THE Possibility of Gods For­saking a people, That have been visibly near & dear to him TOGETHER, With the Misery of a People thus forsaken, Set forth in a SERMON, Preached at Weathersfield, Nov. 21. 1678. Being a Day of FAST and HU­MILIATION.

By Mr. Joseph Rowlandson Pastor of the Church of Christ there. Being also his last SERMON.

2 Chron. 15.2.

The Lord is with you, while ye be with him, and if ye seek him, he will be found of you: but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.

Hos. 9.12.

Wo also to them, when I depart from them.

BOSTON in NEW-ENGLAND Printed for John Ratcliffe, & John Griffin. 1682.

To the Courteous READER, (especially the Inhabitants of the Town of Weathersfield, and Lancaster, in New-England.

Gods forsaking of such as he hath been near to, is a thing of such weight, and solemnity, and hath such bitter effects, that it is a meet Subject, (espe­cially in a dark and mourning day) for Ministers to speak to, and for People to hear of: that the one may warn of the danger, and the other avoid the judgement. As Gods presence is the greatest glory to a People on this side Heaven, so his absence is the greatest misery on this side hell; this therefore must needs be a concerning point, to such as will concern themselves in their concernments. The ensuing Sermon will appear a solemn word, if duely conside­red: the subject matter is very solemn and weighty, (Treating of Gods being with, or forsaking a peo­ple) the time when it was delivered was a solemn time, (a day of FAST throughout the Colonies) the Reverend Author that Composed, and Preached it; was one solemn and serious above many others, and that which adds one great circumstance to its solem­nity, is, in that it was the last word he spake to the [Page]World, being but about two dayes before he left it. As it is solemn, so 'tis seasonable, and pertinent. It is a time wherein we have given God just cause to forsake us. a time wherein God is threatning to for­sake us. A time wherein God hath in some mea­sure forsaken us already, and what can be more sea­sonable, then to shew the evils that befall a forsaken People, that we may yet be awakened, and return, that the Lord do not forsake us utterly.

As for the Reverend Author, there needs no­thing to be said in his commendation, he was known amongst the Churches in the Wilderness, and known to be a workman that needed not to be ashamed. That his Name (which was sometimes precious amongst those that knew him) may not be forgot, and that being dead, he may yet speak to a land that have in some measure forsook their God, and are in danger of being forsaken, is the ground work of the pub­lishing this small part of his labours. It is com­mended especially to the perusal of the Inhabitants of Lancaster and Weathersfield: He was a Man well known to you, the one had his Life, and the other his death; and both his loss, you cannot easily for­get his name, and 'tis desired that you may not forget the labour and travel, he hath had amongst you; the word which he Preached to you was acceptable whilst he was living, and it is presumed it will be accepted with the like candor now he is dead. In­deed had it been intended, and fitted by himself for the Press, you might have expected, and found it more [Page]large, and polished; but as it is, it is thought fit, not to be lost, and may be of great use, and benefit, to open to us the danger of forsaking God, to humble us for all our coolings, and declinings from God, to quicken us in our return to, and close walking with God, and that it may attain this end, is the hearts desire, and prayer of him, who abundantly wishes thy welfare, and prosperity in Christ Jesus.

B. VV.
Ieremiah 23.33.

And when this People, or the Prophet, or a Priest, shall ask thee, saying, what is the burden of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, what bur­den? I will even forsake you; saith the Lord.

IN the Words, there lies before us, (First) A Question, supposed, to be propounded, wherein there is two things: 1. The Questionists, this People, or a Prophet, or a Priest. 2. The Question it self, or the matter of it, What is the burden of the Lord? (Secondly,) There is an Answer, and a solemn Answer too, which is put into his mouth by the Lord, and which he is to return as the Lords Answer to the Question? thou shalt then say unto them, what burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord.

In which Answer there is three things.

  • 1. An expression of Indignation, What burden?
  • [Page 2]2. An assertion by way of Answer to the que­stion, I will forsake you.
  • 3. A Seal of ratification, in the last words, Saith the Lord.

God having before dealt with the Pastors, that did destroy, and scatter the flock, as in the be­ginning of the Chapter, Wo be to the Pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, & ver. 2 I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord, and also with the false Prophets, that pro­phesied lies in his Name, as ver. 9. My heart with­in me is broken because of the Prophets, & ver. 32. Behold I am against them, that prophesie false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness: which sort of Prophets went without their Com­mission, as ver. 21. I have not sent these Prophets yet they ran. He proceeds from the head Ru­lers, to the people that were seduced by them: for by this means their hands were strengthened in sin, so as that they did not return from their wickedness, as ver 14. It was a usual thing for the Prophets of the Lord, to begin their Ser­mons (the matter whereof was minatory, where­in the Lord threatned them with just judge­ments) with that Phrase, the burden of the Lord, as will easily appear if you consult, Isai. 13.1. & 15.1. & 22.1. & 30, 6. Now they do in the words of the Text, or are supposed in mockery to demand, what Burden he had from the Lord, for them.

[Page 3] For the opening of the words And: or moreover because he here enters upon new matter: this People, or the prophane sort of them, whom the false Prophets had secuced, to which he joyns the Prophet, and the Priest, in hit they were alike prophane, as ver. 11. for both Prophet and Priest are prophane, yea in my house, saith the Lord: and when Prophets are prophane there is wont to be a pack of them, as Jer. 5.31. The Prophets prophesies falsly, and the Priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so: shall ask thee saying, viz. in a deriding way, not out of a holy end, or desire, What is the burden of the Lora? or from the Lord? so were the Prophe­sies stiled, that contained in them, Threatnings, Judgements, and Plagues, 2 King. 9.25. as if they had said, what hast thou further mischief in thy head to declare? further Woes and Threatnings to pronounce? hast thou nothing else to prophesie, but Mischief and Calamity? What is the burden now? Thou shalt then say unto them, the Lord know what they would say to him, and tells him what he should say, by way of reply, What burden? a retorting by way of holy indignation; ask ye indeed what burden? and that in a way of deri­sion? are you of that strain, and spirit? I will even forsake you saith the Lord: a burden hea­vy enough, and you are like to seel it so ere long, heavy enough to break your Backs, to break your Church, and your Common wealth, and to [Page 4]sink your haughty Spirits, when this Burden shall come upon you, in its force and weight.

Doct. That the Lord may even forsake a Peo­ple that have been near to him, and he hath been near to, though for the Lord thus to do, is as fearful and hideous a judgement as can be inflicted on any People.

The Doctrine is double, it hath two parts:

First, That the Lord may do thus.

Secondly, When he doth, it is a very sad and heavy burden. It may be prosecuted as two di­stinct points.

  • 1.
    P. 1.
    God may forsake a People that hath been near to him, and that he hath been near to. This may be spoken to in this order.
  • 1. What is meant by Gods forsaking a People.
  • 2. How may it appear that God may forsake, even such a People as the point speaks of?
  • 3. The Reasons.
  • 4. The use.

1.I What doth Gods forsaking mean? what is intended thereby?

Sol. It means Gods with drawing himself, as the Prophe: Hosea phraises it, Hos. 5.6. They shall go with their Flocks and their Herds to seek the Lord, but shall not find him, he hath withdrawn himself from them. They shall seek him, and not find him, and there is a good reason, he hath [Page 5]withdrawn himself, he is gone, in respect of his gracious presence. We must here distinguish betwixt Gods general presence, and his precious presence. In respect of his general presence, he is not far from any one of us, for in him we live, and move, and have our being, Act. 17.27, 28. We have not only our beginning from, but our being in him. As the beam hath its being in the Sun. Of this general presence of God, we read, Psal. 139.7. There is no flying from it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I slie from thy presence? In this sense God is every where, as it is ver. 8, & 9. If I ascend up into Heaven thou art there: if I make my bed in Hell, behold thou art there. He fills Heaven and Earth, and there is no hiding from him, Jer. 23.24. Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him,? saith the Lord do not I fill Heaven and Earth? saith the Lord. He hath Heaven for his Throne, and the Earth for his Footstool, as it is, Isai. 66.1. This general presence of God, if believingly apprehended, and strongly be­lieved, might be of great use.

But it is not this general presence that is meant: but his especial presence, his favourable and gra­cious presence, the removing whereof, is that that is intended, by the forsaking that the Text and Point speaks of. God is said to forsake a People two waves.

  • 1. As to Affection.
  • 2. As to Action.

[Page 6] 1. As to Affection, when he discontinues his love to them, when he takes away his love from a people, then he takes his leave of a people. My mind is not toward this people, Jer. 15.1. a ve­ry heavy Judgement, and sad removal. Be in­structed O Jerusalem, least my Soul depart from thee.

2. As to Action, when God takes away the signs of his presence.

1. When he takes away merciful and graci­ous providences, when he carries not towards them as he was wont to do: but vexes them with all manner of adversity, Deut. 31.17. I will forsake them, and many evils and troubles shall befal them: when he ceases to protect them from e­vils, and enemies, as in times past, and provides not for them, as he was wont to do. 2. When he takes away his Ordinances, and bereaves a peo­ple of the glorious things of his house; or take away his spirit from accompanying them, where­by the glory ceases, and the ordinances are ren­dered in effectual for the saving good of a peo­ple.

2.II How may it appear the God may forsake finch a People?

It may appear by what God hath threatned. What God hath threatned, to such as the point speaks of, may be inflicted on them: but God hath threatned such judgements to such a peo­ple. My anger shall be kindled against them, [Page 7]and I will forsake them, as near as they are to me, and as dear as they have been to to me, Deut, 31.17. Many such threatnings are found in the Scri­pture against Israel, who are stiled a people near unto him.

In that such as have been near to God, and he near to them, have complained of their being forsaken by God. Thou hast forsaken us, is one of the bitter moans, on record, that the Church of God did often make unto him

What God hath inflicted on such, may be in­flicted on such again; what God hath done to some, he may do to others, in the same state, and relation: for he is unchangeable. Those that were once the only peculiar people of God, near to God, and had God near to them, yet what is is their condition at this day? A forsaken condi­tion, is the condition, of the Off spring of Abra­haem Gods Friend, a seed whom he had chosen, and hath been so, for above sixteen hundred years. God hath been angry with them, and forsaken them, as they were foretold long ago. How is it with the Churches of Asia, that were once famous golden Candlesticks? that had E­pistles written to them. Are they not in a for­saken condition? not the face of a Church to be found amongst them.

In that they may do that, which may deserve a forsaking, therefore they may do that which may actually procure it. They may do that [Page 8]which may deserve a forsaking, they may through the corruption and unbelief of their hearts for­sake God, and God may in just judgement reta­liate, and thereupon forsake them. This is spo­ken to in the forequoted place, Deut. 31.16, 17. They will forsake me, and break my Covenant which I have made with them: then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will for­fake them, and hide my face from them. So again, 2 Chron. 15.2. But if you forsake him he will for­sake you; the first is supposed, if you forsake him, the latter is imposed, he will forsake you:

But why doth the Lord forsake such a People?III The Reasons:

1. To shew that he hath no need of any, he hath forsaken many, and may forsake many more, to shew that he hath no need of any. God would have all the world to take notice, (that though all men have need of him, yet) he hath no need of any man.

2. To testifie his Sanctity, and severity against sin. He will not spare them, that have been near him, if they will not spare their sin for him. He is a holy God, and if they will have their sins, and their lusts, and their wayes, and their lovers, he will vindicate his holiness, by inflicting this judgement on them.

3. To be a warning to all that enjoy his gra­cious presence. That they see that they make much of it, and that they take heed that they [Page 9]do not sin against him, and forsake him, and pro­voke him to forsake them also.

Caut. The point is to be understood of a peo­ple that are visibly and externally near and dear to him, and these may be totally and finally for­saken of God: and yet here it must be noted, that God may exercise a deal of patience, and forbearance toward such as he is about to forsake, he did so with the old world, he did so with the Israelites of old, he did so with the seven Chur­ches of Asia: he is not wont suddenly, and at once to forsake a people, that have been near and dear to him; but he is wont to give them warn­ing, and in patience to bear a while with their frowardness, and wait to see if there be any re­turning to him, before he doth inflict this heavy and sharp judgement.

Ʋse It serves to admonish us,IV not to bear our selves too high, upon the account of priviledges. It is a great priviledge to have the Lord near us, and to be near unto him: and some lean upon this though they abide in their sin, Micah 3.10, 11. They build up Sion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity, yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, is not the Lord amongst us? But if our de­portment be not according to our priviledges, if we do not carry it thereafter, by becoming an humble, fruitful, and holy people; the Lord will bring forth this heavy burden against us, we shall be rejected, and forsaken of the Lord, what­ever [Page 10]our external priviledges be.

But the second part of the Doctrine;P. 2. or the second Doctrine may be now spoken to, viz.

That it is the heaviest burden, or the sorest of Judgements for the Lord to forsake a people.

There may be two things spoken to in the ma­nagement of this truth. 1. Arguments to e­vidence it. 2. The Uses of it.

1. If God hath threatned it as a very sore judgement, then sure it is so. Now when God hath been angry with a people, he hath manifest­ed the same by menacing them with his forsaking them: when he hath been designed to do them a deep dispseasure, upon the account of some high provocation he is wont to threaten them not by taking away this, or that outward comfort from them; but by taking away himself from them.

And that is a woe indeed, a woe with a witness, Hos. 9.12. Yea, woe also to them, when I depart from them: this is the wofullest day that such a people are wont to meet with.

2. Gods forsaking a People is a sore judge­ment, in that it exposes them to all judgements. Sin is a great evil in that it exposes to all evil this is a great evil of punishment, in that it exposes to all punishments. If God be gone, our guard is gone, and we are as a City, in the midst of E­nemies, whose walls are broken down. Our strength to make resistance, that's Gone, for God [Page 11]is our strength, as a carcase without life, is a prey, to beasts of prey; so are a people forsa­ken of their God, to all their devouring enemies, and to infernal, and cursed spirits: they are ex­posed to mischief, and the malice of all their ma­lignant enemies. When the Lord had forsaken Jerusalem, the Romans quickly made a prey of it; when they were destitute of God, their habita­tion became desolate. There is no Protection to a People, whom the Lord forsakes; but they are perplexed on every side.

3. Because the evils that are on such, whom God hath forsaken, they are only evils. The Prophet Ezekiel sometime hath the expression, Ezek. 7.5. Thus saith the Lord God, an evil, an only evil behold is come. This is such an evil, an only evil to a people. An evil whilst God is present, may have much good in it, the Lord may sancti­fie it for abundance of blessing: there is hopes of this whilst the Lord continues amongst them; but if he be gone, it is an only evil, and the evils that come upon them are such, they have no­thing but evil in them.

4. Because no creature can then afford any help; for what can creatures do when God is departed, he makes the creatures useful and help­ful, but without him they can do us no good, stand us in no stead: they may say to thee as the King of Israel, said to the Woman, that cried Help O King, He answered, If the Lord done [Page 12]help, whence shall I help thee? all creatures may say if God be departed, we cannot help: Nay the very Devil cannot help if God be gone: when God departed from Saul, he sought help from the Devil, 1 Sam. 28.15. Wherefore (saith the Devil) askest thou of me? seeing the Lord is de­parted from thee.

5. It appears to be a sore judgement, by the an­guish and distress, that such have been in, that have been sensible that God hath forsaken them. Sin hath flown in the face of such, and terified them: Oh the blessed God is gone, and if he is gone, mercy is gone; and Oh for such and such sins, that lie upon me! what shall I do? what a moan have Saints themselves made in such a case? as David, Psal. 22.1, 2. My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me? and from the words of my roaring? Oh my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not, and in the night season, and am not silent. Oh how Saul roared out his distress! and that on this account especially, that God was departed from him, not so much that the Philistines were upon him, had not God been gone, he could have dealt well enough with them; but here was the misery, and the sting of the misery, God was de­parted from him.

6 It is a sore punishment, in that it is a great part of the punishment of Hell. The essential parts of that punishment, is pain of loss, and sense, [Page 13]and the sormer some reckon the greater.

Ʋse 1. How foolish are sinners that do even bid God depart from them? as we read, Job 21.14. Therefore they say unto God depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy wayes. But do they know what they say? Oh sinners is this your wish? if it be granted it will prove your woe for ever. Happily Gods presence is now your trouble; but I tell you his absence would be your torment.

2. Se here what an evil it is to forsake God, is it a judgement of judgements to be forsaken of God? surely then it is the sin of sins to for­sake him: the evil of punishment is in being left by God, and the evil of sin is in leaving God. What, forsake God, who is our only good? God who made us, and possest us from our beginning, God that hath been the guid of our Youth, that hath been good to us, and fed us all our dayes? Jer. 2.19. Know therefore and see, that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God. And there is an aggravation of it, ver. 17. Thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, When he led thee by the way. As a guid to direct thee, as a staffe to support thee, as a convoy to guard thee, as a Fathe to provide for thee, that thou hast wanted nothing: well may it be said, how evil and bitter a thing is it, that thou hast forsaken the Lord? He adds in the 31. verse. Oh Generation! Generation of what? of what you will; God [Page 14]leaves a space that you may write, what you please, generation of Vipers, or Monsters, or any thing rather then Generation of Gods peo­ple. See ye the word of the Lord behold your face in that Glass. So your causless apo­stasies, have I been a wilderness unto Israel? Have you wanted any thing, Oh ye degenerating crooked, and wilful generation? God may say to such sinners, as Pharaoh to Hadad, when he would be gone, 1 King. 11.22. But what hast thou lacked with me, that thou seekest to be gone? what hast thou lacked sinner, that thou seekest to be gone from the Lord? The sinner must answer with him, nothing howbeit let me go in any wise. He came to him in his distress, and when his turn was answered, away he packs. They forsake because they will forsake.

3. Wonder not that Gods Saints have been so solicitous with him, not to forsake them. Thus David, Psal. 1198. Oh forsake me not utterly. He might well be solicitous in this matter, for he un­derstood what it was to be forsaken of the Lord. They press hard with the Lord whatever he doth he would not leave them, nor forsake them. Jer. 14.9. Leave us not. And no wonder, there are such moans, when the Lord may have seemed, to have forsaken them.

4. If Gods forsaking be so sore a judgement, it should make us more cautelous, and wary least we pull down this judgement on our heads. Men [Page 15]should be afraid of this heaviest of judgements, more then the Child of whipping.

5. Let Gods dear ones take heed of conclu­ding against themselves, that they are under this judgement. They are readiest to couclude a­gainst themselves, and yet really in the least dan­ger. Thus we read, Isa. 49.14. But Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgot­ten me. But why said Zion so? it was from diffi­dence: as Saints do not forsake God as others do, Psal 18.21. I have not wickedly departed from my God: so God will not forsake them as he for­sakes others not utterly forsake them: His for­saking of his is but temporary, and partial.

But here a question may be moved what is the difference betwixt a sinner forsaken and a Saint forsaken? for the Lord doth not forsake both a­like. 1. When God forsakes his own, yet they cry after him, he withdraws himself from them sometimes, yet so as that he draws their hearts after him as a mother may hide away from her Child, that it may seek and cry the mor earnestly after her. 2 They retain good thoughts of him in his withdrawment, or absence. As the Spouse in the Canticles, she calls him her beloved still. As the faithful wife: she retains good thoughts of her husband, and keeps up her re­spect, though he be gone from home but the wic­ked when the Lord forsakes them, harhour hard thoughts of him. Is this to serve the Lord, and walk in his wayes? what good have I got by all I have done? see how he hath served me.

[Page 16] 3. They will seek him, till he return again, when the Lord forsakes others, the will sees after vinities to make up the want of Gods presence. The Adustress in her Husbands absence will seek after other leavers. The true Saint will be satis­fied in nothing else but the Lord till he return. Moreover there is a difference in Gods forsaking the sinner and the Saint, when he forsakes the wicked [...] in darkness: but when he withdraws from his own he leaves some light, whereby they see which way he is gone, he leaves some glimmering light, by which they may fol­low after him, and find him.

And again, when he leaves his own, yet his bowels are owards them, Jer. 31.20 My bow­els are troubled for him, I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord. He hath an eye to­wards them for much good, in his forsaking them.

Ʋse. 2. Of Exhortation: 1. To thankful­ness to God, or that he hath not yet forsaken us. Whatever he hath stript us off, he hath not yet stript us off himself, he hath not as yet forsaken us. He might have done it, and have done us no wrong; but he hath not yet done it.

2. To do our utmost that he may not forsake us. And here there may be added Motives and Means.

1. Consider Gods lothness to forsake us. This is a thing that he is not desirous of he doth not willingly afflict us with this fort of Affliction, or grieve us with this grievous stroak. God hath [Page 17]shewed himself loth to depart from those that have departed from him; but have warned them of his displeasure, that they might stay him. It goes near Gods heart to forsake a People that have been near to him. Methinks I hear him saying thus, How shall I give thee up, Oh New-England! thence speaking to warn us, of. our forsakings of him, and to be instructed, why? least his Spirit depart from us, Jer. 6.8. Be thou instructed Oh Ierusalem, least my Soul depart from thee, least I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. You may easily stay him, the matter is not so far gone, but you might yet stay him were we but as loth he should forsake us, as he is to forsake us, he would never leave us. His gradual mo­tions from a people argue his lothness, and un­willingness to leave them.

2. Consider what the Lord is to us, or what relation he stands in to us, while he is with us. He is our friend, we have found him to be so, and a special friend too: men in the World are not willing to forego a Friend, a good Friend: he is as faithful, skilful, powerful, and tender heart­ed a Friend as ever a people had, he stuck by us when also we had been in a woe case, Psal. 124.1. If it had not been the Lord, who was on our side may Israel now say. And had not the Lord been on our side, may New-England now say. He is a Father, and a tender-hearted Father, Isai. 63.16, Doubtless thou art our Father. Can children [Page 18]be willing their Father should leave them? he is a Husband, Isai. 54.5. For thy Maker is thy Hus­band, a loving, careful, tender husband too; can the Wise be willing to part with her Husband? if the Lord forsake us, we are bereft of our friend, left friendless, he is all friends in one, none can be our friend, if he be not. If he leave us, we shall be as Orphans, for he is related as a Father, and how sad is the state of poor Orphans: and we shall be in a state of Widow-hood, a very soli­tary, and sorrowful state. He is our guide, and our pilot; what will become of the blind if their guid leave them? and what will become of the Ship if the Pilot desert it? thus the Lord is to his, and well may he say, as Mic. 6.3. Oh my Peo­ple what have I done? or wherein have I wearied thee, or given thee any cause to be weary of me.

3. Consider there are shrewd signs of Gods intent to leave us, unless somewhat be done. If you enquire what? I Answer:

1. The sins for which God hath forsaken o­thers are rife amongst us. The sins for which God forsook the Jews, are our sins.

1. Horrid Pride, Hos. 5.5. The Pride of Israel doth testifie to his face. Pride in Parts, and pride of Hearts, pride in Apparel, and Vestures, and in Gestures, and in Looks, how lofty are their eyes! New-England is taken notice of abroad, for as proud a People, of a professing people, as the World affords. [Page 19]When a People are humble the Lord will say with them. If our immunities, which are Gods mercies, puffe us up, God will empty us: he will blast that to us that we are proud of.

2. Deep and high Ingratitude. Do you thus requite the Lord? Deut. 32.6. So the Prophet Hosea taxes them, Hos. 2, 8. God gave her Corn, and Wine, and Oyl, silver and Gold, but she consu­med them on Baal. We have been blest but hath God had the glory of our blessings.

3. Oppression. Amos 8.4. Ye that swallow up the needy. These Jews were like the Fishes, the greater did devour the less. Some are like wild Beasts, like Wolves that tear off the fleece, and eat the flesh of the Flocks. There is more ju­stice to be found in hell, then amongst some men on earth: for there is no innocent person op­pressed there.

4. Weariness of Gods Ordinances. Amos 8.5. When will the Sabbath be done? They that are weary of the service of God, and the Ordinan­ces of God, they are weary of God. God in­deed hath fed us to the full, as to Ordinances: and we are glutted, and surfeited, and have lost our esteem.

[Page 20] When mens Commodities bare but a little price in a place, they will remove the market! if Go­spel Ordinances are but a cheap commodity, have lost their price, and men are weary of them: God will let out his Vineyard to another People. If our mercies become our burdens, God will ease us of them.

5. Cousenage in mens dealings, making the Ephah small, and the Shêkel great, selling the re­fuse of Wheat, Amos 8.5, 6. They pick out the best Grain for themselves, and the refuse is to sell.

6. Idolatry, which is Spiritual Adultery, and is there nothing of this? chusing of new Gods.

7. Incorrigibleness, or opposition of a spirit of reformation. When God calls to a People to return, by repentance, but they will go on still in their sin: God calls to them by his judg­ments, and by his Rod; but they will not hear, as 'tis Ier. 5.3. Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive Correction: they have made their faces harder than a Rock, they have re­fused to return. When it is thus with a People, God will pluck up and be gone; so Ier. 7.13, 14 Because they would not hear, and would not answer the call of God, I will do to this house, as I did to Shiloh, why? what did the Lord do to Shiloh? ver. 12. Go to Shilch, and see what I did to it, for the wickedness of my People Israel. Go, and view it, and you will see what he did, he left tokens of [Page 21]his wrath upon them, and forsook them.

2. Another sign of his intent to forsake us, is, in that he is dealing, with us as he is wont to deal with them that he is about to forsake. He takes away those that are mostly with him. He will take away his Moses's those that stand in the Gap, and binds his hands with their Prayers, when he is designed to pour out wrath upon a People: he will remove be lights, when he is about to darken a land. W [...]e men send away their Plate and Jewels and choice things; it in­timates their intention of removal

3. Another sign is our Luke warmness, and Indifferency in Religion: a usual forerunner of its removal When a People care not for God, and the things of God, he hath lest them in some measure, already, and if that Spirit abide he will not tarry long with them.

Ʋse 1 Of Direction. 1. Examine and hum­ble your selves, for all your departures from God, your forsakings of him; humble your selves for them, confessing with bitterness your evil therein bemoaning your selves before the Lord upon the account thereof. May the Lord hear his People, from Dan to Beersheba bemoan­ing themselves, Ephraim like, then the Lord will hear, and have mercy, and not leave us, for his Names sake.

2. Judge your selves worthy to be forsaken, because of your forsaking of him. If you judge [Page 22]your selves worthy to be forsaken, God will not judge you worthy to be forsaken, 1 Cor. 11.31.

3. Pray the Lord not to forsake you, the Lord is sometimes staid with Prayers: Prayers have prevailed with his Majesty often, and may do again.

4. Forsake your sins, whereby you have for­saken him. Nothing less then this will prevent this mischief, coming upon us. If there be any, either Son or Daughter that will not leave their fins for God, God will leave such.


ERRATA. In the Preface to Mrs. Rowlandsons Narrative Page 1. Line 3. for Thursday read Tuesday.

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