THE BRAND Pluck'd out of the FIRE. A Sermon Preached before the Lord Major, Aldermen, and Companies of London, On Novemb. 5. at Pauls.


LONDON, Printed by Tho. Ratcliffe, for George Thomason, at the Rose and Crown in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1659.

Amplissimis, Praestantissimis, Consultissimis Viris D. THO. ALEYN Honoratissimo Domino Praefecto, MAGISTRATIBUS UNIVERSIS, TOTIQUE SENATUI Celeberrimae Florentissimae (que) Civitatis LONDINENSIS, Concionem hanc coram ipsis habitam Ipsorumque jussu publici Juris factam, In Honoris & debitae observantiae. TESTIMONIUM, D. D.

E. R.
Zach. 3. 1, 2.

And he shewed me Joshua the high Priest, standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee. Is not this a brand pluckt out of the fire?

THis Chapter is a Colle­ction of comforts for the Church; comforts pre­sent in the type, Joshua the Brand; comforts promised in the substance, Jesus the Branch. Comforts to Joshua, the comfort of protection against adversaries, ver. 1, 2. The [Page 2] comfort of Honouring and adorning him for his Ministery and Office, ver. 4, 5. The com­fort of Remuneration for his fidelity, ver. 6, 7.

The words of the Text are a promise of protection, revealed by the Angel, published by the Prophet, two excellent witnesses to a promise. And indeed we seldome finde the Church in affliction, but we finde an Angel with them. With Israel, when Pharaoh and his Host pursued them, when they wereExod. 14. 19. Judg. 6. 11. in the hands of the Midianites; when they were in the hand of the Philistines; whenJudg. 33. 3. they were in Babylon in the bottome amongstZach. 1. 8, 11. the mirtle trees, with the three children in the furnace; with Daniel in the LionsDan. 3. 28. Dan. 6. 22. Acts 27. 13. 2 Reg. 6. 17. Gen. 19. 1. den; with Paul in the shipwrack; with E­lisha when beset with an Army at Dothan; with Lot in the midst of Sodom; the Angel of the Lord is round about those that fear him to deliver them, Psal. 34. 7.

He shewed me Ioshua] Israel returned but from two Captivities, from Egypt and from Babylon, and in both we find a Joshua im­ployed, one to possesse them of Canaan, another to re-edifie the Temple. It was not without a great mystery, to note unto us that there is no deliverance without a Jesus: no Name but that under heaven by which we can be saved, Act. 4. 12. He alone deli­vered [Page 3] us from the wrath to come, 1 Thes. 1. 10.

Joshua the High-Priest] He is seldome mentioned alone without Zerubbabel, as Ezra 3. 2, 8. 4. 3. 5. 2. Nehem. 12. 1. Hag. 1. 1, 12, 14. Hag. 2. 2, 4. As in their returne out of Egypt they were led by Moses and Aaron, Psal. 77. 20. so in their return out of Babylon they were led by Zerubbabel and Ioshua, and being returned, these two were to engage themselves in the work of building the Temple, Ezra 5. 2. And in­deed Temple-work doth never go prospe­rously on, but when the Ministry of the Priest is backed and encouraged with the authority of the Magistrate. As it was by Nehemiah, Hezekiah, and other good Prin­ces.

And therefore they are enemies to the building of Gods house, who go about to perswade the Magistrate that he hath no­thing to do with matters of Religion, that it belongs not either to his power or duty, to take care that purity of truth and worship be preserved within his territores: of whom notwithstanding it is prophecied, that they should be nursing Fathers to the Church, Isa. 49. 23. and truly they are none of the best Nurses, that suffer their children to have poison as freely offer'd them, as milk or wholsome meat.

[Page 4]There is something in it, that we finde Joshua here alone. Satan would do mischief to any one whom God honours and im­ploys. But his notable malice is against Religion, and the building of the Temple. If there be any more special instrument of that then other, him in speciall manner he op­poseth; the more spiritual the service, the more resisted by the Devil. The true Jesus, whereof our Joshuah was a type, was no soon­er called by God to build his house (for so it was said of him that he should do, Zach. 6. 13.) but we finde him assaulted by the Tempter, Mat. 4. 1. Of all works this is the work which Satan most desires to op­pose, as the Apostle intimates, 1 Thes. 2. 18.

Standing] Both Tanquam Servus, and Tan­quam Reus. 1. As a servant to Minister unto the Angel. So much the word standing fre­quently importeth attending upon a Ministry, Deut. 10. 8. 17. 12. 1 King. 17. 1. Heb. 10. 11. whereby is noted, 1. Reverence to the Lord whom he served. 2. Readinesse to receive his commands. 2. As a Defendant, who being accused stands up to answer for him­self; the Judge fate, and the people stood, Exod. 18. 13. Actor and Reus were wont to stand together before the Judge. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together, Isa. [Page 5] 50. 8. to intimate possibly in either the confidence of a just cause; therefore it is said of the ungodly, that they shall not stand in judgement, Psal. 1. 5.

Joshua was in filthy garments, yet God im­ploy'd him, and Satan accused him. How low soever our condition be, God thinks not scorne to use us in his service; Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings he hath ordained praise: He will be served as well in rags as in robes. And how low soever our condition be, Satan would have us lower, from robes to rags, from rags to nakednesse. His malice is like hell, without any bot­tome. The truth is, it is not robes or rags that trouble him, but that whether in the one or the other, we do any way stand before the Lord, and minister unto him.

Before the Angell of the Lord] namely, the Angel of Gods presence, Isa. 63. 9. the Angel of the Covenant, Mal. 3. 1. He is the Lord of the House, and Joshua his ser­vant, Heb. 3. 6. Mat. 24. 45. He is the Judge over the House, Acts 10. 42. and Jo­shua his Subject. And in both capacities he stands before him, to execute the commands of his Lord, to answer the accusations of his ad­versary.

And Satan standing at his right hand] the right hand seemes to have been the place of [Page 6] the Accuser, Psal. 109. 6, 7. And it is the Hand of Action. A wise mans heart is at his right hand, Eccles. 10. 2. he doth what he doth heartily as to the Lord. Satan hopes, if he speed not at accusing, he shall at resist­ing, that he shall prevaile either as an Ad­versary or a Tempter. But here is Joshua's comfort, though Satan be at his right hand to tempt, God also is at his right hand to support him, Psal. 16. 8. He an Accuser at our right hand, and Christ an Advocate at Gods right hand, 1 Joh. 2▪ 1, 2.

To Resist him] or to accuse him. To Resist him in his Ministry, to accuse him for his failings. What these failings were we may guesse by the story. 1. He ministred not in the Priests robes, but in filthy gar­ments, v. 3. 2. He delayed the building of the Temple, till pressed thereunto by the Prophets, Ezra 5. 1. 3. His sons were, some of them, defiled with strange wives, Ezra 10. 18.

What a white devil have we here? Sa­tan transforming himself into an Angel of Light, zealous for Gods worship, which is the thing that he chiefly maligneth. Even the haters of Religion will pretend zeal for it, so they may do it mischief, and when they rejoyce at the failings of good men, will yet seem greatly offended for them. [Page 7] They did so here; they would faine have had an hand in building the Temple, the building whereof they most earnestly ma­ligned, Ezra 4. 1, 2. Dalila will take Sampson on her knee to cut off his haire. Judas will kisse his Master that he may be­tray him. Christs enemies will court him that they may entrap him, Mat. 22. 16. and Pauls enemies will preach Christ to adde af­fliction unto him, Phil. 1. 16. we finde Sa­tan one while tempting Christ, another while confessing him, denying him in the Pharisee, John 7. 52. acknowledging him in the man possessed, Mark 1. 24. (but with a mischie­vous purpose in both, as if it were Learning to deny him, as if it were madness to con­fesse him,) one while leading him to the Temple▪ another while shewing the World. He hath Temple temptations, and secular temptations, it is all one to him, the Ser­pents skill or Samuels mantle, so he may either way be doing mischief.

And the Lord said unto Satan] The Lord Christ, the Angell before whom Joshua stood, the Mediatour and Intercessor for his servant.

The Lord rebuke thee O Satan] Restraine thy pride; silence and muzzle up thy mouth, cast out thy Bill of complaint, throw thee over the Barre, that thou mayest not rise [Page 8] against his servant any more. And if thou be still clamouring, then once again.

The Lord that hath chosen Ierusalem, re­buke thee] Must Gods holy Tribunal be still troubled with the obstreperous malice of a common Barrater? canst thou hinder the Adoption, or alter the immurable Ele­ction of God? we see hereby the Rage of Satan, he never gives over accusing till God silence him. And we see the Love of God, be Satan never so clamorous, God never gratifies him with an hearing, but answers all his accusations with his own free love, and gratuitous Election. The Lord that hath chosen Ierusalem, rebuke thee.

Is not this a Brand pluck'd out of the Fire?] Hath he not suffered enough al­ready, except he be quite burnt up? have I begun to deliver him, and shall I not per­fect it? did I bring him out of the furnace of Babylon sore against thy will, that I might gratifie thy malice in destroying him here? Can I be weary in shewing mercy, when thou art unwearied in doing mischiefe? I have delivered him to build my Temple, and to set up my worship, and the mercy begun, I will finish maugre all thy malice.

The words contain a Vision of a special mercy to Joshua, set forth in the manner of a juridical processe. Wherein we have

  • [Page 9]1. Joshua his Ministry and defence. He stood tanquam
    • Servus.
    • Reus.
  • 2. The adversary, Satan and his work against Joshua to
    • Resist.
    • Accuse.
  • 3. The Advocate. The Lord.
  • 4. The victory over Satan, The Lord re­buke thee.
  • 5. The foundation thereof, Gods Election of Jerusalem, and his compassion to Jo­shua.

He shewed me Ioshua] That which the Pro­phetThe Vision. saw was only in a Vision and Represen­tation, not really and in effect: for where was the Priest to minister but in the Temple and at the Altar? and these things were yet but in consultation, nothing finished; yet in a Vision the Prophet seeth it all done.

With God, promises and threatnings give a kinde of being unto things before they are produced. 1. They exist in decreto Dei; in Gods decree, and so are known on­ly to himself, Acts 15. 18. 2. They exist in verbo, in the word; and so are known only to faith, which is [...], the very present subsistence of things which to hope are but future▪ Heb. 11. 1. 3. They ex­ist really in opere & effectu▪ in the work done, [Page 10] visible to the sense of all beholders▪ and so wicked men know the works of God in exe­cution which they knew not in denunciation, as our Saviour tells us, Matth. 24. 38, 39. though Noah had threatned the deluge, yet they knew not untill the stood came and took them all away: When there was no Tem­ple the Prophet sees Joshua ministring: When Ahab was not yet gone to Ramoth Gilead, the Prophet saw all Israel scattered, 1 Kings 22. 17. when there was no natural strength. Abraham saw Sarah conceiving, Rom. 4. 19, 20, 21. Whatever the faith of a Pro­phet can fee in a vision, the faith of a believer can see in a promise.

When therefore we have Gods promise, how crosse soever it may appear to sense or reason, we should with David encourage our selves in the Lord our God, 1 Sam. 30. 6. and rest upon his name, I AM, who calleth the things which are not, as if they were. He that gave Being to the world out of no­thing to make good his decree of Creation, can give unto any man comfort out of no­thing, to make good a promise of mercy and deliverance. He can command his lo­ving kindnesse, Psal. 42. 8. He can create peace, Isa. 57. 19. when all second causes, Vines, Olives, Fig-trees, Fields, Herds, Stalls, do wholly miscarry, we may re­joyce [Page 11] in God, and glory in his salvation, Habak. 3. 17, 18. when our flesh and our heart failes, we have him for our strength and for our portion still, Psalme 73. 26.

We live in failing times, we have found men of low degree Vanity, and men of Job 8. 15. high degree a lie; we have leaned on our 2 Reg. 18. 21. house, but it did not stand; we have lean­edEzek. 29. 6. on our staff, and it hath gone into our hand. We trusted too much in Parliaments and they have been broken; in Princes, and they have given up the ghost, net vitia nec remedia ferre possumus, we have been af­flicted both with our diseases and with our remedies, feare, and the pit, and the snare Isa. 24. 17. have been upon us, we have been changed Jer. 4 [...]. 11. from vessel to vessel, and we break every vessel we are put into; our ships have been broken, our trade broken, our estates bro­ken, our Government broken, our Hopes broken, our Church broken, nothing but our hearts and our finnes unbroken. A sadHos. 14. 3. thing, that a people will be quite fatherlesse, before they will think of going to God; that they will have their way hedged up with Hos. 2. 6, 7. Thornes, before they will resolve to returne to their first husband; that they will beLuke 15. 16, 17, 18. brought to husks, before they will come to themselves, and go to their father; that they [Page 12] will be brought to such extremities, as not2 Chron. 20. 12 to know what to do, before they will have their eyes upon the Lord. Well, it hath been our sin and our folly, to trust in bro­ken reedes, in dying and perishing comforts; Isa. 36. 6. let it at last, before the Epha be sealed, be­foreZach. 5. 8. the decree bring forth, be our wisdom, and our faith to trust in the living God. Zeph. 2. 2. And by repentance and humiliation to re­move our sinnes from between God and us, and then no other impossibilities can obstruct the passage of mercy unto us; nothing can any more hinder the fulfilling of an evange­lical promise, then of a prophetical Vi­sion.

Well, whether in a vision or really, he saw Joshua standing. And he stood,Joshua stand­ing as a servant

1. Tanquam servus, to minister before the Lord. Whereby we learne, 1. That as the Ministers of the Lord have their mission from him, Rom. 10. 15. Heb. 5. 4. so they ought to receive Instructions from him, to do all in his Temple according to the pat­terne he gives them, 1 Cor. 28. 11. Heb. 8. 5. to speak nothing but according to his prescript and direction, His Words, Ezek. 2. 7. His Counsel, Act. 20. 27. what they have received in command from him, 1 Cor. 11. 23. A servant is [...], A living Instrument, & Aristot. politic. lib. 1. cap. 4. Instruments must be led by the guidance of [Page 13] the principal cause. Semper agat ne rogat, nec nisi jussus agit. Woe be unto us, if weDepositum Cu­stodi, quod tibi creditum est, no [...] quod a tè inven [...]um, quod accepisti non quod excogitasti, rem non ingenii sed doctrinae. Vincent. Ly­rinensis. Acts 4. 20. speake any thing in Gods Name, which he hath not commanded us, Deuter. 18. 20.

2. Having received Instructions, they ought with all Reverence and readinesse to obey them. We cannot but speak the things which we have heard and seen, no digni­ty, no excellency is a supersedeas to duty. Joshua, and other Priests; Paul, and other Elders; Angels, and other Ministers are all fellow labourers in the service of Christ; Zachary 3. 8. Colos. 4. 11. Revelations 19. 10.

3. That they are alwayes in the eye of God, to Counsel them in their duties, to search them in their performances, to heare them in their Petitions, to tender them in their sufferings, to protect them in their feares and dangers. The anointed ones do ever stand before the Lord, Zach. 4. 14. And since they do so,

1. They must learn to walk fearfully and humbly, to discharge their Ministry hearti­ly as to the Lord, to consider the weight of their Pastoral Office, as men that must give an accompt, Heb. 13. 17.

2. The people must learne to pray for them. Their duties are many, their [Page 14] Temptations many, their Enemies many, their Infirmities many, their Discourage­ments many, the Infamies, Contempts, Reproaches poured out upon them, the devillish Machinations and contrivances a­gainst them, many, more then many: and therefore they have the more right unto, the greater need of the peoples prayers. When enemies threatned, then the Church prayed, Lord behold their threatnings, and grant unto thy servants that with all boldnesse they may speak thy word, Acts 4. 29. When the Apo­stle knew he should meet with enemies at Judea, then he earnestly besought the Church to pray for him, Rom. 15. 30, 31. when he was an Ambassadour in bonds then he moves the Church to pray that he might open his mouth boldly, Ephes. 6. 19, 20. Thus he stood in a posture of ser­vice.

II. Tanquam Re [...]s. As one accused, toAs a defendant. answer for himself and others. The sinnes of the age then were general, 1. Neglect of building the Temple, Hag. 1. 2. 2. Mar­rying strange wives, Ezra 9. 1, 2. Ezra 10. 13. yet Satan bringeth his accusation against the Priest onely, who was to warn the people, Ezek. 33. 8. his plot was a­gainst Israel, but his practice was upon David, to number the people, 1 Chron. 21. 1. [Page 15] If he can overthrow publick persons, cast down a Joshua, blow up a Parliament, make contemptible, and insignificant the great Of­ficers in Church or State, the rest he hopes to have presently in his power, [...]. Cut the Tree up by the roots, and you may easily lop off all the Branches. Thus we finde him sifting of Peter, and hindering of Paul, Luke 22. 31. 1 Thes. 2. 18. Therefore in the Law as great a sacrifice was required for the Priest, as for all the people, Lev. 4. 3, 13, 14. Their sinne is of a diffusive nature, from them profanenesse goes into all the Land, Jer. 23. 15. They are the snare of a fowler, by which others are entrapped, Hos. 9. 8. the sinne of him that hath knowledge emboldeneth others, 1 Cor. 8. 10. the Priests sin brought contempt upon the very offerings of the Lord, 1 Sam. 2. 17.

And therefore all publick persons, Magi­strates and Ministers, should be so much the more vigilant over themselves, by how much the more Satan is busie both to tempt and to accuse them. Plutarch hath written a Book of profiting by Enemies. Certainly next unto this, that they stand before the Lord, and have his eye over them, there can hardly be a more profitable consideration for men in office, then to remember that Satan is at [Page 16] their right hand, to tempt, to accuse, to ob­serve and to resist them. They say those Roses are sweetest which have stinking weeds grow near them; the nearer we know that Satan is to us, the more holy and pure should our lives be.

We have seen Joshua standing; Let usSatan stand­ing. now see Satan standing, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him, to accuse him▪ If we do our duty, Satan is at our right hand to hinder us: If we do not our duty▪ Satan is at our right hand to implead us. Whether we be conscionable, or whether we be carelesse, he will have some design upon us, something to do against us.

1. He withstands us as a Tempter▪ NoAs a Tempter. sooner was Christ called out to his Office and Ministry, but Satan presently sets upon him to tempt him, Mat. 4. 1. and usually the more work the more temptation. He stands at the working hand. And the more publick the work, the more sharp and eager the temptation. None more exposed to Satans opposition then a Zerubbabel and a Joshua, a conscionable Magistrate and a zealous Mini­ster. When Magistrary and Ministry are most opposed, we may conclude Satan is most busie. Their office is most against his Kingdome▪ and therefore his malice is most against their function.

[Page 17]2. He opposeth us as an Accuser, Rev.As an Accuser. 12. 10. As the young man said unto Joab, If I should have done as thou sayest, thou thy self wouldst have set thy self against me, 2 Sam. 18. 13. Is most true of Sa­tan,Impii diabolum habent primo suggestorem, dei [...] tortorem, Cyprian de Ie­junio & Tentat. if he can by any meanes tempt us into sinne, he will be the first to accuse us of it.

But how did Satan resist Joshua? no other way that we know of but by stirring up the Samaritans to hinder the building of the Temple, by hiring Counsellors, writing ac­cusations, and procuring an Edict against them, which they hastily put in execution, Ezra 4. 5, 6, 23. Satan as the general and chiefe captaine useth wicked men as his drudges and instruments in all his opposi­tions against the Church. All the world are under two Heads, in their peaceable ca­pacity, Una civitas & una Civitas, Babylonia una, Hierusalem una; illa R [...]ge diabo­lo, ista Rege Christo, &c. Ang ii Psal. 61. under two Princes, holy men, under Christ the King of Saints, and wicked men under Satan the Prince of this world, that worketh effectually in the children of dis­obedience, Ephes. 2. 2. and in their military capacity, holy men under Christ the Captain of our salvation, Heb. 2. 10. and wickedRev. 15. 3, 17▪ 14, 19, 16. Joh. 12. 31. [...]oh. 5. 14, 15. Heb. 2. 10. Rev. 12. 7. men under Satan, the great Dragon, who are taken by him at his will, 2 Tim. 2. 26. And therefore,

1. Believers must accordingly arme them­selves [Page 18] with the whole Armour of God,Subsicuturis testationibus munimenta prae­struimus, Tert. de Baptismo, c. 20. vid. Aug. Epist. 148. when they give their name to Christ, and provide for sharp troubles from principali­ties and powers, especially the Ministers of Christ in the service of his Church: No life more comfortable, more honourable but a warfare belongs unto in. The weapons of our warfare, saith the Apostle, are mighty through God, 2 Cor. 10. 5. and endure hard­nesse, saith he to Timothy▪ as a good souldier of Iesus Christ, 2 Tim. 2. 3. Every good Sermon stormes some or other strong hold of Satan, and mortifies, at least aimeth at mortifying some one or other lust that is subservient unto his Kingdome. There will be continual Temptations, we must labour and pray for Grace to overcome them. And there will be continual Accusations, we must labour and pray for Faith to answer them.

2. Wicked men may see in opposing Joshua▪ in building the Temple, in with­standing the Ministers, and work of Christ in his Church, what Master they serve, and whose interest they: promote. They are but vassals of Satan, acted by the s [...]me principles of enmity and malignity which are in him. He that committeth sinne, is of the Devil, 1 John 3. 8. And whereas men may be of the Devil two manner of wayes, [Page 19] 1. Per modum servitutis, as obeying his com­mands. 12. Pen modum imaginis, as re­sembling his disposition: opposing of the work of Christ in his Church, is of this last and worst kinde, wherein men shew them­selves not his Servants onely but his Children. As when Elymas the Sorcerer withstood Paul, and would have turned the Deputy from the faith, the Apostle thereupon cal­led him the child of the Devil, Acts 13. 10. Whoever sowe tares in the Lords field, do the work of him who is the Lords enemy, Matth. 13. 25. O how many workmen hath Satan amongst us at this time! when the Lords husbandmen are so decried, and mischievous doctrines so bold­ly and with open face published▪ The Lord grant that we may not be so long smitten with blindness, till we be led even into Samaria.

But here is the Churches comfort, ThatThe Advocate for Joshua, and his victory o­ver Satan. there is a Lord our Advocate with the Lord. As the Lord said to the Lord, sit at thy right hand, Psalme 110. 1. So here the Lord saith to the Lord, Lord rebuke Satan. The Lord sent Christ the Lord to conquer Satan, and Christ the Lord prayes unto the Lord to rebuke Satan.

1. When Satan is the Churches Accu­ser, Christ is the Churches Advocate, [Page 20] we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous, 1 John 2. 1, 2. When Satan is an Adversary to resist, Christ is a Captaine to defend, Heb. 2. 10. He was for this purpose manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil, 1 Joh. 3. 8. And he hath destroyed Satan three manner of wayes, 1. Per viam sapientiae, he hath outwitted Satan, and made his own devices to returne upon his own head. By malice Satan brought Christ to his Crosse, and on that Crosse Christ spoil­ed principalities and powers, and triumphed over Satan, Col. 2. 15. He swallowed the bait of his humanity, and was caught by the hook of his Divinity▪ 2. Per viam po­tentiae, in a way of warre and combate, being stronger then the strong man, he o­vercomes him, takes from him his armour, divides the spoiles, Luke 11. 21, 22. makes his people set their feet upon the neck of [...].—Ho­mer Iliad. Satan, as Joshua did call the Captaines of Israel to tread on the necks of the Kings of Canaan, John 10. 24. He vanquished him in a single combate of temptation himselfe, so that Satan was faine to leave the field, Matth. 4. 11. and he vanquished him in his warre against the Church, so that he and his Angels are cast out, Rev. 12. 9. 3. Per viam judicii, in a way of juridicall [Page 21] process, He bringeth Satan to his Tribunal, as Prince of Peace, as Judge of the world, makes him accomptable for all his Temp­tations, for all his persecutions, for all his Usurpations and Tyrannies over the souls of men, pronounceth Judgement upon him, and casts him out, and casts out all his accusations against the Brethren, John 12. 31. 16. 11. Rev. 12. 10.

This is a ground of great Comfort, though Christ suffer Satan to tempt and to oppugn his Church, to put out his venome, and power, and policy against it, yet he will still be a wall of fire round about it. If Sa­tan go to and fro to devour, Job 1. 7. Christ hath his Angels going to and fro to protect, Zach. 1. 11. If Satan have four Horns to scatter the Church, Christ hath as many Carpenters to fray them away, Zach. 1. 18, 21. What ever Poyson there is in Satan, there is an Antidote in Christ against it. He a Destroyer, Christ a Saviour; He a Tempter, Christ a Comforter; He an Enemy, Christ a Captain; He an Accuser, Christ an Advo­cate; He a Prince and God of this world, Christ a King of Saints and Lord of Glory. Three names Satan hath given him from his three most active Principles, A Serpent for his Cunning, Gen. 3. 1. A Lion for his Strength, 1 Pet. 5. 8. And a Dragon for his [Page 22] Malice, Rev. 20. 2. And Christ hath a name which meets with every one of these, A Counsellor, no subtilty of the Serpent can deceive him: A mighty God, no strength ofIsa. 9. 6. the Lion can overcome him: An everlasting Father, no malice of the Dragon can out­act him, and he is wonderfull in All these, ordering and improving his Wisedom, his Power and his Love unto the peace▪ of his people against whom Satan warreth.

II. And further we may here note, That when Satan accuseth, Joshua doth not stand upon his defence, nor plead his own cause, but he answers by his Counsel, his Advocate pleads for him. When we are tempted and assaulted by Satan, we must put off our Adversary to Christ. If we go against him in our own strength, he will certain­ly be too hard for us. Paul was buffeted by a Messenger of Satan; he doth not buffet Satan again, but cries to the Lord to help him, 2 Cor. 12. 7, 8. No name to oppose to the Accusations and fiery Darts of Satan, but the name of Christ. We know not what to do against Principalities and Pow­ers, but our eyes are upon him. Satan brings in his Charge to condemn; What's the Rom. 8. 33. Answer? Christ died, Christ is risen, Christ is at the right hand of God, Christ is our1 John 2. 1. Advocate with the Father, Christ hath a [Page 23] plenitude and sufficiency of Grace, Christ2 Cor. 12. 9. can save to the utter most those that come untoHeb. 7. 25. Luke 11. 21. God by him, Christ is stronger then the strong man, Christ hath exceeding abundant 1 Tim. 1. 14. grace to save the chief of sinners, ChristPsal. 68. 18. ascended up on high and gave gifts unto men, even unto the rebellious: If God will not hear the blood of his Son, if Christ will not hear the cry of his servant, if Sa­tan can out-bawl the Intercession of Christ, if Satan can pluck Christ from the right hand of his Father, or can pluck away the compassions of Christ out of his bowels, then, never till then, shall penitent sinners that trust him with their souls and salvation, be cast in their suit, and be put to shame. We see by what weapons Satan is to be overcome; not by humane counsel or pow­er, but by the Increpation of God, and by the Intercession of Christ; He only is able to succour those that are tempted, Heb. 2. 18. In his name alone we must go out against this Goliah. Though Satan be trode down under our feet, yet it is the Lord a­lone that doth tread him down, Romans, 16. 20. Stand before him, Appeal to him, Implore his Rebuke, and you are safe.

One thing more the Apostle Jude teach­eth us from this Increpet, Not to despise Dominion, not to speak evil of Dignities, since [Page 24] Michael the Arch-Angel contending with the devil, durst not bring against him a railing Accusation, but said, The Lord re­buke thee, Jude v▪ 8, 9. This as it is se­verely forbidden by God, Thou shalt not re­vile the gods, nor curse the Ruler of thy peo­ple, Exod. 22. 28. So is it noted by the A­postle as an evidence of walking after the flesh, of Uncleanness, Presumption▪ Self-willedness, to despise Government, and not to be afraid to speak evil of dignities, 2 Pet. 2. 10, 11. How carefull were the Apostles in their dayes to caution Christians against this sin, Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, they that re­sist shall receive to themselves damnation; yee must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but but also for Conscience-sake, Rom. 13. 1, 2, 5. Put them in mind to be subject to Principalities and Powers, to obey Magistrates, Tit. 3. 1. In­culcate it upon them, they are apt enough through Pride and Arrogance to forget it. Submit your sel [...]es to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake, to Kings, to Governors; use not your Liberty for a cloak of malicious­ness, but as the servants of God, 1 Pet. 2. 13, 16. And yet the Princes in whose time they wrote, were Monsters of men for wick­ednesse. Christian Religion doth ratifie and bear up, it doth not despise or destroy Magistracy, but owneth it to be of God, as [Page 25] his Ordinance and Institution, By whom Kings raign who putteth his name, and an im­press of sacred Authority upon them, Prov. 8▪ 5. Psal. 82.6. and setteth them as his Ministers to be eyes to the blind, and feet Job 29. 15. to the lame, and Fathers to the poor, and Sanctuaries to the afflicted. Great therefore the wickedness of those that despise them, horrid and execrable the enterprises of those which would blow them up, and destroy them. If Corah, or Sheba, or Absolom, or Zim­ [...]i had peace, such as these may look for it too, but Solomon assures us of these men, That their Calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them, Proverbs, 24▪ 22,

Lastly, From the double Increpation we may draw, 1. Matter of Caution, not to think our selves secure at any time against the Assaults of Satan, He is like the flies, of which he hath his name, Impudent, and Importunate: When he is beaten off once, he will come on again, when he hath been foiled and rebuked once, he will ven­ture a second Increpation: there is no truce to be held with him: when he was infi­nitely overmatched, yet he departed from Christ but for a season, Luke 4. 13.

2. Matter of Comfort, That we should not despond under the Assaults of Satan. When [Page 26] he multiplies Temptations, Christ will multiply Increpations; he will deliver a second time, Isa. 11. 11. In six and in seven troubles, Job 5. 19. From the Terrour by night, and the arrow by day, Psalm 91. 5. Christ is never less active and vigilant to help, then Satan is to hurt the Church. If where sin abounds, Grace doth superabound, and God doth multiply to pardon, Rom. 5. 20. Isa. 55. 7. Much more when the rage of Satan abounds▪ succour shall superabound, and God will multiply to rebuke.

Repetitions and Ingeminations in Scrip­ture, note 1 Certainty, as the dream of Pharaoh was doubled, because of Gods fixed purpose concerning it, Gen. 41. 32. Satan in all his oppositions against the building of Gods house shall certainly be disappointed. 2. Constancy, Thou shalt follow Justice, Ju­stice, Deut. 16. 20. thou shalt never give over following it. The Lord will constantly and perpetually rebuke Satan in all his as­saults against Joshua and his fellowes. 3. Vehemency and Ardency of affection; it intends the sense, and makes it superlative, O Earth, Earth, Earth, a pathetical excitati­on! Jer. 22. 29. Holy, Holy, Holy; an ar­dent expression of the infinite Holiness of God. Isa. 6. 3. The Lord will vehe­mently, and with much zeal and ear­nestness [Page 27] rebuke Satan in his Hostility against the Church. 4. Consummation and com­pleating of what is gone about, I will over­turn, overturn, overturn, Ezek. 21. 27. When I begin, I will make an end. God will never give over rebuking and oppossing Satan, till he have wholly subdued him, and brought him under Christ and his peo­ples feet.

And since Christ doth thus certainly, constantly, earnestly, compleatly rebuke him, Let us keep our ground, oppose him with treble and unwearied prayers, 2 Cor. 12. 8. Resist him with stedfastness in the Faith, 1 Pet. 5 [...] ▪ 9. With patient conti­nuance in well doing, Rom. 2. 7. Let us stand, and stand, and stand, pray with All prayer, pray with All perseverance in prayer in this spiritual Combate, Ephe. 6. 11, 13, 14, 18. Christ rebukes and rebukes again, Let us resist and resist again.

There remains only the double foundati­onThe foundation of the Victory 1. Gods graci­ous Election of Jerusalem. of this Victory; 1. Gods gracious Election, The Lord which hath chosen Jerusalem, re­buke thee. The Doctrine of Adoption by free Grace is the strongest weapon that we can wield against the malice of Satan: Thou art my God from my mothers belly, and there­fore since Buls, & Dogs, & Lyons do compass and beset, and gape, and roar upon me, [Page 28] Do thou deliver and save me, Be not thou far from me, Psalm 22. 10, 13. 20. 21. God will admit no Charge against his Elect, Rom. 8. 33. 35. If I were to be saved by Merits of my own, want of merit would condemn me: But where all is of Grace, and free gift, no guilt can condemn him, who hath the Righteousness of another free­ly bestowed upon him. It is five times to­gether called the Gift, the free Gift, the Gift of Righteousness, Rom. 5. 15, 16, 17. O thanks be unto God, Thanks for ever be unto God, for his unspeakable gift, the gift of the Righteousness of Christ be­stowed upon us.

The next foundation of this Victory, is Joshua's past deliverance, Is not this a brand 2. His deliver­ance of Joshua. pluckt out of the fire? Whence we learn,

1. That Past-Mercies are pledges of more. The work of God is perfect, especially his work of Mercy, Deut. 32. 4. If he snatch out of the fire, he will bring unto his Tem­ple: If he lay a foundation, he will bring forth the Head stone, Zach. 4. 9. He will perfect that which he hath wrought: If he be­gin a good work, he will finish it, Psal. 138. 8. Phil. 1. 6. He who will not have us be weary of wel-doing, wil not be weary of wel-doing him­selfe. [Page 29] His mercy is from everlasting to ever­lasting upon those that that fear him, Psalme 103. 17. Satan can no more hinder the continuance of it unto Eternity, then he can cause it not to have beene from Eter­nity.

2. No condition is so sad or desperate out of which the Lord cannot rescue his people. He carries them through the fire, Zach. 13. 9. he preserves them in the fire, Dan. 3. 25, 27. He brings them through fire and water into a wealthy place, Psalme 66. 12. And this he doth suddenly, in the very nick of danger. In the Mount will the Lord be seen, Gen. 22. 14. and hastily, laying merciful hold on us while we linger, Gen. 19. 16. He repenteth concerning his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, Deut. 32. 36. and when they are as very out-casts, whom no man looketh after, Jerem. 30. 17. In our greatest perplexities and feares, if we could glorifie God by belie­ving, and stand still without sinful doubts, disquiet murmurings, and diverting unto si­nister and perverse meanes, carnal Sanctua­ries, and a refuge of lies, we might com­fortably expect to see the salvation of God.

3. This Brand God will not only save, but Honour, turn it into timber to build his [Page 30] house withal. When the Lord rescueth a Great and a Good man, out of great troubles and temptations which were ready to consume him, usually he maketh him an Instrument of great and special service. Moses drawn out of the water, Joseph out of prison, Daniel out of the Lions den, Da­vid from a world of persecutions and dan­gers, Mordecai out of the pit of Hamans malice, and here Joshua out of the furnace of Babylon: and all afterwards eminent Instru­ments of great and honourable services for the Church of God.

This is a worthy fruit of afflictions, when they season and prepare us to be beames in Gods House. As the greatest Timber hath the most seasoning. Luther was wont to say, That Prayer, Meditation and Tempta­tion are excellent preparations for the Mi­nistry.

4. God can use weak, improbable, de­spised Instruments unto great and excellent works. He that could make one Loafe of bread enough to feed thousands, can make one Brand Timber enough to build Tem­ples. He that drew the Prophet out of a pit with rotten ragges, can erect a glori­ous Temple out of the dust with burnt fire-brands. He blew downe the Walls of Jerico with Rams hornes, discomfited an [Page 31] huge Host of Midianites with a few bro­ken pitchers▪ converted the world with twelve fisher-men, and chooseth the weak, and base, and foolish things, things which are not to bring to nought things that are, 1 Corinth. 1. 27, 29. He hath more regard to the lowlinesse of those that are weak, then to the abilities of those that are proud. To teach us not to despise Truth, or Comfort, or any mercy by what hand soever brought unto us, no more then the Prophet did his meat, when God sent it unto him by Ravens, 1 Reg. 17. 5. God hath purposely put rich treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of his power might the more shine forth in the infirmity of his Instruments, That no flesh might glory in his sight.

And now as on this day hath this Scrip­ture been exactly parallel'd in this Nation in the glorious deliverance we now cele­brate.

Joshua his work was to build a Temple, Satans to hinder and oppose it. He is an Enemie to all such Building, but that which Tertullian calls, Edificatio ad rui­nam, He is all for pulling downe Work.

And are not Religion and Lawes the best [Page 32] part of a structure, the foundation? Are not Princes, Peers, Nobles, Fathers of their▪ Countrey choise Stones in a building? De­mosthenes tells us, [...]. That men were Towers and Cities, and not Walls; doth not the A­postle say of the Church, ye are Gods Building? 1 Cor. 3. 9. Of this Temple it was that these wicked men said, Raze it, Raze it to the very ground; down with it, down with it into ashes; up with it, up with it into fire. They would have turned things up-side down, Isa. 29. 16. downe with Laws, u [...] with Confusion: down with Jerusalem, up with Babylon: down with the Arke, up with [...]: down with Religion, up with Superstition: make Princes, and Peeres, and Gentry, and Mi­nistry, the flowre of a Nation, who were wont to be, like polished Saphires, very fire-brands, blacker then a coale, Lam. 4. 7, 8. Tell me whether any but heads and hearts filled with the Devil, could e­ver have invented or executed so bloody a designe.

King and Parliament, Peeres and Peo­ple were standing before the Lord; for God standeth in the Congregation of the migh­ty, he judgeth among the Gods, Psalme 82. 1. And Satan will be thrusting in to with­stand [Page 33] them. No place so sacred whether he will not intrude. He crawles into Pa­radise; we finde him standing before the Lord amongst all the Hoste of Heaven, in the midst of an Angelical consessus, 1 Reg. 22. 19, 21.

But he can do no good at the hand to hinder that from working, he cannot in­troduce superstition and ignorance at that doore. He tries therefore what he can do under the feet. He croucheth, he digges through a wall, he springs a mine, and gets a den, findes out an hell from whence to murther the innocent, Psalme 10. 8, 9, 10.

And this not to resist or accuse onely, but utterly to destroy; to turne head, and hand, and feet, and the whole body into very fire-brands.

And he hath been at this work once and againe. This was not the first time he had been resisting or rebuked. He tryed by wa­ter in that invincible Armado in 88. And now by fire more terrible then that of Ba­bylon, which would not have left so much as a Brand remaining, which in the twinkling of an eye would have done more mischief, then threescore and ten years captivity in Babylon.

But God be blessed we were not as a [Page 34] Brand in this fire, but as Moses his Bush not consumed, as the three children, not so much as singed by it. That out of this fire, not a few Brands, but many goodly Cedars, and the Vine, the weakest of trees, the poore Church of Christ amongst us, were not plucked, but preserved from it; Gods mercy preventing Satans malice, and making their own tongue to fall upon them­selves, and by that little mercy which was in one of these bloody men, to snatch one brand out of this fire, quenching the flame which would have devoured all the rest; so inconsistent was this villany with a dram of mercy.

And all this not for our worthinesse, but for his own free grace, because he loved England, and chose it for a place to set his Name in. And blessed be his Name, that notwithstanding all Romish attempts, and machinations, we have had his presence, and the true reformed▪ Religion in the midst of this Nation, for now a full hundred yeares; for so long it is from Novemb. 17. 1658. since Queen Mary died, and that glorious Princes Elizabeth, succeeded in her Throne. In this moneth were her fires quenched, and in this moneth was this fire quenched, the eyes of the Lord running through the earth, to shew himself strong in behalf of this poor Nation.

[Page 35]And now what remaines, but being thus delivered, and yet through Gods mercy in the possession of the reformed Religion (the Lord knows how long that yet may last) we should betake our selves to the duties here mentioned by the Prophet.

1. To stand before the Lord▪ to have our eye still upon him, to attend his Will, to listen to his Commands, to waite on his Worship, to aime at his Glory, to have our mouthes and hearts filled with the prai­ses of his Name; who hath made us not as fire-brands pluckt out of the burn­ing, Amos 4. 11. but preserved from it.

2. To put off our filthy garments, to bewaile the woful provocations of all orders of men amongst us, to make hast and be zealous to purge the house of God of those sad corruptions which have defaced it, and of that woful leaven of heresie, which threa­tens to sowre the whole lump.

3. To get change of raiment, to be cloath­ed with the garments of praise, with the long white Robe of Christs righteousnesse, that our nakednesse be not discovered, to worship the Lord in the beauties of Holi­nesse.

4. To walk in Gods wayes, and to keep his Charge, to be zealous and conscionable [Page 36] in all our peculiar duties, to hold fast those wholesome truths which the Lord hath so long continued unto us. We know how busie forraigne Emissaries are, who are said to swarme among us, under a disguize, and in a mysterious way to infuse their doctrines into the mindes of credulous and seduced people. We see what hideous errours are every where broached; what contempt is poured out upon a learned and faithful Mi­nistry. What dishonour is cast upon Magi­strates, as if it belonged not either to their power or duty to take care either of the truth or worship of God in their Territories: What immense and boundless licence men take to write, print, publish the most horrid opi­nions without check or controle: what sad effects this infinite liberty hath produced, in some Atheisme, in others Scepticisme, in others Apostacy, in others sad divisions, jealousies, animositites, scarce any face left of that Chri­stian love, and holy communion which here­tofore shined in the Assemblies of Professors. What woful Symptomes we have of Gods threatning to remove our Candlestick and his Glory from us. Calling home to him­self many eminent Ambassadors in the Church, laying aside many worthy and religious Pa­triots in the State; exercising his Ministers that remaine with the reproaches and de­famings [Page 37] of many: our leaving our first love, and former zeal for the truths of God: The doleful confusions and changes in the State; Governments changing as it were with the Moon, up one moneth and down another. Certainly it is through the wrath of the Lord of Isa. 9. 19. Hosts that a Land is darkned; It is for the Prov. 28. 2. Transgression of a Land that many are the Prin­ces thereof: It was a forerunner of a final wrath amongst the ten Tribes, when God left them to pull down one another.

Oh what need have we to be awakened, to lay these things to heart, to prepare to meet Amos 4. 12. Rev. 2. 5. the Lord, to do our first Works, to revive the ancient communion of Saints, to awaken the Spirit of prayer, and to cry mightily unto God, to spare his people, and not to give his Joel. 2. 17. Heritage unto reproach:▪ To receive the truth in love, and to contend earnestly for the Faith 2 Thes. 1. 10. once delivered unto the Saints: To use all holy endeavours in our places and stationsJude v. 3. to keep the glorious presence of the Lord still amongst us. To prove all things, and1 Thes. 5. 21. hold fast that which is good: to try the spirits 1 Joe. 4. 1. Heb. 10. 24. Mal. 3. 16. Joel 2. 14. whether they be of God: To provoke one ano­ther, to speak often to one another, not to for­sake the assembling of our selves together. It may be the Lord will return and repent, and leave a blessing behinde him.

[Page 38]That so we whom the malice of Satan and wicked men would gladly make Brands, may by Gods blessing be Trees of Righteous­nesse, Isa. 61. 3. Isa. 5. 7. Ezek. 47. 12. Cant. 4. 16. the planting of the Lord, that the spirit blowing upon our garden, the Spices there­of may flow out, and our beloved may de­light in us, and eat his pleasant fruit. So shall the enemies of the Church alwayes finde, that he whose name is the Branch, Zach. 3. 8. Deut. 4. 20. will still be too hard for the furnace of Egypt, for the staffe of the oppressor. That heIsa. 9. 4. 14. 5. Zach. 3. 9. Zach. 12. 3. Isa. 8. 8. who is a Stone with Eyes, will make his Church a burdensome stone, to all that set themselves against it. That he will so watch over this Land, while it continues Immanuels Land, that we shall still, as the Prophet Isaiah speaks, chap. 24. 15. Glorifie the Lord in the fires, Even the Name of the Lord God of Israel in the Isles of the Sea.


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