IT is this day Ordered by the House of Com­mons, that Mr. Valentine shall have thanks returned him from this House, for the great pains he tooke in the Sermon he preached this day, at St. Margarets in the Citie of VVestminster, at the intreatie of this House. And that he be desired to Print his Sermon. And it is Order­ed that no man shall presume to Print it, but he whom the said M. Valentine shall authorise under his handwriting. And it is further Order­ed, that Sir VVilliam Massam, a Member of this House, shall returne the thanks to Mr. Valentine.

H. Elsinge. Cler. Parl. D: Com.

I appoint Samuel Man to Print my Sermon.

Tho: Ʋalentine.

A SERMON PREACHED AT THE LATE FAST Before the Honorable House of COMMONS.

ZEPH. 3.8.

Wait upon me, saith the Lord, untill the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the Nations that I may assemble the kingdoms, to powre upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth shall be filled with the fire of my jealousie.

IT appears by the next verse, that a full Reformation was promised. For God tels them, he will give them a pure language, or a pure lip. They should have, and speak of nothing but pure and holy ordinances, the names of Idols, and idolatrous worship, should be banished and quite forgotten: It is also as clear by the latter part of this text, that a great desolation was com­ing upon the enemies of the Church: till both these be done, we must wait. A dutie of much difficul­tie, for when we have strong desires, usually they are unrulie: [Page 2] and if we have enemies, naturally we are desirous of their speedie downfall. We take up Jeremies expression, but few have his spirit, Jer. 11.20. Let me see thy vengeance upon my enemies: and are too like him in Plutarch, who said to his adversarie, I doubt not but thou shalt pay for it, but I am afraid I shall not see it. Lest we should be transported with these desires, and grow impatient, God gives a charge to wait his leasure. There is a day set, a time prefixed, beyond which Gods patience to evill men shall not extend it self. I will in due time (saith God) arise like a Lion to the prey, I will spoil them, that spoil you, I will teare them in peeces, and they shall never recover their strength any more.

When this prophesie took effect, and what age it pointed at, is not determined by Interpreters, some think it was fulfill­ed in Josiah his time, because this Prophet lived in the time of his reigne; so Ribera, and Drusius conjecture, and it might be so, because Josiah did not begin his Reformation till the twelfth yeer of his reigne, 2. Chron. 24.3. Others think it was meant of the restauration of the Church after the captivitie, because in Josiah his time though there was a Reformation, yet no de­struction to the enemies thereof.

Others refer it to the times of the Gospel, because the calling of the Gentiles is mentioned, and also that consent of serving God with one shoulder, was verified in Act. 2.46. They served the Lord [...], with one accord.

Others refer it to the end of the world, and they make this Scripture and that of Joel 3.16. to be meant of the last judge­ment: because fire, and indignation, and all Gods fierce anger shall then be powred out to the full: And the phrases used in Matth. 24.29. of the latter end of the world, do agree to this, and that of Joel and the multitude here and there mentioned, have made them think it could be no other. The notation of the name Jehosaphat, Haiah and saphat, sit indicium, the Papists beleeve that the vallie of Jehosaphat, should be the place of judgement.

But let wise men consider, whether to make a valley so ca­pacious, as to hold all the people, that have lived from the be­ginning of the world to the end, be not an opinion so impro­bable, as needs no confutation. All that which can be inferred, [Page 3] is that the last judgement, and great temporall judgements, hold a sutablenesse, and correspondencie one with another. For the time of this prophesie I shall not meddle with in this exercise.

In the text observe,

  • 1 A dutie which is commanded.
  • 2 A motive whereby it is enforced.

In the former observe,

  • 1 The dutie it self, Wait,
  • 2 The object, upon me, saith the Lord.
  • 3 The time, how long? untill the day that I rise to the prey.

In the second (which is a commination against the enemies) observe:

  • 1 The generalitie of it, nations, kingdoms, and the whole earth.
  • 2 The certaintie of it, I am determined to do it, saith God.
  • 3 The terriblenesse of it, set out, in Gods indignation, all his fierce anger, and the fire of his jealousie.

If you look upon the beginning of this Chapter, from the first verse to this text, you may see that the Church and Com­monwealth were exceedingly corrupted. For ver. 3. it is said, that the Princes were as roaring Lions, the Judges were as the evening wolves, they knaw not the bones till the morning: such as should protect and defend them, did spoil and devoure them. The Priests and Prophets that should offer sacrifice for them, and instruct them, were vain light persons, and did pol­lute the sanctuatie, and wrest the Law. These that were ene­mies, bred and born in their own kingdom, as well as those abroad, are threatned, and it is evident that the Churches Re­formation, and her enemies desolation, must come together: and till both these be done, we are commanded to wait. So that you see what is to be the subject of our ensuing discourse; and if you will have it in an observation, it is this:

Though wicked men be not punished and pulled down, and though the Church be not reformed, so soon as we could de­sire, yet we must wait upon God till he do it.

To wait, is cheerfully to expect the fulfilling of all the pro­mises wherein lies the Churches good: and the accomplish­ment of all the threatnings, that respect the enemies: And if to [Page 4] this, we adde the manner, then to wait is so attend upon God, as that the want of any blessing desired, become no hindrance, either to our affections or religious actions; For if either be, it is not the waiting God accepts.

In waiting 3. things,

1 There is a want of a blessing, else there were no need of waiting; It is the service of a defective state, when all shall be compleat in heaven, there will be no need of waiting, we shall see God, and injoy him, and in him all things. We shall have all our desires granted, but in this world we are under many pressures, and want many blessings, and must wait.

2 In this time of our want, yet we must not cool in our af­fections, but must love God, and rejoyce in him, else we are mercenarie, it we should be deprived of all that is dear unto us, If the fig-tree should not blossome, neither shall fruit be in the vines: the labour of the olive should fail, and the fields shall yeeld no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there should be no heard in the stalls yet will I reioyce in the Lord, I will ioy in the God of my salvation. Habba. 3.17, 18.

3. We must not leave work, nor give over our service, but wait for a blessing: if successe follow not, yet we must go on; we have principles that will carrie us through all discourage­ments. Such as wait, second what they have done, they pray over their prayers again: but such as will not wait, they relin­quish their work, and desert the cause, they recant and recall what they have done. It seems to me to be the present dutie that God requires of us in this Land, it is the lesson of the time, we have an expectation of evill mens just punishment, and the reformation of our kingdom: both of them, and all things else seem to be at a stand, the people both in Citie and Countrey, are troubled. Their eager desires after both have made them impatient: and as Naaman in the peevishnesse of his spirit, spake of the manner and means of the cure of his le­prosie (being discontented with the way that God had pre­scribed) so the people say, we thought before this time our peace and Religion would have been setled, we thought upon such a day, and in such a place so great things would have been done, that our troubles would have been ended. The minds of most men are like the troubled waters, and which is [Page 5] worse, the mud is stirred, and if men give way to their passi­ons, they will be like the raging Sea, and cast up dirt. There­fore my text is a message to them, God saith, have patience a while, and wait: I will in due time arise to the prey, I will de­stroy your enemies, and reform your Kingdom. And though the vapours and mists are below, do not reach to the highest Region of the aire: yet men of highest rank, are but men, and are subject to passions as well as others: therefore you (the Worthies of our Land) may possibly be a little wearie, and faint in your minds, I am sure that as your pains and trials are greater; so your temptations, and discouragements are answer­able: therefore my text is a message to you, wait upon God till he second your pious endeavours with happie successe; con­sult and wait, work and wait, pray and wait, abate not in your zeal, desist not in your work: but to what ever you do, adde this dutie of waiting, and God will make you the happie in­struments of the kingdoms good.

If any man should fall off (which God forbid) from his for­mer zeal, or purpose, or protestation, let him with this text, read that in Hebr. 10.38. He that draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him, saith the Lord.

There is a double work for every waiter; 1. To want the good he is in expectation of. 2. To bear that evill that befalls him in the meane space; and our waiting consists in our pati­ence, for that bears evill: and in our hope, for that expects good. And Junius in his short annotations upon this text, sums up briefly what others speak more largely, patiently beare your captivitie (namely, in Babylon) and cheerfully expect your deliverance, and then ye wait upon God.

The Hebrew word is [...] c [...]cu, rendred by Pagine and Buxtorf. Expectate me prestolamini me, expect me, or attend me. The same is used, Job 32.4. Elibu expectavit Jobum: Expected when Job would make an end. Psal. 62.1. Truly my soule waiteth upon God. The word is [...] [...]umijah, of [...] duum siluit: My soul keepeth silence to God. And the word is used in Ps. 37.7. rest in God. He that waits, rests; and he that is impatient is rest­lesse. And in Psal. 40 1. I waited patiently; David bears the fruits of Sauls malice, and yet he looks after the Kingdom; if our desires and hopes be deaded, and dulled: we wait not, [Page 6] though we patiently bear evill, and if we have strong desires, and are impatient under crosses, we are wanting in this dutie, and therefore we must speak to them severally.

Patiently to bear evill,

The Church her patience.Is a quiet silent temper of soul, whereby we submit to God in all our crosses. There was never more need of patience then in our dayes, the whole Kingdome speaks in that language; Jer. 14. We looked for healing, and behold trouble: we expected Reformation, and behold desolation. We must patiently bear one, and yet cheerfully expect the other. Many say, This evill is of the Lord, and why should I wait any longer? but good hearts resolve still with them in Isa. 8.17. I will wait upon the Lord who hath hid his face from the house of Jacob, and I will yet look for him. There is a passive perfection, as well as an active in a Christian; God disposeth of our imployment, sometimes we must be do­ing, sometimes we must suffer: some are excellently active, but not so commendably passive: they are quick and nimble in action, but when crosses come they are weak, and cannot wait. The Greek word [...], and the Latine patientia, tells us we must suffer. And it may be we shall have sicknesse, and sore diseases in our bodies, great losses in our estates, we may be ba­nished into a farre Countrey, or imprisoned in some dark dun­geon, we may be blemished in our reputation, by soule slan­ders, we may be betrayed by false friends, and pursued by cruell enemies: we may have calamities in our life, and torments in our death, there is no affliction for kind, or continuance, or de­gree, that the servants of God are exempted from, and there­fore they had need to be fitted to suffer. And the word used Galat. 5.22. [...], is long suffering, we cannot tell how long we shall suffer; It is not fit we should know it before-hand: for if it were very long, we should be out of heart, and out of hope to hold out; If it were short, that were not praise worthy. Therefore God keeps us in suspence, and speaks indefinitely of the time, wait upon me untill I rise to the prey. We must bring forth fruit, [...] in patience, Luk. 8.15. the word in the no­tation of it signifies to abide; we must abide in our work, and in a religious temper of spirit, and not be beaten out by afflicti­ons: or delay of blessings. If we do well, and suffer well, if patience have her perfect work, we are intire and lack nothing: Jam. [Page 7] 1.4. Our blessed Saviour was sometimes in action, and some­times in his passion: his active and passive obedience made him a compleat Mediatour. And thy active and passive graces will make thee a compleat Christian. There is no crosse can endan­ger him that hath a quiet spirit, for he stands firm like a moun­tain, Psal. 125.1. the stormes may arise, and the winds blow, the mountain stands firm for all this. But if there be an earth­quake, that will shake it: Enemies may traduce thee, and op­presse thee, and calamities like a storm may fall upon thy head: and these may be born; but if thy spirit be impatient, and un­quiet, that's an earthquake in thy soul, and will do thee more hurt then the malice of thy worst adversarie. There is no com­fortable living in this world without patience, for the least trouble puts us out of frame, but the grace of patience doth re­cover us, and if it can prevail, keeps the mind quiet. Aquinas makes it the root of all graces: but his explication must be ta­ken in, Non causando or conservando, sed removendo prohibens: It is the let removing cause. For trouble comes, and would hinder us in our love, and joy, and hope, and confidence in God; pa­tience bears all, and quiets the soul, and in so doing removes the evill of the trouble, that it becomes no impediment to our graces. It was a prettie conceit of the Poet,Aqui. 1 [...]. secundae, q. 56. art. 2. that made everie vertue without patience to be as a widow, for as she wants half of her strength, and wisdom and counsell: so thy faith, and love, and hope, are but weak, and patience guards them. Therefore in Hebr. 6.12. Faith and patience are coupled toge­ther: and Rom. 15. Hope, and patience, and comfort are united. We are said to run the race that is set before us with patience. Heb. 12.1. It seems a kind of contradiction to run with patience; for run­ning is active, and patience is passive, and therefore one is di­stinct from the other, if not opposite; but he that runs, and wants patience, will never get to the end of the race. For in the race of Gods Commandments, men have soule play: one comes and rails on him for his zeal, for running so fast, when he thinks himself too slow; another gives him a blowe and strikes him down, and up he gets and runs again. And whereas everie man will make roome, and give way to him that is in a race: he that runs to heavenward, many will stand in his way and stop him, in all which he had need of patience: And we [Page 8] may put it among the cardinall graces, which are so called à Cardine, for as Janua sine cardine, as a doore without hinges cannot be beneficiall to shut out the cold, or any thing else that will offend him: so is a man without patience, every thing will offend him; what is a wise man, a zealous man without patience? he will beare nothing, suffer nothing, and then he will do no great good I have often marvelled, why so little is written on this subject: we are beholding to Augustine and Tertullian for two short Tractates of patience, others both ancient and modern, speak of it for the most part as other theames that come in their way; we have need to preach it, and practise it, there is a daily use of it.

2 Patience is a silent temper of spirit; in opposition to im­patience, which is either secretly murmuring and repining, or else openly clamorous: sometimes causing wrangling disputes not onely with men, but God himself; as we see in Jonah, cap. 4.1.4. sometimes unjust complaints in a higher degree, as we see in the Israelites, who did chide with Moses, when they wanted water or any thing else: Numb. 20.3.4. Would God we had died when our brethren died. They died in their sin, for they lusted, and while the meat was between their teeth, the wrath of God was kindled against them, and he smote the people with a great plague,Num. 11.33. a fearfull death was inflicted, and yet they are so farre from being restrained thereby, that they break out again into intemperate language, that heaven and earth rings again, and they fill the eares of God and man with their clamours; when they were in Egypt they groaned, when they were come out they wished themselves there again: when they want ne­cessaries they murmure, and cannot wait. They had the mira­culous manifestation of Gods power and goodnesse in the daily supply of their wants: and yet they will not trust him, but in the perversenesse of their impatient spirit, wish that either they had stayed in Egypt, or died with their brethren. I would the like did not appear in our Land at this day; many are readie to say, would God we had not looked after a Reformation, that we had never thought of any alteration, then we had not known these troubles, and dangers, and this great expence of money. It may be these will do, as they did with Moses and Aaron, Exod. 5.21.23. lay the blame on them whom God [Page 9] used as instruments of their good, and say, You have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and his servants. And if you will know the cause of these distempers, one among the rest is, they like not that way, nor those Ordinances which others pray for, and wait for: It is with them as with the peo­ple that were to come out of Babylon, Though libertie to return was granted by Cyrus: yet many stayed behind, of whom there is mention made, in 1. Chron. 4.23. these were potters, and those that dwelt amongst plants and hedges, there they dwelt with the king for his work. They dwelt with the King of Babylon, their em­ployment was meane, they made pots, they were potters, their habitation was answerable: they dwelt under hedges, they were poore spirited men, the base brood of their degenerated forefathers: for they made brick in Egypt, and would have been contented with that bondage, and drudgerie; so these would rather make pots in Babylon, and dwell under hedges, then go after their freedome in Sion. They are branded in the words before, for though the latter end of verse 22. be transla­ted, these are ancient things, yet Junius renders it, these are res ob­soletae, things worn out and forgotten; and indeed they deserve to be forgotten. But let us remember them, as these worthie Jews did, whose spirit God had touched to go on to build the Temple at Jerusalem, they pray for them in Psal. 126.4. Turn our captivitie, as the streams in the South. It was penned upon this Occasion, and that prayer on purpose made in behalfe of these Jews that stayed behind in Babylon. They take them to be their captives, being but obliged unto them by a nationall bond. So let us pray for those of our Nation, that are loath to come out of Babylon. But let us not wonder at the stirs, and di­visions in our Land, the same causes have produced the like effects in former ages; nor let the backwardnesse of those that keep off, discourage you (the worthie Instruments of God) from going on to build the Temple, and reform the Kingdom; but let your forwardnesse, bring them on by the example of those noble Jews alreadie mentioned. If the grace of patience did prevail, and we were willing to wait upon God, these di­stempers would be quieted, and put to silence. Lam. 3.28. He sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath born it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust if there may be hope. There is the [Page 10] positure of a patient man, he sitteth alone, and retires himself, till God will look on him, and grant him his desires, in the meane time he will not charge God foolishly, he keepeth si­lence, he will bend himself to bear his affliction, and if after much waiting, God would give him hope to be delivered, he in his familie would kisse the dust.

David had many enemies, that spake mischievous things against him, and laid snares for him, Psal. 38.12.13. but he was as a deafe man that hard not, and as a dumbe man that openeth not his mouth. He wanted neither courage, nor wisdom, he had a stirring spi­rit, a working head, he was sencible of their wrongs, he knew himself innocent, his adversaries malicious: his thoughts must needs be troubled, and yet he breaks not out, but is silent, and it was because he had the use, and exercise of his patience. This shews the power and efficacie of his grace, it rules when all is in an uprore in the soul, when unrulie passions fall into a kind of mutinie, then patience makes them hold their peace; and be silent. We may suppose patience in the soul, to be as the Town Clark in Ephesus, Acts 19 35. The City was in a con­fusion, and there was a cry for two houres together. He comes and appeaseth the multitude:Vers. 36. by alleagiance, 1. ver. 36. Ye ought to do nothing rashly; 2. If Dimetrius and the Craftsmen have any thing to say, Vers. 38. Ver. 40. the Law is open, and there are disputes. 3. We are in danger of this dayes sedition. Just so comes in patience, when wrongs and injuries are offered; blessings are delayed, the spi­rit is put out of frame, and readie to break out; then it mode­rates, and saith, you should do nothing rashly. Passion is rash, but patience is advised, and discreet. And next, the Law is open, the eares of God are open to receive your complaints if they be tendred to him in a religious way, and he will right you; for he is the God, to whom vengeance belongeth. Last­ly, it saith thou art in danger of Gods displeasure, by this daies impatience: and so it sends away these mutinous thoughts, as he did the multitude: and makes the heart to yeeld to God, and it causeth a man to lay his hand upon his mouth, and become dumbe. And so patience makes a dumbe shew: but it is a verie good one, for it makes him like our blessed Saviour, Who was dumbe before the shearer, and opened not his mouth.

And seeing patience, is a passive, quiet, silent temper of soul: [Page 11] it may be demanded, and a case may be put; whether all ex­pressions of our sorrow, in time of afflictions, be fruites of Impatience? And opposite to the duty of waiting? And what we may thinke of those places in Jsa. 59.11. Wee roare like Beares, and mourne like Doves. And also, Jsa. 52.5. They that rule over them, make them to howle?

1 For answer, We must consider a man in a three-fold state: First, in his nature common with other Creatures; the Oxe lowes, the Sheepe bleats, the Ravens cry: And man, if he be hurt, and wounded, or wronged, and oppressed, he hath sense and reason, and should be sensible of the Evils that be­fall: For, he is no Stock, nor must degenerate from his kind: And therefore expressions of sorrow, unlesse they be unseem­ly, and unfit, cannot be blamed.

2 Secondly, Consider a man in his corrupted nature; If hee vent his sinfull passions, his rash anger, his immoderate sor­row, or if he breake out into ill language, against God, and his providence, or the instruments which God useth to cor­rect us by, if he rage, and fly out against men; Is not this Impatience? and not agreeable to our Religion? For it per­mits not a man to raile on the Devill: Jude, verse 9.

3 Thirdly, Consider him in his Renewed nature, in his Graces of faith, and love, and zeale: These should be exer­cised in our afflictions, and appeare more then ordinarily. Nehem. 9 32. They make a long Narration of their troubles, and desire God, not to let it seeme a small thing to him. They would have him to thinke of their Calamities, as they them­selves thought of them. Lam. 1.20. Behold Oh Lord how I am troubled; my bowels swell, my heart is turned within me, I am full of heavinesse. An ignorant man would thinke this is Impati­ence, for they are troubled; nay, their bowels swell: But if it were no more then;

First, a deepe apprehension of their Captivitie.

Secondly, a sorrowfull acknowledgement of their sinnes, which were the Cause.

Thirdly, an expression of naturall affections, and super­naturall graces. Then they are not to be blamed; to loose so many blessings of all sorts: The presence of God in the Tem­ple at Jerusalem: The opportunitie of sacrificing, and doing [Page 12] other services: To be banished their Country, and remaine 70. yeares in a strange Land; and not to have been much affe­cted with it: had been grosse stupiditie, and not the grace of Patience.

The quiet, silent temper of soule, in a Patient man, for­merly mentioned: Is meant in regard of Passions, not graces, those must be put to silence, but not these. And because it is a hard matter, to master our unrulie Passions, and not to speake unadvisedly with our lips: Therefore when private in­juries, or publike occasions, stirre your spirits; take along with you, these cooling and calming Meditations; which may allay the heate of your distempers.

Medita∣tion. 1 Consider that Blessings are delayed, and Judgements are inflicted, by a decree in Heaven: and what Evill soever befals us, It comes from above; and therefore wee had neede to wait, and be Patient. Did wee fix our thoughts upon God, the author of our Crosses; we could not be so Impatient. Job, 5.6. Affliction springs not out of the dust. The meaning is:

First, It comes not from beneath, for Earth and Heaven are opposite: and all things come either from one, or other. And what is said of the Dust, may be applyed to every Crea­ture: runne through all particulars; the Sea, the Clouds, the Earth; they would in effect say to thee; thy affliction came not from us, nor any other Creature; but it came from God above: Jer. 51.53. From me shall spoylers come unto her, saith the Lord, and verse 55. The Lord hath spoyled Babylon.

Secondly, Things that come out of the Dust of the Earth, do arise after a hidden, and unknowne manner, for we do not see what is in the Earth: and in this respect, afflictions come not out of the Dust; for men instructed in the waies of God, and workes of his providence: know God to be the author of all their Crosses; Psalm. 39.9, 10, 11. J am consumed by the blowe of thine hand, Thou with rebukes dost correct man, and this makes him submit, for verse 9. J was dumbe, and opened not my mouth, for thou didst it. In all Evils, whether they come me­diately, or immediately from God: a good heart saith to him, thou didst it. Faith beleeves the doctrine of Gods speciall pro­vidence, which extends to the least matters, much more to the calamities of the Church: And then comes in Patience to [Page 13] do her worke; and saith, I will not open my mouth against it. Faith goes before, and Patience comes after; and they strengthen one another. If Faith be wanting in her Office, Patience cannot make a man hold his peace.Isa. 8.21. It is no wonder to heare blinded Athests, and prophane Persons; cursing their King, and their God, when evill comes upon them, and they know not whence it ariseth, Jsa. 47.11.

That it may not be so with us; Reason, and argue the point a little further: Either God is the author of thine afflicti­on, or some else: If any other, Then it is either with the knowledge of God, or without it, either with his Will, or against it: To say that any Creature, can bring Evill on the servants of God, without his knowledge, or against his Will: Is to affirme God to be ignorant, or impotent; both which are blasphemies: And if it be with his knowledge; and his Will? Then that is granted, that we contend for. It can­not stand with the Wisedom, and Love of God; to have his Church punished, otherwise then he himselfe appoints. So that when this is premised, God doth whatsoever is done un­to thee: rage, and raile, and be impatient; if thou canst, if thou darest, say rather with David, thou didst it: and there­fore I held my tongue.

Medita∣tion. 2 Consider, That blessings are delayed: and Crosses are sent for this end, (among the rest) to try thy Patience: To shew how well thou canst suffer; With what firmenesse, and stayednesse, thou canst hold on; When calamities, like a storme of Haile fall upon thy head. Job was brought upon the stage, to see how well he could act his part, and proove him­selfe a man of integritie: and also confute the Devill, who had told God that he would not hold out, if he were throughly tryed with sharpe afflictions. And in these plundering dayes, wherein very many have great cause of complaint, but none for their Impatience: It may be usefull some what more large­ly to insist:

First, upon Jobs Losses.

Secondly, his Carriage in them.

Thirdly, to consider how farre he may be commended for his Patience, or blamed for his Impatience.

First, Touching his Losses; we finde them to be in his Goods, then in his Children, and next in his owne Person. The Devill had full power over him, and dealt malitiously, and cunningly; like an Enemy that besiegeth a Citie, and takes the outworks, then approacheth nearer, he deales at a further distance, then comes to handie blows, and grapples with him.

The first losse that Iob sustained, was his five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she-asses: which all were at once taken away by the Sabeans. Job 1.15. a great losse indeed, yet lesse then the rest in some respect; for after a great evill, a lesse affects not so much: therefore the devill proceeds by degrees, yet this was very great: like the first blowe that strikes a man down, and astonisheth him.

But the second seems greater, for fire from heaven, con­sumes his seven thousand sheep; Such a great number of inno­cent, and profitable creatures, to be burnt by fire from heaven, is more then the former; and Iob might think that God him­self did fight against him. The first was common among the Lacedemonians, and heretofore in England for borderers, and now for plunderers, to come and in a night to bereave a man of his cattell, and if Iob think the first losse by the Sabeans to be but such: the second is by fire from heaven, and is of ano­ther nature.

The third is by the Chaldeans, who came in three bands and took away his three thousand camels; which was the last part of his substance, and was like the last blowe of a wicked murtherer: who finding life in a groaning man, strikes again and dispatcheth him quite: And every one of these three evils, have their severall aggravations. The first was great, because it was the first: it was strange to him that had lived in plentie, and was encreased in goods, and had power to defend himself: (for he was the greatest man in the East) but this man unacquaint­ed with crosses, is robbed and spoiled by the Sabeans. And no doubt it did much trouble him, the second was terrible: for it was by fire, a mercilesse creature. The third is very grievous, both because it fell upon him alreadie wounded, and sore with other blows: and also because it left him nothing at all, and now Iob is made as poore as may be: he hath just nothing. But [Page 15] his troubles are not near an end, for all his children are suddenly struck dead, in the house where they were feasting. And still comes a greater affliction: children part of our selves are dea­rer then our substance, and goods: and they are all taken away, possibly not well prepared for death,The messenger tels David all the Kings sons are not slain: but here the sons & daugh­ters of Iob are killed. it may be they had blasphe­med God in their hearts. But now Job cannot offer any more burnt offerings for them, for neither hath he wherewith to sa­crifice: nor are any of his children alive, for whose sake he did offer in former times. His servants, who might have rescued goods, are dead: his sons and daughters, who might have rai­sed their decayed father, at least might have pitied and com­forted him, they are likewise dead, and Job is left alone, mour­ning more pitifully then Rachel, having greater cause then she: and needs not refuse comfort, for none goes about to give it him.

And let us see how it fares with Job: in his own person, for if that be well, he will be the better able to bear his crosses. But you shall find his bodie full of botches and byles: in stead of health, and comelinesse, he is filled with loathsome diseases: that none can tell how to come near him, and wanting help from others, he is fain to scrape himself. It seems his wife did not afford him any aid, nor did he find so much relief as Laza­rus, for the dogs lickt his sores: but they did not Jobs. His friends come to mourn with him, but they in stead of mitiga­ting his grief, encrease it. For they come and wonder, and sit silent, and say nothing to him, for the space of seven dayes toge­ther. They that could say so much against him,Iob 2.13. might at their coming, have uttered some words of comfort to him: but by their silence, they do not onely give way to his thoughts, to work upon the object of his own griefs: but they confirm him in the apprehension of his own calamitie. And that which is usually said of sorrows, that Ingentes stupent leves loquuntur, is made good by the thoughts of Job himself: but by the silence, and astonishment of his friends, as we see in the sequell. For immediately he breaks out into passion, that before their com­ing took all patiently. And it is probable that in the time of their silence, Job was in a sore conflict, and under a strong temptation: both because he was so much altered from that sweet temper in which he was before: and also the word in Job [Page 16] 3.2 which is translated [and Job spake] may beare this signifi­cation:Vaiagnan of [...] Pagin. renders it, & respondit Iob. It is the same word, Cap. 6. ver. 1. Cap. 9.1. where it is translated, And Job an­swered. and Job answered, namely, to some dispute, which he had in his own mind, or rather with the devill, for he having power, and commission from God to assault Job, would not de­ferre any time, but set upon him, and the fittest time, was at the coming of his friends, and their silence gave him full scope. So that we may conceive the devill to have had a single com­bate with Job: when he began to speak, Chap. 3. and before we say any more of Jobs trouble, let us now come to his carri­age in his affliction. And here in the entrance, we must know, that it is our part to construe things, as favourably as we can: because God himself commends Job for his patience. And know that Iob in his first bearing of his crosse, did as admirably well, as was possible for any man to do. And that speech uttered, Iob 1.21. The Lord hath given and the Lord hath taken away, bles­sed be the Name of the Lord, is as full as could be expressed. Many a one would have insisted on the one part, the Lord hath taken, and we should have heard quickly what God had taken: and he would have numbred his oxen, and asses, and sheep, and camels, and children, and health, and have aggravated all, and many a bitter complaint would have been that never man was so spoiled, so ruined, so dealt withall as he: Job, he onely saith the Lord hath taken, and acknowledgeth God in his crosses. Besides whereas nature would have thought of nothing but losses, and we can hardly speak of any thing else, Job doth ac­knowledge God in his former gifts, the Lord gave: and not onely so, but he blesseth God; a rare thing for a man so punish­ed, so suddenly bereaved of all that was dear to him in this world: formerly so great, and rich; and suddenly so poore, and in his povertie, to blesse God. And to speak of his crosses, with such a calme spirit, it is such a measure of patience, as no meer man ever attained unto more. And what an honour is it, that Job made by the malice of Satan, proverbially poore (we say as poore as Job) yet he is made a pattern of patience; and we have the other proverb, As patient as Job: So that when he was most poore in estate, he was rich in grace. And the holy Ghost saith of him, in all this he sinned not, nor charged God foolishly: this was in the beginning. And for the latter end, upon the sight of God, he humbled himself in dust and ashes; and God [Page 17] highly commends him again:Iob. 40.4, 5. and restores him as full an estate as he had before; so that first, and last, Job is highly to be ho­noured. But we find that in the middle space, Job uttered di­vers speeches which shew some distemper, and disturbance of spirit. As Chap. 3.1. He cursed the day of his birth, and he wished that he had gone from the wombe to the grave: and complains that life is given to him that is in misery.

He also expostulates the matter with God, Am I a whale? Iob 7.12. or a sea that thou settest a watch over me? Thou turnest thy self cruelly against me: and art enemy to me with the strength of thine hand. Iob 30 21. He makes me a mark for his arrow, Iob 6.4. and the arrows of the Almightie are within me, and the venome thereof doth drink up my spirit: and the terrors of God do fight against me.

Touching these and the like passages that we meet with, we may give a threefold answer.

1 Jobs case was a peculiar one, and his sorrow was greater then any mans that ever we read of, (Christs onely excepted) for never man lost more then he did; and for manner none like him. It was very sudden, nothing left him but what might the more vex him, one servant escapes in all the slaughters: onely to tell him, lest if it had not been known, he had not been grieved enough. His wife, she disdains and scorns him, his friends they speak very much against him, and their spirits were bent against him, as appears by the first words they utter. Eliphaz he begins, Job 4.3.4. Thou hast instructed many, and thy words have upholden him that was falling: but now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest, it toucheth thee and thou art troubled: is this thy fear, thy confidence, the uprightnesse of thy wayes, and thy hope? In stead of cordials, to revive his spirit, they censure and vex him more. Bildad, he is of the same strain, Iob 8.4. and instead of comforting him, upon the death of his children, tells him they were taken away for their iniquitie. And Zophar, Job 11.2, 3. he is more harsh and rugged in his language: and lets him know peremptorily, that he being a man of much talke, must not be justified, and his lies should not make them hold their peace.

These were the onely friends that Job had, and they were miserable comforters; so that put all together, God makes his anger to fall upon Job: and he had terrible apprehensions of his indignation, Job 6.4. The devill he assaults him in his estate, [Page 18] and he is undone: his wife, and friends, they oppose, and wound him more,Psal. 69 20. then if the same speeches had been from enemies or strangers; so that poore distressed Job stands alone, and none pities him; and had he but health of bodie, or if it were a disease that took away the spirit, that he might not go so farre in his cogitations, nor think so much of his misery, it were some­thing: but in the extremitie of his grief, he might say, Lam. 1.12. Have ye no regard, all ye that passe by? see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me, in the day of his fierce wrath. And if any object, that those in the captivitie, had greater sorrows then Job: for those words were spoken of them, and not him, and therefore they were true onely of them. I answer, that they were spoken of the whole nation of the Jews, and it is very true, that no king­dom, or people, were more punished then they: for as God blessed them more, so when they sinned, he punished them more then any nation under heaven. Dan. 6.12. under the whole heaven hath not been the like as hath been brought upon Jerusalem. And if any reply, that the King of Judah being taken captive: he left more then Job, and therefore his sorrow was greater. I answer again, that Job in those times, must needs be suppo­sed to be as a King, for he was the greatest man of the East; but in the captivitie, the King had some to pitie him, some to at­tend him, he had not such temptations in his soul; not such sores on his bodie: there was some societie, somewhat to as­swage his grief; and he pulled that sorrow upon himself, by re­belling against the King of Babylon, he was foretold and might have been armed: nay by subjection, he might have procured a quiet condition. So that we may conclude, Jobs sorrow, to be the greatest of any mans that ever lived. And then it is no wonder,Christ the Son of God, his sorrow must alwayes be ex­cepted. if it work very much upon him; and if you compare the carriage of another man with Iobs, unlesse you find his af­fliction to be as great, you speak not to the purpose. And when you read, that Jonah was angrie to the death, and Ieremiah to curse the day of his birth: these not having neer the like cause, you cannot but wonder,Ier. 20.14, 15, 16, 17, 18. that Iob uttered no more passion then he did.

2 And secondly, every expression of our grief is not impa­tience, unlesse it be more then the affliction amounts unto. To [Page 19] speak much of small crosses, is not fit: but Iob had more then he could utter, and nothing but sorrow, could have made him so pathetically, and eloquently to utter, and set out his own case; to say that God made him a mark for his arrow, was true, and was not impatiencie: unlesse he should charge God of in­justice, if he had murmured against God as the Jews in the wildernesse; this had been blame worthy.

3 But thirdly, we cannot clear Iob altogether of being im­patient: for humane frailtie breaks out, and he having some­what more boldly pleaded, and expostulated with God,Job 40.4. doth in the conclusion humble himself before him. And it is no wonder, if patience in Iob be foyled sometimes, by the opposite corruption. Faith in David, and Abraham, was sometimes ma­stered by unbelief: and so was patience in Iob: but grace in the Saints will at length prevail, and be conquerour. And it is ap­parent, that Iob did set his heart to bear his sorrows, and his frailties God did wink at.

And to draw towards a Conclusion of this second Meditati­on.

Consider; That in this Instance of Job, all objections that can be framed, against the point in hand, may be answered.

As, some will object: If my sorrowes were not so very great, I could beare them: But mine are extraordinary, and who can be able, to undergoe such a burthen as I am un­der?

Againe, others object against that particular trouble, which is upon them. If it were immediately from God, I could take it patiently: But I am wronged with unreasona­ble men; It were better to fall into the hands of God, then to be at the will of malicious men.

Another comes in with a Complaint, that it is in his body, and particularly instanceth in long and tedious sicknesses; of this, or that kind: And because he wants health, he cannot but droop, and bee dejected.

And a fourth makes his Moane; that it is in his soul, and he hath often prayed unto God, and his desires (which are good and religious) are not satisfied: And how then can he rest contented? And if way were given to all Complaints, there would be no end.

But in a word to answer all:

Job had not one, but all these upon him at once: He was afflicted in his soule, in his body, in his goods, in his Chil­dren, in his Wife, in his friends: He was tryed by God, by men, by Sathan; and the greater the Crosse is, the greater honour hath thy Patience. For Faith most shines in beleeving things that seeme incredible. And Hope, in expecting things improbable: so Patience in bearing Crosses, that appeare in­tolerable. And if thou feare thou canst not be able to beare, then consider; that if thy heart be willing, God will take no­tice of that which is good in thee; and not charge thee with thy failings. For you shall find, Job not challenged for Im­patience, but contrarily hee is crowned, and chronicled, and many times mentioned in Scripture, for an example of Patience, both in the old and new Testament: You heare of Job, and God boasts as it were of Job, and it is evident, that what we do, or suffer for God: he will make a faire, and fa­vourable construction of it, and not upbraid us with our fay­lings.

Medita∣tion. 3 A third Meditation mooving unto Patience, is taken from the common state, which every one is in: And there is not a Child of Adam, but is borne to sorrow, and calamitie. And if all have their Crosses, why should any repine, and murmure? Iob 5.7. Man is borne to trouble, as the sparkes to fly upward. As thou art a man, thou must be content to beare what is com­mon to man: As thou art a sinfull man, thou hast brought troubles on thy self, and thou hast cause to beare the wrath of the Lord, for thou hast sinned against him. Micha. 7. As thou art a good man, thou hast peculiar troubles, and thou must shew thy goodnesse in bearing thy crosses; so that in what relation soever thou art, there is cause of patience. And here let us rea­son the case, why art thou discontented, and troubled above the rest? why may not all men as well as thou complain? It is as if a great companie of travellers should in their journey meet with foule way, and weather, and all being wet and wearie, one among the rest should complain, and cry, and keep a stirre, that his clothes were spoiled, and he is wet through, as if he had wrong, that God had not speciall care of him above the [Page 21] rest. It is true, that if this man had more weightie and urgent businesse then others, and was hindred more then ordinarie; or sustained more losse then others; or were singled out alone from others, as Iob was, then there might be more said to move pitie to such a one, but no reason for his impatience: for God is the soveraign Lord of all, and may dispose of every one as he will, and none can justly find fault. Unlesse man did suffer more then he deserves (which he never doth) for his sin might have procured more sorrow then he endures; and if God will spare others, what is that to thee? But if he be spared in one kind, he is exercised in another: and this is one fruit of impatience; to think our own crosses heavier, and other mens lighter then they are.

Medita∣tion. 4 4 Consider, God takes care for his children; and then espe­cially when they are in trouble: Pitie and bowels of mercie are in God, and in an extraordinarie measure, above that which is in the most mercifull man. Now any necessitie in a servant moves our compassion, and we afford that to him, which we do not to a son. If therefore a sonne, a deare sonne were sick,Damus agro­tanti servo quod non da­mus filio sano. if Joseph, or Benjamin were sick, what could Jacob deny them? therefore much more God. And this was a comfort to David in his trouble, Psal. 40 17. I am poore and needie, yet the Lord thinketh on me. And he thinks as friends think of such as are dear to them: Thoughts of peace and not of trouble, to give his ser­vants an end and their hope, Jer. 29.11. But God thinks of evill men, to observe and watch them, and to poure more plagues and judgements on them, for their obstinacie and rebelli­on: to do to them as he did to Pharaoh and his host. In all af­flictions it hath been the extremitie of grief to the servants of God, to be forgotten of God, and in temptation they have sometimetimes thought they have been forgotten. It was the greatest part of Jonah his sorrow, that he apprehended him­self cast out of Gods sight, Jonah 2.4. so did the Church,Isa. 49.14. but her thoughts so judging of her estate are there gently re­proved and refuted, for God can no more forget his children afflicted, then a woman can forget her sucking child, ver. 13.15. so that from hence we see what reason we have to be patient, God thinks of thee, either to deliver thee when the fit time is come; or else to uphold thee while the burthen lies upon thee.

Medita∣tion. 5 God intends thee no evill but good; thine enemies (like Jo­sephs brethren) entend no good but evill: the good that God purposeth,Faelix nec [...]ssi­tas quae ad meltora com­pellit, multi enim qui [...]u se­curitate & prosperitate mundo vivunt instante ad­versitate & periculo ad Deum fugiunt. cannot be hindred, the evill they imagined cannot be effected. Good men are assured, that all their afflictions shall work their good: evill men have no cause so to think; and we must conceive they will work some new good, and therefore it shall be better with them then if they were not in affliction. For which purpose, see Ier. 24.5. Like these good figs so will I acknowledge those that are carried away captive of Iudah, whom I have sent into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. If that affliction which was pulled upon them by their disobedi­ence, and rebellion, in which they suffered not onely losse of their temporall estates; but were deprived of Gods ordinances, and wanted the speciall presence of God, which was annexed to the Temple, and wanted opportunitie to offer sacrifice to God, and lived a long time among Idolaters: if that affliction be for their good (which is there affirmed to be) then it is easie to conclude that all things work together for good to them that love God. Rom. 8.28. So that the case stands with every good man, as with one that is sick; and if he have a Physitian, upon whose skill and fidelitie he depends, for what is needfull to be taken for his recoverie, there needs no arguments to perswade him to be patient: for he readily submits to his directions. So God sends crosses, which are his physick to purge out those lusts, and corruptions which like ill humours, abound in a peaceable and plentifull estate; and we have reason to be patient, because he is faithfull, and carefull for our good, and he doth more then any man can do, he gives the physick himself, he prepares the ingredients, he stands by, and sees the working; that it lie not as dead drugges in the bodie, but he orders, that it work in a fit proportion: neither too much, nor too little, it shall not be as Satan will, nor yet as we will, but as God will, our ene­mies would lay too much upon us, and we (if it were in our power) would have too little; therefore God hath wisely order­ed our afflictions, which is best of all, and therefore let us be patient. But let no evill man, that is not reconciled to God, take this to himself; for you read in the same Chapter of the same calamitie, that it was sent for the hurt of the obstinate Jews, Jer. 24.9. which are there compared to the evill figs. From [Page 23] both these grounds the Christian may speak confidently to his adversaries, as once Socrates to Anytus and Melitus: Plut de tranq. ani. Interficere me possunt, nocere mihi non possunt. They may kill me but cannot hurt me; they may take away my head, but not my crown; my life, but not my hope.

Medita∣tion. 6 Another ground of patience is taken from the consideration of the time to come, when thou art in any affliction, be assu­red that it shall be better then now it is; let thy future hopes work thy heart to patience. It shall be better, not onely at thy death, and the day of judgement,Rom. 15 4. which yet may be sufficient to revive thy heart, but even in this life,Iam. 5.8. for we have promise enough to assure, that the rod of the wicked shall not alway rest on the lot of the righteous: and that the darkest night shall have a faire morning. And therefore in all our tribulations, when friends come to visit us, if the heart be in a right temper, when they ask how we do, we may answer, Well for the present, and it will be better hereafter: and that is the word and motto of a patient man. And it is a sentence worthy to be written in letters of gold, which whosoever can speak it and assent to it, is a happie man, and shall never be hurt by any crosses that befall him. We may upon this ground challenge the stoutest and strongest spirit, as once Iehu did the rulers of Samaria, to chuse the best of Ahabs sons, and to bring out their chariots and horses, and come out against him, 2. King. 10. so let the wisest and most learned man, the bravest spirit, be asked the question in his sicknesse, or in his trouble, when the world frowns upon him, whether from any true ground or experience, he is able to say that which every poore Christian that is furnished with patience can utter, viz. that it is well for the present, and shall be better hereafter. No every one that hath not interest in God, nor the power of grace in his heart, doth or may know, that it is ill for the pre­sent, and will be worse hereafter. And that this is a strong mo­tive to patience, consider it in a familiar instance: suppose a poore man, readie to be turned out of his cottage, and left to the wide world, imagine some Noble-man his friend, under­take and presently begin to build him not onely a better house, but a strong stately Castle; and because it requires time to finish it, if he should fret and be impatient, he deserves to be reproved [Page 24] and cast off: Just so it is with the Church, there were never so great blessings preparing, as when great afflictions were laid upon Gods people. Israel groaning under the Egyptian bon­dage, is but in a way of preparation, to go out with jewels, and gold, and great riches. And the like was made good in Isaiahs prophesie, Isa. 54.11. O thou afflicted and tossed with tempest, that hast no comfort, behold I will lay thy stones with the Carbuncle, and lay thy foundation with Saphires, I will make thy windows of Agates, and thy gates shining stones, and thy borders of pleasant stones. The Church was then afflicted, and like a poore man in a cold cot­tage; and if they could have patience till God had done that which he was about, he would make their condition better. Seeing then that though in affliction the Church be as a woman forsaken, Isa. 54.6. yet seeing she shall be as a royall diademe in the hand of her God, she hath great reason to be patient, Isa. 62.3.

And in the present troubles of our Land, when it is deman­ded of us, how things go in the Kingdom? We may answer: It is well for the present; and will be better hereafter. We do not meane it is simplie well, but in comparison of what was heretofore: The bondage we were in was farre greater, and it was a Spirituall servitude that did inslave the soules of men. And if we consider the libertie of the Gospel now more fully injoyed then in former times: And do esteem that above our Wealth; we shall be easilie perswaded to thinke it better then heretofore: I am sure, we, the Preachers of the Gospell have cause so to thinke. And when they object their great Losses, their Sheepe, and Oxen are driven away by Hundreds: we grant they do exceedingly try their Patience. But if they please to remember, that the like, nay greater numbers of men, were monethlie fetcht into the Ecclesiasticall Courts, and with troublesome Journeys, tedious Attendance, and un­just vexatious suites: spent more money then these Losses a­mount unto, they may be brought to beleeve, it is now bet­ter then heretofore: And we have cause to render thankes to God, and You his worthie Instruments, for this freedome.

Such as have been whipt with their Scourges, can easily as­sent to this which wee affirme: And our fore-fathers did re­joyce in the Hope of that we do in part enjoy, and would have parted with great summs of Money for the enjoyment there­of. [Page 25] It was with some in former times, as with Josephus the Iew, who was perswaded that Vespatian the Emperour should set him free out of Prison: when yet there was no great pro­bability that he should obtaine the Empire: being a man in the Armie, not so well knowne, or so much honoured, as (if opportunity were offered) to be able to carry it: but so it fell out that he obtained his desire. And divers had a private per­swasion that this Parliament should set them free, and it hath prooved answerable to their desire: And the like hope, they conceive for the future: that Your zeale will earnestly endea­vour to finish, and perfect the worke which God hath called You unto: And they daylie pray, that God would crowne Your labours with happie successe.

Medita∣tion. 7 The seventh consideration, let the Church consider what she looseth, and how farre she suffers, viz. the losse of some things that may be spared, and which God will make up in some thing else as good. If theeves come and take away some earthen pots, or pewter, and brasse, and such like things, and yet carrie away none of your gold and silver, no man would cry out that he were undone; because though he loose some of his goods, yet his treasure remains. Heathens accounted their riches to lie in the vertues of the mind, which made the Phylo­sopher in the taking of the Citie, when his house was ransackt among the rest, and he lost all that was found therein; yet he comes out mertily among them that lamented their losses,Non est tuum quod fortuna facit tuum. Vincent. spec. moral. Ʋbi fortuna reliqua deprae­datur omnia at (que) adimit habemus ali­quid in nobis me ipsis tale quod ferre aut agere invitis non possit achi­vus. Pl [...]t. de tranquil. ani. and said he had lost nothing. And he gave this for a reason, those things are not mine to be numbred among my goods, which are casuall and subject to fortune; and if a Heathen, much more a Christian man may rejoyce, because his faith and hope of heaven cannot be taken away: his riches lie in Christ, his trea­sure is laid up in heaven, and no malice can reach that. Nay troubles further our faith and interest in Christ, for it befalls them that are going to heavenward, as it happens to children, who being sent of an arrand, if they meet with nuts, or flowers by the way, they loyter, and make no haste homeward, but if any thing fright them, then they run as fast as may be. So men in peaceable and quiet conditions, they make not such haste to heaven-ward, but if adversity or persecution befall [Page 26] them, then they mend their pace, and come and relate all to God their heavenly Father; and in this or somewhat else he will make up their losse, for so he hath promised, Zach. 10.6. I will have mercy upon the house of Iudah and Ioseph, and they shall be as though I had not cast them off, and I will hear them. It is pecu­liar to men that fear God, to be so in affliction as if they were not afflicted; both because they are not overcome, or forsaken in their trouble. 2. Cor. 4.8, 9. And also to make up their losses in the world, God shews himself more present with them at that time, which makes them joyfull; and it is no more, then if a man were in a fair dyning roome, with much companie, and there is some speciall friend, whom he loves dearly, that calls him aside, to speak in private of businesse that neerly con­cerns him: and though he go into a worse roome yet he is well enough pleased. So God cals men out of much companie of friends, out of their houses and estates, and if they loose that way, yet if he will speak with them, and conferre with them about their peace, and comfort, and salvation in another world; this will make them sing in prison, and sing in the dust, and they will be as if they had not been cast off; and when God restores them the blessings again, they are fitter to use them. So that consider what thou loosest, and then withall consider what the Churches enemies shall suffer, and that will make thee pa­tient: they shall endure not any light afflictions, it will fall heavie upon them; they shall not be bereaved of some lesser benefits, which they can spare: but God will utterly undo them. So he threatens, Zeph. 3.19. in which place the Lord comforts his people, and promiseth to gather them that were sor­rowfull for the solemne assemblies. ver. 18. And to save her that halt­ed, and gather them that were driven out, and to get them praise, in every land where they had been put to shame. And for their ene­mies, this comes in, and is inserted, I will undo all that afflict thee. He will not onely impoverish them, or weaken their power; and in part pull them down that were so proud and loftie, but he will undo them: utterly ruine them, that they shall never be able to recover their strength and glory again; they shall never be able to molest his people again. And because a man may be undone in this world, and be brought down and yet not mise­rable: for God may pitie him, and comfort him, therefore evill [Page 27] men shall be hated of God, and not onely punished openly be­fore men; but a secret curse and plague shall consume them, and that in a fearfull manner, as you have it in Zach. 14.12. This shall be the plague of all them that fought against Ierusalem, the Lord will smite them that their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes; and their tongue shall consume away in their much.

If the proud insolent adversaries of Religion would think of it, it would make them more mild and moderate: as the sto­rie wrought upon a rough natured King, so it might much more on meaner persons: Sesostris King of AEgypt, did ride in a golden chariot drawn by foure Kings which he had overcome and ta­ken prisoners, one of them as he was drawing in the chariot, often look­ed back, the King of Egypt asked him the reason why he looked back; He answered that he looked on the wheel, how quickly that part is be­low and at the bottome, which before was at the top, Intuens inquit Rotae volubi­litatem in qua citò ca quae summa suerant fiunt una; co­gito de nostra fortuna. which resembles our condition: we were Kings that ruled men, and now we are forced to draw like horses: which did so daunt the pride of Sesostris, thinking it might be his owne case, that he freed them from that servile work. If our Egyptian task-masters had been as wise as this Egypti­an Tyrant, they would (upon the like hints given them) have desisted from their crueltie, before they were enforced: but God reserved them for their deserved punishment.

Medita∣tion. 8 The eight Meditation, No trouble shall be too much, or too long; and if we were perswaded of this, it were no great mat­ter to be patient. That we may see the truth of it consider, that onely is too much:

1 That exceeds our desert, men that are punished more then their faults come too, that's injurious, and they have cause to complain: but in this respect, who can open his mouth to God? but rather let him acknowledge as it is, Ezra 9.13. Thou hast punished us lesse then our iniquities deserve, and this may stop the mouth of impatience, that it clamour not against God.

2 It shall not be too much in regard of our strength, for though God lay burthens on us, yet not beyond our strength, for it would not suit to his own ends; that burden which is above our strength is impossible to be born, that which requires [Page 28] a mans full strength, is very difficult, and will lie heavie, and that which is under our power is easie: now God will so pro­portion all our afflictions, that they shall not break our backs, and therefore he will correct us in measure, Isa. 27.7. And let us see why men correct servants,Isa▪ 64 9.12. or children, or punish enemies above measure, and we shall find that no such thing can fall up­on God.

1 Sometimes passion so farre prevails, that men exceed in their corrections, and go so farre that their furie brings lame­nesse, and they have cause to repent all their dayes of the hurt they have done to others. And it is given as a direction to men to do nothing in anger, Plut. de ira cohibenda. because they are sure to offend: say to thy ser­vant, If I were not angrie I would correct thee.

But God by reason of the simplicitie of his essence, and pu­ritie of his nature,Isa. 27.4. cannot be troubled with passions: And furie is not in me, saith the Lord: and therefore he is never angry with­out a cause, or doth his anger exceed the offence; and therefore the punishment is never excessive.

2 Ignorance of the fault not judging aright, or self love ag­gravating the offence done to our selves, makes men unreaso­nable in their punishments: but none of these fall upon God, and therefore he cannot erre, in any of his actions.

Obiect. But hath not God afflicted his servants exceedingly, even more then they could undergo, passing their strength and abilitie to bear?1 Cor. 1.8. Pauls trouble in Asia was above his strength, and he was pressed out of measure.

Ans. To which I answer, that he met with unreasonable men who knew no measure, and his afflictions were above his strength, as he was a man considered by himself; but God did more then ordinarily assist him, and he was able to do all things through Christ that strengthened him, Phil. 4.13. And in the words before he speaks of being abased, and being in want: so that by his own strength he could not, but by a derived power from God, he could bear his crosses. And God hath vouchsa­fed to a Christian man, more strength then a naturall man, and one can do more then another. And to some that are religious, he gives not so much strength as to others: but when they are designed to extraordinarie labours, and also to suffer more then ordinarie, then God encreaseth their power. Isa. 40.29. [Page 29] 31. He giveth strength unto him that fainteth, and unto him that hath none, he encreaseth might; they that wait upon the Lord shall re­new their strength: they shall run and not be wearie, they shall walke and not be faint. It is much to walk and to run the race of Gods commands, it is more to be able to do that, and carrie a heavie burthen; and most of all, to do both the former, and not be faint and wearie; and though we can do none of these of our selves, yet God hath engaged himself to enable us to all. So that it is all one, whether our burden be lighter, or our pati­ence stronger; and so long as God proportions our calamities, to our strength, we may say he afflicts not too much.

Neither will he afflict too long, we are apt to cry, how long? and a little time seems long: but God that intends our good, must take a time answerable to his own intentions. Great cor­ruptions, and dangerous diseases, that have long setled upon us are not suddenly removed; and though the Physitian finds the disease weakned, and wasted, yet he will not suffer his Pa­tient to return to his former diet, and imployment; but will still keep him under his directions, to confirm his health, till the humours be setled, and his strength fully recovered. And so doth God by his servants, which makes him to take a longer time for the work; but if nothing else hinder, ordinarily the time of sorrow and affliction is but short: sometimes called a day, the evill day, sometimes a peece of a day, a night,Ephes. 6.13. for in the morning comes ioy.

Nay but a peece of a night, as Isa. 17.14. At eventyde trou­ble, and before the morning he is not: sometimes but a moment, Isa. 54.8. it is there said to be a little while, a moment, and a little season; For a moment in mine anger, I hid my face from thee: and ve. 7. it is called a small moment. And if it be demanded, how this can be true, seeing the time of affliction is many times much longer? I answer.

1. In all the time there is much intermission, and many calm and quiet times, even during the calamitie: partly by ease from the pain and grief that oppresseth, and partly because of the joy and sweet communion with God, so that though the crosse be not removed, but lies many moneths, and yeers, as an Ague that holds a man very long: yet compare the well dayes with the dayes on which he hath his fits, and subduct all that [Page 30] time in which he sleeps, and eats, and is at quiet, there remains but a little behind: And so is the case with Gods people in af­fliction, whereby it appears to be but a little time, a moment.

And every one may in their own experience, assent to this truth, when the affliction is past: for when we look back, and see what good comes by it, how lusts were purged, or else pre­vented; graces cherished and encreased, blessings (which were for a time taken away) being restored again are thereby sweetned, when we look back we can easily say the affliction was not too long, and it was but want of patience that made us complain.

But if we consider eternitie in which we shall reap the fruit of our sufferings, we may easily conclude, it is not too long. Shall God vouchsafe eternitie of perfect joy which shall not be mixed with the least sorrow, and shall we think much to en­dure for his sake a little sorrow, which is accompanied and sweetned with unspeakable joy? God forbid. And therefore if thou find thy impatient heart to murmure at afflictions, or at delayes, cry down all such thoughts, and shame thy self for entertaining them.

And that we may see the peculiar comforts of Gods people the more clearly, let us consider what can be said of evill men, and it is true also of them, that their sorrow shall neither be too much, nor too long, but it is in a different sence, onely in re­gard of their desert; for God will do them no wrong to lay more in measure or continuance then they have deserved. But he hath no regard to proportion their calamities to their strength and abilitie, nor doth he intend their good, but the glory of his justice; and therefore to them there are not the same grounds of patience; and if you should visit one, if he were known to be hated of God, you could hardly bid him be patient and speak good sence. For what good could ye oppose against the evill he endures, for he neither in a good cause, nor in a good manner, doth suffer what is befallen him; nor can he look for comfort, nor expect an end, nor can ye speak to him, as men use to do to friends when they are sick, and bid him be of good cheare, and that there is hope that he shall shortly come out of trouble, and though it be sharp, yet it is like it will be short; none of these are true if spoken to an evill man. [Page 31] For the sorrows of this world, are but as the leaves in compa­rison of the trees, that will fall upon him hereafter, and the great aggravation of his trouble is that God is his enemie, and will shew him no favour,It is a cutting speech, and f [...]r worse then their captivity.Jer. 16.13. to some of the Jews that went into captivitie God shewed much favour, but others had none at all. Let me go into the darkest dungeon, nay into hell it self if God promise to shew me favour, rather then be sent to the easiest prison, or fall into the hands of the mildest keeper without his favour. Joseph found favour in prison, so did Da­niel in the Lyons den, and the three young men in the fierie fornace, and it was easie to perswade them all to be patient, for God did not onely honour them, but assist them in a speciall manner; that they received much good by their afflictions, and came out with much honour, and God himself was glori­ously made known to many, by the manifestation of his mer­cie to them. But evill men find no favour at all, if they be af­flicted it is in anger; if the judgement be removed, it is not in mercie and favour to them, and in what condition soever they are in, they have no ground of contentment and pati­ence.

But while I am discoursing of patience, lest by being too long I put you out of patience, therefore I will now turn my self to application.

Ʋse 1 For instruction, let me inform and advise you to take notice of your want, you need patience, and it may be your wisdom to endeavour the supply of your want, else you cannot wait upon God in the way of his judgements. He that hath fewest troubles, and the mildest nature, yet hath need of patience; we are soon weary of the lightest burdens, and soon moved with the least injuries: and being once out of tune, we are hardly re­duced to a quiet temper. And though good natures are not so soon moved, nor doth their anger so soon turn to ranker and malice against an adversarie, yet nature having no supernatu­rall goodnesse in it, patience must be a work of grace or else we shall not bear much. It hath been questioned by some,Aqui. 22. q. 136. whe­ther a man can have patience sive auxilio gratiae, but Christians that are instructed out of the Scriptures, have learned that it is a fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5.22.

That we may see this more fully, that patience which is [Page 32] naturall ariseth from the constitution and well tempered hu­mours in the bodie,Differences be­tween naturall patience and the grace of patience. whereby the heat not abounding over much, a man is not proan to choller and passion, but hath a command over himself, and useth his reason in ordering of himself under his crosses, and having a stout and hardie spirit, bears what he cannot decline. But the grace of patience, is from God as well as faith, and requires the power of God to frame the heart to bear adversitie; and naturall meeknesse is not suf­ficient to enable him to suffer in a fit manner; yet all naturall abilities may afford matter of thanksgiving, and that in a two fold respect.

1. Though they breed not, nor beget grace, yet where a good disposition is, the soul is a plain smooth board, whereon a Painter may more easily draw a picture: and a harsh crabbed nature, is as a board full of knots, and rugged, whereon the Ar­tificer cannot so well shew his workmanship; and though the power of God will shew it self wheresoever he intends to make a vessel of mercie, yet it is with more ado, and will cost a man the more sorrow.

2. Good dispositions sanctified become more usefull, and better instruments then ordinarie, in that they are more plea­sing, and amiable to others, and so do win more respect to Re­ligion, and become more gracefull, and gain more credit to the Gospel; whereas froward, and hastie, and passionate per­sons, are distastfull to others, and many times they are shunned even for their passions, men being too apt to look upon the ble­mishes of others, rather then their graces.

2. That patience which is naturall will bear some evils, but not all that God laies upon him; it may be he can converse qui­etly and calmly with friends, with wife and children, and in case he be provoked he can bear a great deal, and if any diffe­rence be, he will desire and embrace reconciliation; but disgrace and injuries for Religion he cannot endure, and greater trou­bles he will decline, by yeelding to evill men in evill and unlaw­full things, and his good nature will not suffer him to contend no not for the faith, but that patience which is supernaturall, resolves to bear not one, but all crosses, and abides firm and constant in his Religion unto the death, and chiefly desires to be armed, to undergo those trials that fall upon him for Reli­gion.

3 Naturall Patience is not voluntary, but forced in such things as come from God, as Sicknesse, and Losses, he therefore suffers because there is no helpe; but a Religious man doth imbrace, and willingly undergo his burthen, and saith in a secret dispute, Jer. 10.19. Woe is me for my hurt, my wound is greivous; but I said it is my greife, and I must beare it. Plaga quae mihi debetur, as some translate it: It is greivous, but I must beare it. He concludes out of former reasonings; that he must beare it: God layes a necessitie upon him, and he layes a necessitie upon himself: his heart goes along with God, and he saith not onely, I must bear it, but I will beare it: Mich. 7.9. and both cleares God, and condemnes himself, saying; I will beare the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned against him.

1 A Naturall man is not voluntary; unlesse it be first,Multa in labo­ribus & dolo­ribus sustinent bomines prop­ter ca quae vi­tiosè diligunt. August. de pa­tien. in sin­full courses, and then his inordinate lusts put him upon sor­rowes, and disgraces, and troubles which he willingly un­dergoes: many men have suffered so much trouble for their lusts, which had it beene for Religion, they had been Mar­tyrs.

2 Naturall Patience is sometimes voluntary, in reference to some Temporall good, which a man lookes after: As being wounded in the legge; when it Gangrenes, he may patiently endure the cutting of it off, to save his life: And being sicke, a Naturall man may take bitter Pills to recover his health and the earnest desire he hath to live, may make him Patient. But Religion teacheth us willingly to undergoe Calamities, and to take up our Crosses upon better grounds, and for more excellent ends, then the gaining of a Temporall good. To omitt the grounds which have been handled before, I will a little insist:

First; In the great Evill which he shuns by suffering afflicti­ons, he apprehends Gods displeasure the terrours of an ac­cusing Conscience, and the torments of Hell: If he to shunne afflictions should yeeld to do any Evill, or should betray the Truth, therefore to make himself the more willing, he sets before his eyes the fearefull case of Judas betraying his Master, and of Francis Spira, that to hold his Preferments, sinned a­gainst the knowne Truth in his recantation, and never had [Page 34] good day all his life; and to shun these great Evils, he willing­ly suffers lesse: he thinkes a Prison is not so bad as Hell, the threatnings of men, nothing to the frownes of an angry God: the losse of all his dignities on earth not to be compared to the losse of heaven, and being put to it, that he must suffer the losse of one, he willingly chuseth to part with the lesse, Ferre minora volo ne graviora feram. So that if ye consider what he shuns, and what he hopes to gain, it is no wonder if he be not onely patient,Nemo nisi pro eo quod dele­ctat sponre sus­cipit quo [...]i cru­ciat. Biel. ex Augustino. but joyfull in tribulation. This made Martyrs to run to the stake and embrace the flames, and would not accept de­liverance; and if men did well consider, they would neither condemne them that are in trouble, nor say as Peter to Christ, Pitie thy self: and yeeld rather then run such a hazard.

4. The patience of a naturall man never brings true com­fort to his soul, he never tastes of those joyes which God af­fords to them that suffer in a good cause. Paul and Silas are as merrie in prison as ever they were; and John in Patmos knows more ravishing joy then those that lived in the Emperours Pa­lace; but such as suffer either for their offences, unlesse their patience did spring from a true root, it is impossible the fruit should be good. Faith and patience are coupled together, Hebr. 6.12. and therefore comfort and patience are joyned together, Rom. 15.4. That we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. And then follows, the God of patience and conso­lation which concludes the point in hand, that no man, not the mildest man, hath by nature the grace of patience: God is the author of it as well as any other grace, and therefore that every one should endeavour after it, in the use of the same means by which he looks for every grace.

Ʋse 2 The second Use is a reproof to all impatient persons. And here we that reprove others, have need first to reprove our selves. It was a modest expression of Tertullian, who being to write of this subject, intimates that he was ashamed to speak, Ne dicta factis erubescant, lest his actions should contradict his speeches; and he be ashamed of his sayings. Let us all be hum­bled for our intemperate language, our unseemly gestures, our unfit carriage: we fall short of that quiet, silent temper of soul before mentioned; our spirits are full of bitternesse, our mouths are full of complaints: what a shame is it to sea Christian like [Page 35] Hercules furens? or like Solomons fool. And if men do not break out so inordinately, yet it is too common to hear some with David crying out, Oh my sun Absolon, 2 Sam. 18.33. would God I had died for the [...] O [...] Absolon my sonne. Or with Jonah, Oh my gourd, Iona 4.8. I am not able to endure this heat, seeing my gourd it taken away, take away my life also. Oh these daughters in law, saith Rebecca, Gen. 26.35. Cap. 27.46. I am weari [...] of my life because of them. Others in our dayes say these are pitifull times; trading is decayed, the treasure of the King­dom is exhausted, all things are out of frame. In these and the like expressions, where corruption appears, I am now to speak to it by way of reproof.

The causes of Impatience are,

1 1. The crosse lies in somewhat that is too dear unto us,Foure causes of impatience. and self-love may be the cause of this impatience; Rachel mourns and will not be comforted for her children: Jacob is impatient of Benja­mins going out of his sight; and the reason is, he loved him more then was meet. An when once we are lost in our affections to any thing, the crosse proves heavie, and we pull it upon our selves. It is just with God to punish us in that thing we idolize. And if we cannot moderate our affections, we pull a double evill upon our selves. 1. To be bereaved of that which is dear unto us. 2. We shall not be able to bear the losse of it. If we joy too much in any thing, when we loose it we shall mourn too much: and then in stead of pitie from friends, we should have a reproof. Impatience discovers men, for you shall find that in some things they can bear it better then in others, and if they be most tachie, and peevish, when crossed in matter of profit or pleasure, or name and reputation: a Heathen conclu­ded, that then they are covetous, or ambitious, or luxurious. An impatient man is guiltie of a double fault, one past in his irre­gular affections, an other present in his ill carriage to God, or man, in the losse of that which is taken from him.

2. Anoth [...]r cause of Impatience is ignorance of God, when we see God in a crosse we submit; but if not, we are perverse. We see a great deal of difference in David towards Shimei, and Nabal, both of them give him ill language, and Shimei was worse then the other, yet he is more patient towards him then Nabal, and the reason is, he saw God more in his reproachfull termes then the other: God hath bidden him curse, saith he, and [Page 36] therefore he will bear it. If a man meet the King, and know him not, he will not give him due reverence: And if we ac­knowledge not God in our crosses, no wonder if we be impa­tient. It is in this case, as with the owners of the Asses colt, if you say the Lord hath need of him, they will let him go, saith our Savi­our: so when we part with our estates, if the Lord have need of them, let them go. Let us offer as Araunah did, our barnes, and all that is on the barn-floore, our oxen, or any thing we have: but unlesse we know it is the Lord that requires them, we shall hardly submit, and scarce then, unlesse nature be sub­dued by a higher and more powerfull principle.

3. A third cause of impatience, is the distemper of the con­stitution of the bodie, for it comes from passion, and that is from the passive principle in man, where choller abounds, there the soul works distemperedly: for all actions taste, and have a ta [...]g of the humour that is predominant; and though passions and passionate expressions are to be ascribed to the mind, yet all actions elicited, and acted by the bodie, partake of the na­turall temper: It is inbred, and setled, and hardly overcome, and so it is both a sin, and a great affliction to them that are sensible of it. Passions are the feet of the soul, they are in the sensitive appetite, and when they grow inordinate, they are the diseases of the mind, the depravers of reason, the disturbers of the understanding, whereby wise men speak nothing, do nothing, like themselves. It is a weaknesse to have passions, a greater weaknesse to be conquered by them. Therefore when the people gave too much to the Apostles, to take down that opinion,Act. 14.15. they alledge they were men subiect to like passions as them­selves: intimating that it is a weaknesse, and belowe a wise man to have passions in him. And for conclusion, consider that when we are commanded,Luk. 21.19. to possesse our souls in patience, it ap­pears that by passion, and impatience, we are dispossessed of our souls, of our understanding, of our joy, and comfort, and peace, for that time that passion bears sway. A patient man doth quietly injoy himself, his comforts, his friends: but if pas­sion possesse thy impatient soul, it will play the tyrant, and turn thee out of all:Mark 5.2, 3. thou art like him that was possessed by an evill spirit; and we find t [...]at he did tear himself, so impatient persons wound, and cut, and vex themselves: and it is said that [Page 37] none could bind him, ver. 3.4. rage will break out, and will not be restrained. I would kill a man in mine anger, saith Lamech, Gen. 42.28. I will go mourning to my grave, if ought but good befall Ben­jamin by the way, saith Jacob. When men give way, and let the rains go, their passions runne like wilde horses: in which case men are burthensome to themselves and others; he that was possessed of the evill spirit was among the tombes; but these are among the living, and molest and grieve most those that are nearest to them.

4. A fourth cause of Impatience is, the crosse comes sud­denly, and takes us unawares. We break out before we consi­der of it; passion surprizeth a man, as a thief that robs him be­fore he could make any resistance. It were good we did think beforehand of the evils of the day, of the crosse occurrents that may fall out in our callings, and families, and occasions. Collect thy spirits, and consider there may be, and it is like there will be some untowardnesse in servants, some undutiful­nesse in children, some unkindnesse in husband, wife, or friends, arme thy self against all, and be prepared. Think with thy self, God could have matched all good husbands and good wives together, and could have given to all good parents, good chil­dren; and faithfull servants to the masters that fear him; he could have put all sweet dispositions to have laid together, and injoyed a happie neighbourhood: but divine providence hath disposed otherwise to try our patience.

Having gone through the first part of the dutie of waiting upon God: I now come to the second,The Church her hope. which is a cheerfull ex­pectation of good. If we were never so patient in bearing evill, and yet did not keep up our desires and affections, we failed in our waiting; for there ought to be a certain and a cheerfull ex­pectation of such future good things as God hath promised.

1. It must be a future good we hope for, not present, which we do enjoy alreadie; and it must be promised, else we build without a foundation. Presumption roves abroad at large, but hope looks for a promise.Objectum spei. 1 Proximum. 2 Principale. There is a double object for our hope, one is principall, and that is God himself, I hope in God as well as I do beleeve in God: the other is the next object, and that is the promise of God. But because the three divine graces (whereof hope is one) are immediately fixed upon God him­self, [Page 38] therefore we hope in God promising eternall life and all good things in the mean time: hope gives God the honour of his bountie, for it expects the blessing included in the promise, and faith gives him the honour of his truth; for it credits God in all things spoken by him: and love gives him the honour of his goodnesse. Hope is not mercenarie and yet waits for a bles­sing,2 Pet. 1.4. for when God vouchsafeth to give us great and precious promises, it were ill in us not to expect the performance of them.

They that hope and wait, have strong and well ordered de­sires, strong graces, and strong affections: else delay would beat them off, for many of the promises of God beare a long date.

But in hope there is a certain expectation of promised bles­sings, and that bears up the spirit: hope in God can no more be disappointed then faith can be deceived, for hope is the ex­pectation of things beleeved, and faith is the substance or ground of things hoped for:Heb. 11.1. both of them are in God imme­diately, and both of them are fixed upon promises, both begin and end together; and both mutually strengthen one ano­ther.

R [...]m 8.19. the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth. That which is there said of the creature or creation in generall, is true of a godly man, nay it is a lively description of him, for he waits, and he expects, and he is earnest in his expectation. The word signifies such an earnestnesse, [...]. as make a man to thrust out his head and neck to look towards that place, whence he expects a messenger to come with good tydings,Iudg. 5.28. as the mother of Sisera looked out of her window, and said, why do the wheels of his chariot tarrie so long? So he that hopes, looks up to heaven, and looks out to all means that may further his desire, and watch­eth and waiteth till God answer him. Presumption and de­spair are both of them contrary to hope, one hopes inordi­nately, and the other not at all; indeed neither of them hopes, but presumption seems to do it, and looks like the grace, and yet is farre enough from it: both are bad, but the very name of despair seems more horrid. Presumption is more common, and kils ten to the others one: Both of them lead to one end, but not by the same way. Presumption goes about, despair directly [Page 39] to condemnation. Presumption lifts men up as high as heaven,Ascendunt ad [...]oelos per pre­sumptionem descendunt ad inferos per de­sperationem. and then lets them fall as lowe as may be: Despair throws them directly down to hell; in neither of them is the earnest desire or certain expectation of a hoping man. And as before you had the difference between the grace of patience and naturall mild­nesse, so here again take notice of the grace of hope, differing from presumption.

1. True hope is accompanied with humilitie; passion, and presumption, and pride go together: and patience, and hope,Lam. 3.28. and humilitie are united; he will lie lowe, and kisse the dust if there may be hope. God first casts a man down, and then lists him up, and so we come to hope. But a presuming man is first lifted up, and then cast down, and his hope vanisheth.

2. True hope is industrious, but presumption is lazie; a pre­sumptuous man thinks it an easie matter to be religious, and to get to heaven: despair judgeth it impossible,1. Iohn. hope conceives it difficult, and therefore labours with all diligence to obtain what he looks after: he that hath this hope purgeth himself.

3. True hope is a solid quickning grace, that bears up the spirit in evill times: It is a lively hope, 1 Pet. 1.3. such as the world wonders at; for whereas nothing but the possession of good things will satisfie, hope of heaven comforts the heart, and he lives upon it, and esteemes it a large portion,Rom. 5.3.5. He reioyceth under the hope of the glory of God, for he knows he shall not be ashamed of his hope.

But evill men that hope after heaven, though God never made them any promise of it, nor are prepared and qualified by the work of regeneration; this hope is compared to a spi­ders web.

1. She make a web out of her own bowels,Iob 8.14. so this hope is from their own imagination, it is of their own begetting, it is the fruit of their own brain.

2. And though the spiders web be curiously framed, yet it onely catcheth flies: so hypocrites look after ceremonies not substance, and such have the greatest care of the least matters,Hypocritae cu­ram habent maximum de minimis mini­mam de maxi­mis. Vincent. spe. moral. and least regard to the greatest.

3. The spider is full of poyson, and remains in a dustie, nasty hole, though she work never so curiously.

4. She gets to the top of the window as high as she can; and [Page 40] then when she falls, she fals to the bottome, for nothing stayes her.

5. When the besome comes, she and her webbe are swept away, and she is troden under foot: so are all presumptuous hypocrites, in whom there is no work of saving grace, they re­semble the spider in all these particulars. But where a well grounded hope is wrought by the Spirit of God, they are firm, and their expectation shall not be cut off: Prov. 23.18. when the world shall be in a confusion, when earth and heaven shall be shaken, when evill men shall be hopelesse,Ioel 3.16. and helplesse, the Lord will be the hope of his people.

The third & last case pro­pounded and resolved.And seeing there is in every one that waits upon God both a patient bearing of evill, and an expectation of good: if these be severally considered, it may be demanded, which of these two do most try us? whether the present evill that is upon us, or the absence of the good desired? whether the want of the Reformation promised in the ninth verse, or the evils that fall upon us, till God punish and pull down his enemies, mention­ed in the text? whether the want of the presence of Christ, or the incumbrances of this world can best be born?

For answer hereto we will state it, and then determine it: laying down the effects of both, and compare them together, and hereout will arise the conclusion.

1. Evils cause pain of bodie, and sorrow of mind, and they may be so violent, as to disturbe the whole man, in such man­ner as he hath no joy in any thing: but may be wearie of him­self, wearie of living, wearie of the world, and none can tell the weight of such burthens as many do bear, and have been long exercised with in this kind; but you shall find the want of things desired cause fainting of the spirits,Prov. 13.12. It must not be understood 1. Of naturall men.2. Not of good men under hu­miliation.3. Not of such as have not strong affecti­ons The deferring of the hope makes the heart sick. In every sicknesse and pain the heart is not sick, for it comes to the heart but a little before death, and then it is more dangerous; for then men faint, and go away: and this being worse then the other, it is more grievous to bear it. But when we speak of heavenly things, you must not ap­ply it to naturall men, for they have but weak desires that way, nor must we understand it of men under the burthen of their sins, in the time of humiliation, for a wounded spirit who can bear? but if you speak of men that have strong desires to some [Page 41] good, and have some pressures by reason of some evill, or if you understand it of religious men, having passed through the work of humiliation, it is more easie to bear evill, then to wait till the promised good be injoyed; but yet you must suppose affections to abound in them, or else their desires are not so strong. And the Apostle in that text, you have need of patience, Hebr. 10.36. that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: seems plainly to determine the point in hand, that it is more to wait till we receive the promise,Vers. 34 for when he spake of spoyling of goods and those afflictions he said nothing, but when he comes to this, then he tels them they had need of patience, no doubt the other did require patience, but this more then or­dinarie.

2. Evils that fall upon us, or are coming towards us, we flee from them, there is fuga mali, and after good things we make haste; there is prosecutio boni, now from the manner of flying from evill, and following after good, we may determine the question, if a man flee from a Bear, or any dangerous beast, he makes haste, till he be gotten a good distance from him, and then he goes softly. In pursuit of good things we grow more eager and earnest, for at first we do not fully understand and perceive the excellencie of them, till we are well acquainted with the wayes of God, we know not the sweetnesse and worth of his love. Therefore distinguish of the time, at first evils com­ing on us with their full power, do much affect us, and require all the patience we have, but afterwards some troubles become more easie, as the prison to him that suffers in a good cause, becomes as his own house, and doth not so much perplexe. Good things upon more full knowledge, are more earnestly longed for, and the desires encrease; and therefore such as are bent upon heaven, and the assurance of Gods love, and pardon of sins by Christ, they are compared to hungrie and thirstie persons, which must have somewhat to satisfie them, and that presently, or else they die: therefore as at first some evils do much try our patience, so good things at last do more put us to it, and it is harder to wait.

3. Heaven hath more force by an attractive power, to draw our desires, then Hell hath operation by way of terrour; for faith, and love, and other habits of grace are effectuall in their [Page 42] kind, and have objects to elicite their power, as well as any naturall affections. Heaven upon a heavenly mind, hath such an influence, that it draws up desires more strongly then the Sun the moisture of the earth, and when desires are strongly set, and are in their motion, it is a painfull thing to have them stayed. A traveller that minds home, and is drawing home­ward in his journey, and is detained against his will, counts it an uncomfortable condition, and wisheth often that he were in his house,Psal. 42.1, 2. and so did David, My soul panteth after thee, O God: when shall I come and appear before God? The hatred of Saul was a great calamitie, but the desire of Gods presence in the Sanctu­arie and having the Kingdom, did work more upon him. The fear of hell troubles not neer so much, as the want of heaven.

4. For the bearing of evill, there are more grounds of pati­ence then for the enduring of the want of good desired: for the evill that is upon us,Si injuriam de posueris ultor est, si damnum restitutor est, si dolorem me­dious si mor­tem resuscita­tor est. Tertul. may be made up in somewhat else as good: if a man be sick, or impoverished, or imprisoned for Religion, there is sufficient cause to rest contented, and bear it patiently, both because he honours God, and therein he is to rejoyce, and also he may have somewhat that may be as good as health, or libertie, or wealth, and he may be in better state; but when the soul desires heaven, or the assurance of it, and desires the sence of Gods love in Christ, if he attain not to it, there is nothing can be had equall or near as good; and offer what you will in stead of it, it is despised. If Jacob desiring Rachel, cannot be sa­tisfied with Leah, much lesse can the heart be satisfied till it have the graces it desires, and all the good things that are con­tained in the promises, and at last the glorious presence of God in heaven. And it is no sence to say to a man, be patient though God love thee not, and although thy sins be not forgiven, yet thou may do well enough, this would be odious even to every man; because reason and naturall conscience will tell him, that the want of these will make him miserable. All that could be said is, that though he have not these blessings as yet, he may in time obtain them, if he wait on God in the use of his ordinances.

And from the forenamed particulars, the heart that is set on heavenly things, is ready to breake out, and say, I am not able to wait and be patient till I receive the promise, my [Page 43] heart is ready to breake, and many times I thinke it belongs not unto me, what shall I do?

Ans. For answer; Let us first qualifie the matter,The Church sicke of Love. asswage the griefe, and then (if we can) heale the wound. To asswage the paine of this impatient heart, that cannot waite till it re­ceive the promise: consider, this Impatience is not sinfull, nor dangerous, but it ariseth from the most heavenly tem­per of the soule, strongly bent to have as soone as may be, a large portion of the favour of God in Christ, and it is the ar­dencie of love, that makes the soule restlesse, and if there were not much love, there could not be these desires.

1 All Impatience, comes either from necessitie, as a hungry man cannot stay any time, but must have meate presently, if you tell him, you will a weeke or some few dayes hence, bring him meate, he cannot have patience: or Secondly, from Love as a loving wife, whose husband is gone into a far Countrey, she longs for his coming home, and takes little joy of any thing, till she see him returned; if she did not love him so much, she would not be so troubled: And so is the Church impatient, till Christ come to her; which ariseth from that exceeding love she beares to him, and because love admits of no long delay, therefore it you aske, why the soule can­not be more patient? I answer, because she is sicke of Love, and so the Church is not ashamed to professe, Cant. 2.5. And as Christ spake in another case; so I may speake in this: This sicknesse is not unto death, nay it is the beginning, and a good measure of eternall life. Oh! if I knew it were no worse, it would abate my griefe. For thy satisfaction, I will breifly describe what it is to be sicke of Love; that thereby thou may judge of that impatience that comes from Love.

The soul that hath a more full apprehension, and a clearer light, to see the admirable excellencies of Jesus Christ, is rapt, and ravished with love towards him, and love being the com­manding affection of the soule, is carried towards him in an unresistable manner; for Love is strong as death, and will not endure any thing to come betweene it and the object; Love carries the soul out of a mans self,Amor pont [...] amantem ex­tra se. Aqui [...] and placeth it upon the par­tie loved, it makes it to be in two bodies.

It is pleased, and delighted in the object; it feeds it self with [Page 44] present contentment,Amor est sui pabulum. and hope of future enjoyment; it thinks often of the divine perfections that are in Christ; it beholds him in all his works with admiration, especially in that which was his Master-peice, our Redemption; It viewes his rare properties of goodnesse, holinesse, puritie, meeknesse, hu­militie, &c. And all set in the sweetest and most amiable disopsition that ever was; it observes with what a Heavenly disposition he conversed among men, how willingly he in­structed them in the mysteries of salvation, how readily he condescended to the ignorant and weake, how gracious he was to great offenders when once he saw them penitent, how wisely he answered the questions of his cavilling adversaries, and put them all to silence: Matth. 22.46. Whereupon it con­cludes, not onely in point of affection, but Judgement, that he is the cheifest among ten thousand: Cant. 5.10.

And if God should shew us his glory, and make all his good to passe before us as once he did to Moses: Exod. 33.19. yet we could not thinke well enough of him, for our thoughts could not comprehend his excellency, nor could we love him ac­cording to his worth, and therefore we cannot erre in our Love: It is no blind doting affection, as for the most part is a­mong friends. The Church may give full scope to her affecti­ons, and she is so farre from longing too much, she can never love enough, but her love being well grounded, she is constant, and firmly setled, and if she think any thing should separate it would be as death, and delayes is very irksome, she longs for her Saviour, and knows reason for her longing, (which wo­men men with child do not) and yet if they be not satisfied, they will miscarrie: so the Church in her longing agrees in the pe­rill, but differs in the cause. And the Church is sick, partly be­cause the object of her desires is so glorious, that it overcomes the spirit, as the very smell of strong water will overcome the brain, and the glorious beams of the sunne will dazle the eye. So Christ the King of glorie, offering himself to his Church, doth amaze and overwhelme the soul more then Saul did Da­vid, by offering him his daughter to wife, and to make him son in law to a King. And also the want of Christ works in the soul as a disease in the bodie. The fears and cares in the Church (which are in every beleeving heart) lest she should not enjoy [Page 45] Christ, are as the cold fits in an Ague, and by such faintings, such pantings, and short breathing, you may easily conclude there is sicknesse; and every soul in such a case discovers love, for it cannot long lie hid, and such as are sick of love, are sick for Christ, and long after him, and languish for him, and will never be cured till they enjoy him; and it is no wonder if they be impatient, nay it were not well if it were not so. If any that have enjoyed God in his ordinances, and found the sweetnesse of them, should be debarred for a yeer or more from the Word and Sacraments, love would make the soul impatient of that time, and account it very long, and cry out with David, Psal. 42.1, 2. When shall I come and appear before God in Sion? And if in the lesse, then it holds in the greater, that the time seems long till we enjoy Christ. And as the former, so this comes from love, and they are sick of love that find it in themselves. And it will further appear:

1. In the ordinarie times of meeting, love will not suffer us to stay away, unlesse in case of urgent necessitie, for as the per­sons that are in love, cannot but go to meet each other, so the beleever cannot stay at home when occasions of meeting are offered: where Christ is, there she would be, and therefore ac­cording to his own direction, she goes to the Shepheards tents. Cant. 1.7. where she is not satisfied with the place, nor the dutie, nor the ordinance, but she must injoy Christ himself, she must see him, and hear his voice, and her heart is therewith contented, and burns within her, if either he be silent, and will not speak, or if he hide himself, and will not be seen; or do ap­pear frowning, then she is down in her spirit, and much de­jected, she mourns secretly, and is sick at heart: she presently apprehends his anger, and would do any thing to appease him; she would humble her soul as lowe as may be, and kisse the dust, if there be hope that he will look kindly again upon her, Lam. 3.29. and till she see the light of his countenance, and be­hold his power and glory in the sanctuarie, as in former times. Psal. 63.2. and till she find the joyfull sence and feeling of his loving kindnesse in her heart, she mourns as a woman forsaken or divorced, takes joy in nothing, is very impatient of his ab­sence, but never blames her Saviour, but imputes the cause of her sorrow to her own ill carriage and misdemeanour; and [Page 46] thereupon she takes up new lamentations, over her old corrup­tions, and gives not over her confessions and prayers, till he again return to her in mercie; which when he pleaseth to do, she is the more joyfull, by the driving away of her former fears and griefs: and as friends meet more lovingly, and greet more heartily after a time of absence, so do Christ and his Church, the Father and his prodigall sonne, make not more merrie, the Bridegroome and the Bride rejoyce not more, then Christ and his Spouse do upon their renewed amitie, and agree­ment.

2. In times and occasions extraordinarie, if she sees her Sa­viour in any mercie, in any joyes of the spirit, or in any delive­rance, or in the granting of her requests, especially in such things as respects her soul and salvation: she is moved, her blood stirs within her, and all the powers of her soul are quick­ned and revived, if she hear him speak, not onely in the sound of words,Cant. 2.14. but the efficacie of his spirit, she cannot sit still, but riseth and cries it is the voice of my well-beloved, Cant. 2.8. And if these two sences, which let in, and let out love, were not exercised in seeing and hearing Christ, she could not with any patience wait for him;Cap 5.16. Let me see thy countenance, and hear thy voice, for it is sweet and comely. But these stay her heart, and therefore we from hence conclude what she is sick of. A Phy­sitian knows the disease, and by the operation of his medicines, he still is confirmed in his knowledge; for if hot things do good, then he knows the disease comes of cold causes: so if we would know whether we be sick of love, observe what allayes thy grief, and what encreaseth it, if nothing but the fruition of Christ himself will cure thee: and secondly, nothing but that which is next to fruition, namely, seeing and hearing of Christ will asswage thy distressed heart, then know thou art sick of love.

Ob. But then it may be thou wilt reply and say, this is poore comfort to tell me that I am sick, I knew that before, and my griefs plainly shew it.

Ans. I answer: that to know thy particular disease is more then to know in generall thou art sick, and it is a skilfull Phy­sitian that can discover the disease; and if before or now thou knowest this, thou may for ever rejoyce: for wheras many are [Page 47] sick for the satisfaction of their lusts, as Ammon for Tamar, thou art sick for Christ, and shalt undoubtedly be cured. This disease shews not weaknesse, but the excellencie of the temper of the soul, and being so noble a disposition of an heavenly heart, is not properly a disease, but onely by way of resem­blance, as sick persons longing for somewhat, so is the soul for Christ. But as the fruition of the Bridegroome can cure the love sick Bride, so Christ onely must do it; the Preachers of the Word are but the friends of the Bridegroome, and cannot do it: but let me do a friendly office, I will bring thee before him whom thou lovest, and put a few words into thy mouth which thou must utter, I will frame thee a short Petition which thou must thy self deliver.

O my Saviour, my Joy, my Crown,The love sick soul breaths out some such ejaculations. the top and height of all my hopes, thou hast ravished my soul with thy divine per­fections, and raised my poore lowe spirit to an higher pitch then ever by the power of nature it could have attained unto. I did affect such things as pleased my eye, and eare, and should have doted to this day upon sencible objects, but now I see that all things under the Sun are meer vanities, fading flowers, and perishing delights, thou hast revealed better things unto me, and I see by a new light the things that concern my happines; thou hast set before me the joyes of heaven, and hast shewed me the excellency of that estate, wherein the soul enjoyes com­munion with thee, and now I do condemne all my former sin­full delights, and being grown to yeers of understanding I ad­mire how simple I was when I was a child: but much more do I wonder at the foolish delights of my unregeneracie, I find all things that then did possesse my mind, to be in compa­rison of thee, no better then childish toyes, I now relinquish and renounce them, but my heart is stirred with restlesse de­sires after thee, and oh how am I pained till I come unto thee? and how am I more unquiet in my thoughts, then when I slept securely in my sins, how is my spirit reaching after that which I cannot compasse, nothing but thy self, O my Saviour, will satisfie, and while I am absent in the bodie, how shall I do to live without thee? especially seeing I am in the midst of so many adversaries, that daily grieve my soul, sometimes I hear men blaspheming thy blessed name, others are breaking out [Page 48] into odious and disgracefull speeches against thy truth, and the wayes of Religion other fall upon thy people, and offer them all the hardship and ill usage that wit and malice can devise, and thy poore Church is as a ship upon the Sea in a storme, as a traveller in the wildernesse in a mistie dark day, as all creatures in Winter that are half dead for want of the heat of the Sunne, thy turtle Dove is frighted by every ravening bird, thy flock is exposed to the rage of each devouring woolfe; and what with fears that do fall upon my trembling heart, and the want of good that my spirit is set upon, I am restlesse, and know not what to do; tell me, O thou whom my soul loves, how I can be patient and wait till thou come unto me, though thou should be as a young Hart, and a Roe upon the mountains, Cant. 2.17.

Christ by his Spirit will re­turn some such answer.O my Spouse, my welbeloved, how am I troubled for thee, how do I grieve with thee, how willingly would I ease thee of thy fears and griefs, if I had not other works in hand that must not be hindred, I would soon deliver thee out of thine enemies hands, but that I purpose by thine afflictions to raise thee to greater honour, and to bring them to greater shame; I will in due time come and wipe away all thy tears, and remove all thy fears, and put thee in possession of glory. And for the quieting of thy longing desires, and setling of thy impatient heart, remember, it was honour enough unto thee, that I espoused thee unto me, that I entred into covenant with thee, and am become thine, and thou art mine, I loved thee when thou wast naked, deformed, and in thy blood, I found thee poore, and have enriched thee; a miserable captive, and have ransomed thee; I laid down my life for thee, and let out my own blood to cure thee, thou art dear unto me, and precious in mine eye, thou shalt be unto me as the loving Hinde and pleasant Roe, and I will delight in thy love continually, and that our joy may be full, I will a while defer our marriage, that thou may be made more beautifull and more pleasing to me, I will remove every spot and wrinkle, all thy sins and the fruits of them both from soul and bodie, and think not the meane space too long; but consider, that there will be time enough for our embracings in another world, eternitie will give thee thy full content. And till then, if enemies defame thee, I will clear [Page 49] thy innocencie, if they do thee wrong, I will right thee; if thou loose any thing for my sake, I will abundantly recompence thee, I will be better unto thee then friends, children, pleasures, preferments, I will stay thee with flagons of wine, and com [...]ort thee with apples; I will refresh thee with the best dainties that heaven can afford, I will not estrange my love from thee, and though thou canst not enjoy me fully, yet we will see one ano­ther, and daily speak one to another; thou shalt be as neer me as is possible, I will set thee as a seal upon my heart,We may with Cynicke light a candle at noon day & search for a man that is sick of love, and impatient for want of heaven. and a signet upon my hand, I will look upon thee and love thee, all the pro­mises contained in the Bible, I make over to thee, and because they are thy portion, I have given thee a heart to studie them and peruse them, and all the good contained in them at my coming I will bestow on thee: and whereas malefactors never long for the coming of the Judge, but the innocent who hope to be absolved, therefore I have put it into thy heart to cry, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly.

Ʋse. And now to wind up all in a brief application. He that waits upon God must stand before him upon these two feet, his pati­ence and his hope; and such as want these graces cannot attend him: and if there were no other motive then the doing of this service, it might be sufficient to perswade us to labour for them. But leaving the particulars, I urge the main dutie of waiting upon God.

1. It is a service wherein all the servants of God in all ages are put together, they must all draw in this yoke: the Jews waited long for the promised Land; and longer for their Mes­siah Old Jacob upon his deathbed uttered this sentence,Luk. 2.25. O Lord I have waited for thy salvation: Simeon, and many others waited for the consolation in Israel. Some have waited long for health, for employment, for preferment, others have waited for knowledge for pardon, and assurance of Gods love; all wait for heaven, and the fruition of God: therefore let none object a­gainst it, seeing it is a dutie in which all are engaged.

2. It is a dutie highly commended, and shall be liberally re­warded. God is the bestower of blessings, and his wisdom can find the fittest time to give them in; and he that quietly waits, honours God and shall not loose by it:Isa. 31.18. Blessed is the man that waits on God. Every man that prayes and seeks cannot wait. [Page 50] We must learn self-deniall, else the want of blessings will make us impatient; the longer we wait, the greater will be our re­ward.Isa. 64.4, 5. It hath not been perceived by the eye, or eare, what things God will give to them that wait for him: and then it follows, Thou meet­est him that rejoyceth. God will do great things for such as wait for him, and he will meet them in the mid way: when they think God is not mindfull of them, he is coming upon the way with a blessing in his hand. He that waits, is best prepared for deliverance when he mentions it not. A hastie suitor moves the King for a reward of his service, but he sped nere the better; for Euripides standing by, and saying nothing for himself, did by his silence obtain that which the other moved for;Tu dignus es ad accipien­dum etiam non po [...]ens. and when the King gave it, he gave this testimonie of him, Thou art worthy to receive it, even because thou dost not ask it. Such as are afflicted, should pray to be bettered before they be deliver­ed: every one now would be glad of quiet times, because of trading and their temporall estates, pray to receive good from God by these troubles, and wait for thy deliverance.

3. If we wait not patiently, we run upon our own danger, the husbandman after he hath sowne his ground, yet waits till his corn be come up,Lun. 5.7, 8. till it be full ripe, and will not reap before the harvest. A woman with child desires to go her full time, though she came her burthen, and treads many a wearie step: yet she would not come before her time, for she knows it would be dangerous to her self and her child. The Church of Eng­land is now great, and we hope ere long will be delivered of the goodliest and fairest Child that ever she brought forth: and we have need to be put into a positure of patience to wait Gods leasure,Isa. 37.3. till he gives strength to bring forth the Child of Re­formation which lies strugling in the wombe.

Errata.

Pag. 5. lin. 6. for mists are belowe, read mists blowe. p. 11. for is this, r. this is impatience.

FINIS.

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