[...] this was the first end propounded for it: Afterwards our English Zion cryed aloud for prayers and tears too. And now Gods Zion in Scotland cries as loud as any, All but one Zion, one Church, professing one Religion, and faith in Christ, yet each one labouring under [...] severall pres­sures, under in rage [...] and cr [...]ll [...].

Here is the occasion of your Meeting now: a treble heavy and dolefull spectacle you have to sad your eyes withall, whereas at first, you had but one. I hope your affections will bee suitable, that as you are come, and here set down, so before you goe away you will weep too, which mee thinks you cannot chuse but doe, if as you ought, you will remember Zion.

I will hold you no longer therefore from the Duty, you shall have a Discourse answerable thereunto, void of or­naments or dresse at all, sad and plain, fit forDebemus considerare in omni re, quid aptū sit & con­semaneum tem­pori & personae, cum quid in dic­tis factisque de­ceat. Cic. in O­rat. ad Brutum. Mour­ners, may but Zion onely bee the better remembred by it, and that's all I shall desire.

The words in themselves are part of that description which the Israelites make of their own wofull and lamen­table condition, under the Babylonish captivity, wherein, as when they came out of Egypt, they had the red Sea be­fore them, and Pharaoh and his Hoast behinde them; So here, before them is the present condition they are in viz. sitting down and weeping, and their former state behi [...] them, which now they have lost, and are deprived of, and that is it which now they remember, their beloved Zion.

I'le make but two parts of the Text; here is Paena

  • Sensus, the punishment of sense, in the first words, sate down and wept.
  • Damni, the punishment of losse, inti­mated in the last, when wee remem­bred Zion: viz. that Zion which now wee have lost.

Or if you will have it plainer, you may ob­serve three,

  • 1. Subjectum, the subject spoken of, Wee.
  • 2. Passio seu affectto, the passion or af­fection of this subject, Sate down, and wept.
  • 3. Ratio seu Causa utriusque, the reason of both, When wee remember Zion.

I could easily give you a more curious division, and I do confesse, were I to make an Oration upon these words, mee thinks I could finde excellent matter enough, to please both eares and phansy too: But as a Divine I wave all such levities, and present you plainly with the summe of all; as if poore Israel, should thus have said:

Wee unhappy Israel, once the beloved of the Lord, his Spouse, his Darling, his Well-beloved; Nay wee,Job 29.6. who not long since wet our footsteps in Butter, and the rocks powred us out rivers of Oyle, while the hand of the Almighty was up­on our Tabernacle, and his Candle shone upon our head; Who wanted nothing of all outward plenty and prosperity that this world could afford: yet even Wee, for our ma­nifold sins and transgressions against our God, for our re­bellions and unthankfulnesse against our Maker, are cast now out of our own holy Land, out of Zion into Babylon, a land of heathens and Idolaters; nay, out thence too, out of their Towns and Cities, to the Rivers, to the wa­ters side, where disconsolate and comfortlesse, wee know not what to doe, but onely sit sadly down, yea, and weep for our sins, wherewith wee have displeased our God: for the miseries our, sins have brought us into, but more especially for the sad, and heavy state, and condition, wee have left our poore Zion in, all rent and torn in peeces, all ruined and destroyed: This, this is that which cuts us to the very heartNimis [...] est record [...] ­tio Patriae, quae in hostiti retrae pro [...] existere nam quanto haec a nara sentitur, ta [...]o sit [...] s [...]a­vior: [...] enim peregri [...], brop [...] domici [...] crescie affect [...], C [...]. [...] Psal. 137. Si [...] est Patria, amara est peregrinatie; tota die Tribu­lati [...], quando in patria non est delectatio. Aug. in Psal., This makes us sit down and weep, when wee remember Zion.

Ile speak a little of the Subject here (wee must not passe it wholly by, That's it this people complaines so of, La [...]. 1.12. Is it nothing to you all yee that passe by? behold and see, if there bee any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is [Page 4]done unto mee, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted mee, in the day of his fierce anger) and therefore wee will comprise it briefly under this twofold consideration.

First, Wee Gods people, and his antient inheritance, to whom ever before this wee have been dear and precious, and loved above any Nation under Heaven: Wee who were called by his Name, and amongst whom hee himself dwelt in the midst, yet even wee the children of the most Highest, (whiles other heathen folk about us are in plen­ty and prosperity) are driven to this sad exigent, to sit down and weep, having lost our Zion.

Whence may you please to Observe the Truth of that which the Apostle Peter hath forewarned us of, 1 Pet. 4.17. That

Judgements usually begin at the House of God,

According to that precept of the Lord by the Pro­phet, Ezekiel 19.6. Slay utterly both old and young, and begin at my Sanctuary. Indeed our Saviour Christ hath long agoe told us our doom, what wee are to expect, Matth. 16.24. If any man will come after mee, let him deny himself, and take up his crosse Nullus ser­vus Dei sine tri­bulatione est, si putas te non ha­ [...]ere persecutio­nes, nondun cae­pisti esse Chri­stianum, Aug. and follow mee. Deny, de­ny himselfe, thus denying himselfe and taking up his crosse, hee is then fit to follow Christ, and not before. To the same purpose Saint Paul hath told usAct. 14.22. Gen. 39.20. Job. 2.8. 1 Sam. 23. Jer. 27.15. Act. 16.23.24. Act. 4 3. & 7.5 [...]. 2 King. 25. That thorow manifold tribulations, wee must enter into the Kingdome of God.

I need not tire you with Examples.

Hee that has read of Joseph in prison, Job upon the dunghill; or David wandering in the Wildernesse; of Jeremy in the dungeon; Paul and Silas in the stocks; Pe­ter and John in prison; and Stephen under an heape of stones; of Jerusalem sacked; Israel discomfited, and Ju­dah wasted; with infinite examples more of later dayes, may easily conceive the Truth of this, if these sad times have not already given him sufficient proofe thereof to his cost, (it may bee) in his own particular. Thus fares it with the righteous here, They are like the Sun hid [Page 5]many times with dusky cloudes, like sweet Violets quite covered over with shady leaves, like pretious Pearles, lodg­ed in heaps of Sand and rubbish. This earthly Moon the Church (as one saith) as well as that in Heaven, hath ‘her Fulls, and her Wanes; yea, and sometimes her E­clipses too, so long as shee wanders in this Planetary world, it is in vain for her to expect any better; It is well for her when shee is fixed above,’ if then shee may bee free from Change. Nor can it bee expected it should ever bee otherwise, since through all Ages, there has ne­ver wanted some to vex and trouble the peace of Zion.

Before the Flood there was a bloody Caine, after him a proud Nimrod, then a cruell Pharaoh, Gen. 4. & 10. Exod. 1. Isa. 36 Act. 12. after a blasphemous Senacherib, then a wicked Herod, after Nero, Caligula, Do­mitian, Lulian, with many moe, and now at this day, worse then all, (like so many Hydra's heads, one spring­ing up after another) the cursed race of Turk and Pope, of Iesuite and Seminarie, the influence of whose rage and malice, wee too dearely feele all the three King­domes over.

How hardly mean-while would it goe with the poore Israel of God, had not God in his mercy forewarned them of these things before, [...], &c.2 Tim. 3.12. [...] Ʋse 1. that whosoever will live godly in this life must suffer afflictions?

Which should (mee thinks) take away that stumbling block which has laine both in David and Ieremies, and the best of Gods Childrens way, of being troubled at this as though some new thing had befalnc them, since its no other, but what has been the lot of all Gods Children through all Ages whatsoever.

Yea, but what comfort in thy service thou great Land-Lord of heaven and earth (may some reply) if thou u­sest thy best servants so hardly? Nay, but rather peace, (murmuring Soule) for what art thou that replyest against God? If neither Examples of others,Rom. 9.20. nor Gods constant dealing in all Times, nor his forewarning thee so oft, will serve the turn. Were it directly pertinent to this point [Page 6](which I desire onely to passe over in transitu) I could easily justifie the proceedings of my Maker, and give Rea­sons abundant of this the various dispensation of his pro­vidence towards the Sons of Men. As,

First, to put a difference betwixt here and hereafter: The wicked usually have their heaven here, and their hell here­after, the righteous contratily, have sorrow here, and joy when they come to a better placeMali nihil habent in Coelo, vos nihil in mundo. Beda in sac. 1. Non te delectet virtditas faeni, sed time aridi­tatem ipsius. Justus vero ut Palina florebit; Palma in No­vissimis pulchra est, Aspera ra­dix in Terra vi­detur, sed pul­chra coma sub Coelo est, sic erit tua pulchritudo in fine, &c. Aug. in Psal. 93..

Secondly, to shew his care and Love of his ownMagis amat objurgator sa­nans quam adu­laior dissimulans Aug. in Epist. ad Marc.. how? strange love you will say, alwayes to bee raking in their wounds and pressing them down with heavy burdens and afflictions, and yet this is that which the Spirit of God assureth, Heb. 12.6. Whom the Lord loveth hee chasteneth, and scourgeth every Son whom hee receiveth Asperiori­bus exercet Pae­ter filium quam Dominus Verna­culum, sed dura Patris non impar [...] to flagella, quia vult filium ineliorem esse quam servulum. Ambr.. And againe, ver. 7. If yee indure chastening God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is hee whom the Father chasteneth not? And ver. 8. If yee bee without chastisement whereof all are partakers, then are yee bastards and not sons.

Thirdly, to humble them and keep them down, lest they grow wanton and forget God, it being usually proud Iessuruns fault, as soon as ever hee is grown fat, to kick against the Lord his God(i).

Fourthly, to stirre up graces k in them. Pomanders never send out so sweet a smell as when they are rubbed, and a Flint no sparks till it bee strucken. It was Bishop Bonners ordinary jeere to the Martyrs in Queen Maries daies, that the sight of a Fagot would soon make them all recant, and yet never did God get more glory, then in the constancy of hose righteous soules, never fish tasted sweeter then in those brackish streames, and never did the Camomile of the Church send forth a more fragrant [Page 7]smell, then when it was trodden down in those turbulent dayes; and were it not for these trials, what use would the righteous have of Patience, Faith, and other Graces, which by these are made to shine the brighterIgne purgati splendent, Hilar. Electis suis ad se pergentibus De­us buyus mundi Iter asperum fa­cit, ne dum quis­que chlectatur in via, chlivis­catur quod desi­derabat in Pa­tria Greg.?

Fifthly, to make them out of love with this world, where there is nothing but sorrow, and they strangers and pil­grims here, and to long for that place, where there is no­thing but joy, and they at home in their purchased pos­session.

Sixthly, to make Heaven welcome afterwards. Calmes are never so pleasing as after stormes [...], &c. Sol nubibus obtectus, laetius postea splendet, & Ver post byemis tristitiam est acceptius, ju­cundio [...] tranquillitas blanda, & mare quietum, post seditiones ventorum, &c. Sic post afflicti­ones Vita tranquillior, &c. Nazien. in Orat. de Cypriano., health, as after long sicknesse, or after labour rest, so the joyes of Hea­ven will bee truely welcome then, after so much sorrow, so much grief, When all teares shall bee wip't away.

These few (though many moe might bee added) may suffice abundantly, as to satisfie the doubting soule; so,

Secondly, to comfort the poore Israel of God, now in these sad and drooping times: O cheere up thy self, (who­ever thou art) and lift up those hands which hang so down; Remember what gracious promises thy Redeemer hath made, and what the holy one of Israel hath said, that they Who now goe on their way weeping, hearing precious seed, Psal. 126.6. shall d [...]btlesse come again with joy, and bring their sheaves with them. And again,Psal. 30.5. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. ‘The seed-time indeed (as one of our own sayes well) may bee waterish and lowring, but they may well bee content with a wet Spring, so they may bee sure of a cleare and plentifull harvest.’

And give mee leave to adde one word more, to make the proceedings of the Almighty more clear. You must not looke at Israel here, at this Wee, as absolutely just and righteous, and without any faults at all, or matter for the Justice of God to work upon; but Wee, who have sin­ned, and offended God, who have provoked the holy One of [Page 8]Israel, and dealt exceeding deceitfully with him, whom neither stormes of judgements, nor calmes of mercies, nor any warnings, could bring home, but have corrupted our wayes before him, and done every one what seemed good in his own eyes: and therefore Wee, Wee must look to smart for it rather then others, Wee, for Gods correcting and chastising hand before any.

I remember a story in our own Chronicles, of Edward the first, King of England, when a great Noble man had committed Treason against him, and some pleaded for him that hee might well bee spared, hee was a great Man, ‘No, saith the King, but as great hath been his Rise, so great shall bee his downfall; and as hee hath been raised high in Honour, and hee abused it, so shall hee bee in Disgrace [...] Chris..’ Not unlike is Gods manner of dealing even with his own, his beloved ones, when once they abuse his goodnesse and forbearance.

Who fares worse, (if the Father takes in an unhappy turn) then his own Son? hee shall bee sure to bee beaten,Duos filies habet homo; alie­rum castigat, alterum dimittit facit unus male & non corripi­tur a Patre; alter mox ut se move­rit Colaphis cae­ditur, flagellatur Ʋnde ille dimit­titur, & ille cae­ditur, nisi quia huic caeso Haere­ditas servatur, ille autem di­missus exhaere­datus est. Aug. in Psal. 93. whoever else scape free. Whom sooner (being taken in a fault) does the Master correct, then his own servants? whiles others who are strangers goe untouched.

And did I not run over this point in haste (as not so pertinent to what is intended here) I could tell you why; As,

First, Because Wee, Gods Children, have been better taught then others who have not had such knowledge of his Laws, therefore for such to know their Masters will and doe it not, makes them more liable to bee beaten with many stripes,Quid mirum si iste mundus tanquam servus jam sciens vo­luntatē Domini, & faciens digna plagis vapulet [...]? Aust. Luk. 12.47.

Secondly, They have received more Mercies then others, and for them now to sin against these, against all those pretious priviledges and immunities, all these winning favours and goodnesses of their God, (as it is with a Candle the nearer any thing is set unto it, the greater sha­dow it casts behinde it) so to sin neer these means, and allurements unto good, amidst mercies and prerogatives, [Page 9]is a great deale more intolerable then otherwise; Since Christ himself hath said it, Ʋnto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much bee required again, Luk. 12.48.

Thirdly, because God is more dishonoured by one sinne of the righteous, then with thousands of the wickeds and ungodlyes. Because by this deed (saith Nathan to David) thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme: therefore, &c. So, because Gods chil­dren give such advantage to the wicked, and profane un­godly men, to speake evill of the wayes of God, and dis­honour him; therefore shall they smart the sorer for it.

Lastly, (to name no more) because otherwise God might seem a partiall God, to punish the same sins in some, and passe them by in others.Semper i­niquus est I [...]dex qui aut invidet aut favei, Cic. pro Psanc. Deus Index nec gratia praeveni­tur, nec miseri­cordia flectitur nec pecuntacor? rumpino, &c. Aug. l. 3. de symbolo. Therefore to declare to all, that the Judge of all the world will doe justly; and that there is no unrighteousnesse with him, To stop the mouths of all gainsayers whatsoever: We, the children of the most Highest, even before others, shall suffer for our sins, and bee abased for them.

VVhich in the first place should be a Caveat unto the righteous, Ʋse 1 and teach them to take heed how they flatter themselves in vaine, by thinking themselves priviledg'd in any sinfull course whatsoeverSi pece [...] ­ris & punitus non fueris, ne contem [...]as (dile­cte) sed propter hoc ipsum magi [...] time qu [...] f [...]cil [...] Deo est [...] velit iterum retribuert Christ.. That of the Pro­phet Ezekiel in the 18 Chapter; is enough to startle any; Vers. 20. The soule that sinneth shall die, &c. And ver. 24. When the righteous turneth away from his righteousnesse, and committeth iniquity, and doth according to all the abominati­ous that the wicked man doth; shall be live? All his righteous­nesse that he hath done shall not be mentioned; in his trespasse that [...] hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned; in them shall he die. All his good he hath done shall not excuse him in the evill day. It could not excuse our fore-pa­rents, but in the day that they sinned, did they die the death, were thrust out of Paradise, and made liable, both they and their whole posterity, unto everlasting death and de­struction; it could not excuse Moses the servant of the [Page 10]Lord; but he sinning at the waters of Meribah, could never enter into the promised Land, though he beg'd it ear­nestly. VVhat need I mention David, a man after Gods own heart; yet lying under so heavie a judgement, as that the Sword must never depart from his house; and all by reason of his sin: or Hezekiah, or Jonah, or the best of all Gods children. I might goe a little higher, even to the very Angels themselves; who not keeping their first estate, but left their owne habitation, are reserved in everlasting chaines under darknesse unto the judgement of the great day. Let these fairely warne thee to take heed of the like judgment, by no wayes indulging thy selfe in the like sin.

2. VVhen God does draw nigh unto the Tents of the righteous, and afflict the habitation of the just; let them take need of murmuring or repiningDis [...]t non murmurare qui mala patitut: per hoc quisque se [...] patiar­hitr [...] quia ah illo judica [...], cujus nunquam injusta Iudicia sunt, Is [...]d. l. 3. do sum. bon. De [...]lla [...]e ma­gis Deum [...]ffen­disse ille populus Iuda [...]us dici­tur, quam contra [...], Aug sup. Joh.; but rather learn to submit unto his will, knowing that there is matter e­nough even in them for his justice to work upon, and that it is his mercy they are not consumed, because his compassions faile not. Otherwise if hee should (even with the best of them all) be extreame to marke what is done amisse, nei­ther they, nor any flesh living were able to abide it.

3. If We the children and servants of the most High, be so hardly dealt withall; (a you shall see by and by) Wee his own people be put to drinke of so bitter a cup; if Wee, what then may the wicked and ungodly looke for, but that dreadfull sentence, Psal. 75.8. The drogs thereof, all the wick'd of the earth shall wring them out and drinke them? Dam 6.5. O how should this like Belshazzers hand-writing upon the wall, Change their countenance, and trouble their thoughts, cause the joynts of their loynes to bee loosed, and their knees as smite one against another? when they consider, what plagues remaine for the ungodly, and what shall he their portion another dayElect [...]s Dei cer [...] & p [...]a [...] lia tolerare, hine ergo colligitur, Districtus Iu­dex quanta illic feries districti­one quis repro­bat, si hic cruci­at quos amat, Greg. in Moral.. Ile say no more but what the Apostle Peter does, 1 Pet. 4.18. If the righteous soarcely be saved, where then shall the wicked and ungodly appear? And so insist no lon­ger upon this first Capacity which we consider Israel in, but passe unto the second, as something more suitable un­to [Page 11]to that condition they were in, as if you heard them thus bemoaning themselves.

Secondly, We the unhappy subject of the displeasure of our God, who not long since liv'd in as much ease, as much plenty and abundance as ever people did enjoy. We who wanted nothing, while we were in Zion, in our Countrey: but now having lost all, and Zion too, are forc't with heavie hearts to sit down and weepe, when we remember all —. Alasse! did we ever thinke we should have come to this when we sate in Zion; compass't round about with the rich mercies of our God, when the bright beames of his favour refresh't our soules, and his loving kindnesse made us glad? VVhen wee sat as Head and Queen among the Nations, and Princes among the People; did we ever think we should have been driven to this and yet [...], Herodo­rus. [...], &c. look upon us, and then learne.

The vanity and unconstancy of all these world­ly things.O quantum est in rebus ina­nel quantillum Christiano suffi­cit!

Se [...] Quam nulli [...] conting [...] [...] ­gna bona & [...] ­turna? How great blessings (as he sayes) and a great while of enjoying them, can seldome or never stand together.Vt in secun­dis rebus const­dat neme, in ad­versis nemo des [...] ­ciat, Sen. That in prosperity none might presume, and in adversity none might despaire. All these sublu­nary things (saith Plato) are like GodsDei ludibri [...] quae sursum ac deorsum temere suo coelè ferun­tur, intertoque hue & illue cursu vagantur. Plat. Tennis balls, tost up and downe, hither and thither, and there is nothing certaine under the sun: yesterday for thee, and to day for me, and who knowes what may be to mor­row?’

Thus who without astonishment can turne over the stories of ancient times, and read of the glory of all the old world, on a suddain swallowed up in an universall Deluge, or of Pharaoh, Exod. 14. that sun of Egypt with his numo­rous Host, all drencht in the red Sea, and never rise a­gaine. Of Sodoine and Gomorrah with all the wealth and soules the [...],Gen. 19. devoured in an unheard of shower of fire & [Page 12]brimst one from heaven?Job 1. of Job, the greatest man in all the East in the morning, in the evening spoyled of all, and set downe upon the dunghill full of sorea? VVhat shall I speak of David, 2 Sam. 15. at night banished, and shifting for his life,Acts 12. who in the morning ruled Isral. Or of Herod, taten with wormes, who yesterday was intituled a God? Haman upon the gallows,Hest. 7. who even now was at the Queens ban­quet? Nebuchadnezzar eating grasse like an Oxe, Dan. 4.33. who not long since was vaunting himselfe upon the top of his Pa­lace? VVhat need I reckon up more? both King and Kingdomes, particular men, and whole Countroys, have their ebbes and their tides, their rising and their setting, there springing out, and their cutting down.

And that our latter times have not been different from those of old, will soon appeare to those who have read of that great Frederick the Emperours full sea of his for­tunes and magnificence, end in so shallow a streame, as that he was driven to be a suiter but for a Singing mans place, in that Cathedrall Church which he himself, had formerly built,Cui Orb [...]s an­gus [...] erat quod ille [...]rbi ma­gr [...]. and yet went without it Or of Alexander, whose greatnesse one world would not suffice, but desired more, yet being dead, lay three dayes above ground, and no man so much as vouchsafe to bury him. To say no­thing of that great Champion Bellizarius, after all his Conquests over the Goths and Ʋandalls, and many a Vi­ctory and Triumph obtained; yet at last driven to so low a condition, that he was seene, having his eyes put out, fit by the high-way side a begging in this dolefull tone, Date obolum Bellizario, an half penny to Bellizarius, an half penny for God sake to poore Bellizarius. Or of Lotharius the Emperor, brother to Lodovicus pius, after all his, pompe and greatnesse, and his life in a poor Monaste­ry at Ligonia in Italy.

But of all, famous is that one story more, in our own Chronicles of Edward the second, King of England, who after 19 years reigne over this land in a great height of Plenty, Honour, and abundance; at last, being, [...] [Page 13]captive in scorne to wards Bristow, by the way his Ene­mies made him sit downe upon a mole hill, and call'd a Barber to shave off the haire of his head and beard, there­by to make him more ridiculous; who comming to him with a little water taken out of the next ditch, told him scoffingly that his Grace should have had warme water, but hee must be content with that now: Whereupon the King laying deeply to heart the sad condition hee was brought unto, told him he should have warm water whe­ther he would or no: and so (as the Story sayes) sell in­to such an extremity of weeping, that he help't to fill his Bason with his teares.

How easily I might bring this lower, even to our very Times, he may easily conceive, whose eyes have seene those strange changes and alterations these few late yeares have made, both in King and people, such as his forefathers never saw, or hundreds of years ever proda [...]'d the like.

The consideration of this unconstancy in all these sub­lunary things was that which made that great Emperour of Persia, viewing his huge Army not to be numbred, scarce measured, fall a weeping,Quod nemo in­tra centum annos ex tania ju [...]en­ [...]e superfurunce [...]r [...]s, Just. because within some few yeares, scarce one of that mighty Holt would bee left a­live or remaining.

And as it is with particular men, so it is with whole Countreys, where is now the glory of Athens? the pomp of Macedon? the priviledge of the seven Churches spoke of in the Revelation? where the pride of Babylon? the vast­nesse of Nineveh? the lustre and beauty of Zion? or yet the honour of Jerusalem?

Jam seges est ubi Troid suit, now grasse growes there where Troy Town stood; those places which once were, now are not; those that now are, God knows how long they may continue so, and who knows what shall bee afterwards?

So that what limits Chronologers use to make of States, or Kingdomes, proportioning the ordinary period to be [Page 10] [...] [Page 11] [...] [Page 12] [...] [Page 13] [...] [Page 14]five hundred yeares, about which time (say they) they have the in period, or suffer some great and visible altera­tion: I dare not, I cannot affirme alwayes to be true, yet many times it falls out so, as other uncertaine things may doe. For instance: from David the first King that sate on Judahs throne, to Zedekiah the last, were 470 yeares. From Ceoro [...]s the first King of Athens, to Codrus the last, 490 yeares. From Lycurgus the Law-giver of the I [...] demonians, to Alexander the great, that subverted all, 491 yeares —. Nay, in our own Land, from the time that Julius Gesar entred it to that time the Romans quite left it, 500 yeares: then after, from the [...] intrusion under their Heptarchy, untill the united Mo­narchy by King Egbert, were 460 years. Indeed from the last great alteration by Duke William's Conquest, to these times, are a great deale more, though some would have it to fall out in the beginning of King, James his Reigne, in whose Crowne both Yorke and Lancaster, Eng­land and Scotland did so happily meet, which was like­wise from the Norman Conquest, 536 years.

But these Niceties I desire not to insist in or put weight upon. Its the generall onely is my ayme to shew, how sading the beauty of this world is, and how there's nothing permanent here below.absirut in terra suavit [...]r [...]ven­tium, gaudiorum inveniatur Ma­teria, cum tan­tis alternationi­bus tota mundi facies immute­tur, ut elevans allidatur & re­spires allisus, &c. Bern. in serm. fest. B. Ma. M. What present exam­ples I might produce for this, besides what hitherto hath been mentioned, every one may conjecture, that has but heard of the late desolations of fruitfull Germany, the ruines of poore Ireland, and the sad breaches and distra­ctions made within these four years in this unhappy Kingdome of England, each one being so many severall Monuments of the truth of this. He insist no longer therefore upon it, but draw up all into some usefull Ap­plications to our selves.

Not to set our hearts too much upon any of these worldly things. Ʋse 1 Mundus transit & con­cupiscentia ejus, Quid vis? utrum amare tempo­ralia & tran­sire cum tempo­re, an Christum amare, & in ae­ternum vivere? Aug. in Joh.

Habnere cuncta quo creabantur; Every thing had its time of beginning; and it is as true, every thing shall have its time of ending and dissolution. Suppose thou livest now in the height of all plenty and prosperity, thou en­joyest thy health, thy wealth, thy friends, thy Coun­trey; and all thine heart can desire. O blesse God for it, and be not thereby high minded, but rather feare, ever remembring that of the Apostle; Thou that now standest, take heed least thou fall: for what is it thine heart so much relies upon onEcce turbat Mundus & a­matur quid fi tranquillus esset? formoso quomodo hares, qui sic amplecta­rs foedum flores ejus quomedo colligeres, qui a sp [...]is non revo­cas manum? Aug. in Psal.? Hast thou a goodly Kingdom? so had Israel, yet now deprived of all. Hast thou plen­ty of riches, and all manner of store? so had Job, and yet within some few houres, become a Proverb for his poverty, while he fits in the dust tuning his fatall ditty, Naked came I out of my mothers womb, and naked shall I, re­turn thither againe; the Lord gives, and the Lord takes [...] blessed be the name of the Lord. Are thy barnes full of Corne, and thy garners of encrease? wantest thou room, (with him in the Gospel) to lay up thy Treasure in? O remember withall what was said unto him; Thou fool, this night may thy soule bee taken away from thee, and then whose are all those thou dost passesse? We Israel here, as rich, as great, as full, as any, yet now spoyled of all, can onely sit downe in a strange land and weepe, When wee remember Zion.

Therefore me thinkes it was excellent counsell, that of ‘an ancient Heathen, alwayes to consider well before hand, what it is thou settest thy beart upon, and so provide before hand,’ that if it should please God to take that thing away from thee, thou mayest not bee quite swallowed up of grief & sorrow [...], &c. Epicteu [...]. [...] [...] [Page 16]&c. Consider (saith he) with thy selfe what kinde of thing it is thou, so much affectest, alwayes beginning from the least. If thou takest delight in a fine pot or cu­rious glasse; consider it is but a glasse, a brickle vessell that may be broken; and therefore if it be, be not trou­bled: so, if thou dotest upon a Child, or thy Wife, think with thy self they are but flesh and blood, they may die; therefore if they doe, be not troubled: or thou lovest a dainty Horse, and prizest him high, consider he may fall lame, or get a surfet, or be stollen; therefore if he bee, bee not troubled: or thy heart is let upon thy brave Hou­ses and stately Palaces, remember that a spark of fire may consume them, or enemies plunder or destroy them; therefore if such a thing happen, be not troubled—, A meditation of an Heathen (I confesse) befitting a Christi­an, alwayes to stand upon ones guard; and with anothers Heathen (whose sobriety and vigilance herein I am afraid shames many a Christian.) When thou art going to bed, thus to thinkeDic mihi dormituro, potes non expergisci; dic experrecto, potes non dor­mire dic exean­ti, potes non re­dire; dic re de­unti, potes non exire, &c. Sen., perhaps I may never awake: up in the morning, perhaps I may never lie downe againe; go­ing abroad, perhaps I may never returne againe; being re­turned, perhaps I may never goe abroad again: seeing there is such changes in all these outward things, striving to get an heartIn hoc mun­do non timere, non dolere, non laborare, non periclitar [...] im­possibile sed plu­rimu [...] [...] rest, qua expectatio­ne, quo animo, quis (que) patiatur, Aug. ad. Di [...]. fitted for that change; that when it pleaseth God thy try all comes, thou mayest bee able to stand in the day of thy visitation.

Secondly, since all these worldly things are so muta­ble, let it be thy wisdome to set thine heart upon those things which are immutable, and cannot be taken away.Discite in hoc Mundo supra Mun [...]m esse, & si corpus ge­ritis, volite [...] in­vobis ales inte­rior. Ambrosil. de Virg. Pereant haec omnia, & dimi [...]an [...]s haec van [...] & in [...] a, conferamus not ad solam inquisiti­tion em cor [...] quae [...] non [...], Aug. [...].

There is nothing here below, but it's continually sub­ject to some losse or change, onely here's the comfort of a Christian, some things there are peculiar unto him, [Page 17]which he cannot be robbed or spoyled of, nor ever taken quite away from him, peace of Conscience, faith in Christ, assurance of Heaven, the favour of God, comforts of his Spirit, the merits and mercies of his Saviour and Redeemer; all the World cannot rob a Child of God of these: plunder his Goods, spoile his house, sequester his Lands, revile his good Name, reproach his Innocency; and the like, they may: but to rob him totally of his comforts here, or inheritance hereafter, that's without the reach of malice, or foes to doe: Let these therefore be thy study, thy care to attaine. It's the fault of us all, with Martha, we are carefull, and troubled about many things busie our selves about the profits and pleasures of this world, which fade in the very using; meanewhile neglect that one thing that is so needfull, (which having got, we are rich enough) even that good thing that can never be taken away from us [...], Chrysost.. O let it bee thy care therefore for the future, to looke over all these change­able, mutable things, and thirst after that, that one thing that is so needfull; Quantumli­bet sis avarus, sufficit tibi De­us. Terrum vel­les possidere? adde & coelum; plus est qui fe­cit terram & coelum, Aust. Christum & omnia, get but Christ, and thou hast all.O si sapis mi homo, mundum transire permitte cum concupiscentiis suis, cum tempore suo, ne tu ipse transeas cum tempore mundum: non ama, sed Christum ama, ut possis cum ipso in aeter­num vivere, Aug. tract. 2. in Ep. Jo. Cui Christus incipit dulcescere, necesse est a­marescere mundum, Bern. Mundum non ama, &c. (with Austin sweetly) ‘If thou be'st wise, if thou love thy selfe, love not the world; let it passe, lest thou passe away with it: But set thy heart rather upon God, that hee may be thy portion;’ upon Christ, that he may be thy Sa­viour; upon his blessed Spirit, that hee may be thy sup­porter: in a word; upon Heaven(s), that it may be thine inheritance, and thy treasure may be laid up there, where neither moth can corrupt, nor theeves breake through or steale.

I have insisted longer then I intended upon these persons here; yet I hope not without some use and benefit. [Page 18]It will make the better way to their passion in the next words.

And first of the Paena Sensus, which is two-fold.

  • 1. Sate down.
  • 2 And wept.

I shall observe three severall Circumstances, as so ma­ny aggravations of their griefe and sufferings, yeelding answerably three severall Observations.

Sate downe: Obser. 1 And is that so great a matter (might some reply) to sit quietly and at ease? if thou be'st weary (un­happy Israel) why canst thou not rise? and walke along the River fide, solace thy self with the greennesse of the meadows, and pleasant gliding of the streams? These, these to one that has sat too long, or is weary, may re­fresh him.

But away from us such miserable Comforters all: here indeed we fit, here our captive bodies take their place, not of ease or rest, but rather of grief and tears, while our un­captived souls meant-while wander abroad, and view the desolations of our poore Zion. Ah unhappy Zion, what comfort can there be in these strange Rivers? the remem­brance of thy Iordan to us is more pleasant then either Ti­gris or Euphrates, or all the Rivers of Babylon How can this strange Countrey seeme pleasant unto us,Od [...] valde pa­triam qui sibi bene putat quum peregr inatur, Aug. in Psal. 93 when we con­sider our owne Land lies waste, over-run with Enemies, and we as strangers thrust out of it; from our goodly Ci­ties, and rich Possessions; our seiled Houses, and stately Palaces; our Vineyards, and our Oliveyards; our Milke, and our Honey; in a word, from our Altars, and our Worship, and our Temple, and our God and all. O this, this is that which makes us sit downe so sadly here: viz. the serious consideration of our owne condition, thrustTu ver [...] mea Tellus & genitorum pa­tria vale: uam. viro licei Plurimum malis obruatur nullum est suavius solum. quam qued nutrivit e­um, Eurip. 1. out of Zion, and depriv'd of all. Whence Ob­serve: That

To bee driven out of Zion [...] Fu­rip. in Aegas. from ones home, and the House of God, rob'd and spoyled of all, is enough to put any one into a sad posture and con­dition.

I thinke I may save a labour of enlarging my selfe, or adding proofes: I wish, there be not some who heare me this day, can beare me witnesse to the truth thereof, out of their own too deare experience.

If not, that these sad times did not produce too many multitudes of examples both out of Ireland and England too, who have sealed the truth of this with their blood as well as with their tears, and with poor Israel here, have no other employment left to busie themselves withall, but onely to sit downe and weep.

Certainly, if ever Israels case was verified in any Age, it is in this, when so many are driven from their houses and their homes; from their Temples and their Worship; from their comforts, and their own; such as have had large possessions, and goodly inheritances; such as have flowed with milke and honey, with all manner of plenty and abundance, and have relieved thousands; yet now, they themselves forced to wander up and down, not knowing where to get a piece of bread.

Well, God knowes whose case it may be next; the very smoake of his own Countrey was sweeter to Ʋlysses, then all the pleasures of anotherNon dubia est Ithaci pru­dentia sed ta­men optat Fu­mum de pat [...]is posse videre fo­cis. Ovid. l. de Ponto. Nescio quae nata­le solum dulce­dine cunctos Ducit, & im­memores non sinit esse sui. Idē. [...], &c. Hom. [...], Hom. Odyss. 1..

O let it be so to thee who enjoyest it yet; Ʋse 1 make much of it while thou hast it.

Otherwise, should God drive thee out of thine owne Zion, amongst thy barbarous and cruell enemies where it may be thou shouldest not hear a Sermon once in a twelve moneth, but in stead of publick prayers thou shouldest [Page 20]have a Masse; instead of a Bible a Crucifix or rope of Beads; in stead of going to Church, made to goe on Pro­cession, or Pilgrimage to some Saint or Relique—Where thou shouldest not know where to lie, or whither to goe, or what to doe. I assure thee thou wouldst take as little joy in all these, in all their pompe and outside, as poore Israel does here, who can doe nothing now but [...]it downe and weep, when they remember Zion.

Secondly, if thou desirest still to enjoy thy Zion, and not be cast out and deprived of all, then take heed of that which will unavoydably cast thee out, and that is Sinne, and unthankfulnesse to the Lord thy God;Dan. 9.16. For our sins, and for the iniquities of our Fathers; Jerusalem, and thy people are become a reproach to all that are round about us, Eam. 1.8. sayes the Prophet Daniel: and Jeremy as plainly, Je­rusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore shee is removed. This, this is that cast Adam out of Paradise, Israel out of Ca­naan, and Judab into Captivity: This was that undid Judab, overthrew Jerusalem, wasted Zion, and will bee the destruction of any people. I say no more but what God himselfe warnes thee, Levit. 18.25. The Land is defiled, therefore I doe visit the iniquity thereof upon it; and the Land it selfe vomiteth out the Inhabitants thereof. Take heed of being defiled, if thou desirest not to bee vo­mited out of the good Land the Lord hath given thee.

Where was it they sate downe? Observat. 2 the fore-going words declare; viz. in Babylon; how ever of it selfe a pleasant and goodly Land, yet a Land of Heathens and Idolaters, of prophane and superstitious, of enemies to God, and scoffers at his Ordinances, as Lament. 1.8. Her enemies saw ber, and did mocke at her Sabbaths. And thus,

Not onely to be deprived of Gods Ordinances, but to be driven out amongst scoffers and mockers, is a sore Judgement indeed.

But further, it was not in Babylon, not in their Cities [Page 21]and Towns, or under their houses and coverings; that would have been some comfort unto us, to have enjoy­ed the society of men; perhaps some tender heart passing by, would at least have given us a sigh or groane, or pi­tyed our hard condition. Or if wee might have but had the benefit of their walls onely, to shelter us from the heat by day, or cold by night, wee would have been content to have lodged upon the hard stones, in the mid­dle of their streets, if we might have had so much favour shewed us; the stones perhaps, as they use to doe, would have relented at our misery; which the hard hearts of our enemies will not doe. But alasse! we cannoe have so much mercy shewed, as to be within their Walls, or in their Cities; but as though we were unworthy the socie­ty of men, even of our very enemies; we are driven out to wander upon the bankes of the Rivers, and such deso­late places, an ordinary habitation for Bitterns and Owles (as Isaiah speakes) for the Cormorant and the Raven, and the Ʋulture, these now are our best com­panions.Esa. 34.11. VVee were driven from our Countrey be­fore into Babylon, now out of Babylon, to the Wa­ters of Babylon; and whither they will drive us next, God knows, perhaps into the Rivers and Waters themselves.

However, happy were it for us if they would drive ue in, then there were an end of this our misery.

But behold their cruelty, they will not cast us into the Water, for feare they should dispatch us too soon, and so dying, wee should dye but once: Nor yet into the fire, lest it should turne and devoure them, as it did the three Childrens Enemies. They would not expose us to the mercy of wild beasts, lest the savage Creatures, as the Lyons to Daniel, should shew us more favour then the sons of Men: nor bury us alive in some hole or pit, lest the earth should not endure the burden, but swallow up them, as it did Corah and his Company; but they cast us out unto the wide world, to the Rivers brinke, [Page 22]to hunger, cold, solitude and nakednesse, that so not dying, we might continually dyeTe lapis & Montes immo­taque [...]upibus altis Rob [...]a, te sevae pregenuere ferae, Ovid. Epist. 7. Saevior es tristi Busir ide, saevio­illo Qui falswn lent o torruit igne bove [...]n, &c. Ovid. 3. Trist. 11. Non tam omni­tus ignos [...]ere est crudelitas, quam [...]ullum modum tenere, Sen.; whence learn that ‘The tender Mercies of the wicked are cruell.’

How hardly is poore Israel used here? and God knows whose turne it may be next; however, this is that you see must be expected at their hands, unheard of cruelty and incompassion. Right Honourable and beloved, there is, there is at this day a Babylon too, a Romish Baby­lon, into whose hands, if ever God should give you up, you are like to finde as little mercy as Israel does here.

The world has experienc'd, and wee too, what their tender mercies have been; not to goe so farre as the In­dies, and enquire how they used the poore Natives there, hanging, killing, burning, roasting some upon spits, bay­ting others at a stake with MastiffesEt Lupus & turpes instant merrentibus ur­si, Et quaecunque utino [...] nobilita­ [...] fera est, Cv. like Bulls or Beares, burying others up to the neck in the ground, and then bowling at their heads, in stead of a Jack, untill they had knocked out their braines, with thousands of cruelties more.

Hispaniola a little Island, can give you a Catalogue of ten hundred thousand Natives murthered there; and the Continent neare by, of threescore hundred thousand in seventeen years space; and in forty years, an hundred and fifty hundred thousand killed and murthered: and above five times as much ground as all Spain utterly wasted and depopulated.

And I wish our deare younger sister of Ireland, could not present her Catalogues too; how, from that time shee was circumvented, and caught in an evill net, since that horrid, and (never to bee exprest with tearmes bad enough) savage, heathenish, tygerish, hellish Rebellion broke out, (as credibly has been reported) above foure hundred thousand poore Protestants lives (in little more then foure yeares space) have been made a sacrifice to their rage and fury.

Neither has our Kingdom of England wanted expe­rience of their tender mercies, both

Long agoe, when our streets ran with blood of Martyrs, and every corner flamed with Eliahs Pendit, in ex­pleto non fanda piaculo Busto. Cum laceras Aruss aequata (que) vulnera mem­bris vidimus, &c. Lucan. 2. fiery Chariots, car­rying scorched soules to Heaven; to say nothing of their great fire (so neare this place) close coucht in the bowels of the earth; ever blessed be God, their Plot and Powder would not take; or their Racks, their Gibbets, their Tortures, and what not, in those Marian days, when all was at their mercy. And

Of late, in this unnaturall bloody Warre now amongst us, a fruit of the former tree, a spawne of the old Ser­pent; a Warre, I am confident, begot in Rome, hatcht in Ireland, and fostered up in England and Scotland by the same Nurses and Midwives, the Jesuites and their adhe­rents, who were the first Plotters and contrivers of it.

Right Honourable and Beloved, durst I be so bold, I could name you the man yet living amongst us, to whom it was confest, by one very neare to the Conclave of Rome, almost foure yeares before any thing appeared (in Anno 1637.) what should happen within few yeares after; the time, the yeare, the place where it should begin, whi­ther after it should spread; with other remarkable cir­cumstances, as he heard it himself plotted at Rome before, and has punctually fallen out both in Ireland and England since.

O if these, and such like bee the tender mercies of the wicked; what then is their rage and fury? I say no more but what old Jacob said, (Gen. 49.6.) O my soul come thou not into their secret, and unto their Assembly mine Honour bee thou not united. Cursed bee their an­ger, for it is fierce; and their wrath for it is cruell.

And the Lord give us all grace to prevent him this day by our timely repentance and amendment, lest our sins cause him to give us up a prey unto their rage and fury; and if it be his will, rather take us into his mercy, [Page 24]then give us up unto theirs: but divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

There is one hint more out of this word sate, Obser. 3 and that is the continuance of this their desolate condition.

Sitting in Scripture, usually implies long continuance; (as were easie to shew, if the time would permit) so here, it is not standing, or a spurt and away, but we sate long by it; the hard ground being our softest cushion, and open aire our warmest Canopy —. Here we sit by the wa­ters side, gazing upon the swift gliding streames, which as they passe along, put us in minde of our flitting and momentany condition; the bubling, murmuring brooks, teaching us to sigh and groane; and the moist watery streames, calling aloud for our watery teares. Thus day after day, here we sit, and cannot withall but ac­knowledge ‘Gods just dealing with us herein.’

We were long setled upon our Lees, long sate in our sins, and rebellions against God before, and now God payes us home in our owne kind;Sic pectora magnis obsessa tralis, [...]ctu non sunt ferienda le­vi, Ser [...]trag. Sic pectora magnis, &c. long ‘continued fearefull sins, must expect long continued Judgments, and so usually it falls out that’ ‘Gods Judgements commonly are proportioned to mans sinne.’

God calls, the sinner sits still; he promises, they sit still; threatens, still they sit; corrects and plagues, sends his Judgements abroad, for all that they sit still. Some sit all day over their sick healths, their drunken cups, till (as the Prophet speaks) the wine enflame themIn ebriis non ratio ulla, non ullum vitae ge­rendae consilium, nec gestorum aut lectionum memoria, &c. Aug.; some (with Sampson) sit too long with their Delilahs on their lap, till a snare Libido velut festuca est cito accēditur, prope. consumitur, Amb. Saevus Criminum stimulus Libido quae nunquam quietum patitur affectum, [...] fervet, die anhelat, &c. Bern. enter into their soule: some sit whole dayes and nights too up at Cards and Dice, and yet think [Page 25]an houre too long to sit at a Sermon: Others sit in the seat of scorners, mock and flout at Religion and all good­nesse; others in the gate and way of sinners, in places of Rule and Authority, and take advantage thereby to oppresse the poore and ueedy, and pervert Justice and Judgement in the gate— Well, let all these take heed, o­therwise God can give them sitting enough whence they shall not easily arise.

There is, there is (my beloved) a day comming when we must all sit— nay, lye downe in the valleys of the shadow of death (how soone God onely knows) when each one of us must say to corruption, thou art my Father, and to the Worm, thou art my mother and my sister. O you therefore, who now sit here, and all in health and peace before God;Job 17.14. take heed, take heed I say of fitting too long in your sins and wickednesse, lest God quit you in your owne kinde, and give you sitting enough with Israel here, even sitting down in wrath, and rising up in sorrow. — Which brings me to the other part of this their passion, —they sate downe —, yea they wept when, &c.

Secondly, Yea, we wept.

Indeed, they that carryed us away Captive, required of us a song and melody in this our heavinesse, Sing us one of the songs of Zion, said they scoffingly unto us. But alas, Vers. 3 an answer was ready at hand, Quî cautabimus; How shall wee sing the Lords song in a strange Land? Weepe, Vers. 4 or groane out a Song we may, but for us to tune our pipes, now to sing or make melody in this our beavinesse that's impossible —. Indeed we have brought our Harps along with us, a good minde we had you see, to remember Zion in our mirth; but alasse, Vers. 2 we were forced to hang them upon the willowes in the midst thereof: and now to remember it in our tears, no use at all have we of them now; Non est conveniens luctibus iste so­nus, Musick and Banishment, Destruction and Singing, Harpes and weeping suit but ill together.

Other Instruments indeed we have brought along with us wil fit the Chorus wel, heavie hearts, and minds opprest, [Page 26]sighing souls and weeping eyes, these are our harpes and viols, & organs now, nothing now but sit down & weep.

And therefore lest this Fountaine should overflow, give me leave to divide it into these three Channels, which will containe it all, — And so consider them weeping here,

First, Fletu Contritionis, with the teares of sorrow or Contrition for our sins that have been the cause of all this; We have powred out rivers of rebellions and wic­kednesse before, and now we are quitted in our own kind, forc'd to powre out whole rivers of teares. [...]. Naturalists say, ‘no such way to cure a heart tainted with poison, as to weepe extreamely;’ no other way have wee to cure these soules of ours tainted with the poyson of so much sin and ungodlinesse, as now to sit downe and weepe—. Recall them wee cannot, that's beyond our power being past and gone; or to undoe them againe, that's im­possible, there's the misery of sin, once done, it's done for ever; and to satisfie for the least of them, that infinitely ex­ceeds our ability; for Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, Micah 6.6. (as the Prophet speaks) or bow my selfe before the most high God? shall I come with thousands of Rams, or ten thou­sand Rivers of Oyle? shall I give my first born for my transgressi­on, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? No, it cost more to redeem a soule, finite can never satisfie for infinite; Wee must let that alone for ever, noely weep we may; and every teare as it comes trickling from our eyes, puts us in mind from whence came all our miserie, even from our selves, Perditio tua ex te O Israel, our destruction is from our selves; now we may see whom it is we have to thanke for all: not God, no he deales but justly with us, and according to our deserts. Not the Babylonians, no they are but Gods Instruments, the rod of his wrath in the hand of the Lord; and when the Father has done correcting his childe, he can soone take the Rod and cast it into the fire. Not our ill luck or fortune, no wee had a faire time before, and would take no warning at all. But Sin it is, our sins and rebellions against the Lord our God, has [Page 27]brought all this upon usMalorum om­nium nostrorum Causa est pecca­tum, &c. Ang.. And therefore in considera­tion of this our hard condition, which our selves have brought our selves into, wee can doe nothing now but weepe: Speaeke we cannot, our hearts are too full of griefe and sorrow to utter our minds; and pray wee dare not, because thou Lord art angry with us; or if wee would, whither shall wee direct our prayers? to thine Angels, whom thou hast sent formerly to deliver us? they, neither dare, nor can help us, without commission from thee: To the Patriarchs and saints of old, for whose sake thou hast done great things for us? yea,Esa. 63.16. but Abraham is ig­norant of us, and Isaac knows us not, there is little help to bee look'd for from them. Then to Balaim or Ashte­roth, to Chemosh or Milcom, or some of the Gods of the Heathens? No alasse, we have gone too long a whoring after them, and that has brought us to all this. VVhat then? to thee O thou preserver of men? But thee it is whom we have offended, and hast cast us off, and art displea­sed with us; O which way shall we turn us ‘To what distractions Sin drives a man to at last?’

VVee know not what to doe, but onely sit downe and weep. So that since our tongues and mouths cannot, (Lord) our eyes onely now cry aloud for mercy to thee.

See, see the unhappy fruit of all lewd and sinfull courses.

Quantillae voluptatis causa, as that Emperour said,Plutarchus de Lysimache. when he had sold his Army and Kingdome for a cup of cold water being athirst, for how short, how small a plea­sure, what an Army, what an Empire have I lost? So may every foolish Sinner say, For how few houres of fading pleasures here, do we purchase to our selves days, and moneths, and years, nay whole Myriads of grief and paine hereafter.

Noeet empta dolore voluptas, it is but an ill Feast that has so sawcy a reckoning, for an Ounce of joy, to have a Pound of sorrow; for my sinfull and momentany delightsIllad solum est Lucrum ubi fructus p [...]r­p [...]tuus, ubi mer­ces aterna, Amb. op. 44. here, (with unhappy Israel) now to have the displea­sure of God, the frownes of my Saviour, banishment from my Country, losse of all; and for my reward sit down and weep.

Ʋse. O thinke upon this, all you who forget God, re­member that after summer then comes harvest, after sowing follows reaping; and what a man sowes, that shall hee also reap: Gal 6.7. He that sows unto the flesh, shall of the flesh reape cor­ruption; and be that sows unto the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. Hee that sows unto sin, shall reape the reward of sin, and that is death, to iniquity, the fruit of iniquity, and that is shame and bitternesse in the latter end.

VVhen the day-worke once is done, then comes the wa­ges, and a wise Labourer will count before-hand, what he shall have for all his paines, what it is he works for, that so he may not lose his labour afterwards. A wise Chap­man will consider the price of his Commodity before he carry it home. A Porter will not carry a burden before he have lifted it, and considered the weight of it, that he may know whether he be able to carry it or no. O that the sons of men were so wise in their generations as these are! Did they but seriously consider with themselves what it is they labour in the wayes of sin all their time for, and what their wages shall be another day: Did they but cast up the price of this deare Commodity of sinne what it comes to, or poise & weigh beforehand, what the burden will bee, of so many thousand Oaths, of so many lustfull thoughts; of so many uncleane actions, of so ma­ny desperate wilfull habituate sins, against God, and his truth, and Gospell, and all; did they (I say) but seriously consider, and thus cast up their accounts before-hand; I beleeve wisdome would teach them, not hastily to venture upon so ill a bargaine.

Pope Leo the tenth was much mistaken (as Popes may [Page 29]be for all their infallibility) who (as they say) was the first inventer of that Taxa Camarae Apostolicae, a Rate-book (to be seen this day in the Vatican at Rome) containing the prices of all sins, so much for a murther, so much for an Incest, so many Dollars for a Rape, so many Crowns for a Treason, such a sum for a Blasphemy, &c. (enough to invite any man to sin, when he knowes the price be­fore-hand, and how reasonable a rate he may have it at:) I say he was much mistaken in these prices of sin, for it cost farre more to redeeme a soule. These poore Israelites can tell you a great deale better, and out of experience too what it cost them: namely, the losse of Gods favour, the for­feiture of his protection, banishment out of their Coun­trey, purchase of confusion; and after all, fitting downe and weeping; thus deare it cost them, what ever others think.

And did but our lustfull Gallant, as hee passes by the corner of the street, in the twilight, in the evening, Prov. 7.9. in the darke and blacke night, with the price of Iniquity in his hand, consider as he goes along, the price he must pay to God too for such a sin; how many repentant teares hee must (with poore Israel here) weep, before ever hee can come to wash off the spots and guilt of such a sin of his soul again.

Or would but our drunken Nabals, as they count their healths, score up likewise the number of those sighs and groanes, this mirth must cost them, before ever they can come into Gods favour againe.

Or our deceiptfull Ballancers, as they put the false weight into one scale, put the true into the other, the true weight of so many checks of Conscience, so many hor­rours of soule, so many gripes and pangs of repentant sorrow it will cost them afterward, and then observing well, which scale weighs heaviest, let them say with De­mosthenes, whether they will, [...], buy repentance at so deare a rate.

It was a wilde Meditation of one, but proved well in [Page 30]the conclusion; suppose said he, I should thus say with my selfe, Ile drinke, and Ile sweare, and Ile whore, and Ile cheat; and Ile doe what I list. And what then? Ile quarrell, and Ile kill, and Ile care for no man. And what then? Ah could I say, Ile goe to Heaven too, Ile be saved, Ile have blisse and happinesse afterward, it were some­thing: but then, then I must die, I must come to judge­ment, and hold up my hand at the barre of Gods Tribu­nall, and afterward pay deare for all my short and mo­mentany pleasures here. O surely (as hee said before) I will never purchase repentance at so deare a rate; Farre better (with poore Israel) to weepe unto true contrition and repentance here,Ʋtinam quis daret Capita meo aquas, & orulis meis fon­tem lad ryma­rum, farte enim non repe [...]iret ignis caurens, quod interim stuens Lacrhy ma diluisset, Bern. then weep in hell hereafter for the want of it, and that without a­mendment.

Secondly, we wept Fletu Devotionis, with the teares of true devotion; as if they should thus have said. VVe can­not but see that God is angry with us, that the fire of his wrath is gone out against us, and has almost consumed us. All the Rivers of Babylon, no nor the whole Ocean to boot, is able to quench one sparke of that flame, onely our true repentant teares must doe it. And there­fore all we can doeTantum pae­nitendo Lachry­marum bibat, quantum quis a Deo se meminit amisisse per cul­pam Grego. is to sit downe and weep, and here in the devotion of our souls to poure them out before the Lord.

I forbeare to mention the strange Encomiums that the ancient Fathers have of true repentant Teares, that they are, the Spongia peccatorum, Chrys. Vinum Angelo­rum, Bern. Holocaustum pingue, Greg. Quae rigant cae­lum Chrysost. Quod defendi non potest, ablui potest, Amb. Impossibile est, filium tantarum Lachrymarum perire, Amb. Sponges to dry up all our sinnes; the wine of Angells; the bedewers of beaven, &c. Ile rather turne the streame thus. Why doe these Israelites weepe thus ex­treamly? why thus mourne? had they not present com­forts and refreshments by them? present delights and joyes to cheare them? what doe they weep for then?

Answ. In one word, God is angry, he is displeased with them, and that now is the true Cause of all their griefe, of all their Teares.

Whence Observe,

There can bee no true pleasure in any thing in the world so long as God is angry.

Its a strange thing, can Israel doe nothing now but sit down and weepe? What though they be driven from their owne Countrey; yet now let them make the best of it they can, Levius fit, &c. Patience makes that light, Levius fit pati­entia quiequid corrigere est ne­fas. which cannot otherwise be helpt: Was not Babylon a pleasant land, scituate upon so many waters, neare (as most Geographers think) to the Garden of Eden, the Paradise of God; but alasse, what's all this to the purpose? Eden is no Eden, so long as God is angry; and Paradise it self's anQuicquid praeter Deum est, dulce non est, quicquid mihi vult dare Do­minus meus, auferat toturn, & se mihi det. Aug. supr. Psal. 26. Hell, so long as God's not there.

Si mihi Scribis, &c. (sayes Bernard) if you write unto me, ‘if I doe not find the name Jesus in your Letters, I care not for them: if you discourse or talke unto mee, if it be not of Christ, of my Saviour and Redeemer, I heed it not.’ So may I say, you may follow your pleasures, if God be not with you in them; you may goe about your businesse, if God goe not with you; you may please your selves with all the delights of the sonnes of Men, if God be angry,Inquieturn est Cor nostrum donec requiescat in te Domine, Aug. Cons. if he be displeased and frown upon you, all is nothing, but will prove in the end a continuall torment, a continuall hell.

Inquietum est Cor nostrum, &c. you know whose speech it was; as the point of the needle trembles continually till it point just north; so our soules can never be at quiet till it rest in thee O GodPlatonici dicunt, beatum esse Hominem fruentem Deo, non sicut Cor­pore, vel scipso fruitur Animus, aut sicut Ami­cus Amico, sed sicut Luce Ocu­lus, Aug. l. 8. de Civ. Dei..

As the Ancient Fathers were wont to say of an ill Con­science, it was like a scolding wife; a man (say they) may goe about his businesse, and solace himselfe all the day long, with drinking, and his merry companions, but when he thinkes hee must goe home at night, to his vex­ation, that damps all his mirth, and quite marrs and spoiles all: so is it here, men may solace themselves in sinfull pleasures, and take their swing in all mirth [Page 32]and jollity; but when they consider that all this while God is angry and night will come, their last long night of death, when they must goe home,Non est quo fugias a Deo i­tate, nisi ad De­ [...]n placatum Il­le totus Oculus, quta omnia vi­det; totus Ma­nus, quia o [...]n [...] operatur, &c. Aug. in Psal. 74. & Ps. 120. and come unto an account, for all their sinnes and offences against this God; this, this is enough to coole and damp all.

And this very thing was that which makes them sit down and take no pleasure in any thing but onely to weepe. It's true, the losse of their goods was much, the losse of friends more, the losse of Zion more then either, but the losse of God, that he is angry and displeased, that's the vexation and grief of all.

O therefore thinke upon this all you who enjoy this worlds good, and doe what you lust; you who solace your selves in unlawfull gaines and pleasures, and yet say no eye shall see you; who wallow in all manner of sin and wickednesse, and sport your selves in iniquity; yet never consider all the while that God is angry and dis­pleased with you —. O be perswaded betimes to make God your friend, doe not continue in his anger and dis­pleasure, but get into his favour againe, else I assure you all the pleasures of Babylon, will bee no pleasures; all the delights in the world will be but bitternesse in the lat­ter end.

Rather with Israel weep, for offending this good God with true devotion and affection, and trust in Christ here. Otherwise I can tell you of another place, where you shall be forc'd to weepe whether you will or no, and all too lateIn Infer no nulla est Re­demptio, quoni­um nec pater ibi potest adjuvare filium, nec filius patrem, ibi non invenitur Ami­micus, &c. vide Aug. in Serm. ad Erem. — Et postea, Ʋnde miscri prae nimia doloris amaritudine amarissime flentes, & prae angustia spiritus gementes, dicent in Inferne, &c., even in that proper place of Weeping and wayling, and gnashing of teeth.

O how much better therefore, farre better to weep a flood of teares here, rather then be drown'd in a sea of wrath hereafter!

Thirdly, we wept Fletu Compassionis, with the teares of pitty and Compassion; which brings in the last part, and another Aggravation of their griefe. And that is,

Paena Damni, the punishment of losse, losse of Friends, of Kindred, of Houses, of Country, of God, the losse of Zion includes all.

Suppose we had lost our goods, yet if we might have enjoyed our houses, or our Towns and Cities, the mat­ter had been the lesse: or if we had lost these, if we might have but enjoyed our Canaan, the promised Land, there had been some comfort in that: or if we had been driven out of Zion, yet might we have enjoyed the God of Zion, had we had his favourable countenance to shine upon us, all had been nothing: but to be deprived of goods, and houses, and Towns, and Countrey, and God and all; O this, this makes us we cannot chuse but weep, when thus we remember Zion.

And here I shall confine this remembrance of Zion un­to two heads; namely,

  • in statu quo Nune.
  • in statu quo Prius.

First, they remember Zion, in statu quo prius, in her former condition, when shee was in the height of all plenty and proserity, when shee enjoy'd both riches and peace, and honour, and abundance, and all: had this peo­ple never had these things, the trouble had been the lesse, because they could not know the want of them; but to enjoy them so many yeares together, and with such a full hand too, and now after all this, to be thrust out of all, this makes them recount and ponder them the more. Besides their plenty, prosperity, and peace, they remember their Sabbaths which once they had; they re­member their glorious Temple, which once they enjoy'd; they remember their God, whom once they worshipt; their Redeemer, who had formerly defended them; in a word, they remember their Zion in prosperity and glory, as once it was, and all the pleasant things they had in the dayes of old.

But to come a little closer, bothNemo recor­datur nisi quod in praesentia non est positum, Aug. S. Austin, andAquin. Phi­losophers tell us, that ad Reminiscentiam semper requiritur praecedent oblivio, Remembrance alwayes is of such a [Page 34]thing as is forgot: therefore in that it's said here, wee remembred Zion, it must needs denote out unto us these 2 Things;

1. That they had forgot, in their prosperity, they little heeded or regarded Zion then.

2 Now in banishment being driven out, now they re­member.

First, it necessarily implies they had forgot, else how could they now remember? in their peace and plenty they had but little regard of Zion then. It faring with them as usually it doth with the outer sences of the body, you know it is an Axiome in Philosophy, Omne sensibile pasitum supra sentum, impedit sensati [...]nem. Any object not kept at a distance, but laid close unto the Organ of Sence, quite dulls and hinders the sense it selfe: as for example, the finger held close to the eye quite blinds it; a great sound neare the eare quite deafes it; like those Catadupi (a peo­ple dwelling neare the fall of Nilus) who by continuall hearing of those Cataracts or downefall of the waters, heare nothing at all. So this people, while they were in their owne Countrey, compass'd close with the rich mer­cies and blessings of their God, neither see, nor heard, nor regarded Zion then, these blessings were too neare and common with them, and therefore they so little regar­ded them then.

And I would this were Israels case alone, and that mutato nomine, it were not true of England likewise, as well as of Israel; and that God hath not just cause to take up the same complaint against us, that a great man did a­gainst one in another case, to whom he had shew'd many favours, and hee con'd him but little thanks againe. Quantum, Quantum ego dedi, & quan­tillum re­cepi? &c. how many favours have I shew'd to him, how ill has he required me? So God to us, Quantum ego dedi, how many blessings, how many favours, how many deliverances have I wrought for them; & quantillum re­cepi; how little thankes, what poore obedience, have they return'd? how ill have they requited me? nay, I pray God it be never said upon us for a Curse, that our heed­lesnesse [Page 35]and forgetfulnesse of both former, and late bene­fits, doe not hinder new favours and mercies from us. And I am verily perswaded it is not one of the least argu­ments the accuser of mankind has to make God angry with us, that we doe not remember and prize our present Zion so as we should.

Things are common and ordinary with us, we goe to bed at night, and sleep well; and rise in the morning,Mos est oblivl­sei Hominibus, neque novisse cujus nihil sit faciunda gratia Plaut. in Cap. Job. 7. and go about our businesse; sit down to eate and drinke, and rise up to play, and at night goe to rest againe; and never heed or regard these mercies more.

Whereas, should we lye downe upon our sick beds, and tosse up and downe (with Job) waking and weary to the dawning of the day; or (with him and many of Gods deare Children now a dayes) should our skin cleave unto our bones by reason of hunger; and our tongues for thirst, Job. 19.20. unto the rooses of our mouth; an houres rest then, or the worst morsell that now wee throw unto the dogs; how pleasant and sweet would it taste, if once weLuxurieso frugal [...]as paena est, pigro suppli­cij loco Labor est, Delicatus miseretur Indu­strii, desidioso studere, torqueri est. Eodem mo­do ad quae om­nes imbecilles sumus, dura at (que) intoleran­da credimus, obliti quam multis tormen­tum sit aut vino carere aut pri­ma luce excitari &c. Seneca lib. 2. Epist. 72. wanted it?

Prope ad te Deus est, intus est, &c. (saith St. Austin sweetly) God be mercifull to us in this one thing, I am afraid we are all too faulty in it, God is ever by us; he is alwayes about us, there's not a moment that wee can live without God and his good Mercies towards us, and yet this God, and these Mercies daily, and hourely we forget.

Give a child a Rattle or a Counter to play withall, and hee'l forget Father and Mother, and dinner, and supper, and all to play with his Counter. Ah foolish babes that we are, that the toyes and fooleries of this present world should affect us so, that wee forget our Maker, our good Zion, and these present comforts we enjoy.

Suppose God should leave us in our owne kind, and (but for one moment) forget us, as we daily and houre­ly forget him; Lord, what would become of all our Rattles and Counters, and Bables then! Irsrael here, all the time of [Page 36]their prosperity forgot the good things of their Zion, now being carryed away Captive and deprived of them, they now remember all—, which brings me to the se­cond thing.

Now in their Captivity they remember Zion. Quasi Ebrius expergefactus fentit unde ce­ciderat: Calv. Quasi ebrius expergefactus, (saith Calvin) they were just like a drunken man that's fill'd with wine, sleeps securely all night, heares nothing, feels nothing, or regards nothing, but awak't in the morning, begins to bethinke himselfe of every passage the night before, how hee had abus'd himselfe, and his friends, and the good Creatures of God; and if he have any sparke of ingenuity or grace, is exceeding troubledBona illa est ebrietas, quae infundit laetiti­am, non affert confusionem, Amb. at it. So Israel here, fill'd, nay drunke with the rich mercies of their God before, fall asleepe in the dark night of forgetfulnesse, are quite senselesse of all former favours towards them, but now by afflictions and banishment being awak't, doe recall the passages of former times, what they enjoyed, what mer­cies they had, and how they abus'd them all, themselves, and their peace, and their God and all.

It was but an odde opinion of Plato, that all know­ledge was but onely remembranceTantum sci­mus quantum memoria tene­mus, Cic. 2. de unib. Omnis Discipli­na memoria constat frustra­que docemur, si quicquid au­dimus praeter­stuat, Quint. l. 11., and yet it holds true in poore Israel here, all the knowledge of their Zi­on is but onely a bare remembrance; before (as you heard) it was forgetfulnesse, and perhaps they could wish it might be so againe (with Themistocles, who when one offered to teach him the art of Memory, desired ra­ther to learne the art of Forgetfulnesse) that now being deprived of their Zion, for ever they might be depriv'd of the remembrance likewise of that they have lost, which is indeed the cause of all their sorrow, and of all their teares.

Had they done thus before, and with that Potter (that the Story goes of) who once by the election of the peo­ple comming to bee a King, caused every day to bee set upon his Royall Cup-board halfe Plate, and half Ear­then Vessels; the one to put him in mind what hee is, [Page 37]the other what hee was: So had this people formerly been but mindfull what they were, Potters, nay worse; toylers in brick and clay in Egypt, and now come to that height to be head and Queen of the Nations, they had ne­ver been driven to this perplexity now; but now being thrown down into the mire and clay of afflictions again, now too late they remember all, though with sighs and teares.

Geographers relate a strange thing of one part of the Earth, where moisture begets drynesse, and drought maistuce, and yet it's so here, the moist gliding streames of pro­sperity, beget dry barren forgetfulnesse, and the hot scorching flames of affliction and persecution, moist fruitfull remembrance [...], Chrys.. Israel were wicked in their owne holy Land, now they are growne godly in the profane Countrey of their enemies.

In Zion, when they were neare their God, then they were farre from him; now in Babylon, when they are dri­ven from his presence, they creep close unto him; this is the worke of God, and it is marvailous in our eyes; when gentle corrections, Funieuli Adam, the bonds of love cannot draw us, Abenea juga & flagella aculeata, iron yoakes and stinging Scorpions, shall drive us whether wee will or no.

Ʋse. And I would to God, wee would but at last take out this lesson from them, and play our after-game as well as they: That we have all of us been too for­getfull of the good mercies of our God,Pacile memini­mus quae volu­mus, at non licet oblivisci quae volumus, Cic. desi I. both our owne Consciences, and these present distempers that are a­mongst us, witnesse sufficiently to our face. O that we were but so wise, now afterwards to remember, how we have offended this God, abused these mercies; and in conclusion wrong'd and ruin'd our selves thereby; these Meditations even now at last (though late) may doe us a great deale of good, which had they been thought on in time, might have prevented much of that mischief which has long ly'en so heavy upon us, and without the mercy of [Page 38]God is ready to overwhelme us.

I shall never forget that dying speech of Cardinall Woolsey, who being apprehended and arraigned of Trea­son, broke out into this passionate complaint, O si Deo meo, &c. O had I been but as carefull to please my God, as I was to please my King, this misery had never befaln mee.

So may I say, certainly had we in our plenty and abun­dance, in our former peace and quiet, been as carefull to please our God, as we were to please our selves, and our lusts, and our sinfull pleasures and delights, these Warres, and bloodshed, and distractions had never thus strangely overtaken us.

Well, let it bee our wisdome now at last, though late, very late God knows, with Israel here, to remember both God and our selves; if not, how cleare soever the Hea­vens seeme now in regard of thy particular, yet know, the day may overcastOprima quaeq. dies mi­seris mortalibus aevi prima fa­git, subeunt mor­bi, trist [...]sq se nectus & La­bot, & curae, &c Virg. 3. Geor. Meliora prae­tervolant, dete­riora [...]uccedunt, Sen. Ep, and God may be as farre off, as now hee's near at band. O what then wilt thou doe? when God thy guide, thy Pilot, the rock and stay of thy soule has forsaken thee? then it may be thou'lt remem­ber, when it is too late (as Israel here) not with joy, but with sorrow, all the pleasant things which thou hadst in the dayes of old Lam. 1.7..

Secondly, they remember Zion, in statu quo nunc, or as they left it, all ruin'd, spoyl'd, ransack'd and de­stroy'd.

And here, Avertite oculos, turne aside your eyes, all you that passe by, from beholding that which our eyes saw, lest your hearts also breake out into teares as well as ours. An unhappy Zion! watered with bloud, as well as teares, the fitting object of our pity, but past our help.

Remember thee we may, but for our tongues to utter what our eyes did see, may unlessen thy paines, but not our grief. Yet if we must needs sing one of the Songs of Zion, where shall wee first begin? but it's no matter where; Confusion best befits the description of that, where we saw nothing else, and of that Land wherein wee are, whose very name is so.

VVell, we wept then,Jerem. 4.19. when we remembred the sound of the Trumpet, and Alarum to warre, the prancing of their Horses, and fury of their mighty ones; how like a mighty tempest they came thundering downe the Moun­taines, and like an overflowing Torrent broke out from a far over-spreading all the Land.

When we remember, how they begirt our City round,Lam. 5. so that we gat our bread with the perill of our lives, and our skins were blacke like an even, because of the terrible famine [...], Menand.. How the tongue of the suckling clave to the roose of its mouth for thirst; and the young children asked bread, and no man brake it to them. Nay, how the hands of the piti­full Women sod their owne Children, and they were their meate, in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

And yet these were but the beginnings of sor­row.

But further, when we remember how furiously they brake downe the walls of our City, and madly rang'd about our streets, Qualis per arva Leo, Qualis per ar­va Leo fulvam minari fronte concutiens ju­bam, Sen. Trag. &c. like mad un­tamed Beares or Lions wasting and spoyling all, if wee stay'd within our doores they fired our houses about our eares, and sadly made them our urnes or geaves to bury us in; if we step out, O what dreadfull speetacles there we see!

On the right hand husbandsArma non servant medu [...], nec tempera [...] facile, nec re­primi potest stricti Ensis I­ra, Bella dele­ctat cruor, Sen. in Herc. fur. and Parents and Chil­dren (Asahel like) wallowing, and tumbling in blood; on the left our Wives and Virgins ravisht before our eyes; if we look before us, nothing but fire and sword, rage and fury, horrour and contusion: if behinde us, all see their naked swords and speares points, how neare they are to runius through. It blove in, sinoke and none, darknesse and amazement; [...]der, Children and Suck­lings, aged Parents and Kindre [...] rolling in their goare, under our very feet: Ah Cord is be sunt, non oculorum Lachry­ma.

And now as we flee away, see, see our glorious Temple where it stands, he joy or the whole earth, that wherein [Page 40]we put our trust, now all on a flaming fire; see how furi­ously they rage about it, as if happy he who can pull down the first stone; how rudely they throw down our Altars, dig up our Fathers Sepulchres, and Tombes of Kings and Prophets, throwing their sacred ashes about the streets?

See what heapes of dying bodies lie gasping here, and there,Perfurit & to tum misce: Mars impius or­bem, heu diro in­venta est ab Jo­ve tanta lues. hundreds of sculls, and legs, and armes, with mangled carcasses every where, ike that Emperour at the siege of Damascus, that fil'd all the ditches about the City with dead bodies, and built three great Towers with the very skulls of those that were destroyed in the siege of it.

If one profest that he could not forbeare weeping while hee did but read the description of it; can you blame poore Israel, who both saw and felt all this, and a great deale more; if they sit down and weep at the remembrance of it?

But Ile gaule your eyes no longer with this tragicall de­scription of poore Israels case; turne them but inwards a little into the bowells of your owne Countrey, and perhaps you will see England (God be thanked) not altogether yet in so bad a case as Israel was here, yet basting on apace, yea even in such a case already, as may justly make you like­wise sit downe, yea and weepe too; when you remember England. and that

In Israels twofold Condition, both what it was, and what it is.

First, hee that had lookt upon the face of England se­ven yeares agoe, and seen how smooth, how amiable, how beautifull it was—and should view it again, how worn; how old, how wrinkled and weather-beaten it is now, would scarce ever owne it to be the same face, the same England that it was before.

O blessed God! how soone hast thou made us know what all the pompe and glory of this world is! even ligh­ter then vanity itselfe.

As in water (sayes the Wise man) face answers unto face; [Page 41]so (in the water of your teares) let face a little answer unto face, and view this Land what not long since it was, and what now it is.

Looke but on the State in generall as sormerly you have known it, how rich, how strong, how quiet,O pax serenitas. Mentis, sran­quillitas animi, vit culum amo­ris, Consor tium Charitatis, cun­ctis placida, &c. vid. Aug. de verb. Dom. how peacea­ble it was, a man might have rid from one end of England to the other, & not meet with an enemy, not seen a sword drawne, or heare the sound of a Drum or Trumpet in a twelvemonth—. And to have the news brought of a man kill'd, Monstrum horrendum! it rang as a prodigie, or some strange thing all the Kingdom over.

And looke upon it now, how exhaust, how cheated, and confined by those many under-Officers whom it trusts, how feeble it's growne, and weakened by its owne strength, what warres, what stirres, what tumults, what plundering and oppression, what rapine and bloodshed, what cruelties, and prodigious villanies are done every where; whole thousands now slaine at a time, and scarce any notice taken of it, or one teare shed for it.

And for the Church in regard of outwards, you know the common complaint was, Church-men were too high, and that made them soCausa Rui­nae Ecclesiae faftus & super­bia Ecclesiasti­corum, Gerson Paris. ambitious—. Well, I thinke they are low enough now; and if ever that heavy curse of God against the Priests (Malachy 2—v. 3.9.) I will cast dung upon their faces; and make them base and contemptible before all the people;) was verifyed of late, it is in these our dayes: God has indeed cast durt upon their faces, and made them base and contemptible before all the people. Great talk there was of the Clergies being too rich, which made them so proud and haughty; and its true, many indeed were so. But I beleeve some of them are poore enough now: nay, I assure you (Right Honourable) such a course is taken in the Country, not by just and equall (that would chear­fully be undergone) but byOmnis ini­quitas & op­pressio & inju­stitia Judicium sanguinis est. Et licet gladio non occidas, volunta­te tamen inter­ficis, Hieron, in Isa. unjust, unequall, and un­conscionable Taxes; taking the advantage of these times, to lay load upon them, the better to ease themselves; and this not upon the idle, lazie, or disaffected, but upon the [Page 42]most painfull, most pious, most conscientious and best de­serving Ministers, such as have stood out in the hardest times, and born the heat and burden of the day; nay, usually upon them, rather then others, the more to dis­courage and dishearten them, that unlesse your goodnesse and Wisdomes prevent it in time, inevitably it must come to passe, that (if not they) yet their wives and children must of necessity be forc't after a while, to come a beg­ging to your doores. And I humbly beseech your Ho­nours in the name of thousands of the best deserving, and faithfullest pious Ministers, and others in England, that you will bee pleased to set downe a Rule whereby such unjust exorbitances may be remedyed, and they not left to the arbitrary power and will of those, who neither wish well to them nor you.

And in regard of inwards, 'tis true, the corruptions in the Church before were very great: but are they lessened now? are they not in another kinde grown far greater, and more desperate? the hedge of all Discipline quite bro­ken down; ah how do the foxes, wolves, and beares, and all the wilde beasts of the field now rage and domineere? such variety of abominable Heresies,Haeresis Graece ab Electi­one dicitur, quod seilicet eam sibi unusquisque eli­gat disciplinam quam patat esse milicrem, &c. vide Hicron. in Epist ad Gat. & 24. q. 3. Haeres. Quid iniquius est quam impia sapere, & sapi­entioribus do­ctioribus (que) non credere! sed in hanc insipienti­am cadunt, qui cwn ad cogno­scendum verita­tem aliquo im­pediantur obscu­ro, non ad pro­pheticas voces non ad Aposto­licas literas, non ad Evange­licas Authori­tates, sed ad se­met ipsos recur­runt: et ideo Magistr. Erroris existunt, quia veritatis discipuli non fuerunt, Leo. Sects, & Schismes; such monstrous, horrid, blasphemous Opinions; walking up and downe with open face, to the dishonour of God, and the disgrace of the Protestant Religion; as the very Names of such Sects or Sectaries before these dayes were scarce ever known or heard of before.

In a word, to looke upon the face of the whole Land, and to consider what it was, so rich, so populous, so o­verflowing with milke and honey, like the garden of Eden, the Paradise of God; and to see now what it is, so poor, so bare, so wasted; here one Country quite harrast thorow; there another forraged and plundred; here such a goodly Towne burnt and spoyl'd; there another pillaged and undone; here one rich Family shatter'd and dissolv'd; there another beggerd and broke to pieces; almost no [Page 43]place but full of feares, frightsTurbine magnospes solli­citae, urbibus er­rant, tre pidique Metus, Sen. in Her. sur., and terrors, every where complaining of wrong and injury, of unjustice and oppression, strange unheard of oppressions and vexation; so that a man cannot come almost into any company, or three friends meet together for an houre, but either some bitterGratae sunt contentiones ho­minibus, & con­tradreendo qua­cunque re pro­posita, vincendi desiderium prae­ter omnem rati­enem inexple­bile, Srob. contention happens concerning the times, rising usually to such an height, even among familiar acquain­tance; and leaving such a sting behind it, as makes them look shy at one another for a long while after, or else causes such a breach of Charity, as is not easie to be made up again.

Or if not so, yet such sad, such tragicall, such lamen­table stories are related from one and other, as would make ones very heart to bleed, and damps all the comfort of friends meeting, or society whatsoever. He I say there­fore that does but remember the former freedome and happinesse before, and the slaverie and miseries that are now; cannot I thinke chuse but with Israel here, sit down and weep when he remembers Zion.

Ile leave the more particular view of these things, to your private Meditations at home, and will close all with a fourefold view or usefull Remembrance of Zion once more; and then commit you to God.

First, remember Zion in both these states, and then with­all take notice of the true effects of sin, which has caused all this;Dan 9.6. for our sins (sayes the Prophet Daniel) and for the ini­quity of our fore-fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are made a reproach to all that are round about us; so may wee likewise say, it is for our sins, &c. It was a good answer one of our Countreymen gave to one at the last losing of Callis in France asking him scoffingly, where's the valour of your En­glish now? when will you win Callis againe? O Sir said hee, ‘when your sins are grown greater then ours, then shall we conquer you.’ Piously intimating thereby that sin is the cause of all our losses [...], &c. Medicus non est causa Incisionis, sed Morbus, sic & Civitatum dissipationes ex peccantium im­modestia ortum habent, Chrys., of all our heavie changes and distractions.

And withall remember them likewise unto true and un­feigned repentance and amendment, mourne for thine owne [Page 44]sins, and the sins of the Land, which have provoked God to be so angry with us; strive to amend thine own life, and as much as in thee lies to amend others, wish, and pray, and endeavour a thorow Reformation both of thy selfe, and those with whom thou hast to deale, and all this speedily ere the day be gone Nunc est tempus audren­di quando ille non assumpsit Tempus Judi­candi-qui loqui­tur modo tace­bit, Aug., and then thou be'st forc'd to remem­ber both thy Zion, and them in another place, when with Israel here it will be too late [...], Chrys. Hieron. [...] &c. Impossibile est et seire affli­ctiones afflicte­rum qui experi­mentum afflicti­onis non habuit, Chrys..

Secondly, remember this thy Zion, in these parts of the Kingdom, so strangely kept hitherto, so miraculously pre­served both from plague, and forain forces and devastation, and then with thankfulnes learn to prize thine own hap­pinesse.

Qui non aegrotat nescit quantum valet sanitas, saith Hierom, He that never was sick, knows not how to prize health: He that never was lame, knows not how to value his limbes: whereas if thou wouldst know the price of an eye, thou must ask the blindman; if of an eare, ask the deaf; if of meat, ask the hungry; if of liberty, ask him that has been long in Prison, and they will tell you out of wofull experience of their own wants and losses; so if you would know the true value and price of peace, of plenty and abundance, of the freedom of Gods word and Ordinances, go to Germa­ny or Ireland, or some parts here in England, and they'l tell you by sad experience, God be mercifull to them. I pro­sesse it damps my Spirits sometimes to see what little regard there is of the afflictionsFaeliciter su­pit qui alieno periculo sapit, Plant. of Joseph; how securely men go on in their sins, please and glut themselves in all manner of excesse riot, and intemperance, in oppressing of their poor brethren, and all manner of injustice and wrong; so long as things goe well with them, whether right or wrong, all's one, they are as little moved with others miseries, as thankfull for their own happinesse.

O my Beloved, this, thisIncassu n. munita sunt cae­tera, quum lec [...]s unus de quo He­sti pate: aditus, non est munitus, Greg. is that which threatens a sad change Saepe queen tentationis, Cer­tamen superare, non valuit sua deterius securi­tas stravit, Gre. in Moral., even with us also. Did but others enjoy halfe of those blessings you sleight or neglect, such abundance of peace, and plenty, and freedome, and ease, such frequent [Page 45]use of Gods Word and Sacraments such overflowing of all manner of good things. Faelices nimium bona si sua norint: A People, a City too happy, did they but know their own happinesse; did but others (I say) enjoy half of that which you doe, how happy would they count them­selves if onely it were but to gather up the Crumbs that fall under your Table. Well (Right Honourable and Beloved) give me leave to tell you that I am afraid an heavie ac­count and reckoning is yet behind. O remember that quickning speech of our blessed Saviour, Luke 12.48. Ʋnto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be requi­red, and to whom men have committed much, of him they will aske the more. God has given you (you cannot deny it) a greater measure of his blessings, then hee has done to o­thers: O strive to bee answerable in a proportionable measure of duty and thankfulnesse againe; lest hee take them away from you, and give them to those will bring forth better fruits then you doe, the losse then will be the heavier, as your sin before was the greater.

Thirdly, remember Gods distressed Zion once more, and then learne to sympathize Tanto quis­que perfectior est, quanto per­fectius sentit do­lores alienos; Greg Mor. l. 19 with thy poor brethren, and to pity them on whom this heavy lot has fallen, it might have been thine, Quod cuiquam contingit posset euilibet, that which happens to one, might befall another, and its Gods Mercy onely, that puts the difference, in smiting o­thers, and sparing thee; O at least pity thoseCujus pi­ctus tam ferre­um, cujus Cor tam lapideum ut gemt tus non exprimat Da­chrymas non effundat cum proximi vel a­mici Morbum vel interitum intuesur? ut pa­tienti non com­patiatur, & do­lentibus non condolear, &c. Jun. 1 Cor. 12.27. Rom. 12.15, 16 who are in worse condition then thy selfe. How can it bee well with the head, when the heart is sick; how with the hands, when the feet are ill; with one member, when another is pain'd? Ye are members in particular saith the Apostle; there­fore be of the same minde one with another; weep with those that weep, and mourne with those that mourne.

Many Israelites, many of Gods Zion may you find every where, some in prison, some in want, some in banishment, some plundered, some wounded, some maymed. O re­member these; Remember them,

First, with thy Charity Semper ha­bet undo det, cui plenum est pe­ctus Charitatis, Aug. in Psal. 36., spare some of thy over-flowing [Page 46] Cups, to quench their thirst; some of thy superfluous dishes to satisfie their hunger; some of thy cast cloaths to cover their nakednesse; some of thy plenty and abundance to re­leive their wants: Remember them thus, and their soules will blesse thee another day.

Secondly, remember them in your Prayers too: this is opus Diei in die suo; the proper duty and employment of the day, to desire God in his due time to be favourable and gra­cious unto Zion. Be earnest with God therefore;Prece [...] quae attente a puro animo s [...]u [...]dun­tur, a Domino reportant quod pe [...]unt, Bern. what knowest thou whether thy prayers (as Hezekiah's did the Sun in the Firmament) may not make the Sun of Righte­ousnesse to turn back from what it is gone down; or (as Josuah's) to stand still, and go down no further, before hee have mercyOratio De­um lenit, sed la­chryma cogit, Hieron. in Isa. on thee. We fare better for the Churches, and other godly Mens prayers; good reason they like­wise should fare the better for oursImpossibile est ut Deus fide­liter precanti­bus, usquam suum neger Ora­culum, Bern.; O pray then for the peace of Zion; they shall prosper that love it.

Thirdly, remember it likewise with thy Teares;

Both 1. of Contrition Lachrymae paenitentium ca­dunt in c [...]nspe­ctu Domini, Aug. Flevit Petrus amare ut la­chrymae lava­rent delictum, tu similiter la­chrymis dilue Culpam, Id. for thine own sins, and the sins of the Land which are the causes of all our woe.

2. Of Devotion, bewayling that thou hast offended so good a God, begging mercy, and trusting in Christ, and Christ alone for help and succour.

And 3. of Compassion Illas lachry­mas vere in vi­num mutari di­xerim, quae Compassionis affectu in fervo­rem prodcant Charitatis, &c. Bern., for those heavie breaches that God has made upon the Church and Nation, endeavou­ring what thou art able to repaire them, and earnestly de­siring God in his due time to make up the breaches of his Zi­on, and to build up the walls of his decayed Jerusalem.

Lastly, remember Zion once more Allegorically with St. Austin thus;

We are all Israelites in this world, strangers [...], Chrys. and pilgrims here; and Heaven is our home, our Zion which is a­bove. Now as those Israelites sate down by the waters of Baby­lon, and wept when they remembred their Zion; so should we in this our Babylon of this wicked and unconstant world (a true land of Confusion indeed) where we are Captives to sin, to Satan, to the world and men; even sit downe and weep [Page 47]when we remember our heavenly Zion, Multi flent fletu Babylonico, & gaudent gaudto Babylonico, gau­dent lucris & flent damnis Temporalibus, Aust. Ecce in Babylo­ne pulchra sunt quae te tenent, sed non te teneant (mi homo) aliud est Solatium Captivorum, a­liud gaudium liberorum, Aust. O pax illa quam Zione videbi­mus apud Deum Illa sancta aequa­litas Ange lo­rum, illa Visio & spectaculum pulchrum, &c. Aust. Hoc est quod nos laetificat in omnibus labori­bus & periculis vitae hujus, A­mor noster in Deum, & pium studium, & cer­ta spes, & fervor spiritus, Aug. in Joh. out of which our sins have excluded us, and from whence as yet we are de­barr'd from going to so happy a place.

Multi flent, &c. many of us weep too much with Baby­lons Tears, and rejoice with Babylons joy, rejoice at worldly gaines, and weep for worldly losses; but who weepes (saith he) for the losse of heaven; that Zion of ours which yet we want? Ecce in Babylone, &c. behold many goodly showes there are which may take thine eyes here; yea, but be not taken with them (sayes the good Father) for there's a great deale of difference between the joy of Captives in this World, and the joy of children with God in that world that is to come.

O pax illa, &c. O the blessed peace which there wee shall see in Zion with our God, no more wars, or fightings, or frights, or fears, or losses, or crosses there, but all peace, all joy, all tranquility and quiet, comfort, and happines there.

O remember this Zion too, and then let the thought of this Zion above stay thy mind, and cheare thy drooping spi­rits, midst all the miseries and calamities here below.

And when they that carry thee away Captive require of thee a song in thy heavinesse, when any Crosses or afflicti­ons of this life presse upon thee sore, solace thy selfe with the remembrance of this, and say, Well, yet my comfort is, the evening will come when I shall receive my penny; this warfare will be accomplish't, when I shall obtain the Victory; this race of my life at last will be run, when I shal get the goale; this pilgrimage will be finish'd, when I shall come to my home: in a word, all these distractions, In aeterna vita nullum ha­bebimus, adver­sarium, nulla erit diabolicae fiaudis impug­natio, nullum Haeretiaae pravitatis dogma, nulla, &c. Greg. in Ps. 7. troubles and miseries will cease, when once I come to Zi­on, my Zion which is above, and there fit downe in the bo­some of my sweet Saviour, my God, and my Redeemer, in whose (y) presence is the fulnesse of joy; and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore. And so having brought you to the glimpse of a better Zion; there I leave you, not know­ing where to leave you in a better place.

Soli Deo sit Gloria.

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