Die Mercurii 22 Octob. 1644.

IT is this day Ordered by the Com­mons assembled in Parliament: That M. Ashurst and M. Gowrdon do from this House give thanks to M. Calamy, for the great pains he took in the Ser­mon he preached this day at the en­treaty of the Commons at S. Marga­rets Westminster: It being a day especi­ally set apart for a Publike Humilia­tion, and to desire him to print his Ser­mon▪ And it is Ordered that none shall presume to Print his Sermon without being authorised under the Hand-writing of the said M. Calamy.

H. Elsyng Cler. Parl. D. Com.

I Authorize CHRISTOPHER MEREDITH, or his Assigns to print my Sermon above-named, and no man else.

EDMUND CALAMY.

Englands Antidote, AGAINST The Plague of Civill Warre. Presented in A SERMON BEFORE THE HONOU­rable House of COMMONS, on their late extraordinary Solemn Fast, October 22. 1644.

By EDMUND CALAMY, B. D. and Preacher at Aldermanbury, LONDON.

LUKE 13. 4, 5.

—Or those eighteen upon whom the Tower of Siloe fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Ierusalem?

I tell you Nay: but except ye Repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

LONDON, Printed by A. Miller for Christopher Meredith, at the Sign of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard, MDCLII.

TO THE HONOURABLE the House of COMMONS, now assembled in PARLIAMENT.

THe subject matter presented unto you in this Sermon, is Repentance: A Theam that concerns you not only as you are Parliament men, betrusted by the people with the happinesse of the Kingdom, but as you are Gen­tlemen betrusted by God with im­mortall souls. It is a question with some (though with me it is no question) Whether a wicked man can be a good Parliament man? But I suppose it is a question with none, That if the man go to hell for want of repentance, what shall then become of the Parliament man? For this grace is absolutely necessary for your own salvati­ons; so necessary as that there is not the least crevise [Page] for an impenitent sinner to get into heaven at. And it is necessary also for the preservation of the Kingdom. For it is The only way, and an infallible way to deliver us from this man-devouring, and land-de­vouring Iudgement that is now upon us, as is pro­ved at large in the ensuing Discourse. And there­fore I could heartily wish that one of the Sermons preach­ed before you every Fasting day, might be a Sermon of Repentance, And that all our Pulpits might sound forth nothing but the the Doctrine of Repentance; and that this might be the Language of every godly Mi­nister, Repent O England, Repent, Repent. It was once said, and that very truly, Inter altercandum ve­ritas amittitur. I am sure it may be more truly said of our times, Inter disputandum paenitentia amittitur, The people of the City of London have almost dispu­ted away their Repentance. I have read of one that by long studying of School-Divinity was so besot­ted that he quite forgot the Lords Prayer. And I fear that in our dayes through the heat of disputati­on about matters of Discipline, Faith, and Repen­tance is much forgotten both by Minister and Peo­ple. And therefore as it was the excellency of our first Reformers (for which they are eternally to be praised) to bring the Divinitie of former times (which was much perplexed, and almost lost a­mongst the multitude of unnecessary School-utrum's) unto a plain positive Scripture-Divinitie: So it will be the excellency of all the godly Ministers in Eng­land (for which Posterity will blesse them) to bring all the multitude of the unnecessary Questions that are amongst us, to this Unum necessarium of Repen­tance.

[Page]But then our care must be, that this Repentance be a right Repentance. For most people deceive them­selves into hell by a false Repentance. The nature of man is wonderfull prone, First, To think it an easie thing to Repent, Secondly, To think that Repen­tance is an ordinary common Theam, and that it is an easie matter to make a Sermon of Repentance. Thirdly, To think that it is in his power to Re­pent when he will. Fourthly, To think that God will be contented with any slight Repentance. Fifth­ly, To think that little sinnes need no great Repen­tance. Sixthly, To think that he repenteth when he doth not. Seventhly, To deferre his Repen­tance till he come to be old or sick, Eighthly, To trust to his Repentance, and to think to make God a­mends by his repentance.

All these are common and dangerous errours. The Lord deliver you from them. Remedies against most of them are discovered in the following Sermon, which though I suppose your multitude of businesses will not suf­fer you to reade over; yet your multitude of businesses must not hinder you from the present practice of it. For he that excuseth himself from present Repentance by the multitude of his imployments, what doth he else, but ex­cuse himself out of heaven, as they did, Luke 14. 18, 19. that brought Apostles why they could not goe to heaven?

Your affairs are many and weighty, yet I beseech you alwaies remember Christs speech, Luke 10. 41, 42. Martha, Martha, thou art carefull about many things, but one thing is needfull. The Lord make you Stu­dents of such things, which, when well studied, will study you into Christ and into Heaven. Most men study [Page] things that study them into envy, and into contentions, and into things to be repented of. The Lord make you to study that Repentance which is a repentance never to be repented of.

So prayeth, Your much obliged spirituall servant, EDMUND CALAMY.

A Sermon preached before the Honourable House of COMMONS, at their extraordinary Day of Humiliation, October 22, 1644.

Acts 17. vers 30. latter part.‘—But now commandeth all men every where to repent.’
The former part runs thus.‘And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but, &c.

AMong all the Texts that are in the Bible, there is no one Text more suteable to these times, then this that I have read unto you; But now God commands all men every where to repent: God hath been preaching repentance to England by the Ministry of his word almost these hundred years; but England hath turned a deaf ear to Gods preaching, and God is now preaching repen­tance, not only by his Word, but by the sword; (for the sword hath a voice as well as the word, Mic. 6. 9. And the sword speaks louder then the Word) God is riding throughout all England, upon his red and bloudy horse, thundring out repentance to every City, Countrey, Town and Family; and that which was the last speech of Master Bradford, when he was burning at the stake, is now become the voice not only of the Word of God, but of the Sword of God. Repent Oh England, repent, repent; The Text is very sutable, the Lord make it as profitable as it is sutable.

If any shall object and say; That the doctrine of repentance [Page 2] is a doctrine that we all know already. I answer, if you know this doctrine so well, the more shame you practise it so little. You know the Story of Chrysostom, that preached many Sermons to the people of Antioch against Swearing, and the people began to be weary of that subject; and asked him, when he would leave preaching against swearing: He answered, when you leave swea­ring, I'le leave preaching against swearing. Would you have the plaister taken away before the wound be cured? I could heartily wish, that all the godly Ministers of England would combine to­gether, never to leave preaching the sword-removing, and land­preserving doctrine of repentance, till they had perswaded all the people of England to repent, and till God should be pleased up­on our repentance, for Christs sake, to turn away the judgements that are now upon us. The words themselves are part of that famous Sermon that Saint Paul did preach to the Athenians, to drive them from their old Idolatries and Superstitions, to which they and their forefathers had been so much addicted. In the whole verse we have three parts: First,

A description of the times in which their forefathers lived,1. they were times of ignorance; But the times of this ignorance: No wonder they were Idolaters, for they were ignorant: They sate in darknesse and saw no light, and no wonder for a man in the dark to erre and go astray.

A description of Gods carriage and behaviour towards those2. times; And the times of this ignorance God winked at. By which words you must not understand, as if God did allow of their Idolatries, but there is a twofold meaning of those words.

1 God winked, that is, God did not so severely punish your1. forefathers that lived in time of ignorance for their Idolatries, as he will do you that live in time of knowledge if you continue in these courses. For ignorance doth excusare à tanto▪ though not à toto; your forefathers knew no better, and therefore were no better. But now God will wink no longer. For we live in times of knowledge. And he that knoweth his masters will and doth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.

2. God winked at your fore-fathers, that is, God did2. not care so much for them, as he doth for you, God despised them; The word in the Greek is [...] the same word [Page 3] that is used Act. 6. 1. and it signifies to neglect and despise. God did neglect your forefathers and suffered them to go to hell in their Idolatries, but now God takes more care of you, for God hath sent me to preach Jesus Christ for your salvation; And there­fore it is no excuse for you to pleade the example of your forefa­thers, for the times of ignorance God winked at, but now God commands you to repent of the sins your forefathers lived in.

Here we have a description of the Duty that God required of3. them, and that God requires of us, and that God requires of all men every where. But now God commands all men every where to repent: But now, not now exclusively, but now eminently, now rather then at another time, now more then at another time; But now. God doth not only entreat, but he doth command; and he doth not only command some men, but he commands all men; and not only in some places, but every where: But now God commands all men every where to repent. In the words thus explained, there are five Observations; I shall wave the first four, and pitch only upon the last; the first is,

That to live impenitently in times of knowledge, is a sin that God Doct. 1. will not wink at; To be a drunkard, or an adulterer, or an idolater, &c. under the times of the Gospel, is a sinne that God will never bear; And the times of ignorance God winked at, but now, &c.

That it is a great blessing to a nation, for God to send the Gospel Doct. 2. to a nation. And the times of ignorance God neglected and de­spised, but now God hath sent the Gospel to you, God takes more care of your salvation.

That long prescription of time for Idolatry and superstition, is no Doct. 3. good argument to maintain Idolatry and superstition. This was the argument that the Athenians brought against Pauls doctrine, ver. 18. This man seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods, He preacheth new doctrine that our forefathers never heard of, and therefore we will not hearken to his doctrine. This was the argu­ment the Jews brought against Steven and his doctrine, Acts 6. 14. We have heard him say, that this Iesus shall alter the customs which Moses delivered us. This is the great argument the Papists use to maintain their Masse-book, their adoration of images, and the rest of their superstitions. In King Edward the sixths dayes, when the great rebellion was in the West, the only argument [Page 4] that was brought by the Rebels to uphold their rebellion was, be­cause that King Edward did endeavour to bring in a new way of worshipping of God, which they and their Forefathers did not know. And this is the great and only reason, that makes many poor and ignorant people to cry down the Parliament; and for this cause many thousands have taken up Arms to fight them­selves into Popery and slavery: And all because they fear the Par­liament will take away their old Episcopal government, their old Cathedrall service, their organs, altars, crossings of their children in Baptism, and other such like customes. For my part, I am not ignorant of what dangerous consequence it is, to alter and change the customs of a kingdom, and I know the Parliament is so wise, as that they will not alter, and the Assembly of Ministers so ju­dicious, as that they will not advise them to alter any custome in the worship of God, but upon very grave and weighty conside­rations. But howsoever, this is no good argument: Because I have been accustomed to come to Westminster to hear the Or­gans play, and to hear Cathedrall service; And because I my self was signed with the sign of the crosse when I was baptized; And because I have lived all this while under Episcopall government, therefore I will take up Arms rather then the Parliament shall make me to worship God in any other way then I have been ac­customed. The Text confutes this Argument, And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commands all men every where to repent. Former times were times of ignorance, and times wherein mens consciences were oppressed, and mouths stopped from speaking. But now the times are times of Reformation; now God hath given greater liberty, and hath sent a greater light into the kingdom. And now God commands all men every where to repent.

That the Commandements of Gods Ministers, they are Gods Doct. 4. Commandements; God commands all men, saith the Text; that is, God by me commands; my Commandement is Gods Com­mandement. These four Doctrines I shall not any further med­dle withall, but the Doctrine that through the help of Almighty God I shall desire to insist upon, is this:

That Repentance is the great Commandement of God for these Doct. 5. times: Or thus; That Repentance is the duty of these daies; [Page 5] Repentance is the unum necessarium for England: Repentance is the primum & maximum mandatum for England: But now God commands all men every where to repent. And there are two Rea­sons, why that God commands England to repent now, rather then ever before.

The first Reason is common to England with the Athenians. 1.

The second reason is proper to England: The first reason is2. Pauls reason: The second reason is Englands reason.

The first reason why England should now repent, and why thisThe first head of Reasons. duty is now so necessary, is because that now are the times of the Gospel; and not only so, but times wherein the Gospel is preach­ed with more purity and power then ever; and therefore God commands us all to repent now more then ever. And there are divers reasons why that they that liue under the Gospel should re­pent more then other people▪ and rather then other people:

1. Because Repentance is one of the first lessons that the Go­spel teacheth, And therefore Iohn Baptist that was a harbinger to the Gospel, came preaching the doctrine of Repentance, and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand, Mat. 3. 2. And the first Sermon that Christ preached was a Sermon of Repen­tance, Mat. 4. 17. From that time Iesus began to preach, and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And the first les­son that Peter taught the Iews, Act. 2. 28. was to repent, And therefore it is called, Heb. 6. 1. one of the principles of the doctrine of Christ: And he must needs be an arrant dunce in the School of the Gospel, that hath been twenty, thirty, or fourty years in the School of the Gospel, and hath not yet learned the first lesson of the Gospel.

2. Because Repentance is not only one of the first, but one of the chiefest lessons of the Gospel. For, for this very end and purpose Christ came down from heaven, and was made man, that he might preach repentance, as you may reade, Luk. 5. 31. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

3. Because Repentance, as it is one of the first and chiefest lessons of the Gospel, so it is one of the chiefest purchases and privi­ledges of the Gospel. As Christ came from heaven to preach re­pentance, so he shed his bloud to purchase repentance. And there­fore he bids his Disciples to go and preach repentance in his [Page 6] Name, that is, as his purchase, Luk. 24. 47. Repentance is a back­door to escape Gods wrath by, made up of Christs bloud. A door that the Angels had not, nor Adam, till Christ had purchased it for him. The Covenant of Works admits not of it. Repentance is the proper priviledge of the Covenant of Grace.

4. Because Repentance is one of the chiefest gifts of the Go­spel. For as Christ became man to preach Repentance, and shed his bloud to purchase repentance; so he is also risen from the dead, and exalted at Gods right hand, to be a Prince and Saviour to give repentance to Israel, and forgivenesse of sins, Act. 5. 31. Hence I gather, That to be under the Gospel, and to live impenitently, is to sinne against the incarnation of Christ, it is to sin against the bloud-shed of Christ, it is to sin against the resurrection and exal­tation of Christ, it is to sin against the purchase and donation of Christ, and against the chief priviledges of a Christian.

But then again, God requires that you that live under the Go­spel,Reason 5. that you especially should repent, more then other nations; because the Gospel doth hold forth two powerfull Arguments and Motives to perswade you to repent; such as no other Reli­gion can hold forth: The first Motive is,

The consideration of Gods infinite love to mankinde, in send­ingMotive 1. Jesus Christ to die a cursed death, to save all that beleeve and repent from hell and damnation: This is in a kinde an omnipo­tent Argument to perswade a sinner to repentance: Was Iesus Christ crucified for me, and shall I crucifie him by my bloudy oaths and blasphemies? &c. Was the Lord Iesus Christ broken for me, and shall not my heart be broken for my sins against him? this is in­star mille argumentorum. There is a story, that when Caesar was killed in the Senate by Brutus and Cassius, Anthony the Se­nator took his bloudy Robe, and carried it to the Market-stead, and shewed it to the people; Behold (saith he) the bloudy Robe of your quondam Emperour: And thereby he did provoke them to the revenge of his death. And certainly the contemplation of the bloud-shed of Jesus Christ, is an unanswerable argument, to constrain us to repent of our sins against Christ: He that would repent aright of sinne, let him go to Mount Calvary, and there he shall learn two lessons, that no other Religion can teach him; First:

[Page 7] Mount Calvary will teach him, that God is so displeased with 1. sin, that nothing but the death of a God could satisfie the wrath of God for sin.

Mount Calvary will teach him that all that Christ did there 2. suffer must be suffered by him to all eternity, if he doth not repent. This is an omnipotent argument, if God makes it effectual.

But besides this motive, the Gospel holds forth as in a clear glasse a second motive; which is,

The consideration of the eternall Iudgement, This is an ArgumentMotive 2. that Paul brings in the verse after my Text, But now God com­mands all men to repent, because he hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousnesse, by that man whom he hath or­dained, &c. There will come a terrible day of judgement: and in that day, if there be any one sin unrepented of, the devils shall assoon be saved as you, This is a mighty Argument to perswade you to repentance; The least sinne will damn you in that day without repentance; the greatest sin cannot hurt you in that day if you repent.

But besides these Motives, the Gospel doth also afford twoReason 2. great Helps to work repentance, which no other Religion can af­ford: and therefore we that live under the Gospel, we must re­pent rather then other: The Gospel affords the help of Know­ledge, and the help of Grace: First,

1. The Gospel affords the help of Knowledge; for God hathThe first help. promised that in the times of the Gospel all men shall know him from the least to the greatest; we that live under the Gospel know that Drunkennesse, and Adultery, and Swearing, are the works of hell, and will bring to hell; we know this, and therefore though God winked at the times of ignorance, God will not wink at us if we be guilty of these sins; We that live under the Gospel, know that the worship of God, the more spirituall it is, the more beautifull it is in the eyes of God who is a Spirit: And that the outward pomp of Gods service is an attire more fit for the Whore of Babylon then for the modest Spouse of Christ: And that Mu­sick in Gods service, though it may please the ears of men, yet it is unpleasing in the ears of God: And that the best Musick that will please God, is the sighs and groans of a bleeding heart for sinne. This we all know: and therefore God will not wink [Page 8] at our Superstition: The times of ignorance God winked at, but now under the Gospel he cals you all to repent: For we know that Repentance is as necessary as heaven: And that it is one of the first principles of the Doctrines of Christ, Heb. 6. 1, 2. And that it is one of the vitall parts of a Christian, without which a Christian is but a carkasse of a Christian: As the soul is necessary to the life of the body, so repentance is necessary to the life of a Chri­stian; it is as the very soul of a Christian; a Christian is no true Christian without it, We know this: And therefore God will not wink at an impenitent sinner in these daies: We know that there are but two waies to heaven; either by innoceney, or by Penitency; And he that will look to go to heaven by innocency, must finde a ladder by himself to climbe to heaven by: There is no way to heaven since the fall of Adam but by repentance: And therefore Tertullian saith, he was nulli rei natus nisi paenitentiae, born for nothing else but to repent: This we all know; and therefore not to repent now, is a sinne that God will never suffer. Besides this,

2. We have the help of Gods Spirit, for the Ministery of theThe second help. Gospel, is the Ministery of the Spirit; and God hath promised to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh in the times of the Gospel: And therefore God looks we should be more spirituall in his worship then the Iews were: And not to repent under the Gospel; is not only to sinne against the Minister, but it is to sinne against the Spirit of God. Now the summe of all the first Argument is this: That he that lives under the Gospel, and lives impenitently, sins against the Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Exaltation of Iesus Christ: sins against the greatest arguments, that God can use, to perswade him to repent; sins against the greatest helps that God can afford him to repent; He is a sinner left without all excuse, He is a Monster in Christianity; And the hottest place in hell is too cold for him, All this is Pauls reason, and it is common to us with the Athenians.

But now give me leave to set before you Englands reason, whyThe second head of Rea­sons. God would have us now especially to repent; A reason proper to England, in regard of the sad condition that England is now in. And the reason is this: Because these are times of warre and bloudshed, this is the day of Iacobs trouble: And therefore God [Page 9] doth especially call for repentance in these daies: This appears, Ioel 2. 12. Therefore also now (saith the Lord) turn unto me, speaking of times of famine, (as some think) or times of war, (as others think) therefore now turn unto me with all your hearts, with fasting, weeping, and with mourning.

And there are four Reasons that England doth present beforeFour Reasons why we should repent in these times of warre and bloudshed, more then at other times. you why that these miserable times should perswade you to re­pentance, more then ever before: The first is,

Because God doth now use such an Argument to perswade us to Repentance, the like to which he never yet did use, since England was England: Gods Argument is this; Repont, O ye Lords and Commons, or else I'le give you over to Beggery: Re­pent, Reason 1. or else I will give you over to Popery; I'le give you over to slavery; Repent, or else I'le plunder your houses; I'le give up your wives and daughters to be defloured; Repent, or else I'le burn your Cities; Repent, or else I'le remove the Gospel from you. And not to repent when God uses such Arguments, is a sin that God will hardly pardon; as you shall reade in the 22. of Isaiah, 12, 13, 14. In that day the Lord called for weeping and mourn­ing, (speaking of a time of warre) and baldnesse, and sack­cloth, &c. But behold, joy and slaying of Oxen, &c. and it was revealed in mine ears, &c. Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you, till ye die; that is, it shall hardly ever be pardoned. And then secondly,

Because God hath now taken away all those Hinderances and Reason 2. Impediments that did heretofore lie in your way to hinder you from repentance; and therefore now God especially cals you to repentance. There are five Obstructions that hinder many from repentance; The hope of long life; Inconsideration; the Patience and long suffering of God; the abundance of flattering Preachers; and the abundance of wealth, prosperity, jollity and feasting, &c. Now God hath taken away all these Impediments▪ Five Impedi­ment▪ which did formerly hinder many from repen­tance which are now re­moved.

The first Impediment is the hope of Long life. This is a mighty Giant to hinder most people from speedy repentance; every man thinks he may live one day longer, and therefore every man de­ferres his repentance one day longer. But now God hath remo­ved this stumbling-block. There is no man can hope for long life now. These are killing dayes. These are dying dayes. These are [Page 10] dayes wherein every man should carry his life in his hand, and the grace of repentance in his heart: It is a sign of an Atheist not to repent now.

A second Impediment is Inconsideration. And therefore it is2. said expresly, Ier. 8. 6. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickednesse, saying, What have I done? For did a sinner seriously consider the unexpressible woe and misery he brings upon himself by not repenting; what a sad condition it is to be eternal fuel to everlasting fire, and to be de­prived of the beatificall vision. Did he further consider the good­nesse and kindenesse of God towards him every day, notwith­standing his daily provocations, and what an unkindenesse it is to sin against such a God. Did he consider the affronts and indig­nities that are offered to God by sinners. And also the ineffa­ble love of Jesus Christ towards him, in dying a cursed death to free him from hell and damnation. And did he seriously and con­scientiously dwell upon these thoughts, this would (through Gods assistance) quickly winde up his soul to a right Repentance. But these truths lye like a sealed Letter, like a Treasure lockt up, like fire under the embers; without any use or benefit for want of Consideration. And therefore David saith, Psa. 119. So I consider­ed my waies, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. And Peter, when he remembred Christs speech, and had weighed it, as the word signifieth, he went out and wept bitterly, Mark 11. 72. But our God hath taken away this impediment in a great measure. Now people have time and leasure to search and try their waies. And this is the proper businesse of such times, Ecclis. 7. 14. In the day of adversity consider: When the Prodigall Childe was in great distresse, then he came to himself and repented, Luk. 15. 17. And Solomon prayeth, That if the people of Israel in their captivi­ty should be think themselves and repent, &c. 1 King. 8. 47. These are times wherein God doth in an especiall manner call upon us to consider seriously of the anger of God against England, and what those sinnes are which have provoked him to anger, and to repent of those sinnes. And we have time and leasure thus to doe.

The third Impediment, is the Patience and long-sufferance of 3. God▪ As the Sunne hardens the Clay, so doth the goodnesse of [Page 11] God harden a wicked man in his sins, Eccl. 8. 11. but now God hath taken away this impediment. For now the patience of God is at an end. Now the heavy wrath of God lies upon England: Now the Axe is laid at the very root of the tree; God hath been holding up his Axe many years against England; but now God is hewing down the Tree of England at the very roots: It is high time now we should begin to repent.

A fourth Impediment is the abundance of flattering Preachers, 4. (to which you have been accustomed I fear in this place too much heretofore) that have preached Peace, Peace, and have strengthned the hands of wicked men in their sinne, by promising them life, Ezek. 13 12. But now (by the help of you Right Ho­nourable; for which we blesse God) God hath (in a great part) removed all these flattering Teachers: And now the doctrine of Repentance is preached with power, and in the demonstration of Gods Spirit: And therefore now especially God cals you to repent.

A fifth Impediment is the abundance of wealth, case, joviality, 5. and prosperity. These are mighty Goliahs to hinder men from repentance. Prosperity is apt to make a man secure, proud, for­getfull of God, impatient of reproof, Ier. 22. 21. I spake unto thee in thy prosperity, but thou saidst, I will not hear, &c. When Iesu­run waxed fat, he kicked, &c. Deut. 32. 13. The Oxen that go in the fattest pasture soonest come to the slaughter-house. But now God hath taken away your prosperity, your wealth, and your joviality. These are times of affliction; these are fit times for hu­miliation, and repentance, and weeping, and mourning: And therefore now you have no excuse, if you do not repent.

The third Reason why England should repent now, more thenEnglands third Reason, why she should re­pent now more then at other times. at other times, is: Because that repentance is the only way to re­move the man-devouring and Land-devouring judgement that is now upon us: I say, it is the Only way, for so saith Christ Luk. 13. 5. Except ye repent, ye shall all perish. And so saith Christ also, Revel. 2. 5 16, 21▪ 22▪ So also saith Moses, Lev. 26. 14, 17. Deut. 28. 15, 25. Which Texts have a morall equity, and doe set out the unchangeable will of God to the end of the world. So al­so saith David, Psal. 7. 12.

Doth not, God many times remove the judgement of theObject. [Page 12] Sword, or of the Plague, &c. from a Nation when that Nation doth not repent? Hath not God many times removed the Plague from the City of London, when London hath not repented of her iniquities?

To this Objection I answer three waies.

First, It is one thing far God to remove his Anger from a Na­tion,Answ. 1. another thing for God to remove his judgements from a Na­tion. God never removes his anger till a nation repenteth; but God doth sometimes remove a judgement, when the sins that caused it are not removed. But when God doth so, This very re­moving his judgements is a great judgement. For as it is a great pu­nishment for God not to punish a sinner in this life, but to reserve him for hell; as you may reade, Hos. 4. 14. So it is also a great pu­nishment for God sometimes to remove a punishment: as is plain, Isa. 1. 5. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more &c, That is, Why should I be so mercifull unto you, as to punish you? As it is a great mercy for God to punish a sinner in this life, according to that saying, Misericordiae est aliquando subtrahere misericordiam; So it is a great affliction for God to take away the Sword, Famine, or the plague, and reserve men for hell and damnation. As God sometimes gives mercies in anger; (as he did Quails to the Israelites) Nam multa concedit Deus iratus, quae negat placatus: So he sometimes takes away judgements in anger.

Secondly, I answer, That God may upon the prayers of hisAnsw. 2. people, and upon the outward humiliation of the wicked, remove a judgement: but then this is but a temporary removall. It is ra­ther a proroguing then a removing of the judgement. For if the sins that brought the judgement be not truly repented on, ruine and destruction will come at last. Ahab was at last destroyed, and so were the Sodomites; and so was the old world, though reprieved for a while. For except ye repent, ye shall all like wise pe­rish, saith Christ: They shall perish sooner or later. And so the Iews did fourty years after, to whom Christ then spake, A sin­ner of a hundred years old, shall be accursed, Isa. 65. 20. And so also Eccl. 8. 12, 23. Isa. 3. 11▪

Thirdly, I answer, When a judgement is removed, and theAnsw. 3. sins that procured it not removed, it is rather changed then re­moved. [Page 13] If God love thee, he will change it into another corporall affliction. But if he intends to destroy thee, he will take it off thy body, and inflict it upon thy soul. He will give thee up to hardnesse of heart, as he did Pharaoh. He will take the plague off thy body, and suffer the plague of sinne to encrease in thy soul: which is not to cure, but to change the judgement for thy ever­lasting ruine. This God doth as a just Judge, But that which this third Reason holds forth is this, That there is no way to ob­tain a totall and blessed removall of this Land-devouring judgement but by repentance.

The fourth Reason why England should repent now more thenReason 4. at another time, and rather then at another time is,

Fourthly, Because Repentance is a most certain and an infalli­ble Englands fourth Reason why she should repent now, more then at another time. way to remove the great plague of Civill War that is now upon the Kingdom. Mistake me not, I do not say, God will remove the bloudy Sword for our Repentance, But this I say, God will not remove it without Repentance: and upon our repentance he will remove it. Though Repentance be not causa propter quod, yet it is causa sine qua non. It is not the cause for which, but the cause without which God will not do it. And not only so, but repentance is also causa removens prohibens, Repentance removes those sins that do hinder a Nation from deliverance; and in this sense is a cause of our deliverance. Repentance is the qualificati­on of that Nation which God intends to preserve.

Will you secure us, that God will heal the Nation if it repents?Object.

If the Repentance of England be nationall and sincere, there isAnsw. no doubt of it. For we have three Texts that speak thus much in plain terms, Ier. 18. 7, 8. 2 Chron 7. 14. Lev. 26. 40, 41, 42. &c. These Texts are the Charter of heaven, to prove that Repen­tance, if it be sincere and nationall, is an infallible way to save a Nation from ruine.

What answer you to that Text, 2 King▪ 23. 26. where it isObject. said, That notwithstanding the Reformation in Josiah's dayes, the Lord turned not from the fiercenesse of his great wrath▪ &c. because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withall▪

I briefly answer three things.

First, That the repentance that was in Iosiah's time, was theAnsw. 1. Repentance of Iosiah and some few other, but it was not nationall. [Page 14] And therefore you may observe, that it is punctually said, almost in every verse of the 2 Kin. 23. That Iosiah put down the Idola­trous Priests, and Iosiah defiled Tophet▪ and read the law &c. There is no mention made of the voluntary concurrence of his Princes and people, as is expresly mentioned in the Reformation of He­zekiah, 2 Chron. 30. 14, 15, 16, 23, 27. &c. 2 Chron. 31. 1. And it is worth the noting, that whereas Iosiah began to reign when he was eight years old, 2 Chron. 34. 1. it is said, that in the eight year of his reign, he began to seek after the God of David his fa­ther, 2 Chron. 34. 3. But yet it was four years after, before he began to set upon the work of Reformation, 2 Chron 34. 3. and it was ten years after, before the book of the law was found, as appears, 2 Chron. 34. 8. which was a sign that in his first eighteen years there was but little reformation, and therefore no doubt he met with great opposition from his people, which is an argu­ment that the repentance was not nationall.

Secondly, But suppose it was nationall, yet it is certain it wasAnsw. 2. not sincere, as appears plainly, Ier. 3. 10. (for Ieremy prophecied in Iosiah's daies) and also 2 Chron. 34. 32. where it is said; That Iosias caused the people to stand to the Covenant they had made, which implyeth a kinde of forcing them to it.

But Thirdly, I answer; That this Repentance of what natureAnsw. 3. soever it was, it did turn away the judgements of God, for the present, from Iudah, and it did keep them from ruine. As long as Iosiah lived, and as long as the people continued in his Reforma­tion, so long they were preserved. But after Iosiah's death wicked Kings arose, and the people forsook the Lord, and therefore God was forced to destroy them. For this see 2 Chron. 34. 33. 2 Chron. 36. 14, 17. &c. So that it is plain notwithstanding this objection, that Repentance is an infallible way to remove Englands misery if it be nationall. &c.

But suppose the nation should not repent, what good will myObject. personall repentance do to the nation or to my self?

Much good every manner of way; For first, Personall re­pentance,Awsw. if right, will alwaies save thy soul from hell, Ezek. 18. 30, 31, 32.

Secondly, It will for the most part save thy body also from ruine, even then when God is destroying the nation wherein thou art, [Page 15] Ezek. 14. 14. Especially if there be four qualifications found in thee: first, If thou beest one of those that mourn for the abomina­tions that are committed in the land, Ezek. 9. 4. secondly, If thou beest one of those that are vexed with the unrighteous conversation of those with whom thou livest, 2 Pet. 2. 7, 8, Thirdly, If thou beest one of those that keepest thy self pure from those sinnes for which God destroyeth the nation in which thou livest, Gen. 6. 9. Fourthly, If thou beest one of those that appear for God in sinfull times, then God will appear for thy deliverance in destroying times. Jer. 39. 17, 18. And for this very reason did God deliver Ieremy himself, and gave him his life for a prey. But because Gods people many times are ashamed of Gods cause in evil dayes, and because they do not keep themselves unspotted from the sinnes of the times, and because they are not vexed and do not mourn for the abo­minations of the land wherein they live, hence it is that they are many times involved in the outward calamity that fals upon the nation.

Thirdly, Personall repentance will sometime save a whole na­tion, as we may reade in the example of Moses, Who often stood in the gap to turn away the wrath of God from the people of Israel. Psal. 106. 23. And the Prophet Ieremy bids us Run ye to and fro, &c. and if ye can finde a man, if there be any that executeth ju­stice, that seeketh the truth▪ and I will pardon it, Jer. 5. 1. This al­so we reade, Eze. 22. 30. Ec 9. 14, 15. If there had been ten wheat­ears in Sodom, God would have spared all the chaff for their sakes, Gen. 18. 32.

Fourthly, Personall repentance, though it doth not alwaies pre­serve thee from a temporall judgement, yet it alwaies sanctifieth a temporall judgement, and turneth it into a blessing. It takes away the curse and the poison of a judgement. And though the affliction be not bonum in it self, yet it shall turn to thee in bonum. As the same flail falls upon the corn and chaff, but for different ends, the one to be burnt, the other to be laid up in the barn: So the same judgement that is an utter ruine to an impenitent sinner, shall be for the benefit and happines of a repenting sinner, as is excellent­ly set out by the parable of the good and bad figs. Ier. 24 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. In a word, There are four kinde of Arks that God pro­vides for his children in times of publike calamities; and one of [Page 16] these four Arks God will provide for thee if thou repentest. First, Either he will provide an Ark of prevention by death before the calamity comes, Isa. 57. 1. Thou shalt rest in the grave as in thy Ark; and shalt not see the evill that is coming upon the Na­tion. And thy very dust will be precious in Gods sight. For Christ cannot be perfect without it, Eph. 1. 23. Or secondly, he will provide an Ark of deliverance and preservation from the judge­ment when it comes, as he did to Noah, Lot, Ieremy, and will do to thee also if thou hast the four qualifications forementioned. Or thirdly, an Ark of supportation under the judgement, and san­ctification of the judgement. Or fourthly, an Ark of salvation by the judgement, It is but winking (as the Martyr said) and thou shalt be in heaven presently.

This is all I shall say for the explication. Only I shall make bold to put you in minde of an Ordinance of Parliament made by you, Feb. 15. 1642. In which pious and religious Ordinance you call upon the whole Kingdom to practise that which I preach before you this day. And you therein say, That Repentance is the only remedy to turn away Gods judgements. And that it is an ex­cellent remedy, a successefull remedy, and an unfailing remedy. These are your own expressions. I shall therefore take the point for granted, and having spent so much time in the explication, I shall now proceed to the application.

If Repentance be the unum necessarium for England; if it beUse. the great Commandement; Here is a black Bill of indictment a­gainst all those that live impenitently even in these daies. That swear and will swear even in these daies. That are drunkards and adulterers, and will be so even in these daies. That love their old superstitious practices as much as ever. That willingly neg­lect holy duties, or perform them negligent, even in these bloudy daies. In a word, that live in any one known sin without Repen­tance. I beseech all such (as a Minister of God) to hearken to the evill of their condition.

Not to repent at any time is a damnable sinne. And indeed there is no sinne properly damns any man but the want of faith and repentance. The sinne against the holy Ghost is therefore on­ly unpardonable, because God hath threatned never to give repen­tance to the man that commits it, Heb. 6. 4. It is not the falling in­to [Page 17] the water drowns any man, but the lying in the water: So it is not the falling into sin that damns any man, but the lying in sin without repentance.

Not to repent at any time, is so damnable a sin, that Austin thinks that the sin against the holy Ghost is nothing else but fina­lis impoenitentia. Which though I conceive to be an errour, yet I know this to be a truth; That no sin damns any man, to which finalis impoenitentia is not an adjunct.

But not to repent in such times as these are, is a sin that hath a double aggravation upon it to make it exceeding sinfull.

For first, these times are times of the Gospel, times of know­ledge, 1. times of the Spirit. And though God winks at the times of ignorance, yet he will not wink now. To sinne against the Gospel is a greater sinne then to sinne against the Law, Heb. 10. 28, 29. For he that sins against the Gospel, sins against more mer­cy then he that sins against the Law. And Gospel sins will bring Gospel curses, which are greater then Legall curses. If any man sin against the Law, he hath the Gospel to fly unto; but if he sin against the Gospel, what shall he then fly unto? The Curse of the Gospel is Anathema Maranatha. Not to repent now, is to sin against the priviledge of the Covrnant of grace; against the purchase and donation of Christ; against the Incarnation, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus Christ; as I shewed before.

And secondly, These times are times of affliction; and not2. only so, but times wherein God afflicteth us with the sorest of his judgements. And therefore not to repent in these daies, is not only a Soul-destroying but a Land-destroying sin. It is a sign thou lovest neither wife, non childe; nor houses, nor lands; nor soul nor body. For there is no way to preserve all these from ruine, but by repentance.

Not to repent in such times as these are, is to harden our hearts above the hardnesse of a Iew. We have a Proverb, As hard-heart­ed as a Iew. A sinner impenitent under affliction, is more hard­hearted. For the Jews sought God diligently, and early; and with great weeping and mourning in their affliction, Hos. 5. 15. Psal. 78. 34. 1 Sam. 7. 6.

Not to repent in such daies as these, is to be worser then the [Page 18] very Heathen; for not only the Heathen Ninevites but the Hea­then Mariners in a storm, every man cried to their God. Now Mariners ordinarily are the worst of men. Not to repent in these sad daies is to harden our hearts above the hardnesse of rocks; as you shall see in▪the fifth of Ieremy, and the third verse, I have corrected them, and they have not amended, &c. they have hardned their faces above the hardnesse of rocks; as if he should have said, If their hearts were not harder then rocks, in times of affliction they would have repented.

Not to repent in these daies is the brand of a Reprobate: 2 Chron. 28. 22. It is most emphatically expressed. And in the time of this distresse he did trespasse yet more against the Lord▪ This is that King Ahaez. It is a brand for ever upon him. And yet not­withstanding all this, where shall we finde a penitent sinner? It is an easie matter to finde a sinner, but where shall we finde a penitent sinner even in these daies? I beseech you tell me, what sin have you left since these wars began? Are you not as proud as ever? Are you not as covetous? Are you not as vain in your fashions? as vild in your courses as ever? What sinne have you left since you took your Covenant, and swore to reform your lives? This is a day wherein you must search your hearts; I beseech you now in the presence of God return me an answer. May not God say as it is in the eighth of Ieremiah and the sixth: I have hearkned and heard, &c. and no man repented him of his wicked­nesse, saying, What have I done? No man repents. Do you No­ble-men, you Gentlemen, you Common people, do you repent? Can the Lord hear you repent? He hearkens, he stands at your doors, to listen whether you repent. May not Iesus Christ up­braid the Parliament of England▪ and the people of England, as he doth the people of the Iews, in the 11. of Matthew and the 20. Then Iesus began to upbraid the Cities, wherein he had wrought many miracles, because they repented not. I do not come here to upbraid any man, but my Lord and Master Jesus Christ doth up­braid you, whosoever you are, for whom God hath wrought such mighty wonders, as he siath done for this Parliament, if you do not repent. The truth is, (And oh that I could speak it and you hear it with grief of heart!) we are now come to that passe, that many men begin to scorn to hear a Sermon of Repentance. It is a [Page 19] sign, say some, the Minister hath been idle that week, or that his stock is spent when he comes to preach of such a common Theam as Repentance: Men begin now to have itching ears, to hearken after new and unknown truths: which for the most part doe prove to be old errours. And that which is yet more sad, many godly people in City and Countrey that were wont in their pri­vate meetings to discourse about Repentance, and how they should do to get a broken heart for sinne, and how they should do to get power over their evill lives: Now all their discourse is of this opinion or that opinion, insomuch that unlesse God be mercifull to us, we are come to that passe, that we shall quickly dispute away all our repentance, and all our faith; and we shall quick­ly dispute our selves out of our godlinesse, and out of our Religion. And that which is yet more sad, Are there not some that preach against humiliation? and that tell us, that humiliation is but a back­door to heaven, and a back-door to Christ? Are there not some that tell us, that Repentance is a legall Grace? (whereas I proved unto you even now, that it is the very proper grace of the Gospel; and the proper purchase of Christs bloud,) Are there not some that teach, that God sees no sin in his elect children; and that the very being of their sins is abolished out of Gods sight? And that God is never displeased with his people though they fall into adultery, or any other sin: no, not with a Fatherly displeasure? And that God never chastiseth his people for any sinne: no, not with a Fatherly chastisement? And that an unbeleeving and an impenitent sinner is as actually pardoned in Gods sight of all his sinnes, as he is if he be­leeves and repents? And do not some of these now begin to grieve, that they have grieved so much for their sinnes? And that which is saddest of all: are there not multitudes of people, even in the City of London (a City so well instructed) carried away with these grace-destroying and Land-destroying Opinions? Truly these are black signs, that God intendeth to bring the Cloud of Bloud London-ward. And that God intends that London should drink of the Cup of Bloud, because London is so ready to he in­fected with the Cup of Errors: and the cup of grace-destroying Opinions. And for my part, I am more afraid of this Cup, then of the other; more afraid of these divisions, then of the Power and strength of the enemy; for he grows strong by these divisions. The [Page 20] Lord give us hearts to lay these things to heart! and the Lord give us hearts to repent of these sins!

If this be the great Commandement of God to England, thatUse 2. England should now repent, now rather then ever; now more then ever: I beseech you let us all subscribe to the obedience of this Text: and let this Commandement be written this day in every one of our hearts▪ Oh that the Word of God, and the Sword of God, might preach this doctrine again and again; and oh that the Lord would make it to take deep impression in every one of our souls! Remember the Motives: These are the times of the Go­spel, wherein God holds forth such arguments to move us to repen­tance, which no other Religion can hold forth: arguments drawn from the incarnation of Christ, from the resurrection of the dead, and the day of judgement. These are times of Knowledge, these are times of the Spirit; These are times of bloud, now God thunders from heaven: now God presents you with a terrible Argument to move you to repentance: Now God hath taken away all your Hindrances that did hinder you from repentance. And there is no way to remove the man-devouring sword, but by repentance; and repentance is an infallible way. These are the Motives; and Mo­tives sufficient to make the very stones in the Church to repent, if they had a capacity to do it: sufficient to make the Devils in hell to repent, if they had had the happinesse to have been put in­to a possibility of salvation upon their repentance: But the devils are not so happy. For the truth is, repentance is not only a duty, but a happinesse. It is a happiness that there is such a gate as repen­tance to get into heaven by. Christ Jesus shed his bloud (as I told you) to make this door. The devils have no such door. And it is a happinesse also, that God will for Christs sake accept of a sinner upon his repentance. It is vain in mans Court for a murderer or a thief to pleade his repentance: But it is not so in Gods Court. Bles­sed be God that after our shipwrack by Adam, there is such a plank as repentance for a poor sinner to swim to heaven upon: And this is another mighty Argument to perswade you to repent. He that refuseth to repent, refuseth to be happy.

But now give me leave to draw down this Doctrine toAll sorts of men are to re­pent. all sorts of people, according to the words of my Text: But now God commandeth all men every where to repent. [Page 21] First, All men; And then Every where, All men.

1. Repentance it is not only a garment for poor men to put 1. Great men. on, but God cals the rich men of the world to repent; God cals the great men of the world to repentance. Say unto the King and Queen, Humble your selves: And Oh that God would speak that word to the King and Queen this day; that the Lord would command them to repent; Great Manasseh he was a great sin­ner, and did greatly humble himself, 2 Chron. 33. 12. And the great King of Nineveh put on sackcloth, and humbled himself, he and his Nobles: David King of Israel made his very bed to swim with tears for his sins. Great men sin against a God that is greater then they: and Great men must appear before the Great God, at the Great Day of Judgement. There is a great day of judge­ment, a terrible day of Judgement, wherein the great men of the world, and the Kings of the earth, and the rich men, and the mighty men shall desire for the mountains to cover them, and to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb, Rev. 6. 15, 16, 17. Great men doe more hurt by their sins then others, and therefore God will punish them more then others; and therefore they are to repent more then others: 'Potentes potentèr torquebuntur. The truth is, Hell is provided on purpose for great men; I mean, such as are grea­ter in sinne then in greatnesse; otherwise, Greatnesse is an or­nament when it is joyned with goodnesse; but for those that are wickedly great, and greatly wicked great men, Tophet is ordained of old; yea for the King it is provided, Isa. 30. 33. And therefore God cals Great men, Princes, Noblemen, and Gentlemen to re­pent.

2. Repentance is not only an Antidote for Drunkards, 2. Men that live civilly are to repent. Whoremongers, and Oppressors, &c. But God cals them that live Civilly, and that are morally good, to repent. You must re­pent because you pretend to make conscience of doing that which is just to man; but you make no conscience to doe that which is just to God, to give him his due in the duties of the first Table.

You must repent, because either you constantly neglect holy du­ties, or you are constantly negligent in holy duties, which both are great iniquities.

You must repent, because at the best you are but Negatively [Page 22] good. There is no positive goodnesse in you. Though you abstain from evill, yet you do not do good; though you do not swear great Oaths, yet you do not speak holily. And every tree that brings not forth good fruit, shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.

You must repent because you do all good duties, either from naturall principles, or which is worse, from sinfull principles, and for naturall ends; or which is worse, for wicked ends.

You must repent, because of your immoderate love of the world; and because you would fain serve God and Mammon; and because you are afraid to be too good; as you are afraid to be very bad so you are afraid to be very good; you are afraid to ven­ture too much for God, afraid to be too forward in his Cause; which are all horrible iniquities.

You must repent of your inward iniquities, your inward adul­teries, and your inward murders; and you must repent of your little oaths, and your little sins (as the world cals them, though proper­ly there is no sin little, because no little God to sin against.) And you must repent of your secret iniquities. For he that is but civilly and morally good, makes no conscience of inward sins, he is never troubled for his originall sin, and for the body of sin that is with­in him. He makes no conscience of little sins, and for the most part, he hath some back-door or other, to some secret iniquity which the world knoweth not of. You see then there is great reason that they that live civilly should repent also.

3. Repentance is not only necessary for those that live civilly, Thirdly, Men that live reli­giously are to repent. but God cals his own children that live religiously, and he cals upon them in a more especiall manner to repent. And therefore Christ sent Iohn Baptist a holy just man to go before him to preach repentance, to shew that holy and just men need repentance. When the people of God sinne, they sinne against more light then others, and against more means of grace then others; against more mercies then others; they sin against better principles then others: God takes it more unkindely at their hands; and they dishonour God more by their sins then others: And therefore the people of God ought especially to repent. They have an ability within them to repent; they have the grace of repentance, and therefore God especially commands them to repent: when they [Page 23] sinne, God will chastise them sooner then others, surer then o­thers, more then others in this life; and therefore they ought to repent sooner then others, and more then others, and surer then others: God will chastise them sooner then others, 1 Pet. 4. 17. The time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God. And in the second of the Romans and the ninth; Tribulation and anguish upon every soul that doth evill, but first on the Iew, and then on the Gentile; God will punish the Iew before the Gentile, and the Christian before the Iew. God punisheth them sooner, and therefore they must repent sooner; and God chastiseth them surer then others. Amos 3. 2. You only have I known of all the fa­milies of the world, therefore I'le be sure to punish you. And God chastiseth them more then others in this life, Lam. 4 6. The punish­ment of the daughter of Zion is above the punishments of Sodom. Dan. 9. 12. Under the whole heaven hath not been done as upon Ie­rusalem. And therefore God cals on his own people to be sure to repent more then others. And I doubt not but you that fear the Lord, will hearken to my counsell this day.

When Gods people fall into any grosse sin, such as adultery and murder, though they do not loose jus haereditarium ad coelum, their right and title to heaven, (For David was a childe of God, though a childe under wrath, in the midst of his sins; he was not a childe of wrath, but a childe only under wrath) yet they lose jus ap­titudinale ad coeium, they lose their fitnesse to enter into that holy place of heaven. And this fitnesse is not recovered till they actu­ally repent. And therefore Repentance is very necessary for the children of God.

And thus you see that God cals upon the worst of men, and up­on the best of men; upon the least of men, and the greatest of men to repent. God cals upon all men, saith the Text. But most espe­cially upon you that are Parliament men, You are to repent as you stand in a double capacity.

First, As Gentlemen.

Secondly, As Parliament men.

First, As you are men. For as the Prophet Oded said to the1. Princes of Iudah, so do I say to you this day: Are there not with you, even with you sins against the Lord your God? And there­fore God cals upon you, even upon you to repent.

[Page 24]There is an Ordinance of Parliament (which I named even now) that cals on all the Kingdom of England to repent; and in that Ordinance you set down fourteen Sword▪ procuring sins; you command that that Ordinance be read in our private Fami­lies, and in our Churches: you reckon there fourteen sinnes, which are like unto fourteen Iron whips, with which God is now whipping England to the very bloud: Now it is not enough for you to command England to repent of these sins: but God re­quires, that you your selves should repent of them also. As it is not enough for a Minister to call upon his people to repent, but the Minister himself must repent also: So it is not enough for you to desire the subjects of England to repent, but you must re­pent even this day of these sins; I will name the sins over: For they be your own; I mean, such which you have commended to the Kingdom that they should repent of; God requires that if upon examination you finde your selves guilty, you should re­pent of your Contempt of the holy worship of God; and your Con­tempt of the holy Ordinances of God; and your Contempt of Holi­ness, and of Gods holy Ministers; God requires and commands that you should repent of grosse and affected ignorance under the light of the Gospel; of Unfruitfulness under the means of grace; of Unthankfulness for the many mercies you have received from him; of Incorrigiblenesse under the judgements that are upon the land: God requires you should repent of your Oaths and Blasphe­mies; of your Fornications and Adulteries; of Drunkenness and Gluttony; of your Contentions and unnaturall Divisions; of your Pride. Vanity, and Prodigality in apparell; of your Oppression, Fraud and Bribery: One Sin I had like to bave forgotten, and that is the sin of the Profanation of Gods Sabbaths: But I would desire you likewise to remember that there is an Ordinance of Parliament lately printed, wherein you require the Kingdom of England to apply their hearts to the sanctification of the Lords Day, both in publike and private. This you command us; Now I beseech you tell me, Do you do so your selves? that which you command the Kingdom, as a Minister of Jesus Christ I command you to put in practice; and to repent of those sinnes which you command us to repent of, so farre as you are concerned in them. And to remember further that your Ordinance tels us, that we [Page 25] ought not to repent slightly, but we ought to be deeply humbled; we ought to mourn with a godly mourning, and with a hearty-ab­horrency and detestation of these sins. Now the Lord cals upon you this day to do thus: And to do thus more then others, you that are Gentlemen, because these sins in you are more scandalous, and do more hurt, both by Imitation, and by Imputation: They doe more hurt by Imitation, because great men are like unto Looking-glasses, according to which all the Countrey dress them­selves; whatever they do other men follow: And your sinnes do more hurt by Imputation, for God doth many times impute the sins of the Rulers upon the People, as he did impute the sin of David upon the people of Israel. And therefore God re­quires you this day to repent in dust and ashes: And to be hum­bled before the Lord, as you are Gentlemen; that is the first. But then secondly,

God commands you to repent as you are Parliament men; As2. you are men, with a personall repentance; as you are Parliament men, with a Parliament repentance.

And here give me leave to speak to you first divisim, and then conjunctim.

First, To speak to you singly and severally: I beseech you search and try your wayes. And if there should be found any a­mongst you that drive the designs of Oxford, and that are pre­sent at Westminster, only to betray their Countrey, the Lord un­mask such, and the Lord give them repenting hearts: This is to build your houses upon the bloud of three Kingdoms; this is to sell your souls for preferment; And it is just with God that such men should not only lose their souls, but lose their very preferment also; as Judas that sold his Master, and hung himself. And then again, If there be any amongst you that drive your own designs, and seek your own ends, and not the publike good; and seek your own ends more then the publike good; and seek your own ends to the detriment of the publike good: these are crying abominations, and the Lord cals for a Parliament Repentance this day: It was the Complaint of the Apostle of his time, Omnes quae sua sunt quaerunt, &c. Phil. 2▪ 21. All men seek their own, and no man seeks the things of Iesus Christ. If the Apostle Paul had been alive in our daies, I wonder what he would have said of our times. For [Page 26] truly, if God should unrip us here before the Congregation, I am afraid he should finde many of our hearts to be made up of no­thing but of self-love and creature-love; and yet notwithstand­ing this is a sin, and not only against the light of the Word, but a­gainst the very light of nature; for the light of nature teaches us, that all private good should be swallowed up in the publike▪ And the very Decii and Curtii, and Aristides, and many other Hea­thens will rise up in judgement against many Christians in this particular. There is a famous Text in Ier. 45. 3, 4. Behold (saith the Lord) I do now begin to pull down what I have built, and to destroy what I have planted, and seekest thou great things for thy self? seek them not. Is this a time to seek your own ends? this is just as if a man should have his house on fire, and in stead of seeking to quench his house, should go and trim up his chamber: what will become of his Chamber when the house is burnt? It is just as if a man when the Ship he is in is sinking, should go and enrich his own Cabine; The Lord give you hearts to repent of this.

Or if there be any amongst you that favour Malignants, be­cause they are your friends, though enemies to God and his Cause; this is a great sin to be repented on greatly. And I say to such, as the Prophet to Iehosaphat, 2 Chro. 19. 2. Because you help the ungodly, and love those whom the Lord hateth; therefore wrath is gone out from the Lord against you.

Now let me consider you conjunctim, as you are united into one body. And here give me leave to put you in minde of a praier of Austins, very necessary to be made by you this day: Lord deliver me from other mens sins: For this is a certain rule; That all the sins of the Kingdom which are committed by your con­nivance or allowance, are the Parliament sins, and they call for a Parliament Repentance. And therefore I beseech you search and try your hearts, and consider how far you are accessary to the sins of the Kingdom, that so you may be wrought up not only to a personall but to a Parliament humiliation. And if it doth appear that you have taken more care in setling your own Liber­ties, then in setling of Religion: If you have taken more care to build your own houses then Gods house, this is a crying sin; and this makes you accessary to a thousand sins that are committed in [Page 27] the Kingdom. Again. If you do not labour according to your duty, and according to your power, to suppresse the Errors and Heresies that are spread in the Kingdom; all these errours are you errours, and these heresies are your heresies, and they are your sins, and God cals for a Parliamentary repentance from you for chem this day; You are the Anabaptists, and you are the An­tinomians, and it is you that hold, That all Religions are to be to­lerated, even Iudaism and Turkism; That the Soul is mortall and dies with the body; &c. These are your errors if they spread by your connivance. For the sinnes of the sons of old Ely, are im­puted to old Ely himself. And when the people of Israel had profaned the Sabbath, Nehemiah contended with rhe Nobles of Iudah for suffering them, and tels them, that it was they that did prophane it; because they suffered the people to prophane it, Neh. 13. 17.

Thus also all the guilty bloud that God requires you in justice to shed, and you spare; God will require the bloud at your hands. And all the Bribery, all the cousenage, and all the robberies which are committed in the Kingdom, which you can punish and do not, these are all your sins, Oh that the Lord would work up your hearts to the meditation of these things, and that the Lord would make your hearts like wax, and this word like the Sun to melt them. Thus God cals you to repentance as you are men, and to a Parliament repentance as you are Parliament men: And God cals you to do all this now, God now commands you now to repent: The commandement is now, and the practice must be now: There must be two nows, the nunc of the Commande­ment, and of that you have heard abundantly: but now there must be also the nunc of Obedience: God now commands you, now to practise this Text, for otherwise for ought you know, you may be in hell the next hour▪ peradventure you may, and perad­venture you may not. But howsoever you put your everlasting e­state upon two peradventures: peradventure God will deny thee space to repent next hour; or if he give thee space, peradventure God will deny thee grace to repent. And if any of these two per­adventures should happen? thou art undone to all eternity. Who can tell but they may happen▪ for God hath threatned, Luk. 12. 46. That if that servant say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his co­ming, [Page 28] and shall begin to beat the men-servantt, &c, the Lord of that servant will come in a day that he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him asunder. &c. And therefore as the Apostle saith, Iam. 4. 13, 19. Say not, To morrow I will go to such a city, &c. for what is your life, is it not even a va­pour? So say I, say not, I'le repent to morrow, for it may be God will deny thee space to morrow, and deny thee grace to repent to morrow: put not your eternall souls on a peradventure; God cals upon you to repent now, even now.

Give me leave to adde three Motives more, and to call them Englands Motives to the Parliament of England, to perswade them to present repentance.

First, The only reason why God doth not repent of the evil of pu­nishment, Englands three other motives to perswade the Parliament of England to repentance. is, because you do not repent of the evill of sinne; the on­ly reason why God delays to turn away his wrath, is, because you delay to turn unto him. We cry out, How long, Lord? how long? When wilt thou have mercy upon England? When wilt thou sheath up the Sword? And God he cals, How long O Eng­land? Motive 1. Oh Parliament of England? when will you turn unto me with all your heart? when will you repent of all those sinnes you command the Kingdom to repent of? how long will it be before you be washed from your Uncleannesses? when will you turn to me? when will it once be? Jer. 13. 27. I appeal to your consciences: Is it fit that God should cease fighting against us by the Sword, before we cease fighting against him by our sins? But if you would turn unto God, let me assure you, The very same day that you turn, God will turn: You have a Text for it in the second of Haggai, and the eighteen verse. Mark, the very day wherein you begin to build my house, from that very day, I'le prosper you: Nay, let me tell you, the very minute that you begin to repent, God will re­pent; you have a Text for it, Ier. 18. 7, 8. At what instant I shall say, concerning a Nation to destroy it, &c. If that nation turn, I'le repent of the evil I thought to do unto them. As a personall repen­tance is a means to obtain a personall salvation, so a nationall re­pentance is a means to obtain a nationall salvation: At that very instant that thou turnest from thy sins, God will save thy soul: so on that very day that a Nation turns from sinne, God will turn from his anger. A Parliament is the representative [Page 29] Nation, and therefore I call a Parliament repentance, a Nationall repentance. This is one of Englands motives, and it is a powerful one: God will keep touch to a very day, to a very minute.

Secondly, The reason (saith England) why God begins to repent Englands se­cond Motive. of the good that he hath begun to do for you, is because you do not repent of the evill you have done against him. If you look into the Word, you shall finde that God is said as well to repent of his good works and of his mercies, as of his judgements: in Ier. 18. 10. If you do evill in my sight, &c. I'le repent of the good I intend­ed to do unto you: and in Iosh. 24. 20. If you do evill I'le consume you, after I have done you good. And we see by sad experience, that God hath begun to leade us of late back into the wildernesse again, and hath given us a great defeat in the West: God begins to repent of the good which he hath done for us: and why doth God do this? Because we repent not of our evils against him. God begins to carry us back, because we turn our backs to God; but if we did repent of our evils against him, God would do us good, and never repent. But England hath a third Motive, and Oh that God would give you ears to hearken unto it!

Thirdly, The reason why all our fasting doth prevail no more Englands third Motive. with God, is because we do not joyn repentance with our fasting; because our fasting daies are not repenting dayes: We have now almost been three years a fasting; and we have had many extra­ordinary fasts, and yet we are not delivered. We are as farre from the end, as we were in the beginning: and what is the rea­son? Not because the way of fasting is not Gods way to heal a Na­tion; but the reason is, because we do not fast aright. Suppose, not I, but England speaking unto you in her own behalf, and bewail­ing the manner how fasting daies are kept in this place.

For first, You bring not your Fasting apparell with you; here are many of you appear in this place rather in a triumphing way, then in a penitent way; whereas the great King of Nineveh, he laid aside his robes, and so did his Nobles. And though God re­gards not the out-side so much, nay God scorns the out-side with­out the in-side, yet God looks to have the out-side, as well as the in-side: And then again,

Secondly, Here is a great deal of Fasting, but where is your weeping? where is your mourning? Look into the Word of God, [Page 30] and you shall alwaies see fasting and weeping goe together; God scorns your fasting, if there be not weeping joyned; Turn unto me with all your hearts, with fasting, (what next?) with weeping, Joel 1. 12. and with mourning: Nay fasting and mourning are all one in Christs sense; in Matth. 9. 15. Can the children of the Bride­groom mourn when the Bridegroom is with them? but when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, then shall they Fast. Here fasting and mourning are put for one and the same thing: Now because there is a great deal of fasting, and so little weep­ing, that is the reason why our Fastings do no more good; We keep dayes of humiliation without any humiliation, and therefore God scorns our dayes of humiliation. It is a very sad thing to see that in stead of weeping on a fasting day there are many that turn a great part of it into sleeping; we turn our weeping into sleeping, we weary God, and weary our selves; and in stead of soul-af­flicting, we afflict God by our negligent addresses to God on that day. Were it not strange to see a condemned Malefactor, while he is pleading for his life at the Bar, to fall asleep, would you not say, this man cares not much for his life? You come hither like so many condemned Malefactors, and you come to pleade for your own lives, and for the lives of three Kingdoms; and for you to fall asleep while you are pleading for your lives, God scorns such fast­ings; and that is the reason saith England, why I am not healed by your fastings. And then again,

Thirdly, there is a great deal of Fasting, but there is no Refor­mation: a great deal of talk of reformation, but there is no pra­ctice of reformation; we have a great many Covenants of Refor­mation, but there is no performance of our Covenants: We swear to reform, but we do not reform; we fast one day, and feast the devil all the moneth after many times; Do we do as the King of Nineveh did, and as his Nobles and people did? they cried unto the Lord, and turned every man from his evill way; but because there is no such turning from sin amongst us, because there is no reformation; that is the reason why our fasting doth no more good. Beloved in the Lord, suffer me to speak my minde plainly; Could I see the Parliament of England do as the King of Nineveh did, and all the Nobles of Nineveh did; could I see them all appear here, and lying down in dust and ashes, weeping, and mourning, and [Page 31] lamenting before the Lord, and humbling their souls in good ear­nest, and every man turning from his iniquity, and from the vio­lence in his hand; such a fasting day would save the lives of three Kingdoms; such tears would prevent the effusion of the bloud of thousands; such a day would be loud musick in the ears of God; The Lord make this day to be such a day.

Thus much I thought good to say in reference to the generall expression in the Text, But now God commands All men.

Secondly, But then it is added in the Text, God commands all All men must repent every where. men every where (that is another expression) to repent; If we must repent any where, we must repent every where; for,

First, Because God fils every where; If thou canst commit a sin where God is not, there I'le give thee leave not to repent; but if God be every where, we must repent every where, because God is every where. And then again,

Secondly, Because some devil or other is every where: I do not say, that the devil is every where, but some devil or other is every where; and therefore we must repent every where, because our Accuser is every where, and our Judge is every where. And then again,

Thirdly, Because death will meet us every where: If there be any place wherein thou art exempted from death, I'le give thee leave not to repent there; but death will meet with thee every where, and therefore God commands all men every where to re­pent. And then again,

Fourthly, Because we must give an account for all the Actions that we do every where: God at the day of judgement will ask thee an account of that that thou hast done any where; and there­fore we must repent every where. And then,

Fifthly, Because we sin every where, we sin in our Churches, and therefore God cals for a Church-repentance: We sin in our Parliament, therefore God cals for a Parliament-repentance: We sin in our Sacraments, therefore God cals for a Sacrament-repen­tance: We sin in our beds, in our shops; and therefore God cals for repentance in our shops and in our beds. God cals to the As­sembly of Ministers to repent of their sinnes; God cals not only to the people at Oxford to repent, but to the people at Westmin­ster to repent; God not only cals to the pretended Parliament at [Page 32] Oxford, but the true Parliament at Westminster to repent: God cals all men every where to repent. And then again,

Sixthly, Because Gods judgements are every where; Gods judgements fill every Town, every City, every Countrey; the Sword devours every where, and therefore God commands us to repent every where.

Thus much for the second exhortation,

There is one Question yet behinde which must have an answerQuest. before I can conclude.

Some will say, What is that Repentance which is the unum ne­cessarium for England, and which is The great Commandment of God for England? Is there any man that doth not repent?

There is much talk indeed in the world, and much dispute a­boutAnsw. Repentance, and much profession of repentance. And every man saith he repenteth. But I fear that most people mistake the nature of true repentance, and so are cheated of their salvation by a rotten and false repentance.

There is a threefold mistake of repentance. A three-fold mistake of re­pentance.

First, Some think it an ominous thing to repent, and judge of repentance, as some ridiculously judge of making their Wils, who refuse to make their Wils in their health, as thinking it an omen and presage of their death. So many refuse to repent in health, because they think it a work of sicknesse, and if they should do it in health, it would hasten their death. This opinion is not worth confuting.

Secondly, Some think it an easie thing to repent, and therefore deal with repentance (as one saith) as countrey-people do with Physicians, who never send for them, till they be breathing out their last breath; So many never think of Repentance till they be upon their death-bed, and then they conceive that these five words, Lord have mercy upon me, are as efficacious to send them to hea­ven, as the Papists conceit that their five words of consecration are able to transubstantiate the bread in the Sacrament into the body of Christ. Most people think it very easie to repent. It is but re­penting, saith the sinner. But this But is a hard But, It requires the omnipotent power of God to work repentance, 2 Tim. 2. 25. Therefore it is called a rending of the heart, Joel 2. 13. which is a hard work. And it is likewise called a ploughing up of the [Page 35] fallow ground of our hearts. It is a Transmutation, a change of the whole man from sin to God, which is no easie work.

Thirdly and especially, Most people think they repent, when they do not. And I beleeve that the reason why so many goe to hell, is not so much for want of repentance as for want of a right repentance. We reade, Act. 11. 18. of a repentance unto life, and 2 Cor. 7. 10. of a repentance never to be repented on: where note there is a repentance which is not unto life, and a repentance to be repented on. Repentance is a rare jewell. But as there is no jewel but it may be counterfeit, so there is no grace but it may be counterfeited: As there is a counterfeit faith, a dead carcasse of faith, so there is a bastardly repentance, poenitentia spuria & non genuina; or as Austin cals it, Poenitentia infructuosa. And as a counterfeit jewell is nothing worth, no more is a counterfeit re­pentance. And as many are undone by the buying of a counter­feit jewel: so there are many in hell through the mistake of this jewel, that yet thought it may be, they had repented aright, and so might all their friends possibly think likewise. Now therefore the great question will be, What is that repentance unto life, that re­pentance never to be repented on, which if I have, I may assure my self that I am in the state of salvation?

For the answer to this, I will briefly shew,

  • 1. What is not that repentance which is unto life.
  • 2. What repentance is that repentance which is unto life.

What repentance is not that repentance which is unto life. ThereSix sorts of repentance, which are not the right re­pentance. Pharaoh's repentance, and wherein it failed. are six sorts of Repentance which are not the right repentance.

The first is, Pharaohs repentance. After he had obeyed God in letting the people of Israel go, he repents of this his good action, as Exod. 14. 5. This was a repentance unto damnation, not unto salvation. Some such I have known, that in their young daies have been zealous and forward for private fasts, and for all other religious exercises, and afterward have Apostatized from these ways and persecuted them in others, and repented that ever they had been so strict and zealous. This is a wicked repentance. Thus, many in our daies (through the errour of their judgement) repent that ever they have been troubled so much for their sins, and that they have fasted so much, and wept so much. This is a repentance to be repented on.

[Page 34]The second is Sauls repentance, 1 Sam. 15. 24. This repen­tanceSauls repen­tance, and wherein it failed. was as fair, and as full in outward repentance, as Davids to Nathan, 2 Sam. 12. 13. But yet Sauls repentance was not un­to life. It failed in four things.

  • First, His confession was without sorrow, he acknowledged his sin; but we reade not that his heart smote him for his sin, or that his heart was broken for his sin, as Davids was.
  • Secondly, Sauls confession was not free, but forced from him by Samuel with dint of argument. But Davids heart smote him for numbring the people, and he confessed the sin before God smote his people with the plague, 2 Sam. 24. 10.
  • Thirdly, Sauls confession was by way of diminution, he labours to lessen his sin, and to put the fault upon the people, 1 Sam. 15. 21, 24. But true confession of sin is with aggravation of the sins we confesse. Thus did David, 2 Sam. 24 10, 17. Thus doth Da­niel and Ezra, Dan▪ 9. Ezra 9.
  • Fourthly, Sauls confession was mingled with pride; 1 Sam. 15. 30. he desired honour with the people, though he had no respect from God nor from Samuel. True confession is an humble con­fession, Ezra▪ 9. 6.

The third is Ahabs repentance. His repentance was so greatAhabs repen­tance, and wherein it failed. and so remarkable, that God bids Elijah take notice of it, 1 Kin. 21. 27, 29. His repentance is expressed in four particulars; He rent his clothes, he put on sackcloth, he fasted, he lay in sackcloth, and went softly. But yet it was not a repentance unto life. It failed in three particulars. It was but an outward repentance. All the forenamed expressions were outward, he rent his garments, but his heart was not rent. And therefore God rewarded him only with an outward reward, 1 Ki. 21. 29. Ahah was like a ripe plum that is soft without, but hath a hard stone within▪ 2. It was a worldly and carnall repentance, for fear of the losse of his kingdom, and for fear of the dogs that Elijah threatned should lick up his bloud. 3. It was a repentance for sin, but not from sin. You shall reade in Scripture, not only of a repentance for sin, 2 Cor. 12. 21. Rev. 9. 20. but also of a repentance from sinne, Act. 8. 22. [...], so it is in the Greek. So also, Heb. 6. 1. Repentance from dead works. Now Ahab did not repent from his sin. For in the next Chapter he is as bad as ever he was.

[Page 35]The fourth is, The Israelites repentance, you shall reade oftenThe Israelites repentance, and wherein it failed. of their repentance, 1 Sam. 7. 6. Iud. 2. 1, 2, 3. Iud. 10. 10. But their repentance was not unto life. It failed especially in two particu­lars. 1. It was only and meerly for fear of the Lord, it was only when they were in distress, as appears often and often in the book of the Iudges, and also Psa. 78. 34. 2. It lasted only as long as the rod lasted, when the affliction was past they returned to their sins again, Psal. 78. 36, 37. Iud. 4. 1. Iud. 6. 1. &c. They were just like iron, which while it is in the fire, is soft and malleable to any thing, but when it is taken out of the fire, groweth presently hard again: or like unto water, that while it is upon the fire is very hot, but when taken off, presently groweth cold. And this, I fear, is all the Repentance that many have in these daies. Some so bad as not to repent at all, even in these killing daies; but they that do repent, I fear it is only for fear of the rod, and it will last no lon­ger then the rod lasteth. The Lord give us hearts to search our hearts whether it be not so.

The fifth is The repentance of Iudas. The Text saith, he re­pented, Iudas's repen­tance, and wherein it failed. and confessed his sinne, and made satisfaction. Mat. 27. 3, 4. And he justified also Christs innocency, and he took shame to himself in going to the high Priests to confesse his sinnes. But yet his repentance was not unto life; though there be many in the world that pretend to a right repentance, that cannot pleade so much to justifie their repentance as Iudas can. But it failed in divers par­ticulars. First, his repentance was [...], not [...]. The Greek word is not the same with the Greek word in my Text for repentance. Paenituit, sed non resipuit; he sorrowed for what he had done, but he was not reformed from what he had done, for he that murdered Christ before, murdered himself presently af­ter. It was no life-reforming sorrow. Secondly, Iudas repented, not out of hatred of the sin that he had committed, but only to qui­et his conscience, he felt a hell in his conscience, and to quiet that he repented. Thirdly, This repentance was wholly legall, only for fear of hell, and it was wholly without hope of mercy. It was a despe­rate repentance, and it drew him not to Christ, but to the gal­lows. True repentance is out of love to God; and it is alwaies mixt with hope, Ezra 10. 2.

The sixth is, The Heathen mans repentance. There is in a Hea­then [Page 34] man a natural conscience, and when he sins against the light The Heathen mans repen­tance, and wherein it failed. of nature, this natural conscience will accuse and condemn him, and this oftentimes worketh a naturall and morall repentance. Thus when Alexander in his drunken sit had killed his dear friend Clitus, when he was sober, he was troubled in conscience for it, and sent to all the severall kindes of Philosophers (as it were to so many Ministers) to know what he might do to ap­pease his conscience, and to satisfie for that sinne. Thus Polemo, when in his drunken fit he came to the School of Xenocrates, and heard him reading of sobriety, repented of his drunken­nesse, and became sober ever after. This I relate to the shame of thousands of Christians. But yet this was not a repentance unto life. For here nature reforms nature. Refined nature reforms nature abominably profaned. Sober Alexander reforms drunken Alexander. Here is no turning to God, no eye to Gods glory, no sorrow for displeasing of God. It is a repentance upon natu­rall and morall grounds, which is not a repentance unto heaven. Thus, many repent of their gaming, and of their drinking and whoring; because it destroyeth their estate, or their bodies, or their good names. This is a naturall repentance, upon naturall grounds, but not a repentance unto life. Thus you see what that repentance is which is not unto life. It is our duty to exa­mine whether we exceed these six sorts. There are many that are cried up for great professors that come short of them. And it must needs be a miserable thing to come short of those that come short of heaven. It is not enough to repent as Pharoah, Saul, A­hab, the Israelites, Iudas and the Heathen repented▪ But we must labour to exceed them, and amend in all those things wherein they failed. We must not repent of our good actions, as Pharaoh did; but of our bad actions. Our confession of sins must be with shame and confusion of face, with heart-breaking sorrow, it must be free and voluntary, not forced, it must be an humble and self-a­basing confession. Our repentance must not only be outward as Ahabs was, but inward also; it must be a rending of the heart, a pricking at the heart. Sin must not only be oculi dolium but it must be cordolium. Our repentance must not only be for sinne, but from sinne. We must not repent for fear of the rod only, as the Israelites did; for this is to repent out of self-love, and not out [Page 39] of love to God. This Repentance may be in a man that hath no grace. This is to fear hell, not sinne. Neither must our Repen­tance vanish as the morning dew. We must not return to our vomit after the affliction is over. This is to act as a dog, not as a Christian; This will bring utter desolation, Ezr 9. 13. This is to mock God who will not be mocked, or rather it is to mock our selves into hell. Our repentance must not be only to quiet con­science, to escape hell, as Iudas's was, but it must be a filiall Evan­gelicall Repentance, arising out of love to God whom we have offended, and out of hatred of sin, and it must alwaies be min­gled with hope of mercy. Our Repentance must arise not only from naturall and morall, but from Supernaturall and Theologi­call grounds and principles.

Now I come to shew more particularly what is that repen­tanceA description of true Re­pentance. which is a repentance unto life; a repentance never to be re­pented of: What is that repentance which whosoever hath is cer­tainly in the state of salvation.

For the brief answer to this you must know, that true repen­tanceIt is a golden chain with five links. is a medicine made of Christs bloud that must have five in­gredients in it. And if any one of these ingredients be wanting, the medicine will not avail us unto salvation, It is a Golden chain that must have five links, and if one link be wanting, the chain is of little use.

The five links of this golden chain are:

  • First, Godly sorrow for sinne.
  • Secondly, A hearty confession of sinne.
  • Thirdly, A sincere endeavour to forsake all sin.
  • Fourthly, Satisfaction for sin.
  • Fifthly, A turning to God by new obedience.

Whereever there is true repentance: First,

There is godly sorrow for sin; God hath tied sinne and sorrow First, godly sorrow. together with Adamantine chains: and a woman may as soon look to be delivered of a childe in a dream, as for a man to repent without sorrow: sorrow indeed is the daughter of sinne, but God hath made the daughter to be a means to destroy the mother; you must not look to fly to heaven with pleasant wings; you must not look to dance with the devil all day, and sup with Christ at night; to live all your lives long in Dalilahs lap, and then to go to Abra­hams [Page 38] bosome when you die: wheresoever there is true repentance there will be sorrow for sin. But this sorrow it must be [...] 2 Cor. 7. 10. A sorrow caused for Gods sake; a sorrow more for the offence done against God, then for the punishment due un­to us. It must be a repentance towards God, as it is called, Act. 20. 21. because it eyes God and his offence, more then the punishment. It is called a lamenting after the Lord, 1 Sam. 7. 2. It is a mourning for Christ whom we have pierced by our sins, Zech. 12. 10. Not so much a mourning for the misery we have brought upon our selves by our sins, as for the dishonour we have brought to Christ. It is a mourning for sin as sin, as it is offensivum Dei, aversivum a Deo, as it is an act of disobedience, an act of unkindenesse, as it is an act polluting and defiling the soul, making the soul unlike God, and like the devil; an act that will bring the soul to the devil, &c.

True sorrow must not be only attrition but contrition, which is the grinding of sin to powder. A rock may be broken in pie­ces, and yet be hard still. True sorrow is when our rocky hearts are ground to powder, and made soft and pliable to do and suffer whatsoever God shall require at our hands. It is (as one saith) annihilatio voluntatis, a swallowing up of our own wils in Gods will. And wheresoever there is this godly sorrow, if the heart be deeply wounded and pierced with it,

Secondly, There will be also true confession of sinne. Even as aThe second link of the chain of Re­pentance, con­fession of sin. stomack when it is surcharged with too great fulnesse, it is never quiet till eased by vomit: So if the conscience be overladen and brim-full of sorrow for sinne, it will never be at ease till sinne be vomited up by confession. Sinne in the conscience is as a thorn in a mans foot, as needles in the flesh, or as poysonfull matter in a sore, which lyeth burning and aking with pain. In such cases there is no rest unlesse the sores be lanced and the poison expel­led. Confessio peccati est medicina peccati; (saith Naz.) It is vomitus sordium animae, David did but purpose to confesse his sin, and God forgave him. Psal. 32. 5. He that hideth his sinnes shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy, Pro. 28. 13. Iudah (which signifieth Confession) got the Kingdom from Reuben. True confession of sinne is the way to the Kingdom of heaven. In confession we accuse our selves, and we judge our selves. By accusing our selves we put the devil out [Page 39] of office. And by judging our selves worthy of damnation we put God out of office: for if we judge our selves, we shall not be judged of the Lord.

This is the second link of the chain. But here you must re­member that this confession must not be like unto Sauls confessi­on, but like the confession of Ezra, Daniel, David, as was said but even now.

The third link of the golden chain of Repentance, is an inward The third link of the chain of repentance, an inward forsa­king of sin. sincere endeavour to forsake all sin everlastingly. All poenitentia is in vain without resipiscentia, [...] in vain without [...]. It is to no purpose to repent for your sins, unlesse you repent from your sins; for a man to say he repents of sin, and yet doth not for­sake it, he speaks a contradiction. As for a man to say that he is changed from a fool to a wise man, and yet remains a fool, he saith that which is a contradiction; so for a man to say he repents of his swearing, and yet to swear; to say he is turn'd from his adul­tery, and yet remains an adulterer, he saith a contradiction: as Tertullian saith excellently, He that repents with a contradiction, God will pardon him with a contradiction: thou repentest, and yet continuest in thy sins; God will pardon thee, and yet send thee to hell; there is a pardon with a contradiction.

True repentance must be joyned with an endeavour to forsake sinne. But then we must remember that this forsaking of sinne must have four properties. It must first be inward. We must put away evil from before Gods eyes, as it is Isa. 1. 16. We must doe that which is good in Gods eyes, as the good Kings of Israel are said to do. A man may go to hell for the inward desire to sin, though he should never commit any outward act of sin. It is not enough to restrain sinne, but we must endeavour to mortifie it. A Lion chained is a Lion still. Secondly, It must also be sincere. Two things make a good Christian, good actions, and good aims. Though a good aim doth not make a bad action good (as we see in the case of Uzzah) yet a bad aim makes a good action bad, as we see in the case of Iehu. We must forsake sinne not for worldly respects, or self-ends, but we must say with Ioseph, How can I commit this thing and sinne against my God? Thirdly, It must be universall. We must make conscience to abstain from every sinne, as well as from any sinne. We reade Iud. 8. 30, 31. that Gideon had seventy [Page 38] sons and one bastard; and that bastard was afterward the means to kill all his seventy sons, Give me leave to apply this in a spi­rituall sense. Though thou hast seventy good duties, and yet if thou hast one bastardly sin which thou delightest in, this sinne will take away the benefit and comfort of all thy good duties. Fourthly, It must be everlasting. It is not enough to fall out with sin, and afterwards to be friends again: but we must so hate it as never to be reconciled. The Prodigall Childe never returned to his prodigality; nor David to his adultery.

The fourth link of the golden chain of repentance, is satis­faction The fourth link, satisfa­ction for sin. for sinne. This is a part of Repentance much abused by the Papists, and seldome spoken of by our Divines; but of great use if rightly understood. The Papists teach, That Christ by his death satisfied for the guilt of sin, and for the eternall punishment; but as for the temporall punishment of sinne, Christ left that to us to satisfie for by deeds of Penance here, and by Purgatory hereafter. But this Doctrine is false and hereticall. First, It is a derogation to the full satisfaction of Iesus Christ. He is a perfect Saviour. Secondly, This makes every man in part his own Saviour. Thirdly, This takes away the freenesse of forgivenesse of sinnes. Fourthly, This takes away all the comfort of afflictions. For if afflictions be satis­factions to Gods vengeance, and part of the temporal curse due to sin, where is the comfort of affliction? Fifthly, What can a poor creature contribute to satisfie an infinite God? All satisfacti­on must be de propriis, of some thing that is our own. And what can we give to God to satisfie him, but that which he hath first given to us? Besides satisfaction is a just proportionable recom­pence for an injury: And what proportion between the action of a finite creature, and the wrath of an infinite God? And therefore satisfaction in a Popish sense is abominable; but in a Catholike Orthodox sense it is a point of great consequence. A true penitent sinner will make satisfaction to God, to the Church, to his brother, and to himself.

First, He will make satisfaction to God. Not in a Popish sense,Satisfaction to God. Not by tendring up his Repentance as a recompensation to the in­jury offered to the great God by his sinne; but by presenting the Lord Christ and his satisfaction for an atonement. And therefore the Iews in the Old Law when they had committed a sin, they [Page 40] were to bring a sacrifice, and first to confesse their sins over the sacrifice, and then to offer up the sacrifice for a propitiation. This sacrifice was a type of Christ. He that will procure pardon from God of sinne, must not only mourn for it, confesse it, and turn from it; This is not sufficient to procure pardon; because our re­pentance at the best is imperfect, and we must repent for the defects that cleave to our repentance. But if we would procure pardon, we must tender up Iesus Christ by faith to make up the breach that sin hath made. We must repent, but not trust to our repentance. He that trusteth to his repentance makes an Idol of it, and makes a Christ of it, We must not bottom our selves upon repentance, but upon Christ only.

Secondly, He will make satisfaction to Gods Church. If he hathSatisfaction to the Church of God. offended it by any scandalous sinne he will take shame to himself in a publike way of reparation. For this purpose did David write his penitentiall Psalms, which are Psalms of Davids satisfacti­on to Gods Church for the offence he had given to it. Thus Solomon wrote his Book of Ecclesiastes to make recompensation to the Church of God, which he had wronged by his Apostacy. And I trust (through Gods mercy) to see this Discipline put in execu­tion in England.

Thirdly, He will make satisfaction to his brother, to his body, Satisfaction to our brother. and to his soul.

First, To his body. If thou hast wronged thy brother in his good 1. To his body in his good name. name, which is more precious to him then his life, God will not accept of thy repentance, unlesse thou endeavourest to make up the injury thou hast done to his good name. Many go to hell for want of pra­ctising this. This is no easie duty. For a mans good name is like a white piece of paper, which when once blotted, can hardly be made clean again without some remainder of defilement.

So again, If thou hast wronged thy brother in his goods, GodIn his goods. will not accept of thy repentance, unlesse thou endeavourest with Zaccheus (according to thy ability) to make restitution. This is a lesson for all men, but especially for Souldiers to lay to heart.

Secondly, He will make satisfaction to his soul. If thou hast2. To his soul. been a Morall cause to make thy brother sin, it is not enough for thee alone to repent, but thou must endeavour not ony out [Page 41] of charity, but out of justice, to bring thy brother to repentance also. If thou hast perswaded a woman to lewdnesse, a man to drunkennesse, it is thy duty to make them soul-restitution: a Doctrine little preached, and lesse practised; but of absolute ne­cessity, in regard of thy endeavour at least to do it. For want of this soul-satisfaction many souls miscarry.

Fourthly, He will make satisfaction to himself. If he hath in­juredSatisfaction to himself. his body by intemperate eating and drinking, and his soul by taking too much liberty in things indifferent, he will take a holy revenge upon himself; of which you shall reade, 2 Cor. 7. 11. Holy revenge is a necessary companion of true repentance. This ho­ly revenge consisteth in fasting, and in abstaining from lawful de­lights when they prove soul-snares. If thou hast sinned by fre­quenting such and such company, thou must be revenged of thy self by wholly abstaining from their company. If thou hast sinned by the abuse of lawfull games, &c. thou must wholly renounce them. If by immoderate love of the world, thou must be reven­ged of thy self by a greater measure of charity to the poor. Thus Saint Paul did beat down his body, and brought it into subjecti­on, &c. 1 Cor. 9. 27. When Hilarion felt his lusts boyling, and his body prone to filthinesse, he said, Ego faciam, aselle, ut non cal­citres, I will keep this Asse from kicking, by abstinence. This part of repentance is little regarded now adaies▪ though there cannot be true repentance without it. A true penitent will be revenged of his sins, as Cranmer was of his right hand, which he first burnt in the fire (when he was at the stake) because with that he had sub­scribed to Popery. Thus the Ephesian converts, Act. 19. 19. burnt their Books before all men: and the women that had prided them­selves in their looking-glasses, brought them to the building of the Tabernacle, Exo. 38. 8. Thus ought every true penitent to do. Thus much for the fourth link of the golden chain of repen­tance.

The fifth and last link of the golden of repentance, is, Turn­ing The fifth link, Turning to God by new­nesse of life. unto God by newnesse of life. Man by sinne turneth his back upon God, and wandreth from God as the Prodigall childe from his father. Now repentance is a returning back unto God. And therefore in the Old Testament it is expressed under this name: It is called a Turning unto God. It is not enough to cease from [Page 42] evil, but we must also do good: As a man cannot go with one leg, nor a bird fly with one wing; no more can any man mount up to heaven by forsaking of sin, if he doth not also labour to turn to God.

And this is the consummation of repentance, and the happinesse of it. Whereas disobedience estrangeth us from God, who is our light and life, in whose presence is fulnesse of joy, &c. Repentance brings us back again into the love, favour, and friendship of God. And therefore Luther saith well, That optima & optissima poeni­tentia est nova vita: which saying, though condemned by Pope Leo the tenth, yet certainly it is a most excellent saying: Repen­tance without Reformation is a deformation; it is a foundation without a building. All sorrow, confession, and forsaking of sinne without this turning unto God by holinesse of life, is fruitlesse and unprofitable.

And thus you have the Golden Chain with all the five links.

Now what remains: but

First, That all you that pretend to a right Repentance, be per­swadedUse 1. to examine your selves whether you have this medicine with the five ingredients, this golden chain with the five links. There are some that will confesse their sinnes, but it is with dry eyes and hard hearts. Others that will mourn for their sinnes, but not forsake them. Others will forsake some sinnes, but not all. Some forsake sinne outwardly but not inwardly: some for­sake sinne, but do not turn to God: some forsake sinne, but do not make restitution. If a childe be born without his legges, or arms, or eyes; we say it is a monster, a deformed childe: Such a monstrous kinde of repentance most people have. Some have a leg of repentance, some have an arm of repentance, but few have the whole childe of repentance. Herod had a leg of repentance, he reformed in many things; but his repentance was but a lame repentance. Balaam had a kinde of repentance, and so had Iehu; but it was but a monster, not the perfect childe of repentance. Examine seriously and let conscience speak: Hast thou the childe of repentance formed in thee with every limb in truth; though not in perfection? Say not thou repentest aright unlesse thou hast all the links of this golden chain.

[Page 43]Secondly, Labour to put on this golden chain this day. It willUse 2. be an excellent ornament to Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen. The Lord give you hearts to do it. Repentance is Christs gift, he is at Gods right hand to give it. Sue to him for it, and he will bestow it upon you. And be sure to remember this truth of God: If any one link of this chain be wanting thou canst not be saved. For I am not now preaching of points in difference between us and the Papists; or between Protestant and Protestant; but of those things which all will confesse to be true, If any one of these in­gredients be out of the medicine, this medicine of repentance will do thee no good. And therefore labour to thy utmost endeavour by prayer and all other means to obtain all five this day. I say, this day, for this day God cals, and you call; God cals for repentance, and for present repentance, and for a compleat repentance; and you call for mercy for your Armies; for present mercy, and for a com­pleat mercy: Would you have God hear you, and will not you hear God? Consider whether this be equal: Would you have God give you a good return of your prayers, and will not you give God a good return of his Word? The occasion of our meeting this day, is to pray to God, that God would be pleased to own our Forces, for we know not how soon they may be engaged; and that God would be pleased to fight our battels, and not to suffer us to miscarry as we have done lately. Now do you think God will re­gard your prayers this day, if you do not repent this day? It is not praying, but it is the penitent prayer that prevails with God: It is in vain to recruit your Armies, if you recruit your sins: God looks for penitent prayers, humble prayers: Let the Parliament of England never forget the 7. of Ioshua▪ 10, 11, 12. &c. Get thee up, saith God to Ioshua, why lyest thou on the ground? there is a sin committed, and I will not hear thy prayers till the sin be remo­ved: Let the Parliament of England remember the Battels of the Children of Israel against the Benjamites; though their cause were never so good, yet notwithstanding because they were I­dolaters, and because they did not manage their cause well, therefore God suffered them twice to miscarry: Let the Par­liament of England never forget the story of the people of Is­rael, 1 Sam. 4. that went out and carried the Ark of God with them, and went out to fight against the Philistims who [Page 44] were the enemies of God, and yet they miscarried because of their iniquities; And let the Parliament of England never for­get the 23. of Deuteronomy 9. When your Hosts go forth to fight against your enemies, then keep your selves from every evill way; then, then especially. A repenting Parliament; a repenting Army; and a repenting people; what miracles might not they do? The Lord make the Army, the Parliament, and all the Peo­ple such. Amen, Amen.

FINIS.

The Names of the other Works M. Calamy hath printed, and se­verall other Books, all printed and sold by Christopher Me­redith at the Crane in Pauls-Church-yard, viz.

  • 2. ENglands Looking-glasse, on Ier. 18. 7, 8, 9, 10.
  • 3. Gods free mercy to England, on Ezek. 36. 32.
  • 4. Noble mans Pattern, on Iosh. 24. 15.
  • 5. An Indictment against England, on Mat 12. 25.
  • 6. The Door of Truth opened, In answer to M. Henry Burton.
  • 7. A just and necessary Apo­logy. In answer to M. Henry Burton.
  • 8. The great danget of Covenant-refusing and breaking, on 2 Tim. 3. 3. All by M. Ed­mund Calamy.
  • D. Arrowsmiths Covenant-avenging Sword, on Levit. 26, 25.
  • D. Barlow's Guide to Glory, on Psa. 73. 34.
  • M. Bridges Ioabs Counsell, on 2 Sam. 19. 5 6, 7, 8.
  • M. Bodius Alarm to Warre against Babylon, Rev. 18. 6.
  • D. Burges,
    • on Ier. 50. 5.
    • on Psa. 76. 10.
    • Two Sermons on Ier. 4. 14.
    • Examination of 9. Reasons against Bishops.
  • M. Caryls Davids prayer for Solomon, Psa. 72. 1, 2, 3.
  • M. Carters Israels peace, on Iudg. 20. 26, 27, 28.
  • M. Couants Woe and Weal, on Ier. 30. 7.
  • M. Colemans
    • Christians course and Com­plaint, Ier. 8. 20.
    • The hearts Engagement, on Ier. 30. 11.
    • Gods unusuall Answer, on Psal. 65. 5.
    • Hopes deferred and dashed, Iob 11. 2.
  • M. Ellis sole-path, on Micah 5. 5.
  • M. Edes, Three Sermons,
    • Ephes. 2. 19, 20, 21, 22.
    • Ephes. 5. 15, 16.
    • Psalm 37. 35, 36, 37.
  • M. Gattakers Thanks-giving for 88. Psalm 48. 7, 8.
  • M. Goods publike Spirit, on Act. 13. 36.
  • M. Gipps, on Psal. 46 1.
  • M. Hardwicks Difficulty of Sions deliverance, Psalm 126. 5, 6.
  • M. Hicks
    • Glory and Beauty, on Isa. 28. 5, 6.
    • The Life and Death of David, on Act. 13. 3, 6.
    • Advantage of Afflictions, Hos. 5. 15.
  • M. Hookers Faithfull Covenanter, Deuter. 25. 24, 25.
  • M. Ienkins
    • Self-seeking discovered, on Phil. 20, 21.
    • Reformations Remora, on Hag. 1. 1, 2.
    • Sleeping sicknesse, on Isa. 29. 10.
    • Busie Bishop. in answer to Iohn Goodwin.
    • The blinde Guide. in answer to Iohn Goodwin.
  • M. Iessop's Angel no Bishop of Ephesus, Rev. 21.
  • M. Ley's
    • Fury of Warre, on Ier. 4. 21, 23.
    • Monitor of Mortality, First part on Iames 4. 14. Second part, on Gen. 44. 3.
    • Answer to M. Saltmarsh's Query about the Presbyteriall Government.
    • Light for Smoak, a Reply to M. Salt­marsh.
    • An After-reckoning with M. Saltmarsh.
  • [Page]M. Mockets
    • Churches Troubles, Several Ser­mons, on Gen. 22. 14.
    • Covenanters Looking-glasse, on Deut. 29. 9.
    • Gospel Duty and Dignity, on Matth. 13. 46.
  • M. Mewes spoiling of Iacob and Israel, on Isa. 42. 24, 25.
  • M. Newcomens
    • craft and cruelty of the Chur­ches adversaries, Neh. 4. 11.
    • Ierusalems Watchmen, Isa. 62. 6, 7.
    • Use of disasters, Iosh, 7. 10, 11.
    • Against Toleration, Phil. 1. 27.
    • All-seeing eye of God, on Heb. 4. 13.
    • Popes deadly wound by D. Burges.
  • M. Profits Englands Impenitency, on Isaiah 9. 14.
  • M. Reyners Babylons Earthquake, on Haggai 2. 6, 7.
  • M. Salways halting stigmatized, 1 Kings 18. 21.
  • D. Stantons Rupes Israelis,
    • Deut. 32, 31.
    • Phinchas Zeal, Psalm 106. 30.
  • D. Smith, Psa. 107. 6.
  • M. Thorowgood Moderation justified, Phi. 4. 5.
  • M. Udall's Good of Peace, and Ill of Warre. Psa. 29. 11.
  • M. Wards
    • God judging among the Gods, Psa. 82. 1.
    • Good will of him that dwelt in the bush.
  • M. Woodcocks
    • Christs warning, Rev. 16. 15.
    • Lex Talionis, 1 Sam. 2. 30.
    • Ioseph paralleled, Gen. 49, 23, 24.
  • M. Whittaker Christ the Settlement, on Haggai 2. 7,
  • D. Wilkinsons
    • Babylons ruine, on Zech. 1. 18, 19. 20, 21.
    • Gainfull Cost, 1 Chron. 21, 24.
    • Miranda stupenda, Num. 23. 23.

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