THE GREAT INTEREST OF States & Kingdomes.

A SERMON Preached before the Honorable House of COMMONS, At their Late Solemne FAST, Feb. 25. 1645.

By THO: GOODWIN, B. D. One of the Assembly of Divines.

REVEL. 17. 14.

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall over­come them: For he is the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, and they that are with him, are called, and chosen, and faithfull.


To the Honourable House of COMMONS, Assembled in PARLIAMENT.

I Here present you with one piece of the Counsels of God, next those of his disposing the eternall conditions of per­sons of all other the greatest, as which con­cerneth the temporall salvation or destruction of Kingdomes and Nations, which next to his Saints therein, are dearest to God, as his patience towards them shews. A subject, which had it been set out accor­ding to the merit of it, would of it self have faln at your feet, who are the Representative Body of this Nation and Kingdom, and entitled it selfe to no other Dedication then to you. But Providence having brought it forth in the way of an ordinance of God, preaching, in your eares, (though rudely) and you having beene pleased to owne it, it is become yours by all sorts of Interest.

It is certaine, that God did not bring that last and fatall desolation upon the Iews, untill all states and ranks of men amongst them had conspired against the Lord and his Anointed, and his followers: nor did [Page] he bring upon them that their first captivity, untill all sorts had corrupted themselves, the great men had broken the yoke, Jer. 5. the Prophet prophecyed falsly, the Priests did bear rule by their means, and the people loved to have it so: and then as the Prophet addes, What will you do in the end thereof? And yet therein God did not regard so much what the People, as what their Rulers did. I said, (speaking of the people) Surely these are poore, ver. 4, these are foolish, I will get me to the GREAT men, but THESE have ALL TOGETHER broke the yoke, 5. and burst the bands. Our comfort therefore is, we cannot be undone without you, nor you without failing in this, which is our GREATEST INTEREST. An Errour, which if this Kingdome should after so much bleeding erre a second time, is like hereafter never to be men­ded. Your preservation and guidance in this, is, above all other, the constant and daily prayer of

Your most
humble servant,

A Sermon preached at the late Fast, before the Commons House of PARLIAMENT.

PSAL. 105. 14, 14.

He suffered no man to doe them wrong: yea, he reproved Kings for their sakes: Saying, Touch not mine anointed.—

THe words I have read, and those from the 10. verse, as they hold forth the first rearing of the Church of the Jews in Abraham and the Patriarchs; so, they are in­tended as the first Primitive In­stance and Originall patterne of Gods care and protection over his people in all A­ges; and likewise of his proceedings with all States and Kingdomes, according unto their dealings with his people, where ever cast among them, to the end of the world: exemplified in what was done for their sakes, and towards them and their Families.

The Storie it selfe of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which these words refer to, and how God reproved [Page 2] Abimelech King of Gerar, and Pharaoh King of Egypt, and others for their sakes, you may reade in the 12, 20, and 26. Chapters of Genesis; and of commands given forth concerning them to doe them no wrong, yea not to touch them;Gen. 20. 7. declaring also of Abraham, that he was a Prophet, and so not to be injured: Onely what in the Story is uttered scatteredly and in severall places, is by the Prophet David summarily put together, Touch not mine anointed, and doe my Prophets no harme.

There is a Controversie upon these words, Touch not mine anointed, that they should be intended princi­pally of Kings, and of these Patriarchs, as under the notion of Kings. I shall but clear it in a word.

Whether these Patriarchs were Kings or no, I will not now dispute; Abraham is called a mighty Prince by the children of Heth, Gen. 23. 6. yet however here the holy Ghost speaks of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as representing the people of Israel; and his scope is to shew Gods care and protection of his people by their example, which is cleare, 1. by all the current and streame of the whole Psalme; all that goes be­fore, and which followes after, is wholly to shew his care of the people of Israel from first to last. But as for Kings, or Gods care over them as such, we may say as Paul in another case,Heb. 7. 14. Of that Tribe the holy Ghost speaks no­thing, that is, in this Psa nothing as touching Monarchie, (as he there sayes nothing as concerning the Priesthood.)

And 2. then the words in the 12. verse, which speak of the persons of these Patriarchs, when they were but a few men in number, yea, very few, refer not to Kings, nor unto these Patriarchs as such, for he speaks of their whole families, their wives, children and servants: Yea, these three Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Ja­cob, [Page 3] they were all alive at once; Isaac was above 70. years old, afore Abraham dyed, and Jacob 15. and but one of these could have been King at once, and yet you see he speaks of them all complexedly, and as making a company together, when they were few, and very few, he said, Touch not mine anointed,

Yea 3. It is so farre from being meant of them as Kings, that it is expresly said in the words of the Text, He reproved Kings for their sakes, therein speak­ing of them as of a sort of people distinct from Kings, and yet of a higher and dearer value with God, then those Kings reproved for them.

But it will be said, that if it should not be meant of them under the relation of Kings, yet however as of persons extraordinary, and therefore this charge and instance cannot be drawne into a pattern of Gods care and protection over all Saints, and the people of God, which is the scope which I have put up­on the words.

I answer, that though indeed their persons were extraordinary, yet here they are withall set forth as representing the people of God, whom they were the fathers of. It is cleare by the eighth verso; He hath remembred his Covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations: The perfor­mance of which Covenant, to confirme the truth of it, he exemplifies by the story of Gods providence over these. What therefore he saith of these anointed ones here, it extendeth to a thousand generations to come: and as Abraham in other things was a Com­mon person, in faith justifying he is made such, Rom. 3. In faith as sanctifying, Jam. 2. In being heire of the world, Rom. 4. 13. so is he here also: and Isaac and [Page 4] Jacob with him in their anointing.

But you will yet say, It is true, they may be under­stood as Common persons, representing indeed the Nation of the Jews; but yet will what is here said, be warrantably extended to the Beleevers of Jewes and Gentiles under the New Testament to the end of the world?

I answer, Yes; For the Covenant that God made with Abraham, was to be heire of the world, as well as heire of Canaan; so Rom. 14. 13. And accor­dingly in other things the Analogie holds for them with these here: For as these, so the Saints, they are called Strangers and Pilgrims, scattered and dispersed in all Nations; So Peter speaks of them; even as here he calls these strangers, ver. 12. when they were but few in number, and strangers in the land, as the Saints in the world. To give parallel places of Scripture, to strengthen this. In the Old Testament. In the forty fift Psalme, you have a Prophesie of the Church of the New Testa­ment, under the type of Solomon, taking Pharoahs daughter, who was a Gentile, into his bed, as Christ, of whom he was the Type, one day should doe the Gentiles: which Church is made that great mother that shall have such multitudes of children, Gal. 4. Now of those children, of the Church of the New Testament as the Mother, and of Christ as the Father, the 16. verse of that Psalme thus speaks, Instead of THY FATHERS shall be THY CHILDREN, whom thou mayst make Princes in all the earth. The mea­ning whereof is this, that in the stead of these great Patriarchs, and other the Fathers of the Jews, (spo­ken of in the Text) shall succeed others, the children [Page 5] of the New Testament, even all the Saints, as Suc­cessors of them; and as they were as Princes in all Lands they came into, here, so shall thy children be, sayes the Psalmist there. And the 7. verse of that Psalme calls them anointed, and so speaks also in the language of the Text, when under that notion he commands not to touch them; That verse speaking of Christ, saith, He is ANOINTED with the oyle of glad­nesse above his FELLOWES: namely, these his fel­lowes and children, spoken of ver. 16. you have at once, as the great anointed one, Christ, so all his chil­dren called anointed ones also: and as they are his fellowes, so anointed too. Thus you have all meet: Abraham and the Fathers, the anointed ones of the Old Testament, Christ and his Saints the anointed ones in the New, in their stead; and both Princes and Strangers in all Lands; and so of the one as well as the other this charge is here intended, Touch not mine anointed, &c. And to this accords the language of the New Testament, the whole mysticall body is called Christ, 1 Cor. 12. 12. and Beleevers his fellows are said to have received an anointing, 2 Cor. 1. 21. 1 John 2. 27. yea and elsewhere the reason of this their pre­servation, and Gods protection over them, is put upon this very anointing,Esay 10. 27. The burthen shall be taken off thy shoulder, (speaking of the oppression of Gods peo­ple) and the yoke shall be destroyed BECAUSE OF THE ANOINTING.

Having thus explained the words, I come to those Observations which I shall make out of them, and insist on at this time. I resolve the words into these three parts.

1. Here is the neerenesse and the dearnesse of the Saints [Page 6] unto God; They are dearer to him then Kings and States, simply considered; that is, otherwise then as they in their persons are also Saints; for you see that for their sakes he reproved Kings, and so shew­eth that he preferreth them to Kings.

2. Here is the great danger to Kings and States, to deale with his Saints otherwise then well. Which appea­reth many wayes: For he doth not onely in words give a charge not to touch them, but he carryes it in a high way, (for so God may doe when he pleads their cause) Touch them not: as if he had said, Let me see if you dare so much as touch them: and it is with an intimation of the highest threatning if they should; upon your perill, if you doe; for that is the scope of such a speech: and accordingly in deeds he made this good, for the Text saith, He suffered no man to doe them wrong; Not that he did altogether prevent all wrong and injuries, for they received many as they went through those lands; but at no time did he put it up at their hands, or let it goe unpunisht: in that sense he suffered them not. You know how he plagued Pharaoh King of Egypt with great plagues, and all his houshold, for Abrahams wives sake, Gen. 12. And so Abimelech King of Gerar, the Lord commeth upon him with a greatnes, and his first word is in Gen. 20. 3. Behold, than art but a dead man, afore he had first told him why or wherefore; though then he addes the reason; he brings him upon his knees, ver. 4. bids him look to it, that he give satisfaction to Abraham, and restore his wife to him againe, ver. 7. and well he scap'd so; and tels him also that he must be behol­den to Abrahams prayers for his life; He is a Pro­phet, saith he, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live.

[Page 7] The third is the care and protection which God had over them, set out and amplified 1. by the num­ber and condition of the persons whom he defended: though few, men of number, that is soone reckoned, for their power and strength, a few, or very small, [...], so the Septuagint in the parallel place, 2 Chro. 16. 19. As also 2. by what he did for them, He suffe­red no man how great soever to doe them any wrong, how small soever; not without recompence and satisfacti­on not to doe it, though they had a mind to it, though the people had an ill eye at them, Gen. 26. 11. God causeth Abimelech to make a Law on purpose, Abime­lech charged all his people in Isaacs behalf, and of his fa­mily, (which I mention, because it gives light to the Text) and speaks in the very words of the Text, He that TOUCHETH this man or his wife, shall be put to death: although they envied him, ver. 14. strived with him, ver. 20. hated him, ver. 27.

I shal passe over the sett handling the first of these, namely, The neernesse and dearnesse of the Saints to God, it will after come in well enough, under the second, as the reason thereof.

That maine thing which I have singled forth to insist upon, is, the danger that is unto States, to deale otherwise then well with the Saints, Gods anointed. And the Observation is plainly this,

That the dealing well or ill with the Saints of God,Obser. it is the greatest and highest INTEREST of Kings and Kingdomes, on which their welfare or their ruine depends.

I have the story of the whole world afore me, to [Page 8] gleane Demonstrations and instances out of, to make good this truth. But I shall endeavour to pre­sent it to you under that prospect that runs through the story of the whole Bible. My Observation out of the Story of which, and the summe and issue of all, is this, That God from the beginning hath in his Provi­dence so ordered it, that the greatest and most flourish­ing Kingdomes and States should still have to doe with his Saints and People in all Ages, and either they have beene broken by their ill using of them, or they have prospered by their well dealing with them. You shall find this I say throughout the whole Scripture. My Text leads the round to all the rest, and I therefore indeed chose it rather then any other, though other­wise as a bottome to this point, I might have pitcht upon others perhaps more full.

We will begin with the very first Kings and King­domes that you read of after the Flood. How he re­proved the King of Egypt, and the King of the Phili­stines, for the sake of Abraham and Isaac, that I menti­oned afore. Besides those there is mention of foure Kings, Gen. 14. Amraphel King of Shinar or Babylon, which was the first Kingdome in the world after the flood, Gen. 10. 10. and was one of, yea the first great Monarchie. There is likewise Chedorlaomer King of Elam, or Persia, which afterward likewise proved a Mo­narchie. For as Assyria and Babylon made the first, so you know Persia was the next. You have two other Kings more there confederate with these. These foure Kings they brake in upon,Gyants. and smote all the Countries about; they smote the REPHAIMS in Ashteroth Karnaim, Terrible ones. and the ZUZIMS in Ham, and the EMIMS,Deut. 2. 10, 11. and the Horites in Mount Seir, And they returned [Page 9] and came to Enmishpat, The Observati­on exemplified in all States and Kingdoms through the Scriptures. which is Cadesh, and smote all the Countrey of the AMALEKITES, and also the AMORITES, that dwelt in Hazezon tamar, as you may reade, verses 6, 7, 8. And all the while they over-ran these vast Countries,1. Foure Kings overthrowne by Abraham. where there was not one Saint to be found, they found no resistance, having but to doe with Nations, not Saints in them; but unhappily to them, when they came to fight against the Kings of Sodome and Gomorrah, they light upon one Saint, and but one, and that is Lot, so the 12. verse, They tooke Lot, Abrahams brothers sonne, (who dwelt in Sodome) and his goods, and departed. Alas to them; little thought they what a Prisoner they had: they took him in the crowd amongst the wickedest people under heaven, a people so wicked, that one would have thought God should so little have considered this one Saint, to save him from perishing, as that his vengeance should have taken the opportunity to ruine these, though this one poore Lot had been involved in their destruction. But you shall see how tender God is of his Saints.Jerem. 3. They had unawares devoured an hallowed thing, one righteous Lot, and had taken him but Pri­soner; they had drunk poyson, and all the riches, and all the goods they had taken, they vomit up againe, together with their owne blood. The Lord in this giving demonstration of that his care and skill which Peter makes observation of upon the story of Lot & the Sodomites, The Lord knowes how to PRESERVE the righ­teous, and RESERVE the unjust, 2 Pet. 2. 9. And whom should God use to be the instrument to doe this too? God had not many more Saints then in the world, but onely Melchisedechs we reade of, and Abraham and his family, and God useth that one Abraham; and he [Page 10] had an Army but of a few, and a very few, (even as the Text hath it) but three hundred and eighteene men, borne in his house, ver. 14. he pursues them, and smites them, ver. 17. with a great slaughter, and brought back all the goods, and his brother Lot and his goods, &c.Gen. 20. 16. ver. 18. And thus they were reproved. You see the Text made good from the very first beginning of Kingdomes, He reproved Kings for their sakes in­deed.

Thus he began the world at first; and this very victorie is made a leading case, a standing encourage­ment to the sons of Abraham, the Saints, for ever af­ter. So you have it applyed in Esay 41. 2. Who raised up (sayes God, to raise up his peoples hearts) the RIGHTEOUS MAN from the East? namely, this one Abraham? and called him to his foot, Follow me, Ile be thy Generall, said God to him, Gave the Nations be­fore him, and made him rule over Kings; he means these very Kings you have heard the story of: He gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow; he pursued them, and passed safely, &c. Did God doe thus then for one or two of his Saints, and will he not goe on? What saith the 4. verse? Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the be­ginning, and so having ordained all the generations of Abraham to do the like exploits in their severall ages. I the Lord am the first, and with the last, I am he. I began to doe this with Abraham, and I will goe on to doe so, even to the last, for the sons of Abraham. And that this is plainly his meaning, appeares by ver. 8. where he makes a generall application of it to his seed, But thou Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the SEED OF ABRAHAM my friend. Therefore [Page 11] saith he, ver. 10. Feare thou not, (thou worme Jacob, ver. 14.) for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I wil uphold thee with the right hand of my righteous­nesse. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee, shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing, and they that strive with thee shall perish. All the whole Chapter is nothing else but incouragement to all the seed of Abraham, from this very instance I have now given you. And the Text here confirmes it, premising unto all those instances, He hath remembred his Covenant, the word he commanded to a thousand gene­rations.

The next Kingdome in the world that flourished in those first times,2. AEgypt. that grew to any greatnesse that we reade of, was that of Egypt; and though Cham the founder of Egypt was cursed, yet as usually those God layes the greatest curse upon, he first begins to blesse with outward blessings in the world; so he did the seed of Cham, in that infancy of that new world. How renowned a Kingdome that then was, both for continued succession of Kings in a race, (which Esay insinuates) and for other greatnesse,Chap. 19. 11. the story of Moses, and Herodotus, and other prophane stories do celebrate: it was as would seem in those first times more flourishing then Assyria, (the Territories of Assy­ria could not then be great, when such other three Kings forementioned bordered about it, and when Chedorlaomer of Persia was the chief of all the foure) Now see how still the Lord doth follow on this his great designe,Gen. 14. 4, 5. he will have his Saints to be cast up­on this Kingdome, and to live therein; and not onely Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, but in the end all their poste­rity. [Page 12] Tis the next story the Psalmist gives instance of to the purpose in hand, and let us take it, but as he relates it: saith he, ver. 17. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant, whose feet they hurt with fetters; (Potiphar onely did it, yet God layes it upon the Nation) But as the Psal­mist observes, the Lord was even with them for it; ver. 21. & 22. He made this man not onely Lord of Pharaohs house, but he addes, to BINDE HIS PRINCES at his pleasure, as they before had done him. As Abraham afore, so Joseph now is another leading instance, To BIND their KINGS with CHAINES, their Nobles with fetters of iron, Thou hast sa­ved our lives, Gen. 47. 25. such honour have ALL HIS SAINTS, Psal. 149. He made this man a Saviour to them, (as themselves acknowledge) and whilst they dealt well with him and his Brethren, as he blessed Potiphars house for his sake, so he blessed the Prince and all Egypt also for his sake. And whilst Egypt was the Nursery, or rather the Gra­nary (as it was called anciently Horreum Romani Imperii) to these anointed ones, the people of God, so long it greatly flourished. But vers. 25. God turned their heart to hate his people, and to deale subtilly with his servants, (for malice and cun­ning alwayes goe together in oppressing the Saints) and how they oppressed them, you all know. But as he had reproved Kings for their sakes afore, and Pha­raohs Progenitors among the rest, saying, Touch not mine anointed, as here, so he begins with a message by Moses his Ambassadour sent to that King of Egypt, and therein useth the same kind of language, Ex. 4. 22, 23. Thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-born. There is only this difference in [Page 13] the expression; the Psalmist here cals them his anoint­ed; there, his first-borne. And it is as if he had said, Tell Pharaoh I Jehovah am a greater King then thou art, and therefore my first-borne is greater then thy first-borne; And Let my sonne, my first borne goe, that he may serve me; he carryes all high: And if thou refuse to let him goe, I will slay thy sonne, even thy first-borne, and so indeed he did in the end. They left not oppressing the people of God (and the great quarrell was to let them goe to worship) till such time as God did overthrow that Nation, with so great an overthrow, as no King­dome could have a greater not totally to be destroy­ed; and indeed so great, as you heare no more of them till Solomons time. There is not a word of Egypt in all the time of Joshua, and of the Judges, till you reade of Solomons marrying Pharoahs daughter. Here you see Egypt, both blessed while they dealt well with the people of God, and broken when they dealt ill with them.

To let passe those petty Kings of Canaan,Assyria and Babylon. over­come by Moses and Joshua, let us come next to Assyria, which together with Babylon is reckoned the first great Monarchie. The beginning of the Assyrian Monar­chie being from Babylon, Gen. 10. 10. and the King­dome returning againe to Babel, both are justly rec­koned but one, though in their severall revolutions they were distinct. This Monarchie in the Infancie of it, Abraham had to doe with, and as you heard, o­vercame the King thereof: Egypts King was also re­proved for their sakes, and Persia, and two Kings more: God ordering it, that the Father and re­presenter of the faithfull should reprove and cha­stise those Kings, whom his seed should after ruine. [Page 14] How the people of God were oppressed, first by the Assyrian kings, and then by the Babyloni­ans, the story of the Kings and Chronicles doe shew: The Assyrian often oppressing them, and at last carrying the tenne Tribes captive, as Babylon did the other two. Now to make short worke of both, you shall finde one Scripture, Jer. 50. where you shall see them both put together in their ruine, and the ruine of both put upon this, their oppression of the people of God. I mention that Scripture one­ly, because it summarily containes the whole: ver. 17. sayes God, Israel is a scattered sheep, the Lions have driven him away: they were a scattered people: or as Junius and Piscator hath it, they were parva pecus, a lit­tle flock, few, and very small, in comparison of the Nations, as the Psalmist hath it here: and the Lions drave them away. Who were these Lions? First, saith hee, the King of Assyria hath devoured him, hee seized as it were on the flesh,2 King. 15. 16, 20, 29. & 16 7. & 17. 3. (Pul, Tiglath Pileser, and Salmanazar, oppressing and captivating them, 2 Kings 15.) and last This Nebuchad-nezzar King of Babylon, (he speaks of him with scorne and indignation, This Nebuchadnezzar) hath broken the bones: And because that he came last, and took away all, as a sweeping raine, therefore his anger riseth most against him, Ver. 18. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Behold, I will punish the King of Babylon and his Land, as I punished the King of Assyria. Sulianus Anna­ [...] Tom. 4. An. Mund. 3333. & An. 3452. Merodach of Babylon sub­dued the Assyrian, Nebuchadnezzer utterly ruines Ni­neve the head City thereof, and then Babels time comes to be wasted also, and the whole Land therewith. Here is that Monarchy gone you see, both Assy­rian and Babylonian, and whosoever were the instru­ment, [Page 15] this was the cause from Gods owne mouth. Adde unto which, that in the next Chapter. Jer. 51. 11. Because (sayes that Text) it was the vengeance of the Lord, and of his Temple. And take in also vers. 35. The violence done to me, and to my flesh, be upon Babilon, shall the inhabitants of Zion say, and my blood upon the in­habitants of Caldea, shall Jerusalem say, then when they are destroyed.

Now there are a great many other kingdomes and Nations,4. All the neighbouring Kingdomes a­bout Judea. that bordered about the Jewes, whom God (as I remember) calleth his evill neighbors, for their ill will to Zion: these all fell either by or with Babylon. Of these you shall reade in the 25, 26, 27, and 28, Chapters of Ezekiel, and so on: God there sends the cup round to all the Nations: All those Nations certainly had infinite provocations of Nationall sins of all sorts, against God, amongst them; but you shall see still God there layes his suit and quarrell against them onely for their ill dealing with his people, to whom they were neighbours round about.

He begins with the Ammonites,1 Ammon. Chap. 25. 2. and what was her sinne that ruined her? Ammon was but glad at the fall of the Jewes. Behold (saith the 3. vers.) thou saidst AHA, against my Sanctuary, when it was profaned, and against the Land of Israel, when it was desolate, and against the House of Judah, when they went into captivity, they did not help it forward, only cryed Aha. Therefore, saith God, v. 4. I wil deliver thee to the men of the East for a pos­session; and ver. 6. Because (as in speech (as afore) so in gesture they expressed the like joy at it) thou hast clap­ped thy hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoyced in heart, with all thy despight against the Land of Israel; Be­hold, therefore, I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and [Page 16] will deliver thee for a spoyle to the Heathen, I will destroy thee, &c.

The next that hee mentioneth is Moab. 2. Moab. Shee did but cast out a word; so vers. 8. She did but onely say this, Behold, the House of Judah is like unto all the Hea­then, now laid wast as they, and there is no difference in the protection of their God over them, more than over the Heathen themselves; it was but this word cast out: yet therefore saith the Lord, ver. 9. Behold I will open the side of Moab: He would break through and o­pen his strong Frontier Cities, (as the next words ex­plain it) break his ribs, & so enter into his bowels; and ver. 10. the Ammonites shall be no more remembred among the Nations. No other sin in mentioned, but this word, about his people.

He comes next to Edom, 3. Edom. ver. 12. who was the poste­rity of Esau, and their brother, (as you shall hear anon) and of them he saith, Because that Edom hath dealt a­gainst the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and greatly offended, and revenged himselfe upon him; THEREFORE saith he, ver. 13. I will cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate. He riseth still in his punishments pro­portionable to their sins, and to their dealings with his people. And I will doe it, sayes he, by the hand of my own people, ver. 14. that were oppressed by them.

From Edom he carryes the cup to Philistia, 4. Philistia. who be­cause they had an old grudge against the Israelites, a despightfull heart to destroy them for the old hatred, ver. 15. THEREFORE I will execute great vengeance on them, ver. 16, 17.

In the next place,5. Tyre. he comes to Tyre, poore Tyre, I call her so, because as of all the Nations they were the most ingenious in themselves: (In so much as [Page 17] Christ sayes, They would have repented, &c.) and most ingenuous of all Nations else unto the Jewes, that helped them to build the Temple, and were confede­rates with David and Solomon. And what was her fault? A meere temptation of love to her selfe, such as might befall any in the like case. Read Chap. 26. 2. Son of man, because Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people, I SHALL BE REPLENISHED now she is laid waste. The meaning is this, I shall now have all the trade. You know Tyre lay nigh to Jerusalem, and it was a place of the greatest trade and merchandise then in the world, she was the Mart of Nations, (so she is called in Esay 23. and in Ezek. 27. 3.) and though she had the greater trade of the two already, yet she rejoyced in this, that Jerusalem should be laid waste, who had been the gates of the people, whither much people came for traffique, as well as to me. Now thinks she (and it was but a selfe-loving thought) all the trade will wholly come to me, and I shall be replenished and encreased. No more. Yet, because it fell out to be uttered against the Church, for this, and for no other sinne (there men­tioned) must Tyre be destroyed, as she was by Nebu­chadnezzar, though to fulfill the Prophesie, he ser­ved twelve yeares in the siege thereof. And see how God proportioned her punishment to her sinne; Wouldst thou have more customers? Thou shalt have enow; Behold, I will cause many Nations to come up; What, for traffique? No, to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up: the Babylonian Souldiers shall be thy Merchants that shall take off thy goods off thy hands. And because that Tyre, was a most glorious people, he therefore spends [Page 18] two or three Chapters upon the description of her ruine.

In the 26.6. AEgypt. Chapter he comes to Egypt. Egypt had been broken once afore (as you heard) by the peo­ple of Israel, and reproved for Abrahams sake. They were a false-hearted Nation, that even Rabshekah could afore-hand prophesie so of them, in Esay 36. 6. Lo, saith he, thou trustest on the staffe of this broken reede, whereon if a man will leane, it will goe into his hand and pierce it; so is Pharaoh King of Egypt to all that trust in him. Twas the Genius of that Nation to all that dealt with them. And as Rabshekah had foretold of them, so it fell out: and therefore the Prophet Ezech. utters their sin against the Church in Rabshekahs language, Chap. 29. 7. Because they have been a staffe of reed to the house of Israel. It is a most elegant comparison; the similitude it looks many wayes: 1. A Reed was a Hieroglyphick of that Country. Sanctius upon those words, Psalm. 68. 30. Rebuke the company of the Spearmen, (so we translate it) but look in the margent of your Bibles, and likewise the Originall will beare it, it is, Rebuke the beast of the Reeds, and he interpreteth this to be meant of Egypt, the Chaldee Paraphrase also interpreting it of that Nation, it being a Country of Reeds. On the bank of Nylus, and so throughout the whole Countrey, (through the overflowing of that River) there were, and are such Reeds & Canes growing,Lib. 16. [...]. 36. as no where in the world againe besides, (so Pliny saith) serving for Pens, Speares, Arrowes Hence Arun­do for Sagitta with the La­tines, and the same word for a Reed and a Spear (as here) in the Scrip­ture. (as Pliny there) so for Staves, Arkes, Exodus 2. 3. And Egypt is called a BEAST of reeds, alluding further (as I take it) to the Crocodile, the proper beast of that Countrey, which is an Amphibion, living both in land and water; and [Page 19] so usually lies amongst the reeds by the river side,As the Ele­phant also is said to doe, Job 40. 21. and there shrowds her self against the heat. And suitably we finde that Augustus having conquered Anthony and Cleopatra the Queene of Egypt, caused by way of triumph to be stamped on his Coyne a Crocodile and a Reed, And in Adrians coynes of gold also. as that which was put for the Hieroglyphick of that Country, as the manner of the Romans was. And the holy Ghost here in Ezechiel long before seemes to have given the same Coat of Armes for that Country and Kingdome, (perhaps according to the common use) using both these apart of Egypt also. For first, in the third verse of this Chap. 29. he calleth Pharaoh King of Egypt, The Dragon of the Ri­vers, (which I beleeve hath reference to the Croco­dile, in those Rivers, which is a kind of Serpent, and beast also) and in the 7. verse after, which we are now upon, to a staffe of reed. Whereas in that 68. Psal. you see both are put together, The beast of reeds: Here in this 29. of Ezechiel, the Prophet having in his eye the common Hieroglyphick of the Countrey, turnes the similitude to their being a staffe of reed; that suiting his present scope, which was to expresse their failing that confidence the people of God reposed in them, and so becomming the fatall occasion of their mi­serie. BECAUSE (saith he, verse 6.) thou hast beene a staffe of reed to the house of Israel, when they took hold of thee thou didst breake: They (as Cornelius à Lapide up­on the place) had provoked the Jews to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar, promising to assist them; But though thou wert Baculus in promissione, a staffe in promi­ses, yet but Arundinens in executione, a staffe of reed, vaine and helplesse in the performance, (as he speaks.) The Prophet goes on. Yea thou didst not onely [Page 20] break, but run up, and rend all the shoulder, and madest their loynes to be at a stand; didst not onely hinder, but hurt and weaken them. The Lord comes upon them with his former THEREFORE, ver. 8. saith the Lord, I will bring a sword upon thee, and will cut off man and beast. And so he goes on in three or foure Chapters to set forth their punishment, and that relating as the former had done, to this their unfaithfull dealing with Gods people, as that sinne that was the cause thereof, which is the point in hand.

When the Prophet had thus dispatched Egypt, 7. A speciall threatning a­gainst mount Seir and Edom. and threatned the like to Assyria and Babylon, (of which e­nough was touched before) he fals afresh upon mount Seir and Edom, and contents not himselfe to have put them into the common catalogue (which we have gone over) with the rest of the Nations in the 25.Esau, of whom both came, was called Edom for his Rednesse, Gen. 25. 30. & Seir from his hayrie hands. Esau dwelt in Seir, Gen. 33. 14, 16. and was given as a pos­session to his seed by God, Deut. 2. 5. and Esau was the father of Edom, Gen. 36. ult. Chap. but he returns again to a peculiar, special recko­ning with them in the 35. Chapter, (the reason of it we shall see by and by, because they were their bre­thren) Because (saith he there, ver. 5.) thou hast had a perpetuall hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity HAD AN END, that is, when they had already suffered so much for their sins, that it might have been thought God had punished them e­nough, yet then doe they begin their misery afresh: Therefore as I live, saith the Lord, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee, &c. And ver. 10. he addes another reason, Because thou hast said, These two nations, and these two countries shall be mine, (namely, their owne, and that of Israel adjoyning) and we will possesse it: when Nebuchadnezzar had laid it waste, they promised to themselves the possession of it, where­as [Page 21] THE LORD WAS THERE, (as the Prophet addes) They thought they might as easily conquer, and enter upon the possession of it, as any of the other Nations, whereas the Lords presence was there, to keep possession for himselfe and his people that belonged unto it: This was their sinne, then follows their punishment. Therefore as I live, saith the Lord, I will even doe according to thine anger, and according to thine envie, which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them, I will proportion my punishment accordingly. And he doth not content himselfe onely with this bringing of them in again here, but besides he spends a whole Prophesie upon them, the Prophesie of Oba­diah, whose message is taken up with nothing but threatnings against Edom, and resolving all into the same quarrel, For thy violence against thy BROTHER Ja­cob Deut. 2. 4, 5. God said to the Jewes, You are to passe through the coast of your BRETHREN the children of Esau. Meddle not with them, &c. Edom and Seir (as was said) comming of Esau were brethren to the Israelites, and God takes it infi­nitely more unkindly at their hands, then at the hands of the other Nations, THEREFORE shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. In the day that thou stoodst on the other side, that is, be­havedst thy selfe as a neuter that stood aloofe: in the day that strangers carryed away captive his forces, and for­reigners entred into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusa­lem, thou wast as ONE OF THEM, didst as much mischief as the Babylonians.The Psalmist also hath it, Psal. 137. 7. Thou shouldst not have en­tred into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity, yea thou shouldst not have looked on their affliction, (that is, as idle Spectators, much lesse rejoycers in it) nor have laid hands on their substance, not have spoiled them of their goods, in the day of their calamity &c. Therefore is their punishment to a perpetuall ruine, more heavy [Page 22] then any of the rest. Thus now you have also seene an end of all these Kingdomes that were neighbours about Ierusalem, and how they were all reproved, yea destroyed, upon this quarrell of touching, and medling with his anointed, as the Text hath it.

Now let us goe on to the other Monarchies,V. The Persian Monarchy an instance of Gods blessing for his peoples sakes. the Persian and the Grecian: you shall see still that the story of them also makes good this great point in hand. The Persian and the Grecian both had to doe with the Church: But the first of these, the Persian, seems ra­ther an instance on the other hand, viz. of the wel­fare, and of the raising up of a Nation and of a State for the people of God: (For God hath given some in­stances of blessing as well as he hath given of ruine.) The very raising up of Cyrus, and of that Monar­chie in him, it was for his peoples sake. The Scripture is expresse for this, reade Esay 44. 28. Thus saith God of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall performe all my plea­sure, even saying to Ierusalem, Thou shalt be built, and to the Temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. And goe on to Chap. 45. ver. 1. Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue Nations before him, &c. He calls Cyrus His ANOYNTED: He calls Tyre An anointed covering Cherub also, Ezek. 28. and no other Heathen Princes else in all the Booke of God: First, Tyre an anointed Cherub, because he was propitious to the Jewes, even as the Cherub co­vering the Arke: Occolampad. in loc. Then Cyrus was Anointed, because as Sanctius well saith, Non minus studiose res curabat Iudaicas quam si Iudaeorum esset, & non Persarū Imperator. He took as much care for the people of God, and the building of the Temple, as if he had been King of Iury himselfe. And God calleth him likewise his [Page 23] SHEPHERD, even as he had done David, that was to look to his sheep. In the place I quoted before, con­cerning the Assyrian and Babylonian Kings, Ier. 50. you heard how he called them LIONS, because they scattered his sheep, so the expression is there, but here he calls Cyrus HIS SHEPHERD, that shall performe all his pleasure: and for that end raised him to all this great­nesse: for, for whose sake was it, he had the Nati­ons given him? Reade the fourth verse, For JACOB my SERVANTS SAKE, and Israel mine elect, I have e­ven called thee by thy name, I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not knowne me: not for thy sake, but for my peoples only. And although for a while some of them Kings made Edicts to interrupt the building of the Temple, yet the generality of those Kings went on in that course of favour which Cyrus had begun, and were more favourable to the Jewes then all of the other Monarchies. Darius Histaspis mentioned Ezra 4. ver. 24. permitted the Jewes to goe on in buil­ding it, as their poverty would suffer them; and after another interruption, Darius Nothus, Thus Calvisi­us and Master Mede in his ac­count of Da­niels Weeks, pag. 5, 6, 7. which doth fall in the best to accord all the yeares of Dani­els Weeks. But if (as most o­ther Chrono­logers) it had beene Darius Histaspis that made that Decree in Ezra 6. for the finishing the Temple, then it affords a greater Observation to my purpose in hand, namely, That God did take away Cambyses, Cyrus his sonne, (whom they would have to be that Artaxerxes, Ezra 4. that hindred by force of Arms the building the Temple both in his Fathers dayes (whilst he was Prince of Persia, as Dan. 10. 13. he is called, or Prorex in his fathers absence) and in his owne) and that without issue, and so Cyrus issue male ended, being punisht for recalling the favour granted. But Darius Histaspis being chosen by the Princes, God established the Kingdom in him and his seed, for his reviving Cyrus his Edict. And however, almost all agree in this, that this Darius he hindred it not, but gave liberty for his time, and is that Darius mentioned Ezra 4 24. See Mede, Daniels Weeks. pag. 7. in his marginall note, whom there­fore God blessed accordingly, and yet regarded Cyrus also in this, that by his daughter Atossa wife to this Darius, his race continued. Ezra 6. did put Cyrus his Decree in force againe, and allowes the ex­pence of the finishing it out of his owne revenues, and inserts this in his revived Decree, that the Jewes [Page 24] might pray for the life of the King and of his children, ver. 10. They also had of the seed of the Jews great men at Court with them, as Daniel, Mordecat, Ezra, and Nehemiah, the two latter of whom were sent by Arta­xerxes to build the City of Jerusalem; yea, & another of their Kings admitted one of that Nation (through the providence of God) to the royall bed: Ahasuerosh marryed Hester, of the seed of the Jews, under whom, and under other of these Kings they had the greatest prosperity. Now as this favour to the Jews was the cause of the erecting that Monarchie at first, so sure­ly of the continuance of it so long: Historians won­der that it should stand so long, it being so loose and dissolute a Court and StateTherefore Daniel com­pares him to a slow unweildy Ram, as it were heavy with, wool and flesh, Chap. 8 7. and having so many great shocks. I can attribute it to nothing but this, the emi­nent favour they shewed to the Jewes, the people of God. And I shall but cast in this Observation more about it. When was it that it came to be ruined and destroyed? but in the time of the latter Darius, then when Cyrus (who had been Gods Shepherd) his seed was wholly extinct?Diodo. imitio. lib. 7. For though his seed by the Male issue continued not to a Grandchild, yet in the seed of Atossa, Cyrus daughter, wife to Darius Histaspis, the King­dom was continued in his race. And to make the pro­vidence the more remarkable, wheras Darius had sons before by another wife, yet the intrest of Atossa [...], sayes Herodotus of Atossa, giving it as the reason of this successi­on. for Cy­rus sake, carryed the succession to Xerxes her son, Cyrus Grandchild. But that last Darius, in & with whom that Empire was destroyed by Alexander, was of another raceAlexander the Great in his Letters to Da­rius, and his speech to his soldiers against Darius, affirms it. Arrianus Cu [...]tius, lib. 6. us also Justin.. Such regard had God to Cyrus his Shepherd, and his seed, that favoured the Jewes. But then it was, and not afore, that God threw down that Monar­chy, whether for any thing done against the people [Page 25] of God or no, the Scripture is silent.

Let us come to the Grecian Monarchy,VI. The Greci­an Monarchy. for that was the third; some of the story of which, you have men­tioned in Zech. 9. which is an apparent Prophesie of the expedition of Alexander: D. Jackson 8. Book of Com­mentaries on the Creed, sect. 3 6. 17. and as a late learned Writer rightly saith, you may better know the mea­ning of the first part of that Chapter out of Quintus Curtius and Josephus, then out of most Commenta­tors. You reade there of a Prophesie of Tyre that it must be taken againe, so vers. 3. Now Zechariah writ after the Babylonish Captivity, therefore it is not that former taking of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar, but that latter by Alexander. And what he sayes in the 5. ver. of Gaza, and those other Cities in Philistia, Askelon shall not be inhabited, and the cutting off the Go­vernour of Gaza, Quintus Curtius exactly relates the performance of it, and his cruelty therein; and it is usually noted as the first and greatest act of Alexan­ders degenerating to barbarous inhumanity: Now all that his rage against all those Cities that were neighbours to the Jewes, was ordered by God, and foretold by the Prophet, but onely to set forth the wonderfull care and protection of God towards his people, recorded ver. 8. that although Alexander was as much incensed against the Jews, (for their answer sent him of their resolution to cleave to Darius, to whom they had sworne) yet as that 8. verse fore­told, I WILL ENCAMP ABOUT MY HOUSE, sayes God, because of THE ARMY, because of him that pas­seth by, and because of him that returneth. When Alex­ander went by, and when afterwards many other Ar­mies went to and fro, God still encamped about his house. And though Alexander plundered or destroy­ed [Page 26] all the Cities round about, yet still Jerusalem and the Temple were preserved. Yea Alexanders heart was so changed, (as Esaus) that he went in peacea­bly. And the High Priest shewing him the Pro­phecie of Daniel, how the King of Grecia, that is, himselfe, should overcome the King of Persia: he was thereby encouraged to the conquest of the King of Persia, and not onely spared them, but gave many immunities to the Jewes: and in that his expedition against Darius, prospered accor­dingly.

Now that Monarchie thus raised by him, was di­vided into foure parts, Dan. 8. 22. all which are ac­counted to make up that Grecian Monarchie: And in the latter end of their Kingdome, sayes the 23. verse, when the transgressions are come to the full, Joseph. Antiq. Jud li. 11. that is, when God meant to begin to break it, and to put a period to it, and to reckon with them for their other sins. This his wonted designe sets his providence awork, that they should fall foule upon his people, and so be bro­ken, as the former had been; and eminently among and above the rest, you have a little horne arising, Antiochus, the successour of one of them; (the story is cleare in Dan. 8. who magnified himselfe against the peo­ple of God, the daily sacrifice, against the truth, &c. ver. 11, 12. and in this God laid the foundation not one­ly of his ruine, but of the rest of the Grecian Monar­chie. This I might shew out of Daniel, ver. 25. He shall be broken without hand, &c. but I will rather do it out of the 9. of Zachary, (having already begun with that, and shewed out of it the rise and proceedings of that Monarchie in the first horne thereof, Alexander) let us see what it sayes of the ruine of it, in that which [Page 27] followes, ver. 13. When I have bent Judah for me, and filled the bow with Ephraim, (it is an elegant simi­litude) and raised up thy sonnes, O ZION, against thy sonnes O GREECE, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man: And the Lord shall be seene over them, and his arrow shall goe forth as the lightning, &c. Here the Grecian Monarchie in the last remainders of it (the Kings of Egypt and Syria, the Longidae and Seleu­cidae who both oppressed the Jewes, being there­fore called GREECE,They are called Greece, as the King of Persia is called King of Ashur, Ezr. 6. 22. and as Cyrus, Ez. 5. 13. and Artaxerxes Neh. 10. 6. are called Kings of Babel, because successours to these Kings. because they were the Suc­cessors of it) is ruined: and by whom? even by the people of the Jewes, or for their sakes. God rai­sed up the sonnes of Sion against these sonnes of Greece, God made Judah his bow, and Ephraim his arrowes: (and when God himselfe will be the Archer, weake arrowes and instruments will doe wonders) And be­sides, that for their sakes God used miraculous and wonderfull wayes to ruine these enemies, The Lord shall be seene over them, &c. ver. 14. God used the Jewes themselves, the Maccabees, to vindicate them­selves against these reliques of the Grecian Empire, as the story in the book of the Maccabees shewes plain­ly, (as Interpreters upon the Text have observed) and particularly how Antiochus came to his end: And afterwards the ruine of the whole by the Romans, it was for the Jews sake, and their quarrell, and at their prayer; it was by Ephraim being his arrow, and Ju­dah his bow, and God himselfe appearing from heaven against them. So then here the GRECIAN MONAR­CHY is likewise broken upon the Jewes. And thus we have done with the Old Testamet.

[Page 28] Now let us come to the New Testament. NEW TE­STAMENT. The Obser­vation ex­emplified in the Jews state and Romane Empire. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who was the eminent anointed one, he comes obscure­ly, and as it were stealing into the world, who was to be King of all the world, in the dayes of him, who laid the first sure foundation, and settlement of the Romane Empire, namely, Augustus; and he comes to his owne, to the people of the Jewes, over whom the Romanes having the power, and a President amongst them, our Saviour came to have to doe at once with both these States.

And first for the Jewes.1. The Jewish. Because that which be­fell that State for their dealing with Christ and his Disciples, is the leading case of the New Testa­ment, as what was done to these Kings and Nations here in the Text, and in the story of Genesis, for their carriage towards Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was the leading case of the Old: I will therefore begin there­with, and spend a little time in the opening of it, so farre as it concernes the point in hand.

And now you shall see that Nation & State, of which hitherto you have heard, that it had beene for the rising or falling of all the Monarchies, and also lesser Kingdomes round about it; it selfe to be the first of all other that was broken and ruined under the New Testament, as an example to all the rest that follow: and broken not upon another whole Nation like it self, but upon a few, & a very few anointed ones in that Nation, namely, Our Lord and his Disciples. God altering now the way of his dispensation under the New Testament, using but a few Saints in Nations, (which is the more glorious) to effect the same de­signe [Page 29] he did before by that whole Nation of the Jewes under the Old.Revel. 5. 9. He hath redeemed us (say they) out of all Nations, (who are to him a royall Nation, 1 Pet. 2. 9 com­pared with Chap. 1. 1. typified out by that whole Nation of the Jewes) whom now he maketh to be to all Kingdoms (where they are found) either a stone of stumbling, whereby they shall be broken, or a sure Basis and foundation of their wel-fare, according to their usage of them.

How the Jews used Christ and his Disciples, we all know. The interest of that Nation, wherein stood it? Not so much to have entertained Christ for their Temporall King, he avoided that; but to have re­ceived him for their Messiah, and anointed Saviour: and that this was the interest of the Nation and its well­fare, is cleere by that speech of Christ, Luke 19. 42. Oh that thou hadst knowne in this thy day the things that belong unto thy peace! He therein intending as well the Temporall peace of that Nation, as the eternall peace of their soules. As Tyre had stood to that day if they had re­pented, (as Christ speaks) so had Jerusalem also if they had knowne and kept to this their INTEREST. But they were so farre from doing this, that they clean diver­ted from it, and took up other worldly and politique interests of their owne, to save themselves by, which were their ruine. Yea (which I beseech you mark and observe) the Lord did order it so in his providence, that even REASON OF STATE, and a word lye crosse INTEREST, to this should be the chiefe motive to them of crucifying Christ, and so of the finall desolati­on on of that Nation. For which, consult first the 11. of John, ver, 49, 50. say they (generally) If we let him thus alone, all men will beleeve on him, and the ROMANS [Page 30] will come and take away both our place and Nation. And what saith the great High-Priest further upon it? Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for US, that one man should dye for the people, and that the whole Nation perish not. And although this is there said, to be spoken as a Prophesie, (God guiding his mouth therein) yet withall, if you look into the 18. of John, ver. 14. it is charged upon him to have been a wicked councell given, (take it as it was intended by him) for there he is branded, This is THAT CAIAPHAS that gave COUNSELL to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. How it might be both these, as directed by God, and intended by him, would be too long to shew. But take it as it thus came from him, and he takes on him as High-Priest to speake as a deepe Oracle of State, and to utter a State-Maxime, with sleighting of his fellowes, You know nothing, and his Maxime followes, Better that one man, who is not considerable, be taken away, then a Nation perish. And yet he therein had an eye to the Priests interest, that is, of himselfe and his fellows, to keep up their honour; as well as to the preservati­on of the Nation, though he colours it over with that of the whole Nation. For in John 11. 50. the words are, It is expedient FOR Us, (namely, Priests) that one man should dye for the people. They were jealous of Christ getting the people from them. You shal likewise find, that when the matter was brought to Pilate, it was State interest also caused Pilate to come off to cōdemne him, The Jewes cryed out, If thou let this man goe, thou art not Caesars friend: Whosoever maketh himself a King, speaketh against Caesar: And the Text addes, When Pi­late THEREFORE heard that saying, He sate downe and [Page 31] condemned him, John 19. 12, 13. When I read and considered this story, it made me understand that in 1 Cor. 2. 6. We speak not the WISDOME OF THIS WORLD, nor of the Princes of this world, that comes to nought; but we speak the wisdome of God in a mysterie, which NONE OF THE PRINCES OF THIS WORLD KNEW, for had they knowne it, they would NOT HAVE CRUCIFYED THE LORD OF GLORY. He speakes of these very Princes the Rulers of the Jews, and of Pilate; and the holy Ghost you see ma­keth the very same Observation upon it, that I have now done to you. They thought themselves wise, and they went upon axioms of State in doing of it, but had they knowne their interest, they would ne­ver have crucified the Lord of glory. And the Apo­stle, you see, gives this as the greatest and most emi­nent instance of the folly, of State-policie which often Princes take up, against Christ, and the Wisdome of the Gospel, the true Wisdome. And it is farther observable to this purpose, what likewise the Apostle saith in the following Chap. 3. 17. applying the same in substance which hee here had observed upon their crucify­ing Christ, unto the defiling or destroying the Church of God, the Saints, which is the point in hsnd) whom Christ hath left behinde him, out of the like Carnall wisdome and worldly policie, IF ANY MAN DEFILE OR DESTROY THE TEMPLE OF GOD, HIM SHALL GOD DESTROY: for the Temple of God is holy, WHICH TEMPLE ARE YE. Let no man deceive himselfe; If any man among you SEEMETH TO BE WISE IN THIS WORLD, let him become a foole that he may be wise; for the wisdome of this world is foolishnesse with God; for it is written, [Page 32] HE TAKETH THE WISE IN THEIR OWNE CRAFTYNES. As God caught those Jewish Princes and Priests in their owne craftinesse against Christ, so will he for ever doe those,It is the In­terpretation of Doctor Jack­son, which be­cause it openeth a Scripture, I will give in his owne words: ‘Out of this undoubted prenotion, that this was the very time wherein the Lord had promised to de­liver this peo­ple from the hands of their enemies, they became so prone (as the event proves they were) to take Arms and rebell against the Romans, partly about the time of our Saviours birth, but especially after his Resur­rection. There was no man of great might or potency among them, which did not take upon him, to promise this peoples deliverance from the Romane yoke; and the multitude were as prone to beleeve every one that would take upon him the name and title of a Saviour, or Deliverer. The fore-fight of this pronenesse in great ones to promise salvation to this people, and the peoples pronenesse to beleeve them, did occasion our Saviour to give those admonitions to his Disciples, Beware of false Christs, Matth. 24. ver. 4. Mark 13. ver. 6. Luke 21. ver. 6. which would arise in Jury before the destruction of Jerusalem, with such faire enticing promises and pretences of deliverance, that if it had been possible, the very Elect should have been deceived by them. In a Sermon upon Luke 21. 25. that offer violence to his Saints, especially when out of state and worldly interests. That these Jews were taken in their own craftinesse, if it needed, might largely be shewne; the thing they feared and avoided was brought up­on them; the Romans came and took away their place and Nation to this day: yea and it was great­ly occasioned by the same motive which in policy they embraced, whereby to avoid it. For as the rising of many false Christs was the curse of that Nation for refusing the True, and is made the signe of their destruction by our Saviour, Mat. 24. so it was the Jews pronenesse to beleeve that their Messiah should come about that time, and deliver them from the Romane yoke, that the more encouraged them in their Rebellion and revolt from the Romans, which occasioned their utter destruction by them. And so Tacitus, yea and Josephus also did thereupon, interpret that Jewish Prophesie of the King of the world to come out of Jury, of vespasian himselfe, that was the destroyer of them, (he comming a Vi­ctor out of Jury, who was Lord of the world) God thus retorting out of the mouthes of these two wit­nesses, a Heathen and a Jew, their former sinne in re­jecting [Page 33] their naturall Lord, the true King (indeed) of all the world, his sonne: Thus returning it (I say) with the highest Reproofe upon these Jewes, by this, that that Emperour of Rome Vespasian. (their enemy and destroyer, together with his sonneTitus.) should obtaine and carry away the repute of that Prophesie (they relyed up­on, too late) and this because they came out of Judea, from the executing that vengeance the Jews had by this brought upon their owne heads.His blood be up­on us and our children, said they, who had formerly said of the greatest Kingdomes in their ruines, My blood upon Caldea shall Jerusalem say, Jer. 51. 35. This ha­ving beene manifestly the destruction of that Nation, and being likewise the pattern of the New Testament. Give me leave to give you this further observation by the way about it: That God dis­posed it in his providence so, that all States and sorts of men among them should have their hands in it, because Gods purpose is not to destroy any Nati­on, for his peoples sake, till all sorts therein concur in their ill using of them. The second Psalme Pro­phecying of the crucifying of Christ, sayes, that the Heathen, the people, the Kings of the earth, the Rulers, tooke counsell against the Lords Anointed, which the Apostles in their Prayer (of which by and by) Acts 4. 27. interpret, That Herod, Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together against his child Jesus: both the Ecclesiasticall and the Civill state among the Jewes, concurred in it. The Sa­nedrim first, and Elders of the people; and they with much adoe perswade the people; The chiefe Priests and El­ders perswaded the multitude, Mat. 27. 20. and when that was with difficulty done, it was long ere Pilate did consent; he kept off, and washt his hands, though the people, Priests and all sought to him; but in the end yeelded. And what was the reason that Pilate came in at length al­so? Because God would have the Romane Empire, [Page 34] (which he meant to break upon Christ and his Saints as the former) to be wound in, even in the guilt of Christs blood, and to embrue their hands in it, as Pilate the Romane Governour did by his sentence, and the Roman Souldiers by execution. And therefore we find, Rev. 11. 8. Rome to be called the City where our Lord was crucified; because by the power and jurisdi­ction of that State: that so the blood of all, yea even of Christ himselfe, might be found in her at her destru­ction, Revel. 18. ult.

But to proceed in this Jewish story. When our Lord was ascended, we reade Acts 4. that when Peter and John were preaching to the people, the Priests and the Captaine of the Temple, and the Sadduces came upon them, ver. 1. and they laid hands on them, and put them in hold, ver. 3. And then ver. 23. they being let goe (onely with threatning to speak no more in his name) they went to their owne company, and there they went to Prayer: and what doe they urge to God but the second Psal. and spread that before him meerly upon this occasi­on, that they were falne upon, and interrupted in his worship, and threatned to preach no more in that name, which they (being the relicts of Christ left behinde him here) were to hold forth. They prayed over with one accord the second Psalme, Lord thou art God which hast made heaven and earth, who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vaine things? The Kings of the earth stood up, and the Rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ. For of a truth, against thy holy Child Jesus, WHOM THOU HAST ANOINTED, (and now anointed with the oyle of gladnesse above his fellowes) both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the [Page 35] Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, &c. These his Disciples being his fellowes in his a­nointing, did accordingly (as you here see) interest their cause in his, by putting God in mind what they did unto their Lord, in crucifying him, to provoke him thereby to consider what was now done to themselves, by the Rulers, Scribes, and Elders, Priests, and Band of the Temple, ver. 1. 5.

Well, still the Jewes goe on, and follow the same trade, as our Saviour Christ in Luke 21. 10, 11. fore­told his Disciples that they should; and withall, he foretold them that there should be wars upon this, and commotions, Nation rising against Nation, &c. BE­FORE ALL THESE (sayes Christ) they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the Synagogues, and into prison, being brought before Kings and Rulers for my Names sake. Our Saviour therein shew­ing that this persecution of the Saints, should be the cause of all these wars; and so, of that Nations ruine, as well as his owne death, (so involving his cause and theirs together.) But they, as afore the warres, so after the warres, and during the time of them, (Christ sayes) should goe on and take no warning, this you find in Mat. 24. 7, 8, 9. verses compared, And this, sayes Christ there, shall be a testimony unto you.

Now that second Psalme (whither the Apostles have brought us, and which the Apostles in the be­ginning of the Gospel prayed thus over, against the Jewes) was by the holy Ghost intended against all Nations and Kingdomes that should in like man­ner deal injuriously with the Saints, (as the Jews had done with Christ) to the end of the world, so making this instance the pattern and example to the rest. In [Page 36] the next words (if you read on) you find a solemne inauguration of Christ, as King, now, when ascended into heaven, I have set my King on my holy hill, with a Proclamation & Declaration of Gods Decree, and great Designe under the New Testament, to be effect­ed and accomplished by this his new King set up, I WILL DECLARE the DECRE. &c. ver. 7. which (as a Preface) refers to all that followes, and is in effect no other then the same you have all this while heard out of the Old. He gives Christ as a boone, upon his Inauguration, all the Kingdoms of the world, I will give thee (saith he) the Heathen for thine inheri­tance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession. What to doe? Either to break them, or convert them. Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potters vessell: and this drift the Apostles well knew, and therefore pertinently urged it in their Prayer to God against the Jewes, which Prayer of theirs had a concurrent influence into their ruine. Now as the destruction of Jerusalem is made by Christ the fore-running type of the end of the world, so the destruction of that Nation for these their doings to Christ and his Apostles and their fol­lowers, is an example to all Kingdomes that shall doe the like afterwards unto the Saints: for which Christ hath and will break them also. Therefore how ends the Psalme? BE WISE O YE KINGS, AND INSTRVCTED YE JUDGES OF THE EARTH, &c. That is in effect, All ye States and Princes of the world, learn to know this your INTEREST. Although this might be enough in the generall, for the whole New Testament:

Yet come we to the Roman Empire. 2. The Romane Empire. The Book of the [Page 37] Revel. is a Prophesie of the destruction of that Empire, either as Heathenish in the whole, or else when Chri­stian (yet persecuting then) in both the parts of it, East and West. That Book is a Tragy-Comedy, which begins with a Kingdome given to be won by conquestRevel. 6. 8. When the seals begin to be o­pened, Christ goes forth con­quering and to conquer., and ends with the Coronation of a King, and the marriage of his Bride: and all between, is but the removing of all such lets and impediments, namely, of the Ro­mane Monarchie, and all other Kingdoms which that was broken into; so far as they stand in his way, and possesse the roome of that Kingdome which he is to set up. That this is one main argument of that Book, I refer you to what that great and learned Interpre­ter, Master Mede, hath largely opened.

And herein Christ, when he first began (the whole world then worshipping Idols) had work enough to doe. He sets first upon conquering the whole Romane Empire, as it was Heathenish, and the worship of Satan and Idols in it, and in three hundred yeeres he dis­patcheth that, and throwes downe all both Idoll­worship, and Princes, Chap. 6. that did uphold it. This the first six seales doe shew. And then when the whole Em­pire was turned Christian, yet (as one well said) the devill did not turne Christian: But under the name and profession of Christ, he stirreth up the Arrian Christian world to persecute the Orthodox Christians as much as Heathenish Rome had done. But Christ takes farther vengeance for this persecution under both these; Heathenish and Arrian Rome It was the cry of the blood of the Saints slain underboth, that brought on them the ven­geance that fol­lowed See Cha. 6. 10, 11.. The Empire having been divided afore into two parts; the Eastern (all which now the Turk possesseth) and the Western; this in Europe: He falls first upon the Westerne European part, breaking that by the incursion of those barba­rous [Page 38] Nations the Goths and Vandalls; and this the foure first trumpets doe sound forth:Chap. 8. Then for the Ea­stern part of the Empire, (although his revenge was slower, yet) he reserved them to the sorest vengeance that could befall the Christian world,Chap: 9. the conquest and tyrannie of the Saracens first, and afterwards the Turks, and these the fift and sixt Trumpets successively held forth. Thus here is an end of the Roman Mo­narchie under the Emperours in the whole, and in the parts of it.Chap. 12. The Westerne part in Europe, was by occasion of the Goths invasion, broken into ten King­domes, which though helping the woman against the flood of Arrian persecution, yet (through Satans sedu­cing of them) they set up the Beast, or Antichristian Rome, and these all together did joyn together to make as great a warre against the Saints in the 13.Chap. 13. Chapter, as the Heathens and Arrians had done: And so Christ was in a manner as farre off his Kingdome as at the first. What then is the next great counter-plot of Je­sus Christ? It is to overcome these ten Kingdomes; so you find, Revel. 17. 14. They shall (saith he) make war with the Lambe, and the Lambe SHALL OVERCOME THEM, for he is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithfull. The world, though turned Christian, yet in all the variations of it, goes on still to persecute the Saints; For why? the world wil be the world still, and the Devill who is the Prince of the world, is the same still, and so he still followes that trade he had for­merly practiced, the same which you read of, Chap. 12. ver. 17. even to make war with the remnant of the womans seed, which keep the commandements of God, and have the testimony of Jesus. This is his designe, and let [Page 39] the world turn never so much, and refine as much as it will, Satan endeavours still to forme a party up a­mongst them, whom he turns against the Saints, (or some of the Saints) for that is the great interest of his Kingdome, (as that place shews) it is more to perse­cute the Saints, then to carry men on to sinne. And he will be content to fall but upon a few sometimes, rather then be put out of this his trade. And therefore now besides plain Popery which is prophe­cyed of in 1 Tim. 4. to arise in the latter dayes: You have in 2 Tim. 3. 1. another Prophesie of a sort of men that shall arise in the LAST DAYES, (Popery is Prophecyed of to be in the latter dayes) who, shall have a forme of godlinesse, and be despisers of them that are good: Thus the Devil hath carryed on his design Age after Age, and Jesus Christ pursues more closely his great designe also, and will never leave till he hath over­come: And HE SHALL OVERCOME, for He is the King of Kings, and those that are with him are called cho­sen and faithfull. And all this (if it were not the scope of that Booke of the Revelation) yet story would make good. Why should I instance in more? you know the little stone, Christ and his Saints, shall dash all in pieces, Dan. 2. But enough.

You have heard the truth of this point exemplified by all these instances. As for Reasons of it, the Scrip­ture affords a farre greater plenty then of Instances: and in many of the instances given, you may finde Reasons adjoyned by God himselfe: as here in the Text, they are Gods anointed; in that example of E­gypts overthrow, Gods first-borne; in that of Babels, 'twas the vengeance of Gods Temple, and so on. The [Page 40] time will give me leave to single out but a very few of many. The Doctrine was this, That the greatest in­terest of all States and Princes, lyes in their usage of the Saints; to deale ill or well with them, is that whereon their misery or welfare doth depend.

One reason of it is,1. Reason. (that which should indeed have been my first Observation out of the Text, viz.) The neerenesse and dearnesse of the Saints to God. You see how tender he is of them, TOUCH them not. If you would understand the tendernesse of Gods heart expressed in that word, parallel it with that, He that TOUCHETH them, toucheth the APPLE OF MINE EYE: and you have the expression twice. Ps. 17. 8. and Zech. 2. 8. there is nothing more deare then the eye: you would have pulled out your eyes, sayes Paul: and of the eye, the pupa, the black of the eye most. When the Ammonites required of the men of Jabesh Gilead, that they should thrust out all their right eyes, 1 Sam. 11. 2. the Text saith, ver. 6. that when Saul heard of it, the Spirit of God came upon him, and his anger was greatly kindled, and he went and cut them off, and scattered them, so that not two of them were left together. If Saul their King, a tyrannicall King, was thus moved for this offer of an injury to the eyes of his Subjects, much more God for those, who are to him as his own eye, yea as the apple of it. Or if you will have this Reason in an expression more neerely akin to the doctrine it selfe, they are dearer to God then Nations simply consi­dered: the reason is strong, That therefore, the Inte­rest of all Nations must needs lye in these Saints. Esay 43. 3, 4. I gave Egypt for thy ransome, Ethiopia and Seba for thee, since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee, therefore [Page 41] will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Thus he valued them under the Old Testament. But did he give Nations for them then? They have cost him more since, they have cost him the blood of his Sonne: He that spared not his owne Sonne, but delivered him up for us: how shall he not with him freely give us ALL THINGS? Rom. 8. 32. All things are theirs, the world, &c. because they are Christs. Look what rea­sons the Old Testament gives of this point in hand, from their neerenesse to God, the New Testament useth the same. They are my first borne, said God to the Kingdome of Egypt, and therefore I will take away thy first-borne: The New Testament speaks the same; they are the Church of the first-borne, written in heaven, Heb. 12. 23. Was it the vengeance of the Temple was Babels overthrow? the New Testament utters the same, and to the same purpose, If any man destroyes the Temple of God, him shall God destroy: FOR THE TEM­PLE OF GOD IS HOLY, which Temple are YE, 1 Cor. 3. 17. Againe, Israel is Holinesse to the Lord, the first fruits of his encrease, and therefore all that devoure him shall offend, (offend greatly) and evill shall come upon them, saith the Lord, Jer. 2. 3. Thus speaks the Old Testament. The same reason and expressions are gi­ven you see in the New, The Temple of God IS HOLY, and they are the FIRST FRUITS of all his creatures, Jam. 1. 18. These are the redeemed from among men, and the FIRST FRUITS to God and the Lambe, and there­fore prevaile, Revel. 14. 4.

And as because they are thus deare to God, there­fore if they be dealt ill withall, it is the cause of the ruine of a Nation: so on the contrary likewise, if a Nation deale well with them, it is a cause of his bles­sing [Page 42] upon them; Yea he doth give Nations and States their being for their sakes. They are a blessing in the midst of the land, Esay 19. 24. In so much as God spareth the tree for a small bunch of grapes, (so he com­pareth his people in respect of the rest of a Nation) Destroy it not, for there is a blessing in it, Esay 65. 8. or rather as the same Esay, they are to the whole tree, (the Nation they live in) what the pith, the heart, the substance is. As an oke whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves, so the HOLY SEED (the Saints) shall be the SUBSTANCE OF IT. Esay 6. ult. That pre­serves life in a Nation, when the branches of it are hewne, or it cast its leaves. These things are spoken in relation to their being the cause of the pre­servation of a nation in both these places. Saints that are as strangers to a Nation, and onely make it their refuge, yet their presence is in such a case a preserva­tion to them. Moab, (sayes God) Let mine out-casts dwell with thee, and be thou a covert to them, Esay 16. 4. And ver. 5. And in mercy shall the throne be established. But much more NATIVE Saints procure this blessing, their relation being nearer and dearer; Of Sion it shall be said, This and that man was BORN in her; And what followes? The highest himselfe shall establish her, Psal. 87. 3.

Secondly,2. Reason. another reason is taken from the great interest the Saints have in God the Governour, and the priviledge which themselves have vouchsafed them by God, in ruling and governing this world, and the providences of God therein. They are Privy Counsellors to the great King of Kings, who governs all the States and Kingdomes in the world; and God doth give these his Saints a Commission to set up and [Page 43] pull down by their prayers and intercessions. The Old Testament speakes in a high language, in Esay 45. 11. (I might have quoted it before, for it comes in as the reason of Gods setting up Cyrus for his peoples sake) Aske me of things to come concerning my sonnes, and concerning the WORK OF MY HANDS COMMAND YE ME. Who speaks this? The words afore, are, Thus SAITH the Lord, the holy One of Israel, and his Maker. It would have been blasphemie for us to have said it, but that the Lord himselfe first hath said it, and given them this priviledge, Concerning the work of my hands command ye me. And which makes it the more observable, before he doth in this place menti­oned confer this honour and priviledge upon them, he first (as on purpose) minds them of that infinite distance and disproportion betwixt himself and them, (so to put the more wonder upon it) he tells them, ver. 9, 10. that they were but the clay, he the Potter, that could not (therefore of right) say so much unto him about his matters, as Why madest thou me thus? Yet behold, I that am thus your Maker, give you leave to dispose by your prayers the great works of my hands, which concerne my children, my sonnes, the affaires of Kingdoms, even so far as they relate to their good. And he speaks it upon this occasion, that for their sakes he had raised up Cyrus, and pulled downe the Babylonian Monarchy, because they by their prayers had sought this. They are said elsewhere to decree a thing, Job 22. 28. so Job, and to bring it to passe, and God is said to fulfill their counsels. Psal. 20. And this interest they have either for good or evill to the nations they live in. First, for evill. Thus Revel. 11. 6. the two Witnesses have po­wer to smite the earth with plagues as oft as they will: And [Page 44] if any man WILL hurt them, in THIS MANNER he shall be killed, that is, with the highest and sorest vengeance, and God avengeth them speedily, Luke 18. 8. And so for blessing, The innocent delivers the Island through the purenesse of his hands, Job 22. 30. Thus one righteous Lot was (for the present) the cause of the rescue of the Sodomites, the wickedest people in the world, and afterwards ordained to the grea­test judgement.

A third reason,3. Reason. is, the INTEREST of Jesus Christ himselfe. And to shew that he is King, even King of Kings, and hath a Kingdom ordained to him and his Saints, supreame to all theirs, in the meane while, his design and practice is, and hath been, to break all Kingdoms that do oppose him, or oppresse his Saints. This reason I might enlarge out of Daniel, The God of heaven shall set up a Kingdome which shall break in pieces and consume all these Kingdomes, but it shall stand for ever, Cha. 2. 44. and Chap. 7. but I shall insist (in this Head of Reasons) onely upon that eminent title of Christs, (which holds forth this his INTEREST) that he is en­titled KING OF SAINTS, Rev. 15. 3. which title is there given him, as in relation to the setting up his Worship, so to the overthrowing and overcomming the Nations that doe oppose his Saints, and this by the seven Vialls which their prayers have filled. And at that time (it is likewise there said) he doth marvel­lous works, being King of Saints. In the Old Testament he is called the King of Nations, (though he was King of Saints also then) so Jer. 10. 7. and he gave demon­stration of it to purpose, by setting up that one Nati­on of the Jews, which he had chosen of all nations, that that one nation should ruine all the nations round [Page 45] about them: for he was peculiarly their King, and the King of all those other nations also. But now he hath scattered his Saints in and through all nations, (Thou hast redeemed us out of all Nations, that is the language of the New Testament) he is therefore therein called King of Saints: he carrying on the same designe by those Saints, which he did before, and is as able to make it good, he being no lesse King of Nations still, or Lord Almighty, (as you have it in that fore-cited place.) And he being thus peculiarly their King, his interest is to maintaine, defend, and take part with them against all those that doe maligne them, as he did the nation of the Jews. It is his title, and his most royall title, and the greatest title, that he is King of Saints; he preferreth it to his title of being King of Nations; that vanisheth, and is not mentioned in com­parison. This therefore answerably must be his grea­test interest, which of all other he now pursueth. And therefore if all those Nations in which his Saints are, doe not bow to it, and comply with it, he will shew himselfe that he is King of Saints, and of Nati­ons also, by ruining of them. As the greatest interest of the Devils Kingdome is to persecute those that keep the commandements of Jesus, so it is the greatest interest of the Kingdome of Jesus Christ to preserve his Saints, and to confound those that injure them, for he is the King of Saints. And further, in the Old Testa­ment, when this his Kingdome was farther off, and longer to come, and yet you have seene how strongly he drove on this designe then; but in the New Te­stament he is ascended, and personally as Man invested into it: We see Jesus crowned with glory and honour, (saith the Apostle, Heb. 2. whose faith was as reall in [Page 46] this as our sight can be) and he SITS there EXPECT­ING, as thinking the time long, till alll his enemies are subdued, Heb. 10. 13. which the same Apostle else­where interpreteth, (and therein speaks home to the point in hand) the putting downe all rule and dominion that are opposite to his Saints, 1 Cor. 15. 24, 25. verses compared. And accordingly in all those Psalmes, where ever his ascension and investiture into his Kingdome at Gods right hand is prophecy­ed of, there the ruine or conversion of Kings and Kingdomes are also spoken and prophecyed of. Reade Psalm. 2. Psalm. 68. Psal. 110. And let me adde this to all, That as the shorter time Satan hath, the more is his rage; so the shorter time Christ hath, and the nearer he is to the possession of his King­dome, the more is his zeale for his Saints, and indig­nation against his enemies. His heart is set upon it, and the more eager doth his desire become every day to attaine his long expected Kingdome, and to throw donwe all that oppose it: and therefore it is that we see in this latter age, he hath made such changes in the world. We have seen him doe that in a few yeeres, that he hath not done in an hundred yeeres before; for he being King of Nations, and King of Saints, he pursues his interest; and being more neere his Kingdome, he takes it with violence. We are now within the whirle of it, therefore his motions are rapt. Hence therefore all States and Kingdoms had need now (of all times else) to be instructed; and accordingly comply with this interest of Christ, it is more especially now then ever their greatest interest. It is well for us, that Jesus Christ he is our King, who is the King of Kings, and King of Saints: and [Page 47] withall that he is so neere the enjoyment of his Kingdome.


I Shall come now to a word of Application, Application. which I shall dispatch exceeding briefly. In those fore-re­hearsed instances I have carryed you over, and given you a prospect of all Kingdomes throughout the story of the Bible, and at last I brought you, and set you downe, and left you in the times of these Tenne Kingdomes of Europe, of which the holy Ghost hath prophecyed, Revelat. 17. 14. These (saith he) shall make war with the Lambe, and the Lambe shall overcome them, for he is Lord of Hosts, and King of Kings, and they that are with him, are called, and chosen, and faithfull. And it is certaine, we are in the last times of these kingdoms, and we all here live in one of them. But a word of Encouragement and Direction to those of this kingdome.

You have heard in those words I last read,1. Encourage­ment. the greatest security that any kingdoms can have in these times: for first, in the generall, this Text holds forth plainly, that Jesus Christ by vertue of his being King of Kings, and being King of Saints, (as you heard even now) he will overcome, and subdue these kingdomes to himselfe, and yet (for our encouragement) not so as to destroy them; why? Because these kingdoms, as such, shall destroy the whore: and therefore shall not be overcome by way of desolation, but by way of a more happy conquest of Reformation and Conversion: Thus the Text seems cleerly to speak; for the ten horns, [Page 48] (which are these ten kingdomes) shall hate the whore, and make her desolate, and burne her with fire, ver. 16. As I have therefore thought this Text to be a barre to the projected Spanish Monarchy, over them, even then when it was in the greatest height, and in most pro­bability to have carryed it; so the greatest securi­ty for continuance and preservation of these King­domes, because they must remaine tenne Kings, or supreame States and kingdomes, untill the whore is burnt, for they must destroy her. And first, for their number, Ten: tis true, they have in­deed been more, yet never fewer, since the brea­king of the Romane Empire. And when it is said ten KINGS, it is not necessarily to be understood there should be so many Monarchs alwayes, (in a strict sense as we use the phrase) for in the language of this Book, Kings is put for Supreame States. Thus Rome is said to have had seven Kings, and yet five of those Governments were not Monarchicall. These kingdomes may fall one upon another, there may be civill broyles, and divisions, and distractions, and thereby they may be sorely punisht as wee have beene, for dealing ill with the Saints. Like­wise two may be joyned into one, and one may be broken into two, so they have varied in severall times and ages, yet still they have stood, and at the least the number of Ten hath beene kept up: and though they have made warre against the Lambe, and have been punisht for so doing, yet the Lambe shall overcome them another way then by destroying them, even by winning ground upon them: so as where you see Jesus Christ hath took footing in any one of these kingdomes by such a way of conquest, [Page 49] (as in ours he hath done a second time for double se­curity) stand that Kingdome shall till you see Rome downe.

Now the next thing I desire you to take notice of in the words, is the Reason why that Christ will thus overcome them, and preserve them. FOR (sayes sayes the holy Ghost) those that are with him, (name­ly, in these ten kingdomes, and so members there­of) are called, and faithfull, and chosen. Therefore it is that the Lambe shall work these kingdomes about, and win ground upon them, and shall cause them at length to hate the whore, and therefore they shall stand till the whore be ruined, and how long after, he onely knowes that hath set them up.

It hath been one great outward evidence to my faith, of the truth of the New Testament, that what was in this particular foretold in this Book so di­stinctly should so come to passe as we see it hath done. When John wrote this Prophesie, there were none of all these kingdomes set up, the Empire was not broken. You see the Empire hath been broken into these kingdomes, and they have given their power to the beast: and we know how rooted the power of the beast once was in all these Kingdomes, so as, who could make war with the beast? yet we have likewise seene the Lamb hath overcome many of them, especially these Northern Kingdomes, where he hath set up his Tem­ple. He hath overcome them, and he wins ground upon us every day, and works us up age after age to a farther Reformation, to more light and holi­nesse, and so he will doe till he hath perfectly over­come every Popish principle out of them. Wee see all this done, we see likewise all these King­domes [Page 50] stand, and not subdued to any one Civill Monarchie over them all: We see Rome pro­phesied of in this BookRevel. 17. 18., yet standing and posses­sing some of these kingdomes. We see likewise mul­titudes of faithfull called and chosen, whom God hath raised up in these kingdomes to oppose the Whore. All these things we have seen fulfilled, therefore I beleve this shall be fulfilled too, that these kingdoms shall still continue, where God hath faithfull, called, and chosen, and that they shall be the ruine of the whore in the end. Having seen and beleeved so far, we may very well trust him for the rest. This for the gene­rall.

More particularly, to you of this Kingdome wee live in: If you would yet know and be confirmed in what is your greatest interest, this Text speaks more punctually to the point, and it holds forth by way of Prophesie thus much to you, that your interest lyes (as you are one of these ten Kindomes) in what I have hitherto told you, even in YOUR faithfull, called, and chosen. And let me speak this for your pe­culiar encouragement farther: That look as where God doth give a command with a reason, upon whom the reason falls most strongly, there is the greatest obligation; so where God gives a promise, and gives it with a reason, where most of the reason is found true, there certainly the promise will take place most in the fulfilling of it. Now upon what hath hee put the standing of these kingdomes, and their being thus overcome by the Lambe, and that they shall hate the whore, so as to destroy her in the end? It ly­eth you see in this, that they that are with the Lambe, are faithfull, called, and chosen. Hee puts [Page 51] the very reason of it upon this, The Lambe shall over­come them, FOR (saith he) they that are with him, are called, and chosen, and faithfull. Now look upon this Isle in which we live, and it is the richest Ship, that hath the most of the precious jewels of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in it, and the greatest treasure, of any kingdome in the world, I had well-nigh said, as all the world besides. Now where there are most of called, chosen, and faithfull, certainly there (towards the time of Romes ruine) the Promise will take the most effect. Here then lyes your INTEREST. You have it not onely confirmed from the generall truth of that great point I have all this while been giving demonstrations of, but further you have it con­firmed by a more speciall charter of promise and prophesie (which you may well beleeve, having seen so much of it fulfilled) granted forth to these kingdoms long before their erection. And as for this Kingdome, give mee leave upon this so just and solemne an occasion, to take the boldnesse to ut­ter this in the same expression which now well-nigh twenty yeeres agoe I used in publique, That if we had stood at Gods elbow when he bounded out the Na­tions, and appointed the times and seasons that men should live in, (as the Apostle speaks) we should not have known (unlesse when Christ himselfe was alive, and the Apostles, in those Primitive times, unlesse in Judea it selfe, where all the Apostles were together) in what age, or in what place, in what nation or king­dome we would have chosen to have lived in, in re­spect of the enjoyment of the Gospel, and the com­munion of Saints, more then in this kingdome where­in we live. Other Churches they have had the glory [Page 52] of Reformation, and have had the honour in the first age of Reformation; but we though in that respect have been like to bleare-ey'd Leah, yet have since beene abundantly the more fruitfull of Saints, faithfull, cal­led, and chosen. This is therefore our great security, and it is the more speciall interest of this Kingdome in which we live, the Magna Charta of it.

And therefore that which I shall make fur­ther bold with your leave and patience is but onely this,2. Direction. to adde a word of Exhortation and Di­rection to MAINTAINE THIS INTEREST, and to preserve it. To this end, consider, it is not sim­ply having Saints, and multitudes of Saints, called, faithfull, and chosen, but it is the using them kindly, and dealing well with them, that is the interest of a Nation. Judea it selfe had the best of Saints, it had Christ and his Apostles, and multitudes of others also in that Countrey, (which were afterwards disperst in­to all Nations) yet though they had these multitudes, because they dealt unkindly with them, it was their ruine, and God provided a safety for those his Saints, by dispersing them into all Nations, through their persecution of them.

That worthy Duke of Rohan, that writ that Book of the CIVILL INTEREST OF THE STATES OF EUROPE, in his Preface to it, sayes, That according as the proper INTEREST of each hath been well or ill fol­lowed, it hath caused the ruine of some, the greatnesse of o­thers. That which that worthy Duke thus speaketh of the Civill Interest, give me leave, from all the grounds forementioned, to presse upon you concern­ing that which is your greatest interest; an interest [Page 53] most divine, most generall, and fundamentall. The Saints of England are the Interest of England; look to, and keep to this your interest, namely, maintaine and preserve the Saints among you, and make provi­sion for them, as you would preserve the King­dome. When afterwards the same Author parti­cularly comes to speak of the proper interest of Eng­land, he hath a saying, (and he seems to speak it as if it had been an Aphroisme of the late Queens) that England is a mighty Animal, which can never die except it kill it selfe. To follow his Maxime in that also, wee may apply it to this interest in hand. There is a mighty body, and company of Saints in this Kingdome. Now if they could all be united in one, and their divisions and animosities allayed, and all reconciled and made one, I am confident we need not feare if all the Nations of the world were gathe­red together round about us. But if ye bite and devoure one another, take heed ye be not consumed one of another. It is a State Maxime as well as a Church rule, there is nothing else can destroy us.

If any man think I am a pleading for a liberty of all opinions, of what nature and how grosse soever, I humbly desire them to remember that I onely plead for Saints, and I answer plainly, The Saints they need it not. The Apostle tels us that there are damnable here­sies, so 2 Pet. 2. 1, 2. and they will soone unsaint men; there are errors that are capitall, not holding the head, so Col. 2. Do but distinguish these from others, & let this be one foundation laid for this union. And when I say Saints, I mean no one party of men: Doe we not know that the new creature is found in circumcision and in uncircumcision, and as eminent in the one as in the [Page 54] other? and it were the highest sacriledge in the world to ingrosse that title of Saints and the godly party to any one. Characters of Saints I need not give you, it hath been the main subject of the preaching in this King­dome for these forty yeeres and upwards, to describe them to you, and distinguish men from men.

As there are multitudes of faithfull, called, and cho­sen ones in this Kingdome, so you, Honourable and worthy Senatours, are the called, and chosen, out of all these, to this great work, and have obtained mercy from our God, to be in a great measure faithfull. Consider the trust God hath committed to you. You have the richest treasury that I know God hath above ground elsewhere on earth. THE SAINTS OF ENGLAND ARE THE INTEREST OF ENGLAND. Write this upon your walls, to have it in your eye in all your consultations, never to swerve from it for any other interest whatsoever.

And have respect to the Saints, and to the whole lump of them; if you will maintaine your interest whole and intire: have regard to the Saints SMALL and GREAT. You shall often finde that expression, as in Revel. 11. 18. When the Kingdomes of the world be­came the Kingdomes of Christ, and Revel. 19. when the whore is judged, ver. 2. it is said, that all the Saints SMALL and GREAT rejoyced. ver. 5. 7. What vow doth David make when he should obtaine the Kingdome?Psal. 101 6. Mine eyes shall be upon THE FAITHFULL OF THE LAND, that they may dwell with me. Let yours be so.

You are the shields of the earth, under God, and for his Saints: as in Psal. 47. The shield should defend the whole body, and all the parts and members of it. You are covering Cherubims unto the Arke of God, [Page 55] (so the Prince of Tyre is called, Ezech. 28. 16.) stretch your wings from one end of the holy of holies to the other, so as to cover all. You are the nailes of the Temple, and for the vessels thereof, as Eliakim, Isa. 22. 24. is called a naile, on which ALL the vessels should be hung, and by whom alike supported, the vessels of SMALL quantity, as well as great, from the vessels of cups even to all the vessels of flagons, so the Prophet there speaks, comparing the people of God to the vessels of the Sanctuary, and small weak Saints to the vessels of smaller quantity, and the stronger to the greater: and Eliakim to a nayle, and a like sup­port to all. Shebna his Predecessour had been an oppressor of the Saints, and therefore God sayes of him, that he should be driven from his station, and cut or sawn off from the wall, so as the wall should stand: and he would put Eliakim in his roome, and hang all the Saints upon him. You are Mordecai's, and it is said of him in Hest. 10. 3. that He was accepted of the multi­tude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to ALL his seed. You are likewise called Shepherds; now the Shepherds are to take care of all the sheep. Oh see that all the sheep be folded, and have pastures to lie down in: not only a staffe and a rod, but folds & pastures for them: take care not of the strong on­ly, but of the sick and the diseased, so the expression is, Ezek. 34. 21. those that are sick and diseased, that men did push with their hornes till they were scattered abroad, not onely reduce them from their scatterings in a darke and a cloudy day, as Ezek. 34. 13, 14. but feed them in a good fold, and judge betwixt them, and those that would push them. You are Fathers, and you should see provision made for all the children; and though they through [Page 56] way wardnesse will not eate together, yet let them not starve.

And to conclude, let me use your own word to you, UNITE, or (if you will, the Apostles) Reconcile all the Saints in this Kingdome together. Providence hath disposed it so, that they doe and will differ in judge­ment. The Apostles, who were Oracles infallible, could not in their times wholly prevent it. And dif­fering thus in judgement, they will hardly ever of themselves agree. But it is your work, and will be your honour, to make them and to cause them so to doe, and to finde out wayes whereby this may be done, notwithstanding these their differences. Thus Constantine dealt as a Recon­ciler amongst his Divines, and he did it with successe. It is of all works the happyest and most glorious,Lege Eusebium in vita Constantini, lib. 3. c. 13. Ipse consilio interfuit, reconciliavit eos qui dissi­debant, & ad concordiam persuasit: Eos qui pau­lo insolentiores & ferociores fuerunt, mitigavit; nec antea desi it, quàm omnes ad concordiam re­vecaverit, & tum hanc quasi SECUNDAM VICTORIAM nactu [...], [...], Festum Triumphale celebravit. Whitak. contr. 3. quaest. 4. for it was Je­sus Christ his eminent work. Eph. 2. 14. He is our PEACE, who hath made both one, and hath broken downe the parti­tion wall between us, having abolish in his flesh the enmity: and a greater enmity was betwixt Jews and Gentiles, then among us. He did it by his blood; doe you min­gle his blood with faith, and mingle therewith but the Rules given by the Apostles, by which they ef­fected this, as in Rom. 14. when one beleeved that he might eate all things, another that was weake durst not, but eate hearbs, ver. 2. Let not him that eateth, sayes he in this case, despise him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not, judge him that eateth. And ver. 14. Let us not judge one another any more. Certainly this rule, with such others, reduced to practice, as are found in [Page 57] their writings, would heale all. I shall not stand to dispute that place now. I shall onely upon occasion thereof, acquaint you with an Observati­on, which to me was strange (having considered for­mer proceedings) when I first found it. In the late Book of Canons that were made just afore this Parlia­ment, and stirs began, when the Bishops would have brought in bowing towards the Communion Table, (the Altar, as it was called) after many specious co­lours prefaced thereto, they close all with this, In the practice or omission of this Rite, we desire that the RULE OF CHARITY prescribed by THE APO­STLE may be observed, which is, That they which use this Rite, DESPISE NOT them who use it not; & that they who use it not, CONDEMNE NOT those that use it. Could they not have said so sooner? The observing this very rule about those other things urged by them, had ended all the quarrels, prevented all the oppressions of ten­der consciences, that were during all their dayes; it had saved and prevented the silencing of how ma­ny faithfull Ministers by them! But God, (who who afore he punisheth, usually takes evidence, or at least layes a ground of their conviction whom he pu­nisheth) when he had once drawne this out from them, (though they did it for an end to facilitate the introduction of that which was a novelty) yet then ex ore tuo, out of their owne mouthes he condemnes them, and stayes not a moment from the execution. But from that time and word uttered by them and pub­lished to the world, began their ruine, it hastned, and hastned instantly.

I am confident of it, that Christ that King of Saints that is in heaven, he will not rest till such time as hee [Page 58] hath made us one, if not in judgement, yet in fobea­rance; and that if we will not take warning, and will not agree it, that either Antichrist, or Jesus Christ himselfe will come in upon us, and we shall be made to doe it one way or other.

But if this great designe of reconciling all the Saints could be brought to a full issue and perfecti­on: and if this your Interest, (a regard had to all the Saints in this Kingdome, which to me upon all the grounds fore-mentioned is the greatest Interest of this Kingdome) be followed and maintained, I would not feare, though (as the Prophet Zachary saith of Je­rusalem, Chap. 3. ver. 3.) all the people of the earth were gathered together against us. We feare forraigne For­ces; certainly let us keep to our owne proper Inte­rest, and then if all the Nations of the world were ga­thered together against us, I beleeve they would have the hardest pull of this Nation that ever was of any: THE LORD IS HERE, (as the Prophet speaks, Ezek. 35. 10.) or (let me expresse it in those similitudes Za­chary there useth) if they should come, and think to devoure us, they will find this Kingdome to be a cup of poyson to them, ver. 2. (so tis in your margents, but we reade it, a cup of trembling) which they must not onely vomit up againe, but will be their death and destruction: they will finde it to be a burthensome stone, as ver. 3. which while they goe about to over­turne, or stirre, or meddle withall, it shall fall back upon them, and cut them to pieces. I will make Jeru­salem a burthensome stone for all people; all that burthen themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the peo­ple of the earth be gathered together against it. And you that are the GOVERNORS OF JUDAH, (as at the 6. ver.) [Page 59] shal be as an harth of fire among the wood, and a torch of fire in a sheafe; and all that oppose you and rise up against you shall be but as so many strawes. Take a stack of straw, great for bulk and number, and lay it upon a few coales of fire upon an hearth, and what will be­come of them all? though they cover the fire a while, yet they will soone be consume I and burnt up. Read the 6. ver. I will make (saith God) THE GOVER­NORS of Judah like a harth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheafe, and they shall devoure all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left.

I shall onely end with what is further spoken there of these Governours of Judah in the 5. verse, (which is the summe of what I have said) THE GOVERNORS OF Judah SHALL SAY IN THEIR HEARTS, (as comforting themselves thereby) The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my STRENGTH, in the Lord of Hosts THEIR GOD. And so say you, the Saints of this our Jerusalem are our greatest INTEREST and security through the Lord of Hosts, his being our God: And let this saying be ever in your hearts, to encourage and to guide you.

Die Mercurii 25. Feb. 1645.

ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That Sir Robert Har­ley and Master Purefoy doe from this House give Thanks to Master Thomas Goodwin for the great paines he took in the Sermon he preached this day at the intreaty of this House at S. Margarets Westminster, (it being the day of Publique Humiliation) And to desire him to print his Sermon. And it is Ordered, that none shall print his Sermon without license under his hand writing.

H. Elsynge Cler. Parl. Dom. Com.

I doe appoint Robert Dawlman to print this Sermon.

Tho: Goodwin.
Die Mercurii, Febr. 25. 1645.

ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that S. Robert Harlow, and Col. Purfrey do give thanks to M. Burgesse, and M. Goodwin, for the great pains they took in the Sermons they preached this day, at the intreaty of the House of Commons, at S. Margarets Westminster (it being the day of publick Humiliation) and to desire them to print their Sermons. It is also ordered, That none shall presume to print their Sermons without licence under their hand-writing.

Hen. Els. Cler. Parl. D. Com.

I appoint Thomas Underhill to print my Sermon, and no man else.


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.