A SERMON PREACHED at the Abbie at VVESTMINSTER, before both Houses of Parliament, AND The Assembly of DIVINES, upon their Solemn Fast, Iuly 7. 1643. BY MATTH: NEVV COMEN M. A. and Minister of the Gospell at Dedham in Essex.

As for me, I have not hastned from being a Pastour to follow thee, nei­ther have I desired the wofull day, thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.

Be not a Terrour to me, thou art my hope in the day of evill,

Jer. 17.16, 17.

Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them,

Jerem. 18.20.

Yee that have escaped the sword, goe away, stand not still. Remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your minds,

Jer. 51.50.

Published by Order of both Houses of Parliament.

LONDON, Printed by M. F. for CHRISTOPHER MEREDITH at the Crane in Pauls Church-yard. 1643.

TO THE RIGHT HO­NOVRABLE LORDS, The worthy Members of the HO­NOURABLE House of COMMONS, AND The Learned and Religious DIVINES, now assembled to consult about matters of RELIGION.

THis Sermon might have been entertai­ned from the Pulpit, and now from the Presse, as Pharez was from the womb, Gen. 38.29. with a, Quàm erupisti, how hast thou broken forth? were it not knowne to this Assembly, that the Parliament had designed another, both in yeares and all Intellectuall and spi­rituall abilities, far more fit for the solemn work of so solemne a day, in so solemne and Reverend an Consisting of both Houses of Parliament & the Divines all joyning in hu­miliation and prayer. Assembly. But bodily infirmities compelling him with Zarah to draw back his hand, the work was (I know not by what providence) devolved on me, [...]. I was to that quire of Mourners and In­tercessours, but as the grashopper was toHujus memi­nit & Strabol. 6. & Clem. Al. in Protreptico al gentes, & Phot. in Ep. ad Joen. Patrici­um. Eunomius his harp; quae Citharae jugo insidens ruptae chordae sonum expleret.

The same Authority (which I am resolved to obey, usque ad Aras) that commanded mee to preach then, commands me now to make publique to the eyes of all, what then was committed to the ears of not ma­ny; when the same Authority shall command other things that have since been spoken and transacted in your Assembly to see the Light, I doubt not but all so­ber-minded men, that have not been made drunk with the cup of Romes fornication, will acknowledge you have with a single eye sought Truth with peace, and union with Reformation.

It is (Men, Brethren and Fathers) a great work that God hath called you to set your heads, and hearts, and hands unto, to rescue truth from the jaws of those monstrous errours, that had almost devoured it; to disburthen the worship of God of those corruptions, that have so long clogged and defiled it; to advise of, and propound such a Government in the Church, as may be most agreeable to Gods word, most conformed to the pattern in the Mount, and to the practises of the best Reformed Churches; [...]; Had our God cast you upon this work in the most pacate times, and among a People the most prepared for Re­formation that ever any were, yet (in it selfe conside­red) such is the infinite weight of your employment as might even swallow up all your thoughts. But then to consider how unprepared the hearts of people are for that which is the work of this age, and this Assembly, Reformation, which hath been represen­ted to Prince and People under the odious notion of Brownisme, Anabaptisme, Church Anarchy, [Page]Confusion; in so much that with many, endeavours and assays of Reformation will find no better entertain­ment, then Hezekiahs messengers of Reformation did, 2 Chron. 30.10. when the people laughed them to scorn, and mocked them; Nay, with some worse, for so enragedly doe some burn after their Idolatrous wayes, and so mad are they upon their own inven­tions, Jer. 50.38. that deny them these, and it is to be feared you shall finde them in the temper the Abezrites were, scarce any thing will pacify them, but the bloud of those that have cast down the altar of Baal, and cut down the grove that was by it; Iudg. 6.30. Doe not Mul­titudes cry already upon the disuse of some Ceremo­nies, and the displacing of some Superstitious Priests? do they not cry with Micah, Judg. 18.24. Yee have ta­ken away our Gods and our Priests, and what have we more? This makes the times so calamitous, as we may say of them with the Learned Rivet. In multis certè infoelicissima sunt nostra Tempora, in quibus in pessum omnia ruunt, & quasi transversum ire vi­dentur. Concutiuntur Regna, & Respublicae; tu­multibus omnia perstrepunt, & seditionibus; cae­dibus terra polluitur; & quod malum omnium malorum fons est, clamant peccata, et coelum pro­vocant; profligatis ferè moribus honestis, & vitiis latè quasi apertâ portâ erumpentibus. Pruriunt ingenia multorum, & in rebus Divinis ita se ge­runt & adeò licenter, ut quod olim in populo E­braeo (quibus temporibus non erat Rex in Israele) quisque quod rectum videbatur in oculis suis fa­ciebant, Iud. 17.6. Sic multi sunt qui nullis repa­gulis [Page]continentur, & fidem in dies mutans, quam dum multiplicant, amittunt. Alios vetustâ socor­diâ detentos dum nullam mutationem admittunt in bonum, ita dementat superstitio, ut in monito­res insurgant, ne dum ut eos patienter audiant. All this proclaims the work of Reformation the more ne­cessary, but withall the more difficult.

Against these difficulties what have you to encou­rage you? [...]: were yee encompassed as sometimes Elisha was, with an hoast of armed men, yet might yee say as he did there, They that be with us are more then they that be against us.

For first,Revel. 19 14. with you are all the Armies in heaven: All the Saints and Churches of Christ are with you, striving with you by their prayers, (not only in re­ference to your persons, but to your employments) for protection, guidance, blessing. The appearing of Christ in the beauty of Reformation among us, may be said to be the desire of all (Christian) Nations.

Secondly, not only so, but yee have the prayers of those that have been before us. For verily many Pro­phets and righteous men have desired to see the things which ye see,Favour me the use of this ex­pression by way of allusi­on. & have not seen them; viz. a Parliament resolved upon a more thorough Reformation; an As­sembly called to debate & advise about the establishing of Doctrine and worship, and the Government of the Church in a more pure & regular manner; with how ma­ny tears and prayers did our Forefathers seek this at the hands of God? The first fruits of which prayers we (who are entred upon their labours) have already tasted, and shall reap in full answers, in due time if we faint not.

Thirdly, you have the promise of our Lord Iesus Christ, Mat. 18.20. Where two or three are met together in my Name, there am I in the middest of them. To be met together in the Name of Christ, implies 3. things, 1o. Convenire ex vocatione. Camero in Myrothe [...]. 2o. Convenire animo sequendi praescriptum Dei. 3o. Ita ut unus­quisque diffidat sibi, & soli Deo fidat. And if ever any in all these particulars were met together in the Name of Christ, then are you, and therefore may with a holy humble confidence challenge this promise of our Lord Iesus, to be in the midst among you: Christ being in the midst of you, implies not only his adesse, but his praeesse too: as Psalm 82.1. And if God be thus with us, who can be against us? Rom. 8.

Fourthly, some sweet, encouraging, engaging experiences, we have had of the accomplishment of this promise. He must have a heart more ignorant and unbeleeving then the Apostles Idiot, that should come in and be an eare-witnesse of your proceedings and not worship God and report [...], That God is in you of a truth. Verily I have often from my heart wished that your greatest Ad­versaries and Traducers might be witnesses of your Learned, grave, pious debates, which were able to silence, if not convert Malignity it selfe.

Goe on in this your might; Judges 6.14. hath not the Lord sent you? is not the Lord with you? goe on in this your might. Pergite quo coepistis pede. In that Spirit of wisdome, and Love, and zeal for Truth, where­in you have proceeded hitherto, goe on still, to Love the Truth and Peace. Peace is precious, and so [Page]is every grain and selvage of Gods truth. It was a say­ing of Basil. Mag. and it well resembles him, [...], &c. qui sacris literis innutriti sunt, ne unicam quidem syllabam Divinorum Dogma­tum prodere sustinent, sed pro his omnia, si opus sit, genera mortis libenter subeunt.

The Lord strengthen your hands and hearts unto the great work that lies before you, raise you above all discouragements and oppositions, fill you more and more with a Spirit of Wisdome, discerning, Reso­lution, Courage, Zeale, faithfulnesse; make you in this work of Reforming his Church as Zachariah and Haggai were inre-building the Temple, ut Ecclesi­am hanc, quam invenistis minus quam Lateriti­am, reddatis plusquam Marmoream: Suet. in vitâ Aug. which is the sincere desire and prayer of him,

who is Lesse then the least of all Gods mercies and Employments, MATTH. NEVVCOMEN.

A SERMON PREACHED BE­fore the Assembly of Lords, Commons, and Divines, upon their Fast July 7. 1643.

Isaiah 62. the latter part of the 6. and 7. ver.

Yee that make mention of the Lord keep not silence; And give him no rest, till he establish, and till hee make Ierusalem a Praise in the earth.

BEholding the face of the Church in this Chapter,The Chapt. a­nalysed into 4. parts. it appears to me as the Garden of God, made glad with four precious gracious promises, like the four Rivers that watered the Eden of the Lord.Gen. 2.

1 In the first, the Lord promiseth to raise his Church out of a low afflicted estate, in­to an illustrious glorious condition, v. 1. For Zions sake I will not hold my peace, and for Ierusalems sake I [Page 2]wil not rest, (for so with a Learned Expositor, I take the words to be the words of God promising, Soultetus ad loc: & not of the Prophet praying) For Zions sake I will not hold my peace, &c. untill the righteousness therof go forth as brightnesse, and the salvation of it as a Lampe that burneth; which righteousnesse shall be so glorious that all the Kings and Nations of the earth shall behold and admire it, v. 2. It shall be as a crown of glory and a Royall Diademe in the hand of God, v. 3. And a new Name breathing nothing but delight and pleasure will God put upon his Church, be­cause the Lord God delighteth in her, v. 4, 5.

2 In the second place, the Lord promiseth to raise up unto his Church Instruments fit for himselfe to use in this great work of Restoring his Church and making it glorious, v. 6, 7. I have set watchmen upon thy walls O Ierusalem, which shall not hold their peace night nor day, yee that are the Lords Remem­brancers, &c.

3 In the third, the Lord promiseth to continue this his Churches felicity, and confirmes this promise with an Oath. The Lord hath sworn by his Right hand and by the arm of his strength, Surely, &c. v. 8, 9.

4 In the fourth, the Lord promiseth an encrease and dilatation of his Church, by meanes of this prosperity and glory; Goe thorough, goe thorough the gates, prepare yee the way of the people, &c. Lift up a Standard for the people, &c. v. 10, 11, 12.

Our Text lies in the second part of this Chap­ter, wherein the Lord having 1 promised unto his [Page 3]Church Instruments and means fit for himselfe to use in the effecting of the great things before pro­mised; I have set (for I will set, an usuall Hebra­isme, thereby to shew the certainty of the thing promised) I have set watchmen upon thy wals O Je­rusalem: And having 2 undertaken for the Fideli­ty, and sedulity of these watchmen, which shall never hold their peace night nor day: Presently by an Apo­strophe turnes to these watchmen, and gives them a charge to see they make good what he had un­dertaken: Yee that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence; give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Ierusalem a praise in the earth.

In the words you may please to consider these three things.

  • The text divi­ded.
    First, the Persons called upon, disciphered thus, yee that make mention of the Lord.
  • Secondly, the service or employment they are called unto, described Negatively; keep no silence, and give him no rest.
  • Thirdly, the Duration or extent of this em­ployment; till he establish, and till he make Ierusalem a praise in the earth.

For the first of these, the persons called upon, Explained. they are thus characterised, yee that make mention of the Lord; the margent reads it, yee that are the Lords Remembrancers; the Greek [...] The Vulgar, qui Reminiscimini Domini: Pagninus, qui Reminiscimini Iehovae: Arias Montanus, Rememo­rantes Dominum: Jun. & Trem. qui Commemoratis Iehovam. All which unlesse it be our marginall [Page 4]reading imply no other then what is the common duty and disposition of all the people of God, to remember the Lord, and make mention of the Lord; only that; The Lords Remembrancers seems to have something in it peculiar to some ranke and order of men; yee that are the Lords Remembrancers; yee to whom it doth ex officio belong to put the Lord in mind of his people and of his promises. In the Originall it is [...]. C. à Lapide upon the place saith that the Kings of Iuda & Persia had suos So 2 Sam. 8.16. Jehosaphat the son of A­hilud [...] & 2 Sam. 20.24. [...] Recorder, in the margent it is Remembran­cer; qui negotia gerenda comme­morat, & sup­plices por [...]git libellos. Maskirim admonitores, qui singula gesta & ge­renda Regi in mentem revocarent; such as we are wont to say are Regi à Commentariis. It seems this was some standing office in the Court to be the Kings Remembrancer: to this the prophet here al­ludes, Yee that are the Lords Remembrancers; yee to whose office it belongs to put the Lord in mind of his Churches necessities, and his promises, which can be no other then the watchmen spoken of in the foregoing words, I have set watch­men upon thy walls O Jerusalem; therefore the Greek Translation joyns these watchmen and this remembring the Lord in construction together. [...]. And upon thy walls ô Ierusalem I have set watchmen all the day, and all the night, which shall not hold their peace for ever remembring the Lord; so that the Lords Remembrancers here are the same with Ieru­salems watchmen before, and they no other but the Priests and Prophets and Ministers of the Lord.

The second thing considerable in the text is, the employment they are called to, and that is de­scribed Negatively; keep no silence, give him no rest; which implies that their employment here is vo­call, and that can be but either in preaching or in praying: Some think the Ministers of the Lord are here called upon for diligence in both these; but in this place I conceive, the Lord calls them to attendance upon prayer, because of the fol­lowing words, give him no rest. The pronoun there having reference to God, and not to Jerusalem; keep no silence, give him, that is the Lord, no rest, pray, cry importunately, uncessantly. God here by his Prophet calls his Ministers to pray, as else­where he doth, by his Apostle, to preach, [...], in season and out of season; Night and day. I have set watchmen upon thy walls ô Ierusalem, which shall not hold their peace night nor day; yee that are the Lords remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest.

The third and last thing considerable in the words is, the Duration or Extent of this employ­ment; how farre their prayer must extend it selfe, or how long they must continue praying, even till he establish, and till he make Ierusalem a praise, till God have not only laid the foundations, but set up the Pinacles of a glorious Church. Not only brought forth the Corner stone, but the Top stone of Ierusalem, and all the earth with shouting, cry, Grace, Zach. 4.7. grace to it.

I might out of the words, present unto you se­verall [Page 6]Doctrines;Severall Do­ctrines out of the text. as many in number as the parts of the text: as,

1 First, that God will certainly establish Ierusalem, & make it a praise in the earth. This is clear, for cer­tainly God would never call his servants to pray for that which he never intended to do; were there never a text but this in all the book of God, that told us of this beauty and glory, wherewith God in the latter dayes will clothe his Church, even upon earth; were there nothing said of it elsewhere in this Evangelicall Prophet Isaiah; nor any men­tion of it in that Propheticall Evangelist St. Iohn, if in his whole book of Revelation, he had not uttered one word of this the Churches glory, yet in this one text, there is enough to support the faith of Gods people, in the patient and comfor­table expectation of it; God hath commanded prayer for it; therefore God will doe it: for, He never saith to the sons of Iacob, Seek yee mee in vaine, Isaiah 45.19.

2 Secondly, we might observe that, though the Lord will certainly make his Church glorious, a praise upon earth, yet he will not doe this till it be obtained of him by earnest and uncessant prayer: Therefore in order to his owne holy and blessed ends, he here com­mands his servants prayers.

3 Thirdly,we may observe this, that it is in speciall manner the duty of Gods Ministers to pray earnestly and uncessantly to God, that he would establish and make Ierusalem a praise in the earth.

The Doctrine to be insisted upon,This third I will embrace as adequately answe­ring this Auditory and Day. To an Assembly of Gods Ministers met together in a solemne Day of Prayer, to seeke God for the good of Ierusalem, what can be more apposite then such a Doctrine as this that tels them, It is in a speciall manner their Duty to pray, opportunè, importunè, uncessantly, importu­nately, that God would establish and make Ierusalem a praise in the earth? The God of wisdome and grace who directed the thoughts of his Servant unto this word, enlarge his own gratious hand, and the heart and mouth of his poore and most unworthy instrument, that helped by his Spirit, and your Prayers, I may utter right things, and such as may advance Gods glory, and further all our hearts, not onely in the worke of this day, but in that great employment whereunto wee desire this day to sanctifie our selves.

It is in a speciall manner the duty of Gods Ministers to pray that God would establish Ierusalem and make it a praise in the earth.

I will not say, it is needfull (in such an Auditory, it cannot be;) but it may be convenient, and I must, pro more, a little open the termes of this propositi­on. Not to speake of the persons, upon whom this duty is imposed, Gods Ministers; nor of the duty imposed upon them, Prayer; I shall onely speake of the subject of the duty here propounded to us, which is two-fold:

Subjectum cui, or cujus; and Subjectum quod. opened in two things.

The first shewing whom wee must pray for; the second, what we must pray for.

First for whō we must pray.For the first of these, the subjectum cui or cujus, whom we must pray for, the Text and Doctrine tells us,Jerusalem. Ierusalem. Ierusalem may be taken two wayes, either literally, or mystically.

Literally, 1 For the place and City so deno­minated, or 2 For the people sometime inhabiting that place. For the place or city, that was some­time so famous among the Nations, the City where God dwelt, the habitation of his holinesse, the place neere unto which Christ was borne, in which he conversed, manifested the truth of his godhead in his Actions, the truth of his manhood in his passions, was betrayed, scourged, reviled, condemned in it,John 19.41. crucified, buried neer unto it, this is literall Ierusalem: but this is not that Ierusalem we must pray for, our devotions must not with the Papists dote upon the ruines and rubbish of that bloudy citie, the City of Gods curse.

Secondly, Ierusalem literally signifies the people of Ierusalem, the Nation of the Jews, whom God hath in his righteous indignation scattered over the face of the earth, as chaffe before the wind: these we may pray for, I meane the remnant accor­ding to the election of Grace, that God would ga­ther them againe according to his promise: And so all Israel shall be saved, Rom. 11.26.

But yet this is not that Ierusalem here meant nei­ther. The Ierusalem meant in this place is the My­stical Ierusalem, that Ierusalem, whereof this was but a type, the newRevel. 21.2. which text seemes to re­ferre to this of Isaiah, & speak the same lan­guage; for as here ver. 4.5. God saith, The Lan I shall be married; And, God will re­joyce over Je­rusalem, as a bridegroome rejoyceth over his bride: so here John sees this Ierusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband Ierusalem comming downe from God out of Heaven: And so it implyes two things.

First, the Church of God in the utmost latitude of it: the whole Catholique Church dispersed over the world, the generall assembly and Church of the first borne is unto us Mount Sion, the City of the living God, the heavenly Ierusalem, Heb. 12.22, 23. for which we are to pray, that God would establish and make it a praise in the earth. And secondly, by Ieru­salem Mysticall we are to understand that particular Church, in which we live, of which we are, to which we stand in the same relation that the Iews did to Ierusalem; for this we are to pray, that God would establish, and make it a praise in the earth. And so I come to the second thing to be explained,Secondly, for what we must pray. the subjectum quod, or, what it is we are to pray for.

Two things we find mentioned in the text: first, that God would establish: secondly, that God would make his Church a praise in the earth.

First, that God would establish his Church.First, that God would establish his Church; for though the Church hath a strong foundation, and walles, and bulwarkes strong, yet it is in it selfe but a weake building,Mat. 16.18. earthly tabernacles planted on a rock. Isaiah 26 1. 2 Cor. 5. That which God speakes of the earth, may be applyed to the Church, Psal. 75.3. The earth, and all the inhabitants of it are dissolved, I beare up the Pillars of it. All the commissures and contig­nations of this great fabrick of the Universe would be loosned and disjoynted, if God did not put under his everlasting armes, and beare up, and establish the Pillars of it: So would it be in the Church of God; therefore we must pray, that God would establish his Church,In two things. and that in two [Page 10]things: first in Truth; secondly, in Peace: First, in truth against all errors; Secondly, in Peace a­gainst enemies.

Fi [...], in Truth.First, we must pray that God would establish▪ his Church in truth. The Church is said, 1 Tim. 3.15. to be the pillar and ground of truth; not as the Pa­pists affirme, as if truth were grounded upon the judgement and determination of the Church: the Church is indeed the Pillar of truth, not because it holds up the truth, but because it holds forth the truth; the metaphor is taken, not from Pillars that are supporters of houses, but from such Pillars as anciently were wont to be fixed in market pla­ces, and other places of publique meeting, upon which they hung their lawes, (as the leges 12. Tabularum at Rome) that they might be publique to the view and notice of all men; as amongst us Proclamations, for the same end are pasted upon posts: such a Pillar of truth we grant the Church is, and ought to be a Pillar to hold forth the truth, to the view of all men; a Pillar to which all men resorting may read, and know the truth; it is [...], but not [...], the Pillar and ground of truth; the word in the Originall is [...], which in the first and native signification is a seat; the Pillar and seat of truth, the place of truths abode and resi­dence, its proper ubi, where truth is always to be found; this the Church of God is or ought to be.

Now, though the Church of God should be thus, yet we know there is no Church, but it is sub­ject unto error: The Apostle tells us there must be [Page 11]Heresies, 1 Cor. 11.19. and that [...] and our Savi­our tells us, that there shall arise some such subtill masters of heresie, that they shall seduce (if it were possible) the very elect of God, Mark 13.22. There­fore we must pray, that God would establish his Church in truth against all errors.Ephes 6.14. Truth it is the Churches girdle; A Church quae hanc Zo nā perdidit aut soluta est, as the Latine proverb is, a Church that hath lost this girdle of truth, or hath this girdle loo­sed, is an Adulterous beggerly Church; therefore, yee that are the Lords Remembrancers keep no silence, give him no rest till he establish his Church in truth.

Secondly, in Peace.And as in truth, so secondly, in Peace; Peace is one of the richest blessings of heaven, a compre­hensive blessing, a circle of blessings; I will not rhe­toricate in the praises of it: the want of peace hath made us know what peace is worth; in the enjoy­ment of this rich, desirable blessing, we must in­treat the Lord to establish Ierusalem, his Church; yee that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, till he establish Ierusalem in peace.

And this peace is threefold; Civill, with the Na­tions; Ecclesiasticall, with its own members; and spirituall or celestiall, with its head and God.

First,1. Civill. we must pray that God would establish his Church in peace among the Nations; the Church of God is among the Nations,Cant. 2.2. as the lilly among the Thorns: the lot of Israel was among the uncir­cumcised Heathens; so is the Churches; yet hath her God promised peace in the middest of enemies, Mic. 4.3. He shall judge among many people, and rebuke [Page 12]strong Nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, Nation shall not lift up a sword against Nation, nei­ther shall they learn war any more, but they shall sit every man under his vine, and under his figtree, and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of Hoasts hath spoken it; You that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, till he establish his Church in this peace.

Secondly, there is peace Ecclesiasticall, peace of the Church with its own members,Secondly, Ec­clesiasticall. peace in the bowels and bosome of the Church; wee must pray, that God would establish his Church in that; that the Church may not languish, and die of Antiochus his disease, a torment in her bowels, that there may be no incomposable divisions, no irreconciliable rents, no in urable ruptures in the Church, which is one of the greatest and saddest mischiefs, and miseries can fall upon the Church, or the Church fall under: That God who makes men to be of one minde in a house, as the greek reads that of the 68. Psalme, [...], that God I say can make men of one mind, in a Church, in a Nation, in Ierusalem, and hath pro­mised that he will doe it, Ezek. 11.19. I will give them one heart, and Zeph. 3.6. I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent. O happy, happy we, if God would fulfill these promises in us! happy we, if we could obtain this at the hands of God by our prayers! yee that are the Lords Re­membrancers, [Page 13]keep no silence, give him no rest, till he establish his Church in this peace.

Thirdly, Spiri­tuall or Cele­stiall.Thirdly, there is spirituall or celestiall peace, peace between God and his Church; wee must pray that God would establish his Church in that also, that God would so watch over, and work in his Church, that no sin may take hold and spread upon it, which might cause a quarrell between his Church and him, or cause the Lord to say, Mine heritage is to me as a speckled bird, Ier. 12.9. That God would so order all the wayes of his Church before him, and towards him, that he may never know her by any other then those precious and lovefull names of Ammi and Ruhamah, Hephzibah and Beulah: Yee that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest till he establish Ieru­salem his Church in this peace also. Thus you see the first thing we are to pray for, that God would establish his Church upon the two pillars of truth and peace, as Solomon did the proch of the Temple upon those two brazen pillars Iachin and Boaz.

The second thing we must pray for, That God would make his Church a praise.Yet there is one thing more, that this Text commands us to pray for, that is, that God would make Ierusalem a praise; Yee that are the Lords Re­membrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, til hee establish, and till he make Ierusalem a praise in the earth. In the former we pray that God would for­tifie his Church, in this, that God would beautify his Church; make it cleare as the morning, faire as the moon, glorious as the sun, terrible as an army with banners, lovely as Tirzah, comely as Ierusalem, the praise of all the earth.

This God doth by five things.Now God makes his Church a praise in the earth, specially by these five things;

  • 1 First, by furnishing his Church with fulnesse of ordinances.
  • 2 Secondly, by ruling his Church according to his own orders.
  • 3 Thirdly, by filling his Church with abundance of light and knowledge.
  • 4 Fourthly, by improving this knowledge to the working of holinesse.
  • 5 Fifthly, by enlarging and encreasing his Church by these meanes.

First, by fur­nishing it with ordinances.First, God makes his Church a praise in the earth, by furnishing it with fulnesse of ordinances: this was that which was the [...], as the Apo­stle calls it, Rom. 3. the preheminency of the Church of the Iewes above all other Nations, [...], first of all and chiefly, it was this, that to them were committed the oracles of God; this is that which God himself tells his people, should make them glorious and praise-worthy in the eyes of all the Nations of the world, Deut. 4.6, 7, 8. This is your wisdome and your understanding, in the sight of the Nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this Nation is a wise & understanding peo­ple: for what Nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things, that we call upon him for? And what Nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgements so righte­ous, as all this law, that I set before you this day? [Page 15]Now when God bestowes his oracles and ordi­nances upon a people, first his word, and then ap­pending ordinances, seales, Sabbaths, censures, ad­ministred in purity, and in power, then he makes them a praise: Yee that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, til he thus make his Church a praise.

Secondly,2. By ruling it according to his own orders. God makes his Church a praise by ru­ling it according to his own order: [...], are the two great destroyers of the Church of God; it is equally prejudiciall to the Church, not to be ordered at all, as to be ordered after the lusts & wils of men; God (who is the God of order, & not the au­thor of confusion, but of peace, as in all the Churches of the Saints, 1 Cor. 14.33.) would have all things in all Churches, be done decently and in order, v. 40. now when all ordinances and offices are administred in the Church according as God hath ordered, then is that Church a praise in heaven and earth, with God and Saints. 1 Cor. 11.2. Now I praise you brethren that you remember me in all things, and keep the or­dinances as I delivered them unto you. And on the o­ther side disorder or deflection from the rule of Christ, though but in one administration, is a ble­mish and doth detract from the Churches praise, as appears in the same chepter, v. 17. Now in this that I declare unto you, I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse; and v. 22. What, have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or de­spise you the Church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? [Page 16]I praise you not; one aberration from the rule of Christ in the administration of this one ordinance of the supper of the Lord, casts a cloud upon this Churches glory, and causes a great diminution of their praise, therefore we must pray that God would help his Church in all things to keep the or­dinances as they are delivered unto us: Yee that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, til he make his Church thus a praise.

Thirdly,3. By filling it with abundance of light and knowledge. God makes his Church a praise when he fills it with abundance of light and knowledge; when after a night of ignorance or error that had swallowed up, and buried the Church of God, the Church hath a resurrection, and looks forth as the morning, Cant. 6.10. cleare as the sun, faire as the moon, it ra­visheth all eyes, and fixeth them upon it selfe in admiration, that men say, Who is this that locketh forth as the morning? Cant. 6.10. Yee that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, til he make Ierusalem thus a praise; remember him of that which he hath promised, Isaiah 11.9. All the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Fourthly,4. By improving this light to the working of holinesse. God makes his Church a praise, by im­proving & sanctifying this knowledge, to the working of holinesse in the hearts and lives of his people; this was the praise of Ierusalem, it was a holy City, this is the praise of the Church, they are a holy people, Deut. 26.18, 19. The Lord hath avouched thee this day, to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his Commandements: [Page 17]and to make thee high above all Nations which he hath made, and that thou maiest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God as he hath spoken. Abundance of light unsanctifyed would make the Church, if it were possible, rather hell then heaven, and make men but like the devills, who know much, but are the more desperately wicked, therefore we must pray that God would sanctify that knowledge, wherewith he filleth his Church, that so the beau­ty thereof may be perfect: Yee that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him norest, till he make Ierusalem thus a praise.

Fifthly, God makes his Church a praise,5. By encreasing his Church. by encreasing his Church, by enlarging the tents, and ex­tending the cords of it; this is a blessing God calls his Church to rejoyce in, Esay 51.1, 2, 3. Sing O barren, &c. break forth into singing, &c. enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations, spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes, for thou shalt break forth on the right hand, and on the left: and thy seed shall inherite the Gentiles, and make the desolate Cities to be inhabi­ted. We are to pray that God would make his Church a praise thus also.

Thus you have, (Right Honourable, Honourable, Reverent, and beloved in our Lord Iesus) the sense of this doctrine as fully as my weak thoughts in the little time I had to bestow upon this work were able to comprehend it; yee see for whom we are to pray, Ierusalem, the Church of God in generall, & our own in particular; yee see what it is we are to [Page 18]desire for the one & for the other, truth, peace, and praise; such a trinity of blessings, as the blessed Trinity hath none better to bestow upon the dearly beloved of his soul, while she sojourns upon earth. I know I speak to an Auditory so rationall as I shal not need confirm this truth by reasons; & to so cordiall to the Church of God, as I shall as little need to stir you up to the practice of this truth by application;The point con­firmed by ex­amples. else I might fill up a large portion of the time remai­ning in telling you how all the Lords remembran­ters in all the ages of the Church, under the Law, under the Gospell, have exemplified this truth: un­der the Law, before the Captivity, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Ieremy, which of the Lords Pro­phets have not made the establishing and beautify­ing of Ierusalem the burthen of their prayers? In the captivity though they had lost their Vrim and Thummim, and the fire of the Sanctuary that came from heaven, yet they had not lost this holy hea­venly disposition, of praying for Ierusalem; see a­bundant evidence of it, in Ezekiel, Daniel, Mor­decai; and after the captivity, in Ezra, Nehemiah, and others; And now in the times of the Gospell, the same spirit still animates Gods children, and en­clines their hearts still to seek the good of Ierusa­lem; how doe the Apostles in severall Epistles te­stify this disposition in them? Rom. 1.9. God is my witnesse whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you (saith that Apostle to the Church of Rome) al­wayes in my prayers; so Ephes. 1.16, 17. making men­tion [Page 19]of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Iesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you, &c.

Yea, so much religion have the Saints of God before us placed in this duty of praying for Ieru­salem, that they have deprecated the neglect of this as a most abominable sinne: 1 Sam. 12.23. As for mee, God forbid that I should sinne against you, in cea­sing to pray for you; nay, have imprecated a curse u­pon themselves, if ever they should be so wretch­ed, Psal. 137.5, 6. If I forget thee O Ierusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning: if I doe not re­member thee, let my tongue cleave to the roofe of my mouth, if I prefer not Ierusalem above my chiefe joy; it is one of the greatest judgements that can befall a Prophet, to be silenced: witnesse Zachary whose unbeleef God punished with this, as an only judge­ment; witnesse those amongst our selves, that have had their mouths stopped by the violent hand of man, who know what it is to have the word of God as a fire in their bones and no vent for it; yet even to this, doth the Prophet here curse himselfe, If I forget thee O Ierusalem, if I doe not remember to mourn for thee, to pray for thee, let me never pray more, let mee never speak more if I forget to speak for thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; The good Lord be mercifull to every one of us, and pardon all our forgetfulnesse of Ierusalem, whom we have as much cause and reason to remember as ever any had.Proved by Reasons.

For 1 is not Ierusalem Heb. 12.22. the city of God, the1 Tim. 3.15▪ house [Page 20]of God, thePsal. 135.4. Titus 2.14. peculiar of God, theIsaiah 62.4. delight of God, Isay 62.2. the crown of glory, the royall diadem in the hand of God? is notCant. 5.2. the Love, the dove, the Spouse, the si­ster, Eph 1.23. the body, Eph 1.23. the fulnesse, 2 Cor. 8.23. the glory of Iesus Christ? and in all these respects doth it not deserve our prayers?

2 And secondly, are not earth and hell up in armes against Ierusalem? are not men and devils in league together, to confound and destroy Ie­rusalem? Psalm 83.3, 4. They have taken crafty coun­sell against thy people, and consulted against thy hid­den ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a Nation: that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. Geball, and Ammon, and Amalek, &c. And doth not Ierusalem in this re­spect now need our prayers?

3 And thirdly, hath not the Lord made promi­ses unto Ierusalem of these things we are to pray for▪ of truth and peace, Ierem. 33.6. I will cure them, and reveal abundance of truth and peace unto them: as also of praise, v. 9. It shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the Nations of the earth; and Zeph. 3.20. I will make you a name and a praise among all the people of the earth. And is not the Lord able to accomplish these promises not­withstanding al their counter-machinations of his enemies? Isay 46.10. My counsell shall stand, and I will doe all my pleasure.

4 Yet fourthly, It is not the Lords pleasure to ac­complish these things unto his Church but in and by his peoples prayers; Ierem. 33.3. Call unto mee [Page 21]and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not; Ezek. 36.37. I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel to doe it for them.

Doctrine ap­plyed, Sed quò feror? some use I would gladly make of this point, if I knew what; I might afford vari­ety of profitable instructions, but it is not for me to presume to instruct so Honourable, Learned and Religious an Assembly; give me leave to apologize for my selfe with Elihu, Iob. 32.6. I said I am of few days, and yee are old, wherefore I was afraid and durst not shew you mine opinion; I said dayes should speak, and multitudes of yeares should teach wisdome. The Lord knows, glad would I have been to sit at any of your feet to learn, rather then to stand hereto teach, and to receive rather then to give instruction, therefore I decline that work.

For Reproof.In the next place, this truth might serve for reproofe, and if such an application would not lead me besides my Auditory, ô with what vehemency might a man from hence, in the name and by the Spirit of our Lord Iesus Christ thunder indignation and wrath upon the heads of those, who though they have usurped, and possessed the place of such as should be the Lords Remembrancers, yet in stead of performing the duty of this text have practised the cleane contrary, in stead of praying that God would establish his Church in truth, have endevored nothing but to undermine the truth, to subvert, a­dulterate the truth; their folly (as the Apostle speakes, 2 Tim. 3.9.) is manifest unto all men, God [Page 22]hath unmasked them, and all that will see may see their designe was to let in such an inundation of popery and Socinianisme as should have drowned the truth of God for ever; in stead of praying that God would establish his Church in peace, they have acted the part of those unclean spirits, the frogs spo­ken of, Rev. 16.14. stirring up the kings of the earth to battle against the Church of God; first in Scotland, who were the Incendiaries, what the fuell of the war there? And since that in England, have not the warres of both kingdomes had the same fuell and fomenters? and who are they but the Iesuitizing clergie of England, who like the uncleane spirit we reade of Mark 9. fearing they shall now be cast out of their long possession, rent and tear the kingdom, and lay it wallowing (not as he did the child there, in its foam, but) in its bloud? What shall I speake of such a clergie? who in stead of praying that God would make his Church a praise, have endeavou­red nothing more then to rob the Church of all that might make it praise-worthy, in stead of desiring that the Church might enjoy fulnesse of ordinances, endeavouring to strip the Church of them all; to a­bolish Sabbaths, to bring the delight of dayes, the Queen of dayes under the curse of Iobs birth day, Let it not be joyned to the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months; to excommunicate prea­ching and praying, and cast them quite out of the Church; to turn the sacrament of the Lords supper into a sacrifice of the altar; In stead of praying that all ordinances and offices might be administred ac­cording [Page 23]to Christs rule and order, would have all things in Gods house & worship done according to their own fancy, will, lust, humour. What shal we say to such a Clergy? (they dote upon the name still,Arist. de Hist. Anim. l. 8. c. 27. let them enjoy it) Aristotle speaks of a little worm cal­led [...], that is pestilently noxious & destructive to Bee-hives; no lesse noxious and destructive hath our [...] the greatest part of them been to the true Church of God amongst us; against whom, the Church of God may powre out as sad complaints to her Lord Iesus Christ, as sometimes she did, Cant. 5. The watchmen, the keepers of the wall, found me, they smote me, they took away my vaile: let such read their doom, 2 Pet. 2 their judgement now of a long time lingreth not, & their damnation sleepeth not.

I had not turned aside to this reproofe, (for I look for none of this generation here this day) had it not been to provoke my selfe and you to a more serious and deep humiliation for those abo­minations of the late times, which though many of us have seen and observed even then, and some of us have felt and smarted under the violences thereof, yet few I fear amongst us have had our hearts so humbled for the iniquity of thē, as they should have beene: the Lord help us so to take to heart this day, our own and other mens sins, that he may forgive our iniquities, and heal our Land.

But I return to my Auditory, and the only bold­nesse I shall assume, brethren and fathers, is but to do as much as Naamans servant did unto his Lord, exhort you to doe that which you know God [Page 24]would have you doe, pray for Ierusalem: and I am confident I might spare even this; it is your work daily; but God having called me this day to speak unto you, for Zions sake I cannot hold my peace; Qui monet ut facias quod facis, dum monet lau­dat.

The Doctrine applyed for exhortation, Is it the duty of Ministers in a speciall manner to pray uncessantly that God would establish Ierusalem and make it a praise in the earth? then let every one of us by solemn engagements to God & to his Church bind our selves to the performance of this duty: and surely brethren if ever there were times that called for this duty, if ever there were men called to this duty, this is the time, we are the Men.

First,1. Enforced from the time pre­sent. for the time; if ever there were time that did command the most importune and uncessant prayers of all Gods ministers and people, (for here I will take in all) that they should cry mightily to the Lord night and day in the behalf of Ierusalem, keep no silence, give him no rest, til he establish and make Ierusalem a praise in the earth, if ever there were a time that did exact this, Now is the time. Had I art or grace enough to present before you the lively (or rather) gastly deadly face of Ierusa­lem, the Churches of Christ Iesus at this time, I know it would command tears and prayers from the most flinty heart in this congregation: could I let you see Ierusalem like that man in the parable, Luke 10.30. that went down from Ierusalem, fallen among theeves, and by them stripped and wounded and left halfe dead, while many, too many with the [Page 25] Priest and Levite passe by on the other side of the way, and will not see (though they cannot but see) the Churches bleeding miseries; amongst all her lo­vers there is none to comfort her, Lam. 1.2. Zion sprea­deth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her, Lament. 1.17. Zion spreadeth forth her hands from sea to sea, from one Nation to another peo­ple, and there is none to comfort her, there is none to guide her amongst all the sons whom she hath brought forth, neither is there any that takes her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up, Esay 51.18. O were I able to expresse this to the life unto you, you would say, if ever there were a time for you to shew your selves as the good Samaritane to bestow, as he did, your wine, your oyle, your money, nay your teares, your prayers, your blouds upon the healing of the Churches wounds, Now is the time.

Or could I let you see the Church Ierusalem, as Iohn saw her in that Revelation which was given unto him by Christ Iesus, chap. 12. in the same condition, though not in the same cloathing; a woman cloathed, not (as there) with the sun, but with a cloud, not having the moon under her feet, but a globe of flames, a field of blood under her feet, not as there with a crown of twelve starres upon her head, but rather in Tamars dresse and posture, 2 Sam. 13.19. who with ashes on her head, and her garment of divers colours (the ensigne of her Virginity and Royalty) rent and torne, and with her hands upon her head going forth crying, such may we conceive the dresse and posture of the Church of Christ to [Page 26]be, she now, as there, Revel. 12. cryeth travelling and pained to be delivered; in this pained condition the Church hath been now almost these three years, ever since the beginning of this Parliament, the Church of God amongst us hath been in tra­vell, crying and pained to be delivered; and all this while, as there, the great red dragon stands before the woman to devour the child as soone as it is born. O! the sight of the Church in such a sad conditi­on might force a teare from a stone, a prayer from a speechlesse, heartlesse man; but from Ministers, from those that are the Lords Remembrancers, me thinks it might draw tears enough to rince the earth from bloud, and prayers enough to offer violence to heaven.

But not to speak parabolically, but plainly, I say again, if ever there were a time that did command the most importune and uncessant prayers of all Gods ministers and people, now is the time; was there ever time, wherein the Church of God was more shaken, more in danger to have both her pil­lars of truth and peace broken, reduced to dust, to nothing, then at this time? The enemies of the Church have a long time sought to undermine the truth, but now, they raise Armes against the truth, they plant open battery against the truth. And for our peace, where is it? Terras reliquit, it hath taken to it self the wings of a dove, and forsaking earth is fled to heaven, frighted hēce with the sound of the trumpet, the alarum of warre, and the cryes of bloud. We may chronicle of our age, that which the Prophet Azariah spake of some ages of Israel, [Page 27]2 Chron. 15.5, 6. In those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And Nation was destroyed of Nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. Never was this poor Church & people in a more broken distressed condition in regard of peace ci­vill, nor scarce ever worse in regard of peace ec­clesiasticall: now when there are so many swords in England and in Ireland drawn against the Pro­testants; ô that we should be even at daggers draw­ing one against another! O the bitter divisions and digladiations of Protestants amongst themselves in these bleeding times! For the divisions of Reuben there are great searchings of heart; for the divisions of Reuben there are great searchings of heart. Holy Rid­ley and Hooper, though in the times of the peace & liberty of the gospell, they could never agree a­bout black and white, but had many wrathfull bickerings, yet in time of persecution for the gos­pel, they could, as their own expression is, agree in red; when God came to put them together in tears, and sufferings, and bloud, they could forget all differences of judgement then, and love and live and die together as brethren. Doe those know what spirit they are of, that at such a time as this, when all the true hearted Protestants in England are put in one calamitous, suffering, bleeding, con­dition, are yet quarrelling about their own opi­nions, weakning the Protestant party by sub-divi­sions, which if united is scarce enough to with­stand [Page 28]the common adversary; should this be if we had not lost our peace with God? As the Holy Ghost speaks of the calamities of the Church in Iuda, 2 Kings 24.3. so may we say of the calamities up­on the Church of England, Surely at the comman­dement of the Lord came this upon England; and the Lord grant, the Lord grant that the following words be not verified in their time, the Lord grant this be not come upon us, to remove England out of his sight: but however we may take up the Chur­ches lamentation, Lam. 3.17. Thou hast removed me far from peace; Ey, and as far from praise The crown is fallen from our head, Lam. 5.16. we are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn, a derision, a by-word, a shaking of the head; those few of us that adhere to the Protestant Religion and cause, are represented to the world at home and abroad, as Sectaries, Anabaptists, Rebels, that if ever there were a time for us to cry to God to scatter those clouds of bloud, confusion, contempt, that cover the face of the Church, to bring forth our judgement as the light, and our righteousnesse as the morning, now is the time, Yee that are the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Ierusalem a praise in the earth.

A second en­forcement of this duty from the persons present.And if ever Men were called to this work, we are called to it; 1 as Ministers: 2 as Ministers selected from the rest of our brethren, to this present service, whereunto we desire to sanctifie our selves this day. ½ As Ministers it doth ex officio belong unto us, to be the Lords Remembrancers: to put the [Page 29]Lord in mind of Ierusalem; you know what order the Lord took, that the Priests, the Ministers of the Lord, under the Law, might continually remem­ber Israel the Church of God unto the Lord, the high Priest was to bear the names of the twelve tribes upon his shoulders, engraven in two stones; and upon his breast, engraven upon twelve stones: Ex. 28.12.29. that he might bear them upon his heart for a memoriall before the Lord continually; they were to be the Priests Remembrancers, that he should be the Lords Remembrancer, to put the Priest in mind of putting God in mind of Israel, by praying for them: this type is properly applyable to Christ, who is the only high Priest of his Church, yet so farre as the Ministers of the Gospel are Christs substitutes upon earth, so farre this may (at least by way of allusion) be applyed unto them, for so farre there ought to be in them the same disposition towards Ierusalem that was in Christ Iesus, that as Christ wept over Ierusalem, so should they; as he remem­bred Ierusalem, so should they; as he prayed for Ie­rusalem, so should they; he by way of meritorious intercession, they by way of Ministeriall intercession, 1 Tim. 2.1. to bear Ierusalem upon their shoulders and upon their hearts continually, when ever they addresse themselves into Gods presence. Ierusalem is en­graven upon the hand of God, and therefore should be ingrav [...]n upon the hearts of his Ministers, and is, if God hath layed his hand upon their hearts. Yee know the story of that heathen Priest that be­ing to offer sacrifice before a battle writ Victoria [Page 30](or some such like word) in the palme of his hand, and in unbowelling the sacrifice laid his hand up­on the heart of the beast, and left the characters of the same word there, that what had been writ­ten upon the hand of the Priest was read upon the heart of the sacrifice. Behold I have graven thee, saith God to Ierusalem, upon the palmes of my hands, Isaiah 49.16. and look how many hearts there are of No­bles, or Gentry, or Ministers, or others, upon whom God hath layed his hand, I doubt not but there is the same configuration upon them that is ingraven upon the hand of God: that as God himselfe cannot forget Ierusalem, (as he sheweth there) because it is engraven upon the palms of his hands; so they cannot but remember Ierusalem, because it is engraven up­on their hearts; that as Queen Mary said of Callice, when I am dead rip me and you shall finde Callice at my heart: so there is a many a godly man, and ma­ny a godly Minister especially who might say, when I am dead rip me and you shall finde Ie­rusalem at my heart. That sacred name is deeply graven there; If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. All you that are the Lords Remembrancers, you that have Ierusalem written in your hearts, keep no silence, give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Ierusalem a praise in the earth. If ever Men were called to this work, Ministers are.

And if ever Ministers were called to this work, thē more especially are you whom it hath pleased God by the Authority of the honourable Houses of [Page 31] Parliament to call together to debate and advise of such things as may be necessary, or conducing, to the establishment of Truth, and Peace, and Beauty in the Churches of Christ Jesus; and doth it not then especiall lye upon you to keep no silence, give the Lord no rest, till he establish, &c. I say till he establish, for, except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord reform the Church, it is to no purpose to goe about to reform it; except the Lord set up the Pillars of Peace and Truth in his Church, and put the crown of Glory upon his Church, it is labour lost to endevour it; You that are called to this great work, you of all men ought to keep no silence, give the Lord no rest, till he establish, and till he make Ierusalem a praise in the earth.

I need not tell you how many eies and expecta­tions there are upon this Assembly, I speak it not as a matter of boasting, but as a matter of trembling and lying low before the Lord this day, from all the parts of the Kingdome, from all the parts of the Christian world, the eies of all the people of God are upon you; forrain Churches have their eies to­wards you, waiting what you will advise for the more utter [...]tinction of Papery, & effecting of a more neer and f [...]ion between us & the rest of the Re­formed Churches; all the parts of the kingdome have their faces & voyces towards you, me thinks I hear a voyce from all the corners of the Land comming up to this Assembly, to be by you reported to the honourable Houses of Parliament; a voyce like that of the poore woman to the King upon the [Page 32]wall, help, help, for the Lords sake help: help us to better Ministers, help us to better Ordinances, help us to purer worship, help us to better Discipline, help us to remove those things that deterre us from the Lords table, help our tender Consciences to more liberty, &c. I know it Brethren, Gods people most of them look for help by this Assembly, through your faithfull advice given to the Honourable Houses of Parliament. And may not you answer as he did there, except the Lord help thee, whence should I help thee? there is such an Augeae Stabulum of cor­ruption, & confusion in Doctrine, Discipline, wor­ship, in all; that (verily) unlesse that God who is able to remove the iniquity of the land in one day, Zach. 3.9. and to cause the Prophet & unclean spirit to passe out of the land, Zach. 13.2. unlesse that great God set his hand to this great work, it will never prosper; and yet if it should not prosper, the sin would be laid at your door, and you would bear the reproach of it to all memory; therefore great need to impor­tune God to come down and own his work; ô that thou wouldest rent the heavens and come down, that the Mountains might flow at thy presence! Yee among all the rest of the Lords Remembrancers, keep no silence, give him no rest, till he establish, and [...] make Ie­rusalem a praise in the earth.

And ohe thing more, what I know you have all taught others your selves, now put in practice, pursue your prayers, with your indeavours; what yee pray for, contend for: as yee pray that God would establish his Church in truth, so with united [Page 33]indeavours labour to raise up and establish the de­cayed truth among us, vindicating the truths of the Protestant Religion from all Popish, Arminian, Socinian, Anabaptisticall, Antinomian, and all other errors whatsoever. And as yee pray that God would establish his Church in peace, so labour to work out the Churches peace; 1 With God, by endeavouring a removall of what ever pollutions, or prophanenesses, have turned God into an enemy to us. And then 2 labour the Churches peace with its own mem­bers; which certainly yee shall establish, if denying your selves and laying by all pre-ingagements to your own opinions, desires, ways, ye shall willing­ly, and unanimously, consent to that which upon just and pious debate shall be found to be the way and truth of God; which I doubt not but through his grace ye shall all doe. Beleeve it Brethren, in your Union will be laid a happy foundation of Union through the whole Kingdome; if yee agree in this Assembly, I durst me thinks promise my self, and you, a happy agreement amongst all that fear God in the Nation: And then we need take no thought for the third thing, peace with our ene­mies: God will either subdue them under us, or make them be at peace with us: only let neither the desire of peace with them, nor of peace a­mongst our selves, bribe us to tolerate any thing in the Church of God that might make him to be at war with us.

And lastly, as yee pray that God would make the Church a praise, so endeavour that also; en­deavouring [Page 34]that the Church of Christ may enjoy all those Liberties and Ordinances that are purchased for her by the bloud, and bequeathed to her in the te­stament of her Lord Iesus: that all her wayes may be ordered according to the rule of Gods word: that the Gospell may runne and be glorifyed: that those two great illuminating ordinances of Preaching and Catechizing, which are as the greater & lesser lights of heaven, may have such liberty, encouragement, maintenance, that all the earth may be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Rom. 15.5.6. This doe, and prosper: and that you may thus doe, the God of Patience and con­solation grant you to be like minded one towards ano­ther, according to Christ Iesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify God even the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ. Amen, Amen.


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