ISRAELS CALL TO MARCH OVT OF BABYLON UNTO JERƲSALEM: OPENED IN A SERMON BEFORE The Honourable House of Com­mons assembled in PARLIAMENT, Novemb. 26. 1645. being the day of Publique Humiliation.

By John Durye, a Member of the Assembly of Divines.

Published by Order of the House of COMMONS.

LONDON, Printed by G. M. for Tho. Vnderhill, at the signe of the Bible in Wood-street. 1646.

ORdered by the Commons assem­bled in PARLIAMENT, that Sir Gilbert Pickering, and Sir John Clot­worthy, do give thanks from this House to M. Durye, for the great pains he took in the Sermon he preached this day, at the intreaty of this House, at St. Margarets Westminster (it be­ing the day of Publike Humiliation) and to desire him to Print his Ser­mon. And it is ordered that none shall print this Sermon without being authorized under his hand-writing.

H. Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

I Appoint Thomas Vnderhill to print my Sermon.

John Durye.

TO THE HONOVRABLE HOVSE of Commons assembled in PARLIAMENT.

THe great work of Reformation which is put into your hand, hath many and great advantages: That it is undoubtedly a work which God alone can bring to passe: That he will in his own time accomplish it: That it cannot be wrought any other way, then by the advancement of the Gospel of Christ: That none can be instrumentall in it, but such is are the trees ofIsa 6 [...]. 3. 4. Righteousnes, the planting of the Lord, by whom he may be glorified: That to such the Lord hath promised, that they shall build the old wasts, and raise up the former desolations: That none can oppose the work, but such as hate to be reformed, and know not the joy­full sound of his truth: That all such as wait for [Page] God in the way of his judgements, can be helpers in it: That the decree is gone forth against Babylon, that she shall be laid waste: That these are pronounced blessed, who shall take and dash her little ones against the stones; and that you are so deeply engaged in this work, that you can have no temporall safety nor subsistance, but so farre as you proceed in it; so that now you must either fall utterly, and draw with you into ruine the other re­formed Churches; or else secure them and your selves by the building up of Zion: all these are exceeding great advantages, which I am perswaded, you doe un­derstand and can truly value. Therefore when I spoke unto you, I found a freedom of spirit, in love to the cause and to you, which opened my mouth, as without fear, so with an assurance of acceptance: and although the shortnes of the time would not suffer me to proceed and come to a full application; yet I hope that if the thing which hath been delivered, which in obedience to your Honourable command I have here published, (so neer as I can remember, both in sense and words) be laid to heart, and rightly apprehended, the main matter of my message will be in due time effected by the grace of God in your spirits, which is, to know the true relation wherein you stand towards the Church of God; what the mystery of Babylon is; and what you ought to aim at in raising up the walls of Jerusalem within your [Page] selves. If time would have given leave, I should have added something concerning the extent of your building, that you must not make the walls of your Ierusalem too narrow in compasse, but be mindefull that they ought to receive all those that are going out of Babylon with you.

I mean, both your own and forreign Protestants, whose eyes are upon you, and whose peace and safety is wrapt up in your prosperity: and how farre soever you shall think good in due time to look with an eye of brotherly correspondency towards them: (whereof to put you in minde is a part of my duty, and therefore I now desire to crave leave, that at a convenient season I may be per­mitted to offer the means thereof unto you) yet in the mean time I may have confidence and rejoyce in this, that the engagement which God hath put upon you by your Covenant, is such, that you cannot possibly be reconciled unto Babylon, if you be faithfull to it. And in your faithfull resolutions I dare promise unto my self, that the Prophecie of Ieremy the Prophet shall be accom­plished by your proceedings, namely, that they shall Ier. 5. 26. not take of Babylon any one stone for a corner, nor a stone for a foundation: but that it shall be deso­late for ever. If thus you are resolved to depart and goe out from her, and answer effectually the call which is given, to touch none of her uncleannes; you may be [Page] sure that the work of the Lord and his good pleasure, shall prosper in your hand. You shall be exalted in his truth, and beautified with his holines, when he filleth Sion with judgement and Righteousnes. And you may make sure of the promise which followeth the words of my Text, that you shall not need to proceed in haste, nor goe out by slight, because the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rereward. And that this may be so, I shall never cease to make mention of you be­fore the Lord at the Throne of Grace, as it becom­meth

Your Honours Most humble and affectionate Servant in Christ, Iohn Durye.

ISRAELS CALL TO MARCH OVT OF BABYLON UNTO JERƲSALEM.

ISAIAH 52. 11.‘Depart ye, depart ye, goe ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing, go ye out of the midst of her, be ye clean that beare the vessels of the Lord.’

THe Prophet Isaiah is truly called the Evange­licall Prophet: because his scope is to shew two things; First how the warfare of theThe s [...]ope, summe and parts of the Prophet Isaiah. Church of God under the Law, should be accomplished. Secondly, what the com­forts are, which under the Gospel should be conferred up­on her: and these are the two parts of this Prophecie: the first concerning the warfare under the Law; and the di­spensation of severall judgements depending thereon, is from chap. 1. to 40. The second concerning the com­forts of the Gospel, which at the accomplishment of this [Page 2] warfare the Church was to receive, is from chap. 40. to the end.His second part sub [...]ivided in to foure promi­ses. 1. Of delive­rance from Ba­bylon. 2. Of the com­ming of Christ.

In this second part, four chief heads of comfort are promised unto the Church, by the Prophet, of which;

The first is, That the Church should be delivered from the captivity of Babylon, from chap. 40. to 53.

The second chief comfort is, That the Messias should come, and by his suffering, save his people, chap. 53. E­rect a new Covenant with his Church under the Gospel, chap. 54, 55. upon which, true felicity is effected to all that keep it, chap. 56. and from which are rejected Idola­ters, chap. 57. Hypocrites, chap. 58. and obstinate Sin­ners, chap. 59.

The third chief comfort is, That the bounds of the3. Of the calling of the Gentiles. Church should be enlarged unto the Gentiles, chap. 60. and the Gospel being preached, chap. 61. Christ should be married unto them, chap. 62.

The fourth and last comfort is, That notwithstanding4. Of the recal­ling of the Iews. the rejection of the Jews for their rebellion, and obstinate refusall of the salvation purchased by Christ, and offered unto them, chap. 63, 64, 65, to 17. yet that in end they should be renewed and recalled again, and glorifie God together with the Gentiles, from ver. 17. of chap. 65. to the end of the Prophecy.

The Text which I have chosen at this time, for this day of our Humiliation; doth belong to the first head of these comforts, and is annexed thereunto, as a duty to be performed, by those to whom the promise of comfort is given. And seeing the end and purpose of our Solemn Humiliation is, to obtain this favour of God; That our warfare wherein at the present weare, may come to a hap­py end; & we may be delivered frō the danger of Babyloni­an captivity; which cannot be hoped for, except the condi­tion [Page 3] whereupon it is promised be fulfilled: Therefore it will not be out of season to put you in minde of this con­dition; is the duty which is to be intended for the attain­ment of the comfort which we desire.

But before I come to speak distinctly of the words of the Text; I will desire you to observe two things, whichTwo things to be observed in the promise▪ of deliverance from Babylon made by God. the Spirit of God doth much insist upon, in the proposall of this first comfort, concerning the Churches deliver­ance out of Babylon. The one is, That it was God, and God alone, that would be the Authour of that deliverance. The other is an argument to make this former truth evidently apparent unto all; alledged thus, That because God alone had declared, and none but he could declare the end of this great work from the beginning; That therefore he alone was to be acknowledged the Authour thereof. Both these truths are often repeated, and much pressed upon us by the Pro­phet, to be taken notice of: and almost in every chapter from the 40. to this 52. the first point is delivered; the places are these, for the first, chap. 40. to 10, 11, 12, 13, 21. chap. 41. ver. 4. 10, 20, 21, 22, 23. chap. 42. ver. 8, 9. and chap. 43. ver. 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 25. and chap. 44. ver. 6, 7, 8, 24. and chap. 45. ver. 5, 11, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23. and chap. 46. ver. 4, 5, 9, 10, 13. & chap. 47. 4. chap. 48. ver. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 20. chap. 52. 6. and in many of those chapters, the second also is insisted upon; the places are these for the second, chap. 41. ver. 22, 23. and chap. 42. ver. 9. chap 43. ver. 12. chap. 44. ver. 7, 8. chap. 45. ver 19, 21. chap. 46. ver. 10. chap. 48. ver. [...], 4, 5, 16. the particular places I will not now men­tion for brevities sake, only I thought it fit to put you in minde of these two Doctrines, because the Spirit of God doth so much insist upon the truth of them in this matter; namely, that he, even he, and none but he, should bring this [Page 4] deliverance to passe; and that it should be known, that it was he, and none but he, by this, that he declared from the be­ginning Isa. 42. 8, 9. the end of his works: for herein God doth differ­ence himself from Idols and Men; and in this deliver­anceIsa 41. 20, 21, 2 [...], 23, 24, 25, 26. especially, doth he challenge a peculiar emminen­cy of glory; in the manifestation of his power and wis­dom, namely in this, that he doth declare the end from the beginning: which he hath done ordinarily, both in the letter of the Text in plain-words, and in the mystery of his working. He told Adam in plain tearms from the be­ginning,Gen. 3. 15. the end of the whole work of our salvation, which is, that the seed of the woman should tread down the head of the Serpent; he told Abraham, that in his seed, all Gen. 12. 13. the nations of the earth should be blessed; he told David, that upon his Throne, his seed should sit for ever; and ordinarilyPsal, 89. 4, 29. he hath foretold unto his people, by his servants the Prophets, the particular judgements which were to be­fall unto them with the issue thereof: as Amos saith, Surely the Lord God will doe nothing: but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the Prophets, Amos 3. 7.

But this is not all, for God not only doth declare the end from the beginning, in the letter of the word; but al­so in the mystery of his work: For the foregoing works of God, doe represent and hold out, as it were in a picture, the manner of his way, and the issue of the following works: So that the work it self doth speak in one period, that which is to fall out in another analogically. And thus there is, besides the litterall, a spirituall Sodom and Egypt in the Revelation of Jesus Christ discovered unto us, chap: 11. 8. Thus also there is a spirituall Babylon, from which the Church under the Gospel, is to receive a spirituall de­liverance; which is not only foretold in plain terms, but also represented and delineated unto us, in the temporall [Page 5] deliverance of the people of God, from earthly Babylon; which is Typicall unto the spirituall.

This I have been willing to observe, before I come un­to my Text: because it will have an influence upon the matter which is to be delivered; and cleer that unto your understanding, which otherwise might perhaps be doubt­full, concerning the mysticall. Babylon: of which I haveReasons why this text was chosen. chosen to speak at this time, for two great reasons. The first is the importance of the work in it self, because the destruction of Babylon, and the deliverance of the Church out of it, is the great work which God doth intend to ac­complish, by the Gospel in these latter times. The se­cond is the relation wherein we doe stand to it: for I con­ceive that God is not only working our deliverance, to bring us out of Babylon at this time; but that his purpose is, if we marre not our selves, to make us instrumentall to­wards others, to help to free them from the bondage of it: and therefore it will concern us in a speciall manner a­bove others, to regard his work, and consider the ope­ration of his hands; That when you shall see, by the con­templation of this matter, that this time of our Humilia­tion is an acceptable time, and a day of our Salvation; you may with greater willingnes & cheerfulnes of minde follow the call: by which all the Israel of God is stirred up to march out of Babylon, to come to their spirituall Je­rusalem; according to the exhortation of my Text, De­part ye, depart ye, goe ye out from thence: touch no unclean thing, goe ye out of the midst of her, be ye clean that beare the vessels of the Lord.

These words and the following verse, conclude the whole prophecy of the Churches deliverance, from herThe coherence o [...] the text to the rest of the chapter. Babylonian captivity; this two and fiftieth chapter is the close of the whole matter insisted upon, from the begin­ning [Page 6] of the fourtieth; and these words are the close of this Chapter. The fore-going part of the Chapter hath three promises of singular comfort, wherein summarily all the Promises made in the former Chapters are in a manner contracted. The first is, that the Church should be raised from her low and captivated condition to a state of freedom, v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. The second is, that Messen­gers should be sent unto her, who should publish the glad tidings of salvation; and manifest clearly eye to eye, the way and counsell of God, v. 7, 8. The third is, that by this means great matter of joy and gladnesse should be of­fered unto the Church, both of Jewes and Gentiles, ver. 9, 10.

Upon these promises the words of the Text are infer­red, as a speciall use of application, to exhort those to whom the Promises are made, to intend the duties which would fit them to partake the effect thereof. Two things then are offered unto our consideration in the words.

First, The persons are mentioned to whom the Exhort­ationThe parts of the Text. is directed, Ye that bear the vessels of the Lord.

Secondly, The duties recommended unto them are mentioned: which in the main are two,

First, That they should rise up to march away from Babylon: in these words, Depart ye, depart ye, goe ye out from thence; goe ye out of the midst of her, name­ly of Babylon.

Secondly, How they should march away, and behave themselves in departing, in these words, Touch no unclean thing. Be ye clean. Where a two-fold care is recommend­ed to them; the one, to avoid evil; the other, to doe good. The evil to be avoided, is the filthinesse of Baby­lon, lest it cleave unto them, Touch no unclean thing. The good to be intended, is to proceed in the way of holinesse, [Page 7] lest they come short of the grace of God offered unto them, Be ye clean. Of these heads I purpose to speak, so far as time will permit, and as it shall please the Lord to as­sist me with his grace for your edification.

First, of the persons.

The Prophet having declared what deliverance should be granted unto the Church; by what means it should be wrought; and what the joyfulnesse of the effects there­of should be, addresseth his speech by way of applicati­on to those to whom this favour is intended, and he calls upon them by the name of the office and charge whichThe persons de­scribed in the Text are Le­vites, was committed unto them, Ye that bear the vessels of the Lord. This is the description of a Levite; in whom two things are especially considerable which serve to our pur­pose. The first is, the property of his office, as here it isWho are consi­derable in their Office, expressed. The second is, the property of his personall re­lation unto God. The property of his office, was in a spe­ciall manner to serve the Tabernacle, and the Vessels thereof, as it is declared, Numb. 1. 50. in these words, Thou shalt appoint the Levites over the Tabernacle of testimo­nie, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it; they shall bear the Tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof, and they shall minister unto it, and encamp round about the Tabernacle.

The property of his personall relation unto God, didA [...]d in their Primoge [...]ure. stand in this, that he was appropriated peculiarly unto God in stead of all the first-born of Israel. This appear­eth by Numb. 3. 12, 13. in these words, And I (saith God) behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Is­rael, in stead of all the first-born that openeth the Matrice a­mong the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine, because all the first-born are mine, for on the day I smote all the first-born in Egypt, I hallowed to me all the first-born in Israel.

Now a Levite in both these properties, as well in hisIn both which they se [...] forth to us, personall condition, as in his office of bearing the vessels of the Lord, doth either represent, or hath some resem­blance to three sorts of persons, namely, to Christians, to Ministers, and to Magistrates.

The Levites represented Christians in two things chiefly,

1. First, That as they were set apart to God from a­mongstChristians in common. all the children of Israel: So are Christians called and set apart unto God from all the rest of the world, as you have it, 1 Pet. 2. 9. Ye are a chosen generation, a royall Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar people.

2. Secondly, That as the Levites were the first-born of the Israelites unto God; so are true Christians the first­born, whose names are written in Heaven, Heb. 12. 23. and a kinde of first-fruits of his creatures, Jam, 1. 18.

They represented the Ministers of the Church, and theseMinisters more especially. have a resemblance unto them in four things.

1. As it was the Levites charge, To teach Iacob Gods judgements, and Israel his law, to put incense before him, and whole burnt-sacrifice upon his Altar, Deut. 33. 10. So it is the office of the Ministers to labour in the Word, to teach, rebuke and exhort; and to be instant in offering up pray­ers and supplications for the flock. The Apostle Peter doth comprehend his work under these two heads, Act. 6. 4. To give himself continually unto prayer, and to the Mini­stery of the Word.

2. As the Levites duty was to serve the Altar, and wait upon the holy things of the Tabernacle and house of God: So the Ministers of the Gospel have an Altar which they wait on, which is Jesus Christ, Heb. 13. 10. We have an Altar, speaking of Christ, and a Tabernacle of God, and spirituall habitation, which is his Church, [Page 9] Ephes. 2. 22. You are builded for an habitation of God through the Spirit. And upon the holy things of this house the Ministers must give attendance. The Apostle telleth Ti­mothy, That he must know how to behave himself in the house of God, which is his Church, 1 Tim. 3. 15.

3. As it was a peculiar part of their charge, To bear the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, Deut. 10. 8. So it is the chief duty of the Ministery of the Gospel, To declare the testimonie of God concerning the new Covenant in Iesus Christ, and him crucified; which was all that the Apostle Paul did determine to know amongst the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 1. 1, 2.

4. As the Levites office was, when the Camp of Israel did march thorow the wildernesse, to bear the vessels of the Lords Tabernacle and service, as we have heard al­ready out of Numb. 1. 50. and Aaron was charged to bear the children of Israel, and their judgement upon his shoulders and breast; as it is, Exod. 28. 12. And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the Ephod, for stones of memoriall; and Aaron shall bear their names upon his shoul­ders for a memorial. Item, vers. 29, 30. And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breast-plate of judgement upon his heart, &c. And Aaron shall bear the judgement of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually. So is it the office of faithfull Ministers and Shepherds in the Gospel, to bear the names of the sheep in their mindes; as Christ saith, A good Shepherd calleth his sheep by name, Joh. 10. 3. which sheep are the vessels of Gods mercy, Rom. 6. 23. And therefore the pa­stourall charge doth burden them with a care to bear them, as it were, upon their shoulders, and in their heart: we have the example both of Christ, and of his Apostle Paul for this; of Christ it is said, He shall feed his flock like [Page 10] a shepherd, he shall gather his lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosome, Isa. 40. 11. And the Apostle doth de­clare to the Corinthians, that he did carry them in his heart: Ye are in our heart, known of all men, 2 Cor. 3. 2.

Lastly, Although the civil Magistrate is not properlyMagistrates by a resemblance. represented, or typed out by the Tribe of Levi; yet herein is a similitude and resemblance between the Le­vites and Magistrates.

1. That in the world the Magistrate hath the privi­ledge and right of the first-born, which was, and is, toIn the primoge­ni [...]ure, rule over his brethren. Isaac speaking to Iacob in the right of the first-born, doth bid him, Be lord over his brethren; and doth injoyn his mothers sonnes to bow down unto him, Gen. 27. 29. Herein then the Magistrate is the first-born in the world, as Levi was in the Church; and so there is a similitude of prerogative above others in both, yet ac­cording to different respects.

2. The second resemblance is in the office; namely, in this, That the office of the civil Magistrate, is also inIn the office of bearing the ves­sels of the Lord. some sort appointed to bear the vessels of the Lord; I say, in the way of support and civil countenance; for they are appointed by God to be nursing Fathers of his Church, when they are called unto Christ, and bound to call him their Lord. The civil Magistrate then hath an outward care and inspection of the Church committed to him; and in this respect he is also a vessel-bearer of the Lord; as it is said of Eliakim the sonne of Hilkiah, that seeing he was to be a Governour and a Father unto the inhabitants of Ie­rusalem; upon him should be hung the glory of his Fa­thers house; And all the vessels, from the vessels of cups to the vessels of flagons, Isa. 22. 24. He is compared there, ver. 23. unto a nail fastened in a sure place, upon which vessels are hung, to be preserved for use, lest they might lie up­on [Page 11] the ground, and be troden under feet. So in this way the Magistrate is by power and authority fastened in the wall of the State, to bear up all the offices, and the office­bearers both of Church and State, that they may not fall to the ground; and being troden upon, become use­lesse and contemptible; but rather maintained in their true lustre and dignity, as vessels of honour.

Here then the manner of bearing in the one and the o­therWhich is differ­ent from the Le­viticall bearing of the vessels in the manner thereof. is different: Levi doth bear them in his hands, to make use of them, and to doe God service with them in his house: but Eliakim doth only support them by his strength, that they may hang stedfast upon the wall; both have a care of the same vessels of the Lord; both bear them, but each in his own way; in respect of the effect of preservation, their cares are parallel; but in re­spect of the manner of their bearing, their cares are differ­ent; the one is, inward; the other is, outward to the Church. And although the relations are not the same, yet both in the discharge of their duties are truely called vessel-bearers of the Lord; because both are appointed by the Lord unto their severall charges, for the preservation of his vessels.

Where by the way let us make this generall observati­on:Where it is ob­served, that the vessels are to be esteemed a­bove the vessel­bearers. That the vessels are not for the vessel bearers, but the vessel-bearers appointed for the vessels. The vessels are not made to be hung upon the nail, but for a better use, to contain some liquour, or other things usefull for the service of the Master of the house; but the nail is made and fastened in the wall only, or chiefly for this use, that the vessels may be hung thereon. The vessels are the glo­ryIs [...]. 22 24. of the nail; but the nail is no part of the vessels glory; only the use thereof is to preserve the glory. So also it is in Levi: the tabernacle was not made, nor the vessels [Page 12] thereof for Levi, but they were made for the Lord, and the glory of his service; as for Levi, he was made and set apart for the Tabernacle, and for the vessells thereof, to serve the same: The Church, as the Tabernacle, is for God to dwell therein, by his ordinances among his peo­ple; and the Ministers are Gods servants, and his peoples servants to this effect.

This then is to teach both Civill and Ecclesiasticall office-bearers, whom God hath appointed either in and over his house, or about it, and his household vessells, to think of themselves; that at the most they are but stewards in their severall charges; and that the vessells are not made for them, that they should serve their own turnes out of them, but that they are made for the vessells; and that all their glory doth stand in this, that each of them are in their places servants to uphold the glory there­of; lest they be in the sight of men as vessells of no plea­sure: the Apostle saith, 2 Cor. 4. 5. we preach our selves, your servants for Jesus sake.

From the words thus opened, let us make some Do­ctrinall and Practicall Observations in brief.

The first Doctrine to be observed is, That God being a The first Do­ctr [...]e is, [...]hat God hath vessells in his house. great house keeper, hath vessels belonging to him, which he hath appointed for the service of his house. You know what is meant by a vessell; namely, an instrument fitted to con­tain something whereof a man doth stand in need, and to be made use of to that effect. Now the house of God is his Church, 1 Tim. 3. 15. and the faithfull and elect are his vessells in this house. The proof of this is to be taken from 2 Tim. 2. 20, 21. In a great house there are not only vessels of Gold and Silver, but also of wood and earth, and some to ho­nour, and some to dishonour: if a man purge himself from these, (namely, wood and earth) he shall be a vessell unto ho­nour, [Page 13] sanctified and meet for the masters use, and prepared for every good work.

Here the Apostle makes the universall Church the great house; God in Christ, the house keeper; men, the vessells, which are differenced by their substance and uses: their substance of greater worth, is Gold and Silver; ofWhich are dif­ferent in matter and use. lesser, is wood and earth. Their uses are, some to Honour, and some to dishonour: that is, some lesse honourable: as one is to drink in, another is to wash ones hands or feet in. So there be some men appointed by God to con­tain precious liquor, and are of good and excellent me­tal; others to contain common and ordinary liquor, such as is water; and these are commonly of an inferiour sort of matter. Some men are endued with speciall, some with common gifts and graces; Some serve for spirituall, some for bodily employments in Gods house.

A second proof is from Rom. 9. 23. where the Apostle speaking of the elect, calls them vessells of Mercy; and sayes, that the end for which they were made was, That God prepared them unto Glory; and the use and service which they were to yeeld was, That they might make known the riches of Gods glory. Others are mentioned, ver. 22. and called vessells of wrath, that is, receptacles of wrath, fitted to make known Gods power, his long-suffering and his justice, in the destruction of the wicked.

The third proof is from 2 Cor. 4. 8. where the Apostle saith, that the treasure of heavenly knowledge in the Go­spel is kept in vessells of earth: namely, in an earthly bo­dy; and the use of this earthly quality is, to shew that the excellency of the power of the word, is not of man, but of God.

The Reason of this is, that all creatures, as creatures, are but receptacles of a superior, being to be serviceable [Page 14] thereby unto the creatour, to shew forth his glory. Pre. 16. 14. The Lord hath made all things for himself. And Isa. 43. 21. This people have I formed for my self, they shall shew forth my praise.

Before I draw any use from this, I will proceed to an­otherThe second Doctrine is, That God doth­entrust some with his ves­sells. Doctrine, which is this: That God hath entrusted some with these his vessells, and charged them with the care of them, to look to them, to bear them, and to set them awork, for the end which he hath appointed.

Vessells are for use; no vessels, as vessels, can make use of themselves; therefore the use thereof must be com­mitted unto some body, that the service of the household▪ may not be neglected. And for proof of this, that God hath entrusted the care of his vessells to some that must be answerable to him for the same, we must take notice that there is a threefold commission and charge given of these vessells, to three severall sorts of persons.

First, every man is entrusted with the care of his ownNamely every one with his own vessell in particular▪ vessell. 1 Thes. 4. 4. Every one of you should know how to possesse his vessell in sanctification and honour. God doth charge the conscience of every one with the trust of his own soul and body, and of all the faculties and mem­bers thereof, which are receptacles of grace and vertue, to be serviceable unto others; for all the gifts are given to profit withall; and every one hath received his own gift, one after this way, and another after that, as the Apostle saith, 1 Cor. 7. 7.

Secondly, every one is entrusted with the care of his [...] Every one with b. s neigh­bours vessell in a private way. neighbours vessell, as well as of his own. The comman­dement is, Phil. 2. 4. Look not every man on his own things, but every man on the things of others; the Apostle in that place doth speak of the communion of Saints; and sheweth that every one is obliged to his neighbour, as [Page 15] well as to himself, to have a care of him for his good: as Christ cared not for himself alone, but for others: so he would have the same minde in us, ver. 5. in like manner, Heb. 12. 15. The Apostle commands us to look diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any vessell, ap­pointed for an honourable use, come to spill the liquor of grace, whereof he is made a receptacle.

The reason of this is given by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 12. 24, 25. thus; God hath tempered the body together, that there should be no schisme in the body: but that the members should have the same care one of another. The relation wherein Christians are set one towards another, is, that they are to be under one head Christ, and in one body as members of each other. As then one member by the law of nature is ordained to serve another, to care for it, to pro­vide the good thereof, and to preserve it from hurt: So are Christians appointed by God, in respect of their uni­on with Christ, and one with another, by his Spirit, which is the same in all: to serve, care and provide for, and preserve each other. We are all baptized (saith the A­postle) by the same spirit into one body, 1 Cor. 12. 13. That is, we are all made to be one, as a mans body is but one; for though it hath many parts and members, yet all being quickened with one soul, and by it united together in one man, are but one body: So is it with the whole multi­tude of Christians; though they are many in particular, yet in their union to Christ, and that life whereby they move in him, they are but one, and stand in relation to each others, as members of the same body: and for this cause God doth charge them with the care of each other, and causeth them for his service to stand in need of each other, and so doth oblige them to look to each other, and to provoke each other to love, and to good works: Thus [Page 16] then the care of thy Neighbours vessell is committed unto thee, that it miscarry not.

Thirdly, Although every one is bound to look to his3. Some are en­trusted with the vessels in a ge­nerall and pub­like way, own vessell, to bear it honourably thorow the world, and to his neighbours vessell, as well as to his own: yet there is a more eminent and peculiar care of bearing these vessels, committed unto the Ministers of the Word, one way; and to the Magistrates, another way. The two first are pri­vate and particular: the two last, publike and generall: the two first are enjoyned by the interest of love and common necessity; the two last are setled upon the inter­est of order and office. The peculiar charge, and theThese are Mini­sters. service committed unto the Ministery, is set forth in the Tribe of Levi, and in his separation from others unto God, whereof Moses in brief gives us this information, Deut. 10. 8. The Lord separated the Tribe of Levi, to bear the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, to stand before him, to minister unto him, and to blesse in his name. And with this charge none other was to meddle but Levi alone, as being set apart to that effect, and endued with a peculiar main­tenance for that service. With the same charge, and in the same kinde, is the Ministery of the Gospel now set a­part by Christ; nor ought they to be encumbred with a­ny other cares, but such as are immediately subordinateWho ought [...]ot to meddle with worldly affairs, unto the Gospel: this is the Apostles rule to Timothy, 2 Tim. 2. 4. No man that warrethintangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a souldier. If then he doth intangle himself with other affairs and employments, then such as pertain unto the life to come, he cannot please Christ: for when a Disciple of­fered himself to Christ to attend his service, desiring on­ly leave to goe home first, and bid his friends in the world farewell; he was told by Christ, that no man is fit [Page 17] for the kingdome of God, who having put his hand to the plough of Gods service, doth look back to any thing else, Luk. 9. 62.

And as they are thus to be set apart for the charge, and ought not to meddle with any thing, but their own plough, and their own husbandry, which is the tillage of mens souls towards God; so may no man take the charge committed unto them upon himself, Except he be called thereunto, as Aaron was, Heb. 5. 4. And the punishments of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, whereof the history is known, Numb. 16. and of Vzziah the King, who presu­ming to take upon him the Priests office, was strucken with leprosie, and separated from the administration of the Kingdome, 2 Chron. 26. 16. are for a perpetuall me­moriall, to shew that none may thrust himself upon this charge of the Ministery, but must be admitted thereunto by an orderly calling.

To the Ministery therefore one way is the charge ofAnd Magi­strates whose commission is different from that of the Mi­nisters. Gods vessels eminently committed, and to the Magistra­cy another way. The Ministery is properly charged with a spirituall care of their souls, in things pertaining to God, Heb. 5. 1. but the Magistracy is charged with a temporall care of their outward and visible society, in things proper­ly pertaining to men, for the administration of justice and good order, and for the provision of things necessary and comfortable for their life. In the one respect Aaron was to bear the judgement of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord, Exod. 28. 30. In the other, Moses, when the people was unruly and murmured for meat, [...]aith, that he was not able to bear them all alone, Numb. 11. 14. that is, to care for all their matters, and to deal so with them, as to give them contentment; for which cause seventy El­ders are joyned to him, to help him to bear the burden [Page 18] of his charge, which was the outward regulating of their wayes in Justice and good order, according to Gods will. Thus then the manner of bearing, and the charges are different, although they are about and over the same ves­sells. The Minister bears them as they are within the house of God, and as in that house he is a steward, and they of the household committed unto him, that he should give them meat in due season. But the MagistrateMatth. 24. 45. doth bear them as they are in the world; and so the Church it self, as it is a visible societie of men, wherein righteous and good order is to be observed, is an object of that power and authority which God hath intrusted him withall for his glory.

So then every one doth bear these vessells differently, in a manner sutable to his calling.

The use of this Doctrine is two-fold: The first for ex­hortation,The uses of ex­hortation. the second for instruction and warning.

The exhortation shall be in two words, to two things.

1. That every one should lay this to heart, and con­siderSee what ves self thou art, and what [...]ust is given thee. himself what sort of vessell he is, and what the trust is which is committed to him, of himself, or of others. Thou mayest know what sort of vessell thou art, by the qualifications bestowed upon thee, and place where thou art set, whereby and wherein thou mayest become use­full for the Kingdome of Christ, in thy self and in thy neighbour. Let every one, saith the Apostle, consider his own work; that is, himself, in respect of the work intrusted to him, and then he shall have rejoycing in himself alone, and Gal. 6. 4. not in another: the custom and inclination of men is, to reflect upon themselves, not in simplicity, but compara­tively; not with a single eye unto the rule, but with an indirect respect unto other mens wayes, in comparison of [Page 19] their own; Thus the Pharisee said, I am not like other men, Luk, 18. 11. or like this Publican, &c. Such a consideration of our selves doth give no just matter of rejoycing: but the A­postles consideration of himself, is true matter of joy; for our rejoycing is this, saith he, The testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity; not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, 2 Cor. 1. 12. if we look thus to our own conscien­ces within our selves, to our talent which we have recei­ved, and how we have bestowed it, that we may know how to be accountable to God for it, then we shall have true matter of joy in our selves, and not in another.

The second duty is consequent unto this; That every2 Make t [...]y self a vessell of honour. one in the consideration of himself, should intend and en­deavour to fit himself unto God, as a vessell of honour. This is that which the Apostle doth inferre, 2 Tim. 2. 21. upon this Doctrine, that God hath many vessells in his house: therefore, saith he, if a man purge himself, he shall be a vessell unto honour. He supposeth that every one will aspire unto an honourable employment; and that is the thing which I now stirre you up unto, namely, that every one should endeavour to fit himself for some honourable employment; the means is, to purge your selves from earthly qualities: if a man doth this, the Apostle doth promise him, that he shall be a vessell of honour; and if so, then as one sanctified and set apart for the masters use, and prepared for every good work, no doubt the Lord will not let him be without imployment.

The use of Instruction and warning, is also two­fold.The uses of in­struction.

First, we should take notice, That every one of us is1. Thou art thy brothers keeper. made his brothers keeper; and that God will call us to an account, not only how we have lookt unto our selves, but [Page 20] how we have lookt unto our brethren. It was Cains speech, when he had murthered his brother, and God calling him to an account for it, he said, What, am I my brothers keeper? yea, thou art charged with the care of preserving thy brother; and if thou doost not in love to him seek his good, thou doest hate him in thy heart: and he that doth hate his brother is a murtherer. Our duty1 Joh. 3. 15. then is to remember the rule, bear ye one anothers burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ, Gal. 6. 2. Christ did bear all our burdens, therefore as he did deal with us, we are bound to deal one with another, if we will be counted his Disciples.

2. Secondly, we should take notice, that although all men, in one way or other, are bound to bear the vessells of the Lord, and to put to their hands to bear mutually their burdens, yet that no man may goe beyond his line,2. Yet thou must not goe beyond thy calling. and thrust himself upon a charge which is not committed unto him; God hath distributed to every member of the body, his faculty, charge and place, as he doth think good; therefore no member can effect the ch [...]ge and place of another: the feet cannot effect the office of the hand, nor the hand of the feet: the eye cannot take upon it to be the eare, nor the ear the eye: the bowells cannot take the office of the arms, nor the arms of the bowells: So may not the Ministery incroach upon the Magistracy; nor the Magistracy upon the Ministery; nor may he who is called to bear the vessells only in a private way, take upon him the charge of a publike relation, belonging to the Magistracy or Ministery. Every one of the sonnes of Levi had their distinct and peculiar charge within them­selves about the Tabernacle; nor was it lawfull for any to meddle with that which was not committed to him. Let every man abide in the sphear and calling wherein God hath set him.

The last observation which I will make upon this partThe third Do­ctrine is, That God doth re­spect his vessel. bearers. of the Text, which concerns the persons, is this, That God hath a peculiar respect to those that are entrusted with the charge of bearing his vessells.

We see that the coherence of the text with the form­er matter, doth cleerly speak this; for the joyfull promises of deliverance and salvation are no sooner offered to the people of God in generall, but the particular application is immediatly made to those, by name, who bear the ves­sells of the Lord, as to such who are epecially in Gods eye; in whom he is concerned, that their behaviour may be answerable to the effect of his intentions.

Now that God doth respect in a speciall manner those, to whom he doth commit a speciall trust, is clear from the law of justice and prudency, setled in the heart of all wisemen, who give a trust unto others. The Law is this, to whom much is given, of him shall be much required, Luk. 12. 48. consequently, to whomsoever a peculiar charge of great concernment is committed; upon him a peculiar eye will be cast, and from him a speciall account will be expected of his faithfull performance of the work. You only, saith God by the Prophet Amos to the children of Israel, have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore will I punish you for all your iniquities, Amos 3. 2. as if he had said, I have in a speciall manner ta­ken notice of you, to make my self known to you, by the ordinances wherewith I have entrusted you to make my name known; therefore I have also lookt more narrowly to your wayes then to others, and will not suffer your iniquities to passe without a punishment; because you are above all others accountable unto me of your wayes.

The ground of this, is that which Moses doth tell Aaron, [Page 22] upon the punishment of Nadab and A [...]ih [...], Levit. 10. 3. for these two sonnes of Aaron, presuming to offer incense unto God, with strange fire which he had not command­ed them, were devoured with fire from the Lord, for an exemplary punishment of will-worship, and of false zeal in Gods service; Hereupon Moses doth tell Aaron the cause of this punishment, saying, This is that which the Lord said; I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people will I be glorified. God is jealous of his own glory; therefore those that come nigh him, must be holy as he is holy: the neerer we are to him, if we answer not the beauty of his holines to shew it forth, we disho­nour him the more; therefore to vindicate and uphold his own honour, he did before all the people glorify him­self upon Nadab and Abihu; lest their presumption be­ing unpunished, others might be encouraged to the like excesse.

God is interessed in those that are neerest to him: in such as are strangers and aliens from the common wealth of Israel, God is not much concerned, and he doth suf­fer them to walk in their wayes; and doth wink at the times of their ignorance: but when he doth send them the knowledge of the Gospel, and offereth unto them there­by the priviledge of being his people by Repentance and Faith, he telleth them, that they must be accountable unto him of their actions, in the day appointed wherein he will judge the world in righteousnes, Act. 17. 30. 31. The Gentiles that are not called by Gods name, bring no dishonour direct­ly unto it, but it is for Israels sake, that Gods name is blas­phemed among the Gentiles? through you, meaning the Jews, saith the Apostle, is the name of God blasphemed, Rom. 2. [...]4. [...]erefore he is carefull even of servants pro­fessing the Gospel, (though otherwise mean and con­temptible [Page 23] in the world) that their wayes should be answer­able to their profession, lest the Gospel might be evil spoken of for their sakes, 1 Tim. 6. 1. the misdemeanour of any of ones household doth reflect upon the Master of the family; and this is Gods meaning towards the children of Israel, Levit. 20. 7, 8. when he faith, sanctify your selves, and be ye holy, for I am the Lord your God: and keep my statutes and doe them, for I am the God that sanctifie you; because I have set you apart for my self, and I have given you my sta­tutes, which are the way of holines; therefore set you your selves apart for me, and keep my statutes: for I am the Lord your God; if you doe otherwise, I will not own you as mine. Can two walk together, saith God by the Prophet, Amos 3. 3. except they be agreed? that is, can God walk with a people, and accept them for his own, and employ them in his service, to bear his vessells of ho­nour; and not have an eye unto them, to see that they walk worthy and agreeable to the place wherein he puts them? no, by no means: his honour is too much engaged in them not to regard them and look after them.

This then being a cleer and undeniable truth, That God hath a speciall eye to those that are honoured to be neer­est unto him: Let me offer a word of application untoThe Applicati­on of the point. you, concerning your present condition.

Consider, I pray you, in what case you stand towards God, with this whole nation whereof you are a body re­presentative.

Consider, I say, what our relations and engagementsFirst to the whole nations of great Brit­tain. are. We are all entrusted to bear the vessels of the Lord in our distinct charges and places, in a more eminent way, then any other people of the world; for the Nations of great Britain have made a new thing in the world; a thing which hath not been done by any Nation in the world, [Page 24] since the preaching of the Gospel in it, a thing which since the Jewish Nation, in the daies of Nehemiah, was ne­ver heard of in any Nation, that not only the Rulers, but the whole multitude of the people should enter into a Co­venant with their God, and one with another; and that two Nations should be leagued with an Oath together man by man, to walk in the waies of his Word, to main­tain the Cause of Religion, and to reform themselves ac­cording to his will. This is a new thing in the Christian Church, therefore there is a speciall engagement lying upon us all more then upon other men, to bear every one our own vessels, to bear the vessels of each other, and to bear joyntly the Church and Cause of God in our hearts, hands and shoulders. In all the world there is not a Ma­gistracy so eminently entrusted with such a charge, over a people so neerly united unto God as you and the Parlia­mentThen to the leaders thereof in the cause of Reformation. of Scotland are: Your charge is not only the outward safety of three Kingdomes, to settle them in such a way as you have covenanted: but the care of the Protestant Re­ligion, and Cause (wherein the vessels of the Lord, which are in forraign parts are concluded) is committed unto you, that you, together with them, may be brought out of Babylon. I beseech you mark this our engagement unto God, and let us lay it to heart. Mark Gods intenti­on, and our obligation to fulfill it. God hath since the beginning of the Reformation of his Church from Pope­ry and Antichristian superstition intended to bring his ves­sels out of Babylon unto Sion; the way hath been opened by the preaching of the Gospel a long while ago; the Na­tions of Europe, some more, some lesse, frequently have begun their marches in severall troops, and the spirits of many Magistrates,, and of many Ministers have been stir­red up, and called upon to bear the vessels of the Lord, [Page 25] and by their care, power, authority, assistance and vigi­lancy, to bring them to Sion, there to be fully setled in the right use of the Ordinances of God. But none of all the Magistrates or Ministers of other Nations have ever given such an answer to this call, as you and we of the Ministery, and this people hath done; for we all have un­dertaken the cause in the full extent thereof: therefore we are in this employment, neerer unto God then any others; and he is more interessed in you, and in Scotland, then in any Nation whatsoever. And if this be so: doe not you think that God will have a neerer respect unto you, then unto others? and that he doth expect a more exact per­formance of this charge from you, then from others. You and we all have fastened the cause we have in hand upon him; and for this cause we have no foundation to build on, but upon him: and he hath none other employ­ment for us, but that we all should carry his vessells care­fully out of Babylon; if you doe this faithfully according to your promise; and make it your aim to fulfill your Covenant to this effect with him; you may be sure that he will bear you up, and bear you out in all your difficul­ties; but if you have any other aim, and doe not make this your glory, that the vessells of the Lord are commit­ted to your trust; if you cast them off in your heart, and think them a wearisom burden, and heavy to be borne; If, I say, any doth but in his heart quit the charge com­mitted unto him, will not God require it at his hand? doth not he trye the secrets of all hearts? and although man may cast dishonour and contempt upon his vessells of honour, and neglect them in his thought, yet he will not utterly forsake them, but will be found faithfull unto them, although all men should prove lyars. Take heed therefore every one to his spirit, that yee deal not [Page 26] falsely with your God in this great employment: you may be sure that he will not suffer himself, by the con­tempt of his vessells, to be reproached and vilified: he hath borne even from the dayes of old his own, from the belly, from the womb he hath carryed them as a nursing father, and he doth promise to be the same unto them, even Isa. 46 3, 4. unto their old age, and even unto hoar haires to carry them. The only way then for you to be supported by him, is this, that you be sure to support with all your heart and might his vessells; for you must know, that it is only for their sake, that you are, and shall be a sure nail fastened in the wall of this Kingdome; only I say for this end, that the vessells of your Lords house, and the glory thereof may be hung upon you: but if you cannot be made use of by him to this effect, though the nail be never so strong, and fastened in a place never so sure, it shall be broken and pulled down, for the Lord hath spo­ken it.

Let us then all fear lest we come short of our duty, in the charge committed unto us in our severall places; Let us look to one another, and exhort one another daily, lest our hearts be hardened, through the deceitfulnes of sinfull and humane counsells; and lest the eagernes of pursuing these, cause us forget the main thing commit­ted unto us, which is, to behave our selves as servants on­ly, and as such servants who bear the vessels of the Lord: and upon whom the eyes of the Lord are continu­ally open.

And as this on the one hand is an object of exceeding great fear, to make us carefull that we may not be found faulty in so great a trust: so on the other hand, it is an un­speakable matter of joy, comfort and encouragement to those who have their consciences cleer in this matter; [Page 27] telling them, that they aim at nothing else but at the duti­full performance of this very thing; namely, that the ves­sels of the Lord entrusted unto them, may be borne and brought out of Babylon safely to Jerusalem, and there be­come serviceable unto God, in his holy habitation. Hap­py is the man whose heart is perfect towards God in this thing: This man may be sure that in the midst of trouble he shall finde deliverance, and in the saddest times he shall be comforted and supported: for as his heart is engaged to rely upon God in his service: so he hath a rich and a sure promise to trust unto, that Gods Providence will be engaged for him. The promise is, 2 Chron. 16. 9. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro thorow the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalfe of those, whose heart is perfect towards him; his eyes will spy thee out wheresoever thou art; and his hand will be ready prest to doe thee service for thy deliverance: even as thou with a perfect heart art ready to serve him in the bearing of his vessels; but if thy heart be imperfect and unsound in this matter, whatsoever thy condition may now be, and how prosperous soever; the judgements are not yet at an end, before all be done, thou shalt be ranked with the Hy­pocrites in Sion, who are forced to cry out, even then when Sion is filled with judgement and righteousnes, withIsa. 33. 10. wisdom and knowledge, and the fear of the Lord; then shall such Hypocrites all of them be forced to lament and cry; who of us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who of us shall dwell with the everlasting burnings?

This use and application of the Doctrine doth respect us all indifferently, in that relation wherein we stand, under the Oath and Covenant of our God; this is a mat­ter both of fear and of comfort, as we finde our hearts affected therewith; that we may all learn and be minde­full [Page 28] both high and low, both Civill and Ecclesiasticall in our severall places, to serve the Lord in the preservation of his vessels with fear; and to rejoyce in the performance of our duty with trembling. Now before I leave the point, seeing you have put me in this place, to be your re­membrancer in the name of the Lord; give me leave toLastly to those that are in ci­vill employmē [...], discharge this speciall trust, by speaking a word of speci­all application more distinctly unto those that are in pla­ces of civill employment, or that affect and seek after the same.

To those let me say this; That they ought carefully to beare in minde the name, which here the Prophet doth give them: he doth call them vessel-bearers of the Lord. By this demonstration they are taught not only what their charge is, but under whom, and in whose name they are to administer the same; namely, under God, and in the name of the Lord. Therefore the waighty admonition which Jehoshaphat gave unto the judges of Israel, whom he appointed in all the Cities of Judah; is now to be gi­ven unto you: he saith unto the Judges, 2 Chron. 19. 6, 7. Take heed what ye doe; yee judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgement; let then the feare of the Lord be upon you. Remember this when you are in Parliament, or in Committees appointed by it; remem­ber that ye judge not for man, but for the Lord. Call to minde that it is he who hath called you to the place; that in his presence, who doth see all your intentions, it is not safe to judge for favour, or to have designes for, or a­gainst this or that party, or person, for this or that parti­cular interest. Remember, saith Jehosaphat, that the Lord is with you in the judgement: that it is not in your own name, and for your own ends that you are there, but in his stead; therefore let the feare of the Lord be upon you. [Page 29] And this is the warning which belongeth unto you, who are already in places. Others there be, who seek to comeAnd to those that seek after e [...]ployment. to places; because these are times of action and employ­ment; and men that are zealous in a good cause, may of­fer themselves to a call which is lawfull: let me speak a word unto such also. I will not narrowly examine by what means men seek to come to places; but supposing it to be in a lawfull and approved way, I would heartily advise them, if they will have any comfort in their pla­ces, to look to their own hearts, to set them aright to­wards the end, for which their places are ordained by God: and to consider the intention of him alone, by whose favour they can be maintained, and become use­full to the publike, and to themselves in their places. This then they must know, that God hath ordained all such places, not for a private use, that a man should get into it to sit safe, and warm, and high, to be respe­cted more then his neigbour; to get power and be able to sway a party, or to crosse this or that supposed designe of another party; this God doth not in an ordinary way call any man unto: therefore look to it you that come to ordinary places, look to your own aim, which you can know best: if you think to receive your call with a bles­sing from God, hoping to be maintained by him in your places; you must be sure that your purpose is answera­ble unto his: he calls you to have a hand in the admini­stration of his affairs, that is, to help in the work of his mercy and justice, to bear up mercifully and kindely his vessels of honour, and destroy, in the way of judgement, the vessels of his wrath: he calls you to march with the vessels of his mercy out of Babylon: and he calls you to come with them to his Jerusalem: if then you apply not your minde to know who are his vessels; how you [Page 30] should bear them: whence you should depart, and whi­ther you should goe with them; truly you will have lit­tle or no comfort in your places in the end.

Let me propose unto you, for your admonition, the example of Shebna, of whom we read in Isa. 22. 15, 16, &c. he was over the house, and treasurer of the King of Juda: and we finde by the circumstances of things menti­oned in that chapter, that it was a time of trouble, and danger of warre, in which times men that are in high places, can make use of them to their greatest advantage, if they be wise states-men; and so did Shebna, he did up­hold his state, he provided for himself, as one that gra­veth an habitation for himself in a rock; he had the cha­rets of his glory to attend upon him, and so served him­self of his place: but what doth God say to all this? he sendeth the Prophet unto him, to tell him, that he had made his reckoning without his host, that he made ac­acount to settle himself on high, but that God would turne him down low, and out of his place, and tosse him up and down like a ball in a large countrey; and that the charets of his glory should become the shame of his Lords house: and why should all this befall unto him? it may be gathered from the place, that it was, because he was not faithfull to the charge which God had committed to him, and that he did not look so much to the vessels of the Lord, as to himself. In a word, he was a states-man, that lookt to his own ends in a publike place: therefore God appointed Eliakim to be put in his place; who should have a care of the vessels, from the least to the greatest: who should support the glory thereof, and in this employment, be fastened as a nail in a sure place. I need not to insist further upon the application of this ex­ample, only look to it, that there be no Shebna found [Page 31] amongst you; but that every one set his heart in upright­nes to his duty, as Eliakim did.

And this much for the first part of the Text, concern­ing the persons to whom the promise of deliverance out of Babylon is made; now follow the duties which God re­quireth of them by vertue of a call.

Of the duties.

These duties we have said in the beginning, are chief­ly two. The first is, that they should resolve upon a march from Babylon. The second is, that in their march they should be carefull to preserve themselves from uncleannes, and perfit holines.

The call to march from Babylon is in these words, De­part In the call to march out of Babylon is ob­served, 1. The earnest­nes thereof. ye, depart ye, goe ye out from thence, goe ye out of the midst of her, namely, out of Babylon.

First, observe here how earnest the Spirit of God is to give this call; this is apparent in the frequent repetition of the same thing, to shew the importance of the duty, and the necessity of doing it without delay; for when God saith, Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out, go ye out: is not this as much as if he had said, make no delay, tarry not, march away with all speed? the reason of this earnestnes to presse us to all diligence in this departure is two-fold. The first is, the danger wherein we may be, if we stay longBy reason of the danger of stay­ing. in Babylon: this is declared more expressely in the Reve­lation, chap. 14 ver. 4. Come ye out of her, (namely, Baby­lon) my people; that ye be not partaker of her sinnes, and that ye receive not of her plagues; the danger is, that if we make any stay in Babylon, we may be infected with her sins, and be involved in her plagues; being called away, if we obey not, we can promise to our selves no protection, ei­ther from sinne, or from the punishment thereof; and the danger of being overtaken with the punishment is [Page 32] great, because it is said that it shall be very suddain, when she shall think her self most secure, and safe, then in a mo­ment, in one dry her plagues shall come, even in their perfe­ction, Isa. 47, 8, 9. therefore it is very dangerous to make any delayes.

Besides the danger of the event of a slow departure; there is another cause why the call is so earnest; namely, the dulnes of our inclination to; and the aversenes of ourAnd by reason of our inclinati­on to stay. minde from the resolution of this march and removall: We cānot naturally apprehend the dāger wherein we are within Babylon: and not being sensible thereof, we finde no cause of fear; and so cannot resolve to flee; nay, we love to stay there where we are accustomed. You may see a cleer example of this in Lot; He was a godly man; he was told by the Angels, that Sodom should be destroyed; he did beleeve the warning; and in his former conver­sation2 Pet. 2. 8. amongst the Sodomites, he found no delight, but grief of soul: Yet for all this, when it came to a suddain removall, he could not get his matters dispatched, nor come to his march from thence, till the Angels forced him in a manner away; for the Text saith, they took him by the hand, and set him without the City, Gen. 19. 16. and then when he was gone, his wife having received a com­mand not to look back, could not refrain to expresse her inclination towards Sodom; although she could not be ignorant of the prohibition. This then doth manifest the strong bent of our desires to remain in Babylon; which by this earnest call the Spirit doth endeavour to overcome in us; even as Christ also doth upon the like occasion in few words warne us, Luk. 17. 32. saying, Remember Lots wife; to shew that in us there is a disposition to re­main in Sodom, although we be strongly called out of it.

The words of the exhortation are cleer, and need no explication; The Doctrine to be gathered from them is this.

That the great and main work of a Christian in this life 1. The duty de­livered in a Doctri [...]e, is, to march away, and make a safe retreat from Babylon, to come to Jerusalem.

To make good this truth, and to open the whole mat­ter,And opened in three [...]ead [...]. I must here shew three things.

1. What the mystery of Babylon is, in opposition to Jerusalem.

2. How all Christians are in a Babylonian captivity, whiles they are in this present world.

3. How, notwithstanding this captivity, they may be marching away, and ever advancing towards Jeru­salem.

Concerning Babylon to lay open the mystery there­of,1. In the myste­ry of Babylon [...] in opposition to Jerusalem; we must first ob­serve the literall truth of both these Cities; and then take up from thence that wherein the mystery doth stand.

The first originall of the City and Tower of Babylon, Grounded upon the History. is reported in the eleventh Chapter of Genesis; the sub­stance of the story is this. That mankinde after the flood being of one language, did designe to build a tow­er, whose top should reach unto Heaven, and a city by it, to get themselves a name, lest they should be scatter­ed abroad upon the face of the whole Earth. This pur­pose did miscarry by a judgement of God upon the build­ers, whose language God did confound, and so scatter­ed them abroad over the Earth, whence the place did get the name Babel or Babylon, which signifieth, confusion: af­ter this scattering of the first builders of Babel, the foun­dations of the City being only laid; in processe of time [Page 34] it was built by Nimrod, who in it began the first Mo­narchyGen 10. 8, 9, 10. Dan. 2. 37, 38. of the world; which continued there, till it came to its highest perfection in the dayes of Nebuchadnezzar. This Nebuchadnezzar was the man that took Jerusalem by force, burnt it with fire, and transported the people there­of into Babylon, and the vessels of the Lords house, into2 Chron. 36. the house of his gods. Now Jerusalem, which he did con­querand subdue, was the Mother-City of the Jewish Na­tion, the place where God had put his name amongst his people; there was his Temple where his publike▪ wor­ship was observed; and as long as the Nation did keep the ordinances and the lawes of their God, they were in safety under Gods protection: but when they fell away from him, he gave them up unto the hands of their ene­mies, to be afflicted by them: and amongst others, the King of Babylon was the heaviest enemy that ever they had; nor was the City of Jerusalem ever taken from them by any, before Nebuchadnezzar.

The mystery which is to be discovered in the opposi­tionTo be gathered from the uni­versall proper­ty of the state, in opposition to Jerusalem. of these two Cities and states, must be observed from that wherein the property of their different consti­tutions doth stand, as it is universall to all of the same kinde: as then by the City of Jerusalem the frame and na­ture of the Church of God is set forth; so by Babylon is set forth the frame and nature of humane worldly soci­eties. In the state and condition of Jerusalem we finde all the properties of the true Church of God: and in the state and condition of Babylon, we finde all the proper­ties of the Kingdoms of this world.

Jerusalem, (this name) doth signify the vision of peace,Their opposite [...]. mes. to shew, that no where but in the Church and people of God the way to true peace can be known or followed, and that none but such as enjoy the true ordinances of [Page 35] God, and keep his Covenant and statutes, can hope for peace, either in this world, or in that which is to come. And the name Babylon, doth signifie confusion and disor­der, to shew, that all the wayes of men wherein they re­spect not God, but follow their own designes, come to confusion and disorder. For the mystery of Babylon isTheir opposite counsells and endeavours. to be seen in the counsells and endeavours of the first builders of the Tower and City after the flood; they took counsell among themselves, without any respect un­to God; they resolved upon a course to preserve and se­cure themselves, and did endeavour in a rationall way, by their own industry to bring it to passe. This is the way of all naturall men in all their undertakings, they ne­ver look to God in their purposes, they minde only them­selves, and trust to nothing but to their own strength and abilities, and to those contrivances which, according to their policy, they have laid down to be followed.

But the mystery of Godlines is to be seen in the coun­sells and endeavours of the true Citizens of Jerusalem; whose whole life was to be a perpetuall dependence upon God, in obeying his will: all their counsell was to be ta­ken from the oracle which he had set amongst them; and all their endeavours were to be undertaken in his, and not in their own strength.

The mystery then of Babylon doth consist chiefly inTheir opposite wayes of go­vernment. this; That it is the method or way of Government which naturall reason doth suggest unto worldly men, to secure themselves from danger, to get themselves a name upon Earth, and to subdue others unto their power, after their own will.

But the mystery of Jerusalem is the way of government which the Word of God doth prescribe unto spirituall men, to assure them of Gods favour, to get their names [Page 36] written in Heaven, to shew themselves servants unto all men through love, not intending to bring any under their power, but all to the obedience of the will of God in Christ.

To open the whole mystery more fully, we must un­derstand that it lyes between the two wayes of govern­ment; which are to be compared in foure things; inDiscovered in foure things. their Principles; in their ends; in their means to attain those ends; and in their manner of dealing with their sub­jects in the use of those means.

The principle of the Babylonian government, is that1 In their op­posite princi­ples. Idol which Polititians call the Reason of state, or the In­terest of state, upon which, as upon an Axel-tree, all the wheels of government runne in the mindes of states-men. This is that secret which in the brest of the governours of this world doth rule their counsells; and at the best it is nothing else, but some maxime or conclusion of govern­ment, which a naturall worldly wise man, upon the ra­tionall consideration of all outward circumstances of af­fairs, is able to finde out for his own advantage.

But the principle of the government of the City of God, is nothing else but the will of God; and the great maxime of state, whereupon all the governmēt is ground­ed, is nothing else but this, That the Tenour of the Co­venant between God and us in Christ may be ful­filled.

The end of the Babylonian government, that is, the2. In their op­posite ends. aim which wordlings have in the governing of states, is three-fold. First, they aim at a being, which is a condi­tion of safety, plenty and ease for themselves and their subjects. Secondly, they aim at a well-being, which is a condition of credit, splendour and renown, not to be thought lesse then any of their neighbours. Thirdly, [Page 37] they aim at an absolute being, which is a condition of power, and command at will; to have all things without controll in subjection to themselves: for naturally all go­vernment doth tend to an absolutenes of superiority, and cannot rest till it arrive to it. But the end of the govern­ment of the City of God is this; to bring the Saints to have communion with God. The Apostle John doth tell us his end wherefore he did administer the Apostolicall charge; namely, that we should have fellowship with them that were Apostles, and truly (saith he) our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Sonne Jesus Christ, 1 Joh. 1. 3. Pauls end and aim was to present every man perfect in Christ Je­sus, Col. 1. 28. and when the true Jerusalem shall be esta­blished, this end shall be attained; for it shall be the Ta­bernacle of God with men, who will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God, Revel. 21. 3. which is the only true hap­pines of the soul; for in Gods presence is fulnes of joy: and at his right hand are pleasures for evermore, Psal. 16. 11.

Thus then the Babylonian state doth aim at a temporall happines, such as men use to imagine unto themselves in this world, for their contentation (which yet is never at­tained) But all the contentation of the children of God is obtained in having communion with him, and seeing him, Psal. 4. 6. The worldling saith, who will shew us any good? But the childe of God doth answer, Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, for thou wilt make me more glad thereby, then when their corne and wine in­creaseth.

The means by which the state of Babylon doth com­passe3. In their op­posite m [...]s. the ends which it proposeth unto it self, are chiefly two: Policie, and Power. The greatnes of this world doth walk upon these two leggs. Rabsakeh doth acknowledge [Page 38] that counsell and strength are for warre: and all the states ofIsa. 36. 5. this world are states of warre; for there is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord, Isa. 48. 22.

By policy, we understand all the contrivances of hu­mane wit and reason to compasse self-ends: and whether the contrivance be fair or foul; if it but reach the end, it will serve the turne of a naturall states-man. Babylon doth boast of her wisdom, Isa. 47. 10, 12, 13. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge hath perverted thee, saith the Prophet: and imme­diately before, Thou hast trusted in thy wickednes: thou hast said, None seeth me. The men of this world lay their plots deep: they seek deep to hide their counsell from the Lord, their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? who knoweth us? Isa. 29. 15. But the children of light delight to walk in the light, and in the presence of their God, to doe all things openly, because they know that nothing is hid but it shall be revealed. The counsells of Babylon are not only such as proceed from the principles of natu­rall truth, honest, and justice, whereunto all pretend for their own ends; but such as admit of all craft, subtilty and deceit, nay of witch-craft, sorceries and inchant­ments, Stand now with thine inchantments, and the multi­tude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth, saith the Prophet. And this is the finall result of all hu­mane deceits and policies which tend to wickednes, Sa­tan becomes their oracle.

The power of Babylon is all the riches, the strength, and the authority which it can purchase to make it self consi­derable; whereby it doth exalt it self in comparison of o­thers, and what with allurements on the one side, and with terrours on the other, or with actuall violence it la­boureth to bring all into subjection to it self.

But the means by which the City of God doth com­passe [Page 39] the end of her government, are also two, namely, the word and the spirit: This is my Covenant with them, saith the Lord, my Spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seeds seed. The Covenant on Gods part is to furnish his Church with the Word and Spirit; these are the two guides of truth, to lead all that come to God in all his truth by these two; namely, through the spirit according to the word: the Church is setled in a way of govern­ment under Christ, with diversities of offices, and diffe­rences of gifts, of administrations, and of operations an­swerable thereunto; the office of ministring the Word1 Cor. 1 [...]. and Sacraments; the office of ruling and overseeing the flock, the office of distributing unto the necessities of the Saints, are the principall and ordinary means of bring­ing the Citizens of Jerusalem to have communion with God. The administration of Instruction, of Exhortati­on, of Comfort, of Reproof, and of Correction in the way of government, judgement and discipline, by the use of the keys of the Kingdome of Heaven, to shut it upon the refractory, and to open it unto the penitent sin­ners, are the duties of those to whom the offices are com­mitted; all which they must doe, not in a Lordly way, but according to the rule, as stewards of the mysteries and manifold gifts and graces of God, ordained for the edi­fication of the Children of God in the household of Faith.

The manner of dealing which Babylon useth towards4. In their op­posite manner of dealing. Revel. 17. 3. her subjects, is that which men use towards beasts: she rideth upon the beast, I understand this of the beastly part of humane nature, (for the corruption of our nature in that which is sensuall and carnall doth put us in the [Page 40] case and condition of beasts to be ruled and governed as they are) this way of ruling men as beasts, is practised, when with absolute power she doth bring her subjects unto absolute obedience; when they are bound to doe all by an implicite faith ignorantly, only because she doth command it to be done; even as a horse turneth this or that way, only because he that rideth on him doth draw the bridle to the right or left hand. When they are led by baits and sensuall allurements of pleasure, or profit, or imaginary greatnes; and when they are over-awed with the whip and the spurre, and driven to doe whatsoever she doth please, without any respect to reason or consci­ence for their own good, but only to exalt her greatnes in this world. And this is the way of all humane govern­ment, which is meerly naturall; nay, the use of naturall reason, as it reflecteth upon outward things without re­spect unto God, doth teach the great ones of this world none other way to deal with their subjects: and herein the great Romish whore of Babylon, the Mother of For­nication, hath outstript all the rest of the Earth in policy, and shewed to all the Kings of the earth, the depth of the mystery of iniquity in this government, so that they have drunk out of the cup of her fornications, and their states­men have committed adultery with her.

But the manner of dealing which is used in the City of God towards the inhabitants of Jerusalem, is not at all Arbitrary, it is altogether Legall; there is but one Law­giver, Jesus Christ; and under him the government is to be administred, even as he himself when he was in the flesh, did behave himself in the administration thereof towards his subjects. He was not as a Lord over them; but as their servant in love, to admit of them, and to receive them to the glory of God. His way of dealing [Page 41] was to inlighten their understandings, to exhort them, and to lead them forth in the way wherein they were to walk, and to go before them. By this rule all the offi­cers of his Kingdom are to walk towards his servants: all his true servants are his members; and these have as great a right in him, as those whom he hath made rulers over them; in him they are all but fellow-servants and Brethren; and the meanest of them, in case of any offence, may call the greatest, nay though he were an Apostle, (yea, and the chiefest of the Apostles, as we see it fell out in Acts chap. 11.) to an account; to shew the grounds and reason of his proceeding in any matter: and to this effect Thrones of judgement are set, even Thrones of the house of D [...]vid within Jerusalem▪ By the means of these thrones all the liberties and priviledges of the Children of God are preserved; and none (for all are alike accountable to them) is suffered to live and doe what he pleaseth in an Arbitrary way, whether he be high or low, to the throne of Christ he must stoop, or be broken to pieces with a rod of Iron, Psal. 2. 7, 8, 9.

Thus you see the difference, and the opposition of the two mysteries, of the spirituall, and of the wordly govern­ment; the one reflecting immediatly upon the souls of men; the other upon their bodies and bodily state; and reaching no further in the utmost extent thereof.

I have done with the first point. The second thing which I am to make apparent, for the proof of the princi­pall Doctrine, is this; That all Christians whiles they2. In our ca­ptivity in Ba­bylon. are in this world, are under this Babylonian captivity in some sort.

To make this good, the foundation of the mystery of Babylon, which is universall, is to be discovered; and this is nothing else, but the universall corruption of the soul [Page 42] of man in his conscience, will, reason, and all the inferi [...] faculties thereof; and the want of power in the superiour faculties, to rule and subject the imaginations and affe­ctions unto the will of God. This corruption was brought in by Adams fall into our nature; he affected an Independ­ent power from God to be his equall; and suffering his lusts to break forth against the will of God, he brought himself and all mankinde of his posterity, into disorder and confusion; for as he did at first, so all men doe still, and in every thing they affect to be absolute within them­selves, and over others to have power to rule: Th [...] spirit Iom. 4. 5. which is in us, saith the Apostle, doth cover to [...]nvy: and from this spirit of envy doth proceed all our Babyl [...]i [...] disorder and confusion, all our ambition; lust and strife [...]ll Christ then have [...]ully destroyed the works of the De­vil in our nature, and conversation one towards another, no man shall be freed frō some part of the bondage of this Babylonian captivity: because as it is rooted in the naturall faculties of every mans soul, so of necessity it must break forth and fructifie, in all the states and employments of every mans life. Except then a man can live in the flesh without all relations unto other men: that is to say,

First, without being under a Magistrate that in civill matters shall rule his subjects by the principles, for the ends, by the means, and in the wayes of worldly go­vernment.

Secondly, without being under a Ministery, where men are in gifts, graces, offices, and administrations, lesse a­ble then Christ and his Apostles in the wayes of spirituall government.

Thirdly, without being under some dependences of these two, such as are in the common wealth, the Courts of Justice, the governments of places in time of peace [Page 43] and warre, the ordinances of trades and merchandises by Sea and Land, which are brought to any humane▪ rules. And in the Church the dependences are: the constitution of Families; the education of Children in Schooles, and the trades of all manner of learning and sciences, (which I call trades, because amongst men sci­ences are used as trades and monopolies in all the parts thereof.)

Except, I say, a man can live in the flesh without some relation, or subordination unto any of these; it is unpos­sible for him, to be free from this Babylonian ca­ptivity.

One proof may suffic [...] for all; and that is the whole book of Ecclesiast [...], where the preacher Solomon having tryed all things in this world, to see what he could finde in them; doth tell us, that he found nothing else, but vanity of vanities, and an endlesse vexation of spirit.

And the Apostle speaking of the whole creation, tells us in like manner, that it doth groan and travell in pai [...], Rom. 8. 20, 21, 22. till it be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and the sub­jection unto vanity wherein it is. Nor doth he except the Saints from the same condition; for they also groan within ver. 23. themselves, waiting for the redemption of their bodies, from this Babylon wherein we live, till they come to the enjoy­ment of the glorious liberty of the Sonnes of God.

And this may suffice for the second point; the third thing which was to be made good, is this; That although 3. In the possi­bility of our de­liverance from it. we are thus involved and intangled under the power of this Babylonian captivity, that neverthelesse the way is open for us to march away from thence, and come to the sp [...]rituall Jeru­salem, which is the Mother of all Saints.

To make this good, I need no other proof then the [Page 44] words of my Text; which holding forth so earnest an exhortation, shew that it is Gods intention the thing should be done: and if it should be done by Gods intenti­on, then it may be done; nor is it a legall commande­ment, which is of things impossible for us to doe of our selves; but it is an evangelicall commandement, to which a promise of grace made unto beleevers is alwayes ad­joyned, which doth make the work possible.

The commandement is, besides that of the Revelation, chap. 18. 4. Come out of her my people, &c. very much pres­sed upon us in two places.

The first is, Rom. 12. 1, 2, I beseech you, brethren, (saith the Apostle) by the mercies of God, that ye present your bo­dies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God; which is your reasonable service; and be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minde. Now that this is not impossible unto the beleever, is apparent; because God hath promised, Ezek. 11. 19. I will put a new spirit within you; therefore seeing God doth undertake the work, it is not impossible.

The second place is paralell unto my Text, and a com­mentary thereon to explain it; it is in 2 Cor. 6. 14, 15, 16, 17. where the Apostle doth set forth this duty, as the main tenour o [...] Gods Covenant with us. He bringeth in God speaking to us, and offering himself, that he will receive us, and dwell with us, and be to us as a Father, and make us his Children; upon this condition, that we shall but separate our selves from the darknesse, the un­righteousnes, the uncleannes, and the Belial of this world, to come to the light, to the righteousnes, and to the ho­lines of Christ; whereupon in the beginning of the se­venth Chapter he inferreth this exhortation; Therefore let us cleanse our selves from all filthines of the flesh and [Page 45] spirit, perfecting holinesse in the fear of God.

From all which, the Doctrine which I did offer unto you from the Text, is to be concluded thus; that it is e­vident that the main and great work of a Christian in this life, is, to march away and make a safe retreat from Babylon, to come to Jerusalem. The Apostle Act. 2. 40. as soon as the first converts had given their names up unto Christ, doth presse this duty upon them; Save your selves from this untoward generation, as being the main thing by them to be intended.

The reason why this is to be counted the great and main work, is this; because herein is the fulfilling of the intent of all the promises of the Gospel. For the Apo­stle, 2 Pet. 1. 4. doth tell us, that all the precious promises are given to us to this end, that by them we should escape the corruption which is in the world through lust, and become partaker of the divine nature; which in effect is nothing else but to march away from Babylon, and come to the spi­rituall Jerusalem.

The use and application is, for exhortation and earnestThe application of the du [...]y. entreaty; That the resolution here recommended to the vessel-bearers of the Lord, may be seriously laid to heart, and carefully minded by every one of you that are here.

If you think that the matter doth any way concernTo all in gene­rall. you; then you ought not to slight the admonition; and if you think it any honour to be a vessel-bearer of the Lord; and if you conceive that God doth look after those whom he doth employ in honourable charges; then con­ceive also that it will be very necessary to settle your reso­lutions in a way answerable unto his call. If you can ap­prehend it any way dangerous to be in Babylon, then lin­ger not to make an escape. And if the state of Jerusalem be [Page 46] the way to happines, then make haste to live in it; lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees, make straight paths unto your feet, and depart, O depart ye, go ye out of the midst of her, that bear the vessels of the Lord.

This every one is bound to doe for himself; but such as are leaders of the flocks must intend to march before o­thers,To the leaders of the people in particular. and direct them in the way. The Prophet Jeremy in his fifth Chapter from ver. 4. to 9. doth represent un­to us our condition, and the duty of our rulers. Our con­dition is like to that of the Children of Israel and Judah, who are said to be going, and weeping, and seeking the Lord their God. This weare now doing in these dayes of our Humiliation chiefly, if there be at all any sincerity in us. It is said of them, that they should ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward; This I hope we are now doing. It is said, that they shall exhort one another, saying, come, let us joyne our selves unto the Lord, in a perpetuall Covenant that shall not be forgotten; This I hope we have done al­ready. Then the distracted condition of the sheep being re­presented; that their own shepherds had caused them to go a­stray, and turned them away on the mountains, and that they had gone from mountain to mountain, and had forgotten their resting place: which was in former time, and is still in some sort our condition. All this being thus premised, the exhortation followeth, which I desire to make my words unto you at this time, Remove out of the midst of Babylon; go forth out of the midst of the Chaldeans; and be as the he-Goats before the flocks: to you that are in place this is spo­ken, be ye as the he-goats; the flocks are marching, go then before them.

And if you are fully minded to discharge this duty, e­ven as it is by God himself recommended unto you; Let [Page 47] me again be your remembrancer on his behalf, and mention some publike cares which ought to be laid to heart.

First, look to the house of God to settle it in good order; and then look to the further settlement of the civill state. Some men when they are put in minde of this, use to say, We must have a being, before we can intend a well-being: they mean by a well being, the settlement of Religion; and by a being, such a frame of the common wealth as they propose unto themselves: but I say, that this is a false and preposterous method of proceeding; for it suppo­seth that there is no being in God, but that all our being is in this world; it makes Religion the accessory, and this present world the principall; but Christs Doctrine and exhortation is quite contrary, Mat. 6. 33. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and the righteousnes thereof, and all o­ther things shall be added unto you; but if you seek Gods Kingdom in the second place, you have no assurance that you shall get it, nay, I will assure you that you shall lose it; and with it all your other purchases. The Prophet Haggai, after the captivity of Babylon had to doe withHag. 1. 2. men that spoke thus; The time that the Lords house should be built, is not yet come: But what doth God answer them; is it time, saith he, for you to dwell in your houses, and to provide for your selves, and is it not time to provide for my house? O let us not have cause to say so unto you, that God who doth so miraculously provide for you, should be so ill requi [...]ed by you.

Let me then speak freely concerning the setling of the house of God amongst you, if you will have God to dwell in it, give him the priviledge which every one of you doth challenge in his own house, namely, to be ma­ster in it; and to order it as you think good. Let me [Page 48] intreat that he may have this right in his house; and you may be sure that all will be well. Holines becommeth the house of the Lord; and without holines no man shall see his face. Here I have just cause to praise the Lord for your last vote and resolution, whereby this point of holines is much advanced, by the decree of removing all scanda­lous persons from the Communion of Saints: settle but the judicatories of particular Congregations, and let all the thrones of the whole house of David be erected; and you shall finde that the fruit of righteousnes will be peace, and the work thereof, quietnesse and assurance for ever; Isa. 32. 17. But where there is no restraint of scandalls and offences, as hitherto there hath been none, there a wo must follow, wo unto the world because of offences. With the settlementMatth. 18. 7. of the Church, as a body compact together (for so Jerusalem is to be built, Psal. 122. 3.) The Schooles of the Prophets, the Universities must be setled, purged and reformed with wholsom constitutions, for the education of the sonnes of the Prophets, and the government of their lives: and with the soundnes and purity of spirituall learning, that they may speak the true language of Canaan; and that the gibberidge of Scholastical Divinity, (which is no­thing else but the language of corrupt humane reason, and Philosophy, concerning spirituall objects, without respect to the Word of God) I say that the gibberidge of that (falsely so called) Divinity may be banished out of their society.

Next unto the Schooles of the Prophets (whereof be­sides the Universities, it were to be wisht that some lesser ones might be setled in every Province) Next, I say, unto these, all the inferiour common Schooles of all sorts of children and youths, should be taken into serious consi­deration, and men of parts encouraged to have the inspe­ction [Page 49] and oversight of them. The corruption of all states and qualities of people doth arise from the neglect of these Schooles, wherein no seeds of vertue or grace, but rather all habits of dissolutenes are begotten in the souls of children; which makes them useles, if not hurtfull to the common-wealth, by the matters of knowledge which are taught them.

This building up of the spirituall Jerusalem in the souls of all men, both young and old, will overthrow the foundations of Babel, by Gods blessing, in the very cor­ruption of our nature: For except you dig deep to lay the foundations of Zion one way, and to root up the foun­dations of Babel another way; your building will be to little purpose.

These thoughts and resolutions will naturally lead you to the counsells of peace; and in those counsels, the settle­ment of all the Courts of Justice thorowout the Land will be necessary; that this unnaturall warre being at an end, whereby the state of Babylon is powerfully maintain­ed amongst us; we may have our hearts enlarged, and our mouths opened to sound forth the praises of our God, who passeth by the sinnes of the remnant of his people, and doth not keep his wrath for ever: and who for his own Name sake, that it may not be prophaned among the Heathen, doth worke deliverances in Jacob. To him be glory, honour and praise for evermore, Amen.

FINIS.

Errata.

PAge 33. marg. for grounded upon the History, read grounded upon the let­ter of the History. p. 46 l. 9 for fifth, read filtieth.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.