IONAH THE MESSENGER OF NINEVEHS Repentance. Set forth in his Calling, Rebellion, and Punishment.

By H. S.

LONDON, Printed by G. M. for G E. and are to be sold at the Grey-hound in Pauls Church-yard. 1637.

GOD sends the Prophet Ionah to proclaime
His wrath, against the proud Affirian Dame,
Arm'd him with thundring threats: the trembler sailes
Soone towards Tharsis, but the storme prevailes
And wrests the barke, whilest sleepy Ionah lies
Secure: the jarring Saylors doe advise
Who caus'd the tempest: 'twas for Ionahs sin,
They cast him o're: the seas grow calme agin;
(When we cast off our sins how soone our God
Will calme our waies and burne his angry rod)
The Whale receiv'd him (thus did God contrive)
Then spu'd the three-daies prisoner our alive,
[Page] (O Lord if by thy Spirit thou wilt dwell
With us, we shall be safe although in Hell)
Now to the great Metropolis he goes,
Proclaimes his message, vents the dismall woes
That should befall within twise twenty daies,
Yet all repent, and so the judgement staies
(True contrite prayers, and such hea'nly charmes
Are ropes so strong to tie th' Almighties armes)
Now peevish Ionah frets, and needs would die
As if God sent him for to vent a lie.
His pettish tricks are chek'd: and then the Lord
Convinceth him of folly by his Gourd.

THE CALLING OF IONAH.

IONAH 1. 1, 2.

The word of the Lord came unto Ionah the Sonne of Amittai, saying,

Arise, go to Nineveh that great City, and cry against it: for their wickednesse is come up before me.

I Shall not need to shew the authority of Prophets, but [Page 6] concerning their diffe­rences they were of three sorts. 1. Such as prayed for the people and received an answer, these were called Seers. Such was Samuel, 1 Sam. 10. 9. 2. Such as ex­pounded the Law, as Isaiah, Ieremy and the rest. 3. Such as were since Christs time, as Agabus, Acts 11. 28. Ionah was of the second sort.

I might well chuse this Story, for (besides the compendiousnesse and perspicuity) it best suites the state of this [Page 7] sinnefull age.

Ionah lived in the time of wicked Ieroboam the Sonne of Ioash, 2 King. 14. 24. Yet kept his in­tegrity.

His name Ionah, a Dove, teacheth Innocen­cy, and his Fathers name Amittai, truth, that truth should bee every Preachers Father.

This History con­taines, First, Gods great mercy.

1. To the Ninevites in sending a Prophet to convert them that they might be spared.

2. To Ionah in preser­ving [Page 8] him notwith­standing his disobedi­ence.

3. To the Mariners, in preserving them that they were then and for ever saved.

Secondly, Ionahs fall and rising againe.

In his fall observe

  • 1. His sinne.
  • 2. His punishment.
1. His sin, in
  • Flying from God Murmuring.
  • Iustifying him­selfe.
2. His Punish­ment
  • [Page 9]Manifold feares Casting into the Sea.
  • Swallowed of a Whale.
  • Reproofe and conviction.

In his rising consider,

  • 1. His Repentance.
  • 2. His Preservation.
  • 3. His Faithfull dis­charge of his duty.
The word of the Lord came, &c.

Ionah went not with­out a speciall call and Commission.Obs. None should goe before they [Page 10] are sent, they must have their warrant as Aaron had, Heb. 5. 4. None may ascend to Moses chaire that have not Moses rod and Moses spirit.

Came.

The Prophets had not alwaies the Word with them,Obs. as Nathan spake of himselfe, 2 Sam. 7. 1 Chron. 17. and Elishaes ignorance of the Shuna­mites griefe, 2 King. 4. and Dan. 2. 30.

Arise

God findes us all slee­ping, Obs. we had need bee [Page 11] wakened.Obs. They that call on others should first arise themselves, Luke 22. 30. Not like Taylors that deck others and goe bare them­selves, but they must say follow me.

Goe.

God would not have any people untaught,Obs. Psal. 19. 1, 2, 3. Rom. 1. 19. Therefore he sent Noah to the old world, Lot to Sodome, Moses to Israel, and here Ionah to Nine­veh.

To Nineveh.

They that greive the Spirit quench the Spirit.Obs;. The Word was in Sa­maria, they refusing it, it went to Nineveh. The Gospell was at Ephesus, it is now come to Eng­land and it may depart from England, 1 Cor. 10. 12. The Prophets thus departing from Samaria to Nineveh, was 1 To shake off the dust of his feet against them for their obstinacy. 2 To shew them that Gentiles were more righteous then they; for they re­pented [Page 13] at the voice of, 1 Prophet and 1 Ser­mon. 3 To prefigure their rejection and the Gentiles calling.

Great Citty.

Nineveh had 1500. towers and 120000. little children in it,Jonah 4. 1 as is noted in the end of this Story; but the greater the more ungodly. Mul­titude being oftentimes a meanes of seducing one another.

And cry against it.

Every Prophet is a Cryer,Obs. as the Lord bids [Page 14] Isaiah, Isa. 48. 1. Lift up his voice. They must be plaine and bold as if they sate in judgement. Iohn Baptist was not onely a voice but the voice of a Cryer, Luke 3. therefore Acts 2. the Holy Ghost came downe in fiery tongues, but this fire is now quenched and these tongues tied up, but men though they cannot speake, can see a benefice when it falls though it be an 100. miles off; and Pharaoh had more care of his sheepe, then they of soules.

If people were not [Page 15] deafe and dull of hea­ring Ministers need not cry, but are not yee com­manded to heare as well as we to cry. The Cock crowes when men are asleepe. Yea the Cocke crowes and Peter still de­nies his Master, Mat. 26. 70, 72, 74.

It is sinne and sinne onely that provokes God to cry against us. Our sinnes doe buffet God on every side as the Iewes did Christ, therefore hee will not leave till hee have by crying slaine either you or your sinnes. When [Page 16] God therefore cryes we should weepe, conside­ring wherefore he cries.

Reproofe is the ne­cessariest office yet most abhorred, as if he hated us that reproves us. Yet God saith, Lev. 19. 7. Thou shalt not hate thy brother but reprove him. So that to flatter any in sinne is a manifest signe of hatred, what love soever wee pretend, since it tends to the hurt of their soules and offence of God. Yea if a Prea­cher reproove sinne hee is thought to do it of ha­tred or some particular [Page 17] grudge, expecting hee should preach the Gos­pell, and bid him keepe his Text, as if no Text in Scripture did reprove sinne: but let him preach darke mysteries, odd conceits, or brainesicke dreames he is well come. Balaams asse never spake but once and then he re­prooved, then if Balaams asse reproved Balaam, how much more ought Balaam to reproove asses. But perswade your selves though we seeme angry, wee preach the Law to bring you to the Gospell, wee preach [Page 18] Iudgement that ye may finde Mercy, we preach Hell to bring you to Heaven.

Thus wee have heard Ionahs charge to cry, But what should he cry? The Papists say it was for their neglect of tradi­tions, which they gather out of the New Testa­ment, Ioh. 16. 12. Ioh. 21. 25. Acts 1. 3. 1 Tim. 6. 20. 2 Tim. 1. 13. & 22. But his charge is expressed, Chap. 3. 2. O that none would cry but what God had commanded.

But what did God command him to cry? [Page 19] even this, Yet forty daies and Nineveh shall bee de­stroyed, yea ancient Ni­neveh, faire Nineveh, proud Nineveh must bee destroyed.

No man sits so high but destruction sits a­bove him. Iustice would have come without cry­ing; but the mercifull God cryes to them, that they hearing his cry, might cry themselves and God hearing their cry againe tooke pitty on them. Isaiah was com­manded to cry. Isa. 40. 6, 7. And Iohn was com­manded in the spirit ofMat. 7 3. [Page 20] Eliah to cry; and Ionah was commanded to cry, and he cryed. And all Preachers are comman­ded to cry aloud and not to spare, and to be faith­full in their message, 1 Cor. 4. 4. and woe to them that love the plea­sures of sinne more then the glory of God.

For their wickednesse is come up.

Wee have heard the charge given, heavie newes. Now the cause is, Nineveh hath fol­lowed her lusts, satisfi­ed her desires, forgotten [Page 21] Gods lawes, let her therefore prepare for de­struction.

When God sends cryes unto a people it is a manifest signe their wickednesse is come up before him.Obs. And then if they will not repent while God continues crying amongst them, the Lord of Hosts will rise up in armes against them.

Nineveh was as full of sinne as people, prospe­rity, and security kissed each other, Nah. 2. 8.

Is come up.

Sinne mounts up on high and carries us up as the Tempter did Christ to the top of a pinacle to behold all the pleasures of the world at once:Obs. but a grievous thing it is to consider, what a man is doing while hee sinnes, and what sinne is doing at the barre of Gods just judgement, for no­thing can stay sinne once committed from ascen­ding up before the face of the Eternall God. An arrow is swift, the Sun is swifter, but sinne is [Page 23] swiftest of all, for in a moment it is committed on earth, comes before God and is condemned to hell. For though Nimrod could not climbe to Heaven, yet his sinnes flew up. When wee sinne wee are like the shell-fish which the Eagle carries into the ayre, lets fall upon the rockes, dasheth in pee­ces and so devours it. So the wrath of God throwes us low upon the rockes of shame and contempt and terror of conscience, and then the grave and hell that [Page 24] double death devoures us.

Is come before me.

By sinnes comming before God is meant Gods beholding and seeing it. Wee fast as before him, we pray as before him, and doe every good duty as be­fore him, because wee doe it freely not caring who lookes upon us, but we sinne as behind him, as loath to bee seene, and we suppose we sinne behind him, as if he saw us not, say­ing as Eliphaz accused [Page 25] Iob to have said Iob 2. 12, 13, 14. Is not God in the height of the heavens, and see the highnesse of the Starres how high they are, therefore how could God know it, &c. but then chiefly wee thinke

God beholds us not when men cannot see us, but be not deceived, God seeth not as man seeth. Man sees one­ly the outward act, but God seeth the secretest imaginations of the heart. Againe, Man seeth but one thing at once, and cannot see be­fore and behind him [Page 26] with one looke, but God seeth all things at all times: for when wee speake evill hee is all eares to heare us, when wee doe evill he is all eyes to see us. Ananias might have gained by his craft if God had not seene his heart, Acts 5. Gehezi might have profited by his lye, and gained a bribe for his labour if God had not seene his fetches and turned his bribe into a Leprosie, 2 King. 5. The man that bad his soule bee merry, might have in­joyed [Page 27] his pleasure many yeares had not God es­pied his security, Luke 12. Achan might have kept his gold had not God seene him. Achan would never have stol­len, nor Gehezi taken bribes had they thought God beheld them; will any steale the owner looking on, will any speake treason the King hearing it: Therefore marke but this part of my Sermon. Say when thy hand is at a sinne, I will not doe it be­cause the Lord sees me. And as hee is all eyes [Page 28] to see sinne, and all hands to punish it, so if wee repent, hee is all mercy to forgive it. Now therefore repent of thy sinne, hye thee fast to the throne of Grace, and try if thy repentance will not as powerfully cry for par­don, as thy sinnes did vehemently cry for pu­nishment. The Angell cryed not so loud Baby­lon is fallen, Revel. 18. 2. as the Spirit of truth shall assure thee thy sinnes are forgiven thee, Rom. 6. 14. Psal. 91. 10. 34. 10. 84. 11. Rom. 8. [Page 29] 28. Repent therefore and truly repent by fly­ing all sinne with the occasion and appearan­ces, and love the truth, and as much as is in you, have peace with all men, that the God of peace may give you peace in Christ. All this is grounded on this that God seeth what­soever we doe. So Rev. 2. 2-9-13. and 3-1-8. I know thy workes, is spo­ken to incourage the Sardians and Laod ceans to repentance knowing that God is a liberall re­warder of them that [Page 30] seeke him, Heb. 11. 6.

Is come before me.

Sinne once commit­ted comes presently be­fore God: but the car­nall hearted man like the faint Spies of Canaan, thinkes the way to Hea­ven hard and the jour­ney further then hee is able to goe all his life: but when you send Faith, Hope and Love, those messengers of truth and peace, they will tell you that your fashions, pride, love of the world and other sins must be put off, as unbe­seeming [Page 31] the fashion of that countrey, so that ere we come thither wee must leave them, like the shadow when we goe in­to the doore, wee must shake hands with them and bid them farrewell.

THE REBELLION OF IONAH.

VER. 3.‘But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish, from the presence of the Lord, and went downe to Joppa, and he found a ship going to Tarshish: So hee payed the fare thereof, and went downe into it, to goe with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.’

IT followes now to shew how Ionah dis­charged [Page 34] the charge gi­ven unto him. First, he neglected it, afterwards being chastised and so repenting he faithfully discharged it.

First, of his Rebellion.

First, Ionah was sent to Nineveh to preach a­gainst their ungodlinesse, to reclaime them that they might repent, & so the wrath of God be tur­ned away, how happy a message should this have beene that brought such blessed effects, but still one flie or other spoyles the boxe of ointment, Eccles. 10. 1. Satan stands [Page 35] up and sends him instead of Nineveh to Tarshish; meaning thereby,

First, to put him out of Gods favour, to bring upon him torment of conscience, decay of gifts and disreputation among the people.

Secondly, to harden the people in their sinnes and against Gods Pro­phets.

Thirdly, that the most populous and wealthy Citty in Assyria might be destroyed all dying unrepentant in their sins, that the very Angels in Heaven should mourne [Page 36] at it. So by urging the unkindnesse to his owne Nation and blood in leaving them to preach to strangers, as also the difficulty of doing good among such notorious sinners, and the danger of his owne person in bringing so unwellcome a message he getteth him to desist.

Thus Satan is ever crossing and tempting us when wee addresse our selves to the will of God. So was Moses, Ieremy, Ezekiel, Nehe­miah and Christ him­selfe tempted being a­bout [Page 37] most notable workes, Exod. 3. 11. 4. 10. Ier. 1. 6. Ezek. 3. 14. Neh. 2. 19. Luke 22. 31. And Christ tells Peter, Satan desired to win­now him, Mat. 4. 1. Luke 4. 2. 4. 13. 1 Pet. 5. 8. So even Peter, Iames and Iohn. Therefore never dreame of a truce with Satan, for hee is perpetually see­king whom hee may devoure, either temp­ting us by flattery or ter­rible threatning: for whatsoever wee doe comes either from the spirit of Satan, of God [Page 38] or our owne spirit. Now our owne spirit is occupied about the pleasures of this world. The Spirit of God is gentle and meeke, not forcing, not threatning, as Luke 19. 23. If any one will follow me, not you shall follow me. So Cant, 5. 2, 3. Open unto mee—Now Satan takes ano­ther course, if hee can­not allure to sinne hee threatens losse of plea­sure, friends, goods, and by his Imps torments and death. Christ saith if you will follow mee, but he saith I will make [Page 39] you follow me or you shall have fire and fag­got, so saith his eldest Sonne Antichrist. His order of tempting is first to make us doubt of the truth of Gods Word. Secondly, he falls to flat denying of it. Thirdly, hee comes in with his owne countermards and contrary assertions. Thus he saith advance your selves. God saith Love thy neighbour as thy selfe, Mat. 22. 39. hee saith, First, love little and out­wardly. Secondly, love none but thy selfe. Thirdly, hate thine ene­mies, [Page 40] envy thy betters, disdaine thine equalls, despise thine inferi­ors.

Now the meanes the divell tempts with are arguments drawne from mans owne wit and rea­son, and so Ionah argues here, if the Iewes will not heare me, it is in vaine to preach to these Gentiles. Thus flesh and blood stands stag­gering, misdoubting troubles when it should doe any good, but in sinne never considereth the following woe. Yet this I confesse was a sore [Page 41] temptation for Ionah to preach to a heathen peo­ple this doctrine, that there is but onely one true God to them who have served a thousand, Deut. 6. 4. as if a Prea­cher were commanded to goe to Rome gates and preach against Anti­christs jurisdiction, I feare hee would hardly doe it. Thus we regard rather to enter no great action for Gods glory and his Churches good, then to receive any op­position in our doings, Satan knowes from la­bour wee are easily [Page 42] brought to loyter, and from feare and paine to security and pleasure. Thus hee tempted our Saviour with the plea­sures of the world, All this will I give thee. This gaine, this ease, this profit shalt thou have to leave the society of godly men and serve mee, not being scrupu­lous to sweare for your gaine, to lie for your pleasure, to cozen for riches, and so bee free from the reproaches and contempt wherewith professors are overwhel­med, but be rich and live [Page 43] in ease and estima­tion.

Thus Ionah is temp­ted to sinne but not constrained, urged, but not compelled, the di­vell can intice mightily, but not inforce violent­ly. This is our comfot, our enemies power is in our Fathers hand, 1 Cor. 10. 11. Rom. 8. 35. Luke 22. 32. This may in­courage us to Resist the divell and hee shall flie from us, Iames 4. 7. God hath made no such pro­mise to the divell, that if hee tempt hee shall prevaile, what a shame [Page 44] is it then that Satan is bolder in tempting then we are in resisting. O that wee were as wise, as watchfull to withstand as Satan is diligent to assault. But doth Ionah now resist as manfully as Satan sets on him cun­ningly. Alas no, he as soone resolved as inti­ced, Gen. 1. It is said, God spake and it was done. Surely the divell but speakes and it is done, he is such an Orator as no man can denie him: for hee pretends to counsell as a most spe­ciall friend, as an holy [Page 45] Angell jealous of Gods honour, therefore hee made not onely Gehezi to take a bribe, 2 King. 5. 22. Demas to imbrace the world, 2 Tim. 4. 10. Iudas to betray his Ma­ster, Mat. 26. 48. and Caine to kill his brother, Gen. 4. 8. but Rebecca also to perswade Iacob and Iacob to be bold by ly­ing to seeke for the blessing, Gen. 27. 13. yea the Father of the faith­full to commit folly with Hagar, Gen. 16. 43. and here Ionah not to goe to Nineveh lest for­sooth God should not be [Page 46] true of his words.

We have seene Sa­tans malice and wily­nesse in tempting, wee have sufficient armour to resist him, Ephes. 6. 11. and promise to prevaile, Iames 5. 7. Therefore wee forget our enemy, neglect the promise, or take not the armour, or like not that arrow-bea­rer humility, submit your selves to God, and then resist the divell: but are ready, so foolish are we, to joyne with our enemy as Balaam, Num. 22. 8. But would you, however Satan tempts. [Page 47] not bee foyled, then consider how shamefull it is having such encou­ragements to fight, to shew our selves co­wards under our Cap­taine Christ, to yeeld to his enemy, how dange­rous to be under so cruell a tyrant, that takes plea­sure in our most bitter torments.

Object. But he comes often as a friend, as an Angell of light, how shall I descry him?

Answ. It is hard in­deed: but annoint thine eyes with eye-salve, Rev. 3. 18. thou must be filled [Page 48] with knowledge, Col. 1. 9. and watch and be sober, 1 Pet. 5. 8. and lastly, consider how thy spirit is moved: for the Spirit of God is soft and slow; but Satans is boisterous and stout; besides, con­sider if the thing temp­ted to, bee good or ill, for bee sure Gods Spi­rit prompts to no evill. Therefore get the Spi­rituall Sword, The Word of God (Ephes. 6. 17.) to dwell plenteously in us, Col. 3. 17. and cry still to God to open thine eyes, Psal. 119. 18.

But Ionah arose up to flie unto Tarshish.

Thus Ionah tempted repents not, but makes himselfe a run-away, leaves Nineveh still on the score. So Nineveh is still Nineveh, but Io­nah is not like Ionah, for the Prophet is flying, and sinne is crying, and so all falls to confusi­on.

Hee first flies to Tar­shish before he went to Nineveh. Sinne is borne first. Esau before Iacob, Gen. 15. 26, 27. Evill may be said to bee ancienter, [Page 50] resist sinne at the first, nip it in the head, that the uncleane spirit may say here is no abiding for me, let us goe into yonder herd of Swine, Mat. 8. 31.

Ionah was sent to Nine­veh, but he went toward Tarshish. And so it is al­waies with us, wee are ever doing that wee should not doe. For either wee doe nothing, or that which we are not commanded, or els otherwise then wee are commanded. Sometime most rebelliously wee doe that which wee [Page 51] know the Lord straitly forbiddeth. And as Io­nah tooke Tarshish for Nineveh, so we take the divell for an Angell, light for darkenesse, &c.

But no marvell though Ionah fled to Tarshish when hee should goe to Nineveh, for his vocati­on is rejected by the children of this world, and every where kickt against: so that if you would aske for a paine­full vocation, this is it; if for a thanklesse voca­tion, this is it; if for a contemptible vocation, [Page 52] this is it: for reproo­ving we are reprooved, blessing, wee are cursed: preaching peace wee make warre; proclai­ming liberty, wee are imprisoned; doe what we can, we are persecu­ted: and for our worke worthy of love, wee receive of most ha­tred: of few, yea very few, not any more then a cold affection. Hereof it hath come to passe, that Moses and Ieremy called, excused themselves; Ezekiel, ha­ving received his charge, went in bitternesse and [Page 53] indignation of his spi­rit, and seven daies neglected his charge as Ionah here doth his: and Moses, Eliah, and Iere­miah, at length com­plained; and (which to the best men is the grea­test griefe) it is as easy almost to wash a blacke­moore white, as to con­vert a sinner, because Sa­tan is ever crossing men doing Gods will, but specially hindring the course of right prea­ching. For the Lord was not so earnest to stop the way of Balaam, lest hee should commit [Page 54] wickednesse, as the di­vell is earnest to stop the way of every Ionah, lest hee fullfill righte­ousnes, that is, cry against Nineveh, longing and earnestly labouring to convert it.

But who would have thought that such a Prophet should flie from the Lord, yea and then when he should doe him most service? A feare­full example: therefore let him that standeth take heed lest hee fall: for the way is slippery wherein wee are to walke. When thou re­membrest [Page 55] the fall of the Prophet, then con­sider that thou art much weaker then a Prophet, and therefore the easier to bee encountred and overthrowne, and the likelier to have a most grievous fall, except the Lord doe mightily up­hold thee. Secondly, if thou see Ionah flie, Moses murmur, David fall to adultery, Salomon to idolatry, and Peter to forsweare his Master, then learne thou not to trust to thy owne strength, for it is weake­nesse, nor to thy owne [Page 56] wisedome, for it is sin­full; but seeke helpe and crave strength at the hand of Almighty God, who giveth in­differently to every one that asketh; which doth not bruise the broken reed, nor quench the smoking flax, but doth rather increase our zeale then diminish it.

And judge favoura­bly of such as fall, for though Ionah fled, yet he returned againe; and though David joyned murther with adultery, yet he repented.

And he found a ship go­ing to Tarshish.

As soone as hee set forward to flie from God, Satan seconds his temptation with oppor­tunity, hee findes a ship ready, hee fits Iudas with money and Ionah with a ship, if thou wilt flie from God, the divell will lend thee both spurres and a horse, yea a post-horse to carry thee hastily and swiftly to all ungodly lusts.

And he payed the fare.

This money was cast into the sea, many wast their money upon dice and unlawfull games, it were good for them if they had not a penny to loose, and so men care not what they pay for vanities and braveries, this also is cast into the sea, but they will give little or nothing to doe good withall, So Laza­rus can get nothing, and David can get no meate, shall I give my bread and wine to one I know not? saith churlish Naball. [Page 59] We can bee content to give and do any thing to win the world, but wee will give no­thing, nor doe nothing, whereby to win the kingdome of God.

Ionah is entred into the ship and sleepes, sleepes soundly, and being wakened con­fessed not his sinne un­till hee was forced to it by discovery of casting lots. Thus God sets out the stubbornenesse and disobedience of Ionah, in that this thing was not done upon a sudden, but upon deli­beration [Page 60] and continu­ance, he had space and ley sure enough to have repented, but did not. Ionah first liftned to Satans assaults, liked them, consented to o­bey them, put them in practise, fled to Ioppa, hyred the ship, hoysed up sayles and went to sleepe, to shew that sinne runs on wheeles and posts downe hill, and never stayes till it arrive even in Hell. So sinnes follow one another like linkes of a chaine, till the tempest of destruction breake it [Page 61] in sunder: but if Ionah had considered the all-seeing eye of Almigh­ty God, hee would have leaped out of the ship that carried him at once from God and from his duty, since the creature cannot hide it selfe from the Creator. All those that pitty Io­nah let them pitty them­selves, our sinnes are as many as his were, hee confessed freely and ful­ly, so let us; for this was written to admo­nish us that wee may stand where hee fell; and when wee fall to [Page 62] confesse freely and ful­ly to God alwaies, and to man also when wis­dome commands.

FINIS.

THE PVNISHMENT OF JONAH.

IONAH 1. 4, 5, 6.‘But the Lord sent out a great winde into the Sea, and there was a mighty tem­pest in the Sea, so that the ship was like to be broken, &c.

THe sinne being past the punish­ment followes. [Page 66] Wrath being ever the heavy companion of disobedience.

He saith not a winde arose, but the Lord sent a great winde, The winds obey GOD, though man will not obey him.

The Lord sent it. Then it was not by chance, or witchcraft, for the Mariners though Infi­dels, thought it to bee sent by some reven­ging power for some particular hainous fact and person, els why did they cast lots to find out him that had sinned, [Page 67] Psal. 10. 7-25. to 31.

The Lord sent it. So the Lord sendeth winds to bring ships to land in safety, and the same Lord sendeth winds to drowne and sinke other ships, therefore Iob ac­knowledgeth both, Iob 1. 21. if some had so much losse by tempest as Iob, they would sure­ly say with Iob, Blessed be the name of the Lord: but more (it is to bee feared) would say with Iobs wife, Curse God and die, Iob 2. 6.

And there was a tempest in the Sea.

God first spake gently to him, Arise Ionah, goe to Nineveh, then he would not goe: but now hee sends a strong tempest, to compell him to come in, that his head-strong sinne might have the foyle and God the vi­ctory.

He that sayles to Tar­shish would have as good winde as he that sayles to Nineveh; but hee that doth one thing for ano­ther, shall receive one [Page 69] thing for another, as Ahab hoped to goe up and prosper, but hee went up and perished. So the Spaniards thought to arrive in England, but their invincible power was soone destroyed.

And there was a great tempest in the Sea.

The ship went on roundly for a time, the Prophet sleeping, the Marriners sporting, their sayles flaunting, the wa­ters calming. So merri­ly sinne goes on before the tempest comes: but [Page 70] suddenly the tempest rushes upon them and tumbles them up and downe. Hee thought to flie from God, but now it appeares hee fled not from God but to him. Therefore Da­vid saith, If I take the morning wings and flie aloft, &c. Whitherso­ever a rebellious sinner doth run, the hand of God will meete him to crosse him, and hin­der his hoped for good successe.

What had hee offen­ded the winds and wa­ters that they bare him [Page 71] such enmity? Surely they tooke Gods part against Ionah. So though man at first had power over the creatures, yet when man sinnes God gives them strength to bridle him.

If Ionah had foreseene this tempest, hee durst not have beene so bold. Sinne hath no eyes, The foole saith it is faire weather, while he is going to the stockes.

We have heard the cause of this tempest, The effects follow.

First, in the ship, which was so faire and [Page 27] goodly as might have endured many voyages, yet one tempest shivers it in peeces, and all be­cause Ionah was in it. Such strife is alwaies be­twixt Gods wrath and mans disobedience.

Secondly, in the

Mar­riners
  • 1. They were a­fraid.
  • 2. They used meanes to ap­pease this tem­pest.
Then the Marriners were afraid,

Marriners are com­monly [Page 73] men void of feare, venterous and contemners of dangers, yet these nought-fearing fellowes, being perswa­ded this was no ordi­nary storme, but a re­venging tempest, doe quake like a young soul­dier that starts at the sound of a gun.

And cryed every man to his god and cast forth their wares into the Sea.

This one meanes to save themselves, shewes that the Heathen acknowledge there is a [Page 74] divine power governing the world: for they would not have prayed, but that they knew there was a God that could in extreamest danger de­liver them. This man may by the light of nature, and by the mul­titude and excellency of creatures discerne. The wicked learne it by the disappointment of their enterprises, and are compelled to kneele to that God by fained shewes of humiliation in hope of helpe, whom otherwise they would never acknowledge.

Every one unto his god.

Among the Gentiles every nation had a seve­rall god. Chamos of the Moabites, Baalzebub of the Eckronites, Diana of the Ephesians, 1 Sam. 5. 5. Acts 19. 35. and every one of us in our necessity have our seve­rall gods. Some runne to their coffers, others to their delights and wanton sports, suppo­sing no trouble so great that they will not cause them to forget it, others to their glorious attires [Page 76] and costly jewels, some to their dainty meates and soft beds. In sick­nesse wee cry come Physitian, in heavinesse come musicke, ever leaving the Creator which is all goodnesse and power, and flie to the creature which have neither. Thus they did well that they prayed, but they prayed not well, for they prayed to fained gods, while none could helpe but one, they cryed to many, thus stirred they the tempest more, like Papists, from one Saint to another, [Page 77] thinking if one Saint doe not helpe, another will.

They cryed.

But this cry is often without faith, and let not the wavering min­ded man thinke to re­ceive any good of the Lord, Iames 2. 7.

And they cast their wares into the Sea.

The Marriners are content to cast their wares into the Sea, in hope of some furthe­rance [Page 78] to save their lives thereby: for though many venture their lives for riches, yet they will rather part with all their riches, then with their lives. But the ship though it bee ligh­ter is not the safer; for it was sinne that procu­red the danger, which being cast away, would have saved all, but be­ing retained, the tem­pest is not abated. If I regard wickednesse in my heart, (saith David) Psal. 66. 18. the Lord will not heare mee. And Paul saith, 1 Cor. 13. 3. Though [Page 79] I cast my life into the fire, If I have no charity, if I retaine malice in my heart, it profiteth me no­thing. If I cast not a­way sinne, I cast away all. Some will give to the poore, and yet use extortion and usury to get money by: but God saith to such, that if they regard wickednesse in their hearts, it profi­teth nothing; though they part with all that they have, and bestow it upon never so good uses, they doe but as the Marriners did, cast all away their desire no­thing [Page 80] satisfied: though they thinke themselves beneficiall to the poore thereby, and hope for a reward, yet God will accept of them but as Hypocrites, hee will none of their oblations, he abhorreth their very prayers, Pro. 15. 8.

And they cast, &c.

Observe here, that oftentimes many are pu­nished for one mans sinne, as all the hoste of Israell were puni­shed for the sinne of Achan, and heere all [Page 81] the Marriners and ow­ners of ship or wares for Ionahs sinne, &c. to the end that men may learne thereby to ad­monish one another with love when they see them doe amisse, and not say with Caine, Am I the keeper of my brother? for hee that is not carefull to keepe his brother from sinne, is not carefull to keepe himselfe either from sinne or from sorrow, therefore let us take heed that a wicked one bee not found amongst us unadmonished.

[Page 82] Further we may note that extremity is Gods opportunity: for when the winde had almost overturned all, and the waters had almost drowned all, then, and not afore, was Gods opportunity to set sorth his glory.

First, they used pray­er unto the divine pow­ers for assistance: then they used such ordinary meanes as they knew best in such a time; which order is necessa­ry to bee used of all Christians in their ne­cessity. First, to seeke [Page 83] for aid and assistance from God, and then to use all such good meanes to helpe them­selves, as God shall en­able them too; trusting that of his goodnesse hee will blesse their en­deavours. God indeed is the last refuge, but hee is also the first re­fuge which is to bee sought unto: for hee will have us to acknow­ledge that man liveth not by bread onely, and an horse is but a vaine thing to save a man, and except the Lord keepe the Citty, the Watchman wa­keth [Page 84] but in vaine; no meanes can helpe with­out his blessing. But then, hee will not have us negligent in using of lawfull meanes: for he never or very seldome worketh without means, when the meanes may bee used. Danger then wee have seene made them to feare, but feare astonished them not, but gathered their wits together, for they used meanes with wis­dome to save them­selves. But when the Lord sends calamity upon many of the un­godly, [Page 85] they have so guilty a conscience, that whilest they feele the great hand of God, they are even distraught of their wits, and made as it were senselesse, that they know not what they doe: yea when trou­bles come, it makes them like a headlesse Bee, which buzzeth about shee knowes not whither, or like the Swallow, which by compulsion of the winde, flieth backward and forward till it fall into the Sea: or like Caine, whose head was [Page 86] fraught with feares, so that hee knew not whi­ther to goe, doubting to bee slaine of every one whom he saw. But whatsoever befalleth the childe of God, hee hath ever matter of consolation and some moderation of minde to beare it withall, ex­pecting a joyfull issue of all. Therefore bles­sed is hee that hath the Lord for his God.

But Ionah was gone downe into the sides of the ship, &c.

Ionah was fast asleepe when hee should bee better occupied, to note our drowsinesse in hea­ring, and our security in sinne, that though the very senselesse ship seemed by rowling and cracking to cry to Ionah, yet was not hee once moved, but like one sicke of a Lethargy, deafe to all wakenings.

Ionah signifies a Dove. Hee was like Noahs [Page 88] Dove, that out of the Arke could finde no rest; so Ionah could not sleepe being fled from God, but the Tempest will awake him.

And he was fast asleepe.

See how little Ionah is ashamed of his sinne. Though all smarted for it yet hee sleepes; neither winds blowing, waters roaring, ships reeling, nor Marriners crying could wake him. Thus wee sleepe more deadly then Ionah, wee looke not backe on our [Page 89] sinnes and examine our selves throughly, that wee might finde release of our miseries.

If Ionah a Prophet, and such a Prophet as was the figure of Christ, could not withstand this one temptation, what cause have we to watch against sinne, to pray that wee be not led in­to temptation.

In Ionahs sleeping ob­serve two things.

First, when we thinke our selves most at rest, then are wee in grea­test danger, as Ionah asleepe neere his ship­wracke. [Page 90] When Herod is vaunting then is hee stricken, Acts 12. 21. When Nebuchadnezzar is in his greatest pride then is hee turned out, Dan. 4. 27. When Bel­shazzar is banquetting, the hand writ his con­demnation, Dan. 5. 4. When the rich man saith unto his soule, thou hast enough, Luke 12. 19. then his soule is taken from him.

Secondly, note here the nature of sinne, while it is in doing, like a Harlot, shewes nothing but her bravery, [Page 91] Witnesse Adams fruit, Noahs wine, Davids adultery, till Gods judgements overtake them, as the whirle­winde suddenly, unre­sistably. So though sin bee sweet in the mouth it is bitter in the belly.

Then the ship-master came unto him, &c.

Here Ionah is taken napping, the Marriners may doe him more good then the tempest, whom sinne should wa­ken perill cannot.

Ionah is asleepe and [Page 92] the Marriners wake him, an Israelite wakened by an Infidell. Thus the Lord shames his ser­vants, as hee reproved Abraham by Abimelech, Gen. 20. 9. Balaam, by an Asse, Numb. 22. 28.

This story Ionah writes of himselfe, that wee might bee warned by him to suppresse all evill motions that they take not effect.

What meanest thou, O sleeper.

Ionah being thus war­ned did not snap at him [Page 93] that wakened him, nor yet basely sit still but ari­seth.

Many of you come to heare the Word, and here you fall asleepe, when you have most need to bee waking, but I am glad, I have now gotten a Text to waken you, for now I cannot reade my Text, but I must say, What meanest thou, O sleeper, Arise. If you marke not what is said unto you, you are asleepe, though your eyes bee open: but if you were as wise as Ionah, you [Page 94] would not sleepe here in the sight of all the people, but would ra­ther get you to sleepe in some corner, for Ionah went under the hatches to sleepe, and would not sleepe in the sight of the Marriners. If you were as wise as Ionah, you would thank him that wakened you, as no doubt Ionah did; Salomon saith, Pro. 28. 23. that hee which re­proveth, shall have more favour of a wise man, than hee which flatte­reth. The Lord Iesus saith, Woe be unto that [Page 95] servant, that when his Master commeth hee shall finde sleeping, Canst thou not watch one houre, saith hee to Peter? Can you not wake while I speake to you? You would all be found in the Church when the Lord com­meth, but you would not bee found sleeping in the Church. You are watched, and none of you can steale a nap and not bee espied, but when your eyes bee most shut, and see least, then most eyes bee up­on you. I marvell how [Page 96] you can sleepe having so many eyes upon you, so many cla­mours in your eares, and God himselfe speaking unto you. If you should see a traitor sleepe on the hurdle, or men sleepe with meate in their mouthes, would you not marvell? Yet even so doe you, while I de­nounce the great iudge­ments of God against you, and while I am feeding some of you, you fall asleepe, and so I preach in vaine. There is a Countrey whereof it is said, that it is night [Page 97] with them, when it is day with us. I thinke that Countrey is here, for how many are here which have lost their eyes and their eares since they came hither? If all of you, were as many of you are (I meane asleepe) the strangers that come hither to heare, would thinke that you were all dead, and that I preached your funerall Sermon, there­fore for shame leave your sleeping.

Arise and call upon thy God, if so bee hee will thinke upon us, &c.

This is another means which they use, Ionah being wakened, to appease the tempest, now that they see they cannot themselves allay the winds, nor asswage the waters, they desire, they exhort Ionah, to try what he can doe by cal­ling upon his God.

Arise call upon thy God, &c.

After that the Ship­master had wakened Io­nah, he bids him call up­on his God, as if he had said, Watch and pray: hee speakes like a Saint, yet hee is an Infidell; he said not, call upon gods: but call upon thy God. The ship-master, would not call upon his God: but (saith hee) call upon thy God, and it may bee hee will helpe us: if hee had said call up­on our god, when hee [Page 100] said, call upon thy God: and if he had said, Hee will helpe us, when hee said, if so bee hee will helpe us, then hee had shewed some sparke of faith. Because he wan­ted helpe and comfort, hee bids him arise, and because hee was feare­full, hee bids him pray. It may bee (saith he) he will thinke upon us, that wee perish not. As if he had said, Ionah, we know that thou hast a God as well as wee, and there­fore wee say, Call up­on thy God, for now every god is to betried, [Page 101] therefore if ever thou didst pray in thy life fall to it now. Thus Satan leades men a blinde way with zeale, in hope of some reliefe being in trouble. They called upon them for helpe, which were neither wil­ling to assist them, nor able to heare them, and when they perceived by wofull experience, that there was no kinde of succour to bee had that way, they flie to God, and then Satan labou­reth to undermine the confidence and expecta­tion of helpe, and to [Page 102] place in stead thereof doubtfullnesse and infi­delity. Thus Satan will bee sure to lose nothing by this bargaine any way. Ionah (say they) call upon thy God, for if hee cannot helpe us, wee are all undone and lost, for wee have called upon our gods, we have laboured hard to amend our state, wee have cast away our goods to ligh­ten the ship, but all in vaine, for wee are no whit the better, like the woman which had spent all her substance about Physicke, yet all [Page 103] could not helpe her till Christ came, Luke 8. 43. So the Papists while they are well, they pray unto every Saint and Angell for succour a­gainst the troublesome times, but in extremity, or at the point of death, none of them can helpe, so that then they are faine to flie unto God or be destitute, as like Idolaters, as one flie is like another: they are like the Heathen, which worship Iuno, Venus, Neptune, Pallas, Iupiter, and the rest: some hold on the one, and some on [Page 104] the other. Some say, if Ioon bee with mee, I care not for all the petty gods, because I hold him chiefe: so another saith, if Saint Gabriel bee with mee, I care not for the rest: and some raise great dispu­tations, whether this Saint or that Saint, this Angell or that Angell bee better: whether our Lady of Bullen, or our Lady of Rome be surest: whether Saint Iames of Callis, or Saint Iames of Compostella be strongest: and so like beggers which run from doore [Page 105] to doore, they runne from one Saint to ano­ther. If one god will not helpe, another will, thinke these, as though the gods were contrary one to another, and where the one bids, the other forbids. So some thought that Venus was a friend to the Trojanes, and Pallas was not their friend; as fooles thinke of Witches, one strikes, another heales.

Call upon thy God.

They bid him call up­on his God, before they knew him, but the faith­full would not worship a false god, though they may be helped by him. By the example of these Marriners, if they thought that their god was the true God (and why else did they wor­ship him:) wee may learne the substance of every temptation that doth undermine us, namely, that it will bid us doe this evill, that [Page 107] good may come of it: Marke whensoever thou art motioned to evill, if it doe not promise thee some goodnesse to come of it. But the servants of God ought not to doe that which is evill, though they were sure to gaine all things that can bee wished by so doing: for they have learned their lesson, and how to answer Satan at such times: Why temptest thou me Satan? for it is written, Thou must not doe evill that good may come of it, Rom. 3. 8. and this is the [Page 108] armour called Scriptum est, wherewith the Lord overcame the divell in the wildernesse.

Here also wee may see the difference be­tweene the faithfull and Infidels: for Call upon thy God, saith the ship­master and the rest.

The Marriners bid Ionah pray to his God in their behalfe: but Ionah saith not to the Marri­ners, pray to your gods in my behalfe. And this is also manifest, that a Papist will say unto a Protestant, and one that lives well, Pray for me: [Page 109] but a Protestant if he be any thing zealous, will not say unto a Papist, Pray thou for me: know­ing that when a Papist doth pray, hee doth it to Idols, Saints or Angels, or at least without faith, and therefore their pray­ers are abhominable in the sight of God, and therefore they will not bid them doe it because they will not doe evill, to the intent that good may come of it: where­by it is manifest, that our Religion is the true Reli­gion, our Adversaries themselves being judges. [Page 110] And so Pharaoh, said to Moses pray for me: but Moses said not to Pha­raoh, pray for me, Exod. 18. 27. &c. Saul said to Samuel, pray thou for me: but Samuel said not to Saul, pray thou for me, 1 Sam. 15. 25. therefore the Marriners had need of Ionah to pray for them: but Ionah had no need of ignorant Idola­ters to pray for him. And why should not all pray to Ionahs God, and Pha­raoh pray to Moses God, seeing God hath said, Call upon me in trouble and I will heare thee? Call [Page 111] upon thy God (say they) when they cried and saw no helpe, they di­strust their gods, they thought they would not helpe: indeed they could not: therefore they ran to another whom they knew not, hoping to bee helped by him, because they thought some god there was that could doe it. So the Papists run from one god to another, from S. Dominick to S. Fran­cis, and why should they run from S. Dominick to S. Francis, but that they mistrusted Dominick? [Page 112] they thinke hee will not heare them, and so they goe forward: but in the end the unknowne God is thought to be the best: yet the Lord taught not Peter one prayer, and Iohn another, but taught them all one prayer unto one onely God, and to wait still upon him, praying still, with assurance he will bee a helpe in due time.

If peradventure hee will thinke upon us that we perish not.

This if, perhaps, and [Page 113] peradventure, cost Adam Paradise, God said to Adam, If thou doest eate of this tree, thou shalt surely die. Then Evah reported these words, thus: least per­adventure we die. The Serpent seeing her in such a minde, so care­lesse or forgetfull of the commandement, hee came and quite changed the matter, and said; You shall not die. Thus sin creepes upon us, while doubtfullnesse remai­neth in us: so God saith, You shall be saved: the trembling flesh saith, [Page 114] peradventure I shall, &c. then commeth Satan, and hee saith, Thou shalt die: so that if you will aske what is the faith of sinners, or if you would have it defi­ned, it is this: peradven­ture yea, peradventure no: if you will aske me whereupon this faith is grounded: it is upon ifs and ands: this is the faith of the ungodly, to say, If so bee God will helpe us: for they can­not assure themselves of any helpe. But wee may not doubt of our God, and say, It may [Page 115] be, or, If peradventure: for we may freely pray to our God with confi­dence: and may say, our God, and the God of Ionah will surely helpe us, and hath helped us. But yet let us know that we have sinned like infi­dels, and doe deserve to bee punished like the Egyptians.

If so be he will, &c.

Thus it commeth in like a little leaven, which sowreth the whole lump of dow, and like the moth, which eateth the [Page 116] whole wedding gar­ment, and this same little theefe hath stolen away all the Papists faith: Therefore with them wickednesse lieth sicke in bed, and calleth to every one that com­meth by, Call upon God, and pray for me, if so be hee will looke upon us and helpe us: and so their hope when the tempest commeth, is either an easelesse horrour, or a comfort­lesse doubting.

If so he will thinke upon us.

Our God thought up­on us in the time of trou­ble: hee thought upon us, and laid the tempest when our enemies called upon their gods, Saints and Angels. But what doe we meane, beloved, when mercy is come to send for judgement? for though we be saved with Israel, we deserve to bee plagued with Pharaoh, because wee are not thankefull for this, namely that the Lord hath thought upon us in [Page 118] our distresse; for hee travelleth with mercie, and laboureth till he be delivered, he goeth laded like a Bee, but wants a hive. There are two hands, a hand to give, and a hand to receive: Gods hand to give, and mans hand to receive: the hand of God is a bountifull and a merci­full hand, a hand loden with liberality, full of gracious gifts: there­fore let us stretch forth the good hand to re­ceive it, thankefully to embrace it, cheerefully to entertaine it, and care­fully [Page 119] to keepe it, let us receive it by the hand of faith, the hand of love, and the hand of prayer, for who so commeth with his hand shal be fil­led, & who so commeth without it, shall go emp­ty away, because they have despised the waies of God: for when I in­structed them, they would not heare, and what I taught them they would not learne, saith the Lord, Pro. 1. 24, 25. Ionah wakened thus, and thus exhorted to call up­on his God, soone no doubt perceived his [Page 120] danger, and partly with the horrour of his sinne, partly for feare of the deserved, and thus threatned drowning and other punishments, with­out question was grie­vously vexed. For hee could not but see, that the very dumbe crea­tures were bent against him for his disobedi­ence: the winde blowes, as though it would over­turne all, the waters roare, as though they would drowne all, the ship tumbles, as though shee were weary of all, and albeit the Marriners [Page 121] had cryed, and cast out the wares, as though they would lose all, yet the tempest rageth still, their danger is greater than ever.

Wherefore now one might have said to Sa­tan, Satan thou perswa­dest him to flie from his defence for his safety, and madest him beleeve that he should come safe to Tarshish, and there live at liberty and ease, enjoying all temporall benefits at his pleasure, but now thou hast brought him into the prison of the ship, and it [Page 122] is tost thus by this tem­pest likely to destroy him, thou leavest him in the greatest danger, and rejoycest that Ionah qua­keth at the tempest, and hath his heart aking for feare of the danger thus threatned due to rebelli­on: yea, seekest also to drowne him, and that al­so in hell, howsoever thou pretendest a desire to preserve him from troubles, and procure him many pleasures, with much security: O most wretched and de­ceitfull lyer, he that tru­steth his enemie, and hee [Page 123] that beleeveth thee, shall ever be deceived. And now might Ionah say, Beware by me, for thus hath the tempter decei­ved me, he hath allured mee with flattering fan­tasies, and perswaded me, that it was but an easie thing to flie from the presence of the Lord, that seeth alwaies all things, and from whom no man, no nor secret lurking in any mans heart can be hid, but all are alwaies in his presence. Hee made mee beleeve that light could be brought out of [Page 124] darknesse, that good may come of evill: for hee assureth mee, that if I would set forth toward Tarshish, I should not onely shun the pre­sence of the Lord, but should live at ease like one unknowne, both for my vocation, and also for my behaviour in the execution thereof, and so I might creepe into a familiarity with these people, and enjoy the benefit of their society. Otherwise, if I went to Nineveh as the Lord commanded, they would hate and persecute me, [Page 125] yea, and so I should end my life in misery, both because they being Gen­tiles, and I a Jew, they cannot abide me, for the one holdeth the other in contempt: and also be­cause of my message, namely, a Prophecy of destruction, grounded upon a reproofe of their vile and sinfull pleasures. Which message, Satan perswaded me would be so hainously taken, that no death, nor torment, that they could devise for mee, would bee thought sufficient, and so I should bee sure ne­ver [Page 125] to escape their hands alive, if I went: as though the eternall and most glorious God, which sent me thither, were not able to defend me from all evill when I came thither, as well as he did Daniel in the Den of Ly­ons, and Christ in the wildernesse among the savage beasts. And when Satan had thus perswa­ded me I beleeved him and so tooke my journey to flie from the presence of the Lord, if I could have performed my intē ­tion. But the Lord hath beheld the stubborne­nesse [Page 127] and disobedience of my heart, and therfore followeth me with great displeasure: he hath sent out this tempest upon the sea, whereby we are like to be overwhelmed, and so neere as we are to the water, so neere wee are to death by all like­ly-hood.

THE PVNISHMENT OF JONAH.

JONAH 1. 7.‘Afterwards they said every one to his fellow, Come and let us cast lots, that wee may know for whose cause this evill is come upon us, So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Ionah.

NOw followeth another meanes which the Mar­riners use to ap­pease [Page 130] the tempest.

They cast lots.

But first, they consult and consent to cast lots. The tempest was so strong that they conclu­ded with themselves, it was the revenging pow­er of some angry God, for the sin of some noto­rious wretch that was amongst them.

Seeing therefore nei­ther they, nor Ionah pray­ing, had appeased the tempest, but it was rather increased, and no man confessed he was the sin­ner, [Page 131] they take counsell, and agree to find him out by lots, wherein let us observe; first, never a one of them is of Davids spirit, who when he saw the people plagued, said, Lord it is I: Every man excuseth himselfe: for every man would exte­nuate his own sin, and di­minish it, and every one thinketh his sinne salved, when hee hath excused himselfe. Let Adam be his owne judge, and he will say. The woman tempted him to sin: and let the woman be her owne judge, and she will [Page 132] say, Yonder Serpent per­swaded her to it. Let eve­ry one be his own judge, and there will be such posting off of sin, that ne­ver a one will be found guilty. There is none that will be so impudent, as to say he hath no sin at all, yet few that will free­ly confesse they have grievously sinned. Ther­fore these here say every man within himselfe, though he be a sinner, yet he is no great sinner. None are accounted sin­ners, unlesse they bee openly detected of some notable and hainous [Page 133] crime. If they be dicers, swearers, drunkards, brawlers, pickers, flatte­rers, prophaners of the Sabbath, sleepers at Church, and such like, they be not thought sin­ners: these actions are counted no sins, but ra­ther recreations. For the multitude count none sinners, unlesse they be theeves, traytors, open and grosse Idolaters, and taken with such like capi­tall crimes: no more these neither, were it not for feare of the law: as none among the Iewes, but Publicans, were counted [Page 134] sinners, all the rest were good fellowes, and just men.

The Papists say, some thoughts, affections, words, and outward acti­ons, not agreeing with the Law of God, are ea­sily washt away with a little holy-water, &c. they are not deadly, they deserve not the wrath of God, they are but veni­all. Did you ever read of these veniall sinnes in the Scripture? But thinke you they have nothing but Scripture? Yes they have Decrees, they have decretals, the Ceremo­nies [Page 135] whereof observed, these veniall sinnes are soone pardoned, & they have a Pope that can for­give any sins. Thus they lessen sinnes, thus they abate the price of sinnes, and they can buy out sins with money, or redeeme them with Masses, and by a little short pennance purchase a large and long pardon.

And as the Marriners, every man thought hee was no great sinner: so Ionah thought with him­selfe, Though I bee a great sinner, yet am I not so grievous a sinner as [Page 136] these Idolatrous hea­thens: or if he through­ly condemned himselfe, yet unwilling to bee knowne such a rebell, he thought it may be, it is most likely, they are ma­ny, I but one, peradven­ture therefore the lot will not fall upon me: like a theefe, which not­withstanding in his own heart hee acknowledge himselfe guilty of that wherewithall he is char­ged, yet will not con­fesse, untill the matter be throughly sifted, and so clearely proved to his owne face, in such sort, [Page 137] that he cannot for shame (though with shame hee confesse,) deny it. There­fore if God had not sif­ted out this sinner the better, Ionah would not have beene knowne the man, and the Mar­riners would still have contended who was the lesser sinner, therefore they consult to cast lots.

Let us cast lot.

They did not use to cast lots, this was no cu­stome among the Marri­ners: but the tempest was [Page 138] so wonderfull, that it made them seriously to thinke of God, and wil­ling to use the meanes prescribed by God for the ending of doubtfull matters, acknowledging that he ordereth all, and the lot is the sentence of God: by the falling of the lot, he revealeth the truth.

These like worldlings never confesse God, but when he commeth in a tempest: they will not see his mercy, untill his justice appeare: they will not acknowledge Gods governement, be­fore [Page 139] he bring on them some judgement, like Pharaohs Sorcerers, who confessed not Gods ma­jesty, while they lived at ease, but when the Lord plagued them, they cry­ed out, This is the finger of God.

Let us cast lots, that wee may know for whose cause this evill is come upon us.

Why? what are they the better when they know him? what would they doe with him on whom the lot should [Page 140] fall? Surely they suppo­sing, or rather cleerely seeing this tempest to be sent from some wrathfull power, and that for some one mans sinne amongst them, they determined having found him, to sa­crifice him unto the God that was so offended by him, God turneth evill unto good, but the divell turneth good unto evill. The Gentiles had a cu­stome in the time of the common plague, to sa­crifice one for the rest. This custome they took by imitation of the Iewes, in offering beasts, [Page 141] and of Abraham in offe­ring his sonne, the divell that father of lies and schoolemaster of all mis­chiefe teaching them. So the divell tooke advan­tage to doe evill by the service of God. In mo­ving the Gentiles to worke abomination by offering men, imitating the Iewes commanded sacrifices. But if they had rightly knowne the true God, they would have taken their sins by the throat, and have sa­crificed them.

Come, let us cast lots.

The Marriners were not so wise to prevent the tempest before it came, as they be diligent to allay the tempest when it may not be laid: we overtaken with Gods just judgements, are ve­ry carefull alwaies, to use all meanes to bee rid of them. But who keepeth a watch over his owne waies, and diligently la­boureth to keepe him­self free from that which necessarily draweth on it selfe Gods judgement? [Page 143] who purgeth himselfe of his sinnes, lest hee bee sicke? who letteth or fetcheth out his corrupt bloud of pride, lust, covetousnesse, lest hee before? who keepes a good diet, and maketh his choise of holy exer­cises, godly compani­ons, religious conferen­ces? &c. But know we, he is not safe that is sound, neither he sound that is intemperate.

So they cast lots.

Whether it be lawfull to cast lots, it is not evi­dent [Page 144] by this example, be­cause they were Gen­tiles, and therefore no president for us: but so farre may we use them, as the Word doth lead us, and no further.

There are two Goats brought to Aaron, Levit. 16. that hee might cast lots, to see which Goat should bee killed, and which should not, these Goats signifie Christ: for as he died he lived a­gaine, and as he was bu­ried, he rose againe. A­gaine the land of Canaan is parted by lots, Numb. 34. to see what part each [Page 145] Tribe should inhabite. Againe, that theefe Achan is found out by lots, Iosh. 7. first by his Tribe, then by his Family and lastly, by his particular per­son.

Againe it is said, that Saul was chosen King by lots, 1 Sam 10. and least any should have said, that it was his good lucke, his good lot or chance to bee King: therefore the Lord appointed that he should be annointed be­fore hee was chosen by lots.

[Page 146] Againe, Matthias is chosen by lots to the Apostleship in stead of Iudas, Acts 1. so that it is lawfull in some cau­ses to cast lots, so that they doe attribute no­thing unto them, and acknowledge that the lot is cast into the lap, but the disposition there­of is from the Lord, Pro. 16. 33. for they must not say that it is their chance, fortune, or good lucke: for so they make an Idoll of it, and rob God of the honour due unto him. For it was not Sauls [Page 147] fortune to be King, but Gods mercy: it was not Achans chance to be caught, but Gods judgement. Lots may bee used to prevent strife, when all other meanes have beene used, and sometimes before all other meanes, when in wisedome it is thought the best meanes. Brethren often and god­ly at first divided their inheritance by lots, as the Children of Israel divided the land of Ca­naan. Therefore in the Church of Geneva there is an order, that in [Page 148] the time of plague, there should be an house set a­part for the sick to lodge in, and least they should bee uncomforted, they chuse out a Mininister by lots to doe it.

So they cast lots.

Now we are come to put up our selves to the Court of Lawyers, to see if they will doe any thing for God, for con­science, or for love, viz. that they would end mens suits quickly, and let the poore Cli­ents have equity. Some [Page 149] say that Lawyers bee good untill they bee Counsellers, like Lions, which will be gentle un­till their tallons grow: bee not offended, but amend, for malice speakes not.

I am perswaded, that if the lots were cast to see who troubles the ship, it would fall upon the Lawyers: bee not offended but amend, for malice speakes not. A poore Client com­meth forth accusing one, and going home accuseth a hundred: for so many seeke to hinder [Page 150] him, so few seeke to fur­ther him, and so many seeke to hinder him, that all his gaine is but labour and losse.

For a small matter many will come to law, to strive for that, which with reason might easi­ly be attained without such contention, and others seeke to enrich themselves with con­tending for a small mat­ter with their neigh­bours, yet in the end lose that they sought, and that they had beside: and so they contend and strive about a thing [Page 151] commonly, till the Lawyer hath gained more by them, than the thing which is in contro­versie is worth. These are like the Mouse and the Frog, which strove so long about Marsh­ground, that at length the Kite came and took them both from it. Others will come up to law about a small mat­ter, and therein so in­tangle themselves, that they cannot rid their hands of it, untill it have almost undone them, like a silly sheepe that is hunting a flie, [Page 152] which runneth from bush to bush, and eve­ry bush catcheth a locke of him, so that the poore sheepe is threed­bare ere he hath done, and hath not a fleece left him to cover him­selfe withall. So hee runnes from Court to Court, to sue, to com­plaine, to plead, till he have spent his cloake, his coat: were it not better to have cast lots for the coat at first? For the Law is like a Butlers box, play still on till all come to the Candlesticke. There­fore [Page 153] it is lawfull, to end any controversie in a hard matter, to use this meanes.

Now whether it bee lawfull to cast dice, if lots may not bee used (as Salomons words, Prov. 18. 18. The lot causeth contention to cease, compared with Heb. 6. 16. prove) but in hard matters and waighty causes, when the thing is doubtfull, and all good meanes are tried before to avoid strife: that question is deci­ded, which none but voluptuous men make [Page 154] question of, namely, whether dice-play bee a meet exercise for a Christian soule. Salo­mon saith, the lot causeth contention to cease: ther­fore, lots are to end strife, but these lots make strife: for before thou takest the Dice, thou knowest thine owne, and no man stri­veth to take it from thee: but when thou castest the Dice, thou doest (as it were) aske whether thine owne be thine owne, and ma­kest a strife of no strife. Art thou not worthy [Page 155] to lose the gifts of God, which venturest to lose them when thou nee­dest not? Doest thou not deserve to forgoe thine owne, which art so greedy of anothers, that thou wouldest have his living for nothing, but for turning of a Die? Esau did not sell his birth-right so light­ly, but hee had some­what for it which re­freshed his hunger, but God hath given thee a living, and thou spen­dest it for nothing. The Marriners did cast lots to finde out the sinner: [Page 156] they did not cast Dice to see who should winne, as Dicers doe: for to whom the lot falls, hee taketh all, which deserves to lose all as well as the other, and hath no right unto it by any law: for God hath not allowed one man to take anothers goods for the tripping of a Die, but either they must bee merited, or they must be given, or they must be bought, or else it is unlawfull, ungodly, unconsciona­ble, to take them: Be­sides the brawles, the [Page 157] cosenages, the oathes annexed to this game, which would not agree with it, unlesse it had beene a meete compa­nion for them. Thou takest another mans goods for nothing, whereas God hath ap­pointed thee to get thy living, with the sweat of thy browes, for thou takest away that which others sweat for, and whereas thou shouldest live by working, thou seekest to live by play­ing, like as the Ape which lives by toying. Doth any Dicer thinke [Page 158] he doth well? Tell me what thinkest thou? for every sinner doth condemne in his prayer to God, that which he excuseth before men: if they which are Game­sters repent it, how can they which are Game­sters defend it? Thou shouldest doe nothing, but that thou wouldest have God finde thee do­ing if hee should come to judgement: wouldest thou have him take thee at dice? I am sure thou wouldest not have God see thee so vainely occu­pied: neither canst thou [Page 159] thinke, that Christ, or his Prophets, or Apo­stles, or Evangelists, were Dicers, for no such lots are named in the holy Scripture, and yet the Lords day is most prophaned with this exercise, Cards and Dice, as though they kept all their vanities to celebrate holy dayes, what hast thou to alledge for Dice, now evidence is given up against them? hast thou any patron to speake for them, but thy vaine pleasure and filthy covetousnesse, which are condemned [Page 160] already, and therefore have no voice by Law? Take away these, and take away Dice. The Patron condemnes the Clients, when one voyce condemnes ano­ther: if the exercise were lawfull, such Pa­trons as pleasure and covetousnesse would not speake for it. Take thy pleasure therefore in that which is good, and the Angels will rejoyce with thee: if this were good, God would pro­sper them better that use it: but neither win­ners nor loosers are [Page 161] gainers. I know not how, but there is not so much wonne as lost, as though the Divell did part stakes with them, and draw away with a blacke hand, when no man seeth, for the win­ner saith, he hath not wonne halfe so much as the looser hath lost. One would thinke that one of them should flow, when so many ebbe: there is never an ebbe without a flowing, never one loseth, but another winneth, but at Dice. What a cursed thing is this that turnes no man [Page 162] to good, which robs others, & beggars them­selves? The Schoole of deceit, the shop of oathes, and the field of vanities. Thou do­est not onely hazzard thy money (in this game) but venturest thy salvation, and castest Dice with the divell, who shall have thy soule. For every thing that commeth well to man, he giveth thankes, but for that which com­meth by Dice, hee is ashamed to give thankes; which sheweth, that in conscience that gaine is [Page 163] evill gotten, and that hee sought it without God. Can this bee good when worst men use it most? If it were good, the evill would like worse of it than the good: but the more a man savoureth of any goodnesse, the more he begins to abhorre it, and his Conscience doth ac­cuse him for it as for sinne. They which doubt whether GOD doe allow it, need but looke how hee doth prosper them that use it: but they trust not in God, (the termes of [Page 164] their occupation discrie) for they call all their casts, chances, as though they relyed not upon God, but upon chance. Therefore if Dice make strife with­out cause, if they take away others goods for nothing, if wee may not live by playing, but by labour, if they which have beene Di­cers, repent it among their sinnes, if the ho­ly men never used this recreation, but the worst most delight in it, if thou wouldest not have God see thee when thou [Page 165] playest at Dice, nor take thee at it when he comes to judgement, if nothing but pleasure and covetousnesse speake for them, if they doe not prosper which take pleasure in it, if they trust not upon God, but relie upon chance, if thou doest not onely venture thy money, but hazzard thy soule, then the best cast at Dice is, to cast them quite away.

And the lot fell upon Ionah.

The lot fell upon Ionah, not because hee was the greatest sinner of them all, (for so is the opinion of the com­mon people, to cen­sure them worst whom they see most afflicted: If any one bee seene to beare his crosse, then many will say, This is a wicked man, and so thinke well of them­selves, supposing that God is not bent against them to punish them as [Page 167] well,) but because Ionah should feele the hand of the Lord both punishing and preser­ving him, and be refor­med: for God corre­cteth all, as hee did his Sonne, to learne them obedience. But if judge­ment begin with the house of God, what shall become of the un­godly?

And the lot fell upon Ionah.

Now when the sin­ner that troubled the ship is taken, now Ionah [Page 168] can hide himselfe no longer. Now he might also feare to bee sacri­ficed by the Marriners presently. For the Mar­riners, partly for the paine they had endu­red, partly for the losse they had sustained, part­ly for the danger where­in they remained, were no doubt as the shee wolves robbed of their whelpes, out of mea­sure furious and fully bent to sacrifice him on whom the lot fell, to appease the wrathfull God. But God stayed, and restrained the rage [Page 169] of the Marriners, and made them afterward willing to abide the tempest a while, and put themselves to more paine to save him, en­devouring by rowing to recover land. For having heard of the true God, and though they lost their goods, having found who is all good, shall we (say they) de­stroy him that hath sa­ved us? Shall we give him up to death unne­cessarily, that hath brought us to life, and assured us to reigne with God in all glory everla­sting? [Page 170] Surely the thank­lesse are gracelesse: espe­cially they that love not, and shew not forth the labour of love for their gracious guide to God: but therefore wee may see that the hearts of men are in the hands of God, and he turneth them which way he list, hee fashioneth their hearts every one, yea even Kings hearts, as rivers of water doth he turne, to water and make fruitfull his vine: to pitty and to persecute, to honour and to shame, to love and hate his people: [Page 171] to deliver their power to the beast, Revel. 17. 13. And againe to eate the Whores flesh, and to burne her with fire, Revel. 17. 16, 17. There­fore let us never feare to performe our duties whatsoever, to whom­soever: for he formeth the hearts of all, who hath promised to ho­nour them that honour him but to make them contemptible that doe despise him. Neither let us put confidence in man, nor in Prin­ces, for their hearts are rivers of water of [Page 172] themselves, fleeting ea­sily as they be led fol­lowing: But especial­ly let us not forget chiefly to make pray­ers, supplications, in­tercessions, and to give thankes for all those, 1 Tim. 2. 1. on the god­linesse or prophanenesse of whose hearts, the flourishing or defa­cing of the Gospell of Christ Jesus, and the chosen of God doth most depend.

And the lot fell upon Ionah.

Now Ionah could not deny hee was that sinner, unlesse he would accuse God of unrigh­teous judgement: for the lot is cast into the Lap, but the whole dis­position thereof is of the Lord. Now therefore he must needs confesse it. The windes thun­dering, the waves tum­bling, the ship cracking, the Marriners quaking, upon their gods crying, their wares forth ca­sting, [Page 174] Ionahs prayers re­quested, to cast lots consulting, Ionah kept himselfe close, hee would not be thought that sinner. The winde said, I will overturne thee; the water said, I will drowne thee: the ship said, I cannot hold thee: the Marriners said, Wee cannot helpe thee: his prayers said, Wee cannot profit thee: his conscience within bleeding, and God at the doore of his heart knocking, and the lots now ready for casting, said threatningly, For [Page 175] thee the tempest is come, thou fugitive, and wee will discover thee.

Yet Ionah conceales his sinne, so much did hee abhorre the shame of men, of strange men, a few men, fraile men, or the feare of the fury of the flesh. Therfore af­ter the windes had roa­red, and also the waves raged, and the ship ree­led, and the Marri­ners cryed, and the lot, his conscience, and God himselfe threatned him, the lot also condemned him, and the feare of [Page 176] being sacrificed by sin­ners to Satan terrified him, so that hee forth­with repented through­ly, he declared it open­ly, and confessed his sin freely. Such a stirre hath God before hee can come by his owne: he must crosse us, and set himselfe and all his creatures against us, he must straine our bodies, or leave our soules, and constraine us to it, be­fore wee will returne from our wicked waies and throughly humble our selves to yeeld him due obedience, O the [Page 177] goodnesse of the great God? O long suffe­rance and bountifullnes unspeakeable, which not onely leadeth, but also in the chaines of love draweth us to true re­pentance.

It was Gods great goodnesse to Ionah, that the Marriners sacrificed him not: greater, that he truely repented: that God continueth in his calling, and blesseth his (whose flying from God, deserved flinging to Satan) not so much solemne Preaching, as sudden confession, and [Page 178] short denuntiation of vengeance, yea made it so powerfull, that it converted Idolatrous Heathens, most hard­ned Idolaters: first Mar­riners, then Ninevites.

For what a blessing felt Ionah, God vouch­safing him of this ho­nour, to offer them a lively, holy, and accep­table sacrifice to God, by whom hee presently before, greatly feared to have beene offered a dead, unholy, and so a delightfull sacrifice to Satan. This feare bani­shed, and that joy pos­sessing [Page 179] him, what a mer­cy of the Almighty did Ionah thinke it: But be­fore hee converted the Ninevites, he was more to be humbled, fuller to be strengthened, bet­ter every way to be pre­pared. Therefore God would have the sea to wash him, the Whale to fast him, and yet mi­raculously safe to pre­serve him, that being purified, he might pray fervently: and being delivered, finde power, comfort, and courage abundantly. Therefore when by lot being ta­ken, [Page 180] and by his owne confession found the man that procured the tempest, the Marriners in love and compassion of him, had assayed by rowing to get to land, but could not, the Sea raging more and more, and Ionah himselfe pro­fessed he knew the tem­pest was sent for his cause, and would bee layed, he being cast into the Sea. Ionah at length was cast out of the ship into the swelling surge of the tempestuous Sea. What hope of life then left? Is there any? to [Page 181] swallow up all, soone after hee is swallowed whole of a Whale. Here let us marke, that after the tempest had terrified Ionah, the Mar­riners reprooved him: when they had reproo­ved him, his conscience pricked him, when his conscience had pricked him, the con­sulting to cast lots grie­ved him: after griefe for consulting, their con­cluding to cast lots vex­ed him: vexed at the conclusion, the lot con­demnes him: the lot ha­ving condemned him, [Page 182] in what an agony think we was Ionah? partly, that he should bee held that notorious wretch that had brought this woe? partly, lest they in their raging griefe, for their great trouble of body, losse of goods, and danger of life, should forthwith kill him for a sacrifice, to appease the unknowne angry God? But after this agony, the terror of drowning followed, and after that the horror of that huge fish: first, lest it teare him in peeces, then lest it melt him, [Page 183] afterward, lest it poyson him: lastly, three daies and three nights the comfortlesse horror of darkenesse, and noy­some stinke in the fi­shes belly tormented him.

First then see, the windes could not further him, the waters could not beare him, the ship could not hold him, the Marriners could not helpe him: and being cast out, lest all for him be cast away, the Whale would not spare him, the stinch would ill feed him, the darknesse would [Page 184] lesse glad him, and light might not visit him. Now see then what Ionah got by his jour­ney, notwithstanding all the promises of which Satan assured him, and all the furtherances which the Serpent pro­cured him, hee lost his labour, lost his money, lost his joy, lost his cre­dit, lost his quiet, and saw no hope but to lose his life too, finding plen­tifully and bitterly fee­ling dreadfull feares. He trusted to the windes, the windes could not▪ save him: hee trusted to [Page 185] the ship, the ship could not keepe him: he tru­sted to the Marriners, the Marriners could not hold him: he trusted to the lot, the lot would not spare him: he tru­sted to the waters, the waters could not beare him, neither would the Whale forbeare him, neither did any thing make shew of likelihood to save him. There­fore wee may see in Ionah, what it profiteth a man to flie from God, forsaking his calling, and so practising the evill motions of Satan [Page 186] in stead of the knowne will of God. Assuredly, if we follow his flatte­ries as Ionah did, we shall have as hee had, accu­sing consciences, feare­full hearts, and the wrath of God upon our heads. For hee hath nothing to give us, although he promise and make us beleeve hee hath King­domes. Yes indeed, he hath horror of minde for all that obey him, and hell for the reward of his, which will make all their hearts ake which receive it.

See secondly in this [Page 187] punishment of Ionah, the justice of God. The Bee, when shee hath once stung, doth leese her sting, so that shee can sting no more: So doth not Gods justice punishing sinne: for it retaineth power, it hath store of stings to vexe still: when one judge­ment is executed, hee ever hath other enow ready, either of the same kinde in another degree more sharpe, or of ano­ther sort: for all the creatures with their se­verall powers, are Gods darts to strike us when [Page 188] hee commands. There­fore if we be sicke, sick­nesse is not dead with us: if we be poore, poverty endeth not: if we be in danger, danger is not therefore put downe for ever after: and if we be vexed, vexation hath not therefore lost his sting: his darts, his wea­pons also are as sharpe now as they were at the first, and sharper too, be­cause wee are sinfuller. For according to the sicknesse is the medicine, and wounds more dan­gerous, require more do­lourous plaisters.

[Page 189] And if thou be diso­bedient, then hee will lead thee through them all, untill he hath hum­bled thee, and made thee to glorifie him with obedience, or ut­terly destroyed thee.

Thirdly, let us not for­get, neither lightly think of this that God know­eth how to punish for sinne, yea most severe­ly to correct his chil­dren, though repenting. If our Prophet Ionah here may not keepe thee some good while in a due meditation of it, let that man after Gods [Page 190] owne heart, the sweet Prophet of Israel come to thy mind, and in him see, whether God cocke­reth his entirest friends, or something sharpely, if not bitterly, handleth them, setling themselves in their dregs, or secure­ly serving the Lord, 2 Sam. 18. 6. 10. 27. 2 Sam. 12. 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Chap. Psal. 30. & 75. Hos. 6. 4.

Lastly, yet consider God is rich in mercy, and full of compassion, loth to punish unlesse too farre provoked, con­tent to shake his rod [Page 191] over us, to make us feare onely, and keepe us free from feeling his stroaks, if that may have his due worke in us, that is, re­call, reforme, and con­firme us: for as the windes could not over­throw Ionah, nor the wa­ters drowne him: so nei­ther could the Whale consume, poyson or an­noy him, or ought but feare him, though it had swallowed him: for Ionah remembring God, God shewed hee forgot not Ionah. Therefore when and where Ionah thought verily and spee­dily [Page 192] to have perished, then and there God cau­sed him to bee three daies, and as many nights most safely pre­served. O power om­nipotent, O goodnesse all sufficient, in al things, at all times. God then as well knoweth to de­liver his out of all di­stresse in due time, as to reserve the wicked to the day of judgement to be punished. And in what danger shall wee despaire? In what ex­tremities ought not wee to hope in our most mighty Saviour, remem­bring [Page 193] JONAH in the Whales belly, Ionah 2. 10. Ieremy in the mire of the deepe dungeon, Ier. 38. 13. Daniel among the fierce Lyons, Dan. 6. 24. his three compa­nions in the hot burning Furnace, & 3. 26. nay, 600000. men of warre, and three times as many moe, men and women, young and old in the Wildernesse, lacking now drinke, then meate, Exod. 17. 6. and all these delivered out of all dan­ger, these last miracu­lously satisfied with drinke out of the rocke, [Page 194] and with meate abun­dantly from heaven, Ex. 2. 15. 3. 10.

Secondly, though Io­nah be cst into the trou­blous Sea, and swal­lowed of a huge Whale, yet hee must preach at Nineveh: though Mo­ses flie out of Egypt, yet he must be the leader of Gods people thence, Gen. 29. 20. Ioseph is in prison, but he must bee the Lord of Aegypt, and preserve the Church alive, Gen. 41. 40. 45. 78. Who would have thought that Saul should become Paul, Acts 9. 1, 2. [Page 195] or forswearing Peter a faithfull Preacher, Acts 4. 11, 12. Suspend then thy judgement and won­der at Gods workes, whether of mercy, or justice, and thinke not the worse of a man though he were cast out of the Sea, as Ionah, Ionah 2. 10. or basely brought up as Amos, Amos 6. 14. for the deliverer of Israel was brought out of the flagges, Exod. 2. 3. and the converter of Nineveh out of a Whale, Ionah 2. 10. and the salvation of the whole world out of a stall, Luke 2. 17.

And the lot fell upon Ionah.

The lot fell upon Ionah, that hee might be cast out of the ship, that as the ship was almost broken, but not altoge­ther: so Ionah might bee almost drowned, but not altogether: almost con­sumed, almost poyso­ned in the belly of the Whale, but not altoge­ther: and that being in the double deepe duely humbled, and as gold in a Furnace, fined and fit for Gods workes, hee [Page 197] might thence in a mira­culous manner come forth like Lazarus in his winding sheet, that hee might glorifie God once againe, and couragiously cry against Nineveh.

And the lot fell upon Ionah.

The lot fallen upon Ionah, the justice of God (both manifesting the truth incorruptly, and chastising his disobedi­ent servant severely) did appeare but with all sin­gular mercy shined, and the Marriners mindes [Page 198] were mollified, in that they sacrificed him not to Satan, but much more that he by that meanes truely repented. Inso­much that the old Idola­trous Marriners, present­ly by him were conver­ted, and he cast into the Sea, was not drowned, swallowed of the whale, and three daies continu­ing therein perished not, but miraculously was preserved, and most gra­ciously cast on land safe: and lastly, crying against Nineveh that sinnefull Cittie, had his Prea­ching so mightily pre­vailing, [Page 199] that he wonder­fully humbled them all. This mercy was marvel­lous, this goodnesse of God to Ionah most glo­rious: For the Ninevites hearing, Yet forty daies and Nineveh shall bee overthrowne, Ionah 3. 5. first as the Marriners had before done, beleeved the Word of GOD, though they never heard it before? If we heard the Word of God prea­ched as the Marriners and Ninevites did with trembling hearts, in the sense of Gods Majesty, it would not be but wee [Page 200] should feele the power of it lively, and filled with all joy in beleeving speedily, but uneffectuall and fruitlesse is Prea­ching, because there is nothing almost but un­reverent and senselesse hearing. And why should God teach the heedlesse to learne? Why should hee give pearles to dung-hill Cockes, nay, to very swine? But they belee­ved the Word assoone as they heard it, though they never heard it be­fore. What doth that argue? Surely it sheweth, [Page 201] that the foolish and sim­ple are more diligent and ready, both to heare and receive the Word of God, then those that are wise in their owne conceit, or also in the view of the world. What saith Christ? The poore receive the Gospell, Mat. 11. 5. What saith Paul? Not many rich, not many wise, 1 Cor. 1. 26. For though we have know­ledge, if our knowledge be like the Pharisees, Mat. 23. 13, 14, 25, 26, 27, 28. that is, in shew of since­rity onely, in counter­feit holinesse, and hol­low [Page 202] hearted friendship through hypocrisie, it had beene better for us that we had beene igno­rant, for it will but leave us the more inexcusable, it will be found insuffici­ent to save us, but suffici­ent the more fearefully to condemne us, because we know our Masters will and doe it not. Therefore as Peter said to Simon Magus, Thy money perish with thee, Acts 8. 20. So will the Lord say unto such, Thy knowledge perish with thee, seeing it is fruit­lesse.

[Page 203] But when Nineveh had beleeved God, what did they secondly? They speedily, they notably repented, they proclai­med a fast, they put on sack-cloth, they hum­bled themselves before the Lord, they earnestly besought him to turne away his wrath from this woefull Cittie. Ionah preached at Nineveh, crying against it, seemeth to have humbled them, and that without a mira­cle (without which scant any doctrine is of credit among the Gen­tiles) not onely within [Page 204] forty, but within foure daies, much within forty dayes, he converted Ni­neveh, ruffling Nineveh, old and Idolatrous Nine­veh, long before forty dayes be ended, the seed is sowne, growne, increa­sed mightily, and full ripe, in a soile in reason most barren. Sow there­fore, yee Seedsmen, where you are set. If ye sow cheerefully, ye shall reape plenteously in due time: Faint not: say not I have a stony, or a star­ved, or a thorny ground: Nineveh repents in sack­cloth.

[Page 205] In which willing submission of theirs, and speedy lively re­pentance at the words of the Prophet, (after hee had beene three daies and three nights in the Whales belly) the calling of the Gen­tiles by Christ, (after hee had beene three daies and three nights in the bowels of the Earth) might well bee signified. For they no lesse willingly than the Ninevites, submitted themselves to the Gos­pell preached no lesse speedily, and peradven­ture [Page 206] more truely repen­ted. For though they now thus wonderfully humbled themselves, not the fearefull multi­tude onely, but the ri­chest and greatest, the Nobles and King also, and so all escaped now: soone after they retur­ned to their vomit, and never ceased to adde sinne to sinne, till they were by open warres miserably weakned, and at length fulfilling the Prophecy of Nahum, (Nah. 3. 16.) utterly con­sumed. Therefore first, for the comfort of the [Page 207] godly, since Ahab hum­bled himselfe before the Lord, (1 King. 22. 26, 27, 29.) Ahab, I say, that had done exceeding ab­hominably, in following Idols, and sold himselfe to worke wickednesse in the sight of the Lord, submitted himselfe un­der the hand of God, fasting in sackecloth, though hee did all in hypocrisie: had not the evill threatned brought upon him in his daies: seeing Rehoboam (and the Princes of Israel who had forsaken the Lord) and the whole [Page 208] Tribe of Iudah, which wrought wickednesse in the sight of the Lord, and provoked him more with their sinnes than all that their Fathers had done humbling them­selves before the Lord, and confessing him just, had not the wrath of the Lord powred upon them, by Shishak King of Egypt were not de­stroyed, but shortly de­livered, yea also things prospered in Iudah, though the Lord had threatned to leave them in the hands of Shishack, albeit they truely repen­ted [Page 209] not: lastly, for as much as Nineveh that bloudy Citty full of lies and robbery, the beau­tifull harlot, with mul­titude of fornications, that Mistresse of Witch­crasts, which sold the people through her whoredomes, and the nations through her witch-craft, humbling themselves with fasting, and putting on of sack­cloth, the Lord repen­ted of the evill he had threatned them, and did it not: how assured may wee bee that whatsoever judgement the Lord [Page 210] threatneth us, and how­soever he threaten it, it shall not light on us, when wee unfainedly humble our selves in true fasting, turning from our evill waies, and from the heart vowing to serve God in all holi­nesse? For this is the cleare promise of the faithfull God; 2 Chron. 7. 13, 14. If I shut the Heaven that there bee no raine, or if I command the Grashopper to devoure the land, or if I send pe­stilence amongst my peo­ple, if my people, among whom my Name is called [Page 211] upon, doe humble them­selves, and pray and seeke my presence, and turne from their wicked waies: then will I heare in Hea­ven, and bee mercifull to their sinnes, and heale their land. Againe, as generally most plainely saith just Iehovah; Ier. 18. 7, 8. I will speake sud­denly against a Nation, or against a kingdome, say­ing, I will plucke it up, and root it out, and de­stroy it, but if this Nation against which I have pro­nounced this, turne from their wickednesse, I will repent of the plague that [Page 212] I thought to bring upō them. Let us then, O beloved of the Lord, whosoever love the Lord Iesus, be carefull to fulfill the condition, and then con­fident not doubting of the performance of the promise, by so much the more, by how much the fewer we be, and by how much the longer and clearer the Lord hath threatned most ter­rible judgements.

Now for the terror of the ungodly, as ma­ny of them as repent onely when Gods hand is upon them, and then [Page 213] humble themselves out­wardly onely, and that but onely when the fiercenesse of his wrath appeareth, or else after they have escaped the feared judgement, fall to their wonted wicked­nesse againe: let them bee sure the strong and just God, that consu­med Nineveh slidden backe, will overtake them also in wrath, and for ever turne them over to ceaselesse woe. For the greatnesse, the beauty, the strength, and riches of Nineveh, could not withstand the [Page 214] hand of God, or keepe it from destruction, but rather furthered and ha­stened it. For with the more excellent orna­ments that it was ador­ned by the Lord, the more hainous and grie­vous in his sight was the abuse of them. Therfore the hugenesse, or the strength of this, or any other Cittie can­not save it from the judgement of God, be­ing sinnefull in his sight.

Great Sodome is de­stroyed, Gen. 19. great Iericho is destroyed, Iosh. 6. [Page 215] great Nineveh is de­stroyed: great Ierusalem is destroyed, 1 King. 24. 25. and great Rome, (Rev. 18. 2.) the roome of all uncleane spirits, stayeth for her destru­ction, like a whore that stayeth for her punish­ment till shee bee deli­vered: and these were and shall bee punished for unthankfullnesse and contempt of the Word of God. Yet Nineveh, Iericho, Sodome, nor Rome, have had halfe the Prea­ching that we have had, yet we are unthankfull too, then what have [Page 216] wee to looke for? but when Sodome was bur­ned, Zoar stood safe, Gen. 19. 21. when Ieru­salem was destroyed, Bethlehem stood still, Ier. 41. 17. So the Lord doth alwaies provide for his people, though he make never so great a slaugh­ter and destruction a­mongst his enemies. For the Lord because of his covenant doth alwaies provide for his chosen, although they be but a remnant, like the glea­ning after harvest, or like a cluster of Grapes on the top of the vine [Page 217] after the vintage, and though there be never so great calamity or ttouble, as wee see in the Booke of Gen. 45. Chap. when there was a great time of dearth and scarcity to come up­on the land where Iacob was, the Lord had sent Ioseph to provide for his Father Iacob, lest hee should want bread, hee or any of his sonnes and folkes, and so or­dered the matter, that Ioseph was Treasurer over all the Corne in Aegypt. And so among the Turkes, and Spaniards, [Page 218] and Infidels, the Lord will finde meanes to do them good, which un­fainedly love him, and in the dungeon, in pri­son, and in bonds, yea, and in death, the god­ly shall finde GOD.

FINIS.

Morning Prayer.

O Eternall God, and mercifull Father, which art the light that no man can attaine unto, and yet by thy mar­vailous lightnesse, dri­vest away the darknesse of the night, and shad­dow of death, and by thy grace enlightnest all those, that being in dark­nesse come unto thee: I thy unworthy servant, [Page] doe blesse and praise thy most holy Name, for all the mercies and graci­ous benefits, that from time to time I have recei­ved from thee; and most humbly thanke thee, that thou hast vouchsafed me this favour, to passe this night in so quiet and comfortable rest, and hast brought me againe to see and enjoy the light of the Morning. And now, I beseech thee, O Lord, of thy in­finite goodnesse and mercy, by the merits of my blessed Saviour, that thy mercifull compassi­on [Page] may this day be ex­tended to me, that be­ing enlightened with thy grace, I may not be car­ried away by the power of darkenesse, to spend this day after the lust and pleasures of my owne corrupt mind; but that I may with all care and conscience, follow thy Fatherly will, which thou hast revealed unto me in thy holy Word. Increase in me (O Lord) all spirituall gifts and graces, and beat downe in mee all carnall and corrupt affections: en­able me by thy blessed [Page] Spirit, in some measure, both to withstand that which is evill, and to performe what is good and pleasing unto thee; and that neither by my owne negligence, nor the power of any temp­tation, which either the World, the Flesh, or the Divell shall present unto mee, I bee driven away from a true faith, but may lay hold of those gracious promises, that thou hast made unto mee in Jesus Christ my Saviour. Disperse (O Lord) the thicke mists and clouds of my sinnes, [Page] which corrupt my soule, and darken my under­standing, and wash them away (I most humbly beseech thee) in the precious bloud of thy Sonnes Passion, that so I may be acknowledged for one of thine Elect, when I shall appeare before thy Iudgement seate. Give mee a will carefully to follow my vocation, and let thy blessing bee upon me in the same: blesse me in my body, in my soule, and in whatsoever be­longs unto mee: lighten my minde, and inflame [Page] my heart with a love of those things that are good; and as my body (by thy power) is risen from sleepe, so my soule may daily be raised from the slumber of sinne, and the darknesse of this world, and so both to­gether may enjoy that everlasting light which thou hast provided for thy Saints, and purcha­sed with the bloud of thy deare Sonne our Sa­viour Iesus Christ: to whom with thee, O Fa­ther, and the blessed Spi­rit, be all honour and glo­ry for evermore, Amen.

Evening Prayer.

O Almighty and ever­lasting God, the Father of mercy, and God of all consolation, that by thy mercifull Providence, defendest all those that walke be­fore thee, and put their trust in thee: I poore and miserable sinner (unworthy of the least of thy favours) doe yet presume (in the name and mediation of Iesus Christ) to present my selfe before thee, and to offer up this [Page] poore sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving unto thee, that thou hast nou­rished and preserved me by thy power, and hast guided and governed me by thy Word and Spi­rit: and (as for all other thy blessings) so for that mercy that hath this day accompanied me, whereby I have both beene preserved from many sinnes, that the wickednesse of my nature was inclined un­to, and also delivered from many punishments, that the sinnes that I have committed have [Page] deserved: I most hum­bly beseech thee, in the merits of Christ Iesus, to pardon and forgive mee all my sinnes, which eith [...] in thought, word, or deed, I have this day, or any time heretofore committed against thee; whether they be the sins of my youth, or of my age, the sinnes of omission or commissi­on, whether wittingly or ignorantly commit­ted: good Lord, pardon them unto me, and let them not cause thee this night (as justly thou maist doe) to take ven­geance [Page] of me, but bee mercifull unto mee, O Lord, in forgiving the evill I have committed, in supplying the good that I have omitted, in restoring mee to that which I have lost, in hea­ling my sores, in light­ning my blindnesse, in clensing my filthinesse, and in altering the whole course of my corrupt minde, that I may bee delivered from that which is evill, and ena­bled to performe that which is agreeable to thy blessed Will and Word. And Lord, as [Page] thou hast this day pre­served and kept mee in safety, so I most hum­bly beseech thee to pro­tect mee this night from all danger, both bodily and ghostly, and to give mee such quiet and comfortable rest, as may enable mee to walke on in that vocation, wherein thou hast placed me, and that I may both bee de­livered from the darke­nesse of this present night, and may also es­cape that everlasting darkenesse, which thou hast provided for those, that without Repentance [Page] continue in their sinnes: from which, good Lord, deliver me, and all those that belong unto thee; and that for the merits of the death and passion of my blessed Saviour Iesus Christ: in whose Name I continue my prayers for my selfe, and thy whole Church, say­ing, as he hath taught us. Our Father. &c.

O Lord, prepare our hearts to Prayer.

O Lord God our hea­venly Father, wee thy poore and wretched creatures, give thee most humble and hear­ty thankes for our quiet and safe sleepe, and for raising us up from the same. We beseech thee, for Jesus Christs sake, to prosper us this day in our labour and travell, that it may be to the dischar­ging of our duty in our vocations, principally to thy glory; next, to [Page] the profit of this Church and Common-weale; and last of all, to the benefit and content of our Masters. Grant, deare Father, that wee may cheerefully and conscionably doe our businesse and labours, not as men-pleasers, but as serving thee our God, knowing thee to bee the chiefe Master of us, and that thou seest and beholdest us with thy Fatherly eyes, who hast promised re­ward to them that faith­fully and truely walke in their vocation, and [Page] threatned everlasting death and damnation to them, that deceit­fully and wickedly doe their workes and la­bours. Wee beseech thee, O heavenly Fa­ther, to give us the strength of thy Spirit, that godly and gladly wee may overcome our labours, and that the tediousnesse of that irkesome labour, which thou for our sinnes hast powred upon all man­kinde, may seeme to us more delectable and sweet. Fulfill now, O Lord, these our requests, [Page] for thy Sonne our Sa­viours sake, in whose Name wee pray, as he himselfe hath taught us.

Our Father which art in Heaven, &c.
FINIS.

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