The Life-Guard OF A Loyall Christian, described in A SERMON, PREACHED At St Peters Corn-hill, upon Sun­day in the afternoone, May 7. 1648.

BY PAUL KNELL, Master in Arts of Clare-Hall in Cambridge: Sometimes Chaplaine to a Regiment of Curiasiers in his Majesties Army.

ROM. 8.31.

If God be for us, who can be against us?

LONDON, Printed in the Yeare 1648.

A Prayer for the King.

O Lord, preserve the Kings most excellent Ma­jesty, our Soveraign Lord Charles, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and Supream Governour in these his Realms, and in all other his Dominions and Countreys, over all persons, and in all Causes, as well Ecclesiasticall as Temporall. Behold, O God our Defender, and look upon the face of thine Anoynted; Lord remem­ber King Charles, and all his troubles, remember him according to the favour that thou bearest unto thy people; O visit him with thy salvation, plead thou his Cause, O Lord, with them that strive with him, and fight thou against them that have so long fought against thee and him; thou that bringest man out of prison, be pleased to bring him thence, deliver him not alwayes over unto the will of his Enemies, but set his feet once more in a large roome; send down thine hand from above, deliver him, and take him out of the great waters, from the hand of strange children, keep him as the apple of thine eye, hide him under the shaddow of thy wings, from the men of thy hand, O Lord, from the men and from the evill world, let [Page]his honour yet be great in thy salvation; glory and great worship doe thou lay upon him, set his Domi­nion also in the Sea, and his right hand in the Floods; as for those his Trayterous Enemies, which would not that he should reign over them, though they have imagined such a device, let them never be able to perform it, but let them all be subdued unto him even in the midst among the Kings Enemies; Let us no longer see servants upon horses, and Princes walking as servants upon the earth; but they that now trample upon him, let them kneel before him, let his Enemies lick the dust; comfort him again now after the time that thou hast afflicted him, and for the years wherein he hath seen so much evill, restore him to his Crown on earth, and when thou takest away this, give him a Crown in heaven.

And let every Loyall Christian say, Amen.

The Life-Guard OF A Loyall Christian.

ISAIAH 43.2.

When thou passest thorow the waters, I will be with thee; and thorow the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest thorow the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

QƲem miserum video, hominem scio; trouble is the very badge and cognizance of humanity; we are born to it, holy Job saith, as the sparks flie up­ward; to this end were we borne, and for this [Page 2]cause came we into the world. Or if this be not finit intentionis, yet it is finit executionis, I am sure, if we came not hither a purpose to be troubled, yet without great trouble we cannot get from hence, from the Cradle to the Coffin, being like Ezekiels roule, full of Lamentati­tion, and mourning, and woe. There are some indeed (I meane the Trayterous Reformers of our Age) that live wholly at ease in their usurped Possessions, they come in no mis-fortune like other Folke, neither are they plagued like other men: But these look like the Devils Darlings, or rather like the Worlds Bastards; though we may be men therefore without trouble, yet without it we cannot be Loyall Subjects, we cannot be good Christians; in the world yee shall have tribulation, were the words of our departing Saviour to his Church. But he told them just before, that in him they should have peace, and he tel­leth them in effect the selfe-same in our Text, That he will deliver them in six troubles; yea, that in seven there shall no evill touch them; that in Famine hee will redeem them from death, and in Warre from the power of the Sword; Let their troubles bee externall, corporall cor­rections, let their troubles bee internall, spirituall de­sertions, yet their Joshua, and their Iehovah will deliver them out of all; When thou passest thorough the waters, I will bee with thee; and thorow the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest thorow the fire, thou shalt not bee burnt, neither shall the flame kindle up­on thee.

In which words, ye may please to observe with me four parts, the Passenger, the Passage, the Concomitant, and the Consequent. The Passenger is the Church, cum trans­ieris, when thou passest. The Passage is twofold, per aquas & per ignes, thorough waters, and thorough fire. The Con­comitant or the Convoy, is Almighty God, tibi ad sum, I [Page 3]am or I will be with thee. The Consequent, is the Churches safety, flumina non operient, flamma non incendet, the rivers shall not overflow thee, the flame shall not kindle on thee. And of these parts in order. I begin with the Pas­senger, which is the Church, cum transieris, when thou passest.

Had we retained our first integrity, we might easily have stept to heaven with as great facility as from one room to another, from the parlour of an earthly, to the presence-chamber of an heavenly Paradise. But sinne hath placed a [...], a great gulf between us and heaven; we that were sometimes near, are now afarre off; whosoever will hereafter enter into Canaan, he must undergo a tedious passage tho­rough the wildernesse.

There are foure titles that pertain to the best of Adams sons, Advenae, Inquilini, Hospites, Peregrini, we are stran­gers, we are sojourners, we are guests, we are pilgrims; but of all foure, the last, me thinks, fitteth our condition best, Peregrini, we are pilgrims, Viatores, we are travellers, Trans­euntes, we are passengers, here we have no continuing city, but we seek for one to come. Look upon the Patriarch A­braham, the great grandfather of the Church, and ye shall finde him like St. Paul, in journeying often; from Caldea to Charran, from Charran to Canaan, where he jour­neyed, the Apostle telleth us, as in a strange countrey, dwelling in Tabernacles with Isaac and Iacob; he had there none inheritance, [...], saith St. Stephen, no not so much as to set his foot on, to teach him and us all, that we must not set up our staffe here, plus ultra, we must go further, we being but Pilgrims on the earth.

This we know likewise to have been the condition of the Israelites, who wandered in the wildernesse in a solitary way, and found no city to dwell in; their own houses were tents, Gods house was but a Tabernacle, all portable, to be [Page 4]carried up and down from one place to another; they had neither tenement nor Temple, till they were setled in the land of Canaan, nor have we any certain dwelling place, till we come thither where the Lamb's the Temple. For while we are at home in the body, we are not properly at home, we are but in viâ, in the way that leadeth us to it; we are born from above, and therefore there is our native coun­trey; all the while we are on earth, we are, as it were go­ing, a pilgrimage to heaven. And the application of this now may be twofold.

First, seeing we are but passengers here and pilgrims, this may serve to set spurs to us, and hasten us toward our countrey. For no passenger would willingly tarry long upon the way, but maketh all the haste he can to get him home. So let us think it our greatest punishment (next to this Rebellious Reformation) that we are con­strained to dwell with Mesech, to have our habitation among the tents of Kedar, and therefore wish, with ho­ly David, To have the wings of a Dove, that so wee might flie home to heaven, and be at rest.

Secondly, though here we are but passengers, yet see­ing heaven is our home, this may comfort us amidst all our plunderings and persecutions, all our necessities and distresses. For let a passenger meet with never so bad entertainment by the way, yet hee will not greatly murmure at it; I have better at home, hee will say, and it will not be long, I hope, ere I get thither. So, brethren, as long as there are quarters taken up for us in heaven, if we have any Christian courage, let us not faint by the way, be our usage never so course, be our passage never so perillous;

Which leadeth me from the first part of the Text, the Passenger, the Church; to the second, which is her Passage, and this I finde to be two-fold, per aquas, & per ignes, [Page 5]thorow waters, and thorow fire. Her first passage is per aquas, when thou passest thorow the waters. Which waters have sundry ac­ceptions in holy Scripture: the literall is first in nature, and must be so in order. And Hugo Cardinalis will have an Alleotheta here, one tense put for another, transieris, for transibas, when thou passest, or shalt passe, instead of when thou passedst, or didst passe, alluding to the passage of Noah in the deluge, or rather to that of Israel thorow the Red Sea. But whether this, or no, be the meaning, these examples suite well with the Text; and of the same nature we have some other in holy writ, the example of Moses, of Elijah and Elisha, of the Disciples, of Saint Paul; I shall anon touch upon these in their proper place, I shall here only shew you the severall acceptions of these waters, the literall I have briefly poin­ted at already.

Secondly, by waters we may understand the enemies of the Church. So they are expressed by holy David, Psal. 88.17. They came round about me daily like water, and compassed me together on every side. And Psal. 144.7. he prayeth after this manner, Send down thine hand from above, deliver me, and take me out of the great waters, from the hand of strange Children. And Revel. 17.15. the Angel expounding the vision of the great whore, which sate upon many waters, telleth Saint John in expresse words; The wa­ters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, they are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Thirdly, by waters we may understand heresies, and doctrine of devills, (which are too common, since we had neither King nor Bishop.) So Aretius and others expound that, Revel. 12.15. where we read that the Serpent cast out of his mouth, water as a flood, after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

Fourthly, and lastly, by waters we may understand the abysse of desperation. So we may construe that of the Psalmist, Psal. 69. The waters are come in even unto my soul, verse 1. I am come into deep waters, verse 2. Let not the water-flood drowne me, ver. 16.

The Churches second passage is per ignes, when thou walkest thorow the fire. Which is first literally to be taken, and we have examples of some in Scripture that found a safe passage thorow this fire, as Lot, and Isaac, and the Israelites, and the three Children.

Secondly, by fire we are to understand persecution and afflicti­on, according to that of the Psalmist, Psalme 66. Thou laydest trouble upon our loynes, ingressi sumus per ignem, we went thorow the sire. And St. Peter useth the same Metaphor, Think it not strange concerning the fiery triall which is to trie you. 1 Pet. 4.12.

The result then of all, is briefly this, That it is the portion of the Church to passe thorow fire and water, it is her destiny to suffer per­secution and affliction.

Noahs Ark was a notable representation of the Church, that was tossed upon the waves in the generall inundation, so is this in the worlds troubled sea which cannot rest. The disciples ship, in the Gospell, was another figure of the Church, that was covered with waves, almost overwhelmed with a raging tempest; so this is filled with the scornful reproof of the wealthy, the deep waters of the proud are ready to runne even over her soul. The Church is a Ship, the World is the Sea; a sea of glasse mingled with fire, Revel. 15.2. Of glasse, there is the brittle and inconstant conditi­on of the world; mingled with fire, here are the troubles of the Church, St. Peters fiery triall. Troubled, alas! she is, and so hath ever been. Look upon Jacob, look upon Joseph, upon David, upon the Son of David. The time would fail me to tell you of Pro­phets and Apostles, of the Martyrs, Confessours, and other holy men of God, how they passed thorow the waters, how they wal­ked thorow the fire; how they had triall of cruell mockings and scourgings; yea, moreover also of bonds and imprisonment; how they were stoned, as S. Stephen, how they were sawne asunder, as the Prophet Isaiah; how they were slaine with the sword, as the Apostle St. Paul; how they were beheaded, as St. John Baptist; Strafford and Canterbury; how they were hanged, as Tomkins, Chaloner, Yeomans, Bourchiar, Burleigh, and others; how they wandred about in desarts and mountaines, and in dens, and caves of the earth, in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. Thus we see, that all which will be Loyall to God and the King, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Till our Saviour came into the Ship, the Sea was calme and quiet, but when he was once aboard, there straightway arose a mighty tempest. So long then as thou art without Christ, or without God in this world, the devill will make fair weather [Page 7]round about thee, but when once Christ Jesus is, as it were, come aboard thy soul, then will Satan raise a storme to try if he can make ship-wrack of thy faith; when thou hast listed thy selfe a Souldier to fight under thy Saviours and thy Soveraigns Banner, then look for a whole shower of fiery arrowes from the wicked one, for the messenger of Satan to buffet thee, with St. Paul, both by inward temptations, and outward tribulations, by private sugge­stions, and publick persecutions, the Devill will strive to split thee against the rock of desperation. But take this for thy comfort, that although thou art dangerously tossed, yet thou shalt not be cast away, for even he that upholdeth the heaven is thine upholder. Which leadeth me from the second part of the Text, the Chur­ches passage thorow fire and water, to the third, which is the con­comitant, or the convoy, Almighty God, Tibi adsum, I am, or I will be with thee.

I that am the great Creator of Heaven and Earth; I that fill all places, and am contained in none; I that am about thy path, and about thy bed, and spie out all thy wayes, tibi adsum, I am, I will be with thee.

But what need then is there of this promise? For we may say it without blasphemy, that God must still be with us; it being as impossible for him to deny his omnipresence, as to deny himself, he can sooner separate heat from fire, he did that in Nebuchadnezzars Furnace; he can sooner separate light from the Sun, he did this at our Saviours expiration; the Creator can better doe any thing, then divorce or divide his presence from his Creatures, for herein not only our bene esse, but our very esse doth consist, should he sub­tract his presence from us, we must return into our first nothing. He is not far therefore from every one of us, as St. Paul told the Athenians; nay, he is nearer to us, then we are unto our selves, tibi adsum, I am, I will be with thee.

But ye know there is a two-fold presence of Almighty God. First, his generall presence, which is his universall power and pro­vidence, whereby he governeth and disposeth all things, both in heaven and earth, and under the earth, according to that of the Psalmist, Psal. 139. If I climb up into heaven, thou art there, if I goe down to hell, thou art there also. If I take the wings of the mor­ning, and remaine in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also [Page 8]shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Secondly, there is Gods speciall presence, whereby he is pre­sent with his elect only, either to prevent their troubles, or else to comfort and support them; and chiefly is he with his servants in his Temple, at his publick worship, which may easily be ex­plained by an example. The King is, or ought to be, and I trust, shortly will be, by his power in all parts of his Dominion; yet he is said to be there, especially where his Courtiers, where his retinue is. In like manner is the King of Kings by his unbounded power and providence at all times in all places; yet we may know him to be with us, after an especiall manner in the Temple, from his retinue of heavenly Courtiers that are there attending on him. For it was not for ornament only, that the walls of Solomons Tem­ple were carved round about with Cherubims, but also to signifie that the holy Angels are ever about us at our publick services. And if Angels be there, much more is the King of Saints, tibi adsum, I am, I will be with thee.

There are three things especially that will continually be with us, the Aire, our Conscience, and Almighty God. We may as well be without our being, as without our breath; take but away this from us, and take away us too. The Aire leaveth us not till death, our Conscience, this goeth further with us, it remaineth with us after death to all eternity. Doe not therefore the least sin, though none be with thee, but thine owne Conscience, for this will ac­company thee to thy death-bed, nay, this worme will live to eter­nity. And thy conscience is not more inseparable from thee then Creator, whisper never so softly, he will heare thee, hide thy selfe never so closely, he will see thee, runne away never so swift­ly, he will still be at thine elbow, tibi adsum, I am, I will be with thee.

But I should not speak so much of Gods general presence, his spe­ciall presence is that which I must here insist upon; that presence which he promised the Patriarchs and Prophets, that presence which our Saviour promised his Apostles, Loe, I am with you al­way, even unto the end of the world. Mat. 28. ult. Alway, there is no intermission. To the end of the world, that is, world without end; here is no termination. We may have men for our compa­nions, that will forsake us in distresse; or if they stick to us all our [Page 9]life, they must leave us at our death. But if God be our compani­on, if God be present with us, it is not distresse, it is not death shall ever part us; nay, death shall unite us more neerly then ever we were before, we shall alway be with God, he will alway be with us, tibi adsum, I am, I will be with thee.

But if God be alway thus present with his Church, we may then expostulate here, as Gideon once did with the Angel Judg. 6.13. Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? Why is the blood of his deare servants shed like wa­ter on every side? Why suffereth he the Turk and Pope to drinke themselves drunk with the blood of Saints, and with the blood of the Martyrs of Jesus?

I Answer; though seemingly God absent himself from his Church for a season, yet never will he finally forsake her; seemingly, I say, for indeed he absenteth not himself at all, it is but in our appre­hension that he is ever from us, if we can but beleeve it, he is pre­sent with us alway, tibi adsum, I am, I will be with thee.

And the application of this now, may be two-fold.

First, here is comfort for all that mourn in Sion, and with good Hezekiah, turne their face to the wall. Let them be cast into prison with Joseph and my Soveraign Lord the King, let them be cast in­to a dungeon, as Jeremy was, let them be cast into a den, as Daniel was, let them be cast into the water, as Moses was, let them be cast into the fire, as the three Children were, let them goe thorow fire and water, famine and sword, never so many dangers, never so great disasters; yet so long as they have God with them, this will sweeten all their pills, in the multitude of the sorrowes which they have in their hearts, his comfortable presence will refresh their soules.

Secondly, seeing God is still with us, this should teach us like­wise to be still with him, seeing he vouchsafeth to keep company with us on earth, therefore our conversation should be with him in Heaven. When we are lying down to sleep, to him we should commit our Spirits; when we wake up, like David, we should be present with him. It was Jacobs vow, Gen. 28: that if God would be with him, then the Lord should be his God. We need not speak so doubtfully, for God is certainly with those that fear him, not only by his generall, but also by his speciall presence, to direct and [Page 10]protect them, to deliver and to defend them. Which leadeth me from the third part of the Text, the concomitant, Almighty God, to the fourth and last, which is the Churches safety, Flumina non operient, flamma non incendet, the Rivers shall not over-flow thee, the flame shall not kindle on thee; when thou passest thorow the waters I will be with thee, and thorow the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest thorow thee fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Flumina non operient, the rivers shall not overflow thee.

I propounded four acceptions of these waters, ye shall see that the Church passeth safely thorow them all.

First, thorow waters, taken in the literall sense. Sin had once so soiled the earth, that God was faine to lay it asoak, it was so foul, that nothing would cleanse it but a flood. There were Gy­ants in sinne, as well as in stature, the wickednesse of man was great in the earth. And abyssus abyssum, this depth of sinne called for as deep a deluge, the flood-gates therefore were pluckt up, the windowes from on high were opened. And what distresse of nations was there then with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, & mens hearts failing them for fear? Me thinks I see how abruptly their marriage-feasts are dissolved, what haste they make out adoores, that they may get up into trees, how some climb the tops of mountains, tamen ultra pergere tendunt. But the waters continually following them at heeles, when all hope that they should escape drowning was taken away; me thinks I hear them curse the day that ever they were borne, and wish, if it were pos­sible, that they might be metamorphosed into fishes. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, when the flood was brought in upon the world of the ungodly; for though it rained as if hea­ven and earth would have come together; though the waters were so grown, as to over-top the highest mountaine, yet hea­vens great Palinurus preserved Noah in this ocean; flumina non o­perient, the rivers shall not over-flow thee.

The Children of Israel may be a second example, whose pre­servation was indeed farre stranger then Noahs, for Noah had a Ship, the Israelites had none, which made them think that there was no way in the world with them but drowning, Mars in the reare, and Neptune facing of them, they thought that one of [Page 11]these must needs devoure Israel with open mouth. But he that brought light out of darknesse, brought safety out of their greatest danger; what they feared would be their destruction, this God made their preservation, for rather then Israel shall mis­carry, Jordan shall forget his fluid nature, the flouds shall stand upright as an heap, and the depth shall be congealed in the heart of the Sea. Gods People need not fear the waters, the waters saw them and were afraid; and therefore run away with might and maine, to make way for them. The waters fared as if they had known the Israelites from the Egyptians, drowning the hoste of Pharaoh, but immuring the hoste of Israel, flumina non operient, the rivers shall not overflow thee.

Moses may be a third example to this purpose. There were never two greater Tyrants then Pharaoh and Herod, one drowneth the male Children, the other cutteth their throats. But as Christ escaped from Herod, so from Pharaoh, Moses. His Parents durst not long entertaine him in their house, when he was but a quarter old, they shipt him in an Ark of rushes. But how properly may that of the Psalmist be applied to him, Ps. 27.10. When my Father and my Mother forsake me, then the Lord taketh me up. Or rather, indeed the Lady did this, even the King of Egypts daughter, who named him therefore Moses, Extractus, one drawn out, flumina non ope­rient, the rivers shall not overflow thee.

And to these examples I may adde Elijahs and Elishaes passage over Jordan, the Disciples with our Saviour in the Ship, and Saint Pauls most dangerous voyage toward Rome; all corroborating and confirming this assertion in our Text, flumina non operient, the rivers shall not overflow thee.

The Lord sitteth above the water-flood, Psal. 29.9. ye have heard the story of him that wondred why any man would goe to Sea, seeing so many die at Sea; and that one replyed, he might wonder as well why any man will goe to Bed, seeing so many die in their Beds. Dii maris & terrae, may be put into Gods Royall title, his way is in the sea, and his paths in the great waters, he that was able without a ship, to walk safely on the Sea, must needs be able to save those that goe down to the Sea in Ships, while they are fol­lowing their vocation, they may be assured of his protection, he will give his Angels charge over them, to keep them in all their wayes; [Page 12]the Angel of the water mentioned Revel. 16.5. this Angell shall be their Pilot, and conduct them to their wished haven, flumina non operient, the rivers shall not overflow them.

Secondly, by waters we understood the enemies of the Church, neither shall these waters overflow her. The Serpents seed will still be warring with the womans, the Dragon and his, against Mi­chael and his Angels, the Church of Christ will ever be maligned by the Synagogue of Satan, but though these waters swell, yet they shall not prevaile against her. Davids enemies were daily in hand to swallow him up; but these waters of the proud had bounds, which they could never passe. Hezekiah was both invaded and be­sieged by the Assyrians, but how strangely was he preserved from him that had drunke strange waters, and who with the sole of his feet had dried up all the rivers of besieged places! I have not time to shew you all the particular preservations of Gods people, how he hath saved them still from the reproof of those that would have eaten them up.

And from this experience of Gods former, together with the promises of his future favour, we may draw this application; we may here put on the resolution of holy David, not to fear, though the earth be moved, and though the hils be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof rage and swell, and though the mountaines shake at the tempest of the same. Let the heathen never so furiously rage together, and let the people imagine a vaine thing (let them thinke to overthrow the government both of Church and State) let the rulers stand up, and take counsell together against the Lord, and against his Anointed, and against his Church, let Gebal, and A­mon, and Amaleck, the Philistines with them that dwell at Tyre, let Gog and Magog, Antichrist and Mahomet, Pope and Turke, nay, let all the Devils in hell be confederate against the Church, yet still she shall be safe, the sons of wickednesse shall not hurt her, the gates of hell shall not prevaile against her, flumina non operient, the rivers shall not overflow thee.

Let me apply this to the head of our Church, my Soveraigne Lord the King. The floods are risen, as David speaketh, the floods have lift up their voice, the floods lift up their waves. But these floods of ungodly Rebels shall not overflow Him, though the waves of the Sea are mighty, and rage horribly, yet the Lord (that's one [Page 13]good turn) which dwelleth on high is mightier, and he will send down from the high to fetch him, he will take him out of many waters, he will make these Traytors, according to our common phrase, as weake as water, as water spilt upon the ground, which can­not be gathered up, he will still the raging of the Sea, and the noise of his waves, and the madnesse of the people, he will deliver the Kings soul in peace from the battle that hath been so long against him, he will deliver him from the strivings of the people, and he will make him the Head of the Heathen; from the waters of strife, he will bring him to the still waters, the fiercenesse of these men shall turn to his praise, and the fiercenesse of them he will speedi­ly refraine, flumina non operient, the rivers shall not overflow him.

I have seen, Solomon said, and so have we, Servants upon Horses, and Princes walking as servants upon the earth: but I hope we shall not much longer see this sight.

Water is a good servant, but a bad master: God therefore, I trust, will shortly deliver us from the tiranny of an arbitrary A­narchy, from the soveraignty of our fellow-subjects, flumina non operient, the rivers shall not overflow us.

Thirdly, by Waters we understood heresies and doctrines of Devils; neither shall these waters overflow the Church. The De­vill is ever changing Gods truth into a lie; if God have said, ye shall; Satan will say, ye shall not die. And God sendeth some such strong delusions, that, as Eve did, they believe a lie, the Dragons floud of errours quite drowneth them in perdition: but the Church shall not miscarry for all this Dragon-water, the earth (as it is Revel. 12.) shall swallow up the floud: the Earth, that is, the earthly minded, the ungodly of the world, shall swallow up the floud, that is, shall approve of, and entertaine these wicked errours. Not a little of this water hath been emptied into the river Tyber, the Church of Rome hath swallowed down a great part of this Dragons floud. The residue hath been swallowed by Pelagians and Antinomians, Donatists and Novatians, Marcio­nites and Manichees, Socinians and Arminians, Preshyterians and Independents, Brownists and Burtonists, Schismaticks and Separa­tists, Familists and Anabaptists; while we that are right Prote­stants take in none but living water, drawing the water of truth out of the well of salvation, the floud of errour shall never surround or [Page 14]overwhelme us, flumina non operient, the rivers shall not over­flow us.

Fourthly and lastly, by Waters we understood the abysse of de­speration; neither shall these waters overflow the Church. One while the Devill telleth men that God is made up of all mercy, ano­ther while that his mercy is not so great as their sins: first, he would flatter them into presumption, then he would fright them into de­speration: and when he hath brought them to this latter state, then they are apt to drown themselves, like that Lunatick which oft­times fell into the water, Mat. 17.15. But the Lord (saith S. Peter) knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation. He will not suffer them (saith Saint Paul) to be tempted above that they are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that they may be able to beare it.

Art thou come therefore into deep waters, so that the flouds are running over thee? hath Satan brought thee to the very brink of desperation? why! yet he shall never be able to bring thee any further, if thou belong to Christ; he could not drowne the silly Swine without Christ's leave, (and thy Saviour will never licence him to doe thee such a mischief) he is but like a Dog in a string, like a Dragon in a chaine, so that thou maiest assure thy self he can do thee no hurt without Gods speciall warrant and commission. Though thou walkest therefore through the valley of despair, yet fear no evill, for there is a way to Heaven just by the gates of Hell. It is the nature of clay to dam up the eyes, yet our Saviour put clay upon the blind to make him see. It is the nature of water to put out fire, yet Elijah poured water upon his sacrifice to make it burne. God many times bringeth about his ends by means, which, to our thinking, are quite contrary. As he letteth some therefore (I mean the daring Rebels of our age) soare, with Ica­rus, upon the wings of presumption, ut lapsu graviore ruant, that their downfall may be the greater, the heat of Gods wrath mel­ting them, as wax melteth at the fire, and they precipitating head­long into the sea of desperation: So God suffereth others some­times to fall into despaire, that the depth of misery may invoke the depth of mercy, he throweth them, as it were balls against the ground, to make them bound the higher. When thou thinkest therefore he hath quite left thee, then he is nearest to thee, when [Page 15]thou walkest through the brooke of despaire, then he will lift up thy head, his rod and his staffe shall conduct thee through these Stygian waters, Flumina non operient, the rivers shall not over­flow thee.

And so ye have the safety of the Church in her former passage, which was per aquas, through the waters. Ye shall see her safety likewise in her latter passage, which is, per ignes, through the fire; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, nei­ther shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Non combureris, thou shalt not be burnt. The Apostle saith, that faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It hath therefore been the practice of persecutours in all ages to burne up all the Bibles that they could lay hands on, knowing this to be the ready way for them to destroy the faith of Christ. But how strangely hath the Bible scaped even in the most fiery persecuti­ons, though some part of it may be lost, as the Prophesie of E­noch, and the Book of Iasher, yet there is so much left still, as con­taineth in it all things necessary to salvation; God would never suffer all of it to be made fewell for the fire, non combureris, thou shalt not be burnt.

Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. The damned in Hell are ever burning, never burnt. But who can dwell with those e­verlasting burnings? They could with a good will put up that pe­tition, hic ure, hic seca, that God would cut them all in pieces, and then burn them up to very nothing: But should they make many such prayers, there would none of them be heard, they shall not be burnt, the flame shall not kindle on them.

But to come nearer to the Text. We propounded some ex­amples out of Scripture, of men that passed safely through fire, literally taken.

The first may be Lot. God usually proportioneth the punish­ment to the sin. Sodome burned in lust, and was therefore burnt with fire: but though brimstone and fire were rained upon the Sodomites, yet God delivered Lot out of the midst of the over­throw, non combureris, thou shalt not be burnt.

The second example may be Isaac, who came very neare the fire: Behold the fire and wood; nay, behold he is laid on the Altar upon the wood; yet for all this, God suffered not Abraham [Page 16]to doe him any hurt; he made an offer to offer up Isaac, and the will went for the deed, non combureris, thou shalt no be burnt.

The third example may be the Israelites, in whose company the fire was kindled, there went out a fire from the Lord, and consu­med the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense, Num. 16.35. But though the flame burnt up the ungodly mutiniers, yet every obedient Israelite escaped, non combureris, thou shalt not be burnt.

The fourth example may be the three Salamanders in the fur­nace, Dan. 3. who though they walked through the fire, yet their coats were not changed, nor so much as the smell of fire had pas­sed on them. And this last example is without example, I never heard of any fire-proof before, for fire is of a most devouring and consuming nature, turning all into its own substance that com­meth neer it; yet the children of the fire, the sparks, hurt not these three children, with the shields of their faith they quenched the violence of fire, when they walked through the fire, they were not burnt, neither did the flame kindle upon them.

And to these I might adde, though somewhat out of order, the example of Abram, whom God brought out of Ʋr of the Cal­dees, Gen. 15.7. Now Ʋr, as Hugo observeth, signifieth fire, the Greek word, from which our English word seemeth to come hath but one letter more: and therefore the Hebrews had a tra­dition, that because Abram would not worship the fire as the Caldeans did, he should have been cast into the fire, had not God given him notice of it. But though Ʋr signifie fire, yet the ordi­nary glosse taketh it, not for a common, but for a proper name, for the name of the Towne or Village where Abram dwelt: This example therefore cannot claime kindred of the Text. I might more properly bring in our preservation from the Powder-treason; but this is so beaten a path, that I will not tread it at this time. I will rather here answer a question that may rise from our Text, for is this promise alway performed, Thou shalt not be burnt, the flame shall not kindle on thee? what shall we say then to that fiery persecution in Queen Marys daies, when there were so many Bethels in this Kingdome, so many Cities wherein mens bones were burnt?

I answer, it is true, that the Church of Christ, this Church in [Page 17]particular hath endured the fiery triall, but as Rex non moritur, so Regina. Psal. 45. Ecclesia non comburitur, as the King is never buried, so the Church is never burnt; James may die, and so may Charles, (yet God maintain his life) but the King (let Levellers do what they can) never dieth: So Latimer may be burnt, and Cranmer may be burnt, but the Church [...]s never burnt; If Pagans should pre­vaile so far (which God forbid) as to burn up all the Christians; or if Puritans should prevaile so far (which heavens hinder) as to burne up all the Protestants, yet I verily believe that out of their very ashes God would raise up a new Phoenix, cinis martyrū should be femen Ecclesiae, the ashes of an old should be the seed of a new Church, she shall not be so burnt as to be quite extinct, neither shall the flame so kindle upon her.

And the application here of now may be briefly this. Seeing God wil not suffer his Church to be finally burnt up by others, this may teach us (as it were) to set on fire our selves, not with the fire of lust, it is better to marry, then so to burn, nor with the fire of wrath, rather heap coales of fire upon the head of enemies; but let it be with the vestall fire of devotion and affection, let our hearts burne within us with love to God and men; So shall neither the Sun burn us by day, nor the Moon by night, the Lord will preserve us from all evill, it is even he that will keep both our bodies and our souls, when the Elements shall melt with fervent heat, when the Earth and the works therein shall be burnt up, he will preserve and keep us from everlasting fire, and exalt us to his coelum empyreum, his fiery hea­ven, there forever to behold him whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brasse, as if they burned in a furnace.

And so ye have the safety of the Church in her passage through fire literally taken. A word or two of her safety as she passeth through the fire of affliction and persecution, when thou walkest through this fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. The nature of fire is congregare homogenea, and segregare heterogenea, a Refiner therefore is wont to bring his mine to the fire, and by this means he severeth the silver from the drsse; which is likewise the very practice of Almighty God, it is the Prophet Malachy's similitude word for word, Malac. 3.3. He shall sit as a Refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purifie the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver. And the sweet Singer [Page 18]of Israel harpeth upon the same string, Psal. 66.10. Thou, O God, hast proved us, thou also hast tried us, like as silver is tried. Non sicut foenum, sed sicut argentum, non in cineres convertisti, sed sordes abluisti, saith Saint Austin, God trieth us not with a consuming, but with a clensing fire, turneth us not into ashes, only taketh a­way our sullage and our ashes from us, purely purgeth away our drosse, and taketh away all our tin. God purgeth men by affli­ction, as the Israelites were to purge the spoile of the Midianites, Num. 31.23. Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean. God trieth men by affliction what mettle they are made of; they that endure this fiery triall, they are good gold, they are Gods children; they that endure it not, they are but drosse, they are but cast-awaies. Good men are like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, though they walk through the fiery furnace of affliction, yet they are not burnt up, no not so much as singed: but wicked men are like the Souldiers that bound and cast them in, when they are yet but at the mouth of the fiery furnace, when the fire of affliction but beginneth to seize upon them, it prevaileth against them, and consumeth them in a moment. Good men are, in this, like clay, the fire of affliction strengtheneth and confirmeth them; but wicked men are like wax, as wax melteth at the fire, so doe the ungodly perish in the fiery triall; affliction to them, is like the fire that burneth up the wood, and like the flame that consumeth the mountaines; God maketh them like a fiery oven in time of his wrath, the Lord de­stroyeth them in his displeasure, and the fire consumeth them. Affliction maketh wicked men a great deale worse, as water be­commeth much colder after heating, then ever it would have been, if it had never been heated. As for the righteous, it is not so with them, God burneth them indeed throughly, as the bricks of Babel were; but this is onely as a Potter frameth his vessels in the fire, that so they may be vessels unto honour, and for the ma­sters use, though they walk through the fire, yet they are not burnt, neither doth the flame kindle upon them. When Job's Wife heard of all the evill that God had brought upon her Husband, she grew so mad, so outragious and impatient, that she would faine have perswaded him to make away with himselfe: What, saith she, all that ever thou hadst taken away from thee? is this the reward [Page 19]thou hast for thine integrity? well, serve God who will, I would serve him no longer, make good the Devils words if thou wilt be ruled by me, doe, as he said thou wouldest in such a case, Curse God, and die, Job 2.9. But ye have heard of the patience of Job, saith Saint James, let his Wife therefore say what what she will, he will have none of her counsell, thou talkest like an asse, (saith he) thou speakest like one of the foolish women. And indeed (as he goeth on, and as our Soveraigne by his most exemplary patience seemeth to say) shall we receive good at the hand of God, and not receive evill al­so? shall we receive health, and not sicknesse; wealth, and not po­verty; peace, and not war; honour, and not dishonour; liberty, and not restraint? yes, my brethren, if we be Christians we must endure all. And if we do this, then we may assure our selves that although we sow in tears, yet we shall reap in joy, though God have suffered Rebels to ride over our heads, though we have gone through fire and water; yet, ere it be long, he will bring us and our Soveraigne out into a wealthy place; our light affliction which is but for a moment shall work for us a far more exceeding and eternall weight of glory, Which God of his infinite mercy vouch­safe to grant us, for the merits of his Christ, our Jesus. To whom, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, Three Persons, one Immortall, Invisible, Indivisible, onely wise God, be rendred and ascribed, as most due is, All Honour, Glory, Power, Praise, Might, Majesty, Wis­dome, and Dominion, the residue of this blessed day present, and for evermore world without end. Amen.


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.