A Copy of the Mittimus and manner of Imprisonment of Mr. Edmund Calamy.

FOr as much as I have received a Certificate from and under the Hand and Seal of the right Reverend Father in God Gilbert Lord Bishop of London, that Mr. Edmund Calamy late Curate of the Parish Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury in the said City of London, be­ing (according as is provided and enacted by the late Act of Parliament made for the Uniformity of Publick Prayers, &c.) by reason of his Incon­formity disabled to preach or read a [...]y Lecture or Sermon, in any Church or Chappell within his Majesties Realm of England, or Dominion of Wales, and town of Barwick upon Tweed, and continuing and remaining still so disabled, did since the Feast of St. Bartholomew last past, upon two several dayes, viz, on Tuesday the twenty sixth day of August last past, and upon Sunday the twenty eighth day of December, 1662, in the said Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury presume and take upon himself (without any lawfull approbation and licen [...]e thereun­to) to preach or read two severall Sermons or Lectures publickly before the Congregation then and there in the said Church assembled, contrary to, and in contempt of Authority of the said Act of Parliament: These are therefore (as I am required by the said Act in his Majesties Name to will and command you to receive into your custody within the Gaol of Newgate the Body of the said Edmund Calamy brought unto you therewith, and him there detain for the offence aforesaid, for the Term of three Months from the day of the date hereof, without Bail or Maine prise, according to the tenor and effect of the Act of Parliament aforesaid. And this shall be your Warrant therein, dated this fifth day of January. 1662.

Upon notice the 5 day of January instant that a Warrant was issued a­gainst the sa [...]d Edmund Calamy by his Lordship to apprehend him, the said Edmund at night personally appeared before his said Lordship, and desired his Lordship that he might have favour not to be committed till the next day, and promising (wi [...]h o [...]her sufficient persons that he would the six [...]h of January about eleven of the clock peaceably render his Body to the Goale of Newgate upon sending a Mittimus; his Lordship took the word of himself and Sureties, and [...]hereupon by Mr. John Marshall, one of the City Marshalls and sworn Constable sending the said Mittimu [...] at the time desired, he the said Mr. Calamy went with the said Marshall, and now is Prisoner in the Gaol of Newgate.

Eli trembling for fear of the Ark.

A SERMON Preached at St. Mary Aldermanbury, Dec. 28.1662: BY EDMVND CALAMY, B.D. Late Minister there. Upon the preaching of which he was committed Prisoner to the Gaol of Newgate Jan. 6. 1662.

TOGETHER, With the MITTIMUS and manner of his Impri­sonment, annexed hereunto.

OXFORD, Printed in the Y [...] [...]

An Advertisement to the Reader.

WEe believe you have heard of the Imprisonment of Mr. Edmund Calamy; as also of the matter of fact, viz. for preaching; being dis-inabled thereunto for his Non-conformity to the present state of affairs in the Church of England. Many (we have heard) do blame him for his imprudency, in acting against a known Law, but Ne­mo omnibus horis sapit; yet we are so bold as to say, he is the more excusable, for as much as it was in a time of need: Do you not knovv vvhat David did vvhen he vvas an hungred, and those that vvere vvith him, Matth. 12.3, 4, &c. 'Tis well known Mr. Cala­my went to Church with no intention to preach, but to hear, but the Minister that was expected, failing, Mr. Calamy being present was in­treated and incouraged by some eminent persons there to perform the work; who presently answered their desire, and it may be that Scripture was ur­gent, 1 Cor. 9.16, &c. so that he preached not as Curate, or Lecturer, but onely occasionally, and that not in contempt of Authority. We suppose you are desirous to see the Sermon, we have therefore gratified your desire, and assure you that this is faithfully and exactly as he delivered it; read it therefore, 'tis Verbum tempestivum. Farewell.

1 SAM. 4.3.

And when he came, [...]o Eli sate upon a seat by the way side, watching, for his heart trembled for the Ark of God.

THat you may the better understand this text, you must know, that what ever God threat­en'd against old Eli, in the second and third chapters, it was because he did not restrain his two wicked sons from their leud courses, and is here ex [...]cuted in this fourth chapter; and therefore we read in the beginning of the chapter, that four thou­sand of the children of Israel were slain by the Philistines; and the Elders of Israel met together to consider what they might do to repair this great loss; they confess that it was the Lord that had smitten them; Wher [...]fore hath the Lord smitten us? But they foolishly imagined that the way to repair the loss, would be by fetching the Ark from Shil [...]e, and carrying it into the battel; whereupon they ap­pointed Hophni and Phineas to take the Ark of the Cove­nant, [Page 2] and carry it into the battel, thereby imagining, that the presence of the Ark would secure them from ruine: But herein they were miserably mistaken; for the reason why they were smitten, was not because the Ark was in the Camp, but because sin was in the Camp; for as Au­gustine observes, The Ark wherein the two Tables were, would not pro [...]ct those that had broken the two Tables; the Ark of the Covenant would not preserve those that had broken their Covenant with God; therefore not­wi [...] stan [...]ng the presence of the Ark, there were thirty thous [...] o [...] the children of I [...]rael slain in the battel, and Hop [...]ni and Phineas that bore the Ark, were slain, and the Ark its [...]lf was taken prisoner.

But now let us consider what old Eli was doing all the while the battel was fighting: The good old man was 98. years old, he was not able to go to the battel; but he got upon a seat by the way side, near the battel where it was fought, and th [...]re he sits watching what wil become of t [...]e Ark: And lo Eli sate upon a seat by the way-side, watch­ing; fo [...] his heart tr [...]mbled fo [...] the Ark of God: For fear lest the A [...]k of God should be taken. He was not troubled what should become of his two sons, he was not troubled what sh [...]uld become of the people of Israel; but all his trouble was for the Ark of God; he sate by t [...]e way side wa [...]ching, for his heart trembled for th [...] Ark of God.

In the words we have three par [...]s.

1. We have old Eli's solicitousness concerning the Ark, H [...] s [...]te watching, &c.

2. His fearfulness; Old Eli trem [...]l [...]d for fear of the Ark.

3. Old Eli's preferring the safety of th [...] Ark before the safety of his two sons, and before the safety of his wife and children: Old Eli sate wa [...]ching, for his heart trembled [Page 3] for the Ark of God. But you will say unto me, What was this Ark, this Ark of God? Why should old Eli trem­ble for fear of the Ark? Why, I wil [...]ell you; This Ark was the holiest of all the holy things of God; it was so holy, that it made every place holy where it came: Solo­mon brought the daughter of Pharoah out of the City of David, unto the house that he had builded for h [...]r; for h [...] s [...]d My Wife shall not dwell in the house of David King of Israel, because the places are holy whereunto the Ark of the Lord had c [...]me; 2 Chro. 8.11. This Ark was the dwelling place of God: Pray observe sirs, this wil make way for an excellent discourse by and by. This Ark of God was the habitation of God, Psal. 9 [...].1. The Lord sitteth between the Cherubins; no [...] the Cherubins were placed over the Ark; this Ark was th [...] speaking place of God, it was the place where God met the people of Israel when he gave them answer con­cerning any doubt: They came to consult with God be­fore the Ark, Exod 25.21, 22. Thou sha [...]t put the Mercy-seat above the Ark, and there I will m [...]et thee, and commune with thee from above the Mercy seat, from between the two che­rubins which are upon the A [...]k for the testimony of all things which I wil give thee in commandment unto the childr [...]n of Is­ra [...]l. This Ark for which old Eli was so solicitous, it was God's footstool, and all the people of Israel did worship at this footstool, fall down before this foo [...]stool, Psal. 99.5 Let us come and fall down, and worship at his footstool, h.e. before the Ark; this Ack was the strength of Israel, so it is called Psal. 78 61. He delivered his strength into captivity; that is, the Ark; the Ark it was the glory of Israel, and it was the strength of Israel, nay, l [...]t me add, this Ark was the terror of the Enemies of God; there­fore when the Ark came into the battel, the Philistines [Page 4] were afraid, and said, What shall become of us? wo to us, for God is come down into the camp, 1 Sam. 4.9. For indeed this Ark was called Jehovah: When the Ark was to move, there was a cry, (Num. 35.) Arise O Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered. In a word, the Ark was a pledge and visible symbole of Gods gracious pre­sence with his people; as long as the Ark was safe, they were safe; as long as the Ark was with them, Gods pre­sence was with them, the token of Gods presence was with them; but when the Ark was taken away, that was a sign that God was gone; his protecting, preserving, comforting presence was gone; and therefore no wonder this good old man was so troubled for fear left the Ark of God should be taken prisoner: I call him a good old man; but many learned men think old Eli was not a good man; indeed his fault was great in not punishing his two sons; but surely, surely he was a good man; and there are these two reasons to make it out that old Eli was a godly man: The one is this, That he took the punishment of his ini­quity so patiently, when young Samuel had told him what the Lord had intended against him; It is of the Lord (saith he) let him do what seemeth him good. Se­condly, He was a good man, as appeareth in the Text, his solicitousness what should become of the Ark, and the trembling of his soul left the Ark of God should miscarry.

Now before I speak to the point of Doctrine, I must further tell you, that this Ark was a type of Jesus Christs for as God spake by the Ark, and from the Ark, so God speaks to us by Christ. And then secondly the Ark was a type of the Church of Christ▪ for as the Ark was a pre­server of the [...]wo Tables of the Law, so the Church of Christ is a preserver of the Scriptures. Thirdly, T [...]e [Page 5] Ark was a type of the Ordinances of Christ; for as God did communicate himself to his people by the Ark, so God by his Ordinances doth communicate his counsels, his comforts and his graces unto his people. The Ordi­nances of God are Oraculum, the speaking-place of God, by which he conveys himself to his people.

The Text now being thus expounded, there are these two excellent conclusions to be learned from it.

First, When the Ark of God is in danger to be lost, the people of God have thoughtful heads, and trembling hearts.

Secondly, That a child of God is more troubled, and more solicitous what shall become of the Ark, than what shall become of his wife and children; or his estate; he lays more to heart the danger the Ark of God is in, than the danger his wife, children and estate is in.

First, When the Ark of God is in danger to be lost, the people of God have thoughtful heads, and trembling hearts.

But if I may put this doctrine into a gospel dresse, take the doctrine thus: That when the gospel is in danger of losing, when the Ministry is in danger of losing, when gospel ordinances are in danger of being lost, then the people of God have trembling hearts, and careful and so­licitous heads. I do not say when the Ark is lost, for that was death to old Eli, he broke his neck, he was so trou­bled when the Ark was lost; it cost the life of old Eli's daughter, Phineas wife; when the Ark was taken prison­er, she took no comfort in her child that was newly born, she regarded it not; they told her a man-child was born, that she had a son; but she regarded it not; for said she, The glory is gone, the glory is departed from Israel. Therefore I do not say, when the ark of God is lost, but [Page 6] when it is in danger of losing, when the Gospel is in danger, and the Ordinances of God in danger of being lost, then the people of God have trembling hearts and careful heads.

Thus we read Exod. 33.3, God threatens he would no [...] go with the people of Israel; I wi [...] n [...] go with you, for you a [...]e a stiff-neck [...]d people; and they were [...]o troubled for the loss of Gods presence, that they put off their ornamen [...]s; When the people [...]eard this evil ty [...]ings, that they should lose the presence of God, they mourned, and no m [...] pu [...] on his Orna­me [...]ts. You shall read that they were without the pre­sence of God twenty years, 1 Sam. 7.2. And i [...] came to pass, that while the Ark abode in Ki [...]ah jearim, that it was long, for it was twenty years; and all the h [...]use of Israel lament­ed after the Lord, that is, after the Ark, after the presence of God speaking from above the Ark. So you shall read of Uriah, Da [...]id would fain have had him gone down to his wife, and make merry, but mark what Uriah answered, 2 Sam. 11.1 [...]. The Ark, and Israel and Judah abide in Tents, (mark it I p [...]ay) & my Lord kno [...]e [...]h [...]he serv [...]nts of the Lord ar [...] in the camp in the open field; & shall I go down to my house to eat and to drink, and to be merry, and to lye with my wife? as thou li [...]st, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. We read also of Elias, that he was very zealous for the Lord of Hosts, 1 King. 19 10. The c [...]ildren of Israel have for­saken their Covenant, they have thrown down thine al­tars, and slain thy Prophets, and I am very zealous.

Now all this proves, that when the ark of God is in d [...]nger, t [...]e people of God have very much trembled; and there are these reasons for it why the people of God are so much troubled when the ark of God is in danger.

[Page 7]First, Because of the love that they beat to the ark of God; as God loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob; so the people of God they love the Gospel, they love the Ordinances, they love the Ministry and the faithful Ministers of Jesus Christ above all other things in the world; and therefore saith David (Psal. 26.8.) O Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honor dwelleth, and in Psal. 27.4. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek af­ter, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the dayes of my life. Now you know love stirreth up affe­ction. You have heard me tell the story of Croesus young­est son to Croesus, who when he saw his father ready to be killed, though he never spake all his life time, yet the very love that he did bear to hs Father, burst the strings of his tongue, and he cryed out, O kill not my father, kill not my Father: Such is the love that the Saints of God have to the ark of God, that it must break forth, and they can­not be silent, that they cannot but tremble for fear the ark should miscarry; For Sions sake they cannot hold their peace, and for J [...]rusalems sake they cannot rest, til the Lord make the righteousness thereof to go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a Lamp that burneth.

Secondly, The people of God cannot but be troubled when the ark is danger, because of the interest that they have in the ark of God; Now you know interest stirreth up affection; when a mans own house is on fire, or when another mans house is on fire, as you have had a sad and lamentable accident mu [...]h to be laid to heart, that hap­pened yesterday morning, a very sad accident, and such as I suppose if the Minister that was appointed to preach, had been here, he would have studyed to have affected [Page 8] your h [...]arts with that providence, and indeed it is not to be [...]orgotten: How suddenly may we after we have been feasting, be burnt to ashes? Truly it was a very sad pro­vidence, and ought to be laid to heart. Now interest as I said, stirs up affection; how are they [...]ffected that have an interest in those that were burned! how are they affli­cted with that sad providence! Why now the peopl [...] of God have an interest in God; God is the Heaven of a child of God, God is the portion and inheritance of his people; and when he begins to forsake them, they cannot but grieve and be affected: and so the Ordinances of God they are the Jewels, the Treasures of a Ch [...]stian, and he cannot but be troubled for fear of losing the Ordinances. Iesus Christ is the joy of a Christian, and when he is de­parting from them, they cannot go and be merry at such a time.

Thirdly, The people of God cannot but tremble when the ark of God is in danger, because of them m [...]schiefs that are coming upon a Nation when the ark of God is lost; Wo be to that Nation when the ark of God is gone from it. The Trojans had the Image of Pallas, and they had a tradition, that as long as that Image was preserv'd among them, their City should never be conquered; and there­fore they kept it in a Tower, and called it Palladium. And the Romans had a Buckler, and they called it Anselam, and they had a tradition, that as long as that Buckler was kept safe, Rome should never be taken; and they said that Buckler came down from Heaven. But sure I am, when God is present with a Nation to protect them, where the gospel is preserved in purity in a Nation, that Nation cannot but be safe; but when the ark of God is gone, when the gospel is gone, then the Palladium, then the Ans [...]am, [Page 9] then the safety of a Nation is g [...]ne. My beloved, had I the tongue of men or Angels, I was not able to express [...]he misery of a Nation where the ark of God is gone, give me leave to set it forth bri [...]fly a little in a f [...]w parti­culars, which I shall but just name.

First, When the a [...]k of God is taken, then the ways of Sion mourn, and none come to her s [...]lemn assembli [...]s; this was the complaint made in Lament. 1.4. The wayes of Si­c [...] moura, because none come to her solemn Assemblies. And is not this matter of sadness?

S [...]condly, When the Ark of God is taken, the Mini­s [...]rs of C [...]rist are driven into corners; and that is matter of heart-trembling.

Thirdly, T [...]e souls of our wives and children are in danger to miscarry, when the Ark of God is taken, and the Gospel gone.

Fourthly, The enemi [...]s of God will then be ready to blaspheme and say, Where is now your God? W [...]ere is now your A [...]k? Now the en [...]mies of God triumph o­ [...]r the people of God, and as David saith, P [...]al. 42 10. As with a Sword in my bones mine E [...]emies rep [...]oach me daily, while t [...]ey continually say unto me, Wh [...]re is n [...]w thy God?

Fifthly, When the Ark of God is taken, Jesus Christ is t [...]en trampled und [...]r feet, the Ordinance of God are shut of door; then Bla [...]phemy, Atheism, and all manner of wickedness comes in like an armed man.

Fourthly, Another reason why the people of God must needs tremble when t [...]e ark is in danger, is, b [...]cause of their acc [...]ssariness in losing of the A [...]k: An [...] this was that which made old Eli so much tr [...]mble, because he kn [...]w it was for his sins that the Ark was taken Prison­er; and that God suffered it to be tak [...]n away, he [Page 10] knew that his not punishing his two sons was one great cause of the great slaughter that the people of Israel met withall, and that made him to tremble. There is n [...] p [...]r­son here in this Congregation this morning, but his heart will tell him, if [...]ver the ark of God should be lost in this N [...]tion, that he hath contributed something towards the loss of it: I sa [...], there are no [...]e of us so holy, bu [...] [...]ur consciences must ac [...]us [...] u [...], th [...]t we h [...]v [...] contributed something towards the lo [...]s of the ark, if it should be [...]ost. And this Mr. B [...]ad [...]ord that blessed Mar [...]y [...] a [...]k [...]no [...]ledg­ed in his prayer, as you have it record [...]d in [...]e Book of Martyrs. Lord (sayes h [...]) it was my untha [...]kfulness that that caused the untimely death of King Edward [...] 6 [...]h. And those Christians that were banished and fled in Q [...]. Ma [...]yes dayes, they profess [...]d wherever th [...]y came, that G [...] for their untha [...]kfulness had taken the gospel from [...]. We m [...]y all of us say, For my sins', and for thy sins the ark of God is in danger, and t [...]erefore we had need always to hav [...] trembling hear [...]s & solicitou [...] heads what will b [...]come of the ark of God. And so much for the explication of the Doctrine.

I come now to the application; and if it be the prop [...]r­ty of a true [...]ild of God to be so solicitous when the a [...]k of God is in danger, and to have such a trembling he [...]rt for fear the ark should miscarry, then ' [...]is a certain sign there are but few that are children of God in truth. Oh where is the man or woman that is like old Eli, that [...]ets trembling for fear of the ark? I suppose you all be­lieve (and you have cause so do) that my coming hith [...]r this mo [...]ning was not by way of d [...]sign, but meerly by the providence of God; and th [...]refore that which [...]ow I [Page 11] say, was not premeditated for this assembly. It must not be denied but that the ark of God is in danger to be lost, and that upon this double account.

First, In reference to the many sins that are in the Na­tion: Let me tell you, There is not one sin for which God hath taken away the ark from any people, but that sin may be found among us: Did the Church of Ephesus lose the Candlestick because she left her first love? and have not we done so? Did the Church of Laodicea lose the Candlestick? You know the gospel is called the Can­dl [...]stick; and was not the gospel removed from them because of their lukewarmness? And are not we guilty of lukewarmness? Did the people of Israel here lose the Ark because they abhorred the offering of God? and do not we do so? are not the sins of the people of Israel among us? Nay, are not the sins of Germany and all o­ther Nations among us? and can any man that is here be­fore God this day, that considers the unthankfulness, the great prophaneness that there is in the Nation, but must confess, Surely the ark is in danger, and God may justly take it away. I will not make a catalogue of our sins, for that is not my purpose; I might tell you of our Common­wealth sins, drunkenness, uncl [...]anness, bribery and op­pression; I might tell of our Sanctuary sins, the prophane­ing of Sabbaths, and so of all our other sins, of unthank­fulness, unfrui [...]fulness; you of this place, sirs, God may well take the ark from you; and indeed, it was the great respect I had to you of this Parish, whom I shall ever own, and praise God for, as long as I h [...]ve breath in me; it was my respect I bear to you, would not let me send you home this morning without a Sermon. Is there any of you of t [...]is Parish or Congregation, that can say, God [Page 12] may not justly unchurch you, and take away his Gospel from you? You have had it now in three famous succes­sions, Dr. T [...]ylor, Dr. Stoughton, and my pains in three or four and twenty years among you: Do not your consci­ences tell you now, that God may justly unchurch you, and take away the power of the Ministry? for I count that an unchurching, when we want the power of the Ministry, a soul-searching Ministry, when we want a faithful Minister to go before us; and that's one reason why we may safely say the Ark of God is in great danger of being lost.

Secondly, I have another that I may without prejudice say, and that is the abundance of Popish Priests and Je­suits that are in the midst of us, the growing and encrea­sing of Pop [...]ry, and that proneness that is in people to run headlong back again to the Garlick and Onions of Egypt: This argument is sufficient to make us all believe the ark of God is in danger. Nay, shall I add, The discontent­ments and divisions that are in the Nation? and Christ himself hath said, That a Nati [...]n divided against it self can­no [...] sta [...]d. But I leave these things to your consideration. I believe now there is not one that hears me this morning, but will confess the Ark of God is in danger of being lost. But now where are our old Elies? Whe [...]e [...]re such as Phi­neas wife, such women as she, that would not be comfort­ed? Where are our Moseses, our Ur [...]ah's, our Elias's? where are those that lay to heart the danger of the Ark of God? M [...] brethren, you complain of taxes, of the decay of trade, you complain of this and that civil burthe [...]; But where is the man, where is the man that complains & bemoans the danger that the Ark of God is in? Most of you are of Gal­lios temper, of whom it is said, Act. 8 that he cared for none of tho [...]e things; had it been for civil matters, he would [Page 13] have hearkened; but when it came to matters of Religi­on, Gallio cared not for it, nor regarded it not. My bre­thren, every man is troubled about m [...]um and tuum, about his civil concernments, and very solicitous what shall be­come of him; but who lays to heart, who regards what shall become of the Ark of God? there is a strange kind of indifferency and lukewarmness upon peoples spirit [...], in­somuch that most people so they might have their trading and their civil burthens removed, they care not what be­comes of the Ark; there is a T [...]xt I would have you turn to, though I cannot spend time in opening it, because I shall be prevented; it is in Ho [...]. 79. Stra [...]gers have [...]e [...]our­ed his streng [...]h, and he knew it not; [...]ea, grey hairs are here and there u [...]on him, and he knows it [...]ot. Shall I say, grey hairs are upon the Gospel? I come not here to prophesie this morning; I do not say the Gospel is a dying, I say not so; but I say it hath grey hairs; for we have had the Go­spel above a hundred years now in England (pray mark) and therefore it is in its old age; and I dare challenge any Scholl [...]r to shew me any Nation that ever enjoyed the go­spel a hundred years together, except this Nation of Eng­la [...]d; and we have enjoyed the gospel above an hundred years: Therefore I m [...]y truly say it hath grey hairs after an hundred year [...]; that is, no wonder grey hairs are here and there; yet no man knows it, no man regards it, and no man lays it to he [...]r [...]. Shall I spend a little time to shew you what a sin t [...]is is, not to be affected w [...]th the danger the Ark of God is in? Consider it in these two particulars briefly.

First, 'Tis a sign you love not the gospel, if you have no love to the Ark; for had you any love to it, you would be troubled more for the danger the Ark is in, then for any outward danger what ever,

[Page 14]I have read a remarkable story amo [...]g the Romans, that when any man was accused for his life, all his friends and relations put on mourning garments; and when he went to answer for his life, all his Kindred and Relations followed him in mourning before the King, therein shew­ing the love they bore to his person in danger. And be­loved, did you love the Ministry of the Gospel, did you love the Ordinances of Christ, you would all put on mourning garments when they are in danger; [...]nd because you do not, it is a sign you have no love to the gospel. And then again

Secondly, Tis a sign you have no interest in the go­spel; for interest wil stir up affection; 'tis a sign sirs, you are not concerned in the gospel; [...]or if it were your con­cernment, you would be affected with it; for I said but even now, it is impossible that those that are concerned in the late lamentable fire, (the like hath not happened in London since the Gu [...]-powder got fire near the Tower, when so many houses were blown up by the powder; that was a sad, lamentable time indeed; but since that) the like hath no [...] been seen in London; and it is impossible but that those that had interest in it, should be aff [...]cted with it: You have no interest in God, if you are not troubled at the loss of his presence; you have no interest in Christ, and in the Ministers of Christ, if your hearts tremble not, nor fear at the loss of them. Nay, let me say,

Thirdly, There is a curse of God pronounced against all those that lay not to heart the afflictions of Joseph; give me leave to read to you Amos 6.6. Wo to them that are at ease in Zion, that trust in the Mountain of Sama­ria, that put far from them the evil day, that lie upon beds of ivory, that eat the Lambs out of the flock. and dance [Page 15] to the sound of the Viol, that drink wine in bowles, but are not grieved for the afflictions of Joseph. Oh wo, wo to you that make merry, and n [...]ver consider the danger the ark of God is in.

Use 2. The second Use is, To beseech you all; being this day unexpected, it is possible my coming may do much good, it may prove a good providence: Let me be­seech you then, that you would declare that you are the people of God in deed and in truth, in following the ex­ample of old Eli: Five things I would perswade you to:

First, That you would believe that the Gospel is not entailed upon England; England hath no Letters Patents for the gospel; the gospel is not perpetual and immova­ble; God took away the ark, and forsook Shiloh; God took away the ark not onely from the children of Israel, but took away the Temple, unchurched the Jews, unchurch­ed the seven Churches of Asia; and we know not how soo [...] he may unchurch us: I do not know any warrant we have to assure our selves that we shall enjoy the gospel anoth [...]r hundred years. I suppose many here know that I have often told you, God knows how to remove his Can­dlestick, yet not to destroy it; God will never destroy his Candlesti [...]k, his Church; but God often removes his Church f [...]om one Nation to another; he hath removed h [...]s Church out of the East (for Greece was once the most famous Church in the world) this place now the Church is gone from; God knows how to remove his Candle­stick, though he never breaks and destroys it.

Secondly, I would likewise perswade you to this, That E [...]glands ark is in danger of being lost, were it onely for the sins and prodigious iniquities that we are guilty of. [Page 16] Oh the strange and unheard of ingratitude that is in the Land! but I will say no more of that, because I wil speak nothing but what becomes a sober and peaceable Minister; yet I would have you be perswaded of the great danger the Ark of God is in.

Thi [...]d [...]y, Oh that I could raise you up to old Eli's po­sture! R [...]m [...]mber the Tex [...], He sate watching, and his heart trem [...]led for fe [...]r of the Ark; and to move you to this, con­sider wh [...]t a sad condition we should be in, should the Ark be lost: Alas! what good would your Estates do you, if the Ark of God be taken away? How can you look upon your wives and children with comfort, if the Ark of God be gone? Wherein doth England [...] glory go beyond other Nations? other Nations are more wealthy then England; the Turk hath mo [...]e wealth than any Protestant King; the Heathen Nations have more of the glory of the world then any Christian King hath, more outward pomp, and rich apparel; What then is the glory of Eng­l [...]nd, but the Gospel? And if the gospel be gone, our glo­ry is gone, and all our comfor [...]s are gone. Remember Phi­neas Wife; they came and told h [...]r she had born a son, but it was no great comfort to her, she regarded it not, she hearkened not unto them, but called his name Icha­bo [...]; why so? f [...]rth [...] glory is departed from Israel. Oh! when the glory is gone, who would desire to live? I am loth to tell you [...]h [...] story that I have heard of from unqu [...]stiona­ble Authors, of Chrysostome; he was but one man, who yet when [...]o [...]eave Constan [...]inople, when he was put out of his pl [...], and banished, the people of Consta [...]tin [...]ple were so [...]ff [...]t [...]d with Chrysostome, that they all went to the [...] petitioned for their Minister, saying, They [...] soon miss the Sun out of the Firmament, as [Page 17] miss Chrysostom. But I will not enlarge upon these things.

Wo, wo, the sad, lamentable, and woful condition that we shall be in, if the ark of God be taken; and there­fore we had need sit trembling for fear of the ark.

Fourthly, Another thing that I would perswade you to, is this, Not to mourn immoderately neither: I would willingly speak some comfort to you, God onely knows when I shal speak again; and therefore before I leave you, I would not send you home comfo [...]tless: Mourn not therefore as without hope; for I have four arguments to perswade me, that the ark of God wil not be lost, though it be in danger of being lost.

Arg. 1. The first encouraging argument is this, Because God hath done great things already for this Nation, and I argue like Man [...]a's wife, Surely (saith she to her Hus­band) if Go [...] [...]ould have destroyed us, he would not have done so much for us; but God hath done so much for us, that surely he will not now forsake us; and that may be some ground of hope, that though our hearts do tremble, yet let them not sink within us.

Secondly, Another encouragement of hope is from the abundance of praying people in the Nation: There are many that pray to God night and day, that the ark of God may not be lost; and let me assure you one thing this morning, God never did destroy a praying and re­forming people; when God intends to destroy a Natio [...], to take away its ark, he takes away the spirit of prayer from that people; where God continues a spirit of pray­er, there God will be present, and there God wil continue his ark; you all know if there had been but ten good men in five Cities, God had spared the five Cities for [...]he ten mens lakes. Now through mercy there are many hundreds that fear God in this Natio [...], [Page 22] and that do not give God rest night nor day, but cry to God for mercy on the Nation; and who knows but for their sakes God may continue the Gospel to us?

Thirdly, Another ground of comfort is this, and I am much affected with it, God hath dealt with England not by way of Rule, but by way of Prerogative: For belo­ved, we have had Church and Sermon-sins in the midst of us all along Queen Elizabeths dayes, King James, and King Charles the first his dayes; we have also been an un­thankful Nation, and our Ministers have threatned ruine and destruction upon us from year to year; but God hath hitherto saved England by way of Prerogative, though we have those sins among us for which he destroyed other Nations; yet God hath spared us, because he will spare us, according to that Text, I will be graci [...] to whom I will be gracious. God is not tyed to his own [...], God may make an exemption; and who knows whether God may not make England an exemption from his common Rule?

Fourthly, Another ground of comfort is this, God is now a pouring out his Viols upon Antichrist, and all those Wars that are in Christendom, shall end in the ruine of Antichrist: Observe this, and carry it home with you. I say, God is pouring out his Vials upon the Throne of the Beast, and all those Wars that are in Christendom, shall end in the ruine and destruction of Antichrist, both East­e [...]n and Western Antichrist; and though some drops of these Vials may drop upon the Reformed Churches, and they may smart for a while, God may severely punish them; yet it is but for a little while, but the Vials shall all be poured upon Antichrist, there shall it rest, there shall it center; indeed the Lord may chastise his people, and scourge all the Reformed Churches before the Vials be [Page 23] all poured out; I say, God may scourge all the Reform­ed Churches, and a sound of persecution may go through them all, which are called drops of these Vials; but the Vials are intended for Antichrist, and shall all end in the ruine of Antichrist, and in the fall of Babylon, which is ground of great consolation to the people of God; and whatsoever becomes of us, yet our children, and our chil­drens children shall see the issue of these Vials poured out at last upon the Whore of Babylon, to the ruine of Antichrist and all his adherents.

Fifthly and lastly, to draw to a conclusion; I am to ex­hort you all to contribute your utmost endeavours to keep the ark of God from being lost. Now here I should shew you what the Magistrates must do to keep the ark from being carryed into captivity, and what the Ministers must do, and what the people should do.

First, What the Magistrates are to do; and not being to speak to them, I shall speak little of them. The Magi­strates are to use their Authority for the setling of the Ark; for the Ark of the Covenant will be like Noahs Ark, alwayes floating upon the top of the waters, till the Ma­gistrates that are set over it, will endeavour to settle it. Thus we read of David, & Sam. 6. David and all his men were gathered together, thirty thousand men, all his no­ble men went in great pomp to the fetching home of the ark; you may read the chapter at your leisure. And in 2 Chron. 5. 2. there you find Solomon and all his Nobles with a great deal of pomp fetching home the ark. Oh how should this encourage our Nobles and our Magi­strates, that they might be solicitous in setling the ark of God. Give me leave to say thus much to Magistrates, You must not do as the Philistins did, they had the ark, bu [...] [Page 20] what did they do with it? why they set it up in the house of Dagon; but Dagon and the ark will never agree; always when Dagon and the false Religion goes in at one door, the ark and the true Religion goes out at the other door: We must nor therefore put the ark and Dagon together.

Secondly, What must the Ministers do to keep the ark from being lost? Why the Ministers that bear the ark must be ho [...]y, the ark will never prosper upon the should­ers of Hophni, and Phineas; carry that home with you: it is not your wicked Ministers that can sertle the ark; it is not your prophane, drunken Ministers; no, it must be the godly, sober, pious and religious Ministers. How holy ought they to be that draw near to the God of holiness? So much for the duty of Ministers.

Thirdly, What must the people of God do? why there are four things that I will commend to you, and I will commend you to God. First, Do not idolize the ark. Se­condly, Do not undervalue the ark. Thirdly, Do not pry into the ark. Fourthly, Do not meddle with the ark un­less you have a call. Fifthly, keep the Covenant of the ark. Briefly of these, and I have done.

First; do not idolize the ark; that was the sin of the people in the Text, they thought the very presence of the ark would have secured them; and therefore they carryed the ark into the camp; though they did not repent and re­form, yet they thought if the ark were in the camp, they were secure; and thus many think, if they can get a good Minister, certainly God wil bless them, though they them­selves be never so wicked. This is to idolize the ark; there is nothing that will secure a Nation, but repentance and reformation; 'tis not the having the gospel, but the living answerable to the gospel, that wil secure the gospel. Take heed therefore of idoliziog the ark.

[Page 21]Secondly, We must not undervalue the ark, this was Michal her sin; David danced before the ark, and Michal mo [...]ked him; but said David, it is before the Lord, if this be to be vile, I will be more vile still. There are some men b [...]gin to say, What need we have any preaching, wil not reading of prayers serve the turn? What need we preach, say others, what need is there of so much preach­ing? will not once a day serve? What needs all this? Oh! but firs, this is so undervalue the ark; and the faithful Mi­nisters of Christ must say, if this be to be vile to preach twice a day, to fast, and pray for the safety of a Nation, we will be more vile still▪

Thirdly, We must not pry into the atk; this was the sin of the Be [...]hshemites, God destroyed 50000. of them for lo [...]king into the ark: You must not be curious in pry­ing into wha [...] God hath not revealed: There are great thoughts of heart when God intends lo deliver his people; give me leave to speak plainly to you: There are many that talk of 1666. they think the year of deliverance shal be that year when Antichrist shall be destroyed; and there is a Book printed to prove that Antichrist shall be de­stroyed in 1666, and there are strong impressions upon the hearts of many learned men as to the year 1666. some go to the year 1669. for the ruine of Antichrist; some pitch upon a time that's nearer, which I am loth to name to you: But truly my Brethren, if you would have my judgement (and I am glad of this opportunity to tell you so this morning) this is to pry too much into the ark: Re­member that text, and live by it, tis not for you [...]o know the times & seasons, you must not say, such & such a year; for when that year is come, you find you are deceiv'd, 'tis the way to make you atheists, to believe nothing: Certainly those Mi­nisters do no good to the Church, that prescribe times [Page 18] and seasons, for when those seasons are come, and we find our selves disappointed, after that we will believe the Minister no more. Give me leave to tell you a story, in the year one thousand, (which I have from ancient Au­thors) wherein it was believed throughout all the Chri [...] ­tian world, that the day of Judgement should begin, and great humiliations and repentance was in all Christian Churches; but when they saw the year end, and the day of Judgement happened not, they al [...] fell to their old pro­fessions, and afterward would believe nothing. 'Tis more dangerous then you imagine, for men to pitch on times and seasons. Gods time is the best time, and he that be­lieveth, maketh not hast: We must not pry too much into the Ark, lest the punishment of the Bethsh [...]mites be our portion.

Fourthly, You must not meddle with the Ark, unless called to it; this was the sin of Uzzah, he touched the Ark (you know the story) the Ark was in danger of fal­ling; he (good man) meaning no hurt, to keep up the A [...]k, to touch the Ark, but it neither did him good or the Ark, for he was destroyed himself, making a breach, and hindering the carrying home of the Ark. We have had great disorder heretofore, and God is now punishing us for that disorder: There was abundance of well-meaning men that usurped the Ministerial Office; and (forsooth) they were afraid the Ark was falling, and they laid to their shoulders; but their touching the Ark, un­did the Ark, and themselves too, and brought a scandal on the Gospel. If you would have the Gospel settled re­member, They that are Consecrated must touch the Ark.

Fifthly and Lastly, if ever you will preserve the Ark, keep the Laws that the Ark preservs; for in the Ark were [Page 19] the first and second Table of the Law; now these two Tables, the first and second Table of the Law you must keep; keep the Law, and God will keep the Ark; but if you break the Law, you forfeit the Ark. The Ark is called the Ark of the Covenant; keep the Covenant with God, and God will preserve your ark; but if you break your Covenant made with God in your Baptism, and the Covenant renewed at the Sacrament; if you break this Covenant, God will break the ark and you.

And thus (beloved) I have adventured out of that great affection I bear to you, to give you this morning this dis­course. The Lord give a blessing to what hath been spo­ken.

FINIS:

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