Look into Colossians ye 3. v. 15

IF a dumb Beast cou'd Natur [...]s Silence break,
And Bal [...]am's Ass at Heaven's Command cou'd speak:
Let's wonder less, that the same God cou'd reach,
The Voice of Ravens his great Truth to Preach.
[...]ut 'tis his own kind Call, no less a Grace,
Than to invite us his Rich Peace [...]'embrace.
Ʋ [...]ion and Love, (Oh happy Is [...]ael!)
When in Thy Gates such Heavenly Guests can dwell.

VOX CORVI: OR, THE Ʋoice of a Raven. That Thrice spoke these Words distinctly: Look into Colossians the 3d. and 15th.

The Text it self look'd into, and open­ed, in a Sermon, Preached at VVig­more, in the County of Hereford.

To which is added, Serious Addresses to the People of this Kingdom; shewing the use we ought to make of this Voice from Heaven.

By Alex. Clogie, Minister of Wigmore, &c. Licensed according to Order.

Matth. 21. xviii.
And Jesus saith unto them, Yea, have ye never read, Out of the M [...]uths of Babes and Sucklings, thou hast perfected Praise.

London, Printed by W. B. And are to be sold by R. Baldwin, at the Oxford-Arms, in Warwick-Lane, and by, most Booksellers, in London and Westminster. 1694.

TO THE Christian Reader.

THis following Discourse is presented to thy Perusal, under a double Re­commendation, not only as con­taining so Evangelical a Blessing, (as the Peace of God in the Text) offer'd to thee; our heartiest endeavours for the obtain­ing whereof, is so much our highest Chri­stian Importance, and Duty; but likewise more particularly the Occasion that gave the Reverend Preacher the choice of this Text; which first in the plain matter of Fact take as follows.

On the 3d. of February, 1691. about Three in the Afternoon, this Reverend Divine, a Person of the venerable Age of Eighty Years, and Forty of those a Labo­rious Teacher of God's Word, in the Parish of Wigmore, in the County of He­reford, being in the Hall of his own House, being with the Pious Matron, his Wife, some Neighbours and Relations, to­gether with two small Grand-Children of [Page] his, in all to the number of Eight Persons▪ Thomas Kinnersley, one of the said Grand-Children, of but Ten Years of Age, starting up from the Fire-side, went out of the Hall-Door, and sate himself down up­on a Block, by a Wood-pile, before the Door, employing himself in no other Childish Ex­ercise than cutting of a Stick; when in less than half a quarter of an Hour, he returned into the Hall in great Amazement, his Countenance pale, and affrighted, and said to his Grand father and Grand mother, Look in the Third of the Colossians, and the Fifteenth, with infinite Passion and Earnestness, repeating the Words no less than three times; which Dep [...]rtment and Speech much surprizing the whole Compa­ny, they asked him what he meant by those words; who answered with great Ardency of Spirit, That a Raven had spoken them Three times from the Peak of the Steeple and that it, look'd towards W. W.'s House, and shook its Head and Wings thither­ward, directing its Looks and Motions still towards that House. All which words he heard the Raven distinctly utter three times, and then saw it mount and fly out of sight. His Grand father hereupon, taking the Bi­ble, and turning to the said Text, found these words.

And let the Peace of God rule in your Hearts, to the which you are also called in one Body; and be ye thankful. Upon reading whereof, the Child was fully satisfied, and his Countenance perfectly com­posed agen.

Now, as the Voice of a Ràven, to speak in such a marvellous manner, may seem an incredible Relation, especially in an Age of such little Faith, yet we do here of­fer these serious Considerations for the Ma­nifestation of this real, though amazing Truth. First, What may stagger some People, viz. That the greatest, and in­deed only Authority in so weighty a Con­cern, is only from the Testimony of a Child, of but Ten Years old, is upon due and full Examination, one of the strongest Argu­ments of an undoubted Truth. For first, here were no less than Eight People, of ho­nest Credit and Reputation, that heard this Declaration of the Child, and were all Witnesses and Observers, both of the Childs Countenance, Gesture and Behaviour in the whole thing. Now, tho' but a Child of no more than Ten Years, to come running from his Play, with so alter'd and changed a Countenance, and so much Vehemence of Spirit, and Earnestness of Expression to [Page] press an aged Grand-father and Grand­mother to so serious a work, as the search of a particular Text of Scripture, had something extraordinary in it.

Now, had any Person of riper Years or any other single Authority, come in the like manner, and with the same Ve­hemency, advised the Inquiry into such a Text, and given any such credible Relation of hearing a Raven speak, here might have been some Grounds of Suspicion in the Veracity of such a single Testimony; for at those elder Years, the change of Face, and passion of Expression, might possibly be Vizor and Artifice, and con­sequently afford matter of Doubt and Scru­ple. Nay, possibly a Person of Maturity, as knowing the Fewds and Jarrs of the Family, towards which the Raven dire­cted this Text, might, even out of a good and honest design, have feigned such a Relation, as thinking thereby to have re­conciled the long Disunion and Discords of a Neighbour's House, by so amazing a warning-piece for Peace and Concord, as coming from the Mouth of a Raven, tho' in reality a Fictitious story. But in the case of a Boy, all this shadow of Doubt is utter­ly removed; for, both the forementioned [Page] change of Countenance, and importunate Ear­nestness, together with the Child's constant Asseveration of the Truth of this astonishing Accidents were all beyond the capacity of a Child, to feign or counterfeit; as being a Masque, morally impossible for his young Face to wear: And not only so, but the matter and manner of his Delivery were Alien to his Years; for a poor Infant, then out of doors a whitling of a Stick, or some such piece of innocent Childhood, to come running home on such an important Errand, (as indeed no less than a Message from God, take it in all the Circumstances) was beyond the possibility of Art or Cunning. And moreover as a thing done at Noon-day, here was the plain and sensible Conviction, both of the Child's Eye and Ear in the case, and not as people in the Dark, many times frighted and Bug-bear'd into the see­ing imaginary Chimeras and Fantoms.

To sum up the Evidences therefore; Here is possibly a full Testimony, even to demon­stration it self: And undoubtedly, the Al­mighty was particularly pleased to deliver this unusual Warning from Heaven, only to the Ear of a Child, that Innocence and Simplicity might be the greater and stronger Commissioner of his Divine Will and Plea­sure, on such an occasion.

Now, the Reasons why this Reverend and Pious Divine has appeared thus in publick, and so long after (now above Two Years since) the thing was done, are these: As a modest sober good Man, it never entred into his Thoughts of appearing in Print, as con­tenting himself, with doing his Duty to God, in teaching of his Flook at home, and preaching Christ, and him Crucified with in his own Precinct and Province, the care of those Souls under his Tuition, being the ultimate of his VVork and Study, where accordingly he took occasion to lay hold of so Heavenly an Admonition, and Preached to his Parishioners, on the very Text, so warn'd by the Voice of a Raven; but when in a remoter station in the Country, he had understood that several little trivi­al Penny-Books and Ballads had been printed, and dispersed here in London, giving a Narration of the said wonder­ful thing, and considered that so great a Truth was published in such a manner hereupon, as he very well knew; how ma­ny Notorious Fictions, and Fooleries, are daily imposed upon the VVorld in such tri­fling Pamphlets; (searce one in three truth) Therefore, to rescue this serious Narration, from falling under Scandal and Reproach, [Page] from such a Publication, as such may ren­der it doubted and suspected, he perswa­ded himself, together with the prevailing importunity of Friends, to let this Discourse of his, (contrary to his usual modesty,) be made publick in the VVorld, as indeed, ho­ping in some measure to do some good Christian Service therein, as far as lay in his Pow [...]r.

'Tis on this Account (Christian Rea­der) that this following Discourse is pre­sented to thy Hand, and under such Creden­tials, 'tis hoped (with the Grace of God) that the seasonable Precepts contained therein, may be of Efficacy and Force, to work a lively sense in thy Heart, of that just and high value we ought to set upon the Peace of God, here offered by the Apostle to thy most earnest seeking and desire: And with­al, though this Voice of a Raven, thus Commission'd from above, in the utterance of such a Heavenly Admonition, seemed to direct his stupendious Language, to a particular private Family, (which Pri­vate Family, through God's great Good­ness and Mercy, have since received the wonderful effects of the said Heavenly Admonition, being all reconciled and uni­ted in a most perfect Love and Amity,) un­doubtedly [Page] the purport of that Language, so marvellous in our Ears, had a further and larger Extent, as being indeed a general A­wakning Alarm to all Mankind, Union and Concord, being the fairest and largest Branches of that greatest of our Divine Apostolical Instructions, Charity. Most certainly this wondrous Warning piece, though more immediately pointing to a single Family, was intended for an Uni­versal Call, and Thou and We, and all the Professors of Christianity, are thus called by a gracious God (from the highest to the lowest, from the Cottage to the Throne,) to Unity and Love, as the effectual means of attaining the Peace of God, which is the Fundamental and Basis of our Happiness, both in this VVorld, and the VVorld to come, the Blessing both of Heaven and Earth.

As such therefore, (kind Reader) be pleased to accept it; and if it may be any ways instrumental towards that great end, the obtaining the Peace of God to thy Soul, the Author has his Labour more than rewarded. And so Farewel.

COL. Chap. III. Ver. xv.‘And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be yo thankful.’

THese Words (well Beloved in our Lord) have ever since run in my Mind, since we were in so unusual and miraculous a manner dire­cted unto them, by the unsearchable wis­dom of God, that doth nothing in an extraordinary way, but for most ex­cellent Ends and Purposes: And al­though the more I have thought of them, the more Difficulties have pre­sented themselves unto me, insomuch that I have endeavoured to remove my Thoughts from them, to some o­ther place; yet I know not how, I have been still rowled back to them again: for to use the words of the Pro­phet, They were in mine heart as a burn­ing fire shut up in my bones, and I was [Page 2] weary with forbearing, and I could not stay, Jer. 20. 9.

I resolved at length, to make them the ground of my Speech to you at this time, which the Lord grant may be with as much profit to you all, as both I bring desire unfeigned, and the Scripture it self affords occasion there­to. And that indeed is very remark­able in many regards.

They are first the words of God, not only as all other holy Scripture, from Di­vine Inspiration, 2 Tim. 3. 26. in wch sort, the words of holy men, yea, of wicked men, yea, of wicked Spirits them­selves, at least, as far forth as to the re­cital of them, are the words of God; but these of my Text have been point­ed at of late, by a new Inspiration from God in the Mouth of a Raven, in a distinct and audible Voice. He that spake of old from Heaven on Mount Sinai, in the sight and hearing of all Israel, hath commanded us to look seriously into this Scripture. If Paul said to King Agrippa, That he was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, Acts 26. 19. Why should I or you be dis­obedient to the heavenly▪ Voice of this Text? and not say with the Psalmist, [Page 3] I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his Saints, Psalm 85. 8. (Never more necessary than in this Conten­tious Age) but let them not turn again to folly.

Now because this Voice came not because of me, or the Childs sake only that heard it, but for your sakes also, and for all that are a far off, Isa. 57. 19. that are concerned with us in this peace of God, I will endeavour to look into, and open this Scripture unto you, that all that have an Ear to hear, may hear with Reverence, what the Spirit of God speaks to the Churches 1. Sam. 3. 19. Rev. 2. 17. in it; that we may not let it fall to the ground.

That which Chrysostom hath in his Entrance to entreat upon this Epistle, seems to me not untruly, nor unfitly said: These Epistles which the Apostle writeth out of Prison, (such as are to the Ephesians, whereto this hath won­derful likeness to the Philippians, to the Hebrews, to Philemon, the 2d. to Timo­thy) have I know not what, more than ordinary Portion of the Power of Pauls Spirit appearing in them; 1. Whe­ther because he was now come near to [Page 4] the end of his Life, and so the Graces of God's Spirit in him to perfection. Or 2. that Afflictions have a special power to enlarge our hearts, and make them apt for heavenly Exercises; (as indeed the Truth never thrives better than un­der the Cross.) Or 3. that the Auditor now conceives Paul, (as the same Chry­sostom speaks) like a noble Conquerour, Inditing or Writing amidst his slaugh­ter'd Enemies, amidst his Trophies, the durable Monuments of his Glory:

Now, if you please, I will add a word or two, touching the Argument, or ge­neral scope of this whole Epistle, be­fore I come to the particular handling of the Words of the Text It may appearby that which the Apostle writes in the Se­cond Chapter and first Verse, that these Colossians were not Converted by him­self. He writes thus: For I would that ye knew what great Conflict I have for you, and for them of Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh: They were then Converted by the Ministery of some other, possible by Epaphras, whose Preaching he men­tions, verse 7th. of the First Chapter; as ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful [Page 5] Minister of Christ. Yet (the common case of all the Churches at that time and almost of all times alike) Sa­tan left no Stone unmoved to disturb them, and corrupt the Truth they had received, with Men's Traditions and Inventions; so hard a thing it is to keep us to the Simplicity that is in Christ Jesus, as the Apostle speaks, 2 Cor. 11. 3.

The evil Seeds that were scattered by his malice and curiosity of his Mini­sters, were those about Meats, Obser­vation of Times and Days, worshiping of Angels, and the like: whereof in the latter end of the Second Chapter. The Apostle's purpose then in this Epistle, is, to recal them first to Christ, and his sufficiency of Redemption, &c. Secondly, To stir up their minds to the practice of the duties of Love, and the shewing the fruits of Sanctification, unto which two Heads this whole E­pistle (setting the wonted Complements of Salutation, Entrance and Conclusi­on aside,) may fully be reduced. Now since we know the general Scope of the Epistle, let us come to these words that were read even now, and their Connexion with the foregoing.

The Apostle in the 12th verse of this Chapter, with courteous and alluring language, in the terms which he gives these Colossians, styling them, The Elect of God, holy and beloved; and that which hereby he would work them to, commends unto them sundry and di­vers Duties of Christianity to be practi­sed, and hath opened a rich Wardrobe of certain Excellent Vertues to put on, and cloth our selves withal, as parts of Sanctification. Put on (saith he) bowels of mercies, kindness, bumbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering: Five Du­ties near of affinity together; the last whereof, long-suffering, he sets forth by two acts of it, and by the worthi­ness of the Pattern out of which it is taken, verse 13. Forbearing one another, forgiving one another; if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ for­gave you, so do ye. Which words of the Apostle do to us declare, That our Lord Jesus Christ himself, as always, so emi­nently in his Passion was thus clad and invested; a great inducement to us, to like either the Stuff or Fashion, whose whole Life ought to be an Imitation of so great an Author, as he speaks; For I have given you an example, that you [Page 7] should do, as I have done to you, John 13. v. 15.

The Apostle hath not yet done, but persists in the same Argument in the 14, and 15 verses, which are a Declaration of the formerly mentioned Duties of meekness and long-suffering, wherein (you see) are contained three Vertues more exhorted unto, Love, Peace, and Thank­fulness, verse 14. Love; and above all these things, put on Charity which is the bond of perfectness. As if he had said, Besides all the former (as continuing in the manner of speaking, taken from Apparel) aloft over all these, as an up­per Garment, put on Love which is the bond of perfectness.

Now in the 15th verse which I have read unto you, the Apostle calls the Colossians to two Duties of Sanctification, Peace and Thankfulness: and first, of Peace, an Argument always worthy to entertain us, the very Name whereof is sweet, the thing it self not only de­lightful, but healthful, sweeter than honey and the honey-comb, including all good, by Scripture-use, and all Bles­sings that God will bestow upon his People, as the Psalmist concludes the 29th Psalm; He will bless his people with [Page 8] peace, all happiness, outward success, and prosperity.

Touching the Sense and meaning of these words, that we may proceed on good ground, and the better un­derstand the whole Order and Web of the Discourse.

The Peace of God, here spoken of, is not properly, Peace with God, Luke. 19. 38. whereof the Apostle speaks, Rom. 5. v. 1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: and John 14. v. 27. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I it un­to you. But peace with men, which we are bidden to hold withal, if it may be, Rom. 12. ver. 18. If it be possible, as much as in you lyeth, live peaceably with all men. The peace one with another, which he would have us to keep, as Heb. 12. 14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: and, Be at peace among your selves, 1 Thess. 5. 13.

But yet it is called God's peace.

1. Because he is the Author of it; for God is not the Author of Sedition, but of Peace, as in all the Churches of the Saints, saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 14. 33. and 2 Thess. 3. 16.

[Page 9]2. Because God hath called us to it, into one body, 1 Cor. 7. 15. But God hath called us unto peace, for the keep­ing of which, the fault of departing must be in the Christian-man or woman, saith the same Apostle.

3. Because it is given of God, and approved by him, he it is that gives it to us, and commands us to keep it, by the Prophet Zachary 8. 19. Love the truth and peace: And our Saviour, Have Salt in your selves, and have peace one with another, Mark 9. 50. Yet if any, because of the likeness of this place with the Seventh Verse of the Fourth Chapter of the Ep [...]stle to the Philippi­ans, (And let the peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ) shall take this, Peace of God, of the Tran­quillity of Conscience, I will not much stand against it, tho' these words (in one body) serve more for the other sense, of peace one with another. Rule in your hearts, [...], hold the Prize. In the Greek the word is taken from the Gamings and Masteries then used in Greece, when the Apostle wrote this; such as were running, wrestling, fencing, fighting, &c. to which there were wont [Page 10] to be appointed a Master of the Game that should order the whole, and did give the Garland to the best Doer; from which Garland or Prize, this word is also taken; it may be English­ed, Hold the Mastery, or, Give the Gar­land. Marshall, or, have the preheminence. Chrysostom, Have the Garland, and bear the sway. [In your hearts] and in your minds, souls and consciences, unto the which you are called in one body.] That is, the mystical body of Christ, often in Scripture, see Chap. 2. v. 19. And not hold­ing the head, from which all the body by joynts and bands, having nourishment mi­n [...]stred, and knit together, encreaseth with the encrease of God. And the Apostle to the Romans; So we being many are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another, Rom. 12. v. 5. and 1 Cor. 12. 12, 13. There is one body, and one spirit: and Ephes. 4. 4. and v. 12. For the edi­fying of the body of Christ: So Ephes. 5. 23. He is the head of the body, the Church: and Col. 1. 18. and Chap. 2. v. 17. Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is Christ. [And be ye thankful] [...]. The former Trans­lation reads it, and be ye the amiable: This word is not found any where that [Page 11] I know, or can meet with in this sense: divers of the same Stock, (I may say) and mark, still signifie thankful, and so do others beside Chrysostom, the Sy­riack Interpreter, referring it to Christ, although seeing it is put in rank with Duties pertaining to men, I rather take it, of thankfulness to men each to other: of that after.

Such then is the sense of the words, wherein we are exhorted to two Ver­tues, Peace and Thankfulness. There be two parts of the words that concern Peace; first, the Duty, Let the peace of God rule in your hearts: Secondly, two Reasons; 1. God's calling, You are cal­led to peace. The second Reason is, That you are in one body.

Peace, which is the Duty that we are exhorted unto, is a Moral, or (to speak in Christian language) a Theological Vertue, of that worth and excellency, which we are bidden, to suffer to marshal us and all our actions, to give Peace the preheminence; let it rule, in God's Name, in us and over us: It is the Peace of God.

[Page 12]The Evangelical Observation is this;

Observ. That when there shall be a▪ Conflict in our Thoughts, between Anger, Swelling, Disdain, Ambition, Revenge; and on the other side, Meek­ness, Mercy, Humility, Love, yea some­times Justice: then let Peace bear the sway, and order all things. It is not then (tho' still to be desired yet) to be hoped for so much, to be without Conflict with our Passions, as regard­ed, that at least they be well Marshal­led; a wrestling there will be, only be­ware this Contention be not without a Moderator of the Strife, which must be Peace. Trem. renders it thus, Pax sit moderatrix in cordibus vestris; Let Peace be the Moderatrix in your hearts.

It is not to be expected then, but there will be Contentions, Discords, and thereupon troublesom Affections, which will strive for the Mastery and dominion, as was amongst the Apostles themselves; for by the way they had disputed, Who should be greatest, saith St. Mark, 9. v. 34. but yet let Peace rule, let her always in your hearts, win and have the upper-hand, (as Erasmus ren­ders this Phrase in his Paraphrase upon this Epistle. This was the case between [Page 13] Abraham and his Nephew Lot, when there was a strife between the Herd­men of Abraham's Cattel, and the Herdmen of Lot's Cattel, and the Cana­anite and the Perizite dwelt then in the Land, Gen. 13. 7, 8. And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen, for we are brethren. Heb. [...] we are men­brethren, and so Peace and Love deci­ded the Controversie, and prevented all future occasions of difference be­tween the two Families.

The Reasons of Dissentions are ei­ther inward or outward.

1. Inward are many; first, Defects of Understanding, when men are not rightly informed and acquainted with all matters: Abimelec pleads thus, and justifies himself to Abraham, who had reproved him, because of a Well of Water, which Abimelec's Servants had violently taken away, Gen. 21. 25. And Abimelec said, I wot not who hath done this thing, neither didst thou tell me, nei­ther yet heard I of it, but to day. A right understanding prevented a sad falling out, and danger of War, between the Israelites and the men of Gilead, about [Page 14] the Altar of memorial that was reared up at the Banks of Jordan, till the true meaning thereof was known, Josh. 22 12. The whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shilo, to go up to war against them.

2. Weakness of Judgment is a second Reason of Dissention; for though in general we may discern what is good or evil; as that, no man is to be wronged, and that we must do unto others, as we would be done unto; yet when we come to the particulars, we resolve far other­wise, Deteriora sequor.

3. Stifness in Opinions once received and entertained, is an occasion of con­tinued Differences, even amongst men of the same Profession; as between the Pharisees and Saduces; there arose a Dissention, and the Multitude was divided, Acts 23. v. 7.

4. Pride is a great Makebate; only by Pride cometh contention, saith Solomon, Prov. 13. 10. Men have forgotten that exhortation of the Apostle Peter; Yea all of you be subject to one another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble, 1 Pet. 5. 5.

5. Envy is a cause of deadly Dissen­tions; [Page 15] insomuch that Solomon asks the Question, Prov. 27. 4. Who is able to stand before envy? before this Son of Anak? The ground of the first Quar­rel between Cain and Abel, that ended in innocent blood, Gen. 4. 5. The Lord had respect to Abel and his Offering, but to Cain and his Offering, he had no re­spect, and Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Moses tells us, That Jacob heard Laban's Sons say, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's hath he gotten all this glory; and Jacob heheld the countenance of Laban, and behold it was not towards him as before. This oc­casioned Jacob's stealing away from Laban secretly with all that he had, as ye read, Gen. 31. 1, 2. 27. 31. See also Gen. 27. 41. where it is recorded, That Esau hated Jacob, because of the blessing where­with his father blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, the days of mourning for my father are at hand, then will I slay my brother Jacob. Again, Genes. 37. 4. 8. When Joseph'd brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his bre­thren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him; and his brethren said unto him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? [Page 16] and shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? and they hated him yet more for his dreams, and for his words.

Stephen the Proto-martyr quotes this Scripture in his last, Speech before the Jewish Sanhedrim; and the Patriarchs moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt, but God was with him, Acts 7. v. 9.

Enviest thou for my sake (saith Moses to Joshua, that would have him forbid Eldad, and Medad to prophecy in the camp?) would God all the people of the Land were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them, Numb. 11. v. 29.

What a dreadful Judgment did Envy bring upon Corah and his Confederates, when they gathered themselves toge­ther against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are saints every one of them, and the Lord is among them; wherefore then lift ye up your selves above the congregation of the Lord, Num. 16. 3. 32. The earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, &c.

Pilate had rather released Jesus than Barabbas, for he knew that for Envy they had delivered him, Matth. 27. 18.

And the Contention was so sharp [Page 17] (saith Luke) between Paul and Bar­nabas, Acts 15: 39. that they departed asunder the one from the other, men that had had hazarded their lives (often) for the Name of the Lord Jesus; as all the first Synod at Jerusalem testifie to the Gentiles, under their hands. v. 26. Two Apostolick men, of whom the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them; and when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away, Acts 13. 2, 3. I find Strife and envying always joyned together; as Rom. 13. 13. Let us walk honestly as in the day—not in strife and envying, 1 Cor. 3. 3. For are ye not carnal, whereas there is among you envying and strife, and di­visions (or factions) are ye not carnal and walk as men? And James [...]aith, That where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work: Or, as the Original bears it, Tumult and unquiet­ness, Jam. 3. 16.

Thus I have briefly searched into the inward Reasons of Dissentions, accord­ing as the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures hath laid them before us.

2. The outward Reasons of them, are; 1. Satan the old Serpent, that [Page 18] kept not his first station, Jude 6. but brake his own peace with God in Heaven, and ours with our God in Paradise, and ever since with one another, that slips no occasion to sow the Tares of dissention in the Lord's field; and perse­cutes the Woman that brought forth the Man-child, Rev. 12. 13. 17. as hotly as ever, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time between him and the Lake (spoken of, Rev. 20. 14.) to break the peace, and hinder her prosperity; By making war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ; the things that shall come up­on him and his followers make haste, Deut. 32. 35.

Secondly, Wicked men set on by Satan, to set us together by the ears, that they may weaken us by our own powers. The Church had sometimes rest from her Paganish Enemies and Persecutors, but never from her own Children that she had nourished and brought up, yet they rebelled asainst her, Isa. 1. 2. That came to her in Sheeps-clothing, but inwardly they were Ravening Wolves; as our Lord describes them, Matth. 7. 15. Such were the Arians of [Page 19] old, whose Divisions and Cruelties exceeded the Paganish, as much as the Popish exceed all that were before them in Malice, Hatred, and Cruelty towards God's People; of which the Apostle gave warning to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, saying, For I know that after my departing, shall grievous Wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things, to draw away Disciples after them, Acts 20. 29, 30. And again, he would have Timo­thy to know, that in the last days peri­lous times should come; which he de­scribes so exactly, as if he had lived in our days to behold them, 2 Tim. 3. verse 1, 2, 3, 4, &c.

The next Observation from these words, is this;

Obs. 2. That the Peace of God ruling in the hearts of Believers, is the only remedy against all Dissentions, inward and outward, which is here called, God's peace, for these Reasons.

Reas. 1. For indeed he, and he alone, it is, that makes men to be of one mind together, Rom. 15. 5. 2 Cor. 13. 11. the work of godly union, is the Prerogative of God; according to the Name that [Page 20] Gideon gave to the Altar that he built in Ophrah, when he was made Captain General against the Midianites, he called it Jehovah Shalem, that is, the God of peace; or, the Lord send peace, which he did grant his people for forty years, after the defeat of their invading, and presumptuous Enemies, by the Sword of the Lord, and the Sword of Gideon, Judg. 6. 24. and Chap. 8. 28.

Reas. 2. Because it is God alone that makes the Enemies to be at peace to­gether, with those that he loves; as So­lomon speaks, Prov. 16. 8. When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his Enemies to be at peace with him. I make peace, saith the Lord, by the Prophet Isaiah, Chap. 47. 7.

3. He is termed by the Name of, The God of peace, Prov. 15. 15. Not only in respect of the giving spiritual peace of Conscience, which is a continual Feast, but this inward peace of Affecti­ons, and outward carriage towards others; as our Apostle concludes his Se­cond Epistle to the Corinthians, (among whom there had been many Dissentions and Contentions, 1 Cor. 1. 11.) Finally [Page 21] my brethren farewel, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you, 2 Cor. 13. 11.

4. Lastly, he is called, The God of peace, not only essentially, but also per­sonally.

Obs. 3. God in the unity of Essence, and Trinity of Persons, is the God of peace; there is a most blessed and eternal peace between them.

1. God in the unity of Essence is the God of peace; the Apostle concludes the 15th Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, thus; Now the God of peace be with you all, Amen: and to the Philip­pians he writes thus; The things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace shall be with you, Phil. 4. v. 9.

2. God the Father, the first Person in order of the glorious Trinity, is styled, the God of peace, as the Fountain and first Author of it; and who in that he is our Father in Christ, loves us, and will not see us want any good thing; Every good gift, and every per­fect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, saith St. James 1. 17. and our Apostle con­cludes [Page 22] his Epistle to the Hebrews, with this Prayer; Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the everlasting cove­nant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen; Heb. 13. 20, 21.

3. God the Son, the second Person in the blessed Trinity, is also styled, the God of peace, as the Deserver of all that is to be given us, and Bestower, who by Office and Authority, is able to dispence from the Father unto us his Subjects, such things as we have need of, whereof Grace and Peace are the chief Jewels. (as verse 2. of the first Chapter.) The Syriack reads this Text thus, Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts: He is our peace, saith the Pro­phet, Micah 5. 5. and this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall tread in our land: The Prophet Isaiah calls him the Prince of peace, Isa. 9. 6. as typified by Melchisedeck King of Sha­lem, the true King of peace; as the Apo­stle renders his Royal Titles, first, be­ng by interpretation King of righteous­ness, [Page 23] and after that also, King of Sa­lem, which is, King of peace, Heb. 7. 2. and well may he deserve that honour­able Title; For he is our peace (saith the Apostle to the Ephesians) Ephes. 2. 14. Who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; between Jews and Gentiles, and be­tween our God and us; having made peace through the blood of his Cross, saith he, in the First Chapter of his Epistle and 20th verse.

He is our Peace-maker with God; Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 5. 1. At his Birth all the Militia of Hea­ven sang this joyful Ditty in a Procla­mation of Peace; Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will towards men, Luke 2, 14. At his Death he left us a Legacy of peace; My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth I give unto you, John 14. 27.

4. God the Holy Ghost, the third Person of the glorious Trinity, is the God of peace, the Spirit of peace and love: And the very God of peace sanctifie you wholly; the conclusion of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, ch. 5. ver. 23. [Page 24] He is the Sanctifier of all the Elect people of God. The excellent fruits of this God of peace, are set down by the Apostle to the Galatians; But the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suf­fering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek­ness, temperance, against such there is no law, Gal. 5. 22.

And because the God head and Con­substantiality of the Son with the Fa­ther, is by all this discourse approved, and that also of the Holy Ghost; I will conclude this Point after the phrase of the Athanasian Creed; The Father is the God of peace, the Son is the God of peace, and the Holy Ghost is the God of peace; and yet they are not three Gods of peace, but one God of peace: And with that Prayer wherewith the Apostle concludes his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, which includes all this; Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always, by all means; the Lord be with you all. 2 Thess. 3. v. 16.

Observ. 4. In the brief Application of this Point, before I proceed any fur­ther, let us observe, for our Instructi­on, That this is a close Argument, to perswade the more, to permit this Peace to hold the Mastery in us, because it [Page 25] is God's, and so indeed God shall rule in our hearts by his peace.

The name of the King's Peace, is of no small weight, as to repress the Out­rage of the Unruly; It ought to be at least, when the Officer cries, I charge you in the King's Name, to keep the King's Peace. God's Sacred Name is greater, that is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; the greater their Sin that break his Peace, at once offending God and the King.

Exhort. Let us not say then, we will not have his Peace rule in our hearts; as those Ill-bred Citizens, that hated their Noble Lord, and sent a Message after him, saying, We will not have this man to rule over us, Luke 19. 14. but rather as the men of Israel said to Gi­deon, Rule thou over us, both thou and thy son, and thy son's son also, for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midi­an, Judg. 8. 22. And hath made peace in our borders; as the Psalmist sings, Psalm 147. 14.

Let every one of us say with him, again and again, I will hearken what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace unto his people, &c. Psal. 85. 8.

To the which also ye are called in one body.

Now to the Apostle's Reasons, why this Peace of God should rule in our hearts; which are two:

First, God's calling, Ye are called to peace.

For the meaning whereof, it is as much as to say, As God, when he se­vere you from the World, would lay this task upon you, to have peace rule in you; for this was the Prophecy of I­saiah, concerning the times of the Go­spel, that cruel and savage Beasts should lay down their fierceness, Lions, Wolves, Serpents, learn other manners, and become at unity with Lambs, Ox­en, Children, &c. This purpose of God, you must become Instruments to bring to pass. The Wolf also shall dwell with the Lamb, and the Leopard shall lye down with the Kid, the Calf and the young Lion, and the Fatling together, and a lit­tle Child shall lead them; and the Cow and the Bear shall feed, their young ones shall lye down together, and the Lion shall eat Straw like the Ox, and the sucking Child shall play on the hole of the Asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the Cookatrice den; they shall not hunt nor de­stroy [Page 27] in all my holy mountain; For the earth shallbe filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, Isa. 11. 6, 7, 8.

A great shame for a Minister of out­ward peace, to break the peace: A Ju­stice, who is the Conservator of the Peace, or a Constable, who is sworn to see the Peace kent, to be a Fighter, or maker of Frays: Penal it is in a high degree, when a man is bound to the Peace, to be a Striker. So it is surely, a shame, and a just cause of shame, when a Christian, who by his Calling is bound to the Peace, to be a Quarreller, Make­bate, Ranter, &c. Christianus contentio­sus, was one of the greatest Paradoxes and Scandals in the Primitive Church. The Apostle Paul in the Sixth Chapter of his First Epistle to the Corinths, re­proves the Corinthians for their breach of God's Peace, that ought to rule in their hearts, for Lawing one with an­other, before Heathen Judges, (when there was not so much, as a Christian Constable in the World) which Fault having very sharply reproved, and told them of another course by Arbitre­ment, even of the meanest of the Church, if there were no other wise or able man, amongthem: He presseth so far, as to [Page 28] say, They ought rather to suffer wrong, whereas they wronged their Brethren; whereupon endeavouring to remedy this matter in the root, he appeals to their knowledge, if Injustice, as many other Sins did not exclude from the in­heritance of the Kingdom of Heaven; yes, he avouches it, and so falling off, into a more gentle manner, he tells them roundly, what they were some­times, but now by the Grace of God otherwise, he leaves it to be esteemed then, that to those things they ought not to return again, that are incon­sistent with this Evangelical Peace of God: See 1 Cor. 1. 10. Now I beseech you brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you, that ye be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.

Exhort. Let us then for the better calming of our Passions, bethink us, and ask our selves these few Questions.

First, Who, and what we are, and were? Our Lord resolveth this Questi­on, chiefly in his Epistle to the Church of Laodicea; Because thou sayest, I am rich and encreased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art [Page 29] wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou may [...]st be rich, and white rayment that thou mayest be cloathed, and that the shame of thy na­kedness do not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see, Rev. 3. v. 17. 18.

Secondly, Who it is that calls us?

When our Lord commanded blind Bartimeus to be called, that cried after him, Jesus thou son of David, have mercy on me: And they call the blind man, saying unto him, be of good comfort, rise, he calleth thee; and he casting away his garment, rose and came to Jesus, Mark 10. 50. So ought we to cast away all our Animosities and petty Dissentions, and admit this sweet and easie Yoak, of the Peace of God to rule in our hearts; for faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it, saith the Apostle, 1 Thess. 5. 24. And again, God is faithful, by whom ye are cal­led unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, saith the Apostle Peter, 1. 2. 9. 2. From the dominion of sin and Sa­tan, unto the glorious liberty of the children of God, Rom. 8. 21. Gal. 5. 1. From the troubles of this tumultuous World, that is like the raging Sea, that cannot rest, [Page 30] and the Christians are as weary of it, as David was of Mesek; when he said, Wo is me that I sojourn in Mesek, that I dwell in the Tents of Kedar; my Soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace: I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war. And again he said, O that I had wings like a Dove, for then would I flye a­way and be at rest, Psalm 55. v. 6. Upon which account, our Lord calleth his Church from the World, the Seat of cruel men, to Heaven, in these endear­ing expressions; Come with me from Le­banon, my Spouse, with me from Leba­non; lo [...]k from the top of Amana, from the top of Shema and Harmon, from the Lions Den, from the Mountain of the Leo­pards, Cant. 4. 9.

Fourthly, Unto what are we called? God hath called us unto peace, 1 Cor. 7. 15. Let our Calling admonish us of our Duty: We are called unto Peace, saith this Text also. Peace, peace, to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal him, Isa. 57. 19. Knowing this, that we are thereunto called, that we should inherit a blessing, saith Peter: 1 Pet. 3. 9. And what greater blessing than peace, that in the bowels of it hath all blessings lodged: And our [Page 31] Apostle tells us above Sixteen hundred years ago, That the God of peace shall bruise Satan (the grand Enemy of our peace) under our feet shortly, Rom. 26. v. 20. That we may know in this our day, the things that belong to our peace, that they be not hid from our eyes; as our Lord spake when he wept over Jerusalem, Luke 19. 42.

I will conclude this first Reason, Why the peace of God should bear rule in our hearts: Because we are called there­unto, with our Lords charge to his Di­sciples, in bidding them, Beware of of­fences: He concludes his Speech thus; Have salt in your selves, and have peace on with another, Mark 9. 42. 50. Where the Salt of true Grace is, it will make the means of peace sweet and savoury, and no stain of corruption, or the least unsavouriness shall remain, to disrelish any squeamish Stomach. Let us remem­ber withal, That he that is the God of peace, that hath called us to peace, is also the God of all grace, Who hath cal­led us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus; as Peter speaks, 1 Pet. 5. 10. And so an en­trance shall be ministred unto us abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 1. v. 1 1 [Page 32] where we shall enjoy everlasting peace.

Reas. 2. The second Reason why the peace of God should rule in our hearts, is this; That we are in one body.

For that this is a distinct Reason ap­pears, because he says, Not unto our bo­dy, [...], in one body. This Similitude more fully, is, as much as to say, You Christians with Christ make as it were a body: Therefore as it were monstrous, if one body should yield members fighting one against an­other, and making as it were a civil war in the natural body. So it is, if dis­order be found amongst you Christi­ans, that which Christ makes up a my­stical body. The resembling Christians to a body, is at large exemplified and garnished, 1 Cor. 12. and in divers other places of Scripture mention­ed. Val. Max. Flor. tit. 1. P. 27. Yea, we read in the Ro­man History, That upon a time, there was a great Se­dition in the City of Rome, the Commons complaining of the Senate and Nobility, rose up tumultuously against them; One Menenius Agrippa, wiser than the rest, brought them to peace and unity a­gain, by this very Similitude of Mem­bers and Body, and made such an Ora­tion [Page 33] unto them; At what time, said he, in man's Body, the Members did not as now agree in one, but each had his several counsel and speech, the rest of the parts had indignation, that by their care, labour, and industry, and ministry, all things were provided for the Belly, it be­ing quiet and at ease, in the midst; did nought else but enjoy the Pleasures that were given it: Whereupon they conspired, that the Hand should not reach any meat to the Mouth, nor the Mouth receive it, being given, nor the Teeth chew it. Whilst thus enraged, they would needs master the Belly with Famine: The Members them­selves withal, and the whole Body came to an extream Consumption, whereby ap­peared that the Bellies Service was not the worst, nor slackest, that it did not less nourish than receive nourishment, yielding back into all the parts, the life and blood, which having digested the meat, it la­boureth thereout, and divideth withal in­to the Veins and Conduits of the whole Body: Such, said he, is the Civil Dis­cord and Anger of the People against the Senate.

By this means he perswaded the People to lay down their Arms, and so turned their Minds from their intended [Page 34] Hostility and Violence to Unity and Pe [...]ace. And indeed the Apostle's Speech, If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another, Gal. 5. 25. tends to the same end; and largely doth he garnish this Similitude in the place I named right now, pres­sing it to divers Duties, which shortly to name, because they serve to the maintenance of Peace in her Sove­raignty, are these:

1. To rejoyce each at others good; If one member be honoured, all the members rejoyce with it, 1 Cor. 12. 26.

2. To suffer Compassionately each with other: And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, ibid.

3. To have Care each of another; That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one of another (v. 25.) to nourish and cherish them.

4. The more weak and base, to be compassed with Honour, with the more comely; Nay much more, those mem­bers of the body that seem more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body which we think to be base, upon those we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have [Page 35] more abundant comeliness, verse 22, 23.

5. The worthier not to think they may be without the baser, nor the baser think they are not in any place or reck­oning, because not the worthiest. And the Eye cannot say to the Hand, I have no need of thee; nor again, the Hand to the Foot, I have no need of you, v. 2.

6. If the Foot shall say, because I am not the Hand, I am not of the body, is it there­fore not of the body? And if the Ear shall say, because I am not the Eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? v. 15. 26.

Thus far the Apostle in his excellent Parallel between the Members of the Natural Body, and the Members of the Body Mystical. These Opinions and Practices befit such as would keep peace, such as are Members of one Body; which very Consideration, that they are found in the Natural Body, should draw us into the practice of them, in the Spiritual and Mystical: Christ our Lord flows into us by his Spirit of Peace and Love, and gives us Grace so to do, and this will enable us to obey the Apo­stle in the words before this Text. And above all things, put on charity which is the bond of perfectness. This word Bond, is [Page 36] taken sometimes for the Sinews and Li­gaments of the Joynts, as Chap. 2. v. 19. Sometimes for the Band that tieth a thing, composed of a great many small parts into one; as a Sheaf or Faggot. so I think Peace is called, Ephes. 4. 3. en­deavouring to keep the unity of the Spi­rit in the bond of Peace. And this Per­fectness may be taken, 1. For the per­fectness of every man in the Gifts of the Spirit, which are dissolved, and fall one from another, without Love. Or, 2ly. For the whole Body of the Church, which is dissolved and falls asunder without love; of which in the two pla­ces last named. I will include herein, both inward perfectness in private Chri­stians, and publick in the body of the Church. So the Church, Christ's Bo­dy, it is capable of a kind of perfection, even when it is most imperfect in the Eyes of the World; as now it was, and when the Apostle wrote that, Ephesians 4. v. 3.

Observat. The thing that makes the Perfection of the Church, is Love. He therefore that loves not, is imperfect in Christianity: A Child in Grace, (if he have any) yet is Carnal, not Spiri­tual; a Babe, not a Man; as the Apo­stle [Page 37] concludes of the Corinthians from hence, 1 Cor. 3. 1. 3. And those that take no care to maintain Love with their even Christians, they do as much as they may, maim, lame, and make im­perfect the Body of Christ, laying aside his new Commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, John 13. 34. Let Papists and such as rejoyce in bitterness against their Brethren, think on this: Let us learn by all means to maintain Peace and Love; the untime­ly breaking of some Truth, is not worth so much as to break Love; As the cu­ring of some Disease, not worth the pain of the Cure; as of some Wens and Warts, &c. worth the cutting, &c. and this is to be followed of us. It is more than seasonable, that we were put in mind of this Point, for we are faulty in it much: Now if one be more scrupu­lous than another, in Ceremonies and Matters indifferent, Minister, or other; one sort there is that presently abate their love. Again, if another take a lit­tle liberty in such things, the other side bears not that hearty affection which should be unto him; Though thus ei­ther think of the other, they are men that intend to do vertuously, yet there [Page 38] is not this equal Communication of the Offices of Kindness, which this Form, Above all things put on love, would re­quire. What if men dissent from us in sundry Points of Judgment or of Affe­ction, as both may be, and justly; yet let the Consideration, that they are Members of the same Body with us, Men reclaimed to God; Men, which according to that which they know, endeavour to Serve and Worship God, makes us to strive so much the more, that it might not seem to come through our Default, that any Strangers should be between us; or Differences grow to greater Extremities, we shall have the better in the handling of the Cause; to say nothing of the Truth, whether we have it on our side or no. I would to God that we could be content in Mat­ters of no great Consequence, when many Differences be among us, to com­prise them with that of the Apostle; If any man think otherwise, the Lord shall re­veal this also unto you, Phil. 3. 15. And in the mean space, in our Speeches, Coun­tenances, Gestures, Writings, be mind­ful of this standing Rule, That Love be­longs to all the Saints; as the Apostle de­scribes these Colossians, by their Faith in [Page 39] Jesus Christ, and their Love to all the Saints, Chap. 1. 4. So by letting go vain Clamours, we shall find more Truth than we do, as being better disposed to seek it, (which indeed no passi­onate man is;) and sure I am, we should have more peace and comfort, and be freed from much foolish Suspi­cions among our selves, and many slan­derous and foul Imputations from our common Enemies. God give us Grace to see our Faults, & put a Remedy there­to in time, before by our Dissentions, we have weakened our selves; that both together, we be not matchable to our third and worst Adversary; see Psalm 133.

And be ye thankful.

The second Duty we are exhorted unto in this Scripture, is the duty of thank­fulness; what variety is between these two Words, Amiable and Thankful; e­very man may at the first view easily conceive. But our latest Translation of the Word is the best, that for Amia­ble puts in Thankful, whereunto the pro­priety of the Word, and Authority of other Interpreters doth so lead me; as [Page 40] Ephes. 5. 4. but rather, giving of thanks: and 1 Thessal. 5. 18. In every thing give thanks: And although they [...] Chrysost. Bruno, Osiandor. refer it to God, or Christ, ma­ny of them; yet what should that do here, in the midst of other Duties pertaining to Man, Christ being not named: Therefore I will speak of it in that sense, which in my Conscience, I take it was ment. m.

Be ye thankful.] Be not unkind and ungrateful to those that have deserved well at your hands.

Q. What is the thankfulness that is here required?

R. It may be described, a willing ac­knowledging and readiness to requite Bene­fits, and good Turns received.

I did not say, a Requital, for many times there is no Power or Means so to do, but at least there is Readiness to do it, and Mind of the good Turn; if ei­ther of these fail, there is a Defect in Thankfulness.

The occasion of Thankfulness, is a Be­nefit received, (the greater Benefit calls more Thanks) which hath diversity from the Person.

[Page 41]1. Sometimes we are wholly pre­vented in receiving, before we have shewed any occasion.

2. Sometimes again we are first in some Office, but are exceeded in the answering the same.

3. Sometimes the Persons are Supe­riors or Equals; of such quality I mean, as there is no great odds between the Donor and Receiver.

To the First and Second of each, Thankfulness is the more to be shewed; I mean, we are more beholding, inas­much as there is less desert on our part, and in the one, nothing at all.

I would speak plainly.

1. To our Parents, Ministers, and Ma­sters in Learning; there is no Office we could shew to deserve Kindness, there­fore to them we must be more bound to be thankful: So to a Stranger that shall first upon some acquaintance, no expectation of Requital, bestow only upon us, in the same measure of Bene­ficence, our Debt is more, than to one that we have, or may be helpful, or shew duty to again.

2. To our Superiour, being kind, we owe more gratitude, than to our Equal; as Ishbosheth David, 2 Sam. 19. 30. 28.

[Page 42]3. Even the Value of the Benefit, adds some degree unto our Debt of Thankfulness, most, our selves; as Paul writes to Philemon, v. 19. Albeit I do not say unto thee, how thou owest unto me, even thine own self besides.

4. And the Speediness sometimes adds to our Debt, especially if it be at the first knowledge of our Want or De­sire, and perhaps expects not our moving the Matter, or if at our Suit, be given undelaiedly; Beneficium qui cito dat bis dat, He gives twice that gives speedily.

5. But most of our debt of Thank­fulness comes from the Mind of the Do­nor, as proceeding from greater Love, though there be, by reason of want of power, less worth in the good Turn.

‘We are then to be taught here:’

Doctr. That to all those that have been Instruments of God's Providence to procure good unto us, we are to owe Thankfulness; they are so many Bles­sings of God to us. That which the Queen of Sheba once affirmed before Solomon, is very true: The Instruments of God's Blessings, are the Arguments of his Love to us; Because the Lord loved Israel for War, therefore made he the King to do Judgment and Justice, 1 Kings 10. 9.

1. The first duty of Thankfulness that under God we owe, is to our Parents; which is so necessary, that the Apostle would not have the Widows to be chosen to the service of the Church, that had Chil­dren to maintain them, and perform duty to them: Let them (saith he) recom­pence their Ancestors; (So the Word [...] signifies;) For that is good and acceptable before God, 1 Tim. 5. 4. The Greek Elegantly expresseth this, by a Metaphor taken from the Stock, [...] ­ [...] Which feedeth her aged Parents, and carries them upon her shoulders; and in that regard, in the Hebrew Tongue is called Chasida, that is, pious and merciful. Let all Children hear this, and as they will have the blessing of their Parents, and of God, that is tender of their ho­nour, learn it, and fail not to praise it; as Joseph did, Gen. 45. 10. There will I nourish thee; when he sent for his aged Father from the famished Land of Ca­naan, to come into Goshen, the most fer­tile Soil in all the Land of Egypt.

2. So we are to be thankful to the Ministers of the Gospel, to whom God hath committed the word of reconcilia­tion; that break the bread of life unto us; that have the Keys of the Kingdom of Hea­ven [Page 44] committed to their trust; that ad­minister unto us the Seals of the Cove­nant of Grace, according to Christ's In­stitution; that watch over our Souls, as they that must give account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; as the Apostle speaks, Heb. 13. 17.

3. To our Teachers and Masters; as Philemon owned himself to Paul, v. 19. To our Benefactors, to our Friends, to all that are loving and kind to us. Da­vid sent a Present of Thankfulness of the Spoyl of the Enemies of the Lord, to all those places, where David himself and his men were wont to lament in his Exile, 1 Sam 30. 26. 3. He makes dili­gent inquiry; Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathon's sake, whose love to him was wonderful, passing the love of wo­men to their Husbands or Children, 2 Sam. 9. 1. His thankfulness to the Living for the Dead's sake, to the Child, for his Fa­thers sake, is again recorded: Then said David, I will shew kindness to Hanun the son of Nachash, as his father shewed kind­ness unto me; and David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his fa­ther, 2 Sam. 10. 2. What this kindness was the Scripture mentions not, nor [Page 45] when it was shewed; for David in his flight from Saul, fled first to Achish King of Gath, then to the King of Moab. And he said unto the King of Moab, Let my fa­ther and mother, I pray thee, come forth and be with you, till I know what God will do for me; and he brought them before the King of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold: He durst not trust them to Saul's mer­cy in Bethlehem, that had exercised such barbarous cruelty upon the Priests of the Lord, and to the City of No [...], without any just cause, 1 Sam. 22. 17. 20. Possi­bly the King of Moab might shew some such kindness to David, out of his ha­tred of Saul that had given him a great Overthrow, 1 Sam. 11. 11. But whatso­ever the matter was that had obliged David, he was not unmindful of it, but studied to requite it to his Son Hanun, though ill entertained, and misinterpre­ted to his destruction, and his Countries. The first Ambassadors that David sent, after the Solemnity of his Coronation was over, is thus recorded; And David sent Messengers to the men of Jabesh Gile­ad, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the Lord, that you have shewed the kindness to your Lord, even unto Saul, and have bu­ried [Page 46] him; and now the Lord shew kindness and truth unto you, and I also will requite you this kindness, because you have done this thing, 2 Sam. 2. 5, 6, 7. Here is kindness upon kindness requited to the Living for the Dead's sake: The valiant men of Jabesh Gilead hazarded their lives in the midst of the victorious Philistines; (like those three valiant Captains that broke through the Host of the Philistines, and drew Wrter out of the Well of Beth­lehem, when the Philistine's Garison was in it, to satisfie David's longing; when he said, O that one would give me drink of the water of the Well of Bethlehem that is at the gate, 1 Chron. 11. 16, 17, 18. to rescue the dead bodies of Saul and his sons, that had rescued their lives from the bloody Articles of Nahash the Ammorite, that would make no Covenant with them, but upon this condition, That I may thrust out all your right Eyes, and lay it for a re­proach upon all Israel, 1 Sam. 11. 2. Now as one good turn requires another, so King David requites their Valour with Honour and Advantage.

How thankful was he to good old Barzillai the Gileadite, that had provided the King of Sustenance, while he lay at Mahanaim, (when he fled from Absolom) [Page 47] for he was a very great man; and the King said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem, 2 Sam. 19. 32, 33. and v. 38. And the King answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee, and what­soever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee. David even upon his Death-Bed, was not unmindful of the Courte­sies he had received of one of the No­bles of Israel, in his extremity, but when he was making his last Will and Testa­ment, and resigning his Kingdom to his Son Solomon, and putting all into his hand, and his sole Executor; he speaks thus, after his Item for Joab and Shi [...]ei, for their base carriage towards him, (a sad Legacy:) But shew kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, (as he de­sired and I promised;) and let them be of those that eat at thy Table, for so they came to me when I fled before Absalom thy brother, 1 Kings 2. 6. And the Hebrew Doctors say, That the habitation of Chim­ham near Bethlehem, mentioned in the 41st. Chapter of Jeremiah, v. 17. was part of David's own Patrimony which he conferred upon him, to be a perpetual Memorial of his Gratitude to that Loy­al [Page 48] Family, that stuck to him, when so many forsook him, as he complains to God, Psalm 3.

I have been the larger in this Point, because it is a Vice, than which, none is more Enemy to Humane Society; Ingratitude is reckoned by the Apostle, as one of the predominant Sins, of the pe­rillous times that shall come in the last Days, unthankful, unholy, are joyned to­gether, 2 Tim. 3. 2. It draws with it sometimes, and so all Vices; as Xenophon speaks. The wisest of the Heathens have detested it extreamly; the Persians ac­counted it the greatest Dishonour in the World. Darius dying, having had a lit­tle Water from a Souldier, esteemed it his greatest misery, that he could not live to requite so great a Benefit; but re­commends it to Alexander his Conque­ror, saith Curtius. The Spaniards count it now the most renroachful word a man may be called by, to say, Ingrate, si ingratum dixeris omnia; an old Saying among the Heathen.

Ingratitude was the Ruine of the Apo­state Angels, that left their own habita­tion, (saith Jude, v. 6.) he hath reserved in everlasting Chains under darkness, unto the Judgment of the great Day: Of our [Page 49] first Parents in Paradise; of the Gentiles, because when they knew God, they glori­fied him not as God, neither were they thankful, but became vain in their imagi­nations, and their foolish heart was dark­ned, Rom. 1. v. 21. of the Israelites, that God had done so great things for, a­bove all Generations of the World, Am. 3. 3. and of the Jews, that Crucified the Lord of Glory, and are under God's Wrath to this day, For the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost, saith the Apo­stle, 1 Thess. 2. v. 16.

Obs. It is God's will, we should not be so unjust, as to take all, and repay nothing; therefore the Palmist asks this question of Angels and Men, What shall I render unto the Lord for all his be­nefits towards me? Psal. 16. 12. we ought rather, as Cyrus was wont to make his Prayer, so to make our wish, to exceed our Friends in beneficence and kindness; which Sylla (as it is said) caused to be set on his Tomb, that he had done, as Plutarch writes of him. It becomes upright Men to be thankful, saith the Man after God's own heart. Psal. 33. v. 1.

There be two parts of Ingratitude; the first, not to acknowledge benefits, but to forget them, Deut. 32. 18. as is recor­ded of Pharcah's Butler to his Disgrace, concerning Joseph, the Interpreter of the Dream, that advanced him to his former place and dignity at Court, yet did not the chief Butler remember Jo­seph, but forgot him, saith Moses, Gen. 40. v. 23.

The second part of Ingratitude is the worst: To requite Evil for Good, the Prophet Jeremiah crys out against this, with a grievous cry, and a bitter, Shall evil be recompenced for good? Jer. 18. 20. as a monstrous piece of Ingratitude. Who so rewards evil for good (saith Solo­mon) evil shall not depart from his house, Prov. 17. 13. The Psalmist says, They rewarded me evil for good, to the spoiling of my Soul; yea, they hated me without a cause, Psal. 35. 12. 19. and again, They also that render evil, for good, are mine Adversaries, because I follow the thing that good is, Psal. 38. 20. Not only Saul, but the Men of Keila were guilty of this sin in a high degree; who after David had rescued them from the Phi­listines, that were plundering and rob­bing their very threshing Floors, yet [Page 51] upon the first summons, were resolved to deliver up David and his Men into the Hands of Saul, to be destroyed by him, as you read, 1 Sam. 23. 1. 12. Gideon made the Men of Succoth and Pe­nuel smart soundly, for their ingrati­tude to their Deliverer, that refused to give a morsel of Bread to his conquer­ing Army, that were still in pursuit of the flying Kings, Zeba and Zalmunna, and the party that was with them, he tore the flesh of 72 Ringleaders of the Men of Suc­coth, and taught them better manners, and beat down the Tower of Penuel, and slew the Men of the City, Judg. 8. 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17.

David expresses his deep Sense of this sin of Ingratitude, as a lively type of our Saviour in this particular, and in many more, when he says, For my love, they are my Adversaries: but I give my self unto Prayer, and they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my good will, Psal. 109. 4, 5. This sin is sorely laid to the charge of the Men of Sechem, and set home upon their Consciences by Jotham, to the mutual destruction of them; and Abimelech, whom they had advanced over them upon th [...] ru­ins of the 70 Sons of Jerubb [...]al: For [Page 52] (saith Jotham) My Father fought for you, and adventured his Life for you, and deli­vered you out of the hand of Midian, and ye are risen up against my Father's House this day, and have slain his Sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one Stone, and have made Abimelech, the Son of his Maid-Servant, King over the Men of Sechem, because he is your brother, &c. Judg. 9. 17. Then God sent an evil Spirit between the men of Sechem and Abimelech, to pu­nish their cruel ingratitude. v. 23. Which is the Substance of that whole Chapter of Judges 9. And after they had de­stroyed one another, that sad History, (as any in the Book of God) is con­cluded thus: Thus God rendred the wick­edness of Abimelech, which he did unto his Father, in staying his seventy brethren, and all the evil of the men of Sechem, did God render upon their heads, and upon them came the curse of Jotham, the Son of Jerubbaal, v. 56, 57. So that now you see this horrible sin of Ingratitude that is punished by God in so high a degree, must needs be an accursed and destructive thing.

Another said instance of the like sin, and punishment, we have recorded, concerning Joash King of Judah, who was marvelously preserved in the Mas­sacre of the Royal Family, from Atha­liah's bloody Fingers, by Jehoiada, the High Priest, and his Wife Jehosha­bea, and kept safe in the House of the Lord six Years, under the tyran­nous Usurpation of that wicked Idola­tress. 2 Chron. 22. 10, 11, 12. Jehoiada set the Crown on his head, put down the Usurper, restored the Kingdom to their former freedom, and raised the Royal Family to their former Splendor and Dignity, and left it flourishing in Peace and Plenty: But after the death of his [...] Tutor, Governour, Gua [...] Protector, 'tis recorded, Th [...] this [...] [...] God, and turned [...] and Murderer, (two i [...]separable Companions) and commanded Zachariah the Priest, the Son of Jeho [...]a [...]a, to be stoned, even in the Court of the House of the Lord, for repro­ving his Idolatry, and saying, Because ye have forsaken the Lord, He also hath for­saken you. Thus Joash the King re­membred not the kindness, which Je­hoiada his Father had done unto him, [Page 54] but flew his Son; and when he died, he said, The Lord look upon it, and re­quire it. Which Prayer of this dying Martyr, the Lord heard, and recom­pensed this cruel ingratitude of Joash towards God and Man, speedily upon his own head, to the ruine of himself, and of all his Princes that seduced him, and of all his Armies, in which he trusted, by an inconsiderable party. For the Army of the Syrians came with a small company of Men, and the Lord delivered a very great Host into their hand, because they had for­saken the Lord God of their Fathers: so they executed Judgment against Jo­ash.

And besides all this; The Lord smote him with grievous torments in his body, by incurable diseases, (as in the case of Jehoram, that murdered his Brothers, 2 Chron. 21. 18.) And at last, to put an end to the miserable life of this godless Wretch, his own Servants con­spired against him, for the Blood of the Sons of Jehoiada the Priest, and flew him on his Bed, and he died; But they buried him not in the Sepulchres of the Kings, (2 Chron. 24. 18, 20, 21, 22.) an honour that was bestowed upon [Page 55] Jehoiada the High Priest, his Preser­ver and Restorer. v. 16. though out of indignation denied him, as to Jehoram before him, that lived undesired, and died unlamented. 2 Chron. 21. 20. Thus did God plentifully reward this proud Doer, as the Psalmist speaks, Measu­ring to him again, with the same measure that he had meted withal, a just measure of Wrath, pressed down, and shaken toge­ther, and running over into his Bosome, as our Lord speaks, Luke 6. v. 38.

Obj. Some will say, My Will is good, but I want means and abilitiy to requite any henefit received hy me.

Answ. 1. Profess and acknowledge always the good Turn; it is a part of an ingenuous Disposition, to profess who hath done thee any pleasure, yea, half a requital, Eph. 5. 20.

Secondly, Use Prayer to God for their good Estate; if thou be poor, he is rich to requite; and doubtless, as the cry of the poor can awake His Justice, as Himself speaks, For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord, I will set him in safety, from him that puffeth at him. [Page 56] Psal. 12. 5. So can the joyful Thanks­giving, by the mouth of them that are partakers of the benefit, and withal, their Prayers, for the means of it, a­wake His Liberality, as Paul under­takes; My God shall supply all your ne­cessities, according to his Riches in glory, by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4. 19. Here I cannot but put the Poor in mind of their duty, which receiving good at the hands of them that relieve them, are very unjust, if they give not again this Duty back to them, to Pray for them.

So Ministers, which in that very Name, as one part of their Ministerial Duty, for the whole, is the Word, and Prayer (as the Apostles speak; But we will give our selves continually to Prayer, and to the Ministry of the Word. Acts 6. 4.) receive temporal things.

Lastly, Before I close up this place of Thankfulness to Men, we must not pass by our Thankfulness to God: For if to Men we must be Thankful, How much more to GOD? And the ground of Unthankfulness to Men, is from their Unthankfulness to GOD.

There is not any other fault more generally blamed, even by those that have but the Light of Nature, than in­gratitude (as I have largely shewed) nor any Ingratitude greater than to­wards God, because of none we re­ceive more, or greater Benefits than from him: to say nothing, that it be­ing impossible, that we should attain to that degree of Thankfulness, which should be in requiting the Benefits, we daily and hourly receive of him; he is contented to take the Acknowledge­ment of them for Payment, so as it must be the effect of a most Villa [...]n­ous Injustice to deny him that: For which cause, in the Scriptures we have the Invitations of Holy Men to Thank­fulness, the praise of this Duty, and the Precedents of good Men performing it. In special, the Book of the Psalms hath his name in the Hebrew Tongue, as ye would say, [...] The Book of Praises; not as if the whole Book had nothing else, but because it is the chief part, and most principally intended. And for this cause doth the Church use in the beginning of her solemn Service, the 95 Psalm, as a means to invite us to that Duty, so good and come [...], yea, [Page 58] so just and necessary, as the Psalm for the Sabbath Day begins; 'Tis a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises to thy name, O thou most High. Psal. 92. Men are not so for­ward to this Duty of Thankfulness as they ought; so it is, to Prayer we are more ready, as being sensible of our wants; not to Thanksgiving, as having them furnished, and so now in good case. This appears in the Gospel, in the ten Lepers, one only of which returned after his cleansing, to give Thanks, though nine intreated cleansing. And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, but this stranger. Luke 17. v. 19, 20.

The more untoward we be to this Duty, the more must we be called on, and the more enforce our selves unto it, in the words of the Psalmist, Come, and hear all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my S [...]ul. Psal. 66. 1 [...]. Wherein he calls, and provokes others to the like Duties; as shewing, That we ought not to hold it enough, that we, for our own parts, serve God, but he draws others to it, [Page 59] Superiours by Authority, Equals and Inferiours by Persuasion, all by Ex­ample: See the practice; Sing praises unto the Lord, ye Saints of his, and give Thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Psal. 30. 4. And again; O magnifie the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; Come ye Children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psal. 34. 3. 11. Yea, so far is this af­fection of gratitude towards God in­tended, as the very Angels, and all o­ther Creatures are invited to this Du­ty, as the 103, and 148 Psalms shew throughout.

Whether because company increas­eth courage in us in any work, or else we would shew, that we account our own endeavour too little, and too de­fective; whence we desire that which we lack, others with us should help to supply. This is also wonderfully well fitting to our natural Inclination; for Man is a Sociable Creature, and loves company, even in civil life: wicked men are companions in evil, and say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood; let us lurk privily for the innocent with out a cause. Prov. 1. 11. And how much more in the highest Acts of Re­ligion, [Page 60] wherein our life is best im­ployed, ought God's Saints to do the like?

1. Here then are we to be encoura­ged in the solemn Worship of God, (which is altogether Eucharistical,) to frequent those Assemblies, yea, and privately to encourage, and stir up one another, as the Apostle speaks; Not forsaking the assembling of our selves toge­ther, as the manner of some is, but exhor­ting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching. Heb. 10. 25. A Matter that the Psalmist professed, joyed his heart, when he found in his People; I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Psal. 122. v. 1.

2. On the other side, here is blamed the backwardness of those that even in­vited and encouraged, yea, enforced in a manner, by Authority, refuse to come to give Thanks to the Lord, in a Service of God, wherein themselves can find nothing to blame, unless that it is understood, and not standing in an unknown Tongue, and consequent­ly a dry and fruitless Devotion: The [Page 61] same, if it were to run to Creatures, and visit the Sepulchres of the Saints, would count no labour too much, nor way too long.

3. And the like is to be said of o­thers that separate themselves from such Eucharistical Assemblies, where the Name of God is called upon with Joy and Thankfulness, upon surmises of Blemishes and Defects, or mislike of the Society. Not to enter into the Question at this time, Where God is to be praised? All company that truly fears God, is good; and if not in our As­sembly, Where have they either lear­ned, that he is to be praised, or found those great benefits of His, whereupon they acknowledge, that they are bound to praise Him, and to give Thanks un­to His Holy Name for them?

4. We have Precept upon Precept for the practice of this Duty of Thank­fulness; Offer unto God Thanksgiving, saith David, Psal. 50. 14. Let us come before his face with Thanksgiving, saith our Translation; but the Original is [...] with Confession. There be two things included in this Confession, and [Page 62] they be the very proper parts of Thank­fulness. First, That we have received the favours, and good things we have, from God. Secondly, That we are ob­liged, and stand Debtors to Him of our Service and Duties for them.

So here is forbidden, either malig­nity to conceal, or arrogate to our selves, as our own purchace, what we have received of him: or else to detract that Duty, which in all reason, we are bound to perform, in that considera­tion, especially, because to Men we may go further, to some degree of re­compence; but to God, there is the uttermost we can do, and therefore we ought to apply this to particulars, as in mentioning God's particular Favours to his Redeemed ones, to Travellers, to Captives, to Sick-men, to Sea-men; this is all he calls for: O that men would praise the Lord for his Goodness, and for his wonderful works to the Sons of men: Let them exalt him also in the Congregati­on of the people, and praise him in the As­sembly of the Elders. Psal. 107. v. 13. 21. 3. 32.

The form of Thanksgiving, which is prescribed to every Israelite, that sells any Possession, or part of the Holy [Page 63] Land, is at large set down by Moses, Deut. 26. from the first Verse, to the 12. which well deserves our Meditati­on and Application; for with such Sa­crifices God is as well pleased, as with hilastick Oblations under the Law, for the Peace-offering, and Thank-offering, were of all others the most chargeable. 'Tis recorded, that Solomon offered a Sacri­fice of Peace-offerings, which he offered un­to the Lord, two and twenty thousand Oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand Sheep, at the Dedication of the House of the Lord, 1 Kin. 8. 63. The greatest that we read of, though great Sacrifices are mentioned in many places, yet none like this, that might seem to de­stroy all the Cattle in a whole Coun­try. By the Multitude of Gratulatory Sacrifices, the People of God were wont to testifie their Zealous and Grateful Affections to God, the Do­nor of all, in Signification and Expecta­tion of that plenteous Redemption, wrought by Christ, as the Psalmist con­cludes the Psalm 130. v. 7, 8.

The like Affections ought to be in us all, for these Considerations:

[Page 64]1. For the multitude of his Mercies, how many are they that we have received already, and daily do enjoy? what hast thou (saith the Apostle) that thou didst not receive? 1 Cor. 4. 7. Many O Lord my God are thy wonderous works, which thou hast done, and thy thoughts, which are to us-ward; they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee; if I should declare, and speak of them, they are more than can be numbred, (saith the Psalmist) Psal. 40. 5. And again, How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are mo in number than the S [...]n [...], Psal. 139. 17, 18. David confesseth in the Con­templation, and review of God's Fa­vours, that his Arithmetick fails him and comes short in a sacred Hyper­bole, as being far above our Capaci­ties, we cannot so much as tell them in order: If you begin at your Concepti­on in the Womb, where the Psalmist begins, I will praise thee, for I am fear­fully and wonderfully made; Psal. 139. 14. or at God's Election, in laying the foundation of your Salvation in Christ, before he laid the foundation of the world, as the Apostle speaks, According as he hath chosen us in him, before the founda­tion [Page 65] of the world. Eph. 1. 4, where will you end? You must in plain terms re­solve to say with our Psalmist, Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it. Psal. 139. 6.

Secondly, Consider how continual are his Mercies, without any Intermis­sion or Interruption; They are renewed every Morning, saith Jerem, As he maketh his Sun to rise on the evil, and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just, and on the unjust, Matth. 5. 45. as our Lord speaks. He holdeth our Soul in Life, when we think there is but a step between us and Death, (as David thought, when he fled from Saul, 1 Sam. 20. 3.) and suffereth not our feet to be moved, Psal. 66. 9. but according to his pleasure, in whom we live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17. 28. as the Apostle speaks: The Manna that came from Heaven, was not restrained one day in forty years perambulation, and peregrination in the wilderness; thou with heldest not thy Manna from their mouth, saith Nehemiah, nor the water that flowed out of the rock, but gavest them water for their thirst. Not­withstanding the many, and great provo­cations of God's People, The Pillar of the [Page 66] Cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way, nor the Pillar of fire by night, to shew them light in the way that they should go, saith Nehem. 9. v. 9. 20.

In the Element of his Mercies, we draw our Breath continually, to stir us up to continual Thankfulness.

Thirdly, Consider how great are the benefits that we receive from God, that call with a loud Voice, for this du­ty of Thankfulness for them, which makes the Psalmist cry out, O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee, be­fore the sons of men! The Scripture is quoted by Isaiah, Isa. 64. 4. and by the Apostle rendered thus: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor. 2. 9.

What greater thing hath he pre­pared, or can he prepare for them that love him, because he loved them first, 1 Joh. 4. 19. (as St. John speaks) than Jesus Christ, the Son of his love? Is not this gift of God (as our Saviour speaks [Page 67] to the Woman of Samaria, Joh. 4: 10.) the gift of gifts? It is then all our du­ties, to acknowledge with Joy and Thankfulness, the truth of the Lord, and this Mercifulness of God our Savi­our in regarding our Vileness so far, as to save us from our spiritual Enemies, giving for us the ransom of the pretious Blood of his dear Son: and to end we ever-more keep a grateful Memory of this benefit, he hath appointed the use of the Holy Eucharist, a name, signi­fying Thankfulness.

Exh. Let us then come, and rejoyce to the Lord; and with a loud and strong Voice, acknowledge this Bene­fit: Let us frequent his Holy Table, so mercifully set before us in the Gos­pe [...], in despight of our Enemies, en­deavouring to draw one another there­to, and to live such a Life, as may even silently call the very Adversaries of our profession, to the Worship and Service of God: whom serving chear­fully on Earth, for the abundance of all things, it may be our portion to en­joy, and to sing aloud and thankfully unto, in the Heavens, with his Holy Saints, and glorious Angels, and our [Page 68] blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Fourthly, How undeserved are the Benefits we receive from God, that they may provoke us to Thankfulness, and how unexpected?

We deserve nothing but Wrath, and the curse of Mount Ebal, Deut. 27. 13. or of Cain, Gen. 4. 11. or of our Father Adam, to whom it was said, Cursed is the Earth for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy Life, Gen. 3. 17. If God should deal with us according to our demerits, our best performances are but glorious Transgressions, and we are but unprofita­ble Servants at the best, as our Lord speaks, Luk. 17. 10. Jacob pleads his Merit towards Laban stoutly, in Gen. 31. from v. 36. to v. 41. And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban; and Jacob answered, and said to Laban, what is my Transgression, or what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? And he stands upon his guard, and justifies himself, and challengeth Laban to lay to his Charge any unwarrantable A­ction in his twenty years service, though he had changed his wages ten times, as the Prodigal's elder Brother said to his [Page 69] Father, Lo these many years do I serve thee, neither did I at any time transgress thy Commandment: Luc. 15. 29. But having to deal with God, he sets a very low esteem of himself, as not de­serving the least of God's Mercies; I am not worthy of the least of all the Mer­cies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy Servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands, Gen. 32. 10.

See also the same dejection, and self­denial in his Grand-father Abraham: Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes, Gen. 18. 23. and of Mephibosheth, when David said unto him, Fear not, for I will surely shew thee kindness, for Jo­nathan, thy Fathers sake, and will restore thee all the Land of thy Father Saul, and thou shalt eat Bread at my Table continu­ally: And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead Dog as I am? 2 Sam. 9. 8.

The Mercies and Kindnesses of all Men in the World, compared to God's undeserved Favours, are but as a drop of a bucket of Water to the great Ocean: My thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, [Page 70] saith the Lord: For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways bigher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts, Isa. 55. 8, 9. This Consideration makes sometimes the faithful so earnest in the affection of joy, as they seem almost ridiculous in the Eyes of carnal Men, as David to Mi­chal, when he danced before the Lord, 2 Sam. 6. 21. But their Justification is easie, it is before the Lord that I did it, to God's Glory, that I might express my Thankfulness to him, and the joy of my Heart in doing him Service, whom, since the rest know not, they are not to be respected if they scorn: nor is it to be wondred, if they be strangely af­fected with it, as above the compass of their Conceit.

Fifthly, How without hope of Re­quital are all, yea, the least of God's benefits that call for Thankfulness; a cup of cold water only, given to drink in Christ's name, because ye belong to Christ, shall not lose a just, and superabundant requital, saith our Lord, Mar. 9. 41.

See the full and final requital of all good and charitable Deeds, Matth. 25. 34, 35, 36. Come ye blessed of my [Page 71] Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world: For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger, and ye took me in, naked, and ye cloathed me, I was sick, and ye visited me, I was in prinson, and ye came unto me. The Wicked he requites here, sometimes in their own Coin, as Adoni bezek ac­knowledgeth, when his thumbs and great toes were cut off: As I have done (to three­score and ten Kings) so hath the Lord re­quited me, Judg. 1. 7. We are all ready enough to requite Evil for Evil, to give him (quid pro quo) as good as he brings, as the Proverb rimes, as Samp­son served the Philistines: As they have done unto me, so have I done unto them, Jud. 15. 11. But it being impossible to requite God in any thing, it is a most heinous Provocation of his justice, to render Evil for Good: Do ye thus provoke the Lord? O foolish people, and unwise! saith Moses, with Astonishment and Abhorrency, Deut. 32. 6.

'Tis left as a sad blot in Hezekiah's Scutcheon, tho' otherwise a good Man, and a good King, by God's own Testi­mony: He trusted in the Lord God of Israel so that after him there was none [Page 72] like him among all the Kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. But Heze­kiah rendred not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up, therefore there was wroth upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem, 2 Chr. 32. 25. For after the defeat of Senacherib's Forces, by an Angel of God, that slew in one night an hundred four­score and five thousand men of war in the Assyrian Camp; and after the re­covery of his Health, confirmed by a sign from Heaven in the Sun's Re­trogradation by ten degrees, and the addition, by Patent from God, of fif­teen years, to his days, with exceeding much Riches and Honour; yet for all this, he was not so careful to please God in an humble and thankful Ac­knowledgment of such great Favours, as God was to pleasure him in them all.

Sixthly, Consider from what odds the Person giving to our baseness, have been all his benefits, he being the great Independent Jehovah, greatness is stampt upon all his Benefits to us, and we a Seed of evil Doers, a people laden with Iniquity, children that are corrup­ters; [Page 73] our spot is not the spot of his Children; we are wretched and mise­rable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and in want of all things, as our Lord writes to the Church of Laodicea, Rev. 3. v. 17.

Lastly, Consider with what advan­tage of time and order, in first bestow­ing, have his Benefits been to us.

No eye pittied thee to have compassion upon thee; I said unto thee when thou wast in thy Blood, live, saith the Lord Ezek. 16. 5, 6. we love him, because he first loved us, saith the Apostle, 1 Joh. 4. 19. His love to us is an antecedent love, we love him with a consequenti­al love, because he hath cast his love upon us first, and therefore is no way indebted to us for our love: The Apo­stle asks this question, Who hath first given unto him, and it shall berecompenced to him again? for of him, and through him, and to him are all things, to whom be glory for ever, Amen. Rom. 11. v. 35, 36.

It is said by some, we can never re­quite our Parents; by some also, we owe more to our Masters and Teach­ers, than to Parents, in as much as one [Page 74] gave being, the other well being, doubtless in both respects we cannot requite God and Christ.

First, Our Parents begat our Bodies, he gave us our senses, who is therefore styled by the Apostle, The Father of our Spirits. Heb. 12. 9.

2. Our Masters and Teachers gave us, with God's Blessing, Knowledge and Learning, Christ teacheth us the way to Heaven, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; Christ gave him­self to us, and for us, to wash us from our Sins in his own Blood, Joh. 14. 6. with­out which, it had been better for us to have been any thing, rather than men, yea, at all not to have been,

Let us with the Psalmist again and again say, What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me? Psal. 116. 12. all his benefits are above us, even the one also of our former means, to express Gratitude, here fails us; what can we wish or desire, to the most absolute and perfect Being? Only we may acknowledge the Bene­fits, and the Excellency and Liberali­ty of the Giver, which further may de­sire, [Page 75] that all others would do the like, this is our utmost; unless further, to endeavour, not to be disobedient to this Heavenly Author of much good to us, which yet is our duty otherwise, the less we have means to the former, the more ought we to be in this, and say with the Man after God's own Heart, I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praises to my God, while I have my being, my Meditation of him shall be sweet, I will be glad in the Lord, Psal. 103. 33, 34. and in another At Midnight will I rise to give thanks to thee, because of thy righteous Judgments, Psal. 119. 62.

Let us beg of him (as another Bene­fit) that he will give us Grace, and a mind to do these things, who hath given the ground an occasion of them, even the same our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now because the Apostle Peter saith, no Prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 2 Pet. 1. 20. so neither are all of sole private application, but some are of a larger Extent and Com­pass than others; if I should have stu­died long for a fit Text, Psal. 119. 16. Thy commandment, i [...] exceeding broad. and turned the whole Scripture, I could not have had a fitter pas­sage, [Page 76] or grea [...] [...], in all the Book of God; he calls more, both for private and publick application, than this, that is in so strange a manner laid open before us to look into it, and yet no more strange than true (as the truth is in Jesu, before whom I stand) for this Doctrin of the Peace of God, that ought to rule in the Hearts of all Be­lievers, gives great help, advantage, and admonition, to Kings, Law-ma­kers, Rulers, to the Founders and Con­servers of Cities, Countreys and King­doms, to the end and purpose of de­fending and preserving them from E­vils, in a cordial and blessed Submissi­on, to the ever-ruling, and over-rul­ing Peace of God: If the Peace of God did bear rule in the Hearts of all Christians (which our Apostle requires in these of Colosiae) all the World would become Christians.

A digression, as if it had been in the presence of his Majesty for exer­cise sake.

And here let me with all Humility, use the Psalmst David's Expression; I will speak of thy Testimonies also before Kings, and will not be ashamed, Psal. 119. [Page 77] 46. and therefore in the first place, methinks this Scripture gives me just occasion to speak to Their Majesties in a word or two, that which I am sure, their noble minds will take more pleasure to hear, than to be profuse in their praise, which no Man can light­ly pass over, if the Peace of God rule in your Hearts, whom the supream Ruler of the World hath chosen, and sent, to rule over us, his People. O happy shall ye be, and it shall be well with you, and happy shall all your Subjects in these three Kingdoms be, that by you are redeemed from thra [...] ­dom, and brought again from the Depths of the Sea of misery, Psal. 68. 22. that were sold for nought to the Man of sin, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish, as Que [...] Esther speaks to King Ahasuerus, in a like case, concerning Hamnus's Plot, Esth. 7. 4.

Sir, You were called many years ago, by God himself, into one Body, conjugal with your Royal Consort (that is all glorious within and without) and now by the same God, to the or­namical, and Political, to lead these three Nations; as also to lead the Mi­litary Body of the Confederates of [Page 78] many Nations, as Captain general of the Lords Hosts, like another Moses, that led the Children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt, out of the House of Bon­dage; or another Cyras, that enlarged God's People out of the Babilonish Captivi­ry, as it is no small Honour to be God's King upon so high and honourable Ac­count, as none of your Royal Prede­cessors were ever called unto, so it asks no small Duty, Reverence, and Thank­fulness at your hands to himwards▪

Sir, Thus it is, you Princes, as well as other Folks be accomptable to God; as arise your Receipts to a higher propor­tion, so must your Allowances and Payments be greater or less. You will find in a greater Arrearage, when it comes to a reckoning, where much is bestowed, much is called for again.

Consider, if your self advance any Man above others, upon equal, and perhaps less desert; if you do not think you ought more to repose in the Faith­fulness and Loyalty of such a one, be ye well sure God looks for the like at your Hand: It behoves you therefore to be mindful of his Honour, which I dare [Page 79] be bold, is the greatest that you have, that you are God's King, as eminent­ly as he; of whom the Lord said, yet have I set my King, (or as it is in the Hebr.) anoynted my King, upon Sion, the hill of my holiness, Psal. 2. 6. that so in the Regiment of his People, your Subjects; and of your self, you may demean your self as God's King.

There is no need, that I descend to particulars, in general. I say, that God's King may not behave himself, as the remnant of Kings do; that are either Paganish, or Popish, that rule only for their own Pleasures, and Appetites, with­out regard of Justice, Peace, or Hone­sty, that presume to make Religions of their own, to appoint a God, or any thing, as a service of God, which he hath not commanded, which is to tye God to their baubles, as Jeroboam to the Golden Calves at Dan and Bethel, 1 Kin. 12. and Nebuchadnezzar to the Golden Image in the Plain of Dura, Dan. 3. to appoint a service in the Latin, whom the People understand not, contrary to the rule of Edification set down; 1 Cor. 14. 26. When Men presume to bind Consciences to their Knees, under pain of sin, and forbid [Page 80] to reason of their biddings, under se­vere Penalties; this is a tyranny against God. True it is, that Penal Laws may be made to bind, in many respects: But let Men beware, lest they exact with greater severity, obedience to their own Precepts, than God's; there is but one Law-giver, that can save and destroy, saith James 4. 12. when they forbid what God commands, and commands what God forbids; its Ty­ranny, as did Antiochus, and other Heathen Emperors forbid to Circumcise, to read the Law, and commanded to offer to Idols, and to eat Swines Flesh, and all under pain of present Death, 2 Macc. 7.

Rulers must know their places, have moderate, and just, and Godly Go­vernment, not usurp on God's Right, on their Subjects Conscience; and tho' Faith be the Gift of God, and cannot be taught, nor forced, nor Conscience be compelled to assent, yet Men may be obliged to the outward hearing of Gods Word, and Factious Fire-brands repressed, and quenched. Sozomen tells us, That Athanasius, the Patriarch of Alexandria, was upon a time walk­ing in the Streets in that City, and that a Raven did flee towards him, [Page 81] croaking; which the Heathen that stood near, observing, began to deride him, and reproach him, as if he had been a Praestigiator, or Conjurer; and so ma­king towards him, asked in derision, what the Raven said to him: He modestly smiling, answered in Latin, Eras; for he dictates unto you, That to morrow will be a most bitter day: for to morrow you shall receive the Emperor's Edict, that you shall celebrate no more your Heathenish Solemnities: And ac­accordingly it came to pass; for the next day the Magistrates received or­ders from the Roman Emperor, that their Heathen Gods should be no more worshipped, but destroyed ut­terly, with all their Idolatry and Su­perstition, in which they were bred: Which being abdicated, they imme­diately embraced the Gospel. Blessed is the people that know this joyful sound, Psal. 89. 15. And thanks be to Jesus Christ, in many things already, you have shewed your self God's King, in coming out to help the Lord against the mighty, Jer. 9. 3. in being valient for his truth, at home and abroad, in scattering the Proud in the Imaginati­on of their Hearts, and bring the [Page 82] Wheel upon them, in taking down [...] Partition Wall of Separation, that your Subjects might not destroy one another for fashions sake; you have put your Life into your Land, to fight the Lords Battles, that teacheth your hands to war, and your fingers to fight, Psal. 144. 1. and have wrought with God this great Salvation in our Israel, as all Israel said of Jonathan, that over­threw the vastest Army that ever the Philistines had, consisting of thirty thou­sand Chariots, six thousand Horses, and people like the sand, which is on the Sea shoar, for Multitude, 1 Sam. 13. 5. In his name, that giveth Salvation unto Kings, and that hath delivered your Royal Person from the Sword; like another David, or Jehoshaphet, you marcht out against the Enemies of God and Man (or else he hath none in this World) and he, in whom ye trusted, hath made you more than Conqueror, in pacifying Scotland, sub­duing Ireland, and preserving the Peace, and safety of England; and in check­ing the Pride and Insolency of your sworn Enemies beyond Sea, and set­ting a bound to it, that it cannot pass; and though the Waves thereof toss [Page 83] themselves, yet they cannot prevail, tho' they roar, yet can they not pass over it, Jer. 5. 22. as the Prophet speaks of God's bounding the Sea, when he said, Hi­therto shalt thou come, and no further, and here shall thy proud waves stay themselves, Job. 38. 11. Your Majesties Soul is bound up in the bundle of Life with the Lord your God (in all your hazardous, high, and honourable undertakings) and the souls of your Enemies, them shall he fling out as out of the middle of a sling, as vertuous Abigail speaks to King David, 1 Sam. 25. 29. For as an An­gel of God, so is my Lord the King, to di­scern good and bad, therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee, saith the wi [...]e Woman of Tekoah to the King. 2 Sam. 14. 17.

Therefore saith he to the God of this Life, Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of Iniquity, which speak peace to their Neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts: For they speak not peace, but devise deceitful matters a­gainst them that are quiet in the Land, Psal. 28: 3. and 35. 20.

If the Peace of God rule in your Royal Heart, because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him, I [Page 84] will set him on high, because he hath known my name, (saith God to David) He shall call upon me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deli­ver him, and honour him, with long life will I satisfie him, and shew my salvati­on. Psal. 91. 14, 15, 16. (no richer Promises in all the Book of God, than those that are made to God's King) and again, I will make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness, violence shall be no more heard in thy Land, wast­ing nor destruction within thy borders; Thy people shall be all righteous, (saith the Pro­phet) Isa. 60. 17, 18, 21.

And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quiet­ness and assurance for ever, and my people shall dwell in peaceable habitations, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting pla­ces, Isa. 32. 17, 18. Again, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee; Isa. 26. 4. For the King trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of God he shall not be moved, saith King David, Psal. 21. 7. and therefore he protests thus, For my brethren and companions sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee, Psal. 122. 8, But who were these [Page 85] Men whom the King honoured thus, to account his Royal Brethren, and worthy Companions? Not such as the sons of Zeruiah, that were his Cousins, and were too hard for him, 2 Sam. 3. 39. that were bloody Men, and Murder­erers of Princes, nor such as Haman, the Agagite, Companion to King Aha­suerus, that plotted and contrived the mur­der of all Gods people in one day, Esth. 3. 8, 9. nor such as Doeg, the Edomite, that at Saul's Command, butchered the Priests of the Lord, even four score and five persons that did wear a Linnen Ephod. 1 Sam. 22. 18. in his eyes all such vile persons were contemned, Psal. 15. 4. as David professeth, he would know no such wicked personss, they should not tarry in his sight, Psal. 101. 4. 7. But he tells us, I am companion to all them that fear thee, to them that keep thy precepts, Psal. 119. 63, 65. to the Saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my de­light, Psal. 16. 3. why so? Because the Law of God is in his Heart; what Law? The Law of Peace. Great peace have they that love thy Law, and nothing shall offend them, Psal. 119. 165. Then there shall be no breaking in (by foreign In­vasion) nor going out (by domestick [Page 86] Insurrection) no complaining in our Streets: Happy is that people, that is in such a case (the Psalmist corrects him­self) yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord, Psal. 144. 15. whose peace rules in their hearts.

My second Address shall be in all due Reverence and Humility, to the Right Honourable the High Court of Parliament, consisting of Lords and Commons.

I will with Jeremiah the Prophet, get me unto the great Men, and speak unto them (I hope with better acceptance and Success than he did) for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judg­ment of their God, Jer. 5. 5. are better acquainted with it, having had better breeding, and means of instruction, than others of meaner Estate: Let the Peace of God rule in your Hearts, unto which ye are all called in one Bo­dy politick: That ye all speak the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joyned toge­ther in the same [...]ind, and in the same judgment, as the Apostle charges the Co­rinthians by the name of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 1. 10. That there be in none of [Page 87] you an evil heart of unbelief, in depart­ing from the living God: Or amongst you a profane person, as Esau, to sell his bitth right for a Mess of Popery, as he did for a mess of Pottage, as the Apostle speaks, Heb. 3. 12. and ch. 12. 16.

You are the most solemn Represen­tative of our Church and State; our Law-makers, and living Laws, are the most honourable Assembly of Christi­ans under Heaven at this day, an As­sembly of Philosophers and Divines; yea, of Kings and Priests, unto God the Father, and his Christ, Rev. 1. 6. You are our first born, that have a double portion of Honour put upon you a­bove your Brethren, to be our Rulers and Law-givers, to use the Apostle's words, You are a chosen Generation, a royal priest-hood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him, that hath called you out of dark­ness unto his marvellous light, 1 Pet. 2. 9. As those that sate there before you a­bove an Hundred and Twenty Years ago, were like so many Zorobabels (that led the people of God, from Caldean to Babylon) that laid the foundation of our Reformation upon Christ, ano­the [...] foundation no man c [...]n lay, 1 Cor. 3. 11. [Page 88] (saith the Apostle) and his truth, and sounded by the Trumpet of the Gos­pel, a fair retreat, from Romish Popish Babylon; the mother of Harlots, and a­bominations of the earth, Rev. 17. 5. the mistress of Witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and fami­lies through her witchcrafts, Nah. 3. 4. (as the Prophet speaks) so God hath called you together; that your Hands may finish it, that ye may bring forth the head-stone thereof with shouting, cry­ing, Grace, grace unto it, as the Angel speaks, Zach. 4. 7. That she that is your Enemy may see it, and shame may cover her, Mic. 7. 10. That she may be removed that nothing of her be left amo [...] of her Idolatry and Superstition. [...] your selves in array against Fren [...] a­bylon, round about all ye that tred the bow, shoot at her, spare no Arrows, for she hath sinned against the Lord, saith the Prophet, Jer. 50. 14.

Some rubbish that escaped our first Reformers, was left in the fall of so ancient and great a Building, which remains yet untaken away, but in­cumbers the Ground; which in the Prayers that we are commanded to use in our Monthly Fasts, run thus; name­ly, [Page 89] in the Prayer for the High Court of Parliament.

‘That all things may be so order­ed, and settled by their endeavours, upon the best and surest foundati­ons, that Peace and Happiness, Truth and Justice, Religion and Pie­ty may be established among us from all Generations:’ Now ano­ther Foundation of Peace and Happi­ness can no Man lay, than Christ and his Word. We need not send to Rome, nor any where else, for any thing that concerns Religion; The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, saith the Apostle, Rom. 10. 8. and we are built upon the foundation of the Apostles, and Prophets, Jesus Christ him­self being the chief corner stone, Eph. 2. 20.

In the Prayer for the reformed Churches, ‘Purge all thy Churches from their Dreggs, and make them meet for a glorious Deliverance, that all the World may see, that Sal­vation belongs to our God.’

In the last Prayer: ‘Give us Grace Lord, seriously to lay to heart the [Page 90] great dangers we are in, by our unhappy Divisions, take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatso­ever may hinder us, from Godly Union and Concord; that as these is but one Body, and one Spirit, and one Hope of our Calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God, and Father of us all, so we may henceforth be all of one Heart, and of one Soul, united in one Ho­ly Body of Truth and Peace, of Faith and Charity, and may with one Mind and one Mouth glorifie thee, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

The like Expressions are in the Prayer for the whole State of Christ's Church Militant here on Earth.

Let us deal plainly with God and our own Consciences, and those to whom these Prayers are recommen­ded, unless we think to please God, and Men, with a few fair words of Devotion, when our Heart is far from him, and the performance of these things we pray for, as the East is from the West; Be not deceived (saith the Apostle) God will not be mocked, [Page 91] Gal. 6. 6. however, we may deceive Men with words smoother than butter, but war is in the heart, with words softer than oyl, yet are they drawn swords, Psal. 55. 21. Is not this a casting of God's words behind us, and taking his name in vain? That lays us open to that sur­prizing expression of our Lord, ex ore tuo est, have ye not reason to fear the Lords Censure of the Elders of Israel, that came and sate before Ezekiel in Babylon, concerning whom, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their I­dols in their hearts, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face; should I be enquired of at all by them? Exek. 14. 3. And that of the Prophet Jeremiah, that from the Prophets of Jeru­salem, hypocrisie is gone out into all the land, Jer. 23. 15. If we build continu­ally by our practice, that which wont seem to destroy so solemnly by our Prayer, what do we make of our selves in the Eyes of the World, but Transgressors? Gal. 2. 18. Children, in whom is no faith, Deut. 32. 20.

What then are these Dreggs we de­sire God to deliver us from? Are they not the remainder of our natural Cor­ruption, [Page 92] and the sin which doth so ea­sily beset us within, and of Popery with­out, that have been a snare to us, and removed our Souls far from Peace, that we may be delivered from them, as well as other reformed Churches.

Again, What are these great dan­gers that we are in by our unhappy Di­vision; for the laying of which serious­ly to Heart, we beg God's Grace? Are they about matters of no value, that in the ballance of the Sanctuary have Tekel written on them, as being altogether higher than Vanity? Are we like the Man lying in a ditch, pray­ing, Lord have mercy upon me, and yet will not stir Hand nor Foot to help him­self out. If we will not prevent these dangers, when we know what the late attempt to remove the occasion of them cost these Nations, that were sore af­flicted, and sorely tossed with the tem­pest of a long bloody War, and not fully comforted to this day.

Again, ‘Take away all Hatred and Prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from Godly Union and Concord.’

And we will part with nothing by our good Will, that may please many good people, and can never tend to the real damage of any, but add more fuel still to the old hatred and prejudice, until that be taken out of the way, by which the offence cometh, that may kindle a fire that will never be quench­ed, and feed a worm that shall never die, Mar. 9. 46. from which Judgment the Lord deliver us.

Lastly, ‘All the terms of Union of Peace, and Love, in Heaven and Earth, are mustred up together, one Lord, one Faith; one Baptism, one God, &c. many Vanities; that we may with one Mouth, and one Mind, glorifie God, &c.

Here a Man would think, (If there be any consolation in Christ, if any com­fort in love, if any fellowship of the Spi­rit, if any bowels or mercies, if any truth in men,) Phil. 2. 1. that we are re­solved now to fill the Evangelical Prophecy of Zephany, to serve the Lord with a pure lip, and with one shoulder, Zeph. 3. 9. with Uniformity of Do­ctrine, Worship, and Discipline, that there may be one Lord, and [Page 94] his name one, according to that of the Prophet, Zach. 14. 9.

Lord, put this heart in those that have commanded us to put up those sweet words to God, in truth and simplicity of Heart, Amen. That we may not be said to have a form of godliness, 2 Tim. 3. 5. is an outward delineation of piety, of peace and unity, denying the power and practise of it, (as the Apostle speaks) or as Jeremiah, They have healed the hurt of the Daughter of the my people slighted, saying, peace, peace, when there was no peace, Jer. 6. 14. and those that are required to make their Addresses to God in these words, say, Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul loathed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good, and for a time of healing, and behold trouble. Jer. 14. 19. Then said I, ah Lord God, surely thou hast greatly deceivid this people, and Jerusalem, saying, ye shall have peace, whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.

Now, most noble Lords and Commons, Since God hath endued many of you with excellent parts of learning of all sorts, and Wisdom, both Theorical [Page 95] and Practical, above all the Sanedrims Synods, and Anti Synods, since that of Nice, in which a plain Country­man, in demonstration of the Spirit and Power, convinced the Heathenish Phylosophers, more than all the three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers that were there: I hope you will in the fear of God, assert the everlasting Go­spel in the purity and simplicity of it, and all the approved Teachers of it, in allowing them a just Maintainance for their Supportation, that they may be encouraged in the Law of the Lord, 2 Chr. 31. 4. (as Hezekiah is recorded to have done in his Reign) according to that of the Apostle, Let him that is taught in the word, communicate to him that teacheth in all good things, which I take to be the Patent of the Ministers of the Gospel. The gleanings of your Grapes are better than the Vintage of some Countrys, where there is a competent Provision for their Mini­sters, many able Men of yours have small allowance, even for the meanest Imployments, all Tyth being lock'd up in the Hands of Impropriators in many places, and nothing left of the spoil, but the old allowance: The Ne­thimims [Page 96] that were of two sorts, the Gibeonites, and the Levites, that were imployed to be Hewers of Wood, and Drawers of Water for the Alter of God, t had a far more plentiful pro­vision for themselves and their Fami­lies, than many of your most pain­ful Ministers have at this day, that labour in the Word and Doctrine, as the Apostle speaks, 1 Tim. 5. 17. Prove me now herewith, saich the Lord of hosts; if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour out a blessing: that there shall not be room enough to receive it; Mal. 3. 10. That he may cause the blessing to rest in thine House, saith the Prophet Ezekiel, ch. 44. v. 30.

More over most noble Patriots, that are called to sit on Thrones of Judg­ment (for such a time as this) where many of your Pregenitors, Parents, Kinsmen, dear Friends, fellow-Sub­jects, and Country-men, did sit above Fifty years ago that were able Men, fearing God, and honouring the King, that were zealous for God, and vali­ant for his truth, as ye are all this day, Act. 22. 3. that resisted all inevitati­ons on Church and State, even unto Blood, Heb 12. 4. in themselves, and [Page 97] others, to prevent the setting up the image of Jealousie, that provokes to Jea­lousie, Ezek. 8. 3. which was like to bring the calamities of Esau upon them, Jer. 49. 8. and their posterity after them, that they might not be called the border of iniquity, the people, against whom the Lord hath Indignation for ever, as the Prophet speaks, Let not all the trouble seem little to you, that hath come upon us, our Kings, on our Princes, on our Priests, and on our Fathers, and on all the people, Neh. 9. 32. since the time of King Charles the I. whose shield (in that combustion) was vilely cast away, 2 Sam. 1. 21, as if he had not been anointed with Oyl, as David laments the vio­lent Death of Saul, lest these things should be revived, and advanced with a high Land, that caused such aliena­tion of affection, and bitter destructi­on of many Persons and Families, in these three Kingdoms.

You have, like the Nobles of Israel, given their evidence to the contrary; Thas when Popery was issuing upon us like a mighty Stream, Root, and Branch, in all the parts and Pendicts of it; Then they had swallowed us up qu [...]ck, when their wrath was kindled against [Page 98] us: Then the waters (of Mara, of bitter­ness) had overwhelmed us, the stream (of Idolatry and Superstition) had gone over our Soul, Psal. 124. 3, 4. Then like so many Moses's you stood in the breach to resist Satan, and all Iniquity, and to turn away God's wrath from his People, occasioned by the golden Calf; or as so many resolute, and self­denying Levi [...]es, of whom it is writ­ten, That he said to his Father, and to his Mother, I have not seen them; neither did he acknowledge his Bre­thren, nor knew his own Children, when a Proclamation was made by Moses, through all the Camp of Israel, Who is on the Lords side? let him come un­to me, Exod. 32. 26. In all these things, you have approved your selves, the faithful and true Servants of God: Be it spoken to the glory of God, and recorded among your Archives for your honour, and of your posterity for ever; that you did really thus, with all your high, and low Court-Relati­ons.

Ye have seen also that Prophecy of Isaiah, actually fulfilled in the Roy­al Person of our King, when the ene­my shall come in like a flood, the Spirit [Page 99] of the Lord shall lift up a Standard a­gainst him, Isa. 59. 19. put him to flight; by whom? But by our King William, whom God hath made to be his Standard-bearer, against the Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition, in Honour and Obedience to him, that is styled, The standard-bearer among ten thousand, Cant. 5. v. 10.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, that hath in love to us all, set his own King over us, to assist you in all things that may do most good: In whatso­ever things are true, in whatsoever things are honest, in whatsoever things are love­ly, in whatsoever things are of good re­port, if there be any vertue, if there be any praise, that ye may think on these things, with him, as the Apostle exhorts, Phil. 4. v. 8.

What God said to David, Psal. 2. This is my King; generally he saith it of all that be like to David, for he is the same.

The King, whose Heart is upright with God, as was David's, (the tem­per whereof you may see, Psal. 101. and Psal. 131. as touching the Admini­stration of the Common-wealth, and [Page 100] his own Person and Family; but more excellently, as in his duty to God in the whole 119th. Psalm.) Such a King is God's King himself, such may as­sure themselves of safety and protecti­on from the treachery and power of their Advesaries, as Psalm 144. 10. It is he that giveth salvation unto such Kings, that delivered David his servant from the hurtful hurt of Saul, and all his enemies, as the title of the 18th. Psalm bears.

And without flattery, be it spoken, if God have any such King in the World, it is our King, as he hath well declared, even by that very Argument of Protection, from such villainous Practices, as were contrived against him, and such eminent dangers, that he exposed himself unto, both by Sea and Land, to them, that can, or will mark no other reason.

Certainly, if Sion, if Jerusalem, if Israel were beholding to the Lord for giving them the honour above all other Nations, to be ruled by this King; we are in the same debt, to whom the best King in this World hath been given by him, and then given, when we feared the worst of all extremities, that we could ima­gine; [Page 101] when there seemed to be but a step between us and ruin, which I write not, to puff us up with Pride, nor Himself, whose, not the least Praise is, that he delights not in the hearing of his own Praise, but to make us thankful, and to stir us up to pray heartily to God for him; that he would keep his Mind in him for ever­more, and confirm his love to him for ever: Bless, Lord, his substance, and ac­cept the work of his Hands (for thy Church and People) smite through the Loyns of those that rise up against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise no more, which is Moses's Prayer for Levi. Deut. 33. 11. See David's Prayer, 1 Chron. 29. 18. O Lord God of Abra­ham, Isaac, and Israel our Fathers; keep this for ever in the Imagination of the Thoughts of the Heart of thy People, and prepare their Heart unto thee, that at length our Eyes may behold that joy­ful sight: That Mercy and Truth are met together, that Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other, Psal. 85. 10. (as the Psalmist speaks) and the full Accom­plishment of that Evangelical Promise, Violence shall be no more heard in thy Land, Wasting nor Destruction within [Page 102] thy Borders, that Men may call our Walls Salvation, and our Gates Praise, Isa. 60. 18. that when he rests from his La­bours, his Works may follow him.

My next Address is to you, my Re­verend Brethren of the Ministry of the New Testament, to you in a special manner is the Word of his Salvation sent, Acts 13. 26. (as the Apostle speaks to the Church of Corinth) being by na­ture as hateful to God, and hating one another, Tit. 3. 3. as those that are em­bodied with you. Let the Peace of God rule in your Hearts, into which ye are cal­led (not only in one Body Mystical, as all Christians are, but also) into one Body Ecclesiastical, and be ye thank­ful, that ye be all of one Mind, 1 Cor. 1. 10. We are Embassadors for Christ, the Prince of Peace, the King of Peace, upon whom, the Chastisement of our Peace was laid, Isa. 53. 5. That came and preached Peace to you that were afar off, and to them that were near, saith the Apostle, Eph. 2. 17. and hath left us a Legacy of Peace, and hath commit­ted unto us the Ministry of Reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5. 19. the Gospel of Peace, Rom. 10. 15. O that it might be said of us under the New Testament, as he speaks [Page 103] of Levi in the Old; He walked with me in Peace and Equity, and did turn many from Iniquity, Mal. 2. 6.

Let us be diligent in our Master's work, like faithful and wise Stewards, whom our Lord hath made Rulers over his Houshold, to give them their por­tion of meat in their due season: Blessed are those Servants, whom our Lord when he cometh shall find so doing; of a Truth I say unto you, that he will make them Rulers of all that he hath, Luk. 12. 42, 43, 44. That we may recover poor Sin­ners out of the Snare of the Devil, who are taken Captives by him at his Will, 2 Tim. 2. 25. That when the chief Shep­herd shall appear, we may be found of him in Peace, without spot, and blame­less, and receive a Crown of Glory, that fadeth not away, 1 Pet. 5. 4. 2 Pet. 3. 14. That being Teachers, sent of God, to teach the way of God in Truth, may shine as the brightness of the Firmament, and by turning many to Righteousness, as the Stars for ever and ever, as the Pro­phet Daniel speaks, Dan. 12. 3.

Now, since God by this Text, as by the tenor of the whole Book of God, calls us to Peace, how many of our Profession are counted the greatest [Page 104] Enemies to it in the whole Kingdom? as being neither Peace-makers, nor Peace-keepers with our Neighbours; but by Austerity and Severity, exact­ing our dues to the utmost Farthing, with such rigour, as the Sons of Eli, did use, that were Sons of Belial, and knew not the Lord, 1 Sam. 2. 12. con­trary to that Spirit of the Gospel, which Christ's own Disciples were ignorant of, when they would have con­sumed the Samaritans with Fire from Heaven, as Elijah did the Guards of Ahaziah, Luk. 9. 55. and putting their Parishioners into the Court often, for very small matters, as if they sought not them, but theirs, so contrary to the Apostle, as if Destruction and Misery were in their ways, and the way of Peace they had not known, as the Apo­stle speaks of the Gentiles, Rom. 3. 17. Hence it is in the first place, that Men prosper not under the means of Grace; as thinking it impossible, that the same Fountain should at the same place, or spring-head, send forth sweet Water, and bitter, as St. James speaks, Jam. 3. 11.

And that Men abhor the Offerings of the Lord, as if all soughe their own, and not the things which are Jesus Christs, [Page 105] Phil. 2. 21. which the Israelites are re­corded to have done of old for the vileness of their Priests, that with Force and Cruelty ruled over them: and many depart from them, with In­dignation, to more peaceable Assem­blies of Christians, without any pur­pose to return, because their Shepherds have caused them to go astray, as the Prophet Jeremiah speaks, ch. 50. 6.

And since our Liturgy that we read daily, is so full of good Prayers, Col­lects, and Requests for Peace, that God who is the Author of Peace, and lover of Concord, would give to all Nati­ons Unity, Peace, and Concord: Let this Charity begin at home, and let us, with our Apostle, follow after the things that make (most) for Peace, and the things wherewith we may edifie one ano­ther, Rom. 14. 17, 19. and ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord, Men shall call you the Ministers of our God, ye shall eat the Riches of the Gentiles, and in their Glory shall ye boast your selves, as the Evangelical Prophet speaks, Isa. 61. 6. lest the Lord divide us in Jacob, and scatter us in Israel, as he did Simeon and Levi, that were Brethren in Evil, (but not in any good) to their perpe­tual [Page 106] in famy; remembring always, that he that soweth Discord among Bre­thren, is one of the seven things that are an Abomination to the Lord, as Solomon speaks, Prov. 6. 16.

Again, our Brethren, that profess the same Faith of Christ crucified with us, yet dissent from us in some Externals, and Circumstances about Religion; lay to our charge, that we hang all our Religion, and Ministra­tion, upon certain stinted Forms, and Canonical Offices, upon Persons and Places, Times, Canonical Hours, Ve­stures, Postures and Gestures, &c. and that under the Fig-leaves of Formali­ty in the worship of God, we cover all Iniquity, as the Church of Rome doth, whose whole Religion is nothing else, but a Congeries of such insipid stuff. And that of late, we were rea­dy, upon the advance of Popery, to turn Papists, rather than part with our Livings, perceiving some to be turned aside already after Satan, like fallen Stars, and others with Demas, to forsake us, and embrace this present (Popish) World, 2 Tim. 4. 10. and a great many in Church and State, ready to swim with the overflow­ing [Page 107] Tide of Anti-christ; the Apo­stle tells Timothy, That he knew that all they that are in Asia, had turned away from him, 2 Tim. 1. 15. and speaking of the Apostacy of the latter days, he saith, They shall turn away their Ears from the Truth, and shall be turned unto (Popish) Fables, 2 Tim. 4. 4. God be merciful unto us.

I dare not trust my own Heart, when I think of Peter; but I hope there would be found, even among us, that enviously are styled Conformists (tho' our Works are not found perfect before God, Apoc. 3. 2.) as many, and more, that would have laid down their Lives for the Word of God, and Testimony of Jesus, as laid down their Livings, to avoid Men's Traditions and Com­mandments; that they might not min­gle with the Fountain of Israel, to de­file the Waters of the Sanctuary. Such Imputations as these must needs cause the Ambassador of Peace to weep bitterly, as the Prophet speaks, Isa. 33. 7. But we expect better things of them, and accompanying, Salvation (that thus censures us) though they differ from us in the outward mode of Religion, which is various in all Countries, and speak [Page 108] ill of us, our Mothers Children being an­gry with us, Cant. 1. 6. They sit and talk against their Brethren, and slander their own Mothers Sons, Psal. 50. 20. we know that we are passed from Death to Life, because we love the Brethren, saith St. John, 1 Joh. 3. 14. and with Christ's Brethren, we hope to go to their Father, and our Father, to their God, and our God, Joh. 20. 17. with as sincere Affection, and Brotherly Love, Gen. 33. 16. as Joseph shewed, that was separated from his Brethren for a while, that he might enjoy them for ever, Philem. 15.

But besides all this, they have some­what else against many of us; that if throughly weighed, and laid in the ballance of the Sanctuary, would be hea­vier than the Sand of the Sea, as Job's Pa­thetick Phrase is, Job 6. 2, 3. That we leave our Flocks, and starve them, being called by God and Man to the Mi­nistry of the Gospel, to no other end and purpose, but to feed them, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own Blood, saith the Apostle, Act. 20. 28. to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, in his last Visitation at Miletus. And whereas it appears by the first verse of the second Chapter of [Page 109] this Epistle, that the Apostle had never been among these of Colossae; that they had not seen his Face in the Flesh, Col. 2. 1.

It is to be marked how careful Paul was; that being now in Prison at Rome, under the Bloody Tyrant Nero, when he might well have been excused from writing to other Churches, which himself had planted, yet takes no li­berty to himself of ease, but writes, even to these that he had never seen, and had not seen his Face in the Flesh; that if he could not, by reason of his Endurance, speak to them, yet his Letter might instruct them, and con­firm them in them in the truth of God; and what punishment shall they be worhty of, who being tied to speci­al Charges, have no regard to any thing, saving to the receiving of their Profits? As for the instruction of their Flocks; they think it enough to al­low one Ten Pounds a Year, the Tenth part perhaps of the whole Living, to read them Prayers; and if they once or twice in a year shall come to them, and give them a Sermon, they think they have discharged their full Duty with advantage. I wonder how such should not blush, to hear of the Apostle's [Page 110] diligence, who is thus careful, even in his Prison-house, and so far off, for those he never saw: When they are thus careless for those, whom by all Laws of God and Men, if not for Conscience, yet for their Friends sake, they ought to regard, and not task them out to Journey-men and Hirelings, but the Unjust knoweth no shame, saith the Prophet Zephaniah, Zeph. 3 5. and their own Shepherds pity them not, saith the Prophet Zephaniah, Zach. 11. 5. And to use the Phrase of St. James in another Case, My Bre­thren, these things ought not so to be, Jam. 3. 10. and that of Job also in another Case, This is an heincus crime, yea, it is an Iniquity to be punished by the Judges, Job 31. 11. and therefore it cries aloud to King and Parliament for Reforma­tion as much, if not more, than any common Nusance whatsoever; yea, to God also (that sees not as Man sees) for Wrath and Indignation, that by a just resentment of this common Error, practiced continually by a high Hand, His wrath may turn away from us, 2. Chron. 29. 10. as King Hezeki­ah speaks to his Ministers: My Sons, be not negligent, be not now deceived, [Page 111] for the Lord hath chosen you to stand be­fore him, to serve him, and that you should minister unto him, and offer burnt Incense, and Sacrifice: That of Ezekiel is very terrible; ye eat the Fat, and cloath you with the Wool; ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the Flock, Ezek. 34. 3. The Prophet goes on to the 11th. verse, with severe Comminations, that concern the Shepherds under the Gospel (that are such) as well as under the Law, for their Unfaithfulness to so great a trust; being the greatest under Hea­ven, even no less, than the Souls of Men, redeemed with the precious Blood of Christ, as St. Peter speaks, 1 Pet. 1. 19.

My Ground of this Application is, a Rule and Maxim of Philosophy, and right Reason. Agente eodem modo existente, & eadem materiâ idem effectum. God changeth not, Mal. 3. Now as God is the same, and Sin the same, so we must expect the like effects from the like causes; the Principals of Sciences are external, and the Rules of guid­ing Souls to Blessedness, most immu­table of all the rest: As God dealt with Israel, his peculiar People, so will he deal with us, if we be like them in their Sins; we must thank his Good­ness [Page 112] for this much, we are too impu­dent, if we desire, or pretend more; therefore, as he punished them for all their Iniquities, Am. 3. 2. from the Land of Egypt, to this day, so hath he just cause to visit us for our Iniquities, that are swoln to as great a bulk as they were before the last War: Give me leave to use here the words of Elihu to Job, At this my Heart trembleth, and is removed out of his place, Job 36. 1.

Let us not flatter our selves upon the gracious Assistance we have hither­to found in our miraculous Restaurati­on, An. 1660. which we could not have lookt for; no, not in a Dream, to be (after so many signal Defeats) on a sudden, made more than Con­querors, with all the faults that fol­lowed us, even forgetting that we had twenty Years time for repentance al­lowed us, to wash us from our old Sins: Let us not be high-minded (saith the Apostle) but fear; indeed, If God be for us, who can be against us, saith the same Apostle, Rom. 8. 3.

But how can he be Friends with us, when we walk so cross and pervers­ly with him? His Name, that ought not to be mentioned without highest Re­verence, [Page 113] is continually Blasphemed, Isa. 52. 5. Nothing hated but Holiness, and the Lovers of it made the Song of the Drunkards, and By-word of the People; and a desire to walk with God according to our Christian Pro­fession, Soberly, Righteously, and Godly, Tit. 2. 12. made a derision all the day, &c. Neither let us think to ap­pease him, and hold his Friendship with a few Sermons, and Ceremonies of outward Service; as the tything of Mint, Cummin and Dill, when we neglect Justice and Fidelity, a Gospel Reformation of our Lives and Conver­sations, and the weighty things of the Law and Gospel, as our Lord speaks, Matth. 23. 23.

See what the Lord speaks by the Prophet Jeremiah: For I spake not unto your Fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the Land of Egypt, concerning Burnt-offrings, and Sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them; saying, obey my Voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my People, and walk ye in all the ways that I have com­manded you, that it may be well unto you. Jer. 7. 22, 23. When in the mean time we hold his truth in Unrighte­ousness, [Page 114] when I know not for what politick respects, we prefer Musical De­light, Am. 5. 23. and Solemnity in his Service, before the Spirit and Under­standing, 1 Cor. 14. 15. and Justifie by our practice, the Idol-Service, which we accuse in our Books and Preaching. And now, O ye Priests, this Command­ment is for you (saith the Prophet Mal­chi) If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my Name, saith the Lord of Hosts, I will e­ven send a curse upon you, and will curse your Blessings; yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to Heart, Mal. 2. 1, 2. I will dash them, a Man against his Brother, the Father and the Son together, (saith the Lord) I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but de­stroy them, Jer. 13. 14. and 16. Give Glory to the Lord God before he cause Darkness, and before your Feet stumble upon the dark Mountains; and while ye look for Light, he turn it into the shadow of Death, and make it gross Darkness. These things are written for our admoni­tion, upon whom the ends of the World are come, 1 Cor. 10. 11. Excellently doth Ezra express the Affection, Re­solution, and Reformation of the Jews, [Page 115] after their Escape and Deliverance from Babylon, and return to Zion, with these words: And after all this is come upon us for our evil Deeds, and for our great Transgressions; seeing thou our God hast punished us less than our Iniquities deserve, and hast given us such a Deliverance as this; should we again break thy Com­mandments, and joyn in affinity with the people of these Abominations? Wouldst not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping, Ezek. 9. 13, 14. Let us take heed that we fulfill our Mini­stery (as the Apostle exhorts Timothy) 2 Tim. 4. 5. that we lose not our Church it self, wherein Men glory so much (your Glorying is not good, saith the Apostle) 1 Cor. 5. 6. that it flee not away like a Bird, as the Glory of Ephraim, from the Birth, and from the Womb, and from the Conception, as the Prophet Hos [...]a speaks, and our selves also. The Dissenters (as we call them) are like to steal it away from us, and leave us naked and bare, to read Prayers to bare Walls, and empty Pews, as many do already in City and Country. Behold your house shall be left unto you desolate (saith our Lord to the [Page 116] Jews) What house? The Prophet Isaiah tells us, Our Holy and Beautiful House, where our Fathers praised thee, is burnt up with Fire, and all our pleasant things are laid waste; the only Cathedral that God had in all the World, where­in was the Glorious Symbol of his Presence, and the great Mystery of Godliness, that praefigured Christ with all his Benefits: This was done after­wards by the Caldeans. He tells them further, Therefore I say unto you, the Kingdom of Heaven shall be taken from you, and given to a Nation, bringing forth the Fruits thereof, Matth. 21. 43. What is meant by this Kingdom of Hea­ven? The Church visible; the Phrase often used in the beginning of St. John's Preaching, and Christ's, Matth. 3. 2. and 4. 17. and in the Parable of the Sower: This Phrase is taken from Daniel; And in the days of those Kings shall the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom, and the Kingdom shall not be left to another Peo­ple, but it shall break in pieces, and con­sume all these Kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever, Dan. 2. 44. The Church vi­sible is now to be made up of the Gentiles, as of old of the Jews chiefly, our Lord having taken down the Wall [Page 117] of Partition that was set up by God him­self between them, why may not Men take down and demolish; even to the Foundation, the Wall of Separation, dawbed with intempered Mortar of Malice and Envy, set up in their Heart against their Brethren, unless there be such a great Gulf fixed between them by it; so that they which would pass from hence cannot, nor can they pass to us, that would come thence, as Fa­ther Abraham speaks to the rich Man in Hell, that would fain have changed his Quarters and Post for any Ease or mitigation of pain, Luk. 16. 26.

The Evangeilst Matthew tells us, That this saying is commonly reported among the Jews to this day; Matth. 28 15. that Christ's Disciples came by Night, and stole him away while the Watch-men slept. Mary Magdalen, upon a double mistake, thought that the Gardiner had stolen him out of his Grave, Joh. 20. 15. We read of a great quar­rel between the ten Tribes and the Jews, about the stealing away of King David, in his own Presence. And be­hold all the Men of Israel came unto the King, and said unto the King, why have our Brethren the Men of Judah stolen thee [Page 118] away? 2 Sam. 19. 41. The good and wise King could not decide the contro­versie without a Mutiny, and sad Dis­sention, as follows in the Text; Moses tells us, that Jacob stole away the Heart of Laban the Syrian, when he fled from him, Gen. 31. 20. (upon the fall of his Countenance towards him) with all that he had, and that his Daughter Ra­chel stole away his Teraphim, his Gods; there was a Heartless and Godless Man left, and what had he more? Judg. 18. 24. as Micah speaks to the Men of Dan; yet after all his fierce pursuing after Jacob, with all his forces, and over­taking him, and searching all his stuff, he found nothing of his to accuse Ja­cob of, nor to make him ashamed, that he had parted so suddenly from him without his Knowledge and Consent: Therefore they entred into Covenant together of perpetual amity, and part­ed in Peace and Love, and were never injurious to one another, no more than Esau was to Jacob, that fled from him, for fear of his Life, yet was at meeting embraced by him, with high Expressions of Love, and they buried their aged Fa­ther Isaac in Peace, Gen. 35. 29.

Set your Hearts (saith Moses) unto all the words which I testifie among you this day; and he gives this reason for it in the words following, For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your Life, and through this thing ye shall prolong your days, Deut. 32. 46, 47. O that thou hadst hearkned to my Commandments, (saith the Lord by the Prophet Isaiah) then had thy Peace been as a River, and thy Righteousness as the Waves of the Sea; thy Seed also had been as the Sand, and the ofspring of thy Bowe [...] like the Gravel thereof; his Name shoul [...] not have been cut off, nor destroyed from [...]fore me, Isa. 48. 18, 19. But if we [...] go on, to make the Precepts of God of none effect, by their unlucky Neighbour­hood with the Precepts of Men: The Book of God will be unawares snatch'd out of your Hands, as the Ark of God was from the Shoulders of Hophni and Phinehas by the Philistines, 1 Sam. 4. 11. and a black Book put into our Hands, written within and without, Lamentation, and Mourning, and Woe. Ezek. 2. 10. For thus saith the Lord, enter not into the House of Mourning, nei­ther go to lament, nor bemoan them; for I have taken away my Peace from this [Page 120] People, saith the Lord, even loving kind­ness and Mercies, Jer. 16. 5. from which Judgment the Lord deliver us, that we may enter iuto Peace, and rest in our Beds, every one walking in his Uprightness, Isa. 57. 2.

Now for a particular Application of his Doctrin to all Relations and Orders of Men, High and Low, Rich and Poor, &c.

1. To Magistrates and Subjects.

IF the Peace of God rule in the Hearts of Rulers, then they will seek the Glory of God, and the Peace and Good of their Subjects, above all Earthly things, to the fulfilling of that Evan­gelical Promise of Isaiah, And Kings shall be thy Nursing Fathers, and their Queens thy Nursing Mothers, Isa. 49. 23. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Is­rael spake to me: He that ruleth over Men must be just, ruling in the fear of God, is the Instruction that the Man after God's own Heart received immediately from God, touching his Ruling and Go­verning the People of God: And an excellent President we have from [Page 121] Theodosius Junior, the Emperor, recorded by Socrates, l. 7. 22, who tells us, that when in a severe Winter that did threaten and portend a great scarcity of Victual the Year ensuing, it being not very plentiful at that time, he gave way to the Peoples desire of the usual Games and Shews that were acted in the Circe; which when it was full of People, and Spectators, there fell sud­denly a most vehement Tempest upon them: Then the Emperor plainly de­clared (I set it down as Socrates relates it) how he was affected towards God & his People; for by his Heralds he made Proclamation among the People, say­ing. Is it not much better for us to leave these vain Shews and Sports, and with one Mouth, all of us to pray to God, to preserve us safe from this horrible Storm that is falling upon us? Scarely were these words uttered, when all the People, with unanimous Consent and Alacri­ty, began to pray to God; then the whole City (saith he) in that respect was turned into a Temple; the Em­peror himself walking as a private Per­son, began the Psalms of Praise; nei­ther indeed did his Hope fail him (saith Socrates) for immediately there [Page 122] was a great Calm and Screnity, and by the Bountifulness of God, there was great Plenty of all Provision the next year.

At another time also, as he sate, beholding the Shews, he received a Message, that one John, that tyran­nously had Invaded the Western Empire, was miraculously overthrown, and slain by his Forces: As soon as he had read the Letter, he said, go too, if ye please, let us leave these Toys, and go to Church, and offer Prayers and Thanks to God, who hath slain the Tyrant, as it were, with his own Hand; he and all the People went immediately thro' the middle of the Hippodrome, to the Temple of God, and spent the whole day in Psalms and Praises to God. Socrat. l. 7. 25.

Sozomen tells us, that the Subjects looking upon the good Examples that Arcadius and Honorius the Emperors, and Sons of Theodosius, set before them, the Pagans were the more easily Con­verted to Christianity, and the Hercticks joyned to the Catholick Church; Soz. l. 8. 1. When such Kings come to be sick, and dye, they may say with Hezekiah, Remember Lord, I beseech thee, [Page 123] how I have walked before thee in Truth, and with a perfect Heart, and have done that which was good in thy sight, Isa. 38. 3. and they shall hear, Euge.

2. If the Peace of God rule in the Hearts of the Subjects, they will not curse the ruler of God's people, Exod. 22. 28: they will not curse the King, no, not in their Thoughts; for a Bird of the Air will carry the Voice, and that which hath Wings shall utter the Matter, saith King Solomon, Eccles. 10. 20. They will esteem their good King worth Ten Thousand of themselves, as the Israelites told David their King, when they would not suffer his Royal Person to be hazarded amongst them in the Bat­tle against Absalom, 2 Sam. 18. 3. They will esteem it the highest Wick­edness, to stretch out their Hand against the Lord's Anointed, 1 Sam. 26. 9. as David speaks, when he had Saul, his greatest Enemy at his Mercy; they will account him, The Breath of our No­strils, Lam. 4. 20. love, honour, and obey him, in all things just and honest, as the Roman Legions said to Jovinian, that chose him to succeed Julian the Apostate, in the Empire, who said un­to the Electors; I will not rule over [Page 124] you, for I am a Christian, and you are Pagans, and Idolaters; (the Apostate had corrupted them) Do thou rule over us (said they) and we will be all Christians. Regis ad exemplum, is an old and true saying. There is there­fore great necessity to pray for such as be Rulers, that they may be Subor­dinate to God, and have Grace to their Power, Pity to others, that God may cloath their Enemies with shame, but on himself shall his Crown flourish, as God promised to David, Psal. 132. 18. that they may give God a fair Account of their Stewardship at the great Day, in observing and practising what he hath commanded.

2. To Ministers and People.

IF the Peace of God rule in the Hearts of the Ministers of the Gospel of Peace, (unless the things that belong to their Peace be hid from their Eyes, Luk. 19. 42.) they will not only fol­low Peace with one another, but with all Men (Assenters and Dissenters) as much as in them lies, and Holiness, with­out which, no Man shall see the Lord, Heb. 12. 14. [Page 125] That they may see the travel of their Soul, and be satisfied, that the work of the Lord is carried along prosperously in their hand: Is. 53. 11. They will be gentle to their People (as another Paul) we were gentle among you, even as a Nurse cher [...]sheth her Children: Ye are Witnesses, and God also; how holily, and justly, and unblameably we behaved our selves among you that believe: And ye know how we exhorted, comforted, and charged every one of you, as a Father doth his Children, 1 Thess. 2. 10, 11.

Exhorting them as Fathers, Mothers, Children Brethren; 1 Tim. 5. 1, 2. as St. Paul instructs Timothy; avoiding Non-residence, especially in this State and Time, when they are making a Captain to return to Egypt, Numb. 14. 4. that it may not be said of us, That they that lead thy People, caused them to err and they that are led by them are destroyed, Isa. 3. 12. and they that rule over them make them to howl, Isa. 52. 5. I doubt not but the Prudence, and Moderati­on of the Wise and Learned Men, will silence all Controversies.

Eusebius tells us in the Life of Con­stantine, that he said in the Synod of Nice, that the Dissentions of Church-Men, among themselves was an Evil [Page 126] beyond all Calamities, and any Foreign Wars whatsoever. Surely, they will not shed the Blood of War in Peace, as Joab did, that put the Blood of War upon the Girdle that was about his Loins, and upon his Shooes that were upon his Feet; for which, David left him a Bloody Legacy. Let not his hoary Head go down to the Grave in Peace, 1 Kin. 1. 5. Under Valens the Emperor (saith Socrates l. 4. c. 29.) by occasion of one Godly Man, a grievous and dangerous War, that was undertaken against the Roman Empire, was extinct: The Saracens had made defection from Roman Empire, and un­der the Conduct of their Queen Mavia, began an Offensive War, and that on a most Advantageous Opportunity, when the Goths were wasting all Thra­cia; and therefore all the Roman Pro­vinces towards the East (they are the words of Socrates) had been over­run, and wasted by the Saracens: The occasion was this; one Moses, a Saracen by Nation, lived a Solitary Life in a Desert; who for his emi­nent Piety, Constancy, Faith and Mi­racles was very famous; Mavia, the Queen of the Saracens desires the Ro­mans [Page 127] to design this Godly Man for their Bishop, and promiseth to lay down her Arms, to disband her For­ces, and to be at Peace with the Ro­mans: Dictum factum, 'tis done imme­diately; and so by the Peace of God, ruling in the Heart of this Godly Man, and of his Queen, a great Fire is sud­denly quenched.

Sozomon tells us, l. 7. c. 3. That un­der Theodosius the Great, the People of Antioch had dejected the Statues of the Emperor and Empress, and most igno­miniously dragg'd them with a Rope through the Streets of the City, add­ing most contumelious, and disgrace­ful words, no doubt by the instigation of the Devil. Theodosius hearing of this Affront and Disgrace, was highly displeased, and resolved to be aveng­ed on them for this Insolency; where­of the People of Antioch being aware, began to relent, to leave off their Fu­ry, and to repent, and to beg with Sighs and Groans Favour of God, to turn his Heart, that they might not be suddenly destroyed. They com­posed certain mournful Ditties, and Fu­neral Songs, which they used in their solemn Prayers at the Throne of [Page 128] Grace; and they sent their Bishop Flavianus to the Emp [...]ror to appease his Wrath towards them; the which that he might effectuate, he perswaded, and prevailed with the young Men that used to sing at the Emperors Table, to sing those mournful Songs, by which the Men of Antioch had made their Supplications to God, in their fear and dangerous Condition, with which the Emperor was so taken and surprized, that a Flood of Tears gusht from his Eyes immediately, and wet the Cup that was in his Hand; and understanding the matter, he calls Flavianus, and laid aside his Anger, and frankly forgave the City. Thus ye see how the Peace of God ruled in the Heart of this Prudent and Godly Bi­shop, and his Emperor Theodosius, to prevent the Ruin of the great City of Antioch, where the Disciples were called Christians first, Act. 11. 26.

Now, If the Son of Peace be in your Houses, or Parishes, Luk. 10. 6. that is, any Men capable of that Blessing, and disposed to receive the Doctrin of Peace, which you Preach, your Peace shall rest upon it; then doubtless ye my keep the Unity of the Spirit in the [Page 129] bond of Peace, Eph. 4. 3. you may fol­low Peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure Heart, 2 Tim. 2. 22. tho' dissenting from you in a few small Matters.

Thus shall we procure the love of our Heavenly Father; for if Earthly Parents take Comfort to see their Children kind, peaceful, and helpful to one another, it cannot be, but he that hath all perfections that are in us in the highest degree, shall like­wise both approve in this World, and reward in that to come, our love to, and Peace with one another, and say, Euge serve bone &c. P [...]ssid in vita Au­gust. c. 17. and upon their Death-Bed say with Ambrose, non sic vixi ut me pudeat inter vos vivere; sed non mori timeo, quia bonum dominum habemus: that I have not so lived, as to be ashamed to live any longer among you; but neither am I afraid to die, because we have a good Lord; and that of St. Paul, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my Course, I have kept the Faith; henceforth is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to [Page 130] them also that love his appearing, 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8.

2. If the Peace of God rule in the Hearts of our Hearers, they will ac­count the Elders that rule well, worthy of double honour, especially they that la­bour in the Word and Doctrin, as the Apostle speaks, 1 Tim. 5. 17. They will remember them that hath the rule over them, who have spoken unto them the word of God, whose Faith they follow, considering the end of their Conversation; and a little after, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves: for they watch for your Souls, as they that must give ac­count; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you, saith the same Apostle, Heb. 13. [...]7 17.

1. Let them hold such Dear, for their Master's sake: Now then (saith the Apostle) we are Ambassadours for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God, 2 Cor. 5. 20. whom we preach, warning to every Man, and teaching every Man in all wisdom, that we present every Man perfect in Christ Jesus, Col. 1. 28.

[Page 131]2. And for their Works sake: And we beseech you Brethren to know them which labour among you: And to esteem them very highly for their works sake, and be at peace among your selves, saith the Apostle to the Thessalonians, 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. upon which account, the Apostle says to the Galatians, They re­ceived him as an Angel of God, even as Christ Jesus, and he bears them Re­cord, that if it had been possible, they would have pluckt out their Eyes, and have given them to him, Gal. 4. 14, 15.

3. And for their own sake, These Men are the Servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of Sal­vation, saith the Pithoness, by divine Inspiration, Act. 16. 17. They must not hate them, and persecute them for speaking the truth of God unto them: Am I therefore become your Enemy (saith the Apostle) because I tell you the truth? Gal. 4. 16. As Ahab to his shame pro­fesseth, concerning Micaiah; by whom we enquire of the Lord; but I hate him, for he doth not Prophesie good concerning me, but evil; 1 Kin. 22. 8. he re­ceived the just reward of his hatred by a shot at RamoahGilead; the Jews hated Jeremiah the Prophet, but to thei [...] [Page 132] Destruction, Jer. 38. 4. And thus they dealt with our Lord, that spake as never Man spake unto them, and did what never Man did among them, both him and his Followers to their dispersion, as at this day; for the wrath is come upon them to the utter­most, 1 Thess 2. 16.

He that seeketh my Life seeketh thy Life (saith David to Abiathar, that fled from Saul's Massacre of the Priests of the Lord, and their Town of Nob) but with me thou shalt be in safety, 1 Sam. 22. 23.

Good Obadiah hid an Hundred Pro­phets of the Lord, by fifty in a Cave, and fed them with Bread and Water, 1 Kin. 18. 13. from Jez [...]bel's Cruelty, as Rabab the Cauponess (as the Caldee Pa­raphrase styles her) hid the Spies from the King of Jerico's rage.

When the Minister shall say at the great day to the Judge of the Quick and Dead, Loe, I and the Children that God hath gave me, Heb. 2. 13. And the words which thou gavest me, I have given unto them, and they have received them: Those that thou gavest me I have [...]ept, and none of them is lost, saith our Saviour, Joh. 17. 8, 12. The Apostle [Page 133] tells the Thessalonians, For what is our Hope, or Joy, or Crown of Rejoycing; Are not even ye, in the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming, 1 Thes. 2. 19, 20.

3. To Husband and Wife.

IF the Peace of God rule in the Heart of Husband and Wife, which is the first and dearest Relation in the World, and the root of all others, un­to which they are called in one Body, that they should no more be two, but one Flesh, Gen. 2. 24. Then the Hus­band will not deal treacherously against the Wife of his youth, Mal. 2. 15. that is his Companion, and Wife of his Co­venant, that is Bone of his Bones, and Flesh of his Flesh (as the first Man speaks) but nourish and cherish it, as the Lord the Church, Eph. 5. 29. as the Apo­stle speaks of the second Man, that is the Lord from Heaven.

Comfort her as Elkanah did Hannah, in her Affliction: Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? Am not I better to thee than ten Sons. 1 Sam. 1. 8. Not give an occasion of [Page 134] Speech against her, to bring up an evil Name upon her that she deserves not, Deut. 22. 14. He will rejoyce with the Wife of his youth; she shall be to him as a loving H [...]nd, and as a pleasant Roe; her Breasts will satisfie him at all times, he will be always ravished with her love, Prov. 5. 18, 19. and never be bitter against her, Col. 3. 19. but dwell with her ac­cording to knowledge, giving Honour to the Wife as the weaker Vessel, and as being Heirs together of the Grace of Life, that their Prayers be not hindred, 1 Pet. 3. 7. He will observe (with Joseph) the Embrace of a strange Woman, whose Mouth is smoother thdn Oyl, but the end more bitter than Wormwood, sharper than a two-edged Sword; her Feet go down to Death, her steps take hold on Hell, Prov. 5. 3, 4, 5. Her House (saith he) is the way to Hell, going down to the Cham­bers of Death, Pro. 7. 27, who so pleas­eth God shall escape from her, but the Sin­ner shall be taken by her, Eccles. 7. 26. Live joyfully with the Wife, (saith he again, or enjoy Life) whom thou lovest all the days of thy Life of thy Vanity, which he hath given thee under the Sun, for that is thy Portion in this Life, and in thy Labour, which thou [Page 135] takest under the Sun, saith Solomon, that injoyneth Cohabitation, Eccles. 9. 9.

2. If the Peace of God rule in the Heart of the Wife, that was taken out of the Side of her Husband, Gen. 2. 21. then she will be as careful to preserve his Life, as Michal was; that when her Father Saul sent to kill him, Lo Michal let David down thro' a Window, and he went, and fled, and escaped, 1 Sam. 19. 11, [...]. and she laid a Teraphim in his Be [...]. She will never forsake the guide of her y [...]uth nor forget the Cove­nant of her God, Prov. 2. 17. that she solemnly entred into in the day of his Espousals, in the day of the Glad­ness of his Heart: She will prove another Lucretia, so famous among the Romans for Vertue, and Hatred of Baseness; that when she suffered Vio­lence, that she could not resist, stabb'd her self to the Heart, which indigni­ty occasioned a great change in their Government: or rather like the vertu­ous Woman, whose Price is far above Ru­bies, the Heart of her Husband doth safely trust in her, Prov. 31. 10, 11. because she hath set him as a Seal upon her Heart, as a Seal upon her Arm; her love to him being as strong as Death, Cant. 8. 6. [Page 136] which she will more readily choose to undergo, than go aside to Uncleanness with any instead of her Husband: upon whom the Spirit of Jealousie shall never come, which is cruel as the Grave, the Coals thereof are Coals of Fire, which hath a most vehement flame, the Tryal and Punishment whereof, whether just, or unjust, is most severe, as of any Sin whatsoever, Numb. 5. 21, 22. Jealousie (saith Solo­mon) is the rage of a Man, therefore he will not spare in the day of Vengeanc [...]; he will not regard any Ransom, neither will he rest content; though thou givest many gifts, the Husband will accept of no Ransom to save the Adulterer, Prov. 6. 34, 35. Her Husband is known in the Gates, (not by base Scoffs, and Nick-names) when he sitteth among the Elders of the Land, Prov. 31. 23. but by his Wives Godliness and Vertue, she will do him Good, and not Evil, all the days of his Life. As Sozomen re­ports, l. 7. 6. That Theodosius th [...] Great, was preserved from the Contagious Pe­stilence of Arianism, that had over­run all the East, by Placilla, the Em­press, who kept him in sanctirate & ti. mere domini, in Holiness and Fear of [Page 137] the Lord: And Theodoret tells us, l. 5. 18. That his Wife never gave over calling to his Mind the Laws of God, that she was well acquainted with, and among other things she said unto him; ‘My Husband, you must re­member, what you formerly were, and what you now ar [...]; if you perpe­tually think upon that, you will never be ungrateful to your Benefactor, but you will justly administer the Empire that you have received from him; and upon that account, still worship him that hath raised you to that Dignity.’ With such graci­ous Speeches as these (says Theod.) she watered her Husband's Mind con­tinually, beholding her chaste Conversati­tion coupled with Fear, as the Apostle speaks, 1 Pet. 3. 2.

Socrates reports, l. 9. 26. that Valentini­an Major, made a wicked Law to his per­peutal infamy, That a Man should have two Wives, contrary to the Law of God, true Piety, & Christian honesty; where­upon Salvian was not afraid to say, That the Boars that abhorred that Law lived better than the Nobles that kept it; though Baronius in his Annals denies this of him, upon small Ground, yet [Page 138] it was too true: Bloody Lamech was the first Bigamist, Gen. 4. 19, 23.

But to the Man that feareth God, in whose Heart is his Law that made one for one, yet had he the residue of the Spirit, and wherefore one? Mal. 2. 14. That he might seek a Seed of God, he saith. Thy Wise shall be a fruitful Vine by the sides of thy House; thy Children like Olive Plants round about thy Table. Behold, that thus shall the Man be blessed that feareth the Lord. Yea, thou shalt see thy Childrens Children, and Peace upon Israel, Psal. 128. 3, 4, 6.

4. Parents and Children.

1. IF the Peace of God rule in the Heart of the Parents, (which is the second Relation in the World) into which they are called by Na­ture in one Body, Parental and Oeco­nomical; then their desire will be, That he would circumcise their Hearts, and the Heart of their Seed, Deut. 30. 6. that he that made them Creatures, may also make them new Creatures, according to that Speech of St. Paul, My little Children, of whom I travel in [Page 139] Birth again until Christ be formed in you, Gal. 4. 19. They will Consecrate them to the Lord in their Conception, and solemn­ly in their Birth and Baptism: They will be careful, that as new born Babes, they may desire the sincere Milk of the word, that they may grow thereby: And that all their Children may he taught of God, the ways of Cod, that great may be the Peace of their Children, Isa. 54. 13. accord­ing to the Evangelical Promise in Isaiah, Then shall they not be ashamed when they speak with the Enemy in the Gate, as the Psalmist speaks, Psal. 127. 5.

Parents ought to bring up their Children for God, that their Chil­dren may be the Children of God, that God may be a Father unto them; and they shall be my Sons and Daughters, saith the Lord God Almighty, 2 Cor. 6. 18. They ought not to provoke their Children to wrath, lest they be discouraged, (saith the Apostle) but bring them up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord, as God testifies of Abraham: For I know him, that he will command his Children, and his Houshold after him, that they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do Justice and Judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which [Page 140] he hath spoken of him, Gen. 18. 19. They ought to say with Joshuah, As for me, I and my House will serve the Lord, Josh. 24. 15. and with Holy Job, Offer Burnt-Offerings to God, accor­ding to the number of them, Job 1. 5. making mention of them in our Pray­ers, as occasion is offered, still going before them in good examples, as in holy Instruction, they being more apt to do as we do, than as we say, and do not. Not stroking their Heads as Eli did to H [...]phni and Phineas, that were Sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord; upon whom God did threaten to bring a dreadful Judgment, 1 Sam. 2. 12. at which, both the Ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle, because his Sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not, 1 Sam. 3. 11, 13.

Theodoret relates a famous History of a noble Man of Beroa, l. 3. 18. who was the chief Man in that Re­publick, whose eldest Son had pollu­ted himself with Paganish Impiety, and forsook the true God, and turned A­postate with Julian the Emperor; this Father, for that cause, expelled him out of his House, and did Abdicate [Page 141] him from his Inheritance, as Adam was driven out of Paradise, for eating the forbidden Fruit, as a just Punishment of his Apostacy from God. The Son went immediately to Julian, who at that time was not very far from the City, and told him how his Father had served him for renouncing the Christi­an Religion, and embracing his, and that he had Disinherited him: Julian bids the young Man be of good Cheer and Courage, and promiseth to recon­cile him to his Father; when the Em­peror Julian was come into the City, he invited the principal Men therein to a solemn Feast, and among the rest, the Father of this young Man, both whom he commanded to sit at his own Table, and in the midst of the Feast he spake thus to the Father of the young Apostate.

SIR, ‘I Esteem it altogether Unjust, that any Man should offer Violence to the Conscience of him that hath turn­ed aside to another Religion, and would force him against his Will to a contrary Opinion; compell not your Son therefore to adhere to your Religion, though I could easily con­strain [Page 142] you to embrace it: But the Father sharpning his Mind, by Faith in God, thus said, O Emperor, Do you speak of this Knave, of this wiched Villain, who is hateful to God, and hath preferred Falshood to the Truth of God? Then Julian putting on the Person of Mansuetude (for such he would seem to be) Come, (saith he) give over to revile; and turning himself to the young Man, he said, I will take care of you, seeing I cannot ob­tain this of your Father.’ But TheTyrant was false, (as all Apostates are) for not long after he fell in Persia, with all the Threatnings that he had not obscurely thundred out against the good Father of this vile young Man, that had forsaken the living God, That he might say to a Stock, thou art my Father, and to a Stone, thou host brought me forth, as the Pro­phet Jeremiah speaks, Jer. 2. 7. So that great Man shines as a singular Exam­ple of Zeal in the Church of God, which all Parents ought to look upon, who desire to preserve the true Reli­gion in their Family, that they may give a comfortable Account of all those committed to their Trust at the great Day.

2. If the Peace of God rule in the Heart of the Children, into which they are called in one Parental and Domestick Body; then they will be always ready, and careful, to honour their Father and Mother, according to the tenor of the Fifth Commandment, which the Ap [...]st [...]e calls, the first Com­mandment with promise, Eph. 6. 2 which some expound of the second Table. Others take it, that that hath a spe­cial promise: It is absolutely the first hath a Promise; for that, concerning God's shewing Mercy to Th [...]usands of them that fear him, and keep his Com­mandments, is not a promise, but a part of the Desc [...]iption of God's Nature and Inclination, as Exod. 34. 6, 7.

They will shew love to their Parents, and love to one another, by which all Men may know that they are Christ's Disciples. as our Lord speaks, Joh. 13. 35. The Apostle tells us, we had Fathers of our Flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them Reverence, Heb. 12. 9. that is, their due, with Obedience and Thankful­ness, in nourishing, and maintaining them, as Joseph did his Father, and all his Family in Egypt seventeen Years, Gen. 47. 12. David was careful of his aged [Page 144] Parents, when he knew not how to se­cure himself from the Violence of Saul, 1 Sam. 22. 3. Children must beg their Parents Blessing at all times, as Jacob and Esau, Joseph's and Jacob's Children, Gen. 27. 4. especially at their departing this Life.

Children must not be Stubborn and Rebellious, or Incorrigible, in taking ill Courses; there is a very severe punish­ment appointed for this horrible Sin: And they shall say unto the Elders of this City, this our Son is Stubborn and Rebel­lious, he will not obey our Voice, he is a Glutton and a Drunkard, and all the Men of the City shall stone him with stones, that he dye; so shalt thou put evil away from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear. Deut. 21. 20, 21. They must nor do as the Prodigal Son, that wast­ed his Substance with riotous Living, Luk. 15. 13. and brought himself to want all things. They must not hate one another in their Heart, Lev. 19. 17. as wicked Cain did his Righteous Brother Abel, that never did him wrong, Gen. 27. 41. as Esau did his Brother Jacob, that resolved to kill him after his Fa­ther's Death, Gen. 37. 4. or as the Pa­triarchs did Joseph, who moved with [Page 145] Envy sold him into Egypt, (saith St. Stephen) Act. 7. 9. They improve their Union in the Flesh, to their Commu­nion in Grace and Glory, as Chil­dren of their Heavenly Father, as the Seed that the Lord hath bless'd.

5. Masters and Servants.

IF the Peace of God rule in the Hearts of Master and Servant; into which they are called in Body Domestick and despotical, to live under one Roof, and eat of the same Family Provision, then both Master and Mistress, Man-Servant and Maid-Servant, will carry themselves towards one another in this Relation, as the Servants of Jesus Christ: For (saith the Apostle) He that is called in the Lord, being a Servant, is the Lord's free-man; likewise, also he that is called, being free, is the Lord's Servant, 1 Cor. 7. 22. Then Masters will give unto their Servants that which is just and equal, as the Apostle exhorts, Col. 4. 1. paying their wages when it is due. The keeping the Wages of the Hire­ling is a crying Sin, Jam. 5. 4. [Page 146] The wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all Night, until the Morn­ing, saith Moses, Lev. 19. 13. At his day thou shalt give him his hire: neither shall the Sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his Heart upon it, (lifteth his Soul unto it) lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be Sin unto thee, Deut. 24. 15.

Not turning them out of Doors, when they are sick, without any further regard of them, which is a hiding our Eyes from our own Flesh, Isa. 58. 7. The Centurion did not so, that came to our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Physitian, for cure for his sick Servant that lay at home, Matth. 8. 6. Masters must not be extream in the Government and Usage of their Servants, knowing that ye also have a Masten in Heaven, Col. 4. 1. saith the Apostle. The Egyptians were ill Masters, that made the Israelites serve with Rigor and Blows, when they were Pharoah's Bond-men, Exod. 1. 13, 14. in so much, that when Moses and Aaron were sent unto them, to comfort and support them, and to preach the Gospel, the glad Tydings of their Deliverance from their sad Condition; but they hearkned not unto Moses for Anguish [Page 147] of Spirit (for straitness or shortness of Breath) and for cruel Bondage, Exod. 6. 9.

Even Mother Sarah is recorded to have dealt hardly with her Hand­maid Hagar, when she had laid in her Husband's Bosom, so as to make her flee from her Face, Gen. 16. 6. that was ready to flee in her Face, with Threats and Frowardness; Correcti­on given in Anger hath usually more of Rigour, than of Right.

Nabal's Servants complain to their Mistress Abigail of their Master's Un­towardness and Crossness towards them, and of his Incivility towards David's Servants, that had been very civil and peaceful towards him. That their Master was such a Son of Belial, that a Man cannot speak to him, 1 Sam. 25. 17. And ye Masters (saith St. Paul) do the same thing unto them (that ye would have done to you if ye were in their stead) forbearing Threatnings, knowing that your Master also is in Heaven, nei­ther is there respect of persons with him. Masters are required to deal bountiful­ly with suchas serve them well and long. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away [Page 148] empty;—of that, wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, thou shalt give unto him, Deut. 15. 13, 14.

2. If the Peace of God rule in the Hearts of Servants, into which they are called into one Family, or pri­vate Corporation; Then they will be subject to their ow Masters without fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward, as St. Peter exhorts, 1 Pet. 2. 18. And St. Paul also, Ser­vants, obey in all things your Masters ac­cording to the Flesh; not with eye-service, as Men-pleasers, but in singleness of Heart fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto Men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the Inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Jesus Christ, Col. 3. 22, 23, 24. To the same effect doth the Apostle direct his Speech to Servants, in the sixth Chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, almost the same, verba­tim, v. 6, 7, 8.

They must not obey unlawful Com­mands from whatsoever Master: Saul gave a bloody Command to his Life-Gua [...]l that stood about him: Turn, and slay the Priests of the Lord; but the Servants of the King would not put forth [Page 149] their Hand to fall upon the Priests of the Lord, 1 Sam. 22. 17. But (as our Pro­verb says, If one will not, another will.) Doeg, the Edomite, did readily obey the word of Command, and made no Bones of it, to butcher Four­score and five persons that did wear a Lin [...] Ephod; and this Obedience tended to the eternal Destruction of the wicked Commander, and cursed Obeyer, and for shedding so much innocent Blood in the Massacre of their City Nob. They murdered themselves in the overthrow at Mount Gilboa, 1 Sam. 31. 4, 5.

Servants must not run away at eve­ry word, as Hagar, who tells the truth to the Angel that called to her in her flight, slayed her course, and sent her back again. Hagar, Sarah's Maid, whence comest thou, and whether goest thou? And she said, I flee from the Face of my Mistress Sarah; and the An­gel of the Lord said unto her, Return un­to thy Mistress, and submit thy self unto her; and she did so, and tarried with her till she was brought to Bed of her Son Ishmael and many years afterward; for her Son was thirteen Years old when he was Circumcised, and Isaac but eight Days. Gen. 17. 24.

Servants must not answer again with lying, and swearing, as too many do. Gehezi sheltered his base Covetous Mind with Lyes to his Master Elisha, to enrich himself by the Bounty of Naaman, the Syrian; but it brought a plague of Leprosie upon him and his Seed for ever; and he went out of his Masters presence a Leper, as white as Snow, 2 Kin. 5. 27. but came in no more to serve him. They must not de­spise their Masters, but count their own Masters worthy of all Honour, that the Name of God and his Doctrin be not blasphemed, as the Apostle speaks to Ti­mothy, 1 Tim. 6. 1, 2. They must not speak evil of them, as wicked Ziba did of his Master Mephibosheth, whom he had falsly accused of High Treason to the King: For he said, to day shall the House of Israel restore me to the Kingdom of my Father, 2 Sam. 16. 3. Upon which false Accusati­on, the King doth rashly bestow all his Estate upon his Treacherous accuser; but the Holy Ghost testified his Loyal­ty to the King, who rode out to meet the King at his return; and having made the whole time of the the King's absence, as it were a day [Page 151] of Humiliation, and had neither wash­sed his Feet, nor trimmed his Beard, nor washed his Cloaths, from the day the King departed, until the day he came in Peace, 2 Sam. 19. 24. and cleared him­self to the King, in shewing the base­ness of his Servants; My Lord, O King, my Servant deceived me, 2 Sam. 19. 26. (else I had gone along with Your Majesty for all my Lameness) and he also hath slandered thy Servant unto my Lord the King:—And the King mends the matter well, I have said, thou and Ziba divide the Land: And Me­phibosheth said unto the King, yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my Lord the King is come again in peace into his own House. A most noble Expression of a Loyal Subject, concerning one that had betraved his Master, and look'd for the forfeiture of his Estate, that had justly deserved a shameful Death.

Servants must not discover Family Secrets, unless in such a case, as Jo­nathan discovered to his Friend David, his Fathers Indignation, and bloody design against him. Nor purloin their Goods, as the Steward of a certain rich Man did that was accused unto him, that he had wasted his Goods, Luk. 16. [Page 152] from the first verse to the ninth. His Master commends his Policy, but not his Honesty, that cheated his Master for his future Accommodation: But, and if that Servant say in his Heart my Master delays his coming, and shall begin to beat the Men-Servants, and Maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken, 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 cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion, with Hypocrites and Unbe­lievers, Luk. 12. 45, 56. saith our Lord.

How faithful was Moses in all God's House as a Servant! Heb. 3. 5. and Daniel in Darius's House; Dan. 6. 3. Joseph in Pharoah's House, Mordecay in Ahashuerus's House, that discovered the bloody Plot of Treason against his Life, Est. 2. 21, 22. How famous is the History of Eliezer, Abraham's Ser­vant, that was sent Ambassador to Mesopotamia, to the City of Nahor, to take a Wife for Isaac? How scrupulous is he, to undertake so great, and so honourable an Embasey? How zea­lous in Prayer to God for his Directi­on and Blessing? How thankful for the return of his Prayer, according [Page 153] to his Faith, and earnest Desire? How Courteous to the Lady that was given in to his Prayer of Faith? How care­ful not to eat nor drink till he had discharged his trust, and told his Er­rand? Last of all, How resolute to return immediately after he had obtained what he went for. His Commission being out, he will not stay one day longer, but make haste home to his Master that sent him for a Blessing to his Son Isaac; all this is very remarkable and imi­table by all Servants that fear God, and honour their Masters, Gen. 24. throughout.

Gracious and Godly Servants have been, and may be Instruments of much good in their Masters House, as that little Girl, that was taken Pri­soner out of the Land of Israel, by the Syrians, was the occasion of her healing of her foul Leprous Master Naaman, the Syrian, and of his Con­version also from Idolatry, to serve the Lord God of Israel. And conse­quently of his Salvation; all she said unto her Mistress was this: Would God my Lord were with the Prophet that is in Samaria, for he would recover [Page 154] him of his Leprosie: He went to him, and was healed, and converted, and made a solemn Protestation, that he would cleave to the God of Israel, as is re­corded by the Holy Ghost, 2 Kin. 3, 4, 5.

Sozomen tells us, (l 2. 6.) a like History of the Conversion of the Queen of Iberia, by a Captive Chri­stian Maid in the days of Constantine the Great, and of the Conversion of the King and Kingdom from Paga­nism, by the same Maid afterward. The History is well worth Transla­ting, which is thus:

‘The Queen being taken with an incurable Disease, and miracu­lously restored to perfect Health at the Invocation of the name of Christ, by this Christian Woman, devoted her self for ever to Christ, her De­liverer: The King admiring at the Queen's so suddain Recovery, com­mands to reward this Captive Dam­sel with rich Gifts. The Queen told him, (I relate the words of Sozo­men) that though these things be of great value, she regards them no [...]; she cares not for such things; the only [Page 155] thing she values is the Worship of her God: If therefore we mind to grat [...]fie her afterwards, and live peaceably and happily.’

‘Let us also worship that power­ful God and Saviour, for he it is, (if he please) that can make Kings enjoy that degree of Honour, in which they are, and can easily cast down great Men from their Dig­nities, and of base, make illustrious and deliver them that are in distress; which Discourse the Queen using often to the King, he was distract­ed with doubtful Cogitations, nor could be altogether perswaded; because this thing, for the novel­ty of it was suspected, and he did reverence the Religion of his An­cestors. Not long after this he went a Hunting in a Wood with his Ser­vants; on a sudden there fell such a Cloud of thick Darkness upon the Wood, that deprived him of the sight of Heaven, and of the Sun, as if it had been Night; here ev [...] ­ry one began to fear, and were all dispersed, the King wandring alone (as it happens to Men, whose Minds are perplexed with difficult [Page 156] Matters) began to think of Christ, and in his Heart to esteem him God, and vowed he would hereaf­ter worship him as God, if he escape out of this danger, in which now he was. While he was thinking on these things with himself, the dark­ness suddenly fled away, and the Air returned to its Serenity, and the Rays of the Sun being scatter­ed through the Wood, he returned in safety: And having Communi­cated with the Queen that which had hapned to him, and calling for the Captive Damsel, he desired to be instructed by her, how Christ ought to be worshipped; and as­sembling his Subjects together, he declares to them openly, the Di­vine Benefits that befel him and his Wife; and although he was scarce initiated into the Christian Religi­on, yet he commands all his Sub­jects to embrace the Christian Do­ctrin, and perswades them all to worship Christ: He prevails with the Men, and the Queen and the Captive Christian Maid with the Women: Thus in a marvellous man­ner, by God's Blessing, and the [Page 157] Queen's Exhortation, the King and the Nation of the Iberians was brought over from Paganism, to the Faith of Christ.’ Thus far are the words of Sozomen, where we may also read of a great Miracle, that hapned at the building of a Church, at the Prayers of this Captive, by which the Faith of the Iberians was much more confirmed, than by the foregoing Miracles.

Lastly, If the Peace of God rule in our Hearts, into which we are called in one Body by Christ, whom God hath gi­ven to be head over all things to the Church, which is his Body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all, (as the Apostle speaks) Eph. 1. 22, 23. Then we must abhor all Idolatry and Su­perstition, and every false way. But the wicked (saith the Prophet) are like the troubled Sea, when it cannot rest, whose Waves cast up Mire and Dirt. There is no Peace, saith my God to the wicked, Isa. 57. 20, 21. because they have no Grace. He that desires the Peace of God to rule in our Hearts in this Text, hath wished Grace and Peace to us from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus [Page 158] Christ, in the second Verse of the first Chapter: These two God hath joyned together, its Grace, that ushers in Peace into our Hearts, even the Grace of Love, the Ground and Continuance of Peace: The Peace of God is incon­sistent with idolatry, because it is inconsistent with Grace even the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation, Tit. 2. 11. whereas Idolatry brings nothing but Heathenish Superstition and Damnati­on. I sent unto you all my Servants the Prophets, rising early, and sending them, saying, O do not this abominable thing that I hate, Jer. 44. 4. Saith the Lord by the Mouth of his Ser­va [...] Jeremiah, What Peace (saith John to Joram) so long as the Whoredoms of thy Mother Jezebel, and her Witchcrafts are so many? 2 Kin. 9. 22.

Theodoret sets before us a noble Exam­ple of Valentinian's Abhorrency of Ido­latry, l. 3. 15. before his Advance­ment to the Imperial Dignity; for (saith he) when that mad Tyrant, Julian, the Apostate, was to enter into the Temple of Fortune, and the Ido­latrous Priests stood on each side of the Door, that they might expiate with Holy Water, Aqua lustra [...]i, as [Page 159] they thought, all those that entred in; Valent [...]ian going before him, seeing a drop of that Water fall upon his Clo [...]k, with his Fist he struck down the Pr [...]e [...], adding this memorable Say­ing, whereby he esteemed the Chri­stian Religion, defiled by that Hea­thenish Ceremony, saying, He was Pollu­ted and Defiled, not expiated or cleansed; which thing that execrable Tyrant beholding, he banished him into the Desert; but after one year, and a few Days, for a reward of his Confession, he received the Roman Empire, saith Theodoroet

But how different was his Son Va­lentinian Minor from his Father, the same Theodoret tells us, that being bred up by his Mother, was seduced by her to embrace the Arian Impiety, and persecuted the Oxthodox; but being overthrown by Maximus, the Tyrant, (that under pretence of Religion un­dertook the Defence of the distressed) as it often falls out; He fled into Il­liricum, saith Theodoret, being taught by experience, what Profit his Mo­thers Councel brought him. Theo­dosius the Eastern Emperour, being [Page 160] Fifty Years old, thought himself obliged to do somewhat for his Colleague in the Empire, out of Piety and pity, and to reduce him to the true Religion, before he would pro­mise him any Relief in this Cala­mity; therefore he wrote unto him, that he would not wonder, that Fear and Flight should accompany him being a lawful Emperor, but Cou­rage and Victory should attend him, that was an Usurping Tyrant; for you did oppose the true Religion, and he, though a Tyrant, did de­fend it; hence it is, that you having cast away the true Religion, have disarmed it your self, and are fled stript; and Maximus, being armed with it, hath overthrown naked Va­lentinian: for God is a favourer of true Religion, being the Author of it: Theodosius was not content to have written thus, when Valentinian that had lost his own Dominion, was entred into his; before all things he applies necessary Physick, by wholsome words unto his Soul, and drives out the disease of He­resie, that had seized upon him, and brings him back again to his [Page 161] Father's Religion; and having so done, bids him be of good cheer, and marches immediately against the prevailing Tyrant with his Ar­mies, and without shedding a drop of Blood, restores the Empire of the of the West, to the young Valenti­nian, and him to it, and bilks the Tyrant.’

For Conclusion.

If the Peace of God rule in our Hearts as it ought, God will guide our Feet in the way of Peace for ever, Luk, 1. 79. as Zacharias concludes his Benedictus: He will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the Hand of Ephraim, and the Tribes of Israel his Fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine Hand, saith the Lord by the Prophet Ezek. 37. 19. It shall be no more, Ephraim against Manasseh, and Manasseh against Ephraim, and they both together against Judah, Isa. 9. 21. Assenter against Dissenter, and Dissen­ter against Assenter, and both against his Peace of God, that ought to rule in our Hearts; but he will teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his paths, Isa. 2. 3. that our Church may be Holi­ness [Page 162] to the Lord, the first fruits of his in­crease, Jer. 2. 3. There are some that take the Feet for the Affections of the Soul, but there is no necessity to take the word so; for, the Feet, and way, may be better referred to all the Acti­ons of Men, inward and outward. And the intent is rather to shew that Christ is come, not only to give know­ledge, but to reform our Life and Pra­ctice, and to conduct us by vertuous and Peaceful Courses to Happiness: And the way of Peace, Rom. 3. 17. how­soever it may seem to be meant of all that is peaceful to others, as Isa. 59. 7, 8. yet perhaps even there too, it may refer to that which is peaceful to our selves, whether that which brings Peace to the Conscience, or generally, all Peace, that is, Prosperity, as the word signifies every where in the Hebrew Tongue. God doth by the coming of Christ, guide our Feet into the way of Peace by these Six Steps, which are as the Six Branches of the Golden Candlestick, Exod. 37. 18. standing before the Lord of the whole Earth, to enlighten our Darkness, and direct our way towards him, who is the way, the Truth, and the Life, Joh. 14. 6.

And this Text goes as it were before the Face of the Lord, to keep our Feet in them.

First, By bringing us to Reconcilia­tion, and Peace with God, as Eliphaz councels Job; Acquaint now thy self, with him, and be at Peace, thereby good shall come unto thee, Job 22. 21. of which, Rom. 5. 1. Therefore, being ju­stified by Faith, we have Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Then, by that we have Peace with all the Creatures of God, which before were at enmity with us, not only the blessed Angels, but all the rest; the stones of Field and Beasts: At Destruction and Famine thou shalt laugh, neither shalt thou be afraid of the Beasts of the Earth; for thou shalt be in League with the stones of the Field, and the Beasts of the Field shall be at Peace with thee; and thou shalt know that thy Ta­bernacle shall be in Peace, Job 5. 22, 23, 24.

Thirdly, Next we have Peace and Tranquility of Mind, that is, the Heart is not filled with fear, suspect if but a Thief stir; but contrary ways: The Godly Man shallnot be afraid of evil Tidings; for his Heart is fixed, and he [Page 164] believeth in the Lord, saith the Psalmist, Psal. 112. 7. see Isa. 57. 20.

Fourthly, Further, We have Peace with Men; we strive as much as may be to have it so; and for our parts are not only Peace-keepers, but Peace-makers, to have the Blessing pronounced to such, for they shall be called the Children of God, saith our Saviour, Matth. 5. 9.

Fifthly, We endeavour to keep In­nocency and a good Conscience in whatsoever Condition or Station we are in this World, which will bring Peace at last. Mark the perfect Man, and behold the Upright; for the end of that Man is Peace, saith holy David, Psal. 37. 37.

Sixthly, Lastly, in Peace we depart out of this Life, with old Simeon, and enter into the Land of Peace, and E­ternal rest. O blessed State, even here, how much more there?

And all this, beloved Brethren, let us the more enfore upon our selves, because we do see the times are such, wherein many fall away to Popery, and other damnable Heresies: And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by rea­son of whom, the way of Truth shall be evil spoken of, 2 Pet. 2. 2. (and consequently [Page 165] the way of Peace) saith the Apostle. Let us fasten our Footsteps the surelier, and the more warily, because we see, their sad overthrow before us as a warning of our own Weakness, and evermore hold us by the God of Peace, and with the Psalmist, desiring him to establish our Foot-steps in his ways, that we fall not from him. Hold up thy Goings in thy Paths, that thy Foot-steps slip not: And again, Order my Steps in thy word, and let not any Iniquity have Dominion over me, Psal. 17. 5. and 119. 33.

And contrariways (because Contra­ries belong the same Science) how mi­serable is the State of the wicked, that have God their Enemy, and the Crea­tures of God, divided in themselves, contentious Men, and delighting in War and Strife, as if they had been mounted upon the Red Horse with him, to whom power was given to take Peace from the Earth, and that they should kill one ano­ther, as you read at the opening of the second Seal, Rev. 6. 4. The way of Peace they have not known, saith the Apostle, For there is no fear of God before their Eyes, that is the true Reason of it, Rom. 3. 17, 18. [Page 166] always overthrowing their own strengths, pluckt away from this Life unwillingly; that have their portion in this Life, and cast for ever into restless and endless Torments. Let us see their end, yea, their State, and fear it, and pray the God of Peace, who hath sent his only Son, the Prince of Peace, to guide Men into that other way, both to set us in that, and keep us in that to the end.



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