THE GOOD MANS REFVGE IN AF­FLICTION. OR A MOST PROFITABLE AND COMFORTABLE SERMON, preached by IOHN BARLOVV.

AND NOW PVBLISHED ESPECI­ally for the good of them that bee, or haue been afflicted inwardly in minde, or outwardly in body.

Iudg. 6.12.

The Lord is with thee, thou valiant man.

LONDON, Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, for Nathanael Newbery, and are to be sold at his shop, vnder St. Peters Church in Corn-hill. 1618.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL SIR EDMVND TRYFOORD, OF TRY­FOORD, KNIGHT: I. B. WISH­eth truth of grace heere, glory eternall hereafter.

IN gratefulnesse (Right Wor­shipfull) hath been condem­ned amongst the very Hea­then,Plin. in prolog [...] de natur [...]l [...] hist. Senec 1 de be­neficijs. ep 48. and reputed a vice to bee abandoned, and as a fruit pro­ceeding from a wicked and an vnhappie minde.Bernar sup. Cant. Ch ys super Matth. The Fathers too in former times haue auouched, that it is the enemie of the soule, the extenuation of desert, the dispersion of vertue, perdition of benefits; a bur­ning winde, drying vp the fountaine of pietie, the spring of pittie, the influence of grace; and a sinne that neuer goeth vnpunished:Luk. 17.17. yea our Lord con­demnes the nine Leapers, that they returned not to giue thankes for their cure;2. Tim. 3 2. and the Apostle makes it a damnable sinne, that shall sprout vp in the last dayes. Wherefore if I should suffer the fauours to slip out of my minde, that I haue recei­ued [Page] from you, I could not cleere my selfe from the foule censure of an vngratefull person: But what haue I to render, except words, for all your kindnesses? yet were they good, then might I bee glad, and you receiue some acceptable gratuitie; but howsoeuer they be, know, that had the Lord put better into my mouth, I had deliuered them willingly with my hand, and freely from my heart vnto you. I confesse that when I little expected any fauour from you, you furthered mee, not by word, but deed, in my studies at the Vniuersitie; and that not once, but often. And now I, (as vn­expectedly, I iudge) haue sent to your hands, one of the first fruits of my labours: in the manner there is some similitude, but in the matter no e­quall proportion.

Your Worship must not expect from mee curious diuision, rare inuention, Rhetoricall composition, or ambition of quotation: for I am one of the other day, a Babe pluckt from my mothers breast, by a kinde of force; and sent to feed others, before I my selfe was well able to digest stronger meate, and bread of a harder concoction. But not to grow tedious, I presume of your patronage, and willing ac­ceptation, though not for the dignitie of the worke, or desert of the Authour (which is ve­ry little); yet because I know, you know, that Gifts are not to bee accepted or reiected, for their greatnesse, and goodnesse; but princi­pally in respect of the intention and affection of the giuer. And thus referring the worke to [Page] your Censure, and my selfe in all willingnesse to doe you seruice, I commend you to the Al­mighty, who stablish you in euery good word, and worke, to doe his will. Amen.

Yours in all Seruices, where­in he can stead you, IOHN BARLOVV.

TO THE CHRISTIAN AND WELL AFFECTED READER.

GOod Reader, I freely confesse, that mans heart naturally is like to lea­uen; a little one will swell, grow big, and in a short time puffe vp the whole lumpe of a mans person: and rare it is, not to be well conceited of our selues; not to iudge aboue the worth of our owne workes; and with Simon Magus, not to thinke, that wee bee not some great bodies: But euery man knoweth best the beginning, and scope of all his proceedings. Wherefore though the setting out of Bookes may smell of vaine-glory, if not of folly, in these learned times; yet I am best acquainted with my owne heart, and full well vnderstand mine owne en­deauours: and were not I perswaded, that (through the blessing of God) it would returne to thy further edification, these lin [...]s had neuer com [...] to light.

Moreouer, I must giue thee to vnderstand, that when I first treated of this subi [...]ct, it was (though a fault peraduen­ture) within the City of London, and before one of the most indicious auditori [...]s there. But since that time, I haue had occasion else where to prosecvte the text more at large; and diuers haue been d [...]sir us to haue what I then deliuered, to be published iudging it to be not vnworthy the Press [...]. Now if I haue don [...] amiss [...] not mine owne, but many other mens errours are with me; the which If I bee blam [...]-worthi [...] (as it is like [Page] enough) may serue in part, though not altogether, to excuse me in this action. But and if I haue done well, Id sire not, neither deserue any praise, because it was as much of necessi­ty as willingly. I will not altog [...]ther ex [...]use, or accuse my selfe vnto thee: onely this (without preiudice to any) may bee spoken, that euery man hath his proper gift of God; whence it followeth, that the meanest scholer, sometimes, in some thing, from this ground, may excell him, that in many things excel­leth others: the which either being not vnderstood, or (as it ought) practised; makes men of good desert contemned, and the graces of Gods spirit, reiected despised. Were he not wor­thie the title of a foole, that would neuer walke out of doores, because all the Planets are not equall to the Sunne in big­nesse, brightnesse? or deserues not he to die for want of food, that will not eate, neither drinke, vntill he finde all the crea­tures to be like in kind, colour, and taste? Who would not deeme him an vnskilfull Musition, that will not strike a stroke, except all the strings be one and the same in quantitie and sound? And he is no wiser, that will reade no Authours, heare no Preachers, approue no mans labours, vntill there bee an equality in words, method and phrase.

Wherefore, in reading, and hearing, try the spirit, see wherein the Gift of the person most consisteth, and then draw the water of life from that Pipe and Conduit: so shalt thou neither abuse thy owne wit, nor another mans worthinesse. The which that thou maist doe, the Lord rectifie thy iudgement, and then encline the wheele of thy will (which is froward) to runne according to its direction. Amen.

Thine in the Lord Iesus, IOHN BARLOVV.

THE GOOD MANS REFVGE IN AFFLICTION.

PSALME 40.18.

And I poore and needie, the Lord thinketh on me.

IT hath been my priuate o­pinion, that he who ma­keth a long Logicall Ana­lysis to a short Sermon, may not vnfitly bee resem­bled to an vndiscreet Tra­ueler, that descendeth from his horse, entreth into the house, spendeth a couple of pence; yet when hee is to pay, draweth forth his purse, and declareth thereby all the coyne in his pocket: for will not that be a griefe to the Hoste, seeing so much, and receiuing no more? and a note of folly in the Guest, he spending so little, notwithstanding ma­nifesteth all his treasure? The application here­of I leaue to your selues; resoluing to imitate the [Page 2] skilfull husband, or well-experienced and expert Taylor: breaking vp no more ground, then I in­tend to scatter with good graine; neither shaping that piece of cloth, I purpose not at this present to make vp into a garment.

In these words therefore, of many, two things of me shall but be obserued; the one is, the person; the other, his condition. For the person, it may be either meant of Dauid literally, or of Christ his Sonne (according to the flesh) typically,I [...]. 30 9. for Christ is often called Dauid by the Prophets; Hos. 3.5. and of him this Psalme also entreateth, as the Author to the Hebrewes testifieth.Heb. 105.6. &c.

Concerning his condition, it is twofold: first, he layeth downe his misery, and in griefe of heart confesseth, that hee is poore and needy: the second (which is the ground of raising vp his fainting spirit) hee annexeth, that yet, notwithstanding, all the euill that hath befallen him, the Lord thinketh on him.

I might spend much time, to shew you the se­uerall readings of these words, and diuers exposi­tions by sundry interpreters: but I haue respect to my promise; breuitie is my purpose, and my bounds I will not passe.

By the Person: especially I vnderstand Dauid; neither doe I exclude Christ, or any of his mem­bers: for the seruant is not (in this respect) better then his Master; and betwixt the Head and all the other parts of the whole body, there is a sympathy and fellow-feeling; let the condition be good, or bad; in earth or Heauen.

By poore and needy: I hold to be meant the cha­stisements, and fierie trialls that come from God the Father; the tentations, and bitter assaults of that foule and fell fiend, Satan; the persecutions and vexations inflicted by the hands of vnreaso­nable and wicked men; and (but in this following Christ must bee exempted) the inward corrupti­ons, disordered motions, vnsetled affections, and the originall pollutions brought from the mo­thers wombe; with the soule and bodies vnapt­nesse, and vnablenesse with chearefulnes and con­stancie, to runne the direct and iust paths of Gods commands. Many of these made the Head, all of these (and more too) the members, poore and nee­die.

By the Lord: we may (I take it) without danger vnderstand God the Father.

And by Thinking on me; how that hee would free his Sonne, and all that he had giuen him, from all trouble, bondage and afflictions that euer should befall them: for the father thought on his Sonne in the Garden, and vpon the Cr [...]sse, when all had forsaken him: so hee did thinke on Dauid and Paul, when no man assisted them: and, as wee shall heare more at large anone; so hath he, doth he, and will hee thinke vpon all his chosen, head and members.

The summe of all in one word is this, as if Christ, Dauid, or any true beleeuer had thus con­fessed.

What if I be poore, afflicted, despised and persecuted? What if the Lord seeme to leaue mee for a time, as one [Page 4] forsaken? and fallen into the hands of his cruel enemies? hat [...] he therefore forgotten me? forsaken me? No, no: he know [...]th me by name, his eye of pr [...]uidence is still ouer me; and I am con [...]nt in this same thing, that he will [...]ree me from all euil, and preserue me to his heauen [...]king kingdome.

And thus, according to my purpose and pro­mise, I come to handle the seuerall doctrines, that hence, without wrong to my Text, or offence to any iudicious Auditor, may be deduced: where first let it be obserued, that

Doct. 1 Af i [...]ions befall Gods dearest children.

Vnderstand this Text to bee prophecied of Christ: canst thou denie the truth of the doctrine? was it no sorrow to his humane Nature, [...]e 2 [...].3 [...]. to be cir­cumcised, whipped and crucified? what a burden bare he? what a wounded spirit had he? and what woe endured he? when he sweat great drops of bloud; called to his Disciples to watch with him; and cried out, [...] 2 [...].14. My s [...]ule is heauy to death; My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Were not these piercing sorrowes? But we leaue the Head, and come to touch some of his members; and but touch, lest wee grow tedious. Shall I relate Abel suddenly slaine by cruell Caine, [...] 48. [...] 12 4. [...] 2 [...] 10. his bloudy and vn­naturall brother? Abrahams flight, he knew not thither? or Iaco [...]s heauy iourney to Padan Aram? Were it to the purpose, to tell you of Moses, Ioseph, [...]b, or any of the Prophets? Is it a sorrow to bee [...]old?Io. 2. to haue al ones children slaine in a moment? [...]r to be persecuted for well-doing? May it bee [...]iled, a pricke, or wound, to fast often? to bee [Page 5] whipt often? to be imprisoned wrongfully often? [...]. [...]r. 11.24. &c. to die often in appearance once in truth, and that vniustly? Why then the point is confirmed, suf­ficiently proued,L [...]ke 235. that a sword [...]oth pierce through the hearts of Gods dearest children. And though this at the first seeme strange; yet you shall see (at the last) it will stand with right reason.

Reason 1 For Christ, had not he suffred, who had been sa­ued? and if he had not been pierced through with many sorrowes,Is [...] 3.5. & [...]. not one of the sonnes of Adam had possessed any true comfort, or sound solace. And for this end, it was needfull to consecrate the Prince of their saluation through afflictions. [...]. 2.11. He was that brazen Altar, which must vndergoe the great heate of the day, [...], 8 30. vpō the which fier was con­tinually burning: Christ was typified or figured hereby, to suffer the infinite iustice of his father.

Reason 2 And his members must be like the bush in the fier, for seuerall reasons. 1 Are they not the Lords (as I may say) garden-plots?Exod 32. will he not plant and sowe them with the sweetest seedes, and most fra­grant flowers? shall he not then digge them vp,Ier. 4 4. picke out the least grasse, and breake euery little clod to pieces? Euery skilfull Gardener doth this to that plot of ground, where he intendeth to ga­ther grapes, and not thornes; figs, and not thistles. And so it is with the Lord; where he will scat­ter the good graine of his grace, that person vn­doubtedly shall haue piercing sorrowes.

2 Againe, the faithfull are likened to trees, and must not they be pruned and lopped? [...]. 1.3. If they that were planted in Eden, must be kept, [...]. 17. [...]. and dressed by [Page 6] Adam our father? shall wee thinke to escape the knife to cut vs and prune vs? for trees, if the roots runne to deepe into the earth, they must bee cut shorter; if the branches spread too farre, they must be lopped; and if the Canker or Caterpiller once infect, and cleaue to them, then they must be bur­ned, smoaked: so (assuredly) if wee bee too much rooted, by our affections, in the things of the world; and with the great and large boughes of our abilitie, wrong and impouerish our poore neighbour; or let our coyne, like the canker, eate into our soules; God will giue vs many a cutting, lopping and smoaking: and as wee cannot natu­rally but doe the one; so, when God will heale vs spiritually, he will doe the other.

3 Moreouer, Gods children are compared to good corne,Math. 13.24. not cockle; wee must expect then to be shaken with the windie and blustring stormes of the wicked.Ier. 10.25. The Rookes of our times will bee pecking out the ripest graine; and euerie raue­ning fowle flie ouer vs, and defile vs; goe thorow vs, and bruise vs; or fall vpon vs, and rob vs: yea, our God himselfe will cut vs downe, thresh vs, and grind vs; for its corne that must bee put on the mill, not chaffe: wheate that must be winnowed, when cockle is to be abandoned, burned.

4 Besides this, how often are the godly compa­red to a Temple?1. Cor. 3.16. and may not euery particular person resemble a stone in diuers things? Wee must be cut out of the rocke of our naturall estate;2 Cor. 6.16. and it's no easie matter to be endured, afterwards squared and hewen, that we may be fitted to lie [Page 7] close and comely in the building: and this will be felt a paineful polishing; yet this must be done, or we are vndone. Rough stones are cast into the foundation, but they that be appointed for the Pinnacles, and principall places, must haue the more pickes, the greater polishing: else they should not bee of (or at the best but deface) this holy Temple, this stately building. And because that this is not the chief point in my text, though the words (in part) will beare it; wee will make briefe application, and so proceede to another.

And doe piercing sorrowes befal Gods dearest children? what vse then is to be made of this do­ctrine?

Vse 1 Why, the wicked may here learne a lesson; its a true one (for Peter drawes it from this ground) but a terrible one to all such persons. If iudgment begin at the house of God,1. Pet. 4.17.18. What shall the end bee of those that obey not the Gospell of Christ? and, If the righteous scarcely be saued, where shall the vngodly and sinner appeare? Another Apostle tells you,2. Thes. 1.8. and giues you a full resolution: God (saith he) shall come in flaming fier, to render vengeance vpon them that know him not, and obey not the Gospell of Christ. This is not all, for,Vers. 19. They shall be punished with euer­lasting perdition (that's their end) from the presence of the Lord, and from the glorie of his power (that is the place of their appearance).

But wicked men imagine, that God is like them,Psal. 50.21. because for a time he holds his peace; and in re­gard iudgement, a little season is deferred, the hearts of the sonnes of earthly men are set vponEccles 8.11. [Page 8] mischief.Za [...]h. 1.12. Tush (say such) God wil neither do good or euill: But, O thou vaine man, when wilt thou learne wisdome! shall he scourge his first borne, his onely sonne, and but by imputation a sinner? and doest thou thinke that he wil spare thee? Shal the naturall O [...]iue bee thus lopped, and pruned? and shal the wild One escape the hand of the hus­band-man? Will the Creditor cause the surety to pay all to the vttermost farthing? and doest thou, that art so deep in debt, expecta discharge without full paiment? Is the path to Canaan thus strawed? what then will the way be that leadeth to Egypt? [...] 10 33. if he that trembleth at Gods word, shall thus bee corrected; how shall they, that make a mocke of the bloud of the new Couenant,H [...]. 1 [...].29. escape damnati­on? Tell, if thou canst, but its a thing impossible.

Hee that goeth towards the Sunne, shall haue his shadow follow him; but he that runneth from it, to flee before him: So he that marcheth with his face towards the Sonne of righteousnesse, shall haue afflictions still to pursue him; as for him that hath his backe towards Christ; his sorrowes, like the shadow, are before him; but hee shall meete with them in another world. Wherefore be thou not deceiued; for if God afflict his dearest chil­dren,Luke 19.2 [...]. he will one day take vengeance of all diso­bedient bastards.

Vse 2 And to what vse shall the godly put this do­trine? Why, they must not thinke it strange, that they are in the fierie triall;1. Pet. 4 12. neither faint because they are chastened: for its for thy good, and the Lords glorie, that these things befall thee. Christ [Page 9] is a shepheard, and they that serue him are sheepe, by the rule of relation: shall he not then send this Dogge of affliction, to fetch vs in, when we breake our bounds, and are stragling? hee is our Master, and wee his scholers; must wee not then haue a lash, when our eye is off our booke; and wee haue no mind, either to say, or learne our lesson? we bee his patients, he our Phisition; then if wee feed too full, grow too ranke, shall he not strike a vaine, and let vs blood, in due season?

I haue often in my meditations, compared a Christian in prosperity, to a people at peace in a kingdome: doe we not see, that since warres haue ceased in our land, and neighbour Countries, that many a valiant souldier is growne fat, purfie, and not able to weild his weapons? And all (or the most) of our Armour to, rustie, cankred? The Spiders haue wouen webs in our Helmets, and head-pieces: the wormes eate into the very heart and pith of our shafts and speares; and scarce is to bee found any Bandileeres, that will hold to hang about a souldiers sholders. Are not our ships vnrigged? our Cannons at the Forts, vnskoured? houses, townes, and Cities, but too weakely pro­uided? And hath not peace (by accident) had a finger in this businesse? And euen so is it with a Christian souldier; let him haue health of body, quiet of mind, and his cups to flow ouer; all his spirituall armour will either rust, or bee vnexerci­sed. For what vse shall we haue of prayer, in cal­ling; faith, in beleeuing; hope, in expecting; or patience, in suffering? truly little, if any at all: [Page 10] therefore God will send warres, and rumours of warres, that wee may not abuse those excellent graces, and hee want his glory, wee our gaine by them.

Our God is wise, yea Wisdome it selfe, he know­eth our estates, and can physicke vs for the pur­pose; and there is nothing so bad, but hee can vse for the recouery of our former condition, and cause it to worke for good. I remember, that when Ioab would not come to Absalom, 2. Sam. 14.30.31. he set his corne­field on fier, and thereby fetcht him: so when the iust Ones will not see their fathers face,Hos. 2.7. and 5.15. the fier of affliction will make them seeke him early, and di­ligently. It is the custome of our Gallants, when their horses bee slow and dull, to spurre them; if iron grow rusty, cast it into the fier to purifie it: and so doth our good God, in our backwardnesse to good duties, pricke vs; or being in our filthi­nesse, purifie vs, by casting vs into the hot coales of tribulation.

Wherefore doe not so much mourne, that thou art afflicted; but be carefull and fearfull, lest there­by thou should not be reformed; for this is a true signe that we are Gods sonnes, and not bastards, when wee are more doubtfull that wee shall not make the right vse of them, then fearfull that the Lord will not remoue them. He that findeth this in himselfe, findeth a good thing, and but that which alwaies attendeth and accompanieth a san­ctified heart in its greatest troubles.

Quest. But some man may say; Sir, it is a hard thing to suffer afflictions patiently; therefore what shall I [Page 11] doe to attaine to this?

Resol. 1 Why, thou must consider, that it is the direct path to heauen;Matth. 7.13. and is it not better to bee in our right way, though stonie, crooked; then in the pleasant Medowes going astray, wandring? The speediest way to compasse the world, is to goe by water; and the surest path to heauen, is to saile through a sea of affliction.

Resol. 2 Againe, call to mind that Christ thy Captaine hath trod the same steps before thee; and shall not the Head be followed by the members? It is said,2. Sam. 15.30. that Dauid the King went vp to the Mount of O­liues, and the people with him, and as they went, they wept: so our Dauid is ascended into heauen, but he went weeping, and so must we follow him wee­ping; for these two are inseparable.

Resol. 3 Moreouer, ponder with thy owne soule, how many, how great troubles, thou by thy sinnes hast innumerable times deserued? Alas!Lam. 3.22.39. long agoe mightest thou haue been cut off by death, and condemned: if this were thought on, it would stoppe this vaine of discontent and impatience. Thou maist admire thou wast not long agoe con­sumed, rather then pine, in that thou art corre­cted, afflicted.

Finally, immoderate mourning, is a meanes to draw downe a heauier iudgement. When boyes will pule, and cry out for a little lash, the Master many times sets it on with a tang: And hee that will struggle vnder the Lords hand, peraduenture shall vndergoe a double ierking. Say therefore with Dauid, I held my peace, Psal. 39 9. because thou Lord diddest [Page 12] it. Thus much for this point; the second succee­deth, which is, that

Doct. 2 The Lord doth not separate his affection from his children in affliction.

Psal. 73.1.Howeuer it be, yet God is good to Israel; and the pure in heart shall neuer be forgotten. Did not hee re­member Noah, Gen 8 1. Gen. 15. in his Arke? Abraham, in all his troubles? Iacob, in his heauie iourney? Ioseph, in the pit and prison?Gen. [...]8 16. Gen 39.21. Gen. 29.16. and iust Lot, in the middest of Sodome? The Lord thought on Dauid, when hee kept his fathers sheepe: Saul would haue slaine him;2. Sam. 12.1. Ziklag was burnt, in his flight to Gath; and when he had forgotten his God, committed adul­tery and murther, and was in his greatest extremi­ty, how often doth this man confesse, that in the middest of all his sorrowes the Lord comforted his soule? Psal 94.19. and, Though his father and his mother should forsake him, Psal. 27.10. yet Iehouah would gather him? I might here make mention of Moses, Daniel, the three Chil­dren, and our fore-runner, Christ; and tell me, which of the faithfull was euer forgotten by the Lord? He hath said,Hebr. 13.5. that He will not leaue vs, or forsake vs; but at all times, and in all places, he will bee with vs. Paul, without doubting, casteth downe the gantlet, and biddeth a defiance against all things, (which notably doth proue the point in hand). Who, Rom. 8.35. &c. or what shall separate vs from the loue of God? shall tribulation, or anguish, or famine, or persecution, or nakednesse, or perill, or the sword? No: for hee is perswaded, that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come; nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature [Page 13] shall bee able to separate the faithfull from the loue of God, which is in Christ Iesus. Shall I now shew it you in the Reason?

Reason 1 First, the Lord is not subiect to forgetfulnesse, he knoweth who are his; and his eye is alwaies ouer thē. 2. Tim. 2 19. Could the Lord forget them, were hee subiect to ignorance? then his affections might be separate from them; but he is not, he cannot. Tamar may disguise her selfe, walke in an vnaccustomed path; so Iudah may not know her. Isaac, through the dimnesse of his sight, may blesse Iacob, and passe Esau. Tract of time may make Ioseph to forget, or be forgotten of his brethren. Salomon may doubt to whom the child (of certaine) belongeth; and Christ come to his owne, and not bee receiued. But the Lord seeth all his; time, place,Heb. 4.13. speech or apparell cannot obscure or darken his eye or eare. He can discerne Daniel in the denne; Iob, though neuer so changed, on the dunghill: Let Ionah haue his lodging in the whales belly; Peter be put into close prison; or Lazarus bee wrapped in rags; or Abel tumbling in blood; yet can hee call them by name, and send his Angels to comfort them. Ig­norance, or forgetfulnesse may cause loue to bee estranged in the creature; but the Lord is not in­cident to either: for his eye, as his essence,Psal. 139 1.2. &c. is eue­ry where. In this respect therefore he needeth not to separate his affection from his children in af­fliction.

Reason 2 And as the Lord is not subiect to forget, so is he not incident to change; for whom he loueth once, Mal 3 6. Ier. 31.3. he loueth euer. Man is subiect to mutation of affecti­on; [Page 14] but so is not the Lord: for he is one most pure act, his loue makes vs good; so that his affection is perpetuall. Mans iudgement may deceiue him, and his loue cannot make the obiect beloued bet­ter; therefore hee is subiect to alteration; God not.

Obiect. But we reade that God hath repented, and so changed his affection.

Solution. 1 I answere, first, that it is spoken for our vnder­standing, after the manner of man, and not to bee vnderstood otherwise.

Solution. 2 Againe, the change is not in God, but in re­spect of the obiect about which hee is exercised; for one cause without alteration in it selfe may produce diuers effects in that regard. For exam­ple: The Sunne hath but one simple act of shining; yet, doe wee not see that it doth vnite clay and straw, dissolue ice into water? makes the flowers smell sweetly, and a dead corpse to stinke loth­somly? the hot fier to be colder, and the cold wa­ter hotter? and will it not helpe to cure one man by his heate, yet therewith kill another? Where is the cause? in the seuerall obiects, and their di­uers dispositions, and constitutions; and not in the Sunnes act of shining, which is but one and the same.

Take a more familiar similitude. Let a look­ing-glasse be set in the window, will it not repre­sent to thy eye diuers obiects? If thou goe to it in decent and comely apparell, shalt not thou see the like figure? if deiected, and in course rayment, will it not offer to thy view the same equall proporti­on? [Page 15] doe but thou stretch thy selfe, bend thy brow, and runne against it, and will it not resemble the like person, and action? where is the change? shall we conclude in the glasse? No: for it is neither altered from the place, nor in nature.

Wherefore if God one day seeme to loue vs, another day to hate vs; there is an alteration with­in vs first, not any in the Lord. Bee thou then such in thy selfe, as thou wouldest haue the Lord bee vnto thee; but if thou change, thou shalt finde a change, though God neuer change; and if thou runne stubburnly against him;Psal. 18.24.25. &c. he will walke stub­burnly against thee. For with the froward, hee will shew himselfe froward; but with the meeke, hee will shew himselfe meeke. Yea, such as thou art to him, he will be to thee, and no other. O that we could be­leeue, and so practice this lesson!

Reason 3 To proceed; let vs examine and see, what is the cause of separating affection; and shall wee not finde it either in the Agent or Ob­iect? In the louer, God, we see no cause can bee found: surely, nor in the thing beloued. For what is affliction to Gods children? doth it de­stroy the essence of the soule, or deface the image of holinesse and righteousnesse in them?Luk 22.44. Psal. 119.71. Doth it (in a word) make them worse, or better? It is plaine, that no trouble destroyeth the image of God; or maketh his the more prone to sinne; but rather it hath been a meanes to moue them to leaue it and amend. For in trouble they will pray more feruently;Hos. 2.7. 2. Cor. 1.4. pity others more compassionate­ly; make vowes, and resolue to serue God the [Page 16] more strictly,Psal. 66.13.14. then euer in the dayes of prosperi­ty. Why then should the Lord withdraw his af­fection from them? for loue leaues hold, but whē the obiect growes worse and worse.

Reason 4 And in the last place, this Reason may also confirme the doctrine. Hee should bee more vnnaturall then meere naturall men,Mat. 7.9.10 11. (who take the most pitie of their owne being in the greatest distresse) if he should forsake his children in their affliction.1. Tim. 5.8. Nature it selfe, in these straits, will not be wanting; and shall the Author of all graces be found failing?2. Sam. 18.33. Shall Dauid keepe such a houling for a rebellious sonne? and will the Fa­ther of mercy not respect his obedient children? A­way with it: for it is a kind of blasphemy to con­ceiue it. For betwixt the loue of the Creator, and the creature, there is neither in respect of heighth, depth, breadth, or length, any equall pro­portion.

Vse 1 And is this so? how then should we loue such a God, of whom wee are so beloued? what praise should we thinke too much for so waighty a mat­ter? why doe we not studie to set forth his good­nesse and wonderfull workes?Exod. 15. Moses would make a song, Dauid and others in way of thankfulnesse, because in their greatest affliction, they felt the Lord to be present in affection. Did not Mary breake out,Luk. 1.46.47. My soule shall magnifie the name of the Lord, and my spirit shall reioyce in God my Sauiour? Why did she this? for hee hath looked on the poore estate of his handmaid. How did Paul, from the like ground double his petition; The Lord shew mercy [Page 17] to the house of Onesiphorus; 2 Tim. 1.16.18. The Lord grant that he may find mercy with the Lord in that day: VVhere was the reason of this? for he found me out at Rome, visited me often at Ephesus, and was not ashamed of my chaine. Shall the Apostle thus blesse his friend, for being refreshed in his bands? and shall not we, from the heart rootes, break forth into thank­fulnesse? For God, not once, but often hath visi­ted vs, and hath not been ashamed of our chaines of sinne and corruption: nay, he hath broke our bands, and set vs, that were Satans slaues, at free liberty.

Quest. But some may say to me, as many shall to Christ in the last day; When saw we thee in nakednesse, &c? so, VVhen were wee poore and needy, and God thought on vs?

Answ. Giue me leaue a little, and I will tell you.

1 First of all, doe but cast the eye of your remem­brance backe, and runne with the feete of your faith so farre, as the fall of Adam our father;Gen. 3. did not we eate with him, sinne with him,Rom. 5.14.17. and lay in the bush with him? was not he, and all we at that time poore and needie? who was euer in so great a streight? in so miserable a condition? conceiue, if thou canst, of a portion of matter without a forme; and such was thy tickle condition, almost turn'd to nothing: were we not all dead men, and depriued of our greatest glorie?Rom. 3.23. what mans case was euer more miserable then all ours, before the Lord called, Adam, Where art thou? Conceiue of it a little, lay it to heart, ponder it deepely in thy mind, and suffer it to take some setled impression. [Page 18] What miserie was that? What a word of com­fort was this, The seede of the woman shall shuffle or breake the Serpents head? I speake to you that haue vnderstanding, and consider what I say; for the more thou doest meditate on this thing, it will seeme to thee the more wonderfull.

2 But let vs come neerer home, and then will it not appeare, that we in this our Kingdome, were sometimes poore and needie? And because too many crie out, and (as the spies did vpon Canaan) haue brought a bad report vpon our countrie; let vs search into, and examine the matter. And that we may speak as the thing is, let vs first of al com­pare the land with it self, and next with her neigh­bouring sisters.

Was it not in times past, as at the beginning, a Chaos, without forme and voide? Did not darkenesse couer all our deepe? and the people perish for want of knowledge? Ignorance was our wedding garment, and Implicite faith, a sword fast in the sheath to quench all the fierie darts of Satan: our Bible was as a sealed booke; the teachers of it blind guides, and Gods house nothing else but a Denne of Theeues. Were not all our Progenitors vnder this cloud? Did not sinne enlarge it selfe, as Hell? and like the Leprosie in the time of the Law, spread farre, and infect the whole body? What were all the most eminent and pleasant seates in our Kingdom, but hiues full of droanes; Temples, swarming with Caterpillers, who nipt euery greene thing in the bud, as in the land of Egypt? VVhat shall I more say? VVere not all our Priests Papists, or Atheists? [Page 19] These places, wherein now in Spirit and truth the Lord is serued, a very sinke of all sinne, and Collu­nies of all vncleannesse? Is not this truth? And hath not the Lord in these latter daies brought light out of darkenesse? made the English man in his owne image? blowne part of this viperous brood into the red sea of destruction? and giuen him his elder brothers blessing? I lye not: there is not one thing, at the which I haue more wondred, then to see how the Lord hath rooted out the Ca­naanite, who was so mighty, in number many, and equall in pride and malice; I doe not doubt to speake, but if some of vs had seene the daies of old, and compared them to these, they would be asto­nied at Gods goodnesse, and the times reformati­on. For did not our Auncestors want the bread of the soule, the eye of the mind, and the pure wa­ter of life and saluation? Is it not to bee feared, that millions of soules were poisoned, that I say not eternally damned? Look back thē to thy mo­ther, take a strict view what she was, and then con­sider what she is; we account comparisons odious; but I am sure, such as these, be commodious: and he that doth not compare time with time, shall neuer see the depth of mans miserie, or the great­nesse of the Lords mercie.

Obiect. But me thinkes I heare some in the Congrega­tion say, I goe beyond my bounds, and giue my Countrie too good a commendation. Sol. 1 I do not, nor cannot, so the rule bee obserued: shee is farre better then she hath been, yet in many things she might be mended. God called not all his works [Page 20] very good, before the last daies Creation; no more will I my Mother, vntill the last day of sanctifica­tion and recreation: Sol. 2 But yet I may say, and must say, she is well amended. And in the second place, doe but compare our Iland with others neare ad­ioyning; are not they more poore and needy in ma­ny things then we be? and did not the Lord then herein thinke vpon vs? Haue not we a great Light to rule the day, and many lesse for the night-sea­son? What if some wandring Planets bee in the firmament? why, is not their irregular course and motion euident to all men?

If the Canaauites had been destroyed at once, the beasts of the field had deuoured the Israelites: and what knowest thou, but the same reason may be of force in these daies? Let vs not murmure, seeing we haue tooke possession of their land, and haue dominion ouer the Canaanite: Wee haue the prize, and the remnant one day shall be ours, if our sinnes and ingratefulnesse doe not preuent it.

Sol. 3 I could tel you of particulars, whē we were poore and needy, and the Lord thought on vs, at the change of the two Princes: Did not the Edomites con­clude, that then was the day of mourning, when they intended to be reuenged of Israel? But God preuented them. And in 88 was not lots cast vp­on our land, and we esteemed as dead men? And in (that neuer to be forgotten deliuery) the Gun-powder-plot, were not all our heads neare the blocke? who was euer needy, if then we were not in need? VVhen I haue thought of that cruell [Page 21] plot & inuention, me seemes I could neuer match it, except that in the fall of Adam, and betwixt them there is some equall parallell.

In that, there was the Diuell and the Serpent; the Garden and the persons against whom the trea­son was intended: and in this the Pope, Faux his instrument, the place, and the people they aimed at. And in this comparison or allegorie, we liken the Pope to the Diuell; Faux to the Serpent; the Parliament-house to the Garden; and the King to Adam. The Diuell was in the Serpent, but would not bee seene; the Pope in Faux, yet loath to be discouered: the Serpent must swimme (pro­bably) in the water, and creepe close into the Gar­den; Faux must crosse the seas, and crawle vnder the Parliament-house: the Serpent must speake nothing, but as the Diuell would; nor Faux doe any thing, but by the Popes direction: the Diuell pretends kindnesse to Adam, Yee shall be as Gods; the Pope vnder the cloake of holinesse aimes at destruction: the Serpent respected not the excel­lency of the place, to effect his purpose; nor Faux, if he might accomplish his resolued treason: the Serpent said, Yee shall not die at all; Faux, if he had been posed, would haue rendred the same lesson: the Diuell in tempting Adam, aimed at the de­struction of all his posteritie; so did the Pope, in our dread Soueraigne, at all his royall issue, and loyall subiects: and in many more particulars they might be paralleld. And vndoubtedly these two plots (not to be equald by any) had one first efficient, Satan; twinnes they be, conceiued in the [Page 22] same wombe; whether in Hell, or some Friers Cloyster, there's the Question. But how good was God to vs, that though they traueld of iniquitie, and conceiued mischiefe, P [...]. [...].14. yet they haue brought forth a lie; their heads haue been bruised, and their counsell confounded? Suppose that it had tooke effect, what fact (except that in the Garden) to this had been comparable! For the walles of our Ierusalem had been ruinated, and the Sepulchers of our fa­thers burnt with fier: our Annointed had died the death, and Bethel his house become a Babylon: our Harpes had been hanged on the willowes, and we (at the best) but sung our Hebrew songs in a strange tune, voyce and land: This was the worke of God, and ought to be marueilous in our eyes. For had not the Lord thought on vs, we had been swallowed vp quick, and laid as low as the nethermost hell.

Sol. 4 I omit many other miseries, which made vs poore and needy; as pinching Frosts, scorching heate, inundations of waters, droughts, famine, and the deuouring plague in this City, and other places of our kingdome? VVas it not to bee poore and needie, when thousands in a weeke depar­ted? men, women and children drawn with hooks by heapes into holes? they that were liuing ei­ther running away with great feare, or staying still at home, with greater? And who hath remo­ued these euils, and sent downe the contrary bles­sings? Is it not the Lord? VVe haue but yet spoke of generals; but let vs descend to particu­lars, and there's not one can deny, but in these two respects he hath been poore and needy; and [Page 23] the Lord thought on him.

1 First, for his corporall condition. VVho pre­serued thee in thy Mothers wombe? fed thee with Manna in this wildernesse? and freed thee from so many iudgements as haue been inflicted vpon others? Surely the hand of the Lord. VVho lead thee into greene pastures, hath caused thy cup to flow ouer, and anoynted thee aboue thy fellowes, except Dauids Shepheard?

2 But to let these things passe: Art thou now the sonne of God? wast thou not the child of wrath by nature? who hath singled thee out of the con­fused multitude, enriched thee with the graces of saluation, and borne thee againe? whereas the whole world lyeth in wickednesse? VVill not these former fauours prouoke thee to gratefulnesse? yet let the benefit by it for the present, and future time, bee forcible to vrge thee to the practice of this dutie: for others of Gods seruants haue done the same vpon no other ground. Paul, when hee considered, that The Lord had assisted him, when all men for spoke him, and was perswaded, that the Lord would deliuer him from euery euill worke, and preserue him to his heauenly Kingdome; breakes forth into these words, To whom be praise for euer and euer, A­men. And is not this paterne worthie of our best imitation? and this constant affection on the Lords part, a continuall gratuitie on ours? VVhy then let it be daily put in practise: for either this loue, or nothing deserues it, and is thanksworthie.

Vse 2 And as this point in the first place should work in vs loue autogratefulnesse to God: so in the se­cond [Page 24] it may comfort vs for the present and future troubles. Hast thou vexations without, and ter­rors within? seemes it to thee, that the Lord hath forsaken thee? Why, it is not so: thou art decei­ued. Think on the dayes of old, and if euer thou canst proue, that he did loue thee; this point will proue he doth so still. What should more com­fort a Christians heart then this? and encourage him to go on through good report, and euill re­port with resolution?

Acts 20.38.VVhat made the people weepe so bitterly, and fall on Pauls necke? was it not, in that they must see his face no more? And what did Christ promise to his disciples for their comfort and resolution in their greatest troubles and vexations? Any thing but this,Mat. 28.20. I will bee with you to the end of the world: You then that haue chosen the better part, giuen vp your names to serue God, and bee in the vast wildernes of this world, be not faint, or weary in the way: for though hunger pinch you, Pharaoh pursue you, and the fierie Serpents sting you, yet the Lord shall neuer leaue you, or forsake you.

Obiect. 1 But some may obiect to me, as Gedeon did to the Angell;Iudges 6.13. Ah my Lord, if the Lord loue vs, and be with vs; why then is all this euill come vpon vs?

Sol.Art thou sicke in body? the Lord doth it for to make it a fitter habitation for thy soule. VVhat if thou seeme to be brokē in pieces? yet he can easily restore thee to thy former conditiō. Shal you not see a Carpenter set vp a house in a comely order, yet anon he wil strike one ioynt frō another, & lay it flat on the ground? hath he a purpose to destroy it?

No: rather to amend what he saw amisse in it: And so be we, in our owne iudgements, builded in a decent manner; but God is wise in heart, and seeth that our bodies are not fit Temples for his Spirit; therefore we must downe againe for a time (at the least) in our owne feeling, & present apprehensiō.

Obiect. 2 But thou wilt say, The spirit is departed from thee, and not to be found within thee.

Thou art to know this,Sol. that in a Christian soule there be many mansions; as of loue, ioy, faith, zeale, repentance, and humility: If therefore the spirit be not present in one place, seeke to finde him in another: for be thou assured hee is not (in truth) departed. Doest thou want ioy, or faith? canst thou pray for either? why thou hast the spi­rit: Canst thou not pray? (for sometimes this is a good mans condition), yet canst thou sigh and grone? why, that commeth from the Spirit: Canst thou not repent as in times past? art thou notwithstanding sensible of this? and strikest thy hand vpon thy breast? this is a motion of the Spi­rit. And be thou of good comfort; for when thy case spirituall is most miserable, yet thou maiest discerne some pulse (though weake) of the Spirit, beating. He that comes to see his friend, will bee glad to finde him in any roome of his house; and if he be not in the dining chamber, or parlour, hee (peraduenture) shall haue him in some other pri­uate corner: so, if the Spirit be absent from the mansions of faith, loue, and the like: then thou must finde him out in the close and darke roome, called, The dislike of thy present condition; or in [Page 26] the secret corner of Humiliation. These two be the furthest places of his absence.

Obiect. 3 But I was vsed to haue him present in all.

Solution.To speake with reuerence; Euery grace in our hearts may bee compared to so many candles in a house: Now the Master will not light aboue one or two at the most, except hee haue great vse of them: so the Holy Ghost is the keeper of our soules; he worketh with these graces in vs; and hee will but employ them, as there is iust occasion: If there bee need, all shall bee enlightened, made strong. And what man being an old Disciple, that hath not experience in these things?

Obiect. 4 Why, how can the Lord be with vs? for they that worke wickednesse are set vp; Ma [...]. 3.15. and such as tempt God, they are deliuered: And are not all things with­in vs, and without vs, out of order?

Solution.We must not iudge things by the appearance or present condition; for then we may condemne the generation of the iust and the Lords owne buil­ding: He that would haue comfort in the remem­brance of his house, must not conceiue of it in parts: as of the wood in the Forrests, vnsquared; the stone in the rockes, vnpolished; the brick in the clay, vnburned; and lime in the sand, vntem­pered; but in the patterne or frame, as it will bee when it is perfected: So wee are to looke at the end of the righteous, and the restauration of all things, not as they bee for the present; and then shall we see the full beauty of the Lords workes, and our owne blessednesse. He that doth these things shall neuer fall, finally, and for euer.

Therefore Watch ye, stand ye fast, quit you like men, and be strong: for the Lords affection to all the faithfull, neuer faileth in affliction.

Vse 3 And doth not the Lord separate his affection from his children in affliction? Let vs then tread in the same steps, and imitate our heauenly Fa­ther. Oh that this were the custome of our Coun­trey! but it is not; we rather practice the contra­ry, adding affliction to Pauls bands. For to him that hath not (need of comfort) shall bee giuen; but from him that hath, shall be taken away that hee hath. Iob renders the reason: Because Men haue forsaken the feare of the Lord. How many haue the faith in respect of persons? forsake iust Iob, if tumbling on the dunghill? and be ashamed of Pauls chaine? Is this to shew forth the vertues of him that hath called thee? to imitate the example of thy Sauiour? and to be a fellow-feeler of thy brothers affliction? If this goe before, what will follow? shall not the Lord mete to vs, as we haue measured to others? leaue vs, when we haue most need of comfort, seeing we cry, Stand afarre, come not neare me, to our chil­dren and friends in the time of affliction.

Was it not Ionathans praise, that he was louely in life and death, and would not leaue his brother Dauid in all his troubles? and shall it not be thy duty and comfort to doe the like to all thy bre­thren? The Butler is branded, that he remēbred not Ioseph in his bands; and hence (probably) came that Prouerbe: No man remembreth the afflictions of Ioseph. Yet we haue some more vnnaturall, who forsake men in their prosperity, and dayes of [Page 28] Gods promotion: they enuie Dauid, because hee is annointed King from the sheepe-fold: Cry, away with Amos, he must not prophecy at Bethel, for he was a figge-gatherer: and if Christ come out of Nazaret, be reputed the Carpenters sonne; and aduanced by his heauenly Father; some will reiect him; others doubt of him; and too few receiue him.

And (without mis-apprehension be it spoken) I haue seene these two euils in the learned and re­ligious of our times; Friends forsaken in aduer­sity, enuied in prosperity: wee will not visit the poore, if wee bee rich; neither regard them the Lord extraordinarily aduanceth. But these things should not be so: why then say with Ruth, Nought but death shall part thee, and thy friend: follow him with thine affection whithersoeuer he goeth; and if he fall amongst theeues, goe not by him, but looke on him; and to thy ability and his necessity relieue him: For this is thy Fathers proceeding; the cu­stom of his childrē; & the only way to be of others respected, when thou thy selfe art most afflicted.

If pouerty would haue parted friends; naked­nesse made a separation, meannesse of birth, or basenesse of condition; then the Lord had neuer tooke pitie on thee; or, in affection been vnited to thee. Wherefore set the Lords patterne before thine eyes; and whatsoeuer hee beareth with, in his, doe thou the like also: and let not that with­draw thy loue from any of thy brethren, against which the God of loue neuer obiected, disliked; or, for the which his affection was neuer separated, weakened. I know this is thy dutie; but a thing, [Page 29] not easie to bee done; for, it is no weake, but a maine pitch of sanctification, not to draw argu­ments from the meannesse of a mans birth, friends, education, former pouerty, or present necessity to withdraw, extenuate and separate affection: but to loue, where, and in the same manner the Lord loueth: he that doth this, flesh and blood neuer re­uealed it to him. Then striue for it; it is worth the obtaining; that it may be said of thee, as Paul said of one, who performed this dutie: The Lord shew mercie to the house of Onesiphorus; The Lord graunt he may finde mercie with the Lord at that day.

Vse 4 And from this point of Gods affection to his children in affliction; we may all be encouraged to serue such a master. Art thou his seruant, and sonne? then doe not, with the Prodigall, run from him; or with Demas, embrace the world: for all creatures of that kind will faile and forsake thee in thy affliction; or if not, they will proue, but like Iobs friends, or the Pharisies, Miserable Comfor­ters. Or, hast thou not yet giuen vp thy name, and with a purpose of heart cleaued to the Lord? why then change thy master, and make choyce of him wee haue in hand.

Who would not serue such a man as will bee alwaies present with his people; haue an eye o­uer them; call them by name, and relieue them according to their necessities? Shall not we then make election of the Lord? For his eye shall watch for thy good; his right hand shall be ouer thy face, and his left hand vnder thy head; and, thou shalt want no manner of thing. Art thou in bonds? hee shall visit [Page 30] thee. In danger? his Angels shall defend thee. In want? the creatures refresh thee. Tempted by Satan? he shall fight for thee. Or in the pangs and shadow of death? yet he will bee with thee, that thou maist sleepe soundly and securely.

Beloued, this I know, that if God be with vs, it is no matter who be against vs: but if hee bee not on our side, what will it profit vs to bee respected of the world? And say not in thy heart, Lush, my mountaine is strong, and I shall not be moued; for wee are but in the wildernesse, wee shall meet with fiery serpents, the stings of a guiltie and wounded spirit. Iordan, that type of death hath not looked vs in the face; at the most, wee haue not passed o­uer it: and doth not the day draw neere? is it not at hand? and if the Lord doe not then helpe thee, and be with thee, what shall become of thee? wofull will be that Hauen, where thou shalt be lan­ded.

O that we did but know the worth of Gods fa­uour in affliction! or how ioyfull a thing it is for his children to be assured of his affection! Well; the day of death and of iudgement shall declare it: and till then, the true worth will not bee fully knowne of the faithfull; or the want feelingly dis­cerned by the vngodly. Let me then entreat thee to striue for his fauour; thinke no paines too great to obtaine it; neither be at peace till thou possesse it; for then thou maiest haue comfort in trou­b [...]es; ioy, amidst sorrow; and life, in death. No tidings so terrible, that shall make thee tremble; no former sinne cause thee to feare; nor Satans [Page 31] deadliest darts touch or pierce thee, if the Lord be with thee. Now then is the time to agree with him; take the opportunity, fore-slow it not; and build thou on this rocke once, and stand for e­uer.

A third point from the words may now be col­lected, viZ. that,

Doct. 3 The fauour of God in affliction, onely giueth the faithfull satisfaction.

We see that this good man did comfort him­selfe from no other ground, but from this, that The Lord thought on him. Neither is there any thing that could worke this effect, he being in so great affliction, except the Lords loue and affe­ction. Many cry, who will shew vs any good? Psal. 4 6. But Lord lift thou the light of thy countenance vpon me. And whom haue I in heauen but thee, Psal 73.25. or in earth that I re­spect in comparison of thee? No person, no thing. I [...] is good (yea best) to draw neere to God, [...]nd 28. 2. Sam. 1 [...].12. for content in these dangers. Saul was a King, and yet when God was gone, could his kingdome yeeld him any comfort? BalshaZZar in his bowles will quake,Dan. 5.6. and his heart roll within him, if the Lords hand in wri­ting be stretched out against him. Why doth the di­uell tremble and feare? Oh,Iam. 2.19. hee hath no confidence in the great Creator. Cain will curse and cry to,Gen. 4.5. when he cannot expect and rest in a cheerfull acceptati­on from the Lord: but let all the creatures in the earth, and the whole hoast of Heauen band them­selues against vs, If God be with vs, Rom. 8.31. who can be against vs to hurt vs, trouble vs? And what may bee the reason of this?

Reason 1 Why, the Lord is the onely obiect of their loue, and he in whom their soule principally de­lighteth: wherefore enioying him, they haue all they would.Gen. 45.28. Let Iacob heare that Ioseph his sonne is yet aliue, he hath enough. If the King come home safe, Ziba may keepe the land,2 Sam. 19.30. for Mephibosheth is satisfi­ed. Could but the sonne of Hamor match with Dinah, Gen. 34.19. his Circumcision will bee endured; and though the daughters in the countrey bee denied him, yet shall he be well contented. Giue but Ra­hel children, Gen. 30.1. Luk 1.29. and she will not die. And let Simeon see his Sauiour and he will die. And how are these contrary effects produced? Why loue is the cause thereof: so let Gods children enioy the subiect of their affection, they will rest in it with full con­tentation in all affliction.

Reason 2 Because they beleeue then, and know that all shall worke together for good at their latter end.Rom. 8.18. For being assured of the one, they neuer need to doubt of the other: and grant but the first, and the se­cond will ensue of necessity. Will it not reioyce the poore patient, that his Physition doth affect him? for then he is assured, that if he can, hee will (and God can) cure him. If we haue the Iudge for our friend and father, what need wee to feare the many inditements preferred against vs? Let Moses haue the Lord to looke vpon him, Pharaohs frownes cannot feare him: and let God but thinke on vs, and we thinke on him (he by affection, wee by faith), we need not to shake or shadder: but walke on cheerfully and resolutely in the valleyes of teares, Psal. 23.4. and the very shadow of death. Dauid in his [Page 33] greatest troubles speaketh thus to the Lord; Thou hast giuen ioy in my heart, more then of the time, when their corne and their new wine were multiplied. Psal. 4.7.8. In peace together will I lye downe and sleepe; for thou Ie­houah alone wilt seate me in confidence; preserue my soule in safetie. Now from this point thus proued, we learne these things.

Vse 1 And first, whats the true cause, why so many are shaken with euery blast, and flie like chaffe before the least wind of affliction? Alas! they haue not made the Lord their portion, neither bee assured of his affection: their loue leanes on some other subiect; and that once failing, they fall for euer. He that affecteth the earth, if it grow barren, hee will still be bawling: and he that expects treasures from a farre; let the wind but rise, and the water swell, his body will sweat, and his soule be trou­bled within him: the sea is not so much tossed, but he is as much terrified: the one casts not vp more mire and mud, then the other feare and de­spaire.Mat. 27.5. 1. Sam. 3 [...].4 2. Sam. 17.23. Shall wee thinke that Iudas would haue hanged himselfe; Saul fallen on his owne speare; or so wise a wight as Achitophel, proued his owne executioner; if God had been the obiect of their affection, and they put confidence in him in their affliction? No: it had been a thing impossible. And therefore we may hence safely conclude, that the want of the assurance of Gods sauour is the true cause, why men in discontent and crosses be­come their owne executioners. For that which they affect most, wanting power to content and preserue them, or being remoued from them; they [Page 34] hauing no other God in their present apprehensi­on, often become their owne bloudy Butchers, to drowne, hang, or murther themselues. And doe but obserue it, and what I haue spoken, you shall find verified by experience.

Vse 2 And in the second place we may hence learne the true ground, why Gods children haue so re­ioyced in affliction; and it is this and no other, namely their assurance of Gods fauour and affe­ction. He that beleeueth in the Lord by faith, is linked to him in loue, and perswaded that God thinkes on him, will embrace death, desire iudge­ment, and neuer tremble at the most terrible ti­dings.Heb. 11.8. Abraham will goe hee knowes not whither; Daniel into the Denne,Daniel 6. Gen. 28. Ruth 1.6. and Paul to prison, hauing this confidence of the Lords fauour. Iacob will leaue his fathers house, Ruth runne into a strange Countrie,Hebr. 12.23. and Christ embrace the Crosse, endure the shame, when God thinkes on them. How should Iob haue endured the stealth of his cattel,Job, 1. & 2. burning of his corne, and the sudden death of all his chil­dren, when their bones were bruised and broken; their bloud and braines sprinkled and spread on the posts and timber; his VViues bitter words, Curse God and dye (for so the place is to bee vnder­stood; for it's probable Satan spared her life to that purpose to tempt him; and it was the end he aimed at, He will curse thee to thy face: why should wee then imagine, that hee put not that tart and cruell phrase into her mouth? for he is wise in his proceedings) if the certaintie of the Lords loue had not supported him? Had it once been possi­ble [Page 35] for fraile men,Heb. 11. and weake women to haue en­dured burning, hewing asunder, and to be rent on the Racke, but vpon this ground? VVhy then, see the true cause of ioy in sorrow, and giue the Lord his deserued praise, whose power is the most made manifest in our weakenesse, wofulnesse, wretchednesse, 2. Cor. 12.9.

Vse 3 Finally, wouldest thou be able to stand in the euill day, and the sad times of tentation, and per­secution? then striue more and more, to be assu­red of the Lords affection: endeauour to possesse Dauids darling; get Gods affection once shed a­broad in thy heart; be sure of this, and thou shalt endure the greatest storme; cut the strongest streames of the raging tide, and land safe at the hauen of Heauen. VVe, in pollicy, prepare cloakes for wet, prouision for winter, and a staffe against the time of decrepit old age; and shall wee not prouide for death and iudgement? VVhat can support thee in the times of trouble, & the hower of thy departure, but some perswasion of Gods fa­uor? Could Pharaohs Horses, the Rich Mans pur­ple, the Fooles great barnes, or Iesabel her pain­ting, if thou hadst them? No, no: these are but a vaine thing, a sandy foundation, and a staffe of Reed, that will either stocke thee fast, or breake in shiuers, piercing thy hands through with many sorrowes.

Therefore in the feare of God thinke on this one thing: for death will come, and will not tarry; and if thou haue not this fixed fast in the furrowes of thy heart, little pleasure canst thou haue in [Page 36] death at death. And because we dreame (but de­ceiue our selues, and that too too often), in think­ing we are in the Lords fauour highly, principal­ly in prosperitie; be thou the more carefull to at­taine to this thing. Wee haue a common Pro­uerb, that A good thing cannot be made too sure: and what better then this in all the world? And for the better triall of thy selfe in the matter, take these rules in the meane while, till thou haue lear­ned better.

1 First, if the Lord loue thee, then thou doest re­flect thy affection againe vpon him. He sheds his loue first abroad in thy heart, Rom. 5.5. and then thou art en­flamed with the loue of him.P [...]al. 73 27. For as I first giue heate to my bed, and then it giues me warmth the night after: so the Lords loue heateth my heart, and then I thence forward affect him: certainely he that loues the Lord, is loued of him.

2 Againe, if the Lord loue thee, then he will re­ueale himselfe vnto thee,Psal. 6.8.9. &c. especially in prayer, and that familiarly. When thou hast called on his Name, hath hee giuen thee a gracious and com­fortable answere? Hast thou felt a secret voice of the spirit, speaking to the eare of thy soule, Thy prayer is heard, Acts 10.4. and thy request come before the Lord? (for God, like man, giueth the greatest gifts, and manifesteth himself to his children the most in se­cret). 3 Then be thou of good cōfort, for the Lord thinkes on thee. Besides, canst thou speake by ex­perience,Iosh. 21.45. that hee hath kept couenant with thee, and performed his promise (for his promises are Yea and Amen to all he loueth)? 2. Cor. 1.20. then maist thou haue [Page 37] hope.Isaiah 27 3. VVhat peace hast thou found wrought in thy soule?Psal. 30.9. How hath he watered thee euery mor­ning? humbled thee in prosperitie, and comfor­ted thee in aduersitie? Hast thou an experimen­tall knowledge of his proceedings? feare not then, he will doe thee good, and no euill;2. Cor. 1.4. and he is ne­uer weary (for that were to crosse his owne com­mand) in weldoing.

4 And doest thou reiect the Arme of flesh and bloud; denie thy owne power, and onely rely vpon the Lord? I then dare giue thee my word,Psal. 60.11.12. that he shall neuer faile thee, or in the greatest danger for­sake thee.

Be thou assured once, that these things are in thee; and the like done for thee; and thou shalt be as secure and safe from all dangers in life and death, as the least drop of water in the bottome of the deepe Ocean sea is from the exhalation of the Summers Sun; or that graine of sand, which possesseth the very center of the Globe, is from motion, or the footes trampling, scattering.

One thing more may yet bee obserued out of the words, thinketh on me, which is, that

Doct. 4 The Lord will deliuer the faithfull from all dangers; free them in a conuenient season from all afflictions. Psal 91. Psal. 27.14.

For this is the true exposition of the phrase, as the words following doe declare euidently, plain­ly. Noah shall not be drowned in the old world,Gen. 8.1. &c. but be freed from all dangers.Gen. 19. Let shall come safe to little Zoar. Moses flee to, and returne in health,Acts 7. from the land of Madian. Ioseph may be sold,Gen. 45. yet God can preserue him safe,Gen. 33. and Esau expect the [Page 38] time of mourning to be reuenged on his brother Iacob, yet shall he come againe, and find fauour in his eyes.Psal. 11.1. &c. Let Dauid be hunted like a Partridge, the rauening Kite shall neuer catch him;Ier. 45.5. and Baruch shall haue his life, though many perish for a prey. Peter may be in prison,Acts 5.19.20. & 12 7.8. yet shall the gates be cast off their hinges, his bolts be loosed, and hee set at libertie.2. Tim 4.17.18. And though Paul be forsaken of all men, yet God shall assist him, free him out of the mouth of the Lyon, and preserue him to his heauenly kingdome. Yea,Phil 1.21. this is most certain, that either in life he shal let them loose,Reuel. 14.13. 2. King. 22 20. to runne at libertie; or by death free them from the euill to come. And reason may be rendred why it shall be so:

Reason 1 For the Lord hath so promised and purposed, and shall not his counsell stand? Prov. 19.21. and his word abide for euer? Did he euer faile in keeping couenant? or haue his promises at any time been preuented? No,Mat [...] 5.18. no: Let Heauen and Earth passe away, one iot of his word shall not moue, but be verified, certainely ac­complished. Tit. 1.2. For shall God proue a lyer? breake promise? Away with this; he cannot, he will not. God is not like man, promising what he neuer in­tends to performe:2. Cor. 1.20. for all the promises made by him, are Yea and Amen in Christ Iesus.

Reason 2 And this will hee doe of loue to his children, and hatred to the wicked. God will not haue the vncircumcised Philistims to reioyce in the ouer­throw of little Dauid his Annointed;Deut. 32.26.27. or the cur­sed Canaanites to tread vnder-foot the sanctified seede of old Israel. Psal. 89.10.11. &c. Exod. 1.12. Pharaoh may lay great bur­dens on the Iewes, yet the more he doth vex them, [Page 39] they shall multiply, grow and vex him. This hath been a reason of force in former time, and may continue still to confirme this doctrine.

Vse 1 And from this point the faithfull must learne patience, and not to make haste,1. Thes. 4.13. or mourne as men without hope, for it's but a very little while, and then He that shall come, will come, and will not tarrie. Heb. 10.37. The Husbandman must patiently expect the time of haruest; Iames 5 7. the Mariner waite with content for wind and tide; and the VVatchman for the dawning of the day: wee must also tarrie the Lords leisure; bee strong, and he, in the fittest season, will comfort our soules. Dauid being assured, that he should see the goodnesse of the Lord in the land of the li­uing, did not faint,Psal. 27.13. but expect with patience the time appointed; and his patterne must be our practise; seeing it was grounded and sprang from the point we haue in hand.

Vse 2 Againe, as by this point we are taught for the present, to be patient; so to confirme our faith, for time future. And what can more strengthen it, then certaintie of full freedome, and a totall deli­uerie from all the euill that shall befall them, 2. Cor. 4.16.17?

But we thinke not seriously of this thing, and that's the cause, we hang downe the loynes of our mindes; and that which is halting is readie, Heb. 12.12.13. vpon the least rub, to be turned out of the way. Wherefore let vs consider how he hath in former time deliuered his; and it will be a notable prop to support our staggering minds; and a sure base, and founda­tion for faith to rest it selfe vpon. Now the [Page 40] kinds and meanes be many.

1 God can stop the mouthes of the raging Li­ons, that they shall not rent the very garment of his children, as we see in Dan. 5.

2 Againe, he is able to preserue vs in the fier from burning, as the Bush was, Exod. 3.2. and the three children in the furnace, Dan. 3.

3 Thirdly, in bringing iudgements on our ad­uersaries, and breaking the teeth of the Lion, as of Pharaoh, Exod. 14; of Haman, Ester 7; and Herod, Acts 12.

4 Besides, if not so, he can change the heart, and cause Paul a bloudy persecutor, to become a reso­lute Christian souldier, Acts 9.

5 Furthermore, he wanteth not skill or power to deliuer Paul, by setting the enemies at ods one with another, as hee did the Sadduces and the Pharisees, Acts 21.31. & 23.10.

6 Sixthly, when their enemies are vpon their backes, tidings may come to Saul, that the Phili­stines are about to inuade the land: so Dauid may escape the danger, 1. Sam. 23.27. &c.

7 Moreouer, he can giue his seruants power and boldnesse to dare their foes to their face, as he did Paul and others, in so much as they shall be kind­ly intreated, and sent away, Acts 4.8. &c. Acts 16.37, &c.

8 And what shall I more say? God can compell Balaam to blesse; Caiphas to prophecie; and the Whale to preserue Ionah, when the ship would not saue him. And is his power yet weakened, his wisedome decreased, or his will altered, changed? [Page 41] No, in no wise: for there is no shadow of turning with the Lord; therefore feare not, faile not, faint not.

Obiect. 1 But it will bee obiected, that Abel was slaine; Iames beheaded, and many of Christs members murdered.

I answere, that if we keep,Sol. and liue in some close sinne, the Lord will not deliuer vs; for the com­mitting of some iniquitie, may procure danger, yea death too.

Obiect. 2 But Christ neuer sinned, yet was not deliue­red.

Sol. 1 True: yet vntill the appointed time hee was, and so shall all his members: but when that hower comes, then they must goe.

Sol. 2 Againe, though God do not deliuer euerie per­son in particular, yet he will the Church in gene­rall, as we may see in the foure great Monarchies of the world; how one were d [...]shed against ano­ther, onely a remnant that were Gods people con­tinued, and shall till the end of the world. For was not the Church as safe in Babylon, as in the land and limits of Canaan?

Sol. 3 Againe, God doth deliuer his from desperate­nesse in affliction: so that trouble shall not ouer­burden them, but rather reioyce them.

Sol. 4 Againe, his promises are alwaies limited, so farre forth as they may make for his glory and our good: and what can we haue more?

Sol. 5 Againe, these promises must bee vnderstood compleatly, either in this life, or in the world to come, when all the faithfull shall be deliuered for euer.

Sol. 6 In conclusion; if wee bee comforted in death more then life; are we not deliuered? And if we were not, what doe we loose, but earth, and gaine heauen? For daily danger, or violent death shall not depriue the righteous of a better life.

This then being thus; be of good comfort for the present; feare not any future dangers; but plucke vp your hearts, and gird vp the loynes of your mindes: Goe on through good report, and euill report; be resolute souldiers of Iesus Christ; march on valiantly, and feare not their feare. For mauger their malice, Dauid shall serue his dayes; Paul finish his worke, and Iohns life be prolonged, vntill his taske be ended. Let Balaam, the Pope, curse; Pharaoh, the Turke pursue; Gallio, the Ie­suite, iudge; Pontius Pilate, the Priest, condemne; nay, let Satan rage, his instruments band them­selues together, and all the crawling Locusts as­cend out of the nethermost hell; yet I haue ho­ped, and euer will, that the Lords Annointed shal raigne, his people encrease more and more, the word daily runne, Babylon be razed downe to the ground, the house of Bethel builded and suppor­ted, till the Sonne of God returne againe in his greatest glorie. When all wicked and vngodly men shall tast of the second death; be bound hand and foot, and suffer the vengeance of eternall fier: And euerie vpright and honest heart shall haue al teares wiped from his eyes, fetters from his feete, manacles from his fingers; runne to and fro in the new Ierusalem that is aboue; and with Iesus showt for ioy, as Dauid and the people did, when the Ark [Page 43] came home safe into the Citie: and then shall it bee knowne, whether God had, or not, power to tread downe Satan, and his shauelings vnder foote; and preserue his people vnto his heauenlie Kingdome. To which God, for this hope, be prayse throughout all generations, for euer and euer. A­men.

FINIS.

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