CHRISTS LOVE AND AFFECTION towards JERƲSALEM.

Delivered in sundry Sermons out of his words and carriage when he came unto her, as they are recorded, LUKE 19.41, 42.

Wherein are handled,

  • 1 Christs teares which he shed for Ierusalem, and the mat­ter of singular observation in them.
  • 2 The will of God touching mans salvation, as it is gene­rally propounded and revealed in the Gospell.
  • 3 The sin and misery of Ierusalem, because she would not know the time of her visitation.
  • 4 The Day of Grace, wherein salvation is offered to the sons of men.
  • 5 The worth of that peace, which Christ and the Gospell bring with them.
  • 6 The sin and misery of those who live under the meanes, and have the things of Christ and the Gospell hid from them.

By RICHARD MADEN B. D. Preacher of the Word of God at St. Helens LONDON, and late Fellow of Magdalen Colledge in CAMBRIDGE.

[...]DON, Printed by M. F. for JOHN CLARK, and are to be sol [...] [...] Shop under S. Peters Church in Cornhill. 1637.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, THOMAS, LORD COVENTRIE, BARON OF A [...]LSBOROVGH Lord Keeper of the great Seale of England, and one of his Majesties most Honourable Privie-Councell All increase of felicitie and true Honour.

Right Honourable,

AS God, in the bestowing of his gifts on men, doth not observe an Arithme­ticall proportion, in gi­ving to all alike, but ac­cording to his unsearcha­ble wisedome, useth a pleasing kind of va­riety [Page] and a discreet inequality in the distri­bution of the same, committing much to some, little to others, as is plaine and evi­dent by the parable of the TalentsMat. 25.15. Luk. 19 12., where­of some received more, others but one; so neither doth hee measure the service and o­bedience that is done unto him, by the matter and quantity of the thing that is done, but by the minde and affection, by the parts and abilities of him that doth it, taking in good part the least and meanest performances, when they proceed from a sincere intention, and an inlarged affection towards him, and are sutable to the gift and ability that is received from him: for, as Chrysostome well observesChrysost. to. 2. in V.T. Edit. graeco­lat. Homil. 42. in Gen. pag. 609., God respecteth not so much what is given unto him, as the affection out of which it doth proceed; whence it comes to passe, that the price of those services which are very small in themselves, are much raised, and advanced in Gods esteeme and account, by the zeale and sincerity that is stamped upon them; whereas on the contrary, for want of this, [Page] those actions which are most glorious in the eye of the world, lose much of their beauty and lustre; and are little or nothing regarded with him. Consonāt hereunto is that of venerable Bede Beda. com. in Mar. ca. 12. Nō per­pendit De­us quantum in ejus sa­crificio, sed ex quanto proferatur., who saith, that God respecteth not so much the substance of the offering, as the conscience of him that brings it; nor doth hee so greatly regard how much is laid upon his Altar, as hee doth how much hee that comes unto him, is able to give; And S. Ambrose Ambros. to. 1. li. de vi­duis pa. 142. Vberior est nummus è parvo, quàm thesaurus ex maximo, quia non quantum detur, sed quantum re­sideat, ex­penditur. gives the reason, because a little portion out of a small pittance, is more than a greater obla­tion out of a large heape, and rich Store-house, none can give more than hee that leaves himselfe nothing behinde, though that which he gives bee never so little; and none doth much, that might doe much more, if he did set his whole strength and ability upon it. To whom much is com­mitted, of him much is justly expectedLu. 12.48., and he that hath but little committed to his trust, if there bee a willing minde to lay it out for his Masters advantage, it shall finde [Page] acceptance, according to that a man hath2 Cor. 8.12. In the old Law all did contribute and of­fer to the use and service of the TempleExod. 35.5, some brought gold and silver, blew silke and purple, Scarlet and fine linnen; others brought Goates haire, and Rammes skins, yet all were accepted of God, and taken in good worth; yea, perhaps the meanest ob­lations of those, who out of their penury, were willing to contribute something to the Lord, might finde better acceptance with him, than the offerings of those, who out of their superfluity and abun­dance, bring farre greater matters unto him. Our blessed Savior, when he beheld how people cast money into the TreasuryMark. 12.42., and tooke notice of many rich men that cast in much, yet hee preferres the poore widows two Mites, before the large contribution of many others: and surely there is not any one thing, wherin greatnesse on earth doth more resemble the great God of heaven, than this, that it is willing to accept of the meanest presents, that are tendred by infe­riours, [Page] when they proceed out of a hearty affection towards the same; the considera­tion whereof hath emboldened me (Right Honourable) at this time, to present your Lordship with this poore ten­der; presuming it shall finde acceptance with your Honour, because it is willingly offered to the use and service of the Tem­ple, though it bee but as Goates haire in comparison of the gold of Ophir, which others bring, or as the poore widowes Mite, in respect of those larger summes, which others cast into this treasury of the Church, in this learned age. And indeed I cannot so over-love this slender peece which now comes forth into the world, as to think it of more worth than many of his fellowes, which are willingly content to die in the eare, rather than to stand in white sheetes, that they might speake to the eye; much lesse can I set such a high price upon it, as to send it abroad with let­ters of credit and commendation, that might bespeake and procure friends where [Page] it is unknowne. It was first spoken to a popular Auditory, without any thoughts or intentions of further publication; and therfore it studied nothing more thā plain­nesse, and such a familiar expression, as might best suite with vulgar capacities: and now that it comes into the open light, and publike view, it cannot well leave that native language which it learned in the Pulpit, to frame it selfe to a stile and phrase of speech, concise and pithie, more befitting the Presse: Such as it is I make bold to send it abroad into the world, un­der your name and honourable protecti­on, that it may remaine, as a pledge and te­stimony of that humble respect and service that I owe unto your Lordship. It comes therefore unto you, not as a Tutor with in­structions to teach you what you know not, but as a Pupill for protection, that be­ing sheltred under the shadow of your ho­nourable Patronage, it may finde the safer passage in those unknowne wayes, and places whither it shall travell. There is [Page] none that I know, in our English tongue, that hath gone before me in handling that portion of Scripture, which this ensuing Treatise, that now comes to your Lord­ships hands, is spent upon; and, if I mis­take not, there are few passages in holy Scripture more necessary and usefull for all sorts and conditions of men, than this is, for it is a discovery of those thoughts of peace, which GOD carries towards the sonnes of men, in the primary intention of that course of providence that hee hath ta­ken for their good; and withall, a declara­tion of that care and diligence, that should bee in every one to serve this providence of GOD in the day of grace, by applying himselfe unto him in the use of those meanes, wherein mercy may be had, if it be sought for. And these meditations, as they are fit for every one to think upon, so more especially for men of high place and condi­tion, because, like high trees, they are more subject to those windes of temptation, which may breed in them a forgetfulnesse [Page] of both; whereas by this meanes they might easily prevent those two dangerous rocks of presumption and despaire, upon which many dash and split the precious vessels of their soules, and suffer eternall shipwracke: for hee that firmely beleeves, and perswades himselfe that there is such thoughts of peace in GOD towards him, as that mercy may bee had if it bee sought for, hee cannot easily desparie of finding mercy, if with care and diligence hee apply himselfe to the seeking of it; and hee that layes this foundation, that GOD will bee sought unto for the obtaining of those blessings which hee hath promised, hee cannot easily presume of finding mercy, while hee lives in the neglect of those meanes that lead unto it. And this is the principall end and scope (Right Honoura­ble) which these weake and unworthy la­bours of mine doe especially drive at: If they shall finde that acceptance with your Lordship, which they promise unto them­selves; and bee availeable (if but) to adde [Page] one little sparke more to that flame of de­votion, which already shineth forth so brightly in your honourable deportment; I shall thinke my selfe happy in the successe of this enterprise, and make it my daily suite and request at the throne of grace, that when you have finished your course with honour here on earth, you may bee glori­ously crowned with salvation in heaven: in the desire whereof I shall ever rest,

Your Honours Chaplaine in all duty and service, RICHARD MADEN.

THE PREFACE TO THE READER.

Gentle Reader,

THere is nothing more availeable for the rectifying of the judgment and understanding of a man in the mysteries of salvation, than a right apprehension and conceit, touching the will of God; to wit, what God is willing to doe for him, and what hee willeth and requireth him to doe for the obtaining of it. The cleare understanding of this, it rectifies a mans faith in matters to be beleeved, either concerning God, or himselfe: it regulates his obedience in things to be done, teaching him how to pray aright with confi­dence to be heard, and that is, when he asketh any thing according to the will of GodIohn 5.14., directing him to walk aright in the way of life; and that is, when he is neither mis-led in his way, nor negligent in his work, but applyes himselfe to God in a wise and or­derly cariage, suitable to that course of providence that he hath taken for his good.

[Page]Touching this will of God, there is something de­livered in this ensuing Treatise, by which every one may take a true scantling of the good will and affe­ction that God beares unto him, by those warme ex­pressions of love which he finds in the Gospell. Much more might have beene said in this argument, and perhaps in time may.

Mean while, for the preventing of all mistakes in that which is said already, be pleased (Courteous Reader) to take notice, that it is no part of my pur­pose and intention, in any part of these following dis­courses & meditations, to enter the lists of that dispute and controversie which is now in agitation amongst the learned Divines of the reformed Churches, touching the will of God in the decree of Election. The heat of that contention hath already troubled and disquieted the peace of the Church too much, and want of moderation in some on both sides, through the indiscreet handling, of that unsearchable depth, doth still beget ill bloud in the veins of that body, that should grow up unto an holy Temple in the Lord. As in all other Controversies, so in this, the right stating of the matter in question, helps much for the clearing of the truth; and if that be first done, (I hope) it willfully appeare, that the conclusion here maintai­ned touching the will of God, doth no wayes border upon that controversie; for the matter there in que­stion, is, Whether the decree of Election, as it is terminated, and pitched upon particular persons, be absolute, and irrespective, or out of a consideration of fore-seene faith and perseverance: that is, whether God doe equally will the salvation of all, and have [Page] no absolute and irrespective purpose of saving one more than another, before he looke at different qua­lifications in them. It is freely confessedAmes. Antisy­nodal. Amstelod. 1633. art. 3. & 4. pag. 130. Non est in quaestio­ne, utrum De­us verè sincere, seriò intendat hominis con­versionem; sed an pari modo intendat ac procuret om­nium, &c. qui­bus Evangeli­um praedicatur, conversionem ac salutem. by one that is no stranger to that controversie, nor any wayes par­tially addicted to the Lutheran side, but in his judge­ment and opinion strong enough against it, that the question of it be rightly stated, is not, whether God doe truely, sincerely, and seriously intend the conver­sion of that man whō he outwardly calls, but whether he do equally and indifferently intend & procure the conversiō & salvation of all those to whō the Gospel is preached; implying, that both sides agree upō this, that God doth seriously will the salvation of all those to whom he makes an offer and tendry of it in the mi­nistery of the Word; and that neither part main­tains any such decree or purpose in God, touching mans salvation, as is repugnant and contrary to that will of God which is revealed in the Gospell, but sub­ordinate unto it. And when he doth positively, and professedly set downeIbid. pag. 250. Asfirmamus Deum, non pari modo, & gradu, velle & operari ante­cedenter, con­versionem eo­rum, qui con­vertuntur, & qui non con­vertuntur. the position and conclusion which himself and others hold and maintain against their adversaries, hee makes this expression of it, namely, That God doth not antecedently will the conversion of such as die in their sins, after the same manner, and in the same degree as he doth the con­version of others, whom in time he converteth; nei­ther doth he work equally and indifferently in them both, but that by an antecedent purpose, independent upō any thing in the creature, he absolutely intēdeth, and so accordingly effectually procureth the conver­sion of some, leaving others, who lie equally in the same condition with them, and are no wayes inferior [Page] unto them, save onely in that previous purpose of speciall love, which he is pleased of himselfe, and for his owne sake, to shew to one more than to another. And this seems to be the mind of those learned Di­vines in the Synod of DortAct. Synodal. art. 2. reject. erro. 6. Qui impetra­tionis, et appli­cationis distin­ctionem usur­pant, ut incau­tis, &c. instillēt Deum, quantū ad se attinet, omnibus homi­nibus, ex aequo voluisse ea be­neficia cōferre, quae per mortē Christi acqui­runtur: quod autē quidā prae aliis, participes fiant remissio­nis peccatorū, et vitae aeternae, discrimen illud pendere, ex libe­ro eorū arbitri­o, se ad gratiam indifferenter oblatam appli­cante, non autē ex singulari mi­scricordiae do­no, efficaciter in illis operan­te, ut prae aliis gratiam illam sibi applicent., who speaking of the be­nefits of Christs death and passion, when they come to that distinction of impetration and application, they shew, that they doe not simply and altogether mislike it; and therefore they qualifie their censure thus farre, that they doe reject it onely in this sense, to wit, as it is used to further and lead in this con­clusion, that God, in respect of himselfe, is willing to bestow the benefits purchased by the death of Christ, equally and indifferently upon all; and that the rea­son why some are made partakers of remission of sins, & eternal life, rather than others, it is not primarily from any greater good will in God towards them, or any speciall mercy peculiarly shewed to them before others, but from their own freedome & liberty, wher­by they apply themselves to God more than others, in making after that grace and mercy which is indiffe­rently offered to both. From whence it appeares, that the matter in question amongst the learned, is onely touching the Decree of Election, how man is conside­red and looked upon, when God passeth that decree upon him, whether barely and nakedly, as abstracted from all qualifications and conditions which are re­quired in the covenant of grace, or cloathed and in­vested with such preparatorie gifts of grace, as doe by vertue of Gods promise, intitle him to eternall life. This question I purposely wave, and meddle not withall in this ensuing Treatise, but take that which [Page] is generally granted by the more moderate, and best learned on both sides: to wit, that all mankind are ca­pable of salvation, upon such terms and conditions as are expressed in the Covenant of grace: that is, if they repent of their sinnes, and beleeve in Christ, and that when God offers life and salvation to all and every one in the ministery of the Word, he is truely willing, and doth seriously intend to bestow the same upon thē, in that way that he hath commanded them to seek it, and according to that course of providence that he hath taken for their good: that is, if they will apply themselves unto him, and follow the counsell and di­rection that he gives them. And this, if I mistake not, is the general doctrine of the ancient Fathers, the learned Schoolmen, and many modern Divines: both Papists and Protestants, Lutherans and Calvinists, there is none that is well read & versed in their wri­tings, that can much doubt or question the judgement of any of them, save only of those who follow and im­brace Mr Calvins way, and build upon his foundati­on: and yet amongst them (over and besides those that are mentioned in the Treatise it selfe) these two or three testimonies may serve to shew that many of ve­ry good note amongst them, are clear in this point:

First, it appeares by Musculus in his Common pla­ces, that the redemption which is purchased by Christ, is upon some condition applyable to the whole world, and to every particular man from the first to the lastMuscul. loc. de redemp. generis humani. Profite­tur titulꝰ redēp­tionem generis humani, genus autem humanū cōplectitur non unam aut alterā gentem, sed mū ­dū universum, omnes videlicet totius orbis na­tiones, cunctos homines à pri­mo us (que) ad no­vissimum, &c. ergo quae hic in considerationē veniunt, perti­nent ad omnes homines: Scimꝰ non omnes fie­ri hujus redēp­tionis partici­pes, verum illo­rū perditio, qui non servantur, haud quaquam impedit, quo minus universalis vocetur redemptio, quae non est uni genti, sed toti mun­do destinata, &c. Quod illam homines reprobi non accipiant, neque defectu fit gratiae Dei, neque justum est, ut illa propter filios perditionis gloriam ac titulum universalis redemptionis amittat, cum sit parata cunctis, & omnes ad illam vocentur.: that is, according to the report made in the [Page] generall offer of it; for though all be not made par­takers of it, yet their ruine and destruction, which is of themselves, doth not any wayes prejudice or im­peach the generall good will of God towards man­kind, nor hinder, but that the benefit of redemption may be thus farre termed universall, as that it is in some sort intended for all, and upon some conditions appliable unto all: and he illustrates this by two simi­litudes: First, of the Sun, which may be said to send forth a generall light and influence into all places, and all creatures, and to make them fruitfull, though many of them remaine barren, because the defect and hinderance is not in the nature of the sun, but in other letts and impediments which hinder the effectuall working of it: Even so (saith he) it is with the re­demption purchased by Christ; that Reprobates and wicked men doe not receive it, it is not for want of good will in God towards them; nor through the de­fect of that grace he offereth to them, for it is prepa­red for all, and in the preaching of the Gospell are all invited to it: & therfore it is not fit that it should for­feit the title of a generall benefit, because the sons of perdition, through their owne fault, deprive them­selves of it: for as a Medicine may be said to be uni­versall, though it doe not actually cure all diseases, be­cause it hath such a vertue in it, that it would heale them, if it were rightly and orderly applyed unto them: Even so the bloud of Christ may be termed an universall medicine, because it hath sufficient vertue in it to heale the sins of the whole world, though it doe actually cure none, but such onely to whom it is applyed.

[Page]The other similitude which he bringeth for the illustration of this point, is drawne from a custome which was used amongst the Iewes, who in the yeare of Iubile, proclaimed a generall liberty to all ser­vants, whosoever would, might goe out free, though many remained still in their former bondage, refu­sing the benefit of liberty when it was freely offered and tendered unto them: even so in the Gospell, there is a Proclamation published of a generall pardon pur­chased by Christ, which is offered and tendered to all and every one, upon such conditions as are expressed in the Covenant of grace. The reason why many misse of it, is not for want of mercy in God, but because they are wanting to themselves, and doe not seek for it according to his will.

AnotherPaul. Testard. Synops. Doctr. de nat. & grat. thes. 298. Voluntas antecedens ge­neralis, est vo­luntas dandi Christum me­diatorem, vocā ­di ad commu­nionem Christi per media apta et in se suffici­entia, dandi ho­mini peccatori, posse si velit, servari. affirmes, that besides that special and particular good will which God beares to some, there is a generall good will which he beares to all, out of which he was moved to send Christ into the world, and out of a consideration, and for that, which Christ hath done and suffered, to crect and set up a throne of grace, and from thence to offer grace, and that by meanes which in themselves are apt, and some wayes sufficient to bring a man to life and happinesse, if they be not hindered by a carelesse neglect on his part.

And this is plainly delivered by another Au­thorAmes. Antisy­nod. p. 256. ar. 3. & 4 Seriam il­lam Dei inten­tionem quae re­quiritur ad me­diorum dispen­sationē, ab illa dispensatione non separamus. mentioned before, when he tells us, that the serious purpose and intention of God, which is requi­red to the outward meanes, is never to be separated from them; that is, in the administration of the out­ward meanes, there is alwayes a vertuall purpose in [Page] GodIbid. pag. 259. Non simplici­ter negamꝰ De­um intendisse in ipsis fidem efficere, est e­nim intentio quaedam Dei virtualis et in­terpretativa, fi­dem efficiendi in omni, medi­orum exhibiti­one, quae sua natura faciunt ad fidem inge­nerandam. Et paulo ante, Non negamus Deū vel intendisse efficere in ipsis quicquam per­tinens ad fidē: qualiscun (que) n. cognitio ista veritatis fuit, quam hauserūt ex concionibus Prophetarum: pertinebat ad fidem tanquam antecedens praerequisitum, et praeparatio, et Deus candem in illis efficiebat. of doing that, which the meanes in their owne nature lead unto. And again he doth freely acknow­ledge, that those generall helps which God affords to the men of this world, & those inferior gifts of the Spirit that he works in them, though they be but common works, and common graces, yet they doe in some sort belong to a saving and justifying faith, as previous dispositions preparing and making way for it, and that Gods purpose and intention in the wor­king of them, is to afford them some more generall helps, which they ought to make use of, for their fur­therance, in the way of their conversion: and there­fore God did seriously will their salvation.

I will adde but one witnesse more in this matter, and that is the testimony of a learned Professor in one of the Vniversities beyond the SeaJo. Camero. S. theol. in Academ. Salmuriensi Professor. tom. 3. praelect. in Misellan: de satisfactione Christi, pag. 575. Quomodo pro singulis est orandum, eodem modo singulorum salutem vult Deus, at pro singulis orandum est cum conditione, &c. Ibid. pag. 576. Ita describit nobis Scriptura, amorem Dei ante­cedentem, ut in eo gradus quosdam inesse doceat, &c. respectu primi gradus, Deus dicitur dedisse Christum pro vita mundi, velle omnium salutem, quatenus nimirum vocat omnes ad poenitentiam. Ibid. pag. 584. Rectius faciunt qui Christum pro impiis, sufficienter (ut loquuntur) satisfecisse docent, (quae mea sententia est) quan­quam sufficientiae vocabulum, mihi amplius quiddam videtur in hoc argumento sig­nificare, quam multi arbitrantur. Jbid pag. 577. Qui hominum amicitiam sibi student conciliare, ii movent quidem affectus, sed (quatenus fieri potest) beneficiis, precibus, hortationibus, significatione amoris, &c. quibus si nihil promovetur, penes eos est culpa, qui se flecti noluerunt: certè qui haec omnia adhibuit, et extra culpam est, et partibus suis ita defunctus est, ut nihil omisisse censeatur. Deus igitur, hominum more, cum hominibus et agit et loquitur, &c., who thus com­ments upon those words of the Apostle, God will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, &c. so as men are bound to pray for the salva­tion of all men, so doth God will it: that is, not abso­lutely, [Page] but conditionally; for whatsoever God abso­lutely willeth, that is alwayes effected, and cannot be hindered by any thing in the creature; but what he willeth onely upon condition, that may be hindered, because such as faile in the condition by a voluntary neglect, do thereby hinder and keep away good things from them. And thus should every one pray for the salvation of others, not absolutely that God would bring them to salvation, whether they repent or no, but that he would blesse the meanes unto them, and worke grace in them, whereby they may repent and turne unto him, in that way of obedience, that leads to life.

And againe, he sheweth that the Scripture doth so describe the antecedent love of God towards Man­kinde, as that there are certaine degrees of love to be acknowledged in it, whereof the first is more generall, and belongs to all, and out of this love he sends Christ into the world, to pay a sufficient price for the re­demption of all, and by that payment to make them capable of salvation, upon such conditions as are ex­pressed in the new Covenant: and out of this love it is that he wills the salvation of all, and so according­ly calls them to repentance, that they might be saved. As it is amongst men, he that useth all fitting and convenient meanes to gaine another mans good opi­nion of him, and to draw his love and affection to­wards him, and for that end, makes a signification of the good will and affection he beares him, and shews himselfe ready upon all occasions to doe any good of­fice for him; and withall, shews him such arguments and reasons, such motives and inducements, as are [Page] in their owne nature apt to perswade him thereunto, he may be truly said to desire his love and friendship; though he doe not prevaile with him for the obtai­ning of it, he hath sufficiently managed and officia­ted his part, without omitting of any thing that was fit and requisite for him to doe: and the fault and hinderance lies wholly in him that was so inflexible, that no meanes could prevaile with him, or move him to imbrace such a friendly motion. Even so the case stands betweene God and man, in respect of that generall good will and affection that God beares to him: God speakes unto him, and deales with him, as with a reasonable creature; and if he doe not prevail with him, the fault is not in God, or in the meanes that are used by him, but onely in man, who will not apply himselfe unto God, and serve his providence in that way and course that is taken for his good: and he illustrates this by two similitudes: First of the SunIbid. pag. 579. Sol 1ste, qui lu­cet omnibus, dormienti, aut sponte oculos claudenti, certè non lucet, nul­lo tamen solis vitio id accidit: sed illiꝰ qui so­lis beneficio non utitur. Ita Christus pro omnibus mor­tuus est, sed eos demum illa mors facit beatos, qui vera fide eam amplectuntur. Ibi. pa. 585. Captivos redemit quidam nihil minus cogitantes, pretiū numeravit, addidit hanc legē, si eorum quispiam libertatem, libertatisve authorem, aspernatus fuerit, eodem loco esto, ac si [...] non foret pro eo persolutum, ita finge, &c., which affordeth and sendeth forth suffi­cient light to all, and yet gives no light to those that wink with their eyes, and shut those windows against the light, not through any defect, or want of light in the Sun, but onely through his fault, who will not make use of that benefit which is afforded to him; so it is with the benefits of Christs death and passion, which though they be upon some condition applyable unto all; yet are they effectuall for the salvation of none, save onely those who doe imbrace and lay hold on them by a lively faith.

[Page]The other similitude he useth, is drawne from a cap­tive or bondslave, who hath a friend, who layes down such a summe of money for his ransome, but withall addes this caution, that he shall then come to enjoy the benefit of this Ransome, when he comes to acknow­ledge the kindnesse that such a friend hath done for him, and humbly sues, and seeks that he may enjoy it: but if he value his liberty at so low a rate, that he contemneth and despiseth that which hath beene done for him, then it is so ordered, that he shall be in the same place and condition with those that are not redeemed at all. Even so it is here, there is a suffici­ent price laid downe by Christ for the redemption of all Man-kinde: now if any one undervalue this mercy, and make light of it, he may be justly upbrai­ded with this benefit: and though he cavill and quarrell that hee is not redeemed, for as much as he still lies in prison, yet will this availe him little, because the reason why he continues still in prison, is not for want of a sufficient ransome to release him thence, but for want of looking after it: even so it is here; all men are by nature captives and bondslaves: Christ hath laid downe a sufficient price for their ransome, but with this caution, that the benefit of it shall accrue onely to such as doe repent of their sinnes, and beleeve in him.

The reason why so many misse of that benefit, is, because they will not beleeve in him, nor lay downe their weapons of rebellion, which they have taken up against him.

Now from all these testimonies, it is plaine and evident, that amongst those who are most opposite to [Page] the Lutherans opinion in the matter of Election, yet many of them doe so conceive of Gods purpose therein, as that it includes nothing in it contrary to that will which is revealed, and generally propounded in the Gospell. All sides grant, that life and salva­tion is generally offered to all in the new Covenant, and that God seriously intends to give it to all and every one, upon such conditions as are there expres­sed, and that is all I contend for in this ensuing Treatise.

Now that God may be said seriously to will the sal­vation of any, there are two things necessary:

1 That there be in God a reall purpose and inten­tion of giving life unto him.

2 That the conditions required for the obtaining of it, be some wayes possible, not by the strength of nature, or the power and ability of his own free-will, but by and through those gracious helps which are afforded unto him in the ministery of the Word.

To have made up the Treatise full and compleat, it had beene requisite to have handled this second point, which I could easily have supplyed, out of some notes and meditations that lie by me: and it was more than once in my thoughts so to have done; but my second thoughts resolved against it, because the laying open of that point, would require a larger dis­course than could well have beene concluded within the bounds or limits of a reason or proofe, (as here it must have been) as also in regard that the former point onely was insisted upon, when that Sermon was preached. If thou shalt receive any profit or benefit by that which is here delivered, it is that onely which I [Page] have principally endeavored and aymed at. If I misse of my purpose, and the successe be not answerable to my desire, yet let it finde that acceptance at thine hands, which thou art ready to afford to all such as unfainedly wish thy welfare.

And so I rest, Thine in our Lord and common Saviour, RI: MADEN.

REcensui librum hunc cui titulus est [Christs love and affection, &c.] in quo nihil reperio quò minùs cum utilitate publicâ imprimatur.

Sa. Baker R.P. Episc. Londin. Cap. domest.

A Table of the Contents in the severall Treatises which are here handled.

In the first observation touching Christs teares.

  • 1 CHrist had the same affections with other men, but with a twofold difference. pag. 4
  • 2 Jerusalem was besieged at that time of the yeare, and in that place where Christ be­gun to weepe for it. p. 5
  • 3 Foure remarkeable circumstances in the weeping of Christ. 6
  • 4 The reasons why Christ wept for Jerusalem. 8, 9
    • 1 To demonstrate the truth and sincerity of his love and affection towards her. 10
    • 2 To shew the serious wishes and desires hee had of her welfare. 12
    • 3 To let her see how unwilling hee was to bring upon her the deserved punishment of her disobedi­ence. 14
    • 4 To shew the hainousnesse of her sinne, and the greatnesse of her misery. 16
    • 5 To teach Jerusalem what shee ought to doe for her selfe. 18
The Vses to be made of the former point.
  • Vse 1. To weep for the sins of others, as Christ here did. 20
    • 1 Motives perswading every one so to doe.
      • 1 Because God is much dishonoured by them. 20, 21
      • [Page]2 Because it hath beene the generall practise of the Saints and servants of God. pag. 21, 22
      • 3 Because the condition of such as are in their sins is worthily to be lamented. 24
      • 4 Because it is a meanes to procure a place of re­fuge, and a sanctuary for a mans selfe. 25
    • Vse 2. To weepe for the miseries of others, after the ex­ample of Christ here. 27
    • It more concernes every one to weepe for the misery of others, than it did Christ; in foure re­spects. 27
    • Inducements to move every one to weepe for the miseries of others, drawne,
      • 1 From the Commandement of God requiring the same. 29
      • 2 From the sympathy and fellow-feeling that each one should have of anothers misery. 29, 32
      • 3 From the example of others both good and bad. 30, 31
    • Vse 3. To reprove every one that doth not lay to heart, and weepe for his owne sinnes. 33
    • 1 Amplified and pressed,
      • 1 From the hainousnesse of sinne, and that,
        • 1 In regard of the matter of it. 34
        • 2 In regard of the object or person against whom it is committed. 35
        • 3 In regard of the helps and meanes afforded to the contrary. 36
      • 2 From the example of the servants of God in former time. 36
      • 3 From the carriage of men in matters of the world. 37
      • 4 From the end for which teares were made, and whereunto they serve. 37
    • 2 Helpes to further a man in this duty of weeping for his sinnes.
      • 1 To get a broken heart. 39
      • [Page]2 Often to look on such objects as are apt to beget penitentiall teares. pag. 39
      • 3 To take the hint and occasion, when God makes the heart in a weeping case, and then to close with him. 41
    • 3. Motives inducing every one to weepe for his sinnes,
      • 1 Because Christ here is so plentifull,
        • 1 In shedding teares for the sinnes of others. 42
        • 2 Because God takes speciall notice of every teare that fals upon this occasion. 42
        • 3 Because God takes pleasure and delight in such teares.
        • 4 Because God will recompence and reward all such teares as are shed for sinne.
        • 5 Because it is better to weepe for sinne here than hereafter.

In the second observation touching the will of God in the matter of mans Salvation.

  • 1 Christ did seriously will the salvation of Jerusalem, even of that part that perished. 47
    • 1 Proved,
      • 1 By reasons out of the Text.
      • 2 By testimonies of other Scriptures.
  • 2 God doth seriously will the salvation of all those to whom it is offered. 50
    • 1 Proved,
      • 1 By Scripture.
      • 2 By reason.
        • 1 From the generality of the offer, which ap­peares, 60
          • 1 Because none but may claime salvation, if hee performe the condition. 63
          • 2 Because no other ground of faith but the ge­nerall offer 65
          • 3 Because else none should be guilty of refusing grace. 69
        • [Page]2 From the sinceritie of Gods meaning in it, which appeares,
          • 1 Because he appoints meanes for the obtaining of it. 72
          • 2 Because the meanes appointed are such as in their native tendency lead unto it. 76
          • 3 Because he is so earnest in pressing men to the acceptance of it. 79
          • 4 Because the offer is backed with a promise of good successe to such as seeke for it. 83
        • 3 From humane authority and testimony of the learned. 87
The Vses to be made of this Doctrine.
  • Vse 1. To reprove such as charge God foolishly to bee the cause of their destruction. 90
  • 2. To shew the the extreame folly of such as are unwilling to have life, when God is willing to give it. 97
    • Amplified,
      • 1 From the generality of the fault. 97
      • 2 The strangenesse of it. 98
      • 3 The hainousnesse of it, being highly displea­sing to God. 99
      • 4 The consequent of it, because it leaves a man without excuse. 100
  • 3 To encourage every one to seeke for life, and salvation. 104
    • And that,
      • 1 By laying this foundation, that God is both a­ble and willing to give him life. 106
      • 2 By building wisely upon it, and applying him­selfe to God in the use of the meanes. 107
      • And here a double care is required,
        • 1 To pitch upon the right meanes. 108
        • 2 So to use them as that they may be avai­leable [Page] for the obtaining of a blessing. pag. 110
    • In the right use of the meanes it is required,
      • 1 To use them as means, with subordination to God.
        • 1 Upon whose blessing the vertue and efficacie of all meanes doth depend. 110
        • 2 To use them diligently, which is seene
          • 1 In the frequency of the act. 111
          • 2 The fervency and intention of soule in doing of it. 112
        • 3 To use them entirely, so as no meanes appointed by God, be neglected. 113
        • 4 To use them seasonably, then especially when God goes before and makes way. 114
        • 5 To use them sincerely in obedience to God, and conscience of his duty. 115
        • 6 To use them constantly, not giving over before the blessing bee obtained. 116

In the third Observation touching the sinne, and misery of Ierusalem, in that shee did not know the things of Christ and the Gospell.

  • 1 Jerusalem did not know the things of the Gospell. 121
  • Amplified by shewing,
    • 1 Who they were that did not know, not all the inhabitants, but the greatest part. 122
    • 2 What knowledge it was they wanted,
      • 1 Not so much a litterall, and notionall know­ledge. 122
      • 2 As a lively, effectual, & actual knowledge. 123
  • 2 It was a great fault in Jerusalem, that shee did not know. 124
  • Amplified,
    • 1 Because she had more helps, and means of know­ledge. 125
    • 2 Because shee was more bound to know. 126
    • 3 Because both knowledge, and want of know­ledge [Page] in her, was of great consequence. pag. 127
  • 3 It was a great part of Jerusalems misery that shee did not know. 128
    • 1 Because it opened a gap to her future sinne, and further punishment. 128
    • 2 Because it made her senslesse of her owne dan­ger. 129
    • 3 Because it makes her abuse the patience of God, which ever breaks out into greater wrath afterward. 130
The Vses to be made of this Doctrine.
  • Vse 1. To reprove all those who are guilty of the same fault. 132
    • Such are those who refuse Christ when hee comes unto them,
      • 1 In the Ministery of the Word. 133
      • 2 In the motions of his Spirit. ibid.
      • 3 In the workes of his Providence in mercies, and judgements. ibid.
      • 4 In his poore members. 134
  • 2 To shew that the circumstance of the person doth much aggravate the quality of the offence. 134
    • 1 In regard of the place he sustaines 135
    • 2 In regard of the parts and abilities where­with he is indued. ibid.
    • 3 In regard of the relation hee hath to others. ibid. & 136
  • 3 What to thinke of those who know as little of their misery, as Jerusalem did. 137
    • 1 They are more secure and senslesse of danger.
      • 1 Than any Creature upon earth. 138
      • 2 Than the Devils and damned spirits. 140
    • 2 Their danger nearest, when they are most se­cure. 141
    • Proved by the time when they doe most se­curely [Page] give themselves to sinfull pleasures.
      • 1 When God is silent, and seemes to winke at their sinnes. pag. 142
      • 2 When the world smiles upon them, and fils their lap with all secular contentments. 144

In the fourth Observation touching the day of grace.

  • 1 What the day of grace is, and why every one must account it for his day. 148, 149
  • 2 What be the particulars which are comprehen­ded under this day. 150
  • 3 The Lords day how that is to be husbanded and improved. 151
  • 4 Seasons and occasions of doing and receiving good, how to be layd for, and laid out. 152
  • 5 In the day of health and prosperity provision is to be made against the time of need. 154
  • Urged from the examples,
    • 1 Of the Pismire, that prepareth her meat in summer. 154
    • 2 Of men who mend the high wayes in Sum­mer. 155
    • 3 Of Joseph who laid up store of provision in the yeares of plenty. 155
  • 6 The day of youth being well ordered, hath a great influence into the whole conversation. 156
  • Amplified by the similitude,
    • 1 Of a vessell that long tasteth of the first li­quor it receives. ibid.
    • 2 Of an arrow that flies as it is directed at first. ibid.
    • 3 Of a bowle or stone whose motion must bee ordered while it is in the hand. ibid. 157
    • 4 Of a tree which is dead in winter, if it doe not bud in the spring. ibid. 157
  • Motives to perswade every one to lay out himselfe in the day of youth.
    • [Page]1 Because this is the time of sowing that seed, that must yeeld a crop afterward. pag. 157
    • 2 Because age is not a time of seeking, but of en­joying comfort. ibid.
    • 3 Because God requires it, as hee did the first borne under the law. 158
    • 4 Because it is as the first fruits, procuring a blessing upon all the rest. ibid.
  • 7 Every one should lay out himselfe while it is called to day. 158
    • 1 Because the present day is the day of salvati­on. 159
    • 2 Because many good purposes are lost, for that they are not presently followed. ibid.
    • 3 Because just with God to cut thee short of thy expectation of a future day, when thou neglectest the present. ibid.
    • 4 Because it is Sathans policie, under the pre­tence of the present day, to rob thee of thy whole time. 160
    • 5 Because if the present day bee neglected, the next is uncertain. ibid.
  • 8 The day of grace reacheth not beyond the time of this present life. 160
    • If mercy be not sought and obtained in this life, it is lost for ever. 161
      • As Commodities that must bee taken in, be­fore the faire be ended. 161
      • As Manna that was to bee gathered onely on the sixe dayes. 161
      • As the tree yeelds no more fruit after it be cut downe. ibid.
The Vses to be made of the former Doctrine.
  • Vse 1. To exhort every one to lay out himselfe in this day. 163
    • Amplified,
      • 1 By examples, sacred and prophane. ib.
      • [Page]2 By reason.
        • 1 Because account must bee given for every houre spent idlely. 164
        • 2 Because as every one deales with God in this day, so will God deale with him in his day. ibid.
      • Motives to perswade every one to lay out himselfe in this day. 164
        • 1 Because the day is not yet past, and therefore it is a thing possible to bee done. 165
        • 2 Because it is no long time of seeking that is required, onely for a day. ibid.
          • Amplified,
            • 1 By the damned spirits, what they would doe if they were alive againe. 166
            • 2 By the devill, who bestirres himselfe the more, because his time is short. ibid.
        • 3 Because an eternall weight of weale or woe lies upon it.
        • 4 Because one day well spent, hath more sweet­nesse in it, than a thousand dayes that are consumed in the pleasure of sinne. 167
          • 1 Because there is sweetnesse in the action of well doing, 168.
          • 2 Because he reapes the crop and harvest of it in sweet meditations afterward. ibid.
        • 5 Because it is the wisest course, that any one can take for himselfe. 168
          • 1 Because the chiefest commoditities in which a Christian deales, are currant onely in this day. ibid.
          • 2 Because it brings with it present profit, and future income. 169
  • Vse 2. To exhort every one to set forward betimes be­fore the day of grace be too farre spent. 170
    • Pressed,
      • 1 By examples of such as have done it. ibid.
      • [Page]2 By reasons.
        • 1 In regard of the shortnesse of the day, and the length of the journey. pag. 171
        • 2 In regard of the nature of the day. 173
        • For,
          • 1 It is of a fluent nature, alwayes passing and flitting away. ibid.
            • As the Oyle in the Lampe continually wasting. ibid.
            • As the sand in the houre-glasse, continu­ally running. ibid.
          • 2 It is carried with so swift a sayle, that it seemes rather to flie, than runne. 174
          • 3 It passeth away insensibly, whether it be discerned or no. 174
          • 4 The best part of it goeth away soonest, as in wine. 175
          • 5 None can tel how much of it is yet to come, or how soone it will end. 176
          • 6 If this day bee once ended, there never comes a new day for the finding of mercy. 178
      • 3 In regard of the danger which doth accompa­pany the delay hereof.
        • 1 Because there is an uncertainty of the day, and meanes of grace, how long they will conti­nue. 179
        • 2 Because there is an uncertainty of the time to come, upon which hee dependeth. 181
        • 3 An uncertainty of those good motions and gracious helpes which now hee hath. 183
          • 1 Because the spirit will not alwayes strive with man. ibid.
          • 2 Because delay in this kinde, it makes e­very one a loser. ibid.
            • For, 1 It may be he shall never have such a kindy impression and motion of the spirit any [Page] more. pag. 183
            • 2 The oftner that grace is refused, the more difficultie wil there be in the obtaining of it. 184
            • 3 The more that the spirit is resisted, the more weakly and sparingly doth it worke. 184
            • 4 The longer a man delayes, the more hard and obdurate will his heart grow. ibid.
      • 4 In regard of the folly and impiety that accom­panies this delay. 184
        • 1 Folly.
          • 1 Because he had rather continue sick, than be presently healed. 185
          • 2 Because it provokes God to cut him short of his expectation. 186
          • 3 Because the longer it is delayed, the more labour and paines it will require. ibid.
        • 2 Impiety.
          • 1 Because in so doing he shewes lesse care for his soule, than for his body. 187
          • 2 Because he makes God waite upon his leisure. ibid.
  • Vse 3. An exhortation to redeeme the time out of the hands of usurping tyrants. 188
    • Likewise merchants, who are sparing and provi­dent in hard times. ibid.
    • 1 What time it is that must bee redeemed, and how. 189
      • 1 Time past redeemed by repentance, for the ill peny-worths that have beene made of it. ibid.
      • 2 Time to come redeemed, by laying in for it before hand, that it may come to his hands. ib.
      • 3 Time present redeemed.
        • 1 By setting it at liberty from those usurping tyrants, 1. that eate up all the good hours of most men. 190
        • [Page]2 By laying it out upon those occasions for which it was given. ibid.
    • 2 Motives to redeeme the time.
      • 1 Because what ever hee lay out for it, hee shall bee no looser, but an infinite gainer. 191
      • 2 Because time is precious.
        • 1 Because a little time is worth eternity. ibid.
        • 2 Because none can have more than one minute of time at once. ibid.
  • Vse 4. To reprove such as lose and lavish out the time and day of grace. 192
    • Amplified,
      • 1 From the worth of this day, which appeares.
        • 1 By the example of the damned spirits. ibid.
        • 2 By the teares of Christ. 193
        • 3 By the damage that insues upon the neglect of it. ibid.
        • 4 By the rarenesse of it, because it is not to bee repurchased with all the Jewels under heaven. ibid.
        • 5 By the infinite gain and advantage that might be made of it. ibid.
        • 6 By the nature of the losse, which is an irreco­verable losse. 194
      • 2 From the shortnesse of it, because it is not so long, that any part of it need to bee lost. 194
      • Which is further inlarged.
        • 1 From the greatnesse of the worke to be done in it. 195
        • 2 From the practise of some heathen and o­thers, who have beene sparing and provident here­in, and are still in matters of lesse worth. ib. & 196
        • 3 From the practise of those who are most sa­ving and thrifty in the husbanding of it, and yet lose a great part of it. 197
          • 1 In meere idlenesse, and doing nothing. ibid.
          • [Page]2 In doing that which is evill, and worse than nothing. ib.
          • 3 In matters impertinent, and upon the by. ib.
            • 1 In wandring and roving thoughts. ib.
            • 2 In idle words and vaine speeches. ib.
            • 3 In needlesse and unprofitable actions. 198
      • 3 From arguments disswading from the prodigall expence of time, and motives inducing to prevent this losse. 198
        • 1 Because time is all that can bee properly ter­med a mans owne, and therefore by losing that, he loseth all that he hath. 198
        • 2 Because there are many incidentall occasions that take away much of it, even from those that are most carefull in looking to it. ib.
        • 3 Because God takes a course to make men ashamed of this losse. ib.
          • 1 By the example of heathens, who would not lose so much time from the service of their Idols. 200
          • 2 By the bruite beasts, which know and ob­serve their appointed times. ib.

In the fifth Observation, touching the things that belong to every mans peace.

  • 1 What is meant by peace. pag. 204
  • 2 What be the things that belong to a mans peace. ibid.
  • 3 How Christ and the Gospell procure and fur­ther a mans peace. 205
  • 4 There is a threefold peace that comes with Christ and the Gospell. ib.
Touching peace with God.
  • 1 Christ layes the foundation of this peace, and how. pag. 206
  • 2 The Gospell is a Charter of this peace, and the Covenant of grace, a covenant of peace. 207
    • 1 Because it declares the foundation of peace that Christ hath laid. ibid.
    • 2 Because it offers conditions of peace to men. ibid.
    • 3 Because it guides their feet in the way of peace. ib.
    • 4 Because it keepes the heart and minde in a peaceable estate with God. pag. 208
    • 5 It brings a man to the full fruition of ever­lasting peace. ibid.
Touching peace within, in a mans owne soule.
  • 1 Christ settleth peace in the Conscience. 209
    • 1 By opening the eye of the soule to see that God is reconciled. 209
    • 2 By giving a sense and feeling of that inward sweetnesse that accompanies the estate of peace, and reconciliation. ibid.
  • 2 The Gospell workes this peace of conscience, and how. 210
  • 3 Christ and the Gospell worke peace of con­tentment. 211
    • 1 By teaching a man throughly to deny him­selfe. 212
    • 2 By an orderly reducing of all the powers of the soule into their right place. ib.
    • 3 By pitching the whole bent of the soule upon God. 213
    • 4 By becalming the windes of distempered pas­sions within. 214
Touching peace with others.
  • 1 A generall peace through all the world at the birth of Christ. 215
  • 2 Peace on earth, a blessed fruit of Christs birth. pag. 216
  • 3 The Gospell is the strongest tie and obligation for peace amongst men. 217
    • Like Morter which makes the stones lie firme in the building. 218
  • 4 None more peaceable than true Christians. 218
  • Vse 1. To ingratiate the things of Christ and the Gospell to every one. 219
    • For peace,
      • 1 It sweetens all other blessings. ib.
      • 2 All a man hath is unblessed without it. 220
      • 3 It is a blessing desired of all. ib.
      • 4 God is stiled the God of peace, and Christ the Prince of peace. 221
      • 5 It is a blessing of an unknowne worth. 222
  • Vse 2. A rule of direction how to get peace. 224
    • That is, to seeke it,
      • 1 In the right place, that is, in the house of God. 224
      • 2 In the right way, that is, the way of obedience. 225
      • 3 Of the right owner, aske it of God by prayer. ib.
  • Vse 3. A touchstone of tryall, whether his peace bee of a right stampe or no. 229
    • Signes of it.
      • 1 If he have been first humbled with the Law. 230
      • 2 If the Word speake peace unto him, as well as God. 231
      • 3 If it be wrought leisurely, and by degrees. 234
      • 4 If it bee accompanied with these fruits and ef­fects. 236
        • [Page]1 A greater care to please God, and feare to offend him. ibid.
        • 2 A loving and peaceable carriage towards men. 237
        • 3 An irreconcileable warre with all sinfull lusts. 238
  • Vse 4. To shew the woefull condition of such as are e­nemies to Christ and the Gospell. 240
    • 1 Because they are at warre with heaven. ib.
    • 2 Because if they have any peace, it is a false peace, of their owne making. ib.
      • For,
        • 1 It will awaken into horror and amazment. 241
        • 2 It is a signe that Sathan hath quiet possession of all. ib.
  • Vse 5. To shew the happy estate and condition of those that imbrace Christ and the Gospell. 243
    • For the peace which they have with it brings foure singular priviledges to them. ib.
      • 1 Boldnesse and confidence in their approaches unto God. 243
      • 2 Freedome from armies of feares and doubts. 244
      • 3 A sweetning of all conditions to them. 245
      • 4 A willingnesse to leave the world, and imbrace death. ib.

In the last observation, touching the misery of those who have the things of Christ and the Gospell hid from them.

  • 1 From whom they are hid. 246
  • 2 How, and in what respect they are hid. 247
    • 1 By the naturall blindnesse and ignorance that is in them. ib.
    • 2 By a voluntary neglect of their owne. ib.
    • [Page]3 By the just judgement of God. pag. 248
  • 3 By whom they are hid. 249
    • 1 By Sathan, who blindeth their eyes. 249
    • 2 By themselves, who winke with their eyes. 250
    • 3 By God, who as a just Judge, gives them up to it. 250
    • 4 The reasons why they are hid. 251
      • 1 By their naturall blindnesse, because they wholly depend upon divine and supernaturall re­velation. 251
      • 2 By a voluntary act of their owne, because they will not see them. 252
      • 3 By God, because they are worthy of that pu­nishment. 252
  • Vse. A glasse to shew the men of the world the miserable face of their estate. 252
    • 1 Because these are the only things that can make them happy. 253
    • 2 Because they are uncapable of better things, while they are hid. 253
    • 3 Because if they be now hid, they shall be hid for ever. 254

CHRISTS LOVE AND AFFECTION towards JERUSALEM.

LUKE 19.41, 42.

And when he came neere and beheld the City, hee wept for it, saying, Oh if thou hadst known, at least in this thy day, &c.

CHAP. 1.

The division of the Text, and the explication of the former part.

THe Evangelist having set down the joyfull acclamations wherewith Christ was enter­tained in his progresse to­wards Jerusalem;Coherence. he shewes here, how hee was affected with it, that is, that he was so far from being lifted up with vaine glory and po­pular applause, that while they sing, he laments; while they rejoyce, he weepes; while they seeke by all meanes to honour him, hee doth nothing but complaine of them. So that the words con­tain [Page 2] Christs lamentation over Jerusalem,The Analysis or resolution of the Text. where­in there are two things considerable: 1. His ca­riage and deportment towards her, He wept. &c. 2. His words and speeches of her, saying, Oh if thou, &c. Christ hath words to speak to Jerusa­lem, as well as teares to spend upon her; those silent teares wanted not their force and efficacie, to make Jerusalem sensible of her condition, and to be more deepely affected with her owne mi­sery; yet because there is also in a lively voice, a powerfull kinde of Rhetoricke, to worke upon the affections; that Christ might the better pre­vaile with Jerusalem, he joynes them both toge­ther, He wept, saying, &c. By his teares he speaks to her eyes, and lets her see his love; by his words he speaks to her understanding, and lets her know his minde; hee workes upon the eye, which is the window of the soule; he works up­on the eare which is the doore of the heart, and shewes by both, how willing he is to get within her, and to take up his lodging there.

1. In the carriage and deportment of Christ towards Jerusalem, you may take notice of three things: 1. Of the action it selfe, what it was that hee did, He wept. 2. Of the time and place, where and when he did it, When he drew neere and beheld the City. 3. Of the cause why he did it, and that was for the estate and condition of Jerusalem, He wept for it.

2. In the words and speeches of Christ, of and to Jerusalem, you may observe two things: 1. A passionate and patheticall wish or complaint, [Page 3] Oh if thou hadst known, &c. 2. A positive assertion or affirmation, But now are they hid, &c. 1. There is a passionate and patheticall wish or complaint, wherein Christ complaines of that was wanting in Jerusalem, and wishes it had beene otherwise with her, and in this ye may consider two things also: 1. The manner of his speech, Oh if thou hadst knowne, &c. 2. The matter of it, or the ob­ject about which it is conversant, and that is knowledge; which is further amplifyed, 1. By the circumstance of time, At least in this thy day: 2. By the worth and quality of the object, or thing to be knowne, The things that belong to thy peace. 2. There is a positive assertion or affirma­tion, wherein Christ shews to Jerusalē, what her present estate & condition then was, But now are they hid frō thine eyes: That is, because she would not see them when in the day of grace they were clearly set before her, and offered unto her; therefore now are they hid from her eyes, that she could not see them.

To begin with the first of these, to wit,1. Christs acti­on: He wept the carriage and deportment of Christ towards Je­rusalem, and therein first of the action it selfe, He wept. Some have thought it unseemly for Christ to weep, asLib. qui inscri­bitur Ancoratꝰ pa. ed. grae. 482. [...] &c. Epiphanius hath observed long since, and therefore have blotted that word out of the Originall, fearing, lest it might somewhat abate, and take away from the honor and estimation of his person; but that learned Father doth well oppose that rash attempt, both by the authority of the most ancient Copies; as also of Irenaeus, a [Page 4] most ancient Writer, who from this place proves the truth of Christs humanity, against such as de­nyed the same; and indeed, if Christ had a true humane nature, it cannot be supposed that hu­mane affections are unseemly for him; and there­fore the Scripture makes mention of other affe­ctions in Christ, as well as this; and of this also in other places more than once; and therefore it may not be thought unseemly for Christ to weep: as he had the same nature with man, so likewise the same affections with him: onely with this difference, 1. That these affections of joy, griefe, &c. as they were in Christ, they were fully, and absolutely in his owne power, he was absolute Lord of them; nothing could force him to grieve, or weepe, unlesse himselfe pleased so to doe: but these passions and affections in us, they are not wholly in our own power, but arise some­times in us, when wee are most unwilling to be moved, and stirred with them. 2. These affe­ctions as they were in Christ, they were without the least admixture of any sinfull distemper: na­turall and unblameable affections, as the Histori­an calls themEuagr. Scho­last. l. 4. ca. 39. [...]., like pure and cleare water: but in us, now since the fall of man, they are like mud­dy water, not without some sinfull distempers, in­termingled with them.

The time & place.2 The time, and place, where, and when hee wept, When he drew neare and beheld the Citie; it was before he came into the Citie, & yet in such a place where he might have a full sight, and view of it; and that was upon Mount Olivet, from [Page 5] whence he descended and came downe to Ieru­salem; and it is worth the noting, as one observes well,Lucas Brugen. in loc. Obser­vatione digna res est, quod Romani eodē in loco, c [...]stra ponere, & eo­dem fere dic ci­vitatē obsidere coeperunt, quo Iesus praedixit, ac deflevit, visae excidium. Vide Ioseph. de bello Iud. l. 6. c. 3. & 4 that it was in that very place where the Romans first pitched their Tents when they en­camped against Jerusalē; & about the very same time, a little before the feast of the Passeover. To the eye of the body, the city of Ierusalem it might appeare as a goodly pile of building, apt to beget admiration in the beholders, as it did in the Disciples, which said to Christ, Master, see what stones and goodly building is here Mat. 13.1.: but to Christ, who beheld it not so much with the eye of the body, as with that all-seeing eye of his Dei­ty or Godhead; by which eye he looked on the Inhabitants, and saw the inward frame and disposition of their hearts, and their secret con­sultations, whereby they plotted and conspired his death, and brought the guilt of his blood up­on them: to this eye (I say) it appeares to bee a Cage of uncleane birds, and a very sinke of all filthinesse and abomination, as the Historian. speakesEgesip. li. 4. c. 6. Omnium flagi­tiorum sentina. of it; and therefore Christ foreseeing that the sinnes of Jerusalem would draw her ene­mies upon her, who in this very place, and about this time of the yeare, would begin to incampe against her; there, and then doth he begin to weepe for her.

3 The cause why he wept:The cause why he wept. It may well be sup­posed there was good cause why hee did it, else he would not have done it; especially so and in such manner as he did: for women and children to weepe it is no wonder; it is both easie and ordinary [Page 6] with them to put the finger in the eye, and to wring out a few teares; but for men to weepe, men that are wise, grave, valiant, magnani­mous, as Christ was, it commonly argues, that there is some more than ordinary occasion for it. And there bee foure circumstances in this wee­ping of Christ, that shew it to be a matter of sin­gular observation.

1 If he looke upon the person, who it is that weepes, and that is Christ; and it was not ordina­ry for Christ to weepe: ye doe but read of three times that Christ wept in all the ScriptureEstius Annot. in loc. pag. 877. & Hugo Cardin. in locum. Cresol. Anthol. sacra pag. 23 3. Flevit ad Laza­ritumulum ad solandam illā afflictam fami­liam, quae alie­no funere pro­pē exanimaba­tur; flevit in cruce, non ob dolorum suorū magnitudinem et acerbitatem: sed contempla­tione exitiorū, in quae Iudaei, et alii perfidio­si, contempto purputeo illo sanguine, mun­di pretio, debe­bant incurrere; flevit super in­gratā civitatē, cui pestum in­dies cunti, et maleficio con­taminatae, in­fensi numinis telum immine­bat., first, at Lazarus funerallJohn 11.35.; and that was to shew how deeply he was affected with a sense and feeling of death, and mortality, and other miseries that sin brought into the world. Secondly, at the time of his sufferingHeb. 5.7.; Hee offered up prayers, and sup­plications, with strong cries and teares to him that was able to helpe him: and this was out of a consideration, wherein he did foresee, that the greatest part of mankinde would bee little or no better for that redemption that he purchased at so deare a rate: And thirdly, here upon the sight of Jerusalem: and if we may judge of this last by the two former, it must needs bee granted that there was good cause for it, because those were both upon speciall occasions.

2 If yee looke upon the manner of Christs weeping, it will appeare to be a matter of singular observation; for these teares, they were not ex­torted from him against his will, but they were voluntary teares, teares which he shed freely and [Page 7] willingly, of his owne accord, by his owne con­sent, with mature judgement and deliberation. Sad occasions they doe indeed somtimes wring teares from the sonnes of men, because in them the will hath not a plenary power over the affe­ctions; but it was not so with Christ, no teares fell from his eyes, but onely voluntary teares, such as were fully and altogether in his owne power, and therefore it is a matter of more observation, that hee would thus weepe upon set purpose as it were, and by speciall choise.

3 If ye look upon the place where he wept, there is some thing in that; for it was not in a secret Closet, like Ioseph, who gets himself into a private chamber, and there weeps Gen. 43.30.: but it was in a publike assembly, in a great throng and concourse of people; a place, in the judgement of reason, no wayes fit or seasonable for such an action; and therefore why Christ would make choise of that place, thus, and there to weepe, it is surely a matter worth the while, to enquire and finde out the cause of it.

4 If yee looke upon the time when it was that Christ thus wept; there is matter of observation in that: for it was not in a sad and gloomy day of humiliation, when every eye sheds forth teares, and all faces gather blacknesse; but in a solemne day of publike rejoycing; and that all for his sake, occasioned by his presence amongst them, when there was such a joy amongst the people, that some spread their garments in the way, o­thers cut downe branches from the trees; the [Page 8] whole company going before, and comming af­ter cryed, Hosanna, blessed is hee that commeth in the name of the Lord: that hee who was the cause of all this joy, should thus weep, and at that very time shed forth teares, in such abundance, it cannot but suggest matter of wonder and ad­miration to him that doth but seriously thinke upon it; and therfore as Hazael, when he sees the man of God looke stedfastly upon him, with wee­ping eyesKing. 8.12., he puts forth the question, saying, Why doth my Lord weepe? so when yee heare of Christ his carriage and deportment towards Jerusalem, ye may well demand the reason, why did he thus weepe for it? was it because those stately palaces, which now towred up so high toward heaven, should within a few yeares lie in the dust? Sure­ly, it could not but pity a man to see such a good­ly pile of building, utterly demolished and made even with the ground, yet it was not that wch fet­ched tears from the eyes of ChristStel. Comment. in loc. Nō diru­endos muros, non subverten­da aedificia de­plorat Domi­nus, sed caecita­tē civium, ani­marum interi­tum et jacturā.; he lamented more the losse of their soules, than their tempo­rall ruineDion. Carthus. in loc. Magis planxit subversionē anima [...]ū, quam ruinam parietum.: or was it the foresight of that shame­full and ignominious death which hee was ere long to suffer upon the Crosse that drew teares from him? surely hee was not ignorant that the Rulers of Jerusalem would plot and contrive his death, and take away his life; yet that was not the cause why he wept, because he laid downe his life willingly, and made himselfe a sacrifice for the sinnes of the world; but it was the estate and con­dition of Jerusalem, as it now stoodLucas Brug. in loc. Conside­rans unâ ex parte civium ingratitudinem altera ex parte mala ipsis im­minentia, indu­it affectum cō ­dolentiae hujus­modi qui la­chrymas ipsi excusserit. in regard of her present sinne, and her future misery, that [Page 9] makes him thus to weepe for her, because her e­state and condition was truely lamentable, and yet she neither sensible of her danger, nor appre­hensive of her sinne; this was it that drew teares from his eyes.

CHAP. 2.

The reason why Christ wept.

Doct. 1 THe conclusion which naturally resulteth and ariseth out of the premises thus laid open, and unfolded, is this: That when Christ considered and beheld the estate and condition of Jerusalem in regard of her present sinne, and future misery, it drew teares from his eyes, and made him to weepe for her; and there were divers reasons and considerations moving him so to doe: More par­ticularly and especially these that follow; name­ly, to demonstrate the truth and sincerity of his love and affection to her, to shew the serious wishes and desires hee had of her welfare, to let her see how unwilling hee was to bring upon her the deserved punishment of her disobedience, had not her sinne and his owne justice in a man­ner compelled him to it; to make her sensible of the hainousnesse of her sinne, and the greatnesse of her misery; and last of all, to teach her by his example, what she ought to doe for her selfe.

1 To demonstrate the truth and sincerity of his love and affection to her, in that hee could weepe at the very thought of her misery, whom [Page 10] he knew to be a deadly enemy to him. The Ivy which embraceth other things,Crysol. Anthol. sacra pag. 233. which cleaveth unto them, and claspeth so fast about them, that it will not easily let goe his hold, is said to weepe and shed teares, and it may bee a fit embleme of love and charity; which the more affectionately it cleave to any, the more ready it is to weepe and shed tears for him, as Christ did here for his ene­mies. To weepe for the misery and misfortune of a friend, common humanity teacheth every one to doe it; but to weepe for an enemy, it ar­gues not onely goodnesse of nature, but also a­bundance of love: corrupt nature would rather have rejoyced and beene glad of such an occasi­on, than found out matter of weeping for it; but Christ, to shew the truth and sincerity of his love and affection towards Jerusalem, he melts him­selfe into teares, so soone as her woefull estate and condition offers and presents it selfe to his thoughts. When the Jewes saw him weepe for Lazarus John 11.35. death, they could easily make this col­lection, Behold how he loved himProverb. Grae­cum. [...].; and he that lookes on the teares which the sight of Jerusa­lem drew from the eyes of Christ, what other conclusion can he inferre but this? Behold how hee loved her. When Iosephs affection was infla­med towards his brethren, it melts his eyes into fountaines of teares; he could not forbeare wee­ping, and therefore he makes haste to get him­selfe into a private Chamber, where this passion of love might more freely vent it selfeGen. 43.30.: so Christ here, it pities him to thinke of the ashes [Page 11] and ruine of Jerusalem, hee is moved with love and compassion towards her; and this love it empties it selfe into teares, and makes him weepe forCornel. I ansen comment in loc. Observandum quanta charita­te, civitatem ingratam, & se persequentem prosecutus fue­rit cùm inter tot faustas po­puli aggratula­tiones mala ci­vitati ob ipsius coecitatem ob­ventura, re co­gitans, adeò est misericordia commotus, ut etiam lachry­mas profuderit, non super se occidendum, sed super illam & propter illi­us exitium. her. When a man suffers all manner of wrongs and injuries from his enemies, and is yet content not onely to passe by those wrongs, and put up those injuries, but also to weepe for the mi­sery of the parties that offered the same unto him; this, it argues a high degree and measure of love: so it was here with Christ; never any that suffered more wrongs and injuries at the hands of the Jewes, than he did; yet such is his love unto them, that he is content, not onely to for­get all that is done, but even out of a bleeding heart to shed forth teares for the sinne and mise­ry of those that did it: in him (if ever in any) was fulfilled that of the PsalmistPsal. 137.5, 6., If I forget thee O Ierusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; yea, if I doe not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roofe of my mouth; If I preferre not Ierusa­lem to my chiefest joy. When David fled from his ungracious sonne Absolon, hee climbes up to Mount Olivet, and there hee weepes, every step hee takes he sheds forth teares 2 Sam. 15.30.; not so much for the losse of his Kingdome, as the unnaturall carriage of his Sonne towards him; for when his King­dome was restored, the death of his sonne did still so deeply affect him, that he bewailes it with many teares,2 Sam. 18.33. O my sonne Absolon, my sonne, would God I had dyed for thee, O Absolon my sonne, my sonne: So Christ hee weepes here, not for his approaching Death and Passion, which hee did [Page 12] foresee, but for the unnaturall carriage of the Jews towards him, who Absolon-like, rebelling a­gainst him, saying, We will not have this man raign ever us Luc. 19.14., did thereby pull upon themselves that inevitable wrath and indignation, that could not but make any heart to bleed, that had a true sight and apprehension of it; as for his death and Passion he did willingy undergoe it: He laid down his life, no man took it away from him, but of his owne accord hee laid it downe Iohn 10.18.; therefore it was onely out of his love to Jerusalem, that hee thus wept and shed teares for her. Wee reade indeed of Iulius Caesar, that when hee saw the Head of Pompy his enemy that was slaine in the warre, he wept at the sight of it; and Scipio Affricanus Crysol Anthol. sacra pag 234. Adeò colla­chrymatus est, ut fumantes adhuc cineres, florentissimae quondam ur­bis, oculorum flumine restin­guere velle vi­deretur. when hee saw the flames of Carthage ascending upward, it drew teares from his eyes; hee could not looke upon it with dry cheekes: These in­deed were tokens and testimonies of ingenuous and heroicall spirits, that could be touched thus with compassion towards others; yet all this did arise out of a consideration reflecting on them­selves, because they saw in these examples what might have beene their owne condition: there was some mixture of selfe-love in it; but Christ was no wayes subject to such change and alterati­on of humane affaires, further than himselfe plea­sed to submit himself unto them; and therefore it was out of pure love that hee was thus touched with the misery of Jerusalem, and wept for it.

2 To shew the serious wishes and desires hee had of her welfare; for these teares of Christ [Page 13] they are not Crocodile tearesPlin Hist. nat. l. 18. cap. 25., who first weepes over a man, and then devoures him; nor like the teares of hypocrites, dissembling, lying, fained teares; but such as declare the truth of his thoughts and intentions, for the good of Jerusa­lem; he did not delude her, nor dally with her, when he offered life and salvation to her; but his intentions were serious, as appeares by this, if there were nothing else to shew it, because hee weepes, and sheds teares for the refusall of it, which plainely shews that he was much agrieved, that they should sell away his rich mercy, and their owne salvation at so low a rate: for teares they are ambassadors sent from a bleeding heart; they are as it were the very blood of a sorrow­full souleCyp. l. 2. ep. 7. Lachrymae sunt Legati do­loris. J. Brent. Com. in Iohan. cap. 11. Lachrymae sunt sanguis animi vulnerati.; that is, signs to shew that the heart is deeply affected wth grief, & bleeds within; so that although Christ had not any absolute & irrespe­ctive purpose of bringing those to salvation that perished in their sins; yet he was truly willing that they should have life upon such termes and con­ditions as it was offered unto them in the ministe­ry of the Word, & the Covenant of grace; that is, if they did repent of their sinnes, and beleeve in himPet. Mart. in 1 Sam. Cap. 30. ver. 4. Ita enim cōparati sumus à natura, ut quemadmodū si corpus vulne­retur, erumpit sanguis: ita vul­nerata anima, crumpunt la­chrymae, lachry­ma enim est sanguisanimae. Guliel. Par. To. 1. l. de mor. p. 213. Lachrymae enim, ut ait H [...] ronymus, v [...] quidam sanguis sunt animarū.. Although there be a remnant which shall most certainly and infallibly be brought to life and salvation, yet Gods purpose and intention towards the rest of the world, is truly serious, to give them life and salvation, upon such condi­tions as are expressed in the Covenant. For to that end God the FatherEsay 65.2. stretcheth out his hand all the day long to a rebellious and gain saying people, [Page 14] willing to receive and imbrace them, if they would come unto him: God the Sonne calls and invites them,Mat. 11.28. Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will refresh you: God the holy GhostRevel. 3.20. stands at the doore and knocks, wil­ling to be entertained, if they would open unto him, and so much is implyed in that speech of Christ to the Jewes,Joh. 5.40. Ye will not come unto mee that ye might have life: implying, that they might have life if they did come unto Christ; he is willing enough to give them life; the reason why they misse of it, is, because they will not come unto himAug. lib. 3. de l. arb. ca. 19. Non tibi deputatur ad culpā, quod invitus igno­ras, sed quod negligis quae­rere quod ig­noras: nec illud quod vulnerata membra non colligis, sed quod volentem sanare contem­nis. in the use of those means which he hath appointed to bring them to life and sal­vation.

3. To let her see, how unwilling hee was to bring upon her the deserved punishment of her disobedience, if her sin, and his owne justice had not in a manner compelled him to it. When lo­ving Parents lament and bewaile the untimely death of their children, that would not be coun­selled and ruled by them; it is a signe they did not desire they should come to such an end: when the carefull Physitian weepes for his sick patient, that would not follow his advice, for the recove­ring of his health; it is a signe he doth not desire hee should die of that disease: So when Christ weepes for the destruction of Jerusalem, it is a sign how unwilling he was of himselfe to have it de­stroyed; he entertains no thoughts of her destru­ction, till he be provoked by her sins; and when there is no other remedy, but that justice must [Page 15] have her course, it fetcheth teares from his eyes, to give way unto itGualt. com. in Luc Hom. 176. Non fingamus nobis talē deū qui ut sangui­narii tyranni solent, hominū interitu dele­ctatur, quis e­nim hoc vel cogitet, qui Christū repro­bae gentis, & ad omnem impie­tatem devotae urbis, lachrymis prosecutū fuisse audit? Stel. com. in loc. Tardus est Christus in poena inferēda, & illam lachry­mis mananti­bus pronūciat, et quasi coactus ingerit.. He punisheth not willingly, neither takes he delight in afflicting the children of men Lam. 3.33.. Hence it is, that when his owne justice and the sins of his people call for punishment, it puts him to a stand, he is at a strife and contention within himselfe what to doe; so contrary it is to the native propension of his loving kindnesse, that he cannot tell how to goe about it. How shall I give thee up, O Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee, O Israel? How shall I make thee as Adma? How shall I set thee as Seboim? My heart is turned with­in me, my repentings are rowled together. I will not execute the fiercenesse of my wrath, I will not return to destroy Ephraim, for I am God and not man Hosea 11.8.. Hereupon it is, that punishment in Scripture it is termedEsay 28 21. Gods act, and his strange act, his worke, and his strange work, Hieron in loc. Non est opus Don ini perde­re quos creavit, et quod ad crudelitatem magis quàm ad clementiam pertinet, et non est opus ejus punite peccantes, sed peregrinum et alienum ab eo, ut puniat qui salvator est, &c. Tremel. in loc. Christus ne reproborum exitio simpliciter delectatur. Tossan. com. in loc. Confirmat hic locus Deum invitum accedere ad ultionem, nisi quatenus id ejus justitia postulat, ut impoenitentibus poenas infligat. Implying, that mercy and kind­nesse, it is Gods proper worke, there is no more required to the exercise of it, than what is to be found in God himselfe; but punishment and de­struction, that is Gods strange work, as if it were scarce agreeable to the blessed nature of his sove­raigne goodnesse; it is opus suum alienum, so his work, that another also hath a hand in it; it can­not come from him alone, but by occasion of the creatures disobedience: for judgement and mer­cy, they come from God, as hony and the sting [Page 16] doe from the Bee: the Bee affords hony natural­ly, but stings not, unlesse shee be provoked: so it is naturall to God to shew forth his goodnesse, but not to inflict punishment, unlesse he be provo­ked. And the reason is, because the motive of shewing mercy, it is in God himselfe; he hath it within him, in the goodnesse of his nature; but the motive of inflicting punishment, it is in mans sinne, which provokes him to it.Valer. Max l. 5. memorab. c. 1. Valerius Ma­ximus reports of Marcellus, that when he came against Syracuse, a City of Sicilie, he wept, to think of her ruine and destruction; which makes the Father say of him,Aug. lib. 1. de civ. Dei, cap. 6. Quod ante ejus sanguinē, suas ille lachrymas effuderit. That he could not think of drawing her bloud, but first it makes his owne heart to bleed with pitty and compassion, and tears to trickle downe and fall from his eyes: So it was here with Christ: he could not think of drawing the bloud of Jerusalem, by the Roman sword, but that very thought it first drawes teares from his owne eyes; so unwilling hee was to have had that punishment inflicted upon her, had he not beene in a manner compelled unto it by her sin.

4. To shew the hainousnesse of her sinne, and the greatnesse of her misery; the hainousnesse of her sinne appeares by this, that it could not be sufficiently bewayled by any teares, but such on­ly as fell from the eyes of God himselfe Jo. Brent. com. in Luc. Hom. 31. Cette horribile sit oportet quod Christo lachrymas ex­torqueat.. Had all the creatures in heaven and earth shed teares con­tinually in great abundance, it had not beene a sufficient ransome for one sinne: it is onely the teares of Christ that were thought sufficient by the wisdome of God, to satisfie the wrong that [Page 17] sinne had done to Divine justice. If one man sinne against another, the Iudge shall judge it; but if a man sinne against God, who shall plead for him 1 Sam. 2.25.? Who? Surely a meere creature may not doe it; onely the teares that fall from the eyes of him that is God, as well as man; these are silent ora­tors to plead for him. And againe, this, it doth a­bundantly shew the hainousnesse of sinne, because it is that onely that makes the God of heaven and earth to weepe for it. If yee looke into all the rest of the creatures that God made, ye shall see that all in their kind, they yeeld some delight and contentment to God;Psal. 104.31. He rejoyceth in all the workes of his hands: onely man whom of all other creatures he made for himselfe, that hee might take pleasure and delight in him; hee onely fet­cheth teares from the eyes of God. God made a number of other creatures, but never repented of any that he made, save onely man; but of man it is recorded in sacred Writ,Gen 6.6. It repented him that he made man upon earth, and he was sory in his heart. Such is the hainousnesse of sinne, that it causeth repentance in heaven, and fetcheth tears from the eyes of God himselfe; and happy was it for us, that Christ would be pleased to shed tears for it; had not he found a time to weep for it, we might have spent all our time in that infernall lake, where there is nothing else but weeping and wai­ling and gnashing of teeth. His weeping was the cause of our rejoycingAug. Ser. 104. de tem. Lachrymae Domini, gaud [...] mundi.; if we enjoy any occasi­ons of gladnesse, we may thanke his weeping for it; who as2 Cor. 8.9. he became poore to make us rich, and [Page 18] suffered death to restore us to life; so hee was made sorrowfull to make us joyfull, he weepes to fill us with gladnesse.

Againe, this weeping of Christ for Jerusalem, as it shewes the hainousnesse of her sinne, so also the greatnesse of her miseryStel. com. in Luc. pa. 234. Sae­pissime in V. T. Prophetae prae­dixerunt, cala­mitates & in­f [...]rtunia populo Israelitico evē ­tura, non verbis solū sed operibꝰ & signis exteri­oribus: ut 1 Sā 15 27. 1 Reg. 11.30. Jer. 19.11.28.10, 11. Ezek. 5.1. sic in prae­sentia Christus &c. ostendit per has lachrymas, aliquando fore ut Hierosoly­mitani, licet nunc rideant, non mediocri­ter defleant.: for the teares of Christ they were precious tears, of more worth and value, than like water to be spilt upon the ground; the teares of Gods owne people, they are so precious, thatEsay 25.8. Apoc. 7.17.21.4. God wipes them off their fa­ces with his owne hand, andPsal. 56.8. puts them up in his owne bottle. But those teares that fall from the eyes of God himselfe, must needs be farre more precious; and therefore had not the misery of Jerusalem beene such, as would make any heart to bleed that did fully comprehend the dimensi­ons of it; surely, Christ would never have wept so much, nor spent so many precious teares upon herBern. Ser. 3. in Rom. palm. Non solis oculis, sed quasi membris omnibus flevis­se videtur, ut to­tū corpus ejus quod est Eccle­sia, totius cor­poris lachrymis purgaretur.. His weeping shewes that her misery was such a transcendent and superlative misery, as was more than enough to make both his eares to tingle that did but heare of it, and both his eies to fall out with weeping, that did but seriously consider it in his heart, and steepe his thoughts in the meditation of it.

5 To shew Jerusalem what she ought to doe: as Gedeon said to his Souldiers,Judg. 7.17. Looke on mee, and doe likewise; so this very action of Christ speakes to Jerusalem in the same language: his weeping bids her weepe: Jo [...]n 13.15. I have given you an ex­ample that you should doe as I have done. The acti­ons of Christ they are our instructions: every [Page 19] true Disciple of Christ must write after the copie that he hath set him;Hilar. Pictavien. de Trin. l. 10. Christus non sibi flevit, sed vobis. Aug. in Io. Tract. 49. To. 9. Quare flevit Christus, nisi quia homi­nē flere docuit? Gerb. com. in loc. Sunt lachrymae invitantis, ut nos quoque la­chrymas pro­fundamus. when hee lookes upon the teares of Christ, he must learne to weepe as he did; yea Christ himselfe bids him doe it in his owne words,Luke 23.28. Weepe not for me, but weepe for your selves. And good reason, for it was our sinnes which made him to weepe; he had no matter of wee­ping in himselfe, but wee have; and therefore if he wept for sinne that knew no sinne, much more ought every one to weepe for sinne, that is guilty of it: as the drops of raine doe excavate and make hollow the hardest rocks; so the teares of Christ should mollifie and soften the rockie and flintie hearts of men, and melt them into peniten­tiall teares; if they doe not, these will rise up in judgement against impenitent sinners, and con­demne them, because Christ in shedding so many teares for sinne, shewes unto them, that if it were possible for them, it were too little to lament and bewaile them, even with teares of bloud.

CHAP. 3.

It should be every mans care to weepe for the sinnes of others.

Application.ANd now that ye have heard what Christ did, how he wept over Jerusalem, and the reason why he did it; what remaines more, but to wind up all in a word of Application; and though I might inlarge this into severall heads, yet I will confine all within the compasse of these two, of Imitation and Exhortation. 1. Let it be a ground of imitation to follow Christ in this that he did; I will expresse it in the words of the Apostle,Phil. 2.5. Let the same minde be in you that was in Christ Iesus. Look on the example of Christ, & do likewise; looke on the sinnes and miseries of others, and weepe for them; if a man should heare his owne Father reproached and dishonoured, though it were by those that are above his reach; yet if there be any sparke of good nature in him, it will make him at least to take it to heart and weep for it. Now God who is the Father of Spirits, he is re­proached and dishonoured every day, and that by men of all sorts, young and old, high and low, rich and poore, &c. and can any professe himself to be the sonne of God, and not to weepe for this? When Elisha fixed his eyes upon Hazael, and foresaw the evill that he would doe to the chil­dren of Israel2 Kings 8.12., it fetched teares from his eyes, and made him weepe at the very thought of it; and can we see and heare of all the abominations [Page 21] that are done and committed every where, by Superiours, inferiours, friends, foes, &c. and yet shed never a teare for them? If a man be tou­ched with wrongs and injuries that concerne himselfe and his person, his goods, his good name and reputation, how sensible is he of it? how deeply is he affected with it? how much doth he lay it to heart, and grieve for it? Oh then that God should bee so much dishonoured, and so few teares shed, so little weeping and lamenting for it Pint. comment. in Ezek cap. 9. v. 4. Nos con­tumelias in Deum jactas, & impia ad­versus ipsum facinora prae­termittimus, si autem ipsi vel solo verbo vul­neremur & in cos à qubus fu­imus injuriis lacessiti impe­tum facimus, &c. & paulo post, lege divi­nas literas & replica anima­lium memori­am, inquire sanctorum pa­trum historias, & invenies passim, viros pietate illu­stres, &c. ob alierum sceleta quibus Deus offende batur, oculos suos vertisse in viva­rum [...]achrym­rum son [...]es.? What love can there be to God whose ho­nour is trampled under foot by sinne? What charity to his brother whose salvation is hazar­ded, and his soule mortally wounded by it? What conformity to this example of Christ in that soule, that never takes to heart the sinnes of others? that never mournes in secret, or sheds teares for them? Davids heart and affection was so inflamed with the love of God, that it made his eyes gush out with rivers of water, because men kept not Gods Law Psal [...] 19.130.. Oh if David had lived in our times, walked through our streets, if he had seene the pride, heard the oathes, taken notice of the prophanenesse that is in every corner; surely he would have even washed the streets with his teares.

When Lot dwelt amongst the wicked Sodo­mites, in seeing and beholding their unlawfull deeds, it vexed his righteous soule from day to day 2 P [...] [...]2.8.: If he had seene and heard that which eve­ry eye may see that will looke abroad into the world, and that which every eare may heare al­most [Page 22] in every place; to wit, those rotten and un­savoury speeches, those cursed and blasphemous oaths which the black and unhallowed mouthes of many sinfull wretches belch forth against hea­ven; how would hee have beene grieved and troubled at it? When Saint Paul takes notice of inordinate walkers, it makes his very heart to bleed, and fils his eyes with teares to thinke upon it: Phil. 3.18. Many walk inordinately, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you weeping, that they are enemies to the Crosse of Christ. But alas we, what doe we? we make our selves merry with the wickednesse of men; we looke upon the drunkards that goe reeling and staggering in the street, and make it a matter of laughter; we heare the bloody oaths and scurrilous speeches of prophane persons, and make our selves sport with them: one man makes another drunk, and then laughs at him; an­other casts a bone of contention between friends, and breeds a quarrell amongst them, and then makes himselfe sport with it. Oh that we should make that a matter of sport and laughter, that fetched teares from the eyes of Christ! that the members should rejoyce in that, which makes the Head to weepe Stell. commen. in loc pag. 236. Flenda sunt a­liorum peccata, ut Christus exemplo suo docet, non ri­denda.!

It is reported of St. Ambrose Paulin in vita S. Ambrosu c. 20. Quotiescun­que illi obper­cipiendam poe­nitentiam, lap­sus suos confes­sus esset: ita flebat ut illum flere compelle­ret., that when any confessed their sinnes unto him, desiring his help and counsell for the obtaining of comfort, hee would fall into such a veine of weeping, that his example drew teares from the party that came unto him; and as the learned observe well, godly mindes are ready so much the more to melt [Page 23] themselves into teares, by how much more they see and heare the sinnes of others to multiply and increase.

When the Prophet had exhorted the Rulers of Israel to humble themselves, and to reforme things that were amisse in Church and Com­mon-wealth, he tels them,Ier. 13.17. If yee will not heare this, my soule shall weepe in secret for your pride, and mine eye shall drop downe teares, because the Lords flocke is carried away captive. But alas, we, what doe we? If wee doe but conceit a­ny thing to be amisse in Church or Common-wealth, we murmure, we complaine, we throw dirt in the face of Authority; reviling those who ought to bee obeyed for conscience sake: but where is the man that enters into his Closet, and mourns in secret for things that are indeed amisse? The Christian world is little inferiour to Sodome in many sinnes, but where are the righteous Lots that trouble their owne soules with the thought of it? Men are now as ready to forsake the Law of God as ever they were, but where are the Da­vids, whose eyes melt into fountaines of teares at the sight of it? Men now walke as inordinately as e­ver they did, but where are the Pauls, that can­not thinke or speake of it without bleeding hearts and weeping eyes? Againe, what charity is there in that soule towards his brother, whose salvation is hazarded, and himselfe mortally wounded by sinne? who sees him daily runne into sinne, and doth not mourne and weepe for him? Oh how farre doth this swarve from the frame and tem­per [Page 24] of that blessed Apostle, that Vessell of Ele­ction, whose heart was ready to bleed within him for the sinnes of his brethren and kindred according to the flesh;Rom. 9.1. I have great heavinesse and continuall sorrow in my heart, for I would wish my selfe to be separated from Christ, for my brethren that are my kinsmen according to the flesh: So Mo­ses and the Children of Israel, they wept for the sinnes of their brethren and companions Num. 25.6.; They wept before the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The Apostle also bewailed some who had sinned, and not repented of their sinnes 2 Cor. 12.21.;Guliel. Paris. to. 1 li. de morib. pag 204. Nemo dubitet, quin pia corda tan­tò lachrymis compassionis uberius afflu­ant, quanto proximorum peccata magis abundare, vel conspexerint, vel etiam au­dierint. and good reason, for there is not a more la­mentable spectacle under heaven, than a man that lives and wallowes in his sinne; If teares be deservedly powred out for any evill that befals ano­ther, then are they unworthily restrained for sinne, which is the greatest evill. If a man weepe and shed teares for his friend that lyes upon his sicke bed, from which he may possibly be raised up; there is greater reason why he should doe it, when he is sicke unto death. Now so it is with those who give themselves over to any sinfull course, they are sicke unto death; nay, they are dead in trespasses and sinnes, as the Apostle speakesEph. 2.1.; therefore sufficient cause there is to weep for themAugust. to. 10. de Sanctis serm. 13 pag. 322. Plangis mor­tuum, magis plange impiū, plange infide­lem, &c. an ve­rò in te non sunt viscera Christianae miserationis, ut plangas corpus à quo discessit anima, et non plangas animā à quâ recessit Deus?, because they are full of spirituall evils, which of all others are the greatest evils; and therefore, if any else, much more these should fill every eye with teares that lookes up­on them. Common humanity teacheth every one to weep and lament for the death of his friends, [Page 25] and yet it may bee a happy exchange that they make by death; but when friends are dead in trespasses and sinnes, there is matter of lamentation indeed; because, if they be not helped out of that condition, they must die eternally, and pe­rish for ever.

Wee read of a time when there was a great cry and lamentation in Egypt Exod. 12.30.; and what was the reason? The Text shewes it, because there was never a house in all the Land of Aegypt, where there was not one dead. If a man should goe through all the families in this Kingdome, how many houses might hee come into, where hee should not finde one alive? what house could he enter into, where he should not find many dead? and what a cry and lamentation should this cause amongst us? especially seeing this cry, it is never in vaine, but alwayes procures a blessing, and provides a Sanctuary or place of refuge against all dangers. Whereupon it is that Saint Augu­stine August. epist. 199. Chrysost. in Psal. 129. affirmeth, that teares are the best sacrifice that any one can offer up for himselfe: and Saint Chrysostome is not afraid to say, that they are the best almes hee can bestow upon others. Like as it was with the Israelites, when the de­stroying Angell was to passe through the Land of Aegypt, God caused them to take the blood of the Lambe, and to sprinkle it on the Lintels, and the doore checkes, that when the destroying An­gell saw the marke, hee might passe over that house, and not enter into it: so when the de­stroying Angell is abroad in the world, the Pro­vidence [Page 26] of God sets a marke upon those that mourne in Sion; either to keepe them safe in the common calamitie, or else to provide better for them, by taking them away from the evill to come.Ezek. 9.4. Goe through the middest of the City, even the middest of Ierusalem, and set a marke upon the forehead of all those that mourne and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst of her Hier. com. in Ezek. ca. 9. Gementes igi­tur dolentesque salvantur, qui non solùm ma­lis non consen­serūt operibus, sed et aliena planxêre pec­cata..

Finally, what conformity is there to this ex­ample of Christ, in that man that never layes to heart the sinnes of the times and places where he lives? If Christ spent so many teares for this one City of Jerusalem, how should it fill every eye with teares, when he lookes upon the sinnes that are done and committed in all Countries and Regions through the whole Christian world? What was Jerusalem to the whole world? or what were the Inhabitants of Jerusalem in com­parison of those who now make profession of re­ligion in the time of the Gospell? If therefore the sinnes of Jerusalem drew such abundance of teares from the eyes of Christ, what measure of teares can sufficiently bewaile the sins and trans­gressions that are done and committed by all the sonnes and daughters of the Christian world in the times of the Gospell?

CHAP. 4.

It is the duty of every one to weepe for the miseries of others.

LOoke on the miseries of others, and weepe for them. We reade of three severall times that Christ wept, but not that he laughed so much as once in all his lifeSalvian. l. 6. Christum fle­visse legimus, risisse nunquā legimus.; and surely he that lookes on the miserable face of things here in the world, hee shall finde more cause of weeping than re­joycing: for though all bee well at home, and with himselfe yet the misery of others abroad in the world, that lie bleeding under the hand of God, some in one kinde, some in another, that should make his heart to bleed, and shed teares for them. This very example of Christ here in the Text, it presseth upon others for imitation in this kinde, and that by many termes of advan­tage; for,

1 This misery was to come upon Jerusalem forty yeares after, and yet even then it drew teares from the eyes of Christ, though hee saw it so farre off, and thought upon it so long before; how farre greater equity is there, that every one should lay to heart the misery of others, which he sees hanging in the Clouds, ready to fall up­on their heads, or that perhaps hath lyen heavy upon them a long time?

2 Christ wept thus for Jerusalem that was a [Page 28] deadly enemy to him, that was a most wicked and re­bellious City, the very Shambles, as it were, where all the holy Prophets were slaine; as Christ him­selfe complaines of her,Matt. 23.37. Oh Ierusalem Ierusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, &c. and againe, It cannot be that a Prophet should perish out of Ierusalem Luke 13 33.. Now if Christ wept for the misery of Jerusalem, that was his enemy, it will conclude more strongly for every one to lay deeply to heart the misery of his friends: if Christ shed so many teares for the misery of Jerusalem, that was the very Shamble of the Prophets; none can doubt, but that hee ought to weep and shed teares much more abundantly, when hee thinkes upo [...] the ruine and ashes of those flourishing Churches that have been ever helpers and honorers of the Prophets.

3 Christ weepes for those miseries whereof himselfe should beare no part; for they were to come upon Jerusalem a long while after his death: and therefore it concludes more strongly for those to lay to heart and weepe for the mise­ries of others, which may possibly bee inwrap­ped and involved within the compasse of the danger. When a man heares of lamentable fires in the farthest and remotest parts of the Kingdome, though hee have no feare of receiving any per­sonall hurt and dammage from the same, yet common humanity layes a tie upon him to bee moved and affected with pitie and compassion towards the misery of those that perish and are consumed thereby; but when his neighbours [Page 29] house, which is the next doore unto him, is all on flame, he hath then more reason to be sensible of it, and lay it to heart.

4. Christ weepes for the misery of others, when himselfe had no hand in those sinnes which were the cause of it; but who can wash his hands from the guilt of those sinnes that bring publike calamities upon himselfe or others? and if hee have a hand in the sinne, there is great reason why hee should have a heart more deepely affected with the misery of others that smart for his sin, as David, 2 Sam. 24.14. Behold I have sinned, & I have done wic­kedly: but these sheep, alas, what have they done? When every one else is upon his knees, and cal­ling upon his God, there is little reason why Io­nah, who is the cause of all that storme, should sleepe securely in the bottome of the Ship. If Christ weepe for the misery of Jerusalem, who is altogether free from the sinnes of Jerusalem; lit­tle reason is there, why any else should looke on these or the like miseries of his brethren with dry cheekes. To weepe with them that weepe, is a duty which the Apostle calls for; and which every one is bound to performeRom. 12.15.. As he must be sensi­bly affected with the miseries of others, so his heart must bleed, and his eye shed tears for them.Heb. 13.3. Remember them that are in bonds, as if ye were bound with them; and them that are in afflictions, as if ye were afflicted in the body. For as it is with brazen vessels, when they are set together, if yee strike one, the rest will sound; so it should be with men, when one is smitten by the hand of [Page 30] affliction, the sound of it should reach unto o­thers, and make a kindly impression of griefe and sorrow upon them. So it hath ever beene with the Saints of God; they have beene tenderly af­fected, and tender-hearted towards others in mi­sery. And indeed, who can want matter and occasion of weeping, that layes to heart the mise­ries of his brethren? that considers how some are wounded in their spirit with the sense and fee­ling of their sinnesAug. Ser. 44. de verbis Domini. Gemimꝰ plerū ­que in peccatis fratrum nostro­rum, & vim pa­timur, & torque­mur animo.; how others are weakned in their estate with losses & crosses in the world; how others languish in their bed of sicknesse un­der the arrest of some grievous disease; how o­thers are consumed or scattered abroad with the miserable face of warre; who can refraine teares at the sight or hearing of these miseries? and yet are not these the tythes of those burthens and miseries that lie upon menCrysol Anthol. Sac. pag. 234. Q [...]d dic [...]m in­gentium mise­riatum acervos, clades innume­ras, & multi­pliciū malorum iliadem, quibus nostri in Chri­sto fratres, et ejusdem magni parentis filii, ante oculos mi­serrimè confici­untur? ansumus tam duri, tam (que) dissimiles prae­stantiū homi­nū, et sanctissi­morum, ut spe­ctantes et sciē ­tes nihil affici­ant? Virg. Aencid. 2. Quis talia fan­do Myrmidonū Dolopumve aut duri miles Vlyssis Tēperet à lachrymis.; and therefore hee cannot but easily incline to weep and shed tears, that lookes upon them with an eye of pitty and compassion.

For like as it is with a vessell that is full of water, or any other liquor; if it be moved, or shaken, it will easily run over: so the heart that is full of tender pitty and compassion towards o­thers, when it comes to be moved and affected with their misery, it will easily runne over, and shed teares. There are not examples wanting in holy Writ, of those who have shed teares for the ruine of their enemies. Samuel 1 Sam. 15.35. wept for Saul, even then when God had rejected him: and the Prophet Esay, Esay 15.5. & 16.11. he cryed out for Moab in the day [Page 31] of her misery; but much more plentifull are the examples of those who have wept and lamented for the misery of their friends: So it was with good Nehemiah, when the King wondered to see him much dejected, and his countenance cast downe, thinking his royall favour more than suf­ficient to make him cheerefull; he makes this an­swer and apologie for himselfe,Nehem. 2.3. Why should not my countenance be sad, when the Citie and place of my fathers sepulchres lies waste, and the gates there­of are consumed with fire? He thought the misery of the Church matter enough to make his thoughts sad and pensive; even then when hee had all other contentments that royall favour could heape upon him. So it was with the Pro­phet Ieremy, Jer. 9.1. O that my head were full of water, and mine eyes a fountaine of teares, to weepe day and night for the slaine of the daughter of my people! And againe,Lam. 1.16. For these things I weepe, mine eye, even mine eye casteth out water, because the Comfor­ter that should refresh my soule is far away from me. So it was with Christ, when hee seeth Mary weepe, and the Jewes weepe with her for the death of Lazarus, it makes teares to stand in his eyes, andIohn 11.35. hee weepes too. So it was with Saint Paul, 2 Cor. 11.29. Who is weake, and I am not weake? who is offended, and I burne not? The Lord himselfe complaines of the want of this,Amos 6.6. They drinke wine in bowles, and anoint themselves with the chiefest oyntment: but no man remembreth the af­flictions of Ioseph, &c. And it is a pittifull moane and complaint that the Church makes, because [Page 32] she was neglected in this kind:Lam. 1.12. Is it nothing to you, and have ye no regard? O all ye that passe by, behold and see, if there was ever sorrow like unto my sorrow, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce wrath! And therefore when the face of the Church gathers blacknesse, when sad and lamentable times fall upon her, all her chil­dren, yea all her friends must lament with her, and weep for herGreg. Nyssen. ut citaturin 2. Nice. Sym. Act. 4. c. 2. Cum vidisset immolationis Isaac imaginē, sine fletu trās­ire non potuit..

It is reported of Gregory Nyssen, that when hee saw but the shew and representation of the sacri­ficing of Isaac, it made such an impression upon him, that he could not forbeare weeping: and if an imaginary shew of misery could doe so much, there is great reason why the reall calamities of others should fetch teares from the eyes of such as looke upon them.

As in the naturall body there is no lively member but will sympathize and suffer with the rest, and be sensible of the smart and paines that other members feele; when the foot is troden upon, (though there be a great distance between that and the head;) yet the head complaines, saying, Why dost thou tread on mee? Even so it is in the politicke body both of Church and Common-wealth; it is a signe of a livelesse member, when hee doth not take to heart, nor shed teares for the affliction of the body; like as it is with a wooden leg, or an Ivory tooth, or an eye of glasse, which doe not partake with the bo­dy in paine, because they doe not share with it in life; so it is with those who can looke on the mi­serie [Page 33] of others with dry cheekes; nay which is much worse, insult and trample upon them in their misery; like the wicked Edomites, that cryPsal. 137.7. Downe with it, downe with it, even to the ground. It is a signe of a wicked Shimei to curse David in his affliction, and to adde to his misery. It is the devils property [...]: Id est, qui g [...]u­dium et laetitiā percipit ex ali­enis calamitati­bus. Arist. Eth. 2. cap. 7. to rejoyce in evill, and take pleasure and delight in the misery of others: but1 Cor. 13.6. love rejoyceth not in evill; but with Christ here sheds teares at the sight of it.

CHAP. 5.

It should be every mans practice to weepe for his own sinnes.

IF Christ wept at the sight of Jerusalem, in re­gard of her present sinne, and future misery; what then shall we say to those, who are so farre from weeping for the sinne and misery of others, that they shed few or no teares for their owne sins? Christ himselfe, hee was without sinne, yet none more plentifull in weeping and shedding teares for it, than he was: Whereas many, though they be full of sinne and iniquity, and those aggravated by many foule circumstances, yet can they looke upon them with dry cheekes, and shed never a teare at the sight of them; they set themselves upon a merry pin, they can finde a day and a day, yea many dayes to runne into sinne; but the day is yet to come, wherein they ever shed so much [Page 34] as one teare for it. O how unlike are these to Christ? Although they could weepe out both their eyes, and poure forth teares a thousand yeares together, it were not sufficient for one sinne: But that they should multiply, and heape up their sinnes, till they be more in number than the haires on their heads, than the starres in the firmament, than the sands on the sea shore, and yet looke upon them without bleeding hearts, and weeping eyes, that a few teares should not fall from their eyes at the sight of them; this de­serves a sharpe and cutting reproofe. Hee that lookes on sinne in the mildest notion of it, hee shall finde in it sufficient matter to fetch teares from his eyes; but hee that waighes it more nar­rowly in the ballance of the Sanctuary, and takes a view of all such passages as adde to the waight and hainousnesse of it, what is it that can turne his eyes into fountaines of teares, if this doe it notCrysol. Anthol. sac. pag. 219. Omne genus divinarum lite­rarum fletū ho­minibus indicit &c. pleni sunt Prophetarum libri, &c. Euan­gelium quoque totū lachrymis, et imbre illo sa­lutari madet.? When the Prodigall considered with himselfe what hee had done, what plenty and abundance hee had forsaken, what want and mi­sery hee had brought himselfe unto, what a course hee had runne, what extremities hee was now put upon; this made him come unto his fa­ther weeping and lamenting, and say unto him,Luke 15.15. Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, &c. And when a man waighes and consi­ders with himselfe, what a righteous law he hath transgressed, what a gracious Covenant he hath broken, what happinesse he hath lost, what mise­ry he hath wrapped himselfe in; that hee hath [Page 35] grieved the good Spirit of God, that hee hath provoked so mercifull a Saviour as Christ is, that hee hath displeased so kinde and loving a Fa­ther as God hath beene unto him; how should not this fetch tears from his eyes, if his thoughts were well steeped in the meditation of itAug. enarrat. in Psal. p. 82. B.C. Sitienti mihi il­lum fontē quē qua bibere nō ­dum poteram, avidiùs meas lachrymas mā ­ducabam, non enim dixit, fa­ctae sunt lachry­mae meae potus, ne ipse deside­rasse videretur, sed servata illa siti qua rapior, servata illa siti, qua inardesco, ad fontes aqua­rum, panes mi­hi factae sunt lachrymae meae dum differor.?

When David considered whom hee had of­fended, and against whom hee had sinned, it made him with a bleeding heart, and weeping eyes to confesse and acknowledge his sinne to GodMoller. in loc. Repetit quere­lam et cōfessi­onem tristissi­mis verbis am­plificatam: q.d. hoc unicum me cruciat et affli­gi [...], quod fentio me tibi peccasse &c. Ille dolor tantus est, ut etiamsi totus mundus me absolvat, tamen me quiescere non patiatur. Hominum enim levationes, si vel parcant mihi, vel adulandi causa extenuent scelus, vel blanditiis dolorem lenire studeant, adeò nihil proficiunt, ut sentram peccatum subinde fieri gravius., saying, Against thee, against thee onely have I sinned, and done this evill in thy sight Psal. 51.4.. How should it make a mans heart to bleed within him, when hee considers how hee hath sinned a­gainst God, against his neighbour, against his owne soule, against the heavens that are above his head, against the earth that is beneath his feet, against the meanes of his owne salvation, against the good motions of Gods Spirit, against light revealed, even the light of grace, the light of nature, the light of his owne conscience, against mercies recei­ved, promises of mercies, experience of mer­cies, fruits and effects of mercies, against the checks and reluctations of his owne conscience, against his owne vowes and resolutions to the con­trary, &c?

When the Angell expostulates the matter with the Israelites, why they obeyed not the [Page 36] voice of the Lord, especially considering the helpes and meanes afforded unto them for that end and purpose, it is said, that theyJudg. 2.3. lift up their voice and wept. And is there not cause of weeping, when a man looks into Gods dealing with him, and his owne carriage towards God? when hee considers how often God hath called him by the voice of his creatures, by the voice of his Mini­sters, by the voice of his mercies, by the voice of his judgements; and all this while he hath stop­ped his eare, and would not heare; hardned his heart, and would not be reclaimed? when he sees and observes, how that no meanes, no mercies, no judgements, no threatnings could prevaile with him; what is it that can melt his soule into peni­tentiall teares, if this doe it not? it hath wrought much upon the servants of God in former times; it wrought so with David, that he causedPsal. 6.6. his bed every night to swim, and watered his couch with his teares Chrysost. in N. T. To. 6. edi. grae­colat. pag. 962. [...].. It prevailed so farre with Peter, that when Christ looked upon him, and put him in minde of what he had done,Mat. 26.75. he went out and wept bitterly. It made so deepe an impression upon Mary Magdalen, that she did not onely weepe at the feet of her Saviour, but also poured out such abundance of teares, thatLuke 7.44. she washed his ve­ry feet with her teares, and wiped them with the haires of her head. And who can looke upon such a cloud of witnesses, and not wish with the Pro­phet, Oh that my head were a fountaine of teares?

If ye look abroad upon the men of this world, how doe they over grieve losses and crosses in [Page 37] earthly matters? if they bee crossed in their pro­fits, pleasures, honours, preferments, or other like designes, how neare doth it sit unto them? If they lose friends, kindred, wife, children, &c. how doth it goe to their heart, and fetch teares from their eyes? and yet what are these losses in comparison of that which a man loseth by his sinne? If they shed so many teares for the losse of temporall things, who can refraine teares for the losse of spirituall things, which are of infi­nite worth, beyond all price that can be set upon them? especially if he consider that it is the best use that teares can be put untoChrys. in N. T. to. 5. 2 Cor. 7. [...]., to spend them upon his sinnes; this is the end for which they were made, and indeed they are profitable for nothing else. If a man weepe for the death of friends, kindred, wife, children, &c. his weeping cannot make them alive againe: If he shed never so many teares for the losse of house, inheritance, lands, goods, &c. his teares cannot restore them againe: if he should weepe out both his eyes for the losse of his time, or things that are past and gone, he cannot possibly recall them againe; but if he lament after God, who absents himselfe, and hides the light of his countenance from him, this will cause him to returne againe: if he weep for his sinnes which have defaced the beauty of his soule, this will wipe them out againe; when a man weepes and sheds teares for his sinne, then is the streame of his teares turned into the right channell, then are his teares pitched upon the right object, then are they in their proper place [Page 28] where they should bee: other teares pay no debts, heale no diseases, helpe not to re­move the evill that is present, or procure the good that is wanting; but penitentiall teares, those ever leave a man better than they finde him: Sinne brought teares into the world, and teares are the onely remedy against sinneChrys. in N.T. to. 5. 2 Cor. 7. [...].; as the ashes of the Viper that is bur­ned, is the most present remedy against the veno­mous and impoysoned sting of the Viper: even so the teares of repentance, sackcloth and ashes, these are the most present remedy against sinne. If the wicked turne from his wickednesse, he shall surely live, and shall not die Ezek 18.21.. As the Worme that breeds in the woodChrysost. edit. Graecolat. to 1. de poenit. hom. 5. [...], &c. [...]. consumes and eates out the heart of it, so teares which were bred and brought forth into the world by sinne, are a spe­ciall meanes to consume and abolish it: Teares which are the daughters of sinne, devoure and eate out the bowels of their mother. Peter wept for his sinne, and it was remitted; it could be washed out, though it could not be excused, and there­fore the Apostle doth not spend words in vaine, to extenuate or lessen, to defend or excuse his sinne, but hee keepes silence, and weepes for itPetrus flevit et tacuit, quia quod defleri solet, non solet excusari, & [...] defendi non potest, ablui potest. Ambros. to. 3. serm 46. Greg. Hom. 39. in Evang.; goe thou and doe likewise: and for thy bet­ter helpe and direction herein,

[Page 29]1 Labour to get a tender and broken heart, that is the leader of the whole man, and in such sort as that goes before, so doth all the rest fol­low after: If the master mourne Chrys. to 1. hom. 3. ad pop. Antioch pag 44. Cassian. Collat 9. ca. 28. Cassiod. instit. divin. ca. 23. Guliel. l'a­ris. de sacram. poenit c. 5. Qui pungit cor confert sen­sum, propter hoc compūctio nominatur, ip­sa poenitudo interior, quae de stulto corde sensum produ­cit emendatio­nis: vel ideo dicitur com­punctio, quia quemadmodū arbores thuris et myrrhae, sudi bus ferreis vul­nerantur, et ip­sa vulneratio­ne velut la­chrymatae, aromata myr­rhae et thuris proferunt: thus enim et myrrha, lachrymae sunt ejusmodi arborum, sed coagulatae, sic compuncta corda poenitentium, thus devotae orationis, & myrrham internae amaricationis emit­tunt., all the servants are clad in blacke; so when the heart mournes, the voyce, the face, the tongue, the hand, &c. all mourne; the head becomes a well of water, and the eyes are turned into fountains of teares, like as it was with Nineveh, when the King himselfe came from his Throne and put on Sackcloth, all his Nobles, and all his servants, and all the people, yea the beast of the field lament with him: So when the heart descends from her throne, and puts on sorrow and contrition, it melts the head and eyes into penitentiall teares: and therefore as he that would finde a Well of water, he must digge deep in the earth, so he that would melt himselfe into teares of contrition, he must steepe his thoughts deeply in the meditation of sinne, that his heart may be throughly humbled in the consideration of it.

2 Looke often upon such objects as are apt to make the heart to bleed, and fetch tears from the eyesCornelia Lap com in Pro. 4.25. Magna est vis oculorum ad cor et mentem vul­nerandam: species enim visa per oculos transit ad cor et mentem, illiq, suam formam, et consequenter amorem velodium imprimit, quae species haeret in corde, etiam post­quam res visa abierit. Ibid. ca. 23.27. Magna Sympathia cordis cum oculis, ut cor in ocu­lis, et oculi in corde siti esse videantur: quod enim cor amat, ad illud intuendum dirigit oculos, ut objecto amato per visum et intuitumse pascat., as Christ here, he beheld the City, and that makes him to weepe for it: and againe, when he saw the multitude hee was moved with compassion to­wards [Page 40] them, because they were scattered and dis­persed as sheepe having no shepherdMat. 9.36.; so is it prophesied of the Jewes, They shall looke on him whom they have pierced, and lament over him Zach. 12.10.: so it was with righteous Lot, in hearing and seeing their unlawfull deeds, it vexed his righteous soule from day to day2 Pet. 2.8..

When Iesus saw Mary weep, and the Iewes weepe for Lazarus, hee was troubled in spirit, and wept with them Iohn 11.35.. God and Nature have made the same member to bee the instrument of weeping and seeing; implying, that hee that would weepe for sinne, must often looke upon it in those circum­stances of aggravation, whereby the uglinesse and deformity of it may appeare unto him. Hee that shuts his eyes, neither seeth his sinne, nor weeps for it; therefore saith Salomon, it is better to goe to the house of mourning, than the house of feasting, for this is the end of all flesh, and the living shall lay it to his heartEccles. 7.4.. David, till his eyes were ope­ned to see his sinne, hee wept not for it; so a broken heart till it looke upon objects which are apt to beget impressions of griefe and sorrow; it doth not bleed within, or shed tears without: for like as it is wht the infant while he is shut up in the womb, he weepes not; but when he comes into the world, and seeth the light, then he weepes: so while men are shut up in the wombe of ignorance, and doe not see their sinnes, or looke upon those objects that are apt to beget teares, they doe not weepe for them: and therefore hee that would weepe for his sinne, must feed his eyes with the sight of it.

[Page 41]3 When God begins to worke upon thy soule,Chap. 5. and melt thy heart with motions and impressions of griefe, now bee sure to close with God, take that hint, and lay hold upon that opportunity, im­prove it for thine owne advantage; betake thy selfe to some convenient place where thy soule may freely melt it selfe into teares, without di­straction. As the Husbandman puts in his Plow after a showre, when the ground is soft, so when God softens and prepares the heart, melts and mollifies it, thenCic. li. 1. de invent. Occasio est pars tem­poris, habens in se alicujus rei idoneam faciendi occa­sionem. set thy selfe more seriously about this work, even then when God stirres thy heart, and makes it in a weeping case; that is, apt and inclinable to shed forth teares: so did Peter, while hee was in the High Priests Hall, hee wept not, hee knew that was no convenient time or place for him to melt himselfe into teares of contrition; therefore hee first went out, and then having found convenient time and place, he wept bitterly. Even so doe thou; thou hast had a time to sinne in; yea, many times, and many places can witnesse thy forwardnesse this way; ô then finde out some time and place that may wit­nesse thy teares, as well as it hath done thy sin; finde out some time and place to weepe for thy sinne, to lament after God whom thou hast offen­ded; to mourne after Christ whom thou hast pierced; to languish after the communion and fellowship of that Holy SPIRIT whom thou hast so often grievedGaspar. Sanct. com. in Ier. pag. 326. Lachry­mae latebras a­mant, ut libe­riùs, et sine in­terpellatione fluant. & com­ment. in Lam. pag. 1046. Tempus no­cturnum, ma­ximè oportu­num lugenti­bus: et quia tenebrae ipsae animum aegrū magis ac ma­gis contrahunt, et quia silentiū ipsum noctur­num ab ea co­gitatione non [...]init animum abduci, quae graviter excru­ciat.. The silent time of the night, when the soule is sequestred from all other secular occasions, is a fit time for [Page 42] penitentiall teares; because then the heart may freely melt it selfe into sorrow and contrition, without feare or suspition of vaine glory, with­out interruption or avocation from those sad and serious meditations which make his soule to bleed within him. And when once thou hast ope­ned this veyne, suffer it not to close and dry up againe,Motives to weep for sin. but keep the wound still fresh and bleeding. And for Motives to stirre thee up hereunto,

1 Looke upon the example of Christ; hee did not onely offer up strong cries, with teares and supplications, (as here hee wept for Jerusalem) but he shed his own most precious blood: Now what comparison is there betweene a few drops of thy teares, and the streames of his precious blood? If Christ thought not much to shed many drops of his dearest blood for sinne, why should any thinke much to shed a few teares for it? The ho­ly Martyrs have resisted sinne, even to shedding of their own blood, with which they have quen­ched the fire of persecution; and if the streames of blood be spared, through the mercy of God, in the dayes of peace, none may thinke much, as Chrysostome Chysost. to 5. Grae [...]o Lat. de sanct. Martyr. s [...]r. 67. [...]. well gathers, to let a few teares fall from his eyes, wherewith hee may quench the fiery darts of inordinate lust and affections.

2 Consider, that God takes notice of every teare that fals from thine eyes; as himselfe speakes to Hezekia, I have heard thy prayers, and have seene thy tears Isay. 38.5.: so David speaks, The Lord hath heard the voyce of my weeping Psal. 6.8.: implying, that teares have a voyce, which God heares and understands, [Page 43] when the speech failes, and the tongue is not a­ble to utter a word; yet if the heart can bleed for sinne, and the eye shed teares for it, these speake a language that God is well enough acquainted withall. Mary Magdalene wept, and washed the feet of Christ; Peter went out and wept bitterly: wee doe not reade of any words they spake; but doublesse those teares they had a voyce that made earnest prayer and request to GodAugust. to. 5. de civit. Dei ad Marcell. l. 20. p. 191. Q [...]ntò quisque sancti­or est, et desi­derit sancti ple­nior, tanto est ejus in orando fletus ube [...]ior.: The pray­ers of the mouth are oftentimes but lip-labour, and false witnesses of a double heart; as the Lord complaines of his peopleIsay. 29.13.; but the prayers of teares, those are alwayes testimonies of a single heart, and prevaile with God. It is said of Anna, that shee prayed to the Lord, and wept sore,Laurent. Iusti­nian. lignum vi­tae grad. 12. de orat. c. 9. Nemo ad Deum ali­quando fleus accessit, qui non quod po­stulavit, accepe­rit: nullus ab eo, beneficia, dolen [...]er opta­vit, qui non im­petravit; ipse enim est, qui consolatur flentes, dolen­tes curat, poeni­tentes infor­mat.but her voyce was not heard 1 Sam. 1.10.: so that God heares prayers when no voyce is uttered. The silent voyce of teares makes a loud noyse in the eares of God.

3 God doth not onely take notice of thy teares that are shed, but he takes delight in them, as sinfull mirth makes him to weepe as it were: as Christ here wept for Ierusalem, when shee was in the height of her voluptuous courses; so peniten­tiall teares make him to rejoyce; There is more joy in heaven for one sinner that repenteth, than for ninety nine righteous persons that need no amendmentLuke 15.7..

4 GOD doth not onely delight in thy teares, but he will also reward thee; for if a cup of cold water shall not lose his reward, much lesse shall those precious teares, which fall from the eyes of the Saints of God, goe unrewarded; [Page 44] not as if there were such worth and merit in them; but because God is pleased out of his gra­cious dignation freely to promise a reward unto themAugust. 10.8. in Psal. pag 325. Dulciores sunt lachrymae o­tantium, quam gaudia theatro­rum. Bernard. super. Cant. ser. 30. Lachrymae poenitentium vinum eorum, quod in illis vi­tae odor, sapor gratiae, indul­gentiae gustus, reconciliationis jucunditas, sa­nitas redeuntis innocentiae, serenatae suavi­tas consci­entiae.: They which sow in teares shall reape in joy Psal. 126.5.: and againe, Blessed are they that mourne, for they shall be comforted Mat. 5.4.. If therefore thou wilt now weepe and shed teares for thy sinne, God will finde a time to wipe all teares from thine eyes Revel. 21.4..

5 Is it not better now to weepe for thy sinnes when thy teares may doe thee good Chrysost. to. 3. Graecolat. in Psa. 125. pag. 454. & in Psal. 50. pag. 1004., then hereaf­ter to spend an endlesse number of fruitlesse and bootlesse teares without any profit or advantage to thy selfe? There will come a time when teares will not prevaile with God. When the Blessing was gone, Esau could not obtaine it, though hee sought it with tearesHeb. 12.17.. Hee that will not now weepe for his sinnes here in this world, hee shall weepe for them unto all eternity in another world, in that Lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, where there shall bee nothing else but weeping and wayling and gnashing of teeth: and therefore as ever thou desirest to escape this weeping, so let it bee thy care now to prevent it, by weeping and shedding teares for thy sinnes, whiles the shedding of them may doe thee good.

Chap. 6. LUKE 19.42.

Oh if thou hadst knowne, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace, &c!

CHAP. 6.

The will of God touching mans salvation, as it is ge­nerally revealed and propounded in the Gospell.

HItherto of Christs carriage and de­portment towards Jerusalem; It followes now to speak of his words and speeches to her, and therein first of his passionate and patheti­call wish or complaint: wherein first of all, the manner of speech offereth it selfe to our considera­tion, because the originall text is not rendred alike by all. In the translation of it, some looking more at the scope and intention of Christ, who sets himselfe purposely to bewaile the condition of Jerusalem, than at the bare and naked transla­tion of the words; doe render them in the nature of a wish or desire, Oh that thou hadst knowne, &c. and so make the sense full and compleat, without the supply or addition of any thing else unto it; and the particle (If) is sometimes rendred in that [Page 46] sense, as the learned observeJo. Gerh. com. in loc. pag. 344.: and many Inter­preters goe this wayTheoph. Ca [...]t. [...]ans. &c. Em. Sa.. Others looking more punctually at the grammaticall construction of the words in the Originall, render the words in a conditionall phrase, by way of supposition, If thou hadst knowne, &c So the New Translation reads them.. and so seeme to make it a de­fective speech, or a broken and imperfect sen­tence, which must be thus supplyed and made up: If thou hadst knowne the worth and excellency of those good things which are offered unto thee by the comming of a Saviour, thou wouldest not value them at so low a rate: Or; If thou hadst knowne the mise­ry and calamity thou lyest open unto, thou wouldest not sing and rejoyce as now thou doest, but weep and shed teares as thou seest me doe. And this also is well backed with the authority of the learnedCyril. Theod. Maldonat. Stell. Tirin. Tremel., and they are induced to incline to this opinion, because of the teares of Christ mentioned in the verse before.

Now for a man that speakes out of depth of sorow, and fulnesse of griefe, it is nothing strange for him to breake off his speech, and leave it im­perfect; for as it is the nature of joy to inlarge the heart, and dilate the spirits, & so set open as it were a wide door for the thoughts of the heart to goe out and vent themselves; so it is the na­ture of sorrow to contract and straiten, to narrow and draw together the spirits, and as it were to shut the doore of the soule, so that like as it is with a vessell, though it be full of liquor, yet if the mouth of it be stopped, none will flow out; even so it was here with Christ: having begun to [Page 47] speake, he was so overwhelmed with griefe, and so deeply affected with the estate and condition of Jerusalem, that he could not speake out, but was even constrained to weep out the rest of the sentence, leaving the full sense and meaning to be gathered and supplyed out of his teares: as is used in such passionate and patheticall speeches. The matter is not much in regard of the sense and meaning, whether the words be read in manner of a wish, O that thou hadst knowne, &c. or whether they be translated by way of supposition, in a conditional phrase, If thou hadst knowne, &c. And happily he shall not doe amisse that joynes them both toge­ther, and reades the words thus, O if thou hadst knowne So the Old Translation reads them. So Gerh. comment. on the place. Doct. 2. and so they afford this observation.

That Christ did seriously will and desire the welfare of Jerusalem, even that part of Jerusalem which was afterward miserably destroyed, for refusing the mercy that was tendered and offered unto her: neither did he will this as man onely, but likewise as God; the will of the humanity, and the will of the Deity were not contrary, but subordinate; they did both meet in the object or thing willed; that is, in the good and salvation of Jerusalem. And that hee did seriously will it, there be three things in the Text seeme plainely to evince: 1. His teares, as hath been shewed before. 2. His patience and long-suffering, because not­withstanding the killing of so many Prophets, as had beene slaine before, the contempt and under­valuing of so many mercies as had beene offered before; yet even to that very day hee carried [Page 48] thoughts of peace towards her, and accordingly sent her meanes of peace, even such meanes, as from that day forward she should never enjoy the like againe. And what more evident signe of his seri­ous intentions than this, that he is so long, before his thoughts can be taken off from it. 3. His comming to her in his owne person: when the Physitian doth not onely prescribe remedies for his sick Patient, and gives order what hee shall take, but also comes himselfe in his owne person to apply them, lest there should be any mistake or neglect; it is a signe he doth seriously will and desire his recovery; so when Christ comes himselfe in person to Ierusalem, as to his sick patient; it shewes how willing and desirous hee was to worke a cure upon this diseased party, and to heale that was amisse; and this is that which himself testifies, & speaks out plainly elsewhere,Mat. 23.37. O Ierusalem, Ierusalem, how often would I have ga­thered thee, even as the hen gathers her chickens un­der her wings, and yee would not? Yee see what Christ professeth, I would have gathered thee, &c. and that his purpose and intention was serious in the willing of it, appears, 1. From the ingemina­tion of the word, O Ierusalem, Ierusalem: a single compellation had beene sufficient, to let Jerusa­lem know his minde; but that it might make a deeper impression, and that shee might see and perceive his thoughts and purposes to be serious indeed; therefore he doubles the word, O Ieru­salem, Ierusalem Chrysost. To. 1. in N.T. com. in lo. edit. graecolat. pag. 789. [...].: to shew that hee desired her welfare, not by a single and slender intention, but [Page 49] by a more serious and re-doubled affection. 2. From the qualification of the personsChrysost. ibid. [...], whom he would have gathered, they were such as had killed the Prophets, stoned them that were sent, &c. and now ready to exercise the like cruelty upon himselfe. Here were indignities more than suffi­cient to have abated somewhat of his affections towards her, & to have taken off his thoughts and intentions of doing her good, had not the bent and inclination of his will been seriously propen­ding that way. 3. From the frequency of his in­deavours; hee had made an offer and tendry of of salvation unto her, not once, but often; even by all the Prophets in the Old Testament that went before him: neither was there onely an offer ten­dered, but that also seconded with earnest intrea­ties and exhortations to accept of it, and that af­ter so many denyals and refusals of it, he would yet still continue to make the same offer, and that in his owne person; it plainly shewes, that he did seri­ously will and desire her good. 4. From the man­ner of willing, which is set forth here by way of com­parison, as the hen gathers her chickens, &c. Now of all femals amongst the unreasonable creatures, there is none more tenderly affectionate towards her young, than the hen is towards her chickens; other fowls are not knowne to have young, un­lesse it be when they are in the nest, or together with them; but the hen is knowne to have young, even then when shee is apart from them, when they doe not follow her, because even then her wings flagge and hang downe, her feathers [Page 50] are rough,Chap. 5. and stand up, shee goeth feebly, and clocks mournfully, as the Father well observesChryso. ibid. & Aug tract. 15. in Jo. & to 4 oper. 76. H. & To. 8.128 K L. & 216 F.G. & to. 9.29. H.. And therefore Christ comparing his will and af­fection for the good of Jerusalem, with the na­tive propension that is in the hen, to gather her chickens under her wings, doth plainly shew that he did seriously will and desire her good.

AndIo. Bient. cam. in loc. Hae la­chryme ut ex insimis Christi e [...]nant, ita produnt non ipsius tantū, sed etiam Dei p [...] ­tris su [...] affectū erg [...] homines pereuntes, &c. declaravit volū ­tatē Patri [...] sui, tam verbis quā [...]ribꝰ, ut fletu & lachrymis super urbe Hie­rusal. his n. ma­nifeste videmꝰ, Deum maximo ommū dolore propter homi­nes pereuntes affici, &c. etsi non dolet Deus sua natura ut homines dolēt, auamē doloris affectus propter homines perc­untes divino quodāmodo in deo sum [...]ꝰ est. to inlarge the point a little more, and raise it a little higher, from the inhabitants of Je­rusalem, to all those to whom the Gospell is preached, and to whom Christ is offered in the ministery of the Word: for there is a like paritie of reason in both: for Christ came notIoh. 6.38. to doe his own will, but the will of his Father that sent him. And therefore so as Christ willed the good and salvation of Jerusalem, to which he was sent; so doth God will the good and salvation of those to whom the Gospell is preached: that is, as Christ did seriously will the good and salvation of Jerusalem, even of that part of Jerusalem, which for the refusall of his mercy was after­ward miserably destroyed by her enemies: So God doth seriously will and desire the salvation of those to whom the Gospell is preached; even of those, who through their owne fault perish in their sinnes: For God will have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth1 Tim. 2.4.: which words I take in that sense and meaning that I find them interpreted in the Articles of our ChurchR [...]gers An ar. 17. pro. 9. et 10., to wit, according to that conditionall promise of grace and favour to mankind, which is universall; universall, I say, in the offer, or antecedent part [Page 51] of it, though not so in the event or consequent part of it: and so it is taken by Zanchy, and some other moderne DivinesZanch. de nat. Dei, l. 3. c. 4. q. 3. Quaedam vult Deus conditi­onaliter, ut om­nes homines servari si velint, legem implere, aut in Christū credere, & jux [...] hanc sensum illud Apostoli quidam inter­pretātur, 1 Tim. 2.4. proinde quia non om­nes praest [...]nt conditionem, idcirco non omnes servan­tur, &c. Paulo post, Haec voluntas voca­tur antecedens, id (que) proptereae quod Deus an­tequam aliquē vel coelo beet, vel puniat, prae­mittit praecepta quibus signifi­cat quid sibi gratum sit, dein­de subdit minas et promissio­nes, quibꝰ quid facturus de nobis sit, si non obtemperemus, et contrà quid largiturus, si obediamus, de­clarat. Eadē tradit in Mis. l. 3. de pr. sa. ex thes. 2. de vol. Dei Pol. par. theol. de vol. Dei. Cōditio­nalis voluntas Dei est, qua quaedā vult cum adjuncta conditione, & haec vocatur antece­dens, quia antecedit praemium vel poenam proposita in promissionibus vel commina­tionibus; hac vult Deus omnes homines etiam reprobos salvos fieri, et ad agnitionem veritatis venire, nimirum si promissionibus et praedicationi Evangelii fidem habeant & obtemperent, &c. Eadem tradit Synt. theol. l. 2. c. 19., who make the latter part of the sentence to be a condition required of every one, for the obtaining of that salvation which is mentioned in the fore-going part of it, so that the will of God revealed in the Scrip­tures touching mans salvation, it respects both the end, and the meanes; the end which God would have men come unto, it is a happy end, even the salvation of their soules; which salvati­on hee is willing to give unto them, upon such terms and conditions as are expressed in the new Covenant; the meanes he would have them use for the attaining of this end, is, to come to the knowledge of the truth, even that lively and effe­ctuall knowledge which is accompanied with the love of the truth, and obedience to it.

I am not ignorant that some understand the Apostles words of an absolute will in God, and therefore doe not extend or inlarge it to all and every one to whom the Gospell is preached, but onely to some few of all sorts of men. And this interpretation they father upon St. Augustine, the more to endeare it to their followers, by so great a name: and it may not be denyed, but that [Page 52] it containes a truth in it:Chap. 6. for God by his absolute will, which doth alwaies most certainly and in­fallibly take effect, he wills the salvation of none but the elect onely. But yet that learned Father, in that very place where he gives this interpreta­tion, doth also give leave and liberty to every one to follow any other sense and meaning that the words may beare, so be it doe not constrain us to beleeve that the omnipotent power of God can be hindered in those things which he abso­lutely willethAug. Enc [...]yrid. ad Lauren. c. 103. Decimatis om­ne olus, &c. Si­cut hic omne olus, omne ole­rum genus, ita et illic omnes homines, omne hominum genꝰ intelligere pos­sumus, et quo­cun (que) alio mo­do intelligi po­test, dum tamē credere non co­gamur, aliquid omnipotentem Deum voluisse fieri, factumque non esse.. And the same Father doth else­where acknowledge that the words may well ad­mit of another interpretationEpist. 107. vit. Si quo alio mo­do illa verba apostolica intelligi possunt, ut tamē huic apertissimae veritati, in qua videmus tam mul­tos, volentibus hominibus, sed Deo nolēte salvos non fieri, contraria esse non possint.: and himselfe doth so qualifie his former expositionBespad art. falso sibi impositos art. 2. Remota ergo hac discretione, quā divina scientia in­tra secretū suae justitiae continet, sincerissime credendū est ac profitendū, Deum velle ut omnes homines salvi fiant, &c. Paulo post, Ex quibus quod multi pereunt, percuntiū est meritum; quod multi salvantur, salvantis est donum, ut enim reus damnetur, inculpabilis est Dei justitia; ut autem reus justificetur, ineffabilis Dei gratia est., as that he plainly shews, that the cause why men perish, is in themselves, because they doe not desire sal­vation, neither are they willing to have it, upon such termes and conditions as it is offered unto them; so that they come to perish, not simply for want of good will in God towards them, but because they are wanting to themselves, in the use of those meanes that leade to life; and thus doe some of his owne followers interpret his mind and meaning, and will have him to make the Apostle to speake of the antecedent part of that conditionall will, which is revealed and ge­nerally [Page 53] propounded in the GospellAlvarez. de auxi [...]. grat. l. 5. disput. 33. expli­cat 4.. But howe­ver that be, it is certaine, that many learned men doe so interpret the Apostle, both ancient and moderneAmbros. Theo­philact. Oecumen. Aquin. Cajetan. Cornel. [...] lapide, Heming. Mu­thes. Balduin. Bullinger.: Some in their commentaries upon the placeChrys. hom. 1. in epist ad Ephes. Damas. l. 2. de fide orthod. cap. 29. Prosper. l. 2. de vocat. gen c. 19. et 25. Am­bros. 2. de vocat. gen. ca 1. Gerb. lo. to. 2 pag. 186. Meisn. Anthrop. deca. 2. disp. 2. q. 1. dist. 2. Paul. Testard. synops. Doctr. de nat. et grat thes. 298. Sluter. Philant. Divina. ca. 2. Muscul. lo. co [...]. de dispensatione gratiae Dei. pag. 272., and some in other parts of their workes; and that seemes most agreeable to the scope and intention of the place: hee that takes a view of all other interpretations that are given of the words, hee shall finde none amongst them all (those onely excepted which are in sense the same, and doe but differ from it in words and ex­pressions) but it is more strained & wrested from the true sense and meaning of the Holy Ghost, and lyable to more just and materiall exceptions, than this is.

As for that first exposition of Saint Augustine, which interprets the Apostle of an absolute will in God, and restraines it onely to some of all sorts, though it bee received by many, yet it seemes not so proper and sutable to the scope of the place; because the words are brought in as a reason or motive to presse the exhortation laid downe before; to wit, that prayers and suppli­cations be made for all men; and therefore must be of equall extent and largenesse with it. The word All must be so taken in the Motive annex­ed, as it is in the duty enjoyned; God wils the salva­tion of all those for whom he will have his people make prayers and supplications: Their charity in praying must reach to all, because God will have all men saved. Now the word All, in the duty injoyned, as Calvin well observesCalvin. com­ment. 1 Tim. 2. 1, 2. Orationes jubet non pro fidelibus modò concipi, sed pro universo genere humano &c. Videatur Aug to. 2 ep. 107 Vitali Cartha­ginensi., it signifies [Page 54] the whole race of mankinde, and so reach­eth to all and every one: God will have pray­ers and supplications made, not onely for some of all sorts, but for all of every sort; and therefore the Text gives expresse charge, that prayers bee made for all in authority; not only for some of all sorts, as for some Kings, & some that beare office and authority under them, but for all in authority; even those that were no better than Wolves and Beares, and Lyons to the Church; for such were Kings and all in authority in those times; they were so many sworne enemies to Christ and his Kingdome, and yet prayers and supplications are to be made for them. So the Prophet injoynes the Israelites, when they were in captivity under the King of Babel, to seek the prosperity of the City, and to pray for the Kings welfare, and the good suc­cesse of his government Ier. 29.7.: So Christ enjoynes his Disciples to pray for their enemies and persecutors, &c. and that from the example of God himselfe, who causeth his Sunne to shine, and the raine to fall upon the just and unjustMat. 5.44.: So when the peo­ple had revolted, and provoked God with a high hand, what doth Samuel? doth hee cease to pray for them? No: God forbid that I should sinne against God in ceasing to pray for you 1 Sam. 12.23.. There is not any particular man whom the faithfull are to exclude from the benefit of their prayers. E­very one is capable of salvation upon such terms as are expressed in the Covenant; and it is the duty of every one, as to seeke the inlargement of Gods Kingdome, so for that end to pray for him [Page 55] that is without, that he may be added to it: as he is bound to doe good unto all Gal 6.10.; so likewise to pray for them, that being one principall meanes and way by which he is enabled to doe them good; as he is bound to love his neighbour, that is, every one as himselfe, so likewise hee is bound to pray for him; this being one of the best fruits and ef­fects of love that he can shew unto him; as there is none but stands in need of his prayers, and may receive benefit and advantage by them; so none must bee excepted in the making of them. Now from all these premises, it is plaine and evident, that in the duty injoyned by the Apostle, the word All, is to be taken in a generall sense, for all and every one; and therefore in all congruity of reason, it must be of the same extent and large­nesse in the Motive that is used for the inforcing of it, because otherwise it would not beare up the waight that is laid upon it, it would not reach home, nor serve the Apostles purpose and inten­tion; it would not be sufficient or available to perswade unto, or to further and put on the pra­ctise of that precept for which it is brought: and this is consonant and agreeable to other places of Scripture, where the same truth is asserted and laid downe. Let one or two suffice in stead of all the rest;Ezek 33.11. As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turne and live, &c. Where ye have first the declara­tion of Gods will and affection to the sonnes of men, and then the proofe and confirmation of it. God declares himselfe to stand tenderly affe­cted [Page 56] towards the sonnes of men, as appeares,

1 By the quality of the person to whom hee beares this good will, and that is a sinner, not on­ly a repenting sinner, as some glosse upon it, but even of that sinner, who for the refusing of mercy offered, dyeth and perisheth in his sinne; as is plaine by comparing this with another parallel placeEzek. 18.23.; I have no pleasure in the death of him that dyeth, &c.

2 By the nature of the affection hee expresseth toward him, and that is set downe partly by way of negation; I have no pleasure in his death, or I de­sire not his death: that is, antecedently, and of himselfe, in the primary intention of his Provi­dence towards him: for Gods primary intention in sending the Gospell to any, is to bring him to salvation, and not to seale up and further his con­demnation; unlesse it bee through his own fault, undervaluing the mercy offered, and neglecting the helpes and meanes afforded unto him in the sameBernard ser. 5. in natali Domi­ni. Deus ex se sumit semina­riummi serendi: quod judicat & condemnat nos, eum quo­dammodo co­gimus, ut lon­gè aliter de corde ipsius miseratio, quam animad­versio procede­re videatur.; as Christ tels the JewesIohn. 5.34, 40.; These things I say unto you that ye might be saved, but yee will not come unto me, that yee might have life, &c. And partly it is set downe by way of affirmation, but rather that he turne from his wickednesse and live; hee would have him to live, and is willing to give life and salvation to him, according to that course of providence that he hath taken for him, in, and by the new Covenant; and that he may live, hee would have him to turne away from his wicked­nes, that deprives him of life: for to that end and purpose hee sends his Word and Messengers, to [Page 57] convince him of his sinne, to terrifie and affright him with it, to shame him out of his sinfull cour­ses. Againe, yee have the proofe and confirma­tion of all this, As I live saith the Lord; hee confirmes it with an oath: the bare promise of God deserveth credit, because it is he that can­not lie which hath promised; but when he binds himselfe by oath to make good that promise, who can make the least doubt of it? And there­fore God promiseth with an oath to make his promise the more firme and stableHier. to. 2. epis [...] 46. Ide [...]co ju­rat, ut si non credimus pre­mittenti Deo, credamus sal­tem pro salute juranti.: God willing more abundantly (saith the Apostle) to shew to the heires of promise the stablenesse of his counsell, hath bound himselfe with an oath, &c. that by two immu­table things, wherein it is impossible that God should lie, they might have strong consolation Heb. 6.16..

Againe, the same truth is confirmed in the new Testament, by those two great Apostles, the Apostle of the Gentiles, and the Apostle of the Jewes, S. Paul, and S. Peter; Rom. 11.32. God hath shut up all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all. Where ye see, that misery and mercy are in some sort of equall extent; that is, though all that bee in misery doe not obtaine mercy, yet they are some wayes under mercy: those that are made miserable by the breach of the first Covenant, are made capable of mercy by vertue of the se­cond CovenantBernard. ser. 1. in purificat. Ma­riae. Omnibus offertur, & in communi posi­ta est Dei mi­sericordia: ne­mo illius ex­pe [...]s est, nisi qui renuit. See Dr P. ser. on Rom. [...].17. pa 9. 10. 11. &c. H. Scud. his Chry­stians daily walke ca. 15. s. 2. pag. 458. Culverwell his Treatise of Fa. p. 29.: Whom the Law convinceth of sinne, to them the Gospell offereth mercy in Christ. And the primary purpose and intention of God in the worke of the Law, is to prepare them for Christ, and for the Gospell; that being [Page 58] made sensible of their sinne and misery by the Law, they might bee more willing to accept of mercy, upon such termes and conditions as it is offered in the Gospell. God never shuts up any under sinne by the spirit of bondage, but it is with a purpose and intention to fit him for mercy, if he make a right use of this passage of his providence towards him; that is, when out of a kindly im­pression that it hath wrought upon him, hee is moved to seeke out for mercy, in that way and order that God hath appointed. So then, as the purpose and intention of God in the Ministe­ry of the Law, is to shut up all under sinne, to shew them what they are in themselves, that eve­ry mouth may be stopped, and all made culpable be­fore God Rom. 3.19.: so his pupose and intention in the Gospell, and the Covenant of grace, is, to set open a doore of mercy to all, that they may be encoura­ged through hope of finding mercy, to seeke af­ter it: & to this accordeth the Apostle S. Peter Pet. 3.9.; God is patient towards us, and would have no man perish, but all men to come to repentance. The per­sons of whom God speakes, are such as are the object of his patience, towards whom he exerciseth his long suffering; and those are not onely some of all estates and conditions, but all and every one, of what estate and condition so ever hee bee; not onely the elect, but more especially the rest of the world, even those that abuse his pa­tience, and treasure up unto themselves wrath a­gainst the day of wrath Rom. 2.4.; who are therefore ter­med vessels of wrath Rom. 9 22., he suffereth with much pa­tience [Page 59] vessels of wrath fitted for destruction; Aug. resp ad artic. falso sibi impositos art. 13 Nefas est Deo ascribere cau­sas peccatorum & [...]uinarum omnium. now if ye would know how God stands affected to these, the Apostle resolves it first negatively, not willing that any should perish; having no antece­dent thoughts of their destruction, before they give occasion, and are looked upon as persons worthy of destruction, for their sinnes: then af­firmatively, Hee would have all men come to re­pentance Calvin comm. in loc. Mirus hic erga huma­num genus a­mor, quod om­nes vult esse salvos, & ultrò pereuntes in sa­lutem colligere paratus est, &c. omnibus enim promiscuè ma­num porrigit Deus, in Evan­gelio., lest any should thinke that the act of Gods will stands in an indifferent neutrality, touching mans salvation, not caring greatly whe­ther they sink or swim, or what become of them; therefore the Apostle doth not onely cleare the will of God from being a cause of their pe­rishing; but also shewes, that it hath a positive act, for, and towards the procuring of their sal­vation, because he is willing that all should come to repentance, and by repentance to remission of sins, and eternall life. By all which places, and many o­thers that might bee alledged to the same pur­pose; it is plaine and evident, that God doth se­riously wil the good and salvation of many, who notwithstanding through their owne fault, perish in their sinnes.

CHAP. 7.

That the offer of Grace in the Ministery of the Word is generall, without exception of sinnes or persons.

Chap. 7 1 ANd that there is in God a reall purpose and intention of giving life and salvation to all those to whom the Gospell is preached, may ap­peare upon these two grounds.

1 The generality of the offer that is made un­to them.

2 The sincerity of Gods meaning in it: for if God offer life and salvation unto all in the Mi­nistery of the Word, and withall meane truely, and sincerely, as hee speakes, and as the offer im­ports, it must needs follow, that there is a reall purpose and intention in him of giving life and salvation accordingly.

1 The offer is generall, without exception either of sinnes or persons:Peter. Com. in loc. Illud (om­nis) indicat di­vini hujus de­ni f [...]uctum esse generalem, et ad omne genus hominum per­tinere. So God loved the world, that he gave his onely begotten Sonne, that who so beleeveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life Iohn 3.16.: Where yee see there is an of­fer of salvation tendered to the world, not onely to the world of beleevers, but to the whole world of mankinde, wheresoever the Gospell is preached to them; as appeares by another place equivalent to this, and which may bee in stead of a comment upon it1 John 2.2.; [Page 61] where there is mention made of the whole world, Chap. 6. and that phrase is not any where restrained in all the Scripture, either to the elect onely, or true beleevers, and that it is so to be understood in this place, may appear partly from the text it selfe, which doth not obscurely imply, that this world, to which the offer of salvation is tendered, is divided into beleevers, that doe obtaine salvati­on; and unbeleevers that misse of itSee Culverw. his apologie annexed to his treatise of faith Calv. com in loc. Ideireo Christꝰ vitā attulit, quia coelestis pater genus humanū quod amat, pe­ [...]ire nolit, &c. universalē notā apposuit, tum ut promiscuè omnes ad vitae participationē invi [...]et, tum ut praecîdat occa­sionem incre­dulis. Eodem etiam pertinet nomen Mundi, quo prius usus est, &c. se toti mundo propiti­um esse [...]stēdit, cum sine excep­tione omnes ad fidem Christi vocat, quae nihil aliud est quam ingressus in vi­tam, &c patet omnibus Chri­stus, et exposi­tus est.; for when the text saith, whosoever beleeveth in him shall be saved, &c. doth it not secretly intimate that there is but onely a part of this world, even that part that beleeves in Christ, that is brought to salvati­on? the rest of this world, though they have life and salvation offered unto them as well as others, yet they misse of eternall life, and perish in their sinnes, because they doe not beleeve in him. But more plainly doth this appeare from the words following, where ye have first the end of Christs comming into the world, set downe ver. 17. and that both negatively, not to condemne the world, removing that from Christ, which was not any part of his primarie purpose and intention; and also affirmatively, but that the world through him might be saved: that was his primarie and princi­pall intention; and hee did make the world capable of salvation. Then secondly, ye have the issue and event that falls out in the world by the comming of Christ, and that set downe ver. 18. He that be­leeveth in him is not condemned, but he that belee­veth not in him is condemned already. What could be spoken more plainly and fully, to shew that [Page 62] part of this world to which salvation is offered in Christ, is saved by beleeving in him; and part of it is condemned for not beleeving in him.

Againe, not to multiply Scriptures in so cleare a case, take one for all,Mar. 16.15. Goe and preach the Gospell to every creature. Now to preach the Gospell, it is not to make an historicall narration of the nature, person, and offices of Christ, but to pub­lish and declare, that there is a redemption purcha­sed by Christ, and that whosoever beleeve in him shall be made partakers of it: So that upon the matter, to preach the Gospell, is nothing else, but to offer life and salvation; and therefore to whomsoever the Gospell is preached, to him is life and salvation offered. Now when Christ sends forth his Apostles to preach the Gospell, he furnisheth them with authority and commissi­on, to goe and preach to every creature: that is, to hold forth the golden Scepter of mercy, and to offer life and salvation, upon such conditions as are expressed in the new Covenant, to every person under heaven Muscu. de dis. grat. Dei in loc. com. pag. 268. Parata est gratia Dei, et exposita toti orbi, perinde ac solis beneficium, calorem ac splendorem suum passim effundentis, omnibus est paratum. Et. p. 272. Hujus verò (sc. gratiae) dispensatio, ad universas totius orbes nationes, ac mortales omnes, divina est bonitate destinata. Item de Philanthropia Dei, pa. 767. Quintum Philanthropiae Dei ar­gumentū, est in redemptionis nostrae dispensatione, quae complectitur vocationem ge­neralem, qua per evangelium regni sui, cunctas totius orbis nationes, ad coelestem gra­tiam vocavit. Act. syn. Dor. ar. 2. thes. 5. Promissio Evangelii, omnibus populis et hominibus, ad quos Deus pro suo beneplacito mittit Evangelium, promiscuè et indiscriminatim annunciari, et proponi debet, cum resipiscentiae et fidei man­dato. Sent. Theol. mag. Brit. art. 2 thes. 5. In Ecclesia juxta Evangelii promissum, salus om­nibus offertur. Zanch. suppl. ad Sen. Arg. de praed. thes. 8. Promissiones cum sint universales, quibus Deus gratiam suam offert, ideo nemo scipsum excludat, sed cum pariter omnes peccaverimus, omnes ex aequo salutem oblatam apprehendamus..

[Page 63]And the Ministers of the Gospell which now succeed the Apostles in preaching the faith of Christ, they have the same commission to preach the Gospell respectively in their severall places; they are Ambassadors for Christ, as the Apostle speaks2 Cor. 5.19.: and therefore may not deliver any am­bassage, but such as is agreeable to the mind and meaning of their heavenly Master: and therefore if by vertue of their office and commission they may hold a treaty of peace with every creature under heaven; and in the name of their Lord and Master offer conditions of peace to all and every one that heares, if he will come in, and lay downe his weapons of rebellion; it must needs follow, that God who sends this message of peace by the hands of his servants, doth also by them, offer conditions of peace, to all and every one to whom this message is sent, and the Gospell preached.

And it must needs be so for these three rea­sons: 1. Because there is no creature under hea­ven, but may lay claime and title to the blessings promised in the Gospell, upon performance of the conditions; that is, if he repent, and beleeve, which could not be, unlesse the same were offe­red and tendered unto him, upon such conditi­ons; as we see it is with the devils, though they could repent of their sins, and beleeve in Christ; yet can they not challenge thereby remission of sinnes, or eternall life, because there is no such promise made unto them; life and salvation is no where offered unto them upon any condition; and therefore if life and salvation were offered [Page 64] onely to the Elect,Chap. 6. the rest of the world should be in the same condition with the devils, as unca­pable of mercy as they are; which may not be granted: for there is not any man living within the pale of the Church, but hath a tye and obli­gation laid upon him to repent and beleeve:Acts 17.30. Now he commandeth all men every where to repent; And againe,1 Iohn 3.23. This is his commandement, that wee beleeve in the name of the Sonne of God, &c. And God never requireth of any the conditions of faith and repentance, but with assurance of re­mission of sinnes, and eternall life, if they be per­formed.Acts 2.38, 39. Repent and be baptized every one of you, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy Ghost: for the promise is made to you, and to your children, and to all that are a farre off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. All that are under the command, are also under the promise; they are both of the same latitude and extent; that is, both runne in generall termes; and no marvell, for the pro­mise is used as an argument or motive to per­swade and incourage obedience to the com­mand; and therefore if it were not of equall ex­tent with it, if the commandement were more large than the promise, or if the promise did not reach as farre as the commandement, it would not be able to beare up the waight that is laid up­on it: whereas God never useth any motive to perswade obedience to his people, but there is sufficient reason in it, to prevaile with them, if it be rightly considered, and so it is in this case, as the Scripture makes it plain and evident,Mat. 7.7, 8. Aske [Page 65] and ye shall have, seeke and ye shall finde, Chap. 7. knock and it shall be opened unto you: for whosoever asketh re­ceiveth, whosoever seeketh findeth, whosoever knock­eth, to him it shall be opened Bulling. com. in loc. Ne diceres, non aude [...] Deū precibus meis fatigare, in prae­sentia dixit, Petite et dabi­tur. Imo ne cau­sareris hanc sententiam for­tassis ad te ni­hil pertinere, addit: quisquis enim petit, &c. Muscul com. in loc. Ita compa­rata est divina bonitas, ut ne­mo sit futurus cui non detur, dummodo pe­tat; nemo sit qui non sit in­venturus, dum­modo quaerat; nemo sit exclu­dendus, modo pulset. Sent. Theol. mag. Brit. art. 2 thes 4 In merito mor­tis Christi, fun­datur universa­le promissum evangelicum, juxta quod Om­nes in Christū, remissionem peccatorum, et vitam aeternam reipsa consequantur. Caejet. com. in loc. Quodlibet horum trium definitur, efficax, universaliter.. Where ye see the promise is made to all those upon whom the commandement is laid, they runne along toge­ther in an equall extent, and the promise is made good, in as full and ample terms, as the command is obeyed: not any of all those that perform the conditions required, that is disappointed of the blessing promised to it: for whosoever asketh re­ceiveth, &c.

2. Because there is no ground or warrant, that any one can have that he shall receive remis­sion of sinnes, if hee doe imbrace the promise of the Gospell, and lay hold upon it by a lively faith; if the offer be not tendered in generall termes, without exception either of sinnes or per­sons, to all and every one that doth beleeve; for there is no such promise as hath this, and that man particularly, and by name, mentioned in it; and therefore if ye aske any man a reason of the faith that is in him, or what ground and warrant he hath, to beleeve that he shall obtain remission of sinnes, if hee doe repent, and obey the Go­spell, seeing his name is no where in all the Go­spell particularly mentioned; he can give no other reason but this, that remission of sinnes is offered and tendered in generall termes; whosoever re­penteth, whosoever beleeveth, &c. and therefore [Page 66] it will follow by good consequence, If I repent and beleeve, I shall obtaine mercy and forgive­nesseMuscul. com. in Ioan. c. 3.16. Neque putare quisquam debet dilectionē hāc Dei, ob id ad se minꝰ pertinere, quod in genere destinata est omnibus: ut e­nim nemo est mortalium, qui non sit mundi hujus à Deo di­lecti portio: ita nemo est ad quem non per­tineat divina ista dilectio, ni­si sit, qui incre­dulita [...]e sua, se­ipsum à benefi­cio illius exclu­dat., because there is none excluded in the generall offer of it; no particular, but fals within the compasse of that generall, whosoever repenteth, whosoever beleeveth, &c. whereas if the offer of Christ and salvation were not generall, there is no man could have any ground or bot­tome for his faith to rest upon, when the Gospell is first preached unto him; for when the Gospell is first preached to men, in the estate of their un­regeneracy, it is impossible for any to know his election, then, when there is no peculiar fruits or effects of it to be found in him; when as yet there is nothing wrought in him,Rom. 3.33. that puts a difference betweene him and another man. And therefore if the offer were made onely to the Elect, the Go­spell should be preached in vaine, to men in their naturall estate and condition, because they could not then possibly know whether it did concerne them or not, being altogether ignorant of their election; and therefore that every one may know, that it doth concerne him, the offer of mercy is tendered in generall terms without exception either of sins or persons: for there is none can beleeve in Christ by a justifying faith, before hee doe be­leeve the generall promise of the Gospell by an historicall faith: he must first beleeve this to be a truth in generall, That whosoever repents of his sin shall be forgiven; whosoever takes Christ, shall have salvation with him, &c. before he will ever come to resolve upon it, for the doing of the same; [Page 67] but when this foundation is well laid by an histo­ricall faith, That whosoever layes hold upon the ge­nerall promise of the Gospell by a lively faith, shall be saved: this is apt to beget thoughts and purposes in­clining that way, to make a man willing to im­brace that conditionall promise by a lively and justifying faith, by consenting and agreeing to the conditions of it, and undertaking by way of covenant for the performance of the same: for the preaching of the Gospell, it is like the procla­mation of a generall pardon sent forth into the world Aret. com. in Joan. 1.9. Illu­minat omnem hominem, &c. potest intelligi hic locus de ob­lata gratia, quae omni mortaliū generi offertur, &c. Christi e­nim beneficiū omnibus offer­tur sine discri­mine. Perer. com. in Io. 1.9. Dicendum divinum lumē lucere omnibꝰ, qui omnibus propositum et oblatum est. Tolet. com. in Ioa. 1.9. Dicitur lux illa omnem ho­minem illumi­nare, sicut et sol, qui sufficiens lumen expandit, ut omnes illuminet, et omnibus proposi­tus est, ut videant. Lorin. com. in 2 Pet. 3.9. Hinc porro elicitur, &c. paratā semper in hac vita, hominibus gratiam esse, &c. nec ullam poni exceptionem debere, vel in peccatis, vel in peccatoribus, quantumlibet peccaverint.: like as it is with a King, that sends forth a Proclamation of pardon to his subjects that are run out in rebellion against him; promising, that if any will lay downe his weapons of rebellion, and come in and submit himself, he shal be recei­ved againe into favour. Now seeing there is not any, whose name in particular is set down, nor him­selfe by name mentioned in that Proclamation; none could have any ground or warrant to obtain par­don, upon his submission, if the offer of it were not tendered in generall termes; but when hee seeth that the proclamation of pardon runnes in such a generality, that none are excluded; this makes him assume and inferre upon it; therefore if I come in and submit my selfe, I shall finde fa­vour and mercy at the Kings hand; and so buil­ding upon the truth of that generall promise or [Page 68] offer made by the King, he is thereby drawne to lay down his weapons of rebellion, and so comes againe to be received into his Princes favour: even so it is with the King of heaven; hee sends out a proclamation of pardon into the world, promising life and salvation to all and every one that repents and beleeves in Christ, &c. Now seeing there is not any man particularly, and by name mentioned in that Proclamation, none could have any ground or warrant to obtaine life and salvation upon his repentance, if the offer of it were not tendered in generall termes; but when a man seeth the promise of pardon run in such a generality, as excludeth none; then he begins to think with himselfe, certainly there is mercy to be had for me, if it be sought for: why? because there is a generall Proclamation made at the Market crosse, of every thirsty soul, and an offer of mercy tendered to every one that is desirous of it, without exception either of sins or persons. Esay. 55.1. Hoe, every one that thirsteth come ye to the waters, and ye that have no mony come, come, I say, and buy wine, and milke, and refined things, without silver and without money: Then he begins seriously to con­sider with himselfe, certainly God will receive me, if I come unto him: why? because there is a generall invitation sent forth to all and every one, he lets every one know that he keeps open house, and sets open his doores for all commers;Rev. 22.17. Let whosoever will come and take of the waters of life freely: not as if it were in the power of a mans own will to come unto Christ; for he must [Page 69] be prevented by the grace of God, and made willing, before he have any thoughts or inclina­tions that way; but when he findes himselfe thus farre wrought upon, that hee hath a will and de­sire after that which is good, hee needs not make any question, but God is ready and willing to doe him good, if he come unto him in that way, and those meanes that God hath appointed for his good, because the invitation runnes in gene­rall termes, let who soever will come.

3 Because those that live under the meanes, and enjoy the Ministery of the Word, and are not effectually wrought upon by the same, they are guilty of refusing Christ, and of refusing grace, and mercy, and salvation with him;Pro. 1.24. Be­hold, I have called, and ye have refused, &c. Imply­ing, that those who are outwardly called by the Word, if that Word doe not prevaile with them, it leaves them guilty of the refusall of grace, and mercy; those that have the Gospell preached un­to them, and receive no benefit or advantage from it, they refuse life and salvation:Acts 13.46. It was ne­cessary that the Word of God should first of all bee preached unto you, but seeing yee put it away from you, loe wee turne to the Gentiles. Now they could not bee said to refuse Christ, or the priviledges and benefits purchased by him, unlesse they had beene tendered unto them; no man can bee said to refuse a thing, that was never offered unto him; no more than hee can bee said to forget a thing, which was never knowne to him. The Heathen that never heard of Christ, they may be [Page 70] guilty of other sinnes, and justly condemned for them, but they are not guilty of positive infide­lity or refusing ChristDyke on Iohn 3.19, 20. Per­kins in his Treatise of conscience, fol. 522..John 15.22. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they should not have had sinne, but now have they no cloake for their sinne Bernard. epist. 77. Si non lo­quutus fuissem eis, &c. Osten­dens sine dubio non ante cen­seri inexcusabi­les de con­temptu, quam ad ipsorum usque noti­tiam jussio perveniret, nam si loquu­tus fuisset sed non eis, in­obedientiae culpam ignorantia nihilominus excusaret. Vide Aug. in Evan. Ioan. tract. 89. in ep. Ioan. tr. 6. & sermo. 11. de Verb. Dom. & epist. 105. Estius in sent. l. 2. d. 22. s. 14. Ignorantia juris positivi, reddit actum involuntarium, quoad rationem peccati; nam qui eum facit nescit esse prohibitum: non est autem ejusmodi actus peccatum, nisi quatenus prohibi­tus est. Sylvius comment. in Thom. 2.2. q. 10. arti. 1. Observandum est infidelitatem, aliam esse negativam, aliam privativam, aliam contrariam: Negativa, est nuda fidei carentia, in eo cui fides vel non est annuntiata, vel certè non sufficienter; talem infide­litatem habent ii, qui vel de fide nihil audiverunt, vel audiverunt quidem, sed ita obiter, ut mysteria fidei nondum sunt eis ostensa esse evidenter credibilia. Pri­vativa infidelitas, est carentia fidei in eo qui potuit ac debuit credere, sed non voluit, etiamsi nullum habeat ertorem positivum in intellectu, ut quando aliquis non vult fidem audire, vel auditam, sufficienterque propositam, omittit acceptare. Infidelitas contraria, est carentia fidei, in eo, cui, etsi fides sit sufficienter proposita, non vult tamen credere, sed vel expresse et formaliter, negat aliquam propositionem pertinentem ad fidem, vel asserit errorem tali propositioni contrarium. Infidelitas me­rè negativa, non est peccatum, sed infidelitas contraria vel privativa, ejus qui doctrinam fidei, sufficienter sibi propositam, non acceptat, peccatum est, sive positivum errorem fi­dei contrarium habeat, sive non habeat.: that is, they should not have beene guilty of this sinne of refusing Christ, and salvation by him, as now they are. It is mercy offered that makes men guilty of refusal: the Jews were guilty of refusing Christ, because he came unto his owne, and his owne received him not Iohn 1.11.. The world is guilty of refu­sing light, because light is come into the world, and men love darknesse more than light Iohn 3.19.. The Guests in the Gospell were guilty of refusing kindnesse, because when they were invited they would not come Matth. 22 3.; but all with one consent began to make ex­cuse Luke 14.18.. The Jewes were guilty of refusing grace, because they alwayes resisted the Holy Spirit Act. 7.51.: [Page 71] So that if the offer of mercy were not generall, if Christ and salvation were offered onely to the Elect, then none should bee guilty of refusing Christ, and his benefits; for all the Elect doe im­brace him, at least some time or other, and the rest of the world cannot bee said to refuse him, if hee was never offered unto them; and therefore either none refuse him, or else there is a generall offer made, and tendered to all and every one, as well those that refuse him, as those that doe re­ceive him; and so the Apostle speakethTit. 2.11., The grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, &c. The doctrine of grace which is the Gospel, is said to bring salvation to all men, because it makes a generall offer and tender of it to all and every one to whom the Gospell is preached. And so much shall suffice for the first thing, to prove that there is in God a reall purpose and intention of giving life and salvation upon some condition to all those to whom the Gospell is preached, namely, the generality of the offer.

CHAP. 8.

That Gods meaning in the generall offer of grace is sincere.

Chap. 8 COncerning the second thing, to wit, the since­rity of Gods meaning in this generall offer, it may appeare from these foure grounds.

  • 1 From his appointing of meanes for that end.
  • 2 From the nature of the meanes which hee appointeth.
  • 3 From his earnestnesse in pressing and per­swading men to use the same.
  • 4 From his promise of a blessing to the care­full and diligent use of them.

1 From the appointing of meanes; for God would not ordaine and appoint meanes to bee used, if he had no purpose or intention of bring­ing men to that end, for which they were ap­pointed, and to which they lead. No man will provide wood, and stone, and other materials, and then hire workmen to hew and square, smooth and polish them with choyce instru­ments, that never intends to build a house. No man will take order with servants to plow his field, and sow his seed in it, that never intends a crop or harvest: So GOD would not appoint meanes to bee used by men for the obtaining of life and salvation, if hee had no minde or mea­ning [Page 73] to bestow it upon themRuiz. de vo­luntate Dei, disput. 20 s. 6. Quia Deus vult medium salutis, forma­liter ut medi­um, convinci­tur eum velle singulorum sa­lutem, quae est finis, et conse­quenter non habere volun­tatem antece­dentem, impe­diendi conse­quutionem finis: quia me­dium formali­ter, ut medium, quiddiattivè consistit in eo, quod destine­tur ad finem actualiter con­sequendum: qui ergo ante­cedenter, et quantum est ex parte suâ, im­pedimentū me­dio vult oppo­nere, ne finem actualiter cōse­quatur, eo ipso vult in medio, non exerceri rationem me­dii: nam qui vult medium formaliter ut medium, vult illud propter finem, unde prius, et magis vult finem.; for the meanes, as meanes, are neither usefull nor desirable, but as they stand in reference to the end: The end is desira­ble for it selfe, as having that in it which is apt and sufficient to fill and satisfie the desire of the soule; but the means have nothing in them which is amiable, pleasing, or worth the desiring, but what they receive by an influence which the end hath into them. No wise Physitian will prescribe or appoint bitter Pils and potions to be taken for any sweetnesse or pleasantnesse which they have in themselves, but onely out of a desire, and in hope of obtaining health, which is the end for which they are made; a man may in some sort desire the end, that doth not desire the meanes that lead unto it; as the sluggard, that desires wealth, but will not labour or take paines to get it; but as the Schoolmen well observe, hee can in no sort will and desire the meanes, but he must withall will and desire the end for which they were appoin­tedAquin. 1.2 q. 8. art. 3. Voluntas potest ferri in finem, in quan­tum hujusmodi, sine hoc quod feratur in ea quae sunt ad finem, sed in ea quae sunt ad finem, in quantum hujusmodi, non potest ferri, nisi feratur in finem.: And therefore if God have appointed meanes to bee used for the obtaining of life and salvation, there can bee no question made touch­ing the truth and sincerity of his purpose and in­tention of giving life and salvation to all, and e­very one that is carefull and desirous to use the same; because the meanes in which hee offereth mercy, they are his owne meanes, even of his owne appointment; and if he had no minde or meaning [Page 74] to bestow those blessings on men, which hee commands them to seeke, then should the meanes be appointed in vaine, which is farre from the thoughts and counsels of the most wise God: for if Nature, which is but Gods Hand-maid, ap­point nothing in vaine, much lesse will the God of Nature doe it. Esa. 45.19. I said not in vaine to the seed of Ia­cob, Seeke ye me: for I the Lord speak righteousnesse, and declare righteous things.

If a King doe not onely offer a pardon to a Traitor that is banished, but also appoint meanes, and set him in a way by which hee may obtaine it; it is a signe that his meaning is reall in the ten­drie of it, and that his purposes and intentions are serious in it. Even so it is with God, hee is ge­nerall in the offer and tendrie of salvation, as hath beene shewed, and he appointeth meanes to be used by all, for the obtaining of it; and there­fore hee meanes sincerely, as the offer imports. When the woman of Tekoa goes about to per­swade David to call home Absolon, whom hee had banished, and be reconciled with him, shee drawes her argument from the example of God, who is willing to be reconciled to the banished sonnes of men, if meanes be used for it; nay, himselfe hath appointed meanes for the procuring of it2. Sam. 14.14.; God accepteth no mans person, yet hath hee appoin­ted meanes not to cast out from him him that is ex­pelled: and therefore his purposes and intenti­ons are serious in it: Men cannot be so willing to bee reconciled to God, as he is willing to receive them againe into his favour; God is the more [Page 75] willing of the two, because he makes the first of­fer of it, and ordaines and appoints meanes for the furtherance and procuring of it; and as a learned Writer observesMat. Martin. in Schol. Pre­mens. professor. com. in Psal. 2. pag. 285. Non dubitabo in eo me nunc statu vitae esse, ubi misericordiae janua patet, ut ego non pos­sum esse tam cupidus ad in­grediendum per eam, quin Deus longè sit promptior, ad me recipi­endum: absit enim ut mihi quisquam per­suadeat, me esse proniorem ad diligendum Deum, quam ille sit ad me amandum: hac itaque ignomi­nia Deum me­um neutiquam asficiam, ut ex­istimare velim, me esse melius affectum in Deum, quam ille sit in me animatus., it casts a great ignominy and reproach upon God, for any to thinke that hee stands better affected towards God, than God doth to him. The truth of this will yet further be cleared, if it be well considered; either what God himselfe speakes of his owne purpose and inten­tion in the appointing of meanes; or what the Scripture saith of the neglect of the same: God knowes best his owne minde and meaning, and there is no better way to judge aright of it, than according to that report which hee himselfe makes of it. Now ye know what Christ saith of himselfe,Iohn 5.34. These things have I spoken, that yee might be saved: where it is cleare, that his pur­pose and intention in speaking the Word of life, is to bring men to life; and the purpose and in­tention of God in all the meanes and mercies hee shewes unto them, is to lead them to repentance Rom. 2.4.. yea, God himselfe in affording those meanes, is said to expresse his willingnesse to purge them from their sinnes;Ezek. 24.13. I would have purged thee, but thou art not purged, &c. his readinesse to heale and cure the diseases of their soules: Jer. 52.9. Wee would have cured Babel, but she is not healed, &c. his de­sire to gather them under the wings of his mercy;Mat. 23.37. O Ierusalem, Ierusalem, how often would I have gathered thee, even as the Henne gathers her Chic­kens under her wings, &c! And what could bee said more plainly to manifest and declare the [Page 76] truth and sincerity of his meaning in those offers and tendries of salvation which are made unto them; the same is likewise apparent by that which the Scripture speakes of the neglect of the meanes; to wit, that men misse of those blessings which they might have had, if they had not beene wanting to themselves in that kinde:2 Thes. 2.10. They received not the love of the truth that they might be saved: their neglect in this kinde is said to hinder and keepe backe good things from them, as the Prophet speakes;Ier. 5.25. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sinnes have hindered good things from you: and againe,Isa. 59.2. Your iniquities have separated betweene you and your God, and your sinnes have hid his face from you that he will not heare. Now the neglect of duty can­not be said to turne away that blessing which was never intended to be given upon performance of the same. If God had not prepared blessings for his people, and provided meanes by which they might bee made partakers of them, and withall had a sincere purpose and intention, upon some conditions, to bestow the same upon them, they could not be said by their sinnes and iniquities, in neglecting the meanes, to turne away those bles­sings from them.

2 The truth and sincerity of Gods meaning in that generall offer of life and salvation, which hee makes to men, may appeare from the nature of the meanes which hee appointeth; because they are such, as in their native tendency lead unto it, there is no better way to judge of Gods purpose [Page 77] and intention in appointing meanes, than by the nature of the meanes themselves; for looke what is the end which the meanes in their owne nature tend unto, and that is Gods end in the appointing of them, and in his ordinary course of dealing with men, as the learned observeSen. Theol. mag Brit. ar. 3. & 4. ad thes. 3. Ex natu­ra beneficii ob­lati, et verbo Dei apertissi­mo, judicandū est de illis gra­tiae auxiliis, quae hominibꝰ suppeditantur, non autem ex abusu, aut even­tu. Cum igitur Evangeliū, ex sua natura vo­cet homines ad poenitentiam et salutem, cum gratiae excita­menta eodem tendant, nihil hic simulatè à Deo agi putan­dum est.: because the means are alwayes chosen and appointed, for and out of a love and desire of the end. If the Physitian pre­scribes such receipts to his sick patient, as are in their owne nature apt and fit to cure his disease; what other thoughts can be entertained touching his purpose and intention, but that he meanes truely and sincerely to doe him good? when a Master puts his servant into such a way, and gives him or­der and direction to hold on and goe forward in it; what other thoughts can be conceived of his purpose and intention, but that he should come to such a place whither that way leades, and brings unto? even so when God wils and requires that I should use such meanes, that I should walke in such a way, as leads to life and happinesse; what other thoughts can be entertained touching his end and purpose in so doing, but that he meanes truly and sincerely that I should come to that end, which that way and meanes leade untoHeming. ad Eph. c. 1. ver. 6. pa. 386. Cum Deus invitat omnes per prae­dicationē Evan­gelii ad fidem, non est dubitā ­dū, quin revera velit omnium salutem: absit enim à piis mē ­tibꝰ procul, en­tire cor miseré­tis disc [...]e pare à voce vocantis.?

If God send me food and nourishment, which in its owne nature is apt, and also appointed for the preserving and maintaining of life; shall I thinke that it is his purpose & intention in so doing, that I should pine away, and die of famine? If God send me rayment and apparell, which in it selfe is apt, and in its own nature ordained to cloathe the [Page 78] body; shall I thinke it is his purpose and intenti­on that I should goe naked? what were this but to say that God intends to fill the world with dark­nesse, when he causeth the sun to shine upon it? or that he intends to scorch and burne up the fruits of the earth, when he causeth the former and later raine, in seasonable and plentifull showers to de­scend upon it? whereas there is an inseparable connexion betweene the end and the meanes. In Gods ordinary course and dealing with men, of his own accord, he never separates them or puts them asunder, neither would he have his people to doe it: as he would not have them expect the end, any other way than in the use of the meanes ap­pointed by him; so neither would he have them doubt of obtaining the end, if the meanes be care­fully used according to his will: as Christ im­plyes in that speech of his to the woman of Sa­mariaMusc. com. in loc. Divina pro­videntia, non solū in Christo considerat, qui­bus bonis ege­amus, sed et ad petendū allicit, ad dandū pata­ra et exposita, modo petamus. Ferus in lo. Nul­la igitur nobis, remanet excu­satio, si spiritu­alia bona non consequamur: signū enim est quod ea non petimus., If thou hadst asked, he would have given thee water of life John 4.10.: Where yee see, mans asking, and Gods giving, mans using of the means aright, and Gods blessing of the same for the attaining of his end, are inseparably knit together in the ordinary course of divine Providence: and it is a great sinne in any to entertaine such a thought of God, as that his primarie purposes and intenti­ons, run a quite crosse and contrary way, to that which the meanes in their owne nature leade un­to. For as Manoahs wife said to her husband,Judg. 13.23. If the Lord would kill us, he would not have shewed us all these things, nor have told us any such matter: so if God did absolutely intend, by an antecedent [Page 79] purpose, to deny the blessing, he would never af­ford those meanes, which in themselves are apt, and by vertue of his owne gracious appointment, availeable also for the obtaining of it: because in so doing, hee should goe crosse and contrary to himselfe; and therefore wheresoever the Go­spell is preached, God giveth, or is prepared to give the blessing which is offered, and the mercy which is therein tendered to any. And as one saith well, He is serious in the salvation of every soule, to which the word of salvation is sentJ. Ya [...]es in his treatise called the Saints suf­fering and sin­ners sorrow, p. 196.: Every hearer in the Church is zealously perswa­ded to repent: the Ministers minde and Gods, meete in his holy ordinance: and the word is earnestly spoken to every eare: God himselfe goeth with his message from seat to seat, and from man to man, with true and hearty desires of his conversion.

3. It is plaine and evident, that God meanes sincerely when he offers life and salvation in the ministery of the word, because he is so earnest in pressing and perswading men to the acceptance of it; for he doth not onely offer mercy, but he sues unto them, that it may finde entertainment with them for their owne good; nor is it a cold and complementall suit and request that he makes, as men that invite others in a kinde of formality onely, and for fashion sake; but a request that is seconded with intreaties, expostulations, lamen­tations, commiserations, and all other Rhetori­call straines, that are apt to move affections, and prevaile with men to draw them nearer to God; [Page 80] he doth not onely invite them to accept of mer­cy, but earnestly intreats them, as they tender their owne good, as they pitty their own soules, to entertaine thoughts of returning unto God:2 Cor. 5.20. We are Ambassadors for Christ, as if God did be­seech you through us, we pray you in Christs stead to be reconciled to God. Now that the Lord of hea­ven and earth should come to his poore creature, with suites and intreaties, and that in a matter that concernes not his owne advantage, but onely the good and welfare of his creature; it is a strange manner of condescending, and argues a great de­sire of prevailing with him for his good; when he will rather stoop so low, than fayle of his pur­pose; when he that commands heaven and earth, shall come in such low termes, as are in humane reason scarce beseeming his honor, or consistent with it; and that to him who lies even now at the foot of his mercy, that he should then come with intreaties, when he might make way for his own honour, through the bowels of his sinfull crea­ture, and out of the very ashes of his ruine and destruction, raise up glory unto himselfe: surely this, if there were no more, hath so many prints and footsteps of sincere and hearty affection in it, as doth abundantly testifie, that hee was serious in his purposes and intentions of doing his people goodMath. Martin. in Schol. Bremen. Professor. com. in Psal. 2. pag. 270. Deum meum nunquam hac ignominia asfi­ciam, ut opina­ti velim, vel eti­am levissimè in animi mei su­perficiē admit­tere hanc cogi­tationē, quod Deꝰ forte aliud externo verbo sentiat, aliud animo suo co­gitet. Ibid. pag. 287. Si uspiam verbi proprietas reti­nenda est, ibi certe ubi de Dei amore erga ho­mines, & de pi­etate erga Deū agitur: alioquin omnis consola­tio, & omnis vitae emendandae cura, uno impulsu penitus prosternetur: si enim quicquid tandem egeris, vel omiseris, eundem te rerum exitum habiturum putes, cui usui erunt tam suaves Dei promissiones? cui fini tam dirae comminationes? hoc ita (que) omnis religi­onis caput teneo, Deū sincerè velle, quod se velle dicit, & quidem eo ipso modo quo id dicit, id est, sub conditione, non absolutè, & sine conditione..

[Page 81]2. When he hath intreated his people by all termes of love to accept of the tendry of mercy and salvation made unto them, and prevailes not, he falls from intreaties to expostulations, urging and pressing them to give but any colour of reason, why they will rather perish in their sinnes, than be re­conciled with him.Ezek. 33.11. O turne you, turne you, why will ye dye, O ye house of Israel? As if hee should say, Is there no hope? will ye not returne? will nothing prevaile with you? no meanes? no mer­cies? no threatnings? no judgements? will yee not enter into covenant with mee? oh why will ye not? why will ye not? why will ye dye O ye house of Israel? So Micah 6.3. O my people, what have I done unto thee? wherein have I grie­ved thee? testifie against me: As if hee had said, What could I have done more to my Vineyard, that I have not done unto it? I have offered mer­cy, and it hath been refused: I have afforded gra­cious helps and meanes, and they have been neg­lected: I have bestowed blessings upon you, and they have not beene regarded: I have called un­to you, and ye have not hearkned: I have waited for your conversion, and ye have not returned: and what is there in all this, that should make you so unwilling to lay downe your weapons of re­bellion, that ye have taken up against me? Now all these interrogations they savour of nothing but truth and sincerity; for to that end doth hee thus speake unto his people, to that end doth hee thus deale with them, that they might know hee is serious in his thoughts and intentions for their good.

[Page 82]3. From expostulation he falls to lamentation, to see if the voice of teares will prevaile, where the sound of words cannot be heard: as here in the text, when he had begun to speak to Jerusalem, Oh if thou hadst knowne, &c. he is so deeply and affecti­onately taken, that he could not goe on, but is in­forced to break off, he cannot speak out, but is even constrained to weep out the rest of the sentence. And can it enter into any mans thoughts, to imagine or conceive, that God is not serious in the offer of grace, when he seeks and sues, even with teares in his eyes, to have it acceptedRuiz de volun. Dei, disp. 21. s. 1. Affectus tristi­tiae propriè in Deum cadere non potest, re­secata tamen illius imperfe­ctione, debemꝰ in Deo relin­quere integra, quaecun (que) abs­que imperfecti­one verificari possunt. propriè igitur Deo con­venit displicen­tia illius mali, propter cujus praesentiam dolere, at (que) tristari dicitur. Sed non quaelibet displicentia meretur tristitiae nomen, sed illa tantum quae est de amissione alicujus boni, quod amabat Deꝰ et de side­rabat: nam amor est causa tristitiae, sicut caeterarū affectionū animae, ut ait Aug. de Civ. Dei, l. 14. c. 7. & 9. & Aquin. 1. 2. q. 36. ar. 3. Cum ergo Deꝰ tristatur & dolet, quod nolūt homines propriae saluti consulere, sed eligunt potius in aeternum perire, ergo quod ex se est, amat & concupiscit, ut iidē ipsi homines, qui de facto pereunt, non pereant in aeter­num, sed actualiter velint propriae saluti consulere: nam alioquin Deus procuraret suae tristitiae causam, quod vix potest in hominē sanae mentis cadere, nedum in Deū: deinde, non pretatis, sed crudelitatis officium esset, misetis condolere, occultè tamen procuran­do, & disponendo, ut illis sit absolutè impossibile, actualiter evadere miseriam: porro cum Christus Dominus loquitur in quantum Deus & homo, certe humanitatis affectus divinis debent aptè correspondere.?

4. When teares are spent in vaine, and foolish men will not be reclaimed, but rather perish in their sins, than make out after God, who is now wearied out with attendance, and even going a­way from them, how doth it melt his bowels into commiseration, to think of their misery, who might have beene so happy in his love, and would not?Mat. 23.37. O Ierusalem, Ierusalem, how often would I have gathered thee, &c! The doubling of the word shewes how deeply he tooke it to heart, and was grieved for it. And againe,Hos. 11.8. How shall I give thee [Page 83] up, O Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, O Israel? how shall I make thee as Adma? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? my heart is turned within me, my repen­tings are rowled together: I will not execute the fiercenesse of my wrath, I will not returne to destroy Ephraim. Hee that goes on so unwillingly to pu­nish, that makes so many pauses, that is affected with so much tender pitty and compassion, that hath so many relenting motions within him, be­fore he can gaine a full consent to give way unto it; it plainly shews how much and how earnestly he desired the contrary, and that he meant sin­cerely in the offer of it.

4. Lastly, it is cleare and apparent that Gods meaning is sincere, in the generall offer of grace; because it is not a bare & naked offer that is made, but such an offer as is backed and hedged in with a gracious promise of good successe, to those that looke after it, in the use of those meanes which are appointed by God for the obtaining of it.2 Chro. 15.2. The Lord is with you, while ye are with him: If ye seeke him, he will be found of you. In which words, for our present purpose, there be three things ob­servable: 1. That God is ready, and offers him­selfe to doe his people good, as appears by those words, the Lord is with you, &c. 2. He lets them know the way and means, wherein and whereby they may finde this good that he offereth to doe for them, and that is, by seeking unto him. 3. Hee makes an undoubted promise unto them, and gives them an assured hope, that their seeking shall not want successe answerable to their de­sires, [Page 84] If ye seeke him, he will be found of you. And againe, Aske and ye shall have, seeke and ye shall finde, knock and it shall be opened: for whosoever as­keth, receiveth; whosoever seeketh, findeth; whoso­ever knocketh, to him it shall be opened Mat. 7.7.. Where ye see the promise is full, and speaks home, in as large an extent, as the meanes is required, and is ratified and confirmed by the experience of all those who have used the same. Our blessed Savi­our goeth yet further, and confirmes it by an ar­gument drawn from the lesse to the greater:Luke 11.13. If ye which are evill can give good gifts unto your chil­dren, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Ghost to them that desire him Calv. com. in loc. Malignos nos reddit [...], quia dum sibi quis (que) plus satis addi­ctus est, alios praeterit ac negligit: atqui hoc vitium su­perat paternus amor, ut homi­nes sui obliti, se in filios plus­quā liberaliter effundant. Vn­de autem id, ni­si quia Deus, à quo descēdit omnis paterni­tas, particulam suae bonitatis corū cordibus instillat? quod si tantū ad be­neficentiam va­lent guttulae, quid ab ipso mart inexhau­sto sperandum est? an restrictꝰ esset Deus, qui hominū corda sic aperit?? God is more prone and inclinable to doe good to man­kinde, than earthly parents can be to doe good to their children: for they have but a drop of goodnesse in comparison of God, in whom there is a whole ocean of bounty: and besides, that good­nesse which they have, it is mingled with much evill; whereas God is pure love, without any mix­ture of the contrary: in him is pure goodnesse, and nothing else; hee is light, and in him there is no darknesse: yea further, God stands in nearer relation unto men, than parents to their children: for children indeed, they receive their bodies from their parents in some sort, but more from God than from them; and their soules they re­ceive wholly from God; to say nothing, that Christ hath taken their nature upon him, which much strengthens that neare relation that is betweene God and them; and therefore from all these, [Page 85] the argument strongly concludes; If yee which are evill can give good gifts, much more your hea­venly Father, &c? for God never injoynes the meanes to bee used, but with assurance of the end to such as walke answerable to them, and use them aright; because every such precept as requires meanes to bee used, hath a promise an­nexed unto it: and therefore saith oneW. W. in his Sermon of re­demption of time, upon Ephes. 5.16. pag. 32., Who so ever lives under the preaching of the Gospell, hath this priviledge annexed to the outward teaching, that if hee will but strive, and pray to God to give him strength to repent, &c. GOD will upon his promise heare his prayer, and assist him. For if God should not meane sincerely in the promise which he makes, hee should but de­lude his people, and dally with them; nay, it makes God a lyar, as learned Zanchy observesZanch. de nat. Dei l. 5 c. 2. An non hac ra­tione Deum in animo tuo per­stringis men­dacii, qui tibi verbo quidem dicat te velle servare, &c? in­terim tamen licet tu velis in Christum credere, et ita servari ipse ta­men nolit?, if he promise that which hee hath no minde or meaning to give, which is farre from the nature and goodnesse of the holy GOD; who as hee loves plaine and sincere dealing in others, so hee will not be a stranger to it himselfe; for it is con­trary to the oath that hee hath sworneEzek. 33.11., As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sin­ner, but rather that hee should returne and live. Now, shall wee thinke that Gods intentions are not serious, when himselfe doth not onely avow them to bee so, but also ratifie and confirme it with a solemne oath? Besides, what can be more contrary to those passionate and patheticall expres­sions, which God himselfe useth, when he layeth forth the truth of his desires for the welfare of his peo­ple? [Page 86] Deut. 5.29. O that there were such an heart in this people, to feare me, and to keepe all my commandements al­wayes, that it might goe well with them, and their children for ever! and againePsal. 81.13., O that my people would have hearkened to me, and that Israel would have walked in my wayes! then would I soone have humbled their enemies, and turned mine hand a­gainst their adversaries. What can there be else, but meere deceit and dissimulation in these pa­theticall wishes, when God makes shew of such earnest desire that his people were thus and thus, that they might bee capable of further happi­nesse, if he had no minde or meaning upon any condition to make them happy? And therefore it followes undeniably from all these grounds, that when God offers life and salvation to all those to whom the Gospell is preached, there is in him a reall purpose and intention of giving the same, if they would apply themselves unto him, in a wise and seasonable looking after it. Thus much learned Zanchy Zaneb. de nat. Dei, l. 5. c. 2. Nonne igitur reprobis illudit, quum vocat ad salutem? Mini­mè; quia vocat cos cum condi­tione, se velle cos servare, si ipsi velint in Christum cre­dere, et sibi o­bedire, &c. ita apparet Deum illis non illu­dere, quia per ipsum non stat, quò minus juxta promissi­onem conditi­onalem serven­tur, sed culpam in ipsis repro­bis haerere, quod nolint in Christum cre­dere. layes downe in the place quoted before; for when he had propoun­ded the question, whether God doe not illude reprobates, in offering salvation to them; his an­swer is negative; and he gives this reason, Be­cause he offers it upon condition, to wit, if they will beleeve in Christ, and yeeld obedience to him; and therefore hee doth not delude them, because there is no hinderance on his part; but that according to that conditionall promise they might obtaine salva­tion, were not the fault in themselves, that they will not beleeve in Christ. This also our learned Di­vines [Page 87] in their Synodicall suffragesSent. Theol. Mag. Brit. artic. 3, & 4. Thes. 2.3, & 4. 1 Sunt quae­dam effecta interna ad conversionem praevia, quae virtute verbi spiritusque in nondum justi­ficatorum cor­dibus excitan­tur, &c. 2 Quos Deus mediante ver­bo, per Spiritū suum hunc in modū asficit, cos ad fidem conversionem­que verè et se­riò vocat. 3 Quos ita ef­fecit, non dese­rit, nec desistit in vera ad con­versionem via promovere, priusquam ab illis per negle­ctionem vo­luntariam, aut hujus gratiae initialis repul­sam, deseratur. doe plainly discover to bee their judgement, when they tell us these three things.

1 That there are some internall effects, prae­vious, and in order of nature before regenerati­on and justification, which are wrought in the hearts of men not yet converted, yea, in some that are never converted at all.

2 That those whom God doth thus affect, and worke upon, he intends their conversion, and seriously cals them unto it; because if they bee not converted by it, they are left without ex­cuse: Now that calling would not leave them without excuse, if God did not seriously intend their conversion in it; for it cannot be imagined that such a calling should leave a man without excuse, which intends nothing else but onely to make him inexcusable.

3 That those who are thus called by GOD, they are not left or forsaken of him, till by a vo­luntary neglect they leave him; nor doth GOD cease to further and promote these beginnings, and to helpe them forward in the way towards their conversion, till they reject and repell this initiall grace thus begun in them: for then hee should desert and leave the creature, before the creature did leave and forsake him; whereas God is neither wont, nor willing to withdraw his helping hand, where he hath once put it forth; or to be wanting in that necessary aid and assistance, which might cause his handy-worke to prosper, where there is no fault committed, nor just occa­sion [Page 88] given by the creature: hee never takes away the talent that hee hath once bestowed, save one­ly from him who, through his owne fault, buries it in the earth Mat. 25.28.: from whence it plainly follows, that Gods primary scope, and intention in these previous workes of his Spirit, is to helpe men forward in the way of their conversion, and that he would by degrees promote and further them, and by little and little carry them along in that way, if by their, carelesse neglect they did not hinder his intentions, and their owne good. And lest any one should thinke that our Divines are singular in that opinion, hee may reade what one of those out-landish Divines, which were pre­sent in that Synod, hath also written to the same purposeMat. Martin. Divinarum lite­rarum professor in Schola Bre­mensi, Comment. in Psal. 2. pag. 266. & sequent.; where hee doth professedly handle the matter, and layes it out in these three particu­lars, which are requisite and necessary for every one to bee resolved in.

1 Whether God doth seriously will his sal­vation in particular or no.

2 Upon what termes and conditions he pur­poseth and intendeth to bestow salvation upon him.

3 How, and by what meanes hee may bee in­abled to performe those conditions. Whereunto his answer is large, and it would bee too long to transcribe it, but the whole substance and a­bridgement of it may bee summed up in these three conclusions.

1 That every man in particular ought to be perswaded, that God doth seriously will his sal­vation, [Page 89] and that no man that ever beleeved in Christ, had any other ground or foundation for his faith, to stay it selfe upon.

2 That the termes and conditions upon which God is willing to give him life and salva­tion, are no other, than those which are expres­sed and set downe in the new Covenant; to wit, faith in Christ, and the necessary and inseparable fruits of it.

3 That the meanes whereby he may be ina­bled to performe the Conditions of the Cove­nant, is to submit himselfe to the publike Ordi­nances of God, and to use the meanes appointed by him for that end and purpose; to suffer him­selfe to be wrought upon, and to apply himselfe to the discipline of the Spirit, in the Ministery of the Word. And the same Author in his judge­ment at the Synod of Dort Act. Synod. pag. 133. de art. 2. thes. 1. Est communis quaedam Dei [...], quâ dilexit to­tum genus hu­manum lap­sum, & seriò omnium salu­tem voluit., shewes, that God beares such a generall love towards all man­kinde, now since the fall, as that hee doth serious­ly will the salvation of all: and hee doth else where give three reasons of this his assertion and opinionAct. Synod. art. 2. thes. 26. pag. 138. 1 Vt Scripturae possint non contorte con­ciliari. 2 Vt maneat Deo gloria ve­ritatis, miseri­cordiae, & justi­tiae in manda­tis, promissio­nibus, et com­minationibus Evangelicis: ne illis Deus se­cus aliquid vel­le vel ag [...]re ju­dicetur, quam verba sonant. 3 Vt manife­stum sit culpā interitus impi­orum esse in ipsis; non au­tem in defectu remedii, per quod servari potuissent..

1 That the places of Scripture, which at the first view seeme contrary and repugnant one to another, might be reconciled without forcing or wresting the words contrary to the scope and in­tention, and to the minde and true meaning of the holy Ghost.

2 That God may have all the glory of his truth, mercy, and justice, both in his precepts, and prohibitions; especially in the promises [Page 90] and threatnings of the Gospell;Chap. 9. that he might not be thought to will and do otherwise than the words import; wherein hee makes an expression, and declaration of the same.

3 That it might bee cleare and evident, that the cause of every mans destruction is in him­selfe, and his owne ill carriage; and that he doth not perish for want of mercy in God, or through the want and deffect of that remedy which God hath provided, and whereby hee might bee sa­ved; but through his owne fault. And thus much may suffice for the proofe, and clearing of the point, that God doth seriously will the salvation of all those to whom the Gospell is preached; because hee offers life and salvation unto them; and hee offers nothing but what hee meanes and intends truely and sincerely to give, upon such conditions as the offer and tendry is made unto them.

CHAP. 9.

That mans ruine and destruction is not to be charged on God.

Vses. 1 IF God doe seriously will the salvation of all those to whom the Gospell is preached, then may this serve to reprove such as charge God foolishly, like the evill servant in the Gospell, who hid his talent in a Napkin Mat. 25.24., and then layes all the blame on God; I knew thou wast a hard Ma­ster, [Page 91] who reapest where thou sowedst not, &c. Even as it was with the blinde woman in Seneca, when shee wanted eyes, shee layes all the blame on the darknesse of the house, as if that were the cause and reason that she did not seeSen Epist. 50. Subinde rogat paedagogum ut migret, do­mum tenebro­sam esse ait.: so it fares with many in their spirituall blindnesse, and other sin­full distempers, they are ready to charge all on God, as if there were no cause of their misery; but onely because hee is unwilling to make them happy: So it was with the IsraelitesEzek. 18.25., when they dealt unfaithfully with God in his Cove­nant, they are ready to charge the crookednesse of their owne doings on God, saying, The wayes of the Lord are not equall, &c. in so much that hee is put to justifie himselfe, and his dealings with them. And so it is with many, who when they are unwilling to walke in the wayes of God, or take those courses that might doe them good, then doe they charge all upon God, as if he were unwilling to shew any mercy unto them: they thinke it skils not much in the point and matter, of their salvation what they doe; for if they bee ordained unto eternall life, they shall undoub­tedly come unto it; and if Hell and damnation be appointed for them, it is not possible by all their care and diligence to keepe it away; it would no­thing availe them though they should apply thē ­selves unto God in the use of all good meanes, and strive with all their might to obtaine mercy, because there is an unchangeable decree and sen­tence passed upon them, which by no meanes can be altered or revoked: and what is this but to ju­stifie [Page 92] themselves, and lay all the blame upon God, as if they were innocent, and he onely in fault; whereas it is most certaine, that at the last day God will cleare the equity of his dealing with men in the Ministery of the Word, and make it appeare to all the world, that there was no hin­derance in him, or in his Word, why those that did injoy it, were not brought into a more happy condition by it; but that the fault was wholly in themselves Admonit. Neo­stad. c. 3. p. 113. Adversarii fin­gunt, nos doce­iE Deum sine respectu pecca­ti, nudâ et ab­solutâ sua vo­luntate & de­creto, aliquos ad damnationē ordinasse: nos vero cum A­post. docemus, Deum in dam­natione repro­borum, velle suā justitiā de­clarare; non i­gitur quemquā damnationi addixisse, nisi propter pecca­tum. Fulgent. l. 1. ad Moni. Deus ad supplicium de­stinavit, quos à se praescivit vo­luntatis malae vitio discessu­ros. Vide Aquin. l. 1 sent. dist. 40. q. 4. art. 2. & 1. 2 q. 112. art. 3. Mat Martin. cō. in Ps. 2. pag. 134. Deus neminem statuit damna­re, nisi propter peccatum, im­primis propter incredulitatem.: and therefore it cannot be but a sa­fer course to every one, to set the Saddle upon the right horse; that is, to justifie God, and lay the blame upon himselfe, where indeed it lies. It is the part and duty of every good servant now to cleare his Lord and Master from all such un­beseeming imputations, as are cast upon him by the enemies of his truth. God indeed can cleare himselfe, and will doe it another day, but with little thanks to those, who now father upon him such antecedent purposes, such absolute and irrespective decrees, touching the ruine and de­struction of his creature, as cannot well stand with the greatnesse of that love that hee profes­seth in the Gospell; with the nature of that Co­venant that hee hath made with man; or with the truth and sincerity of those passionate wishes, Patheticall exclamations, mournfull expostula­tions, and compassionate lamentations which are so frequent in holy Scripture. Wherefore it is my counsell and advice to every one that loves his own salvation, If he cannot comprehend and fathome the unsearchable depths of Gods secret [Page 93] counsell, and eternall decrees, to let them alone, or at least so to conceive of them, as that they may be reconciled with the declaration of that will of God, which is generally propounded in the Gospell: for it is most certaine, that there is no particular de­cree of God, that is repugnant or contrary to his revealed will, but subordinate unto it.

It is true indeed, that the revealed will of God, it is not his whole will, but onely a part of it; there is another part kept secret, but it is never contrary to this. As for example, the time when the day of Judgement shall be, it is kept secretMark. 12.22.: but it may be to day, or to morrow, this yeare, or the next, for any thing that is revealed in the Scripture to the contrary: and the like is to be conceived, touching other passages of Gods se­cret will and purpose in the matter of salvation. It is most certaine, that the decreeAug. vel Prosp. ad art. falso imposit. ad 7. Dei volūtas est, ut in bona vo­luntate manea­tur, qui et prius­quā deseratur, neminē deserit, et multos saepe desertores con­vertit. Sent. Theol. mag. Brit. de Reprob. thes. 5. Deus ne­minem damnat aut dānationi destinat, nisi ex considerationē peccati, quia mala poenae nō decernit, nisi pro hominum praevio merito: dānatio enim est actꝰ justitiae punitivae, culpā igitur praecedē ­tem supponit. Aug. ep 106. ad Paulin. Si quen­quā immeritū, et nulli obno­xium peccato, Deus damnare creditur, alienus ab iniquitate non creditur. of election and reprobation, divides the whole race and bo­dy of mankinde: not Adam himselfe, nor any that ever came out of his loynes, but doth neces­sarily fall under one of these two: this is a truth which none questions, all agree in the thing that it is so, though they differ in the manner, how man is considered and looked upon, when God passeth this decree upon him. And indeed, the curiosity of man hath presumed farre, and waded deepe into this high and profound mysterie, which made the great Apostle of the Gentiles to stand and wonder,Rom. 11.33. O the deepnesse of the riches both of the wisdome and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his wayes past [Page 94] finding out! and therefore it shall be every mans wisdome in these high matters, and incompre­hensible depths, to keepe himselfe within due compasse and moderation, not to presume above that which is written, but so to frame his thoughts and notions, and to regulate his judgement, that it may be clearly consonant, and no wayes contra­ry to that which is revealed, and then I am sure whatsoever he holds, there will be the lesse danger in it.

The Gospell reveales and testifies, that there is in God such a generall love towards the sons of men, that hee is willing to give them life and salvation, upon such termes and conditions as are expressed in the new Covenant; and therefore it is a safe way so to conceive of the decree of re­probation, as that it may not goe crosse and con­trary thereunto; that is, that it leaves a man un­der such a generall providence, wherein hee is capable of salvation, upon such conditions as the Gospell tenders it unto him, though it be most certaine, in regard of the infallible pre-science and fore-knowledge of God, that in the event he will never attaine unto that which the Covenant of grace makes him capable of, no more than Adam attained to that happinesse which the co­venant of works made him capable of. And let not any then say, that God made the way to life impassable for him, and that he is absolutely pur­posed to deny that grace unto him, without which he cannot repent and forsake his sinnesAug. ad ar. thes. falso imposi. ar. 3. Omnium qui­dem hominum Deus Creator est, sed nemo ab eo ideo crea­tꝰ est ut pereat, quia alia est causa nascendi, alia percundi: ut enim nascā ­tur homines, Creatoris est beneficium; ut autem pereant, praevaricatoris est vitium. Idem l. 3. con. Iul. c. 28. Potest ali­quos sine bonis meritis libera­re, quia bonus est; non potest quenquam sine malis meritis damnare, quia justus est.. For whosoever thou art that thus speakest against [Page 95] God and thine owne soule, let mee but aske thee this question: How canst thou tell that God will not heare, nor have mercy upon thee, before thou hast made tryall, and used all fitting meanes for the obtaining of his favour? and who is there that ever did seeke unto God in this manner, that ever found him unwilling to help him, or have mercy upon him? and if there can be no exam­ple found in all the Booke of God, of any one who did apply himselfe to God in the use of the meanes, and set himselfe seriously and in good earnest to seeke unto God, so as hee ought, and might have done, that did not speed in his errand, and finde God willing to meet him, and inclina­ble to heare his prayers, and grant his requests; why should any entertain such a groundlesse sus­pition of God, as that there is no mercy to be had and obtained at his hands, though it bee sought for? It is fit indeed, that God should re­serve a liberty to himselfe, in the dispensation of his gracious favours, because hee is indebted to none, he owes nothing to any; and therefore if he should with hold from his creature that help and assistance which is sought for, there is no place for dust and ashes to complain against him, because hee doth him no wrong; but yet God doth not so deale with men under the Gospell of grace; he is before-hand with them, in working upon them by his preventing grace, before they seeke unto him; and when he hath done so, hee lets them know that it shall not be in vaine for them to seeke unto him; for he layes this tye and [Page 96] obligation upon every one that comes unto him, in the use of the meanes,Heb. 11.6. to beleeve that he is a rewarder of those that seeke him. So that if any ill betide him, he may thanke himselfe and his own ill carriage for itFulgent. li. 1. ad Monimū, c. 22 Nec justitia iu­sta dicetur, si puniendum re­um non inve­nit, sed fecisse dicatur. Major vero erit inju­stitia, si lapso Deus retribuit poenam, quem stantem praede­stinasse dicitur ad ruinam. Chrysost. to. 2 in N. T. in Ioa. hom. 67. pa 438. [...]., according to that of the Pro­phet,Hos. 13.9. Thy destruction is of thy selfe, O Israel, onely in me is thy help. And indeed, he that observes Gods dealing in particular with this people of the Jews, who notwithstanding were afterwards miserably destroyed for their great ingratitude and contempt of his favours, he shall find so ma­ny prints and footsteps of love and kindnesse to­wards them, as doe abundantly testifie how wil­ling and desirous he was to doe them good; and that the fault was wholly in themselves, that it was so ill with them; for hee chose them out of all other Nations to be a peculiar people unto himselfe Deut. 7.6.: Hee intrusted them with the oracles of heaven Rom. 3.2.: Hee shewed his statutes to Iacob, and his judgements to Is­rael, dealing better with them than with any o­ther NationPsa. 147.19.. His wayes were so full of equity in this kinde, that hee referres himselfe to the judgement of any, that had but the light of com­mon reason left in him; If he had fayled or been wanting in any thing that was requisite and fitting for him to doe.Esay 5.4. O ye Inhabitants of Ierusalem, judge I pray you betweene mee and my Vineyard: what could I have done more that I have not done unto it? Implying, that if they would looke up­on his carriage towards them, and his dealing with them, with an impartiall and indifferent eye, they might clearely see that they had none to [Page 97] complaine of but onely themselves,Chap. 10. and their owne ill carriage, if any good thing were wan­ting to them, as the Prophet tells them plainly elswhere,Jer. 5.25. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sinnes have kept away good things from you.

CHAP. 10.

The folly of those who are unwilling to imbrace life and salvation when it is offered unto them.

2 IF God doe seriously will the salvation of all those to whō the Gospel is sent; oh how hea­vy will this fall upon many in the world, who are so regardlesse of their owne welfare, that they wait upon lying vanities, and refuse their owne mer­cy, when it is freely offered unto them? When God is willing to give them life, they are unwilling to have it, unlesse they may have it upon their owne terms and conditions; and yet if ye look abroad into the world, and take a view of the lives and conditions of most men, ye shall finde that in all ages of the world, some such, yea and many such there have beene, and still are: So it was in Da­vids time,Psal. 81.11. My people would not heare, Israel would none of me Moler. com. in loc. Significat eos non igno­rantia aliqua, aut communi hominum im­becillitate, cò prolaps [...]s esse, ut à cultu divi­no discederent, sed ex professo & deliberato contemptu, se sperni ac rej [...]ci.. So it was in Solomons time, Wisdome called on the sons of men, and cryed after them, and they would not listen or incline their eares unto her:Prov. 1.24. I have called, and ye have refused. So it was in Isaiahs time,Esay 65.2. I have stretch­ed [Page 98] out my hands all the day long, to a rebellious and gainsaying people Musc com. in loc. Quotidie ad populū meū clamito, et ad me revoco, quo servari possit: verum ille sic à me pertinaciter declinat, ut ne audire quidem sustineat, adeo­que frustra ma­nus expandam, quibus cum re­cipere vellem, si reverteretur.. So it was in Ieremiahs time,Jer. 7.25. I have sent unto you all my servants the Prophets, rising up early, and sending them, yet they will not feare me, but hardned their hearts, and did worse than their fathers. So it was in Christs time,Mat. 23.37. O Ierusalem, how often would I have gathered thee, &c. and ye would not Aret. com. in lo. In Deo nulla fuit major cu­ra, quam ut ser­varemini, in vo­bis autem nulla minor. Simpli­citer Noluistis magna est in­gratitudo, obla­ta beneficia si­ne ratione, sine causa negare. Bullin. com. in lo. Noluit impiiss: populus colli­gi & servari, in amicitia et fae­dere Dei, dis­pergi & perdi maluit, unde propria culpa, nulla Dei mo­tositate periit: nam Deus servare voluit, imo omnem movit lapidê ut servaret, at isti ser­vari noluerun [...].! So it was in the Apostles time,Acts 13.46. It was necessary that the Word of God should first of all be preached unto you; but seeing ye put it away from you, and judge your selves unworthy of eternall life, lo, we turne unto the Gentiles. And can we imagine that it should be better with us now in these last and worst times? nay verely this hony combe is every where despised: Christ finds but cold and poore entertainment with ma­ny, though he bring life and salvation unto them; it is with most men now adayes, as it was with those guests that were invited to the great sup­per in the Gospell,Luke 14.18. they all began with one consent to make excuse; or as it was with those that were called to the mariage feast,Mat. 22.5. they made light of it, and would not come, but went their way, one about his farme, and another about his merchandise. This is that which makes God so much to complaine of his people,Hos. 8.12. I have written unto them the great things of my Law, and these were accounted a strange thing: strange to their judgements: they did not prize or esteeme them, but even passe them by, as if they were not worth the taking up, [Page 99] or looking after: strange to their thoughts, they did not mind them, nor meditate upon them: they laid them aside as things impertinent, they had no familiarity or acquaintance with them: strange to their affections, they did not love them, nor delight in them, they could not relish any sweetnesse in them: strange to their practice, they did not apply themselves to the doing of them: and what greater undervaluing of such high fa­vours and transcendent mercies can be imagi­ned, than for men to make so strange of them, as if there were a question to be made, whether they were worthy of the acceptance or no: what grea­ter unthankfulnesse can be supposed, than for men to looke so strange upon those great things, which God reckoneth amongst the choisest and chiefest of all his blessings, as if they were worth little or nothing at all? what greater neglect of a mans owne good, than to make himselfe a stran­ger to those wayes, which leade unto the greatest happinesse, that the reasonable creature is capa­pable of? and by this it may appeare how high­ly displeasing it is unto God, seeing it includes in it, such a manifest contempt of those great mer­cies, than which heaven it selfe affords no grea­ter to the sons of men? and therefore it is, that hee threatens to shew so great severity against those that are guilty of it,Ezek. 24.13. Because I would have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt ne­ver be purged any more, till I have caused my wrath to light upon thee Lavat. com. in loc. Servi mei Prophetae fru­stra labores in­sumpserunt, in te purgando, poenas quoque leviores frustra adhibui, ut te purgarem, tam pertinaciter ad­haerent tibi sor­des peccatorū, ut defricari nul­lo modo pos­sint. Nulla spes emendationis tuae, donec Dei itā gravissimā experiaris: me­dicus in despe­ratis morbis, e­tiā ad extrema remedia confu­git.. And how miserable the estate and condition of such a person is, needs no [Page 100] other proofe or demonstration than this, that it makes the very mercy of God to rise up in judge­ment against him, and if mercy condemne him, what is it that can help him? what is it that can save him? to sinne against the mercy of God, it is a sin against which there is no remedy. If hee sinne a­gainst the law and justice of God, there is yet a remedy, because he may appeale from the seat of justice to the throne of grace: but if mercy afford him no help, then there is no remedy. The Jewes sinned grievously against the law of God, yet for all this God did not cast them off from being his people; but when once they came to sin against his mercy, when salvation was sent un­to them, and would not be accepted, this makes him utterly to reject them from being a people; and though they have lyen more than sixteene hundred yeares under that curse, yet would God never be reconciled againe unto them, untill this day; yea this is that which makes God, contrary to the goodnesse, and inclination of his owne na­ture, to expresse a kind of pleasure and delight, in the ruine and destruction of his creature:Prov. 1.25. Because I have called and ye have refused, &c. therefore will I laugh at your destruction, and mock when your feare commeth. Oh who will pitty and bewaile your condition, when heaven it selfe laughs at your misery? or who shall comfort you, when the God of heaven mocks at your feare? who will pitty a malefactor that dyes for his offence, if a pardon were sent unto him, and he would not ac­cept of it? and so it is with every one that lives [Page 101] under the meanes, and dyes in his sinnes, hee hath a pardon offered unto him, and will not take it; hee is more unwilling to have his sinnes pardoned in Gods way, and according to that course of Pro­vidence that is taken for his good, than God is to forgive him, and to have mercy upon him. Oh then thinke with thy selfe, whosoever thou art, that now forsakest thine owne mercy; thinke I say, how heavy it will lie upon thee, and come against thee another day, when the approaches of mercy, when the Proclamations of pardon, when the offers and tendries of salvation, when the pro­mise of helpe and assistance, when the intreaties of the Spirit shall rise up against thee, ô who shall plead for thee, when all these plead against thee? and if thou desirest to escape all these things, wch will most certainly fall upon the world of the ungodly, ô then be willing to apply thy selfe un­to God, and the discipline of his Spirit, while he doth so seriously will and desire thy good Moller. in Psa. 81. v. 14. O si, &c. quasi dice­ret Deus, quan­tum in me est cuperem illis optimè esse, sumque animo ad benefacien­dum promptis­simo, sed illorū scelera, et impi­etas, impedi­unt quò minus benefacere illis possim. Quod autem Deus ping [...]tur, quasi cum gemitu, ac susperio hoc votum profer­re, [...] loquitur, volens arden­tem ipsius er­ga nos amorē aliquo modo exprimere, et commendare; homines enim cum beneface­re alicui cupi­unt, et impedi­untur, cum re non possunt, voto saltem su­um erga ipsum amorem, et de­siderium decla­rant.. Oh thinke with thy selfe how often God hath called thee, how long he hath waited to have mercy up­on thee, and alwayes hitherto hath found thee unwilling to returne unto him; ô how doth it make him to complaine of Jerusalem, not with­out wonder and admiration, that shee should bee so regardlesse and neglective of her owne good:Ier. 13.27. O Ierusalem, wilt thou not be made cleane? O when will it once be? For Jerusalem to fal into sin, it is no wonder, for hee knoweth that the imaginations of a corrupt heart, they are onely evill continually Gen. 6.5.: but that he should provide meanes, and take a [Page 102] course to have her purged and purified from her filthinesse, and that shee should bee unwilling to be washed from her pollution, when God is wil­ling to make her cleane; this it is the wonder and admiration of Heaven and Earth: for if a man fall, will hee not rise againe? If he wander out of his way, will hee not returne againe into it? Wherefore then is Ierusalem turned backe with a perpetuall rebellion? Shee hath given her selfe to de­ceit, and would not returne Jer. 8.5..

If a speciall friend should come and knocke at thy doore, and that upon a businesse and errand that did nearly concerne thee, and make much for thine owne advantage, thou wouldest thinke it an unmannerly part, to make him stay and waite two or three houres before thou didst o­pen thy doore, unto him: O then, when GOD commeth unto thee with a speciall purpose and intention to doe thee good, and to have mercy upon thee; think with thy selfe what it is to make him stay and waite, so many houres, so many dayes, so many moneths, so many yeares, before hee can finde thee willing to lend an eare unto him, for thine owne good? Oh consider and ponder it in thine heart, that God files up every blessing that he bestowes upon thee, hee keepes a Talley of eve­ry mercy that is offered to thee; hee sets downe every time that hee comes unto thee, hee takes speciall notice how long hee waiteth, how often he calleth, how often thou refusest; & why then doest thou not reason thus with thy selfe? Hath God waited so long for my conversion, and shall I yet [Page 103] put him off unto another day? Hath he put up so many wrongs and injuries at my hands, and shall I still provoke him? Hath hee called so often upon mee, and shall I yet turne the deafe eare unto him? Oh thinke with thy selfe; if GOD should pay thee home in thine owne coyne, and make thee wait for mercy as long as thou hast made him waite for thy repentance; how irkesome and tedious would it be unto thee? how many teares would it make thee shed before thou couldest finde mercy? How many requests and petiti­ons mightest thou preferre and put up at the Throne of Grace, before thou shouldest receive any gracious answer? how many sad dayes, and weary nights mightest thou see before the face of heaven shined upon thee? and yet what more just and equall than for God so to deale with thee? And therefore if thou wouldest have him to answer thee when thou callest upon him, and finde him willing to helpe thee when thou art at a dead lift, bee not unwilling to apply thy selfe unto him, and to serve his Providence in that way that he hath taken for thy good, now, while hee waiteth to have mercy upon thee.

CHAP. 11.

Gods willingnesse to give life and salvation should be an encouragement to every one to seeke for it.

Chap. 11 3 IF God doe seriously will the salvation of all those to whom the Gospel is preached, then may this serve as an encouragement to every one to seeke for it. It is a rule observed amongst Polititians, to put themselves forward upon the least hope and possibility of prefer­ment, because they reason and collect thus with themselves, if the worst fall out, they can but misse of what they desire to compasse; whereas if they sit still and doe nothing, they are sure to misse of it; but if they use the meanes, who knows any thing to the contrary but that they may speed. And it were well if men could be as wise for themselves, and their owne advantage in spi­rituall matters, and those things that concerne the good of their soulesBullinger. com. in Mat. ca. 32. v. 37. Non de­negasset Hie­rosolomitanis, suam gratiam dominus: si voluissent, si nō sprevissent ea media, per quae pervenitur ad salutem.. Salvation is a good of infinite worth, beyond all price that can bee set upon it; and if it were no more but onely a possibility of compassing such a good, it were e­nough to put heart and spirit into every one to use his best, and most effectuall endeavours for the compassing of it, and the Scripture is not wanting, either in precepts, or examples in this kinde. Salomon gives a precept for itEccles. 11.6., Sow thy seed in the morning, and in the evening let not thine [Page 105] hand rest, for thou knowest not which may prosper, this or that, or whether they may be both alike: that is, because there is a possibility that both may prosper, and succeed well, therefore neglect no season or opportunity of sowing thy seed, and doing that which God requires; and if one time succeed not according to thy minde, bee not dis­couraged, still apply thy selfe to God in the use of the meanes; that which one day yeelds not, another day may bring forth.

The people of Nineveh went upon no other ground but this, when they humbled themselves in fasting and prayer, they knew not whether God would be intreated to spare them or no; but they knew nothing to the contrary, but that their humiliation might prevaile with God; and there­fore they resolve to make triall:Iona. 3.9. Who can tell if God will repent, and turne from his fierce wrath, that wee perish not? And it was not in vaine for them so to doe, for God saw their workes, that they turned from their evill wayes, and hee repented him of the evill that he said he would doe unto them, and he did it not.

But here is more encouragement to seeke for those things which are simply and absolutely necessary to salvation, because there is not one­ly a possibilitie of obtaining them, but also a reall purpose and intention in God, as hath beene shewed, to give and bestow them, if they bee sought for; and he that would make his advan­tage out of this truth, hee must doe these two thingsCajetan com. in loc. Haec duo oportet credi, non à quolibet Deo grato, sed à quolibet ac­cedente ad De­um, non e [...] con­juncto. Calvin. com. in loc. Haec est ratio cur ci­tra fidē, nullus Deo placeat, quia nullus ad Deū unquā ac­cedet, nisi qui credit Deū esse, et statuit remu­neratorem esse, omnibꝰ qui cū quaerunt. Hinc ostendit Apo­stolus, quomo­do gratiā nobis conciliat fides, nempe quia ad colendū verum Deum nobis Magistra est; deinde quia nos de ejus vo­lūtate certiores reddit, ne fru­stra nobis vide­amur eū quaere­re: haec duo mē ­bra non leviter praetereunda sunt; nempe ut ipsum esse Deū credamꝰ; deinde ut persuasi fi­mꝰ, non frustra ipsum à nobis quaeri..

[Page 106]1 Hee must lay a good foundation, by setling this perswasion in himselfe, that God is both able and willing to give him life and salvation.

2 He must addresse himselfe unto God in the use of those meanes, that hee hath appointed for the obtaining of it.

First, this foundation must be laid, that God is both able and willing to give him life and sal­vation, and it is no other foundation, than that which the Scripture hath laid alreadyHeb. 11.6., Hee that comes unto God must beleeve, that hee is, and that hee is a rewarder of those that come unto him. In which precept there are two things con­siderable.

1 The person to whom it is given, and that is, he that commeth unto God; that is, as I con­ceive, not a person actually beleeving in Christ, for then there would be a tautologie in the Pre­cept, and the sense would runne thus; Hee that beleeveth in God, must beleeve that hee is, &c. which were a needlesse injunction, requiring no­thing but what was done already: but by him that commeth unto God, I understand such a person as first begins to entertain some thoughts of leaving his sinne, and turning unto God; such a one it is to whom the precept is given.

2 What it is that is required of him; and that is, to beleeve and perswade himselfe of these two things touching God.

1 That he is: that is, that hee is God, infi­nite in wisedome, and power, and therefore able to supply all his wants, to subdue all his corrup­tions, [Page 107] and to make good whatsoever hee promi­seth unto him; for infinite Wisedome can never be at a losse to finde out wayes and means to doe him good; and infinite Power can never faile to put those meanes in execution.

2 That hee is a rewarder of those that seeke him; that is, that he is willing to doe them good, willing to enter into a covenant with them; and therefore it shall not bee in vaine for them to seek unto him; they shall not lose their labour, but they shall bee sure to speed in their errand: for God hath signified his willingnesse and consent already in the Gospell, there needs no more but their consent to make an actuall agreement, and to strike up a covenant betweene them.

2 When this foundation is well and soundly laid, the next care must bee wisely to build upon it, by applying himselfe unto God in the use of those meanesMat. Martin. com. in Psal. 2. pag. 298. Quò consequaris, ut conditionem impl [...]re queas, non opus est curiosa dispu­tatione, sed simplici obse­qu [...]o, in usu mediorū, quae Deus ad fidem creandam con­stituit, &c. om­nibus nobis ad fidem & salu­tem praeparan­dis ac du [...]endis vi [...] ista est, ut informari nos sustineamus, &c. & in divini spiritus disci­plinā nos tra­damus, ut sin­cere stud [...]mus sequi Dominū nostrū, et lon­ge fave [...]tiorem in nos experi­emur, quam mente percipe­re possunius., which he hath ordained for the obtaining of life; for though a man cannot plant in himselfe any principles of life, either in whole or in part; yet he may use the meanes, wherein, and whereby God is pleased to doe it. Like as it was with Naaman the Assyrian, though he could not cure his Leprosie either in whole, or in part, yet hee could wash himselfe in Iordan, according to the Prophets direction2 King. 5.; & if he had not done so, for any thing we know, he had never beene healed: so it is with men that are indued with an inferi­our and more common worke of the Spirit; al­though this doe not worke a perfect cure upon them, and restore health into their soules, yet it [Page 108] doth inable them to use the meanes, whereby they are fitted and prepared to receive those es­sentiall ingredients and principles of grace, by which a perfect cure is made: and in the use of the meanes there is a double care to bee had.

The first is, to pitch upon the right means.

The second is, so to use them, as that they may prove effectuall, for the obtaining of those blessings which God hath promised to such as use them aright.

First there must bee a care to pitch upon the right meanes: The outward meanes is, the hea­ring of the Word;Jsa. 55.3. Heare, and your soule shall live. The inward meanes, which are especially to be used, are meditation and prayer: Meditati­on, whereby he steepes his thoughts in the con­sideration of those arguments and reasons, those objects and Motives, which the Scripture pro­pounds unto him, to draw his heart and affecti­ons nearer unto God;2 Tim. 2.7. Consider what I say, &c. Prayer, whereby hee makes his approaches to the Throne of Grace, and becomes an earnest and humble suiter unto God, that hee would be pleased to corroborate, and strengthen his purposes and desires, and to establish him with the spirit of grace and power, that he may bee a­ble wisely to manage those blessed opportunities that are put into his hand, for his owne everla­sting good, and to follow that counsell, and dire­ction which is given unto him from the mouth of God in the Ministery of the Word:Jam. 1.5. If any one lacke wisedome, let him aske it of God.

[Page 109]The reason of all this, is, because God will not worke but by his owne meanes Stel. com. in Luc. 16.29. Quando mor­tuus est Christꝰ multa corpora Sanctorum sur­rexerunt, &c. sed nunquid propter hoc e­mendati sunt Iudaei? imo pe­jores effecti sunt: qui adeo induratus est, ut Scripturae nō credet, nec mor­tuis resurgenti­bus credet.: his blessing must not be expected in any other, than his own way: few or none but would have the blessings that God hath promised, and God is as willing that they should have them; onely here is the diffe­rence, God is willing they should have them in that way that hee hath appointed them to bee sought, and they would have them in their owne way, and not in Gods way; and therefore they misse of them, because they will not apply them­selves to God to seeke for them in his way. Naa­man would be cured of his leprosie, and God is willing to doe that cure upon him; onely here is the difference, Naaman would have it in his way, hee thinks the Prophet must come forth, and lay his hand upon the sore, and call upon the name of his God, and so heale him, that was his way; and therefore when the Prophet doth not pitch upon this way, he is ready to fling out from him, and looke no more after him; but God would have it another way; hee must wash himselfe in Jordan seven times, and so be cured. Now be­cause this did not suit well with Naamans con­ceitHugo Card. com. in loc. Mul­tis vilescit medicina facilis: & ideo saepe medici, quod non valet obolum, faciunt emi de­cem solidis, et morbum qui facilè et, citò curari posset, faciunt durare diu, et cum multis expensis curari. Sanct com. in loc. Non unius Naaman hoc est vitium, sed omniū ferme, &c. qui sive spirituali, sive corporali morbo laborent, praescribunt medico, quem tene­re debeat curationis modum, nec patienter ferunt, si aliter ac ipsi cupiunt, medicinam adhibeat. Et nonnunquam magno suo malo, illorum mulliori voluntat [...] obsequuntur medici, qui cum à severiori medicina abstinent, alii corpus, alii animani languentis per­dunt, quae servassent omnino, si arti suae, potius quam ignavorum & mollium voluntati paruissent., he is ready here to fling away again, saying, [Page 110] 2 Kings 5.11. Are not Abana and Pharpar rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash my selfe in them, and be clensed? And had not his servants beene wiser than their master, and coun­selled him better, he had missed of that blessing, because he would not apply himselfe to seeke it in Gods way: and so it is in spirituall things; ma­ny misse of the blessings that God is willing to bestow upon them, because they are unwilling to seeke for them, in, and according to his way.

2 When the right meanes is once pitched upon, the next care must be so to use them, as that they may be availeable for the attaining of that end, whereunto they serve:1 Cor. 9.24. So run that ye may ob­taine: If any one strive for a mastery, hee is not crowned, except he strive as he ought to doe 2 Tim. 2.5.. And he that would thus strive, and thus run in this spi­rituall race, he must be carefull to observe these fixe rules:

1 He must see that he use the meanes, as means; that is, with subordination unto GOD, upon whose blessing the vertue and efficacie of all meanes doth depend. When meanes are lifted up above their owne place, it is Gods usuall manner to dash them in pieces, as he did theActs 27.22. Ship where­in St. Paul sayled: to let men know, that it is not in him that runneth, nor in him that willeth, but al in God that sheweth mercy. And it is one of Sathans great policies to take men off from the present helps and meanes that they doe enjoy, by setting up idolatrous fancies and conceits in their minds of other meanes, as if they lived under such a [Page 111] ministery, and had such teaching, & such means, oh what excellent ones they would be! whereas indeed, hee that hath the Word of God truely preached, though but by weaker means, and pro­fits nothing by it, it is to be feared, if he had the best meanes under heaven, hee would not bee much better for it. Dives was sick of this dis­ease,Luke 16 31. Oh if one might be sent to his brethren from the dead, what miracles and wonders would hee not worke among them? but ye know what an­swer he had, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them heare them; Implying, that if Moses and the Prophets, that is, the common and ordinary meanes which they had, could not prevaile with them, neither would other meanes doe it, if they could be hadPet. Mart. com. in 2 Reg. 5.12. Facile hinc ani­mad vertere licet quanta sit hu­mani ingenii perversitas, quae dona Dei maliz assequi viis ac rationibꝰ, duris et difficilibꝰ ex­cogitatis à se, quam facilib: et meliorib: à Deò sibi de­scriptis.. If a key of Iron will not open the lock, it is very likely a key of gold would doe no more, because the vertue and efficacie of it, is not from the matter, but from the forme of it: so the vertue and efficacie of Gods ordinances, is not from the messenger that brings them, but from God that sends them, and his blessing up­on them.

2. Hee must use them diligently: it is the dili­gent hand that maketh rich, both in spirituall and temporall thingsProv. 10.4.: and diligence includes two things, to wit, the frequencie of the act, and the intention of the soule in the doing of it.

1. The frequency of the act is signifyed by those severall expressions of asking, seeking, knocking, &c Mat. 7.7.. When the man of God bade the King of Israel smite on the ground, he smote [Page 112] thrice, and then ceased 2 King. 13.18.: but the man of God was angry, saying, thou shouldest have smitten five or six times: so shouldest thou have smitten Aram, till thou hadst consumed it Pet. Mar. com. in lo. Rex eo quod primo impigrè impe­rata facit, dein, vix dum ter pulsata terra destitit, ingeni­tam nobis so­cordiam repre­sentat, qua fit ut in omnibus, &c. initio indu­strii simus, et spem virtutis prope incredi­bilis praebeamꝰ deinde remisso studio, negli­gentes, et inter­dum degeneres evadamus.. So many, they heare, reade, meditate, pray, and use other meanes to overcome their corruptions, and prevaile not, because they doe it seldome, and they give over too soone when they apply themselves unto it.

2. The fervor and intention of the soule in the doing of it, is signifyed by that phrase and ex­pression which the holy Ghost useth, when hee injoynes every oneLuke 13.24. to strive to enter in at the strait gate. Now when a man strives with ano­ther, hee puts forth all his strength, and useth all his might against him; so he that with diligence applyes himselfe to seeke grace and mercy, hee doth not goe about it with cold, carelesse, and remisse endevours; but he seeketh for it, as men seeke for silverMuse com. in Joan. c. 5. ver. 4. Quod donum sanitatis ei ob­tingebat, qui primus post a­quae motum descendisset, documento no­bis esse debet, coelestia dona illis demum cō ­petere, qui avi­de illa, et quan­ta poterunt ce­leritate amplectuntur, potiora scilicet quam quae haesitantibus, tardantibus, ac pigris ex­hibeantur., and as they search for gold. This is that which the Wiseman requires,Eccles. 9.10. What­soever thine hand findeth to doe, doe it with all thy might. And againe,Prov. 4.7. Get wisdome, and with all thy getting, get understanding. Yea he that was wiser than Solomon, calls for it,Iohn 6.27. Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life. Implying, that the care and en­deavour that should be taken for these earthly things, it is not worthy to be styled by the name of labour, in comparison of that diligence that should be used for the getting of spirituall bles­sings. [Page 113] But when men are as busie as bees in see­king for earthly things, and as lazie as drones in using the meanes of grace and salvation; when their prayers, which should be fervent and fre­quent for the obtaining of spirituall blessings, are faint and few, no marvaile though they misse of them.

3. He must use them entirely, and that is, when all means are used without neglect of any. God hath appointed sundry helps and means for the obtai­ning of grace and salvation, as hearing, reading, meditation, prayer, good conference, good com­pany, &c. all must be used in their due place and or­der, because none of them are appointed in vain: Like as it is in matters of bodily health, God hath appointed sundry meanes for the preserving of it, as food, physick, sleepe, recreations, exercise, &c. and all must be used: he that neglects any one of them, in his due place and order, will finde a decay of his health: so God hath appointed sun­dry means for the preserving of spirituall health, some private, some publike, and all must be used Guliel. Parisi. de legib. c. 1. p. 19. Ex unaquaque enim regul [...] praeceptū oritur tanquam ex sua causa. Cassion. li. 4. inst. 41. Obedi [...]ntia nihil discernit, nihil dijudicat, ex his quae ei praecepta sunt, non discutit Dei mandata, sed fu­cit.. The Husbandman hee plowes, and sowes, and harrowes, and weeds his field, and useth all o­ther convenient meanes of necessary culture, be­cause hee knowes that if any be neglected, hee shall finde it in the harvest: even so it is in the spi­rituall husbandry of the soule, there be sundry meanes appointed by God, and all must be used in their due place. But when men will pick, and choose, use what meanes they like, and neglect the rest, no marvaile though [Page 114] they doe not prevaile with GOD.

4. He must use them seasonably, as shall be more fully shewed hereafter: that is, not to fore­slow the time, but seeke early unto God:Prov. 8.17. they which seeke me early shall finde me: but then espe­cially must he bestirre himselfe, when God stirs up good motions and desires in his soule; then is the principall season to apply himself unto God, and strike in with him. When David asked coun­sell of God, whether he should goe up against the Philistines, he received this answer,2 Sam. 5.24. When thou hearest the noyse of one going in the top of the mul­berry trees, then remove, for then shall the Lord goe out before thee to smite the Philistims Pet. Mar. com. in loc. Non mi­rū est si David vincat, cum se­quatur ductum Dei.. So should every one observe, when God casteth into his minde sweet thoughts and motions of leaving his sin, and turning unto God; when he heareth a voice within him, saying unto him, Come with me from Lebanon, my Spouse, &c. Come away from thy sinfull pleasures and delights, and then step in, and apply himselfe unto God, when God himselfe makes such way for it. There are cer­taine acceptable times, when God makes kindly impressions upon the hearts of men, and if they would then make out for help and assistance, they should finde him plyable to them, and ready to meet them with more abundant expressions of his love, than they could expect from him. Like as it was at the poole of Bethesda,John 5 4. there were certain times when the Angell came downe and trou­bled the waters, and whosoever did then step in, was healed of whatsoever disease he had Mal. com. in lo. Ex co quod u­nus tantum, et is qui primus in aquā descē ­dit sanatus fuit, docere voluit Deus, etiam in percipiendis di­vinis donis, quae gratis no­bis et sine me­rito ullo nostro dentur, multū nostram valere diligentiam, di­vina enim gra­tia gratis datur, sed non nisi vo lentib: non nisi quaerentib: non nisi conantib: diligentiss: quis­que hoc benefi­ciū praecipiebat.. So there are [Page 115] certaine times when God moves and stirres the waters; that is, the heart and affections, and if men would observe the times and seasons when God works thus kindly upon them, and apply themselves to worke with him, they should finde him easie to be intreated, and ready to help them; but the case of Saul is the case of all reprobates, whereof he was a type,1 Sam. 13.13. they misse of that accepta­ble time wherein mercy and salvation might have been had, if it had been sought for.

5. He must use them sincerely, that is, out of conscience of his duty, and in obedience to the commandement of God; as Peter said to Christ,Luke 5.5. We have laboured all night, and have caught no­thing; yet at thy word will I let downe the net: the labour and diligence that is spent in vaine, out of other respects and considerations; yet when it is undertaken sincerely, out of a consideration of a mans duty, and a respect to the commandement of God that doth require it; it proves successe­full, and drawes a blessing after it, as the learned observeAret. in loc. Discamus hinc quaesit causa fa [...] ­licis successus, et benedictio­nis Domini, ni­mirum si in il­lius jussū laxe­mꝰ retia nostra.. And therefore hee that would finde a blessing in the use of the meanes, must use them sincerely, and for a right end; not for by-respects, but that he may thereby be fitted and furnished with ability to serve God according to his will; this is that which the Prophet enjoynes,Esay 2.3. Come, let us goe up to the house of the Lord, and hee will teach us his waies, and we will walke in his paths. When a man comes to the publike ordinances, meerely out of a desire to be taught the will of God, and with a purpose and intention to walke [Page 116] according to that which shal be taught unto him, this seldome or never misseth of a blessing; this is that which the Apostle calls for,1 Pet. 2.2. desire the sin­cere milke of the Word, that ye may grow thereby. When the Word is desired for a right end, it is not desired in vaine; but when men are moved and set aworke in the use of the ordinances with sinister ends and respects; no marvaile if they prove fruitlesse and ineffectuall unto them; this is that which Saint Iames tells them,Iam. 4 3. Ye aske and receive not, because ye aske amisse, that yee might spend them upon your lusts. Christ himselfe blames some of his followers for this, that they were drawn with earthly motives and carnall re­spects,Iohn 6.26. Ye seek me, not because of the miracles that ye saw, but because ye did eate of the loaves, and were satisfied.

6 He must use them constantly, not limiting or confining God to any certaine time, but waiting patiently upon him, till he be pleased in his owne time to shew mercy unto him; and indeed he may well be content to waite Gods leasure, and think himselfe abundantly happy that hee hath a Bill of his hand, though he take his owne time for the pay­ment of it. This is that which Solomon injoynesEccles 11.6., Sow thy seed in the morning, and in the evening let not thine hand rest Ioan Ferus com. in loc. Solemus plerunq, ab in­cepto opere ces­sare, si vel semel infaeliciter ces­serit. Hoc igitur praevenire vult. q.d. ut maxime matutinꝰ labor, interiisse tibi videatur, noli tamē ob id ces­sare, forsitan e­nim aliquid ve­spere proventu­rum est, forsan utrum (que) tēpore suo, credentis enim est sum­ma diligentia exequi opus à Domino sibi commissum, si­ve aliquid pro­veniat, sive nō. Ideo enim Deꝰ interdum labo­res piorum fru­stratur, ut eos probet an caepta diligentia in vocatione per­severare velint.: that is, apply thy selfe unto God early and late, not by fits and starts, but con­stantly, and at all seasons. God doth sometimes delay the blessing promised, when it is sought for, not out of a purpose to deny it, nor because he would bee rid of his Clients, but because hee [Page 117] would exercise their patience, and stirre them up with more earnestnesse of spirit to seek for it; and therefore the Apostle tels those to whom he writesHeb. 10 36., Ye have need of patience, that after yee have done the will of God yee might receive the pro­mise: That is, because God doth not give the blessing promised presently, as soone as it is sought for; therefore hee that would obtaine it, hee must waite patiently upon God, as Da­vid didPsal. 40.1., I waited patiently for the Lord, and hee inclined to heare my crie. The woman of Canaan did not presently speed in her suit and request that she made to ChristMat. 15.22.; yet for all that shee would not bee so taken off, but shee still followes and pursues her first motion; and though Christ put her off a long while, yet hee granted her request at last. To this end doth Christ propound the Pa­rable of the unjust JudgeLuke 18.1., to shew how much importunity prevailes with God; for if the importunate woman prevailed so farre, and gai­ned so much upon the unjust Judge, that it did e­ven constraine him to doe her justice, though he was unwilling to doe it; much more shall it pre­vaile with God, for the obtaining of his blessing, because he is of himselfe willing to give it, and doth but even stay and waite for such an occasion; as appeares by another Parable, parallel and sutable unto this, which Christ himselfe doth interpret according to this sense and meaningLuke 11.5.: The rea­son why many prevail not in their suits, is, be­cause they doe not constantly apply themselves to God, but are ready to fling away, if they doe [Page 118] not presently speed in their errandSen. epist. 120. Indicium max­imum est malae mentis flu­ctuatio., saying with the messenger of the King of IsraelKing. 6.33., Behold, this evill is of the Lord, why should wee waite on him any longer? Whereas hee that is carefull thus to use the meanes, as hath beene shewed, he shall be sure to prevaile with God, for the obtaining of that which hee seekes for, at least so farre forth as it shall be requisite and necessary for his salvation: and how should this encourage every one to doe it? Can any thinke much of his best and most effectuall endeavours in this kinde? How doe the men of this world lay out themselves in the things of this life? what meanes doe they use for the compassing and scraping together of this earthly trash? how early doe they rise? how late doe they sit downe? how doe they even macerate & pine away themselves with thought and care? and yet what are these things in com­parison of gracePlato l 6. de repub. Qui be­ne natus est, & qui verè ama­tor est discipli­narum, nō hae­rebit in his bo­nis quae vulgus admiratur: quae verè non satiant, sed per­get porro ire, non delassabi­tur, sed mistus vero enti, verè vivet, verè nu­trietur, verè sa­turabitur.? what are they in comparison of heaven? If meanes should be used for other things, why not for life and salvation? Other things they are but Huskes, and not bread; they doe not feed and nourish the soule, they doe not satisfie the desire of the heart, but onely fill it with flatulent and windy humours; and why then should any lay out his money, and not for bread? why should he labour, and not be satisfied, as the Prophet complainesIsa. 55.2.? why should he not rather listen to the counsell of God, when hee doth so friendly advise him to that which tends so much to his owne advantage, and the furthe­rance of his owne good? as it is recordedGaspar. Sanct. com. in loc. Alia omnia acuunt potius famem quam obtun­dunt, inflant non implēt fa­mescentē ani­mū; quae sanè cogitatio ad rē moralē gravis est. Nam reve­ra Deus solus est panis, &c. Si quidpiam à Deo in alia cō ­silia aut lucra derives, perdis operam et ar­gentum.,Revel. 2.7. He [Page 119] that hath an eare to heare, let him heare what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, &c. The eare it doth inable a man to heare, and it was given for that end especially, that he might hearken after spiri­tuall things, and learne out the meanes of salvati­on, and therefore God lookes that it should bee applyed thereunto. Experience shewes it in all other matters, that they are not gotten and ob­tained without using the meanes: The Husband­man doth not expect a crop without plowing & sow­ing and using the meanes? Arts and Sciences they are not obtained without care and study, without labour and diligence in using the meanes? If it be a gainefull Office, how many competitors are there, who use all possible meanes for the procu­ring of it? and if a man cannot earne a poore li­ving in the world without care and diligence in using the meanes, it is in vaine for any to hope that grace and salvation will fall in his lap; or to dreame that heaven and happinesse will drop in­to his mouth, while he neglects the meanes that lead unto it.

Thus farre of the manner of Christs speech, as it is expressed or set forth in a pathetiall and passionate wish and complaint; now followes the matter of it, to wit, the want he complaines of in Jerusalem, or the thing he wisheth to her, and that is knowledge; Oh if thou hadst knowne, &c. from whence ariseth this observation, That it was the great fault of Ierusalem, and a great part of her misery, that shee did not know the things that concerned her peace. For the more full opening [Page 120] and unfolding of the whole matter which is sum­med up in this Conclusion, it may bee parcelled out in these three particulars.

  • 1 That Jerusalem did not know the things that concerned her peace.
  • 2 That it was her great fault that shee did not know them.
  • 3 That it was not onely her fault, but also a great part of her misery, that shee tooke no more notice of them.
Chap. 12. LUKE 19.42.

Oh if thou hadst knowne, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace, &c!

CHAP. 12.

It was a great fault in Ierusalem, and a great part of her misery, that shee did not know Christ.

1 THat Jerusalem did not know the things that concerned her peace, may seeme some­thing strange to him that considers that of David Psal. 76.1., In Iury is God well knowne, and his name is great in Israel, &c. and yet it is nothing strange, if it bee rightly con­ceived, either of whom it is spoken, or of what knowledge it is to bee understood: For, first of all, neither doth David there in the Psalmes, nor Christ here in the Gospell, speake of all the Inha­bitants of Ierusalem; God might be well knowne amongst some of them, though in some respect unknowne to the greatest part: GOD was well knowne in Israel, yet not of all Israel, nor of the [Page 122] greatest part, at least with that knowledge which Christ here speakes of; that is, with a lively and effectuall knowledge: for when Christ here speakes of the whole body of Jerusalem, as if she had not knowne him; the denomination (as is usuall in speeches of that nature) is taken from the greater part: and the meaning is, that though there were some amongst them that did re­ceive and acknowledge him for their Saviour, yet they were but a few in comparison of the rest; like a few Grapes that are left after the Vin­tage is gathered: Generally and for the most part they would not receive and acknowledge him, yet some of them did, as the learned observe out of that in S. Iohn Tollet. com­ment in loc. Cū dicimus à Iu­daico pop [...]re­ceptum non fuisse non sin­gulos de popu­lo intelligas, (nam à multis ex suis recep­tus est) sed ma­jorem partem à quâ totus po­pulus denomi­natur., Hee came unto his owne, and his owne received him not; but as many as received him, to them hee gave power to be the Sonnes of God Iohn 1.11, 12.: which plainly shewes, that many of his own did receive him, though generally, and for the most part they did refuse him.

2 It is not every kinde of knowledge that Christ here speakes of; for there is a two fold know­ledgeAqu part. 1. q. 59. ar. 23. Cog­ni [...]io alia est speculativa, alia affectiva, sive imperativa. Vide Cajetan in loc. Item cog­nitio duplex, una quae est speculativa tan­tū, ut cū alicui aliqua secreta divinorū reve­lantur, alia quae est effectiva producens a­morem Dei. Aquin part. 1. q. 64. art. 1.2.2. q. 97. art. 2. q. 154. art. 5. q. 162. art. 3 Cog­nitio alia ap­prehensionis, alia approba­tionis. Aquin 2.2 q. 188. art 5., to wit, a literall, and a notionall knowledge, swimming in the braine; and a lively and effectual knowledge that sinkes downe into the heart. The former it is but a sleeping habite, which may bee separated and disjoyned from obedience; as in the evill servant, who knew his Masters will, and did it not Luke 12.47,; he had a barren, fruitlesse, livelesse knowledge, but not such a knowledge as had a prevailing influence into his life and conversati­on; the other, it is a knowledge well husbanded, [Page 123] and improved, which is not onely apt, but also availeable, to beget in the soule desires and en­deavours, and some degree and measure sutable unto it; that is, a lively, effectuall and saving knowledge, which is alwayes accompanied with the duties of obedience. For though the motion of the will do not necessarily follow the light of the understanding, nor the knowledge of that which is good, alwayes draw obedience after itScot. sent. l 3. d. 36. art. 2. dub. 1. & d. 33. q. 1. Gandavens. quodl. 1 q. 16, 17 Mai [...]o. sent l. 2. dist. 24. Estius sent. l. 2. dist. 22. pag. 236. Constat Ange­lum & primos homines, quan­do primum peccaverunt, nō ex ignorantia peccasse, neque enim poterat ignorantia e­jus quod agen­dum esset, prae­cedere peccatū, sic enim Ange­lus et homo miser fuisset antequam ma­lus, quod est contra primae­vam institutio­nem intellectu­alis creaturae., as appeares by the Angels which fell, even then when they had neither darknesse nor error in the understanding, as also of our first Parents, who had perfit knowledge when they fell from God; and experience shews it both in men regenerate, and unregenerate; both which may commit sins against their knowledge. An unregenerate man hee may in many things know how to doe well, when he doth it not Iam. 4.17.: & so a regenerate man, he may fall into those sinnes which he knowes to be sins, as Da­vid when hee fell into murderAquin. 1.2. q. 6. art. 8. Ignorantia voluntaria ejus est, quod quis potest scire ac debet, &c. hoc igitur modo dicitur ignorantia, cum aliquis actu non considerat, quod confiderare potest ac debet. Medaea. Ovid. Metam. Video meliora proboque Deteriora sequor. Aquin. 1.2. q. 58. art. 2. q. 76. art. 4. ad 1. q. 77. art 1. & 2. q. 78. art. 1. ad 1. q. 51. art. 3. q. 53. art. 2 Disput. de verit. q. 24. art. 2. & 8. Sentent. l. 2. d. 39. q. 1. art. 1. ad 4. Durand. sent. l. 4. d. 39. q. 1. Capre. sent. l. 3. d. 36. Cajetan. & med. ad 1.2. q. 77. art. 2. 12 Sam. 11. and adultery2 Sam. 11.; yet when the knowledge of the Gospell is well husbanded and improved, when he knows things as he ought to know them, this knowledge is never separated from obedience, no more than saving faith is separated from love and charity; accor­ding to that of the Psalmist Psal. 9.10., They that know thy [Page 124] name will trust in thee: Agreeable whereunto is that of Christ to the woman of Samaria John 4.10., If thou hadst knowne thou wouldest have asked, &c. Now it may well bee, that some amongst the inhabi­tants of Jerusalem were so ignorant, through the neglect of the meanes, that they did not know, either the present mercy now offered unto them, or the future misery that waited for them: o­thers, though they had a generall knowledge of the things of the Gospell, yet they wanted the actuall use and consideration of it Arist. Ethic. ad Nicomach. l 3. c 1▪ [...]. Simil [...]ter l. 6. c. 15. l. 7. c. 2, & 3. Becan. The­ol. Scholast. to. 1. de peccato ca. 4. Ignorantia alia opponitur sci­entiae specula­tivae, &c. alia prudentiae, seu rectae electio­ni, quae repe­ritur in omni pecato; nam quicunque pec­cat, nec pru­denter agit, nec rectè eligit.; they did not actually remember and apply what they knew, they did not mould their knowledge into obedi­ence, nor reduce it into practice; and Christ in­terprets such a knowledge as this to be no better thā plaine ignorance. He that hath no more but one­ly the sleeping habite of knowledge, is said not to have it Mat. 13.12., because it stands him in no more stead, nor doth he make any more use of it, than if hee had no knowledge at all. And thus it was with the City of Jerusalem in regard of the generali­ty, and for the most part, they had not that lively and effectuall knowledge, which is ever fruitfull in the workes of piety, though they might in a generall manner know much, according to the bare and naked letter of the truth.

2 It was the great fault of Jerusalem, that she did not know these thingsEst. sent. l. 2. d. 22. pag. 229. Dicimus omnem & solam eam ignorantiam, peccatum esse, quâ quis ignorat, quod scire tenetur; quandocunque enim scientia in praecepto est con­sequenter opposita ei ignorantia prohibita censetur, et non alias: sicut enim omittere, quod quis tenetur facere, peccatum est omissionis, ita nescire quod quis scire tenetur, peccatum est ignorantiae., this imputation [Page 125] lies more heavy against her, and leaves a deeper guilt upon her, than it would have done upon ma­ny others: for though it were to be wished, that all had knowledge, and though the want of it be worthy of blame in any that might attaine unto it, yet above all in Ierusalem, and that for these three reasons:

1 Because shee had more helps and meanes of knowledge; she had the Oracles of God, which are the key of knowledge; and doe not onely un­locke the doore, and inable a man to know, but also call upon him, and stirre him up to improve that knowledge which he hath, to those ends and purposes for which it was given, and whereunto it serves.Psal. 147.19. He hath shewed his statutes to Iacob, and his judgements to Israel: he hath not dealt so with every Nation, neither have the heathen knowledge of his Name. And where should God looke for knowledge, if not in Ierusalem, and amongst his owne people; who were entred into a Covenant with him, and professed themselves to have the knowledge of his will? hee must needs take it ill at their hands, that they who stood in such neere relation to him, and were called by his name, should have no more care to know and take notice of those things that did so much concern his own glory and their everlasting good.

2 Because shee was more bound to know: God had bound her by his owne precept and comman­dement: she had bound her selfe by entring into Covenant with God: the meanes of knowledge afforded unto her, did lay a tye and obligation upon [Page 126] her, to walk answerable unto them: but above all, those peculiar mercies wherein the favour of God seemed as it were to empty it selfe towards the inhabitants of Jerusalem, did lay the strongest tye and obligation upon her, because they were such, as that no Nation under heaven enjoyed the like: God tooke speciall notice of this people, when he passed by, and seemed to neglect all the rest of the Nations besides.Amos 3 2. You onely have I knowne of all the families of the earth Calv. com. in lo. Deus beneficia sua in medium profert, ut ma­gis exaggeret crimen populi, quod referat Deo pessimam mercedē, à quo tam liberaliter et benigne tra­ctatꝰ fuerat, &c. Deum non ag­noscunt, ut se totos ei addi­cant, cui omnia debebant.: and there­fore if they did not take speciall notice of this un­deserved favour, and so accordingly make use of it, it would leave a fouler blot of ingratitude up­on them, than is to be found in the very bruite beast, as the Lord himselfe complaines,Esay 1.2. The Oxe knowes his owner, and the Asse his masters crib, but Israel hath not knowne, my people have not under­stood. When a Saviour was sent into the world, hee was first sent to the lost sheepe of the house of Is­rael: and together with him the Gospell of sal­vationActs 13.46.. This people of Israel, they were the on­ly Church of God in the time of the Old Testa­ment, and in the New Testament the first offer or tendry of salvation was made unto them.Rom. 2.10. To eve­ry one that doth good shall be glory, and honor, and immortality, to the Iew first, and also to the Grecian. Hereupon it is, that the Apostle doth so highly extoll the priviledge of the JewesRom. 3.1., they had re­ceived more from God than many others, and therefore were more indebted to him: forLuke 12.48. to whom much is given, of him much shall be re­quired.

[Page 127]3. Because both knowledge & want of know­ledge in her, was a matter of greater waight and importance, than it would have beene in many others: for first of all, If Ierusalem had minded the things that concerned her peace, shee being the most eminent and publike place in the king­dome, her care and forwardnesse this way, might have beene a speciall meanes of procuring a pub­like blessing upon the whole land; all Judea might have fared the better for her sake; as God would have spared the whole City of Sodome, if there had beene butGen. 18.32. ten righteous persons found there. And againe, she being the Metropolitan and chiefe City, as it were the eye of the whole land; her example would be a leading example, and likely to prevail much in drawing followers after herClaudian. Totꝰ cōponitur orbis Regis ad exem­plum: nec sic inflecteresensus Humanos edi­cta valent, quā vita regentis. Bonart. com. in Eccl. c. 10. p. 152. Vt ex sanitate capitis in mē ­bra eadem pro­fluit, et ex sole tanquam fonte, lux toti orbi cō ­municatur, ita virtꝰ ex princi­pe, tanquam ex arce quadam in pop: descendit, &c. Vid. Nazian. orat. 1. apologet.. All inferiour places would be ready to patterne themselves by Jerusalem; her good example might have drawne all the rest to be like unto her. If Ierusalem the mother had acknowledged Christ, all her Daughters, in imitation of her, would in all likelihood have become followers of him; whereas now on the contrary, her carelesse neg­lect of the things belonging to her peace, makes others as negligent in looking after them. And besides, being a place of such publike eminency, her sinnes would have a speciall hand in drawing downe publike judgements on the whole land; so that all Judea should fare the worse for her sake; and therefore it is, that Christ sets a speciall Em­phasis upon Jerusalem, saying, Oh if thou hadst knowne the things that belong to thy peace!

[Page 128]3. It was a great part of Ierusalems misery, that shee did not know or take notice of these things, and that in three respects:

1. Because it opened a gap to her future sinne, and further punishment, she refuseth mercy when it is freely offered unto her, because she doth not know or take notice of the worth and value of that blessing Pecan. Theol. Schol to. 1. de pec. c. 4. Quādo quis ex professo vult aliquid ignora­re, ut postea li­beriùs peccet, tū prima origo peccati non est ignorantia, sed prava ignoran­di voluntas., and by running daily upon the old score, and adding still more and more to the heape of her former sinnes, shee treasures up wrath unto her selfe against the day of wrath, because in those sins, and in that soyle of iniquity, she sowes the seed of her future woe and misery; like as it is with intemperate persons, though for the present they neither see nor feele any hurt in their riotous and excessive courses, yet in them is sowne the seede of consumptions, dropsies, and other noysome diseases, which will make their life wretched and miserable afterward; or as it is with a prodigall spend-thrift, though hee see no hurt for the pre­sent, by taking up at Interest, and running on the score in his Creditors books; yet in the end it will break his back, and bring him to nothing, because though it doe supply his wants for the present, yet it laies a foundatiō of unavoidable mi­sery for time to come; even so it was with Ieru­salem, because shee will not know or take notice either of the worth of mercy when it is freely of­fered, or of the danger of sin and iniquity when it might be avoyded, but refuseth the one, and runs into the other; she did thereby adde more waight to the unsupportable burden of her future mi­sery.

[Page 129]2. Because it lulls her asleepe, in such a deepe security, that she hath no sense or feeling of her owne estate and condition, when it is most la­mentable; and that is the cause why shee gives her selfe thus to mirth and pleasure, when her condition is such, that it fetcheth teares from the eyes of Christ, because she would not take notice of her sin, or thinke upon her danger; she did not lay it to heart, nor was she deepely affected with it; whereas if shee had knowne as much by her selfe, as Christ did, and rightly applyed that know­ledge, it would have made a great change and al­teration, both in her carriage and condition; that is, whereas now her mouth runs over with mirth and laughter, even then, when Christs eyes are full of teares at the very thought of her misery, had she knowne and considered as much as Christ did, shee would have wept and lamented as hee did; but now shee drownes her selfe in sensuall delight, because she knowes not the day of her visi­tation Pint. com. in Isa. ca. 16. ver. 2. Vt enim cervꝰ, foeminae cupi­ditate incensus, accurrit ad ab­sconditum ve­natorem rugitū cervae fugientē; ductus (que) appeti­tu, dum existi­mat se ad de­sideratam cervā festinare, currit velocissimè ad mortem ipsam, & ad venenatā venatoris sagit­tam recipiēdā: sic qui indomi­to appetitu du­cuntur, quantò celerius ad res desideratas con­tendunt, tantò perniciosius ad mortem ipsam amplectendam accurrunt.. Like as it is with the sheepe or the oxe that goe to the shambles skipping and leaping, as if they were going to the pasture, because they know not whither they are going; even so it was with Jerusalem here, shee buries her selfe in sin­full pleasures, even then when her eyes should have beene filled with penitentiall tears, nay even then when teares of blood had beene too little to bewaile her misery, and all because she knowes not whither she is going. Her estate and condition is lamentable for the present; she is passing on to a more lamentable end, there to be swallowed up [Page 130] in that bottomlesse gulf, where there shall be no­thing else but weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth unto all eternity; and never thinks with her self whither she is going. John 12.35. He that walketh in darknesse knoweth not whither he goeth Heming. Com. in loc. Quē id­modum illi qui noctu in den­sissimis tenebris ambulant, viam non tenent; at­ (que) ideo in prae­cipitia incidūt, et vitae pericu­la: ita qui eunt in tenebris ig­norantiae, fe [...] ū ­tur in aeternae mortis praecipi­tia, unde elucta­ri non possunt, horrenda caligi­ne obruti.. And this makes up the height of her misery, that ruine and destruction is so neare at hand, even ready to fall upon her head, and she knowes nothing of it; had she seriously considered those unknowne dangers which she lay open unto, & steeped her thoughts in the meditation of that which Christ did, it could not but have fetched teares from her eyes. The reason why Christ hath no more compani­ons in weeping for Ierusalem, is, because hee hath no more to share with him in the sight and survay of her sinne and misery; if others had knowne all by Jerusalem that Christ did, they could not but have pittyed her estate and condition; or if Ierusalem her selfe had beene privy to it, in such manner as she ought, and might have beene, shee would surely have wept and shed teares: where­as now she makes her selfe merry, and sings care away, because she will not know, or take any notice how matters stand betweene God and her owne soule.

3. Because it makes her abuse the patience of God, mis-spending and mis-imploying that preci­ous time that was given for better ends and pur­poses, because she doth not know or take notice of the price that is put into her hand, either for the obtaining of mercy, or the escaping of punish­ment; and the long abused patience of God, ever [Page 131] breaks forth into greater wrath, and brings more misery with it afterwardsGreg. Moral l. 25. cap. 9. Qui [...] omnipotens Deus ad poeni­tentiam tempꝰ indulget, quod tamen humana malitia ad usum suae iniquitatis incorquet: ni­mirū justo Dei judicio augeri culpa permitti­tur, ut ad ferrē ­dū altiùs quan­do (que) cumuletur. If Jerusalem had knowne the time of her visitation, and the worth of those blessings that were offered unto her by the comming of Christ, shee would not have valued them at so low a rate; nay shee would have pur­chased and procured them, had it beene with the dearest drop of her owne blood; little did shee thinke what shee lost by losing Christ, and the priviledges and mercies that came along with him; for the Kingdome of heaven comes along with Christ, and goeth away with him: and therefore our blessed Saviour, to let the Jewes know what they lost by losing Christ and the Gospell, hee tells them in plaine termes,Mat. 21.43. the Kingdome of heaven shall be taken away from you, &c. So that it is a blessing of infinite worth, be­yond all price that can be set upon it, that Jeru­salem here passeth away, and deprives her selfe of, because she will not know or acknowledge that blessed opportunity Sanct. com. in Isa. 1.3. Illustris cōparatio, qua stuporet vecor­dia hominum ita significātur, ut nullo modo videātur expri­mi posse signi­ficantiùs: quan­do neque illud rependē [...] quod omnium ani­mantium stoli­dissimi referre solent possess [...] ­ [...] suo., which now by the presence of Christ was put into her hands, for the obtai­ning of it: and on the contrary, she brings upon her selfe woe and misery unspeakable, beyond all expression, because she will not know the time of Gods patience and forbearance: whereas if shee had knowne, and rightly considered of it, she would not have trifled out that time as she did, but ra­ther have agreed with her adversarie quickly, and have made her peace before the sentence had been past, and the decree come forth against her.Mat. 24.43. If the good man of the house had knowne at [Page 132] what houre the thiefe would have come,Chap. 13.he would surely have watched, and not suffered his house to be digged through. If the traveller did know that he should fall into the hands of robbers, hee would be wiser than to put himselfe upon such apparent dangers. If the Mariner did know that in such a voyage hee should split his vessell, dash upon a rocke, and suffer Shipwrack; hee would pull downe his sayles, and turne his course, that so hee might escape the sands, that otherwise would have swallowed him up: So if Jerusalem had knowne the gall and wormwood, the venome and poyson, the ugly taile of punishment that her sinfull neglect drew after it; she would not thus have refused Christ, nor forsaken her own mercy as she did; but because she will not know and con­sider this, therefore her misery is great upon her.

CHAP. 13.

The use which is to be made of Ierusalems estate and condition, and the instructions to be gathered from it.

Vse 1 IF it was the great fault of Jerusalem that shee did not know things that concerned her peace, then may this serve to reprove all those that are guilty of this fault; and there are not a few such, who when Christ comes unto them, they will not know him, or take notice of him; for though Christ [Page 133] doe not now come unto men,Chap. 13. as he came to Jeru­salem, in his owne person, yet still he comes un­to them, so and in such manner, as that he is wor­thy of the best entertainment they can afford un­to him; and therefore the more to blame are they that will not know or take notice of him.

1. He comes unto them in the ministery of the Word; and when men doe not judge that Word to be, as indeed it is, an infallible truth, and wor­thy of all acceptation; when they turne the deafe eare upon it, and will not receive the Messengers that bring those glad tidings unto them; then they doe not know or take notice of himMat. 10.40..

2. He comes unto them in the motions of his Spirit, knocking at the doore of their hearts Revel. 3.20., in­lightning, and informing their minds and under­standings with the knowledge of their duty;Micah. 6.8. Calling upon them for the performance of it, by those secret intimations, which doe sufficiently make knowne unto them, that it is their duty so to doe, the neglect whereof they can no wayes excuseIsa. 30.21.; and when they will not open unto him, when they will not follow his counsell and dire­ction, but grieve the Holy Spirit of God, and quench the good motions that are kindled in their breasts, then they doe not know or take no­tice of him.

3 Hee comes unto them in the workes of his Providence, in mercies, in judgements, in blessings, in crosses Exod. 24.25. Rev. 2.25.: and when men receive and enjoy these blessings, and doe not raise up their hearts with true and unfained thankfulnesse to him that [Page 134] gave them; like the Swine, that devoures and eats up the fruit, but never lookes up to the tree from whence it fals; when they lie bleeding un­der the hand of judgment, and will not looke be­yond the second causes, to see God in it, like the Dogge that barkes, and bites, and snarles at the stone, but never lookes at the hand which threw it; then they doe not know or take notice of him.

4 Hee comes unto them in his poore members: when they are hungry, and want food; naked, and want cloathing; sick, and in prison, and want com­fort and refreshment; and when they shut up their bowels of compassion, and will not succour and relieve their wants, nor bee helpfull to them in their distresse, then they doe not know or take notice of him:Mat. 25.45. Verely I say unto you, in as much as yee did it not to one of these, yee did it not to me.

Vse 2 If the want of knowledge did leave a deeper guilt upon Jerusalem, than it would have done upon many others, then it followes plainly from hence, that the circumstance of the person addes much to the quality of the offence Iuven. Satyr. 8. Omne animi vitium tan­tò conspe­ctius in se cri­men habet, quantò major qui peccat ha­betur. Bernard. de con­sid. ad [...]ugen. Nugae in ore saecularis sunt nugae, in ore sacerdotis blas­phemiae. Inter erit mul­tum Davusne loquatur, herusve.; Thou that preachest another man should not steale, doest thou steale? thou that sayest, a man should not commit a­dultery, doest thou commit adultery? Thou that ab­horrest Idols, doest thou commit sacriledge Rom. 2.21.? As if hee should say, it were too bad that any should doe it, but much more that thou shouldest doe it. And therefore the more carefull should every one be to stand upon the credit and reputation of his place and profession, not doing any thing which ill beseemeth his person or calling, but to [Page 135] answer that which the nature of his place pro­miseth to others, and which both reason and re­ligion may justly expect from him. Thus it was with Nehemiah, Shall such a man as I flie? Who is hee, that being as I am, would goe into the Temple to live Nehem. 6.11.; and Christ himselfe doth greatly up­braid Nicodemus with the want of thisIohn 3.10., Art thou a Teacher in Israel, and knowest not these things? And it is a circumstance of great waight, in regard of that relation that is betweene the person and the action. Now relation, as the Rhe­toricians observe, though it have the least being, yet it is of the greatest force in the aggravation of thingsRelationes sunt minimae entitatis, sed maximae effi­caciae.. That any who lives under the means of knowledge, should remaine ignorant of the things of Christ, it is too bad; but that thou, who hast injoyed the meanes, in a plentifull manner, so long, as that, in regard of the time, thou mightest have beene a teacher of others, as the Apostle speakes of someHeb. 5.12., that Thou shouldest have need to bee taught againe the very first principles of the Word of God, this, it is much more worthy of blame. That any should runne into those disorderly wayes and courses, whereby not one­ly his owne soule is wounded, but also Christ and the Gospell dishonoured, the hands of the wicked strengthened, and the hearts of Gods owne people grieved and discouraged, it is a mat­ter of lamentation, and just reproofe; but that thou shouldest doe it, whose actions are enough to command imitation from others, in regard of the interest and authority that thou hast in themJust. Lips. ex­empl. Polit. l. 2. c. 8. Vt in cor­poribus gravis­simus est mori­bus qui à capi­te diffunditur, sic qui à princi­pe, &c., ô [Page 136] that is much more worthy of blame; that thou who art a Father, shouldest eate sowre Grapes, where­by thy Childrens teeth are set on edge; that thou, Vitia priva­torum morbi sunt; in Magi­stratu positorū, pestes. Cicero 3. de legib. non solum vi­tia concipiunt ipsi, sed ea in­fundunt in ci­vitatem; nec so­lum obsunt quod ipsi cor­rumpuntur, sed quod corrum­punt, & plus exemplo, quam peccato nocent. who shouldest be a meanes to reduce others into a more peceable way, art the Ring-leader in a faction, and doest open a gappe unto a further breach; who can looke upon it, and not dislike it? who can see it, and not bee sorry for it? That a­ny should prove false or disloyall to Christ, it is too much; he never deserved any such ill carri­age, or undutifull respect from him; but that thou shouldest doe it, who hast given up thy name to Christ, who art entred into a professed Covenant with him, this, it is much more. That thou who art a professed Disciple of Christ, that thou shouldest betray him, like Iudas, ô this goes neare to his heart, and makes him greatly to complaine of itPsal. 55.12.; It was not an open enemy that did mee this disho­nour, for then I could have borne it; but it was thou, O man, even thou my companion, my guide, and my familiar friend, with whom I had taken such sweet counsell, and gone so friendly together into the house of God.

When Caesar was slaine in the Senate, it trou­bled him no doubt, to see others rise up against him; but when he seeth Brutus his owne son come amongst them, ô that strikes him to the heart, & makes him cry out, [...], &c Sueton. in Iu­lio Caesare.? what? and thou my sonne? have I not enemies enough to rise up against mee, but that thou also shouldest adde to the number of them? Even so it was here with Christ; that others should refuse him, it was no­thing [Page 137] in comparison; but that Ierusalem should doe it, Ierusalem whom hee had thus honoured with his presence, and with the first offer and tendrie of salvation; Ierusalem, to whom he was in more especiall manner sent; that she should re­fuse him, that shee should not acknowledge him; no, not then, when it it did so much concerne her owne happinesse; this is that which makes him put such an Emphasis upon it; Oh, if thou hadst knowne!

Vse 3 3 It was a great part of Ierusalems misery, that shee was senslesse of her danger, and did not know it, but gave her selfe over to mirth and pleasure, and drowned her selfe in sensuall delights, even then when the Decree was ready to come forth a­gainst her; then by this yee may see what to thinke of the estate and condition of many in the world, who are lulled asleepe in security, and drown themselves in sensuall and sinfull pleasures, when they have more cause to weepe and shed teares, if they did but know and rightly consider, how matters stand betweene God and their owne soules: surely, if the misery of Jerusalem was great upon her, because she did not know this; how can he bee free from misery, that know as little, perhaps, lesse of it, than shee did? And yet if yee looke abroad into the world, and take a view of the lives and conversations of most men; what more common and ordinary, than for men to sing and rejoyce, and goe on securely, as if there were no feare of danger; even then, when their estate is most lamentable? As it was with the [Page 138] Church of Laodicea, shee thought her selfe rich, and increased in goods, lacking nothing; and knew not that shee was poore, blinde, wretched, and mi­serable Revel. 3.17.: even so it is with many, they blesse themselves in their sinfull courses, because they doe not know, nor rightly consider, how wret­ched and miserable they are.

If yee take a view of all Creatures in the world, ye shall finde none amongst them all, but are more sensible of approaching danger, than sinfull man: The Fowles of the Ayre, they know and foresee the storme and tempest, before it come; they prophesie and foretell it, give pre­sages of it, by providing a place of refuge and shelter for themselves: The bruit Creatures that live on the earth, even the meanest of them, they can foresee their danger, and flie away from it, the very Rats and Mice, when the house growes ruinous, they are sensible of their danger, and forsake their lodging, before it fall upon them; onely sinfull man, hee is so blinded and besotted with the pleasures of the world, that hee neither knowes, nor foresees his misery before it fals upon him.

When Noah and his Family entred into the ArkeGen. 7.14., wee doe not read of any that brought Creatures unto him, but, as some thinkeSanct. Avitus. Alcim. lib. 4. de diluvio. Occul­tus brutis in sensibus ardet Terror, et ex­pectans agitat formidine mē ­tem; Ast homi­nes quos sors certi discrimi­nis urget, Vici­nà nec morte pavent. &c., such a secret instinct was put into them, and such a uni­versall feare of the approaching danger did seize upon them, that all in their severall kindes, they came by couples, and offered themselves to be received into the Arke; and yet we doe not reade [Page 139] of any amongst the sonnes of men, not any of that great number that perished in the Deluge of wa­ters, that ever came to Noah to desire a place of refuge and shelter there; the feare of the ensuing danger makes a deeper impression upon the bruite creatures, than it doth upon men, who were ex­posed to greater danger by it, and endued with reason and understanding to apprehend their danger; for they in their kinde, are sensible of their danger, and provident to shun it; but men goe on securely, and will not know or take notice of it. The very untame creatures, that are by na­tue untractable, and use to runne at liberty in the wilde Forrest, they seeme to lay aside their natu­rall wildnesse, offer themselves contrary to their nature, to bee taken with the hand; and forsaking that boundlesse liberty which they enjoyed be­fore, are willing to bee shut up within the wals of the Ark, for the preventing of future danger: but men, more senslesse of their danger, than the Fowles of the Ayre, than the beasts of the field, they will not know itNescire est ignorantis; nolle autem sci­re est superbiae. Aug. l. 3. de grat. & lib. arbit ca. 19 & 22. de nat. et grat. c. 17. de duab. animab. ca. 12 Bern. ep. 27. Isidor. de sum. bono. l. 2. c. 17. Greg. moral. l. 25. ca. 16., nor steepe their thoughts in the meditation of it, though they have Noah, a Preacher of righteousnesse, by his own example to goe before them, and daily to call upon them, and put them in minde of it, for an hundred and twenty yeares together.

When David came against that proud and un­circumcised Philistim with a sling and a stone, he takes it in high disdaine, and great scorne, that he should thinke him like a dogge, that was afraid of a staffe or a stone 1 Sam. 17.43.: but, as Chrysostome Homil. de Da­vide & Saule. well ob­serves, [Page 140] he was worse than a Dogge; for the Dog when hee seeth his Master take the whip, or cud­gell into his hand, he knowes there is danger, and provides for himselfe, either by running away, or casting downe himselfe, and crying out before his Master; using all meanes which the instinct of nature hath put into him, for the securing him­selfe from danger: but this uncircumcised Phili­stim, when hee seeth the stone taken out of the bagge, that was the instrument of his death, hee will not know, or take notice of his danger, till hee feele the dint and impression of it upon his owne forehead.

Nay more, the very devils themselves are more sensible of their owne misery, than sinfull men are: for when Christ met two possessed with devils,Mat. 8.28. they cry out, saying, what have we to doe with thee? art thou come to torment us before the time? they doe not feele the waight of his pow­er, they doe not heare so much as an ill word from him; yet the conscience of their owne guil­tinesse, and the presence of Christ, makes them cry out for feare, though for the present they en­joyed a liberty, and were let out from the bot­tomlesse pit, for a time to make their abode and habitation amongst men; yet in this time of re­spite, they cannot forget the punishment they are lyable unto, but are so sensible of it, that the very sight of Christ revives the memory of it, and brings it fresh to their minde: but when Christ comes to Jerusalem, though he cannot without teares thinke of her misery, yet we heare not of a­ny, [Page 141] that either cryes out of his owne guiltinesse, or is sensible of the deserved punishment of his disobedi­ence. They are so taken up with secular content­ments for the present, that the thought of future danger is quite laid aside, and hath no roome to lodge within them; and here is the misery of it, that men in a matter that doth so nearely con­cerne them, should not onely come short of the very bruit creatures, but even of the devils them­selves; for infernall impiety in those wicked spi­rits, hath not so farre drowned them in security, but that they are sensible of their danger, and rea­dy to presage it upon the least occasionBasil. Seleu [...]. 23. Norunt ex his quae perp [...] ­tiuntur, se tor­mentis ob [...]xi­os. Ne (que) tantū apud eos m [...]tū potuit impro­b [...]as, ut illatae ob siagitia poe­nae oblivionem inducat.. The wickednesse of their nature cannot work them to a forgetfulnesse of it; but sinfull men, they are so deeply soaked in sensuall pleasure, and so setled upon the lees and dregs of iniquity, that they will not see or be sensible of their own danger, though it be never so clearly set before them; and there­upon it is that they sing and rejoyce, and drowne themselves in mirth and delight, even then when their estate and condition is most miserable: the truth whereof will yet further appeare, if ye doe but take notice of the time when it is especially that they doe most securely give themselves up unto mirth and jollity, and that is usually, and for the most part, upon these two occasions: to wit, when God is silent, and seemes to winke at their sinnes, and when the world smiles upon them, and poures into their lap all outward and secular contentments that their hearts can desire. First of all, men are most inclinable to drowne them­selves [Page 142] in sinfull pleasures, when God is silent, and seemes to winke at their sins; when he suffers them to thrive and prosper in their sinfull courses, and seemes to say nothing to them:Eccles. 8.11. Because sentence is not executed speedily against an evill work, there­fore is the heart of the children of men fully set in them to doe evill. Psal. 50.21. These things hast thou done, and I held my peace; therefore thou thoughtest wic­kedly that I was even like unto thy selfe, &c. So it was with the old world, because God was silent, and spared them a long while, they are ready to think that he will not come unto them in judge­ment at all; and thereupon give themselves more freelyMat. 24.48. to eate, and drinke, and be merry, as Christ himselfe shewes: As in the dayes before the flood, they did eate and drinke, marry, and gave in marri­age, untill the day that Noah entred into the Arke, and knew nothing till the flood came and swept them all away; so shall the comming of the Son of man be. Now the estate and condition of men is never more miserable, than when the patience and mercy of God, which should leade them to re­pentance, becomes an occasion and incourage­ment unto them to goe on in their sinfull courses; because it is either a fore-runner of more heavy judgements, to follow and insue afterward, or else a signe that their disease is incurable: and therefore God leaves them as men that are in a desperate and forlorne condition, and will not spend his rods in vaine upon them.

1. It is an usuall fore-runner of more heavy judg­ments, because the longer that God forbears men [Page 143] in their sinfull courses, the more heavy he strikes when he comes: as the axe, the higher it is lifted up, and the longer it be before the blow be given, the more heavy it falls, and the deeper it cuts when it comes. If they were presently smitten with temporall judgements, they might be much more happy than many times they are, because when they doe not profit by the mercie and judge­ment of God, the hardnesse of their heart, which cannot repent, heapeth up wrath unto themselves against the day of wrath.

2. It is a signe oftentimes that their disease is incurable; and therefore God deales with them, as the Physitian doth with his sick patient; while there is hope of recovery, he cutteth, and seareth, and launceth his body, gives him bitter pills and potions to worke out his disease; but when hee gives him over, and lets him have whatsoever he calls for, and goe whither soever his minde and affection carries him; that is a sign he is past help, and that there is little hope of doing him good: even so when God crosseth a man in his sinfull cour­ses, and makes him feele the smart of his owne doings, there is some hope he may be reclaimed; but when hee keeps silence, and saith nothing to him, that is a signe there is little hope; and therefore God will not spend any more rods in vain upon him.Isa. 1.5. Wherefore should ye be smitten any more, for ye fall away more and more? It is a sign of mer­cy in God, when he chastiseth and correcteth his people for their sinnes, because by this temporall correction, he prevents the eternall ruine and de­struction [Page 144] of their soules; according to that of the Apostle,1 Cor. 11.32. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world: but when hee suffers them to thrive and prosper in their sinnes, and doth not visit their iniquities and transgressions upon them; that is a signe of his sore displeasure against them. For when God would shew his greatest severity a­gainst the Israelites, he tells them, that heeHos. 4.14. will not visit their daughters when they are harlots, nor their spouses when they are whores. If God speake to sinfull men in his wrath, it may be ill enough with them; but if he keepe silence in his wrath, it is far worse, because that argues more wrath a­gainst them: even as it is with the water, which is there deepest, where it runs along with greatest si­lence; and more shallow, where it makes the greater noyse. When a potent enemy thunders out his wrath against a weake and naked City, it is ill enough with the inhabitants thereof; but when he dissembles his wrath, onely waiting a fit occasion and opportunity to crush them in pieces, it makes their condition much worse: even so it is with God; when he keeps silence in his wrath, that is a sign that his thoughts are deeply steeped with unalterable purposes of their ruine and de­struction.

2. Another time and occasion when men drowne themselves in sinfull pleasures, and melt themselves more freely into mirth and jollity, is, when they swim in wealth and riches, when they enjoy honors and preferments, credit and repu­tation [Page 145] amongst men; when the world applauds them, and claps them on the back, as the rich man in the Gospel that prophesies of peace to his own soul, saying,Luke 1 [...].19. Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many yeares, live at ease, eate, and drink, and take thy pastime: and yet, even then, there is more cause of weeping than rejoycing, if men did throughly know, and rightly consider, either the vanishing nature of those contentments, or the miserable end that will ensue upon them. When Christ was entertained with the joyfull acclama­tions of the people, he was so little affected with it, that he did not rejoyce, but shed teares, because he did throughly know how fickle and uncertain those contentments were; hee knew that those very men who now cried Hosanna, Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord, would within a few dayes cry as loud, Crucifie him, crucifie him: and what wise man can rejoyce or take content­ment in that which hee knowes to bee of so short continuance, and to end and determine in a condi­tion so contrary and unlike unto it selfe? And so it is with all the earthly felicity of sinfull men. Sweet meat, as saith the Proverbe, must have sowre sawce; sinfull pleasure ever ends in severe and sore punishments: as Abraham told Dives, Sonne remember, thou in thy life time hadst thy plea­sure, therefore art thou now tormented Luke 16.25.. The Bee hath Honey and Waxe, things pleasant and profi­table, but withall a sting in the taile; so sinfull pleasure hath honey to intice, and waxe to in­flame; but withall, a deadly sting in the tayle of [Page 146] it. And like as it is with the rose, when the leaves are plucked off, there is nothing but pricks remaines behind; even so it is with the pleasures of sinne, when the leaves of profit and advantage are pluc­ked away, they ever leave a sting behinde them. The Wine goes downe pleasantly, and sheweth forth his colour in the cup; but in the end it will bite like a serpent, and hurt like a cockatrice. Stollen waters are sweet, saith Solomon, and the bread of deceit pleasant, but they know not that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depth of hell. And therefore though wicked men set themselves upon a merry pin, and sing care away, when they swim in wealth and riches, and abound in other worldly contentments, yet have they little reason so to doe, if they did throughly know, and right­ly consider how matters stand betweene GOD and their owne soules, and how soone all those secular contentments will determine, and come to a fearfull end: for even as we see in nature, the more heat there is in the Sunne, the more vapours are drawne up, and so accordingly the more a­bundance of raine falls afterward; even so the more blessings God bestowes on wicked men, and the more they drowne themselves in sinfull pleasures, the more heavy torments fall upon them afterward.Rev. 18.7. In as much as she glorified her selfe, and lived in pleasure, so much give you to her torment and sorrow. So that they have little rea­son to melt themselves into such brutish sensuali­ty, and to nourish their hearts, as in a day of slaughter, if they knew all that concernes them [Page 147] to know. When Haman was highly exalted in the Kings favour, and set above all the Princes in the Court, he promiseth himselfe much happinesse in that royall favour, and much gloried in it; but he had little reason so to doe, if he had knowne and considered, that the very next day hee should end his unhappy life upon that tree which hee had prepared and set up for Mordecai the Iew to be hanged upon Hest. 5.14.7.9. Dives he builds much upon his plenty and a­bundance, and promiseth himselfe no small con­tentment in it; and so did the rich man in the Gospell Luke 12.19.: but had he not more cause to waile and weepe, if he had knowne and considered that fa­tall doome and sentence, which so soone after sounded in his eares, O foole, this night will they fetch away thy soule, and then whose shall all those things be? SoActs 12.21. Herod, he was much tickled and taken with that flattering acclamation of the peo­ple, saying unto him, The voice of God and not of man; but hee had more cause to have melted himselfe into a fountain of tears, if he had known how neare the destroying Angell had been unto him; and that in the next breath hee was to bee eaten up of wormes, and give up the ghost.

CHAP. 14.

The day of grace wherein life and salvation is offe­red to men.

Chap. 14 YEE have heard the matter of Christs wish or complaint, it was saving knowledge that hee wished to the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, and want of knowledge that he complained of; it remaines now to speake of the circumstances, whereby it is amplifyed, and therein first of the circum­stance of time, in those words, at least in this thy day.

It is no small aggravation of the sinne of Jeru­salem, that she had continued so long in the neg­lect of her duty; God sent his Prophets unto her long before, rising up early, and sending them, and she made light of the things that concerned her peace, not onely all the time that went before, but even untill this very day Gerhard. com. in lo. Magna est Emphasis in voce Diei, hoc enim vult dice­re Christꝰ, dies gratiae adhuc v [...]bis lucet, haec dies est ul ima occal [...]o, quae vobis ad salu [...] ē off [...]rtur. Hacte­nus aliquot an­nos [...]buistis, nunc pauculi dies restant, ci­to praete [...]labe­tur haec occa­sio, nisi cupidè eam amplexa­mini. that Christ came unto her: yea and in that day too, which was the last day that any tendry of peace was to be offered unto her: and Christ speaking to Jerusalem of this time of mercy, he calls it in speciall manner her Day Ibid. Empha­ticum etiā illud est, Indie tuo, id est, qui peculia­riter tuus est, a Deo ad salutem tibi datus. Sig­nificat ergo ad­esse extremum tempus quod in salutem Hiero­solymae erat de­stinatum, illud si absque fructu [...]labi sineter, praedicit f [...]re, ut in posterum sa­lutis ja [...] ip­sis penitus prae­cludati [...].: implying, that it was in much mercy afforded unto her, for the furtherance of her owne good; because if yet at length shee would come in, at least within the compasse of this day, there was mercy yet to be had, if it were sought for; but if this day were once past, shee should [Page 149] never come to enjoy the benefit of another day, but the night of eternall misery would unavoy­dably fall upon her, because she would not know this day of her visitation; so that the observation which I make hereupon is this:

Doct. 4 That the time and season allotted to any for the getting of grace, and the procuring of salvation, it is in speciall manner his Day; that is, a day afforded unto him, for the furtherance of his greatest be­nefit and advantage, if hee know rightly how to husband and imploy it for his owne good. The Apostle speaking of this Day, hee cals it, the Day of salvation 2 Cor. 6.2.; because so long as this day doth continue, there is a doore of mercy stands open for the sonnes of men, there is peace and recon­ciliation to be had, upon such termes as are ex­pressed in the New Covenant, if it be sought for according to the will of God. Such a day was that in which Zacheus climbed up into a wild fig­tree, to behold Christ, and therefore Christ tels him in the former part of this Chapter, that hee might write downe that day in the Calender of his best and most happy dayes; a day that might upon speciall reason, bee termed his day, because this day salvation came to his house Luke 19.9.: So God affor­ded to Iezabel a time and space of repentanceRevel. 2.21., and that was her day, though shee had neither heart nor grace to make that good use of it for her owne advantage, that shee ought to have done, and might have done; and so that space of time that God affords unto any for his owne spirituall ad­vantage, that is his day, the totall summe where­of [Page 150] of may bee parcelled out into these particulars following.

1 The Lords day, which is as it were the mar­ket day, to make provision for the soule.

2 Such particular seasons and opportunities, wherein occasion is offered unto him, either of doing or receiving good.

3 The time of health and prosperity, wherein he is best able to lay out himselfe for the compassing of those things, which belong to his peace.

4 The golden time of youth, which is as it were, the morning, and first part of the day.

5 The time present, which is as it were the Noone-tide, or middle part of the day, comming be­tweene, and uniting together that which is past, and that which is to come.

6 The time of this life, which is, as it were, the Evening and closure of the day, beyond which it cannot extend it selfe.

1 First then, while thou hast leave and liberty to come to the house of God, and to injoy the benefit of the publike assemblies, while the doore of the Sanctuary stands open for thee; that is thy day, a day set apart for the publike service, and the solemne worship of God; a day which the Scripture it selfe dignifies with the title and prerogative of the Lords day Revel. 1.10., and therefore in a high degree and measure, sacred and venerable, as all other things are, which by any such speci­all and peculiar relation, are appropriated unto him, or termed his; a day that is stiled by the Fa­thersSee Bishop of Ely in his Trea­tise of the Sabbath Day. part. 2. pag. 209. the Queene of dayes, and graced with many [Page 151] honourable Epithetes above other dayes, in re­gard of the end and occasion for which it hath beene kept, and observed by the universall con­sent of the whole Christian Church, ever since the Apostles times; a day wherin there is speciall provision made for thy soule; a day, wherein thou maist benefit and advantage thy selfe many wayes, by frequenting the House of God, which is the place where his Honour dwelleth, by joy­ning with the Assembly in the publike prayers of the Church, which ever have beene, and de­servedly ought to bee greatly esteemed of all Gods peopleSee A. Hild. in his Lectures on Iohn 4. pag. 115. & pag. 340 alias 353.; by hearing the Word of God publikely read, and the minde and meaning of God publikely interpreted, and declared, for thy further edification and building up in the wayes of piety; and therefore speciall care is to be had, and taken, at least in this thy day, that thy soule may thrive and prosper by al these publike Ordinances; where God is in more speciall man­ner present, and whereunto the promise of a bles­sing is more especially made. Every day in the yeare is not the Faire day, nor every day in the week, the market day for thy soule, as this is; and there­fore suffer it not to slip and passe away without a­ny certaine profit and advantage made unto thy selfe, but husband it wisely for thine owne good; be sure to make thy markets out of it, before it be gone; not forsaking the fellowship and the Assem­blies of the Church, as the manner of some is Heb. 10.25., but carefully laying out thy selfe, and taking in those precious Wares and Commodities, which there [Page 152] are vented, because this is in speciall manner thy day.

2 While there is any fit season and opportuni­ty, wherein occasion is offered unto thee, either of doing good to others, or reaping good to thy selfe; that is thy day, a day that God hath put in­to thy hand, for thine owne good, if thou bee not wanting to thy selfe, in the well husbanding and improvement of it; & it is a day that wil not al­wayes last; it must be laid hold on while it presents it selfe; for if it be once gone, it cannot be called backe againe: and therefore the AncientsErasm. Adag. tit. tempestiva. pag. 687. Fron­te capillata, post est occasio calva. they painted opportunitie with a hairy forehead, but bald behind; to signifie, that while a man hath it before him, he may lay hold on it; but if hee suf­fer it to slip away, hee cannot pull it back againe. And againe, season and opportunity, it doth not onely grace and beautifie the thing that is done, and make it like Apples of Gold, with pictures of Silver, as Solomon speakesPro. 25.11.; but also it doth faci­litate and make easie the way, and passage that leads unto it: it is like the joynt in a member, as a learned PrelateBishop An­drewes Sermō on Jer. 8.7 pag. 200. Cornel. la­pid com. in Pro­verb. ca. 10.5. Aestas & mes­sis est symbo­lum occasio­nis, sive tem­poris idonei ad rem bene ge­rendam; q. d. Qui arripit oc­casionem rei conficiendae, dū illa sese offert, ille sapit; qui negligit, de­sipit. Plin. l. 11. c. 6. & 10 Apes peragunt opus suum, non sta­tis diebus, sed quoties coeli commoditas invitat: ita suo quaeque tempore capi­enda est occa­sio. speakes, Hee that hits on the joynt, may easily divide one part from another, but hee that misseth of that, either by falling short, or going beyond it, he shall not doe it at all, or at least, not without more paines, and greater difficulty. And therefore, whosoever thou art that hast a price in thy hand, which through thy good care and hus­banding of it, may bee happily improved to the glory of God, the benefit of thy neighbour, or thine owne advantage; make account with thy [Page 153] selfe, that this is thy day. If thou hast a blessing for the poore in hard times of want, this is thy day, wherein thou maist make thy selfe friends with the riches of iniquitie, that when thou shalt want, they may receive thee into everlasting habita­tions Luke 16.9.. If thou hast the tongue of the learned, in such places where much people perish for want of knowledge, this is thy day, wherein thou maist minister a word in season to him that is weary, and winne many soules to God, by doing the work of an Evangelist, preaching the Word, in season, out of season, making thy Ministery fully knowne. If thou hast power and authori­ty in thy hands, where wickednesse and pro­phanenesse are set on high, where piety and reli­gion is trodden under foot, this is thy day, to lay out thy selfe for the reforming of all such disor­dered courses, and the rectifying of things that are amisse. If thou fall into the company of such as are wise and learned, able to informe thee in all needfull matters, and to give thee sound dire­ction, this is thy day, now to have all thy demands satisfied, thy doubts resolved, and thy scruples removed.

While the Iewes enjoyed the light of the Go­spell, and had the person of Christ himselfe a­mongst them, that was their day; Christ knew it was not to continue long, and therefore hee ap­plies himselfe to the worke of their conversion, while it was day; Iohn. 9.4. I must worke the worke of him that sent me while it is day Hemin com in loc. Diem vocat in genere tem­pus lucentis E­vangel [...]i, & si­cuti dies sunt alii aliis clari­ores; ita aliis temporibus clarior est lux Evangelii, aliis obscurior; me­ritò igitur cla­rissimus dies judicandum est illud tempus, quo ipse Domi­nus hic in ter­ra corporaliter versatus est.: and it was a great fault in the Jewes, that having had so many [Page 154] signes, fore-shewing the comming of Christ, yet for all this they did not know, or discerne him, at least in this day of their Visitation; they were skilfull enough in any other matters, as Christ himselfe tels them; the more shame for them, that they were so blinde and ignorant in taking notice of this day. Luke 12.54. When yee see a Cloud rise out of the West, straight way yee say a showre commeth, and so it is; and when yee see the South winde blow, yee say that it will be hot, and it commeth to passe: Hy­pocrites, yee can discerne the face of the earth, and the skie, but why discerne yee not this time? Why doe yee not learne to know, that this is your day?

3 While thou art in health, and in thy full strength, while thy hands are strong to labour, and thy bones full of marrow; while the face of the heavens is cleare over thy head, and the Sun of prosperity shines upon thee, that is thy day; a day allotted unto thee for this end and purpose, that now thou mightest lay up store of provision against the evill day; that now thou mightest ga­ther for thy selfe that which might be stead thee in time of need, that so thou mightest not have grace to seeke, and comfort to seeke, when thou hast occasion to make use of it; like the foolish Virgins, which had their oyle to seeke when they had oc­casion to spend it. The silly Ant or Pismire hath this providence planted in her by the instinct of nature, to know her day, and to apply her selfe for the gathering of her store, and the making of her provision in that her day; Pro. 6.8. Shee prepareth her meate in the Summer, and gathereth her food in har­vest: [Page 155] Goe to the Pismire, O thou Sluggard, that sleep'st out the best part of this day, and mis-spen­dest the rest wastefully, in the pursuite of vanity; Behold her wayes, and be wise; learne from her to know, that the spring-time of thy health, and the summer of prosperity, that is thy day Basil. Homil. 9. Hexam. Formi­ca temporis hy­berni pabulū aestate sedulò sibi condit; et non, quod hy­emis incom­moda nondū adsunt, otiosa tempus tradu­cit: sed incessa­bili quodam, intentoque stu­dio legendi semina tantis­per incumbit, dum sufficien alimentum in cellulis sibi re­condat.; a day, where­in health and strength concurre, and even strive together to make thee fit for labour and imploy­ment, that thou mayest now make thy provision, and lay up for thy selfe, before the hard time of Winter come upon thee; that thou mayest now gather a stocke of grace and comfort, before the time of spending come; the day of sicknesse and in­firmity, the day of trouble and adversity, that is a day of spending, not of gathering: all the store and provision thou hast laid up before, will bee little enough at that day; if it were more than it is, it would not bee too much, there will be need of all, and use for all. Therefore now, while strength and ability serves, as the Poet spakeDum vires annique si­nunt, tolerate laborem. Ovid., fit it is that thou should lay forth thy selfe in this thy day.

Men use to mend the High-wayes in Summer, when they are fairest, and all little enough, to make them passeable in Winter; Ioseph had this providence and forecast with himGen. 41., to store him­selfe, and lay up before-hand, in the yeares of plenty, because hee knew that was his day, for the making of his provision against the ensuing years of famine, and therefore hee layes up heapes, like the sands of the sea, without number or measure; because he foresaw there would come a time of [Page 156] spending, that would consume, and eate up all the provision that he could possibly make, though it were never so much: even so it should be with thee; the dayes of health and prosperity, those are the yeares of plenty, that is thy day; a day of ga­thering and laying up provision for thy soule; when weaknesse and infirmities, troubles and ad­versity come upon thee, those are the yeares of famine, that is a day of spending; and all the pro­vision thou hast made and laid up before, will be little enough to beare the expence, and supply the wants of this day.

4 While thou art in the flower of thy youth, while the day begins to dawne upon thee, while thy yeares are yet greene, and doe but even now be­gin to blossome and bud forth, that is thy day; a day, wherein to sow that seed which may yeeld a crop at harvest, in time to come; a day that hath a great influence into the whole life and conversa­tionCorn. a Lap in Eccles. 25.5. Iu­ventus suos mores sive pro­bos, sive im­probos trans­mittit et trans­cribit in seniū.; a day, which if it be well ordered by good education, and piously imployed in seeking after the best things; it may prove such a seasoning, as will make all the rest of thy dayes to relish of it; as the vessell that long tasts of that liquor, which is first put and powred into it. As the Arrow is di­rected and sent forth at first, so it commonly flies all the way, under, over, or besides the Marke; but seldome hits the Marke, unlesse it bee levelled a­right in the hand; even so the day of youth, that is as it were, the morning and beginning of thy time, where the day of thy life first begins to put forth it selfe: the greatest part of this day is yet [Page 157] in thine owne hand; if it be carefully looked unto in due time, before it be too late, it may be im­proved and laid forth to thy great advantage; but if it be once out of thy hand, then thou hast no more power over it: even as it is with a bowle, or a stone, while it remaines in thy hand, it is in thy po­wer to cast it this way, or that way, or which way thou pleasest; but when it is once out of thy hand, then it is no more in thy power to dispose and order, to alter and change the course and carriage of it; so it is with this day of youth, &c.

If the tree doe not bud, and blossome, and bring forth fruit in the spring, it is commonly dead all the yeare, because the winter is no season for such matters; and though it be not alwaies so with those rationall trees which God hath planted in the Vineyard of the Church, yet ex­perience shewes, that often and many a time it falls out so to be: for as the sonne of Syrach ob­serves,Eccles. 25.5. If thou hast gathered nothing in thy youth, what canst thou finde in thy age Mi [...]um est, quod artē bene vivendi in juvē tute non addis­cimꝰ, cum artes alias a teneris arripianꝰ: prae­cipitur filiis Is­rael ut manè Manna collige­rent. Exo. 16.21 Pona [...]t. in Ecclas. 25.5.? and therefore the more it concernes thee to lay forth thy selfe upon the best employments in this thy day. Age is the time wherein thou art to solace thy selfe, with the remembrance of thy fore-past life, where­in thou art to feed upon the comforts that thy former courses yeeld unto thee, wherein thou art to gather the crop and harvest of thy former ende­vours. When age comes upon thee, it is not then a time to seeke, but to enjoy comfort, as he speakesEras. Adag pa. 204 Quaere a­dolescens, utere senex; juvent parandum, seni utendum.. It is not then a time to sow, but to reape: the feed must be sowne in youth, that is reaped in age Cassian. colla. 2. cap. 13. Divitiae senum non sunt canitie capitis, sed industria ju­ventutis, & prae­teritorū laborū stipendus me­ciendae. S. Cyp. Vt fructꝰ in arbore non invenitur, in qua flos priùs nō apparuerit: ita senectutis honorem non consequetur, qui in adoles­centia animum disciplinae ex­ercitatione non excoluerit.. In [Page 158] the old Law, God required the first fruits for his offeringLevit. 23.10, and the offering up of that did sancti­fie all the rest: that is, whereas by the ceremoni­all law the Israelites might not eate the fruits of the earth, while they were prophane; and they were accounted prophane, till they were hallow­ed, by offering up the first fruits: but when this oblation was once made, then by vertue of it, the rest of the harvest was blessed unto them, so that they might comfortably use and enjoy the same: even so God requires the morning of this day; as well as the evening.Eccles. 12.1. Remember thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth. And againe,Mat. 6.33. Seeke ye first the Kingdome of God and his righteousnesse, &c. Yea God requires the beginning of this day, that the end may be made more happy by it: and the consecrating of the first part of this day to God, doth not onely prepare and make way for a bles­sing, (that such a happy and hopefull beginning may in the remaining part of it be seconded with proceedings suitable thereunto) but is also a meanes to procure a blessing upon all the rest.

5. While it is called to day, while time and oc­casion is present with thee, that is thy day; a day wherein the door of grace stands open for thee; a day wherein mercy may be had, if it be sought for; but if the seeking of it be posted and put off from this day, thou knowest not what another day may bring forth: the day that is past, is gone and cannot be re-called: the day that is to come, is uncertaine, and cannot be promised: onely the present day, that is thy day, if thou hast a heart and [Page 159] grace to make use of it for thine own advantage.Heb. 3.15. To day if ye will heare his voice, harden not your hearts. And againe,2 Cor. 6.2. Behold, now is the acceptable time: behold, now is the day of salvation. It is eve­ry mans desire, and indeed, a part of his wisdome to seeke unto God, in a time, and a day when hee may be found, to call upon him in the day of salva­tion, to make his prayer unto him, at such a sea­son, when it may find acceptance with him. Now if thou wouldst know what time that is, the Apo­stle here resolves thee, Behold, now is the accepta­ble time: behold, now is the day of salvation. There is many a good motion lost, many a good pur­pose withers and dies, and comes to nothing, be­cause it is not presently followed, but delayed and put off from day to day.

When S. Paul discoursed before Felix the Governor, of righteousnesse, temperance, and the judgement to come Acts 24.25., Felix begun to be touched with it; he felt some impression made upon him, and some stirring affections working within him; but for the present hee puts off all with this say­ing, Goe thy way for this time, and when I have convenient leisure I will call for thee. He neglects the present opportunity, and said he would finde a more convenient time for it; but he that said it, never found a time to doe it. So when God gives thee a day for the present, wherein to work out thy salvation with feare and trembling, and thou neg­lectest to doe it in this thy day, building thy selfe upon the execution of a future day; it is but just with God to keep thee from ever seeing that day, [Page 160] by cutting thee off before ever that day come: for there is no time thine, but the present time, no day thine, but the present day [...]onart. com in Eccles. c. 5. v. 8. pag. 81. Totum vitae nostrae spatium est unū hodiè, cujus una pars jam pertransiit, quantula su­persit nescimꝰ, cras nullum hic habemus.: and therefore to en­tertaine thoughts of seeking God hereafter, this is not wisely to apply thy selfe unto him in thy day. And indeed it is the policy of Sathan, as the FathersS. Basil. Hom. 13 ad pop. No­sce immici do­los, &c. hodier­num tempus nobis furatur astutè, & spem facit crastini, postquā crasti­nū venerit, rur­sus malus di­visor, sibi hodi­ernum, crastinū verò Deo pe­tit: Nazian. orat. in S. bap. Da mi­hi id quod nūc fluit temporis, futurū Deo, &c wel observe, the better to deceive men, and steale away from them the present time, to feed them with hopes and promises of time to come, saying, Let me have this day, and God shall have to morrow, which in effect is as much as if he should say, Give me the prime and flower of thy dayes, and let God have the dregs. And there­fore God, as it were of set purpose to meet with this deceit, takes order for the present day: Heb. 3.13. Ex­hort one another daily, while it is called to day: for as Saint Augustine Aug. tract. 33. in Ioh. & de util. poenit. c. ult. Sem­per expectas, & de misericordia Dei tibi pluri­mū polliceris, quasi illi qui tibi per poeni­tentiā promi­sitindulgentiā, promiserit etiā longiorē vitā. saith well, he that hath pro­mised favour and mercy unto thee, upon what day soever thou dost returne unto him, hath not pro­mised to prolong thy life till that day come; and therefore to prevent all hazards and uncertain­ties, there is no better meanes than to lay hold upon the present time, because that onely is thy day.

6. While thou art in the land of the living, and art not yet lodged in the region of darknesse, that is thy day; and it is the utmost bounds, be­yond which this day cannot be extended: if grace and mercy be not sought and obtained within the compasse of this day, it is lost for ever; because after this day ended, there never comes a new day to trade and trafficke for these commodities; the [Page 161] day of this life onely is the day of merchandise, as the learned observeS. Ephre. tract. de [...]. ort. [...]o. 1. Nemo finitis nundinis mer­caturam exe [...] ­cet, &c Similiter Epictot. apud Arrian l 2. ca. 14. Menand. apud Stob. Serm. 122. Nazian. tetra [...]. [...]9. When that is once expi­red, there is no more gaines to be made in this spirituall negotiation; these kinde of wares are neither saleable, nor vendible after this life; when the Fayre is ended, there is no more dealing in such commodities as are vented there onely; when the garland is bestowed, there is no more striving for it: when the field is wholly lost, without hope of recovery, there is no further use of Warlike preparations; they which are dead, they rest from their labours, and their works follow them Rev. 14.13.. When this day of life endeth, their course is finished 2 Tim. 4.7.. And there is no more to be done, they are then at the end of their journey, and have no farther to travell, as it was with the Israelites, when God rained Manna from heaven, it was to be gathe­redExod. 16.26. onely on the sixe dayes, not on the seventh; be­cause that day was the Sabbath, which is a day of rest; even so the spirituall Manna of faith, re­pentance, and other graces, is to be gathered onely in the sixe dayes of this life; the time after this life, it is a Sabbath, a time of rest, wherein there is no more work to be done, by which it is possible for a man to further and procure his own salvation; the time of the spirituall warfare, it is onely the time of this life; when that time en­deth, there is no more fighting in that battell, because then the victory is either won or lost for ever.

When the tree is cut downe, it yeelds no more fruit; no man gathers grapes from the branches [Page 162] that are lopped off from the Vine; for the branch cannot beare fruit of it selfe, except it abide in the vine Iohn 15.4.; even so it is with men; those reasonable trees which God hath planted in the Vineyard of his Church, when they are once cut downe by death, there is no more fruit growes upon them, which hath the promise of salvation made unto it: the day of grace, and the day of this life are of an equall extent, they begin and end together; when the sunne of this life setteth, the doore of grace and mercy is shut up, & shall be opened no more; as the tree falls, so it lyes; as death leaves thee, so judgement finds thee; all that can be done for the procuring of thy peace, it must be within the compasse of this thy day. If thy adversary be not quickly agreed withall, while thou art with him in the way, there is no composition to be made afterward; if thou get not oyle in thy lampe before the Bridegroome come, there is no buying or borrowing of it at that day; such as are ready shall enter with him into the mariage chamber; but he will not stay for any that hath his provisi­on then to make: if thou gettest not into the state of grace, before the doore of grace be shut, there is no hope of entrance afterward, because that time falls not within the compasse of this thy day.

CHAP. 15.

It should be every mans care, in the day of grace, to lay out himselfe upon those matters that concerne his everlasting welfare.

Chap. 15 Vse 1 AND is it so, that the time and season allotted unto thee for the getting of grace and salva­tion, is in speciall manner thy day? oh then let it bee thy care to lay forth thy selfe for thine owne everlasting wel-fare in this day: this is that which the holy man Iob resolved upon,Job 14.14. All the dayes of mine appointed time will I watch, untill my changing shall come. This is that which the Psalmist prayes for, in the behalfe of himself and others,Psal. 90.12. Teach us O Lord so to number our daies, that we may apply our hearts to wisdome. This is that which the Prophet enjoynes,Esay 55.6. Seeke the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is neare unto you. This is that which the Apo­stle presseth and exhorteth all unto,Gal. 6.10. While we have time, let us doe good. This is that which Christ himselfe teacheth every one by his owne example,1 Pet. 4.2. That hence forward he should live so much time as remaineth in the flesh, not after the lusts of men, but after the will of God. And there­fore it was said of Apelles Plin. l. 35. c 10. Nulla dies sine linea. that famous Painter, that hee was so diligent and intentive upon his worke, that hee would not suffer a day passe over his head without his line, that is, without doing something belonging to his profession: so let it [Page 164] be thy care so to husband and improve the seve­rall houres of this thy day, that every hour may te­stifie and witnesse thy care and forwardnesse in looking after those things that belong to thy peace; there is no part of this day that shall goe for nought; account must be given, as of every idle word that thou speakest, so of every idle houre that thou spendest, because it might have beene taken up with better imployment; for as thou hast thy day, so God will have his day; a day wherein hee will render unto thee according to what thou hast done; now in this thy day, thou hast all the doings; God leaves thee in the hand of thine owne counsell, to follow the desires of thine owne heart; but when this day is ended, there will come another day, that shall be none of thine Gerhard. com. in loc. Videmus illud esse no­strū tempus, in quo ea curare possumus quae ad pacē nostrā pertinent, &c. succedent alii dies qui non erunt nostri., that shall be Gods day, and he will have all the doings in that day: and as thou hast dealt with him in thy day, so will he deale with thee in his day: he will then pay thee home in thine own coyne: and what shall it then availe thee, that thou hast had thine owne will, in turning the deaf eare unto God, seeing that for this very thing he will have his will upon thee, and stop his ears when thou cryest unto him? oh how much bet­ter were it for thee to follow and mind the things that make for thy peace,Motives ex­citing to it. now in thy day, that God might be pleased to speak peace unto thee in that his day?

1. à possibili.And therefore to worke thy affections this way, consider first, that it is a thing possible for thee to doe: the date of this thy day is not expi­red. [Page 165] red. The thiefe upon the Crosse, though hee had lavished out the greatest part of this day, and was now even come to the last houre of it; yet his day it was not past, there was yet a doore of mercy stood open for him, and hee found mercy, though he came not for it, till the eleventh houre of the day; so it was with Jerusalem here in the text, after the killing of so many Prophets; after the stoning of them that were sent unto her; yet shee had her day, and there was mercy yet to bee found, if shee had sought for it; and so it is with thee, that hearest mee this day, thy day is not yet past, though perhaps a great part of it may bee spent; it is not yet too late to return, though it bee high time, yea more than time to thinke upon it: there is yet a doore of hope stands open for thee, yet there is grace and mercy to bee had, if so bee that even now at length, if so be at least in this thy day, thou canst but yet with purpose of heart cleave unto God, and seeke for it.

2 And it is no long time of seeking that is re­quired,2. à facili. it is not here expressed and set forth by the long terme of yeares and ages; but onely by the length and duration of a day, and that day, a very short day; if it were stretched out to his full length, it is but a spanne long, and some part of it is already spent, and how short the time may bee that is yet to come, how little that is which re­maines behinde, who knowes? It may bee this verie day in which thou hearest mee speake unto thee, it is the last day that thou hast to live, and then it is but the well-husbanding and improving [Page 166] of this day, that shall land thee upon the coast of Eternity. Oh, if the damned spirits were now a­gaine upon the earth, how many daies would they willingly spend, and that in the most hard and difficult services, if at length they might but yet once againe have that price put into their hands, which sometimes they had, and are now for ever deprived of? and canst thou think much then to lay out thy selfe for so short a time? If it were a longer day, it were no great while, but be­ing so short, the lesse reason there is why any should thinke much of it. The Devill knowes how to make his advantage out of the shortnesse of his time, and to take occasion from thence, so much the more to bestirre himselfe: it is said, that hee is full of wrath, because he knowes his time is but short Rev. 12.22.: there be sixteen hundred years of this time past already, and for any thing we know, there may bee as many more yet to come; and yet hee thought all this while but a short time: now what is thy short day in comparison of this? If so many hundred yeares bee but a short time, then surely thy day it can be little more than nothing at all; & therefore well may it set an edge upon thy desire, to bestirre thy selfe so much the more, and the lesse to intangle thy selfe in matters of this life, considering thy day it is so short. 1 Cor. 7.30. And this I say brethren, because the time is short, that they which use this world, should be as though they used it not.

3. ab utili & necessario.3 And yet there is something more that may quicken thy dulnesse in this imployment, if it bee [Page 167] well weighed, what it is that depends upon the well or ill improvement of this thy day; for it is an eter­nall waight of weale, or woe, that lies upon it. When Christ here speakes of the day of grace, and the day of thy life, he speakes in the singular num­ber, as of one day; but when hee speakes of the misery that follows the neglect of the same, then hee speakes in the plurall number; Verely I say unto thee, the daies shall come, &c. implying that there is a pluralitie of daies, even daies without number; the daies of darknesse are many; yea, so many, that they fill up the measure of eternity, which shall never have end: and so on the con­trary, the happinesse purchased by thy good care, and well husbanding of this day, it is an everla­sting happinesse, like the dayes of heaven, which are as farre from end or expiration, as they were upon the first day that the heavens were made. The provision is made in this day, which feeds and nourisheth up the soule unto all eternity; shee hath no other meanes or maintenance to live up­on in the world to come, save onely that which was provided and laid up in this day: the short and momentany afflictions, which thou sufferest and endurest for Christ and the Gospell, in this thy day, it causeth unto thee a2 Cor. 4.17. farre more excellent and eternall waight of glorie, which thou shalt re­ceive another day.

4 In the meane while,4. à jucundo. there is nothing that sweetens the dayes of thy life, and makes them comfortable unto thee; nothing that shewes thee to bee wise for thy selfe, so much as thy care and [Page 168] providence in laying out thy selfe upon the best imployments in this thy day, for the well hus­banding of this day.

1 It is a reward unto it self, it carries meat in the mouth; there is much sweet contentment in the very action it selfe, in the doing of that which is good. A day well spent, yeelds more sweet peace to the inward man, than a thousand dayes that are consumed in the pleasures of sinne; according to that of David Psal. 84.10., One day in thy Courts is better than a thousand else-where: and besides the inward peace and comfort which accompanies the acti­on of well-doing, and goes along with it; there is comfort in the remembrance of it, when thou loo­kest back upon the day that hath beene well spent, ô it is a great satisfaction to the minde, it leaves a sweet relish behinde it, it makes thy very sleepe sweeter to thee; thou shalt reape the Crop and harvest of it in sweet meditations every day.

2 And it is the wisest course that thou canst take for thine owne advantage, thus to lay out thy selfe in this thy day, because the chiefest commo­dities, in which a Christian deales, as humiliati­on, repentance, sorrow for sinne, &c. they are on­ly currant and availeable for the furtherance of thy good in this day; there is enough of them in Hell, but alas, there they are nothing worth; they are onely profitable and usefull in this thy day, and therefore the more willing shouldst thou be to have this day spent and taken up in the exer­cise of them.

3 The day will runne on with an equall pace, [Page 169] and swiftnesse, upon whatsoever imployment thou bestowest thy selfe; whether it bee well or ill doing, both waste and weare out thy day alike; and therefore seeing thou must lessen and cut short the length of this day, by that which thou doest, what ever it bee; is it not farre better that it be spent in such affaires as may refresh and raise up thy spirits, with the apprehension and fruition of present comfort, and the hope and expectati­on of future income, than in those things that will afterward terrifie and affright thee upon all occasions, with the remembrance of that ac­count and reckoning that must one day bee made?

When a man is in a ship at Sea, he is continually passing towards the Haven, whatsoever his im­ployment bee; but there is no man but will easi­ly conceive, that it is a wise mans part, rather to busie himselfe in such matters, as may serve for his further advantage, when hee comes to land, than to be taken up in such practises, as may pro­cure his commitment, so soone as hee comes to shore: even so it is with thee, the day of thy life is continually passing on towards that Haven which will land thee upon the Coasts of eternitie; and therefore it shall bee thy wisedome, now, in this thy day, to lay out thy selfe upon those designes, which may make that eternall condition, an estate of everlasting happinesse unto thee.

CHAP. 16.

It is everie mans wisedome not to delay the time of seeking for mercie, but to set forward betimes, be­fore the day of grace be too farre spent.

Chap. 16 AND in the second place, take in this pro­viso withall, to doe it speedily, without de­lay; It is not enough for thee to lay out thy selfe in all usefull imployments, but it is expedient also, to take the first hint and occasion, to doe it as soone as thou canst; this use Salomon makes of itEccles. 9.10., Whatsoever thine hand findeth to doe, doe it instant­ly Jo. Ferus com. in loc. Quicquid tibi exequendū injunctum fue­rit in hoc saecu­lo, id diligen­ter exequere, non est quod differas in aliud saeculum; te e­nim mortuo, si­mul tibi aufer­tur omnis ope­randi copia.; or, as some read it, with all thy power: the sense may well admit of both readings: and the reason which is there rendred, doth sufficiently confirme the former, which is, because the day is comming wherein the occasion of doing it will bee taken away: As if hee should say, Now is thy day, now mayest thou lay out thy selfe, with in­finite advantage to thine owne soule; and there­fore whatsoever thine hand findeth to doe, doe it instantly, deferre not the time, but goe presently about it; and that earnestly, and with all thy might; for there is neither worke nor invention, nor knowledge, nor wisedome in the grave, whither thou goest: and this is the counsell of him that was wi­ser than Salomon; Mat. 5.25. Agree with thine adversarie quickly, while thou art with him in the way, &c. so it was with David Psal. 119.60., I made haste, and delayed [Page 171] not to keepe thy righteous judgements; so it was with Peter and Andrew Mat. 4.20., they straight way leave their nets, and followed CHRIST, so soone as he called them; and so it was with S. Paul, when hee was called to preach the GospellGal. 1.16., He did not consult with flesh and blood, but immediately went a­bout the worke: And so it should bee with thee, and with every one else, because thou hast but thy day, therefore shouldest thou begin betimes to put thy worke in some forwardnesse, before the day be too farre spent; and there is a great deale of good reason for it.

1 In regard of the shortnesse of this day: Hee that hath a long journey to goe, and but a short time for the dispatching of it, had need to be go­ing early, and take day before him: now so it is with a man that travels towards the celestiall Jerusalem, hee hath a long journey to goe, as farre as it is from earth to heaven, and but a short time allotted for the dispatch of it; no more but a day; and therefore hath no need to lose any part of it, but to set forward betimes, while hee hath day before him; as Abraham, who when hee was commanded to sacrifice his sonne, he straight way prepared to goe to the place which the Lord should shew him Gen. 22.3.. Many have cryed out of them­selves for delaying and putting off this duty so long, till their day was already past, and it was even now too late for them; but never any that re­pented himselfe for beginning too soone; for the sooner hee begins, the more service he may doe unto God; and the more service hee doth unto [Page 172] him, the greater recompence and reward shall he receive from him.

It is a generall complaint, as Seneca Sen. de brevit. vitae, cap. 1. Ma­jor pars morta­lium de naturae malignitate conqueritur, quod in exiguū aevi gignimur, quod haec tam velociter, tam rapide, dati no­bis temporis spatia decur­rant, &c. well ob­serves, that the day of life is but short, but who is it that takes occasion from the shortnesse of it, to make the more haste, and to lay out himselfe be­times upon that maine businesse for which hee came into the world? Nay, who is there that makes it not much shorter than it is, by suffering a great part of it to slip away, before hee applie himselfe to the workes of piety and religion, for which this day of grace was afforded to him? In so much, that if this day of life were measured ac­cording to that space of time, which is spent in mat­ters that concerne the good of the soule, how many would bee found, who have beene in the world many yeares, and yet scarce lived one day? even as it is with a Mill-horse that hath beene going all the day long, and yet is still in the same place where hee was in the morning: it may bee said of him, that he hath gone much, and yet tra­velled but a little way; or as it is with a Ship Sen. de brevit. vitae ca. 8. Non est quod quen­quam propter canos, ac rugas putes diu vixis­se: non ille diu vixit, sed diu fuit. Quid enim illum putas multum navi­gasse quem sae­va tempestas à portu exceptū, huc et illuc tu­lit, ac viribus ventorum ex diverso furenti­um, per eadem vestigia in or­bem egit: non ille multum navigavit, sed multum jacta­tus est. that hath been wheeled and circled about in a storme and tempest, and at length is driven backe againe into the Haven; it may bee said of it, that it hath beene long at Sea, and yet sayled but a little way: so it may be said of manie a one, that he hath been long in the world, and yet lived but a while, be­cause he hath scarce yet begun to lay out himselfe upon those imployments for which the day of life was granted to him; whereas all the day is little enough for the worke and businesse that is [Page 173] to bee done in it; and therefore hee that wisely considers the greatnesse of the worke that is to bee done, and the shortnesse of the day allotted for it, hee will not loyter out the time with lin­gring delayes, but speedily applie himselfe unto it. It was Nehemiahs answer, when his enemies cal­led him from his worke to conferre with themNehem. 6 3., I have a great work to doe, and I cannot come downe; why should the worke cease, while I leave it? Even so doe thou reason with thy selfe, I have a great worke to doe, and but a short day allotted for it, why should the worke be neglected, and left un­done, while I delay to goe about it?

2 In regard of the nature of this day, which is made up out of such particular considerations, as doe all of them perswade thee, to set forward betimes; for,

1 It is not of a permanent, but of a successive and fluent nature; it doth not make any stay, but is alwayes in motion, not tarrying for any, but continually going and passing away; like the oyle in the Lampe, which continually wasteth, or as the sand in the houre-glasse, which continually runneth, till all bee runne out; and every part of this day it posteth on so fast, and is carryed with so swift a sayle, that it seemes rather to flie, than runne, as the Heathen man observesSen. de brevit. vitae, cap. 10. Praesens tem­pus brevissimū est, adeo qui­dem ut quibus­dam nullum videatur; in cursu enim semper est, fluit et praecipitatur, ante definit esse quam venit.; and there­fore the Ancients they painted time like a young man with wings, sitting in a Charriot, drawne with two horses, whose motion is so swift, that they seeme rather to bee carried on wings, than feet. And therefore seeing thy day is so short, as [Page 174] hath been shewed; and withall of such a transient nature, that it is continually flying and passing a­way, and that with so swift a pace, there is little reason why any part of it should be dallied out with needlesse delayes; because if all were laid out upon the best imployments, the day would sooner bee ended, than the worke could bee brought to any great perfection; so that thy forwardnesse, and readinesse to lay hold on the day so soone as it comes, and to put thy matters in some good for­wardnesse, should even strive and contend with the swiftnesse and celerity of it, and even prevent and out-goe it as farre as possibly may be; and the ra­ther considering, that when thou delayest thy worke, thy day doth not abate any thing of her pace, nor stay for thee; she walketh on her way, when thou sittest still;Ambros. Ps. 1. Sicut dormiens in navi vehitur ad portum, ita tu dormis, sed tempus tuum ambulat. Sen de brevit. vitae, ca 9. Quid cunctaris? quid cessas? nisi oc­cupas fugit; cum occupave­ris tamen fugi­et, itaque cum celeritate tem­poris utendi velocitate cer­tandum est. as a man in a ship, hee is passing on towards the Haven, even then when hee sleep­eth, and perceives it not; so thy time passeth along, and carries thee on with an insensible motion, which will be clearely seene and acknowledged when it is gone, though it bee not discerned or perceived, while it is agoing. The finger on the Diall, seemeth to pace it very slowly; yea, it seemeth rather to stand still, than move, because the motion is insensible, and cannot bee discer­ned, till it bee finished and past; and yet it passeth so farre within lesse than the space and compasse of an hour, that all the world may perceive, that it did not stand still: Even so thy day, it passeth on with an insensible motion, thou discernest not while it is agoing, and yet thou shalt finde with­in [Page 175] a small compasse of time, that it is so farre spent, that perhaps it may be neare unto a period, and even upon the very point of expiration. And therefore when thou hearest the Clock strike, and seest that the houre-glasse is runne out, thinke and consider with thy selfe, how thine owne day passeth on, and deferre not to turne unto God, but speedily apply thy selfe unto him, before it bee too farre spent.

2 And againe, as thy day is still flitting and fly­ing away, so the best part of it goes away first; like as it is in a vessell of Wine, the best and purest part of it is drawne out first, and that which remaineth behinde, is not onely lesse, but worse; for the dregs and lees remaine in the bottome: even so it is with the day of thy life, the first part of it is the best and purest, most free from that soyle and corruption, which it still gathers, the further it goes on. The Heathen man could see this by the light of natureOvid. l. 3. de art. amand. V­tendum est ae­tate, cito pede labitur aetas, Nec bona tam sequitur, quam bona prima fuit. Sen. de brevit. vitae, c. 9. Opti­ma quaeque di­es miseris mor­talibus aevi, Prima fugit; Item ad Lucil. l. 19 ep. 109. & ep. 1. Non tan­tum minimum in imo, sed pes­simum rema­net. Et Epist. 108. Vt ex am­phora primò sincerissimum effluit, turbi­dumque subsi­dit, sic in aetate nostra, &c., and thereupon make this appli­cation, that time and opportunity it must bee used while it may bee had; and the rather, because the best part of it is commonly soonest had; the first opportunitie which is offered to any, either for the doing or receiving good, is commonly the best; and experience will learne him, that if he let this slip, hee shall not usually meet with so fit an oc­casion for it afterward: and indeed it is a great want of providence in any, to delay and put off the taking in of usefull commodities, till the best season be past, and it bee now the worst time to goe about them. Hee were an unwise Merchant, [Page 176] that would neglect to buy his wares, when they are cheape, and come to the market, and are brought home to his doore; whereas after­wards he must bee constrained to send for them into farre parts, when the things themselves are at a dearer rate, and travelling is more dangerous, and he must pay a higher price for the cariage of them: even so it is with those that delay and put off the seeking of things that concerne their peace from day to day.

And yet further, thou knowest not how much of this thy day remaineth behind, or is yet to come; it will not alwayes last, and none can tell how soon it will end Tertull. de anim. c. 52. Vis est & illa navi­giis cum longe à saxis, nullis depugnata tur­binibus, nullis quassata decu­manis, adulante flatu, labente cursu, laetante comitatu, inte­stino repente perculsu, cum totâ securitate desidunt: non secus naufragia sunt vitae etiam tranquillae, mortis eventus.: the Sunne knowes the time of his setting and going downe, but the sonnes of men know not the time when the sunne of their life shall set, and the day of grace end with them; because death, it doth not call out men according to their seniority, but sometimes begins with the youngest; the tender Lambe comes to the Sham­bles, as well as the old sheepe, and sometimes be­fore it; an earthen pitcher, it is as soone broken when it is new made, as afterward; young Iosiah dies as well as old Methushelah. If a man had a full vessell that contained a great quantity and measure of liquor in it, yet if it were alwayes running, and if hee did continually draw out of it, without ceasing, it would soone be spent: so it is with the vessell of time, with the day of grace, and the day of a mans life, it is alwayes running; God sets it abroach as it were, so soone as a man comes into the world; and therefore it [Page 177] should be every mans wisdome not to delaySen. de bre. vit. ca. 9. Velut ex torrente rapido, nec semper ca­su [...]o cito hau­riendum est., but draw out betimes that which he hath need of, be­fore it be too late, before all be spent; and the ra­ther, because no man knowes how full this vessell of time is, how many of his dayes are yet contai­ned in it: it may be his last day is even running out, when he least thinks of it. When Lots wife looked back towards Sodome, little did she think that the vessell of her time had beene then running out her last; that her death had beene so neere; that this should have beene her last looke, and yet so it proved: she looked back towards Sodome, and she never lived to looke forward any more, but was turned into a pillar of salt, even in that very mo­ment, while her face was towards SodomeGen. 19.26.. The Deere in the Forrest little thinks himselfe to be aymed at, when the arrow is in the bow, and ready to be dispatched at him; and yet immedi­ately after, hee feeles the deadly wound in his side; Even so it is with the sonnes of men, their last day is running out, when they dreame of ma­ny dayes yet to come. The rich foole in the Gospell promiseth to himselfe many yeares of pleasure, even then when he had not so much as one night more to live. And therefore little reason there is, why thou shouldst delay the time, and in a matter of so great importance, as concerns the everlasting welfare of thy soule, to put it off from this day to another, seeing thou knowest not whe­ther this be thy last day, or whether thou shalt live till that other day come.

4. And yet there is one passage more, that [Page 178] hath some waight in it, to quicken thy dulnesse, and hasten thy endevors, without further delay, to looke after the things that concern thy peace; because if this day of grace be once ended, there never comes a new day for the finding of mercy: this is the day of salvation, and if grace and mercy be not sought and obtained within the compasse of this day, it is lost for ever, as hath beene shewed before.Catul. Epig. 5. Soles occidere et redite possūt, Nobis cum se­mel occidit bre­vis lux, Nox est perpetuo una dormienda. The Sunne sets, and riseth againe; that which one day yeelds not, another day may bring forth; but if this day of grace, and the day of life be once ended, it can never be recalled; there is an everlasting night of darknesse that comes after it; there is but one fountaine that can wash away sin, even that fountaine which is set open for Judah and Jerusalem to wash in: and as the old saying is,In idē flumen bis non descen­dimus. there is none that descends twice into it; there is but one pitched field where­in salvation is to be won; and if one error hap­pen in that battell, as the proverbe saith,In praelio non licet bis pecca­re. It leaves no place for a second error to be committed.

3 In regard of the danger which doth accom­pany this delay; Delay breeds danger in all other matters, but most of all in this, of greatest waight and importance; thou makest little or nothing of a day; nay the neglect of those things that concerne thy peace, though it be for dayes, weekes, months, yeares, &c. it never troubles thee; but Christ here lets thee see in the example of Jerusalem, what an infinite prejudice it may be to thine ever­lasting happinesse, to neglect the looking after these things, though it were no more than for one [Page 179] day Cart com. in lo. Si eo ipso die resipuisset quo Christus urbē ingressus est, haec sententia lata nō fuisset: quod quia neg­lexit, in posterū nullus miseri­cordiae locus: ex quo liquet, quantū interest resipiscentiam, non dico in an­num, sed in diē differre.. If Jerusalem had received Christ, even now at length, at least in this day when he came unto her, the fatall sentence of ruine and destru­ction had not gone out against her; but because shee neglected him, and would not take notice of him in this her day, therefore her destruction is sealed up against her, and she never finds another day for the obtaining of mercy; so that it cannot be without certaine danger for thee, or any else, to delay and put off the laying forth of thy selfe up­on those designes which doe so nearely concerne thy peace, and that in regard of the uncertainty of the day and meanes of grace, the uncertainty of the future day of thy life, and the time to come upon which thou dependest, and the uncertainty of those good motions and gracious helps which hitherto thou hast had experience of.

1. There is an uncertainty in regard of the day and meanes of grace; there is no man that hath a patent of it. When Christ exhorted the Jewes, while they had the light to walk in it Iohn 12.35., hee gives them plainly to understand, that the having of the light, it was not an inheritance setled upon them for perpetuity, but onely a grant passed up­on condition of their obedience, so long onely to be continued upon them, and enjoyed by them, as they should continue to walke answerable to it; but if once they should come to grow weary of the light, (as in time they did) then this light should be taken away from them, and together with it life and salvation: for if the candlestick be removed, hee that walketh in the midst of the [Page 180] golden candlesticks will not stay behinde; and what will it availe thee then to looke after the food of thy soule, when there is a famine of the word, when thou maiest wander from sea to sea, and run to and fro, even from the North unto the East, in seeking the word of the Lord, and shalt not finde it Amos 8.11, 12? What will it availe thee then to apply thy selfe to the worke for which thou camest into the world, when the light is gone, andIohn. 12.35. such a night of darknesse come upon thee, that none can worke Musc. co. in loc. Qui in intinere sunt vesperi, ubi animadvertunt imminere no­ctem, & parum adhuc superesse die [...], ne tenebris nocturnis com­prehendantur, studi osiùs pro­movent, nec ul­las moras ne­ctunt, quo civi­tatē ingredi va­leant, antequā nox cuncta oc­cupet; impedire non possunt ne nox invalescat, hactenus tamē commodis suis consulere pos­sunt, ut donec lucem habent, ambulantes in civitatē se reci­piant, &c. hac itaque similitu­dine, admone­mur etipsi, quid nobis sit faciē ­dum. q. l. utimi­ni commodita­te praesenti, ad vestram utilita­tem, donec illiꝰ est copia, &c.? Now thou hast the light, but it is uncertaine how long it will continue; now thou hast the word of the Gospel, but it is uncertaine how long thou shalt enjoy it: therefore delay not the time any longer, but even now from this day forward, begin to lay out thy selfe for thine owne advantage, and wisely to ap­ply thy selfe to the things that belong to thy peace. The Sea-faring-man makes use of the wind and tide when it serves his turne, because hee knowes it will not alwaies continue, and therefore he launcheth forth into the deepe, when a pro­sperous gale of wind commeth. The way-faring man takes day before him, and travailes while it is light, because hee knowes the night is comming. The husbandman makes hay while the sun shines, because he knowes it is not in his power to cause it to shine when he will. The Smith strikes the Iron while it is hot, because he knowes it will grow cold againe, and then it is not plyable to be wrought to his minde. The reaper observes when the re­gions are white unto the harvest, and then puts in his sickle, because hee knowes the corne must be [Page 181] reaped, and inned in seasonable time, else it will be lost, and rot upon the ground. The Lawyer followes his suites, and entertains his Clients while the Terme lasteth, because he knowes there will be a time of vacation, when all such businesse and imployments must cease. Goe thou and do like­wise; learn wisdome from the men of this world, (for they are wise in their generation) and while the day and meanes of grace continue, lay out thy selfe for thine owne good; and because it is uncertaine how long they will continue, delay not the time, but speedily apply thy selfe un­to it.

2. Againe, there is an uncertaintie of the time to come, upon which thou dependest; it may be this very day, is the last day that thou hast to live; and then the neglecting of thy salvation, though it were no longer but for this day onely, is the losing of it for ever; this day thou maiest reckon upon; but when this is gone, who can promise un­to thee another day? nay, who can assure thee that thou shalt see the end of this day? no man knowes what the late evening may bring forth: the same day may find thee alive when it comes, and leave thee dead before it be gone. The very heathen could see this by the light of nature, and likewise the vanity of those who build upon such uncertaintiesQuis scit an adjiciant hodi­ernae crastina sūmae, Tēpora dii superi. Hora.. Whereupon Seneca adviseth and incourageth his friend Lucilius, to lay hands up­on all good houres so soone as they come, and not to feed himselfe with the expectation of fu­ture uncertainties, or depend upon themSen ad Lucil. ep. 1. Fac ergo mi Lucili, quod facere te scribis omnes horas complectere, sic fiet ut minꝰ ex crastino pende­as, si bodierno manū injeceris.. And [Page 182] it is the counsell of Solomon himselfe, who was guided in his counsell by the Spirit of God, and so went beyond the wisest of the heathens in this matter:Prov. 27.1. Boast not thy selfe of to morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. As if hee should say, Thou seest what falls out this day; but when this day is come to an end, there is no counting of thy chickens before they be hatch­ed; there is no depending upon that which shall be to morrow, because thou knowest not what that day may bring forth, whether thy conversion, or confusion; hell is full of delayed purposes. If thou wouldst come to heaven, thou must seek and find grace sometime, at least before thou die: and if thou wouldest be sure of that, be sure to doe it this day, because thou art not sure that thou shalt live to see another day. It is true indeed, he that came to labour in the Vineyard at the eleventh houre, he had his peny, and so shalt thou, if thou doe as he did: but trust not to that, for thou mayst be in hell long before that houre come. If thou couldst certainly know how much of this thy day is yet to come, as well as thou knowest how much of it is past already; then there might be some pretence and colour for the putting off and delaying of this duty till such a day; thou mightest so order and dispose of things, that every businesse might be sure to have his day: but now it cannot be with­out certaine danger, to put off this daies worke to another day, because it is uncertain if that day will ever come or not; for he that hath promised re­mission of sinnes to him that repenteth this day, [Page 183] hath not promised to afford him another day when this is goneGreg. hom. 12. in Evang. Si sci­ret quisque de praesenti saeculo quo tēpore exi­ret, aliud tēpus voluptatibus, aliud poeniten­tiae aptare po­tuisset. Sed qui poenitentiae ve­niam spospon­dit peccanti, di­em crastinum non promisit..

3. Furthermore, there is an uncertainty of those good motions, and gracious helps which hitherto thou hast had experience of: the Spirit that stirs up in thee good motions this day, will not alwaies strive with thee Gen. 6.3.: at least in that degree and measure that now he doth: for though the day of grace, and the day of the Gospell be of an equall extent, and there is none that can say that his day is past, or the date of acceptance and finding mer­cy with God expired, so long as the Gospell is preached, and grace offered unto himSee Scud. his christians daily walke, cap. 16. § 3 pag. 540. & seq.: (and therefore the Spirit doth not wholly give over to strive with him in the ministery of the Word) yet there is none but is in danger to be a great lo­ser, by delaying to cherish and entertain the good motions of the Spirit: for,

1. Whensoever hee stirres up in thee any pur­pose or intention, any motion or desire to such a particular duty, or good worke, and thou suffe­rest it to die, and be quenched, and come to no­thing, it is uncertaine whether ever thou shalt have such a kindly impression wrought in thee any more. There was a time when Christ knocked at the doore of the Spouse, when he put in his hand by the hole, and intreats her by all termes of love to open unto him Cant. 5.: but because her heart was gone when he spake unto her, and she puts him off with such poor excuses, that she had put off her cloathes, and loath she was to rise out of her warme bed, &c. therefore when afterward upon her second thoughts shee [Page 184] grows better advised, and resolves with her self to open the doore, her beloved was then gone.

2. Besides, the more often that grace is refused, the more difficulty will there be in obtaining of it afterward: as God hath often called upon thee, and thou hast neglected to heare; often tendered mercy unto thee, and thou hast refused it; so hee will make thee often to seeke for it, before thou finde it; often and earnestly to beg for it, before thou obtaine it; often and many a time to cry un­to him for it, before thou have it.

3. And againe, the more that the Spirit is grie­ved and resisted in this kind, the more weakly and sparingly will it stir up good thoughts and affecti­ons in thee; and the weaker thy receipts are in this kind, the more shall be abated of the reward and blessing which thou mightest have had, both in grace here, and glory hereafter.

4. Yea farther, the longer thou delayest to looke after grace in this thy day, the more hard and obdurate will thy heart be; and who can tel how far God may leave thee to thine owne hard­nesse, and heart that cannot repent, even to treasure and heape up wrath unto thy selfe against the day of wrath, and of the declaration of the just judgement of God Rom. 2.5.?

4. In regard of the folly and impiety that is inseparably linked and commingled with the de­lay of this great and waighty businesse. It is both a foolish and a wicked thing for any to delay and put off the seeking after those things that con­cerne the good of his soul, till the best and greatest [Page 185] part of this day be gone: who was ever so foolish in other matters, that he could be perswaded to endure a long and tedious sicknesse, and to neglect all present helps that might doe him good, onely upon a bare and uncertaine hope of being cured afterward? yet so foolish are men in matters that concerne the welfare of their soule, as the Father observes,Aug. tract. 33. in Ioan. Laegitur tibi Dominus spatiū correcti­onis, sed tu plus amas dilationē quam emenda­tionem. That they had rather continue sick, than be presently healed: yea he found it so in his own experienceAug. cons l. 8. c. 5. Modo et mo­do, sine paulu­lum, &c. modo et modo non habebant mo­dū, & sine pau­lulū in longū ibat. Et cap. 7. Da mihi casti­tatem, sed noli modo, &c.: for when first hee entertained thoughts and purposes of leaving his sin, he was still apt and inclineable to put them off with de­layes; He would doe it anon, but not now; by and by, but not presently; shortly after, but not yet; he pray­ed for chastity, but was afraid God would heare him too soone: in his secret thoughts he wished to have it, but not yet: and so it is with many, they plead for delay, as Solomons sluggard doth for sleepe,Prov. 6.10. Yet a little sleepe, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleepe.

When Moses asked Pharaoh Exod. 8.10., When shall I take away this plague from thee? he answers, To mor­row; even so do many deal with their sins, though they bee no better than plagues, yea,Hag. 1.2. the greatest plagues that can befall them; yet are they well content to keepe them this day, not willing to part with them, before to morrow; as the Jewes said of the building of the Lords temple, build it they would, but it was not yet time; so it is with many, they will lay out themselves upon those imploy­ments that concerne the good of their soules, but it is not yet time, the day is not yet come; like un­thankfull [Page 186] debtors, when their day is already past, they crave a longer, and a longer, and yet a lon­ger day, till all the day be almost runne out, be­fore they finde any part of it to seeke after God: they have a day and will not take it; and therefore it is but just with God, as Fulgentius S. Fulgent. de fide ad Pet. c. 3. Nullus homi­num debet sub spe misericor­diae Dei, in suis diutiùs remane­re peccatis, cum etiam in ipso corpore nemo velit sub spe fu­turae salutis di­utiùs aegrotare: tales enim qui ab iniquitatibꝰ suis recedere negligūt, et sibi de Deo indul­gētiā repromit­tunt, non nun­quā ita praeve­niuntur repen­tino Dei furore, ut nec conversi onis tempꝰ, nec beneficium re­missionis inve­niant. well ob­serves, to cut them short of that day, which they so fondly and foolishly dreame of, and even to prevent their expectations with such unexpected judge­ments, that they never live to see either the day of their conversion, or a time for the obtaining of the remission of their sinnes. Now what greater folly can be imagined, than for a man thus to de­lay that, which can never either be begun too soone, or put off for the least space of time, without manifold danger? for the longer this worke is delayed, the more paines and labour it will require when it is done: as it is with a ruinous building, the longer it remaines without reparation, the more cost and charge it will require at length: the longer it be before the plaister of grace be applyed to the soule, the more hard and difficult it is to doe a cure up­on it; even as it is with a wound in the body, it is not so easily cured when it is festered and rankled, as when it is green, and but newly taken. The more strength that sin hath gotten through long custome and continuance, the more adoe there will be to cast it out: as it is with a plant, which may be easi­ly plucked up while it is a tender twig, but not with­out much difficulty when it is grown up to a strong tree: the more deeply that iniquity is rooted in the heart, the harder it will be to dig it out: as it is [Page 187] with a nayle that is driven into the wood, it is a harder matter to draw it out, when with many blowes it is driven to the head, than it was before, when with but few blows it was but weakly fast­ned in it. Inordinate lusts and affections are not so easily mortified, when they have burned long in the soule, and are now come to an open flame; as when the fire of concupiscence first begins to move & stir within it: as it is with a materiall fire, which is more easily quenched when it doth but begin to fly out in a little sparke, than when it is growne to a full flame: and yet such is the folly of most men, that they will not lay out themselves for their owne good, but delay and put it off, till the fire of concupiscence be growne to a full flame, till the nayle of iniquity be driven to the head, till the wild olive plant of sin be grown to a tree, till that old sore and disease of wickednesse be even rank­led with corruption, yea till the earthly house of their bodies be growne so ruinous, that they are even ready to fall upon their heads. If any thing offend or trouble the eye of the body, no haste is enough for the removal of it, as the heathē man observesHorat. 1. ep. 2. Quae laedunt oculos festinas demere; si quid Est animū, dif­fers curandi tē ­pus in annum.: but if any thing troubles or indangers the soule, a yeares time is too little to consider of the matter, be­fore they can resolve to goe about it. And what a height of impiety is this? what greater dishonour can be done unto God, than to make him thus to wait upon thy leisure? how doth it make him complaine of it,Esay 65.2. I have stretched out my hands all the day long to a rebellious people?

CHAP. 17.

It is every mans duty to redeeme the day of grace out of the hands of all such usurping tyrants, as eate up all the good houres of it.

Chap. 17 3 AND in the next place, if the time allotted unto thee for the getting of grace and salva­tion be in speciall manner thy day, why dost thou suffer it to be held captive in the hands of usurping tyrants? why dost thou not rather redeeme it, and get it into thine owne hands? it had been thy wi­sest part to have kept this day in thy hands, when thou hadst it, and to have been more saving and thrifty in the husbanding of it; but seeing that which is past, cannot be recalled, it will now be thy wisedome to contract with time present, for some allowance towards it, and to give some­thing thy selfe, nay any thing that lyes in thy po­wer for the redemption of it; that is, to win all the time that possibly thou canst, for the duties of piety and religion. This use the Apostle makes of it,Eph. 5.16. Redeeme the time, because the dayes are evill. In hard times, when trading is dead, and there is little to be got, the wise Merchant will be sparing and provident; sparing in his expences, and pro­vident to lay out for all occasions and opportuni­ties of gaining something: so it behoves Christi­ans to be good husbands & merchants of their time, because the dayes are evill: that is, hard times, full [Page 189] of misery, full of trouble, full of danger, full of temptations; they are dead times, wherein there is little spirituall good to be got; or as the FatherAnselm. Quae occasionē bene agendi vel adi­munt, vel minu­unt, vel periculo exponunt. expounds it, daies and times that either diminish and take away the occasions of well-doing, or expose them to much trouble and danger, be­cause they dayes are such: therefore must Christi­ans play the good husbands in the merchandise of their time, that is, as provident Merchants they cast a curious eye upon all commodities, and consider which are like to be most gainfull, and buy up them, and get them into their hands, be­cause that is the end why they take up commodi­ties, namely, to make gaine of them: so should every one wisely consider what time and season is likest to bring in greatest gaine and advantage, if it be well husbanded and improved, and be sure to get that into his hands, and make his best penyworths of it; this is to redeeme the time: as for time past, that cannot be otherwise redeemed, than by true and unfained repentance for the ill penyworths that have been made of it, and the ill husbandry that hath been used in the laying out of the same: time to come, that cannot be redeemed any other way, but by laying in for it afore-hand, that it may come to thy hands; and that is, by walking carefully in the duties of obedience, and so bringing thy selfe within the compasse of that promise, which prolongs thy dayes in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee Exod 20.12.. For as God cuts short the dayes of wicked men for their sinnes, so that they doe not live out halfe their dayes Psal. 55.23.; so he [Page 190] prolongs the dayes of the righteous, and addes unto their dayes, as hee dealt with Hezekiah, to whose dayes he added fifteene yeares 2 Kings 20.6.; but the time present, that is the time that must especially be redeemed: and the redeeming of it consists in two things:

1. In setting it at liberty out of the hands of those usurping tyrants, which eate up all the good houres of most men, and keepe them prisoners, and so hinder them from being taken up with better imployments; so that a man redeemes his time, when he gets it into his owne hands.

2. In applying of it to his right end, and laying it out upon those imployments for which it was gi­ven: the former of these is laid downe by Saint Augustine Aug. Serm. 24. de verbis Apost. Quando aliquis tibi infert litē, perde aliquid, ut Deo vaces, non litibus: id enim quod perdis, pretiū est tem­poris; sicut e­nim das num­mos, et panem emis, ita (que) ali­quid amittis et aliquid acqui­ris; sic perde nummos ut e­mas tibi quietē, id est, tempus vacandi Deo, hoc enim est tēpus redimere., who tells thee, that earthly and se­cular imployments are those usurping tyrants, that imprison most mens time, and keepe it in hold; and therefore hee that would redeeme it, must be content to lose something in the things of this world, that hee may more freely enjoy him­selfe, and be at leisure for God; even as a man that is unjustly molested with suites of Law, he is con­tent to lose something for the redeeming of his peace, rather than to be robbed of so many good houres, as he must of necessity lose, by following and attending upon those troublesome suites. The second is laid down by Saint Hierome Hier. com. in lo. Quando tempꝰ in bono consu­mimus, emimꝰ illud et propriū facimus, quod malitia homi­num venditum fuerat, sic (que) dies malos in bonos vertimꝰ, et faci­mus illos non praesētis saeculi sed futuri., who gives thee to understand, that time was given to men, that it might be serviceable unto them in doing of good; and is then sold away, and held captive in prison, when it is laid out upon those [Page 191] sinfull designes, and taken up in those sinfull actions, which have no time by God allowed for them; and therefore is then redeemed, when it is set at liberty from that which is evill, and apply­ed unto that which is good; as a thing is redeemed, when it is bought againe out of those mens hands, into which it was unjustly sold by thieves, and such as had no right in it: this is to turne evill dayes into good, and to make them to be dayes, not of this present evill world, but dayes of eternity, and parts of another world: and there is great reason why every one should redeeme and buy out all the time of this day, that possibly he can, because eve­ry part of it is exceeding precious, and of infinite worth and value, beyond all price that can be set upon it: and therefore he shall be no loser by it, but an infinite gainer, what ever it cost him; for it can but cost him the losse of temporall things, which in comparison are vile, and of no worth; but it brings with it the gaine of eternall things, which are more precious thā gold, yea than the finest gold: for if gold be precious, because a little quantity of gold is worth a great quantity of other things; then time much more, because a little time is worth eternity; for a little time well spent, procures an eternall waight of glory. Or if gold be precious, because it is rare, and not to be found in many mens hands, then time much more; because there are sundry men that have many pieces of gold, all together and at the same time; but there is no man living that hath more than one minute of time at once; he cannot possibly get another into his pos­session [Page 192] till that be gone: Chap. 18. and therefore great reason there is why every one should be carefull to re­deeme the time, because this is nothing else, as Saint Augustine Aug. hom. 1. inter. 50. Quid est redimere tē ­pus, nisi cum o­pus est etiā de­trimento tem­poralium com­modorū ad ae­terna quaerēda & capescenda; spatia temporis comparare. saith well, but to lay out tem­porall things for the purchasing of eternall; and with the losse of earthly commodities, to buy in that day, wherein everlasting happinesse is set at sale, and offered to every one that will lay out himselfe for the compassing of it.

CHAP. 18.

A just reproofe of all such as lavish out, and lose the day and time of grace.

4 ANd what shall I say to thee, that triflest out the greatest part of this day, and makest so large penyworths of it, as if thou couldst not tell how to passe it away fast enough? dost thou know the worth of this day? or if thou dost not, aske the damned spirits in hell, and let them resolve thee: they had a day, as thou now hast, and they like prodigalls lavished it out vainely, as now thou dost: but what is it that now they would not willingly expend and lay out for the redeeming of it, if it were possible to be done? Oh if they had ten thou­sand worlds in their hands, ô how glad would they be to part with all, if it were for no more, but the repurchasing of one hour of this day? If this be not enough, looke upon the teares of Christ here in the text, that Christ should thus bewaile [Page 193] the condition of Jerusalem, as here he doth; Oh if thou hadst knowne at least in this thy day, &c! it plainly shewes, that there was somewhat in it of singular observation; it was not usuall for him so to doe, and therfore it should seeme that there is something more than ordinary in it, and so in­deed there is; Oh these teares shew what the worth of that day was; it was a great blessing to Jerusa­lem that she had it, a greater blessing had it beene if shee had knowne it, and taken notice of it; and the greatest blessing of all, if shee had beene so wise as to have laid out her selfe upon the best imployments in that her day: and let me tell thee withall, that the cause of all that misery, which fals upon thee, either here, or hereafter, it is be­cause thou knowest not this day of thy visitation. If a man had Iewels of rare vertue, and incomparable worth, would he cast them away, or bestow them upon every one that comes unto him? ô then, why shouldest thou lose and lavish out thy preci­ous time? why shouldest thou waste and weare out the good houres of this thy day, the worst of which is not to be purchased with all the Iewels under heaven? and therefore consider with thy selfe, what a losse and dammage thou bringest on thine owne head, by losing any part of this day.

1 To say nothing of the infinite gaine and ad­vantage that might acrue unto thee by the good improvement of it, the very time it selfe, it is an irrecoverable losse; forSen. de brevit. vitae, ca 8. Ne­mo restituet annos, nemo iterum te tibi reddet, ibit qua coepit aetas, nec cu [...]sum suum, aut revocabit, aut supp [...]met. who is it that can restore unto thee the losse of a day? If thy house bee burnt, or thy goods stolne away, or thy lands [Page 194] forfeited, there be friends that can make a supply of that losse; but if all the friends thou hast in the world should conspire to doe thee good; nay, if all the creatures in heaven and earth should unite their forces, they could not all restore unto thee so much as one of those good houres, or any lesse part of this day, that hath beene lost.

2 If it were a matter of lesse worth, it is not so long, that any part of it should be lost, all will bee little enough for the worke and imployment that lies upon it; the heathen PhilosopherSen. ep. 118. Non tam be­nignum, & li­berale tempus natura nobis dedit, ut aliquid ex illo vacet perdere, &c. Jterum. Ex hoc tempore tam angusto, tam rapido, & nos auferente, quid juvat majorem partem in va­num mittere? could ob­serve this, that nature deales not so liberally with man, nor gives him so long and large a day, that hee may well spare or lose any part of it. He that hath much worke lying upon his hands, many irons in the fire, or a great journey to goe, and but a little time allotted for it, a small part of the day yet re­maining, hee had need to lose none of that; and so it is with man, especially with a Christian man, hee stands in so many severall relations, and each of them requires so many duties at his hand, that if hee carefully apply himselfe unto them, there is no part of the day can possibly want his worke; for how many duties are required at his hands, as he is a creature in relation to God? how many more, as he is a subject in relation to his Prince? how many more as he is a master in relation to his family, and servants, as a Husband in relation to his wife, as a father in relation to his children? and how many more as hee is a neighbour, and hath to deale with men in matters of the world, and hath relation to others? and how many [Page 195] more as hee is a man, in relation to himselfe? and what part of the day is it that can want his work, if all these be carefully looked unto? and yet if yee looke abroad into the world, and take a view of the lives and conversations of most men, it is strange to see, how liberal, or rather how prodigal e­very mā is of his time, as if it were nothing worth.Sen. de brevit vitae, ca. 8. Mira­ri soleo cum video aliquos tempus petere, & eos qui re­gantur facilli­mos, illud uter­que spectat, propter quod tempus petitū est, ipsum qui­dem neuter, quasi nihil pe­titur, quasi ni­hil datur, res omnium preti­osiss luditur. Many a one that is sparing enough of his mo­ney, and will give little or nothing to the poore, when their necessities and occasions call and cry for it; and yet so prodigall of his time, that every one may have it that will but speake a word for it; if any desire to borrow of him an houre, or a day, or more, from other necessary and waighty affaires, wherein it might be profitably expended and laid out, to trifle it out with him in needlesse vanities; it is no sooner asked but granted; which made that devout Father complaine, that the dayes of salvation passe away even as the water in the river, and no man considereth it in his heart.Bern. Serm. var. Transcunt dies salutis, & nemo recogitat It is reported of Vespasian, one of the Romane Emperours, that upon a certaine day looking backe upon his owne doings, and finding that no man had received any benefit from him that day, hee makes his complaint to his friends, saying, O my friends, I have lost a day Eras. Apophthe l. 6. Vesp. filius. Amici, diem perdidi.: but alas, how many are there, who let one day after another passe over their heads, without either doing good to o­thers, or receiving good to themselves, and never complaine of any losse? No man, saith Seneca Sen. de brevit. vitae, ca 3. Prae­dia sua occupa­ri à nullo pati­untur, & si ex­igua contentio est de modo fi­nium, ad lapi­des, & arma discurrunt, in vitam suam in­cedere alios si­nunt; imò verò ipsi etiam futu­ros ejus posses­sores inducunt; nemo invenitur qui pecuniā suam dividere velit, vitā unusquis (que) quam multis distribuit; astricti sunt in continendo patrimonio, simul ad temporis jacturam ventum est, pro­fusissimi in eo, cujus unius honesta avaritia est., [Page 196] will suffer another to intrench upon his lands, or to occupie his fields; nay, if there arise any doubt or difference touching the bounds or limits of them, hee is ready, like a madde man, to throw stones, to take up armes in the defence of his own right; and yet hee will suffer any one to invade and make an inrode upon his life, to take up his time, to runne away with his dayes; yea, he him­selfe will be ready to bring in those that eate up all his good houres, and become, as it were, fu­ture owners and possessors of his dayes. There is no man found, that will divide his estate and sub­stance betweene him and another; but his life and good houres every one is ready to parcell and cut out, to as many as desire to have a share and portion in it. Men are sparing and close handed in keeping their wealth and patrimony, and will not lose a mite or farthing of it; but when it comes to the losse of time, in which onely they might bee ho­nestly and vertuously covetous, therein above all o­ther things, they are most prodigall and profuse.

3 And againe,Ad Lucil. 1. ep. 1. Magna pars vitae clabitur malè agenti­bus, maxima nihil agentibꝰ, tota aliud agē ­tibus; quem mihi dabis qui aliquod preci­um tempori ponat? qui di­em aestimet? a great part of a mans life is spent and consumed in doing evill, the greatest part of it in meere idlenesse, and doing nothing; and the whole summe of it, and all the particu­lar dayes contained in it, is vainly laid out in mat­ters upon the by, which little or nothing helpe and conduce, for and towards the attainment of hap­pinesse; but where is the man that knowes how to prize his time according to the true worth of it, or that knowes how to set a valuable rate and esti­mation upon his dayes? Now if heathen men [Page 197] complained so much of the losse of time, that knew no further use or improvement of it, than for the affaires of this present life onely: what a shame is it for Christians to set no higher price upon the day of grace, or to make so light account of the losse of that time, which might have beene improved for the gaining of happinesse, even hap­pinesse that endures to all eternity? and yet experi­ence shewes, that even a great part of this day of grace is lost amongst Christians; for many there are that trifle out a great part of it in doing nothing; the housholder in the Gospell findes fault with suchMat. 20.6., Why stand yee here all the day idle? Many that lose a great part of it in doing that which is worse than nothing, in sinfull pleasures.Hieron. com. in Hag. ca. 2. pag. 224. Omne tempus in quo non virtutibus, sed vitiis deser­vimus, perit, & quasi non fue­rit reputatur in nihilum. They spend their dayes in wealth, and pleasure, and in a moment goe down to the grave Iob. 21.13.: so it was with Di­ves Luc. 16.25., Sonne remember thou in thy life time hadst thy pleasure, therefore art thou now tormented: ma­ny that lose a great part of it in matters imperti­nent, and upon the by.

1 In wandring and roving thoughts, which runne to and fro from one object to another, without any certaine profit or advantage, because they doe not fasten or stay upon any thing, but presently grow weary of it, and are ever flitting and removing, and so disjoynt the soule, and put it out of an orderly frame and disposition.

2 In idle words and vaine speeches, which eate up many good houres that might have been laid out more profitably in savory and religious communication.

[Page 198]3 In needlesse and unprofitable actions, from which redounds little or no good to themselves or others; the dayes that are thus lavished out, they are but dayes of vanity, as Solomon cals themEcces. 7.17.: And they that wait upon lying vanities, for­sake their owne mercies Iona 2.8.; and therefore to pre­vent, or at least to repaire this losse, consider with thy selfe,

1 ThatSen. instit. ad Lucil. l. 1. ep. 1. Omnia aliena sunt, tempus tantū nostrum est. it is onely time that can properly be termed thine, and therefore the losing of that, is the losing of all that thou hast, or that can proper­ly bee called thine owne: thy goods thou hast from others, and thou must leave them againe to others, and they can make use of them as well as thy selfe; but thy time thou hadst it not from any but God onely, neither canst thou leave and be­queath it to any, nor can any make use of it to his benefit or behoofe, but thy selfe onely; in other things, the propriety thou hast in them: increaseth thy care for them, and love unto them: Thou lovest and carest for thy Countrey, not because it is great, but because it is thine; thou carest for thy Children, and wouldest not lose them, not be­cause they are Children, but because they are thine; and why then wilt thou lose and lavish out thy time, seeing it is that onely that most properly can be termed thine?

2 Againe, consider how much ofSen. ad Lucil. l. 21 ep. 118. Vide quam multa etiam diligentissimis pereant, aliud valetudo sua cuique abstulit, aliud suorum, aliud necessa­ria negotia, ali­ud publica oc­cupaverunt, vitam nobiscū dividit somnus, &c. this day is lost already, and how much is, and will bee ta­ken away with incidentall occasions, even from those that are most carefull and diligent in loo­king to it; a great part of this day is spent in sleep, [Page 199] for the refreshment of nature; and all that time is lost, in respect of any spirituall imployment; ano­ther part of it runnes out in the yeares of childhood, and infancy, wherein men are rather trouble­some, than profitable, and cannot doe any great service either to God or man, and all that upon the matter, is little better than lost and trifled away; another part of it is takē up in eating & drinking, and other necessary recreations, and this is to be reckoned but as lost time, (though it bee need­full and necessary in other respects) because it is abstracted from those serious imployments, wherein the life of Christianity doth consist: Another part of it, and the greatest part too, it is eaten up with earthly employments, as buying, selling, plowing, sowing, and other civill and secular works, agree­able to every mans calling, and condition of life; and this time, though it bee allowed by God, for these occasions, and the actions themselves re­quired by God; yet it is lost from sacred and spiri­tuall services. Now if all this time bee deducted and taken out of the day of grace, what is it that re­maines behind? how small a part is that which is left? and how little is that can be saved, even by those that are most provident & sparing of their time, to bee laid out upon the duties of piety and religion? and if it bee so little, is it not pitty that a­ny of that should be lost?

3 Lastly, consider what course God himselfe takes, to make men ashamed of their losse, and la­vishnesse in this kinde; hee doth not compare them with the Heathen, who would bee ashamed [Page 200] to lose so much time from the service of their dumbe Idols, which are but stockes and stones, as many doe from the service of the living God, who made heaven and earth; but as if there were none bad enough amongst men, even the worst of men, with whom he might compare them, he sorts thē with the brute beasts; and if there be any amongst them more brutish than others, it is with those brutes, that are most blockish, with the horse and Mule, with the Oxe and Asse;Psal. 49.20. Man being in honour, understands not, but is like the beast that pe­risheth: and it is no small disparagement to mans nature, to be matched with a beast, and yet to bee like unto a beast in that sense, is worse than to bee a beast indeed; for to be a beast indeed, is without any fault in the creature, it was God that made it so; but to bee made a man, a Christian man, and yet to be like a beast, that is not without his owne fault, not without his great sinne: and yet more, he that loseth his precious time, and lavisheth out this day of grace, hee is not onely like unto the beast, but even worse than the beast; the bruite beast is not onely matched with him, but even pre­ferred before him: Ier. 87. Even the Storke in the ayre knoweth her appointed times, and the Turtle, and the Crane, and the Swallow observe the time of their comming, but my people knowes not the judgement of the Lord, These Fowles here mentioned, they have a day, and a certaine time for their returne, and they never lose or lavish out that time, but ob­serve and keepe it; he that lavisheth out the day of grace, and makes so large penny-worths of it, hee [Page 201] comes short of them; in both these hee cannot pitch upon a day, nor finde out a time of vacancie and leisure to looke after the things of GodSanct. com. in loc. Vis comp [...] ­rationis in eo cernitur, qui [...] volucres istae, multò ante praesagiunt, aut hyemalem in­clementiam, aut vernalem tem­periem: neque illas unquam in regione frigida deprehendit hyems, neque in calida aestas: ita debuisset pop: praesagire et providere, &c. Tertull. de poenit. cap. 12. Mutae quidem animae et irrationabi­les, medicinas sibi divinitus attributas in tēpore agno­scunt. C [...]rvus sagitta trans­fixus, ut fertū et irrevocabiles moras ejus de vulnere expel­l [...]t, scit sibi Di­ctam [...]o [...]ē ­dum. Hitun­do si excaeca­verit pullos, novit illos oculare rursus de sua Chelidonia, peccator restitu [...]ndo sibi in­stitutam à Domino exhomologesim, sciens praeteribit illam, quae Babylonium Regem in regna restituit?: he can finde a day, yea too many dayes to take his flight from God, and to runne out of his wayes, not occasioned onely by trouble and adversity, by perill and persecution, that is, by evill dayes, as these fowles are, by the coldnesse of the wea­ther, and the hard time of winter, but often and many a time in the Halcion dayes of prosperity, in the best and fayrest dayes: but hee can never find out a day, nor so much as halfe a day to resolve and pitch upon, for his returne back againe to GOD: or if in his purposes and intentions hee pitch upon a day, he doth not observe and keepe it: when the day comes, he hath not yet conveni­ent leisure for it: ever and anon he will doe it, and he will doe it; but still he is to seeke for the time and season wherein to doe it; like the younger sonne in the Gospell, who when his father bids him goe and worke in the Vineyard, hee gives him good words, I will Sir, but he went not Mat. 21.30.. Therefore the fowles of the ayre are preferred before him, as having more skill to know their time, and more care to observe it, than hee hath ei­ther to know and discerne the day of grace, or to lay out himselfe in those employments which are most proper for it. Yea further, hee that so forgets himselfe in this day of grace, as to lose [Page 202] that blessed season and opportunity, hee is set to schoole to creatures, yet more meane and despi­cable than the fowles of the ayre, to the Ant or Pismire: that silly and contemptible creature is set before him as a patterne, and set over him as a Tutor to teach and instruct him, that he might learne care and providence from her, for the well husbanding and good improvement of the day of grace.Prov. 6.6. Goe to the Pismire, O sluggard, behold her wayes, and be wise; for she having no guide, gover­nor, nor ruler, prepareth her meat in the Summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest: That is, as God and nature hath assigned unto her a day, and a season wherein to make her provision, so shee observes it, and with all diligence applyes her selfe to the worke, while that season lasteth, and will not lose any part of it; and what is it now that can shame thee out of thy sinfull course of extreme negligence, if this doe it not? Is it not shame enough for thee to come below thy selfe, and the worst of men, but that the meanest and most contemptible creature under the face of heaven should go before thee in the care and pro­vidence of observing his day and time? thou hast thy day set out unto thee, for the workes of piety and religion, even the day of grace, as well as the creature hath his day for the works and employ­ments belonging to his nature; yea every day is thy day; no day unseasonable for the workes of grace; every day is to thee that acceptable time, and the day of salvation. And what a shame is it that the day should be yet to come, that ever thou [Page 203] didst seriously apply thy selfe to the proper and seasonable workes of this day? many perhaps are now in hell, who never enjoyed halfe so long a day as thou hast done: and thy day is even ready to expire, before thou hast begun that great worke for which it was afforded unto thee. Oh consider therefore that if this thy day be once come to an end, it will then be too late to lay out thy selfe for the seeking of grace and salvation; it is nei­ther prayers nor teares that can then prevaile for the obtaining of it.

There is a day when Gods affection cannot be won, though Moses and Samuel should stand before him Ier. 15.1.. There is a day when God will not heare, though many prayers should bee made unto him Esay 1.15.. Esaus teares are spent in vaine, when the time is past, and the blessing gone Heb. 12.17.. When the doore is shut, the foolish virgins they knock too late, and but a little too late; yet can they find no admittanceMat. 25.12.: and therefore lose not the time, but lay out thy selfe at least in this thy day, before the day of grace be ended, and it be too late for thee.

CHAP. 19.

Christ and the Gospell are the meanes whereby true peace is wrought betweene God and man.

Chap. 19 HItherto hath beene handled the former cir­cumstance in this patheticall wish or com­plaint of Christ, to wit, the circumstance of time, or the day of grace; it followes now by order of the text, to speake of the second, namely, the worth and quality of the object, or things to be knowne, in those words, the things that belong to thy peace.

Peace Hebraei no­mine pacis om­nis generis foe­licitatem intel­ligunt, animi et corporis, tem­poralē et aeter­nam: Hoc ergo in Hierosolyma Christus accu­sat, quod non erat sollicita de iis, ex quibꝰ to­ta ejꝰ foelicitas pendebat: non enim tam ipsā faelicitatē, quā media ad eam ducentia, et sic consequenter etiam faelicita­tem repudiabat., it is a word of a large and comprehen­sive signification, and includes in it, whatsoever tends to a mans prosperity and welfare, even a confluence of all such things as may render him happy; and the things that belong to a mans peace, are all such things as doe either help and conduce towards the attainment of it, or have a necessary and inseparable connexion with it, as companions and attendants, without which it cannot consist, and such are the things of Christ and the Gospell: whatsoever things are required of any by Christ in the Gospell, whatsoever things are promised to any, they are such things as belong to his peace: and that is the observation that I intend to insist upon, That the things of Christ and the Gospell, are things that belong to every mans peace.

[Page 205]The Gospell it selfe, it is termed the Gospell of peace Eph 6.15., both in respect of the matters contained in it, which are rules and directions concerning peace, as also in respect of the effect of it, because it is the instrumentall cause of peace; it is the chan­nell or conduit pipe, wherein and whereby all true peace is conveyed to the soule; and Christ he is the Prince of peace, as the Prophet styles himEsay 9.6.: to shew, that the things of Christ, they are things that concerne every mans peace, and that it is he onely that can give peaceJustin. fascic. amoris, c. 7. p. 153 Pacem dare de­buit, ipsa pax divina, pax ae­terna, pacifica in seipsa, pacifi­cans universa in sc. Gerha. com. in lo. Abundabat Hi­erosolyma om­nibus non solū ad vitae susten­tationem, sed e­tiā ad splendo­rem necessariis, verum quia Christum repu­diabat, ideo a vera pace et fae­licitate exula­bat.: and therefore at the birth of Christ, the Angells sing Peace on earth Luke 2.14., that the inhabitants of the earth might learne to whom they are beholding for peace, & by whose meanes it is procured for them: and when Christ himselfe sends forth his Ambassadors abroad in­to the world, it is not to proclaime warre, but to preach peace: it is the principall thing in their charge and commission, to offer conditions of peace, where ever they come:Luke 10.5. Into whatsoever house ye enter, say first, Peace be unto this house. And there is a threefold peace that comes along with Christ and the Gospell: peace with God, peace with a mans selfe, and peace with others. Peace with God, that is the spring and fountaine of all; peace with a mans selfe, that is as it were a streame that flowes from it: and peace with o­thers, that is a fruit and effect that growes out of both the former: this was implyed, as some thinke, in that salutation Christ used to his Disci­ples, who when he appeared unto them after his resurrection, hee said unto them three severall [Page 206] times, Iohn 20. Peace be unto you: to signifie, that by his death and passion, this threefold peace was pur­chased for them. When man was first created, he had all this peace Bern. in annun. B. Mariae ser. 1. p. 30. Homini re­cens orto, &c. pacē, qua fove­retur et delecta­retur, addidit manus benig­niss: creatoris: pacem utique duplicē, ut nec intꝰ pugnae, nec foris timores, id est, nec caro concupisceret adversus spiritū, nec esset ei cre­atura ulla for­midini., till his sinne and disobedience robbed and spoyled him of it: and when sin had once made entrance into the world, there was no more peace on earth, till Christ had brought it from heaven: but he undertaking to make war upon the enemies of peace, overcame them all, and so again setled this inheritance of peace upon the sons of men, making way through the bloud of his Crosse, that they might againe have peace with heaven, with earth, and within themselves.

1. First then, touching peace with God, the things of Christ and the Gospell, are things that be­long to this peace. It is Christ that laid the foun­dation of it, by taking mans nature upon him: and therefore saith the Apostle,Ephes. 2.14. he is our peace: Implying, that it is for his sake, and through his procurement, that there is a happy peace conclu­ded betweene heaven and earth.

When two great Kingdomes are at deadly warre and enmity one with another, if a mariage can be contrived betweene the two heyres of those Kingdomes, it is a meanes to unite them into one, and conclude a happy peace betweene them, as wee have seene by experience in this Land, when there was deadly feud and enmity betweene the house of Lancaster and Yorke; the happy conjunction of the red-rose and the white, brought a setled peace unto this Nation. So when there was nothing but warre betweene heaven [Page 207] and earth, the Sonne of God matching himselfe to the nature of man in his incarnation, did there­by lay the foundation of this happy peace, and therefore he calls it his peace John 14.27., as well he might, because it cost him deare to make that pur­chase; it was the price of his owne bloud, the dearest bloud that ever was shed, and therefore the greatest price that ever was paid. And when he was about to leave the world, he left this peace to his Disciples, as the best and greatest legacie that he could bequeath unto themAug. to. 10. de temp. serm. 146. Dominꝰ noster de hoc mundo ad pattem tran­siturus, &c. ma­xime pacis bo­num, et unita­tis, quasi specia­le munus, disci­pulis commen­davit, dicens, pa­cē meā do, &c. q.d. in pace vos demisi in pace vos inveniam, proficiscens vo­luit dare, quae desiderabat re­diens, in omni­bus invenire., My peace I give unto you, my peace I leave with you, &c John 14.27.. Had it not beene for Christ, God the Father had ne­ver entertained any thoughts of peace towards the sons of men; and the Gospell is nothing else but a Charter of peace, wherein is set downe that new covenant which is written and sealed with the bloud of Christ, and those new articles of agree­ment betweene heaven and earth; and therefore the Covenant of grace, it is termed a covenant of peace Esa. 54 10. Ezek 34.25., because it declares that foundation of peace which Christ hath laid; and is the ordinary meanes, and the instrumentall cause of working a setled peace between God and man: for,

1. It offers conditions of peace to the sons of men, and lets them know upon what termes God is willing to enter into a covenant of reconciliati­on, and to be at peace with them; and in this re­spect the preaching of the Gospell is said to be a publishing of peace Esay 52.7., and the preaching of peace Acts 10.36..

2. It guides their feet in the way of peace Luke 1.79.: it works faith in them, whereby they are justified, [Page 208] and so come to have an actuall share, and interest in this peace. Rom. 5.1. Being justifyed by faith, we have peace with God.

3. It keeps the heart and minde in a peaceable estate with God; feeds and fills it with peace, while hee walks in obedience answerable unto it, till at length he come to see the salvation of God with old Simeon, and to have that peace which hee so much desired; that is peace at the last, peace at the parting, which is worth all the rest.Luke 2.29. Lord now let­test thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, &c.

4. It brings him to the full fruition and enjoy­ment of everlasting peace, to the crowne and per­fection of this peace, where all things shall be re­moved away for ever, that might any wayes hin­der or disturbe this peace Cassiod. in Psal. 36. Vbi nihil adversum, nihil contrarium., to the peace of glory, or that peace which accompanies eternall life, which is a peace that passeth all understanding, a peace as far above that which now he hath, as the heaven is above the earth; as farre beyond it, as the life of glory goes beyond the life of graceAug. de civ. Dei li. 19. c. 11. & to. 10. tract. in Ioan. 77.. This is that peace foretold by the Prophet Esay, Esay 57.2. Peace shall come, they shall rest in their beds, every one that wal­keth before him: so that the things of Christ, and the things of the Gospell, are things that belong to this peace with God.

CHAP. 20.

Peace of Conscience, and peace of contentment, are from Christ and the Gospell.

Chap. 20 2 SEcondly, touching the peace which a man hath at home with himselfe, and in his owne brest; this is a fruit of the former, that is, of his peace and reconciliation with God; and therefore it is a part of that purchase which Christ hath made, and a part of that precious fruit which the Gospell beares; whether it bee peace of Conscience, or peace of contentment; both grow upon this roote.

1 When Christ comes to dwell in the heart by faith, hee stils all the raging stormes of a guil­ty coscience, and settles peace in it; like as it was with the Disciples when they were in a Ship at Sea, there rose a great tempest, so that the ship was covered with waves; but so soone as Christ was entred into the ship, hee rebuked the windes and the sea, and there was a great calme Mat. 8.23.26.; so when Christ entreth into the ship of the soule, he rebukes the raging winds of a guilty conscience, and establisheth peace there, by opening the eye of the soule, to see that God is become a reconciled Father unto her, and at peace with her; and by gi­ving unto her a sense and feeling of the love of God, and of that inward sweetnesse that accom­panies the estate of reconciliation, saying unto [Page 210] her, as he did to the sinfull woman, that washed his feet with her tearesLuke 7.50.; Thy faith hath saved thee, goe in peace; for this peace of conscience it is a principall part of Christs Kingdome, as the A­postle speakesRom. 14.17., The Kingdome of God is not meate and drinke, but righteousnesse, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; & it is a fruit of the Gospell to; for when a man takes in those undoubted and unde­niable principles of practicall truthes, which the Gospell commends unto him, and indeavours in truth and sincerity to walke answerable unto them, this breeds peace of conscience; because when hee reflects upon himselfe, and his owne wayes, hee findes in himselfe those qualifications which have the promise of mercy and peace made unto them; according to that of the ApostleGal. 6.16., As many as walke according to this rule, peace shall bee upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God: and when a man walkes according to the rule and direction of a conscience rightly infor­med, it will ever excuse him for well doing, and withall speake peace to him; so that the life of ju­stification, it begins with this inward peace of conscience; and the more studious and carefull that any is to follow after righteousnesse, the more is hee filled with this peace; and by continu­ance in well doing, till hee come to the up-shot and closure of his life, hee comes to end his dayes in peace; according to that of David Psa. 37.37., Marke the upright, and behold the just, for the end of that man is peace.

2 Againe, peace of contentment, it is a part of [Page 211] that fruit which Christ and the Gospell yeelds: A man that is a stranger to Christ and the Gospell Chrysost. to. 3. in V. T. ca [...]t. Graeco-lat expos in Psal 4 pag [...]6. B.C.D. & pag. 37. A. B. August. to. 10. ad fratres in cremo. serm. 2. G. H. O pax ta­le bonum es in reb. creatis, tam mirificum, &c. quod nihil dulcius solet audi [...]i, nihil de­lectabilius con­cupisci, nihil utilius posside­ri, spiritus. n. humanus sicut nunquam vivi­ficat membra, nisi fuerint u­nita, sic Spiritus Sanctus nun­quam nos vivi­ficat, nisi fue­rimus unici pace, &c. Ille ve [...]è pacem ha­bet, qui nihil appetit de sae­culo possidere, &c. quietissi­mam vitam a­gerent h [...]mi­nes in terra, si haec duo ver­ba à natura te­rum omnium tollerenter, s [...]licer, meum et tuum., if the world frowne upon him, and cast him be­hinde hand, it distracts and divides his mind with carking cares, and distrustfull thoughts, saying, What shall I doe? what shall I eate? what shall I drinke? or wherewithall shall I bee cloathed? If losses and crosses lie heavy upon him, or threa­ten him much, it rends and puls him asunder with excessive griefe, and immoderate feares; if the sunne of prosperity doe but begin to smile upon him with the flattering rayes, and beams of these outward things, if there be but the least doore o­pened to wealth and riches, to honor and prefer­ment, and some slender hope given unto him of obtaining the same, he is carried after them with a restlesse and inordinate desire; hee cannot sleepe for the thought of them; and if his hopes bee dashed, and disappointed, his heart is troubled, and even ready to break asunder, and die within him, through anguish of spirit, through impatience & discontent: but when the heart is established with grace, when it is filled with the things of Christ and the Gospell, this it balaseth the soule, and workes in it that calmnesse and quietnesse of thoughts, that tranquility and serenity of minde, that stayednesse and composednesse of affections, that keepes a man within due compasse, and mo­deration in all estates. The heathen Philosophers which have spent their thoughts upon this theame, and argument, and bent their studies and indeavours, to finde out some helps and reme­dies [Page 212] in this kinde, they have done something, but all too little to bring the soule to a setled and resolved peace; it is onely Christ and the Gospell, onely grace and religion that can doe this; because it is that onely that inables a man throughly to deny himselfe, without which selfe-denyall it cannot bee done; it is onely that which rectifies the judgement, and sets up reason in her lawfull throne, to rule and command aright; and where reason rightly commands, and the rest of the powers and faculties obey and submit themselves, that preserves and keepes an orderly peace in the soule; for like as it is in the naturall body, when there is a sweet harmony of all the parts, and eve­ry member keepes his due place and order, the body is at ease and rest; but if any member bee out of joynt, or one member pulled from another, brings much griefe and trouble, and the body cannot be at rest, till every member be rightly joynted, and set againe in his due place: even so it is with the soule, when reason is set below, that should sit as a Queene above, to give direction; and sensuall appetite, which should bee subject, beares rule, all things must needs bee disjoynted, and out of or­der; and therefore there can bee no peace till e­very power and faculty of the soule be orderly re­duced, and set againe in his owne place: Or, like as it is in the Common-wealth, when the lawfull King is unnaturally dethroned, and a Tyrant set up in his place, there can bee no peace, because the law­full King, and all that take part with him, will still bee indeavouring, and attempting to to reco­ver [Page 213] that which is lost, and to have the crowne set againe upon the right head; even so, when reason is dethroned, and the inferiour faculties of the soule, the fancie and conceit, or the sensuall appetite set up a loft, it must needs put all out of orer, and occa­sion trouble within, there can bee no peace there, till all these misplaced powers of the soule be re­duced backe againe into such an orderly frame, that each of them keepes his owne place and ranke: now it is onely. Christ and the Gospell, onely grace and religion, that can helpe all this.

1 This peace of contentment is that in the soule, which rest is in the naturall body. The stone can­not rest till it come to the earth and center which is the place of its rest, and there it resteth, and moves no more; so the soule cannot rest, nor finde any true peace, till it come to pitch and settle it selfe upon Christ, who is the proper place and center of rest, Iustin. sascic. amoris ca. 16. p. 171. Proh dolor, quam maxima in cre­aturis omnibus penuria est! quoniam earū nulla potest praestare suis dilectoribus pacem: pacis satietatē mini­mè tribuunt, sed acrius ac­cendant; fati­gant quaerentis animum, non pac [...]nt; illum (que) vana promissi­one deducunt, carent prorsus eo, quod in ip­sis exquiritur, bono., and there it may finde peace, and rest enough, so that shee needs not to move or seeke out for it any more. Noahs Dove could finde no rest for the sole of her foote, till shee returned to the Arke, and there shee finds a resting place; so the soule findes no true rest or peace within, till shee returne to Christ, and there shee findes a re­sting place; because he rectifies the judgement, to see that there is contentment enough to be found in him alone; and that the peace and rest which is so much sought for in other things, is there onely to bee had, and no where else; and then hee works upon the inferiour faculties, which are apt to [Page 214] raise up mutinies in the soule, and brings them in subjection hereunto, whereupon followes rest and peace within: This is that which Christ him­selfe promisethMat. 11.29., Learne of me, for I am meeke and lowly in heart, and yee shall finde rest unto your soules.

2 Againe, this peace of contentment, is that in the soul, which calmnesse is in the sea and the weather; that is, when the windes doe not blow, and blu­ster; when the waves doe not rise and fall, dash and beate one against another; when that vaste body of Waters doth not roare or make a noise, but is stil & silent; so this calmness and peace is then in the soule, when the winds of distempered passi­ons doe not bluster within, nor the raging waves of impatience and discontent, rise and fall with­out, nor the motions of the affections grow ex­orbitant and irregular, but are framed to such an equall, and eaven tenor, and moderation, as doth qualifie and temper all disordered unruly wind­ings and turnings in them, and give a man leave and liberty to bee master of himselfe, and to en­joy himselfe in all occurrences; like as it is with a paire of equall ballance, when they are jogged or suddenly moved, they may rise and fall, & shake up and down for a while, but after some little agi­tation, they will settle themselves in an equall poise, and there stay; even so, where there is this peace in the sou[e, though unexpected occasions, when they doe suddenly surprize a man, may raise up some commotions in him for a while, yet when he comes more diliberately to recollect his thoughts, hee [Page 215] doth at length incline himselfe into a setled and re­solved contentment: Chap. 21. Now it is onely Christ and the Gospell, onely grace and religion that can worke and mould a man in this frame and temper of spirit, because it is that onely that can morti­fie and kill the inordinate lusts and affections of the old man: Saint Paul had this peace of con­tentment, but it was grace and religion that lear­ned him the same, as himselfe confessethPhil. 4.11, 12., I have learned in whatsoever estate I am, therewithall to be content. I can be abased, and I can abound; every where, in all things, I am instructed, both to bee full, and to be hungry, to abound, and to have want.

CHAP. 21.

The things of Christ and the Gospell, make peace on earth amongst men.

3 TOuching peace with men, this is also an attendant upon the Gospell, and an inse­parable companion of the two former: hee that is at peace with God, and findes the sweet­nesse of peace within his owne soule, he cannot but love peace, and desire to live in peace. There was a generall peace through all the world at the birth of Christ Hieron. com. in Ioel. cap. 3.; the Temple of Ianus, which used al­wayes to stand open in time of warre, was then shut upSueton. in vita Augusti. & Pint. in Esa. c. 2. v. 4.; a signe, that faire weather and halcion dayes of peace were to follow after; and fit it was that it should be so, because the Prince of peace [Page 216] was then borne, and came into the world. The dew useth not to fall in stormes and tempests, when the face of the heaven is blacke with Clouds, but in cleare and faire weather, when the skie is bright, and the windes silent, as the Philosopher observes Aristot. Mete­ [...]r. l. 1. c. 10. no marvell then if it bee a calme and peacable season, when Christ the dew of the morning, was to fal from heaven. When the Halcyon or Kings-fisher makes her nest in the sea, and brings forth her young, the Mariners Ambros. Hexamer. l. 5. ca. 13. Vbi undo­sum fuerit ma­re, positis ovis Halcyonis su­bitò mitescit, & omnes ca­dunt ventorum procellae, &c. tantam gratiā avis minuscula divinitus in­dultam habet, ut hos dies nautici prae­sumptae sereni­tatis observent, quos et Alcio­nidas vocant, quibus nullos motus procel­losae tempesta­tis horrescant. presume of calme and faire weather; and when the Prince of peace was to make his abode and habita­tion amongst the sonnes of men, it might well presage great peace towards them: it was the bles­sed fruit of his birth, that the partition wall be­tweene Jew and Gentile, which Moses set up, was taken downe, and both Nations peaceably united into one people; his comming into the world did not onely erect and set up Iacobs Ladder, a Ladder that reached from earth to heaven, that the sons of men might have peaceable entercourse with that place, but also it did prepare and make way for Isaiahs Bridge Isa. 19.23. a Bridge that should reach from Ashur to Egypt, and from Canaan to them both; that is, a way and passage for a generall peace be­tweene nation and nation, that there might bee free and peaceable traffique & commerce amongst them. That which the Poet speakes of Augustus Caesar, that in his time the rough ages of the world should grow into a more civill and peaceable agree­ment, and that the gates of warre should be shut up Virg. Aeneid. l. 1. Aspera tunc positis mitescent sae­cula bellis, Claudētur bel­li portae, &c., the Prophet Isaiah most truely foretels it of [Page 217] Christ, who was borne in the dayes of Augustus, that in his time Nation shall not lift up a sword a­gainst nation, neither should they learne to fight any more, but should breake their swords into mattocks, and their speares into sythes Esay 2.4.. The world indeed hath ever beene jealous of Christ and the Go­spell, as if they were enemies and disturbers of her peace. Ahab could put the word upon Eli­jah, 1 King. 18.17. Art not thou he that troubleth Israel? and it hath ever beene the ordinary course of the men of this world, when they have smarted for their owne sinnes, to father all their troubles upon the Christians, and true religion. But alas, they are far wide, and much deceived; for there is not a stronger tye and obligation under heaven, to link men together in the bond of peace, than the Gospel is; and what ever may be pretended by some that professe the Gospell, yet if any be of a trou­blesome and contentious spirit, a hinderer of peace, or an enemy to it, either in family, Church, or Common-wealth, sure I am, that hee never learned that from Christ and the GospellPacem, qui ac­cepit, teneat; qui perdidit, re­paret; qui ami­si, exqui [...]at; quoniam qui in eadem non fue­rit inventus, ab­dicatur à Patre, exhaereditatur à Filio, à Spir: sancto alienus efficitur, respuit n. munus obla­tum, qui datae legis contemp­serit bonū, nec poterit ad hae­reditatem Do­mini pervenire, qui testamentū noluerit obser­vare: non potest cōcordiā habe­re cum Christ, qui discors esse voluerit cum Ch [...]istiano. Aug. to. 10. de temp. ser. 67.: for the wisedome that Christ and the Gospell tea­cheth, is first pure, then peaceable Iam. 3.17.: and though there be many other doctrines in the Gospell that are much pressed, and strongly put on by the Apostle, yet ye shall scarce finde such quickning passages in all the Scripture besides, as when hee comes to perswade unto peace: take one place for all,Rom. 12.18. If it be possible, and as much as in you lies, have peace with all men. It is possible for a man, and it lies in his power to doe much, if hee will [Page 218] ingage himselfe upon it. Now the Apostle pres­seth him, by all that is possible for him to doe, by all that lies within the compasse of his power, to bend himselfe for peace. Why doth hee use such moving straines, and pressing incentives, but to shew that above all other duties, men are most backward to this, and have most need to have it spoken home unto them, as being that which knits all together: like mortar in the wall, that fa­stens the stones, and makes them lye firme in the building. So that the Gospell is so farre from troubling or disturbing the peace that should be amongst men, that there was never any doctrine that did more strongly conclude for itAug. to. 10. de temp serm. 169. Meritum Chri­stianae virtutis vilescit in cun­ctis, si unitatem nō habet pacis, nec pervenit ad vocabulū filii, nisi per nomen pacifici: pax est, quae dat nomē ingenuum, mu­tat com condi­tione personā, ex famulo li­berum, filiū fa­cit ex servo, &c. amicū facit ex Deo, patrem reddit ex Do­mino, &c. En filius Dei esse incipit, qui pa­cificus esse coe­pit, non vult fi­lius dici, qui pa­cificus noluerit inveniri, ne­gat sibi patrem Deū, qui haeres pacis esse ne­quivit., nor ever any that were found more peaceable, than those that have beene the most sincere professors of it. It is one of the principall blessings promised in the new Covenant,Jer. 32.39. I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may feare me for ever. And it was fulfilled in the Primitive Christians, as St. Luke hath recorded it,Acts. 4.32. The multitude of them that beleeved were of one heart, and of one soule. Like Ezechiels wheeles Ezec. 10., fashioned so like one un­to another, and so framed and set together one within another, that they seemed to be but one wheele: when one moved, all the rest went with it; and when one stayed, all the rest stood still. Or like as it is with the wheeles in a clock, though some be greater, and others lesse, yet such a pro­portion and correspondency there is betweene them, that all finish their course and motion within the same space of time, they move toge­ther, [Page 219] and rest together, and conspire together,Chap. 22. to make the clock strike at the appointed houre: even so where Christ and the Gospell are enter­tained and imbraced, such a peaceable harmony doe they worke in the mindes of men, that they make them all conspire in one for the promoting of Gods glory, and the publike good. And there­fore the things of Christ and the Gospell are things that belong to this peace.

CHAP. 22.

The things of Christ and the Gosopell should be regar­ded so much the more, because they are things that belong to a mans peace.

ANd how should this endeare and ingratiate the things of Christ and the Gospell to eve­ry one,Vse 1. To bring men in love with Christ and the Gospell. seeing they are cōmended unto him under the sweet & amiable name of peace. Peace, it is a blessing of unknowne worth; it was the end why Christ came into the world, to purchase and pro­cure this peace for men;1 Bonum, cum quo sunt om­nia bona. August. to. 10. de te [...]p. serm. 166. D [...]na omnia suae pollicitati­onis et praemia, in pacis conver­satione Dominꝰ promisit. Vide ibid. ad fratres in erem ser. 2. D. H. and therefore doth hee purposely make choise of this expression, the more to endeare these things to every one that heares of them; for peace, it is a thing that is good in it selfe; and amongst other good qualities which are found in it, there be three things that doe especially commend it unto all:

1. Because it is accompanied with so many other good things that come along with it, or follow up­on [Page 220] it, as safety and security, arts and sciences, wealth and riches, &c. all which are usuall com­panions of peace, and doe most flourish in times of peace; and whatsoever good things it finds where it comes, it makes them better; lands and liber­ty, place and authority, honor and preferment, all these are good, but far better when they are sweetned with the name of peace; yea things that are otherwise evill, they are qualified and made good by it.Prov. 17.1. Better is a dry morsell, if peace be with it, than a house full of sacrifices where there is strife, because contentment of minde is worth all; the prison is a palace, the dungeon a para­dise, the house of correction a heaven upon earth, when it is accompanied with inward peace of con­science.

2 Bonum, sine quo nihil est bonum.2. It is such a good, as that nothing is truely good without it Chryso. to 2. in V.T. p. 522. [...].: though a man have great plen­ty of outward blessings, yet all lie open to many hazards, to much perill and danger, if hee have not peace with them; and therefore it is termed the blessing of peace Psal. 29.11.: to signifie, that all which a man hath, though it be never so much, it is unblessed to him, so long as hee hath not peace with it.

3 Bonum & jucundum.3. It is a good that all desire; a good full of pleasure and delight;Psal. 133.1. Behold how good and plea­sant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity; and there are but few such good things: some things are good and profitable to the body, as Physicke, and other meanes that procure the health of it; some things also are good and pro­fitable [Page 221] to the soule, as fasting, watching, suffering [...]fflictions, and those severe exercises of mortifi­cation, which are injoyned in the schoole of Christ; but no great pleasure or sweetnesse in any of them. Some things againe, they are pleasing and delightfull to corrupt nature, as voluptuos courses, and other sinfull contentments, but are neither good nor profitable for soule or body: and therefore where both these concur, it adds much to the worth of the thing.

Now as Saint Austin Aug. ad fratres in eremo, serm. 2. Quaedam sunt bona, quae non sunt jucunda, ut jejunia, vigi­liae, maceratio­nes, &c. quia caro in his non jucūdatur: quae­dam sunt jucū ­da, quae nō sunt bona, ut cōmes­sationes, ebrie­tates, vix pote­ris in praesenti, unum inve­nire quod sic bonum et jucū ­dū: cupis tamen illud invenire? persequere pacē, et amplectere eam; haec est e­nim sola virtus, quae habet bo­nū et jucundū. well observes, both these meet in the blessing of peace: and in these re­spects the very Pagans have highly honoured the name of peace, who knew little or nothing more touching the worth of it, than that which was to be seen in this outward peace amongst men. But to Christians, who know the worth of that hidden Manna, which no man knowes, but he that hath it, that is, of peace with God, and peace of conscience, this should much more endeare the things of Christ, and the Gospell to them, and make even the very feet of those to seeme beautifull, who bring unto them the glad tidings of peace and of good things: yea such is the excellency of this peace, that God himselfe is pleased to make it a part of his royall title, and to stile himself by the name of the God of peace: and the Sonne of God seemes to glorie more in that, than in any other title, that he is called the Prince of peace. Now as it is amongst Kings and Princes, when they have divers lands and territories under their domini­ons, they commonly have their name and appel­lation [Page 222] from that which is greatest; even so it serves to shew the worth and excellency of peace, in that amongst the glorious attributes of God and of Christ, ye finde so often mention made of the God of peace, and the Prince of peace. And therefore it doth not a little inhance and raise up the price of the things of Christ and the Gospel, and so should endeare them the more to every one, because they are things that belong to his peace Aug. to. 10. de temp. ser. 166. Si Christi haeredes esse et manere voluerimus, in ejus pace esse et manere de­bemus: concor­des n. et unani­mes esse praece­pit, dilectionis et charitatis foe­dera, incorrup­ta et inviolata mandavit, &c. pax enim plebis sanitas, gloria sacerdotis, pa­triae laetitia, et terror hostium. Ibi. ser. 167. Pax est serenitas mētis, tranquil­litas animae, simplicitas cor­dis, amoris vin­culum, &c. haec est quae simul­tates tollit, bel­la compescit, cōprimit itas, superboscalcat, humiles elevat, discordes sedat, cunctis est pla­cita, &c..

And indeed, if he did rightly waigh and consi­der of the matter, hee would be more ready to make after them, and to lay out himselfe in the pursuit of the same: as Christ said to the woman of Samaria,Iohn 4.10. If thou hadst knowne, thou wouldst have asked; &c. or if hee did wisely ponder the worth of peace, to which they belong, hee would not value them at so low a rate, as many do. Like those brutish Gadarens Mat. 8.34., who when Christ came amongst them, they came all out unto him, and be­sought him to depart out of their coasts: preferring their very hogs and swine before those things that concerned the everlasting peace and welfare of their soules. If the owner of the field did know of the treasure that lies hid in it, hee would not passe it away upon such facile and easie termes, as many times he doth; and so if men did know and steep their thoughts in the meditation of the transcen­dent worth of the things of the Gospell, they would not under-prize and under-value them as they doe; nay they would purchase and procure them, were it with the dearest drop of their own [Page 223] blood. Little doe men thinke what they refuse, when they make so light account of the things of Christ and the Gospell: it made Christ to weepe over Jerusalem here, with many teares, and much lamentation, beause shee would not know, or take notice of them; and those teares shew, that even teares of bloud, if it were possible to shed them, were little enough to bewaile the losse of them: for who can sufficiently expresse all that goodnesse which is here comprehended under the name of peace? It is a peace that pas­seth all understanding, as the Apostle speakesPhil. 4.7.. Many have a large understanding, even as the sand on the sea shore; many have a deep reach, and are able to see farre into matters; yet such is the transcendent worth of this peace, that it doth not onely surpasse the most sublime and re­fined understanding of any one, but even all un­derstanding Guliel. Parisie. de retri. sanct. pa. 303. Exuperat omnē sensum, &c. vel incom­prehensibilitate sua, ut nullus sensus immen­sitatē ejꝰ prout est, et quanta est cōprehende­re possit, vel suavitate su [...] quemadmodū nullus visus to­tam luminosi­tatē solis cape­re sufficit, imo radiolo ejꝰ mo­dico impletur; sic nullꝰ sensus capere sufficit, id est, sentire immensitatem suavitatis pacis Dei.: so that when all are laid together, they doe not all conceive so much worth and excellency as is in it: for as it passeth all understan­ding to conceive the misery of a man that hath God for his enemy, and is out of his protection; because there is no place, no estate, no condition, where he can be safe and secure, seeing whereso­ever he is, he is in the midst of his enemies; for all the creatures, they are Gods host, they take part with him, and are ready at his appointment to be up in armes, and to avenge his quarrell, if he restraine them not: even so on the contrary, it passeth all understanding, to conceive the happi­nesse of him that is at peace with God: for all the [Page 224] creatures under heaven have a command to doe him good:Chap. 23. the stones of the field are in league with him, & the beasts of the field are at peace with him Job 5.23.. Yea his very enemies are under that providence, which makes them to be at peace with him Prov. 16.7.: and which is infinitely more, all the glorious attri­butes of God himself are ingaged, and lie at stake for his good.

CHAP. 23.

The way and meanes how to get true Peace.

A rule of di­rection how to get peace.2 IF the things of Christ and the Gospell be things that belong to every mans peace, then may this serve as a rule of direction to every one, what course to take for the obtaining of peace; and that is, to kisse the Sonne lest hee be an­gry, to imbrace the Gospell, to bid Christ wel­come, that shall bring him peace at last. Peace is that which all would have, and few finde, because they mistake the way that leads unto itIust. fasc. amor. cap. 16. pag. 101. Horrendū spe­ctaculum, et cō ­passiva conside­ratio est, caecū sitientem aspi­cere, et aquae ri­vulos quaeritā ­tem, at (que) in lu­ti volutabro se mergentem, ut inde suis suae satiet appetitū. Behold, here is the way of peace; if any desire to finde it, let him seeke it in this way, and by these particu­lar steps and degrees.

1. Seeke it in the right place, in the house of God, where the Gospell is preached.Hag. 2.10. The glory of the later house shall be greater than the former; and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. Peace is not a flower that may be gathered out of every garden; it is not a fruit that growes [Page 225] on every tree, it is not to be had every where, nor is it to be found any where, but onely in this place, in the house of God. Pharaoh supplied the wants of his people in the yeares of famine, but it was from Iosephs store-house, all the provision was laid up there, that from thence it might bee transmitted to his people: So God speaks peace to his people that are in trouble, and supplies their wants with the blessing of peace, but that blessing is laid up for them in Zion, in the House of God, that from thence it may bee transmitted unto thē;Psal. 128.5. The Lord shall blesse thee out of Zion; and the reason is, because the meanes whereby this peace is wrought, the publike Ordinance of God is e­rected and set up there:Jsa. 57.19. I create the fruit of the lips to bee peace; that is, the Word preached; for as the Gospell is a Gospell of peace Gualt. com in loc. Creabo fru­ctum labi [...]rū, id est, praedica­tionem Evan­gelii, per quam pax annūciabi­tur, longinquis & propinquis, id est Iudaeis simul et genti­bus. so the preaching of it, is a preaching of peace, as hath beene shewed.

2 Seeke it in the right way, that is, in the way of obedience, in following the minde and counsell of Christ, and walking according to the rule of the GospelAugust. to. 10. li. 50. Homil [...]ar. homil 17. Cha­ritas cum fide ipsa te perdu­cet ad pacem, veram pacem, plenam pacem, solidam pacē, securam pacem, ubi nulla pe­stis, nullus hostis, ipsa pax est finis omniū desideriorum bonorum.; for the blessing of peace is promised to such onely as walke according to this rule Gal. 6.16.: Piety and religion is the way to true peace, and there­fore the Apostle joynes them both together, to shew that one cannot bee had, or enjoyed, with­out the other: No peace without holinesse; Heb. 12.14. follow peace with all men, and holinesse, without which no man shall ever see God. While Adam kept his garment of innocency and righteousnesse, hee in­joyed perfect peace, both with God, and himselfe, and all creatures; but when he cast away that, he [Page 226] made ship wracke of his peace; peace will not dwell but in the habitation of righteousnesse. The Angels sing first glory to God, and then peace on earth Luc. 2.14.; to signifie that Gods glory must bee provided for, before there will bee peace on earth. God hath made large promises of much peace▪ but it is to such as love his law Psa. 119.165. All sinne is an enemy to peace: it was sinne that brake the first league of peace that ever was concluded betwixt heaven and earth, and while that takes place, it will not give way to any new agreement, nor suffer any new Articles of peace to be drawn between God and man. Sinne, it is a Schismaticke, that secretly undermines this blessing of peace; nay, it is a rebell that openly breakes out against the peace, and there­fore no marvell though it banish peace, where it findes entertainment. Had Zimri peace which slew his Master 2 King 9.31.? when h Ieoram asked Iehu, Is it peace? he had this answer returned, what peace Aug to. 10. de temp. serm. 166. Pax cum bonis, & praecepta Dei servantibus custodienda est, non cum iniquis et sce­leratis, qui pa­cem inter se habent in pec­catis suis, &c. Pax cum bonis, et bellum cum vitus, semper habendum est, mala siquidem implorum ho­minum odio habenda sunt. so long as the whoredomes of thy mother Iezabel re­maine and her witchcrafts are yet in great num­ber 2 King. 9.22.? Implying, that while a man gives him­selfe leave and liberty to live in any knowne sin, and will not bee reclaimed, in vaine doth he ex­pect and looke for peace; for what agreement can there be betweene light and darknesse? what concord or peace betweene Christ and Belial?

3 Seeke it of the right owner, aske it of God by prayer; hee onely is the fountaine of true peace, and prayer is the Bucket that draws it from him; therefore the Psalmist injoynes prayer to bee u­sed, as a meanes for obtaining peace upon Jeru­salem [Page 227] Psa. 122.6., Pray for the peace of Ierusalem. God creates the fruit of the lips to be peace, as hath beene shew­ed, and that is, not onely the preaching of the Gospel, but also, as others interpret itCorne. à Lapid. com. in loc. Dedi Iudaeis in Ba­bylone, &c. pro fructu & mer­cede orationis suae pacem. Vide Hugon. de Sanct. Car. & Adam. Sasbout. in loc., confessi­on of sinnes, and fervent prayer; for these are also the fruit of the lips; pardon and peace they goe to­gether; and as confession of sinnes, and earnest prayer to God is a meanes of obtaining pardon and forgivenesse, so also is it the way to get peace: These are the channels, in which the streames of peace runne, and the Conduits in which they are conveyed; and therefore hee that would obtaine peace, hee must addresse himselfe to the Throne of grace, and have recourse unto God for it, and that not onely in times of trouble, when feare and danger drives him to God; but also in times of peace and prosperity, that it may the bet­ter appeare, that hee seekes unto God, not onely out of necessitie, as being compelled with his owne wants, but rather out of a desire of entring into a Covenant of peace and reconciliation with him; for hee that will have no acquaintance with God, while all is well with him, hath little reason to expect and looke for peace from him, when things goe ill with him. Prayer indeed is the key that opens, and unlocks the doore of that rich storehouse of grace, wherein all blessings are contained, and so makes way for peace, which is one of the chiefest of them; but yet it must bee so qualified, that it may finde acceptance with God: and amongst other qualifications, there are two mentioned in Scripture; the first by Da­vid [Page 228] Psal. 32.6., Therfore shall every good man make his prayer unto thee in a time when thou maist be found; his prayer must be seasonable, he must seek for peace in Gods time, whiles hee offers conditions of peace: the other by the ApostlesJam. 5.16., The prayer of the righteous availeth much, if it be fervent; & for him that would set an edge of fervency upon his prayer, when he makes request for peace, it will be requisite and necessary to know the worth of those things that belong to his peace; for as in bodily cures the remedy must be knowne, before it can bee used or applyed; even so it is here, the worth of peace must be knowne, before it can raise up in the soule a desire sutable to the excellency of it; and therefore Christ here bewayles the want of this knowledge in Jerusalem, saying, Oh, if thou hadst knowne, &c! implying, that this was the cause why shee made so light account of the things that concerned her peace, and desired them no more, because shee did not know the worth of them; whereas, on the contrary, the wise merchantAug. to. 10. ad fratres in eremo. serm. 2. H. Ne­mo est qui non velit pacem ha­bere: inter­roga omnes si pacem desi­derent, omnes unâ voce di­cent, hoc ama­mus, hoc opta­mus, hoc con­cupiscimus, hoc volumus. that found this treasure of peace hid in the field of the Gospell, because hee prizeth it highly, that makes him so earnest in the pursuit of it, that he resolves to have it,Mat. 13.44. though it cost him all that he hath to make that purchase.

CHAP. 24.

How a man may know whether his peace be of a right stampe or no.

Chap. 24 3 IF the things of Christ and the Gospell, bee things that concerne every mans peace, hereby then may every one make triall of his peace, whether it be of a right stampe or no; many perswade themselves that they are at peace with God, and have true Characters of peace within themselves, who if they be brought to this touch­stone, will easily bee discovered to be such as are deluded with a false peace, and have little or no­thing more in them, than a vaine hope, and con­fident presumption. When Saul gave it out very confidently, that he had fulfilled the commande­ment of the Lord1 Sam. 15.13., Samuel said unto him, What meaneth then the bleating of the sheepe in mine eares, and the lowing of the oxen which I heare? If the sheepe and the Oxen had beene slaine, accor­ding to the commandement of the Lord, they could not have been heart bleating, and lowing, as now they were; and therefore this, it was an undeniable evidence of Sauls guiltinesse; so may it be said to many, who give it out with no small confidence, that they have true peace, peace with God, and peace within themselves; but if it bee so, how comes it to passe that there is so little of Christ and the Gospell in them August. to. 10. de. temp. serm. 169. Sequi Christum est habere pacem, et non sequi quod pacis est, hoc est habere in magistro, ex parte quod di­lig [...]s, ex parte quod damnes. so little meek­nesse? [Page 230] so little mercy? so little patience? so lit­tle humility! so little love and charity? are not these things that belong to their peace? And there­fore let every one bring himselfe unto this Tri­bunall, and trie himselfe by this Touchstone; let him measure the truth and realitie of his peace, by the truth and realitie of those things that belong un­to it; and amongst other evidences which Christ and the Gospell give in, as testimonies and wit­nesse of this peace, there be these foure by which it may be discerned.

  • 1 The time when it is wrought.
  • 3 The meanes whereby it is wrought.
  • 3 The manner how it is wrought.
  • 4 The fruits and effects that follow upon the working of it.

1 Concerning the time when it is wrought; it is not till a man have beene first humbled; God first proclaimes warre to the guilty conscience, in the voyce of the Law, before hee speake peace unto it in the still & silent voyce of the Gospell; he first speakes from Mount Sinai in thundring and light­ning, before his voyce be heard upon the peacea­ble hill of Sion; hee first convinceth men of sinne, before he reveale unto them the righteousnesse and peace, which is brought to light by the Go­spell. The King pardons none but such as are first condemned by the law, because none else have need of it; even so, God speakes pardon and peace to his people, but it is to such onely as have beene woun­ded and slaine with the sense and feeling of their sinnes; hee first pursues them with legall terrours, [Page 231] before hee set open the doore of the Sanctuary to them for ease and refuge:Hag. 2.7. I will shake all Nati­ons, &c. and the desire of all Nations shall come: Christ, who is, or should be the desire of all na­tions, he doth not come with peace and healing in his wings, till their soules bee troubled, and well shaken out of the lap of security, with the feare of deserved punishment, as in Elijahs vision, the still and soft voyce came not in the first place, but when the earthquake, and the strong winde, which rent the Mountaines, and brake the Rockes, had gone before 1 King 19.11, 12.: even so it is hereSanct com. in loc. Cum Deus remigrare me­ditatur in ani­mum, ex quo fuerat à pecca­tore relegatus, quia id sit ple­runque per poenitentiam, fulgurat, tonat, et radicitus fundamenta convellit, ne (que) aliter parare si­bi domicilium soler. Vide Gregor. Mag. Moral. l 5. ca. 25. & l. 11. ca 42.; the spirit of bondage, that apprehends, and arrests the guilty consci­ence, and shuts her up in prison, it goes before the spirit of Adoption, which sets her at liberty, and beares her witnesse that shee hath a share and inte­rest in the covenant of peace, and reconciliati­on Rom. 8.15.. If then any that was never humbled, that ne­ver knew what it was to bee under the guilt of sinne, shall perswade himselfe that all is at peace betweene God and his owne soule; this is a signe that hee deceives himselfe with a false peace; for Christ and the Gospell bring the glad tidings of peace to none, but such as are weary and heavy laden, according to that promise of ChristMat. 11.28., Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will refresh you.

2 Concerning the meanes whereby this peace is wrought, it is the Word and Prayer, as hath beene shewed: and therefore when God is plea­sed to speake peace unto the soule by these meanes, the Word also speakes peace unto it, and the eye of [Page 232] the conscience is opened in some degree and measure, to see that the promise of peace belongs unto her Calvin. Com. ad Roman. c. 8.15. in illa verba. Ipso n. spiri­tus una testa­tur cum spiritu nostro, &c. In­telligit Paulus spritum Dei, tale nobis te­stimonium reddere, ut eo duce ac magi­stro, spiritus noster statuat firmā esse Dei adoptionem., by reflecting upon her selfe, and find­ing those qualifications in her, to which the pro­mise of peace is made. It is God onely that can speake peace unto his people;Psal. 85.8. I will hearken what the Lord God will say, for he shall speake peace unto his people Moller. com. in loc. Suo exem­plo nos docet in calamitatibꝰ, non ad huma­na praesidia, sed ad verbum di­vinitus raditū confugere; ut inde vera reme­dia petamus, nam extra illud verbum nulla est vera aut fir­ma consolatio., &c. He speakes peace, not vocally, but really; his speaking of peace, is a giving of par­don, and a working of peace; and therefore when David prayes for peace, hee makes that expres­sion of itPsal. 35.3., Say unto my soule, I am thy salvation. Trouble of conscience, it ariseth from the want of Gods love and favour, and therefore it is one­ly the presence and apprehension of it, that can remove that trouble, and settle peace there: if darknesse be the cause of trouble, it is onely light that can make peace: and so it is here, it is spirituall darknesse, occasioned by the absence of the Sunne of righteousnesse, that breeds all her trou­ble; and therefore it is onely the light of Gods countenance, shining upon thy soule, that can cause peace to spring up there; when the face of heaven smiles upon the conscience, and gives her an in­ward sense and feeling of the love of God, and of that hidden comfort which accompanies the state of reconciliation; there is the true Ierusalem, the vision of peace; it is God onely that justifies the penitent and beleeving sinner, and peace of conscience is the immediate fruit that followes upon the giving of that sentence:Rom. 5.1.Being justified by faith, wee have peace with God.

[Page 233]When God pronounceth the sentence of ab­solution in the conscience, hee doth in the same breath speake peace unto the soule: and this he doth by Christ and the Gospell; for whensoever God sealeth the pardon of sinne to any, it is for Christs sake that he doth it; the bloud of Christ first speaks for him, before God speake peace unto him; and when hee doth speake peace unto him, that the voice of God may be discerned from the delu­sion of Sathan, who lulls men asleepe with a false peace; there be meanes left for the discovery of it, even those meanes by which it is wrought, to wit, the voice of the Scripture, and the voice of a mans owne conscience. God first speakes peace in the rule, which is the Gospell of peace, by laying out a generall description of such qualifications and conditions, as have the promise of peace made unto them; and the conscience, by reflecting upon the rule, and a mans owne wayes, and comparing them together, doth in some measure see that the inward peace which she feels in her selfe, is true peace, and of a right stampe, because the Scripture speakes peace unto her, as well as God, and she finds in her selfe some ground and warrant whereupon to apply to her selfe the promise of peace. But when a man is confidently perswaded that he is at peace with God, who was never earnest with God in prayer for the obtaining of it, when the Scripture doth not speake peace unto him, and yet he flatters himselfe that he shall have peace, when he builds castles of peace in the ayre, but doth not finde in himselfe such qualifications to which [Page 234] the promise of peace is made, that is a signe it is but a vaine confidence, and foole-hardie presumpti­on, no true peace.

3. Concerning the manner how it is wrought, it is leisurely and by degrees; in the orderly wor­king of this peace, the eye of the soule is first in­lightned by the Gospel, to see that there is a co­venant of peace, wherein conditions of peace are freely tendered to every soule that will imbrace them; and this lets every one see to whom the Gospell is preached, that there is a possibility of obtaining peace, and so sets open a doore of hope for him.

Then secondly, God comes to hold a treaty with the soule in the ministery of the Word, about the termes and conditions of this peace, lets her see what sinnes shee must forsake, what duties of o­bedience she must apply her selfe unto, if she will have and enjoy this peace.

And then thirdly, God comes to prevail with her by his Spirit and his grace, to gaine her con­sent, to the conditions that are required.

And then lastly, hereupon there be articles of agreement drawne betweene God and the soule, and a conclusion of peace made up, and a covenant of peace actually entred into. God now begins to speak peace to the soule, and she begins to find and feele peace in her selfe, and so continues till either shee fall into new sinnes, or meet with new temptati­ons, which doe againe disturbe and unsettle this peace, which is but weake at first, and easily trou­bled with doubts and feares; for howsoever this [Page 235] peace be usually more sensibly felt, when a man first begins with purpose of heart to cleave unto God, than afterward; yet it is more weakly grounded, and therefore more easily shaken with temptati­ons: it is the long custome of exercise and expe­rience, that must more and more establish the heart in the cleare evidence and assurance of it: the conscience may be soone daubed over with un­tempered mortar, and quickly stilled with a false peace; but a sound peace, at least in any eminent de­gree and measure of it, is not so quickly attained unto. Superficiall things are done in the halfe of that time that substantiall things are a working: a wound or a sore may be quickly skinned over, but it requires more time to heale it at the bottome, and to work a perfect cure upon it. So a false peace is soone at the highest, and comes quickly to her full growth: like Ionas gourd, that comes up in a night, and then it is so confident and peremptory, that nothing can unsettle or disturb it: but sound peace, it comes up more leisurely, & requires longer time before it can grow up to any great height. And there­fore when men are no sooner stept out of an ill course, and begin to look forward to that which is good, but presently they are filled with such a measure of peace, that they make not the least que­stion of their reconciliation with God, nor feare any danger at all of being deceived: there is no­thing that can trouble or stumble them in that matter: this is no good signe of any sound peace. There is a generation of men in the world, who as at first they take up a peace upon a false imagi­nation [Page 236] of an absolute promise made unto them; so they hold it afterward in the same tenure. And therefore, though they neglect any duty that God requires, or fall into any sinne that hee for­bids, it doth not abate or diminish any thing of their peace, but as they tooke it up independently upon any qualification in themselves, before they either repented of their sinnes, or entred into Covenant with God: so breach of Covenant doth nothing trouble or disturbe the same; but let such reade their doome in the words of Moses, Deut. 29.19. He that blesseth himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk after the stubbornnesse of mine owne heart; the Lord will not be mercifull to that man, but his wrath and his jealousie shall smoak against him.

4. Concerning the fruits and effects of this peace, where it is wrought. Amongst others, there be these three which usually doe accom­pany it:

1. Hee that is at peace with God, it will make him more carefull to please God, more fearfull to of­fend him. An unsanctified life can never be ac­companyed with sound peace, because this peace it is sought and obtained in the way of obedience, as hath beene shewed. The way of peace, and the way of righteousnesse, are both one: as righteousnesse and peace they met in Christ and kissed each other Psal. 85.10., so doe they meet in all true beleevers: they are inseparable companions in the kingdome of Christ, and essentiall parts of itRom. 14.17. The Kingdome of God is not meat and drinke, but righteousnesse [Page 237] and peace, &c. and therefore one cannot be had without the other.

2. He that is at peace with God, will shew it in a loving and peaceable carriage towards men; be­cause the same spirit which unites mens hearts to God, and makes them willing to enter into a Co­venant of peace with him, doth also linke their hearts and affections one to anotherAug to. 10. de temp. ser. 169. Dilectio omni­bus votis ac de­siderus ample­ctanda est, quae tot bona potest habere, quot praemia, custo­dienda omnibꝰ viribus pax est, quoniam Deus semper in pace est. and makes them studious to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, as the Apostle advisethEphes. 4.3. And the more nearely their hearts are linked to God, the more firmly are they united in peace and love one to another. Even as it is in a sphere or circle, the lines that passe from the circumference to the center, in which they all meet and are united in one point, the nearer they come to the center, the nearer they joyne one to another; and the farther they are removed from the center, the farther are they distant from one another: Even so it is here, the farther men are distant from God, the farther are they removed from peace and love betweene them­selves; and the more nearly that they are joyned in a covenant of peace with God, the more near­ly are they linked in a league & affection of peace between themselves. In heaven there is nothing but peace; and there be none that are fit to inha­bit that place, but such onely as are sonnes of peace here on earth; and they have a promise made un­to them, that they shall have fellowship and com­munion with the God of peace both here and hereafter:2 Cor. 13.11. Live in peace, and the God of peace shall be with you.

[Page 238]3. He that is at peace with God, will be at war with all sinfull lusts, because these are traitors, and ene­mies that undermine his peace; and hee that lives amongst his enemies, if hee doe not subdue and keepe them under, he shall never be in peace. Now because the inordinate lusts and affections of a mans corrupt nature, which are enemies to God, and to his owne soule, they are not perfectly sub­dued here in this life; therefore he that is at peace with God, must be at war with them. Christ who was the Prince of peace, and came into the world to settle peace on earth, yet it was a holy and religious peace, not a sinfull peace that was intended by him; and so he would have his Disciples to con­ceive of it,Luke 12.51. Thinke ye that I am come to send peace on earth? I tell you nay, but rather debate. When the Children of Israel were come into the land of Canaan, that they might live in peace there; they must make warre upon the Canaanites, and utterly destroy them: for God tells them, that if they did not drive out the inhabitants of the land before them, those that remained would be as pricks in their eyes, and thornes in their sides, and would continually vexe them in the land where they dwelt Numb. 33.55.. So hee that is entred into a covenant of peace with God, he will make warre upon these Canaanites, that is, the remainder of corruptions that are left in him, because so long as these live, they will be as thornes in his sides, and pricks in his eyes: they will continually vexe him, and never suffer him to enjoy a quiet and setled peace. When the Prophet foretels the peace that should come [Page 239] by Christ, he makes this expression of it,Esay 2.4. That the Nations should break their swords into mattocks, and their speares into sythes: and it may be true in a spirituall sense, as the learned observePint. com. in Isa. cap. 2. ver. 4. Nihil aliud est gladios in vo­meres converti, et hastas in fal­ces, quā sensus omnes omnia­que nostra mēbra, quae sine Christi gratia in homine slagiti­oso arma sunt diaboli, mundi, et carnis, quibꝰ anima nostra transfigitur ef­fici vomeres a­grum Domini operibus chari­tatis scindentes et arantes, ver­tique in falces fructus pietatis Deo gratissi­mos metentes. The members of a wicked man, they are swords and spears, wherewith he fights against God, and wounds his owne soule: when by the grace of the Spirit he mortifies and subdues these, & brings them in­to a peaceable subjection unto Christ; then are they turned into mattocks and sythes, instruments of husbandry, fit for the tillage of Gods field. And this is that which the Apostle exhorts unto,Rom. 6.13. Give not your members as weapons of unrighteousnesse unto sin, but give your selves unto God, as those that are a­live from the dead, and your members as weapons of righteousnesse unto God. But when a man hath a setled confidence, that hee is at peace with God, but hath little or no care to please God, or walk according to the tenor of that covenant that hee hath made with God; when he is like the Sala­mander, that cannot live out of the fire of contention, but Ishmael-like his hand is against every one, &c. when he is in league with any sinfull lust, and doth not make war against it, this is a signe that it is a vaine presumptuous confidence which he hath, and no true peace.

CHAP. 25.

Such as are strangers to Christ and the Gospell, can­not have any true peace.

Chap. 25 Vse 4. Woe to the wicked.4 IF the things of Christ and the Gospell be things that belong to every mans peace; then it must needs be a word of terror to all wicked men, who are enemies to Christ and to the Gospell, be­cause so far forth as they set themselves against Christ and the Gospell, so farre forth they are enemies to their owne peace, at least to all true peace that might be a stay and comfort unto them in the evill day: for though they make a cove­nant with death, and be at an agreement with hel it selfe; yet that is but a peace of their own making, a peace that will not hold water in the time of trouble; a peace that will end at length in a fear­full storme; it is a wofull thing for any to be at peace with his sinnes, and with the enemies of his salvationJustin. de disci. & perfect. c. 11. pag. 64. Nulla cum inimicis spiritualibꝰ pax firmanda, sem­per mentiuntur et absque rubore laqueos tendunt. August. to. 10. ad fratres in erèmo, serm. 2. E. Ha­be [...]e pacem cum omnibus, omnium tamen vitia odientes; habete in corde, in ore, in opere pacem: nam si Cain pacem habuisset in corde, non i [...]ruisset in fratrem suum: si Absalon pacem habuisset i [...]re, non impugnasset patrem: si Judas habuisset pacem in opere, non fugisset ad laqueum.; because so long as he is at peace with them, he is at warre with heaven, at warre with God, at warre with Christ, at war with all things that might procure his welfare, and with all crea­tures that wish or desire his good: yea while he is [Page 241] at peace with them, hee is in the next degree to hardnesse of heart, and already lulled asleepe in that woefull security, that will one day awaken into horror and amazement. Meane while it is a signe that Sathan hath a full, entire, and plenary possession of all, because the things which he hath are in peace; and if all were not surrendred up to him, there would not be such a peace.Luke 11.21. When a strong man armed keepeth his pallace, all that he pos­sesseth is in peace; whē Satan, the strong man, pos­sesseth all, and there is no more to bee had; hee may well give way to a temporary peace: when the enemy hath got all into his hands, and brought al in subjection round about him, then there must needs follow a peace: but it is a woefull peace to the captive, when the enemy hath got all, when hee can have no conditions of peace, but such onely as the enemy is pleased to give; & such is the peace of all wicked men; it is a peace that is joyned with perpetuall bondage and slavery. If the Iaylor bee at peace with his prisoner, it is a signe hee hath him sure under barre and bolt; for if once hee breake loose from him, hee then pursues him with hue and cry, and lets him know, that his former peace is now expired. If Laban be at peace with Iacob, it is a signe he is content to be his drudge; for if once he begins to fly away from him, hee shall soone heare, that Labans peace is turned into warre. If Pharaoh be at peace with the Israelites, it is a signe they are in bondage to him; if once they begin to thinke of their liberty, hee is then up in armes, and hath no more thoughts of peace towards them: [Page 242] even so, if Sathan be at peace with any, it is a signe they are wholly his, and it must needs bee a woe­full peace, that cānot be had without professed en­mity against God; there is no true peace, but that wch hath his foundation in Christ, and is wrought by the Gospell; as far as wicked men are from the things of Christ & the Gospell, so farre they are from all true peace: There is no peace to the wic­ked, saith my God Isa. 57.21. the righteous man hath peace on every side; peace above him, because hee is in a covenant of peace and reconciliation with God; peace beneath him, because hell hath nothing to lay to his charge; peace within him, because his owne heart speakes peace unto him; peace without him, because hee is in love and charity with all men; but there is no peace to the wicked, no peace a­bove him, because God is his enemy; no peace be­low him, because hell hath an endlesse number of fearefull and grievous things to charge him withall; no peace within him, because his owne conscience hath a quarrell against him, and is rea­dy to accuse him of many things; no peace without him, because brotherly love is a stranger to him, and the way of peace he hath not knowne.

CHAP. 26.

The comfort of such as carefully apply themselves to the things of Christ and the Gospell.

Chap. 26 5 IF the things of Christ and the Gospell, Vse 5. Comfort to those that are mindfull of Christ and the things of the Gospell. bee things that belong to every mans peace, then may this serve for the comfort of all those, who are mindfull of these things, and to follow and pursue after them with all their hearts; for what ever account the world may make of these things, yet they are matters of transcendent worth, and of the highest concernment; and so they will one day be found to bee, because they are things that belong to their peace; things that will bring that peace at last which is worth all, and more than all, that possibly can bee laid out for it; for amongst other advantages, it brings these foure singular priviledges with it.

1 It gives a man boldnesse and confidence in his approaches unto God; a man that is not at peace with God, cannot bee so confident that he shall speed in his suites and requests that he makes un­to him; for God heareth not sinnersJohn 9.31.; and there­fore he must needs be more faint, and heartlesse, when hee goes about them; but when a man is at peace with God, this it emboldens him to come to the throne of grace, and with confidence to plead his interest in the Covenant: 1 Iohn. 5.14. This is the confidence that wee have in him, that whatsoever we aske of [Page 244] him, according to his will, in that hee heareth us: and this is a great priviledge, like as it is with a favorite at Court, who hath alwayes the Kings eare, and is sure of audience whensoever hee comes, and also to prevaile in whatsoever suite or request he makes; even so it is with a man that is at peace with God.

2 It frees the heart from those armies and chan­ges of feares and doubts, which a guilty consci­ence is subject unto, and continually assaulted withallChrysost. to. 3. in V.T. edit. Gr [...]ecelat. pag 36. [...].. A man that is not at peace with God; he is afraid of every thing, if it bee but the shaking of a leafe, if he doe but heare a noise in the dark, it puts him into a terrible passion and feare, he is ready to thinke, it is some evill messenger sent to arrest him, and carry him away to the place of tor­ments: If he read the face of an angry God in the heavens, in thunder and lightning, &c. if he heare of dangerous and troublesome times, his heart is ready to faile, and misgive him, for feare, and for looking after the things that shall come upon the world; and when he thinkes upon death, which is the King of feares, that is a damp to all other contentments that hee doth enjoy, that holds him fast all his life long, as it were in a prison, under con­tinuall bondage, as the Apostle speaksHeb. 2.15.; but when once hee is at peace with God, and findes peace at home in his owne soule, this moderates, and quali­fies all those smarting, stinging, perplexing fears.Psal. 27.1. The Lord is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I feare? and againePsa. 112.7., He shall not be afraid of evill tydings; his heart is fixed, & he trusteth in the Lord.

[Page 245]3 It sweetens al conditions unto a man, and fils him with joy and comfort in the worst times, even in times of trouble; and when hee is under the crosse, it makes him to rejoyce in tribulation: a man that wants this peace, he may rejoyce in time of prosperity, while the coasts are cleare, and all goes well with him; but when the times frowne, and looke sad upon him, then he is dejected, and cast downe; whereas hee that is at peace with God, he findes matter of comfort in all conditi­ons; in his falling, as well as in his rising, in his ebbing, as well as in his flowing; like the Holy Martyrs that found matter of joy and comfort in the middest of the flames: Paul and Silas being fil [...] with this peace, they could sing Psalms evē at mid­night, and that in the bottome of the dungeon Act. 16.25.; the Apostles being filled with this peace, when they were rebuked and beaten before the Councell, they went away rejoycing, that they were counted worthy to suffer reproach for the Name of Christ Act. 5.41.: the be­leeving Hebrewes, being filled with this peace, they endured with joy the spoyling of their goods Heb. 10.34., &c.

4 It makes a man willing to leave the world, and to imbrace death; a man that is not at peace with God, he can never bid death welcome, be­cause it comes as an enemy to him, and threatens to deliver him up into his hands, who is able to doe him more hurt than all the enemies that hee hath in the world besides; but when he is once at peace with God, then hee is not afraid to looke death in the face, because hee knowes hee shall make a blessed and happy exchange by it, it will [Page 246] land him upon the coasts of eternall peace, Chap. 27. where he shall be crowned with the perfection of peace for evermore; so it was with old Simeon Luke 2.29., Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seene thy salvation.

CHAP. 27.

The cause why the things of Christ and the Gospell are hid from mens eyes.

THus farre hath beene spoke of the former part of Christs speech to Jeru­salem; to wit, his patheticall and passionate wish or complaint: it remaines now to speake of the latter, namely, his positive as­sertion or affirmation in those words, But now are they hid from thine eyes, which I will but brief­ly, and in a word touch upon, because in sub­stance they are the same with the want of know­ledge, handled before. Jerusalem would not see the things that concerned her peace, when in the day of grace they were clearely set before her eyes, therefore now are they hid from her eyes. And so it is still with the men of the world, because they undervalue, and will not looke after the good things of Christ, therefore are they hid from them.Doct. The observation that I make from hence, is this, That the things of Christ and the Gospell, are hid from the men of the world: for the opening and enlarging of [Page 247] which point, consider with mee,

  • 1 How they are hid.
  • 2 By whom they are hid.
  • 3 Why they are hid.

1 The things of Christ and the Gospell are hid from the eyes of worldly men three wayes.

1 By their naturall blindnesse and ignorance; 1 Cor. 2.14. The naturall mā perceiveth not the things that are of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned; as hee that wants corporall eyes cannot see corporall things, because they are seene and discerned visibly and bodily; so he that wants spirituall eyes, hee cannot see spirituall things, such as are the things of Christ and the Gospell, because they are spiritually discerned; that is, by a spirituall eye, and by a spiritual light; for even as the Sunne, it cannot bee seene but by his owne light: If a man would set up a thousand Candles in a darke night, they could not shew unto him the body of the Sunne; so the things of Christ and the Gospell, which are spirituall things, they cannot be seene but by their owne light; and therefore so long as this light is absent, and wanting, they must needs be hid.

2 By a voluntary neglect, when men winke with their eyes, and will not see them, but lay them aside, and put them behind their backes, lest the seeing of them should give a checke to their pre­sent pleasures:Psal. 81.11. My people would not heare my voyce, Israel would none of mee; and therefore they are said to reject knowledge, because they refuse to looke upon the things of Christ and the Gospel, [Page 248] when they are sufficiently revealed, and discove­red unto themHos. 4.6.; they turne their eyes and thoughts upon other objects, that they may the more easily forget the things that concerne their peace; like a man that beholds his naturall face in a glasse, and when he hath considered himselfe, he go­eth his way, and immediately forgetteth what man­ner of one he was Iam. 1.23, 24.. If a man turne his eyes; and if he shut his eyes against the light, it must needs bee hid from him; even so, when a man turnes his eyes and thoughts for the things of Christ, and the Gospell, by a voluntary neglect, they must need be hid from him.

3 By the just judgement of God, who ordereth and disposeth of that which is first willingly ad­mitted in the nature of a sinne, that it shall be also much to their prejudice, and so lie upon them in the nature of a judgement Aug. praefat. in Psal. 51. Saul enim rex non ad permanen­dum electus est à Domino, sed secundum po­puli cor durū, & malum, datꝰ ad eorum cor­reptionem, non ad utilitatem, &c. Extorsit pop. à Deo habere regem, & datus est ei Saul, tanquam dati essent illi in manus suas: qui manibus et verbis accersie­runt mortem; in Saule enim figurata est ip­sa mors. or punishment: Iohn 9.39. I am come into this world to judgement, that they which see might be made blinde: The same thing it may bee both a sinne, and a punishment, yet so, as that it be first considered in the nature of a sinne volun­tarily admitted, and then as a sinne so ordered by God, that it hath the nature of a punishment in it. When Pharaoh said to Moses Exod. 10.28., Get thee from me, looke thou see my face no more, &c. it was his sinne, voluntarily admitted through his owne fault, but so ordered by God, that it was a judgement up­on him, and one of the greatest judgements that ever befell him, because he will have Moses to see his face no more, God will say Amen to it; hee shall [Page 249] have his will, but hee shall have it with a venge­ance. If Moses see his face no more, he shall have no more warning from God, till unavoidable de­struction takes him, as it findes him, and makes a full end of him: even so when men winke with their eyes, and will not see the things that concern their peace, it is their sin: but so ordered by God, that it hath, in it the nature of a judgement. If they will needs have them hid, they shall be hid; but hid to their everlasting preiudice.

2. By whom are they hid? why they are hid by more than one, there be three severall parties that have a hand in the businesse; they are hid by Sathan, by themselves, and by God.

1. They are hid by Sathan, the god of this world; it is he that takes away the seed of the Word, which was sowne in the heart: like the fowles of hea­ven, that pick up the seed that is not covered with earth, and fly away with itMat. 13.19.. If our Gospell be hid, it is hid to them that perish, in whom the god of this world hath blinded their eyes, &c 2 Cor. 4.3.. and this he doth by diverting the minde from these things, and turning the thoughts upon other matters, which are as dust, to blind the eyes of the soule, or as thick and foggy mists which hinder the sight. If a mans eyes be blinded with dust, he cannot see the things that are before him, but they are hid from him; or if a thick and foggie mist come between the eye and the object, that interposition doth hide the object from it, and hinder the sight of it; even so the god of this world, by interposing imper­tinent thoughts and objects betweene the things of [Page 250] Christ, and the eye of the minde, doth thereby hide the things of the Gospell from it.

Prov 28.13.2. They are hid by themselves: f he that hi­deth his sins shall not prosper. A mans sins are hid from God, and from his owne eyes, by a volun­tary act of his owne, when hee doth not confesse and acknowledge them: so a man hides the bles­sings of God, when hee will not see God in them, nor take notice from whom they are sent. Like the swine that gathers the fruit, but never lookes up to the tree from which it falls: and so men hide the judgements of God from their own eyes, when they will not take notice whose hand and rod, and scourge it is, and who hath appointed it. Like the dog that barkes, and bites, and snarls at the stone, but never lookes at the hand that threw it: even so the things of Christ and the Gospel, they are hid from mens eyes, by themselves, and their owne voluntary act, when they will not steepe their thoughts in the meditation of them. So it is said of the Priests of Israel, that they hid their eyes from the Lords Sabbaths Ezek. 22.16. because they did not thinke upon them, to observe them. And so it is said of the people of Israel, that they had eyes to see, and did not see; and eares to heare, and did not heare Ezek. 12.2.: to shew, that the things of Christ were hid From them, not because they wanted eyes, but because they were wanting to themselves, and would not make use of their eyes. It was their owne volun­tary act, that hid the things of the Gospell from them.

3. They are hid by God. Mat. 11.25. I thanke thee O Fa­ther, [Page 251] that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. This God doth as a just JudgeAug. epist. 105. ad Sixt. Obdu­rat Deus, non impertiendo malitiā, sed non impertiendo misericordiam, quibus autem non impertitur, nec digni sunt, nec merentu [...], at potius ut nō impertiatur, hoc digni sunt. Vid. Isid l. 2. sen. c. 5. Prosp li. sent. sent. 47. Aqui. 1. 2. q. 79. art. 3.; it is an act of his justice, and therefore presupposeth a voluntary fault of the creature going before, because (as it hath been shewed already) this hiding is first to be considered in the nature of a sinne voluntarily admitted, before it be considered, as a judgement or punishment justly inflicted. Now God hides the things of the Gospell two wayes:

1. Negatively, when hee doth not reveale them; when hee withholds from men the grace of illumination, which they refuse, and are un­willing to have: as Elisha said of the Shunamite,2 King. 4.27. Her soule is vexed within her, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me; where God is said to hide that which he doth not reveale, but con­ceales or keepes secret.

2. Positively, by giving men up to their owne desires: that is, as they desire to have the things of Christ and the Gospell hid from them, so God sets his seale unto it, that it shall be so, but little to their advantage that it is so.Rom. 1.28. As they regarded not to know God, so he gave them up to a reprobate mind, to doe those things that are not convenient.

3. Why are they hid? what is the reason of it?

1. They are hid by the blindnesse and natu­rall ignorance of men, because they depend wholly upon divine revelation, and therefore must have lyen hid in the closet of Gods owne brest for e­ver, unlesse he had been pleased to reveale them: as Christ said of Peters confession,Mat. 16.17 Flesh and [Page 252] blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven; and therefore the things of Christ are compared to a hidden treasure Mat. 13.44.: and in this respect amongst others, because all the wit of men and Angels could never have found them out, if God had not brought them to light by the Gospell.

2. They are hid by a voluntary neglect, because men have no desire to know them. They say unto God, depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy wayes Job 21.14.. They are willingly ignorant 2 Pet. 3.5.; they know them not, neither would they know them: they are ignorant of them, and so they would be: God is not unwilling to bring them to the know­ledge of these things, but they are unwilling to have it. Light is come into the world, but men love darknesse more than light, because their deeds are evill Iohn 3.19..

3. They are hid by the just judgement of God, because men deserve to have them hid: Ps. 81.11, 12. My people would not heare my voice, Israel would none of me: wherefore I gave them up to the hardnesse of their hearts. He that willingly admits a knowne thiefe into his house, he deserveth to be robbed: so he that winkes with his eyes, and will not see the things that concern his peace, when they are set before him, he deserves to have thē hid frō him.

Vse, to see the miserable estate of worldly men.And this may serve as a glasse, to shew and re­present to the men of this world, the face and image of their owne estate and condition; oh it must needs be worse than ill with them, whether they perceive it or no, when those things which [Page 253] are the onely things that can doe them good, are hid from them, and that by their owne consent, and according to their owne desireSalv. de provi. l. 4. Nos nobis accusan di sumꝰ: nam cū ea qui­bꝰ torqueamur admittimꝰ, ipsi tormentorum nostrorū sumus authores. Quid ergo de poena­rum acerbitate querimur? u­nusquisque no­strū se punit.. It is a miserable time with the sick patient, when that Physicke, which is the onely Physicke that can doe him good, is put out of the way, and hid from his sight, and that by his owne order and direction; and so it is here: so doth God deale with the men of the world, because they are unwilling to see the things that belong to their peace, therefore God hides them from their eyes: he can sort out a pu­nishment sutable to their iniquities, and make their sin legible, in the very letters of that iudgment that lies upon them. If they will needs wink with their eyes, they shall have their owne mind: God will not open their eyes by compulsion and con­straint. If they would have the things of Christ and the Gospell hid from them, they shall be hid; but woe be unto them when these things are hid from them Hieron. com. in Mat. 27.25. Per­severat usque in praesentē diem haec imprecatio super Iudaeos, & sanguis Do­mini non au­fertur ab [...]is. Lucas Frugen ib. Senserunt tan­dem ipsi et silii eorū, &c. mag­no suo mal [...], &c. dum à Ro­manis sunt fun­ditus eversi, et extirpati.. If our Gospell be hid (saith the Apostle) it is him to them that perish 2 Cor 4.3.: it is the black character of those that are marked out for destruction, and a sign that they are in a perishing condition, while the things of Christ and the Gospel are hid from them: for while a man lies under this judgement, it leaves him altogether without excuse, because it is not without his owne fault, not without his own desire to have it so; and it wholly disables him from making any use of those ordinances of God, that are appointed for his good, they can have no gracious influence into his soule, for the healing of it; so long as they are hid from his [Page 254] eyes, he can see no light of direction in them, re­ceive no benefit from them, find no help or fur­therance by them, suck no sweetnesse or comfort out of them, while they are hid from him; and which addes yet more to the fulnesse of his mise­ry, If they be now hid from his eyes in the day of grace, they shall never be revealed unto him after­ward for his good. If they be shewed unto him at the great day, and in the world to come, it shall be for the further increase of his misery; onely to let him see what happinesse hee might have had, and is now for ever deprived of: as God hath beene hid from him here in this life, so he shall be hid from him for ever: he shall never come to see his face, or behold the light of his countenance, or enjoy his comfortable presence, but have his everlasting habitation assigned unto him amongst those that are cursed from the presence of God for evermore. Oh then take heed whosoever thou art that hearest, what it is to have the things of Christ and the Gospell hid from thee: take heed I say of shutting thine eyes against the glori­ous light of the Gospel, lest God shut them once for all: for he shutteth, and no man openeth Rev. 3.7.. take heed of winking with thine eyes, when the glorious light of the Gospell shines forth unto them, lest God close them up, and set his seale upon it, and so hide the things of Christ and the Gospell from thee, that none can reveale them unto thee any more; but rather open thine eyes, and sleepe not in death: yea pray with the Kingly Prophet, that God would open them, that thou mayst see the wonderful things [Page 255] contained in his law: the things of Christ and the Gospell, they are such as would doe even an An­gell good to see them: yea the blessed Angels desire more and more to pry and looke into them 1 Pet. 1.12.: and Christ tells his Disciples, that the sight of them hath so much in it, as may well serve to make a man blessed.Luk. 10.23, 24. Blessed are the eyes that see the things that ye see: for I tell you, that many Pro­phets and Kings have desired to see those things that ye see, and have not seene them: so then it is not the least part of thy happinesse here in this life, that thou mayest see them, and it will be the con­summation of thy happinesse hereafter in heaven, to enjoy the perfect sight of them: for what else is that beatificall vision, wherein the height and top of a mans felicity doth consist, but the seeing of God, and the seeing of Christ, and the things of the Gospell, in their glory and perfection: therefore see them here, that thou mayest see them hereafter. See them now in the day of grace, that thou mayest see God for ever in the Kingdome of glory.

FINIS.

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