A BRIEF Commentarie OR EXPOSITION Upon the Prophecy of OBADIAH, TOGETHER With usefull Notes delivered in sundry Sermons preacht in the Church of St. James Garlick-Hith LONDON.

By EDWARD MARBURY, the then Pa­stor of the said Church.

Psal. 101. Ver. 1.

My song shall be of Mercy and Judgement; unto thee O Lord, will I sing.

LONDON, Printed by T. R. and E. M. for George Calvert and are to be sold at the Signe of the Halfe-Moone in Watling-street neere Pauls-stump. 1649.

To my worthy friends the Citizens and Inhabitants of the Parish of St. Iames Garlickhith London, all the blessings of this life, and that which is to come.

I Have not without good cause in­scribed this Commentary unto you. First, those Sermons were Preach'd amongst you: Secondly, some of you have heretofore, often importuned the publication of this, and some others of my Labours: Thirdly you were my First fruits, and therefore the First Commencement of my Labours in this kind doth properly belong to you. As then it is justly Dedicated unto you, so I desire it may have your favourable acceptance, and passe under the Convoy of your worthy names. I have by me an Exposition of three other of the the Small Prophets, viz. Habakuk, Zephanie, [Page]and Haggai, which together with this, are Licen­sed, and intended for the Presse; but the charge of Printing being great; and the number of Buyers of Bookes in these times (if we may be­leeve the Stationers) very small; I thought fit to send forth this as Joshua did the Spies, to see, what encouragement the rest may happily finde to follow after it. I am of Saint Austins minde, who accounted nothing his owne, but what he did communicate, and professed himselfe to be of that number, qui scribunt proficiendo, & scribendo proficiunt, that write what they have learn't, and learne more by writing: and if the graine be good, it is fitter for the Mar­ket then for the Garner: What entertainment this will finde there, I know not; for mine owne part, I have taken the Councell of the Wise, neither to praise, nor dispraise my owne doings; the one he saith is vanity, the other folly; others will be rea­dy enough to save me that paines, to whose uncer­taine censure I submit my selfe to stand or fall before them.

Yet thus much I will make bold to say for my selfe, that I have done little or nothing herein without consulting the best Authors both Ancient and Moderne, to which I have added that light, which God by his Spirit revealeth in my under­standing, [Page]to discerne what his will is, and to sug­gest what I shall French in his Church; as the Bee gathereth H [...]ny, and storeth her Hive out of severall sorts of Flowers for the Common-good: so have I out of these Collected and Ga­thered sundry Honey-Combes of truth, for the use and benefit of the Publick.

All my desire is, to doe all the good I can, and to that end my Tong [...]e being suspended for some time, I have taken this opportunity to sup­ply the defect thereof by my Pen. I am loth to lose our Crowne of rejoycing in the day of the Lord.

Animae servatae, the saving of Soules will pro­cure us a better Garland at the coming of Christ, then Cives servati, the saving of Citizens did the Ancient Romanes. That is the onely marke we aime at, and (if we be light and not smoake in the Church of Christ) the onely Subject and Matter of all our Preaching and Writing; And the saving of your Soules a part of that bounden duty and debt, which by the just bond of thank­fulnesse I owe unto you, especially; Testis est mihi Deus quomodo cupiam vos omnes in vis­ceribus Jesu Christi, God is my witnesse how much I have desired the good of you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ: and if I have not been [Page]able to doe for you what I would, yet that I have desired and endeavoured it what I could, may de­serve acceptance, or at the least will satisfie my owne Conscience. In a word, to see the welfare and happinesse of you and yours, how much will it re­vive his heart? who professeth himselfe

You affectionate Friend and Servant in the Lord, EDW. MARBƲRY


VERSE I. The Vision of OBADIAH.

THis short prophecie calleth to my remem­brance the words of David concerning God: with the pure thou wilt shew thy self pure, and with the froward thou wilt shew thy self frow­ard v. 27. For thou wilt save the afflicted people: Psal. 18.26. but wilt bring down high looks. For in the former part of this prophecie God thundereth with the terrours of his judgements: in the latter part we hear the whisper and still voice of his mercy.

2 Things set consideration a work at First:

  • 1. The title which sheweth
    • 1. Whose.
    • 2. What.
  • 2. The Prophecie it self.

1. Whose, Obadiah. Whether this were the proper name of a man, or a notation onely, to expresse the calling of him that wrote this prophecie, we may doubt; for Abad, servus, a ser­vant: and Jah, Dominus, a Lord, may denote this prophet in his function a servant of the Lord; and so are all the mini­sters of the word, in a speciall service, concerning the building up of the house of God.

That which Lyranus saith to be the judgement of most Ec­clesiasticall writers, that this was the same Obadiah that was steward of king Ahabs house,1 Reg. 18.4. and hid the prophets in the cave, and fed them with bread and water, and was contemporary with Elias: that how great authours soever it hath, is so clearly confuted in the words of this prophecie, that we resolve against it.

For the prophecit; it mentioneth the taking of Jerusalem was 800 yeers after Ahab.

It is likely that it was the proper name of the prophet; and Dorotheus thinketh him the same that lived in Ahabs time, which cannot be, as I have shewed.

It must suffice us that we know this prophecie to have been ever received in the Canon of the Church.

Melit [...] in his epistle to Onesimus, Euseb. 4.25. naming the books of Cano­nicall Scripture, doth name one book of the twelve prophets, whereof this is one: And I never read the authority of this pro­phecie doubted of in any age of the church: he was one of those holy men,2 Pet. 2. who wrote and spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The maid that came to the door when Peter knockt,Act. 2.14. knew him by his voice; and surely the Majesty and weight that is in the Canonicall Scriptures, doth declare them to be the voice of God which wanteth in all the Apocryphall Assuments, as a rea­der diligently exercised in the Scriptures may easily discern.

These holy writings addressed to the perpetuall light of the Church, are spare in their inscriptions.

Who wrote the books of Joshua, Iudges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ester?

They are written, they are ours, the wisdom of God is seen in them, the grace of God is confirmed by them, the church of God ever received them, the Spirit of God testifieth of them, and God in all ages hath been glorified by them.

The church of Rome doth attribute to the church a power of authorizing books of Scripture, and maketh the Churches autho­rity the warrant for the authorising thereof.

S. Aug. alloweth the Church the reputation of a witnesse,Contra Faust. 33.6. but not the power of authority herein: for he saith,

Platonis, Aristotelis, Ciceronis libros unde noverint homines, quod ipsorum sint, nisi temporum sibi succedentium contestatione continua? therefore that these books were the Canon of scri­pture, the testimony of all ages in their successions doth main­tain, but this testimony doth not give them authority, but wit­nesseth the authority given them by the Spirit of God.

We finde that even the authority of holy scriptures hath been denied by Hereticks.

Sadducaei nullas Scripturas recipiebant nisi quinq. libros Mosis.
Simon prophetas minimè curandos dixit,
Iren. 1.20
quia a mundi fabrica­toribus angelis Prophetias acceperunt.
Saturninus totum vetus test. repudiebat.
Ptolemaitae libros Mosis. Epiph. Haer 33.
Nicolaitae et Gnostici, librum Psalmorum.
Anabapt. Cant. Salomonis: Et lib. Iob.
Porphyrius scripsit volumen Cont lib. Danielis.

The New Testament hath had many enemies: the children of darknes have ever made war against light.

We are better taught; and seeing the Holy Ghost hath not sa­tisfied us from whence this our prophet came, but hath only gi­ven us his name and his prophecie, this contenteth us. The ves­sel was but of earth which brought us this treasure; & if we have lost the vessell, and kept the treasure.

The messenger was a man like us: the message was the Lords: if the messenger be gone, and the message do yet remain, the matter is not great.

Let us glorifie God for his Saints, whom God hath used as in­struments of our good, and praise him for all his prophets, and holy men by whom these heavenly oracles were received from him, and communicated to the church.

The son of Sirach. Ecclus. 4. Let us now commend the famous men in old time, by whom the Lord hath gotten great glory; let the peo­ple speak of their wisdom, and the congregation of their praise. Of this there is a double use.

  • 1 That we that do Legere, read, may learn, Degere Sanctorum vitas, to live the lives of saints, and do the church of God all the good service we can.
  • 2 That God may be honoured in Sa [...]ictis in the saints, as saint Jerome saith, Honoramus servos, ut honor servorum redundet ad Dominum. This is the honour of God, and this is the praise of this prophet Obadiah, whosoever he was, he liveth in this prophe­cie, to preach the will of God to you here present, and to let you know both the justice of God against the enemies of his church, and his mercy to his own beloved people.

For as the Apostle doth say of Abels faith, and by it, he being dead yet speaketh: Heb. 11.4 so may we say of this and all other pen­men of holy Scripture, that by these works of theirs, though they be dead, yet they do now speak in the church of God.

Avel spake two ways: for there was

  • 1 Ʋox sanguinis, a voice of blood which cryed for judgement;
    Gen. 4.10. Heb. 11.4.
  • 2 Ʋox fidei, a voice of faith, which is example for imi­tation.

Thus all Ecclesiasticall writers do speak, and we in our stu­dies do confer with dead men, and take light from them.

That is the reason that the elect of God do not arise to their full reward before the resurrection of all flesh, because their works do follow them in order as they are done, and their light goeth not out by night, Death doth not quench their candle.

Thus the antient fathers of the Church have left living mo­numents of their holy learning, and we come after them, and enter upon their labours.

They are unthankfull and spightfull that despise their names, and refuse their testimonies which they have given to the truth, and blemish their memory, as if they were unworthy to be na­med in our sermons, or to their judgements to be held in any estimation.

It is the only way for a man gloriously to out-live himself to be the instrument of doing good to the church of God when he is gone hence, and is no more seen: Blessed is that servant whom his Master when he cometh shall finde so doing.

2. What? The Vision.

Some have confounded these two termes, Vision and Prophe­cie, as both expressing the same act of Propheticall vocation.

I finde three of these titles used together. Now the acts of David the King, first and last, 1 Ch [...]on. 29 29. behold they are written in the book of Samuel the Seer, and in the book of Nathan the Prophet, and in the book of Gad the Seer;

Where, though our English Translation do use the same word for Samuel and Gad, calling them both Seers: the Hebrew distinguisheth them; and a learned Professor of Divini­ty doth read in verbis Samnelis inspicientis, the Inspector;Dr. Hum [...]. Decor-In­terpret. lib. 3. Na­than Prophetae, the Prophet; Gad videntis, the Seer.

I do not take these to be three distinct Offices, but three parts of the same Office. For,

1. Such must be Videntes Seers, God must open their eyes, that they may see what the will of God is.

Balaam being to prophecie at the request of Balak against Israel, beginneth thus, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, the man whose eyes are open, hath said, Num. 24.3

He hath said which heard the words of God, which saw the Vision of the Almighty, who had his eyes shut, but now open.

Therefore they must be videntes, Seers; for if the blinde do lead the blinde, you know where to finde them both.

2. Such must be inspicientes, inspectors; and that both in re­gard of the suggestion, that it be no humane phantasie, no sa­tannicall illusion, but a divine and spirituall revelation.

As also in regard of the thing suggested, that they may right­ly informe themselves in the will of God, and so farre as God revealeth it [...] that they may boldly say and maintaine, Sic dicit Dominus, thus saith the Lord.

3. Thus prepared they may be Prophets, that is, the Publish­ers of this will of God to them to whom they be sent.

So that Vision and Inspection belong to preparation; prophecie to execution of that Office; from whence, Docemur, we are taught

1. Doctrine.

The faithfull minister of the word of God must receive his [Page 6]information and instructions from the Spirit of God before he preach or prophesie.

We are ambassadours and messengers from God, and the warrant of our calling is our mission; the Apostle saith, How shall he preach except he be sent? for mission importeth fit instructions in the errand.

God hath laid blame upon them that run unsent, and no man putteth himself in that imployment but he that was sent as was Aaron.

The Son of God himself was sent, and when he came to do the will of him that sent him, he saith Lex tua Scripta est in corde meo. he professeth to Nicodemus,

Verily, verily I say unto thee, We speak that we know, and testi­fie that we have seen. John 3.11 And the Baptist saith, I saw and bare record. Christ giveth this accompt to his Father in his holy Prayer, I have given them the word which thou gavest me. John 1 34 For so saint Pe­ter admonisheth, If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God: John. 17.8 If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, 1 Pet. 4.11 that God in all things may be glorified:

If any man build upon this foundation of Jesus Christ, either tim­ber, hay or stubble, the fire of Gods spirit will soon consume it.

If we build gold or silver, this fire will try and refine it.

Surely this vision was not oculare, but mentale, a divine revela­tion of the will of God: the eye is the most noble of the sen­ses, and the most sure of the object; therefore he in the Come­dy saith,

Oculatus testis unus pluris est faciendus quàm auriti decem.
S. John. That which we have seene with our eyes that declare we unto you.

The understanding is the eye of the soul, and that seeth much more perfectly then the eye of the body: for as the Poet saith,

Fallunt nos oculi vagique sensus,
Ʋt turris prope quae quadrata surgit
Detritis procul angulis rotetur.

The distance of the object: and the debility of the organe can make the sight of the eye fallible: but intellectus rectus, a right understanding taketh sight from the spirit of God which searcheth all things, etiam arcana Dei, even the hidden things of God.

Therefore the Apostle desiring to fit Timothy for this holy calling admonisheth him of his duty, and saith,

Consider what I say, 2 Tim. 2 7 and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

But false prophets had their visions and did boast of their re­velations, and came as boldly amongst the people with Sic dicit Dominus, thus saith the Lord, as any true prophet of the Lord did.

Sathan will so transform himself into an angel of light,2 Cor. 11.14. that you cannot know him from one of Gods holy angels easily, & he will carry the Metamorphosis so cunningly, that if it were possible he would deceive the very elect of God.

Simon Magus called himself the great power of God.

Celsus inscribeth his oration for Paganisme, Vera oratio, a true oration,

Manichaeus calleth himself Manichaeus Apostolus Jesu Chri­sti, the Apostle of Jesus Christ: and saith, Haec sunt salubria verba de fonte perenni.

Chrysost. saith that the Macedonian Heretiques did say, Nos recta fide incedimus.

Saint. Aug. Nullus error se audet extollere, ad congregandas sibi tur bas imperitorum, qui non Christiani nominis velamenta con­quirat.

Faustus saith, Salus quam Christus promisit, apud me est; Cont. Fau. Lib. 13. C. 14. ego dabo.

Therefore that the hearers may be able to distinguish inter verum, & verisimile, that which is true and trueth like, and as the Apostle biddeth to try the spirits whether they be of God or no,

That we may beware of false Prophets, and know them from such as receive their instructions for their message from God, observe these notes of difference.

1. Is, Lawfull calling. We read of no true Prophet but he had a mission, as before.Heb. 5.5. Christ took not this honour upon him to be the great Angel of the Covenant, but was sent by his Father.

But false Prophets run and are not sent, God sendeth none such on his errands into his Church.

But this is not so easily discovered, because none do make more shew of lawfull calling then the false Prophets do.

2. The application of the prophecie is a clearer signe;Jer. 14.14. for the Apostle saith

He that prophesieth, 1 Cor. 14.3. speaketh to men edification, exhortation, comfort.

This edification is building up of the Church of God; false Prophets seek the pulling down of Gods Church, and the divert­ing of men from all good wayes, they seek to hinder the course of the Gospel, and to discourage the hearts of them that feare God.

Here a false Prophet may have a true prophecie tending to the good of the Church, and the prophecie is to be received, and the Prophet refused,John 11 50 as Caiphas prophecied; Expedit ut unus mo­riatur, it is meet one dye; and Balaam prophecied truly, yet was he a false Prophet.

3. By observing the aime and end of these Prophets: for such as prophecie aright, do say with Christ, non quaero gloriam meam, I seek not my own glory; But false Prophets seek either filthy gain, or they seek their own vain glory; the Apostle saith, They seek not, Rom. 16.18. they serve not the Lord, but their own bellies.

4. God himself giveth this note of difference in the event of their prophecies;

When a prophet speaketh in the Name of the Lord, Deut. 18.22. if the thing follow not, nor come to passe, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously.

And the name of a vision given to prophesie doth declare the certainty of the event; for it is a thing so revealed to the pro­phet as if he saw it with his eye.

5. The persons of the prophets and their carriage doth detect them: for if they be men sanctified, aad fitted with eminent graces for that service, the graces of God do testifie of them: for God doth send none, but with all fit preparations for the execu­tion of so great an office.

2 This title of vision doth give us assurance of all that fol­loweth in this prophecie; for God revealed it, and the prophet saw it.

Therefore so many of you as desire to receive any good from the interpretation of this prophecie, remember that it is a vision and therefore bring your eyes with you to this place, not the eyes of your body only, but the spirituall eyes of your under­standing, and pray with David, Ʋt videam mirabilia tua. Lord, open thou mine eyes that I may see thy wonders: Christ in open­ing [Page 9]the eyes of the blinde who had lost their sight, and in giving sight unto them that were born blinde, did declare himself so to be more then man, that his enemies could not tell how to deny his Godhead.

He worketh a greater wonder every day in his spirituall illu­minations of mens understandings, by which the ignorant and simple do learn knowledge, and poor men receive the gospel, and as the Apostle saith, grace, rich in faith: and are declared heirs of that kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him.James 2.5

Obadiah verse 1.

Thus saith the Lord concerning Edom.

2. The prophecie followeth: this hath two parts.

  • 1. Against Edom vers. 1. to 16.
  • 2. For the Israel of God, 17. to the end.

The title of the first part is my text, Thus saith the Lord con­cerning Edom. Consider here

  • 1. The subject of the prophecie, Edom.
  • 2. The authour of it, Dici [...] Dominus, Thus saith Lord.

1. Of the subject, Edom.

Isaac had two sons by Reb [...]a, Esaw and Jacob. Esau was called Edom, the reason of that name is thus given; Jacob had made red pottage, and when Esaw came from the field hungry and faint, he said to his brother Jacob,

Feed me, [...] pray thee, with that red, with that red pottage, Gen. 25.30. for I am faint. Therefore was his name called Edom because he so af­fected that red colour, being himself also red and very hairy.

This name doth maintain the memory of a quarrell; for he bought that red pottage dear enough with the: sale of his birth­right.

Esau and Jacob are a figure of the Church of God, and the Synagogue of Sathan; for they strove in the womb of their mo­ther, so that Rebeeca wondered at it, saying,v. 12. If it be so, why a [...] I thus?

The blessing how soever usurped by [...]sau be longeth to Jacob, and when Jacob hath his right, Esau is angry.

From this naturall Antipathy between these two brethren, and the grudge that the elder should serve the younger;

From the sentence of this difference, which was, I have loved Jacob, and I have hated Esau: there was ever mutuall war and hatred between Israel and Edom: in their succeeding posteri­ties: for the posterity of Esau did encrease both in number and wealth and grew both many and strong.

Thus doth the world gather riches and strength and armeth it self against the Church of God, and therefore the Church is called Militant.

Concerning Edom is this part of the Prophecie, declaring both Gods quarrell against them, and his judgement threatened.

We may take notice here of one point by the way, Edom is a mighty people, a strong and rich nation, able to molest the Lords Israel, that God from heaven undertaketh the quarrell of his Church.

Do you not see that they whom God hates may have riches and honour and strength, and may encrease, and grow into multitudes? how cometh it then to passe that so many in the world do measure the love and favour of God by these outward things, as one flattered his Prince?

O nimium dilecte, deo tibi militat aether.

What though their oxen be strong to labour? what though their sheep bring forth thousands, and though they have the fruits of the womb, of the herb, and purchase lands donec non si [...] locus, till there be no room? what though they have power and high places? all this had Edom, whom God hated; and doth not our Saviour make it an hard thing for the rich to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?

Outward things are the gifts of God, and he doth not value them at so high a rate as we do; He doth not care if his enemies have them.

His own Son when he took upon him our flesh, had none of them more then for necessity; and his Apostle perswadeth us, if we have food and raiment to be therewith content.

For there be snares in these outward things, and if God give not a blessing with them, they be the rods of God to scourge the sons of men, and great impediments to godly life.

There is an Holy use may be made of them, but they are not our happinesse, seeing they whom God hateth may have them in a greater abundance then those whom God loveth best.

2. The authour of the Prophecie.

Thus saith the Lord.

This is the assurance of the truth of all that followeth in this Prophecie, and it is the ground of our faith to beleeve what is here revealed: it is no passionate motion in the heart and af­fections of the Prophet against Edom, but it is the word of the Lord.

These be the bounds that are set to the Prophets and Holy ministers of the Lord, we may go no further then the word of the Lord. Christ himself saith often, The word which thou gavest me, I gave them.

And Balaam did his office and calling right when he told the king of Moab, Lo, I am come unto thee, Num. 22. v. 38. have I any power to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.

Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord hath put in my mouth? 23 12.

All that the Lord speaketh, that must I do. v. 26. Cap. 24.12.

And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not to thy messengers say­ing, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of mine own minde, but what the Lord saith, that will I speak.

When God designed Jeremie to the office of a Prophet, who did fear to undertake that great employment, God said to him,

Say not, I am a childe: Jer. 17. for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee shalt thou speak.

When our Saviour sent forth his disciples, he so limited them,

Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, Mat. 20.20

And accordingly Saint Paul doth professe,

First of all I delivered unto you, 1 Cor. 15.3 that which I also received.

Thus doth the Apostle again professe, being accused of the Jews,

I obtained help of God, and continue unto this day, Act. 26.22. Witnessing un­to [Page 12]to small and great, saying no other things then those which the pro­phets and Moses did say should come.

1. This limitation we finde in the titles of our office: for we are the Lords workmen, and we must do his work, not our own: the Lords builders, he provideth the materials, we work not by great, but day-work.

We are the Lords Messengers and Embassadors, we may not digresse from our instructions, the messenger of the Lord must speak the Lords message.

2. This is necessary in respect of those to whom we are sent, for the seeling of their faith: so the Apostle hath declared it;

And my speech and my preaching was not in the entising words of mans wisdom, 1 Cor. 2.4. but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery.

There is nothing that giveth faith firm footing but the word of God.

That is the Lords fan which purgeth away the chaff and trash from the good corn.

That is the bread of our fathers house: words of mens brains be the husks that the prodigall gathered up in his famine.

That is the two edged sword, that divideth between the bone and the marrow, that is the medicine that searcheth the soars and diseases of the inward man.

Humane wisdom put into the best words is but as a woodden dagger, it may dry beat, it will never kill the body of sin; it is an unguent, it corrodeth not.

3. Great is the danger of those that shall speak any thing but the word of God to Gods people, or shall conceal any thing of that which is given them to speak.

So God saith to Jeremiah,

Thou therefore trusse up thy loi [...]s, Jer. 1.17. arise and speak vnto them, all that I command thee; be not afraid of their faces, lest I destroy thee before them.

And to Ezek. Eze. 3.18. If thou sound not the trumpet, nor give warning to the wicked man of his wicked way, his blood will I [...]pire al thy hand.

This is not our own trumpet, but the Lords; ours giveth an [Page 13]uncertain sound, the Lords trumpet awaketh men to the battell.

From hence both the Minister and the people have their lessons.

1. The Minister.

We are taught to exercise our selves in the Holy studies of the word of God, that we may be able [...]o divide the word of God aright, that we may wifely understand the word of God, to be able to minister the word of God in due season.

The ignorant and unlearned man is no [...]it man for this imploy­ment: to such saith God, Because thou hast refused knowledge, Hos. 4 6, I will also refuse thee: thou shalt be no priest to me.

For why should any dare to intrude himself into this great service to teach others in the Word, seeing himself untaught? for the priests lips should preserve knowledge: and the people must seek the law at their mouth. Mal. 2.32

Doth any man send a lame man of his errand, or put his mes­sage into the mouth of a dumb man. We are the Lords mes­sengers.

Doth any man set an unskilfull man to build, that knoweth not how to use his tools? we are the Lords builders.

Doth any man set an unexperienced man to take charge of his sheep? we are the Lords shepherds of his flock.

Jeroboam took the right way to destroy true Religion, and to set up Idolatry: He made of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would he consecrated him, 1 Reg. 13.33.44. and he became one of the priests of the high places.

And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.

Surely such ministers though they have the outward calling of the Church, yet do they want the inward calling of God, and be­ing darknesse, they possesse the place of light, and they are blinde leaders of the blinde, as Christ calleth them.

Two sorts of ministers are here excluded.

  • 1. Those that know not what the Lord saith, and therefore use the Holy calling of the Ministery, but as a means for their maintenance, without care or conscience of feeding the flock of Christ: and wo is to them because they preach not the Gospel: they usurp the wooll and milk of the flock, and have no right to [Page 14]the inheritance of God, that is the tithes of the People.
  • 2. Those who know not, understand not the word of the Lord, yet trusting to their own naturall parts do boldly step up and usurp the chair of Moses, and are imperitorum magistri, teachers of the unlearned, before they have been peritorum disci­puli, Schollers of the learned. And these are the more dangerous of the two: better an unpreaching Minister that readeth the Word of God distinctly, then an ignorant preacher, that presumeth ex puris naturalibus, from his pure Naturalls to deal with those things which are too high and deep for him.

2. Ministers are taught their great duty of faithfulnesse, of which the Apostle saith.

Moreover it is required of stewards that a man be found faith­full.

He must say,1 Cor. 4 2. Thus saith the Lord. That is,

He must say

  • 1. Quod dicit Dominus, What the Lord saith is the truth.
  • 2. Omne quod dicit, All that, all the truth.
  • 3. Quomodo dicit. In the same manner, Thus.

1. For we may not go from our instructions to speak of our selves any thing, but we must first receive from the Lord, and then we must speak that.

It was Nathans errour when David did open to him his pur­pose for building of the Lords house, that before he had under­stood the will of God therein, he encouraged him, saying, Do all that is in thy heart: and therefore he was sent again to him to unsay it.

2. Neither may we suppresse any thing of that which is put in­to our mouths:Act 4.20. the Apostle saith, We cannot but speak those things which we have seen and heard.

And Saint Paul saith to the Elders of Ephesus, I take you to record this day, Acts 20.26, 27. that I am pure from the blood of all men: for I have concealed nothing, but have revealed to you all the counsell of God.

For surely as God told Ezek, It is as much as our salvation is worth, to leave any part of Gods revealed will in Scripture un­taught.

3. Neither may we change the manner of Gods speakings: [Page 15]for there is a form of Doctrine delivered to us, and there is a form of words; we must not only say, This, but Thus saith the Lord.

For so Saint Peter admonisheth, If any man speak, 1 Pet. 4.11. let him speak as the oracles of God. Not mingling humane. fancies with divine Doctrines: not mingling words of humane wisdom with Holy exhortations: not mingling our own spirit of contradiction, with our confutations of the adversary: not mingling any of our own spirit of bitternes and passions with our just reprehensions of sin, drawing against Satan and sin no other sword but the sword of the Spirit; which is the word of God.

Thus shall we be unto God the sweet savour of Christ, 2 Cor. 2. i 3. in them that are saved.

We shall meet with many discouragements in this our office, and we shall lose a great deal of labour; but so did our Master, it is his complaint:

Though never any were so sufficient for this service as he was;Isa 49.4. v. 1.

  • 1. For his calling, The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
  • 2. For his fitting to that calling,
    v. 2.
    He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft.

Yet he complaineth. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, v. 4. I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain.

Yet his comfort was, Yet surely my judgement is with the Lord, and my work, or my reward, with my God.

Object Here some think that the limitation of us to Thus saith the Lord doth so restrain the minister of the word to the word of God, that it is not lawfull to mention the names either of the ancient Fathers of the Church, or of any Heathen writers in our sermons.

A point toucht somewhat to the quick by a great and learned Divine even upon this text in print.

To which my moderate and just answer is,

1. That as there is authoritas Scripturae, the authority of Scrip­ture which is the ground of faith; so there must be testimoniu [...] Ecclesiae the witnesse of the Church, as Vincent. Lirinensis well ad­viseth,Cap. 2.

Quia Scripturam Sacram non uno eodumque sensu universi ac­cepterunt.

And in this case not having Antiquitatem ministrantem, univer­sall consent, and we are put to it to search out, what the most learned, & most sincere Divines in all ages have taught concerning this point; & here there is a necessity of consulting and declaring the constant judgement of the Church for the Testimony to the Truth.

2. In all points of doctrine it giveth a great assurance to our hearers of our faithfulnesse, if we declare our selves to be such as feed our hearers with the same Bread of Life which our fathers before us did break to their children.

3. Whereas it is surmised that these citations of fathers be but a pride of our feeding, and a vain boast of our learning:

It were more charitable to think,

  • 1. That our humility is such, that we are not ashamed to professe by whom we learn any thing.
  • 2. That we have so unworthy an opinion of our own judge­ments, that we chuse rather to apply the learned judgements of those that have gone before us, then our own.

And who can deny but that our Preaching out of them is with the warrant of our Text. Sic dicit Dominus, Thus saith the Lord, if the Lord spake by them to his Church?

For the use of Heathen writers, I onely say with S. Aug.

Omnis scientia in g [...]nere bonorum est.
In arundine sterili potest una pendere.

Truth is the language of God, and if ignorant men, wicked men, Devils do speak truth, we may quote and write them, and we may say truly, Sic dicit Dominus, Thus saith the Lord.

The prophecie of wicked Balaam and of Caiaphas was the word of the Lord; and the confession of devils testifying of Christ, is a good confession, there is no wrong done to the word, Qui non est contra me, mecum est. He that is not against me, is with me.

2. The hearers lesson.

You are all taught to receive this wholesome doctrine which the Minister preacheth from the mouth of the Lord.

It is not you that speak, saith Christ; he that hath ears to hear must hear, Quod Spiritus dicit, what the spirit speaketh.

When we tell the house of Jacob of their sins, this is the word of the Lord.

When we say unto you going in an evil way as Lot to the So­domites, Do not so wickedly, Do not say, Duru [...] est hic sermo. he rayled to day against swearing, or against drunkennesse, &c. I will tell you how you shall receive both comfort and great profit by our Ministery; and the word is given to profit withall.Mich. 2.7.

Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? recto judicio: rectis moribus.

I will give you a fair example.

Israel said to Moses, Go thou now neer, Deu. 5 27.28. and hear all that the Lord our God shall say, and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee, and we will hear it, and do it.

God took it well, and said to Moses, I have heard the voice of this people, they have well said, all that they have spoken.

We must tell you, that the Word of the Lord which he send­eth forth in our Ministery, shall not return to him empty; it shall finish the thing for which it was sent.

Therefore take you heed how you hear, and consider what we say: hide the Word that we Preach in your hearts, that you sin not against God.

If we do our duty he that heareth us and receiveth us, recei­veth Jesus Christ that sent us, and in these earthen vessels rich treasures are brought unto him.

He that refuseth us & our Ministery, refuseth him that sent us; and the Word of the Lord which we bring to them, will prove a rod correction to chastise them, and although they feel not the pain presently, it will be owing to them till affliction or Death assault them, and then they will remember the Word of the Lord with much horrour.

Obadiah v. 1.

We have heard a rumour from the Lord and an Embassadour is sent among the Heathen. Arise ye, and let us arise against her in battell.

We are now come to the Prophecie it self, which holdeth to the end of the sixteenth verse: The parts whereof are four.

  • 1. The judgement intended against Edom, v. 1.2.
  • 2. All the hopes of Edom despaired, v.
  • 3. The cause provoking God to this severe processe a­gainst them, v.
  • 4. Gods revenge upon them, v. 15.16.

1. In the judgement intended, observe

  • 1. The discovery thereof.
  • 2. The effect of it

1. In the discovery, observe

  • 1. By whom it was discovered.
  • 2. How, two wayes,
    • 1. By a rumour from the Lord.
    • 2. By Embassadours.

1. To whom this threatened judgement was discovered, we have heard. We, that is, the prophets of the Lord; for although Obadiah writ this present Prophesie, yet was not this judge­ment onely revealed to him, but to many more of the Holy Prophets; for so saith the Prophet Amos,

Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret to his servants the prophets, not unto one onely, but to more.

And so fully was this revealed to Jeremiah, Amos 3.7. that he doth pro­phesie even in the same words against Edom, but under the name of Bozrah, which was the name of a Principall city in Edom, as appeareth Gen, 36.33. the words of the Prophecie are these.

I have sworn by my self, saith the Lord, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, Jer. 49.13. a reproach, a waste, and a curse, and all the cities there­of shall be perpetuall wastes.

I have heard a rumour from the Lord, an Embassadour is sent to the Heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, &c. The margents of the Bibles refer you to that place.

The Lord gave great charge to Israel concerning Edom, Deut. 23.7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite, for he is thy brother.

Yet because the Edomite was ever an enemy to Israel, God revealed his judgement against them to many of his Prophets.

Balain [...] foretold their subjection to Israel, And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies, and Is­rael shall do valiantly. Num 24.18.19. Out of Jacob shall be come that shall have Dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of that city.

The Psalmist prayeth for their punishment,Psa. 137.7. Remember, O Lord the children of Edom.

It had not been lawfull for the Prophet to have provoked [Page 19]the justice of God against Edom, unlesse God had revealed his purpose of judgement intended against them, to him.

For Davids imprecations be all Prophecies.

The burden of Dumah, that is of Idumaea. Isa. 21.11.

He calleth unto me out of Seir, Watchman, what was in the night? &c.

The sword of the Lord is filled with blood: Isa 34.6. it is made fat with fatnesse▪ &c. for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumaea.

Rejoyce and be glad, O daughter of Edom, Lament 4. that dwellest in the land of Ʋz, the cup also shall passe thorow unto thee: thou shalt be drun­ken and shalt make thy self naked.

As to the young man, Rejoyce, O young man, Iron. q. d. Make thee merry whilest thou mayest, for thou art like to have sorrow and care enough.

Amos also foretold as much.

Thus saith the Lord. Amos. 1.11. For three transgressions and for four I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because he did pursue his bro­ther with the sword, and did cast off all pity and did tear perpetually, and kept his wrath for ever.

Which causes are after in this prophecie alleaged.

But I will send fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.

Thus saith the Lord God, Ezech. Cap. 25.12. because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance; and hath revenged himself upon them I v. 13. will also stretch out my hand upon Edom, and I will cut off man and beast from it, and I will make it desolate from Teman, and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.

And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my peo­ple Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger, and ac­cording to my fury, and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord.

Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, Cap. 35.2. and prophesie against it,

And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out my hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate, &c.

I may say now as the messengers sent to bring Michaias to King Ahab said, but in a Contrary,1 Reg. 22.13. Behold the words of the [Page 20]Prophets declare evil unto Edom with one mouth.

And now you see what reason this Prophet hath to say, We have heard, for God hath revealed this threatened judgement to his servants the Prophets, and with one mouth they declare it. From whence we are taught.

Doctr. 1. That the decrees of Gods judgement upon the wicked are constant and unchangeable.

Reason 1 1. For God is without variablenesse and shadow of alterati­on. Hos. 13.14 The word is gone out of my mouth, it shall not return empty, but it shall finish the thing for which it is sons, repentance is hid from mine eyes.

God is not as man that he should repent; he hath sworn in his wrath they shall not enter into his rest▪ and

The Lord hath sworn and will not repent.

Rea. 2 2. From the nature of the wicked against whom he threateneth judgement, for they have hearts that cannot repent, and there­fore they heap up wrath against the day of wrath; Gods hatred doth deprive them of all the means of grace, and none can be ef­fectuall in them, or to them: and he hath said, I have hated Esau.

Sin is folly, sinners are fools; bray a fool in a mortar, yet will not his foolishnesse depart from him; therefore they are under the rods and scorpions of wrath, and cannot avoid the same.

3. From the faithfulnesse of his Prophets, for the Prophets of the Lord that threaten these judgements from his mouth shall not be found liars: seeing their Prophecies are no self-given no­tions, but inspirations of his spirit, which is the Spirit of truth.

You know how Jonah was troubled to be a messenger of judge­ment to Nineveh, when he was perswaded that God would shew them mercy, and so his Prophecie fall to the ground: he could rather have looked on to see the utter destruction of Nine­veh, then that his Prophecie should be found unperformed, there­fore he went another way at first, & would not come to Nineveh, & when he had prophesied, he went out of the city, & there expe­cted the event of his Prophecie; & was angry that it succeeded not.

Quer. We finde that in that example God changed, and re­pented him of the evil which he had threatened against Nineveh, how then do we say, that the judgements of God against the wicked be unreversable?

And God saw their works, Ion [...]h 3.10. that they turned from their evil way, [Page 21]and God repented of the evil that he had said he would do unto them: and he did it not.

Sol. To this we answer, That Gods repentance was no change of his minde, or any alteration of his counsell or decree, but a deferring of the execution of his judgement.

The change was in Nineveh, and the repentance was in them; they humbled themselves before God, and they both did the works of mortification, and they also beleeved God:Cap. 3.5. this was not a justifying faith, which is Credere in Deum; to beleeve in God, but an historicall, which is Credere Deo, to beleeve God.

And God would have his Church see; that if Ahab humble himself, and go in sackcloth; if Nineveh give over evil works, and repent them of their sins, he will turn from the fiercenesse of his wrath, all to encourage repentance. But Jonah was a true Prophet of Gods judgement, their repentance was not poeni­tentia non poenitenda, a repentance not to be repented of: for they resumed their evil wayes: and Nahum doth renew the threatenings of Jonah, and declareth the Lords judgements against Nineveh.

For the repentance of the wicked is but for a season, and as it is temporary, so it removeth judgement for a time; but they re­turning to their sins, he returneth also to the execution of his in­tended punishment.

So Ahab was forborn for a time upon his humiliation, but he escaped not the hand of judgement: for God cannot lie.

His Prophets speak sure words, as the Apostle saith, We have a more sure word of Prophecie, 2 Pet. 1.19 to which you do well if you take heed as to a light, &c.

Que. When Abraham had heard the decree of God against the transgressing cities, did not he know that Gods decrees of judgement were immutable? how then did he solicite God for the reversing of the same? did he well in so doing?

Sol. Abrahams plea doth clear this point; for upon the first notice from God, of his intended judgement, he pleadeth for Sodom, not to turn away the wrath from the ungodly there: but he saith, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? &c. Gen. 18.13

The care of Abraham was for the place and for the persons of the righteous; he doth not solicite God for the wicked there.

Again, to pray for the ungodly and wicked to divert judge­ment [Page 22]from them when God hath revealed his displeasure against them, is not unlawfull.

  • 1. Because Christian charity hopeth all things, beleeveth all things.
  • 2. Because many of Gods judgements are temporall, and his anger against the sons of men continueth not long, so that we may hope, that either God may divert the evil, or miti­gate the same, or give patience to bear it, or sanctifie the chastise­ment, ad dignam emandationem, for their amendment, for onely the Lord knoweth who are his.

When Saul was rejected, and Samuel was the messenger of that heavie judgement,1 Sam. 15.35. yet Samuel did not cease mourning for Saul untill the day of his death.

That is the most effectual manner of praying, even that which the Holy Ghost useth in us, with sighs and groans: Plus fletu quam afflain. Thus when Abraham saw Ishmael cast out for a scorner and persecutour of Isaac, yet he prayed, O that Ishmael might live in thy sight. And God said, I have heard thee also con­cerning him, somewhat is obtained. Therefore let us still be pray­ing for all men.

Especially seeing God doth not make us of his counsell so far as to declare to us whom he accepteth, and whom he rejecteth.

From this lesson of the certainty of the judgements of God upon the wicked, certain, whether we consider the nature of God without change, or the weaknesse of man without any pos­sibility of resisting; or the nature of the reprobate without any ability of repenting, We are taught,

1. To rest in the decree of God; let us know, that he cannot deny himself; and therefore though wrath go not out from the Lord presently, and although his judgement is delayed, yet let us resolve that upon the wicked he will rain snares, and he will break the impenitent with rods of iron.

He was an hundred and twenty: yeers preaching to the old world, and they repented not, so long was he ere he would pluck his hand out of his bosome: yet at last he smote the World with a great slaughter, and drowned all but eight persons.

Two Errours do grow in us, if we do not wisely weigh this doctrine.

1. An Errour in judgement.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence: Psa. 10.21 thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thy self. as Aug.

Deum quia non pateris ultorem, vis habere participem. quia malefacta tua placent tibi, tu putas etiam ea placere mihi.

2. An Errour in manners.

Because sentence against an evill work is not executed speedily, Eccles. 8.11. therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evill.

For indeed what maketh men to walk so unconscionably on earth, blaspheming the sacred name of the highest Majesty, pol­luting his holy Sabbaths, making their belly, their penny, their pleasure their God; but this corrupt opinion of Gods either not seeing or not caring▪ or pardoning of sins, the presuming on his mercy, not knowing this, that the judgments of God, howso­ever deferred, will surely light where they are threatned

Therefore let every man in hearing and reading of the word of God, observe his owne sins, how they are threatned, and let him know that he hath no way nor means but by his serious re­pentance to escape that judgment.

  • 1. Let us take heed of dallying with the Almighty God, for be not deceived, God is not mocked; they that think to finde him when they list, know not that there is a time when he will be found, and they that neglect that time, do lose their sea­son of him.
  • 2. But especially let men take heed of abusing his patience, and making that a motive to, and a strength of sin: for Laesa pa­tientia fit furor, patience abused turns to fury; when men sin against the mercy of God, they spill the medicine that should heal them; they cut the bough that they stood on; for it is that which keepeth our heads above water, and standeth in the gap.
  • 3. To conclude, let men take heed of falling so farre from God, as to make a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell; that is to make peace with Satan; for this bed, the Prophet saith, is too short, and this covering is too narrow to co­ver us.

We are taught here not to repine at the present prosperity of the wicked.

This hath much disquieted very godly persons; David con­fesseth it to have unrested him, and his foot had almost slipt.Psal. 73.

It made some wise men among the heathen doubt. An sit providentia, whether there be a providence; and no humane wisdome can maintaine providence, because bonis malefit, good men suffer.

There is a parting of the red sea, and then it will appeare who be Israelites, and who be Aegyptians.

What if it last prosperous all their life long? at the parting of the soule and body Lazarus and the rich man shall feele a change; therefore grudge not the wicked their pleasures of sin for a season.

2. By what means this intelligence of the judgement against Edom was given: the meanes are two.

  • 1. By a rumour from the Lord.
  • 2. By the Embassadours sent from the Heathen.

1. The rumour from the Lord.

Jeremiah useth the same word, the Interlin. auditum audivi­mus à cum Domino. Jer 49.14.

His meaning is as before is exprest, that God hath put this prophecie in the mouth of many of his Prophets, so that it is not a particular instinct by revelation to some one, but a rumor, that is a general opening of the same filling the mouths of ma­ny, which declareth the consent of the Prophets in this Pro­phecie.

Doctr. It advanceth the message of God amongst men, when the Lords trumpets doth Dare sonum certum, give a certain sound, when they all agree together as one man in the ministery there­of.

The messenger that came from Michaiah to bring him to the two Kings Jehoshaphat and Ahab, thought he had used a great argument to perswade Michaiah to Prophesie good successe to that intended expedition against Ramoth-Gilead, 1 Reg. 22.13. saying,

Behold now the words of the prophets declare good unto the King, with one mouth; let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of one of them, &c.

These false prophets all joyned together to flatter that expe­dition: God revealeth the secret hereof by Michaiah, there was an evil spirit offered his service to God, saying,

I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And God said, Thou shalt perswade him, and prevail also.

The Prophets and Ministers of God do consent in their mes­sage; and Sathan that studieth the ruine of the Church doth his best to make his false prophets agree all in a tale, to make the fairer shew of Truth, that he may deceive many.

It is one of the great objections of the Papists against our Re­ligion, that it cannot be the Truth of God, because we Ministers do not agree in the Preaching thereof.

To whom we answer, That the Church of England in all points both of Religion, and Discipline, is as a city which is at unity within it self: if some particular Persons in the Ministery leave the way of the Church and go in their own way, that is no fault of the Church, but the Schisme of Private men.

Such, as they are discovered, so are they restrained and separa­ted from the rest: to Room then Parcius ista viris tamen objici­onda memento, Personall oppositions do not fasten imputation upon any entire Church of God.

And we say to the Roman Church,

Novimus et qui to, &c.

For we have good evidence even from their own wrightings, that the Church of Rome hath in later times dissented from those Tenets, which in former times it hath maintained; not in mat­ters of light moment, but in the main points of Christian Reli­gion.

  • 1. For the books of Canonicall Scripture, the learned of for­mer times did refuse all those books which we call Apocryphall as well as we; yet the Counsell of Trent hath since placed them in the Canon, and given them equall authority with the Canoni­call Scriptures
  • 2. For the sufficiencie, their own best learned have hereto­fore acknowledged the same as much as we.
  • 3. The vulgar translation hath been by their learned refused, the originall preserved.
  • 4. For the conception of the Virgin Mary without sin, it is not yet determined in the Church, but contradictories are al­lowed.
  • 5. The distinction of Mortall and Veniall sins.
  • 6. The Doctrines of merite, of super-erogation, of the seven [Page 26]Sacraments, of Transubstantiation, of Purgatory, of praying to Saints, worshipping of images, Indulgencies, Popes supremacie, all refused.

Therefore let them no longer charge us with differences; our Church doth maintain one Truth in all these things, with the former Church of Rome, against this that now is.

Therefore let us observe the setled doctrine of the Church in which we live, and receive that against the perverse oppositions of all schismaticall coiners of new Doctrines, and that is the safest way for us to walk in, for this rumor Domini is no rumour of the Lord.

Doctr. 2 2. Because it is auditus a Domino, heard from the Lord, whence we are taught to distinguish between the rumours which we hear from men, and those rumours which we hear from the Lord; let us judge them by the word of God, and let us learn of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, who best discerneth these spiri­tuall things, because they are deposited with it, and the Spirit of God is with it, and abideth with it for ever.

How holy Scriptures must be interpreted.

Let every man put his own particular fancies and humours to silence, and as the Apostle saith, let us receive with meeknesse the word of God, and let it be graffed in us.

For the word of the Lord endureth for ever, that is like him that gave it, without variablenesse, there is in it no shadow of change.

It was Davids rest, Audiam quid loquatur Deus, I will hear what the Lord speaketh.

And that we may hear this rumour of the Lord profitably, The word is given to profit withall. let me shew you who they be that receive the word of God profitably; these namely who

  • 1. Receive it in their understanding.
  • 2. in their judgement.

1. In their understanding, knowing what the Lord speaketh in his Word, for the Word is the revelation of the good will of God.

To this is necessary [Page 27]

  • 1. A preparation to this understanding.
  • 2. An use of the means.

For the preparation of our understanding, two things are ne­cessary as Saint Paul speaketh.

1. Be not conformed to this world: this world is our enemy,Rom. 11.1. we must shake off all acquaintance with it: it is the serpents fair fruit, wherewith he tempteth us, he setteth the eye and the heart a lusting, and filleth us with the pride of life.

Christ first separated his disciples from the world, then he fit­ted them to his service.

They deceive themselves that think they may embrace true religion, and the world too, following the vanities of fashion, and surfetting in the pleasures of life: for Godlinesse and vanity cannot dwell together: and the god of this world blindeth the eye of the understanding that they which love the world, cannot love God; and the secrets of the Lord are revealed to none but such as love and fear God.

2. Be ye transformed by the renewing of the minde: that is, be ye new Creatures, casting off the old man which is corrupt: for this new wine must be put in new casks.

We must sing a new song, Canticum novum, novus homo a new man, none else can sing it: therefore David desired Cor novum a new heart, and spiritum rectum a right spirit: it is the only new fashion as in many of ours, to renew the old fashion, the image of God stamped in us in our Creation, which is decayed & repaired anew by the image of the new Adam who came to restore us.

2. A use of the means, which are,

1. Delight in reading of the word; give attendance to reading;1 Tim. 4.15. what though thou understand not what thou readest? no more did the Eunuch: but God sent Philip to him: he was in the way of illumination.

Idle and wanton books take up too much of our time from the reading of Gods book: rumor populi, a rumour of the peo­ple takes us from reading this rumor Domim, this rumour of the Lord.

Yet these things are written for our use; and onely these things make the man of God wise to salvation.

2. Meditation, for that helpeth the understanding, and lay­eth up what we read, in the memory, that we may know where to have it again when we have need of it.

It is said of Mary, Lu [...]k. 251 that she kept all these sayings in her heart.

The wise son of Sirach saith well,

The inner parts of a fool are like a broken vessel, Ecclus. 21 14. and he will hold no knowledge as long as he liveth. Truly the cause of all our sins and frailties is want of meditation in the Word, want of keeping it in our heart we see in our selves, how we are affected here in hearing of the Word of God; if we did meditate on it, we should have the same affections still.

3. Hear the Word preached, for this is Gods ordinance for the saving of souls;Nehem. 8. Ezra had a pulpit of wood made him, he stood up, be read the law, and gave the sense, and all the people wept when they heard the wonderfull things of the Law.

But it is said, All the people were attentive, both man women, yet he preached not by the glasse, but from morning till mid-day.

And Paul preached from evening till midnight; for it plea­seth God by the foolishnes of preaching, to save those that be­leeve.

Be swift to hea [...].

4. Meditation is necessary also after hearing the word in the publike Ministery: for the Minister speaking to a mixt auditory, if he divideth the word aright, he hath a portion for every hea­rer, milk for some, stronger meat for others; some have need of information in things unknown; some of comfort, some of reso­lution in doubes, some of confutation of errours, some of chiding some have need to have their dulnesse spurred, others their dead­nesse quickened, others their weaknesse strengthned, others their young & hopeful beginings, encoraged, others their zeaks enflamed.

5. Conference is another good means to encrease our know­lodge; for one mans memory may help anothers, so one mans understanding may be more clear then anothers: for as we are many members of one body, so have we many graces bestowed upon us to make us usefull and helpfull one to another.

Conference one with another, especially with our minister, doth call to minde that which might else have slipt away from us; and the very purpose of conference doth adde a desire to learn by the Word, that we may rather teach then be taught.

2. We must receive the Word of God in our judgement. This is the wisdom that teacheth us to make use of it: for knowledge is not for it self, but for use; we shall know whether we have wisely heard the Word by two things.

  • 1. By the encrease of our faith.
  • 2. By our new obedience.

1. By the encrease of our faith: for faith cometh from the saving hearing of Gods Word; the Word is not the power of God to salvation, but onely where it begetteth faith.

The Word never profiteth where it is not mixt with faith in them that heare it.

So soon as Sathan shook the faith of Evah, Heb. 4.2. and made her, doubt of the Word of God, the Word had lost the power of God in her to preserve her.

2. By our obedience: many boast of their knowledge; the A­postle saith, He that doth think he knoweth any thing, that is proud of his knowledge, and loveth his knowledge for it self, knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

For in religion he knoweth no more then he practiseth.

What is it for a man to get a clear and good glasse, and to be­hold his face in it, and to forget presently what his form is? such are the knowers of the Word, as Saint James saith, that are not doers of the same.

And what profit is it to us to know our Masters will and not to do it, but the gain of many stripes?

Doctr. 3 Here is a great judgement threatened: the Prophets intelli­gence is rumor Domini, a rumour of the Lord.

There is great cause of fear when God doth give out what his judgements shall be, and how he will punish, for his word is like the sword of Saul,

It never returned empty from the blood of the slain.

We have no particular prophecies that do point out our nati­on, as this and many more did point out Edom for judgement,2 Sam. 1.12. but yet we must not neglect the voice of God; for

As faith layeth hold on the generall pro mises of God to his Church, and applieth particular examples in Scripture, to [Page 30]the building of us up in comfort:

So fear layeth hold on the generall threatnings of Gods judge­ments, and applieth them to the begetting and increasing of terrour.

So that when you shall hereafter see what sins Edom commit­ted, we shall perceive how those sins provoked Gods anger, and how severely God threatned them, you may say, Auditum audi­vi a Domino, We have heard a rumour from the Lord: that if the land we live in, or we that live in this land, be guilty of these sins, we have no quietus est, no discharge against these plagues; for these two go together,

Come out of her my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues.

The drunkard may see in Noah and Lot who sinned but once that way, how God did punish that sin. Miriams sin resisting Moses.

The adulterer may see in David, that God spareth not his own beloved children, he maketh their sins smart upon them.

But the examples of his judgements upon the reprobate are full of terrour: Cain, and Saul, and Judas, Korah and his com­pany.

This is rumor Domini, The Scripture dealeth plainly with us to tell the Church these things, ne veniant in locum tormenti, that they come not into the place of torment.

Doctr. 4 4. To comfort the hearts of such whose consciences are ten­der, and who do joyn, with care and fear, revenge upon them­selves, and all to destroy the body of sin.

Many of these do too much discomfort and deject them­selves, about giving themselves over, as if they were vessels of wrath or deemed to destruction.

Sathan useth fiery darts to such, and by all means tempteth such to dispair; he saith unto them, Non est tibi salus in Deo tuo, there is no safety for thee in thy God.

Therefore to such I say, Take heed, and examine well the sug­gestion, hearken diligently si rumor sit a Domino, if it be a rumour from the Lord.

Sathan laboureth most against our faith, for that is the victory by which we overcome the World.

Christ told Peter, Sathan hath desired to winnowe thee: he [Page 31]knew which way he bent his strength: Orav ine deficeret fides tua, Luke 22.32. I have prayed that thy faith fail not:

Our own fear is another great enemy to our peace; for when we do consider our selves, and how weak our faith is, we do presently apply to our selves all the judgements of God.

Yet this is rumor a Domino, a rumour from the Lord.

The Lord hath delight in this broken heart, he will repair and build up the breaches thereof; the ground that is thus broken up is fittest for the immortall feed of his Word, and of his Grace to be sowen in it, to bear fruit.

What a wofull case was David in when his foot had almost slipt, when he feared that God would no more be intreated, and hearkened to the rumour of his conscience, till God who is greater then the conscience refreshed him with his sweet conso­lations.

And saint Paul hearkening to the rumour of his conscience, crieth out, O wrethed man that I am, who shall deliver me, &c. but the sweet and comfortable voice of joy is heard in the ta­bernacles of the righteous: as there,

Thanks be unto God through our Lord Jesus, &c.

Therefore as he saith, When you hear of wars, and rumours of wars, be not afraid; that is, fear not servilely nor dispairingly, for the end is not yet.

Obadiah v. 1.

An embassadour is sent amongst the Heathen: Arise ye, and let us arise against her in battell.

2. Means of the intelligence, An ambassadour is sent amongst the Heathen, This is rumor populi, a rumour of the people: for commonly rumour of war doth go before war, seeing the prepa­ration of war cannot be concealed.

Concerning this Embassadour the learned Expositours of this Prophecie are not well agreed.

Some think he is some Prophet of the Lord sent to stir up a war between Edom and other Nations.

Others that one Nation doth by Embassadours stir up ano­ther against Edom.

The 70 read [...] whereupon some [Page 32]understand that God sent his Angel to provoke this war.

The point materiall is agreed on by all, that God hath an hand in this judgment, and he useth the nations for a rod to scourge Edom.

This rumour of warre is terror Domini, the terror of the Lord; And it stirreth up and awaketh those that are in danger, to look to themselves, which doth shew that this judgment threatned against Edom shall not surprise them suddenly, they have warn­ing to stand upon their guard, and to arme themselves against invasion.

This is therefore declared as I conceive to shew the carelesse security of Edom, that would take no warning, for that is ex­prest in the prophecy of Isaiah in the burthen of Dumah, con­tempt and scorne of their warning; for he calleth unto me out of Seir, Watchman, what was in the night? Watchman, what was in the night?

As deriding the Prophet, who had foretold their night of calamity which should put out their candle, and leave them dark­ling.

For if the voyce of the Prophets will not move them, how will they take it when they shall hear the nations sending Em­bassadours, one to another to confederate against them?

But the wicked are despisers, they will take no warning.

The old world made a scorne of Noahs preaching and build­ing, and thereby vexing his righteous soule, even to the day that the floud came and swept them all away. They of Sodom, even the sons in law of Lot, when he warned them of the wrath to come, did despise the warning.

Yet God to make their judgment more heavie when it com­eth, and to make their scorne more inexcusable, threatneth them with the rumour first, before be smiteth them.

The pride and vanity of these times, the drunkennesse and prophanesse, the contentions, and all the clamorous and loud voyced sinnes which over-grow into excesse; they do all arise from the contempt of the word of God, and from a negligence in observing the course of Gods justice in the punishing of these sinnes, and from a scornfull undervaluing of those Embassadors whom God doth send into the world to reconcile the world to himself.

The Apostle saith, We as Embassadours from God do beseech you.

But the Ministers of Gods word have very harsh welcome in the World, for the prophane despise them all, and will not hear their message: the precise will hear but some of them, they de­spise others; they that be for Paul, will not hear Apollo; and they that be for Peter, will hear neither Paul, nor Apollo, nor Jesus Christ himself.

But consider, Embassadours are not sent but upon serious oc­casions: this is such; to awake and stir us up against our common enemies, the Flesh, the World, and the Devil, and to tell us of our great danger.

For we shall not fight against Flesh and Blood onely, but a­gainst Powers, and Principalities: if we despise the noise of this rumour, these enemies may take us at advantage.

Edom would take no warning; no more will they whom God hath delivered over to the guidance of their own lusts.

2. The effect of the message and rumour being the judgement it self.1 Judici­um. 2. effect­um Judi­cij. Numb. 24.18.

Arise ye, and let us arise against her in battell.

When I compare these words with those of Balaams pro­phecie,

Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his ene­mies, and Israel shall do valiantly.

Out of Jacob shall he come that shall have dominion, and shall de­stroy him that remaineth of that city:

I finde here from whence the Embassadour cometh; even from the house of Jacob; And Israel shall stir up the Heathen against Edom, and Israel shall have dominion over them. This ap­peareth in Ezekiels prophecie,

And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom, Eze. 25 14 by the hand of my peo­ple Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger & accord­ing to my fury, & they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God.

So the people of God shall stir up the Heathen Nations a­gainst Edom.

From whence we do learn these lessons.

  • 1. That all wars are ordered by God.
  • 2. That God punisheth one evil man by the hand of [Page 34]another, and so one evil Nation.
  • 3. That war is one of Gods punishments by which he chasteneth men for sin.
  • 4. That the people of God may lawfully make war.

1. Doctrine. All wars are ordered by God.

It is the word of the Lord that these Nations shall come to­gether in War against Edom.

The horse is prepared for the day of battell, Pt. 21.31. but the victory is of the Lord.

He teacheth my hands to fight, Psa. 144.1. and my fingers to battell.

Melchisedech saith to Abraham after his victory in the rescue of Lot,

Blessed be the most high God, Gen. 14.20. which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.

When Israel prevailed against Benjamin for abusing the Le­vites concubine,Judg. 20.35. Jud. 7.20. it is said, The Lord smote Benjamin before Israel.

Gedeons cry was, The sword of the Lord and of Gedeon.

The reason hereof is in sight.

  • Reason 1 1. By the generall providence of God who ruleth all things and all persons;
    psa. 113.6
    for he abaseth himself to behold things in hea­ven and in earth.
  • Reason 2 2. By the particular interest that God hath in wars, for he is called Dominus exercituum, the Lord of Hosts.

The uses follow.

Use 1 1. In all wars to have respect unto the cause, not to put our selves into an unjust quarrell: let the cause be Gods, and we may promise our selves to have God on our side: The wise man saith,.pro. 20.18. pro. 24.6.

By counsell wars must be enterprised.

By wise counsell thou shalt make thy war prosperous.

If Jehoshaphat joyn with Ahab against Ramoth in Gelead, he shall speed accordingly.

The sword of the Lord first, then of Gideon.

Use 2 2. The cause being good and warrantable, we must not trust [Page 35]to our strength: neither must we neglect the means, presuming on the defence of God.

1. Not trust our own strength: for some trust in Charets, and some in horses, as Benhadah did in the multitude of his men, so great, that the land against which he fought; was not enough to give every one of the [...] an handfull.

Put David saith, A king is not saved by the multitude of an host, psa. 33.17. neither is the mighty man delivered by much strength: an horse is a vain help.

2. It is another extream to cast all upon God and not to use the means: first the sword of the Lord, and then with it the sword of Gedeon.

Use 3 3. This serveth to take off all fear from our hearts, when we fight the Lords battells: it was a cheerfull speech of Joah, en­couraging the people when he had divided his army, part against the Syrians, and part against Ammon,

Be of good courage, and let us play the men, for our people, 2 Sam. 10.12. and for the cities of our God, and the Lord do that which seemeth him good.

It was Davids resolution,

I will not be afraid of ten thousand of the people that should beset me round about: Arise O Lord, save me, my God: Psal, 3.6. for thou smitest all mine enemies upon the cheek bone.

Use 4 4. This teacheth us our duty before the War, in the War, and after the War.

1. Before the War, and in the War to joyn prayers with our prepatations and our attempts: for God declared in the Wars of Israel with Amalck, that Moses praying on the hill with Aaron and Hur, and Joshua fighting belowe in the valley,Exod, 17. were both of them the forces of God.

And that prayers were the better fighting, for when Moses ceased praying, Amalek prevailed.

2. After the War we are taught to whom to attribute the victory and good successe of the War; that is to give the glory thereof to the Lord, and so say with David, The right hand of the Lord hath done valiantly: the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to passe.

So the daughter of Jephta came out with timbrels, to meet her father, and confest to her father,Judg. 11.36. The Lord hath taken ven­geance for thee of thine enemies, even of the chldren of Ammon.

Yet may we not herein smother the well deserving prowesse and valour of valiant Commanders and souldiers, but give them their due honour; so even, the women meet Saul, returning from the slaughter of the Philistines, and they answered one ano­ther in their song, saying, Saul hath killed his thousands and Da­vid his ten thousands. 1 Sam. 18 7.

Doctr. 2 2. Whereas Israel saith to the Heathen, Arise ye, and let us arise, making use of the power and strength of the Heathen a­gainst Edom, we are taught, that God doth use one evil man, and one evil Nation to punish another.

The Lord did smite the Moabites by the Ammonites, and took from them some part of their land.

Chedorlaomer maketh war against other kings, and taketh away their substance.

The Midiani [...] were their own Conquerours, The Lord set every ones sword against his fellow there wont all the host.

The children of Israel did call the Heathen here to them,Jud. 7.22. they joyned in one war against Edom; as if at this day Princes of the Popish Religion should joyn themselves with a Protestant Prince, to maintain him in his Kingdom against the Emperour the Popes eldest son.

Is not this setting Egytians against Egyptians, and defending the Church by the enemies of the Church?

Reason 1 The reason why God doth this, is not for want of other strength; for he is Lord of hosts: but to declare him to be King, and Lord over all; he doth whatsoever he will in hea­ven, and in earth, and in the sea, and all deeps.

What doth more declare his absolute Soveraignty then his Power to whip and scourge the enemies of his Church by one another of them, which is to make Sathan cast out Sathan.

This sheweth that Sathans kingdom is subordinate to the Kingdom of God; there is but one Kingdom of which it may be truly said, Et Imperijs ejus non est finis, There is no end of his Kingdom.

Christ shall one day make this good, when he shall have put down all his enemies; for then he shall deliver up the King­dom to God.

In the mean time the subjects of Sathans kingdom are the vassalls of God, and Sathan himself shall be and is at his com­mand [Page 25]to be the rod of God for execution of his wrath where he pleaseth.

Reason 2 2. God useth to punish the wicked, to declare to the Church that there can be no true love but where there is love of the Truth; onely true Religion doth unite the hearts of men; and all that embrace not that, want the bond of peace.

They may cry a confederacy, and give one another the right hand of fellowship for a time, but if God be not the knot of their union, all other respects will come short of setling a con­stant concurrency.

We see this clearly in the vicissititudes of confederacies and wars amongst the enemies of true Religion: temporall respects make their leagues; temporall respects do again dissolve them.

The Uses of this point.

Use 1 This doth serve to reform our judgements, and to set­tle our hearts in our great vexation: for did not the foot of David almost slip, when he saw the prosperity of the ungodly, and compared it with the main and great troubles of the Church?

For seeing God doth make this use of them to be his sword, marvell not, that he keepeth his sword by his side, that he keep­eth it in a sheath, that he keepeth it bright.

And David saith,

Deliver my soul from the wicked which in thy sword: that is one cause why God rewardeth the wicked with some temporall fa­vours,Psa. 17.13. because he maketh use of them to punish his enemies: this is fully exprest.

For thus saith the Lord to the Prophet.

Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babel caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus.

Every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled, Ezech. 29 18.19 yet had he no mages, nor the army for Tyrus, that served against it: therefore thus saith the Lord God,

Behold, I will give the land of Egypt into the hand of Nebuchad­nezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take her multitudes, and take her spoils, and take her prey, and it shall be the wages for his army.

This may satisfie us, that we grieve not at the prosperous estate of the wicked, for God hath use of them, and he will not let them serve him for nothing.

The elect of God have fairer hopes, let them stay their sto­mack, and let them wait the Lords leisure.

Use 2 2. We may see in this example in my text, and in many more, that God maketh use of the wicked in the behalf of his Church, and therefore we must not give the glory of Gods justice to the means, but to God.

The wicked know not what they do when they fight the bat­tells of the Lord; yet God doth put such mettall into them, that they do most valiantly perform his will.

A full example hereof is.

The word of the Lord to Zedekiah king of Judah by his prophet Jeremiah. Jer. 37.8.

The Chaldaeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire.

Thus faith the Lord, deceive not your selves, saying, The Chal­deans shall depart from us; for they shall not depart.

For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men amongst them, yet should they rise up, every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.

This must needs be the hand of the Lord, and therefore the glory must be given to God onely: the means are weak, but the Lord is strong; he alone must be exalted; and all the glo­ry of victory must be ascribed to him.

The Church may use the help of the Heathen and of Idolaters in the Lords battells, for they are the sword of the Lord as you have heard.

Use 3 3. We are taught, that though Israel and the Heathen do come together, though the godly do use the help of the wicked to execute the will of God upon Gods enemies, yet they must be very carefull, not to joyn with them in their wickednesse and idolatry.

We may use the help of Papists for the maintainance of the Lords cause, but we must take heed that we fall not into the sin of Israel. Psal. 106.35.

They were mingled with the Heathen, and learned their Wic­kednesse, [Page 39]and served their idols, which were their ruine.

Let us not make the covenant with them that Ruth the Mo­abitesse made with Naomi,

Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Ruth 1.16

The third Doctrine.

War is one of the punishments wherewith God doth punish his enemies.

And I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the quar­rell of my Covenant. Levit. 26.25. Ezech. 14.21.

It is one of the four sore judgements, as God himself doth call it: and it is first named; used to cut off man and beast.

When Israel was by the favour of God put into possession of the promised land, they sinned against God in contempt of Re­ligion, in idolatry, theft and whoredom;

For which God punished them with war; for the Aramites, Philistines, Midianites, Moabites, Canaanites, and Ammon­ites fought against them, and opposed them three yeers, as appeareth in the book of Judges.

The misery of war is great, as Moses doth expresse it.

They shall not regard the person of the old, nor have compassion of the young, they shall eat the fruit of thy cattell, Deut. 28.50.51. they shall consume the profit of thy land, they shall besiege thee within thy walls, they shall drive thee to eat thy children, the fruit of thy body during the siege and streightnesse wherewith they shall compasse thee in thy cities.

Reason 1 God hath a quiver, it is full of arrows, this is one of them.Ezech. 5.16.17.

The reason hereof is, because they that make no conscience of their duty to God, nor of obedience to his Word, have put them­selves out of Gods protection, and he is become their enemy: The protection of God is the fence of the vine, if that hedge be once broken up, not onely the foxes will come in and devour the grapes, but the wilde boar will also come in, and root it up.

Reason 2 2. They that make no conscience of charity to their brethren, in the just judgement of God are delivered into the hands of men, and as one saith, Nullum animal morosius, so Nullum animal ferocius: O saith David, Let me not fall into the hand of man.

Let men fall softly and easily when they fall into thy hands, so shalt thou fall gently into their hands, for God is love, [Page 28]and the mercifull man shall not want mercie.

But as in the naturall body sometimes it is wholesome to open a vein and let out blood: so it is in the body politick, the sword must sometimes draw blood to parge the body of noxi­ous and offensive humours.

And wheresoever this punishment lighteth as Medicinall, it amendeth many faults, where it lighteth as a judgement of indi­gnation it cutteth off evil doers from the face of the earth.

The uses of this doctrine follow.

Use 1 1. Let us consider the lamentable estate of those that professe the same faith with us, who have no other outward means of safety, to preserve their liberty and rights but by the sword, against whom great and mighty Princes do say one to another, Arise ye and let us arise against them in battell.

You know who is at this time thus endangered, even some of the branches of that vine under which we sit.

The forward free and cheerfull offerings of your hands have testified your good affections to that rightfull cause; let lifting up of your hands secute that free opening of them; that is, let your prayers sight for them, and give God no rest till he hath set­led Peace in these walls, and prosperity within these palaces.

Surely they shall prosper that love it: for our brethren and companions sake the worshippers of the same God, the profes­sour [...] of the same faith with us, let us wish them now prosperity, for the house of Gods sake, which they seek to enlarge & advance; let us seek and study to do them good.

Use 2 2. Let us thankfully consider our own peace, we are filij pacis, children of peace born and brought up in times of peace: the prophecie of Zechariah is fulfilled in our land.

We have old men and Women dwelling in our towns, even men with slaves in their hands for very age, Zech. 8.4.5. and the streets of our cities and towns full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.

And that promise of God to the obedient is performed in us, I will, end po [...] in the land, Levt. 26.6 and ye shall sleep, and none shall make you afraid, and the sword shall not go thorow your land.

The happy dayes of the long reign of Queen Elizabeth of everlasting memory, the mother of our Peace, were crowned [Page 41]with peace, and she left a legacie of peace in the Common­wealth in her succession.

Our Solomon her heir hath maintained peace under his happy government, both at home and abroad.

What Nation is there now under heaven, which saith, Arise ye, and let us arise against England in battell.

We may say, this is the Lords doing, Psal. 46.9. and we must give him the glory of it; for as David saith, He maketh wars to cease, he breaketh the Bowe, and cutteth the Spear in sunder, and burneth the Chariots in the fire.

The Use. Be still and know, that I am God, I will be exalted in the earth.

Use 3 Seeing we have outward peace from forraine enemies, and none riseth up against us in battell; we must be tender of main­taining peace one with another; take heede ye bite not one an­other, lest ye be devoured one of another.

Better it were we had wars abroad, then that we should fight one with another of us at home by uncivill contentions, by fraudulent and cunning underminings, by slanderous and lying calumniations, or by any other uncharitable meanes of molesta­tion to breed unjust war [...] amongst our selves.

For by this curst crosnesse, we do provoke God to draw his sword against us.

Use 4 Seeing God hath delivered us from the calamity of war, and given us the blessing of peace, let us know that this is the fittest time for semination of the Gospel of peace: this is the seeds time for the word of God. In such a time was Christ born, in the peaceable reigne of Augustus Caesar.

Then were swords turned into sithes, and spears into plough­shares, and so the noyse of our redemption, and the sound of the Gospel went over all the world.

We see that those years of peace have made learning and arts flourish in our land; and for the light of religion, it never shin­ed clearer then now, and the light thereof still encreaseth.

Let us know that now God hath so fenced in his Vine in our Land, and bestowed such cost on it: he looketh that it should bring forth grapes, not fair and spreading branches onely, not large and green leaves, not shewes and semblances and seemings of godlinesse, but grapes not labruseas, not soure grapes.

But fructus dignos poenitentia, fruits worthy of repentance; These be the best presents we can make to God, the best ensigns of our peace.

Otherwise the calamities of peace will fall on us worse then those of warre, idlenesse, wantonnesse, fulnesse of bread, drun­kennesse, and all the wormes of prosperity which will destroy our vine.

Doctr. 4 Because Ieremih saith, Arise ye, stirring up others to battel, and addeth, we will arise. I conclude

Doctr. That it is lawful for the children of God to make war.

For a defensive war nature provideth, for that is no more but se tueri, to defend himself.

But this is an offensive war against Edom their enemy, and this is lawfull.

The Land of promise, though given so many yeeres before to the sonnes of Sem, in the line of Iacob, yet was possessed by the sonnes of Cham, of whose sonne Canaan took name, and Israel came into the possession of that Land by the sword.

They had Gods own warrant for it,Deut. 7.2. When the Lord bringeth thee into the Land whither thou goest to possesse it, and shall root out many Nations before thee, then thou shalt smite them, thou shalt utterly destroy them, &c.

Yea, he doth not only allow of a just war, but David saith, He teacheth my hands to fight.

Reason 1 Moses from God,Psa. 8.34. Num. 25.17. saith to Israel, vexe the Midianites and smite them.

1. Because, as I taught before, war is one of the judgments of God, one of the arrows of his quiver, one of his rods where­with he doth chasten the wicked, therefore the faithfull may and must arise when they are called forth into battell.

In such a case it was said, Cursed is he that doth the work of the Lord negligently; Curse ye Meroz, curse ye Meroz saith the Angel of the Lord, Jer. 48.10. Curse ye the inhabitants thereof bitterly, be­cause they came not to the help of the Lord, Judg. 5.23. to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

There it is called helping the Lord, because men be the hands of execution in these lawfull wars, by whom God doth punish his enemies; and because God is holpen in those that are by just means maintained.

Reason 2 2. Because an offensive war is revenge of injuries, and God hath said, Vengeance is mine, so that the Lord is called Lord of hosts, and just Wars are called The battels of the Lord; they that sight in such wars, God covereth their heads in the day of battell.

The wars of Israel against Amalek were offensive, they were the Lords vengeance against Amalek for smiting the hindermost and weakest of them in their passage to the promised land.

This war against Edom was such, as it followeth Gods revenge upon Edom for their cruelty towards Israel.

Reason 3 3. We finde that when the Israelites came to John Baptist and asked, What shall we do? he did not bid them leave the profession of arms, but onely said to them,

Do violence to no man, accuse no man falsly, Luk. 3.13. and be content with your wages.

Wherein he required of them fair wars without injury to any; for none but unjust violence is there forbidden.

And we shall finde in the catalogue of the faithfull, Gedeon, Heb. 11.32.33. Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, which through faith subdued kingdoms, &c.

The Ʋses follow.

Seeing the faithfull may make lawfull Wars;

Use 1 1. We are taught to satisfie our conscience before we under­take any war that it is lawfull and just, for else we cannot either promise our selves good successe or solicite God for his aid.

1. It is a lawfull war to preserve our right against them that invade it, as was ours in eighty eight against the Spaniard then our enemy, who prepared himself for the invasion of this King­dom.

2. The Judges of Israel did redeem Israel from their oppres­sours that had invaded them, and redeemed their own right.

So Abraham made a just war against those that had wrong­ed the king of Sodom, and took Lot prisoner.

3. To chasten and destroy the common enemies of enter­course and trade between Nation and Nation; such is the sea­war intended against the Pirates and sea-theeves that hinder the trade of Nations by their Piracies: wasps and drones that rob the hives of painfull bees.

4. To defend confederate Nations from the oppression of [Page 44]their enemie; for so Joshuah will not suffer the Ammonite to vex and wrong the Gibeonites, because the oath of God is be­tween them.

Thus for the common peace it is lawfull for Christians to confederate with Turks and Infidels, for Protestants to make leagues of peace and civil society with Papists, Catholikes with Hereticks.

And when the league goeth no further then the just defence of them in their rights, we may borrow and lend help each to other.

For the common love of humanity teacheth us to do as we would be done to;Chron. 12 18 and the Apostle biddeth, as much as in us, to have peace with all men.

But to assist Infidels and Heretiques in their unjust wars, it is utterly unlawfull; so Jehoshaphat joyned with Ahab against Ra­moth in Gilead, and the Prophet of the Lord reproved him for it.

And Jehu the son of Hanani the Seer went out to meet him,Chron. 19.2. and said to King Jehoshaphat, Wouldst thou help the wicked, and love them that hate the Lord; therefore for this thing is the wrath of the Lord upon thee.

If the league between the godly and ungodly Nations have these bonds,

  • 1. To assure one another against injury from each other.
  • 2. To defend each others rights, without prejudice of Religion.
  • 3. To maintain commerce between them.

I see no cause why it may not be lawfull for Christians and Infidels to confederate.

1. For defence against injury of others; if the Oxe of an Infi­dell, or his Asse should fall into a pit, ought I not to shew him mercy in his beast, and to save him if I can? shall I do this to his beast, and shall I not do it to him?

If thieves would rob him, shall I passe by and see him rifled, and shall I not give him aid? what duty one, man oweth to an­other, that doth one Nation owe to another; this is preservation of Justice, suum cuique.

2. For binding our selves not to do Infidels any hurt unjustly, it is the Law of God; we must not only abstaine from robbing them, but we must preserve their right; we may not take away [Page 45]from them their lives, their wives, their goods, or any thing of theirs; we may promise interchangably to do them no wrong.

3. For commerce;P [...]rk cont. aur. in 2. Praecept. some of our late Divines affirme it unlaw­full to sell to Infidels, or Heretiques, any commodity which they may abuse to any idolatrous use.

For example, to sell the Papists Waxe, because they make Candles thereof, which they do use in their false worship of God: so Frankincense cloath, &c. this is made a breach of the second commandment.

Put this rule is too strict and unwarrantable: for what pro­vidence can prevent abuse of all the commodities that any Land affordeth.

We sell wheat, of which they may make their Wafer-gods: we exchange gold with some of them, they may gild their Ima­ges with it. Some of them send us in Wine, which is much a­bused to drunkennesse: and silks of all sorts, which is abused to pridc, &c. This is Nimia sapientia, nimia justicia, to be over­wise, over-just.

Use 2 Seeing the godly and faithfull may lawfully make just wars: we are taught to exercise Arms, and to study Military Discipline, and to value the worthy souldier as a necessary mem­ber of the Common-wealth, and to give him all good encou­ragement.

That peace which rusteth the armour, and despiseth the soul­dier, and disuseth Arms, is dangerous; it weakeneth the hands and hearts of men of action, it disableth the Common-wealth, it provoketh the adversary to assault, and putteth all into hazard.

As John biddeth the souldiers to be content with their pay, so he alloweth them a pay, and imposeth the charge of their main­nance upon the Common-wealth.

Let not daring and worthy spirits complaine, as Themisto­cles did, that they are like to the Platanes in a storme, men fly under them for shelter; in fair weather, vellicant, pluck off their leaves.

Use 3 3. We are taught when just occasions of war arise, to gather courage, as being helpers to our God in his battels.

When Hezekiah saw that Senacherib was come to fight a­gainst Ierusalem, he said to his Commanders and souldiers.

Be strong and couragious, feare not, nor be afraid for the King [Page 46]of Ashur, 2 Chron. 32 7. neither for all the multitude that is with him, for there is more with us, then with him; with him is an arme of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God for to help us, and fight our battels.

So Nehemiah encouraged the people against Tobiah and San­ballat, when they came to hinder the building of the walls of Ierusalem.

Be not afraid of them, remember the great Lord, and the fearfull, and fight for your brethren, your sons and your daugh­ters, your wives and your houses. There be that have said, that true Religion doth make men cowards, and destroyeth forti­tude and true valour. It is not so.

  • 1. Because true Religion doth settle the conscience in the goodnesse of the cause, which the Heathen did not respect.
  • 2. True Religion casteth us upon the protection of Almighty God, which also the Heathen regarded not, but trusted to them that were no gods.

Therefore let us say to our souldiers in the wars of God, as we read it said by the Officers to the people by the command­ment of Moses,

What man is there that is fearfull and fainthearted? Deut. 20.8 let him go and return to his house, lest his brethrens heart do faint, as his heart fainteth.

For it was a base and unkingly answer that Ahab sent Benha­dad who said, Thy silver and thy gold is mine, thy women and thy fair children are mine: He answered,

Mylord king, according to thy saying, I am thine, & all that I have.

They that put their trust in the Lord, do not fear what man can do unto them.

Use 4 Seeing wars are lawfull, we conclude that it is lawfull also to use all witty means of circumvention to ensnare the enemy; those are called stratagems of war.

So Ioshuah may lye in wait and come against Ai, Josh. 8.2. on the back side of the City.

So Abraham may divide his company,Gen. 14.15. Jud. 20.29. and smight the enemy in the night, when he attempteth the res [...]ue of Lot.

So the Israelites may use advice to draw the men of Gibea out of their City, and so take advantage against them unawares.

Use 5 5. Seeing just wars may be undertaken by the servants of God, let them prepare themselves as Gods servants to them.

When thou goest out with an host against thine enemy,Deu 23.9. then keep thy self from every wicked thing.

The Lord thy God walk [...]th in the midst of the Camp to deliver thee, and to give thee thine enemies before thee, therefore let thine hoast be holy, that he see no filthy thing in thee, and turne away from thee.

Amongst the Heathen it was wont to be said, that the Camp was the Schoole of vertue, much more ought it to be so amongst Christians; for there is a terrour of death, and we know that immediat [...]y after death cometh judgment.

How ought men to sanctifie themselves, and to repent them of their sins, and to purge their hearts from all wickednesse, that serve under Almighty God in his battels?

God hath threatned,

If you will not obey me, nor do all these Commandments, Levit. 26.14.17. I will set my face against you, and ye shall fall before your enemies, and they that hate you shall reigne over you, and ye shall flye when none pursueth you.

Surely such are of he forlorne hope, that come not to serve the living God; therefore the strongest army is of them that are religious, and make conscience of doing any wicked thing to displease God.

Use 6 Seeing it is lawfull to make just wars, there must be a willing yeelding to the charge thereof; moneys are the sinews of war, and for this cause pay n [...] tribute; Rom. 13. Give unto Caesar that that is Caesars. God hath given our lawfull Princes an interest in our goods for the common good; and the Apostle alleageth this cause of tribute and subsidy to our Princes.

For they are Gods Ministers appointed for this very thing, that is, to execute wrath upon them that do evil, and to defend their own right.

Use 7 7. This reproveth those that sensually and securely play and sleep out their time, without care of their own safety, till the ene­mies come on them and make them a prey.

This was the ruine of Laish.

The children of Dan sent five men who came to Laish, and behold the people that were therein dwelt carelesse, Judg. 18.7. after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure.

This gave encouragement to the children of Dan to assault them.

Use 8 This Doctrine of the lawfulnesse of just wars doth seem to confute the Manichees and Marcionites of old times, and the Anabaptists and those of the family of Love in later dayes, who have maintained it unlawfull for Christians to make any either offensive or defensive war, or so much as to wear a weapon.

Object. 1, Christ saith,Matth. 5.39. Resist not evil: if one smile thee on one cheek, turn the other: if one sue thee for thy coat, give him thy cloak

Solu. This must not be literally understood; for Christ himself who gave this precept did not so, he was smitten in the High Priests Hall, and he turned not the other cheek, but reproved him that smote him saying,

If I have spoken evil, Joh. 8.22.23. bear witnesse of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me?

This then is spoken by our Saviour to forbid private revenge, that no man should be the judge of his own wrong, but should bear it with patience.

It is Saint Augustines answer, Obedientia istanon in ostentatione corporis est, sed in preparatione cordis.

And he saith, Non maxillam tantum obtulit, sed totum corpus dedit figendum cruci.

And he addeth, Quanto melius et respondit vera placatus, et ad perferenda graviora paratus est,

He could have withdrawn his cheek from the smiter,Lam. 3 30 but he would fulfill the Prophecie.

He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him, he is filled with re­proaches.

Private revenge Christ forbiddeth us; Christ did not take it against his adversary that smote him; he reproved it in Peter, he amended the maim that he made, and healed his smiter.

But war is a publike revenge, and the Magistrate beareth the sword to that purpose to execute revenge upon evil doers.

Vengeance is Gods, and where he committeth the trust of ex­ecution thereof, as he doth to the Magistrate, there it is lawfull.

This cleareth many other like objections, as that, Qui gladio ferit, Lam. 11. gladio peribit, He that smiteth with the sword, shall perish by the sword: we must recompence to no man evil for evil.

For all this is meant of our revenge; but the revenge of the Magistrate is the vengeance of God, because he is Gods Mi­nister.

Object 2 The prophet Isay foretold that in the time of the Gospel, Isa. 2.4. they shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pru­ning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Sol. These words bear three interpretations.

  • 1. That this was a signe of the coming of the Messias into the World; he was born in a time of cessation from wars, when the Romane Monarchy had leasure to leavie a taxation by the Poll; so when David had rest, then he thought of numbring his People.
  • 2. That this was fulfilled in the spirituall Peace and Unity of the Church, collected now out of all nations of the World, Iew and Gentile made one.
  • 3. That this is the proper effect of the Gospel, where it was embraced faithfully, to make Peace.

Under the name of Edom, we may understand all the enemies of the Truth of God and Christian Religion: such as are Schis­maticks and Hereticks, who understanding not the mystery of Godlinesse, and Peace, do set their wits against the Church, to corrupt the Truth therein deposited and professed, or to disturb the quiet professours thereof.

1. Hereticks.

These are our brethren by outward profession,1. Here­tiques. calling them­selves Christians; but they see that we have gotten the birthright, and the blessing from them, and therefore they hate us, and are comforted against us, to destroy us.

The Church is Gods Israel, the children of the Promise, filij regni, filij thalami, filij lucis: children of the kingdom, of the Bridechamber and of the light.

The Embassadours that are sent to stir up to war against those, be the Ministers of the Word of God; for to this purpose we are sent forth to confirm the brethren against those, to reconcile these to God: And we are commanded to arise against these in battell.

The war and so the weapons with which we fight against these are not carnall, but spirituall; the clear light of the Gospel which is the power of God to salvation to them that beleeve, and the Truth of God which is strong, and prevaileth against them that beleeve not.

It is time for us to joyn together as one man in battell against these:

Especially the Papists, whose Religion is ambition, whose pie­ty is worldly policy, whose zeal is combustion, whose faith is fu­ry, who hide the Word of Light in the darknesse of an unknown tongue, to keep the people ignorant, that they may not know Gods right hand from his left, to emplunge them in the flames of their imagined Purgatory, that they may be well paid to release them thence.

They mingle the sacrament of Baptisme with their own in­ventions which they make acquivalent in vertue to the power of Gods ordinance.

The mangle the sacrament of the Lords supper by robbing the people of one half thereof taking the cup from them.

They disable the sacrifice of Christs sufficient satisfaction for sin, by addition of humane merits of erogation, and super ero­gation.

They weaken the sole intercession of Christ by intrusion of more Mediatours, Angels, the Mother of our Lord, and Saints.

They shorten the free and full grace of God, which Christ himself from Heaven, told Paul was sufficient by their ly­ing doctrine of Free-will.

They flatter and abett some by their doctrine of indulgen­cies, which attributeth to the Pope power of pardoning sins past and to come.

They dishonour the holy sufficient Word of God, by acqui-ballancing with the same humane Traditions and false Legends.

They destroy true & saving faith, by their false doctrine of im­plicite faith, teaching that is enough to beleeve as the Church be­leeveth, not declaring what the Church beleeveth, and upon what ground their faith is built.

They maintain flat Idolatry, by teaching the worshipping of Images, and praying to Saints.

And for the power which they give to the Pope against God in dispensing with the breach of his Covenants, in coining new Articles of faith, in defining the interpretation of Scriptures, in usurping authority over temporall Princes, to enthrone and to dethrone at pleasure, to arm their natural subjects against them; to animate Incendiaries, to abett treasons, to blow up States.

All these things, and many more call upon us, take arms and joyn our strengths against this Edom, this red and hairy, [Page 51]and bloody enemy, whose mercies are cruell.

The best weapon against this Kingdom of darknesse is the Light of Truth; the more we carry this Light about us, the more will the ignorant amongst them know how they are abused and mis-led: For our war is spirituall, not against their Persons, but against their Heresies.

2. Schismaticks.

These also call us brethren, but they break the Unity and Uni­formity of the Church.

All the children of Peace must arise against these in battel: this also is a spirituall war, and the sword of the spirit must be drawn, and used against these to cut them off, as Saint Paul wish­eth, I would they were cut off that trouble you,

Or if the Word of God cannot prevail with them, to convert them to peace.

The discipline of the Church, which Saint Paul calleth his rod, must be used against them, to cut them off from our congre­gations.

The Apostle calleth them Leaven, and saith, that a little leaven soureth the whole lump.

So do Schismaticks; for a few of them do corrupt many, and divert them from the congregations whereof they are mem­bers, and distaste the established Ministery to them, and set them in opposition to Authority, and at last tempt them to sepa­ration.

Mr. Perkins upon the Article of the Holy Catholike Church, doth learnedly handle this point.

Object. First, saith h [...], they object

That our Assemblies are full of grievous blots and enormities.

He answereth,

Sol. The defects must be

  • 1. Either in Doctrine,
  • 2. Or in manners.

1. Defects in Doctrine,

  • 1. Either Errours praeter funda­mentum, besides the foundation.
  • 2. Or contra fund, mentum, against the foundation.

He maintaineth that our Church of England doth teach no Doctrine against the foundation of Christian Religion.

2. For corruption in manners, he declareth, that it cannot make a Church no Church, but an imperfect Church: therefore Christ commandeth to hear them which preach well, and live ill, as the Scribes and Pharisees which sit in Moses chair.

Object. Again, he findeth it objected that the Church of England doth hold Christ in word, but denieth him in deed.

Sol. Answer;

Denyall of Christ, is

  • Either in judgment.
  • Or in fact.

To deny Christ in judgment, which obstinacie is against the foundation, and maketh a Christian no Christian.

To deny Christ in fact only, sheweth us to be weak and im­perfect in our profession of the Gospel; and the best of Gods servants cannot keep out of this ranck, because it is impossible for them that carry a body of sinne, who do the evill that they would not, to hold conformity of life and conversation with their knowledge and good desires.

And truly the authors or the actors of chisme, do shew much uncharitablenesse in their separation from our Church; for the Apostles rule is, Be not unequally yoked with Infidels: What concord hath Christ with Belial? 2 Cor. 6.14. What agreement hath the Tem­ple of God with Idols?

Wherefore come out from among them, and separate your selves, saith the Lord.

And do they judge their brethren to be Infidels, the sons of Belial, Idolaters, that they do separate from us?

Againe, the same Apostle saith,

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the wholsome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Tim 6, 3. and to the Doctrine which is accor­ding to godlinesse, from such separate your selves.

Can any lay this to the charge of our Church, that we offend in this kind? It is true, that nothing is more easie then to accuse, but men and Devils cannot prove this against our Church.

The Church of the Jewes in the times immediately after Christs Ascension was the Church of God; neither did Christ for­sake that Church in his time, nor the Apostles after him.

But when certaine men heardened and disobeyed, Acts 12.9. speak­ing [Page 53]evill of the way of God, Saint Paul departed from them, and separated from them, and separated the Disciples of Ephesus; from certaine Schismatiques he separated, but not from the Church.

Therefore arise against such in battell, detect them to pub­like authority seek their amendment, or if that cannot be com­passed, prosecute the ridding them out of the Church, for those Edomites do not love the welfare of our Jerusalem, and they will not know those things which belong to peace, The way of peace they have not known.

Under the name and title of Edom, we may understand the whole Kingdome of Satan; and Israel the Church of God stirred up by the embassadours, the Ministers of God, to arise against it in battell.

For this, is our life called a Warfare, because we fight against Satan the professed enemy of the Church, & against all his forces.

  • Both his outward forces in the world
  • And his inward forces. Corpus peccati, the body of sin.

The holy Apostle Saint Paul knowing the danger of the e­lect, doth not only awake us to fight, and giveth us his owne example, so fighting not as one beateth the aire:

But he prescribeth us to a fit armour,Ephes. 6.19. &c. and teacheth us how to put it on, that we may be able to defend our selves, and to resist Satan.

This is no power of our own, but our strength in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

3. To come nearer home, as God told Rebecca, when Iacob and Esau were yet in her womb there striving;Gen. 25.23. there be two Nations in thy womb: so Saint Paul will tell you that there is in every regenerate man two opposite forces;

The flesh and the spirit, and rhese strive; the spirit hath God put into us to rule, the flesh rebelleth against the spirit.

Therefore to will is present with us, but we are not able to do to good that we would; yea, he confesseth that he cannot do the good that he would, and that he doeth the evill that he would not.

The spirit of God is Gods Embassadour, calling upon our spirits to arise against the flesh in battell; and that is the true [Page 54]use of all Doctrines of mortification, and of godly life, to strengthen the spirit against the flesh, to weaken the power of the body of sin. And for this Saint Paul did bring his body in subjection; for such is the nature of this fight, that the more we resist our naturall and sensuall desires, the more we advance the force of our spirits against our flesh.

And it a most glorious conquest for any servant of God to overcome himself.

Obadiah verse 2.

Behold, I have made thee small among the Heathen: thou art greatly despised.

2. The effect of this judgment.

  • 1. From God. I have made thee small, &c.
  • 2. From God and man. Thou art greatly despised.

1. From God. Three circumstances aggravate the judgment.

  • 1. Edom is made small.
  • 2. Made small among the Nations.
  • 3. I have done it.

2. From God and man. 2. Circumstances.

  • 1. Thou art despised.
  • 2. Thou art despised greatly,

Before I handle these parts, two things offer themselves to consideration, which make easie way unto the understanding of the Prophecie.

  • 1. The preface to this Prophecie. Behold.
  • 2. The phrase thereof.

1. The Preface. Behold.

Whereby he openeth the eyes of the Idumaeans, to look in­to their future estate; it is a word much used in holy Scripture, and ever maketh way to some worthy and considerable matter; here the Lord would have the Idumaeans take notice of the judg­ment and wrath to come.

Not that they should repent them of their sins, and turne to God, for God hated them, and set his face against them, and they had hearts that they could not repent: but hence we learn,

Doctr. It is Gods manner to give warning of his judgments, even to those who will not take warning, that they may be without ex­cuse; and Ezekiel must prophecie to those that will not receive him.

And thou shalt speak my words unto them, Ezek. 2.7. whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious.

He giveth a reason before;

Reason. 1 Use 5 Yet they shall know that there hath been a Prophet amongst them.

God will have the ungodly know that he hath tendered to them the meanes of escape from his judgments by the ministry of his word, that they may have nothing to plead for them­selves in the day of judgment, that they may see, and perceive, and confesse that their perdition cometh from themselves.

From whence we conclude, that to the reprobate all the means of grace are altogether ineffectual to salvation; the light that is in them is darknesse, their knowledge swelleth them; their faith is presumption, their fear is despair, their joy is carnall, their hope temporall. Their mind and conscience is defiled: abominable, Tit. 1.15. and disobedient, and to every good work, reprobate.

Of this justice of God against the reprobate, I can give no other account, then that which the Apostle doth yeeld;

He hath compassion on whom he will, Rom. 9 18 and whom he will he har­deneth.

Or if we would hear the same from the Son of God him­self. To them it is not given. And, even so O Father, Matth. 13.11. Matth. 11.26. because thy good pleasure was such.

So he saith, Behold, to them whose eyes in his justice he hath shut; and he saith heare, to such whose eares in justice he hath stopped, and he giveth warning of his judgments to them whom he hateth, as in my Text.

O Lord, how unsearchable are thy judgements, and thy wayes past sinding out!

Use Therefore let them use their eyes that can see, and let them hear that can hear, and let them take notice of the judgement and wrath to come.

The Elect of God shall finde many impediments, and shall feel a great reluctation of the flesh against the Spirit, let not such be faint-hearted, but let them so fight, not as they that beat the air: and let them so run that they may obtain.

2. The phrase of this prophecie of judgement is,

I have made thee small, Mal. 1.3, 4 thou art greatly despised.

For God saith, That is done already, which yet is not executed.

But consider the ground laid in the beginning, Thus saith the Lord,

The Lord to whom all time is present, and whose decrees give present resolution of all things, though he suspend the execution thereof.

But it was not long before this commination was fulfilled upon Edom.

I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wildernesse.

Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places:

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throwe down; and they shall call them, The border of wickednesse, and the people against whom God shall have indignation for ever.

Concerning the fulfilling of this prophecy, it was long ere it was perfectly accomplished; for this was the work of sundry Nations, to effect the judgement he [...]e denounced.

For, first they were wasted by the Chaldeans and carried into captivity; yet it is clear that they returned many of them back again: then was it fulfilled that is spoken before.

An Embassadour is sent amongst the Heathen, Arise ye: for first the Heathen arise.

Then in the time of the Machabees.

Judas fought against the children of Esau in Idumeaa, 1 Mach. 5.3. at Araba­tine, because they besieged Israel, and he gave them a great over­throw [Page 57]and abated their courage, and took their spoils.

And again after this,

The Idumaeans having gotten into their hands the most com­modious holds,2 Mac 10.15, 16. &c.

Then they that were with Machabaeus, made supplication and besought God that he would be their helper, and so they run with vi­olence upon the strong holds of the Idumaeans:

And assaulting them strongly, they wanne the holds, and kept off all that fought upon the wall, and killed no fewer then twenty thousand.

There was an escape then of nine thousand who had taken a strong castle: these many of them by corruption of money made an escape, which cost the blood of more then twenty thousand.

And so was fulfilled that other part of this prophecy, We al­so will arise against her in battell.

Yet did not the Idumaeans sink, for they recovered strength,Josephus de bello Jud. lib. 4. c. 6. and did vex the city Jerusalem, and came against it with a great Army, being by letters, and by a set oration of one called Jesus, entreated first to help their brethren the Jews, then to lay down arms, and not to fight against them.

They brake into Jerusalem in the night with fury of war:Cap. 7. and he saith,

Templum redundavit sanguine:

Octo millia et quingentos mortuos dies invenit, 12 Millia no­belium periere ab Idumaea trucidata after the destruction of Je­rusalem, Lib 5. c. 1. Lib. 7. c. 28 and the dispersion of the Jews that remained of that cruell Massacre, wherein the Conquerour left no cruelty un­done; he saith,

Horum furoris aemuli etiam Idumaei fuere: illi enim sceleratissi­mi peremptis pontificibus, ne qua pars conservaretur pietatis in De­um, totum quod ex Civitatis facie supererat abscidere.

Thus the Jews that remained after all these bloody wars di­spersed, and do yet continue in dispersion: but with promise of being recalled before the end of the World: but the Edomites are now perished from the face of the earth, no mention of their names is left in the World, no promise of their restitution, so that this Prophecy is at last fulfilled, and hath been many yeers accomplished; so long was it before the performance hereof, and Judgement began at Gods house; yet in the end it [Page 58]was executed in their finall ruine upon the earth.

This text calleth all this done; for no length of time could evacuate the Truth of God herein, which teacheth us to look assuredly for all these things which God hath said shall come to passe; especially, The fall of Antichrist, The calling of the Jews, The resurrection of the dead, The last judgement, and everlasting Life.

Let us come now to the parts of this Text.

1. The effects of this judgement from God.

1. Edom must be made small.

Edom or Esau, though he lost the first blessing after he had sold his birth-right, yet he obtained a blessing of his father.

Behold thy dwelling shall be the fatnesse of the earth, Gen 27.39 40. and of the dew of Heaven from above.

And by thy sword thou shalt live, and shalt serve thy brother, and it shall come to passe when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

This blessing was a Prophecie of the greatnes of Edom whose increase was such, that Moses doth rehearse that he was fain to depart from his brother Jacob and dwell in Seir.

For their riches were more then that they could dwell together, Gen. 36.7. and the land wherin they were strangers could not bear them, because of their cattel:

They had many Dukes and Kings of Edom, Verse 31. before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

So that in greatnesse they out-stripped Jacob.

This greatnesse continued seven hundred yeer after the pro­phecie of Isaac till Daniels time.

And he put garisons in Edom: thorowout all Edom put he gari­sons, 2 Sam. 8.15. and all they of Edom became Davids servants.

There God made them small.

Again, Amaziah king of Judah prevailed against them: he slew of Edom in the valley of Salt ten thousand, 2 Reg. 14.7. and took Selah by war. This made them small.

They suffered many changes, yet this is noted of them, that [Page 59]

  • 1. They were growen often very great, yet still God made them small.
  • 2. That they were great before Iacob, and continued so after Iacobs posterity were gone into dispersion.
  • 3. That now their memory is so extinguished on earth, that their posterity is not known.

Let no man measure the favours of God by the accesse of his possession, by the territories of his dominion, by the multitude of his men, by the force of his strength: God gave all these things to Esau whom he hated.

Rather let men fortunate and prosperous in their wayes, who have the desires of their hearts satisfied, and whose paths be an­noynted with butter, suspect that God hath set them in slippery places. Vivunt inter laquies.

Let them know that their fulnesse doth come of Gods open hand, aperit & implet: and let them know that The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and therefore let them take out both Saint Pauls lessons:

I have learned how to abound, and how to want.

We are not to seek in our own times of examples of smalnes turned into greatnesse, and of greatnesse again made small.

It is a judgment that David complained of, Thou hast lifted me up, and cast me downe: how much more peace have they in their bosomes, that were ever small, then they who having risen above others, are stooped beneath themselves, and laid so low, that the foot of pride treadeth on them: down stout heart; there is no perpetuity in things temporall.

Great Edom is made small, rough and boysterous Edom, that carries all by strong hand, is made meek and tame.

2. Made small amongst the Heathen.

These were numbred among the Heathen, and amongst them they were great, they separated from the Church of God, like the sons of sober and religious parents that turne gallants and roarers; and amongst these they shine awhile; amongst these Edom was made small.

Abraham had an Ishmael that was cast out among the Hea­then.

Isaac had an Esau that put himself in amongst them; all the sons of Iacob were Patriarches, great Fathers of the Church.

Esau, where he rose to glory and greatnesse, there he sunk into smalnesse; the eyes that saw him in his shining, saw him eclipsed.

3. God hath done this; there be few that look so high when they are down, but they do rather complain of evill fortune, or of some great wrong done to them here below, failing of means, disertion of friends, or injustice in superiours. The Hea­then look to second causes, and to naturall agents, they consider not that it is God who lifteth up, and casteth down.

But God taketh it upon himself, and would have Edom know that this is Dextra Iehovae, the right hand of the Lord.

Others look high at first, and upon every degree of down­fall, do charge God with hard measure, and murmure at his uneven hand, as if he had not done them right; which as Job saith, is to charge God foolishly.

But let men take it how they will, God is the Author of the rising and falling of the sons of men, of their growth and wi­thering; can God hate, and his hatred sit idle and look on? as his love is operative, so is his hatred: such is his love, that all things work together for the best to them whom he hath cal­led; Saint Augustine addeth, etiam peccata, even their sins; another, etiam adversa their adversary; and such is his hatred that all things work contrary to the ruine of them whom he hateth; etiam prosperitas, even their prosperity, for the prosperi­ty of fools doth destroy them.

2. This judgment is aggravated by two circumstances, from God and man.

  • 1. Thou art despised.
  • 2. Greatly despised.

1. Despised.

The children of Edom had two great temptations to swell them, that is riches and power; these they insolently abused, to oppression of their neighbours. God, who powreth contempt up­on [Page 61]Princes, covered them with contempt: This is the severest vengeance that pride feareth; Edom that was highest and bore rule over the Nations, and lived by the sword, is now made small; after this fall followeth contempt.

God hath said it, They that despise me, shall be despised.

2. Despised greatly.

Pride will have a fall, it never falleth lower here on earth, then when it falleth into great contempt,

1. Of God, that he turneth away from them, or setteth his face against them.

2. Of man, and that

1. When the Prophets of the Lord do set their faces against them, as in this case.

Son of man, set thy face against Mount Seir, Ezek. 35.2 & prophecie against it; it is no small matter to have the Messengers of God against us, which do carry his sure word of prophecie; for they speak from the mouth of the Lord, and where they denounce the judgment of God against impenitent sinners, whosoevers sinnes they retaine, they are retained.

2. When the Lord hath expressed his hatred, and pronounced his judgment, the Church of God despiseth their power, and de­rideth their malice, saying, Thou O God seest it, for thou beholdest ungodlinesse and wrong to take the matter into thy hand.

3. This maketh it a great and full contempt, when they that served them, shall be Lords over them, and their sword can no longer help them; so is Edom despised among the Heathen; this is great contempt to have the contempt of God and man.

You see their punishment.

These points of Doctrine do follow by just consequence.

1. That Gods enemies, though for a time they prosper and thrive in the world, yet they shall by little be at last consumed.

The whole course of holy story runneth very clear this way.

Cain, a runnagate, and many learned do think, after killed by Lamech.

Ishmael, every mans sword against him. Exod. 14.28. 2 Reg. 20.37

Pharaoh drowned in the red sea.

Senacherio slain by his own sons.

Haman hanged on his own gallows, H [...]st. 4 9. which the Poet calls Arte perire suà.

Nebuchadnezar turn'd beast. Dan. 4 30.

The Jewes have Christs bloud on them and their children.

Herod eaten with worms. Act. 12.23

Judas went to his own place.

But in the execution of judgment, God doth not all at once alwayes.

Moses telleth Israel, Deut. 7.21 God will root out these Nations before thee by little and little; Thou must not consume them at once.

As Amos prophecieth.Amos 4.9 1. Blasting and mildew, then the Palmer­worme, then the Pestilence, then the sword, and at last as Sodom and Gomorrah.

So he destroyed Egypt with ten plagues, one succeeding an­other; he doth not empty his quiver all at once: so here are two points considerable.

  • 1. He doth destroy them.
  • 2. Not all at once, but by little and little.

1.2 Thes. 6 7 The reason why he doth destroy them.

It is a righteous thing with God to render tribulation to them that trouble you.

2.Psal. 136.15. When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembreth the complaint of the poor. His mercy endureth for ever.

3. The enemies of the Church are Gods enemies. Exurget Deus & dissipentur inimici sui, let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordeined strength, because of thine enemies, that thou mayest still the enemy, and avenger.

Use. 1 The Ʋse.

1. It teacheth us to exercise our patience in all afflictions as Christ saith,Rom. 5.3. Rev. 14.12 Fear not them that can kill the body, &c. Patience bringeth forth experience, and experience hope. Here is the pati­ence of the Saints.

Use 2 2. It stoppeth any course of revenge that we may think upon; that is Gods title.

O Lord God the avenger, O God the avenger, Ps. 94 1. shew thy selfe clearly.

Dearly beloved avenge not your selves.

Use. 3 3. It ministreth matter of joy to the Church,Rom. 12. and of thanks­giving to God, when the ungodly fall. The feast of Purim was kept with joy for the fall of Haman, and the delivery of the Church.

There is great joy at the fall of Babylon.

Use. 4 4. This ministreth matter of terrour to the ungodly, Hest 9 17. Rev. 19. to hear that the Lord Jesus comethwith thousands of his Angels; he will render vengeance unto them with flaming fire, and punish them with everlasting perdition, from the presence of the Lord,2 Thes. 1.6, 7, 8. and from the glory of his power.

Gather together on heaps O ye people, and yee shall be broken in peeces; hearken all ye of far Countries, gird your selves, Isa. 8.9, 10. and yee shall be broken in peeces; take counsell together, yet shall it be brought to nought; pronounce a decree, yet shall it not stand; for God is with us.

So let all thine enemies perish O Lord, but they that love him shall be as the Sun when he riseth in his might. Jud. 5.31.

2. But this is not done all at once, God doth judge the wick­ed by little and little ofttimes. The reason is.

  • Reason. 1 1. In respect of the wicked themselves, that they might finish their unrighteousnesse: suffer ye the tares to grow till the har­vest.

    When the harvest is yellow, then he putteth in the sickle; and tarrieth, as David saith,

    Till their abominable wickednesse be found worthy to be punished.

  • Reason. 2 2. In respect of his Church that he may exercise the patience of his Saints.

    If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.Prov. 24.10.

    Therefore God said he wou [...]d not cast out before Israel any of the Nations that Joshuah left,Jud. 2.20. That through them he might prove Israel, whither they will keep the way of the Lord to walke therein, or not.

  • Reason 3 3. In respect of himself, for the glory of his justice; for his justice is not speedily executed upon them that do evill; all the world shall see that God hath awaited the repentance of the [Page 64]wicked, and given them time for it; and because they will not repent, he doth whet his sword, and he prepareth instruments of death.

Use. This teacheth us to tarry the Lords leasure; the sons of thun­der were too quick with Christ to offer to pray to God for fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans.

This is our common fault, when any one offendeth us, that we strait fall to cursing, wishing the pox and the plague, the ven­geance and curse of God upon them.

If our fury had the managing of Gods vengeance, who should live? take heed of provoking the patience of God: that justice that thou doest awake by thy curses, owes thee a punishment for thy impatience and uncharitablenesse.

2. We are taught that the reward of pride is fall and con­tempt.

So David faith, thou Wilt bring down high looks: no sooner doth God make the great ones of the world small, but they are greatly despised.

It needs no proof where examples of great falls do fall so thick as they have done on this side the Alpes within these few yeers.

Never ran the streame and current of Suitours more strong to rising, and growing, and growen greatnesse, then it ranne a­way from the fall thereof, and sought another channell.

And they that flattered these in their spring, and tendered them service, and made them their gods in their fair weather, in their fall of leaf forsake them, and then humble petitions turne to scornfull libels.

I may say of our times truly, as Hecuba, Non unquam tulit

Documenta fors majora, Sen. Tio [...]s quam fragili loco starent superbi.

Thus men lay by the walls the ladders that they climb by, and like those people, of whom Boemus writeth, they blesse the rising, but curse the setting Sun.

Every man seeks the face of the Ruler; so again, low hedges are troden on.

This is the language of this Prophecie, and Edom is one ex­ample hereof: this point is throughly pressed afterwards.

Therefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.

There is a naturall evill eye, which beholdeth the prosperity of rising men with much envy; that eye is glad of the fall of great ones; observe the text how soone it followes, I have made thee small.

Thou art greatly despised; so soone doth contempt follow af­ter a fall.

Let Edom be Sathan, and let God bind him in chaines, and give us faith to resist and overcome him; how do we despise him, and scorn him disarmed?

Let the world be Edom, and let God declare the vanity and casualty that is in all these things that Satan tempteth men with­all, and we shall see the servants of God will despise it, and use it as though they used it not.

Let a mans own corruptions be the Edom, the lusts of the flesh that fight against the soule, that make a man forget his piety to God, his charity to his brother; but let God by his word reveal to us the body of sin, and by his law humble us under the mighty hand of God: we shall despise and contemne the de­sires of our heart, and we shall say, I will go and returne to my first love, for then I was better then now.

This making small is ruine to the ungodly, it is medicine to the just; the narrow gate that leadeth to life, is easily entred by them whom God hath made small in their own eyes, and estimation of themselves.

Christ made himself of no reputation, not only ad sacrificium, to a sacrifice; but ad exemplum, to an example, that we might walk as he walked.

Small threads will passe through a Needles eye, great cables are too big; God resisteth the proud; a small womb containeth us, a small tomb burieth us; and never doth the favour of God shine more on us, or the attending service of Angels more minister unto us, then when the world despiseth our low growth, and our contentment with our daily bread; there is much difference between those that be humiles, humble, and those that be humi­liati, humbled and between those that be Humiliati ad vindictam, humbled to punishment, & those that be humiliati ad medicinam humbled to medicine.

This prophecie is full for it, that God resisteth the proud, and pride shall have a fall; and after the fall, followeth contempt.

And what reward have they of all those things?

v. 3.

The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high, that saith in his heart who shall bring me down to the ground?

Though thou exalt thy self as an Eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down saith the Lord.

2. Now he foretelleth how all the hopes of the children of Edom are dispersed.

  • 1. They had hope in their own pride, ver. 3.
  • 2. In the safety of their situation, v. 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • 3. In the strength & assurance of their confederates, v. 7
  • 4. In the wisdome, v. 8.
  • 5. In the strength of their own men, v. 9.

For the first, The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee.

Thou didst think better of thy self then there was cause.

Self-opinion is the bane of all vertue; for by it men become their own flatterers, and build castles in the air, it is tumor cordis, the swelling of the heart; this is of the world, and one of that cursed Trinity which undoes the world,

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, 3 John 2.16.

The cunning Serpent breathed this poyson in our first Pa­rents; for when Eva heard him say, Similes eritis Deo, you shall be like unto God, she soon ate of the forbidden fruit, and gave of the same to Adam.

Pride swelleth the heart, that it is not capable of grace, it fil­leth it full of it self, & leaveth no roome for Christ in that Inne.

Therefore one saith to a proud man, Deus praesto est largiri sapientiam, sed tu non habes ubi eam recipias.

Pride is contray to humility, for humility is not only vertue, but vas virtutum, the receptacle of vertue; God giveth grace to the humble; but pride, like the woman that had filled all her vessels with oyle, and at last vas defuit, there wanted a vessel, it so filleth the heart with the oyle of self-flattery, that there is no roome left, no vessell to receive any grace.

It filleth the firkins up to the brim.

Whatsoever good parts are in a man of woman, pride spoils all, and turns them into vice, as one long ago truly and facetely rimed,

Si tibi gratia, si sapientia, formaque detur,
Inquinat omnia sola superbia si comitetur.

This is esteemed the Queen of vices,Isa. 8 2.1. woe to the crowne of pride.

It is one of the late repentances of the damned, beholding the happinesse of the just, and feeling the misery of their dam­dation.

What hath our pride profited us? or what good hath riches with our vaunting brought us?Wisd. 5.

Satan is called a Prince ruling in the air, the god of this world, and that Leviathan, who is a King over all the children of pride.

This vice opposeth God, and transgresseth and trespasseth the Majesty of God; it began to all the other sins, it infected glorious Angels, and turned them into Devils.

One observeth that pride is no Recusant, it will come to Church; a man that lives in the light of Religion, and hath any morall goodnesse in him, will lay down his covetousnesse, glut­tony, luxury, idlenesse, envy, anger, for Service time; but the proud person will bring pride to Church along with him: Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a proud Pharisee.

Pride mingleth it self with our best actions, and claimeth share with God, in many of our good works.

It also filleth us with contempt of our neighbour, not as that Publican non ut alii not as other men; Edom lived by his sword, and awed men with his power, and this did fill his heart with Pride.

Riches unsanctified make men proud, so Jack becomes a Gentleman, and Mechanicals finde some false pedegrees to en­able them, or purchase places of eminencie, to put them before their betters: power unsanctified, makes men boysterous, and heavy to the poore.

Learning unsanctified, and the very knowledge of Religion doth breed pride, and that maketh contention, for pride is the root of Schisme and Heresie.

This turns faith into presumption in some professors of Reli­gion, but it turneth it into contention in others; in others into [Page 68]separation: in the p [...]phane, it breedeth contempt of God and of his word.

Wisdome, knowledge, honour, riches, power with humility, no pride to corrupt them, they are the ornaments of life, and the faculties of vertue, and the factors of grace and the fear of God.

It is a good saying of Hugode Sancto Victore. Superbia mi­hi Deum aufert, Invidia proximum, Ira meipsum, Pride depriveth me of God, envie of m [...] neighbour, anger of my self.

Behold his soule which is lifted or puffed up in him,Hab. 2 4. is not up­right in him, but the just shall live by faith.

Pride in the wicked taketh roome and place of faith, for as faith in the Elect doth lay hold on all the gracious promises of God, which do concern this life and a better:

So pride in the wicked maketh them beleeve that they are worthy of all favours of the time, and of all temporall graces; therefore the Prophet setteth them in opposition.

Therefore God beginneth to taxe this people of their pride, teaching us, that Pride is abominable to God.

Here we are compassed with a cloud of witnesses: It was pride that cast down the Angels; that deceived Eva: that made Cain a murtherer: Lamech a boaster: Nimrod a hunter: Ishmael a scorner: Edom an oppressour, &c.

And the Pharisee that could put off the aspersion of other sins extorsion, injustice, adultery, he could not adde pride; of this every one hath a share.

Diogenes wanted not his part, as Plato taxed him most just­ly; for it is so insinuating a vice, as that they which labour most to expresse humility, cannot but take some pride, even in that.

This pride of Edom deceived Edom.

Faith buildeth upon a rock, no storme can shake it, it is for­tified by the prayer of Christ, I have prayed that thy faith may not faile: Pride buildeth on sand, the foundation is false, every wash and wave that beats on it, shakes it and ruines it.

There is no creature that comes into the world more naked, and more disarmed, then man doth; yet none so proud, and therefore none so promising to it self as man is: for as one saith,

Colligit de vite spinas, pro uvis tribulos, for out of the good blessings of God, he maketh matter of self-opinion, and false glory.

This is a monstrous birth, Ex bono malum. Lumen quod in te est tenebrae sunt: when thou thinkest thy self more happy then others, and goest in this transport farre, at last thou seest that thou hast been thine own impostour.

It is a good saying of Saint Gregory, That he that boasteth, and is proud of any of Gods gifts, se interficit medicamine, the medicine that should heal, kills him.

That which all this while supported the glory of Edom, which was Edoms pride, proves Edoms ruine, it hath deceived him.

The Doctrines of the Church of Rome do maintain this pride of the heart, therefore they are deceit full: for

  • 1. They say we have Freewill to do good.
  • 2. They teach that a man in this life may fulfill the whole Law of God.
  • 3. They teach that a man may be justified before God by the merit of his works.
  • 4. That a man may overdo the Law, and do works of super­errogation, which may encrease the treasure of the Church, and may help out them that come short in good works, by mending their store.

All these doctrines seem to maintain the pride of the heart, and to give flesh wherein to rejoyce: against which we oppose the doctrines of humility.

5. That the Sacraments do conferre grace ex opere operato, and therefore whosoever is made partaker of them, hath the grace whereof they be seals.

First, So in Baptisme, they affirm that originall sinne is quite done away, so that infants baptized are certainly saved; and such as depart the world without Baptisme, are separated from the sight of God.

Whosoever receiveth their Sacrament of the Altar, doth ve­rily and really, and carnally feed on the same body of Jesus Christ that was born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered death up­on the Crosse.

Secondly, Neither do they only attribute this vertue to the Sacraments which Christ ordained in his Church; but unto those five which they have since added, and aequi-ballanced with the holy Ordinances of God.

1. For their Sacrament of Penance, they hold that the grace [Page 70]of Baptisme may be finally lost; and so to recover man again from that downfall, they have devised this Sacrament. This is Trent divinity. Sess. 14. cap 1. Si in regeneratis omnibus grati­tudo erga Deum esset ut justiciam in Baptismo ipsius gracia & be­neficio susceptam tuerentur, non fuisset opus aliud sacramentum in­stituere.

But because this serves not, Penance doth come in; for how else should they bring in their Auricular Confession, by which they dive into mens hearts, and their imposed power by which they dive into mens purses for satisfaction? And this concludes with Ego te absolvo, I absolve thee; which doth wash them as clean from all sins past, as if they had never sinned.

2. For the Sacrament of Marriage, they do that but a little honour, save only in belying it to be a Sacrament, and pronoun­cing Anathema to all that do deny it to be a Sacrament ordain­ed by God himself in Paradise.

  • First, But neither do they make it the means to convey any spirituall grace which is the chief use of a Sacrament: but only make it a bare signe of the conjunction between Christ and his Church.
  • Secondly, Neither do they leave it at large for all persons, but curse those that allow it to Priests.
  • Thirdly, Neither do they honour the state of Matrimony with equall honour to Virginity, but pronounce Anathema to them that preferre it before Virginity.

3. For the Sacrament of Orders they make the Priest some amends, for therein he hath a Sacrament which the Lay partake not in to this they attribute the power of Absolution the power of Binding, the power of turning bread into the body of Christ; the power of conferring grace.

4. For Confirmation, that is another help to Baptisme to re­lieve the imperfection of Christs Ordinance, Novam grati [...]m tribuit.

5. For Extreme Ʋnction; as the Sacrament of Baptisme is sa­cramentum intr [...]euntium, the Sacrament of entrance; so this is sacramentum exeuntium, of going out; this makes expeditiorem ad Coelum viam, a quick way to heaven; and is to be administred in articulo mortis, the point of death, and it carries the soule to heaven directly.

May we not behold the pride of the Church of Rome in all these, how they have taken to their owne hands the keyes of David; they open and no man shutteth, they shut and no man openeth.

It is in the power of the Priest to give, it is in the power of the people to take salvation; and I do not see any great need of Jesus Christ in these doctrines.

Neither can I find that they have left him any absolute, but only given him a dependent power over them, that he cannot save without them.

Surely all this pride deceiveth them that put trust therein: for,

1. Against Freewill We oppose,

In Adam we all die, in Christ made alive. 1 Cor. 15.12. And that this stretch­eth to a corporall, spirituall and eternall death; here the same Apostle,Eph. 2.2. We are by nature children of wrath.

Saint Paul was a vessel of election, he had the spirit of God, he received the office of his Apostleship immediately from God; yet he saith, The good that I would do, I do not; Rom. 7.15. the evill that I would not do, I do; whence is thence this Freewill?

2. Against the fulfilling of the Law of God in this life,Eccles. 7.20. There is not a just man upon earth, who doth good and sinneth not; and he that breaketh the least of the Commandements is guilty of all; James 3.2. Prov. 24.16. that is, he is found a transgressor, legis, of the Law. But in multis of­fendimus omnes, in many things we al offend. Justus cadit Septies.

3. Against Merit of workes. Christ saith,

They that have done all that is commanded, Luke 17.7 &c. have done but their duty; servi inutiles, unprofitable servants.

And what proportion is there, finiti ad infinitum, of the fi­nite to the infinite? the works of men be finite, the glory of God is infinite.

All our righteousnesse is like defiled clothes. Isa. 94.6.

4, Against Supererogation.

That pride deceiveth them; for there is nothing to be done [Page 72]in obedience, or in love to God, which is not commanded in his law, that requireth all the soule, and all the mind, and all the strength of both these; he that can finde any thing more to do, and can do it, may supererogate.

5. Concerning their Sacraments.

They dishonour Baptisme and make it of no account, when they teach that the grace of Baptisme may be lost, and devise three Sacraments to help it.

  • Confirmation to strengthen it.
  • Penance to renue it.
  • Extreme Ʋnction to perfect it.

We acknowledge God powerfull in his own Ordinance; we hold that the Grace given to the Elect in Baptism is sealed and imprinteth an indelible character.

Confirmation is no more but a watering of the Plants which the ordinance of God hath grassed. Penance is no more but a stirring up of the grace given in baptism: extreme unction is of no necessity, it was a temporall practise in those times when the gift of healing was in the Church; instead whereof we have pray­ers both in private and in publike Congregations. The Grace of Baptism we hold sufficient for the whole life to sanctifie it, and in the Elect of God it is not, it cannot be lost.

The true Sacrament of Confirmation is the Lords Supper, for that representeth to us the body that was broken for us, and the blood that clenseth us from all our sins; that is often repeated to call us to repentance and to strengthen our Faith.

If we flatter our selves, that the act of receiving doth sanctifie us, that is a deceiving of our own hearts; for the flesh profiteth nothing, it is the spirit that quickeneth.

We know that it may be eaten to condemnation; if there were carnall presence of Christ, none could eat of it but he must be joyned so with Christ as he could not perish.

Lastly, for the Sacrament of orders, they deceive them­selves in the pride of their hearts, thinking that God hath given them the Kingdome of Grace, and of glory to bestow where they will.

We are the Ministers of God, sent forth as Gods Embassa­dours, [Page 73]to carry his pardon to such as are penitent: the pardon doth set forth who are capable of it; we are the Ministers of God to make tender of the means of Grace to such as are capa­ble of them.

We cannot make a man capable either of Grace or Salvation; yet none can have either but by our Ministry: except God will shew his Prerogative and say, Ecce ego creabo rem novam in terra. Behold I create a new thing upon earth.

Humility deals truly with us: for it I be humble, I am con­tent with that I have, and think it more then I deserve.

I do not envy either greater graces in others, or higher places; for I know mine own weck [...]dnesse, and my sins are ever before me: and therefore I think it happy with me, and acknowledge it a great mercy, that I am not consumed.

I do not glory in mine own knowledge, but with Agur the son of Jakeh, I say, and confesse, Surely I am more brutish then any man, and have not the understanding of a man: Prov. 30.2, 3. I have nei­ther learned wisdome, nor have the knowledge of the holy.

I do not glory in mine own righteousnesse, but looking to mine heart within, and into my wayes without, I say with Saint Paul, of Sinners I am cheefe.

An humble man hath this advantage of a proud man, for he cannot fall, his estate may grow both higher and fuller, but his heart keepeth one point of elevation, and is fixed at that; he ne­ver graspe [...]h for wind to hold it, he hunteth not after opinion, he doth not flatter himself with vain hopes.

Well may an humble man suffer from others, but he will keep so good a watch upon his own heart, that that shall ne­ver deceive him by any information of self-wisdome.

But I commend a Virtue that but half keeps a living man in the earth, saith the gallant; true, but as the root is deep em­bosomed of the earth which makes the Free bear a storm the better.

But this keepeth men from putting forth themselves, where they may exercise their other virtues. I but it joyeth all well-affected, that Church and Common wealth aboundeth so in choyce, that there is no need of me.

And those whom pride putteth forth have an evil edition.

2. Their next confidence was in the siituation of their dwel­ling, [Page 74]resembled to an Eagles building her nest in the clefts of a rock on high. So there meets to make up their confidence, strength and height of dwelling.

That is their confidence, and that is dispersed in the fourth verse,

Thence will I bring thee down saith the Lord.

This opinion of the strength of an impregnable habitation hath deceived many.

After David had reigned seven yeeres in Hebron, The King and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites the inhabitants of the land, 2 Sam. 5.6. which spake unto David saying, except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in thither, Thinking David cannot come hither.

The Hebrewes have made a figurative construction of these words, namely that the Jebusites did preserve two Images, the one of Isaac, who was blind, the other of Iacob, who was lame, these two Isaac and Iacob made a Covenant with Abimilech, in which League they comprehended the Iebusites; therefore the league must be broken, which was made with Isaac and Iacob, if they did come thither to remove the Iebusites.

But this is vain and fabulous.

The true meaning is, that the Iebusites did think their hold so strong, that so long as there were any men therein, (though blind and lame) they would be able to defend the place against David.

But that hope was dispaired; for ver 9. David dwelt in that Fort, and called it the City of David, &c.

The like Example we have of Babylon.

Here her in her ruffe and in the pride of her heart, Thou hast said in thy heart, Isa. 14.13: I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne among the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the Con­gregation, in the sides of the North:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.
I will be like the most high.

Which pride of heart smarted in them; for it followeth, yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit.

I deny not but this is litterally to be understood of Babylon; Dr. Reyn [...]. on Obed. but it troubleth me that any learned man of our dayes should charge so many great judgements as have applyed this, to the [...] [Page 75]of the Angels with unskilfull application thereof. I know,

The learnedst and gravest judgements have gone that way, as far as we have any thing written of the fall of Angels.

And men of yesterday do not well to impute unskifulnesse, to such expert Scribes.

But in the posthumous writings of great learned men, the publisher may shuffle in some of his own brann amongst their Wheate.

For understand this either literally of Babylon, or allegori­cally of the Angels that fell, either of them thought their dwel­lings impregnable, and therefore safe.

Jerusalem called the joy of the whole earth, was compassed so with mountains, that the prophet to expresse the safety of the Church, resembleth it to Jerusalem.

As the mountains are about Jerusalem, Psa. 125 2 so is the Lord round a­bout his people, &c.

They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount-Sion. ver. 2.

Yet we know how it was destroyed.

David was gone far that way in presuming upon the safety of his person, and state;

Dixi, nunquam movebor. I said I shall not be removed, thou Lord of thy goodnesse hast made my mountain so strong.

All which examples and all experience, meeteth in one point of Doctrine, that it is a vain confidence to trust in the strength of our state and dwelling on earth.

A full proofe of this truth we find in the example of the Philistims Garrison, for

Betweene the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistims Garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, 1 Sam. 14.4. and a sharp rock on the other side.

Yet Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, ver. 13. and his Ar­mour-bearer after him, and they fell before Jonathan, &c.

The reason of this is given by God himselfe, I will bring thee down saith the Lord.

The Lord taketh on him to bring down high looks, and who­soever be the instrument and means of their overthrow, it is the Lords doing.

In this very example in my Text, God claimeth the glory of Edoms ruine; for the Prophet asketh who it is that cometh from [Page 76] Edom, and why his garments be red? It is answered, I have trode the wine presse alone▪ Isa. 63.1. there was not one with me.

Which prophecy looketh two wayes▪ both to the destruction of Edom in the letter, which God assumeth to himself as his own work.

And specially to the kingdom of Sathan, which Christ in the blood of his passion did alone conquer.

We had a faire example hereof in Eighty eight; the invincible Armado of Spain, then our enemy, now our reconciled friend, came forth in the strength of ships and Ordnance, and men, and promised themselves the conquest of this Land: they said we will rejoyce and divide Sichem, and meet out the valey of S [...]ccoth. God gave us victory, and declared that no strength prevaileth against the Lord.

Therefore let no man trust in the strength of his dwelling: we have an Iland encompassed and moted about with the Sea, walled in with sands and rocks, and shelves, which maketh the passage to us full of dangers, and is a great security to our land; yet have the Romans, the Danes, and the Normans conquered this land.

Therefore our trust is not in the strength of our dwellings, but God is our rock; on the clifts of this rock we dwell safe, so that Faith, and not presumption do build our neast. To him if we addresse our prayers, to him if we give the Sacrifices of praise, if to him we perform the duties of obedience, who can harm us? God of his goodnesse hath made our mountain so strong that we need not feare what man can do against us.

The trust of Edom was vaine, and the vanity thereof is de­scribed in the miserable wast that was made therein.

Ver. 5.

If theieves come to thee, if robbers by night (how art thou cut off?) would they not have stollen till they had enought? If the Grape-gatherers come to thee, would they not leave thee some Grapes?

V. 6.

How are the things of Esau searched out? How are his hid things sought up?

The words do expresse the full ruine of Edom, for all his strong habitation.

Thieves that rob an house by night, do not carry away all; and they that gather Crapes neerly, the Law requires to leave some clusters for the poore, the fatherlesse, and the Wid­dow.

But in the sacking of Edom, Lev. 19.10 there should be a carrying away of all in sight, and a curious search for all hidden things; there should be nothing left.

Neither men nor goods should be concealed, but the eye of search should find them out all.

There should neither be a satiety in their enemies, nor a com­passion; neither fulnesse, nor pitty should exempt any from spoyle.

That maketh the Prophet so patheticall, that he interposeth this admiration, How art thou cut off?

In the Prophecy of Jeremiah, it is added for an interpretation of this Text,

I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself; his seed is spoiled, Jer. 49.10. and his bre­thren and his neighbours, and he is not.

This is not to be understood so as if the Nation and name of Edom should cease for ever upon this vastation, but for a time; for they were again to build, and were again to pluck down, as Malachy prophecyed.

But in the end there should be nothing left of Edom, his very name should be forgotten upon earth even as it is at this day; for who can say this is the seed of Esau?

From hence. 1. We are taught that where God cometh to the spoyle, there is no secret and close receptacle, either for the persons or for the wealth and treasures of men, but he will search it out and lay it open; their bellies be full of hid trea­sures, those bellies will he rip up, and into those secret parts, shall his search penetrate, nothing shall be safe from it.

As in the fury of the warres of the Jews, we read that some of the Jewes having no other means left to preserve something to relieve their wans, swallowed certain pieces of gold to keep them from the hand of the enemy, which coming to the eares of the Roman souldiers, they ript up many of the Jewes bellies to seek for gold.

Edom dwelt in Mount Seir amongst the rocks, and many of [Page 78]their dwellings were in roomes hewed out of the hard stone, yet all their secret cabines were searched and spoyled.

Ishboseth is not safe on his bed, nor Ehud, in his Parlour, Whi­ther shall I flie from his presence? saith David.

God himself hath spoken to this purpose, I will slay the last of them with the sword, Amos 9.1. he that flyeth shall not fly away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.

Though they dig into hell, thence shall my hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, Ver. 2. thence shall my hand bring them down.

And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel,Ver. 3. I will search and take them out thence; and though they may be hid from my sight in the bottome of the sea, Ver. 4. or go into captivity thence will I command the sword and it shall slay them, and I will set mine eyes upon them for evill, and not for good.

Those searchers of Edom be of Gods sending, and they are his privie search, he will bring to light things hidden in dark­nesse.


Trust not to the secret treasures of ungodlinesse, not to the goods thou hast sayed up for many yeers to come; there is no­thing so secret but shall be laid open.

Gods search is not like Labans; he searched all the places but where Rahel sate; but God leaveth no place unsought.

If the secret store escape, fures, persodiunt & furantur. Yet there is tinea & arugo, the moath and the rust, and if nothing else, Tempus edax rerum; time the consumer of all things.

For so saith the Wiseman, there is a time to gather, and a time to scatter.

Let us not be too much in love with these things that we pos­sesse here; we know that when our Augustus Caesar began his reigne here over us, all neighbouring and remote Nations of­fered him peace, and he accepted it, and turned all our swords into sights; I need not speak figuratively.

Much armour was turned into Utensils for domesticall uses, and then there was no noyse abroad of hostility, even then in the peacefull time of the Church and Common-wealth, the religion of Rome stirred up certain searchers, that digged into the bow­els of the earth, and their hunger after Protestant bloud, brake [Page 79]through strong walls, and there heaped up such instruments of massacre, as would have searched our hidden things.

Those theeves would never have had enough, those Grape-gatherers would have left never a cluster to relieve the poore Church; thy would have rooted up Vine and all, and have laid the Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts desert and waste.

These were Papists, the ministers of hell, this was Religion falsely so called, the zeale of furies; such theeves lurke in many severall corners of the land; such Grape-gatherers hide them­selves under the shade of our vine; let all that love the peace of Jurusalem take heed of them; our houses, closets nay our sellars are not safe from them; they will seek out our hidden things, if they can take advantage against us.

Against this Edom let us bend our forces; and the idolatry and superstition, and ignorance, and imposture of that Religion, let us search out and detect.

It is his Majesties expresse command, that in every parish the sworn men do search for Recusants, that forsake all our Church­es, and for our own malecontent Professors that love any Church better then their own.

He would separate the clean from the vile, and the peaceable from the factious, Edom from Israel; for we hold nothing in safety, we can hide nothing out of sight, so long as those search­ers and underminers be abroad; the peace and honour and safe­ty of the Church is their prey they hunt after.

2. We are taught, what a fearfull thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God; when he plucketh his hand out of his bosome, he smiteth home, as he saith,

Affliction shall not arise the second time; he calleth himself in his Law, a jealous God, his jealousie burns like fire.

He can give Edom high and strong mountains for his habita­tion, he can give him the fat of the earth, and the dew of heaven, and let him multiply on the earth exceedingly, he can forbeare him in his wickednesse and cruelty for a long time.

But when he cometh to execute judgment, his right hand will finde out all his enemies, he will not leave a place or corner un­searched, but he will cut off head and taile, branch and root, in one day, for his hand is not shortned, but is stretched out still.

Why then doth the pride of our hearts deceive us flattering us [Page 80]that all shall be well with us, though we walk in the lusts of our own hearts; though pride disguise us in our cloathing, though gluttony fill us up to the throats, though drunkennesse stagger us, and our oaths and blasphemies fly up as high as hea­ven;

Hath God forgotten to be righteous, and is his judgment seat turn'd all to mercie, that we dare him with our crying sins, and awake his vengeance with our abominable impieties?

Can we sin the sins of Edom, and not smart with their punish­ment? he hath a curious and searching eye, he hath looked upon our works, he hath set our sins before him, our secret sins in the sight of his countenance.

First, his eye searcheth out the sins of men then his right hand searcheth out all his enemies; if he be angry, yea but a little, bles­sed are all they that put their trust in him.

They shall say one to another, Come and see what desolations he hath made in the earth: and as it is in my text, How are they cut off! but peace shall be upon Israel.

3. Out of the manner of speech and phrase of this Prophecie against Edom, I observe the use that all ages of the Church must make of the examples of Gods judgements upon other persons, and Nations before us, recorded in Scripture or in sto­ry registred, for the benefit of after times. For,

  • 1. He interposeth this clause of admiration, How art thou cut off! As declaring and admirable judgement to be executed upon them, enough to strike all that see it, or hear of it with feare.
  • 2. By a comparison of dissimilitudes he sheweth that Thieves and Vine-robbers shall be mercifull men in comparison of them that shall fight the Lords battails against Edom. For they shall leave somewhat behind them, these wasting depopulators of E­dom shall leave nothing.
  • 3. He saith not categorically and positively the things of E­sau are searched out, his hid things are sought up; but in a more patheticall language of amplification, by way of question, How are the things of Esau, searched out! and resuming the matter but with addition and amplification, How are his hid thing sought up?

Which questions do put it upon us to take the judgement of God upon Edom into a serious consideration.

It is a question amongst great learned Divines of former ages [Page 81]which was the greatest miracle that ever Christ wrought whi­lest he lived upon earth.

St. Ierome answereth, some thinke the raysing of Lazarus: others the giving sight to the blind: others the voyce that was heard at his Baptism: others his transfiguration: but he for his own judgement, he thinks that the whipping of men that bought and sold in the Temple, twise by him performed, was the greatest of all his miracles.

For that a man so weak in his own person, so despised of men, so opposed by the Merchants of the Temple, should play Rex in the Temple, and should there execute judgement, and subdue the hearts of so many men, who thought they did well, and had some colour to defend what they did. And that they should without resistance suffer the lash, and abandon the place.

St. Origen doth admire this miracle of his justice, as declaring him to be God, as David saith. God is known by executing judgement, Quo domantur hominum ingenia, Whereby the wits of men are subdued.

Therefore when the Judgements of God are preached, let men feare. The doctrines of Paul were soft and gentle, when he spake of righteousnesse, and temperance; but when he spake of the Judgement to come, Felix trembled, but it is probably thought, that that last doctrine of judgement to come, put him into that quaking and shaking fit, and made the earth to quake within him.

Therfore the Prophet David having shewed what search God maketh for sin, addeth,Psa. 50.22

Now consider this, you that forget God least I teare you in pieces and there be none to deliver.

His judgements are over all the earth, it is a meditation for the Sabbath, it is proper for the day.

And David saith, Thou hast made me glad through thy worke. Psa. 92.4. One of his works is of judgement.

When the wicked spring as grasse, Ver. 7. Ver. 9. and when all the workers of ini­quity flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed for ever.

For loe thine enemies O Lord, loe thine enemies shall perish, all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

This is matter of comfort for the Church of God, it is joy in the tabernacles of the righteous; for they say the right hand [Page 82]of the Lord, bringeth mighty things to passe.

It serveth also to mingle some trembling with their joy, and some fear with their faith, to keep it from overgrowing to pre­sumption; therefore the Elect of God upon consideration of the severe judgements of God, do feele in themselves a re­newed fear of the Majesty of God, which humbleth them as Habacuk confesseth.

When I heard, my helly trembled, my lights quivered at the voyce, rottennesse entred into my bones, and I trembled in my selfe, that I might rest in the day of trouble. Hab 3 16.

This is the sweet fruit of that consideration, for it prepareth rest for the soules of them that feare the Lord.

Therefore let fortunes and times delicate minions, the daugh­ters of ease, and plenty, which study nothing but trimme and bravery, and wast the pretious moments of time, which should be spent in the contrite repentance of their sins, in the curi­ous dresse of their bodyes,

Let them read the judgement of God upon the daughters of Sion; see how fine they were, and how God threatning them with the scab with discovery of their nakednesse,Isa 3.16. with stinke, with baldnesse, with devesting, with sack-cloth.

Let the drunkards of our time, heare what God threatned Ephraim, Isa 28.3. The Crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trode under foot.

Let the Schismatical resisters of authority, which despise Mo­ses their King,Num. 1 [...].1 and Aaron their Priest, and think much to be sub­ject to the Ordinances which are set down, remember Miriam the sister of Moses, who resisting Moses, was punished with a Leprosie and though Aaron besought God for her, could not be healed till she had been shut out of the Camp seven dayes.

Read and study holy Scriptures; whatsoever is there written, is for our learning; our God is the same, and his years fail not; he hath the same eye that once he had, to find out sinners: he hath the same hatred that once he had to sin, he hath the same Justice that once he had to censure it, and the same right hand to execute his wrath.

All Scriptures will tell you that he doth it severely; his sword is sharp, and his arme is strong: O Lord be mercifull to mee a sinner.

Ver. 7.

All the men of thy confederacy, have brought thee even to the border: The men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee: They that eat thy bread, have laid a wound under thee, There is no understanding in them.

The third confidence of Edom diappointed.

This point is Rhetorically amplified,

  • 1. In the persons in whom Edom trusted,
  • 2. In the failing of them.

The persons are called:

  • 1. Men of their confederacy, such as had entred into League with them, saying your friends shall be our friends, your ene­mies shall be our enemies, we will engage our strength mutually with you, we will seek our good in the common good of both; as in the Proverbs, one purse, one Army.
  • 2. The men that were at peace with her, that had promised them love from themselves, and all offices of humanity.
  • 3. They that eat thy bread: Such as did communicate with them in the necessities of life, as Iudas did with Christ, Commen­sales convivae, Table Guests.

Their failing is also amplified.

1. They have brought thee even to the border that is, whilst Edom trusted to their help, they came forth of their strong holds to meet with their enemies, in the borders of their terri­tories, who but for their trust in them, might have been more safe in their own Fortresses. For trusting to their help, whom they found perfidious, they left their habitations, and strong Castles empty to keep the enemy from coming upon their bor­ders: whilst their false friends expose them to invasion, and their gates to direption, in their absence. Relinquentes & pro­dentes.

Thus they gave their enemies advantage against them to keep them from returning again into their strong holds.

2. They have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee. For they that were trusted as friends to Edom, betrayed them to their enemies, and fought against them, and prevailed.

3. They have layed a wound under thee, that is, they have se­cretly conveied under thee an instrument to wound thee; there­fore others read posuerunt insidias subter te. Declaring how cunningly their false friends had concealed their malice, & how dangerously they had layed their plot, for the overthrow of E­dom, so neer as under them, even to blow them up. Like our Powder Traytors; for they layed wounds under the Parliament-house, instruments and means to wound and to destroy all.

And therefore he concludes of Edom, There is no under­standing in him, that is Edom was blinded, and be fooled with this vain confidence, to trust in the perfidious friendship of their false friends.

From this place these Doctrines arise.

1. It was Edoms sin against the first Commandement to put confidence in man, and therefore God punisheth them by those whom they trusted. From whence ariseth this Doctrine,

That God punisheth one sin by another: The sinne of injury and oppression of Israel, by the sinne of false confidence in men.

2. Consider against whom Edom offended, even against Israel their brother; for was not Esau Iacobs brother? therefore God punisheth their perfidiousnesse to their brother, with the perfi­diousnesse of their friends to them. From whence we con­clude,

That God requiteth the wicked with the same measure which they have meated to others.

3. Whereas the friends and confederates of Edom, turn ene­mies and Traytors to them, we conclude, that

There can be no true peace, nor bonds of love between wic­ked men.

4. From all these Antecedents we may conclude, that those who trust in men, have no understanding.

1. Doctrine, God punisheth one sin by another.

Edom first sinned against the second Table of the Law, in wrong and violence, and then he sinned in vain confidence in man, against the first Table, and God by this severe sin punished the first.

It is the manner of Sathan, after a speeding temptation to one sin, to suggest another to hide, or to defend and beare up the other, our lying comes in to conceale fraud, as in the case of Ananias and Saphira.

And so cursing and swearing come in to maintain the credit of a lye, as in Peters denyall of his Master.

So there needs a great many lyes to maintain one, if interro­gatories do presse the Lyer far.

If it were no more but so, that one sin doth drive us into a­nother, even in this consideration, one sin doth punish another, because the more sin is committed, the more punishment is de­served; but this is much more, that sinne is punished with sin.

Thus Edom first breaketh the second Table of the Law, in do­ing wrong to his brother, and fearing that this will one day cost blows, he sinneth another sin against the first Table, and forsa­keth the confidence in God, and putteth his trust in men, which turneth to his utter ruine and destruction.

So even the Saints of God fall, as David; for his adultery be­gan to defile him, and then he stained himself with the blood of his wel-deserving and faithful Subject; this is the Plot of David, in the matter of Ʋriah.

The reason why sin should be the punishment of sin, is because nature being once corrupted, and grace withdrawn, we are, then prone to those defections from God, which do more and more corrupt us. And that is a great punishment, S. Paul cleerly shew­eth it in the degrees thereof.

  • 1. When they knew God,
    Lam. 1.21
    they glorified him not as God
  • 2. They were not thankefull.
  • 3. They became vain.
  • 4. Their foolish heart was darkened.

Thus did they runne out of one sin into another, and at last.

Therefore God gave them up to uncleannesse, Ver. 24. Ver. 26. through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between them­selves, for this cause God gave them up to vile affections, God gave [Page 98]them up to a reprobate mind, Ver. 28. to do those things which are not con­venient.

Sin in the heart is a fire in the bosome;Prov 6.27. Can a man take fire in his bosomed, and his clothes not be burnt? Can a man go upon [...]ot coles an his feet not be burnt?

St. Gregory hath a good description of sinnes.

  • 1. Some are simple in themselves sinnes, such is every thought, word and, work against the Law.
  • 2. Some sins are causes of more sins, as surfetting and fulnesse causeth luxury and uncleannesse of the flesh.
  • 3. Other sins are the punishment of former sins, as in my Text. Edom his former sin is punished by a latter.
  • 4. Other sins are the punishment of former sins, and the causes of latter, as in David,

His idlenesse was punished by his Adultery, and that Adultery was the cause of murther.

But here is a Quaere.

Quaere. If sin be a punishment, it is of God; for all punishment is just, and is of God; but God is not author of sin: therefore sin is no punishment.

To this our answer is, that sin may be considered two ways.

  • Sol. 1. As it is a pollution of man.
  • 2. As it is in the effect thereof the just punishment of man.

God is not the author of sin as it is a pollution, but being committed, God in the even course of his justice turneth it into punishment of man.

And man is punished saith Thomas Aquinas three wayes.

1. In praecedentibus, because God withdraweth his preserving grace from a sinner, and maketh the means of his preservation ineffectuall.

For to the just he faith, I will not leave thee nor forsake thee; but to the reprobate he shutteth up their eyes, ne videant he stop­peth their ears ne audiant: he hardeneth their hearts and leaveth them to their own corruptions to be wrought upon.

2. In concemitantibus; these are either.

  • 1. Inward, the pollution of the heart.
  • 2. Outward, in the calamities of life.

3. In subsequentibus: that is the unrest of the conscience, and distraction of the mind.

Excellent and full to this purpose is the example of the Pro­digall; for

  • 1. God withdrew his grace from him, and left him to take his vitious and luxurious courses in the world till he had spent all and was cast forth.
  • 2. God punished him in his mind, by giving him over for a time to the pollution of sin; he outwardly punished him with contempt and beggery and famine.
  • 3. He punished him in his Conscience with the remorse of his sin which wrought with him so effectually that he repented him of his sin and returned to his Father; so this punishment was not ad amandationem, but ad emendationem.
Et que paena fuit facta est medecina.

Thus sin in the Elect may be the punishment of sinne to their great good, and the recovery of them again to God; as in Davids example, and in the example of Peter.

But the reprobate are forsaken of grace, polluted in their minds, and tormented in their consciences, and feele crosses and afflictions in the flesh, and these be rods of their own making, wherewith God scourgeth them, sending the Angel of Satan to buffet them.

The most dangerous and damnable estate is, of those who when they have sinned, do not love the word of God, which should restore them; like those froward sick persons, that re­fuse the physick that should heale them.

The word of God is plain-dealing, and telleth every one of his faults, and revealeth to them the justice of God.

When men begin to take exceptions at the Word, and quar­rell with the food and medicine of life, and to say, Durus est hic sermo, this is an hard saying, then sin groweth an heavie pu­nishment to them, and worketh their destruction.

Ʋse. Therefore let all those that would not be their selfe tormen­tors, heare what the spirit speaketh to the Churches: let them not consult with flesh and bloud, but let them order their wayes accor­ding to the word of God.

Let no burthen seem so heavy to them, as the weight of their own sins.

Let no annoyance seem so stenching as the turpitude and pol­lution of their own sins.

And then Come unto me ye that are weary and heavie laden, and I will ease you.

Come to me, you that are defiled and polluted with your ma­nifold corruptions, and I will wash you clean in my bloud, saith the Redeemer of men.

When our sins have broken our hearts, and made us contrite, and the smart of them hath made us weary of them, then shall we see them fastned to the Crosse of Christ, and the grace of God will be sufficient for us.

Doctr. 2 God requiteth the wicked with the same measure which they have meeted to others; Edom dealt perfidiously and trea­cherously with Israel; therefore their confederates and professed friends deale so with them.

It is Christs rule of Justice.

With what measure you meete, M [...]t. 7.2 2 it shall be measured to you again, proved.

Wo to thee that spoylest, Isa, 33.1. and wast not spoyled, and dealest trea­cherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee; when thou shalt cease to spoyle, thou shalt be spoyled, and when thou shalt make an end to deale treacherously, they shall deale treacherously with thee.

It is the threatning of God.

Ye shall not afflict the widow or fatherlesse child: Ex. 22.1 [...]2 if thou af­flict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their voyce,

And my wrath shall wake hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherlesse.

David smarted in this kind.

He defiled the wife of his faithfull servant Ʋriah, Absolon his son defiled his fathers Concubines in the sight of all Israel.

Cain feared this judgment so soon as he had killed his brother Abel; Gen. 4 14 for he said presently, it shall come to passe, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Adoni-Bezek confest this justice of retaliation executed on him, for they took him, and cut off his thumbs and great toes, and he said,

Threescore and ten Kings having their thumbs and toes cut off, gathered their meat at my table; Ver. 23. Jude 1.6. as I have done, God hath requited me

So saith God to the Chaldeans,

Because thou hast spoyled many Nations, Heb 2.8. all the remnant of the people shall spoyle thee.

And God made this judgement good against Amalek, for they sought to destroy Israel, and God by Israel destroyed them.

Samuel said to Agag their King.

As thy sword hath made women childlesse, so shall thy mother be childlesse among other women; 1 Sam. 1.5 33. so he hewed him in peeces before the Lord.

Ahab slew Naboth, and himself was slain.1 King. 21.19. Jezabel shed Na­boths blood; Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick even thy blood also. The dogs shal eat Jezabel by the wals of Iezreel. As Solomon threatneth,

They shall eate the fruit of their own way, Prov. 1.31. and be filled with their own devises.

The Apostle calleth this righteousnesse in God;

It is a righteous thing with God, 2 Thes. 1.6 to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you.

The word is decomposite, [...], and signifieth a retri­bution contrary to them, that in the same they shal be Patients wherein they have been Agents.

From this fountain of justice cometh that Law judiciall,Ex. 21.24. an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth: which Law Christ did not abro­gate but interpret, and put it into the power of the Magistrate where it ought to be, taking it away from private persons.

Ʋse. Let us all lay this justice of God to heart, and let us look for it at the hands of God, that he will [...] to us our ini­quities unrepented.

Let the Adulterer heare Job. If my heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at the doore of my neighbour, let my wife grind to another, Job 31.9, 10. and let other men bow down upon her.

Let the cruel oppressor of his brethren, look to be oppressed in himself, or in his posterity.

If the daughter of Babel oppresse, Blessed shall he be, Psa. 137.8. that re­wardeth thee as thou hast served us.

It it Gods own word. He that honoureth me, him will I [Page 90]honour; but he that despiseth me, shall be despised.

Doctr. 3 There is no true love and peace between the ungodly.

Here hath been much confederacy between Edom and other Nations, they were men of Peace they did eat and drink toge­ther, yet even those turned perfidious to Edom, and betrayed him.

Christ in his legacy of Peace said, pacem meam do vobis non si­cut mundus dat. Job 14 27 My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth. For,

Either it is pax adulationis the Peace of Adulation, of which David saith, Ol [...]um peccatoris non confringet capat meum. Ravennas note is that in all Sacrifices to God salt was used, for God cannot be flattered; when we say the most we can of him, we come short. Adulatio quam similis est amicitiae, non imitatur tantum, sed praecedit.

Poore men have the advantage of the rich in this, for who flattereth them? Sinners say we need not this waste; why should we bestow it on them that cannot requite us? We will save it, and give it to them which are mighty.

2. Or it is pax malae confederationis, the peace of evil confe­deracie, such as is between Thieves, we will all have one purse; these be as old Jacob said of Simeon and Levi, fratres in malo brothers in evil, St. Aug. calleth this ne fariam amicitiam, a wicked friendship; into their secret, let not my soule come.

These tares bind themselves in bundles for the fire.

3. Pax simulationis a dissembling peace, when men hide ma­lice under a shew of Peace; that they may sub amici fallere nomen, that they deceive under shew of friendship, so [...]udas kisseth, and betrayeth, Amasa entreateth and stabbeth.

4. Pax temporalis, a temporall peace, when men maintain love, and friendship, and exchange great gifts and tender love and service to serve a turn. So men set up the Ladders that they clime by as high as they can; but when their turn is served, they lay them along upon the ground.

This is the peace which the world giveth, and there is no true friendship in it,Pro. 17.17. for a friend loveth at all times.

Nec ullis divulsus querimoniis
Suprema citius solvit amor die.

True peace is like the dew of Hermon, none but the Elect of God have it.

My Peace I give to you. it is not like the light of the Sun that shines on good and bad.

This is like the light that shined on Gos [...]en when all Egypt else was in palpable darknesse.

This is like the pretious oyle powred on Aarons head, and running down to the skirts of his raiment, Psa. 133.2 3. for there the Lord Commanded the blessing and life for ever more.

Aristotle held that friendship contracted either by pleasure or profit could not hold; for the cement and glew that should tye them together, is but weak; this continuation is but hujus ad hoc, of this to that.

But the union of the faithful is hujus in hoc, of this in that. For they be incorporate in one body; and they are made mem­bers of Christ and members one of another, one flesh, one body.

We see men in their greatnesse followed, and served, and pe­titioned, observed, and presented, with choisest and richest gifts; if we see them decline in favour, or power, we see them forsa­ken of their servants.

We see young prodigals frequented with company, courted with complements, feasted and swelled with all delights; but when the fountain of this friendship is drawn dry, and the means faile, who calleth those men friends, or seeketh their conver­sation?

This yet appeareth more plainly in the Idumeans of Rome, that have long persecuted the true Church of God; for though they have laboured ever since the first corruption of the Church, to maintain their Hereticall opinions, yet could they never be at any perfect peace amongst themselves.

And this ofter our Church may boldly make to them, that there is no Tenet in our Religion we maintain against them, but we wil renounce it, if we do not find it averred by some one, or most of eminent learning amongst themselves.

And because it will take up too much time to give instance in al particulars of our difference from the Trent Church, For a taste let me refer so many as are desirous of better satisfaction, to read that learned proofe of this truth in the Reverend Dean of Glocesters third book of the Church, at the end of it, where [Page 92]he nameth the agreement of our church with their best learned, in points, wherein the Jesuits at this day accuse us of Heresie.

27 Therefore one observed well, that the Religion of Rome was like Nebuchadnezzars image, the height of it was 60 cubits, and the breadth was but 6; that is without any proportion; for never could they make the parts of it symmetricall.

Therefore, first we are comforted against all the enemies of our Religion, their strength may be great, and their malice greater; but they cannot unite themselves with the bond of true Peace, and the God of peace is not their tutelary God.

In the damnable conspiracy of the Powder-traytors, God by one of themselves diverted the Treason.

I deny not but Turks have had many great prevailings against Christians, Papists against Protestants, and their confederates have held fast with them.

So had Moab and Ammon, Geball, the Assirians, Philistines, the Chaldeans against Israel.

But God found a time to consume these Nations by their own strength, and their own confederates were the ruine of them.

We have heard that war is one of the sore judgements wher­with God scourgeth offendors.

At this time a great part of the Protestant Church is hostilly attempted with war; we have many of our countrymen, noble, generous, and valiant voluntiers engaged in that cause.

I hope we shall do a charitable Christian duty to God and them, to pray God to cover their heads in the day of bat­taile, to beseech him whom Job cals the preserver of men, to save them from all evill. Thou Lord preservest man & beast; do thou save them: let their eye have its desire upon their ene­mies. And for our selves, we say,

O Lord be gratious unto us: we have waited for thee: be thou their arme every morning,
Isa. 33.2.
our Salvation also in the time of trouble.

God is called Lord of Hoasts, and so he can master his ene­mies; the stars in their courses by their influences: the Elements, fire, as in Sodom; ayre, as in the Pestilence in Davids time, wa­ter, as in the deluge; earth as in Corahs transgression, to smite sinners.

He can punish man by Frogges, by Flyes, by Lice, by Grasse­hoppers, and such like armies of his.

Yet he chose to destroy the army of the Midianites by them­selves, rather then by any other means;

The Lord set every mans sword against his fellow, throughout all the hoast. Jud. 7.22.

He could have employed other executioners, to have done vengeance upon blaspheming Senacherib King of Assyria, but he would shew that no bonds of society, or nature can hold them together, whom God hath not joyned.

Therefore it came to passe as he was worshipping in the house of Nis [...]ock his God, Isa. 37.38. that Adrameleck and Sharezer his sons smote him with a sword.

2. We are therefore taught to unite our selves in the Lord by the bonds of [...]ue love; for all other bonds will be like the new cords wherewith Sampson was tied, break in sunder, and we shall cast them from us.

The great friendship that is made by bribes cannot be sincere; for

  • 1. The receiver of them knowes that his love is a dear penny worth to his friend; it is not a gift but a perquisite, and ther­fore he cannot call it sure.
  • 2. The giver knoweth his mony, & not his love made the friend; and if this friendship bear him out of the hands of justice, his conscience will still tell him, that his money, not his innocency acquitted him, if this friendship prefer him, his conscience with­in him will say that his money, not his worthinesse, hath advan­ced him.

Therefore the frienship thus made is not sincere.

But they whom Religion and the fear of God doth unite, are of one heart, and of one soule; here is no lack of any thing,Acts 4.32 if any of them may supply it; the wounded man shall have both the oyle and wine of the Samaritane out of his vessels, and the help of his hand, and of his beast, and of his word and of his purse.

Our Saviour Christ saith, Go thou and do the like.

How can we say we are neighbours, when we are so far from healing our brethrens wounds, that we rather set them in­to a fresh bleeding, and open them wider; we rather make more [Page 94]in the whole and sound flesh; we rather take away their oile and wine, and beast and money wherewith they should help themselves; and instead of putting them into an house, we take their houses over their heads, and expose them to stormes.

The God of peace sanctifie us throughout, that his peace may knit us together in him.

Doctr. 4 Those who trust in men, have no understanding.

Here on earth we do much value the wisdome and judgment of man, by his choyce of adherence and dependance; and we judge them unwise that addresse themselves to such, as cannot either support them as they are, or put them on farther.

But the word of the Lord saith, there is no understanding in Edom to trust in man; and the Psalmist, Non relinquat hominem; he adviseth,

Trust not in Princes, nor in any son of man, for there is no help in him; God goeth farther in my text, there is treason in him; sub­ducet auxilium super inducet exitium.

He will bring thee to thy uttermost borders, and there he will leave thee.

Jun. reads, Cujus vulneris non erit intelligentia, as pointing out so great a plague upon Edom, ut ipsam nequeat mens huma­na comprehendere, nedum curare arte & intelligentia.

Joannes Draconites readeth the text thus, Ante proderis ho­stibus quàm animadvertas.

But the sense is easie, God censureth them for fools, that put their trust in man.

For God himself saith, they commit two great evils, They for­sake God the Fountain of living waters, Jer. 2.13. and hewed them out ci­sterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

The Philistims trusted in their great Champion Goliah, 1 Sam. 17.10. and they desied the ho [...]st of Israel, and despised David; the Ara­mites sent Israel word, that the dust of their land should not be enough to give every one of their Army an handfull. 1 Reg. 20.10.

The reason of this folly, is, the god of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that beleeve not; 2 Cor. 4.4. for Satan worketh strongly in the children of disobedience; he hath strong illusions for them, to make them beleeve lies.

They that trust in lying vanity, saith Jonah, do forsake their own mercy.

It is a lying vanity to trust the false gods of the Heathen.Deut. 32.38. God upbraideth the Apostate Jewes so, Let them rise up and help you, let them be a refuge.

It is a lying vanity to trust in any confederacie against God: It is Gods woe,

Woe to the rebellious children that take counsell, but not of me, that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, Isa. 33.1. that they may adde sin unto sin.

That walk to go downe into Egypt, (and have not asked at my mouth) to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt.

Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

He declareth this folly in the next chapter.

Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit; when the Lord shall stretch out his hand, Isa. 31.3. he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.

This sheweth want of faith, when we trust in the vain help of friends.

It is true, that we must use all good means to further Gods providence; but we must not put any trust in these means; there may be help by them, there is no help in them.

David setteth these two in opposition, and declareth the dif­fering successe of them.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, Ps. 20, 7, 8. but we will remember the name of our Lord.

They are brought down and fallen, but we are risen, and stand upright.

Is it not folly for man to run himself upon the curse of God? God hath said it, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and ma­keth flesh his arme, and withdraweth his heart from the Lord. Jer. 17.

The Poets, the Prophets of the Heathen, can tell us what ill successe the Gyants of the earth had, which their confederacie against the gods.

Non est consilium contra Dominum.

The Use of this point is

Let us all labour and pray for understanding.

  • 1. To know the impotencie of the creature, that we may not trust to it.
  • 2. To know the omnipotencie of our Creator, that we may not oppose it, but seek our rest under that shadow.

This will change our vain confidence into a strong faith; and faith is a shield in all our wars.


Shall I not in that day (saith the Lord) even destroy the wise­men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau.

Their fourth hope despaired.

Doctr. They trusted to their wisdome; God doth threaten to destroy both the wisdom, and the wise men of Edom.

In this paslage consider we

  • 1. The judgment upon Edom, Destruam sapientes, I will destroy the wise men.
  • 2. The assurance, Dicit Dominus, saith the Lord.
  • 3. The time, in that day.

1. Concerning the judgment, we are taught that humane wisdome and counsels without God, are no fense for a State.

Here is the mother disease of humane nature; Eva heard that wisdome was to be gotten by eating the forbidden fruit, and she aspired in the pride of her heart to be like God, know­ing good and evill; ever since, man hath much affected wisdome; therefore God, who hath revealed the true wisdome to his Church, hath ever professed himself an enemy to the wisdome of this world: it hath two titles, inimicitiae apud Deum, & stultitiae, enmity and folly.

The true and saving wisdome is Christ, he is made unto us of God wisdome; and his word is sufficient to make the man of God wise unto salvation. Eccl 9, 14

There was a little City and few men within it; and there came a great King against it, and besieged it, and built a bulwark a­gainst it.

Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wis­dome delivered the City.

This little City is the Church of God, the few men in it, be the little flock of Gods chosen; the enemy that assaulteth it is Satan, the Prince of darknesse, the god of this world.

The poore wise man in it is Jesus Christ, the Carpenter, the son of poor Mary, of whom the Scribes and Priests said, Is not this the Carpenter? he by his wisdome saved his Church.

This wisdome directeth to the whole Armour, and teacheth how to fit it to us, that we may be able to resist Sathan, Ephes. 6.

But the wisdom that is of the world, that studieth how to carry things on without God, sometimes against God, for God is not in all their wayes, and this was ever a broken reed, it doth both deceive and wound him that leaneth on it; For,

The wisdom of the flesh cannot be Subject to the Law of God, Rom. 8.7. yet it striveth in vaine; For

There is no wisdom, nor understanding, Prov, 21.10. nor counsel against the Lord, for it is written, Job 5.13. He taketh the wise in their own craftinesse. 1 Cor 3.19

1. The reason is given by the Prophet.

Yet he also is wise, meaning there the wisdom of direction,Jsa. 31.2. and counsel, for that belongs to him only; the wisdome of obedi­ence and sequence is that which we most seek.

Therefore God resisteth and destroyeth all those that usurpe his wisdome, but take counsell and not of him;Jsa. 30.1, and cover with a covering, but not of his spirit; that is, seek protection and coverture against evils, but not consulting his spirit, who alone claimeth right in that title to be custos hominum, the preserver of men.

2. God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to destroy the wise, the reason is given.1 Cor. 1. [...]7

That no flesh should glory in his presence; ver. 19. God is the only sub­ject of glory properly in himself; we give it to him in our Lords Prayer. Tuum est regnum, potentia & gloria. Thine is King­dome, &c.

He is a jealous God, he hath sworn that he will not give his glo­ry [...]oany creature; wisdom is one of his glories,1 Cor. 1.25 For The foolishnes of God is wiser then men. And for this cause God will destroy the wise men of Edom: both their persons, and their wisdom, as he did Achitophel the Oracle of those times, he defeated him, [Page 98]for he turned his wisdom into folly, and left him not wisdom e­nough to save himselfe from the halter.

Ʋse. Therefore by Edoms example let us learn not to trust to hu­mane wisdome, flattering our selves, that we can do any thing without God; for even the wicked when they oppresse the Church, and hurt the Saints, do it not without the counsell and wisdom of God: so he saith before, thus saith the Lord, an Em­bassadour is sent to the Nations. Arise ye against him in battaile.

It is God that maketh their confederates forsake Edom, and the men of their peace be the sword of God drawn out against Esau.

Reviling Rabshakeh the Generall of Senacheribs forces against Ierusalem, Isa. 36.10. could say, and he said truly, And am I now come up without the Lord, against this Land? The Lord said unto me, go up against this Land. For God stirred them up, and animated them to fight his battails against Israel.

The wisdome of the world is not worth the seeking, because it may be lost and taken from us, the wisdome of God which is from above, God giveth to his chosen, and he cannot take it away from us, because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

But the wise men of the world, when they have most cause to use their wisdome, then it faileth them, like the Sea-mans cunning in a violent storm, it is gone saith David.

The wisdom of God in man, is ever at the best in the greatest tempest of danger and sense of sin.

The Disciples when they are brought before Kings and Rulers are promised, Dabo vobis sapientiam I will give you wisdom; and further, Dabitur illâ horâ; it shall be given in that houre.

Steven at the houre of his death not distracted with the fury of them that stoned him, dyed calling upon God, calling on him for them that killed him.

God takes away wisdome from them that know not how to use it. Such as are wise to do evil, but to do good have no un­derstanding.

Wisdom in an ungodly man is armata nequitia, armed wicked­nesse; and therefore David prayeth against it, let not their wic­ked imagination prosper.

It was Davids wisdom, Audiam quid loquaturin me Deus, I will heare what the Lord will say. For he will speak to our hearts peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. He will uphold us with his counsell; the feare of the Lord is the beginning of our wis­dome.

2. The Assurance. Thus saith the Lord.

For the trust in wisdome is so confident, that the holy Pro­phet, though he had called his prophecy his Vision, and though he had begun his whole Prophecy with Thus saith the Lord, yet the more to assure the events threatned, he resumeth this au­thority.

  • 1. He bringeth in God himselfe despersing their first hope, I have made thee small, the pride of thy heart hath deceived thee.
  • 2. In their second hope, which was in the strength of their habitation, he bringeth in God speaking to Edom, I will bring thee down saith the Lord.
  • 3. Now again in this third hope of theirs, in the wisdome of their wise men, two things do meet in this verse to fortifie the assurance.
    • 1. The authority of him that saith and doth those things, Thus saith the Lord.
    • 2. His appeale to them, for he doth not say I will destroy the wise men out of Edom: but he appealeth to their own hearts, saying, Shall I not destroy them, q. d. Do you think that I will be over-reached by your wise men? No, they shall not have wit enough to save themselves, much lesse to save you. For I will de­stroy them.

Which peremptory declaration of the will of him who is judge of all the world, doth leave no place for evasion; for the Psalmist saith of him, that He doth whatsover he will in heaven and in earth, and in all deep places.

By vertue of this certaine word of God we do gather this as­surance against all the enemies of the Church in all ages thereof; for he hath said it by the mouth of Iob;

How often is the Candle of the wicked put out? Job 21.17. And how oft cometh their destruction upon them? God distributeth sorrowes in his anger.

What though the execution of this wrath be deferred? he ad­deth,

God layeth up his iniquity for his children, that is the punish­ment of his iniquity;ver. 19. as there is a decree against them in the counsell of God, and word against them, declaring the decree of God, so dies erit, there shall be a time.

3, The time in that day.

Our days and times be all in the hand of God, and they be hid in his own power, who in his secret wisdom hath appointed them; when that day should come, he hath not yet revealed to Edom in this Prophecie.

God is so patient and long-suffering that he doth not punish presently; for vengeance is his, he may take his time when he will, and no man can resist him.

The point here considerable is, That God in his secret wis­dome, hath designed a particular day for every execution of his will; yea the Scripture goeth so far as to the houre: even to a moment, the least fraction of time.

This declareth that the wisdome of the world and of flesh hath but its time; there is a period fixed, wherein it must deter­termine.

Ahitophels counsels went for Oracles till this day, then God turned his wisdom into folly and destruction.

So God threatned Ierusalem with a day in which the Lord would take away from them the mighty men, Isa 3.2 and the men of warre, the judge and the Prophet, the prudent and the ancient.

This he doth two wayes;

One by turning all their knowledge into ignorance, and their wisdome into folly.

Another, by destroying their persons, either by his sore judge­ments, or by leading into captivity; here both are threatned; for he will destroy both prudentes, wise men, and prudentiam, their wisdome in that day.

This may remember us of that great day of which St. Paul preached to the Athenians, Act. 17.31 that God had appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousnes, by that man which he hath appointed.

For as the day of Ierusalem, and the day of Edom, and the time of Gods particular judgements is set and fixt; so is the day of the last judgement, in which every man shall give an accompt to God of himself, and all our works shall come to judgement.

What manner of men then ought we to be, expecting this day, and providing for it?

This Doctrine of the set day of particular execution of Gods threatned wrath against sinners, doth teach

1. Holy patience in waiting the Lords leasure, and as the Apostle admonisheth

Cast not away therefore your confidence,

For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye may receive the promise. Heb. 10 35 36, 37.

For a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

And blessed is he that endureth to the end.

This living under the rod of the ungodly, and this beholding the prosperity of the wicked doth much disquiet even the Saints of God on earth: as is the example of David we see.

Therefore we have need of patience, to sweeten the sorrows of life to us, and to clear our eyes, that we may not mourn as men without hope.

2. It teacheth faith; for the same Author saith,Ver. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; for he that hath promised is faithfull, and no word of his shall fall to the ground unfulfilled.

Faith cometh by hearing; let us then use it as the best remedy against the oppressions of the ungodly, to be swift to hear the word of God; that we may get the shield of faith to bear off all the darts of Satan: so David in that disquiet went to the house of God; there he was taught the end of those oppres­sors.

3. It teacheth holinesse; for seeing the wrath of God from heaven is revealed against the enemies of the Church; there is no safety but in the Church of God, and that is the Congregati­on of Saints, these are safe in that day, he hideth such under his wings, his faithfulnesse and truth is their shield and buckler.

There shall no evill happen to them, neither shall any plague come nigh their dwelling.

So long as we make conscience of our words, and thoughts, and wayes, and labour our sanctification, and strive against sin, we need not fear in the evil day: holinesse is our dore mark, and our forehead mark, the destroying Angel shall passe over.


And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

5. Their last hope is in the strength of their own mighty men: this is addressed to Teman.

Which word as it signifieth the coast to which the Idumaeans lay from Jerusalem: i.e. the east; so it is the name of one of the Nephews of Esau, Gen. 36.11 whose posterity inhabited a part of Arabia, called also by his name.

He was the eldest son of Eliphaz, the eldest son of Esau; and under his name here the whole Nation of the Idumaeans is threatned.

And as the hope the Idumaeans had in the wisdome of their wise men, faileth them, for they have trusted to false friends, and all their providence for their safety miscarrieth:

So shall they fail in the hope that they have in their own strong men, for they shall not be able to preserve them from a finall destruction, even so great that every one of the mount of Esau shall be cut off by slaughter.

Excellently is their judgment set forth; for their confederates shall turne perfidious to them abroad, and their strong men at home shall be dismayed.

Two things make wars advantagable to a Common-wealth, Consilium & fortitudo, counsel and strength: in the former verse God befools their wisdome; in this he enfeebles their strength.

The reason is, he hath decreed that every one of the mount of Esau shall be destroyed.

And when God turneth enemy, neither head nor hand, nei­ther wisdome nor force can resist him; David and his sling shall discomfit Goliah and his armour, his sword and spear, and ad­mired strength.

The two little flocks of Israel, the great armies of the Ara­mites.

It is worth our noting, that God working by means, and di­recting our operations so, even in this work of overthrow threat­ned to Edom, doth destroy them by disabling to them all the meanes of their safety, as before he turneth the hearts of their friends against them.

He destroyeth the wisdome of their wise men, and now he takes away all heart and courage from their strong men.

To teach us that all the outward means of safety are not suf­ficient to keep us from ruine, except the Lord be on our side.

Therefore we pray, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdome come. Thy will be done. And we acknowledge,

Thine is the Kingdome, power and glory.

And this enforceth upon us the law of the first Table to have no other gods but one; to give him outward worship, to sancti­fie his Sabbath, not to abuse his name.

And this filleth us with faith, saying, Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, I beleeve in God, &c.

For as David saith, Domine quis similis tibi, Lord who is like to thee?

There is no wisdome or strength, not that which is in the god of this world, the Prince that ruleth in the air, but it is a beame of the heavenly light; can God suffer any of his own gifts to be abused against him, to turn edge and point against the author of them?

There is a time when God winketh at the outrage of the un­godly, for the exercising of the patience of his servants; but when he intendeth a cutting off by slaughter of his enemies, in that day the Lord will be known to be God.

These things are written for our sakes; for the enemies of our Church are here threatned to be cut off by slaughter, even Antichrist the man of sin, who sitteth in the place of God as God, and is worshipped, whom God shall scatter with the breath of his mouth, that is, by the power of his word preach­ed; and we have comfort against him, that neither his wit nor his force shall prevaile against us.

We have two examples which I hope no time will ever for­get to praise God for, till the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The power of Antichrist was defeated in 88. when the Pope gave away the Kingdomes of England and Ireland to the King of Spaine, who sent his Invincible Armado hither, not as a Chal­lenger, but as a Conquerer to take possession of these Lands.

They had speciall revelations to assure their victory, and the prayers of the Popish Church were all in armes against us.

But as it is in my text, their mighty men were dismayed, their [Page 104]strong Ships either sunk in the sea, or well beaten, or constrain­ed to flie, because God meant to cut them off by slaughter, and the power of Spaine so weakned, and the coffers of their trea­sure so emptied, that nothing was more welcome to them then the newes of peace with England.

The wisdome of Rome had no better successe in the yeere 1605. for when some men of bloud, the sons of Belial, had layed a plot for the destruction of the whole Church and Common-wealth then in Parliament, by powder:

We cannot deny but the Serpent put his best wits to the rack, to stamp a devise with his own image and superscription; never was there nequitia ingeniosior, a more witty wickednesse, then to bring so many precious lives to the mercie of one excutioner who had nothing to do but to put fire to the train.

Yet in the very act of preparation, and the night before the intended execution, God put fire to his own train layed for them, and discovered things hidden in darknesse, and cast them into the pit which he had digged for them; and their wit and policie proved hanging and quartering to the conspirators; and declared the Papist our secret enemies, such whom we must care­fully look to; for if by strength or wit he can destroy the state of the Church and Common-wealth, the mercies of his heart are so cruell, that we can expect no favour.

That is now the cause why his Majesty intending a Parlia­ment, doth require so strict a survey of the land for the detecti­on of all Popish Recusants, as now is both by the Ecclesiasticall and Civill Magistrate urged.

For they have given us fair warning, that if they can do any thing by wit or force, they will abate nothing thereof to the prejudice of this Church. But as the confounding of the wis­dome of Edom, and the disabling the strength of Edom did fore­run their fall: so our faith is, that Antichrist, Gods enemy and ours, hath now but a short time; and every one of the mount of Esau of the City built upon the hills shall be cut off by slaugh­ter.

The pride of their own hearts, who think they have the keyes of heaven and of hell: not only Peters keyes, but Davids also; who bear the world in hand, that they can save or condemn, shall deceive them.

The rock of their habitation shall prove to them like an un­defenced City.

Their confederates, and men of their peace, that eat bread with them, shall turn edge against them.

Their wise men shall fail them, and their Triple-crown and the temporall power of their Hierarchy shall be disabled; we have the word of God for it, The man of sin must be destroyed. Even so let all thine enemies perish O Lord. Amen Amen.

VERSE. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

11. In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and forreiners en­tred into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

12. But thou shouldst not have looked on the day of thy brother, in the day that he became a stranger, neither shouldest thou have re­joyced over the children of Judah, in the day of their destruction, neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of their di­stresse.

13. Thou shouldest not have entred into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity, yea thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction, in the day of their calamity, nor have laied hands on their substance in the day of their calamity.

14. Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crosse way, to cut off those of his which did escape, neither shouldest thou have deli­vered those of his that did remaine in the day of distresse.

3. The cause provoking God to this severe processe against Edom;

This is set down,

  • 1. In general terms, v. 10. violence against their brother.
  • 2. In a particular description, v. 11, 12.13, 14.

1. The generall terme is, violence, or as the old reading was, Cruelty; and the word here used doth expresse all injury.

  • Either done by strong hand or force.
  • Or done by subtilty and cunning.

In the particulars of their cruelty, there is,

1. Their confederacy with the enemies of their brother Ia­cob, ver. 11. this is cruelty of combination, stabant ex opposito, they were rather for the enemies of Iacob then for their brother, as David saith; They take the contrary part, they were as one of them.

By the strangers that carried away the forces of Iacob cap­tive, and the forraigners that entred into his gates, and cast lots upon Icrusalem, are meant the Caldeans, which referreth us to the story of those times.

Therefore he brought upon them the King of the Chaldeans, who slew their young men with the Sword, 2 Chr. 36.17, 18, 19. in the house of their Sanctu­ary, and had no compassion upon young man, or maiden, old man or him that stooped for age, he gave them all into his hand.

There was direption of the Sanctuary, robbing the Treasury of the King, burning the house of God, and deporation of the residue into Captivity.

In that day Edom was as one of them; For then as the Psalmist sath.

In the day of Icrusalem, they cryed, Raze it, Raze it, even to the foundation thereof. Psa. 137.7

2. They are charged with the cruelty of their eye, and that twice, ver. 12. But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother, in the day that he became a stranger. Againe,

Ver. 13. Thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction, in the day of their calamity.

3. They are charged with cruelty of heart, ver. 12. Neither shouldest thou have rejoyced over the children of Iudah, in the day of their destruction.

The heart is the seat of affections, they joy'd in the sorrow of Edom.

4. They are charged with the cruelty of the tongue, ver. 12. Neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of their di­stresses.

5 With the cruelty of their hands, violent actions against their brother.

Ver. 13. Thou shouldest not have entred into the gate of my peo­ple, in the day of their calamity,

Nor have laid hand on their substance, in the day of their ca­lamity.

Ver. 14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crosse way, to cut off those of his that did escape.

Neither shouldest thou have delivered these of his that did re­maine, in the day of distresse.

Which chargeth them with foure cruelties,

  • 1 Invasion of their Cities.
  • 2 Direption of their goods.
  • 3 Insidiation, lying in waite for them,
  • 4 Depopulation, not sparing the residue.

We have seen the sinne of Edom in the totall cruelty against their brother Iacob.

We summed up the particulars, and finde that God had just cause to enter into judgement with Edom, and to execute upon them his fierce wrath.

The sinne was breach of the Law, and a trespasse against the second Table; against Iacob, that is the posterity of Iacob their brother.

And here I note that especially two Commandements of the second Table are broken.

  • 1. Thou shalt do no Murther.
  • 2. Thou shalt not steale.

For what part of their cruelty toucheth the life of Jacob, is a breach of the First.

What toucheth his estate, and goods, is a breach of the latter Commandement.

And this example may serve for a Commentary upon those two Commandements, teaching how they are broken; for Edom is a very full example of transgression.

1. In the cruelty of combination, they that joyne with others that seek the life of man, are murtherers, not accessaries, but principals; so did Edom, for he was even as they.

Saul, after Paul, a blessed Apostle, doth charge the murther of Stephen upon himselfe, because as here, he was of the other [Page 108]side, and sate by and kept the clothes of them that stoned him.

It is a fleshing of men in cruelty to associate in blood, and to communicate with the blood-thirsty; we see it after in Saul, he was a principall Actor, and got Commission to persecute and went about breathing threatnings against the Church.

And as it is in the Law of Murther, so it is in the Law of Theft; for every association with Theeves, and Robbers, is the breach of that Commandement, and Edom brake both these Laws, for they were even as they that robbed Israel, and sought their life, though they commenced not the war against their brother Ia­cob, yet they joyned wit them that did, and so they are pares culpa, alike in fault.

Ʋse. This teacheth us to be very carefull not only how we be Au­thors of murther and theft, but how we be actors, or abettors of the same, and helps of the wicked against the Church of God; for God said to Iehoshaphat aiding of Ahab,

Wouldst thou helpe the wicked, and love them that hate the Lord? 2 Chr. 19.2 [...] Therefore there is wrath upon thee before the Lord.

Do not thinke that all the blame shall light upon the authors of evill,Pro. 30.20. Do not wipe thy mouth with the Harlot in the Proverbs, and say, I have done no wickednesse; for all societie with sinners in their sins is forbidden, the Apostle is very precise herein.

If any man obey not our word, 2 Thes. 3.14. note that man, and have no com­pany with him.

The manifest breakers of the Law, are dispisers of the word; With such eat not; God saith that such as converse with them, be as they, that is equally culpable.

Upon this evidence we find the Church of Rome guilty of the Powder-Treason; it was secretly animated and abetted by them, and they prayed for the successe thereof.

2. The cruelty of the eye, this is twice here urged, ver. 12. v. 13. For the eye of humanity doth abhor the sight of Murther.

To look on, and behold the wrongs done to our brethren in their life or goods, is murther, and theft; Hagar was so tender, that when her son Ismael was ready to perish for want of water, she cast the child under one of the shrubs;

And she went and sate her downe over against him a good Way off, Gem, 20.15, 16. 2 Sam. 20.12. as it were a Bow-shoot; for she said, let me not see the death of the child.

The sight of Amasa murthered, and weltring in his blood in the way was a stop in the way of Joabs Souldiers, and all the people stood still.

It was a grievous sight, and troubled souldiers, men used to acts and sights of death; for Amasa was a worthy Captain.

They looked on in condolement, not in rejoycing.

It is reported that after the Massacre of the Protestants in France, on the Bartholmew-night following, the Queene-Mo­ther with many others went out to behold the dead carcasses, and having caused the body of the Noble Admirall of France to be hanged upon a Gibbet, they went out of the City to feed their eyes with that spectacle.

God will one day require the blood of those men, at the hands of all those whose cruell eyes delighted in that specta­cle.

For thou shouldest not have looked on thy brother in the day of his affliction with cruel eyes;

With compassionate eyes we may; so it is foretold of the E­lect, They shall see him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for him. Zech. 12.20.

So Mary and Iohn saw Christ Crucified; and Christ invited to that sight: have ye no regard all ye that passe by? see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.

But when the ungodly of the earth perish, there is joy, as the Wiseman saith. It is one of the comforts of the Church, against the enemies thereof.

And they shall goe forth, Isa. 66.24. and looke upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me, for their worme shall not dye, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh.

And David saith,Psa. 92.11 Mine eye also shall see my desire upon mine enemies.

These be speciall executions of wrath upon the ungodly; but the generall rule of charity doth convince that eye of cruelty which beholdeth the blood of man with joy, shed on the earth; and the law of piety doth sind that man guilty of marther, that looketh on, whilst an Egyptian smiteth an Israelite, which Mo­ses could not endure to see, for as Seneca, Oculi augent dolorem, the eye encreaseth sorrow.

He slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Exod. 2.12

This is no example for imitation, for lookers on to become gamesters of a sudden: How justifyable that fact of Moses was, I will not now dispute; the point is, Moses could not look on and see wrong done to an Hebrew.

It is a cruel eye that can see a neighbour suffer injury in his per­son or in his goods, and will passe by and not give him help.

It is a cruel eare that will suffer a neighbour to be scandalized in his good name, and will not open a mouth to defend him.

If thine eye so offend thee, Christ adviseth thee to pul it out and cast it from thee.

When Pilate had caused Christ to be cruelly whipped, he brought him forth to the people, to shame him openly, saying, Ecce hom [...] behold the man, hoping that their eyes satisfied with that lamentable sight of his stripes, would have cryed, enough, let him go.

But this gave their eye a new appetite to see more, and they cryed out,Pro 3 [...] 17 Crucifie him, Crucifie him. Those eyes that hunger thus, Let the curses of Agur the son of Jakeh fall on them, Let the Ravens of the valley pick them out, and let the young Eagle eat them.

3. The cruelty of the heart. They rejoyce over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction.

This also is murther, to joy in the destruction of our brethren though we put neither hand nor counsel to it.

This evidence doth pronounce the Church of Rome guilty of that murther in the cruell Massacre of Paris under Charles the ninth, before mentioned, wherin by a cunning pretence of friendship there were destroyed 30000 Protestants.

For after the Massacre there was a solemn Procession through­out the City; and that this was the joy of the whole Church of Rome, we may avouch it from the testimony of the head of the Church. For Gregory 13 hearing of it, caused all the Ordnance of his Castle of St. Angello to be shot off in token of joy, and a Masse to be sung in St. Lucies Church, for honour of the ex­ploit.

And the Parliament of Paris enacted it, that in honour ther­of, every yeere on St. Bartholmews day should a solemn Processi­on be observed through the City of Paris.

The Cardinall also of Lorrain in a publike Oration magni­fied the fact, and caused Monuments thereof to be erected.

Far be it them from us, who carry the names of Christians to rejoyce at the sufferings of our brethren, for this is murther; Let Roman Christians teach Turks and Indians, and Massagets to be barbarous, let their mercies be cruel: for so would they have joyed if their Powder-Treason had sped.

But as deare brethren let us put on the bowels of compassi­on and love and tendernesse.

Let not us rejoyce in the ruine of their persons, that are exe­cuted for hainous prevarications of the Lawes of the kingdome, but rather gush out rivers of waters for them that keep not the Law.

The punishment of sin is the joy, but the destruction of the person of the sinner is the griefe of all them that feare God.

The heart is a Principall in murther; for out of the heart cometh murther, and an evil eye to look upon it.

It proceedeth from a corrupt and cruel heart, when we passe by and regard not the afflictions of our brethren to relieve them, as the Samaritan did, but when we rejoyce over them as Edom here did, and make our selves merry with their sins, or their punishments, our hearts are murtherers of our brethren; and when he cometh that will one day make in­quisition for blood, he will remember the complaint of the poore.

The God of our Salvation is called the God of mercies, and the father of all consolation; If we be sons of this Father, Be you mercifull as your heavenly Father is mercifull; love as bre­thren, comfort the heavy-hearted: strengthen the weake, bring him that wandreth into the way, and let not thy brothers blood cry from the earth for vengeance against thee. There is vox sanguinis, a voice of blood; and He that planted the eare, shall he not heare?

It covered the old world with waters, the earth is filled with cruelty, it was vox sanguinis that cryed, and the heavens heard the earth, and the windowes of heaven opened, to let fall judge­ment and vengeance upon it.

The joy that the Jewes had at the death of Christ, what sor­row hath it cost them ever since? they have gone like Cain with a mark upon them, stigmatized and branded as murtherers, and they are scattered upon the face of the earth; 1600 yeers almost [Page 112]deportation have they endured; and who cries now, it is time for the Lord to have mercy upon Sion?

The author of the three conversions of England, writes a con­gratulatory Epistle to the Catholiques in England, rejoycing at the timely quiet death of Queen Elizabeth, in a full age, full of dayes and full of honour, and telleth them that they have as much cause of joy, as ever the Christians had in the Primitive times for the death of the bloody and cruell Emperours.

This candle of the wicked was soon put out, for ere that E­pistle could come to them, our gracious King was Proclaimed the heyre of her Crownes and of her Faith.

4. They are charged with the cruelty of the tongue, verse 12.

Neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of their distresse.

This is another kind of breach of the Law, non occides thou shalt not kill; to speak proudly, or as the Originall doth expresse it, to make the mouth great, or wide, against our brethren in their distresse.

For they animated the persecutors of their brethren in the day of Ierusalem, Psa. 137. and said raze raze it, even to the foundations there­of.

They opened their mouth wide in cruelty, or as Ezekiel speaketh for them,

Moab and Seir did say, Behold the house of Iudah is like unto all the heathen. Ezek. 25 8 i.e. God taketh no more care for them, then for any other people.

It is one of the provocations wherewith God was provoked against Edom;

Because thou hast sayd these two Nations and these two Countries shall be mine, Ez. 35.10. and we will possesse it: though the Lord was there.

He accuseth them of Anger and Envy against those two Na­tions i.e. Israel and Judah; so called because the Land was divided in Jeroboams time into two kingdomes.

Anger and envy, are by our Saviour declared to be murther, and the tongue is called by David a sharp sword, the poyson of Aspes is under their lips: it is the bow out of which they shoot for arrowes bitter words.

Thou hast loved all the words that may do hurt, Verba be ver­bera.

Venite percutiamus eum lingua, Jer. 18.18. Jam. 3.5, 6. Come let us smite them with the tongue, said the enemies of Jeremy; and Saint Iames saith there is ignis in Lingua, a fire in the Tongue; Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth.

The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the Tongue amongst the Members, that it defileth the whole body, and it setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.

It is an un [...]uly evill full of deadly poyson.

There is that speaketh like the purcings of a Sword.

1. In their anger they spake cruelly,Pro. 12.18 instigating their enemies to destroy them.

2. In their pride they spake insolently, expressing their in­ward joy at their ruine, by speeches of scorne and disdaine, and of triumph over them.

The Iewes are a fearefull example of this in their processe a­gainst Christ, for they cruelly said, Crucifie him, Crucifie him, not him but Barabbas.

If thou let him goe thou art not Caesars friend.

And after tauntingly, when he was upon the Crosse, to him, he saved others, let him save himselfe; to his Father, Let him now save him, if he will have him.

Which how deare it cost them, let their owne tongues re­peat their judgement: Sanguis ejus super nos, & filios nostros, his blood be upon us, and upon our children; it was so ever since, and as God wrote the crueltie of Amaleck in a Book, and vowed never to forget.

So even unto this day, he remembreth what that Amalek did to Israel; the desolation of their City, and Temple, the glory, and pride, and praise of the earth: their miserable dis­persion to this day, is a certaine testimony of Gods unappeased displeasure to them.

Sarah saw Ishmael working; he doth not say she heard him; peradventure it was but a scornfull or proud looke that she ob­served; but it is understood that he scoffed him with some words of disdaine, that he should be the young-Master, and heire of the house.

And this provoked Sarah, to solicite his casting out of the [Page 114]house; and the Apostle doth call it persecution, and a kinde of murther.

Beloved, do you know? that cursing is murther? do you know that bitter and scornful slandring, which toucheth the good name of a brother, is murther? do you know that every word you speake to animate and encourage any against a brother, is mur­ther? do you know that those reviling speeches which an­ger venteth, in your common scoldings, and reproachfull rai­lings one upon ano [...]her, and that secret and private whispers, wherewith you deprave one another be murther?

Saint Iames teacheth you,Jam. 4.11. That he that speaketh evill of his bro­ther, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evill of the Law, and judgeth the Law;

That is, he declareth himselfe to be above the Law, and takes upon him to judge; for he that judgeth the Law, and thinketh that the law of God doth not bind him to obedience, he is not a doer of the law but a judge.

Christ saith, he that saith to his brother, satue, thou foole, is ob­noxious to hell fire.

Let us all judge our selves by this Law, and we shall finde, that we had need to take heed to our wayes, that we offend not with our tongue; it is no easie worke to governe the tongue, it asketh care, and caution; David himselfe must take heed.

That was the lesson Pambus found so hard, that it was e­nough to take up his whole life. And in our anger and fury we do little thinke upon it, that

By our words we shall he judged, by our words we shall be condemned; and if of every idle word we shall give an account to God, how much rather of every angry word, of every lying word, of every spightfull, and scornefull word, every cruell and bloudy word, of every prophane and blasphemous word.

This is commonly the revenge of the poore, for when they have no other way to right themselves against injuries, they fall to cursing and imprecations.

Saint Iames telleth you,Jam. 1, 26. If a man among you seems religious, and bridleth not his tongue, he deceiveth his owne heart, this mans religi­on is in vaine.

And againe,Jam. 3.2. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body.

It is a Master-peece [...]o [...]eene the tongue.

What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many dayes, Psa. 24.12 13. that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evill.

But of all kind of evill speaking against our brother, this sinne of Edom, to sharpen an enemie against our brother in the day of his sorrow and distresse, this opening of the mouth wide against him to insult over him in his calamity, is most barbarous and unchristian.

Yet I denie not but that God giveth matter of joy to his Church, when he destroyeth the enemies thereof, and it may be sometimes lawfull to open our mouthes wide in the praise of God for the destruction of the ungodly; as I finde joy in the Campe of Israel for the devouring of proud and cruell Pha­raoh and his Armies in the Rea-Sea.

Then Moses taught them a Song, Exo 15. not only of thanksgiving unto God, but of insultation over those enemies, wherein they said.

Pharaohs Chariots, and his Hoast hath he cast into the Sea, his chosen Captaines also are drowned in the Red-Sea, The depths have covered them, he sanke into the bottome as a stone.

The horse and his Rider hath he throwne into the Sea.

This was the first Song, that we do read of in holy Scripture, the ancientest Song that is extant in the world upon record;

And therefore it is a Type of the jubilation of the Saints in heaven for the destruction of the Beast and it said, that they.

Sing the Song of Moses the servant of God; Rev. 15.3. for there was more cause of joy in the whole Church, for the fall of the Beast, then Israel had for the fall of King Pharaoh, for indeed that of Is­rael was but a type of this.

But Moses was warrant enough for the one, and the same spirit which directed Moses shall authorize the other.

Yet here is a dangerous way, and exceeding slippery, and wonderfull circumspection must be used, and Davids caution. I said I will take heed that I offend not in my tongue; for Christ hath put a duty upon us, which in his Evangelicall law to [...] & [...] to speake well, and do well.

1 There is in the enemies with whom we have to doe a double opposition, which maketh a double quarrel.

1 They are opposite to God himselfe when they oppugne the Church of God, or any member of that Church for Gods sake, this is Gods quarrell.

2 2 When they personally violate the servants of God in life, goods, or good name, this is our quarrell, whether in pas­sion the case be ours, or our brothers in compassion.

There is a double respect to be had to enemies,

  • 1 As they are men.
  • 2 As they are enemies.

This ground being layed, these conclusions do result concer­ning this point.

1 That no man ought to rejoyce at the ruine and destruction of a man, as he is a man; for this is a naturall tye that bindeth us one to another, and Religion doth not unbind the bonds of nature; rather it is religatio, and tyeth them much faster.

The reason is, for though the Image of God in which man was created were much defaced in the fall of man, yet was it not wholly extinguished, for the image of the Trinity is an indeli­ble character, it cannot be wholly lost, not in the reprobate, I may adde not in the damned, for even they also are the work­manship of God.

Therefore as they are the creatures of God, we do owe them love and pity, in honour of the Image of God in them, and ought not rejoyce to to see the blemishes of Gods Image.

So the Samaritane shewed kindnesse to the Jew that fell a­mong Theeves, although as the woman of Samaria said, they converse not together.

And so Jacob cursed the cruel furie of his sonnes, for destroy­ing the Shechemites, though Aliens from Israel, and usurping their land.

And so God hating both the Moabite and the Edomite, yet he avenged the cause of them, against the King of Moab, saying,

For three transgressions of Moab, Amos 2.1. and for foure, I will not turne a­way the punishment thereof, because he burnt the bones of the King of Edom into lime.

But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devoure the Palaces of Kerioth.

And to go lower, when the rich man in hell-fire saw Abraham afar off, and besought him for helpe, he answered him by that loving compellation; Son thou in thy life time, &c. hell would not [Page 117]take that from him but that he was Abrahams sonne according to the flesh.

And whilst we live here we ought much rather to doe all of­fices of humanity to our enemies, because they are men, and because only God knoweth who are his, and they may be con­verted, and come into the Vineyard at the last houre.

2 As they are enemies;

1 We consider them as Gods enemies, so we hate them, not their persons, but their vices, for that as Augustine defineth, it is odium perfectum, a perfect hatred; and indeed it is the hatred that God beareth to his enemies; For the wrath of God from heaven is revealed against the unrighteousnesse and ungodlinesse of men, not a­gainst their persons, they are his workmanship, and carry his Image in some sort, though much disfigured, but against the unrighteousnesse and ungodlinesse of men, by which their per­sons do stand obnoxious to his displeasure.

And thus I find the Saints of God have insulted over the wicked, as Israel over Pharaoh, and the Gileadites over the chil­dren of Ammon, Rom. 1.18. not rejoycing in the destruction of Gods crea­tures, but of Gods enemies, and wishing with Deborah and Ba­reck. So let all all thine enemies perish O Lord.

This is no mo [...]e but an applauding of the judgment of God, and a celebration of his justice; and of this we have examples, both in the Militant, and in the Triumphant Church.

1 In the Militant; Babylon where the Israel of God were captives, and despightfully intreated, and where they hung up their Harpes, and were scornefully and sarcasmatically required to sing one of the songs of Sion is thus insulted over.

O daughter of Babylon, who art to be wasted, Rom. 1, 18 happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

Happy shall he be, Psa. 137.8. that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Lift ye up a Banner upon the high mountains, Isa. 13 2. exalt the voice un­to them, shake the hand.

I have commanded my sanctified ones, Jer. 50.2. I have also called my migh­ty ones for my anger.

Declare ye among the Nations, and publish, and set up a Stand­ard, publish, and conceale not; say Babylon is taken, Bel is confound­ed, Merodach is broken in peeces, &c.

In the triumphant Church.

Rejoice over her thou heaven, Rev. 18.20. And ye holy Apostles and Prophets, for God hath avenged yea on her.

Yet I will not conceale from you, that many learned expo­sitors of the Revelation, do understand this Text of the Mili­tant Church.

But no doubt the Saints judging the world in the last day do rejoyce against the world, in the execution of Gods just judge­ment upon them; for they are then entred into their masters joy, and all teares are wiped from their eyes.

Thus then it is lawfull, when God hath executed his judge­ment upon his enemies for all the friends of God to insult over them, and to lift up their voice and hand against them; for this is part of the punishment of Gods enemies, they that despise me shall be despised.

This is the last perpetuall shame that shall evermore conti­nue upon them, the just reward of their bold presumption, who durst advance themselves against God.

2. We must consider the wicked as our enemies, and this way we must be tender how we insult over them in this life, because we do not know whether their destruction here be their full punishment or no.

1. Because God sometimes chasteneth with temporall judge­ments, that he may forbeare eternall, and sometimes he puni­sheth rather ad dignam emendationem, then ad amandationem, and by that temporall punishment doth as by some sharpe Phy­sick restore them to health.

It is the voice of Gods Church,

Rejoyce not against me O mine enemy, Micha 7, 8 when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkenesse, the Lord shall be a light unto me.

I will beare the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned a­gainst him.

2 Because this opening of the mouth, and insulting over the adversities of men, is one of the practises of the ungodly; they use as David saith, to say, Where is now their God?

So insolently did proud Senacherib insult over the Cities that he had subdued.

Where is the King of Hamath,Isa. 37.13. and of Arphad, and the King of the City of Sepharvaim, Heva and Iuah.

With them is the Chaire of the scornefull.

Rather should we commit our cause to God, and comfort our selves in his justice, and say no more, when we suffer, then the son of Jeboida sayd, when Joash for getting his fathers love to him, put him to death, The Lord looke upon it, and requite it. 2 Chr. 24.22.

And when we see that God hath executed his judgement on out behalfe, let us give God the honour, due unto his equall justice, with joy therein.

Yet I love the example of Israel when in the cause of wrong, done in Benjamin to the Levite in his Concubine, they by Gods appointment destroyed the most of that Tribe, when they had so done,

The people came to the House of God, and ahode there till even be­f [...]re God, and lift up their voices and wept sore. Jud. 21.2.

4. They are charged with cruelty of hands.

1. Invasion of their Citie.

Ver. 13. Thou shouldest not have entred into the Gate of my peo­ple in the day of their calamity.

This Edom did, to behold the calamity of Iacob, not to helpe, but as it after followeth, to rob him; for the Idumeans joyned with the Caldeans in the Invasion of the City, and were as they, and entred in by the gate with them.

It was a double calamity to Israel, to behold their brother Edom Confederates with their enemies, and Auxiliaries to them in their wars.

This bringeth Edom into the former charge of cruelty of com­bination, and maketh them equally culpable with the Cal­deans, with whom they joyned in society of warre against Israel.

2. Of direption of their goods.

Ver. 13. Neither shouldest thou have layed hand on their, substance in the day of their calamity.

This chargeth them with Theft against that Commande­ment, Thou shalt not steale; For not only secret stealth is therein forbidden, but all depraedation by violent and unjust war.

As a Pirat told Alexander, I am accounted a Pirate, because I robbe in a small Ship, but thou because thou robbest in great Fleets art esteemed a great Captaine.

Thom. Aquinas. Prohibentur nocumenta quae inferuntur fa­ctor; and it extendeth saith Borhanus, ad quam libet alienae rei usur­pationem.

And therefore when a company of pilling and pirting of­fenders, were carrying a Theise to the Gallowes, Demosthenes said, Parvum furem a majoribus duci, the lesser Thiefe to be led by the greater.

This sin is so neer bordering upon the sinne of Murther, as sometimes, and even in this case in my Text, it is both Theft and Murther too; for to take away life is Murther, and to take away the necessaries by which life is sustained, is theft, and mur­ther too, and therefore the Apocryphall Author of the Booke called Ecclesiasticus avoucheth a Canonicall truth, saying, He that taketh away his neighbours living, slayeth him: and he that de­fraudeth the labourer of his hire is a blood shedder. Eccl. 34.22.

He gave the reason in the former Verse.

The bread of the needy is their life, Ver. 2. he that defraudeth them thereof is a man of blood.

When Abraham heard that his brother Lot was taken Captive, Gen. 14. and that the foure Kings bad taken all the goods of Sodome and Go­morrah, and all their victuals:

He armed them of his owne houshold, and set upon the enemie by night, and brought back all the goods; he reskued Lot, and his women and people.

Melchizedech blessed him therefore, and said,

Blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand.

Here God punished theft and prey; yet he that readeth the story shall finde that the quarrell of the assailant was for rebel­lion against him.Ver. 4.

Twelve yeares they served Chedarlaomer, but in the thirteenth they rebelled.

This fact of Abraham, thus blessed by Melchisedech, thus prospered by God himselfe, doth declare the subjection of these Kingdomes to Chedarlaomer, to have been oppres­sion, and their Rebellion a just prosecution of their liberty; and therefore the war of Abraham a just war.

And God gave the robbed their goods againe.

The Law of God which saith, Non Furaberis, Thou shalt not [Page 121]steal, doth declare that there is meum & tuum, mine and thine, in the things of this world, and that God hath not left an Ana­baptisticall community of all those things on earth, and a pari­ty of interest in all men to all things; for then there would be no theft, seeing whatsoever any man did sease on was his own.

This was no new Heresie, but a reviving of the old, of them that called themselves Apostolici, mentioned by Saint Augustin, Haeres 40. who in imitation of the Apostles, would have all things com­mon.

True, that in those beginnings of Christs Church, when the number of Christians were yet but small, it was a voluntary, not a compulsary communication of goods that was then, and for a small time used, as a fortifying of themselves against the common adversary.

But there was no Law but of their own piety and charity that did impose this as a duty upon them; so that Ananias and Saphira were not punished with sudden death for detaining a part of the price of the field which they sold, for they might have with-held all: but they were punished for lying to the Holy Ghost, bringing but a part, and affirming that they brought all.

For Peter saith to Ananias, After it was sold, Acts 5.4. was it not in thine own power?

Yet in that communication it was not lawfull for every man to take what he would;Acts 5 35. but the Apostles distributed to every one according to their need.

Surely if Edom and the Chaldeans had had as good right to the City of Jerusalem, and to the goods therein as Israel had, God had not laid this for an evidence against Edom, that he laid hand on their substance.

God is Lord of all, and he hath given the earth to the sons of men, yet not in common, nor in equall distribution.

Here the rich and poor meet together,Pro. 22. [...]. and the Lord is maker of them both.

The Apostle learnt how to abound, and how to want; and God giveth to the rich things necessary in possession, as to owners thereof during his pleasure; he giveth them things superfluous, that their cup may run over to the relief of others, as to his [Page 122]stewards put in trust, to see that their brethren want not.

And there be two vertues commended in holy Scripture which make men Proprietaries in the things of this world, that is,

Justitia qua suum cuique tribuis, Justice whereby thou givest to every one his own.

Misericordia qua tuum, and mercie whereby thou givest of thine own.

The Use of this point is, Let every one know his own, and not lay hand on the substance of his brother;Eph 4 28. and let him that stole, steale no more, but let him labour, not all for himself, but that he may give to him that needeth: that the poore may grow up with him, as he did with Job, and that none perish for want of meat and cloathing.

Godlinesse must be joyned with contentment, the law doth not only bind the hand, non furaberis, thou shalt not steal; but it bindeth the heart too, non concupisces, thou shalt not cover, not his house, not his ground, not his wife, not his servant, not any thing of his.

There be many wayes of theft, I am limited to that of vio­lent taking away of our neighburs substance, for that only is here named and judged, and that is either directly by invasion, or se­cretly practised by oppression.

Oppression like other sins, putteth on the habit of vertue, and passeth for good husbandry; but all stopping of the Wels wher­of Isacc and his cattel should drink, is oppression and theft: and whatsoever is saved from the poor by it, is the treasure of wic­kednesse: and the wise man telleth us,Prov. 10.2. The treasures of wickednes profit nothing; we shall see it clearer when we come to Gods re­venge upon Edom, for laying hand upon his brothers sub­stance.

3, They are charged with insidiation for life, Neither should­est thou have stood in the crosse-way to cut off those that did escape. Verse 14.

Edom divided himself against Israel, some entring the City to rob and spoyle their goods, and to destroy them that abode there, others attended without the City, to cut off them, who to save their lives did escape out of the City.

The Chaldeans that came from farre to invade Jerusalem, [Page 123]were not so well acquainted with the wayes and passages for e­scape neere to the City, as the Edomites their brethren and neighbours were; therefore that cruell office they take upon them to declare their full malice to Iacob, and to make up a com­plete destruction.

The history of those times, doth make this plaine.

And the City was broken up, 2 Reg. 25. v. 4. and all the men of warre fled by night, by the way of the gate, between two walls, which is by the Kings garden; now the Chaldees were against the City round a­bout, and the King went the way toward the plain.

At that time the Edomite knowing the secret wayes, mingled himself with the Chaldees to cut off such as escaped.

In this passage note,

Note 1 1. The miserable calamity of warre, how it maketh desola­tions, and filleth all places with blood; no safety from invasion in the City, and none from insidiation without the City.

  • 1. When you hear of these things, thank God for the peace of the Common wealth in which you live, & reckon it amongst the great blessings of God that you are borne in a time of peace, and live in peace every one under his own Vine, and under his own Fig-tree, every one enjoying the comforts of life without the noyse of invasion, no leading into captivity, and no complain­ing in our streets.
  • 2. Let us also think of the wofull calamity of that part of the Church wherein we have so great a part, so much of the best blood of this Land and Crown in danger of this cruelty; and if either our persons or purses, or our prayers to God may relieve them, let us not spare to comfort their distresses, as we would desire in like extremity to be comforted our selves.
  • 3. Let us learne to abhor the bloody religion of the scar­let Strumpet of Rome, that maintaineth and abetteth these quar­rels, and kindleth those coales in Christendome, which threaten conflagration.
  • 4. Let us observe all them that make contention, and move the hearts of their brethren to schisme to alienate their affecti­ons from the peace of the Church; lest this sire which beginneth but amongst thorns and brambles, enflame the Cedars of our Libanus.

Note 2 2. See the afflictions of Iudah and Ierusalem, and search the cause thereof.

Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah,2 Reg. 24.3, 4. to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh according to all that he did.

And also for the innocent blood that he shed (for he filled Jeru­salem with innocent blood) which the Lord would not pardon.

Have not we provoked the God of mercies to awake his ju­stice against our Land? Did ever pride put on more formes of costly vanity, and shamelesse disguise, then our eyes behold?

Did drunkennesse ever waste and consume more of the necessaries of life which many poor Christians want then now?

Were the Prophets and Ministers of the Word, rebuking the vices of the times, lesse hearkned to then in our dayes?

Was there ever a more curious search into mens estates and lands, or more advantage taken, or more new inventions to get wealth, then we have heard of?

Was the Church at any time more rent with Schismes, and maymed by defections and separations, and the faithfull Mini­sters more opposed with contradictions, and depraved by unjust calumniations by those that usurp the appearance of great pro­fessors then now?

Did knowledge ever swel and puffe men up more then now?

The times are foul, and the crimes thereof are clamorous; why then should not we expect Iudahs punishment, that live in Iudahs sins?

O sin no more lest some worse evill fall on thee.

  • 1. Let us break off these sins by repentance, and seek the Lord whilst he may be found, and seeing the light of his counte­nance shineth on us, let us walke worthy of this light.
  • 2. Let us serve the Lord in fear, and pray to God that the thoughts of our heart, which are only evill continually, may be forgiven us.
  • 3. Let us receive with meeknesse the word of truth, and suffer it to be graffed in us, that we may bring forth no longer our owne sins with the fruits of evill works, but the fruits of the word.
  • 4. Let us pray that God would passe by our offences, and e­stablish us with grace, and pluck up sin within us, that root of bitternesse which bringeth forth corrupt fruits of disobedience, [Page 125]that God would continue upon us the light of his countenance.
  • 5. Let us not flatter our selves and say, none of these things shall come upon us, because we have so long enjoyed the favours of God; for Iudah, where God put his Sanctuary, and Sion where he made himself a dwelling, was not spared. The righ­teous Judge of the world is not such a one as we, though he hold his peace a while; our provocations may make him whet his sword, and prepare against us instruments of death.

Observe the cruelty of the Edomite, he not only joyneth in open hostility, but in secret insidiation, to cut off all, root and branch all in a day; he is implacable.

Such is the hatred of the Romish Church to ours; did we not see it in the attempt in 88 for Invasion and possession? did we not see the heart of Antichrist in the Powder Treason plot­ted to a perfect and full destruction.

Surely David had cause to pray to God, let me not fall into the hands of man?

This is further declared in the next circumstance, Neither shouldest thou have delivered those of his that remained in the day of distresse.

4 Depopulation.

For if any remained, whom neither the Invasion had met with in the City, nor the insidiation without, those the Edomite found out, and delivered into the hands of their enemies.

Of those some fell off to the enemy, others were carried away captives, others of the poorer sort were left in the Land to serve the enemy there to be Vine-dressers, and Husbandmen.

This is called sweeping with a Besome, and wiping as one wipeth a dish.

Two things do aggravate this cruelty of Edom: 1. against thy brother Iacob.

For a Turke to oppresse a Christian, an Infidell a Believer, is but a trespasse against humanity; for Hebrews to strive, and one Christian to afflict another, woundeth Religion also.

The Papist calleth himself a Christian, and pretendeth great love to Christ; he is our unnaturall brother, and he casteth us out by excommunication, he hateth us in our affliction: yet he saith, let the Lord be glorified.

But for us to wound and smite one another of us; Protestant against Protestant; this is seven spirits worse then the former.

Brethren by Nation, brethren by Religion should live as bre­thren by nature; live as brethren, and our father will be angry if we do not, and the God of peace will fight against us.

2. Another circumstance of time is much urged, and it ma­keth weight; for when was Edom so bloudy? you shall see that in the time, and you will say with Solomon, that the mercies of the wicked are cruell.

Verse 11. In the day that strangers carried away captive his forces, and forreiners entred into his gates, and cast lots upon Je­rusalem.

Ver. 12. In the day that thy brother became a stranger, in the day of their destruction, in the day of distresse.

Verse 13. Thrice named in the day of their calamity.

Verse 14. In the day of distresse.

1. Observe in this how their cruelty is aggravated by the time, the wofullest time that ever Ierusalem had, called there­fore the day of Ierusalem; when all things conspired to make their sorrow full, then in the anguish and fit of their mortall disease, then did Edom arme, his eye, his tongue, his heart, his hand, and joyne all those with the enemy against his brother.

2. Observe that God taketh notice not only what we do one against another; but when, for he will set these things in order before thee, for the God of mercie cannot abide cruelty.

To strengthen the hand of affliction, and to put more weight to the burthens of them that be over-charged, this is bloody cruelty: as

To oppresse the poor is alwayes abominable to God, but to oppresse him in his tender and orphane infancie, or in his feeble and decrepid age doubleth the offence.

To hinder the willing labourer from his labour at all times, it is a crying sin, and they are men of bloud that do so; but in times of dearth, or in times of his greatest expense, to deprive him of his labour, or his pay, this God considereth, for he know­eth wherof we are al made; and he observeth our carriage towards one another of us.

VERSE. 15, 16.

For the day of the Lord is neere upon all the heathen: as thou [Page 127]hast done it shall be done to thee, thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

16. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain: so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea they shall drinke, and they shall swal­low down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

This is the fourth part of this Section containing Gods revenge upon Edom which is before threatned, particularly against Edom.

Ver. 2. Behold I have made thee small among the heathen, thou art greatly despised.

And after further declared it, despeiring all the hopes of Edom.

  • 1. The pride of their heart,
  • 2. The strength of their confe­deracie,
  • 3. The strength of their situation,
  • 4. The hope of their wise men,
  • 5. They hope in their own strong men.

Yet further, Ver. 10. He saith, Shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

But now as Edom was not alone in that sin, but joyned with others, so are they all joyned together in the punishment.

The words are somewhat obscure,

For the day of the Lord, he meaneth the day of vengeance, to repay the violence done to his own people, called the day of the Lord, because God will shew himself, who hath lyen concea­led as it were all this while, and been a looker on, whilest his people did suffer punishment for their sins.

The time of Ierusalems chastisement was called the day of Ie­rusalem, because their sins deserved that day to come upon them; but the day of the heathen is here called the day of the Lord, because now God doth, awake, as one out of sleepe, and sheweth himselfe cleerly to his enemies.

This day the Prophet telleth them is now at hand, and neere to them.

This is neere upon all the heathen.

Not only upon Edom, but upon all those with whom Edom joyned himselfe against the people of God.

The Prophet Ieremie foretelling this day,Jer. 25. nameth the hea­then upon whom the wrath of the Lord was to come.

And the judgement is, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Lex tali­onis, wherein he telleth her, As thou hast done, it shall be done to thee, &c.

And after Metaphorically he expresseth the retaliation.

As thou hast drunk upon my holy mountain; hereof we observe, the change of the manner of speech that is here used; we shall cleere the Text from that difficulty that hath distracted inter­preters, so that they have failed in the right meaning of these words.

For whereas before the Prophet speaketh to Edom, here he bringeth in God himselfe speaking to Ierusalem, comforting them, in the declaration of his just judgement against her ene­mies; for he saith to Iacob,

As thou hast drunk upon my holy mountains, so shall all the hea­then drink continually.

By the Metaphor of drinking, which is referred to that which is called the cup of the Lords indignation, of which David saith,

In the hand of the Lord there is a cup, the Wine is red, &c.

By this figure then, the cup of affliction is understood: the phrase was used after by our Saviour, Let this cup passe from me; again, If thou wilt not let it passe but that I must drink thereof, thy will be done.

We use that phrase to drink of the cup of God. So the threatning runneth in this sense that as the people of God upon Gods holy mountaine have drunk of the cup of Gods wrath, and have had their draught thereof, which was but for a time: So shall all the heathen drinke, and their judgement shall not have end: they shall drink continually, there shall be no end of their affli­ction: they shall swallow down the wrath of the Lord, untill they be utterly destroyed, for they shall be as though they had not been.

In which words is contained,

  • 1. A judgement against the Heathen.
  • 2. A consolation to the Church.

In the judgement observe, [Page 129]

  • 1. The certainty thereof, the day is set.
  • 2. The propinquity of it, it is neere.
  • 3. The extent of it, to all the heathen.
  • 4. The equity of it, as thou hast done.
  • 5. The certainty of it, they shall drinke, &c.
  • 6. The duration of it, continually.

In the comfort note,

  • 1. He speaketh of it as of a judgement past and gone, at ye have drunk thereof.
  • 2. He calleth their dwelling, though thus punished, My Holy Mountain.
  • 3. He revealeth to them his severe vengeance against their enemies.
  • 1. Of the judgement,
  • 2. Of the certainty.

The Lord hath set down and decreed a day for vengeance; threatnings of woe at large do move but little, but when the pu­nishment is denounced, and the day set for the execution there­of, this cannot but pierce and draw blood. And being here called the day of the Lord, that is, a day designed by the Lord for this execution, it is more quick and penetrating.

There is no sin which is committed on earth, but God hath both made a Law against it to forbid the doing of it, and he hath declared his judgement against it; yet hath he given us the light of his word, or the light of the Law, which his finger wrote in our hearts, to declare it to us, and he hath given us time also to repent and amend it, and he is patient and long-suffering in his expectation of our amendment.

But where it is not amended, he doth set down a day for the execution of his just judgement, for he will not, he cannot suffer his truth to faile,

His patience and mercy will take their day first, and his ju­stice will also have her day.

Saint Iames advertizeth us,

Let patience have her perfect work. Jer. 1. [...].

We have a faire example of God for this; For he will not [Page 130]let the work of his patience be unperfect, he will forbear us till the very day of his justice designed for punishment.

Though all the masters of Assemblies, all the Ministers of the word be continually striking at this naile, we cannot drive it into the head; to make men beleeve that God hath set a day for punishment of all our sins.

The promise of grace to the penitent doth so comfort us ge­nerally, that we hope we shall have time enough to put off that day by our repentance; and then again we often take that for repentance which is not it. For it is not enough to remember our sins with a God forgive me; Repentance is a putting off of sinne, an hatred of it, and a change of life and manners; every sorrow is not such.

But were it that this day were thought upon with that feare and trembling that is due to it; it would put sin out of counte­nance, and the sinner out of hope.

The sinner that beleeves not this, doth make God a lyar, whose word of truth hath revealed the certainty of this day to us.

2. It armeth the lusts of the flesh against the soule; for who is he that liveth without fear, that will bridle his affections, or stop the swift current of nature in himself, but runneth into sinne as an horse rusheth into the battaile.

But when we do consider upon every sin that we commit, that the day of the Lord shall declare it, the day of the Lord shall punish it; this maketh us afraid of our secret sins for feare of shame, and of all sins for feare of punishment.

The certainty that this day will come, the uncertainty when it will come, is the greatest motive to hasten repentance, that may be.

2. The Propinquity, it is neere.

If our Consciences be convinced of the certainty of this day, and the judgement thereof; Sathans next allusion is to flatter us that it is afarre off, and shall not come yet, and there will be time enough to repent us of our sin.

If we tell you indefinitely that it is neere, yet you may hope not so neere but that we may prevent it.

For the Apostle hath told his brethren long-agoe, of the last [Page 131]day, The end of all things is at hand. But it is 1600 yeers since,1 Pet. 4.7. and where is the promise of his coming?

But let not that comfort thee in sin; for even that day is neer, seeing time is nothing to eternity; but thy day wherein God shall visit thy sinnes with his judgements, may be much sooner.

If we had Commission to tell you it is but forty dayes, and the next day is the day of the Lord as Jonah did; peradventure it would warn you; but we have no Commission to say it is so; it is a good proofe that it is neere, when none can promise that this very day shall not be it.

Yet we see there were some that took the day of their death neere themselves, cras moriemur: yet they made evil use of it, Edamus, bibamus, as the Epicure Dum vivimus, [...]rvamus.

For the sensuall and carnall man maketh that evil use of his neere end, to live more sensually. Post mortem nulla volup­tas.

In every particular mans case St. John doth admonish us all well; Now also is the Axe layed to the root of the Tree.

I learn a parable of Christ.

Do but consider thine own field, and see the Com that grows upon it, and observe if it be not white, and ready for the fickle; observe thine own wayes and works, and see if they do not tell that the day of the Lord cannot be farre off.

There be that put this day far off from them, that is by flat­tering themselves in their sins; they make themselves beleeve that they shall not yet come to punishment.

Repentance only lengtheneth this day, and suffereth it not to approach to us.

Such an one feareth not in die malo, in the evil day.

3. The extent of this judgement, over all the Heathen.

Meaning he [...]e all those that have joyned together in warre a­gainst the Jewes, See Jer. 25.

Here is a Quaerie.

Did not God stirre them up against Jerusalem? In this Pro­phecy [Page 132]he declareth, how Jerusalem was chastened by the Hea­then; and doth not the Holy story say, Surely at the command­ment of the Lord came this upon Iudah. 2 King. 24.3.

Iudah well deserved this punishment, and God justly inflicted it, and the heathen were the rod of God, wherewith he chasten­ed Iudah; yet this execution done upon Iudah by the heathen, was impious in them; for they made warre against Gods Church, and sought the ruine of Religion; it was covetous, they rob­bed Ierusalem, it was cruel, they delighted in the blood of the Lords people, it was proud they insulted over them.

It is true that these heathen do not go without God to in­vade Iudah; true, that he sent them to punish the transgressions of his people; true, that they are the rod and sword of God; for so David confest, that God bade Shimei to curse him.

The Lord hath sayed unto him curse David. 2 Sam. 16.10.

As in the Creation God separated the waters from the face of the earth, and called the gathering together of the wa­ters. Seas; yet David sayes, God hath set them their bounds, which they cannot passe nor return to cover the earth; Yet they would cover the earth.

Surely the wicked are resembled to the Sea, in every conside­ration: the Church may be compared to the dry land, God holdeth the wicked in, that they cannot droune this dry land; yet this they would do, for there is a naturall antipathy in the heathen to the Church of God.

When the Church sinneth, God openeth a gap and letteth his Sea break in; he suffereth the wicked to scourge the Church when it defaulteth; for both their sakes, that he may execute his judgement upon both; and as Augustine saith, Ʋtitur Deus malis b [...].

In the story of the Iudges, we read how the Concubine of Micah the Levite was abused to death in Gibeah, which being complained of to the rest of the Tribes by the Levite; they sent unto Benjamin to deliver up to them those men of Belial that had done the villany,Jud. 20.13. that they might put away the evil from Israel, But Benjamin would not heare their Brethren, but prepared to put themselves in Armes; and to go out to bat­tail against the children of Israel.

The children of Israel arose and went to the house of God, ver. 18. and [Page 133]asked counsel of God and said, which of us shall go up first to the bat­taile against the children of Benjamin?

And the Lord said, Iudah shall go up first. They went, and Benjamin destroyed that day two and twenty thousand men.

The children of Israel went up and wept before the Lord untill even, and asked counsell of the Lord, saying, ver. 23. Shall I go up in bat­taile against the children of Benjamin my brother?

And the Lord said, go up against him.

They did so the second day, and the children of Benjamin de­stroyed of Israel eighteen thousand men.

Here was nothing done without consulting of God, God bade them go, and yet they prospered not; yea they lost in all forty thousand men.

There is no cleere expression in this story to declare why God punished Israel with this great effusion of blood.

Plain it is that Gods. purpose was to punish Israel, and first the Tribe of Iudah; but the Text sheweth,

  • 1. That the cause of this warre was a just provocation; there was villany done in Israel.
  • 2. That the end of this war was godly, for it was to remove evil from Israel.
  • 3. That they did nothing herein without Gods expresse warrant; for they began to take counsell of the Lord.

Yet before God would revenge the fault of the Benjamites upon them, by Benjamin he punished the Tribe of Iudah first, and then the rest of the Tribes with losse of so many men, and effusion of so much blood.

And I must tell you that I find not the reason thereof ex­prest.

It may be that the Holy Ghost hath suppressed it, that we might rest in the feare of God, and not search further: it is e­nough for us to know what God doth, and not why? for as Augustine saith, Iudicia Dei occulta esse possunt, injusta non pos­sunt esse, Gods judgements may be secret, but never unjust,

And we must be very tender how we call God to accompt for what he doth; for God is whatsoever his will is, of which [Page 134]we must not seek to know more then is revealed; for that is prying into the Arke, and costeth death, God is accomptable to none for what he doth.

The third day he gave Israel a full victory against Benjamin; by Benjamin He first scourged Israel, and by Israel he after de­stroyed Benjamin, and left of them but six hundred men.

So may we say of this example in my Text, God useth the heathen to scourge his Church, and after destroyeth the hea­then in his just, but secret judgement.

Yet let me tell you what some learned judgements have con­ceived of that great example of justice in that story of Israel and Benjamin.

Rabbi Levi saith that Israel might provoke God at first, be­cause they came to God to aske who should go first against Ben­jamin, and did trust to their own strength; and did not beseech God to give them victory.

Rabbi Kimchi saith it was because that Israel had suffered Ido­latry in Dan, and had never taken the cause of God to heart, to aske counsell of God against them i [...] but now in a private injury done to a Levite they were provoked and sought re­venge.

3. Others conceive that this was the cause, They came too slightly to God at first, for they did only bluntly enquire who should go first against Benjamin? Not whether they should go or not? Not enquiring by what way he meant to punish their brother.

But the second time they went up to the Lord, they wept till even, and then they asked counsell. Shall I go up again in battaile against my brother. Yet even then being commanded to go, they lost eighteen thousand men.

True, but they came not the second time with that preparati­on which became them, that would sight the Lords battails, to remove evil out of Israel; for the third day they mended all; Then all the children of Israel and all the people went up, and came unto the house of God and wept, ver. 26. and sate there before the Lord, and fasted that day untill even, and offered burat offerings, and peace offerings before the Lord.

Then they enquired of the Lord, for there was the Arke, and there was Phineas the sonne of Eleazer the s [...]nne of Aar [...]n standing.

And they said, shall I yet go again to battaile against the chil­dren of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And then God pro­mised them victory.

It may be that they offended in the two first dayes in their pre­paration; they were not enough humbled before the Lord, or in the manner of their consultation with God.

But I must tell you plainely, all these are the conjectures of some learned judgements concerning this question, God hath left no accompt to us of his proceedings therein.

Neither hath he done the like in the example in my Text, why he punisheth all the heathen for smiting Ierusalem, seeing himselfe set them a worke.

Ʋse. Therefore let not our prevailings against our brethren swell us up with pride, making us presume that we have God our friend, because we have had the upper hand of our enemies, for God may punish our brethen, and make us his rod to whip o­thers, and he may burne the rod when he hath done with it.

This is one of Gods strange workes that he doth upon earth; he foretelleth one of them by his Prophet Habakuk and saith;

Behold ye among the beathen, and wonder marvellously; for I will worke a worke in your dayes, Hab. 1.5. which you will not beleeve though it be told you, and what is that?

6 For lo, I raise up the Caldeans that bitter and hasty Nation, which shall march through the breadth of the Land, to possesse the dwelling places that are not theirs.

7 They are terrible and dreadfull; their judgement and their diguity shall proceed of themselves.

8 Their horses also are swifter then the Leopards, and are more fierce then the evening wolves, &c.

11 These are sent of God, and they prevaile, and when they have done, they thanke their owne god for the victory.

But the Church is comforted against them.

12 O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgement, thou hast established them for correction. Therefore the example of Israel having over­come Benjamin in the former story is excellent; for when they had conquered their brother, they did not say in triumph, we have prevailed, nor bragged of their victory; But the people [Page 136]having fulfilled the will of God in that warre;

Came to the house of God, Jud. 21.2. and abode there till even before God, and lift up their voyces and wept sore.

They were sorry that God had used their sword and arme to their brother.

4 The equity of this judgement.

As thou hast done, it shall be done to thee: thy reward shall returne upon thine owne head. ver. 15.

The law of nature written in our hearts, is, Do as thou would­est be done to.

For Aristotles abrasa tabula is not true Divinity.

Seeing the heathen will not do this, the justice of God put­teth it upon them.

They shall be done to as they doe.

Of this point see before,

5 The Contents of this judgement.

They shall drinke; yea, they shall drinke and swallow downe, and they shall be as though they had not been.

The old heathen had a fashion of capitall punishment by death, to give the offender a potion of poison to drinke.

The Prophet here speaketh of the punishment of Edom, and the Heathen in that very phrase, alluding to that of David;

Ʋpon the wicked he shall raine snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest; Psa. 11.6. Psa. 63. that shall be the portion of their cup.

And, Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drinke of the wine of astonishment; this is the Cup that David spea­keth of.

For in the hand of the Lord there is a Cup, and the wine i [...] red: it is full of mixture, Psa. 75.8. and he poureth out of the same; but the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drinke them.

Wine immoderately drunken, doth set the body on fire, it in­fatuateth the braine, it maketh the parts of the body uselesse, that neither head, nor hand, nor foot can doe their severall of­fices.

Drunkennesse is such a disabling to man, that God hath cho­sen to expresse the severity of his wrath, in the similitude of drun­kennesse; and the Prophet Jeremie hath used the very phrases thereof upon like occasion.

Take the wine of this cup of my fury at my hand, and cause all the Nations to whom I send thee, to drink it. Jer. 25.15.

16. And they shall drinke and be moved and be mad. Yet more fully;

27. Drinke ye and be drunken, and spue and fall, and rise no more.

Let drunkards behold themselves in this glasse, and see how loathsome and how dangerous a sin they sin.

Every cup they drink immoderately, is a cup of Gods wrath: every Health they drink drunkenly is a disease even unto death; drunkennesse maketh men the emblems of Gods indignation; the very Images and pictures of divine vengeance.

In this phrase God often in Scripture doth expresse his judgement, and his fury and vengeance against evil doers. Therefore,

Be not drunke with wine, wherein is excesse.

I beseech you brethren by the mercies of God that you would do no more so; if any of you have by occasion been overtaken with that Epidemicall and popular fault, do no more so wickedly, sin not against your own bodies; Morbus est; its a disease, sin not a­gainst your good name, it is a foule blemish to be called a drun­kard; they that are so, are very impatient of that name.

Sin not against Gods creatures, they were given us for use and service: not that we abusing them, should become servants to them, and be overcome of them.

Sinne not against your brethren by evil example, or by tempting them to this sin.

Above all, God forbid that you should do this great wickednesse and so sin against your God.

You see he can and and will set you a drinking off his cup, and he will make you doffe it as you call it; and do him right to drink all, even to the bottom till you fall and rise no more, till as my Text saith,

You be as though you had not been.

The phrase of my Text hath carryed me thus far out of my [Page 138]way, but I must do so, if I will meet with drunkards, for they are so brain-crased, that they cannot keep the right way.

I return to the contents of this judgement, thus exprest in the phrase of drinking.

Th [...]se Nations have filled the cup of affliction full for Jerusalem, and Jerusalem hath drunk deep thereof; now God will change the object of his fury, he will take away his cup from the Church, and he will give it to her enemies, as Isaiah hath sweetly and fully de­clared it to the great griefe of the Nations, the great joy of the Church.

21, Heare thou afflicted and drunken but not with wine.

22. Thus saith the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people: Behold I have taken out of thy hand the cup of trem­bling, the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drinke it againe.

23. But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee, which have said to thy soule, bow down that we may go over, and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street to them that went over.

This calleth to my remembrance the word of the Apostle St. Peter;

For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God; 1 Pe [...], 4.17. and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that o­bey not the Gospell of God?

When God sent destroyers into Ierusalem, their commission was,Ezek. 9.6.

Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women. It followeth,

And begin at my Sanctuary.

The first cruelty that was executed on earth, that is upon re­cord, was upon just Abel, and the first death we read of, was a violent death.

The first that suffered in Sodom any notable affliction, was righteous Lot.

For he lived in much tribulation, vexed with the filthy con­versation of the wicked. [...] Pet. 2.7.

For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing, and hearing, vexed his righteous soule from day to day with their un­lawfull deeds.

After that cruell execution done upon our Saviour Christ by the Jewes and Romanes, God sent his judgements abroad into the world, but he began at his own Sanctuary; the first that suf­fered was Steven, then Iames the brother of Iohn; the Apostles all but one suffered martyrdome; the Church lived in persecution, then God punished the Jewes by the Romanes, and after that the Romanes lost their Monarchy.

The difference of their drinking was:

1. The Church drinketh first, and tasteth of the cup of wrath, as Christ said to the sons of Zebedee;

Ye shall drink of the cup whereof I drink, and be baptized with the Baptisme that I am baptized withall.

They drink some of the uppermost of the cup.

2. God punished them for a time, but he took not his mercy utterly from them.

The Church have an end of their afflictions; but the next point declareth the severity of God against the enemy Nations.

5. The duration: Continually.

This sometimes holdeth in temporall afflictions; if Gods curse be upon Canaan, Israel shall have their Land, and they shall have charge to root them out, and to destroy them utterly.

God remembreth what Amalek did to Israel The Lord hath sworne that he will have war with Amalek from genera­tion to generation.

The face of the Lord is against them that do evill, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

These carry their destruction about them; for evill shall slay the wicked; malum culpae, the evill of sin, that infecteth them, shall be malum poenae, to punish and torment them.

The reason hereof is, for where God once hateth, he ever hateth.

He hath once said, I have hated Esau: let the blessing of his father feed him with the fat of the earth, let his habitation be in the rock, let his neighbour Nations make leagues and confe­deration with him, let him have all the purchase of his sword for a time; the right hand of God shall finde him out, and not leave smiting him till he be utterly destroyed; so he is threatned be­fore.

His very hidden things shall be sought out, the decrees of God be like himself without variablenesse or shadow of change.

God hath ever given great way to the intercessions of his Saints; they have so farre prevailed, that Abraham praying for Sodom, gave over asking before God gave over yeelding to his Petition.

God hath shewed much favour to evill places for some few righteou [...] persons sakes, that have been there.

But when he cometh to execute judgment once upon a place, he saith three times in one chapt Though Noah,Ezech. 14. Daniel and Job were in that place, they should deliver but their own soules by their righteousnesse, but they should deliver neither son nor daughter.

Therefore the word of God is not sent in the Ministry of his servants to convert reprobates; that cannot be, they cannot be converted; and if God had revealed to us whom he hateth, we might save a labour of preaching to them in hope of their con­version.

But the use of preaching and prayer is, for such as are alrea­dy in the Church, to confirme the brethren, and to build them up further for those sheep which are without, to bring them to the fold; for Christ saith, he hath other sheep which are not yet of his fold, and them he must bring to it.

And when you read of so many added to the Church, it was not out of the number of reprobates, but out of the number of Gods chosen, who were before uncalled.

This is a secret which God concealeth within the closet of his own wisdome; The Lord knoweth who are his.

Let the elect of God rest in this: if the wicked of the earth that live in all kind of ungodlinesse be in the decree of his ele­ction, they cannot miscarry, though they hold out as the thiefe did, till they come to the crosse to die.

Therefore let us despaire of no mans salvation amongst us.

But if the decree of Gods hatred be setled upon them, there is no hope; for Christ the remedy of sin undertaketh for no more then the Father hath given to him.

These howsoever they prosper on earth in things temporall, they have drank a draught of deadly wine, that ever riseth up in them, and upbraideth them; for God hath spoken, it. Nulla pax impio, there is no peace to the wicked.

But he is like the raging of the unquiet sea, ever foming out mire and dirt, for a reprobate man dare not trust God.

2. But if we come to the after reckoning in the day of judgement, there can be no end of the woe of them whom God hateth; their worm of conscience never dieth, their fire of tor­ment never is quenched.

There have been some whom Saint Augustine doth call Mi­sericordes illos, that have beleeved and affirmed,

  • 1. Some of them that the damned Devils, and all after some long time of sharp punishment, shall be received into favour;
    De civ. 21.17.
    these make hell but a Purgatory.
  • 2. Others say, True, that they shall be damned to everlasting pains but Donabit eas Deus precibus & intercessionibus sancto­rum suorum.
    Cap. 18.

The illusion that deceiveth them is this:

Non credendum est tunc amissuros sanctos viscera misericordiae, cum fuerint plenissimae ac perfectissimae sanctitatis: at qui tunc orabant pro inimicis, quando ipsi sine peccato non erant, tunc non orent pro supplicibus suis, quando nullum caeperint habere pecca­tum.

And supposing that the Saints will pray to God for them, he inferreth.

An vero Deus tunc eos non exaudiet, tot & tales filios suos, quando in tanta eorum sanctitate, nullum inveniet orationis impedi­mentum?

This is further urged,

For when we say the Scripture doth tell us that God will e­verlastingly punish the wicked; and David saith, He will not suffer his truth to faile;

They answer, that all those threatnings of Scripture are to be understood in veritate severitatis, in respect of the evill desert of the wicked but not in veritate miserationis; for that must at last have honour above all his works.

Further they plead.

God hath never more plainly and positively declared his will concerning the eternall destruction of the reprobate then he [Page 142]did by his Prophet Ionah, declare the destruction of Niniveh; it is but forty dayes, and without any condition, Ninive destruetur.

Except we allow mentall reservation, mendacem non possu­mus dicere Deum, & tamen non factum est.

The truth was in this, pronunciavit eos dignos haec pati.

Their inference is, Si tunc pepercit eis Deus quando Prophetam suum contristaturus erat parcendo; quanto magis tunc parcet mi­serabilius supplicantibus quando, ut parcat omnes sancti ejus o­rabunt?

They adde the saying of the Apostle: God hath concluded all under sin that he might shew mercy unto all.

To the first, and therein to both Saint Augustine doth fully answer, that if we deny everlasting death, we may as well deny life everlasting; for we have the same ground for both, the same direct word of God.

Aut utrumque cum fine diuturnum, Cap. 23. aut utrumque sine fine per­petuum.

To the second, he denyeth that which is presumed, that the Saints will pray for the damned; here we pray for all, because we know not who be elect, who be reprobate; but when God hath revealed his will concerning these, cessat oratio, praying ceaseth, and the voice of the elect is, fiat voluntas tua, thy will be done.

Yea, the Saints shall judge the world then; and those bowels of humane commiseration which they had on earth, are put off; they now hate where God hateth, and judge where God judgeth, and rejoyce against them whom God condemneth.

And for the example of Niniveh, his answer is full, and sap­pie, Evertuntur peccatores duobus modis.

  • 1. Sicut Sodomitae, ut pro peccatis suis homines punian [...]ur.
  • 2. Sicut Ninivitae, ut ipsa horum peccata poenitendo destruantur; there was the mistake of Jonah, for that was the City which God threatned and destroyed.

Eversa est Ninive quae mala erat, & bona aedificata est quae non erat. Stantibus maenibus, perditis moribus.

To the last Argument from the words of the Apostle, he hath concluded all under sin, that he might have mercy on all.

He bids them there read the whole text, they shall there see quos omnes intelligit, nempe eos omnes de quibus loquebatur; that is, [Page 143]both Jews and Gentiles, not comprehending the whole of both: but on [...]ly vasa misericordiae in both, the vessels of mercy; and the very course of the Text cleereth it to be so meant.

Therefore the revealed will of God hath setled this perpetu­ity of woe upon the ungodly: They shall drinke, and they shall drinke continually.

The justice of this proceeding against the ungodly is taken from the merit of sinne, which being committed against an infi­nite Majestie, must needs be also infinite: now the person guilty being finite, cannot beare a punishment infinite in the weight of it, and therefore it must be infinite in durance to eternity.

Againe, the hater of God repaieth vengeance which is de­served, at least with the same measure wherewith his love giveth rewards undeserved; but the love of God giveth eternall life, therefore the ha [...]red of God cannot give lesse then eternal death. This sheweth you the reason of those earnest exhortations, To worke out your salvation, to make your calling and election sure; he meaneth in your owne faith, for so long as a man liveth in feare of this eternall judgement, and seeth no way to escape it; his soule is among Lyons, even the roaring Lyon and all his whelpes: it is in the keeping of the spirit of bondage, his sins lye so heavie upon him that he cannot look up.

2 The comfort implyed and exprest;

  • 1. He speaketh of the judgement on Israel, as already past and over; as ye have drunk.
  • 2. He calleth Ierusalem, though thus wasted and made deso­late, My holy Mountaine.
  • 3. He graciously revealeth to his Church his just revenge upon his enemies.

1. As ye have drunk, that is when as ye have drunk of this Cup of affliction, then God shall take it from you; which doth yeeld this comfortable Doctrine,

That though the Church of God do live for a time under the Crosse, God will not leave it so for ever.

Doctr. Afflictions are some part of that Physick which God doth [Page 144]minister to his Church, to heale the soares and diseases thereof.

Time i [...] in Plutarch, Apoph. seeing the people very disorderly [...].

But Physick is not given perpetually, it ceaseth when the di­sease is removed; God knoweth the use of the rod to be neces­sary for a time; so the Church confesseth;

For when thy judgements are in the Earth, Isa. 26.9. the inhabitants of the world will learne righteousnesse.

When they have taken out that lesson God ceaseth to af­flict.

God is sharpe in these visitations; Ioh hath not leasure to swallow his spittle.Job 7.19. Psa. 30.5.

Yet he endureth but a while in his anger; Weeping may abide for the evening, but joy cometh in the morning.

For a little time have I forsaken thee, but with great compassion will I gather thee; for a moment in mine anger I bid my face from thee, for a little season, but with everlasting mercy, have I had com­passion on thee;

1. The cause of Gods favour eftsoons shining on the Church, after affliction, is to let them see that his quarrell is not to the persons, but the sinnes of men; for no sooner do men repent of their sinnes, but God also repenteth of his judgements.

He is a father; and a tender father doth not love the smart, but seeketh the amendment of his sonne; and God himselfe in the smiting of his Church, is first weary, and he complains first.

Why should you be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more, the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

From the soule of the foot, even to the head, there is no soundnesse in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying soares, &cl

Thus God suffereth in the passions of his children, and all our stripes ake upon him.

Yet he is a God that loveth not iniquity, and therefore when he layed upon his dea [...]ely beloved sonne the iniquity of us all, the Apostle said, He spared not his own Sonne, but gave hin un­to death.

2. He will not suffer his Church to live alwayes forsaken under the Crosse, in respect of his servants, and that for foure reasons;

1. Afflictions do worke upon them so, that it breedeth in them contrition and sorrow for their sinne: and a broken and [Page 145]contrite spirit God cannot refuse, he will not discourage the contrite and sorrowfull, but will have them to know that their groan­ings and sighes, come up even into his eares; He putteth all their teares in his bottle.

2. Afflictions do turne the children of God into prayers and supplications, and he will not neglect them that pray to him, that they may see the power and vertue of prayer, that upon all occasions they may prostrate their hearts before God in pray­er.

God hath said of the just man: He shall call upon me in trouble, Psa. 91.15 Hos 5.15. and I will heare him; yes, I will be with him in trouble, I will de­liver him and glorifie him; in their afflictions they will seek me dili­gently.

In the house of bondage he heard Israel. Exo. 3.7.

Then the Lord said I have surely seen the trouble of my people, which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry; St Iames saith,

If any man among you be afflicted, let him pray.

If that were not our comfort when all remedies faile us, we were most unhappy: for we can never be shut up so, but we may send our prayers from us to heaven, to plead our cause in the name of Iesus Christ.

3 Sharp afflictions may be a strong temptation to make the children of God doubt of the love of God; It was not lawfull for them in the judiciall Law to be immoderate in correction.

A trespasser might have forty stripes given him, but not more, lest if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, Deu. 25.3 then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.

God will not overdoe in his chastenings of his Church, to prevent this danger, lest his servant should think himselfe lost in the favour of God; We see how David was put to it in this kind.

When his soar ran, and ceased not, his soule refused com­fort: yea, once he complained.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? yea, he thought up­on God, and was troubled.

Therefore God doth carry a favourable hand in his afflicti­ons, to prevent the despaire of his children; for he knoweth whereof we be made.

4. Sharp afflictions may be an occasion to harden the [Page 146]heart of man, and make himful away from God to sinne; and that reason is given by the holy Psalmist.

For the rod of the wicked: shall not rest upon the lot of the righ­teous, Psa. 125.2. lest the righteous put forth their bands to iniquity.

Indeed some that have been well taught, and do understand well, and have lived in some measure of good life, and wal­ked conscionably, when God hath tryed them with wants, have fallen into snares, and embraced temptations.

Magnum pauperies opprobrium jubes quidvis & facere, & pati, vircutisqu [...]; vi [...]m deserit arduae.

Shifts, fraudes, secret stealths, borrowings without meanes, or hope of repayment, &c.

The wise son of Iakeh prayed to God; Give me not poverty, lest I be poor and steale, Pro. 30.9. and take the name of my God in vaine.

Extremity of paine in sicknesse and soarenesse, is a great temp­tation: two great lights in the Church of God were ecclipsed by it; Iob the example of patience, fell into bitter cursings of the do of his birth: so did holy Jeremy the Lords Prophet.

To these respects God is tender, and suffereth not his chosen to be temp [...]d above their strength, but doth give issue to their temptations.

Yet sometimes he suffereth his Elect to see their owne weak­nesse, by some fall, that when he putteth to his helping hand, they may be more wary to keep a better watch upon their hearts.

Reason. 3 3. God doth not suffer his Church to be forsaken in afflicti­ons, lest the enemies thereof should too much insult over them.

It is Davids suite to God; Let them not say we have prevai­led.

When Saul and Ionathan were dead, David lamented them with great lamentation.

The beauty of Israel is slaine upon the high places, how are the mighty f [...]llon. 2 Sam. 1.19, 20.

T [...]ll is not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoyce: lest the daughters of the uncir­ [...]tised triumph.

For this addeth to the ungodlinesse of the wicked, they grow proud upon it.

Let not their wicked imagination prosper, les [...] they grow too proud.

Reason. 4 4. The afflictions of the Church when they do grow sharpe, and smarting cause the ungodly of the earth to blaspheme the name of God. It is not for nothing that David doth pray so earnestly;

Quicken me O Lord for thy names sake; Ps. 143.11. for thy righteousnesse sake bring my soule out of trouble.

The ungodly Iewes and Romanes, standing by the Crosse of Christ, did speake contemptibly of God, and took his name in vaine in derision of his son.

It is the manner of the ungodly to blaspheme, if once they prevaile against the Church; then the God they serve is thought unable to protect them, and the Religion that they professe is scandalized for untruth.

These be great reasons why God doth not forsake his Church in affliction, but giveth them a heavenly issue out of them.

This point teacheth its own use; for it serveth both to;

  • 1. Informe;
  • 2 Convince;
  • 3 Exhort;
  • 4 Rebuke.

1 Information.

This is a sure and infallible rule, That whom God once loveth he ever loveth, as he saith, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee; for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; his love is himselfe, and he cannot deny himselfe, he hath given us to his son;Rom. 8, 35 and of them that thou hast given me, saith he, I have lost none: and no man can take them out of my hand. What shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Iesus? he nameth the greatest miseries of life.

37 Shall tribulation, or distresse, or persecution, or famine, or naked­nesse, or perill, or sword?

Nay, in all these things we are more then conquerors, Cant. 2.4. through him that loved us.

The love of God to his Church is a banner over it.

2 Conviction.

This Doctrine convinceth the Heathen, who deny that there is a any Providence; because the best men drinke deepest of [Page 148]the cup of affliction, which maketh the profane say, It is in vaine to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept his Ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? Mal. 3.14. True, that they who make conscience of their wayes, are de­spised, their soule is filled with the scorne of the proud.

True, Ver. 25. that they that worke wickednesse are set up, and they that tempt God are delivered; but the Elect say, for thy sake we are killed all the day long.

Yet the comfort that the just have in their affliction, doth as­sure that verily there is a reward for the righteous, doubtlesse there is a God that judgeth the earth.

And though for a time the wicked insult over the just, the day will come when they shall see their ruine.

3. Exhortation.

1 1. This doth admonish us to trust in the Lord; for he never faileth them that put their trust in him; trust is best exprest in a storme, when the waves rage horribly, when the sorrows of death compasse, and the floods goe over our soule. In faire weather when health, and youth, and plenty, and power, and pleasure, make a calme in our life, and we have the desire of our hearts, it is no tryall of us to say, surely God is good to Israel.

But in the furnace seven times heated, in the den of Lions, in the belly of the Whale, in the vally of the shadow of death, they that then trust in the Lord, they declare their faith more then victorious.

In sicknesse and smart, and paines of the body, in want and misery, those that then say to God, Thou art my Rock and my Fortresse, my strong hold, and the God of my Salvation: though thou kill me, I will trust in thee;

These are more then conquerors by faith; for they do not only conquer feare, and all the temptations to despaire, but they do advance instead thereof, joy in the Holy Ghost, rejoycing in tri­bulations, and giving thanks to God for all their sorrows.

2 2. This teacheth us patience; for tribulation bri [...]geth forth pati­ence, and patience must have a perfect worke to hold out to the end; by our patience we possesse our soules; for the impatient man is not his own man; impatience is like drunkennesse, it so stag­gereth [Page 149]our reason, and drowneth our understanding in the de­luge of passion and perturbation, that our tongue speaketh, our heart thinketh, our hand worketh things that in the next casme we have cause to repent.

3. Affliction is Cos orationis, the whetstone of prayer, it tur­neth us all into; [...]rayer, as I have taught, and maketh us call up­on him who is, Deus liberator, God our deliverer.

4 Affliction is Cos obedientia, the whetstone of obedience; so now I keep thy Commandements saith David, Quia bonum est me affligi, because it is good for me to have been afflicted, I have gotten that good by it.

5. It teacheth us commiseration of the sorrows of our brethren, and filleth us with comforts wherewith we comfort them, accor­ding as we have received comfort our selves in our sorrows.

So when we visite one another in sicknesse, if we have had either some other, or some like paines our selves, we tell them how we found ease; so the Apostle saith,

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Fa­ther of mercy, and God of comfort, 2 Cor. 1.2. who comforteth us in all tribula­tions, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we our selves are comforted of God. 4

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, 5 so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

4. Rebuke.

This doctrine chideth those that can, receive good at the hands of God, and not evill, who upon every affliction, fall out with God, and murmure at his visitations, and doubt of his favour as if temporall ease and prosperity were the measure of his love.

There is a root of bitternesse in us and the best of Gods Saints have declared themselves to be but men in this tryall; af­flictions are too strong for us, we cannot well endure paine, we cry to our Chirurgeon, Tolle quia urit, take it away, it paineth me, the plaister paineth us; he telleth us, Non tollam quia sanat, I will not, because I would cure you: we see that this paine is soon over; God continueth but a while in his anger; this is the only Purgatory of the Elect and this sire is but for our drosse, and this medicine is but for our disease.

2. He calleth Jerusalem though thus wasted and overthrown, My Holy Mountaine David saith, He loved the Gates of Sion more then ill the habitations of Jacob.

God sayed of it, Here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein.

The former doctrine declareth that God did not meane to cast off his people for ever; and the next words, ver. 17. promise restauration.

Two things had met on this Mountain, to corrupt it and un­sanctifie it.

  • 1. The grievous and crying sinnes of the people of God, pro­voking wrath.
  • 2. The barbarous cruelty of the enemies of the Church, exe­cuting wrath.

These made no difference, betweene holy and unholy, but first robbed and pillaged the Sanctuary, and carryed away the treasures and utensils, the ornaments of the Temple, and all that might yeeld them any profit, and then put fire to that ad­mirable pile of the curiousest structure for art and cost that e­ver the bright eye of heaven look't upon.

I cannot but stay your thoughts upon the way, to consider with me what desolations sin may make upon the earth.

Here is blood spilt in Ierusalem the holy City, no respect of the gray haires, no compassion of the fairest Virgins, no tender­nesse either to new-borne, or unborne children.

Here is deportation of others in numerous multitudes into Captivity, to become Vassals to thy proud Conqueror the Assy­rian Monarch.

Here is the City of God demolisht, the very ring and jewel of the jewel of the world, the Psalmist calleth it; The joy of the whole earth; here is the Temple, the rich Diamond of that ring, the place wherein God was served, & offerings were burnt ther­in to his name, that now made an Holocust and Burnt-offering it selfe, and sending forth lambentes sydera flammas, flames ascer­ding to the stars.

The specious, spacious Courts of that house, Gods owne en­closure, and all the holy mountain, the glebe-land of the Church, layd common.

The land emptied of her native inhabitants, save some few re­served to be the drudges of the Caldeans, to plough their grounds, and to dresse their vines.

Beloved, a greater example of the provocation of sin, or the execution of justice no time, not all the Bookes of time have ever shewed.

And what shall we say? hath sinne lost the sting that it had wont to carry, or hath God lost his seeling, that we should e­quall that City in sins, and not expect equall vengeance?

Every man shunnes it, to be a Prophet of ill news, and men had rather exhort, then correct: If we come with the rod which Paul threatned, we may chance bansel it our selves.

Sinners be too bold to be under the check of Gods Ministers, but there is one a loft, that sayeth, But I will reprove thee, and set in order before thee the things that thou hast done.

The comfort yet is, that this Mountaine of Sion, though thus punished, is called Gods mountaine still; God vouchsafeth to owne it, and call it his; the enemies thereof have gotten the pos­session of it, yet God will not lose the right of his inheritance there, for he meaneth to build up againe what the enemy hath destroyed, and returne againe those whom the enemy hath car­ried away captives, as the next Section declares fully.

Let the brethren of Schisme and Separation lay this to heart, who full from the communion of the Church of England, pre­tending the great corruptions that be, some in the doctrine, but most in the Discipline thereof.

Is Sion the Mountaine of the Lord still, although both sinne and vengeance have left it desolate? Did Christ call the Temple his fathers house, when the ungodly prophaners of it had made it a den of theeves?

I dare not say now, though that Mountaine of the Lord, and the place whre Gods honour did sometimes dwell, and wherein God tooke delight, hath almost endured sixteen hundred yeeres desolation, and is now the cage of uncleane birds, inhabited by Turks and Saracens, and for the profit of both, by Popish Idola­tors, which make prize of Pilgrims resorting to visite the places sometimes hallowed by the presence of Christ and his Mother, and his holy servants; I dare not say that God hath lost his in­terest therein, or resigned all his right thereto.

Nullum tempus occurrit regi.

I remember the Prophecy of Zacharie.

But it shall be one day,Zac. 4.7, 8 which shall be knowne to the Lord, nor day, nor night, but it shall come to passe, that at evening time it shall be light.

And it shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Ierusalem.

A Prophecy not yet fulfilled; for though Interpreters doe commonly attribute this to the coming of Christ in the flesh, and the light of the Gospel, beginning at Ierusalem, and shining over all the world, the words of the Text do directly confute that exposition: for this prophecy is determined to the eve­ning time, that is to the latter end of the world, and Christ came in the fulnesse of time.

And at the coming of Christ in the flesh, it was not as here is said, Nor day, nor night, for then Lux magna orta est: the sunne of righteousnesse arose in our hemisphere, the very night was lighted to the shepherds with an extraordinary cla­rity.

And such a light shone in Ierusalem, as not only lighted them, but it was a light to lighten the Gentiles, it shone to the East upon the Magi there, and all the ends of the world soon saw the salvation of their God.

Therefore, I conclude that this prophecy is to be fulfilled towards the end of the world, when God shall call againe his people from far, and his dispersed from the ends of the earth.

When the fulnesse of the Gentiles is come in, then shall God call again his people, and remember the oath that he sware unto Abraham, and the sure mercies of David. Then shall he set his name again in Ierusalem, and displant the intruders upon his possession, and settle his habitation once again upon the Holy mountain at the end of the world.

Yet I do not affirm that there shall be again a Common­wealth of the Jewes, or a distinction of Tribes, as heretofore, [Page 153]that wall of partition is taken down, and the bond of Christian Religion shall be the bond of peace, and God hath said it. Tros Tyrius ve, mihi nullo discrimine agetur. Both Jew and Gentile, all shall be alike.

But God hath layed such claime to this mountain, and pro­fessed so much love to it, that I dare not beleeve that he can for­get it for ever, but that when the time, the appointed time shall come, he will have mercy upon Sion, and will pitty the ruines and dust thereof [...].

But when here Sion is called Mons sanctus meus, my Holy mountain: here is a quaere how any place can be called Holy, and what kind of holinesse it is, which is ascribed to any place.

Surely if it be Sanctus quia meus, what place is it where God is not, he is in the valley of the shadow of death: he is present over men in the nethermost hell.

But God is said to sanctifie some places here on earth, because he is present there.

  • 1. Secundum specialem curam, in respect of his speciall care and protection.
  • 2. Secundum specialem cultum, in respect of his speciall Worship.

Ierusalem was the place which God took into his speciall protection, and where he placed his speciall worship; for the Lord God was well known in Sion; at Salem was his Tabernacle, and his dwelling in Sion.

1. And for the speciall care that he had of that place, He lo­ved the gates of Sion more, &c.

And though the earth was the Lords, and all that therein is, yet of Sion he said, here do I dwell: I have a delight herein.

And this Spiritualis cura, Spiritual care, so sanctified that place that when Israel had polluted the worship of God, and Heathen came in upon Gods inheritance, and defiled his Sanctuary, yet ceased not that place to be Holy; not by any inherent holinesse as the Roman Church suggesteth, but only secundum specialem [Page 154]curam, because it was not yet out of Gods speciall protection; and only thus it is holy at this day.

2. Propter specialem cultum, for his speciall worship; when any place is dedicate to Gods worship, and separate from com­mon use, it is an holy place, and God vouchsafeth there specia­lem praesentiam, a special presence. For I am not of Mr. Calvins mind who saith, Templa non sunt propria Dei habitacula, unde aurem propius admoveat. For God hath a speciall interest in those places which are separate to his special worship, and the very place is fearful to them that have any sense of Religion; and as Damascen saith, plus participat gratiae & operationis Dei, they partake more of the powerfull operation of God.

For why is Heaven the Throne of God more then the earth, but because God doth there more expresse his glory, then he doth here.

And for the interest that God hath in those consecrated pla­ces, consider Gods challenge in my Text, Sion though in the Land of the Chaldeans, is the Mount of God.

Churches and Lands once given to God, do remain his for e­ver; for unlesse God shall manifestly reveale his resignation to man, what man on earth hath any assignment from him of his right.

Beloved, we have power to give to God of his own, but we have no power on earth for revocation, when it is once Sacred, and God hath enclosed it, no man can lay it common.

But the fat of the Church hath fed so many of all degrees in this Land to that grouth and strength, that this Doctrine is a Paradox, and we are but laught at when we plead the right of God to things sacred.

For if Sacriledge be a sinne, what rank of men in this or our neighbour kingdome doth not live in sin and by sin?

The Mount of Sion is challenged here to be the holy Moun­tain of God, in whose hand soever the possession thereof be, and all that invade the right of God in things sacred shall heare him complain,Prov. 20.25. Ye have robbed me; and though they make it strange, and aske wherin have we robbed thee? Solomon will tell them, It is a snare for a man to devoure that which is Sanctified, and after the vowes to enquire.

3. It is a great favour of God to his Church to reveal to them [Page 155]his will concerning both their own short punishment, and the long affliction of their enemies.

For themselves, they shall see in this revelation, that God wil not give then over utterly; and affliction doth never shew in­tolerable when we can look beyond it, and see faire weather after it.

This had need be preached to the Church of God, to keep them from fainting in their patience, from falling into sin.

David confest,Ps 27.13. I had fainted unlesse I had beleeved to see the goodnes of the Lord in the Land of the living.

The Prophet having given us his own example, doth also give us his good counsell;

Wait on the Lord, the of good courage, Ver. 14. and he shall strengthen thy heart; wait I say on the Lord.

You see the use of this doctrine is to put mettle into us that we be not cast down with the present sense of Gods judgement, but that we couragiously do beare them, and patiently expect our deliverance from them. Of this before.

2. It is a comfort and joy, to the Church to know that God will execute their judgements upon their enemies, and passe the cup of his wrath from them to those that hate them.

  • 1. Because it stoppeth the way to an high and grievous sinne, which is murmuring against God; let every man suspect him­self for this; for Gods own Israel did often fall this way; But when God revealeth to us his purpose we cannot find fault: though we feel where judgment beginneth we know where it shall end.
  • 2. It allayeth all thoughts of revenge on them that trouble and persecute us; for to what purpose should we fret our selves at the instruments of Gods vengeance, when we know the end of these men, how God hath set them in slippery places, and that he will take the matter into his own hand to revenge it?

And this is a necessary Doctrine for us, because the pursuit of private revenge is one of the crying sins of the time. We have poore men that to molest a neighbour will swear the peace a­gainst them to put them in bonds; when it is to be feared that it is rather revenge then feare that makes them sweare, and this upon a little cooling of blood appears cleerly.

Just Laws are made to do men right against wrongs; we must [Page 156]go to Judges as children to their Father, to seeke Justice in cha­rity, not in the spirit of revenge. God hath declared himselfe to be Deus ultionum a God of revenge, and hath promised to judge our cause; let us commit the matter to him, and give our souls rest possessing them with patience.

Israel shall see their cup that they have but tasted, drunk up and swallowed down of their enemies: the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Mine eye shall see my desire upon mine enemies. Ps 92.11.

David maketh this use of this point,

By this I know that thou favourest me, Ps. 41.12. because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.

For it is a good signe of Gods love to his Church, that he suf­fereth not the ungodly to insult over them.

And for the enemies of the Church, they may have victory, they cannot have a triumph; for the cup of wrath is no sooner taken from the Church, but it is presently given to her enemies to pledge them, as the Prophet saith:

When thou hast done spoyling, thou shalt be spoyled, the drinke shall not pall in the cup.

You see that David made that use of the fall and punishment of his enemy, only to rejoyce in the Lord, and his favour, and not to insult over his enemy; for the wise man adviseth,

Rejoyce not when thine enemy falleth, Prov. 24.17, 18. and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turne away his wrath from him.

Thy patience doth heap coales of fire on the head of thine enemy; and thy favourable forbearance of him, in triumphing over him, holdeth the cup still to his mouth.

We cannot do our enemy a greater pleasure, then to be glad at his afflictions, for God seeth it and abateth his displeasure a­gainst him, but we may rejoyce safely and boldly in the love and favour of God to us.

VERSE. 17.

But upon Mount Sion shall be deliverance, and there shall be ho­lines, and the house of Jacob shall possesse their possessions.

The second part of the Prophecy, containing the comfort of [Page 157]the Church against all her enemies, ad finem Capitis, to the end of the chapter.

  • 1. A promise of restitution of them to their own, ver, 17.
  • 2. Of victory against their enemies, ver. 18, 19, 20.
  • 3. The means ordained for this, ver. 21.

1. Of their restitution of their own.

Mount Sion literally doth signifie the seed of Jacob, the whole Nation of the Jewes; taking name from the most eminent part of their Kingdome, as Mount Sion denoteth Esau and his issue; this shall be delivered from the captivity of Babilon; that is the deliverance here promised.

And the holines here mentioned, is the renewing of the peo­ple by repentance and new obedience to the pure worship of God; and then the house of Jacob shall recover the possessions which the army of the Chaldeans took from them.

Allegorically and typically, this Prophecy doth foretell the deliverance of the Church from all the enemies thereof in the end of the world, which shall be performed by the spirit of san­ctification fitting them to the same.

That the Church shall not alway be under the rod of corre­ction, we have formerly declared.

  • 1. The point now considerable, is, what our God requireth of us, even holinesse.
  • 2. That God performeth his mercy of deliverance first, that after he may sanctifie us to himself.

1. That God requireth holinesse of us; He hath shewed thee O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee; Mic. 6.8. surely to do justice, and to love mercie, and to humble thy selfe to walk with thy God, this is holinesse.

This is no earthly wisdome, which is carnall, sensuall and de­vilish; it is the wisdome which is from above, and therefore, He hath shewed thee O man.

Holinesse is not learned in the Schoole of nature, nor to be seen by the light of reason; it is the inward light of the spirit of God that enlightneth our darknesse, which openeth to man the way of good life, not morall and civill only, but religious and [Page 158]spiritual, which teacheth justice mingled with mercie, both built upon a good foundation of humility, and these not as before men, but as in a walk with God himself.

For such as these God keepeth a book of remembrance as the Prophet saith,

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, Mal. 3.16. and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

And they shall be mine saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels (or speciall treasure) and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Ver. 17.

What can a man desire more of God, then to be esteemed a­mongst his jewels and precious treasure? such are the holy? and what trouble can it be to them to be despised of the world, and cast out of them, when God shall take them in as his jewels and treasure? God himself giveth holinesse in precept, and giveth the reason in that injunction, Be ye holy, for I am holy.

And Saint John saith, that every man that hath hope of eter­nall life, 1 Pet 1.16 ex Lev. 21.44. 1 Joh. 3.3. purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

So that Gods holinesse is the motive that must induce us, and the president and pattern that must conduce us to holinesse.

1. The motive, because he being holy; nothing ungodly and unclean may approach him, therefore all the legall purifications and sanctifyings of the poople, before any speciall worship and service of God, were types of that holinesse which must fit us for Gods service; because without holinesse no man shall see God.

Again because the favours which we desire from God be ho­ly; and Christ saith, Nolite dare quod sanctum est canibus, give not that which is holy to dogs; surely he will not do so himself.

2. It must be our pattern and example, because holines is never accepted but where it hath three properties, as it hath in God.

  • 1. That it be sincere, and not in hypocrisie; there is a sinne of hypocrites, and there is a portion with hypocrites; false holines is like [...]erfeit gold, it will not go for pay, it is high trea­son ag [...] God to counterfeit his Image and superscription; for holinesse is the Image of our God stamped in us in our creation; therefore hell is called the portion of hypocrites.
  • 2. That it be totall; holinesse in the face, and outward gesture [Page 159]proceeding from holinesse in the heart and inward affections: holinesse of the tongue, that it speak not lewdly, falsely, or pro­phanely; holinesse of operation, that we do nothing but what becometh the Saints of God. Holinesse at Church, and holines at home; holinesse in our private conversations, and in our pri­vate retirings, that is in the whole man, in the whole time of his life, and in all places.
  • 3. That it be guided with knowledge, for the ignorant holi­nesse of the Church of Rome which is implicit, and knoweth not what it doth, is the sacrifice of fools: like the Athenians worship directed to an unknown God.

This is the way to come again to our own possessions, and to cast out that strong man armed that hath led us into captivity; this is the old way, and the good way to the new Ierusalem.

Many walk of whom I have told you often, and now tell you weeping, they be enemies of the crosse of Christ, whose end is dam­nation, whose belly is their god, and whose delight is in their shame, which mind earthly things.

But our conversation must be in heaven; an holy conversati­on is an heavenly conversation, and maketh heaven upon earth.

And if we be risen with Christ, to this conversation, then we seek those things which are above, and not those things which are beneath.

It must therefore be our care to look to those things which hinder holinesse, and to keep good watch upon our life that none of those things do corrupt us.

These are as the Apostle doth enumerate them.

  • 1. The lusts of the flesh.
  • 2. The lust of the eye.
  • 3. The pride of life.

1. Carnall desires do make us unholy, not only fornication and adultery which do make the members of Christ the members of an harlot, of which sin the Apostle saith, that adulterers and for­nicators God will judge.

But carnality also in our affections, labouring more for the body then for the soule, for the flesh to ful-fill the lusts thereof: studying meat and drink for the belly, stuffe and fashions for [Page 160]the garments, more then to please God in the exercise of Re­ligion, and duties of charity and piety; carnality also in the very service of God, of which the Apostle also speaketh; for while one saith, I am of Paul, another I am of Apollo, are ye not car­nall? for the truth of God and the wisdome of God is va­lued not in it self, but in respect of persons.

And so that those be the greatest pretenders to holinesse, that pretend most of the spirit, unawares do serve the flesh, and are men in Religion carnall, yet think they do God good service.

2. The lust of the eye is another great enemy to holinesse, for that coveteth an evill covetousnesse; how easily is flesh and blood carried away from God with the wings of worldly desires?

I would I were as well housed, as well placed, as well landed, as well friended, as well monied as such and such are.

Who wisheth I would I were as holy as the Prophets and A­postles were? when we must needs dye, Balaam would wish his later end like theirs.

3. The pride of life, affecting place and Court above others, trim and rich bravery beyond others, power and authority over others: these things do corrupt Religion and make us unholy; and all these things do perish in the use of them.

There be two things which make the life of man proofe a­gainst these darts of Satan.

  • 1. Godlinesse that fixeth our hearts on God, and fastneth our trust on him, which giveth us assurance that we shall never want things sufficient for us, and therefore fear not to lose by it, if we bestow our time and strength and means in his service.
  • 2. Contentednesse, which respecteth rather a supply of wants, then a fulnesse to look upon: considering that of all that we have in possession, no more is truly ours then what serveth for use, and that is little; and seeing we brought nothing with us, and we leave all, but what our wants have spent behind us; let a little content us, lest much do distract us from the service of our God, or corrupt our holinesse.

2. This teacheth to embrace all the good meanes by which holinesse may be preserved and increased in us: that is,

1. Diligent hearing the Word of God, upon which must attend

  • 1. Private meditation.
  • 2. Conference.

This is not the service of God it selfe, but a candle lighting us the way to the worship of God; David saith, Verbum tuum Lucer [...]a pedibus meis; thy word is a Lanthorne to my feet.

And they are much deceived, that think they have sanctifi­ed a Sabbath to the Lord, if they have onely heard sermons, and meditated, and conferred on them.

That is neither opus d [...]ei, nor opus loci, the work of the day nor place: all this is but receiving from God.

The worship of God must have somewhat from us to God, to which preaching doth direct us, therefore we must adde,

2. Our worship of God which chiefly doth consist in,

  • 1 Thanksgiving.
  • 2 Prayer.

Thanks for the graces of God already bestowed, prayer for the continuance, and encrease of them: this is the worship which is immediately directed by Christ to himselfe, and for himselfe onely, that is, for his glory.

And in this the Holy Ghost helpeth our infirmities, for being the greatest duty of Christian worship, we cannot without great help performe it, and great help we have, the whole Trinity joyning with us.

The Holy Ghost in conceiving and uttering our prayers, and putting life into them.

The Son in carrying them up to the Father.

And the Father in receiving of them.

Pray continually, in all things give thanks.

2. God performeth this mercy of deliverance to his Church, first, and then there shall be holinesse; God is ever before hand, and he would have us know that our holinesse is rather a fruit and effect of his deliverance, then a cause of it, procuring or meriting it.

And so the Lords deliverance of us is a free, as well as a full favour, it is no wages for our work, as the Church of Rome doth not only erroniously, but blasphemously teach.

So doth Zachary confesse; ut liberati a manibus inimicorum, festi­amus ei; that being delivered from the hands of our enemies, &c. not us servientes liberemur, not that s [...]rving we should be de­livered: ut liberandi serviamus: but he doth all his favours for us; to winne us to his service.

The Church of God was punished for not serving of him as it should, and now it is restored to her owne possessions, that it may serve him hereafter in holinesse.

1 It is an excellent use that we make of the good favours of God, when they make us the more holy, and the more carefull to serve him.

But now being made free from sin, Rom. 6.22. and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holinesse, and the end everlasting life.

  • 1 Delivered and made free from sin.
  • 2 Then our fruit unto holinesse,
  • 3 And then everlasting life.
  • 1 This deliverance, a motive to holinesse:
  • 2 This holinesse, a fruit of our deliverance:
  • 3 This Everlasting life, a reward of our holinesse.

It is a great signe that God is not with us, when his favours do corrupt us, as when our knowledge doth beget in us spiri­tuall pride, and our riches and temporall preferments, bring forth carnall pride: when the many affaires of the world doe make us neglect the Church service, or break Gods Sabbath which ought to be religiously consecrated to Gods worship; and when any temporall happinesse doth worke in us any relaxation of the service of God, for the true sanctification of all these doth consist in this, that we do make them motives and provocations to holinesse.

2 This doth make holinesse our chiefest study and care, because God in the promise of restoring Israel to his possessions, doth not say then shall be outward peace and prosperity, and wealth, and ease: but then there shall be holinesse, as the proper fruit of Gods favours: for peace, and health, and plenty, may be lost a­gaine, but holinesse cannot be lost, because that is a worke of the Holy Ghost in us which cannot perish, for that spirit shall a­bide in the Church for ever.

3 This doth also shew whereby we may settle our possessions to us; namely, by embracing of holinesse: for the enemy hath no power against as, so long as we be holy, and when Israel shall see that their unholinesse was their sinne, God restoring them they shall make conscience of sinning any more, least some worse judgement overtake them.

For God doth promise to restore Religion, and his holywor­ship, which is the only safety of his people, which whilest they formerly corrupted, they brought upon themselues deportation, ruine upon their City, and fire upon the Sanctuary of God.

You see all the earnestnesse of holy Scripture to per­swade us to holinesse doth aime at our owne safety, and God for our owne good perswadeth it: for what good will our ho­linesse do him? or what do we hurt him, if we be unrighteousse? our well-doing extendeth not to him, to adde any thing to him; our il-doing is no prejudice to him: the benefit of our holinesse redoundeth to our selves, and thy word that teacheth it, is given to profit us withall.

God give us all grace to make a right and profitable use ther­of to his glory, Amen.


And the House of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Ioseph a flame and the house of Esau for stub [...]l [...]: and they shall kindle in them, and devoure them, and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau, for the Lord hath spoken it.

19. And they of the South shall possesse the Mount of Esau, and they of the plaine; The Philistines, and they shall possesse the fuldes of Ephraim, and the fulds of Samaria, and Benjamin shall p [...]ssesse Gilead.

20. And the Captivity of this Host of the Children of Israel shall pos­sesse that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephah, and the Capti­vity of Ierusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possesse the Cities of the South.

2. Their victories.

These are exprest two wayes:

  • 1 In the conquest of their enemies:
  • 2 In the dilatation of their kingdome, by taking in their possessions.

The Kingdome of Israel in Ieroboams time, was divided into two Kingdomes, Iudah and Israel, and the Kingdome of Iudah is here called the house of Iacob; the kingdome of Israel is cal­led the house of Ioseph, and these two are promised this victo­ry.

There were also two Captivities.

The Israelites were carried away captives by Salmanazar: Iudah by Nebuchadnezar: God promiseth that fire shall go out from those, to consume Esau utterly, till there be none of them remaining.

He promiseth them also victory over the Philistines their an­cient enemies, so that Ephraines portion shall come againe to them, and Samaria, wherein the King of Assyria having remo­ved the Inhabitants thereof, and led them Captives into his land, and setled Assyrians in the possessions of their land, that shall be recovered from them.

And Benjamin confining upon enemies, should have quiet possession of Gilead.

This victory, with the extent of their Kingdome here promi­sed, doth shew, that the people after their returne shall have more room, more glory and power then they had before their deportation.

From whence these comfortable Doctrines do arise.

  • 1 That the afflictions of the Church do turne to their greater good.
  • 2 That God punisheth the enemies of his Church even by those against whom they have prevailed.
  • 3 That the Church hath good warrant to settle their faith in this assurance, for the Lord hath spoken it.

1. The afflictions of the Church turne to their greater good.

And here a double benefit is exprest.

  • 1 Spirituall good, he will endue them with holi­nesse
    • 1 Of restitution.
    • 2 Of Dilatation.
  • 2 A Temporall.

1 Of the spirituall good So David said, It is good for me that I was afflicted, for now I learne thy Statutes; afflictions have their good uses, for though afflictions for the time seeme grievous in the bearing thereof; yet they serve,

1. To take downe the heart, and to humble men under the mighty hand of God; for the afflicted man cannot but like the Mariners in the Ship with Jonah, being in a storme, search for whose sake the storme ariseth.

When Manasseth was carried Captive into Babel, and there put in chaines, he soone found where the fault was, and he fell to confession and prayers, humiliavit se valde. 2 Chro. 33.12.

The Church of God under the crosse; said,

Let us search and try our wayes, and turne to the Lord.
Lam. 3.4.

In health, liberty, plenty, ease, we find something else to doe, we have no leasure to search our wayes, therefore God layeth his rod upon us; and when the smart of affliction doth make us weary of the world, and putteth us out of the way of our de­lights, then we can consider, and try our hearts within us, and our wayes without us.

As Peter when he beginnes to sinke, can cry for helpe: and the Disciples in a storme will awake their Master.

The heart must be first broken, and our stout stomack taken downe before we can enjoy the sweet fruits of liberty.

Behold his soule which is lifted up is not upright in him: Hab. 2.4. Proud persons have crooked soules, they do not look up, but like the woman that had the spirit of Infirmity, they are bent to the earth, to see how many they can overtake.

But sicknesse, disgrace, imprisonment, will make our Buls of Bashan as tame as Lambs, and then a poore mans tale may be heard.

We have seene examples of great fals in our time, and in them that stand now, and looke up where they did sit, it is as ea­sie a matter to behold as great a change of their hearts, as of their fortunes.

Truly, so do men rise or fall indeed, as their heart riseth or falleth; for an humble man keeps the same posture alwayes, he knowes how to abound, and how to want, and no prosperity can soare him up higher, no adversity can cast him lower then his pitch, for his heart is not exalted.

2. Afflictions do serve to breed in us a conscience and feare of sinne, when we see what smart it bringeth; as here, it turned Israel out of house and home, it fired their City, and their ho­ly Temple, and carried them away Captives to a strange land, and fed them with the bitter bread of Banishment [...] it filled their soules with the despite of the wicked, and the reproach of the proud.

This affliction saith unto them▪ Sin no more lest some worse thing fall upon thee.

But who makes that use of sicknesse, imprisonment, disgrace, to cast it upon the merit of his sin? that maketh the hand of God so heavie upon us, and that returneth judgement so often to us. But here Israel is brought to holinesse by it, and let us mistrust our selves that we stand not in a state of grace with God, except our affliction do mend us, and bring us to repentance of our sins, and to holinesse of life.

3. Afflictions do bring us to an awe and reverence of the worship of God, for they do declare God to be just, and not to be dallied with he is whetting his sword, whilest we are in our sinnes, he is bending his bow, and preparing instruments of vengeance: he is still turning over the Book of remembrance, wherein all our sinnes are recorded, and perusing the Inventory of his graces, which we have received in vaine, and of his gifts which we have abused, of his Talents which we have misimploy­ed, teaching us to feare him, and to seare all our wayes before him.

So David will be wiser hereafter: Against thee only have I sin­ned and done this evill in thy sight.

These three, humility, conscience of sinne, and of the Maje­sty of God, will bring us to holinesse of life, which is the way [Page 169]of peace, and it is good for Israel to be afflicted to come to his.

2 The Church here was the better for this affliction that they sustained, even in their temporall estate.

1. In the restitution of their possessions; for it is a rule of truth, though it shew a very great imperfection in our judge­ment, as great corrupion in our affections.

Carendo magis quam fruendo, by waiting, rather then by en­joying, we come to know the true worth of Gods savours.

And that carendo by wanting, not so much in an ante-want, as in a post-want.

In an Ante-want, when we rise from poverty to wealth, from basenesse to honour, from labour to ease: commonly as our good, so our bloud ariseth; and it is a great grace of God, if the rising of our fortunes, be not the sinking and falling of our faith and obedience to God; For many in low estate have been hum­ble, whose pride in high estate have been importable: many in poverty have had tender hearts, who in wealth have turned great oppressours of their brethren; and many in labour have been content with a little, who in ease have growne resty and idle.

But in a post-want, when men fall from wealth to poverty, from honour to the dust, from ease to labour, then they can look back, and recompt the sweetnesse of these outward fa­vours. Holy Iob hath two whole Chapters,

In one he confesseth his former estate, the fulnesse, and the power, and the ease, and the glory thereof, he beginnes it with an optative.

O that I were as in monthes past, as in the dayes when God preser­ved me. Job 29.

When his candle shined upon my head, when by his light I walked through darknes as I was in the dayes of my youth.

Few of us in health do feel the favour of God to us therein: few in wealth do taste the sweetnesse of Gods open and giving hand: few content with their portion.

But in sicknesse every little mittigation of our paine, is sweet, and we are ready to fall on our knees before God to thanke him for it.

In poverty, every almes given to us, thankfully received, and then if we were as in monthes past, how much better would we use wealth.

For Job in the next Chapter doth feel the change, and find­eth bitternesse in it,Job 30. and he endeth that Chapter: My harpe is turned into mourning, and my Organs into the voice of them that weed.

Therefore, when we once come to want that which we for­merly have possest, we whose ambitious desires gave us no rest, either to be thankfull for that we had, or content with it, would desire no more then to be as in some monthes before, that God would but light that candle againe, and restore us to what we have lost.

As in the spirituall state of the soule, David that neglected the day of his salvation, which God gave him before his fall, and sold it for a little carnall pleasure; when he came againe to him­selfe, he only prayes,

Restore to me the joy of thy Salvation.
Hos. 2.7.

And the Church revolting from God, remembreth her selfe, and saith,

I will go and returne to my first husband, for then was it better with me then now.

Therefore it is a great favour of God to his people, to restore them their owne possessions againe, that they may be as in yeares past: for now they having wanted them, do better know the fa­vour of God then they did before in the use of them.

They would have esteemed it a greater favour in their cap­tivity, to have had but some ease of their burthens, some li­ber [...]y to have eaten the fruites of their labours, in great miseries every little breathing of ease is sweet and comfortable: but here is a full restitution of them to their former possessions pro­mised.

2 But here is much more promised, even dilatation of their borders, they shall have more then they had, they may call their place Rehoboth, as Isaac called the Well when he had room to dig in.Gen. 26.21.

The Lord hath an open and a filling hand, even in this also, Multiplicat benefacere, here is Copiosa redemptio, copiosa resti­tutio.

For as it is another degree of favour to rise from restitution to [Page 171]dilatation: so it may stand for a degree, that he enlargeth their bounds out of the possession of their enemies, and giveth away their Land to his people.

Let no man charge God with injustice herein; for The earth is the Lords, and all that therein is; he giveth it where he will.

And Jesus Christ his Son, hath promised the meek the inheri­tance of the earth; for by right none but the Elect are true ow­ners of the earth; the ungodly are but intruders and usurpers thereof.

Thus much added to their owne to make them more territo­ry, and thus much taken from their neighbouring enemies the Edomites and the Philistims, and given to them, makes them gainers by their losse: their banishment was a sowing in teares, this is a reaping in joy.

David was so reasonable, that he only desired of God, say­ing,

Make us glad according to the dayes wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the yeers wherein we have seen evill. Ps. 90.15.

God is a more bountifull giver, for he maketh his people glad; not only with that which they lost, but with much more; he en­poverisheth their enemies to enrich them, that they may take the labours of the people into their possession.

Job would have wisht no more then to be as he was in some months past,Job v 2.10. and God not only restoreth him what he formerly had, but he giveth him twise so much as he had before:

So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more then his be­ginning: which Saint Gregory doth apply to the state of the Church in the last day, when they shall receive full glory, both in their souls and bodies in his Kingdome.

For in things temporal this doth not alwayes hold, that God repaireth thus the losses of his children, neither do they expect it for they have learned how to want; but what wanteth in out­ward things, is restored to them in spirituall graces; in the gifts of patience and contentednesse, in thankfulnesse, and the spirit of supplications.

Doctr. 2 2. Doctr. God punisheth the enemies of his Church by those against whom they have prevailed; for the house of Jacob shall be a flame, and the house of Joseph a fire.

Not [...]substant are into fire and flame, as a Papist might prove as well out of this text, as he hath the corporeal presence of Christ out of Hoc est corpus meum, this is my body, but by way of similitute, and by reason of the effect that shall follow; for they shall consume the house of Edom, whom God will make as stubble for them easie to take fire.

It was Balaams Prophecy of the people of Israel then in di­stresse.Num. 23.24.

Behold, the People shall rise up as a great Lyon, and lift up him­self [...] a young Lyon; he shall not lye down till he eate of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain

Which was begun to be performed by Moses, continued by Joshuah, further prosecuted by David, fully accomplished by Christ,Ps. [...]10.1, 2 whom God made to rule in the midst of his enemies.

The Elect are built upon a rock in the sea of this world; all the men of war that assault it, shall dash themselves in the end a­gainst this rock;Pro. 11.8. so Solomon, The righteous escapeth out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

And again he saith,Prov. 21.18. The wicked shall be a ransome for the righ­teous, and the transgressor for the upright.

The reason of this, is the equal law of Gods justice before mentioned, that as it hath been done by them, so it may be done to them, and that their reward may fall upon them.

For he will avenge the blood of his servants, and yeeld venge­ance to his adversaries,Deut. 31.43. but he will be favourable to his owne Land, and be merciful to his own people.

Even this also must passe for a further degree of his love, to overthrow the enemies of Israel by Israel; for not only this Prophet, but Balaam foretold it; even this particular.

Seir shall be a possession for his enemies, and Israel shall do vali­antly. Num. 24. [...]8, 19.

Out of Jacob shall he come that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of that City.

In Amoz God saith, I will send fire upon Teman, which shall devoure the palaces of Bozrah;Amoz. 1.1, 2 here Obadiah sheweth what fire Amoz meaneth; the house of Jacob shall be that fire, and the house of Ioseph that flame.

Both expounded in plain terms by the Prophet Ezechiel. Ezech. 25.24.

I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Is­rael [Page 173]and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger, and accor­ding to my fury, and they shall know my vengeance saith the Lord.

And what God threatneth the temporal and carnal enemies of his Church, the same hath he also threatned to the spiritual e­nemies thereof, The God of peace shall tread Satan under your feet shortly. Rom. 16.20

It had been enough for us if God h [...] trodden him under his own feet, but God will cover his enemies with shame and grief, as well as smart and pain.

All the Elect have their part in this victory of the world, for he that overcometh hath this promise, such shall have power ever Nations, so that they shall rule them with a rod of Iron, Rev. 2.26. and as the vessels of a porter they shall be broken.

Which promise doth assure the Church, that although here her enemies prevaile against her, yet her Spouse, whose power shall put down all rule and all authority and power shall conquer for her, and she united to him by her faith, shall by faith overcome all.

This admonisheth u [...],

1. Not to be troubled at the power and prevailings of the e­nemies of Gods Church, though we see and hear evill news dai­ly, that toucheth us to the quick, and all them that love the peace of this Land, and the liberty of the Gospel; for the Church of God, and the patrones of his truth are under the banner of Gods love, and their latter end must be peace; let us by daily prayers command them to the tutelary protection of God, and let him hear, vocem fidei, the voyce of faith, of those that fight his battels, and vocem sanguinis, the voyce of blood, of those that die in his quarrel.

2. It furnisheth us with patince to tarry the good pleasure of God, for when he shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered, and they that hate him shall fall before him; he hath promised his Church victory, and he will not suffer his truth to faile: Excel­lently is this comfort exprest by the Prophet Isaiah.

And therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercie upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment, Is. 30.18. blessed are all they that wait for him.

For the people shall dwell in Sion at Jerusalem;Verse 19. thou shalt weepe no more, he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear is he will answer thee.

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, Verse 20. and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy Teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy Teachers.

3. The assurance which the Church of God hath in all this, The Lord hath spoken it.

They build sure that build upon the word of God; for heaven and earth shall faile and perish, but no word of God shall be unfulfilled.

Ye have a sure word saith the Apostle, for God hath magnified his name, and his word above all things. This is my comfort in mine afflictions; Thy Word hath quickned me.

Remember thy Word unto thy servant upon which thou bast cau­sed me to hope. Ps. 119.50 Verse 49.

The best faith hath many fears and terrors joyned with it to shake it, and the faithfull do sometimes want the feeling of the favour of God: we are directed here, like wise men, to let ra­ther our understanding spiritually enlightned, then informed by sense, govern us.

The naturall mans understanding is wholly led and instruct­ed by the outward senses; and as they suggest, that apprehends; when the sense feeleth paine, the understanding apprehends cause of feare and grief, and stirreth the affections that way.

But the spirituall man doth not value Gods love by what the sense feeleth, but by that which the Word of God suggest­eth.

In paine the flesh smarteth, the sense complaineth, and Satan saith, God hath forsaken thee: but the spirituall man saith no, for Gods Word saith, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.

Therefore in all afflictions the soule of man hath no better remedy then to resort to the Word, Thou art my hiding place and my shield; I hope in thy Word; this is the poole of healing waters, Gods Bethesda for all infirmities: and he hath sent his Angels his Ministers to stir these waters, by exposition of the Word, ex­hortation and consolation to heale the diseases of his Saints.

VERSE. 21.

And Saviours shall come upon Mount Sion, to judge the Mount of Esau, and the Kingdome shall be the Lords.

3. The means ordained for the performance of all this, Vid. dinis. supr. pag. 182.

Mount Sion here doth signifie the whole Church of God in the two houses of Jacob and Joseph, as they are before distin­guished, that is the two Kingdomes of Iudah and Israel, as they were divided under Rehoboam: for Mount Sion was at first Ca­put imperii, the head of the Empire; the Saviours here menti­oned are those that God imployed for the restablishment of the state of his Church: and that

Either in the procuration thereof,

Or in the execution of the same.

First, In the procuration.

1. Cyrus King of Persia hath the honour of the meanes of this favour: for God stirred up the spirit of Cyrus King of Per­sia, Ezra 1 1 &c. and he confesseth that God, The Lord of heaven, gave him all the Kingdomes of the earth, and charged him to build him an house at Ierusalem which is in Iudah, and therefore by Pro­clamation he gave a large Commission to this purpose.

2. The chiefe Fathers of Judah and Benjamin had the same motion from God to undertake this designe. Verse 5.

But Artaxerxes by a contrary Edict made this work to be given over. cap. 4.17.

3. Then God by the Prophecy of Haggai stirred up Zerub­babel and Ioshua the son of Iozedek to attempt the work.

This also was opposed, and Darius then King of Persia was solicited against the Jewes to hinder their building so.

4. Darius came in as a Saviour, to help the people, and con­firmed the Decree of Cyrus, cap. 6. according to that he found in the search of the Rolls, and the work went on, and the house of God was finished, and dedicated.

5. Ezra moved Artaxerxes and prevailed, for a full grant [Page 176]both for the return of the people out of captivity, and for the re-establishment of the worship of God at Ierusalem.

6. Nehemiah mooveth Artaxerxes for the building again of the City of Ierusalem, he prevaileth, and they go to work, and their enemies who by scornful speeches and violent opposinges hindred their building,Nehem. 2. lost their labour.

These be the Saviours, who by procuration did advance this work of God in his Church,

2. By Execution, all these concurred.

  • 1. Cyrus gave leave and meanes, so did Artaxerxes and Da­rius restoring them the treasures of the Temple which Nebu­chadnezzar had taken away, and arming them with full Com­mission, for all the helps that might advance that work.
  • 2. The Prophets of the Lord encouraged the work, and Ez­ra the Scribe prayed and wept and mediated with the Kings.
  • 3. Zerubbabel Nehemiah and Joshua, and the chief Fathers of the people laboured to hasten the execution of that work, and for this all these are called here Saviours, because God used them as his instruments in his preservation of his Church giving them the honour of his own proper appellation, for in the fit­nesse of the word, and in the fulnesse of sense, God only is pro­perly, and by peculiar prerogative, capable of that great title, as himself hath laid claime to it.

I, Isa. 43.11. Ose. 13 4. even I, and there is no Saviour besides me. And he gave this title to his Son, who thought it no robbery to be equall with God; for he shall save his people.

These Saviours shall come upon Mount Sion to judge the Mount of Esau.

By the Mount of Esau, Edom, or the Idumaeans, the posterity of Esau is understood throughout this Prophecy, that people, who as you heard dealt so cruelly with their brother Jacob in his posterity.

To judge this people, is to execute those jugements upon them, which God hath in this Prophecy threatned, and elswhere as you have heard from other Prophets, especially that of Ba­laam and of Ezechiel, for God spoyled Edom by his people whom they preserved.

And the Kingdome shall be the Lords, that is, God will declare himselfe to be King in the government and protection of his Church, and in the victorious conquest of the enemies thereof; he will settle his Church and worship at Jerusalem, as in former times; for then is God said to have the Kingdome, when his word is a Law to his people to rule them, and when the people live in the obedience and awe thereof;

As appeareth performed by them of the returne from the captivity, who made a Covenant with God, and sealed the same.

For we read that the children of Israel did assemble them­selves with fasting and sackcloth,Nehe. 9.15 and earth upon them.

They stood up in their place and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God, one fourth part of the day, Ver. 3. and another fourth part of the day they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.

Note here, how hearing and worshipping are distinguished; they do hear first, and thereby they learn to worship.

Then followeth their commemoration of the great mercies of God to their Fathers, which David calleth Gods mercies of old, and his former mercies; they do also to the praise of this mercy, confesse the transgressions of their Fathers.

Then they confesse their own sins for which they were carried away captive, they acknowledge the just judgement of God up­on them.

38 And now being restored again to their possessions, they make a sure Covenant with God. cap. 10.

They entred into a Curse, and into an Oath, to walk in Gods law, Verse 29. which was given by Moses, the servant of God, and to observe and do all the Commandments of the Lord, and his judgments and statutes.

In particular they vowed,

Not to give nor take daughters to wife with strangers, which I understand to be in respect of the difference of religion,Ver. 30. be­cause there can be no good marriage between Beleevers and Infidels, between the sons of God and the daughters of men, between the sons of God and the daughters of Belial, that was the same that first corrupted the old world, and at last follow­ed [Page 178]the floud; God is not acknowledged King where such mar­riages are.

2. For observation of the Lords Sabbath they covenanted to keep it strictly, and not to buy any thing of the people of the Land on that day; for where the Sabbath is not kept, there God is not acknowledged King.

3. For forgiving of debts every seventh yeere, which was a Judicial constitution, and did onely binde them; yet the equi­ty of that constitution remaineth in the Church, that men should lend freely; and where there is no ability of repayment extremity must not be used, if God be our King.

4. They charged themselves yeerly every man with the third part of a Shekel for the maintenance of the service of the house of God; for God is denyed his kingdome there, where his ho­ly worship hath not fit maintenance to support it, from every person according to his ability; for they conclude, we will not forsake the house of our God. Verse 39.

And this they vowed to performe.

  • 1. In the maintenance of the material Temple.
  • 2. In the just provision for the Offerings of all sorts to be made unto God there.
  • 3. In the true payment of Tythes for the maintenance of the Levites that served at the Altar.

This was the summe of the Covenant which the people made with God, and bound themselves by a Vow with a Curse to ob­serve it, as the Apostle saith, taking God to record against their soules, if they observed it not, that the curse of God might come upon them. And they sealed this Covenant to binde themselves the more; yet was all this no more then they were bound before to do by the Law of God; yet they vow to make the bond greater.

This is the literall and Historicall Exposition of these words: the learned Interpreters of this Prophecy have well conceived that this Prophet, this Seer, did look further into the purpose of God for his Church; and they say that

Mount Sion doth here also signifie the whole Church of God,De civ. Dei l. 18.31. all the world over.

Saint Augustine understandeth by Mount Sion the Church of the Jews, and by Edom the Church of the Gentiles, and meet­ing with an ill translation, and not understanding well the ori­ginall, he perverteth the meaning of the Prophet, as if the sal­vation of God should go out of Sion to the Edomites, whereas there is a plaine prophecy of judgement against Edom in parti­cular: and therefore Edom whom God did threaten to destroy utterly in this prophecy, cannot be a figure of that part of the Church which was by the preaching of the Gospel to be gathe­red together out of the Gentiles.

Lyranus gives another exposition; for by Sion he understand­eth Jerusalem, by the Saviours he understandeth S. Peter and S. Paul, and the chiefe of the Apostles as he calleth them; by the Mount of Esau, he understandeth Rome, and by judging the Mount of Esau, he understandeh their application to Constantine the first Christian Emperour, who setled Christianity in the Romane Empire.

And by the kingdome which shall be the Lords, he under­standeth that Rome shall be head of the Church; for that point of learning they can collect from all texts, to make the Church of Rome the onely true Church.

I like nothing in that exposition, but his resemblance of Rome to Esau, for that doth fit most properly; for they are the persecu­tors of Iacob, even of all true worshippers; and God hath pro­mised them a destruction; The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Master Calvin hath a learned observation upon this place for understanding it of the state of the Church under the Gos­pel; he saith, that these Saviours here spoken of, are but mini­steriall, and so this place pointeth out the Messiah, to whom these Saviours are subordinate.

For the expected Messiah is such a one, as by whom all the other Saviours are sent, and for whom all others work, whom all others do serve, and observe.

And this is the extent of this prophecy, in the judgement of M. Calvin: Iunius and Arias Montanus, that Christ shall leave in his Church his Apostles and Ministers of the Gospel to shew [Page 180]to men the way of salvation in such sort, a [...] that the Kingdom of God shall be advanced in the Church, God ruling by his Word.

Others by Saviours on Mount Sion judging the Mount of Esau, understand the last and finall judgement, wherein the Saints shall judge the world, and then the Kingdome shall be the Lords; of which S. Paul saith,

He shall deliver up the Kingdome to God, even the Father, when hee hath put downe all rule, and all authority and power.

I like those expositions that take the wings of a Dove, and fly to the uttermost part of the text, & non relinquit locum surely this is Gods promise to his Church, that it shall judge the world.

The parts of the Textare three.

  • 1. A gracious promise to Mount Sion concerning it selfe, Servatores Saviours.
  • 2. A further promise concerning their enemies: Iudica­bunt Montem Esau, shall judge the Mount of Esau.
  • 3. The issue and effect of both: & regnum erit Jehova, the Kingdome shall be the Lords.

1 Saviours shall come upon Mount Sion.

Doct. 1 This gracious promise revealeth to us a comfortable and cheerfull doctrine; that God howsoever he punisheth, yet he still loveth his people.

Which is thus proved.

Reason 1 1. Because God doth not look downwards upon his people, to see what they do deserve, but he looketh upward to the decree of his owne Election, and the councel of his will.

If God should look downwards toward men, even to his Elect, who could stand in his sight? he looketh with pure eyes, and he found imperfection in his Angels.

Moses hath cleared this point to this people of Israel: For thou art an holy people to the Lord thy God: Deut. 7.6.7, 8. the Lord thy God hath [Page 181]chosen thee to be a speciall people to himselfe, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor chose you, because you were more in number then any people, for ye were the fewest of all the people, but because the Lord loved you.

From this fountain of his love did flow, all those streames that made glad the City of the great King. as

Albeit they were few in number; yea, very few, and strangers in the Land: and walked about from Nation to Nation, Psa. 105.12. from one King­dome to another people:

Yet suffered he no man to do them harme, but reproved even Kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not mine Anointed, and do my Prophets n [...] hor me.

Therefore let all afflicted consciences, which are overcharged with the burthen of their sins, Look up to th [...]se hills from whence their helpe cometh, Let them [...] Christ biddeth, Lift up their heads.

Let them chide themselves as David did; Why are thou cast downe O my soule? the remedy is, hope in God, Psa. 43.5. he is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Faith and Feare worke together: Faith doth take up the decree of Election, and the just is bold as a Lyon.

Feare looketh down upon the corruptions of nature and propension to sin, and trembleth under the mighty hand of God; and the more we feare, the faster hold we lay, and the surer we tread on the steps of that ladder by which we scale heaven.

Thereupon doth the Apostle give this precept, Make your Calling and Election sure; that is, having a strong faith of these; and then the many failings in your obedience, your lapses and relapses into sin, may breed your grief, they cannot bring forth despaire.

Reason. 2 2. The decree of God is a secret, and peradventure Satan will suggest that thou art not within this decree.

Therefore God hath revealed his decree to his Church, and sealed it with gracious promises, for so Moses saith to Is­rael.

Because he would keep the word which he had sworne unto your Fathers. Deut. 7.8.

This Oath as we doe learne from old Zachary in his Bendictu [...] hath two branches.

One concerning God,

Another concerning his people.

The Oath which he swore to our father Abraham that he would give unto us, Luk. 1, 73: that we being delivered from the hands of our enemies might serve him without feare, &c.

1. God bindeth himselfe by his Oath, to deliver his Church from their enemies.

2. The same Oath bindeth him to the procuration of his owne service for us; for onely he must grant ut serviamus, that we may serve; by him we are liberati delivered; for we cannot thinke a good thought without him.

In him we live and move; and Christ saith, Sine me nihil po­testis facere, without me you can do nothing.

This promise of God to his Church he hath sealed, by giving to us the spirit of promise, which spirit he hath dedosited in his Church, to abide with it for ever; and he hath given to all the E­lect of God his Spirit, the earnest of his Covenant: this spirit serveth for a light in us to discerne our salvation afar off.

For a witnesse to testifie to our spirits, that we are the sons of God.

And God is faithfull, he will not suffer his truth to faile.

This also doth settle the faith of the Elect in all the tribulati­ons of life. I am the sonne or daughter of God; I know it by the spirit which he hath given me, which leadeth my un­derstanding into the way of truth, which converteth my affecti­ons, and frameth them to his love, which directeth my ways and ordereth them to his obedience: this spirit doth teach me to lay hold on the promises of grace, and to challenge my part in them: these promises do lift me up as high as to the decree of my Election, and therefore I will not feare.

David goeth farther; I am thine, O save me: for the interest that we have in the love of God, doth send us to him for sal­vation.

Doct. 2 2. Though God love his people, and have all power in his hand to save them, yet he doth use meanes, and raiseth up out of themselves Saviours.

The providence of God worketh by meanes, even from a­mongst our selves, to effect our preservation.

1. Because his immediate operations are full of terrour, and therefore we cannot so well endure them: therefore the people prayed Moses to speak to them, and desired that God might speak no more to them.

The Angell that brought word to Mary, that she should conceive a Sonne by the Holy Ghost, began his Message with Feare not.

The Angel that proclaimed the birth of Christ to the Shep­herds, said to them, Feare not.

We have so much cause to feare in respect of our own unwor­thinesse, that if God did not abate somewhat of the splendour of his glorious Majesty by the employment of means familiar to us, we could not abide it.

2. God using weake meanes, to effect his will doth mag­nifie his owne strength; For his strength is made perfect through weaknesse.

Whereby we are taught

1. To content our selves with the meanes, in the wisdome of God ordained for our preservation, not expecting miraculous and extraordinary subventions.

The rich mans brethren shall not have a Preacher come to them from the dead,Luk. 16.27. &c. to give them warning that they come not to that place of torment where their brother is.

They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.

God that sent his spirit on the Apostles, could have done so upon the whole Church; and when the Eunuch was reading I­saiah in his Chariot, he could have opened his understanding to have known what he had read, but he chose rather to use the Ministry of an Apostle, and therefore he command Philip to joyn himselfe to that Chariot, and by him he taught and baptized the Eunuch.

So was Cornelius directed to Peter, to be taught by him what he ought to doe.Act. 10.16.

And to the Apostle Christ saith, qui vos audit, me audi, he that heareth you heareth me.Lu. 10.16.

2. This teacheth us, looking on the weak means which God ordaineth for the good of his Church, not to rest in them, but be­yond them to look to that high wisedome and power by which those meanes are enabled, for the Church of Rome hath over­shot that way.

Iohn when an Angel talked with him, was ready to worship him, we are naturally prone to give undue honor to the means, because we are more led by sense then by faith.

But the faithful must walke by faith, not by sight; from this sensuall and carnall eye upon the meanes: the honour of God is given in the Church of Rome to the Mother of our Lord, to Angels, to Saints, yea to very Images and Pictures, and so I­dolatry is committed.

Therefore Peter and Iohn, after they had raised the Criple that lay at the Porch of the Temple, finding the people amazed, and feating least and carnall opinion might wrong the glory of God, pre [...]n [...]d any undue ascriptions to themselves, and directed them where to fasten them;

16 Ye men and brethren, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so ear­nestly on us, Act. 3.12. as though by our own power, or bolinesse, we had made that man walk; he attributeth this work to Jesus his name, through saith in his name hath made this man strong.

Doctr. 3 3. We are taught to give honour to all the meanes of God, ordained and used for our good; you see that God himselfe doth so; for although none but God is properly a Saviour, yet he hath given the honour of that great attribute, to the meanes of his peoples safety, and calleth them here by the name of Sa­viours.

This Title he giveth to those temporall deliverers, who sa­ved Israel from the hande of their enemies; So O [...]hniel is called a Saviour, and Ehud hath the same title.

And I shua was a Saviour,Judg. 3 9. ves. 15. he had even the name of Christ of whom he was a Type.

The Minister of the Gospel have this high title also given to them.

S. Paul to Timothy; So doing, thou shalt save thy selfe, and those that hear thee.

S. Iames, If any man erre from the truth, and another convert him, let him know that be shall save a soule from death, so the Layman may be a Saviour too.

S. Iude derecting his Epistle to all at large that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Iesus Christ, and called, ad­monisheth them;

  • 1. To build up themselves in the most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, &c.
  • 2. And of some have compassion, making a difference.

And others save with feare, pulling them out of the fire. Jude 16.22.23. 1 Cor. 7.14

Also the Apostle saith; The unbelieving husband, is sanctified by the wise, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.

So Christ to his Apostles, whosoevea sins ye remit, they are remitted.

We do all know that all those be but the meanes by which God worketh, and yet they are graced with the attributes and effect of him that useth them.

At [...]his day God hath left no other outward meanes of salvati­on but by our Ministry, if we be not your Saviours, you can­not be saved: he that employeth us in this great service, and ho­noreth us with his owne Title, will both see, and avenge the contempt of his Messengers.

The eye of the world is too much fixed on the earthen vessels, and regardeth little the treasure that is sent therein.

Gods owne people did offend that way, in neglect of Gods Prophers, who were sent from God to them, and it lay heavie upon their consciences, and they felt the sorrow and smart of it upon themselves and their children.

Ezra prayeth and consesseth.

We have forsaken thy Commandements which thou hast comman­ded by thy servants the Prophets. Ezra 9.10.11. Dan. 9.6 10.

Daniel prayeth and confesseth.

Neither have we hearkened to thy servants the Prophets, which spake in thy name.

The great preserver of men, useth the Ministry of men for the salvation of his people; to us hath God committed the Mi­nistry of reconciliation, as if God by us did speak to his Church.

Your faith is begunne in you by our Ministery, and we ex­hort you to encrease more and more, as you have received of us how you ought to walke,1 Thes. 4. 1 1 Thes. 3.20. and to please God; therefore,

Despise not prophecying;

The Grecions in St. Pauls time called preaching foolishnesse; but he saith that God by this foolishnesse of preaching saveth [...]uch as do beleeve.

The reason why God giveth this honour to the meanes by which he worketh any good to his Church, is;

To instruct us by his example to do the like; for thus it must be done to the man whom the King will honour.

Haman thought these five things necessary to expresse the honour of a King, done to a servant that he delighted in.

  • 1. That he be cloathed in royall apparell, such as the King useth to we are.
  • 2. That he be set on the horse that the King rideth on.
  • 3. That the Crowne Royal be set upan his head.
  • 4. That this be done to him by one of the Kings most Noble Prin­ces.
  • 5. That be proclaime before him, that he is one whom the King will honour.

The Apostles, and their successors have all this honour done to them.

1. That apparell which the King useth to we are is put upon them, for he giveth them his owne attributes; he calleth them Teachers and Pastors and Saviours of his Church.

2. He setteth them upon his own horse, for they ride upon the wings of the wind; the wind is the Holy Ghost alae spi­ritus, the wings of the spirit, by which it flieth over the Church, be the two Testaments, which holy men wrote as they were inspired;

They ride prosperously becausa of Truth, Meeknesse and Righte­ousnesse.

Propter veritatem quam pradicant, Psa. 45 4. propter mansuetudinem qua pradicant: propter justitiam quam parturiunt

Thirdly the Kings Crowne is set upon their heads: for the [Page 187]people of God whom they teach and convert are their Crown.

For what is our hope or joy or crown of rejoycing? 1 Thes. 2.19. Are not ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

4. This is put upon us by the most noble of all Gods Prin­ces, even the son of God himselfe who sendeth us abroad and saith, Go unto all Nations.

5. He proclaimeth this, Sicut misit me Pater, sic ego mitto vos, as the father sent me, so send I you; not onely sending us forth to do his work, but in some measure also to partake of his honour, as embassadours of Princes are received and esteemed honourably for their sakes whom they represent.

This the Apostle confessed to the praise of the Galatians, Gal. 4.14. that they received him as an Angel of God, even as Christ Je­sus.

God hath left no other Saviours upon Mount Sion his Church, but his faithfull Ministers, therefore;

  • 1. We are taught to make conscience of our holy imploy­ment, to be faithfull in it, that neither by our negligence in preaching, nor by unsound doctrine, nor by our evill example, we become destroyers of our brethren; for we are all Gods Mi­nisters, and the Chaplains of Iesus Christ: who will call us to severe account of the Talent which he hath committed to our trust.
  • 2. The people committed to our pastorall charge, are taught where to seek salvation, and from whom to require light.

The Colossians may call upon Archippus to look to his charge, and the Minister Archippus may call upon them to walke in the light, saying; To you is this word of salvation sent. Be swift to heare; againe, take heed how you hear, and see that ye be not hearers only, deceiving your own soules.

Thank God, that by men like your selves, he corrects the hea­rers, and cometh downe to you, and preacheth to you the way of salvation, and howsoever you esteem of our persons, touch not our calling, for that is holy and heavenly.

2. To judge the Mount of Esau.

This part of the Promise doth concern the enemies of Gods [Page 188]Church, and seeing those Saviours shall not only have imploy­ment to preserve the Church, but they shall also have power of judgement to destroy the enemies thereof: We are taught,

Doctr. That the enemies of the Church shall not alwayes prevaile though they do stand it out long, but the Church of God at the last shall have the Victory.

The blood of Abel shall judge Cain, for it crieth unto God out of the earth against him, and Cain shall smart for that mur­ther whilest he liveth, and God shall give another son for Abel whom Cain slew.

Israel is a full example; for being in the Land of Egypt in the house of bondage, they had a promise to keepe them in heart:

And the Nation to whom they shall be in bondage I will judge saith God, Act. 7.7. and after that they shall come forth and serve me in this place.

The Jewes by reason of Hamans plot against them, were in great danger. It is said,

The King and Haman sate down to drink, and the City of Shu­shan was perplexed. Hest. 3 15.

But God tumed their mourning into a feast, and Haman died upon his own tree: and the distressed Jewes had one Holy day the more for that.

Zenacherib a troubler of Israel dyed a great many of deaths; for neither could the priviledge of the place, the Temple of his God, nor the service that he came to do there, nor the god of the Temple protect him from death, and which was most feare­full and grievous to him, his own bowels rebelled against him, and they to whom he had been the author of life, were the mini­sters of his death; Adrameleeh and Sharezar his sons slew him with the sword.

For you have heard that though Iudgement begin at the house of God, it doth not end there, so David;

Marke the godly, and behold the just., for the end of that man is peace, whatsoever all the rest of his life be; and we truly say,

All is well that ends well.

Christ to his Disciples,Mat. 10.16.22. Behold, I send you as Sheep in the mid­dest of W [...], &c.

But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

The Apostle saith, We are more then conquerors; Rom. 8.37. Conquerors overcome by force and strong hand, or some cunning stratagem; the Saints overcome by patience, and weary their persecutors with their sufferings: for

Vincit qui patitur.

The reason of this happy end of the labours and sorrows of the Church is,

1. That the narrow way to glory may be frequented; for who would put himselfe to the rugged severity of a strict life, into the hatred of the world, to make himselfe as the way of the street for the proud to go over him; if he did not perswade himselfe, that his heavines should endure but for a night, and that he should have joy in the morning?

No, there is not heavinesse all night; for the serants of God do beleeve to see the goodnesse of God in the land of the living.

And this is that same, Carmen in nocte, Song in the night that David speaketh of; Laetitia in tribulatione, joy in tribula­tion, as S [...] Augustine doth expound it.

And thus doth God comfort the Church often by taking a­way either perfidious and unsound friends, that live in the Church to betray it: or by removing corrupt and bribing retai­lers of preferments in Church and Common-wealth: or by committing of cruel and unmercifull oppressions of their bre­thren, as bad at the task-masters of Egypt to lay b [...]rthens upon them to keep them down; this is some refreshing to the Church of God to behold this just hand of God against the ungodly of the earth, and it is earnest of that purging of his floare when he will f [...]n away the wicked at the dust and chaff [...] of the earth. For when the wicked perish there is joy.

2. Another reason is because God will have the enemies of his Church know that their power i [...] borrowed, and he that lent it to them, can re [...]e it to himselfe; and extinguish it in them at pleasure.

So Christ told Pilate that he could have no power against him, except he had it from above, whereupon grows that con­solation of the Church, fe [...] me thou that [...] kill [...] body, and can go no fu [...]ther.

The wicked are compared in respect of their tumultuous rage, and the manifold scourges of their wicked attempts against the Church to the raging of the sea; the comparison doth hold out thus far; God hath set this sea bounds and the proud waves may come thus far and no further; so hath God limited the fury of his enemies, and set them their non ultra no further.

The use which the Church maketh of this experiment, is,

1. It taketh away feare of outward enemies. Feare of man is a dangerous preturbation, and such as endangereth faith, a­gainst which Christ giveth his Disciples warning: Let not your hearts be troubled nor feare.

Quid timet hominem homo in sinu dei positus? tu de illius sinu non cadere potes quicquid ibi passus fueris ad salutem valebit non ad perniciem. Aug.

Scripture setteth forth the power of the outward enemy in these and such like phrases; there is rugitus Leonis, the roaring of the Lyon; there is unguis Leonis, the Lyons paw; there is cor­nu Ʋnicornium, the horne of the Unicornes; there is pes super­biae, the foot of pride; there is oculus nequam, an evill eye; there is manus violenta, a violent hand, and iniquitas manuum, the iniquity of the hands; os sepulchrum, the mouth an open sepulcher; and venenum aspidum sub labiis, the poyson of aspes under the lips.

The mercies of the wicked are cruell, but I will not feare what man can do unto me.

Multos in summa pericula misit. Venturi timor ipse mali fortissi­n [...] ille est Qui promptus metunda pati. The feare of evil to come hath endangered many; he is the most valiant that is rea­dy to suffer what is feared.

2. It tryeth our faith; Christ said to Peter, Cur times exiguâ fide praedites when he so felt himselfe sinking in the waters, God promised I will not leave thee nor forsake thee. Do we beleeve him? Dare we trust him? as Christ. Do you beleeve in God? beleeve also in me.

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers tempta­tions. Jam. 2.

3 3.Knowing this that the trying of your Faith worketh pati­ence.

4 4.But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing. 1 Pet. 1 7.

That the tryall of your Faith being much more precious, then of gold which perisheth, though it be tryed with fire might be found unto praise and honour and glory, at the appearing of Iesus Christ, &c.

3. This setteth before our eyes the great appearance that our enemies shall make before us, either in this world, when our eye shall have our desire on them that hate us, or in the last day when the Saints shall judge the world; which serveth to admonish us with the Prophet, To commit our wayes to the Lord, and to trust in him, for he shall bring it to passe.

Excellent is the story of Elisha, whom the King of Syri [...] sent an Army to take, and they beset Dothan where he lodged; but Elisha prayed, and God smote the whole Army with blindnesse, and he whom they sought offered himselfe to them to be their guide, and he brought them into Samaria, and then God open­ed their eyes, and they saw themselves in the hand and power of their enemies.

Thus doth God blind the eyes of the enemies of his Church, and when ther malice is at the height, they find themselves set at the Barre to be judged by his Saints; then Iacob shall judge the Mount of Esau.

Methinkes I see the great appearance of the boisterous Ty­rants of the earth, whose eyes did sparkle fire in the faces of Gods servants, whole tongue spake proud words, whose foot trode upon Gods Saints, whose hand spared them not, whose countenance darted against them scorne and disdaine, and whose swords were made drunke in the bloud of Gods Holy ones;

With what a feareful trembling, and horrible dread they come to this judgement against their wils, where they shall see the Saints all in long white robes, like a flock of sheep that come from the washing: in whose glorified faces they shall behold their owne shame and dishonour: in whose place and joy, they shall behold the bloudy persecution wherewith they have oppressed them in their life, and in whose setled happinesse they shall read their doom of eternall woe.

And as Saint Peter saith: How shall the wicked and ungodly ap­peare; there needs no more evidence against them, bring them to judgement, and that sight shall convince them,

3. The issue and effect of all; And the Kingdome shall be the Lords.

This is the proper fruite of our deliverance from the hands of our enemies, that the Kingdome of God may be established on earth in Gods Church.

1. For so long as the enemies of God do tyrannize and fill all with their grosse actions; the face of the Church is covered, the Temples of God are defiled, and demolished, the worship of God seeketh private corners, and sheweth not it selfe, the Saints of God fly from the Sword of Persecution, wandring here and there, from one Nation to another people: and it is hard to say where the Church of God is.

During the persecution under the cruell Emperours, till Con­stantine aross, and restored the Kingdome to God, the King­dome of God on earth was not abolished quite, but it was in some sort invisible; not that it was then hidden from all the faithfull, as it was from the world; therefore concerning the in­visiblenesse of this Kingdome, we do affirme,

1. That though this Kingdome of God be so established on earth, that the ga [...] of hell shall not prevails against it: because God gave to his son that asked him, the he [...]hen for his inheri­tance, and the utmost part of the earth for his possession. And Christ promised to give the Holy Ghost to his Church to abide with it for ever [...] ye [...]at sometimes the faithfull may be so few in number, and they so separated one from another, in the pur­suit of their ow [...] s [...]ty, that the world cannot easily discome the face of a Church.

This, some of the Church of Rome have confessed, affirming that about the time of Christs passion, and the dispersion of his Disciples, the [...] true faith remained onely in the blessed Virgin Mary.

But untruly [...] [...] the Disciples, though they fled from the per­secution of that time, they fled not fro [...] the [...]aith of Christ.

But was it not so in Eliahs time, when he knew of no more but himselfe alone, that served the true God? yet God had knees that had never bowed to Baal, even then.

2. We affirme that Satans Kingdome may so farre dilate it selfe in power and spreading, that the externall government of the Church may cease, the succession of Bishops and Pastors may be interrupted, the Discipline of the Church hindered, and the outward exercise of Gods Worship suspended; the sunne of righteousnes may suffer ecclipse, and thus much the Rhemists do confesse, in their notes upon 2 Thes. 2.2.

3. That which the common opinion doth embrace for the Kingdome of God, may be Satans Kingdome, whose do­ctrine is poison, whose pastors are wolves in sheeps cloath­ing, whose children are bastards of the Strumpet of Baby­lon.

This appeares in the Church story, for when Rom [...] forsook her first Love, and began to turne saith into faction, and religion into carnall policy, to establish a t [...]anscendent greatnesse on the face of the earth, and to tyrannize over all that stood for the truth revealed in the word, then was the candle of the Church put out so farre as they could prevaile, and the word of God the light of our steps was taken away from the people.

Then did the faithfull subjects of Gods Kingdome hide them­selves from the sword, and the fire, and the sundry persecuti­ons which Rome devised to oppresse them: then their heresy past for truth commonly: their usurpers for lawfull Bishops: their mercenaries for Pastors: their legendes for Gospel, and they boasted themselves the only true Church of God, and Spouse of Iesus Christ.

And when by the ministry of Dr. Lurher the Church began to lift up the head againe, and that one single man opposed the Pope: and was a burning and shining Lampe, to whose light ma­ny dayly resorted, we see that ever since that time the Church hath come more and more in sight, and growne both in number and strength.

Kings have been nursing Fathers, and Queens have been Nurses, and the Kingdom of God hath been gloriously advaan­ced on earth.

Then did England cast off the yoak of Rome, and God caused a light to shine in darknesse, and ever-since a face of the Church hath appeared, gathering more and more fresh beauty: and now we may say truly of our times, the light never shone more clear in this Land then now it doth; never more learning, and never more communicated then now.

But beloved this will not serve our turne, God must have as well a rule of our hearts, as of our eares, of our hands as of our heads.

Let us look to our example in my Text: when God had re­stored this people to their land, they established his King­dome.

With publick Assemblies, with fasting and humbling of them­selves before God, with confession of sinnes, with weeping and mourning, with solemne Vowes to performe all the Comman­dements of God;

They spent their time not all in hearing, but in worshipping also of God.

They vowed not to make any marriages with such as were no profest subjects of the Kingdome of God, such as was the mar­riage of Solomon with King Pharaohs daughter.

They vowed to keep the Sabbath holily to the service of God, to deale charitably with their poor brethren.

To honour God with their riches, setting apart a portion to maintaine the worship and publick service of God.

And all this must we do if we will advance the Kingdome of God amongst us, not only in outward profession, but in inward subjection.

You may know a true subject of Gods Kingdom by his walk, and by his pace; for he walketh,

1 1. Circumspectly, fearing danger before him to meet him, behind him to follow him, above him to presse him downe, un­der him to blow him up, temptations on his right hand, provo­cations on the left hand: therefore he loseth no time, but re­deemeth it to the service of God.

2 2 He walketh in holines, as in the sight of God who search­eth the hearts and reines, and cannot be deceived with false sem­blances and emptie shadows, and seemings of false and hypocri­ticall [Page 195]shewes, but requireth truth in the inward parts.

He walketh in righteousnesse, that is, in the obedience of the Second Table of the Law, living in the practise and exercise of his knowledge, to the uttermost of that measure of grace that is given to him, as it becometh the Saints.

For these know that they were therefore delivered from the hands of their enemies that they might more freely attend the service of God, and the saving of their own soules.

Amongst such as these God reigneth and hath put on his glo­rious apparrel, and is acknowledged God as their King.

Idolatry and false worship doth unking and dethrone God, and trespasseth the majesty of our King, swearing and blasphemy maketh the name of God (which is the safety of his subjects, for our help is in the name of the Lord) like to a broken hedge.

Breach of the Sabbath, which is Gods holy day, is a trespasse against his moderate prerogative, claiming some part of our time for his publique service and the exercise of Religion.

Contempt of the word is a trespasse against the Lawes of this kingdome.

Injury in any kind to our brethren, is breach of peace amongst the subject of this kingdome.

Gluttony, drunkennesse, pride, be wastfull sins, and consume the outward treasures thereof, and they also seem to quench the Spirit of God, and to kill all good motions in our selves and others.

Let us remember our prayer, adveniat Regnum tuum, Let thy kingdome come; And seeing God hath graciously establisht a Church amongst us in peace, which he hath watered with early rain in the first coming thereof in this Land, and with a later raine in the Government of two incomparable Princes, truly called defenders of the Faith against Heresie and Schisme.

Let the kingdome be the Lords, let our obedience to his Law bear witnesse of our Faith: and let our peace, amongst our selves give testimony of our charity, and let us walk all one way like the horses of Pharoahs chariot: let us all fight as one man a­gainst sin and Sathan, against the Devil and the Pope, tanquam acces ordinata. For if the Lord be our King, we shall have cause to be glad thereof. For

Blessed are the people that are in such a case, blessed are [Page 196]the people that have the Lord for their God.

2. Let us look as farre as we can by Saint Pauls prospective: there will be a time when Christ our grand Captaine shall over­come all his enemies, even death, which is the last enemy; and then shall he deliver up the kingdome to God, even his Fa­ther; then Israel shall have judged Esau, the Church the world▪

Then Christ resigneth his office of a Mediator, and then God is all in all. For then all his enemies shall be in prison in the chains of darknesse; all his Elect shall be fastened together, and united with Christ their head in glory; God shall then have none to contest with him for sway and domination: his glory shall then be great in the Salvation of his Church, and in the Victory of his enemies.

Thus have I in a few months gone through this short but full and pithy Prophecy of Obadiah; I know with what great com­fort, light, and delight, in mine own meditations, I hope not unprofitably for you.

If you desire many houres work in a few minutes of time, this is the Analysis of it.

It was divided into two parts

  • 1. Titulus, the Title,
  • 2. Vaticinum, the prophecie.

1. The Title shewed,

  • 1. Whose: Obadiah.
  • 2. What.

1. Whose, Obadiah.

Doctr. God stirreth up his servants the Prophets to give warning of the Anger to come.

2. What: a Vision.

Doctr. The faithfull Minister must see before he say, and take instru­ctions from God before he undertake to teach others.

2. The Prophecie: this hath two parts.

  • 1. Against Edom, ad finem, ver. 16.
  • 2. For the Church, ver. 17. ad finem.

In the first observe three things.

  • 1. The subject of this Prophecie, Edom.
  • 2. The suggestiorus of it, The Lord.
  • 3. The Prophecy it selfe.

1. Of the subject, Edom.

Doctr. Riches, strength, honour, Victory, are not so pretious things as many do value them: oftentimes they go away with them all a long time whom God hateth: he saith, I have hated Esau: yet he had all these.

2. Of the suggestour of the Prophecy. The Lord saith thus:

Doctr. Gods Ministers must deale faithfully with the Church, saying no more or lesse, and in the same manner as God speaketh to them.

3. The Prophecy, that hath foure parts.

  • 1. The judgement intended against Edom, v. 1, 2.
  • 2. The despaire of all Edoms hopes, ver. 3, ad 9.
  • 3. The cause provoking God, ver. 10, ad 14.
  • 4. Gods revenge, ver. 15, 16.

1. The judgement intended contains▪

  • 1. The discovery.
  • 2. The rumour it selfe.
  • 3. The effect.

1. The discovery by a rumour from the Lord, an Embassador sent among the heathen.

  • Doct. 1. The decrees of Gods judgement upon the wicked be con­stant and unchangeable.
  • Doct. 2. The consent of Embassadours all declaring the same judge­ment sheweth, that the Lords Trumpet dat sonum certum, gives a certain sound.
  • Doct. 3. The preaching of all true and faithfull Ministers and Prophets accord to their instructions, is rumor a Domino, a ru­mor from the Lord; and because weake and distressed Consci­ences do often heare suggestions of feare, they must examine the rumor, si a Domino if it be of the Lord.

2. The rumour was, that God would punish Edom by war.

  • Doct. 1. All warres are ordained by God.
  • Doct. 2. God punisheth one evil Nation by another.
  • Doct. 3. Warre is one of Gods rods to punish sinne.
  • Doct. 4. The people of God may lawfully make warre.

3. The effect of this warre, ver. 2.

  • 1. From God. I have made thee small.
  • 2. From man: Thou art greatly despised.

In both,

Doct. God giveth warning of his judgements to those whom he foreseeth such as will not take warning to amend.

In the first: God maketh small his enemies,

1. God casteth down the proud.

Doct. In the second, thou art despised,

2. They that despise God, shall be despised.

2. The despaire of all their hopes, five hopes.

  • 1. In the pride of their own hearts.
  • 2. In the safety of their dwelling, ver. 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • 3. In the strength of their confederates, ver. 7.
  • 4. In their wisedome, ver. 8.
  • 5. In the strength of their own men, ver. 9.

1. Hope in their own pride,

Doct. God resisteth the proud. Pride is an abominable sin in the sight of God, and it deceiveth man.

2. Hope in the strength of their dwelling.

Doct. No place is safe without Gods protection, for the hidden things of Esau shall be searched and found out.

3. Hope in their confederates.

  • Doct. 1. God punisheth one sinne by another, for the sinne of E­dom in casting off their trust in God, is punished by their trusting in men.
  • Doct. 2. God requiteth sinners with the same measure that they have measured to others.
  • Doct. 3. The falling out of these confederates with Edom, sheweth, that there is not true peace between the ungodly.
  • Doct. 4. Those who put their trust in men, have no understanding.

4. Hope, in their wise men.

Doct. Humane wisdome and counsell against the Lord, are no fense for any state.

5. Hope in their strong men.

Doct. Vaine is the help of man against God.

3. The cause provoking God to this severe prosecution of Edom.

  • 1. Set down in generall termes, ver. [...]0.
  • 2. In a particular description, ver. 11, 12, 13, 14.

1. In generall, they are charged with cruelty to their bro­ther Jacob.

2. In particular, they are charged

1. With cruelty of combination.

Doctr. They that joyne with others in action of murther or robbery, are actually culpable, as ayders, abettors, and maintainers of cruelty and wrong.

2 With the cruelty of the eye.

Doctr. They that look upon the injuries done to their brethren with delight, and without compassion, or reliefe of them, be e­qually culpable with them that wrong them.

3. With the cruelty of the heart they rejoyced against their brethren.

Doctr. The heart of man affected to wrong, though neither the head of counsell, nor the hand of assistance joyne with it, doth break the Law of charity.

4. With the cruelty of the tongue.

Doctr. The proud words of the enemies of God do break peace, and transgresse the current of charity.

5. With cruelty of hands shewed in these things.

  • 1. Invasion of their City,
  • 2. Direption of their goods.
  • 3. Insidiation for life.
  • 4. Depopulation, not sparing the residue.

Doct. Whatsoever is done against our brother in his person, or in his goods, breaketh the Law.

The Fourth part, Gods revengement.

This containeth two things.

  • 1. A judgement of God revealed against the ungodly.
  • 2. A sweet consolation of the Church.

In the Iudgement I note six things.

  • 1. The Certainty: the day set.
  • 2. The Propinquity: near at hand.
  • 3. The extent: to all the Heathen.
  • 4. The equity: as thou hast done, &c.
  • 5. The Contents: they shall drink.
  • 6. The duration: continually.

Doct. 1 God hath set a time to punish every sinne of the impeni­tent.

Doct. 2 That time is at hand.

Doct. 3 God doth punish those whom himselfe hath stirred up to be his instruments to punish others.

Doct. 4 God doth punish by retaliation.

Doct. 5 Though the judgement of God do begin at the House of God, the wicked shall not go unpunished.

The judgement of the wicked and unmercifull,Doct. 6 is without all mercy.

2. The comfort of the Church.

1. He speaketh of their judgement as past.

Doctrine. Though the Church of God do live under the Crosse for a time, it shall not be ever so.

Doctrine. 2 He calleth Sion though thus layd waste his holy Moun­taine.

Where God loveth once, he loveth ever; and though he af­flicteth, yet he loveth still.

3. He revealth to his Church their owne deliverance, and the destruction of their enemies,

Doctrine. The Cup of wrath shall passe from the Church to her ene­mies: the knowledge whereof is a great setling to the Church in comfort.

The second part of the Prophecy

Containing the consolation of the Church against all her e­nemies, wherein observe,

  • 1. A promise of restitution to their owne.
  • 2. Of victory against their enemies.
  • 3. The meanes ordained for thi [...].

1. In the promise of restitution.

Doct. 1 God requireth of them whom he delivereth from evils, ho­linesse of life.

Doct. That God delivereth his Church first, that after they may serve him.

2. The victories of their enemies.

Doct. 1 The afflictions of the Church do turne to their greater good.

Doct. God punisheth the enemies of his Church by his Church a­gainst which they have formerly prevailed.

The Church hath good warrant to settle their faith in the as­surance of this, because the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Doct. 3 3. The meanes to effect this.

1. Here is a promise of Saviours to them.

Doct. 1 Though God do long punish, he doth ever love his peo­ple.

Doct. 2 Though God have all power and means under command, yet [Page 203]he doth choose to make us instruments of his favour to one ano­ther; men Saviours.

Doct. 3 We are taught to give due honour to the meanes of Gods fa­vours, by the example of Gods communicating to his instru­ments his owne great title of Saviours.

2. Here is a promise of victory to his Church, full victory; They shall judge the mount of Esau.

Doct. Though the enemies of the Church do resist long, yet God at last will give his Church a compleat victory over them all.

3. The issue and effect of all.

The Kingdome shall be the Lords.

Doct. This is the proper worke and fruit of all Gods favours to his Church to advance the Kingdome of God on earth, and to submit our selves a faithful subjects to the Dominion.

Thus have I drawn the the two breasts of this prophecy, and milked it to you: v [...]nite ad mu [...]ctram: for it hath two parts, Binos alit utere faetus.

  • 1. Here is the Doctrine of Gods justice.
  • 2. The Doctrine of his mercy.

I have done more; I have gathered the creame of this milke; for these Doctrines which I have collected be Plos Lactis

I confesse that I have studied this Prophecy with singular delight, which hath turned the paines I took in it into sweet and gracious recreations: for in this short only Chapter of this Prophecy.

Here is a sweet meeting

1. Of the Majesty and authority in the sender, and fidelity in the Messenger.1

2 2. Of great substance and weight of matter, with admirable oratory of words and sentences, and with sweet disposition of order and method.

Righteousnesse and peace have kissed each other.

3 Righteousnesse punishing Edom and the Heathen, and aven­ging the cause of Sion; Peace establishing the Kingdome of God, in the restauration of his Church.

The Prophecy is like a seasonable March; it comes in like a Lyon to end Winter: it goes out like a Lambe, to bring in the cheerfull Spring.

For it begins at Bella, horrida bella; it ends with Peace be with­in thy borders, and plenteousnesse within thy Palaces.

In the Title of this Prophecy which is called, The Vision of Obadiah, I can shew you the best Book in my Study, and the light of all my Meditations: even the Vision which God by his Spirit revealeth in my understanding, to discerne what his will is, and to suggest what I shall preach in his Church.

Great are the helpes of a plentifull Library to furnish us for this service; but he that hath not the helpe of Vision from him that giveth eyes to the blind, shall walke in the darke and not know whether he goweth: I may say with S. Iohn,

What I have seen and heard, that have I delivered unto you, and I have no more to say of it, but I wish the good will of him that dwelt in the Bush, to second his outward Ordinance of semination, with a blessing of encrease; without which, he that planteth is nothing: he that watereth is nothing. To him let us give the honour due to his name, and say:

Gloria Patri & Filio & Spiritui Sancto, Amen, Amen, Amen.

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