boni detrahit, No good thing will hee withhold from them that walke uprightly.

17. But here a double question com­meth to be answered. First, who are those that walk uprightly? Secondly, How is this [Page 25]true concerning them, that God withholds no good thing from them? To the first de­mand, who those are that walk uprightly: I answer: Not those onely who fulfill every point of the law in their life and carriage in that exact manner and degree as is required, nor those alone who are punctual in an out­ward habit of righteousnes, as the Pharisies among the Iews. Nor those Iusticiaries of Rome, who professe not onely to doe all that is commanded, but to merit by works of su­pererogation: but such onely as walk before God, that is, live, as in his sight, with a per­fect heart, as David professed, Psal. 101.2. such as walke before God, as Abraham was commanded, Gen. 17.1. being perfect, or rather (as our margine their reads it) being upright or sincere: Sincerus, a word borrowed from honey, as the Grammarians will have it, which, the purer it is sine cerâ without waxe, the more pleasant and wholsome it is; denoting unto us, that sincerity of heart in the middest of humane infirmities, as it is the greatest perfection wee can arrive at in this world, so it is that which God requi­reth and accepteth of us. Because (as a Re­verend Divine of our own said) great vertues not sweetned with sincerity are no orna­ment [Page 26]unto us: and great infirmities not sowred with hypocrisie, are no great de­formities in the eye of Almighty God, those God acknowledgeth not: these he imputes not. The many infirmities that escaped Da­vid in his life time, were covered by the holy Ghost with the mantle of charity, because his sincerity was [...] shaken with them, as it was with his [...] murther: as you may read 1 Kings 15.5. where it is said of him that his heart was upright in all things save onely in the matter of Ʋriah. As were al­so the Infirmities of Asa King of Iuda in not taking away the high places, where it is said of him in his story, 1 Kings 15.14. Never­theles Asa his heart was perfect with the Lord all his days. So that sincerity of heart, when it is not divided as Os [...]a speaks, Osea 10.2. but is bestowed upon God in simplicity, as it is the most, that man can performe, so it is all that God expects, and so our first questi­on is answered. To the second, How is it true that GOD withholds no good thing from them that walk uprightly? seeing ma­ny of Gods dearest children are often expo­sed to hard measures, and [...] of those things which the wicked enjoy in abun­dance? I answer. First, wee must leave it to [Page 27]God to appoint what hee seeth good for us, not be our own carvers: submitting to his divine will and pleasure in what distresse soever, as David did when hee said, 2 Sam. 15.26. Behold, here I am, let the Lord doe unto me as seemeth good unto him. And, se­condly, wee must cast our selves upon his divine power and love towards us; who is both able and willing to make all things work together for good to them who depend upon him, Rom. 8.28. And, thirdly, we must take notice that though God in his divine wis­dome hath so appointed, that through much tribulation, true Christians must enter into the Kingdome of God, Acts 14.22. because many are the troubles of the righteous, Psal. 34.19. yet hee that keepeth Israel neither slumbreth nor sleepeth, Psal. 121.4. and in the deepest affliction his helpe is still at hand to supply all our wants as hee did for Elias in the wil­dernesse, to moderate our sufferings that they may not be more then wee shall be enabled to beare, 1 Cor. 10.13. to uphold us by his grace, making that sufficient for us, 2 Cor. 12.9. And lastly, to deliver us in conclusion either by taking the trouble from us as hee did from the three children, that it shall not have power to destroy us, or by taking us from it, that it may not [Page 28]have power to reach us, translating us into that paradise where no Serpent shall have power to enter, so that every way hee will make good his word, wee shall have what­soever is good for us, if not in our owne e­steeme, yet in Gods al-disposing wisdome and government, and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk upright: for the Lord God is a Sun and a shield: Hee will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he with hold from them that walk uprightly. And so I have done with the explication of these words, now for a word of application, and so I conclude. This Text of Scripture, as you see, hath acquainted us with some of those prime priviledges which our heavenly Fa­ther by the power of his divine prerogative of his speciall grace and favour hath given and granted, and by these presents in this Text, doth give and grant to all his faithfull children that endevour to walk before him in sincerity and uprightnesse of heart: And, that is, that he will be to all such a Sun of di­rection, and a shield of protection: hee will give them grace and glory, and no good thing will hee withhold from them as I have shewed you at large. Now had I the way or meanes to have procured from our Gracious Sove­raigne any addition to the Priviledges and [Page 29]Immunities of our Company, and could I now present the same unto you confirmed under the broad Seale of England, I should not doubt of a kinde acceptance and love for my pains. Behold, I have here presented you with better Priviledges under the great Seal of Heaven, extracted from the most sacred, and authenticall Word of God, de­livered unto you in his Name, and as his Minister, whom God the Father hath sealed, Iohn 6.27. and I give you a faire assurance of all those priviledges in this Text to be conferred upon all you that will sue out your Patent for the same, by the way which God requireth. And if any shall yet doubt which is the right way to have his patent confir­med from the King of Heaven in this case, let him looke upon the last words of this Text, and they will tell you, hee must walke uprightly before God: And then all the privi­ledges in this Text are yours, God hath pro­mised them, and hee will make them good: God will be unto you a Sun and a shield, the Lord will give grace and glory: and no good thing will heo with-hold from them that walke uprightly. Whereunto that I may prevaile with you to render your willing and con­stant obedience, take this one motive to [Page 30]think upon when you see not me. So often as you cast your eye upon the Armes of our Company, and thereby are put in minde that you are free Drapers, call to minde this text of Scripture, and take notice, that the beams of that Sun spoken of in my Text are a part of your Armes, and the shield therein men­tioned as a token of defence is denoted by that expression of a Soveraigne Regal power al-sufficient for protection, which the three Crowns may put you in minde of: and that way of Christianity wherin you are to walk in uprightnesse of heart is emblematized by the Crosse, which is set as the Crest upon the head of your Armes. And make you full ac­count, that these words are not words of course onely, they have somewhat in them worthy your most serious consideration: you see your devise is very significant, and may without much strayning be drawn from this Text: Think it therefore not unworthy your Meditations at convenient seasons, and call to minde what God hath spoken unto you upon this Text and by it, and suffer to this end a word of exhortation. As you de­sire to be directed by the gracious beames of this heavenly Sun mentioned in our Text, in all your fair undertakings, whereunto your [Page 31]lawfull callings shall ingage you in your temporall affaires: As you desire the com­fortable direction of this Sun to guide you in­to all truth in things that concerne your spi­rituall estate: As you desire to be preserved from such erroneous courses, as your owne darke mistakings might expose you unto, whether in the necessaries of this life, that your credit break not here, or in the eternall comforts of another life, that you perish not there everlastingly: Have an eye to the di­rections of this Sun of righteousnesse, in whom are hid all the treasures of true wisdome, and saving knowledge: Let the Lord God be your Sunne: As ever you trust to finde the prote­ction of this heavenly shield to defend you from all oppositions in your lawfull way, seeke daily direction from him who is your Sun, and walke in the wayes whereunto hee shall direct you, as ever remembring that he hath not promised to be a shield to any, but to those who are carefull to follow the Sun of his directions; nor will he be a shield, but where he is a Sunne. As you expect to obtain true saving grace, seeke it of him who is the onely giver of it, and seek it in the carefull and frequent use of his holy Ordinances, wherin hee hath promised to give it. For the Lord giveth grace.

And as you expect glory in the life to come, seek it by an holy course, a course of holines in this life present, in the Kingdom of grace: For, the Lord giveth grace and glory. And last of all, as you expect that God shall withhold no good thing from you, which his divine wis­dome shall see necessary and fitting for you, as conducing to Grace here, and Glory here­after: walk uprightly, and be sincere in his service: For, unto such onely are these hea­venly priviledges appropriated in my Text, For the Lord God is a Sun and a shield, &c.

And that in so doing wee may so finde,
Let us pray as the Church hath most piously instructed us.

MOst mercifull Lord, wee be­seech thee to cast the bright beames of thy light upon thy Church, that being enlightned by the doctrine of thy truth, it may at­taine [Page 33]to thy everlasting gifts. And because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us alwayes by thy helpe, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation: preserve thy houshold the Church in continuall godlinesse, that through thy protecti­on it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works to the glory of thy name, through Iesus Christ our Lord. To whom with the Father and the holy Ghost be honour and glory now and for evermore. Amen.

Page 4. for Objection, read Observation.



Guil. Bray.

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