A PARAPHRASTICALL EXPLICATION of the Prophecie of HABAKKUK; WHICH IS A PROPHECIE THAT MAY supply us with fit matter of Meditation for these TIMES.

IAMES. 5.10.

Take, my Brethren, the Prophets, for an example of suffer­ing adversity, and of long Patience—

OXFORD, Printed by Leonard Lichfield, Printer to the Vniversity. 164 [...].

The Preface to this Paraphrasticall Explication, and to what may follow in this kind, [...].

LIght is so generally beneficiall, so comfor­table, so attractive of love, so communi­cative of it selfe to all; that the holy Scrip­ture doth often chuse to expresse Almigh­ty God by the notion of Light. And this, not in reference to us only (which makes St Iames call him the Father of Lights. i. e. the Giver of all knowledge, Jam. 1.17. com­fort, glory, or whatsoever else we understand by Light) but in respect of himselfe too.

And that doth often convey the more emphaticall ex­pression to our weake capacity, being delivered in figura­tive words, borrowed from the parts of our owne bodies. Not those parts only, that in us partake of light and splendor: but other parts too, that have no such Privi­ledge.

We have an instance in this Prophecie of Habakkuk, where a glorious lustre is said to come out of his very hands. In the hebrew it sounds thus,Hab 3.4. [...] hornes. i. the rayes, or beames of a glori­ous light. He had hornes com­ming out of his hands. But my task being only to deliver the meaning, without any strict tye to the words, I shall make no other mention, when I come at it, but of a glori­ous Appearance. For the Iewes by hornes there, and else­where, [Page]doe understand Light, or (as our Translators ex­presse it well,Exod. 34.35. Exod. 34.) a bright shining. Though from some mistake of the Hebrew Verbe in that place, our Painters were put upon a fancy of portraiting Moses with hornes, which should rather have been some radiant splendor and glory in his face, which he contracted by his familiar and often conversing with God, who is the true Light.

And what hath been said of the Hands, might be said of the Feet, Rev. 1.14, 15. likened to fine brasse, burning, as it were, in a fur­nace, and of other parts, and of his Throne, and of what not about Him. 1. Ioh. 1.5. For, He is all Light. In him is no darknesse at all. 1. Tim. 6.16. And, He dwells in a Light inaccessible.

Now these figurative expressions taken from Light, are not only used to set out God himselfe, but those Persons and those wayes wherein he is wont to manifest himselfe to men. He is pleased they should also have the name, and character of Light, to show whence they come.

The Children of Isael might have read this first in the countenance of Moses, their Law-giver, who had such a Light in his face, as they were not able to behold. After him their Prophets, and other Teachers were their Lights, or (as they called them) the Seers of Israel.

And as their Persons had such Titles to distinguish them, so had the wayes also by which they were guided. For, what the Wise man saith of the Lawes and Commands of Fathers to their Children, must eminently be understood of their Law, Prov. 6.23. [...] which they received from God, Lex Lux, The Law was the Light, from which they were to take their direction. Or (as the Wise man had been taught by his Royall Father) The word of God was a Light to their feet, Psal. 119. and a Lanterne to their pathes.

Yet all this while. Moses him selfe and their Prophets, and that word of God, and those Lawes which they had, were but lesser Lights, Mal. 4.2. forerunners of the Sunne of Righ­teousnesse, that enlightens every man that comes into the world. His Doctrine was the true Light, Ioh. 1.9. and his Disciples the Light of the world indeed,Mat. 5.14. (which they in the Law did but shadow out,) and their Successors are our Starres of the first magnitude. St Iohn calls the Bishops of Asia, Rev. 1.20. that he writes to, by the name of Angels and Starres. Though we now, instead of giving such Titles to our Bishops, would fairly pull them out of their higher Spheres, and take into their places some bold Phaëtons, that would quickly doe their best to set all the Christian World in a Combustion. Or, some wandting Planets, that make every place their Diocesse, and prove but [...], to as good purpose in every place, as in any one. Or, some bla­zing Comets, that may easily presage the fall of Kings and Princes, if it must be effected by the malignity of their influence upon the People. Or lastly, some flashing Mete­ors, that know what use to make of their ignis fatuus, and therefore appeare like Angels of Light, and under the pre­tence of a discovery of the clearer light of the Gospell, dare venter to mislead their Followers into intricate mazes of Error, and thence into places of little lesse danger then utter destruction.

But now I have somewhat else to say, not only of the best and brightest of those Starres, that we spake of before, but of the clearest Light of all: which doth not appeare to us in this world, without mixture of shadow. For, when we heare of the glorious, and gratious Apparition of God himselfe, how often doe we heare of some Clouds and in­terpositions [Page]of somewhat that qualifies the receipt of that Light. So in the clearest Vision that was made to Moses, he saw only his back parts, which we commonly ex­pound by a knowledge, à posteriori, which is not the clearest way of knowing.

And yet, what Moses saw of God, or of the will of God, and left unto Posterity, was not so perspicuously appre­hended by them.1. Cor. 3.14. Which makes St Paul say, To this day remaines the covering not taken away in the Reading of the Old Testament.

Nay, what speake I of Moses and his Veile, and of the obsecurity of the Law? when our blessed Saviour himselfe came into the world, Luc. 2.32. to be a Light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of his People Israel, though his Appea­ring be called by the Greek Fathers [...], an Epiphany, which is the clearest of all: yet he came not without a Veile. Heb. 10.20. That Veile was his flesh, saith the Author to the Hebrews.

And his Doctrine sometimes had a Veile too, as appears by the reason given by himselfe for his speaking in Para­bles, Mat. 13.13. that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not heare, neither understand. Nor doe I yet see any cause, but that I may say of many passages in the New Testa­ment, what St Peter saith of St Paul's Epistles, that many things in them are hard to be understood, 2. Pet. 3.16. which they that are unlearned, and unstable, wrest, as they doe also other Scriptures, unto their owne destruction.

For the Light of the Scripture is not unto all, and in all places equally manifest. And therefore, in what is so ne­cessary to be knowne, all the helpes that may be had, should in good reason be welcome unto us. Plus vident eculi, quàm oculus, we use to say. The more help, the bet­ter. [Page]And, as we should be willing in all Humility, and Christian Charity, to impart unto others what we know, in this kind, out of any discovery, that our owne paines can make: so with the same love should we partake of that, which others are inabled to impart unto us.

For, though the word of God, be in it selfe, full of Light, yet all Light is diversely comprehended, according to the divers disposition of our sight, and the severall wayes of the manifestation of that lustre unto us. Therefore in many places, it may appeare full of mystery and obscurity; vailed and clouded with that which we must study to re­move. So that every Age may give downe some more light to those which succeed: as good men, in former Ages, have been carefull to doe, in our behalfe.

Now of all peeces of holy Scripture, the holy Prophets of the Old Testament have in them a more constant diffi­culty; specially for hard words and phrases in hebrew, and short and darke sentences. In that, not much unlike the Chorus in many Greek Authors, where a few lines of that Greek doth often require more paines, then some whole leaves in other places.

This Difficulty in the holy Prophets, bred in me an ear­nest desire and intention, (for the publick use, as well as for my owne) to frame some way of Explication of some of the hardest of those Prophets.

And the likenesse of our wicked times to those where­in the Prophet Habakkuk did live, might be Motive e­nough toward the divulging of my paines upon his Pro­phecie, at this time, for their use, that never had more need then now to apply it to themselves. For, in the times of the Prophet Habakkuk, (as now in ours) besides a gene­rall [Page] decay of Religion, there was an excesse of barbarous cruelty and oppression, and neglect of all good Lawes, and Discipline; which drew on a croud of other Vices. But with this difference from our Times (which makes little for our credit) that the Iewes were then under Manasses, the worst of their Kings: but we are so wicked, if not much worse, under the best of ours, our gratious Soveraigne Lord Charles, the first of that Name, and the first that sees almost a generall defection and Rebellion of His late most flourishing, and now (by our owne default) most mise­rably distracted Kingdomes.

Now in this Prophecie, I shall endeavour as cleare an Exposition, as in such a hard taske may be expected: not tying my selfe close to every word, where there is no need, but, as a Paraphrast, in more liberty and compasse of speech, delivering that which I take to be the chiefe intent, and meaning of the Place: and best agreeing with other passa­ges of holy Scripture. And I pray God it may yeeld that ease and profit to the Reader, which is heartily desired.

In which hope, I shall now fall to my taske, if, for the better un­derstanding of the whole, you will first please to take a view of that, which is contained in the Three sevetall Chapters of this Pro­phecy. Which will supply us with some matter of Meditation, not unusefull for the present Times, wherein we live.

The Summe of the three severall Chapters of this Prophecie.

The Summe of the first Chapter.

THe first Chapter sets out the sinnes of the Time, wherein the Prophet Habakkuk did exercise his holy Function, and the heavy punishment which they pulled upon both the Nations, Iewes, and Chaldeans.

Their sinnes made up their full measure by neg­lect and contempt of the very Lawes: of Kings and Governors: and of God himselfe. These were strange enormities, and they were answered with a punishment, that had matter of as much wonder, if it were well observed

For that of the Chaldeans, though it came slowly on, yet it fell the more heavily upon them, to their utter ruine and destru­ction, when they were in the height of all their glory, and of the confidence, and presumption in their owne strength.

That of the Iewes, came with more speed and more favour. For, though it were very sharp for the time, yet it spent it selfe in the compasse of 70 yeares, and left them in a faire and easie pursuit of their former Peace and Liberty, when their Enemies supposed them to be so low, that there was no hope of recovery.

And the greatest wonder and terror in their punishment, was in respect of those, to whom the execution was committed. For, being inflected upon them by the Chaldees, a fierce and cruell Nation, and farre worse livers then the Iewes, it startled the Prophet a little at that way of Divine dispensation, that suffe­red God's peculiar People to be so handled, by such lewd and no­torious finners.

And besides (which might trouble them as well as the other did the Prophet) the Chaldees that were intended for their scourge, and executioners in this Calamity, were now (in Ma­nasses his time, when this Prophecie came out) in the number of their good Friends and Confederates. Whom, of all other, they as little suspected for the Authors and Contrivers of their ruine, as we should have imagined that our Neighbour-Nation would have opened the way for ours, owing their Allegiance to the same King with us. Which Allegiance of theirs (to name no other more peculiar obligations of their Duty) must needs make the first comming of their Armies, as great a wonder, to our sorrow: as their second comming would be to the honour of that Nation, if God should please to make them the Authors of our Peace.

The Summe of the second Chapter.

THe Prophet's Queries in the former Chapter, were fol­lowed so eagerly in the behalfe of his Countrymen, that Saint Hierome, and some others, are almost angry with him, and think he may take the name ofWhich opi­nion of their [...]rymologie is capable of some advan­tage (beside the nature of the Verbe [...]) from the Daghes, and the other ge­mination of the radicall Letter, which addes much vehemency to the significa­tion, accord­ing to the use and idiome of the Hebrew congue. Chabakkuk, from his touching so neare, and wrastling so boldly with Almighty God. Not only in his Prayer for them (like an other Iacob) in his third Chapter: but in the former Chapter too (like a close Disputant) in his pressing so hard upon God himselfe, and his Divine Provi­dence, and disposall of humane afflictions. But, whether that name was given him in any such respect or no, I doubt not but we shall easily acknowledge, that his open and patheticall delivery of his Questions did put them upon that conjecture: and so, upon the point, that those learned Men were as well troubled at his [Page] expression, as himselfe was at the apprehension of that strange course of divine lustice. Now this second Chapter resolves the holy Prophet (as it may doe us) in the former scruple, and showes him the progresse of God's divine lustice, overtaking the bloudy, prophane, sacrilegious Chaldeans, (in the height of their secu­rity) and falling the more heavily upon them, for their abusing the Power that was put into their hands, when they were permit­ted to be the scourges of men, that were farre better then them­selves. Which seemes to read a Lecture to them, who contribute too much to the Malignity of these wicked dayes of ours; and to advise them (while they have time of Repentance) to make asad, and serious examination of themselves, and their owne cause. This being a Truth, that is evidenced by this passage of Holy Scripture, and this example in the Iewes and Chaldees, That God may be so angry with the sinnes of his owne People, or so willing to have their Piety and Vertue made knowne to the World, that it may produce some effects, that are little expected. So that either for the severe punishment of some, to whom it is likely he meanes to show the more mercy in a greater and more terrible day: Or, for the Fatherly correction of others, that by outward Calamities he will hasten to a better amendment of life: Or, for the exacter Triall of the Faith, and Obedience, and Pati­ence, and Perseverance of others, for whom he resolves a weigh­tier Crowne of Glory in everlasting Mansions: For these, and the like respects, it may please God to give way to the doing of many things, which may well seeme strange and wonderfull in our eyes.

And while such things as these are in agitation, the most wicked men, and the greatest Enemies of the Church of God, may perhaps (as these Chaldeans now did) see their cruell and malitious, and sacrilegious Designes, seconded with as prospe­rous successes, as their owne evill hearts could wish. And they may be enabled to say truly, that God goes in and out with their Forces; that He fights for them in the head of their Armies, Micah. 2.15. and Crownes their Actions with Triumphs and Victories over farre more innocent and Religious undertakers then they are.Ioel. 3.11. All this being no more then the Prophet implies here, and God [Page]himselfe speakes in effect, in the like case, by the mouth of his holy Prophets. And yet this Chapter may informe them, that all this is not enough to secure their vaine confidence, and excuse the idle boasting of their strange and fortunate attempts: which may happily end in as sad a Catastrophe, as that of the Chaldeans did, after all their Plunder and effusion of bloud.

The Summe of the third Chapter.

THe third Chapter, in a devout Prayer, or divine Hymn, set to an Instrument of Musick, admires the Justice, and Providence, and goodnesse of Almighty God. And teacheth us, by the holy Prophets example, to trust and repose our selves in the will, and mercy of God, whatsoever it pleaseth him to bring upon us.

Wherein we cannot but observe, that the devout Prophet made no scruple, either at a set Forme of prayer, or of putting that prayer into a Song, and having that set to a Musicall Instrument, which conteines in it, not a Prayer only, but a Prophecie of much sadnesse and calamity to his whole Nation. I beleeve, it cannot be said, that any were more truly and compassionately affect­ed with it, then himselfe was, and I thinke he was never the lesse affected with it, when he had made it a part of his solemne Musick.

Shall I adde this too? that though his Prayer could not move God any thing the more, by the advantage of the rarest skill in Musick, wherein it might be delivered: yet if the Prophet, or others, that used it after him, by the help of those solemne and harmonious Tones had their owne Devotion any thing the more affected in the delivery: then was there Motive enough, why he should (for theirs, or his owne sake) commend it to some Artist, that could fit it to a Musicall Instrument. As it appeares he did, if not by the Shigionoth in the front, (which admits of another construction) yet at least by the Musicall Selah in the body, and againe by his Neginoth in the foot of this Excellent Song and divine Ditty.

A PARAPHRASTICALL Explication of the Prophecie of HABAKKUK.

CAP. I.

1. THe sad Prophecie, and Vision of that burden,Onus. which Habakkuk foresaw, as a heavy pu­nishment, would shortly fall upon the Iewes, and Chaldeans, and which the heavier weight of their owne grievous sinnes had brought upon them. Or, The Summe of that which the Prophet received by divine Revelation, [...] and gave occasion to what he delivered amongst his owne Countrymen to this effect, as followeth.

2. OLord, how long shall I make my humble addresses unto thee, without any answer? How long shall I continue my heavy Cry and Complaint against Injustice and Oppression (the crying sinnes of these sad times) while thou refusest to relieve us?

3. Why hast thou reserved me for such wicked dayes, wherein my eyes cannot but (with teares) behold the injuri­ous and violent dealing of Men, in those sinnes, which now walke openly and impudently without any disguise, without any shame or care of being concealed? Above all, the unjust oppression of their Neighbours, even to desolation, presents it selfe unto me, whithersoever I cast mine Eyes. And yet [Page 2] [...] & lis est, vel sunt lites sub Judice. where there is so much cause of Complaint, and calling for Justice, [...] aufert proces­sus, actiones, vel litigatio­nes forenses. i. Efficit ut optatum suc­cessum non habeant. Reticetur hic nominativus, ut in eodem verbo. Mal. 2.3. [...] & au­feret vos, & Luc. 12.20. auferent ani­mam tuam. Et Gen. 48.1. In [...] & dixerat quis­piam. [...] verò, & omnia à [...] derivata pro­priè referūtur ad Judicium, & actiones in Judicio. Inde [...] Ju­risdictio, Prae­fectura (quod Praesides plerumque Juri dicundo vacare solerent.) Inde & [...]. Mat. 5.21. pro Auditorio Judicum qur in portis cujusque Civitatis Jus reddebant. Et hine etiam [...]. i. [...] 1. Cor. 6.7. going to Law: ut rectè Anglic: nostra Tran­slatio, omnium in plerisque S. Scriptutae locis felicissima. somewhat still there is that obstructs, and hinders, or rather takes away the course of Justice.

4. Hence is it, that the [...] Propriè de venâ pulsatili intermittente, &c. Sunt autem ex Viris doctissimis qui [...] hoc loco exponunt de Lege divinâ: Illis enim Propheta videtur inducre personam ignarae plebis, quae Legemipsam divinam remissam putat, ubr poena non sumitur de pec­catis gravioribu, &c. Pulse of the Law beats so slowly, as if the life of the Law (which is the execution of her Edicts) began to draw to an end. And therefore, either Justice cannot appeare at all, but with too many demurtes, and tedious suits: or if she doe, all is not right. For while the wicked (with his malitious plots) encloseth and besets the righteous man, on eve­ry side, and so domineers over him, that he hath not liberty to follow the Dictate of his owne understanding. All this while Justice seems to tread inward, and comes out lame, and distorted (by bribes and other by-respects, that turne her quite awry.) And so is she made altogether unlike her selfe.

5. But if Justice can heare no better amongst men, let them heare the voyce of divine Justice from Heaven. And she will tell them a wonder (if that can get her Audience;) For thus saith she, Behold and wonder, you that make so sleight of it in your high Pride, and scorne and security. Wonder and admire at what I shall tell you of the Gentiles: by whom I shall bring such a strange worke to passe in your dayes, that if it were plain­ly tould you now before hand, you would by no meanes be induced to beleeve it.

6. For (whatsoever your thoughts are of Me and my Mercy and Protection over your Land) I shall raise up against you the fierce and nimble Chaldeans (that are now your Confederates, and whom of all other, you would least suspect to be ingaged in such undertakings.) And they (according to their innate cruelty and agility) shall suddainly, and barbarously overrunne this Land; stretching their Victorious Armies into every cor­ner, [Page 3]and, where they please, possessing themselves of those faire Habitations, that are none of theirs.

7. Whatsoever you now conceit of them, Cruell and Ter­rible will they then appeare to be, as they are indeed, and the rather, becauseHebr: ex seipso Judici­um ejus. their will shall be their Law, and [...] ex superbiâ ejus (satis pro imperio) & [...] de­cretum hic Chaldaeo. out of their proud mouths shall proceed those imperious Commands and Detrees, that you shall not dare to controule.

8. When they are once mounted on horse-back to set upon you, the nimble pace of the Leopard shall not have more speed then theirs. And (to adde fury to their speed) their hungry Appetites shall be more eagerly bent upon the prey, then you have seen the greedy Wolves, that steale out in the Evening to satisfie their hunger. So shall their Horsemen spread and diffuse themselves over the best of your Country, and from the remote parts of the Babilonian Empire, fall upon you with that hast and suddainesse, that you would think, neither the Ravening Wolfe, nor the hungry Eagle her selfe should be able to exceed.

9. No otherwise shall they encourage one another, and proceed to their violent and mischievous attempts, then with such fury and unhappy successe, as if aVentus ori­ent: in illis regionibus pestilentior. Pestilent East wind did help to drive them on, and consume all before them. And when all is done, if you would know the number of them, that shall be carried into Captivity, and reserved to a further mise­ry, you may as well desire to have the number of the Sands on the Sea shore.

10. All this while there is little hope of opposition to be made against them by King or People. As for your Kings first (if such shall be your Commanders abroad) the proud Chaldean doth rather scorne and deride, then any way dread that sacred Name. And for your People, or any strong Forts and Bulwarkes at home, that you conceive them able to make by way of resist­ance: in as much scorne will he looke upon them, and never doubt by the raising of a Muddy frontcer against it, to make a suddaine surprisall of your strongest hold.

11. Which done, his haughtie spirit will be the readier to [...] spiritus trans­ibit. passe all the bounds of moderation (with as little difficulty as he brake thorough your military workes) and so to goe on to a [Page 4]further degree of wickednesse:Hebr: hae vires ejus [...] sunt pro Deo suo, unde & sibi plaudir, & [...]ut ver 16. ubi totus ver­siculus est hu­jus expositio­nis confirma­tio. ascribing all this goodly successe of his bold Enter prizes to no other Diety, then his owne Valorous Policy, which is the [...], that he will magnifie above all that is called God.

12. But, O my God, (the true Diety, whose power and wisedome is over all) the Holy, the only Lord,Antiqua le­ctio (non morieris) ut Vatablus, & alii affirmant: nostra (non motiemur) ego utrumque complector. from all eter­nity to all eternity; and by whom only we hope to be pre­served from death and destruction: Hast not thou set up the Babylonian Tyrant, as the Executioner of these thy Judge­ments upon us? Hast not thou inabled them thus to chastise us, and thus toHebr: ad increpandum petram. prevaile over the Rock of our strength (that pow­er of ours, that we accounted to be most impregnable?)

13. Surely thou art of purer Eyes, then to see and approve the wicked designes of our cruell and malitious Enemies (that intitle their owne prowesse to all their Trophies and Triumphs over us.) Why then dost thou seeme (by their prosperous at­cheivements) to favour so great Sinners: and to keep silence, and wink at it, while the wicked Chaldeans doe thus consume thy owne People, that are farre more righteous then they?

14. Were we but only as other Men, yet shall we not, as Men, have a more peculiar aspect of thy Providence? But we are thy People. And while we are in the troublesome Sea of this world (where the greater Fishes are ever ready to devoure the lesse.) Shall there be no more regard had of our lives, then is of ordinary Fishes, and other inferiour Creatures, that have no such ready addresse as we have, to the Guide and Lover and Defender of Mankind?

15. Shall Nebuchadnezzar, and his rude Souldiers, have, li­berty to fish where they will, and take all for fish that comes to their Net? And shall such cruell Fishers of men (that pursue their ruine and destruction) have so good successe attending their Nets and Hooks (their projects and devises) that therein they shall goe on to triumph, and appland themselves?

16. And that therefore they shall be incouraged to sacrifice to their owne Nets, and impute all their Victorious Successes to the Virtue of their owne Power and Policie, by which they are inriched with so many fat booties, that increase upon them, [Page 5]while they devoure us, and our substance, and feed greedily upon that, which is none of theirs?

17. And for all this, shall they be still suffered to expose, and extend their nets more and more? And, while they make no spare, wilt thou also deferre to revenge our slaughters, and oppressions, by the deserved punishment of that barbarous Peo­ple, guilty of so many, so grosse sinnes, as they are?

CAP. II.

1. AFter these sad, and scrupulous Queries, and Objections, which presented themselves unto me, I could doe no other, then (as a Prophet, a Watch-man, a seer of Israell) be­take my selfe to my Watch-tower, and with all Reverence and Patience expect, what the Divine Oracle would discover un­to me, and make me able to returne to others, as the best soluti­on of those Doubts and [...] argumentum, vel argumen­tatio, ut (Iob. 23.1.) nostra Transl. rectè habet. Interrogatories of my former Dis­course.

2. And such did the Solution prove to be, that others have as much reason to observe it, as I have. Therefore was I com­manded by God himselfe, so clearly to deliver and explain the Vision, which I shall now relate: that it might be given down to Posterity, as a thing written in faire and Capitall Letters, so that he that runnes might read it, and seeOr in tables of some dura­ble substance. ut antiquitus in buxo, ce­dro. &c. in it, as in a little Mappe, or Table, a draught of those waies of God's Divine Wisdome, and Iustice, in the ordering and disposing of things below, farre beyond thereach of our weake judgement, and ap­prehension.

3. And beyond the little compasse of our time too: for, it lookesHeb. in tempus deter­minatum. farther then our short and evill daies. Yet, as they that live to see it accomplished, will account the hardest part of it to be slipt over, as in a dreame: so we that (by the eye of Faith) can look forward, and fix our thoughts upon that end (which will prove the end of our Miserte, and the end of our Enemies Prosperity) may see it posting on, as all our Times doe, [Page 6]with such speed. [...] in no­tione sufflan­di. as if it were carried upon the wings of the winde. For all which speed, nothing that is foretold of it, will faile, or come short of the truth. Therefore let no seeming de­lay, take off our expectation, and hope in Gods Promises, which will come at last, andHebr. veni­endo veniet. cannot come stowly to a Heart, that is rea­dy and prepared for it: and wants not that solace, wherewith it may, in the mean while, support it selfe.

4. But, that heavie, faint, distrustfull soule, that Ita exponi­tur hic locus (Hebr. 10.38) ubr in [...], & [...] apparet vesti­gium antiq: lect. [...] & [...] Qui autem malūt ad­hae [...]e [...] apte possunt expo­nere de super­biâ, & confi­dentiâ in pro­priis viribus, quae Nebu­chad: & Chal­doeos ad interi­tum produx­it, cùm fides interim in de­um pros Isra­elitas, & vivos conservaret, & pristinae etiam Paci restitueret. drawes back, with feares, and sad apprehensions of danger, faster then affiance in divine promises can incite it forward: that soule is not yet in the right posture, wherein it should be. Nay, it wants that which is the very life of a Soule, that is in the right indeed. For, it is by a [...] fidem veritatem & constantiam complectitur, ex naturâ vocis [...]. true constant Faith, that the righ­teous [...] hold upon Life. It is his Faith and Confidence in the truth of Gods word and Promise, which makes himQuod refertur ad [ [...]] Heb. 10.38. ac­copted in the sight of God: and is a good meanes, both to keep him a constant fervant of God in all Piety and Obedience, (which prepares him the more for the wayes of his present de­liverly) and to fornish him with a modest security of happinesse hereafter. For, he that is made righteous, orSic Rom. 1.17. [ [...]] construitur cum [ [...]] & idem est quod [...], ut apparet ex scopo & mente totius Epist: ad Romanos. justified by Faith shall live for ever.

5. Now he that labours for such a Faith, is a fit Auditor for such a Prophecie as this, which (after this Preface) I will now proceed to declare: that you may with mee (in this Vision, and divine speculation from my Propheticall Watch-tower) plainly foresee, what our common enemie, the Chaldaean, will prove, after all the insolencies, and presumptions upon his own fortunate successes, and our sadde afflictions. You might see [Page 7]him thenThis may allude to proud Baltas­sar and his Chaldeans, that in a drunken fit, made bold with the sa­cred Vessells of the Temple, and were that night, showed the uncer­tain estate of humane greatnesse: falling then from their former height of glory & command, to lit­tle lesse then slavery under the Medes and Persians. drunk with wine, and drunk with Pride. And as a drunken man,Our English Translation ex­presseth all very well in one word [he shall not indure] i. he shall not hould out in that condition, not continue in that prosperity he was. The hebrew signifies properly, he shall have no sure mansion (he shall be like one turned out of his house, to seek his fortune, as we use to say.) And this word is well put into this Ital: by Diod: Non di­morerà in casâ suâ. so shall he afterward be: tottering in his fortunes, various and inconsistent to himselfe, and to what he was, every way; reeling, and wavering, and tum­bled about from his highest, and most prosperous estate, to worse and worse. It was his own covetous and ambitious desire, that set him on worke, and thrust him on forward, till he got up at last, to that high pitch of Honour, and a­bundance of Wealth: from which he must beginne his heavier ruine and downefall. For the longing of his gree­die Soule, in his filthie Avarice, was in­larged like Hell (as if he would have the Divell and all) and in his Malice, and cruelty, he gaped after our de­struction, like Death & the Grave, that will never be satisfied. The Addition of whole Nations, and severall sorts of Peo­ple, either slaine by his sword, or sub­dued and united to his former too vast Empire, could not worke so much upon him, as to make him think that he had e­nough, either of their blood, or of their wealth.

6. Will you see, after all this, how he shall be exposed to the scorn, and derision of them, whom he hath rifled and plunde­red, and abused at his own pleasure? The time is comming on apace, when they shall take up a gibing taunt and Tarable a­gainst him, and say, Woe to him, that had too much of his owne, and yet would never leave scraping, and heaping more and more together, out of others little store. How long will he thus toyle and bustle in the World, to take from them? And how little a while shall he live to enjoy it? His heapes of gold and silver, which he studies to multiply without end, are but heapes of Earth, a little more refined then that thick myre and clay, that [Page 8]shall, after a while, stop his owne greedy mouth.

7. For, as he lies gaping after us, and ours, so shall others arise up from a place, [...] he little suspects, that shall gape after him, and his. Nay, they shall more then gape, and threaten, and show their teeth. It shall not be long, before he feeles, that they can bite too. And well might I say, that they should arise. For though (in his supine ease and security) he may conceive them to lye still, and have no such intentions against him, unlesse it were in a dreame: yet shall they suddenly [...] commoven­tes, exagitan­tes, laterantes. rouse up them­selves, and him too, muster up their Forces, make towards him, shake him in peeces, and divide him as a rich Prey.

8. Thus will they doe, and thus will they speake of thee, and thy just doome, thou proud Chaldean. And as Thou hast preyed upon many Nations, and enriched thy selfe with their spoyles: so shall all they that are left about thee, help to expose thee to the like spoyle and rapine. All which may justly come upon thee, for thy bloudy cruelty, and other most injurious acts of thine, which ever attended thy too-furious execution of God's anger upon ours and other [...] sing. pro plur. ut v. 11, & 17. Cities, and Countries, and them that dwell in them.

9. Woe be to his covetous and foolish Ambition, that longs for that, which cannot but prove the ruine of himselfe, and his owne house. For, while he thinkes of building his nest so high, as may set itHebr: de manu mali. out of the reach of all danger: that very rise doth not only expose it to the greater hazard, but make the fall so much the more fearfull, when it doth come.

10. Whosoever thou art (Chaldean, or other) that could'st entertaine a fancy of such a vast and high building,Hebr: con­silium iniisti ad ignomini­am. thou wert not well advised, to take this for the best course of advancing thy selfe, and thy Posterity. This was not to make way to your honour, but to your shame. And know this, that while thou resolvest to raise thy Selfe and Thine, by ours and others ruines, thou sinnest against thy owne Soule, and makest thy selfe the greatest meanes of thy owne downe-full, and ours, and their rising againe.

11. For, rather then such crying Sinnes shall not be silen­ced with the execution of Iustice, the very stones out of the wall [Page 9]will help on the Cry, and the beame out of the Timber worke will answer, in as loud, and true a testimony against such cruelty and oppression.

12. And the joynt Cry of all together will be nothing but Woe. Woe to him that layes the foundation of his walls in bloud, [...] and most injuriously makes preparation of raising a City to him­selfe out of others ruines.

13. Vpon this Cry of the Wood and Stones, that they have heaped together, marke, if this Sentence proceed not from the Lord of Hosts; That, This wicked warlike People have, in all their great toyle to get from others, [...] but only laboured to kindle a fire, wherein all they have shall be consumed. Or, at least, all that they have so unjustly gotten, if it be not justly taken away, shall serve them, and theirs for some other use, which shall show them the vanity of their owne dangerous Attempts. [...]

14. For ere it be long, as the immense waters doe fill and cover the bottome of the vast Sea, so shall their gratious Land be covered and overflowed with that which is more unruly then any waters, with innumerous Troops of severall Nations, and People that shall come against the Chaldeans, and [...] ut agnoscant gloriam dei. let all the World know (in the finall recompence and revenge of our Enemies) what cause they have to joyne with us, in giving all Praise and Glory unto God.

15. And that glory to God shall be accompanied with ano­ther Woe to our insulting Enemies. Woe be to him that gaines so farre upon his Friend and Confederate, or any that have near reference unto him, as first to besot him with his strong and in­ticing liquor: and then to make use of that time of infirmity, for the discovery of his nakednesse, and the disclosing of any secret, which he knowes is best gotten out of him, when the warme drinke hath sweetly washed away the remembrance of his Dutie.

16. This Woe is for thee, ô Chaldean, that art so ready to discover and deride the weaknesse of others. For thou shaltBibes tu quoque & nudaberis. meet with thy reward at last in a worse Cuppe, whereof thou shalt be forced to drinke with shame enough, when [...] thy turne comes. So shall thy nakednesse also come to be discovered, [Page 10]when in the midst of thy Pride and Gallantry, the right hand of the Lord (which cannot be resisted) shall hold out that Cup unto thee, and make thee drink deep of it, though thou art for­ced to cast it up againe to thy further disgrace. [...] And so shall divine Justice repay thee with that shame and affliction, which thou hast abundantly deserved for thy insolent opprobrious dealing with others, whom thou hast laid open and naked to all kinds of injury and reproach.

17. And deserved againe (if thou had'st no other fault) for thy base, sacrilegious, and scornefull abuses of the Per Liba­num alii Ter­ram sanctam, alii Templum intelligunt. Temple, to which the whole Forrest of Lebanon, did contribute her best Timber, and therefore gave it also the name of an other more sacred Lebanon; but thy violent prophane hands have now turned it againe into the likenesse of a ruder Forrest, that theMilites qui, ferarum in­star, ubique grassabantur. wild Beasts have had to doe withall. That Impiety of thine, in the desolation of my holy House (saith the sacred Oracle) shall overwhelme thee with a worthy punishment, and thy owne Houses and fairest Structures, shall therefore be laid as wast and desolate, as that which is the openest and vastest habitation of the wild Beasts of the Forrest. The rather because of thy imi­tation of those savage Creatures in the effusion of bloud, and ran­sacking of so manyCivitatum & habitanti­um in iis. ut v. 8. Persons and places, as doe now in their ruines give a testimony of thy barbarous proceeding against them all.

18. All which Sacriledge and cruell Barbarisme, was ac­companied with other wayes of Irreligion and Idolatry: and what fruit or advantage did any of them gaine? What profit can you show for your graven and moulten Images? He that made them, and he that Preached them up for Dieties, were both of them Inventers and Dispersers of Lies. Yet could that Maker and Raiser of them adde this folly to the other, to trust and repose a confidence upon such mute and false Gods, as could not so much as make Answer unto their Prayers.

19. And this calls for another Woe upon that sinfull Nation. Woe to him, that commenceth his Prayer for releife to a piece of wood: and calls to the dumme idoll of stone to awake, and give him audience. The Idoll it selfe might teach him, that [Page 11]another Diety would be looked after, if he look for help. For, who cannot see and observe, that though it be fairely gilded over with silver and gold, to seeme glorious to the Eye, yet there is not so much as breath and spirit within yet, that can adde life and vigour to that glittering outside.

20. But Jehovah, the true God is not so. Heaven is the glo­rious Temple, wherein he dwells, and whereof all other Tem­ples are but figures. And the Reverence we show in them, is a Copy of thatHebr: ex­plicatur per silentium. Feare and Reverence, that is due to him from all the ends of the Earth.

CAP. III. The Title.

1. A Prayer of the Prophet Habakkuk, wherein he ex­presseth his content, and acquiescence in the solution of his former doubts, from the divine Oracle: comforts him­selfe in the Examples of God's Love and Providence over his Church: puts his owne Pious Thoughts and Resolutions into a divine Meditation: and referres all to be set to a Musicall Tune. And (as appeares by the Affinity of Shigionah and Shig­gaion) to the same Tune that the sweet Singer of Israel made choice of, in the Title of the seventh Psalme, which is a Prayer of his, made upon occasion of the words of Chush, the Sonne of Je [...]i.

But some learned men thinke this to be a Prayer concerning errors, and I have said before, that the word may beare that con­struction. Which as I easily grant, because it is derived of a Verbe, that signifies to erre: so may I, with as good reason, yeeld to others, that take it here for some erraticall, various, delightfull Modulation, because Shiggaion (derived from the same Verbe) doth so signifie, and only so, and therefore by our owne learned Translators, as well as others, is rendred by a Musicall Tune, in the Title of the Psalme above cited.

I should take the place, wherein here it stands (the Title of [Page 12]this Psalme compared with the Close) to be another very proba­ble Argument, that it is here so to be understood, being found no where else in holy Writ.

And, if all this were not to be said of the Front, yet will the Selah and Neginoth that follow after, be enough to make good the Musick of this place.

For Selah first, it is a Musicall Note, that serves as a direction for the raising up of the voyce in that place wherein it is fixed. And I like that which Kimchi joynes with it; the elevation of the heart too. We never meet with it, but in the Psalmes of Da­vid (in whose time it seemes to have been first taken up as a word of Art) and, after Him in this Prayer of Habbakkuk.

Then, for the word Neginoth. It is properly referred to In­struments of Musick, specially those, that were plaid upon with the fingers, and had the Voice joyned with them, as in the solemne Hymnes, and other Musicall Service of the Iewish Church.

And he that had a more extraordinary skill in that way, and was the chiefe in composing, or overseeing that kind of Melody, is called here, by the Prophet Habakkuk in the Conclusion of this Prayer, and by the Royall Prophet, in the Title of the fourth Psalme, Menarseach Binginoth.

One thing more I have to say, before I come to the Prayer it selfe, that in this Chapter, (as it may well be expected, where such Musick is) the holy Prophet, in the expressing of his Meditations, seemes to use a kind of divine Poetry. And he must follow that kind of Poeticall expression, that will follow the Prophet, in this Musicall Chapter.

The PRAYER.

2. WIth feare and reverence have I heard that answer, ô Lord, wherein thou art pleased to reveale the ex­ecution of thy Justice. First, upon the Jewes by Chaldeans, and then, more heavily, upon the Chaldeans themselves, by other Nations: when thy owne People, after the expiration of 70 [Page 13] yeares, shall be gratiously delivered from Captivity. In the interim of those yeares of their Captivity, be thou the life and comfort of thy Church, the speciall worke of thy owne hands; and let thy People feele the benefit of thy presence. In that sad compasse of Time, ô make thy selfe knowne to them that need Thee most, and in the midst of thy Anger and Justice, remember Mercy.

3. Remember thy tender Mercies showed unto us of old, in our miraculous delivery from the Aegyptian bondage, when, after our safe conduct into the wildernesse, out of the reach of our Enemies,Deut. 33.2. Thou camest in such Majesty from Teman, and madest thy Holinesse shine forth in such beauty from Mount Pa­ran. When theThis the Scripture of­ten expresses by the name of Heaven. Aire above was filled, after an extraordinary manner, with Thunder, and Lightning (the forerunners of thy divine approach) and the Earth below was made happy with thy glorious presence, the occasion of our best Praise and thank­full acclamations.

4. ForHeb: bright­nesse in his very hands. in Light and Splendour, and Glory, were all the wayes of God's most gratious appearance (a figure of that grea­ter light and glory, which is altogether invisible, and inaccessible to poore Mortalls:) But for our weaknesse, they were so [...] absconfio ma­jestatis. sha­dowed, and qualified, as might best fit the Eyes of them, that were then entertained with those wonders.

5. And as such Lustres were a pledge and testimony of comfort to his owne People: so (as a terror to their Enemies)Hebr: pestis & febris ar­dens. Death and Destruction went before Him, and He left behind Him the footsteps of Horror and Consumption, to tame, and amaze the Nations, that might rise up to oppose them.

6. At last, when he rested (in his holy Arke, in the Land of Promise) he divided that Land, by lot, for their inheritance. At his appearance, the Nations were sore troubled. They that had dwelt so long in thoseHebr: the Mountaines, for them that had dwelt in them, time out of mind. Mountanous Countries were much distracted with the sad apprehension of their likelyhood, to be now roused, and expelled out of those antient Scares, and for­ced to submit to new Lords and Maisters: brought thither by Him, in whose Power are all theHebr: the wayes and passages of the World. Actions, and Alterations of the World.

[Page 14] 7. It was not for any good deserts of ours, but for the wick­ednesse of those Nations, that they were so rooted out by the hand of Justice. That removed the Cananites out of their dwelling, as (besides them) it didNum. 25. the Midianites for their sinne. When it troubled the Cush and Cushan, the same with Midian. For which see Sir W. Raleigh's Discourse of Cush. l. 1. c. 8. Alii exponūt de liberatione a Cushan. Iud. 3. vel à Midi­anitis. Iud. 7. per Gedeo­nem. tents of Cushan, afflicted their whole Land, and made them content to remove their portable houses, to other places of mansion, where they might be found.

8. But still, as the way of thy Justice was observable over them, so was that of thy Mercy, ô Lord, over us, to the very alteration of the ordinary course of Nature. We found that in our passage thorough the Red Sea, and thorough the River Jordan. The waters seemed to start aside, at our comming towards them, and, for very feare give way to us. Was it thy Anger, ô Lord, against the proud Waves, that forced them thus to shrink back? Was the Sea afraid of thy triumphant approach? Was it the noise of thy Chariots, and the prancing of thy Horses, that shrunk up the Rivers with this terrour, and drave them out of their wonted Station? For, in such triumph indeed did'st thou seeme to draw neare the waters of Jordan, when the Arke was thy Chariot, the Chariot of our Salvation, and thy Glory seemed to be carried upon the holy Cherubims.

9. After that glorious and miraculous passage over Jordan, anJosh. 5.14. Angell showed himselfe for a Captaine of the Host of the Lord. And thy selfe, ô Lord, as the great Lord of Hosts, prepa­redst for the Battle. Thine Arrowes were drawne out of their Quiver, and thy Bow out of the Case, to be in readinesse against thine Enemies. The severall Tribes of Israel, as thy Souldiers were mustered up to their Quidam in­telligunt de promissioni­bus Patribus factis interpo­sito Juramen­to. military Sacramentall Oath. And the very Earth and the Waters, and all the Elements, did seeme to divide themselves into their severall rankes, at thy command, and for thy service.

10. And, when thou beganst to set forward, The Moun­taines, ô Lord, (as if, standing highest, they had made the first discovery of thy comming afarre off) were sore troubled at it: like a woman that is in labour, [...] and longs to be delivered. Pre­sently whole Rivers of waters gushed out (as the Issue of that birth.) The noise and murmur, which they made at their brea­king [Page 15]forth of the hollow earth, was like the cry of this new­borne Creature. And the diffusion of those waters into seve­rall courses, and rivulets, was like the stretching out of his Armes (which thou canst binde and lap up in his swadling-cloutes,Job. 38.9. as it pleaseth thee.)

11. And, if the Hilles can thus discover, and expresse thy powerfull approach, how can the two faire eyes of the Fir­mament (the Sunne and the Moone) but see it, and give some acknowledgement of it? As they did to all the World, when the Sunne stood still over Gibeon, Jos. 10.12. and the Moon over the vallie of Aialon, as if then indeed they had come to their [...] Houses, wherein they should rest. And shall we not say, that other, and more unusuall Lights have acted this readinesse of Service, and Duty? When Thunder, and Lightning (at thy command) flew as swift as Arrowes about the firmament, and the pillar of Fire directed the way to thy Servants in the Wildernesse.

12. This was the obedience every where tendred to our Lord, when he brought us, and our Armies out of the land of Canaan. At whose comming the Inhabitants of the Land quaked for feare of his anger. As if they had foreseen what would follow, when the Heads and Commanders of so many united Citties should be trampled on, by the feet of the Con­querors.Ios. 10.24.

13. This was thy doing, ô Lord, and thus hast thou often gone out with our Armies, to save, and defend thy People, and thine Annointed, whom thou hast set over them. Thou hast often wounded the Heads of those wicked Families that oppose them, and discovered their Foundations: so that from the high­est to the lowest part of their best hold and confidence, [...] Proverb. heb: they were layed open to ruine.

14. Thou hast pierced the Heads of those Peasants, that sought our destruction, with the same weapons, that they used against us (might Israel then say) and taken them in their own Inventions. When they had thought, suddainly, and vio­lently, like a Whirlewind, to have set upon us, scattered us, and blown us away. When their Triumph before the Victory was like the exultation of those, that have (in their hopes) alrea­dy [Page 16]devoured the poore and innocent, that hides himselfe from their fury and persecution.

15. So did our enemies perish in that passage, where they purchased their own death in the pursuit of ours.Exod. 14. While the triumph, which they hoped for, was thine own, and not theirs: but thy Chariots, and Armies prevailed in the Red-Sea, and went safe through the unusuall paths, and heaps of many Wa­ters.

16. Such hath been thy Providence over us in our former calamities, for our delivery; And shall it not be such, in thy good time, from the Babylonian slavery, as it was from the Aegyptian? But, alas! I have heard and seen so much in my for­mer Vision, of the long sad time of our Captivity, that my Bowells doe earne with compassion of my poore Country-men. My inward parts are so wholly possessed, and troubled with sorrow for them; that my lippes quake for feare, when they should expresse it. And my bones are consumed with rottennesse, while I labour to conceale my selfe-devouring fears and perplexities, that I have within me. And so much the rather, because I must be still and silent for the day of their affliction. For, it seemes, the doome is now past, no prayers can avert it, or hinder him, that shall bring his Troopes of Souldiers, to prey upon the poore People of our distressed Land.

17. To this most heavy, but most just sentence I humbly submit; with this Prayer, that they may endeavour, as I shall, to make sure for some inward solace, when all outward helpes, and comforts shall be taken away. For, though the Figge-tree shall not flourish and give her wonted sweets; nor the Vine-tree prosper, and yeeld her comfortable Wine; though the Olive shall deceive our expectation of her fatnesse, and the Corne-fields shall not continue the provision of their food to strengthen us; though the Sheep shall be plundered out of their foldes, and the Oxen out of their stalles:

18. Yet will I resolve to solace my heart in the Lord, and to rejoyce in the God of my Salvation.

19. And it shall be my Prayer, and my Hope, that the Lord my God, will be my strength and my safeguard: supply me [Page 17]with Patience, and Obedience, and Courage: make my feet as nimble as Harts feet, and so conduct me chearfully, in the way to those high places and Sanctuaries above, where I shall be set out of the feare of all danger, in everlasting blisse.

And as a Testimony of my Ioy, and Solace in that, I will take order with the chiefe Master of the Musicke, to have this Prayer set to some Instrument, that may help to rouse up my spirits, and my solace in God my Saviour.

A farther enlargement in contem­plation of the Melodious Musick here defended, and the sad Discord of these Times.

THe Honour and Praise of that our gratious Lord and Saviour, is the everlasting Ioy, and Song of the holy Quire above. Where that it may be ours (after the more-then-Babylonish Confusion, and Captivity, that we may live to see here, in the persecution of our Soules, as well as of our Bodies) Let us use the Prophet Habakkuk's Prayer, with his Spirit, and labour, as he did, to place all our delight and content in God alone, and in his Glory. And, as men desirous to joyne with that heavenly Quire, and adde our Musick to theirs (which seems to be the summe of the Royall Prophets earnest invitation in the last Psalme) Let us follow that Pro­phets advice that saith, Praise him in his Psal. 150.1. Our latter Translation doth well ex­presse [...] by Sanctuary, as it is taken, Psal. 68 24. & 78.55 and elsewhere. Sanctuary. In his holy Temple above all other places (whatsoever some begin to say) let him have those solemne melodious Praises. And praise him there (while we may) Not only upon the Neginoth, as the Pro­phet Habakkuk doth here: [...] and calls for him that excelleth in that kind: calls for him at the commemoration of a heavie, and publick calamity (for such was the occasion of the Pro­phets Prayer.)

Not only so. But, if you will goe on with the sweet Singer [Page 18]of Israel, that put all his dolefull Penitentiall Prayers, into Musicall Psalmes, and therefore, sure would leave out none of his Church-Musick, for any other occasions.

  • Praise him in the sound of the Trumpet:
    Psal. 150.3.
    praise him upon the Lute and Harpe.
  • Praise him in the Cymbals and Dances: praise him upon the Strings and Pipe.
  • Praise him upon the well-tuned Cymbals: praise him upon the loud Cymbals.
  • Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.

All this may well befit the Service of God in his materiall Temples here below. And, in that above, not made with hands, (where all make but one Congregation, and one Quire) if they doe any thing else then praise God, yet they doe nothing more willingly. We may find them busie at it, in sundry places of the Apocalypse.

In the 4th Chapter after the Doxologies of the foure Crea­tures, Rev. 4.8, 10. we have the 24 Elders casting their Crownes before the throne, and falling to their Acclamations of divine Praise.

And,Chap. 5.8, 10, 11. in the next Chapter, we have them every one with Harps and golden Phiales full of odours, which are the Prayers of the Saints (Prayers there againe accompanied with heavenly Musick.) And at the Close of their Song, Ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousand thousands, have no other taske but that.

In the 7th Chapter:C. 7. 11. All the Angels round about the throne, fall downe upon their faces with the like joyfull worship.

After all this.C. 14. 2, 3. The 14th Chapter acquaints us with the sweet voyce of Harpers, and their Angelicall Harmony, accom­panied with a new Song in the mouth of a hundred forty foure thousand, which were bought from the Earth.

Then againe in the 15th Chapter,C. 15. 2, 3. there is another great number, that have the Harpes of God, and sing the Song of Mo­ses, and the Song of the Lambe.

And lastly.C. 19. 1, 3. The 19th Chapter tells us againe and againe, of a great multitude at their severall Halelujahs.

Now, if we must flye to mysticall expositions, somewhat may be seen out of what hath been said. They specially cannot but see it, that can understand greater mysteries of this Revelation, if they please. Therefore, after all this Musick in Heaven, and Earth, in the Prophet Habakkuk's Neginoth, in King Da­vid's Psaltery, in the Angells Harpes and Voyces (in all which Musick and Prayers, as well as Musick and Praises are put to­gether:) After all this, let us leave our vaine Scruples, obey the Dictates of our Mother Church, and with so good Compa­ny, desire to joyne all together, both in our Prayers, and in our hearty Praise, and Service, and Glory to God, which is the happy and welcome employment of the glorious Angels and Saints above. They cease not, day nor night, inviting one ano­ther, and saying; Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, Rev. 4.8. which was, and which is, and which is to come.

I Have said the more of Celestiall Musick, in this kind, be­cause I desire we should all fall in love with it, or at least, with that sweet Accord, and Harmony and Consent, which is most eminent in that.

For, we are a miserable distracted Nation, out of all Tune, and out of all Order, even to the wonder and astonishment of those that are about us, who not long since, were as much ta­ken with the admiration of our Conformity, and our happy Peace. But we are now so much, or rather so all for Jarres and Discords, that we are for nothing else. We are growne such Strangers, or rather such deadly Enemies to Ʋnity and Con­cord, and Ʋniformity, that we cannot indure a motion for them, and are troubled at the very name, and offended with all that will not dance after our Pipe, while we are so disordered. And all this, by reason of some idle fancies and crotchets of our owne, that have had too much hold of our Thoughts, and car­ried them almost beyond the hope of all Recovery, and true Reformation.

If all this be spoken, not only out of that Duty, and Charity, that binds us to call upon others, which we think are ready to fall into a dangerous pit: but with an eye to that Truth also, [Page 20]which every true Christian is bound to obey: then why should not that which is said, be heard with Patience, and gladly re­ceived of those, who say, They fight for Truth, though they take away our Peace.

But if any thing be suspected, as spoken in the defence of some grand Error. Let not that Error be shewed us out of some new Revelations, which must undertake to discover more then ever appeared to Saint John: who, by his Eagle, seemes to be pointed out, as the quickest sighted of all the divine A­postles, and, as the loving Disciple, doth so earnestly exhort us to Love one another, and so urge the necessity of that Love, that the serious consideration of what he writes were enough to make whole Armies of Christians throw downe their wea­pons, fall to mutuall embraces, and resolve rather to be Armies of Martyrs, then what they are.

From such Acts of Love, that are called for by the spirit of Truth, it is pitty we should be drawne away, in these last and worst dayes, by new pretended Raptures, utterly unknowne to that other divine Apostle, that was rapt up into the third Hea­ven, where he heard some things indeed that might not be ut­tered (which our new Enthusiasts never doe) but none spake more plainly then he did of those two things, that trouble us more then they need doe. That is, both concerning the Eccle­siasticall Government by Bishops, with the subordination of Priests, and Deacons (cleare enough in him, unlesse we call his Epistles to Timothy and Titus into question:) and concer­ning the Duty of Christian Subjects to their Kings, and Prin­ces, which is as plainly enjoyned by him, in his Epistle to the Romanes (unlesse that Chapter may be rased out, which saith, They that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.)Rom. 13. And as plainly doth the same Apostle foretell the present breach of that Apostolicall Precept, where he makes that knowne to Ti­mothy, the first Bishop of Ephesus, 1. Tim. 3. which all our present Bishops, and the best part of their Flock, have now found true to their cost.

Now, while some strive to delude us with strange Doctrines, and idle Prephecies, newly started out of we know not what [Page 21]suspected corners, shall not Saint Paul's Prophecie be observed and acknowledged, which we see and feele to be so fulfilled? And shall not that be heard, which hath been so long since, and so clearly taught us, by those two great Apostles? Are we all for Novelties, and such Popes and Patriarchs of our owne Election, as shall make those Novelties increase upon us every day? Yes. So it is. God help us.

We would have a new Religion, a new Church, a new State, a new Government, a new England, all new by all meanes: whereas a new Nothing were farre better for us. For, if we should be desired to set downe the Tenets of our new Religi­on, and the wayes of our new Policy and Government in Church and State: I doubt, in all our new Illuminations and Directi­ons, and what you will, we should not be able to see, how to agree upon them for above one yeare. And then it were a rare Almanack, that could be able to Prognosticate, how we should entertaine our selves for the yeare to come.

This is plaine English, you will say. But we had better suffer our selves (before we are too much ingaged) to be thus told in plaine English, what we are going about, then runne on we know not whither, to the hazard of the Curses of all our Posterity, and somewhat worse then that.

But I will touch no more so roughly upon that sore. With all my Heart I wish it well cured. For, while it continues as it is, no man shall dare to be a good Christian and a good Subject, and venter to speake that which is Right and True to a crooked and perverse Generation, but he may too soone meet with them, that will rather take offence then instruction by it.

For, they that are most bold with God and Men in the breach of all divine and humane Lawes, would either be let alone, or told very gently of it. They would have no bold kind of Metaphores, much lesse that bolder Rhetoricall Fi­gure, which we call [...], or Liberty of speech. And yet, why should not that be indulged to one side as well as to the other? or if more to one; Loosers have more leave to talke (as we use to say.) And who sits downe by more losse, [Page 22]and so have more reason to expect a Liberty of speech, then they that (besides the losse of that Liberty which they lately had in the use of their Lawes, and Freinds, and Fortunes) are still in danger of loosing that which is dearest to them, the Liberty of their Religion, and of their Conscience?

It were not amisse, if they that have made us so miserable, specially the prime Incendiaries, and maine Fomenters of that under which we grone, could be well chidden out of their new Fancies and Quarrels and Hypocrisies, into the old sober way of true Godlinesse, Jam. 3.17. which partakes of that Wisedome from above, that is first pure, and then peaceable.

But, if that cannot be done, we shall be willing to take any course:1. Cor. 9.22. to become all things to all men, that, by all meanes, we may winne some, and so be Followers of the great Apostle. Who,Gal. 3.1. in one place bespeakes the foolish Galatians, in a kind of chiding way, with [...]; who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the Truth? In another place he charges and conjures the Thessalonians, 1. Thes. 5.27. with [...]: in another place,1. Cor. 1.10. he beseecheth the Corinthians, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they would all speake one thing, and that there might be no dissentions amongst them, but all would be knit together in one mind, and in one judgement: and else­where he doth likewise beseech the Romans, by the mercies of God, Rom. 12.1. to give up their body a living sacrifice, &c. and not to fashi­on themselves like unto this world, &c.

And if that would any thing prevaile, most willing should we be, to beg of them, and (in the Apostles words) beseech them to be reconciled, 1. Cor. 5.20. and to that end to think sadly of those heavy Distractions, and Publick Calamities of these times, that are able to make any good Heart bleed, and dissolve any ten­der Eyes into fountaines of teares.

And in the same hearty desire, wherein we would begge that of them, we doe earnestly entreat all true Protestants for their best endeavours, and (amongst them) for the help of their speedie, and humble, and importunate Prayers, that God would please to look downe in mercy and compassion upon us all. Which cannot be the Prayers of any, but such as are willing to [Page 23]look with Christian pitty and compassion upon one another, and to embrace the best meanes of establishing the old way and the good way, wherein our forefathers had setled us,Jer. 6.16. and left us happy, to the envy and admiration of all our Neighbours.

But if we are so bewitched, that neither plain termes, nor humble entreaties, can any way worke upon us, then (before I conclude) I will returne to the same language, wherein I be­gan this enlargement of my Meditations, and wish that some divine Artist had Musick enough to charme us into our right sense againe, and make the strling of the old and true Prote­stant Religion, and Peace and Policie, put a new Song of joy and Thankesgiving into our mouthes.

O how good and pleasant a thing would it be, to see us all, like Brethren, unammonsly combined in one Forme of Civill and Religious Government; and of Divine Service, and wor­ship? How good and pleasant, to have us all agree with the blessed Angells in one Heavenly Song, of Glory to God on High, in Earth Peace, and Good will towards Men?

A Quire of Angells brought it first to us, in their Musick from Heaven, at the happy Birth of the Prinde of Peace.

If our Christmas, that comes on so fast, in a worthy Comme­moration of that blessed Birth, might have that truly made our Christmas Carole: and all our Hearts and Mouthes and Handes truly joyned to make it good: this Christmas would crowne all the rest of our daies with Joy and Felicity.

Joy in the behalfe of our Selves, our Children, and our Chil­drens Children, to whom we cannot leave a better Legacy, then that of Peace, and (with that) Joy in regard of our Gra­tious Soveraigne, and His Royall Progenie, which should be as deare to us, as our own lives, and the care of our own Poseri­ty. The rather, because we have a King, whose unwearied Patience and Clemency, and frequent loving Overtures of Peace, deserve a greater Conquest of hearts, then ever was attained by the Sword.

With which happy Conquest; God, of his mercy bestow upon us that blessing of Peace, which hath in one word, all the [Page 24]Rich treasures of Heaven and Earth, looked up in it, as in one faire casket, even Felicitie it selfe, which is but the Rest and Peace of all our Desires. Felicitie here being nothing else then Gratia & Pax, a gracious Peace, and felicity hereafter, Gloria & Pax, a glorious Peace, in heavenly Mansions.

Where we all desire that we may be admit­ted to chant the Praises of God to all Eternity: and with Angels and Arch-Angels, and all the Powers of Heaven, ascribe unto Him all Honour and Glory, and Power, and Dominion, and Ma­jestie. AMEN.

FINIS.

ERRATA.

PReface. p. 3. l. 14. wandring, r. wandring. p. 4. l. 12. obseurity, r. obscurity. & l. 14. r. though as his second appearing is called by Saint Paul, (Tit. 2.13.) so his first appearing is called by the Greek Fathers [...].

Paraphrase. In marg. P. 3. r. [...]. P. 8. pro [...] r. [...]. P. 11. l. 4. yet, r. it. p. 15. l. 18. for, out of the land of Canaan, r. toward the land of Canaan. p. 16. l. 5. r. in thine owne: and not theirs but

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.