EBEN-EZER A MEMORIALL OF THE DELIVERANCE OF ESSEX, County, and Committee, Being an Exposition on the first ten Verses of the third Chapter of the Prophesie of HABAKKVK In Two SERMONS.

The first preached at Colchester before his Excellency on a day of thanksgiving for the Surrender thereof.

The other at Rumford unto the Committee who were imprisoned by the Enemy Sep. 28. A day set apart unto Thanksgiving for their Deliverance.

The Righteous man is delivered out of Trouble, and the wicked commeth in his stead,

Prov. 11. 18.

By JOHN OVVEN Pastor of the Church of God which is at Coggeshall.

LONDON, Printed by W. Wilson, for the Authour, 1648.

TO His Excellency Thomas Lord Fairfax, &c.

SIR,

ALmighty God having made you the instrument, of that deliverance and peace, which in the County of Essex, we do injoy, next to his own Goodnesse, the Remembrance thereof is due unto your name. Those who Honour him, he will honour, and those who despise him shall be lighty esteemed. 1 Sam. 2. 30. Part of these ensuing Sermons, being preached before your Excel­lency, and now by providence called forth to publick view, I am imboldned to dedicate them unto your Name, as a small mite of that Abundant thankfulnesse, wherein all peace-loving men of this County stand obliged unto you.

It was the custome of former days, in the provinces of the Lubens meri toque. Roman Empire, to erect Statuas and Monuments of grate­full Remembrance, to those presidents and Governours, who in the Administration of their Authority, behaved themselves, with wisdome courage and fidelity. Yea instru­ments of great Deliverances and blessings, through corrup­ted natures folly, became the Pagans Deities.

[Page] There is scarce a County in this Kingdome wherein and not one from which, your Excellency hath not deserved a more lasting Monument, then ever was erected of Corinthi­an Brasse: But if the Lord be pleased, that your worth shall dwell only in the prayses of his people, it will be your grea­ter glory, that being the place, which himselfe hath chosen to inhabit. Now for a Testification of this, is This only in­tended; beyond This, towards men, God pleading for you, you need nothing but our silence. The issue of the last in­gagements, whereunto you were called, and enforced, An­swering, yea outgoing your former undertakings, giving Ample Testimony of the continuance of Gods Presence, with you, in your Army, having stopped the mouths of many Gain-sayers, and called to the residue in the language of the dumbe speaking Aegyptian Hieroglyphick, [...], men of all sorts know, that God hateth impudence. [...]ut. de Iside Osir.

It was said of the Romans in the raysing of their Empire, that they were, saepe praelio victi, bello nunquam; So naked hath the Bow of God bin made for your Assistance, that you have failed neither in Battell nor War.

Truly had not our eyes beheld the rise, and fall, of this latter storm, we could not have bin perswaded that the for­mer Atcheivements of the Army under your conduct, could have bin parallell'd. But he who always enabled them to out doe not only others, but themselves, hath in this carried them out, to out-doe, what ever before himselfe had done by them, that they might shew more kindnesse and faith­fulnesse, in the latter end, then in the beginning. The weary Oxe, treadeth hard. Dying bites, are often desperate. Halfe ruined Carthage, did more perplex Rome, then when it was entire. Hydras heads (in the Fable) were increased by their losse; and every new stroke begot a new opposition. Such [Page] seemed the late tumultuating of the exasperated party in this Nation.

In the many undertakings of the enemy, allwhich them­selves thought secure, and others esteemed probable, if they had prevailed in any one, too many Reasons present themselves, to perswade, they would have done so in all. But to none of those Worthies, which went out under your command, to severall places in the Kingdome, can you say with Augustus to Varus, upon the slaughter of his Legions by Harminius in Germany, Quintile Vare redde Legiones, God having carried them all on with successe and victory.

One especially in his Northern Expedition, I cannot passe over with silence, who although he will not, dare not say of his undertakings, as Caesar of his Asian War, veni, vidi, vici, knowing who workes all his workes for him, nor shall we say of the enemies multitude, what Captaine Gam, did of the French, being sent to spy out their numbers, before the Battell of Agin-Court, that there were of them, enough to kill, and enough to take, and enough to runne away, yet of him, and them, both he, and we, may freely say, It is nothing with the Lord to help, either with many, or with them that have no power.

The War being divided, and it being impossible your Excellency should be in every place of Danger; according to your desire, the Lord was pleased to call you out person­ally Kent. Essex. unto two, of the most Hazardous, Dangerous, and diffi­cult undertakings: Where besides the travaile, labour, watching, heat and cold, by day and night, whereunto you were exposed, even the life of the meanest Souldier in your Army was not in more imminent danger, then often­times was your Own. And indeed during your abode at the Leagure amongst us, in this only were our Thoughts burdened with you, That selfe-preservation was of no more [Page] weight in your counsells and undertakings. And I bescech you pardon my boldnesse, in laying before you this Ex­postulation of many thousands, (if wee may say to him, who hath saved a Kingdome, what was sometimes said un­to a King) know you not that you are worth ten thou­sands of us, why should you quench such a light in Izrael?

Sir,

I account it among those blessings of Providence, where­with the days of my pilgrimage have bin seasoned, that I had the happinesse for a short season, to attend your Excellency, in the service of my Master Iesus Christ. As also that I have this opportunity, in the name of many, to cast in my [...] in­to the Kingdomes congratulations of your late successes. What thoughts concerning your person, my brestis pos­sessed with all, as in their storehouse they yeeld me delight­full Refreshment, So they shall not be drawne out, to the disturbance of your selfe-deniall. The goings forth of my heart, in Reference to your Excellency, shall be chiefly to the Most-high, that being more then conquerour, in your Spirituall and Temporall warfare, you may be long con­tinued for a blessing, to this Nation, and all the people of God.

Sir,
Your Excellencies
Most humble and devoted
Servant,
JOHN OWEN.

To the Worthy and Honoured Sir William Masham, Sir William Rowe with the rest of the Gentlemen of the Committee lately under imprisonment by the Enemie in Colchester, As also To the Honoured Sir Henry Mildmay of Wansted, Col. Sr. Thomas Honywood with the rest of the Gentlemen and Officers lately acting and engaged against the same Enemy.

SIRS:

THe righteous judgements of God, having brought a disturbance, and noyse of War, for our security, unthankfulnesse, murmur­ing, and devouring one another, upon our Country, those who were intrusted with the power thereof, turned their streames into severall Channells. Troublous Times, are Times of triall.

Many shall be purifyed and made white, and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand, Dan. 11. 10. Some God called out to suffer, some to doe, leaving Treacherous dealers, to deale treacherously.

Of the two first sorts are you. This honour have you received from God ei­ther with patience and constancy to undergoe unvoluntarily a dangerous restraint, or with Resolution and courage, voluntarily to undertake, a Hazardous ingagement, to give an example, that Faith and Truth so shame­fully despised in these evill days, have not altogether forsaken the sonnes of men.

It is not in my Thoughts, to relate unto your selves, what some of you suffered, and what some of you did: what difficulties and perplexities you wrestled withall, within, and without, the walls of your enemies, (The Birds in the cage, and the feild, having small cause of mutuall emulation) for that which remaines of these things, is only a Returnall of praise to him, by whom, all your works are wrought.

It cannot de denyed, but that Providence was eminently exalted, in the work of your protection and delivery: yet truly for my part, I cannot but con­ceive [Page] that it vayles to the Efficacy of Grace, in preventing you, from putting forth your hands unto iniquity, in any sinfull compliance with the enemies of our peace. The times wherein we live, have found the latter more rare then the former. What God wrought in you, hath the preheminence of what he wrought for you: as much, as to be given up to the Sword, is a lesser evill, then to be given up to a Treacherous Spirit.

What God hath done for you all, all men know; what I desire you should do for God, I know no reason, why I should make alike publick. The generall and particular civilities I have received, from all and every one of you, Ad­vantaging me to make it out in another way. I shall adde nothing then to what you will meet withall, in the following Discourse, but only my De­sire that you would seriously ponder the 11th Observation with the deducti­ons from thence. For the rest, I no way feare, but that that God, who hath so appeared with you, and for you, will so indulge to your spirits, the presence and Guidance of his Grace, in these shaking times, that if any speak evill of you as of evill doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good Conversation in Christ, and glorify God in the day of Visi­tation.

For these following Sermons, one of them was Preached at your desire, and is now published upon your Request. The first part of the labour, I wil­lingly and cheerfully under went, The Latter merely in obedience to your com­mands: being acted in it, more by your judgements, then mine own; you were perswaded, (meane as it was) it might be for the Glory of God, to have it made publick, where upon my Answer was, and is, that, for That, not only it, but my selfe also, should by his Assistance be ready for the Presse. The faillings and infirmities, attending the Preaching and Publishing of it, (which the Lord knowes to be very many) are mine: The inconveniences of Publishing such a Tractate from so weak a hand, whereof the World is full, must be yours; The fruit and benefit, both of the one, and other, is his, for whose Pardon of infirmities and removeall of inconveniences, shall be, as for you, and all the Church of God, the Prayer of

Sirs,
Your most humble and obliged Servant in the work of the Lord JOHN OWEN.

SOme few literall faults have escaped, viz. wrath for wroth, revelled for level­led; which the ingenuous Reader will amend as well as discerne.

A MEMORIALL Of the Deliverance of ESSEX, County, and Committee, in two SERMONS.

Habakkuk Chap. 3. vers. 1, 2, 3 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

1. A Prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet upon Sigionoth.

2. O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy worke in the midst of the yeers, in the midst of the yeers make known; in wrath remem­ber mercy.

3. God came from Teman, and the holy One from mount Paran, Selab. His glory covered the Heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.

4. And his brightnesse was as the light: he had horns comming out of his hand, and there was the hiding of his power.

5. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.

6. He stood and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations, & the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetuall hills did bow: his wayes are everlasting.

7. I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

8. Was the Lord displeased against the Rivers? was thine anger against the Ri­vers? was thy wrath against the Sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses, and thy charets of salvation?

9. Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with Rivers.

OF this Chapter, there are foure parts. SERM. 1.

  • 1. The Title and Preface of it, v: 1.
  • 2. The Prophets maine Request in it: v: 2.
  • 3. Arguments to sustaine his Faith in that request from v: 3. unto the 17th.
  • 4. A Resignation of himselfe, and the whole issue of his desires [Page 2] unto God: from thence to the end. Wee shall treate of them in Order.

The Prophet having had visions from God, and The time of his prophesie is conceived to be about the end of Josiahs raigne, not long before the first Calde­an invasion. predisco­veries of many approaching judgements, in the first and second Chapters, in this, by faithfull Prayer, sets himselfe to obtaine a sure footing, and quiet abode in those Nation-destroying stormes. A Prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet, that is the Title of it. And an excel­lent Prayer it is, full of Arguments to strengthen faith, Acknow­ledgement of Gods soveraignty, power, and righteous judgements, with Resolutions to a contented, joyfull rolling him upon him under all dispensations.

Prayer, is the Believers constant sure retreate in an evill time, in a Obser. 1. Prov. 18. 10. time of trouble. It is the righteous mans wings, to the Name of the Lord, which is his strong tower. A Preces et la chrimae sunt ar­ma Ecclesiae. Tertul. Christian Souldiers sure reserve in the day of Battell: if all other forces be overthrowne, here he will abide by it: no power under Heaven can prevaile up­on him, to give one step backwards. Hence that title of Psalme 102. A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed. 'Tis the o­verwhelmed mans refuge, and imployment: when he swooneth with anguish (as in the originall) this fetches him to life againe. So for it Psal. 61. 2, 3. In our greatest distresses, let neither unbe­liefe, nor selfe contrivances, just [...]e us out of this way to the Rock of our salvation.

Prophets discoveryes of fearfull judgements, must be attended with fer­vent Prayers. That messenger hath done but halfe his businesse, Obser. 2. who delivers his errand, but returnes not an Answer. He that brings Gods Message of threats unto his people, must returne his peoples message of intreaties, unto him. Some thinke they have fairly discharged their duty, when they have revealed the Will of God to man: without labouring to reveale the condition and desires of men unto God. He that is more frequent in the Pulpit to his people, then he is in his closet for his people, is but a sorry watchman. Moses did not so, Exod. 32. 31. neither did Samuel so, 1 Sam. 12. 23. neither was it the guize of Jeremiah in his days, Cap. 14 17. If the beginning of the prophecie be, (as it is) The burden of Habakkuk, the close will be (as it is) The Prayer of Habakkuk. Where there is a burden upon the People, there must be Prayer for the people. Wo to them who have denounced desolations, and not powred out supplications: such men delight in the evill, [Page 3] which the Prophet puts far from him: Jerem. 17. 16. I have not desired the wofull day, (O Lord) thou knowest.

Now this Prayer, is upon Sigionoth: that is, 1. it is tuned to a Verse 1. Song: 2. such a Song. For the first, that it is a Song, penned in meeter, and how done so, (1) to take the deeper impression, (2) to be the better reteined in memory, (3) to worke the more upon Af­fections, (4) to receive the ingredients of poeticall loftinesse for adorning the Majesty of God, with (5) the use of Songs in the old Church, (6) and for the present, (7) their times and seasons, as among the people of God, so all Nations of old; of all, or any of these, being besides my present purpose, I shall not treat. Of the second, that it is upon Sigionoth, a little may be spoken.

The Word is once in another place (and no more) used in the title of a Song: and that is Psalme 7 Siggaion of David: and it is variously rendred. It seemes to be taken from the word, [...] er­ravit, to erre, or wander variously. Prov. 5. 20. the word is used for delight, to stray with delight. In her love [...] thou shalt erre with delight, we have translated it, be ravished, noting Affections out of order. The word then holds out a delightfull wandring, and variety: and this litterally, because those two Songs Psal. 7. and Hab. 3. are not tyed to any one certain kind of meeter, but have various verses for the more delight: which, though it be not pro­per to them alone, yet in them the Holy Ghost, would have it espe­cially noted:

But now surely the kernell of this shell, is sweeter then so. Is not this written also for their instruction, who have no skill in Hebrew Songs? The true reason of their meeter, is lost to the most learned. Are not then Gods variable dispensations towards his, held out under these variable Tunes, not all fitted to one string: not all alike pleasant and easy? Are not the severall tunes, of mercy and judgement in these songs? is not here Affliction and deliverance, desertion and recovery, darkenesse and light, in this variously? doubtlesse it is so.

God often cals his people unto Songs upon Sigionoth: Graviter in eum decernitur [...]ui etiam ipsa▪ conectio dene­gatur. Prosp: Sent. keepes them Obser. 3. under various dispensations, that so drawing out all their af­fections, their hearts may make the sweeter melody unto him. They shall not have all hony, nor all gall: all judgement, lest they be broken, nor all mercy lest they be proud. Thou answeredst them O Lord our God, thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou [Page 4] tookest vengeance of their inventions, Psal. 99: 8. Here is a Song upon Sigionoth. They are heard in their prayers and forgiven, there is the sweetest of mercies: vengeance is taken of their inventions, there's a Tune of judgement. By terrible things in righteousnesse wilt thou answer us O God of our salvation, Psal. 65. 5. is a Song of the same Tune. To be answered in righteousnesse, what sweeter mercy in the World? nothing more refreshes the panting soule, then an Answer of its desires: but to have this answer by terrible things! that string strikes a humbling, a mournfull note. Israel heares of deliverance by Moses, Duplicantur lateres quando venit Moses. and at the same time have their bondage doubled by Pharaoh. There's a Song upon Sigionoth. Is it not so in our days? pretious mercies, and dreadfull judgements, joyntly powred out upon the Land! We are cloathed by our Fa­ther, like Ioseph by his, in a party coloured coate: here a piece of Gen. 37. 3. unexpected deliverance, and there a piece of deserved correction: at the same houre, we may rejoyce at the conquest of our enemies, and mourne at the losse of our harvest. Victories for his own names sake, and showres for our sins sake, both from the same hand, at the same time. The cry of every soule, is like the cry of the multitude of old and young at the laying the foundation of the second Temple: Many shouted aloud for joy, and many wept with a loud voyce, so that it was a mixt noyse and the severall noyses could not be distinguished. Ezra. 3. 12, 13. A mixed cry is in our spirits, and we know not which is loudest in the day of our visitation. I could instance in sundry particulars, but that every ones observation, will save me that easy labour▪ And this the Lord doth▪

1. To fill Namque bonos non blanda inflant, non aspera frangunt, sed fi­dei invictae gau­dia vera ju­vant. Prosy: Epig: in sent: August. all our sayles towards himselfe at once: to exer­cise Reas. 1. all our Affections. I have heard that a full winde behind the Ship, drives her not so fast forward, as aside wind, that seemes almost as much against her as with her: and the reason they say is, because a full wind, fills but some of her sayles, which keepe it from the rest, that they are empty: when a side wind fills all her sayles, and sets herspeedily forward. Which way ever we go in this World, our Affections are our sayles: and according as they are spread and filled, so we passe on, swifter or slower, whither we are steering. Now if the Lord should give us a full wind, and continuall gale of mercies, it would fill but some of our sayles, some of our Affections, Joy, Delight and the like: but when he comes with a side wind, a dispensation that seemes almost as much [Page 5] against us, as for us, then he fils all our sayles, takes up all our Affections, making his works, wide, and broad enough, to enter­taine Psal. 119. 67. Hos. 5. 15. Heb. 12. 10, 11. 1 Pet. 1. 6. them every one, then are we carried freely and fully, to­wards the haven where we would be. A Song upon Sigionoth, leaves not one string of our Affections unturned. It is a Song that reach­eth every line of our hearts, to be framed by the grace and spirit of God. Therein, hope, feare, reverence with humility and repen­tance have a share, as well as Joy, Delight, and Love, with Thank­fulnesse. Enterchangeable dispensations, take up all our Affecti­ons, with all our graces: for they are gracious Affections, exer­cised and seasoned with grace, of which we speak. The stirring of naturall Affections as meerly such, is but the moving of a dunghill to draw out a stinking steame, a thing the Lord neither aymeth at, nor delighteth in: their Joys, are his provocation, and hee laugheth in the day of their calamity, when their feare commeth, Prov. 1. 26, 27.

Secondly, to keep them in continuall In caelo non in terramercedem promisit red­dendam: quid alibi poscisquod alibi debitur? Ambros. Offic. lib. 1. cap. 16. dependance of him­selfe. Reas. 2. He hath promised his own dayly bread, not goods laid up for many years. Many children have bin undone by their Parents giving them too large a stock to trade for themselves: it has made them spend-thrifts, carelesse, and wanton. Should the Lord en­trust his people with a continued stock of mercy, perhaps they would be full and deny him, and say who is the Lord? Prov. 30. 9. Iesurun did so: Deut. 32. 14, 15. Ephraim was filled according to her pasture and forgot the Lord. Hos. 13. 6.

Neither on the other side will he be always chiding: his anger shall not burne for ever very sore. It is our infirmity (at the least) if we say, God hath forgotten to be gracious, and shut up his tender mercies in displeasure: Psal. 77. 9. But laying one thing against another, he keepes the heart of his, in an even ballance, in a continuall depen­dance upon himselfe: that they may neither be wanton through mercy, nor discouraged by too much oppression. Our tender Fa­ther is therefore, neither always feeding, nor alwayes correct­ing. And it shall come to passe in that day, that the light shall not be cleare nor darke: but it shall be one day which shall bee knowne to the Lord: not day nor night, but it shall come to passe that at evening time it shall be light: saith the Prophet Zech. 14. 6, 7. seeking out Gods dispensations towards his, ending in Joy and Light in the E­vening.

[Page 6] Labour to have your hearts right tuned for songs on Sigionoth sweetly to answer all Gods dispensations in their choice variety. That instrument will make no musick, that hath but some strings Vse. in tune. If when God strikes with mercy upon the string of joy and gladnesse, we Answer pleasantly, but when he touches upon that of Cum vexamur ac premimur tum maxime gratias agimus indulgentissimo patri, quod cor­ruptelam no­stram non pati tur long ius pro­cedere: hinc intelligimus nosesse Deo curae. Lactan. sorrow and humiliation, we suit it not, we are broken Instruments that make no melody unto God. We must know how to receive good and evil at his hand. He hath made every thing beautifull in its time, Eccles. 3. 11. every thing in that whole vari­ety which his wisdome hath produceed. A well tuned heart must have all its strings, all its Affections, ready to answer every touch of Gods finger: to improve Judgements and mercies both at the same time. Sweet harmony ariseth out of some discords. When a soul is in a frame to rejoyce with thankfull Obedience for Mercy recei­ved, and to be humbled with soul-searching amending Repen­tance, for Judgements inflicted at the same time, then it sings a song on Sigionoth, then it is fit for the dayes wherein we live. In­deed both Mercies and Judgements ayme at the same end, and should be received with the same equall temper of mind. A flint is broken between a hammer and a pillow: an Offender is hum­bled between a prison and a pardon: a hard heart may be mollifi­ed, and a proud spirit humbled between those two. In such a season the severall Rivolets of our Affections flow naturally in the same stream. When hath a gracious soul the soundest joyes, but when it hath the deepest sorrows! habent & gaudia vulnus. When hath it the humblest meltings but when it hath the most ravishing Joyes! Our Afflictions, which are naturally at the widest distance, may all swim in the same spirituall channel-Rivolets rising from severall heads, are carried in one stream to the Ocean. As a mixture of several colours make a beautifull complexion for the body, so a mixture of divers Affections un­der Gods various dispensations, gives a comely frame unto the soul. Labour then to Answer every call, every speaking provi­dence of God, in its right kind, according to the intention thereof: and the Lord reveal his mind unto us that so we may do. Hauing passed the Title, let us look a little on those parts of the Vse 2. prayer it self that follow.

The beginning of it in verse 2. hath two parts:

First, the frame of the Prophets spirit in his addresse to God: [Page 7] O Jehovah I have heard thy speech and was afraid.

Secondly, his Request in this his condition, O Lord revive thy work in the middest of the years, in the middest of the years make known, in wrath remember mercy.

In the first you have (1) particularly his frame, he was Afraid or trembled; which he wonderfully sets out ver. 16. when I heard, my belly trembled, my lips quivered at the voyce: rottennesse entered into my bones, and I trembled in my self.

Secondly, The cause of this fear and trembling: He heard the speech of God. If you will ask what speech or report this was, that made the Prophet himself so exceedingly quake and tremble! I answer it is particularly that which you have Chap. 1. ver. 5. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. conteining a dreadfull denunciation of the Judge­ments of God against the people of Israel, to be executed by the proud cruel insulting Caldeans. This voice, this report of God makes the Prophet tremble.

An appearance of God in anger and threats against a people, should Obs. 4. make his choicest secret ones amongst them to fear, to quake, and tremble. Trembling of mans heart, must answer the shaking of Gods hand. At the delivery of the Law with all its attending threats, so terri­ble was the sight, that Moses himself, (though a Mediatour then) did exceedingly fear and quake: Heb. 12. 21. God will be Acknow­ledged in all his goings. If men will not bow before him, he will break them. They who fear not his Threatnings, shall feel his Inflictings. If his word be esteemed light, his hand will be found heavy. For

1. In point of deserving, who cansay I have purged my heart, I am Iob 14. 4. Ch. 15. 15. 16. Prov. 16. 2. Chap. 20. 9. clean from sin! none ought to be fearlesse, unlesse they be sense­lesse. Gods people are so farre from being alwayes clear of pro­curing Nationall Judgements, that sometimes 2 Sam. 24. 15. 2 Chron. 32. 25 Judgements have come upon Nations for the sins of some of Gods people amongst them: as the plague in the dayes of David.

2. In point of Omnes seculi plagae, nobis in admonitionem, vobis in casti­gationem à Deo veniunt. Tertul. Apol. cap. 42 suffering who knows but they may have a deep share! The Prophets book is written within, as well as without, with lamentation, mourning and woe. Ezek. 2. ult. If the Lion roars, who can but fear? Amos 3. 8. Fear to the rooting out of se­curity not the shaking of faith. Fear to the pulling down of car­sall presidence, not Christian confidence. Fear to draw out our ouls in prayer, not to swallow them up in despair. Fear, to break [Page 8] the arme of flesh, but not to weaken the staffe of the promise. Fear, that we may draw nigh to God, with reverence, not to run from him with diffidence: in a word, to overthrow faithlesse pre­sumption, and to increase gracious submission.

Secondly, Here is the Prophets request: and in this there are these two things,

  • 1. The thing he desireth: The reviving Gods work, the remem­bring mercy.
  • 2. The season he desireth it in, in the midst of the yeares.

For the first, that which in the beginning of the verse, he calls Gods work, in the close of it, he termeth mercy: and the reviving of his work, is interpreted to be a remembring mercy. These two expressions then are paralell. The reviving of Gods work to­wards his people, is a re-acting of mercy: a bringing forth the fruits therof, and that in the midst of the execution of wrath, as a man in the midst of another, remembring a businesse of more importance, instantly turneth away, and applyeth himself there­unto.

Acts of mercy are Gods proper work towards his people, which he will Obs. 5. certainly awake, and keep alive in the saddest times. Mercy you see is his work, his proper work, as he calleth Judgement his strange Act: Isaiah 28. 21. He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delight­eth in mercy: Micah 7. 18. This is his proper work; though it seem to sleep, he will Awake it, though it seem to die, he will revive it. Can a woman forget her child, that she should not have com­passion on the sonne of her wombe? yea they may forget, yet will I not forget thee: behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me, Isaiah 49. 16, 17.

Secondly, for the season of this work, he prayes that it may be accomplished, in the middest of the yeares: upon which you may see what weight he layes by his repetition of it in the same verse. It is something doubtfull what may be the peculiar sense of these words: whether the midst of the yeares, do not denote the whole time of the peoples bondage under the Caldeans, (whence [...] in the inward of years. Junius renders the words, interea temporis, (noting this maner of expression (the midst of the yeares) for an Hebraisme) during which space he intercedes for mercy for them. Or whether the middest of the yearrs, do not denote some certain point of times, as the season of their return from Captivity, about the middest [Page 9] of the yeares between their first King, and the coming of the Messiah, putting a period to their Church and State. Whether of these is more probable, is not needfull to insist upon; this is certain, that a certain time is pointed at: which will yield us, Obser. 6.

The Churches mercies and deliverance, have their appointed season: in the middest of the years it shall be accomplished. As there is a decree bringing forth the wickeds destruction, Zeph. 2. 2. so there is a decree goes forth in its appointed season for the Churches de­liverance, which cannot be gainsayed: Dan. 9. 23. Every vision is for its appointed season and time, Hab. 2. 3. then it will surely come, it will not tarry. There is a determination upon the weeks and dayes of the Churches sufferings and expectations, Dan. 9: 24. seventy weeks are determined upon thy people. As there is a three transgressions and a foure of Rebells for which God will not turn away their punishment, Am. 1. 3. so a three afflictions and a foure of the people of God, after which he will not shut out their supplications.

Hence that confidence of the Prophet, Psal. 102. 13, 14. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Sion: for (saith he) the time to favour her, yea the set time is come. There is a time, yea a set time for favour to be shewed unto Sion. As a time to break down, so a time to build up: an acceptable time, a day of salvation. It came to passe, at the end of 430 years, even the self same day it came to passe, that all the hosts of the Lord went out of Egypt, Exod. 12. 41. As a woman with child goes not beyond her appointed Moneths, but is pain­ed to be delivered, no more can the fruitfull decree cease from bringing forth the Churches deliverance in the season thereof.

Because there is an appointed period of the Churches humilia­tion, Reas. 1. and bearing of her iniquities. Israell shall bear their ini­quities in the wildernesse, but this is exactly limited to the space of 40 years. When their iniquity is pardoned, their warfare is ac­complished. Isaiah 40. 2. They say some men will give poyson that shall work insensibly and kill at seven years end. The great Physician of his Church, knows how to give his sin-sick people potions, that shall work by degrecs, and at such an Appointed season take away all their iniquity. Then they can no longer be detained in trouble. God will not continue his course of Physick, unto them one day beyond health recovered. This is all the fruit of their Afflictions; to take away their iniquities, Isa 27. 9. and when [Page 10] that is done, who shall keep bound what God will loose? When sin is taken away from within, Trouble must depart from without.

Because the Churches sorrows are commensurate unto, and do Rea. 2. contemporise with, the joyes and prosperity of Gods enemies, and hers. Now wicked mens prosperity hath assured bounds. The wickednesse of the wicked shall come to an end. There is a time when the iniquity of the Amorites comes to the full: Gen: 15. 16. it comes up to the brim in the appointed day of slaughter. When their wickednesse hath filled the Ephah, a Talent of Lead is laid upon the mouth thereof, and it is carried away on wings, Zech. 5. 6, 7, 8. swiftly, certainly, irrevocably. If then the Churches troubles, contemporise, rise and fall, with their prosperity, and her deliverance, with their destruction! if the fall of Babylon be the rise of Sion; if they be the buckets, which must go down, when the Church comes up; if they be the rod of the Churches chastisement, their Ruine being set and appointed, so also must be the Churches Mercies.

In every distresse, learn to wait with patience for this appointed time, he that believeth will not make hast. Though it tarrywait for Vse. it, it will surely come. He that is infinitely good hath appointed the time, and therefore it is the best. He that is infinitely wise, hath de­termined the season, and therefore it is most suitable. He who is infinitely powerfull, hath set it down, and therefore it shall be ac­complished. Wait for it believing, wait for it praying, wait for it contending. Waiting is not a lazy hope, a sluggish expectation. When Daniel knew the time was come, he prayed the more earnestly, Dan. 9. 2, 3. You will say perhaps, what need he pray for it when he knew the time was accomplished! I answer; the more need. Prayer helps the promise bring forth. Because a womans time is come, therefore shall she have no midwife? nay therefore give her one. He that appointed their return, appointed that it should be a fruit of prayer. Wait Bonum Ago­num subituri estis in quo. A­gonothetes Deus vivus est: Christarchos Spiritus San­ctus, corona ae­ternitatis bra­bium, Epithetes Je­sus Christus. Tertul. ad Mar. contending also, in all wayes wherein you shall be called out. And be not discouraged, that you know not the direct season of deliverance. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening, withold not thy hand, for thou knowest not which shall prosper, this or that, or whether they shall be both alike good; Eccles. 11. 6. But proceed we with the Prophets prayer.

From verse the 3. to the 17. He layeth down severall Argu­ments [Page 11] taken from the Majesty, power, providence, and former works of God, for the supporting of his faith, to the obtaining of those good things, and works of mercy, which he was now praying for. We shall look on them, as they ly in our way.

God came from Teman, the holy one from mount [...]aran: Selah: his Verse 3. glory covered the heavens, the earth was full of his praise.

Teman was a City of the Edomites, whose land the people of Is­rael Cen. 36. 15. Jer. 49. 7. Obad. 9. compassed in the wildernesse, when they were stung with fie­ry Serpents, and healed by looking on a brazen Serpent, set up to be a type of Christ. Teman is put for the whole land of Edom: and the Prophet makes mention of it, for the great deliverance & mercy granted there to the people, when they were almost con­sumed. That's Gods coming from Teman. See Num. 21. v. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. When they were destroyed by fiery Serpents, he heals them by a type of Christ, giving them corporeall, and raising them to a faith of spirituall salvation.

Paran the next place mentioned, was a mountain in the Land of Ismael, near which Moses repeated the Law, and from thence God Deut. 1. carried the people immediately to Canaan: another eminent act of mercy.

Unto these he addeth the word Selah: as it is a song a note of E­levation in singing: as it respects the matter, not the form, a note of Admiration and speciall Observation: Selah, consider them well for they were great works indeed.

Speciall mercies, must have speciall Observation.

Now by reason of these Actions, the Prophet affirms that the glory of God covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Lofty expressions of the advancement of Gods glory, and the fullnesse of his praise amongst his people of the earth, which attended that mercifull deliverance, and gracious assistance. No­thing is higher or greater then that which covers heaven, and fills earth.

Gods Gloria est fre­quens de aliqua fama cum laude Ci. lib. 2. de inv. Consentiens [...]us bonorum incorrupta vox bene judicanti­um de excellen­te virtute. Idem Tusc l. 3. Obs. 7. glory is exceedingly exalted, and his praise increased every where, by Acts of favour and kindnesse to his people.

That which I shall chuse from amongst many others that pre­sent themselves a little to insist upon, is that

Former mercies with their times and places are to be had in thankfull remembrance unto them who wait for future blessings. Faith is to this end separated by them. Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the [Page 12] Lord, awake as in the ancient dayes, as in the generations of old: art not thou it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the Dragon? Art not thou it that dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to passe over? Isa. 51. 9, 10: The breaking of Rahab, that is Egypt, so called here, and Psal. 87. 4. Psal. 89. 11. for her great strength which the word signi­fies, and the wounding of the dragon, that great and crooked Afflictour Pharaoh is remembred, and urged for a motive to a new needed deliverance. so Psal. 74. 13, 14. Thou brakest the heads of Le­viathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people in the wilder­nesse. Leviathan, the same Dragon, oppressing, persecuting Pha­raoh; thou brakest his Heads, his Counsells, Armies, Power, and gavest him for meat, that the people for forty yeares together might be fed, sustained and nourished, with that wonderfull mercy. Out of the eater came forth meat, out of the strong came forth sweetnesse.

In this Reciprocation God walketh with his people. Of free grace he bestoweth mercies and blessings on them: by grace works the returns of Remembrance and Thankfullnesse unto himself for them: then showres that down again in new Mercies. The Countries which send up no vapours, receive down no showers. Remembrance with thankfullnesse of former mercies, is the mat­ter as it were, which by Gods goodnesse, is condensed into fol­lowing blessings. For

Mercies have their proper end when thankfully remembred. What more powerfull motive to the obteining of new, then to Reas. 1. hold out, that the old were not abused. We are incouraged to cast seed again into that ground, whose last crop witnesseth that it was not altogether barren: that sad spot of good Hezekiah, that He rendred not again according to the benefit done unto him, is set down as the opening a doore of wrath against himself, Ju­dah and Jerusalem, 2. Chron. 32. 25. On the other side suitable re­turns, are a doore of hope for further mercies.

The remembrance of them strengthens faith, and keeps our hands from hanging down in the time of waiting for blessings. Reas. 2. When faith is supported the promise is engaged, and a mercy at any time more then half obteined, faith is the substance of things ho­ped for, Heb. 11. 1. God (saith the Apostle) hath delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, now what conclusion makes he [Page 13] of this experience? in whom we trust, that he will yet deliver us, 2 Cor. 1. 10. It was a particular mercy, with it's circumstances, as you may see ver. 9. which he made the bottome of his dependance. In the favours of men, we cannot do so: they may be weary of helping, or be drawne dry, and grow helpelesse. Pond's may be exhausted, but the Ocean never. The infinite fountaines of the Deity, can­not be sunk one haires bredth by everlastingly-flowing blessings. Now circumstances of Actions, Time, Place, and the like, oft-times take deepe impressions: Mercies should be remembred with them. So doth the Apostle againe, 2 Tim. 4. 17, 18. He did deliver me from the mouth of the Lyon: (Nero that Lion-like tyrant) and what then? he will deliver mee from every evill worke. David esteemed it very good Logick, to argue from the victory God gave him over the Lyon, and the Beare, to a confidence of victory over Goliah: 1 Sam. 17. 37.

The use of this, we are lead unto, Isaiah 43. 16, 17, 18. Thus saith Vse. the Lord which maketh a way in the Sea, and a Path in the mighty waters: which bringeth forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power, they shall lie downe together, they shall not rise, they are extinct, they are quenched as tow: Remember yee not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Let former mercies be an Anchor of hope in time of present distresses. Where is the God of Marstone-Moore, and the God of Naseby, is an acceptable expostulation in a gloomy day. O what a catalogue of mercies, hath this Nation to plead by in a time of trouble? God came from Naseby, and the holy one from the West: Selah: his glory covered the Heavens, and the earth was full of his prayse. He went forth in the North, and in the East he did not withhold his hand. I hope the poore Towne where­in No place in the County so threatned. No place in the County so pre­served. Small under­takings there blessed: Great oppositi­on blasted. Non nobis, do­mine non nobis. I live, is more inriched with a store mercy of a few moneths, then with a full trade of many years. The snares of death compassed us, and the flouds of ungodly men made us afraid: Psal. 18. 4. but the Lord thundred from heaven, the highest gave his voyce, hailestones and coals of fire: yea he sent out his arrowes and scattered them, and he shot out lightning and discomfited them: he sent from above, he tooke us, he drew us out of many waters, hee delivered us from our strong enemy, and from them which hated us, for they were to strong for us, v. 13, 14, 16, 17. How may we say with the same Psalmist in any other distresse, O my God my soule is cast downe within mee, therefore will I remember thee from the Land of Jordan, and of the Hennomites from the Hill Missar, Psal. [Page 14] 42. 6. where is the God of Elijah, divides a new the waters of Jor­dan, 2 Kings 2. 14.

The following verses set forth the glory and power of God, in Verse 4. the accomplishment of that great worke of bringing his people into the promised land: with those mighty things he performed in the wildernesse. Verse 4. if I mistake not sets out his glorious ap­pearance on Mount Sinai: of which the Prophet affirmes two things:

  • 1. That his brightnesse was the light:
  • 2. That, he had hornes comming out of his hand, and there was the hid­ing of his power.

For the first: is it not that brightnesse which appeared, when the mountaine burnt with fire to the middest of Heaven: Deut. 4. 11. A glorious fire in the middest of clouds and thick darknesse. The like description you have of Gods presence, Psal. 18. 11, 12. hee made darkenesse his secret place, and brightnesse was before him. As the light, the sun, the fountaine and cause of it: called light Iob. 31. 26. Now this glorious appearance holds out the kingly power and Majesty of God in governing the world, which appeareth but unto few. The Lord reigneth let the earth rejoyce, clouds and darkenesse are round about him a fire goeth before him, his lightnings inlightened the world, Psa. 97. 1, 2, 3.

Secondly, he had hornes comming out of his hand. So the words most properly, though by some, otherwise rendred. That Deut: 33. 17. Psal. 75. 10. Zech: 1. 18. hornes in Scripture are taken for strength and power needs no proving. The mighty power of God which he made appear to his people, in that glorious representation of his Majesty on Mount Sinai, is by this phrase expressed. There his Chariots were seene to be twenty thousands, even many thousands of Angels, and the Lord among them in that holy place, Psal. 68. 19. There they perceived that he had hornes in his hand: An Almighty power to do what he pleased. Whence it is added, And there was the hiding of his power. Though the ap­pearance of it was very great and glorious, yet it was but small to the everlastingly hidden depths of his omnipotency:

(The most glorious appearance of God comes infinitly short of his own eternall Majesty as he is in himselfe: it is but a discovery, that there is the hiding of infinite perfection.) Or, there his power appeared to us, which was hidden from the rest of world.

When God is doing great things, he gives glorious manifestations of his Obser. 8.[Page 15] excellencies to his secret ones. The appearance on Sinai, goes before his passage into Canaan. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the Prophets. Amos 3. 7. When he is to send Moses for the deliverance of his people, he appeares to him in a burning unconsumed bush, Exod. 3. 2. a signe manifesting the presence of his power, to preserve his Church unconsumed in the middest of burning fiery Afflictions. Vnto this very end, were all the visions, that are recorded in the Scripture; All of them ac­commodated to the things which God was presently doing. And this he doth:

That they may thereby be prepared to follow him, and serve Reason 1. him in the great works he hath for them to do. Great works are to be done without great incouragements. If God appeares not in light, who can expect he should appeare in operation? He that is called to serve providence in high things, without some especiall John 12. 35. Revel: 16. 10. discovery of God, works in the darke, and knowes not whither he goes, nor what hee doth. Such a one travailes in the wilder­nesse, without a directing cloud. Cleare shining from God, must be at the bottome of deepe labouring with God. What is the rea­son, that so many in our days, set their hands to the plow, and looke back againe? begin to serve providence in great things, but cannot finish? give over in the heat of the day! They never had any such Revelation of the mind of God upon their spirits, such a discovery of his excellencies, as might serve for a bottome of such undertakings. Men must know that if God hath not appea­red to them in brightnesse, and shewed them the hornes in his hand, hid from others, though they thinke highly of themselves, they'l deny God twice and thrice, before the close of the work of this Age. If you have no great discoveries, you will wex vaine in great undertakings. Now workings on old bottomes, are like new wine in old bottels, both are spoyled and lost. The day is the time of work, and that because of the light thereof: those who have not light may be spared to go to bed.

That they may be the better enabled to give him glory, when Reason 2. they shall see the sweet Harmony that is between his Manifestati­ons and his Operations. When they can say with the Psalmist, as we have heard, so have we seene, Psal. 48. 8. as he revealeth himselfe, so he worketh. When his power and mercy answer his appearance in the bush, it is a foundation to a prayer, The good will of him that [Page 16] dwelt in the bush, blesse thee. When a soule shall finde God calling him forth to Employments, perhaps great and high, yet every way suiting that light and gracious discovery which he hath given of himselfe, one thing Answering another, it sets him in a frame of honouring God aright.

This might be of rich consideration could we attend it: for hence Vse

1. As I said before, is Apostasy from Gods work. He appeares not unto me, how can they go upon his Imployment? Men that have no vision of God, are in the darke, and know not what to doe. I speak not of visions beyond the word, Answers of prayers, grati­ous applications of providences, with wise considerations of times and seasons. Some drop off every day, some hang by the ey-lids, and know not what to do; The light of God is not sent forth to lead and guide them: Psal. 43. 3. wonder not at the strange back­slidings of our days, many acted upon by-ingagements, and for want of light, know not to the last what they were adoing.

2. Hence also is the suiting of great light, and great worke, in our days. Let new light be derided whilest men please, he will ne­ver serve the Will of God in this Generation, who sees not beyond the line of foregoing ages.

3. And this thirdly, may put all those, whom God is pleased to imploy in his service, upon a diligent Inquiry into his mind. Can a servant do his masters work, without knowing his pleasure? we live for the most part from hand to mouth, and do what comes next: few are acquainted with the designes of God.

The going forth of the Lord with his people towards their rest, Verse 5. with reference to his harbingers is described v. 5.

Before him went the pestilence, and burning coales went forth at his feete.

Before him, at his face. The Pestilence, This is Exod. 9. 15. Levit. 26. 25. 2 Sam. 24. 13. Ezek. 14. 19. Mat. 24. 7. often reckoned amongst the weapons wherewith God fighteth with any people to consume them: and as speeding an instrument of destruction it is, as any the Lord ever used towards the children of men.

At his feet went forth a burning coale. A redoubling say some of the same stroke: burning coals, for burning diseases.

When one blow will not do the work appointed, God redoubles the stroak of his hand:

Levit. 26. 22, 23, 24, 25.

Or burning coals, dreadfull judgements, mortall weapons, as fire and flames are often taken in other descriptions of God's dea­ling [Page 17] with his enemies: Psal. 11. 6. 18. 8. prevailing fire is the most dreadfull meanes of destruction, Heb. 12. 29. Isa. 33. 14.

Exod. 23. 28. God threatneth to send the Hornet upon the Cana­anites, before the children of Israel: some stinging judgements, either on their consciences, or bodies, or both. Something of the same kind is doubtlesse here held out: he sent plagues and diseases among them to weaken and consume them, before his peoples entrance. His presence was with Israel, and the pestilence con­suming the Canaanites before their entrance is said to be [...] at his faces, or appearances, before him, before the entrance of the presence of his holinesse. And the following Judgements that quite devoured them, were the coals going out at his feet, which he sent abroad, when he entred their land, with his own inheritance, into theirs, to cast out those malae fidei possessores.

1. Sicknesses, diseases and all sorts of judgements are wholly at Gods disposall. Affliction commeth not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground, yet man is borne to trouble, as the sons of the burning coale lift up in flying, Job. 5. 6, 7.

2. When God intends the totall destruction of a people, he commonly wea­kens them by some previous judgements. Let the truth of this, be found upon them that hate us, and the interpretation therof, be to the enemies, of this Nation: but the Lord knows, all our hearts may well tremble, at what will be the issue of the visitations of the last years.

God never wants instruments, to execute his Anger, and ruine his ene­mies. Obser. 9. His treasury of judgements, can never be exhausted. If Israel be too weake for the Amorites, he will call in the pestilence and burning diseases to their assistance. What creature hath not this mighty God used against his enemies? An Angell destroyes Sena­cheribs Host, Isa. 37. 36. and smites Herod with Wormes: Acts 12. 23. Heaven above sends downe a Hell of fire and brimstone on So­dome and Gomorah, Gen. 19. 24. The Starres in their courses fought against Sisera. Judg. 5. 20. Devils do his will herein, He sent evill Angels among the Aegyptians, Psal. 78. 49. Fire consumes persecut­ing Ahaziah's companies, 2 Kings 1. 10, 11. The Water drownes Pharaoh and his Chariots, Exod. 14. 28. Earth swallows up Korah, with his fellow rebels, Numb. 16. 32. Beares rend the children that mocked Elisha, 2 Kings, 2. 24. Lyons destroy the strange Nations in Samaria, 2 Kings 17. 25. Froggs, Lice, Boyles, Hayle, Rayne, Thunder, [Page 18] Lightning, destroy the Land of Aegypt: Exod. 8, 9, 10. Locusts are his mighty army to punish Israel Joel. 2. 25. Hailstones destroy the Canaanites, Josh. 10. 11. Stones of the wall slay the Syrians, 1 Kings 20. 30. pestilence and burning diseases are his ordinary messengers. In a word, all creatures, serve his providence, and await his com­mands, for the execution of his righteous Judgements. Neither the beasts of the Field, nor the stones of the Earth, will bee any longer quiet then hee causeth them to hold a league with the sons of men. Vse. 1.

To teach us all to tremble before this mighty God. Who can stand before him, qui tot imperat legionibus? If hee will strike hee wants no weapons: if he will fight he wants no Armies. All things serve his Will. He saith, to one come, and it commeth, to another go, and it goeth, to a third, do this, and it doth it. He can make use of our selves, our friends, our enemies, Heaven, Earth, Fire, Wa­ter, &c. any thing, for what end he pleaseth. There is no standing before his Armies; for they are all things, and himselfe to make them effectuall. There is no flying from his Armies, for they are every where, and himselfe with them. Who would not feare this King of Nations? He that contends with him, shall find it, As if a man did flee from a Lyon, and a Beare met him▪ or went into the house and leaned upon a wall, and a Serpent bitte him: Amos 5. 18, 19. No flying, no hiding, no contending. Wormes kill Herod; A Flie choak'd Adrian, &c. Ʋse 2.

To be a bottome of confidence and dependence in an evill day. He that hath God on his side, hath also all things, that are seene and that are not seene. The mountaine is full of fiery Chariots for Elisha's defence, when outwardly there was no appearance, 2 Kings 6. 17. All things waite their Masters beck, to do him service, as for the destruction of enemies, so for the deliverance of his. What though wee had no Army in the time of war? God hath millions, Many thousands of Angels, Psal. 68. 17. one whereof can destroy so many thousands of men in a night: Isa. 37. 36. Hee can choose (when few others will appeare with him against the mighty, as in our late troubles) foolish things to confound the wise, and weak things, to confound the strong. Senacheribs Angell is yet alive, and the destroyer of Sodom is not dead. And all those things are at our command, if their help may be for our good: Judah ruleth with God, Hos. 11. 12. hath a rule by faithfull supplications over all [Page 19] those mighty hosts. Make God our friend, and wee are not onely of the best, but also the strongest side. You that would be on the safest side, be sure to choose that which God is on. Had not this mighty all-commanding God been with us, where had we been in the late tumults? so many thousands in Kent, so many in Wales, so many in the North, so many in Essex, shall they not speed? shall they not divide the prey? is not the day of those factious Inde­pendents come? was the language of our very neighbours: The snare is broken, and we are delivered. Verse 6.

The Lord having sent messengrs before him into Canaan, stands himself as it were upon the borders and takes a view of the Land.

He stood and measured the earth, he beheld and drove asunder the Na­tions, and the everlasting mountaines were scattered, the perpetuall hills did bow: his wayes are everlasting.

Two things are here considerable▪

  • 1. The Lords exact fore-view of the promised land: he stood and measured the earth, and beheld the Nations.
  • 2. His operation at that time, he drave asunder the Nations, and the, &c.

1. Hee stood and measured. The Prophet here representeth the Lord on the frontire of Canaan, as one taking view of a piece of Land, and exactly measuring it out, as intending it for his own, weighing and considering the bounds and limits of it, to see if it will answer the end for which he purposeth it. Gods exact notice and knowledge of his peoples possession is in those words held out. He views where the lines of every tribe shall run.

Nothing happens or is made out to any of Gods people, without his own carefull providentiall predisposition.

He views the circuit of the whole, where, and how, divided, and separated from the dwellings of the unclean, and habitations of the uncircumcised.

Fixed bounds, measured limits of habitation is a necessary ingre­dient, to the making up of a nat [...]all Church.

2. What he did: which is two wayes expressed, 1. in reference to the inhabitants, 2. to the Land it selfe:

1. For the inhabitants, he drove them asunder: [...] and he made to leape out of their old chanels. Those Nations knit and linked together amongst themselves, by leagues and civill society, he se­parated, disturbed, divided in counsels and armes, (as in the case [Page 20] of the Gibeonites,) persecuted by the sword, that they suddenly leaped out of their habitations, the residue wandering as no people. Josh. 9. 3.

Gods justly Nation-disturbing purposes, are the bottome of their deserved ruine.

2. For the Land, The everlasting Mountaines, &c. Those strong firme lasting Mountaines of Canaan, not like the Mountaines of sand in the desart where the people were, but to continue firme to the worlds end, as both the words here used [...] and [...], perpe­tuity, and everlasting, do in the Scripture frequently signify. Now these are said to be scattered and to bow, because of the destructi­on Numb. 13. 33. of the Inhabitants of those lasting hills, being many of them high and mighty ones like perpetuall Mountaines: they being given in possession to the sons of Israel, even the cheife things of the antient Mountaines, and the pretious things of the lasting hills: Deut. 33. 15.

God takes an exact foreview of his peoples portion and inheritance. Like Obs. 10. a carefull father, he knows before hand, what he intends to bestow upon them. Hee views it, measures it, prepares it to the utmost bounds. They shall not have a hayrs bredth which hee hath not alotted them: nor want the least jot of their designed portion.

Learne to be contented with your Lot. He is wise also, who Vse. took a view of it, and measured it, and found it just commensurate to your good: had he known that a footes bredth more had bin needfull, you should have had it. Had he seen it good; you had had no thornes in your Lands, no Afflictions in your lives. O how carefull, how solicitous are many of Gods people! how full of de­sires! Oh that it were with me thus or thus! possesse your soules in patience: As you cannot adde too, no more shall any take from your proportion. He took the measure of your wants, and his own supplies long since. That which he hath measured out, he will cut off for you. He knows how to suit all his children.

It is dangerous incroaching for any of the sons of men upon Gods Obser. 11. peoples portion, lot, priviledges or inheritance. God hath measured it out for them, and he will looke that they injoy it. Vid. Tertul. ad Scapulamde persecutione. Shall men remove his bounds, and land-markes, and be free? will it be safe trespassing upon the Lands of the Almighty? will it be easy and cheape? will he not plead his Action with power? especially seeing he hath given them their portion. If he hath given Seir to Edom, what doth he vexing and wasting Jacob? Shall they not [Page 21] possesse what the Lord their God gives them to possesse? Jud. 11. 24. He hath cautioned all the world; Kings and others in this kind: Touch not mine annointed, do my prophets no harme: Psal. 105. 14, 15. Touch them not, nor any thing that is theirs: harme them not in any thing I bestow on them. They have nothing but what their Father gives them, and Christ hath bought for them. Will a tender Father thinke you, contentedly looke on, and see a slave snatch away his childrens bread? If a man hath ingaged himselfe to give a Jewell to a deare friend, will he take it patiently to have an enemy come and snatch it away before his face? God is ingaged to his people for all their injoyments, and will he quiet­ly suffer himselfe to be robbed and his people spoyled? Shall others dwell quietly in the Land which he hath measured for his own?

See whence the great destructions of People and Nations in Vse. 1. these latter ages have come. Is it not for touching these forbid­den things? The holy Vessels of the Temple at Hierusalem, ruin­ed Babylon. Is not the wasting of the Westerne Nations, at this day from hence, that they have served the whore to deck her selfe, with the spoyles of the spouse? helped to trim her with the por­tion of Gods people: taking away their Liberties, Ordinances, Priviledges, Lives, to lay at her feet. Doubtlesse God is pleading with all these Kingdomes for their incroaching. They who will not let him be at peace with his, shall have little quiet with their own. The Eagle that stole a coale from the Altar, fired her nest. I know how this hath been abused to countenance the holding of Babylonish wedges. God will preserve to his people his own allowance, not Romes supplyment. This Nation hath yet itching singers, and a hankering minde after the inheritance of Gods people: Let them take heed, he hath knocked off their hands an hundred times, and sent them away with bloudy fingers. O that we were wise, that we be not quite consumed. Of you I hope better things, and such as accompany salvation, yet give me leave to cautionate you a little.

1. As to priviledges and liberties of this life. Their liberties and estates, are not as other mens: but more exactly measured for their good, and sanctifyed to them in the bloud of Christ. If in these things God hath called you to the defence and protection of his, he will expect a reall account. You had better give away a King­dome [Page 22] that belongs to others, then the least of that which God hath made for his Saints. Think not any thing small, which God accounts worthy to bestow on his. If he hath meted out li­berty for them, and you give them slavery, you will have a sad reckoning.

2. In point of Ordinances, and Christ purchased priviledges: Nero primus in Christianos ferociit: [...]ali dedicatore damnation is nostrae etiam gloriamur, qui enim scit illum intelligere po­test, non nisi ali­quod bonwn grande à Ne­rone damnatum Tertul. Apol. Here 'tis dangerous incroaching indeed. God exactly measured Canaan because it was to be the seat of a Nationall Church. If you love your lives, if you love your souls, be tender in this point. Here if you meddle with that which belong not unto you, were you Kings, all your glory would be laid in the dust. 2 Chr. 26. 18. woe to them who cut short the Saints of God in the least jot, of what he hath allotted to them in spiritualls. Is it for any of you, O ye sons of men, to measure out Gods childrens por­tion, long since bequeathed them by Christ? Let them alone with what is given them. If God call Israel out of Egypt to serve him, shall Pharaoh assigne who, and how they shall go, First men onely, then all without their cattel? nay sayes Moses, we will go as God calls, Exod. 10. 26.

Was not one main end of the late tumults, to rob Gods people of their priviledges, to bring them again under the yoke of su­perstition? What God brake in warre, do not think he will prosper in Peace? If you desire to thrive, do not the same, nor any thing like it. Take they any thing of yours, that belongs to Cesar, the Civil Magistrate, restraine them, keep them within bounds. But if they take onely what Christ hath given them, O touch them not, harm them not. The heap is provided for them, let them take for themselves. Thinke it not strange, that every one should gather his own Manna. The Lord forbid that I should oversee the Magistrates of England, taking away liberties, privi­ledges, ordinances or wayes of worship, from them to whom the Almighty hath made a free grant of them.

3 If in taking what God hath measured out for them, they should not all comply with you, in the manner and measure of what they take, do them no harm, impoverish not their families, banish them not, slay them not. Nova & in­audita est ista praedicatio quae verberi­bus exigit fidem Grego. Ep. 52. Alas your judgements, were you Kings, and Emperours, is not a rule to them. They must be tryed by their own faith. Are their souls think you more preci­cious to you then themselves? You say they take amisse: they [Page 23] say no: Magistrum ne­minem habemusmsi solum De­um; hic ante te est, nec abscon­di potest, sed cui nihil facere possis. and appeal to the word. Should you now smite them? speak blood, is that the way of Jesus Christ? should it be as you affirm, you would be puzled for your warrant. To run when you are not sent, surely in this case is not safe. But what if it should prove in the close, that they have followed divine Directi­ons? Do you not then fight against God, wound Jesus Christ, and prosecute him as an evil doer? I know the usual colours, the Com­mon pleas, that are used for the instigation of Authority to the contrary. They are the very same and no other, that have slain the Saints of God, this 1200 years. Arguments for persecuti­on are died in the blood of Christians, for a long season, ever since the Dragon gave his power to the false Prophet, they have all died as hereticks and Schismaticks. Suppose you saw in one view all the blood of the witnesses of Christ, which hath been let out of their veins, by vain pretences, that you heard in one noyse the dolefull cry of all Pastorlesse Churches, dying martyrs, har­bourlesse children of Parents inheriting the promise, wildernesse­wandring Saints, dungeoned believers, wrested out by pretend­ed zeal to peaee and truth, and perhaps it may make your Spirits tender as to this point.

See the warrantablenesse of our contests for Gods peoples Ʋse 2. rights. It was Jephthaes onely argument against the incroaching Ammonites. Judg. 11. By Gods assistance they would possesse what the Lord their God should give them. If a grant from hea­ven will not make a firm Title, I know not what will. Being called by lawfull Authority, certainly, there is not a more glori­ous Employment, then to serve the Lord, in helping to uphold the portion he hath given his people. If your hearts be upright, and it is the liberties, the priviledges of Gods Saints, conveied from the father, purchased by Christ, you contend for, Go on and prosper, the Lord, is with you.

2. From what God did.

The works and labours of Gods people are transacted from them in Obser. 11. heaven, before they once undertake them. The Israelites were now going to Canaan, God doth their work for them before hand They Isa. 26. 22. did but go up and take possession; Joshua and Caleb tell the people not onely that their enemies defence was departed from them, but that they were but bread for them: Num. 14. 9. Not corn that might be prepared, but bread, ground, made up, ready baked, rea­dy [Page 24] to e at. Their work was done in heaven. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world, Acts 15. 18. All that is done here below, is but the writing of a visible copy for the sons of men to read, out of the etenall lines of his own purpose.

Up and be doing, you that are about the work of the Lord. Vse Your Enemies are bread ready to be eaten, and yield you refresh­ment. Do you think if our Armies had not walked in a troden path they could have made such journeys as they have done of late? had not God marched before them, and traced out their way from Kent to Essex, from Wales to the North, their carcasses had long ere this, been cast into the field. Their work was done in heaven before they begun it. God was gone over the 2 Sam. 5. 24. Mulberry trees; The worke might have been done by children, though he was pleased to employ such worthy instruments. They see I doubt not their own nothingnesse, in his All-sufficiency. Go on then, but with this caution, search by all wayes and means to find the footsteps of the mighty God, going before you.

The trembling condition of the opposing nations round about Verse 7. when God appeared so gloriously for his people, is held out verse 7.

I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: The curtayns of the Land of Midian did tremble.

You have here three things considerable.

  • 1. The mention of two Nations enemies of the Church, Cu­shan and Midian.
  • 2. The state and condition of those Nations, the tents of the one in Affliction, and the curtains of the other in trembling.
  • 3. The view the Prophet had of this, I saw it saith he, I saw, &c.

For the first, these two nations, Cushan and Midian, were the neigbouring people to the Israelites, being in the wildernesse when God did such great things for them. First Cushan, that is the Tent­dwelling Arabians on the south side towards Ethiopia, being as the Ethiopians of the posterity of Cush (thence called Cushan) the el­dest 2 Kings 19. 9. Jer. 13. 23. Joseph Antiq. Chap. 1. Isa. 37. 9. son of scoffing Ham, Gen. 10. 6. enemies and opposers of the Church (doubtlesse) all the way down from their profane Ance­stors. These now beheld the Israelites, going to root out their Al­lies, and kindred the Amorites of Canaan, the posterity of Canaan, the younger brother of their progenitor Cush, Gen. 10. 6.

[Page 25] Midian were a people inhabiting on the East-side Jordan, on the borders of Moab: so called from their forefather, Midian the son of Abraham by Keturah, Gen. 25. 3, 4. These obtained a temporall bles­sing for a season, from the Love borne to their faithfull progeni­tor. In the days of Jacob, they were great Merchants, Gen. 37. 28. At this time in lesse then 400 years, they were so multiplyed, that they had five Kings of their Nation: Num. 31. 1. Some knowledge of the true God, was retained as it should seeme untill now a­mongst some of them, being received by tradition from their Fa­thers. Moses Father in Law, was a Priest of this Country, Exod. 2. 15, 16. not altogether unacquainted with Jehovah, Exod. 18 and was himselfe, or his son perswaded to take up his portion in Canaan, Num. 10. 29, 30. But for the generality of the Nation, being not heirs of the promise, they were fallen off to superstition and idolatry. Exceeding enemies they were to the people in the wil­dernesse, vexing them with their wiles, and provoking them to abominations, that the Lord might consume them, Num. 25. 17.

None so vile enemies to the Church as superstitious Apostates.

These two Nations then set out all manner of opposers, grosse Idolators as Cushan, and superstitious envious Apostates as Midian.

2. Their state and condition severally: 1 The tents of Cushan were in Affliction: the tents, the Arabian Ethiopians of Cush, dwelling in tents: the Habitation for the Inhabitant, by an Hypallage. They were in Affliction, under vanity, under iniquity, the place of vani­ty, so variously are the words rendred: [...] under Affliction, Vanity, or Iniquity. Sin, and the punishment of it, are frequently in the Scripture of the same name: so nere is the Relation. Aven is properly and most usually iniquity, but that it is here taken for the consequent of it, A consuming, perplexed, vexed condition can be no doubt. The Cushamites then were in Afflicti­on, full of Anguish, Feare, Dread, vexation to see what would be the issue of those great and mighty things which God was doing in their borders for his people. Tantos invi­dus babet paenâ justa tortores, quantos invidi­osus habuerit laudat, tores. Prosp▪ vita contempt. Afflicted with Israels happinesse and their owne fears, as is the condition of all wicked op­pressers.

2. The Curtaines of the Land of Midian, for the Midianites dwelling in curtained Tabernacles, by the same Figure as before. They trembled, [...], moved themselves, were moved, that is [Page 26] shaken with feare and trembling, as though they were ready to run from the Appearance of the mighty God with his people. The story of it, you have in the book of Numbers: as it was pro­phetically fore-told by Moses concerning other Nations, Exod. 15. 14, 15, 16. The people shall heare and be afraid, sorrow shall take hold of Num. 25. ch. 27. & 31. the inhabitants of Palestina: Then the Dukes of Edom shall be amased, the mighty men of Moab, &c. God filled those Nations with Anguish sor­row and amazement, at the protection he granted his people.

3. The Prophets view of all this: I saw it, or I see it: though it were 870 years before, supposing him to prophesy about the end of Josiah, or beginning of Jehojakim, yet taking it under the consi­deration of Faith he makes it present to his view.

Faith looketh backwards and forwards, to what God hath done, and to what he hath promised to do: Abraham saw the Day of Christ, so many Ages after, because he found it by faith in the promise: Habakkuk saw the terrors of Cushan and Midian so many Ages before, because faith found it recorded among the works of God to support it selfe in seeking the like mercies to be renewed: so that this is the sum of this Verse.

O Lord, faith makes it evident, and presents it before my view, how in former days, when thou wast doing great things for thy people, thou silledst all thine, and their enemies, with fear, vexati­on, trembling and astonishment.

1. Faith gives a present subsistence, to sorepast works as recorded, and fu­ture Obs. 12. mercies as promised, to support the soule in an evill day. I saw. I have made the doctrine by Analogy look both ways, though the words of the Text look but one.

2. Gods dealing with his enemies, in the time of his Churches deliverance is of especiall consideration: I saw, &c.

3. The measuring out of Gods peoples portion fills Cushan with Affli­ction and Midian with trembling. Their terrors follow Gods mea­suring, v. 6.

4 The season of the Churches deliverance being come, Cushan and Mi­dian, opposing enemies, and superstitious revolters shall surely wax vaine and perish.

For the first, that faith gives a present, &c. the Apostle tels us, that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen: Heb. 11. 1.

1. Of things hoped for: it looks forward to the promises, and so [Page 27] gives the substance of them in present possession, so confirming our Minds and Hearts, that they may have a subsistance as it were within us, though not actually made out unto us. 2. It is the evi­dence of things not seene: it extends it selfe not only to things pro­mised, but taking for its Object the whole Word of God, it makes evident, and present, things that are past also. The faith commen­ded v. 3. is of things long since done, even the making of the things that are seene of the things that do not appeare. Abraham saw my day saith our Saviour, Joh. 8. 56. He saw it as Habakkuk the tents of Cushan in affliction. Faith made it present to him: All the Ages between him and his promised seed were as nothing to his keen-sighted faith. Hence the Apostle puts the mercies of the promise, all in one forme and rank as already wrought, though some of them were injoyed and some of them in this life cannot be. Rom. 8. 30. whom he hath justifyed, them he hath glorifyed: He hath done it for them al­ready, because he hath made them believe it, and that gives it a present subsistance in their spirits▪ And for forepast works, they are still mentioned by the Saints, as if they had bin done in their days, before their eyes. Elisha calls up to remembrance a former Miracle, to the effecting the Like, 2 Kin. 2. 14.

There be three things, in past, or future mercies, which faith makes present to the soule, giving in the subsistance of them, 1. their Love, 2. their Consolation, 3. their Use and Benefit.

1. The Love of them: the Love, that was in former works, and the Love that is in promised mercies, that faith drawes out, and really makes ours. The Love of every recorded deliverance, is gi­ven to us by faith. It looks into the Good-will, the Free-grace, the Loving-kindnesse of God, in every work that ever he did for his, and cryes, yet this is mine: this is the kernell of that blessing, and this is mine: for the same Good-will, the same kindnesse he hath towards me also. Were the same outward actings needfull, I should have them also. The Free-love of every mercy is Faiths proper Object. It makes all Joshuah's great victories, present to e­very one of us. The promise that had the Love and Grace in it which run through them all, is given him: Josh. 1. 5. I will be with thee, I will not faile thee nor forsake thee. Now the Apostle tells us, that the truth and love of this promise is ours, Heb. 13. 5. Faith may, doth assure it selfe, that what good-will soever, was in all the great mercies which Joshuah received upon that promise, is all ours. [Page 28] All the good-will and choyse Love of, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, is mine and thine, if we are believers. He that hath this present, hath all Joshuas victories present. The very glory of the Saints in Heaven is ours in the love of it. We enjoy that love, which gave them glory, and will Crowne us also in due time.

2. In their comforts and refreshments. Thou gavest Leviathan to be meate to the people in the Wildernesse, Psal. 14. They fed their souls full of the sweetnesse of that mercy, The destruction of their op­pressing tyrant: we chew the cud upon the blessings of former ages. Who hath not with joy delight and raysed affections, gone over the old preservations of the Church in former years? How doe's David run them over with admiration, closing every stop with, His mercy endureth for ever? Psal. 136. And for things to come, as yet in the promise only, whether generall to the whole Church, as the calling of the Jews, the comming in of the fulnesse of the Gentiles, the breaking out of light, beauty and glory upon the Churches and Saints, the confusion of Nations, not subjecting themselves to the standard of the Gospell, &c. or in particular, fur­ther assurance of love then presently enjoyed, neerer Communion with Father and Son, being with Christ, freed from misery and corruption, dwelling with God for ever, how do's Faith act over these and the like things in the heart, leaving a savour and re­lish of their sweetnesse continually upon the soule? O how sweet also are the things of the World to come unto poor Believers! Christ leads the soule by faith, not only into the Chambers of presently-enjoyed loves, but also into the foreprepared everlast­ing Mansions in his Fathers house. Thus it gives poore mortall creatures, a sweet relish of eternall joyes: brings Heaven into a Dungeon, glory into a prison, a crown into a cottage, Christ into a slaughter-house.

From the nature of Faith: Though it do not make the thing Reas. 1. believed to be, (the Act cannot create its own Object,) yet apply­ing it, it makes it the Believers. It is the bond of union between the soule and the thing promised. He that believes in Christ, by that believing receives Christ, Joh. 1. 12. he becomes his. It is a grace uniting its subject and object, the person believing, and the thing believed. There needs no ascending into Heaven or descending, the word of faith makes all things nigh, even within us. Some Rom. 10. 6, 7. [Page 29] glasses will present things of a great distance very neere: Faith looking through the glasse of the Gospell, makes the most remote mercies to be not onely in a close distance, but in Union. It is the subsistence of things hoped for, that which they have not in themselves, it gives them in the full assured minds of believers.

From the Intendment of all mercies: they are for every Reas. 2. believer. All things are theirs, world, life, death, things present, things to come, 1 Cor. 2. 22. All promises being made to every be­liever, and all mercies being the fruit of these promises, they must all belong to every believer. Now if all these should be kept from us at that distance wherein they fall in their accomplishment in respect of time, what would they availe us? God therefore hath appointed that they shall have a reall, though not a naturall pre­sence and subsistence at all times, to all believers.

See hence what use you may make of past mercies, deliverances, Vse. 1. blessings, with promised incommings: Carry them about you, by Faith, that you may use them at need: Where is the God of Eli­jah: Awake, awake oh Arme of the Lord, &c. I saw the Tents of Cushan: Take store mercies along with you in every Tryall. Use them, or they'l grow rusty, and not passe in heaven. Learne to eat Leviathan many yeares after his death. Forget not your pearles, scatter not away your treasure, bee rich in a heape of Mercies, Faith will make you so. The Love, the comfort, the benefit of all former and future blessings are yours, if you know how to use them. Oh how have we lost our mercies in every hedge and ditch! Have none of us skill to lay up the last eminent deliverance against a rainy day?

2. Learne how to make the poorest and most afflicted Condi­tion, comfortable and full of Joy. Store thy Cottage, thy sick bed, by faith, with all sorts of mercies. They are the richest fur­niture in the world. Gather up what is already cast out, and fetch the rest from heaven. Bring the first fruits of Glory into thy bo­some. See the Jewes called, the residue of Opposers subdued, the Gospel exalted, Christ enthroned, all thy sinnes pardoned, Corruption conquered, Glory enjoyed. Roll thy selfe in those Golden streames every day. Let Faith fetch in new and Old: An­cient mercies, for thy supportment, Everlasting mercies, for thy Consolation. He that hath Faith, hath all things.

2. Gods dealing with his enemies, in the season of his Churches de­liveranceObs. 13.[Page 30] is of especiall consideration; I saw the Tents, &c. so did the Israelites, beholding the Aegyptians dead on the shore. Exod. 14. 30, 31.

The Heathen raged, the Kingdomes were moved, he uttered his voyce, the earth melted, The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, selah: Come, behold the workes of the Lord, what desolati­ons he hath made on the earth: Psal. 46. 6, 7, 8. The enemies under­taking, ver. 6. Gods protection to his people, ver. 7. A view of the Adversaries desolation, ver. 8. are all orderly held out.

The Lord tells Moses, that he will harden the heart of Pharaoh, that he might shew his power, to this very end, that it might be considered, and told to one another, Exod. 10. 2, 3.

How many Psalmes have wee that are taken up in setting forth Gods breaking, yoking, befooling, terrifying his Adversaries at such a season?

The remembrance of the slaughter of the first borne of Egypt, was an ingredient in the chiefest Ordinance the Antient Church enjoyed, Exod. 14.

Much of the greatnesse and intensenesse of his love to his own, Reas. 1 is seene in his Enemies ruine. Isa. 43. 3, 4. I gave Egypt for thy ran­some, Ethiopia and Seba for thee, since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I loved thee, theresore I will give men for thee, and people for thy life. When God gives such mighty King­domes for a small handfull, it appeares they are precious to him. Whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake, Isa. 54. 15. When God will maintaine a quarrell with all the world, sweare that he will never have peace with Ameleck, untill he be consumed, breake Nations, Kings and Kingdomes, stretch out his hand in Judgement round about, and all to save, preserve, prosper, protect, a small handfull, surely he hath endeared Affections for them. In the dayes wherein we live, can we look, and see, wise men befooled, mighty Warriours vanquished, men of might become as Chil­dren, their persons slaine, and trodden downe in the field, can wee but cry? Lord, what are we, and what is our house that thou shouldest doe such things for us? A serious view of what God hath done in this Nation of late, what Armies he hath destroyed, what strong holds demolished, what proud haughty spirits de­feated, what Consultations made vaine, is enough to make us admire the riches of his love all our dayes. Wee may know what [Page 31] esteeme a man sets upon a Jewell by the price he gives for it. Sure­ly God values them, for whom he hath given, the Honours, the parts, the polities, the lives, of so many tall Cedars, as of late he hath done. The loving kindnes of God to his Church is seene, as in a glasse, in the bloud of their persecutors.

The manifestation of Gods Soveraignty, power, and soveraign Reas. 2. Justice, is as deare to him as the manifestation of his mercy. The properties he layes out in destruction, are equally glorious, with those he laies out in preservation. In the proclamation of his glo­rious name he omits them not: Exod. 34. 6, 7. In these he trium­pheth gloriously when he hath overthrowne the horse and his ri­der in the sea, Exod. 15.

Let not our eyes in the late deliverance bee alwayes on the light Ʋse. side of the worke, our owne Mercies: the darke side of Terror and Judgement is not without its glory. The Folly that was in their Counsells, the amazement that was in their Armies, The tremb­ling that accompanied all their undertakings, the Tympanous products of all their Indeavours, doe all cry out Digitus Dei est hic. Had not God shewed infinite wisedome, they had not beene so a­bundantly foolish; Had not he been Infinite in power, the many thousands of Enemies had not been so weake.

In the late engagement in this Country, when God stirred us up, with some others in these parts, to make some opposition to the Enemy gathering at Chelmsford, what were thinke you the workings of Gods providences against them? How came it to passe that we were not swallowed up by them? for

1. They were desirous to ruine us: If we may judge their Desires to answer their Intetest, or their expressions, with the Language of their friends round about us to Answer their Desires.

2. They were able to doe it. They had from the beginning and so all along, neere as many thousands, as wee had hundreds, of them very many old experienced souldiers, with us not three men, that had ever seene any fighting.

3. They were resolved to doe it. VVitnesse their owne Confessions, and frequent Declarations of their purposes, whilest the businesse was in Agitation.

4. They were provoked to it. The first and onely considerable op­position being made unto them in this place, and thereby first their Assistance from Colchester hindred, which how much they va­lued, [Page 32] witnesse the senselesse Letter they would have forced the Committee to subscribe, to perswade us not to disturbe their Levies there. Secondly, suppressed and discouraged all those affe­cted to them and their designes in these parts of the County, re­straining some, disarming others, Awing all. Thirdly, hastning the coming of the Army, lest their friends should suffer. Fourthly, incouraging their coming, by declaring that they had friends here, by which and the like they were abundantly provoked.

5. That they were also invited to it, though by persons somewhat inconsiderable, with promises of a full party of friends to assist them, which they might have had, and a rich Booty from their Ene­mies to support them, which they might have found, is too apparent.

Now being thus advantaged, thus incouraged, thus provoked, and Gen. 20. 6. Psal 76. 10. resolved, why did they not attempt it, why did they not accomplish their Desires? Is it not worth the while to consider how they were restrained? Was not much of Gods wisedom seen in mixing a spirit of giddinesse and errror in the middest of them, that they knew not well how to determine, nor at all to execute their Determina­tions? Was not his power seene in causing experienced souldiers as they were, with their multitudes, to be afraid of a poore hand­full of unskillfull men, running together because they were a­fraid to abide in their houses? VVas not his Justice exalted, in kee­ping them onely for the pit which they had digged for others? Doubtlesse the hand of God was lifted up. O that wee could all learne Righteousnesse, peculiarly amongst ourselves of this place: Is there nothing of God to be discerned, in the vexations, birth­lesse Consultations, and devices of our Observers? Nothing of power in their restraint? Nothing of wisdome in the selfe-punish­ment of their anxious thoughts? Nothing of Goodnesse that af­ter so long waiting for Advantage, they begin themselves to think, that neither Divination nor Inchantment will prevaile?

3. The measuring out of Gods peoples portion fills Cushan with Affliction, and Midian with trembling. Their eye is evill, because God is good. Obser. 14. Israel's increase is Pharaoh's trouble, Exod. 1. 10. When Nehemiah comes to build the walls of Jerusalem, it grieved the Enemy ex­ceedingly, that one was come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. Neh. 4. 10. This is the season of that dispensation which you have mentioned, Isaiah 65. 13, 14, 15.

Thus saith the Lord, behold my servauts shall eat, but yee shall bee [Page 33] hungry, behold my servants shall drink but yee shall be thirsty, behold my servants shall rejoyse, but yee shall be ashamed: Behold my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but yee shall cry for sorrow of heart, and houle for vexation of spirit. And yee shall &c.

The Reasons of this are taken, 1 from their envy, 2 from their Reason carnall feare, the two principles whereby they are acted in refe­rence to the Saints of God.

1. Their envy: Quisfacile po­test quale sit hoc malum verbis exprimere, quo invidus odio ho­minis, persequi­tur divinū mu­nus in homine: Pros. vit cont. Invidia est tris­titia de bon [...] proximi prout proprium ma­lum aestimatur, & est diminu­tivum proprii boni. Aqu. 22. ae. q. 36. A. 1. c. They have a devouring envy at them, which at length shall shame them and consume them, Isa. 26. 11. They are of their Father the Devill, and he (through envy) was a murderer from the beginning. Joh. 8. 44. The portion God measureth out unto his people is in distinguishing mercies, differencing blessings: in such things as the world hath not, giveth not. Now this is that, which envy takes for its proper Object. That others should have enjoy­ments above them, beyond them, this envious men cannot beare. God accepts Abell, not Cain; presently Cain is wrath and his coun­tenance falls, Gen. 4. 8. Jacob gets the blessing, and this fills the heart of Esau, with murderous revenge, Gen. 27. 41. Upon all Gods appea­rances with the Apostles, how were the Jews cut to the heart, vexed, perplexed? God gives distinguishing mercies to his people, such protections, such deliverances, this Cushan and Midian cannot bear.

2. Their carnall fear: They have all of them that conclusion in their brests, which Haman's wisemen and wife made to him, H [...]st. 6. 13. If they begin to fall before the seed of the Jews, utter ruine will follow. When God begins to own his people as they in the Acts, chap. 5. v. 24. they doubt whither this will grow. Their hearts tell them secretly they are usurpers of all they have, and when God ownes any, they instantly fear lest for their sakes they should be called to account. When a distinction begins to be made, in Ordi­nances, priviledges, deliverances, protections, evidently given to some peculiar ones, they tremble within that they are set apart for no good. This picking and chusing of men by the Lord Psal. 4. 3. they cannot bear with. Such mighty works attend the Israelites, what thinkes Midian will be the end of this? It is true their pride calls on them to act openly more of their malice then their fear: but yet this lies at the bottome: like a boasting Atheists nightly thoughts. The chiefe Priests and Pharisees, having gotten the A­postles Noctu dubitant. before them, what big words they use to countenance the businesse? who gave you this power? Acts 4. 7. But when they are [Page 34] by themselves they cry, what shall we do? and whereunto will this grow? This lies at the bottome with many at this day, though they boast and lift up their mouthes to Heaven, their hearts do tremble as an Aspen leafe.

Learn not to be troubled, at the great tumultuating, which is a­mongst Vse. many against the wayes of God at this day. God is measur­ing out his childrens portion, giving them their bread in season, viewing for them the lot of their inheritance. Men of the world, profane Cushanites, superstitious apostaticall Midianites, will not, cannot be quiet. Vexed they are, envious and afraid, and will act according to those principles. Cushanites see Religion owned, Mi­dianites theirs disclaimed, and both are alike provoked. The Lord convert them, or rebuk them, or the one will have the armies, the other their wiles. Only judge not their hearts by the outward appearance always: they seeme gallant to you, indeed they are frighted, galled, vexed. I have seen a galled horse under dressing, leap and curvet, as though it had bin out of metall and spirit, when in­deed it was paine and smart that made him do it. They pretend to despise us when they envy us. They look like contemners, but are tremblers: be not troubled at their outward appearance, they have inward anguish; they bite others, but are lashed themselves.

4. The season of the Churches deliverance being come, Cushan and Mi­dian Obser. 15. must wax vaine and perish. That there is such a season I told you before. When 430 years are expired, Aegypt must be destoyed, the Amorites rooted out, and all the Nations round made to tremble. When 70 years of captivity expire, Babylon must be ruin­ed, and the Caldean Monarchy quite wasted, that the Jews may re­turne. The Church being to be delivered, Haman must be hanged. This you have fully set out, Revel. 6. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. It is the fall of heathenish tyranny, by the prevailing of the Gospell, which you have there described. Rome and Constantinople, Pope and Turk, are preserved, for a day and an houre, wherein they shall fall and be no more. If the season of enjoying Ordinances and privileges, be come to this Nation, that the Tabernacle of God, will be here a­mongst men, wo be to Cushanites, wo be to Midianites, open op­posers and secret Apostates. They shall not be able to be quiet, nor to prevaile. God will not let them rest, nor obtain their purposes: the Story of Haman must be acted over againe; their hearts shall be stirred up to their own ruin. Revel. 20. 8. this is the frame of pe­rishing Babylonians, in the day of Sions-restauration.

[Page 35] The Reasons are, 1. because at the deliverance of his people God will plead with their enemies for their oppressions. It is the day of Reas. 1. the Lords vengeance, the yeare of Recompences for the controversy of Sion, Isa. 34. 8. It is the vengeance of the Lord and his Temple that lights upon them, in that day. Jerem. 50. 28. The violence done to me and my flesh, be upon Babylon shall the inhabitant of Zion say, and my blood upon the inhabitants of Caldea shall Jerusalem say, Jerem. 51. 35. in this day great Babylon must come into Remembrance, Rev. 16. 19, 20.

2. The discerning Triall, that shall, and doth come along with the Churches Vindication, will cut off all superfluous false pro­fessors, so that they also shall perish: Mala. 3. 2, 3. Christ comes with a fan to send away the chaffe in the wings of the wind. Have we not seen this end of many Zelots?

3. The Amorites live in Canaan, and must be removed. Oppressors, and Hypocrites, enjoy many rights of the Church, which must be taken from them: Rome and her adherents, shall not have so much left, as the Name or title, appearance or shew of a Church. The out­ward Court they have troden down and defiled, shall be quite left out, in the measuring of the Temple, Revel. 11.

Bring this Observation home to the first from this Verse, and it Ʋse will give you the use of it: proceed we to the next Verse.

Was the Lord displeased against the Rivers? was thine anger against Verse 8. the Rivers? was thy wrath against the Sea, that thou diddest ride upon thy Horses and thy Chariots of salvation?

Was the Lord displeased [...] kindled, did he burne? that is in wrath: Heat is a great ingredient in the commotion of Anger, in us, here alluded to, or because the effects of Anger are so often com­pared to fire. Against the Rivers or Flouds? Again was thine Anger? [...] thy Nose or Face, or thine anger, [...] signifies both: the Caetera licet abscondere & in abdito alere; ira se profert et in faciem exit. Senec. de ira. Face is the seate of angers appearance: fury comes up into the Face. Was thine anger? thy troubling anger (so the word) against the Sea? the red Sea, through which thy people passed. That thou diddest ride upon thy horses, thy Chariots salvation, or thy Chariots were sal­vation, currus salutares, thy safety-bringing Charets.

The words are an admiring expostulation, about the mighty works of the Lord, for his people, upon the Sea, Rivers and inani­mate creatures.

1. The Rivers: Jordan and its driving back is doubtlesse espe­cially intended. The Lord shewed his power, in disturbing that [Page 36] antient River in his course, and making his streames run back­ward. The story of it you have Josh. 3. 15, 16. The people being to enter into Canaan, the Lord divides the waters of that River, making them beneath to sinke away, and those above to stand on an heap. This the Prophet magnifyes, Psa. 114. 5. What aylest thou O Jordan that thou wast driven back? what marvellous, powerfull disturbing thing is happened to thee, that contrary to thy antient naturall course, thy streames should be frighted, and run back to the springs from whence they came?

2. The Sea: that is the Red Sea, which in like manner was divi­ded, Exod. 14. 21. which the Prophet also admires in the forecited Psalme: the Sea saw it and fled: what ayledst thou, O thou Sea that thou fledst? what strong mighty impression of power was on thee, that the multitudes of thy waters should be parted, and thy cha­nell discovered dry to the bottome?

That thou diddest ride upon thy horses and thy chariots of salvation. This you have againe v. 15. thou diddest▪ walke through the Sea with thine horses. These were those Clouds and Windes which the Lord sent before the Izraelites, to the Sea and Jordan, to drive them back. He maketh the cloudes his chariots, and walketh upon the wings of the wind Psal. 104. 3. so Psal. 18. 11. hee did fly upon the wings of the Wind.

After the manner of men, God is represented as a mighty Con­querour, riding before his armies and making way for them. The Power and Majesty of God, was with, and upon those clouds and winds, which went before his people, to part those mighty waters, that they might passe dry: And therefore they are called his saving chariots, because by them his people were delivered.

Or by horses and chariots here, you may understand the Angels, who are the Host of God. Psal. 68. 17. The chariots of God are twenty thousands, even thousands of Angels, They have appeared as horses and chariots of fire, 2 Kings 6. 17. And their Ministry no doubt the Lord used in these mighty works of drying Rivers, and dividing Seas. Either way, the glorious Power and Majesty of God, in his delivering instruments, is set forth.

Thus the words severally, now joyntly.

This admiring Interrogation includes a Negation. Was the Lord kindled against the Rivers, was thy face against the Rivers, &c. was it that the deep had offended the most high, that by thine Angels, [Page 37] winds and clouds, thou diddest so disturbe the flouds in their an­tient course, and madest naked their hidden channells, untill the hoary deep cryed out for feare, and lifted up his aged hands to the Almighty as it were for pity, v. 10? No surely, no such thing; All those keep the order by thee unto them appointed; it was all for the salvation and deliverance of thy people. God was not angry with Jordan when he drove it back, nor with the Sea when he divided it, but all was effected for Israels deliverance.

The very senselesse creatures, are as it were sensible of the wrath and Obser. 16. power of the Almighty. Effects of anger being in and upon the deep, he utters his voyce and lifts up his hands on high, v. 10.

God often in the Scripture sets forth his power and Majesty, by the trembling of Heaven, and the shaking of the earth, the vanish­ing of Mountaines, and the bowing of perpetuall hills, the pro­fessed humble subjection of the most eminent parts of the Crea­tion. The Sea shall fly as afraid, the Rocks as weake rend and crumble, the Heavens be darkened, the Mountaines skip like Rams, and the little hills like young sheep, Psal. 114. 4.

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The Heavens shook, the Earth dropped at the presence of God, Psal. 68. 8. The Almighty Creator, holds the whole frame of the building in his own hand, and makes what portion he pleaseth, and when he pleaseth, to tremble, consume and vanish before him. Though many things are not capable of sense and reason, yet he will make them do such things as Sense and Reason should prompt the whole subjected Creation unto, to teach that part their duty who were indued therewith. A servant is beat, to make a child learne his duty.

See hence the stoutnesse of sinfull hearts. More stubborne then Ʋse. the Mountaines, more flinty then the Rocks, more senselesse then the great deep. Friend art thou stronger then Horeb, yet that tremb­led at the presence of this mighty God, whom it never had pro­voked? Are thy lusts like the streames of Jordan, yet they runne back from his Chariots of salvation? Are thy corruptions more firmely seated on thy soule, then the Mountaines on their Bases, [Page 38] yet they leaped like frighted sheepe, before that God against whom they had not sinned: And wilt thou, a small handfull of sinfull dust, that hast ten thousand times provoked the eyes of his glory, not tremble before him, comming on his horses and Chariots of salvation, his mighty Workes and powerfull Word? Shall a Lyon tremble and thou not afraid, who art ready to tremble with a thought of that poore creature? Shall the Heavens bow, the deepe begge for mercy, and thou be senselesse? Shall all crea­tures quake for the sin of man, and sinfull man be secure? know you not that the time is comming wherein such men will desire the trembling Rockes, to be a covert to their more affrighted soules?

No creatures, Seas nor Flouds, greater or lesser Waters, shall be able Obs. 17. to obstruct or hinder Gods peoples Deliverance, when he hath undertaken it. Is the Sea against them? it shall be parted; Is Jordan in the way? it shall be driven back; both Sea and Jordan shall tremble before him: Euphrates shall be dried up to give the Kings of the East a passage, Revel. 16. 12.

Waters in the Scriptures are sometimes afflictions, sometimes people and Nations. Be they Seas, Kinges and Princes, or be they Rivers, inferior persons, they shall not be able to oppose. God has decked his House and made it glorious with the spoyles of all op­posers. There you have the spoyles of Pharaoh, gathered up on the shore of the Red-Sea, and dedicated in the House of God. Exod. 15. There you have all the armour of Senacheribs mighty host with the rest of their spoyles, hung up to shew. 2 Ch. 32. 21. There you have the glory and throne and dominion of Nebuchadnezzar himselfe being turned into a Beast. Dan. 4. 33. There you shall have the carcasses of Gog and Magog with all their mighty hosts for comming to encampe against the City of God. Ezek. 39. There you have the Imperiall Robes of Euseb. vit. Con. Const. Orat Dioclesian and his companion abdicating themselves from the Empire for very madnesse that they could not prevaile against the Church. Kings of armies shall fly apace and shee that taries at home shall divide the spoyle, Psal▪ 68. 12. All opposers though Nations and Kingdomes shall perish and be utterly destroyed, Isa. 60. 12. Revel. 19. 18.

God will not exalt any creature unto a pitch of opposition to Reas. himselfe, or to stand▪ in the way of his workings. The very end of all things in their severall stations, is to be serviceable to his [Page 39] purposes towards his Own. Obedience in senslesse Creatures, is naturall, even against the course of nature in the season of delive­rance. Sun stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moone in the valley of Ajalon, Josh. 10. 12. Who art thou, O great Mountaine? Before Zerubbabel, thou shalt become a plaine, Zech. 4. 7. The most Moun­tainous opposers shall be levelled, when the Spirit of God sets in for that purpose. There is a strength in every promise and in­gagement of God unto his people, that is able to carry the whole frame of Heaven and Earth before it. If they can believe, all things are possible to them that believe. When the Decree is to bring forth, the fruit of the promise, it will overturne Empires, destroy Nations, divide Seas, ruine Armies, open Prisons, break Chaines and Fetters, and beare down all before it. As the winde shut up in the Earth, will shake the pillars as it were of its mighty body, but it will find or make a passage. The least promise of deliverance, if the season thereof be come, though it were shut up under strong and mighty powers, crafty counsells, dungeons and prisons, like the doores and lasting barres of the Earth, the truth and power of God shall make them all to tremble, and give birth to his peoples deliverance.

Have we seene nothing of this in our days? No Seas divided? Vse. 1. no Jordans driven back? no Mountaines revelled? no Hills made to tremble? whence then was the late confusion of Armies? cast­ing down of mighty ones, reviving of Dead bones, opening of prison-doores, bringing out the captive appointed to be slaine? Is it not from hence, that nothing can stand against the breaking­out of a promise, in its appointed season? was the Lord displea­sed with the Rivers? was his Anger against the Walls and Houses, that he rode upon his Horses and Chariots of Salva­tion?

Let Faith be strengthened in an evill time. Poore distressed Ʋse 2. soule all the difficulty of thy deliverance lies in thine own bo­some. If the streames of thy unbeliefe within, be not stronger then all Seas of opposition without, all will be easy. O learne to stand still with quietnesse, between an Host of Aegyptians, and a raging Sea, to see the salvation of God. Be quiet in prison, between your friends Bullets, and your enemies Swords, God can, God will make a way. If it were not more hard with us to believe wonders, then it is to the promise to effect wonders for [Page 40] us, they would be no wonders, so dayly, so continually would they be wrought.

God can make use of any of his creatures to be chariots of Salvation. Obs. 18. This is the other side of that Doctrine which we gathered from v. 5. Winds and Clouds shall obey him. [...] Arist. Hist Ani­ma. 6. pellant nidis pullos sicut & Corvi. Plin. Nat. Hist. Ravens shall feed Elijah that will not feed their own young. The Sea shall open for Israel, and returne upon the Egyptians. And this both in an Ordinary way as Hos. 2. 21, 22. and in an extraordinary way as before. So many creatures as God hath made so many instru­ments of good hath he for his people: this is further confirm­ed, v. 9.

Thy Bow was made quite naked, according to the Oathes of the tribes, Verse 9. thy word: Sela: thou diddest cleave the earth with Rivers.

With nakednesse thy Bow was made naked. The rest is Elepticall and well supplyed in the Translation.

The Verse hath two parts

  • 1. A generall proposition, Thy Bow was made, &c.
  • 2. A particular confirmation of that proposition by instance, Thou diddest cleave the earth with Rivers.

The proposition holds out two things:

  • 1. What God did, he made his Bow quite naked.
  • 2. The Rule he proceeded by herein, according to the oaths of the Tribes, even his word.

The assertion of this Verse, is not of some particular act, or work, as the former, but a generall head or fountaine of those particular works, which are ennumerated in the following Verses.

1. A Bow is a weapon of War, an instrument of death, and be­ing ascribed to God after the manner of men, holds out, his strength, power, might, and efficacy to do what ever he pleaseth. And this is said to be quite naked: when a man goes about to use his Bow, he pulls it out of his Quiver, and so makes it naked. The exercising of Gods Power, is the making naked of his Bow. This he did in all those wonders, wherein he stretched out his hand, in bringing his people into the promised Land, here pointed at. And it is said that with nakednesse it was made naked, because of those very high dispensations and manifesta­tions of his Almighty Power. This is the making naked of his Bow.

[Page 41] 2. For the Rule of this, it is the Oathes of the Tribes, or as after­ward SERM. 2. his word. The Oathes of the Tribes, that is the Oaths made to them: the Word he stood ingaged to them in. The promise God made by Oath unto Abraham, that he would give him the Land of Canaan, for an inheritance, even to him, and his poste­rity, Gen. 12. 7, 13, 14, 15. is here intimated. This promise was often renewed to him and the following Patriarches. Hence it is called Oathes, though but the same promise often renewed: And it had the nature of an Oath, because it was made a Covenant. Now it was all for the benefit of the severall Tribes, in respect of actuall possession, and was lastly renewed to them, Exod. 3. 17. Hence called the Oaths of the Tribes: not which they sware to the Lord, but which the Lord sware to them. So afterwards it is called his word. Thy word. This then is the purport of this ge­nerall proposition.

O Lord according as thou promisedst, and ingagedst thy selfe by Covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with their posterity, that thou wouldest give them the Land of Canaan to be theirs for an inheritance, so by the dispensation of thy mighty power, thou hast fully accomplished it: and this he layeth down for the supportment of faith in a time of trouble.

The words would afford many observations, I shall insist only on one.

The Lord will certainely make good all his promises, and ingagements, Obser. 19. to his people, though it cost him the making of his Bow quite naked, the manifestation of his power in the utmost dispensations thereof. Gods workings, are squared to his ingagements. This is still the close of all gratious issues of providence, God hath done all according as be promised. Josh. 22. 4. 2 Sam. 7. 21. He brought out his people of old, with a mighty hand, with temptations, signes and wonders, and a stretched out arme, and all, because he would keepe the Oath which he had sworne, and the ingagement which he had made to their Fathers, Deut. 7. 8. What obstacles soever may lie in the way he hath done it, he will do it. Take one instance, particular places are too many to be insisted on. It was the purpose of his heart, to bring his Elect home to himselfe, from their forlorne lost condition. This he engageth himselfe to do, Gen. 3. 15. assuring Adam of a recovery from the misery he was involved in by Sa­tans prevalency. This surely is no easy work. If the Lord will [Page 42] have it done, he must lay out all his Attributes in the demonstra­tion of them to the uttermost. His wisdome and power must bow their shoulders (as it were) in Christ unto it: he was the power of God and the wisdome of God. His ingaged Love must be carried a­long 1 Cor. 1. 24. through so many secret mysterious marvels, as the Angels themselves desire to looke into, and shall for ever adore. Though 1 Pet. 1. 12. the effecting of it, required that which man could not do, and God could not suffer, yet his wisedome will find out a way, that he shall both do it, and suffer it, who is both God and Man. To make good his engagement to his elect, he spared not his onely Son: and in him were hid, and by him layd out, all the treasures Col. 2. 3. of wisdom and knowledge.

Now this is a president, of Gods proceeding in all other en­gagements whatsoever. What ever it cost him, he will spare no­thing to make them good to the uttermost. He is our Rock and his worke is perfect. A good man, if he want not power, will go through with his serious promises though he be ingaged to his own hurt, Psal. 15. 4. The power of the mighty God is service­able to his will to the utmost. He cannot will, what he cannot do. His will and power are essentially the same. And his power shall not be wanting to execute what his goodnesse hath moved him to engage unto, for his own glory.

Deut. 32. 4. Hee is the rock and his worke is perfect, all his wayes Reas. 1. are judgement, a God of truth, and without iniquity. Here are many Attributes of God to make good this one thing, that his worke is perfect. His [...], selfe-sufficiency, Perfection, Righte­ousnesse. I will pitch on One, He is a God of Truth. So he is a­gaine called Psal. 31. 5. and in other places. The Truth of God in his promises and engagements, requires an accomplishment of them what ever it cost, what power soever is required thereunto. This the Saints make their bottome to seeke it. Remember thy lo­ving kindnesse, which thou swarest in thy Truth, Psal. 89. 4. It is im­possible but that should come to passe which thou hast sworne in thy Truth. No stronger plea, then, Remember the word where­in thou hast caused thy servants to put their trust. Jacob sayes he is lesse then all the Mercy and all the Truth of God, Gen. 32. 10. He sees Gods Truth in all his Mercy, by causing all things to come to passe, which he had promised him. It is true, some particular promises have their conditions, whose truth consists not in the [Page 43] Relation between the word, and the thing, unlesse the conditi­on intercede. But the great condition under the Gospell, being only the good of them, to whom any ingagement is made, we Rom 8. 28. may positively lay down, that Gods Truth requires the Accom­plishment of every engagement for his peoples good. It is nei­ther Mountaine nor Hill, King, Kingdome nor Nation, Hell nor Mat. 16. 18. Mortality, nor all combined, that can stand in the way to hin­der it

His people stand in need of all, that God hath engaged him­selfe Reas. 2. to them for. Gods promises are the just measure of his peoples wants. Whatever he hath promised, that his people do absolutely want. And whatsoever they want, that he hath pro­mised. Our Wants, and his promises are every way commensurate. If thou knowest not, what thou standest in need of, search the Promises and see. What ever God hath said he will do for thee, that thou hast absolute need should be done. Or if thou art not so well acquainted with the promises, search thine own wants, what thou standest absolutely in need of for thy good, that as­suredly God hath promised. If then this be the case of engage­ments, they shall all be made good. Thinke you, will God let his people want that which they have absolute necessity of? By absolute necessity I meane such as is indispensible, as to their pre­sent estate and occasions. That may be of necessity in one Gene­ration, which is not in another: according to the severall im­ployments we are called to. Does God call forth his Saints, to execute vengeance upon the Heathen, and punishments upon the people, to bind their Kings with chaines, and their Nobles with fetters of Iron, to execute upon them the judgement written, as Psal. 149. 7, 8, 9? doth he bring them forth to burne the whore, to fight with the Revel. 17. 14. Beast and overcome him, and his followers? it is of indispens­able necessity, that he give them glorious assistance in their un­dertakings. They shall be assisted, protected, carried on, though it cost him the making of his Bow quite naked. According to the severall conditions he calls them to, the severall issues of Providence, which he will have them serve in, so want they his Appearance, in them, with them, for them, and it shall be pre­sent. Let them be assured they are in his way, and then though some prove false and treacherous, some base and cowardly, though many combine and Associate themselves against them, [Page 44] in many places, in all places, though whole Kingdomes and mighty Armies appeare for their ruine, be they reviled and clamoured, by all round about them, all is one, Help they need, and help they shall have, or God will make his Bow quite naked.

This day is this Doctrine fulfilled before us. Gods Bow made quite naked according to his Word. We are lesse then all the Ʋse. Truth hee hath shewed unto us. Though great working and mighty power hath been required, such as he hath not shewen in our dayes, nor in the dayes of our Fathers, yet the Lord hath not stood at it, for his words sake, wherein he hath made us put our trust. I speake of the Generall mercies we have received. The surrender of Colchester the particular celebrated this day, though marching in the Reare for time, is for the weight in the Van. A mercy of the first magnitude. Essex hath seene more power, in a three moneths recovery, then in the protection of six years.

That the mouths of men are stopped, and their faces filled with shame, who made it their trade to revile and threaten the Saints of God, that the adverse strength, which hath lien hid these seven years, should be drawn forth united and broken to pieces; that the people of God, divided, and mutually exasperated through their abuse of peace, should by the sword of a common enemy, and the help of a common friend, have their wrath abated, their counsells united, and their persons set in a hopefull way, of clo­sing or forbearance; that God by their owne counsells should shut up men collected from su dry parts to ruine others, in a City with Gates and Walls for their own ruine; that they should deny peace tendred upon such conditions, because of the exi­gencies of the time, as might have left them power, as well as will for a further mischiefe; that such salvation should go forth in other parts, as that the proceedings here, should not be inter­rupted; that the bitter service which men here underwent, should ever and anon be sweetned with refreshing tidings from other places, to keepe up theie spirits in wet, watching, cold and losse of bloud; All these I say, and sundry others, such like things as these, are the Lords doing, and marvellous in our eyes. Espe­cially let us Remember how in three things the Lord made his Bow quite naked in this late deliverance.

  • 1. In leavening the counsells of the enemy with their own folly.
  • [Page 45] 2. In ordering all events to his Owne prayse.
  • 3. By controlling with his mighty power the issue of all undertak­ings.

1. In leavening their counsels with their own folly. Quod homines peccant eorum est: quod peccan­do hoc velillud agant ex virtu­te Dei est, tene­bras prout visū est dividentis. August. de praed. Oportet haereses esse, sed tamen non ideo bonum, haereses, quia eas esse oporte­bat: quasi non et malum oportue­rit esse, nam et dominum teadi oportebat, sedvae traditori. Ter­tul. praef. ad. Haer. Cen. 45. 7. Gen. 50. 20. Acts 4. 27, 28. Gods Power and the efficacy of his providence, is not more clearely manifest­ed in any thing then in his effectuall working in the debates, ad­vises, consultations and Reasonings of his Enemies: compassing his ends by their Inventions. When God is in none of the thoughts of men by his feare, he is in them all by his providence. The Sun is operative with his heate, where he reacheth not with his light, and hath an influence on pretious Mineralls, in the depths and darke bottomes of Rocks and Mountaines. The all­peircing providence of God, dives into the deepe counsells of the Hearts of the sons of men, and brings out pretious Gold from thence, where the gratious light of his countenance, shines not at all. Men freely advise, debate, use and improve their own Reasons, Wisdome, Interests, not once casting an eye to the Almighty, and yet all this while do his work, more then their own. All the coun­sellings, plottings, of Josephs Brethren, all the transactions of the Jewes, Herod, and Filate about the death of Christ, with other the like instances abundantly prove it. Take a few instances, wherein God made his Bow quite naked in the counsells of his and our enemies.

In generall they consult to take Armes, wherein God had fully appeared against them, when in all probability their work would have bin done without. Had they not fought, by this time they had bin conquerers. One halfe years peace more, which we desired on any termes, & they would on no termes beare, in all likely hood had set them where they would be. Their work went on, as if they had hired the Kingdome, to serve them in catching weather. What with some mens folly, others treachery, all our divisions, had not their own counsells set them on fighting, I think we should suddainly have chosen them, and theirs, to be umpires of our quarrels. God saw when it was time to deale with them. In their undertaking in our own County, I could give sundry instances, how God mixed a perverse spirit of folly and error in all their counsels. A part of the Magistracy of the County is seized on: therein their intentions towards the residue clearly discovered, yet not any attempt made to secure them, which they might easily have accomplished, al­though [Page 46] they could not but suppose, that there were some gentle­men of publick and active spirits left, that would be industrious in opposition unto them. Was not the Lord in their counsells also, when they suffered a small inconsiderable party in a little Village within a few miles of them, to grow into such a body as at length they durst not attempt, when they might have broken their whole indeavour with halfe an hundred of men? Doubtlesse of innumerable such things as these, we may say with the Pro­phet, The Princes of Zoan are become fooles, the Princes of Noph are deceived, they have seduced the people, even they that are the stay of their Tribes, the Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the middest of them, they have caused the people to erre in every worke, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit. Isa. 19. 13, 14. Doubtlesse the wrath of man shall praise the Lord, and the remainder of it will he restraine.

2. In ordering all events to his own praise. The Timing of the enemies eruptions in severall places, is that which fills all hearts with wonder and all mouths with discourse in these dayes. From the first to the last, they had their season. Had they come together, to the Eyes of flesh, the whole Nation had bin swallowed up in that Deluge. In particular, let Essex take notice of the goodnesse of God; The high thoughts and threats of men, which made us for divers weeks feare a Massacre, were not suffered to break out into open hostility, untill the very next day after their strength was broken, in the Neighbour Country of Kent. As if the Lord should have said, I have had you in a chaine all this while: though you have shewed your teeth, you have not devoured: now go out of my chaine, I have a net ready for you. For the Armies comming to our Assistance, I cannot see how we needed them many dayes sooner, or could have wanted them one day longer. Further these homebred eruptions were timely seasoned, to rouse, the discontented Souldiery, and divided Nation, to be rea­dy to resist the Scottish invasion. God also being magnifyed in this, that in this sweet disposall of events, unto his glory, the counsells of many of those, in whom we thought we might con­fide, run totally crosse to the appearance of God in his provi­dence.

What shall wee say to these things, If the Lord be for us, who shall be against us? All these things come forth from the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderfull in couns [...]ll, and excellent in Operation. Isa. 28. 29. Who so [Page 47] is wise will ponder them, and they shall understand the loving kindnesse of the Lord.

3. In controlling mighty actions. I meane giving successe to his people in all their undertakings. The Commander in chief of all the forces in this Kingdome since his sitting down before Colche­ster, was proffered a passe to go beyond the Seas for his security. Whence is it, that he hath now the necks of his enemies, and hath given any of them their lives at their intreaty? greater Armies then this, have bin buried under lesser walles; did not the number of the besieged at first, exceed the number of the besiegers? were not their Advantages great? their skill in war amongst men of their own perswasion, famous and renowned? so that the sitting down before it, was judged an action, meete only for them, who could believe they should see the Bow of God, made quite naked. It had bin possible doubtlesse to Reasons eye, that many of those fictions, wherewith a faction in the great City fed themselves of the many Routings, Slaughters, and Destructions of the Army, might have bin true. Some of them I say, for some were as childish as Hellish. In briefe, they Associated themselves and were broken in peices, they Associated themselves and were broken in peices. High walls, Towring imaginations, lofty threats all brought down. So let all thine enemies perish O Lord, but let them that love him, be as the Sun when he goeth forth in his might, and let the Land have rest for many years, Judg. 5. 31.

This will discover unto us the bottome and rise of all Gods Ʋse 2. appearances for his people: even the ingaging of his own free Grace. He doth not make his Bow quite naked, according to their Deut: 7. 7, 8. deservings, but his own Word Not because they of themselves are better then others, but because he loves them more then others. Were Gods Assistances, suited to our walkings, they would be very uneven: but his good-will is constant so are our deliverances.

Be exhorted to Thankfulnesse, Not In beneficio reddendo plus animus quam census operatur, Ambs. offi. li 1. c. 32. Verball but Reall: not Ʋse 3. the exultation of carnall affections, but the savoury obedience of a sound mind. There are many ingredients in thanks giving: suit­able and seasonable obedience to Answer the Will of God in his mercies, is doubtlesse the crown of all. Looke then under the en­joyment of blessings, in generall, to close walking with God in the duties of the Covenant, and in particular, to the especiall work of this your generation, and you are in the way to be thankfull.

[Page 48] Be sedulously carefull to prevent that, which God hath mighti­ly decryed by our late mercies: viz. mutuall Animosities, strife, Vse. 4. Contention, and Violence, against one another, [...]. Iraenae. Epist. ad Vict. apud Euseb. lib. 5. cap. 23. [...] Clem▪ Ep. ad Cor. I meane of those that feare his Name. God hath interposed in our quarrells from Heaven. The language of our late deliverance is, be quiet lest a worse thing happen unto you. Our poor Brethren of Scotland, would not see the hatefulnesse of their animosities towards their friends, untill God suffered that very thing, to be the means to de­liver them up to the power of their enemies. The weapons they had formed, were used against themselves. Let us learne betimes to agree about our pasture lest the Wolves of the Wildernesse de­vour us. Persecution and Idolatry have ruined all the states of the Christian World.

Of the Assertion we have spoken hitherto. Come we now to the particular confirmation of it by instance.

Thou diddest cleave the earth with Rivers. Cleave the earth, or make channels in the Earth, for waters to flow in.

Another most eminent work of Almighty power is here set forth. Eminent in it self, and eminent in its typicall signification. And the same thing being twise done, hath a plurall expression; Rivers.

The bringing of streames of waters, from the Rock, for the thirsty people in the Wildernesse, is that which is here celebrated. Now this the Lord did twise.

1 Exod. 17 6. when the people were in Rephidem, in the first year after their comming from Aegypt, they fainted in their journies for want of water, and (according to the wonted custome of that Re­bellious people) complained, with murmuring. So they extorted all their mercies, and therefore they were attended with such sore judgements Whil'st the meat was in their mouths, the Plague was on their bones.

Mercies extorted by murmurings, unseasoned with loving kindnesse, though they may be Quailes in the mouth will be plagues in the belly. Let us take heed lest we r [...]pine the Almighty into a full Harvest, and leane soules. Get and keepe mercies in Gods way, or there is death in the Pot. Psl. 105. 15.

Forty years after this, when the first whole evill generation was consumed, the children who were risen up in their fathers stead, fall a murmuring for water in the wildernesse of Zin: and with a proffligacy of Rebellion wish they had bin consumed with others [Page 49] in the former Plagues: Num. 20. 4. Here also the Lord gives them water and that in abundance, v. 11. Now of this observe.

1. The places from whence this water marvellously issued: they were Rocks, that in all probability, never had spring from the Creation of the World: Further they are observed to be Rocks of flint, Psal. 114. 8. which turned the Rock into a standing water, the flint into a foun­taine of waters, So Deut. 8. 15. A Rock into a poole, and a flint into a stream, is much beyond Samsons Riddle, of sweetnes from the eater.

2. The abundance of waters that gushed out; waters to satisfy that whole Congregation, with all their cattell, consisting of some millions. Yea and not only they, but all the beasts of that wilder­nesse were refreshed thereby also. Isa. 43. 20. The beast of the field shall honour me, the Dragon and the Owle, because I give water in the wilder­nesse, Rivers in the Desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

(The very worst of the sons of men, Dragons and Owles fare the better Vir bonus Com­mune bonum. Gen. 39. 3. for Gods protecting providence towards his own.)

And all this in such abundance, that it was as plentifull as a Sea. He clave the Rock in the Wildernesse, and gave them drink as out of the great Deepe, he brought streames also out of the Rocks, and caused waters to run down like Rivers, Psal. 78. 15, 16. so also it is celebrated, Isa. 41. 18. Chap. 48. 21. Hos. 13. 5: and in many other places.

Great deliverances call for frequent Remembrances.

Thus were Rivers brought out of the Rocks: and with, or for these Rivers, God did cleave the earth, that is, either he provided channels for those streames to run in, that they might not be wast­ed on the surface of that sandy wildernesse, but Preserved for the use of his people; or else the streames were so great and strong, that they pierced the earth, and parted channells for themselves.

Great Rivers of water, brought out of flinty Rocks, running into pre­pared channells, to refresh a sinfull thirsty people, in a barren wildernesse, I think is a remarkeable mercy.

2. As it was eminent in it selfe, so likewise is it exalted in its ty­picall concernment. Is there nothing but flints in this Rock? no­thing but water in these streames? nothing but the Rod of Moses in the blowes given to it? Did the people receive no other refresh­ment, but only in respect of their bodily thirst? yes saith the A­postle, They drank of that spirituall Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ, 1 Cor. 10. 4. Was not this Rock, a signe of that Rock of Ages on which the Church is built? Mat. 16. 18. Did not [Page 50] Moses smiting, hold out his being smitten with the Rod of God, Isa. 53. 4, 5? was not the powring out of these plentifull streames, as the powring out of his pretious Blood, in a Sea of mercy, abun­dantly sufficient to refresh the whole fainting Church in the wil­dernesse? latet Christus in petra, here is Christ in this Rock. Had Rome had wisdom to build on this Rock, though she had not had an in­fallibility, as she vainly now pretends, she might have had an infailla­bility (if I may so speak) yea she had never quite failed. Give me leave to take a few observations from hence: as

1. Sinners must be brought to great extremities, to make them desire the Bloud of Jesus. Weary and thirsty, before rock-water come. Thirst is a continually galling pressure. When a soule gaspeth like a parched Land, and is as far from self-refreshement, as a man from drawing waters out of a flint, then shall the side of Christ be opened to him. You that are full of your lusts, drunk with the world, here is not a drop for you. If you never come into the wildernesse, you shall never have Rock-water,

2. Mercy to a convinced sinner seems of times as remote, as Rivers from a Rock of flint. The truth is, he never came neer mercy, who thought not himself far from it. When the Izraelites cryed, we are ready to die for thirst, then stood they on the ground, where Rivers were to runne.

3. Thirsty souls shall want no water, though it be fetched for them out of a Rock. Panters after the blood of Jesus, shall assuredly have refresh­ment and pardon, through the most unconquerable difficulties. Though grace and mercy seem to be locked up from them, like wa­ter in a flint, whence fire is more naturall then water, yet God will not strik the rock of his justice and their flinty hearts together, to make hellsire sparkle about their eares, but with a rod of mercy on Christ, that abundance of water may be drawn out for their re­freshment.

4. The most eminent temporall blessings, and suitable refreshment, (wa­ter from a Rock for them that are ready to perish) is but an obscure repre­sentation of that love of God, and refreshment of souls, which is in the blood of Jesus. Carnall things are exceeding short of spirituall, temporall things of eternall.

5. The blood of Christ is abundantly sufficient for his whole Church, to refresh themselves; streames, rivers, a whole Sea.

These and the like observations flowing from the typicall rela­tion [Page 51] of the blessing intimated, shall not further be insisted on, one only I shall take from the Historiall Truth.

God sometimes bringeth plentifull deliverances and mercies for his Obs. 19. people from beyond the ken of sense and reason, yea from above the ordinary reach of much pretious faith. I mean not what it ought to reach, which is all the Omnipotency of God; but what ordinarily it doth, as in this very businesse it was with Moses.

I say plentifull deliverances, mercies like the waters that gushed out in abundant streames, untill the earth was cloven with Rivers: that the people should not only have a tast and away, but drink abundantly, and leave for the beasts of the field.

From beyond the ken of sense and reason, by events which a rationally wise man, is no more able to look into, then an eye of flesh is able to see water in a flint: or a man probably suppose that divers mil­lions of creatures should be refreshed with waters out of a Rock, where there was never any spring from the foundation of the world.

Now concerning this observe,

  • 1. That God hath done it.
  • 2. That he hath promised he will yet do it.
  • 3. Why he will so doe?

First he hath done it. I might here tire you with presidents. I could lead you from that Mother deliverance, the womb of all o­thers, the redemption that is in the bloud of Jesus, down through many dispensations of old, and of late, holding out this propositi­on to the full. One shall suffice me, and if some of you cannot help your selves with another, you are very senselesse.

Look upon Peters deliverance, Act. 12. The night before he was to Preached at the Committee at Rumford. be slain, he was kept safe in a prison. A prison he had neither wil, nor power to break. He was bound with two-chaines, beyond his skill to unloose, or force asunder; kept he was by 16 Souldiers, doubtlesse men of blood and vigilancy; having this to keep them waking, that if Peter escaped with his Head, they were to lose theirs. Now that his deliverance was above sense and reason, himselfe intimates, v. 11. he hath delivered me from the expectation of the Jewes. The wise subtile Jewes, concluded the matter so secure, that without any doubts or fears, they were in expectation of his execution the next day. That it was also beyond the ready reach of much pretious faith, you have an example in those believers, who were gathered together in the house of Mary, v. 12. calling her mad, who first af­firmed [Page 52] it, v. 15. and being astonished when their eyes beheld it, v. 16. The whole seeming so impossible to carnall Herod, after its ac­complishment, that he slayes the keepers as false in their Hellish trust. A just recompence for trusty villaines.

The time would faile me to speak of Isaac and Joseph, Gidron, Noah Gen. 22. 14. Gen. 39, &c. Daniel & Job, all presidents worthy your consideration. View them at your leisure, and you wil have leisure, if you inend to live by faith.

2. He hath said it. It is a Truth abounding in promises and per­formances. I shall hold out one or two, It will be worth yourwhile to search for others your selves. He that digges for a mine, findes many a piece of gold by the way.

Isa. 41. 14, 15. Fear not thou worme Jacob, and yee few men of Israel, be­hold I will make thee, a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth, thou shalt thresh the Mountaines, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaffe, thou shalt fan them, &c.

To make a worm a threshing instrument with teeth, to cause that instrument to beat Mountaines and hills into chaffe, that chaffe to be blowne away with the wind, that, that worm may rejoyce in God, to advance a small handfull of despised ones, to the ruine of Mountanous Empires, and Kingdomes, untill they be broken and scattered to nothing, is a mercy that comes from beyond the ken of any ordinary eye.

Eze. 37 3. The Prophet professeth that the deliverance promised was beyond his apprehension. Son of man can these bones live and I answered O Lord God thou knowest. The Lord intimates in the follow­ing verses, that he will provide a means, for hisChurches recovery, when it seemeth as remote therefrom, as▪ dry bones scattered upon the face of the Earth are from a mighty living Army. This he calls opening their graves, v. 12, 13.

Because he would have his people wholly wrapt up in his All­sufficiency. 3 Reas. 1. Not to straighten themselves, with what their faith can ken in a promise: much lesse to what their reason can perceive in appearance. In the application of promises to particular trials and extremities, Faith oftentimes is exceedingly disturbed, either in res­pect of persons, or things, or seasons. But when it wil wholly swal­low up it selfe in All-sufficiency, the fountaine of all promises, there is no place for fear or disputing. Have your souls in spirituall trials never bin driven from all your outworks, unto this main fort? Hath not all hold of promises in time of triall given place to temptati­ons, [Page 53] untill you have fallen down in All-sufficiency, and their found peace? God accounts a flight to the strong Tower of his Name, to be the most excellent Valour. This is faiths first, proper, and most imme­diate Object: To particular promises it is drawn out, on particular occasions: here is or should be its constant abode: Gen. 17. 1. And in­deed the soule will never be prepard to all the Will of God, untill its whole complacency be taken up in this sufficiency of the Almighty. Here God delights to have the soule give up it selfe to a contented losing of all its reasonings, even in the infinite unsearchablenesse of his goodnes and power. Therefore will he sometimes send forth such streames of blessings, as can flow from no other fountain, that his may know where to lie down in peace. Here he would have us secure our shallow bottomes in this quiet Sea, this infinit ocean, whither neither wind, nor storme, do once approach. Those blustering temptations which rage at the shore, when we were halfe at Land, and half at Sea, halfe upon the bottome of our own reason, and half upon the Ocean of providence, reach not at all unto this deepe. Oh if we could in all trials, lay our selves down in these armes of the Almighty, his Al-suf­ficiency in power and goodnes, oh how much of the haven should we have in our voyage, how much of home, in our pilgrimage, how much of Heaven in this wretched Earth! Friends throw away your staves, break the arme of flesh, lie down here quietly in every dispensation, and you shall see the salvation of God. I could lose my selfe in set­ing out of this, wherein I could desire you would lose your selves in every time of trouble.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creatour of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint and to them who have no might, he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that waite upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint. Isa. 40. 28, 29, 30, 31.

To convince the unbelieving world it self of his power, providence, Rea. 2. and love to them that put their trust in him: that they may be found to cry, verily there is a reward for the righteous, verily he is a God who Psal 58. 1. 1. ruleth in the earth. When the Aegyptian Magicians see reall Miracles, beyond all their jugling pretences, they cry out this is the finger of God, Exo. 8. 19. profane Nebuchadnezzar beholding the deliverance of those three worthies, from the fiery Furnace, he owns them for the servants [Page 54] of the most high God, Dan. 3. 26. Daniel being preserved in the Lyons den Darius acknowledgeth the power and Kingdom of the livingGod, Dan. 6. 26 Glorious appearances of God for his people beyond the reach of reason, wrests from the World amazement, or acknowledgement, and in both God is exalted He will appear in such distresses as that he will be seen of his very enemies: they shall not be able with the Phili­stians to question whether it be his hand, or a chance happened to 1 Sam 6. 10. them, but conclude with the Egyptians, that fly they must for God fights for his people, Ex. 14. 25. If God should never give blessings but in such a way, as reason might discover their dependance on seconda­ry causes, men would not see his goings, nor acknowledge his opera­tions. But when he mightily makes bare his Arme, in events beyond their imaginations, they must vayle before him.

Consider whether the mercy celebrated this day, ought not to be Ʋse 1. placed in this series of deliverances, brought from beyond the ken of sense and reason, from above the reach of much pretious faith. For the latter I leave it to your own experience, to the former let me for the present desire your consideration of these five things.

1. By whom you were surprised and put under restrant. Now these were of two sorts: 1. The heads and leaders, 2. The tumultuous multitude.

For the first, some of them being dead, and some under durance, I shall not say any thing: nullum cum victis certamen et aethere cassis. I leave the streame from the flint to your own thoughts.

2. For the multitude, an enraged, headles, lawles, godles multitude, gathered out of Innes, Taverns, Alehouses, Stables, Highways, and the like nurseries of piety and pitty. Such as these having gotten their Su­periors under their power, their Governors under their disposall, their Restrainers under their restraint, their Opressors, as they thought, under their fury, what was it that kept in their fury & their revenge, which upon the like occasions and advantages, hath almost always bin exe­cuted? Seaech your stories, you will not find many that speak of such a deliverance. For a few Governors prevailed on, unto durance, by a godlesse rout, in an insurrection, and yet to come off in peace and safe­ty, is surely a Work of more then ordinary providence.

2. Consider the season of your surpisall, when all the Kingdom was in an uproare, and the arme of flesh almost quite withered as to supply. The North invaded, the South full of insurrections, Wales unsubdued, Idem huic ur▪ bi dominandi finis erit, qui parendi suerit: Senec. de Ro. The great City, at least suffering men to lift up their hands against us▪ So that to the eye of reason the issue of the whole, was if not lost, [Page 55] yet exceedingly hazardous: and so to the Eye of reason your captivity endlesse. Had they gone on as was probable they would, whether you had this day bin brought out to execution, or thrust into into a dun­gean, or carried up and down as a Pageant, I know not, but much bet­ter condition, I am sure rationally you could not expect.

3. The end of your surprizall. Amongst others, this was apparently one, to be a reserve for their safety, who went on, in all ways of Ruine. You were kept to preserve them in those ways, wherein they perish­ed. Whether could reason reach this or no; that you being in their power, kept on purpose for their Rescue, if brought to any great straight, with the price of your Heads, to redeem their own, that they should be brought to greater distresse, then ever any before in this Kingdom, and you be delivered, without the lest help to them in their need, It was beyond your Freinds reason, who could not hope it, it was beyond your Enemies reason who never feared it, if you believed it, you have the comfort of it.

4. The refusall of granting an exchange, for such persons, as they accounted more considerable then your selves, and whose enlargement might have advantaged the cause they professed to maintaine, exceedingly more then your restraint, what doth it but proclame your intended ruine? This was the way of deliverance, which for a long Season, Reason chiefly rested on, the maine pillar of all its building, which when it was cut in two, what could in it be seen but desolation.

5. The straights you were at length reduced to, betwen your Enemies swords and your friends bullets, which intended for your deliverance, without the safeguard of providence, might havebin your ruin, peirc­ing more then once, the house wherein you were. Surely it was then an eminent work of Faith to stand still, and see the Salvation of God.

The many passages of providence evidently working for your pre­servation, which I have received from some of your selves, I willingly passe over. What I have already said is sufficient to declare that to Reasons Eye you were as dead bones upon the Earth. For our parts who were endangered spectators, at the best, we were but in the Pro­phets frame, and to any question about your enlargement could Answer only, the Lord alone he knowes. And now behold the Lord hath chosen you out, to be examples of his loving kindnesse, in fetch­ing mercy for you, from beyond the ken of Reason, yea from above the reach of much pretious Faith. He hath brought water for you [Page 56] out of the flint. Reckon your deliverance under this head of opera­tions, and I hope you will not be unthankfull.

You that have received so great mercy, we that have seen it, and all Ʋse 2. who have heard the Doctrine confirmed, let us learn to live by Faith. Live above all things that are seene. Subject them to the crosse of Christ. Measure your condition, by your interest in Gods All-suffici­ency. Do not in distresse calculate what such, and such things can effect, but what God hath promised. Reckon upon that, for it shall come to passe. If you could get but this one thing, by all your suf­ferings and Dangers, to trust the Lord, to the utmost extent of his promises, it would prove a blessed captivity. All carnall feares would then be conquered, all sinfull compliances with wicked men remo­ved, &c. Ʋse. 3.

Be exhorted to great Erunt Homi­cidae, Tyranni, fures, adulteri, raptores, Sacri­legi proditores, infra ista om­nia, ingratus est. Senec. Benef. l. 1. Gratiarum ces­sat decursus, ubi recursus non fuerit. Bern. Serm 50. Thankfulnesse, you that have bin made parta­kers of great deliverances. In great distresses, very nature prompts the sons of men to great promises. You have heard the ridiculous story of him, who in a storme at Sea, promised to dedicate a Wax-candle to the blessed Virgin, as big as the mast of his Ship, which he was resol­ved when he came on shore to pay with one of 12 in the pound. Let not the Morall of that Fable be found in any of you. Come not short of any of your engagements, no greater discovery of an Hypocriticall frame, then to flatter the Lord in trouble, and to decline upon deli­verance in cold bloud. The Lord of Heaven give you strength to make good all your resolutions: as private persons, in all godlinesse and honesty, following hard after God in every known way of his; as Magistrates, in Justice Equity and faithfull serving the Kingdome of Christ: Especially let them never beg in vaine for help at your hands, who did not beg help in vaine, for you at the hands of God.

Consider, if, there be so much Si Tanti vi­trum quanti Margaritum? Tertul. sweetnesse in a temporall deliver­ance, Vse. 4. Oh what excellency is there in that Eternall Redemption, which we have in the Blood of Jesus? If we rejoice for deing delivered from them, who could have killed the body, what unspeakeable re­joysing is there in that mercy whereby we are freed from the wrath to come. Let this possesse your thoughts, let this fill your soules, let this be your haven from all former stormes, and here strik I sayle, in this, to abide with you, and all the saints of God for ever.

FINIS.

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