THE Blinde-Mans Sermon: OR Confutation of the blinde Pharises.

By THOMAS GRANGER, Preacher of the Word, at Bot­terwike nere Boston in Lincolnshire.

LONDON, Printed by T. S. for Thomas Pauier, and are to besold at his shop in Iuie-Lane. 1616.

TO THE WOR­shipful, and my very good friend, Mr. Charles Leuenthorpe, Student in Christs Colledge in Cambridge.

SIR, the duty that I owe vnto you on the one side, and the conside­ration of your worthi­nesse on the other, mo­ued me first to send this small present vnto you, desiring there­by to exhibite some testimony of my sincere affection towards you, in the good opinion that I haue of you for your good choise, and hope of your happy proceeding therein: Trusting in the Lord, that as you haue deuoted your selfe to Learning, and intend to [Page] consecrate your selfe to the Church of God; so the Lord will blesse you in all your studies, and make you a pow­erfull instrument in the building and maintaining of his kingdome.

Your Worships in the Lord to command, THOMAS GRANCER.

THE BLINDE-MANS Sermon.

IOHN 9. 31.‘Now wee know that God heareth not sinners, but if any be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him hee heareth.’

THese are the words of one that was borne blinde, to whom our Sauiour Christ had restored his sight. And hée was occasioned héer eunto by the enuious, and ignorant Pharisées, who said in the verse 24. that they knew Christ to be a sinner. And in the vers. 29. that they knew not whence hée was: that is, whether his doctrine and miracles were of God, or of [Page] Sathan. In the verse 30. he closely repro­ueth their ignorance by way of admirati­on: Doubtlesse this is a maruellous thing that you know not whence hee is! &c. Now in this verse hée goeth forward, tea­ching them, and prouing vnto them that Christ is not a sinner, and that he is of God. That Christ is not a sinner, he pro­ueth in this verse, and thus he argueth:

God heareth not sinners,
But God hath heard this man:
Therefore this man is not a sinner.

The Assumption, namely, that GOD hath heard him, he proueth in the vers. 32. his argument being drawne from the effect of Gods power in him, namely, the won­derfull Miracle that hée wrought, in resto­ring him to his sight, which he amplifieth by the comparison of all times: Since the world began, it was neuer heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was borne blind. The greatnes of the Miracle appea­reth héerein, that being borne blind, he had no eyes, therfore it must néeds follow, that hée made him new eyes: and hée that can make eyes, can also create a man, which none can doe except God alone, and hée to whom God giueth power to doe it.

[Page] The Proposition is a doctrine, which he first confirmeth by the ground, that is, the common knowledge and consent of all men, in the first words, [We know.] Se­condly, he illustrateth the same by the con­trary, [But if any man be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him hee heareth.] Heerein therefore thrée things are to be handled. First, the ground of the Doctrine. Secondly, the Doctrine it selfe. Thirdly, the illustration thereof.

I. Wee know.

Which is as much as if hée had said, all men learned, and vnlearned, Iew and Gentile, euen all men, by the light of Na­ture, know that God heareth not sinners. And héerein we are to obserue, that where­as he saith (wee) hée alludeth to that proud and ignorant spéech of theirs, in the verse 24. closely deriding their ignorance. As if hée had said, you Pharises, that are puft vp with pride and vaine-glory, whose hearts Satan hath filled with couetousnes, whose minds the poyson of blacke enuy hath blin­ded, & whose iudgments, worldly lusts haue corrupted, that you neyther will, nor can discern the truth, nor iudge righteous iudg­ment, you know this man to be a sinner. [Page] Because this man conuinceth you of open rebellion against GOD, laying open the foule corruptions of your hearts, which with your subtle delusions of Almes, Fa­sting, and Prayer, you kéepe secret and close within your selues, from the eyes of the poore Commons; and because he glori­fieth not your persons, neither any whit respecteth you in the sight of the people, which would be honoured and called Rabbi of euery man; but contrarily reprooueth your pride, couetousnesse, cruelty in deuou­ring widdowes houses, and hypocrisie, whereby you thinke your selues greatly disgraced, therfore are you incensed in ma­lice, enuy, and hatred against him, deuising & plotting against him, séeking to insnare and intangle him in his spéeches, if by any meanes, colour, or pretence, you might bring him within the compasse of treason, or danger of Law. Hence it is that euen contrary to your owne knowledge, you say that you know him to be a sinner. But I that haue béene afflicted euer since I was borne, that haue euer till now borne this heauy crosse of blindnesse, & now at length haue obtained mercy, that not onely bodily eyes should be giuen mée, to behold this [Page] comfortable light of the Sun, but the eyes of my mind should be opened to behold the son of God, I and such as I, euen we know that this man is not a sinner, whatsoeuer it pleaseth you to know and iudge of him.

Héere wée obseruc, and sée a poore and vnlearned man teaching the learned Pha­rises, profest Doctors of the Law, and Prophets: and yet are they so ignorant in both, as that a common man must teach them, yea, they are so dull as that they can­not learne, which maketh the man to mar­uell at them. Surely indéede it is a mar­uellous thing, that plaine, simple, and vn­learned men should teach learned Clerks, the wise and prudent: yet so it is; for the Gospell is a Mystery, it is all wonder, for it is not grounded on any principle in na­ture, therfore it is as great a wonder also, that any man should beléeue it, but that it should be rather to the Iew a stumbling block, & to the Gentiles foolishnes. In Mat. 11. Our Sauiour Christ had preached the Gospel to thrée great & populous cities, Co­razim, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, whereof Capernaum was euen lifted vp to Heauen with the wealth, pompe, and pride of this world. In this city there were many rich [Page] Merchants, that had knowledge enough by their traffique to encrease their sub­stance. In it were learned men, and great Schollers: In it were prudent and poli­ticke gouernours, yet for all this when Christ preached the Gospell among them, there is none that repenteth, none that be­léeueth, none that vnderstandech. They flockt about him to heare newes, for so his doctrine was accounted, and to sée won­ders, and when they had sufficed them­selues with nouelties, there is no more re­penting, beléeuing, remorse for sinne, than if they had béene at a play: but they retur­ned backe againe like the Dog to his vo­mit, and the Sow to her wallowing in the mire. Héereupon hee declareth the causes héereof, by way of thanksgiuing, for the in­struction of his Disciples then present, ver. 25. I thanke thee O Father, Lord of Hea­uen and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise, and men of vnder­standing, & hast opened them vnto babes. It is so O Father, because thy good plea­sure was such. Héerein the Disciples might learne. First, that the Gospell can­not be comprehended with mans vnder­standing and reason. Secondly, that there [Page] is no power, disposition, or inclination in mans will to receiue the Gospell, being not onely not congruous, but flat contrary to the same. For these Cities, though they were not such brutish sinners as the Sodo­mites, but ciuilly honest, or naturally ver­tuous, yet they were as vnbeléeuing, and more vnbeléeuing then the Sodomites would haue béene: therefore they shall re­ceiue the greater condemnation. Thirdly, the Disciples héereby might learne, that to repent and beléeue is the meere mercy and grace of God. Fourthly, that this mercy and grace, méerely procéedeth of the good pleasure of his will. Fiftly, that God be­ing absolute Lord of all the world, and ma­ker of all men, respecteth not persons, but hath mercy on whom hée will, and passeth by whom he will, Rom. 9. 15.

Therefore séeing that these old rotten rags, our darke hearts cannot retaine the new péece; neither that these olde corrupt vessels can conteyne the new wine of the Gospell, there must a new heart be giuen vs, and a new spirit put within vs, Ezech. 36. 26. 27. We must be borne againe, before we can enter into the kingdome of grace, and of glory, Iohn 3. 5. Now this second [Page] birth is not of flesh and bloud, nor of the will of man, but of the spirit of God, who regardeth not persons, ages, sexes, world­ly prerogatiues. 1 Cor. 1. 26. 27. 28. Bre­thren, you see your calling, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the mighty things, and vile things of the world, and things that are despised hath God chosen, and things that are not, to bring to nought things that are.

Christ chose not, nor called any of the Politicians or Péeres of Ierusalem to bée the planters and builders of his Church and Kingdome, nor yet any of the Phari­ses, Scribes, or Lawyers, for they were not fit nor apt to make Disciples of; those rotten, tattered garments, and fusty ves­sels were too farre worne, and spent, and too much corrupted with fleshly wisdome, worldly policy and craft, sensuality, bodily pleasures, pomp, & vanities of naturall life: So far were they ouergrowne, & throughly corrupted herewith, as they could not emp­ty themselues, nor lay aside these things, to prepare themselues for Christ, vnlesse they should lay their whole selues aside.

[Page] But hée chose simple and silly Fisher­men, which hauing their businesses, and getting their liuing by sea, had least fellow­ship and smallest dealings with men which were men of no imployment, little acquain­ted with the subtilty & craft of the world, and were as babes in comparison of Citi­zens, and such as deale in great and many matters. These, and such like, as are least infected with the world, and whose bodies are broken and tamed with labour and tra­uell, hunger and cold, are fittest instru­ments for the holy Ghost to worke in. They are the fittest by whom God might shew forth his sauing wisedome, and by, and in whom his goodnesse, mercy, and grace might be most clearely manifested to the world. And this is the glory of his mercy and grace, to exalt, honour, and glorifie the foolish, weake, and contemptible things of the world, by calling them to be the grea­test in the kingdome of grace: to whom the honour, glory, and wisedome of this world must stoope, and yéeld it selfe in homage: yea, the least in this kingdome is aboue all principality and power.

Another example hereof there is in the poore family of Lazarus of Bethania, whe­ther [Page] Christ often resorted to dinner, to sup­per, and to lodging, and where he had his heartiest intertainement. Why? was not Ierusalem the most conuenient place for the Lord of Heauen and earth, the King of glory to be intertained in? Was it not more fitting that Herod the King, that Pi­late the Romaine president, or rather that Caiphas the high Priest, or that some of the Princes, or at the least-wise, that some of the Elders should haue giuen him royall intertainment, according to the maiesty of a King? Where were the Scribes and Pharises that sit in Moses chaire, whose Disciples they boasted themselues to be? How could they be better imployed, then in receiuing and glorifying the Sonne of God before all the people, teaching all men by their owne example to reuerence, to fall downe, and worship him? Why doe they not with all submission, and prostrate hu­militie, as their Maister Moses comman­ded them: heare this Prophet that the Lord their God hath raised vp vnto them, which is greater then Moses, than Elias, than Salomon, being the Lord of life, the Prince and Sauiour of the world?

If Christ had appeared in earthly roy­alty, [Page] worldly ostentation, pompe, pow­er, dignity, then would Annas and Caiphas the high Priests, the Elders, the Pharises haue gathered to him, and giuen him royal intertainment, because they would haue hoped by him to haue béene freed from the tributes, taxations, and seruitude of the Romains, from the pollage and pillage of the Publicanes and Officers; because that by him they might be honoured and gra­ced in the sight of the Commons, and be­cause that by him they might be promoted to worldly dignities.

But because his appearance was spiri­tuall, not worldly, hée hath neither forme nor beauty, Esa. 53. 2. they saw nothing in him wherefore they should desire him. They saw onely out of their proud, coue­tous, and enuious hearts, matter of con­tempt, because that for the endlesse comfort of the meanest and basest estate, he appeared in forme of a seruant. And though the brightnesse of the glory of the Father, to­gether with his mercy, compassion, and goodnes towards man more manifestly shi­ned heerein, yet they looking on him with fleshly eyes, iudge of him according to the outward appearance, Ioh. 7. 41. Therefore [Page] as a seruant they estéeme him, and vse him. And because he wholly did the workes of God, in gathering together and sauing the Elect, to the onely honor and glory of God, and not to the honour of himselfe, and of them especially, therefore do they condemn him for the most wicked man, and handle him like the vilest creature of the earth.

Let our litterall teachers, that are so ripe headed, but dead-hearted, and all com­mon Protestants, commonly carnall Gos­peliers, thinke and consider well of this, and apply it to the present times, and their pre­sent selues, if so be that in séeing they can perceiue, and in hearing they can vnder­stand. For as Christ the head was recei­ued, intertained, and vsed then, so shall his true members be to the worlds end among them that professe his name. For this is the mistery of iniquity. And the Apostle testifieth that the afflictions of Christ are accomplished in his members. And all that are in Christ Iesus shall suffer persecuti­on, though not at all times with extremi­ty (as very many of the children of God haue done) yet in some measure and de­grée euen in the most reformed and establi­shed Church, yea, and almost in the best [Page] reformed house. Noahs family was the most godly, and best in all the world, yet is there in it an vngratious Cham. In Abra­hams house a mocking Ishmael. In Isaaks, a prophane and reuengefull Esau: and a­mongst the Disciples of Christ, a couetous theefe and a traitour.

Where was our Sauiour crucified, but amongst his owne? He came amongst his owne, but his owne receiued him not. Iohn 1. And where are the members of Christ afflicted & persecuted, but amongst their owne? The brethren of Christ, euen Church-men, (as we say) betrayed him, sold him, put him to death: so the brethren of the godly shall be their persecutors, euen they (I meane) of the same profession, as Dauid complaineth. It was not mine open aduersary, that did me this dishonour, but euen thou my companion, and familiar friend, wee tooke sweet counsell together, and went to the house of God as friends.

Vse.

This teacheth Christian men, not to thinke the better of themselues for their worldly wisedome, wealth, honour, lear­ning, degrées in the Vniuersity, &c. Séeing a man in the ample possession of all these, [Page] these may be the least in the kingdome of heauen. (I speake not this to derogate from learning.) In Luke 10. 17. The sea­uenty Disciples, that Christ sent to preach in the Cities, whether himselfe would come, returned againe with ioy, saying, Lord, euen the Deuills are subdued to vs through thy name: but in vers. 20. Christ curbeth their reioycing which sauoured too much of the world, Reioyce not (saith hée) that spirits are subiect to you, but that your names are written in the booke of life.

Whereby wee plainely learne, that a man may be excellently furnished with gifts for the discharge of any calling, and for the ministery as well as any other, and yet notwithstanding be a reprobate: for the let­ter killeth, but the spirit giueth life. Ther­fore let a man glory in a good conscience, which is a continuall feast. Let him reioyce in that he féeleth the loue of God shedde a­broad in his heart; and in the testimony of the holy Ghost, assuring his spirit, that hée is one of the sonnes of God.

Secondly, this teacheth the poorest, not to thinke the worse of themselues for their meane estate, because they want these out­ward things, 1 Cor. 7. 21. 22. Art thou cal­led [Page] being a seruant? Care not for it: For hee that is called in the Lord being a ser­uant, is the Lords freeman: likewise also he that is called being free, is the Lords ser­uant. And Iam. 1. 9. 10. Let the brother of low degree reioyce because hee is exalted: Euen to be the brother of Christ, the sonne of God, and heyre to the kingdome of glo­ry. Ver. 10. And he that is rich in that hee is made low; for as the flower of grasse so shall he vanish away. The inward man of the one is euer flourishing, & the outward man of the other perishing. He that hath much worlds wealth, and dignity, and but a small measure of Grace is inferiour to him that hath a great measure of grace, and but little, or no worlds wealth. For spirituall things among themselues admit comparison, but betwéene spirituall things, and earthly things there is no comparison at all. This knowledge and consideration that worldly men want, whose felicity con­sisteth in these outward things: this, I say, in the children of God worketh lowlinesse of heart, humility of minde, méekenesse of spirit, in such sort as that they had rather make themselues equall with them of the lower sort, than to stand vpon comparisons, [Page] and to striue for preheminence, as the fa­shion of the world is. Lazarus the beggar found matter of reioycing and glorying in Christ, though depriued of all earthly things. Dauid the King found matter of reioycing and glorying in Christ onely, Psalme 4 6. 7. 8. As other men, euen the men of this world reioyced and gloried in the increase of their substance, with the rich man in Luke 12: So he on the contra­ry reioyced in the loue, fauour, and counte­nance of the Lord. And Psalm. 119. Thy Law is deerer vnto mee, than thousands of gold and siluer. And Paul the Apostle found matter of glorying in Christ onely: Phil. 3. 8. He counteth all things losse for Christ, and iudgeth them to be but doung. And as concerning any worldly thing, hée will glory onely in his infirmities, and re­ioyce in this, that he is counted worthy to suffer for Christs cause.

These thrée examples teach all men, of all estates, degrées, and callings, to reioyce in Christ alone, and to estéeme of them­selues by their Christianity, not by world­ly prerogatiues. For, as for the prophane rich, though he had all the world, with the glory thereof, yet the losse of all shall be his [Page] inheritance: and the godly poore, though hée want all, or rather séeme to want all for the time present, yet shall hée haue not onely this world, but the world to come for his inheritance.

Thirdly, this reformeth the erronious conceit of them who measure men by the measure of their learning: they haue in­déede the greatest meanes and helpes, but the grace of God is the onely cause reuea­ling the mistery of Christianity, to whom hée will. Otherwise the most learned men are often the most enemies of Christ, and Christians, and when they thinke them­selues to be most wise, they become the greatest fooles. To this purpose Dauid ac­knowledgeth, Psal. 119. 98. 99. 100. That he had more vnderstanding than his tea­chers, than the ancient, than eyther the man of great reading, or the man of much obseruation, and great experience by rea­son of yéeres, And why? because hée kept the commaundements. For indéede how much a man practiseth, so much hée sauing­ly knoweth, and vnderstandeth. He that knoweth a country, and can plainely de­scribe it onely by the mappe, is not to be compared with him that hath trauailed [Page] it through, although the one be learned and eloquent, and the other vnlearned, and plaine of spéech. The man that hath no tast, may by relation of others, talke, and discourse of tasts, and the differences ther­of; euen so may hée talke much of the Lord, that neuer tasted how swéet the Lord is, and speake much of the Scriptures, in whom they were neuer powerfull to his conuersion. Hereof the Lord complaineth by Ieremy; They say the Lord liueth, and yet they sweare falsly, Ier. 5. 2. Likewise by Ezechiell: They say, let vs goe and heare the word of the Lord, and sit before the Preacher, as the people vseth to do, but their heart goeth after their couetousnesse, and after their pride, and after their adultery: Ezech. 33. Their outward pompe shew­eth their inward humility, and not their heart-sicke, but braine-sicke deuotion.

Thus much of the ground [we know.]

The Doctrine, [God heareth not sinners.]

The Interpretation of the words.

First, to heare, signifieth two things. First, it signifieth the infinite knowledge of God, whereby all things lye open to his [Page] eye-sight, neither is there any thing hid from him, no not the most secret intention of the spirit, and he is therefore called in Gréeke, Kardiognostos, a Searcher of the heart, Psal. 139. 1. 2. 3.

Secondly, it signifieth the loue and fa­uour of God, whereby hée doth not onely know, but acknowledge, approoue, and grant the prayers of the godly, whether they be vocall, or the desires, and sighes of the heart. Contrarily, not to heare, is to forsake men, and leaue them to them­selues, to disallow, not to accept, to deny and not to regard their prayers, and de­sires.

Sinners,] Are all men vnregenerate: whereof some are brutish, some ciuill, some outwardly religious. As for the regene­rate, though they sinne, yet they doe not commit sinne, 1 Iohn 3. 8. 9. that is to say, sinne doth not raigne in them, Rom. 6. 12. Sinne raigneth when men obey it in their lusts.

That God heareth not sinners, it is e­uident, Prou. 28. 9. Hee that turneth away his eare from hearing the Law, euen his prayers are abhominable. Here is a lesson for them that come to heare the Word in a [Page] statute pace. Esay saith, When you shall stretch out your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: and though you make ma­ny prayers, yet I will not heare you. Esay 1. 15. Zachary saith, As hee cryed and they would not heare, so they cryed, and I would not heare, saith the Lord, Zach. 7. 13. As we are dead, dull, and drowsie in the worship and seruice of God, and vnthank­full to him for his benefits, mispending the same on our lusts: euen so in affliction and trouble, the Lord will be also heauy, and slow of hearing. Are you come to inquire of me saith the Lord? as true as I liue when I am asked, I will not answer, Ezech. 20. 3. Here is a lesson for them that neuer offer to the Lord, prayer, praise, and thanksgiuing for all the good things that they hold of him, inioy by him, and daily receiue from him: And Dauid goeth further, Psal. 66. 16. If I incline my heart vnto wickednesse, the Lord will not heare mee. Héere is a lesson for hypocrites that babble much and pray little, comming néere to the Lord with their lippes, but kéepe their hearts from him.

There be sundry reasons why the Lord heareth not sinners.

[Page] First, because they are not the Sons of God, but the seruants of sinne, and therefore haue they not the spirit of Sons, whereby they might call God Father: but the spirit of feare: not of Sonne-like feare, which proceedeth of loue and reue­rence, but of seruile and slauish feare, whereby they rather auoide the presence of God, as of an inexorable Iudge, and are then most quiet in minde and least troubled in Conscience, when they haue the least to doe with him, and when they thinke, speake, and heare the least of him. Héerein euidently shewing themselues to be sonnes of sinfull Adam, who knowing himselfe guilty, shrouded himselfe in the thicket from the presence of the Lord. This is the cause, why sinners hate the Church, where God speaketh vnto them, and they should speake vnto God, and contrarily loue the Tauerne, Ale-house, and vaine company, euen a filthy pollu­ted Conscience, wherein the worme be­ginneth to gnaw vpon euery occasion. This is the cause why they so hate, yea, persecute with deadly hatred the most god­ly Preachers, euen because they take them to be their greatest tormentors, say­ing [Page] in their spirits as Ahab said to Elias, Hast thou found me O mine enemy? 1. Kin. 21. 20. Art thou hee that troublest all Is­raell? 1 King. 18. 17. And as Amaziah said of Amos, The land is not able to beare his words, Amos 7. 10. And as Ahab spoke of Micah to Iehoshaphat. There is one Mi­cah, the sonne of Imlah, by whom we may aske counsell of the Lord; but I hate him, for hee neuer prophesieth good vnto mee, but euill, 1 King. 22. 8.

Secondly, the Lord heareth not sin­ners, because they do not pray aright, yea, their petitions are full of rebellion, and de­rogatory to Gods Maiesty. Therefore e­uen as the Prince throweth a wicked pe­tition from him, and casteth the petitioner into prison, and it may be, punisheth him with death, as King Salomon did Adoni­jah for asking Abisag to wife: so the Lord dealeth with those petitioners, as Dauid saith, let euen their prayer be turned into sinne. So that the Lords answer to such requests is like the answer of Salomon to Bathsheba, concerning Adonijah, God do so to mee, and more also, if Adonijah hath not spoken this word against his owne life.

Now the wicked cannot pray rightly, [Page] because they know not the Lord, nor his wayes, what pleaseth, what displeaseth him. And the reason hereof is, because they despite the word of the Lord. The wicked know well what they would haue of God, but they cannot abide to know what God would haue of them. Gods be­nefits they loue, but faith and obedience they loue not.

Thirdly, the Lord heareth not sinners, because they aske temporall things to con­sume them on their lusts: and spirituall gifts, many desire to glorifie themselues therewith. Therefore, saith Salomon, the scorner seeketh wisedome, and findeth it not, Prou. 14 6. And S. Iames saith, yee aske, and receiue not, because you aske a­misse, that you may consume it on your lusts. Ye Adulterers, and Adulteresses, know ye not that the amity of the world is enmity with God, and whosoeuer will make himselfe a friend of the world, is an enemy of God? Iames 4. 3. 4. Euen as the Adulterous wife asketh gold, siluer, iewels, costly apparell, &c. of her husband, that she may bestow them on her louers; so do all wicked men, euen all the men of this world aske, and desire of God, all good things for [Page] the sustenance of their bodies, and mainte­nance of their persons onely, to chéere and delight their flesh therewith: to adorne and beautifie their persons therewith, but not to glorifie God with the same. Heerein they make vse of God to serue their owne turnes of him; as it is now a common pra­ctise of these wretched times for one man to loue another, onely for the vse that may be made of him, for his owne gaine. And as it is the practise of rouing whoremon­gers, to marry a woman that is old, or of base parentage, because shee is rich, that with her goods they may maintaine their Strumpets: Euen such is the dealings of sinners with God: They seeme to draw néere vnto God, but it is with flattering and dissembling hearts: for their heart go­eth a whooring after his benefites, to set their whole affections thereon, to mispend the same vpon their bodily lusts, without feare. The wicked héerein are like Abi­melech, the King of Gerar, that gaue kind intertainment to Abraham, Gen. 20. and to Isaak, Gen. 26. for their supposed sisters sake, because they were faire and beautifull to looke vpon: so the wicked make a shew of praising and thanking God for his bene­fits, [Page] like dutifull children, but it is for the benefits sake, to commit spirituall fornica­tion therewith, whereby they anger and prouoke the Lord to burne in iealousie, and in the fiercenesse of his wrath, vtterly to consume them.

Fourthly, the Lord heareth not sinners, because they are not thankfull for benefites receiued, therefore the Lord denyeth their requests, and in stéed of a blessing, sendeth them a cursing. And if God deale thus with his owne children, how much more with the sinner and the vngodly. Because that Ezechiah rendred not according to the reward bestowed on him, but his heart was lifted vp, therefore wrath came vpon him, vpon Iudah, and Ierusalem. 2 Chron. 32. 25. And Dauid saith, that wrath came vpon Israell for their vnthankefulnes, and disobedience. And the great complaint that the Lord maketh of their vnkindnesse, sée Micah 6. 2. to the vers. 5.

Fiftly, the Lord heareth not sinners, because they aske not in faith. They repose no trust in Gods promises, but are tossed too & fro as waues of the sea with the wind, Iames 1. 6. 7. The blind heart of the wick­ed lusteth, and in his lust, and for his lust, he [Page] commeth to God, but when God heareth not, then hée playes with his wit, and cast­eth about euery way to obtaine his fleshly desires: but if by his owne deuises, and de­uised meanes, he cannot preuaile, then hée commeth to God againe: If God heare him not, then he goes to his shitts againe, euer and anon intermingling broken, rude, and vntempered prayers, with earnest ex­pectation of his sinfull desires, as though God should be euer at hand to helpe and further him in his lustfull procéeding. And if hée cannot obtaine his desires, then is hée angry with God, and leaueth praying, as the wicked say in Iob. 21. 15. What benefit haue we by praying to the Almighty?

Obiection.

But God doth often heare the vnlaw­full and vnholy prayers, desires, and re­quests of the wicked, and graunteth the same, as well as to the godly.

Answere.

It is true: but not in such manner, and for such ends, as hee heareth his owne chil­dren. First, he granteth the wicked, and rebellious their requests and desires of in­dignation and wrath. The Israelites be­ing weary of Manna, because that to feede [Page] alwaies of one dish, became wearisome and loathsome vnto them, wished that they were in Egypt againe, where they had varieties, and change of meates, as Fish, Cucumbers, Pepons, Léeks, Onions & Garlicke, therefore they required flesh of the Lord, and they were not disappointed of their lust, Psal. 78. 30. They did eate, and were wel filled; for he gaue them their owne desire: But, while the meate was yet in their mouthes, the heauy wrath of God came vpon them, and slew the weal­thiest of them, yea, and smote downe the chosen men that were in Israell. The rich man, Luke 12. had his desires granted: for he desired and sought for wealth all his life long, and that his worldly estate might prosper and flourish, and so it did, hée was not disappointed of his lust. But as hee withdrew his heart from the Lord, and set his affections on earthly things, therein putting his confidence; euen so the Lord withdrew his grace from him, and for his reward, left him in the hand of hell. To this purpose the wise man saith, Eccles. 5. 12. There is an euill sicknesse that I haue seene vnder the Sunne; to wit, riches re­serued to the owners for their euill. The [Page] like to this we sée in that miserable caitife, Eccles. 48. that had neither sonne nor bro­ther, nor any kinseman that néeded his wealth, yet was there none end of his tra­uell, neither could his eye be satisted with riches. Wherein we may sée that the Lord granted his couetous desires, but in his wrath doth withdraw his grace from him.

For hée had not power giuen him of God to eat, drinke, and to delight his soule, and to reioyee in the good vse of his goods, but to liue in continuall labour, sorrow, gréefe, trouble, feare, despayre, and drudgery all his life. And héerein is the witty, and wic­ked worldling deceiued all way, that whiles hee thinketh to make a friend of the world, it becommeth his enemy in the end. For thus the goulden Idoll Mammon rewar­deth his seruants: He leaueth them at the last in the hand of hell, from which he is not able to deliuer them. The world like a stickering whore deceiueth them, causing them by her manifold allurements to com­mit fornication with her. But as Dalilah hauing bound Sampson (who doted too much on her) forthwith cryed, the Phili­stimes be vpon thee Sampson: euen so de­ceitfull and louely Mammon hauing tyed [Page] and bound downe to the earth, the plunged hearts of her muddy Mammonists, calleth for the Diuells to prey vpon their soules. Examples héereof are the rich man, and Diues.

Secondly, God granteth those things that the wicked desire, wish, and pray for­yet he heareth not the wicked. The rea­son is, his owne children request the same, whom he heareth, and so the vngodly are made partakers of their desires, through the prayers of the godly, amongst whom they liue. The men of the earth desire earthly things, and they obtaine the same for the godlies sake, whom notwithstan­ding they hate, and despise. In Pauls dan­gerous voyage, both Paul and the marti­ners desire safety, and for his sake were they saued, which otherwise should haue perished, yet the Souldiers would haue killed Paul, Acts 27. 42. Whiles faithfull Iacob dwelt with churlish Laban, his sub­stance multiplyed, and prospered, yet when God blessed Iacob also with great increase, Laban and his sonnes murmured, and hung downe the countenance, enuying his prosperity. For this is the malice of the wicked, that whereas they enioy the fat [Page] of the earth, and the good of the land for the godlies sake that are mingled among them, yet they hate the godly, snatching and catching all things from them; yea, they iudge them vnworthy of any thing, and if it were in their power, would make them their slaues and drudges: yea, and would depriue them, not onely of goods, but also of life.

And héerein obserue the darkenesse of their hearts, yea, their extreame madnesse: for if the godly were taken from amongst them, as iust Lot was taken from among the Sodomites, then should fire and brim­stone suddenly raine downe vpon their heads. When as the wicked Iewes had crucified Christ, chased away the Apostles, and wéeded the Christians out of Ierusa­lem, then came fire, sword, famine, and vtter destruction vpon them: Euen so, if all the godly were taken out of the world at this instant, the day of iudgement in a mo­ment should necessarily follow. For as soone as the wheat is shorne, then the tares must presently be cut downe. For they haue done harme to the wheat, and doe harme in the land. There is no profit in their growth, but in their burning.

[Page] And héere let all flowters, worldlings, disdainefull persons, polliticke catchers, despisers of the word, and them that are good, know, that God doth not maintaine the world, and preserue all things therein for their sakes, but for his owne children, from whom they snatch, and catch all that they can, to dishonour God and his children therewith.

They are the children of Abaddon, or Apollyon the destroyer, that abuse all things to the dishonour of God, the disgra­cing and harming of the godly, and to their owne condemnation? And this is the king­dome of the Deuill héere on earth.

Goe to now you cunning catchers, you flouting politicians, you proud and wan­ton damsells, you lustfull and Epicurish Gluttons, and thou muddy Mammonist, on whom haue yee ieasted? vpon whom haue ye gaped and thrust out you togue? Are ye not rebellious children and a false seede? Bastards and not Sonnes? Are ye not witches children? the seede of the A­dulterer, and the Whoore? Esay 57. 3. 4. You boast your selues to be the children of God, and the true members of Christ: As for others, you make mocks on them [Page] with your mouthes, and you deuise terms for them to make them sectaries, and hypo­crites: they are your gazing stocks, and taunting Prouerbs: But where is your Deuotion? Where is your Zeale? Where is your Feruency? Sobriety? Prayer? Thanksgiuing? Humility? What fruits of the Spirit appeare in you? What loue of God in the zealous exercises of Gods worship? What contempt of the worlds pompe, pride, vanity in your moderate li­uing, and sober conuersation? What re­gard of the afflictions of Ioseph? Yea, your bodies are your Idolls, and your soules like drudges doe homage to your bodies. This appeareth in your excessiue fare, in your excessiue apparell, in your excessiue varieties of fashions, in your excessiue curi­osity in the putting on thereof.

In these excesses ye compare one with another, emulate one another, and striue to goe beyond one another. Your backes and bellies are grown to be so chargeable, & require so great maintenance, like to the Idoll Bell, as that the land is hardly able to beare you. You grow so insupportable that the earth groneth vnder you. I would ye knew (but mockers pleasing themselues [Page] in their owne fancies will know nothing till they be made sober, & taught by iudge­ments) that these are no fruits of the spi­rit, but of a sensuall appetite, they are no signes of Christianity, but of a dissem­bling and proud heart, and of lust that reigneth in your mortall and corruptible members.

It is to be feared that as God giueth you your hearts desires in all these things so some heauy iudgements hang ouer your heads, to purge this shamelesse corruption, and filthy rottennesse out of this land, that hath had rest for many yeares. It is a shame, and an abhomination to sée what priding and decking there is of these cor­ruptible carkasses, how this earthly masse of mortality, this lumpe of sinne and death, doth magnifie and exalt it selfe.

It is a wonder to sée what pride in ap­parell, what curiosity in the fashion, and putting on of the same is to be séene on the Lords day, a day of humility and de­notion: but such fleshly shewes and swaggering seruice the Lord abhorres. For a penitent, humble, lowly, and de­uout heart, doth not shew foorth it selfe [Page] in such flourishes. Such were the conditi­ons and practises of the Iewes in Esayes time, Esay 3. and in Ezech. 33. 30. to the end. They come to thee as the people vse to come, and my people sit before thee, and heare thy words but they will not do them; for with their mouthes they make ieasts, and their hearts goeth after their couetous­nesse. And loe, thou art to them as a iea­sting song of one that hath a pleasant voyce: for they heare thy words, but do them not. Ciuility swallowes vp Chri­stianity in this present age, and pride de­uoureth hospitality, the very name where­of is worne out of mans memory.

Thirdly, God granteth the withes, de­sires, enterprises, and indeauours of the wicked, as they are instruments of his iu­stice, and rods of correction. For by them, as by asword, a fire, a rod, the Lord doth chastise his children, and punish the hypo­crites. Yea, by their wickednes, the Lord doth effect those things which may be for his owne glory, and the good of his children, they not knowing what they doe. Fire na­turally desireth nourishment or fuell, & wée giue it the same, that we may do our works with it: yet fire intendeth not the doing of [Page] our worke, but the consuming of it: There­fore wée call it a good seruant, but an euill master. The Deuill and the wicked are as fire in their owne natures, destroyers, yet by accident (as I may say) they are builders and repayrers, for such is the power, wisedome, and goodnesse of God, as that hée doth his owne worke by con­trary meanes. In this respect the Lord calls Nabuchadnezzar his seruant, in that by him he punished the rebellious Iewes. Nabuchadnezzar did this out of his coue­tousnesse, and pride of his heart, magnify­ing himselfe against God, and his people, yet he executeth the Lords iudgements on the rebellious, and mercy on the obedient. But what was the reward of this his ser­uice? what he did out of his own euil heart was one thing; what the Lord did out of his power and wisedome, is another thing. His wages was according to his owne worke, Esay 33. Woe to thee that spoylest, and wast not spoyled, and dost wickedly, and they did not wickedly against thee: when thou shalt cease to spoyle, thou shalt be spoyled: when thou shalt make an end of doing wickedly, they shall doe wicked­ly against thee, Esay 45. 1. In this respect [Page] is Cyrus called comparatiuely the annoin­ted of the Lord. The Lord will by him exe­cute iustice on Nabuchadnezzar for his ty­ranny, pride, couetousnes, cruelty, & by him shew mercy on his people in their deliue­rance out of their seauenty years captiuity. Thus Iudas, the high-Priests, & Pharises had their desires, they were not disappoin­ted of their wicked proiects, & crafty plots, but the end and proofe thereof was the buil­ding of Christs kingdome, which they thought to ouerthrow, and the destruction of their owne kingdome, which they sought to establish by this meanes, Ioh. 11. 48. If we let him thus alone, all men will beleeue in him, and the Romaines will come, and take away both our place and the nation.

The vse of this. Hast thou power? hast thou wisdome & policy? hast thou a iudici­ous, contriuing & plotting head? hast thou a searching imagination, & strong memory? hast thou learning and eloquence? hast thou wealth and friends? hast thou a healthfull and strong body? these things are much de­sired, & admired of the world. But consider what thou art, not what thou hast. How dost thou vse thy power, to build the king­dome and Church of Christ therwith, or to [Page] build vp thy selfe in the destruction thereof to thy power, how little soeuer it be? How dost thou vse thy poli [...]y and wisedome, and wherein are these gifts exercised? wherein art thou iudicious, & what is the ground and end of thy proiects? what vse dost thou make of thy learning? in what matter, and what causes dost thou practise thy eloquence? what dost thou with thy wealth, & what vse dost thou make of thy friends & assistants? what doth thy soule work with those instru­ments, the members of thy body? Let not the sword boast it selfe of the good mettall, the curious workmanship, and sharp edge, but rather who doth vse it, and to what end: Whether the Magistrate doth vse it to the terrifying of the wicked, and the comfort of the godly, in their preseruation; or the tyrant doth vse it to shedde innocent bloud therewith, as King Manasses did. Whether the true man doth weare it for his defence, or the robber to spoyle and kill. If thou beest an vngodly person, and settest thine heart to doe mischiefe, then all these excellent parts are but as a sharpe edge, or whetting, whereby Sathan spoyleth and deuoureth; but yet so as the will of the Lord, which is cleane contrary to thy [Page] will, and Satans will shall be executed by thée, and him, to the punishment of the wic­ked, to the triall of the godly, to the destru­ction of thy selfe, and to the glory of God, and good of his elect.

Fourthly, the Lord doth grant the wic­ked their desires, as they are vessels of wrath. Because he will magnifie his pow­er and iustice in their iust ouerthrow, which is altogether their owne séeking. For all that they desire, aske, wish, and séeke for, is is against themselues, and so they bring e­uill vpon their owne heads. Rom. 9 22. 23. What and if God would, to shew his wrath, & to make his power knowne, suffer with long patience, the vessell of wrath prepa­red to destruction, and that hee might de­clare the riches of his glory vpon the ves­sels of mercy, which hee hath prepared to glory? An example hereof in the Amorites, Gen. 14. 13. 16. The Amorites and Canaa­nites, &c. must be spared 400. yeares, till their wickednesse and strength were come to the full. They must be strong for their multitude, the Giant-like Anakins must be multiplied, their walls must be mounted vp to heauen, their munition good, the land af­fording store of iron and brasse: and then [Page] will God magnifie his power and iustice, in casting them out by a weake people, that were but as Grashoppers in comparison of them; and his mercy in planting them in, and the glory of his name in both. So Go­liah must be a strong Giant, trained vp in feates of warre from his youth, bold and couragious, able to handle a speare and to tosse a pike as thicke as a Weauers beame, and therefore so confident in his strength and skill, as that hée durst oppose him­selfe against the whole host of Israell, and euen bid defiance to all men. Contra­rily, Dauid must be a Shepheard, the yon­gest and meanest of all his brethren, not a­ble to handle speare, shield, or sword, or to weare harnesse; but with a little stone in a sling must hee deliuer the people of God, and destroy their enemies, that the power of God might be made manifest in the ouer­throw of his enemies, and his mercy in the deliuerance of his seruants. The like wee sée in Nebuchadnezzar, in Senacherib, in the foure Monarchyes, in Antichrist, in our owne obseruation euery where.

The vse. If thou dost excell other men in naturall gifts, and worldly prerogatiues, and that the world, and all things concurre [Page] together for thy desired aduancement, looke well to thy heart, and to thy affections, what thou aymest at, what thou séekest for, and feare, take héede that thou op­pose not thy selfe inwardly, or outwardly against God, his Church, his Gospell, and professors thereof, least thou proue a ves­sell of wrath, on whom God will shew forth his power and iustice, when thou art at the height, and in most safety, trusting in thine owne strength, and his mercy in deli­uering his out of thy oppressing hand. Ex­amples hereof wée haue in Pharaoh, Ha­man, Antiochus, and others before mentio­ned. For it is the glory of the Lord to catch the wise in their own craftines, 1 Cor. 3. 19. To bring downe the high lookes of the proud, to cast downe Princes from the Throne into the dust, and to raise the poore out of the dust, to sit with Princes. Psalm. 113.

Therefore, if thou béest high and emi­nent in the world, be humble and lowly in heart, disrobe thy selfe of all earthly royal­ty, and set the Lord alwaies before thine eyes, that so thou maist with Dauid be e­minent in the Church and kingdome of Christ. Then mayest thou, and shalt thou [Page] with ioyfulnes, and with a good conscience inioy the blessings of God.

Moreouer, séeing that God suffereth the wicked to waxe great, that in their humilia­tion, & deiection the glory of his name may be more manifested to all people, that they may feare him, and praise him: this teach­eth the godly being oppressed by their might, to be patient till the Lord come, which is a sure deliuerer of his Seruants: for, as Dauid saith, The patient abiding of the meeke shall not alway be forgotten.

The consideration heereof also affoor­deth great comfort to them that feare God, that whiles the vngodly triumph, saying, who is Lord ouer vs, who shall controll vs, wée will tread downe on euery side all that withstand vs; that whiles they are thus digging pittes to bury the chil­dren of God in, and with Haman making gallowes to hang them on, themselues shall fall into the same destruction. Marueile not therefore if one be made rich, or if the glory of his house be increased, as Dauid saith.

III. He illustreteth his doctrine by the contrary.

[But if any man be a worshipper of God, [Page] and doth his will, him he heareth.] Héere he sheweth whom God heareth, to wit, the godly, which is opposed to the sinner. The godly man hee describeth by his fruits of sanctification. He is a godly man, that is, a worshipper of God, and doth his will. Herein obserus two things.

First, he saith not that (doth worship) but that is a [worshipper] which word im­plieth a continuance in worshipping, or ha­bite, whereas hypocrites worship God by constraint, by fits, and in outward shew, and are therefore vnconstant, not being firmely setled on the foundation, as the graft is vnited to the stocke, growing to­gether with it, but rather loose and totte­ring, as things ioyned together called con­tigua, and not as things vnited called con­tinua, which haue one spirit. or common forme. He that worshippeth God in spirit without hypocrisie, and in truth without will-worship is one spirit with the Lord, and there is none vnrighteousnesse in him. 1 Ioh. 3. 9.

Secondly note that these words must be taken collectiuely, not distributiuely, that is, they must not be parted, but goe together. The reason is, because that worshipping of [Page] God without obedience, is formall hypocri­sie, & obedience without workes, is but ciuill honesty, and both are sinnes. The former is false worship and hypocrisie, for disobedi­ence discouers it to be so; the latter are false workes, or beautifull abhominations, for prophannesse shewes it, and God will heare neither the false worshipper, nor pro­phane liuer.

Concerning the former, worship with­out workes is counterfeit, and hypocrisie, the Lord cannot abide it, Esay 1. The Lord saith that their sacrifices, burnt offerings, incense, are abhominations; that their new Moones, Sabaoths, solemne feasts, so­lemne dayes, and assemblies, are a but then and wearisomnesse, neyther will he heare their prayers. But they must be washed, they must be purged, the euill of their workes must be taken away, they must cease to doe euill, they must learne to doe well. This was the sinne of Saul, he would séeme to be a true worshipper of God, offe­ring sacrifice, and therein was he diligent enough, but hée was slow enough in doing the will of the Lord, when hee was commaunded to slay the Amalekites man, woman, childe, beast, &c. he spared [Page] the King, and brought of the best of the things to sacrifice with, 1 Sam. 15. 21. 22. There be aboundance of Sauls in these dayes. Therefore S. Iames teacheth: Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers one­ly; deceiuing your owne selues, Iam. 1. 22. Hee that looketh in the perfect Law of li­berty, and continueth therein, he not being a forgetfull hearer, shall be blessed in his deede. And the whole second Chapter throughout. Therefore Worship without Obedience is flat hypocrisie.

Againe, concerning ciuill honesty, or mo­rall life, wherein the common Protestant resteth himselfe with contentment, is odi­ous in the sight of God without sincere worship. For the frame of mans heart is euill continually, Gen. 8. 21. how good soe­uer he séeme to be to himselfe, and others that cannot discerne betwéene naturall and spirituall life, but make a confusion of both vnder an outward profession, or rather bare name and title.

All our righteousnes is as a menstrous cloth, Esay 64. 6. and Iob saith, Who can bring a cleane thing out of filthinesse? Iob 144 vaine therefore are the supposed good works of Papists, séeing that they worship [Page] not God rightly, and as vaine are the workes of vaine-glorious worldlings, sée­ing that they worship not God truely. Therefore worship and obedience must go together, procéeding from a right foun­taine, that is, from an humble and obedi­ent heart, purged from hypocrisie by a working faith, and vnfeigned repentance, from sanctified affections, and a good consci­ence. This is onely acceptable to God, and those actions & obedience that procéed from this fountaine, though stayned with many wants and imperfections, God ac­cepteth as pure, the impurity not being im­puted, Psal. 32. 1. 2.

Furthermore, there be sundry reasons why that God heareth the godly: namely, those that worship him sincerely, and doe his will.

First, because that they being redéemed from the bondage of sinne, are the sonnes of God, they haue the spirit of adoption, or of ingenuous and frée-borne sonnes, by which they both know God, acknowledge God to be their God, and loue God their Father, and consequently call vpon him. Prayers procéeding from a prophane heart doe not pierce the heauens, but those which [Page] come from Gods owne spirit, therefore S. Paul saith, Ephes. 6. 18. Pray alwaies with all manner prayer and supplication in the spirit. And Rom. 8. 26. The spirit maketh request for vs, with sighes that cannot be expressed. Such holy motions and rauish­ments doth the spirit of God worke in our hearts, as that wée are not able to expresse the same in words, but with sighes, euen as when words faile vs, wée vse to declare our mindes by gestures. Such prayers come as it were, immediately from the spi­rit, with little vse of mans discourse, and phantasie, and no vse of the tongue. Esau prayed with wéeping eyes, but with a pro­phane heart, therefore he is not heard. The Pharises make long prayers with an hy­pocriticall heart, therefore they are not heard. But Moses prayed onely in minde, and his desire is heard, Exod. 14. 15. Yea, the Lord accepted his prayer as much as if he had earnestly cryed: therefore the Lord sayd to him, Why cryest thou? Goe for­ward with the people. So Anna prayed in her heart with submisse and vnperfect words, which caused Eli to thinke that shée was drunke, 1 Sam. 1. 13. Therefore the Lord heard her. And hence it is that the [Page] Apostle bids vs pray continually, 1 Thes. 5. 17. For with the heart, minde, or spirit, a man may pray alway. This teacheth vs in praying to pray for the spirit of Prayer.

Secondly, the Lord heareth the godly, because they alone, being taught by the word and spirit, doe pray aright. As Rom. 8. 27. He that searcheth the heart, knoweth what is the meaning of the spirit; for hee maketh request for the Saints, according to the will of God, both teaching them what to pray for, and how to pray. Which prayers the Lord accepteth, as S. Iohn teacheth. This is the assurance that wee haue of him, that if we aske any thing ac­cording to his will, hee heareth vs. An ex­ample héereof, 1 King. 3. 9. 10. Because Sa­lomon prayed not for riches, nor for long life, nor the life of his enemies, but that a wise and vnderstanding heart might be gi­uen him, to iudge the Lords people righ­teously, therefore it pleased the Lord, and he granted his prayers. Thus our Saui­our Christ prayed. Not my will, but thy will be done.

Thirdly, the Lord heareth the godly, because they are truely penitent and sor­rowfull for sinne, and therefore come into [Page] the presence of God, clad with the righte­ousnesse of Christ, Psalm. 51. 17. The sacri­fice of God is a contrite spirit, a contrite, and broken heart, O Lord wilt thou not despise. Psal. 28. 7. Praised be the Lord, for he hath heard the voyce of mine hum­ble petitions. Our Sauiour Christ calleth onely such vnto him, Matth. 11. 28. Come vnto mee all yee that are heauy laden, and I will ease you. For the Lord hath annoin­ted mee to binde vp the broken hearted, Esay 61. 1. Therefore the poore Publicane confessing his sinnes with a penitent and sorrowfull spirit, is heard before the Pha­risée iustifying himselfe by his workes. Luke 18.

Fourthly, the Lord heareth the godly, because they pray feruently, I am. 5. 16. The praier of a righteous man preuaileth much if it be feruent. Heereby two things are specially necessary in Prayer.

First, a man must be a righteous man. Hée is righteous that by faith is ingraffed into the righteous (Iesus Christ) and in him bringeth forth fruits of thankefull obe­dience to God.

Secondly, he must pray feruently, that is to say, seriously, or with earnest desire. [Page] For this feruency argueth that a man prai­eth in the spirit, which ouercommeth the dulnes and drowsines of the flesh, which quencheth and oppresseth the spirit.

This wée may sée in the heauy and slée­py Disciples, Matth. 26. 40. though they had a willingnesse, and desire to watch, and to pray, yet the flesh quelled and dul­led the spirit. Secondly, feruency argu­eth the necessity of the thing that wée pray for. Wée most of all, and most earnest­ly pray for that which wée haue most néede of. Thirdly, feruency argueth Faith in Gods power, that hée is able to helpe, and in his goodnesse, that hée is willing and ready to helpe. For this wée doe know in common reason, that it is against rea­son to request earnestly a thing of a man that wee know hee is no way able to doe for vs.

But it may bée obiected: if a man be willing and ready to helpe vs, when we haue occasion to vse him, accordingly as hée hath formerly promised vs, what néede wée be so earnest? So God hath promi­sed that hée will helpe vs when wée come vnto him: why is feruency then so ne­cessary.

[Page] To the former part or proposition I an­swer, that good manners require so much: For otherwise, 1. We should séeme rather to aske a thing of him, than to intreat him, as though for some respects hée were as much beholding vnto vs, when there is no such matter. 2. Wée should séeme rather to require a thing of him, then to desire it. 3. We should cause him to thinke that wée haue no great néede of that which wée request. Hence it is that the humble beg­gar which craueth earnestly, doth spéede better than hée that asketh carelesly, and much better then hée that asketh comman­dingly.

To the second part or reddition I answer, that we must come vnto God as a poore harmeles beggar comes to a King to craue almes, in whose presence we must estéeme our selues as but a flea, as Dauid termes himselfe before Saul, 1 Sam. 24. 15. Yea as dust and ashes, as Abraham termes him­selfe, approaching néere to the Lord. The Lord will haue vs to call, and crye, and as it were, clamourously to follow after him, when he séemes to turne his backe, euen as the beggar doth, and as the poore wid­dow in the Gospell did, that claue to the [Page] vniust Iudge like a Burre, till she had her petition granted. And this is indéed a spe­ciall fruit of true faith, and an euident signe of trust in God. For hereby wée acknow­ledge him to be our onely helpe, and none other, and therefore we cleaue fast vnto him, as being otherwise destitute, helplesse, and hopelesse. This was the continuall practise of Dauid on this manner, to pray. This was the practise of the Cananitish Woman whose daughter was possessed with a Deuill, Matth. 15. 22. which Christ there taketh for a speciall argument of her faith.

Wherefore was Balaak so earnest with Balaam to come and curse Israell? Euen because he was the onely man in his king­dome, on whose helpe he relyed, and wher­in he most trusted. I know (saith he) that he whom thou blessest, is blessed, and hee whom thou cursest is cursed, Num. 22. 6. Vpon this knowledge and confidence was hée so earnest with him. Likewise vpon our knowledge, acknowledgement, and confi­dence in God, are wée earnest with him; otherwise our prayers are cold, and drou­sie, heartlesse, and lippe-labour, yea almost saying in our harts with the wicked: what [Page] profit shall wee haue, if we pray to the Al­mighty? A special example of this feruency in Prayer, sée Psalme 143. 6. My soule gaspeth to thee as a thirsty land. Like­wise, 2 Chron. 32. 20. Ezechias and Esay pray to heauen against Senacherib, and were heard. Thus Anna prayed, 1 Sam. 1. Thus the faithfull in afflictions pray, Psal. 123. 2. The Iewes in captiuity are taught by Ieremie to pray after this manner. La­mentations 2. 18. 19. O wall of the daugh­ter of Sion, let teares runne downe like a riuer, day and night. In the beginning of the watch powre out thine heart like water before the Lord.

Thus the Lord commaundeth them to pray in the day of their visitation, Ierem. 29. 12. 13. Then shall they cry vnto mee, and I will heare you, and yee shall seeke mee, and finde mee, because ye shall seeke me with all your heart.

Fiftly, the Lord heareth the prayers and supplications of the godly, because they are not wauering minded, but con­stantly relie on the promises of GOD in the vse of those lawfull meanes, that in his prouidence hée hath appointed for them. Therefore that our prayers may [Page] bée heard, wée must pray. First, in the spirit. Secondly, according to Gods will. Thirdly, in Humility; Fourthly, with feruen­cy. Fiftly with constancy.

A Godly Prayer to be said at all times, eyther in publicke, or priuate.

ALmighty and euerliuing God, maker and preseruer of all things in Heauen, and in earth, and in Iesus Christ our most mercifull and louing Father, wee thy poore and vnworthy seruants, being de­sirous to offer vnto thy diuine Maiesty the fruits of our lippes, euen an Euening (or Morning) sacrifice of prayer, praise, and thanksgiuing, do intreat thy fatherly good­nesse, so to prepare our sinfull hearts by thy good spirit, as that, although in much infirmity and weakenesse, yet in sincerity and true desire, wee may performe this duty in some sort acceptably to thy gratious will.

For, O Lord, we humbly confesse here [Page] before thy glorious presence, that wée are altogether in thy fight a loathsome masse of corruption, conceiued in sinne, and borne in iniquity, all our righteousnes being like a menstruous cloth, our mindes full of ig­norance, our wills full of rebellion, our af­fections earthly, and sensuall, our conscien­ces full of pollution, continually casting vp mire and dirt, our liues a sinfull race of ini­quity to iniquity, growing riper in tres­passes and sinnes then we doe in yeares.

Innumerable are the sinnes of our de­ceitfull hearts, which for want of know­ledge of our selues, and due examination, we passe by, without confession, without sorrow, without repentance & amendment. Our omission of all good dueties towards thy maiesty, towards our brethren, and to­wards our selues is infinite. And the sins that we daily commit against our owne knowledges, and consciences, through pre­sumption, and carnall security, are without number. And yet our Consciences accuse vs, and we féele by wofull experience, how full of wants, imperfections, and frailty we are, how prone to all euill, how back­ward to all goodnes, how doubtfull, distrust­full, fearefull, and vnconstant in euery [Page] good action, yea our whole spirits, soules, and bodies are full of vanity and prophane­nesse, deadnesse, dulnesse, and drowsinesse in thy worship and seruice. And whereas thy goodnesse toward vs is endlesse, in pou­ring plentifully vpon vs all temporall be­nefits and spirituall blessings; Yet such is our vnthankefulnesse, as that the one wée spend vpon our lusts; and the other wée haue contemned, and neglected, or in our liues haue not sufficiently expressed the swéete comforts thereof in thy Gospell re­uealed vnto vs.

But sith (O deare Father) thou hast taught vs by thine owne word, that thou hast loued vs with an euerlasting loue in Christ Iesus, before all times, and in time hast héeretofore declared, and do­est yet continually manifest thy grace, and mercy towards all thy people, and to vs in speciall, giuing vs thy word and worshippe, in so peaceable and plentifull manner, and together with the same all things néedfull both for soule and body: we beséech thée also vouchsafe this speciall grace vnto vs, euen a liuely féeling of our sinne, and misery, that on the one side, through the sensible apprehension of thy [Page] wrath, and sharpe punishment, remorse, and sorrow may constraine our hard and stony hearts to humble our selues before thée with dread and reuerence, and on the other side the sauing feeling of thy loue, shed abroad in our hearts by thy holy spirit may comfort vs in the stedfast assurance of the frée forgiuenesse of all our sinnes in the bloudshed and death of thy deare son Christ Iesus, and incourage vs with all delight and chéerefulnesse, constantly to practise all good duties, both in time of af­flictions, and troubles, and in time of peace and prosperity.

And séeing that it hath béene thy good pleasure to call vs with an holy calling into the communion and fellowship of Ie­sus Christ thy onely Sonne, to the ende that denying all worldly, and fleshly lusts, wée should be vnto thée a chosen genera­tion, a royall Priest-hood, an holy nati­tion, a peculiar people, to shew forth the vertues and graces of thy good spirit: ina­ble vs to mortifie all euill workes, and sinfull lusts, that our liues may expresse our light, and faith in thée. And principal­ly giue vs victory ouer those personall sins, which thou knowest our nature most [Page] prone to commit. Powre vpon vs thy ho­ly spirit of wisedome, and grace; gouerne, and lead vs by thy good word, that it may be a lanthorne to our féete, and a light to our paths. So inlighten the naturall blind­nesse of our darke hearts by thy spirit, as that wée may daily be renued by the same. By the which we pray thée to purge the grosnes of our hearing, and vnderstanding, that wée may euer-more profitably reade, heare, and vnderstand thine holy word, and heauenly will. And to that end, O Lord, beget in vs a true loue, and reuerence of all the faithfull Ministers of thy Gospell: Giue vs melting hearts to feare and trem­ble at thy voyce, turbing all worldly, vaine, and light imaginations in vs, that com­monly shut the doore of the heart against the effectuall passage of thy word into the same. O Lord, our naturall hearts are so full of rebellion and hatred of thée, as that we cannot abide to hear thy voyce, or know thy will. All our deuotion towards thée, is as the morning dew, and the exercises of Christian dueties, quickly become weari­some vnto vs.

Giue vs grace therefore to loue thy word feruently, to search the Scriptures [Page] diligently, to read them humbly, to vnder­stand them truely, to heare thy word at­tentiuely, and to liue thereafter effectually and carefully. Giue vs such measure of wisedome, and discerning of spirits, that a­mong the manifold errors, opinions, and iudgements that are in the world, wée may stand vpright, and constant in thy truth, taught in thy holy word.

O Lord sanctifie euery one of vs through­out in spirit, soule and body, that wée may be kept blameles, till the appearing of our Lord Iesus Christ: Strengthen our faith more and more, confirme our hope, increase our loue towards thée, and our brethren for thy sake, giue vs a feare of thy name, a reuerence of thy maiesty, a zeale of thy glo­ry. In time of peace and safety kéepe vs from contention, oppression, and cruelty. In plenty and prosperity from pride, vain­glory, wantonnes, intemperancy, contempt of thee, thy word, thy Ministers, and the poore. In afflictions comfort vs, that ney­ther we despaire, nor blaspheme thy holy name, but with patient thankefulnes trust in thy deliuerance. And as wée daily fall into one sinne or other through humane frailty, so giue vs continuall penitent [Page] hearts, and spirits, that wée may be sorry without desperation, and trust in thy mer­cy without presumption.

That wée may more and more amend our liues, and become truly religious with­out hypocrists, lowly in heart without feig­ning, faithfull without deceit. ioyfull with­out lightnesse, sad without distrust, sober without slothfulnesse, conscionable in all our dealings without gripplenesse, content with that which thou sendest without coue­tousnesse, ready to euery good worke, apt to draw all men from vaine and foolish beha­uiour, by our sober counsells, godly spée­ches, and religious carriage. To make much of them that feare God, and enter­taine them gladly: to embrace the fellow­ship of the godly wise, and to eschew the company of all prophane persons, and des­pisers of them that are good: to assist, com­fort, and incourage the Ministers of thy worde in that high, waighty, and glori­ous calling, to our vttermost power: to ga­ther together with them, and constantly to withstand all scatterers, spoylers, and deuourers.

These vertues and graces of thy good spirit, (O heauenly Father) like as wée [Page] acknowledge to receiue them from thée by vertue of our ingraffing into the mysticall body of thy Sonne Iesus Christ, so wée beséech thée to beget, to cherish, preserue, and increase the same in vs, that wée may daily more and more be transtormed into the image of thée that hast translated vs out of darkenes into thy maruellous light, and that to thy honour and glory, the de­struction of the kingdome of sinne and Sa­tan, and to the vtter and endlesse confusion of all Inffdells, Idolaters, and hypocrites that exalt and magnifie themselues against thée, and thine holy ordinances.

And in these our weake and imperfect praiers, O Lord, we are not mindful of our selues alone, but of the whole estate of the Catholike Church militant héere in earth, and euery particular member thereof. Blesse all Christian Kings and Princes that call vpon thy name, and especially poure downe thy blessings vpon our dread Soueraigne, whom next and immediately vnder thy selfe, thou hast appointed to be our King and Gouernour. Blesse him both in body and soule, inrich him with all gifts necessary for so high a calling, and make him long a nurcing Father in Israell [Page] Blesse him in his Quéene, make her an helpe to him in all good things. Blesse the young Prince, and all their royall issue, on this side, and beyond the Seas, and grant that there may not want one of that line to sit vpon this throne so long as the Sun and Moone endureth. Blesse all his Maie­sties most honourable priuy Counsell, be thou present with them in all their Coun­sells, and president ouer all their consulta­tions, that whatsoeuer they intend or doe, may be to thy glory, the honour of the King, and comfort of thy people. Blesse al Iudges, & Magistrates; giue them thy hea­uenly grace indifferently to execute iustice, to the punishment of wickednes, and vice, and to the maintenance of god inesse and vertue. Blesse all the Ministers of thy word and Sacraments, thou that art Lord of the haruest, thrust forth many faithfull, and painfull labourers, that may féede thy people, with knowledge and vnderstan­ding. And giue to all thy people, humble, loyall, and obedient hearts to thy Gospell with loue, and reuerence to the Ministers thereof, whom thou hast appointed to be the Shepheards, Teachers, and Gouer­nours of their souls in thy roome and place, [Page] till thy comming to iudgement at the last day.

Moreouer, we desire to render vnto thy heauenly Maiesty, all hearty and possible thanks for all thy mercies and blessings be­stowed on vs from the beginning of our dayes till this present time, for thy father­ly care ouer vs in prouiding all things ne­cessary for our soules and bodies, for our food, rayment, health, peace, liberty, friends, which many of thy children want, that are as déere vnto thée as our selues. But espe­cially aboue all, we praise thy name, for the blessings of a better life, as namely for our election in Christ Iesus, before the world was; for our creation after thine owne image in the beginning, for our estectuall vocation out of the darkenes of this world into thy glorious light and kingdome by the outward preaching of thy word, and the inward operation of thy spirit: for our iu­stification by the obedience & bloudshed of thine owne sonne; for our adoption from the thraldome of Satan, into the glorious liberty and priuiledge of Sonnes; for our sanctification in the crucifying of the body of sinne, and quickning of the inner man; for our continuall preseruation against the [Page] temptations, and conquest of sinne, Satan, and this euill world; for the frée donation of thy holy spirit, the earnest of our inheri­tance, vntill the redemption of the possessi­on purchased, and for the continuance of thy Gospell, the word of truth, and the meanes whereby wée are partakers of all these blessings.

O Lord open our blinde eyes euery day more and more to sée, and consider of thy great and maruellous loue towards vs in all these things, that by the due considera­tion thereof we may be drawne néerer vnto thée, to loue thée much, because thou hast gi­uen much. And as thou doest abound to­wards vs in all goodnes, so grant that wée may abound toward thee in all obedience, and thankefulnesse.

And as O Lord, thou being infinite in mercy, hast had mercy on vs, when wée deserued iudgement; euen so we beséech thée, be mercifull to all them that sit in darkenesse, and in the shadow of death; cause the glorious light of thy Gospell to shine in their hearts, according to the good pleasure of thine owne will: and in whom thou hast already begun the worke of con­uersion, vouchsafe them also the grace of [Page] perseuerance, that continuing to the end, they may be partakers of glory with thy Saints in light. And whereas saluation came of thine ancient people the Iewes, but they through vnbeléefe were cut off, that wée by faith might be grafted in: Lord call them in thine appointed time, take away the vaile from before their blinde and vn­circumcised hearts, and reueale the know­ledge of thy sonne vnto them, that they and wée may be one shéepefold vnder one shepheard Christ Iesus. In the meane time destroy the kingdom of sinne, Satan, and Antichrist, euery day more and more. Build vp thine owne kingdome of Grace in the hearts of euery one of vs, and hasten thy kingdome of glory, that when this mi­serable life is ended, wee may raigne with thée eternally in glory.

Be gratious and mercifull to them that suffer affliction for the testimony of a good Conscience, deliuer them out of the hands of their enemies, or so strengthen them with the comfortable assistance of thy spirit that in dying they may ouercome the world death, and hell. Comfort all that are trou­bled in mind with the burthen of their sins, speake peace to their Consciences, say vnto [Page] their soules, I am thy saluation, Come vn­to me all ye that are weary and heauy la­den, and I will ease you. And to this end giue the tongue of the learned to thy Ministers, that they may know to Minister a word in time to him that is weary.

Be mercifull to them that are afflicted in body with paines, sicknesses, or diseases, giue them grace to beare the crosse with patient thankefulnesse, and to learne by those visitations to confesse their sinnes, to acknowledge their faults, to call vpon thy name, & to amend their liues, that as here­tofore they haue gone astray after the course of this world, through the intice­ments of naturall concupiscence, so they may now be brought to the knowledge of thée, and of themselues. And also streng­then them that are any manner of wayes assaulted by Satan, giue them a ioyfull issue with the temptation, that thy grace in their deliuerance by them may be glori­fied, and thy power conquering Satan in their weakenesse, may be ma­nifested, and for euer magnified.

Thankesgiuing be­fore meate.

VVE thanke thée O Heauenly Fa­ther, for all thy blessings, and mercies heretofore bestowed vpon vs, and still continued, & renued vnto vs. Especial­ly at this time for these thy good creatures that of thine owne goodnesse and bounty thou hast ordained, and prouided for the maintenance of our bodies: giue them vertue and power to nourish vs, that there­by our strengths being renued, we may be more fit and able to serue thée in the duties of our callings, to thine honour and glory, and to the comfort of our owne soules and consciences, through Iesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

Thankesgiuing after meate.

VVE desire to return all honour, glo­ry, praise, & thankesgiuing to thy Maiesty, for thy fatherly care ouer vs since the beginning of our dayes, till this pre­sent [Page] houre. Chiefly for thy heauenly word the foode of our soules, for thy Sabaoths, and the peaceable exercises of all holy due­ties therein. And in speciall at this time, for these thy good creatures, whereof at this present wée haue béene partakers by thy good prouidence, beséeching thée so to blesse and sanctifie the same vnto vs, as that we may walke in the strength of them in the performance of all good duties to thy glory, and our owne comforts, through Ie­sus Christ our Lord. A­men.

FINIS,

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