A SERMON Preached at a GENERAL MEETING! IN THE Gray-Friar-Church OF EDINBVRGH, Upon the 13. Day of Iune 1638.

By that Eminent, Faithful, and Zealous Servant of Jesus Christ, Mr. ANDREW CANT, Minister of the Gospel at Aberdeen.

EDINBURGH, Printed for Alexander Henderson, M. DC. XC. IX.

A SERMON on Zech. 4. 7.

‘Who art thou, O great mountain before Zerubbabel, thou shal [...] become a plain, and he shall bring forth the head stone thereof with Shouting, Crying, Grace, Grace unto it.’

I Perceive that God will have his Temple built, which had been long neglected, partly by the worldli­ness of the people, who had greater Care of their own houses then of the house of God, as appears by the prophet, Haggai 1. v. 3, 4. He reproves them for this fault, (That they cared more for their own houses than for the house of God, partly, because of the great impediments and difficulties they apprehended in the work. Yet God, having a purpose to have it builded, sends his Prophets to stir them up to the building of it, Hag. 2. 4. As for impediments, he promises to remove them all, and assures them of this by Haggai and Ze­chariah; Yea he shews to Zerubbabel and the people, that although impediments were as mountains, yet they should be removed.

I need not stand upon Introductions and Connecti­ons, this Verse I have read, shows the Scope of the Pro­phet, to wit, God will have his work going on, and all Impediments removed. These Times require that I should rather insist upon Application to the present Work of Reformation in hand, then to stand upon the Temple of Ierusalem, which we know well enough was a Type of Christs Kirk, which in this Land was once built, but now hath been Defaced by the Enemies of Christ; we have long neglected the Re-edifying of it, partly, Men being given more to build their own houses, nor the house of Christ; and partly, Because of the great Impediments that have discouraged God's [Page 3] people to meddle with it: now it hath pleased God, to stir up Prophets, Noblemen, and People of the Land, to put to their Hands to this Work, and I think, God saith to you in this Text, Who art thou, O great moun­tain thou shalt become a plain.

There are two Parts in this Text, First. An Impe­diment removed under the Name of a Mountain, Who art thou, O great mountain before Zerubbabel, thou shalt be­come a plain. 2ly, In the second Part of the Text, the Work goeth up and is finished; the Impediment being removed, He shall bring forth the head stone thereof with Shouting, Crying, Grace, Grace be unto it.

But that ye may take up all that is to be said in Or­der and Method, there are six Steps in the Text, three in the Mountain impeding the Work, and three in the Work it self; the three in the Mountain are these, 1. It is a Mountain seen, O great mountain. 2. A Moun­tain reproved, Who art thou, O great mountain before Ze­rubbabel. 3. A Mountain removed, Thou shalt become a plain. The three in the Work are, 1. A Work grow­ing and going up. 2. A Work finished, He shall bring forth the head stone thereof. 3. A Work praised, He shall bring forth the head stone thereof with Shouting, Crying, Grace, Grace be unto it: I shall speak of all these God willing, and apply them to the time.

As for the three in the Mountain. 1. It is a Mountain seen, It is called a great Mountain, under this are com­prehended all Impediments and Difficulties imped­ing the Bullding, all being taken together, make up a great Mountain which is un-passible, the Enemies which impede this Work were this Mountain; look Ezra 4. and ye will see the Adversaries of Iudah be­come a great Mountain in the Way of that Work.

[Page 4] That ye may take up this Mountain the better, I find that Kings are called Mountains in Scripture, and good Kings are so called for these three, First, For their Sub­limity, as Mountains are high above the Valleys, so are Kings lifted up in Majesty above their Subjects: Some apply that place to Kings, Micah 6. 2. Hear ye, O moun­taens, the Lords controversie, and ye strong foundations of the earth. 2. They are called Mountains for their Strength to Guard their People, Psal. 30. David saith, God hath made my mountain strong. 3. Good Kings are called Moun­tains, by reason of the Influence of Peace to the People, Psal. 72. v. 3. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by righteousness.

I find also, that the strong Enemies of the Church are called Mountains, because of the great impedi­ments to the Kirk's building that are made by them, as ye may see in Ps. 144.

This Mountain (that I may speak more plainly) is Prelacie, which hath ever been in the Mountain, in the way of our Reformation: It may be, some of you that hears me, are not of my Judgment concerning. Episco­pacie; for my Judgment, I ever condemned it, as hav­ing no Warrand for it to be in Christ House; Yet I am sure, that all of you who are here this day, will agree with me in this, that Prelacy being Antichrstian, is in­tollerable, but such is the Prelacy of this Kirk, it is Antichristian, I may easily prove that, that amongst many marks of Antichrist, thir two are most evident, False Doctrine, and Tiranny in Government; where Antichrist is, there is Tirannical Government, imposing Laws upon the Consciences of Gods People, where Antichrist is, there is Idolatry, Superstition, and Error, these two are clearly seen in our Prelacy; their Idola­try, [Page 5] Superstition, and Error, may be seen in their Ser­vice-Book; their Tyranny may be seen in their Book of Canons: I think there are none here, but they may see this Mountain; no greater Tyranny hath ever been used by Antichrist than hath been used by our Prelats, and exercised upon this Kirk.

This Mountain being seen by you all, I would have you taking a view of the Quality of it: I find in Scrip­ture, That the Enemies of the Kirk being called Moun­tains, are so called, because of these three Qualities, the first is in Ps. 76. 4. They are called Mountains of Prey, so called, because from them the Robbers rush down to the Valleys and Prey upon the Passengers. 2. The second is in Jer. 51. 25. Babylon, a great Enemy to Gods Kirk is called a destroying Mountain; thee word in its own lan­guage, is called a Pestiferious Mountain, (so called) be­cause the Pest destroys. 3. The third is in Isa. 2. 14. They are called Mountains of Pride compared with the 12. Vers. and you will find these Mountains called Mountains of Pride.

Our Mountain of Prelacie hath all these Three bad Qualities, first, it is a Mountain from which they have like Robbers, made a Prey of the Kirk of Christ: Tell me I pray you, and I appeal to your own Con­sciences who are my Brethren, if there be any privi­ledge or liberty that ever Christ gave us, but they have taken it from us, and made a Prey of it. 2. This Moun­tain is a pestiferous Mountain; it hath been the Moun­tain that hath been as a Pest; to infect the Kirk of Christ, with Superstition, Heresie and Error, and with­all, it hath been a destroying Mountain, for they have destroyed the fair carved work of our first Reformation 3. They are Mountains of Pride, for greater Pride [Page 6] cannot be, than there is upon this Mountain, they rule as Tyrants over their Brethren, and as Lords o­ver God's Inheritance.

Ye that are Noblemen, are the Natural Mountains of this Kingdom descended of Noble Predecessors, who have been as Mountains indeed; defending both Kirk and Common-wealth; these Men were but low Valleys, and now are Artificial Mountains, made up by the Art of Man; at first, as low as their Brethren sitting there, but piece and piece they have Mounted up at First Commissioners for the Kirk, and then Ob­tained Vote in Parliament, and then they usurped all the liberties of the Kirk benefices, and then constant Moderators to make up this Mountain, and at last, the high Commission is given to make the Mountain strong; it's like to Daniel's Tree. Dan. 4. 11. The Tree grew and was strong. And from it, we that are the Ministers of Christ have our Wrack,

And let me speak it to you. Noblemen, these Artificial and stooted Mountains, have overtoped you who are the Natural Mountains, and if they have not done so, what means the great-seal then; and if way could have been made for it, they should have carryed the white Wand and Privy-Seal also; and this is Just with God that they have overtopped you: For every one of you came with your own Shovelful to make up this Mountain. It was thought expedient to rear up this Mountain, to command and bear down poor Ministers: Albeit, its true, we have been born down by them; yet ye that are the high Mountains, have not been free from their hurt; it is very like to Iotham's Par­able, Iudges, 9. 8. The Trees of the Forrest will have a King over them; they come to the Olive Tree and say, be [Page 7] thou King over us; the Olive saith, I will not leave my Fat­ness to be King; they came to the Fig-Tree, and said, be thou our King; the Fig-Tree saith, I will not leave my Sweetness [...] be King; they come likewise to the Vine, and say, be thou our King; the Vine saith, I will not leave my Strength to be King; they come to the Bramble, and said, be thou our King; then said the Bramble to the Trees: If indeed ye Anoint me King over you, then come and put your Trust under my Shad­dow; and if not, let Fire come Forth of the Bramble and de­vour the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. The Olive Trees of the Ministrie would not leave the Fatness of GOD's Grace, wherewith they were endued, to Rule over the Kirk; The Fig-Trees of the Ministry would not leave the Sweet Fruits of their Ministry to bear Rule in the Kirk; The Vines of the Ministry would not leave the strong Consolations of God, whereby many Souls were Com­forted, to bear Rule in the Kirk; yet the Brambles have taken this, and ye helped to Exalt them▪ upon Condition to Trust under their Shaddow; and if Fire hath not come forth from these Brambles, upon the Tall Cedars of this Land, I leave to your own thoughts to Judge: Alwise this is the Mountain which ye see all reared up this day, and standing in the way of our Reformation.

2. The Second thing in this Mountain, is this, It is [...] Mountain reproved. Who art thou O Great Mountain before Zerubbabel. When he saith of Zerubbabel, it is not on­ [...]y meant of Zerubbabel, but of the rest of GOD's People, see Hagg. 1. 12. There, Zerubbabel, Ioshua, and the rest of GOD's People obeyed the Voice of the Lord; and [...]n the 14 Verse, all these are said to work in the House of the Lord; So, under Zerubbabel all the rest of the people are Comprehended, even so in this [...] [Page 8] ours, all that are joyned to this Work, for the building of this Work, are to be accounted Workers, and for them also is this Mountain Reprov'd. Who art thou O great Mountain; who art thou who will impede this work, or shall be able to impede it, seeing GOD will have it foreward: It's impossible for thee to impede it in these Three Respects. 1. In respect of the work it self. 2. In Respect of the Workers. 3. In Respect of the Impeders.

1. First in respect of the Work it self, It is GOD's Work, for the House is his, and he is in it, Hag. 2. 4. The Lord saith, Be thou strong Zerubbabel and Ioshua, and the remnant of the People and Work, for I am with you saith the Lord of Hosts. If God be with a Work, who is he that will lett or Impede it; God is with this Work of Reformation, as ye your selves can Witness; and by all our expectations this Mountain is shaken, and (God be praised) are not so unpassible as they were.

2. Secondly no Man is able to impede this work in repesect of the workers. Hag. 2. 14. it is said, that God stirred up the Spirit of Zerubbabel, and of Joshua and of the People, and they came and wrought in the house of the Lord. When God stirs up Men to do a good work, nothing on Earth can stay it: I am sure if ever God stirred up men to a good Work, he hath stirred us up to this, both Noblemen, Ministers & People. Wherefore, who art thou O great Mountain before God's People, that thinks to Impede such a Work,

Thirdly, in respect of the Impeders, what are they but Men, and wicked men, as ye may see in the Ad­versaries of the Iews. Who are they that Impede our work? Even Men that seek Honour and Preferment of this World, Enemies to Religion, Fighting against [Page 9] God, to whom I may say that word in Iob 9. 4. Who hath hardned himself against God and prospered. With one word more I will reprove this Mountain, and go forward:

Who art thou, O great mountain! Wilt thou search thy search who thou art; art thou of God's Building or not? I trow thou art not Iuris Divini, but Humani God nor Christ have never built thee; thou art only a Hill of mans Erecting, knowest thou not that Zion, against which thou art, is a Hill of Gods Building: I will say to you then that word in Psal. 68. 15, 16. The hillof God is a high hill, as the hill of Bashan; why leap ye hills? This is the hill that God desireth to dwell in; yea, and will dwell in it for ever. And think ye to prevail against the People of Zion; she hath stronger Mountains to guard her than ye have. Psal. 125. 2. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from hence­forth and for ever.

3. The Third thing in this Mountain, is, it is a Mountain removed, thou shalt become a Plain; that is, God shall remove all Impediments before Zerubbabel and his People; God is able to remove all that Impedes his Work: Even the Mightiest Enemies that oppose them­selves to the work of God, ye may observe a four fold Power of God against these Mountains.

First, A determining Power, whereby he sets such bounds to the greatest Mountains, that ye see they fall not upon the Valley's, albeit they overtop them; the Lord hath set bounds to the great Kings in the World, which they could not pass when they have set them­selves against the Lord's People; we may see an Ex­ample of this in Sennacherib. 2 Kings 19. 32. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the King of Assyria; he shall not come up to this City, nor shoot an Arrow against it nor [Page 10] come before it with Shield, nor cast a Bank against it: Ye are afraid of the King that he come against you; fear not, the Lord by his restraining Power is able to keep him back, that he shall not shoot so much as a Bullet a­gainst this City.

Secondly, God removes Impediments by his assist­ing Power, as he promised to do before Cyrus, Isa. 45. 2: I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight, I will break in pieces the Gates of Brass, and cut in sunder the iron Barrs; albeit for any thing we see, there be Brazen Gates and Iron Barrs closing out a Reformati­on, yet let not this discourage you, God is with you by his assisting Power to go before you, to make all crooked places straight, and to break the Brazen Gates, and to out in sunder the Iron Barrs.

Thirdly, God hath a changing Power; whereby he makes Mountains plain; how easie is it with God, to make the highest Mountain that Impedes his Work, a Plain; Prov. 21. vers. 1 The Kings Heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the Rivers of Waters, to turn it whither soever he will: Lord make our Mountain thus plain.

The fourth way how GOD removes Mountains, is by an overthrowing power, if there be no change yet, GOD will bring it down, Isa. 2. 12. Every one that is lif­ted up shall be brought low. The like ye have in the 17. v.

By this which hath been said, ye may understand how a Mountain may be made a Plain; GOD makes Mountains Plains either in Mercy or in Wrath. 1. In Mercy, when he takes a Grip of the Heart, & of a proud haughty Heart, makes it toward and plain, we have seen such a Change by Experience.

This Work had many Enemies at the Beginning, that impeded it, whom GOD hath taken by the Heart, and [Page 11] made plain, yea hath made them Furtherers of the Work.

2. There is another way of making Mountains plain, to wit making plain in Wrath, when GOD overthrows the Mountains that stand up impeding his Work; assure your selves, if GOD bring not down this Mountain we have to do with, in Mercy, he shall overthrow it in Wrath, and make it waste.

That I may make this Mountain more plain, ye shall consider how it shall become a Plain, and how easily it may be made a Plain.

1. I see you looking up to the Height of it, and ye are saying within your selves, how shall it come down, ye must not think that it will come down of its own accord, GOD useth Instruments to pull down, I find that GOD hath made his own People Instruments to pull down such Mountains, Isai. 41. v. 14, 15, 16. Fear not Worm Jacob, and ye Men of Israel. I will help thee, saith the Holy One and thy Redeemer, behold I will make thee a new Threshing Instrument having Teeth, thou shalt thresh the Moun­tains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff thou shalt fann them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirl wind shall scatter them: Mark these Words, al­though Iacob be a Worm despised by the great ones of the World, yet GOD will make him a Threshing In­strument, to beat these Mountains in pieces. The Pro­fessors of this Land are despised by the Mountains, yet fear not, for the sharp Threshing Instrument is made, I hope it shall beat the Mountains in pieces: we think them very high, but if we had faith, that word would be verified, Mat. 16. 20. Ye shall say to the mountain, re­move to yonder place, and it shall be removed, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

But one is saying, I have not faith, that all that are [Page 12] joyned this day against the Mountain shall continue; I hope they shall continue, I hope they shall; but if they do not; we trust not in men, that they shall bring down this Mountain, but in God, who hath said in Ier. 51. ver. 25. Behold I am against thee, O destroying mountain, I will stretch out my hand upon thee, I will roll thee down from the rocks, and make thee a burnt mountain, they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a foundation, thou shalt be de­solat for ever: This Mountain ye see so exalted, although men would hold it up, yet GOD will bring it down, and make it a burnt Mountain, even so O LORD do.

2. In the second place, consider how this Mountain may be made a Plain; I told you it was but an Artifici­al Mountain, a Stooted Mountain, standing upon weak Pillars, if ye would take a look of the whole Frame of the Mountain, it stands upon two main Pil­lars, and upon the Top of this Mountain stands the House of Dagon, an House of False Worship, and take me the Pillars from Episcopacy, and it shall fall, take E­piscopacy, away, and the House of Dagon shall fall: the two main Pillars that Prelacy stands on, are a Civil and Se­cular Arm, and an Ecclesiastical Tongue, so to speak.

1. First, The Secular Arm is the Authority of Prin­ces, which hath ever upholden that Mountain, ye know Secular Princes uphold Antichrist, and Prelacy in this Land is upholden by the Secular Power.

Secondly, The second Pillar I call Ecclesiastical, that is, Prelacy in this Land hath been upholden by the Tongues of Kirkmen, Preaching up this Mountain, or by their Pens, Writing upon this Mountain, and these are the two Pillars whereupon our Mountain of Prela­cy is Stooted, the Secular Power and the Tongues of Kirkmen, let the King withdraw his Power and Au­thority [Page 13] from the Prelats, and they shall fall suddenly in Dross, let Kirkmen and Ministers withdraw their Tongues and Pens from them, and our Mountain ere ye look about you) shall become a Plain: As these two Stoots up this Mountain, so upon this Mountain all False Worship in the Kirk is built, even Dagon's House; lead me, says Samson, to the Pillars that Dagon's House stands on, that I may be avenged for my two Eyes: the Philistines were never more cru­el to Samson in pulling out his Eyes, than our Prelats would have been to us: they pressed to put out our Eyes, and ere ever we were aware, they thought to lead us to Dagon's House, even to the Tents of Popery and Idolatry; let us come to this main Pillar of Dagon's House, and apply all our strength to pull it down, that we may not only be avenged for our Eyes, which they have thought to pull out, but also that the House of False Worship, which is erected upon this Mountain, may fall to the ground.

I hear some saying, Minister, for all your saying, the Mountain will not come down at this time, ye think nothing but it will down; I assure you, I would have it down, but ye must not think us that silly, as to think that it will come down, because we have many for us, we trust not in Men but in GOD, and if this be the time that GOD will have it down, although ye should lay all your hands about their head, they shall come down; it appears they will come down, if there were no more but their Pride, Avarice, Cruelty, and loose Living to pull them down, especially when all these are come to height, as they are come to in them, and so much for the Mountain, ye see we have reproved it, GOD remove it.

[Page 14] I come now to the three in the Work (the Moun­tain being removed) 1. It is a Work growing and go­ing up. He shall bring forth. 2. It is a Work finished, He shall bring forth the head stone thereof. 3. It is a Work praised, He shall bring forth the head stone thereof with Shout­ing, Crying, Grace, Grace be unto it; We shall speak of all these three shortly.

First, It is a Work going up, it was impeded, but now it's going up: There is something here very con­siderable, the Work goes not up, until the Mountain be made a Plain. The Mountain must not be paired or topped, but it must altogether become plain, other­ways the Work cannot go up; The Mountain of Pre­lacy must not be paired nor topped, something taken a­way, but it must be brought down wholly, otherways the Work of Reformation cannot go on, neither Christ's House go up. It will be said, what ailes you, you shall have your desires, but the Estate of Bishops must stand, It is impossible to bring it down altogether, the King may not want an Estate, (truly a good one both to Kirk and Common Wealth) ye shall have them brought within the old Bounds, and Caveats set down to them, they shall not hurt the Kirk any more: the LORD knows how loath I was to speak from this place, but se­ing GOD hath thrust me out, I must speak the truth.

I say to you, these Quarters are not to be taken, be­cause the Mountainis not of God's making, but of Man's, and therefore make it what way ye will, God will be displeased with it; yea, its impossible to set caveats to keep them in. I appeal to all your Consciences; is it possible to set Caveats to their Pride and Avarice; their Pride and Avarice will break through Ten Thousand Caveats: I will clear this impossibility by similitudes. [Page 15] Tell, me, if a Fountain in the Town of Edinburgh were poisoned; whether were it more safe to stop up the Fountain, than to set a Guard to keep it, that none draw out of it, for there is hope the Poison would do no harm? There is no Man of a sound Judgment but he will think it more safe to stop up the Fountain than to guard it; this Prelacie is the Poisoned Fountain wherefrom the Kirk of Christ hath been Poisoned with the Poison of Error and Superstition. Now the Que­stion is, whether it be safer to stop it up than to guard it? Surely it is safer to stop it up; for all the Caveats in the world, will not keep the Kirk unpoisoned, so long as it remains. I will give you another similitude; If the Town of Edinburgh were (as many Towns have been and are) taken and Possest by cruel and obstinat Enemies, who would take all your liberties from you, would not suffer your Magistrates to judge, and would spoil you of your Goods, and use all the cruelty that could be devised against the Inhabitants, if God gave you occasion to be free of such a cruel and obstinat E­nemie; what would you do if this were proponed to you; why may not you suffer the Enemie to abide within the Town? We shall take all their Weapons from them, they shall never hurt you any more: Would ye not think it far better to put them out of the Town altogether; both because the Inhabitants would be in fear so long as they were in the Town, and be­cause the Town would never be sure: For there might be Traitors among your selves, who would Steal in Weapons▪ in their Hands; and so they would bring you under the former Tyrannie; yea under a greater. E­ven so it is in this Case; The Cruelest and greatest E­nemies that ever the Kirk of Scotland saw, are those [Page 16] Prelats; they have spoiled us of all our Liberties, and exercised intollerable Tyranny over us. Now the Lord is shewing a way how to be quite of them; con­sider the Condition offered, what alls you? May ye not let them abide within the Kirk, we shall take all their Weapons from them, as admission of Ministers Excommunication, and that terrible High-Commissi­on, they shall never hurt you again; this is but the Counsel of Man, the Counsel of GOD is, to put them out of the Kirk altogether, otherways the Kirk can never be secure, yea, I assure you, there are as many Traitors among our selves, as would steal in the Wea­pons again in their Hands, then shall our latter Estate be worse than our first; if our Yoke be heavy under them now, it shall be heavier then; if they chastise us now with Whips, they shall chastife us then with Scor­pions. I think I hear Men speak like that Word, Danie [...] 4. 14. Hew down the tree, cut down his branches, shake off his leaves, scatter his fruits, nevertheless leave the stum of his roots with a band of iron and brass; the Interpretati­on of that part of the Vision is set down in the 26 verse Thy Kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou hast known that the Heavens bear rule: I hear Men say, hew down the Tree, cut off his Branches, shake off his Leaves scatter his Fruits, ye shall be quite of all that, but th [...] Stump must be left, banded with Iron. (If it were till they knew GOD, it were something, but there is no appearance of that) Consider, O Man, who saith that, no Man, but the Watcher and the Holy One even he that made Nebuchadnezzars Kingdom sure to him. If GOD had made this Estate sure to them, i [...] would, and should stand; and if GOD would bin [...] down the Stump of it with Iron Bands, we would ne­ver [Page 17] fear the growth of it, nor the Fruit of it, but seing they are only Bands to be laid on by Men; Albeit the Tree were hewed down, it would grow again in all the Branches of it, with all the Leaves of it's Dignity, and we should taste of the bitter Fruit of it; Yet that are Covenanters, be not deceived, if ye leave so much as a Hillock of this Mountain, in despight of your hearts It shall grow to a high Mountain, which shall fill both Kirk and Common Wealth. If the Kirk would be quite of the Troubles of it, and if ye would have this Work of Reformation going up, this Mountain must be made a Plain altogether, otherways the Spirit of GOD saith, ye shall never prosper.

The second thing in this Work, is a Work finished, He shall bring forth the head stone thereof: When a head stone is put on a House, the House is finished, ye who are Reverend Fathers in the Kirk, who have seen the Work of our first Reformation, ye saw it going up and brought to such a Perfection, that the Cope-stone was put on, Purity of Doctrine, and Administration of Sacraments, and Sweetness of Government where­by the Kirk was ruled; but woe's us all, we see with you now, the Roof taken off, the Glorious Work pul­led down, and lying desolat. Now, it hath pleased GOD to turn again, and offer a Re-edifying of this Work, as he did here to the People of this Temple; se­ing therefore the LORD hath stirred up our Spirits to crave a Re-edifying of Christ's Kirk, let us never take our hands from it, till Christ have put the Cope­stone on it. I hear some say, Minister, there is more ado yet ere that be done, ye sing the Triumph before he Victory, ye will not see it go up at leasure. In­deed ye are deceived, we sing not the Triumph before the Victory, some of us are afraid that it go not up so [Page 18] suddenly: I must say to you, if it be GOD's Work (as it is indeed) all the Powers of the World shall never be able to hinder the putting on of the Cope-stone, ay, but say ye, it will be hindered ere ye get the Work for­ward, ye will find the Dint of the Fire and Sword; let it be so, if GOD will have it so, that will not impede the Work; if our Blood be spilt in this Cause, the Cope-stone shall be put on with our Blood; for the Kirk of GOD hath never prospered better, nor by the Blood of Saints, fear not beloved, this Work; whether it be done peaceably, or with Persecution, the Cope­stone shall be put on it: ye know, in the beginning of the Reformation, there was small Likelyhood that the Work should go up and be finished, because of the great Power that was against it, yet the LORD brought it forward against all Impediments, and put the Cope­stone it; that same GOD lives yet, and is as able to put the Cope-stone on this Work as he was then, if ye believe.

3. The third thing in this Work, is a Work praised, He shall bring forth the head stone thereof with Shouting, Crying, Grace, Grace unto it, all ye that builds and beholds the Work, will love the Work, and will all wish it well. He alludes by appearance, who, when the Foundation of a Common Work is laid, rejoyces, and when it is finished rejoyces, ye may see this clear in Ezra 3. 11. at the laying of the Foundation of this Temple, the People shouted with a great Shout; if they did that at the laying of the Foundation, much more shall they do it at the bringing forth of the head stone thereof, as is said here, the Words they cry, grace, grace the Phrase comprehends under it these three things.

1First, A Wish of the People of GOD, whereby they wish Prosperity to the Work, ye may see it was a common Wish,. Ier. 31. 23. Thus saith the LORD of Hosts, [Page 19] yet they shall use use this Speech in the Land ofJudah,and Cities thereof, when I shall bring again their Captivity: The LORD bless thee, O Habitation of Iustice, and Mountain of Holiness.

2dly, It comprehends under it a Thanksgiving, the Workers give all Praise to the Work, Ezra. 10. 11. When the Builders laid the Foundation of the Temple, they set the Priests with their Trumpets, and the Levites with their Cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the Ordi­nance of David, They Sang by Course, Praising GOD, and giving Thanks unto the LORD, because he is good, and his Mercy endureth for ever.

3. The third thing it comprehends under it, is a faithful acknowledgment that the Work is built and fi­nished by no power and strength of Men, but by the Grace of GOD, look the Verse preceeding the Text, and ye will find it thus, not by might or by power, but by my Spirit saith the LORD of hosts: ye may easily ap­ply this. Our Work that GOD is bringing up, and will finish, should be a Praised Work, our Wishes should be to it; The LORD bless thee, O Habitation of Iustice, and Mountain of Holiness: our Song of Thanksgiving should be in our Mouths, GOD is good, and his Mercy endureth for ever: albeit it go up, let us not ascribe any thing to our selves, but let us ascribe all to the Grace of GOD, and this will stop all the Mouths of Disdainers, who say, who are ye, who think to finish such a Work; we an­swer, it will be finished not by might, or by strength of Man, but by the Spirit of the LORD of Hosts.

There are three sorts looking to this Work, and to the going up of it, 1. Evil-Willers. 2. Well-Wishers. 3. Neutrals, 1. The Evil-Willers are Edom, and he was Iacob's Brother, yet in Ps. 137. he cryes raze, raze this Work to the Foundation. There is a number that is [Page 20] crying, raze, raze this Work to the Foundation. 2. There is a second sort that are Well-Wishers, crying grace, grace be unto it: in those former Years, the Shout of Raze, Raze, hath been louder than Grace, Grace; but now, GOD be praised, the Shout of Grace, Grace is louder than Raze, Raze. 3. There is a third sort gazing upon this Work, that dare not cry raze, raze, because they are born down with Grace, Grace, they dare not cry Grace, Grace, for fear of Authority. What shall I say to these Neutrals, they are so uncapable of Admonition, that it will be a spending of time, to crave their Concurrence to the Work; to whom shall I speak then, my Text is an Apostrophe, if I may use one, that which I shall use first▪ is GODs own Words from Isaiah, Isai. 1. 3. Hear O Heaven, Hearken O Earth, for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up Children, and they have rebelled against me.

I will next turn me to Strangers and Forreigners, all ye of Reformed Kirks (what, have I said Strangers, thir Men who are are brought up in the Kirk, are Strangers from the Womb, Psal. 58. 3. But) ye are joyned with us in a Corporation, come therefore with your fellow feeling, let us hear your Shouts and Cryes of Grace, Grace be unto the Kirk of Scotland, and let your Wishes condemn thir ungrateful Neutrals, who professes them­selves Children of this Kirk, and yet will not rejoice with us for the Well of our Mother.

Now ye have heard this Text in all thir six Steps. 1. First a Mountain seen. 2. A Mountain reproved and disdained. 3. A Mountain to be removed. 4. A grow­ing Work. 5. To be finished. 6. With great applause of all Well Willers wishing Grace unto the Work. And seing I have ado with this great Mountain, both with Mountains that impedes this Work, and all Ranks of [Page 21] Persons, Promovers of the Work, I will direct my [...]peech to these with the Apostrophe in the Text.

And first, To the Mountains lying in the way of this Reformation, I rank them in two sorts, to wit Prelats, [...]nd Upholders of Prelats: O Prelats, if I had hope to [...]ome speed with you, I would exhort you in the Name of Christ, to lay down your Worldly Dignity, and [...]elp us to exalt the Kirk of Christ; but I fear ye have hardened your selves so against the Truth, that nothing will prevail with you, except ye keep your Worldly Monarchy, yet ye shall be forced to take up my Apo­strophe, O Mountains of Gilboa, on whom the Anointed of the LORD, is fallen, neither come Dew nor Rain upon you; ye are these Mountains, upon whom Christ and his Anointed has been slain, the Dew nor Rain of GOD's Grace are not on you, ye may well receive Fatness from be­neath, to make you great in this World, but from a­bove, ye are not Bedewed with the Grace of GOD, without which, whatever your Bodies be, ye have lean Souls; under this Course I leave you, and turns to you, O great Mountains, great Men who are putting your Shoulders to hold up this Mountain of Prelacy, I beseech you, if ye have any Love to Christ, to take your Shoulders and help from this Pestiferous Moun­tain the Wrack of Christ's Kirk: and if Exhortance will not prevail with you, I charge you in the Name of the great GOD, and his Son Jesus Christ, to whom one day ye must give your Account, that ye in noways underprop this Mountain, the which if ye obey, I am sure the LORD will bless you, and your Posterity; but if ye will not, though ye were never so high a Mountain in this Kingdom, ye shall become a Plain. I hear one saying, Minister, I am not afraid for all thou says, my Mountain is strong enough, and so said [Page 22] David, Psal. 30. 6, 7. I said I shall never be moved, for thou hast made my mountain strong, thou hides thy face, and I was troubled. I will tell you, let your Mountain be never so strong, if GOD hide his face once, he will make the tallest Mountain of you tremble; and if that move you not, he will at last lay you waste. I come to you whose hearts GOD hath touched to promove this Work in ge­neral, Christ is saying to you that Word in Cant. 4. v. 8. Come with me from Lebanon, my Spouse, come with me from Lebanon, look from the Top of Amana, from the Top of Sheni [...] and Hermon from the Lions Dens, and Mountains of Leopards▪ Thou hast ravished my heart, my Sister, my Spouse thou hast ra­vished my Heart with one of thy Eyes. Christ says this to you, come from the Dens of Lions, and Mountains of Leopards, Lions are cruel, and Leopards are crafty and cruel; for it is reported of them, that they set them­selves in the thick Branches, and spies the Passengers coming by, and leaps between their Shoulders, and kills them; ye have been over long among the Lions Dens, and the Mountains of Leopards, and now ye are coming away, this same look hath ravished the Heart of Christ, ye have wounded him with this look ye have given to the Cause, continue your help until the Spouse of Christ be forced from the Lions Dens, and Moun­tains of Leopards.

In particular I speak to all Ranks of Persons, O Noble­men who are the high Mountains of this Kingdom, bow your Tops and look on the Kirk of Christ, lying in the Valleys, sighing, groaning, swounding, and looking towards you with pitiful looks, if the Sun of Righte­ousness have shined on you, let her have a Shadow, as ye would have GOD to be a Shadow to you in the Day of your Distress.

Barrons and Gentlemen, who are as the pleasant [Page 23] Hills coming from the Mountains, (I speak to you for the Relation that is betwixt you and the Mountains, for by your Descent ye are hewen out of the Mountains) [...]ny Heart is glad to see you lift your Tops, as the Palms of your Hands reached to the Mountains, that they and ye may be as a Shelter for the Kirk of Christ, I pray you separat not your Hands from theirs, till our Work be brought forth with Shouting.

Burrows, who are as the Valleys whom GOD hath blessed with the Fatness of the Earth, and the Merchan­dise of the Sea, the Mountains and Hills are looking to you, and ye to them, join your selves in an unsepa­rable. Union, and compass the Vineyard of Christ, be to her a Wall of Defence, lest the wild Beasts of the Wood waste it, and the wild Beasts of the Forrest de­vour it, Psal. 80. 13.

Ministers and my Faithful Brethren in Christ, whose Feet are beautiful upon the Mountains, say unto Zion, behold thy GOD cometh: I tell you, within thir two years an Honest Mans Feet were not beautiful upon the Caulsey of Edinburgh, we might have gone Home to our Houses again, and shaken the Dust off our Feet for a Conviction against this Unthankful Generation, but now (GOD be praised) they are beautiful, and we are comely in their Eyes, not for any thing in us, (for we lay all down at the Feet of Christ) but be­cause we are gone up upon Mount Sion, and as the LORD's Messengers have cryed, behold thy GOD co­meth, I pray you, if ye have any Love to the Kirk of Christ, withdraw both your Tongues and Pens from this Mountain, and apply them against it, apply your Wits, Engines, Spirits, and all your Strength to bear down this Mountain, yea tread upon it, and use the sharp Threshing Instruments which GOD hath put in­to [Page 24] your Hands, and thresh upon that Mountain till be beaten small [...]s the Chaff.

Shall I pass you who are Commons, truly my De­light hath not been so great upon this Mountain, as to make me overlook you, my good People, beloved in Christ, have ye nothing to contribute for this Work have ye not so much Power as the Mountains and Hills have, or have ye not such Substance as the Val­leys, yet something ye have, give it, and it will be acceptable, something against the Mountain, and something for the Work, if ye have no more against the Mountain, let me have your Tears, Prayers, and strong Cryes, I am sure there is as great Value in them, as in the Rams Horns that blew down Iericho, send up your Prayers, and cry with the Psalmist in the 144 Psal. v. 5. Bow thy Heavens, O LORD, and come down, touch the Mountains, and they shall smoak, cast fort Lighte­ning, and scatter them, shoot out thine Arrows, and destroy them, send thine Hand from above, and deliver me out of the great Waters, from the hand of strange Children, whose Mouth speaketh Vanity, their right Hand is a right Hand of Falshood. As ye have your Tears and Prayers against this Mountain, lend me also what ye have for the go­ing up of this Work; if ye have no more, let us have your Shouts and hearty Crying, Grace, Grace be un­to it. Time will not suffer me to speak any more, yet time shall never bereave you nor me neither of this: let us all resolve, so long as our Life is in, even to the last Gasp, as GOD will help us, that this shall be out last Cry, Grace, Grace be unto this Work of Reforma­tion in the Kirk of Scotland. To this Grace I recommend you, and closes with that Wish of the Apostles in the New Testament, The Grace of GOD be with you all. Amen.


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