In three Treatises.

  • I. A Plaister for the Plague.
  • II. Dearths Death.
  • III. The Churches Conquest over the Sword.

By WILLIAM GOVGE Doctor in Divinity, and Preacher of GODS Word in Black-Friers, LONDON.

EZEK. VI. XI. Alas, for all the evill abominations of the house of Israel: for they shall fall by the Sword, by the Famine, and by the Pestilence.
Famem, & pestilentiam, & bestias pessimas, & quicquid aliud malorum sustinemus in se­culo, propter nostra venire peccata manifestum est. Hier. Comment. l 2. in Ezek. 5.

LONDON, Printed by George Miller for Edward Brewster, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Signe of the Bible, at the great North doore of Pauls. 1631.

TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE, SIR THOMAS COVENTRY, Knight, Lord COVENTRY, Baron of Alesbo­rough, Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of ENGLAND.

Right Honourable,

EVen he that joyned his [...] Vox honorem exhibentis, & omnia bono pre­cantis. A­brek his joyfull applause with the joyfull acclamations of many when your Lordship Gen 41. 43. was first advanced to your honourable place, doth now see further cause to adde this [...] Vox congratu­lantis & collan­dantis Deum. Rev. 19. 6. & in psal. saepissimè. Halelu-jah, his congratulation, praising God for your conti­nuance, as in your place, so in your approved Inte­grity, which hath beene found, (as the Apostle saith of the faith of Christians) [...] c 1 Pet. 1. 7., [Page] unto your praise, and honour, and glory, like good gold, which from the furnace appeares more solid and resplendent. For, your kind of judicature, according to the nature of your place, and your owne purpose, is not onely (to use Aug. ad Mar­cel. Epist. 158. Saint Augustines phrase) Iudicis mollire sententiam, & mitiùs vindicare quàm leges, but it is like that which a Zac 8. 16. Prophet calls [...] Iudgement of peace: which Hier. Com­ment lib. 2. in Zac. cap. 8. Saint Hierom thus expounds, Hoc est judicium pacis ut propositum Iudex habeat pacificare discordes. This is no small difficulty, since according to the same Hier. Com­ment. lib. 1. in Esa. cap. 1. Hierom, Non est omnium rectè judicare, sed eorum qui pruden­tes sunt: who are made wise from above. Therefore Salomon in vi­sione per somni­um hoc à Deo postulavit, ut ac­cepta sapientia justè populum judicaret. Ibid. Salomon in a dreame asked this of God. And shall not the praise thereof by him that receiveth it, by them that partake of the benefit of it, be retur­ned to him from whom descendeth [...] & [...] Sie distinguo, ut denationem ab ipso dono. Beza. [...], [...]; But, my good Lord, least telling the truth of your selfe may seeme flattery to others, and flattery neither sorts with your disposition, nor be­comes my profession, give mee leave in mine high esteeme of your Honour, and humble expression of mine affection, to publish my poore paines under your honourable name: wishing I were able, [Page] besides my observance to your Lordship, in my zeale to Gods Church, Gemmas offerre. But with Origen, Quia haec supra me sunt, pilas caprarum habere merear, &c. For, whatso­ever my weakenesses bee, are not these times seaso­nable (I would they were not) for such a Subject as is here handled, Treatises of Plague and Fa­mine, yea and of Warre too? For, though by the Prudence & Providence of our royall Soveraigne, Sonne and Heire of the great Peace-maker, [...] warre be kept out of our land: yet in other parts of Christendome, it, and the restrage like over-flow­ing flouds, to the ruine of many States and of true Religion. The Lion hath roared, who will not feare? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesie? Yet are these Treatises neither to terrifie for what is past, nor to prophesie of what is yet to come; but rather to heale the wounds that have beene made by the fore-intimated arrowes, and to direct us how to keepe the Lord from fur­ther shooting out the like. It is the part of us Mi­nisters of Gods Word, out of his Word to declare what he intendeth and expecteth when he smileth, or frowneth on his people. Magistrates (who by rea­son of their places, are in Canaans language [Page] stiled [...] Gods and children of the Psal. 82. 6. most high) have the power to cause divine directi­ons to bee put in execution. Thus therefore doth an ancient Father paraphrase on that text, bring­ing in God himselfe thus speaking to Magistrates, I have given you mine own honour, and dig­nity, [...]. Iustin. Mart. Quest. & Resp. ad Orthodox. q 142.and title, Therefore judge the people as if I my selfe judged it. To whom now may those seasonable Treatises which do (as it were with the finger) point at Gods particular dealing with us, be more fitly presented, then to him, who under his most excellent Majesty, hath so great a place and part, with others, to settle orders for suc­couring poore people, wounded as aforesaid, and for sheltring them from those arrowes. Of the Treatises thus commended to your honourable Pa­tronage, gracious acceptance is in all humility cra­ved by him that professeth himselfe to be.

At your Honours command, WILLIAM GOVGE.
TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE, RIGHT Worshipfull, and other my Be­loved Parishioners, Inhabitants of Black-Fryers LONDON, all Happinesse.
Right Honourable, Right Worshipfull, Beloved,

BEhold here a Testimony of my due Re­spect to you. Behold here an Apo­logy for my seeming Neglect of you. I do acknowledge that all the Respect which by a gratefull Pastor may be due to a loving People, is by me due to you. In that respect, I do here Treatises presented to my parishio­ners. 1 The whole Armont of God. 2 Domesticall Daties. 3 A Guide to go to God. 4 Gods three Arrowes. the fourth time give publike testimony thereof by presenting to you in speciall that which is made publike to all. The neglect of you, objected against me, is, my seldome preaching among you this last yeare. This ancient, undeniable aphorisme, Vltra posse non est esse: ncc velit quidem. A man can do no more then he can, giveth a just an­swer thereto. Great hath beene the weakenesse of my body, first occasioned by a very dangerous dis­ease in August last (how low I was brought thereby, [Page] many of you are witnesses) and further increased by two relapses, one in Nov. the other in Febr. follow­ing. (Of Gods goodnes in my recoveries I shall have fit occasion to speake on The Saints Sacrifice, shortly to be tendred unto you.) Had I no other excuse, this [...]; Chrys. Hom. 1. in cap. 1. ad Tit. were sufficient. Saint Chrysostome, where he gran­teth that by the weakenesse of Ministers bodies the Churches commodities may be intercepted, concludeth that Ministers in such cases are not to be blamed. But howsoever my weakenesse were a just impediment to preaching (whereby the spirits of a feeble man are much exhausted) yet would I not make it a pre­text for wasting precious time in idlenesse. It was wittily and gravely said, Cavendum & in ocio ocium est. Bern de Con­sid. l. 3. c. 13. Scipio Africanus dicere solebat Nunquam se minus ociosum quam cum ocio­osus esset. Cic. Offic. lib. 3. Even in leisure lasinesse is to be shunned. Worthy therefore of all to be imitated is he, who made that use of freedome from publique affaires, as he set himselfe more close to his pri­vate studies, and thereupon was wont to say that, He was never lesse at leisure then when he was most at leisure: Answerably (according to the abilitie which God gave me) I endeavoured to spend that cessation which I had from publike imployments, in my priuate studies, so as some fruit thereof might redound to you and others. By this my true and just apology, I hope the fore-mentioned seeming neg­lect of you, appeares to be but seeming, Concer­ning the subject matter of my private paines now made publike, though I had by me sundry treatises heretofore preached in your eares, which might with more ease have beene laid againe before your eyes: yet the manifestation of Gods displeasure against us and other parts of the Christian world, [Page] by shooting out his three [...] malas sagittas. Ezek. 5. 16 Metonymia effe­cti. evill arrowes (so called in regard of their evill effects) Plague, Famine, Sword, hath drawne my thoughts to meditate thereon, and to publish what in mine ordinary course of Mini­stry I have not had occasion to preach. Indeed on speciall occasions I have out of the pulpet delivered some of the points handled in these Treatises: but I never finished any of them. It is without question a point of prudence to eye the divine Providence in all things. For Maiestati divi­nae gubernatio pariter & admi­nistratio univer­sitatis incumbit. Bern super. Cant. Ser. 68. by it without all contradiction are all things thorowout the whole world governed and disposed: especially the affaires of his Church: on which sometimes the light of his favour brightly shineth: other-times haile-stones of indignation are showred downe. By a due observation hereof may our disposition to God be so ordered, as that, which God expecteth, be effected: namely Gratulation for his Favours: Humiliation for his Iudgements. Now are the times wherein clouds of Gods anger have obscured the bright skie of the Church. Pertinent therefore to the present times are the Treatises fol­lowing, and in that respect the more profitable to us of these times. Quo magis quid accomodum, eo magis com­modum est. The more pertinent a point is, the more profitable it is. I could wish that there were not so just occasion of treating of the fore-said three ar­rowes, as there is. We have felt the bitternesse of the plague within these six yeares more then in many hundred yeares before in this land: which arrow is now againe shot against us: and how farre the venime thereof (for it is a venimous arrow) may infect, who knowes? Both the Palatinates, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Hungaria, and almost all Germany: [Page] The generall History of France hath a catalogue of 99 townes and places of Ostage for them of the religion, redu­ced in these late warres. Rochel, Montauban, Monpellier, Nesmes, and other townes, cities, and countries in France: Bredaw in the Low Countries, and many other places in Chri­stendome, have felt the deepe wound of warre, whereby Idolatry hath thrust out Piety, Superstition is set in the roome of Religion, Vsurpers have entred up­on the rites of the true Lords and Inheritours, the bloud of many millions hath beeneshed, more have beeneexiled, and all things turn'd upside downe. S. Augustine in his time complained that the outrages of the Clergy of the Donatists so wasted the Clericorum Do­natistarum la­trocinia sic va­stant Ecclesias, ut Barbarorum fortasse sacta mi­tiora siat. Aug. Epist. 122. Churches, that Barbarians dealings might seeme to be more mild. How much more justly may we take up that complaint against the Popish Clergy, Iesu­ites, Monks, Priests, Friers, and the rest of that rabble? As for Famine, it begins to invade all Christendome: so as one country cannot be helpfull to another, as they have been in former times. Corne hath not been so deare among us, as now it is, in any living mans memory. How far this Famine begun may proceed and to what extremities it may bring both our, and other countries, no man can tell. Is it not now time for Plaisters to be made for the Plague, Provision to be procured against Dearth, and Protection provided against the Sword? Such are the evils of these Arrowes, as to determine which of them is the least evill, is not easie. I am sure, that the least of them is so evill, as there is just cause to use all the meanes that possibly we can to prevent or remove it. To these purposes tend the Treatises here tendred to you. In them ye shall find (beside sundry other usefull points) the ex­tremities of, and remedies for Plaister for the Plague §. 70, 71, 50, 64, &c. Plague, Dearths Death, §. 4, 5, 6, &c. Famine, [Page] and Churches 6 quest, §. 83, 85 9, 10, &c. Dignity of Chivalry, §. 15, 10, &c. Sword. With such a mind accept them as they are offered to you, by him that thinks no pains too much for your good, who is alwaies mindfull of you, and humbly and heartily desireth the helpe of your pray­ers: who though feeble in body, yet, so long as he retaineth any competent strength to do you any ser­vice, desireth to be

Your faithfull Minister, WILLIAM GOVGE.


In the Epistle Dedicatory in margine pag. 1. lin. 3, for bono reade bona. Pag. 19 lin. 36. and Mordecai was. p. 76. l. 29. To him therefore. p. 99. in marg. l. 10. Macrob. p. 110. l. 11. know not what. p. 111. in marg. l. 17. Gen. 17. 7. p. 325 adde in the end of l. 28 imply as much. p. 335. l. 9. he makes. P. 366. l. 33. so deepe a wound. p. 378. l. 12. noted that the very. p. 381. in marg. l. 22. for redi r. recti. p. 433. l. 14. had betrothed to his.

A Table of the Princ …

A Table of the Principall Points handled in The Plaister for the Plague, on Numb. 16. Vers. 44, 45, &c.

  • §. 1. Of the resolution of the whole history. 1
  • §. 2. Of the exposition and observations of Num. 16. 44. 4
  • §. 3. Of judgements as consequences of sinne. 5
  • §. 4. Of the sinnes that cause judgement. 6
  • §. 5. Of the courses to be taken when sinne is found out. 8
  • §. 6. Of the cases wherein we must seeke to slake Gods wrath. 9
  • §. 7. Of putting away sinne for removing judgements. 9
  • §. 8. Of Gods foretelling judgements. 11
  • §. 9. Of Gods making knowne his mind to his Ministers. 12
  • §. 10. Of the grounds that Ministers now have to foretell judgements. 13
  • §. 11. Of the meaning and doctrines of the first part of the 45. Verse of Numb. 16. 14
  • §. 12. Of the godlies exemption from the ungodlies destructi­on. 17
  • §. 13. Of the cases wherein Saints have their share in publike judgements. 18
  • §. 14. Of the sundry wayes of exempting Saints from judge­ments. 19
  • §. 15. Of Gods care of Saints mixed with the wicked. 20
  • §. 16. Of believers dying of the plague. 21
  • §. 17. Of avoiding communion with the wicked for avoiding their judgements. 23
  • §. 18. Of flying in time of plague. 24
  • §. 19. Of leaving multitudes in evill. 25
  • §. 20. Of the stay of judgement by reason of the godly mixed with the wicked. 26
  • §. 21. Of Gods revenging therebellious. 28
  • [Page] §. 22. Of the utter destruction which stubbornenesse brings to men. 29
  • §. 23. Of sudden judgements. 30
  • §. 24. Of the exposition and observations of the last part of the 45. Verse. 32
  • §. 25. Of the sense and notes of the former part of Verse. 46. 34
  • §. 26. Of respect to ones calling. 40
  • §. 27. Of using warrantable meanes to pacifie Gods wrath. 41
  • §. 28. Of sacrificing humane bloud to pacifie God. 42
  • §. 29. Of popish toyes to pacifie God. 44
  • §. 30. Of performing things warrantable with due circum­stances. 45
  • §. 31. Of shewing mercy to such as wrong us. 47
  • §. 32. Of speedy pacifying Gods wrath. 49
  • §. 33. Of attonement with God after his wrath hath beene kindled. 53
  • §. 34. Of Gods peculiar love to man. 54
  • §. 35. Of their desperate condition who reject reconciliation. 55
  • §. 36. Of the penitents comfort in reconciliation. 56
  • §. 37. Of the resemblance betwixt prayer and incense. 56
  • §. 38. Of incense typifying Christ. 59
  • §. 39.
    • Of the vertue of Christs intercession to appease God. 61
    • Of the vanity of meere creatures intercession. 62
  • §. 40. Of the scope of the last clause of the 46. Verse. 65
  • §. 41. Of the sense of these words wrath is gone out from the Lord. 66
  • §. 42. Of anger attributed to God. 67
  • §. 43. Of the lawfulnesse of anger. 69
  • §. 44. Of the matter of mourning which the provocation of Gods wrath gives. 72
  • §. 45. Of the sinnes which most provoke Gods wrath. 74
  • §. 46. Of the causes of Gods wrath among us. 79
  • §. 47. Of the kind of plague here meant. 82
  • §. 48. Of a plague as an effect of Gods wrath. 85
  • §. 49. Of afflictions as effects of wrath or love. 86
  • §. 50. Of the duties to be done when a plague is begun. 88
  • §. 51. Of the terrour of the beginning of Gods judgements. 89
  • [Page] §. 52. Of the meaning and method of the 47. Verse. 91
  • §. 53. Of obedience to Governours directions. 93
  • §. 54. Of ordering obedience to circumstances aright. 94
  • §. 55. Of the danger of scanty obedience. 96
  • §. 56. Of due respect to every branch of that which is given us in charge. 97
  • §. 57. Of speed in relieving the distressed. 98
  • §. 58. Of the danger of delaying succour. 99
  • §. 59. Of speedy succour. 99
  • §. 60. Of the boldnesse in danger which a good warrant gi­veth. 100
  • §. 61. Of publike persons forbearing to visit particular persons infected with contagious diseases. 103
  • §. 62. Of substituting others in ones place in time of danger. 103
  • §. 63. Of observing Gods judgements. 104
  • §. 64. Of the sense and scope of the 48. Verse. 106
  • §. 65. Of using meanes to preserve the living. 107
  • §. 66. Of using meanes in desperate cases. 109
  • §. 67. Of the efficacy of right meanes. 110
  • §. 68. Of Gods power over plagues. 112
  • §. 69. Of the meaning of the 49. Verse. 113
  • §. 70. Of a plagues devouring. 116
  • §. 71. Of the terrour of a plague. 119
  • §. 72. Of the many meanes that God hath to destroy men. 120
  • §. 73. Of the bloud of others which principals bring upon them­selves. 121


§. 1. Of the Resolution of the whole Historie.
NVMB. CHAP. 16. VER. 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49.

IN this history we have A Plaister for the Plague, such a plaister as hath its probatum est. For this plaister being applied to the plague, the plague was stayed, Verse 48. Verse 44. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying.

The parts are

  • 1. The Cause of the Plague.
  • 2. The Cure of the Plague.

The cause is

  • procuring.
  • inflicting.

The procuring cause is pointed out by this copulative par­ticle AND, which pointeth at the sinne of the people, set out in the 42, & 43. Verses.

The inflicting cause was the Lord. For he saith, I will con­sume, &c. And of him Moses saith, wrath is gone out from the Lord.

For Cure of this Plague, there is

  • 1. A prediction of it, spake.
  • 2. A prescription for it.

In the prediction is expressed,

  • 1. The Minister to whom it was foretold, unto Moses.
  • 2. The Matter that was foretold.

[Page 2] Verse 45. Get you up from among this congrega­tion, In setting out the Matter, there is

  • 1. An Admonition premised.
  • 2. A Resolution intended.

In the Admonition are

  • 1. The Persons
    • Who. You.
    • From whom. From among this congre­gation.
  • 2. The Point. Get up.

that I may consume them as in a mo­ment.The Resolution is of a judgement

  • 1. Intended, that I may, &c.
  • 2. Aggravated by the
    • Sorenesse Consume them
    • Suddennesse, as in a moment.

In the Prescription there is

  • 1. A Remedy.
  • 2. The Efficacie thereof, Verse 48.

The Remedy is set out by

  • Patterne.
  • Precept.

And they fell upon their faces.In the Patterne we have

  • 1. The Persons. They.
  • 2. Their practice. Fell upon their faces.

The Precept is

  • 1. Propounded.
  • 2. Proved to be necessary.

Verse 46. And Moses said unto Aaron.In propounding the Precept we may observe

  • 1. The Persons
    • Charging, Moses said
    • Charged, Vnto Aaron.
  • 2. The Prescript. This declares
    • 1.
      Take a censer and put fire therein, from off the altar, and put on in­cense:
      The Meanes to be used.
    • 2. The Matter to be effected.

The Meanes are

  • Instrumentall.
  • Principall.

The instrumentall meanes are

  • Censer,
  • Fire.

The fire is amplified by the place whence it was to be taken, from off the Altar.

The principall meanes was Incense. Put on Incense.

The Matter to be effected is

  • Expressed.
  • Amplified.

[Page 3] And go quick­ly to the con­gregation, and make an at­tonement for them.The Expression is this, Make an attonement.

The Amplification sets out

  • 1. The persons for whom, the congregation.
  • 2. The Manner, or time, Quickly.

For there is wrath gone out from the Lord, the Plague is be­gun.The Proofe of the necessity of that which is thus prescri­bed, is taken from the instant judgement, which is

  • 1. Indefinitely intimated.
  • 2. Determinately expressed, Verse 49.

Two things are indefinitely intimated.

  • 1. The Cause of the judgement.
  • 2. The Kinde of the judgement.

The Cause is wrath: aggravated by the Author of it. There is wrath gone out from the Lord.

The Kinde is a Plague: Evidenced by the beginning of it, The Plague is begun.

Verse 47. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congrega­tion, and be­hold the Plague was begun among the people, and he put on incēse and made an attonement for the people.To demonstrate the Efficacy of the foresaid Remedy, it is further related,

  • 1. How it was used.
  • 2. How, in the use of it, it proved.

The Manner of using it, is

  • 1. Generally propounded, And Aaron tooke as Moses commanded.
  • 2. Particularly exemplified.

In the particular exemplification are expressed

  • 1. The speed made, and ranne into the midst of the congre­gation.
  • 2. The reason ratified, and behold the Plague was begun a­mong the people.
  • 3. The meanes used, and he put on incense.
  • 4. The thing effected, and made an attonement for the people.
  • Verse 48. And he stood, betweene the dead and the living, and the Plague was stayed.
    5. The Manner of doing it, And he stood betweene the dead and the living.

The proofe of the efficacy of the foresaid remedy in the use thereof is manifested by the Effect following thereon, And the Plague was stayed.

The determinate expression of the judgement is

  • [Page 4]
    Verse 49. Now they that died in the Plague were foureteene thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.
    1. Manifested by the number of those that died of the Plague, 14700.
  • 2. Aggravated by relation to a former judgement, (beside them that died) which is described by one of the principall Persons that pulled that judgement on their owne and on the peoples pates, about the matter of Korah.

§. 2. Of the exposition and observations of NVMB. 16. 44.

NVMB. 16. 44.And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying.’

THis first particle AND, being a copulative, knitteth this upon the former History, as a consequence justly following thereon. Now in the former History the Sinne of the people is laid downe. For after that the Lord had manifested his fierce wrath against Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with those that tooke part with them, by causing the earth to swallow up some of them alive, and by sending forth a fire to consume other of them, the people that saw these fearefull spectacles of Gods vengeance, were so farre from feare and trembling, as most audaciously, and pre­sumptuously they murmured and gathered themselves toge­ther against Moses and Aaron, as the other, who were be­fore destroyed, had done. Hereby the Lord was provoked to adde, to the former judgements, the Plague here noted in my text. So as they added sinne to sinne: and the Lord ad­ded Sequentium ac­cessione ad majo­rem se contemp­tum, peccatum extollit. Chrys. Hom. 22. ad Pop. judgement to judgement. For their sinne therefore the Lord plagued them. For by the multiplication of sinne, they grew into a greater contempt then before.

The title here given to God, and translated, the LORD, is Gods proper name See the Churches Conquest on Exo. 17. 15. §. 72. Iehovah.

Gods speaking, here mentioned, implieth an extraordinary manifestation of his mind; and that so evidently as a man doth when he speaketh to another, and thereby declareth his meaning.

[Page 5] The Person to whom he spake was See the Churches Conquest on Exo. 17. 9. §. 9. Moses: even he who was made both a Prince and Prophet to that people.

Three especiall observations are here most remarkeable.

  • I. Iudgements are consequents of sinne. The inference of this Plague upon the peoples sinne gives evidence hereto.
  • II. God foretels what he intends against sinners. For Gods speaking here mentioned was a foretelling of that he inten­ded against the rebellious Israelites.
  • III. God reveales his mind to his Ministers. Moses to whom God here speakes was his Minister. His Minister to governe, and to instruct his people.

§. 3. Of judgements as consequents of sinne.

I. See §. 2. Malorum in cor­pore causa est animae nequitia. Chrys. ad Pop. Hom 46. IVdgements are consequents of sinne. Take a view of the judgements recorded in Scripture, and you may easily find sinne to be the cause of all. The first that ever was inflicted on a creature was 2 Pet. 2. 4. the casting downe of Angels into hell: But these are expresly said to be Angels that sin­ned. b [...]. The next was on the Serpent, to whom the Lord thus said, Gen. 3. 14. Because thou hast done this thou art cursed: In like man­ner to Adam, —17. Because thou hast eaten, &c. Cursed, &c. Thus —6. 5. the generall deluge of the world, the —18. 20. burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Exo. 3. 9.—56. plagues of Egypt, Heb. 3. 17. the judgements in the wildernesse, Iudg 2. 20. in the time of the Iudges, and afterwards, were all for sinne. But not to insist on more particulars in a case so cleare, the Wiseman expresly saith, Pro▪ 13. 6. The kinde of Iobs afflictiōs. wickednesse over­throweth the sinner. He that acknowledgeth this, commen­deth the justice of God.

Ob. Sore judgements fell upon Iob: yet were they not consequents of sinne.

Answ. 1. Surely Iob was not free from all sinne: 1 King. 8. 46. Sancti in medio tribulationis pec­cata sua consite­bantur, pro qui­bus se aigne & justè humiliari. noverant. Aug. Epist. 122 ad Victor. de afflict piorum. For there is no man that sinneth not. Before sinne seazed on man, he was free from all judgement: and as free shall he be, when againe he shalbe without sinne. Therefore Saints in their afflictions have confessed their sinnes, for which they knew they were deservedly and justly humbled.

[Page 6] 2. Distinction must be made betwixt judgements. Some are 1 Pet. 1. 7. Iam. 1. 3. See §. 49. for evidence, proofe, and exercise of such graces as God hath endued men withall. Others are for punish­ments of sinne: and they either 2 Chro. 33. 12 to bring a sinner to repen­tance, or Iud. Vers. 7. to make him an example of just vengeance. The judgements which befell Iob were of the first kinde. The judgements intended in the point in hand are of the latter kinde.

The direct contrariety that is betwixt sinne and Gods purity, on the one side: and Gods holy jealousie, and per­fect Why judge­ments follow sinne. hatred of sinne, his impartiall justice, his truth in execu­ting what he threatneth, his care to keepe others from be­ing insected, his wisdome in stopping the mouth of such as are punished, and the many ill consequences that might fol­low upon sinnes impunity, on the other side: as they hold judgements from such as by their impenitency pull them not upon their owne pates, so they hasten judgements on noto­rious sinners.

§. 4. Of the sinnes that cause judgement.

1. Ios. 7. 13. THE charge which God gave to Ioshua (when he Search cut cause of judgement. and the men of Israel with him fled before the men of Ai) to search out and take away from among them the accursed thing, affordeth a direction very pertinent to the point in hand: which is, when we see any judgement hanging over our heads, or feele it fallen upon us, to search narrowly and thorowly after the cause of that judgement. Nothing doth usually so bring mens sinnes to mind and me­mory, as judgements. Instance the example of Iosephs bre­thren, Nihil sic peccata in memoriam re­vocare consue-vit ut poena & castigatio. Et hoc manifestum ex fratribus Ioseph &c. Chrys. [...]d Pop. Hom. 4. Gen. 42, 21. The Prophet therefore that penned the Lamentations, upon the grievous judgements that had fal­len upon the Israelites, giveth this advice. Lam 3. 40. Let us search and trie our wayes. Vpon a like occasion, which was a ma­nifestation of Gods displeasure by visible judgements, the Apostle giveth this advice, 1 Cor. 11. 31. Let a man examine himselfe.

If the judgements be publicke, it wilbe use-full in [Page 7] our search to proceed after this manner.

1. Observe what are the most common and publike sins What sinnes especially to be thought causes of judgement. of that place or people where the fire of Gods wrath appea­reth. These were the sinnes which God himselfe did as it were with the finger thus point out to his Prophet, Ier. 7. 17. Seest thou not what they doe in the Cities of Iudah, and in the streets of Ierusalem?

2. Marke how farre such sinnes are winked at, and tole­rated by Magistrates and Ministers. For this provoketh God to take the sword into his owne hands; whence pro­ceed publique and fearefull judgements. Instance 1 Sam. 3. 13. Elies case.

3. Consider how farre the contagion of those publique sinnes spreadeth it selfe. For when the infection of a sinne is diffused all abroad, farre and neare, the Lord is forced to send some publique judgement, thereby, as it were with a fire to purge the aire. Dan. 9. 11. All Israel have transgressed (saith Daniel) therefore the curse is powred upon us.

4. See how farre they that professe Religion do yeeld to the corruption of the times. For these by their sinnes much incense Gods wrath, because they especially cause the name of God to be blasphemed. Witnesse 2 Sam 12. 14. Rom. 2. 24. David. The Gen. 6. 2. commixtion of Sonnes of God with Daughters of men cau­sed the Deluge.

5. Especially let every one examine himselfe, and search out his owne sinnes: and take due notice how farre he hath followed the sway of the times, and yeelded to the ini­quity thereof. Every one ought most to suspect himselfe: and to feare lest his sins among and above others, have incensed the fire of Gods wrath. Every one (if he take due and tho­row notice of himselfe) may know more evill of himselfe, then he can justly suspect of others. For men know their owne inward parts: their very thoughts and imaginations: in which respect though others commit more outward grosse enormities then themselves, yet they are privy to such a sea of corruptions in themselves, that they have every one cause to say, 1 Tim. 1. 15. Of sinners I am the chiefe.

§. 5. Of the courses to be taken when sinne is found out.

2. SInnes the cause of judgement being by such searching found out, we may not suffer them to remaine, and continue to enflame Gods wrath: but as we desire to have that fire goe out, so we must pull away this fuell. So long as How Gods wrath may be slaked. fire hath fuell to worke on, it will not go out: but rather be more and more hot. Now fuell is pulled away from Gods wrath,

  • 1. When the soule is prickt, and pierced with sinne: when godly sorrow is wrought in the heart:
    2 Cor. 7. 9.
    such a sor­row as was wrought in the Corinthians.
  • 2. When upon that touch of heart, true confession of sinne is made to God.
    1 Ioh 1. 9.
    If we confesse our sinnes, God is faith­full to forgive us our sinnes.
    2 Sam 12. 13.
    Nathan on this ground pro­nounced pardon to David.
  • 3. When upon such confession the mind is otherwise disposed then it was before: loathing the sinnes which be­fore it loved: as
    Luk. 7. 38.
    she that made a towell of her haire, which had before beene laid out to proclaime her lust.
  • 4. When that loathing works a true and resolved purpose never to returne to those sinnes againe. As he that said,
    Psal. 39. 1.
    I will take heed unto my wayes.
  • 5. When this purpose for the more sure performing of it, is ratified by solemne promise, vow and covenant. Here­of we have a worthy patterne of the Iewes in
    Neh. 9. 38.
    Nehemiahs time.
  • 6. When faithfull endeavour is answerable to such pur­poses, promises, vowes and covenants: as he that said,
    Psal. 56. 12.
    Thy vowes are upon me, O Lord. As the bond of a Credi­tor to whom a man that meanes honestly is bound, so lies on the debter, that he is not quiet till it be discharged, so was the vow which he had made to God, upon him.
  • 7. When above all, remission and reconciliation is heartily sought of God, and stedfastly believed. This is principally [Page 9] intended by the attonement hereafter to be spoken of.

§. 6. Of the cases wherein we must seeke to slake Gods wrath.

THE foresaid course for averting judgement is to be taken,

  • 1. When the fire of Gods wrath flameth about our eares, and bath consumed many before our eyes, as
    2 Sam. 24. 15.
    the Plague did in Davids time.
  • 2. When there is but a smoake which sheweth that fire is kindled though it flame not forth: as when Moses heard God say,
    Exo. 32. 10.
    Let me alone, that my wrath may waxe hot against them, &c. Threatnings of judgement are to Gods wrath, as smoake is to fire. Such smoake made the Ninevites repent.
    Ion. 3. 5.
  • 3. When we observe causes that may kindle and enflame Gods wrath to abound, as all manner of notorious sinnes. They were the sinnes of the people which made
    Luk. 19. 41.
    Christ weepe over Ierusalem. By them he gathered that heavy ven­geance must needs fall upon her.
  • 4. Though we apparently see no flame, nor smoake, nor notorious cause: yet when we have just cause to suspect and feare all, or any of these. Thus it is noted of
    Iob 1. 5.
    Iob, that when the dayes of his childrens feasting were gone about, he sent and sanctified them, &c. For Iob said, it may be that my sons have sinned, &c. Because he suspected that they might have provoked Gods wrath, he used meanes to pacifie the same.

§. 7. Of putting away sinne for removing judgement.

THE fore-mentioned point concerning the removing of Gods judgements doth now in particular, and after an especiall manner concerne us, The second of Iuly 1625 was the first day appointed for a publique fast when there died in that weeke 405 of the Plague. who are even in the flame of the fire of Gods wrath; and thereupon assembled toge­ther by fasting and prayer after a more then ordinary manner [Page 10] to seeke grace and favour of God; that so this day of humi­liation may prove a day of reconciliation. For this end we are this day to enter into a solemne covenant with God: and as we desire to have this hot fire of the Plague or ex­tinguished or at least slaked, so to remove the causes which have kindled the same, so farre as we can find them out. When the Iewes after the captivity on a day of fast entred into a new covenant with God, Ezr. 10. 3. Neh. 9. 2. they put away their strange wives and children, because in taking them they sin­ned, and to hold them had beene to continue in sinne. In like manner, though we be wedded to our sinnes as to wives, and our sinnes be as deare as wives and children can be, yet must they be put away: els nor our persons, nor our prayers, nor any services that we performe, can be acceptable to God. Sinnes retained are as that Exo. 15. 23. bitternesse which was on the waters in Marah, which made them that they could not be drunken: and as that 2 King. 6. 5. heavinesse on the axe head which made it sinke in the water: and as that Lam. 3. 44. thick cloud, whereof the Prophet thus saith, our prayer cannot passe tho­row it. Yea as those 2 King. 4. 39. wilde gourds which brought death in­to the pot. But faith and repentance are as the tree which was cast into the waters and made them sweet: as the stick which being cast into the water made the iron swimme: as the winde which driveth away a thick cloud; and as the meale which made the pottage wholesome. Wherefore as Sanè ubi prorsus de medio actum suerit omne pec­catum, causa qui dem omnino sub­lata, nec ipse quo­que deinceps ma­nebit effectus. Bernard, in Psal. 91. Serm 10. we desire to have our persons, prayers, and other services acceptable to God, and the fiercenesse of this pestilence to asswage, yea this and other judgements to be removed, let us take away the cause of all: let us put away our sinnes. The cause being taken away, the effect will quickly follow.

§. 8. Of Gods foretelling judgements.

II. See §. 2. GOD foretels what he intends against sinners. This he did by Gen 6 14. preparing an arke before the floud came: by —19. 1. sending Lot into Sodom before it was con­sumed: by Exo. 5. 1. sending Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh before his land was plagued: and by 2 Chro 36. 15. raising up Prophets, and sen­ding them time after time to the Israelites.

This God doth to draw men, if it be possible, to repen­tance: as Ier. 26 18, 19. Hezekiah and his people; and Ion. 3 5. Captivitas Iudae orum praedicitur ventura, ut eum vencrit non casu accidisse videa tur, scd irá Dei. Hieron Com­ment in Ioel 1. Gods patience. the King of Niniveh with his people, were wrought upon by this meanes, and judgement prevented: or els to make men the more inexcusable, and to justifie Gods severity against men; and to give evidence that the judgements which fall on men come not by chance, but from God.

1. Hereby have we evidence of Gods long-suffering. He thinks not of wrath till he be exceedingly provoked. Therefore he is said to be Ion. 4. 2. slow to anger. And when he is provoked to take vengeance, he threatens before he strikes. For Lam 3. 33. he doth not afflict willingly. He saies it, and sweares it, Ezek. 33. 11. I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. And well we may believe him that he is so flow to take vengeance: for vengeance is to him Isa 28. 21. Extraneum factam suum, all enum opus suum; Peregrinum est opus ab eo. Hieron in hunc locum. his strange worke, his strange act: a worke and act whereunto he is in a manner forced: which he would not do, if otherwise he could maintaine his ho­nour. They therefore on whom judgement falleth, have cause to confesse unto God, and say, Dan 9 7. Hardnesse of mans heart. O Lord, righteousnesse belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces: for we have not hearkned, &c.

2. This manner of Gods proceeding with sinners gives demonstration of the irard and impenitent heart of man, that will not be brought to yeeld. Fitly is such an heart stiled Ezek. 11. 19 [...] an heart of stone. For a stone may be broken to peeces, yea beaten to powder, but never will it be made soft: so such mens hearts may be confounded with Gods judgements, but will never be mollified nor made pliable to his will. [Page 12] If threatnings, or predictions of judgements could worke on Calamitas praedi­citur ventura, ut agente populo pae­nitentiam non veniat, que ventura est, si permans [...]rit in delictis. Hieron. in Ioel. 1. such, God would never worke his strange worke. Iudge­ments are foretoid to come, that people repenting, judge­ments might not come, which yet will come as they are foretold if people continue in sinne. Reade and consider, Ier. 26. 18, 19, &c.

§. 9. Of Gods making knowne his mind to his Ministers.

III. See §. 2. GOD reveales his mind to his Ministers. So he did to Gen. 6. 13. Noah, —18. 17. Abraham, Exo. 3. 8. Moses, and other his Prophets. To omit other particulars, in this case it is thus indefinitely said, Am. 3. 7. Non faciet Deus verbum nisi revelaverit Pro­phetis; non quo omnia revelet Prophetis quae in coelo faciat, sed quae facturus in terris sit. Hier. in Am. 3. Lege plura ibid. Hac de re. Surely the Lord God will doe nothing, but he revealeth his secret to his servants the Prophets.

Not for their owne sakes onely doth God manifest his purpose to his Ministers, but that they may declare to others what is made knowne to them. On this ground saith the Lord to his Prophet, Ezek. 3 17. Gods provi­dence and prudence in mans ministry. Ezo 20 19. Luk 1. 12. Heare the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. Now by this meanes of manife­sting his minde, the ministry of man, God sheweth his pro­vidence and prudence.

1. His providence, in ordaining such a meanes as is fittest for mans infirmity: For man can best endure man to speake unto him, and to declare what is meet for him to know: When God himselfe delivered his ten Oracles to the peo­ple, they were so affrighted, as they said unto Moses, speake thou with us, and we will heare: but let not God speake with us, lest we die. Yea when Zachariah an ancient Priest saw an Angell that brought unto him a gladsome message, he was troubled and feare fell upon him.

2. His Prudence, in ordaining so meane a meanes as will make triall of mans respect to God: whether he will give credence and yeeld obedience to Gods Word, because it is Gods Word, for the Lords sake, rather then for the messen­gers sake. For this are the Thessalonians commēded, because 1 Thes. 2. 13. when they received the Word of God which they heard of men, [Page 13] they received it not as the word of men, but as the word of God.

O let us in like manner testifie our acknowledgement of Gods providence and prudence, in receiving, as from God Respect to be shewed to Gods Mini­sters as to God. that which by his ministers is delivered unto us. Thus shall we testisie such respect to God, as will make him to give evidence of his good respect to us.

§. 10. Of the grounds that Ministers now have to foretell judgements.

Ob. MInisters have not now such certaine knowledge of Gods minde, as of old the Prophets and Apo­stles had, to whom God did immediatly and infallibly make knowne his minde.

Answ. We have a more sure word, namely the holy Scrip­tures, 2 Pet. 1. 19. 2 Tim. 3. 16. which are given by inspiration of God. These shew what sinnes do most offend God, and what doe soonest pull downe vengeance from God, upon the committers of them. So as when Ministers see such sinnes impudently and impe­nitently committed, they may well inferre that God purpo­seth to send some judgement to such a people. To this pur­pose is it that the Apostle reckoneth up sundry sinnes that the Israelites committed in the wildernesse, and judge­ments that followed thereupon, that we should not sinne as 1 Cor. 10. 6. &c they did, and fall after the same ensample of unbeliefe or Heb. 4. 11. disobedience.

On this ground many Ministers well noting the sinnes of these times, did foretell that God would bring on this City, or a Plague, or some other judgement. And in the begin­ning of the yeare many did particularly foretell the Plague it selfe. Their threatning was little regarded; little or no amendment followed thereupon: now therefore is the Plague among us.

A publique fast was pro­claimed to bec kept weekly every wednes­day while the Plague conti­nued. Now that the Plague is begun, let us (my brethren) be admonished to repent: and as a fast is proclaimed, so let us keepe it after a right manner, [...] humiliation of soule, [Page 14] and contrition of spirit: renting our hearts, turning to the Lord: fasting from sinne as well as from food. Prepare to meet thy God O England. This beginning of the Plague is a reall demonstration of a greater Plague yet to come. If by more then ordinary humiliation and conversion Gods wrath be not pacified, this Plague is like to be greater then ever was before in our owne, or our fathers dayes; even such an one as shall make this City empty: and make the eares of such as heare of it to tingle againe. The Lion hath roared, who will not feare? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but Am. 3. 8. prophesie?

§. 11. Of the meaning and doctrines of the first part of the 45. Verse of NVMB. 16.

NVMB. 16. 45.Get you up from among this congre­gation, that I may consume them at once.’

THE first clause here noted, is an admonition for avoi­ding the intended judgement. [...] a radice [...] ele­vatus suit. In Hiphil clevavit se. Targum saepe per [...] separa­vit. Hoc in loco [...] separate vos. The word translated Get you up, properly signifieth to lift up ones selfe. Yet the Iewes do interpret it oft times with a word that signifieth to separate ones selfe. It is said before (Verse 42.) that the Congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron. Hereupon it is likely that they were afraid, and with feare cast downe (as we use to speake) and in regard thereof the Lord thus said to them, lift up your selves, or get you up.

Though in the former verse he spake onely to Moses, yet here he useth the plurall number, Get YEE up, to shew that he had respect to Aarons safety also: yea and to the safety of all that were not of their conspiracy.

Further, because the multitude gathered together against them, he addeth, [...] from the middest, or from among that as­sembly. The word translated [...] of [...] condixit, indixit. congregation, properly signi­fieth such an assembly as by appointment meeteth together. [Page 15] [...] The word, that signifieth the place or time appointed for assembling together, is derived from the same roote. It here implieth a multitude that among themselves appointed and conspired to do what they did.

The particle [...] THIS hath its Emphasis. For it distin­guisheth this rebellious assembly from the rest of the Israe­lites that did not conspire with them.

The particle that joyneth the following clause to this, is a copulative, [...] AND. It is thus word for word, Get you up from among this congregation, AND I will consume them: so as it implieth that God would not destroy the multitude that sinned, till they that sinned not with them were separa­ted from them. Our English importeth as much by using a particle that intendeth the end of doing a thing, thus, THAT I may consume them. Others expound it with a causall particle thus, FOR I will consume them. All tends Genev. Engl. to the same.

The thing intended is set out by a [...] word that signifieth an utter destruction of them all. It is sometimes used in the better part, and signifieth a full, absolute, and perfect finish­ing of a thing: as where it is said, Gen. 2. 3. God ended, or finished, or perfected his worke. It is also used in the worse part, ap­plied to judgement, or destruction, and signifieth an utter, [...] LXX [...]. consummavit. finall destruction of all appointed to destruction: as where the Prophet said to Ioash, 2 King. 13. 19 Thou hadst smitten Syria, till thou hadst consumed it. So it is here used. This is thus threatned because by other judgements they had not bene bettered, but still continued in their obstinacy, as the former histories in this chapter evidently shew.

To aggravate this intended judgement the more, it is ad­ded, [...] ut repentè. Chald. [...] Arah. [...] in momento. at once, or word for word to translate it, as suddenly, or in a moment. Our English phrase at once, implieth a quick, speedy, sudden doing of a thing; as where Abishai said to David of Saul, let me smite him [...] una vice, uno ictu. Trem & Iun. at once: which is 1 Sam. 26. 8. as if he had more largely said, I will not make much adoe, nor belong about the matter, I will not strike many blowes, I will quickly with a blow dispatch him. Some English [Page 16] Translators expound the word in the text, quickly.

Here have we a mixture of

  • Mercy.
  • Iustice.
  • Mercy in seeking to preserve some.
  • Iustice in resolving to destroy others
  • The former is expressed in an admonition.
  • The latter in a resolution.

The admonition intimates,

  • 1. Gods mind: that he would not have them perish.
  • 2. Mans endeavour.

Here is noted,

  • 1. Their action: Get ye up
  • 2. The company: From this Congre­gation.

The resolution expresseth

  • 1. The Author of the judge­ment.
  • 2. The Kinde of the judge­ment.
  • The Author is the Lord. I will, saith God.
  • The Kind of judgement setteth out
    • 1. The Matter intended, consume them
    • 2. The Manner of doing it, at once.

The Connexion of the Resolution with the Admonition (THAT I may, or AND I will) implieth Gods unwil­lingnesse to plague the righteous with the unrighteous.

Seven principall Doctrines are here commended to our due consideration.

  • I. God is not willing that the righteous should perish with the unrighteous. For he giveth advice to such as were righ­teous to escape, when he thinks of destroying the unrigh­teous.
  • II. They that would avoid the judgement that fals on the wicked, must avoid communion with them. The action here enjoyned (get you up) intends as much.
  • III. Multitudes conspiring in evill must be left. The word congregation from which they must goe, implies thus much.
  • IIII. Mixture of the godly with the wicked is a stay of judgement. For by saying, Get yee up AND I will, or THAT I may consume them, he intimates, that he [Page 17] would not consume the one till the other were gone.
  • V. The Lord revengeth the rebellious. For he it is that saith, I will consume.
  • VI. Stubbornenesse after some stroaks causeth utter destru­ction. Sroake upon stroake had beene stroken before: for the earth had swallowed up some, and fire had devoured o­thers, yet they persisted in their rebellion: therefore now saith God, I will consume them.
  • VII. Suddennesse adds much to the severity of a judge­ment. For God intending severity, threatneth to do what he intends at once.

§. 12. Of the godlies exemption from the un­godlies destruction.

I. See §. 11. GOD is not willing that the righteous perish with the unrighteous. St. Peter gives three of the most fa­mous instances that have bene hereof since the beginning of a 2 Pet. 2. 4, &c. the world. One is of the Angels: (when they that fell were cast into hell, the other were reserved in heaven.) Another is of the old world: (when it was drowned, Noah and his family was preserved in the arke.) A third is of Sodom and Gomorrah: (when they were destroyed with fire and brim­stone, Lot and his two daughters were kept alive.) Thence the Apostle inferres this conclusion, very pertinent to our purpose, 2 Pet. 2: 9. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished. Ezek. 9. 4, 6. The marke which God caused to be set on the forehead of such as cried for all the abominations that were done, and this charge given thereupon, come not neare any man upon whom is the marke, shewes his mind to wards such as keepe themselves free from sinnes which cause venge­ance. So also such exhortations as this, come out of her my people, that ye receive not of her plagues. Rev. 18. 4.

Hereby God giveth evidence, that Pro. 15. 3. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evill and the good: that he can distinguish betwixt such as differ: that he can deale [Page 18] with men, as they deale with him: that Psal. 18. 26. with the pure he will show himselfe pure, and with the froward he will shew him­selfe froward: and that it is not in vaine to feare him, and to keepe our selves unspotted from the world.

§. 13. Of the cases wherein Saints have their share in publique judgements.

Ob. TRue, may some say, if this were universally and in­fallibly true, that no righteous man did at any time perish with the unrighteous. But experience affoords evi­dence Servi Dei sanct dupliciter mala temporalia pati­untur, quia & ab ipsis impij [...], & cum ipsis patiun­untur. Aug. Epist. 122. ad Victor. to the contrary. For in all publique judgements we see the righteous involved with the wicked. They may suffer temporall evils two wayes: by the wicked, and with the wicked.

Answ. If the extent of Gods deliverance be rightly con­ceived, it wilbe found to be universally and infallibly true, that God delivereth the righteous from the judgement of the wicked. It doth indeed oft fall out that righteous men have a share in some externall judgements which the wicked pull upon themselves, and that

  • 1. When they make themselves accessarie to those com­mon sinnes that cause judgement. As
    Numb. 20. 12 Propeccatis ec­rum Deus slagel lat etiam ipses sanctos suos. Aug. loc. citat.
    Moses and Aaron became incredulous in the wildernesse as well as the other Iewes whose carkasses fell therein.
  • 2. When the wise Lord knoweth that greater evils would befall them, if they should then escape. Thus when the time was come that God had determined to heape judgement upon judgement till at length the land of Iudah should be made desolate, in the beginning of those dayes was
    2 King. 23. 29
    Iosiah, that good King Iosiah, slaine with the sword of the enemie. Yet because he lived not to see the miseries of suc­ceeding times, he is said
    2 King. 22. 20
    to be gathered into his grave in peace.
  • 3. When the just God will shew the fiercenesse of his wrath, how farre the wicked have provoked him, to aggra­vate the judgement, he taketh away the righteous there­with, [Page 19] who are as chariots and horsmen while they remaine. Thus was good
    1 Sam. 31. 2.
    Ionathan taken away: who if he had lived, might have beene a meanes of preserving the house of Saul from utter ruine, though David had beene King. The death of righteous Ionathan much aggravated the sinne of Saul, and the judgement that followed thereupon.
  • 4. When the Lord to whom vengeance belongeth, will give the wicked an occasion to expect sure and sore venge­ance; then he maketh his Saints a signe and an example un­to them. Thus
    1 King. 13. 24.
    he caused a Lion to slay the man of God, that was seduced by a lying Prophet to transgresse the word of God. In this case saith the Apostle,
    1 Pet. 4. 17.
    Iudgement must be­gin at the house of God. And if it first begin at us, what shalbe the end of them that obey not the Gospell of God?

§. 14. Of sundry wayes of exempting Saints from judgements.

YET hath God his wayes and meanes to deliver the righteous in the forementioned cases, and all other cases whatsoever. As

  • 1. By visible preservations of them from externall judge­ments: as
    Ier. 39. 17.
    Ebed melech was preserved.
  • 2. By
    Isa. 57. 1.
    taking them from the evill to come: This was before exemplified in good Iosiah.
  • 3. By ordering the judgement so, as it proves a meanes to them to honour God the more: and to do more good to such as are better prepared to accept the good which they doe. Thus was
    Ezek. 1. 1.
    Ezekiel caried away to Babel in the first captivity, that he might prophesie in Babylon to the Iewes there,
    Icr. 24. 5.
    who were counted good figs in comparison of the Iewes that were at Ierusalem, who were as evill figs.
  • 4. By making the judgement a meanes of their peace, ho­nour, and externall prosperity in this world. Thus the cap­tivity of
    Dan. 2. 48, 49
    Daniel, and his three companions; and of
    Est. 2. 17.—6. 10.
    Esther Mordecai and was a meanes of higher honour and grea­ter advancement, then they could in all probable conjectures [Page 20] have attained unto in their owneland. They were also there­by speciall instruments of doing much good to the Church: and their names by that meanes are more honourable to this day in the Church of God.
  • 5. By taking them by an externall judgement from earth
    Iusti vivant eti­am quando cor­pore moriuntur. Aug. cont Ad­versar. I. eg [...]s & Prophet. lib 2. cap. 5.
    to heaven, where they live being dead: yea by making the judgement a meanes to free them from eternall damna­tion. Of such as by some extraordinary judgement died (for its said of them,
    1 Cor 11. 30.
    many sleepe) the Apostle saith,
    —32. Sancti qui mala temporalia pati­untur, habent suas consolatio­nes, & spem fu­turi seculi. Aug Epist 122. ad Victorian.
    when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Blessed be that sword, though it be the sword of a mortall enemie, that openeth a passage in the body for the soule to enter into heaven. And blessed be that sicknesse, though it be the Plague, that thrusteth the soule out of the bodies prison, to celestiall glory and eternall life. So as in their sufferings they have their comforts and hope of eternall life. Thus we see how judgements in the forementioned kinds prove blessings: and how the Saints that seeme to perish in them may justly and truly say, We had perished, if we had not perished: even more justly then he
    Themistecles sic fisijs suis. A [...]. Plutarchus in vitâ Themist.
    that so said to his children, by reason of great honour and wealth that he attained unto in a strange country, being ba­nished out of his owne.

§. 15. Of Gods care of Saints mixed with the wicked.

BE not afrighted, O ye righteous ones, be not afrighted over-much at the judgements, though they be terrible judgements, which fall out in the world. Though by rea­son of the multitudes of wicked ones among whom ye live in this world ye be every one forced to complaine and cry, Psal 120. 5. Woe is me that I sojourne in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar: and to wish and say, Jer. 9. 2. O that I had in the wilder­nesse a lodging place of way-fairing men, that I might leave my people: yet can the Lord single you out, and when he comes to sweepe them with the besome of destruction, set [Page 21] you aside: and as a few precious jewels in the middest of a great heape of rubbish sift them out, and preserve them safe to himselfe, when the rubbish is cast away. It is said of Christ, that He will thorowly purge his floure, and gather his wheate into his garner: but will burne up the chaffe with un­quenchable Mat. 3. 12. fire. Men when they fan their corne cannot do it so thorowly cleane, but that some chaffe or tares wil remaine with the wheat, and some wheat be cast out with the chaffe: witnesse the offall that remaines after the best fanning that men can make. But Gods fanning, is a thorow fanning, not a [...]. graine, not a Saint shalbe overslipt. This is indeed most properly meant of the last fanning of the world at the day of judgement: yet in the meane time doth the Lord take no­tice of every one of his, to provide for them, and in the most common and generall judgements to do that which in his wisdome he seeth to be fittest for them. When Eliah 1 King. 19. 18. thought he had bene left alone in Israel, God knew many more, yea he could tell the just number of them. Thou maist therefore, O faithfull one, say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortresse, my God, in him will I trust. Surely he Psal. 91. 1, 2, &c. shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence, &c.

§. 16. Of beleevers dying of the Plague.

Quest. HOw is it then that the righteous as well as the unrighteous die of the Plague?

Answ. 2. Some say that no true believers are taken away with a common Plague. But this is too bold an assertion, un­warrantable, Putamusne justos aliquos peste occi­sos? Quid obstat? poluerunt & ipsi involvi. Nonne & multisancti experti sunt cap­tivitatem. Mart. Comment. in 2 Sam. 24. Eccl. 9. 2. uncharitable. To adjudge all to hell that were ta­ken away by that devouring pestilence which in Davids time destroyed 70000 in three dayes, is an unmercifull doome. Experience giveth evidence that many that have manifested true outward fruits of a sound faith, upright conscience, ho­nest heart, and entire repentance, have died of the Plague. Besides the Word of God beareth witnesse that All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and the [Page 22] wicked. And how dieth the wiseman? as the foole.

2. Others say, that they that are true Saints, and have a —2. 16. true justifying faith may die of the Plague. But yet they adde, that there is a particular saith that Saints may have, which will in a common pestilence keepe them safe from that dis­ease. But I demand of such, what warrant and ground they have for such a faith. To pretend a faith without ground, is plaine presumption. They produce for their ground the 91 Psalme. But if they rightly marke the scope of that Psalme, they shall find that freedome from the Plague is there no otherwise promised, then freedome from death in warre, then from hurt of wild beasts if we be among them, then from other dangers and troubles, yea then honour, and long life. The promise then of preserving believers from the See Domesticall Duties on Eph. 6. 3. Treat. 1 §. 103. pestilence is to be taken as other promises of temporall bles­sings: so farre forth as God in his wisdome seeth it good for them to be delivered. And what believer would be deli­vered Nulla causa pro babilior scurrit, our justi homines laborent plerun (que) in hac vita, nisi quia hoc ijs expe­dit. Aug Eo. q quest. 4. 83. if God seeth it not good for him? Yea, what believer would not die of the Plague, if his wise Father seeth it to be the best for him to die of that disease? 2 Sam. 24. 17. Quid interest utrum sebris an serrum de corpo­re solverit. Non qua occasione sed quales ad se exe ant Dominus at­tendi [...] in servis suis Aug Epist. 122. ad Vict. David could have bene content to have died of this disease if it had so seemed good to the divine wisdome. For what skilleth it whether sword or sicknesse, Plurisie or Plague loose the soule from the body. God especially observes in what disposition, not by what meanes his servants depart out of this world to him.

3. Without question therefore true believers may die of the Plague, and many have in common infections been taken away thereby: yet in mercy, as was §. 13. Gen. 40. 20, 21, 22. before shewed. And as there was a great difference betwixt taking Pharaohs chiefe butler and chiefe Baker out of prison, the head of them both was lifted up: but of one to his high office, of the other to the gallowes: so can God make a greater difference betwixt the godly and ungodly, even when he takes them both out of the prison of this body by one and the same dis­ease, suppose the Plague. He can hereby advance one to heaven, and thrust downe the other to hell: as he dealt with the two theeves that hung on the crosse with Christ.

§. 17. Of avoiding communion with the wicked, for avoiding their judgement.

II. See §. 11. THey that would avoid the judgement that fals on the wicked must avoid communion with them. For this end did Gen. 6. 13. God cause an arke to be made for Noah and his family to go into from the old world, that so they might be preserved from the generall deluge: and —19. 12, 14. sent his An­gels to bring Lot, and such as belonged to him out of Sodom. To this purpose the people of God were advised to Ier. 50. 8. remoue out of the midst of Babylon, and —51. 6. to deliver every man his soule: which advice is also given, in regard of spirituall Ba­bylon, Rev. 18. 4. to come out of her: and that on this ground, that they receive not her plagues.

Saints by separating themselves from the wicked in time of judgement, shew their care to use what meanes they can for preventing mischiefe: which is a point of wisdome commended by the Holy Ghost, who giveth this note of a wise man, Pro. 22. 3. A prudent man foreseeth the evill, and hideth him­selfe: but the simple passe on and are punished. This care of using meanes for safety, and in the use of meanes to depend on God for his blessing, is well pleasing to God. Act. 27. 22, 24 31. God had promised that none in the ship with Paul should be lost, yet when some of the ship-men were about to leave the ship, Paul said, Except these men abide in the ship ye cannot be sa­ved. All lawfull and warrantable means are the visible hand of Gods invisible providence. To reject or neglect meanes is to refuse to take God by the hand when he reacheth it out unto us, and to follow his visible direction.

It is therefore foolish presumption, rather then a prudent resolution, either to accompany those that are as it were in the fire of Gods judgement, or not to go from them, when a faire and warrantable opportunity is offered. Gen. 19. 14. This is tax­ed as a point of folly in Lots sonnes in law. Iehosaphat too much failed herein. He heard the Prophet say that 1 King 22. 20, 32. Ahab should fall at Ramoth-Gilead, and yet he would accompanie [Page 24] him thither. It had almost cost him his life.

§. 18. Of flying in time of Plague.

Quest. IS it then lawfull to depart from our owne place and habitation in time of Plague?

Ans. Difference is to be made in this case betwixt persons Who may fly. that are free, and not by any speciall bond of relation tied to others, and such as are so bound. As for the former sort, such as are free, I see no just reason why liberty of escaping should be denied to them.

1. The departure of some may be a meanes in an infecti­ous aire to keepe the infection from violence. Much fuell where fire is kindled increaseth the fervour and violence of the fire. Multitudes of people to an infected place, are as fuell to the fire of pestilence.

2. Such by escaping provide for their owne safety, with­out prejudice to others. For what prejudice can it be that such as are not by any particular bond tied to them that tarry, leave them?

3. The departure of some may make much to the benefit and advantage of such as tarry. For they have the better op­portunity of sending succour to them. This was one reason why the people would not have David go into the field, that he might 2 Sam. 18. 3. succour them out of the City.

4. Mat. 10. 23. It is permitted to such in time of persecution to fly: yea and Mat. 24. 16. Fugit populus Hebraeorum, ut fides ejus & vi­ta inter fluctus, sibi apperiret vi am. Ambr. de fug seculi. in time of warre: why not then in time of Plague?

Ob. 1. The Plague is an immediate stroke of God; wherby such as he hath appointed to death are stricken. It is not infectious.

Ans. I grant it to be an extraordinary disease, but not im­mediate. The kind of disease, and the effects thereof on mans body, do shew that its no more immediate then many other diseases. If because such as are appointed to death are strucken with it, meanes of escaping it might not be used: no meanes for avoiding any judgement might be used. For the infection of it, let experience determine that case.

Ob. 2. It is a fruit of faithlesnesse to shun the Plague.

Answ. No more then to shun other dangers: Men may indeed upon distrust fly: but that shewes the frailty of the person, not the unlawfulnesse of the action.

Ob. 3. If some fly, all may fly. So the sicke be left with­out succour.

Answ. 1. Some are more bound to venture the hazard then others. As Magistrates for keeping good order: Mi­nisters for feeding the soule. Neare of kindred for looking to their bodies. Such as are under command, as children and servants.

2. Others are not so subject to infection: as aged.

3. Others are not of such use, but may better be spared: as the poorer and meaner sort. The people would say to David, thou art worth 10000 of us. 2 Sam. 18. 3.

§. 19. Of leaving multitudes in evill.

III. See §. 11. MVltitudes conspiring in evill must be left. It was the commendation of those 7000 in Is­rael 1 King. 19 18 of whom God tooke especiall notice, that though all —10. Israel worshipped Baal, yet they bowed not a knee to that idoll: yea though Eliah thought himselfe to beleft alone, yet would not he associate himselfe with the multitudes of Apostates. Ioh. 6, 66. &c, Many of Christs Disciples went backe and walked no more with him. Whereupon Christ said to the twelve, will ye also go away? But Peter in the name of the rest an­swered, Lord, to whom shall we goe? Thou hast the words of eternall life. A worthy resolution. A like resolution was this. Mat. 26. 33. Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. O if he had stood to this! Very pertinent to this point is this prohibition of the Law, Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evill.

The number of men sinning neither extenuateth the sinne, nor exempteth from judgement: but rather aggravateth the sinne, and pulleth downe more severe and speedy venge­ance. Multitudes of sinners are as multitudes of faggots, or [Page 26] other combustible fuell, which are so much the sooner set on fire: and being once set on fire do burne so much the more fiercely. The Prophets render this to be the cause of the fierce wrath of the Lord powred upon the Iewes, that They all transgressed: Ier. 2. 29. From the least of them even to the greatest of them, from the Prophet even to the Priest every one dealeth falsely: —6. 13.—28. They are all grievous revolters: —8. 6. No man repen­teth of his wickednesse.

Be so farre therefore from taking boldnesse from multi­tudes of men conspiring in sinne, as on that ground to be the more fearefull lest some sudden judgement should fall upon them. Then especially is the time for such as are upright to mourne, with fasting and prayer to humble their soules be­fore God, and to keep themselves unspotted, when they see all of all sorts with greedinesse and impudency running into sinne. Many are too prone indeed to make that the ground of their actions, which Hushai in state-policy onely preten­ded, when he said, 2 Sam. 16. 18. Whom all the men of Israel chuse, his will Ibe. 17. 23 What got that Machivillian politician Achitophell, by joyning with him whom the greater part of the people chose? Mat. 7. 13. 14. Si pauci sunt qui inveniunt, prosecto longi pauciores erant qui summum ejus pervenire possunt. Alijenim in ipsis statim ini [...]ijs, &c. The way wherein multitudes run, is the broad way that leadeth to destruction. But strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth to life: and few there be that find it. And if there be few that find, surely there are fewer that attaine to the end of that way. For some faile in the beginning. others in the middest, most when they come almost to end. Where­upon our Lord saith, that many are called, but few chosen.

§. 20. Of the stay of judgement by reason of the godly mixed with the wicked.

IIII. See §. 11. MIxture of the godly with the wicked is a stay of judgement. When God was about to de­stroy Gen. 19. 22. Sodom, he saith to Lot, Haste thee: I can do nothing till thou be gone. 2 King. 22. 19.—23. 26.—24. 3. Good Iosiah was a stay of those judgements which God had threatned to bring upon Ierusalem for the sinnes of Manasseh. Gen. 18. 32. Had there beene but ten righteous men [Page 27] in Sodom, surely it had not bin then destroyed when it was. Gods respect to his Saints.

Abraham intimates the reason hereof in this Rhetoricall communication with God, Wilt thou also destroy therighteous with the wicked? That be farre from thee. Shall not the Iudge Gen. 18. 24, 35. of all the world do right? The supreme Lord of all hath such respect to his faithfull ones, as he will rather spare many wicked ones for a few righteous ones, then destroy a few righteous ones with many wicked ones.

Behold here a meanes of Gods patience and long suffering Cum merita nostra nos gra­vant ne diliga­mur a Deo, rele­vori apud eum illo, um meritis possmus quos Deus diligit. Aug Quest su per Exod. l. 2, c. 49. in the world: which is that mixture of holy ones with the wicked that are in the world. Were the number of Gods Elect accomplished, and such as are sanctified taken out of the world, soone would there be an end of all. Many Nati­ons, Cities, Townes, and other Societies are spared, for some faithfull Saints therein. This surely is the reason of Gods much forbearance towards this Land, this City of London, and other places in this kingdome. There is a rem­nant of righteous persons. These hold up their hands to God ordinarily and extraordinarily: to their persons, to their praiers hath the Lord such respect, as they do in a maner hold Exo 32. 10. him, as Moses held God when it was in his mind utterly to destroy all the children of Israel that came out of Egypt. Act. 27. 24. God gave to Paul all them that failed with him. It is said that a little before Heidelberg in the Vpper-Palatinate was taken, their faithfull Ministers were all taken away. The world en­joy all they have by Saints.

O the ungratefulnesse of the wicked in the world! Tho­row Gods favour to the Saints here and there dispersed in the world, they that live and enjoy any comforts in the world are beholding to those Saints, for their peace, plenty, safety, honours, wealth, liberty, livings, and life it selfe. Yet in the world who more hated, scorned, reproched, evilly entreated and persecuted in the world. Is not this more then monstrous ingratitude?

But how beholding to God are these Saints, to whom the Lord (who is beholding to none) beareth such respect, as not onely to spare them, but, for their sakes, those among whom they live?

§. 21. Of Gods revenging the rebellious.

V. See §. 11. See more of this point in the Churches Conquest on Exo 17. 14. §. 68. Divina justitia punit eos qui cor rigi nolant Aug cont. Adimant. cap. 7. THe Lord revengeth the rebellious. This is true both of such as band themselves in open hostility against his Saints, and raise armies against his Church, and also of such as more privately oppose against them that beare his image, and contumeliously sinne against him: as these Conspirators here did. Lev. 10. 2. A fire went out from the Lord and devoured Nadab and Abihu. Num. 11. 1. The fire of the Lord burnt among them that complained against him. —33. The Lord smote the people that lusted with a very great Plague. Rom. 13. 4. I will per­forme (saith the Lord) against Elie, all things which I have spoken concerning his house. Where men are instruments of punishing such, the Lord is the principall Author. They are Gods Rom. 13. 4. Ministers, or rather Gods Isa. 10. 5. rod, staffe, and —34 6. sword to smite his people withall.

The Lord takes upon him to revenge, that he may order vengeance as he seeth just cause: either to aggravate or mi­tigate Lege Tertul­lianum. lib. 1. cont. Marcion Qui dixit Deum non ulcisci malos. it: to continue or to cease punishing: which questi­onlesse was the reason that moved David to say, 2 Sam. 24. 14. Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord.

As all hope of impunity is hereby taken away, so good ground of penitency is given. How can any thinke to escape seeing the every-where present, all-seeing, impartiall God undertaketh to punish him. Heb. 10. 30. Vengeance belongeth unto me, saith the Lord: where upon he inferreth, I will recompence. Feare therefore to provoke this avenger. Do not vainely hope to escape his revenge though thou persist in sinne.

Yet if after thou hast sinned thy heart smite thee, and thereupon true repentance be wrought in thee, prepare to meet thy God. Thus maist thou either prevent and keepe off all vengeance, as Ion. 3. 10. the Ninevites did. Or if he have begun to strike, thou maist make him 2 Sam 24. 16, 17. repent of the evill, and cause him to stay his hand, as David did. It is God that smiteth. To him therefore must we looke. It was the aggravation [Page 29] of Israels obstinacy, that Isa. 9. 13. They turned not to him that smote them.

§. 22. Of the utter destruction which stubborne­nesse brings to men.

VI. See §. 11. STubbornenesse after some stroakes causeth utter de­struction. Lev. 26, 18, &c. So much is threatned in the Law: and Isa. 1. 5 &c.—9. 13, 14. Am. 4 6, &c by the Prophets declared to be accomplished. Many par­ticular remarkable instances hereof are recorded in Scripture, Deu. 29 19, &c that succeeding ages might be the better warned thereby. Gen. 14. 10, 11 Sodom and the Cities that tooke part with her, were over­come and sacked by the foure Kings that came against them. This was no light stroake: yet it wrought no amendment. Wherfore not long after Gen. 19. 24. they were utterly destroyed with fire and brimstone from heaven. Pharaoh and his subjects were so smitten with Exo. 7. 20. &c ten severall plagues, as gave sufficient demonstration of their folly in standing out against the great Lord of heaven: yet still continued they to harden their hearts against God: therefore at length Exo. 14. 28. he and his whole host was drowned in the Red Sea. The Israelites were oft and sorely punished by many judgements, but no whit bet­tered by any of them: so as the Lord was provoked at length to make their land desolate. Lam. 1. 1, &c This Mat. 3. 10. phrase which Iohn the Baptist useth (The axe is put to the root of the tree) impor­teth as much. By the axe he meaneth Gods judgement: by the tree the nation of the Iewes: by putting to the root, an utter extirpation. A tree may be lopt, and yet stand, and grow and flourish againe. But if it be cut at the root, downe falls body, boughs and all. He implies therfore, that whereas God had formerly by Plague, famine, sword, captivity, and other like judgements lopt them, and oft times made them bare, now he intends to cut their root, utterly to cut them downe, and cast them off.

Gods justice and wisdome, yea and the glory of all his See the Churches Con­quest on Exo. 17. 14. § 69. properties provoke him so to do. If the stubbornenesse of sinners against lighter judgements might carry it away, man [Page 30] would seeme stronger then God, Gods wisdome and justice would be much impeached: His corrections would be de­spised: his Word not regarded. Besides others would be emboldened by the stubbornenesse of some to carrie them­selves stoutly against God. Mortall Kings, and other Go­vernours, Parents and Masters will not suffer their inferi­ours to carrie away the masterie by stoutnesse. Can we then imagine that the immortall God will suffer it. He can and will beat downe the stubbornenesse of the stoutest.

Humble your selves (brethren) under the mighty hand of 1 Pet. 5. 6. God. If he threaten, fall downe before him, repent, go not on to provoke him further. If we go on to provoke him more and more, his rod will be turned to a staffe; his staffe to a sword, cleane to cut us off.

§. 23. Of sudden judgements.

VII. See §. 11. SVddennesse adds much to the severity of a judge­ment. In way of terrour suddennesse is oft threatned, as where the Lord saith, Exo. 33. 5. I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee. Psal. 73. 19. How are they brought into desolation as in a moment? Pro. 1 27. Their destruction commeth as a whirle-wind. Deut. 7. 4. The anger of the Lord wil destroy thee suddenly. Pro. 6. 15. His calamity shall come suddenly: suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. Isa, 29. 5.z—30. 13.—47. 11. It shalbe at an instant, suddenly. Ier. 6. 26. The spoiler shall suddenly come. The terrour of Babylons destruction is hereby aggravated, in that it was —51. 8. suddenly fallen: yea and of Sodom, which is thus expres­sed, Lam. 4. 6. The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my peo­ple is greater then the punishment of the sinne of Sodom that was overthrowne as in a moment. It is noted that Gen. 19. 23. the Sun was ri­sen upon the earth a little before the fire and brimstone fell from heaven. That rising of the Sun made shew, and gave hope of a faire day. Yet then, even on a sudden was that faire skie turned into a sulphurious and most dismall skie.

  • Mischiefes of sudden judgements.
    1. Sudden judgements strike men into amazement. So saith Eliphaz,
    Iob. 22. 10.
    Sudden feare troubleth thee. It makes men at [Page 31] their wits end, as we speake. Instance a sudden and unex­pected surprisall by an enemy.
  • 2. Sudden evils not onely confound a mans wit and un­derstanding, but they bereave him of the use of such meanes as are usefull for his succour. For there must be time for providing sufficient meanes.
  • 3. They are a great hinderance to true repentance, to faithfull prayer, and such like spirituall meanes, whereby the wrath of God might be pacified, and judgements prevented, or removed.
  • 4. They are evidences of Gods incensed and implacable wrath. As a man that is fully resolved to punish, and not to spare, will suddenly do what he intends to do.

This affords matter of instruction and direction.

Instruction in Gods tender respect to us: For though by our sinnes we have long and much provoked him suddenly and utterly to destroy us, yet hath he given us many war­nings before hand by his Ministers: and Ian. 13. 1624 only one died. Feb. 3 three. Feb. 10. five. Feb. 17. three, Feb. 24. one, Mar. 17. two. Mar. 24. eight. 1625 Mar. 31 six. Apr 7. eight. Apr. 14. eighteene. Apr. 31. eigh­teene. And af­ter that it in­creased every weeke more and more till Aug 18. when there died in one weeke 4463 of the Plague. And of all diseases 5205 in Lon­don and in the nine out pa­rishes. Luk. 21. 34. begun this judge­ment of the Plague by degrees, that so like wise-men we might fore-see the uttermost perill, and answerably prepare our selves.

Direction, to be so watchfull over our selves, so well furnished and prepared, by that spirituall furniture which in the Word is prescribed unto us, that no evill may suddenly surprize us, nor ordinary nor extraordinary evils, not death it selfe, nor the last judgement. Take heed (saith the Iudge himselfe) to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overchanged, and so that day come upon you unawares.

§. 24. Of the exposition and observations of the last part of the 45. Verse.

NVMB. 16. 45.And they fell upon their faces.’

A Remedy for the fore-mentioned calamity is here set out in the practice of Moses and Aaron. For this Re­lative THEY hath reference to them two especially. For these rebels Vers. 41, 42, 43, 46, 47. murmured, and gathered themselves against these two: and they two are said to come before the Taber­nacle: and after this these two take order for cure of this Plague. See more of these in the Churches Con­quest on Exo. 17. 9, 10. Moses was the supreme Governour and Prince over this people. Aaron was their chiefe Priest.

By falling upon their faces, is meant their humble and hear­ty prayer to God for this people. Metonymia Adjuncti, vel Signi. The outward gesture whereby their inward intention was set out is put for pray­er. It is in effect all one as if he had said, They prayed. But yet this Tropicall speech is not without its emphasis. For it implieth,

  • 1. A reverend respect to the Divine Majesty. For of old when men would testifie reverence to excellent persons, at sight of them they fell on their face, as
    Ruth 2. 10.
    Ruth before Booz,
    1 Sam 25. 23.
    Abigail before Dauid. Thus did
    Gen. 17. 3. 17
    Abraham testifie his reverence to the All-sufficient God.
  • 2. An holy astonishment at, and admiration of surpas­sing excellency and glory. In which respect
    Ezek. 1. 29.
    Ezekiel fell on his face.
  • 3. A feare, which at the apprehension of Gods terror, and our wretchednesse perplexeth the soule. So
    Dan. 8. 17.
    Daniel was afraid, and fell on his face.
    Luke 5. 8.
  • 4. An humble mind in regard of ones selfe. This
    1 Sam. 20. 41.
    Da­vid manifested when he fell on the ground before Ionathan. And
    1 Cor. 14. 25.
    they that are effectually wrought upon by the Word, and have the secrets of their heart made manifest, in humility falling downe on their faces worship God.
  • [Page 33] 5. Shame and confusion of face for great provocations of Gods wrath.
    1 Chr. 21. 16.
    This moved David, when he saw the fierce­nesse of Gods wrath for his great sinne, to fall downe on his face before the Lord.
  • 6. Earnest and ardent desire of obtaining what we pray for. In this respect
    Ios. 7. 6.
    Ioshua and all the Elders of Israel fell to the earth upon their faces, before the Arke of the Lord.
  • 7. An agony whereinto one is cast thorow some inward trouble of soule, or some outward fearefull sight. In the for­mer respect
    Mat. 26. 38, 39.
    Christ fell on his face and prayed. In the latter respect
    Dan 10. 9.
    Daniel lay on his face as in a dead sleepe.

Most of these may be applied to Moses and Aarons falling on their faces here in this text. For Vers. 42. The glory of the Lord appeared: and the wrath of the Lord was manifested: and the people had committed a great sinne; and a Plague was already begun, therefore without all question, in reverence to the Divine Majesty, in admiration of his glory, in some feare, yet in an humble submission to God, in shame of the peoples in gratitude, and in earnest desire of pardon for their sinne, and removall of the judgement, they fell upon their faces. So as this gesture implieth an extraordinary manner of prayer.

Sixe Obseruations hence arise: whereof three concerne the action performed, and three the Persons that perfor­med it.

  • I.
    See The Saints Sacrifice on Psal. 116. 4.
    Prayer is a ready remedy for a desperate calamity. Such a calamity was the peoples here. And this remedy is here with approbation used.
  • II.
    See The whole armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. §. 95, &c.
    In extraordinary need extraordinary prayer must be used. The sinne of the people and the threatning of God shewes the extraordinary need. Their gesture in falling on their faces, argues their extraordinary prayer.
  • III.
    See The Churches Con­quest on Exo. 17. 11. §. 29.
    Inward devotion of the soule must be manifested by an answerable outward disposition of body: Such a disposition was this falling on their faces.
  • IIII.
    See the whole armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. §. 36, &c.
    Prayer is to be made for others in their necessities. [Page 34] God bids these that fell on their faces get them away, that they might be safe, yet they for them that were in dan­ger, fell on their faces.
  • V.
    Ibid §. 51.
    Prayer is to be made for such as wrong us. This peo­ple for whom the prayer is here powred out, murmured, and gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron, who here in their behalfe fell on their faces.
  • VI. Magistrates and Ministers are especially to pray
    See the Churches Con­quest on Exo. 17. 12 §. 40.
    for averting publique judgements. Such were they who here fell on their faces. Moses was a Prince, Aaron a Priest.

These Observations are all of them worthy our due obser­vation: but I have handled them elsewhere, as the places quoted in the margent, shew.

§. 25. Of the sense and notes of the former part of Verse 46.

NVMB. 16. 46.And Moses said unto Aaron, take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, put on incense, and go quickly to the congregation, and make an attonement for them.’

TO the fore-mentioned remedy of prayer, here is ano­ther added: whereby their prayer was made the more effectuall. This is first prescribed in this text: and then per­formed in the next verse.

Moses he prescribes: and that on just grounds. For,

  • 1. Moses had a more immediate inspiration, and more extraordinary revelations then Aaron, or any other at that time. With him (saith the Lord) will I speake mouth to
    Num. 12. 8.
    mouth, even apparantly, and not in darke speeches, &c.
  • 2. Moses was the supreme head, and chiefe governour on earth at that time of that people.
    Act. 7. 35.
    God sent him to be a Ru­ler.
    Num. 12. 11.
    Aaron himselfe cals him, his Lord.

Moses prescribes to Aaron, because

  • 1.
    Exo. 4. 15.
    Aaron was to be Moses his spokesman to the people. [Page 35] Aaron was to be to Moses instead of a mouth: and Moses was to be to Aaron instead of God.
  • 2.
    Exo. 28. 1.
    Aaron was then made the High-Priest: so as
    —30. 7.
    to use a censer, to take fire from off the altar, to put incense on the cen­ser, to make an attonement, belonged to Aaron by vertue of his Priest hood.

The particulars here enjoyned were holy rites ordained by God under the Law for pacifying his wrath.

The Censer was an instrument made of a lasting mettall A censer. [...] a prunas desumpsit that would not easily melt, as of gold, or brasse, fit to hold fire in it, with a steele or handle to hold it by. The use of it was to hold live, burning coales on it, that incense being cast thereon, by the heate of the fire it might send out a smoake of a sweet smell, which the Priest carying from place to place, caused the sweet savour of incense to disperse it selfe, and to be smelt wheresoever he came. Some of these censers were of brasse, for the ordinary Priests to carry in­cense up and downe the Tabernacle, and Temple: with Num. 16. 39. such as these the 250 men that conspired with Korah, and were destroyed with fire, offered incense. Others were of gold, as 1 King. 7. 50. those which Salomon made for the Temple: espe­cially that which was made for the High-Priest to carrie in­cense on it into the most holy place, whereof Heb 9. 4. the Apostle to the Hebrewes makes mention.

The fire of the altar here mentioned was of that fire which first fell from heaven (Lev. 9. 24.) and was commanded to be kept continually burning on the altar (Lev. 6. 13.) never to go out: with it they burnt all their offerings that were to be burnt: of it they tooke to carrie incense up and downe: all other fire was counted strange fire (Lev. 10. 1.) They Duo erant altari­a: unum thymia matis, aurcum intrinsecus: & alterum ante templum aeneum holocaustorum. Hier. Com­ment. l. 3. in Ezek 9. who used other fire in holy rites, incensed the fire of Gods wrath against them. (Lev. 10. 2.)

Concerning the altar, there were in the Tabernacle two altars. One for all manner of oblations. The other onely for incense, (Exo. 30. 9.) That a large one: This a small one. That covered with brasse: This with gold. That was set in the Tabernacle neare to the outer court, where when the [Page 36] curtens were drawne, all the people might see it: this neare to the most holy place, (Exo. 40. 5, 6.) and therefore said to be before the Lord, (Num. 16. 12.)

On the great brazen altar the holy fire sent from the Lord, burnt continually. When fire was to be laid on the golden altar for incense it was fetcht from this. It is proba­ble that at this time Aaron tooke fire from that altar where it burnt continually.

Exo 30. 34. Incense was a sweet perfume made of foure most odori­ferous Incense. spices. The first is translated [...] gutta, [...]. liquor distillans ex myrrba, aut cinnamomo. stacte, a gumme that distils out of Myrrhe, or Cinamon. Some translate it pure Myrrhe. The second, [...] Hoc tan­tum in loco legi­tur. Haud facile est statuere quid significes. Onicha, a kind of spice very cleare, which being scraped giveth an extraordinary sweet savour. Some terme it cleare Gumme. The third, [...] Et hoc in hoc tantum loco legitur. Galbanum. This name is taken from the Hebrew. It is said to be a liquour hardened, that is drawne out of sweet Cane growing in Sy­ria. The [...] Inde Graecè [...]. Greeke and the Latine expresse it by such words as our English doth, derived from the Hebrew. The fourth, [...] Inde Graecè [...]. pure Frankincense. This among the foure is the onely common spice: the other are such as we read not of in any other place: so as it is no easie matter to tell what kind of spices they were. Sure it is that Exo. 30. 38. no perfume might be made like that incense which was made of them.

This is stiled Exo. 25. 6. sweet incense, and that fitly, in a double respect.

  • 1. Of the naturall savour. It was exceeding sweet.
  • 2. Of the legall effect, which was to cause a sweet savour in Gods nostrils.
    Lev. 16. 13.
    The Priest therefore in the smoke and smell of it died not.

Here we see that the Incense was a proper peculiar per­fume reserved only for holy uses. The fire also was holy, such as first came from the Lord, and was preserved for his servi­ces. The altar was likewise for sacred uses, and finally, the censer. All were ordained of God, and in that respect all of them warrantable. They were, as other legall types, exter­nall, but yet they had their Evangelicall truths: whereof § 36, 37. hereafter.

[Page 37] These things being thus prepared, Moses chargeth Aaron to go to the Congregation, namely that assembly of rebels that was gathered together against Gods servants; whereof § 11. [...] celeriter. before. And that which Aaron doth, he must do with all speed, because the fire of Gods jealousie was already kindled.

The end of all that which was given in charge, and the effect that would follow thereupon, is thus expressed, And make an attonement for them.

The copulative particle [...]. AND, whereby the distinct branches of Moses his charge are joyned together, impor­teth the latter branch to be inferred as an end of the former: as if he had said, offer incense, that thereby an attonement may be made. So this particle is translated Verse 45. [...] before, where it is said, Get you up, THAT I may consume them. Yea, it doth also imply a consequence, and an effect that would fol­low thereupon: as if he had said, Offer incense, and so there­by thou shalt make an attonement for them. The issue verifi­eth thus much. For Aaron having done what Moses gave him in charge, its said Verse 46. He made an attonement for them.

This phrase, [...] Make an attonement, is the interpretation of one short Hebrew word, which (if our English would beare it) might thus be translated, attone.

The Hebrew word properly signifieth to cover. [...] oper culum. The cover which was laid upon the arke, is set out by a word de­rived from this; Metaphorically it is applied to sinne, and to wrath incensed by sinne, and signifieth to cover them: that is to pardon sinne, and to pacifie wrath. As where it said, Psal. 78. 38. [...] He forgave iniquity: word for word, He covered ini­quity. And where in relation to the wrath of a King, it is said, Pro. 16. 14. [...] A wise man will cover it, that is, pacifie it. It is also simply used, and signifieth to be propitious, favourable, or mercifull: as where prayer is thus made to God, Deut 21 8. [...] propitius esto er­ga populum tuum Be mer­cifull to thy people Israel. It is frequently used, to expiate; that is to purge away, or take away any uncleannesse, so as it may not be imputed: and to make it fit for holy uses, or to appeare before God. Thus it is applied to things used under [Page 38] the Law, and to persons: as to Lev. 16 33. [...] expiabit. the holy Sanctuary, to the Tabernacle of the congregation, to the Altar, to the Priests, and to all the People of the congregation. All the fore-men­tioned acceptions of the word do adde much to the clearing of this phrase in this place, make an attonement. Attone­ment What attonement is. (according to the English notation of the word) impli­eth two at one: namely two that were at odds or variance. Such attonement is as much as agreement, or reconciliation. This in regard of that odds which is betwixt God and man is done two wayes. 1. By taking away sinne, the cause of How attone­ment is made. wrath. 2. By pacifying wrath, the effect of sinne. Offe­rings for sinne typified the former. Incense, the latter. Though these may thus be distinguished, yet can they not be severed. For without sinne be taken away, wrath will not be pacified. And if wrath should be pacified, where's the bene­fit thereof, if sinne be not taken away. Though therefore the one may be more expresly specified, yet the other also is there intended. Now because of the mention of incense here, by attonement here meant, the pacifying of Gods wrath is most directly set out.

This Relative particle THEM ( [...] for them) hath reference to the fore-named congregation: a congregation of rebels. Yet is order taken for pacifying Gods wrath justly incen­sed against them.

The Summe of this text is a Prescript for pacifying Gods wrath.

In this prescript we have

  • 1. The Persons
    • Charging. Moses
    • Charged. Aaron.
  • 2. The Charge it selfe: wherein is expressed.
    • 1. The Matter given in charge.
    • 2. The End thereof.

I. In the matter is distinctly set downe

  • 1. The Substance. To burne Incense.
  • 2. The Circumstances. Which are two,
    • 1. The Instrument, whereon to lay the incense: a Censer.
    • [Page 39] 2. The Meanes, to burne the incense: which is
      • 1. Generally expressed. Fire
      • 2. Particularly limited. From off the altar.

II. The end is set downe by way of charge, which con­sisteth of two branches.

In the former you may observe,

  • 1. The Action to be done. Goe
  • 2. The Time when. Quickly
  • 3. The Persons to whom. To the Congregation.

In the latter you may againe observe,

  • 1. The Duty to be done. Make an attonement.
  • 2. The Persons for whom▪ For them: namely for the Congregation before mentioned.

Six especiall points are here to be noted.

  • I. Men must do what they do by vertue of their calling. It belonged to Moses as a Prince and a Prophet to give dire­ction for staying the Plague: and to Aaron as High-Priest it belonged to offer incense. Moses therefore did that which belonged to a Prince and Prophet. And he appointed Aaron to do that which belonged to
    Deut. 33. 10.
    an High-Priest.
  • II. Such meanes must be used to pacifie Gods wrath as by Gods Word are warranted. Offring up Incense, which is the meanes here to be used, was expresly warranted by the Word of God, Lev. 16. 12, 13.
  • III. Things warrantable in their substance must be perfor­med with warrantable circumstances. For this end the fore­said Incense was to be offered on a Censer, and to be burnt with fire from off the altar, Lev. 16. 12.
  • IIII. Duties of mercy must be performed to such as wrong us. This congregation murmured, and gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron. Yet Moses bids Aaron go to them, to do a worke of mercy for them in this their need.
  • V. Gods wrath is with all expedition to be pacified. For this end Aaron is charged to go quickly, that with all possi­ble speed he might make an attonement.
  • VI. There are meanes of reconciliation betwixt God and [Page 40] man after Gods wrath is incensed. The attonement here en­joyned giveth proofe thereof: especially if we weigh the persons for whom it was to be made. For them, even them that had provoked the Lord at once to consume them.

These instructions arise from the letter of the history. There is an higher mystery contained therein, whereof § 36, 37, &c. afterwards.

§. 26. Ofrespect to ones calling.

I. See § 25. MEn must do what they do by vertue of their calling. 1 Cor. 7. 17. 1 Pet. 4. 10. As God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walke: and so ordaine I in all Churches, saith an Apostle. More particularly he appli­eth this to feverall functions thus, Rom. 12. 6, 7, 8. Having gifts differing, according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophesie, let us prophesie according to the proportion of faith: Or Ministry, let us wait on our Ministry, &c.

See the whole armour of God, on Eph. 6. 14. Treat. 2. Part. 1 §. 4. This is the property of a just and righteous man, to Pro. 20. 7. walke in HIS integrity. HIS, that is, that which belong­eth to him by vertue of his owne proper place and function. In this sence it is said, —14. 8. The wisdome of the prudent is to un­derstand HIS way. But —20. 3. Every foole will be medling: namely in others mens affaires, with the things that belong not unto him.

As we desire to be accepted of God, to receive comfort to our soules by the things we do, and thereby to do good to others, let us be well informed in the duties that by ver­tue of our owne proper function belong unto us, and therein be faithfull and diligent. Much paines may be taken, and diligence used in other mens matters, and little thanks got­ten for all that paines and diligence. Yea we may bring by such paines and diligence much trouble to our selves, and yet no comfort in all that trouble. Wherefore 1 Pet. 4. 15. St. Peter ex­horteth Christians from suffering as busie-bodies in other mens matters. And it is remarkable, that he reckoneth their sufferings among the sufferings of malefactors. 1 Thes. 4. 11. Studie [Page 41] therefore to do your owne businesse. Let Magistrates, let Mi­nisters, let Husbands, let Wives, let all of all sorts so doe.

§. 27. Of using warrantable meanes to pacifie Gods wrath.

II. See §. 25. SVch means must be used to pacifie Gods wrath as by Gods Word are warranted. Of old before Gods will was so fully revealed and recorded as now it is, Saints were wont to seeke extraordinary direction of God. As Gen. 25. 22. Rebekah when she felt children strugling together within her: and Ios. 7. 6. Ioshua when Israel fled before the men of Ai: and Iudg. 20. 28. the other Tribes that fought against the Benjamites: and 2 Sam 21. 1. David when there was a famine in his land: and others on other like occasions. The ordinary course under the Law was, as this here prescribed by Moses in this parti­cular case (for which there was Lev. 16. 12. before a more generall Law) so burnt offerings: in which respect David gave this advice to Saul, 1 Sam. 26. 19. If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him smell an offering. Gen. 8. 20, 21 Noah therefore after that great evidence of Gods wrath, the flood, offered burnt offerings: and it is said that The Lord smelled a sweet savour. So 2 Sam. 24. 25. Da­vid, and that by the advice of a Prophet, to pacifie the wrath of God manifested by a fierce Plague, offered burnt offerings.

What burnt offerings set forth.As the incense was a type of the intercession of Christ, so burnt offerings, of the satisfactory, expiatory, and propi­tiatory sacrifice of Christ Iesus. Yea they were also visible demonstrations of mans guiltinesse. For the beast, laid on the altar, there lay in his stead that brought it, and shewed what he had deserved, namely not onely to be consumed here in materiall fire, but also for ever to be tormented in infernall fire: and the penitents bringing of his offering was a pro­fession of his owne guiltinesse. This by the way concer­ning the end of those offerings which were used to pacifie Gods wrath.

[Page 42] As for the generall point, that meanes used to pacifie God, must be such as are warranted: in two especiall re­spects it appeares to be most equall.

  • 1. In regard of God who is to be pacified.
  • 2. In regard of man who is to pacifie him.

Gods will, till he himselfe reveale it, is secret: his coun­sell unsearchable. (For Rom. 11. 34. who hath knowne the mind of the Lord? or who hath beene his counseller?) None therefore can tell what may please, or appease him, till he make it knowne of himselfe.

As for men, Rom. 1. 21. They are vaine in their imaginations, and their foolish heart is darkened. How then can they of themselves in­vent or conceive what may be well-pleasing to the most wise God? Take a view of all humane inventions, whether of heathens, or others, and you shall find them all to be very toyes, much unbeseeming Gods excellent Majesty: yea such as give no satisfaction to wise men, that duly observe them: no nor to the inventers themselves: and therefore they are still thinking of adding, altering, and taking away. By mans inventions Gods wrath is more incensed then appeased. In vaine (saith the Lord)Mat. 15. 9. do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandements of men.

§. 28. Of sacrificing humane bloud to pacifie God.

In Navigat. Hispan. sub Car. 5. Imper. in insula Caroli­na, mactatio ho­minum legitur. Carthaginenses Saturno excel­lentiores è filijs suis sacrificabāt. Diodor. Sic. lib 20.WHo can sufficiently wonder at the vaine and foolish wit of men, in inventing such meanes and courses to pacifie Gods wrath, as are so farre from being agreeable to his will, and warrantable by his word, as they are cleane contrary thereunto, and in that respect must needs incense his wrath more and more. The Heathen of old were wont to sacrifice children, virgins, men, and such like kinds of humane bloud: which the Iewes, giving themselves over to all Heathenish idolatry, learned of them. For where 2 King. 16. 3. the Heathen gave their children to Molech, 1 King. 11. 7. the Idoll of the Ammonites, which is supposed to be Saturne, Ier. 31. 35. the Iewes [Page 43] also did so: not withstanding that Lev. 18. 21. the Lord had expresly forbid them so to do: and Lev. 20. 2. Pater silium tradebat sacer­dotibus qui faci­ebant dues rogos magnos, & inter hos puerum tra­ducebant. Et quidam morie­bantur, quidam superpius mane­bant. Si pater unum ex si ijs traduceret, reli quos sire salvos, & patrem in om nibus oe icem putabant. made a capitall law against all that should so do. As for the Heathen, they had their Ora­cles at which they used to aske counsell, and take advice in all their weighty exploits, and in all their difficulties and distresses: as Num. 27. 21. Iudg 20. 18. the people of God were wont to aske coun­sell of the Lord. The Heathen supposed that God gave counsell at those Oracles: but it was the Devill himselfe who most egregiously seduced them. For the Holy Ghost calleth false gods Deut. 32. 17. 2 Chro. 11. 15. Psal. 10 [...] 37. 1 Cor. 10. 20 Rev 9. [...]0. Devils. Now Joh 8. 44. [...]ge Euripidis, [...]. Cicero. Offic. lib 3. the Devill hath beene a murtherer from the beginning: and ever thirsted after mans bloud. No marvell then, that the counsell and advice of these oracles was, that for appeasing wrath, or removing calamities mans bloud should be sacrificed. As of old when the Grecians were to depart, after they had burnt Troy, but were hindred by crosse and boisterous winds, their Priest told them that their Kings daughter must be sacrificed, which thereupon the foolish King suffered to be done. Ovid. Metam lib 13 sab 2. Po­lyxena also the daughter of Priamus and Hecuba is said to be sacrificed to appease the Ghost of Achilles. Victima vel Phabo sacra m [...]cteris ad [...] Quam tulit à sae vo Theudalus hoste necem. Ovid. in Ibin. Theudatus or Theodatus King of the Bactrians is recorded to be sacrificed by Arsace King of Persia to Apollo, after he had overcome him in battell. Frater ut Ancae, quo sanguine debuit, aras Tinxit, &c. Ibid. Pigmalion is said usually to sacrifice men to the gods. Vt qui Bistaniae templo cae­cidere Minervae. Ibid The Bistans a people of Thrace, made a law to sacrifice strangers to their gods. Quique Theonteae Taurica sacra Doae. Ibid. Taurica Chersonesus a country in the North part of Europe, now by some called Tartarica the lesse, had inhabitants that also were wont to sacrifice strangers to Diana. Aut te devoveat cer­tis Ahdera diebus. Sax [...] devotum grandme plura petant. Ibid. The men of Abdera a city of Thrace had a custome every first day of the yeare to stone a man to death, and to sacrifice him to the gods, for a prospe­rous successe of that yeare. Hered. lib. 4. The Seythians are reported to sacrifice every hundreth man of the captives that they tooke. Plu­tatch. Paral 38. & Dosith. lib. 3. rer. Sicut It is recorded that a Plague was raised in Syracuse [Page 44] for incest committed by a father with his daughter, and that counsell being asked of the Oracle, answer was made, that both Father and Daughter must be sacrificed to the Gods. i Many more like instances to like purpose may be given; but these are sufficient to discover the blindnesse, and sottishnesse of the Heathen in seeking to pacifie God with such things as could not but much incense him.

§. 29. Of Popish toyes to pacifie God.

PApists also go two farre in using unwarrantable meanes (such as cannot but kindle and inflame the fire of Gods wrath) to pacifie the same: as mens and womens whipping of themselves, wearing shirts of haire, going barefoot so many miles, creeping up and downe to this and that place on their bare knees, going long journies on pilgrimage, to reliques and images of Saints, to the holy land, and if they be not inhabitants of Rome, even thither also to visit it: giving up their lands, if they have any: yea and leaving their callings to enter into, and abide in some religious house, as Monastry, Fryery, Nunnery, Hermitage, or the like: going up and downe to beg: living on almes: offering such and such summes of money at such and such religious places: forbearing such and such meates: mumbling over so and so many times the Creed, Pater noster, and Ave-Maria: and to do what els their Ghostly Father shall enjoyne them by way of pennance: though it be to murther Kings or other persons. Yea further (wherein they go in inhumane cruelty beyond the Heathen) in persecuting with fire and sword such as re­fuse to be subject to their Devilish devices. Ne (que) vero secu­rior ulla via in Ecclesia Dei un­quam existimata fuit ad amoven­dam imminen­tem à Domino poenam, quam ut haec paenitentiae opera homines cum vero animi dolore frequen­tent. Concil. Trid Sess. 14. cap. 8, 9. The Councill of Trent saith of some of these and other like workes of pe­nitency (as it cals them) that never any safer way to avert the vengeance of God was found out in the Church. Haec ipsa opero, quatenus quoad certum modum in particulari, divinitus man­data non sunt, grata sunt Deo, & sancta, & vti­lia. Bellarm. de Poenit. lib 4. cap. 6. Et paulo ante, satisfactoria esse affirmat. And her great Champion though he confesse that they are not com­manded of God (onely he thus minceth the matter, after a certaine manner in particular, not commanded) yet he boldly avoucheth that they are acceptable to God, and holy, and pro­fitable: [Page 45] yea and satisfactory. What? Gods vengeance to be turned away by humane inventions? Humane inventi­ons to satisfie Divine justice? Nor the excellency of the Divine Majesty will admit, nor the vanity of humane appre­hensions can invent any such satisfactions, any such meanes as to avert such wrath. The least that can be said of the best of the fore-said meanes of satisfaction, is that of the Pro­phet, Isa. 1. 12. who hath required them? They may have Col. 2. 23. a shew of wisdome in will-worship and humility, and neglecting of the bo­dy, not in any honour. For they are vile and abominable in Gods sight.

§. 30. Of performing things warrantable with due circumstances.

III. See § 25. THings warrantable in their substance must be per­formed with warrantable circumstances. The ma­ny circumstances which God prescribed for doing the things which he enjoyned, give proofe hereof. For why should the Divine wisdome be so carefull in prescribing cir­cumstances, if man might be carelesse in observing them. Where the Lord enjoyneth the celebration of the Passeover, he thus expresseth it, Num. 9. 3. In the foureteenth day of this moneth, at even, ye shall keepe it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof shall ye keepe it. If men failed in circumstances, they were punished as if they had neglected the circumstance. Instance Lev. 10. 1. Nadab and Abihu, that offered incense with strange fire: and David and the Priests in his time that 2 Sam. 6. 3. caried the Arke in a cart which Num. 7. 9. Exo. 25. 14. Num. 4. 15. Deut. 10. 8. Ios 3. 3. should have beene caried on mens shoulders. Wherefore David being better instructed by the visible evi­dence of Gods displeasure on Vzzah, saith afterwards, 1 Chro. 15. 13 The Lord made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order, &c.

God having prescribed circumstances as well as substan­ces, to neglect the one or the other is to crosse his sacred will. Yea to do things otherwise then he hath appointed, [Page 46] when he hath appointed the rites and manner of doing any thing, is to make our selves wiser then God.

Papists fai­lings in mate­all circumstan­ces.In this respect we have just cause to separate from the Remish Church, though it be granted, that for substance they hold many of Christs ordinances. They have the Word read, and prayers in their Churches, but in an unknowne tongue, which takes away the benefit thereof. They ac­knowledge Christ their Mediatour, High-Priest, Head, and Prophet: but in that they joyne Saints in heaven as Medi­atours, men on earth as true, proper, sacrificing Priests, their Pope a Spirituall head over the whole Church, and give him power to coine new articles of faith, they over-throw the forenamed Orthodoxall substances by these hereticall cir­cumstances. So the substance of Baptisme which they re­taine, they impeach by their additions of creame, spittle, and other like foolish inventions, and by their false positions about the absolute necessity, and operative efficacy of the externall worke. The like might be exemplified in other ordinances. What warrant have they for creeping to ima­ges, prostrating their bodies before them, offering to them, going on pilgrimages, wearing haire-shirts, going bare­foot, whipping themselves: mewing themselves up in cloi­sters, caves, Hermitages, with an infinite number of their owne inventions. Is God pacified with these? Can such things appease his wrath? What then can be expected for the performance of their ordinances, but this doome of the high Indge, Mat. 159. In vaine they do worship me, teaching for do­ctrines the commandements of men. And this, Isa. 1. 12. who hath requi­red this of your hand?

Gospellers fai­lings in mate riall circum­stances.I would to God there were no occasion among us given to feare the like doome. True it is that we have by the Di­vine providence more and better light then Papists have, whereby the vanity of their unwarrantable additions to Gods ordinances are discovered and abandoned, yet many offer up their incense without fetching fire from the Lords altar. For some that draw nigh unto God with their mouth, and honour him with their lips, have their heart farre from [Page 47] him. Sincerity of heart is the fire of the Lord, with which the incense of prayer must be offered up. Others in perfor­ming duties of piety so rest in that which they do, as they looke not at all to Christ, who is the Lords altar from whence alone such fire as is acceptable unto God, can be ta­ken. Others so set their minds on mans lawes, and the pe­nalty thereof, as God, his will, his honour, conscience to him is not at all respected. In these and other like cases doe men offer their incense with strange fire.

Direction for matter and manner to be fetcht from Gods Word. Eph. 5. 17. Rom. 12. 2. Isa. 8. 20.It behoveth us therefore diligently to search the Scrip­tures, thereby to understand what the will of the Lord is: and to prove what is good and acceptable unto him. Therein we may have sufficient warrant for matter and manner, for sub­stance and circumstance. To the Law and to the testimony: if they speake not according to this word it is because there is no light in them, But what is done according to the warrant and prescript of it, may comfortably and confidently be done; and that in assured expectation of Gods gracious ac­ceptation, and bounteous remuneration.

On this ground we may expect a blessing on the duties that we now performe. For our extraordinary humbling of our selves with fasting and prayer is as warrantable for pacifying Gods anger, as incense under the Law. Let us from the Lords altar, his Sonne Iesus Christ, tho­row faith in him take the fire of zeale, sincerity, and inte­grity, and therewith offer our incense; of the efficacy hereof we shall have occasion afterwards to speake.

§. 31. Of shewing mercy to such as wrong us.

IIII. See §. 25. Of praying for enemies. See The whole armo of God on Eph. 6. 18. §. 51. DVties of mercy must be performed to such as wrong us. This did he, who tooke all occa­sions to do so himselfe, give us in expresse charge, Mat. 5. 44. Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. The Law exem­plifieth this generall in these particulars. Exod. 23. 4, 5. If thou meet thine enemies oxe or his asse going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him againe. If thou see the asse of him that hatcth thee [Page 48] lying under his burden, thou shalt surely helpe him. If mercy must be shewed to the beasts of our enemies, how much more to their persons? In this respect the Wiseman thus further adviseth, Pro. 25. 21. If thine enemy be hungry give him bread: and if he be thirsty give him water to drinke. In like manner, if they have pulled any judgement upon their owne pates, our endeavour must be to helpe them, to heale them.

1. Thus shall we shew our selves to be children of our Father which is in heaven. For he maketh his Sonne to shine on the evill and on the good, Mat. 5. 45.

Ad omnes faci­amus bonum Christus non pro sanctis tantum passus est, sed pro peccatoribus, &c Aug. de Salu­tar. Dei. c. 46.2. Thus shall we be like-minded to him that let slip no opportunity of doing good to us his enemies, even Iesus Christ our Saviour, Phil. 2. 5.

3. Thus shall we give evidence of the holy Spirits abode in us. For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodnesse, Eph. 5. 9.

4. Thus shall we Overcome evill with good: which is a Divine property: thus shall we mollifie their hardnesse, and bow their incensed mind to mildnes & kindnes, Rom. 12. 21.

Quando inimicis nostris praebemus beneficia, maliti­am eorum boni­tate nostra su­peramus, & mol­limus duritiam, iratum (que) animam ad molliciem, & benevolentiam flectimus. Hier. Hedib. quaest, 15. And whereas corrupt nature is too too much addicted to revenge, by these meanes shall we leave our implacable enemies to Gods revenge, which the Wiseman thus ex­presseth, Thou shalt heape coals of fire upon his head, Pro. 25. 22

So farre therefore we ought to be from with-holding our hands from doing mercy, because he, to whom mercy is to be shewed, hath wronged us, as so much the rather to take that opportunity of doing good, that it may appeare we do good for goodnesse sake, without respect of persons, without any partiality. Woe were it to children of men if God did not do good to his enemies. If we could over­come our selves, we also should so do. They who are borne againe, whose corrupt nature is altered, will so do.

§. 32. Of speedy pacifying Gods wrath.

V. Sec § 25. GOds wrath is with all expedition to be pacified. Exo. 32. 11. So soone as Moses observed the wrath of the Lord to be kindled, while he was in the mount, before he came down to enquire after the cause thereof, he offered the sweet in­cense of humble & fervent prayer, to pacifie the same. When Ion. 3. 4. Ionah began to enter into Niniveh, and to threaten Gods vengeance, both King and people by fasting, prayer, and re­pentance prevented the judgement. They did not stay till the forty dayes respited were expired. The direction of an Heathen Monarch (but guided by the Spirit of God) is in this case very remarkable: it was this, Ezr. 7. 17. 21, 23. Buy speedily Bul­locks, Rammes, &c. Whatsoever Ezra shall require, let it be done speedily. For why should there be wrath against the realme? Iob 1. 5. Iob was so speedy, as upon suspition that his children in their feasting together might have some way or other pro­voked Gods wrath, offered burnt offerings for an attone­ment: Thus did Iob every day.

Fiercenesse of Gods wrath.Gods wrath is as a fire. (Psal 78. 21. Isa. 30. 30. Ier. 15. 14. Zeph. 3. 8. Saepius ab initio flammam qui­dam non extin guentes, in mag­num devencrant naufragium. De peccatoribus Chrys. Hom. 22. ad Pop. to fire in Scripture it is oft re­sembled) Now a fire, the longer it is suffered to burne, the stronger and more violent it waxeth. When therefore a fire is kindled, will not wise men make all the speed that pos­sibly they can to quench it? The Prophets do thus set out the fiercenesse of this fire: Deut. 32. 22. A fire is kindled in the Lords anger, and shall burne unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountaines, &c. Nah. 1. 6. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide in the fiercenesse of his anger? His fury is powred out like fire, and the rocks are throwne downe by him. In regard of the violence of Gods wrath it is also resembled to Isa. 28. 2.—30. 28. A floud of mighty waters over-flowing. If waters once over­flow and make a breach, all speed must be used to make up that breach, or otherwise it will soone become irreco­verable.

The cause of utter destructi­ons.Hence have we a demonstration of the folly of men, who [Page 50] having incensed the Lords wrath, continue to adde sinne to sinne, and to lie securely therein, nor repenting, nor hum­bling themselves with prayer and fasting, nor thinking any way to pacifie the Lords fiery indignation, till the fury thereof flame round about them, and that so fiercely, as there is little hope of quenching it. This is the cause of those desolations and utter destructions that have bene here­tofore, or still are made in the world. For,

  • 1.
    Mic. 7. 18.
    The Lord delighteth in mercy: Were men carefull to walke in any measure worthy of his mercies, his godnesse would be as an ever-springing, and over-flowing fountaine sending out sweet streames to refresh us from time to time with all needfull blessings.
  • 2.
    Isa. 28. 21.
    Iudgement is his strange worke: therefore he useth to threaten it, before he execute it. If therefore threatning of vengeance did kindly worke on men, and make them humble themselves before the Lord, and turne from their sinnes, he would not execute what he threatneth. Instance the case of
    Ion. 3. 10.
    Nineveh, and of
    Ier. 26. 18, 19.
  • 3. God is
    Ion. 4. 2.
    slow to anger. Though he be provoked to be­gin to execute vengeance, yet is he not hasty in powring out all the vials of his wrath. He first begins with one. He first striketh but softely. If then men humble themselves, and confesse their sinnes with penitent hearts, he will say to his Angell whom he hath sent to destroy,
    2 Sam 24. 16.
    It is enough: stay now thine hand.

Deferring re­pentance, a cause of much mischiefe.The cause therefore of Gods severity in executing venge­ance, rests in mans obstinacy. For Psal. 18. 26. Tamberlane ut Stephan. in Apolog pro Herodoto. With the froward God will shew himselfe froward. Man persists obstinately in sinne: and God persists resolutely in punishing sinne. I have heard of a Generall, that was wont to carie with him in his Camp three sorts of flaggs, a white, red, and black one. And when he first came against a City, he displayed his white flag, to shew, that if without resistance they would yeeld, they should upon acknowledging fealty to him, enjoy their lives, livings, and liberty. If they refused this offer, he then dis­played a red flag, to intimate, that he intended a bloudy [Page 51] battell against them. If notwithstanding this menacing of bloud they obstinately stood out against him, he lastly dis­played a blacke flag, giving them to wit thereby that now nothing was to be expected but utter ruine and desolation. That practice was somewhat answerable to a Law that God made for his people, that Deut, 20. 10, 11. when they went to fight against a City, they should first proclaime peace: whereof if they would not accept, they should destroy them all. To apply this; The preaching of the Gospell is Gods white flag. The seasonable and just threatnings of his Ministers, his red flag. Execution of judgement by Plague, famine, sword, or any other like kinds, his blacke flag. How foolish, how sottish, how rebellious against God, how injurious to their owne soules are they that not only despise the offer of mercy in the Gospell, but also cary themselves contumeliously against the threatnings of Gods Ministers grounded on his Word, and justly deduced from it. Even this is our case: so have we dealt with God: and thereby provoked him to hang out this black and deadly flag of Pestilence, whereby so many hundreds are weeke after weeke destroyed among us. This by speedy humiliation and conversion might have been pre­vented.

Speedy repen­tance very profitable.If in any case speed and haste be needfull, surely it is most needfull, yea and necessary in appeasing the wrath of God. No fire, no floud like to it. For the point therefore in hand, what course soever ye take, (having good warrant for it) That you doe, do quickly. Whether the judgement be pub­lique or private, on our selves or others, let us make no de­lay. Take At the time when this was preached. viz. Aug. 1625 a publique fast was weekely celebrated. this opportunity now at length offered for pub­lique humiliation by prayer and fasting: and what you out­wardly make shew of before men, do inwardly and effectu­ally before God the searcher of hearts. Put off no longer time. Heb. 3. 7, 8. Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will heare his voice harden not your heart. There is just cause to speake to you in such a manner, as in another case Act. 27. 21. Paul did to those that were in the ship with him, Ye should have har­kened to Gods Ministers, and not have loosed from your [Page 52] loosed from your covenant with God, and have gained this losse and harme which by fiercenesse of the plague hath befallen us. You should (as §. 6. hath beene noted of Iob) upon suspition have used meanes to prevent this Plague: or at least, when one or two in a weeke died of the Plague in the suburbs of the City, you should have used all the meanes that Gods Word warranted, then and there to have stayed it. Have ye not heard of the counsell that Eliah gave to Ahab. 1 King. 18. 44. When there arose a little cloud out of the sea like a mans hand, he said, prepare thy chariots, and get thee downe, that the raine stop thee not. So upon the sight of the smallest signe, and first beginning of this Plague, we should have used all warranta­ble meanes to have prevented, if it had beene possible, these showers of Gods vengeance which have day after day fallen upon us. But seeing those opportunities have been too carelesly passed over, let us now be made more wise. Quickly speedily, as quickly & speedily as possibly we can, seek yet to quench this fire, to make an attonement for our selves and o­thers yet living. Considera quam multi modò mo­riuntur, quibus si haec hora ad agendum poeni tentiam concede­retur quae tibi concessa est, quo modò per attaria & quam festi­nanter currerent, & ibi flexis geni­bus, vel certè toto eorpore in terram prostrato, tam diu suspirare [...]t, plorarent, & orarent, donec plenissimam peccatorum veniam d Deo consequi mercrentur. Tu verò commedende, bibendo, j [...]c [...]ndo & ridendo, tempus o [...]ose vi­vends perdis, quod tibi. in dulserat Deus ad acquirendam gratiam, & promereadam gloriam. Cogita etiam quot animae in inserno nunc cruciantur sine spe veniae, & misericordiae. Si amor Dei te tenere non potest, saltem teneat & terreat timor judicij, metus gehennae, &c. Bern. de Interiori Domo. cap. 63.O cōsider how many have died, who if they had this time for repentance, which ye have, would fast and pray, and turne from sinne, and do what might be done to obtaine pardon. And will ye spend this precious time in eating, drinking, and sporting, which is affoorded to get grace, and attaine to glory? Thinke with thy selfe how many soules are now in hell without hope of pardon and mercy. If the love of God hold thee not in, at least let the feare of judgement and terrour of hell restraine thee, and affright thee.

§. 33. Of attonement with God after his wrath hath beene kindled.

VI. See §. 25. THere are meanes of reconciliation betwixt God and man, after Gods wrath is incensed. As the charge which in this text Moses gives to Aaron, Make an attonemēt: so the event which followed thereupon (Numb. 16. 47 He made an at­tonement for the people) proves as much. So doth this answer which God gave to Moses his intercession for the people, —14, 20. I have pardoned according to thy word. Memorable in this case is that meanes which at first God affoorded to man by the Gen. 3. 15. Seed of the woman, after he had revolted, & so provoked the Lords wrath. All the propitiatory sacrifices that from Abels time to Christs have beene offered up by Saints, give demon­stration hereof: especially if the end of them, and the events following upon the offering of them be duly weighed. The end of them is thus expressed in the Law, Lev. 1. 4. It shalbe accepted for him to make an attonement for him. The events are thus set out, Gen. 4. 4. The Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offering. —8. 21. The Lord smelled a sweet savour. Lev. 9. 23. The glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 1 Sam 7. 9. The Lord heard him. 2 Sam. 24 25. The Lord was entrea­ted for the land. 2 Chro 7. 1. Fire came downe from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The many invitations propounded in Scripture to sinners to come unto God, imply grounds of reconciliation betwixt God and man. Such are these, Isa 1. 18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord. Pro 9. 5. Come eate of my bread, &c. Isa. 55. 1. Come, buy wine and milke without mony, &c. Mat. 11. 28. Come unto me all ye that labour, &c. Psal. 34. 8. O taste and see that the Lord is good. To these for further confirmation, may be added the many promises of receiving, and accepting such as come, which use to be annexed to the forementioned invitations. Yea and the embassage which God hath given to his Mini­sters, who 2 Cor. 5. 20. as though God did beseech you by us, pray you in Christs stead, be reconciled to God. But most evidently and plentifully is the point proved by the truth of all the legall [Page 54] types, Christ Iesus, Rom. 3. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propiti­ation: —5. 11. by whom we have received the attonement. That word propitiation hath relation to the Exo. 25. 17, &c. propitiatory under the Law, translated by our English a mercy-seat: which was an especiall type of Christ, in whom all the mercy of God is manifested to man. Where Ezek. 43. 14. [...]. Ezekiel maketh mention of a greater and lesse settle, The LXX translate it, a propitia­tory: Propitiatorium minus est, quando i [...] se Christus for­mam servi acci­piens & propiti­atorium majus quum recepit gloriam, &c. Hier. Com­ment. l. 13. in Ezek. 43.and St. Hieron applieth the greater propitiatory to Christs Divine nature: and the lesse to his humane nature. Thus as God-man is Christ the meanes of attonement be­twixt God and man.

No reason hereof can be found out in man. For man ha­ving once rebelled against his Creatour, persisted in his re­bellion: and neither offered to God, nor sought of God any attonement. Rom. 5. 10. When we were enemies we were reconciled. The whole cause therfore resteth in God: even in his free grace, and undeserved love. For there is a peculiar love which God beareth to man: Tit. 3. 4. [...]. which the Apostle compriseth under one compound word, which signifieth, love of man: and thus setteth downe the true reason of the fore-mentioned attone­ment, After that the kindnesse, and love toward man of God our Saviour appeared, not by works of righteousnesse which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.

§. 34. Of Gods peculiar love to man.

1. Chrysostomus in lib. 1. de Prov Dei, elegantissimè de­scribit divinam [...]. THis peculiar love of God to man is the rather to be observed by man, because it is such a love as is pro­per to him, and on him onely conferred. The like hath not beene extended to any other creature whatsoever. I need not bring the senslesse creatures, either above in the visible hea­vens, or below on earth, no nor any of the living, and sensi­ble, but unreasonable creatures, into comparison. None can be so senslesse, or unreasonable, as to imagine that Gods goodnesse extended to them, can be compared to his kind­nesse shewed to man. There remaine therefore the Angels onely in this blessed contention, about more love, to be poised [Page 55] with man. The Angels may be distinguished into two ranks, good and evill. The evill angels, though they stood in as much need of such mercy to be shewed to them as was extended to man, because they implunged themselves into as deepe a gulfe of miserie, yet was not God pleased to take such pitie of them. Iude v. 6. He hath reserved them in everlasting chaines under darknesse, unto the judgement of the great day. The good Angels fell not into such misery: nor stood in need of such mercy. They were indeed by Christ establish­ed in happinesse, but not redeemed from misery. The favour which they primarily had with God is everlastingly confir­med: new favour is not purchased for them. They never were at odds with God: no need therefore of attonement, of reconciliation. This is the transcendent, proper, and pe­culiar evidence of Gods love to man. Heb. 2. 16. He therefore that tooke not on him the nature of Angels, tooke on him the seed of Abraham.

§. 35. Of their desperate condition who reject reconciliation.

2. WHat now may be thought of such children of men, as, notwithstanding the meanes of recon­ciliation and attonement, which God hath ordained and re­vealed for mans good, still stand at odds with God, and maintaine enmity against him? Their case may well be ac­counted desperate. Infirmi donec medicantes ad­mittunt, multam habent spem sa­nitatis: post quàm verò in mentis alienationem deciderint, im­medicabiles sunt nullo curante: non propter mor­bi naturam, sed propter curantis absentiam. Chrs. Hom. 22. ad Pop.While they who are sicke admit Physi­tians, and remedies, there is much hope of recovery. But if like mad men they admit no meanes for their good, they must needs be irrecoverable, having none to cure them: not so much for the nature of the disease, as for want of meanes to cure them. In this case they may be supposed to be worse then Devils. Had a Redeemer been given to Devils, and an attonement by him made betwixt God and them, we cannot but think that they would most readily and willingly have embraced reconciliation. Yet how many children of men have there beene in all ages, in all places, against whom the [Page 56] Lord may justly take up this complaint, Mat. 23. 37. How oft would I have gathered you together even as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! And this, Isa. 65. 2. I have spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their owne thoughts: A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face. Too too many such there are among vs, who most ungratefully and contumeliously reject all the meanes which God in his goodnesse and wisdome hath afforded to allure and draw men to himselfe. For meanes of reconciliation, and salvation, what nation hath more plentifully enjoyed them, then England, and what part of England more then London? But let the impiety and iniquity, profanenesse and licentiousnesse, drunkennesse, and all manner of uncleannesse, swearing and lying, debate and deceit, extortion and op­pression, and other like offences against God and man, com­mitted in this bright light of the Gospell, give evidence, whether reconciliation offered on Gods part be answe­rably accepted on mans part. Can we now wonder at Gods judgements among us, and heavy hand upon us? Have we not rather cause to admire his long suffering and lenity, in that he hath so long held his hand from striking: and in that he now strikes, he doth it so gently. For howsoever this stroake of the Plague considered in it selfe be heavy: yet compared to our deserts, it is but light. Lam. 3 22. It is of the Lords mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions faile not.

§. 36. Of the penitents comfort in reconciliation.

3. Poenitentes, quid à seipsis suscipit judicatos, Deus absolvit. Cypr. Serm de Pass. Christi. POore penitent sinners, whose hearts are broken with sight and sence of their sinnes, may hence, and will hence receive much comfort, that there is meanes of attone­ment and reconciliation betwixt God and them. For God useth to absolve such as he observes to judge themselves. This must needs be very cordiall to them. For true peni­tents that are pierced with sence of their sinnes, know that [Page 57] while there remaines enmity betwixt God and them, they are in no better estate then the Devils. They find by the heavy burthen of sinne oppressing their soules, and by their deepe apprehension of Gods wrath thereupon, that Gods favour is more sweet then life it selfe, and infinitely to be preferred before all contents and delights that this world can affoord. To these Isa. 52. 7. How beautifull are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, &c. Take notice therefore, O ye poore in spirit, take notice of this sove­raigne ground of comfort, There is meanes of reconciliation betwixt you and your God. An attonement is made. Com­fort your soules herewith. Sufficit mihi ad omnem justitiam solum habere prepitium, cui soli peccavi. Bern. super Cant, Serm. 23.It is sufficient, and in stead of all righteousnesse, to have him alone, against whom alone I have sinned, propitious and gracious in pardoning sinne.

Meanes of re­conciliation to be sought.4. Means of reconciliation being on Gods part affoorded and offered, it remaineth as a bounden duty for us, with the uttermost of our power to seeke after it. Yea it giveth good encouragement to do our best for partaking of the benefit thereof.

  • 1. For our duty, shall a matter of so great consequence, so excellent, so needfull, so usefull a thing as reconciliation with God be published and proclaimed to us wretched re­bels against God, and should not we enquire after it? They adde much to the heape of their other sinnes that neglect this duty.
    Heb. 2. 3.
    How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?
  • 2. For encouragement, what greater then this, that there is such a thing, that upon due and diligent seeking, may and shalbe had. If God were implacable, irreconciliable, and would accept of no attonement, then had we cause to be discouraged from seeking it, but God is so farre from being irreconciliable, that he is most easie to be intreated. Yea by his Ministers he
    2 Cor. 5. 20. Mic. 7. 18.
    prayeth us to be reconciled to him. Who is a God like to thee, that pardoneth iniquity, &c.

§. 37. Of the resemblance betwixt prayer and incense.

HAving handled the meanes of attonement here prescri­bed by Moses according to the letter of the history, we will further endeavour to open the mystery contained under it.

The principall meanes was offering incense. This may be considered as a service to be done by man: or as a Legall Thus [...] est spiritual [...]s thy­miamatis, quod est c [...]lius Dei. Hier. Com­ment. lib. 1. in Hab 2. type of an Evangelicall truth.

As a service, or duty to be performed on mans part, it set out prayer.

As a type it prefigured Christs Intercession.

That it set out prayer, is evident by the Psalmists applica­tion of the one to the other, where he saith, Psal. 141. 2. Let my prayer be set before thee as incense. This also is meant by the Lord, where he saith, Mal. 1. 11. In every place incense shalbe offered to my name.

The resemblance of prayer to incense, is in many respects very apt. For,

  • 1.
    Exo. 30. 36.
    The spice of which the incense was made, was to be beaten very small. So the heart out of which prayer com­meth, must be
    Psal. 51. 17.
    a broken and contrite heart.
  • 2.
    Lev. 16. 13.
    Fire must be put to the incense, and therewith the incense burned. So
    Mar. 11. 24. Iam. 1. 6.
    faith and
    Iam. 5. 16.
    servour must be added to prayer, whereby it is made to ascend to God.
  • 3. Incense must be burnt
    Exo. 30. 7.
    on the altar, or
    Lev 16. 12.
    on a censer, as Moses here commanded Aaron. So must our prayers be offered on
    Heb. 13. 10.
    the altar Iesus Christ: who is also as
    —9 4.
    a censer.
  • 4.
    Ezek. 8. 11.
    Incense being fired ascended up like a cloud. So
    Rev. 8 4. 2 Chro. 30. 27. Ion. 2. 7.
    doe faithfull and fervent prayers ascend to heaven where God is.
  • 5. Incense caused
    Lev. 16. 12.
    a sweet perfume and savour. So is
    Iob 42. 8. Psal. 69. 31.
    prayer pleasing and acceptable unto God.
  • 6.
    Lev. 16. 13.
    Incense was a meanes to pacifie Gods wrath, as here [Page 59] in the text. So prayer. By
    Exo 32. 14.
    Moses his prayer was Gods anger appeased.
  • 7.
    Numb. 16. 40
    Incense was to be offered up by Priests onely.
    Rev. 1. 6.
    So are all Saints made spirituall Priests, and
    1 Pet 2. 5.
    thereby fitted to offer up the spirituall incense of prayer.

§. 38. Of incense typifying Christ.

THat Incense was a type of Christ; may be collected by the Apostles specifying the Heb. 9. 4. golden censer, which was onely for incense, among other Legall types of Christ. The golden censer was a type by reason of the incense, for which it was made: much more therfore must the incense it selfe be How sundry types may be applied to Christ. a type. If it be demanded how the one and the other too could be a type of Christ; I answer, In regard of severall matters appertaining to Christ. Some types set out one of Christs natures, others another: Some his person, others his offices: againe, others, speciall benefits that the Church reaped by Christ. In a word, the sundry and severall types under the Law, set out sundry and severall excellencies that were in Christ, and sundry and severall benefits that issue from him.

That the fitnesse of the types here mentioned may be the better discerned, I will paralell, and set out the incense, censer, fire, and altar in such manner as with good probability may be applied to Christ.

1. The Incense was made of the
Exo. 30. 34, 38
best spices in the world. The like perfume might not be made.
1. Christ was
Cant. 5. 10.
the chiefest of ten thousand.
Psal 45. 2.
Fairer then the children of men. None like to him.
2. Incense was to be
Exo. 30. 36.
beaten very small.
2. Christ was
Isa 53. 5.
bruised for our iniquities.
3. Incense was burnt with
Lev. 16. 12.
hot coales of fire.
3. Christs death was a tormen­ting death:
Zac. 3 2.
He was a brand pluckt out of the fire.
[Page 60]4. Incense was put upon a
Lev. 16. 12.
Censer. The Cen­ser was of
Heb. 9. 4.
Exo. 30. 1. &c
So was the altar upon which it was burnt.
4. Christ
Heb 9. 14.
thorow the eternall Spirit offered himselfe: then which nothing more preci­ous, more durable. A golden censer and altar is expresly applied to Christ, Rev. 8. 3.
5. The Incense was brought
Lev. 16. 13.
before the Lord into the most holy place.
5. Christ is
Heb. 8. 1.
in heaven be­fore his Father, even at his right hand.
6. The smoake of the Incense like
Lev. 16. 13.
a cloud covered the mercy­seate.
Heb. 8. 1. Isa. 4. 5.
6. Christs intercession so co­vereth the throne of grace in heaven, as our sinnes are not seene.
7. The sent of the In­cense was very sweet. Therfore it is called
Exo. 35. 28.
sweet in­cense.
Ioh. 11. 42. —16. 23.
Christs intercession is very pleasing to God.
Isa. 42. 1.
Gods soule de­lighteth in him.
Mat. 3. 17.
He is his belo­ved Sonne in whom he is well pleased.
Lev. 16. 13, 14.
Incense was cari­ed with bloud in­to the most holy place.
Heb. 9. 12.
Christ with his owne bloud en­tred into the holy place. Satis­faction and intercession go to­gether.
Numb. 16. 48.
Offering incense was a meanes of attonement be­twixt God & mā
9. Christ is
1 Ioh. 2. 2.
the propitiation for our sinnes.
Rom. 5. 10.
By him we are reconciled to God: and
have received the at­tonement.
2 Chro. 26. 18
Incense was to be offered up only by a Priest.
Heb. 8. 1.
Christ was a true Priest: So fit to make intercession. No Angell, no Saint can do it.

The type being thus applied to the truth in the particular circumstances thereof, we will insist especially upon the maine substance here intended, which is the true meanes whereby God is appeased, here typified by Aarons offering [Page 61] incense: namely Iesus Christ the beloved Sonne of God, his making of intercession for sinners.

§. 39. Of the vertue of Christs intercession to appease God.

CHrist by his intercession is the onely true meanes of appea­sing God. All Legall rites instituted to this purpose were types hereof. For the whole Law was Col 2. 17. a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ. He is that Gen 3. 15. seed of the woman that should bruise the serpents head, and so slay hatred. Gal. 3. 16. He is that Seed of Abraham, in whom all na­tions should be blessed, by reason of this attonement. He the Heb. 10. 10. propitiatory sacrifice, he the Eph. 5. 26. cleansing water, he the in­cense, he the Ioh. 3. 14, 15. Brasen Serpent, by which such as are stung by sinne and Satan are cured. To omit other types, Eph. 2. 14. He is our peace: 1 Ioh. 2. 2. He is the propitiation for our sinnes: 1 Tim. 2. 5. He is the Mediatour betwixt God and man: 2 Cor. 5. 18. God hath reconciled us to himselfe by Iesus Christ: Rom 3. 25. whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation. Therefore Hebr. 1. 3. when he had by himselfe purged our sinnes, he sate downe on the right hand of the Majesty on high: where —7. 25. he ever liveth to make intercession for us. On which ground the Apostle maketh this holy challenge, Rom. 8. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died: yea rather that is risen againe, and is even at the right hand of God: who also maketh intercession for us. Thus we see how plentifull and evident the holy Scripture is in this principle of our Chri­stian Faith.

1 Tim. 3. 16. Christ being true God, Mat. 17. 5. his Fathers beloved Sonne in whom he is well pleased: and having Heb. 9. 12. by his owne bloud obtai­ned eternall redemption, he hath a power and right to quench the fire of Gods wrath, and to make peace betwixt God and man. The dignity of his person, and the all-sufficiency of his sacrifice have made way thereto. The like can not justly be said of any other meanes whatsoever, in heaven, or in earth. Wherefore 1 Tim. 2 5. There is one (one onely) Mediatour betwixt God and man, the man Christ Iesus.

§. 39. Of the vanity of meere creatures intercession.

SVrely they do more incense then appease God, who to the heape of their other sinnes adde this high pitch of presumption, Intercession of men or Angels. Can mans in­vented incense, offered up with strange fire, pacifie Gods wrath? For, intercession of men and Angels is a meere hu­mane invention: never could any Papist give any good proofe for it out of Gods Word: nor ever hereafter can any do it. That which is not in Gods Word cannot be drawne out of it. This is such strange fire, as will devoure them that use it: even as Lev. 10. 1, 2. The fire that went out from the Lord devou­red Nadab and Abihu: and as Numb. 16. 35. that which consumed the two hundred and fifty men that (being of the conspiracy of Korah) offered incense: incense that much incensed the fire of Gods wrath. To reason the case a little with our adver­saries; Why do they not content themselves with that pure, and sweet incense that Christ our great Priest offereth up? Is it not sufficient? Need any thing, can any thing be added to the dignity and efficacy of that which Christ doth? Can man or Angell do any thing more then God-man? Are any more beloved of the Father then he?

But they pretend humility forsooth. Sinfull men are un­worthy to go to so worthy a Mediatour as the Sonne of God. Therefore they have the Spirits of just men made per­fect in heaven, and the holy Angels to be their Medi­atours.

Answ. 1. Pretence of humility without warrant of Gods Word is high presumption. Hypocrisin hu militatis. Oecu men. in Col. 2. 19. He fitly stiled this kind of humility, that stiled it, a shew, or a maske of humility, coun­terfeit humility: And Vulgò dicitur qui divitem affe­ctat thelo-dives, qui sapientem thelo-sapiens. Ergò & hic the­lo humilis dici tur(i) affectans humilitatem. Aug. Epist. ad Paulin, he more finely, that by a new coi­ned word, compounded part of Greeke, and part of Latin, called it Thelo-humilitatem, will-humility, voluntary, or affected humility: which is plaine and palpable arro­gancy.

[Page 63] 2. Though Angels and Saints in heaven be more perfect then men on earth, yet are they not worthy of such an office, as to be Mediators & Intercessors to God for others. Or this office of Intercession is too much vilified, or celestiall crea­tures too much dignified and deified by accounting them Intercessours in relation to God.

3. Christ himselfe is deprived of one of his prime functi­ons, and honours, by ascribing it to others: or at least he hath co-partners, and assistants joyned with him. Which to do is intollerable presumption.

4. The love of Christ to man is thereby exceedingly im­peached. For he was made like to his brethren, that he might be a mercifull and faithfull High-Priest in things pertaining to Hebr 2. 17. God, &c. This end of his taking our nature on him, is fru­strated, if we need other Mediatours to him. To what end is he made man, if there need other Mediatours to present us to him? Wherein appeares he to be so mercifull, if of our selves we may not have accesse to him, who was made as our selves, a Sonne of man?

The excellency, necessity, sufficiency, and commodity of Well use, and trust to Christs intercession. Christs intercession being by the Gospell evidently revealed unto us, it becommeth us to take such notice thereof, and to be so instructed therein, as we may in all our needs wisely use it, and confidently trust to it.

They wisely use it, that on all occasions, when they ap­proach to God, have the eye of their soule fixed on Christ abiding in heaven at Gods right hand, and making interces­sion, & thorow his mediation and intercession present their persons, their prayers, and all their holy services to God the Father. Especially when Gods wrath is provoked, and any signes thereof begin to manifest themselves, then to humble their soules at the throne of grace: then thorow the interces­sion of Christ to crave mercy and pardon. That forme wherwith the Church useth to conclude her prayers (thorow Iesus Christ our Lord) is a worthy form, and pertinent to the point in hand. In using the words, our heart ought to be lift up unto Christ, and set on him sitting on Gods right hand. [Page 64] Yea, though such words be not alwayes expressed, yet every petition made to God, every thanks offered to him, every thing wherein we have to do with God, must in mind and heart be intended thorow the mediation and intercession of Christ. We read of incense offered with the prayers of Saints, the smoke whereof ascended before God. This incense is the Rev. 8. 3, 4. intercession of Christ.

They trust to his intercession, who use no others but his, and in the use of his, rest confidently that they shalbe accep­ted. Thus may we, thus must we do. We may do it, because what soever is in us to discourage us, or any way to make us doubt of acceptance, is so abundantly supplied in Christ, as all matter of doubt and feare is thereby taken away. We must do it for the honour of Christ, for the comfort of our owne soules. Christ is much honoured by the stedfast faith of his Saints, Thereby the dignity of his person, the merit of his sacrifice, the favour of his Father, the efficacy of his in­tercession, and other his Divine excellencies are acknow­ledged. The soule of him that in faith expecteth thorow Christ acceptation, cannot but be much comforted. This was it that much encouraged, and comforted Stephen, even then when his malicious enemies gnashed on him with their Act. 7. 54, 55. teeth, that he saw Iesus standing on the right hand of God. That of Stephen was extraordinary. For the heavens were actually, really opened, and Christ in that body, wherein he was seene on earth, and wherewith he ascended into hea­ven, appeared unto him, being in the highest heaven. Ste­phens sight was also extraordinarily quickned, and enabled distinctly to perceive and discerne a visible object so far off. Such an extraordinary bodily sight of Christ is not to be ex­pected of us. Yet as truly, and to as great comfort of soule may we with the spirituall eye of the soule, the eye of faith, see Christ sitting in heaven for us: as it is said of Moses, By faith he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Heb. 11. 27. Thus to eye Christ with his incense, his intercession before God, in dangers and distresses, in feares and perplexities, while we live, when we are giving up the ghost, can not [Page 65] but bring unspeakeable comfort to the soule.

§. 40. Of the scope of the last clause of the 46 Verse.

NVMB. 16. 46.For there is wrath gone out from the Lord: the plague is begun.’

A Reason of the fore-mentioned direction given to Aaron, is here rendred, as is evident by this causall particle [...] FOR. The reason is taken from the manifestati­on of Gods wrath: and confirmed by an effect or evidence thereof, a plague.

The reason may thus be framed.

  • When Gods wrath is gone out, attonement must be made.
  • But now Gods wrath is gone out.
  • Therefore now an attonement must be made.

That Gods wrath was gone out, he proves by the effect thereof: which may be thus framed.

  • When a plague is begun, Gods wrath is gone out.
  • But now a plague is begun. Therefore, &c.

Here are two points to be considered.

  • 1. The Substance of the reason.
  • 2. The Inference of the reason.

The Substance setteth out

  • 1. The cause. Wrath.
  • 2. The effect. Plague.

The Inference noteth out a duty to be thereupon perfor­med, which is to appease Gods wrath.

First of the Cause, wrath, amplified by the Author whence it came; From the Lord.

§. 41. Of the sense of these words, Wrath is gone out from the Lord.

THe originall word translated wrath, signifieth a fervor, [...] excanduit vehemencer. fiercenesse, or vehemency of anger. Hos. 10. 7. The some that ari­seth from the raging and beating of the sea, is set out by this word. It hath affinity with [...] [...] King. 6. 6. [...] [...] lignum. a word that signifieth to cut downe: and importeth such vehemency of wrath as moves him that is angry to cut off, or destroy the other. Whereas the Hebrewes have sundry words to expresse distinct degrees of anger: this is used to expresse the utter­most. Deut. 29. 28. [...] [...] & excand [...] centia, & se [...]ore Moses to set out the fiercenesse of Gods wrath, useth three severall words, the latter implying more then the for­mer, thus, The Lord rooted them out of their land in AN­GER, and in WRATH, and in great INDIGNA­TION. The last of these three is the word used in this text, and noteth an higher degree then the two former.

By this phrase, [...] exivit. is gone out, a manifestation thereof by an outward evidence is signified. It is opposed to keeping in, or hiding close and secret. What things men would not have seene or knowne, they keepe in. What they would have seene and knowne, they suffer to go out. In this respect wrath is here said to go out. It imports, that God was so provoked as he could not keep in his wrath.

From the Lord, or word for word, [...] A facie Iehovae. Trem. & Iun. From the face of the Lord. When a man is angry, passion will soone manifest it selfe in his face, by bringing bloud into it, and making it hot, by bending his browes, by a fierce cast of the eyes, and other like signes. In which respect wrath is said to come from the face of a man, that is, in and by the face to shew it selfe. Thus by a Metaphor, and by resemblance to man, when the Lord doth by any visible signes manifest his wrath, it is said to come from his face; that is, as our English according to the usuall acception of the Hebrew phrase, hath transla­ted it, From the Lord.

The great, ineffable, and most proper name of God, [Page 67] Iehovah, is here expressed. When matters of favor are appli­ed Of the title Iehovah, See the Churches Conquest on Exo. 17. 15. §. 72. to this name Iehovah, they are much amplified thereby. They are the favours of Iehovah. But when wrath is attri­buted to him, it is much aggravated. The wrath of Iehovah, must needs be a wrath that makes all to tremble.

§. 42. Of anger attributed to God.

Of the kinds of affections, See The Saints Sacrifice on Ps. 116. ver. 1 §. 4. Ista verba in Scripturis posita non sunt ut ali­quam Dei per­turbationem sig­nificent: sed quia nihil dignum de Dco dici potest, propterea us (que) ad ca perventum est. Aug. contr. Adi mant. c 13. What anger is, in man. Ira est motus na­turalis concept us ex causis, qui so­let ad profectum pertinere Delin­quentis. Amb. Comment. in Eph. 4. Quest. IS anger in God?

Answ. Not properly, as in a man, a passion distinct from the Essence. For God is a most simple and pure Essence. He is all Essence. There is nothing in him different from his Essence. The things that are attributed unto him, are spoken of him onely by way of resemblance, for teaching sake: to make us somewhat more distinctly conceive Gods dealing with us. Anger in man is a passion whereby upon apprehension of some evill done, he is stirred up to punish him that hath done it. The evill that stirreth up anger is either a true evill that justly deserveth to be punished, and in that respect anger is deservedly provoked: as Exo. 11. 8. Moses his anger was provoked at Pharaohs obstinacy: Or only an evill in appearance, or in the apprehension of him that is an­gry: and in that respect unjustly incensed: as 1 Sam. 20. 30 Si off [...]nditur de­bet irosci: si iras­citur debet ulcis­ci. Nam & ultic fructus est irae: & ira debitum offē sae. Tertul, ad­vers. Marciō. l. 1 Sauls an­ger against Ionathan.

Anger attributed to God setteth out his dislike of evill and his resolution to punish evill doers. God can not mistake: the evill at which he is at any time angry is indeed evill. When any way God manifesteth his dislike and his resolu­tion to punish, he is said to be angry. Thus Rom. 1. 18. the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse: that is, God who is in heaven manifesteth from thence his dislike of ungodlinesse, and his purpose to take vengeance thereof. And because that dislike and purpose to punish useth to be manifested sometimes by threatning so to do, and somtimes by putting his purpose into execution, and performing it, such his threatning and executing of judgement is called the anger or wrath of God. Who can tell (saith the King of [Page 68] Nineveh) if God will turne away from his fierce anger? By Ion 3. 9. anger he meaneth Ionahs threatning of vengeance: for no punishment was then inflicted. But where Rom. 25. the Apostle saith, Thou treasurest up to thy selfe wrath, he meaneth judge­ment: as is further evident by this phrase, Rom. 35. [...] Qui infert iram. God inflicteth wrath, that is, taketh vengcance, as our English turnes it.

To apply these, as to dislike, and to purpose to punish sinners, or to threaten vengeance, or to execute judgement may be attributed to God, so to be angry. And as Gods threatning, and execution of judgement is lesse or more ter­rible, so his wrath: therefore to manifest and aggravate the terrours thereof, sundry Metaphors and Epithites are added thereto: as Psal. 69. 24. wrathfull anger, Deut. 29 24. Heate of great anger, 2 King 23. 26 Fierce­nesse of great wrath, Isa. 42. 25. Fury of anger; and his anger is said to Exo 32. 11. waxe hot, Numb 11 10 to be kindled greatly, Deut. 29. 20. to smoke, —32. 22. Difference be­twixt Gods anger on Saints and others. to burne unto the lowest hell.

According to the persons with whom God is angry, may his anger be distinguished:

  • 1. By reason of the flesh in his best Saints on earth, they oft provoke his wrath, as
    Exo. 4. 14. Deut. 3. 26.
    Mases did, against whom the anger of the Lord is said to be kindled. This anger is as a Fa­thers compassion. Of this it is said
    Psal. 103. 9. Cum iratus sue­rit, m sericordiae recordabitur. Im­mò verò & ipsa indignatio non aliundè quam de misericordia est. Bern. de verb. Hab. Serm.
    He will not keepe it for ever. This anger ariseth from his mercy.
  • 2. By reason of their rebellious disposition others do so farre incense his wrath, as it proves implacable. Against such, saith the Lord,
    2 King 22. 17
    My wrath shalbe kindled, and shall not be quenched.
    Psal. 21. 9. Dominum ctiam bonis suis servis succensintem in­telligi datur. Aug Quaest. super Ios. lib. 6
    The Lord will swallow up such in his wrath. This anger is as the passion of a Iudge.

From all these premisses this conclusion followeth.

Wrath may come from God. He may be provoked thereto: and that by all sorts, Saints and others, as hath beene shewed before. Scarce any other thing is more frequently attribu­ted to God, then anger. Not by reason of any forwardnesse in him to anger. For Ion 42. The Lord is slow to anger, Exo. 34. 6. Long-suf­fering, Neh. 9 17. Ready to pardon: and when he hath threatned, or begun to inflict judgement, he is soone brought to Ion. 4. 2. 2 Sam. 24. 16. repent him of the evill. But by reason of mans provoking disposi­tion: [Page 69] By sinne (whereunto men are exceedingly addicted) Gods wrath is kindled: by aggravation of sinne, the fire of Gods wrath is inflamed: and by obstinate continuance the rein, and impenitenty, that flame becomes unquenchable. Now sinne, being contrary to the righteousnesse of his will, his justice, his truth, his wisdome and other like Divine ex­cellencies, will not suffer the fire of his wrath to lie alwayes smothered: but rather stirre him up to send it out against Sublimitas inef­fabilis, ut homi­nibus congruat; humanis sonis significanda est. Aug, contr. A­dimat. cap. 13. sinners, to scorch them, to burne them, to consume them, if at least they repent not. Thus an ineffable sublimity, that it may be the more agreeable to man, is to be set out by words appertaining to man.

§. 43. Of the lawfulnesse of anger.

1. THis great instance of Gods being angry, gives an evident demonstration of the lawfulnesse of anger. Nobis hominibus concessum est, ut ad indignae ali­cujus rei faciem moveamur? tran­quillitatem (que) mē tis velut lenis quaedam aura conturbet, &c. Hier. Comment. l. 2. in Eph. 4. For nothing simply sinfull and unlawfull is attributed to God. Our Saviour who tooke upon him our nature was free from all sinne. 2 Cor. 5. 21. He knew no sinne. He knew him­selfe better then any other could. Had he had any sinne, he must needs have knowne it. But he was 1 Pet. 1. 19. A Lambe without blemish, and without spot: Heb. 7. 26. Holy, harmlesse, undefiled, sepa­rate from sinners: yet Mar. 35 was he angry. So were sundry Saints on just occasions noted to be angry, yet not blamed: as Numb. 16. 150 Moses, 2 Sam. 13. 21. David, Neh. 5. 6. Nehemiah, and others.

Anger is one of the affections. Affections in themselves are no more evill, then understanding, will, memory, and other faculties of the soule.

Ob. They are all of them by naturall corruption perver­ted and polluted.

Answ. 1. We may distinguish betwixt the essence of the How anger is good. soule with the faculties thereof, and the corruption of them which is accidentall. Thus the essence is good, though the accident be evill.

2. That which is corrupted may be renewed. Thus an­ger [Page 70] and other affections are accounted good and lawfull by vertue of the Spirits renewing them.

2. Ob. Gal. 5 20. The Apostle reckoneth wrath among the fruits of the flesh: and Col. 3. 8. How anger ac­counted evill. exhorteth to put it away.

Answ. He meaneth wrath and anger as perverted and corrupted. Eph. 4. 26. In another place he implieth that a man may be angry and yet not sinne.

Quest. Why then is wrath put into the catalogue of such things as are simply evill, as Col 3. 8. wrath, anger, maliciousnesse, Gal. 5. 19, 20. idolatry, adultery, witch-craft, &c.

Answ. Because it is a violent passion: and by man, though regenerate, very hardly kept in compasse. Moses, a Ira est irrationa­lis impetus, & canis impudens. Chrys. ad Pop. Hom 30. Num. 12. 3. man in a great measure regenerate, yea and very meeke above all the men which were upon the face of the earth, yet being on a great cause angry, so exceeded therein, as he little regarded the Tables wherin God with his own hand had written the Morall Law, but Exo. 32. 19. threw them out of his hands, and brake them. So Act. 15 39. Paul and Barnabas, men endewed with extraordinary spirits, yet being stirred with anger, grew so hot, as They departed asunder one from the other. The corrupt flesh ever abides even in the best Saints so long as they abide in this corruptible flesh: and though they be regenerate, yet much corruption lieth as dreggs at the bottome. Hence is it, that if that person in whom the sweet liquour of the sanctifying Spirit aboundeth, be moved in his passions (as sweet water in a glasse having dreggs, being shaken) corruption will arise, and taint that passion.

Quest. By what meanes especially is wrath perverted, How is anger perverted. and made evill?

Ans. By the same that all other affections are perverted: which are generally two.

  • 1. Mis-placing them.
  • 2. Mis-ordering them.

Anger is mis-placed when it is set upon a wrong object: namely upon that which is good and praise-worthy. For an­ger is one of the disliking affections: the object whereof ought to be evill. Evill is to be feared, and hated, and grie­ved [Page 71] for: and at evill we ought to be angry. Cain was angry at Gods accepting his brothers sacrifice: and Saul at the just praises given to David. Their anger therefore by reason of Si mihi irascatur Deus, num illi ego similiter redirascar? Non uti (que), sed pavebo, sed contremis­cam, sed veniam deprecabor. Ber. super Cant. Serm. 83. mis-placing it, was evill. But most evilly mis-applied is their anger, which is cast on God. Herein Ionah much failed (Ion. 4. 4, 9.) But Cain much more (Gen. 4. 5.) If God be angry with me, shall I againe be angry with him? In no wise: but I will rather feare, and tremble, and crave pardon of him.

Anger is mis-ordered, when it is unadvisedly, or immea­surably moved. Our Lord saith, that Mat. 5. 22. he that is angry with his brother without cause or [...] temerè. unadvisedly, or rashly, shalbe in danger of the judgement. Ion. 4. 4. Canis est impu­dens ira: sed lege audire discat. Si suerit canis in grege tam ferus ut non obediat jubenti pastori, omnia perdita sunt. Sed si discit audire, utilis erit contra lupos, & contra piratos, &c. Chrys. ad Pop. Hom. 30. Thus was Ionah angry over­rashly, and without cause.

Immeasurably angry are they that so exceed in passion, as inwardly they are disturbed in their memory, and out­wardly manifest as much by outragious words and actions: as Saul, 1 Sam. 20. 30, 33.

Had Stoicks and others (that hold all passions to be un­beseeming wise men) well discerned betwixt the nature and corruption of passions, they would easily have found out their owne mistakings. For anger is as a shepheards dog, which if he be not at his masters call, to run, or returne, and do this or that, may be very pernicious: but if he be orde­red by his master, he may be very profitable against wolves and theeves.

§. 44. Of the matter of mourning which the provo­cations of Gods wrath give.

2. THe maine point that Anger is in God, and wrath may come from him, gives great matter of humiliation, in regard of the many great provocations thereof day after day. We know that fire is very fierce where it finds matter to worke upon. Would it not thereupon much grieve and perplexe men, to see desperate fellowes in every house blowing up fire to make it catch hold on houses. More desperate are impudent and impenitent sinners. For no fire so fierce, so fearefull as Gods wrath. No such meanes to kin­dle and enflame fire, as sin to incense Gods wrath. No such danger and dammage can come by any fire, as by the wrath of God. Were not the patience of the Lord more then ordi­nary, whereby the fire of his wrath is kept from flaming Ier 9. 1, 2. Tu hominem quidem exacer­bans, amicos ro­gas, & pecunia [...] expendis, & mul­tos absumis dies accedens & sup­plicans: & sive semel, sive his, sive millies te re­pulerit irritatus, non recedis, sed magis conten­dens majorem affer [...] supplicati­onem. Deo autem omnium exacer­bato oscitamus, & recedimus, & deli [...]ijs, & ebrie­tati vacamus, &c. Chrys ad Pop. Hom. 46. out, our houses, our villages, our Cities, our nations, yea, the whole world, and all therein would soone be utterly con­sumed. O let not the consideration of Gods wrath be passed over with an unrelenting heart, or with dry eyes. I am sure, if it be well weighed, and deeply layed to heart, it will give just occasion to every one of us to cry out and say, Oh that mine eyes were waters, and mine eyes a fountaine of teares, that I might weepe day and night for the many provocations of the wrath of the Lord. Oh that I had in the wildernesse a lodging of wayfairing men, that I might leave my people, and go from them: For they are all desperately set to incense the wrath of the Lord more and more, till they and all they have be brought to nought. Were the terrour of the Lords wrath better knowne and believed then it is, it would cer­tainely restraine mens excesse in provoking the same: and make them more carefull and diligent to pacifie it. If men be incensed, what paines is taken, what friends are used, what cost is expended, what time is wasted with waiting to paci­fie them? If the offender be once, twice, yea many times [Page 73] rejected, yet will he not give over. Is any such thing done to pacifie God?

To aggravate this point, let the Title whereby the Lord The terrour of the wrath of Iehovah. See The Churches Con­quest on Exo. 17. 15. §. 72. of this title IEHOVAH. Prov. 19. 12. is here set forth, be noted. It is IEHOVAH. The wrath of Iehovah: that is, the wrath of that great God, who hath his being of himselfe, who giveth being to all, on whom all depend, who hath power to save, and to destroy, who can inflict judgements that will make the stoutest to quake, that can cast body and soule into hell. The Wise­man saith, that The Kings wrath is like the roaring of a Ly­on. Now consider, when a Lyon hath espied his prey, (suppose a Lambe, Kid, or any such thing) and runneth and roareth after it, how that silly prey quaketh and trembleth. The Lyon hath roared, who will not be afraid, Am. 3. 8. saith the Prophet?

Now if the wrath of a King (who is but a mortall man, who may soone be taken away) who is not able to doe what he will, be so terrible; what is the wrath of the eternall, almighty Iehovah? The foresaid wise man saith of the foresaid wrath of a King, He that provoketh him Prov. 20 2. unto anger sinneth against his owne soule, meaning his temporall life. But he that provoketh Iehovah unto anger, sinneth indeed against his owne soule in the ut­termost Horrendum est incidere in ma­nus Dei viuen­tis, offendere Cre­atorem, recalci­trate Dominan­tis imperio, qui habet potestatem corpus & ani­mam pouere in gehennam. Bern Serm. in festo Mar Magd. extent that may be, even against his temporall, and eternall life. O then to heare, or to see any evidence, as now we doe, that wrath is gone from Iehovah, how should it make us to tremble, to humble our selves, to fall downe upon our faces, as Moses and Aaron §. 24. Prov. 16. 14. here did, and to doe all that may be to pacifie the same. Where Salomon saith, The wrath of a King is as messen­gers of death, He addeth, A wise man will pacifie it. Let us therefore shew our selves wise, and be so farre from provoking and incensing the wrath of Iehovah, as we do to the uttermost what lieth in us, to pacifie the same. For which there are § 27. 30. directions before prescribed.

§. 45. Of the sinnes which most provoke Gods wrath.

3. IT is an especiall point of wisdome to take due notice of those sinnes which among others do most provoke Gods wrath: that we may know when to be most humb­led, what to be most watchfull against, and against what most to pray. Gods word giveth us best direction herein. Out of it, I will endeavour to collect such as heretofore have exceedingly incensed him, and caused him in wrath to exe­cute fearefull judgements. They are these.

1. Idolatry. The reason annexed to the second Comman­dement Pergrave crimen est idololatria. Ambr. Com. ment in Col. 3. Hinc critur om nis impictas. Aug de ver [...] Relig cap. 37. giveth evidence against this sinne, that it excee­dingly provoketh Gods wrath. The reason is this, 1 the Lord thy God am a jealous God. Pro. 6 34. Idololatriā saepè ac propriè Scrip­tura sornicatio­nem vocat Aug. de Doct Chr. lib. 3. cap. 8. Iealousie is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. It is a passion most properly incident to husbands, stirred up against their wives, and against such as steale away their wives heart, and commit adultery with them. But Ezek. 23 37. Hos. 2. 2. idolatry is a spirituall adultery. For Ier. 31. 32. Hos. 2. 19. God is as an husband to his people that professe his name. As adultery therefore is the most capitall crime that a wife can commit against an husband (Mat 5 32. thereby the matrimoniall bond is broken) so idolatry against God. Iudg 5. 8. Idolaters choose other gods. So they Isa 42. 8. give Gods highest honour to others. No marvell then that Deut. 9. 19. Numb 25. 3. Iudg. 2. 13, 14. the fire of Gods jealousie is inflamed against them. Deut. 6. 14, 15. This mo­tive against idolatry doth Moses much presse.

2. Prophanation of sacred things, and times. Ezek. 43. 8. The Prophet expresly noteth this to be an especiall cause that provoked God to consume his people in his anger. Neh. 13. 18. Ye bring (saith Nehemiah) more wrath upon Israel by prophaning the Sab­both. Sacred times, places, and ordinances are in speciall manner for the honour of God. To prophane them is an high dishonour to God. Iust cause there is therefore for God to be angry with such.

3. Pollution of profession: as when Professours of the true [Page 75] Religion mixe themselves with prophane persons, and joyne themselves with them in mariage, society, amity, confederacy, &c. Yea, and every way fashion themselves like to them, in speech, in gesture, in apparell, in pastimes, &c. Gen. 6. 3. This so incensed Gods wrath against the old world, as he swept them all away with a floud. 2 Chro. 19. 2 Wrath is said to come upon Iehosaphat from the Lord, for this very thing. Deut. 7 4. Rev. 14 9, 10. By feare of Gods wrath Gods people is oft deterred from all such commixtion. Profession of Gods name is a sacred Rom. 2. 24. thing: it engageth God, and bringeth him to a part or a side. Ezek. 36. 20. By polluting it, his sacred name is blasphemed.

4. Ingratitude, or a dis-respecting, despising, and vilify­ing of Gods mercies, favours, and blessings. Thus Numb. 11, 6, 10. The an­ger of the Lord was kindled greatly against Israel for their light account of Manna. And Deut 32. 18, 19. he abhorred them, because they were unmindfull of the rocke that begat them: and had forgotten God that formed them. Ingratitude is a sinne hate­full Ingratitudinem prorsus odit ani ma mea Peremp toria siquidem res est ingratitu­do, hostis gratiae, inimica salutis, Nhilita d [...]spli­cet Deo, &c. Bern deEvang. 7. Panum Serm 2. to God and man. It makes God repent him of the kind­nesse he hath done: and thereupon to alter his mind, and to turne favour into fury. On this ground 1 Sam. 15. 11. it repented God that he had set up Saul to be King: And —16. 14. The spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evill spirit from the Lord troubled him. Psal 95. 10, 11. By Israels ingratitude God was provoked in wrath to sweare that they should not enter into his rest. 2 Chro. 32. 25. He­zekiah rendred not againe according to the benefit done unto him: but his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, &c.

5. Magistrates abuse of their authority. Hos 5. 10. The Princes of Iudah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will powre out my wrath upon them, saith the Lord. 2 King. 23. 26. The Lord turned not from the fiercenesse of his great wrath wherewith his wrath was kindled against Iudah, because of all the provo­cations that Manasheh had provoked him withall. Psal 82. 6. 2 Chro. 19. 6. Magi­strates are on earth as Gods: they beare his image, stand in his roome, are to execute his judgements. By their abuse of their authority God is highly dishonored, and his image dis­graced: so as he can not but manifest his indignation against such.

[Page 76] 6. Ministers perverting their function: and that by en­couraging and emboldening the wicked: and by discoura­ging and discountenancing the upright. Ezek. 13. 12, 13. The Prophet thus in the name of the Lord denounceth Gods wrath against such Ministers as build up their wall with untempered morter, Quia lae [...]ati estis in ruina servs­rum meorum, cadem persecutio contra vos quo (que) venict, &c. Hier. Com­ment. in Abd. I will even rent it with a stormy wind in my fury: and there shalbe an over-flowing shower in mine anger, and great haile­stones in my fury to consume it. Take instance of the feare­full effects of Gods wrath against 1 Sam. 2. 29, &c.—3. 12, &c. Elies house. 2 Cor. 5. 20. Ministers also of Gods Word do in another kind beare Gods image, stand in his roome, and are instructed with his counsels. By their perverting therefore of their function God is much dishonoured, and his wrath must needs be much in­censed.

7. Inhumanity, or trampling on such as are cast downe. Ezek. 35. 5, 11. Thus did Edom on Israel, they executed cruelty on them in the time of their calamity, Therefore as I live, saith the Lord, I will do even according to thine anger, &c. On such a ground the Lord also thus in wrath menaceth the Heathen, Zac. 1. 15. I am sore displeased at the Heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the afflicti­on. 2 Chro. 28. 6. 7, &c. Pekah a King of Israel having slaine many of the chil­dren of Iudah, the children of Israel tooke of all sorts, even women and children 200000 to cary them away captives. But a Prophet of the Lord restrained their fury by this speech, Deliver the captives againe: for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you. Such inhumanity, as it is in it self a most odious vice, so more then most odious in his sight, who is a God of pitty and compassion. Psal. 69. 21, 24. To them therfore, against such as in thirst gave vineger to drinke, he thus cryeth, Powre out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathfull anger take hold of them.

8. Conspiracy, and joynt consent of all sorts in all man­ner of sinnes. Ier. 32. 31, 32. This City (saith the Lord of Ierusalem) hath beene to me a provocation of mine anger, and of my fury, &c. Because of all the evill which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their Kings, their Princes, their Priests, and their [Page 77] Prophets, and the men of Iudah, and inhabitants of Ierusalem. And in another Prophet to like purpose thus saith the Lord, Ezek. 22. 30, 31. I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not de­story it: but I found none. Therfore have I powred out mine in­dignation upon them, I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. Gen. 18. 24, &c. The integrity of some (though but a few among many wicked) is a meanes to with-hold the wrath of him who will not slay the righteous with the wicked. But when there is none to stand in the gap, how should his wrath be stayed?

9. Obstinacy: when men will not be reclaimed, but hate to be reformed. This provoked God to say to his owne Sicut obdurata corpora & dura non obsequuntur manibus medi­corum: sic & ani­mae obdurate non obsequuntur verbo Dei. Chrys. in Heb. 3. Hom. 6. people, Ezek. 20. 21. I would powre out my fury upon them, to accomplish mine anger against them. Obstinacy Isa. 5. 24, 25. after God hath given his Law and Word to his people, and given Numb. 16. 32, 35. former evi­dences of his wrath against them, most incenseth Divine fu­ry. 2 Chr. 36. 16. Peccantes non dolere magis Deum indignari facit & irasci, quam peccare. Chrys. ad Pop. Hom. [...]6. Cui deest fiducia, januam sibi rest piscendi semolob­firmavit, & ad curriculum aditum interclusit. Chrys. pri. par. ad Theod. laps. They mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and mis-used his Prophets, untill the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Not to be moved with sinne, more incenseth God, then to sinne.

10. Infidelity. By this men put away the only means of quenching the fire of Gods wrath, Christ, his bloud, his in­tercession. Ioh 3. 36. See more of this sinne in The whole armour of God, on Ephes 6. 16. Treat. 2. Part 6. §. 34. He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. This sinne is directly against the Gospell, against the mercy, truth, power, and other like attributes of God. Numb. 20. 12 Deut 3 26. Mafignus nihil non tentat, quo nobis dissidentem cogitationem inserat. Chrys prior. Par. ad Theod. For this was God angry even with Moses, and suffered him not to enter into the land of promise. The evill one every way assayes to worke dissidence in men. Thus dealt he with Adam, and pre­vailed, (Gen. 3. 1.) Thus dealt he with Christ, but nought availed, Mat. 4. 3, 4.

[Page 78] 11. Impenitency. To such an one saith the Apostle, Rom. 2. 5. De nulla re sic irascitur Deus, quemodo si pec­cator superbiat, & erectus ac ri­gidus non sera. tur in sletum, nec misericordiam postulet pro delic­to. Hier. Com­ment. l. 3. in Eph. 5. After thine hardnesse and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up unto thy selfe wrath against the day of wrath. Great is that mercy that by the Gospell is offered to sinners. That thereby God may not be thought to boulster up sinners, Repentance is re­quired. Therefore he that came to save sinners, saith, Mat. 9. 13. Impoenitentia est delietum maxi­mum, & blasphe­mia irremissibi lis Bern. super Cant. Serm. 38. I am come to call sinners to repentance. To live under the Gospell of Christ, and to live in sinne, is to pervert the end of Christs comming, to abuse mercy, to scandalize the Word of grace. What then can be expected of such, but wrath? Iustly may it be accounted the greatest sinne.

12. Apostasie. By this men withdraw themselves from God. Heb. 10. 38. In them therefore God can have no pleasure. They depart from the comfortable sun-shine of his mercy, and cast themselves into the scalding heat of his wrath. Moses foretelling the fearefull judgements which should befall the Israelites, as evidences and effects of Gods wrath, sheweth that every one could tell the cause thereof. For when all nations should aske, Deut. 29. 24, 25. Discedens a Do­mino salutem haberenon potest, Ambr. in Psal. 118. Serm. 15. Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? What meaneth the heat of this great anger? Then men shall say, because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord, &c. Apostates disgrace the Religion and professi­on whence they fall, offend the faithfull Professours thereof, grieve the good Spirit of God, and open the mouthes of the enemies of the Gospell against their Profession, and so give great cause of wrath. Yea, departing away from God, who is the Lord of life, they cannot have salvation.

§. 46. Of the causes of Gods wrath among us.

THat it may appeare what just cause the Lord hath to powre out the vials of his wrath among us, it wilbe a seasonable taske to take a view of our owne times, and to observe whether the forenamed sinnes may be found among us. For too too truly it may now be said of this Land, of this City, There is wrath gone out from the Lord, the Plague is begun.

In prosecuting this taske I will follow the order before Sinnes provo­king Gods anger rise among us. As, 1. Idolatry. propounded; and bring those sinnes which have been pro­ved formerly to have provoked Gods wrath, to our times.

1. For idolatry, though the bright light of the Gospell hath for Since the 17 of Nov. 1558. many yeares dispelled the thicke cloud of Popery, a detestable idolatry: yet in many places that cloud gathe­reth, and thickneth againe. I pray God it increase not as 1 Kin. 18. 44. that cloud which Eliahs servant espied: which though at first it were but a little one like a mans hand, yet it grew to cover the whole skie, and to cause much raine. Too many seducers are among us: too great countenance is given to them. We Ministers have need to inculcate this Apostoli­call prohibition, 1 Cor. 10. 14. Flee from idolatry.

2. For prophanation of holy things and times, he is blind 2. Prosanation that discerneth it not: he himselfe is too prophane, that is not in his righteous soule vexed thereat. Prayer, preaching, Sacraments are altogether neglected, or very carelesly, ob­served. As for the Lords Day, it is in many places by many Persons made the Devils day. It is not only in act prophaned, but the profanation therof too much countenanced, justified.

3. For Pollution of profession, what advantage is thereby 3. Pollution of Profession. given to our adversaries. Thence they take occasion of up­braiding to us our reformation. Yea, the prophane among us are hereby justified. For many Professours are e­very way as lewde and licentious as they: as vaine in their attire, as corrupt in their speeches, as wan­ton in their gesture, as deceitfull in their dealing, as uncha­ritable [Page 80] in their censures, as unmercifull to the poore, &c.

4. For ungratefull vilifying Gods mercies, I thinke our 4. Ingratitude. people exceed therein the Israelites that dwelt in the wilder­nesse. Heavenly Manna, the Word of life, that plentifully falleth among us, is by superstitious, schismaticall, and pro­phane persons loathed. Superstitious persons wish for Queene Maries dayes againe. Schismatiques wish there had beene no reformation unlesse it had beene better. The pro­phane cry out of too much preaching.

5. For Magistrates abusing their authority, all the com­plaints 5. Magistrates abuses. of the Prophets may too justly be taken up against many of ours, if at least this were a fit place to make com­plaints of their bribe-taking, perverting justice, oppressing the innocent, using their power to their owne turnes, &c.

6. For Ministers perverting their function, many among 6. Ministers faults. us exceed the false prophets among the Iewes. None grea­ter discouragers of the upright. None greater animaters of the prophane. The greatest zeale which they use to shew, is in their bitter invectives against such as make most consci­ence of sinne. They are too great companions with the base­er and lewder sort.

7. For trampling upon such as are fallen, so inhumane are 7. In humanity Am 6. 6. many, as they do not onely stretch themselves upon their beds, and drinke wine in bowles, while their brethren [...]e groaning under sore afflictions: or (like the Priest and Levite) passe by without succouring such as are not able to helpe them­selves: Luk. 10 31, 32. Iob 4 6. Luk. 1. 1. 2 Sam. 16. 7, 8 but like Iobs friends charge them with hypocrisie, or like the Iewes account them the greatest sinners, or as Shemei, raile on them: and so give them (instead of a cup of consolation) vinegar and gall to drinke.

8. For conspiracy and consent in sin, when was there more, 8. Conspiracy then among us. Great ones, meane ones, old, young, male, female, Magistrates, subjects, Ministers, people, rich, poore, masters, servants, all of one mind to disgrace integrity and to countenance impiety and iniquity. Insomuch as the Pro­phets complaint is too truly verified among us, Isa. 59. 15. He that refraineth from evill maketh himselfe a prey.

[Page 81] 9. For obstinacy in sinne, who can open his mouth wide 9. Obstinacy. enough against mens stubbornenesse. They are impudent and stiffe-necked. They have a whores forehead and will not be Ezek. 2. 4. Ier. 3. 3. ashamed. They bid a kind of defiance to God himselfe. As they abuse his mercies, so they despise his judgements. What swearer, what blasphemer, what drunkard, what adulterer, what fornicatour, what oppressour, what extorti­oner, what usurer, what deceiver is reformed by this Plague? So obstinate are people, as God had need to make the faces of his Ministers strong against their foreheads. Ezek. 3 8, 9.

10. For Infidelity, we Ministers have too great cause to cry out, Who hath believed our report? Were not this sinne 10. Infidelity, Isa. 53. 1. so fast fixed in mens hearts as it is, much more comfort would be received from the Ministry of the Gospell, and much better obedience yeelded thereto. The Apostle gi­veth this reason of the small profit that was reaped by the Gospell, It was not mixed with faith in them that heard it. True faith hath a double worke where it is kindly wrought. Heb 4 2. Faiths double worke. 1. In generall, it perswadeth the heart of the truth of Gods Word. 2. In particular, it brings the heart to apply that truth to it selfe, as a truth which concernes him. The small profit that many reape by Gods Word, the little use that they make thereof, sheweth how infidelity beareth sway in them. Thus it commeth to passe that they are like the children in the market, that neither danced to them that piped, nor lamented with them that mourned. Nor promises, nor Mat 11. 16, 17. threatnings, nor mercies, nor judgements worke upon them.

11. For impenitency, It cannot be denied but that many, yea most, are so setled on their sins, as they hate to be reformed. 11. Impeniten­cy. Where are true fruits of repentance to be found? Where shame, where sorrow for sin? Where turning from sin? Men rather grow worse and worse. Gods judgments harden their Tantam nactus Pharao lengani mitatē extrema [...] de omnibus dedit poenas. Chrys ad Pop. Hom. 46. hearts, as they did the heart of Pharaoh. But he paid thorowly for abuse of so much patience. If by any occasion their consci­ences be any whit rub'd, and they brought thorow feare and anguish to promise amendment, they quickly shew that no [Page 82] true repentance was wrought in them: But it is hapned unto them according to the true proverbe, The dog is turned to his 2 Pet. 2. 22. owne vomit againe: and the sow that was washed to her wal­lowing in the mire.

12. For Apostasie, if first we consider inward apostasie 12. Apostasie. Inward. (which is Rev. 2. 4, 5. 2 Thes. 2. 10. 11. a decaying inwardly in former love of truth) too great and just cause of complaining is given. Many have left their first love, and become Rev. 3. 16. Outward Apostasie. lukewarme, as the Laodiceans. Thus a ready way is made to outward apostasie: which is an open renouncing of the very profession of true Religion, as this whole land did in Queene Maries raigne. It is much to be feared, that if a like occasion should be given, a like apostasie would follow.

If these, and other like provocations of Gods wrath among us be duly weighed, we shall see cause enough to confesse that Gods wrath is justly gone out against us, and that we have deservedly pulled this Plague upon our owne pates.

It remaines therefore that we thorowly humble our selves: that we lay open our soares before our mercifull God: that we faithfully promise amendment: that we give evidence of the intire purpose of our heart in promising, by an answerable performance. But above all, for the pre­sent, that we crave mercy and pardon of God thorow Iesus Christ, that he may offer up his sweet incense to pacifie his Father, and cause his destroying Angell, to stay his hand.

§. 47. Of the kind of plague here meant.

THe Effect of the fore-mentioned wrath that came from the Lord, is thus expressed, THE PLAGVE IS BEGVN.

The word translated, [...] plague is a generall word, that sig­nifieth any heavy stroake of God. The roote whence it is derived signifieth to strike. Exo. 21. 35. It is applied to an oxes stri­king, or pushing to death, so to other like strikings: but [Page 83] most commonly to Gods striking of wicked men with some extraordinary judgement. As where David said of Saul, [...] Sam. 26. 10. [...] The Lord shall smite him: meaning so as to destroy him. This word is Exo. 8. 2.—12. 23.—12. 27. Ios. 24. 5. oft used of Gods smiting the Egyptians when they held the Israelites among them as bond-slaves. Yea, such a word as Exo. 9. 14. [...] the word in my text is used to set out all those judgements which God brought upon the Egyptians, called plagues. The word PLAGVE in our vulgar accep­tion importeth an infectious mortall disease, otherwise sti­led pestilence. Our English word, plague, seemeth to be ta­ken from the Plaga. Latine, and that from the [...] percutio. [...]. Greeke: in both which languages it is usually put for a stroake, a blow, a stripe, a wound, &c. Figuratively therefore, a speciall put for the generall, it signifieth the pestilence. In the Scripture there are also [...] tetigit, per­cussit. Inde nomen, [...] plaga. Exo. 11. 1. [...] percussit. Inde nomen [...] plaga. Deut. 28. 59. other words to set out that disease which we com­monly call the plague: and that as generall as this, properly signifying stroakes, and scourgings: so as they all imply that a plague is an extraordinary stroake, or scourge of God. Yet there is in Hebrew [...] cum duplici segol. a word that is more properly put for the plague: which our English doth commonly tran­slate pestilence. It is the word that God used, when he offe­red to David the choice of one of these three judgements, Sword, Famine, Pestilence. [...] in Piel sig­nificat evertere. Inde nomen [...] pestis, quia multi caaem evertuntur. The roote from whence this word is derived signifieth to overthrow, or destroy. And experience sheweth that by the plague many are destroyed. Sic Latinè pestis, quia pes­sundat. In Latine pestis importeth as much, whence the Scots call this sicknesse the pest. Sic Graecè [...] desicio Quia fa­cit defectum. The Greeke word also intendeth the like. This latter word pestilence, is more restrained to one kind of disease, then the former translated plague. Eve­ry pestilence is a plague, because it is an extraordinary stroak and judgement of God. But every plague is not a pesti­lence: for all the plagues of Egypt were not pesti­lences.

As for the plague here mentioned, though it be not ex­pressed under [...] that word which properly signifieth pesti­lence: yet was it questionlesse a pestilence. For,

  • 1.
    2 Sam. 24. 21, 25. [...]
    Such a word as this is attributed to the pestilence [Page 84] that in Davids time destroyed 70000 within the space of three dayes.
  • 2. It was infectious: which was one reason why
    Numb. 16. 48
    Aaron stood betwixt the dead and the living: that he might keepe the living from being infected by the dead.
  • 3. It was extraordinarily mortall. For
    Numb. 16. 49.
    in a short space there died of it 14700.

Quest. If so many died, how is it said, that the plague is begun?

Answ. In the very beginning of the plague, on a sudden, so many were destroyed, even as at once. Thus in a very short time, on a sudden there were found 185000 dead in the Campe of the Assyrians, lying in siege against Ieru­salem.

In these words, The plague is begun, is an effect of Gods wrath.

More particularly we may observe

  • 1. The Matter propounded. The plague
  • 2. The Manner of expressing it, is begun.

Hence arise two observations.

  • I. A plague is an evidence of Gods wrath.
  • II. God can make the beginning of a judgement terrible.

The connexion of these two clauses, There is wrath gone out from the Lord, The plague is begun, give proofe of the former.

This intimation of the beginning of the plague, Aarons speed in offering incense, the vertue of that speed, that the plague was stayed, and yet 14700 to be dead, gives evi­dence to the latter observation.

§. 48. Of a plague as an effect of Gods wrath.

I. See §. 47. Indignationem Dei pestilentia subsequitur. Hieron. Com­ment. in Isay. lib. 4. cap. 19. A Plague is an evidence of Gods wrath. The plague which upon Davids numbring the people was in­flicted on Israel, is expresly noted to be an effect of Gods wrath. For first it is said, for demonstration of the cause of that judgement, that 2 Sam. 24. 1. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel: and againe that 1 Chro. 21. 7. God was displeased with Davids numbring the people, and Therefore he smote Israel. Deu. 32. 22, 23. Where God saith, Fire is kindled in my wrath, he addeth as an effect thereof, I will send plagues among them. Ezek. 5. 16, 17 There are three arrowes of Gods wrath mentioned in Scripture; and the plague is one of these. The other two are sword and famine.

Generall and extraordinary judgements are such as al­way come from the wrath of God. Instance the judgements which were inflicted on the Israelites in the wildernesse. They were generall, as in handling the next doctrine we shall shew: and extraordinary, as the severall kinds of them do shew. And they are oft noted to come from the wrath of the Lord, Numb. 11. 1. The Lords anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them. —33. The wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague. —25. 4. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel: and the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up, &c. But not to insist on more particulars, the Psalmist rendreth this as a generall cause of all the judgements that were inflicted on them, Psal. 106. 40. A plague is ge­nerall and ex­traordinary. The wrath of the Lord was kindled against his people, inso­much that he abhorred his owne inheritance. Now experience sheweth that a plague is both a generall and an extraordinary judgement. Generall it is, for it useth to spread farre and neare, from person to person, from house to house, from street to street, from towne to towne, from city to city: and it taketh away all of all sorts, young, old, male, female, weake, strong, meane ones, great ones, &c. Extraordinary [Page 86] it is, because the immediate hand of God in sending it, in increasing it, in lessening it, in taking it away, is more con­spicuously discerned then in other judgements. It is obser­vable to this purpose, that when David chose the plague, he thus expresseth his mind, 2 Sam. 24. 14. Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord.

§. 49. Of afflictions as effects of wrath or love.

Quest. ARe not diseases, and other kinds of judgements somtimes sent for triall, and for other like ends, which are demonstrations of the wisdome, love, and care of God towards his people, as well as in wrath and vengeance to destroy them.

Answ. We must distinguish,

  • 1. Betwixt particular or private afflictions, and general or publike.
  • 2. Betwixt kinds of publike and generall afflictions.
  • 3. Betwixt the persons on whom calamities are brought, being of different dispositions though they be mixed toge­ther in the same place for co-habition.
  • 4. Betwixt the cause of a judgement, and the effect and fruit of it.

1. Particular and private afflictions are oft in love, by reason of Gods wise and tender care over his children, infli­cted on them. Heb. 12. 6. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every sonne whom he receiveth. And —10. See the profi­table ends of afflictions in The whole ar­mour of God, on Eph. 6. 11. §. 2. & Eph. 6. 15. §. 13. God chaste­neth us for our profit. But we read not of any publike and ge­nerall judgement, which came not from the wrath of God. Many instances of the affirmative, that they were effects of wrath, were given before: and the Scripture affoordeth many more: but not one to the contrary.

2. There are common calamities that fall on all of all sorts: and there are other more speciall, that are intended onely against professours of the true Religion: as persecuti­ons made by enemies of the Gospell. 1 Pet. 4. 12, 13 These may be for triall, to their honour that suffer. But a plague is not of that kind.

[Page 87] 3. When publike and generall judgements come from wrath against sinfull nations, cities, and other societies, there may be some righteous ones mixed among those wicked ones: and by reason of that mixture they may taste of the bitternesse of that cup that is given to the wicked to drinke. Yet the Lord can so sanctifie that See §. 15. Sive famen, sive bellum, sive aliud quodcun (que) mole­stum inducat Deus, ex benig­nitate, & multa dilectione hoc efficit Chrys ad Pop Hom. 7. common judgement to the Saints that partake thereof, as that which is an effect of wrath to others, may be a fruit of Gods love to them. Thus a plague may be sent in wrath against a society, and yet therein Gods love be manifested to his Saints, either in preserving them from it, or taking them by it to heaven. In relation to such persons we may truly say, that whether God send famine, or war, or any other trouble, he doth it of his goodnesse and love.

4. A judgement may at first be in wrath inflicted: and yet upon the sense of the smart thereof people may be so humbled, and brought to such repentance, as the nature of that judgement be altered, and prove to be an evidence of Gods love. Yea such reformation may be wrought thereby, as that calamity (though generall and extraordinary) prove very profitable, and an evidence of Gods fatherly care over such a people whom he hath so purged. 2 Chro. 33. 11, &c. Instance that fearefull judgement that was laid on Israel in Manassehs time. This latter fruit of Gods love maketh not against the former evidence of his wrath. For on such occasions God is said to repent him of the evill which he hath sent. He was angry: but his anger is turned into favour.

The conclusion then remaineth true, that a plague (as first sent to a people) is an evidence of Gods wrath.

§. 50. Of the duties to be done when a plague is begun.

A Plague being an effect of Gods wrath, for staying the plague meanes for pacifying Gods wrath must be used. So did David. He humbled himselfe, confessed his sinne, and that with a penitent heart, and offered sacrifice to God. Apply to this judgement of a plague the directions § 4, 5, 6, 10. be­fore given. And because Moses giveth here a direction when this plague begun, be carefull betimes, even at the beginning of a plague to seeke to asswage Gods anger. Hereof also § 30. before. And that ye may be the more conscio­nable herein, know that plagues come not by chance, come not by any ordinary course and meanes. They come from Gods wrath. Let the directions therefore before given for pacifying Gods wrath be rather observed, then any physicall directions. I denie not but that they are lawfull, needfull, usefull. But this which I speake of, is more law­full, needfull, and usefull. All other without this is nothing at all. In all diseases Gods helpe is especially to be sought. It was Asa his fault, that 2 Chro. 16. 12 In his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the Physitians. If in all diseases, most of all in this that is such an immediate effect of Gods wrath, The Lord is to be sought unto. And so much the rather, because the plague (among other evidences of Gods wrath) is a most fearefull one, as §. 71. 72. hereafter is shewed.

§. 51. Of the terrour of the beginning of Gods judgements.

II. See § 47. GOD can make the beginning of a judgement ter­rible. I denie not but that the Lord doth oft times begin very mildly and gently: as he dealt with the Israelites in the wildernesse, bringing them Exo 15. 23. to bitter wa­ters, making them to feele —16. 3. the want of bread, and —17. 1. water, (not starving them) and Deut. 25. 18. suffering Amalek to smite the hindmost of them: to try if they would learne to cleave close vnto the Lord. But afterwards his stroaks were more heavy upon them. Yet he can, and oft doth make the be­ginning of his judgements very terrible. At the first raising of the floud to drowne the world, Gen. 7. 11. All the fountaines of the great deepe were broken up, and the windowes of heaven. Was it not a terrible sight to behold the waters fall downe from heaven, and rise up out of the earth so fast as they did? Im­mediately upon the Gen. 19. 23, 24. Sunnes rising on the earth, the Lord rai­ned upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. How fearefull a spectacle was that even at the first sight thereof. The Egyptian plagues give also evidence hereof. So doth the drowning of Pharaoh and his hoste in the red sea. For while they confidently pursued the Israelites, supposing to get over as safe as the Exo. 14. 24, 25 Israelites did, on a sudden The hoste of the Egyptians was troubled, and their chariot wheeles taken off. In a word, stormes so arose, and waters so fell upon them, as they were all soone drow­ned. Such were many of Gods judgements in the wilder­nesse. Such 2 King. 19. 35 the destruction of the Campe of the Assyrians: Such Luke 13. 1, 4 their death Whose bloud Pilate mingled with their sa­crifices, and theirs on whom the tower of Siloe fell: and Act. 12. 23. He­rods; and many other like judgements.

Gods almighty power makes his judgements to be very terrible. His infinite wisdome makes him know when it is fit, at the first, and in the beginning, to manifest his terrour: answerably he doth so. For in wisdome he ordereth all his [Page 90] actions: and that so as may most make to the glory of his name. Herein Eph. 3. 10. his wisdome is manifested to be manifold, in that he can sometimes by degrees encreasing his judge­ments, and sometimes by powring them out at once bring greatest glory to his name. For by the former kinde of pro­ceeding with men, he giveth evidence of his patience and long-suffering, in that though he be provoked to powre out the vials of his anger, yet he is slow to wrath, and would not that men should perish in his anger, but rather by the beginning of it, be brought to repentance. By the latter kinde, he giveth instance of his terrour when he hath to do with obdurate, and obstinate sinners.

Having to do with such a God, as can make even the be­ginning of his judgement so terrible, how watchfull ought we to be, that we provoke him not at once to powre out the vials of his wrath against us? This severity is usually execu­ted after contempt of milder proceedings (as hath been §. 22. be­fore proved) or upon the committing of grievous sinnes that cry up to heaven for vengeance, as the sins of Gen. 18. 20. Sodom did: or upon obdurate and obstinate persons that Psal. 50. 17, 22 hate instruction. So as men themselves are the cause that Gods stroakes are so heavy. If a Lion that at first teares all to peeces, if a fla­ming fire that quickly turnes all to ashes, if a raging storme that soone oversets ship with all that's in it, if other like violent evils that affoord no time of seeking helpe and remedy be much feared: should not the violent terrour of the Lord be much more feared?

The inference of the beginning of the plague upon the direction to make an attonement: and that as an enforce­ment of the reason (as hath beene shewed before, §. 40.) af­foords this Doctrine. Gods wrath in the beginning of a judge­ment is to be pacified. But hereof we had occasion to treat be­fore. §. 32.

§. 52. Of the meaning and method of the 47 Verse.

NVMB. 16. 47.And Aaron tooke as Moses comman­ded, and ran into the midst of the congregation: and behold the plague was begun among the people: and he put incense, and made an attone­ment for the people.’

THe fore-mentioned charge for staying the plague is here noted to be put in execution: for it is expresly said, that Aaron tooke as Moses commanded. That is, He tooke a cen­ser, and put fire therein from off the altar; For these are the things which Moses commanded in the former verse. This word, [...] dibbar cum dagesh in [...]. commanded is fitly translated. For though usually the word, in the first conjugation import no more then to speake. Yet In Piel quae dadeshatur. in the second, an emphasis is added by a dou­bled letter: and so, especially if the Person that spake, Mo­ses, the Prince and chief Governour; and the Matter spoken, which was a Divine direction for staying the plague, be du­ly weighed, it will appeare to have the force of a command.

As Aarons obedience in the generall substance is commen­ded: so also in the particular circumstances, which is impli­ed in this particle [...] quemadmodum. AS, or according to that which. So much the Hebrew importeth.

Besides this generall, that Aaron tooke as Moses comman­ded, some particulars are expressed: For where Moses char­ged to go quickly, it is here said that Aaron [...] ràn, which importeth the greatest speed that man can make: for he hath not wings to fly withall. It is added, [...] Into the midst of the congregation, namely where the plague was hottest, to shew that feare of infection kept not him from executing his function.

And where this reason is rendred by Moses (The plague is begun) to move Aaron to make speed, the same reason is here againe repeated, and [...] & [...]cce. a note of attention prefixed before [Page 92] it (Behold the plague is begun among the people) to shew that he was the rather thereby stirred to make the speed he made, and to do the deed he did.

Where further Moses commanded to put incense on the fire that Aaron tooke from the altar in his censer, it is here said that He put incense.

And to shew Gods approbation and acceptation of that which Aaron so did according to the charge given him, where Moses said Make an attonement for them, to give Aaron to understand the reason of the charge he gave him: it is here said, He made an attonement for the people: Decla­ring thereby that the end which Moses aimed at was accom­plished.

The Summe of this Verse is

  • A remedy used for redresse of a plague.

This is 1 Generally propounded, And Aaron tooke as Moses commanded.

2. Particularly exemplified. Wherein there are foure ob­servable points.

  • 1. The manner of doing what was done: Implied in this particle AS. And expressed in two branches.
    • 1. The speed he made. He ran
    • 2. The courage he had. Into the midst of the congre­gation.
  • 2. The Motive, which moved him the rather to doe what he did. The plague was begun among the people. This is further amplified by a note of attention, or observation, Behold.
  • 3. The Matter, or thing which was done: He put in­cense.
  • 4. The End, or Effect, and Efficacy thereof (And made an attonement) amplified by the Parties for whom, For the people.

Five usefull instructions (besides those which were noted in the charge on the 46 Verse, whereof many of them might be here noted againe) are here offered to our due con­sideration.

  • [Page 93]I. Obedience is to be yeelded to the good directions of pious Governours. Moses was a pious Governour: his dire­ction was a very good one. Aaron yeelded obedience there­to: which is here commended, and recorded as a patterne for us to follow.
  • II. Obedience is to be ordered according to the charge gi­ven. Not onely in the generall substance, but also in the par­ticular circumstances. This particle
    AS importeth as much. So do the particular branches of Aarons obedience, being answerable to the particulars of Moses his charge.
  • III. Haste must be made to relieve such as are in distresse. When Aaron heares that a plague was among the people, he runnes to succour them.
  • IIII. A good calling may make one bold in danger. Aaron was a Priest, and by vertue thereof to offer for the people. He was commanded of Moses to go to the congregation: Therefore he is bold to run into the midst of the congregation, where the plague was begun.
  • V. Gods judgements are duely to be observed. The note of observation, BEHOLD, imports as much.

Of putting incense, and making attonement. See before, §. 25, 27, 31, 36, 37, 38. 39.

§. 53. Of obedience to Governours directions.

I. See § 52. Cum omni vigi­lantia omne lici­tum adimpleat. Maximè circa suos superiores s [...]udeat id ipsum observare. Bern. in Form. ho­nest, vitae. OBedience is to be yeelded to the good directions of pious Governours. I say good, such as are lawfull and warrantable, because such an one was the direction here given by Moses, and because if mens directions or comman­dements be evill, such as 1 Sam. 22. 17. Sauls was unto his servants to slay the Priests of the Lord, and as Act 4. 18. the Rulers was unto the Apostles, not to speake at all, nor to teach in the name of Iesus, then this Apostolicall rule takes place, Acts 5. 29. We ought to obey Godrather then men. Where further this attribute, pious, is inserted, it is not to exclude other Governours, as if the commandements or directions of none but pious Governours were to be obeyed. For Rom. 13. 1. &c Eph. 6. 5. 1 Tim 6. 1. Tit. 2. 9—3. 1. the Apostles, that wrote to Chri­stian [Page 94] subjects and servants that were under Heathen Gover­nours 1 Pet. 2. 13, 14, 18.—3. 1. and Masters, exhorted to obey such, namely in the Lord, so farre forth as they obey not in things forbidden by God, or any way against his will. (The whole ar­mour of God. Treat. 1. § 6, 96 & Treat. 3. §. 51. & Treat. 7. §. 38. Whereof I have else­where spoken moreat large.) Yet where Governours are pi­ous, obedience ought so much the rather to be yeelded to them: as the Apostle adviseth, where he saith, 1 Tim. 6. 2. They that have believing masters, let them the rather do them service, because they are faithfull. Such an one was Moses, to whose charge Aaron here yeelded obedience. And therefore this attribute, pious, is here inserted. Of this generall point I have treated in The Churches Conquest, on Exo. 17. 10. §. 36.

§. 54. Of ordering obedience in circum­stances aright.

II. See §. 52. Obedite ad omne opus bonum. Si bonum est quod praecipit praeses jubentis obse­quere voluntati. Sin malum, &c. Hier Cōment. in Tit. 3. OBedience is to be yeelded according to the charge given. In such charges as God giveth, or by faithfull Ministers are given from God, this holdeth good without any limitation. In charges given by men it must be limited and restrained by such circumstances as are not against God and his Word.

For the former kind of charges and directions which are Divine, these phrases of Deut. 5. 32.—17. 20.—28. 14. Ios. 1. 7.—23. 6. Pro. 4. 27. Not turning to the right hand or the left: of Num. 22. 18. not going beyond the word of the Lord to do lesse or more, or —24. 13. to do good or bad of ones owne mind, imply a pre­cise cleaving, and close holding to Gods Word, so as we swarve from it in nothing, no not in circumstances. That first phrase of not turning to the right hand or to the left, im­plieth that Gods Word is as a right way wherein onely we must walke to attaine unto happinesse: and that being in that way, we may not turne out of it on any side, any whi­ther. The phrase is used in that promise which the Israe­lites made to Edom when they desired to passe thorow his land. Numb. 20 17. Let us passe (say they) thorow thy country: we will not passe thorow the fields or thorow the vineyards, neitherwill [Page 95] we drinke of the water of the wells: we will go by the Kings high way: we will not turne to the right hand nor to the left, untill we have passed thy borders. They hereby professe to keepe themselves onely in the high-way: and not at any time any where to step out of it, no not with mind of retur­ning into it againe. Thus it imports that it is not enough in some things to follow Gods direction, and so to walke in his way: and in other things to swerve from his direction, and so to walke out of it; but in all things we must follow it. Yea though there be occasions of sundry sorts, some en­ticing us one way, others another way, some to the right hand, some to the left, some more faire in shew then others, yet ought we not to yeeld to any of them. This charge gi­ven to Moses (Exo 25. 40 Looke that thou make them after their pat­terne, which was shewed thee in the mount) hath respect not only to the generall matter and substance, but also to particu­lar manner and circumstances. So do all those Epithites which in Divine directions and commandements are used to set out the manner of performing things required.

Iosiah did herein testifie his respect to God and his Word, 2 King. 22. 2. He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and tur­ned not aside to the right hand or to the left: which is —23. 25. after­ward thus more fully expressed, He turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soule, and with all his might, ac­cording to all the Law of Moses.

For directions and charges which men that are in autho­rity over us, do give, the forementioned phrase is applied to them. Where God appointed Iudges over his people to decide matters of controversie, he ordained that his people should do Deut. 17. 11. according to the judgement of those Iudges, and not decline from the sentence which they should shew, to the right hand or to the left. Ios. 1. 17. The Israelites professe that they had hearkened unto Moses in all things: and promise so to hearken unto Ioshua.

To yeeld such obedience to Gods charge, in the matter and manner, in the substance and circumstances thereof, is a reall acknowledgement, not of his Soveraignty onely, and [Page 96] power to command, but of his wisdome also in ordering of his commands so as good heed is to be given to every cir­cumstance thereof: not one, no not the least of them being in vaine.

This also manifesteth a very dutifull respect to God, to be conscionable in performing whatsoever he manifesteth to be Ne tractemus quare Deus unumquod (que) prae­ceperit; sed quod­cun (que) viderit esse mandatum, hoc pia mens hominis implere festinet. Hier Cōment. in Eccl. 8. his will: whether to us it seeme substantiall or circumstan­tiall. It shewes that we humbly can submit our thoughts to the counsell of God, when we question not his charge, but readily do whatsoever is commanded.

Such a subjection to our Governours is an outward de­monstration of the respect we beare to that place wherein God hath set them over us, and to that authority which he hath given them. They that obey onely in such things as themselves thinke substantiall and weighty, may seeme to obey rather for the matter, then for authority sake: and they that neglect or refuse to observe the circumstances given in charge, shew that they thinke themselves wiser then their Governours; and better know how to distinguish betwixt needfull, and not-needfull matters, then their Gover­nours; which favoureth too rankely of pride and pre­sumption.

§. 55. Of the danger of scanty obedience.

1. MAny mens obedience is hereby discovered to be very scanty and faulty, especially in relation to Di­vine directions and commandements: even the obedience of such as think highly of that they have done. Instance Sauls obedience. He, it seemes, was well conceited of his obedience, when he met Samuel with this congratulation, 1 Sam. 15. 13. Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the comman dement of the Lord. Yet Samuel challengeth him of —19. diso­bedience, and of —23. rebellion. Saul performed the —3. substance of Gods charge: for he —7. smote the Amalakites. But he failed in the —3. extent of that charge, he did not utterly destroy all that they had: he —15. spared the best of the sheepe and of the [Page 97] oxen. This tooke away the glory, comfort, and benefit of his generall obedience. His reward was the reward of re­bellion. 1 Sam. 15. 23. It cost him his kingdome. Gods indignation against failing in such things as foolish man may count cir­cumstances, is manifested in the example of that 1 King. 13. 1, &c. Man of God which was sent to Ieroboam. He faithfully delivered his whole message: and though the King invited him to tar­ry and refresh himselfe, yet he would not, because the Lord had forbidden him so to do. Yet because afterwards he be­lieved another Prophet against that part of Gods charge, and went back with him to eat and to drink in his house, it cost him his life: a Lion met him, and slew him.

Both the substance and circumstances of a charge are grounded on the same authority. To faile in either of them is to transgresse his will that enjoyned the one as well as the other. No marvell then that the doing of one be blemished by omitting the other.

§. 56. Of due respect to every branch of that which is given us in charge.

2. IT behoveth us wisely and heedfully to take due and di­ligent notice of every charge that is given us in charge, of the particular branches thereof, and of all the circumstan­ces appertaining thereto, that by a conscionable observation of them all, we may shew our selves Heb. 3. 2. faithfull to him that hath appointed us, as God saith of Moses: Numb. 12. 7. He was faith­full in all mine house. This is honourable to him that giveth the charge, to be in every part and particle thereof obeyed. This therefore will also be acceptable to him. In which re­spects it cannot but be very comfortable and advantageable to the party himselfe that performeth the obedience. This was it wherewith Hezekiah comforted himselfe on his sicke Isa 38. 3. bed: and whereby he was emboldened to call upon God even to reverse that sentence of death which he had given out against him. For the perfect heart which he mentioned in his prayer, was that impartiall respect which he had to [Page 98] every thing given him in charge by the Lord. A perfect heart in Scripture phrase is an entire heart, or the whole heart. And that heart which hath respect to the whole will of God, so farre as it is made knowne unto him, is most properly the whole heart. If any object that a perfect heart implieth a sincere heart: I answer, that an especiall point of sincerity consisteth in the fore-said intirenesse.

§. 57. Of speed in relieving the distressed.

III. Sec §. 52. HAste must be made to relieve such as are in distresse. When Gen. 14. 15. Abraham heard that his bro­ther Lot was taken by the enemies, he quickly gathered an army together before the enemy could escape, and not tary­ing for day light, marched by night. It appeareth that 1 Sam. 11. 11. Saul did so for the succour of Iabesh Gilead. For he came into the middest of the hoste of the enemies in the morning watch: so as he must needs march in the night time. When the Shune­mite saw her sonne to be dead, but withall was perswaded that by the Prophet Elisha he might be restored to life, she saith to her husband, 2 King 4. 22. [...] & curram. Send with me I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may RVN to the Man of God. Ioh 4. 49. The noble man that said to Christ, Sir come downe ere my child die, intended that he should make all the haste he could. So did he that said, Mar. 9. 22. If thou caust do any thing have compassion on us and helpe us. Luk. 15. 20. Thus the Father of the Prodigall seeing his sonne afarre off ragged and ragged, He had compassion, and RAN and fell on his necke.

Thus will succour intended come the more seasonably: thus may it be the more profitable and beneficiall. By ma­king haste much danger (which delaying and putting off helpe causeth) is oft prevented. This both Martha and Ioh 11. 21. 32. Mary intended, when they said to Iesus, Lord if thou hadst beene here my brother had not died. If Christ could only have healed the sick, and not also have raised the dead, that which they said had beene to purpose.

§. 58. Of the danger of delaying succour.

1. GReat is the inhumanity of them that put off oppor­tunities of affoording succour to such as are in di­stresse. It is directly against the rule of charity, that is so affected with a brothers misery, as it will not suffer him to lie therein a moment beyond the time that it is able to re­lease him. The wise-man expresly forbiddeth all delay in shewing mercy, saying, Say not to thy neighbour, Goe, and come againe, and to morrow I will give: when thou hast it by Pro. 3. 28. thee. Good purposes are oft times brought to nought by such delayes. For at first sight, or other knowledge of ones misery the bowels of another are moved, and thereat he pur­poseth to affoord him that is in misery the best helpe he can. But by putting it off for that present, his compassion is coo­led, and his purpose thereupon altered, and so no succour affoorded. Yea by delaying helpe, though the purpose of do­ing ones best for helpe remaine, helpe may come too late: as a pardon when the malefactour is hang'd, and a medicine when the patient is past recovery. To this purpose tends [...] Hector. apud Eurip in Rhe­so. this proverbe; It is too late to shut the stable doore when the steed is stollen. It was worthily said of him, who said, I scorne to offer helpe too late.

§. 59. Of speedy succour.

2. THat we may manifest our true desire of relieving our brothers necessity according to our ability, let us take the opportunity which by the Divine providence is offered unto us: and upon the first notice of need, run, and make all the speed we can to helpe. Thus shall we shew our selves like unto God. [...], a currendo. Plato in Crat. Macros. l 1. Saturn. c. 13. The ancient Grecians gave God his name from that Divine property, of running to helpe. Mat. 14. 14. Mar. 1. 41. Luk. 7. 13, 14. Of the Sonne of God it is oft noted, that when he saw such and such in misery, he had compassion on them, and healed, or otherwise helped them: namely then at that instant when [Page 100] he first saw them. He delayed not his succour, he put it not off: but presently, instantly gave outward proofe of his in­ward compassion. Eph 5. 1, 2. Be ye therefore followers of God as deare children: and walke in love as Christ hath loved us. And as God and Christ manifest their love to us, by a speedy and seasonable succour, so let us give proofe of our true love. For this end let us remember those that are in bonds, as bound with them: and them that suffer adversity, as being our selves also Heb. 13. 3. in the body. Let us make the case of them that are in misery as our owne case. As we would not that others which are able to helpe us should suffer us to lie scorching in the fire of affliction, but with all the speed they can pull us out: so let us deale with others. A good turne quickly done is doubly done. Bis dat qui cito dat. Senec. lib. de Benef.

§. 60. Of the boldnesse in danger which a good warrant giveth.

IIII. Sec §. 52. A Good calling may make one bold in danger. This is true of such as had the warrant of an extraordinary calling, and of such as have ordinary warran­table callings. Exo. 1 c. 3. &c Moses by vertue of his speciall calling boldly opposed himselfe against Pharaoh, Heb. 11. 27. Not fearing the wrath of the King. Ioshua by vertue of his calling undertooke a warre against many mighty nations and kingdomes. So did many of the Iudges. 1 Sam 17. 34. David on this ground set upon a Beare at one time, and on a Lion at another, and slew them both. Lev. 13. 2, &c.—14. 36, &c. A Priest by vertue of his calling readily and securely admitted lepers to come to him, viewed them, touched them, and went into houses infected with leprosie, to view where, or how farre the leprosie had spread it selfe: yet was the le­prosie infectious.

A good calling is that way wherein God by his Divine A calling is a good warrant. providence setteth a man, and wherein he hath appointed him to walke. Psal. 91. 11. In that way he hath given his Angels charge over him to keepe him. Where we have Heb. 1. 14. the Angels to mini­ster for us: and to Psal 34. 7. encampe round about us; what need we [Page 101] feare? They will either keepe us safe from danger in this world. Or if it seeme good to God to take us out of this world, they will carie our soules into heaven, as Luk. 16. 22. they did the soule of Lazarus.

For application of this point, it is requisite that we be Who to abide in plague time. well instructed by Gods Word in the kind of our calling, whether it be lawfull and warrantable, or no. As for extra­ordinary callings, they must be warranted by an extraordi­nary spirit, which is rare, if at all, in these dayes. But ordi­nary callings have their expresse warrant in Gods Word. As the callings of Magistrates, Ministers, Souldiers, Hus­bands and Wives, Parents and Children, Masters and Ser­vants, Nurses, and Helpers in all kinds of necessities. These may, these must in their place & calling expose themselves to danger, for performing the work which by vertue of their place belongeth unto them. Captains and Soldiers must stand against enemies though thereby they endanger their lives. Magistrates must abide in Cities and other places besieged or infected with contagious diseases, to see good order kept, to take order for supply of such necessaries as are fit for all sorts, though by abiding there, they be in danger. So Mini­sters must abide in such places, to instruct, direct, comfort, encourage the people under their charge. So husbands and wives being one flesh, must have such a tender respect each of other, as not to forsake one another for feare of infection, or other like danger. Servants also, Nurses, and others that in such cases take upon them, or by publique au­thority are appointed to be helpers to such as are infected with the plague, or any other contagious and infectious dis­ease, are bound to attend such persons, and abide by them, yea though it be with danger of their owne lives. For it is necessary that such persons be looked unto. To forsake and leave them, that are not able to helpe themselves, to them­selves, is more then barbarous inhumanity. It is necessary that some abide by them. Who more bound then they that have an especiall calling thereto? They with greatest confi­dence may depend on Gods speciall providence for pro­tection [Page 102] from infection. If they be infected and die, they with greatest comfort may yeeld up their soules into Gods hands, as dying in that place wherein God hath set them. In these cases God hath called them to venter their lives for their brethren, and thereby to give evidence of their true brotherly love.

Of old, Christians were so charitable in relieving such as were visited with the plague, as willingly they hazarded their owne lives. For proofe whereof I will here set downe what Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria reporteth in an Epi­stle to the Brethren in Egypt. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. lib. 7. c. 21. The charity of ancient Chri­stians to their brethren visi­ted with the plague.

Many of our brethren, by reason of their great love, and brotherly charity sparing not themselves, cleaved one to ano­ther, visited the sicke of the plague, and attended upon them di­ligently, cured them in Christ, which cost them their lives. And being full of other mens maladies, tooke the infection of their neighbours, and translated of their owne accord the sor­rowes of others upon themselves: fulfilling indeed the common saying, that Friendship is alwayes to be retained, and departing this life, they seemed the off-scowring of others. In this sort the best of our brethren departed this life, whereof some were Mi­nisters, some Deacons in great reverence amongst the common people: So that this kind of Death for their great piety and strength of faith, may seeme to differ nothing from Martyr­dome. For they tooke the dead bodies of the Saints, whose breasts and hands, and faces lay upwards, and closed their eyes, shut their mouthes, and joyntly with one accord, being like affe­ctioned, imbraced them, washed them, and prepared their fu­nerals, and a little while after they enjoyed the like themselves. For the living continually traced the steps of the dead. But among the Heathen all fell out on the contrary. For scarce had Heathens in­humanity in plague times. the Pestilence taken place amongst them, but they diverted themselves, and fled from their most loving, and dearest friends. They threw them halfe dead in the streets. The dead they left unburied, to be devoured of Dogs: to the end they might avoid death, which they could not escape. Behold here the difference betwixt men that have faith, and faithlesse men.

§. 61. Of publique persons forbearing to visit particular persons infected with contagious diseases.

1. Quest. ARe such as have publique callings bound to goe to particular and private persons being infected with the plague to visit them?

Answ. I find no ground in sacred Scripture to bind pub­lique persons to hazzard their life in particular mens cases. They are set over a Society, not over one or two particular persons. Indeed every particular member of the Society be­longeth to their charge: and they ought to do what they can to the good of every particular person under their charge, so farre as may stand with the good of the whole bo­dy, and prove no prejudice thereto. But if by visiting par­ticular persons they should be infected, and by that infecti­on their life taken away, would not this prove a prejudice and dammage to the whole body? Is it the way, is it the calling of a publique person to go into a particular mans house that is infected? Private persons may every where be found out competently enabled to do such duties as are re­quisite to be done to such as are visited with the sicknesse: or at least, fit persons that have not publique imployments, may be chosen out, and set apart to visit the sicke in contagi­ous places to comfort them, and to see all things meet for them, to be duly performed.

§. 62. Of substituting others in ones place in time of danger.

Quest. WHat if others may be got to supply the pla­ces of such as have the fore-mentioned spe­ciall callings, may not this supply give dispensation to them for some absence.

Answ. Questionlesse difference may be put betwixt per­sons. Some Magistrates are of such use in a common-wealth, as it is meet they be, as much as lyeth in man, preserved [Page 104] from danger. On this ground when David the King would have gone out with his souldiers to battell, The people an­swered, 2 Sam. 18. 3. Thou shalt not go forth. Thou art worth ten thousand of us. Wherefore eminent, excellent persons may be exemp­ted from abiding in dangerous places, and others substituted in their name and stead, to preserve peace, keepe good order, and provide necessaries. Provided that they who are substituted be able and willing to performe the duties whereunto they be deputed. The like may be said of Mini­sters. Yea of husbands, parents, masters, and the like: to leave a wife, a child, a servant infected with an infectious disease to the tendance of others that are fit and willing to do that duty, and faithfull in what they undertake, is not to forsake wife, child, or servant.

§. 63. Of observing Gods judgements.

V. See §. 52. Oportet Dei judi­cia prae oculis ha­berc: mox mala extincta suerint omnia. Chrys. in 1 Cor. 2. Hom. 5. GOds judgements are duly to be observed. Of them saith the Lord, Hab. 1 5. Behold, regard, and wonder mar­vellously, &c. It is usuall in holy writ to prefixe this note of observation (Gen. 3. 22.—6. 17. 1 Sam. 3. 11. Isa. 13. 17. Rev. 11. 14. behold) before Gods judgements. Christ in­tended a serious observation of Gods judgements, when he said, Luk. 17. 32. Remember Lots wife. See The Churches Con­quest on Exo. 17 14. §. 65. The many memorials which among the Israelites were made of Gods judgements, did imply a due consideration of them.

Psal. 9. 16. Isa. 26. 9. The Lord is knowne by executing judgement. His power, his justice, his hatred of evill, his jealousie, his truth, his providence, and other his Divine attributes are evidently manifested in and by his judgements. By a due observation therefore of them, we have the more knowledge of God, and are brought the more to trust in him, and to feare him, to be more carefull of pleasing him, more heedfull in avoi­ding all things that may offend him. On this ground saith the Prophet, When thy judgements are in the earth, the inha­bitants of the world will learne righteousnesse. Not heeding Gods judge­ments takes away the pro­fit of them.

Behold here one especiall reason of the small profit that is made of judgements which the Lord from time to time exe­cuteth [Page 105] in the world, They are not regarded, but are passed over without any right observation of them. Psal. 28. 5. Isa. 5. 12.—57. 1. The Pro­phets much complaine hereof. It may be that men may take notice of judgements that fall upon their owne pates, at least while they lie under them, and feele the waight or smart of them. But who almost considers, and layes to heart Gods judgements inflicted on others? Or judgements laid on himselfe after they are removed or taken away? Mans egregious folly and servile disposition is hereby mani­fested.

His folly in omitting the opportunity of receiving war­ning by other mens harmes (as we speake in the proverbe.) It is an avidence of Gods great indulgency to us, to punish others before our eyes: whereas he might justly punish us for example to others. It is an especiall point of wisdome, to make such use thereof, as to be bettered thereby. But not to regard such a providence, is notorious folly.

His servile disposition, in regarding stroaks no longer then they are laid upon him, and he feels the smart of them. Thus he provoketh God to deale with him as with a slave: and to adde stroake to stroake, judgement to judgement. Phr [...]x plagis.

Learne we to be more wise, more ingenuous. Let us ap­ply the fore-mentioned point of considering Gods judge­ments All kinds of judgements to be duly obser­ved. to all manner of judgements: whether inflicted on others, or on our selves: whether publique or private: whether immediately from Gods owne hands, or mediately from the hands of others, who are Gods instruments: whe­ther sudden or lingring judgements: whether temporall or spirituall: of what kind or sort soever. Thus will light arise out of darknesse, meate out of the eater, comfort out of judgement, profit out of punishment. Thus are Gods judgements sanctified: thus are Saints brought to say, and that by true experience, It is good for me that I have beene afflicted. Psal. 119. 71.

§. 64. Of the sense and scope of the 48 Verse.

NVMB. 16. 48.And he stood betweene the dead and the living. And the plague was stayed.’

HEre is a circumstance used by Aaron more then is ex­pressed to be enjoyned by Moses: but yet not against any thing enjoyned: but that which may rather be by conse­quence gathered. For he was to go to the congregation among whom the plague was begun. He was also to make an at­tonement: the attonement was not for the dead, but for the living. To shew that it was for the living, he stands be­twixt the living and the dead: leaving the dead behind him: turning his face to the living; holding the incense before him, that the living might behold the smoke thereof ascending to heaven for them. Herein he typified the true Of Christs in­tercession, See §. 38. and great High-Priest the Lord Iesus Christ, our Media­tour, who stands betwixt us and the destroying wrath of God.

This phrase betweene the living and the dead sheweth that the dead fell among the living, so as the living were in great danger of death.

Hereupon it is inferred, that, the plague was stayed. The word translated (stayed) properly signifieth to shut or hold [...] of [...] occlusit. in a thing so as it cannot come forth. It is oft put for Gen. 16 2.—20 18. Pro 10. 16. clo­sing up a womans wombe, so as no child can come from thence. And for 2 Chro 7. 13. 1 King. 8. 35. shutting up, or closing the heavens, so as they cannot send downe raine: and Ier. 20. 9. for fast holding in of fire, so as it cannot breake forth. All these applications of the word do imply that the Lord by a strong hand held this plague, which was as a devouring beast, desirous to devoure more had more, that it should do no more hurt.

We have here in this Verse The efficacy of the meanes which Aaron used.

Two points are particularly expressed.

  • [Page 107] 1. The Manner of using the meanes. He stood betweene the dead and the living.
  • 2. The Effect thereof. The plague was stayed.

The mention of the living, in the former part, for whose preservation Aaron stood betweene them and the dead, gi­veth us to understand, that

  • I. Meanes is to be used for preservation of the living.

The mixture of the dead with the living, implied by Aarons care to stand betweene them, shewes that the living were in great hazzard of death, even in regard of humane meanes, in a desperate case, and doth us further to wit, that

  • II. Meanes must be used in most desperate distresses.

The latter part which declareth the Effect of the meanes, as it hath relation to the meanes used, giveth instance, that

  • III. Warrantable meanes rightly used proove effectuall.

As the said effect of staying the plague, hath relation to God, to whom the incense was offered up, and by whom that effect was brought to passe, it giveth proofe, that

  • IIII. God hath an absolute power over plagues.

As he sent this plague, whereof See §. 48. before, so he pulls backe and re­straines this plague; he so closeth the mouth of this devou­ring beast, as it can destroy no more: he so shutteth up and fast tieth this mad dog, as it cannot bite one more.

§. 65. Of using meanes to preserve the living.

I. See §. 64. MEanes must be used for preservation of the living. Exo. 32. 28, &c. After that three thousand of those that came out of Egypt were slaine for worshipping the golden calfe that Aaron made, Moses goeth up againe to the mount to pray for their preservation who were remaining. 2 Sam. 24. 17. So Da­vid for those who were reserved after that seventy thousand were destroyed with a pestilence. This was it which Isa. 37. 4. He­zekiah desired Isayah to doe, Lift up thy prayer for the rem­nant [Page 108] that is left: Ier. 42. 2. and which the remainder of the people after the captivity desired Ieremiah to do, Pray for all this remnant.

While men live, if they have sinned, they may repent: Benefits of life Eccl 7. 2. The living will lay things to heart. While they live they may use the gifts and abilities of minde or body which God hath given them to the honour of God, and to their owne, and others good: while they live they may increase in the good things they have: they may also attaine unto more: while they live they may make sure to themselves the eternall sal­vation of their soules. Life is the time of receiving all need­full grace: and Gal. 6. 10. of doing all manner of good. It is Ioh. 9. 4. the day wherein men may work. Isa. 38. 18, 19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee O Lord. The grave cannot praise thee: death can not celebrate thee: they that go downe into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. Eccl. 9. 10. There is no worke nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdome in the grave. In these respects true is this pro­verbe, A living dog is better then a dead lion.

How foolish, how impious, how sacrilegious are they, See more against praying for the dead in The whole armor of God, on Eph. 6. 18 §. 39, 40, &c. that spend this sweet incense of prayer in vaine: as all they do, that offer it up for the dead. If it were useful for the dead, why did Aaron stand betwixt the living and the dead? Why did he make a difference betwixt them? Why did he not offer in cense for the dead as well as for the living?

As we desire to make prayer acceptable to God, comfor­table to our owne soules, and profitable to others, let us powre them forth for those of whom there may be some hope: and those are only the living. 2 Sam. 12. 22. While the child was yet alive (saith David) I facted and wept. For these, even for all sorts of these, in health, in sicknesse, in safety, in dan­ger, while they are young, well growne, or old, in what case soever, of what state soever they be, and for obtaining of what good soever may be needfull for them, and for delive­rance from what evill soever they are subject unto, we may, we must pray.

§. 66. Of using meanes in desperate cases.

II. See §. 64. MEanes must be used in most desperate distresses. This is especially to be understood of spirituall meanes, whereby immediately and directly helpe is sought of God, who can helpe in such cases as men can see no hope of helpe therein. Physitians may see good ground to give over a patient, knowing that according to the ordinary course of nature all the meanes that they can use will do no good. But a Christian must never cease to use the spirituall Catholicon, that generall remedy which is fit for any mala­dy, prayer. Note the instances given in the former Section, and you shall find Moses, Davids, Isayahs, Ieremiahs pray­ers to be made in desperate cases. 2 Sam. 12. 16. Dauids child was que­stionlesse in mans eye past recovery, when he fasted, and lay all night upon the earth, and besought God for it. Much more past recovery was Isa. 38. 1, 2. Hezekiah, when God sent him this message, Thou shalt die, and not live: yet he prayed unto the Lord, and was heard. The cases of many that came to Christ for cure in the dayes of his flesh, were very despe­rate, yet found they helpe. Among other, Mar: 5. 25. A woman which had an issue of bloud twelve yeares, and had suffered ma­ny things of many Physitians, and had spent all that she had and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, came to Christ, and was cured. So Luk. 13. 11. The woman whom Satan had bound eighteene yeares. So Ioh. 5. 5. the man which had an infirmity thirty and eight yeares. So sundry Lepers, Demoniacks, men, wo­men, and children at point of death; and many others visited with incurable maladies.

Divine power is not limited with any naturall bounds: it is not restrained in that compasse which is prescribed to creatures. It can affoord succour when creatures may think no succour can be affoorded. Instance the remedy which God affoorded to man after his fall.

Yea when men may thinke the Divine wrath to be im­placably incensed, there may be thoughts of mercy in God. [Page 110] After the Lord had drowned the world, He smelled a sweet Gen. 8. 21. savour, and said in his heart, I will not againe curse the ground. After he had threatned to dis-inherit Israel, Moses praying for them, he said, I have pardoned according to thy word. Num. 14. 20.

What encouragement have we now to continue our in­stant prayer to God, for staying this plague that now so ra­geth among us. What though it increase hundreds every weeke? Isa 59 1. Behold the Lords hand is not shortned that it cannot save: nor his eare heavy that it cannot heare. Though 2 Chro 20 12 we know what to do, yet let our eyes be upon the Lord. Many thou­sands are fallen dead before us: yet are there many living a­mong us. Christ our true Aaron, our true and great High-Priest, he standeth betwixt the living and the dead. He by his intercession will pacifie the wrath of his father, and procure his favour for the living. Only, as they who were stung with fiery serpents, looked on the Brasen Serpent, so let us with the eye of faith looke on Iesus on high at the right hand of his Father. Let not the multitudes of them that are dead, nor the present raging of this plague too much daunt us: let us continue to offer up our incense to God, and expect his time for deliverance, and deliverance in his time. To encourage us the more hereunto, let the next point be well noted.

§. 67. Of the efficacy of right meanes.

III. See §. 64. Legimus Aaron adversum ignem Israelis populum devorantem oc­currisse & ste­tisse medium: & opposuisse mu­rumpro salute pòpuli, &c. Sicut enim murus hosti opponitur, & ad­versario occurri solet ex adverso contra (que) venien ti [...]ta Dei senten­tia sanctorum precibus frangi tur Hier. Com. l. 4. in Ezek. 13 VVArrantable meanes rightly used proove effe­ctuall. This might be exemplified by all those extraordinary meanes which in Scripture are recorded to be prescribed, or otherwise warranted by God. But to in­sist only on such ordinary meanes as are warranted to us, and to the whole Church of God in all ages, take a view of the prayers which Saints from time to time have made unto God for obtaining good things, and for removing evils: yea of their fastings, of their teares, of their manifold humbling of themselves, and you shall find them ever to have beene ef­fectuall, [Page 111] if they have been rightly used, as I have See The whole armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18 § 20, 21, 22, &c 97, 104. elsewhere more fully declared.

Gods power, wisdome, truth, and other like attributes are engaged in the meanes which he himselfe doth warrant. If they being rightly used should faile in their efficacy, he that hath ordained them, might be thought improvident in choo­sing such means, or impotent and unable to bring what he intended to effect: or unfaithfull and carelesse in making that good to his people, which by his Word he hath made them expect. But farre are all such things from God. All things therefore ordained by him shall assuredly be effectuall to effect that for which hee hath ordained them: if at least there be not a failing on mans part in the right manner of using them. For we may confidently think and say, that where warrantable meanes have failed of their efficacy, the fault hath beene in mans using them amisse. An Apostle hath taught us so to avouch. For, saith he, Ye aske and re­ceive Iam. 4. 3. not, because ye aske amisse.

Be wise now in observing what meanes God hath war­ranted for effecting any thing that we desire, and also what circumstances he hath prescribed for the right manner of using them Be conscionable & carefull so to use those means: and then in faith depend on God for his blessing. For thus doing take a few instances.

1. See The whole armour of God on Eph. 6 16 § 19 God hath sanctified the Ministry of his Word for What meanes God hath san­ctified. How to be used. breeding and increasing faith, and other needfull Christian graces. Frequent therefore the Ministry of the Word: at­tend to it reverently: mixe faith with thy hearing: and unto all adde obedience thereunto.

2. See there al­so § 66. The Sacraments are ordained to seale up Gods pro­mises, for further strengthening of our faith. Take order therfore for your children in due order according to the di­rection of Gods Word to be baptized. And believe the ex­tent of these promises, Gen 17. 17. I wilbe a God to thee, & to thy seed after thee. Psal 112. 2. The generation of the upright shalbe blessed. Act. 2. 39. The pro­mise is to you and to your children. 1 Cor. 7. 14. Your children are holy. And as for the other Sacrament, make conscience of a frequent [Page 112] participation thereof. But see that you examine your selves, and so eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

3. See The whole armour of God. on Eph. 6. 18. §. 20. Prayer is a prescribed meanes for obtaining divine benediction on every thing that we take in hand. Pray therefore continually: lift up pure hands without wrath: pray in saith.

4. Ibid. §. 104. In extraordinary cases, prayer is to be sharpned with fasting. Therefore pray and fast. In your fasts humble your soules as well as your bodies: make confession of your sinnes: and renew your repentance.

5. Ibid. §, 112. Vowes are warranted for binding us the more firm­ly to duty: and restraining us more straightly from sinne. Vow therefore in truth, righteousnesse, and judgement. Vow with an unalterable resolution to performe what you vow.

§. 68. Of Gods power over plagues.

IIII. See §. 64. GOD hath an absolute power over plagues. Suddenly, as soone as he will he can restraine them, and keepe them from devouring any more. As he can say to the sea, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed: so can be say to the Iob 38. 11. pestilence, So long shalt thou continue, and no longer: so many shalt thou destroy, and no more. 2 Sam. 24. 13, 15, 25. Did not the Lord before hand threaten to send a plague upon Israel in Davids time three dayes: and answerably it continued till the time appointed? But when the wrath of the Lord was pacified, the plague was stayed. Exo 8. 12, 13. 30, 31.—9. 33.—10. 18, 19. Did he not remove the plagues from Egypt, so soone as Moses prayed unto him? This power of the Lord over plagues and diseases, was visibly manifested in the Sonne of God, while he lived on earth. For he spake the word, and they went away: which the Centurion well observing, said to Christ, Mat. 8. 8 Speake the word onely, and my servant shalbe healed.

The Lord, as he is the Creatour, so the Governour of all things: nothing can be without him: nothing can abide [Page 113] longer then he will. He calls, he sends, he bids come, he bids go away: answerably they come, they go. Psal. 105. 28. They rebell not against his word.

As ye desire to have this plague that burneth so fiercely among us, and destroyeth so many, to be stayed, use the only remedy that is of power to that purpose, Call upon God to stay it. The plague it selfe is like a fierce, mad, mastive­dog, that will not cease to bite if he be loose. The Lord of plagues must chaine him up. Yea, it is like ravenous lions, that are ready to teare in peeces and devoure all they can catch. The Lord onely can stop the mouth of this lion, as Dan. 6. 22. he stopped the mouthes of the lions among whom Daniel was cast. All antidotes, all preservatives, all manner of outward meanes are nothing without the Lord. He can preserve whom he will while the plague rageth most. He can stay it as speedily, as suddenly, as thorowly as he please. Call therefore upon him, turne unto him, trust on him, and doubt not but that our God that hath such power over plagues, will in his good time, when his worke is accom­plished upon this Citie, and upon this Land, stay this plague.

This is a point of much comfort to such as have assurance of Gods fatherly love to them, that their Father hath an absolute power over plagues.

§. 69. Of the meaning of the 49 Verse.

NVMB. 16. 49.Now they that died in the plague were foureteene thousand, and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.’

THe severity of Gods stroake by the fore-mentioned plague is here set downe: and that by the expresse number of them that were destroyed by that pestilence. The particle translated IN, ( [...] in the plague) among other sig­nifications oft setteth out the instrumentall cause, whereby a thing is effected: as where the Lord saith to the Iewes that were in Egypt, I will punish them Ier. 44. 13. [...] BY the sword, BY [Page 114] the famine, and BY the pestilence. Others therefore thus translate this text, Of the plague, that is, by it. The plague was the instrumentall cause of their death. Circumstances shew that this plague from the first beginning to the end of it continued not a whole day. For so soone as the people gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron, the Lord threatned to consume them. Then instantly Moses and Aaron fell on their faces: and Moses then discerned that the plague was begun: which so soone as hee espied, he bad Aaron quickely offer up incense. Aaron ac­cordingly ranne for incense, brought it, offered it up: and the plague was stayed. These circumstances duely weighed, who can imagine that there was more then a day from the beginning to the end of this plague: so as in the space of a few houres, foureteene thousand and seven hundred died together of a plague. O terrible stroake!

To aggravate the terrour hereof, mention is made of ano­ther fearefull judgement, which fell upon that people not long before, thus inferred, Beside them that died about the matter of Korah. What this matter was, the former part of this chapter expresly recordeth. It was a conspiracy of Ko­rah, here mentioned, with Dathan and Abiram, against Moses, the chiefe Prince; and Aaron, the chiefe Priest, ap­pointed by God over the children of Israel. Exo. 6. 18. This Korah was cosen german to Aaron: for they were brothers chil­dren. He therefore being of an ambitious spirit, scorned that his kinseman should bee so farre preferred before him, as to bee High-Priest: Thereupon hee gathers many of the Princes together to take part with him: supposing by strong hand to wrest from Aaron the dig­nity of Priest-hood, which the Lord had conferred upon them. Dathan and Abiram were of another Tribe, the tribe of Reuben. These, as is probable, had ano­ther aime, and that at the chiefe civill government, wherein God had set Moses. Reuben being the eldest sonne of Israel, these two brothers were Pronepotes. Numb. 26. 5. under nephewes to Reuben, three generations from him: and imagined that they comming [Page 115] from the eldest sonne should be the chiefe overall. Thus having no regard to the choice which God had made of Mo­ses and Aaron, they would thrust themselves into places of eminency. The Lord was so highly displeased hereat, as he destroyed them, and such as tooke part with them, with two fearefull judgements. The earth suddenly opened and swallowed up some of them alive: and fire suddenly flamed out upon others and destroyed them. Numb. 16. 35. Two hundred and fif­ty are expresly noted to be consumed by the fire. How many were swallowed up by the earth is not expressed: but it may be conjectured that they were a great multitude.

This was the matter of Korah here mentioned. Korah was the Ring-leader of all. For Numb. 16. 1. he is the first mentioned in the conspiracy. —5. He impudently gathered an head against Moses and Aaron, while —12. Dathan and Abiram abode in their tents. Numb. 26. 9. It is said of Dathan and Abiram, that they strove against Moses and Aaron in the conspiracy of Korah. So as the conspiracy was Korahs especially. He was the chiefe conspirator. The matter therefore here intended com­priseth under it, both the earths swallowing up of some, and the fires consuming of others.

The people that by the earths opening, and fires breaking out perished, are said to die in the matter of Korah, because his ambition being the first motive of that rebellion, he was a cause of their sinne, and so of their judgement. Thus their death is imputed to him. They died in his businesse, about his matter.

The Summe of this verse is A declaration of the severity of Gods indignation: which is

  • 1. Propounded, in the number of those that died of this plague, 14700.
  • 2. Aggravated, by other fearefull judgements executed the day before. Besides those that died about the matter of Korah. Here have we,
    • 1. A generall intimation of the judgements. Besides those that died.
    • 2. A manifestation of the originall cause of all. The mat­ter of Korah.

[Page 116] The first point sheweth, that,

  • I. A plague can quickly destroy a multitude.

The aggravation pointeth at other judgements that were the day before inflicted on the people, and giveth evidence, that,

  • II. God can many wayes destroy men. By causing the earth to open it selfe, he destroyed some: by fire he consu­med others: yet besides these, 14700. die of a plague.

The manner of expressing the former judgements by rela­tion to Korah, thus, in the matter of Korah, giveth proofe, that

  • III. The bloud of accessaries lieth upon the principalls. Ko­rahs matter was the peoples death.

In that others died about that matter, it further giveth instance, that

  • IIII. Accessaries make themselves liable to the judgement that falleth on the principall.

§. 70. Of a plagues devouring.

I. See §. 69. A Plague can quickly destroy a multitude. Here within lesse then a day 14700. are destroyed by a plague. There is mention made before this of a plague, which, though the precise number of them that died be not expressed, may be thought to have destroyed as many as this plague, for it is said that, Numb. 11. 33. The Lord smote the people with a very great plague. After these (but before they went out of the wildernesse) at one time there —259. died in a plague 24000. 2 Sam 24. 15. In Davids time there died within the space of three dayes almost three times 24000 of a plague, viz. 70000. 2 King. 19. 35 In He­zekiahs time when Sennacherib came against Ierusalem, there died of a plague in one night, more then twice as many of the hoste of Sennacherib, as did of all Israel in the fore­said three dayes, viz. 185000. Other histories relate very great destructions caused by plagues.

Thucydides maketh mention of a plague that began at Lib. 2 Belli Pelopon. anno secundo. Ethiopia, fell downe into Egypt, and Afrique, and into the [Page 117] greatest part of Persia, and invaded Athens on a sudden, where dying men lay tumbling one upon another. Their Temples were filled with the dead. Lawes of funerals were broken: every one burying where he could find roome. And while fires were made to burne some dead corps, others were brought and cast thereinto.

Eusebius recordeth a plague at Alexandria which made Ecclesiast Hist. lib. 7. cap. 21. every man to howle thorow the City by reason of the mul­titude of dead corps, which daily fell. There was not an house where no course was found. And the Heathen there left their dead unburied, to be devoured of dogs.

At Rome when Camillus died, there died ten thousand Heurm. de peste. cap. 1. every day of the plague. And under Vespasian and Commo­dus Emperours, two thousand were every day taken away with that infectious disease.

Vnder Iustinian a plague with such violence fell upon Bi­zantium and the bordering places, as every day there died Alsted. in The­saur. Chronol. Mirab. Dei. an. 547. Idem. Ibid. an. 729. Idem. Ibid. an. 1348. five thousand, and some dayes ten thousand.

At Constantinople a plague swept away three hundred thousand persons.

Vnder Charles 4. an Epidemicall plague wasted the whole world for three yeares together. At Lubeck it de­stroyed fourescore and ten thousand: and at Florence an hundred thousand.

In Petrarchs time so fierce a plague invaded Italy, that Idem. Ibid, an. 1359. there remained alive scarce ten of a thousand.

But to leave Forraigne parts, we will give some instances of the multitudes of such as have beene devoured by the plague in our owne Country.

In the raigne of Edward 2. there was so grievous a morta­lity Stow in his ge­nerall Chron. of Engl. an. 9. Edw 2. Idem. Ibid. an. 22. & 23. Edw. 3. of people, as the quicke might unneath burie the dead.

In the raigne of Edward 3. a farre greater plague happe­ned. It came from beyond. sea into the townes and parts of England joyning on the sea-coasts in Dorset-shire, where even as in other countries it made the country void of Inha­bitants, so as there were almost none left alive. Thence it [Page 118] passed into Devon-shire, and Somerset-shire, even unto Bri­stow, where it much raged. It came also to Glocester, Ox­ford, and London, and finally it spread over all England, and so wasted the people, as scarce the tenth man was left alive. When Church-yards were not large enough to bury their dead in, they chose certaine fields appointed for that pur­pose. For the dead in London The Charter-House was afterwards built thereon. Register of the Charter-House excarta. a peece of ground called Spittle-croft, containing 13 acres, without the barres of West-Smithfield, was purchased, enclosed, and dedicated. In that place were buried the yeare following more then fifty thousand persons. Acts & Mo­num. an. Edw. 3. 22. An. Dom. 1348. Two thousand are said to be there buri­ed every day from Feb. 1. till the beginning of May follow­ing, besides those which in other places in and about the Ci­ty were buried. Of that plague there died in Norwich from Ian. 1. to Iuly following, fifty seven thousand an hundred and foure, and in Yarmouth seven thousand fifty two.

In Richard the seconds time, a great pestilence was in Stow. in his generall Chrō. Rich. 2. 15. An. Dom. 1391 Ibid. Edw. 4. 18 An. Dom. 1479 Norfolk, and other countries. Besides other places, in a short time there died therof in the city of York eleven thou­sand.

Vnder Edward 4. an innumerable company of people died of the plague in London, & in divers other parts of the Realm.

In the raigne of Henry 8. there was such a plague, as in Ibid. Hen. 8. 5. An. Dom. 1513 one house, to wit the Minories without Aldgate, there died 27. professed Nunnes, besides lay-people and servants in that house.

In the raigne of Edward 6. was also a great pestilence.

In Queene Elizabeths time many English being sent to Ibid Edw. 6. 2. 1548. Ibid Q. Eliz. anno 4. New-haven for the safeguard thereof, such a plague there fell, as the streets lay even full of dead corps, not able to be remo­ved by reason of the multitude that perished. From thence the souldiers brought the infection into England. Besides those that died in other parts of the Realme there died in London liberties and out-parishes from Ian. 1. 1562. to Dec. 31. 1563. twenty thousand one hundred thirty and sixe, besides those which died of other diseases. Againe, from Dec. 29. 1592. to Dec. 20. 1593. there died in [Page 119] London and the liberries of all diseases 17893. of the plague 10673.

In the first yeare of King Iames from Dec. 23. 1602. to Dec. 22. 1603. in London and the liberties thereof there died of all diseases 38578. Of the plague 30578.

In the first yeare of King CHARLES from Dec. 22. 1624. to Dec. 23. 1625. of all diseases 54267. of the plague 35417.

It hath beene §. 48. before proved that a plague is an effect of Gods wrath, an immediate stroake of his hand. Such a stroake must therefore needs be heavy, and destroy many where it lighteth, especially when the Lord so striketh therewith, as he will shew that he is angry.

§. 71. Of the terrour of a plague.

O Make not a tush at a plague: sleight it not too much. Why a plague is not to be made light of. If we account the lives of men, women and children to be precious, (how precious a thing life is, hath beene § 63. Lege Flavij Io­sephi Antiquit. Iud. lib. 7. cap. 13. Descriptionē peslis quae conti­git sub Davide. Terrorem istius morbi ad vivum exprimit. before declared) we may well thinke that that which ta­keth away the lives of many, is to be accounted a terrible thing. I deny not but that in some respects warre, in other respects famine is more terrible then pestilence: which made 2 Sam. 24. 14. David choose it, rather then either of them. Yet is a plague, if once it grow to any strength, a fearefull and terri­ble judgement. By it, parents that have had many children like Olive plants round about their table, have beene soone made childlesse. By it parents, children, husbands, wives, masters, servants, whole housholds have beene in a very short time swept away. Yea streets, and villages, and cities have thereby beene made desolate. On some it commeth more mildly, and taketh them away without any paine, or extraordinary fervour: on others it falleth more violently, casting them into extreme burning fits, troubling the braine, disturbing the understanding, making them that are affected therewith, rage and rave, and seeke all wayes to make away themselves. Lamentable experience hath given too evident [Page 120] proofes hereof. Besides, by reason of the contagion and in­fection of this disease, deare friends are kept one from ano­ther, and they that are visited therewith, deprived of many outward helpes, and inward comforts that otherwise they might have. Finally, they that die of this disease are for the most part deprived of the honour of that decent and solemne funerall which otherwise they might have: a matter Eccl. 63. Ier. 22. 18. 19. which God himselfe hath threatned as a judgement: but 1 King. 14. 13 Ier. 34. 5. promised an honourable, and comely buriall as a blessing. In these and many other respects a plague is justly to be ac­counted a fearefull judgement: which should make us more fearefull of provoking his wrath that hath the power over plagues, to send them when he will, to continue them as long as he will; and to make them as fierce and violent as he will. See more of this point, § 48, 50.

§. 72. Of the many meanes that God hath to destroy men.

II. See § 69. GOD can many wayes destroy men. Many, many are the wayes that are recorded in Scripture: and yet many many other wayes hath experience in all ages gi­ven evidence of. We read that from heaven Gen 7. 11. water fell and drowned the whole world: and —19. 24. fire and brimstone, and destroyed foure cities at once; and Ios. 10. 11. great stones that flew armies of men; and 1 Sam 7. 10. great thunders, and Psal. 18. 14. lightnings, whereby hosts of enemies have beene discomfited; yea and —78. 48. hot thunderbolts: Iud. 5. 20. the starres in their courses, and Psal. 35. 5, 6. 2 Sam. 24. 16. 2 King 19. 35. Per culices ac mures integros Barbarorum ex­ercitus sugabat Deus. Chrys in 2 Cor. 5. Hum. 8 the Angels of God have destroyed many. All these, and ma­ny other meanes of destruction hath the Lord sent from hea­ven. On earth he can raise up men against men to destroy one another, which is most usuall: He can stirre up Ezek. 14 15. beasts, and Ier. 8. 17. serpents, yea Numb 21. 6. extraordinary fiery serpents, and Exo 8. 6. frogs, —17. lice, —24. flies, —10. 13. grashoppers, and innumerable other kinds of creatures. How many kinds of diseases hath God in all ages raised up to afflict and destroy men? What Physitian can reckon them all up. He can make all the elements his instru­ments [Page 121] to consume men, and all manner of creatures: yea, he can make new creatures to be his scourges. Read in par­ticular the Lev. 26. 16, &c Deu. 28. 16, &c severall curses recited by Moses, and we shall find just cause to say, God can many wayes destroy men.

God is a supreme and absolute Lord over all: and can both dispose them to what worke and service it pleaseth him, and also enable them to effect whatsoever he putteth them unto. So as what he will have to destroy, shall destroy as he will have it. Yea, his Divine power is then especially manifested, when by vile things he effecteth great matters. Tunc maximè manifestatur Dei potentia, quando per viles operatur magna. Chrys. in 2 Cor. 5. Hom. 8.

Is not this Lord now to be feared? Is it safe to provoke his wrath? Doth he not sinne against his owne soule that provoketh him? What if he have inflicted sore judge­ments on others, and thou hast escaped? Doest thou thinke that God hath no more judgments in store, if thou continuest to provoke him? Were they that were not swallowed up with Dathan & Abiram, or not consumed with Korahs com­plices, were they exempted from all other judgments? Were not 14700 consumed with a plague? Remember this aggra­vation, BESIDES those that died, &c. Remember it, and tremble. Thou maist escape this plague, and yet perish by another judgement. Rejoyce not because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpents root shall come Isa 14. 29.—24. 17, 18. Pro qualitate peccati ignem sibi unusquis (que) succendit. Hier. Comment. l. 14. in Isa. 50 acockatrice, and his fruit shalbe a fiery flying serpent. Feare, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to passe, that he who fleeth from the noise of the feare shall fall into the pit: and he that commeth out of the midst of the pit shalbe taken in the snare, &c. Every one kindleth a fire for himself according to the quality of his sin.

§. 73. Of the bloud of others which principalls bring upon themselves.

III. See §. 69. THe bloud of accessaries lieth upon the principalls. The Devill is the chiefest principall of all sinners. He first sinned himselfe, he first tempted and drew man into sinne. In this respect he is stiled Ioh. 8. 44 A murtherer from [Page 122] the beginning. Now a murtherer pulleth upon his owne pate the bloud of those that are murthered. The woman who tempted Adam to sinne, is said to be 1 Tim. 2. 14. In the transgression: whereby among other things is implied, that her owne and her husbands bloud lieth on her. 2 King. 10. 31 This stile given to Iero­boam (which made Israel to sinne) sheweth that he was the principall in the defection of the ten Tribes: 1 King. 15. 29 answerable therefore was his punishment: and —30. his causing others to sin is rendred as a reason of the severity of his punishment. Because David was the principall in the murther of Vriah, 2 Sam. 12. 9, 10 his bloud is laid especially to Davids charge. Thus the deso­lations that came upon Ierusalem, after Manassehs time, are said to be 2 King. 24. 3 for the sinnes of Manasseh, who was the chiefe ringleader unto those abominations in which they continued untill the captivity, Ier 3. 6.—25. 3. notwithstanding that good Iosiah did what he could to make a thorow reformation.

Ob. 2 Chro. 33. 12, 13. Manasseh repented, and had his sinne pardoned. How then could he bring others bloud upon his owne head?

Answ. Gods pardoning of sinne doth not extenuate sinne; and his taking away bloud from a mans soule, doth not im­ply that that man never brought bloud upon his soule, but ra­ther the contrary: for that which is not on man, cannot be taken away from him.

For the maine point, it stands with justice and equity, that they who do not onely sinne themselves, but also draw others into sinne with them, should beare the punishment of their owne and others sinnes. For in those others he sin­neth. They are as his instruments. If a man do not onely in his mind invent and plot sinne, but also with his body and the parts thereof execute it, he pulleth on himselfe the grea­ter vengeance. So doth he further heape up vengeance against his owne soule, if he proceed on to draw others also to sinne. These severall degrees manifest a more wretched disposition, aggravate his sin the more, the more incense Gods wrath, and so cause greater vengeance.

Be wise now therefore, O ye Kings; be instructed ye Iudges of the earth. All ye that are in place of eminency, on whom [Page 123] many eyes are cast, whose example many are ready to fol­low, —Componitur orbis Regis ad exem­plum. Claud. de 4. Consul. Ho­norij. at whose word many are soone moved to do this or that: be ye wary how you commit sinne your selves, how you manifest any approbation of sinne: how you give any countenance to sinne. Abuse not your authority to com­mand any sinne, as 2 Sam 13. 28. Absolom did. Abuse not your wit to contrive and advise sinne, as —16. 21. Achitophel did. Abuse not your eminency of place by making your selves an example and patterne in sinne, as 2 Chro. 33. 9. Manasseh did. Abuse not that grace you have with a multitude, to perswade them to sin, as Mat. 27. 20. the Priests and Elders of the Iewes did. Abuse not that awe and dread wherein you have your inferiours under you, to compell them to sinne, as Dan. 3. 1. &c. Nebuchadnezzar did. Abuse not that dependance which people have on you, O Ministers, by speaking well of evill, by strengthening the wicked, as Ier. 23. 14. the false Prophets did. By these and other like meanes, whereby you draw others into sinne, you pull the bloud of those others upon your owne soules. Now to have not onely ones owne bloud, but the bloud of others also to lie upon him, is a most fearefull estate. Thus he doth not onely as much as in him lieth, draw many into eternall destruction, but also implunge himselfe more deeply into hell fire. For, all those sinnes which others commit by his meanes, are as so many heavy waights lying on his soule, pressing it downe in­to everlasting torment.

This is not to excuse others that are so drawne, as if they should go scot-free: For in this text it is shewed that IIII. Accessaries make themselves liable to the judge­ment which falleth on the principall. This point is handled in The Churches Conquest on Exo. 17. 13. §. 59.


An Alphabeticall Table of the principall points handled in The Plaister for the Plague, on Numb. Chap. 16. Ver. 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49.

  • ACcessaries. 115 123
  • Afflictions. See Iudgements.
  • Afflictions effects of love and wrath. 86
  • Afflictions their kinds. 86
  • Anger. See Wrath.
  • Altars. 35
  • Attonement, what it imports. 37
  • Attonement may be made af­ter wrath is incensed. 53
  • Attonement rejected by de­sperate ones. 55
  • Attonement a penitents com­fort. 56
  • Attonement to be sought. 57
  • Apostasie provoketh wrath. 78 82
  • BEleevers may die of the plague. 21
  • Boldnesse caused by a good warrant. 100
  • Bloud of men sacrificed. 42
  • Burnt offerings what they set out. 41
  • CAlling in all things respe­cted. 40
  • Calling a good warrant. 100
  • Calling requires duty with danger. 101
  • Censers to what use. 35
  • Charity of ancient Christians in time of plague. 102
  • Charges to be observed in every branch. 97
  • Christ typified by incense. 59
  • Christ typified by sundry rites. 59
  • Christs intercession appeaseth God. 61
  • Circumstances warrantable [Page 125] to be observed. 45 97
  • Circumstances much failed in by Papists and Prote­stants. 46
  • Circumstances order obedi­ence. 94
  • Communion with wicked for judgements sake to be avoi­ded. 23
  • Conspiracy in sinne provokes wrath. 76 80
  • DEad not to he prayed for. 108
  • Delay of succour dangerous. 99
  • Desperate who reject reconci­liation. 55
  • Deferring repentance dange­rous. 50
  • Deferring succour dangerous. 99
  • Evill. See Sinne.
  • FAlling on face in prayer. 32
  • Fire on the altar. 35
  • Fiery and fierce is Gods wrath. 66 73
  • Flaggs three. 50
  • Folly to adde sinne to sinne. 50
  • Foretelling judgements. 11
  • GOD revengeth the re­bellious. 28
  • God hath an absolute power over plagues. 112
  • God hath many wayes to de­stroy. 120
  • Gods wrath. See Wrath.
  • Godly. See Saints.
  • Governours abuse of authori­tie causeth wrath. 75 80
  • Governours to be obeyed. 93
  • HVmility pretended is pride. 62
  • Humane bloud sacrificed. 42
  • I Dolatry provokes wrath. 74 79
  • IEHOVAH addeth ter­rour to wrath. 74
  • Impenitency causeth wrath. 78 81
  • Incense, how made. 36
  • Incense resembled to praier. 58
  • Incense typisied Christ. 57
  • Infidelity causeth wrath. 77 81
  • Ingratitude causeth wrath. 75 80
  • Ingratitude of world against [Page 126] Saints. 27
  • Inhumanity causeth wrath. 76 80
  • Inhumanity of Heathen in plague time. 102
  • Intercession of Christ typified by incense. 59
  • Intercession of Christ appea­seth wrath. 61
  • Intercession of Christ is to be trusted to. 63 64
  • Intercession of creatures vain. 62
  • Iobs afflictiŏs, of what kind. 56
  • Iudgements. See Afflictions. See Wrath.
  • Iudgements are consequents of sinne. 5
  • Iudgements causes to be sear­ched out. 6
  • Iudgements why foretold. 11
  • Iudgements how now fore­told. 13
  • Iudgments kept frō Saints. 17
  • Iudgements how fall on Saints. 18
  • Iudgements a motive to a­void communion with the wicked. 23
  • Iudgements oft staid by mix­ture of Saints. 26
  • Iudgements to utter ruine caused by stubbornenesse. 29
  • Iudgements sudden very fearefull. 30
  • Iudgements extremity cau­sed by delay in pacifying Gods wrath. 50
  • Iudgements oft terrible in the beginning. 89
  • Iudgements to be observed. 104
  • Iudgements generall effects of wrath. 85
  • LIfes benefits. 108 Living to be preserved by all good means. 107
  • Love of God peculiar to man. 54
  • MAgistrates. See Gover­nours.
  • Meanes warrantable to pacifie Gods wrath to be used. 41
  • Meanes to preserve the living to be used. 107
  • Meanes to be used in desperate cases. 109
  • Meanes many God hath to de­stroy. 120
  • Means well used effectuall. 110
  • Mercy to such as wrong us. 47
  • Ministers know Gods mind. 12 13
  • Ministers abuses cause wrath. 76 80
  • Ministers, how they can fore­tell judgement. 13
  • Multitudes in evill to be left. 25
  • [Page 127]OBedience to Governours 93
  • Obedience with due circum­stances. 94
  • Obedience scanty, dangerous. 96
  • Obedience universall. 97
  • Obstinacy. See Stubbornenes
  • PAcifie. See Wrath.
  • Papists toyes to pacifie Gods wrath. 44
  • Papists faile in materiall cir­cumstances. 46
  • Plague may take away belee­vers. 21
  • Plague whether a cause to fly. 24
  • Plague properly taken here meant. 83
  • Plague an evidence of Gods wrath. 85
  • Plague what duties it re­quireth. 88
  • Plagues in sundry respects so called. 83
  • In plague time who to abide. 101
  • In plague time ancient Chri­stians charity, and Hea­thens in humanity. 102
  • In plague publique persons not bound to visit the infected. 103
  • In plague times others may be substituted in the roome of eminent persons. 103
  • Plagues in Gods power. 212
  • Plague soone destroyes many. 116
  • Plague not to be sleighted. 119
  • Prayer resembled to incēse. 58
  • Principals bring others bloud on themselves. 121
  • Profanation of holy things and times provoketh wrath. 74 79
  • Profession polluted causeth wrath. 74 75 79
  • Provocations of Gods wrath so many by us, as cause much matter of humiliation, 79
  • REconciliation. See At­tonement.
  • Repentance deferd dange­rous. 50
  • Repentance speedy profitable. 51
  • Repentants comfort in recon­ciliation. 56
  • Revenge on rebellious by God. 28
  • SAcrificing humane bloud. 42
  • Saints exempted from judge­ments. 17 19
  • [Page 128] Saints oft have a share in judgement. 18
  • Saints mixed with wicked ca­red for by God. 20
  • Saints oft stay judgmēts. 26 27
  • Sin causeth judgement. 5
  • Sinnes what especially cause judgement. 6
  • Sinnes to be put away for judgement. 9
  • Sinnes which especially pro­voke wrath. 74
  • Sinnes provoking wrath rife among us. 79
  • In Sin leave multitudes. 25
  • Speed in relieving oppressed. 49 98 99
  • Speedy repentāce profitable. 51
  • Speedily pacifie Gods wrath. 49
  • Stoicks condēne all passions. 71
  • Stubbornenesse causeth utter ruine. 29
  • Stubbornenesse provoketh wrath. 77 81
  • Sudden judgments fearfull. 30
  • TAmberlains 3. flags. 50 Types of Christ many. 59
  • VIlifying mercies causeth wrath. 75 80
  • WArrant makes bold in danger. 100
  • Word of God affoords directi­ons for matter and manner. 94 &c
  • Wrath. See Iudgements.
  • Wrath. What it is. 6
  • Wrath of God how slaked. 8
  • Wrath of God when to be sla­ked. 9
  • Wrath of God to be pacified by warrantable meanes. 41
  • Wrath of God incensed by the means which Papists use to pacifie it. 44
  • Wrath of God speedily to be pacified. 49
  • Wrath of God a fire, and fierce. 49
  • Wrath being incensed attone­ment may be made. 53
  • Wrath of God hath degrees. 66
  • Wrath how attributed to God. 67
  • Wrath not simply sinfull. 69
  • Wrath how perverted. 70
  • Wrath of God many wayes provoked. 72 79
  • Wrath of IEHOVAH terrible. 73
  • Wrath by what sinnes especi­ally provoked. 74
  • Wrath of God manifested by a plague. 85
  • Wrongers of us to have mer­cie. 47


PSAL. 107. 33, 34. He turneth a fruitfull land into barrennesse for the wickednesse of them that dwell therein.
IOEL 2. 13, 14.
Turne unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious, &c.
Who knoweth if he will returne and repent, and leave a blessing behind him?

LONDON, Printed by George Miller for Edward Brewster, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Signe of the Bible, at the great North doore of Pauls. 1631.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL, AND most worthy of all honour, Mrs. MARY MOORE, Perpetuity of Grace here, and Eternity of Glory hereafter.
Much esteemed, Much honoured,

GRatefulnesse makes inquisitive. A greatefull mind, both in relation to God, and also in relation to man, is so affected with kindnes­ses received from the one or the other, as it is ever plotting and enquiring what it may do, what it may render. In relation to God saith a gratefull Prophet, what shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me? Psal. 116. 12. In relation to man saith a gratefull King, Is there yet any left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindnesse for Ionathans sake? 2 Sam. 9. 1. Let me say it boldly, for I say it truly. My soule is inquisitive: as in regard of God, what I may render unto him: so in regard of your selfe, Good Mrs. Moore, what I may render unto [Page] you. God knowes my minde and heart. For he is the Searcher of hearts, (Ier. 17. 10.) To you it must be made knowne. For what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him? 1 Cor. 2. 11. My heart therefore being filled with gratefulnesse to­wards you, I haue cast this way and that way how to manifest the same: and that in the best manner that I could: which I know not better how to do, then by a publique acknowledgement of the gratefull respect I beare, and bounden duty which I owe to you: toge­ther with the true and just grounds thereof: which, among many other, are these in particular.

1. Your ancient and constant respect to me and my Ministry, even from the first beginning thereof. For thereby you first tooke notice of me.

2. The many reall demonstrations, and evident te­stimonies of that entire respect, which from time to time you have given me.

3. Your vouchsafing to take my daughter into your house, under your good government, and to be­come a mother to the motherlesse. Among many other, this is one thing which gives me occasion to say in regard of my last dangerous sicknesse, It is good for me that I was afflicted. That sicknesse was an occasion of your taking my daughter to your tuition. What is, what ought to be a fathers care, but (next to the salvati­on of his owne soule) the good education of his chil­dren? What can be more acceptable to him, then ap­proved means tending to that end? May I then, can I then be unmindfull of her, or ungratefull to her that hath affoorded such means? Have I not cause to be inquisitive, and to thinke and say, What shall I render? Render a recompence I cannot. All that is or can be [Page] done, is and can be but a testimony of gratitude. Such testimonies as are ordinarily presented for new-yeares-gifts, your bounty (I know) doth not expect, will not accept. Noble spirits do herein resemble the Divine Spirit, which doth good for his owne sake, for goodnes sake. All the recompence which they expect is a grate­full acknowledgement of the kindnesse they shew, of the goodnes they do. This from my heart I do here be­fore all that shall cast their eyes upon this Dedicatory Epistle.

There are, beside these particular, other more gene­rall motives, which induce me to prefixe your worthy name before this treatise: As, 1. the eminency of your endowments, which make this stile Mrs. Mary Moore (at least in their judgement who well know you) more eminent, then such titles of honour as are con­ferred upon many of your sex. 2. The excellency of your parts, which enable you with judgement to read such treatises as are published to the view of all. 3. The correspondency of your disposition to the most princi­pall points of this treatise. This treatise is of famine, and of means to remove it, or restraine it, and keep it from excesse. Piety towards him that causeth plenty and scarcity: Prudence in well ordering present abundance: Providence for the future: Compassion in times of want: Liberality to such as need: Contentment in that whereunto God calleth: Patience in all judgements: Diligence in searching after the causes thereof: Consci­ence in using the meanes warranted and sanctified for averting judgements: Confidence in greatest necessities are principall points handled in this treatise. The na­ming of the particulars is enough to give evidence of the sutablenesse of your disposition thereunto.


[Page] The present necessity of the times, wherein bread the staffe of mans life is so scarce, have drawne my thoughts to meditate on the subject matter handled in this treatise (which is in one word, FAMINE) that I might stirre up my selfe and others to take notice of the beginning of Gods judgement: that wisely we may seek the Lord betimes, and use all good means for moderating and removing this instant dearth, and for preventing the like, or any other heavier judgment for the future. So as I cannot think such a subject at such a time to be unseasonable: if at least the Composer of the Treatise were able answerably to handle it. But as it is, I have made bold to dedicate it to your patro­nage; whom, for the reasons before rendred, and ma­ny other like to them, I judge to be as fit thereto, as the treatise it selfe is fit for the present time. In all greatefulnes it is presented unto you. With all kindnes let it be accepted of you. As for recompence, To him that is ready graciously to accept, and able plenteously to reward all goodnesse done for his sake to any of his, knees are humbly bowed at the Throne of his Grace, by

Your Worships Remembrancer WILLIAM GOVGE.

A Table of the principall Points handled in DEARTHS DEATH, on II SAM. XXI. I.

  • §. 1. OF the meaning of the text. 129
  • §. 2. Of the resolution and observations of the text. 133
  • §. 3. Of famine a judgement. 134
  • §. 4. Of the effects of famine. 135
  • §. 5. Of preventing famine by procuring plenty. 138
  • §. 6. Of the sinnes which cause famine. 139
  • §. 7. Of moderating a famine. 141
  • §. 8. Of removing famine. 143
  • §. 9. Of promises for succour in famine. 145
  • §. 10. Of instances of Gods preserving in famine, and remo­ving famine. 146
  • §. 11. Of famine in a pious polity. 147
  • §. 12. Of the causes of judgements under good Gouernors. 147
  • §. 13. Of punishing predecessours sinnes in their successours time. 148
  • §. 14. Of mis-judging a profession by outward judgments. 150
  • §. 15. Of duties which judgements under pious Princes re­quire. 151
  • §. 16. Of long continued famine. 152
  • §. 17. Of duties by reason of long famine. 153
  • §. 18. Of searching out causes of judgements. 154
  • §. 19. Of Governours care in publique judgements. 155
  • §. 20. Of seeking to God for removing judgements. 157
  • §. 21. Of Gods causing famine. 157
  • [Page] §. 22. Of the meanes of famine ordered by God. 158
  • §. 23. Of enquiring of God in and by his Word. 161
  • §. 24. Of the extremity of famine in the last siege of Ieru­salem. 163
  • §. 25. Of extremity of famine, where were no invasions of ene­mies, nor sieges, but immediately from Gods hand. 168
  • §. 26. Of famines in England. 170
  • §. 27. Of uses to be made of the terriblenesse of famine. 171

DEARTHS DEATH: OR, A Removall of Famine, gathered out of II SAM. XXI. I.

§. 1. Of the meaning of this text.

2 SAM. 21. 1.Then there was a famine in the dayes of David, three yeares, yeare after yeare, and David enquired of the Lord.’

A Remedy for a famine is here set be­fore us. Such a remedy as removed the famine where it was used. For it is said, Verse 14. After that, God was entrea­ted for the land: that is, such satis­faction being made for the sin which provoked Gods wrath, and brought the famine upon the land, Gods wrath was appeased, and thereupon the famine removed. [...] exoratus. The word translated, entreated, signifieth, by entreaty to [Page 130] be moved to do what is desired. Now David besought the Lord, to remove that famine, and God granted his de­sire.

[...] The first particle is a copulative particle, and properly signifieth, and; yet is it oft used as a conjunction of time; es­pecially when it coupleth histories together. Therefore not unfitly is it here translated, then.

But great question is moved about the time, when this fa­mine In what yeare of David the famine began. should be. Whether after all the forementioned histo­ries of Absaloms rebellion, and Shebaes defection, or before them.

That which hath given occasion to this question, is a computation of time set downe for the beginning of Absa­loms rebellion, thus, And it came to passe after forty yeares that 2 Sam. 15. 7. Absalom said, &c. Those forty yeares are supposed to be the forty yeares of Davids raigne. Which if it be granted, this famine can neither follow after Absaloms rebellion, nor be about that time. For David raigned but forty yeares: and this famine continued three yeares.

To take away all question, some say that this and other histories following to the end of this booke, are not set downe in just order of time: but, as memorable matters, are Per [...]. Pet. Mart. Comment. in hunc loc. Tremel, & Iu­nius an notat. in 2 Sam. 24 1. utra (que) haec histo­ria (aempe de Fa­me & Peste) per [...] temporum ulti­moloco penitur. added after the former histories that depended one upon another.

It cannot be denied but that the Scripture sometimes so transposeth histories. Neither will I much contend about the transposing of these histories. No great inconvenience will follow thereupon. Yet the ground of all seemeth not to be very sound. For by many arguments it may be evinced that those forty yeares before mentioned, are not to be ac­counted the forty yeares of Davids raigne.

For first, beside that there is no mention of Davids raigne in that place, the phrase is thus expressed in the origi­nall, [...] a fine 40 annorū. From the end of forty yeares. Now its more probable that David ended his raigne rather within the forty yeares, then beyond them. Because both in sacred Scripture, and other writings, the yeare wherein a King dieth is computed [Page 131] in the yeares of his raigne: so as, if David had raigned full forty yeares, and entred into another yeare, he would in a round reckoning have beene said to have raigned one and forty yeares. Now if Absalom began his rebellion at the end of forty yeares, and David raigned no longer then forty yeares at the most, how could so many things as are noted of Absaloms rebellion, and the consequences following thereon, be done in so short a time?

2. In the time of Absaloms rebellion it is said of David, 2 Sam. 17. 8. He is a man of warre, and will not [...]odge with the people. Yea, David himselfe offered to go out in battell against Absalom. —18. 2. Yet, 1 King. 1. 1. before David died, such frigidity fell upon him, as with cloathes they could not keepe him warme, but were faine to bring a yong virgin to lie in his bosome. How can such an alteration be thought to be in so short a time?

3. All the histories recorded of David in the eight last chapters of the first of Chronicles, were without all questi­on after Absaloms rebellion. How then can that rebellion be imagined to be in the end of Davids fortieth yeare?

The forty yeares therefore from the end wherof Absaloms rebellion began, must needs have relation to some other thing then the raigne of David. As to the beginning of the Diem pro tempo­re accipe Hier. Comment. l. 5. in Isay 19. Dies pro annis numeratur. Ibid lib 7. in Esa. 16 regall government: or to Samuels first annointing of David: or to some other memorable matter. And so this, and the hi­stories following, may well follow as they are set in order of time.

The time at large is said to be [...] in the dayes of David: that is, in the time of his raigne. For the time of a Kings raigne is said to be 1 Sam. 14. 52. 1 King. 4. 25.—14. 30. Daies what they imply. Gen. 47 9. his daies.

This word, daies, is used 1. To put them in mind of their short continuance on earth. For our continuance is but of daies, soone gone. When Iaakob would set out the bre­vity of his life, he thus expresseth it, The daies of the yeares of my pilgrimage. And Iob, thus, Are not mans daies as the daies of an hireling? And David, thus, Thou hast made my daies Iob 7. 1. as an hand breadth. Psal 39. 5.

David here mentioned, was a King: and the best King [Page 132] that ever swayed Scepter. His name according to the nota­tion [...] à David [...] Dod amicus, & [...] dilectus. 1 Sam. 13. 14. Acts 13 22. 1 Sam. 18. 16. Psal. 16. 3. of it, importeth a lovely or friendly one. He was amia­ble and lovely before God and man: and friendly to all Gods people. He was a man after Gods owne heart. And all Israel and Iudah loved him. In the Saints was all his delight.

[...] Famine importeth want of food for nourishment of the body. It comes from a word that signifieth to hunger.

The famine here mentioned continued three whole yeares together: and therefore after he had mentioned three yeares, he addeth, Tribus annis continu is. Trem. & Iun. yeare after yeare: that is, as the former English Translaters turne it, three yeares together.

The course which David tooke for removing the famine, was to enquire what course the Lord would prescribe: which is thus expressed, David enquired of the Lord: word for word in the originall thus, [...] Sought the face of the Lord.

By the face of God is meant the manifestation of his pre­sence: and in that respect its oft translated the presence of God, as where its said, Gen. 3. 8. [...] Adam hid himselfe from the presence of God (Hebr. from the face of God) And where God saith, My presence shall go (Hebr. my face.) Exo. 33. 14. [...]

Quest. What may be here meant by seeking the face, or presence, of the Lord?

Answ. Enquiring of the Lord what might be the cause of that famine, and wherewith he might be pacified. They that thus translate it, Asked counsell of the Lord, rightly aime at the meaning of the phrase.

Quest. How did David here enquire of the Lord?

Answ. The particular manner is not expressed. Diverse manners are in other places set downe. For, David

  • 1. Sometimes by the High-Priest enquired of the Lord, 1 Sam. 22. 15. This was the most ordinary way, appointed by the Lord, Exo. 28 30. Numb. 27. 21.
  • 2. Other times by an extraordinary Prophet, 1 Sam. 22. 5. & 2 Sam. 7. 2. Iosephus the Iew saith, that the Prophets made answer to David about this famine.
  • [Page 133] 3. Yea, many times also by himselfe, humbly presenting
    Davidi Prophe­tae dixerunt velle Deum, &c. Item, David audiens ex Prophetis Deum velle, &c. Ioseph. Antiq. Iud. l. 7. c. 12.
    his supplication to God for direction, 1 Sam. 23. 2. & 2 Sam. 5. 19.

It is most probable that David here enquired of the Lord by the most solemne and approved way, which was by the Priest. And that, for that end, he went to the Arke of God; and in that respect may fitly be said, to seeke the face of the Lord.

§. 2. Of the resolution and observations of this text.

THe Summe of this text is, A meanes for removing a Famine.

The Parts are two.

  • 1. A Description of the Famine.
  • 2. A Declaration of the Meanes.

In the Description we have

  • 1. The thing described, expresly set downe. There was a famine.
  • 2. The aggravation thereof: and that by two circum­stances.
    • 1. The time wherein it fell out. Set out by the King that then raigned. In the daies of David.
    • 2. The continuance thereof: which is
      • 1. Generally expressed, Three yeares.
      • 2. Particularly exemplified, Yeare after yeare.

In the declaration of the meanes there is observable

  • 1. The person that used the meanes, David.
  • 2. The action that he did, sought, or enquired.
  • 3. The object, or party of whom he enquired, Of the Lord.

This text thus opened, affoords sixe considerable obser­vations.

  • I. A famine is a judgement. So is this famine here menti­oned: which moved David to enquire about it. The cause of this famine rendred by the Lord, in the latter end of this [Page 134] verse, and the course which David tooke for removing it, do evidently prove that this famine was a judgement.
  • 2. A famine may be under a pious Governour. If ever there was a pious Governour, David was he. Many wor­thy commendations are given of him: yea, he is made a patterne of a good Governour. Therefore
    1 King. 3. 14.—11. 38.
    God himselfe setteth his example as a patterne before his successours. And
    —15. 11. 2 King. 18. 3.—22. 2.
    good kings are thus commended, He did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord as did David. And evill kings are thus discommended,
    2 Chro. 28. 1. 1 King 14. 8.
    He did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David. Yea, of such as halted, in some things doing that which was good, in other things that which was evill, it is said,
    1 King. 11. 4.—15. 3.
    His heart was not perfect as the heart of David. Yet there was a famine in the daies of David.
  • III. A famine may long continue without intermission. The famine here mentioned continued three whole yeares together. A long time.
  • IIII. Causes of judgements are to be sought out. The en­quirie here mentioned importeth as much.
  • V. Chiefe Governours ought to be most solicitous in pub­lique judgements. David the King is herein set out as a patterne.
  • VI. God is to be sought unto for removing judgements. So David here enquires of the Lord.

§. 3. Of famine a judgment.

I. See § 2. A Famine is a judgement. As a judgement it is Lev. 26 26, &c. Deut. 28. 23, 38 53. threatned in the law, and put into the catalogue of the curses, that were fearefull judgements: and Isa 51. 19. Ier. 42. 16. Ezek. 6. 12. by the Prophets, who were raised up to denounce Gods judgments afore-hand to his people. Ezek. 5. 16. 2 Chro. 20 9. Ier. 24. 10.—27. 8. Where the Scripture mentioneth three sharp mortall arrowes of the Lord which he useth to shoot as judgements against children of men, famine is one: one of the sharpest. 2 Sam. 24. 13. These three arrows, as three sore judg­ments, were brought to David for him to choose one of [Page 135] them to be shot against him, but he would not choose fa­mine. Where the Lord saith, Deut. 32. 23, 24. I will spend mine arrowes upon them, in amplification thereof he addeth, They shalbe burnt with hunger, Ioel. 1. 2, &c.—2. 1, &c. Famine is the judgement which the Prophet Ioel doth most pathetically bewaile: and for removing whereof he calleth the whole land to prayer and fasting. 1 King. 8. 35, 37. Famine is one of the judgements which Salomon in his ef­fectuall prayer at the dedication of the temple earnestly de­precateth and prayeth against.

In the Ecclesiasticall histories of the Primitive Churches, it is recorded that a very sore famine fell out in the domini­ons Euseb. Eccle siast. Hist. lib. 9 cap. 7. & 8. Niceph. Calist. Ecclesiast. Hist. l. 7. c. 27. & 28. of Maximinus the Emperour, upon his publishing of cruell and bloudy edicts against Christians. This Maximi­nus was the authour of the seventh fierce and fiery persecu­tion. In his Edicts he laid the blame of all publique judge­ments on Christians. But the foresaid famine, together with a fearefull plague accompanying the same, besides sundry rebellions and insurrections, gave evident demonstration of Gods indignation against that Emperours cruelty.

§. 4. Of the effects of famine.

IF the effects of famine be duly considered, it will ap­peare that it is a most sore and fearefull judgement. Lege Ioseph. de bello Iud. l. 6. cap. 11, 14, 16. & 1. 7. c. 7, 8

1. It bringeth such as have had abundance, enough for themselves and all that belong unto them, yea and much over-plus for the reliefe of others, to extreme penury and beggery. It exhausteth all the mony that the rich have, and forceth them to sell away all their goods, cattell, and lands, (Instance the Egyptians who sold all to Ioseph, Gen. 47. 18, 19.) and to let go any thing: as Iaakob, who let his dar­ling Famis extremi­tas patris amo­rem dicit. Chrys. Hom. 64. in Gen. 43. Benjamin go into Egypt (Gen. 42. 11.) Extremity of famine overcame the fathers love.

2. It depriveth poore men of means to worke and labour for their living. The Prophet, (Zac. 8. 10.) speaking of times of famine, saith, There was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast. Thus meanes of livelihood were taken away.

[Page 136] 3. It maketh men hard-hearted against the cries of such Qui ex opulenti­oribus esse vide­bantur, multitu­dine petentium absterriti, post­quam innumera praestilissent, im­mitem & rigi­dum animum in­duebant, veren­tes ne eandem & ipsi cum petenti­bus brevi pate­rentur egesta­tē. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 9. c. 8. Fames tanta est in Phrygia or [...]a, ut necessariò in­colae patriam re­linquerent. Ni­ceph. Eccl. Hist. l. 11. c. 16. Abraham habuit dies malos, quan­do a same muta­bat regionem, & quaerebat [...]ibum. Aug. Enar. in Psal. 33. Fames admodum exerevit: adeo ut homines ad irra­tionalium ani­mantium ali­menta sint con­versi. Niceph. Eccl Hist. l. 10. c. 35. Rebus necessa­rys desicienti [...]us prohibitis, insoli­tis, & exitiosis alimentis u [...]e­bantur. Ibid. l. 15. c. 10. as starve. For men that have for the present, feare that the famine may bring them to want, and thereupon refuse to give to others. Yea deare and tender mothers are forced to stop their eares against the cries of their young children, ha­ving nothing to feed them withall, Lam. 2. 12. and 4. 3, 4.

4. It forceth such, as otherwise would deale justly, to use fraudulent and violent meanes to get their living. So much doth he intimate, who praying against extreme poverty, rendreth this reason, Least I steale (Prov. 30. 8, 9.) and he who said; Men do not despise a thiefe, if he steale to satisfie his soule, when he is hungry, Prov. 6. 30.

5, It puts men upon dangerous attempts, and makes them desperate: according to the proverb, Hunger makes men breake thorow stone walls. The desperate resolution of the hunger-starv'd lepers giveth instance hereof, (2 King. 7. 4.) It was this, Let us fall unto the hoste of the Syrians. If they save us alive, we shall live: and if they kill us, we shall but die. We got our bread, say the Iewes, with the perill of our lives, Lam. 5. 9.

6. It maketh many, if at least they can get passage, to fly their country; and so voluntarily to banish themselves. Abraham and Isaak, by reason of famine, went to countries where they supposed themselves to be in great danger for their wives (Gen. 12. 10, 12. and 26. 1, 7.) A famine cau­sed Iaakob with all that belonged to him, to go downe into Egypt. (Gen. 46. 6.) and Elimelech with his family to go to Moab (Ruth. 1. 1.) and the Shunemite with her houshold to go to the Philistines, (2 King. 8. 2.)

7. When people know not whither to go, or can not go from the place where they are (as in a city besieged) it bringeth men to feed on the coursest things that they can get. As on horse bread, on all manner of rootes, on acorns, on horses and asses, on mice, rats, and all kind of vermine, on doves dung, on leather, and any other thing that can be chewed, and swallowed. Yea it bringeth such grosse things to high prices, 2 King. 6. 25.

[Page 137] 8. It causeth men to be inhumane, and to eate one ano­thers Vt ma [...]res filios suos commede­rent obsidionis necessitas coer­cuit. Aug de Mirab. S. S. l 2 c. 26. Lege Chrys. advers vituper vitae Monast. l 1 de Maria qua­dam commeden­te filium suum. ex Ioseph Hist. de bello Iud. l. 7. c. 8. Fame tantopere invalescente, ho­mines victus ra­tioxe mutata in aegritudines inci­derunt. Niceph. Eccl. Hist l. 15. c. 10. Pestilentia sem­per famem & penuriam sequi­tur. Hier. Com. in Ezek. 16. l. 4 Majorem habet poen am languor diuturnus, quam citissimuus exitus Aug. Epist. 122 ad Victorian. Quidam pallidi, & summe maci­lenti, perinde atq. simulachra quae­dam, rerum om­nium egeni, hinc & inde oberran­tes, proni in tri­vijs ipsis concide­bant. Niceph. Ecclesiast. Hist l. 7. c. 28. flesh, (Zac. 11. 9.) and not to spare the nearest and dea­rest they have. For it causeth husbands to eate the flesh of their wives: wives of their husbands: parents of their children: tender mothers of their children new borne, (Deut. 28. 54, 55, 56, 57.) There is an expresse instance of this kinde of inhumanity in the siege of Samaria. (2 King. 6. 29. Read also Lam. 2. 20.)

9. It moveth men to eate their owne flesh, (Isa. 9. 20. Eccl. 4. 5.) This hath beene oft observed of such as have beene hanged alive in chaines.

10. It procureth sundry diseases. Among other sick­nesses, the infectious, and mortall, and most uncomfortable sicknesse, the pestilence followeth most commonly on fa­mine. Experience of all ages hath given evidence to the truth hereof.

11. It causeth the most miserable death that can be. It first taketh away all the glory and beauty of a creature: it maketh the flesh to pine all away, and the skin to cleave to the bones. Then commeth on a lingring death, more into­lerable then any speedy torture. The Prophet thus with much passion and compassion sets it out. The Nazarites were purer then snow: they were whiter then milke: they were more ruddy in body then rubies: their polishing was of saphire: Their visage is blacker then a cole: they are not knowne in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones: it is withered: it is become like a stick. (Lam. 4. 7, 8.) And againe, Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine (Lam. 5. 10.) Hence he maketh this inference, They that are slaine with the sword are better then they that are slaine with hunger: for these pine away, &c. Lam. 4. 9. Our Ecclesiasticall histo­ries also relate that in time of famine men being pale and ex­tremely leane, even as very images, destitute of all things, wandred up and downe, fell groveling in the streets, &c.

§. 5. Of preventing famine by procuring plenty.

FAmine being a judgement, and (as by the fore-named effects thereof is evident) a fearefull judgement, it will be our wisdome to do what in us lieth to prevent it, or to Sec § 7. moderate it, or to Sec §. 8. remove it.

For preventing Famine, we must

  • 1. Observe such duties as procure plenty.
    Plenty how procured.
  • 2. Avoid such sinnes as cause famine.

For procuring and continuing plenty, Col 1. 10. Walke worthy of the Lord, unto all well pleasing: being fruitfull in every good worke. Thus the Lord finding thee to be a fertile soile, he will sow all manner of needfull seed plentifully in thee.

To this worthy walking is in particular required,

1. An acknowledgement that the plenty which thou hast commeth from God. Hereof we have a worthy patterne in him who said to the Lord, Psal. 145. 15, 16. The eyes of all waite upon thee, and thou givest them their meate in due season: thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

2. Thanksgiving to God for what thou hast: and for the refreshing and benefit thou reapest thereby. Deut. 8. 10. This is ex­presly commanded to this end.

3. An using of what thou hast to the glory of God, accor­cording to this Apostolicall direction, 1 Cor. 10. 31. Whether you eate or drinke, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. Gods creatures are used to his glory, when (besides the fore-men­tioned acknowledgement of Gods providence in giving them, and blessing him for them) we endeavour in the use and strength of them to be the better enabled to do that worke which God appointeth us to do: And when we be­stow some of that which God bestoweth on us, upon pious uses, which after a peculiar manner tend to the honour of his name. To this tendeth Salomons advice, Prov. 3. 9. Honour the Lord with thy substance. —10. Mal. [...]. 10. Plenty is expressely promised here­unto.

[Page 139] 4. Charity to the poore. Thus thou sowest such seed, as will bring forth a plentifull crop. To this kind of seed the Apostle applieth this proverbe, 2 Cor. 9. 6. He that soweth bountifully shall reape bountifully. Somewhat more directly saith the Wiseman, Prov. 11. 25. The liberall soule shalbe made fat: and he that watereth shalbe also watered himselfe.

5. Providence in laying up against a deare yeare. Thus Vir justus provi­det multo antea. quo futurae penu­riae succurri pos­sit. Chrys Hom 64 in Gen. 41. may the abundance of one yeare make supply of scarcity in another yeare, and future want be prevented. By such a pro­vident care in summer, Bees, Ants, and other like unreaso­nable creatures have abundance in winter. Pro 6. 6. To such crea­tures we are sent for instruction. Gen. 41. 48, 54. Ioseph by such a provi­dent care brought it to passe, that when a dearth was in all lands, there was bread in all the land of Egypt. And if the fa­mine had not continued so long as it did, the store which Ioseph laid up, might have made plenty, notwithstanding a yeares famine or more.

§. 6. Of the sinnes which cause famine.

2. THe sinnes which cause famine are in generall Lev. 26. 26. Deu. 28. 23, 38 Peccata gravia nec nitra nec herba bovis d [...]lui possunt: sed gra­vioribus tormen lis indigent. Hier. Com. lib. 1. in Hier. 2. all such notorious, publique, crying sinnes as so farre incense the wrath of God, as thereby he is provoked to exe­cute some publique and heavy judgement, whereof famine is one, and not one of the least, as hath beene § 3. 4. before shew­ed. These sinnes are Sec A Plaister for the Plague, on Num. 16. 46 § 45. Dei beneficia ad i'los referunt, qui cultorum suorum animas perdiderunt. Hier. Com­ment. lib 1. in Os. 2. elsewhere reckoned up.

The particular sinnes which the Holy Ghost noteth in speciall manner to be fore-runners and causes of famine, are these that follow and such like.

1. Superstitious attributing of plenty to other authors then to the onely God from whom all plenty commeth. So did the Iewes that said, Ier. 44. 17. When we burnt incense, and pow­red out drinke offerings to the Queene of heaven, we had plenty of victuals. Hereupon —26, 27. the Lord sware that they should die of famine. So where Israel said, Hos. 2. 5. My lovers gave me my bread, and my water, my wooll, and my flaxe, mine oile, and my drinke, the Lord answereth, —9, 12. I will take away my corne [Page 140] in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, &c. I will destroy her vines and her figtrees. &c.

2. Ingratitude. It is Gods usuall dealing to take away from ungratefull persons the blessings which he hath be­stowed on them. God gave the Egyptians seven yeares of Gen. 41. 53, 54. Omnia auseret Deus, ut qui ex copia datorem non senserant, sentiant expenu­ria Aug. loc. citat. Lege Chrys. Tom. 2. Hom. 29. Quae hunc habet titulum, Quòd nemo laeditur nisi à seipso. Ibi copi­ose disser it contra m [...]nsarum affl [...] ­entiam. Leg [...] item Sermonem ipsius contra lux­um & crapulam. Tom. 5. extraordinary plenty. They were not thankfull. God ther­fore gave them seven years of such scarcity, as all the former plenty was utterly consumed. God will take away all from such, that they who by plenty discerne him not to be the gi­ver of all, may discerne it by want.

3. Perverting of plenty to gluttony, drunkennesse, and all excesse. Of them that used to rise up early in the morning that they may follow strong drink, that continue untill night, til wine enflame them: and the Harp, and the Viole, the Taebret, and Pipe, and wine are in their feasts, it is said, their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst, Isa. 5. 11, 12, 13.

4. Prodigality: or a lavish spending of that abundance which God giveth. Christ exemplifieth this in him that is commonly called the prodigall child. Thorow his prodigality he brought himselfe to such penury, as He faine would have filled his belly with the huske that the swine did eate, and no man gave unto him, Luk. 15. 13, 16.

5. Insensiblenesse of their misery who are in want: To them that stretch themselves upon their couches, and eate the lambs out of the flock: that drink wine in bowles, and an­noint themselves with the chiefe ointments: but are not grie­ved for the affliction of Ioseph: The Lord said, The banquet of them that stretched themselves shalbe removed, Amo. 6. 4, 6. 7.

6. Cruelty to strangers that live among us for succour. Lege Ambr. Offic l. 3. c 7. De non arcend [...] peregrinis urbe tempore famis. Such were the Gibeonites that lived among the Israelites. (Ios. 9. 15.) Vpon these Saul executed much cruelty: and for that cause God sent this famine, 2 Sam. 21. 1. If uncha­ritablenesse to strangers, much more to our owne poore, must needs incense Gods wrath, and move him to with­draw plenty even from the rich, and make them to want.

7. Rejecting the Word of God, which is the bread of [Page 141] life. To those that said to the Prophet Ieremiah, Prophesie Quomodo quis poterit, etiam cui saxeum cor, lan­tum contemptum non gravatim ferre. Chrys. Hom. 6. in Gen 1. de contemp tu verbi. Pseudoprophetae prespera promit­tendo supplantāt populum Dei. Hier. Com­ment l. 3 in Ier. 15. not in the name of the Lord, thus said the Lord of hoste, Their sonnes and their daughters shall die by famine, Ier. 11. 21, 22. By want of corporall food God doth visibly demonstrate their folly in despising spirituall food.

8. Ministers soothing of people with conceipt of plenty, when the Lord threatneth famine. Of the Prophets that said, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine, the Lord said, The prophets prophesied lies in my name; I sent them not; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consu­med. And the people to whom they prophesie, shalbe cast out in the streets of Ierusalem, because of the famine and the sword, Ier. 14. 13, 15, 16.

9. Refusing to subject our selves to that yoke and go­vernment under which God will have us to be, Ier. 27. 8, &c. For, such a government is a meanes of enjoying that which is needfull for us. But resisting the same is a meanes of spoiling us of all.

10. Wilfull standing out against such meanes of provi­sion as God affoordeth because it is not pleasing unto our selves. As when an enemy besiegeth a city, and there is no hope of meanes to raise the siege, nor sufficient in the city long to hold out: and by the enemy conditions for preser­ving of life are offered: by standing out too stifly in this case, God is provoked by famine to destroy such men in their city. So dealt God with the Iewes, Ier. 21. 9. 2 King. 25. 3.

§. 7. Of moderating a famine.

FOr moderating a famine when it is begun,

1. Provision must in time be sent for to such places as have plenty. Gen. 42. 1, 2. So did Iaakob.

2. They who are abroad must stirre up such as have plen­ty to be mindfull of those that are pressed with famine, and send succour to them. 2 Cor. 8. 1, &c Saint Paul was very diligent herein.

[Page 142] 3. More then ordinary diligence in every ones place and calling must be used: that all of all sorts may eate their owne bread. Thus will not some few have the burthen of many lying upon them, which much increaseth a famine.

4. Moderation in diet must be used, and that by those that have greatest store. That which is spared may be for supply to those who have nothing at all. A little scarcity by immoderate lavishing soone produceth a great famine.

5. Frequent fasts must be made by those that have plenty: and what is spared at such fasts, given to those that have not sufficiency. Thus many may be sustained by that which a few do ordinarily spend.

6. Then especially must men observe the counsell of Christ, to invite to their table the poore, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. Luk. 14. 13.

7. Publique provisions must be wisely distributed: ac­cording to the distribution of Manna, whereof they had Exo. 16. 18. every one according to his eating: that is, according to the number of persons in a family, and according to their age, stature and strength.

8. Magistrates must be more then ordinarily carefull in preserving peace and keeping good order: that neither the rich and mighty oppresse the poore and weak (as he that ha­ving many flocks and heards of his owne, tooke from a poore 2 Sam. 12. 2, 3, &c. man that had but one little ewe lambe, that lambe to entertaine a traveller that came to him:) nor the poore and needy fel­loniously and violently take from the rich. In time of famine Magistrates must be the more diligent and carefull, because feare of want will make them that for the time have enough, oppresse others: and present sense of want will move them that have nothing, by hooke or crooke to get what they can. And what is violently or fraudulently gotten, wilbe lavishly spent: and so the famine prove to be the greater.

9. Ministers must be the more carefull to feed their peo­ple with the bread of life: that by the plenty and sweetnesse thereof, they may the more patiently and contentedly beare the want of bodily food. This is the means to instruct men, [Page 143] both to be full, and to be hungry: both to abound and to suffer Phil. 4 12. need. Such instruction wil make famine much more tolerable.

10. All of all sorts must with patience expect the time and means which God shall give for succour, and not prescribe time or means to God. Much lesse murmure against God, or charge him with any evill, or refuse to wait on him, suppo­sing that he can not or will not affoord any succour: as he who said, This evill is of the Lord: what should I wait for the 2 King. 6. 33.—7. 2. Lord any longer? And as the other that said (when Elisha prophesied of much plenty, and that suddenly) Behold if the Lord should make windowes in the heavens might this be? Me­ditation on Gods promises for succour in famine, is of speci­all use to worke patience.

§. 8. Of removing famine.

MEanes of removing famine are such as these.

1. Humiliation, and that especially for §. 6. the sinnes wherby God hath bin provoked to sēd famine. 2 Chro. 7 13, 14. This means even in this case is expresly prescribed by God himselfe, and a promise made of successe therto. That it may be the more effectuall, it must arise inwardly from the soule, and be mani­fested and helped by fasting, weeping and mourning, Ioel. 2. 12.

2. Confession, and that both of our owne guiltinesse, and also of Gods justice in depriving us of his creatures. Salo­mon Confessio hostia est Deo. Aug. Enar. in Psal. 95. compriseth as much under this phrase, 1 King. 8. 35. Confesse Gods name. We have a worthy patterne of this kind of confession in Dan. 9. 4, &c Daniels prayer. For this end Examination of our own in­ward corruptions, and of our former course of life, yea and due observation of the publique and common sinnes of the times and places wherein we live, is very requisite: that thus, if it be possible, we may find out those particu­lar sinnes, which have in speciall incensed Gods wrath, and provoked him to afflict us with famine: and as we find them, so in particular to confesse them: as they, who said, 1 Sam. 12. 19. We have added unto all our sins this evill, &c.

3. Conversion. Ioel 2. 12. This is also expresly prescribed: and 2 Chro. 7. 14. to this promise of succour is made. Conversion must be [Page 144] answerable to confession. It must be universall, from all manner of sinne, whereof we shall find our selves guilty, and Ex fide poeniteat: credat hanc esse medicinam, &c. Aug. de ve [...]a & falsa poenit. cap. 13. whereto we shall find our selves addicted: and particular from those especially, for which we have cause to feare that God hath sent famine among us. To confesse such sinnes, and not to turne from them, is to mocke God, and the more to incense his wrath against us.

4. Satisfaction for wrongs done to man: at least if the wrong be such as God is moved to revenge. This I do the rather here note, because it is a meanes of removing the fa­mine mentioned in my text. For when David had made sa­tisfaction for the wrong done to the Gibeonites, God was en­treated for the land, 2 Sam. 21. 14.

5. Supplication. Ioel 1. 14. 2 Chro. 6. 28, 29—7. 13, 14. This is the most principall meanes of all. All the other are but preparations hereunto. This is like­wise prescribed, and a promise of prevailing thereby annex­ed thereunto. Iam. 5. 18. It hath beene used and proved to be ef­fectuall.

6. Faith in Gods promises. This must be added to pray­er. Both Christ Mar. 11. 24. and Iam. 1. 6. his Apostles require as much. Gods promises have their true and proper effect only in such as believe: and to them they are effectuall, either for suffici­ent supportance, or for a good deliverance.

7. Charity to the poore. For God will succour such as are ready with their uttermost ability to succour others. This is especially for such as have corne, or other provision in store: to bring it forth, and give it freely, or at least to sell it at a cheape rate to the poore. Blessing is promised to him that selleth it: namely, to the poore, and at a reasonable rate, Prov. 11. 26.

§. 9. Of promises for succour in famine.

Quest. ARe there any particular promises for helpe in famine, and deliverance from it?

Answ. Yes, very many: as many as in any other like case. Some of the particulars are these. 2 Chro. 7. 13, 14. If I shut up hea­ven (saith the Lord) that there be no raine, or if I command the locusts to devoure the land, if my people shall humble them­selves, and pray, and seeke my face, and turne from their wicked wayes: then will I heare from heaven, and will forgive their sinne, and will heale their land. Hos. 2. 21, 22. In that day I will heare, saith the Lord, I will heare the heavens, and they shall heare the earth, and the earth shall heare the corne, and the wine, and the oyle, and they shall heare Iezreel. Ioel 2. 18, 19. Then will the Lord be jea­lous for his land, and pitie his people, yea the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corne, and wine, and oyle, and you shalbe satisfied therewith. Zac. 8. 11, 12. Now will I not be to the residue of this people, as in the former dayes, saith the Lord of hosts. For the seed shalbe prosperous: the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew. Zac. 10. 1. Aske ye of the Lord raine in the time of the latter raine: so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of raine, to every one grasse in the field. Mal. 3. 10. Prove me now saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windowes of heaven, and powre you out a blessing, that there shall not be roome enough to receive it.

Iob 5. 20. In famine he shall redeeme thee from death.

Pro. 10. 3. The Lord will not suffer the soule of the righteous to fa­mish.

Psal. 33. 19. Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that feare him: upon them that hope in his mercy: to keepe them alive in fa­mine. —37. 19. See A Plaister for the Plague. on Numb. 16. 45. §. 12, 13, 14. 15. In the dayes of famine they shalbe satisfied.

§. 10. Of instances of Gods preserving in famine, and removing famine.

THat the fore-mentioned promises may with the stronger confidence be rested upon, take instance of How the righteous are ex­empted from judgement. Gods performing them. Gen. 12, 10, 17 When in Abrahams time there was a famine in the land where he sojourned, he went downe into Egypt, where the Lord kept him and his wife in safety. —26. 1, 2. Whē again there was a famine in Isaaks time, God directed him whither to go. —45. 5. —50. 20. Psa. 105. 16, 17 God sent Ioseph purposely before hand into Egypt to preserve Iaakob and all that were with him in famine. 2 King. 8. 1. By his Prophet God adviseth the Shunemite with her house to sojourne where was plenty, when he intended to bring a famine on Israel. 1 King. 17. 4. 16. Miraculously did the Lord provide for Eliah and the widow of Zarephats in famine. So did he for the Israelites in the wildernesse. Exo. 16. 13, 14 When they wanted bread and meat, extraordinarily he provided Manna and Quailes for them: and —17. 6. when they wanted water, he brought it out of a rocke for them. So Iudg. 15. 18, 19. for Sampson, when he was ready to die for thirst, God extraordinarily provided water. 1 King. 18. 42 At Eliahs prayer, after Gods wrath was pacified, on a sudden, raine, having beene with-held three yeares and an halfe, fell downe abundantly. 2 King. 6. 28. —7. 6, &c. Samaria being so long besieged as they began to eate their children, the Lord on a sudden with an extraordinary terrour caused the enemies to flie, and to leave all their provision to the Israelites, so as they had all manner of food in great plenty.

These visible and extraordinary evidences give sensible demonstration of Gods power and pity: how able and rea­dy he is to succour people in their extremities. And due no­tice is the rather to be taken of these, that we may know that when by more ordinary meanes succour is affoorded, it is the Lord that ordereth and disposeth those meanes: and his providence is to be acknowledged therein, as much as if extraordinarily he did what is done.

§. 11. Of famine in a pious polity.

II. §. 2. Ecce in adventu justi fames, & fames validat & non turbatur ju­stus, ne (que) aliquid humanum pati­tur: Chrys. Hom. 32. in Gen. 12. FAmine may be under a pious Governour. Besides the instance of David mentioned in this text, it is expresly noted of the three great Patriarchs, who in their dayes were the supreme Governours of Gods Church, that Gen. 12. 10.—26. 1.—46. 5. there was such famine in each of their times, as they were all of them forced from their owne habitations, and so jour­ned in strange countries. Ruth 1. 1. In the dayes of the Iudges there was a famine in the land. Now all the Iudges (except Abime­lech, a cruell and tyrannicall usurper) were pious Gover­nours, extraordinarily stirred up by God, and extraordinari­ly gifted and assisted by him. Yet in their dayes there was a famine: and that as the Ruth 4. 18, &c. generation of Pharez giveth evi­dence, in Deborahs time, who (though a woman) was one of the best Iudges.

§. 12. Of the causes of judgements under good Governours.

1. THe best Governours have many times most impi­ous subjects under them: the cry of whose sinnes, they being many and impudent, more incenseth Gods wrath against a nation, then can be pacified by the piety of a righte­ous Governor, or of a few righteous subjects, though they be men of extraordinary endowments. For thus saith the Lord by one prophet, Ier. 15. 1. Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be towards this people. And by another thus, Ezek. 14. 14, 16. Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Iob were in the city, they should deliver neither sonne nor daughter. 2 Sam. 24. 1. In Davids time the anger of the Lord was so kindled against Isra­el, as he moved David against them. Ier. 3. 6, 10. Iosias vir sanctus non sclum pecca­torem populum suis virtutibus non salvavit, sed & ipse in peccatis illius mortuus est. Hier. Commēt. l 4. in Ezec. 14. In the dayes of good Iosiah Iudah waxed rebellious: so rebellious, as that pious King was so farre from preserving that sinfull people, as he himselfe died for their sinnes. No marvell then that God send famine, and other sore judgements upon a land in the [Page 148] time of pious Governours to punish such subjects.

2. The most pious Governors do oft also themselves give too just cause unto God to say, Rev. 2. 4. I have somewhat against you. It is in the register of truth recorded, what he had against Numb. 20. 22. Moses and Aaron, against 1 Sam. 2. 29. Elie, against 2 Sam. 12. 9 Da­vid, 1 King 11. 9. Salomon, 2 Chro. 16. 10 Asa, —19. 2. Iehosaphat, —26. 16. Vzziah, —32. 25. Hezekiah, and —35. 22. Iosiah. And without all contradiction these were some of the best Governours that ever the Church had.

3. God doth sometimes treasure up the sinnes of prede­cessours, and extend his wrath unto succeeding generations. Excellent things are spoken of Iosiah and his Government; yet at the end of all this dismall doome is added, 2 King. 23. 26 Notwith­standing the Lord turned not from the fiercenesse of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Iudah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him with­all. In our text we see how God treasured up Sauls bloudy sinne till Davids time.

§. 13. Of punishing predecessours sinnes in their successours time.

Quest. HOw can it stand with Divine equity and justice that succeeding ages should be punished for the sinnes of their predecessours?

Answ. They are not simply and onely judged for their predecessours sinnes. The sinnes of predecessours do onely aggravate judgements inflicted on successours.

True is that of Ezekiel, Ezek. 18. 14, 17. If a wicked father beget a sonne that seeth all his fathers sins which he hath done, and considereth and doth not such like, he shall not die for the iniquity of his fa­ther. He shall surely live. Yet withall is that of the Law as true, Exo. 34. 7. the Lord visiteth the iniquity of the fathers upon the chil­dren. We must therefore distinguish betwixt children. There are children which no way make themselves accessa­ry to their fathers sinnes: but rather abhorre them, and pray that they may not be laid to their charge. These shall not beare their fathers iniquity.

[Page 149] There are other children which tread in their fathers Quomodo San­ctorum merita descendunt ad posteros, sicut David & caele­rorum: sic pecca­torum flagitia, si liberi, nepotes (que) similia gesserint, ad posteros per­veniunt. Hier. Comment. l. 3. in Hier. 15. steps, and commit like abominations, or at least do not con­sider their fathers sinnes, to be humbled for them, or to make such satisfaction for them as is meet, and to remove the evill effects of them: but some way or other make them­selves accessary thereto: and in that respect are visited for them. As the vertues of predecessors descend to their poste­rity, as Davids and others: so the wickednesse of sinners shall fall upon their posterity, if their children, and childrens children do the like things.

In Iosiahs dayes, 2 King. 23. 2, &c. though he himselfe did what lay in him to redresse the remainder of his fore-fathers abomina­tions, yet Ier. 3. 6. 10. the people were not thorowly reformed. 2 King. 23. 26. That therefore which is noted of Gods remembring Manassehs abominations in Iosiahs daies, was not in regard of Iosiah: for it is said, that 2 King. 22. 20. he should be gathered into his grave in Deus non exau­diet Moysen, aut Samuelem, quo­niam consumma­ta sunt scelera populi delinquen­tis. Hier. Comment. l. 3. in Hier. 15. peace: but it was in regard of the people who continued to cleave to the sinnes of Manasseh, notwithstanding all the care that Iosiah tooke for an universall reformation. For God will not accept the intercession of his best Saints, when the wickednesse of a sinfull nation is full, and in that kind perfected.

As for Sauls sinne, 1. David had not redressed it as he might and should have done. The slaying of the Gibeonites was a publique fact, and that against a publique agreement, and oath: so as David could not be ignorant thereof. He might therefore, and ought to have enquired of the remnant of the Gibeonites what satisfaction he should make: as he did being put in mind of Sauls sinne by Divine oracle.

2. It may be thought that the people had their hand as accessaries in slaying the Gibeonites. For it is said that 2 Sam. 21. 2. Saul sought to slay the Gibeonites in his zeale to the children of Israel and Iudah. They therefore are justly punished with this famine.

3. Sauls sonnes were a wicked of-spring of a wicked stocke: and retained their fathers evill disposition. For Sauls house is stiled —1. a bloudy house. Vnder his house, his [Page 150] children are comprised. The Lord therefore purposing to root out all his posterity, taketh this just occasion. And by this meanes Davids fact in rooting them out is more justifi­ed before all the people: the envy thereof taken from him: and his kingdome the more secured to him and his po­sterity. In hoc Dei Crea­toris clementia demonstratur. Non enim trucu­leliae est & seve­ritatis, ir ā tenere us (que) ad tertiam & quartam ge­nerationem: sed signum miseri­cordiae paenam differre peccati, &c. Hier. Comment. lib. 5. in Ezek. 18.

Herein therefore the clemency of the Creatour is mani­fested: for it is not a part of severity and cruelty to with­hold wrath till the third and fourth generation, but a signe of mercy to deferre the punishment of sinne. For when he saith, The Lord God, mercifull, and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodnesse, and addeth, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the childrens children, he sheweth that he is of such compassion, that he doth not presently punish, but defers the execution of punish­ment.

§. 14. Of mis-judging a profession by outward judgements.

IT being so evident that famines befall pious polities, it Audlant qui te­merè & incircū spectè loquuntur, & divinant, di­centes quoniam quispia madvenit sames facta. Ecce etiam in adtētu justi fames, &c. Chrys. Hom. 32. in Gen. 12. must needs be a perverse ground of censure, to question a Religion and the truth thereof by reason of such an event. Was there any true Church in the world, but the Church of the Iewes, while that politie stood? Yet was there no externall judgement from which that was not exempted. A Religion may be sound and good, though the Professours thereof (thorow their unworthy walking) pull many judge­ments upon their owne heads: 1 Cor. 11. 30. The Church of Corinth in the Primitive and purest time thereof, provoked God to judge them in this world. Yet was the Religion which they professed, taught them by an Apostle: the Religion I say, not their abuse therof. There is a better touch-stōe to try the truth of Religion by, then externall events. 1 Pet. 4. 17. Iudgement must begin at the house of God. Pro. 11. 31. The righteous shalbe recompenced in the earth. Shall then that be accounted no Church where judge­ments are? Or they not righteous, who on earth are recom­penced? [Page 151] Well may we judge, that God inflicteth no judge­ment without a just cause. But a false Religion is not the onely cause of judgement. Wherefore neither judge other Churches in their Religion because of famine, plague, or other like judgements befall them: nor thinke the worse of thine owne profession, especially when thou hast evidences of the correspondency thereof to Gods Word, for such causes.

§. 15. Of duties which judgements under pious Princes require.

WOrthy directions are affoorded even to pious Go­vernours and their people, by this publique judge­ment which God laid on Israel in Davids time.

Governours must therefore

1. Make the best enquiry they can into former times: and take notice of such publique crying sinnes as have beene committed, and not expiated either by any publique judge­ment on Gods part, or by any publique humiliation and sa­tisfaction on peoples part. Such sins are treasured up. Ven­geance may be executed for them in succeeding times. Suc­cessours therefore ought to do what lieth in their power to make an attonement in such cases.

2. Be carefull over their people to keepe them in good order: That as they themselves professe, affect, and main­taine true Religion, so their subjects may subject themselves thereto, and shew forth the power thereof. Not common A Principibus non requiruntur opera tantum trita & vulga­ria, sed ut sapiāt alijs, ut vivant alijs, ut illis prae­luccant omni virtutum genere. Martyr. Com­ment in 2 Sam. 21. 17. and ordinary works onely are required of Governours: but that they be wise for others, live for others, and shine out to them in every kind of vertue. Otherwise, the sinnes of sub­jects (notwithstanding the piety of their Governours) may pull downe publique vengeance.

As for people under pious Governours,

1. They may not be secure and carelesse, much lesse disso­lute and licentious, because they have such Governours, as if no judgements could fall on a land in the time of good [Page 152] Governours. God hath many wayes to punish such people even in such times: As by inflicting such judgements, as prove greater plagues to the common people, then to their Governours: as this famine was. (For famine for the most part lieth most heavy on the meaner sort:) Or by giving over their Governours to commit such sinnes as will pull downe publique judgements: as he gave over David: or by taking away their Governours, as he tooke away Iosiah, 2 Sam. 24. 1. 2 King. 23. 26, 29. and then powring out the vials of his indignation.

2. They must live in obedience to the pious lawes that are made by their pious Governours. For continuance of Divine blessing upon a land, there must be like Governours, like Subjects: each worthy of other.

Finally, Governours must pray for their subjects: and subjects for their Governours: that thus one may be heard for another, and one keepe judgements from another. Otherwise, A famine may be in the dayes of David.

§. 16. Of long continued famine.

III. § 2. A Famine may long continue without intermission. Here was a famine of three yeares, yeare after yeare. 1 King. 18. 1. Luk. 4. 25. Iam. 5. 17. In Eliahs time a famine continued three yeares and six moneths. Gen. 41. 30.—45. 6. In Egypt and all the land of Canaan a famine con­tinued seven yeares together. 2 King 8. 1, 2. The like was in Israel in Eli­shaes time. In the time of the Iudges a famine continued ten yeares, as by probable arguments may be conjectured. For, Ruth 1. 2. Elimelech with Naomi his wife went into Moab to sojourn there by reason of a famine in Israel. —6. When Naomi heard that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread, she arose to go into her owne country. But from the first com­ming of her husband into Moab, to this her returning, she had dwelt —4. about ten yeares in Moab.

1. God suffers famine to lie the longer on men, that the smart of his stroake might be the more sensibly felt: and Why famine is long cōtinued. his judgement not lightly regarded. For they who at first thinke nothing of famine, supposing that they have store [Page 153] enough laid up till the famine be gone, by the long continu­ance of it are brought to exhaust all their store: and when they know not whither to turne their eyes, to lift them to God in heaven.

2. Mens continuance in sinne many times provoketh the Lord to continue his judgements on them. 1 King 18. 18 While the Israelites continued in Eliahs time to worship Baal, the fa­mine continued. But —39, 4 [...] so soone as they acknowledged the Lord to be God, raine fell downe from heaven abundantly, whereby the famine was removed.

3. It is long, in famine, as in other judgements, before men use to seeke after the true cause thereof. But they are ready to lay it on this wrong cause, or that wrong cause. As 1 King 18. 17 Ahab laid the cause of the famine in his dayes on Eliah: and 2 King. 6. 31 Iehoram his sonne on Elisha. And Ier. 44 18. the Iewes in Iere­miahs time, on the reformation of their idolatry: and Tertus. in Apolog ad­vers. Gent c. 40 Cypr. Tract. 1. contr Demetr. Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. 9. cap. 7. the Heathen in the time of the Primitive Churches, on Christi­ans. Men are more prone to pick out false causes, then to search out the true cause. It appeares to be long ere David tooke a right course to find out the true cause. Three yeares had first passed over, But when men have long wearied themselves in searching after false causes, and observe by con­tinuance of famine that they misse of the right cause: they are forced to take another course, and to fly to God for help. On this ground faith the Lord, I will go and returne to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seeke my face: in their affliction they will seeke me early.

§. 17. Of duties by reason of long famine.

MVch wisdome may be learned from this kind of Gods dealing with men, in long continuing famine; as the directions following demonstrate.

1. When there is any cause to feare a famine, See §. 5. 6. do what lieth in thee to prevent it, and that so much the rather, be­cause it may long continue if once it begin. Evils that long continue are the more to be feared, and (if it be possible) pre­vented.

[Page 154] 2. When a famine is begun, See A Plaister for the Plague. on Numb. 16. 46. §. 50, 51. in the beginning thereof humble thy selfe before God: seeke to pacifie his wrath be­times. Thus maist thou at least prevent the extremity of fa­mine: and move God the sooner to remove it.

3. Provide before hand, for a long time. Gen. 41. 48. Ioseph sanctus quemadmodum sames in poste­rum vinceretur provida ordinati­one disposuit. Amb. Offic. l 3. c. 6. We have herein a worthy patterne in Ioseph. Many cities besieged by enemies have been forced to surrender themselves to the enemy for want of laying up sufficient store for a long siege: which if they had done, the enemie might have been forced to rase his siege, before the city were taken.

4. In famine possesse thy soule with patience, (Luke 21. 19.) Such judgements as use long to continue, require Quamdiu est tempus famis, to lerandum est du­randum est, perseverandum est us (que) in finem. Aug. Enar. in Psal. 32. the more patience. He that by reason of the extremity of a famine said, This evill is of the Lord: what should I wait for the Lord any longer? (2 King. 6. 33.) wanted patience. Had he waited a little longer, he should have had good experience to say, Lam 3. 26. It is good that a man should both hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

§. 18. Of searching out causes of judgements.

IIII. Sec § 2. CAuses of judgements are to be sought out. Ios. 7. 13, &c. The advice which God himselfe gave to Ioshua, when the Israelites fled before the men of Ai, tends hereun­to. So doth this exhortation of the Prophet, Lam. 3. 40. Let us search and try our wayes. It was a usuall course with the people of God so to do. Gen. 25. 22. When Rebekah felt children strugling toge­ther in her, she said, Why am I thus? Iudg. 20. 23, 27. When the Israelites were twice overthrowne by the Benjamites, they both times asked counsell; namely, about that matter. Though Saul were a notorious hypocrite, yet herein he imitated the custome of Gods people, 1 Sam. 14. 38, &c. in searching out the cause of Gods displeasure. The frequent expostulations of Gods people in time of judgements, adde further proofe hereto: such as these, Exo. 5. 22. Wherefore hast thou so evill entreated this people? —32. 11. Why doth thy wrath waxe hot against thy people? Iudg. 21. 3. Why is this come to passe in Israel? ser. 2. 14. Why is Israel spoiled? The [Page 155] Psalmes and Prophets are full of such.

The finding out of the true cause of a judgement, is a rea­dy Auferamus ma­lorum sontem, & omnia morborum sistent fluenta. Chrys­ad Pop. Hom. 46. Sublata causa tollitur effectus. way to remove a judgement: we find this true in bodi­ly diseases. Such physitians as are most skilfull in searching and finding out the cause of a disease, are most successefull in curing the disease. For it is a principle verified by all scien­ces, Take away the cause, the effect followes. They that well find out the cause of a judgement, wilbe carefull (if they feele the smart of a judgement) to pull away that cause. Which if it be rightly done, the end why God inflicted the judgement is accomplished. God having his end, he will soone cease to strike.

That which was §. 16. before noted of the reason of the long continuance of judgements on children of men, is here fur­ther confirmed: namely, mens negligence in searching after the true causes of them: The power, jealousie, and justice of that God (whose mercy moveth him upon removall of the cause to remove the judgement) will not suffer him to take away a judgement till the cause thereof be taken away. And how shall it be taken away if it be not knowne? How shall it be knowne if it be not searched after? Wherefore let all diligence be hereunto given, whensoever we see any eviden­ces of Gods wrath: or have any just cause to suspect that it is incensed against us.

§. 19. Of Governours care in publique judgements.

V. See §. 2. CHiefe Governours ought to be most solicitous in pub­lique judgements. So have been such as have been guided by the Spirit of God: as Numb. 16. 46 Moses, Ios. 7. 6. Ioshuah, Iudg. 4. 6. De­borah, 1 Sam. 7. 5. Samuel, 2 Chro. 14. 11 Asa, —20. 3. Iehosaphat, —32. 2, &c. Hezekiah, and others.

1. To the charge of chiefe Governours belong all that are under their government. So as the care not only of their owne soules, but also of all their subjects soules lieth on them. They are as shepheards to their flocke. Therefore [Page 156] [...]. 1 Pet 5. 4. [...] I say 44. 28. A [...]. Homer I liad. [...]. [...]. Xenophontis dictum, Christ the King of Kings and most supreme Governour over all is stiled the chief Shepheard: and other Governors are called Shepheards, both by the Holy Ghost, and also by other authors. For the charge and care of a good shepheard and a good King are much alike. If any thorow their neglect of any warrantable meanes perish, their bloud shalbe required at their hands.

2. Chiefe Goverours have not onely liberty themselves to use such meanes as are prescribed for removing publique judgements; but also power to enjoyne and command all under their authority to do what in such cases the Lord re­quireth. 2 Chro 34. 32 Iosiah caused all that were found in Ierusalem, and Benjamin to stand to the covenant which he had made with God.

3. They being publique persons, their example is a great inducement to others to imitate them. So as their care pro­voketh many to be carefull in using all good meanes to re­move the judgement.

4. They beare Gods image, and stand in Gods roome: in which respect their solicitous care is both more acceptable unto God, and more availeable for effecting that which they aime at. For on the contrary side, their sinnes are more hai­nous Regum ac Prin­cipum, & praepo­sitorum scelere, populi plerum (que) delentur. Hier. Comment. in Ier, 15. lib. 3. and more pernicious then the sinnes of private persons. Insomuch as a whole people is oft destroyed by the wicked­nesse of Governours.

Oh that such as are in high and eminent places, that are set over others, and are as Gods on earth, were of the same mind that David was! That they were thorowly affected with the publique judgements that are from time to time inflicted on their land! That they were carefull and consci­onable in using the meanes which in Gods Word are sancti­fied for removing judgements! Then assuredly would pub­lique judgements be neither so sierce, nor so long.

Let our prayer be to God daily for our governours, that the Lord would make them especially sensible of publique judgements, and conscionable in doing their parts for remo­ving them. So shall God have the honour, they the comfort, [Page 157] we the profit and benefit. Otherwise, if Governours sinne, Quicquid deli­rant Reges plectuntur Ach­vi. Hor. Epist. l. 1. Epist. 2. ad Lol. their people are like to feele the smart of it, as in Davids time, 2 Sam. 24. 1, &c.

§. 20. Of seeking to God for removing judgements.

VI. See § 2. GOD is to be sought unto for removing judge­ments. Observe all the instances § 18. before given of seeking out the causes of judgement, and you shall find them all to prove the point propounded of seeking to God. Vnto all which 1 King. 8 35, &c. the worthy patterne of Salomons prayer made at the dedication of the temple may well be added. Psal. 10 15. Amos 5. 4. God himselfe directs us to seeke succour of him. Isa. 8. 19.—55. 6. Zeph. 2. 3. His Prophets do much presse as much. Jer. 50 4. Zac. 8 21. This is made a proper­ty of such as are effectually called of God, and Hos. 5. 15. on whom judgements do kindly worke. 2 King. 1. 3. Isa. 9. 13.—30. 1. The contrary, that men should seeke of others, rather then of God, is justly and sharply upbraided to them.

Isa 45. 7. Amos 3. 6. It is God that inflicteth judgements on children of men: Who then but he should be sought unto for removing them but the Lord? No creature can take away that which the Creatour sends, but the Creatour himselfe. As this is most true of all manner of judgements: so in particular of that which we have in hand, which is famine: where­upon I will a little more insist in the Sessions following.

§. 21. Of Gods causing famine.

THat God sendeth famine upon a land, is most evident by these and other like proofes.

1. Gods owne testimony. For expresly he saith of him­selfe, Amos 4 6, 7. I have given you cleannesse of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places, &c.

2. Deut. 28. 23, 38. Gods threatnings of this judgement. The things which God threatneth come from God.

[Page 154] 3. Gen. 41. 16, &c. 1 King. 17. 1. 2 King 8. 1. Act 11. 28. Predictions of famine, by such as were indued with the spirit of God. For God reveales to such what he in­tends to do. And upon such revelations men of God have foretold famines.

4. Deu. 11. 14, 15 Psal. 145. 16. The plenty which commeth from God. For if God be the giver of plenty: surely the want of plenty, yea and famine too, must needs be from him. For what is famine, but a want of such things which the Lord giveth to sustaine us? And whence commeth that want, but from Gods with-holding and not giving such things?

5. The causes of famine; See § 6. Deut. 11. 16, 17 1 King. 8. 36. Psal. 107. 34. which are sins against God. Sinnes against God provoke Gods wrath. Gods wrath in­censed inflicteth judgements. See § 3. Among other judgements which are effects of Gods wrath, famine is one of the prin­cipall. Famine therefore must needs come from God.

6. The meanes and secondary causes of famine, which are all ordered by God. For secondary causes do all depend on the high primary cause, which is Gods will. Psal. 119. 91. All are his servants. That this may more evidently appeare, I will in­stance it in such particular meanes as are registred in Scrip­ture, and there noted to be ordered by God.

§. 22. Of the meanes of famine ordered by God.

MEanes of famine are such as these.

1. The heavens with-holding raine. For the earth is drie of its owne nature: being drie it can yeeld no fruit. The ordinary meanes of watering and moistening it, is raine from heaven. Where that is with-held, the earth waxeth drie and barren: and living creatures want that sustenance which should maintaine their life. But it is God that cau­seth the heavens to with-hold raine. Lev. 26. 19. I (saith the Lord) I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brasse. Iron can not dissolve into water, nor brasse yeeld out fruit. The mea­ning then is, that heaven over them should yeeld no raine, nor the earth under them, fruit. More plainely saith the Lord in other places, Isay 5. 6. I will command the clouds that they [Page 155] raine no raine upon it. Amos 4. 7. I have with-holden the raine from you. I caused it to raine upon one city, and caused it not to raine upon another city. As an evidence hereof, Iam. 5. 17. 1 King. 17. 1. Elias prayed earnestly that it might not raine: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three yeares and six moneths.

2. The heavens showring downe raine in such unusuall abun­dance, as thereby the fruits which the earth hath brought forth are destroyed: especially in harvest time. We have few instances hereof in Scripture: For Iudea was under an hot climate: so as oft they wanted raine, but seldome had too much. Our Northerne, cold Regions of the world are most punished with over-much raine: which oft causeth dearth and famine. Yet that this unseasonable and over­flowing abundance of water is ordered by God, is evident by that great instance of the Gen. 7. 11, 12. generall deluge: and by that extraordinary instance of 1 Sam, 12, 17. thunder and raine, that at Samu­els prayer fell in a day of wheat-haruest. This phrase, Pro. 28. 3. A sweeping raine which leaveth no food, sheweth that of old there was such immoderate raine as caused famine. And this speech of the Lord himselfe, Ezek. 38. 22. I will raine an over-flowing raine, and great haile-stones, sheweth, that God ordereth im­moderate raine.

3. Barrennesse of the earth. For Psal. 104. 14. God bringeth forth food out of the earth. And for their sustenance, Psal. 115. 16. The earth hath he given to the children of men. If therefore the earth where men abide be barren, there must needs be dearth and famine. But it is the Lord that maketh a land barren. Psal. 107. 34. He turneth a fruitfull land into barrennesse. In this respect it is said, 1 Cor. 3. 7. Nei­ther he that planteth is any thing, nor he that watereth: but God that giveth the increase.

4. Very sharpe winters, extraordinary frosts, snow, haile, blasting, mildew, rotting of seed under the clods, and such like meanes as destroy corne and other fruits, before they come to maturity for mans use. These are expresly noted to 1 King 8 37 Iocl 1. 17. cause famine, and to be Amos 4. 9. ordered by God.

5. Psal. 105. 34. Nah. 3. 15. Locusts, grashoppers, cater-pillars, canker-wormes, pal­mer-wormes, and other like hurtfull creatures which oft by [Page 160] their innumerable multitudes eate up all the grasse, corne, herbes, and fruits of the earth whereby men and beasts are nourished: and so Ioel 1. 4. cause famine. These God calleth his —2. 25. great army. They are therefore at his command, disposed by him.

6. Enemies. These oft bring great famines: and that by Iudg. 6. 4. destroying the increase of the earth, and all manner of cattell, and leaving no sustenance: For they kill, and burne, and spoile all that they can, when they enter into others lands. Yea and by blocking up people within narrow compasses: girting and besieging their townes and cities, so as they can not go abroad to use any meanes for supply of their wants. The forest famines that ever were, have beene caused this way. 2 King. 6. 25. Enemies long besieging a place, force the inclosed to eate the flesh of asses, the dung of doves, and any thing that they can chew or swallow. Yea, it forceth them Deut 28. 53. 2 King. 6. 29. to eate their owne children. Now enemies which so afflict others, are Gods Isa. 10. 5. 15. rod, staffe, axe, saw, Ier. 50. 23. hammer, Isa 34 5, 6. Ier. 12. 12. sword, Ier. 43. 10. Pestis [...] im­plicata saepissi [...] grassatur. Ni­ceph. Eccles. Hist l. 7. c. 28, ser­vants.

7. The plague. Many are thereby taken away: others moved to depart from their callings, and meanes of maintai­ning themselves, and providing for others. Whence fol­lowes penury and famine. We 1 King. 8. 27. Ezek. 7. 15. Ier. 24 10. oft in Scripture reade of plague and famine joyned together. For the one is a cause of the other. Famine breedeth pestilence: and pestilence cau­seth famine. [...] fames [...] pestis utranque a [...] deficeit. Vide supr §. 4. distinct. 10. The ancient Graecians do set them out by words very like, which come from the same root.

8. Perishing of graine, fruit, and other kinds of food in store: or in the places where it is laid up. For it oft falleth out that Monopolists, and ingrossers of corne, and other commodities, do heape up, for their owne private gaine, all the provision they can get: which being so heaped toge­ther, by heate, or moisture, or some such other meanes, mu­stieth, putrifieth, and is made unfit for use: or by mice, rats, and other vermine is consumed: or by fire devou­ted: or some other way destroyed: whence followeth famine. That such courses of engrossing commodities have [Page 161] of old bene used, is evident by this proverb, Prov. 11. 26. He that with­draweth corne the people shall curse him. That God hath an hand in the spoile of such treasures is evident by Nah. 2. 9. Gods threatning to spoile, where there is no end of store.

9. Deficiency of vertue in such meanes as men have. This is comprised under this phrase of Lev. 26. 26. Psal. 105. 16. breaking the staffe of bread: and Isa. 3. 1. Taking away the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. That Metaphor is taken from an old man, who be­ing not able to stand upright of himselfe, hath a staffe to leane upon, and thereby is supported: or from a rent which is held up by the staffe in the midst of it: if ye breake, or take away that staffe or stay, downe will the old man, or the tent fall. This staffe of bread, and stay of water, is that ver­tue which by the Divine providence is in them of nourish­ing such as eate the one, and drink the other. It is there­fore by some translated, the strength of bread, and the strength of water. By others the vigour and power of Fortitudo panis, & fortitudo aquae, I [...]em robur panis & robur aquae. Hier in Esay 3. Vis & vigor panis & aquae. Calvin in Isay 3. 1. Fulcimentum. Vatab. bread and water. Take away this vertue from bread and water, they are as if they were not: of no use, of no benefit. Now it is God onely that gives, or takes away this staffe: and in that respect causeth famine.

As in these, so in all other meanes of famine the Lord hath an over-ruling providence: so as these secondary cau­ses give witnesse to this, that God sendeth famine: and that therefore God is to be sought unto for removing, and taking away famine.

§. 23. Of enquiring of God in and by his Word.

Quest. HOw may we now seeke of God? a The meanes of old used, are now no more of use.

Answ. In generall, God requireth no other meanes of seeking him, then what he himselfe hath ordained. In par­ticular, we have as sure and certaine a meanes for enquiring of God, as ever the Church had: which is his written Word. This meaneth he who saith, We have a more sure [Page 162] word, (2 Pet. 1. 19.) And he who long before that said, To Habent ubi quae rerent Christum. Habent, inquit, Moysen & Eli­am, id est, Legem & Prophetas Christum praedi­cantes: secundum quod & alibi apertè, Scrutami­ni Scripturas, in quibus salu­tem speratis. Illae enim de me loquuntur. Hic erit. Quaeri. e & invenietis. Tertul. de Praescript. Haeret. the law and to the testimony, If any speake not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them, Isay 8. 20. This was it which he, who in this text is said to enquire of the Lord, made his counseller, his lamp and light, Psal. 119. 24, 105.

This oracle of God first declareth the causes of famine: wherof before. § 6. If hereunto we impartially bring the te­stimony of our owne conscience, we may soone find what causes hereof are in our selves: and how farre we in our persons have provoked the Lord to judge us. If further we bring a wise observation of the times wherein, and of the persons among whom we live, we may also find what are the common and publique causes of the judgements which God inflicteth.

2. This oracle sheweth what means may be used for well ordering or removing that judgement whereof the causes are found out. The means noted before, §. 8. are all prescribed in Gods Word.

3. It also revealeth such Divine promises of blessing a right use of such means as are therein prescribed, as we may with much confidence rest on a good issue.

Let this therfore be the generall use and close of all, that in famine and other like judgements we do as David is here noted to do, enquire of the Lord: enquire of him in and by his word: and withall, as David here also did, follow the directions prescribed by the Lord in his Word; then shall we be sure to have such an issue as David had, expressed in these words, God was intreated for the land. 2 Sam 21. 14.

§. 24. Of the extremity of famine in the last fiege of Ierusalem.

BEcause reference is often made to the history of Flavi­us Iosephus of the warres of the Iewes concerning the extremity of famine in the last siege at Ierusalem, by the Romanes in the dayes of Vespasian the Emperour, I think it meet in the end of this Treatise distinctly to relate the said history so farre as it concerneth the famine.

The famine of the City, and the desperation of the Ioseph de Bello Iud. lib. 6 cap. 11. Houses broken up and search­ed for corne. theeves both increased alike, every day more and more; so that now there was no more corne found. Wherefore the seditious persons brake into the houses, and searched every corner for to find corne; and if after their search they found any, then they did beat the owners for denying it at the first; and if they found none, they tortured the houshol­ders, as having more cunningly hidden it: And whosoever was yet strong of body and well liking, him they presently killed; for hereby they deemed him to have store of food, or els he should not have been in so good plight of body as he was. And they that were pined with famine, were by these barbarous seditious people slaine, who esteemed it no offence to kill them, who would shortly after die, though they were left alive. Many, both rich, and poore, secretly exchanged all that they had for one bushell of corne, and All exchanged for bread. presently shutting themselves in the secretest roome of their houses, some of them did eate the corne as it was unground: others made bread thereof, as necessity and feare required. No man in the whole city sate downe to eate his meate on a table, but greedily taking it, not boiled from the fire, they (even raw as it was) did eare it. Most miserable was this manner of living, and a spectacle which none without teares was able to behold; for the strongest still got the most, and the weakest bewaild their misery: for now famine was the greatest calamity they endured. And nothing doth arme men more then shame: for during this famine no reverence Food snatched out of one anothers mouths. was had towards any man: for wives tooke the meat even out of their husbands mouthes, and children from their pa­rents, [Page 164] and mothers even from their infants, which was the most lamentable thing of all. No body had now any com­passion, neither did they spare their dearest infants, but suffered them to perish even in their armes, taking from them the very drops of life. Yet could they not eate thus in such secrecy, but presently some came to take away from them that whereon they fed. For if in any place they saw any doore shut, presently hereupon they conjectured that they in the house were eating meat, and forthwith breaking downe the doores, they came in; and taking them by the throat, they tooke the meat out of their mouthes already chewed, and ready to be swallowed downe. The old men were driven away, and not permitted to keepe and defend Cruelty used to get food. their food from being taken from them: the women were drawne up and downe by the haire of the head, for that they hid betweene their hands some part of their meat, and would not forgoe it. No pitie was now remaining, neither to old age, nor infancy, but they tooke young babes eating, their mouth full of meat, and not permitting it to be taken out of their mouthes, and threw them against the ground. Now if any one had prevented these theeves, and eaten their meat before they could come at them, then they were more cruell; and the other so much more tyrannously handled, as having committed some greater offence against them. They also devised most barbarous and cruell torments to extort food from others: for they thrust sticks or such like into the cavity of mens yards, and sharpe thorny rods into their fundaments: and it is abominable to heare what the people endured to make them confesse one loafe of bread, or one handfull of corne which they had hidden.

The restraint of liberty to passe in and out of the City Ibid. cap. 14. tooke from the Iewes all hope of safety, and the famine now increasing, consumed whole housholds and families, and the houses were full of dead women and infants: and the Multitudes die of famine. streets filled with the dead bodies of old men: And the young men swollen like dead mens shadowes, walked in the market place, and fell downe dead where it happened. [Page 165] And now the multitude of dead bodies was so great, that they which were alive could not bury them, neither cared they for burying them, being now uncertaine what should betide themselves. And many endeavouring to bury others, fell downe themselves dead upon them as they were burying them. And many being yet alive, went un­to their graves, and there died. Yet for all this calamity was there no weeping nor lamentation, for famine over­came all affections. And they who were yet living, without teares beheld those, who being dead, were now at rest be­fore them. There was no noise heard within the Citie, and the still night found all full of dead bodies: and which was most miserable of all, the theeves at night came and tooke away that which covered the dead bodies nakednesse, and went laughing away, and in their bodies they proved their swords, and upon pleasure onely thrust many through yet breathing. Yet if any have desired them to kill him, or to lend him a sword to kill himselfe, that so he might escape Death desired by the famish­ed. the famine, they denied him.

What need I recount every particular miserie? Man­naeus the sonne of Lazarus flying to Titus out of the gate, Ibid. cap. 6. that was committed unto his custody, and yeelding himself unto him, recounted unto Titus, that from the time that the Romans army was placed neare the City, from the foure­teenth day of Aprill, unto the first of Iuly, were carried out Multitude die of famine. of that gate he kept, a hundred, fifteene thousand, and fourescore dead bodies; yet was not he the keeper of the gate, but being appointed to pay for the burying of the dead at the charges of the City, was forced to number the dead bodies. For others were buried by their parents, and this was their buriall, to cast them out of the City, and there let them lie. And certaine noble men flying unto Titus after him, reported that there were dead in all the City six hun­dred thousand poore folks which were cast out of the gates, and the others that died were innumerable: and that when so many died that they were not able to burie them, that then they gathered their bodies together in the greatest [Page 166] houses adjoyning, and there shut them up. And that a bushell of corne was sold for a talent, which is six hundred crownes: and that after the City was compassed with a wall that now they could not go out to gather any more herbs, many were driven to that necessity, that they raked sinkes and privies to finde old dung of oxen to eate; Dung eaten. and so the dung that was loathsome to behold, was their meate.

An infinite multitude perished within the City thorow Ibid lib. 7. cap. 7, 8. Food violently snatched away famine, so that they could not be numbered: for in every place where any shew or signe of food was, presently arose a battell, and the dearest friends of all now fought one with another, to take the food from other poore soules, neither did they believe them that were now a dying for famine, but the theeves searched them, whom they saw yeelding up the ghost, thinking that they dying for famine, had hid about them some food, but they were deceived of their hope, being like mad dogs, greedy of meate, and fell against the doores like drunken men, searching the self-same houses twice or thrice together in desperation, and for very penury they eate whatsoever they light upon, gathering such things Things loath­ed eaten. to eat, as the most filthy living creatures in the world would have loathed. In briefe, they did eate their girdles and shoes, and the skins that covered their shields, so that a lit­tle of old hay was sold for foure Attiques. But what need is it to shew the sharpnesse of this famine by things that want life? I will recount an act never heard of, neither amongst the Greekes, nor any other barbarous people, hor­rible to be rehearsed, and incredible, so that I would willing­ly omit this calamity, least posterity should thinke I lie, had I not many witnesses hereof, and perhaps should incurre re­prehension, not fully recounting all accidents of them that are dead.

A certaine woman named Mary, dwelling beyond Ior­dane, A mother kils and eates her owne child. the daughter of Eleazar of the towne of Vitezokia, which signifieth the house of Hysope, descended of noble and rich parentage, flying with the rest unto Ierusalem, was [Page 167] there with them besieged. Her other goods the tyrants had taken from her, which she had brought from beyond the ri­ver into the City, and whatsoever being hid, escaped their hands, the theeves daily came into her house, and tooke it away, whereat the woman greatly moved, cursed them, and with hard speeches animated them the more against her, yet no man either for anger or compassion would kill her, but suffered her to live to get them meate, but now could she get no more, and famine invaded her with rage and anger more then danger. Wherefore by rage and necessity she was compelled to do that which nature abhorred, and ta­king her sonne unto whom she then gave sucke, O misera­ble child (quoth she) in warre, famine, and sedition, for which of these shall I keepe thee? If thou continue amongst the Romans, thou shalt be made a slave, yet famine will prevent bondage; or else sedition worse then them both. Be therefore meate for me, a terrour unto the seditious, a tragicall story to be spoken of by posterity, and that which is onely yet heard of amongst the calamities of the Iewes. Having thus spoken, she slue her sonne, and did seeth the one halfe of him, and did eate it, the rest she reserved cove­red. Presently came the seditious, smelling the sent of that execrable meat, threatning presently to kill her, except she forthwith brought some of that unto them which she had prepared. Then she answered that she had reserved a good portion thereof for them, and presently uncovered that part of her sonne which she had left uneaten; at which sight they trembled, and a horrour fell upon them. But the wo­man said, this is truly my sonne, and my doing, eat you of it, for I my selfe have eaten thereof. Be not more effemi­nate then a woman, nor more mercifull then a mother. If Religion make you refuse this my sacrifice, I have already eaten of it, and will eate the rest. Then the seditious depar­ted, hereat onely trembling, and scarcely permitting this meate to the mother. Presently the report of this hainous crime was bruited all about the City, and every man having before his eyes this excerable fact, trembled as though him­selfe [Page 168] had done it. And now all that were vexed with this fa­mine, Chrys. advers. vitup. vitae mo­nast. l. 1. Euseb. Hist. Eccles. l. 3. c. 6. Niceph. Hist. Eccles. l 3 c 7. hastned their owne deaths, and he was accounted hap­py that died before he felt this famine.

This history of a mothers eating her own child, is related also by Chrysostome, Eusebius, Nicephorus, and other ancients.

§. 25. Of extremity of famine, where were no inva­sions of enemies, nor sieges, but immedi­ately from Gods hand.

TO the fore-mentioned extremity of famine caused in Ierusalem, by reason of enemies blocking them up, it will not be unseasonable to adde a relation, out of our Eccle­siasticall histories of extreme famine where were no ene­mies: that we who perhaps do (by reason of our long con­tinued peace) thinke our selves secure enough from feare of enemies, may notwithstanding feare Gods more immediate revenging hand, even by famine now beginning, after that the plague is mitigated. The history is this.

The inhabitants of the cities of Maximinus, sore pined away with famine and pestilence, so that one measure of Euseb Eccles. Hist l 9. c. 8. Niceph. Eccles. Hist. l. 7. c 28. Famine and Plague toge­ther. wheat was sold for two thousand and fifty Attiques. An in­finite number died throughout the Cities, but more throughout the countries and villages, so that now the sun­dry and ancient demaines of husbandmen were in a manner quite done away, for that all suddenly through want of food and grievous malady of the Pestilence were perished. Many therefore sought to sell unto the wealthier sort, for most Dearest things sold for slender food. slender food, the dearest things they enjoyed. Others sel­ling their possessions by peeces, fell at length into the mise­rable perill of extreme poverty: others gnawing the small shreded tops of greene grasse, and withall confusedly feeding on certaine venomous herbes, used them for food, whereby Vnwholsome things eaten. Noble women forced to beg. the healthy constitution of the body was perished and tur­ned to poison. Diverse noble women throughout the cities, [Page 169] driven to extreme need and necessity, went a begging into the country, shewing forth by their reverend countenance and more gorgeous apparell, an example of that ancient and free manner of feeding: Certaine others whose strength was dried up, tottering to and fro, nodding and sliding much like carved pictures without life, being not able to stand, sell downe flat in the midst of the streets, groveling upon the ground, with their faces upward, and stretched out armes, making humble supplication that some one would reach them a little peece of bread: and thus lying in extremity, ready to yeeld up the ghost, cried out that they were hungry, Cries of the starved. being onely able to utter these words. Others which seemed to be of the wealthier sort, amazed at the multitude of beg­gers, after they had distributed infinitely, they put on an un­mercifull Famine makes unmercifull. and sturdy mind, fearing least they should shortly suffer the like need with them that craved Wherefore in Dead lie in streets. the midst of the market place, and throughout narrow lanes, the dead and bare carcasses lay many dayes unburied, and cast along, which yeelded a miserable spectacle to the beholders. Yea many became food unto dogs, for which cause chiefly Men food for dogs. such as lived, turned themselves to kill dogs, fearing least they should become mad, and turne themselves to teare in peeces and devoure men. And no lesse truly did the plague Plague kils such as are kept from famine. spoile every house and age but specially devouring them whom famine through want of food could not destroy. Therefore the rich, the Princes, the Presidents, and many of the Magistrates, as fit people for a pestilent disease (be­cause they were not pinched with penury) suffered a sharpe and most swift death. All sounded of lamentation, through­out every narrow lane, the market places and streets. There was nothing to be seene but weeping, together with their wonted pipes, and the rest of Minstress noise. Death after this (waging battell with double armour, to wit, with fa­mine and pestilence) destroyed in short space whole families.

§. 26. Of famines in England.

TO other instances of great famines let me adde such as have hapned in England: that therby we may the better discern what we in this our owne country are subject unto.

In King William the Conquerours daies there was such a Stow in his generall Chrō of Engl. In the 5. yeare of W. Conq. 1069. dearth thorow all England, especially thorow Northumber­land, and the countries next adjoyning, that men were faine to eate horse-flesh, cats, dogs, and mans flesh. For all the land that lay betwixt Durham and Yorke lay waste without Inhabitants, and people to till the ground for the space of nine yeares, except onely the territory of Beverlake.

In King Henry the thirds raigne was a great dearth and pestilence: so that many poore folks died for want of victu­als: Ibid. H. 3. 18. 1234. Vermine in corne hoorded up in time of dearth. and the rich men were striken with covetousnesse, that they would not relieve them. Amongst these is to be noted Walter Grey, Arch-Bishop of Yorke, whose corne being five yeares old, doubting the same to be destroyed by vermine, he commanded to deliver it to the husbandmen that dwelt in his mannours, upon condition to pay as much new corne after harvest; and would give none to the poore for Gods sake. But when men came to a great stack of corne nigh to the towne of Ripon belonging to the said Arch-bishop, there appeared in the sheaves all over the heads of wormes, ser­pents, and toads. And the Bailiffes were forced to build an high wall round about the corne, and then to set it on fire, least the venomous wormes should have gone out and poy­soned the corne in other places.

In King Edward the second his daies a great dearth increa­sed Ibid. Edw. 2. 9. 1315. Dearth tho­row abun­dance of raine in har­vest. Horses, dogs, children, men eaten. through the abundance of raine that fell in harvest, so that a quarter of wheat was sold before Mid-sommer for 30 shillings, and after, for 40 shillings. An high rate in those daies. The beasts and cattell also, by the corrupt grasse whereof they fed, died: whereby it came to passe, that the eating of flesh was suspected of all men. For flesh of beast not corrupted was hard to find. Horse-flesh was counted [Page 171] great delicates. The poore stole fat dogs to eate. Some (as it was said) compelled thorow famine in hid places, did eat the flesh of their owne children: and some stole others which they devoured. Theeves that were in prison did plucke in peeces those that were newly brought amongst them, and greedily devoured them halfe alive.

When Henry 6. raigned, scarcity and dearenesse of corne Ibid. H. 6. 18. 1440. forced men to eate beanes, pease, and barley, more then in an hundred yeares before. Bread-corne was so scarce in England, that poore people made them bread of Fern-roots,

In the time of King Henry the eight there fell such raine in November and December, as thereof ensued great flouds, Ibid. H. 8. 18. 1527. Famine caused by much raine. which destroyed corn-fields, pastures, and beasts. Then was it dry till the 12 of Aprill: and from that time it rained eve­ry day and night till the third of Iune, whereby corne failed sore in the yeare following.

Againe in the time of the said King, such scarcity of bread was in London, and in all England, that many died for Ibid. H. 8. 19. A president for Princes. default thereof, The King of his goodnesse sent to the City of his owne provision 600. quarters, or else for one weeke there had beene little bread. The bread-carts com­ming from Stratford-Bow towards London, were met at Mile-end by the Citizens: so that the Major and Sheriffs were forced to go and rescue the said carts, and to see them brought to the markets appointed.

Many more instances of exceeding great dearth in other Kings times might be added, but these are sufficient.

§. 27. Of uses to be made of the terriblenesse of famine.

BY the forementioned instances of famines in this our and, it is manifested what may befall us: how patient the Lord is toward us: what cause we have to feare God, and to take heed how we provoke him to inflict even this judgement, which may prove very fearefull, as hath beene proved: and finally, how it standeth us in hand, when there is cause to feare a famine, or when a famine is begun, to [Page 172] search out the causes thereof, to confesse before God our sinnes, to turne from them, humbly, heartily, earnestly, ex­traordinarily, with weeping, fasting, and prayers to suppli­cate mercy of the Divine Majesty. We have a late evidence of the efficacy of such meanes used. For in the yeare 1626 it rained all the spring, and all the summer day after day for the most part, untill the second of August, on which day by publique Proclamation a Fast was solomnly kept thorow­out the whole Realme of England, and Principality of Wales, as it had by the same Proclamation beene solemnized in the Cities of London and Westminster and places adjacent, on the fift day of Iuly before. On the said second of August the skie cleared, and raine was restrained, till all the harvest was ended: Which proved a most plentifull Harvest. Thus the famine threatned and much feared was with-held. So as Gods ordinances duly and rightly used are now as ef­fectuall as ever they were.


An Alphabeticall Index of the speciall Points of this Treatise of Famine.

  • ABundance exhausted by famine. 135
  • Accessaries to sinne. 149
  • Acknowledge plenty to come from God. 138
  • BAnishment of mens selves caused by famine. 136
  • Barrennesse of earth causeth famine. 159
  • Bread bought at high rates. 165
  • CAterpillars cause famine. 159
  • Charity to poore. 139. 144
  • Childrē how punished for fathers sins. 148. 149
  • Child by owne mother eaten. 167
  • Clemency defers judgements. 150
  • Cold excessive causeth famine. 159
  • Confession of sin. 143
  • Conversion from sin. 143
  • Corne violently taken away. 166
  • Corne at an high rate. 166
  • Corne hoorded up eaten by vermine. 170
  • Cries of the starved. 169
  • Cruelty to strangers. 140
  • Cruelty occasioned by famine. 164
  • DAies how taken. 131
  • David what it signifieth. 132
  • David punished for Sauls sin. 149
  • Dearth. See Famine.
  • Death desired in famine. 165
  • Death by famine miserable. 137
  • Decay of graine and other food causeth famine. 160
  • Deferring judgement a part of cle­mency. 150
  • Diseases from famine. 137
  • Desperatenes caused by famine. 136
  • [Page 174] Dogs eaten by men. 170
  • Dogs eate men. 169
  • Drunkennesse causeth famine. 140
  • Dung eaten in famine. 136. 166
  • ENemies cause famine. 160
  • Englands fearefull famines. 170
  • Enquire after God how we may. 132
  • Enquirie to be made of God in and by his Word. 161
  • Extremity of famine by sieges. 163
  • Extremity of famine other waies. 168
  • FAith in Gods promises. 144
    • Famine in Davids time, when. 130
    • Famine a judgement. 134
    • Famines effects. 135
    • Famine how prevented. 138
    • Famine by what sinnes caused. 139
    • Famine how moderated. 141
    • Famine how removed. 143
    • Promises for succour in Famine. 145
    • Famine removed: and persons therein succoured. 146
    • Famine in pious polities. 147
    • Famine long continued, and why. 152
    • Famine long continued, what duties it requireth. 153
    • Famines causes to be searched out. 153. 154
    • Famine caused by God. 157
    • Famines meanes what they be. 158. 159. 160
    • Famines meanes ordered by God. Ibid.
    • Famine makes unmercifull. 169
    • Famine causeth cruelty. 164
    • Famines extremities. 163. 168
    • Famine forceth to eate any thing. 168. 170
    • Famines fearefull in England. 170
    • Famine caused by much raine. 171
    • Famine fearefull by siege. 163
    • Famine what uses it teacheth. 171
  • Fasts frequent in famine. 142
  • Fathers sinnes how punished in their children. 148. 149
  • Flesh of mens owne selves eaten by fa­mine. 137
  • Food of any thing made by famine. 136
  • Food bought with dearest things. 168
  • Food snatched out of others mouthes. 164. 166
  • Food made of unwholsome things. 168
  • Frost overmuch causeth famine. 159
  • GLory of God to be aimed at in the use of all things. 138
  • Gluttony causeth famine. 140
  • GOD.
    • God how enquired after. 132
    • God able and ready to helpe in extre­mity. 146
    • [Page 175] God to be sought unto for removing judgements. 157
    • God causeth famine. 157
    • God ordereth meanes of famine. 158
    • God to be enquired in and by his Word. 161
    • Governours though good may have famine in their daies. 147
    • Causes of judgements under good Go­vernours. 147
    • Duties which judgements under good Governours require. 151
    • Governours care in publique judge­ments. 151. 153
    • Governours as shepheards. 156
    • Governours power to command o­thers. 156
    • Governours examples. 156
    • Governours to be prayed for. 152. 156. 157
    • Governours piety must not make peo­ple secure. 151. 152
  • Grashoppers cause famine. 159
  • HArd heartednesse caused by fa­mine. 136
  • Houses broken up for corne. 163
  • Humiliation for sin. 143
  • IMpious subjects cause judgements in the time of pious Princes. 147
  • Inhumanity from famine. 137
  • Injustice caused by famine. 136
  • Ingratitude causeth famine. 140
  • Insensiblenesse of others misery. 140
    • Iudgements continued by sins conti­nuance. 153
    • Iudgements under good Governours. 147
    • Causes thereof. 147
    • Iudgements no rule to judge a pro­fession by. 150
    • Iudgements under pious Governours, what duties they require. 151
    • Iudgements causes to be searched out. 151. 154
    • Iudgements causes found out a means to remove judgements. 155
    • For removing Iudgements God to be sought to. 157
    • Iudgements deferred thorow clemen­cy. 150
  • LEather eaten in famine. 136. 166
  • Locusts cause famine. 159
  • MAgistrates. See Governours.
  • Magistrates care in famine. 142
  • Manassehs sins punished in Iosias time. 149
  • Ministers vaine soothing. 141
  • Mother eates her owne child. 167
  • Multitudes die of famine. 165
  • OBedience to pious Governours. 152
  • PAtience in famine. 154
  • Pious polities and Princes not exemp­ted from judgements. 147
  • Pious Princes oft provoke Godswrath. 148
  • Plagues arise from famine. 137
  • Plagues cause famine. 160
  • Plague kils such as kept from famine. 169
  • Plenty how procured. 138
  • Plenty from God. 138. 139. 158
  • Predecessours sins punished in their successours. 148. 149
  • Prodigality procureth famine. 140
  • Profession mis-judged by outward judgements. 150
  • Promises for succour in famine. 145
  • Examples of accomplishing such Pro­mises. 146
  • Provide against a deare yeare. 139. 141. 154
  • RAine wanting causeth famine. 158
  • Raine overmuch causeth also famine. 159
  • SAuls sin why punished in Davids time. 149
  • Secondary causes ordered by God. 158
  • Sieges cause great famine. 163
  • Sinnes which cause famine. 139
  • Sinne continued cause of continuing judgement. 153
  • Staffe of bread. 161
  • Starveds cries. 169
  • Strangers not to be ill handled. 140
  • Subjects must pray for their Gover­nours. 152. 156. 157
  • Subjects obedience. 152
  • Subiects impiety brings judgement in the time of pious Princes. 147
  • Successours punished for predecessours sins. 148. 149
  • Superstitious attributing plenty to false authours. 139
  • Supplication in famine. 144
  • VErmine consume corne hoorded up. 170
  • WAnt of raine a means of fa­mine. 158 159
  • Winters over sharpe cause famine. 159
  • Word of God the means to enquire of him. 161
  • Word of God rejected causeth fa­mine. 140. 141

[Page] THE CHVRCHES CONQVEST over the SWORD: Set out on EXOD. Chap. XVII. Verse VIII, &c. to the end. Hereunto is added, THE EXTENT OF GODS PROVIDENCE: On MAT. Chap. X. Vers. XXIX, XXX, XXXI, Occasioned by a Downe-fall of Papists. AND, THE DIGNITIE OF CHIVALRY: Raised out of II. CHRON. VIII. IX. By WILLIAM GOVGE.

LONDON, Printed by George Miller for Edward Brewster, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Signe of the Bible, at the great North doore of Pauls. 1631.

TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE, ROBERT, Lord RICH, Baron of LEEZ, and Earle of WARWICK. AND, TO THE RIGHT Honourable, the Countesse of WARWICK, His most wor­thy Consort. All Honour that may make to their true Happinesse.
Right Honourable,

THE Divine Providence (where­by all things are wisely ordered) hath by a most sacred, neare, firme, and inviolable band knit you two together, and made you one. Most meet it is therefore that the like honour be done, and the like respect testified to the one as to the other: [Page] especially where there is just cause of an answerable re­spect: as the Author of this Treatise here dedicated to your Honours, hath for the dedication thereof to you both. For,


THis Treatise trea­teth of Warre. Your Lordship is knowne to be a Man of Warre. It setteth out Io­shua, a Generall of an un­daunted spirit. Your spirit hath been proved to be such an one. It sheweth how Moses, when he tarried at home, was very sollicitous for his countrimen in the field. And is not such your care? Vpon mention made of Moses, there commeth to my mind this great com­mendation (He is faithfull in all my house) given to him by God himself. Faith­ful he was in his own obser­vation of al Gods ordināces which belonged to him. Who of so eminēt a place, more e­minent then your Honour herin? Faithful he was also in deputing to the Lords [Page] service men fit for their function. The abundance of able and faitDhfull Mini­sters in Essex, and other places where the Patro­nage of Church-livings appertaineth to yr Honour, is the seaie of your Faith­fulnes in this respect. The greater is the glory of this kind of piety, because therin you do patrissare, tread in the steps of your worthy Father of blessed memory. What infant could not be copious in setting out the dignity of this piety, whereby God is so much honoured, his Church edi­fied, many distressed con­sciences comforted, and millions of soules saved. There is yet further a more particular bond of rela­tion which bindeth me in person and paines to yeeld all homage unto yr Honour, that is, the small inheri­tance I hold within your Lordships Royalty at Hadly in Essex. Hereto I might adde the benefit of [Page] your Predecessours cha­rity on the Free-Schoole at Felsted in Essex, where I was trained up three yeares together: and the continuall favours which from your youth you have shewed to me, your selfe as well as I being trained up at Eaton, and thence com­ming to Cambridge.


THere are in this Treatise many points concer­ning Devotion: not unfit for a devout Lady: such an elect Lady as S. Iohn de­dicated his Second Epi­stle unto: a Lady whom all that knew the truth lo­ved in the truth, and for the truths sake: a Lady whose children walked in the truth: an evidence that the Lady who loved the truth her selfe, was carefull to communicate that to her beloved chil­dren, which she had found to be sweet and comfortable to her own soule. And this for the Mothers honor doth the Apostle there mention. I that have long knowne your Honour (even from the child-hood of your [Page] now well grown daugh­ters, two worthy La­dies, and beene ac­quainted, as with your religious care in their good education, so with your owne pious course of life, wherin I make no question but that still you continue) could not omit so faire an opportunity of te­stifying that duty which I owe you. Hereby that which is made publique for the view of all, is in speciall dedicated to your Ho­nour, that having a particular interest there­in, you may be more diligent in perusing it. The principall points herein handled, which may best whet on your pious devotion, concerne Prayer, the Manner of perfor­ming that Heavenly duty, the Power and Efficacy thereof, when it is made in faith, and [Page] the benefit of persevering therein, at least so long as just occasion giveth occasion of persisting without fainting. These and other like points are handled in this Treatise, which may be (as I suppose) use­full to your devout mind.

By these and many other enducements hath he beene emboldened to tender this small evidence of much respect to your Honours, who, as he humbly craveth a gracious acceptance, so he faithfully promiseth to continue at the Throne of Grace

Your Honours Sollicitour, WILLIAM GOVGE.

YOur owne Worth, The publike good Service which you have done to this State, The true Zeale which to the Honour of God, and Good of his Church you have on all occasi­ons manifested, do all challenge all the honour that can be done to a man of such desert. The ancient acquaintance which hath beene even from your childhood betwixt you and me, The entire famili­arity that was betwixt us while we were Students in Cambridge, The Continuance thereof by mu­tuall [Page] Latine Letters about Scholasticall disputes, (Bono enim literarum eadem ferè absentes, quae si coram essemus consequimur) when we Cic Epist. Famil. were parted, And finally, the many favours which in this time of acquaintance you have shewed me, doe, in speciall require of mee all gratefull remem­brance. For, [...]. Where­fore having here an opportunity of giving pub­lique testimony of the high esteeme I have of you, and of the reverend respect I beare to you, I doe most willingly take it. [...]. Theoc. in Ait. It was the commendati­on of the golden age, that a friend would testifie all the respect he could to his friend. True it is, that in regard of your noble birth, your eminent dignity, your excellent endowments, there is betwixt us (to use the Arist. Ethic. Lib. 5. Philosophers phrase) [...]. But yet (as another Plat lib. de Leg 6. Philosopher saith, [...]. His Aphorisme may fitly be applyed to friends, who though in sundry respects they be unequall, yet unequall things to them become equall. To this tends that which Saint Hier. Com­ment. in Mic 7 Hierom hath taken from the Oratour, Amici­tia pares aut accipit, aut facit. In confidence of your true friendly minde to mee, I have made bold to testifie mine to you, and that by prefixing your [Page] noble name before this Sermon of The Extent of Gods Providence. In regard of the smalnesse of it, it is indeed but as a little Pamphlet, and (as here published) but an Appendix to a larger Treatise; Yet a Treatise dedicated to your right honourable Kinseman, the Earle of Warwick: and in that respect I suppose it may be the better ta­ken. The manner of setting out that divine mat­ter of Gods Providence, is according to my accustomed manner, very plaine. But I remem­ber a Proverbiall speech in use among the Iewes, noted by Drusius that great Hebrician, to bee Ioh Drus Sent, vet. Sapient. among the Aphorismes of loses the sonne of Iu­das (which, I am perswaded, you also have read) [...] Ne respice cantha rum, sed id quod in co est. The occasion of this Sermon (which was a Downefall of Papists too au­daciously gathered together to heare a Iesuited Priest preach) is remarkable. The like (I suppose) hath not in our dayes beene heard of. Remem­brances of divine Iudgements are usefull to Gods Church as well as Memorials of his Mercies. To this purpose that Adage which the fore-mentioned Drusius attributeth to Simeon the sonne of Ga­maliel, Ioh Drusloc. citat. is not impertinent. It is this [...] [Page] [...] Mundus consistit per ve­ritatem, per judicium, & per pacem. I suppose he under standeth by judgement, as mens just and equall dealing one with another, so likewise Gods just dealing with children of men, both in rewarding the pious and righteous, and also in revenging the impious and unrighteous. Read, Iudge, Favour

Vesterrimum, Veterrimum [...], WILLIAM GOVGE.

A Table of the Principall Points handled in The Churches Conquest, In the Extent of Gods Providence, and in the Dignity of Chivalry.

  • §. 1. OF the Resolution of the History. 177
  • §. 2. Of Amaleks malice against Israel. 182
  • §. 3. Of invetered hatred. 185
  • §. 4. Of undue beginning warre. 188
  • §. 5. Of the title Israel. 191
  • §. 6. Of the Churches assaults in this world. 192
  • §. 7. Of Amaleks inhumanity. 195
  • §. 8. Of base advantages which malicious enemies take. 197
  • §. 9. Of the interpretation and observations of Moses his charge to Ioshua. 200
  • §. 10. Of Princes protecting their people. 203
  • §. 11. Of preparing to great exploits. 205
  • §. 12. Of keeping out enemies. 206
  • §. 13. Of the lawfulnesse of warre. 209
  • §. 14. Of the lawfulnesse of war under the New Testament. 210
  • §. 15. Of other objections against the lawfulnesse of warre an­swered. 212
  • §. 16. Of warring with Christians. 213
  • §. 17. Of the necessity and benefit of warre. 214
  • §. 18. Of just warres. 214
  • §. 19. Of souldiers encouragement in just warre. 217
  • §. 20. Of opposing violence to violence. 218
  • [Page] §. 21. Of using meanes. 219
  • §. 22. Of the gestures of prayer. 221
  • §. 23. Of standing in prayer. 224
  • §. 24. Of the time and place of Moses his prayer. 225
  • §. 25. Of the Rod which Moses used. 226
  • §. 26. Of the Resolution and observations of the latter part of the ninth Verse. 229
  • §. 27. Of joyning prayer with other meanes. 230
  • §. 28. Of their care who tarry at home to pray for them that go to warre. 232
  • §. 29. Of manifesting our inward desire by our outward ge­sture. 233
  • §. 30. Of seeking helpe of God in time. 235
  • §. 31. Of praying in any place. 237
  • §. 32. Of taking good notice of that for which we pray. 238
  • §. 33. Of strengthening faith by Gods former works. 240
  • §. 34. Of the benefit of a perswasion of others prayers. 243
  • §. 35. Of Ioshuahs obedience. 245
  • §. 36. Of yeelding obedience to Governours. 245
  • §. 37. Of going to warre upon command. 247
  • §. 38. Of the meaning, method, and doctrines of the tenth verse. 249
  • §. 39. Of assisting one another in extraordinary prayer. 252
  • §. 40. Of Magistrates and Ministers care to seeke helpe of God in publique need. 253
  • §. 41. Of performing the promises which we make of praying for others. 254
  • §. 42. Of the interpretation and resolution of the 11. verse. 256
  • §. 43. Of the power of faithfull prayer. 258
  • §. 44. Of continuing to pray. 263
  • §. 45. Of fainting in prayer. 265
  • §. 46. Of prejudice of failing in prayer. 266
  • §. 47. Of the uncertainty of warre. 268
  • §. 48. Of the interpretation and resolution of the 12. Verse. 272
  • §. 49. Of considering others weaknesse. 275
  • §. 50. Of supporting others weaknesse. 276
  • [Page] §. 51. Of that dispensation which is yeelded to man in divine matters. 280
  • §. 52. Of bearing one anothers burden. 282
  • §. 53. Of Union of spirits. 283
  • §. 54. Of that stability which the weake may receive by others supportance. 284
  • §. 55. Of the meaning and doctrines of the 13. Verse. 286
  • §. 56. Of attributing successe in warre to Generals. 287
  • §. 57. Of the successe of war well waged. 28 [...]
  • §. 58. Of the overthrow of such as begin warre. 291
  • §. 59. Of the punishment of accessaries. 292
  • §. 60. Of the lawfulnesse of shedding bloud in warre. 292
  • §. 61. Of the meaning, method, and matter of the 14. Verse. 297
  • §. 62. Of Gods causing Records. 301
  • §. 63. Of mans ministry in writing divine records. 302
  • §. 64. Of registring matters of moment. 303
  • §. 65. Of sake keeping publique records. 303
  • §. 66. Of memorials of judgements. 304
  • §. 67. Of rehearsing matters of moment. 305
  • §. 68 Of Governours observation of Gods former dealing. 308
  • §. 69. Of Gods avenging. 309
  • §. 70. Of Gods vengeance extending to mans utter ruine. 310
  • §. 71. Of Gods revenge in every place. 312
  • §. 72. Of the interpretation of the 15. Verse. 313
  • §. Of Iehovah. 315
  • §. 73. Of the Resolution and Instructions of the 15. Verse. 322
  • §. 74. Of the care which Governours must have of publique piety. 323
  • §. 75. Of giving publique praise for publique deliverances. 325
  • §. 76. Of memorials of Gods mercies. 326
  • §. 77. Of ascribing the glory of deliverances to God. 327.
  • [Page] §. 78. Of the mind and method of the 16. Verse. 329
  • §. 79. Of remembring Gods inalterable resolution. 332
  • §. 80. Of Gods swearing vengeance. 333
  • §. 81. Of Gods undertaking his Churches quarrels. 337
  • §. 82. Of mans implacablenesse making God implacable. 338
  • §. 83. Of warres desolations. 339
  • §. 84. Of the continuance of Gods vengeance. 340
  • §. 85. Of the evils of warre. 342
  • §. 86. Of the better part put to the worst in warre. 346
  • §. 87. Of the good of war notwithstanding the evils therof. 347
  • §. 88. Of warre the sorest of Gods judgements. 348
  • §. 89. Of delighting in warre. 350
  • §. 90. Of Christians backwardnesse to warre. 350
  • §. 91. Of circumspection in waging warre. 351
  • §. 92. Of warre kept out of a land. 352
  • §. 93. Of Englands deliverances since Q. Elizabeth began her Raigne. 353
  • §. 94. Of Gods Providence to England in King Iames his time. 359
  • §. 95. Of Englands troubles from the Conquest to Q. Eliza­beth. 361
  • §. 96. Of peace. The benefits and excellencies thereof. 367

A Table of the principall Points handled in The Extent of Gods Providence.

  • §. 1. OF the meaning of the Text. 373
  • §. 2. Of the Summe and Resolution of the Text. 376
  • §. 3. Of the extent of Gods Providence. 377
  • §. 4. Of the grounds of the extent of the divine providence. 378
  • §. 5. Of chance. 379
  • §. 6. Of Gods Providence extending it self to things below. 381
  • §. 7. Of despising meane meanes. 382
  • §. 8. Of Saints not fearing men. 383
  • §. 9. Of eying God in all affaires. 386
  • §. 10. Of submitting all our purposes to Gods will. 387
  • §. 11. Of Contentednesse. 389
  • §. 12. Of ascribing the glory of all deliverances to God. 390
  • §. 13. Of ascribing the glory of judgements to God. 392
  • §. 14. Of a down-fall of Papists. 393

A Table of the Principall Points handled in The Dignitie of Chivalry.

  • §. 1. OF the Summe of Text and Sermon. 409
  • §. 2. Of such as are fit or unfit for warre. 410
  • §. 3. Of the property of men of warre. 411
  • §. 4. Of preparation for warre under a Prince of peace. 412
  • §. 5. Of the principall points of the Text. 414
  • §. 6. Of the honour of a souldiers function. 414
  • §. 7. Of double honour due to such as exercise armes. 416
  • §. 8. Of encouragement to Artillery Gentlemen. 418
  • §. 9. Of drawing more to the Artillery Garden. 419
  • §. 10. Of valour requisite for souldiers. 419
  • §. 11. Of the damage of timerous souldiers. 421
  • §. 12. Of righteousnesse making valorous. 422
  • §. 13. Of wickednesse making timerous. 423
  • §. 14. Of courage against spirituall enemies. 424
  • §. 15. Of preparation for warre in peace. 425
  • §. 16. Of the benefit of Artillery Gardens. 428
  • §. 17. Of the commendation of Artillery Gardens. 429
  • §. 18. Of warlike recreations. 430
  • §. 19. Of neglect of Artillery exercises. 431
  • §. 20. Of applying all to the present Artillery Gentlemen. 432

THE CHVRCHES CONQVEST over the Sword, Set out on Exod. Chap. 17. Vers. 8, &c. to the end of the Chapter.

§. 1. Of the Resolution of the whole Historie.

THE history of the Israelites in the wildernesse is a visible representation of Gods governing his Church in this world. The Apostle therefore having culled out sundry choice in­stances, maketh this inference upon them, These things were our exam­ples. 1 Cor. 10. 6.—11. And this, These things hapned to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admoniti­on, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore, as other histories of holy Scripture, so these especially, are to be read and heard, not as meere records of ancient times, but as presidents wherein we may learne what God expects of us, and what we may expect of him.

Among other particulars, the history recorded in the [Page 178] latter part of the 17. chapter of Exodus, from the beginning of the 8. verse, to the end of the chapter, is very remarkable in it selfe, and very seasonable for our times, wherin so many Amalakites assault the Israel of God.

The Summe of this historie is

A Narration of a glorious victorie.

The parts are two

  • 1. A Description of the Battell.
  • 2. A Declaration of the Event.

In setting out the Bat­tell, he sheweth

  • 1. The Assault.
  • 2. The Defence.

The Assault is

  • 1. Expressed in two words
    • Came.
    • Fought.
  • 2. Amplified by the
    • Persons.
    • Place.

Vers. 8. Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Re­phidim.The Persons are

  • Assaulting. Amalek.
  • Assaulted. Israel.

The Place was Rephidim.

In the Defence are noted

  • 1. The Meanes.
  • 2. The Successe.

The Meanes are of two sorts

  • 1. Externall.
  • 2. Internall.

Vers. 9. And Moses said unto Io­shua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek.The Externall meanes are set out by

  • a charge, vers. 9.
  • obedience thereto, vers. 10.

The Internall by

  • Promise. vers. 9.
  • Performance. vers. 10.

In the Charge are expressed the

  • Persons.
  • Matter.
  • The Persons Giving The charge, Moses
  • The Persons Receiving The charge, Ioshua.

The Matter is

  • 1. To prepare for warre. Choose us out men.
  • 2. To wage warre
    • Go out.
    • Fight with Amalek.

Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.The more to encourage Ioshua hereunto, Moses addeth his promise of using internall means. In which promise are foure observable points.

  • 1. The Action promised. I will stand.
  • [Page 179] 2. The Time when. Tomorrow.
  • 3. The Place where. On the top of the hill.
  • 4. The Instrument with which. With the rod of God in mine hand.

Vers. 10. So Ioshua did as Moses had said unto him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Ioshuahs obedience to the fore-mentioned charge being every way answerable thereto, is set downe,

  • 1. Generally. So Ioshua did as Moses had said unto him.
  • 2. Particularly in the most principall branch thereof, And fought against Amalek.

Vers. 11. And it came to passe when Moses held up his hand that Israel prevai­led. and when he let downe his hand Ama­lek prevailed.The Performance of the Promise is

  • 1. Generally pro­pounded.
  • 2. Particularly ex­emplified.

In the Generall we have

  • 1. The Persons.
  • 2. The Preparation.

The Persons are

  • Principall. Moses.
  • Assisting.
    • Aaron.
    • Hur.

The Preparation is by ascending to a fit place where they might see the Armies. They went up to the top of the hill.

Vers. 12. And Moses hands were heavy, and they tooke a stone and put it under him, and he sate therein: and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the the other on the other side: and his hands were steddy unto the going downe of the Sun.Before the particular exemplification of the foresaid promise, The Issue thereof is inserted; which is different according to the occasionall signes. Here therefore are

  • 1. Two differing signes.
  • 2. Two differing issues.

Both these do answer each the other.

  • The first signe is of a steddy faith, Moses held up his hand.
  • The second is of a weake faith, He let downe his hand.
  • 1. The issue answerable to the first is that Israel pre­vailed.
  • 2. The issue answerable to the second, that Amalek pre­vailed.

In the particular exemplification of the performance of the foresaid promise the actions of two sorts of persons are described.

  • 1. Of the Principall: Moses.
  • [Page 180] 2. Of the Assistants
    • Aaron.
    • Hur.

The Actions of the Principall are actions of

  • 1. Weaknes.
  • 2. Steddines

His Action of weaknesse was before expressed, vers. 10. (He let downe his hand) but is here implied,

  • 1. By the cause thereof, Moses hands were heavie.
  • 2. By the meanes he used. He sate on a stone.

The Actions of the Assistants are of two sorts. Both which are amplified by the benefit that thereupon followed.

The first kind of action was to procure him ease, in two phrases

  • 1. They tooke a stone.
  • 2. They put it under him.

The second was, to assist him themselves.

In this latter is expressed

  • 1. The Matter, what they did. Aaron and Hur staid up his hands.
  • 2. The Manner, how they did it. The one on the one side, and the other on the other.

In the benefit that followed thereon, is noted

  • 1. The Steddinesse of the Principall. His hands were steddy.
  • 2. The Continuance thereof. Vntill the going downe of the Sun.

Vers. 13. And Ioshua discomfited A malek and his people with the edge of the sword.The Successe was very successefull. It was Victory: which is

  • 1. Implied, in this word discomfited.
  • 2. Amplified by the
    • Persons.
    • Meanes.

The Persons are the

  • Conquerour. Ioshua.
  • Conquered
    • Amalek
    • His people.

The Means was, with the edge of the sword.

Vers 14. And the Lord said unto Mo­ses, write this for a memorial in a booke, and rehearse it in the eares of Ioshua.The Event following upon this Battell, was a Memoriall of it.

The Memoriall was of two kinds.

  • One enjoyned by God.
  • The other made by Moses.

[Page 181] In the former there is

  • 1. A charge.
  • 2. A reason thereof.

In the Charge we have

  • 1. The Persons.
  • 2. The Matter.
  • 1. The Person who gave the charge. God.
  • 2. The Person to whom it was given. Moses.

For I will ut­terly put out the remem­brance of Amalek from under heaven.The Matter consisteth of two branches. The former noteth

  • 1. The thing enjoyned.
  • 2. The end thereof.

In the thing enjoyned is noted

  • 1. The action. Write this.
  • 2. The Instrument wher­in. In a booke. The end is, For a Memoriall.

The latter noteth

  • 1. The action to be done. Rehoarse it
  • 2. The person before whom. In the eares of Ioshua.

The Reason is taken from Gods purpose against Amalek, which was utterly to root him out.

In setting downe hereof are noted the

  • Persons
  • Action.

The Persons are

  • 1. Destroying, God. I will.
  • 2. Destroyed. Amalek.

The Action is a severe jadge­ment. Whereof we have

  • 1. The kind. Put out the remembrance.
  • 2. The extent. Vtterly from under heaven.

The Memoriall made by Moses is

  • 1. Related. vers. 15.
  • 2. Iustified. vers. 16.

Vers. 15. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Ie­hovah-Nissi.In the Relation is expressed

  • 1. The Thing done. Moses built an altar.
  • 2. The Title given to it. He called the name of it Ieho­vah-Nissi.

Vers. 16. For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.The Memoriall which Moses made is Iustified by the Reason thereof. Which is 1. Generally implied in these words. For he said, Because. 2. Particularly ex­pressed, and taken from Gods implacable wrath against Amalek. In expressing whereof is declared

  • 1. The Ratification of the Doome.
  • 2. The Aggravation of the Doome.

[Page 182] The Ratification is by Gods oath. The Lord hath sworne.

The Aggravation is

  • 1. By the kinde of judgement. The Lord will have warre with Amalek.
  • 2. By the Continuance of it. From generation to genera­tion.

§. 2. Of Amaleks malice against Israel.

EXOD. XVII. VIII.‘And Amalek came, and sought with Israel in Riphidim.’

THe first point in the Narration of this glorious victory, [...] compeni videtur á [...] popule, & [...] Chald. in Hi­phil, percussit. At (que) ita dicitur, populus percuti­ens. Ambr. Hexaem. l 1 c. 4. sic, Per interpreta­tionem, Amalech, rex accipitur iniquorum. Who meant by Amalek. is the Assault. Wherein the Assaulter, Assault, Assaulted, and Place of Assault being all expressed, I will begin with the Assaulter, who is here said to be Amalek.

As his name was, so washe. The name Amalek hath a double notation applied to it. The first is this, a smiting peo­ple. The other, which is given by an ancient Father, is this, A King of the wicked. That which shall further be spoken of Amalek, will give evidence to both these notations, and demonstrate that he was a smiting people, and a King of the wicked.

Amalek (as also Israel) is a collective word: it compri­seth under it the posterity of Amalek, even that people, that nation that descended from him. Now Amalek, the man that was the first head, and stock of this distinct nation, from whom the name was primarily taken, was Esaus grand-child, or nephew, For Amalek was the sonne of Eli Gen. 36. 4, 12. 1 Chro. 1. 34, 35: 36. pkaz, and Eliphaz the sonne of Esau, and Esau the sonne of Isaaek, and brother of Iaakob, who was also called Israel. So as the Amalakites were within three degrees of the same stock whereof Israel was.

1. Ob. The posterity of Esau were called Edomites. How then can the Amalakites be thought to come from Esau? Gen. 36. 8, 9.—25. 30.

Ans. The legitimate posterity, such as were borne of his [Page 183] wives, or his sonnes wives, were indeed called Edo mites. But Amalek was the sonne of Esaus sonne by a concubine: Gen 36. 12. and therefore severed from Esaus stock: so as he himself was counted head of a stock.

2. Ob. Moses maketh mention of the Amalakites above Gen. 14. 7. an hundred yeares before Amalek the sonne of Eliphaz was borne.

Ans. Moses useth that title Amalakites by way of Anti­cipation: De exemplis anticipationis tum nominum tum rerum, vide Prolegomina Perkinst praefixa Har­moniae Bibl. which is to give that name to a place, or to the In­habitants of a place, whereby they were called, when the history that maketh mention of them was written, though at that time whereof the history writeth they were not so called. Now Moses lived long after Amalek was borne: and because the posterity of Amalek in Moses his time lived in that country which Cheder. laomer and the Kings which were with him, destroyed, he saith that they destroyed the country of the Amalakites; that is, the Country where the Amalakites afterwards dwelt. Kadesh is so named in that place. Gen. 21. 14, 31 Such figurative phrases are frequent in Scripture.

It remaines then that the Amalakites and Israelites came all from Isaak: so as in relation to him they were of the Amalech figu­ram portat Dia­boli. Cypr de Exhort. Mort. cap. 8. Evidences of Amaleks ma­lice against Israel. Num. 24. 20. same stock. Yet were the Amalakites as malicious enemies against the Ifraclites as ever were any. He therefore spake a truth, that said, Amalek carieth the shape of the Devill. Of their enmity the Holy Ghost giveth these evidences.

  • 1. They were the first that enemie-like set upon Israel, after their escape out of Egypt thorow the Red Sea. This Balaam acknowledgeth where he saith, Amalek was the first of the nations, meaning (as our last English Translators have noted in the margin of that place) The first that warred against Israel.
  • 2. They could not long keepe in their malicious mind against Israel: for before the third moneth of their being in the wildernesse they assault them.
  • 3. They set upon Israel without any cause, or provoca­tion on Israels part. Israel had not as yet taken armes
    Exo 19. 1.
    against any.
  • [Page 184] 4. What they did they did most basely. For they laid
    1 Sam. 15. 2. Deut. 25. 18.
    wait for Israel in the way when he came up from Egypt: and smote the hindmost of them: even all that were feeble behind them, when they were faint and weary.
  • 5. Notwithstanding that they were here discomfited by Israel, yet after this they take advantage against them: and when some of Israel went up to the top of the hill without Moses their guide, and the Arke their confid [...]nce, the Ama­lakites with the Canaanites smote them, and discomfited them
    Num. 14. 45.
    euen to Hormah.
  • 6. They joyned with the King of Moab, and with the children of Ammon, and went and smote Israel.
    Iudg 3 12, 13.
  • 7. They joyned with the Midianites, and with the chil­dren of the East to spoile Israel, leaving them no sustenance, nor sheep, nor oxe, nor asse.
    Iudg 6. 3, 4.
  • 8. The answer which God made to Israel in these words,
    Iudg. 10. 12.
    The Zidonians, and the Amalakites, and Maonites did op­presse you, &c. And this phrase which Samuel useth to
    1 Sam. 15. 33.
    Agag, thy sword hath made women childlesse, imply many mischiefs which Amalek did to Israel.
  • 9. In Davids absence, and while the Israelites are in camp against the Philistines, the Amalakites invade Ziklag
    1 Sam 30 1, &c
    that belonged to David, and burne it, and take the women captive, and go away with all the spoile thereof.
  • 10. Haman that cruell enemy of the Iewes, who sought utterly to root out the whole nation, was an Amalakite. For
    Est. 31.
    their Kings were called Agag, as the Egyptian Kings, Pha­raoh. Hereupon is Haman stiled an Agagite, who was an Amalakite.
  • 11. The Psalmist putteth them into the Catalogue of Israels implacable enemies.
    Psal. 83. 7.
  • 12. Gods oath against them giveth evidence of their ma­licious
    Exo. 17. 16.
    mind against Israel.
  • 13. So do the many charges which God giveth for their
    —14. Deut. 25. 17. 1 Sam. 15. 3, 26 —28. 18.
    utter destruction: and Gods displeasure against Saul for sparing them.

These evidences do sufficiently shew what malice Amalek [Page 185] had against Israel: whereof no just cause was given on Israels part: but such as these on Amaleks part.

  • 1. The brood was a bastard brood. It issued from an ille­gitimate
    Reasons of Amaleks ha­tred of Israel Gen. 3 [...]. 12.
    stock. Now commonly such as are basely borne, even they and their issue are of ill dispositions. Instance Is­mael, Ammon, Moab, Abimelich the base sonne of Ierub­baal, and many others. God therefore would not have a bastard enter into his congregation, even to his tenth gene­ration.
    Deut. 23. 2.
  • 2. The inveterate hatred of their ancient predecessour
    Gen. 27. 41.
    Èsau against Iacob was propagated to this his posterity.
  • 3, There was no feare of God in them. Now where no
    Deut. 25. 18. Gen. 20. 11.
    feare of God is, there is no restraint of malice, or of any other corruption.
  • 4. The divine blessing which accompanied Israel: for an envious eye is evill because of others good.
    Mat. 20. 15.
  • 5. The Arabians (among whom the Amalakites are rec­koned) living much on spoile, the Amalakites saw that good booties might be had from Israel: and at this time they well understood what jewels and treasures Israel had brought out of Egypt.
  • 6. The Amalakites had forsaken the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, whom Israel still professed: and so were of a contrary religion.
    Malicia sons peccati est. Amb. Serm. 15 in Psal. 118. v. 3

From that which hath been delivered concerning Ama­leks malice, this may well be inferred, that Malice is the fountaine of all evill.

§ 3. Of inveterate hatred.

THe implacable hatred of the Amalakites giveth evi­dence, Malicia si [...] si ue si. Hier Cōment in Eccles [...] qui proposi [...]o [...]. Chrys. Demi­nic. 22. post Pentecost. that

Inveterate hatred is hardly satisfied. It endeth not with a mans life, but is oft propagated to posterity. Amalek re­ceived it from his grand-father Esau and propagated it to his posterity. The forementioned instances give abundant proof hereof. The like may be exemplified in the other branch of [Page 186] Esaus posterity, the Edomites; and in the Ishmaelites and Hagarens, the of spring of Hagar, Abrahams concubine: Psal. 83. 6, 7. Ier. 48. 27.—49. 1. Ezek. 25. 3, &c Am. 1. 11, 13. Obad 10. Zeph. 2. 8, 9. and in the Moabites and Ammonites, the progenie of Lot. The Prophets are full of expostulations and exclamations against all these, for their bitter hatred against Israel, mani­fested by all the occasions that they could take of doing any mischiefe unto them. Though there was a nearer propin­quity betwixt all these and the Iewes, then betwixt them and other nations, yet their hatred was more against the Iewes then against any other nation; so as they were ready to joyne with others against the Iewes, and when by others the Iewes had beene overthrowne and captivated, they would insult. How implacable and insatiable was the hatred of the Priests, Scribes, Pharisies, and other Iewes against Christ and his Apostles? To omit the many instances that for proofe hereof might be gathered out of the histories of the Evangelists, of the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul beareth this witnesse against them, They killed the Lord Iesus, and 1 Thes. 2. 15. their owne Prophets, and have persecuted us, &c. Ecclesiasti­call histories give instances of like hatred and malice of others in succeeding ages. And we in our age have found wofull experience of as much in the hatred of Papists and others against us.

Wrathfull and revengefull affections, whereof malice and Malice of an increasing na­ture. hatred are not the least, are of a spreading and increasing na­ture: like fire, the longer it continueth (especially having matter to work upon) the further it spreadeth it selfe, and the hotter it waxeth. But the fore-named affections can ne­ver want fuell. Goodnesse it selfe, by reason of the malig­nant disposition of such as are malicious, becomes fuell to Semper contra virtutem insanit malicia. Chrys. in Gen. 6. Hom 23. The power of Sathan. and depth of cor­ruption in na­turall men. the fire of malice and hatred. These fiery affections there­fore may fitly and justly be added to the number of those things that are never satisfied, nor will say, It is enough. (Pro. 30. 15.) Especially against truth and vertue is malice al­waies mad.

Both the power which the God of this world hath over the men of this world, and also the deep rooting that cor­ruption [Page 187] hath taken in the hearts of naturall men, is hereby Quid longius à voluntate diu inâ quam malicia? Planè chaos magnum inter nos & illam fir­matum est in hac parte: cumsem­per eum delectet praestare benefi­cia, & ingra'is no bis è contra suggerat affectio crudel ssima & innoxijs velle no­cere. Bern. in Quadrag. Serm. 6. manifested. That which so farre spreadeth it selfe, which so long continueth, which is so unsatiable, as we heard ma­lice and hatred to be, must needs have fast and deep rooting. And the fire which is ever and anon flaming forth, must needs be blowne up by some means or other. Now the De­vill is he, that is ready at all turnes, where he observeth fire to be, to blow it up. And, where he is suffered so in­cessantly to incense the fire of malice, what can we els thinke but that he there beareth a great sway; yea that he hath the whole rule? A matter of much humiliation. For what is more contrary to the Divine nature? Surely in this respect there is a great gulfe betwixt it and us. For where he is al­waies delighted in doing good, on the contrary, the perni­cious affection of malice doth worke in us a desire to do wrong even to such as are harmlesse.

How wise and circumspect ought we to be, that are of Others malice must make us the more wary the Church of God, so long as we live in this world, that we give not unnecessary advantages to such malicious persons, whose wrath is implacable, whose hatred is unsatiable? So long as there are Israelites in the world, there wilbe Ama­lakites. So long as there are people that professe the name of the true God, there wilbe malicious enemies that for their profession sake will worke them all the mischiefe that pos­sibly they can. As there is a direct contrariety betwixt truth and errour, so there is an imbred antipathy betwixt professours and maintainers of the one and the other (as is betwixt the wolfe and the lambe) by reason of that malici­ous and mischievous disposition that is in enemies of the truth. The nearest bonds of nature are in this case little or nothing regarded. For, the brother will betray the brother to Mat. 10. 21. death: and the father the sonne: and the children will rise against the parents, and cause them to die.

Among other reasons of this immortall fewde against worshippers of the true God, and professours of the true Religion, this is one of the chiefe, that Truth is a light, that discovereth the evils that lie hid in darknesse. Now the [Page 188] nearer that such as are of the light are to such as live in dark­nesse, the more conspicuously are their evill deeds discove­red: which makes them the more fret and fume.

What wonder is it, if the like fall out in our daies? Be­fore our daies it was so: and after our daies it is like to be so, Papists to Protestants are as Amalakites to Israelites. We see therefore that no propinquity of country, kindred, neighbour-hood, or the like, can restraine their malice, but they are ready to take all advantages they can against us. Their profession being palpable Antichristianisme, this their malice against us is an evidence that our Religion is true, and Orthodoxe Christianity: which may minister unto us no small comfort against their bitter hatred of us.

§. 4. Of undue beginning warre.

II. THe evidence of the Amalakites malice is noted in these two words, came, fought. The first word, [...] [...]. came, implieth that the Amalakites first set upon the Israe­lites. The other, and fought, importeth an hostile attempt against them, whereby the Amalakites thought to have ut­terly destroyed the Israelites. [...] The word signifieth to de­voure and consume, as well as to fight against; or to joyne both together, it signifieth by fighting to consume. In allu­sion whereunto David saith of the ordinary instrument of war, 2 Sam. 11. 25 The sword devoureth one as well as another. And where Deut. 32. 24. [...] [...] sumpti, comesti, excsi. Malice pro­vokes to do wrong. Moses speaketh of devouring, he useth this word.

From this evidence of their malice we may inferre, that

It is a property of a malicious enemy first to seeke others destruction: or causelesly to begin warre. This is noted as an evidence of the malicious mind of the Exo. 14. 5, 6. Egyptians, Num. 21. 1. Canaa­nites, —23. Amorites, and of all those enemies which invaded and annoyed the Israelites, in the time of the Iudges and Kings. On this ground the Prophet makes this complaint, Psal. 120. 7. I am for peace, but when I speake they are for warre. And oft doth he complaine that —35. 7, 19.—69. 4. without cause they laid a net for [Page 189] him, without cause they digged for his soule: wrong fully they were his enemies, they hated him without cause: —109. 3. they fought against him without cause: —119. 161. they persecuted him without cause: Lam. 3. 52. They chased me sore (saith the Church) like a bird without cause.

Malice hath no respect to equity or honesty, nor to ho­nour or reputation. It onely careth to satisfie its owne ve­nomous End that mali­cious aime at. humour, which (as we heard before) can never be satisfied. It is therefore impatient at all delaies. It is ready to take all opportunities of doing mischiefe, whether they be just or unjust: whether there be cause or no cause. And whereas that light of understanding which is in men, even as they are reasonable creatures, might somwhat direct them in points of common equity and policy, malice, like a thick cloud, ariseth before that light, and so obscureth and hi­deth it, as no direction can from thence be taken. Herein then men offend against the light of nature. For the Hea­then Philosophers who had no other light, accounted that Summa quidem authoritate Philosophi, quic­quid justum sit, id utile etiam esse censent. Cic Offic. l. 2. Complex est ho­nestatis semper utilitas, & utili­tatis honestas. Amb. Offic, l. 3. c. 14. which was just and honest to be profitable: and nothing but that. Profit is alwaies a companion of honesty: and honesty of profit.

Ob. Were the two sonnes of Iacob, who first set upon the Shechemites and slow all the males among them, (Gen. 34. 25.) and Ioshua, who went and fought against the Ca­naanites, and utterly destroyed them, Ios. 12. 7, &c. and David, who went and smote the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, Syrians, and other nations, (2 Sam. 8.) were these and others of the people of God-blinded with hatred, and whetted on with malice, in that they first set upon their enemies?

Answ. 1. All particular actions of such as are otherwise good men are not every way justifiable, and imitable. In­stance that of Gen. 49. 7. Simeon and Levi which their old good father by divine instinct cursed.

2. That which those sonnes of Iacob did, they did not altogether without cause. They did it in Gen. 34. 31. revenge of the dishonour done to their sister. But this is not altogether to [Page 190] excuse them. For their anger was fierce, and their wrath was cruell.

3. As for Ioshuaes rooting out of the Canaanites, he was How warre justly begun. not moved thereto by malice, because he did it not of his owne motion, but by expresse Ios. 1. 1. charge from God himselfe. For the Canaanites by their extreme wickednesse had deser­ved utterly to be rooted out of their land: God therefore (the supreme Lord over all nations) made Ioshua his Mini­ster to execute his just judgement upon them.

4. The enemies whom David subdued, had before his time done exceeding great wrong to Israel; that therefore which he did was partly as a just punishment of their unjust wrongs, (for lawfull warre is a publique execution of pub­lique justice) and partly as a means to secure Israel for the time to come from further wrong. These premises duly considered, it may truly be said that David never began Nunquam Da­vid nisi lacessitus bellum intulit. Amb. Offic. lib. 1 cap 35. Deus hoc provi­dit ne David prior illis inferret bellum, ne vide­retur ingratus. P. Martyr. Comment. in 2 Sam. 5. 17. Fories & mag­nanimi sunt ha­bendi, non qui faciunt, sed qui propulsant inju­riam. Cic Offic. l. 1. wa [...]re, but provoked thereto. Of the Philistines it is in spe­ciall said, that when they heard that David was annointed King over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seeke David, (2 Sam. 5. 17.) that is, to prevent David by giving the first on-set, and beginning warre. For God so ordered it, that David should not begin warre against them, least he might seeme ungratefull.

By these answers the difference betwixt warres begun lawfully on just causes, and unlawfully and maliciously upon no just ground, may be discerned.

The application of this point especially concerneth Kings, Princes, States, Generalls, Captains, Souldiers, and all such as wage warre, to take heed that inward passion, hatred, malice, undue desire of undeserved revenge, or any such like unjust and unwarrantable provocation whet them not on to begin warre. They are to be accounted truly valorous, The issue of unjust war begun. and magnanimous, not who offer, but who protect from wrong. I shall afterwards (§ 18.) have occasion to treat of the just causes of lawfull warre. In the meane let notice be taken of the ill successe that such warres have. Not to in­sist on this of Amalek, or of other malicious enemies of the [Page 191] Church, let the wofull issue of Iosiah his going to fight 2 Chro. 35. 20, &c. against Necho King of Egypt without any just cause on Ne­choes part, be noted. If God punished this fault so severely in such a worthy, such a beloved one as Iosiah was, who not in hatred, or malice, but upon rash suspicion, and unadvised policy went out and fought against Necho, how can they, whom malice sets on worke in like cases, looke to escape the revenging hand of a just God? Behold, the righteous shalbe recompenced in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner: Pro. 11. 31.

§. 5. Of the title Israel.

Cum Dco inva­leseens, est in ter­pretatio Israelis. Tertul advers. Marcion l. 4.III. THe party assaulted was Israel. Israel was a name given to Abrahams grand-child, who was first called Iacob. But in memory of his stedfast faith, whereby [...] b comp [...]nituo ex [...] principa­tum obtinuit, & [...] Deus. Est igitur [...] Princeps Dei, nut qui princi­palem potentiam obtinuit à Deo. he is said to prevaile with God, who wrestled with him, hee was called Israel, Genesis 32. 28. The word is compounded of two words, the one signifieth to obtaine principality, or to prevaile: the other is the name of God: so as it signifieth (as the Holy Ghost himselfe expoundeth it) a Prince that hath power with God. So doth the Prophet Hos. 12. 3. [...] principent se gessit cum Deo. Hosea also expound the meaning of this word: for in re­lation to this name Israel he saith of him that was so called, He had power with God, or he behaved himselfe princely with God. This being a title of much honour, and a name which gave evidence of Gods great favour to him, and of his strong faith in God. It was first given to Gen. 32. 28. Iacob himselfe.

2. To an —33 20. [...] Deus, Deus Isra­elis. Vel, ut Trem. & Iun. sic Altare Dei sortis, Dei Israe­lis. altar that Iacob built to God, which was cal­led, God, the God of Israel, or (as some by inserting the word, altar, expound it) thus, The altar of the strong God, the God of Israel.

3. To all the Posterity of Iacōb: who as they are called Gen 32. 32. The children of Israel, so also are they called —47. 27.—48. 20. Israel. And this name was in common given to all the twelve Tribes that descended from the twelve sonnes of Iacob, till the Tribe of Iudah together with the Tribe of Benjamin, that [Page 192] bordered next to Iudah, and lay part within him, grew so populous and so potent, as it got a peculiar name to it selfe, which was 1 Sam. 18. 16. 2 Sam. 5. 5. Iudah, and the other ten Tribes retained this name Israel. This distinction betwixt 1 King. 12. 19, 20. Iudah and Israel was afterwards more inviolably ratified, when by the apostasie of the ten Tribes from the house of David in Rehoboams time, Israel under the raigne of Ieroboam and his successours became one kingdome, and Iudah under the raigne of Da­vids linage became another.

4. By a Trope the land where the children of Israel inha­bited is stiled Lev. 20. 2. Israel.

5. By another Trope the Church of God, whether Iewes or Gentiles, is called Gal. 6. 16. Israel.

6. By a kind of propriety it is applied to God, who is sti­led Isa. 37. 16. The God of Israel, —21. The Lord God of Israel, Isa. 1. 4. The holy one Israel, —24. The mighty one of Israel, 1 Sam. 15. 29. The strength of Israel, &c. Or, as some interpret some of those phrases, The holy Israel, The mighty Israel, meaning the holy and mighty God.

In this place, Israel, being a collective word, is put for all the posterity of Iacob that came out of Egypt thorow the Red Sea, assembled in the wildernesse: which congregation was at that time the only visible Church of God on earth. So as in this instance we may behold the Condition of Gods Church in this world.

§. 6. Of the Churches assaults in this world.

GODS true Church is subject to assaults in this world. Every age from the beginning of the world giveth too evident demonstration hereof. Thus much was at first pre­figured by Cains rising up against Abel, and slaying him: (Gen. 4. 8.) & the like hath been verified time after time, even Turbabatur ma­re, fluctuabat navicula. Navi­cula Ecclesia est, Mare se [...]ulum est. Aug. Enar. in Psal. 92. till this our time. Fitly in this respect is the world resem­bled to the sea, and the Church to a ship therein. As well may a ship in the sea be free from stormes, and waves bea­ting upon it, as the Church from assaults.

That enmity which is betwixt the seed of the serpent, and [Page 193] of the woman, (Gen. 3. 15.) is an especiall cause hereof. The seed of the one is of a contrary disposition to the seed of the other: and there is an inbred antipathy betwixt them (as we heard before, §. 3.) This is not so much to be understood of the visible serpent, as of the spirituall serpent, to whom it Quod si de sensi bili serpente haec dicta sunt, multo magis accipienda sunt haec de spirituali serpente. Chrys in Gen. 3. Hom 17. doth much more agree. As well therefore may calves where lions, and lambs where wolves, and hares where hounds, and mice where cats, and birds where buzzards are, thinke to be quiet, secure and safe, as the Church in this world. The Devill himselfe as a roaring lyon walketh about seeking whom he may devoure, 1 Pet. 5. 8. And he is the God of this world, 2 Cor. 4. 4. As a God he raigneth and ruleth in this world: and the men of this world do subject themselves to him as to their God: wherefore he is also stiled Ioh. 12. 31.—14. 30. The Prince of this world, and his hellish brood Eph. 6. 12. worldly governours. By this spirit are all the men of this world guided, he Eph 2. 2. worketh in them. He is their father, and Ioh. 8. 44. the lusts of their father they will do. Prince and Subjects therefore will (in what they can) annoy the Church, which is the kingdom of Christ

Ob. Is not Christ able to maintaine and preserve his Church against all that the enemies thereof can do against it?

Ans. He is able, and will so farre preserve it, as Mat, 16. 18. The gates of hell shall never prevaile against it. That therefore which is done against it, is done by his See The whole armour of God Treat. 1. Part. 3 §. 22, 27. permission, and that with respect had to Ibid Part. 2. §. 2. & Treat. 2. Part 5 §. 13. his owne glory, and his Churches good. Many reasons tending to those ends may be gathered from this particular instance of suffering Israel to be assaul­ted by Amalek.

He suffered this in regard of his owne glory, to manifest

1. His providence in taking care of them, as to provide Gods glory set out by attēpts against his Church. things needfull, as Manna, and water, which he had done not long before, so to protect them from things hurtfull, as the attempt of Amalek was.

2. His power in enabling them who were unacquainted with warres, and destitute of warlike preparations, (being lately delivered from a long bondage wherein they and their [Page 194] fathers had lien) to vanquish so potent, and well prepared an enemie.

3. His truth, in beginning to accomplish that promise which was made to him that was first called Israel, to him, I say, and to his seed that should also be called Israel, Thou shalt prevaile with men.

4. His justice in revenging so malicious an enemy as A­malek Gen 32. 28. was: and causing him to fall into the snate that he laid for Israel.

5. His wisdome, in turning that to Israels advantage, which the enemy intended to his great damage: as is ma­nifest by the reasons following, which shew how God here­in aimed at Israels good. For hereby

  • 1. At their entrance into the wildernesse an evidence is
    Enemies as­saults prove good to the Church.
    given of that successe they should have when they should come into Canaan: so as their faith might thus be much strengthened.
  • 2. A means was affoorded to furnish them with armour. For Amalek comming prepared against Israel, by the vi­ctory which Israel had, was spoiled of all his preparation.
  • 3. An occasion was given of exercising them to warre before they entred into Canaan.
  • 4. Ioshua, their Generalls authority and courage was evi­denced before hand.
    Vses of the Churches assaults. Vltima Ecclesiae nota est foelicitas temporalis. Bel­larm. contro­vers. 2. l. 4. c. 18. de notis Eccles, At contrà, Au­gust. de Civit. Dei. l 2. c 23. Ne magni pen­damus terrenam foelicitatem, quae malis etiam ple­run (que) conceditur.
  • 5. The power and efficacy of prayer was demonstrated.

The fore-mentioned condition of the Church, to be sub­ject to assaults,

  • 1. Discovereth the uncertainty of that note which by many is pretended to be a note of the true Church, Tempo­rall felicity. If this were so, Israel was no true Church, nor they of whom Christ said, In the world ye shall have afflicti­on, Ioh. 16. 33.
  • 2. It instructeth us in the difference betwixt the Militant Church here on earth, and the triumphant in heaven. Nor Satan, nor any other enemies of the Church can enter into heaven to assault it there.
  • 3. It putteth us in mind to be alwaies well prepared [Page 195] against assaults. The greater danger we are subject unto, the better furnished, and fore-armed we ought to be. This pro­vidence
    See The whole armour of God. Treat. 1. Part 3. §. 2. & Part 4 §. 10.
    must be manifested in regard both of corporall, and also of spirituall dangers whereunto we are subject. Yea the Israel of God, they who are of the true Church must apply this to themselves. For it was Israel against whom Amalek fought.
  • 4. It affordeth comfort to such as are assaulted, that not­withstanding God suffer Amalek to come and fight against them, yet they may be Gods Israel.
  • 5. It is a means of making Christian unity more firme
    Vbicun (que) à per­ditis ista com­missa sunt, ibi ferventius at (que) perfectius unita [...] Christiana profi­cit. Aug Bo­nefac. Epist. 50.
    and perfect; yea, and of causing more and more to increase. For the more fiercely Christians are assaulted, the more closely will they cling together.
  • 6. It is a motiue to make us willing to be dissolved, when it shall seeme good to the Divine providence, because so we shalbe translated to the Triumphant Church, where is free­dome from all assaults.

§. 7. Of Amaleks inhumanity.

IIII. THe place where the assault is here said to be, was Rephidim. This was the name of one of the places where the Lord was pleased that Israel should make a station in the wildernes. It was in number the Num. 33. 15. tenth from their comming out of Egypt: but the seventh from their passage thorow the Red Sea. For they had made three sta­tions before that passage thorow the Sea. All these journies were made within the space of two moneths. For [...] in novil [...]io. in the beginning of the third moneth after their escape out of Egypt, they went from Rephidim to Exo. 19. 1. Sinai.

The name of the place is here expressed,

1. In generall, to verifie the truth of the history. For, circumstances of Persons, Times, Places, and such like, make much to the confirmation of the truth of an history.

2. In particular, to aggravate the malice of the Amala­kites, who set upon them so soone after their comming out [Page 196] of bondage, before they had time well to settle themselves. For having travelled ten severall journies (whereof one was Exo. 15. 22, Num. 33. 8. three daies long, others might be as long, if not longer) in the space of two moneths, at the most, they could not be long setled. Besides, in their journies they were oft brought to great straits: as at the Red Sea, where Exo. 14. 9. Pharaoh pursued them furiously, and had almost over-taken them: and when —15 22. after three daies journey they found no water: and —23. the first water that they met with, was so bitter, as they could not drink of it. And at another station they —16. 3. wanted bread, and meat, having nothing at all to eat. And after that againe they came to this —17. 1. Rephidim, a drie and barren wildernesse, where were no rivers, springs, wells, ponds, or any other or­dinary means to afford them water to drinke.

Questionlesse the Amalakites dogged the Israelites after they were come thorow the Red Sea; and thereupon knew how weary they must needs be, and to what straits they were brought, and in particular, how destitute of water this Rephidim (the place where they set upon them) was. For, the Holy Ghost to aggravate their malice, thus sets it out, 1 Sam. 15. 2. A­malek laid wait for Israel in the way when he came up from Egypt. Deut. 25. 18. He smote the hindmost of them, even all that were feeble behind them, when they were faint and weary. The im­mediate connexion of this history with the former, thus, And Amalek came, (or, as our English Translatours for more perspicuity, turne it, Then came Amalek) importeth [...] as much: For it is as if he had said, Israel had now beene wearied with much travell, and disquieted with many di­stresses and wants, and was now in a place destitute of all ordinary provision, And in this case Amalek comes and fights against him. An evident demonstration of much inhu­manity, and more then savage cruelty.

§. 8. Of the base advantages which malicious enemies take.

MAlicious enemies are ready to take all the base advanta­ges that they can. If the particulars §. 7. noted of Ama­lek be well observed, in him we shall find the doctrine veri­fied. The like is noted of the posterity of these Amalakites, 1 Sam. 30. 1, 2 while David and his men were out of Ziklag, the Ama­lakites surprize it, smite it, burne it with fire, and carie the women away captive. More basely dealt the Egyptians with the Israelites, when they had them fast in their own land. For first Exo. 1. 11, 13. they afflicted them with burdens, and made them serve with rigour, and made their lives bitter with hard bondage. Then they —16. tooke order with the midwives to kill all their male children in the birth. Yea, because the midwives obeyed not so cruell a charge, —22. the King commanded all the people to cast all the male children of the Israelites into the river. It was a most inhumane, base, and barbarous advan­tage which the Edomites tooke against the Israelites when the Babilonians had overcome them, and caused them to fly hither and thither for their lives, Obad. 14. to stand in the crosse waies to cut off them that did escape, and to deliver up those that did remaine in the day of distresse. The base advantages which Saul sought against David, and the Priests, Scribes, Phari­sies, and other Iewes against Christ and his Apostles, and other enemies, heretiques, and idolaters against the profes­sours of the Gospell, especially Papists against Protestants, do further give abundant proofe of the foresaid proposition. But, not to insist on particulars, the Psalmist doth indefinite­ly thus set out the disposition of the wicked against the righteous, He sitteth in lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poore: he lieth in wait secretly as a Lyon in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poore: he doth catch the poore when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth and humbleth himselfe that the poore may fall by his strong ones, Ps. 10. 8, 9, 10 [Page 198] Herein they shew themselves like to the most hatefull crea­tures. Fraudulenta vulpes soveis se latibulis (que) demer­gens, noune indi­cio est infructao­sū esse animal o­dio (que) dig [...]ū. Amb Hexaem l 6 c 3. Stratagems in warre. The deceitfull Foxe hiding himselfe in ditches and se­cret places, is he not thereby manifested to be a hurtfull and hatefull creature.

Quest. What may be thought of stratagems used in warre, such as Gen. 14 15. Abrahams setting upon his enemies by night: Ios. 8 3, &c. Ioshuaes sending men by night to lie in wait against Ai, and when the men of warre were drawne out of it, to set the city on fire: Iudg 1. 24. The house of Iosephs inticing of a man of Luz to shew them the way into the city where he dwelt, whereby they had opportunity to smire the city: —3 21. Cum justum bel­lum susciperit, utrum apertâ pugnâ, utrum in sidijs vincat, ni hil ad justitiam interest. Aug. Quaest. super Ios. l. 6. c. 10. Prudenti [...], & fortitudinis est vel decipere vel supe rare adver­sarium u [...]cun (que) potueris. Hier. Comment. l. 5. in Ezech. c. 17 Ehuds sudden and secret thrusting of his dagger into Eglons belly: and other like warlike wiles: what may be thought of these, are they to be reckoned in the number of base ad­vantages?

Answ. No, if they have any speciall direction from God, or inward motion of his Spirit, (as Ioshua and Ehud had) or if at least the warre be just, and no falshood, envy, malice, cruelty, or inhumanity be mixed with the wiles that are used. For these are the things that make advantages to be base. The mind of him that takes such advantages is a base mind: he hath no respect to points of honour and honesty, as was before noted. (§. 4.) Nemo qui forti­tudinis gloriam consecutus est, in­sidijs & maliciâ laudē est adeptus Cic. Offic. l 1. No man, no not among the Heathen, that got the glory of valour, got praise by trea­cheries and malice. They hated treacherie, and all base ad­vantages. If any of the adverse part, offered to act a perfidi­ous part, such was the true valorous mind of some of them, as they would returne the perfidious person to his owne Lord and Master, of him to receive condigne punishment. Among others, memorable is the patterne of Curius in this point. Dux Romano rum cum ad cum adversarij regis medicus advenisset, polli­cens daturum se regi venenum, vinctū cū ad ho stē remisit. Amb. Offic. l. 3. c. 14. That Romane Captaine, when the Physitian of the adverse King came to him, and promised to poyson his Lord, he sent him bound back again to the enemy. As memorable is the practice of the whole Senate of Rome in that kind. For when Camillus the Consul encamped against the Falcisci, a traiterous Schoole master, who had most of the Noble-mens children committed to his tuition, under pretence of cary­ing [Page 199] them forth to walke, brought them into the ene­mies Flor, Histor. Rom, l. 1. c. 12. tents, that his countrimen might thereupon bee drawne to yeeld to the enemy. But the Senate of Rome so detested that treachery, as they stripped the treacherous pe­dant naked, gave rods to the boyes, that they might whip him backe againe to the city which he would have be­trayed.

Many other like instances might be given, whereby ge­nerous Generals have shewed, that undertaking a triall of Qui virtutis cer­tamen susceperat, nollet fraude vincere. Non enim in victoriâ honestatem pone­bat: sed ipsam, nisi honestate quaesitam, victo­riam turpem pro­nunciabat. Amb loc. citat. vertue and valour, they would not get the victory by fraud. For they did not place honour and honesty simply in victory, but accounted victory base, unlesse it were obtained by honesty.

This mischievous mind of malicious enemies, gives just occasion to those that have such enemies (as all true Professors of the true Religion have) to be the more prudent & circum­spect in keeping themselves from their snares and ginnes. On this ground doth Christ give this expresse charge, Be wise as serpents, Mat. 10. 16. Many of Salomons proverbs tend to this purpose. We have worthy patternes hereof in David, 1 Sam. 20, &c. who wisely avoided Sauls snares; and in the Iewes, Ezr. 4. 3. that returned from the captivity in Zerubbabels time, and in p Nehemiahs, Neh. 4. 9, &c. and sundry other true servants of God. Now because by all the wisdome that we have, we cannot avoid all their wilie and subtill plots, we must ever depend upon the Lord, and call on him as David did, to turne their counsell into foolishnesse, 2 Sam. 15. 31. And to Keepe us from the snares that they lay for us, and from the grins of the workers of iniquity, Psal. 141. 9. Or, if we be over-taken, then to pull us out of the net that they have laid for us. Psal. 31. 4. Thus if we make God our refuge and hiding place, we may be sure to be safe. For they are safe whom the Lord doth keepe.

§. 9. Of the interpretation and observations of Moses his charge to Ioshua.

EXOD. XVII. IX.‘And Moses said unto Ioshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek, &c.’

THe relation of the § 1. Defence which was made against Moyses de aquâ nomen accepit. Amb Hexaem. lib cap. 2. Verum nomen significat ex aquâ servatum Moy­sen. Nam aquam Aegyptij Moy vocant. Flav. Ioseph cont. Apion l 1. [...] servare. liberare. [...] Iehosua. Num 13. 16. Nati nomina à parentibus acci­piebant, non qui­dem ex se, sed à Deo mente im­pellebantur, Qui antequam fiant praeseij suturo­rum, quales post crementum aeta­tis suae futuri essent posteriori tempore vegeti in nominibus Hebr. designa­bantur. Cypr. Tract. de Sinâ & Sion. Amaleks assault here beginneth. Wherein the Exter­nall Means, as they are laid downe in a charge, are first ex­pressed, and that so, as both the Persons giving and receiving the charge, and also the matter given in charge are mentioned.

The Person that gave the charge was Moses. (And Mo­ses said.)

Act 7. 35. Moses at that time was the Prince, and chiefe Gover­nour over Israel. Exo 2. 10. He was called Moses because he was drawne out of the waters. For the [...] axit. Hebrew root signifieth to draw out. Iosephus the Iew rendreth another reason of the name Moyses; For, saith he, the Egyptians call water moy.

The Person to whom the charge was given was Ioshua (Moses said to Ioshua.)

The word whence Ioshua, or Iehoshua is derived accor­ding to the proper notation thereof signifieth to save, or de­liver. Certainly by divine instinct this name was given to the man that is here meant. For children of old received names from their parents by divine instinct. They having knowledge of things to come before they were, by Hebrew significant names declared to future ages what they should be after some increase of age. For this particular person Ioshua, here in this place he was the Generall of that army whereby Israel was saved and delivered from the Amalakites. And after Moses death, he was the chiefe Go­vernour and Generall that saued Israel from the Canaanites, and other nations that were rooted out by him. Wherein he [Page 201] was a type of Iesus, whose name if it were written in He­brew, would be the very same, namely Iehoshua. The Greeks therefore for Ioshua or Iehoshua write Iesus, Acts 7. 45. Hebr. 4. 8.

At this time, when Moses gave this charge, Ioshua was none of the chiefe Princes of the Tribes. For the chiefe Prince of Ephraim (of which Tribe Ioshua was) was Num 1. 10. Eli­shama. Indeed —13 2, 3, 8. Ioshua is reckoned among those that were sent to search the land of Canaan, who are called Rulers and Heads: but they were not the chiefe Rulers and Heads, but Exo. 18. 21, 25 such as are mentioned to be made by Iethroes advice, Heads over the people, Rulers of thousands, Rulers of Hundreds, &c. As for Ioshua, he was after this, Moses his Minister, Exo. 24. 13. Numb. 11. 28. Yet at this time was he appointed the Generall of the Lords army: partly be­cause of his valour, and partly because of that high calling whereunto he was to be deputed to conquer the Canaanites.

Ob. After, this Ioshua is stiled a young man. (Exod. 33. 11. Numb. 11. 28.)

Answ. 1. The latter place may word for word be thus translated, Ioshua the sonne of Nun the servant of Moses from his youth: that is, who had served Moses from his youth. [...] à juven­lute suâ. Trem & Iun. Ita etiam Chald. Paraphr. 2. Senior is aetatis servuli dicuneur pueri à Dominis: non aetatem ex­primentes, sed conditionem. Amb. de Abr. l. 1. c. 9.

2. Servants of elder age are called lads, or youths, or young men: as some of the Lord Majors servants are cal­led. So as this title doth oft signifie rather the condition of men, then their age.

The Matter of the charge containeth in it words of pre­paration, (Choose us out men) and execution, (Go out, fight with Amalek.)

The first word of the preparation ( [...] choose) implieth a carefull and diligent choice upon good triall and proofe. Isa. 48. 10. [...] Where God saith, [...] I have chosen (or proved thee) in the fornace of affliction, this word is used: as also, 2 Sam. 6. 1. where it is said that David gathered together all the [...] chosen (or choice, or chiefe) men of Israel. This particle ( [...]. us) is an usuall redun­dancy in the Hebrew tongue. Yet is it not without an Em­phasis, implying thus much, choose for us, for our use, for [Page 202] our good, for the better successe to us.

The last word of the preparation ( [...] plurali numero ponitur pro [...] See the Dignity of Chivalry §. 3. men) importeth the kind of men that were to be chosen, namely, such as might truly be called MEN, Valiant and valorous men.

The Charge for execution consisteth of two clauses. The first, (go out.) He meaneth, out from the congregation of the Israelites, or from the camp where they were, into the open field where the enemies were.

Two weighty reasons may be given hereof.

  • 1. To prevent the enemy, and to keepe him from entring in among all the people.
  • 2. To pitch where Moses (that intended to pray for them) might the better see them: that so by sight of them his spirit might be the more quickned, and his prayer the more sharpned.

The last clause of the execution (fight with Amalek) shew­eth the maine action to be done, (fight) and the object or per­son with whom, (with Amalek.)

The action is expressed in the very same word that was § 4. before applied to the enemy; but the circumstances give evidence that there it is used in one respect, here in another.

  • 1. There for assault, here for defence.
  • 2. There for offering wrong, here for maintaining right.
  • 3. There for an effect of malice, here of justice.
  • 4. There for an action without good warrant, here with the best warrant that can be, Divine precept.

Thus the same thing for substance may be done lawfully, or unlawfully. Warre may lawfully be waged: and warre may unlawfully be waged. Circumstances make much to the goodnesse or badnesse of an action.

Who are comprised under this last word Amalek hath beene shewed §. 2. before.

The maine scope and drift of this charge is to use fit means for preventing that mischiefe which Amalek yet further in­tended against them. The means was to send out a well fur­nished army against him.

This Charge then commendeth to us seven observations.

[Page 203]I. Princes must provide for their peoples protection. Moses saidSo did Moses whom God made a Ruler over Israel: he provided temporall and spirituall meanes. He sent forth an army, and he himselfe lift up his hands for Israels protection.

to Ioshua,II. Men deputed to weighty works ought to be prepared thereto before hand. Ioshua was to be the man that should conquer the Canaanites; He therefore is here made Gene­rall forty yeares before.

Choose us out men,III. Military men must be choice men. The charge here given for choosing men importeth as much.

And go out,IIII. Enemies must, as much as may be, be kept out. The charge here given is to go out, namely to meet the enemy before he enter.

FightV. Warre is warrantable. It is here commanded by him that ordered his commands by speciall warrant from God.

with Amalek.VI. Violence with violence may be resisted. Amalek with open hostility fought against Israel: Israel therefore is com­manded with open hostility to fight against Amalek.

VII. Approved means are to be used for attaining our de­sired ends. This is a generall doctrine arising from the prin­cipall intent of this charge, whereunto all the fore-named particulars do tend. Moses here desiring to have the Israe­lites freed from these mischievous Amalakites, giveth order for using the best ordinary meanes, which was by force of armes to vanquish them.

§. 10. Of Princes protecting their people.

Sicut obedientes oportet esse qui reguntur, sic etiam Rectores & Principes vigilantes esse decet. Chrys. Hom. 34. in Heb. 13.I. PRinces must provide for their peoples protection. As they who are under government must be subject, so it becommeth Governours and Princes to be watchfull for the good of those that are under their charge. So was Moses here: and so all good Kings, Princes, Iudges, and other supreme Rulers and Governours have beene from time to time. Many have put their owne safety in hazzard to save their people. Instance those who in their owne persons have gone to warre, and beene Generals themselves over the [Page 204] armies which they have gathered together for their peoples protection. Thus have done, not onely Iudges who were ex­traordinarily and purposely stirred up to deliver the people, as Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Barak, Gideon, Iephthah, Samp­son, and such others: but also Kings, both such as were im­mediately chosen of God, and such as by lineall descent came to the crowne, as Saul, David, Abijah, Asa, Iehosaphat, and others. Kings of old were wont to be Generalls in warre. In this respect it may be said of them, as Iephthah said of him­selfe, They put their soules in their hands, that is, they jeo­parded Iudg 12. 4. their lives. It was the protection of her people wherby Esther was moved to attempt that which made her say, If I perish I perish. It was also the like cause that made Nehemiah undertake a long journey from Shushan to Ierusa­lem, Est. 4. 16. Neh. 2. &c. and there to oppose himselfe to the envy and malice of the Iewes enemies. That which the Bramble is feigned to Iudg. 9. 16. say, is a speech proper to a King, and it properly appertai­neth to him to say, If in truth ye annoint me King over you, then come and put your trust under my shadow. A King ought to be as a shadow under which his people may put their trust. Read Psal. 72. 4, &c. Lam. 4. 20.

That dignity and authority which Governours have over Governours dignity is for their subjects welfare. Deus pro utilita­te communi principatus insti­tuit. Chrys. Hom 6. in 1 Tim 6. their people, is not simply and onely for their owne exalta­tion, but for the preservation and protection of them over whom they are set. They are Ministers of God to them for good, Rom. 13 4. Of David (whom God made King over Israel) it is said, The Lord brought him to feed Iacob his peo­ple, &c. Psal. 78. 71. And to Saul (whom the Lord anointed King over Israel) it was said, Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalakites, and fight against them, &c. 1 Sam. 15. 17, 18. They must therefore feed their people, and fight for them: if not in their owne persons, yet by using their power and au­thority to leavy armies, to send forth armies, to furnish ar­mies with all things needfull for them, and to give such dire­ctions as shalbe meet. So did Moses here, who went not out in his owne person: So David, when he saw it meet for himselfe to tary at home, sometimes he sent forth Ioab, and [Page 205] all the host of the strong men; other times he sent forth others, and gave directions what to do, 2 Sam. 10. 7. & 18. 2. & 20. 4, 6. The very order of nature accommodated to the peace Ordo naturalis mortalium paci accommodatus, hoc poscit ut sus­cipiendi belli au­thoritas & con­silium penes principes sit. Aug cont. Faust. Manic. l, 22. c. 75. of men, requireth thus much, that the authority and coun­sell of undertaking warre should be in the power of Princes.

Happy are those people and polities that have such Prin­ces; that like Mordecai, seeke the wealth of their people, (Est. 10. 3.) that preserve them in peace, that protect them from perill.

Pray for such. Be thankfull for such. Be subject and obe­dient to such. Give to such their due. Such are worthy of double honour: and the double honour of maintenance and reverence is to be yeelded to such.

§. 11. Of preparing men to great exploits.

II. §. 9. MEn deputed to weighty works ought to be prepared thereto before hand. Thus Ionathan, the heire to the crowne of Israel, if his fathers wickednesse had not for­feited it, was in his fathers time much exercised to warre. 1 Sam. 14 4.—31. 2. Because God intended that David should be King over Isra­el, and subdue many enemies, his imployments were such before hand, as he could not but be much better thereby prepared to do what he did when he was King. For first he had occasion given him to 1 Sam 17. 34, 48. graple with a Lion and a Beare: then with a Giant: after that with the —18. 27.—23. 5. Philistines, —27. 8. and the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the —30. 17. Amalakites. Yea, Sauls fierce persecuting him was no small meanes to prepare him the better for his kingdome. 2 Chro. 11. 22. Rehoboam shew­ed himselfe wise in making his sonne Abijah whom he de­puted to the kingdome, Ruler among his brethren. The reason that moved Iudg. 8. 20. Gideon to carry his first borne sonne Ie­ther to the warre, and to put him to slay the kings that were taken, was without all question to prepare him for fu­ture exploits, and to put boldnesse, courage, and spirit into him.

[Page 206] To this end tend all seminaries and meanes of education, as, Schooles, Colledges, Vniversities, Innes of Court, Incorporations, Companies, and other such like Societies, so Artilery and Military gardens, and all sorts of trainings and exerci­sing of armes, yea and such kind of recreations as make men fitter for warre; such as the Olympian and Isthmian games: and shooting, playing at wasters and foines, all manner of fencings, and other like in use among us.

Preparation before hand enableth men much better to manage matters then otherwise they could. Experience makes expert. Of those that came to establish David in his kingdome, it is said, that being expert in warre they could Vsus promptos facit. 1 Chro 12. 33, 38. set a battell in array, and lead an army.

They who intend to do their country service by standing for the defence thereof against enemies, may here learne to take occasion betimes of acquainting themselves with the warre. And in case there be not enemies, by fighting with whom experience may be learned, to exercise themselves in trainings at home. See The Dig­nity of Chivalry §. 7, 16, 17, &c For which purpose Artilery gardens and Military fields are usefull: and therefore to be maintai­ned, and frequented.

§. 12. Of keeping out enemies.

III. See §. 9. MIlitary men must be choice men. Of this suffi­cient is spoken in the Dignity of Chivalry.

IIII. See §. 9. Enemies must, as much as may be, be kept out. I say, as much as may be, because the power of enemies may be such, as they can not be kept from entring. Before Debo­rahs time there was Ind. 5. 8. warre in the gates. And in Hezekiahs time, though he did what he could to prevent the enemy, 2 King. 18. 13, 17. Senacharib tooke the strong cities of Iudah, and encamped before the walls of Ierusalem. But if possibly they can they must be kept out. The phrases of Luk. 14. 31, 32 meeting an enemy, or sending to him while he is yet a great way off, used by Christ in the parable, import as much. So doth also the care that wise [Page 207] Princes and States have had in this case. Iudg. 3. 10. Othniel WENT OVT to warre. So did that wise and mighty Prince 2 Sam. 8. Da­vid: he fought with many enemies on every side: but he went out to them all.

The many frontier townes, walled cities, forts, garri­sons, and other provisions against enemies invasions, which prudent Kings have in all ages beene wont to make, do ma­nifest their care in keeping enemies from entring among their people. Salomon, though he were a Prince of peace, yet wisely to prevent the worst, 2 Chro. 8. 5. Built cities fenced with walls, gates, and barres. And —9. 25, he had foure thousand stalls of horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the chariot-cities, that upon all occasions they might be ready to go out against enemies. Though Rehoboam manifested much folly in rejecting the counsell of his fathers sage counsellours, yet he shewed more after-wit and wis­dome —11. 5. &c. in building fenced cities in Iudah and Benjamin, and fortifying strong holds, and putting captaines in them, and store of victuall, and shields, and speares. The like is recorded of —14. 6, 7. Asa, —17. 2. &c. Iehosaphat, —26. 9 &c. Vzziah, —27. 3, 4. Iotham, —32. 5, 6. Hezekiah, —33. 13, 14. Manasseh after his repentance, and others.

Thus many dangers and mischiefs are prevented, wherin­to people, by enemies entering in among them, might other­wise fall. Sundry of the Tribes of Israel, thorow too much security, suffered Iebusites, Canaanites, Amorites, and other enemies to dwell among them Iudg 1. 21, 27, 29, &c. a point of folly taxed by the Holy Ghost) whereby they became snares and traps to the Israelites, and scourges in their sides, and thornes in their eyes. What in the proverbe is said of a troublesome guest, may Turpiùs ejicitur quàm non ad­mi [...]itur h [...]spes. Vel hostis. Ovid. de Trist. lib. 5. Eleg 6. Intelligences usefull. more properly be said of a mortall enemy. There is worse adoe to cast him out, then to keepe him out.

For application of this point,

1. The best care that can be must be taken for good in­telligence: that the purposes and plots of enemies may be prevented in the beginning before they come to any maturi­ty. Gods care in giving extraordinary intelligence by his Prophet to the King of Israel, of his enemies projects, 2 King 6, 8, &c [Page 208] giveth evidence that it is a point of wisdome to get by all lawfull means what intelligence we can. The advice which David gave to Hushai concerning intelligence was not un­lawfull, 2 Sam. 15. 34 &c. —17. 14. &c 1 Sam. 19. 2, 11. —23. 9, 25. but very usefull, as the issue proveth. David was oft preserved by that intelligence which he had of Sauls pur­poses against him.

2. So soone as any true notice is given of an enemies pur­pose against us, all good speed must be used to withstand him. Expedition is a principall point of warlike policy. Expedition usefull. Gen. 14. 15. Ios. 10. 6, 9. [...]. Veni, vidi, vici, Caesar inter pom pae fercula trium verborum praetu­lit titulum, Veni, vidi, vici, non acta belli sig­nificantem, sed celeriter consecti notam. Sueton de 12. Caesar. l. 1. Hereby Abraham soone recovered what five Kings had lost in battell. When the Gibeonites sent to Ioshua for succour, this message they sent, Slake not thine hand, come up to us quickly and save us. Ioshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went all night. Alexander got his many and great con­quests by putting off no opportunity, nor deferring time. Iulius Caesar (another great Conquerour) thus expresseth his expedition, I came, I saw, I overcame. I came to such a place, I saw it, and instantly set upon it and over­came it.

3. Least enemies should rise, and be upon us before we can have intelligence of their purpose, or notice of their ap­proaching, it is very needfull to have means to descry them before they be among us. The comming of Iehu upon Ioram Meanes to de­scry enemies afarre off. was very sudden. Yet by reason of the continuall watch that was kept, he was descried afarre off. And, had not God raised up Iehu to execute vengeance on the house of Ahab, some mischiefe might have been prevented thereby.

4. So well prepared should kingdomes, nations, and ci­ties Sufficient de­fence in a land Imminente bello, intus fide, for is ferro, non aurose muniunt: quate­nus armati & non ornati hosti­bus melum incu­tiant. Bern. ad Mil. Temp. cap. 4. be, as if an enemy should suddenly invade them, yet not prevaile against them, and over-run them. For this pur­pose (according to the situation of the place) ought they to be provided. Ilands environed by the sea, with good ship­pings. Cities and townes in Continents well fenced. Ex­pert souldiers and munition of all sorts in all places: yea and continuall trainings, and military exercises for preserving seminaries of souldiers.

Let the issue of Laish her security, & want of intelligencers, [Page 209] of watchmen, and of other meanes by which her people might in time have gone out against the Danites, and pre­served their city, be a warning to all countries.

§. 13. Of the lawfulnesse of warre.

V. See §. 9. WArre is warrantable. Abundant proofe is hereof given in holy Scripture, (whence all sufficient warrant for any thing is to be fetched) as appeareth by these arguments following.

1. Saints not ignorant of Gods will, nor reproved of God Illi bella gesse­runt, ut tales victorias appa­reret Dei volun tate praeslari. Aug. contr. Faust. Manich. lib. 22. cap. 76. in this case, have waged warre: as Abraham, Ioshua, extraordinary Iudges, and the best of the Kings, with many others.

2. They have asked counsell, and received direction from God for waging warre, Iudg. 1. 1. & 20. 28. 1 Sam. 23. 2. & 30. 8. 2 Sam. 5. 19.

3. They have prayed for assistance herein: their prayers have in this case beene heard: and they answerably have beene thankfull for successe herein, Num. 21. 2. 2 Chro. 14. 11. & 20. 6. Psal. 18. 1, &c.

4. Their wars are testified to be waged in faith, Heb. 11. 33, 34.

5. God hath of himselfe (when no prayer hath for that end beene made by man) expresly commanded his people to fight against enemies, Num. 31. 2. Ios. 6. 2.

6. God hath visibly shewed himself a principall party in war and is stiled a Captaine of his peoples host, Iosh. 5. 14, 2 Chro. 13. 12.

7. God hath given directions for well waging warre, Deut. 20.

8. Part of the spoiles taken in war were to be dedicated to God, Numb, 31. 28.

9. The Lords holy Priests were appointed to go with their holy trumpets unto the warre for the souldi­ers better encouragement, Numb. 10. 9. 2 Chron. 13. 12, 14.

[Page 210] 10. Victory in warre is promised as a blessing, Lev. 26. 7, 8, &c.

11. God is said to teach mens hands to warre, and fingers to fight, Psal. 18. 34. & 144. 1.

12. Battels are stiled warres of God, and the Lords Battels, 1 Sam. 18. 17. & 25. 28. 2 Chro. 20. 15.

13. God himselfe is stiled A man of warre, and the Lord of hosts, Exo. 15. 3. 1 Sam. 1. 11.

§. 14. Of the lawfulnesse of warre under the New Testament.

1. Ob. ALL these proofs are taken out of the Old Te­stament, 1. Ob. No proofe for war out of the New Testamēt Answ. which gives not sufficient warrant to Christians.

Answ. 1. The ground of the objection is unfound. For in many things the Old Testament gives even to Christians as good warrant as the New. 2 Tim. 3. 16. 2 Pet. 1. 21. The Old Testament is as truly divine as the New. And many things therein contai­ned concerne all ages of the Church to the end of the world.

2. The kind of the fore-mentioned reasons is such as is agreeable to common equity, and must in that respect be ex­tended to all times.

3. Though no particular arguments could be diducted out of the New Testament, yet because the Old is so plentifull in proofs for warre, the New is the more sparing. For the New Testament useth lesse to insist on those points whereon the Old hath much insisted. Instance the Sabbath, usury, re­moving land-markes, and other the like.

4. The Church in those times whereof the New Testa­ment recordeth the history, had no outward setled state; but was under such civill Governours as were of a contrary profession, as Heathen Emperours and Lords. No marvell then that the New Testament speaketh no more then it doth of warre.

5. The scope of the New Testament is rather to set out [Page 211] the spirituall kingdome of Christ, and the spirituall govern­ment of the Church, then civill outward polities and king­domes of men: and therefore is the more sparing in this point of warre.

6. The New Testament doth also afford sufficient warrant Arguments in the New Te­stament for warre. for war: as is evident by these following reasons.

  • 1.
    Si percutere gla [...]io omninò [...]a [...] non est Chri­stiano, cur ergò Praeco Salvato­ris contentos sore suis stipendijs militibus indixit, & non potius omnem militiam interdixit. Bern­ad Mil Temp. c. 3. Vide Aug contra Faust. Manich. l. 22. c. 74.
    When professed Souldiers, who lived on that pro­fession, being powerfully wrought upon by Iohn the Bap­tists ministry, asked him (for their future course of life) what they should do, he counsels them not to leave that profession, but well to use it, to be content with their wages, (Luk. 3. 14.) not to returne their wages back againe. Thus he justifi­eth their calling. For in an unlawfull calling they might not continue, nor receive wages for it.
  • 2.
    Fidem lauda­vit Centurionis, non illius militiae desertionem im­peravit. Aug. loc. citat. Sanē cum occidit malefactorem, non homicida, sed, ut ità dicam, malicida, & pla­nè Christi vin­dex in his malè agunt, & defen­sor Christiano­rum reputatur. Ibid.
    Centurions, who were principall persons in warre, are commended for those graces which were in them, and for the evidences they gave thereof, without any reproofe or dis-allowance of their warlike profession, Matth. 8. 10. Acts 10. 4.
  • 3. Warres waged in the Old Testament are commended in the New, Heb. 11. 33, 34.
  • 4. Michael and his Angels are brought in fighting with the Dragon and his Angels, Rev. 12. 7.
  • 5. The victories which the Church under the New Te­stament shall have over her enemies is foretold, Rev. 17. 14. & 19. 19.
  • 6. The Magistrates sword is justified. But he beareth the sword aswell to subdue open enemies abroad, as to punish evill subjects at home, Rom. 13. 4. With that publique sword when he slayeth a malefactour he is not to be coun­ted a slayer of men, but a destroyer of evill men, and Christs avenger of those that do evill, and a protector of Christians.

§. 15. Of other objections against the lawfulnesse of warre, answered.

2. Ob. CHRIST threatneth that All they that take 2. Ob. See §. 20. the sword shall perish with the sword.

Answ. 1. That and such like principles concerned the Iewes, and others that lived before Christ as much as Chri­stians.

2. They all are against private revenge. But warre is a publique execution of justice.

3. The fore-mentioned threatning is in speciall to be ap­plied to the houre, wherein Christ would give himselfe to the power of his enemies, and would not be rescued by the power of Angels: much lesse by the sword of man.

4. He would shew how his kingdome was protected: not as humane kingdomes, by dint of sword.

3. Ob. We are commanded to have peace with all men.

Answ. That, and other such like precepts are limited 3. Ob. Heb. 12. 14. Rom. 12. 18. with such provisoes as these, If it be possible, and, As much as lyeth in you. On our part there must be no occasion of breaking peace, or making warre. Yea if we can on lawfull and meet termes make peace, we must do our best therein.

4 Ob. It was foretold of Christians that they should 4. Ob. Isa. 2. 4. beate their swords into plough-shares, and their speares into pruning-hookes: and that nation should not lift up a sword against nation, nor learne warre any more.

Answ. Those and such like propheticall phrases are som­what hyperbolicall; they expresse that intire amity that should be betwixt true Christians: and the alteration of their nature by the Spirit of grace. So as the difference be­twixt nature and grace is very lively set out thereby: to which purpose tend those other high transcendent hyperbo­licall phrases of the Prophet Isay, Chap. 11. Vers. 6, 7, 8, 9.

§. 16. Of warring with Christians.

5. Ob. TO yeeld that warre may be made against Infi­dels, Idolaters, and other open enemies of the Church, yet may it not be made against Professours of the Christian Faith.

Answ. 1. Some that outwardly professe the Christian Faith may be as great enemies to the true Faith, as plaine In­fidels. I know (saith Christ) the blasphemy of them that say Rev. 2. 9. they are Iewes, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Papists professe the Christian Faith, yet are Anti-Christians, the directest and deadliest enemies that Christs true Church ever had. The ten Tribes that with Ieroboam revolted from the house of David, professed themselves to be the people of the true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, and yet were deadly enemies to Iudah, and the children of Iu­dah oft waged warre against them, and that justly and law­fully: 2 Chro, 13, 15 and the Lord helped them therin. What can Papists plead more then the revolting Israelites could. Papists pro­fesse the true God, Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost: So did the Israelites the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob. Papists are baptized: Israelites were circumcised. Papists retaine the holy Scriptures; so did the Israelites, as much of them as was then written. Were it not too great a digression, I could easily demonstrate how Papists have much further star­ted from the true Christian Faith, then the Israelites did from the Law of Moses.

2. The cause of warre is more to be respected then the persons against whom it is waged. If Protestants should give just occasion of warre, warre might justly be underta­ken against them. Before the division of the ten Tribes from the rest, the rest of the Israelites fought against the Iudg. 20. 28. 2 Sam. 2. 13. 2 Sam 18. 7.—20. 6.&c. Benjamites, and that by Gods advice. David also was for­ced to fight against the men of Israel that tooke part with Ish bosheth: and after that with Absalom; and after that with Sheba the sonne of Bichri.

§. 17. Of the necessity and benefit of warre.

VVArre is a kind of execution of publique justice: and a means of maintaining right. For oft there is such conspiracy of many men together in doing wrong, and so obstinate and violent they are therein, as by no admonitions, perswasions, threatnings, penalties of Law, or ordinary means of executing justice they wilbe restrained. And so in­sufferably ambitious are some, & so insatiably covetous, as no dignities or jurisdictions will content them, no revenewes or profits will satisfie them. Were not such men restrained, and suppressed by force of armes, none should live in quiet, none should possesse or enjoy any thing besides themselves. So as the iniquity of men causeth a necessity of warre: and the benefit that thence ariseth causeth pious and righteous men to use it. By it a free and quiet profession of the true Faith is maintained: peace is setled: kingdomes and com­mon-wealths are secured: lands and inheritances quietly possessed: all manner of callings freely exercised: good In ipsis rebus bellicis iusta bella, an iniusta sint, spectandum. Amb. Offic l. 1 c. 35. Ita ferè Aug. Quoest. super Ios. l. 6. c. 10. lawes put in execution: due justice executed: ill minded persons kept under: and many evils prevented. I deny not but by warre the cleane contrary is oft effected, and all things thereby put out of order. But then warre is abused. We speake of the just and right use of warre. For this is in warlike affaires especially to be considered, whether the warres undertaken be just or unjust.

§. 18. Of just warres.

Ne bella per Moysen gesla miretur aut hor­reat, quia & in illis divina secu tus inperia non soeviens sed obe­diens fuit. Aug. cont. Faust. Manich. l. 22. c. 74. Et Quoest. su­per Ios. l. 6. c. 10 Quest. VVHat warres may be counted just and lawfull?

Answ. To make a just and full answer, warres must be di­stinguished.

1. There have been wars extraordinarily made by ex­presse charge from God. As the wars in Moses his time against Sihon, and Og, and the Midianites, (Num. 21. 21, [Page 215] 33. & 31. 1.) and the warres in Ioshuahs time. No question must be made of them, because they had the best warrant that could be, Gods command. If any will make those wars a patterne to root out kingdomes and nations as Moses and Ioshua did, let them shew the like warrant.

2. Ordinary warres are either defensive or offen­sive.

Defensive warre is that which is undertaken to defend Defensive war our selves or friends from such wrongs as enemies intend, or attempt against us or them: whether the enemies be for­raigne or domestique.

This warre whereunto Moses sendeth Ioshua, was defen­sive, against a forraigne enemy which wronged these Israe­lites themselves, and first set upon them.

The warre wherein Ioshua aided the Gibeonites against the five Kings that besieged them, was defensive in the behalfe Ios. 10. 7. 2 Sam. 3. 1.—18. 7.—20. 6. Offensive war. The causes thereof. Bellum ipsis pie­tatis materiâ siebat. Chrys. ad Pop. Hō. 14. Si quà gens vel civitas quae bello petenda est, vel vindicare neg­lexerit quod a suis improbè factum est, vel red dere quod per iniurias ablatum est, bellum est iustum. Aug. Quaest. super Ios. l. 6 c. 10. Iusta bella defi niri solent, quae ulciscuntur iniurias. Ibid. of friends against forraigne enemies.

Davids warre against the house of Saul, and against them that tooke part with Absalom, and Sheba, was defensive against domestiques.

No question can be made of the lawfulnesse of such wars as these are. Necessity forceth men thereto.

Offensive warre is when enemies are first set upon: which according to the causes given of offending an enemy, may be as just as defensive warre. The causes are such as these.

  • 1. Maintenance of Truth, and purity of Religion. This moved the Israelites in Canaan to think of making warre against their brethren on the other side of Iordan, Ios. 22. 12. In this respect the warres of the Kings of the earth against Anti-Christ are commended, Dan. 11. 40. Rev. 17. 16.
  • 2. Recovery of that which is unjustly taken away. For this end the Israelites in Samuels and Davids time set upon the Philistines to recover the cities which they had taken away, 1 Sam. 7. 14. 2 Chron. 18. 1. This also was the cause of Abijahs war against Ieroboam, 2 Chro. 13. 5.
  • 3. Execution of vengeance on such as have done publique [Page 216] wrong. This reason doth God render of sending Saul against Amalek, 1 Sam. 15. 2. For such a cause David made warre against the Amonites, 2 Sam. 10. 7.
  • 4. Drawing away enemies from some dangerous plot that they have in hand. Thus to draw Saul from pursuing David, God stirred up the Philistines to invade Israel. Thus
    1 Sam. 23. 27. 2 Chro. 16. 3.
    Asa set upon Baasha, to hinder the bulwarks which Baasha was making against Iudah. If Asa had not distrustfully hired wicked instruments, he had done well in his warre.
  • 5. Weakning the power of open and profest enemies. For this end David set upon all enemies of Israel round about.
    2 Sam. 8.
  • 6. Subduing of rebellious subjects that gather head, and will not be brought under law. For this end Abel of Beth­maachah was besieged by Davids men.
  • 7. To helpe and assist friends and allies in like cases. So
    2 Sam 20. 15.
    Abraham fought against them that with other Sodomites had taken Lot captive.
    Gen. 14. 14.

Provided notwithstanding that before men enter into warre, whether defensive or offensive, all good and faire Cautions in going to war. Non sanè inter vos aliud bella movet, lites (que) suscitat, nisi irra­tionabil is ira­cundiae motus, aut inanis gloriae appetitus, aut terrenae qualis­cun (que) possessionis cupiditas: talibus certè ex causis ne (que) occidere ne (que) occumberetutum est, Bern. ad Mil. Temp. c. 2, &c. Vide item Aug. cont. Faust. Manich. l. 22. c. 74. meanes be used, to move enemies voluntarily to do what is just and equall. The advice which the Apostle giveth about going to law, (1 Cor. 6. 1, &c.) may fitly be applied to go­ing to warre. We have good patternes herein, not onely in the Israelites towards their brethren, (Ios. 22. 13. Iudg. 20. 12, 13.) but also in Iephthah towards the Ammonites, (Iudg. 11. 12.) Yea the directions given in the Law tend much to this purpose, Deut. 20. 10, &c.

This caution observed, in faith may men on the fore­named grounds wage warre. But if nothing besides the motion of unreasonable passion and anger, or ambition and vaine-glory, or desire of any earthly possession whatsoever, do provoke men to warre, surely for these causes it is not safe to kill or to be killed. Souldiers were of old gravely and justly reproved for undertaking combats in such cases.

§. 19. Of souldiers encouragement in just warre.

THat which hath beene delivered of the lawfulnesse of warre cannot but afford matter of much comfort and courage to such as are called to just warre. They may on this ground go in faith, with much confidence, cheerfully, and couragiously. If there be peace betwixt God and their own soules, if they have truly repented of all their sinnes, if their persons be justified as well as their cause warranted, they may not onely call upon God, and that in faith, for his assistance and blessing, and depend on him for the same, but also un­dauntedly meet death in the mid-way, and comfortably commend their soules into Gods hands. What need he in Quid vel vivens vel morieus me­tuat, cui vivere Christus est, & mori lu­crum. Bern. ad Mil. Temp c. 1. Eisihosies nos perimant, nullum tamen ad animas periculum mi­grat: ne (que) salutem illam sempiter­nam violare pos­sunt. Chrys. Hom. 7. in 1 Tim. 2. life or death feare, to whom to live is Christ, and to die is gaine, Phil. 1. 21. Though enemies destroy the body, yet no danger comes thereby to the soule: neither can they im­peach eternall salvation. There is much comfort in brea­thing out our last breath in Gods work. It is a kind of Mar­tyrdome. For a souldier to die in the field in a good cause, it is as for a Preacher to die in a pulpit. Vpon the cautions be­fore noted, this assuredly wilbe the issue, If a souldier get the day, or otherwise escape with his life, they that set him on work are too too ungratefull if they do not abundantly reward him. Herein if man faile, assuredly the righteous Lord will not faile. For, whatsoeuer good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free, Eph. 6. 8. In particular, The Lord will certainly make them a sure house that fight the battels of the Lord, 1 Sam. 25. 28. If Quàm gloriosi revertuntur vi­ctores de praelio, quàm beati mori­untur Martyres in praelio. Bern. loc. citat. in this worke of the Lord, in his warre, he be slaine, his soule shalbe more then a conquerour, triumphing in heaven over all sorts of enemies. They may therefore be secure. O how gloriously do such with victory returne from war! how blessedly do such as Martyrs die in battell!

§. 20. Of opposing violence to violence.

VI. Sec § 9. VIolence may be resisted with violence. If any course may be accounted violent, surely war is one of those courses. To omit the §. 13. Lex talionis. fore-mentioned proofes for the warrant of warre, Deut 19. 21. Exo. 21. 23, 24, 25. the law of requiting like for like maketh much to this purpose. Thus dealt 1 Sam. 15. 33. Samuel with Agag, when he said to him, As thy sword hath made women childlesse, so shall thy mother be childlesse among women. So dealt. Iudg 1. 6, 7. Iudah with Adonibezek, whose thumbs and great toes they cut off: for so had he dealt with 70 Kings. Many like evidences are recorded and justified in holy writ.

Thus are violent, cruell, and hard-hearted men by a sensi­ble demonstration brought to see their perverse and mis­chievous disposition. As the fore-named Adonibezek confesseth, saying, As I have done so the Lord hath requi­ted me.

Ob. How can this resisting of violence with violence stand with those Christian principles, Resist not evill, Re­compence to no man evill for evill. Avenge not your selves, Quid est non reddere malum pro malo, nist ab­horrereab ulcis [...]ē ­di libidine? Quid est accepta iniu­ria ignoscere malle quam per­sequi, &c. Aug. Macellino. Epist. 5. Hoc fit ut vinca­tur bono malus, immo in homine malo vincatur bogo malum. Ibid. Vide Aug. contr. Faust. Manich l. 22. c. 76. Mat. 5. 39. Rom. 12. 17, 19.

Answ. 1. The resisting of violence here intended is a publique execution of justice: but that which Christ for­biddeth is private revenge. The latter phrase, avenge not your selves, is an exposition of the former.

2. Christs words are to be taken comparatively, thus. A Christian must be so farre from revenge, as rather suffer a double wrong.

3. They imply a readinesse to forgive, againe and againe.

4. They import a Christian vertue, of overcomming evill with goodnesse and patience, Rom. 12. 21.

Learne wisely to discerne betwixt persons, and cases: thorowly sift and examine your owne passions: let your hearts be seasoned with a true feare of God, and love of man: let it be enflamed with a zeale of Gods glory: set good ends [Page 219] before you, and aime at them: be well instructed in the meanes whereby you may attaine to those ends; and then take courage and resolution to your selves. Deale with wic­ked men, as wicked men are to be dealt withall: fight against them that fight against you: with the froward shew your selves froward, (as the Lord himselfe doth:) despise them that despise you: shew as much scorne of them, as Psal 18. 26. 1 Sam. 2. 30. they can do of you. This is to answer a foole according to his folly, and to keep him from being proud in his own conceipt, Pro. 26. 5. from insulting over you, and from taking advantage against you. There be times & occasions when mischievous enemies are not to be yeelded unto, no not an haires breadth. By op­posing undaunted courage against their stout boldnesse, they may be beaten at their owne weapon.

§. 21. Of using meanes.

VII. Sec §. 9. APproved meanes are to be used for attaining our desired ends. The parables which our Lord useth about providing that which may be sufficient for an intended building, and about casting how to meet an ene­my that is comming against him, (Luke 14. 28, &c.) give good evidence to the truth of this point. Wherefore such Saints as have beene guided by the Spirit of God, even in those wars whereabout God himselfe hath sent them, and to which he hath given assurance of victory, have been care­full to use meanes. For this end Ios. 1. 12, &c. Ioshua required all the men of warre that were of the Reubenites, Gadites, and halfe the Tribe of Manasseh, that quietly enjoyed their possessi­ons on the other side of Iordan, to go over before the rest of the Israelites, armed to helpe them. On the contrary Iudg 5. 23. Meroz is cursed for not affording aid to helpe the Lord against the mighty. The meanes §. 12. before noted for keeping out enemies tend to the point in hand.

Of such use are means, as if they be wanting, God will not do the thing that is expected to be done. Though Acts 27. 24, 31 God had given to Paul all that sailed with him, yet when the mariners [Page 220] (who are ordinary meanes to advise, and helpe in dangers on the sea) were about to leave the ship, Paul said, except these abide ye cannot be safe. So as ordinarily there is a kind of necessity that meanes be used. Yea we oft read of meanes used in extraordinary matters. Exo. 8. 17. The dust of the earth was strucke, that out of it lice might arise to plague Pharaoh. —9. 8, 10. Ashes of the fornace were sprinkled into the aire to cause boiles to breake forth upon man and beast in Egypt. —17. 6. The rocke was struck with a staffe to make water flow out of it. 2 King 4. 41. Meale was cast into the pot, to make the pottage whol­some.

The use of meanes makes much to the manifestation Gods glory in the use of meanes.

  • 1. Of Gods providence, in affording meet means.
  • 2. Of his wisdome, in ordering means fitly.
  • 3. Of his goodnesse, in blessing means.

And thus more occasion is given of calling upon God for his blessing on the means which are used: and of praising him when we see the fruit and benefit of means: yea and of humiliation when we observe means to be wanting, or to be ineffectuall.

1. Ob. 1 Sam. 14. 6. There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few, and 2 Chro. 14, 11 Meanes have respect to Gods will. by them that have no power.

Answ. 1. In speaking of meanes no question is made of Gods power. For he that without any means made all things, can do what els pleaseth him without means. But the question is of his will; whether he that hath sanctified such and such means, for such and such purposes, will effect matters without the means which he hath appointed for ef­fecting them.

2. The question is of Gods ordinary manner of working. Now Gods ordinary providence in ordinary matters is the ground of our faith, rather then his extraordinary power.

2. Ob. Iudg. 7. 2, 4. God restrained Gideon in using the means that in his case were ordinarily used.

Answ. The Lord tieth not himselfe to ordinary courses, God not tied to meanes. as he hath tied his creatures, who can not go beyond the bounds which he hath appointed to them. So as herein [Page 221] lieth a difference betwixt the Creatour and creatures. For the manifestation of this difference it pleased God somtimes to do great matters with small meanes, (yea and Exo. 17. 28. with no meanes at all,) and to cause those particulars to be recor­ded, that all ages might know what of himselfe he is able to do.

3. Ob. Means use to draw mens minds from God: and Abuse of means. to make them dote too much on means.

Answ. That is the abuse of means. Means are by such considered onely in themselves, and not in the principall agent who makes them effectuall. Such were the Israelites, to whom the Prophet thus, Isa. 31. 1. Woe to them that go downe to Egypt for helpe, and stay on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong: but they looke not unto the holy one of Israel, neither seeke the Lord. Thus they severed things, which were to be joyned together, God and means: means being the hand of the di­vine providence whereby he worketh such and such things. Quamvis creda­mus in Deum, faciamus tamen quae facienda sunt ab homini­bus in praesidium salutis, ne praeter­mittentes ea Deum tentare videamur. Aug. Quaest super Gen l 1. c. 102. Means therefore (in the right use of them) give occasion of beholding God, of calling on him, and praising him. Daily food, apparell, sleepe, works of our calling, and other like meanes wherby we are sustained, work such effects in those that are piously minded. Wherefore though we believe in God, yet let us do those things that are to be done by man for our safety, lest letting slip such means we may seeme to tempt God.

It will therefore be our wisdome in every thing that we take in hand,

  • 1. To observe what means are warranted for the effe­cting
    Rules for using means.
    thereof. Out of Gods Word we may have sufficient direction in this case.
  • 2. To be diligent in using those means. Many pro­mises
    Pro. 10 4.—12. 11.
    are made to the diligent, especially in Salomons Proverbs.
  • 3.
    Sec §. 27. Psal. 127. 1.
    To call on God for his blessing on our endeavors. Ex­cept the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vaine. To neglect means is an extreme in the defect, implying too [Page 222] great security. To relie only on means is an extreme in the excesse, implying too much insolency. God is tempted both waies. The middle therefore is the best and safest course, which is, in the use of meanes to relie on God for his blessing.

§. 22. Of the gestures of prayer.

EXOD. XVII. IX.‘To morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.’

Vide §. 1. & 9. THe Internall meanes, as promised on Moses part to be used by him, are here set downe. Wherein 1. the action undertaken by him is thus expressed, I will stand. This gesture of the body is put for an action of the minde Metonymia adjuncti. Signum prore significatâ. signified thereby, which is prayer. For standing was of old an usuall gesture of prayer. It never was the onely gesture. For the Scripture expresseth many other: whereof some were gestures of the whole body; others of particular members thereof.

There are three especiall gestures of the whole body. 1. Standing. 2. Bowing. 3. Prostrating, or lying all Gestures of prayer. along.

  • 1. Of Standing, more anon.
  • 2.
    §. 23. 1. Bowing.
    Bowing was used as an action of much reverence: and that for the most part, when they testified their thankfull ac­ceptance of some speciall favour. Read for this Exo. 4. 31. & 12. 27. 2 Chro. 29. 29, 30. Neh. 8. 6.
  • 3. Prostrating, or lying all along testified much humilia­tion, and dejection of the soule. Read for this, Ios. 7. 6.
    2. Prostrating.
    2 Sam. 12. 16. Ezra. 10. 1. Mat. 26. 39.

The gestures of the particular parts of the body are many more: as,

  • 1. Lifting up eyes. This giveth evidence of our expecta­tion of helpe from above: and of our faith fixed on him
    3. Lifting up eyes.
    [Page 223] who is in heaven. For the eye in prayer when it is lift up useth to stand fixed: in which respect Christ is said to lift up his eyes, and to looke to heaven, (Ioh. 11. 41. Mat. 14. 19.)
    Prona (que) cum spectent anima lia caetera terrā, Os homini subli­me dedit, coe­lum (que) videre Iussit, Sec. Ovid Metamorph. l. 1 See the Saints Sacrifice on Psal. 116. §. 25. 4. Lifting up hands.
    and David expressing prayer by this phrase, addeth the rea­son thereof, thus, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence commeth my helpe, &c. (Psal. 121. 1, 2. & 113. 1, 2.) Herein lieth an apparent difference betwixt man and other creatures. For where other creatures looke downeward, mans countenance is made more erect. And where other creatures have but foure mustles in their eye, man hath a fift to lift the eye upward.
  • 2. Lifting up hands, or spreading them abroad. Hereby we manifest that we can find no succour in our selves: but are ready to receive it from him on whom we call, and to whom we stretch our hands. Thus Salomon in his solemne prayer, spread forth his hands towards heaven, and under this phrase setteth out the prayer of others. (1 King. 8. 22, 38, 54.) So doth David, (Psal. 141. 2.) and Ieremiah, (Lam. 3. 41.)
  • 3. Casting downe eyes. This testifieth an holy shame, and
    5. Casting downe eyes.
    confusion of face by reason of a mans unworthinesse, and un­fitnesse to appeare in Gods sight. Take instance hereof in the penitent publicane, (Luk. 18. 13.) and in devout Ezra, Ezr. 9. 6.
  • 4. Knocking the breast. Contrition of heart, and com­punction
    6. Smiting breast.
    of spirit, godly sorrow and griefe is hereby mani­fested. In such respects the fore-named Publican is said to smite his breast, Luk. 8. 13.
  • 5. Renting clothes, pulling haire off the head and beard:
    7 Renting garments, &c.
    these are gestures which Ezra used, (Ezr. 9. 3, 5.) to which may be added the penitent womans teares, with which she washed the feet of Christ, and her wiping them with the haire of her head, Luk. 7. 38. Deep apprehension of sin, and much aggravation of griefe is by these and other like unusuall gestures declared.
  • 6. Kneeling. This is the most usuall and proper gesture for prayer. For examples, read 2 Chro. 6. 13. Ezra 9 5.
    8. Kneeling.
    [Page 224] Dan. 6. 10. Luke 22. 41. Act. 7. 60. & 9. 40. & 20. 36. & 21. 5.
    8. Kneeling. Deum genu posi­to adoramus, & fixo in terram poplite magis quod ab eo peti­mus, impetra­mus. Legimus enim & Paulū in littore sic orasse: & geniculatio­nes in oratione praeceptas. Hier. Comment. lib. 2, in Eph. 3.
    The very act of prayer is implied under this gesture, Eph. 3. 14. Psal. 95. 6. That homage which we owe to God, that reverend respect which we beare to him, that ho­nour which we desire to yeeld to him is hereby testified.

All these gestures (as occasions serve) well beseeme those that call upon God. But because here mention is made only of standing it shalbe sufficient to have named the other.

§. 23. Of standing in prayer.

EXOD. XVII. IX.‘I will stand.’

FRequent mention is made of standing at prayer. For proofe whereof, among others, take notice of these 9. Standing. Stantes oramus quod est signum resurrectionis. Aug. Ianuatio Epist. 119. Et de Serm. Dom. in monte [...] 2. Scriptures, Gen. 18. 22, 23. & 24. 13. 1 Sam. 1. 26. Neh. 9. 2, 4, 5. Mat. 6. 5. Luk. 18. 11, 13. Mar. 11. 25. Christians in the Primitive Church on the Lords daies, and also on sundry other Festivals did use to pray standing.

In many respects doth this gesture well become the divine exercise of prayer.

  • 1. It is a reverend manner of presenting ones selfe to God.
  • 2. It is an outward means of raising mens hearts and thoughts from earth to heaven. For in this kind of gesture is the head raised furthest from the earth, nearest to heaven. It is not so in bowing, sitting, kneeling, lying.
  • 3. It is a testification of our acknowledgement of Gods Soveraignty, authority, and dignity. Therfore among men, inferiours stand before them under whose command they are, 1 King. 3. 16. & 10. 8. Dan. 7. 10.
  • 4. It is a signe of stedfast faith in prayer. It is oft put for a gesture of steddinesse: and opposed to leaning, wavering, reeling, 1 Cor. 16. 13. Eph. 6. 13, 14.

Hereby Moses might then imply

  • [Page 225] 1. That he would present himselfe before the throne of God for them.
  • 2. That he would elevate his heart, and lift up his desires to heaven.
  • 3. That he would do what he did with due reverence, and respect to Gods excellency and soveraignty.
  • Stabat Moyses expectans fidem coelestium pro­missionum. Amb Comment in Psal. 118. Ser. 19.
    4. That he would with the best stedfastnesse of faith that he could pray for them, expecting the truth of divine pro­mises.

Thus he sheweth that on his part he would not be wan­ting to do what belonged to him, that they might be the more stirred up to do on their part what belonged to them, and that all might with the stronger confidence expect a good issue. Therefore this he professeth to do before hand, thus, (as our English translates it) I will stand. Or, (to turne it word for word) [...] in Niphal Be­noni. Me consistente. Trem. & Iun. I standing, which implieth a continuance in doing what he undertooke to do, together with an out­ward manifestation thereof. For by saying, I will stand, he meaneth as much as if he had said, I will pray, and you shall see that I pray.

This gesture of standing being proper to prayer, sheweth what they may do who are so thronged as they cannot kneele. They may stand. So as it taketh away their pretext who in strait pewes sit at prayer, because forsooth they can­not kneele. But I conceive that where a man can sit, he may much better stand.

§. 24. Of the time and place of Moses his prayer.

THe time which he limiteth for performing the fore­mentioned duty is not much delayed, nor farre put off: but rather the first opportunity is taken. For this word, [...] tomorrow, hath relation to Amaleks setting upon them, and implieth the next day: sooner then which, an army could not have beene gathered together.

The place also is expressed. (On the top of the hill.) At the time that Amalek set upon them they were in a vallie, or in a [Page 226] plaine, and there Ioshua went out against them. But Moses Why Moses went up to the top of an hill. goeth to the top of an hill neare to that vallie, and that for sundry just and weighty reasons: as,

  • 1. That he might the better discern the battell, and know whether Israel or Amalek had the better, and answe­rably order his prayer.
    Quando flamus ad orationem, vigilare & in­cumbere ad pre­ces toto corde debemus. Cypr. Ser. 6. de Orat, Dom. Vtiliter orationis tempore etiam corporalis loci se­cretum quaeri­mus. Bern de Ascens. Dom. Serm. 4. Clamat cor no­strum sublimita te cogitationum. Amb. Cōment. in Psal. 118. Ser. 19. vers. 1.
  • 2. That Ioshua and his souldiers might behold Moses lif­ting up his hands: and thereby be the more encouraged.
  • 3. That he might be the more quiet and free from distur­bance and distraction, (which he could not have beene, if he had remained in the plaine among the people: or if he had been in the army.) For when we set our selves to prayer, we must set our selves therto with the whole heart Therefore in time of prayer we may usefully seeke secrecy of place.
  • 4. That by the open sight of heaven, his spirit might be the more cheared, his thoughts more elevated, and so his prayer the more sharpned, and his faith the more strengthe­ned. For by the sublimity of our thoughts our heart is en­larged.

By all these we see that he chose a very fit place for his purpose.

§. 25. Of the rod which Moses used.

EXOD. XVII. IX.‘With the rod of God in mine hand.’

MVch is spoken of the rod here mentioned. But what kind of rod it was, is not agreed upon by all. [...] inclinavit, declinavit. The word, according to the notation of it, signifieth a thing to leane on. The strength of bread is set out by this word, and stiled [...] panis baculum. Lev. 26. 26. the staffe of bread. That also whereupon wicked men do repose their trust and confidence, is by this very word expressed, and called [...] baculum impiorū Isa 14. 5. the staffe of the wicked. [...] cum chirik signi­ficat tectum. Cum patach, ba­culum. A bed, whereupon a man lieth and resteth himselfe, is signified by a word which commeth from the same root, and hath the [Page 227] very same letters, though not the same points: wherein the LXX being somwhat mistaken, do translate the Hebrew word that signifieth a bed, by a Greeke word that signifieth a staffe: which gave occasion to that seeming difference be­twixt Moses and him that wrote the Epistle to the He­brewes, about Israels bowing himselfe [...] ad caput lecti. upon the beds head, (as it is in Gen. 47. 31.) and [...] Super extremo baculi sui. Vpon the top of his staffe (as it is in Heb. 11. 21.) Both which may well stand together. For, being an old man and weake, he was faine to have a staffe to rest on, and leaning thereon, he bowed towards the beds head. By the fore-named notation, and usuall acceptation of the word it appeareth that that which is here translated a rod, was not a wand, (as some would have it) or a riding stick: such rods are not to be leaned upon: Isa. 10. 15. The Prophet Isaiah (where he maketh an expresse difference betwixt a rod and a staffe) useth [...] another word to set out a rod, and [...] the word of this text to set out a staffe. The rods which the chiefe of every Tribe used to have, have this [...] Num. 17. 2. title: which questionlesse were such as prime Officers at Court use to have, called White-staves. The first time of mentio­ning the rod here spoken of, was when Exo 3 1.—4. 2. God appeared to Moses as he was keeping sheepe. Whence some (and that not without probability) do gather, that this, which is tran­slated a rod, was a shepheards crooke. But were it a shep­heards crooke, or a staffe, or a wand, in regard of the use that we may make thereof, all is as one. This is it whereof God said to Moses, Exo 4. 17. Thou shalt take this rod in thine hand wherewith thou shalt do signes.

Wonders done with Moses his rod. De mirandis factis per vir­gam Moysis. lege Hieron. Com­ment. in Ezek. 29. lib. 9.Many admirable things are noted of this rod. By it,

  • 1. It being turned into a serpent, the rods of the inchan­ters, which seemed also to be serpents, were swallowed up, Exo 7. 10, 12.
  • 2. The waters in the rivers of Egypt were turned into bloud, Exo. 7. 20.
  • 3. Dust was turned into lice, Exo. 8. 17.
  • 4. Thunder, haile, and lightning fell, Exo. 9. 23.
  • 5. An East-wind was raised, which brought grashoppers, Exo. 10. 13.
  • [Page 228]6. The Red Sea was devided, Exo. 14. 16.
  • 7. The rock gave out water, Exo. 17. 6.
  • 8. The victory here mentioned was obtained, Exod. 17. 9.

Why called the rod of God Virga Dei dici­tur quae primum dicta est virga Aaron, postea ve­ro virga Moy­sis, sic ut dici­tur spiritus He­liae qui est spiritus Dei, cujus parti­ceps factus est Helias, &c. Aug. Quaest. super. Exo. l. 2, q. 65.This rod is here, as in other places, called the rod of God, because

  • 1. God appointed Moses to use it, Exo. 4. 20.
  • 2. God promised that wonders should be done by it, Exo. 4. 17.
  • 3. God wrought the miracles that were done by it: so as, it was Gods instrument, Exo. 3. 20.
  • 4. It was a visible memoriall of Gods mighty power, Exo. 17. 5, 6.

It is also Exo. 7. 9, 12, 19.—8. 16, 17. sometimes called Aarons rod, because God ap­pointed Aaron to use it in working the first miracles that were wrought in Egypt. And it was most usually stiled —9. 23.—10. 13.—14. 16.—17. 5. Moses his rod, —4. 2. because it first belonged to him before any miracles were wrought by it: and because he most used it.

This Rod, Moses here promiseth to take with him in his hand, that being in the mount, he might hold it up as the Lords standard: and that both in regard of himselfe, and al­so in regard of the souldiers in the field.

For himselfe, that by looking on it he might be put in mind of Gods former works manifested by that rod: and so have his faith the more strengthened.

For them in the field, that they might have a visible evi­dence of his sted fastnesse in calling upon God for them: and so be the more encouraged.

§. 26. Of the resolution and observations of the lat­ter part of the ninth verse.

EXOD. XVII. IX.‘To morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.’

THe maine Scope of this promise made by Moses, is to assure those whom he sent forth into the field to fight, that he for his part would not be wanting to assist them with his best prayers. For in this promise is a description of his manner of praying for them.

More particularly we are to observe

  • 1. The Person that maketh the promise. I, saith Moses, that went not with them.
  • 2. The Substance of the promise. This may be distingui­shed into foure branches.
    • 1. The Matter, or particular thing that is promised, will stand.
    • 2. The time when. Tomorrow.
    • 3. The Place where. On the top of the hill.
    • 4. The Instrument wherewith. In setting down where­of there is noted
      • 1. The Instrument it selfe. With the rod of God.
      • 2. The Manner of using it, In mine hand.

1. The Inference of this promise upon the charge given to Ioshua, (the charge being for providing good outward means, the promise, of earnest praier) giveth us to understand that,

  • I. Prayer must be added to other preparations.

2. The Person that promiseth to pray being one of those that taried at home, and went not out to the war, giveth in­stance, that,

  • II. Prayer for good successe in warre is to be made by such as tarry at home.

[Page 230]3. The phrase whereby the thing promised is expressed (will stand) being an externall gesture of prayer, sheweth, that,

  • III. Inward devotion of heart is to be manifested by the out­ward disposition of body.

4. The Time prefixed (to morrow) being before the bat­tell was ended, declareth, that,

  • IIII. Succour must be sought of God in season.

5. & 6. The Place being first on an hill, which was in the open field: and then on the top of the hill, whence the ar­my might be seene of Moses, implieth, that,

  • V. Any place may be fit for prayer.
  • VI. Knowledge of that for which prayer is made is an espe­ciall meanes to sharpen prayer.

7. The Rod which he taketh with him, being the rod of God, wherewith God had before wrought many wonder­full works, importeth, that,

  • VII. Consideration of Gods former workes is of speciall use to strengthen faith.

8. The Manner of using it, by holding it in his hand, namely to this end that Ioshua and other souldiers might see it, intimateth, that,

  • VIII. Perswasion of others prayers addeth much courage in dangerous imployments.

§. 27. Of joyning prayer with other meanes.

I. §. 26. PRayer must be added to other preparations. When Gen. 32. 6, &c Iacob heard that his brother Esau was comming against him with 400 men, he tooke the best order that he could either by presents to pacifie his brother, or, if some of his company were slaine, yet to make an escape with others: but withall he prayeth to God for protection, yea in prayer he wrestled till he prevailed. Iudg. 11. 29, 30. Iphthah leads out against the Ammonites a well furnished army: yet voweth a vow unto the Lord. Now a vow is an evidence of earnest prayer. Though his particular vow be not to be justified, yet his [Page 231] manner of going to warre is commendable. Samuel doth,1 Sam. 7. 5, &c as Moses here, he gathereth Israel together to fight against the Philistims, and promiseth to pray for them. The 2 Sam. 23. 8, &c. num­ber of worthies, and the —24. 9. multitude of valiant Souldiers that David had, beare witnesse to his prudence in preparing ex­ternall means: and his many Psal. 7. 1, &c.—25. 2, 19, 20.—44. 1, &c. prayers recorded in the Psalmes, give evidence of his piety in seeking helpe of God. 2 Chro. 17. 12, &c.—20. 3. Very much is spoken of Iehosaphats great preparations: yet when he heard of the approach of enemies, by fasting and prayer he sought helpe of God. So many other faithfull Saints. After that the Apostle had exhorted Christians to be strong in the Lord, and to put on the whole armour of God, wherwith he sheweth how a Christian may be armed from top to toe, he addeth this exhortation, Eph 6. 10, 18 See The whole armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. § 1. Pray alwayes with all prayer, &c.

Means without Gods blessing are of no use. Psal. 127. 1. Except the Lord build the house they labour in vaine that build it: Well therefore saith the Psalmist, —44. 6. I will not trust in my bow, nei­ther shall my sword save me. But See The whole armour of God on Eph. 6. 18 §. 18, 22. prayer is that which God hath sanctified for obtaining his blessing, and his helpe. To this purpose is prayer exceeding, powerfull. It hath alwayes (if at least it were made aright) obtained victory.

What now may we judge of them that thinke prayer then only needfull when other means faile? To say the least of them Reprehension of such as sepa­rate prayer and other meanes. they shew thēselves apparently ignorāt of the supreme pow­er of God in ordering means: which are so subordinate to the divine providence, as without it they are of no use at all: and withall they shew very little zeale of Gods glory. For were there not an absolute necessity of prayer, and that in regard of some benefit to themselves, it appeares that prayer as it is a part of Gods worship, and a means to set out Gods ho­nour, should never be made by them.

If in this case neglect of prayer be such a point of impiety, what is it to enterprise war with masks, enterludes, playes, and such kind of sports? Can a blessing be expected in such courses?

Set this patterne of Moses before you, all of all sorts. [Page 232] Whether other means faile or abound, let not this of prayer Nibil est tam arduum at (que) dis­f [...]ile quod non Deo adiuvante planissimum at (que) expeditissimum fiat. In ipsum ita (que) suspensi, ab eo auxilium de­precantes, quod instituimus quae­ramus. Aug. de lib. arbit. c. 6. be neglected. This makes a supply where other means are wanting. This makes other preparations successefull. Let therfore all armies be sent forth by Christian Princes with more then ordinary prayer. Thus may we in greatest distres­ses be sure of succour. For there is nothing so hard but with Gods helpe it may be made easie. On him therefore let us depend: of him let us seeke helpe, and so accomplish our purposes.

§. 28. Of their care who tarry at home to pray for them that go to warre.

II. See §. 26. PRayer for good successe in warre is to be made by such as tarry at home. So did 1 Sam 7. 9. Samuel. —4. 13. Elies waiting for newes out of the army, implieth that his prayer was not wanting. Psal. 60. That solemne forme of thanks which David gave to God upon Ioabs returne with victory, giveth proofe of his praying for the armies. Gen, 14. 20. So doth Melchize­dechs congratulation of Abrahams victory.

1. Gods honour is engaged in the successe of such as pro­fesse Gods truth.

2. Their cause ought to be accounted a common cause of all that are of the same profession.

3. Christian sympathy, and the Communion of Saints should make us account others dangers, and others successe as our owne.

4. If they which go out to warre, be of our owne coun­try or nation, by their overthrow we incurre hazzard: by their victory the more safety is brought to us that tarry at home, yea we all partake of the benefit of the spoiles which they make of enemies, the whole kingdome is enriched thereby if they be great.

If these be not sufficient motives to enforce the equity of the fore-named duty, what can be sufficient?

Remember therfore what Vriah said, The Arke, and Is­rael, 2 Sam. 11. 11. and Iudah abide in tents, and my Lord Ioab, and the ser­vants [Page 233] of my Lord are encamped in the open fields, shall I then go into my house to eate and to drinke? He, when he was at home was as much affected with the armies in the field as if himselfe had beene there. Can any then be so carelesse of them as not to pray for them?

Assuredly, if Magistrates, and Ministers, if great ones, and meane ones were more conscionable in performing this du­ty, better successe might be expected. But so farre are most from obtaining a blessing upon the armies that go forth, as rather on the contrary (Achan like) they trouble the armies Ios. 7. 1. 25. that are sent out, by provoking Gods wrath against them, thorow their impiety, and prophanesse, lewdnesse, and li­centiousnesse. Such either pray not at all: or they make their prayers to be an abomination to the Lord. For, he that Prov. 28 9. turneth away his eare from hearing the Law, even his prayer shalbe abomination. Thus wicked persons are betrayers of such as (out of the places where they dwell) goe to warre.

§. 29. Of manifesting our inward desire by our outward gesture.

III. See §. 26. Flexo corpore mens est erigenda ad Deum. Bern. medit. devo c. 6 INward devotion of heart must be manifested by the outward disposition of body. As the many gestures which in Scripture are recorded and approved, being used by Saints in prayer (whereof before, §. 22.) do afford good proofe to the point, so also the manifold expressions of prayer by sundry gestures proper thereto: as such as these, Psal. 123. 1. I lift up mine eyes: Eph. 3. 14. I bow my knees, that is, I pray. Psal. 95. 6. Let us lift up our hands: Lam 3. 41. Let us kneele, that is, let us pray. Psal. 141 2. Let Animus in gestu corporis apparet, Gestus corporis signum est mentis. Corporis gestu animus proditur. Bern. de modo benè viv. Scr. 9. Benefits of outward ge­stures in prayer the lifting up of my hands be, that is, let my prayer be. So here in this place, I will stand, that is, I will pray.

As in other cases, so also in prayer, the mind appeareth in the gesture of the body: for this is a signe of that. So as by the manifestation of our inward devotion by our outward gesture, God is more honoured, others are made like min­ded, and our owne spirits are quickned.

[Page 234] 1. For God, he is by that means glorified both in soule and body: as we ought in both to glorifie him, 1 Cor. 6. 20.

Ob. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth, Ioh. 4. 24.

Answ. True. But what then? Is he not therefore to be worshipped in body? Fie on such a consequence. Indeed God is most especially to be worshipped in Spirit. All out­ward worship without it is altogether in vaine, Isay. 19. 13. But Gods delight in the spirit doth not imply a dislike, or no liking of a manifestation thereof by the body. He that said in regard of an upright manner of performing the things which we do, Take heed that ye do them not before men to be seene of them, Mat. 6. 1. said also in regard of our zeale to Gods glory, Let your light so shine before men as they may see your good workes and glorifie your father which is in heaven, Mat. 5. 16. What therefore God hath joyned together, let no man put asunder, Mat. 19. 6.

2. For others, our outward gesture manifesting our in­ward affection, they may be brought to adde their prayers also, and joyne with us, (as they who saw the company of Prophets prophesying, prophesied also among them, 1 Sam. 19. 20.) or at least say Amen to our petitions, and desire God to grant them, as old Elie did, when he understood how Annah had powred forth her soule before God, 1 Sam. 1. 17.

3. For our selves, by the outward gesture of the body our owne spirits within us are much affected. For there is a sympathy betwixt soule and body. Bowing the body in prayer, as it testifieth the humiliation of the soule, so it ma­keth the soule to stoupe somwhat the lower. Beating the breast doth somwhat the more breake the heart; lifting up eyes or hands raiseth up the heart; spreading the armes abroad enlargeth the desire of the heart; standing erect ma­keth the soule the more steddy. Exhortation to use seemely outward ge­sture in prayer.

Let us on these grounds both declare and helpe the in­ward faith and fervency, devotion and contrition of our [Page 135] soules by the outward gestures of the body. There needs no great labour after outward, gesture, if at least there be true devotion in the heart. The parts of the body are so com­manded by the soule, as they will soone declare the intent thereof. This is evident by the private prayers which per­sons truly devoted do make. For when they are alone, and no creature present to take notice of the outward gesture, ac­cording to the affection of the heart, when it is indeed fer­vent, the eyes wilbe cast up, or cast downe, the armes spread abroad, the hands lift up, or beating the breast, the body cast prostrate upon the ground, and other like gestures per­formed. They who use to pray privately and fervently, know this to be true.

I urge not this outward gesture, to make men play the hypocrites. Farre be such intents from my mind. Men are too prone to make shew of more then is in them: they need no provocations thereto. Besides hypocrisie is so odi­ous in Gods sight, as it makes our best works abominable: Isa. 66. 3. But that be referred to him who searcheth the heart, and knoweth the inward thoughts of men: and to every ones conscience, that will excuse or accuse him. I urge a manife­station of inward affection, and that by such outward ge­stures as are Gestures in prayer how ordered.

  • 1. Warrantable by Gods Word.
  • 2. Agreeable to the action in hand.
  • 3. Answerable to the inward affection.

§. 30. Of seeking helpe of God in time.

IIII. See §. 26. SVccour must be sought of God in season. Zeph. 2. 2. Before the decree bring forth, before the day passe as the chaffe, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, &c. seeke the Lord. Isa. 55. 6. Seeke the Lord while he may be found: call upon him while he is neare. Amos 4. 12. Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. Meet him before he is gone, meet him before he have caused his wrath to fall. Gen. 32. 9. So soone as Iacob heard that his brother was comming against him, he makes his prayer to God. He [Page 236] put it not off to the evening. Yet —24. when the evening was come, and so he freed from distractions, he returned to pray­er againe, and more earnestly wrestled with God. 2 Chro. 14 11. Before Asa began to fight with the Ethiopians, he sought assistance of God. So did —20. 3. Iehosaphat, and other pious princes. So soone as Exo. 32. 11. Moses heard God speake of wrath, before he went downe to see the cause thereof, he fell downe before the Lord, to turne it away: and —31. when he had seene the cause thereof, he went againe unto the Lord.

Thus, much evill may be prevented, which otherwise De occurrendo periculis in tem­pore, lege Chrys. in initio orat. 1. advers. sud. could not be redressed. A fire when once it begins to flame out, cannot so easily be quenched, as it might before hand have beene kept from flaming and burning. A breach, which might with small cost and paines have beene preven­ted, when it is made, oft proves irrecoverable. Great was the folly of the Israelites in the time of the Iudges, who used not to cry to the Lord, till they were sorely oppressed by their enemies. And this was the cause that sometimes they received (when they called upon God) such an answer as this, Goe, and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen, let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. Iudg 10. 14.

O that we were wise to marke the opportunity and to take it! Commonly (like fooles) we thinke of our cloakes when we are well wet: and thinke of shutting the stable doore when the steed is stolne, or of making our house safe and sure from theeves when we have lost our goods. Many seeke not to God till necessity forceth them. When the ene­my hath got the day, when the plague rageth and hath de­stroyed many, when people die every where for want, then (it may be) solemne prayer shalbe made, and a fast proclai­med. Hereby as the folly of men is discovered, so too just cause is given for their prayers to be suspected in regard of the soundnesse of them: yea God is hereby provoked to leave men without succour, because they sought it not in time.

§. 31. Of praying in any place.

V. See § 26. Omnis locus ad meditandum cō. gruus est. Bern Medit devot, c 6. ANy place may be fit for prayer. This doctrine is to be limited according to the occasions of pray­er. For, for publique prayer, at least in times and places where liberty is granted to frequent publique assemblies, See The whole armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. Treat 3 §. 84. publique Churches set apart for Divine Service, are fittest. But where just occasions are offered of praying in other pla­ces, in any place may that divine duty be performed. 1 Tim. 2. 8. I will (saith the Apostle) that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands. The charge of Luk. 18. 1. praying alwaies, and 1 Thes [...]. 17. without ceasing, implieth as much. If occasions of prayer being offred, we forbeare to pray, because we are not in this or that place, those precepts can hardly be kept. But in particular, we read of approved prayers made, as Act. 31. in Churches, so —10. 30. in hou­ses, —9. 39, 4. in chambers, Mat 6. 6. in closets, Act. 10. 9. on house-tops, Gen. 24 63. in fields, Luke 6. 12. on mountaines, Act 16. 13. by rivers­sides, Ion 1. 14. in ships, —2. 1. in a whales-belly, 1 King 19. 4 in the wildernesse, and where not?

Mat. 18. 20. Wheresoever prayer is rightly made, there God after an especiall manner is present: now Exo 3. 5. Magis valet pe­tentis affectus quam petitionis locus. Aug de unit. Eccles. c. 16. Gods speciall pre­sence makes any place holy, and in that respect fit for prayer.

And such respect hath God to the true desire of his Saints, as wheresoever by prayer they make it knowne, there will God most graciously accept it. Instance the fore-mentioned instances. His promises for hearing prayer are without any limitation of place: so as, in any place we may expect the ac­complishment of them.

What a dotage is it therefore so to dote on any one kind of place, as never to pray but in such a place. Or superstition blindeth such mens eyes, or prophanenesse possesseth their hearts. It is much to be feared that the prayers which they seeme to make in the places which they pretend most to af­fect, are but cold prayers. If the Spirit of supplication had'any heat in them, it would be like that hot vapor that is compas­sed in a cloud, or got into hollow places of the earth, which [Page 238] rather then not find a vent, will rent the cloud asunder with a thunder-clap, or make the earth to quake. They lose much holy acquaintance and familiarity with God, that are so nice, as not offer to meet with him except in such or such a place.

Wise Christians will rather sanctifie every place with this heavenly duty. Their house, their chamber, their closet, their bed, their table, and other like places shalbe sanctified Vbicun (que) fueris intra temetipsum ora. Si longè fueris ab oratori­o, noli quaerere lo­cum, quoniam tu ipse locus es. Si fueris in lecto, aut in alio loco, ora: et ibi est templū. Bern. Medit. devot. c. 6. therewith. If they be in a journy, their Innes and places of repast shall therewith be sanctified. So their ship, and cabin, if they be on the sea. So their tent, or the field, if they be in warre. So every place according to the present occasion. By a pious mind well devoted to Godwards, and by a conscio­nable performance of this principall duty of piety; it may be said of any place what Iacob said of the place where he saw his vision, This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven, Gen. 28. 17.

§. 32. Of taking good notice of that for which we pray.

VI. See §. 26. KNowledge of that for which prayer is made is an especiall meanes to sharpen prayer. That which made Gen. 32. 9. Iacob to wrestle with God, was the danger wherein he saw his houshold to be. When 2 King. 19. 14 Hezekiah saw and read the letter that Senacherib sent, then was his spirit extended to prayer. The knowledge that 2 Chro. 14 11. Asa, —20. 2, 3. Iehosaphat, Neh 1. 4. Nehe­miah, and other good Kings and Governours had of the dan­ger of their country, made them earnest in prayer with the Lord for succour. It is oft noted of Christ, that when he saw such and such miseries of people, his bowels were moved, he hand compassion on them. In particular, Mat. 9. 36. when he saw the people scattered without a shepheard, he incited his Disci­ples to pray for them.

Sight and other means whereby we may have true intel­ligence of the needs and straits wherunto such as we respect and affect are brought, work deep impressions of compassi­on, which moveth our inward bowels, and after a sort en­forceth us to afford them the best aid we can. Now they who know how beneficiall prayer is in all needs, are there­upon [Page 239] moued as earnestly as they can to pray for them.

To stirre us up to pray for those that are in distresse, let us enquire and take notice of their estate and affaires. Nehemi­ah Neh. 1. 2. was very inquisicive after the estate of the Iewes that had returned from the captivity, whereby it came to passe that he was so helpfull to them both by his prayer, and otherwise. But what the eye seeth not, the heart rueth not. Things not knowne are not regarded. Assuredly if we saw, or on assured knowledge beleeved what the distresses of many Churches in other places are, and of many persons in our own country, our spirits would send forth more prayers for them, then now we doe, (if other succour also were not afforded them.)

Here, by the way note what wrong they do who bring The ill conse­quences of false newes. false reports to mens eares: as, reports of victory, when people are overthrowne.

  • 1. They to whom the report is brought are deceived, and made to believe an untruth.
  • 2. They of whom the report is made, are by the false report deprived of that helpe which otherwise they might have had.
  • 3. God himself is mocked, in that that which is not done, is acknowledged to be done by him, and so when prayer should be made, praise is given for that which is not.

We have not a mountaine to go to the top of it, and to Cur malum fa­ma? quia velox, an quia pluri­mum mendax? quae ne tune qui­dem cum aliquid veri affert, sine mendacij vitio est, detrahens, ad­jiciens, demutans de veritate. Ter­tul in A polo. get. cap. 8. Solet sama men­tiri. Aug. Bone­fac. Epist. 106. behold all the battels of the Churches, as Moses here on the top of an hill beheld the Israelites fighting. We must have knowledge of forraigne affaires (as Nehemiah had) by re­port. If that report be false, how shall we order our prayers? Yet there is commonly such uncertainties in rumors and re­ports, as fame is said to be an evill thing. For even then when it declares some truth, it is not free from the blame of lying, in that it taketh away from the truth, or addeth there­to, or some way or other altereth it. It is not therfore with­out cause said, that fame useth to lie.

Yet if men be not rash in receiving every uncertaine re­port, they that with an honest heart make their prayers [Page 240] according to the report which they receive, may have this comfort, that their sacrifice of prayer is acceptable to God: and that thereby God taketh notice of their disposition, how they would be affected, if it went so or so with the Church.

But for the comfort of such as are in distresse, howsoever pious and pitifull men may be mis-informed about their case, God is in heaven, and better seeth all their distresses, then Moses on the top of his hill could see Israels straits. And whereas Moses could onely pray for succour, God can give them succour: God, I say, who to every drop of com­passion that is in man, hath in himselfe an ocean of com­passion: and answerable to his compassion hath both will and power to helpe. A point of much comfort.

§. 33. Of strengthening faith by Gods former works.

VII. See § 26. COnsideration of Gods former workes is of speciall use to strengthen faith. Hereby was Iacobs faith much supported, and therefore he thus pleadeth and presseth Gods former works, when he was in danger, Gen. 32, 9, 10, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, returne unto thy country, &c. I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast shewed unto thy seruant, &c. So 2 Chro. 20. 7. Ieho­saphat, Neh. 9. 6. &c. the Levites in Nehemiahs time, and many others. This was 1 Sam. 17. 34, &c. Psal. 22. 4.—77. 11, 12.—143. 5. Davids usuall practice. Therefore —105. 5. he exhorts others to remember the marvellous workes which God hath done, his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth.

Gods former works give evident demonstration, as of his power, what he is able to do, (for what he hath some­times done he is able alwaies to do) so of his will, what he is willing, as he seeth occasion to do. For the Lord never doth what he is unwilling to do. Now evidence of these two, Gods power and will, are two strong props to support our faith.

[Page 241] Ob. It followeth not that because God sometimes did How Gods former extra­ordinary works streng­then our faith. such and such things, he will ever do the same. Never did he in any nation the wonders that he did in Egypt and in the wildernesse.

Answ. Though he do not by the same visible, extraordi­nary, and miraculous means succour his Church and People, yet thereby his Church is taught to believe that he seeth and observeth his peoples distresses, that his compassion is mo­ved thereat, that though in his wisdome he suffereth them to lie some time therein, yet it is not his will that they should utterly perish: and therefore he will assuredly deliver them. Thus the Apostle pressing the promise which God in parti­cular made to Ioshua, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, maketh this generall inference thereupon, So that we, (we Christians that live so many yeares after Ioshuaes time) we may boldly say the Lord is my helper, I will not feare, &c. Heb. 13. 5, 6. Though we cannot therefore expect the same parti­cular Quis est qui con­siderat opera Dei, quibus regi­tur & admini­stratur totus hic mundus, & non obstupescit obrui­tur (que) miraculis. Aug in Ioh. 2. Tract 8. Faciem quodam modo ponentes ad ea quae fecit, dor­sum ponimus ad artificem qui fe­cit. Ibid. works of God to be done for us, that of old were done for others, yet the generals we may and ought to believe, that that God which provided for, and delivered of old such as trusted in him, is still able, and willing to provide for and de­liver such as now trust in him. These generals expect from God. As for the means and manner of doing it, referre them to his wisdome. He ever remaineth the same God, as in his power, so in his will, affection, and compassion towards such as trust in him. He can by sundry means bring things to the same issue. If thorowly and advisedly the usuall works of God were considered, even those whereby the whole world is ruled and governed, who would not be astonished, even as at miracles, and by the miraculousnesse of them be streng­thened in faith? But many turning their faces to the works that are done, turne their backes to him that did them. Whence it comes to passe, that neither God hath the glory which belongs to him, nor man that profit which otherwise he might reape from the works of God.

Gather now, ye that trust in the Lord, gather what evi­dences Observe Gods former works. ye can by Gods former works of his power, and will. [Page 242] Oft meditate thereon; plead them in prayer before God. In your catalogue of Gods former works be sure you leave not out such as are done in your daies, and to your selves in par­ticular, whereof upon experimentall evidence you may say to God, marvellous are thy works, and that my soule knoweth Psal. 139. 14. right well. The works which were brought to Moses his mind by holding up this rod were such as were done in his daies, before his eyes, by his ministry. Such works as are done in our daies, and to our selves, make the deepest impres­sion: and have the most effectuall and mighty operation. Such were they whereby Iacob and David were strengthe­ned Gen. 32. 10. 1 Sam. 17. 56. in their faith. Though we have not such a visible signe of Gods former works, as this rod was which Moses held up, yet we have as good and sure staies for our faith to rest upon. For, we have Gods works recorded in Gods Word, a Word of truth. And we may say, as the Psalmist doth, We have heard with our eares, O God, our fathers have told us Psal. 44. 1. what works thou diddest in their daies, in the times of old. And God hath in our dayes, and before our eyes done such works, as give us sufficient ground to trust in him. We have memories to retaine them. We have minds to meditate on them. We may (if we will) register and record them. What could Moses his rod do more then al these? Though we want that externall signe, yet we have the substance. And by a right use of what we have, our faith in God may be streng­thened, as Moses was by the use of this rod. Ruminate ther­fore on Gods bringing in the Gospell in King Henry the 8 daies. On establishing it in King Edward the 6 daies. On the courage, comfort, and constancy that he gave to Martyrs in Queene Maries daies. On the restoring of the Gospell in blessed Queene Elizabeths daies. On the many victories then given: especially in 88. On the many deliverances from Papists treasons: especially in 605. As occasion is offered seriously ponder and meditate on these and other like works of God, and thereby shalt thou find much vigour infused into thy faith. Withall well note the promises of God. For, this rod which Moses tooke up to the hill was a signe of Gods [Page 243] promise. Take this rod in thine hand (saith God) wherewith Exo. 4. 17. thou shalt do signes. Gods promises are the most proper ground-worke of faith: as I have The whole Ar­mour of God, on Eph. 6, 16. Treat. 2. Part. 6 § 71, &c. elswhere shewed.

§. 34. Of the benefit of a perswasion of others prayers.

VIII. See §. 26. PErswasion of others prayers addeth much courage in dangerous imployments. This was one reason why Num. 10. 9. God in his Law ordred that his Priests should go with their silver trumpets into the armies of his people, that by that signe his people might be assured of the Priests prayers, and be thereby the more encouraged. 2 Chro. 13. 14 Thus were the peo­ple in Abijahs time much encouraged. This questionlesse was the reason why Iudg. 4. 8. Barak was so importunate to have Deborah go with him to the warre. Her sex might make him thinke that she was not fit to lead an army, or to fight. But he knowing her to be a Prophetesse, did also know that her prayers would be availeable with the Lord: and withall he thought that the sight of the battell would extend her spirit the more earnestly to call upon the Lord for them. Did not this perswasion encourage him, who speaking of his trou­bles, said, Phil. 1. 19. I know that this shall turne to my salvation thorow your prayer.

Gods people being acquainted with Gods Word, there­by know that God is the fountaine of all blessing, and that prayer is the means of receiving all needfull blessing from him, and that the prayers of others are availeable with God Muliùm valent preces in commu­ni multorum. Hier. Commēt. in Rom. 15. as well as their owne, and that when others prayers are joy­ned with theirs, they are so much the more powerfull. How can they then but be the more incouraged by their perswasi­on of others prayers for them. Of craving others prayers, See The whole Armour of God, on Eph. 6. 19. Treat. 3 §. 137.

Good cause there is for this very cause, when any go about any weighty, difficult, or dangerous worke, or when they are in any dangers or feares, to crave the prayers of such as they count faithfull: as 2 King. 19. 4. Hezekiah did of Isayah. And for them of whom this duty is desired, by solemne promise [Page 244] to bind themselves to do it, as 1 Sam. 12. 23. Samuel did, that so they who desire it may have the more cause to believe that it shall be performed. And if the worke enterprised be publique, meet it is that a fast be proclaimed, and publique prayers enjoyned for their good successe. By these publique prayers more notice may be taken of the many prayers that by many persons are made for them, and so they be the more encou­raged.

By a sound and good argument from the lesse to the grea­ter A minori. Christs inter­cession a ground of en­couragement. Meritò mihi spes valida est in eo qui sedet ad dex­tram tuam, & te interpellat pro nobis: alioquin desperarem. Aug. Confess. l. 11. c 43. it followeth, that they who are well instructed in the articles of the Christian faith, and answerably do believe in Christ, cannot but have much comfort and encouragement in all their lawfull enterprises, be they never so difficult or dangerous, because they cannot be ignorant that Christ, in whom they believe, is on an higher hill then Moses here was, even in heaven at Gods right hand, making intercession for them. Whom, though he be invisible, they may see with the eye of faith, as Moses by faith saw him who is invisible, He. 11 27. Now Christs intercession is more then al the praiers of all ye Saints, though their spirits were all joined together, in pre­senting one and the same petition to God. For Christs inter­cession is that sweet incense that is in it selfe acceptable to God, and that, mixed with the prayers of the Saints, makes them acceptable, Rev. 8. 3, 4. Let us therefore have our eye of faith fixed on Christ at Gods right hand in heaven, hol­ding up his hands continually, and making intercession for us. The eye of faith may in this kind work as much bold­nesse, as the sight of Stephens bodily eye did, when he saw Iesus standing on the right hand of God, Acts 7. 55.

§. 35. Of Ioshuaes obedience.

EXOD. XVII. X.‘So Ioshua did as Moses had said unto him, and fought with Amalek.’

See §. 1. THe obedience of Ioshua to Moses his charge is first ge­nerally propounded, and then distinctly exemplified: both of them in the former part of the tenth verse, which is so expresly set downe, as there is no ambiguity at all. For all the materiall words, as § 9. Moses, Ibid. Ioshua, § 2. fought, §. 4. Amalek, have been before explaned.

Out of the two parts of this text naturally arise these two observations.

  • I. Obedience is to be yeelded to Governours. Moses was at this time a Prince; the supreme Governour over all Isra­el. Ioshua therefore who was one of Israel, and under his command, did as Moses had said unto him.
  • II. They who are sent by lawfull authority unto a lawfull warre, must go. Moses his charge was a lawfull authority. Warre (for defence of a people against a malicious and inju­rious enemy) is a lawfull warre. Therefore Ioshua goeth. He fought with Amalek.

§. 36. Of yeelding obedience to Governours.

See The Plaister for a Plague, on Numb. 16. 47. §. 53, 54, 55, 56I. OBedience is to be yeelded to Governours. This is a principall branch of that Honour which is required in the fift commandement. It is particularly and expresly en­joyned to all sorts of inferiours under authority: as to Eph 6. 5. Servants, —1. Children, —5. 22. Wives, Heb. 13. 7. People in relation to their Pastors, Act. 10. 7. Souldiers to their Generals and Captaines, and 1 Pet. 2. 13, 14 Rom. 13. 1. Subjects in relation to supreme and subordinate Magi­strates.

[Page 246] The Apostle much presseth this point, and inforceth it by foure speciall arguments, Rom. 13. 1, 2, &c.

  • 1. The Authour of Government, and Ordainer of Go­vernours. (The powers that be are ordained of God.) Though it be true which the Prophet saith, (Hos. 8. 4.) They have set up Kings but not by me: they have made Princes and I knew it not: namely in regard of particular persons set up, and in regard of the manner of setting them up: yet the Power it selfe, and Government, is of God.
  • 2. The good or benefit of Government. (He is the Mini­ster of God to thee for good.) Governours therefore are advan­ced to their eminent places, not simply for their owne ho­nour, but for the good of their subjects. They who rightly and duly subject themselves, procure good to themselves. Such as are rebellious, are injurious to themselves.
  • 3. The evill of sin in resisting Government. Whosoever re­sisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God. He doth ther­fore offend thereby not men onely, but God also, which is a sinne.
  • 4. The evill of punishment following thereon. They that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. A fearfull doome. Take for instance the examples of Korah, Dathan, and Abi­ram, Numb. 16. Vpon these and other like grounds Christi­ans are exhorted to be subject for conscience sake, Rom. 13. 5. and for the Lords sake, 1 Pet. 2. 13. Both which intend one and the same thing. For the conscience is subject to God alone: so as that which is done for conscience sake is done for the Lords sake.

This for the generall of yeelding obedience to Governours, may suffice. For if these motives, Gods ordinance, Our owne good, Avoiding sinne, and, The punishment of sinne, be not suf­ficient, what can be sufficient? I hasten to the particular, of souldiers obedience to their Governours charge about going to In militiâ disciplina non deest, obedientia ne­quaquam con­temnitur. Ber. ad Mil. Temp. c. 4. warre, which is here in speciall expressed and intended. For among them discipline is most necessary. Therefore in well ordered armies discipline is not wanting, nor obedience de­spised.

§. 37. Of going to warre upon command.

II. See §. 35. THey who are sent by lawfull authority unto lawfull warre, must go. What warre may be counted lawfull § 18. Quando Impera­tor dicebat, pro­ducite aciem, ite contra illam gen­tem statim ob­temperabant. Aug. Enar in Psal 124. Vide Aug. contr. Faust. Manich. l. 22, c. 74. Itur & reditur ad nu [...]um ejus qui praeest. Bern, ad Mil. Temp. cap. 4. hath beene shewed. Lawfull authority, is the com­mād of such as God hath set over us, especially of the supreme Governour: which command may come to us either imme­diately from the governour himself, or mediately by such as he sets under himselfe over us. For, saith the Centurion, I am a man under authority, and have souldiers under me, and I say to one, go, and he goeth; and to another, come, and he com­meth, Mat. 8. 9. A proofe pertinent to the point in hand. For what doth a Centurions bidding a souldier, go, imply, but a sending of him to such or such a service in warre? Io­shua (22. 2.) for this commends the obedience of the Reube­nites, Gadites, and halfe the Tribe of Manasseh. Vriah so farre obeyed in this case, as he lost his life, 2 Sam. 11. 16, 17. I say not this to justifie Davids or Ioabs command: but to demonstrate the extent of Vriahs obedience.

Authority is given for this end, to observe what may be best for the state wherein they have their authority; and answerably to order matters. In ordering whereof, there being many cases wherein the very life of some particular persons is to be put in hazard for preservation of the whole state, God hath given this power to supreme Magistrates to appoint whom they see best, according to that which Moses said to Ioshua, Choose us out men. If men chosen might re­fuse to go, to what purpose are they chosen? Souldiers owe Exequendi jussa bellica ministeri­um milites de­bent paci saluti (que) communi. Aug. cont. Faust. Manich l. 2. c. 75. to common peace and safety, the service of executing their Governours commands of waging warre.

Ob Hath one man power over anothers life?

Answ. 1. Going to warre doth not necessarily presup­pose losse of life. Many returne home from warre, not onely with their lives, but also with much honour and wealth.

2. Many are the cases warranted by God, wherein some [Page 248] hazard their lives for others, as Esth. 4. 16. Iudg. 5. 18. Phil. Miles Christi se­curus interimit, interit securior. Sibi praestat cum interit: Christo cum interimit. Cum occiditur ipse, non perijsse, sed pervenisse cognoscitur. Mors ergo quam irro­gat Christi est lucrum: quam excipit, suum. Bern. loc. citat. Non est potestas nisi à Deo, vel jubente, vel si­nente. Cum ergo vir iustus, si fortè sub rege homine etiam sacrilego militet; rectè pos­sit illo iubente bellare, civicae pacis ordinem servans: cui quod iubetur, vel non esse contra Dei praeceptum cer­tum est, vel utrum sit certum non est; it a ut for­tasse reum regem saciat iniquitas imperandi, innocentem au­tem militem ostendat ordo serviendi. Aug cont Faust. Manich. l. 22. c. 75. 2. 30.

3. If in this case a souldier die, he dieth in his way, and in the worke of God: so as, his death may be his best ad­vantage. God having given his Angels charge over all his, when they are in warre, they will either keepe them from death, or when they die they will take their soules, as they did the soule of Lazarus, to carrie it to blisse. Therefore with much confidence he slayeth his enemy, with greater confidence he is himselfe slaine. He doth a good turne to himselfe if he be killed, and an acceptable thing to Christ if he slay his enemy. When he is slaine, he is not destroyed, but perfected. The death which he inflicteth is Christs gaine: and which he suffereth, his owne gaine.

The application of this point of obedience in particular concerneth such as are or shalbe commanded, as Ioshua here was, to fight with the enemies of the Church and State: that they testifie their obedience readily, with good conscience and courage, and that for the Lords sake.

Quest. What if Christians be under the subjection of Idolaters, or Infidels, ought they at such a Kings command to go to warre?

Answ. An ancient Father giveth this answer. There is no power but of God, either commanding, or permitting it. Therefore a righteous man, if happily he serve as a souldier under a King that is even a sacrilegious man, he may rightly warre at his command, keeping the order of civill peace: who is either assured that that which is commanded is against no command of God, or is not sure whether it be so or no, so that, perhaps the iniquity of commanding may make the King guilty, but the order of serving may prove the souldier to be innocent.

§. 38. Of the meaning, method, and doctrines of the tenth Verse.

EXOD. XVII. X.‘And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.’

See §. 1. THe performance of that promise which Moses made, V. 9 is here generally propounded. The performance is expressed almost in the same words wherein the promise was propounded. In the promise, Moses said, I will stand on the top of the hill. In the performance it is said, Moses went up to the top of the hill. Only here is not mentioned the rod of God in his hand: but here are added two Assistants that went with Moses, which were Aaron and Hur.

Of Aaron much is spoken in other places. His name was agreeable to his function. For, Aaron importeth a teacher; and Priests (whereof he was the first and chiefest) were Summum Sacer­dotium ab Aaron cepisse definimus Aug. quaest su­per Levit l. 3. q. 23. teachers: whereupon it is said, The Priests lips should keepe knowledge: and they should seeke the law at his mouth, Mal. 2. 7. This Aaron was elder brother to Moses, Exo. 6. 20. For, they died both in the same yeare; and Aaron was 123 years old, Numb. 33. 38, 39. And Moses but a 120 Deut. 34. 7. Yet was Moses preferred before Aaron. For in that God saith to Moses of Aaron, He shalbe thy spokesman unto the people, he importeth a Principality in Moses, and a Ministry Cum dicit tibi loquetur ad po­pulum, satis indi cat in Moyse Principatum, in Aaron Ministe rium. Aug. Quaest. super. Exo. l 2. q. 10. in Aaron: which is yet further confirmed, in that it is ad­ded, Thou shalt be to him instead of God, Exo. 4. 16.

Many and great were the prerogatives conferred on Aaron. For,

  • 1. He was chosen to assist Moses in the messages which from God were sent to Pharaoh, and in the wonders which were done in Egypt, Exo. 4. 30. & 5. 1. For, Aaron could speake well, Exo. 4 14.
  • 2. When Moses was absent 40 dayes, Aaron was appoin­ted chiefe Governour in his roome, Exo. 24. [...]4. & 32. 1.
  • [Page 250] 3. Aaron was the first that was annointed High-Priest,
    Vestem sumebat Aaron, qua eius summitas appa­reret. Aug. loc. citat.
    and clothed with the glorious priestly ornaments, Exod. 29. 5, &c.
  • 4. The Priest-hood was conferred upon Aaron and his seed by a perpetuall covenant. None els might execute the services appertaining thereto, Lev. 7. 36. Num. 18. 8. Num. 16. 40. 2 Chro. 26. 18.
  • 5. In testimony of Gods choice of Aaron, his rod onely among all the rods of the heads of Israel, did bud, blossome, and bring forth ripe almonds: and thereupon it was kept as a perpetuall memoriall before the Lord, Numb. 17. 8, 10. Hebr. 9. 4.
  • 7. Aaron was to make an attonement when Gods wrath was kindled: and when multitudes died of the plague, he stood betwixt the living and the dead: and the plague was stayed, Numb. 16. 46, 48.
  • 8. Aaron both in regard of his externall function, and also of his internall disposition is stiled The Saint of the Lord, Psal. 106. 16.

    Ob. He made a golden calfe, Exo. 32. 4. He with Miriam murmured against Moses, Numb. 12. 1. He was incredulous, Numb. 20. 13.

    Answ. These were indeed great sinnes. and manifest fruits of the flesh: but onely particulars. The disposition of his soule, and generall course of life was holy. Which of the Saints had not their blemishes? As the flesh may be in the soule where the Spirit is: so in such a soule may some fruits of the flesh sprout out.

  • 9. Aaron was an especiall type of Christ, Heb. 5. 4, 5.

    Ob. Melchizedech was the type of Christ, Heb. 5. 6.

    Answ. Melchizedech was a type in sundry eminent pre­rogatives, which are noted by the Apostle, Heb. 7. But yet in the office it selfe, the office of Priest-hood, Aaron was also a type.

By these particulars noted of Aaron, it plainly appeareth that he was a fit assistant to Moses in that solemne duty of prayer continued a whole day.

[Page 251] The other that assisted Moses is called [...] Hur. His name according to the notation of it, doth imply a Magistrate. The garment with which Mordecai was clad when King Ahashuerosh advanced him to Magistracy, hath this Epithite given unto it. It is translated [...] Hest. 8, 15. white. Governours of old were wont so to be arrayed. [...] 1 Kin. 21. 8, 11. Neh. 2. 16.—5. 7 Isa. 34. 12. Quos Propheta (Ier. 27. 20.) nū ­cupat [...] Targum [...] Principes. A word of the same root in the plurall number is oft used to set out Nobles, Governours, Rulers, or Elders in a common-wealth.

Whether this were his proper name, or a name of his place, is not very certaine: But most certaine it is that he was made a Magistrate in that State. Hereupon when Mo­ses was to be absent some while from the people, he saith, (Exod. 24. 14.) Behold Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them: namely to Aaron, for matters spirituall, and to Hur for matters tem­porall. Moses iussit fratrem Aaron & sororis Mariae virum nomine Vrion sibi assiste­re, &c. Ioseph. Antiq. Iud. l. 3. c. 2. Flavius Iosephus rendreth this reason of Moses his taking these two, Aaron and Hur with him, that the one was his brother, the other his sister Miriams husband. But of this latter we have no evidence in Scripture. Evidence we have (as hath been shewed before) that Hur was a Prince and Governour of the people.

The reasons of going to the top of the hill, are before de­clared, §. 24.

In setting out the Performance of the fore-mentioned Promise there are offered to our consideration,

  • 1. The Persons.
  • 2. Their Preparation.

The Persons are

  • Principall. Moses.
  • Assistant
    • Aaron.
    • Hur.

Their Preparation is set out

  • 1. By their Action. Went up.
  • 2. By the Place. To the top of the hill.

The addition of two other Persons as Assistants, to the Principall, sheweth, that,

  • I. In extraordinary prayer mutuall assistance of Saints is usefull.

[Page 252] The distinct kinds of Persons, as Moses the chiefe Prince and Prophet, Aaron the Priest, Hur a Magistrate under Mo­ses, declare, that,

  • II. Men of eminent place in Church and Common-wealth are most bound to crave divine succour in time of need.

The action, together with the place, having relation to the promise made, vers. 9. giveth evidence, that,

  • III. Prayer promised must be performed.
    Of desiring others prayers, See The whole armour of God, Treat 3 §. 144, 148, &c.

§. 39. Of assisting one another in extraor­dinary prayer.

I. §. 34. Hanc orationis legem servave­runt tres pueri in camino ignis inclusi, consonantes in prece, & spiritus consensi­one concordes. Cypr. Ser. 6. de Orat. Dom. Vide plura ibid hâc dere. Of ioyning to­gether in pray­er, See The whole Armour of God, Treat. 3. §. 91. Dum in praesenti seculo sumus ora­tionibus invicem possumus adiu­vari Hier. Comment l. 3. in Gal 6. Mutuis votis nos invicem fovea­mus, custodia­mus, armemus. Cyp. Epist. 7. Papae. IN extraordinary prayer mutuall assistance of Saints is usefull. It is expresly recorded that Hezekiah the King, and Isaiah the prophet (both of them) prayed and cried to heaven when Sennacharib invaded Ierusalem with an huge hoste. The destruction of that host followed thereupon, 2 Chro. 32. 20, 21. Esther, as she sent to the Iewes to fast for her, so she and her maidens fasted together, Esth. 4. 16. Da­niel, though a man powerfull in prayer desired the assistance of his three companions, when he begged an extraordinary favour of God, Dan. 2. 17. 18. Yea, Christ himselfe, the Me­diatour betwixt God and man, when in the dayes of his flesh he withdrew himselfe to that extraordinary prayer which he made that very night wherein he was apprehended, took three of his prime Disciples, and calls on them to watch and pray, Mat. 26. 37, 41.

Mutuall assistance of Saints makes prayers much more powerfull and effectuall then otherwise they would be. For, the fervour of one mans spirit joyned with anothers, is as fire put to fire, wherby the heat is much greater. Iron sharpneth iron: so a man sharpneth the countenance of his friend, Pro. 27. 17. That is, society, and mutuall communion betwixt friends, is of as great force to quicken each others spirit, and so to cheere up their countenance, as whetting iron upon iron is to sharpen it. This proverbe is best verified in the [Page 253] communion of Saints about holy duties, and especially in mutuall prayer: whereby we may much cherish, support, and encourage one another.

This pattern of these three Worthies, Moses, Aaron, and Hur, is most worthy our due observation, and that as oft as any weighty and just occasion is offerd. Let it not therfore be enough in extraordinary cases to make our ordinary prayers. And as we set our selves more then ordinarily to performe this duty, so let us (suspecting our owne weaknesse and dul­nesse) take the helpe of some choice ones, who in such a case may be a good help unto us. Provided that the good lawes of Church and Common-wealth under which we live be not herein scandalously violated, and we our selves brought Nos incompara­biliter plu, quan, Petrus & Pau­lus or ati [...]num fraternarum aux­ilijs indigemus. Aug Probae Epist. 12. cap 16 into such troubles, as the enduring thereof cannot minister unto us any sound ground of comfort. But for the point, the best that be need the prayers of others. The Apostles in their time craved and obtained this helpe. We do beyond comparison much more need the helpe of others prayers.

§. 40. Of Magistrates and Ministers care to seeke helpe of God in publique need.

II. See §. 38. MEn of eminent place in Church and Common­wealth are most bound to crave divine succour in time of need. Thus have good Kings and other Magistrates, Quomodo popu­lus debitor est primitiarum of­ferendarum Principi, sic Princeps de­bitor est po­puli offerre pro pro co victimas. Hier Commēt. l. 14. in Ezec. 45 Sacerdoles de­bent Dominum deprecari pro populo. Idem in Ioel 2. and good Priests, and other Ministers done in all ages. In­stance the examples of Ios. 7. 6. Ioshua, and the Elders of Israel in his time, of 1 Sam. 7. 9. Samuel, of 2 Chro. 13 14. the Priests in Abijahs time, of —14. 11. Asa, —20. 6. Iehosaphat, —32 20. Hezekiah and Isaiah.

Magistrates and Ministers have the charge not onely of their owne soules committed unto them, but also of all the members of the Common-wealth and Church. So as by a double bond they are tied to the fore-named duty. One, in regard of their owne safety; the other in regard of the safe­ty of such as are committed to their charge. For the preser­vation hereof there is no other meanes comparable to that [Page 254] which is here intimated, A faithfull seeking of succour from God.

Besides, among other persons, their prayers (caeteris pari­bus) are most likely to prevaile with God, because by vertue of their publique functions they sustaine the persons, and stand in the roome of all that are under them.

Take notice hereof you that are in eminent places either in Church or Common-wealth. By your conscionable care herein, give occasion to your people that are under you to blesse God for setting you over them: give them occasion to pray for you; yea, to pray that God would heare your prayers for them. Thus will they esteeme you, as 2 Sam. 18 3. Davids people esteemed him, worth ten thousand of them. Thus will they readily, willingly, cheerefully be subject to you, and yeeld to you in every thing your due. This is the best means of knitting hearts of people to their Magistrates and Mini­sters.

§. 41. Of performing the promises which we make of praying for others.

III. Sec §. 38. PRayer promised must be performed. When Pha­raoh felt the heavy hand of God to lie upon him, he desires Moses and Aaron to pray for him. They (desirous to shew how much rather they would that he should submit himself for his owne and peoples preservation to the good pleasure of God, then by his fierce wrath be destroyed) make promise to pray for him, and answerably they made consci­ence to performe their promise: whereupon it is noted, that Exo. 8. 12, 32. they went out from Pharaoh, and cried unto the Lord. Yea, though —9. 30, 33. he knew that when the judgement was re­moved, Pharaoh would againe harden his heart, yet was Moses faithfull in performing his promise. 1 Sam 7. 5, 9, 10. Samuel having made a promise to pray for Israel, when the Philistims were assembled against them, he so cried to the Lord, as the Lord thundred with a great thunder upon the Philistines, and dis­comfited them. Yea, he acknowledgeth it to be —12, 23. a sinne [Page 255] to neglect to pray for the people.

And surely it is an hainous sinne: especially after pro­mise of doing it, is past. For, in this case there is a double bond broken.

  • 1. The bond of loue and mercy, whereby we are bound to pray as occasion requireth, though we have not promised so to do.
  • 2. The bond of truth and fidelity, wherewith our owne mouth (by making promise) hath bound us.
    Psal. 19 4.
    Promise is to be kept in many things that are prejudiciall to us. How much more in such duties as we are necessarily tied unto, whether they be promised or no.

We have just cause, on this ground to call to mind what occasions have beene offered to draw us to make promise of this duty: and withall to consider whether we have made good our promise or no. Questionlesse, there hath beene much failing herein. It is usuall for Christians on all occasi­ons, when they are in any want, or distresse, when they part one from another, when they write one to another, both to desire, and also to promise this mutuall Christian helpe of prayer. But if examination be made of the performance of such promises, even they that are forward and frequent in making them, wilbe found exceeding backward and negli­gent in performing them. Be perswaded that this carelesse neglect of that whereunto ye are so doubly bound, is a great sinne. Repent of that which is past, and for the time to come be more faithfull and conscionable. Such a promise is not far from a vow. The more tender ought we to be of breaking it. Of the two, it is better not to promise, then to promise, and Melius est non promittere, quam promittere & non facere. Hier. Comment. l. 13 in Ezec. 44. not performe what we promise. But let not this keep men from promising. For mutuall prayer being in it selfe a boun­den duty, we ought by promises to draw on our selves thereto. Promise therefore, and performe.

§. 42. Of the interpretation and resolution of the eleventh Verse.

EXOD. XVII. XI.‘And it came to passe when Moses held up his hand that Israel prevailed: and when he let downe his hand Amalek prevailed.’

THe See § 1. Issue of Moses his being upon the mount is here noted to be different, according to the steddinesse or weaknesse of his hand.

The first phrase, And it came to passe, or word for word, [...] And it was, is an usuall transition in Scripture. dialect, whereby one point is knit to another.

By Moses holding up his hand is meant the steddinesse of his faith in prayer. Metonymia Adiu [...]cti. The outward signe is put for the inward thing signified thereby. We have §. 22. before shewed that by lifting up of hands (as this action hath relation to God, and that in prayer) is meant a desire and expectation of Divine help, and a readinesse to receive it. Holding up hands, impli­eth a continuance therein without fainting. [...] à [...] Hi­phil. The Hebrew word is of such a conjugation, as intimateth both a recipro­cation, and also a continuance of the action. [...] quoad. The particle prefixed before this clause, and translated, when, importeth as much: for it signifieth, so long as: in which sense it is used in the very next clause of this verse.

[...] a [...] Tremel. quieti dabat. The other word translated, let downe, in the conjugation wherein it is used, signifieth, to give to rest, or to make to rest. This is ordinarily done upon wearinesse.

It appeareth hereby that Moses waxed weary with hol­ding up his hands, and being weary, to rest them, let them downe. Whereby it is implied, that in his continuance to pray, his spirit waxed faint, and his faith weake, which made him somwhat to intermit that duty.

As therefore Israel had the better, while Moses with a [Page 257] stedfast faith continued to pray for them: so while, thorow weaknesse, he intermitted that duty, the enemy had the better.

The Summe of this verse is, A demonstration of the power of faithfull prayer.

This is manifested by the difference betwixt persisting therein, and desisting therefrom. Answerably there are two parts of the forenamed Summe.

  • 1. The joyfull effect of persisting in faithfull prayer.
  • 2. The wofull event of desisting therefrom.

In both these there is one thing implied, another ex­pressed.

In the former, 1. The Cause is implied; which was, that Moses somewhile continued stedfast and fervent in faithfull prayer, signified by holding up his hand. For where it is said, When Moses held up his hand, is it not intimated, that he did hold up his hand?

2. The Effect is expressed, Amalek prevailed.

In the latter likewise, 1. The Occasion is implied, which was that Moses somewhat fainted in spirit, failed in the vigour of his faith, and intermitted to pray as he had begun. This is signified by letting downe his hand. If he had not at all let downe his hand, why is mention here made thereof? Why was such means used to enable him to hold it up the more steddily, as is noted in the next verse? But, to put this out of all doubt, in the next verse it is expresly said, that Moses hands were weary.

2. The Event is thus expressed, Amalek prevailed.

1. From the Generall Scope of this verse, (whereunto every clause therein tendeth) I observe, that,

  • I. Faithfull prayer is powerfull.

2. From the Connexion of the Cause (which is, Moses his holding up of his hand) with the Effect (which is, Israels pre­vailing) and that by this particle of time, when, or, [...] so long as, I collect, that,

  • II. By continuance in faithfull prayer divine succour is continued.

3. From that which is implied by Moses letting downe his hand, I inferre, that,

  • III. Saints are prone to faint in their fervency of prayer.

4. From the Event following thereupon (Amalek prevai­led) I gather, that,

  • IIII. Intermission of faithfull and fervent prayer oft proves very prejudiciall.

5. From the different issue of this warre, that one while Israel prevailed, another while Amalek prevailed, I conclude, that,

  • V. Warre is wavering. Successe therein somtimes hangs one way, somtimes another way.

§. 43. Of the power of faithfull prayer.

I. §. 42. Dignior sequetur effectus, quem serventior praece­dit affectus. Aug. Probae Epist 121. Impetravit effi­caciter quod pe­tijt, quia fideliter postulavit. Cypr, Serm. 6 de O­rat. Dom. FAithfull prayer is powerfull. By faithfull prayer I meane,

1. The prayer of a faithfull man, such an one as Moses was, Numb. 12. 7. St. Iames stileth such an one a righteous man, and saith of his prayer, that it availeth much, Iames 5. 16.

2. The prayer of such a man made in faith. For so was this prayer of Moses. The holding up of his hand implied the steddinesse of his faith: and St. Iames giveth this title to effe­ctuall prayer, Prayer of faith, Iam. 5. 15. Much in Scripture is spoken of the See The whole Armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. Treat. 3. Part. 1 §. 22, &c. power of prayer; and all is spoken of such prayer as is here meant. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abo­mination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his de­light, Prov. 15. 8. The upright use to pray in faith: the wicked cannot do so. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice (Heb. 11. 14.) then Cain. Many and admi­rable are the things which the Saints in all ages have done by faith, Hebr. 11. But where faith hath failed, the divine power hath been stinted, Mat. 13. 58. & 17. 20. Heb. 3. 19. Not without cause therefore doth the Lord put in this pro­viso of faith, where he speaketh of prevailing by prayer, Mar. 11. 24. What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, be­lieve [Page 259] that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. So his Apo­stle, Iam. 1. 5, 6. If any man lacke, let him ask of God, but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. The faith of those who sought and found helpe of Christ in the dayes of his flesh, giveth good proofe hereof. Mat. 8. 13. & 9. 2, 22. & 15. 28. Mar. 9. 23. Luk. 7. 50. It is recorded of the Christians Niceph Calist. Ecclesiast. Hist. lib 4. cap. 12. citat hanc hi­storiam ex A­pologiâ quae à Tertulliano edita est pro fide ad Se­natum. Rom. Vide Oros. lib. 7. cap. 15. in the Primitive times of the Church that When Marcus Antoninus waged warre against the Germans, his army was brought to a desperate case, thorow great and long thirst: and that the legion of Christian souldiers fell on their knees after their accustomed manner, praying and craving helpe of God; and that that thing, as a new and unaccustomed matter, strucke a great terrour into the enemies. And that, while the Christi­ans prayed, another greater matter fell out beyond their imagi­nation and expectation. For, the enemies were stricken downe with many stroaks of thunder: and the army being even ready to perish with thirst and want of water, was refreshed. So effectu­all surely were the prayers of Christians. Prophane Historians, who have written of the Romane Emperours, have related as much. I have the rather transcribed this history, because it is somwhat pertinent to the pattern of Moses here noted in the text.

Faithfull prayer is that meanes which God himselfe, the almighty and all sufficient God, the originall fountaine of all Faith the meanes to re­ceive all bles­sing from God Nemo or at nisi quod credit & sperat. Bern. super Missus est, Serm 4. blessing-hath sanctified for receiving from him whatsoever he in his wisdome seeth meet to be done for, or given to any of his children. So that, it is as a conduit pipe, conveying all needfull blessing from that high fountaine in heaven, to us on earth. In this respect, to him, who said unto the Lord, If thou canst do any thing helpe us, Christ gave this answer, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that belie­veth, Mar. 9. 22, 23. On the other side, when he was among them that believed not, He could do there no mighty worke, Mar. 6. 5.

Ob. This tying of divine blessing to faith, which is a gift and grace in man, seemeth to impeach the infinite and unli­mited power of God.

[Page 260] Answ. Nothing lesse. For, faith is not the proper, prima­ry, Mans faith impeacheth not Gods power. and principall cause of any divine blessing, but onely a meanes subordinate to the divine providence. It doth ther­fore no more impeach Gods power, then any other meanes. There are among others, three especiall considerations which evidently demonstrate that faith more manifesteth then empaireth the power, providence, wisdome, and other attributes of God. They are these.

1. God himselfe worketh in man this gift of faith. Eph. 2. 8. Faith is the gift of God.

2. God himselfe hath appointed and sanctified this means. No creature hath imposed it on him.

3. The blessing which by faith commeth to any, is obtai­ned, not by any worth or vertue of faith as it is an act of man, but meerly by reason of that order which in wisdome God hath appointed for receiving from him such and such blessings.

Good cause we have therefore, all of us that are faithfull, in all things wherein we stand in need of any speciall favour, succour, and blessing from the Lord, to hold up our hands to God, as Moses here did, by faithfull prayer to seek it of him, & expect it from him. For, assuredly the prayer which shalbe Quae fidelis & fervens oratio su­erit, caelum sine dubio penetrabit: unde certum est quod vacua redi­re non poterit. Bern. in Qua­dragess, Serm 4 faithfull and fervent, will pierce heaven: from whence, it is certain, it can not returne empty. Wherefore, when spiritu­all enemies assault us: when we find any effects of Gods dis­pleasure lying on us: when we enterprize any weighty busi­nes: when we observe great need, and find want of any grace: when enemies invade us: when a plague enters among us: when a famine begins to pinch: yea when we have just cause to feare any of these: when an army by land, or a fleet by sea is sent forth for our owne defence, or for succour to our friends or allies: for obtaining or re-gaining any pub­lique, or private blessings, temporall, or spirituall, on our selves or others: for preventing or removing like evils: on all occasions let us hold up our hands: let us make faithfull and fervent prayers to God.

Of praying we spake §. 27. before.

[Page 261] The manner of praying with a stedfast faith (signified by holding up the hand) is the point here to be especially obser­ved. For, faith to prayer is as fire to powder. In it the life, vigour, and power of prayer consisteth. By faith prayer fli­eth The power of prayer consi­steth in faith. Grandis fidei clamor; Amb. Comment. in Psal. 118. Ser. 19. ver. 1. up to heaven, as Daniels did, Dan. 10. 12. By faith it is made acceptable to God, as Abels was, Hebr. 11. 4. By faith it prevailes with God, as Iacobs did, Hos. 12. 4. By faith it turnes away Gods wrath, as Moses did, Exo. 32. 14. By faith it obtaines sufficient grace, as Pauls did, 2 Cor. 12. 9. Faith added to prayer maketh it powerfull in all things, and profitable to all things. Pray therefore, and pray in faith. Thus hold up thy hand.

For helpe herein, observe these directions.

1. Take good notice of Gods promises, and well acquaint thy selfe therewith. Gods promises are the only, true, pro­per Directions to pray in faith. Of Gods pro­mises, how they are the ground of faith, See The whole Armour of God, on Eph. 6. 16. Treat. 2. Part. 6, §. 71, &c. ground of faith. What is promised, may, and must be believed. What is believed without a promise, is not justly and duly believed. It is rather rashly and audaciously pre­sumed.

2. Meditate on Gods properties, such as these. 1. His supreme Soveraignty, wherby he hath an absolute command over all. 2. His Omnipotency, whereby he is able to do any thing. 3. His All-sufficiency, whereby, as he hath all trea­sures in himselfe, so he can give what he will to whom he will. 4. His Omni-presence, or being every where, whereby he taketh notice of all things. 5. His unsearchable wis­dome, whereby he disposeth all things to the best. 6. His Free-grace, wherby he is moved for his own sake to do good to such as are unworthy in themselves. 7. His Rich-mer­cy, whereby his bowels are stirred at the miseries of his chil­dren, and moved to succour them. 8. His Truth, and faith­fulnesse, which makes him perform all his promises. 9. His perfect Iustice, which makes him judge and revenge those that unjustly wrong and vexe his Church. 10. His fierce Wrath and terrour, which makes him a consuming fire to his enemies. 11. His Immutability, which shewes him to be such a God still to us, as of old he was to his Church.

[Page 262] 3. Fixe the eye of thy faith on Iesus Christ thy Mediator, sitting at Gods right hand, and making intercession for thee: by vertue of which intercession thy person and prayers are made acceptable to God, so as, in much confidence and sted­fastnesse of faith thou maist expect a gracious accep­tance.

4. Call to mind Gods former works. How these are of use to strengthen faith hath beene shewed §. 33. before.

5. Wait and expect Gods leisure. Praescribe no time to him. Hab. 2. 3. See The whole armour of God, on Eph. 6. 17. Treat 2. Part. 7 §. 3, 8, 9. There is an appointed time. This can not be preven­ted, nor shalbe overslipt. To be perswaded hereof, and an­swerably to wait patiently and contentedly, when at first we are not heard, will much settle and strengthen faith. Hope, like a good daughter, nourisheth faith.

6. Let thy soule be so qualified when thou prayest, as thy faith be not quailed with the evill disposition of the heart. The right qualification of the soule consisteth much in the true intent, bent, and inclination thereof, when in truth it in­tends that which is acceptable to God, and the bent and in­clination of the will is thereunto. For, howsoever our good intents, endeavours, and performances are no causes of faith, yet, as effects and signes they so quicken the spirit, as they make a man both more shew forth, and better use his faith then otherwise he could. And on the contrary, See The whole Armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. Treat. 3 Part. 1. §. 20. sin damps the spirit: and a purpose of sinning is to faith, as water to gun-powder. This he well understood, who said, Psal. 66. 18. If I re­gard iniquity in mine heart, the Lord will not heare me. Thus therefore he professeth to prepare himselfe, —26. 6. I will wash my hands in innocency, so will I compasse thine altar, O Lord.

7. When the spirit is heavy, and the soule perplexed; when doubting and feare ariseth in thy heart; when that sweet inward sense, joy, and comfort whereby faith useth to be supported, faileth in thee; then let thy judgement and understanding sustaine thy faith: labour by evident ar­guments taken from Gods promises, and other grounds of faith before mentioned, to convince thy soule, that God [Page 263] heareth thy prayer, accepteth thy person in Christ, and will do that which in his wisdome he seeth to be most fit for thee. Reason and expostulate the case with thy soule. Say as the Psalmist did in such a case, Why art thou cast downe, O my Psal. 42. 11. soule? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God. There are two props to support our faith. One Two props of faith. is an inward comfortable apprehension, a sweet sense and as­sured perswasion of Gods fatherly love to us wrought by the spirit of comfort. The other is good knowledge and un­derstanding of the true grounds of faith, as Gods promi­ses, properties, and former dealings with others and our selves, the mediation of Christ, &c. When the former failes men, by the latter they may support and sustaine them­selves. This latter keepes many which want the former from despaire: For it makes them not to dare to di­strust.

8. To all other meanes adde prayer. Pray as he that said, Mar 9. 24. Lord I believe: help my unbeliefe. Pray for the spi­rit of supplication. For, there is Zac. 12. 10. promise made thereof. Pray for faith, which is shewed to be the life of that gift. So did the Apostles, Lord increase our faith, Luke 17. 5. So did Christ pray for Peters faith, that it might not faile, Luke 22. 32. In praying for faith, and for stedfastnesse thereof, Nisi sides data esset orare non posset. Aug. Six­to Epist. 105. pray in faith. For, where no faith is, there can be no effectuall prayer.

§. 44. Of continuing to pray.

II. See § 42. BY continuance in faithfull prayer divine succour is continued. Thus much an Angell from heaven te­stifieth, when he saith to Daniel, Dan. 10. 12. From the first day that thou didst set thy selfe to humble thy selfe before thy God, thy words were heard. This, as it is true in regard of long holding out, and continuing prayer at one time by reason of the need of present and continued succour from God, so also is it true in regard of frequent and constant returning unto prayer [Page 264] time after time. Exo. 30. 7, 8. The morning and evening incense which was constantly to be offered every day unto the Lord, prefi­gured as much. 2 Cor. 12. 8, 9 Paul being long buffeted by Satan, prayed thrice, that is, oft, and all the while found sufficient assi­stance. Acts 12. 5. Prayer being made of the Church for Peter, he found assistance all the while he was in prison, and delive­rance out of prison. Luke 22. 42, 43, 44. Christ continued to pray all the while he was in his agony, and returned to prayer againe and againe, and found sufficient supportance, Heb. 5. 7. He was heard in that he feared.

The delight which God taketh in faithfull prayer, the de­sire which he hath to give evidence of his fatherly accep­tance of his childrens conformity to that order which he hath prescribed, his faithfulnesse in performing to the utter­most his promises for hearing prayer, together with other motives arising from his owne goodnesse, are the causes of his ordering and disposing his blessings according to his Saints prayers.

As §. 27. before we were taught by prayer to seeke succour of God, so here we are further directed for continuance of suc­cour to continue in prayer. The whole Ar­mour of God, on Eph. 6, 18. Treat. 3. Part. 2 §. 98. Of long continuance in prayer at one time: Ibid. §. 118, 120. Of praying every day, and keeping our set times for prayer: Of Ibid §. 137, &c. all perseverance in prayer, I have spoken else­where. It shalbe sufficient here to propound some cases whereunto such continuance, as is here in my text implied, may be applied.

1. If any be in sight of an army as Moses here was, they must do as Moses here did. Cases wherein prayer is to be continued.

2. If an army of land-souldiers, or a fleet of sea-souldiers be sent forth, prayer more then ordinary must be daily conti­nued for them, till we heare of the issue.

3. If a Parliament, or any other solemne assembly do meet about weighty matters, while that assembly continu­eth, prayer for it must be continued.

4. If King, or other Magistrate of good note and name, of good use and proofe: if a faithfull and powerfull Minister; if parent, husband, wife, master, or any to whom [Page 265] we are by any speciall relation bound, be in any danger by sicknesse or otherwise, prayer is to be continued for them, till we see some issue.

5. If any by reason of the stone, gangrene, cancer, sistula, or any other torturing and dangerous disease be under the Chyrurgians hand to be cut, or to have any member cut off, prayer for Gods assistance and blessing is to be continued.

6. If children be put forth to be trained up to any calling, or if we be about any mariage for them, for continuance of gods blessing, continuall prayer must be made.

So in sundry other cases like unto these.

Intermitting, or ceasing prayer before it is meet, doth oft prove See The whole Armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. Treat. 3. Part. 2. §. 116. very prejudiciall. It was such an occasion that made Elisha the Prophet angry with Ioash King of Israel for smi­ting but thrice with his arrowes on the ground. Moyses vincere adversarium non potuit; nisi post­quam stabilis in signo allevatis ju­giter manibus perseveravit. Cypr de Ex­hort. Martyr. cap 8. Thou shouldest (said he) have smitten five or six times: then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it. 2 King. 13. 19. Here in this place we see that Moises could not overcome the enemy, till with stedfastnesse he persevered holding up his hands with the rod of God in them.

§. 45. Of fainting in prayer.

III. See § 42. SAints are prone to faint in their fervency of prayer. These phrases (Psal 69 3. I am weary of my crying: mine eyes faile while I wait for my God. —73. 26. My flesh and my heart faileth. —77. 3. I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. —42. 6, 11. O my God, my soule is cast downe within me. Why art thou cast downe, O my soule? why art thou disquieted in me?) These and many other such like phrases used by Saints, give too great evidence of their pronenesse to faint. Mat. 14. 30. Peters sinking when hee walked upon the waters. —8. 25, 26. The Disciples feare when a storme arose. —26. 40, 41. Their drowsi­nesse when Christ tooke them with him in the garden to pray, do all manifest their pronesse to faint, to waxe heavy, and dull.

[Page 266] Christ in that place gives this reason hereof, See The whole Armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. Treat. 3. Part. 5 § 134. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weake.

As this, it being a fruit of the flesh, an evidence of the cor­ruption of our nature, ministreth much matter of humiliati­on, so, it being no other kind of corruption but that which the best Saints are subject unto, it affords matter also of con­solation: so as we need not be over-much dejected at our pronesse thereto, seeing it is that condition that none (while they remaine in the flesh) are exempted from. And this is one use that we may make of such weaknesses as are noted to be in such as the Holy Ghost registreth in the Kalender of true Saints.

Yet are we not hereupon to sooth our selves too much in our weaknesses: but rather this pronesse to faint should make us with our uttermost power Heb. 12. 12. to lift up the hands which hang downe, and the feeble knees: to rouze up our soules, and to quicken our spirits when we go to prayer. Di­rections hereunto have been given The Whole Ar­mour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. Treat. 3. Part 5. §. 136. Periculum est si sit oralio tepida, & non ex vivâ affectione proce­dens. In ascensu languescit, & de­ficit eo quod non habet vigorem. Bern in Qua­dragess, Serm 4 elswhere. There is dan­ger if prayer be cold. It fainteth and faileth in the ascent thereof, because it hath no vigour.

§. 46. Of the prejudice of failing in prayer.

IIII. Interdum gravi­ter impeditur oratio á pusitta­nimitate spiritus. Bern Ioc, citat. INtermission of faithfull and servent prayer oft proves very prejudiciall. Here it was an occasion of the enemies prevailing against his Church. It endange­red Peters life, (Mat. 14. 30.) for it was the cause of his sin­king in the water. In this kind of fainting may be reckoned 1 Sam. 10. 8.—13 8, &c. Sauls preventing the time that Samuel had appointed to come to him: which cost him his kingdome: and that wea­risomnesse which is taxed in the Iewes that said, Am. 8. 5. when will the New-Moones and Sabbaths be gone? and said of the services which they performed to the Lord, Mal. 1. 13. Behold what a wearinesse it is. Of a faint spirit which Iam. 1. 627. the Apostle opposeth to faith, he saith, Let not that man thinke that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

1. To intermit faithfull prayer while the occasion remai­neth, [Page 267] is to intermit the means whereby the blessing desired is to be obtained. It is as if (before the battell be ended) souldi­ers should cease to fight, or runners in a race fall downe and lie still, before they be come to the goale.

2. By such fainting and intermitting prayer, as the weak­nesse of flesh in man is manifested, so the power, truth, wis­dome, goodnesse, and other divine properties are impeached. How then can it be thought but that much prejudice must needs come to such men thereby.

The reason why mens prayers do in the issue prove fruit­lesse, Information in the cause of fruitlesse pray­ers. may hence be gathered. They faint, they faile, they in­termit, they give over praying before that for which they pray be accomplished. When any judgement publique or private is beginning, or is feared, as plague, famine, sword, restraint of liberty, or the like, hearty, earnest, extraordinary prayer is oft made, yea and fasting added thereto: but if God seeme to tarry long before he remove that judgement, men think it in vaine still to wait, (as he who said, 2 King. 6. 33. What should I wait for the Lord any longer?) and so loose the fruit of their former prayers, by not following them, and conti­nuing to hold out till the time appointed of the Lord. The like may be said of prayer for obtaining speciall blessings, gi­ven over.

How fitly now may that generall encouragement of the Apostle, (Gal. 6. 9. See The whole Armour of God, on Eph 6. 13. Treat. 1. Part 4 § 12. let us not be weary of well doing) yea and the reason thereof (for in due time we shall reape if we faint not) be ap­plied to prayer. There is nothing whereunto continuance and perseverance is more requisite then prayer. Of the bene­fit of perseverance in prayer we spake § 44. Necessitatibus implicatus or a fortiter & dic Deo quod habes in Psalmo, In ne­cessitatibus meis erue me. Aug. Bonifac. Epist. 70. before. Here we see the prejudice of the contrary. If therefore desire of good, or feare of evill be motives of force, there are motives of force to provoke us to all perseverance, and in holding out to be fervent. Therefore when thou art in straits be ardent, and instant in prayer, and say to God as thou art taught, (Psal. 25. 17.) O bring thou me out of my distresses.

§. 47. Of the uncertainty of warre.

V. See §. 42. VVArre is wavering. Sundry proverbiall sen­tences are used in Scripture which give evi­dence hereto: as, 2 Sam. 11 25. The sword devoureth one as well as ano­ther. 1 King. 20. 11 Let not him that girdeth on his harnesse boast himself as he that putteth it off. Eccl. 9. 11. The battell is not to the strong. Time and chance happeneth to all. Pro. 21. 31. The horse is prepared against the day of battell: but safety (namely in battell, or victory) is of the Lord. Ier. 50. 23. How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asun­der and broken? 1 Sam. 15. 33. As thy sword hath made women childlesse, so shall thy mother be childlesse among women. Iudg. 1. 7. As I have done, so God hath requited me. Take for instance the Kings that upon their conquest over Sodome and Gomorrah were overthrowne by Abram, Gen. 14. 11, 15. And the Amala­kites that sacked Ziklag and were surprized by David, 1 Sam. 30. 1, 17. All ages have given wofull demonstrations herof. I will (in that innumerable variety of instances which might be produced, insist only on such as shew how the Church and people of God have had the worst in battell. Ios. 7. 4. Victorious Ioshua and his army not onely here, but after he began to conquer Canaan, fled before their enemies. Iudg. 20. 21, 23 The eleven Tribes were twice put to the worst by the Benjamites, and after that the Benjamites utterly vanquished by them. Iudg. 3, &c. The Israelites were oft overthrowne by their enemies in the Iudges time, and in the Kings time. Valorous David was for­ced to fly from 1 Sam. 21. 10. Saul, and from 2 Sam. 15. 14 Absalom. 1 Sam. 30 1. Davids city was spoiled and burnt by the Amalakites. 2 Chro. 25. 11 22. Amaziah that overthrew the Edomites was soone after overthrowne by Ioash King of Israel. Not to insist on any more particulars, The manifold complaints of the Church in this case give further evidence to the truth thereof. They are such as these, Psal. 44. 7, &c Thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. But thou hast cast off and put us to shame, and goest not forth with our armies: Thou makest us to turne our backs to the enemy, &c. There are many more like [Page 269] these thorowout the Scripture. The heathen by their expe­rimentall Levissimus saepe casus ex victo vi­ctorem, ex victore victum exerci­tum reddit. 10. vian. de bello Neopolit. observations were moved to acknowledge as much.

True it is that warres are ordered by God: so as this un­certainty of warre is not without him. And yet is it not tho­row any neglect or impotency in him. Our God is not like the Gods of the Heathen, who by such as tooke them for gods are accounted oftentimes unable to helpe in battell: yea —antiquo me­mores de vulncre poenas Exigit alma Venus—Ovid. Meta­morph lib. 14. De Marte a Dio­mede vulnerato. Homerus Iliad. β [...]. 1 Sam. 3. 18. 2 Sam. 15. 25. when they came themselves to succour such as they favou­red, they are said to be wounded. But our God is farre from any such impotency. He is able at all times to make whom he will victorious. Onely in his wisdome he seeth it meet somtimes to suffer enemies to have the better over his people. Though we could see no reason why he should suf­fer enemies to prevaile, yet ought we to lay our hands upon our mouth, and not dare to impeach his power, wisdome, justice, truth, or any other of his infinite, excellent proper­ties; but rather to say as good old Elie did, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. And as David, If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me againe. But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee, Here I am; let him do to me as seemeth good to him. Yet in Scripture many weighty reasons are implied, to demonstrate to us the equity of Gods providence in this particular. Some of these reasons are such as these that follow.

1. To cause his Church and people more narrowly and Why God suf­fereth enemies to prevaile over his Church. thorowly to search themselves. For many evils many times are so closely conveighed and concealed, as unlesse God by some visible judgement force men to search it out, it may lie and fester, and so cause the greater mischiefe. This was the chiefe cause that moved God so to leave Ioshua and his army, Ios 7. 10, &c. as they fled before the men of Ai,

2. To punish some scandalous sin whereby the profession of godlinesse is slandered. This reason God himselfe renders 2 Sam 12. 10. of those crosses which by the sword befell David. Thus did God punish the Israelites for their presumption. Num. 14. 44.

3. To bring people to sound and solemne repentance. [Page 270] Iudg. 20 26. This fruit was manifested in the eleven Tribes, after they had beene twice foiled by the Benjamites.

4. To shew that victory commeth not meerely from Iudg. 20. 17. &c mans preparation. For, after that the foresaid eleven Tribes had lost at one time two and twenty thousand men, and at another time eighteene thousand, then God gave them the victory.

5. To turne the boasting of enemies to their greater shame and dammage: as that advantage which the Phi­listims got against Sampson did. Read for this pur­pose Isa. 10. 5, &c. the just insultations over the proud King of Assy­ria.

6. To give evidence of his wisdome and power in ca­sting downe and raising up againe; according to that which 1 Sam. 2. 6, 7. is said of him, The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bring­eth downe to the grave, and bringeth up: he bringeth low and lifteth up. On this ground, when David was forced out of his native country, and the city which he had in a strange country was spoiled and burnt by enemies, and his owne —30. 6. souldiers spake of stoning him, he encouraged himselfe in the Lord his God.

7. To make men more fervently, instantly, and constantly to call upon God: as Moses here did. For observing that when his hands fell, Amalek prevailed, he used all the helpe he could to keepe his hands up and steddy, as is noted in the next verse.

Good ground of hope and comfort is hereby ministred to Hope to such as are over­come. such as somtimes have the worst in war, and against whom enemies have prevailed, that the streame may turn, that they who are overthrowne may rise againe, and the conquered prove conquerers. For, the Lord, who is the orderer and disposer of the successe of war ever remaineth the same, as wise to know when to suffer Amalek, and when Israel to prevaile, as able to give victory to the conquered, as ready to heare the cries of those that are overthrowne, and to receive such as thereby are brought to renew their repentance, as carefull of his owne honour, as observant of enemies insulta­tions, [Page 271] as ever he was. Let us wisely observe the ends of Gods permission in this case, (whereof some are noted) and answerably make use thereof. These times give just occasion Mis-judge not such as are vanquished. to make a wise application of this point. Enemies as hate­full to God as Amalek was, have in many places had the up­per hand of such as have had as true notes of the true Church as Israel had. What then? shall we hereupon impeach God of injustice, or make question of the truth of their religion, or, so loade them with sinne, as if they were the greatest sinners of all. Farre bee that from us.

1. Concerning God, we ought not to suffer a thought to arise in our minds, derogatory to his justice: but if any such do begin to rise, presently to quash and suppresse them. God in justice may make Idolaters his rod (as he did the Hea­then, Isa. 10. 5.) to punish those that are of the true Religi­on. But after the rod is thus used, to what end is it but to be cast into the fire?

2. Concerning the difference of religion betwixt Prote­stants and Papists, we are not to judge of it by event and successe in warre. There are other more sure evidences grounded on Gods Word, which give such demonstrations of the truth of the one, and falshood of the other, as we may pawne life, soule, and eternall salvation, upon the truth of that which we professe: and renounce salvation, if Popery be the means of attaining thereto.

3. Concerning their sins, whether they be more or grea­ter then the sins of others that are of the same profession, but not so trampled upon as they, we are to leave to the deter­mination of the highest Iudge. The Lord hath given us a wise caveat in this case, Luke 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Let us believe and hope the best; and do as Moses here did, be more earnest in prayer for them, Iudg. 20. 26. Ios. 7. 6, &c. Num. 21. 2.

To conclude, when the cause of warre is just, the danger or conquest of a Christian is to be ballanced by the affection of the heart, not by the issue of warre. The issue of the combate [Page 272] can not be ill where the cause of the combatant is good: as the Ex cordis affectu non belli eventu pensatur vel pe­riculum, vel vi­ctoria Christiani. Si bona suerit causa pugnantis, pugnae exitus malus esse non peterit: sicut nec bonus judicabi­tur finis, ubi cau­sa non bona, & intentio non re­cta praecesserit. Si in voluntate al­terum occidendi, te potius occidi contigerit, more­ris homicida, Quod si praeva­l [...]s, & voluntate superandi vel vindicandi fortè occidis hominem, vivis bomicida. Non autem ex­pedit sive vivo sive mortuo, sive victori, sive victo esse homicidam. Infoelix victoria, quae superans ho­minem, succum­bis vitio. Bern, ad Mil. Tēp. c. 1 issue may not be accounted good, when a good cause and right intention hath not gone before. If with a mind of slay­ing men thou art kild, thou diest a murtherer. But if thou prevailest, and in desire of conquest and revenge thou slayest another, thou livest a murtherer. But it becomes not a Chri­stian, whether he live or die, be a conquerer, or be conque­red, to be a murtherer. Vnhappy is that victory where a conquerer of man is conquered by sin.

§. 48. Of the interpretation and resolution of the twelfth Verse.

EXOD. XVII. XII.‘But Moses hands were heavy, and they tooke a stone and put it under him, and he sate thereon: and Aaron and Hur staid up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side, and his hands were steddy unto the going downe of the sun.’

THe performance of Moses promise generally propoun­ded in the tenth verse, is here more distinctly exemplifi­ed. Where first the cause of Moses letting downe his hands (whereof Vers. 11. before) is thus expressed, Moses hands were heavy. Vers. 11. When he spake of holding up, he used the sin­gular number, hand: but here making mention of his heavi­nesse, he useth the plurall number, hands: whereby we are given to understand that first Moses lift up one hand, and that waxing weary, he took the rod in the other hand, and lift up that: and so continued to change from hand to hand, til both hands were weary. The wearines of Moses hands is set out by the heavines of them. For, if a mans hand be held up long, and steddily without stirring, it will waxe numne by reason of want of bloud, and coldnesse of that bloud which is. That spirit which quickneth the members of a mans body is in the blood: blood failing, or waxing cold, the member for [Page 273] want of spirit, and the vigour thereof, becomes heavy, (as by experience we may observe in dead corps:) and heavinesse of a mans hands makes him weary in holding them up. Wea­rinesse then (which is an humane infirmity) was the cause of Moses letting down his hands: whereby, as by an outward signe, the weaknesse of his faith, and fainting of his soule and spirit is set out: as was noted § 42. before.

To helpe Moses infirmity, Aaron and Hur finding a great stone (the best meanes that in that place they could find for Moses ease) they bring it to the place where he stood, and so set it as he might conveniently sit upon it, and continue the better to hold up the rod of God: the stone was like one of them which Ioshua caused to be set in Iordan, a massie Ios. 4. 9. stone. The same title is given to them and this.

That which some alledge, as the end of laying this stone [...] by Moses, that he might rest his elbow on it, can not well stand with this clause following in the text, and he sate thereon.

As for means to settle his hand, and to make it the more steddy, it is added, And Aaron and Hur staid up his hands. They put their hands under his elbow, and by their armes, the one on the one side, the other on the other side, kept his hands that they could not sway aside one way or other.

By this externall assistance, and supportance of Moses hands in regard of his bodily weaknesse, their joyning of spirits with his, their mutuall faithfull prayers are signi­fied.

Such helpe did the fore-mentioned assistance bring to Moses, as his hands which were before so heavy and feeble as he was forced to let them fall, remained steddy: and that not for an houre or two, but all the day, even untill the going downe of the sun: which implieth, that his spirit was so revi­ved by their mutuall and joynt prayers, as with much alacri­ty, and great ardency he continued to pray all the day long.

Here then is declared, The benefit of mutuall prayer.

More distinctly here is offered to our consideration, [Page 274]

  • 1. The Need thereof.
  • The Helpe thereof.

The Need is

  • 1. Expressed, in these words, Moses hands were heavy.
  • 2. Exemplified, by the means used to supply that Need.

The Means were of two sorts.

  • 1. One for his Body.
  • 2. Another for his Hand.

The Meanes for his body was a stone.

In setting downe hereof is noted

  • 1. How it was prepared.
  • 2. How it was used.

The Preparation is noted in two actions.

  • 1. They tooke a stone.
  • 2. They put it under him.

The use of it is in this phrase, He sate thereon.

In setting downe the means for his hand, is shewed,

  • 1. What was done. Aaron and Hur staid up his hands.
  • 2. How it was done. The one on the one side, the other on the other.

The helpe received hereby was perseverance, and that so long as was need. Here then we have,

  • 1. The vigour which Moses received. His hands were steddy.
  • 2. The continuance thereof. Vntill the going downe of the sunne.

The weaknesse here manifested in Moses giveth instance, that,

The best Saints are subject to dulnesse in pious duties. Here­of before in §. 45.

The means used to support him in this his weaknesse, and the benefit received thereby is here especially to be insisted upon.

Of the Persons here assistant to Moses, which were Aa­ron and Hur, sufficient hath beene spoken, §. 38, 39, 40.

1. The notice and care that Aaron and Hur tooke of, and about Moses weaknesse, gives proofe, that,

  • [Page 275] I. Due consideration is to be taken of one anothers weake­nesse.

2. The means which they use in taking a stone, and putting it under him, sheweth, that,

  • II. All good meanes must be used to support our brothers weaknesse.

3. Moses manner of using the means (he sate upon the stone) being a gesture not very proper to prayer, yeelds ex­ample, that,

  • III. Mans weaknesse gaineth dispensation for circum­stances in divine matters.

4. The Action of Aaron and Hur, who stayed up Moses hands, affords evidence, that,

  • IIII. We must be are one anothers burdens.

5. The Manner of doing it, One on the one side, the other on the other side, implieth, that,

  • V. Vnion of spirits is very helpfull.

6. The event following hereupon, that Moses hands were steddy, declares, that,

  • VI. The weake are strengthened by aid from others.

7. The continuance of all that was done, untill the going downe of the sun, as it amplifieth the point before mentioned of the strength which they that faint may receive by aid from others, so it gives demonstration, that,

  • VII. If need require prayer must be long continued.

Herof read The whole Armour of God, on Eph. 6. 18. Treat. 3. Part. 2. §. 98. & Part. 6. §. 137, &c.

§. 49. Of considering others weaknesse.

I. See §. 48. DVe consideration is to be taken of one anothers weak­nesse. Many are the exhortations of Scripture tending hereunto, such as these, Phil. 2. 4. Looke every man also on the things of others. Heb. 10. 24. Let us consider one another, &c.

The pitifull aspect which the Luke 10. 30. Samaritan cast upon the wounded man commended by the Lord, and the Priests and Levites unmercifull passing by, reproved in the parable, do [Page 276] further give good evidence to the equity of the duty.

Notice and consideration of our brothers need is the ground of that compassion which may be wrought in our bowels, whereby we are moved to afford the best succour that we can. It is oft noted of Christ that Mat. 14. 14. Luk. 7 13. he saw such and such, and had compassion on them. Ezek. 16. 6. Yea God himselfe thus expresseth the occasion of that compassion which he shewed to his Church, When I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted, &c. God here taketh upon him the affection of man, where­by he sheweth what may in man move compassion.

O that men would be watchfull one over another, to ob­serve wherein their brother fainteth or faileth, and afford what helpe and succour they can, as Abishai did to David, 2 Sam. 21. 15, 16, 17. Herein we should prove as Gods one to another. Thus might Governours do much good to their Subjects, and Subjects againe to their Governours: So Mi­nisters to their People, and People to their Ministers: So, Husbands and Wives, Neighbours and Neighbours, Friends and Friends, yea all of all sorts. We are all one flesh, mutu­all members of one and the same body. Let us therefore be of like affection one to another, and as ready to helpe and succour each other, as one member is to succour another. Howsoever Cain most un-brotherly, yea very butcherly said, Am I my brothers keeper? yet he ought to have beene his brothers keeper, as all of us are, and therefore as keepers of Gen. 4. 9. one another, we ought to consider one another.

§. 50. Of supporting others weakenesse.

II. See §. 48. ALL good meanes must be used to support our bro­thers weakenesse. To this tend such admonitions as these. Isa. 35. 3. 1 Thes. 5. 14. Strengthen ye the weake hands, and comfort the fee­ble knees. Comfort the feeble minded, support the weake. Act. 20. 35. [...], &c. Hereunto the Apostle puts a must, which imports a neces­sity, ye ought (or ye must) support the weake. The Greeke word translated, support, is oft used for [...]. Plut. in Fab. under-propping a thing ready to fall: and Luk. 1. 54. Vide Bezoe annot. majores in hunc loc & in Act. 20. 35. for taking one that is weake by [Page 277] the hand to raise him up. A fit Metaphor for the point in hand. That which is noted of Christs taking by the hand such as were Mar. 1. 31. weake, Mat. 14. 31. ready to sinke, yea, and Mar. 5. 41. dead, when he meant to raise them, giveth evidence of the equity of the fore-mentioned duty. God himselfe doth hereby testifie that goodnesse which is in him, and that care which he ta­keth of men in their weaknesse: for, saith he, Ezek. 34 16. I will bind up that which was broken, and wil strengthen ohat which was sick. Hereupon his people are incouraged in their weaknesse to seeke succour of him: Hos. 6. 1, 2. Come, say they, Let us returne unto the Lord: for he will heale us, He will bind us up, he will re­vive us, He will raise us up. In this respect the Spirit of God hath this title Ioh. 14. 26. Comforter, by a kind of property given him. For our better stability, Psal 91. 11. God hath given his Angels charge over us to keepe us, &c. If thus the Father, Sonne, Ho­ly Ghost, and holy Angels be so tender over us, as in our weak­nesse to support us, should not we use all the good meanes we can to succour and support one another in our weake­nesses?

Many motives there be to presse this point. As, Motives to succour one another.

1. That propinquity which is betwixt children of men, who are all one flesh. Hide not therefore thy selfe from thine owne flesh, Isa. 58. 7.

2. That Condition wherein all are, and whereby they are Considerare de­bemus, quod ae­gritudinem sive animae, sive corporis, quam in homine alio vi­demus, etiam nos habere possumus. Hoc ergo exhibe amus, &c. Aug. deverb. Apost. Serm. 21. subject to such necessities, as may need others succour. The Apostle therefore, where he presseth this duty of restoring others, inferreth this motive, Considering thy selfe, least thou also be tempted, Gal. 6. 1.

3. That humanity which becomes our nature, whereby we give evidence that there are such bowels in us as are mo­ved at others necessities. Christ therefore tooke unto him­selfe our nature, that he might give evidence thereby that he was mercifull, Heb. 2. 17. It is inhumanity not to be touched with others needs.

4. That mercy which is required to be shewed to asses and oxen, which, lying under their burdens are to be helped up. And are not men more worthy then asses or oxen? Exo. 23. 5. Deu. 22. 4.

[Page 278] 5. That Sympathy which is in other creatures. Even un­reasonable creatures are ready to run at the cry of such as are of their owne kind. Should reasonable men have lesse sym­pathy then unreasonable beasts? Lam. 4. 3.

6. That efficacy of regeneration, which of Wolves, Leo­pards, Lyons Beares, Aspes and Cockatrices, maketh Calves, Lambs, Kids, and Children, Isa. 11. 6, &c.

7. That pity and compassion, that readinesse and for­wardnesse that is in God to succour and support us in all our weaknesses, (whereof before.) Be ye therefore followers of God. Be ye mercifull as your father is mercifull, Eph. 5. 1. Luke 6. 36.

By our willingnesse and readinesse to succour such as need our succour, we gaine assurance and give evidence that our corrupt nature is altered.

Do they well consider the foresaid Propinquity or Necessi­ty Reproofe of such as neglect the weake and ueedy. whereunto themselves are subject, or common Humani­ty, or that Mercy which should be shewed to beasts, or have they any naturall Sympathy, or good evidence of their Rege­neration, or can they be thought to be children of God like to him, who see their brother fall or faint, or thorow infir­mity need succour and supportance, and yet be no whit mo­ved thereat, nor use any means, nor afford any helpe to su­staine and support him? Let such consider the end of Luk. 16. 21, &c. Di­ves, and the Mat. 25. 41, &c. doome denounced against those that omitted duties of curtesie, humanity, and charity. Iam. 2. 13. Derision and oppression of the weake. For he shall have judgement without mercy that hath shewed no mercy.

What then may be thought of them that put a stumbling block before the weake to make them fall: or being fallen, deride and scorne them? The law implieth that there is no fear of God in such: for, where it expresly saith, Thou shalt not curse the deafe, nor put a stumbling blocke before the blind, Lev. 19. 14. it addeth, but shalt feare thy God, and thereby implieth, that a true feare of God will keepe men from such inhumanity. This is noted to be the cause of the fearfull judgements that fell upon Obad 10, &c. Edom, and Icr. 48. 27. Moab; their deriding of Israel in her affiction, and oppressing her when she was pressed downe. [Page 279] Gen. 9. 22, &cRemember Cham. Vrgere jacen­tes, aut praecipi­tantes impellere certè est inhuma­num. Cic. pro. C Rab. Post.The very Heathen counted it an inhu­mane thing to trample upon those that were throwne down: and to thrust on those that were tumbling downe head­long.

Exhortation to succour the weake. Col. 3. 12. Put on therefore (as the elect of God, holy and beloved) bow­els of mercies, kindnesse, &c. As you see the weaknesse of a brother, do what you can to support him. If he be weary, and cannot stand so long as he should, let him have somthing to sit thereon, as Aaron and Hur here did to Moses. And in other cases, (as Iob was to the unspeakable comfort of his soule when Satan by himselfe and others did what he could to shake his faith, and to deprive him of all comfort in his God) be Iob 29. 15, 16. eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, a father to the poore, &c. Thus, as ye do that which is acceptable to God, and pro­fitable to your brother, so also that which may be very avail­able to your selves. Mat. 7. 2. For, with what measure ye mete, it shalbe measured to you againe. On these and such like grounds saith the Lord, Mat. 5. 7. Blessed are the mercifull, for they shall obtaine mer­cy. Men will be ready on all occasions to shew mercy to such. Thus Ruth who was as a staffe to her old mother in law, found Boaz to be as a staffe to her: and he renders this reason of the kindnesse he shewed to her, Rut. 2. 11. It hath fully beene shewed me all that thou hast done to thy mother in law since the death of thine husband. But, if men should forget, or not respect the kindnesse and goodnesse that is shewed to such as are in need, God will assuredly recompence it: as he recompenced the kindnesse which Ioseph shewed to Pha­roahs Butler, Gen. 40. 23. and which David shewed to Nabal, 1 Sam. 25. 10. though the one was forgotten, and the other not respected. With the mercifull God will shew himselfe mercifull. Psal. 18. 25.

§. 51. Of that dispensation which is yeelded to man in divine matters.

III. See § 48. MAns weaknesse gaineth dispensation for circum­stances in divine matters. Thus Gen. 47. 31. Iacob being old and weake worshipped God in his bed, manifested by his bowing of himself upon the beds head, and was therein ac­cepted. For, it is said that he did it Heb. 11. 21. in faith. Thus the Ios. 5. 5. Is­raelites all the while they were in the wildernesse (Num. 9. 17. Where they were on a sudden, whensoever the cloud arose, to re­move from place to place) had a dispensation for circumcisi­on. Thus 1 Sam. 21. 6. David in his need had a dispensation to eat the shew-bread: And —1. 22. Hannah to tarrie at home, and not to go to the Temple while she gave her child sucke. But to cease from reckoning up more particular instances, this generall manifestation of Gods mind concerning mercy, (g I desire Hos. 6. 6. Mat. 12. 7. Per hoc ubi scriptum est, mi­sericordiam ma­gis volo quam sacrificium, nihil aliud quam sa­crificio sa­crificium praela­tum oportet in­telligi: quoniam illud quod ab ho­minibus appella­tur sacrificium, signum est veri sacrificij. Porro autem misericor­dia verum sacri­ficium est. Aug. de Civ. Dei. l, 20. c. 5. mercy and not sacrifice) gives good warrant for the foresaid dispensation. For by sacrifice he meaneth externall rites and ordinances, wherein and whereby worship is performed to God: by mercy, such substantiall duties as tend to mans good. Thus he prefers sacrifice to sacrifice. Sacrifice consisting on externall rites, to sacrifice of substantiall duties: which are to do good, and to shew mercy. With such sacrifices God is well pleased, Heb. 13. 16. These therfore are the true sacrifices.

All externall rites are ordained especially for mans helpe and good. If therefore they stand in opposition to it, or hin­der it, they faile of their maine end, and so are not of that use for which they are ordained: and thereupon give place, and have a dispensation to be omitted.

Ob. This is to preferre the second Table before the first, and consequently man before God.

Answ. Nothing lesse. For, the substance of the first Table gives not place to the substance of the second. but the cir­cumstance of the first to the substance of the second. Indeed if the substance of each Table should come in opposition, the second Table should give place. Instance Abrahams readines [Page 281] to sacrifice his sonne at Gods command. (Gen. 22. 2, &c.) For, obedience to Gods expresse charge is of the substance of the first Table. Saul therefore in sparing Agag, though it might seeme to be a worke of mercy, sinned. For, this indeed is to preferre man before God, 1 Sam. 15. 23.

The pretence which hypocrites make of piety in a diligent Hypocrites taxed. observation of the externall rites appertaining thereto, and yet in the meane while regard neither mercy nor justice, is hereby manifested to be a very vaine pretence. Christ de­nounceth a woe against such as devoure widowes houses, and for a pretence make long prayers, Mat. 23. 14. The thousands of rams, and ten-thousands of rivers of oyle offered by such hypo­crites are nothing in Gods sight. To do justly, and to love mercy is that which the Lord requireth, and which is much more acceptable to him, Mic. 6. 7, 8.

For our parts, let it be our care first to put difference be­twixt circumstance and substance: and then to preferre this to that. For this end we must labour to have our understan­ding well enlightned by Gods Word, and our hearts filled with an holy feare of God, and true love of man. Thus shall we discerne what is to be preferred before other, and so wisely order the things we do, as our brother may be plea­sured, our selves not prejudiced, and God best pleased. It is an evidence of Gods great and good respect to man, thus to give a dispensation in matters concerning himselfe, for mans good. As occasion is offered either in regard of our owne or others need, let us wisely make use thereof. God would have us use that liberty which in his goodnesse and wisdome he is pleased to grant us. Thus may sicke persons pray in their bed, (Isa. 38. 2.) or if they cannot themselves pray, have others to pray for them, (Iam. 5. 14.) and weake per­sons not well able to kneele, pray sitting, as here Moses did: and they that cannot come to Church, have the benefit of Gods ordinances at home.

§. 52. Of bearing one anothers burden.

IIII. See §. 48. VVE must beare one anothers burden. Gal. 6. 2. The Apostle giveth this in expresse charge to Christians: and presseth it by that Rom. 12. 15. sympathy which becom­meth them, manifested by weeping with them that weepe: and Heb. 13. 3. by remembring them that are in bands as bound with them, &c And to shew that he pressed on others no more then he pra­ctised himselfe, thus he professeth, 1 Cor. 9. 19, &c. I have made my selfe ser­vant to all. Vnto the Iew I became as a Iew: to them that are under the Law, as under the law: to them that are without law, as without law: To the weake became I as weake: I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some. And againe, 2 Cor. 11. 28, 29. There commeth upon me daily the care of all the Churches. Who is weake and I am not weake? who is offen­ded and I burne not? Though this were a worthy patterne surpassing all other meere men that ever I heard of, yet is it farre surpassed by him of whom it is said, Isa. 53. 4. Dilectionis offi­cium est, invicem onera portare. Aug. de verb Apost. Serm. 21 Leo incidit in plagas; Rugire licet: exire non licet. Mus repit in cuniculos la­queorum: nodos corrodit: Leo è plagis evadit. Aesop. Fab 14. Cum in hác vitâ sumut, onera no­stra invicem por­temus, ut adeam quae caret omni onere pervenire possemus. Aug. loc citat. Surely he hath born our griefs, and caried our sorrowes, &c.

1. This is an especiall fruit of love, which we all owe one to another, Eph. 4. 2. Rom. 13. 8.

2. It is such a work of charity as we our selves may stand in need of, Gal. 6. 1. A lion may stand in need of the helpe of a mouse to gnaw asunder the cord wherewith he is hampe­red. Moses a worthy one, here needs the supportance of others.

3. It is such a worke of charity as may raise men ready to fall, and so helpe them in the way that leadeth to eternall life, and bring them thither where none shalbe pressed with any burden at all.

4. Hereby as by a means we our selves may attaine to that life. For, God himselfe is ready to ease those of all their bur­dens, even of those burdens that would presse them downe to hell, whom he observes to be forward in easing their bre­thren of their burdens. Thus will that of Christ be verified, Blessed are the mercifull for they shall obtaine mercy, Mat. 5. 7.

[Page 283] That this duty may be the better performed, due conside­ration is to be taken of one anothers weakenesse, whereof before, §. 49.

§. 53. Of union of spirits.

V. §. 48. VNion of spirits is very helpfull. This is true of all things wherein men have occasion to deale toge­ther. As Councellers of State in matters of State: Iudges in matters of justice and equity: Ministers in matters of re­ligion: Physitians in physick for mens bodies: Artizens in matters of their trades: and so others in other affaires: but especially Believers in the holy and heavenly duty of prayer. This is it which in this place is especially intended. For mutuall helpe herein, Christians in the Primitive Church, even in the first and best times thereof, are said to continue Act. 2 46. [...] of [...] similis, vel idom: & [...] animus. Vnani­miter, concordi­ter: uno animo, uno corde. daily with one accord in the Temple. The Temple was the house of prayer. There therefore they prayed, and that with one accord: that is, with one spirit, one mind, and one heart. Thus it is againe said, Act. 4. 24. that they lift up their voice with one accord: their spirits were joyned together, and as one spirit in that powerfull prayer which they made. When many so consent together, in the Hebrew dialect they are said to be Iudg. 20. 1. Neh 8. 1. [...] tanquam vir unus. i unanimi consensu. as one man: because their minds did so consent, as if they had not beene the minds of many, but the mind of one man. Daniel well knew the benefit of union of spirits in prayer, Dan. 2. 17. So Ester 4. 16. Ioel 2. 16.

1. Vnion of spirits is like the gathering together of ma­ny fagots, which make a fire the more fierce: or like much powder laid together, which sends forth a bullet much fur­ther then otherwise it would flie. Thus many spirits uni­ted make prayer much more fervent, and force it the higher, even as high as God is. To cry mightily unto God, the King of Nineveh caused all his people with one accord to pray Ion. 2. 8. When the Christians prayed with one accord, the place was shaken where they were assembled together (Act. 4. 24, 31.) to shew the spirituall violence of such prayer.

[Page 284] 2. Prayer is as sweet incense, Psal. 141. 2. Vnion of spi­rits therein, is as the mixing of many sweet spices, which cause the more fragrant savour. Yea, this union is as an har­mony of many voices or instruments, which make the mu­sick much more melodious. Mat. 18. 19. [...] De consensu vocis, seu soni [...] propriè dicitur. The word whereby the Evan­gelist setteth out consent in prayer, implieth as much.

3. Vnion of spirits is an especiall meanes to quicken and sharpen one anothers spirits; as iron sharpneth iron, Prov. 27. 17, 19.

Strong motives these are to frequent publique assemblies; to bring all the family together to prayer: for husbands and wives to joyne together: so friends, &c.

§. 54. Of that stability which the weake may re­ceive by others supportance.

VI. See §. 48. THe weak are strengthened by aid from others. The words which are used in exhortations to that duty of succouring the weake import as much, which are such as these, Isa 35 3. strengthen, Act. 20. 35. support, 1 Thes. 5. 14. comfort, Gal. 6. 1. restore, &c. If the weake could not by others supportance be strengthe­ned, supported, comforted, restored, in vaine were those duties pressed. But as Gen. 45. 27. the spirit of Iacob revived when he heard that Ioseph lived, as 1 Thes. 3. 7. Paul was comforted by the good ti­dings which Timotheus brought him of the Thessalonians faith, and as Dan. 10. 19. Daniel was strengthened by the Angels en­couragement, so other weake ones by such meanes as have beene afforded them. 2 King. 5. 13. Naaman began to have some seed of faith by his servants seasonable admonition. 1 Sam. 19. 7.—20. 2.—23 16. David was comforted by Ionathans oft comming to him. 2 Chro. 32. 8. Hezekiahs people rested themselves on the comfortable words that he spake to them. Ezr. 5. 1, 2. Hag 1. 14. Zerubbabel and the Iewes with him were greatly encouraged by the prophesies of Haggai and Zecha­riah. Neh. 2. 18. And their posterity strengthened their hands to build the city by Nehemiahs comming to them, and encouraging them. Mat. 8. 27.—14 27.—17. 7. Luke 24. 52. Ioh. 20. 20.—21. 7. Oft were the Disciples after great feare much com­forted by Christs presence and consolatory speeches.

[Page 285] God, who hath enjoyned this means of helping and sup­porting one another, will give his blessing thereunto when it is rightly used: and what God blesseth shalbe effectuall to that whereunto it is used: so as in faith we may expect a good issue from our endeavours in this kind.

As this effect which useth to arise from that mutuall help and succour that is offered to such as are weake, aggravateth their inhumanity who refuse or neglect to do what they might for strengthening the weake, and establishing the fee­ble, (for, if thorow want of helpe they fall and perish, they, who might have restored and set them up, make themselves accessary to their destruction;) so it is a very forcible mo­tive to provoke us with all care, diligence, & good conscience to performe the fore named duties of §. 48. considering our bro­thers weakenesse, of § 49. using all good meanes to support the same, yea and of §. 51. Cervi cum fre­tum transeunt sic se ordinant ut onera capitum suorum quae ge­stant in cornibus, super invicem portent, ita ut posterior super anteriorem cer­vice porrecta ca­put collocet. Et quia necesse est unum esse qui caeteros praece­dens, non antese habeat cui caput inclinet, vicibus dicuntur id agere &c. [...] fretum transcunt, &c. Aug. de verb. Apost. Serm. 21 putting under our owne shoulders, and bearing his burden. For our labour herein will not be lost. As Moses was here enabled by Aaron and Hur well to do that which of himselfe he could not have done so well, so maist thou whosoever expect a blessing in that which thou doest answerable to thine endeavor: and also in they weaknes find like help from others. It is reported of Harts, that by ones bearing up anothers head, which is by reason of their hornes so heavy, as it would drowne them in the sea, they are enabled safely to swim over the sea, till they come to firme land. For, they use so to dispose themselves, as the latter lai­eth his head on the formers hind parts. And because it is ne­cessary that one of them be first, that first after he hath some while led the rest, commeth behind all: and in like manner do the rest in their course. Thus every one as he is wearied by swimming before, is refreshed by comming behind, and resting on another. Thus may Christians refresh the wearied.

§. 55. Of the meaning and doctrines of the thir­teenth Verse.

EXOD. XVII. XIII.‘And Ioshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.’

See §. 1,THe successe of all before noted is in this verse set down. It was a glorious Conquest.

The Conquerour is here said to be the fore-mentioned Io­shua. He being the Generall of the victorious army, the vi­ctory is by a Synechdoche, attributed to him. The Generall is put for the whole army under his command: as it useth in other places of holy writ, yea and in other Historiographers to be.

The word ( [...] et dejecit. [...] discomfited) whereby the victory is expres­sed, signifieth so to overthrow one as he is not able to rise againe. The contrivit. Chald. & Syr. ponunt [...] pro [...] Hebrewes do set out the meaning of it by a word that signifieth to break to peeces. [...] fugavit. The Greeke LXX turne it by a word that signifieth to put to flight.

The enemies subdued are comprised under this collective word Amalek, whereof § 2. before. By his people, are meant such as tooke part with the King, or chiefe heads of the A­malakites: whether they were of the same or another stock. This clause, His people, is added to shew that they who had any hand in his unjust warre, had their share in the just ven­geance.

The instrument wherewith they were punished is here said to be the edge of the sword, or word for word, [...] the mouth of the sword. For as a mouth devoureth that which entreth into it, so a sword by the sharpe edge of it destroyeth that which is strucken with it. Therefore the very name of [...] Gladius. Vastitas. Desolatio. a sword in Hebrew signifieth destruction: and a sword is said to 2 Sam. 2. 26.—11. 25. devoure.

[Page 287] The setting out of this successe pointeth out five observa­ble points.

I. The issue of warre is especially attributed to the Generall. For, onely Ioshua the Generall is here mentioned, he is said to vanquish the enemy.

II. Lawfull warre well waged proves prosperous. The suc­cesse expressed by Ioshua's discomfiting the enemy sheweth that this warre was prosperous. And in Scripture the suc­cesse which God gave to his Church of old is recorded, to shew what his Church in succeeding ages may in like cases expect.

III. They that first begin warre may have the worst in warre. For, Amalek first began, and Amalek was discom­fited.

IIII. Accessaries make themselves liable to the judgement that falls on the Principall. For, the people, even they that tooke part with Amalek, are destroyed, as well as A­malek.

V. Enemies in warre may lawfully be slaine. For, this ex­pression of the instrument wherewith they were discomfi­ted (with the edge of the sword) sheweth that they were slain: and that which was here done by Ioshua, was lawfully done. God approved it.

§. 56. Of attributing successe in warre to Generals.

I. See §. 55. THe issue of war is especially attributed to Generals. Gen. 14. 19. Melchizedek blessed Abraham onely, for the vi­ctory which he with his confederates obtained. The many and great conquests which were made under Ios. 10 41. Ioshua and 2 Sam 8. 1, &c David are attributed to them alone. Many more like in­stances might be given out of sacred writ and other histo­ries. The pompous triumphs which Generals made among the Graecians, Romans, and other nations give evidence here­unto.

The prowesse, courage, wisdome, and other like warlike What depends on good Gene­rals. vertues of Generals and Commanders, make much, under the [Page 288] divine providence to the obtaining of victory. The mar­shalling of the army dependeth wholly on their direction. They at their discretion cause alarms or retraits to be soun­ded. By their example, by their encouragements or discou­ragements, the whole army is much animated or daunted. Hence is it that a good Generall is accounted 2 Sam. 18. 3. Chab [...]ias solebat dicere, terribilio­rem esse cervo­rum exercitum Leone duce, quam Leonum agmen ducente Cervo. Plut. in Apotheg worth ten thousand others. The name of an experienced and victorious Generall hath oft frighted the enemies. Yea, it is said, that an army of Staggs whose Generall is a Lion, is better then an ar­my of Lions whose Generall is a Stagge. We read therefore that after God had raised up a Iudge to deliver Israel, and that the Iudge had given proofe of his valour, Iudg. 3. 11, 30—8. 28. the land had rest all his daies: whereby is implied that the enemy durst not take up armes against him. Terrible was the name of Ioshua to the Canaanites, of David to the Philistines, of Iehu to the Achabites, of Hazael to the Israelites, of the Machabites to the Nations, of Achilles to the Trojans, of Hector to the Graecians, of Cyrus to the Babylonians, of Alexander to the Persians, of Epaminondas to the Macedonians, of the Scipioes to the Carthaginians, of Hanibal to the Romans, of Caesar to the Gauls, of Scander­beg to the Turks, of the Black Prince to the French, and so of other valiant Generals to their enemies.

Generals in this respect have more then ordinary need of wisdome, watchfulnesse, prowesse, justice, temperance, indu­stry, What requi­site for good Generals. and other like warlike vertues. Yea also of all others it behoveth them to be at peace with God, to have faith in him, as Heb. 11. 32. Ioshua, Gedeon, Baruk, Sampson, Iephte, David, and other pious and victorious Generals had. For, so great matters lying on them, as hath before beene noted, so much being expected from them, and so much attributed to them, in case the battels which under them are fought, have good successe, great reason that they especially be fitted with all things, that (as means) may produce a good issue.

It is also an especiall point of prudence for Princes and Military exer­cises to be maintained. States to maintaine Artilery and Military exercises, not one­ly in time of warre, but at all other times, though never so [Page 289] peaceable, that so men might be fitted to be Generals, and Vsus magister optimus, Cic. pro C. Rab. Spartanorum resp. tanti habe­batur apud singu­las nationes, ut non classem, non militem, non au­rum ab ea pete­rent sed unum Spartanorum du­cem: quo accepto, se tutos arbitra­bantur. Patric. de regn lib. 1. tit. 13. other Commanders in armies. Continuall exercise is an es­peciall helpe hereunto. For, Vse makes ready, and expert. It is the best master that can be. The State of the Spartans gave good proofe hereof: For, thereupon they were so highly accounted of by all nations, as they would not desire of them shipping, souldiers, coine, or any such like provisi­on, but a Spartan Captaine: which if they obtained, they thought themselves safe. But of these Artilery exercises I have The Dignity of Chivalry. elswhere more largely spoken.

§. 57. Of the successe of warre well waged.

II. See §. 55. David nunquam nisi consulto Do­mino bellumad­orsus est. Ideo in omnibus victor praelijs. Ambr. Offic. lib. 1. cap 35. Vnlawfull wars unprof­perous. LAwfull warre well waged proves prosperous. Many many instances out of holy writ may be produced for proofe of the truth hereof: but not one I dare boldly say, to the contrary. We do indeed oft read of many wars, wherein the better have had the worse, and the wicked have devoured men more righteous them themselves. But it hath been either because those better have undertaken warres not war­rantable, or els not well waged the same. The warre which Iehosaphat undertooke with Ahab, was not warrantable: For, beside that 2 Chro. 19. 2. He should not have helped the ungodly, —18. 14, &c. a Prophet foretold him that God liked not that warre. —35. 20, &c. Lawfull wars not wel waged The warre also that Iosiah undertooke against Pharaoh Nechoh was unlawfull. For, Nechoh intended no evill against him. No marvell therefore that the warre of the one and other, though otherwise they were good men, was unprosperous. The like may be said of the batteli betwixt Amaziah and Io­ash, wherein Amaziah, who in meere pride without just cause provoked Ioash to fight, was overthrowne. But Ios. 7. 10, &c. the warre which Ioshua waged against the men of Ai, though lawfull in the kind of it, was not well ordered, because he did not before he entred the field, search his army to see whether any accursed thing were therein, or no. Nor was Iud. 20. 21, &c the lawfull warre of the Israelites against the Benjamites well ordered, because they went about to punish sinne in [Page 290] others before they had purged their owne soules of sinne. 1 Chro. 10. 13 Saul before he entred into that battell wherein he and his sonnes and many of the Israelites were slaine, asked counsell of one that had a familiar spirit and not of the Lord. 2 Chro. 36. 13. Ezek. 17. 18. Zedekiah perfidiously and perjuriously maintained war against Nebu­chadnezar, & was overthrown. If a view be taken of all those wars wherin Gods people have bin foiled by their enemies Quos arma & equi, & milites, & machinamen­ta capere non po­tuerunt, hos pec­cati natura vin­ctos hostibus tra­didit. Chrys. Hom. 7. in 1 Tim. 2. Why warres prosperous. at any time, by diligent search it may be found, that som fault or other in Gods people hath beene the cause that they have beene given over into the power of their enemies. Such as armes, and horses, and souldiers, and engines could not overcome, sinne hath delivered (as bound) to the enemy. But whensoever they well ordered just warres they alwaies prospered.

In such warres Gods honour is engaged: so as his peo­ple if they should be foiled, might justly say unto him, What wilt thou do unto thy great name? Ios. 7. 9.

They who in their war expect good successe (and who Iust wars to be undertaken. goeth to war that expecteth not good successe?) let them first be sure that their war be just and warrantable, and then very circumspect in the maner of waging it: that that which is lawfull may be lawfully prosecuted. Thus may they confi­dently promise unto themselves victory. True it is, that when Heathen with Heathen, Idolaters with Idolaters, wic­ked men with wicked men make warre, the issue of warre is Incerti casus pugnarum: Mars (que) commu­nis. Cicer. in Orat pro Mil. uncertaine: For, God engageth himselfe on neither side; but now useth one side, then another, as seemeth good to his se­cret and unsearchable counsell, to be his scourge to punish the other side. But in his peoples wars the case is otherwise, in case they go along with him, and fight not without good warrant from him, nor swerve from the directions which he prescribeth to them. Such warres are Gods warres, 1 Sam. 17. 47—25. 28. the battels of the Lord, which he can and will prosper. Ios. 5. 14. That which was once visibly represented to Ioshua, is alwayes re­ally performed in all such warres, The Lord is the chiefe Captaine and Generall in them. In faith therefore may such warres be waged, and with confidence may good successe in them be expected.

§. 58. Of the overthrow of such as begin warre.

III. See §. 55. THey that first begin warre may have the worst in warre. I say, may have, because there may be just cause of beginning warre, and answerably God gives good successe thereto: so as it cannot be generally said, that all in all cases that first begin warre go by the losse. Experi­ence of all times gives evidence against this. But yet that this may so fall out, like experience giveth demonstration. Instance Num. 21. 23, 33. Sihon, Og, Ios. 10. 5. the five Kings of the Amorites, —11. 5. Ia­bin with all that tooke part with him, Iudg. 11. 12. the Ammonites in