A broken Spirit, GOD's Sacrifices. OR, THE GRATE FULNESSE OF A Broken Spirit unto GOD. Represented in A SERMON, BEFORE The right Honourable House of Peeres, IN K. HENRY the Seventh's Chappell in the Ab­bey Westminster, upon Wednesday Decemb. 9. 1646. Being a Day of publike Humiliation for removing of the great judgment of Rain and Waters then upon the KINGDOME, &c.

By FRAN. ROBERTS M. A. Minister of Christ, at Austins, London.

Ioel 2. 12, 13.

Turn yeeven to me with all your heart, and with sasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. And rend your heart, and not your garments; and turn to the Lord your God: For he is gracious and mercifull, slow to anger, and of great kindnesse and repenteth him of the evill.

Psal. 147. 3.

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

August. in Soliloq.

Inanis est poenitentia, quam sequens culpa coinquin at: ni­hil prosunt lamenta, si replicentur peccata: nihil valet à malis veniam pos­cere, & mala de novo iterare.

LONDON, Printed for George Calvert, of Austins Parish, in the Old-Change, at the signe of the Golden Fleece. 1647.

ORdered by the LORDS in Parliament assembled, That this House gives thankes to Mr. Roberts for his great pains taken in his Sermon preached yesterday before their Lord­ships in King Henry the Seventh's Chappell in the Abby West­minster, (it being a day of publique Humiliation for the remo­ving of the great Judgement of Rayne and Waters now upon the Kingdome, and for the preventing the sad Consequences there­upon.) And he is hereby desired to print and publish the same; which is to be printed onely by Authority under his own Hand.

Jo: Browne Cler. Parliamentorum.

I appoint George Calvert of Austins Parish, to print my Ser­mon, Preached Decemb. 9. 1646.

Fran: Roberts.

TO THE Right Honourable THE HOUSE OF PEERS Assembled in PARLIAMENT.

Right Honourable,

THe wrath of God so variously and dreadfully revealed from heaven of late against this Nati­on; and all the ungodlinesse and unrighttousnesse of men therein, for which Gods wrath hath been so revealed, do call and cry aloud to all the Kingdom for mature and true Repen­tance. To the making up of true Repentance (that holy change of the sinners person and conversation) these Four necessary and eminent ingredients seem principally required: viz. 1. Conviction of sin, Joh. 16. 8, 9▪ 2. Contrition for sin, Psal. 51. 17. Acts 2. 36, 37. 2 Cor. 710. [...]. Avorsion, or turning away from sin, both in inward Principles, and outward Pra­ctices, Isai. 1. 16. and 55. 7. Ezek. 18▪ 30, 31 32▪ And 4. Con­version to God in Christ, both in hear [...] and life, Isai. 557. and [Page] 1. 17. Hos. 14. 12. Jerem. 4▪ 1. Joel 2. 12, 13. For till the Con­science be convinced of sin, how shall the heart be contrite for sin? till the heart be contrite and kindly broken for sin, how shall it forsake and turn away from sin? Till the beart truely turn away from sin, how should it acceptably convert or re­turn to God? And till the sinner do return even unto God, how can he be said compleatly and truely to repent?

1. In Conviction of sin, these things seem specially impli­ed: viz. 1. A sin-guiltinesse wherewith the sinner may be charged. All have sinned, Rom. 5. 12. and Christ alone was ho­ly, harmlesse, undefiled, separate from sinners, Heb. 7. 26. and none could convince him of sin, Joh. 8. 46. 2. Clear and evi­dent Manifestation of that sin-guiltinesse to the soul, by the divine light of the Word and Spirit of God, Psal. 50. 21. Joh. 3. 1920. Ephes. 5. 13. 3. Reflection, and the turning in of the soul upon it self, to take a deliberate view of sin manife­sted. If they shall bethink themselves: [...] Heb. If they shall return unto their heart: or, If they shall bring back unto their beart, 1 Kings 8. 47. 4. And finally, a self-sentencing, upon this self-reflection, as clearly guilty of such sin, or sinfulnesse; as 2 Sam. 12. 13. with Psal. 51. 4.

2. In Contrition for sin, these things seem peculiarly to be contained: viz. 1. The souls deep apprehensivenesse of the hatefulnesse, abominablenesse, and sinfulnesse of sin wherewith it is convinced, seriously laying it to heart, as being most live­ly and clearly sensible thereof. Psal. 51. 3. My sin is ever before me. 2. The hearts hating, detesting and abominating of these iniquities with indignation, so deeply apprehended, as the greatest burdens, diseases, deformities, evils or enemies in the world, 2 Cor. 7. 11. 3. The spirits inward relenting, melting, and mourning bitterly for sin thus detested and ab­horred, Zech. 12, 10, 11, 12. 2 Cor. 7. 10. 2 Chron. 34 27. 4. The sinners deep debasing humbling, loathing and abhor­ring themselves for their iniquities so abominated and lamen­ted. 2 Chron. 33. 12. Ezek. 6. 9, and 20 43. and 36. 31. Job 42. 6▪

Now these inward acts of Contrition oft-times have been of old represented by Gerh. loc. com. De Poenitent. Tom. 3. c. 11. §1. outward discoveries and expressions of 1. Fasting, as counting themselves unworthy of all food, [Page] Joel 1. 14. 2. Rending of garments, denoting the renting of the heart, Joel 2. 13. 3. Tears, which are as the blood of a wounded spirit, Matth. 26. ult. Luke 7. 38. 4. Lying on the ground, in self-debasement, 2 Sam. 12. 16. 5. Covering their [...]eads with ashes, as counting themselves more vile then dust and ashes, Nehem. 9. 1. Job 42. 6. Luke 10. 13. 6. Sack­cloth, coursest garments, Esth. 43. Jonah 34. 7. Smiting up­on the thigh, through inward anguish and anxiety, Percutere fe­mur est signum doloris, sicut mu­lierculae in puer­perio facere so­lent. Luth. in Glost. margi­nal. as a tra­velling woman in extremity of pangs, Jer. 31. 19. 8. Beat­ing of the brests, as deeply discontented at themselves. So the prodigal smote his brest—Luke 18. 13.

Sometimes these external expressions are without the in­ward acts of Contrition, and then they are but as Crocodiles tears, but meer hypocritical paintings. When outward ex­pressions and inward Contrition go together, they are melody delectable even to heaven it self.

3. In Aversion from sin, are remarkable, 1. A new and secret antipathy in the soul against sin, from an oppsite prin­ciple of grace infused, Gal. 517. These two are contrary one to another. 2. Ceasing to do evil both in the elicite and impe­rate acts of heart and life, Isai. 1. 16. called denying ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, Tit. 2. 11. putting away all filthinesse and su­perfluity of naughtinesse, Jam. 1. 21. putting off of the old man, Col. 3. 9. casting away of abominations as a menstruons cloth, saying to it, Get thee hence, Isai. 30. 22. &c. 3. Breaking off the occasions, inlets, inducements and temptations to evil for time to come, Psal. 119. 115. as Peter fled from the high­priests hall where he was tempted, Matth. 26. ult. 4. Main­taining a constant intestine combat against sin, that it may be mortified, killed, extirpated at last out of the soul. Gal. 5. 17. the spirit lusteth against the flesh. See Rom. 8. 13.

4. Finally, in conversion or turning to God in Christ, are considerable, 1. The Motives inclining and alluring the sin­ner unto God; viz. extreme want and misery in himself, but compleat fulnesse and felicity in God: How many hired servants of my fathers have bread enough, and to spare, and I pe­rish with hunger? Luke 15. 17. 2. Resolution upon those in­citements to turn unto God. I will arise, and go to my Father, [Page] Luke 15. 18, 20. 3. Self-denying groans, desires, cries, for admittance and acceptance. Father, I have sinned against hea­ven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thine hired servants, Luk. 15 18, 19. 4 Sweet closing with God as his God in Covenant; s [...]t out in these pathetick expressions: And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.—said, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his f [...]t: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and be merry, Luke 15. 20. 22, 23. O when Repentance thus leads the poor soul into the presence of God as a Father, with what unspeakable contentment do they embrace and enjoy one another!

Thus you have (Right Honourable) a dim portraiture of some li [...]eaments of that ami [...]ble grace of Repentance: The Lord draw a perfect character of un [...]eigned Repentance up­on every one of your souls, both for your own and Englands sins. Touching the Second of these; viz. CONTRI­TION, or br [...]sse of bears, and the peculiar grateful­nesse thereof to God, some plain and familiar meditations (as the narrow scantling of time allotted for preparing them would permit) have been represented in your Honours hear­ing, and now ate (with some small and necessary amplificati­on about the opposite hardnesse of heart infected) again hurr­ [...]ly tendred to Your, and the publike view. May any hard heart be softned, or any soft heart supported thereby, how should my spirit be refreshed▪

God hath brought Two of his Four so [...]e Judgements upon the Land; viz. [...]word, and Pestilence; and a Third of Famine may overtake us ere we be aware. How highly doth it con­cern us all, to present God daily for Englands sins, with bro­ken hearts, his well pleasing Sacrifices▪ who knows how God may repent him of the evil?

To engage more fully your hearts and others in such Contri­tion for the sins procuring these publike Judgements, give me leave to lay before your eyes, out of the Scriptures, a Li [...]t of [Page] such sins as God hath been wont of old to Threaten or Pu­nish with SVVORD, PESTILENCE, or FAMINE; or with all at once: That the wo of former ages may be our war­ning: For All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come, 1 Cor. 10. 11.

I. The SVVORD hath been threatned or inflicted on people for these sins ensuing, viz.
  • 1. Sottish ignorance of God and of his wayes, Jerem. 4. 19, 20, 21, 22.
  • 2. Disobedience to Gods commands, Deut. 28. 15,—22, 23, 24. Job 36. 11.
  • 3. Backsliding from God, forsaking of God, Jerem. 15. 1, 2, 6.
  • 4. Idolatry, Deut. 28. 21. to 26. Judg. 5 8. Psal. 78. 58. to 63. Isa. 65. 11, 12. Jer. 9. 13. to 17. & 16. 4, 11, 12. & 32. 28, 29 30. &c. & 44 25, 27.
  • 5. Breach of Covenant, Jerem. [...]4 18. to the end of the Chapter.
  • 6. Distrusting the Lord, and relying on the arm of fl [...]sh; as Asa on the King of Syria, 2 Chro. 16. 7, 8 9.
  • 7. Prophesying lies in the name of the Lord, and entertain­ing them, Jer. 14. 13. to 17.
  • 8. Mocking and mi [...]-using the messengers of God, and de­spising Gods word by them, 2 Chro. 36. 15, 16, 17.
  • 9. The sins and provocations of a pro [...]ane and wic [...]ed King, as of Manasses, Jer. 15. 24. 2 King. 24. 23, 41.
  • 10. Warring against the Church and people of God, as did Amaleck, Exod. 17. 8, 16.
  • 11. Insulting over Gods afflicted Church and people, as Tyre did over Jerusalem, Ezek. 26 1. to 15.
  • 12. Murther, Blood, Cruelty, &c. 2 Sam. 2. 9, 10.
  • 13. Pride, H [...]ughtiness [...], &c. Isa. 3. 16, 25.
  • 14. Oppression, Isa. 3. 12, 13, 14, [...] 25. Jer. 6. 4. to 9 Job 27. 13 14.
  • 15. Incorrigiblenesse under Gods Judgements, Levit. 26. [...]6. to 36.
II. The Plague of PESTILENCE hath been threatned or in­flicted on people for these offences, viz.
  • [Page]1 Confidence in the creature, diffidence in God, Ezek. 33. 26, 27. 2 Sam. 24. 2, 13, 15. Num. 14. 11, 1 [...].
  • 2 Ingratefull murmuring against Gods Providence and proceedings, Num. 11. 38. & 16. 41, 49.
  • 3 Idolatry, Superstition, &c. Jer. 14. 10 12. Ezek. 5. 11, 12. & 6. 9 11 12. Num. 25 2, 9. Josh. 22. 17.
  • 4 Contemning, opposing, or abusing Gods Prophets, Mes­sengers with their Messages, Jer. 29. 17. to 20. & 42. 21, 22.
  • 5 Opressing and misusing Gods Church and people, Exod. 12. 29. with Psal. 78. 50. Amos 4. 10.
  • 6 Murther and Crueltie, Ezek. 33, 25, 27.
  • 7 Adultery and wantonnesse, Ezek. 33. 26, 27. Numb. 25. 19. Of that plague there fell 24000.
III. FAMINE hath been threatned or inflicted upon a people for these iniquities, viz.
  • 1 When there's no knowledge or consideration of God and his wayes, Isa. 5. 12, 13.
  • 2 When a Land sins against God by trespassing grievously, Ezek. 14. 13, 14.
  • 3 Carnall confidence and pride of a King in the Arm of flesh, 2 Sam. 24. 2, 13. with 1 Chro. 21. 12.
  • 4 Idolatry, 2 King. 18. 2. with 18. Jer. 13. 27. with 14. 1. to 7. & 16. 4, 11, 12. & 44 25, 27. Thus Babylons spirituall fornications shall be rewarded, Rev. 18. 3, 8.
  • 5 Breach of Covenant: As Israels breach of covenant with the Gibeonites was plagued with divers yeers of Famine; though
    • 1. This Covenant was subtilly and craftily obtained.
    • 2. It was almost 400 yeers after this Covenant was made that the Famine was inflicted.
    • And 3. That breach was espe­cially made by King Saul and his bloody house. Compare 2 Sa [...]. 21. 1, 2. with Josh. 9. 3, to 17.
  • 6 Opposing, prohibiting, threatning, &c. of Gods Messen­gers for their Messages, Jer. 11, 21, 22.
  • 7 Obstinacie and incurablenesse in great iniquity, &c. [Page] Jerem. 13, 22, 27. with 14 1, to 7, 13, 14, 15, 16.
IIII. Yea, all these three sore judgements, SVVORD, PE­STILENCE, and FAMINE, are together threatned or inflicted upon people for these provocations following, viz.
  • 1 Disobedience to God, Jer. 42. 13, to 18. Deut. 28. 15, 21, to 27.
  • 2 Carnall confidence of Governours in the Arm of flesh, 2 Sam. 24. 2, 13. with 1 Chron. 21. 12.
  • 3 Wandring from God, Jer. 14. 10, 11, 12.
  • 4 Idolatrous abominations and wickednesse, Ezek. 5. 6, 7, &c. 12, 16, 17. & 7. 4 15. Jer. 32. 32, to 37. Eze. 6. 11, 12. 13.
  • 5 Not harkening to Gods word by his Prophets and Mi­nisters, Jer. 29. 17, 18, 19.
  • 6 Oppression, Jer. 34. 17.
  • 7 Not being humble and contrite for sins of fore-fathers, Jer. 44. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
  • 8 Incorrigiblenesse; when men will not be reformed, no not by the severest judgements of God, Lev. 26. 24, 25, 26.

Thus have I briefly indigitated out of the word of God some of those sins and abominations in these several Catalogues, for which the Lord hath heretofore threatned and plagued his people with SVVORD, PESTILENCE, and FAMINE, (two of which this Kingdome of late hath [...]adly f [...]lt, and the third is greatly feared;) That your Honours may cleerly see the equity of Gods severest proceedings with us in all this that is come upon us: and the necessity of our breaking our hearts, and humbling our soules greatly in this Land for all those Sins and Rebellions wherewith we have already pulled so much, and are like to pull down more and more vengeance upon our selves and our Posteritie. For, which of all those Abominations fore-mentioned is not England deeply guilty of? And shall England think to commit the same sins, and yet escape the judgements of God?

Wherefore I most humbly and earnestly beseech your Ho­nours, that as you tender the glory of God; the true happinesse of this Church and State; the removing of present, and pre­venting [Page] of future judgements; the treasuring up of blessings for the present generation and for posterity; and the re-im­barquing of England again in the bosome of Gods favour; you would be pleased in your great zeal and wisdome, to think of some way, how with the advice of the Assembly of Divines, a more full and impartiall Catalogue (then hitherto hath been made) of the Publick sins and provocations of Eng­land may be drawn up, and published by Authority of Parlia­ment; and that a most solemn Day of Humiliation for the whole Kingdome may be peculiarly set apart for afflicting of our souls deeply for those sins, from Dan to Beersheba: And let the Lord accept us. Now the Father of mercies and God of all consolation, lift up your hearts in the wayes of God, and make you strong for all the work of God that remains upon your hand. So prayeth

Your Honours faithfull servant in the Lord, FRAN. ROBERTS.

A Broken Spirit, Gods Sacrifices: OR The gratefulness of a broken SPIRIT unto GOD.

PSAL. 51. 17.‘The Sacrifices of God, are a broken Spirit.’

THis day we are come together to afflict our souls and mourn before the Lord, because the heavens have now for di­vers moneths together so sadly mour­ned upon the Land in extraordinary dearth-threatning shours: These ex­cessive shou [...]s and judgement of rain, were first gendred and occasioned by the poysonfull vapours of our sins, and the sins of the Land, that have ascended and been multiplyed before the Lo [...]d: One successfull and approved remedy against both sin and judgement [...] is, To lay our selves low before the Lord with penitentiall brokennesse of spirit: and this broken­nesse is the peculiar subject of this Text, Oh that our God would break our hearts like Davids heart in the considerati­on of it.

The Psalm may be justly stiled Davids Recantation: How doth he bleed and melt for his bloody sins? This sweet singer of Israel (as he is stiled) never prayed and sung more melodi­ously and pathetically, then when his heart was broken most [Page 2] penitentially: as the birds in the spring tune most sweetly, when it rains most sadly; or as some faces appear most orient­ly beautiful, when they are most instampt with sorrow.

In this Psalm are Principally considerable, the Title and the The cohe­ [...]ence of the words with the context. substance of the Psalm.

1. The Title prefixed (which is here as the Contents of a book, as the Key of the Psalm) contains, 1. The inscription of it, To the chief Musician, or to the master of the musick. 2. The Primary, or instrumental Cause of it. Viz. DAVID; He ingenuously takes the shame of his sin upon his own face. 3. The Occasion of the Psalm, which is twofold: viz. 1. DAVIDS Iniquity, and 2. NATHANS Ministry waking his secure conscience out of it. When Nathan the Prophet came unto him after he had gone in to Bath [...]heba. The story is fully laid down in 2 Sam. 11. & 12. Chapters.

2. The Substance of the Psalm it self; wherein consider, 1. The nature or kind of it; so it is [...]n. Anno [...]. in loc. Psalmus [...] a Praying Psalm. 2. The scope or end of it, principally to implore Gods free grace and favor in the pardoning and purging of his sin, and the more plenary sanctifying and comfor­ting of his sin-afflicted heart, as is evident in the Current of the Psalm: Whence its very clear. 1. That the best of Saints may foully fa [...]l. 2. That the Saints foully falling shall yet pe­nitentially rise again. 3. That when they rise after their re­lapses, they are embittered against their own sins most imparti­ally, they deal with God in their Repentance most ingenuously and sincerely.

3. The branches or parts of this Prayer, which are chiefly two, viz. Petition for himself who by Murder and Adultery had off [...]ed, Verse 1. to 18. And Supplication for the Church of God, which by his fal might be scandalized and endangered, V [...]se 18, 19.

For himself he beggs Restauration, by Arguments drawn▪

1. From himself, most seriously and sincerely repenting, Ver. 3. to 13.

2. From others who might be involved in like offences, whom upon such his experience of divine favor, he should be enabled feelingly to instruct in the ways of God and mysteries [Page 3] of Conversion; Then will I teach transgressors thy wayes, and sinners shall be converted unto the, Verse 13. Then I that have been a Pati [...]nt, shal become a Phisitian to other sin-bruised souls: Then I that have had my bones thus broken by my fall, shal help to bind up the broken bones of others.

3. From Gods own glory, which upon such beams and dis­coveries of grace would be rendred most illustrious, 1 Partly in his thankeful publishing of Gods praises for mercies received, Verse 14, 15. 2 Partly in his dutiful sacrificing and rendering unto God, not so much the carnal typical sacrifices of the Law, which were not the things wherein God did rest, Verse 15, 16. But the spiritual and true sacrifices of a broken and contrite spi­rit, which were the sacrifices of Gods delight, in the words of the Text, ver. 17. The Sacrifices of God are a broken Spi­rit, &c.

Having thus led you to the Words, lets-view the treasure comprized in them, they set forth, The singular gratefulnesse of true broken-heartednesse. Here are two Propositions Empha­tically discovering this; 1. Affirmatively, shewing in what high account a broken spirit is with God, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. 2. Negatively, discovering what dis-respect or unkindnesse a broken heart shall never finde with God, A broken and contrite heart O God thou wilt not despise. Both Pro­positions are for substance one and the same, but doubled (like Pharaohs Dreams) more infallibly to assure us of the certainty thereof: and therefore in the handling of the first proposition we shal in effect have the sense of both.

In the Affirmative proposition you have first the subj [...]ct, A broken Spirit. Secondly the Predicate affirmed of this subject, that it is the sacrifices of God. The copula knitting both together is not expressed in the Hebrew text, but must necessarily be supplyed to make up the sense perfect [is, or, are] therefore here the word [are] is put in a different character.

Now for clearing the sense of this Proposition these things are a litle to be opened: Viz.

  • 1. What is here meant by the word Spirit?
  • 2. What is intended by a broken spirit?
  • 3. In what sense we are to understand that such a broken spirit is the sacrifices of God.

[Page 4] First, By the word [spirit [...]] the Scripture is wont to poin [...] out to us many s [...]veral things: If any word in the Old or New Testament be of multifarious signification, certainly this word spirit is one. But as to this place, by Spirit here un­derstand. First, Not the regenerate part in a child of GOD, in whom spirit stands opposed to flesh, Grace to sin. The spi­rit lusteth against the flesh and the flesh lusteth against the spirit Gal. 5. 17. See also Ioh. 3. 6. For in this place brokennesse and contrition is rather a spark of that Regenerate part, and part of the new man, subj [...]ctively inherent and seated in the spirit here spoken of, as the Receptacle of it. Secondly, Nor the intelle­ctive part, as distinct from the sensitive, and from the corporeal part of man; as the Apostle makes the distribution;—that your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blamelesse—1 Thes. 5. 23. As Calvin Quod autem sequitur, it a explico cum doctis [...]mo in­tetprete, ut quod in gene­re dictum erat, per par­tes explice­tur. Mentem igitur Paulus Spiritus appellatione significat, illud nempe [...] in quo nativa praecipua labes nest, Animam vero reliquas inferio [...]es facultates. non quasi duae sint animae, sed quod [...]uo more Paulus functiones unius ejusde [...]que animae distribuat, cujus etiam alicubi tres sacultates commemorat, ut diximus Eph 4. 17. Corporis d [...]nique nomine satis constat animae domicilium significari. B [...]z. in loc. Beza and others observe. Which spirit is elsewhere stiled the spirit of the mind. For though the Intellective part, as some of the Estuis in Distinctionem 16. lib. 4. schoolmen think, be the more special subject of this brokennesse, yet cannot the sensitive appetite besecluded, yea the body it self cannot but sym­path z [...] and become broken when the heart and spirit are bro­ken. Thirdly, But here understand the heart or soul of man principally, which is the most proper receptive subj [...]ct of this penitential brok [...]nnesse.

Secondly, By [...] A Broken spirit] thus con­ceive in general; Radix [...] proprie signi­ficat, fregit, sicut fi anguntur ligna Exod. 9 v 26: Off. Exod. 12. v. 46. Vasa testa­cea Levit. 6. v. 28. Statuae 2 King. 11. v. 19 &c. [...]xx. plerumque redd derunt per [...] oppressione se [...] depressione contusus est [...], Isa. 67. versi [...]. 15. [...] humilis foit, humilia [...]us est. [...] humilis Spi [...] &c. [...]x quibus omnibus patet, contritionis nomme meta­pho [...]ice [...]ligi fi actionem & [...]ssionem cordis, verum ac serium dolorem, quo vis & robu [...] cordis vel [...]ti conteritu [...], sicut per morbos robu [...] corporis. Quidam metaphoram de­sumptam elle dicunt a vase testaceo quod in minutissima fracta redigitur▪ Psa. 31. v. 13. Isa. 30. v. 11. [...]er. 19. v. 11. Alij ab ossibus quae subito lapsu in plura fragmenta dis­siliunt, ut best [...]a [...]um dentibus assula [...]im comminuantur, Psa. 38. versi [...]. 33. Isa. 38. v. 13. Os [...]. 6, v. 5. Ger [...]ard in loc. com. Tom. III. De P [...]itent. c. 11. Sect. 1. It is a metaphor from [...]orporal things, as [Page 5] from an Earthen vessel, a tree, the bones or body of a man, or the like, which are properly liable to be broken, and (that I may here allude to the Hebrew word here used) shivered-to­pieces: The spirit cannot be s [...]d to be Broken properly, but al­lusively, metaphorically, when for sin &c. it is humbled, as in Manasses, 2 Chron. 33. 12. It is pricked and wounded, as in Peters hearers, Act. 2. 37. it is softned and melted, as in Jo­siah, 2 Chron. 34. 27. it is in bitternesse, as in those intended in Zech. 12. 10, 11. &c.

More particularly here understand by brokennesse of spirit,

1. Not a meer natural brokennesse and tendernesse, which ariseth from the tender temper and constitution of the heart and eyes by Nature, which is in some more, some lesse; whence they are ready to receive impressions of griefe, and to make Expressions in tears, upon occasion of any pathetical ob­jects: This being but a fruit of Nature, cannot be the spiritu­al sacrifices of God, acceptable unto him.

2. Not a meer worldly Brokennesse and grief of Heart, ari­sing from some worldly ground or occasion, &c. Such as Ja­cobs grief for Joseph supposed to be torn in peeces, GEN. 37. 33▪ 34, 35. Of David for Absalom, [...] SAM. 18. 33. Of Ra­chel for her children, MAT. 2. 18. As streams of water wil not ascend higher then the fountain head whence they first tooke their rise: so these streams of worldly contrition, arising meerly from a worldly Principle, can never ascend higher then the world; and in fine the sorrow of the world worketh death, 2 Cor. 7. 10.

3. Not any formal fained Thus one discriminates betwixt the Elect and Reprobate in this point. Electi Ex sensu peccati, iraeque dei apprehensione spiritus sancti ductu, volentes consugiunt ad deum, ut in Davide, Jobo, aliisque [...]idere est. Reprobi vero ut Cain compuncti desperant, dicentes major est iniquitas nostra, quam vt sustinere possumus; aut hypocritae sese prosternunt ut Achab, aut desperabundi sibi mor­tem consciscunt, ut Achitophel, Judas, Ne [...]o, Diocletianus, Christianorum persecu­to [...]es atrocissimi; vel intus contremiscunt ut Caligula aut toto corpore concutiuntur nullum petentes remedium, ut Baltassa [...], qui viso digito in pariete scribente ita fuit consternatus, ut concussis genibus vacillaret. Joan. Malcolmi Comment. in Act. 2. 37. hypocritical brokenness for sin, wch comes neerest to true Penitential brokenness, and is the livelyest [Page 6] sh [...]dow or picture of it, but no more: whereby a man may be first Convinced mightily of his sin committed: Secondly, Wounded and afflicted in Conscience deeply upon such con­viction: Thirdly, Even forced voluntarily to confess the sin publickly before others for which he is perplexed: Fourthly, Brought to make some outward Satisfaction by Restitution of dishonest gain: Fifthly, And at last through extremity of an­guish and horror of conscience be so swallowed up of utter despair, as to make away himself. All these were found in Iudas, who yet never found a true Brokennesse of spirit, Mat. 27. 3, 4, 5. But the God of Truth delights only in Truth and sincerity, abhorrs Hypocrisy.

4. But here understand only a true, gracious, p [...]nitential bro­kennesse of heart for sin, when the heart is kindly pricked, melted, humbled, and in bitternesse for sin, and finding no rest nor remedy in it self, nor in any created comfort, makes out only to Gods fa­vor in Jesus Christ for support and ease: This is a proper fruit of that sweet Spirit of grace promised Zech. 12. 10, 11, 12. This is that godly sorrow that worketh repentance not to be re­pented of, 2 Cor. 7. 10. This is for substance, that Repentance unto life, Act. 11. 18. or an eminent branch thereof: And this was that Brokennesse of spirit which was upon David in p [...]ning this Psalm, which he declares to be the acceptable sa­crifices of God, Verse 17.

This brokennesse of spirit in a child of God, may be conside­red either as it is▪

1. Habitual: viz. That habit of brokenness, tenderness &c. which is infused into the heart of the Regenerate at first con­version, which is called in the New Covenant an heart of flesh, Ezek. 11. 19. & 36. 26. The heart of stone noting that habitual hardness that is in carnal men: The heart of flesh, that habitual softness and brokenness that is in spiritual men.

2. As it is Actual; viz. That exercise of brokenness and tenderness of heart for sin upon just occasions, as David re­duced his brokenness into act upon his fall, &c. That is a bro­kenness impressed on us, this a brokennesse expressed by us.

3. In what sense is such a broken spirit here stiled The 3. S [...]crifices of God?

[Page 7] Ans. This phrase [...] The sacrifices of God] may bear a double interpretation; viz. either first As deno­ting the singular excellency of this sacrifice of a broken heart: For its usual in the Hebrew tongue to add the name of [God] to a thing, to set out the excellency thereof; as, the Mountains of God, i. e. exceeding high Mountains, Psa. 36. 6. Cedars of God, i. e. most tall Cedars, Psa. 80. 11. Rivers of God, Psa. 65. 10. Wrastlings of God, i. e. Great Wrastlings, Gen. 30. 8. Harps of God, Rev. 15. 2. &c. so here Sacrifices of God, i. e. most choyce, excellent Sacrifices. Or secondly As signifying the peculiar gratefulnesse and singular acceptablenesse of this sa­crifice to God, above all the typical sacrifices of the Law, none of them all please God so wel as the broken and contrite spirit, this to God is the Sacrifice of sacrifices. Now this latter seems to be most clearly here intended.

1. Partly because a broken heart is here opposed to all Cere­monial sacrifices Verse 16, 17. These God neither desires nor delights in, in comparison of a broken heart and Spirit.

2. Partly because this broken heart is here c [...]lled emphatical­ly not only the sacrifice of God in the singular number; but the sacrifices of God in the plural, to note that this Sacrificia dei] Postquam Sacrificiis de­traxit propiti­andi Dei vir­tutem, quam falso affinxerant Judaei, nunc dicit, Etiamsi nihil praeter Cor contritum & humiliatum asterat, hoc Deo abunde sufficere; quia unum hoc exigat a peccatori­bus ut dejecti & prostrati, misericoid am implorent; neque frustra plurali numero usus est, quo melius exprimeret poenitentiae Sacrificium, pro omnibus unum sufficere. Si dixisset honi odoris esse hoc Sacrificii genus promptum fuisset Iudaeis cavillari, alias tamen esse species quae non minus deo placerent. Sicut videmus hodie Papistas, sua opera dei graciae miscere, negratuita sit peccatorunt remissio; Consulto itaque David ut omnia satisfactionum commenta excluderer unicum spiritus dejectionem, quaecunque deus probat sacrificia in se complecti asseruit? Et quum sacrificia Dei nominat, videtur oblique mordere hypocritas, qui suo tantum arbitrio Sacrificia estimant, dum ad pro­pitiandum deum valere arbitrantur. Calv. in Ps. 51. 17. one Sacrifice of a truly broken heart hath in it the gratefulnesse of all sacri­fices: with this one, God is better pleased, then with all others forementioned.

3. Partly because it is said by way of exegetical amplifica­tion in the latter part of this 17. Verse, A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise, which seemes to bee [Page 8] a [...] less being spoken then was intended; thou wilt not despise i. e. thou wilt highly esteem and account of it, it wil be most acceptable with thee. The words thus explaned, this Doctri­nal Proposition is evident in them. Viz.

A truly broken spirit is a most pleasing and acceptable sacri­fice Doct. 1. unto God.

A broken spirit is not only grateful to the Saints themselves, refreshing both their souls and the souls of others, as a season­able April shower doth the grass; nor only delightful unto the very Angels of heaven, There is joy in the presence of the Angels of God, over one sinner that repenteth, more then over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance, Luke 15. 7. 10. Upon which saith BERNARD, Delicia Angelorum sunt lachrymae poenitentium, The tears of Penitents are the delights of Angels▪ But (which is most of all) a broken spirit is the delight of God himself, his most grateful sacrifices. This may be evidenced chiefly two ways. 1. [...] That it is so. 2. [...] Why it is so.

1. For the first, the [...] That this is so: viz. That a truly 1. broken spirit, is a most pleasing sacrifice unto God, may be cleared upon many Considerations.

1. A broken spirit is so pleasing to God, that he prefers this one alone to all Ceremonial sacrifices, and external Rites un­der the Old Testament whatsoever; Holocaustis non delectabe­ris] Nihil er­go offeremus? Sic veniemus ad deum? & unde illum placabimus? Oster; sane in te habes quod [...]steras▪ Noli extrinsecus th [...]ra compa­rare; sed dic in me sunt deus vo [...]a tua, quae redd [...] laudes tibi. Noli exti insecus pecus quod mactes inquirere, habes in te quod occidas. Sa­crificium deo, &c. August. Enarrat. in Psa. 50. For thou desirest not sa­crifice, else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt-offer­ing: The Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit—Psa. 51. 6, 17. There were many sacrifices under the Old Testament, The Burnt-offering, the Sin-offering, the Meat-offering, the Drink­offering, the Dayly Sacrifice &c. And these sacrifices were not only prescribed of God, but also in their kind and season accepted also of him, as 2 Sam. 24. 25. 1 Kings 18. 36, 37, 38. Notwithstanding God looked more at a penitential broken heart, then at all those. Therefore he saith elswhere, Rent your hearts and not your garments, Joel 2. 13. And no wonder: For 1. These were but outward Sacrifices, This of a broken spirit is inward. 2. Those were of dead creatures, dead beasts, &c. [Page 9] this of living men. 3. Those Typicall, this Reall. 4. Those would be of acceptance with God, but for a Season, till the incarnation of Christ, Heb. 10. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. this will be grate­full to God, for ever, both under Old and New Testament.

2. A broken spirit is so pleasing to God, that God high­ly 2. preferres it before all meer morall performances, or Phari­saicall perfections whatsoever: This is conspicuous in that eminent Parable of the Pharisee and Publican, Luk. 18. 10. to 15. where are remarkable, 1. The Devotion they performed, they both went into the Temple to pray. 2. The manner of their performance, The Pharisy was upon tiptoes with God, Ne­gatively disclayming a manifold guiltinesse, God I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, &c. he borrowes Gods name, pretending to thank him, intending to praise and appla [...]d himself. Affirmatively, assuming to himself a ma­nifold vertuousnesse, I fast twice in the weeke, &c. But the poor Publican performeth his Devotion in a farre other manner, he stood a farre off, as afraid to draw neere into the presence of God: he would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, as unworthy to look towards Gods glorious habi­tation: he smote upon his brest, as sore broken and displeased at himself for his own o [...]ences; and said, God be mercifull to me a sinner, as apprehending no sufficient remedy, against his deep sinfull misery, but only divine Mercy. Thus the Pharisy wholly exalted himself, the Publican wholly debased him­self: The Pharisy only praised himself, the Publican only dis­praised himself: The Pharisy only justified himself, the Publi­can only condemned himself, 4. But in the close, see the te­stimony of Christ touching their acceptance, I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather then the other Impropria est compara­tio: ne (que) enim quasi commu­nis ambobus sit justitia, Publi­canum Christus tantum gradu aliquo prefert; sed intelligit eum gratum [...]uisse deo, quum Phari­ssaeus in totum rejectus fuerit. Calv. in loc. i. e. ju­stified and not the other. Oh how happy are they that par­take of Gods justification, Psal. 32. 1. 2. To be justified of God is a fruit of his highest acceptation. This acceptation was the Priviledge of the broken-hearted Publican, when the cracking Pharisee with all his morall and legall perfections, without true Contrition, was rejected.

3. A broken spirit is so pleasing to God, that God hath 3. a peculiar and especiall respect therunto. Thus saith the Lord, [Page 10] The heaven is my Throne, and the earth is my foot-stoole, where is the house that ye build unto mee? and where is the place of my rest? For, all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been saith the Lord: but to this man will I looke, even to him that is poore and of a contrite Spirit, Isai. 66. 1, 2. God lookes upon him that is of a poore and contrire spirit, not only with a look of bare intuition, for so he lookes upon both the evill and the good: but with a look of smiling favour and acceptation, called the lifting up of the light of his countenance, Psal. 4. 6. now where God thus lookes, he likes, he notably loves. So its said, God had respect to Abel and to his offring, Gen. 4. 4. i. e. God approoved it, accepted it, was well-pleased with it. Thus God respects and accepts a broken-heart. How great respect had God to Josiah and his brokennesse of heart, saying, Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thy self before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thy selfe before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me, I have even heard thee also saith the Lord, 2 Chron. 34. 27, 28. How great respect had God to King Manasses, (that Monster of wickednesse,) & to the brokennesse of his spi­rit, for when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, Or, [...] He submitted himselfe ex­ceedingly. and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers: And prayed unto him, and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his Kingdome, 2 Chron. 33. 12. 13. In a word what respect had Christ to the penitent womans brokennesse of spirit, when he so commends her entertainment of himself with Tears, washing of his feet with them, wiping them with the haires of her head, &c. before the Pharisies entertaining of him with all his dainties and Complements, Luk. 7. 36. to the end. Now all this respect which God so peculiarly manifests to brokennesse of spirit, makes it cleare that a broken spirit, is Gods most gratefull Sacrifice and delight.

4. A broken Spirit is so pleasing to God, That he rankes a broken spirit, a tender fleshy heart, a spirit of mourning, &c. 4. among the rarest expressions of his speciall grace and favour promised to his Church: Therefore where God promiseth, [Page 11] To be to his people a little Sanctuary in the Countries where they shall come—Their gathering again,—The Reformation of the Land—Onenesse of heart—Newnesse of spirit, &c. he addeth, And I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh—Ezek. 11. 16. to 21. And elsewhere, after other promises God saith, Then will I sprinkle cleane wa­ter upon you, and ye shall be clean, from all your filthinesse and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh, Ezek. 36. 24, 25, 26. &c. yea when those Evangelicall blessings are promised to the House of David and inhabitants of Jerusalem, The spirit of Grace and of Supplication; it is ad­ded, And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourne for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shal be in bitternesse for him as one that is in bitternesse for his first borne, &c. Zech. 12. 10. &c. Where, brokennesse of Spirit for the sins that broke and pierced Christ, is expressed under the notions, of Mourning as for an only son, of being in bitternesse as for a first borne; of great mourning as of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo, where good Josiah was slain.—Now why should this brokennesse of spirit be thus ranked among Gods choice promised blessings, if the Lord had not choyce thoughts and account thereof?

5. A Broken spirit is so gratefull to God, That himselfe 5. undertakes it to be the peculiar Physitian to heale, bind up, revive, and comfort poore broken hearts and bleeding soules. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds, Psal. 147. 3. He bottles up their teares, and their sighing is not hid from him. He dwels in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit; but to what end? To re­vive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the con­trite ones, Isai. 57. 15. Griefe and sorrow kills, joy and com­fort revives. Its true God sometimes sets off the beauty of his own sweet Comforts, by the darksome shadow of trouble of spirit and broken bones inflicted upon us; he casts down, that he may lift us up: he crusheth, that he may consolate us: yea [Page 12] he kills us, that he may more gratefully revive us; as one said.

Dejicit, ut relevet: premit, ut solatia praestet:
Enecat, ut possit vivificare Deus.

Still the scope and intendment of God is the swathing up of broken bones, the sweetning of the embittered spi­rits of his people. This the very office of Jesus Christ him­selfe, The Lord hath annointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,—to comfort all that mourn. To appoint unto them that mourn in Si­on, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oyle of joy for mour­ning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heavinesse, Isai. [...]. 1, 2, 3. Compared with Luk. 4. 18. [...]ices la­ [...], quas beniguae ma­nus condi [...]s abstergunt: & beati [...]uli qui in t [...], lique­fie [...]el [...]gerunt, quàm [...] superb [...], qu [...] omne sub [...]e vider [...], [...]uam ava [...]it [...]ae & pe­tul [...]ntiae [...]u lati. Bern. de Contemp. mundi. Happy teares which Christs hand shall wipe oft: happy wounds, which Christs blood shall close again; happy brokennesse of heart, which Christ shall bind up, &c. behold how God, how Christ loves a broken heart.

6. Finally a truly broken spirit is so acceptable to God, That he is pleased to select and single out the broken heart, 6. the poore and contrite spirit, for his peculiar habitation, and for the place of his rest. Where is the place of my rest? saith God. Himself answereth, To this man will I looke, even to him that is poore and of a contrite spirit, as if he should say, here is my rest, here will I place mine eye and heart, here will I re­pose my self and dwell, Isa. 66. 1. 2. But more clearly, else­where; Thus saith the high and lofty-one that inhabiteth eterni­ty, whose nam [...] is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, Isai. 57. 15. God will not dwell with the proud, hard, impenitent, unbelieving heart, yet will dwell with the contrite and humble spirit: What? God dwell there? how deare is such a heart to God? It is not said Saints or Angels shall dwell with such, though they are sweet companions: Not Peace, Joy, Comfort, Life, Grace, Holinesse, Happinesse, &c. shall dwell there, though these are deare delights, able to change the blackest midnight into a smiling morning, a very Prison into a Pallace, and the vale of the shadow of death, into a mountain of life and joy: [Page 13] But i [...]s said, that the High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, will dwell with him that's of an humble and contrite spirit. Oh how doth the highest God descend, how doth the lowest heart ascend in such an inhabitation! The broken heart saith with the Centurion, Lord I am not worthy thou shouldst come under my roofe; much lesse that thou shouldst dwell there.

11. Thus much of the [...], That a broken spirit is a 11. most pleasing Sacrifice to God. Now passe we to the second particular, the [...], Why a truly broken spirit should be so gratefull Sacrifices to God? This may be opened both Nega­tively and Affirmatively.

Negatively, this gratefulnesse of a broken spirit, ariseth not from any merit, or any degree or shadow of merit that may be imagined to be Quod con­tritionem atti­ne [...], noseam in poen [...]tentiâ verâ necessari­am statuimus—modo & dolorem illum o [...] peccata secundum De­um intelliga­mus, & prope [...]catis satis­factorium non agnolcamus: Gratiae enim Dei, non con­tritioni attri­buenda est peccatorum remissio. Ut Glossa de Poe­nitent distinct. 2 c 1. contra Concil. Tri­denum defini­uonem Sess. 14. c. 4. rectè exposait. Synopsi pur. Theol Disp. 32. §. [...]. in a broken spirit, (as the Popish merit-mongers do commonly suggest when they treat of this Theame of brokennesse of heart.) For though ou [...] heads were waters, and our eyes fountains of tears, Jer. 9. 1. Though wee should eat ashes as bread, and mingle our drinke with weeping, Psal. 102. 9. though all the night long we should make our bed to swim, and water our couch with tears, Psal. 6. that our eyes were dim with griefe, our cheeks furrowed with sorrow, and our very moysture turned into the droughts of Summer, Psal. 32. 4. yet when all's done, we are but unprofitable Servants, what have we done more then duty? nay for ground, man­ner, and end of all our penitentiall mournings for sinne, doe we not come short of duty? alas for us, ipsae Lachrymae sunt Lachrymabiles &c. we had need to weeep over our teares, sigh over our sobs, mourne over our griefes, be broken for our brokennnsse, and to repent over our very repentance; not that these duties are performed by us, but that they are performed no better, when we doe our best, so much flesh adheres to all. We read of Davids broken bones, but we read not of his merit: I a [...]mas ejus lego, satisfactionem non lego. A [...]de P [...]it. Petri Serm. 46. & [...]uc. l. [...]. c. 46. August. Scra. 1 17. de Temp. we read of Peters bitter teares for his sin, but we read not a word of their satisfaction, that must be left for ever to the blood of Christ.

Affirmatively, a broken spirit is a most gratefull sacrifice to God, because,

[Page 14] 1. A broken spirit is a spirituall sacrifice. Herein not the 1. bodies or blood of dead bruit-beasts, but the spirit i [...] selfe of [...]g and reasonable man, even his very heart and soule is sacrificed to God; (and the spirit of one man is better then all the beasts and earthly creatures in the whole world:) And the spirit of man offered, is not his spirit as stony and carna­ [...], but as broken and spiritualized with godly sorrow and repentance? The spirit is the best of man, a broken spirit is the best of spirits.

Now God insists much upon the spiritualnesse of his sacri­fices and services, he specially calls for the heart, My son give me thine heart, Pro. 23. 26. all the Gospell-sacrifices, which are acceptable to God in Christ, they are spirituall Sacrifices, 1 Pet. 2. 5. living sacrifices, I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacri­fice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, or, your service according-to-the-Word, Rom. 12. 1. God himselfe is a spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit, Joh. 4. 24. and the more the spirit of man is spiritualized, the more it becomes both like God, and liked of God.

2. A broken spirit is a true and sincere spirit. It doth not 2. hypocritically cover its sin like Adam, Job. 31, 33. or spare a­ny iniquity as Saul did Agag, &c. But like a broken vessell, lets all runne out, ingenuously spreads open all its own vile­nesses before the Lord, takes the shame of all upon its own face, lets all lye loose; As water, myre, stones, heterogeneals which were inseperably congealed in a hard bound frost, yet they all lye loose when there comes a kindly thaw: so the heart that was once congealed in the mire and dregs of sin, when with penitentiall brokennesse it is kindly thawed and dissolved, sins that stuck fastest in the soule lie loose, the spi­rit longs to be rid of them all, as here broken-spirited David lamented both originalls and actualls, he spares not even his foulest and shamefullest miscarriages, would be thoroughly purged from all, Psal. 51. 2. 7. Thus Paul after he became a man of a broken spirit, freely rips up his foulest enormities, confesseth he was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious 1. Tim. 1. 13. elsewhere he saith, I verily thought with my self, [Page 15] that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the Saints did I shut up in prison, having received Authority from the chiefe Priests, and when they were put to death I gave my voice against them, and I punished them oft in every Syna­gogue, and compelled them to blaspheame, and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange Cities, Act. 26. 9. 10. 11. And it is observeable how Gods promise of an heart of flesh, is coupledwith the promise of sprinkling clean water upon his people, of cleansing them from all their filthinesse and from all their uncleannesses, Ezek. 36. 25. 26. 29. An heart of flesh, and uncleannesses, cannot peaceably lodge together; it would sincerely abandon all: Verus poe­nitens de pec­catis dolet, & de dolore gau­det. Synops. pur. Theol. Disp. 32. § 35. is in bitternesse for all, and taketh pleasure in that bitternesse: Counterfeits not trouble for sin like the Pharisies with their sower disfigu­red faces, Math. 6. Squeezes not out a few crocodiles tears, &c. but his very soule bleeds, and his eye trickles down with teares in secret, powring out complaints into the bosome of God, when no eye but his sees. Ille dolet verè, qui sine teste dolet.

Now God calls for uprightnesse, walk before me and be thou upright, Gen. 17. 1. he loves sincerity and Truth in the inward parts, Psal. 51. 6. and Nathaniel is prized and commended of Christ for a True Israelite indeed, because in him there was no guile, Joh. 1. 27.

3. A broken spirit is a gracious spirit. Its part of the Grace 3. promised in the Current of the New Covenant, Ezek. 11. 19. &c. and 36. 26, 27. &c. its one fruit, and that a Principall one of the spirit of grace promised, Zech. 12. 10. &c. Consequently its part of that precious image of God consisting in true ho­linesse, Eph. 4. 24. and a rich linke of that admirable chain of Thus [...]uni­us, and Ain­sworth ex­pound this ex­pression vid. utrum (que) in loc. grace about the Churches neck, Cant. 4. 9.

And therefore God is much taken with a truly broken heart, he cannot chuse but accept and prize his own Graces in us, love his own image, and the reflexive rayes of his own beauty upon us. Christ pathetically professeth to his Church as much; Thou hast ravisht my heart, my sister my spouse; thou hast ra­visht my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. [Page 16] The smell of thine oyntments is better then all spices,—the smell of thy Garments is like the smell of Lebanon, Cant. 4. 9. 10. 11.

4. A truly broken spirit is also a believing spirit. Faith and repentance are inseparable twins, bred together in one and the same sanctified womb of the converted Soule. Faith first is in us in order of nature at least, but actuall Repentance is apt first to appear: as sap and life are first in the root, yet buds leaves and fruit first discover themselves in the branches. They shall look upon me whom they have pierced: ther'es faith, for with what other eye can they behold Christ crucifyed? And they shall monrn for him, &c. ther's brokennesse of spirit re­sulting from it, Zech. 12. 10. There is an hard Question in Di­vinity, whether Faith be not part of Repentance? Synops [...] Theol. [...]. § 40. Thus some Resolve, If Repentance be considered largely for the whole worke of Conversion, so faith is comprized in it: if strictly, so it is the cause thereof. however they are neerly al­lyed, Sister-graces.

Now faith wonderfully pleaseth God, Heb. 11. 5, 6. hence that we read of such a Catalogue of Faiths Triumphs, and glorious atchievments in that Chap. Faith most highly ho­nours God, and God highly honours faith. Faith clasps fast hold of Jesus Christ, as its peculiar object, and comes into the presence of God with Christ crucified in its Armes, ur­ges his person and passion, as sinnes propitiation; Counts all self-righteousnesse losse and dung, in comparison of Christs righteousnesse, Phil. 3. 7, 8. this, this is that which so singu­larly pleaseth God; in as much as the person of Christ is most deare to God, his beloved son, Math. 3. 17. the son of his love, Col. 1. 13. his only bogotten son, Joh. 3. 16. in whom he is well pleased, Math. 3. 17. yea in whom his soule delighteth, Isai. 42. 1. and the passion of Christ, is an odour of a sweet smell to God, Eph. 5. 2. 3. no pillar of most fragrant incense or perfume, is any way comparable thereunto. Thus brokennesse of spirit intwisted with faith, and faith fast linking it selfe to Christ, become most gratefull unto God.

5. Finally, a broken spirit is a self-debasing spirit. Can lay it 5. self low before God, is vile in its own eyes. See this in severall [Page 17] persons; The Pharisy and the Publican, both of them went up into the Temple to pray, but they went about the same work with farre different hearts; The Pharisies was stony and unbroken, therefore he only exalts himself, cracks and brags of himselfe, justifies himself before all others: But the Pub­licans heart was fleshy and broken, and therefore vilifies him­self, dejects, debases, and abhorres himself, Luk. 18. 10. to 15. See this in the selfe-same persons, comparing them with themselves being found in severall states and conditions. Paul before he was broken in heart, he was alive, Rom. 7. 9. stood much upon his native or acquired Priviledges, Phil. 3. 2, 3. &c. but when once he was kindly broken, confesses all these things to be losse, yea losse and dung: and counts himselfe unworthy to be called an Apostle, 1. Cor. 15. 9. lesse then the least of all Saints, Eph. 3. 8. chiefe of Sinners, 1 Tim. 1. 15. now he vailes all his topsayles, sits down in the dust. Thus the Pro­digall, when his spirit became broken, debases himself excee­dingly, Father I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son, make me as one of thine hi­red servants, as if he had said, any, even the meanest of all relations to thee, is farr too good for me, Luk. 15. 18. 19. Thus the sinfull woman, when her heart was penitentially bro­ken for sin, how she debases her self; she addresses her selfe not to Christs head, but to his very feet, and there she fals a weeping, and with her tears she washes, with the hair of her head she wipes, with her mouth she kisses, and with her costly oynt­ment she annoynts his very feet, thought it honour enough for her, and her self exceeding happy, that she might have liberty to performe the very meanest and lowest services un­to Christ, Luk. 7. 38. Oh an heart thoroughly broken for sin, is greatly out of conceit with its selfe, can lye downe in the dust at the foot of God, can be as any thing, can be as no­thing that God in Christ may be all.

Now the Lord greatly prizeth a Summum est, hoc Sacrifi­cium aliis om­nibus praeferri à deo, dum fideles vera sui abnegatione sic prostrati ja­cent, ut nihil de se altum sa­piant, sed pa­tiantur se in ni­hilum redigi. Calvin in Isai 66. 2. self-despising spirit, hath respect to such, Isai. 66. 1, 2. will dwell with such to revive them, Isa. 57. 15. And how was the selfe-debasing Publican justified before the Pharisy? Luk. 18. how was the selfe-de­basing Prodigall entertained of his father, Luk. 15. 14. yea [Page 18] how was the self-debasing penitentiary commended and comforted by Christ? Luk. 7. 44, 45, 46. who from this prin­ciple of broken-heartednesse were so mean and vile in their own apprehensions.

Hitherto of the Doctrinall handling of this Observation, Applicat [...]n 4. wayes: viz by Now to the Practicall Application. Is a truly broken spirit, such gratefull Sacrifices of God? Then how usefull is this Doctrine, both to Teach, To Try, To Exhort, and to Comfort us about this mystery of a broken heart.

This may Teach and inform us, chiefly about these two [...]. Informa­tion. things,

1. That there is a vast odds and disparity betwixt that ac­count 1. which God, and that which the world hath of a broken spi­rit. With God a broken and a contrite spirit (as hath been shewed) is most acceptable, beyond all Typicall Sacrifices, before all meer morall performances and Pharisaicall perfe­ctions, peculiarly respected of God, ranked among the choice and flower of promised blessings, the speciall cure of God, and the very Home and habitation of the Lord himself most high and holy: But on the contrary this brokennesse of heart is with the world, and the men of the world most unaccep­table, is looked upon as a sad, mopish, melancholy discon­solate distemper; alwaies contrary to their genius, who re­solve to crown thimselves with rose-buds, before they be withered, and to let no flower of the spring over-passe them; who say with the rich foole, Soule thou hast much goods laid up for many years, eate, drink and be merry, Luc. 12. 19. &c. However the Saints know the world is grossely mistaken in this matter of brokennesse of spirit for sin, and while God himself counts it his Sacrifices, they can say Gemitus d [...] ­ctus quasi ge­minatus luctus, quem meritò fideles app [...]tunt, quoniam diligentes consolatur, poeni­tentes emund [...]t, diabolum effugat, Cl [...]sto conciliat, amaritudo dulcis, Lachr) mae fe­lices, salutar [...]s affli [...]tio. Cassi [...]. [...]. Psalm. it is an wholesome brokennesse, a sweet bitternesse, a joyfull sorrow, and happy tears.

2. That an unbroken spirit an hard flinty adamantine heart is on the contrary most hatefull and abominable to God. A bro­ken 2. and contrite heart he cannot despise: an unbroken heart [Page 19] consequently he cannot but despise. Take a short view of 1. the nature of an hard heart, and 2. of the odiousnesse of such an heart to God.

The nature of an heard heart (which Scripture sometimes calls An heart waxing grosse, or fat, and so senselesse, Act. 28. 27. and often elsewhere, a stony heart, Ezek. 11. 19. and 36. 26. Hardnesse of heart, Mark. 3. 5. Hardnesse, Rom. 2. 5. &c.) may be considered as it is hardened 1. Naturally, 2. Actually and accidentally, 3. Habitually, and 4. Judicially.

1. Naturally every mans heart is an hard heart; a very stone, 1. for intractablenesse and obduration. This is evident by the Tenour of the Covenant of Grace, wherein God first under­takes to remove the stony heart, before he give a fleshy heart, Ezek. 11. 19.—and 36. 26, 27. therefore till God by superna­turall dispensation bestow a tender heart, every one by na­ture lyes under the curse of an heard heart. And this naturall hardnesse of heart is compared, not to the hardnesse of waxe, or brasse, or Iron or steele (for though these be very hard, yet they become soft and malleable by the fire) but to the hardnesse of a very stone, which will be sooner broken to powder then softned, as Cor hominis non renativo­caturlapideum Ezech. 11. 36. non ferreum, quia 1. Eti­amsi serrum durum sit, ut manibus flecti non postir, versari (que) sicut cera: habettamen quandam qualitatem, licet exiguam, ad mollitiem nempe, ut si igni admoveatur, molle fieri [...]ueat, & malle [...] omnem formam [...]lecti, quanquam remaneat ferrum. At lap [...]s nullam hab [...] mo [...]lit [...]em, ne (que) ad mollitiem aptitudin [...]m, ut seillcet ad [...]utus igne molles [...]ere malleo (que) [...]lecti possit, permanens lapis: Si [...] cor nostrum [...]ulla ratione ducti­le aut flexibile est, ad r [...]cti obedie [...]iam, ideo (que) opus est, ut totum cor auferatur, & aliud in ejus lo [...]um reponatur. 2. Exlapide nullus unquam siquor exprimi poterit, un­de miraculum illud fu [...]t maximum, cum è pet [...]a in deserto fluxerunt aquae: sic è corde nostro nihil penitus exprimi potest bo [...] [...]si aliud siat, i. e. è lapideo carneum. 3. La­pis non vivit ut ca [...]o, nec in [...]orde est aliquid vitae spiritualis, 4. Non ait Deus se trans­formaturum cor [...]apid [...]um in cor carn [...]: sed ablat [...]m lapideum, & daturum car­neum. Significans in natura nostra nihil esle quod as [...]initatem habeat cum natura Dei, sed opus est ut tota vetus natura tollatur, & nova reponatur.—Zanch, de liber. Arbit. Thes. 9. Zanchy observes, so extreame is our naturall hardnesse.

2. Actually and accidentally, not only the hearts of naturall 2. men, but also even of regenerate persons may contract some hardnesse, spirituall security and stupidity; by not improving [Page 20] grace received, and other means for maintaining and encrea­sing of tendernesse of heart. Thus the Disciples believed not that it was Christ that walked on the Sea, because they had forgot the miracles of the loaves, and their hearts were hardened, Mark. 6. 52. This seemes to be an accidentall hardnesse, disco­vered in that act.

3. Habitually mens hearts are hardened in sin, when by ma­ny acts men are so accustomed to do evill that they cannot lay it aside; no more then the black Moore his skin, or the Leopard his spots, Jer. 13. 23. This habituall hardnesse creeps and steales upon mens spirits through sins subtilty, which leaves behind it not only reatum, guilt, but also maculum, a stain, or spot:—lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulnesse of sin, Heb. 3. 13. This hardnesse growes on by steps and degrees as Di­vines observe, viz. 1. Ther's Suggestion of sin, 2. Accep­tation of the Suggestion. 3. Acting the sin accepted, 4. De­lighting in sin acted. 5. Habit and Custome in sin delighted in. 6. Necessity in sin accustomed. 7. Finally death the result of all. See Jam. 1. 14. 15. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bring­eth forth death. Wherein observe these degrees; 1. Lust with­in, which is the nursery of sin, and a Tinder to catch at all Temptations. 2. Drawing-away by it, viz. from God, 3. En­tising, viz. unto evill. 4. Lusts corruption, viz. a delightfull accepting of the entisement, and consent of the will and heart thereto, &c. 5. Bringing forth of sin, viz. into act, and execution. 6. Finishing of sin acted, i. e. Going on in a course and custome of sinning, it being a further step, Perfectum ita (que) peccatum non intelligo unum aliquod opus perpetra­tum, sed cur­sum peccandi completum. Calv. in loc. as Calvin notes. 7. Death, the due wages of all.—The de­grees of hardening in sin are thus reckoned up by Bernard. l. de Conscientia. Ber­nard (if he was author of that Book de Conscientia) viz. 1. He that hath been accustomed to welldoing, falling to sin grie­vously; Sin seems to him a burden so intolerable, as if in sin­ning he were going down to hell alive. 2. Of insupporta­ble, in short time it becomes but heavy. 3. Of heavy, light, 4. Of lightsome, delightsome. 5. Of delightsome, desire­able. 6. Of desireable customary. 7. Of Customary, ex­cusable, [Page 21] 8. Of excusable, defensible. 9. Of defensible, matter of boasting; To this height can nothing be added. Nothing so much exasperateth the Majesty of that dreadfull Judge as to sin, and securely to sin, and to boast of vices as though they were virtues.

4. Judicially mens hearts are hardened in sin, when they are forsaken of God and given up to their own obduration and the do­minion of the Devill, that seeing they will be hard they shall be hard with a witnesse. Thus we read often of Gods harden­ing of Pharaoh's heart, Exod 4. 22. and 7. 3. &c. and that God hardeneth whom he will, Rom. 9. 18. Pharoah had ma­ny judgements upon him, but his hard heart was the most dreadfull of all his judgements. This was the Plague of his plagues: This the Plague of his Soule: This a Plague that would stick upon him to all eternity.

But when God is said in his just judgement to harden mens hearts, we must understand it wisely, cautiously, Non indu­rat deus im­perti [...]do ma­litiam: sed non impertiendo misericordiam August. Epist. 105. God har­dens no mans heart by infusing any new wickednesse therein­to as the Manichees wickedly imagined. See Jam. 1. 13. For then God should be the Author of sin, (which were blasphe­mous once to think.) But God hardens the heart 1. By Sed quo­modo punit deus indurati­one? Non so­lum sustentat durum Cor hominis: prae­scit ejus duriti­em; homini contumaciter furenter s [...] opponenti subtrahit suam gratiam; permittit cum ferri suis cupiditatibus: Sed etiam Satanae talem hominem tradit, à quo efficacit [...]r induretur; ut homini in pote­statem diaboli tradito offert verbum, id (que) subinde inculcat, nec tamen aliud quic­quam esticit, quam ut peccator fiat deterior; Distert insuper paenas, quá dei [...] ad majorem indurationem homo pessimè abutitur: Tandem etiam justitiam suam, in poena induratorum ostendit. Sic ergo indurat deus, non ut peccati author, necutotiosus spectator, sed ut justissimus jude [...]. Gerh. Loc. Com. Tom▪ 1. de Providentia § 119. withdrawing or denying to the heart his softning grace, (which he is not bound to give,) whereby the heart might be restrai­ned from sin; which grace being denyed, the sinner hardens his own heart by his own inward pravity: as when an owner de­nies to prop up or repaire a ruinous, reeling house, the house falls by its own ponderousnesse. Thus Divines make God, Causam removentem prohibens, a cause removing the impe­diment, of such sins, as men rush upon when their hold-back is removed. 2. By Delivering men up to the swinge of their own [Page 22] lusts, and the dominion of Sathan. Compare these places, Psal. 81. 11, 12. Rom. 1. 26, 27, 28, &c. 1 King. 22. 22, 23. Joh. 13. 26, 27. in such case God saith, he that is filthy let him be filthy still; he that is hard-hearted let him be hard-hearted, &c. 3. By giving m [...]n means of restraint, which falling upon hearts thus forsaken of God, exasperate and enlarge them the more in all wickednesse with violence and greedinesse: as the stopping or damming up of a violent torrent, makes the streams there­of the more impetuous; not that these restraints provoke to sin properly and formally in their own Nature: but occasionally and accidentally only through hard-hearted mens abuse. Thus the Law irritates sin, works in them all manner of co [...]piscence, Rom. 7. 8. Thus the Prophets and Ministers of the word, har­den some men accidentally, Isai. 6. 9, 10. with Act. 28. 26, 27. which soften others: as the same Sunne which softens wax, hardens elay; the same heavenly heat which makes a garden of flowers smell more fragrantly, makes sinks or dunghills sent more loathsomely, 4. By denying unto hard-hearted men even those means of restraint, after those means have been thus miserably abused; but wholly leaving them to the Calamity of their own waies. See Hos. 4. 14.

Thus much in briefe of the nature of Hardnesse of Heart.

Now in the next place, consider how odious an hard heart is to God, and consequently how odious and burdensome it should be to all Gods people. The hatefulnesse and odious­nesse of an hard Heart to God appears plainly in divers re­spects, viz. In that he 1. Forbids it, 2. Grieves at it, 3. Brands it, 4. Threatens it; and 5. Plagues it. Take a taste of all these out of the word.

1. God forbids it in his word; cryes, harden not your hearts, 1.—See Psal. 95. 8. Heb. 3. 8. 15. and 4. 7. What God for­bids is displeasing and hatefull to him.

2. God much layes to heart the hardnesse of mens hearts. Jesus 2. Christ looked round about upon the Pharisies with Anger, be­ing grieved for the hardnesse of their hearts, Mark. 3. 5. And after his Resurrection he upbraided his own Disciples for the hardnesse of their hearts, in that they believed not them that had seen Christ after he was risen, Mar. 16. 14. yea God pro­fesseth [Page 23] he was grieved with hard-hearted Israel for 40. yeares together, Heb. 3. 8, 9, 10.

3. God brands hardnesse of heart with such notes of infamy 3. and disgrace, as discover his great detestation thereof. Among many other passages hardnesse of heart is accounted of God a fruit and proper effect of sin: Lest your hearts be hardened through the deceitfulnesse of sin, Heb. 3. 13. such as is the cause, such is the proper effect, both abominable to God.

Hardnesse of heart is accounted a great sin it self, whereby God is much tempted and provoked, Heb. 3. 8, 9, 10. The depth of a mans naturall misery under sin is laid down under the Notion of having a stony heart, Ezek. 11. 19. 20. and 36. 26, 27. The height of Pharoahs sin is comprized under his hardnesse of heart, Exod. 14. 4.

Yea hardnesse of heart is a cause of sin Quid est cordurum? ipsum est quod nec compunctio­ne scinditur, nec pietate mollitur, nec movetur pre­cibus, minis non cedit, fla­gellis duratur, ingratum est ad beneficia, infidum ad con [...]a, saevum ad judicia: inverecundum ad tur [...]ia, impavidum ad pericula, inhumanum ad human [...], temerarium ad divina, praeteritorum oblivi [...]cens, praesentium negligens, fu [...]u­ra non providens: ipsum est, cui praeteritorum praeter solas inju [...]ias nihil ommino non praeterit: [...]uturorum nulla, nisi sortè ad ulciscendum, prospectio est. Bern. of any the fou­lest abominations; what Temptation of the Devill will not an hard heart swallow down, what horrid impieties will not an hard heart rush furiously upon? See that passage 2. King. 17. 14, &c. This is as a wicked Devill that brings along ma­ny other devils with it, to possesse the soule. More especially it brings forth the cursed fruits of 1. Wofull impenitency, an hard heart cannot, will not, repent, 2 Chron. 36. 13. Rom. 2. 5. 2. Wilfull Rebellion, pride and obstinacy against God, Dan. 5. 20. Nehem. 9. 16, 17. 29. Jerem. 7. 26. Ezek. 3. 7. 3. Wofull and damnable unbeliefe, Act. 19. 9. Mark. 6. 51, 52. and 8. 16, 17, &c. and 16. 14. Heb. 3. 8. 11. compared with ver. 18. 19.

4. God threatens hardnesse of heart with sad and heavy Com­minations, 4. as Pro. 28. 14. and notably, Pro. 29. 10. Jer. 19. 15. but most remarkably, Heb. 3. 8. to 12. Gods threats ar­gue evidently Gods wrath against it.

5. Finally, over and beyond all this, God plagues hardnesse [Page 24] of heart with dreadfull judgments, who ever hardened himselfe a­gainst God, and prospered? Job. 9. 4. 1. What Temporall vengeance inflicts hee for hardnesse of heart? as upon Pha­raoh and the Egyptians, who after all their plagues for hard­ning their hearts against God, were at once intombed in the Red-Sea, Exod. 14. upon Israel, for their hardnesse of heart not suffered to enter into Gods rest, to enjoy the promised Ca­nan, Heb. 3. 8, 9, 10, 11, &c. and afterwards, they that came into the promised Land, for this wickednesse were removed out of Gods sight, 2 King. 17. 14. with 18. How terrible was that vengeance of God upon Nebuchadnezar hardned in his pride? Dan. 5. 20, 21, read it, and tremble at it, 2. What Spirituall wrath doth God poure out upon hard hearts? giving them up to utter obduration, as in Pharoah, Exod. 4. 22. and 7. 3. and in others, Joh. 12. 40. 3. Finally, what eternall vengeance do hard hearts here treasure up unto themselves against the day of wrath?—Rom. 2. 5, &c. Doubtlesse if God thus forbid, thus lay to heart, thus brand, thus threaten, and thus plague, an hard heart: an hard heart, be it never so pleasing to man, or gratefull to Sathan, yet it is most hate­full and abominable to the great heart-searching God: How wofull their condition that lye under the plague of an hard heart! How happy they that are delivered from it!

This may serve to put us all upon the Tryall and Examina­tion of our hearts and spirits whether they be broken or no; II. Examinati­on. that so we may discover whether they be the gratefull Sacri­fices of God or no? which of us would not be glad that our hearts and spirits might be truly acceptable to God? then let us diligently inquire whether they be truly broken and contrite. The stresse of our Comfort will peculiarly lean up­on this basis of penitentiall brokennesse; if our hearts be actually broken this day, what an Odour of a sweet smell shall they be to God in Christ? if they be habitually broken, how pleasing shall they be to God continually? but all will de­pend upon this, that they be kindly broken and softened as Davids was.

But how may we discover whether our hearts and spirits be truly broken and contrite? Answ. Principally 2. waies,

[Page 25] 1. By the Concomitants or Companions of a broken spirit. 2. By the Adjuncts or Properties thereof.

1. By the Concomitants or Companions attending upon a bro­ken spirit, Noscitur ex comite, qui non dignoscitur ex se, oft-times a man is known by his Companions, more then by his own Conditions. All the graces of the spirit are spiritually concatenated and linked together: but some graces being more peculiarly homogeneall and neer of kin to one another, are more immediately coupled and associated, and such do mutually descry and discover one another.

Now these are the usuall and famliiar Companions of true brokennesse of spirit, and tendernesse of heart, viz.

1. A Spirit of Prayer and Supplication. A broken spirit is 1. a praying spirit, they usually go together, they are promised together, I will powre—the spirit of grace and supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, &c. Zech. 12. 10. to the end. They are perfor­med together; when the heart of the Prodigall sonne was touched and broken for his lewd courses, presently he resolves upon praying, I will go to my Father and say to him, Father I have sinned against heaven and before thee Luk. 15. 18. Saul (who afterward was called Paul) was no sooner dismounted, struck to the earth, and his heart humbled and broken at his first Conversion by Christs immediate voice from Heaven, but Christ gives this character of him, Behold he prayeth, Act. 9. 11. this was worth beholding, and considering indeed, that a per­secuting Saul, should so soon become a praying Saint. Yea Jesus Christ himself being so broken and abased in his spirit with surrounding sorrow in his agony, [...], he prayed more fervently, Luk. 22. 44. then he did as it were bend all his nerves, intend the utmost activity of his spirit, to wrastle with his heavenly father, the Apostle saith, he offe­red up Prayers and Supplications with strong crying and teares, Heb. 5. 7. Some writings cannot be read but in water, and those Petitions of believers which are indited by the spirit with sobs and groanes, and swimming along towards God in streams of teares, how legible and available are they with God? The spirit it selfe helpeth our infirmities.—See Rom. 8. 26. No spirit can sigh and groane, can weep and mourn, can tug and [Page 26] wrastle with God like a broken spirit. Such a spirit, not so much prayes to God, as powers out it selfe, and all its desires into the bosome of God. See Psal. 102. Title of the Psal. Such a spirit prayes importunately, pathetically, powerfuly: of all frames of Soule, this melting broken frame of spirit is Oratio justi clavis est coeli, ascendit piae­catio, & de­scendit dei mi­sera [...]o. [...]etus cuiùs audit quam voces. August. Ser [...]. 226. de Temp. most ingenuous eloquent and potent in prayer, fetches argu­ments from the best to picks, Gods nature, Christs merit, Co­venant, promises, &c. fils it self full of them as a vessell with new wine; urges, darts them up vigorously, pursues the Lord, will let him have no rest, will have no nay, resolves like Ja­cob not to let him go, till he reach out a blessing. Reflect now upon thy self ô Christian, where is thy Spirit of Supplication? Where those mighty unutterable groanes and desires? where those wrastlings, &c. doest thou not know what a spirit of prayer meanes? neither doest thou know what a broken spi­rit meanes.

2. Humility. A broken spirit is an humble spirit, low in 2. its own eyes, thinks worse of it self then of any others, or then any others can think of it; can preferre the meanest Saint before it selfe, counting it selfe the least of Saints, if a Saint at all, &c. But to this man will I looke, even to him that is poore, and of a contrite spirit—Isai. 66. 2, Poverty of spirit and brokennesse of spirit, are familiar companions. Again God saith—I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,—Isai 57. 15. Here Humility and Contrition of Spirit are Associates. A proud, self-rich, self-full spirit is very inconsistent with a broken spirit, the An­gel of the Church that proudly bragged, that he was rich, and encreased with goods, and had need of no thing; was as farre from brokennesse of heart, as he was from apprehensivenesse of his own misery, not knowing that hee was wretched and miserable and poore and blind and naked, Rev. 3. 17. Where now is thine humility and spirituall poverty? if thou beest hardened in spirituall pride, self-conceit, &c. how should a broken spirit lodge in thy brest?

3. Love to Jesus Christ. A broken spirit is a tender affecti­onate loving spirit, and the love of such a spirit flames out 3. most ardently towards Christ. Oh it entirely loves Christ, that loved it, prayed for it, bled for it, dyed for it, and washed it [Page 27] from its sin in his own blood, Gal. 2. 20. Rev. 1. 5. how it e­steemes, affects, embraces the Lord! saith, thou art my por­tion in the land of the living—whom have I in heaven but thee? and in earth ther's none that I can desire besides thee?—All things are but losse and dung to the wining of Christ, Phil. 3. one Christ is worth ten thousand worlds, &c. See how strong the love of that penitent broken-hearted woman was to Christ. Her bathing his feet in her tears, wiping them with her hairs, kissing them with her mouth, and annoynting them with costly oynment, palpably proclaime her love to Christ, and Christ himself testifies, that she loved much, Luk. 7. 37. 38. 44. to 49. she could not chuse, for Christ had loved her much; he forgave her her sins which were many, and she gave him her affections and teares which were many. No wonder that a broken heart is a Christ-loving-heart; for, its Christ that gives the broken heart; Zech. 12. 10, 11. its Christ that loves, com­forts, and binds up the broken heart, Isai 61. 1, 2, &c. with Luk. 4. 18, 19. ther's much of Christ in the broken heart: how then can a broken heart chuse but be endeared to Christ? As the soaking April showers make the fields send forth a sweet smell, or as the bruising of Camomil makes it the more fra­grantly odoriferous: so Christ softening and bruising the heart, makes the heart expresse a sweet fragrancy of love to him. See now what tender affection thou bearest to Jesus Christ, to his Person, presence, office, Honour, Ordinances, image in his members, &c. if thou wouldst read brokennesse in thine heart.

4. Obedience. A broken spirit is a dutifull tractable obedi­entiall 4. spirit. Thus these two are coupled together,—And I will give them an heart of flesh, (ther's brokennesse of spirit) That they may walke in my Statutes and keep mine Ordinances and do them, (ther's obedience associated to brokennesse of heart,) Ezek. 11. 19, 20. and the like Ezek. 36. 26, 27. soft­ned waxe will receive any impression; melted mettle will runne into any mould: thus a melted softned heart, will bend and bow as God will have it: Then a Persecuting Saul can say, Lord what wilt thou have me to do? Act. 9. 6. as if hee should say, Lord do but thou command, I am ready to obey. [Page 28] Then the betrayers and murderers of Christ can say, men and brethren what shall we do? Act. 2. 37. as if they had said, we see we are undone in our selves by our sins, but now we are ready to take any course for remedy, which the Lord by you shall prescribe. Such an heart is fixed and resolved upon all dutifull compliance with Gods commands: can say as Da quod ju­bes, & jube quod vis. Au­gust. Conses. 1. l. 1. c. 13. Augustine, Lord give me ability to do what thou commandest, and then command me whatsoever thou pleasest. Hast thou such a flexible dutifull spirit? a broken spirit is an obedient spirit. But an hard heart, like a stone, will not bow or bend, may sooner be ground to powder. Hardned Pharoah professed, he would not let Israel goe, Exod. 5. 2. Hard-hearted Manasses and the people would not hearken to Gods messages, 2 Chron. 33. 10. The stubborn and stony spirited Jewes, tell Jeremiah plainly, As for the word that thou hast spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not harken unto thee: but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our owne mouth,—Jer. 44. 16, 17.

2. By the Adjuncts or Properties of a truly penitentiall broken spirit, we may further discover whether our spirits be broken, and thereupon the gratefull sacrifices of God. A­mong the many Properties that might be insisted upon, take a taste of these few that follow.

1. A broken spirit grieves and mourns for the sins of others, 1. especially for the publique abounding sins of the times wherein it lives. A soft heart is like the moist elements water and ayre, which are very hardly kept in and contained within their own bounds; it satisfies not it selfe onely within the bounds of its owne sins to lament them, but runnes abroad also in la­mentations for others. This as Pia est ista tristitia, & si di­ci potest, beata miseria, vitiis alienis tribula­ri non implica­ri: dolore con­trahi, amore non attrahi, &c. August. Ep. 545. Augustine expresseth it, is pia tristitia, & beata miseria, i. e. A pious sorrow, and blessed misery to be afflicted for, not to be intangled with others vices, &c. Thus that Phoenix-King Josiahs heart was tender, and he mourned and wept and rent his clothes for the sinnes of the land. 2 Chron. 34. King David was a man after Gods owne heart, and his heart was habitually tender and broken, and how was he affected and afflicted at the sins of others, I beheld (saith he) the transgressors and was grieved; because they kept [Page 29] not thy Word, Psal. 119. 158. And againe, Horror hath taken hold upon me: because of the wicked that forsake thy Law, Psal. 119. 53. And yet further, Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy Law, Psal. 119. 136. Mark, Josiah's heart was tender, he humbled himselfe before God, he rent his clothes, and wept before the Lord. David expresseth his grief, horror, and rivers of tears, and both for others sinnes. Here, Right Honourable, you may see in these two gracious Kings, that it's a beame of true honor and nobility becoming Peers, or Princes, to have broken spirits, that can relent for others offences. And this is the Periphrasis of those tender-hear­ted Saints in Jerusalem,—Men that sigh, and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof, Ezek. 9. 4. Whereas an hard heart troubles not it selfe at others sins, but rather doth the same, and takes pleasure in them that do them, Rom. 1. 32. How is thine heart affected at others sins, especially at the horrid impieties of these times, where's thy griefe, thy horror, thy sighs, thy cries, thy rivers of tears in secret? &c.

2. A broken spirit hath clearest and saddest apprehensions of 2. its own sinfulness; if others sins be motes, its owne are beams; if others be molehills its owne are apprehended as moun­taines. The sins of others are bitter, but its owne sins are very Poenitentiam ce [...]m non facit, nisi odium peccati, & amor Dei. Quando sic poenites, ut ti­bi an [...]rum sa­piat in animo, quod antè dul­ce fuit in vitâ: & quod te p [...]i­ùs oblectabat in corpore, ip­sum t [...] c [...]uciat in mente, jam tunc bene in­gemi [...]cis, & di­cis ad Deum, Tibi solipec­cavi Aug. Ser. 3. de Nat. Dom. wormwood, and the gall of bitterness. The eyes of such, like the Cherubims faces, 2 Chron. 3. 13. are inward and most intent upon themselves. They know that in themselves that is in their flesh dwells no good, Rom. 7. 18. but by nature, a meere Randezvouz, sink, Sodome and Hell of all sinne: O­riginall sin being seminally, potentially and dispositively, all sins; consequently all imaginations thoughts words works in that state only evill continually, Gen. 6. 5. and if brought in­to a state of grace still seeing another law in their members war­ring, &c. Rom. 7. 23, a body of death, Rom. 7. 24. [...], that casily-encompassing sin, Heb. 12. 1. whence not onely innumerable swarms of errours, infirmities, &c. and that in the best and most spirituall duties do surround them, but too often grosse lapses overturne them. These things sadly pondered, deeply wound and perplex broken spirits; [Page 30] so that they are pricked in their hearts, Act. 2. 36. they mourne, and are in bitterness, Zech. 12. 10, 11. Their very bones are as it were broken, Psal. 51. and they dolefully groane out with the Apostle, oh wretched men that we are, who shall deliver us from the body of this death, Rom. 7. 24. For these things what sighs, sobs, tears and sorrowes do they powre out before the Lord. Saepe quod torpentes la­tuit, flentibus innotescit: & a [...]licta mens certius invent malum quod fecerat, & rea­tum suum cu­jus secura non me [...]t, hunc in se commota deprehendit. Greg lib. 8. Mo­ral. Softness of heart making them most sensible of their own corruptions, which while their hearts were hardened they little regarded: as blots run abroad and seem biggest in wet paper: when the cockatrice egge is crushed, it breaketh out into a viper, Isai. 59. 5. the viper formerly hid and undiscovered, then appeares: Thus when the carnall heart is crushed and bruised, then the toads, snakes, vipers and vermin of sin are evidenced, which till then were not imagined to bee there. Philoso­phers have a maxime, grave non gravitat proprio loco, An hea­vy thing is not felt heavy in its owne place, as water in the sea; but a little of that water out of its proper place is more hea­vy then can be borne: whilst the heart is in its hard sinfull state, its in its element, in its owne naturall place, sin is no burden: but when the heart becomes spiritually broken for sin, and is taken out of its naturall condition, then the in­supportable load of sin is felt with a witnesse. Consider, is all sin bitter, thine owne sin most bitter: dost thou cast first stone at thy selfe? &c.

3. A broken spirit is most perplexed at sin, as it is against God, as it is against Jesus Christ. To sin against so 3. good a God, so sweet a Saviour, oh how this kills a broken spirit! this stab'd David to the heart above all other con­sideratious, that hee had sinned against his God, Against thee, thee only have I sinned,—Psal. 51. 4. Against thee that hast made me, maintained me, loved me, delivered me, crowned me, redeemed me, &c. oh against thee, thee only; what? had not David sinned against Ʋriiah's life, by murdering him? against Bathsheba's chastity, by uncleannesse: against his owne body, the Temple of the holy Ghost, by defiling it? 1 Cor. 6. 18. 19. and against the honour of Religion, scandali­zing Gods people, and giving great occasion to the enemies of God to blaspeame? 2 Sam. 12. 14. All this is true, nor intended [Page 31] David to deny it, but to shew where the pinch of his griefe principally lay; it went most of all to his heart that he had fin'd against such a God. And when the Jewes shall be re-im­planted into their own stock, This shall most deeply pierce them, that they did so cruelly and causelesly pierce Christ. This shall bring them to mourn as for an only son, to be in bitternesse as for a first born, to a great mourning as in Hadadrimmon, &c. for Josiah that best of Kings; to a particular private and serious mourning, every family apart, and their wives apart, Zech. 12. 10. 11, 12. Hard hearts are chiefly troubled at feare, shame or punishment for sin: but nothing more melts a bro­ken spirit then that it hath sinned against such matchless [...] love, spurned against melting bowels, and offended against such precious blood of such a Saviour: oh how its pricked with Christs crown of thornes, how it bleeds over Christs bleeding wounds, and for its tearing open Christs side and heart, how it could teare its self in pieces!

4. A broken spirit trembleth at Gods word, and at Gods Rod: 4. when God speakes, and when God strikes.

At Gods Word the broken spirit trembleth. But to this man will I look, even to him that is poore and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word, Isai 66. 2. He trembleth at the promises, lest he should distrust them: at the Nihil formi­dabilius est, quam non for­midare dei mi­nas. Basil. d [...] Spiritu Sanct. Threats, least he should despise them, and involve himself in them: at the Commands, lest he should disobey and violate them, &c. oh ther's enough in the word of divine Majesty power and authority to make a Gyants heart to quake. Felix the Governour trembled be­fore Paul preaching of judgment, &c. and Paul at that time but a poore Prisoner in chaines, Act. 24, 25. Did Felix trem­ble slavishly? how much more do the contrire spirits tremble f [...]lially. They that despise, scorne, oppose, blaspheme the word of God, how farre are they from true penitentiall Con­trition?

At Gods Rod also the contrite spirit quakes. How did the re­penting people of God in Ezra's daies, Tremble because of the great Raine? Ezr. 10. 9. and this is the judgment of God that hath of late been most extraordinarily inflicted upon this Land, for which we are here trembling before the Lord this [Page 32] day: sure we have great cause to tremble, not onely at the plague of waters it self and the sad consequences of scarcity and dearth which may follow, but much more at the wrath of God that appears therein, and the sins of England the pro­curing cause thereof. Yea a tender heart trembles at the very shaking of Gods Rod, how did good Josiah's heart melt when Gods displeasure against his people did but hang in the threats? 2 Chron. 34. 27.

5. Finally A broken spirit, humbled and wounded truly for sin, sets speedily and seriously upon a reall Reformation. Upon 5. reformation both private and publike, as his place requires and as opportunity is afforded.

Privately, A broken spirit is studious to reforme it selfe, to embrace a new course of life, which (as Optima poe­ [...]entia nova vita. Luth. Luther observes) is the best Repentance. The Prodigall humbled, reformes, goes to his father, bewailes and forsakes his former lewdenesse, Luk. 15. Saul humbled by the mighty hand of Christ at his Conversion, presently reformes, gives over persecuting of the Saints, and straightway preached Christ in the Synagogues, that he is the sonne of God, Act. 9. 20. After Peters heart was broken, and he had wept bitterly for his shamefull deniall of his Master, Mat. 26. 75. Luk. 22. 62. he so reformed him­selfe in this particular, that we never after read that he re­lapsed into the same sin, yea we read our Saviours Prophecy of him that he should glorifie God by being himself crucified for Christ and his Truth, Joh. 21. 18.

Publiquely; A broken spirit is desirous also to reforme o­thers. It is very remarkable in Scriptures that when Magi­strates and Rulers became men of contrite and broken spirits indeed, they could not rest and terminate in Personall, but did proceed to publique Reformation in the Kingdome and Church wherein they lived. Thus Ezra hearing of the sins of the people of the land and of the Princes by unlawfull mar­riages with the Heathens, rent his garment and mantle, and pluckt off the haire of his head and of his beard, and sate downe astonyed, Ezr. 9. 1, 2, 3. (here are notable symptomes how his spirit was broken for their sins:) consequently both Ezra and the people weeping very sore, set upon Reformation, to put [Page 33] away all the strange wives and their children, and Ezra made them Covenant and sweare to God to do it, and after tooke course to have it done, Ezra. 10. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, &c. Thus good King Josiah, his heart being tender and his spirit melted at consideration of the peoples sinnes, he sets presently and vi­gorously upon publique Reformation, makes the Law of God be publiquely read, enters into Covenant with God to keep his Commandements and his Testimonies and his Statutes with all his heart, & with all his soul,—caused all that were present in Hierusalem and Benjamin to stand to it—took away all the abo­minations out of all the Countreys that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, to serve the Lord their God; and all his dayes they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their Fathers; here was Re­formation to purpose, 2 Chron. 34. 19. 27. 29. to the end of the Chap. Yea Mannasses himself (that prodigious monster of wickednesse, 2 Chron. 33. 2. to 11.) when in his affliction his heart was broken, so that he besought the Lord his God, and hum­bled himselfe greatly before the God of his Fathers,—Even then this Mannasses set upon publike Reformation; for, he tooke away the strange Gods and Idols out of the house of the Lord, and all the Altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord, and in Ierusalem, and cast them out of the City. And he repaired the Altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon peace-offerings, and thank-offerings.; and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel, 2 Chron. 32. 12. 15. 16. Thus he 1. removed the abominations, which himselfe had erected, 2. restored the pure worship of God, which himself destroyed, and 3. commanded Iudah to serve the Lord God of Israel: who could have expected such a Reformation from Manasses? his humbled spirit could not chuse but reforme. Then what Church and State need despaire of Reformation, if the Lord would but thoroughly humble and breake the hearts of Princes and Rulers, as he did Manasses?

Right Honorable, this in speciall concernes you, be plea­sed to consider these three [...]amous Magistrates, how when their spirits were broken they speedily and se [...]iously testified the same in publike Reformations: get you broken hearts like them, you will r [...]orme [...] them. It's true, you and the [Page 34] people have sworne and covenanted with God a publike Re­formation according to the Word of God, &c. And God hath honoured you to lay some foundations of Reformation, for which we blesse God; hoping that these beginnings will still be carried forward to perfection; and that God will not despise the day of small things. Zech. 4. 10. But yet both Church and State still cry out for further Reformation,—how doth the Common-wealth groane under wofull oppression, injustice, and all manner of violence and wrong, as much, if not more then ever?—O hasten to save the poore King­dome from these destructive evills! But how doth the Church of God, not onely groane, but even languish, faint and dye continually under those cursed diseases of error heresie, blas­phemy, licentiousness, divisions, disorder and confusion, hor­rid Atheisme, and all manner of prophanness? Are there not amongst us that say, we have no Church, no Ministry, no Or­dinances: that oppose and deny the Scriptures, the immor­tality of the soule, the divinity of Christ, the deity of the Holy-Ghost, and almost all the fundamentals of Religion, yea and all visible outward Reformation? Whither are wee falling? should these things still pass on without controule, what Religion shall we leave to our posterity? Can we re­dresse these distempers? Ministers may preach, people may petition, and both may pray: but if you sit still, who are Heires of Restraint Judg. 18. 7. who bear the sword, and should not beare the sword in vain; Rom. 13. where shall we have hea­ling? you have power to hinder, you have sworne to extirpate these evills, if they be not extirpated; we may justly fear they will extirpate both you and us at last. Let it not be said of these lewd persons, as once of Elies sons, They have made themselves vile, but you restrained them not; you know it's an old maxime in Divinity, Qui cùm possit, non prohibet, jubet. He that can, but doth not hinder evill, commandeth it. God forbid you should contract such guilt upon your selves; Besides these evills to be removed, are there not many necessary parts of Reformation wanting? as the publike Confession of Faith, and Catechism, besides many things in Church-Government, &c.? Oh that the perfecting of these might be accelerated! oh gird on zeal, be valiant for the truth, accomplish the Re­formation, [Page 35] imitate those broken-hearted Reformers; never let it be said that you should come short of King Manasses. Be strong, and the Lord shall be with you.

This Doctrine may serve to Exhort all persons that desire III. Exhorta­tion. either this day or at any time hereafter to present the Lord with Sacrifices acceptable indeed, that they get and keep bro­ken spirits. These are the Sacri [...]ices of God; these he will not despise, but without these all your Prof [...]ssions, Prayers, Du­ties, &c. will be utterly rejected.

But how shall we get and keep broken Spirits? hic labor, hoc opus est. Her'es the difficulty. 1.

Answ. A broken spirit may be obtained and maintained.

1. By a due dependance upon God alone in Jesus Christ for a broken spirit, without God and Christ, thou canst not breake thine own heart, nor can all the world do it for thee, thou maist aswell think to hold the winds in thy fist from blow­ing, and the waves of the Sea from rolling up and down and roaring; to span the vast Ocean with thy fingers; to hold the huge globe of the Earth in the hollow of thy hand, and to stop the course of the Sun and Moon in the firmament: as to instill into thine own heart true penitential brokennesse. Only God gives repentance, 2 Tim. 2. 25. only God that made the heart, can melt and mend the heart. It's his sole prerogative, both to take away the heart of stone, and to give an heart of flesh, Ezek. 11. 19. and 36. 26. 1. God can enlighten and con­vince the heart of its own hardnesse: 2. God can subdue and remove the hearts stoninesse. 3. God can infuse an ha­bituall supernaturall tendernesse and 4. God can draw forth that habit into actuall relentings upon all good occasions; this is his method. God alone can do all in this matter, rely only on him for it, as the sole author of it.

2. By a dutifull attendance upon Gods word in the powerfull 2. Ministry of it: This is most quick and powerfull and sharper then any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soule and spirit,—Heb. 4. 12. Are our hearts iron? the word is as fire, to [...]o [...]en and melt the iron: are our hearts stone? the word is as an hammer to break the rock in pieces, Jer. 23. 29. This instrumentally made King Josiah's heart tender, 2 Chron. 34. 19. 27. This made the returned exiles to weep, Neh. 8. 9. This [Page 36] pricked Peters hearers in their hearts, Act. 2. [...]6. oh waite upon this word of God with a lively heart-searching Ministry; oh tremble at this mighty working word of God, that can through God make an hard heart soft, and keep a soft heart tender.

3. By a frequent and serious consideration of our own and others 3. sias. Others sins may break our hearts, as it is cleare in the case of Josiah, 2 Chron. 34. 19, &c. of David, Psal. 119, 53. 158. 136. of Ezra Ezr. 9. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. and of those Mourners, Ezek. 9. 4. But our own sins may even grinde our hearts to pow­der, as appears here in David, Psal. 51. 3, 4. 8. my sin is ever before me—against thee, thee only have I sinned—that the bones which thou hast broken—as in the Prodigall, Luk. 15. 18. 19. as in those Jewes, Zech. 12. 10, 11, 12, &c. mans sin makes the whole Creation groan, as under a load ready to break its back, Rom. 8. 22. and shall not mans own spirit groan, and his own heart break under the pressure of his own iniquities? In what words shall I a little represent the sins of England, and the sins of your own soules unto you for the actuall mollifying of your hearts?

Think what sin is, it is the transgression of the Law, 1 Joh. 3. 4. the death of the Soule, Eph. [...]. 1. the fruites of the flesh, Gal. 5. 19. the workes of the Devill, 1 Joh. 2. 8. and utter abomi­nation to God, Pro. 26. 25. Sin is so foule and filthy, that the filth under the nailes and arm-holes [...] Jam. 1. 21. the vomit of a dog, the myre of a swine, 2 Pet. 2. 22. the poyson of serpents Rom. 3. 13. the spots of Leopards, and the skin of black Moores, Jer. 13. 23. the putrifaction and deadly stink of opened sepul­chers, Rom. 3. 13. and basest [...] excrements themselves, Jam. 1▪ 2 [...]. are the similitudes wherein the holy Ghost sets it out to us. Sin is the inlet of death and all misery, Rom. 5. 12. worse then the Devill, for sin made him a Devil: and the very Hel of Hell.

Think against whom sin is committed. Against God blessed for ever, infinitely pure and cannot look upon it, Heb. 1. 13. just and will not clear the guilty, Ex. 34. 7. Omniscient, knows all sin fully; omnipotent, can crush all sinners eternally. He fashio­ned thee curiously, he hath provided for thee plentifully, hath given Christ his own Son to redeem and save thee to the ut­termost, hath loved thee freely, hath alwaies been doing thee good, never did thee harme: and against him thou hast often­ded, [Page 37] oh how this wounded David, Psal. 51. Against Christ also thou sinnest, who became man, yea a man of sorrowes; yea a worme rather then a man for thee; who was tempted, betrayed, scorned, abused, bruised, wounded for thee; who prayed, sighed, sorrowed, sweat drops of blood, and pow­red out his soule to death for thee; who loved thee and washed thee from thy sins in his own blood, Rev. 1. 5. how should this make thee mourne, Zech. 12. 10, 11, 12. yea against the Spi­rit, that convinceth, illuminateth, adopteth, Sanctifieth, s [...]a­leth, cōforteth & dwelleth in thee. Is this thy kindnesse to thy God? d [...]est thou thus requite the Lord oh foolish person and unwise?

Think by whom sin is acted, by them that are to God but as wormes, mothes, grashoppers, as the dust of the ballance, as nothing, as chaffe before the wind, as stubble before the con­suming fire: your sins hurt not God, but your selves. If you be holy, what do you to him? if sinfull, what doe you against him? Job 35. 6.

Think how your sins, Englands sins are aggravated; being be­yond sins of Sodom, Samaria, Jerusalem; because against grea­ter light, mercies, meanes, ordinances, then ever they enjoyed against promises and threats, kindnesses and judgments, the patience of God, wonderfull deliverances, and a glorious go­spell. How should such conside rations as these even break the soule in pieces!

4. By a prudent laying to heart of Gods judgements inflicted. 4. This may be a meanes of softening a stony heart, when per­haps the word will not penetrate. Manasses that would not hearken to Gods word, yet melted in his chaines, humbled him­selfe greatly, 2 Chron. 33. 12. How did the people tremble at the great raine? Ezr. 10. 9. God implyes that his judgements will make the uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and accept the punishment, Levit. 26. 41. and bring people to know the plague in their own heart, 1 King. 8. 38. Consider now how God hath plagued England with his judgements and let your hearts be broken for England and your selves therein.

Think what variety of judgements are upon the Land. The Pestilence hath slain thousands: the sword ten thousands. The immoderate rain for these divers moneths hindering seed-time with some, or washing seed sowne out of the ground, with [Page 38] others; and so threatning a famine. The murrain among hor­ses and cattell in some places (as is credibly reported,) and which is heavier then all, the spirit of errour and heresie that spreads and frets among us as a Gangrene; so many being given up to strong delusion to believe a lye, 2 Thes. 2. 11. how are these judgements concatenated together, and pursue one another as Jobs messengers, and the billowes of the Sea? and Gods hand is stretched out still.

Think of the impartiality of Gods judgments upon us. No de­gree, sex or age hath been spared. King and subject, Nobles and ignoble, Magistrates, Ministers, high and low, rich and poor all have tasted of Gods severity.

Think of Gods wrath and displeasure that discovers it self in all, his frown more heavy then the frownes of all the world, if he looke but upon the earth, it trembleth, if he touch the hills, they smoak, Psal. 104. 32. & shall not we tremble when he is angry?

Think of Englands sins deserving all these and worse, these shafts that fall upon our heads we first shot up against hea­ven our selves, nay it's the Lords mercies that England is not con­sumed, as Jerusalem said of her selfe, Lam. 3. 22.

Oh, how is Truth, Peace, Union among Brethren, health and our many comforts broken? and shall our hard hearts only remaine unbroken?

5. Finally, by deliberate Contemplations upon Gods mercies to 5. England and to us. The love, kindnesse and mercies of God to man, are wont to thaw and melt mens hearts for their un­kindnesses to God, hence Ezra labours so to break his owne and his peoples hearts by the overcoming mercies of God re­peated, Ezr. 9. 7, 8. 9. 13. That your hearts may be softened with mercies, seriously ponder upon and amplify to your selves▪ Personall mercies. Parliament mercies, Kingdome mercies.

What comfort doth this doctrine afford to all truly broken spirits and contrite hearts! These are Gods Sacrifices, these God IV. Consola­ [...]ion. will not despise, and then▪ who shall despise them?

Such [...] God preferres beyond all legall Sacrifices, Psal. 51. 16. 17. 2. Beyond all Pharisaicall duties and perfections, Luk 18▪ 3. to such he hath most favourable respect, Isai 66. 2. [...]4. of such he is the pe­culiar Physitian, Ps. 147. 3. Isai 61. 1, 2. and 5. with such he himself will dwell, Isai. 57. 15. and where God dwells there light, life, grace, glory, peace, comfort, happinesse and heaven it self [...]o dwell also. Thrice happy hea [...]s that are thus gratefull unto God.

FINIS.

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