The PROPHETS Malachy and Isaiah PROPHECYING TO The Saints and Professors of this Generation Of The Great Things the Lord will doe in this their Day and Time.

Shewing (amongst other things)

  • The Nature and Quality of the Apostacy.
  • The Judgement of the Lord upon the Leaders of the Apostacy.
  • How the Lord will deale with, and carry himself towards, others guilty of the Apostacy.
  • The certainty of deliverance at hand for the true Seed.

By a wel-wisher to the Kingdome of our Lord Jesus.

To which is prefixed two very useful Epistles, by Christopher Feak, and John Pendarves, Ministers of the Gospel.

Thus saith the Lord God, Howle yee, woe worth the day: for the day is neer, even the day of the Lord is neer, a cloudy day.

Ezek. 30.2, 3.

The day of the Lord is darknesse, and not light; as if a man did flee from a Ly­on, and a Bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a Serpent bit him: even very darke, and no brightnesse in it,

Amos 5.18, 19, 20.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now,

John 16.12.

LONDON: Printed for, Livewell Chapman, at the Crown in Popes-head Alley. 1656.

TO THE READERS: Whether Such as follow the Lamb, or such as wonder after the Beast. Love and Pity, for the Lords sake.

OUR dear Lord, in the dayes of his flesh spake many words privately among his Disci­ples, to this effect, viz. that they should be hated of the world, that they should be hated of all men for his Names sake: yea, and in that last solemn Addresse to his father, related, John the seventeenth (wherein he hath left upon record a pattern of his intercession on the Behalfe of his Disci­ples, who did then or should afterward beleeve on him through their word) he doth expresly mention this matter, (surely his heart was full of it and much af­fected with it) I have given them thy word (sayeth [Page 2]hee there to his father) and THE WORLD HATH HATED THEM because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. And againe in a certaine place hee testifieth saying, If the WORLD HA­TETH YOƲ, yee know that IT HATED ME be­fore it HATED YOƲ, If yee were of the world the world would love its owne, but because yee are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore THE WORLD HATETH YOU. Now to beare up their hearts under this Burthen of the Hatred of the world, he puts them in mind of that lesson, which hee had formerly taught them, Mat. 10.24. John 13.16. saying, Remember the word that I sayed to you: the servant is not greater then the Lord, &c. If they have persecuted mee they will presecute you also, if they have kept my saying, they will keepe yours also. The spirit and life of the incouragement lyeth in this, that the Son of God was their Brother and companion in Tribu­lation, and in suffering the hatred of the world, they should drinke out of the same cup with him in all the afflictions which they were to indure from the world. Now if any Man, that observes the con­siderablenesse of these and many other passages of this Nature, should desire to know the particular reason why the Lord Jesus (with his Disciples) was allwayes thus hated, persecuted and Abased by the world, Did Hee and they give any just Cause of ha­tred and ill-will against them? I answere, no surely, there were never a more innocent and harmelesse sort of people in the world then they, But the true reason of this inveterate hatred is expressed by him­selfe John the 7 and 7. in a Conference betwixt him­selfe and his Bretheren which did not beleeve in him. The world (sayeth Hee) cannot hate you but me it hateth [Page 3]because I testifie of it (or concerning it) that the workes thereof are evil. Observe the matter seriously, and you will well perceive, that the world hath workes of its own, the world is full of its owne proper workes, doings and bufinesse, which it is alltoge­ther conversant about, Things which it must mind and manage, with all care and Industry: then second­ly consider, these workes are such as are exceedingly beloved and delighted in by the world, and the world cannot indure with any patience that any sort of men should account them evill workes; but then thirdly if any should presume not only to Account, but also to Call them evill workes, and so testifie a­gainst them as evill workes and odious in the sight of God; for such a Testimony though given by the Son of God himselfe (who for this purpose came into the world, that hee might beare witnes: to the truth) would the world hate him, and persecute him even unto death, if not hindred by the overruling power of God himselfe.

And therefore if the true Disciples of Christ him­selfe (who having his Spirit, his Truth, his Cause, his Glory and all his precious Concernments dwel­ling and working in them mightily, are constrained, by the power of his love, to second and confirme This his great Testimony against the world and the wicked workes thereof) should incurr the same hatred, indignation and wrath from the world, which was measured out unto him, they must by no meanes think it a strange thing, but rather rejoyce exceed­ingly in their being thus made conformable to the fathers first borne among many Brethren.

And blessed be the Name of the Lord, that there are any among us, who are counted worthy to suffer [Page 4]shame and violent Dealing for his Name, and for their. Testimony concerning the world, that the workes or Deeds thereof are evill.

But will it not bee well worthy your time and leisure to inquire into these two or three particulars, first, what doth the Lord Jesus understand in the Scriptures before mentioned by the word world. Secondly what are those evill workes which our Lord testified against in the dayes of his flesh; and Thirdly what is the nature of the Testimony of Christ and his Disciples that the world should be so much incensed with hatred and indignation against them for it, Hearken oh yee Children of men, and consider with all your might and with all speed, for the time of Consideration is allmost spent and passed away. To the First I shall return this Account, un­doubtedly by the word world in the Scripture menti­oned, a Certaine part of mankinde, namely the dege­nerate part, the worst part contra-distinguished from the Best, namely the Church is here to be understood, for the Church and the world, are Contrary one unto the other, evermore.

This degenerate part of the world or of mankind I distinguish thus, some of them, are such as having departed from the light and Law of Nature, did af­terward by degrees degenerate into Brutishnes, and profannes, as namely, the nations of the earth, which neither worship God, nor love their Neighbour ac­cording to the written rule, but live and walke after their own and their Rulers lusts and inventions in all things; being full as of all ungodlinesse, so of all unrighteousnesse likewise, as may be observed once for all, in Rom. 1. from the 18 verse to the end of the Chapter. These Gentiles in the poynt of Government [Page 5]and worship have not Jehovah for their Judge, or their Law-giver, or their King, but have in a constant suc­cession submitted to the foure Beasts which rose out of the great Sea (as is described by Daniel the Prophet) as to their Soveraigne Lords in all things.

Others of the degenerate part of Mankind, are such as having been taken into Covenant with God, from among the Idolatrous Nations, to be his Church and people, did for a time observe and doe his Comman­dements, but afterward forsaking the Lord their God, have joyned themselves to Idols, after the manner of the Nations of the world, and so have gradually degenerated into the very Image and simi­litude of the Gentiles which know not God, and so are of the world, as the Aegyptians were of the world, and as the Canaanites were of the world. This was the state of the Ten Tribes, and this state is notably de­scribed in Jeremy the 2 from the 9 to the 21 verse.

Such also were the degenerate Members of the Jewish Church in the first day of the Son of man, they were of the world, as the Romans and the Grecians were of the world; and therefore without controver­sie our Lord in the forementioned passages, doth in­clude within the compasse of the word WORLD, the Order of the Priests (from the Highest to the Lowest) the whole state of the Elders, the whole Hypocriticall Generation of the Scribes and Phari­sees, and the Generality of the people, who being corrupted from the simplicity and purity of the Di­vine Institutions, did not long after the Testimony aforesaid, Joyne in the Murthering of the Lord of glory: This is the world which hated Jesus Christ, even with a more perfect hatred, then Herod, or Pontius Pi­late, [or the Centurions, or the Souldiers of the Ro­mans. [Page 6]These Things are plain and clear to almost every understanding, and therefore I for bear further explication.

Only let me add this. As it was then even so it is now, in these our dayes, as by many Instances it might ap­peare.

That the Turks are of the world, that the Jews are of the world (and not of the Church) that the Per­sians, the Indians, the Moores are of the world as the nations before the day of Christ, were of the world is Confessed by us all: But is it not as true? that the Idolatrous, the prophane, the Brutish, the Barbarous Papists are of the world, as the Mahume­tans &c. are of the world? (though they pretend to be the only true Church of God upon earth) this also will be assented to as the Truth among the pro­testants; they may beleeve upon Scripture ground, that the Romish Church as now degenerated, must needes be very neere of Kin, to the Heathenish world, because the spirit of the world and the Characters of the world, workes effectually in them, and is plainly di­scerned upon them, as in and upon others of the chil­dren of Disobedience.

But now what shall wee say of the Protestant Chur­ches, of the Reformed Churches, which have a name to live, to bee the Spouse of Christ, &c. wee cannot indure to heare them evill spoken of, wee cannot beare it that they should be looked upon as the world, or the worldly Church, or the Carnal Church, these are odious expressions, they and their state are not to bee compared with the state of the Jewish Church as our Lord found it when he testified that they were the world and that their workes were evill.

[Page 7] To this, with an holy Boldnes as in the sight of Christ, I dare to say, that in their present Constituti­on and Condition they may, without doing them a­ny wrong, be compared to the Jewish Church and state in the Dayes of Christ and his Apostles, in re­spect of their superstitions and persecutions, of their hatred and enmity to the pure wayes of Christ as the popish Church, may be justly compared to the A­postate Ten tribes in respect of their Idolatryes and persecutions; for this is a most certain truth, full of evidence in it selfe, where you find the spirit of Ido­latry, Superstition, Tradition, Ceremony and for­mality in worship prevailing, and overpowring the true Gospel spirit, there will you find the spirit of the world. Moreover where the Lord Jesus and his Members feele the power of the spirit of injustice and opression of hatred and persecution overcoming the spirit of truth and equity, of righteousnes and innocency, there they may safely say, these Men are the men of the world, and so no other, no better then the world.

Now then forbearing to inquire into the state of the reformed Churches abroad, let us take a short survay of the nationall Churches of England, of Scotland and Ireland, which are accounted in the Number of the Reformed Churches, and their Daughters the Parish Churches, as they were for­merly or are now Constituted and Governed by the Lords Spirituall the Lord Byshops the Lord Presbi­ters, and the Lord Triers under Charles R. and Oliver P. those two protestant Princes those two Defen­ders of the faith, those two supream Heades (succes­sively) of the Church in these parts of the Earth with all their Ecclesiasticall furniture of Church [Page 8]officers patrons, Parsons, Vicars, Curates, Church Wardens, Clearks, Sextons, &c. not to omit all their Parish and Collegiate-Church members. Did they formerly or doe they now looke like the Chur­ches of Christ, or like the Churches of Antichrist? were they not, are they not, of the world? did they not, doe they not speake of the world? as sayeth the Apostle Iohn, yea all of them, from the Head to the tayle? as sayeth the Prophet Isayah. Were they not, are they not now againe (under the shadow of their Lord protectors wings) Constituted Counte­nanced, maintained and Governed after the Inventi­ons of men, after the traditions of Antichrist, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ? doe not these Churches and their officers worship the Lord in vaine, teaching for Doctrines the commande­ments of Men? nay more then this, did they not in the Prelates dayes, doe they not in the dayes of the present Tryers appeare full of the spirit of enmity against the wayes of Christ, against the Kingdom of Christ, against the Government of Christ, and his Legislative power? is there not now, as formerly a great and a generall hatred among the Scribes and the Pharisees, and the Corrupt Lawyers, against the new non-conformists, & nonsubscribers, and against all those who in the spirit of Christ shall boldly beare witnes that they are the world, and not the Church, and that their workes are evill? Let those who are spirituall consider the matter, and speake their mind. Let those whose senses are exercised, by reason of use, to discerne betwixt Christ and Beliall, betwixt the Inventions of men and the Injunctions of God, well weigh the premises in the balance of the Sanctuary and give judgement according to God.

[Page 9] But to hasten to the second Question, What were those EVILL WORKS, which our Lord did te­stifie against, or for which he did bear witness against the world, and for doing whereof, he was hated of the world?

I answer. Without Controversie, THOSE E­VILL WORKS may be reduced to two or three ge­nerall Heads. Either such as were wrought by them in the way of an ECCLESIASTICALL BODY, or such as were brought forth in the Manner and Method of a CIVILL STATE, or else such as were done by the confusion and mixture of ALL together, as the Holy Spirit in that notable Prayer of Peter inti­mates, where all sorts of Interests, Civill, Ecclesiasti­call, Military, are declared to Combine together a­gainst our Lord. Acts 4.27. Of a truth against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both HE­ROD, and PONTIƲS PILATE, with the GENTILES, and the PEOPLE of Israel were gathered together. Here is a Combination in the Church, in the Court, in the CAMP, against the Saviour of the world. And upon examination of the works and workings of all these parties, we shall find cause to say they were to be te­stified against as Evill.

But more particularly, to reckon up some of them as we find them occasionally recorded by the foure Evangelists (and, as we goe along, to compare them with those evill works which are now carried on in these parts of the earth) as done by the High Priest, by Herod, by Pontius Pilate, by the Gentlemen of the long Robe of both professions, &c. First, let us begin with their Counsells against Christ, those works of darknesse, they are evill works within doores, Mat. 12.14. The Pharisees went out, and held a Counsel (privately) how [Page 10]they might destroy him. Here were consultations held against the life of Christ. So Mat. 27.1. All the chief Priests, and Elders of the people tooke counsel against Jesus, to put him to death.

We shall have an exact account of all their wicked murtherous Consultations against the Person, the Do­ctrine, the Honour of the Lord Jesus, in that day when he shall Judge the secrets of all men, according to his Gospel. But in the mean time we know that these Deeds of Darknesse, were some of those evill workes, which our Lord did testifie against.

And in like manner, at this day we know (in that light of truth which will not faile us) that there are many close & cunning consultations to destroy that Cause of Christ which not long since was, in shew, highly honoured, and contended for, by him, who is known by the name of his Highness the Lord Prote­ctor, &c. but who gave him that Name, I leave to him to Answer, when he shall be called to a strict ac­count for all the evil counsel given against the Lord, and his followers, because of their righteous reproofs of the Army and their Generall, for the Hypocrisie, Apostacy, Oppression, and Persecutions, whereof they are guilty in the sight of the Sun.

Another kind of evill works, was their watching of the Lord Jesus, and sending forth Spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him to the power and Authority of the Governour, Luke 20.20. And the Scribes and Pharisees (Luke 11.53.) urged him vehemently, and provoked him to speak of many Things, laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. Certainly every man who loves the Lord Jesus, will easily grant these were very wick­ed [Page 11]workes. But are not such practises frequently used by the Spies, which are Imployed from the Court and Council at White Hall? I am sure before our Im­prisonment, Many who came to catch our words, feigned themselves to be Just men, to be good men, whereby they were capeable to intangle us in our talke. The same Spirit which wrought effectually in those children of disobedience, doth work in these as effectually, and we doubt not but we shall prove these Spies to be guilty of the same evill workes, with those Spies which watched Christ, and their Masters to be of the same conspiracy, with the Pharisees and Herodians, namely at that Day when his Highnesse shall stand before the Judgement seat of Jesus Christ, without either his Clergy or his Lawyers to plead his Cause. We shall then understand what Instru­ctions they were which he or his Secretaries gave his Catch poles, when he imployed them, and what con­ference he had with them when they read our Ser­mon Notes in his hearing; and all those works of darknesse and secrecy shall be brought to light, and Our Lord Himselfe shall second our Testimony, That their Deeds were evill.

Again, Other evill workes of the world, and the men of the world, which the Lord Jesus did testifie against, was, Their devouring widdowes houses, while for a pretence they made long prayers, Mat. 23.14. Surely this was a double evill worke, and therefore He tells them they shall receive greater Damnation. Not only widdowes Houses have been devoured by the new Rulers, but whole Families, in pressing and forcing, or else inticing men to the ends of the earth for Gold and Silver, thousands having perished in the Enter­prize; but while these Families were devoured by [Page 12]Sea and Land, what frequent fastings and long pray­ers were made at White-Hall: The Lord beholds this. Hypocrisie, and it will one day appear how abomi­nable this project was in the sight of God (as it doth in part already) not withstanding all their long pray­ers to colour it over, as a Designe against Antichrist and his Kingdome.

Besides these evill works before Mentioned, the Lord declares against them, because of their extortion and excesse, as it is in Matthew, because of their rave­ning and wickednesse, as it is in Luke, yea he speaks of their Binding of heavy Burthens and grievous to be borne, and laying them on mens shoulders, but they will not move them with one of their fingers. For my part, I am verily perswaded that the same evill workes are Done to the Innocent people by this present Sword power, and their cryes enter into the ears of the Lord of Hoasts, though they pity them not, who Doe thus oppresse them.

Many more might be added, which in the Judge­ment of all the true Disciples of Christ, will be ac­counted evill workes, (but I must not inlarge a Pre­face beyond its proportion) this therefore shall suf­face for the second Point, what kind of evill workes they were which Christ testified against, and how like unto them, the evill workes of this present Gene­ration of Rulers will be found to be, when they are examined by the Righteous Judge of all the world.

Now as for the Nature of the Testimony given by Christ concerning the evill works of that world or worldly Church which hated both him, his doctrine, and his followers (which is the third generall Head to be spoken to) it's plain, that it is no lesse then a Divine Testimony.

As saith the Apostle, If we receive the▪ WITNES [Page 13]of men, THE WITNES OF GOD is greater. Now This Witnesse (or Testimony) whereof we are spea­king from John 7.7. is not the witnesse of a man, a mortall man, but the witnesse of God, the witnesse of one who is God and man, and so it is most Authen­tick. And how often Doth our Lord in his Ministry and Testimony, inculcate this upon his hearers, That he spake nothing of himself, but as the Father gave him Commandement? John 12.49, 50. And again, John 8.38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father. So that when the Lord Jesus testified, it was the high­est Testimony which could have been given to the truth.

His Testimony was an unquestionable Testimony, a righteous Testimony, a witnesse which will carry the cause against the whole world: for Let God be true, but every man a lyar, as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings. The sayings of Christ from the father concerning this present evill world, and the wick­ed works thereof, will be made good at the last day. Let no powers on earth think or hope to enervate his Testimony in the least, by any pretences, excuses, or distinctions whatsoever.

Now as Christ Himselfe was in the world, so ought those who are Christs Ministers and Witnesses, to be in the world likewise. Those whom he sendeth were born and anointed to this end, viz. to bear witnesse to the truth in his sted, and on his behalf; and let the Princes of the world, and the people of the world as­sure themselves, The Lord never did, nor ever will, leave himselfe without witnesse. Some of his Servants shall be stirred up by his Spirit to plead the Cause of their Lord against his adversaries; altho they know before hand, that through the hatred of the world, [Page 14]they shall be exposed to a thousand dangers, distres­ses, deaths, for the truths sake.

The Dragon, the beast, the scarlet Whore, the false Prophet, the Kings of the earth, although by a complica­tion of interests, they are desperately ingaged and inraged against the Lamb and his followers, against the Lord and his witnesses, neverthelesse the wrath of God hath been (and now is) revealed from heaven to their very faces against all their ungodlinesse and unrigh­teousnesse, by those witnesses, which he hath raised up and furnished, with Heroick spirits to contend with the whole earth, and that wrath so revealed, by his Servants the Prophets, shall be executed like­wise, for The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, which the true Church is never destitute of alto­gether.

So that I am perswaded (and I believe many o­thers) that Matters are carried at this day, betwixt the Servants and Spirit of Christ, and the Servants and Spirit of Antichrist, as they were carried in those dayes betwixt the Spirit & person of Christ, and the Spirit and persons of the Priests and powers of the earth.

It is not to be expected that his Highnesses Court Chaplaines who are fed at his Table, should lift up their heel against their Good Lord and Master, in te­stifying openly that his Counsells are evill, that his In­strument is an ugly Idol, and an Image of Jealousie, that his Government is evill, that his workes in imprisoning the Servants of Christ without Just Cause are evil, that his Extortion and Rapine in Imposing and gathe­ring in all his Taxes by an Arbitrary power, contra­ry to the Law of God and the Land, is evill, that his devouring whole families in sending thousands to the [Page 15]ends of the earth (and multitudes against their wills) upon a base and beggerly Designe, that stinkes in the nostrills of God, and good men, is evill and a­bominable: And which of his City and Country Cler­gymen fed and Cloathed by his Tyrannicall executi­on of the Popes Cannon Law will declare against him for maintaining the Relicts and Remainders of Popery; and for his setting up New-Carnall spiri­tuall Courts of Prelaticall Tryers or Comissioners to reigne over the Parish Ministers in the Byshops stead. Which of those Inslaved Preachers, Lecturers and Augmentation-Men, who come cap in hand to their Inferiors or equalls for their Approbation, and a box full of Orthodox Orders to preach in such or such a steeple House, and to receive the ancient pro­fits and perquisites of the parish for their paines, dare to turn head upon their Ecclesiasticall Lords, and joyn with Christ and his spirit, to testify against these New invented Babylonish Abominations? Alas poor wretches they have no heart, no spirit for the Inter­est of Christ, they are ashamed of the testimony of our Lord and of us his prisoners, who by the most powerfull Illapses and influences of his spirit, are in­abled and Constrayned to bid Defyance to the scar­let coloured Beast, and to all his 7 heads of Blasphemy, and to all his ten homs of persecution, to all the Kings of the earth which commit fornication with the mother of Har­lots, and with all her danghters.

But, because these Men, thus lamentably yoaked by their new Lords Spirituall and Temporall, dare not particularly and couragiously, in the power of the Spirit, bear their Testimony for Christ, against the world, or world like Church, that their deeds are evill; therefore the Lord will raise up others to supply this defect. And be it known to all the Kings and Prin­ces, [Page 16]which oppresse and persecute the Children of the free woman, that the Lord will furnish himself with a suf­ficient Number of faithfull Servants, who shall, in his strength, maintain that Conflict and Combate which is needful, till the great of the Battel of the Almighty God.

As Christ told the Chief Priests and Scribes, who were displeased that the Children cryed Hosanna to the Son of David: If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out, so I say, in words of truth and sobernesse, seeing the Chief Preachers, Pa­stors, and Teachers, are dumb, and connive at the pre­sent Apostacy, Hypocrisie, Oppression, Tyrannicall Government, and going back to AEgypt, the Lord is as it were compelled to furnish himself, from among the private Christians, and the weakest and meanest of the Brethren, to bear a Testimony against this wicked Generation of Backsliders, and if they like­wise should hold their peace altogether, the stones of the streetes, and the very bruite Creatures would immediatly cry out for the Lord will not altogether and utterly leave himselfe without witnes. This In­suing Treatise, was not Composed by any of the University-scarlet Doctors, nor by any Batchelour of Divinity, or Master of Arts and sciences, I am per­swaded their Acadenicall Ʋnction will teach them to practice complyance, and to sing Placebo. But surely this is some Honest Sool, who observing the Common Clergy to be as mute as Fishes, when they should have cryed aloud, and have lifted up their voyces as a Trumpet, to shew the Apostatized Christians their transgressi­ons, and the Hypocrites their sins, hath so far layed their Abominations to heart, that he cannot for bear to speak a word for God against such an adulterous Generation, and to encourage that little Remnant which speak often one to another, and think upon Jeho­vah's [Page 17]Name: Wherefore, let all Men who shall read, search the Scriptures, whether those things which he hath written, and brought together from the holy Oracles, be so yea or no, and accordingly embrace what they find of the Spirit and truth of God, and what they meet with that savours of humane frailty, and mistake (for which of the Learned Orthodox Do­ctors of the Church, as they are called, are not full of them?) let them (reflecting upon their own insuffi­ciency, and imperfections) passe by in brotherly love, or rectifie according to the measure of their attain­ments in Christ. For undoubtedly the Aime of the Author, and the scope of his discourse, is no way un­worthy the Name and profession of a Disciple of Christ.

A plentifull portion of the Spirit of Wisedome and Revelation in the knowledge of Christ, be given to every such Disciple in this day, for the Lords sake, Amen. So prayeth

One of the Servants of Christ, and your Servant for Jesus sake. CHR. FEAKE.


GOD who in times past left not himself without Witnesse, Acts 14.16, 17. hath in the dayes of the Gospel compas­sed us about with a aloud of Witnesses, Heb. 12.1. A Remnant of whom, (not­withstanding that great Apostacy spo­ken of, 2 Thess. 2.) hath the Lord re­served, and by wonderfull providence hath preserved, du­ring all the bloody rage and reigne of the man of sin, to bear a Testimony for Jesus, with the hazard of their lives, Rev. 17.6. And in this our Generation, O how eminently hath God appeared witnessing to the truth,Rev. 12.11, 17. & against all the unrighteousnesse of men, as by many signal paovidences, and dreadsull judgements,Chap. 6.9. so also by raising up diverse Witnes­ses in his behalfe? The number of those hath he augment­ed of late, and prospered their Testimony to a great encrease of light, and still the Lord holds them in his right hand, and makes them like the Pen of a ready Writer, bearing a swift Testimony against the most refined abominations of Professors, declaring the mind of the Lord in divers dark sayings of Scripture, bringing that light out of obscurity, that many ages past have never seen;1 Pet. 1.12. showing plainly how the Prophets of old, did Minister to the Saints and Profes­sors in the last dayes. Behold how these at this day are re­vived [Page 19](as from the dead) to witnesse for God and Christ against a sinfull and adulterous Generation. It re­joyceth me to behold how the Lord doth spirit instruments, and instruct them to promote their Testimony, by expound­ing, and sitly applying, their words for Reproof, and instru­ction in Righteousnesse, as once he did Ezra, and others with him, to hold forth the Law of Moses, when that work, which typed forth much of this now in doing, was upon the wheele.

But as the Lords Witnesses of old, were the main object of the hatred of those whom they witnessed against, as Amos, Jeremy, and others, who were threatned, impri­soned, and reproached: even so, are the Children of the Prophets, those who (through their word) are brought forth to witnesse against evill doers, now, hated and mis­used by the men of this Generation. I know men are ready to say with the Pharisees, Mat. 23.30, 31, 32. If we had lived in the dayes of our fathers, we would not have persecuted the Prophets, whilest in the mean time they seek to suppresse those, who in the same Spirit of faith, doe with their words explained, bear witness against such, yea, the self same evills by other persons committed now.

Obj. But some may Object, saying, This is the du­ty and work of extraordinary Prophets only, to bear a Testimony against the evills of the Times, ordina­ry Ministers have little to doe, ordinary Saints much lesse, with such matters.

Ans. The Prophecies of old, and the Testimonies of the Prophets, are gathered up into the Prophesie and Testimony of Christ, the Great Prophet of the New Testament, the faithfull witnesse and by him (having received of the Father The Promise of the Spirit, in the fullnesse of it) committed to his Seed, even the faithfull, (believers as believers being made to partake abundantly of the same Spi­rit, [Page 20]which was not given at least so generally, and ordina­rily, untill Jesus was exalted, John 7. 38, 39.) by them to be declared, and held forth from Generation to Genera­tion, each word in its season, according to their measure of Grace, and of the gift of Christ, as these Scriptures here in­serted, with many more doe sufficiently prove, Rev. 1.4, 5, 11. Rev. 12.10, 11, 17. Isa. 59.21. Psa. 145.4. Isa. 43.3, 5, 8. Isa. 8.16. 2 Tim. 2.2. And as it is the concernment of Saints in generall, qualified for the worke, to witnesse for Christ against Antichrist, so is it in a speciall manner the worke of Gospel Ministers orderly called to that Office, to bear their Testimony against all An­tichristian Abominations.

And if these things be so, may we not conclude, that men ought to take heed that they be not found despisers, when God comes forth by the words of his Servants (though Babes and Sucklings) with stammering tongues and pens,Psal. 8.2. to witnesse against the evills of the times.

O Yee that are called by the name of Saints, Is it a time for you to dwell at ease in your cieled houses? Is it not high time to awake and to consider your wayes? to enquire into, to lay to heart, to sigh and cry for, all the abo­minations of such as professe to be the Lords people, where­by the grace and praise-worthy name of God is reproached at home and abroad? Oh how gloriously is this duty rewar­ded? and how severely are professors, even the ancient of them, punished for the neglect hereof? Ezek. 9.4, 5, 6, 7. If love to God and Christ doth not constrain, yet let the just judgements of God breaking forth upon a professing yet sin­full secure people, provoke you hereunto.

In this weighty work the ensuing Treatise will afford thee no small help, for by it (if the presence of the Lord accompany the reading) thou mayest dig through a wall as Ezekiel was bid to doe, Ezek. 8.7, 8, 12. and mayest be­hold [Page 21]with him an open door, whereat entring in, thou may­est see greater abominations, then probably thou hast hi­therto observed, vayled over with spetious pretences, and a large profession. Herein is the wisedome of God to be seen, and justified, in bringing his truths to light in their proper time, whilest men are working in the darke,Isa. 29.15. saying Who seeth us? How hath the Lord lighted Candles wherewith to search Jerusalem, visiting the men that are setling,Zeph. 1.12. or willing to setle on their Lees.

Reader, This worke serves not only to present unto thee (as it were in a Glasse) the face of the Times, but thine own face, use it as a Touchstone to try thy heart, whether it be right for the Lord, and for his work. Behold how the Lord comes, and sits as a Refiner, in and through those discoveries of soule-searehing truths,Jer. 23.29. which he brings to light daily.

His word that goeth forth out of the mouth of his wit­nesses, is like fire refining the precious Sons of Sion, Rev. 11.5. who are compared to Gold, but consuming,Lam. 4.2. or threatning to con­sume the wicked, who are like stubble. The Sword that pro­ceedeth out of the mouth of Christ,Rev. 2.12. is sharp and two-edg­ed; if it doe not convert from sin, it will condemne for continuing in sin. Such as are disobedient to his word, are inexcusable, fitted for ruine, as stubble fully dry. And have not some cause to fear, that, if after many reproofs,Exod. 23.28. they goe on hardning their necks, their fall will be sudden,1 Pet. 2.7, 8. and their sad condition remedilesse? Prov. 29. 1. Isa. 30.10, 11, 12, 13. Yea, and then shall the Lords people who have testified against them, rebuking in the Gate,Jer. 7.16. and exhorting to repentance, keep silence in that day,Jer. 11.14. ceasing to plead with them, or with God for them,Amos 5.13. thereby justifying the hand of God in bringing his judgements on them. And whoso is wise let him observe, That when those backsliders spoken of, Isa. 29.20, 21. proceeded to that degree of im­impiety, [Page 22]to watch for iniquity, to make a man an of­fendor for a word, and lay a snare for him that repro­ved in the Gate, by such acts as these, they perfected their iniquity, and filled up the measure thereof.

The following Discourse sets forth in a Type, by compa­ring together many remarkable words in the Prophecy of Malachy and Isaiah, A most refined Apostacy of a professing people, after a Reformation begun. Their words, though first spoken to others, are declared to light on us the Saints, and Professors in this Generation, who having greatly sinned,num. 32.23. may justly say, Our sins have found us out.

Now as relating to this Apostacy, or Backsliding, with the cause, and cure thereof, I shall offer these things to be considered.

As this backsliding is either totall and finall, in those who perish, or partiall, in the Saints, so also is the cause thereof two-fold.

First, Hypocrites, who fall away in time of temptation, have no root in themselves, Luke 8.13. They are not par­takers of the Divine nature, neither are they regenerate; wherefore such Professors notwithstanding for a time they may appear with clean outsides, are fitly compared by the Spirit of the Lord to the Sow, which being washed, turns again to her wallowing in the mire, 2 Pet. 2.22.

Secondly, That Backsliding which is not totall, or­dinarily springs from Saints forgetfullnesse of Gods great love in Christ revealed to them, and his wonderful works done in them, and for them; as also the love of their espou­salls, their first love to God, their relations, vowes, and engagements to him.

Of this Backsliding both of sinners and Saints, and the judgements thereunto belonging, doe these Prophets treat. The Saints themselves, Gods Children, and his Jewells shall [Page 23]not escape a trying refining day, which will be terrible to them; yea, and as they are or may be found in unbelie­ving, earthly, sensuall forms of Spirit, consulting with flesh and blood, unsufferable. Who shall stand when he ap­peareth? Mal. 3.2, 3. His presence to the carrying on of this work of reforning will be to some (who may be judged good men) no lesse grievous, but rather more then fire is the flesh of a man.

As for Hypocrites and Sinners in Syon, their dreadfull doom, and just sentence that goeth forth out of the mouth of those two Witnesses, is, that they shall be consumed, Isa. 1.28. Mal. 4.1. The fiery day shall burn them up, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

According to that word of God to Jer. 15.19. If thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth. This Prophet Malachi speaking as the mouth of God, puts a difference (as also doth the Prophets and Apostles generally) between the two Seeds, The Seed of the Woman, and of the Serpent, between whom God did by his own mouth▪ first put the difference, Gen. 3.15. To all which agrees that clear distinction be­tween the Son of the bond woman, and of the free, Gal. 4.22, 23: which things (saith the Apostle, v. 24.) are an Allegory, for these are the two Covenants, viz. The one of Works, the other of Grace.

The two grand Characters whereby the two Seeds are here distinguished, are

  • 1 A true filiall fear of God.
  • 2 A sincere love and respect unto the name of God above all things.

These two choyce effects of a lively faith, are such things as Hypocrites are strangers to, such singular things as doe infallibly accompany salvation. In these things the carnal seed under the Law, and the formall Professor under the [Page 24]Gospel, come short of the Israelite in deed, and being weigh­ed in the ballance of the Sanctuary, are found wanting. And although such may be in a Pallace with King Bel­shazzar, if they look narrowly into this Prophecy of Ma­lachy, as here explained and presented to their view, it may be with them (if they be not miserably hardned) no bet­ter than with him, when beholding the writing on the wall, his countenance was changed, and his thoughts trou­bled him, so that the joynts of his loines were loosed, and his knees smote one against another, Dan. 5.6.

As for the former of these, viz. A filiall fear of God, upon the account of their lack of this one thing, the Prophet Malachy reproves the people, saying, Chap. 1.6. If I be a Father, where is mine honour? And if I be a Ma­ster, where is my fear, saith the Lord of Hoste? where­as on the contrary, he commends his beloved Remnant for their fear of him, Chap. 3.16. and of his Name, Chap. 4.2. Yea, Christ himself the everlasting father of that chosen Generation, is extoll'd, and found worthy to be en­trusted with the greatest of Gods work, on the account of this blessed qualification, viz. the fear of God, Chap. 2.5. My Covenant was with him, of life and peace, and I gave them to him (saith God) for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my Name.

These things well weighed, may through the blessing of the Lord, give some check to that unseemly lightness which often appears in the shamelesse foreheads of many noted Professors. Oh! where will such appear, if they repent not, seeing God hath not entred them on his Book of Re­membrance, which is written for those only who fear the Lord, Chap. 3.16. and tremble at his word? How shall they escape that dreadfull day mentioned, Chap. 4.1. Seeing then our God is a consuming fire, let us then take [Page 25]hold of his grace in Christ Jesus, whereby to serve him ac­ceptably, with reverence and godly fear. He who is risen up to shake hereby the Earth, and also the Heavens, will cer­tainly ere long shake off and cast out (as it were out of his lap) a Generation of light and loose Professors; against whom, those who are of a low and legal spirit and Princi­ple, falling short by many degrees of their professed light in the Gospel, are risen up, and shall rise in Judgement to con­demne them, for their intollerable pride and sensuallity.

Qu. If any shall now enquire, what is this fear of the Lord here spoken of?

I Answer, It is a precious effect of the Spirit of Christ,Isa. 11.23. in the heart of a believer,Jer. 32.40. whereby (through the discovery of the glory of God in his word,Psal 86.11. and works by Christ;Rom. 3.18. and in consideration of the vast disproportion that is between God and the Creature) he is made to think highly of God in all his Attributes,Exod. 33.18. & 34.4, 5, 6, 7. and to have respect unto all his Com­mandements.Hosea 3.5. Thus referring the Reader to the search of Scriptures,Psa. 8.3, 4. whether the thing be so,Psa. 111.7, 8, 9, 10. and to the examinati­on of his own heart,Jer. 10.6, 7, 10, 12. whether this good thing be found in him,Isa. 40.15, 16, 17. I shall hasten to the second qualification before men­tioned.

Secondly,Eccl. 12.13. The second Character whereby the faithfull people of God are distinguished from those Formalists, is, Their true, and tender respect unto the name and glory of God; preferring it above all their private concernments. Of this blessed frame that people fell short, who are upon this account reproved by the Prophet: Here­in is their Hypocrisie discovered, that notwithstanding all their profession, and performance of duties in assembling and bringing Offerings, yet, the Lord declares against them, because they were men of mercenary self-seeking spi­rits. Which of you, saith he, would kindle a fire on might Altar for nought? Ch. 1.10. These were more [Page 26]like the Off spring of Hagar, than Sarah, unfit for Gods worke, which was to exalt his name among the Heathen: wherefore he layes them by, saying, I have no pleasure in you; neither would he accept an Offering at their hands, as you may see in the same Verse, and in Chap. 2.3. of this sin, who are so deeply guilty as the Priests, whom the Prophet chargeth with despising Gods great Name? Chap. 1.16. yet are they farthest off from conviction. They put the Prophet (or rather the Lord) to it, to prove the charge, with A WHEREIN, Wherein (say they) have we despised thy Name? And thus they dispute with God and his Messenger: but we find little or no con­fession, or conviction of any evill charged on them, but ra­ther a charging God with injustice, or unrighteousnesse, in not rewarding their services, Chap. 3.14. speaking stout words against him, saying, It is vain to serve the Lord. Could not these boast of a large and long profession, as doe many now, of their keeping Gods Ordinances, walking mournfully before the Lord? &c. These observing solemne dayes of Fasting and Prayer, as those whom the Prophet layes open and reproves, Isa. 1. & 58.2, 3. But in all these things mark what they had in their eye, their own profit; What profit is it? say they.

As for the right Seed, their care is exercised about their fathers name; regarding it so much the more, by how much others slighed it, and as being provoked by the backsliding of many, to an holy jealousie for God, whilest others are looking after their Olive yards, and Vineyards, their purchases and large pay; at best, their present sensi­ble enjoyments. These are content to serve God (though as to an eye of sense) for nought, and without profit; if God hide his face, they will give him glory by looking to him, and waiting for him. They meet together in a dark day, and speak often one to another of the things that concern [Page 27]their fathers Name, that being with most weight on their hearts: We read of nothing save that, nothing like to that upon their hearts, they minded it more then their Trades, Farms, Wife and Children, Lands and Lives; these are the right seed whom God owns for his in trying dayes, Mal. 3.16, 17. and whom he delights to use, having bent their hearts for him, and for his design, to make his name great in all the earth; to these he promiseth the shinings of the Son of Righteousnesse, with healing in his wings, Mal. 4.2, 3. and that they shall goe forth, and grow up as Calves of the stall, and tread down the wick­ed, who shall be as ashes under the soales of their feet.

The words and actions of that chosen Remnant thus qualified (howsoever slighted by the proud) are noted in Gods BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE, where their words who in a light self-seeking spirit made use of his great name, have no place. How apparent is the difference in this respect, betwixt many Professors, and Church-mem­bers? some chiefly minding that work, and those duties, wherein they apprehend their present comfort and eternall salvation most neerly concerned, little regarding those Ordinances which more especially respect the honour of God, as to reprove sin, and to reject or excommunicate offendors, as just occasion is offered; an Ordinance, by the due pra­ctice whereof, the name of God his truth and people are cleared, and preserved from the blame of the miscarriages of scandalous offendors: how heartlesse are Professors and Ministers (at least so accounted) to this work? Did God lay them by of old, who despised his name, and will not God lay these by as Vessels wherein he takes no pleasure, if they repent not, and that speedily? in as much as he is ma­king hast to his great work, viz. To exalt his great name, not in one corner of the earth, but in all the [Page 28]corners thereof; Amen, Hallowed be thy Name, and Hal­lelujah.

Qu. But who shall follow the Lord in this great work?

Ans. They only who are called chosen and faithfull, whom he hath formed for his praise, having redeemed them from the earth. These follow him whithersoever he goeth, not looking and tarrying for man, till such and such a man goe before them: It is enough to them to see clearly, that the Lamb goes before them, for they are his followers, and will follow no other, but in the way of following him.

Qu. But whence is it, or how comes it to passe, that so many professed followers of the Lamb, doe turn back, yea, and turn against him at this time?

Ans. Surely with many (if not with all) such Apo­states, the cause is, their not being established with the grace of God, because they were not stedfast in believing Gods free Promises in Christ for the Kingdome, and all things else to be added to them in seeking that first. Their hearts being not right in the matter of Regeneration, there­fore have they failed in the work of their Generation; and being found Enemies to a thorow work within, are found such to a thorow work of righteousnesse without, and abroad in the Nation: But did such at first run well? Oh then, seeing so many have begun to build, and have not been able to finish; let those who would follow Christ in the Regene­ration, or their Generation work, sit down first, and (with serious spirits) count the cost. Take that word of Christ for your help, Luke 14.26. If any man come to me, and hate not father and mother, and wife and chil­dren, brethren and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my Disciple. The Law and Testimony of the Lord is bound up, and sealed with such Disciples-indeed, [Page 29]who chuse rather to loose their ALL in this world, than to doe any thing contrary to the mind of God contained therein. As for others, the Lord counts them unworthy; and if they be enlightned, they cannot but judge themselves unworthy of so great a trust.

But why doe I detain the Reader thus long from that discourse, which may afford more profit and delight? The work is before thee, goe on to it in the fear of the Lord; onely this I shall say further, viz. That I doubt not but men who will reject a good work (as the manner of some is) for some small (and it may be meerly supposed) Errour, may find whereat to be stumbled in reading this Book; and so this, as many other worthy works, be rendred uselesse, and an offence to them; whilest honest hearts (who ha­ving the love of truth, cannot easily be prejudic'd against it, Psal. 119.165.) are like to reap precious benefit here­by. And here let it be noted also, That God is not a little jealous for the glory of his great Name, in the work he hath begun. Though he will use man in his work, yet so, as that his Imperfection shall appear, that we may cease from man, and from glorying in men, our selves, or others; and that we may give all the glory to him, whose due it is. Amen; Blessing, and glory, and wisedome, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be given unto our God for ever. Having thus far enlarged, as being engaged to bear my Testimony in love to those truths con­tained in the ensuing worke, I commend it to the Lord for his blessing, adding this onely, that I am

Thine if thou rejoycest not in Iniquity, but in the Truth. JOHN PENDARVES.
The 10 day of the 6 Month. 1656.


PAge 2. line 14. for vissitudes read vicissitudes. p. 9. l. 3. r. are not. l. 36. r. heart-feuds. p. 11. l. 8. r. they give him the honor. p. 13. l. 40. r. as at. p. 15. l. 36. r. is in Zion. p. 16. l. 31. dele abide the day. p. 17. l. 4. r. he tells us. p. 64. l. 12. r. secondly. p. 65. l. 8. dele of. p. 77. l. 34. r. swiftnes.

Many other literall Mistakes have escaped the Press, but these above written are some of the chief, of which the Reader is desired to take notice.

The Prophets MALACHY and ISAIAH PROPHECYING to the Saints and Professors of this GENERATION Of the great things the Lord will do, and bring to pass in this their day and time.

MAL. 3.16, 17, 18.

Then they that feared the Lord, spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkned, and heard it; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his Name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wick­ed, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.

THE State of the Nation and Common-wealth of Israel, their Worship, and the dispensation of their God towards them; were Tipes of the better con­dition he would bring his Children into, of those clearer discoveries the Lord would make of himself, and his Glory, and after what manner he would carry himself towards his Chosen in the Gospel-day: And it's as true that the backslidings and apostacies of that Tipical Common-wealth and people, with their corrections, bondages, [Page 2]and captivities; were Tipes also of the state and condition of the Church of God under that Gospel-administration: yea, their ve­ry Enemies were no less than Tippical, pointing out to us those adversaries the Serpent would raise up against the seed of the Woman (the true Church and people of God) in that divident of time called the last dayes.

Their servitude and sore bondage in Egypt was a general Tipe of the malitious practises of the seed of the Serpent against the Womans seed, all the Serpents day long, til the appointed time comes, wherein the Lord wil judge them, and deliver his people with a mighty hand, with signes and with wonders after the manner of Egypt.

But in a more particular way.

After many vissitudes and changes, fals and risings, backslid­ings and reformations wrought in this Common-wealth (which also are not without their Tipical significancies,) when those two admirable & excellent Tipes, David and Solomon had run their race, this people of one Nation became two, which ti­pically is very significant to us: For as those 10 Tribes who made the fraction, presently turned aside from their God, and through their backslidings and apostacies after many warnings from Heaven, brought a destroying enemy upon them, that their place and name was taken quite away; they were a Tipe of those ten parts (if I may so express it) of the professing Gospel-Church, who through their backslidings and apostacies2 Thes: 2.3. falling away, made way for the man of Sin, the Babylonish power to exalt it self over them to their ruine.

And as the Lord for his servant Davids sake, and for Jerusa­lems sake, promised to preserve one Tribe, that David might have1 King. 11.36 a light before the Lord in Jerusalem; notwithstanding their backslidings and apostacies, yet upon the pure account of his Covenant with David, the Lord preserves this one Tribe (accor­ding to his promise) til Shiloh came: this Tribe was a Tipe of that smal part of the professing Gospel-Church, which the Lord will preserve for David his Sons sake, and for Jerusalem his true Churches sake, that the seed of the Woman may not be quite ex­tinct, nor our Lord Jesus the Son of God left without his Rem­nant in the world, notwithstanding all the deviations, backslid­ings, and apostacies of Kings, Rulers, and people, yet there is a cluster in the midst of it, that hath such a blessing in it, that it [Page 3]shal be preserved and continue, til he comes the second time, whose right it is to Reign.

But for the iniquities, backslidings, and Apostacies of this one Tribe, the Lord delivers them for a season into the hand of the King of Babilon; and after a certain term of time, by a Cyrus he opens away for their coming out of Babilon, and return to their own Land to Worship the Lord God of their Fathers at Jerusa­lem, in the true Church; now they apostatising after this super-abundant grace and favour, stopping their ears against the Lords Messengers, he withdraws, God leaves them to themselves, their Prophets cease, the Lord troubles them with no more of his Messengers, only there is a company of honest hearts that fear the Lord, speaking often one to another about these things, but their language is such, as is neither understood, nor hearkned to by that Generation, indeed it's said the Lord hearkned and heard, but not a man minds it as we read of: in this particular also is this one Tribe a Tipe; and its of no smal concernment to us at this day.

In this time of apostacy it was, that our Prophet Malachy de­livered his heavenly Message: before I can enter into the miste­ry of those words, the opening of which is my chief designe; there lies a necessity upon me somewhat to minde the Prophecy in general.

In this Prophecie there are three special, remarkable times to be minded.

  • 1 A day or time of Apostacy, wherein the Lord spake these words by the mouth of his servant Malachy.
  • 2 A day or time of purging and purifying Syon in the 3 Chap.
  • 3 A day or time of judging & desiroying the wicked in the 4 Chap▪

That this day of Judgement that shal burn like an Oven, is one and the same with the time of Dauiels stones smiting the great Image, is clear to me upon this double ground.

1. Because I find the same work done in this day, the stone doth in that.

Dan: 2.35, and 44.

Then was the iron, the clay, the brass the Sil­ver, and the gold broken to peices together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the winde carried them away [Page 4]that no place was found for them: it shal break in pieces, and con­sume all these Kingdoms.

[Page 3]
Mal: 41.3.

For behold the day cometh that shal burn as an Oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shal be stubble: and the day that cometh shal burn them up saith the Lord of hosts, that [Page 4]it shall leave them neither root nor branch: and yee shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles os your feet.

2 Because I find the same growth and prosperity, the same blessing following the performance of the work in both pla­ces.

Dan: 2.25.

And the stone that smote the Image became a great Mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Mal: 4.2.

The Son of Righteous­ness shal arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth, and grow up as Calves of the stall.

There is only this difference, Daniel speaks of the Powers, Au­thorities, and great ones of this wicked world; and Malachy speak of the wicked in general, both smal and great, root and branch: Daniel speaks of the stones executing the wrath and vengeance. of God upon his enemies; and Malachy speaks not only of that, but also of that subjection the wicked shal then be in, to every indi­vidual Saint of that number, they shal be ashes under the soles of your feet: Daniel speaks of the prosperity of the stone as a body com­pact together, the stone became a great mountain; and Malachy speaks of the prosperity and advantage of particular Saints, ye shal grow up as Calves of the stall: yet both have reference to the same work and time.

That the Lord might prepare and fit his people for the great work of this terrible day, he wil purge and purifie them: which is the work of the 2d. day or time mentioned in the Third Ch. of this Prophecie. To prevent some objections which perhaps might be thrown in the way of that further use I must make of this Prophecie in its due place, I desire you to take notice of two things.

1. That this Prophecie hath special relation to the Gentiles in this Gospel-day, which is apparent by that partial fulfilling of this Prophecy, our Lord himself attributes to the beginning of the Gospel-day, even his dayes in the flesh, as wil be evident it you compare with this Prophecie, Math. 11.10. Mark 1.2, 3. Luke 7.27. and Mat: 3.11, 12.

2 That it hath not yet been fulfilled, either to Jew or Gentile: this purifying here treated of, is a Reformation wrought after an Apostacy, for in the day of the most wicked and loathed a­postacy ever Israel was guilty of, the Prophet speaks of it as that [Page 5]which is to come: and sueh a reformation it is, as is a reducing the people to their first and pristine glory and beauty they had in the day of their Espousals, as the 4th. verse intimates to us, Then shall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the dayes of old, as in antient years, (as the margent of some Bibles hath it.) the excellent glory and Heavenliness of this beauty was such, as the Lord seems to glory in it, Jer: 2. 2, 3 I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espou­sals; Israel was holiness unto the Lord: it's deseribed at large E­zek: 16. from the 8th: to the 15th. verse, and our Lord himself seems to hint at such a Reformation, in that speech of his, Mat. 19.8. But from the beginning it was not so: intimating to us, that things ought to be reduced to their first inslit [...]tion, their begin­ning state: it is that which the Church of Ephesus must return to, otherwise she must bear her punishment, Rev: 2.4, 5. This hath not yet been fulfilled to the Jews; for at our Lord first coming they were so far from being reduced by him to their former love, reformed to their first glory, as that they were cast away, Rom: 11.15. and the day of the espousals of the G miles came: and since that dismal time to them, have they not been as a peo­ple driven out from the presence of the Lord? Neither have the Gentiles possest the fulness thereof; for can any man shew us a­ny time or season wherein any part of the professing Gospel-Church hath (after any of her backslidings and apostacies) been adorned with the glory of her marriage-day, the excellen­cy of her first love in the dayes of her youth, that the Lord could say unto her, Thy offerings are pleasant unto me, as in the dayes of old, as in antient years? but so much it is, the Lord hath said in this Prophecy he wil do for his chosen, and this glory it is the Lord wil clothe his Zion with in due time.

We are now returned to the first day or time mentioned, which is, a day of great Apostacy: and by this time I hope I have gained some ground to make good with demonstration to the understandings of men, the truth and certainty of the following discourse. This day of Apostacy after the building of the second Temple (that time of Reformation) being the l [...]st state and condition of that one Tribe, as a Nation, and that wherein our Lord Jesus came and found them to their cost and sorrow; It was a Tipe of the state and condition of some part of the profes­sing Gospel-Church, at that time wherein our Lord shal visit it, [Page 6]withIsai. 4.4. the spirit os Judgement, and the spirit of burning. That we may be able by scripture light, to know to whom this Pro­phecy relates in a more special manner than to others; and that the door of our hearts might be opened (if possible) to receive the following truth: let us consider,

  • 1. The Time of this apostacy.
  • 2. The Quality of this apostacy.
  • 3. The People thus apostatising.

For the Time it self, we have three Characters of it.

1. It is after their coming out of Babilon (as is acknowledged on all hands, that Malachy was the last of the Prophets, and Prophe­cied after Haggai and Zachary's time, who Prophecied at the time of their return from Babilon) after the Lord had delivered them out of the hands of the Babilonians their enemies, and put them into a capacity to serve him in his own appointments, ac­cording to his wil, they turn their backs upon their God, and a­postatise from the Truth.

2 Its that time of Apostacy in Zyon, which the Lord will take to visit his people in, with a spirt of Judgement, and a spirit of burning; by a fiery refining dispensation, making up his Jewels after the manner of purifying gold and silver: the Lord doth not suffer their enemies to carry them back into Babilon (he takes not that former course with them) but he takes them into his own hand to make them a fit and a suitable instrument to do that great, wonderful, and strange work he hath to do in and upon the world: that this is such a time, my thinks there needs no other proof then what the Prophet saith in the 5th: verse of this 3d: Chapter, And I will come near to you to Judgement, and I will be a swift witness against you that fear not me saith the Lord of hosts; you, Who? why, those to whom the Prophet had spoken before: it signifies thus much, in that day wherein I shal thus purge and purifie the sons of Levi (my chosen) that they become beautiful and glorious, pleasant unto me, I wil be a swift witness against you, and judge you that have thus without any fear of me play­ed the Apostates, turned aside and gone backward: the day of Sions purifying, is the day of the Lords judging these leaders of apostacy; therefore these Times are contemporary, so joyned together, as none can put them asunder.

3. Its that time of apostacy immediatly preceding the stones smit­ing the great Image; that day wherein the Lord wil burn up the [Page 7]wicked, leaving them neither root nor branch: when the Lord by turning his hand upon his people, at the concluding time of this apostacy▪ hath (refining them) made up his Jewels, fitted and qualified them, they fall to the work of the burning hot day mentioned in the 4th. Chapt. which hath been proved to be all one with that day of breaking Daniels great Image; there is no interval of Time between these two dispensation.

2. For the Quality of this Apostacy: its a refined hypocritical apostacy: These men wil seem religious, although indeed their hearts are most irreligious,Mal: 1.13 snuffing at the Ordinances and true worship of the Lord: an offering they wil bring, though it be but the blind, and the torn, and the lame, and the sick▪ though it be a wearisom burden to them, yet worship they wil; though they be under a Verse 14. curse for their blinde, and torn, and lame, and sick, and corrupt performances; yet they wil seem outwardly to the world to be the worshippers of God, the blessed people of the Lord, cry­ing the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord; yea▪ they have such cloaks and coverings for their actions, that their backsliding and apostacy is not observable (for a while) by the vulgar eye; none are sensible of it but a company of dispicable souls that fear the Lord, they indeed see this apostacy, and speak often one to another about it, but the rest are blinde; yea so hypocritically cunning are these men, that let the Prophet charge them with what he wil, they answer him with a wherein have we done it? doth he charge them with robbing God of his honour, and of hisCh: 1.6.12 sear due unto him, and with dispising and prophaning the great name of the Lord of hosts? their answer is, Wherein have we despised thy name, and wherein have we robbed thee? doth he charge them with polu­ting the Verse 7. Altar of God, saying the Table of the Lord is contemptible, despising and contemning the true Worship of God, that those that fear the Lord exercise themselves in at this time; they re­ply, Wherein have we done it? doth he charge them withCh: 2.13. Cove­ring the Altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out through their oppressions and violence, that his people can­not serve the Lord with a cheerful and free spirit? they answer him with a wherefore? doth the Prophet charge them with speak­ing stout words against the Lord, saving, its vain to serve God, and Ch: 3.13, 14▪ what profit is it that we have kept his Ordinances, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? their answer stil is, What have we spoken so much against thee? yea, though they call the [Page 8] Verse 15. proud happy, and set up workers of wickedness, and deliver them that tempt God, yet they dare put the Prophet upon the proof of all that he saith, knowing their coverings are able to stave off a present clear proof in this dark day; so that the Prophet him­self is forced to fly to the Lord of hosts to witness to the truth of his words, to prove the charge,Verse 5. the Lord of hosts wil be a swift witness against you: and lastly, doth the Prophet, to manifest the infinite riches of the love and mercy of God to backsliders, ex­hort them to return to the Lord, holding forth his gratious pro­mise, that then he wil return to them?Verse 7. Return unto me, and I will return unto you saith the Lord of Hosts: their answer is, where­in shal we return? they are so confident in the neatness and large­ness of their coverings, that they dare tauntingly, put the Pro­phet to shew if he can, wherein they should return; implying, that they would have him, and all those that found fault with them, to know that they are in the way of the Lord, as near to him as they can be, and that they have not backsliden, nor re­treated from the Lord in any thing, by which any such distance should be made between them and the Lord, that they need to be exhorted to return to him: it signifies thus much further to me, that their pride and hypocrisie is grown to such height that they think it an eclipse to their (vain) glory, a disparagement to them to have the free and rich grace of God tendred to them, (their answer is a kind of profession that they need it not) upon these termes; for say they, Wherein should we return? they have nothing to return from, nor nothing to return to, for they are not gone from God, but are as neer to him as ever they were: al­though it be the most wicked apostacy that ever this Common­wealth was guilty of, yet the most refined of any; insomuch as a great part of those guilty of this Apostacy, are such as are great pretenders to the love of, and delight in the day of the Lords ap­pearance; hence it is, that the Prophet tels them, The Messenger of the Covenant whom ye delight in, behold he shall come saith the Lord of hosts: O the curious wrought net-works of this apostatising day! howneatly are the wicked actions of this day clothed with glori­ous pretences for the Temple, & people of the Lord? their outside seems so clean and clear in this twy-light day, that they will dare any to prove them in an error, that they are out of the way of the Lord, or to shew them a better way.

[Page 9] 3. For the Persons apostatising, they are of two sorts.

1. The leaders and causers of the apostacy: those leaders that not content to depart out of the way themselves, but cause the people to err; that Ch. 2.8. corrupt the Covenant of Levi, and cause ma­ny to stumble at the law of God, laying stumbling-blocks of hypo­crisie before the people to ensnare them, even to the causing the worship and service of the Lord to be an abhorring, a loathsome contemptible thing: upon the head of these men, with their proud and stubborn abettors, will the Lord the jealous God, send down his cursing Judgements, he wil be a swift witness a­gainst them wounding their hairy scalp; saith the Lord of hosts concerning these,Isai: 1.24. Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and a­venge me of mine enemier; Amos [...].10. all the sinners of my people shall dye by the sword, which say, the evil shal not overtake, nor prevent us.

2. There are another sort of persons that keep not their gar­ments clean from the polutions of this Apostacy, though they are not so far engaged as the other; they are those that please and delight themselves in the thoughts of the coming of the Lord, the Mes­senger of that Covenant, by which the Father hath engaged himself to do great and glorious things for his people: these being pur-blind through the glory of their Ceiled houses, the con­venient accomodations of this life, are not able to see the plain characters of a loathsome apostacy written in the forehead of the Times, and so run along in that dirty channel with the rest. they hear the Prophet cry out amain, An Apostacy, an Apostacy an Apostacy, and ye are cursed; undone forever, the Lord will raise up another people, (Mal. 1.11. My name shal be great among the Hea­then) and cast you off if ye repent not; and they hear those that fear the Lord speaking often one to another of the evil of the Times, and the sufferings of the name of God at this day: yet through dimness of sight, and dulness of heart, they know not what to think of these things, they are not able to adjust the controver­sie, and pass a right sentence upon the case, only they please themselves in the thoughts of the coming of the Lord, and that then he wil put an end to these dubious controversies and hearts-feuds between Brethren, and right the wronged, punishing the oppressor; when he comes with the breath of his lips he wil de­stroy the wicked, and wipe away all tears from the face of his people; when the Sun of Righteousness arises, his bright bcams wil disperse all these clouds and mists of darkness, that we [Page 10]shal see the way of the Lord clearly; therefore it is good for us to keep our station, and abide in the condition we are in, til our Lord himself comes; and O that he would come, how would it joy our hearts to behold him? but ah saith the ProphetCh. 3. [...]. Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shal stand when he appear­eth? notwithstanding this curious profession of theirs, he gives them to understand, they would neither stand in that day, nor abide it: These have so far bespotted their garments with the apostatising defilements of the Times, that they need the Refi­ners fire, and Fullers sope to parge and purifie them; the Lord of hosts wil turn his hand upon these, after the manner of purify­ing gold and silver, to purge away their dross, and take away all their Tin.

Yet in the midst of this dismal Age, there is a handful that fear the Lord, they keep their garments clean and pure from the polutions of this their day, speaking often one to another about these things.

Then they that feared the Lord, spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkned, and heard it, &c.

In the words we have,

1 A description of some persons that exercise themselves in a work wel-pleasing to the Lord in this provoking day of apo­stacy, they that feared the Lord.

2 The work it self; set down in two expressions, they spake of­ten one to another, and they thought upon his name.

3 The Lords acceptation of this work; which is held forth

1 By a double Act of the Lord, he hearkned, and heard it, and a Book of remembrance was written before him.

2 By several rich and glorious promises made to these sincere hearts, and they are of two sorts.

1 Such as concern reward for work done; which are two.

  • 1 They shall be mine saith the Lord of hosts.
  • 2 And I will spare them as a man spareth his own Son that serveth him.

The excellency and worth of which promises are heightned by the aggravation of the time when; in that day when I make up my Jewels.

2 A promise, that is not only a bare reward for work done, but contains qualification and fitness for the perfor­mance of a succeeding glorious work immediatly to [Page 11]come forth; then shal ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.

Would you know the persons that are thus valued and prized by the Lord of Heaven and earth in such a day as this? we have three characters of them in the Text.

1 They fear the Lord, they worship him, and give glory to him and none other; they give honor of a Father, and the fear of a Master, they sanctifie his name, giving him those dues which these despisers of his great Name wil not: they fear the Lord; not man, not those great masters of apostacy that dare to speak proud and stout words against the Lord, and prophane the name of God; nor those workers of wickedness that are set up, on high above their fellows, who by their Oppressions make their Brethren to howl, covering the Altar of the Lord with tears and with weeping, and with crying out; they fear not, nor care not for those that can only kil the body, but they fear the Lord, who can slay both body and soul; the Lord alone is their fear.

2 They are so heartily and throughly sensible of the sufferings of the name and honour of their God, that their care for that swalloweth up all other cares: they minde not so much their own sufferings under the oppressions of these workers of wickedness, as the sufferings of the name and interest of their dear Lord, under that dishonour and shame these wicked (tho refined) hypocrites throw upon it; their careful thoughts are solely taken up about the concernments of the name of their God; They thought upon his name: yet notwithstanding these excellencies, they are not per-sect. But

3 They are subject to many insirmities; for they stand in need of the sparing mercy of their God and Father: and I wil spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

2 The work it self, which these sincere hearts exercise them­selves in, as the great duty incumbent upon them in this their day is, Consultation about the concernments of the great name and cause of the Lord at this time. They think, and they speak both parts of counsel, they thought upon his name, they consult in their own own hearts and thoughts about the name and interest of God; and they speak often one to another about it, they are often enqui­ring of, and communicating their light to each other, that if possible, by such communications they may be able to find out [Page 12]something of the mind of their God and Father, they could not by their more private consultations in their hearts and thoughts; the subject of these their so serious consultations is, the name of their God, they thought upon his name; their care is not, how shal we get from under the unsupportable oppressions of these workers of wickedness that are set up? nor, how shall we free our selves and our Posterity from the bondage and slavery of these sons of violence? nor so much, how shal we bring down these proud and lofty men that speak such proud and stout words against the Lord, his name, and honour? (though possibly that may be more remotely in their thoughts too) but all their cares are dissolved into a godly and holy carefulness, for the name and honour of their dear Lord: they thought upon his name, how that was dishonoured; the Lord had gotten himself a great name, by delivering his people out of Babilon, rearing up the glorious structure of his Temple, and building up the ruined wals of Jerusalem, setting up his true Worship again there, in despight of all those great oppositions of his enemies round a­bout; and these backsliders dispise and dishonour this great name of the Lord of hosts, doing what in them lies to bury it in Oblivion; now these lovers of the Name of God, think on this, are very solicitous what they should do at this juncture of time to wipe off that dishonour is cast upon this great and glorious name in the view of the whole world; O say they, what shall we do for the name of our God? wherewith shall we honour it? what course shal we take to exalt and magnifie it in the eyes of the world, before whom it hath been thus dishinored? here's the Center of all their thoughts and consultations, They thought up­on his Name.

3 Let us see how exceeding kindly the Lord takes this at their hands.

1 The Lord by two eminent acts manifests his great acceptance of them: how is the heart of God taken with this blessed work The Lord hearkned and heard it, as it implie the lowness, weak­ness, of the voice of these holy consultations, that the Lord must hearken and listen (to speak after the manner of men) before he can hear it; so it also implies great intensness of spirit with de­light: he hearkned; the Lord is so wel-pleased with these blessed consultations, that rather than miss hearing their voice, he will hearken and listen with the greatest intenseness of minde; [Page 13] the Lord hearkned; as if the Lord had said, stand aside Sathan, cease thy accusing clamours in mine ears; silence you exalters of wicked workers, You are of your Father the devil, and the lusts of your Father ye w ll do, he was a lyar from the beginning, and so are ye, wrongfully charging the innocent with things they know nor: peace ye waiward froward children, through the noise and din of your peevish wranglings nothing can be heard: be stil all, I wil hear what these my Beloved ones say, that stand up for my name and honour in such a day as this what though they disco­ver much weakness and infirmity in the management of their work? yet, I delight in them, and love to hear their voice: The Lord hearkned, and heard it, he hearkens til he hears all: and he takes special notice of what he hears, let's nothing slip, and so delightful and pleasing to him is that he hears, that, as if he were distrustful of his memory, A book of remembrance was writ­ten before him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name; here is the Lambs book, wherein he sets down all the service his servants do for him, that he may give them a suita­ble and ful reward when he comes into his Kingdom, that pos­session his Father hath decreed to give him: the Lord is so taken with what he hears, that he wil book it all down, set it all upon Record, not a thought nor an expression, not a word nor a silla­ble, wil he loose; the heart of God is so taken with these brea­things, that he writes a Book of Remembrance, that when those Heavenly Records are read, he may remember to do them ho­nour then, who thus honour him now by their loyalty and faithfulness, cloathing them with his own Robes, his own glo­ry; Thus shal it be done to the man whom the King delighteth to honour.

2 The Lords acceptation of the work of these blessed souls ap­pears by those rich promises he makes to them; which are

1 Such as concern reward for work done. As

1 They shal be mine saith the Lord of hosts, this is a note of spe­cial peculiarity, for (as it hath relation to other persons.) its put in opposition unto my Jewels in the next words; saith the Lord of hosts there is a day a coming wherein I wil make up my jew­els, gather up my treasure, and in that day they shal be mine, mine in a more special and peculiar way and manner than my Jewels shal be: as at the first, when the children of Israel were in Egypt, there were two Mines, my people, and my first born, as as the [Page 14] first-born in whose stead the Tribe of Levi was chosen, were Gods in a more special and peculiar manner then the rest of Gods people of Israel, they were those whom he chose to be al­waies in his presence, to serve before him continually, his favo­rites to whom he manifested his glory, and by whom he reveal­ed his mind and Wil to the rest of their Brethren: so here are TWO MINES too, mine, and my Jewels, and this mine being put in opposition to my Jewels, signifies thus much, that in the day vvhen the Lord makes up his Jewels, he will honour them with more special favour, and higher dignities, than the rest of his Jewels: they shal be mine, I vvil take them so near to my self, that so great a ray of my glory shal rest upon them, as that they shal outshine all their fellows, their lustre and glory shal outstrip and go beyond al the rest of my Jewels, none in all my treasury of Jewels shal be like unto them.

2 And I wil spare them as a man spareth his own Son that serveth him; saith the Lord, there's a fiery refining day a coming, ful of troubles, sorrows, and anxieties of spirit to the professing vvorld, but I vvil spare them.

Spare them! for vvhat? and from vvhat?

Ques For vvhat vvil the Lord spare them, do these holy sincere hearts need sparing?

Ans: Yes, Although they are so sensible of the suffering of the name of their God, under the dishonour and evil of the times, yet they have many infirmities, and come far short of the glory that shal then be revealed, but I wil spare them saith the Lord; and al­though their infirmities be such, as they need not only a common sparing, but the sparing of a Father, that sparing vvhich proceeds from the purest and freest love and affection possible, sparing in the highest degree; yet, I wil spare them as a man spareth his own Son that serveth him, as a man looks upon the good wil of his Son that in serving him seeks his honour, although through weaknes and infirmity he dishonour him, and takes not notice of his di­shonouring infirmities, but of his good aims and ends in his ser­vice, so wil I spare them saith the Lord of hosts.

Qu: From what vvil the Lord spare them?

Ans: From the painful, sharp, and terrible sorrows of that day wherein I wil make up my jewels: so that novv we are come to the consideration of that weighty circumstance of time, vvherein the Lord wil perform these pretious promises, the consideration [Page 15]whereof, wil mightily enhance the value and price of our Lord and masters love, manifested in these his promises.

In that day when I make up my Jewels, what day is this? it is that day mentioned in the beginning of the Chapter, wherein he wil be like a Refiners fire, and like Fullers sope. that the Holy Ghost intends that day in this place, is clear to me from this double consideration.

1 From the phraise, THAT DAY, in that day when I make up my jewels: when the Holy Ghost speaks of a day or time to come, that he had not spoken of before, he cals it the day, as here in the fourth Chapter. Behold the day cometh that shal burn as an Oven, &c. but when the Holy Ghost expresseth a day or time by that day, he points at the time treated of immediatly before, as in the Third and Fourth Chapter of Isaiah; and indeed throughout the whole scripture I find it is the usual manner of the Holy Ghost so to do: and this Refining-day being the time treated of im­mediatly before, we cannot rationally conceive any other day is pointed at by that day.

2 From that other phraise, When I MAKE UP my Jewels; what more genuine and natural interpretation can be given, than, that these Jewels are the product of the Refiners fire? the work­manship of this Refiner, and purifier of silver, forming them into Jewels of gold, and Jewels of silver, a people formed for himself to shew forth his praise.

That we may see somewhat of the terribleness of this day, and from thence behold the pretiousness of these promises, and be provoked to make it our business to ensure them to our selves, for our inheritance in this shaking day: let us consider,

1. The manner of the Lords dealing with his people at this day; he wil be to them like a Refiners fire, and like fullers sope: and what more dreadful & consuming than a refiners fire, & what more sharp & searching than fullers sope? and this will he be unto them; He wil sit upon them as a Refiner and puryfier of silver, dealing with them after the manner of purifying gold & silver til he hathIsai: 1.29. Purged away all their dross, and taken away all their tin: Isai: 31 9. His fire in Sion, and his furnace in Jerusalem; Ezek: 22.18.19, 20, 21.22. Because they are become dress to the Lord, behold therefore saith the Lord God, I wil gather you into the midst of Jerusalem, as they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the Fire upon it, to melt it; so, I wil gather you, and blow upon you in the Fire of my [Page 16]wrath, and ye shal be melted; and ye shal know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you.

2 It is such a day, as the Prophet makes it a great question, whe­ther any of those that profess a delight in the thoughts and ex­pectations of it, shal abide it, stand in that great day: Even the Messenger of the Covenant whom ye delight in, behold he shall come saith the Lord of hosts; but who may abide the day of his coming? as if he should have said, you please and delight your selves in the thoughts of the coming of the day of the Lord, hoping that he wil mend all, and set things to rights when he comes, and make his people a happy people;Isa. 11.13. That the envy of Ephraim shall de­part, nnd the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shal not vex Ephraim; and then shal these un­brotherly controversies and heats of spirit cease, he wil give them Jer. 31.39. one heart and one way: you delight in the Messenger of the Covenant that shal do such things; that day shal come, ah but (saith the Prophet) who of you may abide the day of his coming? he wil come in such a way and manner so contrary to flesh and blood, so contrary to your expectations and apprehensions, as you wil not endure it, nor abide, but be offended and stumble to the hazard of your souls; and who shal stand when he appeareth? you think you are wel, in a good and safe station, but when he appeareth, who of you shal keep your standing? not one of you: your foundations will then appeare but sandy foundations, and your rests broken reeds; and at what a loss wil you then be? such a shaking wil the Lord make in that day, as wil shake you all of your standing; though now you think you are in the right, that your feet standeth in a sure place, and that you could be filled with joy to behold the Lords appearing, yet then none of you wil be able to keep your ground. Who may abide the day abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appear­eth? these interrogatives strongly affirm, that none of them can abide it, and none of them shal stand: and wil not this be a ter­rible day indeed, vvhen such glorious professors as delight them­selves in the thoughts and expectations of the coming of Christ, shal be found too light, and thrown into the fiery furnace to purhe their dross, and tinn, and come under the Fullers sope to cleanse their garments from their unclean and filthy spots?

But would you see more of the terrors of this dreadful day? then consider the four first Chapters of the Prophet Isaiah; in the [Page 17]first Chapter he speaks of the same time Malachy doth in general termes; in his second Chapter, after an enumeration of some of the evils of the Times, as the reason why the Lord hath forsa­ken his people; he tels the particular work the Lord wil do in Zion at this day; from the 10th. verse to the end: in the seven first verses of the 3d. Chapter; the Prophet tels us what course the Lord wil take to bring those great things to pass, he had spoken of before, from the 16 Verse to the second Verse of the 4th Chapter, he sets down the punishment and sad condition of the Capital and Head City of the land: and in the remainder of the 4th Chapter we have a description of the glory and happy state of the Lords Jewels, those that are purged and puryfied by this Refiners fire and Fullers sope; by his spirit of Judgement, and his spirit of burning.

That Isaiahs Prophecie in these Chapters, hath relation to the same time Malachy treats of, is clear to me upon these grounds.

1 Because I find that Isaiah as wel as Malachy hath relation to three times.

1 To a time of Apostacy:Isa. 1.2, 4, 21, 22, 23. I have nourished and brought up Children, and they have rebelled against me: A sinful Nation, a peo­ple laden with iniquity, they are gone away backward: how is the faithful City become an harlot? it was ful of judgement, righteousness lodged in it, but now Murderers: thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixt with water: thy Princes are rebellious, and companions of theeves, &c: yea, and this apostacy is guilty of the same quality Malachy's is, a refined hypocritical apostacy; though they be rebelious chil­dren, corrupters, and are so far gone backward, that the Lord dis­pairs of doing them any good by correcting them at a former rate; but saith,Verse 5, They wil then revolt more and more: though they be altogether unsound from the sole of the foot unto the head: Verse 6. though they be as theVerse 10, Rulers of Sodom, and their Verse 15, hands are ful of blood; yet, they cover all with aVerse 11, multitude of sacrifices, they fil the Lord with them, that they trouble him, and he is a Verse 14, weary to bear them; all their performances are guilty of such hypocritical vanity, that they are anVerse 13, 14. abomination to the Lord, and his soul hates them.

2 To a time of purifying and restoring Zion to its former glo­ry, from whence they are fallen;Verse 25, 26. And I wil turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin; and [Page 18]I wil restore thy Judges as at the first, and thy Counsellors as at the be­ginning: afterward, thou shalt be called the City of righteousness, the faithful City: Ch: 4.3. And it shal come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shal be called holy.

3 To a time of destroying the wicked:Ch: 1.28.3 The destruction of the transgressors, and of the sinners shal be together; And they that for­sake the Lord shal be consumed: and the strong shal be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shal both burn together, and none shall quench them: Read also the second and third Chapters. There is only this difference, Isaiah hath spetial relation to the civil state, of his people, as a Common-wealth; and Malachy hath spetial relation to the Worship and religious state of this people, as a Church.

Ob: If any should object that it is not probable that Isaiah should point at the same time with Malachy, for he Prophecied a long time before, & speaks in the present tence, as if he spake these things of his own time.

Answ: I Answer 1. That this Prophecie was made known to I. saiah in King Ʋzzia's time, 2 King. 15.3 who did that which was right in th sight of the Lord: he was no ruler of Sodom, therefore this Prophe­cy refers to another time, not the present: that it was revealed in Ʋzzia's time, appears to me, because the Vision seen by the Prophet sometime after, in the 6th Chapter, is said to be seen in the year that King Ʋzziah dyed, verse 1.

2 This is a Vision; the vision of Isaiah the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, &c. now visions being concern­ing things to come, this must of necessity have relation to a time yet to come.

2 Because I find the Prophet Isaiah as wel as Malachy, directs his speech to three sorts of people: First, To those Apostates, the Lord wil in his judgements be avenged of,Ch. 2.24, and 3.11. Ah, I wil ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies; Wo unto the wicked, it shal be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him. Secondly, To those whom the Lord wil purge and purifie,Ch: 1.25, I wil turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: who when the Lord shal have thus purged away their filth, by a spirit of judgement, and a spirit of burning, shal be the holy Jewels of the Lord. Thirdly, To a company of righteous souls, whom the Lord wil spare in that day; to whom the Prophet is commanded to sayCh. 3.10. it shal be wel with them, for [Page 19]they shal eat the fruit of their doings: though it go ful ill with the rest of their Brethren, yet it shal be wel with them, the Lord wil spare them; he hath his chambers to hide them in, in this day of his wrath, wherein he will punish the Inhabitants of the earth for their iniquities.

3 Because I find the Prophet hath wholly relation to the last dayes, Chap: 2. verse 2. and it shal come to pass in the last dayes: the Prophet brings in the kingdom of the mountain (the kingdom of Christ in its ful glory) as the product and effect of that which before (in the latter part of the first Chap.) he had said the Lord would do: for, he brings it in with an AND, and it shal come to pass in the last daies: it runs current thus, when Syon (for the faith. faithful City in the 21 verse, and Zion in the 27 verse I take to be all one) hath so far apostatised, as that she is become an Har­lot in Gods account, her silver become dross, and her wine mixt with water, altogether defiled; then wil God avenge himself of his ad­versaries the leaders of this loathsom apostacy, and turn his hand upon professing Zion, bringing her back again to himself restore her to her former glory, that, She shal again be called the City of Righteousness, the faithful City; and the wicked, the transgressors and sinners together, shal be burned with such a burning as none shal be a­ble to quench; then in these last dayes, shal the mountain of the Lords house be established in the top of the mountains, and shal be exalted a­bove the hils, and all Nations shal flow unto it: and to confirm our faith, and to keep out unbelief, that we might not stagger at the promise; in the remainder of this 2d. Chapter, with. the 3d. and 4th: Chap. the Prophet treats more largely and particularly of some of the same thing he had spoken of before in the general; telling us the meanes by which the Lord would bring those things to pass; doing such wonders in Zion mentioned in the latter part of the 2d. Chapter, and that by such a way and course as he sets down in the 3d. Chapter, bringing forth such blessed effects as are held forth in the 4th: Chap. that indeed the inha­bitants of Zion shal be enabled to burn up the wicked both root and branch; and then the mountain of the Lords house shal come to be ex­alted above the hils, and established in the top of the Mountains, so that all Nations shal flow unto it.

4 Because I find that the glory of the 4th. Chap. which is brought in as the proper effect and product of what was done in the 2d. and 3d: Chapt: cannot in any wise be meant of the glory of the [Page 20]mountain of the Lords house, but of some state of the house of God, before it attains to its mountain-glory; and my reasons for this apprehension are,

1 Because the Prophet speaks of such a state of Zion, as the glo­ry whereof stands in need of a DEFENCE;Ch. 4, 5. upon all the glory shall be a defence: now when Syon, the Lords house comes to be a mountain, established above (in the top of) all other mountains, it wil be so far above the reach of all its enemies, that it wil not stand in need of a defencé from their rage and violence; but this is such a state as must have a defence upon its glory, least it should be ruined and spoiled by its enemies.

2. Because this state stands in need ofVerse 6, a shadow from the heat, and a place of refuge, and a covert, from the storm, and from the rain: by which metaphors of heat, storme, and raine, I understand the violent rage of the enemies thereof, and that stout & power­ful op position they wil make against it; I am confirmed in the truth of this interpretation, by Isaiahs 25 chap: where is record­ed a song that shal be the Churches tune, after the Lord hath wrought some of his wonders by Zion thus refined, and defend­ed by an al nighty creating power, then wil she sing forth prai­ses to her Lord, after the tenour of that heavenly excelling song: wherein he expresses, first her thankfulness for wonderful things already done, acknowledging and admiring the truth and faithfulness of God, vowing and engaging to exalt the Lord, and praise his name; in the 4 first Verses. Secondly, her sted ast faith, believing without hefitation; those great and glori­ous things the Lord hath said he wil yet do for and by his Sy­on; in the rest of the Chap: and amongst the wonderful things the Lord doth, to cause his Syon thus to break forth into prai­ses, there is,Ch. 25.2 The making a City a hoap, and a defenced City a ruine, annihilating the Palace of strangers, so, as it shal never be builte a­gain; managing this great work in so glorious a way, that it causes thes City of the terrible ones to fear: Verse 3. now if we observe the meanes by which the Lord work; these wonders, we shal find it to be the same defence mentioned in the 4th Chapter, Verse 4, For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his disiress, a re­fuge from the storm, a shaddow from the heat, when the blast of the ter­rible ones is as a storm against the wall; the Prophet clearly makes good the interpretion given, bringing in the storm, and the heat as the effects of the blast of the terrible ones: all which are gain; managing this great work in so glorious a way, that it [Page 21]in consistant with the glory of the mountain state.

Ob. If any should object, That the Prophet seems to have reference to the mountain state; for, he cals it a mountain seve­ral times in this 25 Chapter.

Ans: To that I answer, first that it cannot be supposed by a­nything in this Chapeer, that the Prophet points at the glory of the mountain of the Lords house, when it shal be established in the top of the mountains, (that state I alwaies mean by the moun­tain state) for that is a peaceful state of glory, whereinChap. 2.4. Micha 4.3. Swords shal be beaten into Plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks; but throughout the Chapter, the Prophet hath relation to that state of Syon, whereinJoel 3.10. Plowshares shall be be aten into swords, and pruning books into spears: wherein Zion is the LordsJer. 51.20 Battel-ax, and wea­pon of was, to break in pieces many Nations; his threshing-instru­ment,Isai. 41.5. Threshing the mountains, and bring down the mise of the strangers, bringing low the branch of the terrible ones, and treading downCh. 25.10, 12 Moab (the enemies of the Lord) as straw sor the dunghil, laying low, & bringing down to the ground, even to the dust, the for­tress of the high forts of the wals.

2 To me, the Prophet by his calling Syon a mountain, signi­fies thus much, That after the Lord hath by this purged, refined, de­fended Zion, brought down that great and notable City, then shal Zion begin to be a mountain; begin to grow up into a mountain; ha­ving by this time smitten the great Image so notably, as to bring down the defenced City, the Palace of strangers; then shal her glory be such, as shal strike fear into, and she shal be able to cope with, the City of the terrible ones: and this mountain shal in due time be established in the top of the mountains. Would any know, who this defenced City, this Palace of strangers is? I conceive it to be the same with that lofty City mentioned in the 5th Verse of the next Chapter, which shal be brought down and laid low; by the foot, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy: which city I conceive to be Babilon, that lofty City, that fits as Queen and Emperess of the world; for, to whom can this character be more properly applyed, than to that great and lofty one, thatRev. 17.1, 2 sits upon many water, who hath the Kings of the earth for her servants, to commit fornication with her? as Babilon of old was the great and lofty City, exalting it self aboveDan 4.1. all people, Nations, and lan­guages that dwelt in all the earth, so, hath our Babilon exalted her selt above the christian world, as they cal in So that

[Page 22] 3 The Prophet here sets forth, the joyful praising state of the true Church and people of God, immediatly upon the destruction of Ba­bilon: then shal they be able to sing the songs of Syon again, prai­sing the Lord after this manner.

3 Because in this state there is night as wel as day; therefore, there is the shining of a flaming fire prepared for the nights de­fence: but the glory of the mountain state is such, as There shall be Rev: 21.25 no night there.

Because in this state there is a Tabernacle appointed for its de­fence, which is moveable and not fixed, therefore not the moun­tain state, for that is a fixed unmoveable state; They that trust in the Lord, shal be as Psal. 125.1 MOUNT ZION which cannot be removed, but a­bideth for ever.

And seeing for these reasons, it cannot be interpretred of the glory of the mountain state of Zion, I shall lay it down as the

And last ground why I apprehend Isaiah and Malachy to treat both of one and the same time; That this glory here spoken of in this 4th: Chapter, is the glory of that state of Zion, wherein it be­comes Daniels stone smiting the great Image; the Lords battel-ax, and weapon of war, breaking in pieces the Nations, and destroying Kingdoms; the Lords threshing instrument, to thresh the mountains smal, and to make the hils like chaff: upon the glory of this state there shal be such a defence, that neither the heat, nor the storm, nor the raine of their enemies shal hurt or touch it: the reasons that move me to adhere to this interpretation, are:

1 This glory is no other but the fruit of Zions purging, and puri­fying, which in this Chapt: is called HOLINESSE, Every one that it left in Zion, and that remaineth in Jerusalem shal be called holy: it is upon this glory, the defence is created: now this purifying of Zion, and cloathing it with this glory, is performed before, (though but immediatly before) the day comes, wherein the transgressors and sinners shal burn together, and none shall quench them; that day that shal burn as an Oven, burning up the wicked both smal and great, leaving them neithergoot nor branch: when Zion shal be redeemed, and restored to this glory, then shall the destruction of the wicked come.

2 The defence that is created upon this glory, carries a great similitude to the Isratites wilderness state; a cloud and smoakby day, and a shining of a flaming fire by night, and a Tabernacle: now it [Page 23]signifies thus much to me, that as the children of Israel had these things for their defence and direction, when they were travelling through the Wilderness to the Promised land; so, under these figures the Holy Ghost holds forth to us, that defence the Lord wil create by a wonder working power upon this glory, all the while his chosen are journying over the worlds hils and moun­tains, towards that State, which was tiped out by the Promised Land of Canaan: so that in deed and in truth, the glory of this State mentioned in this 4th. chapter, which shal have such a de­fence, is no other but that qualification and sitness, the Lord wil indue his Zion withall, to enable her to carry on his great de­sign and work in the world, to bring all the Kingdoms of this world into subjection to his Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Supposing I have sufficiently proved the truth of the assertion, That Isaiah in these Chapters, treateth of the same time Malachy doth in his Prophecy: I shal proceed to consider the Terrors of this dreadful day, as the Prophet holds them sorth: which wil plain­ly appear to us if we confider,

1 The dreadful work the Lord wil make in professing Zion at this day,Isai. 2. he wil humble the lofty looks, and bring down the haugh­tiness of man; there is not a man that is proud and lofty, and lifted up, but shal be brought down in that day: and the day of the Lord shal be upon all the Cedars of Lebanon; that Timber, of which once the Lord was pleased to make beams and rafters for his house, becomes now the subject of the anger and displeasure of God, by reason of its being high and listed up upon its own bottom: and upon all the Oaks of Bashan; those trees of strength that are so useful in the Common wealth: and upon all the high mountains and hils that are lifted up; those prodigious lumps of earth, whose aspiring brows injuriously overtop their neigh­bouring levels: and upon every high Tower, and fenced wal: those strengths and fortresses: the works of mens hands, in which they put their trust as in a sure place, and upon all the Ships of Tarshish; those waies and means by which these men gain their Idols of gold, and their Idols of silver; which they make each one for himself to Worship: and upon all pleasant pictures; those rare painted inventions, the wits of the Times find out, to please the childish world with, now in its doting old age: and these, with all other Idols, wil he utterly abolish, they shal utterly pass away; and [Page 24](which is worthy our serious noting, and is very significant) he doth all this as he is Lord of hosts for behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth so and so; its the day of the Lord of hosts, that fals upon the particulars fore-mentioned. What a dreadful day of Ter­rors must this of necessity prove, when the Lord of hosts ariseth out of his place to de I with such sturdy and potent enemies as these are, shaking terribly the earth? the dread of this glorious Maje­sty is such, as puts all the Inhabitants of this professing world to the run, they run into the holes of the rock, and into the caves of the earth, they then throw away their Idols of gold, and their Idols of sil­ver, to the moles and to the batt's, though their Whorish and adulte­rous hearts run out so strongly to them before, yet then, let who vvil take them that they may run the lighter into the clefts of the Rock, and to the tops of the ragged rocks; and poor Jacob, he is put to the run too, he enter into his rock, the rock of Ages, into those secret Chambers the Lord hath provided for him to lye hid in; and all for dread and fear of the glorious Majesty of the Lord of hosts at this day: and such glory wil be manifested at this day, that those that are left to praise the Lord, shal wholly cease from man, all men, all of man, the best of men, the holiest of men, even the holy Inhabitant of Syon; upon whose heavenly glo­ry the Lord wil create so sure a defence; even from this man, with whose beauty the Lord is so in love as that he will in no wise suffer it to be defaced; from all men whose breath is in their nostrils shal the remnant then cease: and they wil be able to render a good reason for their practise from dear bought ex­perience, for wherein is he to be accounted of? nothing, nor none wil then be of any account but the Lord himself, the Lord alone shal be exalted in that day: this is the end of all, that we may cease from man, and the Lord alone may be exalied, but before this can be accomplished, what dreadfulwork, doth the stubborn Rebellions and Wickednesses of men, force the Lord to make in the world? what dissolvtions! what ruining of mountains and Hils! of Towers and Fenced wals! of Ships, and of men! appearing in so dreadful a posture, that all men good and bad, run to hide themselves from his wrath and fury; may we not apply that Scripture to this day?Luke 21.23 Woe unto them that are with Child, and to them that give suck in those daies, for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

[Page 25] 2 Consider somewhat of the way and means by which the Lord wil bring to pass these wonders, to accomplish this great work of exalting himself in Syon at this day:Isai. 3 For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, & the whole stay of water: the stay and the staff; whatsoever it is they lean and rest upon for help and safety, the Lord of hosts wil take that away from them: the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water; those wayes and means (whether traffick or otherwise) to which they trust to maintain plenty and prosperity, this stay wil the Lord of hosts take away: do they trust to their power and warlike strength? the mighty man, and the man of War, and the Captain of fifty; I wil take away that staffe saith the Lord of hosts: do they rely upon their alliances and confederacies, with the most interested men in the Nation? the Judge, and the antient, and the honourable man; I will take away that staffe saith the Lord of hosts: do they lean upon their affinity and good correspondency with the holy and good men of the Times, that by the prevalent influences of their good words for them, they may appease and quiet a murmuring and discontented people, to gain time to take deep root in the earth? the Prophet, and the eloquent Orator; I wil take away that staffe to saith the Lord of hosts: do they rest upon their cousel and poli­cy! the Counsellor and the cunning Artificer; I wil take away that staff also saith the Lord of hosts: yea, Children shal be their Prin­ces, and Babes shal rule over them; I wil so enfatuate their Princes and Rulers, that they shal act like Babes and Children; as far below the commendable actions of good and wise Rulers, that act in the fear of the Lord, as the actions of Babes and Children are beneath the actions of a wise and prudent man: and what follows? oppression after oppression, intolerable oppression; and it is no wonder, seeing children and babes, yea Women, men ef­feminated, of most pusillanimous, fearful and cruel spirits, (Isai. 33, 14. [...] the sinners in Zion are afraid, fearfulness bath surprized the Hypocrites) rule over the people: Oppression in the highest degree, all ranks and degrees of men broken, The Child behaveth himself proudly a­gainst the antient, and the base against the honourable; through the unworthiness of him that sitteth in the seat of the Antient, and the degenerated actions of him that occupies the room of the honourable, those, whose stations are as far inferior to theirs, as the child is to a man ful of dayes, and the base beggar to the [Page 26]truly honourable, they behave themselves proudly against them, looking upon them as the subject of their scorn and disdain, rather than the object of their fear and honour: The people are oppressed every one by another, every one by his Neighbour; yea, the imperious oppressions of these wicked Rulers are so intolerable, and the disgusts and rage of the people so great and high, that as they are at a loss whom to chuse to rule and govern them, so e­very man wil be so fearful and shie of becoming a healer of these breaches, that when they come to pitch upon any, he wil refuse the honour and dignity, swearing to them, that he hath not those qualifications in him, as they expect should be in a Ruler: this I conceive is the natural import of the 6 and 7th: Verses, When a man shal take hold of his Brother, of the house of his Father, saying: thou hast clothing, be thou our Ruler, and let this ruine be under thine hand. In that day shal he swear saying, I will not be a healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing, make me not a Ruler of the people: these calamities end in naught else but ruine, For Jerusalem is ruine, and Judah is fallen.

Thus dreadful and terrible wil the day of the Lord be to the house of Jacob, professing Zion; and who is he that trembleth not at this word of the Lord? is there any so curious to enquire in­to the reason, why the Lords wrath waxes so hot against his people, those that by a profession gave themselves up to him as his people? they may by a narrow search find, the Lord proceeds upon good and just grounds and reasons; from amongst divers others take these:

1 More generally, relating to the people in the lump.

1 Because Ch. 3.8. their tongue and their doings, are against the Lord to provoke the eyes of his glory: their speeches and actions are such, so exceeding provoking, as the holy and pure eyes of God can­not endure; they are so dishonourable to his great name, and derogating from his glory that being a jealous God, that wil not give his glory to another, he wil not forgive them, but wil sati­ate his justice in their fal and ruine.

2 Because Ch: 2.8. their land is ful of Idols, they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made, the meane man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: they are guilty of idolatry, their own works are their Idols; which I cannot con­ceive is the gross idolatry of former Ages, but these Idols are of another nature, suitable to the refined wickedness of this day: [Page 27]what they are, I shal not stand to search into; it suffiseth; that they are in the Lords account Idolaters; notwithstanding all their curious coverings, they cannot hide their idolatry from the eyes of the Lord.

2 More particular, relating in special to the chief Rulers.

1 Because Verse 6. they be replenished from the east, and are Southsayers like the Philistines; notwithstanding all their glorious hypocriti­cal professions, and outside worship, that men cannot discern what they are without digging very deep; yet, they are guilty of some of the wicked and provoking abominations of their predecessors, whom the Lord drave out before them.

2 Because Verse 7. their Land is ful of silver and gold, neither is there a­ny end of their treasure: their time is spent in getting, and their hearts run a whoring after, the riches of this world; as it was in the dayes of Noah, so it is now, they are wallowing in the delights and pleasures of this world; they are so swallowed up in the love of the fading glory of this miserable world, that they cannot find their rest; but there is no end of their treasures, they wil never with the rich man, say it is enough, soul take thy rest; so insatiable are they; that the treasures of the world are not able to satiate their boundless lusts; there is no end of their desires, the more they get, the more they would have; there is no end of their treasure, their Coffers wil never be filled, so long as any thing is behind that may be gotten by any way or means.

3 Their Verse 7. land is ful of Horses, neither is there any end of their Chariots, and they please themselves in the children of strangers: to secure themselves in the enjoyment of their carnal and unwor­thy pleasures, they erect a Mercenary and powerful Militia; a thing of such a wicked and destructive tendency to the good and wel fare of the people, that the Lord doth expresly command that man, whom he shal chuse to be Ruler over his people, that Deut. 17.16. he shal not multiply horses to himself; and the wickedness of its ten­dency is exprest in this, that it causeth the people to return to E­gypt, into an Egyptian bondage and slavery, when the Lord hath said, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way: the Lord knew ful wel, that man, though a holy man, of the Lords own chusing, qualified according to the mind and wil of God, so, as that he wil chuse him before all others; yet, man so qualified, man in the highest state of grace while this old World standeth, would not [Page 28]be able to bear up against the temptations of the evil one, and his own heart, vvhen once he hath gotten a multitude of Horses and chariots, a powerful mercenary Militia, at his ownvvil and devotion: David (that upright heart) after he vvas grown great by many Conquests, could not withstand a Temptation of this nature, numbring the people: and such a power vvil necessarily cause the people to return to Egypt, that is, into bondage and sla­very; for it is the high way to oppression and injustice: To make this Militia wholly his own, to serve his interest, to be for him him against all his enemies, he must be bountiful and liberal to them, bestow great gifts upon them; and having not of his own so to do, he must rob and oppress the pople: this course Saul took, 1 Sam: 8.14, 15, and 17 verses: And he wil take your fields, and your Vineyards, and your Olive-yards, even the best of them and give them to his servants; and he wil take the tenth of your seed, and of your Vineyards, and give to his Officers, and to his servants; he wil take the tenth of your sheep, and ye shal be his servants. And least any should have better thoughts of Saul, and think this might be meant of some other, read what himself saith, Chap: 22.7. Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, hear now, yee Benjamites: will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields, and Vi­neyards, and make you all Captains of thousands, and Captains of hun­dreds, implying as strongly, that he had done so, as, that David could not, nor would not do so: O the deep gulf of wickedness and misery, the horrid Temptations, that mans heart vvil hurry him into, who fals down to commit adultery vvith this filthy Idol. But these men wil multiply horses and Chariots to themselves, that they may be a sure defence to them in their ways of vvickedness; yea, they so dote upon this Idol, that they never think they have enough of her: there is no end of their Chariots, horse upon horse, Chariot upon chariot, force upon force; there is no end of them, they never think themselves strong enough; and great enough: and this brings a necessity for Oppression upon op­pression without end, for these must have their feilds, and their Vineyards, and their Olive-yards, and their tenth part of the seed, great possessions and riches; otherwise there is no life in this de­fence, without this Oyl the chariot-wheels vvil not run, and they please themselves in the Children of strangers; men of a strange de­generated spirit, that chuse to serve the Wil and lust of the Prince before the true interest of their countries good, the vvel­fare [Page 29]of the people: men of so strange a spirit and principle, that they truly deserve the name of strangers, and not Natives of the good Land; of such a degenerared unworthy principle, that teaches them obedience to the Imperious wil, and unlawful commands of their Prince, although (with Doeg the Edomite) they fal foul on the servants of the Lord: in such Children of strangers do these men take pleasure, and with them is their de­light: and therefore wil the Lord arise to shake terribly the earth, and bringing down the lofty looks of these proudmen, save his righteous remnant, and get himself a name, excellent in all the earth.

These wickednesses are guilty of such aggravations, that they so provoke the eyes of Gods glory, as he wil not forgive them, by no means wil he pass them by, but wil deal with them in that dreadful manner spoken of.

But this is not all, the Prophet in the 16 verse of this 3d. Chap­ter, comes with a MOREOVER. Moreover the Lord saith, because the daughters of Syon are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks, and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as shey go, and making a tinckling with their feet: therefore the Lord wil smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Syon, and the Lord wil dis­cover their secret parts; in that day wil the Lord take away the bra­very of their tinkling Ornaments about their feet, and their Cauls, and their round tires like the Moon; the chains, and the bracelets, and the muflers, the honnets, and the ornaments tf the leggs, and the headbands and the tablets, and the ear-rings; the Rings, and the Nose jewels, and the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins; the glasses, and the fine linnen, and the hoods, and the vails, and it shal come to pass, that in stead of sweet smel, there shall be stink and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of wel-set hair, bald­ness, and in stead of a stomacher, a girding with sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty; thy men shal fal by the sword, and thy mighty in the war, and her gates shal lament and mourn, and she being desolate shal sit upon the ground: and in that day shal seven Women lay hold of one man, saying, we wil eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

The Prophet had been hitherto speaking of the calamities and sorrows should befal the whole land, under the name of the house of Jacob; but now he comes to tel us what should befal the Capital and head City of the Land, which Zion the City of David [Page 30]was, which great destruction and woful state, their notable wan­tons and naughty pride (over and above their cleaving to their other evils) brought upon their heads: and let not her antitipe say. she is not guilty of these things, and so shal not find this portion; for, she hath no tinckling Ornaments about her feet, nor round tires like the Moon, nor Nose jewels: but I pray consider, she hath other needless fashions of the Times, as needlesly superflu­ous, and as ful of pride and vanity, as the others were; and she is proud and haughty, and hath a stretched forth neck, and wanton eyes, and can go mincing as notably as her Tipe and predeces­sor could do; and surely wil be found to have exceeded in all things: therefore behold thy portion and thy Judgement, the reward of thy folly; there is no preventing it, there is no re­demption for thee,Ezek, 14.20 Though Noab, Daniel, and Job be found in thee, they shal deliver neither son nor daughter, they shal deliver but their own souls by their righteeusness saith the Lord God.

And is this refining day of the Lord, such a day of Terrors to flesh and blood? O how contrary wil it then be to the expectati­ons and hope, of the greatest part of those that profess a delight in the thoughts of, and a longing for, its coming? Who may abide this day of his coming? and who may stand when he appeareth? In this terrible day, wherein he wil make up his Jewels: wil the Lord perform his promises to his beloved Remnant that stand up for the honour of his name: They shal be mine in that day saith the Lord of hosts, and I will spare them as a man spareth his own Son that serveth him; so that the bitterness and sharpness of these calami­ties and anxious troubles shal not be their lot; but they shall be mine, though I deal with their Brethren in a way of anger & dis­pleasure, yet I wil deal with them in a way of grace & love, and spetial favour in that day: as when, the wicked were upmost, and thought to have ravished my name of all its honour and glory, they thought upon my name and interest; so, now I am bringing down these wicked workers of wickedness, and scour­ging their foolish Brethren that have committed adultery with these mens apostacies, purging them, and washing their poluted garments clean, I wil think upon them for their good, safety, and happiness, in that day when I make up my Jewels.

Qu: Who, and what are these Jewels, the Lord takes so much pains, and doth such wouders in making them up?

Ans: I Answer 1. Who they are: They are the Lambs chosen [Page 31]number, mentioned in the 14 of the Revelation, his 144000 that stand with him upon the Mount Zion: the Reasons that move me to judge thus, are:

1 Because of that likeness there is between those followers of the Lamb, and these Jewels of the Lord: they are not only redeemed from the earth, but from among men; and these Jewels are pickt from among men too, from among the Inhabitants of professing Zion: these are the Lords Jewels; and they are the first fruits (very pretious) unto God, and unto the Lamb; they are without guile, and without fault before the throne of God; and these Jewels are holy ones, every one that is left in Zion shal be called holy, they are so gloriously beautiful, so suitable to the minde of God, that he wil create a defence upon their glory that it may not be lost.

2 Because they are contemporaries, they both belong to one and the same time: these Jewele are made up immediatly before the burning hot day, that shal burn up all the wicked, leaving them neither root nor branch: the Lambs number, they are upon Mount Zion, singing their new song, in that part of time, immediatly preceding the downfal of Babilon; there is no interval of time between, only an Angel preaches the everlasting Gospel to them that dwel on the earth, which is but as the herald to the other, telling the Inhabitants of the earth, the hour of the Lords judge­ment is come, and nothing but repentance and turning to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, wil save them from the destroying Angel that follows, and is hard at hand, leaving them vvithout excuse, fit for destruction if they hearken not: Malachies burning day hath two parts; the former part makes the wicked as stub­ble, fit fuel for the fire, the latter part burns them quite up: and I yet see no reason why vve may not say, that these two Angels answer to the two parts of Malachies burning day: the Angel that preaches the everlasting Gospel, makes the wicked as stubble ready for the fire; by this Isai. 11.4 rod of his mouth he smites the earth, and at the Ch: 17.13. rebuke of God the Nations are made as the chaff of the moun­tain, and as a rolling thing (stubble) before the whirlwind; yea, by this breath of his lips he Ch: 11, 4 slaies the wicked, he doth as really slay themsas the following Angel doth with his iron rod; with this rod of his month, this breath of his lips he smites and slayes their hearts & understandings, takes avvay their courage & strength, their consciences flying in their faces their hearts sink, and their spirits fail: At the Psal: 76.6. rebuke of God, both the Chariot and horse are [Page 32]cast into a deep sleep, ver. 5 the stout he arted (that are far from righteous­ness) are spoiled, they sleep their sleep, and none of the men of might find their hands, he shal Ver. 12. cut off the spirit of Princes: and when the Lord hath thus slain them by the sword of his mouth, the breath of his lips,Psalm 2. speaking to them in his wrath, then wil he break them with his rod of Iron, and dash them to peices like a Pot­ters vessel; when they are thus made stubble by the rebuke of the Lord, then shal they be burnt up root & branch: these things seriously considered, I suppose wil be sufficient to prove the assertion.

2 What are they? All their dross, and all their tin is purely pur­ged and taken away, and they are become holiness to the Lord: they are holy ones, he that is left in Zion, and that remaineth in Jerusa­lem shal be called holy: the Fathers name is written in their fore­heads: they are redeemed from the earths and from among men; from all of this old world, nothing is of any value or esteem with them, hath their hearts, but the new Heavens and new earth which they look for according to the promise of God; they are without guile and fault before the Throne of God; their Offerings are Offerings in righteousness, pleasant unto the Lord: they are a holy Generation, by the mighty and wonder-working hand of the Holy Spirit, wrought into an exact conformity to Jesus Christ in all things: these are the Lords Jewels, upon whom his heart is so fixed; that he wil defend them against the whole world of men and devils, he vvil creat such a defence upon these, that neither heat, nor storme, nor raine, all the rage, malice, and power of their enemies, either by day or by night, shal be able to harm them.

We are now come to the second sort of promises the Lord makes to this people of his delight; and that is such as contains not only reward for work done, but also qualification and fitness for a future glorious work immediatly to succeed.

Then shal ye return, and diseern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.

In the words we have,

  • 1 The Persons to vvhom this Promise is made.
  • 2 The Promise it self. And
  • 3 The Time of performance.

1 The Persons to vvhom the Promise is made, Then shal yee re­turne, &c. that by this YEE, cannot be meant the wicked leaders [Page 33]of the Apostacy; against whom the Prophet had been speaking throughout his Prophecie; seems clear to me upon these grounds.

1 Because here is a promise made to them: and the promises of God belong not to the wicked, they areEph: 2.12 strangers from the Co­nants of promise: the Lord makes not promises to his enemies, but to his Children and Friends; To Abraham and his seed were the promises made; b Gal: 3.16 2 Cor. 1, 20 all the promises of God, in him are yea, and in him amen; and its by the Eph: 2.13 BLOOD OF CHRIST that any are made nigh to the promise.

2 Because it is a promise of a great gift of the Spirit; a peice of that great New-Testament promise of the Spirit: and what colour or shaddow of reason can be given, that this should be spoken to wicked men, the subject of the Lords wrath and displea­sure.

3 Because it is a promise of a spirit of descerning to qualifie and fit them with a sufficient ability, to perform the work of the Lord in the to tal destruction of the wicked: Now it is not the wicked that shal destroy the wicked at this day, but it is the feet of them that fear the Lord, that shal tread them down like ashes, they burn them up leaving them neither root nor branch. So that,

2 By this YEE, we are to understand the Jewels of the Lord: they shal return out of the fiery furnace of the refiner; and from under the scourings of the Fullers sope, and have a spirit of dis­cerning given to them, that they may be enabled to perform that great work the Lord hath cut out for them to do upon, and in the world. But

3 In a more special and peculiar manner, we are to under­stand by this YE, those that feared the Lord, & spake often one to a­nother; those that the Lord wil so own as to spare them in that day of the Lord of hosts, they shal return out of those places of con­sultation,, where they have been thinking of, and consulting a­bout, the concernments of the great name of God at this day, and shal discern what their work is, in the doing whereof, they may gain honour and glory to the suffering name of their Lord: one reason why I apply it in such special manner to these, is, because I find them particularly pointed out by the same ex­pression in the next Chapter, and YEE shal go forth and grow up as Calves of the stall, and YEE shal tread down the wicked; YEE; who? why you that fear my name.

[Page 34] 2 The Promise it self we have in these words, & discern between the righteous & the wicked; between him that serveth God, & him that serveth him not: it is a spirit of discerning the Lord promises here, to qualifie and fit them, to enable them to perform the glorious work of the following day, spoken of in the 1 v: of the next Ch­ter, for the Prophet there renders a reason, why the Lord would then give them this spirit of discerning, For behold (saith he) the day cometh that shal burn as an Oven: implying, as, that that was the time and season, for the pouring down of the spirit upon them; so, that there is a necessity it should be given to them, o­therwise they would not be able to perform the work of that burning day, treading down the vvicked as ashes under their feet: as the Children of old, must be directed what to destroy, and what to save alive; so must these too, have a spirit of dis­cerning given them, To discern between the righteous and the wick­ed, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not; other­wise, they wil not know which to burn up, and which to pluck as brands out of the fire, which to lead by the hand out of the miseries and sorrows of that day, and which to tread down like ashes under their feet.

3 The Time of performance: THEN shal ye return, &c THEN, when?

1 THEN, When I have gotten to my self honour and glory, by my swift witnessing against the heads and leaders of this loathsome apostacy.

2 THEN, When I have made up my Jewels: when my Refiners fire, and Fullers sope, that searching and trying dispensation of mine, hath had its ful course amongst my professing people, that pretend to so great a delight in me and my day.

3 THEN, When I have put forth such Majesty and glory, in execu­ting my vengeance on these mine enemies, and purifying my Zion, that forceth you, because of that unlikeness and non-conformi­ty that is in you to it, to fly to the horns of the Altar, to the freeness and riches of my eternal love (my sparing love) for shel­ter when the considering how far short you come of that glory I am about to reveal, makes you to run into your rock, the Rock of Ages, to shelter your selves under his healing wings.

4 THEN, when I have manifested such glory of love, in such a pe­culiar way, as neither you nor your Fathers were ever acquainted with before, taking such an unwonted unparalleld care of you, sparing [Page 35]you in such a day as this; the glory whereof shal have drawn you vvholly to my self, that indeed I am as really become yours as you are mine, and that I am fixed upon your hearts, as you are upon mine; that indeed you can unfeignedly say, My beloved is mine, and I am his; THEN shal ye return and discern, &c.

5 THEN, When I have brought you to cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils, by letting you see through the glass of experi­ence, that he is not at all to be accounted of: when you can cease vvholly from man, that you care for, and look at no man any otherwise than in me, and trust to, and rely upon me a­lone.

6 and lastly, THEN, when you know the way to exalt me alone; to give all the honour and the glory of the vvonders I bring to pass in the world to me, vvithout any competitor, though of the best of men; for, I wil be exalted alone in that day: THEN shal ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, be­tween him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not; and the day shal come, wherein you shall be delivered out of the hands of your enemies, and you shal tread them as ashes under your feet, and burn them up, leaving them neither root nor branch; and in your going forth in the performance of this vvork, ye shal grow up as Calves of the stall, be ful fed with the love and fulness of your Lord and Saviour.

HAving opened the words, and supposing it in sufficiently evi­dent, that the interpretation given, is according to truth; let us with a truly religious sericusness, observe the lessons the Holy Ghost would teach us from them.

1 That the time of the Lords arising to work DELIVERANCE for his people is a dark day, (yea, a black midnight) of apostacy; then wil the Lord come to his Zion as a Refiner to purifie it: vvhen the pro­fessing vvorld are running back again, even to Babilon, then and there, shal deliverance be vvrought for the true seed, Mic: 4.10. Thou shalt go even to Babilon, there shalt thou be delivered, there the Lord shal redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies; this is the state and condition of Sion immediatly before the time, vvhen the Lord wil make her horns iron, and her hoofes brass, wherein she shal thresh and beat in peices many people, consecrating their gain unto the Lord. In theMat. 29 midnight of the Virgins sleep, shal the cry be heard, the Bridegroom (the King, the Lord of hosts) is coming: when professing Zion comes into a Laodicean Church-state, [Page 36] Rev. 3.20 then the coming of our Lord is at hand, he is f at the door. The apostacy here, is so universal and so gross (notwithstand­ing all their curious coverings to hide it from the eyes of men, yet the Lord sees it) that, the Magistracy, the Rulers, are Rulers ofIsaiah 1.10 Sodom; Mal. 3.15 proud workers of Wickedness, the Princes areIsaiah 1.23 rebel­lious, and companions of Theeves, every one loveth gifts, and followeth after reward, they judge not the Fatherless, neither doth the cause of the Widdow come unto them: the Ministry, the Priests Mark 2.8 depart out of the way of the Lord, corrupt the Cove­venant of Levi, to the causing many to stumble at the law, the Worship and commands of God; becomeVerse 9, contemptible and base before all the people, because of their straying from the wayes of God, by an irreligious partiality in the law, or accep­ting of Faces (as the margent of some Bibles hath it) making the Law, by their uncouth, forced, and private interpretations, to seem to countenance the designe of those, whose designs are not suitable to the design of God, but are against the Lord, and guil­ty of so much hypocritical unrighteousness, to the provoking the eyes of his glory, that he wil not forgive them; seeking their own interest, not the interest and honour of him whom they profess to be their Lord and master, Jesus Christ: and the multi­tude of this professing people grow up prophanely wicked, snuf­fingMal. 1, 13 at the Ordinances of the Lord as at a wearisom burden, behold what a weariness is it; the true Worship of God, true Religi­on, becomes a weariuess to these outside professors, whoIsai. 1.11: 13, 14. fil the Lord with the multitude of their sacrifices, and weary him with their new Moons, and their appointed Feasts, their Sabboths, and calling of Assemblies, with their Fasts; theyMal. 1.14 polute the Altar of the Lord, the Worship of God, with their blinde, and sick, and torn, and lame, and corrupt performances, their cursed deceit; yea, they are Idolaters in the sight of God,Isai. 2.9. the mean man bow­eth down, and the great man humbleth himself, to their Idols, that they are become to God asMal. 3.5. Sorcerers, an adulterous Gene­ration: in this sad day of apostacy, wil the Lord come to his Sion, as a refiner and purifier of silver, and as Fullers sope, now wil the day of the Lord of hosts come upon professing Zion, and lay all low before him, teaching them by a smart and dreadful dispensation, the way to exalt the Lord alone; in this day wil the Lord come as a swift Witness against, and avenge himself on, his adversaries in Zion, those vvho are profest friends, mem­bers [Page 37]of professing Zion, but in deed and in truth are his real ene­mies, enemies to the righteous and holy designs of God; and de­liver his remnant, and pick out his Jewels from amongst the pro­fessing rubbish of defiled Zton.

2 That notwithstanding the gross wickedness of this day, yet Sathan transforms himself into an Angel of light, clothing his Children and followers in his best livery; they have notable coverings to hide it, whereby they deceive the multitude of the professing world, and themselves to boot; so that they dare, not only assert their inno­cency in putting the Prophet to prove his charge against them, but when the Prophet preaches to them, the long-sufferance and tenderness of the heart of God towards them, the grace and love of God in that promise,Mal. 3.7 Return unto me and I wil return unto you saith the Lord of hosts, they scorning to acknowledge their guilt, throw it back in his face, with a wherein shal we return? im­pudently asserting their righteousness to be such, as they know not, nor none can tel them wherein they should return and do better.

3 That the leaders of this apostacy, that cause the people to err, notwithstanding their curious outside coverings of religious performan­ces, and good aims and ends, for the good of the Church, people, and glo­ry of God, wil be the subject of the sore displeasure and wrath of the Lord of hosts: the Lord wil be aVerse 5. swift Witness against them, and come neer to them to Judgement,Heb. 6.4, 5, 6 If those who were once inlight­ned, and have tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, fall away, it is impossible to renew them again to re­pentance; at the hand of this hypocritical, oppressing, and perse­cuting Generation, wil God require the blood of his Prophets and Witnesses that hath been shed;Isai: 1, 24. Ah (saith the Lord) I will ease me of (these) mine adversaries, and avenge me of (these) mine enemies.

4 That the Church-state of professing Sion, their outward holiness, with all their Sacrifices and performances, the Temple of the Lord, shal not, nor cannot save them from the smart and burden of the heavy hand of an angry God: the day of the Lord of hosts wil come upon them, he wil be as a refiners fine, and as Fullers sope to them; he wil fan them til he hath throughly purged his floore;Isaiah 27.9 by this therefore (by the smitings of God, as the former Verse hath it) shal the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take a­way his sin.

[Page 38] 5 That notwithstanding this universal backsliding and apostacy, in professing Zion, yet the Lord hath a remnant left that fear him; that stand up for his name and honour, bearing their testimony against the provoking evils and wickednesses of the Times, Then they that feared the Lord, spake often one to another, and thought upon his name.

6 That this provoking professing world, are beholden to this dispised remnant, for the long sufferance of God towards them, and the mercies they receive at the hand of the Lord;Isai. 1.9. Except the Lord of hosts had left us a very smal remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah: they are the salt that sea­son this earth, and keep it from a total purifying annihilation into its first nothing: it is they, and they only, that lengthen out the patience of God towards the backsliding professing world, and keep it from being made an example of the severity of God, to future Ages: and as a necessary and natural consequent of this.

7 We may observe, The excessive giddines and folly of the great and wise men of this sick & dying world, who will not endure the applicati­on of the soveraign Remedies, these wholsome (though tormenting) Physitians present unto them, but look upon them, & deal with them, as enemies, endeavouring their destruction: what though they handle roughly, and feel hard, that they prove a real torment to you? that man that wil not indure his wounds searching, wil never attain the cure: it is not their want of care and tenderness, but your corruption and rottenness that causes the paine; the sound limb or joynt shrinks not at the searching hand, but the rotten, that is ful of corrupt putrifaction, that cannot abide nor indure the willing hand of the skilful Chirurgeon, to dive to the bot­tom of the distemper, in order to a safe and speedy cure: not­withstanding all the disguising Vizards, you represent them, their waies, and ends, to the world in, it wil be found at last, in the Lords own time (which is best of all) that the interest of your safety and happiness, is wrapt up in hearkning and attend­ing to the Voice of God in their mouth: but if you wil not hear, but set your selves against them, know (there is no middle way) thatPsalm 8.2 out of the mouths of Babes and sucklings, the Lord hath ordain­ed strength, to stil the enemy, and the avenger.

8 That before the Lord wil execute his Judgements in wrath, upon the prophane antichristian world, he enters into Judgement with [Page 39]professing Zion: 1 Pet. 4.17 for the time is come that Judgement must begin at the house of God; the Lord wil purge and purifie Zion, make up his Jewels from amidst all the dross and tin; and then wil he make Zion a fit instrument to perform his great works in and upon the world, in that day of his wrath that shal burn as an O­ven; if it first begin at us, what shal the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? and if the righteous scarce be saved, where shal the ungodly and the sinner appear? in that day they shal burn up the wicked, leaving them neither root for brach, treading them down as ashes under their feet.

9 That this professing Zion, thus defiled by her backslidings and Apostacies, and being lifted up upon its own bottom, exalting them­selves when they should exalt the Lord alone, is become the subject of the anger and displeasure of God; the scene on which the Lord will act the sad Tragedy of his Jealousie: when once the Inhabitants of Zion, become Mountains and hils, and tall Cedars listed up, and Oaks of Bashan, high Towers, and fenced wals, &c. come into a strain of self-exaltation, self-confidence, and self-interest, then do they so provoke the eyes of Gods glory, that he wil bear no longer, but enter into Judgement with them: The Lord is a jealous God, andIsai. 41.8 he wil not give his glory to another, he wil not suffer any to go away with his honour and glory, he is so jealous of his honour, least it should suffer detraction by the lofty assumptions of this foolish professing Zion, that he fals foul with all her high mountains and hils, tal Cedars, and Oaks of Bashan, high Towers and fenced wals, and vvith all her ships and pleasant pictures; he looks upon them all as Idols, which he wil utterly abolish, that the Lord alone may be exalted in that day.

10 That this coming of Christ (the Messenger of the Covenant) to his Syon (I do conceive) is not in person, but in Spirit, (though that personal appearance wil take place in due time also) wash­ing and purging his Zion by the spirit of Judgment, and the spirit of burning: he shal sit upon Zion as a Refiner and purifier of silver; by a notable trying, refining dispensation, purely purge away their dross, and take away all their tin, purifying them as gold and silver, that they may offer up to the Lord an Offering in righteousness.

11 That the Lord wil manage his great work of Judgement in Zi­on, avenge himself on his enemies there, and search, try, cleanse, purifie, and throughly cure those that halt in Zion, in such a way and manner; [Page 40]as he himself wil have the sole honour and glory of that action, be alone exalted in that day: he wil manifest such exceeding Majesty and glory in the vvay of his Judgements at this day, that wil staine and put out all other glories professing Zion vaunts it self of, so that she shal hide her self in shame, for fear of the glory of the Majesty of the Lord, vvhen he ariseth to shake terribly the earth; yea, the very remnant of God, to vvhom his heart is so entirely engaged, shal taste a little of this cup of shame too, sheltering themselves under the freeness and riches of the promise, the spa­ring love of their tender Father; though now happily, some Children may be in love vvith themselves, their light and parts, gifts and graces, being too too apt to think themselves some­thing; yet then, God knows, the roaring vvind among the Ce­dar boughs, the bloody Furrows the rod makes upon the backs of their Brethren, with its shaking over their own heads, letting them know upon vvhat account or score it is they scape (not merit or desert, but pure love) vvil teach them another and a better lesson, Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils; the Lord alone shal be exalted in that day: a thing which never yet was done in any of the dayes this old World ever saw.

12 Behold somewhat of the way and course the Lord wil take to do this great and marvellous work▪ he wil cause the fire to break out from among themselves that shal consume them: this Earthquake arises from the rending vvind pent up vvithin the concavities of its own earth; as the scope and tendency of the Third Chap: inti­mates: and herein consists somewhat of the Wonder, that a State defended vvith such a Force, Cedars, and Oaks, Mountains and Hils, Towers and fenced wals, Ships and pleasant things, even the mighty man, and the man of War, the Judge, and the Prophet, the Prudent and the Antient, the Honourable man and the Counsellor, the cunning Artificer and the Eloquent Oratour, should be brought down and laid in the dust: the Lord so impoverishes those, of the excellent gifts and qualities they once had, that (being enfatua­ted) they become as Children, Babes, and Women: this alteration in the superior orbs, begets another as dangerous in the lower re­gions: the Lord stops the fountains of this professing earth, and for want of those cooling waters that had vvont to keep things in some tolerable poise, the fiery element prevails, and breaking out of the earth, begets its own likeness, a fiery blaze in the [Page 41]fountains also; as of old, fire came out from Abimelech and de­voured the men of Shechem, & fire came out from Shechem, & de­voured Abimelech; so, here is fire against fire, which continues burning til Isai. 3. [...] Jerusalem be ruined, and Judah be fallen: in this fire wil the Lord avenge himself on his (friend-like) enemies, those to whom the professing world give the right hand of fellowship as true Cittizens of Zion, free denizens of the holy City: in the management of this fiery work, causing one fire to overcome the other, consuming its own nature; and over-ruling it, to the carrying on his own design and work, wil the Lord manifest such an exceeding glory above all former manifestati­ons, that the best of men shal enter into the rock, and hide them­selves in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his Majesty, and he alone shal be exalted in that day.

13 That the Prophets Isaiah and Malachy, do not give us any ground (as I can perceive) to think, the Lord wil make use of that beloved remnant of his, that fear his name, and speak often one to ano­ther about his name and honour at this day, in this great work of his judging professing Zion, in the manner treated of: Malachy tels us, The Lord wil spare them in that day; and Isai saith, it shal be well with them in that day: but not a word do we read of any active condition they are in (any otherwise than by the word of their testimony) at that day: I rather conceive, that, the state and con­dition of the remnant, mentioned Isaiah 26.20, 21. Come my people, enter thou into thy Chambers, and and shut thy doors about thee: hide thy self as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past: for behold, the Lord cometh out of his place, to punish the Inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shal disclose her blood, and shal no more cover her slain.

14 That none are under the saving influences of those rich promises made to the blessed remnant at this day, but those, who not only speak often one to another against the apostacies and evils of the times, but think on the name of God; have this as the moving cause in all their motions, a holy carefulness for the interest and name of God: for them, (and for them only) is there a Book of remem­brance written; and they (and they only) shal be mine saith the Lord in that day; and they (and they only) wil the Lord spare in that day when he makes up his Jewels; and then shal they re­turn, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.

[Page 42] 15 Here is a holy directory to guide, and an unerring touchstone to try, all our waies and actions by at this day, that in all our motions against the apostacies and evils of the times, the honour and interest of the great name of God move us: if that be not our frame and temper of Spirit, we are none of the number in whom the Lord so much delights; and our work of counsel, is not that, which the Lord so earnestly lissens and hearkens after, til he hears all, noting it down in his book of remembrance; and we have no­thing to do with those high expressions of the Lords matchless love in his promises: no, if the name of God be not solely in our eye, and the exalting the Lord alone be not all our aime and end in what we do, in stead of Gods peculiars in that day of the Lord, it wil be unto usAmos 5.18, 19. darkness and not light, as if a man fled from a Lyon, and a Bear met him, or, went into a house and leaned his hand on the wal, and a Serpent bit him.

16 That he high attainments, the graces and excellencies, the rem­nant have attained to at this day, is far short of the glory of the Lord is about to reveal▪ when it comes forth, they wil be glad to run to their shelter, the sparing love of their Father; they themselves shal then be laid in the dust before the Lord, and the glorious Lord alone shal be exalted and magnified.

17 That the great designe of God upon professing Zion at this day is, to purge and purifie, wash and cleanse it, from all its filth, dross, and tin; that they may become a holy Generation, a peculiar people, formed for himself to shew forth his praise, able to offer up an Offering in righteousness, pleasant unto the Lord.

18 Behold the way and course the Lord wil take, to purge and puri­fie his Zion at this day, he wil do it by the spirit of Judgement, and the spirit of burning: by such a trying dispensation of fiery judge­ment; as shal not only burn up their dross, but their tin also that which now looks so like, and goes for good silver, for that which is acceptable in the sight of God.

19 Syon thus purged and purified shal have the creating power of God to assist her, as her defence; upon all this glory the Lord hath now cloathed her with, shal be a desence: it is not poluted and impure Zion the Lord wil thus defend, but it is that glory of holiness the counterpaine or image of Gods own holiness, vvhich wil be upon Zion, when the Lord shal have washed away the filth from the daughter of Zion, and shal have purged away the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, then shal she be clothed with [Page 43]all the the defence promised, and not til then: the promise is to a washed and purified State, not to a State defiled with filth, tho of Zion, not poluted with blood though of Jerusalem, that which is most like true holiness and purity, and is not: that vvhich the Lord wil defend is nothing but glory, the Image and impress of himself, upon all the glory shal be a defence; nothing beneath the glory of Zion thus vvashed and purified by a spirit of Judgment and a spirit of burning, wil the Lord defend at this rate, and af­ter this manner: but Syon clothed upon, with the glory of her Bridegroom and Lord (Cant. 9, 5 Who is this that cometh up from the Wil­derness, leaning upon her beloved?) shal be defended by a continual assistance of the creating power of God, so that they shal not be tempted by any necessities whatsoever, to make use of the same unrighteous politick wayes and courses, the Rulers of the world have hitherto made use of to defend themselves: they shal not make use of the worlds unrighteousnes, to fence and guard their righteousness from the rape and spoils of their enemies; but there shal a creating power, such an extraordinary providence at tend them, bringing down their enemiesunder their feet upon all occasions, at all times, that the Lord shal be so eminently seen in those wonderful occurrences of his providence and power, that he shal have the praise and the glory of all, Glory to God in the highest, wil then be the burden of the song at that day.

20 Ʋntil the Lord hath purged and purified Zion, he wil not de­fend it against the rage and injuries of her enemies; when the Lord shal have washed away the filth of the daughter of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, then (and not before) wil he create upon all its glory such a defence, as shal be a shadow from the heat, & a refuge from the storm, and a covert from the rain, such, as shal be sufficient for all times and seasons, night and day.

21 When Syon is thus purged and purified, become Gods holy hil of Zion, a holy generation, such a stamp of holiness set upon them that they shal be CALLED HOLY, then will the Lord make use of her in his glorious work in the way of his Judgements upon the pro­phane, antichristian, and hypocritical world: then wil they know how, and be fit, to burn up the wicked, treading them as ashes under their feet. But

22 Before that day comes, that shal burn as an Oven, wherein [Page 44]the stone shal smite the great Image, and break it in peices, the Lord will bring his remnant and his Jewels, into one entire body, and poure down his Spirit upon them, a spirit of discerning, such a de­gree of the Spirit, as shal sufficiently qualifie and fit them for his work and service: saith the Lord, when I have made up my Jewels, then shal ye (all) return, and discern between the righte­ous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that ser­veth him not; for, the day (then) cometh that shal burn as an Oven and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shal be stubble; and the day that cometh shal burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shal leave them neither root nor branch.

23 Observe the work of the remnant at this day of apostacy, and falling away; it consists of two parts.

1 Bearing their testimony against the apostacies and evils of the times▪ they spake often one to another; if Jerusalem loose the kind­ness of her youth, and the love of her Espousals; Jeremy must beJer. 1.18 a defenced City, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole Land, against the Kings of Judah, and the Princes thereof, a­gainst the Priests thereof, and against the people of the Land: If the house of Israel turn aside from God, grow impudent and hard hearted, stopping their ears against the word of the Lord; Ezeki­el must haveEzek. 3.8, 9 a strong face against their faces, and a strong fore­head; harder than an adamant, against their foreheads: if the house of Jacob, get into an hypocritical strain of outward holiness; would make the world believe they keep a fast, a day unto the Lord, when they indeed fast to smite with the fist of wickednes; and, would cover their fulfilling the wil of their lusts, under a cloak of doing God service; Isaiah mustIsai 58.1. cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a Trumpet, and shew my people their trans­sions, and the house of Jacob their sins: in the performance of which service,Jer. 1.17 they must not be afraid, lest they be confounded.

Qu: If any should ask, what those evils are, that they that fear the Lord should bear their testimony against?

Ans: The Prophet makes answer to this question, by his sig­nificant THEN in the 16 Verse of his Third Chapter; THEN they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: then, when they heard and saw things at that pass the Prophet had spoken of be­fore, they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and it doth not only point out the time when they spake, but I conceive it also signifies to us, the things against which they spake; for the [Page 45]Prophets then hath relation, and alludes, to all the enormities and evils of the Times enumerated before; and they are of a double nature, matters of Religion, and matters of a civil con­cernment.

1 Of Religious matters. And

1 If they behold men in professing Syon, denying God Mal. 1.6. that honour, and that fear due unto him, despising his great name, rob­bing the Lord of those dues they ought to render to him: then, are they that fear the Lord to be sensible of the dishonour that comes to the name of God thereby, and speak against that e­vil.

2 If they behold Inhabitants of professing Syon, a people that areIsai. 1. from the 2. verse to the 14, rebebellious children, a sinful Nation, laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, corrupters, that have forsaken the Lord, and gone away backward, having their hands ful of blood, (mens hands may be filled with blood divers wayes) that they are become to the Lord as Rulers of Sodom, and people of Gomorrah, provoking the holy one of Israel unto anger; when they see this people in hypocrisie, filling the Lord with a multitude of sacrifices, and Offerings, Oblations, New Moons, and oppointed feasts, cloaking over their apostatising wickednesses with many religious per­formances, to cozen their consciences; and the professing world; then, ought they that fear the Lord, to be sensible of the great dishonour the name of God suffers by this abomination, and speak against that evil also.

3 When they see men in professing Syon Mal. 2.8 depart out of the way of the Lord, apostatise, causing many to stumble & fal, taking such offence at the Law, the wayes of God, that they stumble into heathenisme and prophanes: then are they that fear the Lord to take to heart the great dishonour the name of God suffers by this abomination, and speak a gainst it also.

4 Do they see inhabitants of professing Syon that seem to be great worshippers of God, and zealous for the service of the Lord, and the good of his people,Mal. 1.13. snuffing at that part of the worship of God, at doing that peice of the will of God, that suits not with their worldly interest, of gaining this evil world with the Goods thereof; crying out, what a weariness is it? something we would do for God, but that the Lord now cals for, is a weari­some burden to us, it wil quite undoe us, oh what a weariness is it? this is an hard saying, who can hear it? then, ought they that [Page 64]fear the Lord to think upon the dishonoured and despised name of God, and speak against this abomination also.

5 Do they behold men in professing Syon,Verse 14 Vowing a vow un­to the Lord, and in a capacity to perform that Vow, having that Male in his flock, and yet sacrifice unto the Lord a corrupt thing, blinde and lame performances? then also, are they that fear the Lord, to think on the name of God, how greatly it is dishonoured, and bear a ful testimony against that loathsom hypocrisie of him, letting him know he is cursed, who dareth so to trample under foot the name of the great King, whose name is dreadful among the Heathen.

6 Matters of a civil nature; and as if the Prophet intended to stop the mouth of the objection of these dayes, he brings in the evils of this nature in the last place, that his THEN might clear­ly appeare, to have special and direct relation to those things.

1 When the proud professors in Syon, that behave themselves proudly and contemptuously towards their God, and their Brethren, are accounted Mal. 3.15. the happy men, as those that would make the Nation happy by the wayes of their devising: called happy; congratulated and applauded as the men whom the Lord hath owned and made happy, by his providence and blessing: then, are they that fear the Lord to think how the name of God is dishonoured by this evil, and bear their testimo­ny against it.

2 When the wicked workers in professing Zion,Verse 15 the workers of wickedness are set up, Children of strangers, of a strange spirit and principle,Isai. 3.6. contrary to the Spirit of our Lord, the holy and righ­teous Spirit of true Syon, and the work of God; those, whose de­light is not in the law of the Lord, but in wayes of their own inventions, suitable to their degenerated and base interest; who break the law continually, working wickedness indeed, al­though they cal it (and would have what they do, accounted) righteousness: and to defend these men in their wickednes,Verse 9 Horses and Chariots, a powerful Militia is fixed as a wal about them: when such men are set up, over the people, and such things done, oppressing, vilifying and persecuting the people of the Lord, and the true interest of the Son of God (our Lord Jesus) among his people and in the world: then, are they that fear the Lord, to be sensible of the dishonour and reproach is cast upon [Page 47]the name of God by this evil, and bear their testimony against this wickedness also.

3 When they see this evil in professing Syon,Mal. 3, 15 they that tempt God are even delivered; while the Altar of the Lord is co­vered with the tears, weeping, and crying out of the oppressed, those, who by their provoking, hypocritical, loathsome wicked­ness, tempt the Lord to put an end to his long-sufferance, and execute his vengeance before the appointed time, are even deli­vered; their heads are lifted up, and their faces made to shine through the benigne aspect of those, who should and ought to be a terror to them; they are even delivered, from their fears of receiving the desert of their wayes and actions by a stream of Justice and righteousness; and are set up to work wickedness against God in oppressions and cruelty, covering the Altar of the Lord with the tears, sighs, and groans of his people: then, are they that fear the Lord, to think upon the great name of their God, how unworthily it is dishonoured and trampled under foot, and bear their testimony against this wickednesse al­so.

4 When the Rulers of professing Syon, be [...] (and act) like the Rulers of Sodom, rebel against the Lord, go away backward (apostatise) from God, oppress the people of the land, yet cover all with a cloak of religious performances, and outward holi­nes, good aims and ends for the work of the Lord, and the good of the Church of Christ, with these coverings hiding their evils and wickednesses from the vulgar sight; then, are they that fear the Lord, not to hold their peace, but to cry aloud, and bear their testimony for God against this abomination also; and of of the fruit of this their doing shal they eat, and it shal be wel with them in that day wherein he wil judge those men.

Qu: Possibly it may be askt, why wil the Lord have those that fear him thus industriously engaged against the evils and wick­edness of Rulers and people at this day?

Answ: The Answer is, because his great name, that was so glo­rious and dreadful among the Heathen, is so exceedingly dishonoured, therefore are they that fear the Lord, to think upon the name of God, and speak in its vindication: this is an apostacy in Syon delivered out of Babilon, (though many of Babilons evils cleave yet close to them) for whom the Lord hath done great and wonderful [Page 48]things; freed them from the slavery and bondage of a sore capti­vity under the Babilonish power; blessed them with prosperous success in building their City, that in spite of the Tobiahs, and Sanballats, of all their enemies that had maintenance from the Kings Palace, (were maintained by a wretched Kingly Inte­rest,) they became a Common-wealth, a free people, by which, they had opportunity and liberty to serve the Lord in doing his whole Wil and pleasure; in doing these great things (far be­yond the thoughts and expectations of the greatest worldly wise men) for this people, the Lord had gotten himself a great name, dreadful among the Heathen; how did the wicked world tremble at the thoughts of it? and now for this people to draw back, even to Babilon, to apostatise from the Lord, (in matter and manner, hath been treated of) is none other but a wicked ravi­shing and deflouring the honour of the Virgin name of God, he had so lately gotten to himself, by doing such wonders for this unworthy people: As our Lord said of his day in the flesh, that if those Disciples that spake for him and blest him, should hold their peace, the stones would immediatly cry out; so may it truly be said of this time also, if they that fear the Lord should hold their peace, and not speak and plead for the name of their God, the stones, the dumb Creation would bear a Testimony for God against mans wickedness; if none else wil, the stone shal cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shal answer it: The name of God, which had been clouded for a long time, began now to be glorious and excellent in all the earth, upon which, the heart of God is fixed; and their going about to ravish this honor, pro­vokes the eyes of Gods glory, stirs up his Jealousie; least it should be given to others, what overturning work doth the Lord of hosts say he wil make in professing Syon? and doth this move the Lord himself, and wil he not (think we) have those that fear him moved also? wil he act thus like a man of War and blood to vindicate his honour, and wil he not have them to speak for it? surely yea: so that we see there is great reason why they that fear the Lord should be of this temper of spirit at this day.

2 A second part of the work of the Remnant at this day is, a sincere and hearty solicitousness, after what other duty may be en­cumbent upon them, the performance whereof may in any measure vin­vindicate [Page 49]the honor, and glorifie the name of their God, who is so much dishonored, and whose name is so vilely trampled under foot, by the hypocriticall wickednesses of this day: they thought upon his name: What shall we do for thy great name?

24. Behold the blessednesse of those who sincerely exercise themselves in the work of the Lord at this day: They shall be mine saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my Jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son, that serveth him; such blessednesse will they possesse as their portion from their God and Father, as none but themselves shall be made happy with in that day.

Many other usefull lessons might be observed to be taught us from these scriptures; but I shall satisfie my self with what is already written: And to conclude this discourse, give me leave to addresse my self in a few words, to those three sorts of men concerned in it.

1. To the Leaders of this apostacy: YeeIsa. 1.10. Mal. 2.19. Rulers of Sodome, and ye base and contemptible Priests of the land (the Lord hath made you contemptible and base before all the people, because of your corruptions:) Hear how Isaiah complaineth of you, calling the heavens and the earth to witnesse against you; and see Malachy turning aside the skirts of your coverings, disco­vering all your hypocritical rottennesse, to the view of those who are not quite blinded by Satans wiles and your disgui­ses; behold! how your wickednesses have provoked the eyes of Gods glory; Wo, wo, wo be unto you, if ye repent not: its a certain truth, the Lord will visite his Syon, be a swift wit­ness against you, and come neer to you to judgment, his purg­ing and purifying Sion, wilbe your destruction; the Lord of hosts who cannot lye, who is faithfull and hath power to bring it to passe, hath said it; O therefore (if possible) turn away the anger and wrath of the Lord of hosts by a timely repen­tance ch. 3.7. Return unto me, and I will return unto you saith the Lord of hosts. O that this Pharisaical Answer might not be yours; Wherein shall wee return? But, Isa. 1.16, 17, 18.19, 20. Wash yee make you clean, put away the evill of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evill, learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherlesse, pleade for the Widdow; if yee be willing and [Page 50]obedient, yee shall eate of the good of the land; but if yee refuse and rebell, yee shall be devoured with the sword. for the month of the Lord hath spoken it. Imbrace the invitation, hearken to the Counsell of these Prophets, for why will yee dy, O yee sons of men? There's no way of salvation from that Pit of destruction, your own wayes and doings have digged for you, but that the Prophets have chalked out before you; misse that, and you are irrecoverably lost, without remedy: you complain of the harsh words and rough speeches, of a company of men that tell you of your evils; and would have the world to look upon them, as the onely pest of the land, the desturbers of the Publike weale, the onely hinderers of good dayes; thus you cloath them in the Bear-skin that the Dogs may tear them: But, do you not know? That Isai. 1.9. Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been (ere now) as Sodome, and we should have been like Gomorrah: Know that notwithstanding their fretting, vexing, and tormen­ting you so much, they are your best friends, for it's they that stand in the gap, and were it not for them an inundation of wrath and vengeance would (quickly) over-run you: when the Lord draws them into their hyding Chambers, those mansions of his peculiar sparing love; then will yourPro. 1.27 destru­ction come upon you as a whirle-wind: and then at that time, when your fear commeth as desolation,v. 28. though you call upon the Lord, he will not answer; and though you seek him ear­ly you shall not finde him: Why, whats the reason? saith the Lord, it is because verse 25. ye have set at naught all my coun­sell, and would none of my reproof: Even the counsell and reproof of God, wisdomes words, in the mouth of these his servants that fear his name, v. 20.21. who utter their voice in the streets, and in the chief place of concourse.

2. I have somewhat to say to those Members of professing Syon, who though they are not ring-leaders in this wickednesse; yet defile their garments with the pollutions of the Apostacy: Behold, in what a dreadfull manner the Lord will deal with you, he will make up his Jewels from among you, and consume the rest as drosse and tin: Cast your eyes back upon the refiners fire and fullers Soape, and that day of the Lord which will come [Page 51]upon you, and reflect upon your selves and consider, whe­ther you are prepared to meet the Lord of hosts in such a day as that is; surely, if your examination be taken by a right rule, and you passe a righteous sentence upon your selves, you will see you are not: you are not able to abide and sland in that day, when the Lords jealousie will burn like fire; wherein, he will giue to apostatizing professing Sion, blood in fury and jea­lousie, being clad with zeale as with a cloak: What anxious troubles and pangs will be your portion in that day? I intreat you to take notice of these things.

1. That the defilements of this Apostacy that cleaveth to you, makes you so much unlike to your father, that no lesse than a Refiners fire and fullers sope must passe over you, to bring you into your old glory again: though you may be saved because of the grace and love of your father which is unchangeable; yet it will be as by fire; and the dreadfulnesse of that dispensati­on is such, as deliverance from it, is worth a world of Gems: Look back upon the dread and terrour of the day of the Lord of hosts, and if you believe the word of the Lord, you will be of my opinion in this matter.

2. That all that pelf, drosse and dung, this worlds good, which now blindes your eyes, and stops your mouths, that you cannot stand up for the dishonoured name and interest of your Lord and Saviour at this day, will stand you in no stead in the day of the Lord that will come upon Syon: you will then be forced to throw away all those foolish Idols of gold and sil­ver, with which you now commit folly.

3. That your sacrifices and offerings, your worship and re­ligious performances at this day, are hatefull to the Lord, as very dung unto him,Mal. 2.3. The dung of your solemne feasts they are a trou­ble to him and he is weary to bare them, because of that hypo­critical Apostatising guilt that cleaves to them: Think on that word of the Lord:Is. 66.3. He that killeth an Oxe, is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a Lambe, as if he cut of a Dogs neck; he that offer­eth an oblation, as if he offered swines blood; he that burneth incense, [Page 52]as if he blessed an Idoll: Here are glorious outward performances, but behold, how abominable and loathsome your offerings are to the great Jehovah! Whats the matter? Why, its the offering of an hypocriticall spirit;The sense of the Prophet in this 5. verse prove this. That oppresse and persecute those that tremble at the word of the Lord, yet can tell how to cloak their doings over with aims at the glory of God; crying out; Let the Lord be glorified; but the Lord shall appear to their joy, and you shall be ashamed:

Again,Amos 5.22, 23 I hate, I dispise your feast dayes; and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies: though yee offer me burnt-offerings, and your meat-offering, I will not accept them, neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me, the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy Viols. Who are these, whose worship and service is thus rejected by the Lord? verse 18. they are such, as (in a high profession) desire the day of the Lord: Why, whats the matter? the guilt of an hypocriticall Apostacy cleaves to them; notwithstanding all their glorious outward performances, and their large professions; yet, they want those more weighty things, [as is implyed in the 24 v.] Judgment and righteousnesse; chap: 4.1. they oppresse the poore, and crush the needy. Your silent by standing, makes you abettors and guilty: Heare what our Lord himself saith,Mat. 12 30. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, seattereth abroad: your Lord admits of no moderate indifferent medium of spirit in this matter: your sacrifices are not offered up in righteousnesse, therefore are they not pleasant unto the Lord, And because of this he will cast you into a Furnace, that you may learn to offer up an offering in righteousnesse, that your offerings may be pleasant unto him, as in the daies of old, as in aneient years. So that

4. The best and purest standing any of you can brag of under this Apostacy, will not abide the trial, but the day that com­eth will throw you off your ground, the Earth quake shall rend it up that it shall not be found: Who shall be able to stand in that day? None, no, not one; and if it be so, what will become of those oppressing stations, many (who I hope [Page 53]have grate in their hearts) run their feet into, out of too much love to gold and silver, the Idols of the age?

5. As a natural consequent of the rest, behold your excee­ding folly, that for love of your ceiled houses, the convenient accommodations of this life, you forsake the interest of the name and honour of your Lord, and connive at, and cleave to, the evils and apostacies of this your day and time: Have you not left and forsaken your discipleship? Our Lord saith, that except a man take up his crosse and follow him, he cannot be his disciple; every disciple of Christ, carries his crosse at his back; now where is your crosse? have you not lost it in your too eagen pursuit after the profits and pleasures of this present evil world? and what will this unchilde-like carriage of yours cost you? the refiners fire and fullers sope will be your por­tion; God will call thy terrors about thee as in a solemne day, that in the day of the Lords angen none may escape; terrors; by reason the sword shall come upon thee, Lam. 2.22. compared with Ezek. 21.12.

Quest. If it should be askt, wherein our times are thus guilty of back-sliding and Apostacy, as in charged upon them?

Answ. Look upon our dayes through the glasse of these Pro­phecies of Malachy and Isaiah, with the interpretation given (which I am perswaded will be found according to truth) and you will behold them of the same countenance and colour those times were of, Isaiah pointed at, and in which the Pro­phet Malachy, gave forth his Prophecy, differing in nothing but in many aggravating circumstances.

Obj. But perhaps some may object; you hint to us that the state of the Jewish Church, was a type and representation of professing Zion in England; and truly you seem to me, to put a restriction upon the text which it will not boor: For put the case the paralel be true, that, that time of Apostacy in the Jewish Church Malachy Prophecied in, was a type and representation of the state of this Professing Gospel-Church imediately before our Lords coming; why may it not as well have relation to any other part, or to the whole professing-Gospel-Church [Page 54]as to that part of the professing Gospel-Church in England; and as that was the state of the Jewish Church imediately before our Lords first coming in the flesh, so, may it not rather be a tipe, of the state of the Professing-Gospell-Church, imediately before our Lords coming a­gain in person?

Answ. I conceive a due weighing what hath been already said, would sufficiently answer all objections, but for their sakes who have not the patience to take that paines, I shall offer some further satisfaction: This Objection consists of several parts, and requires a distinct Answer to each.

1. I conceive, that this cannot have relation to the time ime­diately before our Lords coming againe, but must relate to the time wherein it hath been already fixed.

1. Because I finde the Prophet speaks not of the personal comming of Christ the second time, but of a dispensation of the Lord, wherein he will be as Fullers sope, and as a refiner and purifier of silver, purifying and purging the true seed from all their drosse, and tin, that they may be able to offer up an Offering to the Lord in righteousnesse, sit to serve him in that great and glorious worke he hath to do in the world.

2. Because the worke of our Lord at this time the Prophet speaks of, is, to bring his people into, to cloath them with, that glory they have lost, the glory of the day of their espousal, that they may be, as in the dayes of old, as in antient yeares; but, when our Lord shall come in person, he will bring a greater glory then that with him, evenMat. 16.27. Luke 9.26. his own glory, and his Fathers glory, and the glory of his holy Angells.

3. Because I finde the Prophet Isaiah, who (as hath been sufficiently proved) speaks of the same time and worke, calling this, a coming in spirit; the spirit of judgment and the spirit of bur­ning: By which the Lord will wash and purge Syon.

[Page 55] 4. Because the great designe of our Lord at this his coming (as hath been already proved) is, to sitt and prepare his Syon, for the doing that great worke of his in and upon the world, he hath decreed she shall carry on before he comes himselfe in person, (even the break­ing Dan. great Image to pieces, and powering out Vials of his wrath upon the rebellious world) by giving his Spirit to them, and causing it to rest upon them. Read what the Prophet Isaiah saith in his 28. chapter, the 5. and 6. verses; In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a Crowne of glory, and for a Diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people: And for a spirit of judgment to him that sit­teth in judgment, & for strength to them that turn the bat­tle to the gate: In that day, wherein the Lord will in judgment tread under foot the Crowne of Pride, the Drunkards of Ephraim, and all their glorious beauty shall be as a fading flower: wherein, God will judge the apostatising wickednesse, wherewith the people are be­come drunken, with the promoters of it in the midest of a professing people, In that day will the Lord of hoasts be for a Crowne of glory and for a Diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people; those that keep their garment pure and clean from this apostacie in this their day: But the sword of the Lord of hosts is not to abide upon the back of his people, but now judgment beginning at the house of God hath run its course there, and the Lord of hosts hath magnified himselfe, gotten glory and honor exalted himselfe alone there, by the righteousnesse of his Judgments; He will be for a spirit of judgement to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate: The sword of the Lord of hosts must be removed, and the battel must be turned to the gate, to what gate?Gen. 22.17. the gate of his enemies, which the [Page 56]father hath promised, that blessed seed of Abraham (our Lord Jesus) shall possesse: And my thinks the reason is strong for this interpretation, for, after the Lord hath judged this wicked (though professing) generation, bringing a destroying woe upon the Crowne of Pride, the Drunkards among them; and made himselfe a Crowne of glory, and a Diadem of beauty to the residue of his people, (whether those that kept themselves clean from the pollutions of the day, or those that he had left as his Jewells, a people to shew forth his praise) he will then be for a spirit of Judgement to them that sit in Judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battel to the gate. The battle of the Lord must now be turned hence to another place, to the gate, which cannot be the gate of this professing people, for it hath been there already; the mighty and strong one of the Lord, hath already been asverse 2. a tempest of haile, and a destroying storme, as a stood of mighty waters in their gate, before the residue of his people set themselves to this worke: And the persons to whom these promises are made, are those that the battle of the Lord in the gate of this wicked-professing-people hath left the residue of the people; so that it cannot be meant of their gate: And what gate can this then be? But that gate of his enemies, which the Father hath promised shall be the possession of his Sonne, the seed of Abraham: Judgment begins at the house of God and ends in that gate; and all this must be done by the Spirit of the Lord, he will be for a spirit of Judgment, and the same spirit shall be strength to them that turn the battle to the gate: The Prophet speaks not a word of any other coming of the Lord than in spirit, so that all the worke there spoken of, must be done by the spirit of the Lord in and by his people, before the [Page 57]coming of the Son of God in Person the second time.

And the same Prophet Isaiah, in his fifty nineth Chapter the nineteenth verse, speaks further of this truth, When the enemy shall come in like a stood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him; clearly holding forth thus much to us, that the worke of God in the last day's, to repay fury to his adversaries and recompence to his enemies, that combine together against him, shall be carried on by the spirit of the Lord (as the great a­gent) in and amongst his people; he speaks of his per­sonal comming in the next verse, as succeeding this: And the Holy ghost in the fourteenth of the Revelation, further confirms us in this truth, there we finde the Lord bringing his purged and refined number upon Mount Zion, martialling them for his work; But how comes he? As a Lamb; A Lamb stood on Mount Zion with one hundred forty foure thousand: The Lord comes to avenge the blood of his own person, and all the blood of hisLuke 18.7. Mistical body that hath been shed, upon the world as a Lamb: But when he comes in person he ap­pears after another manner, as a King,Mat. 24.30. in power and great glory.

[Page 58] 5. When the Lord comes himself in person, he will, do his work himselfe alone, by his great power and glo­ry he brings with him, he will stain all his Rayment with the blood of his enemies,Isa. 63.3. treading the winepress alone, and of the people there will be none with him: But at this comming of the Lord, he makes use of Syon, as his battle-ax and instrument of warre, of their feet, to tread down his enemies as ashes under foot.

2. This Tipe cannot represent THE WHOLE OF THE PROFESSING GOSPELL-CHURCH, I conceive, because the whole house of Israel, the twelve Tribes, being the tipe of that, this one Tribe MALLACHY prophesied to, was but a tipe of some small part of the professing-gospel-church which runnes parrallel to it: For the illustrating of this par­ticular, think upon what hath been already said in the beginning of this discourse.

3. THAT IT HATH SPECIAL AND PE­CULIAR RELATION TO THE PRO­FESSING-GOSPEL-CHURCH IN ENG­LAND WITH ITS TERRITORIES AND DOMINIONS: will plainly appear if we consi­der, First, That the Lord hath done these things for ENGLAND (and for none other) that answer, and are equivolent to, what he did for that one Tribe of old: He hath delivered them from under the Anti­christian tyranical power of Babilon, given them Li­berty, Power, Authority, and Opportunity, to BUILD THE TEMPLE; to returne to their first Love, to their God and Father and their Brethren, to the purity and [Page 59]glory of the day of their espousals, as it was IN THE DAYES OF OLD, AS IN ANTIENT YEARES, in their Offerings to the Lord, in the Worship and Or­dinances of the Lord Jesus: And the CITTY JE­RUSALEM; to do and carry on the Lords worke, to the praise and glory of his holy name, in this their day and time: And Secondly, ENGLAND hath followed her Tipe, step by step, in all her Deviations and Apostacies: Building CEILED HOUSES; getting large Possessions, the curious Mansions and Ho­nours of this world for themselves, and letting the HOUSE OF GODLY WAST; neglecting the present worke of God, Apostatising from that blessed worke of his they once engaged in, and falling to work of their own, insuring to themselves CEILED HOU­SES, their large and honorable acquisitions of the Mammon of this world: Instead of exalting the Lord alone, rendering him those honours due unto him for so many matchlesse expressions of an infinite love, they exalt themselves and seek their own honour, to get a great name of renowne in the world: Yea, she is gone back even to Babilon again, to this, the new inventions of the times bear witnesse; and were it not that the faithful God hath engaged his Word, his Promise, him self, all his glorious Attributes,Mich. 4 10. that at this time, Syon being in this condition, he will now deliver his true seed from the hand of their enemies, they would be sur­rounded again and brought under the Iron yoke by a Babilonish power: And Thirdly, she comes not be­hinde her Tipe, neither in devout and religious hypo­crisies: All her doings, though never so unworthy, must be cloaked over with the service of God, carrying [Page 60]on the worke of the Lord, and the glory of God, and the honour of God, and the good of the Lords people; and a multitude of Sacrifices must be offered, and som­times they will walke mournfully before the Lord: But because they smite with the fist of wickednesse, hidden under these coverings, these their Sacrifices are iniqui­ty in the sight of the Lord, he cannot away with them, his soule hateth them, they are a trouble to him, he is really a weary to bear them, and he will be a swift wit­nesse against them. These things are all written in ve­ry faire characters in ENGLANDS forehead at this day, and look round the world, and see if you can read them in any other forehead, I cannot think they will be found any where but here: And if so, and at such a time of the day as this, about the ending time of Babi­lons forty two monthes (which here I shall take for granted, and refer you for the proof of it, to those ela­borate discourses already extant upon that subject) it is to me an infallible argument, that these prophesies, with the interpretation given of them, fall directly up­on these miserable Islands: And, to shut up this part of the Answer, that VERY MUCH, the Lord speaks in his Word concerning THE ISLANDS, as an in­troduction to the comming forth of his great worke in the world, is no small confirmation of the truth of the assertion.

[Page 65] Obj: It may be further Objected, that it doth not appear that England is delivered from under Babilons power, as you affirm; for is not England at present in a far worse state and condition (as is the censure of the most prudent, wise, considerate Judge­ments) than it was in (at least) under three or four of the last of her antichristian Kings, whether we look upon her, in her civil, or Religious state?

Ans: I Answer, It is true, that the course of England at pre­sent steers, wil undoubtedly lead her into the midst of Babilon, both Civil and Religious, it wil hurry her into a civil bondage, and Religious slavery, irrecoverable; this wil be the inevita­ble effect of her wayes, if an Almighty providence prevent not: but yet, this makes nothing against the position, that once she had Babilons yoke broken from off her neck, and was delivered from under the Tyrannical power thereof, & did enjoy, that (ne­ver to be too much valued) liberty, & those blessed opporrunities to become everlastingly happy, by following her Lord whither­soever he would lead her, that she wil never enjoy again, until the Lord hath made bare the arm of a creating power to re­deem her from the hand of her enemies; even those her unna­tural Children, who have suckt the milk of her breasts, whom she hath tenderly nourisht and brought up, that now inhumanly would pul her very Vitals out of the midst of her body, and leave her dead carkase a continual Feast for the Birds of Prey to feed upon. And although our condition be thus sad and calami­tous at present, we are running a pace back again into Egypt and Babilon, yet, I conceive we are not yet entred the Lists of Babilons borders; though we are gone back even to Babilon, (be­come very Babilonish) yet, into Babilon, I trust the Lord wil not suffer us to enter, but according to his promise wil visit and deliver his people for his own names sake.

Qu: But if any honest heart should ask, how may I get clear of the danger I am in, of possessing the sorrows of this day of the Lord?

Ans: I Answer, Learn that great and good lesson of self de­nial, taking up your Cross, and following your Lord; get to be of the number of those that fear the Lord, that speak often one to another; bearing their testimony for the name of God, and the inter st of their Lord, against the evils and wickednesses of the Times: then shal you possess the gratious promises they [Page 66]are under, of the sparing love of your Father, which belongs to none of those, (though never so good and righteous in the e­steem of the professing world) who are guilty of, and defiled with the evils of the Times: saith the Lord to Isaiah, Say unto the righteous, that it shal be wel with him; for they shal eat the fruit of their doings. But, woe unto the wicked, it shal be ill with him; for the reward of his hands shal be given him: and the Lord wil spare those that think upon his name, and speak often one to another about the concernments of his glory and interest, as a man spa­reth his own Son that serveth him; vvhile their brethren are burn­ing in the Refiners fire, and smarting under the Fullers sope.

In the last place, somewhat I would say to those that fear the Lord, those blessed servants of the Lord, who are exercising them­selves in that Work so welpleasing to God, about the concern­ments of the name and interest of the Lord at this day: and I would reduce that I have to say, into Instruction, & Exhortation.

First, for Instruction: And

1 Be instructed in the certainty of deliverance at hand; that day of the Lords judging your enemies, and bringing forth your delive­rance is at hand, even at the door. Although the Wheel seems to run so fast back again, and men are unraveling that bottom the Lord hath been winding up for some years last past, and the powers of Heaven be shaken, and mens hearts fail them for fear, looking after those things that are coming on the earth; though the face of things at present be thus sad and calamitous, yet, lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh, know that the inexpressible wickedness and sadness of the times at this sea­son, is an unerring sign, & token of the certainty & neerness of deliverance: my thinks, vvhat hath been already said in the pre­ceding interpretation of the Scriptures handled, proves this sufficiently; but, to strengthen your faith, and increase your joy, if the Lord please; I wil offer some further proof; That an hypo­critical Apostacy after reformation, is an unquestionable evidence, that the Lord is at hand, and wil delay no longer, but suddenly deli­ver the true Seed, to the glory and praise of his holy name, wil be out of doubt, if we consider.

That this vvas the state and condition of the old World, vvhen Judgement took hold of it: and the condition of the Jews our Lord found them in vvhen he first came in the flesh: also, that it is the state and condition of the present professing [Page 67]Gospel-Church, when the day of the Lord of hosts shal come upon her, wherein he wil be to her as a Refiners fire, and as Ful­lers sope.

That it was the state and condition of the old world, is clear, for after that great defection and fal of man from his first purity, had proceeded to blood, manifested it self in that evil effect, the slaughter of righteous Abel by his wicked Brother Cain; and Seth the succeeder of Abel, had preacht many years to the fallen world; by that time Enoch was bornGen: 4 [...] [...] Men began to call upon the name of the Lord, (or as it it in the Margent of some Bibles) to cal themselves by the name of the L. here was a reformation wrought by the preaching of the righteous; the breach that Cain (the seed of the Serpent) had made, was now made up again; men would be no longer murderers, as the children of the Serpent, but they would be the Lords people, called by the name of the Lord; here is a notable reformation indeed, one would have thought that there had now been a sure reconciliation made between God and man, that there was an inseperable union of friendship en­tred into; but, behold the inconstancy of the nature of man! afterwardCh: 6.1, 2. it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the Sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair, and they took them Wives of all which they chose: they degenerated from their for­mer reformation, they kept not themselves, the seperated peo­ple of the Lord, but mingled themselves with the seed of men, the Serpents brood; and through this defection, the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and (now) every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually; V, 5 this moved the Lord greatly,V. 6, 7. and it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart; and the Lord said, I will de­stroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth. The na­ture and quality of this Apostacy, the Evangelists Matthew, Mat. 24.38.3 [...]. and Luke tel us, They did eat, they drank, they married Wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entred into the Ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all: it was not a defecti­on to Caines gross prophaneness,Luke 17.26, 27. but their hearts ran loose from God, to the good things of this world, they went backward, and apostatised from God to the world, made Idols to them­selves of the lawful things of this World; no doubt, they solved their consciences with the lawfulness of the things in [Page 68]themselves, their hearts ran out so unworthily after, and could find much to say for their practice, against any that should charge them with evil; The curious refinedness of the apostacy, ap­pears by this, that but eight persons could attain to escape the temptation; the hypocrisie of it was such, that it swept away all that called themselves by the name of the Lord, except up­right Noah and his Family, that by close walking with God, obtained deliverance. And which is very observable, in the reformation, these men exalted the name of the Lord, called themselves by the name of the Lord, they buried their own name, and would become as nothing that the Lord might have all the honour, they would have no name but the name of the Lord, serve him, and none other, owned none to be their Lord but him, exalted the Lord alone, they called themselves by the name of the Lord; but in the apostacy, they forget that name of the Lord, they forsake the interest of the honour and name of God, and set up their own name, and their own honor,Gen; 6 [...] 4 [...]. became mighty men, men of renown, exalted their own name, their own renown and honour, to the dishonour of God, and that glori­ous name of his, they formerly called themselves by: give me leave to repeat a little, observe the two grand remarkables in this notorious apostacy, They assotiate and mingle themselves with that sort of men, the seed of the Serpent, with that interest, they formerly seperated from out of a profession of love to God and his name, their calling themselves by the name of the Lord import so much. And secondly, they set up their own name, renown, and honour, in the place and room of Gods; where­as before they would call themselves by no name but by Gods name, novv they come under the mighty and renowned names of men; how neer these last dayes of this evil world, come to these men in manners, lest those who have a seeing eye judge. This grieves the Lord at his heart; and heresolves to exalt that blessed name of his (they formerly exalted, and now dispise and trample underfoot to serve their lusts) in their de­struction; none shal escape but Noah, and his Family, that Just and upright man, who vvalked vvith God, kept close to the good old principle, the Sons of God walked in, exalting the name of God: When the old World came into this frame and temper, the Lord would bear no longer, but comes to vindicate his name and honour, in jealousie and wrath Judging of her.

[Page 69] And, that it was the state of the Jewish Church, in which our Lord found them at his first coming, in the flesh, hath been cleared up already: and therein she was a Type and representation, of the professing Gospel-Church in the last dayes.

Lastly, That it is the state and condition of the professing Gospel. Church, when Judgement shall begin at the house of God, he will visit her with a SPIRIT of Judgement, and a spirit of burning, be as a Refiners fire, and as Fullers sope to her▪ Matthew and Luke tel us plainly, As it was in the dayes of Noah, so shal it be also in the dayes of the Son of man: and Luke illustrates it by the condition of So­dom, Luke 17.26, 28, 30. They did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded even thus shal it be in the dayes when the Son of man is revealed: so that upon the credit of the word of two Evangelists we may believe it for a truth, that, the professing worlds being in this state and condition, is a clear sign of the Lords being at hand to deliver his remnant, and destroy his enemies: But wil you have the testimony of a third Apostle, John; the Spirit of the Lord by him, in his Epistle to the seven Churches in Asia, bears witness to this truth, that when the professing Gospel-Church fals into a refined hypocritical apostacy after reforma­tion, then the Lord stands at the door and knocks; he stayes no longer but comes to Judgement: for the proof of this let us a little consider these seven Churches of Asia.

They were Tipes and representations of the various state and condition of the Church of Christ, from the falling away (the Apostle writes of in his second Epistle to the Thessalonians, by which the man of sin got up to his seat and power) until the coming of the Lord to his Syon. for, some things written (es­pecially) to the Churches in Philadelphia, and Laodicea, cannot be restrained to literal Philadelphia, and literal Laodicea, but must of necessity be granted to refer to some other time and persons, tiped out by them: further, behold the order the Holy Ghost observes in his writing, be begins with an apostacy, with Ephesus who had fallen from her first works; and closes with an apostacy with Laodicea, that had fallen into a notable hypocritical strain boasting of her own gifts and excellencies, saying, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing. If we observe the Church of Sardis, we shall there see what a low ebb the Church of Christ was once brought unto, Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead, be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, [Page 70]that are ready to dye; there were but a few names which had not defiled their garments; but at the next remove, the Spirit of the Lord works such a glorious reformation in the Church, that she seems as if she were perfect before the Lord, he finds no fault at all with her, but commends her after a high rate, this is repre­sented to us by Philadelphia; now the coming of our Lord draws neer, it is not far off, Behold I come quickly, hold that fast which thou hast; after this, Satan that cunning and implacable enemy to the Saints happiness, brings his Laodicean temper up­on the stage; the professing Gospel-Church fals from so glori­ous a reformation wrought by the Philadelphians, into a luke warm hypocritical apostacy; by this time our Lord is at the door, and ready to enter in: and behold the hypocrisie of this apostacy, although she be fallen from the glory of noble Phila­delphia, into the loathsome condition of luke warm Laodicea, wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; yet she saith I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; now our Lord stands at the door and knocks, gives notice, that he is coming, and wil not tarry. Thus my Brethren, you have a manifold testimony to the truth of the assertion, that an hypo­critical apostacy after reformation in the professing Gospel-Church, is an unquestionable evidence, That deliverance to the true seed, and destruction to the enemy is at hand; the Lord wil stay no longer, but wil come and wil not tarry, for his own Names sake; if God would not spare the old world, nor his chosen people Israel, (To whom pertaineth the Adoption, and the glory, and the promises) when they came into this temper and frame; what ground hath any man to think, that this present evil world (be­ing come into the same State) shal find more favour at the hand of the jealous God, than those of old did? The blood of all the Prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world, Luke 11.50 shal be re­quired of this Generation saith our Lord; what Generation is that? an hypocritical Pharisaical Generation. So that it remains for a certain truth, that judgement is at the door of this Generati­on, and deliverance is coming from Heaven to the faithful that keep their garments pure: and they shal walk with their Lord in white, for they are worthy.

2 Be instructed, in the design of the Lord at this day, upon you and the rest of your Brethren, with whom you are contend­ing for the name and honour of your Lord, it is, to bring you in­to, [Page 71]cloth you with, the glory of the day of your Espousals, that it may be with you, as it was in antient years, in the beginning: what glory is that? the glory of the Apostles and Saints, when they received the promise of the Father, when the Spirit of the Lord came with power upon them, working in them according to the might of his power: the glory of this day is inexpressible, nei­ther is it my work at this time to dilate upon it, but I chuse ra­ther to leave it to your own meditations to represent it to your view by chewing the cudd in the consideration of it, as it is set forth in the holy Writings of the Apostles: when you have attained to this glory, then wil you be defended by the creating power of God, and power from on high wil be given you, to tarry on that great work of God in the world, to the glory and praise of your Lord, your hearts are now so much fixed upon, in which you so earnestly desire to be labouring.

Other very useful instructions might be added; but I conceive it wil be more acceptable, and vvork more kindly if your selves press that wholsom liquor out of this cluster, therefore I for­bear.

2 In the second place, give me leave to Exhort you to these things.

1 Be not weary of, nor undervalue your present work: behold how acceptable! how delightful it is to your Lord! the Lord is al­waies among you, hearing all your discourses with greatest de­light; the glory of it so ravishes his hear, (Cant. 4, 8, 9, 11. Thou hast ravished my heart my Sister, my Spouse, thou hast ravished mine heart, with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck, the Lord is thus ravished with his Spouse, When she looks from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir, and Hermon, from the lyons dens, from the mountains of the leopard; and her lips drop as the hony comb: yea, so ravished is he with the glory of your present Work) as he wil keep the Idea of it in his Book of remembrance, he wil have it alvvaies before him: why should you undervalue it, and grow weary of it, as of a low and mean thing? seeing the Lord prizes it at so high a rate, that it rejoyceth the very heart of God, as those peculiar and rich promises annexed to it manifest: Be not weary of it; but keep close to your Work, and you shal not only possess rich and glorious Reward, but at the appointed time shal be acco­modated vvith safficient furniture to carry on that glorious work of your Lord, vvherein you shal grow up as Calves of the stal: Be not weary of your work think not the time long, nor your [Page 72]Work, stale: the Lord is now in the midst of you, and it is ex­ceeding dangerous for you to go forth to another Work, Til the breaker up go up before you, til your King the Lord pass on the head of you; so long as the cloud abides on the Tabernacle, the Chil­dren of Israel are not to journey; but, when the cloud is taken up,Deut. 1.33 and goeth in the way before them, then is it safe for Israel to go forward: let not an irregular ambition after a higher and more noble Work, draw you into a sinful seeming [...] of your Lords care of his Work & cause, that vvil greive the ho­ly Spirit vvho dwels in your Temples:Cant. 2▪ 7 I charge you, O ye daugh­ters of Jerusalem, by the Roes, and by the Hindes of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my Love, til he please: be faithful in your pre­sent Work, and vvait the pleasure of your Lord, and in the very next Verse, you vvil hear his voice; The voice of my Beloved; and no sooner do you hear his voice; but, behold, he comes leaping upon the Mountains, skipping upon the hils: no hils nor mountains of opposition shal hinder him, but you shal behold him coming to give you your hearts desire,Ch. 3.6. Who is this that cometh out of the Wilderness, like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and Frankin­cense, with all powders of the Merchant? and vvhen he forsakes that houling desart, he vvil not leave you behind him,Ch: 8.5 Who is this that cometh up from the Wilderness leaning upon her beloved? O then, blemish not your Lords Work by any impatiency of Spirit, but vvait your Lords leasure, he vvil come, and vvil not tarry:Ch: 3.5. I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the Roes, and by the Hindes of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

Ch. 8.14. Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a Roe, or to a young Hart upon the mountains of spices.

2 Let your love to your Lord Jesus, and his name appear: seek by all vvayes and means possible, to convince the professing world, that it is nothing but love to your beloved that moves you; no­thing but love, strong as death: verily, this vvil prove of much advantage every vvay: behold, vvhat an advantage vvas gain­ed by such a conviction as this, upon the spirits of men, in the 5th; of the Canticles the Spouse of Christ by a sluggish and un­unvvorthy carriage, having lost the sight of her Beloved, the consideration of the excellency and glory of his love blovvs up the embers in her sleepy heart into a fire of love, her soul fails vvithin her, she is ready to dye for vvant of her Beloved, she [Page 73]runs hither and thither to seek him, and she cals after him, but all in vain: in this hot pursuit after her Beloved, she encounters with the Watchmen, but meets with very unkind entertain­ment, nothing but smitings and woundings; from them she turns to the keepers of the wals, and they handle her very roughly, They took away my vail from me: all this while she suffers loss, she neither finds her Beloved, nor gains any advantage, her passion of love was such, as obscured her beauty and excellency, that it appeared not so plainly what in truth it was; but when her Love brake forth clearly from under those clouds, I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my Beloved, that ye tel him, that I am sick of love; what a wonderful change is wrought! what an advantage is gained! not only to her self, a good esteem of her person, O thou fairest among Women, she is now longer coun­ted worthy of stripes, but of the highest praises: but also to her Beloved; it sets their hearts upon an earnest enquiry after him, What is thy beloved more then another beloved, that thou dost so charge us? the intenseness and fervency of their mind in the enquiry, is set forth by the doubling of the question, What is thy beloved more then another beloved? O thou fairest among Women, what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us? O let your love to your beloved appear; this wil wipe off all that dirt and dishonour the wicked world casts upon you, and the cause of your Lord you stand up for, and provoke the daugh­ters of Jerusalem to enquire after your beloved, with whom you are so exceedingly in love.

3 Seek earnestly after a spirit of light and discerning from the Lord, to enable you to hold forth your beloved to the world in all his glory, the glory of his person, and the glory of his word of truth: when the Spouse had in answer to their question (in the 5th of the Canticles,) made a ful description of the glorious excellencies of her beloved, my beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest of ten thousand, &c. concluding, This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem: behold, what blessed fruit this brings forth: Whether is thy beloved gone? O thou fairest omong Women, whether is thy Beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee: her Beloved is now become their beloved also, and they joyn is­sue with her in a through search after him: let this be no smal part of your work, to hold forth your beloved to the world in all his glory and lovely excellencies, convincing them that [Page 74]this is your beloved, and this is your friend; that it is your love to him that moves you and acts you in all your wayes, that it is the enjoyment of him that is the mark you shoot at: then wil the daughters of Jerusalem be in love with your be­loved also, and account of you as the fairest among Women, the most excellent: would you have the daughters of Jerusalem be your friends and assistants, in seeking after your beloved? then set before them his excellency and glory, let them know who your beloved, and who your friend is: this practice wil prove exceeding serviceable to your Lord; do you but give the daugh­ters of Jerusalem to understand the glory of the object of your souls love, which drew you to those harsh incounters with the Watchmen, and the keepers of the wals, and they wil presently become followers of you as you are followers of your beloved: Whither is thy beloved gone? O thou fairest among Women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

4 Labour with all your might after union; seek out uniting princi­ples, upon which an honourable union upon the right foundation may be wrought: Union! union! union! before the Syon of God can be­come a fit instrument to carry on that work of the Lord in and upon the rebellious World, your hearts are so much fixed upon, this glorious work of union must be perfected in her: when Sy­on is become a holy hill, a body united and compact together, then is she a fit seat for her Lord to sit upon as King; yet have I set my King upon my HOLY HILL of Syon: before Syon wil be ena­bled (by a sufficiency of light and power) to tread down the wicked as ashes under her feet, and burn them up both root and branch, there must be a union (as hath been already hinted) between the Jewels of the Lord, and that remnant of his, that fearing his name keep their garments clean from the defile­ments of the day, to provoke you unto this blessed union, let me perswade you seriously to consider these few motives there­unto.

1 This union, is that which our Lord Jesus prayeth so ear­nestly for the accomplishment of; Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, John 17.20, 21. as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they all may be one, &c. surely it is of no smal concernment to Jesus Christ, but of absolute necessity, his chosen should be thus uni­ted, his heart is so entirely fixed upon it, he intercedes so particu­larly to his Father for it.

[Page 75] 2 This union is that, the accomplishment of which, is the end, wherefore Jesus Christ bestows the same glory his Father gave him, upon his people; And the glory which thou gavest me, Vers▪ 22. I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one: it seems our Lord values this union at a very high rate, he gives so great a price as his glory to purchase it.

3 This union is exceeding excellent and glorious, and therefore deserves seeking after with the greatest earnestness and di­ligence: therefore must it needs be glorious because it is the fruit of glory, And the glory which thou gavest me, Verse 23. I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one; the giving of glory to them, brings forth this union among them as it's natural fruit.

4 This union, is the way to perfection, that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, &c. Would you become perfect with the perfe­ction of your Heavenly Father? endeavour then after this u­nion.

5 By this union, you wil convince the world, that Jesus Christ your Lord is the Messiah of the Father;Verse 2 [...]. That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me: the exceeding glory of this union, wil con­vince both Jew and Gentile, in a day wherein there are false Christs, and false Prophets, shewing great signs and wonders if it were possible to deceive the very Elect, that you Lord you make profession of, is the true Messiah, the true Christ, sent from the Father.

6 By this union, you wil not only convince the world that your Lord is he that was sent from the Father (and so conse­quently, that the truth you plead for, is the truth, the promise of the Father to your Lord) but, that you are the beloved of the Father, loved w th the same love he loves your Lord with:Verse 23. That they may be one even as we are one, that they may be made perfect in one, that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast l ved them, as thou hast loved me: the perfection of this union wil put such an excellent glory upon you, above all other glories, as that the World shal be convinced in their consciences, that if the Lord hath fixed his love upon any company of men in the World, you are the people; and be forced to report, that God is in you of a truth.

[Page 76] 7 This union, wil make you

1 Exceeding glorious in the eyes of your Beloved, and of all that look upon you;Cant. 6, 9, My Dove, my undefiled is but one, saith the Lord Jesus; here is the union pleaded for: behold how he com­mends it, how amiable it is in his eye. She is the onlie one of her Mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her; of all the children she hath brought sorth, this is the ONLY ONE, the best beloved; of all the states and conditions the Spouse hath been brought into, this is the most excellent, the most glorious, the choice one: yea, you wil be the subject of the praises of all that shal behold you; The daughters saw her and blessed her, the Queens and the Concubines, and they praised her; behold how glorious you wil appear in their eye!Verse 10, Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the Moon, clear as the Sun, and terrible as an Army with banners? and who is she think you? why our Lord tels you, it is my Dove, my undefiled, who is but one: and this union, wil make you.

2 In the second place, fitly qualified for the work of your Lord, like to the Armies of the Lord indeed; who is she, that looks terrible as an Army with banners? the answer is, the un­defiled Spouse of Christ who is but one: and when the fruits of this glorious union shal ere you are aware, make your souls like to the Chariots of Aminadab, carry you on exceeding swiftly and strongly in the work of your Lord, if any shal then cry, Re­turn, return, O Shulamite, return, return, that we may look upon thee; the answer wil be.Verse 13 What wil ye see in the Shulamite? as it were the company of two Armies: if any would have you stay a while, that they may behold more of the glory of your united stil state, the answer wil then be, you are become terrible as an Army with banners, yea, terrible, as the company of two Armies: O the terrors and dread! that the glory of this union wil strike into the hearts of your Lords enemies.

8 By this union, you wil become as an innocent Dove unde­filed; my Dove, my undefiled is but one; it imports thus much, that it is the oneness of the Spouse that makes her so Dove-like, and undefiled, unless you endeavour after this union, which the Apo­stle cals The unitie of the Spirit in the bond of peace, you wil not walk worthy of your vocation wherewith ye are called:Ephes. 4.3, compared with the iv. while Ephraim envies Judah, and Judah vexes Ephraim, defiling dirt and dust wil be thrown about, and stick to your garments: when [Page 77]the Lord hath by his Refining dispensation, united his Jewels and his Remnant into one, upon his own foundation, then wil they be pleasantness to the Lord, his Dove undefiled; then wil such a glory rest upon them, as the Lord wil create a defence up­on it, as hath been already suggested in this discourse: my Dove, my undefiled is but one.

9 This union, is the very Image of that glorious union be­tween the Father and the Son, our Lord makes the union be­tween him and his Father, the pattern of that union he inter­cedes for; that they may all be one, as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee; again, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them, and thou in me, that they be made perfect in one: this union is a lively representation of the glorious union between the Father and the Son; and what an exceeding glory must that needs be? my thinks, the glory of it should even ravish your hearts, and make your souls like to the Chariots of Aminadab in an eager pursuit of it, til you have attained.

So that by this time, I hope, you may be in love with union; who can but be in love with it? the glory of it is so exceeding like the glory of your Lord, who is the chiefest of ten thousand: but I would not be mistaken by any,It was in the heart of that blessed servant of the Lord, dear Tillinghast had he had alon­ger day to have wrought in to have presented you with some principses of this glorious union; O that the Lord would anoint some other with the same Spirit, that some healing balsom might be poured into the bleeding wounds of distressed Syon. this union I so earnestly press after, is not dissonant to, but may wel stand with that ho­ly separation from the unclean thing, the Saints are exhorted (and it is their duty) to seperate from; but again, a truly Chri­stian pursuit after this union, wil glorifie a right and a holy se­paration; pursue this holy principle of Union, and I perswade my self, you wil leave very few or none that have but a grain of sincerity, cleaving to the uncleanthing; if the glory of this Union be so powerful as to convince the wicked World, how much more than think you, wil it draw that heart that hath but the least grace in it? O the inexpressible advantage, this union of parts brings to the whole body! one part possesseth wisdom and counsel; another, spirit and life; another part, agility and swiftess in motion: now, while they are not in conjunction; tho the one may have wisdom and counsel, yet, it may want the spirit and life of the other; and though that other may have excellent spirit and life, yet it may want wis­dom to direct and guide the agile faculty in a regular motion: but, when there is a union of parts, the whole body partakes off whatsoever wisdom, of whatsoever excellency of Spirit and [Page 98]Life, and of whatsoever other noble gift, is in any part thereof; which must needs be exceeding glorious to behold, & of much advantage to the cause and work of your Lord. O my Brethren, If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, Phil. 2.1, 2, 3.4, 5. if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels of mercies: fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love▪ being of one accord, of one minde: let nothing be done through strife, or vain glorie, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves; look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others: let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

5 Take heed and beware of a selfish spirit, a self-exalting spirit; dread and shun this monster as the greatest precipice of danger your Souls can possibly fall into at such a time as this: This frame and temper of spirit, the Lord wil contend against, and bow down in that dreadful day of his, which is hastning upon us; For, the day of the Lord of hosts shal be upon every one that is proud and loftie, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shal be brought low; yea, the Lord wil not endure the least degree of it, not so much as a losty look;Isai. 2.11, 12 The loftie looks of man shal be humbled, and the haugh­tiness of men shal be bowed down: it is necessary it should be so, and the reason, why the Lord wil have it so, is, that the Lord a­lone may be exalted in that day: it is the great design of the Lord in this notable day of his that he is bringing upon Syon, to ex­alt himself alone; and til this selfish frame of spirit be bowed down and brought low, the Lord cannot accomplish his de­sign, he cannot be alone exalted: this is the reason why the dreadful day of the Lord wil come upon the Cedars, the mate­rials of his Temple, because they are high and lifted up: but one fragment of this temper of spirit, is one of the 7 things that are hateful, & an abomination unto the Lord, a proud look, or, haugh­tie eyes; Prov: 6.17. (as the margent of some Bibles hath it) O therefore, my brethren, if we would be partakers of the rich Promises of the sparing love of our Father, and not fal under the scourging hand of an angry God, in this day of the Lord that is coming upon us, let us dread and flee a self-exalting spirit.

Lastly, Seeing it is the designe of the Lord at this day, to bring his Syon into her first state, into the purity of the day of her Espousals; let us in the name of the Lord, with heart and hand joyn with one accord, to further this glorious design of God: O that we would n deavour every one to mend one, and in love help to [Page 99]mend each other: would you be serviceable in the work of the Lord? I know you would; why, this is the ready way, the high way, to carry on the great and glorious design of God upon the world: when Syon is so reformed by the power of God, as that she can offer up Offerings in righteousness, that are peasant unto the Lord, as in the daies of old, as in antient Years, THEN shal she tread down the Wicked as ashes under her feet: THEN will the Lord raise up thy Sons O Syon,Zack. 9.13.14, 15. against thy Sons O Greece, and make thee as the sword of a Mighty man: and the Lord shal be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightening, and the Lord God shal blow the Trumpet, and shal go with whirlwinds of the South: the Lord of hosts shall defend them, and they shal devour, and subdue with sling stones, and they shal drink and make a noise as through Wine, and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the Altar.


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