Rebellion Painted to the Life In three Choice SERMONS UPON The Horrid Murther of our Gratious SOVERAIGN CHARLS the I. Of Blessed Memory.

By Sam. Linch B. D. and Preacher of Gods Word at Blackemore in ESSEX.

LONDON Printed for Robert Grofts at the Crowne in Chancery-lane, 1662.

[...]

To the Right Honourable WIL­LIAM Lord PETRE, Grace, Mercie, and Peace.

MY LORD,

WHen the Ilienses visited Tiberius Caesar somewhat out of season to condole with him the death of Augustus, he smiling­ly answered, Et ego doleo Hectore vestrum, and I am sorry for the loss of your Hector: who was dead many years before▪ Even so, perhaps, it may be my portion, (if not by you, for your goodness sake,) yet by some others out of malignity, and evil disposition, to suf­fer a hard censure, if not a scornfull [...]lout, with the Trojans, that I present [...]o you, and the world, an Embrio of my [...]rain, born out of due time, as the Apo­stle [Page]said of himself, 1 Cor. 15.8. But give me leave to answer for my self, and that stinking vapour will easily be shaken off from the skirts of my gar­ments. For first, I did appear in season, and offered to the Press some of them, within a few dayes after the fall of our good Josiah: but was disswaded to the contrary, for some reasons best known to my self. Secondly, it is Gods promise, Prov. 10.7. The name of the wic­ked shall rott; But the righteous shall be had in everlasting remem­brance, Psal. 112.6. And that our good King may ever live, and live in the living pictures of himself, and in the hearts of his people, and never be forgotten (like Mary Magdalen) for the good d [...]ed she had done, Mar. 14.9. I conceive it not unseasonable to speak [Page]something of his life and fall. Vivit post funera virtus. Thirdly, although it may be counted civil policie to be si­lent, yet my inward prompter tells me, it is uncivil duty, not to anoint the dead with the oyntment of my dearest love and honour. Dum spiritus hos regit artus. To love the living, may be Pa­rasitical, as more, propter sua, than set but to love the dead, when they can do neither good, nor harm, is verus amor, true love indeed: and such is mine, and so I am free from the aspersi­on of ambitiousness, covetousness, and vain-glory. The first text speaks of an unnatural rebellion, and a civil, or rather uncivil War, raised by a child against his father, and King father. The second of a deadly treachery and conspiracy, to bring down to the ground [Page]a Prince, and a great man, whereof the World was not worthy, Heb. 11.38. The third of a horrid treason, not only against the father, the King fa­ther, but even against his children, that as the Husbandmen spake one to another, Mark 12.7. the Inheritance might be theirs. So that as Protoge­nes in his absence, finding at his return a line drawn upon his board in his shop, with much exquisiteness, presently con­cluded Apelles had been there: Even so, by the monstrous conception, birth, and carriage of all, or either of them, it may be imagined (without an Interpre­ter) who was the father of them, so. 8.44. and he that set them on work, will, or hath paid them the wages of Balaam, 2. Pet. 2.15. If you will be pleased to over-look with a Candid eye [Page]the following Treatises, you shall find the condition of the Church of God, to be as a Lillie among Thorns, Can. 2. [...]. and her greatest enemies to be of her own houshold, as Christ fore told, Mar. [...]0.36. Gog and Magog, (like He­ [...]od and Pilate) will combine against Christ, and his Members, to dethrone, and extirpate them; but such is Gods ever-ruling providence, that, Sanguis Martyrum, semen Ecclesiae, he pre­serves her from falling into ashes, and after a black Cloud, and waterie tem­pest, sends forth the brightest, and clear­est beames of his favour, and never-dying love, to warm her, refresh her, and make her last daies better than the first, like Jobs, 42.12. Here again you shall find, with what a Gospel-face, rebellion and treason are painted, able [Page]to deceive the very elect, Mark 13.22. but being unmasked, how more deformed, more ugly do they look than Pharaohs lean kine, when they had devoured the fat, the full, the fair, the well fleshed of the Land? But lest it be said of me, as once a flout­ing Critick said unto the Citizens of Mindus, who having great gates to a little Citie, he bade them to shut the gates, lest the Citie run out: even so, lest the head seem bigger than the bo­dy, and the Proem larger than the O­ration, I shall only desire, that God may be Glorified, your self Contented, and confirmed in those Principles which you have hitherto professed with zeal and courage, I conclude,

Your humble Servant in Gos­pel [...]ork for Christ, T. L.

A SERMON PREACHED The next Sabbath after the fall of our good Iosiah.

2. Sam. 3 38.

And the King said unto his Servants, Know ye not that there is a Prince, and a great man this day fallen in Israel?

THe History makes mention of a strong, long, and sharp dispute between the House of Saul, and David, for precedency of ho­nor, for the Scepter, and Regal Throne: the Generalissimo on the one side was Abner and on the other Joah, men of might, cou­rage [Page 2]and renown, like those of old, Gen. 6.4. who maintained their Arguments, not with smooth words, like Sophisters in the Schools, but with rugged Blows, and point of swords: and therefore no wise man could expect, but the conclusion thereof would end, and be drawn up in bloud. For as it is written of those two gallant Romans,

Non tulit Caesar, Pompeiusve Parem.

Caesar and Pompey could never tollerate an equal, a Copartner, or Cosharer with them in earthly glory, no more than can Wedlock in the same Bed: Even so, these Worthies of Israel, and Judah fomenting their strife, and whetting on their anger (as the Lion is said to beat himself with his rayl, to make him the more fierce on his prey:) sometimes by publick ambition, that they might fit nearest to the Crown: sometimes by Popular applause, that silly, simple, and weak Reed, or Spiders Webb, that deceives all that trust in it, Job 8.14. and sometimes for private sinister ends of their own, (although far different,) they contrive and plot each others overthrow, and what the one cannot act by open force, be will effect by secret treason. Joabs dis­content [Page 3]for the death of his Brother Asha­hel, may not, must not, shall not be miti­gated, but by Abners fall, and Abners fall cannot be without Davids, without Israels tears: for David weeps, and Israel weeps, and weeps again, as it is vers. 34. that as a man falleth before wicked men so Abner shall fall. And the King said unto his Ser­vants, Know ye not, that there is a Prince, and a great man this day fallen in Israel?

No man as yet, (no not the Son of God himself as man) be he never so potent and mighty, was privileged from death, or from tasting of Deaths cup, Psal. 89.48. for the decree is past, the doom is irreco­verable, decretum est omnibus mori, there is an appointed time for all men to dye, Heb. 9.27. But to fall immaturely (like Fruit before it be ripe) but to be cropped like the Rose in the bud; but to be nip­ped in the Spring, like the flower of the field; but to be chased up and down, like a Fox fleeing to the Mountains; but to be wearied and worried to death, (Acte­on-like) by his own Hounds, and gree­dy Currs, thirsting to fill themselves full with the flesh and blood of their loving Master; but to be cheated and gull'd of his [Page 2] [...] [Page 3] [...] [Page 4]life, and that after many Protestations, Vows, and lifting up of hands to the Al­mighty; but to be betrayed with a Kisse, as Judas served his Lord; but to be stub­bed up root and branch in time of peace, and that under colour of a fair treaty and parley, as Joab did Abner, vers. 26, 27. Hinc illae lachrymae, Niobe herself will weep at this. This cannot but cause the most stony heart to melt, this cannot but cause all Israel to hang down their heads like Bull­rushes, and to wring their hands, and to water their couches with tears, Psal. 6.6. and this cannot but move Israel to curse, with David, the Author and Authors of Israels woe, vers. 29. that Abner, a Prince, a great man, should fall, and thus fall, and in Israel too, where was the Law, and the Prophets, where the word was taught and preached; and where a reformation, a goodly reformation, a general reformati­on is pretended. But although (horret me­minisse) David is ashamed, is startled and trembles at so horrid, so cruel, so unnatu­ral a Fact, that he would not have it publi­shed in Gath, nor proclamed in Askalon, lest the Heathen, the uncircumcised, the Philistines, the Papists, the Jesuites try­umph [Page 5]and rejoyce in Israels wonderfull, in­speakable, invaluable losse, wherein the light of Israel is quenched, as it is, 2 Sam. 22.17. Yet he declareth and broacheth this sad news, and heavy tidings to his Servants, that they might take notice what a rich Jewel was fallen from the Crown: saying, Know ye not, that a Prince, and a great man is this day fallen in Israel?

There is no innocent blood spilt and shed upon the ground, but hath a tongue to cry unto Heaven for vengeance. So saith God to Cain, Gen. 4.10. The voice of thy bro­thers blood crieth to me from the Earth: and therefore that the Land might be found guiltlesse of so soul crime, for,

Clamitat in Coelum vox sanguinis, & Sodomo­rum,
Vox oppressorum, merces retenta laborum,

and so acquitted of the imminent, and emi­nent judgements following it, from the great Tribunal above, the Law requires the Coroner to sit and make enquiry, after the death of the meanest Peasant, (for saith the Statute in that case provided) the King hath lost a Subject, and must have an account thereof. How much more then, when an Ab­ner, [Page 6]a Prince, a great man falles, ought whole Israel by the same bond of love, to stand [...]u [...] as one man, and require satisfacti­on for his death? that as it is, ver. 28. The Kingdom may be guiltlesse before the Lord for ever, concerning the blood of Abner. David fore-sees a black storm comming, and ther­fore labours to make his peace with God and Men, laying open unto them, the man­ner, & nature of Abners fall, in these words, ver. 33. Died Abner as a fool dieth? and prayeth unto the Lord to reward the evil doer, according to his wickednesse, ver. 39. and (digito monstrat homin [...]m) points out with his finger to the eyes of all the mour­ners in Israel, Joabs evil and wickednesse, like Cains brand-mark on his forehead, to be the shedding of bloud, innocent bloud, Princes bloud: for saith the King to his ser­vants; Know ye not, that there is a Prince, and a great man, this day fallen in Israel?

Scelus aliquis tutum, nullus securum tulit, saith Seneca, a man may commit theft, rape, murther, &c. so secretly, that neither the Sun, oculus mundi, the worlds great eye, nor mans eye seeth it not: But all things are na­ked and open unto his eyes, with whom we have to do, Heb. 4.13. but that, Erynnis conscien­tiae, [Page 7]the Worm of conscience will be alwaies checking, and gnawing, and griping of him for them, with pangs as bitter as Hell. Let Richard the third deny this if he could speak but once again, was not his hand still upon his Dagger, being afraid that every one met and found him, would slay him? did not the bloud of the harmlesse infants he caused to be slain, that they might be a foot-stool to mount him into their throne, so trouble him, so disquiet him, that either sleep departed from his eyes, as it did from Ahasuerus, Esth. 1. or he was so frighted in his sleep, with dreadfull apparitions of ugly Devils, haling and tearing of him into pie­ces, that his life was burthensome unto him? Let Joab speak what one comfortable day or night he enjoyed, after the slaughter of a good Prince, I had almost said the best of Princes. In the day time, trepidat ad a­ [...]undinis umbram, he is afraid of his own sha­dow; in the night, the cracking of a few Chest-nuts in the f [...]e terrifie him: So that herein is the Prophecie fulfilled, Isa. 57.21. [...]on est pax impiis, there is no peace unto the wicked, saith my God; or otherwise perhaps, Joab may vaunt it for some few years, or daies over his prey, in great Gallantry, out­ward [Page 8]Pomp, magnificence, and statelinesse, but so sure as the Lord lives, his end shall not be peace, neither shall he go to the grave in a full age, as a rick of Corn commeth in due sea­son into the barn, Job 5.26. and to this effect speaks David, Psal. 37.35, 36. I have seen the wicked strong, and spreading himself like a green Bay-tree: Yet he passed away, and lo he was gone, and I sought him, but could not find him; and no wonder; for evil shall hunt the cruel man to destruction, Psal. 140.11. and such is the justice of the Almighty, that commonly, that as he made a pit, and dig­ged it, so he should fall into the pit that he made, Psal. 7.15. and,

Neque enim Lex justior ulla est,
Quam necis artifices arte perire sua.

then evil watch, evil catch. As Tomyr is said unto Cyrus who had formerly slain hir son, cutting off his head, and casting it into a Tub of bloud: sanguinem sitisti, sanguinem habes, bloud thou thirstedst, drink thy fill, and as I have done, saith Adonibezek, Judg. 1.7. so God hath rewarded me. Even so, as our sAbner, our great man in the Text, falls by the hand of Joab, so Joab must look to [Page 9]have his fall too, although it be many years after, by Bena [...]h, 1 Kings 2.31, 32, 33, 34. and the curse of Jehoiakim King of Judah, shall follow him to his grave, Jer. 22.18. There shall be none to lament him, say­ing, Ah my Brother, or ah Lord, or ah his glo­ry. And let all true hearted Israelites speak as Cushi did to David of Absolom, 2 Sam. 18.32. So let all the Enemies of the Lord, their King perish, and be as Joab is.

The Text is a vindication of Davids in­nocencie in, and a lively description of Ab­ners death, wherein let us consider these five particulars.

1. His qualitie; and so he was no mean man, sprung from the dunghil, or Ale-tap, no broken Citizen, or bankerout Gentle­man, no Mechanick, or Artificer, none of the base condition of Davids followers, when he fled from Saul, 1 Sam. 22.2. but he was Ishbosheths staff, the supporter of Sauls house, and the glory of that Diadem, and so the Pen-man sets him out two waies,

  • 1. As a Prince.
  • 2. As a great man.

1. As a Prince, unto which the Latine word hath a near relation, Princeps, the which signifies a chief head or ruler: secretly insi­nuating, [Page 10]that as of a head he ought to be defended and made much of, because life consists so well in the head as in the heart; then as a Ruler he ought to be obeyed and feared, according to Saint Paul's rule, Rom. 13.1. Let every soul be subject to the higher Powers: but Joab had learned in­stead of Obsta principiis, Obsta Principibus; withstand the beginnings of sin, stifling the first conception of murther in his heart, to promote it, and give life unto it by the fall of a Prince; and so hath received to himself condemnation, ver. 2.

2ly, The Hebrews use many words, si­gnifying a Prince, but I shall make use but of one, and that is Naghidh, carrying this sence, Dux, Princeps, a Captain and chief Commander, ordering, disposing, and giving rules to Souldiers, to go out and come in, to draw and to sheath their swords; and such a Prince was Abner, and a valiant Prince: but whom Ajax cannot conquer, Ʋlysses will undermine by trea­son; For know ye not that a Prince, and a great man is fallen? And so I passe to the second Branch.

2. As a great man. As when Ephraim spake, there was trembling, Hos. 13.1. [Page 11] [...]s when the Lion roars, who will not be afraid? [...]mos 3.8. even so, when this great man [...]peaks, not onely the inferiour beasts of the [...]orest, but even the Lion himself coucheth, [...] is clear in the 11 verse, before the Text; [...]nd if a bare hand upon the wall, did so [...]artle Belshazzar in his cups, when men are [...]ost Pot-valiant, and in the Guard of his Princes, and making merry with his wives [...]nd concubines, that his countenance chan­ged the joints of his loins were loosed, and [...]is knees smote one against another. Dan. [...].6. How will Joab look? How will Jo­ab stand? How will he shift when the [...]reat God shall make inquisition for this [...]reat mans blood? Psal. 9.12. Davids heart [...]mote him for cutting off but the Lap of [...]aul's garment, 1 Sam. 24.5, 6. How then [...]eeply may they be touched, that had a hand [...]n cutting off the head of the Lords anoin­ted? for the greater the person, the great­er is the sin in them that conspire his death. Kings and Princes, and great man in au­thority, are termed gods by Gods own thouth, Psal. 82.6. and to act Treason a­gainst such, is to be treacherous to God himself, for which cause God spared not [Page 12]the Angels that had sinned, but east the down into hell, and delivered them in chains of darknesse to be kept unto damn­tion, 2 Pet. 2.9. What Christ spake in anoth [...] kind, holds true in this, Matth. 25.4 [...] In as much as ye have done it unto them, ye ha [...] done it unto me.

Another particular is, the manner of th [...] great Princes death, & so he is not threatn [...] a fall, as God told Adam, that if he shon [...] eat of the tree of knowledge of good an [...] evil, in that day he should die the death Gen. 2.17. for then he would have looke about him, either to prevent his fall, or [...] make a good preparation for his soul a­gainst his fall, as the wise Steward did fo [...] his body, Luke 26.4. but in the presen [...] tense, occidit, is fallen, noting the sudden­nesse of his death, and his unprovideness [...] for his grave, Joab not onely labouring t [...] kill his body, but so far as he could his sou [...] too, like as the Italian I read of endevou­red to serve his enemy overcome in duel wherein we may observe,

I. Prov. 12.10.

The mercies of the wicked ar [...] cruel.

2ly. The uncertainty of our death, w [...] have one way into the world, but many out.

Ferro, peste, fame, vinclis, algore, calore,
Mille modis miseros mors rapit una viros.

sometimes by fire, famine, plague, water, [...]ord, like Abner and Joab. And this con­deration, should move us to look for that [...] every place, which every where looks [...]r us. Pharaoh tasted of deaths Cup in the [...]eep Sea. Herod upon his throne. Eglon [...]nning himself in his Summer Parlour. [...]mnon when his heart was merry with [...]ine. Ahab in the battel. Zenecharib in the [...]use of his God. And who amongst us [...]n loast of to morrow for we know not what a [...]ay may bring forth? Prov. 27.1. Let it be [...]r wisedom then,

1. So to live, as if we were alwaies dying, [...]d giving up our accounts to the great [...]dge of Heaven and Earth of our several [...]ewardships.

2ly. With Joseph in the time of famine; [...]ith Solomons Pismire in the harvest time; [...]nd with the wise Virgins, in the acceptable [...]me, to provide oyl for our Lamps, that [...]e may be found a people ready prepared [...]r our God, when he shall knock at our [...]oor, and call us.

3ly. To pray alwaies as the Church ha [...] taught us, From sudden death, Go [...] Lord deliver us.

3ly. The next particular is, the time Abners fall, and that is said to be, hoc d [...] this day, Know ye not, that there is a Prin [...] and a great man, this day fallen in Israel This was a day of darknesse, and of blac [...] ­nesse, a day of clouds, and obseuritie, J [...] 2.2. a day of heavinesse and mourning, [...] stormy and watery day: and in a wor [...] such a sad day to David, and all Israel, as [...] as one man they had combined to revi [...] their Abner with their tears, as Christ di [...] Lazarus, John 11. or if they could not [...] that for him, yet they would witnesse t [...] the world their love to him, and ho [...] wonderfully they lamented his losse. T [...] love a rich man, and a great man living, [...] no news, the living dog being better than th [...] dead Lion, Eccles. 9.4. and moreover ever [...] mans affection almost extending more [...] propter sua, than propter se, for his privat [...] profit or preferment, than for any parts o [...] goodnesse he finds in him, like drone which haunt the Hive for the honny sake but to love him dead, when he can do him neither good nor harm, is rara avis, nigr [...] [Page 15] [...]e similima cygno, a rare quality hardly to [...]e found among the sons of men: and yet [...]is was Davids case, Israels case for Abner, [...]nd ought to be our case for our Prince, [...]nd great man, that is this day fallen in our [...]rael. And so this leads me to the next articular.

4ly. The place where he fell, and that [...] said to be Israel; he fell not amongst the [...]arbarous Cothes and Vandals, amongst the Turks and Cannibals, amongst the inhuman [...]witzers, in the Conquest of the Thuricences [...] battel, Anno Dom. 1443. or amongst the [...]umantines, who vowed not to break their [...]ast, but with the flesh of a Roman, nor [...]rink till they had tasted of the blood of [...] Enemie; or amongst the heathen and un­ [...]ircumcised: but in Israel, where God was [...]nown in her Palaces, Psal. 48.3. but in Is­ [...]ael, where his wonderfull acts were mani­ [...]ested; but in Israel, a peculiar people cho­ [...]en to himself; but in Israel, where his Pro­ [...]hets taught, and his name was called up­ [...]n. Quis talia fando, temperet à lacrimis? [...]ho can restrain tears? that wherethere [...]as such gracious means, there should be [...]uch gracelesse practices, by a brother- [...]ood, like Simeon and Levi, brethren in e­vil, [Page 16] Gen. 49.5. If this had been done a [...] Rome, where degrading of Princes, mur [...] ­thering of heretical Princes, with thei [...] whole families, is a warrantable and meri­torious tenet, the world would not hav [...] trembled at it, nor wondered or admired it: but to be practiced in Israel, the wonde [...] of the world, for as it is, Deut. 4.7, 8. Wha [...] Nation is so great, unto whom the Gods come s [...] near unto them, in all that they call unto th [...] Lord for? And what Nation is so great, tha [...] hath or dinances and Laws so righteous? Sure­ly this makes Israels condition, equivalen [...] to Chorazins and Bethsaidaes Mat. 11.21▪ Wo to thee Corazin, wo to thee Bethsaida, fo [...] if the great works which were done in you, ha [...] been done in Tyrus and Sidon, they had repen­ted long agone in Sackcloth and Ashes. Where­fore it shall be easier for Tyrus and Sidon a [...] the day of judgement, than for you; tha [...] for Israel. Joab and Abishai his brothe [...] were men of War, and so the lesse marve [...] they neither respected the person, no [...] place where they shed blood: but the hun­ters of our Prince, and great man to death were not only Sword-men, but Gown-men even wolves in sheeps clothing: and if Go [...] spared not the old world, nor Sodom no [...] [Page 17] Gomorrah, 2 Pet. 2.5, 6. how shall they es­cape the judgement of God to come? and, [...]he judgement of God is according to truth, a­gainst them that commit such things. Rom. 2. [...]. Wherefore as Daniel counselled King Nebuchaduezzar, 4.2 [...]. Break off thysins by [...]ighteousness, and thine iniquities by mer­ [...]y towards the poor, that there be a heal­ [...]ng of thine errour; even so, my counsel [...]o all Israel that have had a hand in the Princes death, and great mans fall, is accor­ding to that we read of, Amos 4.12. Pre­ [...]are to meet thy God, O Israel. For repen­ [...]ance may heal, where thy sin hath wound­ [...]d.

5ly. Davids Proclamation throughout [...]ll Israel and Judah, to take notice of his [...]osse, and their losse; his and their losse, [...]s if they had with him lost the brightest [...]ar in the Firmament; or had lost their [...]ight eyes, right hands, or their right feet, [...]r as the Church complained, Lam. 4 20. The breath of our Nostrils, the Anointed of the [...]ord is taken from us, of whom we said, Ʋnder [...] is shadow we shall be preserved alive among [...]he Heathen. How hath the Lord darkened [...]he Daughter of Zion in his wrath, and [...]ath cast down from Heaven unto earth the [Page 18]beauty of Israel? draw near, behold, and se [...] what a Prince, what a great man is this da [...] fallen. Know ye not, that there is a Prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?

1. The causes moving David to publis [...] this Proclamation, were v. 37. his Innocen­cy, to clear him in the face of all the peo­ple, that he had no hand in spilling thi [...] innocent blood, finding no fault in t [...] man, of those things whereof others accu­sed him, as Pilate said of Christ, althoug [...] with a better mind, Lu. 23.14.

2ly. To make Joab the more odious [...] the people for executing such a rash, an [...] malicious, and unnatural fact. As Jeroh­ [...]am is stigmatized with this brand-mar [...] lying in his Grave, Jeroboam the Son [...] Nebat, who made Israel to sin; and as Jud [...] the Traytor with this, Judas Iscariot wh [...] betrayed his Master. So Joab hath th [...] spot and blot upon his Coat of Arms, [...] be seen & read of all ages: Joab that in th [...] time of peace slew Abner in the Gate, v. 2 [...] And for this David, and let all Israel cu [...] him in the words, verse 29. Let the blood Abner fall on the head of Joab, and on all [...] Fathers House, that the House of Joab be not without some that have running Issues, or L [...] ­per, [Page 19]or that leaneth on a staff, or that doth fall on the sword, or that lacketh bread.

3ly. That Joab by the sight of the pub­lick mourning, and vent which the King and People gave to their full I hearts, might be convinced of his sin, and so brought to repentance. Know ye not (and thou Joab too) that there is a Prince, and a great man this day fallen in Israel?

The Observations from what hath been said, are,

Observ. 1. That great mens death, and Princes fall, ought to be lamented by all. This David confirms both by Precept and Example: and it is said, Praecepta ducunt, Exempla trahunt, Precepts do sweetly al­lure, but examples do violently draw men to obedience. So that if the one or the o­ther be of force to work upon our hearts, and eyes, to weep with Jeremiah day and night, for our Abner; then look upon Da­vid, Lissen to his charge to all the people that were with him, vers. 31, 32. Rent your clothes, and put on Sackcloth, and mourn before Abner, and King David himself followed the Beer: And the King lift up his voice and wept besides the Sepulchre of Abner, and all the peo­ple wept; and vers. 3 [...], 34. The King lament­ed [Page 20]ever Abner, and all the people wept again for him: As if such a mans death can never be over-lamented. Know ye not, saith Da­vid? as if no man should be ignorant of this his duty to his Prince, to his Country. When Josiah was buried, there was so great mone made for him, 2 Chron. 35.22. that it grew into a Proverb, Zech. 12.11. Like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. Yea when Jacob, but a mean man (although father to a Prince) was buried, they made so great, such an exceeding sore lamentation for him, that when the Canaa­nites, which dwelt in the land, saw the mour­ning in Gored Atad, They said among them selves, Surely this is a great mourning unto the Egyptians, Gen. 50.10, 11. Our Abner, our Jo­siab, our Prince, our great man is fallen, and why should not we do likewise? as Christ told the Lawyer, Luke 10.37.

1. Because Princes are nursing Fathers to their people, Thus saith the Lord, Isa. 49.23. Kings shall be thy nursing Fathers, and Queens thy nursing Mothers.

Now with what a tender love, with what strong affections? and with what vigilant care do Fathers & mothers bear their sons in their arms, and carrie them on their [Page 21]shoulders? as is the Prophets phrase. Christs commandement to the Disciples of the Pha­risees, with the Herodians, was, reddere Caesa­ri, quae sunt Caesaris, to give to Cesar those things which are Cesars, Mat. 22.22. and if we must do this to Cesar a Paynim Empe­rour, then much more are we bound to give to Christian Kings their due, and what those things are, Saint Paul tells us, Rom. 13.7.

  • 1. Tribute.
  • 2. Obedience.
  • 3. Ho­nour.

First Tribute, for their care over us, and great charge in providing for us at home and abroad. Secondly, Obedience, as our Superiours. Thirdly, Honour, as our tender Fathers, Exod. 20.12. so that I may invert Gods own words, Mal. 1.6. A son honoureth his father, and a servant his Master? If they be your fathers, where is their Honour? Surely they are bastards, and not sons, that will not honour their fathers, I and such carefull fathers, who wake whiles we sleep soundly, and watch, like Epaminon­das, whilst we sport our selves, and take care for us, when we little dream of their care. The Chronicles speak of Henry the 4th, who being sick and in a trance, that his son and heir Henry the 5th took his Crown from his beds head, and tried how it would fit his [Page 22]own; but his father recovering himself, and awaking, and missing of it, and un­derstanding the matter, told him, Ah son, didst thou but know how full of cares the Crown is, thou wouldst not be so greedy of it. And it is written of Eutrapiles, that his custome was to prefer those to honour and riches whom he most hated; thereby to fill their hearts and heads with continu­all cares and vexations, there being more gall than hony in them: so that as one spake worthily of a Bishop, Episcopatus nomen est laboris non honoris, the name of a Bishop sounds more of labour than ho­nour, unto which alludes that of the A­postle, 1 Tim. 3.1. This is a true saying, if a­ny man desire the Office of a Bishop, he desire [...] a worthy work: Even so the Office of a King or Prince, speaks not so much his subli­mity or glory, as his activity for the com­mon good; and if this were well weigh­ed in wisdomes ballance, Can any Chil­dren be so unnatural, as not to lament th [...] losse of such a father? Certes, He that ha [...] not a tear, nay many tears for his fall, dis­covers his foul disposition, and that b [...] hath sucked unnatural milk (like Rbem [...] and Romulus) of whom History makes m [...] ­tion, [Page 23]that they were nourished up by a she▪ Wolf. Know ye not, that a Prince, agreat man, Pater Patriae, a father of our Coun­trey, a Martyr for his Countrey, is fallen? and do not the Lamentations of Jeremy bet­ [...]er become us, than the Canticles of Solo­mon? Do not Heraclitus his tears suis better (huic diei) to this day, than Democritus his [...]aughter? Laugh that will (thinks Da­ [...]id) But I will weep till I can weep no more.

2ly. Because Princes are the Ministers of God for our wealth, Rom. 13.4. They are as Shepherds over the flock of Christ, Num. 27. [...]7. They are as Bucklers and shields unto the [...]eople, Psal. 47.9. Ʋnder whose shadowing boughs our nests are built, Ezech. 31.3, 6. They are as watchmen over a City, as the [...]oundation to an house, as the walls to a Vineyard, as Pilots to a ship, and as the Chariots and horsemen of Israel. Now if [...]he Watchman sleepeth, the foundation de­cayeth, the walls be broken down, the P [...] ­ [...]ot dieth, and the Chariots and horsemen be snatched and taken away, hath not the City, the house, the ship, and all Israel that is in it, great cause to screek and scream, and [...]oar, and blubber their cheeks with tears, for such a losse?

3ly. Because if the Title of father, which is an amiable Title, or Minister, which is [...] serviceable Title, cannot draw water out of the hard rock in Horeb, and your stony hearts, then lo they are called angels, 2 Sam. 24.17. and the sons of God, which are Titles of honour indeed, Psalm 82.6. to be the son of God is the noblest Pedigree in the world: to be as the Angels of God, is the highest promotion in heaven, and of them it is said, Heb 1.14 Are they not all mi­nistring spirits, sent forth to minister for their sakes which shall be heirs of salvation? I read of divers properties of Angels, which may allude to good Kings.

1. Dirigere gradientes, To guide and direct men in the right way, Prov. 23.20. Be­hold I send mine Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee to the place which I have appointed.

2ly, Confortare deficientes, To comfort the broken hearted, and to relieve those that are in want. Gen. 21.17, 19. The An­gel of God called unto Hagar in distresse, and shewed her a well of water, whereby she and her child were preserved from death, and 1 Kings 29.5, 6. The Angel of God brought bread and water to nourish Elijah in his distresse.

3ly, Flagellare praevaricantes, To scourge hose that do amisse: thus the Angel of the [...]ord smote in the Camp of the Assyrians, [...]e hundred fourscore and five thousand in [...]e night, 2 Kings 19.35. and 2 Mach. 3.5. We find how Heliodorus was beaten with [...]re stripes for robbing the Temple, that at [...]is return he certified his Master, that if he [...]ad an enemy traytor, he should send him [...] Hierusalem, and from thence he should [...]eceive him well scourged, if he escaped with his life. Cautiores exemple vos. If one Angel of God could do such execution [...]pon malefactors, how should ye be afraid [...] do any thing to grieve him, when he [...]ath mo than twelve legions of Angels to [...]ght his battels against offendors? Matth. [...]6.53.

4ly, Gratificare orantes, To offer up the [...]rayers of the Salnts, Rev. 8.3.

5ly, Juvare certanies, To give aid to the [...]rvants of the living God against their e­ [...]emies; and so when the Aramites compas­ [...]d Samaria with a great host, and the [...]rophets servant was at his wits end, not [...]owing what to do, or whither to turn [...]im, presently at Elisha's prayer his eyes [...]ere opened, and he looked and beheld the [Page 26]mountain was full of horses and Chariots, round about Elisha, 2 Kings 6.17. Here ye have heard of the office of Angels for the good of man, especially for them that fear God, and Kings with Princes were ordained to the like purpose, i.e. by godly example, good Laws, and faithfull labou­rers in the Gospel under them, to lighten men to Canaan above, for ‘Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis.’ 2ly, To relieve those that are in want, Thus the Kings of England have their Al­moners to fling out money to the poor. 3ly, The Apostle tells us, Rom. 13.4. They bear not the sword for nought; for they are the Ministers of God to take vengeance on them that do evil, 4ly, Righteous lips are the de­light of Kings, Prov. 16.13. and so stand in the gap, like M [...]ses, between God and his people, to make their atonement for them. 5ly, To vindicate the cause of the innocent from the oppressour, and wrong­doers. To this effect speaks Solomon, Prov. 29. A King that judgeth the poor in truth, his Throne shall be established for ever, and Prov. 29.28. and for this light to be put out and [Page 27]extinguished, this oyl to be poured on the ground, this sword to rust, this innocency to be smothered in dust and ashes, this judge of the poor, fatherlesse and widow, to be condemned, and this Angel to fall, Let us not any more cry out with the woman of Tekoah, 2 Sam. 14.4. Help O King, but help O Israel; for a Prince, and a great man is fallen this day in thee O Israel.

4ly. Because people without a Prince, are like those Acephali, a body without a head, and sheep without a shepherd, as Orphans Fatherlesse, as Servants without a Master, as the world without a Sun. If the eye or head be cut off, surely the body will perish. If there be no shepherd, the sheep lie open to spoil by the greedy wolf and Jesuite. If the world Ioseth his Sun, all things wither to nought; and if the Ser­vant be robbed of his Master that feeds him fully, cloths him richly, and rewards him liberally, can their eyes be dry to think of their losse? Magis c [...]rendo quam fruendo. The Sheep, the Servant; the body will know and feel their misery sooner by the want of their Prince, than they were sensi­ble of their own happinesse in him. Had I wist will not serve turn, to say they were [Page 28]deceived, to say they were not sensible [...] Joab's juggle, will not avail them in th [...] day of wrath, no more than their unju [...] gotten riches since, by Abners fall, Prov. 1 [...] 4. And seeing one Prince, one great ma [...] will not be suffered to reign over them, [...] they in the Gospel said, Luke 19.14. Ho [...] just will it be with God, as the wise ma [...] speaks, Prov. 28.2. For the transgression [...] the Land, many should be the Princes thereof [...] whose least finger should be heavier tha [...] the others loins, as Reboboam told the Iraclites; and for gentle rods they should b [...] chastised with scourges, 1 Kings 12.14.

5ly. Princes seldom fall alone, but thei [...] Lord-like Train will as well follow the [...] to the grave, as to the palace. If the tree b [...] stubbed up at the root, the top branche [...] must fall with it; the Lord avert this sa [...] presage, if it be his blessed will.

Ʋse Is for our Instruction.

1. To lament over, and for our Abne [...] As the Turks have a Proverb unto this day [...] when they would expresse their grief, in the privation of any comfort, Great such a on [...] is dead, as if all their hopes were bedded with him, and all their joyes were nipped in the bud. And as Phinebas his wife hear­ing [Page 29]that the Ark of God was taken, 1 Sam. [...] 21. presently fell into travel, calling hir [...]s name Ichabod, for saith she, The glory departed from Israel. Even so, every true [...]aelite may speak, Ichabod, our glory in de­ [...]rted from u [...]. Abner is fallen, great Abner, [...]d not more great than good; Of whom [...] may be said, as Pharaob of Joseph, Gen. [...].38. Can we find such a man as this? and [...] this Abner, this great man is fallen: the [...]rd be good unto our Israel, that all Israel [...]ls not presently after him.

Ob. If your Abner were so great, so good, [...]y did not God suffer him to grow to a [...]od old age, as he once promised Abraham? [...]n. 15.15. Nay, why did God suffer Joab [...] mow him down like grasse, before his [...]e was satisfied with seeing, his ear with [...]aring, and his heart with lusting? Eccles [...]8. Ah certainly, latet anguis sub herba, there [...]s some Pad hidden under this straw, Some [...]hans wedge of gold, Some abominable [...]ecrable thing in him, that God brought [...]m down so suddenly, so wonderfully, as [...] is said of Jerusalem, Lam. 1.9.

Ans. 1. It is not for dust and ashes to enter [...]to, arcana Dei, Gods secrets, or dive into [...]ods Cabinet counsel, lest whilst we seek [Page 30]to know those things that are not revea [...] we sind not the comfort of those th [...] that are reveiled. It was wittily answere [...] one that was asked what God did before made the World: makes this reply, [...] made Hell, for such curious Inquisitor thou art; quae supra nos, nibil ad nos, th [...] things that are above our sphere, bel [...] not unto us to search into: Peevish curi [...] tie in man below, is detersted by God a be [...] As the Master of the house said to his [...] bourer, Mat. 20.14. So I speak to th [...] Friend, take that which is thine own, [...] go thy way, and let the rest alone.

2ly, Who art thou O man that cont [...] dest against God, or pleadest with Go [...] Rom. 9.20. Wilt thou take Gods glory [...] way, and give is to another? Isa. 42 [...] Wilt thou wrest the sword out of [...] Lords hand, and maintain justice in th [...] own? Shew me thy warrant from Hea [...] for this? Shew me any Law of God, [...] any Law of man for this.

Ob. 1 Sam. 15.3▪ 33. Did not the L [...] command Saul to smite Agag King of [...] Amalekites? and when Saul had spa [...] his life, did not Samuel hew him i [...] pieces?

Answ. But our Abner was no Agag, our [...]oab no Samuel, and so I proceed.

3ly, Isa 57.1. The righteous perisheth, and no [...]an considereth it in heart, and merciful men (and [...]ings too) are taken away, and no man under- [...]andeth that the righteous is taken away from the [...]vil to come.

4ly, God might suffer Abner to fall for the [...]reater aggravation of Joab's condemnation.

5ly, Suppose our Abner, our Prince, [...]ur great man, had sin in him, as there is [...]o man that sinneth not, saith Solomon, [...] Kings 8.46. and to the like effect speaks [...]ohn, 1 Ep. 1.8. yet Religion, yet Charity [...]inketh no evil, 1 Cor. 13.5. that he was [...]ot guilty of so foul a crime, that nothing [...]ould expiate his sin, but his Fall.

2ly, It teacheth us, that it is a great shame [...]or any of our eyes to be dry in such a ge­ [...]eral losse, and publik calamity. Jacob [...]ept and mourned for his Joseph, and [...]ould not be comforted, Gen. 37.35. how [...]uch more cause have we to mourn for the [...]offe of our father, our nursing father? [...]t is observed, that the love of Parents de­ [...]cends and flows, with a [...]eater stream to [...]heir children, than childrens love ascends [...]pwards to their Parents, and this God [Page 32]shews, Isaiah 49.15. Can a father forget his child, or a woman not have compassion on the son of her womb? but he saith not, Can a child forget his father? as if that were too frequent, too common, and lay at every mans door: but spero meliora de vobis, I hope better things of you, and that ye have learn­ed better things, and your duty better, than to set light by your father, Deut. 67.16. We take much notice of those whose conscien­ces are so seared, and hearts hardened, that have not a tear at their fathers grave; and God and angels will take notice of us for stupidity and blockishnesse, if we will not weep for our Abner, our Prince and great man that is fallen.

3ly, If prayers and Supplications ought to be made for all men, but especially for Kings and all that are in authority, 1 Tim. 2.1. then consequently it must follow, that their deaths ought to be lamented more than other men [...], and if so, then

Ʋse 2. Is for reproof.

1. If those that rejoice and glory in their shame, Phil. 3.19. whose end without great Repentance will be their damnation. One boasteth that he subscribed to the lions death, another that he tried the lion, an­other [Page 33]that he sentenced the lions damme, another that he slew the lion, another that he shared of the lions skin; but if there be a we unto them that speak good of evil, and e­vil of good, which put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for sowre, Isa. 5.20. then as Jacob said of Simeon and Levi, Brethren in iniquity, Gen. 49.6. Let not my soul enter into their secret, and my glory be not joyned with their Assembly; for an horrible curse and wo, like the sin of Cain, lieth at their door.

2ly, Of those that had the least hand in, or approved of Abners fall. Certes many men with Pilate, will seem to wash their hands clean from his blood, because they were no principal actors in it, but qui non veta [...] peccare, quum potest, jubet, saith Seneca, He that is not with me, saith Christ, is against me, or he that hinders not a foul fact, but ap­proves of it, is as guilty as the principal in it. Abner is fallen, by whom and whose means? the scruple is resolved, verse 30. of this Chapter: so Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, Abishai being privy to the murther▪ and not preventing it, is counted by the Spirit of God, as deep in blood, as the bloody executioner of the [Page 34]Treason, Joab himself; David killed not Ʋciah, but the men of Rabbab: yet because he plotted and conspired against his life, and was well pleased with his death, Nathan tells him point-blank, and in plain terms, 2. Sam 12 9. Thou hast killed Uriah the Hit­rite with the sword, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon: Now there­fore the sword shall never depart from thin [...] house. Ahab was not accessary unto Naboth's stoning, but his wife Jezabel, who made use of his Seal unto the Elders and Noble [...] that were in his City, that they might de­prive him of life and Vineyard: yet he ap­proving of what was done, and rejoycing in his spoil and prey that he had taken Elijah the Tishbite meets him, and upbraid [...] him of cruelty, covetousnesse, and blood 1 Kings [...]1.19. Hast thon killed and also taken possession? therefore in the place where dogs lick­ed the blood of Naboth, shall dogs even lick thy blood also. And in this sence, Saul bewail­ed his sad condition, and acknowledged his unworthinesse and unfitnesse to be a Minister of the Gospel to the Gentiles, be­cause he persecuted the Church of God, and had a hand in Stevens death, not as one that murthered him, as a cut-throat, but al­lowed [Page 35]and applanded them that acted that villany, as his own words best speak it, Acts 22.20. Lord, when the blood of thy Mar­tyr Steven was shed, I also stood by and consent­ed to his death, and kept the clothes of them that slew him. Now the Marginal Note saith, this is properly spoken, for Steven was mur­thered of a sort of rude rakehels, not by order of Justice, but by open force, and he liking of what was done, and lulling, and spurring them forward unto it, ac­counts himself a chief instrument in the conspiracy of robbing God of a Saint, the Church of a pillar, and the world of a bright shining light, which would have en­lightened them that sit in darkness to the true light, Iohn 1.9. and so to the light of heaven. As the intruders into other mens Rectories plead for themselves, that they thrust them not out, when they are conten­ted to inherit their possessions, and eat up the bread that should feed the right owners and their children, approving of the Sequestration: even so there be, that plead not guilty of Abners fall, when in their hearts they cryed C [...]ucifige, let him die, and stroked the contrivers of his ruine: but how one or the other can answer their jug­gle [Page 36]before God, who judgeth righteously, & taketh the affection and will for the deed, I am ignorant, unlesse it be with speech­lesness, like to him that came to the wed­ding feast without a wedding garment, Matth. 22.1 [...]. and so partake of his porti­on and bitter potion.

3ly, Those that reviled Abner living, and detract from him much more being fallen, their greatest religion is ill byassed, which is to speak evil of their Prince. He that is most foul mouthed like Shimei, is held fit­est to be a States man, and have a hand in reformation. When Paul had called Ananias whited wall, and the standers by check'd him for reviling Gods high Priest: he ac­knowledged his errour, saying, I knew not that he was the High Priest, for it is written, thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people, Acts 23.5. from whence may be inferred, that to calumniate him is sin.

4ly, This highly reproves those Servants of this Prince, this great man, that helped to pull him down. Gravior inimicus qui late [...] sub pectore, a bosome enemie is of all the worst. When Caesar was stabbed in the Se­nate house, and seeing Brutus acting his part amongst the Conspirators, it cut him to the [Page 37]heart, using these words, [...], what and thou too my son Brutus? then fall Cae­sar: even so, for a Prince to bring up birds to pick out his own eyes, and breed vipers to sting him to death, it cannot but much adde to the bitternesse of his fall, and this made David to complain so sadly, Psal. 41.9. That his friend, his f [...]miliar friend, whom he trusted, which did eat of his bread, lifted up his beel against him: that is, like a wild horse to kick at him, and trample him under his seet. Of all injuries there are none stick so near to a man, or go so near to his heart, as, bene facere, & made audire, to do well, and to be rewarded ill, by a Servant, or any o­ther ingratefull wretches. The Oxe knoweth his owner, I say 1.3. and for a man not to know his master, and maker, is worse than brutish: and deserves nigro carbone notari, to be branded for a vilo man indeed. A houshold enemie is noted by Christ for a sharp plague, Mat. 10.36. and yet such is our Abners con­dition to fall by such. Joab, had Zimri peace that slew his Master? 2 Kin. 9.31. then look for no peace living or dying.

Obs. Occidit, is fallen; from whence may be observed that death is no death to them that die in the Lord. It is but as a sleep, [Page 38]from which they shall be awakened at the found of the last Trumpet. And in this sence saith Christ to his disciples, John 11.11. Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go to wake him up. It is but as a falling to the earth, from whence we through Gods might, recover our selves, and rise again. It is but as (Requie­torium) a Bed of rest: as Isay shews, 57.2. They shall rest in their Beds, every one that walketh be­fore him: and men go not to bed to lie there for ever, but some short time. It was said by a Jester unto a great man, If I fall, I ean rise again, but if thou fallest, thou wilt never rise more; but this holds true of the faithfull in general, Dan 12.2. they shall rise to everlast­ing life; thus David tells not his servants, A Prince or a great man is dead, but is fallen being affured that he should rise again (like Antheus) with greater strength, and courage, and honour▪ and glory, than ever he enjoyed before, like Damascens wise, yet deposed King as we read of in M. Bunnyes resolutions.

Ʋse Here is comfort for Abners friends that although his body is sown in corrup­ion, yet it shall be raised in incorruption If it be sown in dishonour, yet it shall be raised in glory, 1 Cor. 15.42, 43▪ that although he was conquered b [...] [Page 39]Treason, yet he is Conquerour over [...]ll his enemies, and greatest Traytors, [...]eath, sin, and Satan; that although he [...]e fallen, yet he is mounted up aloft upon. [...]e wings of Cherubims and glorious [...]ngels, like Lazarus, into the bosome of his [...]ather; that although he be losse to them, [...]et their losse is his gain; for instead of [...]ar he finds peace, instead of sorrow, joy [...]nspeakable, instead of vexation of spirit, [...]he things which eye hath not seen, ear hath not [...]eard, neither have entred into the heart of man, Cor. 2.9. instead of a corruptible Crown, [...]n incorruptible, Chap. 9 25. Instead of a Crown of thorns, a Crown of ease, instead [...]f an earthly Kingdome, a Kingdome which endureth for ever, even the King­ [...]om of God and of Christ, instead of [...]arthly treasures, heavenly, inslead of buffet­ [...]ngs, reproaches, spittings in the sace, kisses, [...]ith sweet embracings; instead of Apage, Eu­ [...]e, be gone, We will not have this man [...]eign longer over us, welcome, and well one good and faithfull servant, enter thou into be joy of thy Lord, Matth. 25.23. instead of the society of beasts, such as Paul fought withall at Ephesus, the fellowship of glori­ [...]ed Saints and Angels. Iacob in his dream [Page 40]saw a Ladder, the foot thereof stood upo [...] earth, but the top reached up to heaven Gen. 28.12. and by this Ladder, our Ab­ner, our Prince (like an Angel of Cod) i [...] ascended up thither. Question not this, O­man, whosoever thou art; for he was li­ving, a living pattern of vertue and godli­nesse to all. 1 For sobriety; for who could detect him of drunkennesse? 2ly of chasti­ty; for who could blemish him of un­cleanesse? Posse; & nolle, whi [...]e, What Ca­stle by promotion, or bribes, or command cannot a great man scale? and not to sub­due it to his power and lust, is Prince-like indeed. 3ly, Of Piety, Religion, being diligent in Prayer, sincere in his devotions, and admirably attentive in hearing of Ser­mons, and that sometimes in my eye. 4ly, Of knowledge and learning; witness his Book entituled [...], which few Bishops with all their learning and rea­ding could outrun, and witness his Dispu­tation with the Scotch Minister, who shall be nameless, and whom he so foiled by ar­guments, that whereas before he was his bit­ter enemy in Pulpit, and out of it, he set forth unto the world his own recantation, and his Princes vindication to underceive [Page 41]his people. 5ly, Or bounty and liberali­ty to his followers, I, and to some ingrate­full, and undeserving followers. 6ly, Of patience; for after the example of Christ, [...] Pet. 2.23. Being reviled, be reviled not a­gain: when he suffered, he threatned not, [...]ut committed it to him that judgeth righ­ [...]eously. 7ly, Of magnanimity; being as daring as a lion, as some of his own Cap­ [...]ains can speak, and would have proved it in red letters, (if he might have been suffer­ed) wrote with a pen of iron. 8ly, Of compassion; lamenting the losse of his ene­mies, as if their blood had been drawn from his own heart. Iulian honoured those Souldiers that died in his war and service, but he those that died in the war against him. 9ly, Of affection to his wife; so that as Solomon speaks or the good woman, I may truly aver of him, Prov. 31.39. Many hus­bands have done vertuously, but thou surmount­est them all.

  • 1. For fidelity to her bed, a [...]are thing to be found in great men.
  • 2. For [...]ffability and kindness to her, [...]ing her [...]s his own soul.
  • 3. For indulgencie over his and her children.

Now laying all these together, as so many steps or slairs, or stakes of the Ladder; doubtlesse his works [Page 52]follow him, Rev. 14.13. and he is passed and gone to your father, and his father, t [...] his God and your God. Wherefore comfor [...] ye one another with these words, 1 Thes. [...] 18. And as Christ said to the daughters of Ie­rusalem, Luke 23.28 Weep not for him, but f [...] your selves, left as a prey to the wolf, but rying and worrying Christs flock.

Ʋse 2 Abner is fallen. As the Widow o [...] Zarephath spake to Elijah, 1 Kings 17.18 O thou man of God, art thou come to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? Even so Abners fall should put Israel in mind o [...] their sins, which have pulled him down from his Throne, and of a sudden Repentance, le [...] they follow him to the grave. If old E [...] was punished for the iniquity of his sons 1 Sam. 3.12, 13, 14. then by the same rule a Father of his Countrey may suffer for th [...] wickedness of his children and people.

Obs 3. Hoc die, This day; from when [...] I observe, that all men have their fallin [...] day, The Sun that now shines will set, th [...] Moon that now is at Full will wain, th [...] sen that now flows will ebbe. After a Sprin [...] will follow an Autumn: after a Summe [...] comes a hard Winter, and after the gree blade comes a harvest. Death thrusts is [Page 53]fickle, and the fairest corn falls to the [...]ound. Wise men die; and also the igno­ [...]nt and foolish perish together, Psal. 49. [...]. I said ye are gods, but ye shall die like men, [...]d fall like others, 82. ver. 7. All flesh is [...]asse, and all the glory of man like the flower of [...]e field; the grasse withereth, the flower fadeth [...]eay, because the Spirit of the Lord blow­ [...]h upon it. Surely all flesh is grasse, omnis [...]aro, all flesh, the flesh of Princes and great [...]en, so well as of the Peasant and bagger. [...]aul saith, Heb. 9.27. Decretum est omnibus [...]ori, There is an appointed time for all [...]en to die. All the seed of Adam have had [...]eir day. Noab, Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, [...]olomon, Sampson, with our Abner. Know [...] not that there is a Prince and a great man fallen [...]is day in Israel?

Ob. If God bounds mans life to an ap­ [...]ointed time, to a day, then Ioab seems to [...]ulfill the good pleasure of God, in giving [...] full period to Abners life: he was but as [...]he Atropos to cut the threed of his morta­ [...]y asunder, and so how could this be [...]aid to be sin in him?

Ans. Cain might plead the same Argu­ment in murthering of his brother Abel, but [...]ow displeasing it was to the most high, let [Page 44]his punishment, let his yellings and roa [...] ­ings witnesse to the world.

2ly, Although mans appointed time [...] known to God, yet it is unknown to man so he is called Palmoni, which signifies a s [...] ­cret number, because he knoweth the num­ber of our dayes, which is secret and hid­den to us; for as Christ spake of the end [...] the world, Mat. 24.36. so may I speak i [...] this kind, Of that day and hour knoweth [...] man: And so it must needs follow, that I [...] ­ab's wickednesse was Monstrum, horrendu [...] most hainous and detestable.

Ʋse 1. All men have their falling day Be wise now therefore O ye Kings, be learned [...] Iudges of the earth, serve the Lord in fear. F [...] ­riunt cessos fulmina montes, the higher ye ar [...] the more ticklish ye stand, and the mo [...] ready ye are to fall: ye stand upon slipp [...] ­ry places, and are suddenly cast down, con­sumed and perished, Psal. 73.18, 19. Que [...] ­dies uidet veniens superbum, hunc dies fugie [...] videt jacentem. Whom the morning behel [...] swelling and strutting like the proud Pea­cock, the Evening beheld wallowing in hi [...] own blood and gore. Know ye not that Prince is fallen this day? The day of gre [...] ­men is no longer than the poor mans day [Page 45] [...]d therefore it will be their greatest ho­ [...]ur and wisdome to work out their salva­ [...]n whilst it is day, Phil. 2.12. Heb. 3.13. [...] the night cometh, when no man can work, [...]hn 9.4.

Ʋse 2. Here is instruction for inferi­ [...]s, to pray with Moses, Psal. 90.12. [...]d teach us so to number our days, that we may [...]ly our hearts unto wisdome, and there is no [...]dom like to that of looking well to the [...]ter part with Mary, and gaining of hea­ [...]. It is written of Alexander the great, [...]t a little pit held him after his death, [...]om the whole world could scarcely con­ [...]n living, and so he was still crowding [...] more elbow room, according to that of [...] Poer.

Ʋrus Pellae [...] juveni vix sufficit orbit.

And of Franciscus Borgia, seeing a little [...]mb and Coffin to contain all the Prince- [...]glory, power and magnificence of that [...]at Empresse Augusta, that he departed [...]m her Funeral, saying, Mortem Augustae si­vitam attulisse, that her death should give [...] life. Even so let the consideration of [...] mortality of our bodies, quicken us, [...] put life into us, to labour for the im­mortality [Page 56]of our souls in blisse. Let the [...] ­ditation of sic transit gloria mundi, all ea [...] ­ly glory vanisheth immediately like flax [...] is set on fire, as the Master of the Cere [...] ­nies was wont to speak to the Pope, [...] first day of his inauguration, mind to seek after the things above, Col. 3 [...] which fade not nor fail not, Luke 22.33▪ was the saying of Augustine, nescis qua [...] veniet, vigila, ut quod nescis quando veniet, ratum te inu [...]niat quum venerit: & ad hoc te nescis quando veniet, ut semper paratus the which I may interpret by our Savio [...] own words, Matth. 25.13. Ye know nei [...] the day nor the hour when the Son of man [...] come: watch therefore, that when he com [...] he may find you well-doing. And fort [...] cause of that day and hour knoweth man, that every man should watch and found a people ready prepared for [...] Lord, Luke 1.17. and so enter into [...] Kingdome prepared for them from the [...] ­ginning of the world, Matth. 25.34. Wh [...] Pharaoh, Ahimelech, Sisera, Herod, Ab [...] least dreamed of their fall, then their [...] was at an end: Let then Abolibah learn be wise by the punishment laid upon her [...] ­ster Abolah, for what is spoke of Abner he [...] [Page 57] [...]ll be verified of all in the same sence, al­ [...]ough not words, Know ye not, that a Prince, [...]d a great man is this day fallen in Israel?

Obs. 4. In Israel Gods Church is not free [...]om spots. In Paradise there was a dead­ [...] stinging Serpent, in Christs bosome a [...]das. In the fairest garden Later anguis sub [...] ba, will be some ve [...]e nous creature. Isra­ [...] was a nursery of Religion and Prophets: was the Lords peculiar treasure, Exod. 19. [...] and Vine, and yet lo this treasure hath canker, this Vine a deadly V [...]per couch­ [...]g under her branches to sting Abner unto [...]ath. Know ye not that a Prince, and a great man fallen this day? How? By Treason▪ Where? Israel. whom? By Joah. I might en­ [...]ge my self farther, but I will conclude [...] in a few words.

The Allusion.

1. Abner died when he least thought of [...]ath: even so our Prince and great man, [...] pulled down to his grave in the flower [...]d strength of his years, when he least [...]ought of the turning of the Sun. Cesar [...]ing asked what death he would choose, [...]s [...]ered, no lingring, but a sudden death, [Page 48]and this our Prince enjoyes, being alive, a dead in a moment; the breath of man [...] scarce pronounce so fast, Est, but the [...] ­cho answereth as fast, Non est, he [...] fallen.

2ly. Abner died a violent death: even [...] our Prince by unmercifull hands on eve [...] side is bereaved of his life; Gebal, Ammon [...] Amalech, Edom and Ishmael, Moad and [...] Agarims, Jesuites and Zamzummims, D [...] 2.20. that is a people, who called the [...] selves Rephaims, preservers or Physicia [...] to heal and reform vices, but played the D [...] ­vils to open a gap to let in all heresie a [...] abomination, and wickedness and pr [...] ­fanesse, and covetousness which is idol [...] try; These all of them have taken cra [...] counsel against him; Psal 83.3. and w [...] ­ried him, and dethroned him, and li [...] Cannibals have devoured him.

3ly. Abner was evil spoken of by Je [...] and his innocency tainted and spotted [...] him, and his integrity and best meani [...] misconstrued and misinterpreted, 24, [...] ver. Even so, our Prince, our great ma [...] was calumniated and reproched in the A [...] my by rude Souldiers, In the City by ign [...] ­rant Ephesians, Factious Schismaticks, a [...] [Page 49]many pratling Diotrephe's. In the Countrey, [...]y Copper-Smith Alexanders, and giddy­ [...]rained Athenians, stil longing to hear, and [...]ell news, sucking in all poison, and then pewing it out to the disgrace of their [...]rince. This was Christs lot and portion, [...]sa. 53.3. to verse 12. and certainly (how [...]ver the world deem of it) that servant is [...]ighly honoured, that is admitted to drink [...]f his Masters cup. If they have done these [...]ings to the green tree, what may they not, [...]ill they not do to the dry? Luke 23.31.

4ly, Abners fall was lamented by all Is­ [...]el, unlesse it were by cursed Joah, and his [...]icked brood, verse 32. Even so our great [...]ans subversion did afford much lamenta­ [...]on in our Rhaina, where among the more [...]odly and constant godly ones, there was [...]eeping, and mourning and howling for [...]ir Abner, for their Prince, because he as not, Matth. 2.18. Perhaps there might [...] some greedy of prey might rejoice in his [...]ll, that they might rise and step into his [...]at; but as Christ prayed for his malefa­ [...]or [...], so pray I, Father forgive them, for they [...]ow not what they do, Luke 23.34. That [...]rown must needs be dear bought, which purchased with blood, and an ill consci­ence [Page 50]and the losse of a soul, as Alexande the sixth sold his soul to the Devil, to ad­vance him to be Pope. The Romans wer [...] wont to begin their Epioedics after th [...] death of their Worthies, with August [...] mortuus est, the King is dead; the tidings [...] Augustus death made a Land-flood over a [...] Rome: And why should not Ahijabs sad [...] ­dings of Princeps occidit, our Prince is fa [...] ­len, turn our Israel into Bochim, a valley [...] tears? Unlesse we have eyes and will no [...] see, and hearts that will not understand the which was one of Pharaoh's plagues, W [...] never had more cause to pour out wat [...] before the Lord, than this day, 1 Sa [...] 7.6.

5ly, Abner falling, Ish-bosheth present [...] fell, with those adherents to them both 2 Sam. 4.7. Even so, our Prince and gre [...] man falling, how many hundred Famili [...] that are bread at his Table, and were ch [...] ­rished by our good Abner, were utterly ru [...] ­ned? The Peers lost the honour of the [...] birthright, and some of them their live [...] The Bishops, Deans, Arch-Deacons, wi [...] the learned Clergy lost their Livings, an [...] Liberties. The Gentry their Estates; an [...] have not all cause to cry out, as Elisha di [...] [Page 51]after Elijah, when he was taken up into heaven, 2 Kings 2.12. My father, my father. What shall we do? as the servant of the man of God said, Chap. 6.15.

6ly, Abner signifies the fathers Candle; and what he was by name, our Prince was by nature, a bright shining light and Can­dle, as it was said of John Baptist, John 5.35. and this Candle being put out, we must needs walk in Egyptian darknesse, and dark­nesse is none of the least plagues.

7ly, Abner was gulled of his life under a colour of kindnes, v. 27. Joah pretended love, but intended murther. Mel in ore, verba la­ctis, fel in corde, fraus in factis, he had ho­ney in his mouth, but gall in his heart, he spake to him peaceably, but struck him to the heart. Even so our Prince was fed with golden promises, and Naphthalies goodly words, that they would make him the grea­test Prince in Christendom; if he would null Bishops, Confirm the Parliament du­ring their own pleasure, Resign the Militia into their hands, which having obtained, and all they could ask, at last cut off his head-with his own sword, as David served Goliah, 1 Sam. 17.51. And so let us pray,

From the Crafty Counsel of Abithophel,
From Rabshakeh's railing, & Shimei's cursing,
From Iudas's kisse, and Joab's bloody hands,
Good Lord deliver us.
From all false Doctrine and Heresie,
From hardnesse of heart and privy conspi­racy▪
From sudden death and Jesuitical cruelty,
Good Lord deliver us.

Absaloms unnatural rebel­lion against his father.
SERM. II.

2 Sam. 18.33.

And the King was moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept, and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absolom, I would God that I had died for thee, Absolom my sonne, my sonne.

DIC mihi Musa virum, Tell me of any man (but the son of man) that ever was so soaked in sorrows, and soused in tears, as David was; his whole life seemed nothing else, (from the Cradle to the Grave) but a map of miserie; the ground on [Page 54]which he stood, a red sea of blood, or a wild wilderness, full of sharp briars, and thorns, that pricked and peirced him, which way soever he moved; his diet, like Micai­ahs, 1 Kings 22.27. Bread of affliction; and water of affliction, so that he said truly of himself, Psal. 102.6. I am like a Pellican in the wilderness, whose nature is to trickle down tears on her bill continually; and in this sence saith Job, Chap. 5 7. Man is born to sore travell and trouble, as sparks flie upward; and this ye shall find in the survey of his life.

  • 1. He was a shepherd, and he that follows that calling, duram servit servi­rutem, serves an hard Apprentiship, as Ja­cob speaks and shews, Gen 31.40. I was in the day consumed with heat, and with frost in the night, and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
  • 2ly. He was despised. by Eliah his eldest brother, 1 Sam. 17.28.
  • 3ly, He was defied by Goliah the Philistim, v. 42.
  • 4ly, He was assaulted by a lion and a Bear, v 34.
  • 5ly, He was persecuted by Saul.
  • 6ly, Despised by Michal his own wife.
  • 7ly, He was betrayed by the Ziphims, chap. 23.19.
  • 8ly, He was envied by Philistims.
  • 9ly, And in a word, to fill up the measure of his griefs, his own son, his bosome son, his Isaac son, his [Page 55]darling son seeks his life and Crown a once; and yet for this bird that would have picked out his eyes, this cuckoe that would have devoured his damme, that bred, and fed, and cockered him, he good man weeps, and in the midst of his inundation, thus he said, O my son Absolom, my son, my son Absalom, I would God that I had died for thee, Absalom my son, my son. From whence we learn after his example,

Obs. 1. To love our enemies, to blesse them that curse us, to do good to them that hate us, and to pray for them which burt us and persecute us; Matth. 5.44. for saith Christ, v. 46, 47. If we love them which love us, what reward shall we have? Do not the Publicans even the same? Or if we be friendly to our brethren onely, what singular thing do we? Do not even sinners likewise? but to be perfect even as our heavenly father is perfect, but with Steven to render good for evil, Acts 7.60. but with David to mourn and grieve for the losse of a Rebel son, Est bie labor, hoc opus, praise-worthy indeed, as it is, Rom. 13.3. and Christian like. I must confess with Christs disciples, durus est hic sermo, that this is a hard saying, but verus est hic sermo, this is a true saying, 1 Tim. 1.15. for un­lesse [Page 56]we deny our selves, and as Abraham was commanded, exire de patria sua, to go out of his Countrey, Gen 12.1. so we go out of our selves, and cast off flesh and blood; we cannot go into Christ, or ever come where he is.

Obs. 2. That many are the troubles of the righ­teous, Psal. 34.19. As the stones that were for Solomons Temple, were sawen and squa­red, and endured many an hard knock, before they were fitted for that place, and their place: even so the godly must be sawn with the Saw of Correction, and squared with the ax of tribulation, and suffer miserie upon miserie, before they can become lively stones of the spiritual buil­ding, whereof Christ Jesus is the head cor­ner stone. As the ground is rent under the Plough again, and again, and harrowed, and sown, and endures many an hard frost, and cold blast, and showers, before the har­vest cometh: even so, this is the condition of Gods Holy Land, to be tilled, and har­rowed, and tumbled about, and water-furrowed, but then comes the Harvest, and the Wheat is gathered into his Garner, when the chaff is burned with unquencha­ble fire, Mat. 512. Afflictions, as it is said [Page 57]of Gad, come by Troops; and as there were many Lepers, and many widows in Israel, [...]n the dayes of Elizeus; and as it was a mighty host of the Aramites compassed a­ [...]out Samaria, 2 Kings 6.14. even so the [...]ighteous, like the man of God, are com­ [...]assed about with a mighty Host, and Troops, and a multitude of calamities, yet [...]evertheless in all these things they are [...]onquerours, through him that loveth [...]hem, saith Paul, Rom. 8.37. as if he had [...]id, these things come not to make us mour­ [...]ers, but conquerors, and the conqueror [...]eaves alwayes the field with honour and [...]riumph, and joy. Many are the troubles of [...]he Righteous; Here is asharp breakfast: but we must through many afflictions enter [...]nto the Kingdom of God, as Paul and Barnahas taught, Acts 14.22. there is a de­ [...]icious Supper and amends for all. I read of Jovinian the Emperor, that he had two sorts of Wine in his Palace, the one sweet, and [...]he other sowr, but he decreed, that whoso­ever would tast of the sweet, should first [...]ast of the sowr: Even so, Qui vult cum Christo conregnare in Regno Coelorum, debet [...]um Christo compati in volle lachrymarum, he [...]hat will reign with Christ in the King­dom [Page 58]of glory, must first suffer with Chri [...] in this vale of tears, he must first take u [...] his Crosse, before he shall put on a Crown▪ First drink Vineger, then Wine: he mu [...] first wear a Crown of thorns, and then [...] Crown of glory: and good reason for it ▪ For the Disciple is not above his Master, nor th [...] servant greater than his Lord, Mat. 10.24. But [...] is enough for the disciple to be as his Master, an [...] the servant as his Lord, verse 25.

Obs. 3. That although many are the trou­bles of the righteous, yet the Lord is their del [...] ­verer out of them all: He is their City of re­fuge to secure them from the hands of th [...] avenger; he is their shield and buckler t [...] defend them; he is that brazen serpent, unt [...] which if they look and run, will preserv [...] them. Many are the troubles of the righteou [...] & they have many as deliverers out of them all; for they that are with them & for the [...] are more than they that are against them, a [...] the servant of the man of God can wit­nesse, 2 Kings 6.16. and in the multitude o [...] the sorrows which they have in thei [...] hearts, this is their comfort, Psal. 119.50▪ that God is able to deliver them, as the thre [...] children said, Dan. 3.17. and pitcheth hi [...] Life-guard about them, Psal. 34.7.91.11▪ [Page 59] [...] that they may now sing with the [...]urch, Psal. 124. If the Lord had not been on [...] side, (may Israel now say) if the Lord had [...] been on our side when men rose up against us, [...] had then swallowed us up quick, when their [...]th was kindled against us. Then the wa­ [...] had drowned us, and the stream had [...]e over our soul, then had the swelling [...]ters gone over our soul. Praised be the [...]d which hath not given us as a prey to their [...]b. Our soul is escaped, even as a bird out of [...] snare of the foulers, the snare is broken and [...] are delivered. Our help is in the name of the [...]d which hath made heaven and earth. So that [...] Christ asked the adulteress, Ioh. 8.10. Where [...] thine accusers? and she said, they are [...]ne; even so, if any shall demand, where [...] the troubles of the righteous? an­ [...]er may be made, they are vanished like [...]sts at the rising of the Sun; for the Lord [...]ttered them, as he did the Army of the Sy­ [...]ns, 2 Kings 7.6. Many were Iobs affli­ [...]ons, and as sharp as any, but the Lord [...]ivered him out of them all, and made [...] comforts at last to exceed his sorrows at [...]st, chap. 42.12. David was a figure of [...]hrist, and so was hedged about with the [...]osse. For 1. As Christ was contemned [Page 60]of his Country men, so was he of his [...] ­thren. 2ly. As Christ fled into Ae [...] to save his life: so David to Gath to [...] ­serve his. 3ly, As Christ was glad to [...] ­ceive food of women: so David of Abig [...] 4ly, As Herod persecuted Christ: so S [...] David. 5ly, As there was a wicked co [...] nation of Priests, Elders, Scribes, Ph [...] ­sees, Jews, &c. against Christ: so the P [...] ­listims, Ammonites, Edomites and M [...] ­bites were all against David. 6ly, As Iudas [...] of the twelve Disciples, and Purse-bea [...] to Christ, was one of his greatest enemi [...] so Absalom his own bowels was against [...] ­vid; but God delivered him out of his han [...] and rendred the evil he conceived and pl [...] ­ted against his father, into his own br [...] and bosom: and for grief thereof David [...] ­bed forth this heavy lamentation, O my [...] Absalom, my son, my son Absalom, would G [...] had died for thee, Absalom my son, my son. the Text consider these 2 parties treated▪

  • 1. Of a most indulgent, affectionate, ki [...] and cockering father, that is, King [...] ­vid; And the King was moved, &c.
  • 2ly, Of an unnatural, unkind, und [...] ­ful and ungracious son, more cruel th [...] the savage Tygre against his Sire, and t [...] [Page 19] [...]bsalom, a King new erected, but is pul­ [...] out of his seat before he was fledge, from [...] [...]nce we learn.

Obs. 1. Soon ripe, soon rotten, as we use [...] [...]ay, Ionah's Gourd sprang up suddenly [...] night, and withered the next: even so, [...]l had no sooner proclaimed Absalom [...]g, but the men of Iudah mar his pride [...] depose him; and herein is Gods pro­ [...]e fulfilled, Psal. 53.23. The bloody and de­ [...]ul men shall not live out half their dayes, [...] so as Cushi said, ver. 32. Let all the ene­ [...] of the Lord my King; and all that rise up [...]st him be as that young man Absalom is.

[...]bs. 2. The sin of Patricide, even in the [...] heart, is a monstrous, abominable [...] detestable sin to God and man; for [...] will stands for the deed with God. [...]t quod potuit, as Christ of Mary Magda­ [...] goes for current execution. A Roman [...]g asked, why amongst all their good [...]s, there was none against killling of [...]ents; answered, that there was no true [...]an so unnatural: but in Israel, there [...] an unnatural child sprung from a good [...]k, that seeks his fathers life. He that [...], Ecles. 10.20. Curse not the King, no, [...] in thy thought, surely commands Absa­lom, [Page 62]and every one, not to imagine the [...] evil against his King, father. We say [...] some ungracious sons, they are sick of t [...] father; and Absalom was troubled with [...] same disease, but fell short of his expe [...] ­tion, the gallows giving him his full [...] ­ward; and for this David wept, &c.

In David let us consider these two gen [...] parts.

  • 1. His Passion, And the King was m [...] and went up to the Chamber over the gate, [...] wept, and as he went, thus be said, O my [...] Absalom, my son, my son Absolom.
  • 2ly, His compassion, Would God I had [...] for thee, O Absalom my son, my son.

In his Passion consider with me [...] particulars.

1. The force and violence of his pass [...] [...] the which struck him like a dart to the [...] heart, that he remained for the pre [...] ­senseless and speechless, like him that [...] to the Wedding-Feast without a Wed [...] garment, Matth. 22.12. And the King [...] moved: Yea, the Original speaks it [...] moved; Leves loquuntur curae, ingentes st [...] saith Seneca, where the waters are shall [...] there they are rough and murmure, [...] the deeps are smooth and silent; the tid [...] [Page 63] [...]nd like Ahijahs heavy tidings to the wife of [...]roboam, 1 Kings 14.6. of his white boys [...]bsaloms death, overwhelmed his spirit, [...]nd amased his soul, as he speaks, Ps. 143.4. [...]at as if he had been smitten dumb, like [...]acharias, he held his peace, like Aaron, [...]hen Nadab and Abihu, his sonnes, were [...]evoured with fire from the Lord. And the [...]ing was much moved.

2ly. His breathing and reviving after his [...]ievous passion, as if like Lazarus he had [...]een awakened out of his grave, And he [...]ent up to the chamber over the gate and wept; [...]herein let us observe,

  • 1. His motion, And went, &c.
  • 2ly, His action, and wept. In the first [...]onsider,
    • 1. Terminum à quo, v. 24.
    • 2ly, Ter­ [...]inum ad quem, as here.

1. Whither he went; he went up to the [...]amber, not to frolick it, not to revel it, [...]ot to commit adultery as he had done be­ [...]ore; for how should he then make mirth? [...] it is Ezek. 21.10. but to fast, and to weep, [...]nd to mourn, which was Gods call to him [...] that day, as it is Isa. 22.12.

2ly, The place where the chamber was, [...]ver the gate. The Kings first seat was below [...]etween the two gates, v. 24. a place very [Page 64]suitable to the condition he was in, and t [...] news he received from Cushi: but th [...] when he heard what God had done to hi [...] he mounts upward.

1. Either to make his peace with Go [...] that had thus tried his heart and reins, a [...] searched him to the quick, in cutting [...] his darling Absalom, as he had cut off Ʋ [...] ­ah the beloved husband of Bathsheba. or,

2ly, That as he was a King, so he mig [...] not discover so much weakness in himse [...] that he who could govern a great peop [...] could not guide and govern his own pas [...] ­ons. Thus as one said, Difficilius est be [...] regnare quam vincere, It is a harder matter [...] a man to reign well, than to win all. Eve [...] so, seipsum vincere, for a man to overco [...] himself, and his unbrideled affections, [...] no easie task, although commendable; b [...] how ever, if David cannot subdue the [...] yet he is unwilling the world should ta [...] notice of his imbecillity, and therefore we [...] up to the Chamber over the gate, or,

3ly, He was a man of war, and was we [...] acquainted with the bloody event; of wa [...] and so as Nehemiah spake chap 6.11. Shou [...] such a man as I flee, even so, for such an o [...] as he to be seen to melt for an outside sca [...] [Page 65]or wound, would have much blemished and stained his honour: and therefore he weeps [...]n secret for his Absolom, as Jeremiah did for [...]he pride, and captivitie of the people, 13.17. or,

4ly. That the world should not take no­ [...]ice of his too too carnal affection towards [...]is dear Son. It is true, he was his joy, the [...]pple of his eye, and he thought him of all [...]he birds of the nest the fairest, and the pre­ [...]iest. Yet in regard of his profession of god­ [...]inesse, he was unwilling that any should ob­ [...]erve his Carnality, (as in the best grain [...]here lurks some chaff) and therefore he [...]akes his Chamber to roar out to himself a­ [...]one his sad grievance. O Absolom my Son, my [...]on Absolom.

2. As we have looked upon his motion, and [...]ent, &c. so let us cast an eye upon his acti­ [...]n, and wept. If he had wept for the afflicti­ [...]ns of Zion, or for his sins, or that God did [...]ide his face from him, Psal. 30.7. this had [...]ot been blamable: but for to weep for the [...]osse of such a Son, such a Rebel and Tray­ [...]or, and such an unparalleld Caitiff, this is [...]nexcusable. From whence we learn,

Obs. 1. The best have their failings: for saith [...]olomon, 1 Kin. 8.46. There is no man that sin­eth [Page 66]not, and the just man falleth seven times in a day. And so we ought to pity, support, and comfort one another, Knowing whereof we are made, remembring that we are but dust, as God hath compassion on us, Psal. 103.13, 14.

Obs. That the best meat may be our poy­son, if not well Cooked: weeping is good in its own nature, but adulterous weeping springing from carnalitie is stark naught. There are four-fold sorts of tears, according to the ground on which the seed was sowen.

  • 1. Lacrymae doloris, grief tears.
  • 2ly. Lacrymae compassionis, fellow-feeling tears.
  • 3ly. Lacrymae paenitentiae, repenting tears.
  • 4ly. Lacrymae murmurationis, grumbling or murmuring tears. And so of these in order.

1. Grief tears, are those which we shed every one in his private and particular cross and affliction, when any evil befalls us, as we are never unfurnished of occasions from the Cradle to the Grave. Low grounds are commonly moist and waterie. Man that is born of a woman, is full of trouble, and miserie, saith Job 14.1. He comes into the world weeping. He goes forth weeping. He sow [...] [Page 67]in tears, Psal. 126.5, 6. and his (Exitus) end is crying, like the Shunamites child. Moses, in Cunabilis, in his swadling clouts wept, Exo. 2.6. Ishmael, in Infantia, in his Childhood wept, Gen. 21.17. Esau, in juventute, in his youth wept, Gen. 27.38. Jacob, in Senectute, wept, 37.35. that we are little or no time free from mourning. All this shews, that as the Sea is alwaies boyling and moving, so sorrow upon sorrow follows as close at the heels, as one wave pursueth another, and as Jobs sad Messengers traced the other. So that in this respect we may say with David, Psal. 8.4. Quid est homo, what a miserable crea­ture is man?

2ly. There are fellow-feeling tears, which is a sympathizing in our Brethrens calami­ties. As Christ our head suffers when the Members of his body suffer: and as it is in the natural body, If one Member suffer, all suf­fer with it, 1 Cor. 12.26. As in a throng of people, one treads upon anothers foot, the which causeth him to cry out, Cur me cal [...]as? why dost thou tread upon me? The foot was hurt, and not the tongue, and yet the tongue complaineth, by reason of that ami­able sympathie and friendship that is be­tween the Members. Now as it is in the [Page 68]mystical body, and natural body, even so should it be in the spiritual body, weeping for Josephs afflictions so well as our own. St▪ Paul, Vas electionis, the chosen Vessel, di [...] not only by precept, but by pattern teach us our duty in this, 2 Cor. 11.29. Is any weak, and I am not weak? who is offended▪ and I burn not? Brethren, be ye followers o [...] him, and book on them which walk so, as ye have them for an ensample, Phil. 3.17. Christ Jesu [...] did the like, for he appropriated all th [...] mischief done to the Church, as done to him­self, Acts 9.4. Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? So that if ye will not be followers of Paul, nor of the Saints; Yet be followers of God as dear Children.

3ly. There are repenting tears, which are poured forth for our sins, and for our own, and other mens punishments, and chas­tisements by reason of them: for man suf­fers for his sins, Lam. 3.39. If sin breaks our head, tears lend us a plaister to heal where sin hath wounded, and the more tears, the sooner the cure is wrought. Mary Magdalen, Peccatrix, a sinner, was so prodigal of them, that she washed Christs feet with her tears; her sins were many, and her tears did cor­respond to her sins, and therefore her Lord [Page 69]did forgive her all her sins, Luke 7.47. What [...] sweet voice was it sounded in the Palsie mans ears? Mat. 9.2. Be of good comfort, thy [...]ins are forgiven thee. And that I might hear [...]he like, (I speak from my soul) let Ziba [...]ake all; and let me tell you, the readiest [...]ourse we can take to obtain remission and [...]orgivenesse, is to swim to God in a flood of tears, as the Ark was carried to mount [...]rarat upon the waters, where it rested [...]eaceably, Gen. 8.4. This was the means which Peter used to make his atonement with his master, after his lying, and deny­ [...]ng, and forswearing of him, Mat. 26.75. [...] He wept bitterly, and this course [...]he Israelites took, when the Text tells us, [...]hat they poured out water before the [...]ord, that is, they wept abundantly for [...]heir sins, they were as free of their tears as [...]f water, their heads were full of water, [...]nd their eyes as a fountain of tears; they [...]umbled themselves very low, that God [...]ight receive them into favour again. And [...]his was Davids practise, Psal. 6.6. I cause [...]y bed every night to swim, I water my Couch [...]ith my tears. And then follows vers. 8. [...]ay from me ye workers of Iniquitie: for the [...]ord hath heard the voice of my weeping. It [Page 70]was a sweet saying of one, Never any cam [...] to Gods door weeping, that ever went [...] way sorrowing. The Ninevites were a sinfu [...] people, and there was wrath proclamed against them, and the execution thereof d [...] nounced within 40. daies: yet upon the [...] repenting tears, and crying mightily unt [...] God, and turning from their evil waie [...] God repented of the evil that he had sai [...] that he would do unto them, and he did [...] not, Jon. 3.8, 10. And to this effect speaks Hi [...] rome, Oratio deum lenit, sed lacryma angi [...] haec ungit, sed illa pungit. Prayer is of gre [...] force and power with God, for what cann [...] a fervent praying man do? Jam. 5.16. b [...] when tears accompany, and are joyne [...] with prayer, then what can be denyed [...] such a melting soul? The Canaanitish w [...] man, Mat. 15.22. and the Father of him tha [...] was possessed with a dumb Devil, Mark [...] 24. did both by crying, and tears, and crying tears, obtain their long wished for d [...] sires, and drew pity, and compassion, and compassionate pity from Christ. In whic [...] respect, Austin said, Vincunt invisibilem, & l [...] gant omnipotentem, they conquer him that unconquerable, and bind the almighty po [...] er of God to yield to our requests, as we s [...] [Page 71] [...]n Jacob, Gen. 32.28. And so sweetly was it [...]ttered, by a sweet Divine: Repenting eyes [...]re Cellars of Angels, and penitent tears [...]heir choicest wine, which the Savour of life [...]erfumes, the tast of grace sweetneth, and [...]he purest colours of returning innocencie [...]ighly beautifieth. And I would God, as David speaks, that our hearts were such a Limbeck, evermore distilling so pure a Quintessence, drawn out from the weeds of our offences, by the fire of Contrition, that Heaven might mourn at the absence of so precious a water, and earth lament the loss of such fruitfull showers. We have all sin­ned, and our sins are many, and great, and a great many, and so we ought with Christ, Heb. 5.7. to powr out strong cries, and tears, un­to him that is able to save us from death. Every one of us when we come to die, would glad­ly go to Heaven: but if we so intend in good earnest, lacrymae paenitentiae, repenting tears must be our guide thither, as the star was to the wise men, to bring them to Christ, Mat. 2.9:

4ly. There are grumbling, murmuring, and muttering tears: the which are shed in discontent, that God should lay this or that evil upon them, or rob them of their Izaak, [Page 72]Joseph, Absolom, joy, or delight of thei [...] heart, or pleasure of their eyes, and of thes [...] the Sonnes and daughters of men, are more free than the rest; but saith the Prophet, Isay 45.9. Wo to him that striveth with his Maker: shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, what makest thou? or shall man say to God, what dost thou? O peace, peace O murmur­ing soul, be whist, be silent, and murmur not, as some of them murmured, lest thou be destroyed of the destroyer, 1 Cor. 10.10▪ peace, O murmuring soul, be dumb, be­cause it is the Lord hath done it, Psal. 39.9. David had tears of all sorts.

  • 1. He had grief tears for the losse of his darling Abso­lom.
  • 2ly. He had fellow feeling tears in his misery, as knowing that so bad a life he li­ved, could have no good end or death, and therefore he wisheth that he had stood i [...] his place, Would God I had died for thee, Abso­lom, my son, my son.
  • 3ly. He had repenting tears, being assured that his own sinne, so well as his sons, hastened him to the grave.
  • 4ly. He had whining, murmuring tears, as may be gathered by his excessive impati­ence, and immoderate weeping. And the king was moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O [Page 73]m [...] son Absolom, &c. And so I passe to the [...]xt particular in the first general point.

3ly. The effect of his passion: and as he [...]t, thus he said; wherein let us consider [...]ese two particulars,

  • 1. Quod dixit, that he said.
  • 2ly. Quid dixit, what he said.

1. The vessel of his body was so over­ [...]arged with grief, that if he had not gi­ [...]n it vent, his heart would have burst. But [...] own words best speak it, Ps. 39.3. Mine [...]art was hot within me, and while I was mea­ [...]g, the fire kindled, and I spake with my tongue. [...]avid was an expert and skilful Musician, [...]d here he sheweth it. For. first he begins [...]ith still Musick: And the king was moved. [...]hen he strikes a note higher: And he went [...] to the chamber over the gate, and wept. 3ly. [...]hen he played upon loud Musick, and [...]ud Cymbals: and as he went, thus he said, [...] Absalom, my son, my son Absalom, and so I [...] fallen upon the next particular.

2ly. What he said. A man would have [...] ought that David had more cause to [...]esse God for his great deliverance from [...]e hands of his enemy, than to whine, and [...]urmur, and weep, and hang down his [...]ead like a bull-rush: I, but thinks David, [Page 74]if he were mine enemy, yet he was, fili [...] meus, my childe, my son. But if he we [...] thy son, yet he was cast into a wretch [...] mould, like one of those that the Apos [...] speaks of, 2 Tim. 3.2, 3, 4, 5. A Lover [...] himself, proud, unthankful, disobedie [...] to parent, without natural affection, [...] temperate, fierce, no lover at all of th [...] which are good, a traitor, heady, hig [...] minded, having a shew of godliness, [...] denying the power thereof. I, But sa [...] David, love covereth a multitude of faul [...] for he was filius meus dilectus in quo mihi c [...] placui, my beloved son in whom I was w [...] pleased. But if he were thy son, and [...] beloved son, yet why should'st thou [...] such a pearl to such a swine, and be m [...] prodigal of thy love to him, than to S [...] mon, Adonijah, and the rest of thy childr [...] better deserving? I but saith David, he [...] filius iste meus, the prettiest man that ever [...] beheld, there was none in all Israel [...] him; and therefore I cannot but sigh, a [...] sobb, and eccho forth this sad lamentati [...] for him, O Absalom, my son, my son Ab [...] lom. From whence we learn,

Obs. 1. That love is blinde, accord [...] to that of the Poet,

[...]isquis amot ranam, ranam putat esse Dianam.
[...]isquis amat servam servam putat esse Miner­ [...]vam.
[...]isquis amat luscam, luscam putat esse venustam

David beheld his son with the eye of [...]sh, and blood, but was blind to look in­ [...] the deformities of his soul; his body [...]as not so lovely as his soul was filthy, [...]d therefore it was a wonder how good [...]avid should so much forget himself, (who [...]as a man after Gods own heart, and [...]ew what God affected most, Prov. 23.26.) [...] be transported with love to the outward [...]an, not regarding how leprous and dis­ [...]sed the inward man was. Surely David [...]r the present was not David, and as the [...]ilosopher told his old Concubine, so he [...]ight have said of himself, Ego non sum e­ [...], the which I may interpret by that which [...] said of the Prodigal in his ranting and [...]ffling fit and humour, he was not himself, [...]uk. 15. he was as blind an Bartimeus the Beg­ [...]r: neither was this his case alone, but [...]dams; for he and his wife Hevah rejoiced [...]ceedingly in their first born child; but [...] for their second, they called him Habel, [Page 76]which signifies vanity, as if he were ligh [...] esteemed of by them in competition to C [...] but whom they accepted, God rejected; a [...] whom they rejected, God accepted; For [...] seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on [...] outward appearance, but God looketh on the hea [...] 1 Sam. 16.7. And after the pattern of G [...] himself. Parents should love their childr [...] for their vertue and godlinesse, more th [...] for their painted outside. Samuel was a go [...] man and a Prophet, and he was enamour [...] with Eliabs feature and stature, and goo [...] ly proportion of body, and said, surely t [...] Lords anointed is before him, v. 6. but ho [...] blind he was in judgement and affection, t [...] Sequel sheweth. For a father not to love [...] child, is unnatural; for a father to love h [...] body more than his soul, is unchristia [...] like; for a father to over-love him, is n [...] to love him, nor himself: for God commonly crosseth him in his inordinate lov [...] David, render a reason why thou deligh [...] edst in Absalom more than in the rest; we [...] thou taken with his goodly head of hai [...] Alas, that is a sorrie excrement. We [...] thou captivated with his fair face? Ala [...] that the Pox or age quickly defaceth. We [...] thou ravished with his straight body? Ala [...] [Page 77] [...]ery wrinch decrepits it. Wert thou over­ [...]me with the lustre and splendor of his [...]es, as Christ was wounded with one of [...]e eyes of his Spouse, Cant. 4.9? Alas, they [...]e haughty, and will soon wax dim, and [...]ase to look out at their Windows, Eccles. [...].3. Wert thou delighted in his legs? [...]as, as God, Psal. 117.10. So shouldest not [...]u take pleasure in the legs of a man. Speak [...]avid, speak; what was the object of thy [...]e? and if thou canst give no better rea­ [...]ns than these, surely, thy love to Absa­ [...] was blind. Beware, lest any of you (with [...] Aramites) be smitten with this blindness. Obs. 2. Carnal Passion breaks all bounds [...] reason, and true Religion. If God [...]estion Jonah, chap. 4.4. Dost thou well to [...]angry? he will justifie himself, and stand [...]out, I do well to be angry to the death, v. 9. [...]ah had pity on a Gourd, and yet he [...]arrels with God for having pity on Nini­ [...], and shewing mercy to that City, Where. [...] were sixscore thousand persons, that could not [...]cern between the right hand and the left. Jo­ [...], What was thy Gourd to a great, stately, [...]d eminent City? What was thy Gourd [...] the treasures in that City? What was thy [...]ourd to much cattel in that City? What [Page 78]was thy Gourd to the men, women and ch [...] dren in that City? truly but as a straw to t [...] Gold in Ophir. Here then passion mak [...] thee to break the bounds of reason. ut [...] take one step and measure more. Wh [...] was thy Gourd to all the souls in that C [...] ­ty? and in having more compassion on tha [...] than on them, thou breakest the bounds [...] true Religion. Job was a good man, a [...] upright and just man, and as a lillie amon [...] thorns, and an apple-tree among the tre [...] of the Forest, Cant. 2.2, 3. yet being stri [...] ken upon the heart-vein, he quarrels wit [...] every thing stood in his way, and was i [...] his eye, he falls out with his mother th [...] conceived him, the midwife that helped [...] bring him into the world, the night, th [...] light, the day, chap. 3. yea with God himself. His distemper is so hot and virulen [...] and violent upon him, that no cords, [...] banks or bounds can hold him. David tha [...] did face a Lion, killed a Bear, conquer th [...] huge Giant, and overcame all his enemie [...] was overcome and drunken with passion fo [...] the losse of his Absalom.

Ʋse. Hence we learn, what Babes, an [...] Weaklings, and Striplings we are, if w [...] loose our hold from grace; for as by faith [Page 79]s [...] by grace we stand, 2 Corinthians 1: 24. 2ly, That it is not mans merit, but Gods [...]e mercy saves him; For what is man, that [...] should be mindfull of him, or the Son of man, [...]t he should regard him? Psal. 8.4. there is [...] thing in him, (if well canvassed) but [...]ining and Rebellion against his Maker. 3ly, That if Jachin and Boaz, the Cha­ [...]ts and Horsemen of Israel, and the god­ [...] and faithful have such shrewd faults, and [...]ls, and falls, then how horribly and of­ [...] do the wicked shoot their sharp arrows, [...]en bitter words, Psal. 64.3. against God [...] their crosses?

4ly, In all our afflictions, to follow God [...]th our prayers to strengthen us with [...]ength in our souls, Psal. 138.3. that we [...]y possesse our souls in patience, Luke 21. [...]. speaking with Job 12.0. What? shall [...] receive good from the hand of the Lord, and [...] evil? Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Obs. 3. From Davids wonderfull love to his [...], we gather that Gods love to his chil­ [...]en is unmatchable. As 'twas said of Christ, [...]ts 8.33. Who can declare his generation? so I [...]y speak in this kind, Who can declare his [...]e to man? Let us take a survey of it a­ [...] of, as Moses did of Canaan, and we shall [Page 80]but admire it, and with John, Rev. 17▪ wonder with admiration.

1. If we look into his first frame; he [...] created after the image of God, accordi [...] to his likenesse, Gen. 1.27. and this wa [...] most glorious condition, like that whi [...] Saint Paul speaks of, 1 Cor. 2.9. which [...] tongue of man is not able to expresse, [...] the heart to conceive of.

2ly, He delivered into his hand the S [...] veraignty over all fish, and beasts, and all f [...] ­ing fowls, and all things, Gen. 1.28. [...] was sole Monarch, and commander [...] chief of the whole world; there was no [...] could hurt him, till he hurt himself by si [...] so that like Israel, Hos. 13.9. Perditio sua [...] ­se, his destruction was from himself.

3ly, After his fall, he raiseth him aga [...] with the promised Messiah, Gen. 3.15. whi [...] was a sure token of his love, to send t [...] son of his love to pay his debt for him, [...] cancelling his Obligation, Col. 2.14.

4ly, In Christ, to bind up his soul in t [...] bundle of life: So that now thou may [...] speak, Why art thou so heavy O my soul, w [...] art thou disquieted within me? Psal. 42.5. B [...] hold the Lamb of God, that taketh away [...] sins of the world, John 1.29.

5ly, That he takes notice of his name, as he did know Moses by his name, and moreover write his name in the Book of Life, Phil. 4.3.

6ly, If We look lower, his love is mani­fested to mans body; for it shall be clothed with glory; For when Christ which is our life [...]hall appear, then shall we all appear with him in glory, Col. [...].4.

7ly, If we look yet lower, his love is [...]een in the bones of man, that he should keep them, Psal. 34.20.

8ly, If we look yet lower, upon (partes ex­ [...]rementitias) his excrementitial parts, his love [...]o man is highly discovered, as 1. In num­ [...]ing of the hairs of his head, Matth. 10.30. [...]ly, In not suffering any of them to perish, Luke 21.18. 3ly, In treasuring up our tears in [...] bottle, Psal, 56.8. and in registring of them. [...]ly, In wiping away all tears from all [...]aces, Isa. 25.8.

9ly, In preserving him in his going [...]ut and coming in, Psal. 121.8. and com­ [...]assing all his paths, and lying down, Psal. [...]39.3. and directing his paths, Pro­ [...]erbs 3.6.

1. When man goeth out, he may never [...]ome in more; when he comes in, he may [Page 82]never lie down, or go to bed more; when he goeth to bed, he may never rise more, a [...] we have plentiful examples of each: Now what a good God have we, that underta­keth to be our Nurse and Keeper, and pre­server from all evil? Psal. 121.7.

2. Paul may plant, and Apollo water, and man may eat the bread of carefulnesse, rising early, and going to bed late, Psal. 127.2. but unless God directs him, & blesseth him he laboureth but in vain, and spendeth hi [...] strength in vain, like Isa. 49.4. and there­fore let it be his wisdome when he goeth a­bout any businesse, or enterpriseth any thing, to call upon God by Prayer, to as­sist him, direct him, and prosper him, a [...] Abrahams servant did, Gen. 24.12. and then without all doubt, he will make thee as suc­cessefull as him.

10ly, In giving entertainment to the sighs and sobs of a troubled spirit. Israel could not grone, but God heard it, Exod 2.24. As the sin of the old world; so the sighs of the afflicted ascend up to heaven, and come before God, and are so graci­ously accepted, that he sets a mark on such as mourn for the abominations of the times, Ezek. 19.4. and their own miseries; so that [Page 83]we may cry out with Paul, Rom. 11.33. oh the deepness of the riches of his good­nesse to man. As for the Application, I will refer it to the next point.

Obs. 4. From the consideration of Da­vids love to his rebellious and wicked son Absalom, I observe, That much greater is Gods love to poor sinners. Hear God him­self pleading the case or cause between him­self and Israel, The people were bent to re­bellion against him, Hos. 11.7. that is, set on mischief, not caring what they did, nor how they provoked him to anger. Now God at last is awakened, like a Giant out of wine, with the crie of their sins; and seems to deliberate the matter in these words, vers. 8. How shall I give thee up▪ Ephra­im? How shall I deliver thee, Israel? How shall I make thee, as Admah? How shall I set thee; as Zeboim? mine heart is turned with in me, my repentings are rouled together. I will not execute the fierceness of my wrath, I will not return to destroy Ephraim, for I am God and not man; and again, Jer. 31.20. Is Ephra­im my dear son, or pleasant childe? yet since I spake unto him, I still remembred him; there­fore, my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have compassion on him. If the words [Page 84]be well scanned, what love of any father can come near the love of our heavenly Fa­ther? for how doth his heart mourn? how do his mercies over-look our iniquities? how are his bowels troubled? how are his repentings rouled together? how doth he in the midst of wrath remember mercy? how doth he after all his menacings and threatnings recall our frailties, and his own blessed, glorious, and ever renowned attribute (the mercifull God) And so spare us? heu quam bonus est deus, quam vilis homo? O How good is God to Israel? and how unworthy, and unthankfull, and dis­obedient is Israel to this good God? and that we may the better blush and be asha­med of our selves and sinfull courses, let us look upon some branches of his Love, As,

1. When we were deadly sick, and no­thing could recover us, but the blood of his beloved and onely begotten Son, then he spared not his own Son, but gave him for us all to death, that we might live, Rom. 8.32.

2ly, The eminency of his Love shines the more clear, if we consider the persons upon whom he cast and bestowed his Love, and that was upon grievous sinners, as the [Page 85]Apostle shews, Rom. 5.6. for Christ, when we were yet of no strength, died for the un­godly.

3ly, The unworthiness of the persons is aggravated by their loathsome conditi­on, being à capite ad calcem, from the crown of the head to the soal of the foot, full of nothing but wounds and sores, and swel­lings full of putrified corruption, Isa. 1.6. Job in that condition was loathed by his own wife, and friends; and for the King of Kings to be enamoured on such wretch­ed Lazarusses, Quantus amor? how great was his Love? The blind, and the halt, and the lame, the soul of David hated; and who but God, would but have done the like? and therefore the stronger tie, and bond to bind us to love him, Who hath so loved us, as it is, 1 Joh. 4.11.

4ly, If our condition had been loath­some by divine Providence, it had not been much to be wondered at, that he should love deformed creatures of his own ma­king; but when it came by our making, and marring by sin, what he had made beautifull, this speaks his goodnesse indeed.

5ly, Or for a good man one may die, Rom. 5.7. but for an open and professed [...], [Page 86]enemy, who but David would die? Yet when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, Rom. 5.10. We con­spired, and crucified, and killed the Lord of Life, Acts 3.15. and the Lord of Life layes down his life, to give us life; and is not this unheard of love?

6ly, His love is most apparent by the rich purchase and price he paid for us; For me were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb undefiled, and without spot, 1 Pet. 1.18. All the blood of Bulls and Goats in the world could not help us: but it must be the blood of the Lamb of God must purifie our consciences from dead works, Heb. 9.14. and when this Lamb must be slain to save us sinners, who can de­ny his love to be very great?

The uses hereof are these,

Ʋse 1. The bountifulness, and loving-kindeness of our heavenly Father towards us, should lead us all unto repentance, Rom. 2.4. What could he have done for his vineyard, that he hath not done unto it? Isa. 5.4. he hath planted it with the best plants; he hath watered it, and dung­de it, and pruned it, and hath bestowed [Page 87]much labour, and cost about it, and love upon it, as the Dresser did upon the barren fig-tree, Luk. 13.7, 8. He feeds us, he clothes us, and in a word, blesseth us with the blessings of his right hand, and of his left, Prov. 3.16. And now O man, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? Surely nothing, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble thy self, and to turn from thy evil wayes, and to walk with thy God, Mic. 6.8. So that as the ser­vants of Naaman spake unto him, 2 King. 5.13. If the Prophet had commanded thee some great matter, would'st thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, wash and be clean? I speak unto you, if God had required of you, your lands, treasures, wives, husbands, yea, your Absaloms, ye must have parted with them: but he soares not so high, but contents himself with lit­tle, and that little is, to be grieved with our selves, for grieving him; to return un­to the Lord, that he may return unto us, Zach. 1.3. and to repent us of all our wickedness. He that will grudge God this, deserves not to be owned for his childe. It was the saying of the man of God to the good Shunamite, 2 King. 4.13. [Page 88] Behold, thou hast had all this care for us, what shall we do now for thee? and of David, Psal. 116.12. Quid retribuam domino? What shall I render unto the Lord, for all his benefits? even so, let it be our meditation, what we shall do for God, that hath done such great things for us? For where much is given, much is looked for, saith Christ, Luk. 12.48. Let us then with the Samaritan leper, chap. 17.15. return and praise God, and that not only in tongue or word, but in our deeds, and lives, and conversations. Mark the Apostles argument, 1 Cor. 6.20. yeare bought with a price, there is our Heavenly Fa­thers love. Now the sequel tells us what li­eth on our part to perform; Glorifie God therefore in your bodies, and in your spirits A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: If he be then our Father, let us honour him: If our master, let us fear him, Mal. 1.6.

Ʋse 2. Here is comfort, and Balm of Gilead to heal all that are wounded with their sinnes; for if David could forget, and forgive (as we use to say) all the un­kindeness, and wrongs done to him by his unnatural son Absalom, and wish to die for him, who had as willingly die, as see him [Page 89] [...]e; then out of all question, God hath [...]ore yerning, melting, and tender bowels [...]wards them that lie grovling on the [...]rth for their failings. Can David seal a [...]rdon to his son that stands up in defiance [...] him, abuseth his wives and concubines, [...]bels, and takes armes to pull him out of [...]s Throne by head and ears? and wil [...]ot our heavenly Father receive us to mer­ [...], when we shall submit, lament and be­ [...] ail our errours and transgressions? weep [...]nd howl, and beg, and crave forgiveness? [...]all David look a squint, and a to side [...]on the faults of his childe, and only eye [...]m as the fruit of his loins? and will not [...]od cast all our sinnes into the bottom of [...]e Sea, Mic. 7.19. and not look upon us [...] our selves, but in his Christ, in whom he [...] well pleased, Mat. 3.17. and with us in [...]im? Wherefore let us comfort one another in [...]ese words. 1 Thes. 4.18.

Ʋse 3. Is for instruction.

1. Are we so dear, so tender to our hea­ [...]enly Father, as the very apple of his eye? [...]ech 2.8. Doth he take all the wrongs, and [...]ppropriate all the injuries done to his [...]ons, as done to himself? Acts 9.4. and [...]all we not bestir us, when his name is [Page 90]blasphemed? his son reviled? and his wo [...] is had in derision, or trodden under foo [...] I read of the dumb Son of Cresus, seei [...] one ready to stab his Father, cries out, Wh [...] villain, stab my Father? What wilt th [...] murther my Father? Even so, although [...] be silent at our own harms, yet we should [...] grieved and mourn, and breath out indig­nation against those that highly dishonou [...] and trample the blood of his dear son und [...] foot, Heb. 10.2. If we be not bastards, b [...] the true, Legitimate Sons of God, nothi [...] should affect us so much as when his glo [...] suffers: like Moses, and Phinehas, who wi [...] spare neither head nor tail in the Lon [...] quarrel.

2ly. This may teach all parents, after th [...] pattern of David, to be like minded, an [...] tender-hearted towards their Children. B [...] many of you may seem to give me a sto [...] and a Ne plus ultra, to treat of this, eve [...] one thinking his own bird fairest, and ch [...] ­rishing of it: but then do you not ove [...] love them? for that is as bad a sin as n [...] to love them: and see how David w [...] whipped for that. And moreover let [...] tell you, that I have known some Fathe [...] as salvage, as cruel, as unkind, as unnatur [...] [Page 91]their Chickens of their own hatching, [...] more too, than the Dragons, and fierce [...]gers, to their seed. Suppose they have [...]ended, so did Absolom. Suppose they are [...]tous, so was the Prodigal, Luke 15. Sup­ [...]se they are unkind, so art thou to thy Fa­ [...]r in Heaven. And if thou wilt not for­ [...]e them there trespasses, neither will thy [...]avenly Father forgive thee thy trespasses, [...]. 6.15.

Ʋse 4. Is for reproof unto those that wax [...]nton under mercies: because God is good, [...]ey will be bad; because he is mercifull, [...]e the Kings of Israel, therefore they will [...] [...]vitious; because he is slow to anger, [...]erefore they will provoke him every day. [...]nd this was Jesuruns case, Deut. 32.15. He [...]at should have been upright, when he [...]axed fat, spurned with his heel: thou art [...], thou art grosse, thou art laden with fat­ [...]esse: therefore he forsook God that made [...]m, and regarded not the strong rock of [...]s salvation. And this is too many of our [...]es: but as Moses to the people, vers. 6. [...]o ye thus requite the Lord? surely, insteed [...]f favour, ye shall have frowns, and blast­ [...]gs, and sicknesse, and want, and curses [...]pon curses, as ye may read at large, 28.15, [Page 92] &c. The father was sick of this disease, but by Gods mercy recovered, 2 Sam. 12.7, 8 the Son falls into it, and dies without mercy, and for him David weeps, saying O Absalom, my son, my son Absalom. And so much of this point, Davids Passion.

II. The next General to be spoken of, is Davids compassion, Would God I had di­ed for thee, Oh Absalom; my son, my son, where­in let us consider the tendernesse of his love to his son, and that discovers it self by three eminent signals.

1. By preferring his safety and life before his own.

1. His care for his safety is discovered,

1. By the Charge he gave the Captains in chief, and the Souldiers under their command, to intreat the young man gen­tly for his sake, verse 5. When Absalom was plotting and devising mischief in his bed, and out of it, to bring his father to ru­ine, then he good old man is taking care for his welfare. He was of Themistocles mind, who had rather forget and forgive an injury, than remember and requite it. Now as Christ said, Go ye, and do likewise. To render evil for evil, is Bestial; to ren­der good for good is carnal; to render evil [Page 93]for good in Satanical, and Absalom-like; but to render good for evil, is Spiritual, and David-like.

2ly, By his listening and inquiring af­ter his sons welfare. Is the young man Absa­lom safe? verse 29. He deals not with the messenger concerning the event of the bat­tel, or the condition of his friends that hazarded their lives to save his, or his stan­ding or falling from the Crown: but the first question is about his Absalom, his tongue betraying his heart, that as Joab tells him, chap. 19.6. that he was dearer to him than all the rest.

3ly, By his immoderate weeping and in­undation of tears he shed for his son; La­chrymae non habent modum, weeping keeps no mean, where tears make the musick. Water is good to wash, and bath, and cleanse, but not to drown our selves in it: [...]even so, tears are good to cleanse away our inward filth of sin, but not plunge or drown our selves in them by despair, or excessive mourning; all the time the Army was out Absalom lay close to his heart.

2ly, He not only cared for his safety, but preferred it before his own, Would God I had died for thee; that is, O that I had stood in [Page 94] Absaloms place to have born the brunt o [...] the battel, and that the same darts thrust him thorow, had entred into my body, and fallen upon my self.

2ly, Another eminent signal of the ten­derness of his love to his son is taken from the person for whom he would have died, expressed with an Emphasis, thee, thee Ab­salom. For a man to die for a wicked man, a table-enemie, a bosome traitour, a so [...] traytor, who but David would do it?

3ly, The greatnesse of his compassion [...] and tendernesse of his affection to his son [...] discovered by the ingemination, and treblin [...] and quatrebling, over the words, as if he we [...] not in joco, in sport, but serio in good ear­nest, and if God had so pleased, he woul [...] have made his word good. O Absalom my son, my son Absalom, would God I had di [...] ­ed for thee, Absalom my son, my son. And thus Christ wept over Jerusalem, and to shew the bitterness of his grief he suffere [...] for the destruction of that City, he dou­bleth his words, and vents them with [...] passionate O, Luke [...]3.34. O Hierusalem Hierusalem, which killest the Prophets, an [...] stonest them which are sen [...] unto thee, how ofte [...] would I have gathered you together, as a hen dot­her [Page 95]brood under her wings, and ye would not? This repetition of words in holy Scripture, implyes, 1. Either truth, as Verrily, Ve­ [...]rily; or 2ly Passion, as My father, my Fa­ther. 2 Kings 13.14. or 3ly, Compassion, as my son Absalom, my son Absalom, would God I had died for thee. Davids love was either natural, and so he saith, my son, or carnal, and so he calls him his Absalem, or spiritu­al, and so he wisheth that he had died for him, He was so well acquainted with the will of God, by his revealed Word, that he knew so bad a life could not have a good end, and that it would be a hard mat­ter for his soul to go to heaven, that had all his time served the Devil on earth, and therefore of the two, he thought his own case best, and that he was most fit to die, and so, if God had so pleased, chose to die. I would God I had died for thee. From whence we learn.

Obs. That death which to the ungodly is the King of terrors, Job 18.14. to the righteous is a welcom guest at all times. Absalom may be a­fraid to die, because the wages of his wick­edness are alwayes ready to be paid him, which is eternal death of body and soul for ever, Rom. 6.23. When good David shall [Page 96]willingly resign up his soul into the hand of his Creator: for he knows his end wi [...] be peace, Psal. 37.37. Oecolampadius being ready to depart, as old Simeons Phrase is comforted his friends that stood howling about him, with these words; Non mori ti­meo, quia bonum babco Dominum, I am not a­fraid to die, because I have served a good God. He that fears God shall never need to fear death; for Christ hath pulled ou [...] the sting thereof, that he may tryumphant­ly singwith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 15.55, 56, 57 O death where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin: but thank [...] be unto God, which hath given me victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Reasons why death is welcome to the godly at all times, are,

Reas. 1. Because it is an end of their sorrows, and the beginning and entrance into the joy of their Lord, Matth. 25.23. It is the Exodus of their miscries, and Ge­nesis of their comforts: It is as a Bridge over which they must passe into life▪ (as the Israelites must go thorow the red Sea) be­fore they can get into Canaan, a Land flowing with milk and hony, and all good things; wherefore they rejoice to see that day (a [...] [Page 97]old Simeon did) when he embraced Christ in his arms, Luke 2.28.

Reas. 2. Because they are a people ready prepared for the Lord, Luk. 1.17. they are not fool-hardy Like others, who put far away from them the evil dayes, that they may boldly approach unto the seat of ini­quity, Amos 6 3. but they are still think­ing of death, and looking for death, and providing for death, that whensoever it comes, early or late, at the Cock crowing, at midnight, or the dawning of the day, they may enter into the rest remaines for the people of God, Heb. 4.9.

Reas. 3. Because they have Jachin and Boaz, saith, and a good conscience, to sup­port them from sinking under the pains of death. And this made the thief on the Crosse to die joyfully, believing Christs words, that he should that day be with him in Paradise, Luk. 23.43. this made St. Steven to laugh in death, beholding the heavens opened, and Christ standing at the right hand of the Father, ready to receive his spirit, Acts 7.55, 56. and this made David so willing to die for Absalom, be­cause he believed that his sinnes were co­vered, Psal. 32.1.

Obj. Did David well to wish for death? or to die for his sonne?

Answ. 1. Mortem optare malum, formidare pejus. It is not good to wish for death, but worse to fear it: It is an argument of great weakness to dispute with God, much more to quarrel with God, and most of all to seem to be wiser than God. We pray, and David prayed, Thy will O Father be done; and yet here he seems to prefer his own will before Gods. Would God I had died for thee Absalom. So that as the Apostle speaks, James 3.10. This thing ought not to be.

2ly David did savour much more in this wish of flesh and blood, than of spirit; for that altogether submits with patience to suffer, and bear what the good pleasure of the Lord is to bring to passe: when the other grumbles, and murmurs, and repines at every thing contraries their humours. This was Davids case, and was his failing, as the best want not theirs.

Ʋse, Speaks the true happy state of a godly man. He will not be afraid of evil tidings: for his heart is fixed, and he be­lieveth in the Lord, Psal. 112.7. when the wicked, trepidant ad arundinis umbram, trem­ble at the shaking of a leaf, and flee when [Page 99]none pursueth; then the righteous are as bold as a Lion, Prov. 28.1. The very thought of death strikes the ungodly as dead, when they that fear the Lord (like the Swan) sing the sweetest song in death, and the song of the Saints, Rev. 22.20. Come Lord Jesus, come quickly. The wicked when they are visited with sickness, which is deaths Paratour to summon them into the Court for to give up their great accompt, like the unjust Steward, Luk. 16.2. they roar, and howl, and crie, like the hog, which thinks he is never taken but to have his throat cut: when the upright and just look up, and lift up their heads with joy, and comfort, for their redempti­on draweth near, Luke 21.28. When the wicked call to the mountaines to fall upon them, and to the hills to cover them, and hide them from the presence of him that fitteth on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, Rev. 6.16. The righteous shout for joy, like those that divide the spoyl, and rejoyce according to joy in harvest, Isa. 9.3. for they shall be gathered like wheat into the Lords Garner, when the chaff shall be burned with unquenchable fire, Mat. 3.12. And a [...] Balaam said, Numb. 23.10. O [Page 100]that my latter end might be like his. And so thus much of the first person, spoken of in the text, David: with his passion, and compassion.

2ly. The next person is Absalom. And in him let us consider,

  • 1. His Name.
  • 2ly. His Person.
  • 3ly. His Life.
  • 4ly. His Death. Of these in order.

1. His Name, and that was Abishalom, which signifies, his fathers peace. He was so sweet a Babe, that his father promised himself great matters, and hope in him: but he proved the greatest crosse that ever he did bear. So that we cannot say, Ʋt no­men sic natura, (as Abigail did of Nabal,) As his name was, so was he: For he was a moth, a canker, a thorn in his fathers eye, and the greatest disturber of his quiet, and rest, and ease, and peace, that ever he was acquainted with; that he is constrained to flee, and shift for his life, lest he be devour­ed by his Sonnes sword, 2 Sam. 13.14.

2ly. His person: And so he was the fairest of ten thousand: for from the sole of the foot, to the top of his head, there was no blemish in him, 2 Sam. 14.25. He [Page 101]had a fair body, but a foul soul and heart: like the Swan, which hath a white fea­ther, but a black [...]kin. Or like Mausolus his tombe, or the painted Sepulchres in the Gospel, glorious and beautiful without, but full of rottenness and stinking bones within; Or like a white glove, over a scab­by hand; Or like the Pharisees in sheeps clothing, but inwardly were greedy wolves. His garment was made of Linsey-woolsey, which was forbidden in the old Law, Deut. 22.11. by woollen is signified, sim­plicity: by linnen, subtilty: and under this weed he had almost couzened his fa­ther of his life, and Kingdome, as Jacob did Esau of the blessing. From whence we learn.

Obs. All is not gold that glisters, as all are not Israel, which are of Israel, Rom. 9.10. All is not current coin, that hath the Par­liament stamp; nor all good men, that look demurely, and speak fairly and reli­giously, able to deceive (if it were possible) the very elect, as Christ speaks, Mark. 13.22. and therefore our Saviours counsell is, John 7.24. Not to judge according to the out­ward appearance. What a Saint was Absalom in shew? yet what a devil in practice? [Page 102]and this age is full of these Absaloms.

3ly, His Life; and thus his fair face was daubed, and soiled with many a black spot; His whole life was tainted with in­numerable blemishes, one drawing on ano­ther. As to instance in some.

1. He was a murtherer; and this aggra­vates it self by these circumstances.

1. A murtherer of his brother Amnon, 2 Sam. 13.29. who the nearer he was, the dearer he ought to have been: For no man hateth his own flesh, but nourisheth, and cherisheth it, Eph. 5.29. We say, that it is an ill bird defiles his own nest: but we may conclude, that is the worst bird in the nest that picketh out his brothers eyes, and sucks his blood.

2ly. In that he masked his foul inten­tion, with the veil of love and kindeness. Absalom had a sheep-shearing, vers. 24. and a great feast towards, and he could not, would not eat his meat alone, and there­fore he invites all his brethren to the ban­quet: but as the children spake to their mother, 2 Kings 4.40 there was (Mors in olla) death in the pot, and Amnon must pay the reckoning with his life.

3ly. That he murthered him when his [Page 103]heart was merry with wine: not only la­bouring to kill his body, but his soul too; and how doth this cursed act hang like a leprosie upon the skirts of his garments, to make him odious to all ages?

2ly. He was ambitious.

1. Of popular applause, 2 Sam. 15.4. O that I were made judge in the land, that every man that hath any controversie, might come to me, that I might do him justice. O brave Moun­tebank, that sets forth golden wares, and promiseth mountaines, but hides the poi­son, (as the Fisherman doth his deadly hook under a fair bait) which he intended to give them when he had accomplished his design.

2ly. He not only gives the people (bona verba) good words to delude them, but courteous deeds, vers. 5. And when any came near him, and did him obeisance, he puts forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And by this means he stole the hearts of the men of Israel, vers. 6. and so makes way,

2ly, By his ambition to reach the Crown, v. 10. he acts the Devils part, to beguile, to seduce, and to drive on his self-ends, for he transporteth himself into an [Page 104]Angel of light, 2 Cor. 11.14. and this must needs help to make up the measure of his wickednesse, and so bring upon him­self a corresponding punishment. His sin is the greater, because by his example he hath taught others to look up to heaven, to smite upon their breasts, to pray long prayers, to preach, to use Scripture-Sentences, when they are acting the most devilish mischief, or aspiring to the Throne.

3ly, He was a grand hypocrite, and Si­mulata sanctitas duplex iniquitas, counterfeit godlinesse, is double wickednesse. The beast tells his Father a fair Tale, v. 8. Thy ser­vant vowed a vow, when I remained exile in Geshur, in Aram, saying, If the Lord shall bring me again indeed to Hierusalem, I will serve the Lord. Oh brave, what? a religi­ous wretch and Caitiffe? What? to make godlinesse a Cloak for his Villanie. What? to make Piety serve for a shooing horn to draw on his interest to the Kingdome. What? to make the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be evil spoken of through him and his juggling. Surely, It were bet­ter a mi [...]stone were banged about his neck, and he were cast into the bottome of the sea, Matth. 18.6. but from hence we learn,

Obs. In nomine Domini, incipit omne malum.

Religion is made a stalking horse to pal­liate all evil. If Ahab cannot get Naboths vineyard by fair play, he will have it by foul, he will proclaim a Fast, 1 Kings 21.9. and two sons of Belial shall be hired to bear false witnesse against him, and he shall be stoned, and then he will be me [...]ry; and take possession, v 16. If Absalom can no other way supplant his Father, he in sooth hath a Vow to pay unto the Lord in He­bron, and there he will take advantage of the place of mutinie and rebell, and raise Forces to drive his Father out of house and home, 2 Sam. 15.16. And this ever was, it, and will be the practice of ambitious spi­rits, to strain their consciences, and to make use of Religion to stirrop them into the Saddle; but my prayer for them shall be, that their end may be like Absaloms, and as Cushi said in the content, So let all the ene­mies of the Lord my King perish.

4ly, He was a traytor,

1. To his brother, in taking away his life: but here he seemed to be a pettie trai­tor, because he fell alone.

2ly, To the people of Israel; for he de­coyed Israel into a net, get they out as well [Page 106]as they could, Fall back, fall edge. So it is said, 2 Sam. 15.11. And with Absa­lom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, and followed him in their simplicity, knowing nothing: like many of our Zelots, who were at first blindly led, but when they had wel smarted for their folly, cried (pecoavimus) with the Prodigal, they were misinformed, and gulled, and cheated of their expectation by the Grandees, who sought themselves, and not the Lord Jesus Christ, and as the Apostle speaks in one kind, so it may be said on the contrary, They sought yours, not you, 2 Cor. 12.14. Ours, not us.

3ly, He was a traitor in Folio to his own Father, seeking vi & armis to depose him, I, and to quench his thirst with his blood. But hold Absalom, for he is thy father. Hold Absalom, he is thy fond and most indulgent Father. Hold Ab­salom, he is thy old Father, full of gray hairs, the which are blossomes of the grave. Hold Absalom, and give a check-mate to thy ambition for a while, and then ride on, and do thy will. Look upon thy brethren and sisters, his Wives and Concubines, thy companions with him. Look upon the Virgins in Jerusalem, the Priests of God, [Page 107]the hazard of War, the sad effects of the sword, as Rapine, Famine, Blood, Deso­lation, &c. and if thou hast not sold thy self to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, like Ahab, or art not given over to a reprobate sense, Rom. 1.28. then these things cannot but melt thee, relent thee, and dam up thy way from prosecuting thy devilish purposes any farther. I, but thinks Absalom, that is not the way to the Kingdom and Scept [...]e, and to reign, and therefore be it never so soul, I will thorow it, and as Caesar said, Vel inveniem, vel fa­ciam, I will hack and hew it out with my sword: and so having gathered together all the men of Israel from Dan to Beershe­ba, and made him self strong for the battel, he prepares to divide the spoil. Oh un­paralleld traytor; for

1. He sought the death of the Lords anointed: and that it is aggravated in these Circumstances.

1. His anointed child: And right dear and precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints, Psal. 116.15.

2ly, His Prophet, who was as the ap­ple of Gods eye, very tender to him, Zech, 2.8. and concerning whom he hath given [Page 108]so strict a charge, Psal. 105.15. Touch not mine anointed, nor do my Prophets no harm.

3ly, That he was anointed his King, a King of Gods own pointing out, 1 Sam. 16.12. a King after Gods own heart, 1 Sam. 13.14, A typical King of Christ; a King-father, and a father to his people, so well as to his own children; a nursing father, Isa. 49.23. And for Absalom to rob God and men of such a King, who would not, should not sight it out to the death, like Zebulun and Nephtali, Judg. 5.18. to save him, but Absalom and some of his Faction who love to fish in troubled waters? but hence we learn,

Obs. That one sin, (if not in time stifled) makes way for a bigger, as a little wedge doth for a greater. Read backward, and ye shall find that his fin grew like a snow­ball, to a very great pitch and height, and so [...]l may compare it to Elijahs cloud, 1 Kin. 18.44. the which at first seemed no bigger than a mans hand, but by and by it over­spread the heaven, or like to Ezekiels wa­ters, chap. 47.3, 4, 5. which came to the an­cles, then up to the knees, then to the loins, and afterward waxed so deep, that they could not be passed ove [...]; or like to that fountain which became a river, Ezek. [Page 109]10.6. and as our Proverb is, Give the De­vil an inch, and he will take an ell. We read Matth. 12.43, 44, 45. of an unclean spirit in a man, Which goeth forth and taketh seven other spirits worse than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: Even so, if we give way to one unclean spirit, one sin, yea, and as Lot sayd of Zoar a little sin, we make way for all sin, that we may say, as Jacob did of Gad, A Troop cometh. As the Sea ma­king the least breach, be it thorow a mole-hole, presently grows bigger and bigger upon it, and pours in an inundation to the destruction of man and beast; and as the Story goeth of the Hatcher, which beg­ging a withered bough of an Ash to make it a helve, instantly falls to work, and cuts down the tall Cedar, and strong Oke, and green Elm, and Ash which stood before se­cure; and as Pompey marching with his Souldiers to take a great and rich City, and finding the gates shut, and the opposition strong, he craves leave of the Citizens to give entertainment to some few of his wounded and sickly men, and he would passe away without their least disturbance, the which having obtained, they in the night opened the gates to the General, and [Page 110]the stronger men, to the sacking and utte [...] undoing of a famous City. Even so, if the Devil can but beg a helve for a hatchet, o [...] make a breach in mans heart to get in hi [...] little finger, he will strain hard to make room for his head, and if he can get in hi [...] head, he will draw in his whole body, of if he can procure the favour from us to give entertainment to some weakling and pu­ling sins, then he cries out with Moah, now Moah to the spoil, now Devil to thy prey [...] and therefore,

Ʋse Is for our instruction, to kill the Crocodile in the egge, lest it grow to be a serpent, and so kill us; to quench the fire whilst it is but a spark, lest it get head, and so consume us. Obsta Principiis, withstand the beginnings of [...]in, lest they grow to be so mountainous, that they crush thee down to hell. Venienti occurre morbo, saith tho Physician, Prevent the disease by taking Physick in time, lest it run on and destroy thee before thy time. If Absolom had ob­served this rule, he had never fallen, so shamefully, so suddenly (like a child new born) so wonderfully like Jerusalem, Lam. 1.9.

2ly, Absaloms Treason is aggravated, in [Page 111]that he sought the death of his father, his father that begat him, and his father than so well loved him: He was troubled with a new disease at that time; for he was sick of his father, and nothing could cure him, but his removal out of his eye, that he might sit at Helm, an steer the ship; from whence we learn,

Obs. That when Kings, Princes, Governors and Magistrates shall suffer sin to go unpu­nished in others, God will make them so spared, instruments to punish them. David permitting Absalom to run on in sin, out of one sin into another, not executing the Law or justice upon him, God makes him, (as the Canaanite to the Israelite) Num. 33.55. A prick in his eye, and a thorn in his side. We have a Proverb, Save a Thief from the Gallows, and he will hang [...]hee at last, if he can. Amnons Murther deserved severe punishment by the Law of God: but David out of foolish pi­ty omitting it, and winking at it, God sets him home to him at last, and raiseth up the son of his bowels and love too, to hunt after his life. Absalom may grieve God, and yet that doth not much grieve David: wherefore God takes his own quarrel in [Page 112]hand, and causeth him to be the greates [...] grief that ever he encountred withall; and so hear him roaring and howling forth this sad lamentation and Dittie for him, O Absalom, my son, my son Absalom, would God I had died for thee, O Absalom my son, my son. And so I passe to the last point.

4ly, Which is Absaloms death. The two Generals, Absalom and Joah joyned Battel to dispute the Controversie about the Crown, and at last Absalom being worste i [...] flieth, and flying the Mule came under a great thick Ok, And his head caught hold on the Oke, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth, and Joab took three darts, and thrust them thorow Absalom, and so he died, verse 9.14 Died between heaven and earth, as unworthy by reason of his debauchednesse, to go to the one, or to have a burial place in the other: the which is a most terrible and fearfull example of Gods vengeance,

1. Against Rebels to their King.

2ly, Against those that are disobedient to Parents; and yet as bad as he was, Da­vid the King wept for him, saying, O Ab­salom, my son, my son Absalom, would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my sonne, my son.

Athaliah's detestable Treason.
SERMON III.

2 Kings 11.14.

Then Athaliah rent her cloathes, and cried, Treason, treason.

VErbum diei in die suo, was the A­postles charge to Timothy, 2 Tim. 4.2. and therefore it shall be my practice: for saith Solomon, Prov. 25.11. A word spoken in season, is like apples of gold with pictures of silver. How well then doth this Text match the occasion of this our meet­ing together at this time? which is to give thanks unto God for the discovery of Sun­dercombs [Page 114]desperate Treason, against Oliver Lord Protector. Then Athaliah rent her cloaths, and cried, Treason, treason.

Herein let us consider these two general branches.

  • 1. Athaliahs action; Then Athaliah rent her cloaths.
  • 2ly. Athaliahs passion; And cried, Trea­son, treason.

In the first let us consider these two par­ticulars,

  • 1. The subject of her action, her cloaths: she rent her cloaths. Ah Athaliah, this was a more suitable occasion for thee to follow, the Prophets instruction, Joel 2.13. in rending thy heart, and not thy garments: But she that had no heart to spare infants, like Herod, had no heart to repent, and so runs on still in revenge. And if she can make man the subject of her wrath no longer, her cloaths shall feel it, and speak her minde. She rent her cloaths.
  • 2ly. The time of her rageing, and mad, wilde action, implyed in the first word, then. Then she rent her cloaths. Then, when she law another sun risen up in Judah to eclipse her pride, her glory, and her hauti­ness: Then, when she found she could no [Page 115]longer stand, or keep the saddle, or wear the Crown, She rent her clothes.

In the second consider with me these two particulars likewise.

  • 1. The manner how she vents her passi­on: She cried. Her dead and seared con­science now revives, and whispers in her ears that she had committed crying sins, and so considering how near her door the punishment of them was come, as a wo­man amazed, frighted, and startled at it, she cried out for help, when she was past cure; she cried.
  • 2ly The cause of her passion, and of her heavy exclamation, in these words, Treason, Treason. She had committed Treason against heaven, and the King of heaven, and that never troubled her, which is the greatest Treason of all. She had committed Trea­son in murthering the Kings Seed, and that lieth not nigh her heart: but when she seeth her full sea ebbing, her sun setting, her bright day drawn to an end, and shutting in, her hour-glasse run out, and her doom of death passed upon her, Then she rent her clothes and cryed, Treason, Treason.

Herein let us for the bette [...] discovery and opening the Text consider [...] four parti­culars.

  • 1. What Athaliah signifies.
  • 2ly, Who Athaliah was,
  • 3ly, What her Treason was; and that which she complained of.
  • 4ly, What her end was; and of these in order.

1. Athaliah signifies, time for the Lord. When the ungodly destroy Gods Law, and bring it into utter contempt, then saith David in this sense, Psal. 119.126. It is time for thee Lord to work, that is, to send help, either by converting or confound­ing the enemies thereof: as God converted Soul, but confounded Herod. When the wickednesse of the Amorites is full, Gen. 15.16. and the corn ripe for the harvest, then it is time for the Lord to thrust in his sickle. When Ahaliahs feathers of pride are full grown, then it is time for the Lord to deplume her, and send her as naked out of the world, as ever she came into it. When she was joined to Idols, it was time for the Lord to make her know, that an Idol was as vain a thing, as a horse, to save her from tumbling, and ruine, and destru­ction. Psal. 33 17. And this time is come, and is made good to a tittle upon her, all crying out wi [...] one voice, as they did [Page 117]against Paul, Acts 22.22. Away with such a woman from the eart: for it is not meet that she should live.

2ly. Who Athaliah was from the begin­ning. And so she was descended from high Parentage: for she was daughter unto Omri King of Israel, 2 Kings 8.22. and mo­ther to Ahaziah King of Judah, and wife to J [...]horam his father. As she came from a high Stock, so she soared high: and no­thing could satisfie her ambition, but the Scepter and sway of the Kingdom, and the Crown: and have it she will, per fas, per nefas, be it right, be it wrong, rather than she will misse of so goodly a bait. From whence we may learn,

Obs. That ambitious Spirits will climb over the head of all wickednesse, and make it their foot-stool to raise them to honour. When Eteocles and Polynices his brother were contending for their Fathers king­dom with naked swords in their hands, rea­dy to sheath in each others bowels, then Jocasta their Mother stepped in between them, mediating for peace and accommo­dation upon her bended knees, using these or the like words: What my sons, the sons of my womb, the sons o [...] [...]y desires, as [Page 118] Bath-sheba the Mother of Solomon said to him, Prov. 31.1. rather than let my eyes be spectators of your selves weltring in your bloud, in me convertite ferrum, put up your weapons into the womb that did con­ceive and bear you. But saith Eteocles to her, Proregno velim patriam, penates, conju­gem flammis dare: Imperia precio quolibet con­stant bene, To gain a kingdom, I would set Country, Houshold-gods, wife, and all on fire, like Troy; for Kingdoms and Crowns cannot be purchased at too dear a rate Absalom to step into his Fathers throne, quid non audet? what will he not? what dares he not to do? And it was the speech of one in later times, who having by per­jury, dissimulation, and treachery, moun­ted himself aloft; That if he fell, all the Commonwealth should fall with him: farr prefer [...]ing his private interest before the publique. And Athaliah was cast into the same mould; for neither the frown of God, the curse of the people, the tears of Innocents, could give a supersede as to her wicked design she had in hand: but a kingdom she will have, although she buyes it with the losse of her soul.

Obs. 2. As i [...] [...]as said of Corax and Lysias, [Page 119]mali oorvi, malum ovum, a curst Grow hath hatched a shrewd egge; a crafty Master hath bred as crafty a scholar: Even so as Isay speaks, 24.2. Like father, like daughter: a wicked father, 1 King. 16.25, 26. and as vile a child. Of all the Kings of Israel there was not one good: and of all their chil­dren there was not one thoroughly righte­ous. Its true, there was found some good­nesse in Abijah towards the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam, 1 Kings 14.13. but it was but some, and that God takes notice of, and that goeth not unre­warded: but of all the residue, we hear no such news, so unhappy a thing it is to be the child of a bad father, for saith Da­vid Psal. 18.26. With the froward he shall learn frowardnesse, and with the ungodly, ungod­linesse; and so passe to the next parti­cular.

3ly, What Athaliahs Treason was, with that she complained of. Athaliahs Treason was Monstrum, horrendum, ingens, so heinous, so detestable, so abominable, that heaven could not but mourn over it, the earth tremble at it, and the mountains and hard rocks be moved for it. God could not but loathe & abhor the author of it, Man could [Page 120]not but be startled at her inhumane barba­ism, and the Devils themselves not own it; for when she saw that her so [...] was dead, she arose, and destroyed all the Kings seed, verse 1. that is, all those that were of the house of Judah (but one called Joash) whom Jehosheba stole away, and nursed up pri­vately, verse 2. Alas, What harm had these harmlesse Lambs done? What misbe­haviour did she see in their unspotted lives, that death must presently remove them out of her sight?. It was Hecubas speech, The­s [...]i vultus, amo illos priores, quos tulit quon­dam juvenis, that she was in love with the youthfull fresh face of Thesens, which seem­ed lovely as the morning, and whose cheeks were comely, Cant. 1.18 and why should not these Athaliah, give a check mate to the vi­olent torrent of thy swelling, envenomed rage against them? Athaliah, look upon the Royal blood streams in their veins. Athaliah, look upon their innocency. Atha­liah, look upon their sweet and amiable countenances, and if Nihil horum ora vul­tusque movebunt, none of these can move thee to pity them, to spare them, to have com­passion on them, then let the tender bowel­ness of a mother melt thee; for how will Ra­chel [Page 121]mourn for her children when they are not? Matth. 2.18. Thou wert once a mother thy self, and let thy own tongue speak, What pangs and throbs (like a second la­bour) thou enduredst in thy heart, when thou lost thy son, and therefore let the re­membrance thereof move thee to have a fel­low-feeling of other womens miseries; or if that be too weak to refell, repel, and [...]ull thy ambitious, high towring thoughts, then call to mind the consanguinity and af­finity they had with the son of thy love, to quench thy burning thirst after their blood; or if that be too weak an Argu­ment to convince thee, then let the remem­brance of thy own shame, and the grum­bling and muttering of a discontented people fright thee from doing such a cursed act. Athaliah, remember that for blood, and such grand wickednesse, the Land mourns, Jer. 12.4. Athaliah, remember that a house cannot be established by iniquity, Prov. 14, 11. Athaliah, remember what a terrible wo is denounced against those that build a Town with blood, and erect a City by iniquity, Hab. 2.12. Athaliah, remember the Saints cry day and night unto the Lord, to judge and avenge their blood, Rev. 6.10. [Page 122]and then if thou be not more savage tha [...] the Bear robbed of her whelps, and give [...] over to a Reprobate sence to work evil, an [...] all manner of evil in the sight of the Lord like thy Progenitors, thou wilt stifle th [...] design in the birth. I but thinks Athaliah How shall I wear the Crown, and sway th [...] Reaml then? An. Imprison them, and tha [...] is cruelty enough toward the heirs apparen [...] of a whole Kingdom. I but thinks Athali­ah, they may break prison, and pull th [...] Crown off again from my head. An. The [...] banish them, proclaim them Traytors i [...] they disturb thy peace, and cause the Pam­phleters to libel them, disgrace them, an [...] bring them into an odium with their Sub­jects. I but thinks Athaliah, they will be al­wayes undermining my new, upstart ho­nour and foundation, and hatching one e­vil or other against me, and therefore my surest course will be to take off their heads [...] and here she sets up her staff, fall back, fal [...] edge, this she resolves to do, be it pleasing or displeasing to God or man. She intend [...] to make sure work where she goeth, so well as she can: and so cuts off all that migh [...] lay claim to her usurped interest. And now she conjectures, the Crown is naile [...] [Page 123]fast to her head: She thinks that her house is builded upon a rock that will not de­ceive her: She supposed like Babylon, Isa. 47.7. That she shall be a Queen for ever, and so she ruffles it, and vaunts it, like Ne­buchadnezzar over his Babel, Dan. 4.27. and glorifies her self six years together, not searing or feeling any storm to disquiet her: She sings a Lullaby to her soul, with the rich man, Luke 12.19. Soul take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry: she cries peace, peace, when there was no peace, Jer. 6.14. for when she least dreamed of it, then her wickednesse lay at her door, like a fierce Mastiff, to rend her into peeces, and rob her, and spoil her of all her glory; and the Lord bringeth a Vine as it were out of E­gypt, and raiseth up an Infant out of the dust to dethrone her, by name, Joash, by birth of the line of Judah, as he had promised David, That he should not want a man to sit up­on his Throne after him, Jer. 33.17. And all this he bringeth to passe by weak means, (as when men are lowest, then he is strong­est) and loves to be Jehovah-Jereh, seen in the Mount; even by Jeh [...]iada chief Priest, who anoints him, proclaims him King▪ and the people with acclamations of joy, [Page 124]shout, lift up their voices like trumpets, and cry out, Vive le Roy, Let the King live for ever, verse 12. God save the King, God save the King. Wherefore

1. Let no man be sory, as they that are without hope, 1 Thes. 4.13 for he is the Almighty God, as he told Abraham, Gen. 17.1. to do wonders for us, as well as for Judah.

2ly, Let us comfort one another in the meditation of his power; mans necessity is Gods opportunity to help, and if his help be deferred for twice six years, Wait, for it shall surely come, and not stay, Hab. 2.3.

Thus her stiff mountain is shaken, that she may speak with David, Psal. 30.6, 7. In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved, I having made my mountain so strong: but thou didst hide thy face, O Lord, and I was troubled. Thus the scale is turned, and Athaliah so net­tled at the noise, and clamours ecchoed into her ears, that she must hasten to see what news was stirring abroad, verse 13. but her eye [...] no sooner gave the relation thereof, but her countenance changeth, her flesh trem­bles like an Aspen leaf, and her joints are loosed, and her hands shake, as with the Palsie troubled: hee heart now condemns [Page 155]her, the dead serpent or viper now flies in her face, like Pauls, and her tongue vents forth her grief, bellowing forth Treason, Treason. How now Athaliah, is it Treason for Joash to resume his Birthright? How now Athaliah, is it become Treason for the heir to use means to sit in his own Throne? How now Athaliah, shall the grea­test Traytor complain of Treason? if Trea­son (as indeed thou callest the omnipotent Justice it self) be so hatefull to thee now, why didst thou not abhor it at first? Why didst thou learn others the Trade of high Treason; and why didst thou manage is with an irrelenting heart, and strong hand against others? Look up, now, and see how just God is maintaining the cause of the righteous, according to that of David, Psal. 37 25. I have been young, and now am old, yet I saw never the righteous forsaken. Look up now and blush, to see upon what a sandy foundation thou didst build thy nest; and how thy trust is but as a Spiders Web, Job 18.14. and thy confidence cut off. Look upon the men of Judah, and behold how soon their hearts are turned from thee: and they that were accustomed to make the air to ring with their Hosannaes, now cla­mour [Page 126] crucifige, and they that used to cry God save the Queen, now cry God save the King, and laugh at thy out-cry, Treason▪ Treason; from whence we may gather,

Obs. 1. De male quaes [...]tis vix gaudet tertius haeres.

Goods, and possessions, and Kingdoms ill gotten, seldome hold out to the third generation; our eyes have read of and seen such changes in our time, and pluris est ocula­ [...]us testis unus, quam auriti decem, what our eyes have been spectators of, carries more cer­tain credit with us many degrees, than what we hear, and therefore I shall not en­large my self herein. Athaliah speaks e­nough this truth, whose eyes did see her rising and setting, her mounting up, and falling down: for wickednesse overthrow­eth the sinner, Prov. 13.6. and therefore Stringat tenuis mea littora puppis. Let others sail in the middest of the swelling Ocean, and climb high, yet my desire shall be to go by the shore side: For a little that a righ­teous man hath, is better than the Revenues of the wicked, although they be large, and great, Ps. 37.16. Because there in a moth, and a cancker, and a Jonah's worm in them, to [Page 127]blast them, and smite them, and destroy them. Have ye not read, nor heard of, nor seen one by fraud, and lying, and hy­pocrisie, and swearing, and forswearing step into the Regal Chair, and his son to keep it warm for a short time after him, and then the old Prophesie, and this Doctrine to be verefied, Nullus?

Obs. 2. According to that of Solomon, Prov. 21.30. There is no wisdome, nor under­standing, nor Counsel against the Lord. Athaliah thought that she had made all cock-sure: but how easily and suddenly doth the Lord defeat the counsel of Ahithophel? How quick­ly doth the Lord break her arm of flesh? and how instantly doth the Lord turn all her wisdome into foolishness? as it is writ­ten, 1 Cor. 1.19. I will destroy the wisdome of the wise, and cast away the understanding of the prudent.

Obs. 3. Is, that although the Lord be slow, yet is he sure, although he hath lea­den feet, yet he hath iron hands, Psal. 2.9. although he suffers the wicked to reign long in their wickedness, yet at last he puls down the mighty from their seat, as Mary the Mother of our Lord said, Luk. 1.52. & brings them to a sharp account for all. Athaliah [Page 128]steered the Ship, governed the Kingdome sate fast in the saddle six years together, tha [...] me began to think it impossible for he [...] Chariot-wheols to be overturned and over­thrown: but then when she and others leas [...] dreamed of such a change, God make [...] himself known in Iudah, and his works in Israel, Psal. 76.1. and casts her out of the Throne, and stripps her of all her pomp.

Obs. 4. There is no constancy nor stability to be found in earthly things. They are like the Heliotropium, which opens and shuts, like unto the sea, ebbing or flowing, like unto the Moon, waxing and waining, like unto the Journall of the Israelites, sometimes sweet, sometimes marah. If there be joy in the morning, there is sor­row in the Evening. If the Skie be one day clear, it is ten to one, but the next it is cloudy and waterish. If Athaliah now pricks and trims up her self, and smiles and laughs, by and by she is at her wits end, crying out, Treason, Treason, and herein is that fulfilled in her, which Christ spake, Luke 6.5. Wo be to you that now laugh; for ye shall wail and weep: and this Considerati­on should afford us much wisdome.

1 If honour, or riches encrease upon us, not to set our hearts upon them, Psal. 62.10. for alas; they are but for a short sea­son, as Moses said of the pleasures of sin, Heb. 11.25. and either we must leave them, or they will leave us, and saith Solomon, Prov. 23.5. Wilt thou cast thine eyes upon it which is nothing? for they take their wings like an Eagle and flie away. Proud Pharaoh in his brags, said, Who is the Lord, that I should serve him? I, Pharaoh is it so? is thy heart so lifted up against thy Maker? Surely, if thou wilt not know God in thy prosperity, thou shalt be made to confesse him and his power in thy adversity. If thou wilt not hear Moses, thou shalt hear the Red sea preaching thy destruction, and so with the glory of Egypt, he sinks like Lead under the returning waters, Exod 5.2.14.27, 28. Herod vaunted himself upon his Throne, and thought like Babylon, that he was, and none else lik [...] him, but the next news we hear of him is, Job 14.10. Ʋhi est? Where is he? for he is eaten up of worms, Acts 12 23. Haman was fro­licking at Queen Esthers B [...]nquet as Noon but hanging on the Gallows befo [...]e night, Esth 17.10. Great Frederick the Emperor, [Page 130]was at last brought so low, that he became an humble suter to his servants for a singing mans place in the same Cathedral Church which he had builded, and ye [...] went without it. Nero one while plaid the Devil, 1. In causing Rome to be fired. 2ly, Playing upon the harp all the time it was burning. 3ly, Singing the destru­ction of Troy over it. 4ly, Persecuting the Saints. 5ly, Tyrannising over his own Subjects. 6ly, Slaying his own mo­ther Agrippina, causing her to be ripped up that he might see the womb wherein he was conceived; but at last his own people, not able to endure any longer his unparalleld cruelty, drave him out of his Kingdome, and pursuing him, slew him like a mad dog. That famous Captain Bellizarius, who so successively prevailed in all his Battels, at last he had his eyes put out like Sampson, and he was seen begging by the high way side, in this Language, Date unum obulum Bellizario, give a half penny for Gods sake to poor Bellizarius. Thus we see what pi­tifull moveables earthly things are, constan [...] in nothing but inconstancy. Thus we se [...] how ticklish this sea of glasse upon which the children of men stand, is: and there­fore [Page 131] David from this Consideration draws this Conclusion, Psal. 37.10. Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not appear, and thou shalt look after his place, and he shall not be found. If thou lookest for mighty Nimrod the great hunter before the Lord, Gen. 10.9. If thou lookest for persecuting, painting Jezabel, thou shalt find nothing but her skull and feet, and palms of her hands, 2 Kings 9.35 and if thou lookest for King-killing Athaliah, she is vanished like a va­pour, which appeareth but for a little time, James 4.14. and so I end this point in the words of David, Psal. 146.3. Put not your trust in Princes, nor the Son of man; for they cannot help: put not your trust in riches; for they are uncertain, 1 Tim 6.17. and deceivable, Matth 13.22. Put not your trust in earth­ly things; for they are as unconstant as the wind; and vanity, saith Solomon, and vani­ty of vanities, yea, and all things are va­nity, Eccle. 1.2. saving onely the fearing of God, and the keeping of his Comman­dements: but if ye will trust in any thing, let it be,

2ly, In atchieving the true honour, and such treasures as fail not, reserved in the heaven for you, Luke 12.33. It was the Ʋl­timum [Page 132]Vale, farewel Speech, that Cardinal Wolsey gave unto the world in Henry the eighths dayes, being to suffer death, Well saith he, if I had been as carefull to serve my God, as I have been to serve my Prince, I should never have come to this. Even so, if we will be careful to serve God, then when Peter and Demas, & such miserable comfor­ters, as Job calls them, shall forsake us, them when our earthly pleasures, and treasures, and honours shall deny us, and leave us▪ then God will fail thee never, saith David When thy father and mother shall forsake thee, then the Lord will gather thee up, Psal. 27.10. When the wicked shall not be suffered to dwell in the Land; the righteous shall never be removed, Prov. 10.30. When the Crown of pride shall be pulled from the head of the ungod­ly, then the Lord will honour those that honour him, 1 Sam. 2.30. and we shall find the comfort of all when we come to die. Athaliah had no fear of God before her eyes: she kicked against the pricks, and strived against the stream, Acts 9.5. she lea­ned on a broken staff, she rejected the coun­sel of God against herself, like the Phari­sees, and the expounders of the Law, Luke 7.30. and what was the issue of this? she [Page 133]fell like Lighting from heaven, and once beginning to fall, never rested till she came to the ground, like a stone tumbled down a hill. I will end this point in the words of Augustine, Mundus transit, & concupiscentia ejus: quid vis? Ʋtrum amare temporalia, & transirc cum tempore, an Christum amare, & in eternum vivere; the world passeth away, and the glory thereof: now chuse whether thou wilt follow, and love temporal things, which will die with thee, or Christ, and live eternally?

3ly, Seeing there is no constancy and stability to be found in earthly things, Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall, 1 Cor. 10.12. Ye have heard what God did to Pharaoh, Herod, Nebuchadnezzar, Korah, Da­than, and Abiram, for their Rebellion; Antio­chus, Ahab, Jeroboam, Iezabel, for their wick­edness; Troy, Niniveh; Sodom and Gomorrhe, Is­rael and Iudah, now lying in dust and ashes, one stone not being left upon another. Now saith the Apostle, All these things came upon them for ensamples, and to admonish us to provide against our changes shall come; as Ioseph did against a dearth. It is a great lessening of our grief when nothing befalls us, but what we looked for, for [Page 134]fore-warned, fore-armed to bear it, Praemo­nitus, praemunitus. What made I [...]b a con­queror over all his sorrows, that pressed upon him like armed men, Prov. 6.11. but his wise forecast of the brittle condition of all sublunaries? so are his words, chap. 3.25. The thing I feared is come upon me, and the thing that I was afraid of is come unto me. If his poverty, sores, scabs, running issues, contempt of his wife, forsaking of his friends; scorn of his servants, derision of his enemies, losse of his children, had ac­cording to Christs Prophesie come upon him as a snare, that is suddenly and unloo­ked for, Luke 21.35. they could not but have brake his heart: but musing and me­dicating beforehand upon the alterations of all things, and expecting the worst, he stood in the door to welcome them, and his godly patience drave them out again, finding a full supper after a sharp and short dinner. As God speaks of Moses, Deut. 32.29. Oh that men were wise, then they would consider this: they would remember their latter end: Even so speak I in this kind, Oh that men were wise, then they would un­derstand this, they would consider tha [...] riches have their end, pleasures their end [Page 135]Kingdoms their end, honours their end, and man himself his end, and so not labour for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat▪ which hath no end, enduring unto everlasting life, Iohn 8.27.

4ly, Here we learn, that it will nothing profit a man to gain the whole world, and at last lose his own soul, Mat. 16.26. Atha­liah wore the Crown, swayed the Kingdom, trimmed up her self with Peacock feathers, and we say, Gay feathers make gay birds. Her Princes did her homage, her Servants went and came at her command, her Ser­vants cried before her Abrech, in sign of ho­nour, as was done unto Joseph, Gen. 41.43. She had stately houses, fruitfull vineyards, pleasant gardens, and orchards, with trees of all fruits: Shee had Beeves and Sheep in abundance, silver and gold, and the chief treasures of Kings and Provinces: She had Men-singers, and Women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men: She was great, and whatsoever her eyes and heart desired, was not with-held from them, as Solomon spake of his outward felicity, Eccles. 2.4. &c. yet as Haman said to his wife Zeresh, and his friends about him, shewing them the glory of his riches, the multitude of his chil­dren, [Page 136]and how the King had promoted him above all: What do all these things avail me, so long as I see Mordecai the Iew sitting at the Kings gate, not bowing his knee unto me? Even so; What do all these things before men­tioned avail Athaliah, seeing her soul shall go to hell? she made but a sorrie exchange of heaven for hell, of joy for sorrow, of things eternal for transitorie, of ease for endless spains and torments, as the rich Gallant tells you, Luke 16.23.

Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.

Happy are ye if her harms can teach you Wisdome to beware of her sins, and all sins whose end is bitternesse, as Abner told Ioab of the sword, and death, Rom. 6.23.

5ly, If there be no constancy in earthly things, then let us follow Saint Pauls dire­ction, 1 Cor. 7.30, 31 Weep as though we weep­ed not, rejoyce, as though we rejoiced not, buy, a [...]though we possessed not, use the things of this world, as though we used them not. The dogs of the River Nilus drink running, lest whi­lest they stay to take a full draught, they are snatched into it, & devoured by the Cro­codil [...]s are there watching for their prey. [Page 137]Even so let it be our wisdom to take a little sup of these outwards, lest while we load our selves with thick clay, Hab. 2.6. and stay to take a full draught of them, we are de­voured by the hellish Scorpion. Agurs por­tion is the best, Prov. 30.8, 9. Neither pover­ty nor riches, but food convenient for us. Pauper­tas durum telu [...], & necessitas cogit turpia. Po­verty and need constrains many a man to do naughty things, contrary to his nature, as steal, and prosperity makes him to for­get God, Deut. 4.12. and kick against God, like the foal that hath sucked his fill, against his Dam. Thus did Athaliah serve God, and therefore no marvel her Fall was great: And this leads me to the next Par­ticular.

4ly, What her end was. We say, Mali principii, malus exijus, an ill beginning is commonly accompanied with as bad an end, and sad conclusion: For can we look to gather grapes of thorns, and figs of thistles? Luke 6.44. Certainly, whatsoever a man s [...]w­eth, that shall be also reap, Gal. 6.7. Athaliah her self speaks this truth; for she sowing to the flesh reaped tares and tears: she sowed ill seed, and found a bad harvest, she laid her foundation in blood, and bleeds [Page 138]for it at her death: as Samuel spake to Aga [...] King of the Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15.33. A [...] thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childlesse among other women. Eve [...] so may I speak of Athaliah in this kind▪ As she let the Kings seed bleed to death, so Israel did mete her measure for measure [...] Matth. 7.1. and paid her home in her own coin. As she would shew no mercy, so sh [...] found no mercy, and as she would not spar [...] nor have pity nor compassion, like the evi [...] servant, Matth 18.33. So nec pretio, nec pre [...] ce, by bribing, or prayers, or tears, or wringing of her hands could she purchase th [...] least drop of water, like the rich man fo [...] his hard heartinesse to Lezarus, Luke 16.2 [...] or dram of pity; For they laid hands on her and she went by the way, by which the horses go [...] the house of the King, and there was she slai [...] She made a pit and digged it, and is falle [...] into the pit that she made, Psal. 7.15. fro [...] whence we may learn these observation [...] according to a threefold Proverb.

  • Obs. 1. Pride will have a fall.
  • Obs 2. Harm watch, harm catch.
  • Obs. 3. Qualis vita, finis ita. As we live so we die; and so of these in order.

Obs. 1. Pride will have a fall; and in th [...] [Page 139]sense saith Solomon, Prov. 16.18. Pride goeth before a fall, and an high mind before destructi­on, and the 29.23. The pride of a man shall bring him low, and chap. 11. v. 2. When pride cometh, then-cometh shame, wherefore Mary in her Magnificat sings, Luke 1.51, 52. He hath scattered the proud in the imaginations of their hearts, and hath put down the mighty from their Seats. Moah shall be as Sodome, and the children of Ammon, as Gomorrha: even the breeding of Nettles, and salt-pits, and a perpetual desolation: This shall they have for their pride, because they have magnified themselves, Zeph. 2.9, 10. Isa. 25.10, 11. Our first Parents were created in a most glorious condition, but were not contented with it, but aspired still higher, and would be as God, and so were cast out of Paradise, and became mortal: and this they had for their pride. Jezabel flaunted it, painted, and attired her self most gorge­ously, and thought none like her, but she at last was thrown out of the window, and eaten of dogs, as Herod was of worms, 2 Kings 9.36. and this they had for their Pride. Nebuchadnezzar fluttered his wings over great Babel, Saying, Is not this great Ba­bel that I have built by the might of my power, [Page 140]and for the honour of my Majesty? But while the word was in the Kings mouth, a voice came down from heaven, saying, O King, to thee be it spoken, thy Kingdom is departed from thee, and they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and thou shalt eat grasse as the oxen, Dan. 4.27, 28, 29. And this he had for his pride, and was so well tutored in his humiliation, and in the Crosse-house, which is the best School-house, for Schola crucis, Schola lucis, that he spake truly, v. 34. The Lord abaseth all those that walk in pride. Zenacherib in the pride of his heart blasphemed the living God, saying, that he should not deliver Hierusa­lem out of his hands; but he found and felt his power in sending him home with shame by weeping-Crosse, and then and there was slain by his own sons, 2 Kings 19.37. and this he had for his pride. Athaliah, proud Athaliah, bloudy Athaliah, took so wonderfull a fall, that she could never re­cover it; a [...] Saint Paul saith, Heb. 11.32. Time would be too short for me to tell you of the stately Builders of Babel, of Sheba, the son of Bichri, of Adoniah, of Benba­dad, and of Ʋzziah, with their ends, all of them confirming and strengthening the [Page 141]point in hand, Pride will have a Fall.

Obj. But I am free from this sin, and so far enough from the punishment of it.

Answ. There are four kinds of proud men, and it is ten to one, if thou beest not within the compass and list of some of them.

1. Arrogant, attributing every good thing in themselves unto themselves, and not unto God, when saith the Aposile, Jam. 1.17. Every good giving, and every perfect gift comes from above, and down from the father of lights. This is pride against God, and rob­bery of God, to take his glory, and clothe our selves with his honour, which the Creator will never suffer in the creature.

2ly, Presumptuous, acknowledging that God is giver of their grace, but upon their own merit, whereas of what little worth that is, the Prophet shew [...], Dan. 9.7.8. Ʋnto us belongs open shame and confusion of face, and all our righteousnesse is as filthy clouts, and menstruous rags, Isa. 64 6.

3ly, Boaste [...]s of eminency, which indeed they have not; every man naturally is in love of himself, Narcissus like, and think [...] better of himself than others do, or he de­serves; self-love is morhus communis, an Epi­demical disease: whereas if he hath eminent [Page 142]parts and gifts, they are but lent or given unto him, thereby the more fully and freely to glorifie the donor of them: and there­fore thou oughtest not to boast, or to be proud of them; for saith Paul, 1 Cor. 4.7. What hast thou, that thou hast not received? If thou have received it, why rejoycest thou, as if thou hadst not received it? These are like Theudas, Acts 5.36. boasters of themselves to be some body, when they are as empty Ca [...]ks, full of nothing but air.

4ly, Despisers of others, like the Pha­risee of the Publican, Luke 18. [...]. and of all or most of these Paul prophesied, 2 Tim. 3.1, 2. In the last dayes shall come perillous times; for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, high minded, &c. and a haughty eye and heart is one of the six things the Lords soul abhorreth. Satan is a cunning Fisher-man, and hath of all sorts of nets to catch the sons of men. If he cannot catch one man with pleasure, he will catch him with covetousnes: If he cannot catch another with covetousnesse, he will catch him with wine and strong drink: If he cannot catch another with wine and strong drink, he wil catch him wth carnal pride: If he cannot catch him with carnal pride, he will [Page 143]catch him with spiritual pride, and then he is ready for a fall, and a dangerous fall; For God resists the proud, I am. 4.6. and proud in beart are an abomination to the Lord, and shall not be unpunished, Prov. 16.5.

Ʋse 1. Here is matter of humiliation: for what is there in man that he should be proud of?

1. If we consider him in his first Princi­ples, then as the Prophet David said, he was framed, in imis terrae partibus, in the ob­scure closet of nature, and the Centre of the earth, Psal. 139.15.

2ly, For his Conception, the Anato­mist tells us, he is conceived in the foul Chanel of nature.

3ly, For his Pedegree and goodly Pa­rentage, which our Gallants so much brag and boast of, Iob tells us, chap. 17.14. Corrup­tion is our father, and the worm our mother, and sister.

4ly, If we consider the feature of his body, Calvin tells us, he is sex pedum vermi­culus, a very vermine, a Sink of uncleanesse.

5ly, For his fair face, a painted wall, which every storm of sickness defaceth and deformeth; and in this sense saith Solomon, Prov. 31.30. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vanity.

6ly, For his dainty diet, the Psalmis [...] tels us, 103.9. That ashes be as his bread, and tears his drink.

7ly, For his costly lodging; and that is said to be in myerie clay and in an earthly house. 2 Cor. 5.1.

8ly, For his reputation, the Apostle tells us, that he is the scum, and off-scouring of all things, 1 Cor. 4.13.

9ly, For his desert and merit, Daniel tells us, chap. 9.7. it is but shame and con­fusion of face.

10ly, For his substance, it is but dust, and grass, 1 Pet. 1.24.

11ly, For his glory, Isay tells us, ch. 46.6. It is but as the flower of the field. Now lay all these together, Et quid superbis terra e [...] cinis, poor creature, what matter canst thou pick, or cull, or glean for thy pride? or may not these several considerations afford thee store of matter to humble thee, and to teach thee to walk humbly before thy God, and man? and this is that the Lord requi­reth of us all, as the Prophet tells us, Micab 6.8.

2ly, Here is matter of Humiliation for us in respect of spiritual gifts; for God al­loweth no kinde of pride in man. If God [Page 145]hath been more prodigal and liberal to thee than others, this ought not to be a means to exalt thee above them, or to despise them, but to binde thee to the more obedi­ence and thankfullness unto him: for saith Christ, Luk. 12.48. where much is given, much shall be required; as the good man look­ed for more encrease, and better improve­ment from him that had five Talents, than from him that had but two, Mat. 25.15,

3ly, Here is matter of humiliation for a proud man in respect of his end. As the poor man and the rich came the same way into the world, so both go the same way out; and then after a while, turn over their ashes, and the wisest of men cannot distinguish them; what are the bones of the greatest Potentates better then, th [...]n the meanest beggers lying in the grave?

Ʋse 2. Is for information, that pride was mans undoing sin. It was the first sin that ever was in the world, and it will be the last that shall be destroyed in us. And when from such a bitter root shall branch all kindes of wickedness, we may conceive it to be a deadly sin.

2ly, When other sins begin to die, then secret pride gets strength in us. Ex remediis [Page 146]generat morbos, even vertue is the matter of this vice: in such sort, that a man will be proud, that he is not proud; and there­fore it concerns us to be very watchfull o­ver our own hearts, that it get no footing in us, or if it hath broke in at our doors, like a thief, not to rest till we have purged our hearts of this uncleanesse and enemy.

3ly, That howsoever all sin may be said to be in the Devil, secundum reatum, yet on­ly pride and envy is in him secundum affe­ctum; he is guilty of all sin, as tempting men to every sin, but pride is his own pro­per fault, his darling, his Rimmon, and a [...] Bernard speaks, his character: so that neces­sarily must it follow, that proud men bear his stamp, his image, and do (patrizare) resemble their father the Devil.

Ʋse 3. Is for reproof. It was the Speech of one, I never saw a wise man proud, nor a proud man wise, and Verus est hic sermo, It is a true saying, for

1. A true wise man, is an humble mind­ed man, and he walks safely in the vallies, when he that climbs up to the tops of the mountains is subject to falling.

2ly, A proud man cannot be wise, be­cause he hath not learned to know God, [Page 147]nor himself, which is the beginning and middle, and end of wisdome. He knows not God that can abase him: and he knows not himself how soon he may be humbled, and of what brittle metal he is made of, nor sordid, so well as the meanest.

Obj. 1. Harm watch, harm catch, with what measure m [...]n [...]ete shall be measured to them again, [...]h Christ, Matth. 7.2. Lex Talionis [...]s Gods Law, Exod. 21.24, 25 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, wound for wound: and this is made good in Athaliah: her measure was blood, and she is repaid in blood, that she might speak with Adoni­bezek, Judg 1 7. As I have done, the Lord hath rewarded me; As without mercy I spa­red not innocents, so was I not spared by my people, although I entreated then, as Job speaks of his wife, chap. 19.17. Babylon was merciless and cruell, and therefore a proportionable punishment is proclaimed against her, Rev. 18.6. Reward her, as she hath rewarded thine, and saith Paul, 2 Cor. 5.10. Every man shall receive according to his works, not only ad aequalitatem, sed [...]itatem, for equality, but quality: And thus it was the saying of a Reverend man, that he never committed that sin in his life, but that the [Page 148]Lord met with him in the same kind for it and paid him in the same Coin. Pharao [...] causing the male children of the Hebrew to be drowned in a River, was at last drow­ned with all his Host in the Red Sea, Exod 14.28. Gideon slaying the Seventy Elders o [...] Succoth with unreasonable and unmeasura­ble torments, had his own seventy son [...] murthered by the hands of Abimelech hi [...] Bastard, Judg. 9.5. Haman prepared a Gal­lows to hang Mordecai thereon, but hi [...] foot is taken in the same snare he laid, and he suffers on it, Esth. 7.10. Darius Gover­nors that conspired Daniels death, are tor [...] into pieces by the Lions they had provi­ded to devour him, Dan. 6.24. David ly­ing with Ʋriahs wife, had his own wive defloured by his own son Absalom in th [...] sight of all Israel, 2 Sam. 16.22. Bajaze the first, who resolved in the pride of hi [...] heart, that if he should conquer Tamber­lain, to carry him in an iron Cage tho [...] ­row his whole Kingdom in Triumply, be­ing overcome was served in the same kin [...] by Tamberlain. The Tyrant Maxentius wa [...] overthrown in the same Bridge which h [...] craftily built as a snare for the destruction of Constantine, and so his mischief retur­ned [Page 149]upon his own head, and cruelty fell upon his own pate, Psal. 7.16. Alexander the sixth was poisoned at Supper with the same wine which he had prepared as a dead­ly draught for his familiar friend Cardinal Adrianus, his servants by Divine Provi­dence mistaking the bottle. The Sodo­mites burning with the fire of Lust, were burned with fire from heaven, they sinned against nature, and were punished against nature, fire descending upon them, whose property is to ascend. The dancing daugh­ter of Herodias, who preferred John Bap­tists head before half her fathers Kingdom, going over a frozen River, the Ice brake, and falling into it, had her head cut off without any other harm to her body, as History reports. So that we may conclude the generality of this point in the words of David, Psal. 9.15, 16. The Heathen are sun­ken down in the pit that they made, in the next that they hid is their foot taken. The Lord is known by exeecuting judgement; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands, Higgaion, Selah, that is, take notice of it, mark it very se­riously, consider this in thine heart; for it is worthy to be noted.

The Reason hereof it, to prove unto us [Page 150]the attributes of God, as I will shew you in some particulars.

  • 1. That he is omniscient; for no man can conceive the least mischief in his heart against another, but the Lord knoweth it, and seeth it: For he that made the eye, shall he no [...] see? Psal. 94 8. and in this sense saith Peter to Christ Iohn 21.27 Lord, thou knowest all things, and knowing of them he can the better p [...]e [...]ent them, and dispose of the is­sue of them.
  • 2. That he is omnipotent, in catching the wise in their own craftinesse, and the counsel of the wicked he makes foolish, Job 5.13 He is not onely omniscient, but omnipotent, in turning things upside down, as he best pleaseth.
  • 3. That he is a most just God in repay­ing evil with evil; evil in intention, with evil in execution. The wicked have drawn their sword and bent their bow to slay such as be of up­right conversation; but herein his Justice i [...] made known, that he causeth their sword to enter into their own heart, and their bows to be broken, Psal. 37.12, 13.14, 15▪ If men were not as blind as Bats and Owls that can see little or nothing in the clea [...] light, they might perceive Gods Justice in [Page 151]our latter times upon many that had a bloody hand in their Masters death: Some ranging themselves, some being be headed, and some dying mad, and some falling to hame, and in falling into the pit that they made for one far more righteous than them­selves.
  • 4. That he is a most true and faithfull God, and keepeth his promise and Cove­nant for ever, Deut. 7.9. his promise is, Matth. 7 2. With what measure men mete, i [...] shall be measured to them again, and this is made good upon Saul, David, Athaliah; and so I passe to the Uses.

Ʋse 1. May serve to convince the strong­est Atheist, that there is a God. Thales Milesius considering, plantas humiditate vi­rescere, siccitate marcescere, concluded that there was an over ruling power and pro­vidence; even so the Consideration

1. Of the disapointing mens hopes, and bringing them to nought.

2ly, Of bringing the mischief which they imagined, upon their own heads, is sufficient argument to declare unto us, and resolve us there is a God, and there is none like unto God, that can do such great things: so that we may sing with Moses, [Page 152]and the Israelites, Exod. 15.11. Who is like unto thee O Lord, among the gods? Who is like unto thee, so glorious in holinesse, fearfull in prayses, doing wonders?

Ʋse 2. Is according to that of Moses to the people, Num. 32.23. Be sure your sins will find you out. Who would have thought that Athaliah sleeping so securely in the bed of her fornications, lined and stuffed with such bloody feathers, and boulstered with so much wickednesse (so many years toge­ther) should be awakened out of it, and called to the bar of Divine Justice, and then and there sentenced to death? but when she sleeped, the Lord watched her down-lying and uprising, he compassed all her paths, he seal'd up her iniquities in a bag Job. 14 17. and breaks it open to her destru­ction. Now, Mutato nomine, de vebis Fabul [...] narratur, what is recorded of her, will be verified of you in the end, and therefore search out that Achan sin, and turn that Hagar out of doors, lest it trouble you, and find you out, and turn you ont of God [...] favour, and bring you to shame. Oh tha [...] men were wise, saith Moses, Deut. 32.39. the [...] would they consider and understand this, that their sins will find them out, and so the consider­ing [Page 153]and understanding thereof would teach them to stand in aw, and not dare to sin, Psal. 4.4. I read of a Philosopher that took up a Stage in an eminent market, and pro­claimed se velle vendere sensum, that he would sell understanding to any that stood in need of it: the King of that Countrey being informed thereof, sends messengers with store of gold in their hands to purchase it: the Philosopher writes in a little Paper these words, In omnibus quae facturus es, sem­per respice finem, & cogita quid possit tibi acei­dere, that is, In all things thou goest about, think alwayes what the end will be, and what may befall thee in the end: and so de­livering of it to them, advised them to car­ry it to their Master, and to tell him that it was full worth his mony: the which the King receiving, caused it to be written in golden letters over his Chamber door: now after a little time, some discontented people hired a rude, lewd fellow to stab the King, and going about his work, with a heart full of mischief, and reading this su­perscription, his countenance changed, and falls trembling, and shaking, as if he had an ague fit: the which being perceived, and he examined, confessed the whole matter, [Page 154]and what diverted him from it. Even so, if men would but seriously consider, that with what measure they mete, shall be mea­sured to them again, or that nothing surer than their sins would find them out, or that the end of sin and wages of sin is death, Rom 6.23. How would this Meditation stop the current of their vile affections, and divert them from sinning? It was an ex­cellent Speech of one, Cave quid agis; te vi­det Deus. Beware what thou doest; for God seeth thee, and all things are naked and open to his eyes with whom thou hast to do, saith Paul, Heb. 4.13 and Homer speaking of a Frog and a Mouse, who ha­ving a sharp contestation and bitter Skir­mish, the party grieved tells the other, [...], God had a reven­ging eye to right him: even so, if men would but remember whatsoever they are about or doing; God looked upon them, and had a revenging eye to requite it in the same measure and nature, it would stifle all treason against heaven and earth.

Ʋse 3. This may teach us, that seeing with what measure we mete, shall be mea­sured to us again, to walk circumspectly and warily, not as fools, but as wise, Eph. [Page 155]5.115. the Law of God and nature should be our rule to square our lives, and all our actions by, and that is, Quod tibi non vis, alteri non feceris, to do as we would be done unto, Matth. 7.12. and saith Paul, Gal. 6.16. To as many as walk according to this rule, peace shall be upon them, and mercy, as up­on the true Israel of God. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, Gal. 6.7. He that soweth righteousn [...]ss, shall receive a good and sure reward, Prov. 11.18. But be that foweth iniquity shall reap affliction, and the [...]od of his anger shall fail, chap. 22 8. God hath a two­fold measure.

  • 1. Either a measure of glory, and that is for those that a [...] und in the works of the Lord, 1 Cor. 15 58.
  • 2ly. A m [...]asure of wrath and sorrow, and that is for those that plough iniquity, and sow wickedness, Job 4.8. and with this measure did God mete Athaliah,

Doct. 3. I, Qualis vita, finis ita, As we live, so commonly we die, as we speak in another kind, Mali principii malus exitus, an ill beginning hath an ill end: even so, an ungodly life is accompanied usually with a sad death. Look upon Haman, be­hold Judas, cast an eye upon Julian the [Page 156]grand Apostate, who died cursing and ban­ning, crying out in defiance of Christ, Vi­cisti. Galilee, O thou Galilean, thou hast conquered and overcome me. Turn over, the Chronicle of Athaliah, and thou shalt find; that as she stank living in the nostrils of the people, for her idolatry, pride, usur­ping of anothers Crown, blood-thirsti­nesse, so in her death she was abhorred by all, and had not power to cry out with Peter, Lord save me, or with the Publican, God be mercifull to me a sinner. The Husbandman can tell us, that which way the tree lea­neth, that way it will fall if it be not pre­vented by art; and I have often observed in visiting the sick, that as the Proverb is, quod in corde sobrii, id in lingua ebrii, what lies close hid in the heart of a sober man, is revealed by his tongue when he is drunk: even so, as men lean and are affected living, so their hearts and tongues run of it dying; and what hopes can there be, that they who had not God in all their thoughts, Psal. 10.4. when they were in health, should go to God when they are dead?

Ʋse, As the tree standeth, so it falleth, and saith Solomon, Eccl. 11.3. As the tree doth fall, so in the place that the tree falleth, [Page 157]there it shall lie: So that this doth much concern us to denie ungodlinesse and worldly lust, and to live soberly, and righ­teously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and appear­ing of that glory of that mighty God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Tit. 2.12, 13. labouring to fall to the South of his mer­cy, and not to the North of his Justice. Death is not so fearfull and terrible in it self, as is the sting of it, which is sin, 1 Cor. 15.56. And therefore let it be our care to be every day weakning, and pul­ing out this serpents sting, that we may with old Simeon depart in peace, Luke 2.29. And blessed shall be the dead that die in the Lord, for their works follow them, Rev. 14.13. Thus ye have heard, 1. what Athaliah was 2ly, What her Treason, and 3ly, what her end was. She rent her clothes, and cryed Treason, Treason: and was slain by the way, which the horses go to the Kings house.

FINIS.

A Prayer for the Morning.

O Thou mighty, Almighty Creator, and Preserver of men, We thy poor Creatures protected this night from Fire, Sword, Sicknesse, Death, and those ma­nifold evils that might have befallen us, and overtaken us, by reason of the multi­tude of our sins (for man suffers for his sins) cannot but ascribe all praise with the Samaritan Leper, due unto thy holy name, for this unspeakable mercy of thine to­wards us miserable sinners, unworthy to tast of the least drop, much lesse that O­cean of thy love, daily streaming and flow­ing home to our doors, to the great com­fort of our souls. For what is man that thou art mindfull of him, or the Son of man that thou shouldest regard him? there is nothing in man but deserves open shame and confusi­sion [Page 160]of face continually. Wherefore we deny our selves, and all our own unrighte­ousness; as filthy clouts, and menstruous rags, and flee unto thee in thy Christ, that in him, by him, and through him, both now and ever, we may be acceptable in thy sight. O Lord, our strength, and our Re­deemer. And as thy mercies have been great towards us this night past, so we be­seech thee to continue the same mercy un­to us this day, and so to the end of our dayes. Defend us from our Ghostly and bodily enemies: Shield us with thy grace, that we fall not this day into any manner of evil of sin, that we may never grieve thy good Spirit any more by sin, and so prevent another day the evil of punishment for sin. Direct us in thy mercie in our going out, and coming in, that whatsoever we shall take in hand, it may prosper, like Joseph: O prosper thou our handie work upon us. Instruct us in the heavenly wisdome, that above all things we may be wise unto the salvation of our poor souls: And teach us with the night past to cast away all the works of darknesse, and of the Devil, and with the day, to walk honestly, as children of the light, and of the day. Teach us [Page 161]by our walking and wandring up and down from one place to another, ever to remember that we are but Pilgrims and So­journers here on earth, and so to fix our hearts and eyes homeward, and heav [...]n-ward, and upon that rest remains to the people of God. Teach us by every thing we take in hand, to do all to the glory of God, by whom we live, move, and have our being. To this end guide our eyes, that they behold no more vanity. Guide our ears, that they let in no more folly. Guide our tongues, that the name of God be no more blasphemed amongst us. Guide our hearts, that they suggest and act such things as are pleasing to the Lord-Guide our hands, that they may be more quick and lively in doing Gods businesse, than our own Guide our feet, that we may run in the wayes of thy commandments, e­ven unto the death. Lord so guide us in our hearts, bodies, minds and affections, that above all things we may apply our selves to glorifie thee on earth, that at last we may be glorified by thee in the Kingdom of glo­ry. And seeing thou hast made man for thy glory, give us of thy grace, that we may serve thee to thy glory. Give us instead of [Page 162]hearts of stone, hearts of flesh, and heart [...] of wax, that they may be alwayies pliable to serve thee our Maker and Redeemer▪ Give us a true sight and light into all ou [...] sins, and a true Repentance for our sins yea even a loathing of our selves for all th [...] evils which we have committed in all ou [...] abominations against our kind God: that our sins may be put away when the time o [...] refreshing shall come from the presence o [...] the Lord, and the glory of his power▪ Give us a true taste of the joyes above, that we may with Davids hunted hart, pant af­ter the Rivers of living water, and long to be with Christ, our Love, our Head and Captain of our salvation. Quicken us in the wayes of godlinesse, that we may serve thee with alacrious and chearfull spirits Enflame our hearts with an holy zeal to­wards thy Law, thy word and thy wor­ship, that it may be as meat and drink un­to us, alwaies to do thy will. And as we have given up formerly our Members, a [...] weapons of unrighteousnesse unto sin: so henceforward strengthen us with thy holy Spirit, that we may give up our Members as weapons of righteousnesse to serve th [...] everliving God: not labouring so eagerly, [Page 163]so earnestly, so heartilie, so greedilie, after that bread and meat which perisheth together with us, as after that bread which endures unto everlasting life; For what will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and at last lose his own soul? Our souls they were and are dear unto thee, and they cost the son of thy love, thy onelie begotten son, and thy best beloved son; thy son in whom alone thou art well pleased, the dearest price of his dearest blood: how then ought they to be dear unto us? and how can we better [...]hew that they are dear and precious unto [...]s, than by seeking the good of them more ferventlie, than after anie thing else whatsoever? O Lord grant, that we may not onlie know what is good, but that we may do that which is good: For they that know their Masters will, & do it not shall be hea­ [...]en with many stripes Except the Lord (saith Da­ [...]id) builds the house, they labour in vain that build [...]. Except the Lord keepeth the City, the watchman [...]aketh but in vain. Paul may plant, and Apol­ [...]o may water, but all is in vain without thy [...]lessing: let therefore thy good blessing, ac­ [...]ompany all our spiritual & bodilie labor [...], [...]hat all things may work together for thy [...]lorie, and for the best unto them that [Page 164]love thee, and desire to fear thy name. Lor [...] be with us this day, quicken us unto eve [...] good work, stand by us, restrain the co [...] ­ruptions of our own natures, quench th [...] fierie darts of that wicked one, that th [...] may not prevail against us in this worl [...] and so be never able to witnesse against [...] in the world to come. And all this we b [...] of thee for the Lord Jesus Christs sake, [...] whose name we conclude our Prayers in th [...] absolute manner and form, which he ha [...] taught us.

Our Father which art in heaven, &c.

A Prayer for Noon day.

IT was Davids practice, Evening, a [...] Morning and at Noon, to pray; and th [...] we may be followers of him, having h [...] for an ensample, to walk according to [...] rule, that we may obtain peace and mer [...] as the true Israel of God, we thy poor s [...] ­vants, Blessed Lord God, do humblie [...] our selves down at thy feet and footsto [...] begging of thee, that as thou art the sh [...] herd of Israel, which leadest thy people [...] [Page 165]and out like a flock of sheep; so thou wouldest be pleased to lead us into the green pastures, there to feed us with spiritual and corporal food, whereby bodie and soul may be fed fullie, comfortablie, and with comforts everlasting. O thou shepherd of Israel, among the manifold chances and changes of this uncertain life, defend us from God and Magog, that neither inward nor outward enemies hurt us not: but a­bove all, that sin nor Satan prevail not a­gainst us Direct us in the narrow way of re­pentance, and amendment of life, that when our day shall end, we may enter in at the straight gate, and so enjoy the Ancient of daies. Rowz up our dull spirits, that we may run in the waies of thy Commande­ments, and so obtain that Crown of righ­teousnesse, which the Lord our righteous­nesse shall give unto those that love him, and call upon his name. The night is past, and the bright day come, Grant us there­fore grace to walk as children of light, ho­lilie, unblameablie, unspottedlie, and with­out fault in thy sight. Grant that with the Morning we may look fresh in grace, and with the Noon grow to a fulnesse of grace, and with the Evening lie down in [Page 166]grace, that the God of grace may receiv [...] us into his tuition and favour. We have enjoied a comfortable morning, O thric [...] blessed be thy name for it: but we might▪ and all that we have might have been consumed into dust and ashes, hadst no [...] thou of thy goodnesse preserved us; so tha [...] who can think? who can say it is in vain to serve the Lord? But now who can pro­mise himself one hour more? much less [...] an Evening, if thou shalt hide thy face [...] and withdraw the light of thy countenance from us: and therefore we crave of thee to succour u [...], to guard us, to continue thy lo­ving kindnesse towards us, and to guid [...] us to our rest. Our enemies are many in thi [...] our vallie of tears, that it is of the Lord [...] mercie, that we have not long since been consumed; our strength to withstand them very weak, like a reed to the great Levia [...] than; Our friends to help us, are like Jobs, miserable comforters; our footing on this sea of glasse, very slipperie: but when all our other trust, is but as a spiders web, this is our comfort in our afflictions, that although our father and mother, and all the world forsake us, yet the Lord will then gather us up, and will not leave us [Page 167]comfortless. Wherefore in all humble ac­knowledgement of all thankfulness due un­to thee, vve offer up unto thee our selves, our [...]ouls and bodies, a quick and living sacrifice, [...]hat the God in whom we live, move, & have our being, may be glorified in and by our being. This is our day: therfore it is our du­ [...]y whilst it is called to day, to seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him whilst he is near. This is our day where­ [...]n we are to work: and so let it be our [...]ole wisdome to work out our salvation, [...]est the night come and overtake us, when [...]o man can work. This is our day; and [...]ow ill doth it become us to trewant, and [...]oiter it away, like those that stood idle in the market place? or to riot it, and revel­ [...]ing it, eating and drinking, and cursing Abimelech? lest we be in hell to morrow, yel­ [...]ing and howling, and roring, with Dives, Devils, and damned ones. Let the Sun which cometh as a Bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoiceth to run his race, Ever teach us to be active in spiritual duties, and heavenlie exercises. Let the Sun which increaseth from glorie to glorie, teach us [...]o encrease in vertue, goodnesse, and god­ [...]inesse: adding to vertue knowledge, to [Page 168]knowledge temperance, to temperance pa­tience, to patience brotherlie kindnesse, and so one grace to another, that we may be complete Christians, like unto our head, and Lord, and Master. Let the morning instruct us to remember our Creator in the daies of our youth. Let the Noon tu­tour us to be strong in the faith. Let th [...] Evening admonish us to think of the end of our life, and shutting in of our daies Let all teach us so to number our daies tha [...] we may applie our hearts unto wisdome Let a waterie daie ever mind us of the sor­rows, afflictions and troubles attend us i [...] this life. Let a pleasant day mind us of th [...] pleasures to come, when these are faded and forgotten. Let a short daie mind us o [...] the shortnesse of this life, which is but a [...] a span long, and swifter than a Weaver [...] Shuttle. Let a long daie mind us of Ete [...] ­nitie of life, either in blisse or bane, and s [...] read us a continual Lecture, to labour fo [...] that meat which endures unto everlasting life, and not after that bread which pe­risheth with us; the which that we may do, the Lord grant unto us, for the Lor [...] Jesus Christs sake, our blessed Saviour an [...] redeemer, Amen.

A Prayer for the Evening.

I Will lay me down and also sleep in peace, for thou Lord makest me dwell in safety, saith David. Now good God grant, that an we lie down in thy love, so we may rise by thy power, and glorifie thee for thy mercy.

O most gracious God, and in thy son Jesus Christ, our loving Father, we mise­rable sinners, dust and ashes, worms and not men, do prostrate our selves before the footstool of thy Throne of grace, be­seeching thee, that seeing thou hast made the night for man to rest, so well as the day for him to labour; so that thou woul­dest be pleased to blesse us this night, and keep us from fire, sword, sicknesse, death, and those manifold evils may befall us, and overtake us by reason of our manifold sins and wickednesses. Thou art about their beds, and givest thy Angels charge o­ver them that seek unto thee for succour: thou knowest their down-lying, and up­rising, and art near unto those that call upon thee in truth and syncerity of heart: wherefore graciously, good God, spread [Page 170]thou the wings of thy loving kendnesse, and favour over us this night, and let not this house be as a tomb and Sepulchre ere­cted over our heads: let not our beds be as our graves, our blankets as the mold of the earth, and our sheefs, as our winding-sheets: but let them all serve to minister comfort and refreshment to our wearied bodies and senses, that the day following, we may be the better enabled to set forth thy praise, and thy glorie. Let not our sleep be insatiable, according to the desires of the flesh, but onely so, as that it may re­vive our dull and heavy drooping spirits, and make them active in thy service, and in the works of our calling. Teach us by our unclothing, and uncovering of our selves, and casting away our garments from us, continually to think of casting away every weight, and casting off that old man which is corrupt through his deceiva­ble works. Teach us by our nakednesse when our garments are from us, continu­ally to think of harmlesnesse and innocency of life: endevouring our selves daily to live void of offence towards God, and to­wards man. Teach us by going out of our warm clothes into our cold beds, continu­ally [Page 171]to think on a change of life, how that we shall one day leave this sinfull world, and passe into another, there to re­ceive according to our several works. Teach us by our sleep, continuallie to think on death, and by our waking from, sleep a­gain, continually to think of resurrection of lif [...]; how that we shall one day wake, and rise out of the dust of the earth, and behold our God, not with other, but with these same eyes. O let everie thing be our instruction to sh [...]w us the right way to hea­ven, and everlasting blisse. Father, blesse us bodily, yea and blesse us spiritually: give unto our bodies a happie rest in Christ Je­sus, whensoever, as we know not how soon, thou maiest call them out of this sin­ful world; and say unto our souls, that he was the redemption thereof, and paid the ransom of them with his dearest blood, that under the shadow of his wings, we may flie to thy heavenly Sanctuary Father, bless us inwardlie, and blesse us outwardly: blesse us inwardly with all these graces which are sit and needfull for our several places, conditions and callings; and blesse us outwardlie, with all those things we want, and stand in need of, as health, [Page 172]strength, ease, wealth, blesse us likewise in everie thing belongs unto us, that they yielding forth their strength, and increase unto us, we may yield forth unto thee our God the strength of our obedience, praise and thanksgiving. O father, thou art great, and therefore to be feared: thou art good, and therefore to be praised: according therefore to thy greatnesse, and according to thy goodnesse, be thy praise: and we entreat thee to continue this thy loving kindnesse to us unto our lives end, and to life eternal And that we may obtain this mercy, we beseech thee to give us grace to walk worthie of thy mercies, that we may find and feel the fruits of thy favour bud­ding in our souls. O give us grace that we may look unto our feet, that we walk no more in the waies of disobedience, whereby we should offend and grieve the good Spirit of so Good a God, and so Ioving a father; for our own Consciences tell us, That what couldest thou have done more for thy vineyard? and the plants of thy vine­yard? and such vile, sinfull wretches, that thou hast not done unto us? and yet what could any stubborn and stiffe-necked gene­ration have done more to provoke thee to [Page 173]anger, wrath, and sore displeasure, than we have done? But Lord, call not thou our sins to thy remembrance: lay not thou our sins to our charge; for if thou shouldest be but strict to mark wherein we have done amisse, who should be able to stand in thy sight? Wherefore for thy mercie sake spare us, for the multitude of thy tender mer­cies sake have compassion on us, for the Lord Jesus Christs sake, forgive us all that is past, how many, how great, how grie­vous, how crying soever our sins have been, and strengthen us with strength from above, that we may spend the residue of our lives in thy service, whollie resigning upour selves unto thee, fearing of thee, & keeping of thy Commandement, labouring, & indevouring, to live as much hereafter to thy honour, as over we have heretofore done to thy disho­nor. And for as much as thou hast com­manded us to be mindfull of the afflictions of Joseph, we beg of thee to be good to all thy poor afflicted ones: work in them a true insight into all their sins, and a true Repentance for their sins, and a strong faith to believe that their sins are pardona­ble in the blood of that immaculate Lamb: Lord, if it be thy will, let them live to [Page 174]praise thee, and for the comfort of thos [...] that belong unto them: but if thou in thy secret counsel hast decreed them for death, grant that although their bodies return to the earth, yet their spirits may return to their Maker. And preserve thou our lives, and healths unto us, not that they may be a means to follow our former wantonnesse with the greater greedinesse, but that we may be the better abilitated to set forth the glorie of our most Glorious God. Blesse those of our nearest relation: blesse them and us, and all of us, with inward and outward, with spiritual and corporal health and wealth, that we may glorifie thee our God with both all the daies of our lives. Blesse thy poor Zion: deliver thy Israel out of all his troubles. Make not us who were once thy Beulahs, thy Hephzi­bahs, thy joy, thy delight, now to become Loammies, Loruhamaes, a despised and for­saken people. Make not us who were once Naomies, a pleasant seed, now to become Marahs, a seed drunken with bitter waters of a full cup wrung out unto us. Make not us, who were once as Abigails, the fa­thers joy, now to become Benonies, the sons of our mothers sorrows: O let not this [Page 175]be published in Gath, nor proclaimed in Askalon, left the uncircumcised take up this Proverb against us, Go ye unto Shiloh, go ye unto England, and see how their Sun is set, their pride abased, and their pomp vanished, because they would not hear and obey, nor regard the voice of the Lord Je­hovah. O for thy Christs sake be pacifi­ed with thy servants that call upon thy name, as Herod was with the men of Tyre and Zidon for Blastus his sake and me liati­on: and as thou art wonderfull in thy name, so be thou wonderfull in thy works, and command at length deliverances for thy Jacob. Blesse our Supreme head: Let every mountain and hill that is exalted against it be made low: let the crooked be made straight, let the rough be made plain: oh let the zeal of the Lord God of Hosts in his good time perform all this. Call home all those that have erred like lost sheep, and are deceived: open their eyes to see the truth, direct their hearts to walk in that truth, that walking in the old way, which is the good way, they may at last come to him, who is the way, the truth, and the life. Sanctifie this nights rest unto us. Grant that our sleep it may be sweet, for the refreshing of our [Page 176]wearied senses, that the day following w [...] may be the better strengthened to set forth the honour of our God. Give thy angel [...] charge over us this night; for they alon [...] are well kept whom thou keepest; wherefore into thy hands both now and ever with blessed Steven, do we commend all ou [...] spirits. These O father, and all othe [...] things thou in thy infinite and all-seeing goodnesse shalt better see to be requisite, either for our selves, or for any other, w [...] humbly beseech thee to grant them unto us not for our own sakes; for we acknow­ledge our selves unworthy to gather up th [...] crumbs that fall from thy table: wherefor [...] we beg them for thy Christs sake, in whos [...] name we conclude our prayer in that per­fect form which he hath taught us, saying Our father, &c.

FINIS.

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