A SERMON PREACHED At Kethering Lecture by Master ROBERT BOLTON, Bache­lour of Divinity, and sometimes Fellow of Brasen-nose Colledge in Oxford.

Published by I. S.

LONDON. Printed by GEORGE MILLER dwelling in the Blacke-Fryers, MDCXL.

To the Reader.

AS nothing in the world makes a man so Act. 17. 11. truely noble as Religion: So nothing to the world makes a man more Acts 28. 22. John 15 19. Wisdom 2. 18 liable to opposition and dis grace. And our mighty God that governes in wisdome, and ever hath an 1 Peter 5. 7 e­speciall care of his people, suffers that so to be for some such ends as these. 1 That the Hosea 5. 13 1 Peter 4. 13 graces of Gods Children may shine, the rust being scoured off. 2 That their incense offrings in their severall duties being broken and beaten Genesis 8. 20 may smell the more. 3 That their obedience may be discerned by the purblind world not to be mercinary, but from some in ward principle un­knowne to nature, &c. Now for the poore persecuted Saints to follow this way of Godsg 1 Cor. 4. 12 providence 1 Chro. 29. 17 kindly to obey with a willing yeel­ding [...] [Page] rather then to be angry at them. Acts 28. 26They see onely with a naturall eye: If a man looke upon GODS wayes onely with the eye of Reason they are foolishnesse to him; and sure if a man looke upon GODS Word and Workes through the false glasse of world­ly wisedome, he cannot but imagine the thing promised in the one and in agitation in the other impossible so to be effected as promised for his childrens good. If a man had only so looked2 Kings 20 11 upon the Exodus 14. 22 Sunne standing still in Heze­kiahs time, or upon the Iudges 5. 20 Sea when the bottome became drie, and the waters stood as walls on each side; or upon the Exodus 13. 21 Starres that fought in their courses against Sisera: Or u [...]on the Daniel 3 22, 23, 27. fiery Pillar which was sent to the Israelites, would they have thought these should bee a meanes to preserve GODS chil­dren and destroy the Enemies. LittleHeb. 11. 31 did Nebuchadnezar the va [...]iant men of his ar­my thinke when they bound the three children in their clothes to cast them into the hot fiery fornace that the same fire thus prepared should burne and destroy them, and burne only the bonds to set free the poore persecuted Saints not [Page] once to hurt either body or garment, but to be a means to bring them to greater honour amongst their Persecutors. O the infinite wisedome of our good GOD that can put such understanding into sencelesse creatures thus to distinguish be­tweene the precious and the vile, him that ser­veth GOD and him that serveth him not more clearely then the Divell and naturall men can discerne: Now therfore to cleare the Eye of Faith which onely Acts 16. 23 discernes such things and to helpe thee to get support against any such Faintings or the least grumbling at such a providence, which is unbeseeming a Paul (though in Prison with sore sides) for Religion.

1. Se [...] Prayer a worke, which workes won­ders in Heaven and earth, because that sets GOD a worke for us that is the hearer of Prayers and that he [...]ps his servants out of severall Persecu­tions and Afflictions when they pray by wor­king Iohn 6. 26 wonders for them rather then they shall rest subject to continuail pressures of wicked men.

2. Set Faith a worke, a hard duty I confesse, it being easier to obey then beleeve aright. Faith being the Deut. 26. 6, 7 worke of GOD, Obedience [Page] without Faith being the work of man. There­fore let me intreat of thee to use the meanes that GOD affords, either to helpe thee out or comfort thee in affliction, as if thou hadst no promise: And yet so beleeve and depend u [...]on the promise for thy being helped out or upheld in the affliction, as if thou hadst no means at all to look after, that GOD may have all the honour from thee, and then certainly He that gives a being to his promises and a blessing to the means will prosper thee in the use of them: which of his Mercy he grant to us all for the LORD CHRISTS sake,


A CORDIALL FOR CHRISTIANS IN the time of Affliction▪


Rejoyce not against mee, O mine enemy: when I fall, yet shall Irise againe; when I sit in darkenesse, the LORD will be alight unto mee.

I will beare the indignation of the LORD: because I have sinned against him, untill Hee plead my cause, and execute judgement for mee, hee will bring mee forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousnesse.

IN the former part of this Chapter, the Prophet in the Person of the Church complaines of the paucity of GODS people, of the fewnesse of those that truly feare GOD, First, by way of resemblance, comparing them to the ga­therings [Page 2] of Summer, and the grape-gleanings of the Vintage, vers. 1. Secondly plainely, by saying the good man is perished out of the earth, and there is none upright amongst men, they all lye in wait for blood, they hunt every one his Brother with a net, v. 2.

Secondly, he complaines of the plurality of the wicked, of the horrible and universall cor­ruption of the times. First plainly, That they may doe evill with both hands earnestly, the Prince asketh, and the Judge asketh for a reward, and the great man uttereth his mischievous de­sire, so they wrap it up, v. 3. Secondly, in a bor­rowed speech, resembling the best to a bryar, to a thorny hedge-v. 4.

In the miserable estate of all things, it is the counsell of the HOLY GHOST not to trust in man, or to rely upon the arme of flesh, v. 5, 6. For the dearest, neerest, greatest, &c. will de­ceive and faile, and proove as broken staves of reede, Psal, 62. 9. The children of men are vanity, the chiefe men are lyars: to lay them upon a ballance, they are altogether lighter then vanity. But it is the LORD that doth great things, and therefore in him onely rejoyce, Psal. 126. 3. Also Ier. 17. 5. Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arme, and withdraweth his heart from the LORD. For why, Isa. 40. 15, 17. Behold the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the dust of the ballance, behold he taketh away the Isles as a little dust, V. 17. All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him lesse then [Page 3] nothing, and vanity; Thus doth the Prophet wish man not to trust in man, but in the LORD. And after this dehortation from trusting in man, the Prophet in the person of the Church, doth professe that he will looke unto, and rely upon the LORD, v. 7. which blessed confidence, and safe repose upon the all-sufficient God, doth beget this glorious triumph over the insolency and insultation of their enemies in the time of their depression and disgrace, v. 8. And this excellent exercise of their faith, doth repell and conquer very sore and sharpe temptations, which are wont to set upon the servants of GOD in their sufferings under the pressures and op­pressions of the wicked, the cruell mockings and scornefull insultations of the enemies to their goodnesse: Which is bitterer (saith Cal­vin) then the suffering it selfe; Ne (que) tantum est acerbitatis in ipso malo, quantum in ludibrijs im­proborum, ubi nobis petulanter insultant, derident fidem nostram & ingenuis naturis semper est durior contumelia, quam ipsa mors.

Immediately upon the Churches profession of her trusting the LORD; she bids her enemies not rejoyce against her, v. 8. and backs it with mighty and invincible reasons, which proves they have no reason for it.

When I fall I shall arise:]

If I were downe without hope or possibility of recovery it were something on their side, but [Page 4] as sure as my GOD is alsufficient, my head CHRIST above water, the Angels my guard, all the creatures my friends; Sunne, Moone and the Stars for me, the prayers of all that blessed communion of my fellow Saints presse continually for me unto the throne of grace, all the promises in GODS Booke are in CHRIST Yea and Amen, &c. So certainely shall Jup againe, sooner or later gloriously for ever. Iob was as deepely sunck into a comfort­lesse pit of outward affliction as ever any was, yet the arme of his GOD helpt him out againe. We know what end the LORD made, Iam. 5. 11. David was fearefully plunged into a dungeon of extreame horror, Psal. 77. Yet the right hand of the most high changed all this. So was Mistris [...] M. Peacocke and many moe so downe and so delivered. And it must needs be so, for the Almighty hand of GOD is under him, Psal. 37. 24. though hee fall hee shall not be cast of, for the LORD putteth under his hand. Now must not he needs up againe whom an omnipotent hand supports and upholds? What man or divell, or world of creatures can keepe him downe, whom the LORD of Hea­ven and Earth will raise, either let the malice of the wicked manacle the Almighty arme of GOD, which is more then utterly and infinitely unpossible, or as sure as that highest Majesty is in Heaven, every faithfull servant of JESUS CHRIST shall rise againe out of the most des­perate distresse, at the utmost, at that great day, which will be most illustrious, when their clearing and exaltation will be in the presence [Page 5] of all the Angells in Heaven, and all the sonnes and daughters of Adam that ever were in the face of Heaven and Earth: Is it not therefore strange that any wicked man should insult at their fall, that thus certainly shall rise; but the wic­ked themselves shall stagger and fall and rise no more, for they want this onely helping hand to recover them.

When I sit in darkenesse the LORD shall bee
a light unto me.]

Nay in the meane time in the darkest midnight of distresse, the LORD will blessedly shine in­to my heart with the beams of his favour, sence of his love & presence of his Spirit; yea many times more gloriously, specially and comfortably, then in the dayes of my peace, prosperity and rest. For besides particular promises for that purpose, observe, Isa. 43. 2. When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, through the floods that they doe not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the very fire thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flames kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD, &c. GODS children in the time of their afflictions and sufferings are wont to be most faithfull, for then Faith is set a worke one­ly to find comfort in GOD. 2. Most prayerfull, Esa. 26. 16, 17. LORD in trouble have they vi­sited thee, they powred out a prayer when thy cha­stening was upon them, Like as a woman in travaile is in sorrow and crieth in her paines, so have we bens [Page 6] in thy sight O LORD; though they be prayer­full at other times, yet this sets an edge and heate to their Prayers. 3. GODS children in time of their sufferings be most humble, &c. and to such as be most faithfull, prayerfull and humble GOD is wont to reveale and communicate him­selfe with much familiarity and love, no restraint, no dungeon can hinder the ascending of our faith­full, humble prayers unto GOD, nor the influ­ence of the love and light of his countenance from us; that lightsomenesse came from Heaven that made Paul and Sylas sing at midnight in the inner-prison, their feet being fast in the stocks. And so did all those sweet exaltations of spirit which possessed our blessed Martyrs in Queene Maries time and all other Saints of GOD at any other times, in times of pressure and persecution. For at such times the presence, freedome, and comforts of the blessed Spirit are wont to in­large, refresh and crowne their hearts extraor­dinarily.

I will beare the indignation of the LORD.]

Those that are enemies to the Church and GODS children were they in the same troubles they see the Saints of GOD in, would indeed yell and howle and roare having no protection nor antidote against the sting and venome of their sorrowes and sufferings, and therefore they con­ceive, and thereupon out of their cruell and dung-hill dispositions insult, that Christians [Page 7] are paid home horribly and plagu'd in such cases, no knowing poore soules that the Saints have a soveraigne inward vertue, and vigour, I meane, patience (to which themselves are meere stran­gers) whereby they take off the edge, and ex­tinguish the poyson of all afflictions, whether from GOD, man, or Satan, which would eate up the hearts, and drinke up the spirits, and dou­ble the sting in the wicked, whensoever they are sore vexed; as if Mordecai a better man then Haman, doe not crouch to him, it will not one­ly vexe his heart, but cause him to loose all that sweet of his honour. How would wicked men have taken it, that such a dog as Shemei should raile upon David being a King, and Kings you know are impatient at opposition, yet Davids patience takes away the sting and spiritually an­swers, It may be the LORD hath sent him, ob­serve how grace conquers, and that Faith in GODS children begets not onely peace, but patience, Rom. 5. 3. We rejoyce in tribulation, knowing that tribulation bringeth forth patience.

Because I have sinn [...]d against him.]

The wicked in their sufferings doe looke upon the smart and the creatures, as a dog upon the stone that is throwne. GODS children looke upon the offence, their owne deserts, and the first moover, GOD himselfe, who corrects in love and for his good, which causeth a vast difference either to exasperate and enrage, or to mollifie [Page 8] and asswage the anguish of the crosse, the bitter­nesse of the trouble. Thus did Iob, Ioseph, Da­vid, and so did all that truly feare GOD procure a great deale of ease and patience to their soules, It is the LORD, &c. looking upon their owne deserts, upon GODS kindnesse, and their ingra­titude, &c. give some ease: As Mauritius an Emperour who might have saved the lives of many of GODS people from the sword of the e­nemy, but did not; at length an enemy came a­gainst him, and tooke him, and killed his chil­dren before him, he having one little one at nurse it was sent for and also slaine before his eyes, then he cried out being sensible of his owne sins, Iust are thy judgements O LORD. So holy Brad­ford in Queene Maryes time, cried out to the LORD that he had deserved to die, because of his sins; but saith he, Behold LORD they pu­nish not my sins, but persecute me because of thy Gospell, and for standing for thy truth: So might al the Martyrs have said; so we may cry out we have sinned, we have bin lukewarme, we have had a form of godlines & denied the power ther­of. Nay prodigious villanies, we have had sins rise up in the Gospel, not before heard off, fitter for the dark nooks of hel, or midnight of Popery. How may we therefore cry out, now we all are afflicted, thy judgements O LORD are most just. The consideration of their deserts, and looking up unto the LORD caused Iob, David and Ely to be contented.

[Page 9]Vntill hee pleade my cause.]

GOD will cert [...]inely and for ever plead the cause of his, Isa. 1 [...]. 5, 6, 7. Ashur was sent by GOD against the people of GOD, and was as the rod in GODS hand to correct them, but he thought not so, but that it was by his owne strength, &c. Quoties nobis negotium est cum im­probis, duo sunt consideranda. 1. Improbos nobis sine causa inferre molestiam, & ideò justam esse causam nostram ipsorum respectu. 2. Nos tamen justè affligi divinitús; quia semper reperiemus multas causas cur Dominus nos castiget. So may many a one tell the LORD, that his sinnes are grievous towards him, But that his persecutors and oppressors ayme not at, but at his best part, the good that is in him they set against, And therefore desire the LORD to plead their cause, But GOD will never plead the cause of the wicked, but will witnesse against them, and so will all his creatures, and their owne actions help to condemne them.6.

And execute Iudgement for me.]

Though the Church of GOD goe downe for a while; yet at last most certainely the day shall be theirs. For this purpose GOD is wont to improove his owne Omnipotency, all the hoasts of Heaven and Earth, the ordinary and extraordinary agency of his creatures, the Sun, [Page 10] the Sea, the Stars, Haylestones, &c. must mi­raculously serve GODS turne for the execu­ting of this judgement for the Church. All the miracles of deliverances from the red Sea, and drowning the Egyptians, to the swallowing up of the Spaniards in the English Seas; and the deliverance from the powder-plot were imploy­ed this way, stay onely GODS season and his owne houre, and you shall see the salvation of GOD. As Rochell when it was besieged, was saved miraculously, and shame fell upon the opposers. So for us here, we or the Church beyond the Seas beene delivered a yeare or two since, it had not beene so well in the last of time; for that pur­pose GOD will certainly deliver, this is our hope, when Christians are stirred up to Prayer, the time is approaching, but howsoever in the best of time it shall be granted.

He shall bring me forth to the light.]

After the execution upon the enemies and the darkenesse of distresse dispelled by the light of GODS countenance, ariseth upon the Church the Sunne of lightsomenesse, joy, and comfort, as we see in Moses song, Exod. 15. The song of Deborah, Iudg. 5. The feasting of the Iewes after the hanging of Hamon, the joy of the Kingdome after 88. The day of holy feasting for our Sal­vation from the Powder-plot; The LORD hath done great things for us, wherefore we are glad, Psal. 126. 3. And when the rod hath corrected, it [Page 11] shall be burned, when the fire hath purified the gold, it ends it selfe in sinder and ashes: So when the wicked have done their worke for the good of Christians, they shallbe consumed them­selves, as the powder-Traitors were, for which we have a day, as if it were in imitation of De­borah's song.

And I shall behold his Righteousnesse]

In the mercifull performance of his gratious promises unto his people, then shall the Church find and feele the truth of these blessed promi­ses, Gen. 15▪ 1. & 17. 1. of the promise to Abraham and to his Seed. So Exod. 6. 3. Iosh. 1. 5. How sweetly might Ioshua refresh himselfe with the sence of GODS mercy and truth, in making good unto him that promise, Iosh. 1. I will never faile thee nor forsake thee. The Iewes with the sweet­nesse of that, Habak. 2. 3. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it shall surely come and not stay, when they returned so merrily homewards, Ps. 126. Queene Eli­zabeth of that 1 Sam. 2. 30. Them that honour me I will honour, when the great GOD of armes, with his powerfull arme had scattered like a heape of dust before the wind that mighty and (as they cal'd it) invincible Spanish-fleet.

Now looke backe upon all these eight parti­culars and consider the contrary case of the wic­ked, and then observe the infinite vast difference betweene the grounds and reasons of comfort in all troubles in the one and the contrary in the o­ther:

[Page 12]There are reasons also taken from the state of the enemies why they should not rejoyce in the troubles of the Saints, and why the people of GOD should be patient in their pressures and per­secutions.

Then she that is my enemy shall see it.]

When the Church is delivered then the ene­mie must downe: when the rod in GODS hand hath corrected his children, it must be cast into the fire: When the wicked have refined GODS people, themselves must be cast into Hell: When GODS children have drunke of the top of the cup of GODS wrath, the wicked shall wring out the very dreggs, and drinke them, Psa. 75. 8. Esa. 10. 12. When Ashur had punished GODS people, and began to burst with pride, then GOD sets upon him and destroyes him. But observe here the persecutors shall see the rising againe and prosperity, which will burst their very heart with envy and make them gnash the teeth, as a peece and beginning of that hel­lish gnashing of the teeth hereafter, when they shall see those blessed ones, whom they have so hated and persecuted, sit downe with Abra­ham, Isaack and Iacob, in the kingdome of Hea­ven and themselves excluded.

And shame shall cover her.]

And at this sight she shall be horribly ashamed, [Page 13] especially because in the time of the Churches distresse, disgrace, she did pestilently please and applaud her selfe with such insulting words as these (where is now the LORD her GOD) she is now downe she will never rise againe, and now she sees those over whom she so insulted, crown'd with deliverance and joy, and her selfe covered with confusion and shame.

My eyes shall behold her.]

Which equally will rent the hearts of the ene­mies with selfe-vexing rage, as refresh the affe­ctions of GODS faithfull children with glorious joy, not because their opposites are ruined; no such vile, revengfull spite must lurke in any gra­cious heart, but because thereby the glory of GODS mercy and truth to his, and his justice to their implacable and incurable enemies is made more illustrious and admirable.

Now she shall be troden down as the mire in the streets.

Or as straw is troden downe for the dunghill, as it is, Esay. 25. 10. A fit end for such Divels, as had they might to their malice, they would swallow up quickly the whole Israell of GOD Psa. 124. 3. Sith the Church of GOD sees and is so sensible of the scornefull carriage of her e­nemies, and labours so industriously to fortifie herselfe with reasons against that temptation of being troubled with their insultations in the time [Page 14] of her trouble; I observe it is the wont of the wicked to rejoyce when they see GODS chil­dren downe: Let this therefore be the point that first naturally doth offer it selfe.Doct.

It is the wont of the wicked out of their dunghill, dogged, and divellish dispositions, proudly to insult and beare themselves insolently against the servants of GOD in the time of their sufferings.

The wicked rejoyce in the distresse and dis­grace of GODS children. Proofes for this you have, Ezek. 25. 3, 6. Because thou hast cryed aha, and rejoyced and clapped thine hand when Israell went into captivity. Because▪ thou hast clap­ped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and re­joyced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel. ergo Eze. 26. 2. Tyrus said against Ierusalem aha she is broken, Ezek. 36. 2. The Enemy said, Aha, the ancient high places are oursin possession, ergo, &c. Zepha. 2. 8. I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, wherby they have reproached my people and magnified them­selves against their border, ergo, &c. Psa. 137. 3. They that carried us away captive, required of us a song, and they that wasted us, required of us mirth, &c.

Because they be limbs of Satan and he impoy­sonsReason 1. them with all his ill properties, now he in­finitely tryumphs and pleaseth himselfe in the disgrace of goodnesse, distresse of the Church, and misery of every godly man, Affectus ex o­dio & gaudio mixtus (so the Greeke word signifies) cum odio impulsi, laetamur vel gaude­mus [Page 15] in aliorum calamitatibus, est affectus proprius Diabolorum: Propterèa illi ipsi qui in aliorum calamitatibus laetantur ad ipsum Diabolum accedunt. And they are like him in this pestilent property, as if he had spit them out of his mouth; when a good man is downe they joy, when he flourisheth they hate: Now tell me, for you know your hearts, have you looked upon these, and seene some one discover himselfe shamefully, are you glad of it; so would no good heart be (I dare say) this is a certaine marke thou art a limbe of Satan, and this comes from the Divell, to say, O see then what all these are, the Divell himselfe would joyne in this (if he were a­mongst you) save this for the language in hell hereafter, begin not now so soone, for this shews thou art a member of Satan, and he is the head and thou tastest of him, else no man could re­joyce at a good mans fall▪ when therefore thou seest or hereafter hearest of any that doe so; thinke of this, he is like the Divell, in this no child is more like the father, then he to Satan, to rejoyce, to disgrace GODS children; why tell me if CHRIST should come now (as it were happy if he would to end these miserable times) where would he find his children, but a­mongst good and religious men, though some be hypocrites, and weare vizards in their faces that we cannot discerne them (whom the LORD discover and unmaske) we hold not with them, nor for them, but for the truth. And this I am sure amongst good men onely GOD [...] [Page 18] especially if thus qualified in these six Particu­lars.

1. Looke to the cause and ground of thy sufferings, els all is naught, if that be not good, 1 Cor. 13.

2. Thou must have a calling to suffer and not to thrust thy selfe into it without a calling.

3. Thou must have a cleare conscience lying in no knowne sinne, or else thy suffering may be as Ananias and Saphira, just upon thee for thy hypocrisie.

4. Thou must have an upright heart in it.

5. Thou maist not aime at by ends to please thy selfe.

6. Thou must waite for GODS time of de­liverance, he that believes makes not haste to get out by ill meanes; if thou be thus qualified in thy sufferings the 37. Psal. will afford variety of precious comfort for thee, and terrible judge­ments against thy Persecutours. Also observe these.

1. These persecuting Belials shall (will they or nill they) glorifie GOD either in their con­version, or confusion. And the day is com­ming in the meane time to cleare thy innocency and to discover their malice: The Divell and thine enemies be chained, they can goe no fur­ther then they have leave from GOD. GOD is about some extraordinary work, that he is thus fitting thee for it.

2. If GOD turne them not on our parts there is most cause we should pitty them, and not envy [Page 19] at their estate: Who would have envied at Pha­roah, when he was persecuting the Israelites, and presently after himselfe and all with him cast away: What became of him? and what befals one may be fall all.

3. If thou desirest revenge on any in the grea­test manner, it is to have them thrive in ill, and especially in persecuting the good, Ezek. 13. 18. &c.

4. When the wicked insult the whole Church is stirred up against them, Mala. 3. 13, 16.

5. These insulting Enemies are but as the Wine-presses to wring out the sweet juyce of Patience and Prayer out of Christians, they are but as the Shepheards dogg to keep the sheep out of the severalls, and from unwholsome pla­ces; and therfore know the time shall come that you shall blesse GOD for them, and con­fesse that you could not have bin without your sufferings under them.

6. The very Persons of the sufferers them­selves do teach much sweetnesse and comfort to others by their gratious carriage, and also from the nature of affliction it selfe.

1. The generall end of all affliction is to make grace shine, or purifie the soule.

2. GOD will glorifie himselfe in the preservation of his, as of the three Children, Dan. 3.

3. Afflictions will quicken and heat the heart; wheras many Christians are cold, &c.

[Page 20]4. That it may appeare, as unto Iob, that Christians serve not GOD mercenarily.

5. That they may not be overvalued by others, some oppose them and get ability for a time to prevaile.

6. That weak Christians might not be dejected when they are troubled.

7. That it may appeare felicity rests not in these outward things, which Salomon calls vani­ty, empty clouds, nay vexation of spirit, bringing torment unexpected.

8. That the vertues of Christians may be de­lighted in, and shine aboundantly in thee. Thus every way a good sufferer may receive comfort in the depth of his misery, and support his heart against all dejections and discouragements.

When I fall I shall arise.]

From this first reason, which is used by the Church to disswade wicked men from rejoycing at her fall, I observe,

The dearest servants of GOD may fall into the
Doct. 2.
deepest distresse.

Because one sin will keepe them downe, muchReason 1. more all their sinnes being so grievous to them. For when sin stirs and looks grisly in their consci­ence, it terrifies them; when as on the other side, wicked men care for none; no marvell than if they fleare in the face, when a godly man looks heavily.

Satan the strong man procures all joy to theReason 2. [Page 21] bad; but not a Divell in Hell, but would do a Christian mischiefe, and the LORD some­times to punish some of his sins suffers Satan to afflict him.

All worldlings are kind one to another, but ofReason 3. a world of good-fellows, not one of them is kind to a Christian, but would do him a displeasure if he could.

GOD deales with his children as with theReason 4. blind man, that had not that punishment for the sin of his Parents or himselfe, but that GOD may have glory.

2. For Christians tryall, as Iob.

3. Sometime in Judgement to harden the wic­ked, whom they could not win by their good­nesse, they must now be hardened by their punishment.

He that refraines from evill makes himselfe aReason 5. prey to wicked men, Satan and his cunning world­lings, when he that refraines not is contrary.

Many afflictions are proper to GODS chil­dren,Reason 6. as temptations, doubting of Salvation, &c. Nay sometimes hideous suggestions, as were to CHRIST, that no Christian is in that height, for the Son of GOD to be tempted to throw himselfe from the pinacle of the Temple: Nay he that thought it not robbery to be equall with GOD, to be tempted to worship the Divell, was more then ever any Christian had.

Because it is call'd a vale of teares to Christians,Reason 7. though it be a fooles Paradise to wicked men, for they have as much pleasure, profit and ho­nour [Page 22] as they can get: As Phareah in Aegypt, when the Aegyptians were there the Iewes were but slaves unto them, and this represented the naturall estate of man.

2. The bringing out of▪ Aegypt was followed with a long being in the Wildernesse, which sig­nifies their gracious state; in which they had many troubles and wants, and after many ter­rours came to Canaan a type of Heaven: So till they were there the best was a wildernes or vale of teares, because of their severall trou­bles.

To Comfort those that be full of troubles;Vse 1. when they see one affliction upon the neck of another, to conclude, they be sons, not ba­stards, pure gold, not rubbish.

Let all Christians prepare for new suffrings;Vse 2. for till death set us free, we are not to look to be free from troubles, and never more need to be prepared than now, when not only the Church beyond the Seas, but many good men be in great troubles, observe therfore these helps to take away the sting.

1. Get Patience, the naturall weapon to help against all troubles, whither of GOD, Sa­tan, or men. Iob by Patience bore all his trou­bles, the tithe of which troubles would have made a carnall man hang himselfe, as Ha­man had no comfort in wife or children, or outward honour, because he could not with Patience look upon Mordecai who a little cros­sed him. A small crosse will robbe a man [Page 23] that wants Patience of the comfort of all other outward things; let therfore all Christians labour for Patience, and exercise it as Faith, or love, or any other grace, for I know not whither Christians so much scandalize Reli­gion by any thing, as by impatience, when there is any opposition, especially for meum & tuum.

Get your hearts to Heaven, for earthly min­dednesse undoes all.

3. Get spirituall Ioy, which makes us stand as firme as mount Sion, it will heat the heart and give us right to other delights: As the heat of the garment comes from the heart, for the heart heats the body, the body the cloathes and a little reflects again, so all comforts we have come from spirituall Ioy: for carnall joy alway makes the heart melancholy after, Whereas spirituall Ioy eates out the heart of worldly sorrow: Follow that therfore with eagernes and observe the differences thus; O death how bitter is thy remembrance to those that live in ease, in worldly prosperity and carnall joy, but it is contrary to those that live in spirituall Ioy, they had rather some of them have death than sleep when they are weary. Let a Christian tell me (for he know­eth his state was once as the naturall mans, and he laboured for joy, but found it mad­nesse) now after he is gone on in a Christi­an course some few yeares, and seeth his pri­viledges, and prizeth CHRIST before all [Page 24] things and allowes no wickednes in his heart, but hath taken the yoake and will weare it for ever, then tell me what joy hath ceazed on his heart when he hath CHRIST, from hence will spring as much joy as the heart will hold and more: If a poore man that lived in want a long time, had many thousands befalne him by the death of some great man, with what joy would he imbrace it? So when a scor­ched heart with sight and sence of sinne takes CHRIST and hath Heaven and Earth, and takes possession of the blessed Word and Pro­mises, as farre then as Heaven surpasseth the Earth and both these that mans estate; so this joy doth outgo the other; therfore with the A­postle I bid such a man rejoyce evermore, showte for joy, &c. Saint Chrysostome would have a Christians joy to be like the Sea, into which if a sparke fall, it cannot dry up all the moisture of the water, but is presently extinct: So should the joy of a Christian extinguish all afflictions; and great reason, doth not CHRIST promise that what we loose here for him, we shall have an hundred fold? What ever it be, GOD is All-sufficient and can give the com­fort of it to his, that we may have an hun­dred fold of the comfort of these things here, and happinesse hereafter: Labour than for this spirituall Ioy in having CHRIST, this will comfort in all the troubles that befall any, though they be like the troubles of the Church beyond the Sea, that men have all things taken from [Page 25] them, wives and children slaine, or men bani­shed with them out of the Land, yet none can take CHRIST from us, he is our portion for ever: la­bour therfore for him.

Is it so that the Church of GOD is in manyVse 3. troubles? the Spirit of GOD sees it needfull to give Antidotes against trouble for her.

Then this serves to trouble those that were ne­ver troubled, their state is woefull, it argues they be bastards: Let none then blesse them­selves that they were never troubled in mind, for I say if any man hath not beene troubled in mind for his sin, nor be not hereafter troubled for sin to drive him from all sin, he shall be sure to suffer everlastingly for it: I pray you let this sinke into your hearts, and when any is trou­bled say not: O these be the Hypocrites that will grow mad, &c. But let no such word come from any but incarnate Divels.

Object. Why, J have severall crosses and losses in my estate, weakenesse and sickenesse of bo­dy, &c. Therefore my spirituall estate is good and happy?

Answ. There are three things observable in affliction; for affliction here ment is,

First, Sanctified Affliction to cause us to grow in the whole body of Sanctification and de­crease in sin.

Secondly, If thou allowest any sin these af­flictions be the beginning of Hell torments, as Christians spirituall joy argues the beginning of their joyes of Heaven.

[Page 26]Thirdly, All things fall alike to all outward­ly, both the godly and the wicked may have af­flictions, they worke in the one contrary to the other, in the one they work brokennesse of heart and humility, in the other contrary: they are fore-runners of hell to the one, of Heaven to the other.

Object. But J have no such troubles here, ther­fore J am no Christian?

Answ. It may be thou art troubled that thou wantest trouble. Is not the sence of the want of troubles now a trouble unto thee? but if thou hast none inward, thou hast some outward, art thou not smitten with the ill tongues of the wic­ked? Though a Christian may goe so farre (though very rare) as not to have ill tongues a­gainst him, yet a Christian hath cause then to be troubled for that, and suspect himselfe (though he may be in good estate) when ill tongues are not against him; for men may have the good word of ill men about them, because of their faults, as

1. When they give too much liberty to their licentiousnesse.

2. Not to reproove them when they are cal­led to it.

3. When they are spirituall cowards, and dare not shew themselves for God.

4. When they desire the good word of all; because they thinke else, such fellowes will raile on them; these be base cowards, if not stark naught: [...]et such as are true hearted Christians say (as one [Page 27] said) what have I done that such wicked men speake well of me: Saint Austin said, I will by no meanes be commended by a man that lives ill, it is a corrasive to my heart, I cannot abide it. When a man first riseth to goodnesse, his out­ward virtue like the Sunne rising casteth a great shadow; so is there much opposition to it at the first: But when the Sunne hath come to his height, then but a little shadow: so the height of grace and virtue may cause little or no opposi­tion, this may be by accident, by helpes of good outward parts, and faire and courteous carriages, not grace and goodnesse, for this will draw hatred from every wic­ked man.


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