[Page] THE AUTHOR and SUBJECT OF HEALING IN THE CHURCH Set forth in a SERMON Preached before the Right Honorable The PARLIAMENT of England, at St. Margarets Church in Westminster, on Wednesday April 25. 1660. Being the day of their Assembly.

By Edward Reynolds D. D. and Dean of Christ-Church, Oxon.

LONDON, Printed by Tho: Newcomb for George Thomason, at the Rose and Crown in St. Pauls-Church-yard. 1660.

To the Right Honorable the LORDS & COMMONS Assembled in PARLIAMENT.

Right Honorable,

WHen I was com­manded by the Council of State to Preach before you on the day of the Parliaments Assembling, I could not but reflect on the woful and never-enough to be lamented con­fusions, under which these Na­tions [Page] were ready to sink and perish, till the Lord was pleased, as it were [...], to raise up an Honorable Instrument, by his Wisdom and Valor to put a stop to the progress, and to open a way, that you by your Counsel and Authority, might put a period to the Being of them. In order whereunto, I thought it my duty, as a Minister of the Gospel of Peace, and a Servant to our Great Lord, whose work it was to heal and recover, Luke 4. 18. Humbly to set before you the Au­thor and the Object; and on the Monday following, before the Right Honorable House of Peers, the means and method [Page] of Gods healing a Sick Nation: And thereupon to be seech you, so to imitate the example of Christ, who is the Lord that healeth us, so to promote the fear of his Name, and the great works of Humilia­tion, Supplication, and Re­formation amongst us, as that you might comfortably plead his pro­mise, to hear, forgive, and heal the Land: For the Lord will be with you while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found of you.

And for this work of setting up the fear of God, and real conversion unto him, though god­liness have as many enemies, as there be Devils in Hell, or wick­ed [Page] men in the World; yet pro­faneness is in it self so shameful, and holiness so amiable, that en­deavors in this most weighty work, will, I am confident, meet with no prevalent opposition or ob­struction among you. All sober men of every perswasion, how so­ever otherwise divided, acknow­ledging the necessity, and pro­fessing their desires, that the Name of the Lord may in pu­rity of Doctrine, and in holi­ness of life, be magnified amongst us.

You have made an happy en­trance unto this healing work, (for certainly the great suffer­ings of our Princes, have had a [Page] strong causality upon our distracti­ons, it can never be well with the Body, while it is ill with the Head,) and you have hereby blasted the projects and attempts of any, whose ambition might ani­mate them, to awaken old, or to kindle new flames amongst us.

If together with this noble act of Justice and Loyaltie, you pro­ceed to secure the Interest of Jesus Christ, by establishing the True Reformed Religion, an Orthodox, learned and painful Ministry, pure Worship, and the Power of godliness, sup­pressing and putting to shame all profane practises, whereby the wrath of the Lord may be again [Page] kindled against us, you shall there­by greatly blast the desires of li­centious and evil men; and comfort the hearts, and give e­vidence of the answer of God to the prayers of good men. Which that you may be enabled and as­sisted to do by the power of Divine grace, is the most earnest prayer of

Your Honors most humbly devoted in the Lord ED. REYNOLDS.

THE AUTHOR and SUBJECT Of Healing in the Church. Set forth in a SERMON Preached before the Right Honorable the PARLAMENT of England, at St. Margarets Church in Westminster, on Wednesday April 25. 1660. Being the day of their Assembly.

Mal. 4: 2, 3.

But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

3. And ye shall tread down the Wicked.

OUr Prophet was the last of all the Prophets of the Old Testament, after which they were not to look for any o­ther, till Elias the forerunner of the Angel of the Cove­nant (who was the great Prophet of all) should come unto them. The Church ap­pears [Page 2] in his time to have been wofully cor­rupted, by those sharp reprehensions of Priests and people, for corruption of wor­ship, for violation of Covenant, for con­t [...]macy against God, for reproaching his ways, and passing an hard and false charge against his services as if they were vain and fruitless. In the midst of this Hypocritical people, the Lord had an Holy remnant who feared his name, and spake often to one another. Both these seemed to call for the coming of Christ, and to delight in the promise of the Angel of the Covenant. chap. 2: 17. 3: 1. And accordingly here is a promise of his coming speedily. But though desired by both, he should come with great difference to the one and the other; to the one after a terrible manner, with refineing fire and fullers sope, with fanne, and sword, with a spirit of Judg­ment and burning to consume the stubble, to gather the body of that wicked people in­to Math. 3: 12. Math. 10: 34. Isai, 4: 4. Jerusalem as into an Oven and furnace, and there with a final and absolute [...] to dissolve the judaical politie, and leave them neither root nor branch, no visible hope of restitution again, chap. 4: 1. which was done by the army of the Romans under Titus. To the other with a promise of Com­fort and Reviving. chap. 3: 17. They shall be mine, in that day when I make up my Jew­els, [Page 3] and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. And that so remark­able, that the reproach cast by the wicked Hypocrites upon the ways of God, ver. 14, 15. Ye have said it is vain to serve God: What pro­fit is it that we have kept his Ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? And now we call the proud happy &c. should be clearly confuted, by the conspi­cuous difference which the Lord would make between the righteous and the wicked, ver. 18. the one jewels and sons to be preserved and spared, the other stubble to be burnt and dis­solved; the one to be healed and restored, the other to be troden down and despised. Concluding all with an awakening precept, that since they were not to expect any other Prophet, till Eliah and Christ should come, they should therefore remember the Law of Moses, and thereby fit themselves for the en­tertainment of their Messiah.

The words contain a gracious and discrimi­nating mercy unto an holy remnant that fear­ed Gods name, for their supportance and comfort against the terror of the foregoing threatning, that unto them the Sun of Righte­ousness, the promised Messiah, should arise in his Incarnation with healing in his wings; and when grosse darkness did cover the people, Isai. 60. 2. Isai. 9: 2. and they did sit even in the shadow of death, [Page 4] not only veiled over with the Shadows and [...] of the Law, [...] [...] mis­led by the [...] glosses of S [...]ibes and Pharisees, sold and devoured by their own shepherds, wofully oppressed under Alexan­der, Zach. 11: 5. Janneus, Hircanus, Aristobulus, sub [...]u­ed by Pompey into the form of a Roman Pro­vince, and then sorely afflicted under the Tyranny of Antipater and Herod; that after such a night of darkness and distress, the pro­mised Messiah should come to break the yoke and rod of their oppressor, and assert his peo­ple Isah 9. 4 10: 27. into Light and Liberty again. That he should come as the warm and welcom beams of the Sun, after a dead winter, or a gloomy and tempestuous night, to heal and remove all the sins and sorrows of his people.

In the words we have these particulars considerable. 1. The discriminating grace of God between a Remnant that feared his name, and the body of a co [...]upt and pro­phane people. 2. The supposition of a State of sickness and soreness, of sin and sorrow, under which even this Holy Remnant did lie; with a gracious promise of healing unto them. 3. The Author of this healing, ex­pressed metaphorically by the name of the Sun of Righteousness, as before by the name of the Angel or Messenger of the Covenant. 4. The means of deriving this healing from [Page 5] this Sun of Righteousness. 1. His rising. 2. His wings or beams, which are the Vehi­cula of all the light and vertue which flow eth forth from him 5. The proper and peculi­ar Subject of this Healing, singled out by way of gracious compellation, unto you that fear my name. 6. The effects and fruits of this Healing, and they are three, 1. Going forth, as recovered men use to do out of their bed or chamber when the Sun shineth in a warm and beautifull day, to take the aire and refresh themselves. 2. Grewing up, in sta­ture, in strength, speedily, as fatted C [...]lves, luxuriating in a full and pleas [...]nt pasture. 3. Treading down and crushing the wicked as Grapes in the Press, as ashes under their Feet, in a full and triumphant victory.

I shall handle the words thus distribu­ted after a double manner. 1. In the spi­ritual, proper, and theological sense of them as they are a promise of Christ, and H [...]al­ing by him to an afflicted remnant of men that fear Go [...]s name. 2. In an Applicatory and particular sense, as they are suitable to the present solemnity and occasion.

1. The Church of God was at this time in a most defaced and corrupted condition, Gods worship prophaned, his name blasphemed, his treasuries robbed, his Judgments que stioned, his reproofs despised: yet in the midst [Page 6] of all this rubbish there is a Remnant accor­ding to the Election of Grace. Though the Church be not alwaies visibly Glorious, yet in the most collapsed state thereof, in the worst times, it is [...]ever without visible pro­fessors who have stood up to beare witness unto persecuted Truth. The Lord had Seven thousand in Israel that had not bowed the 1. Reg. 19. 18. knee to Baal. When our adversaries challenge us to shew where our Church was besore Lu­ther, we answer, That in the midst of the greatest darkness and superstition, there were such fundamentall truths of faith and re­pentance, and holy Life r [...]tained, as the Lord no doubt did sanctifie to the Salvation of many, who lived in the body of the Roman Church, and were by their very Ignorance preserved from the dangerous superstructions which the Doctors of that Church built upon that foundation, as the Renowned Bishop Sermon of the unity of the Church. Usher hath observed. 2. There were in no age wanting Holy and zealous men who did boldly appeare against the prevailing Erro [...] of the times, as our learned men have large­ly proved in their Historico-polemical writings, and large volumes have been written of the Catalogues of such witnesses in every age of the Church, who have declared against many Corruptions of the times wherein they lived. But that there hath alwaies been a visible [Page 7] conspicuous Glory in the maine Body of the Church, is evidently disproved by the perse­cutions which prevailed from time to time a­gainst it. How did the Arian Heres [...]e over­spread the world, when such glorious lights is Athanasius and Hilary were persecuted for professing the truth? [...]ngemuit totus orbis saith Hieron: ad­verse Lucife­rianos. Hierom, & Arianum se esse miratus est. It is not less easie for us to finde out our Religion and the professors thereof in the corrupt ages of the Church, then for them to find out theirs in the pure and primitive.

Sure we are in the worst times the Lord hath ever had a people that feared his name, whose hearts he hath by select promises and Comforts supported, against the terror of those curses which he hath denounced against the corrupt body of the people. Say to the Righteous, it shall be well with them, Isai. 3. 10. [...]inde the Testimonie, seale the Law among my Disciples, Isai. 8. 16. There is a remnant ac­cording to the election of grace, when the rest are blinded, Rom. 11. 5. 7.

Hence that usuall intermixture of Threats and Promises in the Prophets, as a president [...]nto Preachers of the truth in all ages, who ought with such prudence and tendernes to manage this part of their Ministry, as neither to harden the wicked in their sins by undue application of mercy, nor to make sad the [Page 8] hearts of those whom the Lord hath not [...]ade sad, by a promis [...]uous denunciation of wrath, but righ [...]ly to divide the word of truth, [...]nd to give to every one their own portion.

2. Nor must we here pass by unobserved that discriminating Grace of God, whereby the Jewels and the Stubble, the Godly for healing, and the wicked for burning, are distinguished the one from the other. The Lord indeed doth most righteously dispence both healing to those that feare him, according to the Grace of his covenant; and burning to those that hate him, according to the Justice of his Law. And it is true, the wicked make thems [...]lvs fit for the burning, for their de­struction is of themselves, Hos. 13. 9. Their way and their doings have procured it, Jer [...]. 4. 18. it is a choice of their owne making, Isai. 66. 3. But they that are healed, are not the Authors or originall procurers either of the grace whereby they fear God, or of the merc [...] wherby God heales them; God alone by his free Grace makes the difference between those that serve him and those that serve him not. He reveales to babes, what he hides from the wise and prudent, and that because it seems good to him. Math. 11. 25. 26. To you it is given, to them it is not given. Math, 13. 11. I [...] is n [...] of him that willeth, [...]nor of him that runeth, but of God that sheweth mercy, Rom. 9, 16 [Page 9] If I be one of that Remnant that feare Gods name, I have no reason to glory in my selfe, it is God that gives me an heart and away to feare him, Ier. 32. 39. It is by his grace that I am what I am, 1 Cor. 15. 10. It is he that works in me to will and to do of his own good pleasure, Phil. 2. 13. It is he that makes me to differ, 1 Cor. 4. 7. ut Totum Deo detur, qui Hominis voluntatem bonam et praeparat adju­vandam, Aug. [...]nchirid: c. 32. et adjuvat praeparatam, as the in­comparable Champion of the Grace of God St. Austin speaketh; That the whole work may be ascribed unto God, who both pre­pareth the good will of man that it may be holpen, and helpeth it being prepared.

And againe Certum est nos velle cumvolu­mus Aug. de Grat. & lib. Arb. c 16. contra dua [...] Epist [...]elag. lib. 4. c 6. & de d [...] perse­ve [...]at. cap. 13. de praedestinat: Sanct. c. 10 sed ille facit ut velimus. It is certain, that we will when we do will, but it is he that maketh us to will. And again, nos volumus, sed Deus in nobis operatur & velle, nos operam [...]r, sed Deus in nobis operatur & operari; we will, but God worketh [...]n us to will; we work, but God worketh in us to wo [...]k also. And again, Ille facit ut nos faciamus quae praecepit, nos non facimus ut ille faciat quae promisit; He maketh us to do the things which he commandeth, we make not him to do the things which he promiseth. O that the wanton and proud wits of men would leave the Lord to do with his owne what it pleaseth him, (as he will certainly [Page 10] do notwithstanding all their passionate alterca­tions, Mat. 20. 15.) and would let the difference between him that feareth the Lord, and him that feareth him not, be ascribed only unto the gift of grace, without the which, no man would feare him; which rich grace, a nullo duro Corde respuitur, ideo enim datur ut cordis duritia Aug de prae­dest. Sanct. c. 8. primitus auferatur, as the same Father speakes, is not refused by any hard heart, for it is therefore given that hardness of heart may be taken away. Though man be free to resist grace, yet he is not free to conquer it; Gods mercy is victorious as well as his justice, That which cometh into your mind, shall not be at all, that ye say, we will be as the Heathen, as the Families of the Countries, to serve wood and stone, as I live saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretehed out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you; Ezek. 20. 32, 33. Where the Lord threatneth to conquer them with his mercy, he will have mercy on whom he wil have mer­cy, Si Deus miseretur etiam volumus, ad eandem quippe misericordiam pertinet ut velimus. I [...] Ad Simplie. lib. I. qu. 2. men would be but contented that God should use his free will in giving his grace, as well as they contend for their owne free will to accept it; if the time which is spent in dis­puting for free will, were spent in begging it: or if when we beg free will of God, that we [Page 11] may accept grace and not refuse it, we would but allow it consonant to Gods power and goodnes, to grant us our petition, and to cause us not to refuse it, (and certainly lex supplicandi legem statuit Credendi, as Celesti­nus speaks, we may beleeve that God will g [...]ant, what we pray for according to his will) the world would not be so continually troubled with the hot and passionate disputes in these arguments as we finde it is, certainly every humble and holy man will not onely think it his duty to praise God for that he gave him a power to convert, but that he gave him Conversion it selfe, and the very work of willing and turning unto God.

3. We may here observe the double most different effect of the Gospell of Christ upon proud and penitent sinners, a savour of death to one, of life to the other, 2 Cor. 2. 15. 16. fire to the one, balsome to the other; as the same perfume kils the vulture, which revives the Dove; the same Red Sea a passage to Israel, a grave to Egypt; the same pillar light to one, and darknes to the other; the same sun makes the Garden smell sweet, and the Dunghill stink.

Great therefore must our care be what af­fections we bring to hearing the word. It is given for life, but we may find it u [...]to death, according to the disposition of heart we [Page 12] bring with us thereunto, an honest and good Heart, a meek and quiet Spirit, a melted [...]oul ready to be cast into the mould of the word, is the best preparation to meetwith Christ in his Gospel.

II. We see here Healing promised to those that fear Gods name, and thence we may cer­tainly conclude, that the Holiest men do want healing. 1. As we are like unto Christ, per pri­mitias Spiritus, by the first fruits of the spi­rit, Aug. depeccat Me [...]it & Re­miss. c. 8 E [...] 7. 20. Jam. 3: 2. so we are unlike unto him per reliquias vetustatis, by the remainders of corruption; There is not a just man that liveth and sinneth not. Though the guilt of sin be removed in our justification, and the power subdued in our sanctification, yet the sickness and remain­ders of it are not abolished till our dissolution. Ista vitia gratiâ dei medicante curantur, prius Aug. contra Julian. Pelag. lib 5. c. 7. [...]t reat [...] non teneant, deinde ut constict [...] non vincant, postremo ut omni ex parte Sanata, nulla omnino remaneant, as St. Austin speaks. These Evils are cured by the Grace of God, first that they may not hold us by their guilt, next that they may not conquer us in the conflict, and lastly that being through­ly healed, none of them may remain. And these remainders of corruption the Lord here leaveth in us to be matter of daily [...]on­slict, of deep humbling, of earnest Prayer, [...]t sit quod pet [...]ntibus largiter adjiciat quod confi­tentibus Aug. de spir. & [...]. cap u't. [Page 13] clementer ignoscat, that he may bountisully give the things for which we pray, and graciously pardon the sins which we confess. 2. Besides our sins, we are sur­rounded with Enemies, and beset on every side with Temptations, and though we have a promise of victory over them, and sufficiency of grace against them, yet we have no pro­mise of absolute immunity, that we shall be invulnerable by them. The experience of our own Lapses, and of the Holiest and greatest Saints sufficiently evidence unto us what poor and fraile Creatures we are when the Lord leaves us, to t [...]y us, as he did Hezekiah, 2 Cron. 32. 31. 3. Sorrow is the naturall Off-spring of sinn and temptation, a sick and a wounded man cannot but feel the paine of that which weakneth him. There are not any men, more men of sorrow and acquain­ted with grief, then they whose eyes are most open to see, whose hearts most tender to feel the weight of sinn, the terrors of God, and the Assaults of temptation. Being there­fore subject to sins, to wounds, to sorrows, no wonder if they stand in need of healing.

And indeed none call out so importunately for healing, either for themselves or for the Ch [...]ch of God, as they that feare [...]is name. Jer. 8. 22. Psal. 51. 8. 18. Psal. 38. 3 [...]9. He that [...]hall read the dolefull complaints of Job, of [Page 14] Heman, of Hezekiah, and others mourning under the weight of sin and wrath; of Je remy, Daniel and Nehemiah bewailing the breaches and desolations of Sion, will finde it one principall evidence of a Godly man, to poure out his complaint before the Lord when he is overwhelmed. Psal. 102. 1. no desires so strong in t [...]m as to have their eyes opened, their hearts purged, their sin re­moved, their peace enlarged, the truth of God vindicated, his worship restored, his ordinances preserved, his presence continued in the midst of his people. Promises of healing in God, do awaken prayers for healing in them. Isai. 19. 22. Jer. 31. 8, 9, 10. 33. 6. Hos. 6. 1. Isai. 57. 15.

III. The Au [...]hor of this healing is here Luk. 4. 18. Act. 4. 30. Isai. 30. 26. the Sun of Righteousness, who came pur­posely, to binde up the broken hearted, to ap­point to them that mourn, beauty for ashes &c. Isai. 61: 1, 2, 3. Concerning him let us consider 1. The reason of his Appellation, 2. The manner of his healing. For the Ap­pellation, he was called by Balaam, a Star, one that was to have dominion, Num. 24, 17, 19. A great Light. Isai. 9. 2. [...], the day Spring or Sun rising, Luke 1. 78. A Bright Star of the morning, Rev. 22. 16. an everlasting light that never goes down, Jsai. 60: 20. That takes away all night, Rev. 22. 5.

[Page 15] The Apostle tells us, that by Christ the Worlds were made, H [...]b. 1. 2. The old visi­ble world, wherein is the natural Sun; and a New heaven and earth wherein dwelleth Righteousness, 2 Pet. 3. 13. unto which belongeth this Son of Righteousness. And therefore the time of the Go [...]el, is called a day of Grace and Salvation, 2 Cor. 6. 2. Rom. 13: 12, 13. And Beleevers children of the light and of the day, 1 Thes. 5: 5. W [...]erein darkness of Error and Ignorance is dispelled, and glorious things, which had been hidden from ages and generations manifested unto the World.

Christ is the Light of the World to come (as the Evangelical Church seemeth to be called, Heb. 2: 5.) That Light, John 1. 8. 3: 19. An heavenly Light, so Evangelical Doctrines are called [...], Heavenly things, John 3: 12, 31. Heb. 9: 23.

A full Light, John 1: 14. In him did all fulness dwell, Col. 1: 19. An Indeficient light which endures for ever, as a faithful Witness in Heaven, Psal. 89: 36. Isai. 60: 19. A primi­tive Independent Light, which deriveth not his righteousness f [...]om any o [...]her fountain, he sanctified himself by his own spirit, John 17, 19. A diffusive light which sheddeth it self on every other Vessel of Light of his [...]ess we all receive. He silleth all in all, [Page 16] John 1: 16. Eph. 1: 23. A moveing Light, which goes through all the Earth, to the ends of the world, Psal. 19: 3. 6. He came and preached peace to those afar off, and to them that were nigh Eph. 2: 17. An Operative, influential, and be [...]gne Light, which cometh with Life, as well as with Lustre, and therefore it is called the womb of the morning, Psal. 110: 3. 3. reviving, restoring, ripening the fiuits of the Earth. Psal. 36: 9.

The means and manner of his Healing is by his Arising unto us. There is a Sun extant at midnight, as well as at noon, but he com­forts not us but by his rising. Now this rising not [...]th,

1. His Incarnation, the word which is translated [...], Oriens, the day-spring or sun-rising, Luke 1: 78. is in the original [...] a Branch, Zach 3. 8: And as here a Sun of righteousness; so elsewhere a Branch of Righteousness, Jer. 23. 5. 33: 15. A Sun of Righteousness, so he is the Lord from Hea­ven, the Lord of David: a Branch of Righte­ousness, so he is the son and the Off-spring of David. This is our comfort, that he is as well Germen, springing out of the Earth, as Oriens looking down from Heaven, Psal. 85: 11.

2. His manifestation in spirit and power, by the Gospel to the consciences of his peo­ple, [Page 17] by the beauties of his Grace and Holi­ness, illightning the mind, inclining the will, healing the affections, converting the con­s [...]ience, discovering to the Soul the deep things of God, which is called the rising of the Day-star in the heart. 2 Pet. 1. 19.

3. His rouzing men out of ignorance and security, unto the businesses of an holy life, for the sun riseth that men may go forth to their labours, Psal. 104. 22, 23. The light saith, awake thou that sleepest, Eph. 5. 14. Rom. 13. 11.

4. His Heavenly conduct and direction, shewing us the way wherein we should walk, Psal. 143: 8. Psal. 5. 8. Isai. 30: 21. and leading us therein, discovering Enemies and temptations behinde us, precipices, gulfs, snares, and pits before us, Luk. 1. 79. whereas he who walkethin darknes, knoweth not whither he goeth, Joh. 12. 35.

The Sun of Righteousness thus rising doth heale us by his light, and by his influ­ence. John 16. 8. 11. 1. By the light of his Heavenly Do­ctrine whereby he convinceth of sin, and so discovereth our disease: and then of Righ­ [...]snes in him to pardon our sin, and of Judgment to rescue us out of the dominion and power of Satan 2 By the Infuence of his [...]lessed Spirit efficaciously enforcing the word, an [...]educing that vertue out of it, by which it restoreth health and beauty to the [Page 18] Soul, This is called the revealing of the arme of the Lord, Isa, 53. 1. and the hand of the Lord being with the word. Act. 11. 23.

4. But Christ is in Heaven, and we in Earth, how shall we bring these together, that the Medicine may be applied to the disease. O [...]ne agens agit per Contactum, and this must be either Immediatione suppositi or Immediatione virtutis, as Philosophers speak. And we have both here, his person being Divine is Immense & omnipresent. He filleth All in All. Eph. 1. 23. His vertue is further conveyed unto us by his Wings, the Beams of this sun of Righteous­nes, most swiftly and suddenly flying with Psal. 139. 9. his truth and grace into the Soul. And these Wings are;

1. His word and ordinances in which Christ is present with his Church, Math. 18. 20. and presented to it. Gal. 3. 1. The holy Doctrines of the Gospell, and duties of wor­ship, (are if I may so speak) the Drugs and Materials, the Balme of Gilead, whereby spirituall diseases, sinn and sorrow are cured. As we find usually in the Gospell, he did but speak the word and diseases were gon. H [...] cures were Commands. His ordinances ar [...] the Leavs of the Tree of Life, which are fo [...] Matth. 8. 8, 9. healing of Nations. Rev. 22. 2.

2. Any Illustrious providence sent down [...] it were from Heaven, when he doth terr [...] Isai. 64. 3. [Page 19] things which we looked not for. Thus he healed the fears of Israel by opening a way in the Red Sea, and their murmurings in the wildernes by giving them Waters out of the Rock. Thus he strengthned the faith of Constantine newly converted by the signe of the name of Christ Euseb d [...] [...] Constantin [...] lib 1. c. 22, 25. Raynolds Con­ference with Hart. cap 8 divis 4. pag. 503. in Heaven, with this inscription, in hoc vinces. Wonderfull providences which bring any healing to discomposed and dilacerated Nations, are as so many beames of the Sun of righteousnes, who as Lord of all Creatures orders them all for his Churches good. The Wheels in Ezekiels Vision of living. Crea­tures, whereby I understand the various and perplexed revolutions of all affairs in the World, were full of Eyes, noteing the guid­ance Ezek. 1. 16, 1 [...] of Divine wisdome ordering them all to the welfare of his Church and People.

3. Any speciall servants and officers of his whom he commissionateth and sendeth forth for the good of his people, whether the Angels of Heaven, as we read of an healing Angel, Joh. 5. 4. Or the Angels of the Church to whom belongeth the dispensation of wholsome and healing Doctrines, 1 Tim. 6. 3. Tit. 2. 1. To open the eyes, and to turne them from darknes to light, Act. 26. 18. Or any other renowned instruments and mes­sengers of help and comfort to an afflicted people. These are, if I may pursue the Meta­phor, [Page 20] the Apothecaries, to weigh out, mix and temper and prepare the drugs according to the direction of Christ, which the Apo­stle expresseth by the word [...], Rightly to divide the word, 2 Tim. 2: 15. And our Sa­viour by [...]. To give the due portion of meat, Luke 12. 42. which some S [...]ckins de con [...]iv. l. 1. cap. 23. would have to allude unto the custom of measuring out daily or monthly unto Ser­vants their allowances of diet.

4. His own holy Spirit, who in Tertullians expression is vicarius Christi, as the beam is Tertul: de prae­scriptionibus. John 16: 15. Rom. 5: 5. Cant. 4: 16. of the Sun, who taketh from Christ, and sheweth unto us; making report to the Souls of beleevers of the favor of Christ un­to them, sheading abroad his love into their hearts, blowing upon his Garden, that the spices thereof may flow forth, as a Witness, a Seal, an Earnest, a Seed, bringing Christ and all his healing graces and comforts unto the Souls of his Servants, in their sins and sorrows to revive them.

5. Here is the Subject of this healing; where observe. 1. The gracious and speci­all compellation, the Lord speaks by name to his sick and sorrowfull servants, with a pe­culiar favour as to his own sheep, John 10: 3. keeps a matricula and publick Register wherein t heir names are enroled, Mal. 3: 16. Psal. 87: 4-6. They are engrauen on the [Page 21] breast of our High Priest, Ex [...]d. 28: 9. He takes exact notice of their wants, their com­plaints, their tears, their desires, and shines in with particular comfort and healing up­on them; so to Mary, John 20: 16. So to the Woman of Syrophaenicia, O woman great is thy Faith, be it unto thee as thou wilt, Mar. 15: 28. So to Peter, go tell his Disciples and Peter, poor mourning Peter, comfort him by name, Mark 16: 7.

2. The immediate preparation and pro­per disposition unto healing, to fear Gods name. There is a double vertue of Christ towards men.

1. A Quickning vertue, and the Subjects of this vertue are those who are dead in Trespasses and Sins, Eph. 2. 1, 5.

2. An healing vertue towards those who though they be alive, are yet in a weak, wounded, languishing condition, looking out after help and recovery. No such way for a sick and wounded nation to be healed as to fear Gods name, see Solomons Prayer to this parpose, 1 Reg. 8. 33-39. and the Lords gra­cious answer unto that payer, 2 Chron 7. 13, 14. If my people that are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heale their Land. They are his [Page 22] people, his Sons, his Jewels, they call upon him, mourn towards him, turn to him, seek his face, they sink under the burden of cor­ruptions, they cry out under the buffets of Satan, under the ravishments of temptation, Rom. 7. 23. 2 Cor. 12. 7, 8. they pine away under the Judgments of God, they know not what to do but to look 2 Chro. 20. 12. up unto him: How can the bowels of an heavenly Father but yearne over a sick, a mourning, a weeping, a praying, a returning child. See Ephraim bemoaning himself, turn­ing, repenting, smiteing upon his Thigh, and the Lord presently relenting over him, and resolving to have mercy upon him, Ier. 31. 18, 19, 20. Is Ephraim my dear Son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do carnestly remember him still; My bowels are troubled for him, I will surely have mercy upon him saith the Lord. It is not murmuring and repineing in our afflictions, bit [...]ing the stone which hath hurt us, breaking out into com­plaints and revengeful animosities against one another, fretting our selves, cursing our King and our God, as the Prophet speaks, Isai. 8. 21. Gnawing our Tongues, and refuseing to repent, Rev. 16: 9-11. that is the way to healing. To be humbled, to accept of the punishment of our sins, to bear the indignation Levit. 26, [...]1. Micah 7. 9. of the Lord, to seek his sace, to fear his name, to convert unto him, this only is the way to healing, Isai. 6: 10.

[Page 23] 6. We should here proceed to consider the effects and consequences of this healing, which I must only name, and no more.

1. Going forth, Leaping, Exulting, pre­pared with joy and vigour, with courage and enlargement of Heart, unto duty and ser­vice, as John, Christs forerunner is said to make ready apeople prepared for the Lord, Luk. 1: 17. It noteth that Spiritual Joy and Peace, which is the strength of Gods Servants in duty, when he shines with Light and Healing upon them. Healing and Holiness is a foun­dation of Joy, Psal. 33: 1. 2 Cor. 1: 12. and Joy back again a principle and preparation unto Holiness, The joy of the Lord is our strength, Nehem. 8: 13. The Servants of the Lord, the trees of righteousness, are ever so much the fuller of fruit, as they are of comfort, the more the Sun of Righteousness with his Light and influence doth shine upon them, the more they abound in duty and service.

2. Growing up, in light, in st [...]ture, in strength, in knowledge, in grace, to more and more perfection, the most healthy are the most thriving christians. As many times when persons are recovered out of a fit of sicknes they visibly shoot up, and grow more in a few months then in some years before. So is it with Gods servants, when they have been delivered from any sore Temptation, like [Page 24] Antaens they gain by their falls, when they are no more Children, when they cease to be weake, then they grow. Eph. 4. 14. 15.

3. Victory and security against their proudest Enemies, whom the God of peace will tread down under the feet of his servants, as Joshua made his Captains to tread on the necks of the Kings of Canaan, Luk. 10. 19. Rom. 16. 20. Jos. 10. 24. Even for the bruized Reed, and for the Smoaking Flax will the Lord bring forth judgment unto victory. Matth. 12. 20.

Now from these many Metaphors seting forth Christ unto us, by whose light our blindnes is cured, by whose righteousnes our guilt is covered, by whose wings our cor­ruptions are healed, and we enabled to go forth with Joy, to grow up in duty, to tread downe our Enemies, we learn,

1. The freeness of his grace, nothing on Earth can deserve the shining of the Sun, nothing in us can deserve the grace of Christ, it shines most freely, without preceding merit, without consequent re [...]ibution, who bath first given to him, and it shall be recom­penced to him again, Rom. 11. 35.

2. The fulness of his Grace, he is a Sun. If we want wisedome there are Treasures in him, Col. 2. 3. If Spirit, it is without measure in him, Joh. 3. 34. If any spirituall [Page 25] Grace or Gift, there is unsearchable riches, an inexhausted Fountain in him, Ephes. 3. 8. Col. 1. 19. Zach. 13. 1. And he hath it all as a Magazin and Officer for the supply of his servants.

3. The communion and dependance of the Church upon this his fulness: our light, our righteousness, our grace, our comfort, come from the influence, and depend upon the presence of Christ with us. The House doth not receive a stock of light to stay in it, though the Sun were gone, but hath it by immediate dependance on the light of the Sun: So every measure of Grace in us de­pendeth in esse & operari upon the influence, concurse, and presence of Christ by his Spirit with us. Every good work of ours hath its beginning, continuance, and consum­mation Hierom. ad Ctesiphontem adversus Pela­gianos. in him. Non mihi sufficit quod semel donavit, nisi semper donaverit, saith Jerome. He that begins, perfects, Phil. 1. 6. gives will and work, Phil. 2. 13. Heart and way, Jere. 32. 39. is the Author and the Finisher, Heb. 12. 2. Without him we can do nothing, in all things we must grow up in him, Joh. 15. 5. Ephes. 4. 15. From him is all our fruit found, Hos. 14. 8. We must pray with David, Take not away thine holy Spirit from me, Psal. 51. 11. We must take heed least by our quenching or grieving of him, we provoke him to with­draw himself.

[Page 26] 4. The conjunction between the Righte­ousness of Christ and his healing; where he re­ceives into grace, he takes away iniquity, and healeth backsliding, Hos. 14. 2, 4. He came not onely to pardon sin, but to destroy it, 1. John 3. 8. His Mercy is never without his Grace, his Offices go together, his Sacrifice and his Scepter cannot be divided. This is one of the greatest comforts that a believer hath, that at length his lusts shall be consumed. Even Heaven it self would not be a place of glory, if a man were to carry his sin along with him thither.

I have thus done with the General and Theological Tractation of the words: I now proceed very briefly unto such an Applica­tion of them, as may come closer, and be more seasonable and suteable to this Honor­able Solemnitie.

That this great Council and Colledge of Physitians hath a dangerously sick Patient to look after, Three Nations, and the Church of God in them, like the man between Jerusa­lem and Jericho, wounded and hal [...] dead, Luke 10. 30. we have had these many years the best, o [...] rather worst assurance that may be, by feel­ing the sickness; so that there need be n [...] further proof of it. We have seen and fel [...] with sorrow and amazement, the honor o [...] [Page 27] the Parliaments of England shamefully as­saulted, Princes bleeding out their Souls, sojourning in Mesech, and in the Tents of Kedar; Peers and Patriots secluded from Psal. 120. 5. their Honorable and Rightful Trust; the great Council of the Nation sesquidimiated; a learned and faithful Ministry reproached, ready to be sacrificed, brought to the brow of the precipice; Ordinances decried, Er­rors, and Heresies cumulated, the Publick worship of God interrupted, the Assemblies of his people on his own day, profanely af­fronted by Mechanicks, working their ordi­nary works in our Churches and Pulpits: We have seen and felt our Laws and our Founda­tions threatned, our Ships broken, our Trade obstructed, our Treasures exhausted, our Merchants discouraged, our Religion crum­bled, our Church-Congregations shamed and defiled with the impure and obscene intrusion of naked persons, cloathed with nothing but dung and impudence. We have heard of families raised upon the ruines of others, and of families ruined by perjurious crimina­ [...]ons. Indeed, we have seen and heard of more evils and confusions, then the hour of a Sermon, or the length of an History can well enumerate. If sins, if sorrows, if shame, if fear, if dangers, if frenzies, if quakings, if convulsions, if breach upon breach, if [Page 28] change upon change, if divided mindes, if dis-joynted hearts, if inconsistent interests, if incoherent designs, if vicissitudes of Go­vernment as mutable as the courses of the Moon, if Altar against Altar, Doctrine a­gainst Doctrine, Worship against Worship, Post by post, threshold by threshold, be symptoms of a sick body; certainly this great Colledge of Physitians hath a very sick patient to look Ezek. 43. 8. after.

Nay, which is much to be bewailed, even they who fear the name of the Lord one­very hand, of every perswasion, if they will impartially review their own ways, will finde that by their mutual jealousies, breaches, disaffections, distances, animosities, affecta­tions of preheminence and domination, pursu­ance of interests, preserving of stations and new raised estates; and many other the like miscarriages have contributed a great share to the sicknesses and sorrows of the common body, and caused the name of God, and the honor of Religion to be evil spoken of.

Your proper work, Right Honorable Pa­triots, is to be Healers (so Rulers are call [...], Isai. 3. 7.) Healers to these three Nations. We have looked long for peace, and there came no good; and for the time of healing, and be­hold Jer. 14. 19. trouble. If the Lord have reserved you for such a time, for such a work as this, to [Page 29] be eyes to the blinde, feet to the lame, Fathers to the poor, as one that comforteth the Mourners, Job. 29. 15, 16. 25 as Job speaks, the ear that hears you shall bless you, the eye that sees you, shall bear witness to you. It shall be written for the gene­ration to come, and the people which shall be cre­ated, Psal. 102. 18. shall praise the Lord for you. The Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail, you shall be above onely, and not beneath, Deut. 2 [...]. 13. It is a weightie enterprise; the cure difficult, the disease complicate, great skill and wisdom, great Love and Caution, great Patience and tenderness is required unto it. There may be danger of miscarri­age by clashing of Councils, by partialitie of Interests, by mis-judging of Cases, by the acrimonie of Purgatiyes, by the heighth of Cordials, by inequalitie and dispropor­tionate Applications, by minding the parts asunder, as divided from the whole.

O come with none but healing Resolutions, with none but closing and uniting affections; let one Heart, one Soul, one End, one Spirit, animate your whole Body. If this precious ointment of unity and peace be first upon you i [...] will fall down to the skirts of the Nation. The Patients will not fall out, if the Physicians be agreed.

Think with your selves, that you hear the life and being, the ancient honor and renown [Page 30] of these Nations, call aloud unto you for Healing. England sometimes a terror to her proudest enemies, a ballance to all the Inter­ests of Christendom, now a supplicant to her own Children to keep her alive.

Think that you hear the concurrent cry of the Protestant Churches, which are greatly concerned in our Weal, or wo, (the Protestant Religion, being the Interest of England, as the Duke of Rhoan hath gravely observed) calling upon you to heal us, that they may be whole.

Think that you hear the importunities of all the people of the Land, and all orders therein call unto you for Healing. Princes and Peers long dethroned and eclipsed in their ho­nor and splendor. Citizens long decayed in their trade and commerce. Countrey-men long exhausted with heavy expences upon narrow estates. Ministers long discouraged by swarms of dangerous and corrupt opinions, by that abundance of Atheism, Scepticism, Neu­tralitie, Indifferencie, Profaneness, Contempt of Ordinances, which the looseness of these times, like an opened sluce, or a breach in [...] bank, hath let in as a deluge upon the Church of God amongst us.

Think that you hear your own families, your wives, your children, Et natos natorum, & qu [...] ­nascuntur ab illis, the generations yet unborn, [Page 31] calling unto you to lay up Healing for them, and like the man of Macedonia to the Apostle, saying, Come and help us. Acts 16. 9.

And if you will give me leave to tell you where you must begin; you must begin at this Sun of Righteousness; you must be wings, beams, Angels, Emanations from him, if you will bring help and healing to his people. From him all your Wisdom and Counsil, all your Love and Zeal, all your Fidelity and Sufficiency is derived. We are not sufficient of our selves to think any thing as of our selves; but our sufficiency is of God, who alone makes able Counsellors in the State, as well as Mini­sters in the Church.

And as he is the Father of all your Light and Counsel; so by his blessing alone, they operate. Without him you can do nothing: As man liveth not by Bread alone, so he re­covereth not by Physick alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God. He is the Lord that healeth us, Exod. 15. 26. He that gave his Disciples power to cure dis­eases, Luke 9. 1. must do the same for you, if you be our healers: And therefore you must begin at him, and say as the Prophet did, Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for thou art my praise, Jer. 17. 14.

And as you have his sufficiency to enable [Page 32] you, and his blessing to give success unto you, so you have him as a great Exemplar to lead and teach you, whom you may imitate in this great work; for he went about teaching and healing, Matth. 4. 23. And he healed,

1. Freely, and so he commanded his Dis­ciples to heal, Matth. 10. 8. He did not in­rich himself by any of his cures and miracles; by how much the less of reward, by so much the more of honor, for a free cure: Not but that it is worthie the bountie of a Parliament to acknowledge great and noble services, with proportionable returns of favor; but the less internal and domestical those returns are, they will appear the more noble. Tu ci­vem patremque geras tu consule cunct is: No [...] tibi, nec tua te moveant, sed publica damna Claudian.

2. Bountifully, he was at cost and charges to heal others, his blood was our balsome; he was content to be smitten, that we might be healed, Isai. 53. 5. He looked not on his own things, but on the things of others, Phil. 2. 4, 5. He gave his life for his sheep, John 10. 11, A good man is willing to spend and to be spent, for the good of those unto whose service he is devoted, 2 Cor. 12. 15. Nec sibi, sed toti genitum, se credere mundo. It is recorded for the honor of Nehemiah, that though former Governors had been chargable to the people, [Page 33] yet he and his brethren did not eate the bread of the Governor, Nehem. 5. 14, 15. and of He [...]er that she would venture perishing for the service of her people. Esther 4: 16.

3. Universally, without expectation, he healed all that came to him for healing, Matth. 12. 25. Luke 4. 40. & 6. 19. He is an ill Physician that will cure his patient of a sore Finger, and use no means against his Feaver or Consumption, for an akeing heart, or a bruised head. We may say of England, is the Prophet of his people, Isai. 1. 5, 6. That our sickness is from head to foot; some parts sick with sorrow and sufferings, others sick with sin and wickedness: Let your endea­vors of cure be impartial. Any one part un­healed will create pain and danger to the whole: And as you may not neglect any integral, so let your principal care be for the Vital and Architectonical parts, to reduce them unto health and safety. But let your pro­vidence extend to all; the least and lowest Member hath a right in the common Soul, in the good of the whole. Render to all their [...]es, tribute, custom, fear, honor, are due to Rom. 13. 7. some; love, libertie, propertie, safetie, pro­tection, peace, are due to others. Ballance all interests with so equal and righteous a [...]ize, that Rulers may govern a free people, and the people obey Illustrious and Noble [Page 34] Governors; that the people may be comforted by the Jusstice and Clemency of their Princes, and Princes honored by the loyaltie and obedi­ence of their people: That Love may be the Soul of the Body Politick, the Bond, the Joynt, Col. 3. 15. Eph. 4 15, 16. the Sinew that holds together all the Members in the Unitie, and for the good of the whole.

4. Meekly, humbly, compassionately, there is a fained meekness as that of Absolom and Otho, omnia serviliter pro Imperio, but Christ was meek and lowly in heart, Math. 11. 29. Tacit. Hist. We read of the gentleness of Christ, 2 Cor. 10: 1. So Christ taught men, as they were able to hear, Mark 4. 33. So he healed them, took the Lambs into his bosome, and gently lead the rest, Isai. 40. 11. Considers our mould, Psal. 103. 14. Will not break [...] bruised reed, Math. 12. 20. Stays with a poo [...] blinde begger in the way, Mark 10. 49. 5 [...]. And thus he requireth us to heale and resto [...] disjointed Members with a spirit of meek­ness, Gal. 6. 1. Phil. 4 5. Shew all possible tenderness and indulgence towards the infi [...] ­mities, especially the consciences of men [...] humble and sober, of quiet and peaceab [...] Spirits, the strong are taught to bear the [...] ­firmities of the weak, Rom. 15. 1. Be care [...] to secure and settle the Fundamentals, the [...] tals and Essentials of Doctrine, Worsh [...] [Page 35] and Dutie, that you may be sure of sound and Orthodox Ministers, to go in and cut be­fore the flock; and if in smaller and more pro­blematical things, men cannot be all of one minde, (as we never shall have perfection of Judgment till we come to Heaven) Let not the strong despise the weak, nor the weak judge the strong: Whom God receives into his favor, let not us shut out of ours, Rom. 14. 3.

5. Perfectly, As many as touched him in order unto healing, were perfectly cured, Matth. 14. 36. Endeavor as much as is pos­sible, such a total oblivion and obliteration of our sad divisions, and the distempers arisen there-from, that no dregs of the disease, no sears of the wound may remain; but that all the Members may coalesce into a perfect unitie and frat [...]rnitie again.

And as this must be your first care to be­gin at the Sun of Righteousness, and to imitate him; so you must be careful of the Two wings which are the Vehicula of Healing, be sure that the Wings of the Sun of Righte­ousness do carry him into all places of the Land.

1. The Wing of Light, sound Doctrine, pure Ordinances. The more the people agree in divine truths, the more they will be dis­posed for moral and for civil unity. Religion [Page 36] is a cementing thing, Lactantius and Jerome Lactant Instit. lib. 4. cap. 28. Hieron. in A­mos 9. derive it a Religando, Quòd ea quasi in fas­cem vincti sumus. Discourage and discounte­nance, dangerous and false doctrines, bear up, speak comfortably to an able, Orthodox, Faithful and Learned Ministrie; procure brotherly reconciliation amongst men of sober mindes, but different judgments: The breaches I hope are not so wide, but that if animosi­ties and prejudices were removed, they might by amicable and fraternal debates be closed up again.

2. The Wing of Righteousness, able, faith­ful, Religious Judges and Magistrates, whole­some, healing, and Righteous Laws, are the Vehicula of Justice, by the sanctitie and pru­dence of these, your healing will shed it self abroad into all parts of the Land.

In one word, Go forth, have your eyes i [...] in every place, [...]: Xenophon By­rop [...]d. Let the Wheels of your Pro­vidence have eies on them. Grow up into splendor and perfection, and restore the col­lapsed honor of this august Council in all the parts of it: Tread down wickedness, make stronger Laws then ever against impietie and profaneness, against iniquity and unrighteous­ness. Keep Christ and his presence; keep godliness and the fear of his Name in the mi [...]st of the Land: Endeavor not a meere [Page 37] formal and superficial, but a substantial and spiritual Reformation, and then assuredly the Lord will honor you, and make you his In­struments of performing this gracious pro­mise, Unto you that fear my Name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his Wings; and these wings shall carry your names and memories with splendor and renown unto all succeeding ages. For they that honor him, the Lord will honor. 1 Sam. 2. 30.


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